Jul. 21, 2006

Israel's Destruction of Lebanon

Israel is systematically destroying Lebanon's infrastructure, bombing roads, bridges, power stations and even privately owned factories, seemingly in an attempt to cripple the Lebanese economy.

The production facilities of at least five companies in key industrial sectors - including the country's largest dairy farm, Liban Lait; a paper mill; a packaging firm and a pharmaceutical plant - have been disabled or completely destroyed. Industry insiders say the losses will cripple the economy for decades to come.

"I think the picture will be much worse than we can possible imagine when the whole thing ends, but the direct damage from yesterday's attacks to the industrial sector alone will take years to recover from," said Wajid al-Bisri, the vice-president of the Lebanese Association of Industrialists (LAI).

The number of dead civilians is already over threee hundred, including scores of children.
What can one say about this orgy of destruction and death?

UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour has warned that Israeli leaders might be liable to war-crimes prosecution.

By contrast Canadian PM Stephen Harper has called Israeli actions, "a measured response."

Is this a measured response to the capture of three soldiers, or this?

Let's make a little thought experiment; let's imagine any other country was doing to it's neighbour what is Israel is doing to Lebanon? Wouldn't there be immediate calls from all quarters to cease and desist, threats of sanctions or even "regime change?"

Has the world no moral spine, or are we all just so blase about human suffering now?

What criticism there is of Israel from world leaders tends to be muted, calls for "restraint". Please don't kill quite so many of them.

There was an Israeli defence official on the radio making excuses. Hezbollah hides it's weapons in clinics and schools and private homes. And the inevitable "we deeply regret any loss of civilian life." This is the same crap the American military uses every time they kill a bunch of innocent people; they must have the same PR firm.

And what possible excuse is there for the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure. This is not only clearly a war-crime of major proportions, it is not only totally disproportionate to the supposed offense, it will not only result in even more death in the long run...it is also extraordinarily stupid.

Lebanon was on it's way to becoming a prosperous, stable democracy (anyone else remember the "Cedar Revolution?") Sure, the state was too weak to restrain Hezbollah but what condition will it be in after this? Israel will end up with a disastrously failed state for a northern neighbour and thousands more recruits for the suicide bombers.

And the incident that started it all? The capture of three Israeli soldiers? It now appears that they were on the Lebanese side of the border when it happened.


jen said...

Dear Ajahn,

I think you're right on most of this. There are a lot of bloggers who feel the same way.

I have the answer to your question about how people can stand by and let these things happen.

We're not blase - far from it.

We are overwhelmed by it.

Should I work to end global warming, testing on animals, the death penalty, child labor or the weaponization of space?

What should I educate myself about today? Child soldiers in Sierra Leone or the disappearing Amazon? The fight to get GM food labeled in supermarkets or racial profiling? For-profit hospitals or fair trade coffee?

There is a name for this new syndrome - it's called "I'm only one person and I don't know what to do."

Ask anyone who pours their heart and soul into Project Ploughshares, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders, etc, etc - you've asked the million dollar question - why aren't more people getting involved?

Speak to me on how I can deal skilfully with the procrastination, self-doubting, nay-saying, confusion and distraction that keeps me from taking more action than I already do.



jen in japan

Rod the fortune teller said...

What else would you expect from a bunch of selfish, corrupt, and fascist Western politicians who couldn't even run a raffle. In truth, they are more concerned with their summer vacations than how many Lebanese die. If you want people with more conscience elect some used-car dealers next time.

Let the Israelis exercise their predictable eye-for-an-eye stuff, as unless technology stands still for the next hundred years they won't be around at the end of that time. By then they will have figured out that they chose the wrong Israel.

Anonymous said...

I think the Ajahn is just projecting his own anger onto events and would be better served looking at this than running a vanity Blog to serve his desire to blame it on some abstract other in the name of moral outrage.