To the editor:
Lebanon is an ancient land with a proud heritage, but it has been an official independent country for only 63 years, and its modern course has been chaotic at best. The Lebanese seem able to create devastating problems for themselves with no help from the outside. The trouble is, Lebanon's neighbors have a nasty habit of butting in.
Since the late 1960s, Israel has invaded Lebanon periodically on one pretext or another. Both Israel and Syria consider parts - or all - of Lebanon as theirs. Their continued interference has weakened the Lebanese government until Lebanon is practically a country in name only. The Israeli invasion of 1982 was directly responsible for the growing strength of the Hezbollah.
Lebanon has been a democracy since 1943 and deserves our support. Instead, we stand by and watch its destruction.
The Israelis claim they combed the airport, seaports, roads and bridges to keep the Hezbollah from taking the kidnapped Israeli soldiers out of the country. That is a ridiculous and transparent lie. Hezbollah guerrillas do not need planes, boats or cars to move two captives out of Lebanon. Heck, they could dress up as Bedouins and move all around the Near East.
Maybe we should ask the Israelis how bombing a Lebanese army base is going to help destroy the Hezbollah. Maybe they can explain why they think bombing Lebanese civilians will cause the Lebanese people to turn against the Hezbollah. The truth is, every civilian death creates more support for the Hezbollah and more pain for Lebanon.