Have you noticed how all you have to do is mention Israel in any kind of favorable light and the "I'm not anti-Semitic, but I hate Israel" folks come crawling out of the woodwork. My last encounter called Israel "imperialistic" and suggested that Israel had picked a fight with its neighbors for the express purpose of having and excuse to seize more land from the poor mistreated Palestinians.
These guys remind us that unreasonable racial hatred is alive and well in the world.
I'll be honest with you, I'm sympathetic with the Israelis for taking some land. Take the Golan Heights, for instance. If you live in the valley and your enemy takes the heights above you and starts lobbing artillery at you, does it not make sense for you to take those heights in order to protect yourself and stop the artillery from cutting you to ribbons. Every Israeli expansion has come at the end of an unprovoked attack by its neighbors.
"Wait a minute!" the closet anti-Semites protest. "How can you say it was unprovoked?"
"Oh, I forgot, they are Jews after all and how provoking is that?"
Look, the area that is now Palestine was part of Jordan before Israel took it. There wasn't a Palestinian homeland. The whole thing's a mess. Whatever else happens, until everyone else lays down arms too, Israel will hang on to its precarious hold on its territories and will do so by aggressively defending its territory. They are too small to "absorb" the kind of abuse a large nation like the U.S. can absorb. Look what happened when they gave up the Golan Heights. Hamas set up missile launchers up there and started lobbing them at schools and markets. How do you EVER learn to trust people like that? Everything the Israelis give up, they get punished for by the people that they gave something up to by treaty.
The Israelis can't afford to take the approach Obama has chosen as a response to terrorism and "absorb the attacks" and hope the terrorists get tired of blowing up things one day? Ain't going to happen.
For one thing, the Israelis know their enemy. Unlike our ideology-driven leadership here in the U.S., Israel can ill-afford to delude themselves that their enemies are "not really that bad after all". The Israelis know that the moment they lower their guard, their enemies will drive them into the sea.
As long as the Arab world is an oligarchy of strong men whose policies impoverish their people, these men will continue to blame Israel and the United States for the misery they themselves have created and their poor and distressed people will swallow the bull and strap bombs to their bellies to lash out at people who aren't poor and miserable because someone has convinced them that if someone is rich and you are poor its because they took that wealth from you.
And the spoiled unhappy children of our nation who loathe their own land and carry irrational guilt because they live in the most peaceful, secure society on planet Earth, give aid and comfort to our nation's enemies for no better reason than that someone forgot to teach them the Golden Rule. They choose sides against their own because it's cool and because it upsets the little old ladies in church that used to point their bony fingers at them and tell them they were naughty.
Our country's heritage is deeply Judeo-Christian. What better way do these guys have to get back at your ancestors for the sin of giving you wealth and comfort without introducing you to He who is the source of our pleasant lives.
It amazes me that one can look at the governments of the world and draw the cock-eyed conclusions they do. Which of those countries produce the highest levels of wealth and happiness for their people? Is it the democracies with free markets or is it the governments where power is centralized in the hands of an elite. Which populace winds up being exploited?
The richest people in communist or totalitarian countries are the leaders. The poorest are the workers. The richest people in democracies are people who work. Our leaders draw a salary commensurate with their work if they were in business. Is this not better than semi-feudal tribal government that abuses its people, sends them out with bombs to blow up people shopping for their supper.
I believe that if the Muslim world would stop trying to kill the Israelis, the sane people over there would soon create an economically healthy middle east. Arabs themselves are business people by nature without all the hatred of their religion lathered on. The Israelis are business people. The western democracies are business people.
It's not all about religion (before all the closet anti-Semites and militant atheists out there start blaming it on religion). Power hungry would-be kings always blame it on religion while manipulating religion to serve their own power. Remember the 'divine right of kings' - a doctrine not found in scripture. The thugs and bullies of the Earth are always trying to use religion, patriotism or prejudice to accumulate power for themselves.
Why can't we seem to understand that human gods are dangerous. The best we can do is stick to the one God and take care of our own little corners of the world and do a little good where we can. The government that governs best is that which governs the least. People can either be trusted to care for themselves or they can't.
No human is smart enouigh to control anything as vast as an economy, a culture or a religion. When they try they just cock it up. Rule by strong man is always a mistake - whether the strong man is a Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Communist or Mullah.
God sends us the occasional strong leader when we need it. In our country's history, we've been blessed at our darkest hours with leaders who laid down the mantle of power when they were done. Washington, Lincoln, Reagan (The Revolution, The Civil War and the Cold War) all walked away when their work was finished. Lincoln would have had he not been martyred. Even FDR and Wilson who were powerful, albeit dangerous, leaders during the great world wars, did served their nation well. Notice one thing, though. When the wars were done, however, both men died before they could do any more damage (League of Nations, burgeoning socialism). Wilson had a stroke. FDR died just before the end. Had this not happened, I fear we would be farther down the road to socialism than we are already and based on the history of those two men, I fear we'd have been far less supportive of Israel, given the subtle anti-Semitism that has always been an undercurrent of the progressive movement.
As Forest Gump would say, "That's all I've got to say about that."
I suspect the only response I'll get from my friend who wrote me, rapping my knuckles for my "stupid support of Israel" will be long on "Oh, yeah?" and short on substance. For the record, I actually pointed out the Anti-Semitic tone of my friend's post. And it is anti-Semitic or at least Anti-Israeli, which is, of course, a Semitic country.
I'm not anti-Muslim before any of you go there. I am anti-totalitarian. I am violently opposed to any group of people who believe they have the right to meddle in the day to day lives of ordinary people. I believe in freedom. You should work as you please, worship as you please, live as you please. The only legitimate function of government is to help us do what we cannot do ourselves (defense against powerful enemies, building roads and highways, protecting our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that sort of thing. If we can do it ourselves, we shouldn't be giving a responsibility to the government simply because it's more convenient.
Why? Because there are always human parasites hanging about ready to latch onto any means to power that is possible. It is an evil thing that religion seeks to root out. Remember the Golden Rule. If everybody did, it would be a merrier world indeed.
I hope as we go to the polls this week that we send to Washington, the state house, the county courts and city governments across our land, people who understand the full implications of the Golden Rule for politicians.
I'm just telling you what I think.
Tom King - Tyler, TX