Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Plenty of nuts to go around

You've probably heard some people in this country argue that the US should just "nuke 'em all;" turn the Middle East into a parking lot. There always seem to be people advocating genocide. Before the march on Saturday, one of the most outspoken members of the crowd, after spelling out a long list of Israeli crimes over the years, said to me "You know, the US should just nuke Israel, put a stop to all of this."

I turned and walked away. Fortunately, he was the only one I heard say anything like that--otherwise I wouldn't have joined the march.

I can't say that I'm completely consistent in my positions, or that they matter much, but I'll try to summarize what they are:
  • The leadership of Israel is completely wrong to attack Lebanon.
  • Israel has never been serious about eliminating terrorist attacks--every time relative peace breaks out, they do something outrageous (like shelling the beach in Gaza) to provoke new attacks.
  • All bombing is wrong: suicide, rocket, car, aerial. The Israelis do far more of it than do Hamas or Hezbollah.
  • The US continually pours gasoline on the fire by arming Israel to the teeth. I'm sure that Iran and other supporters of Hezbollah and Hamas contribute to some degree, but whether or not their targets were able to defend themselves seems to play little role in whether, or how hard, Israel hits them.
  • The continued land grab in the West Bank and the ongoing humiliation of the Palestinians have never brought Israel peace, and never will.
  • I'm ambivalent about whether Israel has a "right" to exist, but after 58 years accept it as a fact on the ground. (Just as most of us, including Native Americans, accept the existence of the US after 230 years.) I deny that Israel has any right to the extra territory it has grabbed since 1967, or any of the land it grabs now or in the future.
  • If Israel has a right to exist, then surely Lebanon does too.
  • More importantly, all of the people of the region: Palestinians, Israelis, Lebanese, and everyone else, have a right to exist.
  • Anyone who advocates nuking any place is crazy.