Issues Around the World

Perspectives on Various Conflicts

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Reflection on Blogging

In the last couple of years, blogging has grown to become a prominent form of sharing opinions, writing pieces, or ramblings of one’s day. Whatever purpose they are used for, blog-use has grown exponentially. Prior to this class, I had never delved into the cyber world of Blogger, Xanga, or Livejournal, which many of my friends had already started using. This experience of sharing my work on a more public level allowed me to examine my writing more critically. While I usually shy away from letting people read my work, this forced me to be open about my views and about my writing. It helped me consider potential arguments that readers might make and forced me to try to anticipate and eliminate doubts in my arguments. One of the most beneficial experiences was when two members of the public began to comment on my first blog post. I was quite shocked (and pleased) to see the participation, disagreement, and debate that took place over my piece of work. It was at that moment that I realized how strong a serious blog can be taken, and how powerful its effects can be.

Foreign affairs’ importance has skyrocketed in the United States post-9/11. Many people have become engaged in thoughts of war, political debates, and governmental affairs, and while these issues are prominent, many, if not most people overlook and are not exposed to the detrimental effects that these decisions have on people. I believe that one of the biggest issues in the United States is a lack of awareness. So many people are apathetic about wars, poverty, diseases because they are not are not aware of the severity of these matters. Personally, I place much of the blame on the dynamic of our government and the media. U.S. media is some of the most biased and selective media in the world. For example, the true aftermath of the Iraq war is never shown, the absolute devastation in Sudan has been all but forgotten, and the on-going struggle in Kashmir is completely ignored. I believe that if people knew and were aware of how to help, more would be motivated to do more. For this reason I feel that my blog, even if only 10 people read it, may have made some sort of difference. If I can help a handful of people be aware of some of the issues in the world, then I will continue to do so as frequently as possible. For this reason, I hope to continue working on a blog regarding some of the humanitarian crises in the world.

Overall, I am not displeased with my blog; however, I do hope to continue to refine my arguments, delve deeper into topics, and utilize the dynamic opportunities that the world wide web offers. I hope to get more feedback in comments about my arguments and my writing, so I can continue to improve my point of view and the facts I use to defend them. Blogging has been a fulfilling experience and hopefully, a gateway into a future of blogging.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Carol Bellamy: A Woman Dedicated to Giving

In a global society filled with suffering from growing violence, many people wonder what can be done to make a difference; however, few dedicate their lives to the betterment of this world. Carol Bellamy has gone above and beyond the typical call of duty and has dedicated herself to people around the world who are less fortunate. Having served as the president of UNICEF for ten years is only one of her many accomplishments. She has been able to change the lives of thousands of people around the world, and her hard work and efforts make her eligible for an honorary degree from the University of Southern California. One of the main criteria for awarding an honorary degree at USC is “to recognize exceptional acts of philanthropy to the university and/or on the national or world scene.” Because of her stunning successes and immense dedication, it is my strong recommendation that Carol Bellamy receive an honorary degree in humane letters for her outstanding success at USC.

An honorary degree given by a university is a tradition that has taken place for an extensive period of time. According to James O. Freedman in Liberal Education and the Public Interest, these degrees should be given to people with “intellectual distinction and public service”. Carol Bellamy is the perfect example of someone with these two qualities. She is an inventive thinker, an ethically grounded public servant, and a persuasive leader who devotes herself to improving society. Her work with UNICEF is a prime example of these two qualities. Having served as the director for ten years, Ms. Bellamy made significant changes in the organization and helped it achieve some of its goals. At her final press briefing at the UN headquarters in 2005, she summarized some of the changes that occurred during her ten year tenure at the organization. She was quoted saying that the, “global child mortality dropped by 16 percent in the last ten years – and 34 percent if sub-Saharan Africa is excluded.” Diarrhea was one of her main concerns; she felt that deaths from diarrhea needed to be avoided. Also announced at the press conference, the deaths from it fell by half and measles deaths declined by more than a third since 1999. These are statistics mark strong progress in the improvement of the lives of children all over the world, and while Ms. Bellamy and UNICEF cannot be granted credit for all of it, their projects and outreach did develop and expand in her tenure there. Always striving to achieve more, Ms. Bellamy was quoted as saying, “I am the first to say that I wish we had accomplished more for children over the past ten years.” Her attitude truly embodies Freedman’s emphasis on intellectual distinction and public service.

