31 July 2006

Israel Responsible for Qana Attack - HRW

Human Rights Watch:

Indiscriminate Bombing in Lebanon a War Crime

(Beirut, July 30, 2006) – Responsibility for the Israeli airstrikes that
killed at least 54 civilians sheltering in a home in the Lebanese village of
Qana rests squarely with the Israeli military, Human Rights Watch said today. It
is the latest product of an indiscriminate bombing campaign that the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) have waged in Lebanon over the past 18 days, leaving an
estimated 750 people dead, the vast majority of them civilians.

Read the rest...

30 July 2006

Another Israeli Massacre in Qana This Morning



It’s the same Qana with the mothers and children slaughtered by Israel’s high tech weapons all over again. Dying by high tech weapons does not count as terrorism.

At about one after midnight today Israel bombed a low tech shelter in Qana. The mothers and children thought it would protect them from the smart bombs of the “morally superior” IDF/IOF/IF. They tucked their children told them their bed time stories and sat there scared. Then the bombs came. It took the lives of FIFTY FIVE so far.

The pictures of the rescuers of the civil defense pulling the children from under the rubbles are horrific. Some of them were crying so were some of the photographers. Israel cut off the roads between the villages and cities. It hits moving cars, trucks and ambulances. It hits convoys of civilians fleeing. Those in Qana thought it would be safer to stay put. They were wrong. Now they are dead. I can almost predict what Israel will say. It will be the same shit it said in 1996 when it slaughtered more than 100 women and children taking the UN base as a shelter. Peres was PM then.

Rice was entertaining a group of politicians yesterday (or before) by playing the piano. Yes she is talented. She has a soft side. Nero of Rome comes to mind.

When mothers think of children, they think of baby bottles filled with milk. When mother Rice thinks of giving birth to a new middle east she thinks of smart bombs for our babies. Then she plays the piano as our country burns.

29 July 2006

Snapshots

Funny quote of the day:
“It is Hizbollah, which is deliberately preventing the transfer of medical aid and food to the population of southern Lebanon in order to create a humanitarian crisis, which they want to blame Israel for.” - Avi Pazner, Israeli government spokesman

Snapshots:

A father left his wife and five kids in the safety of their home in the southern village of Numeiriyah. He went out to get them bread to eat. Israel bombed the house. The mother and her five kids were killed in the blast.

The border between Lebanon and Syria was targeted with three raids. The holes created on both sides of the highway are about 3 meters deep.

A second mass grave was filled today with the remains of Lebanese civilians (many children) who were pulled from under the rubbles of Tyre (Sour). It took three days to get some of the bodies out.

Jiyeh petroleum storage tanks are still on fire. They were hit during the first days of the aggression. An amount of petroleum found its way into the sea to the shores of Beirut. Now Ramlet al Bayda (Arabic for white sand) beach in Beirut is black.

A truck carrying potatoes was targeted. Lebanese avoid driving near trucks these days as well as avoiding routes that have bridges.

Those who have to move around paint TV on the upper part of their cars or vehicles. I have not figured this out yet. Since the press, the Red Cross, humanitarian help, convoy of civilians forced to flee have all been hit in the past.

NassrAllah made a televised speech. It was widely broadcasted.

Maroun al Rass and Bint Jubeil are still being heavily bombed.

28 July 2006

Symbiosis: Cedar Revolution & Hezbollah

The leaders of the Cedar Revolution, blessed and pressed by the American ambassador, forged a coalition with Hezbollah during the parliamentarian elections last year. Leaders of the “enlightened and democratic” March 14 Movement won because the support of Hezbollah. Members of Hezbollah who ran, democratically, for seats in the parliament were elected and won by wide margins. A new “independent” government was formed. Hezbollah was and still is represented by two ministers.

Then the national dialogue began with the blessings of the American ambassador. “The leaders” in this dialogue agreed unanimously that the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese. They declared that the farms are still occupied by Israel. They agreed that as long as Israel occupies Lebanese territory, Lebanon has the right to resist. Not to mention the land mines that Israel left behind when it withdrew in the year 2000. Israel refuses to hand Lebanon the maps to their locations. Civilians are injured.

The “democratically” elected leaders endorsed Hezbollah as a liberator of Lebanon from Israeli occupation. A liberation which they say was directly responsible for making the Cedar Revolution possible. They applauded Hezbollah for its high degree of self control, discipline and moral approach after the withdrawal of Israel. There was no revenge, no incident of violence against “collaborators” in South Lebanon.

The “leaders of the Cedar Revolution” - the same leaders who sat and ate and drank with Rice in the US embassy the other day while Lebanon burned - agreed and declared in the national dialogue that Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization. They blessed it as a resistance movement.

Well, Hezbollah carried on as a resistance movement. Can you blame them?
Then suddenly Olmert, Rice and Bush declared that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Who needs proof? Bush said so! And that’s that! Olmert starts his strike and Hezbollah grows more popular!

Today Israel withdraws from the surroundings of Bint Jubeil and Maroun al Rass. Leaving behind their vehicles and taking dozens of dead and injured soldiers with them.

Hachem the parliamentarian who owns the chain of Hachem gas stations is from Jubeil district. No not Bint Jubeil. Jubeil (or Jbeil) is Arabic for Byblos the ancient Phoenician city accredited with the invention of the alphabets to the north of Beirut. Bint is Arabic for daughter. Bint Jubeil is not a very large city in south Lebanon near the border with Israel. And Maroun al Rass is a small village. Israel was forced to withdraw today. Hezbollah launched rockets deeper (50km) into Israel for the first time during this war.

Is the worse still to come?

Snapshots of Anti-War Demonstrations

In Tel Aviv
In NYC
first photo from second photo from

Bint Jubeil Did Not Fall

Lebanese health minister declared that 600 is the number of civilian casualties due to the Israeli aggression. All civilians. Children, mothers, fathers and old folks. This is equivalent to 45000 American citizens considering the population of Lebanon.

Israel is still not able to take control of the village of Maroun al Rass which is a few steps from the borders.

