Monday, July 31, 2006

History Repeats Itself

Tonight we have been terrorized by couple dozens of Israeli F16's flying very low above our heads. It sounded like a continuous thunder in the sky, one that would never stop. All over Beirut for over 30 minutes, the sound was terrifying. Even residents in the North of Lebanon could hear them. What is the goal of this? What is the reasoning? Oddly enough, while all this was happening at around midnight I received a local news alert stating the following: "Israel announced it agreed to a 48-hour suspension of its air activity in Lebanon to investigate the massacre in Qana." How ironic! I even had hard time reading it because of the loud sound of these planes.
Maybe its the IAF's way to say not to miss them too much, they will be back!!!

In the meantime, I pay my respect to the poor children killed yesterday in a horrible strike in Qana. I pay my respects to the 250 other children killed so far in this war which has caused some 700 deaths and over 2,000 injured. I also pay my respect to the 100+ civilians killed in Qana in 1996, during another Israeli onslaught on Lebanon. It seems history does repeat itself.

(Qana, July 30th 2006)

Traumatized Lebanese children may suffer

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Once again, Lebanon's children are seeing what they shouldn't - visions of death and destruction that may scar them for life. And those are the survivors.
A third of Lebanese killed in Israeli attacks against Hezbollah guerrillas are children, the U.N. humanitarian chief said. Experts warn the conflict is taking a heavy psychological toll as well.
"You can't run away from the sound of bombs," said Nadine Maalouf, a child psychologist who has been working with traumatized children.
Lebanese are no strangers to violence, having suffered through the 1975-90 civil war and Israel's 1982 invasion. But parents who lived through those conflicts had hoped to shield their children.
Instead, they have found themselves helpless in the face of relentless Israeli airstrikes on guerrilla positions in Beirut and southern Lebanon that have flattened entire neighborhoods.
"There was a plane that made a pffff sound," 11-year-old Noor el-Hoda Sherri said, recalling her terror during the bombardment of her Haret Hreik neighborhood, which destroyed her apartment building.
"My heart was hurting. It was pounding very fast," she said, squeezing her chest. "I was thinking, 'This is it, we are going to die. This is our destiny.' I said, 'God will now punish me for all the things I did wrong'" - then listed childhood transgressions such as lying to her mother or pushing around a younger girl.
Ali Kalash, 14, said that when an Israeli missile hit Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV studios in Haret Hreik on July 13, he and a dozen friends - anticipating more attacks - scribbled their names on a water tank near their homes "so that we can recognize our homes when the war is over."

His family's apartment building was destroyed in the strike, and they sought refuge in the same underground shelter as Noor el-Holda and her family.
"I was thinking we're all going to die and we'd never come back," Ali said.
U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland estimated that a third of the hundreds of people killed in Lebanon were children. UNICEF spokeswoman Susan Lagana said Friday that Egeland's figure was based on numbers compiled by UNICEF.
"There is something fundamentally wrong with a war where there are more dead children then armed men," Egeland said Friday at U.N. headquarters in New York. "It has to stop."
At least 443 people - mostly civilians - have been confirmed killed in Lebanon since fighting broke out after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a July 12 cross-border raid. On Thursday, Lebanon's health minister put the number at as many as 600 civilians.
Fifty-two Israelis have been killed in the fighting, including 19 civilians who died in Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel. Three were children - two boys, ages 4 and 8, from the town of Nazareth, and a 15-year-old girl from the village of Mughar. All were Israeli Arabs..


Blogger FreeCyprus said...

Cool site, keep up the good work.
We are all praying for the innocent people of Lebanon and Greece is doing what it can in terms of transporting people away from the danger zones. We are also giving ship-loads of supplies like food, anti-biotics (20,000 units so far), blankets, and volunteers.

-- FreeCyprus

1:23 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

Long live greece...
thanks for the support. keep blogging us and pass on the word about us...


1:41 AM  
Anonymous J.L.Khalaf said...

