Left Justified: Blood bath in Lebanon

Frustrated about what was going on in Lebanon? Want to do something positive for a change? I think we should help poor refugees, especially the women and children. The local Muslim Community Center, 5921 Darlene Drive, Rockford (61109) is raising food and funds for refugee relief. All people, especially the God-fearing and freedom-loving Americans, should make donations to help those poor souls.

Or, you can find an organization that you already support, such as Church World Service (the CROP Hunger Walk people—they will be walking Sunday, Oct. 15). Give to the Red Crescent, which is the Arab Red Cross, or any of numerous American peace organizations, such as the American Friends Service Committee.

Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, 1249 W. Argyle, Chicago 60640, is planning a peace march from Beirut to southern Lebanon. This passionate peace activist will try to bring relief supplies along with the peace march and support the ceasefire.

Israel already gets $4 billion a year of American taxpayer money. Yes, most of that money goes to military hardware, which was being used to pound the hell out of Lebanon. And there are numerous Jewish relief organizations that will funnel money to the poor. Watch out for those so-called Christian groups that really want a war in the Middle East. Some of them hope the “end times” will be precipitated, bringing about the return of Jesus. Little do they realize Jesus doesn’t like killin’, no matter what the reason.

So give to help the Lebanese refugees (remember Danny Thomas!).

I can understand Israel wanting to take out Hezbollah, but, my God, they’re ripping up half the country and destroyed probably the most democratic government in the Arab league. Lebanon, to most Americans, is a confusing coalition of sectarian and religious parties, but if we go back in time, most people remember that beleaguered country as the “Switzerland of the Middle East.”

If you remember, Israel invaded Lebanon once before, in much the same gory way, to get rid of the PLO. Then, Hezbollah sprang up in response to that Israeli attack. If ever there was an example of “an eye for an eye making both men blind,” it was this. So what can we as Americans who love democracy, freedom and hopefully, peace, do? When in doubt, help those who are being hurt the most.

Try to lobby for peace. Ask our representative to Congress to do something. If ever there was a time when the United States government should try to stop war, it is now. Our government, though, has given up on peace overtures, talks and reconciliation. The United States is no longer encouraging cooperation and trying to avert war. Hell, this government may be in cahoots with the “end timers.”

Back in the Cold War days, the U.S. was called a warmonger. Some people are reaching for that word and dusting it off. The shoe fits, but I don’t want to wear it. The U.S. should be the peace promulgator and not the war overlord. Consider doing something for peace, and right now, send bandages to Beirut. It is the least we can do, in my humble opinion.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

From the Aug. 16-22, 2006, issue

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