Women are grief-stricken over the loss of their loved ones, especially their innocent children. Men are losing their way of life and sense of self from the destruction and chaos around them. Terrified children are running around confused, wounded and lost. Whole neighbourhoods are being uprooted as their inhabitants flee for safety or cower in bomb shelters awaiting the unknown.

Everyone is losing in the current war that is raging in the Middle East. Everyone.

I’m tired of one-sided political views on this crisis from North Americans who are armchair critics of a conflict so complex and rooted in history that not even expert political strategists truly comprehend it all.


Fair enough for someone in Lebanon or Israel, living through this turmoil, to blame the other side and want desperately for it all to end. And humane enough for any of us to deplore the targeting or kidnapping or bombing or rocket attacks that affect innocent civilians. Yet no sane North American has the right to wish any of these people harm no matter their religion or national loyalties.

So don’t show me, whether in newspapers or on television, dead children on one side of the fighting if you’re not going to show me dead children on the other. Because the useless killing of these blameless children happens on both sides of the border.

But for that matter, don’t show me dead children at all!

Instead, focus on the facts and the relevant background to what’s going on. Tell me more about Iran and Syria’s involvement in all of this; or quote those truly informed Middle East experts who know what the stakes are.

Other than flying into the war zone (as some people have been courageous enough to do) and volunteering, or sending money to one of the many charitable organizations helping out in both beleaguered countries, the average Canadian can’t do much to put an end to this war other than to inform themselves better.

That’s what we need more of — not knee-jerk reactions to one set of horrific images versus another. Yes, there are terrible tragic events and miscalculations that occur during any war, and this one is no exception.

Yes, we must express our concerns and insist that whenever possible, these are investigated and dealt with accordingly. But no one sitting at home watching things unfold on TV can make firm judgments.

While public opinion and protests can be important to influencing our government’s response to the situation, basing our reactions only on fleeting images meant to arouse emotional rage doesn’t advance anyone’s cause.

It’s not about who wins the propaganda war or who has the most numbers rooting for them, it’s about the quest for a true long-lasting peace in the Middle East.


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