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PostTwo Crises: MH-17 and Gaza (Miles Seeley, USA, 07/23/14 12:24 am)
One of my liaison contacts in Jordan had a 91 year-old grandfather. He thought I would enjoy meeting him. The family had been prominent in Muslim mosques and societies in Spain, until they were expelled. They worked their way across North Africa and finally settled in Amman.
The old imam was a delight. Clad entirely in white, brought to our meeting site in a park by some of his followers, he smiled constantly with a near-toothless grin that demanded a like response from me.
We talked for a long time. I reported years ago on WAIS his advice on the Middle East: "If we did not have Israel to hate, we would just go on fighting each other, as we always have." He thought the US had no role to play in the region except to be as friendly as possible.
As I look at what has transpired since that conversation, the wisdom of his remarks guides my thinking. And now Ukraine? Please, no.
I agree with Cameron Sawyer that Gen. Michael Sullivan's remarks of 21 July were what I would expect from a very intelligent, experienced military man. He makes many good points, and even when I disagree with his somewhat militant thoughts, I respect him a lot.
I will stop here. We could all write endless tomes on the Middle East, but we have done that enough in WAIS, I think.
JE comments: "If we did not have X to hate, we'd go on fighting regardless." Political idealists would not agree--but is there any empirical proof that the Imam was wrong? (Hatred for Israel used to be a "unifier" of the Muslim peoples of the Middle East, but presently there are countless sources of disunity.)