22 July 2006

Things That Shouldn't Have Happened

This story about children in Kazakhstan contracting HIV in hospitals sounds like it should have been about 15 years old, and that it should have stopped after the first two cases were discovered in May. But no, it's 2006 and 14 children have been diagnosed with HIV.

I can't imagine that someone would fly all the way to China from the US only to discover that they didn't have a visa to get into the country. But apparently some people do.

It seems that Americans have gotten over their whining about the evacuation from Lebanon. Now, I assure I can imagine what it would be like to be trapped in a country with children and no sure way to get out. It would be awful. But it wouldn't particularly occur to me that the US government was in charge of getting me out unless I was employed by the US government. The State Department has always made it abundantly clear that expats and tourists aren't really high on their list. Businesses, NGOs, and churches should make evacuation plans for their employees and volunteers; tourists really shouldn't be surprised if a country with a travel warning falls apart while they're on vacation.

It was certainly nice of Israel to warn people to get out of southern Lebanon. And since it is so easy to get your family out of a place where the roads have been bombed, when you don't have a car in the first place, I am sure Israel can be absolved for all civilian deaths in Lebanon.

I don't deny that Israel is beset by terrorists and that they've had plenty of problems since the creation of the country, but when the country declared unilaterally by Israel (and implicitly by the US, the UN, and the West in general), well, you can't really be surprised that there are people who are annoyed about the whole thing. Israel was put into a hostile place and there is still a lot of opposition to its existence, and I can't figure out why so many Israel supporters think it's all the fault of the countries surrounding Israel.


  1. I'm not sure where you're coming from here, Amira. Are you being sarcastic or do you really appreciate Israel warning civilians? It did appear to be lip service, but it's more than Hezbollah did.

    I've sort of been a victim of the government, well not a victim, but an experiencer of what the US government can do and can't do, ie my son's death. And I don't trust "THE GOVERNMENT" but I have met some individuals who do the best they can. So I agree with your third paragraph.

    I don't fully understand the politics of that area. I don't think there is any one truth. I feel for the Palestinians and the innocents. But Hezbollah isn't innocent. How far do people go tolerating bullies?

    My Russian teacher once said to me that war in the mid east will never end because they've killed each others' children, literally. And that forms a hate that won't die. I agree with her.

    I keep telling myself not to get scared to death, because this may just be a bump in the road, but I honestly believe this is a fulfillment of prophecy and I'm storing water and all that stuff I told you to store.

    Are you back in the US? I met an RM (Ukraine) in Hollywood Video the other day and we talked Russian and I told him I had a friend in Krygstan and he said that was a scary place. I said "her pictures make it look sort of nice and pretty."

  2. Nope, I was being sarcastic, especially after I'd read people praising Israel for warning people in southern Lebanon to get out. It's really hard to get out of danger in a sitaution like that, especially when you have nowhere else to go.

    I'm not a fan of Hezbollah or Hamas in any way. I don't like their motives or their methods. But I can't say that I much like Israel's motives or methods much either. I was mostly just trying to make the point that Israel started off by putting itself in an incredibly hostile place and they will always have to be defending themselves. Just like Europeans who complained about the Native Americans. Were both of these fulfillment of prophecy? Maybe. But I still don't have to approve of the wholesale destruction of Native Americans in the last 500 years, nor do I have to approve of what has happened to the Palestinians in the last 50 years.

    I like Kyrgyzstan and I don't think it's a scary place at all. I much prefer it to lots of big cities in the US.

  3. Isn't it a "which comes first, the chicken or the egg" though?

    They all have a history in Israel, or in the place we now call Israel. Wasn't it called Israel at one time?

    How much do you attribute this to fulfillment of prophecy or do you at all? My former friend was exultant when we went into Iraq. She and her husband are devout Republicans and believe this signals the end.

    I still wish we'd not gone.

  4. AnonymousJuly 27, 2006

    Anne and Amira - I'd recommend that you reread history, and figure out how and why the State of Israel came to being, instead of lining up with Islamic terrorists and the jew-haters of the world, and reflexively fall on to the position that Israel can do no right, or that they are imperialists or whatever.
    What do you expect the Israelis to do when they are surrounded by people who believe in the ideology that hitler did not "complete the job", and so, these folks, inspired by islam, would like to kill every single Jew living in Israel, and destroy the countrytoo.
    -Frustrated mormon dude

  5. You know, it's really hard to discuss something when you just tell me to go back and review the history of that little corner of the world again (I'm not likely to change my opinions after studying it for about 5 years), or group annegb and me in with terrorists and Jew-haters. annegb is far from being a Jew-hater, and even farther from siding with any terrorists. And because I don't agree with the Israeli government, I'm a Jew-hater? What does my feelings about Israel’s politics and military decisions have to do with my feelings about the Jewish religion?

    Israel has unquestionably done a lot of good. Many Jews from around the world have found a safe place to live there. People there have a significantly higher standard of living that anyone else in the area. It's nice for the US to have a reliable ally in the area. I believe Israel should remain where it is, although with different borders that it has now.

    My point was that Israelis are surrounded by hostile people precisely because they declared a state in the midst of them. No matter what you think about that decision, it was a deliberate choice and Israelis will have to deal with that for a long time. And no history book, no matter how it's spun, can deny that.

    And for what it's worth, I'm a frustrated Mormon who sees a lot of people who think Israel can do no wrong.