Friday, August 11, 2006

Keep on keeping on

As predicted last night in Beirut was almost like every night for the last month in Tyre and the rest of the south. I counted ten bombs hitting the city - the southern suburbs yes but so loud you can feel your teeth chattering in your skull. They began at about 5am. I think I had only managed to sleep at 2am. They continued until about 8am. The first was the loudest. Imagine you are sleeping in your bed, in that sort of tired edgy sleep because you are so tense you never really hit the dreamtime. Then the first goes off and it is like being on a Universal Studios ride or in one of those brand new cinemas with incredible Dolby Digitial sound. Remember how loud the movie King Kong was - this bomb was louder. Possibly the loudest sound I have heard in 30 summers of living. This morning it is now 12.53pm we have had two more. I am considering gearing up and getting down there to report but at this point in time it isn't the wisest move and a recent run in I had left me slightly bruised. But it's all in the name of reporting what is happening on the ground, and the real scale of the damage of Israeli cluster bombs.
How do you live when the bombs stop? I try to imagine what Iraq is like. It must be much worse I think. It's getting worse here. As I write US undersecretary of state David Welch is meeting with PM Siniora and Speaker Berri is meeting with the Iranian ambassador. Should be productive... And meanwhile a 300 car convoy is waiting to leave the town of Marjayoun in the south with hundreds of Lebanese army, police force and residents who have been held by the IDF. Lebanon is in freefall, we are not sleeping. But in the words of Curtis Mayfield RIP we keep on keeping on.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Yossi said...

Please read the following:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/749294.html


A flimsy reed By Yossi Sarid

This war is, first and foremost, an Israeli tragedy. It is also a Lebanese tragedy and, in fact, an international one.

When the Israeli cabinet decided to respond to the abduction of two soldiers by launching a war, it did not take into consideration the fact that no one would stop it. Once started, there would be no element in the world today with the authority to stop it, whose call for a cease-fire would cause the warring parties to lay down their arms. The world of the early 21st century is one of total license, without discipline or authority.

Every time I hear about the "international community" and the United Nations and its Security Council, I exchange my tears for cynical laughter. There is no community without leadership, and no security council without someone or something to set the tone. The one that should be playing that leadership role, the United States of America, is a flimsy reed.

The election of George W. Bush as president of the United States was a terrible calamity for the world and all its inhabitants. We all know the world is a big place, and leading it is too big a job for Bush. He is not the one who can ease its pain. Ever since he was born again and his eyes opened, he views the world as flat. In a confluence of fundamentalist Christian and Texan cowboy traditions, he divides the world into good people and bad people, the sons of light against the sons of darkness. The division is sharp and clear, all black and white, with no shades of gray. What a pity it is that the American president has inherited the earth and not the skies, which are divided so clearly into heaven and hell.

The messenger-president never has and never will have any truck with those not on the "good path" laid down by evangelist preachers and the Pentagon's "new world order" prophets. And so, the only empire on the planet is feuding with half the world. It isn't speaking to North Korea or Iran or Syria or to their satellites and emissaries - Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban and the like.

In his total redemption crusade, Bush is ignorant of how the world does mourn. He tilts at the windmills of evil like some grumpy Don Quixote, and reaps the whirlwind. He is absolutely determined to bring democracy to every country in the world, even if they drown in their own blood. About 100,000 Iraqis have already greased the cogs of Bush's messianic revolution with their blood, and about 1,000 are slaughtered every week. The victims in Afghanistan are uncounted.

The international community is split and torn, divided and polarized as never before in recent history. It refuses to follow Bush's path, but does not have its own. The European Union occasionally seems more clear-eyed, but also more frightened. The global choice is thus a very poor one, between the soft-headed and the soft-hearted.

