So the other day, maybe a week or so ago, a video tape of a leader of Hamas was being shown on television and he was saying something like, “I am going to kill you [Israelis], it won’t be a “picnic” and Gaza will be you graveyard.” In all honesty, his words seemed incredibly immature, shallow, and staged like in a poorly written play, directed by a pre-adolescent boy, or some low budget sci-fi when the awful monster spews G-rated evil. He sounded like he needed a time-out and a nap. I just couldn’t believe it, it seemed surreal.
I pondered my reaction to this Hamas clip many times over the next several days. I came to the conclusion that I had become personally detached.
Americans have been almost entirely shielded from all images of combat, death, and human suffering for the last eight years. Remember even in the Iraqi war, people were actually fired for publishing images of American flag draped coffins. This all leads to callousness, coldness and a detachment of personal responsibility and empathy. Personal involvement is thwarted; political pressure on our government is lessened. Withholding images depicting the atrocities and the ravages of war squelches outrage.
I started to note general opinions put forth by everyday Americans. People, like myself, who are not well educated regarding this ongoing conflict. People who are not even remotely qualified to imagine what could possibly lead to a lasting resolution. In doing so, I was able to identify various “talking points” that many people were just regurgitating. They heard it; it made sense at the time, now they professed it to be the truth and/or their opinion. It appeared all very contrived and controlled.
In the end I could only reason: Peace will come when people, and when I say people I mean individuals, demand peace above all else. Peace will happen when the weak and the powerful, the poor and the wealthy, the armed and the unarmed choose peace as their ultimate goal.
Currently and moving forward, I choose to fight my own complacently and support peace, which is all I truly know I can do.