Mrtez and all,

I'm lebanese, a college grad and secular. I am appalled by the violence of this conflict. I want to understand why this war is happening, the ideologies behind it, the rationale behind the full fledged support of the US to israel (beyond the "the jews controls the media and have all the money" rhetoric)

I have seen this documentary a little while ago
and I would like to know what you think of it. It's about the rise of islamic extremism, its alleged origins, its alleged goals, and how it's being fueled. I am not trying to be inflammatory against anyone, or insensitive to the atrocities the innocent people are being subdued to in south Lebanon, I just would like to read objective opinions...

If the decision makers in the US/UK/Israel are basing their decisions on information similar to what is being shown in the video, than I might see the logic of what they're doing. The video has obviously airs of propaganda, but please keep an open mind when watching.

I apologize for hijacking the comments section, I hope you don't consider it completely off-topic.


3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am in the US, glued to the computer screen; every waking thought with my Lebanese family. You are all my family. We are doing everything we can--demonstrations, letters, donations--but it will never be enough. Keep up the bravery and please know that you are not alone.

4:02 AM  
Blogger sarah mac said...

no child should ever have to experience this kind of terror at anyone's hands. the sad truth behind modern war is the disproportionate numbers of civilians killed to combatants. since world war II this trend only continues to worsen and truly makes me wonder where mankind is heading.

these wanton strikes on both sides of the border are devistating and are raising a generation of children to perpetuate the philosophy of war as a solution. i don't even know where to look for answers or a peaceful solution except to remind myself of something that albert einstein said even before WWII, even when the ratio of civilians to combatants killed was far less horrific than today...

"War cannot be humanized, it can only be abolished" - Albert Einstein

and though i subscribe to this philosophy as an optimist, i have absolutely no idea how it will come to be implemented.

thank you for writing this blog, for showing us these pictures and for sharing this experience on the ground. it is a crucial avenue for information that this peace-loving american truly appreciates.


4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an American I was wondering about the feeling there in Lebanon. If the U.S. pressures Israel to stop, is their a will to stand up to Hezbollah, if so what kind of help would you need or want from the U.S. I will gladly forward any thoughts to my congressman. Thanks for this blog, its very well done, kudo's to the author.

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all I can say is that I am in awe of your bravery....I too am praying for peace in your land. No human should ever have to go thru this - especially children.
Thanks for such a terrific well done blog.

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not off topic at all. Yes, the film is designed to persuade, but yes, it does essentially explain why the US and British governments and many of their people can not agree to an immediate cease fire.

I understand your pain. My town loss over 100 people because of 9-11. I just spent the last week working to evacuate friends in Lebanon to safety, knowing that this conflict would not end quickly because of the greater issues surrounding it.

You may not want to go to war, but sometimes war comes to you. I wish you safety, but can not assure you peace in the near term.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous merig00 said...

Yes...history repeats itslef just like in 1996 Hizbola is hiding behind civilians and then exploits the foreseen tragedy for their gain.

Here are the aerial videos from IAF

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To J.L.Khalaf and to the WORLD
Yes I sow the movie and it is very sad reality. Personally, I am not religious person and even more I don’t believe in any of those religion staff. I don’t think that these religion fanatics can have any control of Moslem people if we (people of the world) don’t put oil on the fire. I mean it was enough to bomb Lebanon for 16 days with airplanes by Israel, which I don’t agree, but this event that women and children died in Qana is unacceptable.

What are you doing Israel?
Why are you killing the civilians?
Are you putting the world in to the third world war?
This is what the religious fanatics want!

If Israel doesn’t stop this unreasonable war then it would be the Israel who should be responsible for all the future problems that would accrue.
And for all the religious people weak up. Don’t let some fanatics misguide you. There is no God that tells to kill or hate others; otherwise the God hasn’t created them!
Peace to the world!

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I feel the Israeli's should destroy the Iranians oil fields and then maybe they wouldn't have the extra money to provide weapons and violence around Middle East.

9:35 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

and then after doing that, the oil price would probably increase to $200 per barrel, creating worldwide economic depression and throwing the world into a possible global war to control all the oil fields available...
i dont think thats a plausible solution...

To the people supporting us, thank you for the kind words. we will keep on working to deliver you the best news and information out there...keep blogging us, and pass on the word about us...

