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Letter from Lebanon

June 2006

Ha! I think I am becoming a reporter now! First, we are still safe, but hardly anyone sleeps. The bombing has been continuous, day and night with no reprieve. We are in the mountains and we are awakened by the sound of the explosions. And it's not as if you can just fall back asleep after hearing a bomb land. You can imagine what it is like if you are in Beirut. The situation is extremely serious.
 
I want to reiterate that we need your help in disseminating this information and hopefully getting it to the press. The news you are receiving is skewed. This is a well orchestrated war that Israel is carrying out. This is not a reaction to Hizbullah's apprehending two of its soldiers. It becomes clearer by the day that there is a master plan that Israel is executing. Israel has literally kidnapped the entire country. One by one they are destroying every single road that leads out of the country. Just this evening around 8:00 p.m. we heard Israeli planes flying overhead only to hear a few minutes later on the radio that they destroyed a mountain road that leads to the Bekaa valley. This road is further up the mountain from where we live, in a primarily Christian village.
 
On the news earlier we heard that of the 93 Lebanese killed, only 3 were soldiers. As of 8:30 p.m. more than 120 Lebanese are dead and over 500 wounded.
 
Yesterday they bombed a small port in Amchit, a Christian village about one hour north of Beirut. Why? The Israelis got wind that a French ship carrying medical supplies was arriving. Damaging the port they prevented these critical medical supplies from reaching their destination.
 
This afternoon, the Israelis decimated a small Christian village,Ain Ebel in the south of Lebanon. The mayor was pleading with the UN for a cessation of the Israeli bombing so they could evacuate women and children, and eventually to get food and medical supplies. Again, Ain Ebel is far from being a Hizbullah basis.
 
Over 1 million Lebanese, that's nearly one third of the entire population has been displaced! Hotels, homes in the mountains are packed to the brim trying to accommodate these people made refugees in their own country.
Is anyone really still convinced that Israel is attacking only Hizbullah targets?  
Even during the 15 years of war, never ever were all roads, ports, and airports simultaneously blocked. Now Israel has kidnapped and trapped the entire country.
Now, to end with a little story. A news item that I am sure did not make big news in the American press:
On June 21, 2006, about three weeks ago, The Daily Star, published an article about Lebanon expecting complete support from the UN Security Council about a complaint the Lebanese government was presenting to them. The Lebanese were following proper international protocol. It was discovered that Mossad has a network in Lebanon and has assassinated at least 3 Lebanese citizens which the Israelis believed to be "terrorists. What is worse? Hizbullah's kidnapping two Israeli soldiers or Israeli agents coming onto Lebanese territory and assassinating its citizens? It's like having a North Korean secret service cell in the U.S. killing American citizens. Would the U.S. sit back and do nothing? It's an outrage. Yet, Israel destroys Lebanon with impunity and no one pays attention to the infractions that Israel does. And what right does Lebanon have to defend itself? If Lebanon, dared to do what Israel is doing to it now, it would be labeled "terrorist."
 
I once again plead with you to get this news out. Israel is destroying Lebanon while the United States puts its head in the sand! These atrocities must stop!

Mae'n loes calon i mi ar hyn o bryd weld yr erchyllderau sydd ar ein sgrin o'r Dwyrain Canol. Rwyf wedi e-bostio Mr. Blair i ofyn yn daer arno feirniadu'r hyn sy'n digwydd yn llym a sicrhau diwedd i'r lladd dianghenrhaid sy'n digwydd. Heno rwy'n clywed fod awyrenau o America yn aros yn yr Alban i gael rhagor o dannwydd i gario rhagor o arfau. Rwy'n erfyn arnoch i siarad â'r prifweinidog yn syth a datgan y tristwch a'r siom o'r diffyg UNWAITH ETO i ymateb i sefyllfa argyfyngus mewn ffordd dyngarol. Mae teuluoedd yn cael eu lladd, plant yn cael eu lladd, mamau a thadau yn colli eu plant...eto. Rwy'n gofyn yn daer i chi fy sicrhau  bod hyn yn cael ei drosglwyddo i'r prifweinidog. MAe'n wyliau haf a'm plant adref o'r ysgol yn mwynhau'r gwers ac yna yn gweld erchyllderau ar newyddion amser cinio ac yn fy holi i "Pryd ddigwyddodd y rhyfel yma mam?" a fi yn gorfod ateb " nawr bach, nawr." 
Hyderaf y gwnewch eich gorau i gyfathrebu fy neges i'r Prifweinidog cyn gynted ag y bo modd.
 
Diolch yn fawr,

I just thought I would send a note to express my disgust and despair with the role that this wretched government is playing during the current crisis.One would think that even the appalling Blair may have learned something from the Iraq fiasco but apparently he hasn't. We actually have a situation where a Labour PM is colluding with Bush and Israel to prevent a ceasefire so that Israel can continue its reckless,barbaric and illiegal assault on innocent civilians and on the infrastructure of a country which has suffered so terribly in the recent past.By so doing he has undermined the UN,the EU, and this country’s standing in the world and alienated evn more people within the muslim world so increasing the threat of terrorism here.
 
I know I am speaking to the converted,but like literally millions of people in this country at the moment I feel totally powerless.

This week I sat and watched an American audience, many chewing on large cigars, applaud as Mr Blair rose to speak in the US. I felt an overwhelming sense of shame that, as Mr Blair completed his speech and then hit the party circuit, more children were due to die within hours as the Israelis had announced further air strikes were to take place.
 
My abiding memory of this tragic time will be the image of a man carrying the broken body of a small child from the ruins of Qana. We should all hang our heads in shame if we cannot see that whilst we may sometimes make poor decisions, the demand for an end to the immediate killing of children is the ONLY decision.