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If We Tolerate This; Our Children Will Be Next

The death of one person is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic
Joseph Stalin

 

james-foley-video-beheading-islamic-state-2-390x285Like most people in the free world, I was horrified by the brutal murder of journalist James Foley. It revealed once again, the psychopathic blood lust of ISIS specifically and terrorists in general. We see it currently as a radical Islamic Jihadist issue but all terrorist groups and many political regimes have resorted to the same brutality.

Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung and others like them were responsible for the deaths of millions although those are just numbers to us now. The horror of the deaths of millions reduced to little more than numbers on historical tally sheets.

The IRA, Black September, the Baader-Meinhof Gang and Aum Shinrikyo have been responsible for the deaths of thousands all relegated to historical footnote. It is never the hundreds, the thousands or the millions that capture us; it is always the individual death.

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“The February 2002 decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, true to its intention, horrified the Western audience. . .The Pearl murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. In Iraq, terrorists filmed the beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong. Other victims include Turks, an Egyptian, a Korean, Bulgarians, a British businessman, and a Nepalese. Scores of Iraqis, both Kurds and Arabs, have also fallen victim to Islamist terrorists’ knives. The new fad in terrorist brutality has extended to Saudi Arabia where Islamist terrorists murdered American businessman Paul Johnson. . .whose head was later discovered in a freezer in an Al-Qaeda hideout. A variation upon this theme would be the practice of Islamists slitting the throats of those opponents they label infidels. This is what happened to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, first gunned down and then mutilated on an Amsterdam street,[3] and to an Egyptian Coptic family in New Jersey after the father had angered Islamists with Internet chat room criticisms of Islam.” –Middle East Forum

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And then there was Margaret Hassan.

Like Foley, she was a non-combatant. She was the Director of CARE in Iraq and had dedicated much of her life to helping Iraqi children and the poor. She had even converted to Islam but in the end, like Foley, she was kidnapped, held hostage and eventually taken into a back room and shot in the head.

Her death has haunted me ever since and I have little difficulty understanding how widely the death of Jim Foley has impacted people but what I do have trouble understanding is how little impact the deaths of so many others have had.

Perhaps Stalin was right. Perhaps we aren’t capable of responding to the deaths of large numbers of people and so we relegate them to little more than a statistic.

Certainly that seems to be The West’s emotional response to the almost 200,000 deaths in Syria; far too many of them children. We support our governments’ humanitarian aid efforts but restrict our discussion primarily to the politics of that civil war.

Perhaps the horrific mortality numbers are simply too much to deal with.

It is just as true in Gaza. Prior to the start of the last ceasefire, the month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas had resulted in just over 2,000 deaths. Of those, 67 were Israeli with 3 of those being non-combatant civilians. On the Palestinian side, there were approximately 2000 deaths with 80% being civilians and of that number  more than 400 were children.

Consider that for a moment. As many children were killed as all IDF and Hamas fighters combined. Some were killed in schools, some in a hospital – some while sleeping in their own beds.

We may look at those numbers and cluck our teeth a little but we restrict our discussion and our outrage to debating the politics of the war between Hamas and Israel. We talk about Hamas using civilians as human shields as if that somehow justifies killing them. To my mind that’s like the police simply shooting the kidnapped to get at the kidnappers.

The debate becomes so abstract, so devoid of humanity that to express horror at the deaths of Palestinian children is to risk condemnation as being anti-Israel or pro Hamas. It is neither, it simply means were human.

It is becoming too easy for all sides in a conflict to use civilians as shields, as bargaining chips or simply as expendable pawns.

In 1945, the United States used Japanese civilians, including children, to send a terrible message to the Japanese government by dropping atomic bombs on two Japanese cities. They were not cities of strategic military importance; they were simply highly populated and served to send a message. As far as that goes, it was effective at ending the war but it is a terrible thing to achieve the end result by being even more brutal than your enemy.

Even our governments’ most tepid response to conflict – economic sanctions – are aimed primarily at the civilian population in the belief that economic hardship might cause the citizens to influence their government to change course. It is a milder form of the same technique used by terrorists who kill civilians in order to inflict sufficient fear on the civilian population as to cause it to influence government.

In the end, it all amounts to the same thing. At some point, the innocent will die and in great numbers. Sometimes in such numbers we can no longer relate to the humanity those numbers represent.

