Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ethnic Cleansing

"The stated goal of the Israeli Defense Forces is the physical removal of the entire population of the south, whether Shiite, Sunni or Christian, as well as the Shiite population of Beirut—all told, about 50 percent of the Lebanese people. If any other government but that of Israel (and the United States) were making this demand, the American media would call it what it is: ethnic cleansing on a monstrous scale".

Addendum: Two days ago the IAF hit a 7 story residential building in Chiyah. 32 people were killed. There is no Hizbullah in Chiyah. It is a Shi'ite area, but it is Amal Party territory.

The Suicide Mission

The civilian convoy being planned by activists and civil society organizations to head for the south in solidarity and to bring people aid is in serious trouble. No matter how well this is publicized in the media, I doubt the Israelis will care. Apparently, the plan is to drive down to Sour, and then split up to distribute aid to different villages. Sour is north of the Litani River, but I'm not sure whether they plan to get to villages south of it (where Israel threw flyers threatening any moving object with immediate liquidation).

So far, the organizers have managed to get 50 cars. By Saturday, the date of the event, they hope to have 100 more. CNN might be travelling with them, which might offer just a little security, but even that is not certain. We are, after all, talking about a military that has used Red Cross vans as target practice. I'm not sure if I'll go yet. Will wait and see what the situation is like till then.

The Cussing out of Dan Gillerman

How the fuck can you get up in front of the world and fucking LIE like that? And lies of such stupendous magnitude! Well done, no really. You have truly outdone yourself, Mr. Gillerman. And you quote a Lebanese BLOGGER (a blogger!) as evidence that you are in the right.

Mr. Gillerman. Hizbullah do not hide their weapons next to sleeping children. You only claim that they do because for some reason, you feel the need to justify the murder of over 400 Lebanese children. Don't you dare try to compare the level of suffering Israel is experiencing to ours. Israel wasn't declared to be in a state of humanitarian crisis. Israel doesn't have a shortage of fuel, electricity, baby formula, food, and bread. Israel is still a functional country. In Lebanon, all life has come to a stand still, everything has been destroyed, and still we wait for more your bombs to rain down on us. 1000 innocent people weren't killed in Israel, Mr. Gillerman, they were killed in Lebanon. 1,00,000 people aren't sleeping in the schools and parks and streets of Israel, they are sleeping in the schools and parks and streets of Lebanon. How the fuck is this self-defence? Did 400 children threaten the existence of the State of Israel? Or the milk factory perhaps?

And who the fuck are you kidding with your statement that Israel is allowing the passage of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of civilians? The UN and the EU and the Red Cross and Mercy Corps and UNFPA and countless local relief organizations have been BEGGING Israel to let them through for the past TWO weeks. You said no under threat of bombardment, remember? There's two fuel tanks waiting for permission to enter Lebanon, but you denied them entry. Remember? Your government just stated that any vehicle spotted driving anywhere south of the Litani river will be blown to shit. Oh, that was after it imposed a curfew on the Lebanese population.

And what is this "comprehensive cease-fire" bullshit? Do they want to solve the entire Arab-Israeli conflict while Lebanon gets pummeled to the ground? Just fucking order a cease-fire and then work it out. I don't understand. What will it take to get Israel and the US to STOP?

The Geometry of the Middle East

At today's infuriating Security Council Meeting (I'm still not sure whether it should drive me to tears to to laughter), a new geometrical figure of terror appeared on our maps, courtesy of the Israeli Ambassador to the UN. First, the mother of all bad metaphors, came the Axis of Evil. Ok, so that strayed a bit out of the region with North Korea, but that was soon fixed (possibly due to the fact that N.Korea actually did have weapons of mass destruction, unlike the country the US ended up attacking). Later on, we saw the emergence of the much more localized Sunni Traingle in Iraq and the Shi'ite Crescent umm....everywhere apparently. In Lebanon, Hizbullah's headquarters in the southern suburbs of Beirut are known as the Security Square. Now we also have the "Quartet of Terror". Oh yeh. Syria on percussion, Iran on trombone, Hamas on bass guitar, and the entire Hizbullah commando force as backing vocals, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Cunnilingus Rice's "New Middle East" is looking more and more like a Picasso on acid.

Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil Resistance

Civilian Resistance: Call For Action & Solidarity For Lebanon

We, the people of Lebanon, call upon the local and international community to join a campaign of civil resistance to Israel’s war against our country and our people. We declare Lebanon an open country for civil resistance.

