these people are lot like like you. They want peace, they want prosperity, they want to feed their families and have weekends free. One characteristic of people everywhere is a desire not to be bombed. Another is and that, pushed into a corner, they will defend their own. Shouldn’t these basic observations be central to our understanding of the world, instead of the incessant drone of media punditry that tries to dehumanize the weak and poor and voiceless?
you are a Gazan, wondering why your Mediterranean stretch of land hasn’t been turned into the seaside paradise it could be—with a vigorous fishing trade, sustainable agriculture, holiday tourists frolicking on the beautiful beaches, and a healthy Palestinian state partly funded by abundant natural gas supplies beneath the Gazan soil. Why instead it feels like a high-security prison camp, garroted by Arab-hating Israelis to the North and disinterested Egyptians to the South? Fulminant crews of IDF praetorians are prepared to confiscate your water and food and electricity at the slightest offense. Your people are a perpetual pariah on the global stage, like a troublesome relative at the holiday dinner, prone to revealing family secrets nobody wants to hear. And now this. The leader of Hamas, negotiating an extended ceasefire with Israel, is assassinated by…Israel. You find the level of hypocrisy staggering. Then you hear that supposed friend of the Middle East, Barack Obama, tell the world that he supports Israel’s right to defend itself. Evidently your people have no such right. Palestinians barely cross the President’s lips, except to imply that they should stop firing pointless rockets over the border.
Were you were a Gazan, would you abandon violence as a means of resistance? Would you renounce retaliatory attacks? Would you concede Israel’s illegal settlements are here to stay and forfeit your right to pre-1967 borders, despite your legal right to them? Would you simply bow your head and ask the fierce-eyed hawks atop Israel’s militarized state to show a little mercy?
Next, you are an Iranian, a member of the country’s expansive pro-Western middle class, once hopeful that Washington and Tehran might forge a bond of mutual understanding and shelve the animosity that has animated the relationship for years. … The historical plotline is clear: You must abandon nuclear power for the safety of the free world…. Each time you refuse to end your program of civilian nuclear power, you move further up that long list of rogue states.
You wish you could remind the West that Iran is fully within its Non-Proliferation Treaty rights. Within its IAEA rights. You would remind them there isn’t a shred of evidence that you are enriching uranium in an effort to confect a bomb. Despite having not attacked a country in decades, you are the unstable threat in the Middle East. Not hyper-aggressive Israel… But, you ask, what makes a man like Netanyahu fit to oversee hundreds of nuclear weapons and an Iranian leader like Ahmadinejad not fit to oversee one? You stare in wonder at Americans on television reflexively defending Israel’s right to hold a monopoly of nuclear violence in the Middle East.
If you were Iranian, would you want a bomb? Would you be skittish at… drones selectively zapping shadowy figures Obama picks from a PowerPoint show? You gaze up at the blue sky above you and wonder if this is what it’s really come to: your fate determined by a stiff in a suit in some distant corporate conference room...
If you were a Pakistani, would you condone the drone? Would you support the War on Terror, that state-led violence against stateless actors hiding in remote hamlets? .... managed remotely by brainwashed conscripts in air-conditioned bunkers deep in the American desert—the gamification of warfare has finally arrived. But you recognize the political dynamic in play: To the West, the lives of American soldiers have higher value than the lives of anonymous Arabs and Persians... The American President must limit American casualties....