Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lebanon Sold Out

Today, as I read the Washington Post, I understood something very clearly: that the U.S. Administration and Congress are just making all the wrong moves in the Middle East.

The same Senators who supported the Syria Accountability Act and pushed for the Syrian military and intelligence withdrawal from Lebanon two years ago, the same Senators who applauded the Cedar Revolution last year, are the same ones who have decided yesterday to give unconditional support to Israel's attacks on Lebanon. I understand, politicians are politicians no matter where they are; they're concerned about being re-elected and about representing their constituencies.

But what about the Administration? This is what President Bush had to say yesterday: "In order to be able to deal with this crisis, the world must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria and to continue to work to isolate Iran." Please tell me if you see the word Lebanon anywhere. It's not about Lebanon; it's about Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. But guess what country is being destroyed and who is being killed (over 300 dead now) and displaced (over half a million)? Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

I realized then that Lebanon has been sold out!

Just a few months ago, Lebanon was a shining example of how democracy should look like in the Middle East. But now the very shining example that used to be showcased as a U.S. foreign policy success is being killed. The most pro-U.S., pro-West government in the Middle East is being weakened.

Nevertheless, this was way better than reading the following excerpt from Charles Krauthammer's opinion piece in the Post:
Just as in Kuwait in 1991, what must follow the air campaign is a land invasion to clear the ground and expel the occupier. Israel must retake south Lebanon and expel Hezbollah. It would then declare the obvious: that it has no claim to Lebanese territories and is prepared to withdraw and hand south Lebanon over to the Lebanese army...
I mean, is this for real? Does Krauthammer truely think that the Israeli army will "hand" south Lebanon to the Lebanese army as a gift? Since when such scenario took place anywhere, that a state which occupied another country for close to 20 years, will return to invade that once-occupied country to fulfill its mission and then hand this country back its territories? Isn't this scenario so out of this world? And if this is the advice the Administration is listening to, then yes I can say: Lebanon has been sold out!

The Lebanese are reaching a point of despair! All the great powers are watching and giving Israel what it wants, time to decimate Hezbollah, while in reality more Lebanese civilians are being killed and the country's infrastructure has deteriorated considerably in just ONE week, then how about a couple of weeks.

Again and again, Lebanon's fate is to be the house of others' conflicts. My father in despair said over the phone: "I've been living outside my country for 30 years; my fate is to continue living away for the rest of my life!" It is almost like waiting for Godot...and Godot never ever comes. I feel with you, Baba, and I wish I can do something.

Now I would like to end this post with Prime Minister Seniora's Address to the Diplomatic Corps:

I have convened the diplomatic corps in Lebanon today to launch an urgent appeal to the international community for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and assistance to my war ravaged country. You are all aware that seven continuous days of an escalating Israeli onslaught on Lebanon have resulted in immeasurable loss: the toll in terms of human life has reached tragic proportions: over 1000 injured and 300 killed so far; over half a million people have been displaced; in some areas, the hospitals have been crippled and are unable to cope with the casualties; there are shortages of food and medical supplies; homes, factories and warehouses have been completely destroyed; UN facilities in Maroun El Ras and Naqoura have just been shelled, so have been army barracks and posts of Joint Security Forces; a civil defense unit has been wiped out and foreigners are being evacuated.. As I speak, the trauma, the desperation, the grief and the daily massacres and destruction go on and on. The country has been torn to shreds.

Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?

Can the international community stand by while such callous retribution by the State of Israel is inflicted on us?

Will you allow innocent civilians, churches, mosques, orphanages, medical supplies escorted by the Red Cross, people seeking shelter or fleeing their homes and villages to be the casualties of this ugly war?

Is this what the international community calls self defense? Is this the price we pay for aspiring to build our democratic institutions? Is this the message to send to the country of diversity, freedom and tolerance?

Only last year, the Lebanese filled the streets with hope and with red, green and white banners shouting out: Lebanon deserves life!

What kind of life is being offered to us now?

I will tell you what kind: a life of destruction, despair, displacement, dispossession, and death.

What kind of future can stem from the rubble? A future of fear, frustration, financial ruin, and fanaticism.

Let me assure you that we shall spare no avenue to make Israel compensate the Lebanese people for the barbaric destruction it has inflicted and continues to inflict upon us, knowing full well that human life is irreplaceable.

You want to support the government of Lebanon? Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, no government can survive on the ruins of a nation.

On behalf of the people of Lebanon, from Beirut, Baalbeck, and Byblos, to Tyre Sidon and Qana, to each and every one of the 21 villages at the southern border, declared a no-go zone by Israel, to Tripoli and Zahle, I call upon you all to respond immediately without reservation or hesitation to this appeal for an immediate cease-fire and lifting the siege, and provide urgent international humanitarian assistance to our war-stricken country. I would also like to thank the international organizations and the friendly countries that have already extended their valued help and thank as well those who are preparing to do so.

Excellencies
We the Lebanese want life.
We have chosen life.
We refuse to die.
Our choice is clear.
We have survived wars and destruction over the ages.
We shall do so again.
I hope you will not let us down.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

170 comments:

1earth said...

Israel should compensate Lebanon with the same offer that Lebanon offered to compensate Israel after Lebanese aggression killed 8 Israeli soldiers and dropped 300 mortars on Israeli communities. Nothing but silence. Actually that's more respectful than what Lebanon gave, I remember the Lebanese President and ambassador praising the attacks...

Jaeger said...

With all due respect, Mr. Seniora should be talking to his partners in government that kidnapped the soldiers rather than begging for an international pity. Personally, I have no intention of asking my government to send a force to rescue Hizballah.

The ability to end the conflict is entirely within the hands of the Lebanese if they so choose. If Seniora is standing with "each and every one of the 21 villages at the southern border" perhaps he should be insisting - no, demanding, that the soldiers be handed back and the rockets stop. Delivering on that would be a far more effective way to stop the conflict than appealing for us western observers to intervene.

And I'd certainly have more sympathy if I at least saw the Lebanese bloggers demanding the appropriate action from their representatives.

eran levi said...

"doha said...
I mean, is this for real? Does Krauthammer truely think that the Israeli army will "hand" south Lebanon to the Lebanese army as a gift? Since when such scenario took place anywhere, that a state which occupied another country for close to 20 years, will return to invade that once-occupied country to fulfill its mission and then hand this country back its territories?"

do you realy think israel is hungry for conquest of south Lebanon? we don't want Lebanon! we hate lebanonian soil - we have nightmares about staying in Lebanon! we just want hezbollah out, we want to live without fear of rockets and kidnapiing. if we can work toward this goal - immidiatly - and the unconditional safe return of our kidnapped soldiers - we won't bother you ever again. infact - we might even become friends...

carine said...

i guess i'm emotionally predisposed towards this kind of stuff right now, but i find seniora's speech, as usual, to be beautiful and heartbreaking.

we can survive and we will survive.

Lirun said...

i wonder how long the conflict will last if we continue to blame eachother..

i also wonder how quickly we could move on if we stopped blaming..

my guess is that the latter would be a much briefer period..

still wishing you health, safety and peace - i look fwd to the day that this will be over..

lirun
tel-aviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

John said...

I feel concerned for the suffering people of Lebanon.

You described Lebanese as a tolerant people. How does it show "tolerance" that Hezbolla, which has vowed to destroy Israel, was able to win seats in a democratic election?

Do you think Israel should do nothing about Hezbolla's incursion; and about Hezbolla's threat?

Do Lebanese people like Hezbolla's policy with regards to Israel?

What do you think Lebanon should do about Hezbolla?

Suha said...

1earth sid:
Israel should compensate Lebanon with the same offer that Lebanon offered to compensate Israel after Lebanese aggression killed 8 Israeli soldiers and dropped 300 mortars on Israeli communities. Nothing but silence.

DEAL! You compensate us for our losses, we compensate you for yours. Then we start a new page. I think it is a fair deal.

nuggs said...

dont forget what Lebanese President, Emile Lahoud said on Al Manara television:


Nobody can defeat you. When we are united, we can remain steadfast and nobody will be able to defeat us. [applause] We know that when the liberation was achieved, it was a big blow to Israel. Now, they are retaliating. But, they will not succeed, because nobody is stronger than Lebanon when it is united and steadfast. I assert to you that they will cave in to the right in the final analysis. We say that we still have a land, prisoners, and many issues that need to be resolved. The United Nations
is working, but not as required. The more time passes by, the more Israel will destroy us and our
infrastructure. We can rebuild buildings. What counts is the people. You are the people and nobody
is stronger than you. [applause] The state, with all its components, and the entire cabinet are with you. We will meet all your requirements. We know that you are not worried about anything. But, it is our duty to stand beside you and help you. The Lebanese state should do all that it can. [applause and chants of support for Lahhud] Rest assured Lebanon will not give up Al-Sayyid Nasrallah [applause]. Al-Sayyid [Nasrallah], the resistance, and the national army achieved liberation for Lebanon. We will not forget that. This will be written in the books of history, no matter what the Israelis do.

Doha said...

C'mon administrator, in a democractic society you have parties of all shapes and forms. And guess what? Sometimes those parties make it to the Parliament.

Hezbollah has a military wing, which many Lebanese wish to be dismantled, but Hezbollah as a political party will not be dissolved. Hezbollah as a party has provided a lot of educatinal, health, and social services to its constituencies.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese organization, albeit funded by Iran, but its supporters and members are Lebanese. Most of these supporters come from the south which was occupied by Israel from 1982 to 2000, so they view things a bit differently from other Lebanese who were not in direct contact with the Israeli occupation.

I don't know what more to say. Your questions seem too broad to answer in a small comment.

Doha said...

nuggs,

President Lahoud has no consitutional legitimacy and most Lebanese want him out!

HARBOOK said...

We argued over Lahoud, a nobody, when we should have given hizb a little something politically for a little something militarily. But that time has passed and the israelis are selling this war like a dead horse. They just keep beating it and beating it. Im sick of Gillerman and Lahoud.

Where is our Nasser, speaking like Gibran, with a heart like Salaheddin?

He is under the rubble i fear.

eran levi said...

AL Manara is a terrorist network bent on supplying false fanatic hatred filled moral to hezbollah's troops and supporters - it freely lies and twist facts and is entirely bent on fueling the hezbollah war machine... but don't worry sane people of Lebanon - we'll take this station down soon enough.

by the way - there's a chance Israel just killed Nasrallah in his bonker since it was bombed not too long ago. or at least a great number of senior hezbollah members. israeli news report - and unlike Al-Manar the israeli network as part of a democratic press free state never lies.

if it's true - this could spell the end of this war within days!

nuggs said...

Doha,

I dont want to get into an arguement, and I am not flaming but if your president supports the miltitary wing of Hezbollah, and your PM supports the armed wing of Hezbollah, and 25% of your population supports the armed wing of Hezbollah, Hezbollah is made up of Lebanese. How is Lebanon not responsable for Hezbollah's actions? Isn't Hezbollah actually Lebanon? How do you distance yourself from Hezbollah when so much in Lebanon seems intertwined.

blogagog said...

Doha said:
"Does Krauthammer truely think that the Israeli army will "hand" south Lebanon to the Lebanese army as a gift?"

