Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Can't we all just get along?

The real Mr Angry heading for this post is "Can't we all just calm the fuck down and stop bombing the fuck out of each other for five fucking minutes and come to terms with the simple fact that an endless cycle of revenge and retribution is suicidal for all concerned?" That's slightly long and there might be some filtering software that would block that as a post title. But still, what the fuck people?

I don't think there's a nation or creed on this planet that can hold its head up and say "Well at least we've never done anything morally reprehensible that's caused untold pain, suffering and death or at least stood by and done nothing while said acts were perpetrated in out name." But every now and then things come to a head and I think why don't you people just sit back and relax with a big frosty can of calm the fuck down? Seriously, neither then end of the world not the price of petrol going over $5 a litre by the end of the month fills me with joy.

Obviously I'm talking about the little brouhaha in the middle east. It's perfectly natural to be a little paranoid when you're surrounded on all sides by people who have expressed the desire to exterminate. But you can only over-react and lash out killing hundreds of civilians before the next round of payback starts. And I'm not talking about a few pissy rockets landing on Israeli towns closest to Lebanon, I'm talking about Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iran launching retaliatory attacks at the same time to realise their oft-stated goal of sweeping Israel into the sea. And nobody in the West is going to stand for that (not to mention that Iranian ground forces would have to go through Iraq - wouldn't that be fun) so the shit spreads pretty quickly.

Unless. People. Learn. To. Calm. The. Fuck. Down.

Take a look at the troubles in Ireland (and only the Irish would give a civil war that's lasted 100 years an innocuous name like "the troubles"). It isn't perfect but it's calmed down a lot. More and more people woke up to the fact the downward spiral of violence couldn't go on. They decided they needed to cross the road (literally in many cases) and say "hey, let's stop hurling petrol bombs at each other." They joined the political process to solve things more and more. Of course there are still thugs on both sides who enjoy the power they gain from conflict but their power is almost universally on the wane.

It all starts with saying enough is enough. You can't always get payback for the last damage inflicted on your side because that gives the other side fuel for their next strike. It's no good both sides saying the others have to make the first move. That's a recipe for disaster. The situation in the middle east is incredibly complex, far more so than most people pushing a particular political or religious barrow admit to. But there's no denying this: somebody has to say "I'm not going to retaliate any more."

Nobody holds the moral high ground by force of arms.

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