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Monday, July 31, 2006

Appetite for Destruction...

How many people does it take to utter the words “never again?” 100? 1,000? 100,000? Do the hands that take a human life determine its worth? Right now in Lebanon, the current death toll is over 400 and rising. Right now in Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing their homes as their buildings, roads, and bridges are destroyed. And yet, their pleas are muted in the name of fighting terrorism. The state of Israel seeks to destroy Hezbollah- an organization intent on Israel’s destruction- by raining bombs and missiles on the country of Lebanon in which Hezbollah primarily resides.

Israel does have the right to defend itself and the lives of its citizens, but how far does that right extend in taking the lives of other innocent people? How can we condemn Hezbollah for taking innocent lives on the one hand, and sanction the killing in hundreds of Lebanese people? The government of Lebanon did not declare war on Israel. The people of Lebanon certainly did not declare war on Israel. Hezbollah’s actions are Hezbollah’s actions. Why must the entire country of Lebanon taste death and destruction in retaliation against a group over which the government of Lebanon itself cannot control?

Hezbollah, which was founded in response to Israel’s occupation of Lebanon in 1982, has killed and terrorized Israeli citizens for years. When the so-called “Party of God” (as its name means in English) captured two Israeli soldiers just over one week ago, people around the world and some Arab governments- including Saudi Arabia- understood Israel’s reaction and condemned the actions of Hezbollah. Any nation has a fundamental right to protect itself, its citizens, and certainly its defense forces. The onslaught we have witnessed since then has crossed the line into wanton annihilation.

The bombs and precision-guided missiles that are striking Hezbollah militants and innocent children alike are made right here in the United States of America. Just the other day President Bush authorized a rushed shipment of bombs to Israel to drop on Lebanon. Your tax dollars are funding the death and destruction of other human beings, other lives. Mothers and sons, fathers and daughters. This is immoral and unjust. How can we be silent as the deafening booms of bombs shatter the rebuilt peace of a nation that has already seen 25 years of civil war? How can we be silent when humanitarian aid is blocked by crater-filled roads? How can we be silent when our nation uses the United Nations Security Council veto to effectively seal the death warrants of Lebanese families?

Our silence signifies our complicity, and blissful ignorance of the actions of our own government in our name means absolutely nothing for the mother who has lost her child, or the father who cannot protect his family. Is Israel justified in seeking to disarm Hezbollah? Of course, as a basic measure of survival. But Hezbollah is not all of Lebanon, and all of Lebanon is not Hezbollah.

What can we do? The most practical act is calling your Congressmen and expressing your sorrow at the death and destruction taking place. Furthermore, we must pray for peace; peace for the people of Lebanon and peace for the people of Israel. We must refrain from taking sides in the name of politics and pseudo-righteousness; the only side we must take is the side of God. We are all his creations, of the same rank and station. We can justify our actions however we choose, but God has the final say over all.

Emancipated by Talib @ 8:00 AM

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