Maintaining peace

In order to maintain peace and tranquility, we humans often resort to the use of weapons that kill or main each other. Why must we kill each other to maintain order? Probably because our civility is only a thin layer on top of our basic killer instincts. Isn’t it time to settle disputes between individuals and between nations in a less than lethal manner?

Could we not equip our armies with tasers or paint ball guns to settle international disputes? In the past, armies were sometimes represented by single champions who fought to decide outcomes. Could we not require our leaders to face each other in combat (hopefully not to the death) to settle issues not solvable by negotiation? The leaders of Israel and Hamas in single combat using swords, pistols or drones? Sounds outlandish, but it would be a vast improvement over the death and destruction of current warfare.

In his day, Teddy Roosevelt believed that war was a healthy phenomenon, making the strong stronger and killing off the weak. Britain disproved that theory during and after WW1, when the cream of British manhood died in the trenches, leaving the Empire to the survivors, the ill and the weak. Since Teddy’s day, only a few advocate war as way of life, and they do so only for others, not for themselves and their loved ones. Teddy, on the other hand, sent all his sons to war, and wanted to fight himself. Wilson would not let him, since Wilson feared Roosevelt as a potential rival in 1920.

Anti-Semitism

As Israel attempts to weaken or destroy Hamas in Gaza, criticism of Israel is mounting. Defenders of Israel are charging critics of Israel with anti-Semitism. That is mostly false. It is possible to criticize the policies of the government of Israel without being anti-Jew. The Palestinians trapped in Gaza are also a Semitic people and innocent men, women and children are dying at the ratio of 20:1 for every Israeli killed. That is truly anti-Semitism applied to the people of Gaza.

Border security

The GOP have a number of suggestions for increased border security. One of the suggestions to protect our southern border is increased border security in Mexico and Central America. I suppose that means walls on our border to keep people out and walls in Central American countries and Mexico to keep people in. Ingenious people, the GOP, want to copy the former Soviet Union and East Germany.

The Iranian bomb

Iran does not have the bomb and claims that it does not want one. Some recent hysterical articles claim that Iranian possession of a nuclear device would be the end of the world. What is the truth?

Israel already possesses the bomb as does Pakistan, Russia, China, India, France, England, North Korea and the US. Adding one more member to the nuclear club when the US has more nuclear devices (probably) than all the rest put together will not mean the end of the world. Then why the hysteria?

Partly it is a religious issue, because Israel and Saudi Arabia are opposed to increased power and status for Iran. Iran is Shiite, which Sunni Saudi Arabia regards as a heretical version of Islam while Israel is of course Jewish. Mainly though the opposition to Iran is geopolitical; nether Israel nor Saudi Arabia want a powerful rival playing in their sandbox, the deserts of the Middle East. The only other populous nation in the Middle East is Egypt and Egypt lacks oil and is relatively poor. Iran is potentially a very powerful and wealthy nation.

If Iran were to acquire the bomb, it would not share the technology with al-Qaeda, which is a Sunni organization. Iran is predominantly Shia and the only other Shia nation is Iraq. Pakistan is a failing state with nuclear weapons and that provided shelter for bin Laden for 10+ years, yet did not supply al-Qaeda with nuclear weapons. Both the Pakistanis and the Iranians understand that attacking the West or Israel directly or by proxy would be national suicide. Since the Iranians are both civilized and intelligent, we should be willing to accept their assertions that they do not seek nuclear weapons, with safeguards of course.

Please see Lions, tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

Gaza Strip

It could be the name of a nightclub or a card game, but in fact it is the name of a tiny enclave of 141 square miles between Egypt and Israel and the home (prison) of about two million Palestinians. It is also one of the most densely populated places on earth because the people living there have nowhere else to go. At this time, Israel is again retaliating for alleged Palestinian acts of terror. As always, one side’s acts of terror are the other side’s freedom fighting. During its struggle for survival after its founding, Israel also supported organizations that Britain labeled as terrorist. It really is time for both sides to stop the killing and learn to live in peace with their neighbors.