|4 Apr 2007 @ 09:58, by jazzolog. Violence, War|
The squeaking of the pump sounds as necessary as the music of the spheres.
---Henry David Thoreau
Do not recite sutras. Do not make portraits of me. Just bury my body in the back mountains. It is enough that you cover me with earth.
---Takuan's final wishes to his students
How could the drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.
---Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Photo by Matt Taibbi of tattoo on the foot of Sgt. Stephen Wilkerson, Baghdad 2006
I once heard a friend make a case for oil and its markets having been the fundamental cause of all the wars of the past century. I had begun the conversation, I guess, by proclaiming loudly the need for conservation of the resource. My friend replied, "The sooner the earth runs out of oil the better!" I was amazed to hear this, and it was then he launched his theory.
At this hour Tony Blair continues his call for "direct" negotiation between Britain and Iran over UK sailors picked up for prowling around some ocean borderlines. [link] Yesterday he said he'd give the process another couple days before matters become "fairly critical", whatever that means. Iran has replied they're glad to talk...but at the same time we have these curious rumors floating via "Russian intelligence" that the US is ready to let fly with the missiles on Friday (or thereabouts). [link]
Are we poised for another "regime change"? Halliburton has moved its headquarters to Dubai, perhaps so trade deals for oil can be accomplished with Iran whether there's peace or war. I believe the United States has not had relations with Iran in about 25 years, and Halliburton can't do deals with them from here. If oil is the deal and soldiers are needed to secure the wells for Exxon/Mobil, time is of the essence. But should we be doing better at our occupations...despite all the claims of progress by Madman McCain and the Bushie loyalists?
The last few days I've been catching up with an article from last summer in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi. The long piece is called Fort Apache, Iraq, and it took me some days to read it. The writing is intense and Taibbi often launches off into a kind of loony poetry that made me stop and think a lot. Last May he spent some days tooling around the bloody roads of Iraq in a Humvee with a group of National Guardsmen from Oklahoma, and followed that up with 3 days locked in a jail cell in Abu Ghraib. Out of these experiences he fashioned this article that expresses vividly for me just what it's like for us Yanks to be over there...and how we look. This isn't the first time Matt Taibbi has put himself into very radical situations for the sake of journalistic truth. Someone has put up a Wikipedia article about him that gives his history along with a ton of links. [link] For our purpose today I'll select some excerpts from Fort Apache, Iraq, and give you the online link to the whole thing. More >
|27 Mar 2007 @ 16:30, by bushman. Violence, War|
A model of efficency? So far only in China. Anyone ever see that scary church film? I think it came out way back in the early 1970's. Basicly a christian 666 film, where they had these retroed UPS vans that went around forcing people to get the mark of the beast, and if you didn't get the mark, they had this guilatine. A really scary film to show to preteens.
[link] More >
|24 Mar 2007 @ 17:24, by vaxen. Violence, War|
Of course this has all been said before and anyone who knows the American Military knows that the situation for the 'grunt' is far worse than Karen can portray here. The question, then, is why do so many think they have to play this dirty game whose winners are those who bankroll every single war and make obscene 'profits' whilst the fools that fight the wars die in ignominy like the good little slaves that they are!
I like Karens style and could, theoretically, see someone like her running for the Office of the President in the Big Shit House in Washington D.C. otherwise known as the "White House."
So here is one of her latest articles which I hope will make you think as you contemplate the liers in wait who are running for the highest office in the land.
Abject liars every single one! Vote? Tear the damned White House down and stop posturing!
Her article: More >
|18 Aug 2006 @ 18:27, by spells. Violence, War|
From another newslog....
"May all sentient beings be happy and free of suffering".
what appears to be left unsaid is this....unless you are Muslim, Arabic, of different culture, different religion, different color, (many different aspects could be mentioned here) or disagree with "me" in any way. Let's stop the hypocracy people and look at the truth of our woes in the world.
Does anyone dare to be honest? Don't you know that nature is there for everyone...NO ONE owns land or has claim to it. Nature cares not who "was there first".
Let's also be honest about the superior technology of one country over another. Us/Israel against Lebanon is almost like nukes against catapult. How can you begrudge the Lebanese their "techniques" of suicide bombers or use of the internet? What else can they do? They don't have the same caliber (if any) fighter jets with nuclear missles...