There are several reasons that Ms. Bellamy is an opportune candidate for an honorary degree at USC specifically. In the university’s Role and Mission, it states that “[USC is] a global institution in a global center, attracting more international students over the years than any other American University.” What better candidate than someone who has worked all over the world? She has extended her efforts internationally. Ms. Bellamy’s international efforts do not stop at the dozens of countries that she worked in with UNICEF. Prior to her work there, she was appointed as the director of the Peace Corps by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was the first person to become director after having been a former volunteer, having served in Guatemala in the 1960s. Since her tenure at UNICEF ended in 2005, Ms. Bellamy has been serving as the CEO and President of a private nonprofit organization known as World Learning. President and Dean of the Vermont Law School, Geoffrey B. Shields comments, “For decades, Carol Bellamy has been a leading advocate for the issues of those most in need of legal protection–children, women, the disabled, and the poor. Her extraordinary career demonstrates exemplary service and commitment to global progress.” In the USC criteria for the honorary degrees, one of them states that the degree serves “to honor alumni and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and development of USC or the communities of which they are a part.” So considering USC is dedicated to its international communities, she is in turn serving the communities that USC is a part of.

Ms. Bellamy’s dedication to education internationally, also embodies USC’s Role and Mission, which stresses the “development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit.” Not only does Ms. Bellamy embody this cultivation and enrichment herself, but she also strives to help others, mostly children around the world, embody it as well. By empowering youth with the tools they need to survive, she hopes to be making long-term change. At her final press conference in her career with UNICEF, it was announced the number of children out of school was reduced to fewer than 100 million for the first time. Child survival, child protection and girls’ education are areas, Bellamy said, UNICEF had made progress but that there was still work to be done to achieve the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals. Her stress on education is shown through this statement, “It is my most central conviction from ten years at UNICEF that nothing will turn the tide against poverty the way that education can, especially for girls. There is no more sure an investment for nations than investment in a quality basic education for all boys and girls.”

Considering her experiences, Ms. Bellamy’s address to the University students would no doubt be inspirational. Having served in the New York State Senate for five years, and then becoming the first woman to be elected President of the New York City Council from 1978 to 1985, she is equipped to deal with both national and international perspectives. A perfect theme for her to move off of would reflect her dynamic global experiences while also touching on the subject of the Trojan family. A valued tradition at USC, the notion of community and family is a concept she could incorporate. Since the university is so international, her speech could focus on students going out to expand the Trojan family across borders. By Trojans going out into the international community and giving back, the network of people affected by the students of a university in Southern California, would grow exponentially. If Ms. Bellamy examined the Code of Ethics at USC, she would find that a point that is stressed is that “respecting the rights and dignity of others.” She has done this and more, and it is crucial for graduating students to take this part of the code and apply it in their lives moving forward.

It is difficult to imagine that many would be opposed to Ms. Bellamy as a potential recipient of an honorary degree from USC; however, it is rare to find someone who will be completely unopposed or without concern. Therefore, there are two potential problems that can be anticipated by her possible nomination. First, since USC is such a prestigious institution, some may claim that a more prominent figure is necessary. Ms. Bellamy does not have a common household name that people are likely to be familiar with. This may irritate some on the selections committee or in the administration. As Freedman says, in choosing an honorand a university might “desire to flatter generous donors and prospective benefactors.” To counter that notion, in the criteria of the honorary degree, it states that it aims to, “to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements in scholarship, the professions, or other creative activities, whether or not they are widely known by the general public.” So since it is now clear that Ms. Bellamy has distinguished herself through her scope of work and dedication, her public recognition should not be important. USC has a heritage of entrepreneurial spirit; Marshall Business School is ranked as one of the best in the country. However, as stated in the Role and Mission of USC, “The principal means by which our mission is accomplished are teaching, research, artistic creation, professional practice and selected forms of public service.” Her work encompasses teaching, professional practice, as well as public service. This means she embodies a significant part of what USC prides itself on.

