Burch: Solvable problems

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

The death of Osama bin Laden and the popular democratic movement now being called the “Arab Spring” may offer us glimmers of hopeful light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. If Nashvillians are tired of war, just imagine how the people of Afghanistan and Iraq must feel. Since the vast majority of earth’s people of all races and creeds want peace rather than war, it seems time to ask: “Where do we go from here?”

While many Nashvillians probably believe that our problems in the Middle East are unsolvable, I disagree. I think we are closer to peace in the region than we realize, if only our government will do something it has never done before: take a firm stand for equal rights, justice and democracy where it matters the most. Ironically, what our government must do if we want peace is persuade the government of Israel to do what we did here in the South not so very long ago: abandon Jim Crow laws and treat everyone as equals in the eyes of the law. If we can persuade Israel to become a true democracy with fair, nonracist laws and courts, we should soon see results similar to what happened here after we made the practice of racism illegal.

And we need to remember that American leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln were convinced that blacks and whites could never live together in peace. Jefferson owned slaves until his death, while Lincoln planned to have slaves deported once they were freed. But they were both wrong. Once we finally ended Jim Crow laws, we soon discovered that all races could live together in peace.

Today Israel’s leaders insist that Jews must have the upper hand and be allowed to practice apartheid and ethnic cleansing because Palestinians are “the problem.” But that’s what Nazis once said about the Jews. It’s also what American white supremacists once said about blacks and Native Americans. But the Aryan and American supremacists were wrong. So are the present-day leaders of Israel. We need them to see the light, or be replaced, so that we can live in peace ourselves. As long as the U.S. pours billions of dollars in financial aid and advanced weapons into Israel — while Israel continues to deny Palestinians basic human rights and justice — we will always find ourselves in the bull’s-eye of men who want to defend their women and children from such unconscionable abuses. 

Osama bin Laden cited the plight of Palestinian women and children as being his main motive for the 9-11 attacks. I think Americans must turn the tables on the extremists by persuading Israel that none of us can afford the terrible consequences of causing women and children to suffer so grievously. If we will not correct our mistakes out of love, compassion and a sense of justice, still we must act for purposes of self-preservation and to give our children and grandchildren a chance to live in peace. 

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

 

99 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 5/12/11 at 11:04

Mr. Burch,

While I agree with you on some of your issues on this post, I must disagree with you on others. I agree that all people are born equal.

When this world was founded , God placed four races on this earth for reasons known only to him.

Should any race be particularly proud of their race? Should any of them be ashamed of their race? Because all men are created equal, what would make one superior to others?

I believe a study would show the different races are differently superior to the others.

While I also agree the vast majority of the people on this earth would like to live in peace: It ain't gonna happen, Moe. Considering the different religions on this earth, the different nations political leaders of this earth and all wanting the power over the normal peace loving people of this earth, in all nations of this earth, there will never be absolute peace on this earth.

The United Nations was formed to gain peace between all nations. The last count I saw, there was 197 nations in the UN. How many of them are "friends" with the USA? Even though we are the major supporter of the UN. Do you need more than one hand to make the count?

By: Mike Burch on 5/12/11 at 11:55

Yogiman, during World War I and World War II, no one could have ever predicted that Germany and France would one day allow people to cross the border without visas, passports and military checkpoints.

The US government's anti-democratic policies and actions in the Middle East have been a major cause of strife there since 1948. If we want peace we simply have to understand that if we cause other men's women and children to suffer and die, some of them are going to attack us. This is just common sense.

How many of the nations that don't like the US have attacked us? Many nations disagree with us but don't want to go to war with us. But the Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed from their land. What do they have to lose? They and their friends are understandably angry with the US and Israel.

As I pointed out in my article, we ought to stop causing innocent women and children to suffer and die out of love, compassion and a sense of justice. Killing women and children is a terrible thing. But if we won't do the right things because they're right, we still ought to end the Nakba of the Palestinian people out of a sense of self-preservation for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

If we don't act with compassion, wisdom and justice, our children will probably end up fighting World War III.

