Saturday, July 1, 2006

The Qana Tragedy

Moral clarity and moral courage have been absent from most of the discussions about the Qana bombing. It is time that we put an end to the purely emotional selectively indignant posture.
That the killings at Qana are tragic is not an issue open for debate. The death of the 56 civilians was not only tragic but also horrific. Having said that we must immediately add that any uncalled for death, Lebanese, Israeli or otherwise is equally tragic. What makes a human life valuable and its demise a crime is neither the nationality nor the religion of the victim but their intrinsic right to life, liberty and happiness.
If we are to apply the above logic, which we must, then as we grieve for the children of Qana, we must also grieve for all the other children who lost their life and as we condemn the Israeli Air Force then we surely must condemn each and every missile fired by Hezbollah since non of them has a guidance system and thus each and every one of them could have potentially caused a Qana like massacre. Frankly, I have been very uncomfortable with the reaction of many of my Lebanese compatriots. They condemn Qana and in the same breath ask for revenge, they condemn Qana and yet they celebrate the death and destruction of their opponents, they condemn Qana but ask for a pound of flesh in return. Yes, we should condemn Qana, in the same way that we have an obligation to condemn all violent acts , but when we condemn Qana let us remember that what we are in essence condemning is war. We need to condemn the act itself and not only the outcome that we deem to be painful. As it has often been said War is hell, violence only breeds more of the same and it is time to hold ourselves to the same standards that we expect of our enemy. The pain and suffering from an adversity would not be a total waste if that occasion is transformed into a learning experience that will help guide our future actions. Maybe, just maybe, this conflict will finally lead us to reexamine, reevaluate and modify our thinking. Enough senseless wars, death and destruction.
Unfortunately, the results of the tragic events at Qana appear to have been compounded. In addition to the unwarranted loss of life we have failed to learn, benefit and grow from this experience. The Lebanese government in particular has thrown caution to the wind and has decided that it is more expedient to renounce moderation and reason .Instead it has embraced the rationale of justifying the actions and ill conceived tactics that have ignited this conflagration in the first place. We have allowed this tragedy to "Hizbollahnize" Lebanon instead of "Lebnanonizing Hizbollah" and that is the most tragic possible outcome.
Posted by: Ghassan Karam | Monday, July 31, 2006 at 04:48 PM

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