Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We Fight Because You Are Here

"All we ask is, to be let alone" The will of a people to self determine, free from outside government's influence over the internal affairs of a group of self governed, is the strongest cause for war in recent history. However, recent increase in central government size and influence has triggered a near collapse of modern society - economically and socially.

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that it is the right of the people to cast off political ties when the governed are no longer represented. On this basis of thought a war of Independence, the American Revolution, was fought. The Americans wanted the freedom to self govern, with the simple message to the British: All we ask is to be let alone.

During the war between the states, the series of secession from the Union by southern states came as solidarity to the same cause - self determination, free from the dictatorial influence of the growing northern states. Jefferson Davis gave word as to how the north could end the war, simply by going home, when he stated: All we ask is to be let alone.

The push for land and resources through the Midwestern states was met with heavy resistance by the civilizations already living and hunting on these grounds. The Plains Indians sued for peace on many occasions, only to be slapped in the face by the imperialist US Government determined to claim ownership over land and natural wealth by way of 'Manifest Destiny'. As the tribes of the great plains bore witness to mass occupation of their lands and the eradication of their herds, they engaged in the great Indian Wars with the United States. They fought because the US had invaded their sovereign lands, though through treaty upon treaty they promised peace, if only their lands would be let alone.

Arizona fights, through new laws, against Mexico and the inept US government, because the Mexican Civilian population has invaded their sovereign land. All they ask is to be let alone.

Tibet fights against the Chinese government for the continued occupation of their historically native lands. All they ask is to be let alone.

And so goes the story, time and again. A people, a land, a will to be independent is disregarded by another outside entity... and war ensues. Such is the struggle of recent history.

Enter the Palestine issue. The land that was once entirely known as Palestine under British Control was mandated to be split into two entities upon British withdrawal from interest in the land. The United Nations passed a resolution approving the
creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, with full sovereign authority. Shortly after the vote, there were riots in Israel/Palestine, and after British withdrawal there was a full scale invasion by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in which Israel captured and held defensive positions of lands against outside forces - the difference between the 1947 UN partition lines and the 1949 armistice lines – or roughly the map of Israel as we know it today (with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank). The issue with the Israeli/Palestinian is a little more complex than “All we ask is to be let alone”; however the concept is very much the same: self determination.

Assuming a starting line of 1948, when Israel declared Independence and was subsequently recognized by a plurality of world governments, the intent of the region was a two state division of the land – mutually sovereign governments, laws, and land. The war of 1948-49 was brought about because, where Israel had an organized governmental structure, the Palestinian Arabs were basically ‘claimed’ by foreign kings, thus the kings fought for land. Fast forward this struggle 60 years and though the players may have changed, the maps and issues remain virtually the same.

Today the concern lies with the independent state of Palestine and the right to self determination of her people. There are those extreme views that decry the existence of Israel and call for her destruction, however, peace is never found in extremism, rather in moderation. It is in moderation where cooler heads can prevail.

Let us use the analogy used above – we fight because you are here – and compare it to tribal lands in the United States. During US expansion treaties were signed strictly defining US territory and Tribal territory. Through settlement and military action in support of white settlers the tribes were drawn into war, time and again, to defend their sovereign and treaty protected land. The Supreme Court, in 1980, ruled that the use of military force and settlement of the Sioux lands was in violation of the treaty of Fort Laramie. The US Justice system determined that treaty defined lines should protect from settlement of another’s sovereign land. As the “last best hope” for humankind, one would have to at least surrender themselves to some logic and reasoning of the United States.

This brings me to a conclusion – that the United States’ silent alliance with Israel is in direct violation of the lessons already learned through bloodshed on our own land. The continued silence and inaction over increased settlement of one nation by the other is in violation of US law as well as UN law. The people of the Palestinian state should be given the freedom of self determination and sovereignty. As well, the natural tendency to resist occupation of Palestinian sovereign lands (as defined by the 1949/1967 armistice lines) can only be expected by a people who simply want to be left alone.

*this does not include the Gaza problem where Hamas maintains a political platform of absolute destruction of Israel... this is extremism, and there is no way to peace but through reason and moderation.

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