Tuesday, August 12, 2014

American Action or Inaction - We Lose

The New York Times ("U.S. Actions in Iraq Fueled Rise of a Rebel," Aug 11) reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-designated "caliph"of the Islamic world, and the leader of of ISIS, owes his rise to power to U.S. involvement in Iraq.  "Political changes that fueled his fight, or led to his promotion, were born directly from some American action."

The story goes on to enumerate the following "direct" American actions (and inactions):
1.  He allegedly spent five years in an American detention facility.  (The Pentagon maintains, however, that following his arrest in early 2004, he was released that December.)
2.  The American operation that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006, led to Baghdadi's chance to take power.
3.  The American ouster of Saddam Hussein (Iraq's brutal dictator) opened the lid that had suppressed extremist Islamist movements in Iraq, allowing Baghdadi "the freedom for his radical views to flourish."
4.  The inaction of the U.S. early in the Syrian revolution my have led to the growth of ISIS, according to Rep. Elliot L. Engel (D-NY).

So are we to blame for the turmoil in Iraq and Syria?  Are we largely responsible for the slaughter that is being inflicted on Kurds and Shiites in Iraq by Baghdadi?  So it's  really all our fault?

We seem to be held responsible for the ills of the world whether by our action or our inaction.  We can't win!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What are Israel's Motives in Gaza?

Why is Israel involved in Gaza?  Why is Israel concerned about border crossings?  Why is Israel engaged in controlling access to Gaza from the sea? Why has Israel constructed walls along its borders with Gaza and the West Bank?  Why is Israel expending financial, political, and human capital on these issues?

Is it because Israel is interested in dominating the Middle East, beginning with the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza (with their 4 million Arabs, resulting in a possible Arab majority within the new state?) Is it because Israel is a war-obsessed anti-Arab country with an overwhelming determination to drive all Arabs "into the sea," and to annihilate the Arab population of Gaza and the West Bank?  Is it because Israel is, at its roots, a violently anti-Muslim country?  Is it because the Judaism, as a religion, demands that other beliefs be eliminated and that Judaism is the only way to the truth and to salvation?  Is it because the Jews want to conquer and enslave the Palestinian world?  Is it that Jews are dedicated to the slaughter and starvation of Arab civilians, especially children?  Is it because Jews are an inherently evil people who  want to "rule the world" - the first step being the "taking over" of Gaza and the West Bank?

Or is it because:

Israel is a recognized country, a member of the United Nations, whose borders have been constantly violated, whose land has been threatened repeatedly from its very beginnings, whose inhabitants (both adults and children) have been slaughtered by suicide bombers entering from Gaza and the West Bank, whose population is under constant threat from missiles launched from Gaza as well as from Lebanon, whose neighbors have charters which include destruction of the State of Israel amongst their articles - Israel has a government whose first and foremost dedication is to the protection of its people from constant threats to its very survival?

What do you think?