Other member nations of the US are right to oppose our government when it preaches "equal human rights" and "democracy" but funds and support ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 4:25

There will never be peace in the Middle East as long as the USA has it's presence there.
These people go back to Babalyonian days, 5,000 years ago.
The USA is barely 230 years old.
They live in tribes and their religious factions are more diverse and intolerant than the Baptists.
The US is grossly naive' if it thinks it can paint all societies with a broad stroke called "Democracy" and "equal rights for all". Aside from the US being a complete mess and bankrupt, we still purport Capitalism as the gold standard economically.
And this notion that bin Laden planned the 9/11 attacks because of our attitude toward Palestinian woman and children is the most ludicrious thought I've ever heard. Orchestrating flying 4 planes into major targets: financial, war, W.H. is overkill based on Israel. (just don't ask Loner).
Saying he was mad at Bill Gates because his computer frozen once to often and he really didn't like the Windows XP edition makes as much sense.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 5:44

House: I'll be under the big white tent today, 9:00am to 3:00pm.
I think it's a KKK initiatian rally disguised as a commencement graduation event.
Anyway, champagne for all the new recruits and lab rats.

By: oyharward on 5/13/11 at 5:44

oyharward

Did you say what I read, ‘Today Israel’s leaders insist that Jews must have the upper hand and be allowed to practice apartheid and ethnic cleansing because Palestinians are “the problem.”’?

What a twisted observation! When was the last time that the Israelis called for any of their neighbors to be wiped off the map? Conversely, how often does Israel’s radical Islamic Muslim nation neighbors demand that Israel to be wiped off the map?

The State of Israel is America’s very best friend in the entire Middle East. Israel must be allowed to protect their selves, at all cost.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 5:48

You guys are asking for Loner's wrath...

By: Loner on 5/13/11 at 5:50

Excellent article, Mike Burch; I fully agree with your observations and analysis. T. Herzl's grand experiment in social engineering is a menacing failure.

I see that we have two "cling-ons" here this morning, Yogi & Darge.

Yogi clings to the idea that Barack Obama is not qualified to be President of the USA.

Dargent7 still clings to the idea that the US-Israel "special relationship" had nothing to do with Bin Laden's motives for the 9-11 attacks...even though Bin Laden freely disclosed that the US-Israel relationship was the primary reason for his antipathy towards the US.

When folks get hold of an idea that suits their preconceptions, they tend to cling to the idea, even when it is proven to be erroneous. We are a nation of smug cling-ons. We don't let uncomfortable facts alter our opinions....we cling.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 5:51

Mike,

I fully agree with you and dargent7 on your desires for peace.

I only know a little about WWI through my studies of history, but I lived through WWII and know America before and after that war, plus the others that have followed.

At one point in time it was noted the "sun never set on the British Empire". It seems they learned some valuable lessons in the matter and gave up their world rule (it seemed to be getting too expensive). Has the USA taken over that role of monopoly after their gain of freedom from the British Empire? Have we entered into the rule of the sun never setting on the USA?

The last I read there was 197 US military bases over the world. What are they there for? To protect those nations, or to protect ours?

Should our goals be to protect our neighbors even if we are not friends?

Not in my line of thought. I, personally, feel we should let the other nations of the world take care of themselves. Our founders developed our nation as they did. If they could do it, and we can protect it as we have, so could the citizens of the other nations. Just rebel and take their country away from their rulers.

By: Loner on 5/13/11 at 5:54

Correction, three cling-ons have posted this morning... Oyharward wrote: "The State of Israel is America’s very best friend in the entire Middle East. Israel must be allowed to protect their selves, at all cost."