Carol Bellamy’s work is beyond worthy of an honorary degree. And although it is up to the university to decide, it is clear that it would be USC’s loss to not award someone as accomplished as her. Mike W. Martin states in Meaningful Work: Rethinking Professional Ethics, that “sincere commitment to improving community safety, alleviating suffering, pursuing justice, or promoting informed citizenry implies affirming the virtues of caring, compassion, justice, and rationality.” He says that it is highly unlikely for people to implement these ideals of character in their work; however, it is obvious that Ms. Bellamy has come significantly close to accomplishing all of those qualities. As the university moves towards a decision, I urge them to consider the benefits of awarding someone so philanthropic and so dedicated to others.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Join The Global Fund: A Charitable Website

In a world such as the one we live in today, nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are not uncommon. They work to improve the living conditions of people in the most unfortunate circumstances, and often serve as a means that people use to reach the poor. Therefore, in order to distinguish themselves, non-profits must prove their validity and trustworthiness, providing unique and reliable work. Because there are so many to choose from, non-profits have excelled and developed beyond their former limits. For example, utilizing websites has become more popular and proven to be a way of both informing the public about issues, as well as providing a channel for them to help relieve the problem through online donations. Following the trend of many other nonprofit organizations, the Global Fund created an interactive website that has been able to gain recognition by the Webby Awards for its dynamic set-up and content. The Join the Global Fund website allows viewers to understand the effects of three major epidemics while also providing an interactive and luring website; however, once explored further, the depth of information about the organization is limited.

The Join the Global Fund site, an attempt for The Global Fund to make a more dynamic and youthful webpage, informs people about the diseases that their organization is working to eradicate. Working to treat the ailments of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) patients, the group is also attempting to raise awareness about them. Because malaria and tuberculosis are often overlooked as major problems, this site encourages people not to isolate AIDS as the only one. Showing the severity of each one using statistics on the current breadth of the diseases as well as the showing the amount of money needed to eradicate or prevent them is a strength of the site. For example, one of the sub-pages of the site is entitled, The Three Epidemics and provides useful information on all three illnesses on three separate pages. When people read that “40 million people worldwide infected with HIV”, “40% of the world's population is exposed to malaria,” and a shocking “one-third of the world's population is infected with dormant TB,” viewers, such as myself, may be shocked with the severity of these often ignored diseases. With their death rates at three million people from AIDS, two million people from TB, and one million people from malaria annually, these diseases kill approximately six million people a year collectively. Providing such information is crucial to illustrate to the general public that these are horrifying diseases; the site valiantly continues to show that there is hope by showing the cost of treatment. By enlightening people that it only costs US$ 140 to extend the life of one HIV patient for a year, that someone suffering from TB can be cured with one US$ 10 donation, or that a meager US$ 2 can cure a child of malaria, it encourages them that any amount of donation will and can help.

One of the key factors needed to validate a nonprofit, as well as assure people of its reliability, is a strong sense that the money will actually be used for the purpose that is advertised. The most prominent aspect of the Join the Global Fund webpage that exemplifies this reliability is the fact that when the “Donate” link is clicked, the viewer is taken to the United Nations Foundation Website dedicated to the Global Fund. Because the UN is such a prominent organization, it is likely that any person who may have had qualms about the trustworthiness of this website, will be somewhat comforted. The donating page is also very dynamic; it allows the donors to choose whether their money goes to TB, malaria, AIDS, or a fourth general category, which is wherever the funds are needed most. This interactivity allows for someone to feel a more personal connection with the money that they are contributing, and it lets them know that it will serve the purpose they are hoping to serve. The gift can also be given in honor of someone who may have suffered from one of these diseases. The Webby Awards judging criteria praises this sort of interactivity, claiming that “good interactivity is more than a rollover or choosing what to click on next; it allows you, as a user, to give and receive. It insists that [the user] participate, not spectate.” Giving donators a personal connection to their money encourages them by making it a more emotional and connected experience.