Perhaps we have difficulty relating to it all because until 9/11, North Americans had not faced the horror and devastation being faced by others in countries like Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. I don’t think we understand the full brutality of what is inflicted on the innocent in other parts of the world because we have never had to face that reality on our own soil.

North American cities are not battlegrounds of continual war nor have they ever been bombed to rubble. The bodies of our warneighbours are not strewn among the fallen bricks and we don’t have to organize daily teams to pick up those bodies for burial.

The reality of war: the death and destruction it brings is an abstract concept for us.

We recently ‘celebrated’ the start of WWI, as if the start of any war is something worth celebrating. It is, however, worth remembering the sacrifice made by more than 165,000 Canadians who gave their lives in that war and another 160,000 who died in WWII. In the past 50 years, however, fewer than 1,000 Canadians have died in conflicts around the world – slightly more than half the number of civilians killed in Gaza in the past month.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Almost 200,000 have died in Syria and the best we can do is condemn Assad while continuing to provide arms to the rebel forces; many of whom are among the same terrorist groups who threaten us and the civilian populations in other countries.

It is a confused response at best to both the slaughter and what to do about it and I can appreciate how difficult it is to know how to deal with a stateless enemy that places no limits on its brutality. But I don’t believe that justifies either treating the deaths of thousands of the innocent as little more than statistic or responding to the threats with the same callous brutality against civilians (intentionally or otherwise) as the enemy.

If that remains the best we can do then the enemy has already won by reducing us to their level.

It’s small wonder that so many in so many parts of the world don’t see The West as being much different than the terrorist regimes that oppress and threaten them.

If we continue to tolerate this slaughter of the innocents by all sides in a conflict, then all too soon it is our children who will be next.  It will be  our cities that will burn and our families that will be slaughtered. It will be us and them who become little more than just part of some meaningless statistic in newspapers and history books.

It will be too late then to wish that we had placed a higher value on our common humanity.

 

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© 2014 Maggie’s Bear

all rights reserved The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Twitter: @maggsbear – Facebook: Maggie’s Bear – ivmaki@sympatico.ca

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  • morri

    we have been tolerating Islamic violence for a very long time now. we are even willing to have potential jihadis living among us. the followers of islam will, when push comes to shove and/or their numbers reach critical mass, attack us as they have every where else. they are forbidden from having an infidel as a friend and practice taqiyya constantly. we allow their immigration and expansion at our peril.

    • MaggiesBear

      I am curious as to what you think is the solution.

      • morri

        the solution is the same as it has been for a thousand years. war and the ultimate humiliation and defeat of islam.. the Koran has to be eliminated from the earth. I don’t care what anyone says about religion or book burning. islam and all it tenants are evil and destructive.

        • I hate liberals

          AMEN!

  • Bert_1

    Well, I haven’t been on here in a while but this article caught my attention.

    I think that you are correct about statistics and large numbers. We have a difficult time getting our heads around large numbers. That is true whether we are talking about deaths like in this article or even money. When it was first revealed that Obama would continue $1 trillion deficits, most people just shrugged their shoulders because $1 trillion is almost meaningless to most people.

    Even smaller numbers can be overlooked, though. In Gaza, 2,000 people died and there is an international outrage with calls for war crimes investigations, etc. In Syria, there are 200,000 dead and nothing more than a “ho-hum”. We seem to be selective in channeling our outrage but a lot of it has to do with fear. You can vilify the Israelis with impunity but the slightest criticism of Islam can get you killed.

    However, I don’t think that most people simply brush off the deaths of children. The argument is childishly frustrating, though, because almost every time I have seen someone declare their support for Israel, there has been a chorus of morons accusing that person of supporting the killing of children. So much for rational discussion.

    So, can the Israelis protect their country without killing a bunch of kids? I don’t know. I am not an Israeli military commander nor am I an expert in military procedures. But, when I look at what is happening in Gaza, I can’t help but wonder. Israel is vilified for the killing of children but the wars are always started by the Palestinians – Hamas this time. That doesn’t justify the killing of children but it shifts the culpability. I would like to think that the Israelis are doing everything they can to minimize civilian casualties but I don’t see how they could mount an effective defense against Hamas without incurring civilian deaths. If they did nothing, Hamas would slaughter every Israeli they can. So, where does that leave us?

