Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"War is Hell"

General Sherman's quote has become so passe, the basic message is overlooked. "War is Hell..." is not just a trite saying, like "Have a Nice Day!" or "What's new?". War is hell, and it has always been and always will be.

There has never been a moral war. Even WW II, the fight against the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy caused the deaths of millions of innocent civilians, from all sides. What piece of rationalization can truly allow for killing innocent people? It is just the nature of war, and its horrors. War is the ultimate failing of humanity.

It's a given though, that in a war, people die. Innocent people are the victims. No war can not have it's casualties. Whatever the cause, the innocent are killed. No one escapes blame or responsibility.

In Gaza, Hamas has provoked a war with Israel, again. They have launched rockets into Israel, and predictably, Israel has responded with blunt force. Innocent people are dying every day.

Each side believes it has a noble cause. Hamas claims to want Israel to end it's stranglehold over Gaza, Israel claims it is acting in self defense. Each side is cynical in it's actions.

Hamas provokes Israel in order to consolidate it's political position in the face of domestic dissatisfaction with corruption and ineptitude of governance. Hamas knows, from past experience, that by firing rockets into Israel, the response will be overwhelmingly deadly. They are willingly sacrificing their own people to achieve their political ends.

Israel's response is a political play as well. The government uses the Hamas provocations as an excuse to punish Gaza with an intense military retribution that also plays well to the political base of the ruling parties' coalition.

Israel is an isolated and hated country since it's creation in 1948. Paranoia runs deep in a country surrounded by deadly enemies. Israel has risen to become the most powerful nation in it's area, with the help of the United States. The Palestinians are also hated, and ostracized by all Arab countries. None have, or will ,help them economically because it doesn't serve the Arab nations politically either.

There is no question that the conditions of and in Gaza, an untenable situation that's been left to fester for years will only perpetuate the never ending cycle of fear and violence, is the excuse given by Hamas in their hopeless missile attacks. But, if their attacks will keep Hamas in power, they will continue.

There is no question that when provoked, Israel will bring to bear the overwhelming punishment of Gaza, and in the pursuit of Hamas weaponry and fighters, will result in the deaths of innocent civilians. As long as it plays well domestically for Israel, this will continue.

There is no sense blaming any particular side for this unending horror. Humanity has taken a back seat to political expediency from both sides. Both sides have chosen war, yet again.

In the end, all that is left that matters are the innocent dead, wherever they are. Hamas has deemed them expendable for it's own political ends, and Israel has as well.  

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