FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is an open letter to President Bush from Salim El
Hoss, an eminently "moderate" many-times prime minister of Lebanon who
is widely known as the "conscience of Lebanon". While it was written on
August 1, its sentiments, which are widely held even among "moderates"
in the Arab world, are unlikely to have been moderated by anything that
has happened since -- notably including the obscenely pro-Israel
Resolution 1701 imposed on the Security Council by the United States and
France, which seeks to legitimize and reward aggression and war crimes
and to achieve for Israel by "diplomatic" means what Israel was unable
to achieve for itself by military means. (It won't work, but the effort
will add to the bitterness and hatred directed at the West.)
*An open letter to the American president *
By Salim El Hoss, former prime minister of Lebanon
The Daily Star, August 3, 2006
Dear Mr. Bush,
We heard you express your regrets regarding the casualties of "Israel's"
ravaging war against my country, Lebanon.
I hope you have been furnished with a true profile of the atrocities
being perpetrated in my country. You pose as being at war with
terrorism. Let me honestly tell you: Charity starts at home.
"Israel" is wantonly indulging in the most horrendous forms of terrorism
in Lebanon: indiscriminately killing innocent civilians at random; not
sparing children, elderly or handicapped people; demolishing buildings
over their residents' heads; and destroying all infrastructure, roads,
bridges, water and power arteries, harbors, air strips and storage
facilities. Nothing moving on the highways is spared, not even
ambulances, trucks, trailers, cars or even motorcycles, all in violation
of the Geneva Conventions and human rights.
The displaced population has reached more than one fourth of the total
population of my country - all suffering the harshest and most miserable
of conditions. The victims include thousands of killed and maimed.
If this is not terrorism, what is?
"Israel's" savage assault has been labeled retribution for Hizbullah's
abduction of two Israeli soldiers. This smacks of collective punishment,
which constitutes a brazen violation of the Geneva Conventions and human
rights. Furthermore, the alibi is far from plausible. The two Israeli
soldiers were abducted for the express purpose of reaching a swap of
hostages with "Israel". In fact, "Israel" had acceded more than once to
such swaps in the past. Why would a swap of prisoners be acceptable at
one time and a taboo, rather a casus belli, at another? This created a
conviction among the Lebanese that the sweeping assault against them was
premeditated, and the abduction was only a tenuous excuse.
"Israel" is indulging in terrorism at its worst, at its ugliest, using
the most lethal and sophisticated weapons you have supplied them.
We the Lebanese are justified in seeing in "Israel" as a most atrocious
terrorist power, and seeing in you a direct partner. Mr. President: You
are indeed a terrorist practicing the worst variant of terrorism as you
condone the annihilation of my country, precluding a cease-fire to be
announced, supporting the aggression against my people politically and
diplomatically and bolstering "Israel's" destructive arsenal with the
most lethal weaponry.
Mr. President: You are not fooling anybody with your alleged war against
terrorism. In our perspective, you and "Israel" are the most
unscrupulous terrorists on earth. If you want to fight terrorism, we
suggest that you start with your administration and your hideous ally,
You repeatedly claim that "Israel" is acting in self-defense. How
preposterous! Self-defense on other people's occupied territory is
tantamount to one thing: blatant aggression.
You call Hizbullah a terrorist organization. We call it a legitimate
resistance movement. There would have been no military wing of Hizbullah
if there had been no Lebanese territory under Israeli occupation, if
there had been no Lebanese hostages languishing in Israeli jails, and if
Lebanon had not been exposed to almost daily Israeli intrusions into its
airspace and territorial waters, and to sporadic incursions into
Lebanese land and bombardment of civilian targets.
You cannot eliminate a party by demolishing a whole country. This would
have been achieved peacefully by "Israel" withdrawing from the land it
occupies, releasing Lebanese prisoners, and desisting from further acts
of aggression against Lebanon.
"Israel" is the most horrendous terrorist power. And you, Mr. President,
are unmistakably a direct partner, and hence a straight terrorist.
August 1, 2006
Source: Daily Star, 3-8-2006. Date: 03/08/2006