Friday, July 21, 2006
Paying for the bombs dropped on your head
It's an eery and ironic sight -- watching one ship after the other steaming in from the darkness and arriving in the port in Larnaca, Cyprus. Warships of great power unable to halt a conflict with their armies are instead helping the helpless to flee. Ferries and cruise ships usually signaling hordes of merry vacationers are packed to the gills with tired, sweaty, weary evacuees.

They pour out of the vessels by the hundreds, boarding buses taking them to the next ordeal -- getting through customs and processing by their own countries. Lining up behind their countries' flags, anxiously waiting to hear whether they'll catch a plane now or wait. The lucky stranded get a hotel; others a cot in a hall.

All seem grateful to be on safe ground, but fearful for their relatives still in Lebanon. "And strange that my tax dollars are being used to pay for the bombs being dropped on me," says one American.
Posted By Chris Burns, CNN Correspondent: 11:23 AM ET
  80 Comments
If Israel is dropping US supplied bombs that are actually paid for by the 3 billion dollars in aid the US gives Israel every year, then by default the US is killing innocents by just standing by and doing nothing. I think Israel is the problem as according to non-US papers, those Israel soldiers captured by Hezbollah were inside Lebanon's border, so they have every right to hold them. Also Israel is holding many Lebanese and Palestinians prisoners. Israel needs to be taken out, the US should cutoff all aid as Israel is pretty well off compared to it's neighors.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Boulder CO : 11:38 AM ET
That bewildered statement holds astonishing poignancy ... I guess that American has a mission when he/she gets home: organize and lobby your elected officials unrelentingly to change your' foreign policy. Let your' voices be heard so loud and so clear that no ambiguity distorts your' message: NO MONEY, NO BOMBS, NO AIDE TO ISREAL, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. IT'S TIME FOR THE NEIGBOURHOOD BULLY TO BE REIGNED IN.
Posted By Anonymous Sasha,Calgary,Canada : 11:40 AM ET
Why do we give over two billion dollars in foreign aid to Israel?

It seems like there are other countries around the world that need it more. Also, it could be spent on education, and to help the disenfranchised in the United States.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 11:43 AM ET
He pays by tax money Israeli pay by their blood
to get rid of his enemies( Don't forget what Hizbolla did to american marins and Iraq).How many 9/11 there will be if muslem fundamentalist terrorist will win this war.
Posted By Anonymous Sam.Toronto.Ontario : 11:55 AM ET
Really ticks me off. Over 3,000 died here just a few years ago and now we are crying about a few hundred in a nation that would just as soon see the US adn Israel wiped of the face of the earth - but then who would thy go after next. Probably the Europeans and then each other. This is a culture that wants Islam to be the world religion, join it or have your head lopped off. Collateral damage is a fact of war. I, for one, am glad to see Israel taking a stand. I guess the liberals in this country don't realize we lost 90,000 plus in Asia Pacific alone in WWII. But of course, the Japanese lost 1,600,000 (yes, that is 1 million, 600 thousand) - soldiers alone. Forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did someone say something about an excessive response by Israel?

I will not be at all surprised if this one is cut from your list and never sees the light of day!

Dennis Pence - Bedford, TX
Posted By Anonymous Dennis Pence - Bedford, TX : 11:57 AM ET
While I understand that these "refugees" are worried about their families in Lebanon I also feel like being caught over there is really there own fault. For years that country and region have been considered the most dangerous place on Earth, especially for Americans, yet they still went over there. Then when the situation falls apart they have the nerve to DEMAND that the US government come and "rescue" them. If they hadn't been there in the first place they wouldn't be in trouble. Then they have the nerve to complain about the conditions of the evacuation. I say if you don't like it get off the evacuation boat and give that seat to someone that will appreciate getting "saved" from a situation they should've never gotten into.
Posted By Anonymous D. Sawyer, Warner Robins,GA : 11:57 AM ET
Personaly I would prefer not to have the aid. I do not want even our greatist ally placing conditions at the expence of our survival. Nor listen to the critisims of people who have the luxury of not haveing their very existance called to question for everything they do.
Posted By Anonymous Yehuda, Holit, Israel : 12:01 PM ET
Why is Israel always made out to be the bad guys? It was the Lebanese that kidnaped the soldiers in the first place and they were not inside Lebanon's borders.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, Denver Colorado : 12:03 PM ET
You can't make the US accountable for the supposed use of Israel's missles just because they came from America any more than you can make Smith and Wesson responsible for the people killed by their guns.

The US has interests in keeping Israel as a close ally in the middle east, and should support them to the extent that those interests do not undermine our own national security.
Posted By Anonymous Tom, Richmond, VA : 12:04 PM ET
Wait a minute! To berate Israel for using aid money to drop bombs on poor helpless Lebanon is just plain wrong. The money was given BEFORE the conflict was started by Hezbollah. If you are going to put conditions on aid that you give, that it NOT be used for this or that, then sure don't give it. But to say after the fact that the money should have been sent elsewhere for other issues is one of those hindsight is 20/20 deals.

Almost every civilized country in the world gives aid to other countries as a means of goodwill, not a case of you are now indebt to us and have to use the money as we see fit or else!

