Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: Hezbollah Offers New Orleans' Victims Assistance

8.16.2006

Hezbollah Offers New Orleans' Victims Assistance

As soon as the recent conflict between Hezbollah and Israel ended, a responsibility vacuum was created. Without roads, foods or medical supplies, Southern Lebanon has become a humanitarian disaster area. It has also become an opportunity for any of the major players to build relations with the war victims. And it looks as though the American administration is once again, going to wait until it's too late.

How strong Hezbollah remains militarily will depend largely on these next few weeks. As of now, the Iranian-backed militia has offered a years rent to anyone who's lost their home during the war. Not only that, but they are literally building new homes, they are providing food, water and disbursing money to the people in the region who need it the most: the war victims. So why isn't this Administration leaping to action to win "hearts and minds" of those who are looking for assistance? After all, this administration has done everything it could to wipe Hezbollah out using Israel as its muscle. Well, we are, but we're working with the wrong people: the Lebanese government. The one who has absolutely no control of what occurs inside its own borders. We are sending them upwards of $50 million dollars to spend as they think necessary and their priority isn't going to be rebuilding a poor, war torn area first. They're going to build the areas that will create the wealth; ports, bridges and factories. And it is this short-sighted, unimaginative logic which is the real reason we have no footing in the Middle East.

America has an opportunity to turn this region around by showing people what we are capable of building, not just bombing. With a few simple acts of charity this administration can undermine the loyalty of Hezbollah's constituents by showing them that America is not just a fist smashing down on the region indiscriminately robbing any nation we see fit of its natural resources. We now have the opportunity to show up, as heroes, but with sacks of grain, piles of lumber and a few thousand hammers, not with two six-shooters blazing.

Given our current administration, this seems unlikely. Whether you agree with Hezbollah or not, they are busy creating a base of supporters by providing kindness to a region that is their home. Back in the United States of America, the wealthiest (for now) nation on the planet, we have a President who can't even cut his vacation short while a thousand of his own citizens die needlessly in a hurricane. If you were in Southern Lebanon, with whom would you side?

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