Greetings from Lebanon
We all know that Lebanon is being attacked by a vicious and insane Israeli army (IDF: Israeli Defence Force...it almost tries to be ironic). I've talked to a few of my friends in Lebanon, and Lebanese friends outside Lebanon, and they're all very scared. Trevelyana's blog has a great post detailing her 'holiday' in Lebanon. Some of them blame Hezbollah for an act badly planned, some of them spit venom at Hezbollah, still others defend Hezbollah and remind us that it was Hezbollah that drove the Israeli army out of Lebanon a while back. From what I hear, theres a sense of solidarity amongst Lebanese, but if Iraq is anything to go by, that won't last long.
I came across this article on ZNet, written by Rania Masri who's in Lebanon. Ive posted some bits of it here, but I recommend you read the whole thing.
Thank you all for your letters of concern. Yes, I am in Lebanon, and, yes, I am safe, as safe as one can be when one's country is under attack.
I appeal to you all: we need your voices of outrage to be heard.
Since Wednesday, we have been under vicious, unjustified attack, and the attacks have been intensifying.
Vicious. Perhaps you have not heard the news because the western news has not been reporting it. Perhaps you have seen the pictures because the western news is not printing the pictures (the media has access to the pictures, but is choosing not to print them).
See: www.angryarab.blogspot.com for some pictures. As for the attacks, the level of infrastructural damage exceeds that of the 1982 Israeli invasion:
Every airport has been attacked and rendered unfit for travel. The main airport (our only commerical airport) has been attacked several times over several days. The smaller military airports, none of which were in use for years, have also been attacked and rendered useless.
Every port from the south to the north has been attacked by the Israelis. For the first time, the port of Jounieh was bombed. (Which opens up the rather narrow question: how can the Americans, French, British, and Italians -- all of whom have called for the evacuation of their citizens -- evacuate their citizens?)
Several major gas stations and electrical stations have been destroyed. There is a rumor that every major gas station in the country is under threat.
The major bridges in the country have been destroyed. 64 to be exact. We are hesitant to cross over any bridge for the fear that it could be the next target.The main arteries of the country have been destroyed -- from the south to the north. What does this mean? This means that travel between main cities *throughout Lebanon* is physically impossible.
What does all this mean?
Israel is attempting to scare the Lebanese into submission by forcing us to remain in the country and not "escape." This is terorism - in its purest form.
Vicious. Barbaric. Horrific. And Unjustified. Yes, unjustified. Let us remember: attacks by the Israeli Offensive Forces on the Lebanese border did not begin this Wednesday with the apprehending of two Israeli soldiers. For more than the past month, the Israeli army has been conducting live ammunition training on the border. Lebanese shepherds have been killed. The response from the "international community"? Silence. Let us remember: Israel continues to imprison Lebanese in their jails, and the call from Hezbollah has been clear for years: Hezbollah will work for their release. Lebanese are not the only ones held in Israeli jails; there are thousands of Arab prisoners. And in contrast to the incorrect reporting by The Guardian (UK), Hassan Narsallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, stated quite clearly that Hezbollah will use these 2 Israeli soldiers for negotiation and he did not specify the conditions; he did NOT say that he will release these soldiers only upon the release of all Arab prisoners in Israel. Let us also remember: Israel has refused to submit a map of the 400,000 land mines that it deliberately left in South Lebanon, and these mines regularly kill Lebanese children.
Its quite funny how Israel and the US both drew Iran and Syria into this conflict, when it was an insane Israeli reaction that is the problem. And naturally the media will lap it up, and they already have. And you'll get idiots telling us that Iran and Syria are behind all this, proof be damned. And that Hezbollah are not letting Lebanese leave
On the issue of sectarian conflict, we've seen how wildly successful this approach is in Iraq. Sunni killing shia, shia killing sunni...the US army doesnt need to kill anyone, muslims are doing it to themselves. And while the whole country tears itself apart, the instability serves at least 2 purposes:
1) No organised force can come out of Iraq. American soldiers dont die, its only Iraqis that die. The military need not be worried. Everyday we hear some 50 Iraqis have died in a carbomb outside a mosque, carried out by muslims (how tragic is that). Every now and then, a soldier - whos job it is to get ready for death - is killed. And the Western media goes crazy. But the instability means that the US presence in Iraq and in the region can be solidified, as long as we need them.
2) Baghdad is a ghost town, so I'm told. Something like 5 million people have left the city. Even if the conflict does settle eventually, theres nobody left. All the minds have left, and will be too scared to come back. Some Iraqis are describing it as the 2nd Exodus.
How does this relate to Lebanon? Insecurity between muslims, christians, etc. will throw the delicately made peace out the window. The Lebanese somehow recovered after the assassinati0n of Hariri, which is testament to their resolve and strength of character. This is another story though, and I only hope that they can pull together once more once this is done.
Theres an interesting article, also from ZNet, written by Uri Avnery. Its clearly written and to the point, and I think its a good read for everyone, even if you dont have the background.The article's long, so I wont post it here. But I definitely think you should read it. Its an absolute eye-opener.
So I guess in conclusion we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Of course the US and Israel will point the finger at Iran and Syria. But I cant really predict what'll happen next yet. We'll see. For now, they've dumped the baby on me, and I have to go make faces at him and teach him to fly :s.
Posted by illogicist at 12:40 AM