In the face of Israel’s systematic killing of our people, the indiscriminate bombing of our towns, the scorching of our villages, and the attempted destruction of our civil infrastructure, we say NO!

In the face of the forced expulsion of a quarter of our population from their homes throughout Lebanon, and the complicity of governments and international bodies, we re-affirm the acts of civil resistance that began from the first day of the Israeli assault, and we stress and add the urgent need TO ACT!

We urge you to join us in defying Israel’s aggression against our country and in defending the rights of the inhabitants throughout Lebanon, and particularly in the South, to live on their land. When the United Nations, created to preserve peace and security in the world, is paralyzed; when governments become complicit in war crimes, then people must show their strength and rise up. When justice and human rights are scorned, those who care must unite in their defense.

Building on our belief in our country, the efforts of the civil resistance, and on the arrival of the internationals coming to Lebanon for solidarity, we declare that Lebanon is an open country for civil resistance, starting from August 12.

On August 12 at 7 am, we will gather in Martyrs’ Square to form a civilian convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international civilians will carry relief as an expression of solidarity for the inhabitants of the heavily destroyed south who have been bravely withstanding the assault of the Israeli military.

After August 12th, the campaign will continue with a series of civil actions for which your presence and participation is needed. Working together in solidarity we will overcome the complacency, inaction, and complicity of the international community and we will deny Israel its goal of removing Lebanese from their land and destroying the fabric of our country.

To sign up to join the convoy, send us an email through our contact page or contact one of the following:

Rasha Salti
email: rasalti@aol.com
phone: 03 970855

Rania Masri
email: rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb
phone: 03 135279
phone: 06 930250 x 5683 or x 3933


If you are outside Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy, you should know:

1) You need to obtain a visa for Lebanon and for Syria if your plan is to enter Lebanon from Syria.

2) We don't have the funds to cover you for the cost of your travel, however, we can help you with finding accommodation.

For questions and help for all internationals please contact Adam Shapiro at : adamsop@hotmail.com

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Chronicles of 'Souna, part II: 'Souna and the Kings

So yes, Arab governments are now shitting themselves in fear. Abdallah, the King of Jordan, is worried that "moderates" like himself are going to be put in jeopardy because the Arab masses are coming out unequivocally in support of Hizbullah. The same king who, when the war started, laid the blame squarely on Hizbullah and then had to shift his tune to say something bad about Israel because people started getting pissed off. And worried he should be. In his last speech, 'Souna spoke to him. He asked him and other Arab despots with a grin-grimace to stop worrying about their thrones for just one second, those thrones that will soon be meaningless, and stand up and SAY SOMETHING for once in their silly little pampered dictatorial lives.

Yes, Abdallah (both Abdallahs) you should be afraid. No matter what the outcome of this war, one thing is for certain. The Arab people have lost their fear. They have lost their fear of their oppressive governments and they have lost their fear of USrael. How they will channel this new empowerment we will soon see. But it won't be good for the kings, and it won't be good for the Emperor.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Chronicles of 'Souna, part I: 'Souna and his Penis

A few days ago, Hasan Nasrallah made another televised appearance, and as usual, he was brilliant. This speech was not addressed to the Lebanese people, but rather directly to the Israelis and to Arabs leaders in turn.

Nasrallah (Or 'Souna, as he will henceforth be known) did a great job of countering Israeli propaganda about how the war has been progressing thus far, and pointed out, correctly, that the Israeli media is so tightly controlled by the government now so that no one in Israel really knows what's going on.

A reporter in Nazareth recently informed a friend of mine that the Israeli government is inviting foreign journalists to cover the events and basically spoon feed them what to say. They take them only to certain places, tell them what they are allowed to photograph and what is off limits, and set up interviews for them with people they have prepped beforehand. In sum, the Israelis are not disclosing, to their own population and to the world, what is really going on. Not only that, but in Tel Aviv, flyers are being handed out detailing Israeli "victories". What victories? There are none, unless you consider the killing of civilians and destruction of a country's entire infrastructure and mass displacement a "victory". All the military goals Israel had set out for itself it has failed to reach, and they change every 2 days. From disarming Hizbullah to weakening Hizbullah to creating a buffer zone, so far, all have failed. According to a columnist in the Haaretz, all evidence points to the destruction of only 10 of Hizbullah's rocket launchers.

