Friday, July 21, 2006

Total Destruction

Total Destruction Thursday July 20. Seven Days

HARET HREIK: The extent of the damage is breathtaking. Where once there were bustling streets, shops, schools and apartment blocks in the Dahieh or southern Beirut suburbs there is nothing but rubble.
At the site of a bunker where Israel says senior Hezbollah leaders were holed up in Bourj el Barajneh, a Palestinian refugee camp, and where warplanes dropped 23 tonnes of explosives Wednesday night the scene was one of total destruction.
On an organized trip with Hezbollah officials to the Shiite neighbourhood and former Hezbollah stronghold during a lull in the Israeli bombardments while the mass evacuation of foreign nationals continued apace, journalists were amazed by the level of damage.
Rows of buildings have been totally flattened in streets that Hezbollah’s media coordinator Hussein Nabulsi who was conducting the tour said were wholly residential and contained no weapons.
In a 1 kilometer stretch of road of every four buildings there was only one still standing. The roads are completely blocked with the rubble of destroyed tenements and it is only possible to move about in the area on foot. It is if an earthquake has struck.
In just a week the damage to south Beirut has been more extensive than it was in 1982 during the worst of the fighting between the invading Israeli army and militia forces.
Yet Hezbollah’s human organization was clearly still in place and communication channels open with various members spread around the neighbourhood as we saw it. Officials denied that the militant group’s head Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was dead though no official statement from him has been forthcoming.
No civilians are left in Haret Hareik. The hundreds of thousands from the area not killed in the attacks have fled and been displaced. Just a few inhabitants had dared to come back while we were there to check on their homes.
One woman pointing to the wreckage of what had been her home in tears said, ‘I was going to get married in two weeks. It’s been three years I have been putting money into my house and now there is nothing, nothing.
‘How can you destroy a country for two soldiers?’ she asked.
Another man, a supporter of Hezbollah, angrily blamed America alongside Egypt and Saudi Arabia equally with Israel for the war.
The mood among the Hezbollah officials was one very much of defiance as violent clashes between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers took place in the south of the country.
What is clear about the attacks on the Dahiyeh is that no one will be moving back there anytime soon the destruction is so total. One man suggested it would take two years if not more to rebuild from this earthquake. For now the former residents are merely thinking of how to survive.

22 Comments:

Blogger Rafi said...

Hi,

First I'd like to notice that I am from Tel Aviv and I hope all this fucken war will be finished soon , and Hizbalah stop dealing with Israel forever !

Please try to ask the following question, if you were Israeli:

Hizbalah kidnapped 2 soldiers and fire missles to Israeli towns and villages, what u would think Israeli Armdy should do in this case.

Hizbalah is hiding in civil places, and it is almost impossible to kill only the terrosists, what you would think and do if you were Israeli.

Rafi

1:30 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Rafi,

First, I sure hope for your own sake that you've noticed you're from Tel Aviv by now.

Second, notice this, that Israel had kidnapped hundreds of Lebanese even before this started, and these are CIVILIANS. Hezbolla has the right to do the same doesn't it?? Except it didn't, it chose to kidnap SOLDIERS. As they say, all is fair in love and war, no?

Further, Hezbollah only started firing rockets AFTER Israel started attacking Lebanon

Get your facts streight, for the sake of peace.

But it might take you some time to notice all that too won't it?

Bashir

5:12 PM  
Blogger Rafi said...

Bash,

first of all, lets ignore all the history of Israel-Lebanon conflict before last Israeli soldier left Lebanese soil,

for past 6 years as far as i know Israel did not kidnap any Lebanese,
and the Lebanese guys that are held in Israel that were "kednepped" more then 6 years ago are criminals/terrorists.

second issue is that hazbalah was fireing rockets to Israel during last 6 years from time to time , and during the kidnapping attack, so it is not correct to say that "Further, Hezbollah only started firing rockets AFTER Israel started attacking Lebanon"

third issue is that I dont think we should argue about the reality that we both feel, it will never be the same, the main question is how do u see this situation can be solved from realistic point of view

Rafi

5:47 PM  
Blogger dobegs said...

its such a pitty to see Bash revert to hostile language rather than engage in equal dialogue (here and now) and not something which is based on the past all the bloody time.

we should all try to put ourselves in the others shoes and place and ask the most difficult and painful questions!! this will make us a little more ready to reconcile and achieve peace between close neigbours! between similar people!! similar menalities and similar aspirations!!!

rise above the hate and accusations please!!

6:38 PM  
Blogger peace stone said...

