I was talking with a friend of mine on Friday about the troubles in the Lebanon
and then on Sunday got a mail from another friend in the US with a link to
the story/poem below.
Despite being ex-military, may be down to my mellowing years, I just can’t
see the point of what is going on over there in Lebanon right now. Don’t get
me wrong, I don’t support either side in the conflict. I don’t care who is
right or who is wrong, I am just sick of hearing about death. A few soldiers
from each side are being killed but mostly it will be the innocent civilians
who will suffer the most.
I just can’t see the need in this day and age for war, for violence or for
death. It doesn’t make sense. Surely we have enough ‘big brothers’ to stand
between those with the problem and over time sort it out, (and I don’t mean
1984 Orwell style big brother),
I also think back to the lyrics of a band that I followed in the late 80’s
(The Human League) that had a track out called ‘The Lebanon’. Twenty years
ago, it was just a song and I didn’t know much about the troubles going on,
just that there was. But why after 20 years or more have no lessons been learnt.
Someone tried to justify the Israel reaction by asking me what I would feel
if some ‘Hezbollah’ group attacked and killed one of my children.
I countered this by asking him how he would feel if ‘my country’ bombed ‘his’
country in retribution for the attack on my family, despite his area, his family
having no ties (or even weak ties) to the bombers. How would he feel at losing
his family when he shares little or no sympathy with those that carried out
the initial attacks.
Either way, in both our cases we would be the innocent victims of the consequences
of others actions.
I am no pacifist, I am not aligned to any specific religion, I have my own
god who I force on no one else. I have those who I harbour hatred towards,
but there are those many more that I love or consider true friends.
When will we (the human race) finally end all conflict and stop the suffering?
Will there be anyone left to appreciate it?
The following can be found here.
I am writing you to update you on the current situation in Lebanon.
I will not number the deceased, nor the wounded. They are too many.
I will not mention what places are being hit, Lebanon has become a non-place
Today, I will just focus on the people who are still alive. Lebanon is
currently facing a huge social crisis. A quarter of Lebanon’s population
doesn’t have a place to stay.
A friend of mine is volunteering in one of the public schools housing
these people, and I went with him to see the conditions today. The school
is housing 300 individuals: women, children, elderly. The volunteers are
doing whatever possible to provide them with a decent daily life, but still
all they eat is bread, packaged cheese, dry biscuits, and if they are lucky
cooked rice and stew. There are over 50 000 people living like this in Beirut
alone, this without counting the other villages and cities. The social crisis
is huge, I just saw a sample of it today.
Today, a 100 people broke into our building’s ground floor apartment because
they have no place to stay, and our neighbors were complaining about them.
I think that these people coming is a true blessing for us. Having the crisis
closer to you actually makes you see the scale of it.
Over 100 villages are totally isolated from one another. Totally isolated
from food sources, from hospitals, clinics or medication. People are starting
to starve, children to get dehydrated. I just heard on television a phone
call from the headmaster of one of the shelter schools in Bint Jbeil. The
school has been bombed by Israeli forces, people are in the underground level.
Over 100 people. Children have been without milk for 4 days. And this is
only a sample. It has been nine days, it is too much.
The thing that tears me the most is that nobody is shaking a finger. This
is not only about us. Not about Lebanon. I simply hope that this kind of
suffering is the last that happens on the face of this planet.
We want to solve this. We want to look forward. The facts are that the
disaster is huge. We want to channel our energies the best way possible to
do whatever is needed, the best way possible.
If the fire ceases now, we might start doing something. But they don’t
intend to make it stop. And the International community gave Israel one more
week, enough time to finish up the country.
Please human being, if you can communicate this information to the world,
to shake some human being who can actually make this stop. All we have left
is our hands, our heads, and the infinite possibility within.
Sorry if I was long, whatever I say will never be enough.
Please do something, all I can do is write.
A Lebanese Citizen