Endless Conflicts; "No Nation Is Fit to Sit in Judgment upon Any Other Nation." - Woodrow Wilson

Manila Bulletin, August 1, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Endless Conflicts; "No Nation Is Fit to Sit in Judgment upon Any Other Nation." - Woodrow Wilson


Byline: HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA

IN the case of the Middle East, which defies comprehension, and in the eyes of the protagonists, death, destruction, and retribution are all morally justified for national security, survival of the State, freedom, democracy, homeland, and peace not only for Israel but also for yet-to-be-realized State of Palestine, and Arab brothers and sisters of Islam.

In this context therefore, who is to judge what is right, and who is wrong, and in whose eyes?

Having said that, Filipinos, even in self-interest and economic outlook, should look at the escalating conflict in the Middle East with keener and deeper interest and concern vis-A -vis the cultural nuances, history, tribal complexities, geopolitics, geographic borders, oil politics, poverty, ignorance, and other underlying ancient animosities.

The conflict in the Middle East is at least two thousand years old.

For openers, why is it that World Powers, and generally the rest of the world outside of Islam, do not show as much outrage and guilt against Israel even when the latter kills and massacres countless civilians, women, and children in their indiscriminate air strikes, heavy artillery bombardment, and ground assaults in their hunt for Hamas and Hezbollah "terrorists" while bombings of buses, resorts and Israeli settlements by Palestinian patriots are met with universal outrage, condemnation and crimes against humanity?

Second, except for the United States, no nation, not even today's Russia, Iran, and North Korea, can equal Israel's nuclear capability, preparedness, and WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) which alleged existence in Iraq led to the US invasion of that country. Now, it turned out that Saddam Hussein was merely bluffing, and had no WMDs after all. The United States must assume the responsibility of escalating violence and destabilization in the Middle East.

So, is Israel always the good guy while Iran and North Korea are the bad and the ugly?

Third, the United States, historically clumsy and inept in foreign diplomacy and colonial administration, is now stuck in a Vietnamtype quagmire in Iraq which can only be rectified either by sacrificing more young American lives or withdraw from the area altogether as the British unilaterally did in 1947, and the French likewise did in Indochina.

Fourth, by its ambivalence, pro-Israel bias, and slow response to the crisis, the United States should also be held responsible for the destruction of Lebanon -- once upon a time called the "Paris of the East," financial center of the Middle East, and the paradise of the Levant.

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Endless Conflicts; "No Nation Is Fit to Sit in Judgment upon Any Other Nation." - Woodrow Wilson
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