As the gateway into a website, the homepage serves to introduce viewers to the content; Join the Global Fund's homepage is a dynamic and interactive experience, which provides viewers with an idea of what is to be expected. By giving people an overview of the organization's goals, a quick background into what they do, and what the effects of these diseases are through an enticing video and moving clips of text, the homepage serves to lure people in. As the Web Style Guide highlights, it is important to have a catchy homepage because “a rich set of graphic navigation and interactivity…will pull users' attention down the page, weaning them from the general-purpose browser links and drawing them further into your content.” The three youths on the homepage provide this interactivity; when each is clicked, they display different messages. The first youth links to a brief video of one of the heads of the organization explaining what they do as well as their goals in a video displaying some footage. The second youth provides some emotional images of patients before and after they were treated for their respective diseases. The drastic contrast between the before and after pictures emphasizes the necessity of treatment for these people. The third youth on the homepage links to a slide presentation of three or four important facts about each of the diseases and their affects such as: “Every year tuberculosis causes developing nations to lose more than US $14 million dollars from loss of productivity;” also “Everyday 2,700+ people die from malaria.” These facts are shocking and bring awareness to the severity of the diseases. The interactivity of the homepage as well as its depth allows viewers to become entranced with the organization. The homepage is not the only positive aspect of the entrance into the site, once delved into further, the structure of the site is quite simple and easy to navigate. As indicated by the Webby Awards judging criteria, structure and navigation and the ease in which both are conducted are very important because “allowing [the viewer] to form a mental model of the information provided, where to find things, and what to expect when you click” creates a simple and graspable website design. Overall, the website provides an alluring and semi-complex homepage, but it also is easy to navigate and a well-organized site with a very descriptive and clear general-purpose browser.

While the Join the Global Fund site may be easy to navigate, it has very limited information that is crucial to a potential donor. Many questions remain unanswered. There is limited information about where the money actually goes. Throughout the site, it is difficult to uncover what countries the organization works in, through what sorts of facilities, and whether they work through Global Fund doctors or through local doctors. These questions are serious issues that a donor, especially one who will donate a significant amount, will want to know. So while they know it is a reliable organization, and their money is not being misused, they also don’t know exactly how and where it will improve. Also, there is a link in the general purpose browser entitled Partners. The links found include Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, The MAC AIDS Fund, Publicis Groupe, United Nations Foundation, and a VHI AIDS link. More questions arise from this link: how are these partners affiliated with the Global Fund, do they all use the same U.N. Foundation donating methods, or are they all simply affiliated with the same cause? It is clear that they are not resources, because another one of the links on the general purpose browser is entitled Resources, and gives links to information about similar organizations serving to eradicate these diseases. All of these unanswered questions are frustrating and may repel people who were once intrigued by the initial glamour of the website.

After extensive navigation, the facts and deeper meaning of the organization can be found, and many of the questions answered. At the bottom of the site, along with the Legal Disclaimers and information about the site, there is a small link that is difficult to see, As can be seen in the image, the link is small, difficult to see, and in an illogical location. The Global Fund site explains exactly what the organization does, where it works, and provides enormous amounts of information regarding the practices. For example, the organization’s purpose is to attract, manage and disburse resources to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. They do not implement programs directly, relying instead on the knowledge of local experts. Examples of approved programs include a voucher program in Tanzania, which allows pregnant women to obtain locally-produced malaria bed nets from nearby village vendors. A TB grant given to Sierra Leone is helping to rebuild 70% of the country's DOTS clinics, which were destroyed during its civil war. So, although the website is less animated and creative than the Join the Global Fund site, it is very professional and easy to navigate. A simple solution to the issue would be to have the link be much more prominent. As can be seen in the image, there is a large Global Fund logo at the bottom of the homepage; however, for some reason, it does not serve as a link. It would be much more logical to allow viewers easy access to this page in order for them to gain a more ready understanding of the organization, and in turn be confident about their donations.

