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Voices about Lebanon from the street

Al-Jazeerah, August 5, 2006

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

August 5, 2006

As the on-going destruction of Lebanon by Israeli forces continues well into its fourth week, there is an unquestionable rise of hostile sentiment against the policies of Israel and its prime ally, the United States and the administration of George Bush in particular on the Arab street.

While there may be some political restraint shown by some of the governments in the region towards this unchecked assault and increased diplomatic overtures towards an immediate halt, there is no doubt where the true feelings of the masses lie. In a review of such emotions that covered several regions of this country, Saudis and non-Saudis alike echoed similar sentiments: 'This barbarity has to be stopped immediately.’

Samir questions 'why the Arabs are not arming Hezbollah with weapons to defend themselves against air assaults. If the US is hurriedly delivering bombs and weaponry to the Israelis to continue their carnage against the Lebanese people, why shouldn’t we supply those resisting such aggression with the armaments that would let them defend themselves?’

Jonathan adds that 'it is a crime when nations stand by or get embroiled in diplomatic maneuvers while innocent people are getting killed everyday. We have seen enough of the suffering and destruction on both sides and in particular of the Lebanese who have been losing unnecessary civilian lives while the world leaders hum and haw away.’

Nora is vehement when she says that 'this is a further proof of Israeli aggression in the region. They have craftily painted a picture of self-defense and the west has eagerly swallowed their version of the conflict. How many in the west know that southern Lebanon and the occupied territories have been under consistent Israeli attacks months before the capture of the soldiers. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were being shot and killed daily, while Israel protested that such incidents were honest mistakes.’

Lana volunteers 'the fact remains that the US is currently using Israel to push forward their vision of a greater Middle East, as they themselves cannot get out of the mess they have created in Iraq and Afghanistan. The policies of Bush and company are to ensure that only Israel remains a military power in the region. This will allow them to continue with their expansion plans.’

Brenda is sickened by the recent events and adds that 'contrary to public opinion back home, there has been no period of truce during the months leading to the capture of the Israeli soldiers. And if you want proof, ask the mothers of the Palestinian and Lebanese children killed this year before this latest circus of carnage began.’

Ahmed believes that 'it is time to embargo the United States, period. They are the primary force behind Israeli aggression in the region. They will never waver in their blind support of the terrorist policies of Israel, regardless of reason or national interest. They have single-handedly vetoed every move by other nations to demand an immediate ceasefire and supply multi-national forces to ensure peace. Peace is not their agenda for the region.’

Pierre wonders 'if George Bush is so blinded and in love with these transplanted East European Zionists who are squatting on land they have taken by illegally and by force, why does he not generously declare Wyoming or Utah as their new homeland? I am sure they would be welcomed with open arms by the existing tenants.’

Debra fires off with 'Bush is the anti-Christ. Manipulating many God-fearing Christians into believing his evil message and his private communications from God, he has spread nothing but terrorism into this world. He is a failure as a world leader, and is now recklessly heading us all into Armageddon.’

Jaber wonders 'when will Americans wake up and realize that their silence is giving birth to legions of those who will have nothing but hatred one day for the United States with their one-sided support of Israel. We bear no grudge against the people, but the sight of civilians and especially children being bombed and killed by Israeli aircraft is a sight which is too much to bear.’

Omar adds that 'we are all Hezbollah now. Anyone who resists the advances of the enemy is my friend. And Israel is the enemy, make no mistake about it. They have no desire for peace, or else peace would have been established long ago and there would have been no Hezbollah or Hamas or any other resistance group. What we see angers us deeply, and America is the accomplice. You can bet on one thing and that is that Hezbollah’s value has shot up tremendously among the people’

Badr says the 'Olmert is a war criminal just as was his boss Sharon. But now we have two more: Bush and Blair. Their complicity in this crime is undisputed. It was bad enough what they have done in Iraq, but this time they have advanced it a notch further. And they are resisting all efforts to stop this bloodshed. What do they think? By eliminating Hezbollah fighters, they have solved their problems? They would have to eliminate all of us.’

And I conclude with these thoughts from Abdulla. 'Regardless of the outcome of the current carnage, a great deal of damage has already been done. Not just to the peace process, but to the image of the United States as an honest broker of peace. Vilified now as never before for its blind and unflinching support of Israel, the US has lost many allies and eroded much support for its policies and image in the region. Thanks to Bush, Rice, Rumsfield et al.’

The writer is a Saudi socio/political columnist. He resides in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

:: Article nr. 25453 sent on 05-aug-2006 16:38 ECT


Link: www.aljazeerah.info/W-Temp/Voices%20about%20Lebanon%20from%20the%20street%20By%2

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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