Besides where do the bombs that Hezbollah is dropping come from? Are you going to place the same restrictions on Syria?
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Canada : 12:04 PM ET
Wow, strong comments from the viewers, blog commenters. I would like to ask this question, we judge based on what we know, but what makes my belief superior to others? I personally do not agree with many of the US govenment's foreign and domestic policies.
Posted By Anonymous Mina, Ashburn VA : 12:10 PM ET
It seems that some good americans had forgot the feeling of living under terror attacks.
We in Isarel can't forget that, cause it happens everyday. the money from the U.S is helping us fighting for your freedom as well.
The same people who are bombing our land, are related to one who bombed yours, and to the others, who are sitting now in some bunker, planning the next attack on YOU!!
Your short memory is what the terrorists are counting about, it helps them rise again and again, and never stop.
Posted By Anonymous George, Tel-Aviv, Israel : 12:10 PM ET
As a student of history I look on the current situation with so many mixed emotions. When Israel was established as a sovereign nation in 1948, it was an island in the sea that was the Middle East. On every border the country faced threats and enemies, and without the massive amounts of assistance provided by the US and other nations Israel probably would have fallen into other hands long ago. Now I look at the current situation and it is SO hard to turn my head and just use the same old excuse that "Israel is just protecting itself". Israel isn't killing soldiers, from what I have seen Israel is killing civilians and yes those weapons almost certainly came from the US. When will the entire population of the Middle East figure out that the only way they can all have access to all the lands of the Middle East they have to learn to GET ALONG! Yes I know...Centuries old issues, which certainly aren't going to be solved by the most recent round of fighting. But I do believe after 50+ years of support the US has to finally say to Israel they must survive on their own. We can not continue such blind support for one nation, leaving all others out of consideration.
Posted By Anonymous Abby Knoxville, TN : 12:11 PM ET
If Isreal is entering Lebanon in an attempt of trying to recover these soldiers and targeting Hezbollah homes, and offices as well as posts. How do they expect them to be alive in this type of offensive. Not unless they know that they are not in Lebanon and just want try to demoralize the Lebaneses people.
Posted By Anonymous emo dearborn,michigan : 12:15 PM ET
Good point. The US should withdraw ALL FINANCIAL AID from Israel. If they get attacked unjustly, fine, we can help them. But this farce of BILLIONS of $$$ for Israeli aid every year? FORGET IT.
Posted By Anonymous D.Thoms, NYC : 12:16 PM ET
it if we dont pay for the bombs that drop in beruit then one day like 9/11 we will be paying for the bombs that drop on us in the US
Think- damn it how can you be so blind Hizballah killed our Marines. if there not bombed in beriut they will come here and bomb us. They have no interest in peace they want only our death
Posted By Anonymous joe-ny,ny : 12:19 PM ET
The $2.5+ Billion are aid grants, while we also give "Loans" for much more than that. The grants don't have to be paid back naturally but the "Loans" that should never will either.

Funny how America handles grants and "loans" when it comes to Israel.

Question for ALL:

How do you think one voice lobbying for a change in American Foreign Policy will measure up to the Israel Lobby here in the USA?

The ears of our elected representatives are keenly tuned to the "needs" of Israel. How realistic is it to expect change NOW after so many decades?
Posted By Anonymous slm new york ny : 12:20 PM ET
Israel DOES NOT need aid. It has one of the most powerful economies compared to many Middle Eastern countries.

By Bush giving Israel my tax dollars, makes me responsible for killing innocent women and children I havent had concern with. I think I can speak for many by saying that I sure as hell don't want my tax dollars to be used for the massacre of innocent people!!!
Posted By Anonymous Shaheer, North Bergen, NJ : 12:21 PM ET
I don't believe that Israel believes that it can bomb a faith into extermination (i.e. Hezbollah's extremist View of Islam). Its goal is to destroy Lebanon's economy, since it was drawing off tourism, investment and prestige from Israel. It is always about economics, isn't it?
Posted By Anonymous Gail,Spring,TX : 12:22 PM ET
^MM^
We must get out of this situation, before it escalates, which it looks
like it will.

This is different from all other
encounters.

While a response was necessary, the
complete destruction of a Nation,
will bring a war.
Posted By Anonymous Mary M McMahon, Washington, DC : 12:25 PM ET
I love CNN's picture of Americans holding up the Lebanese flag this morning, then we, the American tax payer pays for their trip back to the USA. Why don't they stay in Lebanon since they love it so much.
Posted By Anonymous J Russo, Plano, Tx. : 12:27 PM ET
Countries don't have friends, they have interests. If our tax money is going to help in creating a war, then the government should reconsider what would be more beneficial for the vast majority. These countries have always been in conflict and honestly I don't see a way out until they erase each other from the face of the planet. It seems that tolerance and all the past efforts to bring peace to the Middle East have vanished in the air. It is very sad to see how people blind with hate can you blow up and kill innocents "just because". I'd like to see all the countries supporting the UN in a more proactive way to try to use all means to prevent major casualties, but I don't know if it's going to happen...
Posted By Anonymous Rosana, Miami - FL : 12:27 PM ET
I'm surprised some people aren't demanding that the US fund Hezbollah with the $2 billion, in order to keep things on an equal footing.