Well it stands to reason that they will. They just gave Gaza to the palestinians as a gift.

I hope you are wrong when you say Hezbolla will not be dissolved. Your country is doomed if Hezbollah's ideology is allowed to continue.

mikealpha said...

Without a powerful ally who will take on Hezballah (and the only such available ally is Israel) disarming Hezballah seems to be beyond the ability of any Lebanese faction(s). The Lebanese who were willing to ally with Israel lost during the last civil war and orders of magnitude more people got killed than are dying in Lebanon now. Moreover Israel deserted many of it's allies during it's hasty withdrawal. Most are in exile or dead . I imagine some Lebanese are thinking about another try but it's a very risky proposition indeed . It is certain death if you are wrong with large political costs even if you are right. If one does nothing the risk of death is very low and there is no political price either. Consequently the prudent course is wait and see how things develop. Criticizing Israel and playing the victim seems to be a winner too.

LebExile said...

I dont see how we are supposed to go back to living like this never happened...

OK, lets assume that the soldiers are returned, the war ends, the Leb army is on the border, and Hezbollah is sent back 20km into Lebanon....

What then???

we would have more trouble from Hizbollah and the Palestinians hiding in the camps, shooting here bombing there etc... seen it before...

There is no solution but the complete disarmament of Hezbollah and the palestinian camps.

we are now in a state of war. clearly these weapons are doing nothing to protect those holding them, as well as putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of lebanese in danger.

All weapons should be in the hands of the Lebanese army alone. If you all cant see this by now, then, good luck, not only will this war destroy you much further than it already has, but there WILL be another civil war in Lebanon very soon.

I know that alot you dont want another civil war, but it appears that not one of you is willing to speak out against the very thing that is going to make a civil war ineveitable.

You can keep telling me to be supportive, not to play the blame game, and we must be united, but, truely, Lebanon will never be united where there is groups who have allegence to a foreign country, people who against the wishes of the entire country refuse to disarm, and drag the country into another civil war.

you want us to stand behind Hezbollah, and be as one.

How about you (Shia) stand behind OUR govt and then we would be as ONE.

As for that devil worshiping Nassarallah, may he rot in hell, I heard he was recently injured. I hope KILLED..!!!

Doha said...

Our PM does not support what Hizbullah did.

There was this hope that if Hezbollah for the first time joins in the governing of the country by joining the Cabinet, it will be co-opted. and then there were national dialogue rounds to discuss some important issues among them the disarmament of Hezbollah. but guess what? that false hope dissipated when Hizbullah went solo. and now we're all paying the price collectively.

we dont' want a civil war. we wanted to try to negotiate disarmament in a way that would not humiliate Hezbollah. Hezbollah is respected by many during the years of occupation as a resistance force. But now that the Shebaa Farms are left, which can be negotiated diplomatically, there's no need for Hezbollah's arms anymore.

It's complicated. It's like trying to govern over 18 sects and each demand their voice and rights. Hezbollah represents a large chunk of Lebanese Shias and marginalizing them is like marginalizing part of Lebanon.

Shmulik said...

Doha
You decieve yourself. The Mujahedeen were freedom-fighters in Afganistahn. The russians withdrew. Do you think the Mujahedeen have stored their weapons?? No. They went off to fight in Bosnia and Iraq. Bin laden was a freedom-fighter in afganisthan yet he had comitted 9/11. Hizballah is a lebanese organization but this is only one facet of their existence. They are also a pan-islamic organization. In his last broadcast Nasarallah claimed he is fighting for the entire arab nations. If hizballah is so about Lebanon than why don't they try to release lebanese in syrian jails? Why Iran spends 100 million dolars a year on the hizballah, because Ahmednijad cares about Sheeba farms? Wake up Doha and see the world as it is. As long as Israel exists they will never disarm themselvs willingly.

Ghassan said...

I hope that you are not suggesting that the old status quo of a dysfunctional Lebanese state is what we have to look forward to and preserve. There is no need to keep on stating with each post that the Israeli aggression is painful, heartbreakinjg, difficult eo accept,disproportional ... But it seems we always need to be reminded that it has always been up to us, the Lebanese, to grow up, act responsibly and to at least have the spine to order HA just like we would order any other group that holds itself above the law that it must hand in its arms otherwise it would continue to be in violation of all the laws of the land. Had we done that then we would not be facing these trying times. It is never too late to do the right thing and attempt saving the country by denouncing any group that refuses to abide by the laws of the land. It is high time that we act as mature people who are not always waiting for others to save us. Godot might never show up!!!

Doha said...

lebexile,

you must understand that by condemning Israeli attacks on Lebanon that does not mean that I endorse Hezbollah. Just to be clear!

Doha said...

shmulik,

of course we're in a conundrum...how to disarm Hezbollah on our own, when we're a weak state. dialogue seems to not have worked. what next? what will happen after the attacks are over? i asked these questions in another post. how will the lebanese face hezbollah? how will we face a hezbollah that violated the democratic game by assuming to speak for all of Lebanon when it decided to move ahead with waging a war on Israel in the name of the "Umma"?

these are tough questions that yes, we need to answer ourselves.

nuggs said...

Doha,

Thanks. Sorry I could of sworn I read a speech by Siniora that stated support for Hezbollah. I guess I am wrong.
Can Lebanon be drawn up into voting districts that at least to reduce the power of the pro hezbollah block. What about absorbing Hezbollah into the Lebanese army and diluting their power that way?

Thanks,

Nuggs

Poul said...

> you must understand that by condemning Israeli attacks on Lebanon that does not mean that I endorse Hezbollah. Just to be clear!

but you don't provide any alternative, and therefore supply an implicit endorsement to hizballah.

tomer said...

"In order to be able to deal with this crisis, the world must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria and to continue to work to isolate Iran." Please tell me if you see the word Lebanon anywhere. It's not about Lebanon; it's about Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria.


As an Israeli, I can say that the feeling here, at least from what I gather from those around me is that is ISN'T about Lebanon, it IS about the Hezbollah.

Nobody here has anything against Lebanon as a country, and those of us who understand that the Lebanese government couldn't disarm the Hezbollah even if they wanted too, feel very bad about the situation.

Lebanon has not been sold out, it's been caught in the middle,

I honestly and truly hope that when there is peace between our two countries, Israel will help rebuild Lebanon economically and physically.

Shmulik said...

Doha
The problem is that in the second the hizballah have crossed the border the "hizballah question" is no longer an internal lebanese question.

Sir Sefirot said...

shmulik, man, glad to see you here :D

"I mean, is this for real? Does Krauthammer truely think that the Israeli army will "hand" south Lebanon to the Lebanese army as a gift? Since when such scenario took place anywhere, that a state which occupied another country for close to 20 years, will return to invade that once-occupied country to fulfill its mission and then hand this country back its territories?"

Germany, Japan, Philipines, Gaza, etc. You get the drill. Has happened, will happen again. That your civilization is not familiar with it doesn't mean WE are not familiar with this kind of actions.

And well, following the topic, in REAL countries it's the army who watches the borders, not militias. If you aspire to be a modern country anytime soon, you should begin working on that. If that means "marginalizing" one minority of the population, do it. It's their problem. We've done the same in Spain with the terrorist organization ETA, and it works.

Doha said...

Poul said...

> you must understand that by condemning Israeli attacks on Lebanon that does not mean that I endorse Hezbollah. Just to be clear!

but you don't provide any alternative, and therefore supply an implicit endorsement to hizballah.

Poul, obviously you're a newcomer and have never read the blog.

Shay said...

Doha - a Conundrum indeed. Interestingly, Israel as it was being born had a very similar problem, with the right-wing militants who wanted to stay a militia and not join the IDF.
In an operation still controversial to this day, commanded by the young Yitzhak Rabin, our own HA disarmament problem went sinking into the sea.

See The Altalenta Affair for an important historical lesson.

Doha said...

You know, it's tiring sitting here and just explaining over and over things that are well-known and givens to the Lebanese. Hey, you Lebanese! Please as you read, comment more.

Lirun said...

this is something we often face as israelis.. people tell us how wrong we are.. but no one ever provides an effective alternative solution to our problem..

unfortunately this promotes our fortress mentality and reduces our interest in international opinion.. which ironically is the very force that often is best placed to resolve our concerns..

while i believe in the necessity of a response to the HA attacks - i also believe that our treatment of this conflict is somewhat archaic.. we are behaving a little like a warrior nation of last century..

israel has ethical issues over exploiting suffering for press and is pathetic at public relations.. i was watching the HA spokesperson on BBC this morning.. he was like some trendy tv personality - bouncing around like a youth appeal guru.. i was in awe at their expertise.. HA can sell pain like its going out of fashion.. israel on the other hand is totally incompetent at explaining and externalising its pain - as profound as it may be..

the problem is that the war is most effectively won through the media and yet we focus so heavily on conventional/traditional carnage and pain..

it is so limited in benefits with the main affect - in this case - being the death of our dear neighbour..

i believe unequivocally in my right to self defence but i do wish it was exercised in a smarter way..

i think it comes back maybe to the omnipresent issue of trust..

lirun
tel-aviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

Shay said...

Poul:

George Orwell once said (”As I Please,” Tribune, 8 December 1944):

“We are told that it is only people’s objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are ‘objectively’ aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the ‘objectively’ line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore ‘Trotskyism is Fascism’. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people’s motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions.”

nuggs said...

Doha,

Sorry. I didn't mean to irritate you. I am sure you have better things to do than answer my questions. No offense intended. I will ask someone else. Keep up the great work.

Thanks,
Nuggs

CatoRenasci said...

If Lebanon has been sold out, it is by Hezbollah and the politicians who would not deal with it.

Here are the hard facts. No blame, because I know the Lebanese are so divided and weak they cannot do anything about Hezbollah, but fact. Hezbollah has attacked a sovereign state from your territory. Some of your people support Hezbollah. Hezbollah is in the government, and your President supports Hezbollah.

Only problem is that the country Hezbollah attacked has lost its willingness to be attacked without going to war.

You rail at the Israelis because they're attacking Lebanon. Well, what have the Lebanese done to isolate and identify Hezbollah so that the Israelis could easily distinguish between Hezbollah and its supporters, and the rest of Lebanon.

Having failed to do anything to stop Hezbollah yourselves, or to identify them for the Israelis, the Lebanese can hardly claim any right to tell the Israelis where they can attack and where they can't. That's a question of miltitary and political judgment for the Israelis.

The calculus for the West has changed since the last time the West restrained the Israelis. We face an increasingly militant Iran, busily trying to acquire nuclear weapons and threatening constantly to destroy Israel. Hezbollah is an Iranian/Syrian proxy. The Syrians have WMD - though not nukes - and are thoroughly nasty characters. The Israelis - and probably the US - have concluded that these people really mean to kill us. There is basis to negotiate with them.

When you're faced with someone who wants to kill you, your alternatives are limited. You can try to isolate the threat, you can surrender and be killed, or you can kill those who threaten you. Isolation has not worked. And, the Israelis are not going to let themselves be killed quietly again.