Dubegs is right & smart...
BUT

Ramzi hello, my name is Guy I live in Tel-Aviv Israel.
I read your notes from time-out it was hard for me to read it & I felt real bad when you described what's going on in Beirut. I take every word you say and belieave you for what's happening there and how crazy it is.
Me like the most of us in Israel if not all of us do not want war.
not this war not another war, not any war. we all had enough. we want out. we want to change things we want to give back what we took, but we can't do it in one go...
we don't want to fight and we have no desire to fight Lebanon.
what we are doing is a "job" that the gov. of Lebanon was supposed to take since we left the south of Lebanon. but 'the way of the terror', took a nice comfortable chair in your land and they're not seeking for you - they're seeking for us, and we have to stop them, with or without Lebanon's help. It's not only two soldiers, its the threat upon the hole middle east. I want a joint festival of the middle east just like you do, I have nothing against you, I have arab friends, we share the same love to things -people -arts -music....
but I like people who talk and don't fight. I'm sorry but Hezbollah asked for this, with out taking responsibility on you (hiding in the middle of your house?)they kidnapped you and the rest of Lebanon citizens more than they kidnapped our 2 soldiers.

please> survive 'cause you belong to the good and to the tolerant people around here.
I'll be in touch later. I have to go.
so take good care

Guy(34 years old. in to arts and now in to peace)we are alike we want the same but we live on different sides - perhaps we can save something or someone, by talking & writing.
L . P & H

7:04 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Dear Rafi,

Why are you intent on forgetting an essential piece of history? Because it was so painful for us? so you want us to just FORGET that? Just like that?

And you know what? None of my family has been hurt by Israel, so far. Imagine those ppl who have their fathers in Israeli jails. Do you expect them to forget before 6 yrs ago??

Dobegs,

If your aspirations are peace, then why don't you make your voice heard in Israel?? Why don't you try to make a difference in your own country? Isn't it supposed to be a democratic nation? Or are you just all talk?

I'm not even a Hezbollah supporter, but if a cockroach was against Iarael I would be with the cockroach. You have succeeded in emptying Lebanon of hundreds of thousands of its ppl, and those that have remained are those that are ready to fight.

We're ready and waiting for you, we have sacrificed with blood and sweat for too long to let our nation go like that, we will rise up again and again from the ashes, better and stronger than before each time, and you will NEVER be able to kill that, no matter how much you dream of doing so.

Go ahead, give us your best shot.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Rafi said...

Bash,

The history was painfull for a lot of Israelies as well, we should never forget it , but if we want a better future then past , we must ignore it and look for future!

I really dont understand if we are not enemies, we really have no depute between Israel and Lebanon,

we only have this devil that is hiding in innocent Lebanese houses and firing rockets and kidnaps Israeli soldiers and kill Lebanon former presedints and other peacfull polititions , so we must get rid of it once and forever, and live together in prosperity.

I really understand your pain, and pain of all the innocent peaple that werehurt( on both sides , there are Israeli civilians hurt as well ), I understand that it might be easy for me say , but we must look ahead for better future.

please ask how do u sea the solution for this situation ?

the only solution that I see is getting rid of hizbalah as military organization, it does not matter if we call it terror or not.

Rafi

7:19 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Rafi,

On the second day of hostilities, our prime minister agreed to send the Lebanese army to the rest of the Lebanese territories after a cease fire. But Isreal, with the full support of the US, decided to keep up the attacks (which included PURELY civilian targets in unarmed ares, as well)

Short term - we can end the hostilities by agreeing to send the army to the south and hebollah away from the border, and then to exchange prisoners and the dead.

To go a step further, if in addition to all this, the IDF retreats from the Chebaa farms, Lebanon shouldn't have any more problems with Israel, as long as you don't provoke us.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Rafi,

On the second day of hostilities, our prime minister agreed to send the Lebanese army to the rest of the Lebanese territories after a cease fire. But Isreal, with the full support of the US, decided to keep up the attacks (which included PURELY civilian targets in unarmed ares, as well)

Short term - we can end the hostilities by agreeing to send the army to the south and hebollah away from the border, and then to exchange prisoners and the dead.

To go a step further, if in addition to all this, the IDF retreats from the Chebaa farms, Lebanon shouldn't have any more problems with Israel, as long as you don't provoke us.

Bash

9:19 PM  
Blogger Lilu said...