Of course, one could say that we are giving Hezbollah US-made weapons. We just aren't sending them in the manner that Hezbollah would like.

(And what non-US news organization is saying the Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon? Not even Al Jazeera is saying that.)
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Vernal, UT : 12:28 PM ET
What irony that U.S. tax dollars are used to pay for such wars. I can't imagine anyone wanting to return to that part of the world after this.
Posted By Anonymous Luz , Torrance, California : 12:28 PM ET
Every hard-working American tax-payer has had to pay for what certainly has turned out to be a "Rogue State" in every sense of the word, since 1948!

And what sane country would allow a FOREIGN nation to have the most powerful LOBBY in its Congress?
Time to yank this spoiled brat off the collective American tit and kick AIPAC out of our Congress!

Maybe some of these "American" lovers of Zion can explain to me why it always takes 100 Arab eyes to equal ONE of theirs!
It is blatant RACISM we are supporting over there, plain and simple!
Posted By Anonymous Bia Winter, World Citizen, Mount Vernon,Maine : 12:30 PM ET
Those soldiers were taken, attacked from inside Israel's borders, pre-1967 borders. They pulled back years ago to those borders from Lebabon and recently from Gaza too. So, what do they get in return ? It's obvious the border issue never really mattered, just an excuse. They want to destroy Israelis and their country. The Palestinian cause is dead now.

What legitimate country would not defend themselves when attacked this way. The Lebanese let this cancer inside their country without trying to comply with UN resolutions. The West should be thanking Israel for trying to rid the region of terrorist Hezbollah. Who else would do it ? UN resolutions ? Russia and Europe talk about 'disproportionate' response. Look how they demolished Chechnya. Hypocrites all. Sure, innocents are getting killed. That's what happens when these bastards hide among the population to make it difficult to target them.
Posted By Anonymous Steve L. NYC, NY : 12:32 PM ET
It's funny how so many people conveniently forget the Holocaust and everything that Jews have suffered. The Arab nations want to wipe Isreal off the face of the earth, and it's shocking how so many people still hold anti-Jewish views.
Isreal deserves to exist and be safe from annihilation, and if the U.S. stops supporting Isreal it will be to our everlasting shame!
Posted By Anonymous Katy, Washington D.C.,MD : 12:33 PM ET
It sounds to me that these previous comments hold much anti Israel sentiment. The Israel solders were not on Lebanon soil and to make comments without any mention of hezbolah shows that you are not aknowledging the whole picture. Where would Isreal be without US weapons. THEY WOULD NOT EXIST. Just clarify your stand and say that is what you want to happen
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Jacksonville, Florida : 12:34 PM ET
Joe, How can you make such blind statements about people you don't know!

ISRAEL IS KILLING INNOCENT CHILDREN AND WOMEN!!!
Its utter stupidity to be comparing lives of SOLDIERS to children and women.
Accept that fact damn it. Whats the point of a future if there arent any people to live through the present.
Posted By Anonymous Shaheer, NB, NJ : 12:34 PM ET
This is unbelivable. I don't know how Israel can justify killing over 300 civilians for 3 soldiers... its just wrong.

@ Dennis Pence: Lebanon is 40% Christian by the way. They are not lopping heads off and anti-american. In fact they might be one of the only Middle Eastern countries that isn't. Get your facts right.
Posted By Anonymous Gibran, Chicago, IL : 12:35 PM ET
Why is it that anytime anyone criticizes Israel they are deemed an anti-Semite? The fact is that Israel has had almost 60 years to stand on its own two feet. If they can't protect themselves on their own by now, then too bad. The US should stop all aid until Israel stops using that aid to kill civilians.
Posted By Anonymous Anna, Pineville, NC : 12:37 PM ET
Then maybe you should get out of harms way!
Posted By Anonymous jlutz dover de : 12:39 PM ET
Just a reminder: Lebanon ain't the Cayman Islands!! The state department has issued many travel advisories over the years for Middle Eastern countries because of the possibility of a war like this one breaking out. Also, this is a country where Hezbollah has actual parlaimentary representation!! Now how shocked can you really be if it goes to hell in a handbasket?

