trouble in the middle east? really? who knew!

I’m sick of it; I’m just fucking sick of it. I apologize for the harsh language, and there’s not much in the world that has/will make me as perturbed as I am right now. My last entry was on my penchant for reading up on the world, the news, and current affairs, and it is that same inclination that has me sitting here, thinking: why can’t we all just get along?

Everyone who reads, sees, or hears the news on a daily basis should know all about the conflict in the Middle East. I don’t know about you guys, but I wonder if there was ever a time when that region of the world was in a state one might refer to as peaceful. It certainly has never been that way in my memory. Truly, the Middle Eastern countries are the most volatile and the most damaged countries in the world, when it comes to major conflicts and weaponry (Africa has the correctly placed label of the most diseased place in the world, and that’s a whole other, equally – or more – serious issue, but we’ll save that for another day). Anyway, it’s completely backward that I know more about the politics of the Middle East than I do my own country, let alone my own province.

One thing that I do notice is that, more often than not, the front pages of major news networks almost always have Middle Eastern politics and conflict as their lead story. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that; on the contrary: I actually think it’s good that we pay so much attention to such things. Then again, we are gluttons for punishment in that we love a good fight. I wonder if there’s really anything being done. I know that there are military forces there from both Canada and the United States, but we all know what a mess that’s turned out to be. Has any real progress been made toward a more peaceful tomorrow for the people of that region?

I get the overwhelming sense that the people of that region are not being factored in nearly as much as they should be – not by the military, not by western governments, not even by their own governments – who are too taken up with who’s right and who’s wrong to care much about whether their countries (read: people) survive to see another day. A lot of people chalk most of this up to religious extremism – and that’s definitely a huge part – but I think there’s more to it than that.

It occurred to me this morning, while taking in some photo journalism from the BBC on education in those regions, that the education of the people in the Middle East has got to be a major contributing factor to the continued violence in the region. I’m not just talking about books and theory and classrooms and such, I’m talking the experience of the children there, and the effect that experience has on how they view the world. It’s like this: if a child grows up seeing their parents fight all the time, and is exposed to verbal and/or physical violence on a regular basis – they are much more likely to enter such a relationship themselves, thus perpetuating the behaviour and passing it on to their own children. So, when I look at conflict (not just in the Middle East, but anywhere, and on any level) I ask myself: why is this happening? In some cases, the conflict has raged on for so long that the people in it don’t even really remember why they’re fighting. Given the choice of whether to fight, or not to fight, who would choose to fight? I acknowledge that some people feel they are forced, or that it’s their duty, or that it needs to be done in some cases, and I’m not going to argue with that. One should stand up for oneself. But what happened to sitting down and having a good chat about it? It’s annoying to have to compromise, and a lot of people (read: governments) are too stubborn to do so, on just about any issue. Fighting a war (or two, or three, or a thousand) to the detriment of your own people seems like a pretty bad decision (politically, monetarily, and most of all, morally) to me.

They say the best revenge is living well, and one would think that living well would include NOT being at war, so one can only conclude that the Middle Eastern countries are just really bad at getting the revenge they so crave. I realize that their mind set, their intentions and their modus operandi is informed by their culture – which is completely different than mine; however, I would suggest that the leaders of these conflicts (and all involved, really) sit down and re-think their positions, take pause, and maybe decide that the opposing group is not worth destroying their lives, their families, their children, and their future (Oh, and maybe change their minds on that whole being excited to die thing…).

But hey, no one listens to me, right? This simple, philosophical blog entry is just going to be thrown out into the abyss and forgotten for all eternity, never again to see the light of day.

(Wow, that was a totally shameless ploy to get attention. Did it work?)

If you could solve one conflict, in one country, over one issue, what would it be and how would you do it?

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