A Study in Conflict

The following is a four part essay based on the observations and analysis, as seen through the lens of an impartial participant, of the Middle East Region.

Bloom not Boom: Israel & Palestine

As the Middle Eastern Conflict Zone wobbles and heaves along the precipice of yet another cycle within the endless war, the Middle East appears once again lost within a barren wasteland, where common sense and simple realities are easily forgotten. 

One such bit of common sense, easily forgotten when blinded with rage and hatred, is the concept that “Lines drawn in Sand,” can represent many things.

Within the mindset of one consumed with anger and hatred, a line drawn in the sand hardens with the smallest drop of water and becomes an unmovable concrete barrier. Within the mindset of one who seeks solutions, a line drawn in the sand often moves and shifts with the winds of change. 

Perspective. Point of view. Vision. 

How the Middle Eastern Islamic community reacts if Israel is forced to implement its “No Peace Terms,” will be a clear indicator of how hopeless this most current edition of the cycle will play out.

Will it be a meeting of men, hardened by a lifetime spent beneath the harsh and unforgiving sun, standing upon the sand-covered plains searching together for a way out of the barren desert? 

Or, will it be a meeting of men, one standing upon a stone parapet looking down, as the others look upward and continue to search among themselves for an answer to the question they already know?

Is there an opportunity to reorganize and coexist? Or is it better to remain within the cold darkness of simple anger and rage?

As the lines drawn in sand appear ready to sink further into the barren desert, and dark clouds gather, threatening to add more than enough water to harden even the most amicable position, perhaps now is the time for this generation and all generations who within the Middle Eastern Region, to ask themselves the most base question that is ultimately asked of all humans.

Is true tolerance worth the smallest bit of effort?

“If I put down the tools of hatred and anger, will it help me build something better?”

Would not the smallest bit of effort, not hating your fellow man, or woman, for what you perceive them to have done, or fear they may do, go a long way in helping to make the Middle East, and perhaps the rest of the planet, a more prosperous place to live? 

Though I do not break bread with him, nor do I take coffee, it is beholden upon the two of us to work together to create the economic conditions required, so that we may both live in prosperity.”

If your answer is No, I truly feel sorry for you. For true happiness within the human soul can only be achieved by building something greater than ourselves.

If your answer is Yes, welcome. Now is the time for you, and all people of the Middle East, suffering under the yoke intolerance to speak up, and clearly state; 

“Enough! We want something better. We want an end to the endless wars. We want to live in a tolerant, peaceful, and prosperous world!”

Speak with a whisper, full throat, or simple gesture. The winds of change are no more stoppable than the ocean tide. It starts with one. It starts within you. 

Fear not. This time when the Leadership of your community hears your call for change they will understand. This time the Leadership of all those within the Conflict will understand a basic truth. To maintain effective control of the steering wheel of society, sometimes you need to loosen the grip.

Strategic Assessment of the Middle East Conflict Zone?

To any common man, or woman, the current social-economic, political, and military reality on the ground within the Middle Eastern Conflict Zone is very clear, which makes the continuation of hostilities, and toxic rhetorical posturing, extremely confounding. 

If the Middle Eastern Conflict Zone was a UFC fight, the referee would certainly call a stoppage.

The Israelis have full control over Israel proper, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights; expanding economic control over the West Bank, and while the current government administering the Gaza Strip may dispute it, the Israeli military also maintains effective operational control of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military is overpowering, coordinated, and operates with a clear and precise mission statement. They strike with impunity, hoping to draw their enemy into a decisive battle. 

For the government of Israel, few questions remain outstanding. 

What, if any, variables will present themselves if the “No Peace Terms” are arbitrarily implemented? What are the options, and or, long-term solutions for ending the siege of the Gaza Strip? Is it even possible? Finally, how best to deal with the short-term issue of the encroaching Shia militias?

Lastly, for the Israelis, “the Jewish people of the desert,” they stand with the knowledge that the entirety of “Western Democracies of the World,” will not let them fall. They stand with the knowledge that they are part of a productive, rules-based, community.

At first glance, it would appear the Middle Eastern Muslims have not only lost but managed to cut off their noses to spite themselves in the process. They continue to fight while raging with a childish anger, for something that could be offered to them in goodwill.