The Join the Global Fund website makes a valiant effort at reaching out to a young and more internet-savvy audience. It incorporates a modern look, while also accomplishing its goals. While some amendments could be made, the site is a great start that clearly displays the advancement of many nonprofit organizations. Hopefully, it will continue to serve Join the Global Fund’s purpose and attract donors for this noble cause. The goal is to increase awareness about the goals, as well as to increase donors. Currently, according to the Pew Internet Survey, 18% of people use the internet to make a donation to a charity online; if more advancements in nonprofit websites such as the one mentioned in this essay are made, it is inevitable that much more online donating will take place in the future.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Exploring the Blogging World: Finding Blogs on the Issues of Human Life

I spent some time doing research on various blogs regarding human rights issues, crises in the world, and various other topics. The two blogs that I found most interesting were of varying subject matter. In the first one, The UN Has a Real Chance to Stop the Killing, I found an extremely passionate and genuine effort by Bianca Jagger to urge the UN to pass a Resolution. This Resolution would allow for global arms trade to be extremely limited and therefore cut down the number of munitions being traded, and inevitably ending up in the hands of militias. While there were several inconsistencies in her blog entry, such as the confusion between nations having arms as opposed to militias, the main point I focused on in my response was the effectiveness of the UN - something I have spoken about in my previous blog post.

The second blog that I felt compelled to respond to was entitled Too Soft at Guantanamo Bay. Here, the author expressed his concerns that the prisoners at Guantanamo had too much luxury and deserved a much stricter regiment. Not only was he faulty with his facts, Mark Noonan also expressed a very hateful tone and showed little value for human life. While I did not get to rebut all the points I found to be inaccurate or incomplete, my comments on his page were rather extensive.

Because of technical difficulties, this comment is pasted below:

This blog is troubling in more than one way. You need to make sure that you are confirm the validity of your statistics. You are furious to see how many lawyers represent the inmates, and while the number may be true, the prisoners have limited access to their legal teams. When they do, their interactions are monitored. These lawyers are not even able to defend their clients, because most of the inmates have not even been tried yet. Many o them don't even know why they are being held. They have no access to evidence or the accusations against them.

Noonan, you question the presence of the Red Cross. If the United States wants to abide by the Geneva Conventions, then it must allow the Red Cross to confirm that is meeting the standards of humanitarian treatment. "The Geneva Conventions require that all captured combatants or prisoners of war (POWs) be visited by the ICRC to help assure the world that their
treatment is humane."
( The U.S. is one of 188 nations to agree to Red Cross Inspections.

According to the Red Cross inspections, the U.S. military is accused of using "humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes, use of forced positions" and described some of the
conditions to be "tantamount to torture." If you ask me, Guantanamo is the antithesis of the foundations that the United States was founded on. It is worse than Abu Ghraib and is an embarrassment to this nation.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ineptitude of World Organizations: No Excuse for Genocide

The U.N. Convention on Genocide defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” by, for example, “deliberately inflicting on members of the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” This has been demonstrated in Sudan as the Arabic speaking, generally lighter skin Janjaweed have been murdering the darker African Muslims and Christians in the region of Darfur. The inaction of the global community has enabled mass killings and what some call ethnic cleansing to unfold in Sudan. The Sudanese government, the African Union, and the United Nations are equally responsible for allowing genocide to continue for so long. Each of the three parties has made attempts at catalyzing change in the region, but none of them have been successful in stopping the genocide.

The atrocities that have been occurring in Sudan have been devastating to the men, women, and children of Darfur. The country has a long history of instability and civil wars. Beginning in early 2003, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) attacked several of the government’s military bases. They were protesting the horrible conditions they were living in and the failures of the government and the military to protect them. At the time, the Janjaweed were permitted by the government to rid specific areas of people who are perceived to be against the government. This resulted in the indiscriminate bombings of villages and towns, raids, mass murders, torture, countless accounts of rape and even child abduction. The Save Darfur Organization has collected data quoting that three and a half million people are now hungry, two and a half million have been displaced due to violence, and four hundred thousand people have died in Darfur since 2003.

First and foremost, it was the responsibility of the Sudanese government to step up and take control of the crisis. However, it is evident that they have lost the ability to regulate the situation. Several peace agreements have been signed by the warring parties and the government has been unsuccessful in enforcing or maintaining them. The Sudanese government has allowed a contingent of 7,000 African Union soldiers patrol throughout the country in attempts to protect the civilians. However, because of their lack of financial resources and armaments, they have been ineffective in settling the conflict. Due to these shortages, they are planning to leave at the end of September, without having reached a permanent solution. Though the United Nations has acted on several occasions, they have done so strictly through policy. They were very slow to begin; their first resolution, Resolution 1556, was passed more than a year after the conflict. Since then, they have passed a series of resolutions to no avail. Policy alone will affect no change in Sudan. The only means to amend the problem, is through an asserted effort on the part of all three of these organizations.