To top it off, there are a few ungrateful Americans that are complaining about their evacuation efforts, and the media has made the obligatory comparisons to Katrina. If anything, Katrina should have reinforced the notion of personal responsibility for one's safety, not the government's. That lesson wasn't learned then, and it's equally applicable here.
Posted By Anonymous Phil Creed; Canton, OH : 12:39 PM ET
From where do the funds for evacuating Americans come? Defense budget? If so, ironic but interesting......next time there is a debate on military spending.
Posted By Anonymous Tamara, Sonoma : 12:40 PM ET
Israels foreign policy of "Bengurianism", has been a shame ever since its inception. Bengurianism is Israels foreign policy of an eye for an eye, except it goes even further, and takes a body for an eye. The initial conception of Israel, was a hoax, they didn't even fight for it, instead, they lobbied, paid off, and went in the back door to take land out from under Palestinians feet.
Posted By Anonymous Dustin, LA : 12:40 PM ET
Looks like we have the typical right wing blowhard lying again...
"Really ticks me off. Over 3,000 died here just a few years ago." No actually it was much less than that. More died from auto accidents in Texas alone in 2001. Yet we haven't spent $ 450 billion for a war on auto accidents.
The Lebanese people don't want to see the U.S. wiped off the Earth. Why do you think there are 25,000 Americans there? It's Hezbollah extremists that want that.
You guess liberals don't know the death toll? What do you think we are complaining about? You probably don't even know the death toll in Iraq... and if you did you would deny it as liberal propaganda.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick, Cincinnati, OH : 12:41 PM ET
Can somebody explain to me what exactly we Americans get from our paid for friendship with Israel? As far as I know all we got is Arabs and Islamists hating us and bombing our inerests.
Posted By Anonymous Lester, West PAlm Beach : 12:45 PM ET
I agree with Abby's comment:
"But I do believe after 50+ years of support the US has to finally say to Israel they must survive on their own. We can not continue such blind support for one nation, leaving all others out of consideration."

It is all well and good to help a "new" nation with its initial growing pains, but Israel has the wherewithal to support itself without the US as bodyguard.

When Israel was created, it was a known fact that there would be wars to fight for them to retain the land carved out of the Arab world. They must live with the consequences, but I think the US has gone above and beyond for them, and it's time for the umbilical cord to be severed.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 12:45 PM ET
I wish the non-American citizens the world over would refrain from posting comments about our world policies. Please do not tell me how to talk to my elected officials or how I should feel/react to this news. If it does not involve your country or your countries money, that please stay out of it.

As for our tax dollars paying for the Israeli bombs, I say, "Yes, so?" Israel is our ally, our friend. I may not always agree with their policies, but then again I do not always agree with the "policies" of my friends when we got out. But a friend stands up for a friend. And Israel has been a great friend in a not-so-friendly region of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Chicago, IL : 12:45 PM ET
I want first to thank all people that say the truth,i'm a girl from Lebanon and i want to say some facts that you totally ignore.We're here under Israel attack from long ago..they took Palestines' land,and they are coming to take our land too.He's not chasing Hisbolla now,he's chasing us the civilians..if the Isarelians are talking about "living under terror attack" what about us? you did abuse us..u did take our land..u made all this suicide people bomb their self and they will continue as long as Israel abuse our land and our children,our families,our land!we're not getting rockets..our lebanon is in totally mess,everytime we build it,they come and destroy it in minutes.Muslims are not terrorists..if some muslim have done the 9/11,be sure Hizoblla wont do it,they r just protecting our south,they dont want a war with israel if she didnt start.
Posted By Anonymous Dania,Beirut,Lebanon : 12:57 PM ET
this is a comment for Kevin from Chicago, IL. Americans wrap themselves in the blanket of Freedom of Speech. Last time I check, the right to discuss is a HUMAN right, not an American citizen right.

Just as much as you have the right to post your thoughts and opinions on the commentary board here..so does everyone around the world.
Posted By Anonymous aj, Toronto, ON : 12:59 PM ET
Why are the Lebanese hating Israel at this time. They allowed Hezbollah to store rockets and ammunition and guns in their country knowing what the end result would be. Now they are blaming Israel. Israel did not start this incident - Hezbollah did and the Lebanese did nothing to stop Hezbollah. Israel too has to put up with the death of civilians, including children and have been for many years. They gave up the land and were told if they did there would be peace. We all should know at this time that was not the truth.
Posted By Anonymous Bonnie Cooperstein, Albany, CA : 12:59 PM ET
Israel is like a pit bull on a leash. America arms Israel, supports Israel, but at every turn attempts to prevent Israel from striking out.

The Israeli people suffer terrorism on a level unimaginable to Americans. Even in the light of 9/11, most Americans seldom consider the risk of terrorist attack in their day to day lives. Israelis suffer this fear and threat every day. When Americans have to fear going to the supermarket, coffee shop, pizzaria, or riding a bus then they will understand what it is like to be in Israel.

Now Israel has had enough. The two captured soldiers were the lighter, terrorism created the tender, and Lebanon is burning as a result. Is it any wonder why Israel is striking out? How many of the same Americans who now decry Israels actions wanted to lash out at someone, anyone, after 9/11?

