Edwin Starr’s POV. Pure Evil. We Don’t Have Any Damn Trout. Peace.
“We must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
- There have been many songs about war, from the battle on Iwo Jima to the conflict in Vietnam. Edwin Starr never sang it better when he belts out “War, what is it good for?” in this early 70’s classic. Military theorists always look for an advantage with command and control, and Edwin Starr’s command of his voice, tone, and emotion never expressed his disdain of the Vietnam War better. Unfortunately, some fifty years later, the song ‘War’, by Edwin Starr, is still relevant.
- Last week’s post did not include any take on the tragic events in Israel and Gaza. I wanted more information and facts, and because I try to post on Sunday mornings, Hamas’ terrorist attack in Israel last Saturday left many harrowing questions. I decided to wait until this week to look at what happened in Israel, allowing time for the facts to come forward.
To start off this post, many thoughts and prayers for the people around the world who are suffering and in dire straits. I was not going to post today, feeling like my avantgarde take on ‘things I think’ would be trivial and unwarranted right now, with people suffering and in harm’s way. I decided to provide a bit of reflection on the situation in the Middle East, and maybe some thoughts and music…anything to lighten the bleak situation in many parts of the world.
After two thousand years of territorial and religious conflict, last Saturday afternoon provided us with a glimpse of real life in the Middle East. On Saturday, October 7, we watched in horror at what unfolded, starting with rockets landing in Israel from Gaza, a narrow piece of land located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Israel to the east and north, and Egypt to the southwest. Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a.k.a. the Islamic Resistance Movement, an Islamist political and military organization currently governing the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian territories. Hamas have ruled Gaza since 2007, and they are deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world. Hamas is forever aggressively resisting Israeli occupation of Gaza and seeks revenge for Israel’s 2021 raid on Islam’s third-holiest site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Hamas’s bloody massacre and Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes have so far killed more than 2,000 people. Israel has warned citizens who reside in northern Gaza, to leave as the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) readies to first destroy and then occupy Gaza to 1) try and rescue hundreds of hostages taken by Hamas, and 2) rid Gaza of the terrorists once and for all. This is a political and humanitarian crisis of a scale and complexity that is difficult to comprehend. As my friend S² has explained to me, Israel has no choice but to destroy Gaza and wipe out Hamas, as previous efforts by Israel have always come to to a stop, allowing Hamas to again regain a foothold and accrue military provisions. Note: S² was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, a country that shares its southern border with Israel, and for many years have had to live with their own terroristic organizations, including Hezbollah.
I have questions as I only have a basic understanding of the territorial and religious division found in the Middle East (and in regions of Africa, as well as other parts of the world). In no particular order:
- Will Israel’s agony and retribution end in chaos or stability?
- Is there any chance of rescuing the hostages taken by Hamas?
- How will the IDF fare with urban warfare in what is left of Gaza?
- Where will the residents of Gaza flee to?
- What is/was Hamas’ endgame with their terroristic rampage in Israel?
- How in the hell did Israel’s intelligence failure happen?
- Why has Hamas failed to rally the Middle East to its cause?
- The savagery of Hamas has garnered a pro-Israel sentiment similar to the aftermath of the six-day war in 1967 and Yom Kippur war of 1973. Will the support for Israel continue?
While the focus in the last eight days is the sadness and agony found in Israel and Gaza, let us not forget that other parts of the world, where we unfortunately find humanitarian issues that most of us can never comprehend. It is day six hundred of the Russia-Ukraine war. The continued violence in Haiti where gangs control basic goods and fuel. The same for Burkina Faso, where groups of terrorists control 40% of the country. The devastating drought in Ethiopia and Somalia, where thousands of people have already lost their lives to hunger with both countries on the brink of famine. The list of countries with humanitarian issues are too many to name, and now the crisis in the Middle East seems to have added more misery and fuel to fire.
- Was it shocking that Hamas ‘walked’ into Israel, known for their vast and invasive intelligence services? Yes, on all counts, as what happened last Saturday has put the world on alert. The ‘never again’ mantra after Pearl Harbor and 9/11 happened again, in a country that we all felt had their finger on the pulse of terrorists who always want to due harm to Israel. United States Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia’s speech is powerful – and is not a threat, but a promise to enemies of the United States.
- When drama unfolds around the world, we always look to the protagonist or champion of a particular cause or situation. The great military generals of the past, Godzilla, David versus Goliath, or in this situation, this server, who for obvious reasons, I would follow into a street fight or gang war. “That wasn’t a question” has never been stated so succinctly. Yes, everyone, I did mention Godzilla.
- No one knows what the short and long-term future of Israel and Gaza looks like, and if any of the many hostages will be rescued or released. What we all do know is that around the world, there are situations that are putting millions of people in a desperate situation. Whether the cause and effect relate to war and territory, ruthless gangs, or famine, we can only wish for some level of sustainable peace. Unrealistic? Probably, but one can only hope. O.A.R.’s song Peace really does sum it up.