Monday, July 24, 2006



We have many examples of how long hate and anger can fester in people. The bitter feud since about 1700 BCE between the half brothers Ishmael and Isaac since the time of Abraham, the father of the nation Israel and of the Arabic peoples. We will not go into the "who's the bad guys" regarding the Muslim expansion into Christian lands and the Crusader wars to free the Holy Land; suffice it to say the resentment by the Muslims has continued since about 1095. Nor will we explore the meddling in the middle east by the West before and after WWI and WWII that incurred the wrath of many Arabic peoples. There is plenty of blood guilt to go around on all sides.

I have an ancedote for more recent times. During WWII Japan invaded and conquered the Philippines; old I- Shall- Return- Dugout Douglas MacArthur had to flee the scene and the US had to abandon the Philippinos as well as a large number of American troops. Japanese control lasted only about 2 years, from about May 1942 to October 1944 but their treatment of the people under their control was so harsh that it generated a sustained guerilla warfare by the Philippinos and, as it turned out, earned their undying enmity.

During the 1980s my husband and I lived in north Africa where he worked on a petro-chemical job. Among the many nationalities also contracted to work there were Philippinos and Japanese.
The Philippinos lived in a section of the expatriate bachelors' compound; the Japanese had their own compound a little distance away, but the two races had to work together on the job site. My husband was in charge of many of the Philippinos as well as some other races. It was quite common for the Western superintendents to apprehend the Phillipinos in a plot to attack the Japanese, a hatred not understood by Westerners.

Even though these men were not even born until long after WWII, the stories of the horrific abuse suffered by their countrymen had been passed down the generations and their hatred still burned deeply. There was no forgiveness for the Japanese who also had not even been born back then. The Philippinos literally wanted to kill the Japanese and they had to be prevented from creeping on or ambushing their perceived enemy. This kind of vengeance is difficult for Americans to understand. Nor can we understand why some Muslims resent us for actions in the past.

And now, our nation creates even more enmity towards us in the hearts of Arabs and Muslims (not all Muslims are Arabs).

But we are not attacking Lebanon!! But we supply Israel with arms and support; we are their ally and share their aims for the future of the middle east.

Reaction: If Israel is behaving like psychotic bullying child, Brittain and the US are likened to mad, tattoed parents. (One person's viewpoint, although many nations protest Israel's actions)

Shame of being an America ( one person's viewpoint but one shared by many Americans)


I share a certain African American man's plaintive query, "Why can't we all just get along?" I wish for peace and human brotherhood.
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