Yesterday Bint Jubeil fell according to IDF/IOF/IF. Today we know Israel lied. They could not enter BJ. They destroyed it from way up in the sky. But very tough resistance kept them out. An ambush killed 9 of their elite soldiers and injured more than 25 when they tried to enter BJ. The generals of Israel decided to decrease their infantry incursions and go back to using the F-16.

More than 50 Israelis have died [as declared by Israel] so far as a result of Olmert’s adventure. 33 of them were officers and soldiers according to the Israelis.

My neighbor finally answered my phone call. He is okay. It wasn’t the Hachem gas station that is near my house that was bombed. It was another one further down. About one km. Hachem is a member of Lebanese parliament. He is a member of Aoun’s bloc. He has many gas stations. Four of them have been bombed so far. He must have done something terrible to anger Olmert. But the buildings I mentioned previously are gone.

27 July 2006

Meanwhile

In Gaza the massacre continues.

In Iraq the model of the new middle east continues.

26 July 2006

Photos of Israeli Adults Signing Bombs

Check out these photos. Sad and Ugly too.

Photo caption: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dance with Israeli soldiers in front of a mobile artillery unit positioned in the northern village of Fassuta, near the Lebanese border, July 24, 2006. REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen
.

Quotes

Rami Khouri, editor at large of Lebanon's Daily Star believes Israeli policies are inherently flawed. "If there is a Nobel Prize for promoting terrorism it should be given for the last quarter century to the Israelis. They are the masters at implementing policies that generate a counter policy of increasingly militant resistance, and hard-line Islamist politics," says Khouri. [Quoted from]


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed shock at the deliberate targetting of the UN peacekeeping base in Khiam, south Lebanon.

' "This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked U.N. post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by (Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared Israeli fire," '[Quoted from]


Philip Gordon relays the thinking of the Israeli political and military elite behind its inhuman and massive bombing of all Lebanon:

' According to retired Israeli army Col. Gal Luft, the goal of the campaign is to "create a rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters." The message to Lebanon's elite, he said, is this: "If you want your air conditioning to work and if you want to be able to fly to Paris for shopping, you must pull your head out of the sand and take action toward shutting down Hezbollah-land." ' [Quoted from]

25 July 2006

New & Improved Neighborhood

Al Jamous Street is almost 250 meters to the west of my house. Al Jamous is Arabic for Buffalo. Nine buildings and a gas station were totally demolished in this street as a result of air raids this afternoon.
This street is part of Al Sfeir area. This is an area of Beirut that was recently built and inhabited. That is during the past four years. This area was an uninhabited buffer zone between suburbs of west Beirut and suburbs of east Beirut during the Lebanese civil war between 1975 and 1990.
It became inhabited during the past few years when we felt that there will never be another civil war. Little did we know that the “seeds of democracy” and “the Peace” were going to be sowed there.

I went there this morning. As I do everyday. I checked on my house and got some clothes [I am living about 8 km away closer to Beirut’s center]. I saw a couple of guys still there. They have no place to go. I talked to one of my neighbors. His wife and baby girl are tucked safely two kilometers to the north. And as usual I asked about the other neighbors. They are all somewhere else. Refugees.

I left at about 12 noon.
Around 5 PM I heard strong explosions despite the kilometers. The TV announced that Jamous and Sfeir were hit. Hachem gas station was hit. The gas station is a 5 min walk from my house, even if I walk slowly. The TV later announced that 9 buildings in the vicinity of the gas station were completely destroyed. My neighbor is not answering my phone calls. The TV is now saying that the buildings are rocketed with “sleeping bombs” after they are destroyed. These bombs explode later on when people come to check on their houses. The TV does not lie. Or does it?

I will try to take photos of my “new and improved neighborhood” if and when I go to check on my house next time.

A hall 500 meters to the west of Al Jamous was hit yesterday for the third time in six days. Why three times? The first picture is of the first strike, the second is of the third. Six buildings – 8 to 9 stories containing apartments – around this hall are now totally destroyed. I know some people who live in these buildings. Civilians. But then who am I to know what the fighters know?

Sanyoura gives Rice a huggy-huggy and a kissy-kissy in this photo from Assafir. What is this all about?


This week in the Lebanese blogosphere

This week's roundup of the Lebanese blogosphere, posted on Global Voices Online:

The war that Israel is waging against Lebanon remains the primary issue discussed by bloggers blogging about Lebanon this week. This roundup does not do justice to the amount of posts that contain analysis, updates, personal experiences, reflections and photos of the situation in Lebanon. But it gives a feel of what things are like.

Amal prays to God to save Lebanon in her unique way:

Perpetual Refugee writes a very touching post about how he watched, in real time on TV, his neighborhood being bombed and his grandfather’s house destroyed.

And in another post titled: “From the killing fields. Silence”, Perpetual Refugee writes:

I try and imagine the 371 stories of each fatality of this current genocide. I try and remember how beautiful a summer it was in Lebanon. How children played in the streets at all hours of the day. The sounds of innocence echoing through the valleys of Lebanon’s countless villages. How the restaurants were full of foreign people in love, I mean totally in love with the host country that has so generously welcomed them into her heart. How each person I had spoken with just one week ago had so positively looked to the future of a nation that just earned a hard fought independence. A confident Lebanon. A proud Lebanon. A Lebanon so full of promise.
And now, as I watch high rated news telecasts projecting images of destruction. Images of genocide. I don’t hear anything. Just silence. Mixed in with ads for McDonald’s and Ford automobiles interspersed between the funerals.

Prof Juan Cole gives evidence that the “War on Lebanon Planned for at least a Year” ago.

In addition to pinpointing the Middle East “crisis”, Anarchistian asks the following questions:

John Bolton: Syria must pressure HezbAllah to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
John Bolton: Syria must pressure HezbAllah to hand over the two Israeli soldiers.
I wonder:
Who will pressure Israel to stop dropping 23 ton bombs on Lebanese civilians?
Who will pressure Israel to hand over Lebanese hostages in Israeli jails?
Who will pressure Israel to stop targeting journalists and TV stations?
Who will pressure Israel to lift its siege, which is an act of war against all of Lebanon?
Who?
Not our good friend the USA, surely?
Having in mind that an all-serious tone on the blog would turn off many readers who argue that we must always find something to laugh about even when bombs are falling on our heads, I have decided to launch a funny Middle Eastern quote of the day initiative. Here’s today’s:
“Israel’s offensive in Lebanon is not aimed at destroying HezbAllah.” - Avi Dichter

Lazarus defines terrorism in this fill in the blank exercise:

Terror: violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.

Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

Murder: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.

Use these three words to fill in the blanks.

The IDF, through its actions of _______ing civilians, engages in state-sponsored ___________ and inflicts _________ on Lebanese civilians.

*Definitions from Merriam Webster.

Abu Kais sees that “Maybe Israel has a problem too” and says:

The international focus now is on getting rid of Hizbullah, implementing resolution 1559, and allegedly “helping the democratic Lebanese government.” The method is war, and the outcome so far has been an empowered Hizbullah and a weakened government that is quickly losing credibility among the very population it is supposed to protect.

Jij describes and analysis in much detail the reasons that lead us to this this situation.

Propaganda machines are usually most energetic in time of war. Prof Abu Khalil notes this in one of his posts:

Is anybody keeping track with the lies of Israeli propaganda (which seems to emulate Nasser’s propaganda of the 1967 war) in this war? They claimed that they have killed 100 Hizbullah members but failed to provide evidence–wait, maybe the pictures of the incinerated children count as evidence; then they claimed yesterday that they occupied Marun Ar-Ras, only to claim today that they really really really now fully occupy Marun Ar-Ras; and then they claimed a few days ago that they have scores of Hizbullah fighters in captivity, only to claim today that they have two. Which is which, o propagandists of the Israeli war machine? Also, having lived under Israeli occupation in 1982, I am glad to see that the quality of Israeli Orientalism has not improved one bit. In fact, the quality of the Arabic in the propaganda flyers has even gone down.

As well as quoting a doctor in one of the hospitals in the South of Lebanon who observes that all the injured are innocent civilians who were trying to escape and were carrying white flags.

While Dr Victorino discusses the issue of propaganda in this article:

Many apologists of the Bushmert regime have pumped up their shameless propaganda campaign in the airwaves and on the internet since the start of Israel’s war of aggression on Lebanon.
The truth is that more than a third of towns and villages targeted by the Israeli Air Force are actually located in exclusively Christian areas - Yahweh’s glorious army made a point of bombing both Roman Catholic and Byzantine Orthodox areas, thus proving its attachment to the development of Christian ecumenism!

Jamal uses his very witty style to make up some accomplishment for Olmert’s killing campaign which still has no military accomplishments to speak of.

Ahmad describes how he woke up to the bombing and demolition of a center in Saida that hosts clinics, a pharmacy, a medical laboratory and a mosque among other civil things. The center is just 10 minutes walk from where he lives.

Lebanese Bloggers Forum is a blog maintained by a number of Lebanese bloggers and has posts on many topics, updates, calendar of demonstrations etc. It has this post which lists the 68 UN Resolutions that Israel is in violation of among other things.

Most writers agree that Israel’s actions are leading to the exact opposite of what Israel claims that it wants to achieve. Pierre Tristam writes in this article:

The more the Israeli assault lasts, the more distant it gets from its presumed aim of destroying Hezbollah—the more impossible it becomes to destroy what the bombing campaign of the last twelve days can only recharge and redirect in proportion to the tonnage of savagery it is dropping on Lebanon. Who, the Lebanese are rightfully asking themselves, are the terrorists now?

And Sophia writes in one of her posts:

Up to now, the ‘war on terrorism’ has produced nothing and killed much more civilians than the attack on the WTC. It didn’t even produced friendly regimes for the US, let alone winning hearts and minds in the ME.
Moreover, Hezbollah enjoys now a support from a defiant sizable part of the Christian population in Lebanon. My guess is that, before the war on Hezbollah will end, the US and Israel would have lost all their allies in Lebanon, except may be for the weakened Lebanese forces who appear more and more to be the shadow of their former self in terms of Christian support. As in Ukraine, the US sponsored Cedar revolution will be short lived.

Israeli war machines are also intercepting radio broadcasts. EDB at Anecdotes from a Banana Republic writes about one such incident:

I get a huge kick out of the Israeli radio interception. Halfway through a news broadcast on the Lebanese Communist Party radio station, a monotonous, droning voice interrupts to address Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah fighters (in Arabic): “Come on, oh Hassan, you coward. Pack your bags and go to Masnaa [the remaining border crossing to Syria, last time I checked].. come on, you brave men hiding in your tunnels and caves…”
Couldn’t they do that to the TV stations, too? It might diversify the content a bit, if we weren’t just seeing bombs and dead babies. Also, I’d love it if they dressed up like “real Arabs” to interrupt the broadcasts. That would be ultra-effective; a guy in a turban interrupts a cooking show or, say, Fashion TV, which is also still broadcasting, to say, “Surrender now, Jesus… I mean, Allah loves you”.
Intercept every media outlet and tell the Lebanese what to think and do; then you will be welcomed with flowers and baklava. Do they have figures on how successful the conversion rates are from their propaganda? More successful than penis-enlargement spamming? Surely not. People aren’t grateful for being bombed. That’s a tough lesson.

EDB also shows the logical fallacy behind Israel’s claim that it is not targeting civilians:

US hypothesis Nr. 1: Israel does not attack civilians and civilian infrastructure.
US hypothesis Nr. 2: The US “is concerned for the personal safety of American citizens due to the current security situation in Lebanon” because “major roads … are subject to an air strike at any time” (according to an email I received from the US Dept of State)
In short, Americans in Lebanon are in danger of being hit by an Israeli bomb.
US hypothesis Nr. 3: We must evacuate all American civilians.

Conclusion:
We must evacuate all American civilians, for they are in danger of being attacked by Israel, which does not attack civilians.

The American civilians who are in danger must all be human shields for Hezbollah or hiding Katyushas under their beds. Why, oh why, would they be in danger, if Israel is attacking Hezbollah, rather than everything that moves?

UrShalim posts about Israel’s destruction of the notorious Khiam Prison which testifies to its dark past when it occupied Lebanon as well as pictures of Beirut trying to cope with the war against it.

