I feel like I need to acknowledge the conflict that is going on in the Middle East. For posterity- I want to be able to look back and see how I felt about it and what Mike and I went through. For catharsis- maybe if I try to formulate my thoughts then I will feel better about things. But I feel like if I start to talk about it, my thoughts will go on for pages and pages.
I am coming to believe more and more strongly that my own beliefs and ideals and hopes will never ever fit into any kind of political or international relations philosophy. I am personally a pacifist to the extreme- I don't want my kids to have toy guns or make gun noises, and violence of any kind just cuts me to the core (except in movies- for the most part I can separate that into the make-believe category and I can appreciate things like martial arts or tactical strategies or whatever). But I am hoping that what is going on right now in Lebanon, Israel, and Gaza will begin to make everyone think twice about the way certain countries are handling terrorism (and all of the other agendas that they have in going to war).
I am so tired of hearing the broken-record cliche that "Israel has a right to defend itself". Is this becoming comical to anyone besides me? Can you really characterize what they are doing as defense anymore when it is so clearly an unbalanced fight? If military force really is the only option for maintaining peace, then it's just going to go on forever and ever. Israel (and the U.S.) are just making more and more people angry, and it's only a matter of time before there is more retaliation. Unless these powerful countries gain control of all of their enemies and subdue them completely, they are just going to have to continue to fight. It's a lose-lose situation.
I would really love to see some leadership with integrity around these parts. It doesn't seem like Bush can talk without sounding defensive, maybe because he knows how asinine his actions have been. I don't know. And it scares me how leaders can justify all of these actions with religion (some say that what is happening right now is fulfilling prophecy). It scares me because I've been in that camp before, and it's not exactly intellectual.
Mike's family in Lebanon decided to move north in the last few days to get out of the worst of it. This time around, I feel all of this so much more closely because of the family that I am worrying about and the people that I feel close to just by proxy. But I do think that the Israelis are victims also- everyone in that area seems to be victims of rage, extremism, and pride. It's hard to watch.
This week has been pretty awful for many reasons. I wanted to write a blog about our trip to SLC last weekend, but I don't feel like it. I will say that the hotel we stayed in was amazing, and we had a grand piano made out of chocolate waiting for us when we got to the room. I am trying to include the picture of it, but I'm having issues.
Unfortunately, no Sundance goodies for me. But we had a great time, and I got better at "networking", which was my big accomplishment for the weekend. The Mormon Temple is a pretty impressive piece of architecture, but it had walls around it, which seemed weird to me. But it's another city to add to my list.