American is surrounded by allies - Canada to its north, Mexico to its south. No American has feared invasion in generations. Israel is surrounded by enemies that would like nothing more than to see the country destroyed. What would you have them do?
Posted By Anonymous John, Nashville, TN : 1:02 PM ET
This is to everyone, especially mike from boulder, who feel Israel is in error. Hezbolah is a terrorist organization. It's a known fact and self-admitted. So, if it's a terrorist organization, why are they being given special treatment? Are they any different that the al-qaida? And as far as the aid to Israel- Israel is our only true democratic ally in that region. And currently, they are assisting in the U.S. war on terrorism by fighting the Hizbollah which the Lebanese and the U.N. forces in the region have failed to do. Hizbollah is a terrorist organization...period.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin S., Philadelphia, PA : 1:03 PM ET
Our own government surely would not want to spend that kind of money on Americans on US soil who have no medical benefits, food or shelter for that matter, now would they? It would be too easy to take care of our own, so let's just keep butting into other countries affairs.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Columbia, SC : 1:04 PM ET
And what about the bombs and munitions we are paying for in Iraq? Hello, there is a war there too. Why has the media dropped that story? Can we have more even handed reporting? The only news program I have time to make a commitment to is AC 360 (and NPR to and from work)and all I hear about for 2 hours every night on CNN is Israel and Hezbollah, et al. Can the producers get off their one track minds??!! Can you mix in Iraq and Korea and other stories around the country? I guess Bush and company are enjoying the fact that the media seems to have forgotten their other goofs. I know that Anderson can multitask. you're wasting him.
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., Austin, TX : 1:04 PM ET
Yes it is ironic to have American bombs dropped in Beirut. Indirectly, we, American taxpayers, are paying for the destruction of Beirut. Its another sign of our dreadful foreign policy that is totally one sided in favor of Israel. Its pretty obvious that we are allowing the Israelis to continue bombing Lebanon to clear the way for our eventual bombing campaign of Iran. You can smell it...the news media sounds exactly like it did before the invasion of Iraq; repeating the Dept of Defense policy verbatim, without question. You cant really expect much from media like CNN.
Posted By Anonymous Frank Silverstein, Brooklyn New York : 1:05 PM ET
I've watched the situation Israel has with it's neighbors for about 20 or so years. With that perspective, I cannot find Israel at fault here, and cannot take issue with their current military action.

It is crystal clear to me that one cannot have peace when one of the two parties (Hezbollah) refuses to stop fighting. To negotiate at any point with this organization and their supporters would amount to appeasement.

If a person (or organization) murders 5 people in your city and then takes 1 person hostage you don't negotiate with them as though all parties come to the negotiation table as equals.

Really how often does one expect Israel to lay down and just "take it" before they have the right to act to protect their citizens and state?

Peace at any cost is not peace. It is surrender.
Posted By Anonymous Bill W. Charlottesville, VA : 1:05 PM ET
Lebanon captures 2 Isreal soliers. This in turn causes Isreal to lash out. With the money that the US has given to Isreal, they are able to bomb Lebanon. Am I understanding this situation correctly?

If the US had not supported Isreal throughout the years, would that have affected the current situation differently? Would all of this bombing be happening or would the situation regarding the captured soliders be handled differently?

I am from Canada and because our country does not have a financial tie with Isreal, I am trying to understand this sitation and learn more about what is happening and could potentially happen.
Posted By Anonymous Caryn, Ottawa, Canada : 1:34 PM ET
I think that things will get much worse. This last war will turn more moderate muslims around to hating us and will cause moderate dictatorial leaderships of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to come under threat from their own people.
Posted By Anonymous Fred, Washington, DC : 1:35 PM ET
It is only typical that the Israeli response is fullfilling a policital agenda. It makes me sick to know that my tax dollars are supporting Israel, where there is also a 'war zone' about 10 minutes from my house on the west side of Chicago.
The Israeli government has every right to defend itself within a margin of respecting human dignity. This display of wreckless abandon will only trigger a response that will perpetuate the violence in the region for years, and kill hundreds of innocent civilians on both sides of the border. It is hard to sympathize for a nation that refuses to take the moral highground and initiate peace.
My sympathies go out to the Lebanese and Israeli civilians being affected. I can only hope that the politicians making these hard line military decisions, and those in our government willing to fund this agenda will one day rot in hell.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Oak Park, Il. : 1:36 PM ET
Thank you CNN for at least bringing this subject up. For too long the mainstream media sides with Israel while they continue to kill innocent people. That's why I usually watch BBC news, that is much more unbiased in its approach, telling both sides of the story. That's why people like Bill O'reilly, Michelle Malkin, Hannity and all the neo-kkkons hate the BBC, they expose Israel for what it is.

Once again CNN, thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Zia, Dallas, Texas : 1:38 PM ET
We give tons of aid to countries throughout the region, including Israel. What do we get from most of the other countries? Our money is used to fund and supply terrorist, who call for our destruction. What do we get from our aid to Israel? A country who will destroy those who would destroy us.

Let's see....give money to those who will destroy us or give money to those who will destroy those who would destroy us?
Posted By Anonymous Rick, Richmond, VA : 1:39 PM ET
It's definitely difficult to detract ones emotion from the current conflict in the middle-east, especially when you see innocent children paying with their body parts or for that matter, their lives.

I don't claim to know the answer or the solution to the middle-east but I think it's worth looking at how the conflict in Northern Ireland finally resolved itself. It was through getting everyone involved sitting around a table and start working towards a peaceful solution. I'm not just talking about discussing what needs to be done but to actually get involved, TOGETHER, to solve the crisis. That way they are all accountable and they can't point fingers at one another. It's time for the people of both countries (races) to get off their high horses, roll-up their sleeves and get to work, TOGETHER. All other countries should stop funding them cash so they can't arm each other but instead send humanitarian and social-economical organization to assist with developing their countries out of their war-torn status. If you give the people a reason to work together, they might actually stop fighting each other.

