All right, allow me one more indulgence and then I will keep quite for a while. I am a pacifist. I am also pragmatic and take responsibility for my actions. I subscribe to the Kurtzian view of war. If you are going to fight a war, fight it to win. War is an act of barbarism. Thus, to have rules such as the Geneva conventions govern the conduct of fighting and treatment of combatants, to me, seems ridiculous.
Kurtz in Apocalypse Now argued for the right to drop the bomb on the Chinese and the Vietnamese. He understood the horror of war. But if he was forced to fight it, then he did not want his hands tied. To be told that there are rules and guidelines for killing indiscriminately is insane, as insane as the act of war itself. He knew that to win in war, he had to lose his humanity. There are no rules. All should be permissible.
Now to my point; groups such as Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda have declared war on the west. Reciprocally, America has declared war on terrorism. So lets not mince words here. War is hell and there will be casualties on both sides. But then do not cry for justice and argue about who was killed, how they were killed, or how many were killed. Don’t express outrage when one of the generals (Yassin) is killed. He participated fully in this war and it was as much his as it is Sharon’s. If one side blows up buses, it can’t then claim that it is unjust to use gun-ships to target civilians.
Here then is my solution to the Middle East conflict. Have a referendum in Israel and Palestine on the issue of war. If the majority of both populations agree to war, then fight it out and stop whining about walls, bombs, snipers, and settlers. The problems will be solved when one side is wiped out. However, if the populations do not agree to war, then they should stop extremist on both sides from operating, by any means necessary.
On the Palestinian side, stop creating heroes out of suicide bombers, stop educating children to hate, stop melding religion and politics, and cut of funding and support to extremist groups. The Israelis have had an undeclared war on the Palestinians for decades. Call it what it is and take your shots. When you tire of the brutality and loss of humanity, perhaps it will be the time to reach out to those who are tired on the other side. Until then, keep up the slaughter, but stop the whining. Either finish it, gloves off, no rules, or make some hard decisions and make peace.