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August 1998 
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MER - Washington - 7/29:

It was unprecedented in impact, as it happened over land. A decade ago a Pan Am jet blew up over Lockersbie on a trip from Frankfurt to London to New York -- hundreds of civilians were killed. After an exhaustive investigation the Americans and British blamed the Libyans and imposed sanctions upon Libya that still remain in effect today.

Only a few years before the Americans had attacked Tripoli attempting to kill Qaddafi. Finally, after repeatedly refusing trial in a neutral country for those accused, and all the while insisting on sanctions, the Americans are now changing their position but still refusing to lift sanctions and threatening all others who do.

It was completely unprecedented. Two years ago the Israeli army opened fire on a U.N. safe-haven area in southern Lebanon that everyone knew about and was clearly marked on all maps -- hundreds of civilians were killed or terribly maimed for life. After an exhaustive investigation the U.N. determined the Israelis had shelled Qana on purpose; journalists discovered video showing an Israeli spy plane overhead allowing Israeli commanders to watch the carnage; and Amnesty International independently charged the Israelis with mass murder and cover-up. The Israelis refused to even cooperate with the investigation, lied and covered up at every step of the way, and the Americans vetoed any U.N. actions and in fact "fired" the U.N. Secretary General for even letting the unprecedented damning U.N. Report be made public.

It too was unprecedented. Sixteen years ago the Israelis and their Lebanese allies slaughtered thousands of totally defenseless Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla near Beirut.

The Israelis held an "investigation", blamed it all on then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon though no one was actually tried and held accountable, and today Ariel Sharon is one of the most powerful Government Ministers in Israel recently declaring his "availability" to be Prime Minister.

The old addage about might making right seems to be in play here. It's time to bring such injustices and hypocrisies to an end. And its time for American to lead, rather than block, the way.


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