I agree, we need to stop funding Israel. As a father of three children, it hurts to see my children do things that will hurt them, but I know by allowing them to explore on their own they will learn on their own. I don't think Israel would no longer exist if we had stopped funding them many years ago. I think like the Northern Ireland crisis, the people involved would have solved the problem on their own - it wasn't until support from England stopped that the fighting stopped. Go figure!
Posted By Anonymous Arnel, Houston, TX, USA : 1:39 PM ET
What bothers me most about several of the blogs is the collective guilt laid on all of Lebanon for the acts of a (relatively) few renegades.

Bombing Beirut because of the actions of Hezbollah is like bombing Kansas City in response to the actions of Timothy McVeigh and holding (then) Kansas Senator Bob Dole responsible for not preventing the Oklahoma City bombing.

If Israel wants to go after those who kidnapped their soldiers, fine, but invading a whole country over this has done nothing more than ensure that the cycle of violence will continue.
Posted By Anonymous Richard Stadtherr, Porterville, California : 1:39 PM ET
Israel is the tail that wags the U.S. lapdog. It is patently obvious that
U.S. mid-east policy has been
subverted by strong (and extremely well funded) PACs, for the purpose of
supporting a separate Jewish state, at
the expense, and total exclusion, of all other considerations. What is curious is that Americans themselves seem to be the only believers of this ruse, as much of the world sees this clearly for what it is. Why are we in
Iraq? What is behind 9/11? Why do we
have such a vastly different aid policy when it comes to Israel? And likely the most ridiculous part of all
this, is that Israel call itself a democracy, and uses that as one of the cornerstones for its support. Ever hear of North Korea? Well that's a democracy as well. I detest my money is
essentially stolen to be handed over to a nation that I neither support, nor couldn't possibly care any less about.
Posted By Anonymous Raymond Schier, Norwalk,Ct : 2:16 PM ET
Just like US has to spend billions rebuilding IRAQ, we should insist on Israel doing the same thing - rebuild Lebanon.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Springfield, VA : 2:44 PM ET
Over and over again, when Americans question whether our so-called "strategic alliance" with Israel actually benefits the United States more than it hurts us, their questions are met with the simple political statement that the alliance is necessary, vital even, for U.S. interests and that we share a special historical and cultural connection with Israel. This "prevailing wisdom" is simply group think--50 years of it. The Israelis no longer stand on higher moral ground and I believe their victimhood status is also a rather hackneyed refrain as they have become, with our aid, nothing other than an aggressor. The psychology of its leaders, like those of our own administration, cannot admit fault or guilt in their illegal and immoral actions. The Christian now appears to have finally expunged the stain of collective guilt from official doctrine with regard to the Jews, yet we see time and time again that Israel, the so-called "Jewish State", will impose such sanction on innocents without remorse. Lebanon should be the last straw for the United States with respect to Israel. No longer should we allow our elected representatives to parrot the party line on U.S.-Israeli relations. Our unshaking support for Israel in all circumstances does not benefit U.S. citizens. I believe it's the root cause of our problems in the Middle East. There is no benefit here that outweighs the cost of this alliance. Lebanon should be the last straw. Americans should demand that Israel be shown no favor at our expense. It's time for a more objective assessment. No more accusations of antisemitism should be countenanced. This isn't about race or religion. The question is cost versus benefit. It's also a question of creed. If we stand for the spread of democracy, then the destruction of the hopeful new democracy in Lebanon should be brought swiftly to a halt--even, if necessary, by force.
Posted By Anonymous Gary Cosman, Alexandria, Virginia : 2:52 PM ET
there is a LOT of BS going on. I keep seeing peopel too incompetent to understand what is happening being interviewed. simply put: there is no difference, at it's base, from the actions Hezzbollah took that started this than Al Quedah took when they flew planes into the world trade center. I didnt see you complaining about restoring the afghan leadership to its people, so you can either renounce your citizenship in MY country (i am a citizen of the united states of america) or you can stop complaining that the Israelis are doing the exact thing we did. If you want to see lebenon run by the lebenese you'd have grabbed the marine's gun and joined the Israeli forces freeing them from Hezzbollah's control. the lebense should have asked the word for help a long time ago when syria invaded. syria and iran are in bed with hezzbollah and hamas. THEY should be paying to repair both Israel and lebenon. but most people being talked to on tv are far too incompetent to realize any of that.
Posted By Anonymous Josh, Milford, NH : 2:54 PM ET
Say, this reminds me of home. We still sell humorous t-shirts of an old confederate saying 'Hell No, I ain't forgetting.' Arabs and Jews will despise each other until the sun goes dark. If you think you can mediate that, you're welcome to try.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Statesboro GA : 2:54 PM ET
It seems so crazy to me that all the conflicts going on around the world are for the most part centered around "religion" and whose God is right. What God in any religion would justify the violence that is taking place all over the globe. I have been riveted by what is presently taking place in Lebanon and Israel, and brought to tears by the plea's of a young Lebanese girl in hospital pleading to the world "please, it is not our fault, please tell them to stop sending the bombs"...when are we as a people going to stop the insanity and stop killing each other over religious differences? Please, stop the insanity, stop the killing.
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Ontario : 2:55 PM ET
At least the growing civil war in Iraq had been removed from the headlines. Wag the Dog? Does this perhaps contribute to Condi's reticence to broker a peace accord? Or are we happy to fight a proxy war against Iran? Why is the Lebanese government not fighting? There country is being invaded? If they disagree with Hiz, why not actually confront them?
Posted By Anonymous Tom, San Francisco CA : 2:59 PM ET
I'm amazed that no one realises that for every bomb that gets dropped on a family, a child turns to the extremists of this world. Yes Israel has a right to exist but not at the
expense of Arab lives. The US needs to act on Israel and FAIRLY sort peace in the Middle East, without taking sides. If the Palestine issue is resolved fairly, then the extremists would not be supported and the US will be safe and would not have to aid Israel. Palestine is the issue!
Posted By Anonymous Gift More, Mogale city, South Africa : 3:00 PM ET
The next year the US check is written out for "Israeli Aid" please deduct the $5 contribution which would would normally be mine. I'm tired of paying for bombs which are clearly (an unappologetically) killing way more civillians than they are fighters.
Posted By Anonymous Nicky, New York, NY : 3:02 PM ET
considering that Israel's population is only 2 or 3 million and is getting 3 billion a year in aid, do the math and you can figure out how much we American tax payers are paying to support Israel's citizen. Our silence in this respect strikes me as strange, considering our outrage at having our taxes support the poor on welfare or those illegal working mexicans!
Posted By Anonymous nahed hamdi, san jose, california : 3:04 PM ET
Peace cannot be kept by force.

