Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Problem with the Middle East

Today's assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto shocked the world, as it should. That violence is seen by many in that part of the world as the proper method of dealing with disagreements is disheartening, to say the least.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee observed, rightly, that in The United States we vote “not with bullets but with ballots.” We don't use anti-social means, including wanton violence to get our way, rather we participate within the system and make our voices heard at the ballot box. Another opportunity to do just that will take place in just less than a year from now.

With that in mind, I read a rather disturbing comment that was made by an Israeli journalist for Ha'aretz. Correction, it was the editor-in-chief of the influential paper. And the attitude he reveals in his statement is most alarming:
The editor in chief of Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, David Landau, confirmed yesterday that he has pleaded with Secretary of State Rice to "rape" Israel and its neighbors into resolving their problems.
Even our closest ally in the region, Israel, is not immune from the effects on the human psyche of the Middle East's culture of violence. And it is this attitude, an embrace of senseless violence and violent rhetoric, that will lead its people to culturecide.

"'Rape' is a word in the English language," Mr. Landau told The New York Sun yesterday as he reconstructed the event. He said several people, "from the right and from the left," spoke at the dinner, and that when his turn came, he said, "Israel, after 40 years of failing to resolve its problem of occupation," needed a push from America. "Rape it into resolving the problem," he told Ms. Rice.
Mr. Landau may find himself disappointed that America has no interest in raping anyone, least of all our staunch friend and ally, Israel. There may be such a thing as tough love, but rape is most assuredly not a part of that.

Assassination, homicide bombing, terrorism, genocide, torture, rape and many other atrocious inhuman activities are acts of violence for its own sake. It is certainly not what G-d commands us to do. Even agnostics and atheists would have to agree -- there's nothing noble about using violence for the sake of violence.

America cannot be willing to go down that road, ever. We've seen where that road leads, and the world has an painful open sore that expresses the end result starkly: the Middle East.

America will rape no nation, even if invited. We are Americans. The United States is the shining beacon of liberty, a shining city on the hill, for all the world to behold. We will not stoop to the behavior of those we fight. We will instead lead by example. We want them to emulate us, not the other way around.

I hope none of what I have said here is controversial. It should not be.

-- Psycheout

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