This story is about a week old, but I just heard about it after watching CNN for a few minutes and listening to someone who is either a lawyer or spokesperson on behalf of the Arab group filing this suit. First, the story:
DETROIT (Reuters) – An Arab-American civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit on Monday charging the Bush administration with failing to protect the lives of thousands of U.S. citizens trapped in Lebanon by the Israeli military offensive.
That group is the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Here’s the kicker, though (emphasis added):
The lawsuit, which was filed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, seeks an emergency court order that would compel the U.S. government to stop sending weapons to Israel as long as U.S. citizens are trying to leave Lebanon.
Get that? If it weren’t for the US gov’t sending weapons to Israel, the American citizens living in or visiting Lebanon wouldn’t be in any danger. Because we know Hezbollah terrorists don’t target and hide behind civilians, do they?
The group also is asking for an injunction that would force Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to request a ceasefire and an order that U.S. officials “increase their evacuation efforts and use all resources at their disposal,” including more military transports and commercial charters.
And where’s that public outcry on the part of the ADC for Hezbollah to stop firing its weapons, too? I must have missed it.
“This is not an issue of the Israel and Lebanese conflict. We’re only addressing the issue of United States citizens’ concerns for being free from harm,” Nabih Ayad, lead lawyer for the ADC, told reporters.
Right. It’s “not an issue of the Israel and Lebanese conflict” – that’s why the ADC only chooses to slam the US for sending weaponry to Israel, and not their Arab brothers in Hezbollah for starting this war to begin with.
But the perceived slow-pace of the response and an early, now-abandoned policy that required U.S. citizens to agree to pay for the costs of their evacuation have provoked widespread anger in Detroit’s Lebanese community, the largest outside Lebanon.
Nina Chahine, 19, who with her family was among the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said her wedding in the southern city of Tyre was set for July 13. The wedding had to be postponed as family members fled the outbreak of the war, she said.
“We were on the road and the first bridge was bombed and we drove home and all the other bridges were bombed and there was absolutely no way for us to get home,” Chahine told reporters outside federal court in Detroit.
“We were all American citizens and there was no way that anybody helped us. No communications nothing. I was on my way to my wedding fearing death, basically.”
Um, Lebanon isn’t exactly known as a tourists paradise, lady. Why didn’t you leave or at the very least take extra precautions when the US warned potential US visitors to Lebanon (as well as US citizens already living there) a year and a half ago as to how dangerous it was to be there, and how Americans could be targeted?
This lawsuit is nothing but a sham – and it provides yet another glimpse into the gimme mentality of American citizens who should have heeded advanced warnings about the dangers posed from living in or visiting Lebanon as well as gives yet one more Arab-affiliated group the opportunity to slam the US and Israel under the thin veil of supposed neutrality, while iconveniently failing to call on their Arab brothers to stop their (large) part in this war. Don’t fall for it.
As a sidenote, I also have to give credit to the CNN anchor who interviewed the two people they had on who were pushing this lawsuit (one was a plaintiff who had signed on, the other was – as I noted before – either a lawyer or spokesman for the ADC – sorry, I didn’t catch their names). The anchor actually took a defensive posture towards what the two interviewees were saying and got quite exasperated towards the end. He looked relieved when the segment was over. So here is a rare show of props on my part towards CNN.
Here are the latest developments in the conflict in the Middle East.