I can't NOT speak up about all the stuff going on in the Middle East right now. Israel and the Palestinians have been fighting for generations - since biblical times - and the conflict with Lebanon is nothing new either, but things sure seem to be getting a lot worse very quickly. I had hoped that with the agreements over the Gaza strip a few months ago, there would be some easing of the violence, but it has been very short lived.
I am very up front about the fact that I'm a pacifist - I don't think violence is the answer to anything, especially political battles. I believe that this is in line with being a Christian, as Jesus taught us to "turn the other cheek" and "pray for those that persecute you." However, most of the conflict in that area of the world seems to not involve Christians, but Jewish/Israelis and Muslims/Arabs. I will be the first to admit that I'm not near as familiar with those religious traditions as I am with my own and I don't understand the cultural dynamics that also play into these situaions, but I can't believe that God (assuming there is one God common to these religions) would want to see bloodshed and hostility between all of these people.
What's the U.S. role in all this?? Historically, we have always supported Israel and it appears that we are continuing to send military equipment and ammunition to them as they request it. I just don't understand why. With our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last 5 years, the world, and especially the Arab world, has been watching us very carefully. Do we think they aren't going to react to our sending Israel more bombs?? It seems dangerously close to another world war to me, and I believe CNN said as much the other day as well. Quotes from W saying things like, "You're either with us or against us," aren't going to help anything either. I'm not even sure that WW3 is appropriate - maybe more like the Crusades part 2. Sadly, it appears that this is becoming more and more of a religious-ethnic divide and I don't see how anyone is going to "win." Many lives are already being lost and/or ruined. With Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, and now Israel/Lebanon, how much can we expect this to spread? How much can the U.S. be involved in before it's spread too thin?
I'm not trying to prophecy gloom and doom for the U.S. or anyone else, but I am definitely getting nervous. So, what do you think? Are we headed for a bigger, more global kind of war? Does God choose sides? Is there room for patriotism in a globalized world??