This "ally", Israel, never once joined US forces in a combat operation anywhere...except for when they attacked the USS Liberty, in June 1967. Israel starts wars, the US has to finish them.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 5:56

Think about what you're saying: bin Laden killed 3,000 in high target buildings, all symbolic of America, because he was annoyed with the US-Isreal relationship and our support of Palestine women and children?
9/11 and that concept aren't even in the same ballpark.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 5:59

I heard that Bin Laden was upset because we were in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War...and that we helped them in Afghanistan when the U.S.S.R was invading, but once they left, we did too.

The point is, it isn't just one clear cut reason, and none can be rationalized.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 6:07

I'd say G HW Bush's Desert Storm in 1991 set him off. Then Desert Fox, Desert Shield.....
bin Laden was no fan of Saddam, but he was an Arab and despite their differences, way more similar than any white American.
What Loner and Burch are purporting is 100% nonsense.
Saying his Hane's were too tight after his 3rd wife washed them makes as much sense.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:10

I have been thinking for sometime that if the US just backed off and let Turkey do our exchange of ideas for peace in the middle east, there maybe a better chance for peace. After all we are meddling into mid-eastern affairs with western ideas.

d7 speaking of tribes, the US citizens acts as if there are 50 tribes which are then divide into even more sub tribes. Each claiming to be better then the other.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 6:11

Loner,

I don't think you can quote one statement where I claimed Obama is not qualified for that office. The qualifications for the Oval Office is not not based on education. It is bases on the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

Barry Soetoro cannot be considered a natural born citizen with a Kenyan father. Question: If he was legally qualified under the Constitution's rules, why has he kept all of his records under lock and key? His birth certificate, his school records, his passport records; you name a record and it is under lock and key.

Now, I ask, why does none of the people who have known him in his life come forth with their knowledge? Could it be fear for their lives?

Let's look at it this way, Loner: If you was applying for a $400,000.00 per year job, plus many other beneficiaries for the job, and the employers stated,"Well, Mr. Loner, we like what we see on your application but we need to see your birth certificate and education records before you can come to work for us. Would you say, "hell no, you ain't seeing none of that stuff about me!?

I honestly feel sorry for you folks who are so in love with that man. He is a good actor, but he is one damn big liar.

As I have stated before; time will tell. And I believe it will be soon.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 6:12

US unwarranted military invasions in the Middle East = a proportional violent response.
I'd say suicide bombers flying jets into buildings qualifies for a equal measure of voilence.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:16

I am inclined to go along with gdia. The division of ideas and which one is better is the major cause to world conflicts.

By: house_of_pain on 5/13/11 at 6:17

Graduation has been moved indoors, d7. The tent may be a no-go, if the weather doesn't improve.
At least we're getting rid of all the d@mn students for a few months.

By: dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 6:18

yogi: Either having a father born in Mongolia, Canada, Iceland, yet the mother bears you on American soil, is the criteria for being a "natural born citizen" of the USA.
Why do you think all the Mexican pregnant women flock to America to bear their child?
If the husbands, who are Mexican, disqualify the child from becoming "US citizens", why bother?
The issue with the Birthers was Obama wasn't born in Hawai'i, but Kenya or Indonesia. The Nationality of his father never was an issue.

By: oyharward on 5/13/11 at 6:20

oyharward

What is happening for Americans to turn their backs on “God’s nation”, Israel, and their people? Are Americans separating themselves from Judeo-Christian values, beliefs, and/or principles? May God Bless America!

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 6:21

Nemo, it seems that no matter the issue, we are so preoccupied with trying to assign blame that we fail to address the issue. And then, if evidence comes to light showing a certain cause...everyone pats themselves on the back for espousing the correct line of thought.

And nothing gets solved.

By: house_of_pain on 5/13/11 at 6:21

We're never gonna force peace in the ME. The folks over there have been killing each other ever since they found out there was more than one invisible man being worshipped.
We are involved in an increasingly expensive exercise in futility.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:21

house, I want go into work until it is over. I’m afraid of all the traffic tie-ups.

