Thursday, July 10, 2008


As I listen to the bluster and watch the posturing between Iran and Israel I can't help but think about the elementary school playground. Here are two guys with too much testosterone, each trying to mark out his territory. Both are threatening the other and both are reacting from fear. Either one could become the aggressor if the threat from the other seems imminent. After all, if you're really afraid of what the other can do, a preemptive strike makes sense (just ask W about that). So if you're afraid that Bully A might have a good right hook, sucker punch him before he has a chance and make sure that he can't get up. Of course, if he does get up, there might be serious consequences.

Israel practices air strikes, Iran shoots off missiles. Plans seem to be in place and everyone everywhere is talking about a war sometime around the US election with ether Israel of the US bombing Iran. All of the parties are afraid and fear blocks out rational thinking. The problem is that we aren't talking about children in the schoolyard. We're talking about nations. We have already seen the results of an ill-planned war in the middle east and the results would be disastrous if another is added to the mix. Just as with the current war, more aggression would just add to Iran's influence and power. Leaders who sing "bomb, bomb, Iran" only make things more unstable and more dangerous.

So what are the options. Someone needs to talk. Someone needs to tone down the rhetoric. Someone needs to bring reason to the table and diffuse the testosterone. The US needs to use all of its influence to calm Israel down. The world community needs to work together to stop Iran's nuclear program while at the same time giving them something so they don't feel as if they've "lost."


Jon said...

I say we spank them all and send them to bed.

John said...

You ever try to "talk" to a bully??? If you have ever been bullied in your life, you will know that it only gets you pounded harder.

I've read your blog before. Some time ago, you made some statement about there never being a reason for violence...never. I have to ask...if someone broke into your home, held your kids and wife as hostages, threatening to kill them...and you had a chance to stop it by beating the *#&^ out of him or killing him...would you?

It is easy to scream "PEACE!" when you aren't the one at risk.

Your idealism just isn't true to the reality of things. And yes, we all get hate "W." I'm glad it makes you feel better to bash our president every chance you get.

roy said...

OK John,

perhaps my metaphor wasn't the best choice. Maybe I should have used the local street gangs, one beats up a kid from another gang so the 2nd retaliates. Then the 1st retaliates by stabbing one in the second, who then retaliates by killing one in the first who retaliates by... and when does it stop? Only when one of the gangs, preferably the stronger of the two, says "enough."

You ask how I would react to someone threatening my wife & kids. I'm not sure how I would react. Most likely with violence. That begs the other question... what is the right way to react? And the even more important question, "isn't it better to keep things from getting to that point?" And finally the third... "how does the current situation parallel that one at all?"

Idealism? No. by nature I'm pretty cynical. Lets call it what it is, my attempt to actually live out my faith.

FWIW, John, the roots of my pacifism grew out of my experiences as a teenager in inner city Pittsburgh. About age 13 I realized that if I stayed on the violent path many of my friends were on, I had a very good chance of getting killed or hurt badly. I decided there was a better way.