Planning was justified
So, Ahmed Shaikh is upset that Israel had plans to attack Hezbollah before it actually did (917, As I See It, “Facts don’t support Israel’s claims of self-defense”).
The last time I looked, Israel was pretty much surrounded by entities that want it destroyed. The Israeli government would have been negligent if it didn’t have plans to attack Hezbollah.
The fact that it waited for Hezbollah to be the aggressor only justifies its planning. At least it had a pretext to attack, unlike Hezbollah, whose only pretext is that it wants to eliminate the Israeli state.
If Shaikh is looking for some apologies, I will provide them. I am sorry that Lebanese civilians were killed. When you allow terrorists to occupy your neighborhood and import weapons against U.N. policy, you bear some responsibility for the consequences.
I am sorry that the United Nations appears to be willing to stand up to everybody except the people responsible for most of the violence in the world.
I am sorry that there is a group of people who have nothing better to do than plan for the destruction of another country merely because it is another country.
Kansas City, Kan.
Ahmed F. Shaikh’s commentary in the Sunday Star is unfounded and overlooks a basic concept: contingency planning. When you live in an area where major danger lurks, you must prepare for it.
The United States has contingency plans for attacks from North Korea. This does not mean that we want the Koreans to attack. But we would fail our basic duty to plan and prepare for such an attack.
I am sure the hospital where Shaikh works has contingency plans for tornadoes and car crashes. This does not mean that it goes out and causes car wrecks and tornadoes.
When people live next door to murderers who have sworn to destroy them, responsible people have plans to respond.
Every home in Israel has a bomb shelter. Shaikh should be grateful that he does not live in a country like that. Perhaps he should consider living in Egypt, Syria or Saudi Arabia — home of the Sept. 11 terrorists, the Beruit bombers, Achille Lauro hijackers and many others — where writing an editorial criticizing the government would land him in jail, if he was lucky.
Israel not blameless
This is to commend Ahmed F. Shaikh on his comments in the Sept. 17 As I See It.
I was impressed with his summation of the Israelis’ claims of self-defense. His writing is supported with facts and quotes and gives insight into what goes on behind the scenes of news articles. He did a better job of journalism than reporters are doing.
Most of us have access to the Internet and read more than what fits on a bumper sticker and is called news. There have been unending reports of Israeli torture, bombings of civilians and President Bush’s backing of these things.
I commend The Star for finally letting someone reveal the real news about Israel’s bombing of Lebanon. Shaikh deserves credit for the courage it took to put into writing the things everyone else is afraid to say out loud.
I invite people to the upcoming Middle East conference here in Kansas City sponsored by Citizens for Justice in the Middle East and the Village Presbyterian church (www.kcsabeelconference.org).
Kansas City, Kan.