So, Hezbollah has got to go. This will not be the status quo ante where Hezbollah can rearm, refit, and try again. The Israelis mean to deal Hezbollah such a blow that it cannot recover, to kill every Hezbollah fighter they can find. Of course, Hezbollah fighters hide among their 'civilian' supporters and among genuine civilians.

So, it's not that the world has abandoned the Lebanese who don't support Hezbollah, but that the countries that count have decided that the Israelis have every right to take out Hezbollah. Lebanon is in the line of fire because that's where Hezbollah resides.

No one wants to see civilians killed or your country destroyed. But, we do want to see Hezbollah destroyed. And, we want to see Hezbollah destroyed more than we don't want to see Lebanese hurt.

Utter defeat is the only thing that will stop Hezbollah. If most Lebanese do not wish to go down with Hezbollah, you must actively dissociate yourselves from Hezbollah. No one is asking you to like the Israelis, just not to attack them or support those who do.

If the only way to stop Hezbollah is to kill every single Hezbollah 'member' and supporter, then that's what has to happen. Usually, when a party is utterly defeated, anihilation to the last man is not necessary. But, if it is, so be it.

Carthage is the classic example. Rome fought Carthage for three hundred years. Even after defeat, Carthage kept attacking the Romans. Finally, the Romans had enough. The city was razed, the men killed, the women and children sold into slavery, the ruins were put to the plow (signifying the end of its existence as a city) and the earth was salted. A Carthegenian peace.

Make no mistake, the West - if only the United States ultimately - is unwilling to let itself be subject to WMD attack by Islamic fascists. As it becomes clearer and clearer that the only way to stop Iran and its proxies is to kill them, ultimately - maybe after we've lost a city to a nuke - the West will lose its inhibitions and reply in kind.

Very sad.

We have a saying:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of the horse, the rider was lost.
For want of the rider, the battle was lost.
All for the want of a horesehoe nail.

Small things have a big impact. Lebanon has many friends who will help you rebuild - but only after Hezbollah is eliminated.

JMP said...

On the contrary, it seems to me that it was Lebanon that sold itself out when it decided to embrace terrorists as part of its government.

Solomon2 said...

Since when such scenario took place anywhere, that a state which occupied another country for close to 20 years, will return to invade that once-occupied country to fulfill its mission and then hand this country back its territories?

Since Israel handed back the Sinai to Egypt of course. Since Israel handed back Gaza to its non-Jewish inhabitants...

I think Arabs find it hard to accept this because they can't conceive themselves acting that way. Isn't everyone supposed to be as bad as everyone else, when given the chance?

Let's do a thought experiment. Take two men and two women. One of the men and one of the women are convicted thieves murderers. The other two are known to be law-abiding and moral citizens who have never offended anybody or stolen anything.

I separate the two, putting the murderous couple in one house and the innocent couple in the other. Now I stand outside on the street and point to the respective homes and say: these people here are worse than those people over there.

So it's logically possible that some peoples are worse than others. In fact, it would be surprising if different peoples were exactly as good as one another. How, then, does one judge the difference?

Sir Sefirot said...

There's a couple of ways that have been used for ages to measure this: Statistics, and History. And I don't mean, the one who wins is the best - If it was this way, Germany would be waaaay better than Poland, France, and a hell of a lot of countries - Same with Russia, Japan, etc... It's more subtle than that. But the signs are there if you know how to read them.

ganzo azul said...

Syria Comment
Here's how Lebanon will be sold out: "convince the Americans to provide [Syria] with economic aid and perhaps to gently back off on Assad regarding the Hariri assassination, Syria, with all its weakness, can be a stabilizing force in the region.

Ai said...

i am sitting far from those 2 countries, yet i do belong to one of them.
every day i am facing the terrible, horrible news with great sadness.
people keep on asking me what do i think? which side do i take? who is right? whose fault is that? how long back is it going? and other questions that people like to ask.

and i am thinking to my self, none of my answers will have any importance in this situation.
as i feel that the only question to be asked is- when will we, human, will learn to find the love that god gave us, the forgiveness, the compassion in order to leave the hate and revenge behind us.
as it does nor matter any more who is right in this fight, who started and for what reason.

people are getting killed and hurt in both sided, the countries are being destroyed and the lost is big in both sides, now, and for the long future to come.
After all, don't we all have the same feelings, aren't we all sorry and hate this situation? we are all people- isn't it?
we are all the same.
did we forgot that?
is the only important thing now is the differences between us? the different culture, religious, which side of the fence we were born at?

then why do we keep on fighting, adding more and more hate that just will go on to our children, into more revenge, and more wars.
and in this way, when will the peace arrive.
will it come when nothing left anymore to fight for? when every one will be dead wounded, and the countries will be completely destroyed?

I wish there was a way to change all that.
to learn (from the Cambodians, the Vietnamese?) how to put the hate and anger of so many years behind us. how to forget the past and look forward to the future.
to let the love come in. the love that come from Jesus, from Muhammad, from the Jewish god, from Buddha....
and stop that war.
what are we fighting for?
for our rights? for who is right?
are we fighting for our life or for our death?
are we fighting for a land that will never belong to us, as it belong to this universe, to god?
then why do we fight?
i know it sounds so naive asking all those questions, asking to stop the war with love.
but then again, is the way that we use now. the way of war and hate, endless killing, fear and death .
does it make more sense?

stateroom said...

This crisis represents a rare, perhaps irreproducible, opportunity.

Every important party in the region and in the world, except the radical Islamists in Tehran and their clients in Damascus, wants Hezbollah disarmed and removed from south Lebanon so that it is no longer able to destabilize the peace of both Lebanon and the broader Middle East.???

Everyone agrees it must be done. But who to do it? No one. The Lebanese are too weak. The Europeans don't invade anyone. After its bitter experience of 20 years ago, the United States has a Lebanon allergy. And Israel could not act out of the blue because it would immediately have been branded the aggressor and forced to retreat.

Hence the golden, unprecedented opportunity. Hezbollah makes a fatal mistake. It crosses the U.N.-delineated international frontier to attack Israel, kill soldiers and take hostages.???

The road to a solution is therefore clear: Israel liberates south Lebanon and gives it back to the Lebanese.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/18/AR2006071801379.html

stateroom said...

If Israel were to tell its citizens to stop hiding in bomb shelters as effectively as they have been and if its attacks had been less successful at degrading the terror capability of Hezbollah, and if more Israeli civilians--say 100 or 200--had been killed by the more than 1,000 rockets that have been launched at them from Lebanon, would the world's journalists and government leaders that now suggest that Israel's efforts to stop Hezbollah may be (or are) "disproportionate" change their minds?

Journalists aren't always so interested in "proportion," though. CNN reports from Baghdad that "more than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that 'killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread' in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says."

But as the New York Sun's Daniel Freedman notes, the network omits some important context:

Reader Erik Sass writes:

`I did some math and the invasion is still coming out ahead (that is, behind) in number of people killed through war and terror. For Saddam, with a million notches on his belt, war and terror were just a cost of doing business.

Saddam ruled 1979-2003 and killed a million Iraqis. That's about 42,000 Iraqis a year, on average. If the UN rate holds up, it will be a total of about 28,000 per year.

And of course the bigger difference is that these deaths are unfortunate consequences of freeing the country from tyranny. Saddam's killings were to maintain that tyranny.`

Likewise, Israel is defending itself against Hezbollah's wanton attacks. Every civilian death, on either side of the border, is regrettable, but the ultimate blame for them falls on the aggressors, namely Hezbollah and its patrons.

Grace said...

i've been watching this blog for the past few days, reading the same political arguments over and over and over.
Doha said "Again and again, Lebanon's fate is to be the house of others' conflicts. My father in despair said over the phone: "I've been living outside my country for 30 years; my fate is to continue living away for the rest of my life!" It is almost like waiting for Godot...and Godot never ever comes. I feel with you, Baba, and I wish I can do something."
my heart is broken.

stateroom said...

Tarek Hamo, [a] prominent Arab commentator, mocked Nasrallah, drawing parallels between him and ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. "The statements of Hassan Nasrallah remind me of the statements made by Saddam Hussein on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq," he said. "Saddam, whose army generals fled their positions in Baghdad just before the invasion, also issued threats to destroy the Americans if they entered Baghdad. Nasrallah is now in hiding and his fate won't be better than that of Saddam, whose was hiding in a deep hole."

Paul Edwards said...

Yes, Israel will leave southern Lebanon as a gift, EXACTLY like it did in 2000. It is a myth that Hizbullah drove out the Israelis. The basic problem here is that you and your countrymen are SUBJUGATORS. This is the NATURAL state of humans. Subjugate or be subjugated. To overcome this nature, we need to teach people to not subjugate. Westerners have not been taught this directly (unfortunately) which is why rape (a form of subjugation) still occurs. But via indirect teaching they have picked up "don't subjugate". Anglophones, also via the indirect teaching of "fight for freedom" have picked up "FIGHT subjugation".

This one word, "subjugate", contains the secret for solving all the world's problems. It means control/enslave. To force someone to SUBMIT to your rule. NATO is a NATURAL alliance of anti-subjugators and non-subjugators allied against any potential subjugator. I am in the TRIBE of anti-subjugators. This is a worldwide tribe that transcends race/religion/sex/nationality. You get into it by saying "yes" to the following sentence:

I pledge allegiance to use my brain to fight subjugation of my species - do you?

For more information see www.moatazilla.org

Lazarus said...

doha,

it was never about lebanon. it never will be. we have to realize that, and learn how to fend for ourselves.

stateroom said...

Very true. It`s `subjugate` and `submission` as far as these God`s Army (Hizb, Hamas) supporters are concerned. It`s the same all over the world - Indonesia, India, Chechnya, China, Sudan, Somalia etc.

And the fanatic, obese, warped liberals at the CNN, BBC and other media encourage them.

At counter-terrorism:
Hizballah Activity in North America
By Andrew Cochran

Brian Hecht of The Investigative Project on Terrorism has prepared a quick reference guide to major Hizballah and Hizballah-linked illegal activity in the United States, Canada and Mexico:

http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/07/hizballah_activity_in_north_am.php

Whither The Fool? said...

You've been sold out, all right...by your politicians who allowed unfettered immigration of Muslim riff-raff into your beautiful nation, and who have allowed terrorists to operate at will within her borders.

Now, it's like you have a hideous communicable disease that has to be rooted out lest it infect all around you.

I sorrow for you, but I don't see any way out--unless you want to stage Cedar Revolution II aimed at throwing out Hamas and Hizbollah.

Fighting Sullyvan said...

Doha - Many supporters of Israel are heartbroken about Lebanon's suffering. Lebanon and Israel promise to be future allies and the people will surely grow closer once the likes of Hezbollah have been marginalized and the healing process has had time to work. I for one will be donating as much money to Lebanon's reconstruction as I will to Israel's. That is, of course, assuming the Lebanese combat Hezbollah and do not allow themselves to be subjugated by these facists.

lior50 said...

Dear neighbor
we dont have nothing with the lebanon peoples only with hizaballa,
the hizballa think israel its nothing and they want to kills all of us, ok now he feels what we can do and its only a litle from what we can realy do so if the lebanon peoples realy wants peace why you give the hizballa the force to do this terror WHY? now we will finish this hizballa.
we want peace and i call all the lebanon who wants peace go out to kills the hizballa and then we
will eat toghter humos in tel aviv and beyrut
lior
petah tikva

Mirvat said...

why do they call us lebanonians?

kachumbali said...

to all Israelis and their quarrel 'only' with Hizballah:

Hizballah is more than just 600-1200 fulltime fighters, Hizballah is also a political party with considerable popular support in Lebanon.