That said, I fear what we are talking about is nothing less than the most recent chapter of World War III. But it is important to remember that this conflict goes back, at least, to 1979, when Muslim fundamentalists united to throw out a corrupt, torturous regime supported by the United States for economic reasons. Shortly after that, the United States supplied weapons of mass destruction to the Iraq for use against Iran. This point is important to note because as a nation, we are incapable of criticizing Israeli actions because of our own involvement in the region.

As long as we sell weapons to Israel, and conduct our own wars throughout the Middle East, the Muslim world will continue to view the United States as a hostile power.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Shearer, Valley Cottage, New York. : 3:05 PM ET
It is really sad to me that so many Americans spend their time complaining about everything this country does or doesn't do. We should all be thankful that even with all of the mistakes of our country and government you don't worry about waking up to the sounds of bombs or rockets flying over your heads. Instead of knocking our country maybe we should be counting our blessings. God Bless the USA.
Posted By Anonymous Renee Fort Worth, Texas : 3:09 PM ET
I am reading so many comments stating that Israel is killing civilians.... Hezbollah isn't?? Hezbollah is recognized by many countries as a terrorist organization people and they prove that fact daily with reports of mortar and artillery fire coming from residential neighborhoods. War is war, it's not pretty. If groups of a fighting force or soldiers of a legitimate army house themselves in residential areas then those people living there have two choices, leave or take a chance of being a casualty. So many stories come out with terrorist groups holding themselves up in schools or mosques or under houses or apartment buildings. Are we who fight them supposed to wait until they come out? Maybe entice them to show themselves? It doesn't work that way, they are a pest and need to be eradicated. As far as aid being used for bombs... right now that is what they need the money for. Aid is just that, Aiding a country in need, Israel just happens to need war materials. They are a needed ally in the region if we as a country expect to be stabilizing force short on troops to do the job. Although I don't trust Israel as an ally like I would Britain or some others, I have to believe that they will be there for us with aid if needed, without stipulations on how to spend it.
Posted By Anonymous Jon, Anchorage AK : 3:10 PM ET
Perhaps he should stay over in beautiful Southern Lebanon where Mr Nasrala ensures that community funds are used only for good works. What a bunch of clowns. What did they think was going to happen when they created this crisis? Get rid of Hezbollah 9one way ticket back to Iran)and I guarantee that would be the most beautiful spot in the world.
Posted By Anonymous Rich, Washington DC : 3:13 PM ET
History, people, History!

3000 years of conflict. This latest conflict isn't going to provide any more of a resolution than did the countless others that were fought in the "fertile crescent".

History lesson:
WWI - Ottoman empire (who sided with Germany) controlled that part of the world. The Allies won and to the victors go the spoils. Right or wrong, that is the result of war.

WWII - We (US and Britain) put Israel on the map (part of the spoils mentioned above). To abandon Israel now (by revoking aid) would be disgraceful and would be a death sentence to all Israel (the only true US ally in the middle east).

I sympathize greatly with all the innocent people of the middle east, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs alike. The solution is simple in theory, but will NEVER happen in practice in the middle east. It holds true in Anytown, USA, as it needs to around the world, we all just need to get along with our neighbors.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Lockport, NY : 3:16 PM ET
Israel's wellbeing is a moral and strategic interest of the United States long before any Mideasterner became an American citizen. If people of dual nationality has a problem with the policy of America toward Israel then why did they come to the United States to become citizens? Why would our nation tolerate such a schism? Thus I find it offensive that one American is questioning the absurdity of American taxpayers paying for the bombs falling on that person's head in the Mid East since American interests in that region existed long before large numbers of mideasterners became Americans. How American are they?
Posted By Anonymous Patricia Knight, Falls Church, Va : 3:51 PM ET
The Israeli soldiers were kidnapped from within Israel not in Lebanon.

