Pulse of the Twin Cities Login
If you do not have an account yet
Twin Town High (vol. 8)
Letter from retired U.S. Senator on the invasion of Lebanon
Wednesday 26 July @ 18:21:15
James Abourezk, the former U.S. Senator from South Dakota sent the following letter to the South Dakota Peace and Justice community:
I have to get this off my chest, as it’s been bugging me for the last couple of weeks.
Israel has virtually destroyed the infrastructure of Lebanon. Instead of confronting Hezbollah directly (which I think they are afraid to do), they’ve instead bombed the civilian areas of Lebanon, hoping the Lebanese and Arabs will turn on Hezbollah. What’s interesting is that the Arab World is becoming more united than ever against what Israel, with American support, is doing to the Lebanese.
Israel has bombed the milk factory in Beirut, the grain silos in Tripoli, all
the bridges in the country, the highways leading in and out of Lebanon, as well
those leading in and out of the villages they are bombing. Israel has dropped
leaflets on villages in the South telling them to evacuate, then they bomb the
vehicles people are using to flee the villages. Israel is using phosphorous
bombs and cluster bombs against civilians. Sanaa and I watch Arabic television,
and I’ve seen small babies burned by the phosphorous as well as the wholesale
deaths of people in the villages who tried to stay in their homes out of the
way of the bombing.
There is now a shortage of water, food and medicines, as there is no way to
get them into Lebanon because of the destroyed highways and the destroyed airport
as well as the blockade of the seaports.
The President, George W. Bush, is hoping for more killing so Hezbollah can be
gotten rid of. Which is why he refuses to pick up the phone to tell the Israelis
to stop. And they would stop if he told them to, as they rely on the U.S. for
their money—more than $8 billion a year—and their weapons that are
being used illegally in this cowardly and cruel offensive. Ronald Reagan finally
called Menachem Begin in 1982 and stopped the killing in Lebanon then, shortly
after the massacres in Sabra and Shatila, so we know it works. And the U.S.
Congress is despicable in its silence. They are all bought off by the Israeli
lobby, and are afraid to criticize. If this were happening in any other country
by any other country, there would be speeches on the floor of Congress, legislation
introduced to stop aid and other help to whomever would be committing this cruelty.
since their campaign money comes from the Israeli lobby, we hear only silence.
It is hard to imagine, but try to imagine how you would feel if some country
continued bombing Sioux Falls, or Madison, or Watertown or Brookings, and left
you no route of escape, or if you did try to escape, imagine that they bombed
the car you were trying to escape in. Try to imagine small children you know
being burned by phosphorous bombs, or a small child in your neighborhood picking
up one of the small clusters that are contained in a cluster bomb, and having
his or her arms blown off by the explosion. Cluster bombs, at least the ones
that explode right away, are like highly powerful weed cutters that are timed
to explode at chest level, designed to kill anyone in the vicinity where they
are dropped. We saw that in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel, that led
to the destruction of more than 30,000 innocent Lebanese. As of today, there
are an estimated 500,000 Lebanese made homeless by the Israeli bombing campaign.
And it’s essentially just starting. The Lebanese who are American citizens
are lucky, as they can be evacuated to Cyprus, but for those who are Lebanese,
there is no escape. Syria has taken in as many as can get across the border,
and will continue to take whoever can get there, but from the south of Lebanon,
it’s very difficult to get there.
George Bush, perhaps our most famous draft dodger, was in favor of the Vietnam
War while he was busy using his father’s influence to escape the draft.
He is now in favor of continuing the killing in Lebanon, and refuses to call
for a cease-fire, because, he says, he wants Hezbollah destroyed. The problem
is that Israel cannot destroy Hezbollah either militarily or politically.
They have more support now than they ever had because of Israel’s cowardly
bombing campaign. Even in Egypt, where Mubarak has sold his soul to the U.S.
and to Israel, the people are out on the streets protesting. And in Jordan the
same is happening. Despite the Jordanian government’s tacit support of
Israel, the public is out in the streets. Unfortunately, even though the Saudi
public is in support of Hezbollah, the government won’t allow street protests.
Both Israel and the U.S. are lucky that the dictators and monarchies are in
power. A Democracy of the kind that Bush is calling for would result in the
Arab public marching on Israel en masse. What is holding them back are the authoritarian
regimes in the Arab world. Only Syria is standing firm, and Syria is a militarily
weak country, but with enough backbone to resist selling out.
The U.S. wants Hezbollah disarmed because Hezbollah is the only thing that prevents
Lebanon from being brought into the Israeli sphere of influence. It’s
that simple so far as strategy is concerned. Hezbollah chased Israel out of
Lebanon in 2000, after 22 years of Israeli occupation of Lebanon. Hezbollah
is considered heroic by most Lebanese, which is why it probably will survive
One wonders why all these commentators on television, the news anchors, etc.,
do not remember Israel’s illegal occupation of Lebanon for all those years,
or why they don’t remember the continuing illegal occupation of Palestine,
including Gaza, which remained the world’s largest prison even after Israeli
troops and settlers came out of Gaza last year. The Gazans are prevented from
conducting their own foreign policy, from using their airport and their seaports
by the Israelis. The first thing Israel bombed in Gaza was Gaza’s independently
built power plant. Because there are no terrorists hiding there, we can only
presume that Israel wants to begin selling electricity to the Gazans again.
There is always a commercial aspect to war, is there not? ||
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content.
NO comments yet! Be the first!