'Souna, of course, couldn't resist. He trashed the Israeli military and the two tenets on which it is based: its invincibility, and the so-called "purity of arms". Clearly, it is not invincible. As for the "purity of arms" oxymoron, 'Souna had this to day (and I paraphrase): Despite the losses that the Israeli army has thus far sustained, I must give credit where credit is due, and I would like to commend the mightly Zionist army for its two major military accomplishments to date. The first major accomplishment is of course the massacring of 50 innocent women and children at Qana. For that, they have my congratulations for their bravery. The second courageous accomplishment of the great, moral, invincible Israeli military is its commandos operation in a HOSPITAL in the outskirts of Baalback. Yes, indeed, it takes battalions and infantries and air cover to raid such a protected and important building. Well done. Oh, by the way, the Hasan Nasrallah you kidnapped? That's not me.

It's interesting how the televised bitching out between 'Souna and Olmert have turned into penis competitions. Everything else aside, I really think they should just take out their dicks and slam them on the table and see whose is bigger, and then decide who wins.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"They do not control the war. The war controls them"

"Even now, the army commanders assert that new rockets are flowing all the time from Syria to Hizbullah. True, the roads have been bombed, the bridges destroyed, but the arms somehow continue to arrive. The Israeli government demands that an international force be stationed not only along the Israeli-Lebanese border, but on the Lebanese-Syrian border, too. The queue of volunteers will not be long. Then the generals will demand the bombing of roads and bridges inside Syria. For that, the Syrian Air Force will have to be neutralized. In short, a real war, with implications for the whole Middle East.


By the way: One day before the outbreak of this war, our Minister of National Infrastructures, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, took part in the inauguration ceremony of the big pipeline that will conduct oil from the huge Caspian Sea reserves to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, just next to the Syrian border. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline avoids Russia and passes through Azerbaijan and Georgia, two countries closely aligned with Israel, like Turkey itself. There is a plan to bring a part of the oil from there along the Syrian and Lebanese coast to Ashkelon, where an existing pipeline will conduct it to Eilat, to be exported to the Far East. Israel and Turkey are to secure the area for the United States".

You complete and utter MORONS!

I just have one thing to say about the Israeli army's "successful" (who are you kidding??) raid on a Baalbeck HOSPITAL yesterday: you dumbasses.

Apparently, their "intelligence" sources told them that the Secretary General of Hizbullah, Hasan Nasrallah, was hiding out in the hospital. A Hasan Nasrallah was indeed there, except this one was a bricklayer. They kidnapped him and a bunch of other civilians as well, including a 14 year old shepard (the IDF confirmed that his sheep had been firing Katyushas into Israel from their asses).

The Israelis still claim that the operation was a success. Well, they did manage to kill tens of civilians in the process, so by their standards, I guess it was.

And this is justified how?

The UN World Food Program accused Israel of impeding the distribution of aid to villagers trapped in the South. The IDF is not allowing any trucks clearly known as belonging to the UN to get to the most needy in Southern villages, cutting off access and not allowing them to pass through.

Is the UN now hiding Hizbullah's weapons in loaves of bread?

Basically, after those annoying countries that are not America kept nagging about the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, the very generous Israelis deigned to allow aid to arrive to the country from the outside. The catch is that they're not allowing the trucks to actually move anywhere once they're inside Lebanon. So people just end up hearing that the Israelis "opened humanitarian passages into Lebanon" and nod their heads approvingly.

The numbers speak for themselves

Lebanon's deathtoll:

29 Lebanese soldiers
80 Hizbullah geurillas
825 Lebanese civilians (one third under 12)

Israel's deathtoll:

36 Israeli Soldiers
19 Israeli civilians

The majority of Lebanese deaths are civilians. The majority of Israeli deaths are soldiers.

The myth of "hiding amongst civilians"

"Hezbollah fighters -- as opposed to the much more numerous Hezbollah political members, and the vastly more numerous Hezbollah sympathizers -- avoid civilians like the plague. Much smarter and better trained than the PLO and Hamas fighters, they know that if they mingle with civilians, they will sooner or later be betrayed by collaborators -- as so many Palestinian militants have been".

