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Thursday, April 18, 2024

 The press is full of stories speculating on how Israel will respond to Iran’s recent missile attack.  There is also a plentitude of stories speculating on what the United States Government has said privately to Israeli leaders.  Nobody outside of Israel knows for certain what will be decided and how it will play out.  Speculation abounds.

I leave Israel’s national interest to the Israelis and focus on America’s national interest.  I take Iran at its’ word when its’ leaders direct crowds in chanting death to America, and see Iran as a serious threat.  I am less interested in the parameters of Israel’s response to Iran’s most recent provocation than I am in the overall strategy that guides our actions in the Middle East.  I argue that we do not have one, and flip flop back and forth between equally inadequate appeasement and confrontation, as the tide of our domestic disagreement continues to govern our foreign policy.  In our heart of hearts, all of us would much prefer to be “out of the Middle East,” rather than trying to help the people there live a better life.

I suggest that the governing structure in Teheran is a troublesome version of Islam and what is required, on our part, is a national strategy designed to deal with all aspects of the Islamic world from Indonesia to ISIS.  I take the exact same approach to our problems in Europe, Africa, and Asia.  My objective would be to minimize the need to micromanage disputes such as the one between Arab and Jew, and focus more of our attention on building stronger societies that were better equipped to manage local disputes so that they remain local and are resolved locally.

The problem with my strategy is that humans all over the globe, to include here in this country, see it as being impossible pie in the sky.  That attitude, of course, makes it so and results in all of us all over this increasingly small chunk of rock, aimlessly spinning in space, quarreling about our relationships needlessly.  Before we invented satellite guided, nuclear tipped ballistic missiles, this was an imperfect, but acceptable, way to manage world affairs.  It is not any more.  We are indeed our brother’s keeper and because we are not doing a good enough job, we are on the road to destroying ourselves.  Not just you and me - humanity, at least as we know it now

PS:  I apply the exact same reasoning to the mindless quarreling that plagues us internally.  Our rhetoric is hilarious, if you disengage, step back a bit, and listen to it.  We MUST defend democracy, diversity, and our feelings, but we shun anyone that disagrees with us about any of the minutia that makes us “different” from one another.  If “they” persist in their disorderly thinking, “we” do our very best to destroy them.  Because the real world is so confusing, we increasingly seek refuge in the pretend world that we create on our increasingly realistic devices.  We band together on social media with like-minded soul mates and increasingly shy away from having to deal with the riff raff that live down the street.  Very unfortunately more and more of “them” are developing more and more destructive capability - soon to match that which we already possess.

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