Only in Israel do people still thrill at the sight of Bush and his Condoleezzian entourage. Maybe they have a plan to save Israel from its enemies, but they have no plan to save it from its big buddy or from itself. The bad guys, meanwhile, have long since stopped being impressed. They do their own thing, as if there was no America and it had nothing to say. Bush can raise his voice a thousand times, and nothing happens: Georgie-boy is in a snit, and if he doesn't want to talk to us then who needs him? The crazies of the world are only uniting and growing stronger. They thumb their noses at his finger-wagging, the scolding of a teacher who is totally out of touch with his out-of-control classroom.

The United States under Bush single-handedly destroyed its deterrent power and that of the free world, including Israel. If the American demon that has taken over Iraq is not so terrible and can be worn down, then just how terrible could the Israeli demon possibly be?

Who would have believed it? Sometimes a normal human being finds himself missing the old world of blocs and the Berlin Wall. True, the fate of humankind in those days depended on the restraints imposed by what used to be called the "balance of terror," but it was a balance nonetheless that mandated serious thought before action. When the terror of the Cold War disappeared, that balance disappeared along with it, and the omnipotent American hegemony became impotent. The world is heating up and spinning out of control. In this unconstrained world, we are the victims-of-the-month.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

What a perfectly written article.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous wally said...

Yossi,
It seems all you can do is rant about the US and it's President.
As if the US is the cause of all the worlds woe's.
Without the US and the West there would not be as much of the freedoms as exist in the Middle East today, without Western Technology there would not be the oil producing giants that exist in the ME.
People continue to quote the figures of those killed in this latest war. The US lost over 3000 in two single buildings.
Even though I do not see this or any other war as a means to solve any problem, I'm tired of hearing about how it is the problem of the US to fix it.
We didn't start it, HZ did. Don't blame anyone but yourselves for not disarming HZ, instead of embracing them and making them a part of the LB government.
I'm for the US stoping all foreign aid to all the worlds countries. It is not the American taxpayers responsibility to feed, cloth, and finance any other country. Period!
If you want to live under a religious madmen, or dictators, so be it, but don't cry about human rights, famine, lack of infastructure etc.
If you don't like the US, don't come here to study, visit, get medical care, invest your money, resettle for a better life etc. Stick with your own self made misery.
We have far too long opened our borders to those who want to live the American life. We have instead accepted those who wish to transplant the ways of the countries they left and change the US.
I for one, believe Democracy is better than having someone tell me what to wear, what to look at, whom to talk to, what to read as so forth.
Stick with what you have today and you'll be back to the way it was a 100 years ago.
There is a old saying " If you make your own bed, you'll have to sleep in it"

7:02 PM  
Blogger rufusmommy said...

Isolationism is not a viable solution. It's been tried and it failed. Maybe the world would be a better place if we stopped trying to segment ourselves and back away from our responsibilities as just plain human beings. All religion has charity as a part of it's overall beliefs. If I have something to spare, why shouldn't I help someone less fortunate than myself, whether it be Americans, Lebanse, Palestinians or Israelis.

The US has set wheels in motion for much of what is happening with its policies of agression toward the Arab world(unless you are oil rich and Big in OPEC). We armed Iraq when they were fighting Iran..and now those weapons are being turned on our troops. Iran has had their arch enemy, Iraq, turned into a country that is quickly spiraling downward into all out civil war, and now certainly in no position to be a threat to Iran any longer.

We occupy one of the most sacred regions in the world to Muslims and we wonder why they are angry at us?

I'm not justifying Hizbollah, or any other terrorist group. I'm deeply against the spread of violence. But we can't fight a war against an ideal..the ideal of extremists who in their twisted sense of justice believe this is the only way. We can arrest 24 people in a terrorist plot...another 24 will be right behind them to take their place. Only when we stop being so arrogant as to think our way is the only way and treat everyone with respect and dignity will we overcome the hatred that we have incited.

7:24 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Good for you rufusmommy.

