- Peace Garden: The Distance from Guernica to Lebanon

The Distance from Guernica to Lebanon

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ramzi Kysia on learning from history.

As I write this, over two hundred Lebanese have been killed. Almost all of them were civilians.
I think of Guernica.
On April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the German Air Force, siding with fascist dictator Francisco Franco, began a bombing campaign against the city of Guernica. Some 1,600 people were killed, and the city was reduced to rubble. Guernica is remembered as the first time air power was used against a civilian population with the intent of causing complete destruction.
When it happened, Guernica shocked the world. Today, we do not shock so easily. Lebanon is being sacrificed without so much as a casual protest.
Israel has bombed power plants, roads, and bridges all across Lebanon. Israel has bombed gas stations and fuel depots, grain silos, lighthouses, the seaports in Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh and Tyre. Beirut's airport is in flames. Beirut's Shi'a suburbs have been almost completely demolished. Firefighters are pleading for help, because they do not have enough water to put out the blazes.
I think of Guernica.
Too many Guernicas lately.

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