Friday, December 08, 2006

The World on Fire

As I’ve stated in the past, I can certainly feel the earth under my feet boiling. I pointed to different parts of the world where we see tragedies occurring on a daily basis, as well as regions that are increasingly sensitive in terms of tensions internally and externally. The current events taking place are absolutely major.

Darfur is the most obvious case of tragedy taking place as we sit comfortably in our homes. Numerous of people, including the great Eli Wiesel are fighting hard to get the Darfur conflict on the UN’s map, as well as the world’s map. Literally, a holocaust is taking place there – and I don’t see headlines reflecting this situation. It’s as if the mainstream media is downplaying the conflict in Darfur. Why, though?

Is it because the news in Darfur isn’t selling? I mean, isn’t there a point where we as human beings draw a line? The media and news should only be reporting the massacres and genocides taking place so that this miserable reality sinks into the minds of people – who are then expected to make so much noise, that governments and bodies (UN) have no choice but to take immediate action. Or maybe it’s because all of us are racist and choose to turn a blind eye to that region and to the nightmares conquering it. Throughout modern history, we (the West) have consistently brushed off anything coming out of that region.

It’s absurd that we went through the Holocaust, and are letting one take place in front of our eyes once again. Apparently, we don’t learn from our mistakes – and this is extremely discouraging.

From Darfur we move to Iraq. The invasion of the US is turning out to be a nightmare, as many people predicted. The vision that we would take down Hussein, appoint a democratic government, and then leave in peace with no casualties is quite the contrary of the current reality that has emerged. Dozens of American soldiers are being killed daily, the Sunii’s and Shiite’s are killing each other, and anarchy has overtaken the nation of Iraq. It is not a simple situation where the US can declare the war a loss, and pull out all troops and close the chapter. Instead, the US feels an obligation to assist the newly “democratically elected” leader in Iraq in restoring order and peace. The U.S. will have a presence in Iraq for at least a couple more years.

Iraq’s neighboring nation, Iran, is being very persistent on the nuclear issue. Though exposed, it again seems like this issue is being downplayed by media, all the while Ahmadinejad continues in his anti-Israel rhetoric, and his nuclear ambitions which he opposes to halt, per the international community’s demand.

He recently called out on N. Korea to strengthen ties, especially as it relates to military and nuclear intelligence. N. Korea recently performed various military tests with new “weapons capabilities”, including nuclear weaponry. S. Korea is trying to make sure that government’s such as the US, and bodies such as the UN, don’t discredit the ongoing threat coming out of N. Koreas dictatorship regime. Have you seen these people march?
It looks awfully similar to them Nazi’s from the 1940’s.
From N. Korea we travel to Lebanon. A cabinet minister was just executed, and once again the blame falls on the Syrians. When Israel’s UN representative Dan Gillerman spoke to the UN immediately following Israel’s initial attack on Lebanon, he continuously made one point clear: we need to put pressure on Lebanon to free herself from Syria’s rule. Or in other words, put pressure on Syria to release Lebanon from the Syrian handcuffs and Syrian influence. Nobody really took these words seriously, until incidents like these happen. Mind you, this execution is not the first carried out on anti-Syrian Lebanese government members. Yet today, thousands of Lebanese marched the streets of Lebanon in sorrow – and in subtle protest over the ongoing Syrian control in Lebanon. The UN won’t acknowledge this reality, or won’t do anything about it. However, this reality is destroying Lebanon’s character as a blossoming democracy in the Middle East.

Even worse is that Hizbollah has recently threatened to overturn Siniora’s government in Lebanon. The mere fact that Hizbollah is making these threats is enough indication to the horrible and unstable situation plaguing Lebanon. Believe it or not, this situation has been consistent over the years, and most certainly prior to Israel’s latest attacks in Lebanon. Ever since the civil war in Lebanon, Syria has been controlling the nation.
A positive outcome of Hizbollah action taken against the standing government in Lebanon could be exposure of the true problem in the region – not Israel’s objective to stay alive, rather Syria’s and Iran’s agenda which is causing much instability in the region.

