Gault's Gulch

December 30, 2009

The Middle East is the World’s Longest Running Bar-Fight…

Filed under: Politics — John Gault @ 12:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Amid all the talk of the Christmas Day Bomber, I thought it might be nice to examine our relationship with Middle Eastern terrorism and it’s roots.

Some reports (disputed reports, but reports nonetheless) have stated that the man who tried to blow up an American plane on Christmas did so in retaliation for our bombing of Yemen several days previous.  Following the trail backwards, you get something like this:

We bombed Yemen to kill Al Qaeda.  We want to kill Al Qaeda because they attacked us on 9/11.  They attacked us on 9/11 because of our policy of supporting Israel in their conflict with their Arab neighbors.  Therein lies the rub…

Now, before I lose the one internet challenged reader who accidentally stumbled on this blog because he thought it was porn amid charges of antisemitism, let me head you off at the pass.  I am not ANTI-jewish.  I’m also not ANTI-muslim.  I am ANTI-religion, and I am PRO-America.  To be honest, I couldn’t possibly care less who ends up controlling some far-flung patch of sand on the other side of the globe.  My concern is the effect that this ongoing conflict has had on the rest of the world.

The most recent news regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict is that Israel is starting to build new settlements in disputed territory.  Ask an Israeli why they would do this knowing that it will most likely cause Arab retaliation, and they will probably tell you two things.  Number one, it is their biblical right.  Pish-posh.  I dismiss this out-of-hand because property rights do not spring from fictional books.  The second argument, however, is more powerful.  Apparently, there was a delicate truce between the Israelis and the Palestinians which the Israelis claim was broken by  Palestinian abduction of Israeli soldiers.  O.K.  If you already possess the land and you were considering halting development of it in consideration for the feelings of an ancient enemy, and then said enemy spits in your face, then you build settlements.  Got it.  But then you ask the Palestinians why they would kidnap soldiers during a truce and they tell you that Israel broke the truce first by raiding the city of Nablus and killing a Palestinian general.  Why raid Nablus?  Because the Palestinians were launching rocket attacks from there.  Why launch rocket attacks?  You get the picture.  You can start from today and trace this conflict backwards, punch and counterpunch, through Munich, the six-day war, World War II–all the way back to the kitchen table of Abraham and a sibling rivalry between Isaac and Ishmael.  Enough already. 

Both sides in this conflict are fuelled by religious fervor and an unwavering belief in the fact that the other guy started the fight.  They are like two drunks at a roadhouse tavern that are too intoxicated to remember who threw out the first insult but damn sure they’re gonna wipe the floor with the other guy’s face.  The trouble is that when drunks start fighting in a bar, tables get broken, the band stops playing, and I spill my beer in my lap when one idiot throws the other into the back of my chair.  This conflict has disrupted and divided the world for at least the last hundred years and arguably back to biblical times.  Isn’t it time we tossed both the drunks out into the parking lot and let them fight it out on their own?

We need to stop supporting Israel in this fight.  We need to cut off their aid.  I know that the mere mention of this subject will brand me to some as a Jew-hater.  I am not.  I wish them well.  Considering the fact that no Jews have ever flown an airplane into a skyscraper on America soil, I’ll even root for them from the sidelines.  But this is their war, not ours, and our continued support has only served to piss off the rest of the world, give terrorists an even more prestigious enemy to attack, and cost us billions upon billions of dollars in aid for a war that WILL NEVER END.  Israel is that friend that is constantly getting in to fights, getting thrown into jail, and calling at two in the morning for bail money.  Sure, he’s a nice guy and the people he gets into fights with are arguably worse than he is, but sometimes a friend is just too much trouble and your wife tells you that you can’t hang out with him anymore.



  1. Great metaphor with the barfight!

    Comment by Vern R. Kaine — January 13, 2010 @ 3:19 am | Reply

  2. If I might be so bold as to extend your analogy, what if your sometimes irresponsible friend was the only reason that you had access to the bar – a bar that served some things you really liked – and you knew the door would get slammed in your face if you stopped bailing him out? (At this point I could insert a comment about the bar serving oil, but I know that Americans get beaten up over that one too often and that it wouldn’t be fair.) What if your desire to keep the bar open to you was a bigger motivation for bailing him out than your desire to hang out with him? What if forcing open the bar door on your own would cost far more than the bail money?

    I would be interested to hear your views on aboriginal land claims in North America. Maybe you could do a post on it sometime.

    Comment by Warren — January 29, 2010 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

    • I appreciate your efforts at extending the analogy…Unfortunately, like most analogies, the farther you take it, the harder it is to keep it accurate. So, for the purposes of furthering this conversation, I’m going to drop it now. I understand what you’re saying, and trust me, if you knew me at all, you’d know that appealing to my “selfish gene” as motivation is definitely the right way to go. Unfortunately, I have to disagree. The arab world, unlike the Isarelis, do not require our support in order to do business with us. They only request that we stop supporting their enemies (except for the religious zealots who demand conversion to Islam–and you know how I feel about them). This is evidenced by the fact that until the post WWII agreement that gave Israel to the Jewish people, we were on quite friendly terms with the Arab world. So, if we were to cut off ALL foreign aid (yes, my preoccupation with this topic extends far beyond Israel), I believe that our troubles with the Arab world–and by extension, the Muslim world–would cease to be a problem.


      I will definitely put some thought into the American Indian issue–gotta give the readers what they want! 🙂

      Comment by John Gault — January 29, 2010 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  3. I ‘fess up to doing a little baiting. Although I have lived in the US for four years (I’m in the Canadian military on assingment in the US) and have great respect for my American colleagues and friends, I often find that I have a distinctly different perspective on things because I’m Canadian. Whether or not it’s accurate, I think that many of my countrymen would see things much as I presented them.

    Comment by Warren — January 30, 2010 @ 12:29 am | Reply

  4. I didn’t take your comment as baiting at all. Plus, you did a great job of keeping the analogy accurate. I was just feeling lazy and didn’t feel like formatting my response the same way. Your point is a valid one–and one that I’m sure many people would agree with. Israel is our friend in the Middle East. That’s a valuable position. I just don’t think that, from a purely selfish point of view, they bring enough to the table to warrant all the trouble that comes from being their friend. Let’s face it, when you take the biblical connotations away, Israel is a pretty crappy piece of real estate. I think it would serve the U.S. better to just step away in the hopes of repairing relationships with the arabs of the region–yes, because they have the oil–I am an American, after all.

    Comment by John Gault — January 30, 2010 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  5. As one who has spent some time in the Middle East and North Africa, I must say that this is one of the better posts I have read on the endless Itchy and Scratchy Show that is the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Bravo Zulu (good job!)

    Comment by godlessmonster — March 25, 2010 @ 11:48 am | Reply

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