Finally, for now, Zena has these pictures of the environmental damage caused by the Israeli war.

24 July 2006

Breaking News, Breaking Mirkava.

Yesterday Israel announced that it has taken over the border village of Maroun El Ras. This morning it is breaking news that 6 of their tanks and 10 of their soldiers are dead and injured in Maroun El Ras. Israeli army is asking Israelis in the north to evacuate.

A little math I learned from the Israelis:
If we use the percentage of innocent Lebanese civilians (with respect to our total population) killed so far by the IDF and find out the equivalent number of American civilians for the same percentage the number will be: 25000. Yes twenty five thousand Americans.
Tell that to Bush and Rice.

Update:
An Israeli helicopter (Apache) has crashed in Maroun El Rass. Israel claims it hit an electric pole. Two soldiers dead, Two wounded.
The number of Israeli wounded in Maroun el Rass has raisen to 17.
Maroun el Rass is 20 meters (40 steps if you are walking normaly)away from the Lebanese Israeli border.
Rice is in Beirut.
Beirut's center is like one large military base with soldiers all around to protect and ensure Rice's safe visit.

Here is a sample of pictures of leading terrorists punished by the IDF.

Mahmoud Srour 8 years old.
Ali Gharib 8 years

Infant (nom de guerre)

Photos from Assafir

23 July 2006

“Labor Pains”: Lebanon’s Doom?

France, Australia, the US and other countries are evacuating their citizens from Lebanon. This is very troubling.
A good percentage (don't know how much exactly) of Lebanese - including plenty of those who fueled the Cedar Revolution - have two nationalities.
I am one of those others who have only one nationality.
Yes I am a Lebanese only (soooo not iiinnnn).
Lubnani Sameem.
And for some reason, which I myself do not understand (maybe a complex from my childhood), I did not seek another nationality.
Lebanese Only & Proud, ehh wallah.
[I have a dream of some entity that transcends the current borders but that’s beside the point now.]
And it seems that majority, if not all the Lebanese displaced by the Israeli invasion are also Lebanese Only & Proud.
There are about a million of them so far.
They will not be evacuated to any other country. They will have to stay in the public schools housing them for now.
They are standing tough. They do not hate NasrAllah whose popularity is on the rise in Lebanon. Olmert, Bush and Rice will not like this.

Ms. Rice declares that we are witnessing the “labor pains” of the birth of a new Middle East. [Birth pains?! Death is produced for God’s sake! By the way, does Ms Rice have any children?]
Similar statements were made just before the total destruction of Iraq and the killing of about 250000 Iraqi not to mention continuing suffering till this day.
A similar statement was also made before endless misery struck the Palestinians.
This statement was always accompanied by the evacuation of foreign citizens.
So I am expecting very difficult times ahead now that Ms Rice is the mother who is giving birth to us.

Today Israel destroyed a factory that produces pre-fabricated houses and a wool factory.
Add this to the milk factory, the bridges, the communication facilities, the homes, the trucks carrying medicine, the children, the cultural centers, hospitals, a mosque and a church and all the international laws and conventions etc…

Ms Rice and her boss are in direct control of the war.
Mr Olmert told his cabinet that it is going to be a long war.
Israel has been crossing the border into Lebanon during the past four years and killing Lebanese.
The definition of “terrorist” for Mr. Bush & Co is: anybody who criticizes or stands up to Israel’s aggression or incursions or anybody who does not believe in Bush.

All this leads to one conclusion:
We are part of Bush’s little plan for a Greater Middle East!
We are now officially “Lebanon the model.”
We are his “rebound” after Afghanistan and Iraq.
Are we “doomed”?

22 July 2006

Now they want us to shut up!

Breaking News:
Broadcasting antennas of LBC, Future TV, and Almanar are being targeted. Cell phone facilities are also being targeted at this moment.

Electronic Lebanon:
Check out this new site: Electronic Lebanon

Comments:
I am sorry I have not been able to reply or answer all the comments although I do read them all. The reason is that I try to exploit the little time I have between electricity and this very slow damned dial-up connection to post. Nonetheless all your supportive comments are highly appreciated and really mean a lot to us. Thank you all.

21 July 2006

Today we Continue Resistant & Resilient

Anas and I have been very close friends since 1987.
Anas is a diehard secular just like me.
We went together to check on his home today.
It was totally demolished. A ten story building reduced to one big pile of rubble.
There were no Hizbollah rockets in his building.
Anas told me of seven manuscripts prepared for publishing that his father wrote before he died that he planned to add to those already published.
They are now gone.
Anas was never on good terms with Hizbollahis.
Today Anas says: Screw the house, screw the manuscripts. I would rather live in Husseiniyat (Shiite Halls for semi-religious gatherings and activities) than have Israelis and their puppets rule.
He heard an LFer yesterday say: "welcome Israeli comrades, come in and wipe out the Shiites".
Anas the diehard secular screamed at him: "Let my home be a sacrifice for Hassan Nassrallah, screw you, I the secular am saying this."

Today Israel completed the destruction of the highest bridge in the Middle East.
Today it completed the destruction of a bridge that is about 100 meters high.
Many attempts in the past few days were not successful.
Today the bridge the links Beirut to Bekaa is gone.

Today Israel pushes more Southerners to the North.
Today Israel continues its massacres.
Today we continue stubbornly resistant and resilient.

Day 9

Mira, my wife, wrote this yesterday. I had to give in to her nagging and post this today:

Last night my husband broke my heart.

He wasn’t worried about the “childhood playground” he had lost few days ago anymore or about our house being occupied by some displaced. Nor was he anxious about finding a new house for his parents when the aggression is over (hope before I give birth!)

For the first time, I saw anguish on his face. “If the house (his parents’) is totally on the ground as I have been told today, then there won’t be any pictures of Nazem left.”

You see, Nazem is Moussa’s eldest brother. He died last December. He was only 47.

So this morning, we went to Hadath to see if damage had occurred to our house (yesterday, Israeli airplanes raided this peaceful place). I should count my blessings, for none had occurred to our house. I suppose one house per family is enough!

Leaving, I convinced Moussa (through the use of powerful weapon: “nagging”) to go over to his parents’ house in Beir Abed to see if it was totally demolished (that being relative- demolished as can’t live in it anymore or still standing!).

The car couldn’t park near the house (I am sure you can figure out why!). We had to go over piles of broken glass, stones and bricks until we finally reached our designation.

Guess what!

Part of the house was still there, proudly standing from beneath the rumbles.

I could almost see the pictures.

Hope has risen again.

Angry Olmert Day 9

[Copy/Paste. Jamal go sue me!]

Beirut has been calm today. Again that's not the case in the South where for the second day in a row Israel is attempting to advance on the ground. Ariel Sharon is still shitting himself, while his understudy is scratching his bald head looking for a way out of the "Lebanese Mud".

Olmert is discovering that even in the driest month of the year, Lebanon is as muddy as ever for his killing machine. The high ceiling he set for this bloody adventure on Day 1 is looking more unrealistic with every passing day. Instead Olmert is looking for any trophy photo op to save face. Until then expect a plethora of crimes against civilians and barrage of lies to cover them up.

Olmert's problem is that he failed to realize that no one can figure out Lebanon, not even the Lebanese understand Lebanon. Lebanon is and has always been a permanently PMSing female.Thinking that he had it all figured out and that he could manipulate this little country, he proceeded with his little killing campaign. Well, that arrogance is only gonna get him a swift kick in the balls.

Olmert is trying to tame the untamable. Well let's see his face when he finally concedes that his only way out is through negotiations. It won't be the face of someone stuck in Lebanese Mud; It'll be the face of someone absorbing the full force of a Lebanese Khazouk.

20 July 2006

Khiam Prison Shelled: Israel "Erases" its Dark Past

Today it was reported that Israel shelled and demolished the Khiam Prison.
Khiam Prison is (was) the Lebanese Auschwitz.
In this prison Israeli and its pawns kept, tortured, and killed Lebanese during its occupation of Lebanon between 1982 and 2000. That is until the National Resistance (of which Hizbollah became a phase) kicked the Israeli out of Lebanon.
Khiam Prison was then kept as a memorial indicating the atrocities of Israel.
This Prison was visited a lot after liberation in 2000. Tourists visited it to see the ingenious torture methods used against Lebanese men and women during the 18 long years of Israeli occupation.
Israel demolished it today. And why not? While they are at it! Why shouldn’t they whitewash this blemish? Why not remove all evidence that incriminate their “morally superior army”?
The world is too small for TWO Auschwitz memorials.
Orwellian par excellence!

Help the Red Cross Help Lebanon

Katia and Firas (US) prepared and are distributing this flier. Help them help the Red Cross.

It is with a heavy heart that we watch the news about the current war in Lebanon. Many Lebanese civilians have lost their homes, and are living in the streets or schools, with scarce water, food, or medicine. Water born disease is threatening their lives. People whose life depends on medicine, like diabetics or asthmatics, are at the mercy of organizations struggling to cope with the tragedy. The count of innocent civilians injured in the war is rising.

The Lebanese Red Cross is trying to provide drinking water, food and medicine, but they need funds. The Red Cross doesn’t take positions in a conflict but provides people in dire need with the barest essentials for surviving. Whichever position you are taking in this war, let your compassion be on the side of the innocent and helpless people, whose lives are caught and destroyed in the midst of a terrible conflict.

Donate to the Lebanese Red Cross and help deliver water, food, and medicine; alleviate the pain of civilians who are living through the hell of war.

Click here & PLEASE SELECT LEBANON FROM THE PROGRAMS LIST


Here is a list of other relief organizations in Lebanon.

Help LebOrg’s Petition for a Cease Fire

leb.org has always maintained an apolitical stand, welcoming members from all edges and remaining neutral in face of political events.

But today, it's not about politics. It is war and there's no staying out of it.

Lebanon is under siege: Regardless of what your political beliefs are, Lebanon is being destroyed at the time you read this. And there is one thing you can do to help cease the fire: you can make your voice heard against the disaster that's being forced upon us.

Scream your indignation and call for a cease-fire and for the support of the Lebanese government position.

At a horrible time like this, we need to stand together and react. Only by showing how united we are, will we be able to achieve massive sensibilization and help Lebanese children have a future.

Take a minute to read the note below: it's a summary of the main points of the Lebanese government legitimate sensible call for a cease-fire. Print it out and send it by post, by fax, by email to western embassies, to international newspapers, to international TV stations, to the UN headquarters and missions around the world.

Calling for a cease-fire
July 19th, 2006

Israel is destroying Lebanon. It has no right to do so.

Children, women, innocent civilians are being killed by the Israeli attacks. Entire families are being chased out of their home villages. Bridges, roads, airports, ports, highways, energy plants and communication networks are being pounded to the ground. The whole country has been cut off from the rest of the world.

We, Lebanese people, are sad, we are suffering, we are angry, we are determined and mobilized to work together towards saving our nation.

Israel's initiative is an unfair disproportionate collective punishment inflicted upon Lebanon for the wrong reasons: what is happening today goes beyond the issue of a prisoners exchange.

Neither the government nor the innocent people of Lebanon had been informed or agreed on the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers.

Lebanon is in despair: it's a humanitarian and economic disaster.
• We call for an immediate cease-fire under the auspices of the UN,
• We call for the establishment of the government's sovereignty on all Lebanese territory in cooperation with the UN,
• We call for your help to pressure Israel to stop its attacks.
Help us achieve it as soon as possible.
So that Lebanon will survive. Lebanon will survive.

19 July 2006

Lebanon: bent but not broken

Pictures of destruction saturate the media.
I thought I’ll post different photos today. I took a stroll today in some of the areas in Beirut that are not shelled (not yet and hopefully not).
The first three pictures are in the neighborhood of my house (yesterday before the shelling at 2AM this morning).
The rest are in the neighborhood of where I am now: Bristol Area, Hamra St, Rouche and the Corniche.
I miss the crowds (and I mean these areas used to be really crowded), I miss the noise pollution, the traffic jams, the crazy Lebanese way of driving and the insults of the cab drivers. These were characteristics of the Beirut we grew used to.
There were others strolling, fishing or playing tennis.