Bash,

Seniora's proposal sounds good enough, but I think the problem with it is that it lacks credibility. Considering the Lebanese response to resolution 1559 and 1583, which reflects a show of support of Hizballah, it's hard (for us) to believe this isn't much more than a shallow pacifier.
Again - Israel is not here to go after the Lebanese, but it is meaning to end Hizballah once and for all. Hizballah's well advertised mission these days is not just to restore Shebaa, but to help the Palestinians, right? so an Israeli withdrawl from Shebaa might solve the supposed dispute with Lebanon but not with Hizballah. So what would we achieve? Hizballah may not be on our borders, but would still be planning and executing attacks and abductions. The hostilities would not end, not as far as Israel is concerned.

The whole relationship between Hizballah and the Lebanese government, Hizballah's status in Lebanon, is beyond me. It's defined in Lebanon as a "resistance organisation" and not a terrorist organisation, and it is in the government. Is it an independant organisation or a government office, then?
Part of the government is actively pursuing a resistance struggle against a neighbouring state - why isn't the whole government standing behind it then, participating fully in the fight? is the rest of the government holding a different position on the matter, and in that case, how can it allow that part of it to be constently involved in a violent conflict, if it doesn't agree with it? if Hizballah is attacking someone, and it is part of the government, then its actions are official government actions, no?
How can a government deny any responsibility for violence its own offices are publicly and officialy carrying out, and refuse to get involved in it? these aren't secret operations - you are either in support of it or against, you can't stay abstained. If you are in the government, elected democratically, aren't you obliged to act under the government laws and regulations? how can you be allowed to sometimes act completely independantly, do as you wish without government approval?

Someone explain to me your view of Hizballah please. Is it government or not? is an abduction of two soldiers in accordance with government decisions or not?

3:45 AM  
Blogger Bash said...

Lilu,

Just asnswer this, is ISRAEL succeeding in disarming hezbollah??

Bash

2:55 PM  
Blogger Lilu said...

I can honestly say I haven't a clue. I sure hope so though.

Can you answer my question though? I was putting aside the current argument, I really really am just curious and interested to know what the Lebanese position on this is... I only know Hizballah as an Israeli, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can on everyday real life in Lebanon (I always feel it's a bit pressumptious to criticize lives you know nothing about). I'm trying to get my head around the what Hizballah is like as an internal Lebanese matter, so I'd love to hear your take on it.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Personally I have no contact with the group and don't really associate much with ppl who do.

I'd don't subscribe to their political ideals, and nor their military ones either for that matter.

To different ppl within Lebanon they are different things, terrorists, freedom-fighters, aid workers, or even pawns of foreign powers or Arab saviours..

Lebanon is a complex mosaic, with ideals and sects interconnected with each other. I have yet to see anyone able enough to discet this moseic. Those who came close might be Kamal Salibi or Amin Maalouf. "A House of Many Mansions" is a good start, but now maybe a bit outdated.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Rafi said...

Bash,

I ask myself If Lebanese army can occupy the south lebanon and prevent from Hizbalah from provoking Israel, why we needed all this mess, so many casualties.

I am watching Israeli TV as well as all CNN,BBC,SKY and all other , that are not exectly Israely lovers and all of them claims the Lebanese army can never do it, because this maycause a civil war in Lebanon.

Rafi

7:19 PM  
Blogger Bash said...

Rafi,

There is no need for all this. Really.

As I read someone say somewhere is that the ironic thing here is that we CAN live in peace, a warm peace even, not a cold one.

The complex makeup of Lebanon and it's political system makes it a weak power politically and militarily. We are a peacuful people deep inside you know? You just have to treat us good, and we'll treat you good in return.

The more you violate us and insult us, the more hostile we will become. Don't you find that logical? Even other arabs like the syrians who have violated us, we have done away with them as well.

We have suffered for too long and the only thing we want to do now is prosper economically, socially, and culturally. These are our real aims.

Let's make a deal. You and me. Lebanon and Israel. Let's get rid of hezbollah.

Don't make an excuse for hezbollah to attack you, and it will automatically disappear! But, the more you attack it, THE STRONGER IT GETS!

12:59 AM  
Blogger Lilu said...

but they ARE part of the government, they were democratically elected, no? So what's the rest of the official goverment's opinion and relationship with them? again, I'm just wondering, because I'm still trying to get my head around this. I just can't see how the Lebanese government can officialy disconnect itself from the actions of one of its offices, and stand by without involvement. What's the government for? doesn't it exist for deciding on a policy and carrying it out? is Seniora pro Hizballah or not?

One more question - bash, you personally don't agree with their ideals, so how do you feel about them conducting military acts that affect you such as provoking a neighbour into war (regardless of your opinion on that neighbour and who they end up hurting)?

