WHO NAMED IT THE HOLY LAND?
The narrow strip of the Middle East known as the Holy Land to 3 religions is as unholy a patch of real estate as ever existed. Born of bloody conquest, the Biblical state of Israel was in its early stages run by a bunch of brutal warrior kings who claimed they were having conversations with God. That’s never a good prospect for living in peace. As they were conceived, in blood and conquest, so they were destroyed, time and time again. Of course whenever they were conquered and dragged off into slavery, the Israelites figured that they weren’t being religious enough to satisfy the singularly bloodthirsty God that they invented in order to justify their own insatiable bloodthirstiness.
Not to be outdone in the hatred and slaughtering department, 2 other major religions, first Christianity and then Islam, rose up and began slaughtering people on a scale far grander that King David or his greedy son Solomon could have imagined. Indeed, these two religions went global in their savagery, reducing the Jews to a mere footnote in the history of God-inspired slaughter. By the time of the Crusades, the Jewish people had long since been dispersed to all corners of the earth, never really recovering from the brutal Roman conquest, occupation and the destruction of their temple. They were on the sidelines while Islam and Christianity duked it out over their former homeland, but they never forgot their salad days as the biggest and baddest haters and killers in the region.
The centuries went by with Christians retiring from the Crusades and taking their bloody act on the road to the New World, with Islam languishing in poverty and backwardness after centuries of domination of a huge empire called the Caliphate, stretching from Spain through all of North Africa and right into India. Enter the British, who took advantage of Islam’s decline by taking over over the Holy Land mainly to steal oil to fuel their Industrial Revolution. They fought off the Ottomans and many other armies to maintain control of the Middle East, relinquishing these lands only at the dissolution of their empire following World War 2.
So when the British left they hacked up regions of the area into a bunch of nations that seemed logical to them since they weren’t from around there. The reality was a bit different, though, and warfare and tribal genocide has been the order of the day over there ever since. Add the newly reinvented Israel with their Biblical visions of regional might into the mix and Bingo!, all the ingredients for bloody slaughter were back in place in The Holy Land. And since the end of World War 2, that’s what the world has been treated to: more killing in the name of God.
Now the United States, the current Rome/Britain, gets into the mix over there in the nation of Iraq, with the predictable lack of success in bringing any sort of order to the region. While our vastly superior military forces predictably annihilated any armies foolish enough to engage them, the wars over there tend to drag out in guerilla insurgencies with the added twist of suicide bombers. Everybody still hates everybody else, no form of government is acceptable to anybody and we’re wondering what the hell we were thinking when we got involved in this ridiculous section of the planet.
Nearly 5,000 of our sons and daughters are dead, thousands more maimed, and the pinhead of a president who thought it was a good idea to stroll across a patch of quicksand is now industriously trying to clear brush from the state of Texas. Which is an appropriate metaphor, since in ten lifetimes he could never clear Texas of dry brush, anymore than he could clear the Middle East of millennia-old hatreds. Our new president has his hands full cleaning up after the Sage Brush Kid and is desperately trying to figure out a graceful exit from the Holy Land. Maybe it got the name the Holy Land from a mistake in translation, and should more likely be called the “Holy Crap, These People Are Insane! Land.” And while curing the insane is still a mystery, it is surely not an effective cure to join them.
WHO NAMED IT THE HOLY LAND?