Hizbullah is not an organized state army. It is a guerilla army, and an excellent one at that. Hizbullah don't have "bases" for the Israeli Army to attack, so it is doubtless that they fire rockets from within civilian areas. Ten minutes after the rockets are fired, Hizbullah disappear from the vicinity, and the people who end up being killed by the Israelis are civilians. The IDF knows this, but it is using the "Scorched Land" tactics used by the US army in Vietnam. They're firing rockets from behind buildings? Level the buildings and everyone. They know they're not hitting any Hizbullah fighters, but that doesn't matter. Collective punishment is the Israeli Army's signature move.

Just in case you were still wondering

Human Rights Watch Report: Some Israeli Attacks Amount to War Crimes

(Beirut, August 3, 2006) - Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

The 50-page report, "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," analyzes almost two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than 500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting began on July 12, most of them civilians.

"The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military's disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "Our research shows that Israel's claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israel's indiscriminate warfare."

The report is based on extensive interviews with victims and witnesses of attacks, visits to some blast sites, and information obtained from hospitals, humanitarian groups, security forces and government agencies. Human Rights Watch also conducted research in Israel, assessing the weapons used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Human Rights Watch researchers found numerous cases in which the IDF launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military objectives but excessive civilian cost. In many cases, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians.

In one case, an Israeli air strike on July 13 destroyed the home of a cleric known to have sympathy for Hezbollah but who was not known to have taken any active part in the hostilities. Even if the IDF considered him a legitimate target (and Human Rights Watch has no evidence that he was), the strike killed him, his wife, their 10 children and the family's Sri Lankan maid.

On July 16, an Israeli aircraft fired on a civilian home in the village of Aitaroun, killing 11 members of the al-Akhrass family, among them seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were vacationing in the village when the war began. Human Rights Watch independently interviewed three villagers who vigorously denied that the family had any connection to Hezbollah. Among the victims were children aged one, three, five and seven.

The Israeli government has blamed Hezbollah for the high civilian casualty toll in Lebanon, insisting that Hezbollah fighters have hidden themselves and their weapons among the civilian population. However, in none of the cases of civilian deaths documented in the report is there evidence to suggest that Hezbollah was operating in or around the area during or prior to the attack.

"Hezbollah fighters must not hide behind civilians - that's an absolute - but the image that Israel has promoted of such shielding as the cause of so high a civilian death toll is wrong," Roth said. "In the many cases of civilian deaths examined by Human Rights Watch, the location of Hezbollah troops and arms had nothing to do with the deaths because there was no Hezbollah around."

Statements from Israeli government officials and military leaders suggest that, at the very least, the IDF has blurred the distinction between civilians and combatants, arguing that only people associated with Hezbollah remain in southern Lebanon, so all are legitimate targets f attack. Under international law, however, only civilians directly participating in hostilities lose their immunity from attack. Many civilians have been unable to flee because they are sick, wounded, do not have the means to leave or are providing essential civil services.

Many civilians are afraid to leave the south because the roads are under Israeli attack. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have fled their homes, but Israeli forces have fired with warplanes and artillery on dozens of civilian vehicles, many flying white flags. Israel has justified its attacks on roads by citing the need to target Hezbollah fighters moving arms and block their transport routes.

However, none of the evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch or reported to date by independent media sources indicate that any of the attacks on vehicles documented in the report resulted in Hezbollah casualties or the destruction of weapons. Rather, the attacks have killed and wounded civilians who were fleeing their homes after the IDF issued instructions to evacuate.

"Israeli warnings of imminent attacks do not turn civilians into military targets," said Roth. "Otherwise, Palestinian militant groups might 'warn' Israeli settlers to leave their settlements and then feel justified in attacking those who remained."

Human Rights Watch urges Israel to immediately end indiscriminate attacks and distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants. Human Rights Watch also calls on the United States to immediately suspend transfers of arms, ammunition, and other materiel credibly alleged to have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon, until these violations cease. Human Rights Watch further asks the Secretary-General of the United Nations to establish an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate reports of such violations, including possible war crimes, and to formulate recommendations with a view to holding accountable those who violated the law. That commission should examine both Israeli attacks in Lebanon and Hezbollah attacks in Israel.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Maps

Ahmad loves maps. He's been working endlessly mapping out the towns, cities, bridges, roads, and general infrastructure the Israelis have bombed. He now knows the name and location of every village in the South.

The most dangerous weapons in a war are maps. The Israelis have been using unmanned drones to drop bombs, activated through the push of a button from miles away in some fortressed IDF control room. They identify their targets through digitized maps taken from satellite images. The boys playing with their joysticks don't see lives, people, children, towns. All they see is a lifeless target, a completely dehumanized landscape.