So how about it? any honest person out there? Anyone have any inkling that we are all one and all these differences and disputes are petty on a cosmic basis? I've got news for all of you....the Universe doesn't revolve around any of us and the truth doesn't change or disappear just because we would like it to.
WSWS : News & Analysis : Middle East
WSWS : News & Analysis : Middle East
Refugees flood back to devastated southern Lebanon
By Rick Kelly
18 August 2006
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have returned to what is left of their homes in Lebanon in defiance of Israeli warnings and threats to stay away. Openly expressing their support for Hezbollah, residents have rushed to reclaim their land in a display of mass opposition to US-Israeli aggression.
Developments since the UN-sponsored ceasefire took effect on Monday have underscored the failure of the US and Israel to achieve their war aims. The Bush administration and the Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hoped to destroy the Hezbollah militia, reduce Lebanon to the status of a semi-colonial protectorate, and drive out the predominantly Shiite population from an Israeli-occupied “buffer zone” in the south.
None of this has eventuated. Lebanese refugees have made their way past destroyed roads and bridges, despite the dangers posed by unexploded cluster munitions and other ordinance, to return to their land. People fear becoming permanent refugees and losing their homeland to Israeli annexation, and are determined not to suffer what the Palestinians experienced. The Lebanese population has first-hand knowledge of the Israeli dispossession of Palestinians—hundreds of thousands of refugees flooded into the country in 1948 and again in 1967.
Returning refugees angrily denounced Israel and the US for the destruction wreaked during the 34-day bombardment. In Beirut’s southern suburbs, almost every building was either destroyed or seriously damaged. Over the ruins of one collapsed structure, a resident hung a banner which read, “Made in the USA”. Another banner in a southern Lebanese village had the words, “Rice, they will not see your new Middle East”. This was a reference to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s now infamous statement on July 22 in Beirut that the war represented the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”.
Almost one million people—a quarter of Lebanon’s population—were forced to flee their homes during the conflict. According to Lebanese estimates, Israeli warplanes carried out more than 4,500 bombing raids. An estimated 35,000 homes and businesses were destroyed by missiles and artillery shells, along with 400 miles of roads and highways, and about 150 bridges and interchanges, one out of every four in the country.
“Southern Lebanon is a travelogue of destruction: town after town pummelled by bombs and mortars that left them in shambles,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Entire towns and villages have been turned to rubble. In Siddiqine, local businessman Ali Bakri described the scene. “It’s like a tsunami, or a second Hiroshima,” he told the Christian Science Monitor.
Almost 1,200 Lebanese were killed, though this figure will probably rise, as corpses are still being pulled from the rubble of destroyed buildings. In Srifa, scene of two Israeli massacres of civilians, another 32 bodies have been recovered. Authorities in Tyre yesterday buried more than 120 victims in a mass grave. In Ainata, Red Cross workers found 18 bodies, including children. The stench of decomposing bodies forced rescue workers to wear multiple facemasks as they travelled between Ainata and Bint Jbeil, scene of much of the heaviest fighting.
Hezbollah militants have openly re-emerged in the south and their banners and flags are again visible to Israeli residents living on the border. Refugees flew Hezbollah flags from their vehicles and homes and expressed their determination to resist Israeli aggression against their country. Numerous media reports have acknowledged the mass support Hezbollah now enjoys. “We are not terrorists,” Faras Jamil, a 39-year-old resident of Aita Shaab, told the Los Angles Times. “My wife is Hezbollah. My children are Hezbollah. Hezbollah is all the people from this town.”
The demonstrations exposed the US-Israeli lie that Hezbollah is nothing but a terrorist arm of Syria and Iran. As is evident from news reports, the organisation has become the focal point for the anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist sentiments of the Lebanese and Arab masses. Hezbollah has a mass base among Lebanon’s Shiites, for whom it provides education, health, and other social services, and has won widespread support among Sunni, Christian, and Druze Lebanese for its resistance to the Israeli offensive.
Hezbollah is also leading the reconstruction efforts. It has promised to provide a year’s rent and new furniture for every family whose home was destroyed. Hundreds of refugees in Beirut have spent the past few days queuing to register for assistance. “There is no central government presence here,” Hamed Harab, a local government official, admitted. “Hezbollah is doing everything.”
The situation is similar in the south. “There is no government here,” Abdul Muhsen Husseini, a government official in Tyre, said. “At least [Hezbollah] are on the ground helping. If you call them at midnight, they come out to help. They are the government.”
There is little prospect of Hezbollah disarming and withdrawing from south of the Litani River, as the Bush administration and the Olmert government demand. The Israeli military was unable to eliminate Hezbollah fighters during the month-long war, and no one expects that either the Lebanese army or the 15,000-strong multinational force being readied will be in a position to enforce US and Israeli dictates.
The Lebanese government has indicated that it will not order the army to disarm Hezbollah. Such a move would risk provoking a civil war throughout the country and a mutiny within the military. “The Shiite population in Lebanon is almost 50 percent,” Yiftach Shapir, of the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies, told Israeli Arutz Sheva Radio. “In the army the proportion is even greater, particularly among the officers. Those numbers reach about 60 percent. While not all of them are extremists, the question is whether or not they would have any desire to violently confront Hezbollah.”
European countries preparing to contribute troops to the UN force have insisted that they will not be responsible for taking on guerrilla fighters. “It is wrong to say that our soldiers are going to disarm Hezbollah,” Italian foreign minister Massimo D’Alema said yesterday. Italy has promised to deploy 3,000 soldiers. France was expected to send about 5,000 troops to Lebanon and lead the UN operation, but President Jacques Chirac has refused to commit more than 200 French forces until clear rules of engagement with Hezbollah militants are established.
Condoleezza Rice was forced to acknowledge the European powers’ concerns. “I don’t think there is an expectation that this [UN] force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah,” she told USA Today. “I think it’s a little bit of a misreading about how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of the militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily.”
The setback suffered in southern Lebanon has heightened the political crisis in Washington and Tel Aviv but it is already clear that the Bush administration intends to pursue its broader strategic plans to subjugate the Middle East. Washington was closely involved in Israel’s plans for invading Lebanon, and for weeks blocked demands for a ceasefire. As journalist Seymour Hersh recently revealed in the New Yorker, the Bush administration welcomed the war as a preliminary step towards an attack on Iran.
In comments in the USA Today, Secretary of State Rice ominously pointed out that the UN resolution on Lebanon imposed an international arms embargo and thus a ban on foreign states supplying arms to Hezbollah. The provision gives the Bush administration ample pretexts for new diplomatic and military provocations against Iran and Syria.
In Israel, Haaretz published an op-ed piece today by Avraham Tal, titled “Preparing for the next war now”. “A war that has ended in a tie and without an agreement between the sides being signed is destined to flare up again, sooner or later,” Tal wrote. “In the conflict between Israel and Iran, by means of its proxy, Hezbollah, neither side achieved its strategic aim... One must start from the working assumption that the next confrontation will erupt relatively soon; for purposes of the discussion, let us assume two years from the eruption of the previous confrontation and to act in all areas as though this will happen with absolute certainty. Possibly there will be another round in the format of the second Lebanon war, but we must prepare for the possibility of something larger and more dangerous: an all-out war with regular armies, including the army of a regional power.”
The current ceasefire remains uncertain and fighting could quickly erupt again. Israel still has thousands of soldiers occupying southern Lebanon and is maintaining its illegal naval blockade of the country. In these conditions, it would not be difficult for the Olmert government to resume the war by staging a provocation and declaring that Hezbollah had breached the ceasefire terms.
The president gives a press conference
[16 August 2006]
Recriminations erupt in Israel in aftermath of Lebanon ceasefire
[16 August 2006]
On eve of Lebanon ceasefire deadline: US, Israel face political debacle
[14 August 2006] More >
|3 Aug 2006 @ 18:54, by spells. Violence, War|
WSWS : News & Analysis : Middle East
US-Israeli onslaught on Lebanon intensifies
By Mike Head
3 August 2006
Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author
Backed by the Bush administration, Israel has poured thousands more troops into Lebanon and escalated its aerial bombardment in its bid to crush all resistance and take control of the south of the country. With the US blocking all calls for an immediate ceasefire—to give the Israeli military more time to complete the job—Israeli leaders have openly declared that the offensive will continue for weeks.
Aided by the lack of any opposition from the UN and the European Union, the objectives set by the US and Israel from the outset of the war are being pursued methodically and with barbaric devastation. Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers has been used as a pretext to attempt to kill or drive out the population of south Lebanon and bring the entire country under its political sway.
Up to 20,000 IDF troops have invaded Lebanon on multiple fronts, backed by tanks, military bulldozers and ferocious air power. There is no indication that the offensive will necessarily stop at the Litani River, the northern border of Israel’s self-proclaimed “security zone”. IDF infantry have already crossed the river in several places, going beyond the territory that Israel occupied for 18 years from 1982 to 2000.
Throughout southern Lebanon, south Beirut and the eastern Bekaa Valley, the IDF is pursuing a scorched earth policy, reducing towns and villages to rubble, leaving the remaining residents—those too old or weak to escape—without water and food. Far from “surgical incursions” to dismantle Hezbollah command posts, as claimed by Israel, the operation is systematically blowing up and bulldozing houses, apartment buildings, community facilities and essential services to make whole areas uninhabitable.
Following the end of the 48-hour cessation of air strikes, Israeli war planes carried out a wave of bombings throughout Lebanon on Wednesday. Air strikes resumed in the battered outskirts of Beirut in the early hours of today. Residents heard the impact of large explosions about every five minutes starting at 2.30 a.m. as missiles hit Dahieh, a Shiite Muslim suburb that has been repeatedly shelled by Israel since fighting began three weeks ago.
Yesterday IDF commandos provocatively landed near the eastern city of Baalbeck, 100 kilometres into Lebanon and close to the Syrian border. Seizing a Hezbollah-run hospital, they captured several alleged Hezbollah militants under the cover of an Israeli bombardment that killed at least 19 civilians, including five children. Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, the IDF chief of staff, told reporters at a briefing that the raid was intended to show that Israel could strike anywhere in Lebanon.
There is open speculation in the US media that the ground war will not be limited to the south but could lead to a wider military operation if Israel decides to push toward Beirut. Brigadier General Shuki Shahar, the deputy chief of the military’s Northern Command, was quoted saying: “The farther north we can push them, the fewer Israeli citizens they can put under threat with these rockets.”
Further south, in Tyre, the mass burial planned for 90 victims of the Qana massacre and other atrocities had to be postponed because of the intensity of the Israeli missile barrage. Tens of thousands of people are streaming out of the ancient Mediterranean city. In recent days, its population had swollen to 100,000 because of the influx of refugees from villages inland. By Tuesday, only about 15,000 remained.
It is now obvious that the slaughter of innocents at Qana was part of a wider plan to terrorise and force people to flee. With the official Lebanese civilian death toll already nearing 1,000 and the number of displaced people one million—a quarter of the country’s population—Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday boasted that this was a mark of success in the war. “All the population, which is the power base of the Hezbollah in Lebanon, was displaced,” he declared.
In other words, the strategy—agreed with Washington from the start—is the systematic de-population of south Lebanon, where the three-week onslaught has only increased popular support for Hezbollah as a national resistance movement. With IDF troops meeting further fierce opposition and Hezbollah firing more rockets into Israel on Wednesday than on any previous day of the 22-day-old war, Olmert declared that the army would not stop fighting or withdraw until a “robust” international force moved into southern Lebanon on Israel’s terms.
His government is confident that this could take weeks or more because of the insistence of the US, joined by Britain and Germany, that no truce be permitted until Israel has conquered the area. A cabinet minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, said on army radio he expected the offensive to take up to two weeks. Israeli generals are publicly predicting an even longer war. Brigadier General Alon Friedman of Israel’s Northern Command said seizing control of south Lebanon could take a week, and securing it “could take from three to eight weeks, depending on the size of the area.”
Israel is intent on retaining a free hand to carry out military operations throughout Lebanon even after a peace-keeping force is put in place. Writing in Haaretz today, Israeli military analyst Ze’ev Schiff commented: “Meanwhile, there is a delicate situation emerging over the mandate of the future multinational force... The danger is that sanctions will apply to both sides. This may make it very difficult for Israel to defend itself, even if it argues self-defence.”
Whatever tactical differences exist with France over the timing and composition of the planned international “stabilisation force,” there is no disagreement over its basic function, which will be to obliterate all opposition to Lebanon being reduced to a protectorate, completely subservient to US and Israeli interests.
White House spokesman Tony Snow said an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon was not on the agenda, and downplayed differences with France on the urgency of ending the fighting. “An immediate ceasefire is something that at this point doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Neither side is headed that way,” he told a press briefing.
The truth is that Washington is urging the Israelis to get on with the slaughter as quickly as possible, as Schiff alluded to in his Haaretz comment yesterday. A fervent advocate of the war, he complained that the Olmert government had not yet provided the US with the “military cards” it needed to ensure the permanent eradication of Hezbollah.
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the figure leading the strategy of changing the situation in Lebanon, not Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Defense Minister Amir Peretz. She has so far managed to withstand international pressure in favor of a ceasefire,” he wrote.
The Lebanese government has continued to denounce Israel’s war crimes. Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh called Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire and the creation of an international tribunal to try the Israeli officials. Speaking of Qana, Justice Minister Charles Rizk said: “Israel committed a hideous crime against children, women and elderly and [there should be] an international and independent committee to probe the crime.”
In Beirut, Lebanon’s High Relief Committee (HRC) said it had counted 828 people killed and 3,200 wounded so far. “These are identified bodies, and the toll does not count the people still believed to be under the rubble,” an HRC spokesman said. The number of displaced has reached 913,760. Economic losses caused by the destruction of the country’s infrastructure are now estimated at $4 billion.
Such is the “new Middle East” promised by the White House. The barbaric war on Lebanon, alongside the worsening bloodletting in US-occupied Iraq, are the product of a neo-colonial policy directed at suppressing all resistance to American dominance of the region’s massive oil and gas reserves and US imperialism’s wider goal of achieving unchallenged global hegemony.
Slaughter in Lebanon enters fourth week
What way forward in the struggle against war?
[2 August 2006]
Following Qana massacre
Israel escalates Lebanon offensive with US backing
[1 August 2006]
The Qana massacre: Slaughter of innocents in Lebanon
[31 July 2006]
Rice leaves bloody footprints in Lebanon
[26 July 2006]
The real aims of the US-backed Israeli war against Lebanon
[21 July 2006] More >
|24 Jul 2006 @ 00:09, by scotty. Violence, War|
I recieved this in an email today ..
Robert Fisk: A gripping diary of one week in the life and death of Beirut
Published: 23 July 2006
Sunday 16 July
It is the first time I have actually seen a missile in this war. They fly too fast - or you are too busy trying to run away to look for them - but this morning, Abed and I actually see one pierce the smoke above us. "Habibi (my friend)!" he cries, and I start screaming "Turn the car round, turn it round" and we drive away for our lives from the southern suburbs. As we turn the corner there is a shattering explosion and a mountain of grey smoke blossoming from the road we have just left. What happened to the men and women we saw running for their lives from that Israeli rocket? We do not know. In air raids, all you see is the few square yards around you. You get out and you survive and that is enough.
I go home to my apartment on the Corniche and find that the electricity is cut. Soon, no doubt, the water will be cut. But I sit on my balcony and reflect that I am not crammed into a filthy hotel in Kandahar or Basra but living in my own home and waking each morning in my own bed. Power cuts and fear and the lack of petrol now that Israel is bombing gas stations mean that the canyon of traffic which honks and roars outside my home until two in the morning has gone. When I wake in the night, I hear the birds and the wash of the Mediterranean and the gentle brushing of palm leaves.
I went to buy groceries this evening. There is no more milk but plenty of water and bread and cheese and fish. When Abed pulls up to let me out of the car, the man in the 4x4 behind us puts his hand permanently on the horn, and when I get out of Abed's car, he mouths the words "Kess uchtak" at me. "Fuck your sister." It is the first time I have been cursed in this war. The Lebanese do not normally swear at foreigners. They are a polite people. I hold my hand out, palm down and twist it palm upwards in the Lebanese manner, meaning "what's the problem?". But he drives away. Anyway, I don't have a sister.
Monday 17 July
The phones are still working and my mobile chirrups like a budgerigar. Too many of the calls are from friends who want to know if they should flee Beirut or flee Lebanon or from Lebanese who are outside Lebanon and want to know if they should return. I can hear the bombs rumbling across Hizbollah's area of the southern suburbs but I cannot answer these questions. If I advise friends to stay and they are killed, I am responsible. If I tell them to leave and they are killed in their cars, I am responsible. If I tell them to come back and they die, I am responsible. So I tell them how dangerous Lebanon has become and tell them it is their decision. But I feel great sorrow for them. Many have been refugees four times in 24 years. Today I am called by a Lebanese woman with Lebanese and Iranian citizenship and one child with a US passport and another with only a Lebanese passport. Her situation is hopeless. I suggest she travels to the Christian mountains around Faraya and try to find a chalet. It will be safe there. I hope.
I come back from Kfar Chim where part of an Israeli missile or an aircraft wing has just partially decapitated the driver of a car. He looked so tragic, his head lolling forward in the driver's seat, just looking at all the blood splashing down his body on to the floor. Abed was getting spooked because I spent too long at the scene. The Israelis always come back. "Habibi, you took too long. Never stay that long again!" He is right. The Israelis did come back and bombed the Lebanese army.
Now my housemaid Fidele is spooked. She thinks it is too dangerous to travel from the Christian district of Beirut to my home since the Israelis blew the top off the local lighthouse 400 metres from my front door. Fidele is from Togo and makes fantastic pizzas (I recommend her Pizza Togolaisi to anyone) so I send Abed off to pick up her up and bring her to my home for one hour. She puts my dirty clothes in the washing machine, and after five minutes the power goes off and we have to take them all out and try again tomorrow.
Tuesday 18 July
At 3.45am, I wake to the sound of tank tracks and a big military motor heaving away in the darkness. I go downstairs to find that the Lebanese army has positioned an American-made armoured personnel carrier in the car park opposite my home. It has been placed strategically under some palm trees, as if this will stop Israeli aircraft from spotting it. I don't like this at all and nor does my landlord, Mustafa, who lives downstairs. The Lebanese army is now an occasional target for the Israelis and this little behemoth looks like a palm tree disguised as a tank. Later in the morning, I call a general in the army who is a friend of mine and army operations calls me back to check the location. It takes an hour before they find the car park on their maps. Then I receive another call telling me that the APC is next to my home to prevent the Hizbollah from using the car park to launch another missile at an Israeli ship. The empty American Community School is just up my road. The Lebanese army is defending us.
The first French warship arrives to pick up French citizens fleeing Lebanon. It steams proudly past my balcony. Many French naval vessels are named after great military leaders, and this particular anti-submarine frigate is called the Jean-de-Vienne. I pad off to consult my little library of French history books. Jean de Vienne, it turns out, was a 14th-century French admiral who raided the Sussex town of Rye and the Isle of Wight and who was killed - oh lordy, lordy - fighting in the Crusades against the Muslim Turks. A suitable ship to start France's evacuation of the ancient Crusader port of Beirut.
Wednesday 19 July
Now that the Israelis are destroying whole apartment blocks in the Shia southern suburbs - there is a permanent umbrella of smoke over the seafront, stretching far out into the Mediterranean - tens of thousands of Shia Muslims have come to seek sanctuary in the undamaged part of Beirut, in the parks and schools and beside the sea. They walk back and forth outside my home, the women in chadors, their bearded husbands and brothers silently looking at the sea, their children playing happily around the palm trees. They speak to me with anger about Israel but choose not to discuss the depth of cynicism of the Shia Hizbollah who provoked Israel's brutality by capturing two of its soldiers. As well as the Hizbollah, the Israelis are now targeting food factories and trucks and buses - not to mention 46 bridges - and the bin men are now reluctant to pick up the rubbish skips each night for fear their innocent rubbish truck is mistaken for a missile launcher. So no rubbish collection this morning.
The local Beirut papers are filled with photographs that would never be seen in the pages of a British paper: of decapitated babies and women with no legs or arms or of old men in bits. Israel's air raids are promiscuous and - when you see the results as we now do with our own eyes - obscene. No doubt Hizbollah's equally innocent civilian victims in Israel look like this but the slaughter in Lebanon is on an infinitely more terrible scale. The Lebanese look at these pictures and see them on television - as does the rest of the Arab world - and I wonder how many of them are provoked to think of another 9/11 or 7/7 or whatever the next date will be.
What does war do to people? Later, I am talking to an Austrian journalist and idly ask what her father does. "He drinks," she says. Why? "Because his father was killed at Stalingrad."
I walk across with tea for the soldiers on the APC in the car park. They are all from Baalbek, Shia Muslims. They would never open fire on a Hizbollah missile crew. Then I return home from another visit to the southern suburbs and find they have gone, along with their behemoth. The first good news of the day.
The minister of finance holds a press conference to talk of the billions of dollars of damage being done to Lebanon by Israel's air raids. "We have had pledges of aid from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar," he proudly announces. "And from Syria and Iran?" the man from Irish radio asks, naming Hizbollah's two principal supporters in the Muslim world. "Nothing," the minister replies dismissively.
