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What’s Happening In The Middle East?

If you are like me, the situation in the Middle East is confusing.  As the song says, “I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran”.

Is Jerusalem the capital of Israel?  Who owns the Gaza Strip?  These questions (and there are MANY more) have been at the heart of fierce debate, and combat, for several years, and will probably continue to be for many more.

The most recent happenings in the Middle East occurred on this week, on September 11, 2012.  The first attack was in Cairo, Egypt, when protesters entered the U. S. Embassy and tore down American flags (allegedly stemming from their anger over a movie about the Prophet Muhammad).

Shortly after that, two more attacks, these on the American Consulate in Libya, in the city of Benghazi.  In these attacks, protesters set fire to the Consulate facility, killing U. S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as well as injuring three more Americans.

Libya Google Maps
Google Maps

According to ABC News, the (U. S.) government knows that

the assault in Benghazi was a coordinated terrorist attack planned specifically for the 11th anniversary of 9/11, and not the anti-Muslim film that is being blamed for sparking the protest in Cairo, Egypt.”

So, now that we know that it was a ‘coordinated terrorist attack’, we go in and “take care of” Libya, right?  Nope, it’s not that easy.  It was, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a

small and savage group of militants.

Which means, it wasn’t Libya who attacked us, it was people from Libya.

Compare it to this:   a member of the “Jones” family of Anytown, USA,  goes to a different country and attacks someone/something.  Does that country attack ALL of the U. S. because of what the “Jones” family did?  No.  They get in touch with the US authorities and hope that we will work with them to bring the “Jones” family to justice.

We’re not fighting wars like our grandparents fought wars.  Back then, it was ‘easy’ (for lack of a better term):  when someone attacked us, we attacked them back.  Now, with so many different extremist groups/cells/cults, it’s not that easy.  We wouldn’t want to come under attack for something an American extremist did, would we?  No.  We would say “It wasn’t us, it was the “Jones” family, and then give them the Jones’ address, right?

After reading this, you may be no closer to understanding what is going on in the Middle East.  Even with the research needed to write this story, I don’t think that I am any closer, either.

We lost four Americans in that attack, and, from what I understand, they were there to try to achieve peace in the Middle East.  Some people think that trying to achieve peace in the Middle East is like trying to count grains of sand on a beach:  there is no way to be accurate, and the job is never-ending.

I hope our troops come home soon.


(Via ABC News, Google Maps)

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