Alrighty. Talking to my crazy sister tonight, I managed to work out some of my thoughts for my rebuttal to Batroc‘s response to my Israel-Lebanon post. You’ll have to refer to his comments to follow my response, so the link opens in a new window.
Yes, the U.S. went fuckin’ nuts in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11, 2001. While it was generally accepted that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, if not actively assisting them, were not hindering al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in any way. For many Western nations, Iraq’s involvement was not reasonably confirmed and the U.S.-British invasion was suspect and rash at best, if not entirely without cause.
Agreed, what Israel is doing is not significantly different. It’s also no more right. As stated, the state of Israel was created on a parcel of land already occupied by a native population. However, that population was already under the control of an imperialist regime. The imperialist regime ceded control in an effort to move government and governance into the 20th century: giving back land taken when imperialism was de rigueur. The end of the Great War of 1914-1918 precipitated the beginning of the end of imperialism globally. In my opinion, global imperialism is a shameful part of our common history, but a part nonetheless. I’m not proposing that First Nations people should begin suicide bombing. And I’m not saying that anyone’s to be excused for what European colonialists did to Native populations. But this is now the 21st century and we’ve evolved into people who can negotiate suitable compromises as means of compensation and apology.
There were numerous agreements in place regarding the governance of Israel and surrounding areas to ensure that the populations affected would be satisfied with the arrangements. Palestinians were to be located in the West Bank and Gaza, Syria was to control the Golan Heights, Egypt would control the Sinai peninsula and Lebanon would maintain control of, well, southern Lebanon. The U.N. would administer the shared religious monument that is Jerusalem. However, by the end of 1967, a neo-imperialist Israel invaded and annexed the Golan Heights and the Sinai, asserted control over the Gaza and West Bank and began aggression against southern Lebanon that continued until well into the 1980s.
At this stage, every action on all sides is a retaliation against some past action. “We’ll bomb up your military installation, because you’ve imprisoned our soldiers.” “We’ll bomb you for bombing us.” “We’ll kidnap your soldiers for bombing us.” “We’ll launch air strikes against your government buildings for kidnapping our soldiers.” Never do we hear, “We’re angry that you’ve kidnapped our soldiers, what can we do to correct the situation so that you’ll release them?” And at the same time, everyone pussy-foots around Israel, lest we be labeled anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers or worse. That was over 50 years ago. Yes, it was terrible and cannot be allowed to happen again, but you can’t milk it for eternity. Eventually you have act like a respectable nation-state, part of the global community.
This is the 21st century. Do we really need aggressive military action to resolve problems? (While I support Canadian troops in Afghanistan, I don’t support aggressive action.) Maybe I’m naïve, but can’t we all just get along? In any case, can’t we simply agree to disagree?