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January 03, 2009

For Hate's Sake, I Spit My Last Breath At Thee

“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee” Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Or for the younger reader, Khan Noonien Singh, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Same difference and same motive...

Today Israel launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, sending tanks and infantry into battle with Hamas fighters who have defied eight days of deadly air strikes with salvoes of rocket fire into Israeli towns. What did Hamas think that they would accomplish by breaking the truce? Their firing of rockets into Israel was met with a predictable response inside the Gaza Strip.

I'm not a "big brain" and don't have the knack for strategic thought but I'm struck by the total lack of intelligence exhibited by the Palestinian leaders. Even I know not to poke a hornet's nest.

The situation playing out reminds me of Ahab (or Singh), dedicating his entire life to the pursuit of his obsession, the killing of the white whale, Moby-Dick. This obsession dooms the entire crew of the Pequod (except for Ishmael) to death. Isn't this the same fate that ultimately awaits the Palestinians?

I'm not sure that any Westerner will ever understand the dynamic going on in that part of the world. I have always believed that reasonable people could cobble together a reasonable peace, but this region seems to be locked into a perpetual cycle of death and violence. How many United States presidents have tried to broker a settlement? How many times has the U.N. sent peace keepers to the region? I wish president-elect Obama the best, but I really don't think that he will be any more successful than those before him.

Posted by mjwoods at January 3, 2009 04:53 PM

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