I remember in the US Navy in the 1980's, we planned for what we assumed would come: the global thermonuclear exchange. We were absolutely sure that it would happen.

When I was underway working in the bowels of ships, I would hear what I assumed (at the time) were the the sonar pings of Soviet subs. That probably doesn't sound like a big deal to you now, but it sure as hell was a big deal to us underway in the middle of the ocean.

But you know what? While we *feared* what would happen if our leaders launched the missiles and ordered us to go to war, we *respected* our foes. We *knew* that those one the front lines on either side weren't evil people, but just men and women following orders.

What I'm getting to is this: you gave honorable service and truly believed in what you were doing. Right? Right.

It took me a long, long time to realize that what my country was doing was wrong. We were absolutely wrong in Vietnam, in our support of Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war, and especially in our invasion of Iraq. At that time, we as a nation are so supportive of what we're doing...but what we were doing was *wrong*. It *sucks* to realize that one's side is wrong...but we were still wrong.

I suggest you look up Israel's embargo on the Gaza Strip, in which Israel prevented the import of medical equipment, musical instruments, toys, candy, and so much more to the people in the Gaza Strip. I mean, what kind of nation will forbid the import of candy and toys and medical equipment to an area under its control?

The key is this: we are all HUMAN. The fact that the leadership of Israel doesn't make them any more or less human than anyone else - they are still subject to the same human failings as those who persecuted and murdered Jews for so many centuries. The fact that Jews have been the most-persecuted of all ethnicities does not detract from the fact that you're as human as all others, that you really are subject to all the human failings of the Sunnis and Shi'a that want to see you eradicated from the face of the Earth.

That's why I point out the difference between Judaism and the political aims of Zionism. One is a religion, and the other is a political organization using religion as an excuse.

One last thing: there's a book called "The Shi'a Uprising" by Vali Nasr, who - I think - is a Shi'a. In any case, he was a professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School, and his book was recommended reading for all US Navy officers. Anyway, I remember this one quote from his book - it was by the then-second-in-command of al-Qaeda, a man named "Zarkawi". He said, "My brothers, keep up the fight against the Zionists and the Great Satan (America), but do not forget that the real enemy is the apostate Shi'a."

In other words, they didn't hate Jews per se, but they hated the Zionists, the government of Israel...and the Zionists and America are the excuse, but the eradication of the Shi'a was their real goal. It should be noted that throughout history, Jews have been safer among Muslims than among "Christians". YES, I know about the threat Israel has faced since 1946...but I'm referring to the whole of history, the 2000 years since the Jewish diaspora began.

It sucks to realize that one's side is in the wrong...but that doesn't change the fact that one's side is still in the wrong.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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