It has never been about America, religion and maybe not even Israel; it has always been about power. Recent events in the Middle East have me wondering whether the fighting in Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq has ever really been about a clash of cultures or religions. The latest headlines from this war torn region would indicate that the issue is really all about who has political power.
Hamas and Fatah does not seem the least bit concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people; their poverty, their hunger, their loss of life, their religion or solutions to ending decades of misery. It is one thing to have differing political viewpoints and another to kill over them. In the latter instance it is evident that you are not dealing with ideology, you are dealing with power hungry zealots that have little concern for any interests except their own agenda to be in control.
In Iraq, the recent bombing of the minarets of the Shiite shrine in Samarra also proves that the issues between the Sunni and Shiites are not really about an American presence as much as it is about who will control the political balance of power among the various Muslim sects. It is not an issue of the Islam world standing tall in jihad against the American infidels. It is about who gets to control and impose their will on the people.
According to the stories in Beirut, "Angry mourners lambasted Syria on Thursday at the funeral of a prominent MP whose killing in another Beirut bombing stoked fears of further instability in deeply divided Lebanon. Walid Eido, a vocal critic of the Syrian regime, was killed in a in a seafront attack on Wednesday that was blamed on Lebanon's former power brokers in Damascus."(AFP). Once again, the thirst for power and not true philosophical beliefs seem to be the issue.
Neither Middle Eastern political or religious appear to have a real concern for solving the region's problems. People starve, civilians are caught in the crossfire, and the social, economic and political institutions fall apart under a false umbrella of religious overtones. These types of wars may not be winnable since what we are fighting is not really ideology or way of life based. When the enemy could care less about the survival of a way of life or about establishing a true and lasting peace, then the enemy is really a mirage. They have no substance, no belief to counter, and there is really no debate on principles since they have none. If they are willing to do anything to simply be in control then it seems that the only solution is to eliminate one side or the other and let the chips fall where they may.
We cannot impose democracy on a people who have no history of free choice. We will never convince madmen that the right to vote is more important than power. We cannot convince these people of the rights of woman since the issue is really about controlling woman, not about some silly religious idea of woman as second class citizens. It is not about peace with Israel. The only real issue with Israel is that they have power and bigger weapons-something they desperately seek. It is not Islam versus Christianity because these people follow no religion except the religion of power and control. As long as there are sufficient numbers in each opposing camp, there will always be war because the only goal they have is to dominate the other.
With these types of issues, the U.S. is really going to have to take a much closer look at the enemy and devise a new way of thinking and a new strategy. We are not fighting sane and rational people. They have recently shown their true colors and they are not red, white and blue.
Mr. Harris was born in Massachusetts. He attended The American University in Washington, D.C. and received his degree in Political Science. His graduate work was done at the University of Northern Colorado and Howard University. While in D.C., he spent several years working for local and regional government agencies. Upon moving to Maine he worked with three governors and served as the Assistant Director of the Maine State Planning Office. He worked on a White House Task Force for the development of a National Rural Policy and later served as Rural Policy Coordinator at the Federal Regional Council of New England. He has worked on gubernatorial and senatorial political campaigns and currently works in Special Education.
Mr. Harris is co-author of the novel WAKING GOD and is a nationally syndicated and featured writer for The American Chronicle. He is working on Book II of the Waking God trilogy and writing features for literary E-zines. His second novel, A MAINE CHRISTMAS CAROL has been released by Cambridge Books. Contributing writer for UPI's Religion&Spirituality web site.