You cannot 'finish' Hizballah, your military will fail even in eliminating its rocket arsenals. Listen carefully to the change in tone of Israeli military and government spokesmen: they have changed their wording in the last few days from eliminating Hizballah to seriously handicapping their operations. They have started to come to terms with the reality of Lebanon, as they should have been from the start.

I recommend you read 'Israel's Lebanon War' bei Ehud Yaari and Ze'ev Shiff (hope the names are spelled right), both reporters from Haaretz (Ze'ev Shiff still is if I am not mistaken). I am not refering to the way the war broke out, but to the political and military miscalculations and errors made concerning Lebanon. The polical and military forecasts were incredibly wrong at that time, and I do not know what should have changed in that respect since 1982 in Israel. Pay special attention to the gloomy foreboding of the two authors in the last chapter of the book, consider that with the events leading up to this crisis in the back of you mind, and you'll see that Lebanon's political landscape cannot be changed by force, same as with the Palestinians or any people anywhere.

You should have invested some of the 50 Million Shekels this war costs you daily in the national Lebanese dialogue over the last year or so, and made some more friends on the other side against extremist elements. Instead, the chances for a civil war in Lebanon rise daily.

Oh, by the way, I hope someone here is interested in a more scientific analysis of the involvement of Iran with Hizballah, in my eyes there's a lot of conspiracy theories being propagated on both sides on this.

http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/060715_hezbollah.pdf

Mirvat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kachumbali said...

by the way, risking to sound cynical to some ears, me and some Lebanese friends have a dream:

one day, in the hopefully not so distant future, to take a car and make a roadtrip from Tel-aviv, Haifa to Batroun via Beirut, visit a couple of bars on the way...hope I won't be too old for a drink when that's possible...

mady said...

LISTEN
WE KNOW ISRAEL DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN LEBANON. WE KNOW YOU HAD ENOUGH NIGHTMARES IN OUR COUNTRY. WE KNOW THAT YOU REALIZE THAT WE HATE YOU AND WE KNOW THAT YOU HATE US. WE WILL FOR A LONG TIME ESPECIALLY AFTER THESE EVENTS.
EMOTIONS ASIDE. YOU WANT TO GET RID OF THE HIZB, FINE, WE DO TOO. THAY HAVE BEEN NOTHING BUT TROUBLE. THEY FIGHT ON OUR LAND FOR A CAUSE THAT IS NOT OURS. WE HATE THEM TOO. BUT, WHAT YOU DID JUST LET EVEYTHING EXPLODE POLITICALLY. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN REALLY GET RID OF THEM. AT THE SAME TIME, NOTHING JUSTIFIES MURDER AND KILLING AND MASS TERROR. BUT THIS IS POLITICS AND WAR AND IT'S NOT NEW FOR ISRAEL TO BE A GOVERNMENT OF AGGRESSION AND TERROR EVEN IN YOUR OWN WORDS. I STILL AM NOT CONVINCED THAT IT WILL BE OVER. I DON'T THINK HIZB WILL BE OVER THIS WAY. ONLY THE LEBANESE PEOPLE WILL DIE, THE PEOPLE WHO WANT LIFE AND PEACE AND WHO ARE, YES WEAK AS A GOVERNMENT, DON'T FORGET WE'VE HAD WAR FOR 30 YEARS, OF COURSE WE'RE WEAK. WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A FREAKIN' ARMY. BUT NOW WHAT?
THE HIZB WILL BE GONE? REALLY?
THE LEBANESE GOVERNMENT WILL BE IN CHARGE?
SYRIA WON'T COME BACK?
WE'LL ALL LIVE IN PEACE AND PROSPERITY?
I CERTAINLY HOPE SO.
CERTAINLY DIDN'T WORK FOR IRAQ!

stateroom said...

`Your children come from you but are not of you,
They are of life`s longing for itself.`

That, if I remember correctly is from Khalil Gibran.
It is true that Hizb is very entrenched. But that is on acoount of them having the arms etc and being able to force their will on defenceless Lebanese. However, as happened with the Baath Party in Iraq, they can be shown to be useless appendages. Even Syria in 1982 killed 30,000-40,000 islamic radicals in Hama.
There already are reports of Lebanese village residents fighting the Hizb who prevent them from leaving the bombardment areas.
Haaretz is generally a paper along the lines of the UK Guardian. Liberal bleeding hearts.

stateroom said...

Israel Under Fire
A look at some of the myths and facts following Hezbollah's attack on Israel.

http://honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/Israel_Under_Fire.asp

kachumbali said...

hmm...of course Haaretz is liberal...that's the point, isn't it? ;)

And about Hama: you're right, the islamist radicals were crushed there, but:

1. they still exists
2. genocide is not an option, is it? Of course Israel could just nuke Sour, or shoot everyone wearing yellow, but that's not really the idea, isn't it?


If something about Hizballah should change, that must come from Lebanese society(s).

Terry Crane said...

With Adulthood comes Responsibility, and that is something I cannot detect from this Lebanese blogger. It is all about what Israel is doing wrong, and what Americans are doing wrong, sometimes even what Hezbollah is doing wrong - but never what they done wrong. Yes, people of Lebanon were removed from the issue, by their own government. Your Prime-Minister was repeatedly refusing to take control over South Lebanon, YOUR territory! You army was AFRAID to disarm a terrorist organisation. You had Hezbollah territories off-limit to your Army and Police, yet nothing was off-limits for them. You agreed to be poor relatives in your own country, and now compain for the lack of respect. You cannot prevent Hezbollah from parking missile launchers in your neighbourhood, and pretend that this is normal, so you have to blame Israelis bor blasting that launcher. Sorry, but - pathetic.

blogagog said...

"...the chances for a civil war in Lebanon rise daily."

I was under the impression that this was the goal of Israel. Israel would destroy Hezbollah's ability to fight, and then the rest of Lebanon would rise up and give Hezbollah and it's supporters the boot from Lebanon. And then the Lebanese could be free to live in peace, and Israel would have lasting peace on it's northern border.

From what I've read on your Lebanese blogs, the non-Hezbollah Lebanese are either unwilling to do this, or believe it to be impossible. I'm very sad for Lebanon and Israel.

stateroom said...

`If something about Hizballah should change, that must come from Lebanese society(s).`

That`s what I say too. But they need all the help - not from Iran or Syria tho`

LebExile said...

Mady:

Dont get too excited, Hezbollah will be finished. There is nobody in Lebanon who will even consider him or herself a Hezbollah supporter after the death they have brought on the nation.

Dont forget, Hezbollah only went into politics so they can defend their resistance - I am still to this day not exactly sure what they are resisting???

Anyhoo, There is certainly no comparison with what is happening in Iraq to what is going on today in Lebanon. In Iraq, they are going through what we went through in 75, it will probably take them as long as it took up too. We on the other hand have a proxy army of Iran fighting Israel from Lebanon. There can be no ceasefire, not unless you negotiate one with the Iranians - that is why this will not end until Hezbollah are totally destroyed, both militarily and politically - if the reporting is remotely accurate - they have already lost half their weapons - in less than 1 week - what do you think if this drags on for 3 months??? what do you think will be left of them then???

I am 100% with Israel's stated goal of eliminating Hezbollah - although I would have liked to see fewer civilian casulties, that cant really be helped with the Hizb stopping people fleeing villiages, and seeking safety.

These people who are being trapped in the danger zone - who do you think they are??? these are their so called shia supporters.

Would you still support them after they do that to you?


I dont think so.
Thankfully, the people have developed a greater respect for their government, and it is the government that will take back control after this is all over - God willing.

mady said...

THE SHIAS ARE LEBANESE TOO.

mady said...

تقرير يومي : قال حزب الله إنه احتجز أكثر من 20 لبنانياً وفلسطينياً وصفهم بالجواسيس الذين كانوا يعملون لصالح اسرائيل بالضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت، كما احتجز ستة آخرين بمنطقة بعلبك شمال شرق بيروت مشيراً إلى أن المحتجزين كانوا يحددون إحداثيات لمواقع لكي يستهدفها القصف الإسرائيلي

SEE WHAT THEY DO? THEY'RE ACTING AS A GOVERNMENT. THEY'RE TAKING LEBANESE PEOPLE AS PRISONERS FR THE MERE FACT THAT THEY DON'T SUPPORT THEM.

US-Seattle said...

Hi all,
I must say I am impressed with the high level of discussion on this thread – congratulation to Doha.

I would like to make an observation:

1. Seems to me that Israel must state that if the 2 kidnapped soldiers are given back an immediate seas fire will go in affect.
This should be enough and considered successes as Hezbollah was not able to achieve its goals. And the dynamics are already have been changed even if not all the Katushas have been destroyed.
2. Hezbollah should (for their own good) offer to return the 2 soldiers back for a seas fire. If they do that it will put the pressure of the international community on Israel and will prove that the good of Lebanon as a whole is important to them.


The first Party ( Hezbollah or Israel ) The will take this advise and offer to lay arms for the return of the 2 Israeli solders will likely to score the most points in this complicated situation

yuri said...

If Hizballa fighters are patriotic lebanese people they could be part of lebanese army. Even with all their weapons. But they are patriots of The Grate World Islamic Revolution rather patriots of small mideast country.

Miron Horodi said...

Suppose a crazy Canadian kidnaps two americans without the Canadian government agreeing. The Canadian government wants to help, but they don't hold the americans. They also do not fight the kidnappers on their own. Bombs fly over Canada while innocent Canadians pay the price. In return rockets fly from Canada to the US. Now replace the scenario with Israel and Lebanon. Lebanon is one of the most beautiful countries in the region. No one wants war with them. Nevertheless, two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped into Lebanon, and their government does nothing. I am sure that returning the soldiers can stop this war in an hour or so, but the value of life is less important to Nasralla than to Israel. He is ready to fight untill all the people of Lebanon will be killed. He is not human. As long as the Lebanon people put up with this crazy being they will suffer.

yuri said...

US-Seattle
The war is not only for returning captured soldiers. Don't you think we lost 30 lifes for only returning 2 alive soldiers ? It's for changing the reality near Israel/Lebanon border.

Omer (israeli) said...

Iran will fight Israel till the last drop of Lebanese blood.

kachumbali said...

the soldiers were a pretext for both sides to start this war they have been preparing for in the last 6 years.

Israel is in a predicament:
it cannot stop the bombardment before Hezballah is practically eliminated, but bombardment alone won't do the job. Ground troups are risky, a Hezballah defeat not likely, home support would quickly wane in the face of mounting casualties. In any case, as long as Hezballah isn't eliminated, it can't stop. Hezballah can't really be eliminated, so prepare for some prolonged fighting. If Israel stops before it reaches its goals, questions will arise as to the 'why' of the current campaign. Hezballah would have won. Negotiations with Hezballah would mean that they have won, too, since this was their primary objective, and the whole bombing-campaign would have been worthless.