Thursday 20 July
A bad day for messages. Phone calls from the States to tell me I am an anti-Semite for criticising Israel. Here we go again. To call decent folk anti-Semites is soon going to make anti-Semitism respectable, I tell the callers before asking them to tell the Israeli air force to stop killing civilians. Then a fax from a Jewish friend in California to tell me that a man called Lee Kaplan - "a columnist for the Israel National News", whatever that is - has condemned me in print for developing a "high-paid speaking career among anti-Semites". Unlike Benjamin Netanyahu and many others I can think of, I never take money for lecturing - ever - but to smear the thousands of ordinary Americans who listen to me as anti-Semites is outrageous.
Another fax from the editor of the forthcoming paperback edition of my book, apologising for bothering me at a "very difficult (sic) time" but promising to send me page proofs by DHL which is still operating to Beirut. I go downtown to check this with DHL. Yes, the man says, parcels for Lebanon are sent to Jordan and then in a truck via Damascus to Beirut. A truck, I say to myself. Ouch.
Friday 21 July
The Israelis have just bombed Khiam prison. An interesting target since this was the jail in which Israel's former proxy militia, the South Lebanon Army, used to torture male prisoners by attaching electrodes to their penises and female prisoners by electrocuting their breasts. When the Israeli army retreated in 2000, the Hizbollah turned the prison into a museum. Now the evidence of the SLA's cruelty has been erased. Another "terrorist" target.
The power comes back at home at 11pm and I watch Israel's consul general, Arye Mekel, telling the BBC that Israel is "doing the Lebanese a favour" by bombing Hizbollah, insisting that "most Lebanese appreciate what we are doing". So now I understand. The Lebanese must thank the Israelis for destroying their lives and infrastructure. They must be grateful for all the air strikes and the dead children. It's as if the Hizbollah claimed that Israelis should be grateful to them for attacking Zionism. How far can self-delusion reach?
Saturday 22 July
I have coffee in my landlord's garden and he climbs an old wooden ladder into his fig tree and brings me a plate of fruit. "Every day it gives us our figs," he tells me. "We sit under our tree in the afternoon and with the breeze off the sea, it is like air conditioning." I look at his little paradise of pot plants and sip my Arabic coffee from a little blue mug. We watch the warships sliding into Beirut port. "What will happen when all the foreigners have gone?" he asks. That's what we are all asking. We shall find out this week.
I don't know what the hell is going on over there in the middle east - I do know that somehow this madness has to end ..... it must end !!
|22 Jul 2006 @ 07:07, by judih. Violence, War|
early morning brings latest news
escalation of conflicts
engagement in battle
| 5 Jul 2006 @ 16:17, by scotty. Violence, War|
I came across a really intersting article yesterday and decided to share it with you all...
Zionism & Judaism...
Comparing Apples To Rocks
By Judy Andreas
June 10, 2005
As a young person, I was taught that there are three things one must never discuss...... politics, religion and sex. My response was "what else is there to talk about?" I have always found those topics interesting to study, question and discuss.
I call myself a "truth seeker," and my pursuit of truth has led me down some long and winding roads. I was born of Jewish parents, became an atheist in my late teens (it seemed so hip) and ultimately became immersed in psychology. From the readings of Carl Jung, it was a short hop into the realm of metaphysics. My metaphysical pursuits led me to Hinduism where I experienced Shaktipat with a Guru. Next came Buddhism, which, although peace loving, lacked the passion I craved. Eventually, a book about Vedanta introduced me to Jesus Christ.
As a child of Jewish parents, the mention of the name Jesus had been verboten. This was, in part, because my mother had been raised in a neighborhood in which part of the celebration of Easter included throwing stones at my mother and her family and calling them "Christ killers" However, I had not had my mother's experience. The Christ according to Vedanta was a loving being.
I took to the words of Jesus and was baptized in 1991. Christianity was fine until you got past the teachings of Jesus and entered the realm of Paul's "hell fire and brimstone." The "exclusivity" of the religion and the need to chapter and verse people over the head with two by fours, sent me running from the church.
The Wiccan religion was probably my favorite ....... More >
|29 Jun 2006 @ 22:44, by vaxen. Violence, War|
I'm terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.
But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is OUR land and there we'll remain
Until the day OUR homeland is secure.
And if that time shall never come,
Then we will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will fight for justice cease. More >
|25 Jun 2006 @ 17:53, by judih. Violence, War|
How it happened: Militants infiltrated post via 300m tunnel
By Haaretz Staff
The gunmen launched their attack at approximately 5:00 A.M. Eight militants infiltrated Israeli territory via a tunnel adjacent to the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing.
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