Saturday, July 22, 2006


It took a while for them to get around to it, but finally CNN sanctioned WWIII as the description of what is happening in the Middle East now. The phrase had been batted around the late night shows and Fox News. MSNBC mentioned a little and here in Canada, the National took yet another step down towards punditry.
It seems that’s all that was needed however. This morning Israeli tanks rolled over the border of Lebanon and began preparations for what appears to be an unwelcome stayover. Pundits on the ground, generals in several nations, the FBI, the UN, all are batting around WWIII as though somehow it is something to look forward to. Is it the idea perhaps that by simply saying the words, the rest of the world will mobilize immediately in response to some unconscious trigger? WWI was escalated far too quickly for exactly that reason, and so many nations became involved so quickly, the immediate entanglement left no-one with the option to back down or not see it through. It was pointless on all fronts, baseless and without reason. WWII was entirely the opposite. No-one wanted a piece of Germany and all of its woes, and by the time anyone noticed what was going on it was almost too late. On this side of the pond there was huge debate as to whether or not to even dip our toes in after the first Germanic fiasco. We held referendums on a draft, finally had chit chats about our constitution and laid the groundwork in Quebec for the FLQ. Our neighbor continued to consider the situation from a remove until finally they were given no choice by Japan, the last country with any forces to muster to get involved.
So what is the impetus now? A decades long conflict will not be solved by the continued involvement of developed countries with little or no comprehension or respect for the dispute. The hostages were the catalyst this time, but that is unfortunately nothing new. This has happened before and as unconscionable as it is, for another World War, something far weirder must take place. Something far off our radar in a nation no-one saw coming will have to happen. It will be at first a dismissive event. We will not imagine that it has something to do with us, like a country’s reaction to traumatic depression, or a well-bred duke laid low and wasted. Something may happen in North Korea, but it won’t be an attack on us. It might be something completely different. Whatever it will be, a continuation of well documented, well funded religious stalemate will not incite the entire developed world to stop and join the fun.
Our description of these events as WWIII is unreasonable and frankly insulting to the people who have lived with this their entire lives. Beirut has been a war zone off and on forever, and Israel has been uneasy with its neighbors since it came to be. Such cavalier bandying of this title makes me wonder exactly what else is going on that we are not supposed to be paying attention to. Iraq continues sideways and soon may slide directly off the planet in centrifugal disgust. No discussion is being had on the weapons they found, simply “yeah, we were right. Move on.” I had to listen to two years of a stain on a dress. I am not moving on from decommissioned weapons anytime soon. North Korea continues its testing process and wildly praises itself for continued success. When they fire on Jakarta, we’ll know something’s up. Our security agencies get cozier and cozier with those of our neighbors every day, CIA planes land in our country transporting what? Prisoners on the way to Cuba? Maybe it’s just preemptive stockpiling of beer kegs for the victory party. Our officials barter with a Turkish broker to get boats to evacuees, and Stephen gives George just the purtiest cufflinks y’all ever saw. Our troops in Afghanistan wonder publicly what they are doing there, and watch any good works undone once they leave. Continued is our question of are we safe, but our usual conversation over sovereignty is lost this time. We are not discussing how much to participate, we are not mentioning how regular these disputes arise, we are not paying attention to our further entrenchment in US foreign policy and no mention has been made on our news channels of a necessary Canadian force.
This is not world war three. This is unfortunate, tragic escalation of an argument that began long before we took any notice. It is unfair to treat it as something it isn’t; it is imprudent to allow a militia to believe they have the pull to begin a world war, that will only encourage them. It is improper to use these events to prevent discussion on other more immediate topics. This whole thing, as so many other things in my life at the moment, is unacceptable.

1 comment:

The Humanity Critic said...

Hey just passing through, but I agree with your post 100%. To classify what's going on as WWIII just spits in the face of the people who have lived in this turmoil their entire lives.