The human conscience is fallible and untrustworthy. In this era of technological warfare, all vestiges of humanity must be eliminated. How else could Qana have happened?

Going, going, gone

There's something almost obscene about sitting at home and watching a war on tv that is actually unfolding a 15 minute drive away in the same, tiny city. Sometimes I hear the explosions on tv first, then outside my window. Sometimes there's no sound at all, just buildings crumbling. Vaccuum bombs, I think they're called. They suck in all the oxygen until the walls just disintigrate. That way, we can sleep while Dahyeh is destroyed.

I want to go to the South, but I'm not sure what I would do there. It's certainly not the voyeurism that destruction and bloodshed seem to bring out in some people; mediated images have already sent me over the tipping point. I have no village to go back to, I'm from Beirut. To write about? There's more than enough conflict addicted tourist-journalists to do that. And besides, I think I have lost the humanity to write about what I might see. Since the Qana massacre, I have not been able to feel anything. I wasn't even shocked at the beginning: it was just another Israeli war crime. In Qana. Again. The symbolism of the event has already subdued everything else that has happened, the hundreds that have died before. Qana as spectacle. How can I be shocked at anything anymore? All I feel is a heavy, dragging feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if gravity were exacting revenge on some unknown hurt that my body had caused it. I am slow to react to everything.

Even as the people drop like flies under Israeli shelling in Lebanon, the TV news ticker underneath the images of dead bodies reads that 25 people have been killed in Iraq from some roadside bomb or another. There's at least one of those every day. In Iraq, they know the world is not watching. In Gaza, Palestinians continue to die. I lost track of Afghanistan a while ago. President Bush is playing connect the dots.

I want to go to the South but I am frightened. It's not so much the danger of the bombs that scares me, although there is no guarantee on anyone's life. What I really dread is the endless drive there and what I will find on the way. What used to be a straight coastal drive southwards has turned into a jigsaw puzzle of bombed roads, dead ends, broken bridges, mountain detours, massive craters in the middle of the highways filled with busted up cars with people's belongings hanging out of them like entrails. What used to be an hour long drive has now become a 9 hour nightmare. There is not a single road that remains intact.

I don't want to go to the South anymore.

I doubt anything will be recognizable to me. The Israelis aren't just destroying people's homes. They are erasing an entire geography, one that is intimately connected to people's sense of struggle, of memory, of steadfastness, of history. They want Lebanon's history to be re-written, as it has so many times before, but this time it is a particular history that they need erased, a specific consciousness, a memory of struggle and displacement that has been coded Shi'ite. To erase Hizbullah requires nothing less than ethnic cleansing, and just to make sure that those of them left will be crippled, they are levelling their entire landscape.

What happens to memory when there is nothing tangible left to pin it onto?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where are the progressive Israelis??

"Haim Ramon "doesn't understand" why there is still electricity in Baalbek; Eli Yishai proposes turning south Lebanon into a "sandbox"; Yoav Limor, a Channel 1 military correspondent, proposes an exhibition of Hezbollah corpses and the next day to conduct a parade of prisoners in their underwear, "to strengthen the home front's morale."

Monday, July 31, 2006

Oh, by the way....

Remember that 48 hour "halt" in air raids on the south the Israelis promised? They lied. They're still at it.

More on resistance

Yes, this has been on my mind quite a lot. Sifting through things, trying to figure out where I stand, and what my role in this mess is. I'm probably going to be writing about this a lot and figuring stuff out as I go along.

Let's start again:

I think Hizbullah should have been disarmed after 2000 and placed as a national guard in the south (Shebaa, which is Lebanese, is largely a political issue, used by Syria to keep Hizbullah as their trump card, and therefore with the dissolution of Hizbullah could be solved diplomatically). But that would never have happened, not because Hizbullah is stubborn, or because Hizbullah has "masters" in Syria or Iran (a characterization which is SO unbelievably simplistic and un-nuanced), but because the sectarian make-up of Lebanon will never allow that to happen. It is because of the Lebanese state-system that Hizbullah was able to create a state within a state and monopolize the resistance (that and the fall of the Lebanese left), and why Iran found its key ally, and so dealing with this entire issue as a "Hizbullah" issue is silly and counterproductive. It is not Hizbullah's arms that are the "root" cause. It is the system that allowed a Hizbullah, a Future Movement, a Lebanese Forces, etc. all drawn across sectarian lines to exist in the first place that is the problem.

