Towards A Good Samaritan World

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

AID TO LEBANON

Poor Lebanon:

So far, Israel has killed more than 230 people — all but a handful of whom were civilians — including whole families. With its customary arrogance, it has issued peremptory warnings to entire communities to get out of its way or face the consequences: terrorism in the true sense of the word. It gave the residents of the town of Marwaheen in southern Lebanon, for example, a few hours to leave their homes. The terrified residents came under Israeli fire as they fled. More than 15 people, most of them children, were killed.

Israel later warned the entire population of southern Lebanon to leave. No Arab can forget that terrorizing an entire population from its homes is the tactic that was used to seize possession of Palestine in the spring and summer of 1948. Not everyone will leave. Many will reject Israel's imperious warnings — what right, they will ask, does Israel have to terrify us into flight from our homes? In any case, most of them have nowhere to flee to — and even if they did, Israel has destroyed the bridges and is bombing the roads out of the south.

In a week of vindictive bombardment, Israel has destroyed the infrastructure that Lebanon spent a decade building. Under the cover of misleading headlines, such as one that read "Israel Pounds Hezbollah Strongholds," Israel has in fact bombed towns and villages, provincial centers and Beirut.

Israel has killed Christians, Sunnis and Shiites, old and young, men and women, from the great Phoenician cities of Sidon and Tyre to more humble towns — Chtoura and Juniyah, Damour and Naame, Jiye and Baalbek, Khiam and Batrun.

It has wrecked roads, bridges, a lighthouse, ports, tunnels, electrical pylons, water mains, fuel depots, gas stations, power plants, houses, shops, schools — and even a milk factory. It has repeatedly blasted the international airport that was the symbol of Lebanon's rebirth from 15 years of war.

Where, when or if Lebanon will ever get the funding to rebuild what Israel has smashed remain open questions. When Israel finally relents, it will leave Lebanon without a functioning infrastructure — and the lives of nearly 4 million people altered beyond recognition.

That, of course, is explicitly the point of this outrage. Israel's army chief bragged that he would set Lebanon back "20 years." That is what is happening — as a silent world watches.


Of course, this is only one side of the story. Hezbollah started the war. UN Resolution 1559 demands that Hezbollah disarm. Hezbollah is determined to destroy Israel even though Israel evacuated Lebanese territory six years ago. They don't have the excuse Hamas has, that they're living under Israeli occupation. Their genocidal fantasies are unprovoked.

But to the question: "where... Lebanon will ever get the funding to rebuild," America would be smart to step in and help. A compensation for allowing a gang of scumbags to be destroyed on their territory. The more modern Lebanese probably have mixed feelings about this war, but if a lot of ruined roads and bridges remain in their country for years to come, it will make them more negative.

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