Saturday, July 29, 2006

Time just slips away…

I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged anything. My wife even commented yesterday that it’s been nearly a month!

I know, at least part of, the reason is that much of what I’ve been thinking, feeling and therefore tempted to write about, is geopolitical in nature, and I’ve tried, for the most part to leave that out of my blog posts.

In my mind, the last thing the blog world needs is another amateur geopolitical analyst, lord knows there’s no shortage of them.

Today however I found myself sitting in amazement as some guy on the news was talking about how Israel is ‘over-reacting’… That the war in Iraq and elsewhere in the middle east is primarily George Bush’s fault and the US’s “Cowboy Diplomacy”.

So if you’d rather not read a geopolitical rant from me, you should stop here.

Is the memory span of these “news” folks really that short? That not even five years after the September 11th attack, they’ve managed, in the interim, to rewrite history such that the events on that day were somehow *our* fault? Was I the only person who clearly saw that a “Global War on Terror” would not stop in Afghanistan, or Iraq, for that matter?

Do they really think that if we just go up to the likes of Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda folks and give them a hug they’ll stop hating us? Have they forgotten that to these folks we’re ‘non-believers’ and that it’s their duty to rid the planet of any, and all, non-believers?

Is it clear only to me that this wave of Islam inspired terrorism, that hides behind calling it a “Jihad” or holy war, is a fanatical splinter of the Islamic faith, and that no amount of reasoning, or rational discourse is about to sway their beliefs?

Sometimes I wonder if folks are just so obsessed with their lawns, cars and the next trip to Starbuck’s that they just can’t see past their own little private reality.

Do I think that Bush, or Israel for that matter has done everything right so far? No I don’t. Do I have a better feasible, workable solution? No, I don’t. Thankfully, it’s not my job to do those things. I promise you I’d be far more aggressive than anyone has been so far!

I know people are dying, on all sides, and in my heart I wish that wasn’t happening. But as my grandmother used to say, “Wishing don’t make it so”.

The sad reality is, when wars are waged, good people die. Civilians, and military alike, the fact remains, people die. There’s no such thing as a ‘clean’ war where only combatants, or even enemy combatants, die. Non-combatants have been dying as battles are fought since the beginnings of time and it’s not likely to change in our lifetime.

These terrorists don't want to convert or to rule us. We are a vile infestation of Allah's paradise. They don't care how "progressive" we are, how peace-loving we might be, or how much you sympathize, and/or empathize, with their cause.They want you (and I) dead, and think it is God's (or more precisely Allah’s) will for them to do it, and, that they’ll be rewarded in the afterlife for giving up their life to do so.

In that way, these folks are not all that different from the ‘Crusaders’ of times past, where wars were waged simply because one group believed differently from another, each staunchly believing theirs was the true, and proper religion. The only thing that’s really changed is the ability to kill on a broader scale and from greater distances. The reasons however, remain the same.

There will be no peace, not as long as these folks have access to weapons, explosives and other “war resources”. Those resources will always be available as long as there are nation states, sympathetic to their cause.

I do know this, the solution is not to stick our heads in the sand and ‘wish’ it all away.

We live in an ‘accepting’ society, one where our right to worship is protected and I know, that for some, it’s difficult to imagine a world where those rights don’t exist. But, that world exists, and we see it everyday on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. Yes, they’re killing American soldiers, but if you look at the numbers, they’re killing far more of their own countrymen (and women and children). Why? Simply because they’re Shiite instead of Sunni, Sunni instead of Shiite, or that some other, similar difference exists between them.

I fear that the only way this will ever ‘end’ is when folks like Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah no longer exist, or when they’ve succeeded in eliminating those of us they view as the ‘infidels’ are gone.

God forgive me, I pray it’s us, and not them, who survive.

A writer who I’ve found to have both a historical, well read, and a very balanced perspective on all of this can be found here.

A couple of the articles I really enjoyed were his strategic overview of the war on terror and his essential library.

If you’ve managed to stay with me this far, thank you, I appreciate it. Hopefully, getting this written will free up my mind for some other, less serious thoughts to emerge!

As always, your thoughts, comments and ideas are welcomed!

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Alex said...

It's like Aristotle said: "Fuck politics! Pass the vino."

Jada's Gigi said...

Have to say, I sadly agree with you...Tony Blair nailed it last week. He said we have to realize we are fighting an insane theology, not for land or possessions or rights but for our very lives and way of life...These people want us all dead because we are not of like beliefs and are therefore infidels...this kind of thinking is not going away with talk and good will..he also mentione that what we lack in our Western culture is conviction..they got it and we don't.. like you I hope and pray that we are the suvivors....scary stuff these days...welcome back to the land of blog...

Spirit Of Owl said...

Great post Bill.

Sadly it seems a number of very evil people are having their way right now. It's clearly true that maniacal terrorists are not exactly going to sit down and chat things over. But I have to wonder if the terrorists would find such fertile recruitment grounds if it weren't for the at best bullying foreign policies of the USA and, almost by default, increasingly the UK.

I really don't want to hug up some murdering psychopath. And I don't want to "understand" a suicide bomber's mind. And I don't care what book gets held aloft or what deity is proclaimed to justify the hate and violence and slaughter.

But I might be interested in the causes. And I might understand the pressures. And something else, I'm definitely no fan of Bush, or Blair either. Not by a long, long shot.

Bill said...

alex - Thanks... I'll have a nice cabernet please!

Cheryl - I guess the real question is... how to stop the insanity.. it is scary stuff

Spirit - Spirit, I think the fertility of recruiting stems more from the repressive internal policies of the countries, rather than external forces. They focus their discord externally though... there's no doubt about that!!

As for Bush and Blair, I certainly don't think they're perfect, but, they are men of conviction... and right now, we need leaders with conviction.