Wally, take a breath and lighten up. Your argument ignores too many important points because you're making it from an angry prejudice. If, for instance, you're right that it's not our "responsibility to feed, clothe and finance any other country. Period!" how do you respond to a Lebanese or Palestinian or Iranian or Syrian when they say, "Agreed!" Israel isn't going to agree. But, if we continue to fund Israel in its invasion, don't we have a correlative responsibility to fix what we've helped break? We went into Iraq with Colin Powell citing the "Pottery Barn Principle - if you break it, you own it." We sure broke it - didn't we? "Don't blame anyone but yourselves for not disarming HZ?" Both Israel and the US are saying the Lebanese don't have the ability NOW to control the HZ. And that's after a month of relentless bombing and tank and artillery and infantry attacks. How in the world do you suppose Lebanon was to disarm them? Why in the world - if the US and Israel and France and GB are saying now that Lebanon needs the assistance of an "international force" - why wasn't that thought of five years ago? Or a month ago? Rather than bombing the place flat, I mean.

All that is accomplished by the way the US and Israel have chosen is the imposition of more misery, the creation of more terrorists, the loss of many lives and the unending worry about where it's going to come from next.

We ARE responsible for the situation and it is OUR responsibility to see that it is fixed. Properly. And that cannot be done with bombs and bigotry.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Go Israel GO, let the boms drop! Let the lies be told about the civilan deaths and kill every supporter! No cease Fire until the job is done.

7:38 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

My dear God - that is one strong wet fart that keeps following me around. Well, folks, you can see little Sammy working his little brain under the topic "Killer Tan." Take a minute when you too can be one of the first people in history to actually SEE a fart as well as smell it.

And that's all I've got to say about the guy. Except to say, just ignore him. The smell will go away.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GO Sam GO

Go back to kindergarten

8:08 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Still here and your still focused on insults only, keep going.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

I support Bush 100%, it's easy we run the country and you don't. The truth is painful.

To bad we can't keep him for four more after this term.

Heaven is where I'm going and Bush will be there too, only the haters of Faith wil be in hell. The sate of islam is now what I consider hell.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All that is accomplished by the way the US and Israel have chosen is the imposition of more misery, the creation of more terrorists, the loss of many lives and the unending worry about where it's going to come from next.

We ARE responsible for the situation and it is OUR responsibility to see that it is fixed. Properly. And that cannot be done with bombs and bigotry.

Pack your bags move over there and fix it then. I'm not nor do I care if we help on bit.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support innocent civilians 200%
Make no mistake about it

Heaven for people who are humble, generous, kind, emphaty, etc...

8:32 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

rufusmom and hcb have again hit the nail on the head. The US has helped cause much of the tension in the Middle East, both during the Cold War, and now in the "new world order." We need to get over our arrogance and participate as an equal among nations.

hcb: Don't even read his messages... I've found it so much easier to resist by simply not reading any of his pathetic, racist crap...and that is the last time anything about him shall pass through my fingers and onto the keyboard.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Here's to your so called peace, if it's not going to help there's no need to stop now.

I just read this and got goose bumbs. This is the only way to fight terror. Keep your flowers and sad stories. No one that can stop the fighting cares.

BREAKING NEWS
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 4 minutes ago
JERUSALEM - Israel has begun an expanded ground offensive in southern Lebanon after expressing dissatisfaction over an emerging cease-fire deal, government officials said.

Shortly afterwards, a source close to the Israeli government said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ask him if there was any room left for diplomacy.

Olmert has indicated he’d be willing to call off the offensive if Israel’s basic demands are met, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the private conversation.

Olmert and his defense minister, Amir Peretz, made the decision to expand the offensive after meeting for four hours Friday. Peretz instructed the military to launch the offensive, officials said.

Olmert’s spokesman, Asaf Shariv, told The Associated Press that the expanded incursion had already begun. An emerging cease-fire deal being worked out by the U.N. Security Council fails to meet Israel's basic requirements, such as stationing robust international combat troops in southern Lebanon once Israel withdraws, Shariv said.

“Yesterday we were very optimistic, but they (the Security Council) took the wrong turn,” Shariv said.

The government has decided to implement a Cabinet decision on Wednesday granting the army permission to carry out a massive ground offensive “to deal with the Hezbollah positions in south Lebanon, from which barrages of missiles continue to be launched against the Israeli civilian population,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous blogwatch said...

A great quote by Golda Meir:

"We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us."

9:06 PM  
Anonymous sam said...

Rick you don't ever need to respond to me or what I say. You are way to close minded and idiotic to match up. I do seem very closed minded but that is only because everyone here is so ridiculously blinded. Everyone sits here and bashes the Israeli’s and America [you can leave anytime], but will not look at a major reason this is happening. So you egg on the so called peaceful people here by joining in the trashing of a people and their country and our country. So don’t think by stating that your fingers will not type in regards to me that I am offended.

I’m happier; you’re less than a terrorist. You’re a traitor.

9:59 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

Rick - I know what you mean and you're right, of course. But it's so damned much fun reading them. He's the guy who sets fires so he can watch. He's the guy who stalks women because they won't talk to him. He's the guy with a computer full of porn because it's the only way he can get sexual relief. I LOVE watching him get like he said he gets - so pissed off he can't even spell words like "blog." Can't you see him drool and squint when he's trying to say something but the words just don't come because he doesn't know what they mean and he knows he'll look even dumber when he uses them incorrectly? So what he does is just type something and then cut and paste it a dozen times or so.

But he provides a service - at least the people reading his diatribes and drivel so full of misspellings and grammatical errors know we have our share of crazies just like they do. So, in a perverse kind of way, he helps make my point without even realizing it. He represents the blind stupidity in our country that people in other countries didn't think existed. I'll bet most people who harbor anti-american feelings thought we all are smart money grubbers. And now they've met Sammy the Fart. And they are saying, oh my god - he's so stupid he couldn't possibly be making it up. There are people in America even stupider than the stupid ones here.

10:42 PM  
Blogger HCB said...

But you're right - let's don't pay him any attention and let him prattle away. I hope, though, he's brought a few smiles to the people suffering so badly in Lebanon.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

OMG...what a great rant, hcb! lol... I would add to it but I'm laughing too damn hard.

At least the people in the Middle East know there are people more stupid than george Bush; there are those that blindly support him.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogwatch here's another quote for you

"OUR RACE IS THE MASTER RACE. WE ARE DIVINE GODS ON THIS PLANET. WE ARE AS DIFFERENT FROM THE INFERIOR RACES AS THEY ARE FROM INSECTS. IN FACT, COMPARED TO OUR RACE, OTHER RACES ARE BEASTS AND ANIMALS, CATTLE AT BEST. OTHER RACES ARE CONSIDERED AS HUMAN EXCREMENT. OUR DESTINY IS TO RULE OVER THE INFERIOR RACES. OUR EARTHLY KINGDOM WILL BE RULED BY OUR LEADER WITH A ROD OF IRON. THE MASSES WILL LICK OUR FEET, AND SERVE US AS OUR SLAVES."

Menachem Begin
(Israeli Prime Minister, 1977-1983

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rags have use in the world, about time someone said it.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hezbollah is believed by the United States and some other countries’ intelligence agencies to have kidnapped and tortured to death U.S. Marine Colonel William R. Higgins and the CIA station chief in Beirut, William Francis Buckley,[26] and to have kidnapped around 30 other Westerners between 1982 and 1992, including U.S. journalist Terry Anderson, British journalist John McCarthy, the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy Terry Waite and Irish citizen Brian Keenan.[27] Hezbollah was accused by the US government of being responsible for the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63; of being behind the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, a suicide truck bombing that killed 241 U.S. marines in their barracks in Beirut in October 1983; of bombing the replacement U.S. Embassy in East Beirut on September 20, 1984, killing 20 Lebanese and two U.S. soldiers; and of carrying out the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 en route from Athens to Rome. These accusations are denied by Hezbollah.[28]

