Monday, August 18, 2014

Why countries and tribes fight even when there is prosperity ("God have mercy!")

“Global prosperity can’t guarantee peace”, Robert Samuelson writes on p. A15 of the Washington Post on Monday morning, link here. The online title is more explicit, “Global prosperity is no panacea: The post euphoric world.”   Samuelson points out that the biggest dangers could come from a financial panic not from the US, where there is strong regulation possible.  But we’ve already had the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the Russian financial crisis of 1998.  Remember that Esquire cover, “What did you do after the crash, Daddy?”
On Sunday morning, Dr. Stan Hastey at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC preached, “God Have Mercy” and started out with a complete history of Israel and Palestine.  He pointed out repeatedly that agreements and treaties made repeatedly have never been carried out. 
The 1973 Yom Kippur War did result in the Arab Embargo and with an economic shock.  It also caused gasoline shortages and threatened rationing at a time when I needed personal mobility to “live out my own destiny”.  The same happened later, to a lesser degree, with the Iran hostage crisis.  I remember following the 1978 talks at Camp David between Begin and Sadat as if my world depended on it.  I didn't recall that Israel gave up the Sinai then.     
Global events always have the chance to knock on our own doors.
After the service, I mentioned George Meek’s work on the question of expropriation of Palestinian land and homes. Hastey said that this had never made any sense.
Religious tensions in this part of the world come about because people are somewhat oversocialized.  They don’t have our opportunity to excel as individuals (which is not free to others), and feel they mst share a collective tribal future together.  Not all of their allegiance is religious;  some of it is more like secular nationalism.  Look at what Putin appeals to now.

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