10:08 AM  
Anonymous the hague said...

i think all the israeli generals and officers should face war crime charges.

i think all hizbullah fighters should also face such charges.

but the sentence should be harsher on the IDF generals who claim they are not terrorists.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous lili stikes again. said...

from Israeki news site (not the besy one, but at least it's got english):
Kiryat Shemona police say report of Hizballah rockets early Monday was mistaken. The town sustained a record 100 hits Sunday

100 - get it. it is only because 80% of Kiryat Shemona has left their houses - that there were no civilians hurt.


The Qana Trap

DEBKAfile Special Report

July 30, 2006, 2:24 PM (GMT+02:00)

The unfortunate South Lebanese village of Qana has been rigged time and again as a trap to snatch Israel and its international reputation in its jaws. In 1996, a stray Israel shell aimed at Hizballah inadvertently killed 100 civilians, bringing a former Israeli counter-terror operation “The Grapes of Wrath” to a dismal, foreshortened end.

Hizballah knows from long experience that maximizing Lebanese civilian casualties is the most effective way to disarm Israel and its military, using international opprobrium as its instrument. Embedding its combat operations among helpless civilians is an old and proven method.

The prime minister who first fell into that trap was Shimon Peres, deputy premier in the Olmert government in 1996. A world outcry forced him to bow to Hizballah’s terms for a ceasefire. The Shiite terrorists agreed to discontinue its attacks on Israeli civilians (which they never upheld), but assaults on Israeli soldiers were not deemed violations.

Ten years on, the Qana village tragedy confronts prime minister Ehud Olmert with the same kind of horrific weight to capitulate to an instant ceasefire, thereby granting Hassan Nasrallah and his rocket arsenal a free hand to continue to bludgeon two million Israeli civilians.

When, Sunday morning, July 30, Olmert told the cabinet: “We are not in a hurry to reach a ceasefire before our goals are achieved,” he did not know about the Israeli chopper which two hours earlier had sent ordnance flying over a three-story building in Qana village, which housed civilians as well as a Hizballah site for shooting rockets against the Israeli towns of Haifa and Nahariya. The death toll was at first appalling – 57 civilians including 37 children, later Sunday the Red Cross reported the finding of 28 bodies.

The Qana disaster abruptly derailed the diplomatic initiatives to halt the hostilities put together in the last ten days through painstaking efforts in Washington, Paris, Jerusalem and Beirut, as well as the understandings the Israeli prime minister reached with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in their face to face conversation in Jerusalem the night before, Saturday, July 29. Olmert’s statement to the cabinet will go down as a misplaced, mistimed assertion by an inexperienced leader. By failing to understand the tempo of war, he was overtaken by the Qana disaster.

He also wasted precious time by relying on Israeli air might, its navy and artillery to defeat Hizballah. Even the ground forces sent in eventually were not correctly used. Instead of deploying small, rapid teams for lightening raids on Hizballah positions, bunkers and villages and moving on to the next, large contingents fought day after day against Hizballah strongholds in Maroun es Ras and Bint Jubeil supported by armored force and artillery fire. Hizballah made good use of the advantage it enjoyed of speed to regroup and return to the fray. A salutary shift in tactics was finally apparent Saturday night.

10:59 AM  
Blogger mrtez said...

It seems that many people forget that the Qana massacre in 1996 happened after an Israeli attack on a UN base in south Lebanon. Its not as if Hizbullah fighters were firing rockets from within that base.
500 civilians were seeking refuge in that base - a UN base.
It seems the report from Debka files omits that very important point.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh of course. Hizbullah planned this whole thing. They made all of the people gather in one building and then told Israel that there would be HIzbullah soldiers there, so they should bomb it. I mean come on people. This was not planned by Hizbullah. Do not make excuses for carelessness and heartlessness. We all know how many advanced weapons and military equipment Isreael has. They have guided missiles and heat seekers among other things. They would know how many people were in that building and also that Hizbullah does not gather in large groups. Even if there was a Hizbullah militant there, which there wasn't, why would Israle think it ok to kill 60 people in order to get to one? It is done and there is no excuse for it, so stop trying to make one. An Israeli general said earlier today on the news that it is their fault, but Hizbullah must also take part of the blame. Why should they? They did not tell them to fire a missile into a crowded building. Those who say that Hizbullah places themselves amongst civilians on purpose obviously hasn't been to Lebanon. It is a very small country and there is very little rural area. Also, those videos were not even taken close to the area that was hit.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Peace Now! said...

Lili - good post, good contribution to the discussion. thanks for this and keep up the good work!

Love and Peace to all in the MEAST now!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, how can we be sure those who die being called "civilians" are not either militant or supporting Hezbollah in someway or another?

The thing I can't understand is why hide in a place where rockets are being launched from?

I also don't understand why if they want civilians to leave, why bomb the roads that let them leave?

Even though nowadays you are not stuck with completely biased news because we have the internet now, it is still so hard to know what's actually happenning there when everyone has different opinions of what's going on.

Now this is going to sound absolutely horrible, and I almost do not want to type it, but is it possible that by hitting civilians, it will show Hezbollah that tactics such as hiding amongst them will not work? I am not saying they are, or would purposefully use civilians with the thinking that if they are hit, Isreal would look so bad, and I can't know what is going on right there when the women and children got hit, but from several staements Isreal has made, it seems to me this was almost to show and prove they would hit civilians if they are near Hezbollah...almost like a tactic and a purposeful move like they knew they would hit women and children and wanted to show they were not afraid to if they felt the need and Hezbollah was there at all..

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Lebanon and Lebanease Must fight against this state within a state problem and tell Teheran and Damas and TelAviv to fuck off and leave the country in peace!!

we dont have the power anymore to fight and count dead children on any side of the borders.

fukin find another country to play war !! and also if you want you can preach your doctorine and religion as you wish over there NOT in LEBANON.

Thank You, Shukran.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....$200 dollar a barrel oil doesn't seem so bad. Maybe these idiot's around here will quit buying these gas gussling SUV's etc. Now Iran's punity 10% of the crude market won't cause such an increase. I'm already paying the price gas would be without Iranian Oil because the Market's have already gone paranoid about Israeli Jets possibly knocking out the nuke factories in Iran and Iran threatens to shutdown the flow. Iran provides primarily Russia and China not the United States. The world needs to develop alternate sources more friendly to the environment anyways. I notice the main Oil Producing Countries like to buy expensive military regimes with their gains so less may be best. I'm still in favor of Israel knocking out Iran's Nuke and Oil capability. Seems like the best solution to the problem of Iran.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Lola said...

The Israeli ambassador mentioned that the killings in the Qana were a "mistake". How many mistakes does it take to get it right? Was it also a mistake 10 years ago? And does the Israeli government know that they, as a country, are cowards? And that all of this would not have happened in the first place if they had not invaded our land AND captured prisoners from Lebanon before there was a Hezbollah organization? They should think about this before they act.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so instead of work with the rest of the world for peace there, maybe you should damn the west and launch a few rockets...that makes more sense...and then you have this.

Even now all this could end and peace could start IMMEDIATELY if hezbollah disarms. Do you realize that if Hezbollah would only agree to peace, and to allow the government of Lebanon to run the country, the fighting would end instantly? It is they who keep it going because without fighting, they are nothing...peace won't make them heros like war, so they prefer war, and Lebanon is the lucky place that gets to host it.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok Ramsay and Tarek and HB and team - please could you also post the following link to promote discussion, Merci.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go to

if you can read french

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since the outbreak of the war, the Lebanese army has been actively fighting with Hizbullah. Its radars have been used to lock in Israeli targets for Hizbullah missile crews. It is paying pensions to the families of fallen Hizbullah fighters. On Sunday its soldiers reportedly shot at IDF helicopters in the Bekaa Valley.But. to date, the US-led international community refuses to recognize the Lebanese army as a combatant, and similarly insists that the aim of the postwar settlement should be to strengthen both the Lebanese government that includes Hizbullah and the Lebanese army that fights by Hizbullah's side.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of go back in history here!
Could be some folks were smarter then. About 2006 years ago one said "love thy neighbor as thy self" could stop all war YES!

7:15 PM  

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