exactly that

but I have to say something.  I am not ready to come back to blogging yet, but this is eating at me.  If this is a tad incoherent, my apologies.

I haven’t written about what is going on w/ Gaza, Palestine and Israel.  I haven’t known what to say, b/c it isn’t as simple as it looks.  It isn’t as simple as the bigger guy beating up and brutalizing the smaller guy mindlessly.

What is happening in Gaza is horrific.  It sickens me to no end.  It is beyond tragic, and I can’t even come up w/ words to describe how incredibly wrong I feel it is.  I do not condone what is happening.  I hate war.  I think it is ugly, and while it may be necessary in some situations, I find that we tend to drag it out much longer than it is ever needed.

I believe deeply in non-violence.  Like bfp said in this post, I prefer to find a non violent way to approach things.  I believe that spanking teaches children that violence is acceptable when you can’t get your way.

But I also spent a good chunk of my life learning about war, how it works, why we do it, and mostly why I vehemently object to it.

I know things.

And there are two sides to every coin, and usually at least three sides to every story: ours, theirs, and in the middle somewhere the truth.

I have told people who have debated war w/ me that I know things.  I have talked to past instructors of mine for ways to answer their questions when they argue the point “B-b-b-but Bush lied about WMDs!!!1!”.  I was told to respond w/ 

“You’re wrong”.

I can’t tell you why or elaborate.  And I will understand if you don’t believe me, or think I am talking out of my ass.  I really don’t care.  It’s not my place or job or even right to explain these things to you.  Realize that it physically hurts me to know that I can defend President Mondo Fucko in something.  Sometimes truth hurts us that way.

It’s like back in the 80’s when Reagan decided that he needed to let the US know why we reacted to Russia the way we did.  He felt that we had a need to know (yes, I invoked Reagan, maybe it is my reformed Republican self talking).

We don’t now.

It’s the same here.

I know things.

And some of them you could know.

Some of them you don’t, but we don’t have a need.  Either w/ Iraq or w/ Gaza.

But I do know a thing or two about self preservation.  I also know that, like in the linked post above, when you watch your people die and suffer other unspeakable horrors, eventually something is going to snap.

I also know that if you poke a giant bear w/ a stick enough times eventually that bear is going to turn around and rip your throat out.  The same way that if you are being punched in the face on the playground repeatedly, even if you are bigger, if you keep getting punched, and it hurts and starts knocking out your teeth, you are eventually going to fight back to protect yourself.

It’s also not unlike a large dog who gets his ears yanked on by a child repeatedly.  He could ignore it for a while.  He might even move to another corner for his nap, or nip harmlessly as a warning, but eventually, if the ear yanking persists, that child is going to get bitten, b/c getting your ears yanked on fucking hurts.

It’s self preservation.

I do not for one second condone what Israel is doing.  I do not agree that it is OK to bomb and blow up people who may or may not be your enemy.  I cringe and cry and wonder what kind of a world we live in where this sort of thing can happen.

But I also understand it.  I understand that sometimes when you have been hit enough you are going to hit back.

And I know that Israel tried.  I know that they have ignore literally thousands of bombs and mortars and whatnot.  I know that they have tried to stay peaceful and hold on to the cease fire while their own children died.  It might not match up in percentages, but they are numbers of people all the same.  Innocent lives all the same.  I know that they wanted to find another way.

I know things.

I know that Gaza is a double victim here, their hand being forced by radical Hamas, and now being attacked by Israel.

I know that Palestine is not actually the antagonizer.

I also know that Hamas isn’t stupid.  What the hell does someone think is going to happen when they provoke a nation as fortified as Israel?  Has anyone been following along at home?  Israel has a pretty beefed up army, and I would have to think that this outcome had to been expected on some level.

The people of Gaza are victims.  That is clear.

I abhor violence, and anyone who knows me and reads this blog should know that.

But I can not blindly point at Israel and paint them as wholly an evil force.  It isn’t that simple.  The lives lost in Israel matter too.  When your people are threatened and killed you have a right to protect them.  That is what provoked us into World War II.  That is what set us off after Bin Laden.  When you are attacked on your own soil and your people die you fight back in an effort to protect.

Israel has the ability to be more careful about where they attack.  They are the bigger power, and w/ that comes the responsibility to know that they need to exercise that power more carefully.  Israel is not innocent here.  They also know better.

It isn’t as simple as it looks, even if it seems as if I am trying to make it simplistic.  Honestly, I am not quite ready to be back to blogging coherently, so I am open to discussion, but I do not have patience right now for hostility.  I realize that I have an unpopular opinion.  My google reader tells me so, so you can bet I will be moderating w/ a heavy hand.  If anyone wants to discuss this I will as I have time.  Discussion good, belligerence and douche-baggery bad.

