Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The "Seriousness" of the Situation

We seem to have had some complaints, so I will deal with them matter-of-factly. If you look at the map you will notice that all the countries around here are fairly small. From Jordan we can see Tiberius. We can see Jerusalem. We can see Jericho. We can see the Syrian border. We share a border with Iraq. We've been welcomed by our cell phone company to Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia because, although we have never been to those countries, the borders are so disputed, they're overly friendly about it. "Hello, welcome to Saudi Arabia!" You know, I thought we were in the Sinai peninsula but I may have strayed to Saudi Arabia's cell phone towers were just sending signals over the what they may very well wish was part of their country, as we know is the case in Palestine, Jordan and Israel.

The truth is that Jordan is a very stable and safe country. We haven't been in a war since 1967 and enjoy staying out of sticky political situations. Unfortunately we are in the middle of a lot here. For a distance analogy, we are 81 miles (131 km) from Haifa. We are 135 miles (217 km) from Beirut. We are 109 miles (175 km) from Damascus. That's all pretty close. And we are up close and personal with Iraq and Iran, too!

For reference: From Calgary to Lethbridge, AB is 110 miles (177 km). From Orem to Logan, UT is 99 miles (160 km). In all seriousness we are very close to the conflict so although we are perfectly safe here it does not mean that there haven't been times when we've lost our cool. There are times when fireworks go off so close to our house that we all jump and say, "It's just fireworks..." Now, some of us might have a hard time admitting what we were thinking when we heard that noise, but since we have all said in a very relieved tone, "It's just fireworks..." I know that we were thinking they were bombs. But no one is going to bomb Jordan anytime soon. We can't see any fights from here. We haven't seen any airstrikes or anything exciting like that. We are perfectly safe...but the conflict does tend to make one at least a little nervous.

Our political view here is also an interesting one. We get to see the pro-Lebanon propaganda, complete with gruesome TV commercials and posters in the newspaper of dead babies. And Arabs do tend to enjoy heated political conversations. To be truthful, Arabs get heated over bargaining for tomatoes so day-to-day life is a lot more exciting than if we just had supermarkets with set prices.

We also get so see the pro-Israel propaganda that is issued by the States (yes, I said pro-Israel propaganda). To be honest, we don't know who is right or wrong in this conflict. But we do think that both sides are making serious mistakes and miscalculations thereby causing a lot more bloodshed than is really necessary over two soldiers. Perhaps both sides are wrong. Perhaps both sides could be viewed as terrorist groups. If I could make an open statement to the world, it would be this: grow up!

To be perfectly honest, both Israel and Hezbollah are Zionist, in my opinion. They both want a place to worship as they see fit. And they would really like that place to be the Middle East...and some of Europe...and anywhere else their ancient ancestors roamed thousands of years ago. It's ridiculous. The problem is that no one is willing to look at the present and into the future. They all want retribution of what they never really experienced having. They are longing for a past that cannot coexist with the future. The only solution they see to this is to blow each other up. That's fine. Eventually neither civilization will exist for they will be one big piece of desolated soil, obliverated by mines, bombs, and machine guns. As a Canadian of Swiss ancestry, I have a long line of neutrality when dealing with issues such as wars. I embrace my heritage when I say to Israel and Hezbollah: Have fun guys (just leave everyone else out of it)!


Angi said...

Thanks for the update, Andrew. I just wanted to note that most of what Crystal says about me is not true. ;) I was just giving her a hard time the other day (that's what little sisters are for right?) Anyway, I appreciate it.

Jason said...

Nancy, you're awesome! I love reading how things are from your point of view. Well researched and well said! Viva Canada!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post anonymously, but my employer has some strict policies about public statements. I'm an American expat who recently left Beirut, and Bridget knows who I am.

That being said, I just wanted to add that the invasion isn't really about the 2 soldiers anymore, it's about the danger that Hezbollah represents. Even if they gave back the soliders today, having that kind of a force that close to Isreal with those kinds of weapons is the justification for continuing the conflict (in Isreali terms).