Stuck In Beirut

Monday, July 17, 2006

The gloves are off

Greetings from the mountains of Lebanon. Although I am technically no longer stuck in Beirut, the adventure continues. To my friends, co-workers, neighbors and family who have been following my notes, I apologize for not posting anything sooner. We were a little busy the last couple of days trying to find a new base away from the sounds of war. The kids were getting scared and asking questions we could not answer. Anyway, we are fine and have everything we need for now, Thank God.
Meantime, the fighting has escalated. Israel is not letting up on the civilian population. The aunt of my brother in-law was seriously injured overnight, sitting in her apartment, minding her own business. Althought some people echo the international sentiments that Israel has the right to defend itself by any means, and although I still believe they are excercising maximum self-control, I still fail to see how destroying Lebanon and killing innocent people serves anyone in the long term. These injuries are not happening as a result of collateral damage. Just because HizbAllah employs terrorist actions and because Lebanon was incapable of controlling them, does not give the world the right to remain silent while the carnage continues. Its as if Lebanon and the Lebanese are a price that everyone is willing to pay on the war on terror. I find that difficult to believe from my adopted country. I now have an idea of how the people of New Orleans must have felt after Katrina devastated their city and the government took its time to help them. The Lebanese government knew that the price to force HizbAllah to disarm was going to be pretty steep, and that they could not afford it. It was like a tumor on your hand, and you want to keep postponing the operation. Israel was ready to act and it is now cutting off the arm at the shoulder while everyone else watches from the sidelines. I hope things will calm down again soon, that the hostages are safe, that this war stops in Lebanon and does not expand to the entire region.
The people here in our adopted mountain village are very nice. The owners of the building where we are now staying gave us their parking spot (a luxury in tight spaces) and have bent over backward to ensure we have everything we need. Still, I would not wish this situation on my worst enemy. It was difficult to find any sleep last night. Too many thoughts running through my mind. We are waiting for the US goverment to tells us what the evacuation plan is going to be, and we decided to wait it out right here for now. Many people who fled to Damascus are stuck there waiting for flights to Europe, so I still consider us very lucky. I saw hundreds of people drive by on their way from Southern lebanon to the Bekaa valley, only to hear later that the Bekaa was heavily hit that night. A trip that normally would take 2 hours is now requiring 10 or even 12 hours to complete. May God lift this condition on everyone and may they find peace and happiness wherever they end-up.
I am looking forward to getting back to work. I don't think I will have any difficulty making tough decisions anymore. My projects will be delivered ahead of time, under budget and above expectations. That will be a very welcomed return to my routine.

8 Comments:

  • Hi,

    I'm a producer at National Public Radio in the States. Any chance you'd be willing to talk by phone about your experience in Beirut? Please email srohde@npr.org or call (310) 815-4226.

    Thank you, and I hope you and your family are well.

    Skye

    By Blogger skyeball, at 7:29 AM  

  • There is a solution. Peacekeepers should be sent in with the authoity to disarm Hezbollah and ensure that they comply with U.N. res. 1559. Failing that, Israel is going to continue to be in the regrettable position of continually having to respond to these acts of aggression. And, the people of Lebanon are going to continue to be caught in the crossfire.

    By Blogger Phil Dillon, Prairie Apologist, at 9:12 AM  

  • If 130k American troops can't disarm the terrorists in Iraq, what makes you think a UN peacekeeping force can disarm Hezbollah? The only thing peacekeeprs have been good at lately is accepting bribes and raping children.

    I wouldn't wish a UN peacekeeping force on my worst enemy.

    By Blogger blogagog, at 9:35 AM  

  • FAA, check your e-mail.

    By Blogger JBFricks, at 1:14 PM  

  • Please remember that you and your family are in our prayers and in our thoughts.

    We are looking forward to you being our next Lunch and Learn speaker - hopefully very soon.

    By Blogger Roger W, at 3:11 PM  

  • i'm an american jew and a supporter of israel. these facts in no way contradict the heartbreak i'm feeling seeing images of destruction and learning about innocent civilians who are caught in the middle of this mess just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. lebanon seems remarkably beautiful, and i truly hope to be able to visit it one day safely and in friendship.

    By Blogger David Shernoff, at 11:20 PM  

  • B,
    Thanks for the up-date. We are very concerned about you and your family. Glad to read that have found a reasonably safe haven. We hope to read soon that you are on your way out of there.
    We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
    Barbara, Bob, David, Gretchen and Larry

    By Blogger LarryCCNA, at 4:55 AM  

  • My best wishes from Israel. I pray that no more innocent civilians are killed in this war! I wish you and your family and all of Lebanon all the best!

    By Blogger John, at 8:01 AM  

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