How Many More Must Die?

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

As each day passes, I watch in horror. Every day brings the deaths of more Lebanese and Israelis, with the Lebanese deaths far exceeding those in Israel. So far, about 14 Israeli civilians have been killed by Hezbollah rocket fire. At the same time, more than 300 Lebanese, almost all civilians, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.

And I have only one question: How many more must die?

The world continues to witness the daily killing of civilians on both sides, yet all the “International Community” is able to do is send diplomats to discuss the situation with government officials. World leaders discuss the terrible situation in St. Petersburg over lunch as if it was a sporting event. All the while people continue to get killed.

How many more must die?

President Bush – who vetoed a bill expanding Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on the grounds that it is “murder” – expresses his frustration at U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan’s call for an immediate cease fire by telling British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “I don’t like the sequence of it. [Kofi Annan’s] attitude is basically cease-fire and everything else happens.”

God forbid! A cease-fire so that no more innocent people are killed? How dare Annan suggest such a thing!

The entire situation is spinning out of control. Both sides have come too far to back peddle now. The entire world, with the United States at the helm, must exert all efforts to implement an immediate cease fire between Hezbollah and Israel. That way, the killing stops. After the killing stops, then everything else can be sorted out.

Yet, that does not seem to be the plan of the United States. According to an article in the New York Times:

Outlines of an American-Israeli consensus began to emerge on Tuesday in which Israel would continue to bombard Lebanon for about another week to degrade the capabilities of the Hezbollah militia, officials of the two countries said.

Then, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would go to the region and seek to establish a buffer zone in southern Lebanon and perhaps an international force to monitor Lebanon’s borders to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining more rockets with which to bombard Israel.

American officials signaled that Ms. Rice was waiting at least a few more days before wading into the conflict, in part to give Israel more time to weaken Hezbollah forces.

Yet, at what cost? How many more must die?

Later on in the article, a “senior American official” was quoted by the Times article as saying, “Some people are uncomfortable with the American position, and we’re very careful how we talk about it. We are not going to be wagering with the lives of innocent people here.”

But, that is exactly what it looks like America is doing. Yet, I ask again, at what cost? How many more must die?

If using human embryos – which are slated to be destroyed as “medical waste” – for embryonic stem cell research is “murder” according to the President, then how can he sit idly by as dozens of innocent human beings are killed each and every day in Gaza, Israel, and Lebanon?

How many more must die? 1000? 2000? 5000? 10,000? 50,000?

Isn’t human life – all human life, Arab and Israeli – sacred and precious? Isn’t our society one based on a “culture of life”? Shouldn’t we – in the words of our President – always “err on the side of life”?

If so, then how can we wait and let the killing in Israel and Lebanon continue? How can we let politics get in the way of the preservation of human life? How can we just sit there and watch both sides kill each other – especially since one side inflicts far more damage than the other – and do absolutely nothing? How will face God on the Last Day? What will we say to His Holy Face?

There must be an immediate cease-fire. Blame can be assigned and punishment meted out later. The killing, however, must end first. Everyone understands that the solution to this crisis is not a military one. Thus, why let the bloodshed on both sides continue? Human life is not and should never be a pawn in the ugly game of geopolitics. My God and my faith have inspired me to feel this way. The fighting must end and must end now. How many more must die?


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