Monday, July 24, 2006

How to ruin a good bowl of coco pops

I am not certain why I am even broaching this subject. I am nowhere close to an expert & while I did get 75% on my 4 page essay in 2nd year Politics on how the entire crisis could be solved, that only worried me about the quality of the course, rather than my intelligence.

But this morning, over my coco pops, I watched as some ‘expert’ did discuss the whole Israel-Lebanon conflict of late. She is for the Israeli side, which is perhaps why I put her title in inverted commas as this means you hear the Israeli version of the situation, not an objective expert’s researched opinion.

I nearly threw my bowl of chocolate puffs of joy at the tv in frustration as she was getting me so mad. Yes she had some valid points BUT they were completely one-sided.

“The Israelis dropped thousands of pamphlets on Beirut warning the people that the city was going to be bombed and that they should move south as soon as possible”. ie. Get the fck out of your homes and flee, cos whether you like it or not we are going to destroy your world here & all you own & all you know & all you hold dear.

Imagine right now, as you read this, a message comes over the radio/internet/piece of paper dropped from a plane, “We are coming to drop heavy destructive bombs on you right now so we would appreciate you moving swiftly out of the area”. Would you move? And would you appreciate how nice it is of this attacker to forewarn you? Bet you wouldn’t. I bet you would be pissed off or take your chances by staying. Where would you flee to anyway?

The presenter then said that it is all well and nice to tell people to hit the road and move away but that the Israelis have bombed all the roads and so it was a little difficult for people to just hop in a car and head off.

“Expert” replies that, yes, well, there was no option but to bomb the roads, as the conduits for moving weapons need to be eliminated.

Yes, but….don’t you kinda get the presenter’s point.

But she didn’t.

And it was the same issue the other day when I saw a Lebanese woman speaking on a tv broadcast. That same one-sided report of the sitaution, laced with complete anger for the other side.

And this is my point…

When you watch these people explain the situation to you, their speech and explanations expose one thing. They are completely unwilling to look at the situation from the other perspective. Even for a second. To break that anger & compromise in order resolve a crisis.

They both have valid points and arguments, but surely if they hope for any peace, they need to actually witness life from, let alone have a miniscule amount of empathy for, the other side of the ideology.

Friend in Israel sent this mail to me on Friday:
I am fine, there were 8 bombs here in the last hour. I can tell you that it is quite an adrenalin rush. You hear the siren and then you hear the bombs which are very close and very load. 19 people are injured.

No word from a friend who was in Beirut recently.


Anonymous said...

If you want to read what some Lebanese think then read this post.

He is in Lebanon castigating the tactics of Hizbollah in using civilians as human shields.

What exactly should Israel do, Hizbollah are committed to the total destruction of the Israeli state, they are wantonly firing rockets into Israel killing only civilians and made unprovoked incursions into Israel to kill and kidnap soldiers.

Champagne Heathen said...

Dave, I wouldn't have the 1st clue what either side should do & I definitely am not taking sides, as both put up good arguments.

She did mention that Hizbollah especially place their weapons and artillery in the middle of civilian areas, so as to prevent being attacked.

This woman, however, could at least recognise the deaths & the destruction that the Israeli attacks rack up, rather than speaking with such arrogance about how Israel is completely right in its actions.(And the same happens when a Lebanese expert discusses their side).

I wish the two sides could just for a second recognise why the other side was acting in the way it was. And bring a bit of humanity to its perception of its enemy.

And that is where my frustration comes in - if both sides remain so stubborn, arrogant & self-righteous, how is any compromise, and so peace, to be found.

Anonymous said...

If you want to really understand the Middle East then the first step is to read the Hamas Charter. It makes sickening reading, worse than Mein Kampf. Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah are just as anti-semitic!

HEre are a few excepts from their charter!!!!

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

Nice people aren't they? The same people who have called for Muslims the world over to openly attack Israelly citizens wherever they are, because they contend that is what God wills!

The Middle East was never a region I took any notice of, but over the past few weeks particularly I have become extremely anti-Hamas and anti-Hizbollah!

Lastly, the rest of the world, including Arab states like Saudi, Egypt, Jordan etc and of course also the Lebanese government themselves have been highly critical of the unprovoked Hizbollah attacks on Israel. It is an act of terrorism against a country they want to destroy. Everybody understands this, it is not a matter of understanding! What the world and the moderate Arab states are asking for is a measured approach by the Israellis in attempting to keep civilian deaths to a minimum. To date they've shown a lot more restraint than if it was Britain, USA, China, Russia or even South Africa in Israel's shoes.

BTW, more people have been murdered in SA than have died in the fighting between Israel and Lebanon - during the SAME period of time! The real war is on the streets of South Africa!

Shortypam said...

man champers this is some real hard core shit happening but alas it is all very true... everybody is just so engrossed in their point of view that they are failing to see the devastation thier causing. All they need to do is look at it from a different perspective like say.. the opposing country and think about the shit that their governments are doing to people, destroying their lives, livleyhoods , everything they live for. They need to see that innocent people are getting hurt becuase both governments are on some hectic ego trip, the war needs to be stopped, instead of people who think they know better pionting fingers at each other and justifiying thier reasons for being barbaric.

TwoFlower said...

its always dangerous when watching the news, or in my case reading history books, because there will always be 'propagandistic' material and one has to read between the lines to get to the 'truth'.

as for the war on our street - war is something that has been declared on someone/something else...the last time i checked no one had declared war against each other in SA but you are right in saying that we have a lot of crime, and hopefully that will improve one day! keep on praying!
(sorry - felt like being nickety-pickety)

Revolving Credit said...

Hey Champs, read the inside story from someone on the ground in Beirut. Really brings the impact of the conflict into perspective as opposed to reading/watching some politically tainted news broadcast.

Champagne Heathen said...

See, this is why I usually do not go anywhere near this subject. It is too sensitive. And too complex. There are so many truthes in it that I struggle to keep up with even the most basic. I don't want to take sides on the whole thing, but I do want to know as much that is going on as possible.

Dave - thanks so much for this info. And I would appreciate you passing on anymore such info that you come across.
And yes, that's that damn reality of SA that we choose to live with & become desensitised to.

Shorty - yes, this war & conflict needs to be stopped. But people will not stop pushing their points until they believe that the other side has acknowledged AND respects this point, otherwise they will compromise all they want, for only so long.

2F - it's that damn social scientists in both of us. The characteristic that will get us sitting on the fence in just becoming too lost in the all-too-many-sides of the story.

As for wars - gangs declare war on each other constantly in SA townships & suburbs, and is a traumatic reality for a great many South Africans. It might not be a conventional war, and perhaps rather a battle, but that's me being nit-picky ;o)

Rev - thanks for that link. Managed to breeze over it so far - fascinating! Especially some of those impassioned comments!

Anonymous said...

Go check out this blog

Its by an Aussie living in Israel and he gives regular updates etc.

First thing to do is watch a youtube video he has posted about a satirical programme shown on Lebanese TV made by Lebanese mocking Hizbollah and poking fun at the Arab attack on Israel. Indeed public opinion even within a country being attacked by Israel is not always anti-Israelli and there are certainly a large number of people in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world who despise Hizbollah. Whilst getting attacked by Israelli missiles they have made a comedy sketch which was nationally broadcast backing the Israeli's.

PS: Hizbollah are strongly linked to Iran. The Arab world are often at odds with the Shia Muslim Iran who are not actually Arab but rather Persian. There is a distinct difference and even though they are united by Islam they often hold conflicting opinions on Israel, USA etc.

Champagne Heathen said...

Will do. Thanks Dave!! But now I need to leave the office and regain sanity.