Something big is gonna happen in the Middle East

And water is wet, I know. But I am a young person, and I haven’t really seen this thing happen before. I think something really big and disastrous is gonna happen in the Middle East in the next year or so. Does it seem to be rapidly escalating to anyone else? The worst thing is that there is probably no way to avoid whatever is gonna happen, and it will probably take my generation to sort it out. I am not pointing fingers at any country or person in particular. I just have this bad feeling that trouble seems to be brewing. There will be many more lives lost, and for inconsquential and avoidable reasons. It kinda makes me sad for the future of world politics.

I’m worried.

It certainly seems that Israel is being more violent than usual towards the usual collection of fanatics. Sending massive military force into regions you are holding by sheer force of arms against a grassroots fanatacism is never a way to ensure peace, and it often severely aggravates current problems.

Israel has gone beyond poking the bear and has brought out the bladed weapons. Given the general infancy of all leaders in the region, I doubt we’ll get through this without some major armed conflict (more major than the shelling of civilian regions and religious centers, that is). Cutting off Arafat is an Especially Bad Idea, given the zealots’ propensity for idolizing martyrs. Arafat is mainly a symbol anyway, so risking his death would send no message to the PLO’s lunatic fringe besides “What are you gonna do about it?”

I think we both know what those idiots ‘do about’ anything. Israel is definitely not a safe place for anyone to be right now. It never was, but these days it is heading towards self-immolation with unusual eagerness.

I agree - and believe you me, I have much more to worry about than you - except for one point: the reasons for the conflict are hardly inconsequential. Avoidable, yes - but give me an example of some man-made catastrophe that wasn’t? Just because you aren’t personally involved with the causes, it doesn’t mean that their not important.