So, no negotiations between Israel and Hezballah possible, no cease fire in the near future. Israel is in the off-side and can't move back without politically loosing face.

kachumbali said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
2asdf1 said...

The last time a political party established an armed wing in a democracy was in 1921 Germany,
Hitler's SA ( not SS ).

yuri said...

to kachumbali

Right. But negotiations are possible between Israel and Lebanese government.
The cease fire is possible too, however siege on Lebanon will not be cancelled even by cease fire, so Lebanon still be pressured during negotiations.

No-More-War said...

1. Although it looks unlikely to you, I can Assure you that Israel and Israelis (all whom spoke with me) don't want any part of Lebanon. We just want peace in our land.
However, we will do everything in our hands to support this peace in our lands, including causing the unfortunate deaths to others.
Take responsibility on attacks coming from Lebanon, and you will enjoy peace too.

2. If you support the idea that a faction in a country will have an army that is seperate from the country's army, then you probably don't understand the concept of democracy, despite your claims.
In democracy, the state power is controlled by the public. military force is supposed to help that country preserve its power against outside threats, while police against inside threats.
Both powers belong to the country and operate by its name and sovereignity.

If they don't, it's not a democracy since the people don't have the power, only the tyrant who controls the army does.

mike said...

hello evryone there who is reading this letter. first of all i want to apologaize if my english not so well but ill try o.k. i bealive that u will understand evrything.
so, here it is, first of al my name is Mike and i am from israel from Nahariya. as u know Nahariya has boombed all the time even now thia city got the most boombs from all the citys. me myself thinking that its not good and not healty to enyone. alot of peaple dying ther both of sides a lot of destruction and its very bad. but u know what and i know deep in my heart that u r lebenonis who lives ther in the south u hate the Hizbala and dont want them there at all couse they r destroy your life there and threat u that hey will kill u and your family and i thing beacouse that u cant do nothing. so what i advising u to all the lebenonis that against that hizbala write here in the internet as more ull write as many peaple will indentify with us and maybe like that we will get out the fucking hizballa to syria!!!!! i know that u r not guilty at all, maybe a little that u dont fight with syria, maybe u r afraid from them but if u all will go and ull be against syria evrything could change. syria and eran r guilty with evrything eran suplay the money and syria the man to hizbala, this 2 countrys r need to "fix" them and kill al who threaten on the world.
and this is a big message to syria and eran, u r so week, so week that u already start to talk like chikens before someone came to u and talk with u, yes yes and remmember one thing and save it into your head for on's and all: israeli army is the best in the world it was always we r the best and we dont afraid nothing at all!!! maybe we r not suicide and not fanatik like u (hizbala) beacouse its not in our religene that "fanatik" word and even not in yours its something that u made it up, but dont worry this time its for real and this time its to the end and dont worry syria u r not so threat like u r show your self, and we and i and i bealive all the lebenonis pray that israel army will bombed u for once at all. dont worry it will come and when it will come..... u will see and u will cry so many tears will fall from u like the our and lebenonis tears that falling now at this days.

u know what i realy dont understand but all the world and i mean al the world have problem with the muslems why for got sick only with u? something is wrong with u gugs, maybe u want to rull of all over the world and if u cant so u go to other option to suicite, tis is good? ha?

D.B. Shobrawy said...

my heart really bleeds for you, after so many years of war and suffering Lebanon was turned around to be a shining center piece of Mid East democracy. Now 15 years of astounding progress has been whittled away in one week.

P.S. Mike from Israel needs to work on his english, no?

WhiteTower said...

Why doesn't Hezballah lay down its weapons and use peaceful non-violence, like Martin Luther King?

Oh, it's because they don't believe in peaceful non-violence.

john23 said...

Let me give you a POV, syria wants to get back into lebanon everyone knows that, they are using the hizbullah to do so and it looks like they have done a good job so far (you are hearing bombs all over right? So Do We !), so the fact is - terror is being done from the lebanise territory right ? the only way to deal with a goverment that cannot control its own territory is to control it ourselvs. im sure the lebanonic goverment knew very well that the south is being held by the hizbullah forces but they didnt do ANYTHING about it, even after solidres and civilians have been hijacked. im also sure that your goverment knew about all the arming of the hizbullah from syria and iran - and once again, did nothing about it. so in my opinion you have no right to cry out loud now becaus your goverment has brought this mess on you 6 years ago when they didnt do that the UN told them to do. Tuff Luck.

john23 said...

P.S - This is the end of every terroristic force, See Iraq.

NoWhereMan said...

Of course Lebanon was sold out. To the rest of the world it looks like Hezbollah is your master. Did you think Iran and Syria were giving them money for nothing? Now that innocent civilians are dieing the population wonders if it was such a good deal after all. Sitting around waiting for the rest of the world to rescue you from your own poor choice will not magically improve the situation.

While innocent individuals are paying the price, the politicians are jockeying for strategic advantage. Israel from day one said they are holding the Lebanese government accountable. The international community is standing by waiting for the Lebanese to help themself. If the Lebanese government will not protect it's own citizens from the actions caused by Hezbollah, why should any other nations step in. While some want to claim they are too weak to deal with Hezbollah others will look at the situation as 'natural selection' in progress.

nip said...

Doha,

I don't think there is a single person in Israel truly believing that we can completely destroy Hizballa.
We can seriously weaken Hizballa military capabilities, but eliminate it completely from the labanese map is a task that the Lebanese people will need to perform by themselves.
What really surprise me in this conflict is the lack of any demonstration against the Hizballa. Where are the million lebanese who demonstrated after Hariri assassination? The same party that was responsible for Hariri death (Syria) is now behind the latest Hizballa attacks (and Labanese suffering), but now it seems that Lebanese people are in solidarity with Syria.
I read in this blog Lebanese people stating that Lebanon is a weak state and thus can't fight Hizballa. Well you managed to fight off Syria and make its troops withdraw from your country after Hariri death. The mass demonstrations lead the western world to put heavy pressure on Syria.
Feeling weak and acting weak is two different things.
If you won't help yourself, nobody else will do it for you. From past experience of peace made with Egypt and Jordan you will find Israel an worthy ally for peace.

francois said...

well i participated to the 14 of march strikes last year

but i m starting to feel that the syrians were right about one point

first iraq... then lebanon... then syria ... then iran

there is a neo con theory about all what s happening here , read on the heritage fundation site 2 years ago

ll try to find back that article

Eran Tel-Aviv said...

It has to remembered that Hizb was not "invented" it was the easiest way for Iran and Syria to continue drawing blood from Israel at a low cost on the epxense of the lebanese people. Yes hizb received lots of money for social causes- but that was the genious ploy to asertain that the Shia will be pro Hizb. This is not the fualt of Israel this is the rslus of the weakness of the Lebanese government for 20 years and the Syrian way of kkeping lebanon on a tight leash for it's purposes. Haffez Assad saw Lebanon as a Syrian province and gilled the Lebanese institutions with his puupets like Lahoud and the Leb Army was a token forcr of the Syrian army. Lebanon was only the easy way for Syria to exchange blows with Israel while the Golan front remained quiet and UNDOF controls the NMZ there. Meanwhile Hizb boght out Amal as the rperesentitive of the Shia gave them them educational and health srvices where the leb state could not and thus we arrive with strong "legitamte" militia used by forigen powers on Lebanese territory for the sake of a confrentation which has nothing to do with the Lebanese state or people. Dont forget who did everything in its power to keep Syria in Lebanon - it was Hizbullah in the first place. So the so called occupation of the strip Israel hold in the south was not the reason for the exsistence of Hizb it was the main excuse. Now that Israel left that area and forsaken it's allies that wore loyal to it in Marjaoun, BintJbeil etc...Hizb turned that area in to a bbobie trap zone full of ammunition and bunkers. The Leb Army had no chance to patorl the south since that interfeared with Syrian and Iranian asspirations.After the withdraw in May 2000 when all the international community recognized the withdraw of every inch of Leb territory even to the absurdity of a villlage of Rajar located on the hazbani river which was stranded divided - one half Israel one half Lebanon in the most diffcult situation. Its residents - awali shia - hold Israeli Id. The new excuse for Hizb was Shaba farms - on the border between Lebanon and the Golan - de jure Syria de facto Israel....How convinient for the Assad regieme to continue bashing Israel over the Golan, when so cynically they were unwilling to allow a proper demarcation of the 1923 border beetwen Lebanon and Syria. If it wan't shabbaa or the prisomners Hizb would find a new excuse to attack israel - like the abandoned Shia villages from 1948 in the The Galilee or The 300,000 palestinan refugees in lebanon or just for the case of supporting Hamas - which is the palestinain equivilamnt of Hizb - also a weakness of the Palestinain authority to curb extremism. So there we have it folks, Hamas and Hizb operated from Damascus and orchestrated in Teheran to avoud a repreminder of its Nuclear ambitions in the g8...and who suffers - the weak link - Lebanon for most and israel which forces it's entire defensive capbaility against a neighpbor that cant even have the authority to patro lits back yard. I really weap for you lebanon....a land of such beauity and life caughtup in this trajic web. I have no real idea how this will all end. I can only hope there will be an end to suffering from both sides of this beautiful and bloody border.

yuri said...

Doha,
Everybody talks about lebanese army weakness. But do you really believe Hizballa will send their katyusha and fajr rockets on Beirut and Baalbek if you government try to envolve them in political process as demilitarized wing ?

radio666fm said...

What about Izrale? When the state of izrale was declared and the then occupants of PALESTINE were either kicked out, forced to leave, or became a subject people that was an act of war, so the latest skirmish is a continuation of that...as far as I'm concerned, izrale deserves no sympathy. Like America they use bullshit to justify whatever they do.

Which brings me to the question: if it's OK for another state to get rid of a "terrorist" organisation in another land, then why isn't it OK for the people in Palestine and indeed the Middle East to get rid of the terorrist state that was set up in their midst?

It's a bit like, America can have whatever IT wants, but is not OK for the rest of the world to have what it wants. Korea precipitates a crisis cos it develops nuclear arms, yet America builds them enmass, to reinforce its own sense of superiority. Ditto for izrale!

staticwarp said...

if the people of lebanon want peace with israel, why have they not risen up to destroy hizballah themselves? it is dangerous to keep playing this vengeance game. to say that hizballah started this conflagration with israel is wrong. this war has been raging between the arabs and the jews for hundreds of years. but the fact stands, hizballah abducted israeli soldiers, which they knew would provoke retaliatory attacks! can you blame israel for all of this? or can you lay some of this blame on the extremist militants of hizballah and hamas?

one questions burns in my mind: if there are arabs that want peace, why do they not scream as loudly as those arabs who want to kill all who do not agree with their views? why do they not join the resistance against ideological barbarism?

i know in my heart and mind that there are arabs, like all people, who would just like to live in peace and raise our families, live our lives as god intended! but how can we continue to play the blame game? as our innocents are slaughtered on all sides, our people continue to blame one state or another for the violence! now is a time for peace loving people to rise up against the violence. stamp out those ideas which cause death, and breed relationships of life. it is a double edged sword where the peaceful folk must destroy those who wish to wage war.

but i know that i am a dreamer. this will never happen, not in your country or mine. we will continue to wage petty wars, each people thinking he has god's blessing, while god looks on in shame at what we are doing in his name. i am sick and tired of the ignorance that allows such ideology to spread.

god damn the priests, god damn the imams, god damn the politicians and the weapons that keep us all in permanent conflict. god damn the holy books that man interprets in his own view.

god damn those who are willing to kill the innocent for their own gain.

when we are liberated from these bodies perhaps we will know truth. i await that day.

lebanese_in_paris said...