I'm only asking because in Israel, I've never known anything like the supposed situation in Lebanon. We don't have a minority organisation in government that goes about carrying out attacks independantly, not these days, not anymore. The closest thing I can think of is the settlers, which did not go about commiting violent acts but did illegaly invade other people's territories.. they started out with official goverment approval and encouragment but thankfully the government eventually deemed them illegitimate and started eliminating them. Sharon cleared Gaza and Olmert is (or was going to) clear the West Bank of settlements - the government did act on them. Personally, I always held the settlers partially responsible for the violence and terrorist attacks in Israeli cities (along with the perpetrators themselves), so I thought that acting against them was the right thing to do and used the democratic means given to me to make that happen... so did many other people here, the country was virtually torn apart by the different sides, but at least everyone spoke their mind about it, demonstrated, the works... I didn't see any of that in Lebanon, with Hizballah, though. Do they have the support of the majority or not, and why isn't the majority speaking out? obviously (now more than ever), they're not the sort of thing you can just ignore and forget.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Bash said...

I, like many people here, don't like what hezbollah does.

Before, they had MUCH more ligitimacy because our land was occupied by you. Now it is they claim that lebanese prisoners are in israeli jails.

But in all cases, our prime minister declared, that Lebanese troops will controll the whole of south Lebanon, after a cease fire. And are not just words. Yes, we DO want Lebanese troops in the south, yes, we DO want hezbollah to disarm, but not after THIS! You see we CAN'T make it disarm after what the IDF does..

Do you MSN? bbarrage@hotmail.com

1:28 AM  
Blogger Lilu said...

well, YOU I believe, but there's just not that much reason to trust Seniora's word, you must understand... seriously, what assurance does Israel have that the Hizballah problem will be taken care of, once and forever? the Israeli position is that it pretty much left Hizballah alone in Lebanon, for the Lebanese to take care of - and nothing happened, Hizballah just trained and grew and gathered arms without interference. It is even regarded as a mistake on our part, that we didn't get at them earlier, that leaving it up to the Lebanese was wrong because nothing was done and so we found ourselves under attack.

You know what though, that's not even the point. I just can't see why, if you are against Hizballah, if the majority feels so, why doesn't it act on it? why hasn't it acted on it all this time? why couldn't you disarm Hizballah after this? They are the cause of this mess, they sparked the flame (again, regardless of how much Israel made the fire get out of control), they should have no legitimacy because if it weren't for them we'd all be getting on with our (relatively) happy lives. So why can't you stand up to them and say so? if you can complain about Israel, why can't you complain about Hizballah too? they are both responsible for the disaster. If you got Syria out, why not Hizballah? You have to know this is a question many people here are asking, and the general impression people have is that it is from weakness - please prove that impression wrong..

got you on MSN by the way

2:45 AM  
Blogger Bash said...

Seniora is a good guy. He's new, and for the first time, he is different. He is different by being the only Lebanese leader that truly has the people of Lebanon in his heart and mind (unlike others who who had Syria in their hearts and minds)

Therefore I trust him. Further, he's the only one willing enough to disarm them. Maybe before they didn't want to because Hezbollah might have been a source of protection, but now he agreed to send the Army. And this was UNHEARD of before. Realise that this is a revolutionary new stance.

And it's not just words, trust him.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Sweetwalter said...

I am a native of Buffalo, New York and appreciate reading the diverse views on this tragic conflict. I must agree that an immediate cease-fire is imperative for any peace process to be initiated. I also agree that Herzbollah must be disarmed and relegated to a minor political position in the Lebanese goverment. If they cannot reconcile to the permanent existence of the State of Israel, they have themselves no further value in the peace process and must be eliminated by any means. If the gov't of Lebanon is not capable of effecting this change then the Israelis will certainly not allow the status quo to exist. Most Americans in the country do not support Bush's policies in the Middle East, but please...don't blame American for the stupid actions of Herzbollah and the equally stupid response by the Israelis. Presently there is little sympathy in the US for the problems in your region except for the minority populations of Jews and Muslims. Most Americans just don't give a shit as long as no one is attacking them directly as in 9/11. Bush will soon be out of office...who replaces him and what is the new US agenda must certainly be a reflection of how threatened the average voter feels prior to the next election. Iran and North Korea are making the same mistakes that Saadam made with his big mouth. Never throw pebbles at a gorilla when you live in a glass house and the gorilla has a pile of boulders. Sweetwalter

3:55 AM  
Blogger Bash said...

You're absolutely right. 100%.
But a gorilla he remains. A filthy, stincking, dirty gorilla to the core, called the IDF.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a 50 year old living in Ireland as I left the UK for fear of Bush & Blair killing us all with there Beliefs. As for the war in the middle east it would be better for us all if hitler had of finished the job in task and rid us of the jewish problem

12:29 PM  

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