From the Editor

John Turner

We've been getting quite a bit of response -- some of it pretty spirited -- to pieces we've run about the ongoing conflicts on Israel's borders. We have readers who oppose one another intensely on these issues and I suppose it's natural for them to be irritated by articles which run counter to their view of things. I regret wounded feelings but I think it best that we continue as an open forum, accepting expression from all along the spectrum of debate.

One of my oldest friends told me last week that I ought to be more forthright in stating my own opinions about the struggle. Perhaps I should, but I confess I don't find it easy to sort it all out. How far back in time should we go in taking account of aggression? To what degree should the world view that each side represents be given a moral weight? Should strategic assessments be allowed to overbear the need of individual people to pursue their lives without the threat of being blown up? How much responsibility does sympathy carry with it? Is the assertion that if you're not with us you're against us a sensible position? What sort of argument is needed to justify lethal acts? We could go on with a list of questions like these all day and the answer to any one of them might tip the balance.

I will say that I've become increasingly skeptical that widespread killing can solve political problems, regardless of who does it or why it's done. Leaving morality aside, it might work if one side could either kill or physically dominate an opposing group. But that possibility doesn't exist in the major conflicts in the world today. In fact, it seems to be the case that the more of an enemy population you kill, the stronger its opposition becomes. The time has arrived to reassess the effectiveness of powerful weapons systems. It could be that most of them have become counter-productive.  One thing is certain. It is hard to predict their effects or control the reactions they set in motion.

An event we need to remember here in America is approaching rapidly. We have a Congressional election on the way which will have a significant effect on our future. So, I hope we can give it more of our attention in the weeks ahead.



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