FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA Topic: MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS
PHOENIX - Lebanon's Hezbollah Islamic terrorists blew up a civilian car with a roadside bomb on August 18, killing two Christian adolescents, a brother and a sister, and wounding a third child. All victims were members of the Nasr family of Jezzine, Lebanon's last remaining Christian enclave.
The killing of the two young Christians shocked this community of 80,000 in southern Lebanon, encircled and targeted by Hezbollah for years. Yet the world media, which treated most attacks on Israeli civilians or the Bosnian Muslims as front page news, shrugged off the killing of the Lebanese Christians as if they were non-persons.
To most people of the Jezzine Christian enclave, however, the Nasr family is a symbol of "martyrdom." In 1977, the father and one of his children were killed in a massacre of the village of Aishiye. In 1982, Nabil, his brother, the Aishiye Battalion commander, was killed in an operation in Kfar-Rouman. Another brother, Maroun, took over the battalion command and continued to defend the Aishiye area. Two years later Maroun was killed in an ambush in Birket Jabbour. His brother, Assaad, took over and fought for another two years before being killed on a mission. Now two of Assaad's children have been killed and one wounded.
"The family has no more children to send to the front to die for this country," a Jezzine source told the Lebanon Bulletin of August 18.
In retaliation for the killing of the two Nasr children, the (Christian) South Lebanese Army (SLA) shelled the predominantly Muslim port of Sidon. Seven civilian casualties resulted from this bombardment. In Beirut, the Hezbollah and pro-Syrian forces vowed revenge. In Jezzine, the SLA sources threatened further retaliation "deep inside Syrian-occupied Lebanon."
And so it goes... The 16-year Lebanese civil war may have "officially" ended in October 1990, but you'd never know it in Jezzine and the rest of southern Lebanon. Killings go on and the civilian casualties mount. The only difference is that now all this is happening in relative obscurity.
"The Christians of Jezzine are paying the price of the persecuted Christians of Lebanon, the Middle East, and ultimately all Christians worldwide," said Pierre Elias, a spokesman for the New York-based World Lebanese Organization (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), in an August 20 press release. "Hezbollah and Syria are attempting to ethnically cleanse the last free enclave of the Christian community."
As was the case in Western Bosnia and the Krajina regions of the former Yugoslavia, the U.S. government has contributed to the demise of the Lebanese Christians. First, the so-called "Kissingerian policy" toward Christians frustrated the U.S. Lebanese relations in the early 1970s. Karim Pakradouni, a Phalangist Lebanese politician, blamed the former U.S. Secretary of State (Henry Kissinger) for "setting the psychological ambiance of the (civil) war in Lebanon."
But the worst and the final blow to the Lebanese Christians was delivered in 1989-1990 by the George Bush administration. "The American foreign policy purposely endorsed Syria's plans in Lebanon, and gave the green light for Damascus to invade the Christian enclave," writes Dr. Walid Phares, in his book, "Lebanese Christian Nationalism - Rise and Fall of an Ethnic Resistance."
Why would a predominantly Christian nation (America) abandon the Christians in Lebanon to atrocities by the Muslim aggressors from Syria? Two reasons. First, the "American nation" does not conduct U.S. foreign policy; the New World Order elite does. Second, 1990 was the year in which the NWO leaders decided to teach Saddam Hussein a lesson about who was the boss. To do so, they needed Syria's support. Sacrificing the Lebanese Christians was the price the Bush administration paid to get Syria to join the Gulf War coalition.
But the anti-Christian sentiments had been discernible at the State Department even before the Gulf War. Dr. Phares points out in his book the evidence of "an American interest in promoting Arabism," and the "existence of an anti-Lebanese Christian trend within the decision-making circles of the American Foreign Service." Some U.S. diplomats even referred to the Lebanese Christians as "fascists."
The Serbian Christians should take note of the same demonization approach used by the same U.S. (State Dept.) officials to ensure defeat of another group of (Lebanese) Christians as they did against the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia. And how the "divide and conquer" U.S. tactics currently being practiced against the Serbs in Bosnia helped ignite the intra-Christian fighting in Lebanon - a prelude to the Christians' ultimate defeat at the hands of the Syrian invaders.
"Up until the last decade of the 20th century, the (Lebanese) Christian community... had prided itself on hundreds of years of solidarity," Dr. Phares writes. But the October 1990 civil war changed that record. "Thus the Christian Civil war cost them far more than the destruction of many lives and towns; it may well have marked the end of their political role in Lebanon, and, more importantly, their cultural identity." For, the new regime in Lebanon is "ideologically Arab, spiritually Muslim, and politically Syrian," Dr. Phares notes.
Yet, just like the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia, the Lebanese Christians were once a dominant group. In 1975 they formed 54% of the population of about 3 million, according to WLO's Mr. Elias. During the civil war 1975-1990, some 160,000 perished and more than 350,000 became emigrated - another parallel with the fate of the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia.
And just like the Serbs in Western Slavonia and the Krajina, the Lebanese Christians suffered treachery by their supposed "friends." Thousands of them were cleansed in the Shuf and Aley areas (central Mount Lebanon) in 1983, as a result of the unilateral withdrawal of Israel. The Druse, fundamentalist Muslims, and PLO forces - all backed by Syria, massacred thousands of Christians before besieging the town of Deir el-Qamar. Which only goes to show us that friendships based on the principle that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" are rather shallow indeed.
Today there are about 1.5 million Christians in Lebanon versus some 1.7 million indigenous Muslims, Mr. Elias says. But with the Palestinian camps, and one million Syrian workers brought in by Damascus, the Christians are now vastly outnumbered in their own homeland. In the Jezzine area there are about 80,000 people. If you add the security zone controlled by the South Lebanon Army and Israel, there are about 120,000 Christians in the last enclave.
The Bosnian Serb leaders would do well to remember what happened to the Lebanese Christians. They should also stare long and hard at our map of Bosnia circa 1998 which may result from their current factional squabbles. The Serbs, who had owned 64% of the land before the Bosnian war, may be jammed into an eastern Bosnia Christian enclave with only a fraction of their former territories. And the centuries old Serb ancestral lands in western Bosnia are likely to become a part of the first Muslim state in the history of Europe.
Parallels and similarities with Lebanon's Jezzine Christians are striking. And frightening. Christians worldwide can ignore them only at their own ultimate peril.
Americans, for example, only need to recall the 241 U.S. marines, sailors and soldiers who were killed in Beirut on October 23, 1983 by a Muslim terrorist-driven truck to appreciate the full weight of our government's subsequent treachery in condoning the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Yet here is the Clinton administration doing more or less the same thing again in helping the Bosnian Muslims and the Kosovo (predominantly Muslim) Albanians grab the land which had belonged to the Christian Serbs for centuries. Clinton's officials are also mum about the plight of the Lebanese Christians.
The message is clear: Washington's foreign affairs establishment is not only un-American; it is anti-Christian.
Also, check out also the TiM GW Bulletins: "Christianity Under Siege... Revisited", "New World Order's Control of Israel's Economy", "Caspian Sea Oil: The Matchmaker?", "We Have No Business Bombing Anyone Except in Self-Defense", "A Year of Awakening," "Like Bosnia, Like Lebanon"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Christianity Under Siege: Toward a One World Religion" and "The Three Musketeers"