Excuse Me, but Where is Your Heart?

By Carolyn Westmoreland

Carolyn WallerDeath. The US government has made this choice in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, and these are only a few current examples. Now we are seeing the death choice in Lebanon as well.

As usual our press and other media outlets in the US are broadcasting vivid pictures of bombed out buildings, roads, bridges, and a horrible, environmentally devastating oil spill in the Mediterranean due to bombing. Could there be hope in even this for Lebanese citizens? I heard one of them say that perhaps the world would do something now to protect the fish, and in doing so lessen the attacks on her country.

Where is the human face in all of this drumming for death? Do we see interviews of people who have been bombed out of their homes by the thousands in Lebanon and Iraq? Do we see the wounded? Do we hear that these people are not terrorists, but people who are just like us? Do we forget that these people have families, that they, like us, must eat, have shelter, and clean water to drink in order to survive? And, since when do one nation's children have more value than another? There are over 60 thousand refugees in Lebanon right now and well over a million have fled Iraq. Who will care for them?

We must keep in mind that the conflict in Lebanon is not just a war between Israel and Hezbollah. All of Lebanon is under attack, and we are full collaborators. The bombs being used are made in the US, and they have our names on them. We have a Secretary of State who says we are seeing the birth of democracy in the Mid East. Democracy has nothing to do with it. Israel is devastating Lebanon's civil society. The real goal is to "redraw the map" of the Middle East.

Hezbollah didn’t even exist until Israel demolished then occupied Lebanon in 1982. It has as much legitimacy as a home-grown resistance movement as any on earth. Polls show that support for Hezbollah is growing even among non-Muslim Lebanese.

Meanwhile, here at home, the voiceless are dying from the heat as the administration stubbornly denies global warming. These are the elderly and the poor. No names are given, … just faceless victims, like Katrina last year. Again we choose death, because to acknowledge the crisis might divert corporate profits. After all, Katrina achieved massive "urban renewal," and heat waves this year kill only the invisible poor. Nature may not be so selective in the calamities still to come.

By removing our focus on war and death, and the billions that support it, and instead making new choices with our votes and our dollars, a life-affirming path could open to us. We could learn once again to be a caring and concerned society. Building a better world would surely create as many jobs, and yes generate as much profit, as choosing death.

We must do better. Our own futures are at stake.

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