Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quoted from a Dutch-Israeli IDF 1982 War Veteran

This is a comment by lennybruce to Delirious's post on LBF

It is heart warming to find that some people can still see clearly through the thick fog of war.

Take my hand.......

I am dutch-israeli, an IDF veteran of Lebanon 1982, and since that experience a committed peace activist. My thoughts on the current human tragedy:

Civilian deaths and displacement are UNACCEPTABLE regardless of one's point of view.

You can say whatever you want about who started what and when and why, but the fact remains that the human suffering in Lebanon is absolutely and totally unacceptable. If you believe it is acceptable, then please explain your view: why the great majority of the dead, injured and displaced, who have NOTHING to do with Hezbollah should deserve what they are receiving? Why? What crime have they committed? And if you say, well.. you know.. lots of them support Hezbollah.. then I say to you, since when is someone's opinion or feeling about something justification for death? I must have missed that lesson.

So again, whatever side of the debate you are on, Israel's actions and reactions to Hezbollah, is causing a humanitarian disaster. (Yes, I know there are lots of disasters around the world, but that doesnt mean this is not one so spare me that line). And you can believe what you want that the ultimate responsibility is Hezbollah's, (and there is some truth to that which will have to faced in honest introspection) but I guarantee you, all the dead in Lebanon are lying under Istraeli bombs and shells.

True military victory is not possible.

Anyone with any knowledge will know that short of a level of destruction and death, which everyone will have to face as meeting normative criteria of war crimes, there is no military solution. No modern conventional army has succeeded in defeating an entrenched 'guerilla' movement once it has reached a critical mass of military prowess and social support. So you have two choices: stop because killing isnt going to achieve the goal anyway or raise the level to that which will undeniably be one of war crimes. Or do like the babylonians and romans used to do... kill indiscriminately in huge numbers and forcibly disperse huge numbers in order to pacify a country. Anyone here really willing to do that? So, you can just as well stop now then.

And last, yes my Lebanese friends, at some point, you too will have to make a choice.

You do know, that a democratic country can not function with an independent militia that is actually stronger than the army of the central government. I understand what Hezbollah has meant for you. They were the ones who lead the way to Israel's withdrawal from (almost all of) Lebanon. They fulfill a vital function in many areas in education, healthcare and welfare. I appreciate that. And I appreciate the fact that your country is still a fragile democracy, an emerging democracy, with many rivalries that if not managed delicately can threaten your emerging democracy. So tell us, tell the world, how we can help, what we can do (after stopping this war) to aid your country move to the next level of stable democracy. But first, you do have to decide about an independent army that can, if it wants, probably bring down the central government.

I know one thing, to solve my pain I need your cooperation and you need my cooperation to solve your pain. We are then each other's key to solving the other's pain. And I will start by saying, no more will I try and prove that my pain and suffering is greater than yours. And make that my justification for inflicting more pain on you. Pain is pain. A dead baby is a dead baby regardless of color, religion, place or time. The mother hurts the same. So take my hand, and lets stop this nonsense. Together, in peace, jew, muslim, christian, druze, shia, sunni, whatever.... together we can recreate the garden of eden in the middle east.

peace and love

lennybruce

13 Comments:

Blogger silentman1 said...

sorry, I posted it earlier by mistake. The comment is meant to be here

ammmm.... I was just wondering why do the Lebanese never take any responsibility for their actions? It was amazing to hear that Hezbollah actions in south Lebanon and behing ths Israeli border have nothing to do with the Lebanese govenment. As the Lebanese PM mentioned: "they didn`t consult with us...". What kind of a country is this? I think that this has something to do with the blogs posted earlier. Lebanon is maybe a country but it is not a nation. There is the state of Beirut which is also divided but the government do have some control over it, and there are the other parts of Lebanon which really have nothing to do with Lebanese sovereignty. It is sad and it has it`s historical backround but in order to survive the Lebanese people should take responsibility and establish a real nation. Until that happens don`t be surprised that you are the playground of the US, UK, Iran, Syria and Israel.

p.s. start with getting rid of your "Syrian" president...

10:34 PM  
Blogger Fares said...

Israeli Arrogance and Bush latest Trick

Breaking the cycle of violence

12:00 AM  
Anonymous anne k said...