Please POST
=============
Journée Mondiale de Solidarité avec le Liban

Jeudi le 20/07/06 à 19:30
Lieu : Place de Cambronne
(Metro CAMBRONNE)


Chers compatriotes, chers amis du Liban,

Notre pays traverse en ces moments l’une des périodes les plus cruciales de son histoire.

Depuis le 12 juillet Le pays subit des bombardements de l’aviation israélienne, qui tuent des civils et qui détruisent les infrastructures du Liban.



Rassemblons-nous pour demander un cessez le feu immédiat


Rassemblons-nous pour demander à la communauté internationale d’aider le peuple libanais à recouvrer la paix et la souveraineté.


Rassemblons-nous pour réclamer haut et fort l’étendue de l’autorité de l’Etat sur tout le territoire libanais et pour dire que le Liban ne sera jamais plus utilisé par aucune faction quelle qu’elle soit.



Les forces du 14 mars vous invitent à participer massivement et activement à la Journée Mondiale de Solidarité avec le Liban



Soyons ensemble là pour dire notre indignation et notre volonté de vivre dans la paix et la dignité







Le Courant du Futur, Les Forces Libanaises, Mouvement de la Gauche Démocratique
Parti Kataëb, Parti Socialiste Progressiste, l'Union Libanaise Culturelle dans le Monde

3li- said...

To all the Israeli bloggers...

Almost to a person, your arguments are as dumb as your bombs, lots of collateral damage and nothing on target...Like your constant shelling, you manage to overwhelm our senses while having nothing to say...

We're tired of your worn-out clichés that have little to do with history, context, reality, honesty, or any attractive vision for the future...

Don't you guys have jobs to do? Not all of us live on generous subsidies from the US..

Take a break, you’re left to arguing with each other right now…This is so fitting…
..

box said...

Doha said: C'mon administrator, in a democractic society you have parties of all shapes and forms. And guess what? Sometimes those parties make it to the Parliament.
actually, that concept is pretty foreign to US democracy, as you know! we have no proportional representation whatsoever. at any rate, i'm convinced my US leaders HATE democracy. they can't do anything with it. when it comes to foreign nations, they want purchasability.

not for nothing, it seems like the only entity fighting israel is hezbollah - and lebanon is worth defending (as any sovereign country would be). for that reason, it seems hezbollah is taking care of the needs of the country. why be against that? because they have an anti-israeli manifesto? within a week, everyone on earth will have one. then what will israel do - pout?

amir said...

Dear Doha!

it's very easy to be the shining exsample for the state around you while closing your eyes and ignore what has been going on on your south border. Yet not everything that shines is gold.
It's amazing to see the huge ammount of misslies that you placed point to our country Israel during the last six years after our redruwel from beautifull Lebanon. and what for?
it was easy for you and the other lebanies to ignore the actions of Hizbulla.
During this six years we suffered from invasions to our country and missiles who been shoot from time to time but you were silent. You didn't protest because it was convinience to you. "The "Heroic" fighters of the Hizzbulla. are doing the "right thing" and shows the Isralies the "strong hand of Lebanon".
Your silence makes you not an innocent citizens but full co-operators. when someone see someone murders and do nothing and stand by and approve it he is responsible too.

The reason for us to invade Lebanon 2 decads ago was the activity of the P.l.O againts the state of Israel. Yasser Arafat created a state withing state while you were having your civil war. We at that time stayed in Lebanon to reassure that will be no missiles on Israel. Ironically our staying & the rise of the "Republic Islam of Iran" created the new fource of "Amal" and the extremers Hizzbulla.
It's seems that Israel forgot to get out anf forgot why it invade in the first place and the resistence of the lebanies was justified and the public opnion in Israel opposed to stay in Lebanon. mean while the fight of the P.l.o and the palestinians moved to the correct place which is Palestine-Israel. (THe Intifada)

Ironically what happened to Israel happened to Hizzbulla too. It seems that after our redruwal from Lebanon Hizzbulla focused on the same target when there was no target anymore. There for the organisation was about dissapear. If there is no Enemy... what become of him. (same happen to the Hamas and the Islamic jihad in gaza strip)
so you find and new redicolous target to continue the fighting as
"Shabaa farm"
Lebanies prisoners
and on and on.
You are afraid that Isarel will take territiries from Lebanon. let me assure you that in Israel there is a great opposition to the idea that we stay there this time.
an Isareli government who will decide such a decision will commite political suecide.
I didn't know if to cry or lough when I heard your prime minister declair that the army of Lebanon will spread in the south only if the lebanies prisoners will be relesed. do you realise the absurd? imagine Olmert say this thing to the Israelies: "we will give the I.D.F the opportunity to take control all over Israel just when Prisoner Ron Arad will return back."
It seems that your government began to develop a "palestinian symptom". on one hand supporting terror actions by doing nothing and on the other hand bagging for the world pittiness.
after Israel redrwel from Lebanon the Hizzbulla didn't point there wepone towords the syrians which still occupied Lebanon. and I wonder why?

The kiddnapp of the israeli soldiers from Israel territiry and the missiles whohas been drowing upon us it's an act of WAR.

In that kind of war and I'm sorry to sat it there is no different between civilians and soldiers. we know what we r tlaking about. for many years our citizens were bombed in the streets and were justified Targets for the terror organisation in the west Bank and Gaza and from Lebanon.

WE say "NO MORE"!

the equasion is changing.
If you want peace, fight your extremers. find the "balles" to do it. otherwise you'll suffer a lot.
In Israel we fouht our extremers The "Mitnahalim" and the Mitnahalim resistence.

Be strong and firm not for us. but for yourselves.

I'll end with saying that free and democratic society is a vision that I'm sharing. and i'll be very happy to see Free Lebanon from the long arm of bloody dictatory Syria And the medival IRAN through the Hizzbulla.
Pesonally I think that Israel should strike Damascus and Teheran because they are the real busturds.

yours

AMIR

Israel

Eran Tel-Aviv said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,
that is how it is in Blogspotistan - take it or leave it

nip said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,

When you say "We're tired of your worn-out clichés that have little to do with history, context, reality, honesty.." it's like saying bla, bla, bla. Facts my friends not just big words. Write some facts so we can respond to them.

We do have day jobs but still find some time to write here. And guess what, most of the Israeli bloggers are actually trying to be optimstic about the future of Israel and Lebanon, and from what I've read some of the Arab bloggers offer the same. I guess you failed to see that in our "dumb" arguments. Try to crawl out of the hate filled shell you are currently living in and try to boldly look at the people on the other side of the border. Make your own view of the world you live in. Don't be subjected to other people view, people that couldn't care less if you die tommorow by an Israeli bomb or by a Hizballa terrorist that prevent you from leaving the danger area to become a human shield. People from the Syrian and Iran government that plays you like puppets in their own private hugh "Risk" game.

yuri said...

Deaf Brother
We are not angels, but PLO was established in 1964 - before Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank. No one did kick us out from Sinai - we did it for peace with Egypt. And we made the some territory swaps with Jordan. And even during 20 years of our presence in Southern Lebanon we did not build there single jewish settlement, cause that was not our purpose at all. Both Egypt and Jordan support palestinians but it does not prevent peaceful relations between our countries. I met my wife during trip in Sinaj, so my children are actually fruits of peace. Why can't we have same relations with Lebanon ? Who prevents it ?

Saar Katalan said...

To Al-Ghadabulsaati3, , It seems like your hate is getting out of your eyes. Lebanon was blinded that “Hizbollah will protect it”. Well, He’s not suppose to, after all…. It’s a terror organization that lives from pulling out fear and destruction to other nations. Everyone hates Hizbollah! Israel wouldn’t attack in Lebanon if Hizobollah wasn’t there. It’s so ironical that you guys were blinded by Nasralla’s promises.
Where’s the common sense of living in peacefully. I should ask, why does Hizbollah is in Lebanon although it’s Syrian and although it’s sponsored by the terror supporters? Is that making any sense? I don’t think so my friends. You guys should verify what you guys are saying about this subject. Hizbollah wasn’t and will not be Lebanon’s defender. You guys got your our army to protect you and to resist to Hizbollah’s control in your own area. Your government was playing them as eyed-cute and didn’t do a thing about Hizbollah. Remember there’s nothing fair in WAR. But, as long, as the Hizbollah will continue his actions and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and damage our cities and citizens. We won’t play the waiting game.
We won’t shut against Hizbollah’s radical actions and movement. No, that’s not for us. I really wanted peace, but 1 day you all will learn from Egypt and Jordan that there’s a possible to MAKE PEACE AND LIVE IN HARMONY! JEWISH PEOPLE WITH MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS. But 1 small group is enough to avoid this – and that’s VERY SAD FOR ME AND FOR ALL. Keep that in your mind, if you were we, you would do the same. Count on it.

staticwarp said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3 said...
"Not all of us live on generous subsidies from the US.."

actually, many of you (people in countries other than US, in addition to illegal migrants residing here) do live on our subsidies. i dont know where you are from, but perhaps you do not yet know that the united states of america is the number one provider of foreign aid to every country on this planet? not that throwing money at the problems has ever solved anything. the people we help only allow their leaders to continue their tirades against us, fostering ignorance and malcontent worldwide. and while you may not get our money, i imagine you are perfectly happy with the qassam rockets and katyusha missiles from other more lucrative states? your hate is misdirected, sir.

amir said...

Deaf brother!

not only that you are deaf you are also blind.
seeing Israel as a state which should not exist in this region is reciepy for ever lasting war. your opinions shows that you are blinded by hate and you won't let facts to change your world (such as the existing of the jews for 4000 years in that region part of the time as an indipendent nation)
nobody ciked the palestinias out. the arab nations in '48 and the palestinians did not want to accept our existence and went to war with one aim: to exterminate us.
If you want to live, let live.

3li- said...

Nip,

Where does one begin with your optimism? After you lay waste to a whole country? Is it the same optimism the Palestinian population in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and numerous refugee camps shares with you?

Box has numerously shot back your arguments, your tired, empty arguments, and has told you repeatedly that actions speak louder than words. Your track record, I am sorry to say, leaves little to be optimistic about...

You have been told again and again that the present crisis did not start last week; it started over 60 years ago. You came from foreign lands; usurped Palestine from its owners, and kicked them out. Many Palestinians fled, some to Lebanon. The crisis, now as before, between Lebanon and "Israel" is because you refuse to own to the injustice you visited upon the Palestinians, and the misery you continue to deal them. What do you plan to do with the ½ million Palestinians living in Lebanon? Do you see at all how their plight is one part of the “historical context” your successive governments have repeatedly denied to the detriment of all involved, including Lebanon?

