We Must Love War

The news from the Middle East is overpowering any literary thoughts on my mind today. Take a step back from the tactical analyses and newspaper cliches that dominate coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a broader pattern emerges: extremists are shouting down moderate and peace-loving voices on both sides.

Here’s a little known fact: despite the tired refrains about the impossibility of peace in the Middle East (or anywhere else in the world), there are no issues between Palestine and Israel that could not be resolved by compromise. We need more inspired leadership, and we need greater popular activism on behalf of simple common sense and common humanity around the world.

The human race must love war, because we choose it over and over.

This is supposed to be a literary website, so here’s a quote from Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”.

9 Responses

  1. A little patch of ground”We
    A little patch of ground

    “We go to gain a little patch of ground
    That hath in it no profit but the name.”
    (Hamlet 4.4.18-19)

    For years I’ve been asking myself, “Why?”

    Why can’t these warring factions compromise? I’ve heard at least two theories. One theory says that the leaders want to fight but the rest of people don’t. Another theory says that the leaders would really like to stop fighting, but too many of the people hold such hostilities against the other side, the leaders are basically being dragged into it. I don’t know which it is.

    “And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
    Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
    Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
    Shall here inhabit, and this land be call’d
    The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.”
    – (William Shakespeare, King John 4.1.145-50)

  2. the widening gyreUnderscoring
    the widening gyre

    Underscoring your sentiment – there was peace throughout the Mideast, and much of the world during the eight years of Clinton. Personally, I had assumed that war was a thing of the past – would never happen again. I didn’t count on the money that can be made from armaments and defense contracts. Sixteen billion for Halliburton alone.

    As much of the world’s volatility relates to the Mideast, it is appropriate to discuss their concerns. It seems to me that our greatest danger is the one-sided propaganda championed by Thomas Friedman and most others in the West. We don’t call David Ben-Gurion or Menachem Begin terrorists. Though Chiam Potok writes about them bombing the Brits out of Palestine. But we call them freedom fighters.

    The essentiality is to be even-handed. To search for causes and solutions, not labels and political alliances. I’ve no preference for Israel over Syria, or Taiwan over China. I simply want a planet of peace; where America, France, and Russia are not the largest arms dealers in the universe. The Carlyle Group may get rich, but the rest of us all suffer when London, New York, Madrid, and Mumbai, are political targets.

  3. The fish rots from the head
    The fish rots from the head down… so the saying goes.

    Seems to me the leaders don’t really want peace. I know someone who is a translator in that arena and has sat at the very top – told me that the leaders do everything they can to derail a compromise whenever one is offered.

    Go figure.

  4. the red animalSome things
    the red animal

    Some things never change.

    “They were going to look at war, the red animal — war, the blood-swollen god.” — Stephen Crane.

  5. Just words on paperIf half
    Just words on paper

    If half the American reading public cared as much about U.N. security council resolutions as they do about Yeats quotes, maybe this wouldn’t be so perplexing to us. Maybe we wouldn’t be so blind and powerless against the beasts and butchers who love war.

    I can’t think about literature today either.

  6. I am trying (struggling) to
    I am trying (struggling) to teach my boys the value of literature. It is hard as hell. Especially in the middle of conflicts where we (me, too) set all of that aside to get through this. Whatever “get through this” might be. On any given day it’s different. And having done it for a while, now, I am seeing that teaching them the value of literature has a lot to do with teaching them the value of listening.

    I want them to learn to listen.

    Even to the other side.

  7. This is the time for
    This is the time for Literature

    A great and riveting read: THE MOSSAD by Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau.

    I learned a lot. Especially about my own ignorance.

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