Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Plight Of Lebanese Christians

An issue that seems to be lost in all the news of the Mideast and the War Against Terror is the seemingly successful driving of Christians out of Lebanon.
In a recent article in the Washington Times National Edition, it is estimated that the Christian population of Lebanon is now 22%. as recently as 1970, the Christian population was well over 50%. The significance is what was the only majority Christian Arab nation in the Mideast is on its way to oblivion and that is a blow in fighting the Jihadists.
The drama all started when the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was kicked out of Jordan in 1970 set up shop in Beirut. They brought along many Islamic, so-called Palestinians and began changing the population of Lebanon. This is a direct cause of the Lebanese civil war of 1974-90. The tragedy of that is that the West abandoned its natural ally, the Christian Lebanese and tried, again and again to broker a "peace deal." The eventual result was Syria, which has always thought of Lebanon the way Red China thinks of the Republic of China (Taiwan)-a renegade province, came in with 25,000 troops and brought eventual order to chaos.
In the meantime, radical Shi'ites rallied around the Hezbollah banner and eventually, it became a state within a state. In the meantime, during and after the civil war, thousands of Christians fled Lebanon, which of course began to give Islamic Arabs an advantage. Since Syria has supposedly left Lebanon, some well thought political leaders, including a popular Sunni prime minister and another Christian cabinet member were assassinated. This has led to more and more Christians fleeing, worrying about a new civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ite Islamics.
The world seems to not care about the plight of Christians in Lebanon. As the celebrity class tells us that the slaughter in Darfur in the Sudan is what we should be worrying about, they are very silent about the systematic destabilizing of the only civilized group in Lebanon. Of course these same celebrities were very silent when the same Sudanese were fighting Christians in southern Sudan for almost 30 years. I do not mean to downplay Darfur, but this is just as much something we should worry about because if the Lebanese Christians are put in the same fate as the Coptic Christians in Egypt, there will be no strong Western presence in the Mideast.
The United States needs to stop this bleeding of the Christians from Lebanon. It must begin by recognizing that Hezbollah needs to be destroyed and new leadership must occur that recognizes all religious groups as equal and a strong central government must be installed. After all, it would be the second democracy in the Mideast and possibly a bulwark against Syria and yes Iran.
If Christians are forced from the cradle of the faith, we will have to share some of the blame.

No comments: