ROME (Feb. 20)
Maj. Sood Haddad, leader of the Christian militia in south Lebanon, accused the United States and the Vatican of abandoning Lebanon to invasion and occupation. by Syria. “The only disinterested help we receive today comes from Israel, “but that is not enough, Haddad said in an exclusive interview published in II Giornale today.
He said that “Arab extremists” cannot stand to see Arabs and Israelis getting along as they do in the border area where Israel maintains an “open fence” policy. He claimed their aim was to repopulate the border region with fedayeen and to create psychological obstacles to the peace talks in the Middle East.
Haddad charged that the U.S. and the Vatican had failed to react against “the Syrian military occupation” of Lebanon. He said “that there is a religious war going on between Moslems and Christians is a monstrous lie.” He claimed that the Palestinian refugees of 1948 were “completely absorbed” and the real trouble started “with the invasion of armed Palestinians sent by Syria.
The White House has not said a word of condemnation against “the foreign invasion suffocating Lebanon” because “Damascus holds clout over Saudi Arabia to which Washington defers because of its oil,” Haddad claimed.
BITTER TOWARD THE VATICAN
He was equally bitter toward, the Vatican Prayers for peace are not enough, the militia commander said. He charged that “up to several months ago, at least, the Vatican unfortunately tacitly absolved the invaders by invoking its impartiality.” And before that, the Catholic Church was less than impartial “when (the late Pope) Pool VI openly supported the rights of the Palestinian people but never supported our sacrosanct rights to existence, to liberty and independence.
Haddad said he hoped that now that the Vatican has “a pastoral leader who has (himself) suffered under a totalitarian regims…a courageous Pope not afraid of telling the truth, ” the Church will use “its great moral force to condemn the aggression suffered by Lebanon and the genocide that Syria is carrying out against Lebanese Christians.” He was referring to Pope John Paul II, who is of Polish origin.