Update: I just heard to very strong explosive sounds here in Beirut. I can also here sirens outside.








The Lebanon We Love. Israel Will Not Take Away.

At about 2 AM the sound of two explosions turned out to be an Apache shelling some truck on the main road two blocks away from my house. At the intersection between St Therese (St Terez) and Kamil Chamoun Blvd. That is where the St Terez Hospital and Church are.
By the way, I live sandwiched between a church to my north and a mosque to my south. This is the Lebanon we love.
Anyway I was not able to check on things there since the southern suburb is still being shelled till this moment.
I will have to update the photo of my parents place since the entire area is now leveled to the ground. It has been under continuous shelling since the last time I went there (16th). Israel is helping us create open spaces which are much needed in Beirut.
The radius of the shelling in the suburb increased, this is a stupid remark since the shelling is covering the entire 10452 sq km of Lebanon.
At 2 AM this morning, Hadet (St Terez) and Choufet were targeted (Lebanese for Christian and Druze areas).
People with trucks parking near their homes are now living in panic. Yesterday a truck bringing loads of medicine from Emirates was targeted and destroyed. A convoy of ambulances was hit and had to return. One driver was killed.
In Aytaroun two families were completely wiped out when their homes were destroyed while they were in it, 26 died. The rumor is that their cat (Sunshine) was the head of Hizbollah operations.
This morning, in the village of Srifa, 30 civilians (so far), most of them of the same family were killed when their homes were shelled. I recognize the names of some of those killed.
The number of displaced is officially 500000, number killed 300 number maimed 900, so far.
I was talking to Ali and he said: “do you notice how the numbers 12 dead or 20 dead, don’t mean anything anymore? We don’t call it a massacre anymore? How we have become hardened? We are in a phase were a 100 or more is now considered a massacre!”
The daily massacres continue.
Hey, St Terez, isn’t it time for one of your miracles?

Update: A truck was just bombed, in Achrafieh, translated to Lebanese, this is the core of Maronite Christian areas in Beirut.
Achrafieh bombed again, a truck doing some repair work in Abdel Aziz Strt (Monot). It is IMPOSSIBLE for Hizbollah to be found in Monot street, the pride of Lebanese nightlife. Go figure!!

Lebanon: Collective Punishment & Death or Total Submission

Following is a copy of this week’s round up of Lebanese blogs (my contribution) as published on Global Voices Online
The Israeli widespread and indiscriminate attack on Lebanon was the focus of all blogs about Lebanon the past few days. Regular updates, personal accounts, analysis, photos (not for the faint hearted) and ways to help were posted on most blogs. It is very difficult to mention all of them and all the important posts they have. Following are the few English blogs that I could review, considering that where I and my parents live was under direct attack and considering the difficulty of connecting to the internet most of the time.

Anarchistian at Blogging the Middle East responding to Sec Rice invites her to come to Beirut :

“A’athir man anzar”“Excuse the one who warned”Oh! Isn’t that supposed to be HezbAllah’s line?And Condie has said, immediate ceasefire will not solve anything. Maybe she should come and sit in southern Beirut, that might solve her idiocy perhaps.Update @ 4:34 pm: Schools in Bint Jbeil completely leveled. A drone flying over southern Beirut. 13 bodies […]

In one of a series of posts by the Lebanese Blogger Forum we read:
The impunity of Israeli attacks against Lebanese civilian infrastructure says something about Israeli objectives.These objectives go beyond merely pressuring the Lebanese government into “reining in” Hizbollah. They are calculated to demoralize the Lebanese people and debilitate their economy. The attacks amount to collective punishment, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Cold Desert gives a math lesson about Israel
• An eye for an eye raised by 2 orders of magnitude= For 1 Israeli eye, 50-100 Arab eyes + 10 bridges + 3 airports are required in exchange
• We Israelis are dangerous don’t step on our toes, don’t even come close to our toes… Hell don’t think of dreaming of having your shadow step on our toes!!! (Capisce!)
• We’re strong (with a roar)
• We’re lethal and we mean it
• Ah yep, the world’s only superpower is 100% behind us, coz the US is 100% behind the lovers of freedom and democracy and human rights and who else than Israel in this whole pathetic excuse of a Middle-East, mollests freedom and democracy and human rights as good as us… daily (out of pure love & lust)… ooohh yeah!
• Did I say we’re strong? Ah yep, yep, we are strong and don’t you forget that

In one Angry Arab many posts observes a sudden affection for Arab ministers by the US government:
I find it interesting that Arab ministers and officials have historically always been mocked in the US press. But lately, when they have become far more vocal in their servitude to the US government, they are now treated with respect and affection. Suddenly, the House of Soud has emerged as a fountain of wisdom. It is all about how they handle the Israel question, I argue.

He also mentions the following letter from a western correspondent in Beirut:
“Dear As’ad:The more they bomb, the more determined I am to stay. J.’s internet cafe has a subterranean level where I am holed up and will probably remain at least for tonight. One of the schools nearby is filled to the brim with displaced persons from Dahiyeh and other neighborhoods. I am boiling with rage to the point where I am calm. Nothing, absolutely nothing (and by nothing I guess I mean nobody) is going to stop them from doing this. Did you expect that they would go this far, even further? So they bombed the al-Manara lighthouse, but they are killing scores, dozens, hundreds of people. Our cleaning lady this morning was crying because she saw dead children in Dahiyeh (that’s what I understood, at least. It doesn’t help that neither she nor I have a very good command of Arabic). I told her to stay with us tonight. I really hope she knows I’m serious. These are small silly remedial gestures, but what more can I do?I don’t know what to write, I don’t know who to write for.”

Jamal’s Propaganda Site featured a series of reflections predictions and analysis. The following is a quote from on of them:
The Israeli propaganda machine is trying to paint this war as an Islamists war on Jews. Playing the anti-Semitism card is always the way out for Israel when they have nothing else to legitimize their killing machine. Especially after their terrorism card stopped being effective considering the only terrorism being practiced currently is that of the Israeli Air Force on Millions of Lebanese

From Letters Apart an observation and a plea:
Lebanon is falling under real fire. The rest of the world is falling under the lies of the media. What has CNN reported of the 100+ civilian deaths, except as having that fact as a passing remark? What have others said?Expats, if they can’t do anything else, can do something to change this. CREATE AWARENESS. WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IF YOU ARE A US CITIZEN

Beirut Spring posts a code for bloggers that can be used to help the thousands of Lebanese refugees and displaced.

Beirut to the Beltway analyses the situation in a series of posts among them is one that states:
The United States and Israel will not end their bloody campaign in Lebanon unless the Lebanese government takes on Iran and Syria. That’s, in essence, what can be concluded from statements by Rice today, and from Israel’s refusal to enter into negotiations or observe a cease-fire.Starting with Rice, she said“I’m not going to try to judge each and every Israeli operation or each and every Israeli attack.” The only way to resolve the situation, Rice said, “is to deal with the extremists, isolate the extremists, and put in place moderate democratic states”.And this:“The Israeli government is a good and democratic government,” she statedSo what is this? Regime change Syria and Iran by destroying Lebanon? Or is Lebanon expected, with no bridges or power, with people massacred, with people angry, to take on those regimes on behalf of Israel and the US? […]War always works. It creates unity that can sustain dictators and failed leaders. This war also worked very well for Hizbullah, Iran and Syria.

Michael Totten stopped comments on his blog because:
Insulting my personal friends while they are driven out of their homes as war refugees is not acceptable. My old neighborhood is under attack. My friends are terrified and in danger. How on earth do you…

Lebanon.profile blogs on his personal experience while under blockade and attack:
I was supposed to leave at 6am. Then, 8am. It’s now been delayed for a few more hours.My Syrian taxi driver said three passengers on their way to Damascus were targeted by an Israeli missile and killed. He planned to use the very road they were on.Yesterday, an American friend in a taxi was on the road when the Israelis struck it. She survived.

And here too:
What I feel now, as a citizen, and what everyone feels is disappointment, anger, anxiety, frustration. We’re scared and locked up at home. War came in a day. War in one day. All the books I’ve read about war, the daily news on Afghanistan and Iraq, how we were saying ‘how terrible the situation was in Gaza’—and now I’m living it.

Vox observed that:
Responding to the kidnapping on this scale was a mistake. The Lebanese government is very fragile and Lebanon could become a failed state anytime. Palestinan guerilla and al-Qaida are still active in Southern Lebanon. If what remains of the government’s authority collapses, Israel would regret the days when Hezbollah imposed some (very relative) discipline on the border.

In a post titled “Yahweh’s Glorious Sicaris Playing a “Persian” Cat-and-Mouse Game Over Lebanon” Dr. Vic in Middle East Memo writes a very interesting post inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Jij interpret the Israeli actions against Lebanon as a message that says:
This is what Israel is saying: “Look, you can’t resist. We know we occupy your land and breach your sovereignty whenever it pleases us. We know we illegally operate in your country, assassinate people, and kidnap fishermen, and murder entire families “by mistake”. We don’t give a fuck. We’re much, much stronger than you. You can’t exercise your legal right to resist our injustice. If you dare resist, we’ll break you. You have to shut the fuck up and live by our own terms. You have to disarm your own resistance, and ensure our own security.”

Sophia at Les Politiques writes the following:
My country, Lebanon, will be taken once again in the spiral of the violence the Israeli state has created in the region and as the Iraqi adventure, which is another tragedy created by the Neo-cons in order to set the conditions for a total reddition of all hostile Arab regimes to the will of Israel and to tolerate in the middle east only puppet regimes, nobody knows how and when it will end, nobody knows how much dead civilians and destructed infrastructure this final job will take, nobody knows how much suffering the Zionist state is going to inflict on the region in the name of this farce called ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’.
Who is going to ask Israel for accountability and when? The world has asked Germans for accountability but Germans were not the victors in WWI. If they were, nobody could have ever asked them for accountability for the suffering and the atrocities Nazis inflicted on people and on Jews. I fear Israel is not going to account for the atrocities it is committing now because history stands always with the victors!

Dove’s Eye View makes a comparison with Gaza in one of many posts:
Behind the operations in Lebanon and Gaza is the same foolish idea about pressure on the population leading to political changes that Israel wants. In the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict, that concept has only led us from one disaster to the next. We “cleansed” southern Lebanon of Palestinians in 1982, and what did we get? Hezbollahstan instead of Fatahland. Hamas won’t fall because Gaza is in the dark, and not even because we bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry building at the weekend - another nonsensical move; Hezbollah won’t be smashed because the international airport in Beirut has been put out of commission.

Pierre Tristam at Candide’s Notebook has regular updates and analysis of the situation in Lebanon.
Finally, for now, at UrShalim (my blog) you can find regular updates and on the ground photos and personal accounts of what is happening during the attack on Beirut.

18 July 2006

Sad & Ugly. How Can We Expect Peace in the Future?

These pictures from Sabbah
[Photo caption: Israeli girls write messages on a shell at a heavy artillery position near Kiryat Shmona, in northern Israel, next to the Lebanese border, Monday, July 17, 2006.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)]

I don't know what to say!! Israeli kids sending message of "love & peace" to Lebanese kids!
And our Lebanese children receive the gifts.
Updates:
Israel just targeted a Church in Rashia that is sheltering displaced civilians.
Israel bombed roads in Dhour el Choueir.
Israel shelled Zahle.
In the Lebanese language these are all Christian areas.
No HizbAllah.
Israel is practicing the old and ugly Lebanese tradition of 6x6 mukarar: If you do "A" to one sect you should do the same to all other sects.
Israel is just!!

Israel Lies & Kills

All those who believe the Israeli line that "Hizbollah started this war" and that "we [Israel] are targeting only Hizbollah" should review the events of the past few months at least so as not to say the last few years.
Just recently, before all this happened, Israel carried out a series of assassination, car explosions and "mistake" killings in the South of Lebanon and in Beirut and its Suburbs.
Israel still occupies Lebanese territory.
A large Israeli Mossad ring responsible for the recent assassination of two brothers and most other explosions was caught a couple of weeks before this last aggression.
Israel did not deny any of these.
Israel is shelling heavily Beirut's port, Kfarshima, Jamhour, Jounieh port, all bridges, Tripoli, North, South, East, West, everything, everybody, Muslims, Christians, Druze etc.
Hizbollah is not Al Qaida. In Lebanon Hizbollah is one on the phases of the RESISTANCE against Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory or did we forget?!
Israel lies and kills.
The world believes.