The truth is important, people. It is sad when people feel the need to resort to blatantly false comments like "according to non-US papers, those Israel soldiers captured by Hezbollah were inside Lebanon's border" in order to support their position.

It is really sad when people do not understand the situation and then make comments like the one quoted above.

Israel has every right to defend itself with any means necessary - and that includes the weaponry that we supply to them.
Posted By Anonymous Sam - Tigard, OR : 4:32 PM ET
There are always two sides to a story. Unless you confront both sides and see what they did wrong will there ever be some sort of solution.

Anyhow, I cant help but point out that Hezbollah acting and taking hostage of two Israeli soldiers had to be due to some sort of hidden agenda. It seems odd, because you know if you kidnap any Israeli they'd come back hard. And now it seems they will sacrifice the whole of Lebanon to support their little plan or agenda or whatnot. That's a large price to pay, and its up to the Lebanese to deal with their internal struggles. Lebanon has always been torn apart internally, and unless they unite and form some sort of political force will they be able to withstand anything.

Not to say that Israeli response wasnt disproportionate. But they have always been like that. ;p
Posted By Anonymous Ibrahim, Georgia : 5:54 PM ET
For the first time I heard something honest about the war coverage. Yes those are our tax dollars.
Posted By Anonymous Tom Allan, Troy, Michigan : 7:11 PM ET
Let's get as many woman, children and
elderly out of the Lebanon's Southern frontier, and wherever the Israeli's will target. This is something the UN should do, not wait for all the dead bodies to pile up.

Doesn't the Israeli's care if their woman, children and elderly can be killed also.

Get these innocents out and then let them blow each other up.

War is something in this region that will always be, for the region of the world the professes to love God and Allah they sure have a corner on hatred. Especially hating the West because they are jealous of what we have and are hell bent to take it away from us
Posted By Anonymous Margaret,Chesapeake,VA : 7:57 PM ET
It is so easy to criticize a situation like this in the U.S. while we are living basically luxury, even the poorest of us incomparison to having to live with this type of violence, the daily threat of have our cities blown into oblivion. We do not rely on our neighboring countries for food and medicine. While I DO NOT agree with my tax money being used for weapons in a conflict like this (nor our "efforts" in Iraq)I feel that no one in the U.S. has the right to judge either side because we don't have to live it. Since we did provide the money that is now financing this conflict, we should be held responsible.
Posted By Anonymous Crystal , West Palm Beach, Fl : 5:01 PM ET
In what other conflict have we heard the term "proportionate force"? The world does not like Jews who fight back. Hezbollah has been attacking Israel for years, and the UN which is in South Lebanon did nothing to stop it. What would YOU want the US Army to do if terrorists fired missiles at your children, and then kidnapped US soldiers from US soil? Hezbollah is the source of Lebanon's destruction.
Posted By Anonymous Gary, San Diego, CA : 6:12 PM ET
Its funny that we are all looking at one way street call Israel but basically a two way stop.
These Hezbollah outfit needs to be taken out of business and politics altogether after all they were the ones that wiped out our fellow Marines in Berut in 1983 or so.Behind them are Syria and Iran feeding these fanatics from the back door.
Israel has been our friend and always will be in the region.
On the other hand,did you people know your actual line of genealogy?I bet some of you(s) come from the 10 Lost Tribes but you do even know.
Posted By Anonymous Eneas.West Valley,UT : 6:15 PM ET
Hi all,Internet wont stay for long time in lebanon,becoz of the bombs that hit everything,the TVs stations networks,radios network,internet network,cellulars too..Now we cant contact anyone having cell phones in north lebanon becoz of Israel's bombs!Israel destroyed all the bridges with her warplanes,she destroyed everything..and we descover at last that Israel has been planning and preparing for this for over 5 years!
Posted By Anonymous Dania,Beirut,Lebanon : 11:39 AM ET
Truth of the matter the organization that killed the American and French marines in Lebanon in 1983 was the Islamic Jihad.
No one has true knowledge if you can tie it to Hezbollah because back then Hezbollah was not announced.
To all your knowledge, the party was announced in 1985.
Please have mercy on those civilians and learn about our foreign policy before you judge.
Also there is a great difference between Hezbollah, Hamas from one side vs. Al Zarquawi and Bin Laden on the other side.
To refresh your memory Bin Laden was created by us to fight the Soviet Union, same as Saddam.
Unfortunately, the Bin Laden turned against us.
Saddam took over a wealthy country were we have interests Kuwait!
Read about AIPAC and how much it controls our foreign policy.
The biggest mistake the Arabic nations made that instead of fighting back by weapons to get their rights they should have created a lobby as the AIPAC.
Believe it or not our views would be totally different.
Read the study made by two political science professors "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy".
I am sure it will shed some lights.
By the way,for the person who said that our support for Israel started long ago before those Arabs became American citizens.
Do you have a clue why they were given the opportunity to immigrate to the US?
It was all planned for, so Israel can control the South Lebanon and create greater Israel.
Please read History and Geography.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel, Mesa, AZ : 2:03 PM ET
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