"Pain is pain. A dead baby is a dead baby regardless of color, religion, place or time. The mother hurts the same."

No amount of PHDs in ME studies will convince me otherwise.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I think he's very right, both on an emotional level as well as a practical one. Stamping out guerilla movements doesn't generally work by bombing from the air, and often doesn't work at all in the long run when the guerillas receive significant support from the indigenous population. The US has some learned some bitter lessons of its own in that regard.

Hopefully Israel won't, out of frustration, eventually feel compelled to resort to the "Babylonian" solution.....

8:54 AM  
Blogger laila said...

silentman and silentman1

i long for the days where silence was golden.

"There is the state of Beirut which is also divided but the government do have some control over it, and there are the other parts of Lebanon which really have nothing to do with Lebanese sovereignty"

what is this garbage? please educate yourself then come back. seriously.
or remain silent. its your right. please use it.

9:08 AM  
Blogger AM said...

Princess,
Lol, I long for those days too. It's revolting how ignorant ones dare to impose and preach us!

Silentman,
How about going by what your name says, sigh ...

9:42 AM  
Blogger Lebanese Meze said...

lennybruce, for your namesake, I'm ready to cooperate.

10:05 AM  
Blogger lennybruce said...

Insane in the membrane,

Any reason to cooperate is a great one...

And after reading your blog, dont think you're insane at all ;)

11:10 AM  
Blogger halla said...

wonderful words by lennybruce..however in reality there is so much hatred in the air, in peoples hearts, in order to accept a helping hand from the other side one needs to accept the bridge of dialogue. A dialogue of truce, of pride held down, of acceptance of past mistakes which resulted in the death and destruction of our extended family ..we are distant cousins and the worst fight of all is when its between families. Will we all be able to see past the anger, the hate, the its your fault attitude? I suggest baby steps..little tiny baby steps..like the 4 month old baby that lies underneath the rubble, broken and lifeless...nothing to do with this war yet a victim of circumstance..can we make the baby walk again, talk again, laugh and cry again...perhaps baby steps, one foot at a time.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Battal Agha said...

I would have thought that some "sane" mind would say, well yes this guy is right. We have our own responsibility for this mess. But no, I see that no one seems to realize that Lebanon is in fact a loose conglomerate of Religious/sub-religious factions, Tribes and clans, Political parties (linked to foreign interests) and LEBANON as a NATION comes at the very end. As long as LEBANON's interests are the last ones to prevail, then wse are all doomed...... Syria will soon come back (hope to god I am wrong)

3:52 PM  
Blogger lennybruce said...

Battal Agha,

In some private replies, a few Lebanese did say that or something similiar. But one person, who agreed with much of what I wrote, said, "But this bit rubs me the wrong way, with all due respect:
"you do know, that a democratic country can not function with an independent militia that is actually stronger than the army of the central government."Yes, Lenny, many Lebanese do know that. Many, many, many Lebanese - Sunnis, Christians, Druze, non-Hizbullah Shi'ites I dare say - wanted Hizbullah disarmed. THere was some talk of "legitimate resistance" blah blah. But it was clear to many that an independent militia is a hazard. You won't be seeing that discussion now in the Lebanese blogs much, because many people have decided to table that until this war is over."

I can appreciate her sentiments, that difficult introspection about one's own country while being brutalized by an external enemy may not go hand in hand. Something for after the dust settles down. I just hope that Israel's actions havent gone so far in permanently tipping the balance about how people feel about Hezbollah's military role.

Peace and love

1:51 AM  
Blogger redfox said...

Bruce's comments (among others)force me to keep hoping in the humankind.
Only wish there are many of his calibre!!

9:03 AM  
Blogger lennybruce said...

Fouad,

I have written something else, much more personal and revealing about my experiences in Lebanon in '82. It's titled, 'How I learned to hate war and love country music - my spiritual journey in Lebanon.'

http://thru-other-eyes.typepad.com/

I would be happy if you were to read it, and honoured if it you were to excerpt or refer to it here as I am sure you get a lot more readers I would like to reach than I can with my just started blog... I know this sounds like unashamed marketing, but when u read the piece, I think you'll understand why it is so important to me at this moment in time. Thanks so much. Peace and love.

4:47 AM  

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