    On the nuking of Japan, there are three things that I think are important:

    1) It is estimated that, if the US had not nuked Japan and had gone ahead with an invasion instead, the total death toll for WWII would have come close to doubling. The Japanese were intent on defending their homeland to the last person. That can be seen by the fact that they voted to keep fighting even after Hiroshima was bombed. Even when Nagasaki was hit, the 6 ruling whatever-they-were-called were split 50/50 on whether to surrender or keep fighting. It was the Emperor who cast the deciding vote to surrender. So, the dropping of those bombs by the US wasn’t done to teach the Japanese a lesson. It was done in an effort to end the war and save lives – both Japanese and American.

    2) Many people are appalled at the death toll from these bombings. It is estimated that some 80,000 people died in Hiroshima and 35,000 in Nagasaki. While those numbers are horrific, it needs to be considered in context. In March of 1945, for example, the US raided Tokyo. In that raid, an estimated 100,000 people died. That is about the same as Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. In one night. Just one raid on one city. This was happening over and over again throughout Japan during 1945. For that matter, it is estimated that between 35,000 and 60,000 died in Dresden, Germany, in one raid, so this wasn’t unique to Japan.

    3) As in any conflict, the truth is the first casualty. I was reading an article the other day that claimed that Israel has dropped around 20,000 lb of high explosives on Gaza this time around. It was compared to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima that was the equivalent of 13,000 lb of high explosives. Sounds really bad for the Israelis, doesn’t it? However, when you consider the fact that 80,000 people died in Hiroshima and only 2,000 died in Gaza, it makes you wonder about the accuracy of the numbers in these articles. Yet, there is no shortage of them. I have seen claims that Israel is using phosphorous bombs, that they are dropping 2,000 lb bombs on civilian targets and many other incredulous accusations. The strange thing is that people accept those claims without so much as a whimper. Why? Why do people hate Israel so much? Is it because it is safe to hate Jews and/or Christians but suicidal to say anything negative about Islam? If so, we are in deep do-do. And, if you think that our “tolerance” of the killing of children is the problem here, you are deluding yourself. Organizations like ISIS/ISIL and Hamas want to kill people and there isn’t a damned thing you or I can do about it except kill them first.

    • damorris

      Good points. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 13,0000 Tons, not pounds.

      • Bert_1

        You’re right. Both numbers should have been tons, not pounds.

    • MaggiesBear

      I think there is some truth to the idea that big numbers are often ignored although when they relate to tax dollars, it tends to be more ideological than anything else. We saw that in Ontario, for example, where conservatives were rightly outraged by the squandering of $1 billion to cancel two gas plants — Liberal supporters, not so much. They reelected a majority Liberal government. It’s different when the numbers relate to people. I think it’s partly based on fear and partly based on an inability or perhaps and unwillingness to face the immensity of the human tragedy. Perhaps it’s why the death has a greater effect on us. It’s easer to ignore the humanity behind the statistics but almost impossible to ignore the humanity of one.

      I also agree with your Israel comment. We live in an era when satellite technology can target a single truck for a bomber or missile. There isn’t much excuse anymore for dropping bombs on civilian targets and especially not when you have been notified that they are schools being used by the UN as sanctuary for civilians including children. By any standard definition, that is a war crime every bit as egregious as those committed by Hamas. There’s just something wrong with a society that defends the killing of children, no matter who does it.

      Welcome back.

      • Bert_1

        But, what if those schools are being used to store military material or personnel? Doesn’t that make them legitimate military targets? Even the UN – who is no friend of Israel – has reported finding weapons caches in 3 of their schools. So, how do you take out the weapons caches without hurting anyone? If I remember correctly, using civilian facilities like schools and hospitals for military purposes violates the Geneva Convention, doesn’t it?

        I am trying to not defend the killing of children. I just don’t know how else the Israelis can defend themselves. No one, internationally, is prepared to do anything about Hamas and the fact that they do use civilian facilities for military purposes so the Israelis are forced to do it themselves. In the process, civilians, including children, get killed. What would you do if you were the PM of Israel?

        Thanks :-)

        • MaggiesBear

          The answer to your first question lies in what you would expect the police to do if a group of bank robbers were holding civilians hostage in a bank. Would you expect the police to kill the hostages in order to get the money and capture the bank robbers? Probably not.