B/T/W The world was created and not founded.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 6:22

dargent7,

Much has been said about the "killing" of the towers. When you were showing the pictures of the evfent, did you not notice how the towers fell?

The planes struck the towers at their upper levels. Why was it shown of them collapsing in lower levels and their base levels?

Why should those towers collapse as they did when being struck at the high levels as they were? Explosive setups, perhaps?

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 6:25

So our foreign policy should be determined by an archaic book that says we should support a nation because it has favored-nation status from an invisible entity?

In normal circumstances, this is inviting a Lithium prescription...

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:26

The English did not bring peace to Northern Ireland, by force. It was the people both Catholics and Protestants that stopped the conflict.

By: slacker on 5/13/11 at 6:27

Who shot Liberty Valance yogi?

By: slacker on 5/13/11 at 6:27

I'm clinging to my peaches. Its my right.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 6:27

I don't know slacker, but he was the bravest of them all.

By: house_of_pain on 5/13/11 at 6:28

Two words: Dale Gribble.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 6:35

dargent7,

Try reading the laws of 1961... if that is when he was born. His mother was only 18 years old at his birth. The law stated she must live 5 consecutive years in the USA before a child's birth after the age of 14. Now according to my math classes, 14 plus 5 would be 19.

Under those laws she could not transfer American citizenship to her baby. With a Kenyan father, the best he could gain would be dual citizenship, if not only Kenyan.

Why, after questioning John McCain they, they concluded he was legally eligible because both of his parent were American citizens. And Barack Obama voted in favor of that determination.

It has not been questioned if Obama was born in Hawaii. With a Kenyan father he would be a native born citizen, not natural born.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:36

This may explain why a certain person acts the way he does.

“These studies suggest that people who have more lax personal morality may endorse conspiracy theories to a greater extent because they are, on average, more willing to participate in the conspiracies themselves.”

The reasons people persist in believing conspiracy theories — even when there is overwhelming evidence debunking them — have long been debated by psychologists. One credible theory contends convincing ourselves of conspiracies allows us to avoid acknowledging the terrifying arbitrariness of life.

http://www.alternet.org/culture/150730/one_surprising_reason_people_may_believe_bizarre_conspiracy_theories

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 6:41

“For example,” they write, “highly Machiavellian individuals were seemingly more likely to believe that government agents staged the 9/11 attacks because they were more likely to perceive that they would do so themselves, if [they found themselves] in the government’s position.”

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 6:41

I don't know, slacker. I wasn't there when it happened. Was it you? Or didn't you see the show?

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 6:45

Yogi, please cite these 1961 laws, in their entirety.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 6:55

you can cling to your peaches all you want, slacker. Just don't eat them. They aren't good for you. They may fill your belly, but they won't do much for your brain.

I'll take them off you hands if they're ripe and you want me to.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 7:02

By: oyharward on 5/13/11 at 7:20
oyharward

What is happening for Americans to turn their backs on “God’s nation”, Israel, and their people? Are Americans separating themselves from Judeo-Christian values, beliefs, and/or principles? May God Bless America!

My God forgive your soul.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 7:16

Maybe I should rephrase this;

By: oyharward on 5/13/11 at 7:20
oyharward

What is happening for Americans to turn their backs on “God’s nation”, Israel, and their people? Are Americans separating themselves from Judeo-Christian values, beliefs, and/or principles? May God Bless America!

Why not God Bless the World? It seem that OY can only think of God as a bigoted God and not one who care for anyone outside US borders.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 7:33

Still waiting, yogi...

By: house_of_pain on 5/13/11 at 7:39

God wears an "I Bless The USA" t-shirt.

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 7:41

gdiafante,

I don't have the time to write the laws of 1961, and I doubt it you would have the time to read them, but they are 'in the books'.

I'm sure you don't read where I read nor listen to the stations I listen to, so you feel if you haven't actually read an article, or heard of an article, it doesn't exist.

On that basis, if you wasn't engaged in, nor present during a situation, how can you actually know if it did or didn't happen?