So stop talking about this being the Hizb’s fault, and how if it weren’t for the Hizb harassing the 3rd or 4th mightiest nation on earth is the reason you've dropped the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb on Lebanon, to "save it,” per your twisted logic.

That’s why we’re tired of your empty rhetoric. Either you’re ignorant, or are deliberately manipulating the issue conveniently choosing to lay aside the real reasons for this conflict.

Also stop bringing Syria and Iran into this. They have their interests I am sure, but the core problem, the injustice against the Palestinians and their very great suffering which continues to de-stabilize Lebanon and the whole region, is of your own making. Neither Iran nor Syria invented it. Our problems with you are real, and unless you are willing to own up to them I am afraid you’ll be blaming the next crisis on some other “foreign” entity, Chavez of Venezuela perhaps; anyone or anything to distract the eyes of the world from the real issue and absolve you from any responsibility.

3li- said...

Staticwarp,

Israel, even though it enjoys one the highest per capita incomes in the world, receives the largest aid package from the US of any country in the world...

You can follow this link to begin a little education:

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/July_2006/0607016.html

Eran Tel-Aviv said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,
even though i see my self as a peacenik a suporter of peace in the region inlcuding heavy territorial concessions form our side, when i hear your words you remind me of the same idiot leaders in 1947 that rejected the partition plan and commited the palestinians to a terrible fate and disaster which is continuing for over 60 years. I pity you and your extremism that shows no chance for any sloution of the palestinan problem. You commit your people and your region to continued bloodshed and with no hope. shame on you. The middle east deserves better than that- We are the cradle of modern civilization. we are the levant. Jews and arabs are here to stay and and live together. We have one state you have 22. Or do you think we wil dissapear like the crusaders? Or maybe better you would encourage that iran drop a nuclear bomb on Palestine the killing all the israeli and palestinians and making the land unfit to live for thousands of years? what is the vision of somebody who is blinded by hate and deaf from roaring guns.

3li- said...

Eran-

I am tired of arguing with you guys..

You have not even read what I said, and only assumed my position.

I only asked you to own up to your part-Typically you don’t-you just shoot back about how Arabs did not agree to foreigners taking their land from them!!!!

And who said anything about Iran nuking you? Another ploy to shut down the whole conversation..

And I, as an Arab, do not belong to 22 countries (another-surely unintended-racist jab). I am Lebanese, and for your info, would not feel at home living in a Gulf state. It is not my country, my culture, my climate (I need not name all the reasons)…Palestinians also want to go back home, to the land they know , to their history, their memories. You feel comfortable lumping us all together? Do we all look alike to you?

My vision if you must know so that you stop distracting from the argument, and one not born of hatred, but by sober thinking that I had to come to over many years, is that Israelis and Palestinians live together, including the refugees, in one state. I still know that this was never your land, but had to accept the practical realization that this is the only way things can work out to stop the cycle of violence. You are not going anywhere, but neither are the Palestinians. Destroying Lebanon and blaming the Hizb, will not make that reality disappear. At this point, Israel, with its unmatched power, owns all the options, but they have decided that overwhelming force is the only way to deal with its adversaries, including literally wiping Lebanon off the map, the abduction of the two soldiers notwithstanding.

So, sober up, and maybe begin thinking about you role in all of us; and stop your condescending and puerile lecturing to us that if only we can take on the Hizb, and say no to Iran and Syria, that Manna will start falling from the sky.

Eran Tel-Aviv said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,

You live in the past and that is where you prboably find comort. The world has gone and left you behind with your hate and oblselet ideas. Even the palestinans have opted for a better future than what you inflict on yourslf. I'm proud to be an Israeli, I'm proud to have country that can defend itself. Your stubborness will not break our will to live in pieace in the levant and the middle east. I weep for Lebanon. May be after this round you will have the sense to learn from the lesson of post Yugoslavia and start getting your country in order than nobody will have any reason to invade you and we can continue with our lives.

SloganMurugan said...

In the 1971 Bangladesh war, India retreated from East Pakistan after invasion. This led to the creation of Bangladesh in what was East pakistan.

Rex said...

The simple fact remains:

If Hezbollah laid down its weapons the bombing of Lebanon would cease. As witnessed by Isreal's restraint up until 9 days ago. If Isreal laid down it's weapons Hezbollah would continue to fire rockets.

Would this not be the case?

Doha said...

"You've been sold out, all right...by your politicians who allowed unfettered immigration of Muslim riff-raff into your beautiful nation"

What??? "unfettered immigration of Muslim riff-raff", from where? Lebanon always had Muslims and Christians living in it. I'm just amazed by what some commentors here. My God!

Dan said...

As an Israeli I will reveal you the greatest strategic secret of Israel. In all my life I have not seen a person in Israel who would harbour any enimosity towards Lebanon and wish to cause it any harm. To the contrary, we are rather fond of you and sympathetic with your vision. This war is a complete idiocy. Yet it's not our fault - we were forced to react since we were continiously attacked. The occupation is no more. Samir Quntar is not a freedom fighter, he killed in the cold blood the whole Israeli family, including children. Is he the kind of person you would sacrifice everything for. If your answer is yes than you had it coming, if no you shold deal with your "resistance" fellows. I feel great sorrow, but you have to know that if you keep a wild animal in you house and it bites you neighbour it's you who will have to pay the bill.

Anyway, I hope that our bullets will go straight to Hizbollah missing you sane Lebanese people.

Skymuse said...

Before I begin, please accept my sincerest wish for your safety and a hope that the conflict can be resolved as quickly as possible.

Now then....

You're blaming the US for "selling you out" when the entire world knows that Hezbollah is intermingled in your society and government.

Don't get me wrong -- it is deeply tragic that innocent civilians, especially those who do not support Hezbollah, are caught up in this. We were thrilled here in the state watching your Cedar Revolution last year and were looking forward to Lebanon climbing out of the fundy islamofascist pit.

But make no mistake -- if a society harbors terrorists, especially to the point of elevating them to positions of authority in your official national government, then that society is a de facto part of the terroristic movement.

Silence gives consent, and that is what your people have done.

You have sold yourselves out and are now paying the price. As long as you tolerate meddling in your affairs by Syria, Iran, or any other outside influence, that sellout will continue.

The bad guys are hiding in the midst of civilians. By definition there will be civilian casualties. It is unfortunate, but as long as it is tolerated by the civilians (whether out of fear or by a sense of unity), they will be attached to the real targets.

But DO NOT blame the United States or anyone else for "selling you out". What is happening right now is a direct function of the war on terror. "There will be no distinction made between terrorists and those nations that harbor and support them."

Hezbollah has poked the stick one too many times at Israel, and now they've woken up angry. The sooner Lebanon wakes up and removes this vile splinter of hate from its society, the sooner peace can be achieved.

I refuse to believe that in all of Lebanon, there is not *ONE* person who does not know where the captive soldiers are, or where the Hezbollah leaders are hiding. Reporting these locations would be a huge step toward ending the conflict.

Until that happens, the sellout continues and your people suffer. But it was not us who sold you out.

Skymuse said...

Oops, forgot one thing....

Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000. This pullout was based on the premise that Lebanon would not allow Hezbollah to set up camp there, which they did within 2 months.

That was six years ago.

Why have Lebanon and the Lebanese people tolerated this flagrant breach of the peace contract for so long?

Why are you complaining now that the fruits of your inaction have come home to you?

You had *SIX YEARS* to confront this group and remove them from the area, which is occupied solely for the purpose of easy rocket access to northern Israel.

You did nothing. Why on earth would you expect anyone else to do something besides "nothing" now?

Use the underground, get info about the soldiers and Hezbollah leaders to the IDF, and prove to the rest of us that you truly do not support that group and want them gone.

Till then, you'd better hunker down.

boaz said...

My fellow Israelis,

Just think how we would feel if our country was pounded as much as Lebanon (think of what we feel now and multiply it by 20).

Today we have the military power to do so, but real security will never come from power alone.

Let's face it - the attacks on Lebanon as a whole, and forcing hundred of thousands of south lebanese to leave their own, is nothing more than collective punishment.

I would 100% support any military action concentrated on the Hizbollah, but targeting innocents is immoral and not better than the terrorists. I know that Hizbollah is using civilians as human shields but realize that whatever we do, we will never achieve 100% security, and in the long run we pay more for the hatred we create than what we gain from any damage we inflict on Hizbollah. As long as people hate Israel, Hizbollah will find volunteers to join and money to build new rockets.

Boaz

Soline said...

I feel extremely powerless whenever i face injustice and violence. I keep wondering what i can do, being a 'simple mother' of two young boys.
Today i sent your blog 'Lebanon sold out' to some members of parliament here in The Netherlands. They have come back from holiday in order to discuss the situation in the Middle East.
I just wanted to do something.

kachumbali said...

I would like to point out one thing which has been left out pretty much so far:

A lot of Lebanese and Lebanese supporters (funny, I would normally count myself under that headline...) have been quick to condemn the West, especially the US. But please try and stay with the facts.

1. The way the US and the EU-countries, also Russia, have been sitting on the sidelines and letting Israel destroy so much of Lebanon is shameful. But not because Israel is the big, bad agressor here: because everyone in Lebanon and everyone interested in the Middle East was witness to past conflicts, and our Western governments have been idely watching the buildup of Hizballah's arms over the years, same as Israel's preparations (the nice and cute little wall they erected...amongst other things...). For instance, the German government has sold and is selling Israel the most modern submarine type in the world, (German Delphin-Class), heavily subisdized. Israel only gets 1/3 of the bill. But that's not the actual issue, the subs were fitted with custom-issue 60cm launch tubes to accmodate Israeli missiles capable of being fitted with a nuclear warhead. Anyway, this is going into details a bit...all I am saying is that Western governments carry responsibility for the way Israel reacts to defend itself, and also have supported Israel in ways the public never gets to know, and above all, have never made an honest move to disarm Hizballah and thus ensure Israels safety at its northern border.

2. Now, during this war, the US, still shaking from its attempts at forming coalitions of the willing and its 'misstep' in Iraq, is very careful to move too fast and annoy the international community. The EU is busy bickering about and tries to get its act together and see the world through rose-tinted glasses. Ergo no quick international solution. A UN-peaceMAKING force is in discussion, but that would require a robust mandate of the UN security council, not likely unless several countries pledge soldiers willing to do the Israelis job, ergo fight Hizballah if it threatens Israel again in future, and, if need be, even fire on IDF-soldiers...another posssibility - and necessity under a robust mandate! - making politicians, especially in countries like Germany, very, very jittery. German soldiers killing IDF-troops...I wouldn't like to see that newsflash and worldwide reactions to that...

Bottomline: quick international solution unlikely

3. Look at the Arab position. FOr the first time the Arab states have not unanimously supported Hizballah, even (sort of) condemmed its attack on Israel as being "too adventurous"...no idea how they phrased it exactly in Arabic, but Arabic has a lot of shades of meaning there...

bottomline here: don't be so quick to condemn the West, look at the Arabs as well...at least the Sunni. Almost all foreign governments blame Hizballah, Lebanese (non-christians!) blame Hizballah, everyone blames them...except a few bloggers who choose to phrase every criticism of Hizballah overtly careful, too careful if you ask me...

