Thursday, January 8, 2009
I can’t . . . won’t . . . judge the combatants in the Israeli Palestinian battle in Gaza. There are plenty who have strong opinions; plenty who think one side—either one--is justified, but not the other. Plenty have voiced their thoughts . . . some in words that are as piercing as the weapons soaring across the border.
Words are weapons, too. Incendiary as bombs, they injure; they imprison others in hate. They strike without warning. “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Not physically, maybe, but they do hurt. Eventually it becomes physical.
Thoughts. Words. War. How many degrees of separation?
I do have opinions, but what good are they? What do I know, really? This issue goes back so far that my fifty plus years of sheltered living in the United States are not nearly enough for me to grasp the hate, the rivalry, the fight to the death mentality that is part of the middle east, and has been for centuries.
I’m naïve enough to wonder why everybody can’t just get along, why they can’t share, but realistic enough to accept that they just can’t . . . or won’t. It’s pride, it’s territoriality, it’s, sadly, human nature. At it’s worst anyway.
We suffer for the innocent. Citizen casualties. Collateral damage. Children. This goes without saying. But look into the faces of the warriors. The ones who systematically send weapons from one side—either one--to the other. They’re just people, someone’s son or daughter. Someone who once said, “When I grow up, I want to. . ."
What? Kill my neighbors?
Who ever really wants this?
So why does it continue?
Life's too beautiful. Life's too short.
What's war supposed to do . . . for anyone?
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?~Mahatma Gandhi