Going ’round the playground of war

Have you flipped on the evening news or pulled open a fish wrap lately? Things are, needless to say, not going very swimmingly on God’s green earth. Fighting here, fighting there. Assassination attempts, shootings, bulldozing of houses, rocket attacks, etc, etc, etc.

The reason there is so much fighting is quite simple really: People are stupid. It’s not about long standing ethnic conflicts or bids to free the world of terrorism and not even about legitimizing your country. It’s about stubbornness and foolishness and idiocy.

The situation in the West Bank is a prime example. Things are, how would you say, kinda in the crapper for Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority. He’s camped out in his little compound, with no lights, connected to the outside world by just one lone cellular phone. Nightly, you see images of him with a flashlight under his face talking to no one in particular. What’s he really saying?

“And then, the young Palestinian opened the car door, and on the handle, was the hook of a man who had been punished for stealing a loaf of bread!” The cameras don’t show him jumping and yelling at one of his lieutenants, giggling like a schoolgirl and saying, “OK, your turn.”

Arafat actually believes he has some semblance of control and therefore will stop at nothing to get his face on the news. The truth is he’s in no control; Hamas and whatever other terrorist organizations in Palestine are bombing cafés and hotels despite his call for a cease fire.

Almost worse than Arafat is big ol’ Ariel Sharon. You can just tell he’s the sort of guy who is doing cartwheels in his home every time he hears of another Palestinian home destroyed.

And the world and the United Nations and the United States are surprised at his rather aggressive offensive into the West Bank. Um, the man spent about 40 years in the Israeli military. He’s commanded dozens of units, many of whom have been accused of more than a few atrocious crimes. Did the U.N. and our leader Fearless George really expect Sharon to sit on his hands while his country was being blown up?

The most humorous (if you can say that) element of this whole mix has been how George II has handled all this. Here he is, trying to fight a war in Afghanistan and the Philippines and the country of Georgia and perhaps in Somalia. And now he’s trying to garner support for an offensive against Iraq. Can you say stretched thin?

So, regardless, he’s got a lot on his mind, which isn’t good because his head is liable to explode from too much going on in it at once. When he’s asked to comment on the situation in the West Bank, all he can muster up is, “OK, you little boys, stop playing so rough. Be niiiiiice!” He adds a nice touch by shaking his finger at the television a la a third grade teacher or your mom.

Simply put, Curious George doesn’t know what to do. While still through the roof, his approval rating is going down, 79 percent at last count. Why? Because people are beginning to realize that every time something happens he can’t just pull on his cowboy boots and take a “y’all come back now, you hear?” attitude to global politics. He’s got to get more “edumacated” if he wants people to take him seriously.

But he won’t. And neither will Arafat or Sharon, two leaders of millions of people acting like a couple of 10-year-olds on the proverbial playground of the world stage.

Joe Roma is a sophomore majoring in political science.rahner13@hotmail.com