Perhaps Syria and Iran’s agenda is based on Israel and their conflict? Israel has made peace with her Arab neighbors. These are the same neighbors that have become moderate quicker, and understood that Israel is not going anywhere – no matter how much hatred and popularity there is towards the very idea. Iran, Syria, and their proxies (Hizbolla in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine), have not been convinced that Israel is indestructible. In addition, Iran has too much pride to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and to conduct dialogue and ultimately do business with the US (Jordan and Egypt both get money from the US). And so objectives from many years ago remain amongst these remaining nations – whereas Egypt and Jordan have no intention or desire to trigger a conflict with Israel (I speak on behalf of the government, not people. It is the Government’s job to abide by international law and agreement on behalf of the people, and Egypt and Jordan are both succeeding.)

From Lebanon we move into the territories that many define as Palestine. It is not Palestine yet, rather territories located at the West Bank (bordering Jordan), and Gaza (bordering Egypt). For the past couple of months, growing tensions between Hamas and the PLO have dictated the strife that has emerged. Lots of international pressure is being put on Abbas, as a representative of the PLO to form a unity government with Hamas, or to overturn the government of Hamas, all with the intention to recognize all prior agreements reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

This raises a good point. Does anybody remember that such agreements are in place and have been approved and agreed upon by tons of parties, including the PLO (with Arafat), Israel (Barak), the US (Clinton), and the whole international community? It seems as if everyone has forgotten that these deals exist, and that the premise of such talks and agreements is that the Palestinians recognize Israel and her right to exist. This is something that Hamas doesn’t abide by.

Funding from the international community has been halted for a long time now, and the situation within the territories is getting worse. People have no jobs, no money, no food, the infrastructure is not developing, and everything seems to be going backwards.

This should be a clear reflection of the non-progressive nature of the extremist group called Hamas. They have no intentions of progressing as a nation, despite the news you may hear. Sure, they provide social services – but not out of pure positive intention, but rather to gain support from people who eventually put them in power.

Street wars have once again emerged on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank – and once again civil strife exists between supporters of the PLO and Hamas. How can these mini conflicts arise within the context of a larger conflict that you’d think would unite all Muslims (and perhaps Arabs) against the evil Zionist entity? One should be encouraged of this reality for it presents an internal opponent to a ruling party that obviously isn’t serving the interests of the people. While the US, Israel and other nations continue to put pressure on Abbas to form a unity government that will recognize Israel, a new wave of attacks have been launched from within Gaza.

Dozens of “qasam” rockets are shot from Gaza into the Sderot area in Israel. This has been taking place in more frequency over the past few weeks. The sense is that the cycle of violence has been renewed. IDF has already pleaded guilty to a couple of major operational mistakes that have taken the lives of innocent civilians within Palestinian territories. 18 members of a family were taken. Now tell me, how can the hatred stop when such incidents take place? On the same token, hundreds of school kids from Sderot were spotted in Tel-Aviv the other day. Why tour Tel-Aviv during a school day?

The rockets were falling too close to school, and so schools were shut down. Thanks to a billionare living in Israel – trips were organized to help alleviate the fears and pressures affecting the children. In fact, seeing the kids tour the city gave me chills and made me extremely emotional. I consciously made sure that I thought about the Palestinian kids that have to go through similar, if not worse situations.

As a result of consistent military failures, Prime Minister Olmert has threatened to remove Defense minister Peretz from his post, and to replace him with a figure that has more experience and knowledge within a militaristic framework. Will this help the IDF reshape itself and reflect on its recent failures? Perhaps, but I think bringing Barak to the government will revive hopes amongst the peace seekers amongst us.

Today Barak acknowledges that Arafat fooled him and us, but he still believes in the agreements that have been signed, and he still believes that peace can be achieved sooner rather than later.


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