30 December 2008

Israel and Gaza

It looks as if Israel has turned its attention to its southern menace, that of Hamas.  Hamas represents yet another terrorist-turned-legit agencies which we've experienced on more than one occasion.  It bears repeating that in areas where central government is weak, corrupt, ineffective, or averse to the needs of local minority groups, terrorist groups--particularly those that can provide essential social services to the local populace--will continue to thrive.  This only further demonstrates the need for our military and civil leaders to be skilled in all forms of conflict as well as statesmanship in order to combat these hybrid terror organizations.  I think I'm going to save that to my Windows clipboard and  paste it into my web browser whenever another group of this nature starts to flex its muscles.  

Now, the unfortunate part of this is that I've been unable to watch any news stories on this because, here in Iraq, the only TVs that I can regularly get to are the ones in the dining facility, which need to cater to the masses.  And today, the masses wanted to watch Stand By Me.  While I am proud to be around such cultured individuals (indeed, this movie, which stars that Wesley Crusher kid, is awesome), I have to have my news sometimes, and by God, I need something other than Faux News.  How else am I supposed to provide astute social criticism?

Fortunately, I have been able to get on the Internet a little more recently, and have noticed a good post on Abu Aardvark which discusses the reactions from the Arab world.  For those of you who think that there's a monolithic "Arab World" out there, you'll find that you're sorely mistaken, as there's been not only condemnation but also support (yes, support from Saudi Arabia.  Unfortunately, I can only load it in Arabic) for the recent Israeli actions in Gaza.  

I actually learned much about the divides within the various actors in the Arab World when I, as a college senior, partook in the Model Arab League.  I did this not only to get information on the Middle East, which I viewed as a brewing battleground for which I would need all the cultural and political information that I could amass, but also because it was being held at an all-girls' private college.  Sometimes, my intellect and my desire for debauchery coincide.  But I digress.

With that said, this latest round of actions in the Gaza strip will get my full attention.  It also gives me a chance to mention the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), which then causes me to mention my fellow blogger Charlotte, who, every Monday, posts her IDF girl of the week.  Yes, I can make light of serious situations...

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