What is even worse, that childish rage has blinded the Middle Eastern Muslim Leadership to the bleak reality that lays before them. As time moves forward, it is they, the Muslims, who become weaker with each passing year. It is they, in the end, who will be left standing alone within the vast and barren desert. 

The days of black gold draw to an end. Rather than stake its bountiful treasure, and build something beautiful, the Middle Eastern Muslims have chosen to destroy. With no viable economic infrastructure or truly functional government institutions, it is only a matter of time before the realities of Lebanon befall upon the entire region.

Even the usefulness of the strategic weaponry the Shiites currently rely upon, drone warfare, and surface-to-surface missiles begins to set upon the horizon as Kinetic Energy Weapons rise in a new dawn of humanity. 

For the Leadership of the Middle Eastern Muslims, the list of questions outstanding are too numerous to list. However, in terms of structural operational reality, a basic question does present itself.

What next? What does the “Resistance” hope to achieve? Any deployment of WMD will be met with an onslaught of their own destruction, and perhaps even threaten the long-term existence of the Shia faith? So what next? 

This obvious structural flaw in the critical thinking within the leadership of the Muslim side of the Conflict Zone leaves the impartial observer to, unfortunately, question the quality of that leadership.   

However, in my opinion, there is a significant enough portion of the Muslim Leadership who display a desire to do the right thing and are actively trying to find the best path forward. Enough so as to warrant further discussion and effort.

Perhaps if the Muslim Leadership within the MECZ were to truly examine their options on the ground, with a realistically objective point of view, they would be forced to come to one simple conclusion. 

The Israelis are not going to be defeated militarily. 

Conclusion

We no longer live in a medieval age. To offer your hand in peaceful cooperation is not bending the knee. It is a sign of maturity and wisdom. To continue fighting when there is no longer any need, or true rationale is beyond explanation, and can no longer be accepted as reasonable in today’s modern world.

To sum up with perhaps a more simplistic, but ultimately true baseline conclusion, one may proffer; The final battle for Jerusalem has been fought, only the terms need now be settled in accordance with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “Istanbul Declaration,’” of December 13, 2017.

If by some miracle of miracle, Shia and Palestinian leadership could come to terms with this fact, and allow this simple concept to matriculate down to its population, peace and prosperity for all sides within the Zone would become a simple exercise.

Russians, Shiites, and Turks, set terms for Palestine Peace?

“You keep what you kill.” The most base of human emotions. Born of a primitive instinct, fueled by fear, the simplest, most rudimentary form of thought. The starting point in the evolution of mankind, yet still the foundation of thought that enslaves all but the enlightened few.

Unfortunately, within the majority of Middle Eastern political, and economic thought leadership, “You keep what you kill” remains the ugly, and toxic dogma that perpetuates the endless wars afflicting the region. 

While it may be safe, politically correct, or fashionable, not to speak fundamental truths, if there is any hope of refreshing the Middle East Peace Process, questioning the unyielding adherence to such a simple mantra must begin. 

Because not to ask, or bring forth, such a simple question, will allow the temperature of cultural tension to continue to rise and threaten to boil over in upheaval and violence.

Not bringing forth this most basic question of humanity will leave both the curious bystander, and perhaps some of the participants, to ponder; Is another hundred years of war within the Middle East the best possible outcome, or is some other horrific bit of drama yet to unfold?

Hypocrisy?

There is no possible realistic rationalization, or assumed righteousness, in the taking of another person’s land. Yet still, even in this modern age of supposed enlightenment, it happens. Within the violent and unforgiving Middle East, it happens with grotesque regularity.

The list of Nation States legitimizing the confiscation of the common man, or woman’s, land in the name of religious authority is as endless as the very wars that consume the Middle Eastern Region. 

Perhaps each common man, or woman, who chooses to eagerly pick up the banner of religious righteousness, and shout out their allegiance with a hate-filled throat, would be best served to remember that no Nation-State, People, Religion, or Culture, holds, or may claim, a moral license after the decades of indiscriminate bloodshed perpetrated by all parties within the Middle East Conflict Zone.

Given the history, ancient and modern, of the Middle East, the act of standing with a stout back, one hand clenched tightly, the other with a pointed finger, and screaming at the top of your lungs, “Stolen Land,” appears more hypocritical than any rational person can swallow.

Is it not those who set the rules of the game, currently being played within the Middle East, that now cry foul? Perhaps, rather than merely crying foul, one could ask the referee for a solution?