          The fact that Hamas uses the innocent as human shields behind which they hide and hide their weapons doesn’t suddenly mean that Israel or anyone else who holds to the morality we claim to defend, the right to start killing the innocent. They aren’t pawns, they’re human beings. They aren’t combatants, they are civilians; many merely children.

          Israel took out one Hamas leader by firing a missile into an apartment complex where he lived. It destroyed five floors and killed most of the innocents living on those floors. Is that the best western democracy can offer? How does that make us different than Hamas?

          I’m not anti-Israel: I support Israel and its right to defend itself. Nor am I sympathetic to Hamas, ISIS, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda or the Taliban. The sooner those organizations are destroyed the safer we will all be.

          But the wanton slaughter of the innocent by all sides in these conflicts is accomplishing nothing but more conflict and bloodshed. I don’t care how many terrorists get killed but I do care about the fact that as many children are being killed as combatants. That should be absolutely unacceptable to all western nations at this point in time of our history.

          At the end of the day, our leaders need to stop pussyfooting around with sanctions and bellicose language. They need to stop pouring arms into the hands of various factions in the region and they need to start putting their minds to a more effective way to both win the support of Palestinian civilians and to eliminate terrorist groups like Hamas. Will it be easy? Absolutely not but what we’re doing now isn’t working. The region is burning more now than it ever has and killing children and civilians isn’t going to put out that fire; it’s only going to make it worse.

          • Bert_1

            Your analogy of the bank robbers isn’t quite accurate. The money the robbers hold poses no threat to anyone. If the bank doesn’t get it back, it isn’t the end of the world. Hell, it is probably insured so the bank would suffer no loss at all if it isn’t retreived. Ditto the robbers. They are bank robbers, not terrorists. Presumably, they got what they want from the bank. If they lose it because they are surrounded by police, too bad, so sad. They will probably rob another bank. But, their goal is not to slaughter people. If Israel doesn’t destroy the weapons caches and/or kill the terrorists, they will turn on the Israelis in an attempt to kill them, not rob the Isralis’ banks.

            I don’t ever remember reading about the case you mentioned. Every time I have read about Israel taking out a Hamas terrorist, they did it in a way that caused little or no collateral damage – to people or property. Taking out an entire apartment block for one terrorist sounds very heavy handed for the Israelis. I wouldn’t put that past Hamas, but the Israelis are normally much more careful than that.

            With all due respect, you didn’t answer my question, though. You danced around it but you didn’t offer an answer. What would you do if YOU were the PM of Israel? Don’t worry about other people, just YOU.

            • MaggiesBear

              I accept your point about the bank although I still maintain that shooting hostages isn’t any different than killing civilians.

              As to your point about Israel taking out terrorists with little to no colateal damage, you might find these interesting:

              http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/life-gaza-city—terrifying-3947756

              http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/18/israel_bombs_gazas_only_rehab_hospital

              http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/middle-east-unrest/another-gaza-hospital-hit-israeli-strike-four-dead-40-hurt-n161086

              Even the US condemned this one

              http://time.com/3076108/gaza-israel-un-ban-ki-moon-hamas/

              I don’t want to bog down in a discussion about Israel/Hamas because the issue is much larger than that. The simple reality is that civilians are being killed by all sides in all conflicts in horrific numbers and we don’t relate to that. We argue politics, just as you and I are now doing rather than being appalled by the death toll of children. There is nothing that legitimizes the mass killing of children; not hiding weapons in their schools, not trying to take out an enemy leader, not in retaliation for the attacks on your own people. Children are not terrorists. They aren’t combatants. They are children being used as pawns by too many and if we in the west aren’t prepared to stand up and demand our leaders try to protect them, then we are no better than our enemies.

              • Bert_1

                I don’t want to get bogged down in politics, either, but there are a couple of issues here that just won’t go away.

                I mentioned in my first post that the first casualty in any war is the truth. That holds here as well. The lies have been so thick that many journalists – most of whom are hostile toward Israel – have coined the word “Paliwood”. It first appeared to be used by the BBC when they witnessed a “mortally wounded” Palestinian being carried off by his comrades after an Israeli strike. Minutes later, they found that same “mortally wounded” Palestinian standing on a street corner completely unhurt.