The U.S. claims Hezbollah carried out two terrorist attacks in Argentina during the early 1990s: the 1992 Israeli embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people, and the bombing of a Jewish community center there, killing 85.[29][30] Hezbollah denies these claims.[31][32]
On July 26, 1994, eight days after the community center bombing, the Israeli Embassy in London was car bombed by two Palestinians. The United Kingdom, Israel and Argentina blamed Hezbollah for the attack.[33]
On October 7, 2000, Hezbollah abducted three IDF soldiers from the Mt. Dov sector: Adi Avitan, Omer Soued and Binyamin Avraham .[34]
On October 16, 2000, Hezbollah announced the kidnapping of Elchanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli businessman.
On March 12, 2002, in a Hezbollah shooting attack on the Shelomi-Metzuba route in northern Israel, six Israelis civilians were killed.[35]
On August 10, 2003, a 16 year old Israeli boy was killed by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell fired by Hezbollah, and four others were wounded. [36]
On April 7, 2005, Two Israeli Arabs from the village Ghajar near the Israel-Lebanon border were abducted by Hezbollah operatives. They were later released. [37]

Suicide attacks
Hezbollah is reputed to have been among the first Islamic resistance groups to use tactical suicide bombing in the Middle East, and early bombings attributed to the group (e.g. the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing) inspired other militant extremist groups to adopt the tactic for their own purposes. The Palestinian Sunni group Hamas is perhaps the most well-known of these copycats, and while Hezbollah has largely ended its own suicide bombing campaign, some claim[citation needed] it continues to help Hamas in planning and training for suicide missions to this day.

According to Robert Pape’s Dying to Win,[38] Hezbollah conducted three distinct suicide bombing campaigns against forces it deemed to be occupying Lebanon:

1983–1984: 5 acts against the US and France,[38] including these specific acts:
April 18, 1983: U.S. embassy bombing in Beirut.
October 23, 1983: Beirut barracks bombing, targeting French soldiers and U.S. Marines;[38] responsibility for this is disputed (see 1983 Beirut barracks bombing).
1982–1985: 11 acts against Israel.[38]
1985–1986: 20 acts against Israel and the South Lebanon Army.[38]
In addition to these campaigns, Pape documents six other isolated suicide attacks taken by Hezbollah between 1985 and 1999.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Anonymous said...
The rags have use in the world, about time someone said it.

No anon, no one HAD to say it. Pathetic.

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

QANA

Patti Smith has recorded a new song: "Qana".

There's no one
in the village
not a human
nor a stone
there's no one
in the village
children are gone
and a mother rocks
herself to sleep
let it come down
let her weep

the dead lay in strange shapes

Some stay buried
others crawl free
baby didn't make it
screaming debris
and a mother rocks
herself to sleep
let it come down
let her weep

the dead lay in strange shapes

Limp little dolls
caked in mud
small, small hands
found in the road
their talking about
war aims
what a phrase
bombs that fall
American made
the new Middle East
the Rice woman squeaks

the dead lay in strange shapes

little bodies
little bodies
tied head and feet
wrapped in plastic
laid out in the street
the new Middle East
the Rice woman squeaks

the dead lay in strange shapes

Water to wine
wine to blood
ahh Qana
the miracle
is love







QANA

The Israeli practice of collective punishment is a war crime under the Geneva Convention. Why are they allowed to do this? Because they have our permission?

We send over four billion dollars in aid and weapons to Israel every year. We are paying for this devastation. The slaughter of children. The country in ruins.We are paying for this. George Bush willfully rejected a truce and now we have the Qana massacre on our head. Thirty seven of the dead were children.

Qana is considered by some as the location of the first miracle of Christ. Turning water into wine. There is no wine flowing in Qana today. Only blood. Only blood.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

amen, Anon.

4:54 AM  

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