And, no, I will not elaborate on the things I know.  Once in a while people have to accept that I might know something that their fancy educations didn’t teach them.  For good reason.

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Comments on: "This is going to be unpopular…" (6)

  1. Anne Onne said:

    (((((OuyangDan))))) This is probably the most nuanced writing on the Gaza conflict I’ve seen recently. It takes guts to try and look at both sides, and to try and separate the results of actions from the reasons behind them, and analyse the history of the situation, to point out that whilst many things are reprehensible, we need to try to get to grips with why people are reacting in these ways.

    First of all, thank you for sharing your opinion. I would not have thought it truly unpopular, but then I try to limit myself to fairly inclusive, thoughtful, safe spaces where nuanced discussion could be had. Issues like these polarise people, so it’s very hard to have a calm, reasoned discussion, especially with the gravity of the situation. It can be done, I’ve experienced some great discussions between disinterested parties as well as those from the two sides involved, but it takes time, patience and humanity.

    I’m sure there’ll be someone who misinterprets your words or wants to twist them, but I hope for every one of those there will be more who agree, or who disagree but can have a calm, understanding discussion on the grounds that we all care about human suffering here.

    That’s why I’ve never known quite where I fall where it comes to these kinds of topics. My background has taught me that there are so many sides, so many stories, and so many grievances that all sides suffer. That whilst there may be a dominant force, things aren’t as simple as wholly bad or wholly good sides. In situations like this, we all get burned, and both sides need to work together to help those caught in the middle. So I make sure to focus on the human element first, and work around that.

    That’s why I like this post. The disclaimers aren’t just a quick throwaway to point out you don’t condone violence, but they are the core of the post, pointing out that the fact that there is so much wrong in the world, that everybody is getting hurt, and that because of this we HAVE to try to find a way to engage people from all sides, see the pain behind their actions, and how to move forward. I don’t condone the actions of either the Israeli government or Hamas, but I try to look at the motivations behind both, as well as the thoughts and motivations of the people caught in the middle. Some will be good, some bad, but all human.

    That’s all I’m gonna say because saying any more would involve getting into a discussion I do not have the energy or the nuanced writing skills for.

  2. I think Melissa McEwan said that it really isn’t a matter of whose fault it is. Now it is a matter of figuring out how to end this.

    Thanks for reading this, Anne. There are so many ways to look at this. I think I have only scratched the surface, and like you, didn’t have the energy to do more.

  3. I agree with you Ouyang Dan, but my demands continue to be with Israel to stop what they are doing. Their blockade is considered an act of war, last I checked. They broke the ceasefire with that raid in November. There hadn’t been “rockets” for four months before that. Then they started up again. We’re approaching 900 dead in Gaza, that means that Israeli lives are worth over two hundred Palestinians per one Israeli, if we use how many Israelis had been killed by rocket attacks since the cease fire. That is not acceptable.

    And as much as I respect the nuanced approach you are taking here, it keeps boiling down to this for me… They are so much more powerful, and they are killing for what amounts to a nosebleed for them. Those Israeli lives lost do matter and they are terrible and Hamas do act like petulant children… But I can’t bring myself to stand in sympathy with the Israeli government right now. They have the power to end this, not just for a cease fire but to end it once and for all and forever. Instead they respond in this way and attack hospitals and ambulances and this will only serve to radicalize their opposition more, it will only serve to recruit more to an anti-Israeli cause that I don’t support either.

    And on my end… My fucking government stands by and makes excuses for this massacre. I am disgusted beyond words with how this is going, and I just can’t avoid that bottom line…

  4. Well…like I said…there is stuff you have been told…and then there is stuff that I know.

    Israel is not innocent here at all…but they are so not this big evil deamon w/ the ultimate power here.

    I DO know that Hamas isn’t going to simply stop until they bring down the Israeli government or die trying. I might not condone it, but I understand it.

    I can also sympathize w/ and respect why you feel the way you do about this. I abhor the whole situation altogether.

  5. Gah…I didn’t mean that I understand Hamas…*headdesk*. I really hope that much is clear. I don’t condone the war going on, but I understand the blockade. Also, like I said, I had to study the logic and reasoning of war…doesn’t mean I agree w/ it…just that I understand it.

  6. “Israel is not innocent here at all…but they are so not this big evil deamon w/ the ultimate power here.”

    They are not some big evil demon but they do have the ultimate power to stop this.

    It would cost them a lot. It would cost them time and money and real work. It would take rebuilding Gaza, giving what they’ve been withholding and an exit from the territories. It would take a radical reconceptualization of their role in their own country. But it could be done.

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