Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Act II, scene I

Sometimes events in the Middle East are more predictable than an old play book. Like trying for a field goal with 3 seconds left on the clock. Certain situations will always result in the same course of action - so long as your leaders lack vision. Here, measures and counter measures are routine - and routinely repeated with an almost mathematical periodicity. Time seems to move cyclically and opening a newspaper today was like opening one a year ago. Take the latest bout of war being waged a mere 50km away from my house. It all started about 2 weeks ago when the palestinian "unity" government (in name only) started to morph into a civil war. The problem in Gaza is that Hamas assumes far more power than it constitutionally has (ie establishing a private army, etc) while fatah never quite accepted that their corrupt political leaders led their country to ruin and lost the election 18 months ago. Hence the power struggle in gaza. As factional fighting becomes more and more tribal (less and less about actual policies or politics), it looked like the bottomless pit the Palestinian Authority was falling into would engulf them forever. But no. Enter the inspiration of al-qaeda, the nihilistic caliphate seeking anti-semitic Islamic Jihad. These guys have predominantly one goal: the destruction of Israel (or any state that is not a sunni caliphate). As they looked out of the Gazan windows and saw their own people fighting amongst themselves, they figured - and were right - that the best way to stop Hamas and Fatah from digging eachothers graves is to rocket israel and get them involved in the mix. After all why fight your fellow palestinian when the great satans puppet master is at your doorstep? So last week as the death toll the civil war in gaza reached 40 in 7 days, rockets started to fall on israel. the first few went un-noticed (to everyone but the residents of Sderot). As the barrage intensified, the PM was forced to act, and act according to the well defined script of middle east conflict. Before you know it PM Olmert is ordering the bombing of hamas and islamic jihad cells in gaza, the devisive palestinain infighting is over, and israel is locked into a "you started it" fight with the rocketeers. Not to mention the victims of this war: hamas militants, israeli and palestinian civilians. Hamas catagorically states that they will not stop islamic jihad from attacking israel until israel stops bombing hamas. Israel, demands calm befor its military operations will cease. If I know this script, in a few months time, truce will be reached, then palaestinain infighting will again cause rockets to land in israel, and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ...


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