Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Rockets, Missiles, and a Right to Exist.

On October 2, 2002, a man killed crossing a parking lot in Maryland would be the beginning shot in a 22 day long terror-filled shooting spree for residents of the Beltway. (For those of you who are unaware, the Beltway includes Washington D.C. and sections of Maryland and Virginia.)  Ten people were killed, three more were critically injured, and the only thing they were doing was going about their daily lives.  The rest of the country watched in horror, and the residents of the Beltway lived in fear.  On October 24, the FBI apprehended the two men responsible for all that terror.  If you lived anywhere near the Beltway it was a scary time.  Frankly, just a year after 9/11, it was still a scary time for everyone.  

Now imagine that instead of using a Bushmaster Rifle, Muhammad and Malva had been using bottle rockets, rocket propelled grenade launchers and missiles.  Imagine spending the day waiting for the sirens to go off so you could dash for your local bomb shelter and sit in fear while explosions rained down on your head.  Imagine the fear for your children, in schools, knowing that it was highly possible they were also currently under attack.  You are crying out for your government to do something.... anything.... to stop this.  But the government sits on their hands, because it appears that Muhammad and Malva are storing and using their weapons from buildings containing sick people and children.  (People who happen to be on their side.)  The government doesn't want innocent civilian casualties, so please, just continue huddling in your bomb shelter, and hope one of those rockets doesn't catch you in the street.

Do you think anything like that would ever stand in the United States of America?  What if Mexico started launching missiles into the southern states?  What if they were launching those missiles from schools and hospitals?  If your life was threatened, daily, by a group of people who's own political charter was calling for your complete and utter eradication, would you want our own government to do ... nothing?  

That's where Israel is right now.  The people of Gaza elected Hamas, a known terrorist organization, whose charter calls for nothing less than the complete destruction of Israel.  Hamas has been shooting missiles into Israel for days now.  They used international aid meant to help the people of Gaza out of poverty to build secret tunnels so their suicide bombers could gain access to Israel.  They have suffered under a blockade, because frankly, everything the international community sends them, they use to intensify their war on Israel.  They have missiles stored in United Nations buildings.  And the response of so many people in the U.S. is, so what?  Israel is killing innocent civilians and they have no right.  They have no need to be doing this.  Nothing justifies what they are doing.  Never mind that Hamas uses women and children as human shields, and conducts their wars from schools and hospitals.  Never mind that, the truth, that pesky little thing, is that Hamas is completely responsible for every civilian casualty. 

So do me a favor.  Go look out your window.  Now imagine a roaring rocket propelled grenade slamming through that window and killing your favorite pet.  And would you be willing to sacrifice the life of that pet, because your neighbor thinks your cherry tree is on property that belongs to him?  Even though your cherry tree isn't on his property, you moved it years ago.  Even though you've given him every concession in order to make your neighborly relationship easier? Even though the state gives him a check every week to maintain that property (and you are pretty sure he is using that money to purchase the grenades he is now shooting through your window).   Just tell Fluffy he has to die for the cause, because your neighbor has every right to shoot that rocket, and you really have no right to retaliate.

That's Israel and Hamas.  

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