Dingell on I-P-L
My Congressman, John Dingell, represents the largest concentration of Arab-Americans in the country. His statement on the Middle East is probably as good as we'll get from anyone in Congress. Excerpts:
There is a great tragedy unfolding in the Middle East that must be brought to an end.
The United States is the only country that can provide the necessary leadership to bring about peace, but we are not doing enough.
We must be committed to peace and must commit to achieving it.
The United States--as a leader of the free world--must take immediate steps to bring about a cease fire so that negotiations may begin. We must be a honest broker and reliable friend to all who want peace.
The United Nations--with U.S. leadership and the support of our friends and allies in the Middle East and Europe--must provide an international peace keeping force that brings Hezbollah under the control of the Lebanese government. To make this possible, Israel must immediately cease inflicting further damage on Lebanon's civilian infrastructure.
Failure to do this will have appalling consequences.
Awful things are happening in Israel and innocent people are hurting.
Terrible things are happening and innocent people are suffering in Gaza and Lebanon.
Israel can not afford, for its own security, to have a failed state at its northern border in addition to the chaos in Gaza at its southern border. The Lebanese people cannot afford to reenter the dark days of destruction of a generation ago. They cannot afford to lose hope in a prosperous and peaceful future that the Cedar Revolution offered. And once the bombs have stopped falling, and the Lebanese government has complete sovereignty over its territory, the United States needs to lead the way in helping Lebanon rebuild and reinvest. If we profess to support democracies, we can not turn our back on the million and a half Lebanese who marched and voted for a better country.
The actions of Hezbollah have been wrong and counterproductive. They violated Israel's borders, they have continually targeted civilians, and they have endangered Lebanon's promising future.
The reaction of Israel has been disproportionate and counterproductive. The use of force has brought about a tragic amount of civilian deaths and has weakened a promising democracy in Lebanon.
The situation cannot be permitted to continue.
General war in the Middle East is near and World War III is possible.
We must favor peace over all other concerns. We must concentrate on achieving peace for the benefit of people of the area and all the countries of the world.