                Then there were the ambulances that drove in circles to make it look like there was a HUGE number of casualties when, in fact, the ambulances were empty. Again, the journalists didn’t notice this until later when they reviewed their tapes and noticed that it was the same ambulance going by with the same driver and same attendant every time. The frequency of the drive by’s was such that the ambulance could not have possibly gotten to a hospital to unload, let alone go back out to retrieve more casualties.

                In the first article you linked to, notice that the Israelis called the Palestinian (an innocent, non-Hamas citizen, of course) prior to bombing the building. That is part of what I was saying about the Israelis being careful to not cause collateral damage. They could have just dropped that bomb on the building unannounced but they didn’t, in spite of the fact that they may have spoiled their chance of killing an actual terrorist.

                I also think that it is important that we separate what ISIS/ISIL is doing and what is happening in Gaza. ISIS/ISIL is specifically targeting civilians, including children, and killing them. This isn’t collateral damage, it is targeted killing, many times by beheading so it can’t be claimed to be an accidental death.

                Israel, on the other hand, tries very hard as far as I can tell to minimize civilian deaths. Just like above where they called the people in the apartment building before bombing it. I may or may not agree with their tactics but you have to admit that this is a completely different scenario than what you see in Iraq and Syria.

                I also asked you what you would do if you were the Israeli PM to make a point. The Israelis are in a Catch 22 situation. If they don’t take out the terrorists, they will be attacked and the terrorists numbers will undoubtedly swell. If they do take out the terrorists, they will kill civilians, including children, and will be condemned as murderers. So, I ask you again, what would you do? You are condemning the killing of children and rightly so. But, I think that it is wrong to lump the Israelis in with the terrorists.

                • MaggiesBear

                  First, the issue about lying journalists. It is the UN that issued complaints as did a number of Humanitarian organizations and many Israelis themselves. Not all journalists lie. I gave you three or four links and you can dispute them if you like but I have dozens from media all over the world and it is beyond absurd to suggest they are all anti-Israel and are lying.

                  You did ask me what I would do and the truth is I don’t know but then I didn’t run for office with the suggestion that I do. Too many of our leaders don’t know any more than you or I what to do which is why I criticize them as much as I do. They make the same mistakes over and over again and it does nothing but kill the innocent.

                  Need proof? Ask yourself this simple question. Is what Harper, Obama, Netanyahu, Cameron, Holland, Merkel or any of the others have done made the situation better or worse? The truth is that they treat these issues the same way they treat political spats with other political opponents. They condemn, they accuse but in the end, the accomplish little other than to do half the job that needs doing. Their handling of Ukraine is an abject failure.

                  And I’ll tell you something else. They use the excuse that Israel is the only democracy in the region for their actions. How offensive! Canadian soldiers died fighting to bring democracy to Afghanistan and UN and American troops died to bring democracy to Iraq. Those are democratic states created by the west’s actions and then abandoned to terrorist groups like the Taliban and ISIS.

                  No…I may not know what to do but neither do they and the only difference between them and me is that I would not condone or try to justify the careless slaughter of children.

                  • morri

                    you will not, under any circumstance short of total humiliation or complete destruction, reform islam. what you see today is the continuing jihad that has been ongoing since mohammed raised his ugly head and started killing people.

                  • Bert_1

                    While I could have worded it better, I said nothing about lying journalists. Not that I don’t think that there are any, but I was referring to the “Paliwood” deception where people act in ways that make the death and destruction appear much worse than it actually is. I gave the examples of the fake “mortally wounded” Palestinian being carried off for medical aid and the ambulances driving in circles to make it appear that there are 10’s or 100’s of ambulances arriving at a hospital when there are none.

                    However, since you mentioned it, I do remember reading an article, complete with pictures, of the carnage Israel is meting out on the Palestinian children. The pictures showed many seriously wounded children in a hospital and the caption claimed that the pictures were taken in July 2014 in a hospital in Gaza. The comments were what you would expect (@^&&$@ Israel) until someone said (paraphrased) “Hang on a second. Those aren’t Palestinian children. Those pictures were taken in a Syrian hospital two years ago”. So, was the journalist intentionally lying or was s/he mislead into believing that the pictures were genuine Gaza-based pictures? I don’t know for sure but, either way, someone is going to great lengths to make Israel look as bad as possible.