Recently, the United Nations has called for 20,000 troops to be deployed to Sudan. However, President Omar al-Bashir refuses to let them troops enter, citing that the troops would be a “part of a comprehensive conspiracy for confiscating the country's sovereignty.” The U.N. has done nothing to appease the Sudanese government. It needs to begin negotiations and prove to them that their sovereignty will not be affected. They need to make compromises and agree to cooperate as soon as possible. At a standstill such as the one that has been reached, it is up to the United Nations to work with the Sudanese government and the African Union to facilitate a strategic solution that not only includes policy, but also tangible methods to enact it. This includes humanitarian and medical aid through NGOs as well as a military force to control
the militias.

On September 6th, the Sudanese government was reported to have been continuing aerial bombings on its civilians. When will this stop and what will it take? The end is not in sight.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The War on Lebanon: The Importance of “Sovereignty”

Sovereignty as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is “Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state…Complete independence and self-government.” It is obvious that Israel recognizes its own sovereignty and expects all around it to as well. It is a self-governing nation that fails to accept another entity, the Palestinians, within it. Lebanon too, is a sovereign nation with a democratic government that is recognized by most if not the rest of the world. However, how can a sovereign nation expect its neighbors and the global community to respect it if it cannot respect others? This is a question that should be posed to the nation of Israel and its leaders.

In recent weeks, Israel has barraged Lebanon, its neighboring country to the North with bombs, missiles, artillery, and ground troops. The attack began when Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. The history between Hezbollah and Israel is extensive. However, rather than targeting Hezbollah, the organization, Israel began a massive attack on the sovereign nation of Lebanon. According to CNN and the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, a reported 989 Lebanese fatalities had been recorded and 159 deaths have been reported in Israel by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). In the weeks of fighting, the IDF relentlessly bombed Southern Lebanon, Beirut, Tripoli, villages throughout, the airport runways, and all of the roads out of the country. By doing this, the Israelis in turn trapped a population of innocent civilians in the country. They were unable to fly out and unable to flee to Syria or Israel, the neighboring countries.

While Hezbollah is located in Southern Lebanon, it is a terrorist organization that is neither sponsored by the nation of Lebanon, nor is it representative of the majority of the Lebanese population. Israel attacked Lebanese civilians, the civilian airport, the civilian roads, the civilian homes, and the civilian lives. It gave no respect to the recognized and sovereign government of Lebanon that publicly stated its disconnection with Hezbollah. According to The United Nations and Amnesty International, Israel even used cluster bombs throughout Lebanon. Cluster bombs are munitions which release bomblets over a wide area. Many, if not most of them do not explode on impact, but remain deadly to civilians. The United Nations Mine Action Coordination Center claims that most of the cluster bombs were used in the last 2 days of fighting when a ceasefire was within reach. They have, “so far identified more than 400 bomb strike areas that are contaminated with as many as 100,000 unexploded bomblets.”

"The use of cluster bombs in the heart of where people live clearly violates the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks and is therefore a grave violation of international humanitarian law," said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International. "It is outrageous that, despite official requests from the United Nations, Israel has still not provided maps for the areas it targeted with cluster bombs. This failure is further endangering the lives of Lebanese civilians, particularly children." If Israel was attacking Hezbollah, it would not use cluster bombs. It would have strategically identified Hezbollah targets and attacked them using more precise weaponry. Rather, they approached the war with reckless abandon, endangering the entirety of the Lebanese people for generations to come.

The Lebanese government was left helpless, and the international response was much too slow. The call from the U.N. for Israel to stop the attacks came too late. Hundreds of innocent civilians have lost their lives, and for what? At the end of the day, Israel effectively destroyed the progress of one of the most technologically advanced countries in the Middle East, effectively sending it back to the turmoil it was left in only 16 years ago at the end of their civil war.