Saturday, July 22, 2006

Our Mistake

The Middle East is about to erupt. There’s a war in Lebanon, a conflict that threatens to spell over into Syria. There’s chaos and rebellion in Gaza. There’s a civil war in Iraq. The pawns are on the field, killing each other. The major players, The United States, Iran, Russia, and China are still in shadow, waiting for their time to intervene.

Neighbors to the north, the European Union watches with apprehension. They know world wars. They know what they feel like, what they sound like, when they’re coming. They may not be able to see the smoke over the mountains, but they watch the explosions firsthand on TV. Neighbors to the South, Africa turns away from its own problems for a moment to watch the display on their doorstep.

Everyone has their reasons. Israel strives to defend itself. The Islamic jihadists seek power and the fulfillment of their prayers. The rich and the powerful protect only themselves.

Meanwhile, America waits, a slumbering giant whose selfishness and short-sightedness opened the door for this conflict.

What if there had been someone in our current administration who could read between the lines and think proactively? What if someone could have seen this coming?

For a moment there, when the Iraqis voted, when the suicide bombers in Israel, when we seemed poised for victory in peace, I believed our President.

I believed Democracy was the reason for the Iraq invasion and that once seeded in Iraq, it could and would spread across the region. Well, it has. Elections have brought criminals into power. The people voted based on their religion, based not on the facts, but the image and the propaganda. Look what happened when people did that in this country.

The biggest mistake, though, was we had misplaced faith as well. We believed in them, in the regular Arab and Israeli people of the Middle East who would rise to the occasion of democracy. Who would allow peace into their hearts if it meant safety, security, and separation. But we shouldn’t have. We should have been there, not in Iraq, but in Israel and Lebanon and Gaza to keep the other monsters at bay.

What do you when two people start fighting? You get inbetween them and try to reason with them? Where was America to do that? We were there ten years ago, Bill Clinton stood between Yassif Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin, and they shook hands. We should have stayed there and stick our bigass nose where it didn’t belong, but where it might help.

Right now is the time to look around. Right now is the time to evaluate mistakes and promise to correct them.

We’ve been selfish. We were distracted before 9/11 and then we were selfish and paranoid afterwards. We may not have pulled the trigger in the current situatuon in Israel, but we weren’t there to stop it. Why not?


LoriB said...
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