                    We see this kind of thing over and over again. I saw a picture of a house in Gaza where, according to the caption, an Israeli missile landed killing a small boy. But, if you look closely at the picture, you will notice that the damage was strictly shrapnel-based damaged. Enough to kill a child but not seriously damage a concrete house. Israel uses no such weapons. It turned out that the child was killed by a stray, malfunctioning Hamas rocket – which fits perfectly with the observed damage. But, the damage was done. Israel killed the boy by intentionally targeting the house and no amount of facts will change that narrative.

                    I also saw an article that contained 2 videos claiming to show the deaths of two Palestinian boys, shot by Israeli snipers. But, if you look closely at both videos, both boys break their falls with their hands. Dead people don’t do that. Plus, the reporter interviewed the grieving dad of one of the boys and dad produced a bullet he found in his son’s backpack. It was in pristine condition. I am not a ballistics expert, but no bullet can pass through a person’s body, enter his backpack and be stopped by a textbook without receiving some damage. Such rounds are usually completely destroyed in cases like that. Yet, that article is held up as further proof positive of Israel’s barbarism.

                    There was also a video purportedly showing a Palestinian teenager being killed by an Israeli sniper. In the video, the unarmed teenager was shot three times by the sniper before dying. Now, I ask you: What sniper worth his/her weight in beer farts requires 3 rounds to take down a stationary target? Add to that the fact that there isn’t a spot of blood on the “victim” – and the video is fairly close to the boy – nor are there any holes in his clothing. So, how could this boy have been killed? Just more Paliwood as far as I can see.

                    It is also political. For months after the current Israel/Hamas conflict began, Israel was vilified for suggesting that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and deaths of the three Israeli teens. Comment after comment and article after article slammed the Israelis for obfuscating the truth and attacking Hamas based upon a lie that they KNEW was untrue. Yesterday, I saw an article indicating that Hamas has finally admitted that they were behind the kidnapping an deaths of the Israeli teens.

                    Your comment about condoning the careless slaughter of children is unwarranted. No one condones the careless slaughter of children except the terrorists groups. Just because I say that I support Israel 100% does not, in any way, shape or form, suggest that I condone the slaughter of children. As a matter of fact, in addition to being 100% in support of Israel, I am also 100% in support of Palestinians – including the Palestinian children. And so are people like Stephen Harper.

                    • MaggiesBear

                      Your points are well taken Bert and this is a difficult format in which to have a serious discussion.

                      There are those who would distort the truth. It was done in Ukraine before the outbreak of the civil war. Americans had gone in to produce a video that purported to be a Ukrainian girl talking about what Russia was doing to her country. Turns out she was an American actress.

                      Nonetheless, there is enough accurate information around if you take the time to filter out the bull and the self-serving interpretations by some and the numbers of fatalities in Gaza are agreed to by Israel.

                      Like I said, however, this isn’t about Israel specifically. It’s about a world gone mad, a world that places a higher value on the lives of some over others; a world in which the innocent, most significantly children, are being killed or mentally and physically wounded by all sides in most conflicts. And do you know what that means?

                      It means that we are creating a new generation of psychologically damaged terrorists who will hate the west or Israel or Russia or Ukraine or Sunnis or Christians or whomever and the cycle will perpetuate itself. At some point Bert — that conflict will end up in our country and it will be our cities that will burn and our children that will die.

                    • Bert_1

                      I don’t disagree with your support for the children. Even one dead child is a tragedy. However, you cannot roll what is happening in the Israel/Hamas conflict up with all of the other terrorist-based conflicts where children are killed and implement the same solution. The problems and issues are completely different so the solutions have to be completely different. As far as I can tell, and I hope that I am wrong, the only way to stop terrorist organizations like ISIS/ISIL or Hamas is to kill every single one of them. They have no interest in appeasement or compromises. They want what they want and they will kill anyone who even looks like they might be impeding their attainment of their goals. Dealing with Israel is a completely different scenario and has to be be treated as such.

                      I do not agree with your assessment about the creation of more terrorists. Most of these terrorists have been created already. Hamas, for example, takes little boys and teaches them to hate all Jews and puts them through military training. What do you think those little boys will grow up to be? This has nothing to do with whether Israel attacks anyone or kills anyone. This is deep-seated hatred of everything Jewish. Hamas wants all Jews dead and Israel destroyed. How do you negotiate with that? Ditto ISIS/ISIL. They want their Caliphate and anything that stands in the way of that will be destroyed. If they are not stopped – with extreme prejudice – that will end up in the streets of Canadian cities. I just hope and pray that we aren’t too late to stop it. But, this has nothing to do with the slaughter of children.

