Monday, March 29, 2004

Big Brother and the Holding Company

We live a very protected life in America. When September 11 happened, we arose like a sleeping giant - as we did following December 7, 1941. We have compassion for international problems, but it is never lost on us that the problems reside somewhere else. The WTC attacks didn't change that. We simply realized that we were vulnerable. We will do our best to protect ourselves from future attacks, to solve the problem, and then meander off to sleep again. That is not a condemnation, just a recognition. We strive to help others and to be left alone. Our national mindset reflects the way many of us live our lives. We want comfort, and what better way than to rest in a hammock on a sunny and breezy day.

Israel is a brother country with a different reality. Yossi Klein Halevi writes very clearly about their situation. As a country, they can never sleep. They do not know passive security. Vigilance is the best and most destructive weapon in their mighty arsenal. Remember that old phrase? Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that they are not watching you?

The American way is to solve problems no matter what it takes. We would have long ago brought the Palestinian issue to a head, even if it required an all-out war that freed the land for commercial farming and theme parks. We simply do not let a festering boil fester. Regardless of the cost, regardless of the international reaction.

But this is not to condemn Israel. Americans are as we are because of our strength and self-sufficiency. Israel does not have that. Israel needs other countries to survive - they need us. That dependence results in reluctant adherence to foreign views. And our political system hands out conflicting views every 4 or 8 years.

Compare what Jimmy Carter advised Israel, v. Reagan/Bush the Elder v. Bubba v. W. That poor country has gone from group hugs to support for whatever it take to survive - kill them all and let He Who Cannot be Named sort them out ... twice!

Israel will survive and so shall we. We will lumber off to sleep, and Israel will be like the kid brother speed. Awake and talking and jittery when we dozed off, and unchanged when we awake.

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