Re: Iran, Syria, and the conflict. What's happening in the region is a conflict between the last two regional powers over an obvious issue: US-Israeli hegemony or resistance to that hegemony, fuelled by the ethos of Iran's Islamic Revolution. Hizbullah and Iran do share a common vision up to an extent, and they definitely have a strategic relationship. Syria is currently bankrupt, and will sell Hizbullah out in a second if offered a good deal by the Americans.

However. This puts a lot of us in a bind. I support the resistance up to a point (and have a little crush on Nasrallah, he's such a fantastic orator and generally but not always agree with his positions), because it is the only resistance to the US left in the Arab world. I do not agree with its ends or its ideologies. I do not think diplomacy can work against the US, and whether one sees this as a war of others on Lebanese land or a war for everyone on Lebanese land (again, up to a point, see above. Which begs the question of how long can Lebanon sustain this war on its own, but then again, obviously can't expect much from the Arab regimes), which is a very crucial difference, rests largely on which side of the debate you're on (diplomacy with the US and acceptance of its imperialism vs. resistance to US hegemony). It certainly is a scary thought that Hizbullah will emerge from this stronger than ever, and that non-state Islamist movements across the region will be bolstered by that. What's going on right now raises many, many difficult questions that we all have to engage with. So far, I have seen no solutions that are to my liking in the larger picture, only mindless parroting of rhetoric that I am really sick of, whether it's the blind and uncompromising 'Hizbullah or bust' or the US-Lebanese right-wing line of it's Iran and Syria, leave us poor Lebanese alone, we want to live on a island and shop ourselves to death and love America, we were doing so well, blah de blah. (actually, we weren’t).

This is a turning point for the entire Middle East and we should all be a part of it. The Arabs need to rise up against their bankrupt, pro-US regimes, and there is no doubt in my mind that if they are going to change, the only way is going to be violent, and the way things are going, they are going to be Islamist as well. Where do the progressives fit into this? Before the civil war, the Lebanese left was a force to contend with. It was a model for many others. It fell apart and disintegrated in the 80s, and now we are left with nothing more than a left that dabbles in spectacle (Thanks S.), whilst Islamist movements have been cultivating their bases on the grassroots level, backing up their rhetoric with action that serves the people. Where is the left now, when we need it most? Now more than ever, the progressives need to start speaking up.

Enough with this diplomacy bullshit, enough with the screwed up fundamentalist alternatives. Enough with the US and its violent plundering of the Middle East. If the progressives in the US (who are the only ones who can change it) and the progressives in the Middle East (who are the only ones who can possibly, maybe stop this entire region becoming a hell-hole of Islamic fundamentalism) don't start doing something serious and big, we are all going to suffer much, much, much more.

On Hizbullah

Two excellent articles on the relationship of Hizbullah to Lebanon, Arabism, and Iran that counter the right-wing claims that Hizbullah is merely an agent of Iran with no domestic agendas of its own:

Hizbullah: A Primer
Iran: The Vatican of Shi'ism?

Things that make you go hmmm

"Is there a relationship between the bombing of Lebanon and the inauguration of the World's largest strategic pipeline, which will channel more than a million barrels of oil a day to Western markets? Virtually unnoticed, the inauguration of the Ceyhan-Tblisi-Baku (BTC) oil pipeline, which links the Caspian sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, took place on the 13th of July, at the very outset of the Israeli sponsored bombings of Lebanon"

Comments Policy

So far, I haven't gotten many nasty or hateful comments on my blog. Anything that invites debate is welcome, pond scum who post idiotic rantings about the righteousness of Israel's war will be promptly deleted. As another blogger friend of mine wisely said: "It's MY blog you bastards, and I am king".

Thank you.

A slap in Bush's face (and all his sell-out Emperor-King Arab leaders)

"Hezbollah, emerging as the new champion of the Palestinians, has managed, for the most part, to close sectarian ranks and win the support of Sunni majorities in most Arab countries.... Al-Qaeda, whose anti-Shiite views have often been blamed for the sectarian violence in Iraq, came out in support of the group in a taped statement aired on the Arabic-language television network al-Jazeera...... But many Arabs were not buying it. Al-Qaeda has steadily been losing support because of its perceived support of sectarian violence in Iraq".