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Solving the Middle East

By John M. Kehoe , July 2006

     There is something wrong about the man who wants help. There is somewhere a deep defect, a want, in brief, a need, a crying need, somewhere about that man.
- Herman Melville

There is only one solution to bringing lasting peace to the Middle East and to the world in general. It has nothing to do with political negotiations or superpower treats or grass roots activism. The solution is simple and unattainable: to change the way we think.

There is a lot of discussion today about which side is right, the Lebanese or the Israelis? The fact is neither is right and neither is wrong. Or both are wrong. Or both are right. In any case, such deliberation is useless and only leads to greater sociological division everywhere. There is conflict in the Middle East because humans are prone to conflict. Peace demands sacrifice, unselfishness, contrition. If we really wanted to end war and famine everywhere we could easily do so, especially in today's world of interconnectivity.  But we choose not to. Why? There is perhaps only one thing our tumultuous history teaches us, that peace is temporary, that we as a species have not matured or evolved from our ancient rituals of barbarism. Our thoughts are selfish and immediate. It is human nature.

The quest for peace, however, is honourable and essential even if any peaceful period is short lived. It is only our weak and sporadic attempts at achieving truce in the world that led us to believe we are a civilized race. But even that seems to be eroding. Up to now most conflicts everywhere have tolerated a cease fire in order to allow civilians the chance to escape. Those orchestrating the Israeli-Lebanese war, at least on the Israeli side, are intent on disallowing any such brief respite. Their rationale, as echoed by or from the United States, is that they simply don't want to.

And so war escalates, from the Middle East all the way to 'friendly' neighbourly discussions throughout our isolated North American towns. Everyone always takes a side. And fights for it. Such is human nature.


















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