By Jospeh Farah Arab-American of Lebanese descent
You know, it's funny.
For years I've been trying to get people to pay attention to the deaths and destruction and injustices being perpetrated on my beloved Lebanon.
And nobody cared.
When Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization tried to take over the country and make it his terrorist playground, nobody cared.
When people were dying by the thousands in the civil war, nobody cared.
When Syria had its boot on the neck of its tiny neighbor for 25 years, nobody cared.
When Iran dispatched Hezbollah terrorists into the country to undermine home rule by Lebanese, nobody cared.
When Muslims chased millions of Christians from the country, tipping the balance of power, nobody cared.
But now, all eyes are on Lebanon.
Do you know why?
Because Israel has tried to clean up this hornet's nest. Yet, all we hear about is how many Lebanese are dying.
Can I let you in on a little secret?
Guess what the total death toll is among Lebanese during the extent of this war â€“ including Hezbollah terrorists, many of whom are not really Lebanese?
You better sit down.
The total death toll is just over 500.
Now, far be it for me to minimize death tolls. One innocent death is a tragedy. But this is the total â€“ all terrorists, civilians, Lebanese army, everything.
The whole world is going nuts over this "slaughter."
What is needed is some perspective here. May I offer it?
Last month alone, U.S. troops in Afghanistan announced killing 600 "suspected" Taliban. That's one month alone. We've been occupying this foreign country since 2002. It began in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. U.S. forces went halfway around the world to attack a sovereign nation, to overthrow the government and kill as many people as it deemed necessary over the last five years to prevent more terrorist attacks in the future. Few would suggest that Afghanistan represents any imminent threat to the U.S. today. By the way, according to U.S. military spokesmen, a total of 1,700 Afghanis have been killed since the start of the year. That includes some civilians, some aid workers and more than 70 foreign troops.
But, last time I checked, there weren't demonstrations in the streets of the U.S. or elsewhere around the world over this war.
Instead, everybody is going ape over Lebanon.
By the way, the government of Afghanistan, installed by the U.S., is happy about the war. President Hamid Karzai wants to see the terrorists rooted out of his country. He recognizes it represents the best chance for his nation to be free.
Meanwhile, back in Lebanon, a government that has tolerated terrorist bases on its soil for years and years is suddenly indignant about Israel's retaliation against incessant attacks from those strongholds.
Does any of this make sense?
Do you think those screaming about the bloodshed in Lebanon really give a hoot about Lebanon? If so, where have they been for the last 30 years?
Why is Lebanon the top story in every newscast? Why is Lebanon on the front page of every newspaper? Don't you get the impression that the violence there is probably worse than anywhere else on the planet from this focus?
Clearly it is not.
And the only difference is who's doing the butt kicking in Lebanon.
As for me, an American of Lebanese and Syrian heritage, I don't want to see a "cease-fire." I want to see Lebanon freed of the terrorist blight, once and for all. I want to see Lebanon freed from domination by Iran and Syria. I want to see Lebanon be Lebanon. I don't want to see Lebanon suffer for another 30 years. It's time to clean up the mess and allow this poor, little country to heal.
And that means getting rid of the disease of Hezbollah â€“ now.