Today Lebanese national forces and political parties have declared that they will resist this aggression and stand by Hizbollah.

Oh, and whose photo is this? This is the Supreme Leader of the Hizbollah forces.

17 July 2006

Calls for Little Action

I received the following message, fliers and images in my inbox from Beirut Lemons:

CNN is printing stories from people in the Middle East. Send your thoughts on what's happening. The world needs to know that even if they pretend not to hear us, our voices are far louder than the bombings and the terror!

http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1p4.html

Our people are dying for God's Sake!

In the South, it is a systematic annihilation village by village.


I also received this from Cold Desert:

Hello all,

It is with a very heavy heart that I send you this plea. As much doubt as many of you might have about the point of signing petitions, at times like these, when there doesn't seem to be much we can do, participating in a peaceful protest I believe is better than nothing. I invite you to go to http://julywar.epetitions.net and sign the Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition and forward this invitation to your friends.

The petition does not go into the "who started it debate". I won't either since I think at this stage it does not matter: just think, what would a parent tell the sronger child when it's hitting the weaker one, justifying the act by saying the latter "started it"...

Thank you,

Ashraf

Sign and Forward "Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition"
http://julywar.epetitions.net

Something Fell Down from the Sky

Update: It was announced that "both sides" have confirmed that the "flying object" that was shot and fell was not an F-16.

LBC and Aljazeera are showing a footage of an Israeli war-plane (most propably an F-16) falling in the Baabda area (Beirut suburb). A footage of a ground-to-air missile fired before the "flying object" fell is also being shown.
It was very difficult for me to take a snap-shot.

Many of the Lebanese civilians displaced by the war have sought refuge in schools and open spaces in Beirut like the tiny Sanayeh park.
Especially those who can't afford to rent or don't have relative in the few safe places left in Lebanon.
NTV is interviewing the kids in this tiny park.
They don't have good thoughts about Israel.
Folks are sleeping with their children in open spaces.
Where the fuck is The minister of ping-pong and his collegue minister pipo the pebble?

Far Beyond Collective Punishment. Lebanon: Collective Destruction


This used to be my playground. Six days ago there were four buildings with 8 to 10 stories high and a little garden in front of them. My parents home used to be on the second floor in the building in the middle. They did not harm anybody their entire life. Neither did their neighbours.

16 July 2006

Far Beyond Collective Punishment. Lebanon: Collective Death & Lies

Copy-paste from Jamal's blog:

Angry Olmert Day 5

The Israeli propaganda machine is trying to paint this war as an Islamists war on Jews. Playing the anti-semitism card is always the way out for Israel when they have nothing else to legitimize their killing machine. Especially after their terrorism card stopped being effective considering the only terrorism being practiced currently is that of the Israeli Air Force on Millions of Lebanese civilians.

But let us look a little more into that claim.

Islamist resistance movements are only new comers to the picture. Long before Hezbollah and Hamas, Israeli oppression of Palestinians and Lebanese created many resistance movements. None of them were Islamist. The initial wave of resistance was leftist and secular. Israel’s destruction of these movements aided the rise in Islamist movements. Israel preferred dealing with Islamists because waging a war on “religious wackos” would be an easier sell for their PR machine. The invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 were before Hezbollah even existed. Comatose Sharon’s claim to fame in Sabra and Shatila was one of the reasons Hezbollah started appealing to the populace. That was in 1983 long after 1948 and 1967 when Islamism was nowhere to be found.
We can thank Israeli policy for the rise in religious fanaticism in the region as its racist oppressive strategy since 1948 brought this upon us.

So when Israeli missiles blow up a bus of fleeing civilians and their spokespeople claim that "religious anti-semitic wackos" were hiding under the bus, they are only trying to make their ethnic cleansing practices more acceptable to the western audience.

On to today's events, the sun is not visible in Beirut today, a cloud of smoke and dust fills the sky. The night was rough, the explosions are getting louder and more frequent. Personally, I got used to it and I slept through it. A lot of families are sleeping huddled in open areas in different areas of Beirut. Schools are packed with people left homeless by Olmert's war. Olmert is trying to earn his stripes. Right now the only stripes he has earned are of a frustrated killer.

Hezbollah hit Haifa's port, oil refinery, and train station this morning, so expect Israel to retaliate by bombing another bus full of fleeing families since they already bombed all of our ports and oil refineries.

More later...

Far Beyond Collective Punishment. Lebanon: Collective Death

Haret Hureik and its surroundings are inhabited by about two hundred and fifty thousand [250000] civilians.
It has been totally destroyed. Two hospitals are damaged. Our home and homes of family and friend all gone. Their lives were barely saved. Some acquaintances are already dead.
And you tell me not to look at the TV as not to feel bad.
The rest of the suburbs has about 750000 civilians. It is now under renewed attacks. Some civilians are trapped.
Israel is warning civilians in cities and villages in South Lebanon to leave.
But Israel has damaged all roads and bridges leading out.
Internationally prohibited phosphorus bombs are used against civilians in South Lebanon.
More massacres will be committed by the Israelis, as usual.
The Israelis will also repeat that stupid line claiming that "terrorists" are hiding behind civilians.
And some expect me to understand, appreciate, excuse and justify this because the "morally superior" IDF (IOF) said it is only attacking HizbAllah.
Take your boots off my neck.

Far Beyond Collective Punishment. Lebanon: Death or Submission

The first three photos are of the Marwaheen Massacre yesterday and children targetted by Israeli shellings (Assafir).
The rest are from NBN TV of how Haret Hureik looks this morning.
My parent's home is gone.
This area has buildings that are 8 & 9 stories high.
It is usually a busy & highly populated area. It was almost totally abandoned before the shelling.
The UN will decide on Monday. Saturday and Sunday are for rest. Bonne weekend.























 

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