Friday, January 9, 2009

Time to move to Vermont.

Boy, am I glad I don’t live in the Middle East. That part of the world is fucked up, no two ways about it. If you’re just a regular person trying to live your life in peace, you can forget it. Angry people have the upper hand. There is always someone pissed off about his chunk of land, or about you having any rights outside of what his affiliation deems fit (you know, because they are a mouthpiece of God), and they like nothing more than to launch a few rockets or cut off your head to make a point.

Of course, not every country in the Middle East has the same M.O. when it comes to maintaining 15th century mores and/or ending other peoples’ lives, since some are more “civilized” than others. In Iraq, local angry people make DIY explosives to blow up cars, Americans, Iraqis from different sects, and unlucky marketgoers. Israel, as an example of a more modern nation, uses full-scale warfare to bomb the shit out of Gaza. It’s entitled to do that, you see, because Hamas had been fucking with it for a really long time. Also, it is really entitled to do that because of the Holocaust. Atrocities committed against the Jews are license for any kind of action in the protection of Israel’s borders.

Yes, I know it’s politically incorrect to be American and not be a hard-line supporter of Israel, but I’m not. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not pro-Palestine either, although I think both sides have some valid arguments, particularly after the way the Palestinian people have been treated throughout the history of the conflict, and I would never discount the horror and magnitude of the Holocaust. It is simply my opinion that two wrongs do not make a right, and in my view raining down bombs on innocent people who “happen to be in the way” is a wrong. When I read in the paper about relief workers who were not let into Gaza in a timely fashion, only to discover once allowed a house where several small children were standing, weak with hunger, around the corpses of their dead mothers – I know I am reading about something wrong.

I recognize the naiveté in wondering why we have to have violence in the world, but the rationale truly does elude me when I don’t feel the capacity for violence in myself. Nothing good comes from it, unless when employing it to defend against it, I suppose. But that begs the question of the need for the initial aggression. “Human nature” is a sad excuse for the atrocities men have committed against each other throughout history, particularly when societies have gone to great lengths to codify laws that deem such individual actions to be aberrational behavior. If rape and murder are crimes in everyday life; why are they suddenly an acceptable aspect of human nature in the context of geopolitical aggression?

Ah, power. Man’s greatest excuse for all.

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