Just a little observation from someone who actually knows very little. I wouldn't discount that, however, since the majority of people in the world
know very little about what happens in the Mideast, what happens in war, or what really happens in International politics. And since it is the
collective viewpoint of the majority of those uninformed souls like myself which makes up public opinion... perhaps that makes my viewpoint more
noteworthy than it should be.
This war has been going on since long before any of us were alive, before any of us were a twinkle in our great-grandfather's eye. Both Israel and
Islam attribute the start to one figure: Father Abraham and his preferential treatment of Isaac over Ishmael. That is not for this thread, but it does
tend to silence the argument over who threw the first bomb, in my opinion anyway.
Israel hates Hamas. Hamas hates Israel. Israel hates Palestine. Palestine hates Israel. There is no logical reason for it; it simply is, just as
surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. As an American, I tend to feel more empathy for Israel, as Israel has more similar standards
to my culture than the Muslim countries: they treat women better, they tend to not suicide-bomb civilians, and they appear more open to civilized
diplomatic efforts. That would not necessarily make them 'better', but it does make them more familiar to my observations. That's called 'human
nature', when one has more empathy for the familiar than for the unfamiliar. So if anyone wishes to berate me for this attitude, please go to the
source and beat up a small furry mammal somewhere first.
I would love for the Middle East to be at peace. I really would. But I would also love to have my bills paid without going in to work, or to have a
new car magically appear in my driveway with my name on the title. None of these things are going to happen, regardless of how much I wish they would
or how 'right' it would be if they would.
In my opinion, as a citizen of the USA, I believe we are handling this right at the moment. We are staying out of it. The US did not even vote on the
recent UN resolution, as I believe was proper. Israel is a military ally, and that could be seen as a conflict of interest. We did enter the talks to
make sure the resolution passed was, in our representatives' opinions, fair to all parties involved. That I believe was proper as well.
Now as to whether Israel is slaughtering the Gaza people, it depends on your viewpoint. We as a 'civilized' people tend to view things from our own
perspective. Remember school? What happened when two boys simply did not like each other? They fought, and fought, and fought, until one of them left.
Sure, back then we had teachers and faculty who got into the fray and broke things up, but who is playing the role of teacher here? No one. The UN is
a joke as far as peacekeeping efforts go. ("One of our guys got shot! We're leaving!"
Imagine two neighbors who simply hate each other, and no police force around to stop them from attacking each other. The weaker will be in constant
fear and therefore will consistently look for ways to 'equalize' his position relative to the stronger. That is what Hamas is doing. The stronger
will be enraged by these actions and will demand a stop to them. That is what Israel is doing. Eventually, unless a livable compromise for both
can be reached, there will be a fight to the death. That is what is starting now.
As for how careful Israel is being, I really tend to agree with the OP that they are exercising some caution. Israel could have wiped out Gaza and
turned it into a cemetery plot inside of 24 hours if they had wanted to. Are they being as careful as they could possibly be? Probably not. Israel
hates Hamas, Hamas hates Israel, remember? But the bottom line is that we should all quit crying over who threw the first bomb and who killed who.
This is something we do not see in our daily lives. It's called 'WAR'. War is when two groups of people decide to kill the other. It's a lot
different than punishment or law enforcement. There is only one rule in war: kill the enemy before they kill you. Period.
I have a friend who was a drill sergeant in Vietnam. He explained to me on more than one occasion what the train of thought was when patrolling:
"Does it have a weapon? If yes, kill it."
"Might it have a weapon? If yes, kill it."
"Could it get a weapon later? If yes, kill it."
"Might it want to get a weapon later? If yes, kill it."
Terrible words. Horrible thoughts. The very idea of taking a life over a future possibility is abhorrent to most people, including me. But that's
what war is. It's you trying to kill your enemy because he is trying to kill you first. If you hesitate and he doesn't, you lose. And unlike video
games, you don't get a second life. The enemy will shoot you, stab you, blow you apart, burn you alive, then immediately leave your rotting corpse
and forget about you while he kills your friend right behind you, then his friend behind him, then... ad infinitum until he is killed.
So unless you are familiar with war, unless you have stood in the blood of your fallen friends, unless you have looked into the enemy's eyes while
you pulled the trigger to launch a bullet to end his life, unless you have felt the concussion of a mortar blast as it destroyed everything around
you... unless you have done these things, you should be careful, very careful, about playing armchair general. There is a reason our Generals are
lifetime military men: experience. I have none of that experience, and I doubt many here do either.
So while I watch the choreographed excerpts and read the edited newslines and watch the manipulated videos about this latest aggression, I will do
what I can: I will mourn the fallen, especially the civilians. I will even mourn them in their own customs, as evidenced by how the Palestinian people
showed me on September 12, 2001. So if you will all excuse me while you continue your accusations over could have thrown how many bombs, I will be
outside, dancing in the streets.