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Amber Butler
© Amber Butler

Someone I don’t know sent me this comic that she had drawn. It is not only quite good, but came at a time when I’ve been having conversations with various people about what is going on in the Middle East (mostly Gaza, Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Iran). About the only thing we all agree on is that we don’t see the problems resolving themselves any time soon. Any time a local problem becomes a focus of global interests, it is difficult to resolve on any level. Throw in religious fervor and it becomes almost impossible.

But I still have hope. After all, For a long time there was an eerily similar situation in Northern Ireland. Many thought that would never be resolved, but it did happen. I hope something similar can happen in the Middle East.



  1. Dan wrote:

    I would be interested in a comparison of the conflict in Northern Ireland with components of the Middle East conflicts (Iran, Syria, Gaza).

    I don’t quite know how to do the comparison. On the one hand, the IRA never demanded the dissolution of the UK in general. On the other hand, the Irish were not displaced into refugee camps. Are these statements even reasonable?

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  2. John wrote:

    If I’m not mistaken, Northern Ireland is the one success story to come out of the “War on Terror”.

    Once the gun money stopped flowing out of the US and into Ireland, the conflict quickly stabilized and sent everybody to the negotiating table.

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink
  3. Dan wrote:

    John, I’m not sure I’m clear on what you mean by “War on Terror”. The Good Friday Agreement (1998) predates the War on Terror (2001). It’s possible that there was a reduction in US funding to the IRA prior to 2001, but I think it’s important not to conflate such a reduction with the War on Terror.

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  4. Michael wrote:

    One big difference between the Troubles and the current Israel/Palestine conflict is that we now have a media organization that shamelessly stokes the flames as a proxy for political attacks on the president. Their entire profit model is based on adding to conflict at all levels.

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Dan, just Google it —

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  6. Dan wrote:

    IK, seriously? Having studied the Good Friday Agreement and thought a lot about the Iseael/Palestine conflict, I can come up with an opinion about it that is at least as good as any other guy on the web. I come to this blog for something a little better than a Google search.

    Let’s be specific: I think the similarities between the two conflicts are superficial, for many of the reasons pointed out in the web results of the query you posted, including the two reasons I point out in the first post.

    You think there is hope, because of an “eerily similar situation”. That’s genuinely good news. Now as someone who is skeptical of the similarities, I’m asking you why you have hope. (I’d like to share it too, if you are convincing.)

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Dan, are you calling my political humor blog “superficial”? I am deeply hurt!

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  8. David Freeman wrote:

    Crap! I keep forgetting that this is a political HUMOR blog. As you once scolded me, I take PI too seriously 🙂

    Just don’t try to convince me that the Daily Show is merely humor as well!

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  9. Dan wrote:

    IK, where did I do that?

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  10. Hassan wrote:

    I do not understand the comic.

    As far as Palestinian/Israeli conflict goes, I am not sure history of Ireland, was it occupied by England like Israel is occupying Palestine? The media keep repeating narrative that if Hamas stops firing missiles it will be all peace. Well, if Israel stops occupying Palestine and relocates to Europe then Hamas rockets will not be fired at them (nor will be able to reach them)

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  11. Bindar Dunit wrote:

    One issue i have with a cartoon like this is that it tends to be reductionist to the extreme omitting key issues of this decades long struggle to 2 entities of ‘parity’ /capability. Reality is that 1 side has the 4th or 5th mightiest military in the world and is backed up by the hyper power of the US whilst the other side is held in a large prison camp with 1.8 million living packed in like sardines with no exit, no escape, no hope on 6 x 23 miles of coastal arid soil without potable water now. It’s easy to US msm does not offer context or facts to explain that one side is help prisoner and therefore “tunnels”..whilst the other side controls food, water, electricity, air space, telecomm.,calories, etc. Now there are 1000 dead prisoners vs 30 dead soldiers and 6000 maimed/injured..mostly children since 80% of Gazans are 18 or younger. Thus even in attempting humor it would be refreshing as well and helpful if Americans were informed.Thus here’s a helpful factual website:

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  12. Don wrote:

    A very simplistic presentation on Irish history. England invaded Ireland, well, depending on how you want to read it, let’s just say hundreds of years ago. The Irish people were considered barely human and ruled, at times, genteelly and at other times brutally. The Irish rebelled numerous times against the English and, finally, in 1919, the Republic of Ireland was born. Because the northern five counties had a very sizable protestant population, they were retained as a part of Great Britain. The hostilities in Northern Ireland since have been focused on the reuniting of the five counties with the rest of Ireland.

    Thus ends the very short history of Ireland.

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink
  13. Iron Knee wrote:

    Except that “Great Britain” is the name of an island. Northern Ireland was retained as part of the UK (whose full name is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”).

    Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink
  14. Jon wrote:

    To say that Palestine has or ever has had the kind of economic and military support showered upon Israel first by Great Britain and then by the West in general, especially the U.S., is simply ludicrous.

    Support from some (rather extremist) Islamic states? Yes. At anything equivalent to Israel’s support from The West? Only (ONLY!!) in the land of cartoons.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink