The same Senators who supported the Syria Accountability Act and pushed for the Syrian military and intelligence withdrawal from Lebanon two years ago, the same Senators who applauded the Cedar Revolution last year, are the same ones who have decided yesterday to give unconditional support to Israel's attacks on Lebanon. I understand, politicians are politicians no matter where they are; they're concerned about being re-elected and about representing their constituencies.
But what about the Administration? This is what President Bush had to say yesterday: "In order to be able to deal with this crisis, the world must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria and to continue to work to isolate Iran." Please tell me if you see the word Lebanon anywhere. It's not about Lebanon; it's about Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. But guess what country is being destroyed and who is being killed (over 300 dead now) and displaced (over half a million)? Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
I realized then that Lebanon has been sold out!
Just a few months ago, Lebanon was a shining example of how democracy should look like in the Middle East. But now the very shining example that used to be showcased as a U.S. foreign policy success is being killed. The most pro-U.S., pro-West government in the Middle East is being weakened.
Nevertheless, this was way better than reading the following excerpt from Charles Krauthammer's opinion piece in the Post:
Just as in Kuwait in 1991, what must follow the air campaign is a land invasion to clear the ground and expel the occupier. Israel must retake south Lebanon and expel Hezbollah. It would then declare the obvious: that it has no claim to Lebanese territories and is prepared to withdraw and hand south Lebanon over to the Lebanese army...I mean, is this for real? Does Krauthammer truely think that the Israeli army will "hand" south Lebanon to the Lebanese army as a gift? Since when such scenario took place anywhere, that a state which occupied another country for close to 20 years, will return to invade that once-occupied country to fulfill its mission and then hand this country back its territories? Isn't this scenario so out of this world? And if this is the advice the Administration is listening to, then yes I can say: Lebanon has been sold out!
The Lebanese are reaching a point of despair! All the great powers are watching and giving Israel what it wants, time to decimate Hezbollah, while in reality more Lebanese civilians are being killed and the country's infrastructure has deteriorated considerably in just ONE week, then how about a couple of weeks.
Again and again, Lebanon's fate is to be the house of others' conflicts. My father in despair said over the phone: "I've been living outside my country for 30 years; my fate is to continue living away for the rest of my life!" It is almost like waiting for Godot...and Godot never ever comes. I feel with you, Baba, and I wish I can do something.
Now I would like to end this post with Prime Minister Seniora's Address to the Diplomatic Corps:
I have convened the diplomatic corps in Lebanon today to launch an urgent appeal to the international community for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and assistance to my war ravaged country. You are all aware that seven continuous days of an escalating Israeli onslaught on Lebanon have resulted in immeasurable loss: the toll in terms of human life has reached tragic proportions: over 1000 injured and 300 killed so far; over half a million people have been displaced; in some areas, the hospitals have been crippled and are unable to cope with the casualties; there are shortages of food and medical supplies; homes, factories and warehouses have been completely destroyed; UN facilities in Maroun El Ras and Naqoura have just been shelled, so have been army barracks and posts of Joint Security Forces; a civil defense unit has been wiped out and foreigners are being evacuated.. As I speak, the trauma, the desperation, the grief and the daily massacres and destruction go on and on. The country has been torn to shreds.
Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?
Can the international community stand by while such callous retribution by the State of Israel is inflicted on us?
Will you allow innocent civilians, churches, mosques, orphanages, medical supplies escorted by the Red Cross, people seeking shelter or fleeing their homes and villages to be the casualties of this ugly war?
Is this what the international community calls self defense? Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions? Is this the message to send to the country of diversity, freedom and tolerance?
Only last year, the Lebanese filled the streets with hope and with red, green and white banners shouting out: Lebanon deserves life!
What kind of life is being offered to us now?
I will tell you what kind: a life of destruction, despair, displacement, dispossession, and death.
What kind of future can stem from the rubble? A future of fear, frustration, financial ruin, and fanaticism.
Let me assure you that we shall spare no avenue to make Israel compensate the Lebanese people for the barbaric destruction it has inflicted and continues to inflict upon us, knowing full well that human life is irreplaceable.
You want to support the government of Lebanon? Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, no government can survive on the ruins of a nation.
On behalf of the people of Lebanon, from Beirut, Baalbeck, and Byblos, to Tyre Sidon and Qana, to each and every one of the 21 villages at the southern border, declared a no-go zone by Israel, to Tripoli and Zahle, I call upon you all to respond immediately without reservation or hesitation to this appeal for an immediate cease-fire and lifting the siege, and provide urgent international humanitarian assistance to our war-stricken country. I would also like to thank the international organizations and the friendly countries that have already extended their valued help and thank as well those who are preparing to do so.
We the Lebanese want life.
We have chosen life.
We refuse to die.
Our choice is clear.
We have survived wars and destruction over the ages.
We shall do so again.
I hope you will not let us down.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."