David is a normal kid, he loves to play basketball every chance he got. His most prized possession is his bike. Tommy is David’s neighbor, and even though they both go to the same school and frequent the same places they are not friends. Their relationship consists of constant insults exchanged back and forth. Tommy is a little younger than David and thanks to that at times he gets away with a little more. There has been occasion when Tommy even has thrown rocks at David even hitting him and he is left to just reply back with insults, he feels powerless to stop the abuse.
David has a group of friends that plays basketball with him. He loves playing when his older cousin John is around; he loves to show off his moves to him. They play at the local playground, this playground is not just theirs, other kids like Tommy’s group of friends also like to play basketball there. Tensions always flare when one group want to play there and another is already there, for some reason they chose to never want to share it or even play against each other.
Tommy also has a cousin, his name is Sammy. Like John, Sammy is a little older and they both go to the same high school. It is a rough neighborhood and both Sammy and John have chosen the wrong path. They have recently joined opposing gangs and lately there has been a lot of talk of guns, how to get them, and how useful they would be on settling the dispute over the playground.
David wakes up early in the morning, its going to be a nice day to play ball. As he approaches his bike he sees that his tired seem to be flat. As he gets closer he realizes that not just the air has been let out like it has happened in the past, they are slashed. He has always suspected that Tommy was the culprit of this tasteless prank, but this time his temper is raising and he feels like this is way out of line.
He starts walking down the street and sees that Tommy is sitting on his porch with a couple of other people, he approaches and asks, did you touch my bike. As the other kids laugh and start egging Tommy on he gets up and says to David, “yea I did it and what are you going to do about it?” as he steps and get right in David’s face.
David remembers that his cousin John has been telling him how he needs to stick up for himself, how he cannot just take the high road in every situation. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees his friend John pedaling towards the scene, the laughter, the anger and the need to impress his cousin take over him… he punches Tommy right on the nose knocking him down, as the blood start dripping off his nose the heartbeats from all the young kids start beating so loud that it feels like a drum roll of deafening force is only a preamble to what will come next.
Now change the names of these kids for countries and you will get an idea of how I see the conflict in Lebanon. Say that David is Israel, Tommy is Lebanon, John is the U.S. and Sammy is Syria. That said, I have some questions for you… Do you think that Israel use of force is excessive? Do you think that both Israel and Lebanon are almost like pawns in a game of chicken between Iran and the US? Do you think that religion is at the root of this conflict?