                    • MaggiesBear

                      It is quite a bit easier to train someone to hate when the person they are being trained to hate has killed members of their family when they were children. Current estimates put the numbers of children physically and mentally wounded by all of the conflicts at close to half a million. There is a lot of room for hate to grow in those numbers, especially considering that the West is not there every day protecting those children.

                      We agree on some issues Bert but we’ll have to agree to disagree on the others. I think the West has failed to live up to the values and principles for which it claims to stand and I believe we are only just beginning to pay the price for that. It is the cities ‘over there’ that are burning and their children that being damaged and slaughtered. Our turn is coming and sooner than our political leaders care to admit.

                    • Bert_1

                      I think that you are taking a far too narrow view of the situation, Bear. What you say is correct but is overly simplistic. Yes, it is easier to train someone to hate a group who is responsible for the deaths of his/her family but it goes far beyond that. Again, though, there is a difference between the Israel/Palestinian conflict and ISIS.

                      In the case of Israel, the first war against Israel started on Nov 30th, 1947 – the day after Israel was created. There was no belligerence on Israel’s part, no killing of Arabs, no saber rattling by the Israelis, just Arab hatred of the Jews. That’s it. The Arab nations did not want Israel to exist and they started a war in an attempt to destroy Israel as soon as it was created. What you are seeing today is an on-going version of that war. If you doubt that, have a look at Hamas’ charter. It states in no uncertain terms that it exists to destroy Israel and that they will accept no compromises, no peace deals. Is that the result if Israeli aggression?

                      In the case of ISIS, you have a group of maniacs who want a world wide Caliphate created. I have read that they intend to take over Syria and Iraq first. Then, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. In the meantime, they plan on destroying Israel, probably right after they conquer Jordan. Just like Hamas, they will accept nothing short of complete victory – no compromises, no peace plans, no live and let live philosophies. Just death. Is this the result of their family members being killed by some other group? Hardly. These people are against anyone not EXACTLY like them – Christians, Jews, Muslims not in their sect, Atheists, whomever. They want to kill people.

                      I do agree that the west has not lived up to our values. We tend to be far too selective in where and when we declare righteous indignation over something. But, we are also living in fear. You see feminists becoming outraged because a federal minister makes an ill-advised comment about a 15 year old girl having the potential to become a good wife some day but they are utterly silent when, a few days later, a book is revealed outlining how a man should beat his wife. Yet, no one balks at the hypocrisy of the situation. The same is true on the international scene. Slaughtering one group is met with stony silence but the deaths of a few people in another group merit world wide condemnation of the perpetrators. We need to get back to basics. If something is wrong, it is always wrong, even if everyone is doing it. If something is right, it is always right, even if no one is doing it. We don’t live by that any more.

                    • MaggiesBear

                      You need to read some of the history reading up to 1947. The Irgun were a Zionist militant group who committed more than 60 attacks against Palestinians and the British between 1936-39. They were labeled terrorists by the American government, the French and the British. Even Winston Churchill called them terrorists. Menachem Begin who later became a Prime Minister of Israel was a member of the Irgun and participated in some of those attacks. You can get the list of specific attacks here.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irgun_attacks

                      Like I said, this isn’t about Israel. All sides have blood on their hands. My whole issue is that they are too careless with the lives of the innocent, in particular children’s lives. It that makes me simple minded in your eyes, I’ll just have to live with that but to be honest, I’m tired of the constant attempt by people on all sides of these conflicts and their supporters trying to justify their actions by blaming the other side.

                      Clearly we haven’t learned a bloody thing from history which means we are doomed to repeat it.

                    • Bert_1

                      You blocked my last comment?

                    • MaggiesBear

                      No I didn’t. I thought we were having a pretty good discussion. I don’t know what happened.Try posting it again.

                    • Bert_1

                      I didn’t keep a copy of it :-(

                    • MaggiesBear

                      No worries. We we had pretty much exhausted the topic anyway. We’ll just have to wait for the next topic to get into a discussion again. :-)

                    • MaggiesBear

                      I found the problem and corrected it. The comments settings only allowed for so many ‘nested’ comments (comments replying to an original comment) and you and I had exceeded that limit. I’ve increased the limit.