Aug. 3, 2006

Apologia

My apologies for blogging so much about the Lebanon war. I know there are some who feel that a bhikkhu shouldn't be commenting on "politics." They have a point, but my feeling is that this episode goes beyond politics and is part and parcel of the great moral crisis of our times. Our world seems to be spiralling down into a new barbarism with only the ethic of "might makes right."

Make no mistake, those who engage in this acts of wanton slaughter are making very heavy karma for themselves. And the same goes for all those overseas who give their vocal support to the perpetration of war-crimes. Anyone, and there are many, who makes excuses for the carnage of Qana is morally bankrupt. Their consciousness is filled with unwholesome dhammas of hatred and delusion.

The hypocrisy of the omnipresent Israeli spokespersons who "deeply regret any loss of civilian life" is pathetic. Air-strikes on apartment blocks (and Qana was not the only one by a long shot) are justified by Hizbollah rockets having been launched in the vicinity. Even if true, and that is debated hotly, this does not qualify as an act of self-defence. Let's call it by it's true name; revenge. The launchers used by Hizbollah are truck-mounted, they are mobile, and by the time the Israeli air-force arrives they are long gone.

The primitive, dark ethos of tribalism and an eye-for-an-eye govern this vicious conflict on both sides. If it seems like I've mostly criticized Israel, it's because on the best unbiased look at the evidence, this war was started by Israel, whatever their protestations. And the damage inflicted by Israel is a few orders of magnitude greater than Hizbollah is capable of. But both sides are hitting civilians. Both sides are using banned weapons; Israel has dropped cluster bombs and white phosphorus while Hizbollah packs their rockets with ball-bearings.

America is to blame too, for supplying and bankrolling the Israeli war-machine. And Canada's government is acting as cheer-leader (although most Canadians are appalled.)

What has been accomplished by this nasty little war? A beautiful country wrecked and poisoned with depleted uranium. A further radicalization of the Muslims world-wide. No doubt an upsurge in antisemitism as well. If, as I strongly suspect, the real aim of the Israelis is to seize the water of the Litani, they will likely fail in that objective as well. That would mean an ongoing occupation against a hostile population and another Iraq, another Gaza. The Americans haven't gotten much benefit out of Iraqi oil even yet.

What is needed now is some real statesmanship, but I don't see much hope of that. The world seems to be governed by nasty, bigoted little men.