Saturday, July 12, 2014

A fool's errand

It's a nice thought that people are fair and reasonable, and that disputes can be worked out by sitting down and working out one's differences.  A nice thought, that is, until one realizes that sometimes people aren't reasonable and they demand things that just aren't possible.  Such is the case in the Middle East.

On the one side, the Jews, on religious grounds, are claiming a right not just to be in the Middle East, but to a very specific piece of real estate in the Middle East.  God gave them to it, and that, to their mind settles it.

On the other side, the Arabs don't want any Jews in Palestine at all.

After a few minute of thinking this through, one realizes that it is impossible for both sides to get what they want.  Making one side happy requires making the other side very unhappy indeed.  Further, these demands are central, core demands that neither side considers to be negotiable.

That's why American attempts to bring peace to the Middle East are largely a fool's errand.  There will be no peace in the Middle East until one side or the other loses.  And there's not much America can do about it.

Oh wait, there is one thing America can do about it:  Quit pretending it's our fight.  After trillions of dollar, after spilling hundreds of barrels of American blood, we have nothing to show for it except the enmity and hatred of large numbers of people in the Middle East.  We need to get out of the Middle East.  We need to get out of the Middle East now.  And we need to let them sort it out themselves.

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