But if you question my argument on this issue, prove me wrong and I will apologize on this site for my mistake and you can all cheer together and have a beer, or champagne.

I'm sure dargent7 would be delighted to pop the cork.

By: budlight on 5/13/11 at 7:43

dargent7 on 5/13/11 at 5:25
There will never be peace in the Middle East as long as the USA has it's presence there.
These people go back to Babalyonian days, 5,000 years ago.
The USA is barely 230 years old.

D7, "these people" were fighting each other long before the U.S. was even thought of. So why is the US presence the only obstacle to peace in the middle east? I would think that they would fight each other even if our country had never been involved.

Oyharward: America needs an awakening to God. The politically correct, far left agenda has taken God out of schools and other public places, making God the last option for people who are searching for something to believe in. Drugs, sex, money and other little gods have taken the Greatest God's place.

Just read the anti-God posts on this site. Pray for them; they need it. We all do.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 7:44

Translated; I don’t know where I heard it, but it is floating in my head…so it has to be true. lol

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 7:45

That's what I thought, yogi. When pressed to "put up or shut up", you shrink.

I've posted lengthy citations of the Constitution and U.S. Code as my proof, yogi.

I think you know where you can put the cork.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 7:47

Stop your lying bud, there are no anti-God post on this site.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 7:50

Perhaps you should spend more time praying for your own soul, bud. It seems to be in need of saving. Your are just not a nice person.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 8:01

God supposedly gave us free will. However, when we exercise this we are considered anti-God.

If my child questions my authority does that mean they're anti-parent or just starting to think for themselves?

By: yogiman on 5/13/11 at 8:09

budlight,

As I've posted before, consider the source and ignore it. Age is one major advantage of life. You have much more actual experiences than the young ones.

As I posted before, when I was in school each school had their own Lessons" for their students and we had to buy our own books for school.

Then the government decided all children should be taught the same lessons all over the nation and the government would furnish the books you needed to study. And that my children, is when the communist regime began its takeover of this nation.

Which again, brings my question; Why did Congress question John McCain about his legal eligibility but did not question Barack Obama? Because he was 'supposedly' born in Hawaii and refused to prove it?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 8:12

“These studies suggest that people who have more lax personal morality may endorse conspiracy theories to a greater extent because they are, on average, more willing to participate in the conspiracies themselves.”

The reasons people persist in believing conspiracy theories — even when there is overwhelming evidence debunking them — have long been debated by psychologists. One credible theory contends convincing ourselves of conspiracies allows us to avoid acknowledging the terrifying arbitrariness of life.

By: gdiafante on 5/13/11 at 8:16

Yogi, again, cite the law, regardless of length, to prove your case. The burden of proof is on you.

Anything less is an admission that you're wrong.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/13/11 at 8:23

The label, "Conspiracy Theory" and the corresponding epithet, "Conspiracy Theorist," are flung about with utter (literally speaking) abandon. How quickly a person can negate the viewpoint of another by use of the these pejorative terms.
It is utter nonsense to use "conspiracy theory" as a way of negating argument.

Clearly, this is the biggest "conspiracy theory" of all, i.e., that there are a mass of people all holding the same idea and conspiring to impose their "tinfoil hat" ideas on everyone. So, I suggest that individuals stop buying in to this gambit which masquerades for rational debate. It is not just "random bloggers," as one SH (blueskyseas) said, recently, who are raising questions about issues, whether they be Obama's eligibility or the 9-11 issue. There are millions of people who are raising such questions. Granted there are always those who gullibly accept whatever information fits their belief systems and ignore the rest. Everyone has a predilection for doing this, but each of us has a responsibility for examining a viewpoint as resulting from nagging inconsistencies weighing on another person's mind. It is important to bear in mind that the other's view may also be a result of intuitive, inductively derived conclusions based on scattered evidence.

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/conspiracy-conspiracy-everywhere--not-a-drop-of-truth-to-drink/blog-53084/