Madness?

“True madness is the game of politics played by mankind.”

Is it possible that Muslim leadership within the Middle East has boxed themselves into an inescapable ideological corner, with respect to Israel?

Is it possible that, like American Populism, Muslim leadership has used the specter of “Zionism,” to distract, and have now become incapable of finding a way to temper down the boiling rage they have induced?

Yes, three times within the full Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian Leadership reached out and offered its hand in discussion, only to be spat in their face by the current American Administration. 

Yes, countless times the Israeli Government has reached out and offered its hand in discussion, only to be spat in their face by Islamic leaders.

Madness. A madness such that only the most hopeful common man, or woman, could possibly ponder; Is it possible once again? Or has the game finally driven its players into an irretrievable absurdity?

Reality?

Coming to terms with some basic political, and cultural facts the current participants within the Middle East find themselves may appear one-sided, but these singular facts can not be ignored: 

1. One side of the conflict continues to threaten the other with death, and annihilation. 

2. One side of the conflict continues to harden the rhetorical posturing.

2. No Muslim country, or Russia, would even think about sharing, or walking away from land captured in war.

Denial, or unwillingness to acknowledge, these basic facts continue to perpetuate, and fuel, the ugly rhetoric that prevents any palatable Middle Eastern Peace Plan, and thereby stymieing any real sustainable economic growth for the Region as a whole.

It is time for both sides of the Middle Eastern Conflict Zone to come to terms with this simple reality: Human Life on the planet Earth is poised to take another step forward on its path of economic evolution. If the Middle Eastern community, and perhaps their friends, do not look inward and examine their choices, they risk being left behind, for all of time.

Lines Drawn in the Sand

As the Middle Eastern Conflict Zone wobbles and heaves along the precipice of yet another cycle within the endless war, the Middle East appears once again lost within a barren wasteland, where common sense and simple realities are easily forgotten. 

One such bit of common sense, easily forgotten when blinded with rage and hatred, is the concept that “Lines drawn in Sand,” can represent many things.

Within the mindset of one consumed with anger and hatred, a line drawn in the sand hardens with the smallest drop of water and becomes an unmovable concrete barrier. Within the mindset of one who seeks solutions, a line drawn in the sand often moves and shifts with the winds of change. 

Perspective. Point of view. Vision. 

How the Middle Eastern Islamic community reacts if Israel is forced to implement its “No Peace Terms,” will be a clear indicator of how hopeless this most current edition of the cycle will play out.

Will it be a meeting of men, hardened by a lifetime spent beneath the harsh and unforgiving sun, standing upon the sand-covered plains searching together for a way out of the barren desert? 

Or, will it be a meeting of men, one standing upon a stone parapet looking down, as the others look upward and continue to search among themselves for an answer to the question they already know?

Is there an opportunity to reorganize and coexist? Or is it better to remain within the cold darkness of simple anger and rage?

As the lines drawn in sand appear ready to sink further into the barren desert, and dark clouds gather, threatening to add more than enough water to harden even the most amicable position, perhaps now is the time for this generation and all generations who within the Middle Eastern Region, to ask themselves the most base question that is ultimately asked of all humans.

Is true tolerance worth the smallest bit of effort?

“If I put down the tools of hatred and anger, will it help me build something better?”

Would not the smallest bit of effort, not hating your fellow man, or woman, for what you perceive them to have done, or fear they may do, go a long way in helping to make the Middle East, and perhaps the rest of the planet, a more prosperous place to live? 

Though I do not break bread with him, nor do I take coffee, it is beholden upon the two of us to work together to create the economic conditions required, so that we may both live in prosperity.”

If your answer is No, I truly feel sorry for you. For true happiness within the human soul can only be achieved by building something greater than ourselves.

If your answer is Yes, welcome. Now is the time for you, and all people of the Middle East, suffering under the yoke intolerance to speak up, and clearly state; 

“Enough! We want something better. We want an end to the endless wars. We want to live in a tolerant, peaceful, and prosperous world!”

Speak with a whisper, full throat, or simple gesture. The winds of change are no more stoppable than the ocean tide. It starts with one. It starts within you. 

Fear not. This time when the Leadership of your community hears your call for change they will understand. This time the Leadership of all those within the Conflict will understand a basic truth; To maintain an effective control of the steering wheel, sometimes you need to loosen the grip.