(Now comes the idealistic part:)
In danger of repeating myself and others: where's the March 14 spirit? You kicked the Syrians out without starting civil war, I know Hizballah is different, but still: where's the March 14 spirit, at least here on the net? The support of almost everyone would be on your side.

xor84 said...

boaz-
there is a saying- if you're not part of the solution than you are part of the problem.

i don't know if i fully accept it but in this case it seems relevant-
at any point in time the lebanese people and lebanese leaders could stop the figthing by uniting against Hizbollah. they have the means to stop the fighting but they are unwilling to use it. instead they either stand beside or even help/encourage Hizbollah.

a quiet border with hatred of the two sides is not idle but is better than the terror and death caused by Hizbollah.
i wish this war could end with Hizbollah out of the way and the two countries as good neighbours, but sadly i don't believe that will happen, and i blame only Hizbollah of that.

i wish that the scale of this attack was unnecessary and we could hit Hizbollah without killing lebanese citizens, but it's not. terrorists know only one language, and it is power. decrasing the actions of the israeli army would only encourage Hizbollah to continue their fight, in the expenss of both israeli and lebanese lives.

xor84 said...

i agree with what rex said- if Hizbollah cared about the death of lebanese it would have stopped the firing and and accept israel's terms for cease-fire.

apperantly, Hizbollah does not care that many lebanese die each day due to it's actions (after all, Hizbollah leaders have the power to end all of this as quickly as they started it)

Shmulik said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,
Lenbanese dead about 350 in a week some of them militants.
Hiroshima 80,000 in one minute + 60000 from radiation.
Yet you say "you've dropped the equivalent of a Hiroshima bomb on Lebanon"
What the fuck are you talking about?
We can argue opinions and nuances all day long but if you can't grasp or admit such a simple non-disputed fact then I don't know what else to say.

boaz said...

xor84-

what you're asking lebanese to do- help the Israeli army- is ridiculous. Think - no matter how much you may hate right wing extremists in israel - would you help arabs to kill them?

"i wish that the scale of this attack was unnecessary" - you know of course that any attack in any scale will not dismantle the Hizbollah completely. Maybe we damage Hizbollah more in this way than if we were more careful and discriminate, but is it worth the price?

lecentre said...

"Just a few months ago, Lebanon was a shining example of how democracy should look like in the Middle East. But now the very shining example that used to be showcased as a U.S. foreign policy success is being killed. The most pro-U.S., pro-West government in the Middle East is being weakened."

I hate to break it to you, but having Hezballah in government hardly makes for a shining example of how democracy should look like. Let alone being pro-US and pro-West. It's like saying giving Osama Ben Laden the PMOffice makes a country pro-west. Who are you kidding?

Shmulik said...

Boaz
How do you compare right-wing israeli's with hizballah?? I don't recall Efi Eitam for example taking a rocket launcher and firing into Tyre. BTW those who are terroists like Kahana tend to get a visit from the SHABAK.

boaz said...

As much as I dislike either Kahana or Gandi (which as you recall sat in the government while promoting the deportation of all arabs) or Lieberman (which sat in the government and called to bomb the Asuan dam), I would never support letting the Palestinian kill them. Indeed Israel has taken tremendous efforts to catch Gandi's killers. Also, Effi Eitam maybe didn't take rocket launcher himself, but all the right wing is always quick to defend or at least "understand and sympahtize" with Jewish terrorists when they are caught (such as the Bat-Ain group that tried to bomb an arab school).

It's not realistic, nor is it just, to expect the Lebanese to help us kill the Hizballah's leaders because we are holding their entire people hostage.

I think that lebanon was on the right direction and would have gotten to disarm the Hizbolllah. Remember that it is more their problem than ours:

Israelis are used to terrorism, wars etc.. - we faced worse than the Hizbolla and can live with a few rockets here and there. But if the Lebanese want democracy, they will have to get rid of this "private army" in their midst.

Boaz

anothervoice66 said...

Dear Doha,
I am a 26 year old Israeli woman. I have been reading you for a couple of days, and have wanted to respond to you, but I just couldn't find the right words. I think you are your country and "the sane world" a great service, and you all should keep it up.
Now I feel it is time for my voice to be heard, and to tell you a little of my thoughts and feelings.
This entire ordeal (are we calling it a war by now? it seems proper enough, althoug our (or my?)leaders are trying yo avoid it) have left me perplexed at times and embarressed at other times. I have gone through the entire range of emotions from fear to anger to guilt and back. I also feel that I lack information, and that the media is trying to make my judgements and decisions in my place.
I started out supporting the war, and as a matter of fact I still believe that the initial response was justified, that something had to be done, and that we, as Israelis, coudln't leave things as they were. However, I have found myself questionning and doubting the severity of the military response, especially as it went on and on (and still is). The pictures from southern Lebanon, like the burned minibus of refugee's, just for example, made me sick to my stomach.
Israeli Army leaders are now talking about prolonged efforts and on-land fighting and I think that both are a big mistake. We are nearing a point (and perhaps we havw already passed it) of going from a justified self-defence war with a purpose, to just a big mess, that no one will be able to win, nor will it matter. I am not willing to pay the blood of my soldiers for that (I know for you soldiers are monsters, but since draft is obligatory here, soldiers are basically everyone, including my own brothers), nor do I want to see any more civilian blood shed.
I find myself wishing, against popular belief here, that the UN will step in (effectively!), and that this spiral will stop before this is all too late.

anothervoice66 said...

by the way, you are getting so many Israeli responses because some Israeli sites have been refering people to this blog...

xor84 said...

Boaz-
first of all, as shmulik said, there is a VERY big difference between the right wing extremists in israel and Hizballah- only the last are aiming to kill me!
i think it is in the lebanese interest to stop Hizballah, and if they want this cease-fire badly enough they will join forces even with thier current enemy.

why isn't that realistic?
they know for a fact that israel will stop the bombing if only they disarm Hizballah (not even talking about killing). since they have no influence on israel's moves, this is the easiet way for lebanon to get their goal of cease-fire. why not use it?

if we do not dismantle the Hizbollah completely than it is even more important to destroy as much as we can of their abilities, because if we finish this war without disarming Hizbollah, than every rocket launcher, and every missile they have left will pose a direct threat on israeli citizens.
that's why it's necessary to hit every Hizbollah target in the IDF's list.

"and can live with a few rockets here and there"?!?!?!
i guess you don't leave in the northen border nor in SDEROT if you say this.

boaz said...

xor84 -
I don't think Israelis should occupy also this blog with our internal debates so I'm signing off. I think threats and security are not measured in missiles but in what's in the hearts and minds of people, but I guess we disagree.

box said...

boaz - it absolutely is what is in the hearts and minds of people. this war is being fought here, too - i am convinced.

take it for what it is :)

Lirun said...

box was that a smile?

;)

Robin said...

All decent people sysmpathise with the poor Lebanese people in this their darkest hour.
Keep heart. People of goodwill are behind you and despise the evil actions of Israel.

amir said...

robin! i'm sorry that you don't find in your heart sympathy for the Israeli citizens. maybe he is not big enough....

Amir

Itai said...

I'm Sorry for your distress and your losses and I wish the world would be a better place.

I think you should understand countries don't see the individuals.

They look at the big picture and see Lebanon is not destroyed and can benefit from this process.

Lebanon goes through a difficult operation and should it succeed the country will heal.

300 casualties are not a catastrophy on a state's scale.

Those refugees can return to their homes.

The major infrastructure was not severly damaged (electricity, water, communications etc')

You are blowing the damages out of proportion.

And it's only natural and understandable
since you experience it so harshly.

Stay safe, I like reading your opinions.

Solomon2 said...

As I read and re-read Seniora's words, I am filled with a terrible sadness. Lebanon could be so much more. He - and much of Lebanon, no doubt - are still stuck in the same moral vacuum as has existed for the past six years: that everybody could pretend Lebanon was a democracy when in reality Hizbollah and Syria wielded the ultimate veto power, and the thought being that Lebanon was off the moral hook for that reason.

Notice that no violations of international law or treaty are cited? That's because it's Lebanon that is violating them.

Instead of a call for enforcing international law and disarming Hezbollah, or even a request for international assistance of some sort, the PM calls for cold hard cash. For what purpose? Lebanon has a ready source of money available by loaning out its gold reserve. Yet can Lebanon really employ such funds at this time, with the government supposedly close to a shambles? Or is it so the higher-ups can take the money and run?

The PM closes with the assertion that Lebanon will survive - which implies that he knows it isn't the Israeli goal, despite its overwhelming military superiority, to wipe Lebanon out. Personal cowardice seems to be a huge factor among Lebanon's leaders, and the people suffer for it unnecessarily.

Dimitry said...

A question: the Lebanese prime minister declared that the Lebanese Government didn't know about the attack, doesn't endorse it, and does not accept responsibility to it. This point is brought constantly wherver the issue of support to the Hizballah is raised (curious it is still named "The Opposition" long after Israel left. Opposing what?).

Excuse me, but - aroo? They are the sovereign, or at least concider themselves to be one. The terms "government" and "ministers" kinda give it in. The sovereign is responsible to what happends in his region he's controlling. He's either endorsing (or at least accepting) it, or he outlaws the preparators and acts to punish them.



On another note, it is truly unfortunate that people still concider heroes those that have directly caused their devestation. Between Israel's war of Independence and Black Septmber Lebanon's border with Israel has been utterly quite. Why? Israel wasn't attacked from Lebnanon then. After Black September, the Israeli-Jordanian border has been utterly quite. Why? Because nobody attacked Israel from Jordan. It isn't difficult to the math here. Hizballah's insane arms race and destroy-Israel rhetoric (backed by deeds), and the attack that triggered the current war, are directly responsible to the devestation Lebanon is facing. Why the solidarity with the Hizballah?

Jay Z said...

I understand your disapproval of the international reaction to this situation. But aren't Iran and Syria really the root of this whole mess in the first place? I think that is what is meant? Am I wrong in my understanding here?

amir said...

Itai!

I opposed your remark that 300 people is not a ctastrophy in a state scale.
it is stupid remark without any sensivity.
for many lebanies these 300 people is the "whole world". these are 300 waisted life.
who r u to measure their lost? easpcially when we are the side who pulled the trigger.
Yea I do blame The Hizzbulla that started this fucking war. but 300 lebanies lost soul it's a disaster in human scale.
I'm not blaming my side becuase we were pushed to the wall but to say that 300 killing is not a catastrophy it's purely arrogant and cruel.

Amir

Scott said...

Amazing that as Israel strategically attacks missle sites and Hezbollah strategic targets, you continue to ignore that the shining example of democracy you profess is the same one that has allowed Hezbollah occupy and use your country as a base for terror. Where have Hezbollah been sending their attacks? Why is it that Israel does not just destroy everything as they should while Hezbollah continues to rocket family neighborhoods instead of coming out and fighting a real fight? No they are the typical muslims that live in the time of 500 BC.

Unfortunatetly, your government and elected officials are ENTIRELY responsible for the destruction that is going on, too bad the US did'nt do it a long time ago after the embarassing attack on our marines then.

Congratulations, if the muslim cause you support had it their way, you would not even get a chance to blog your own opinion, as I doubt allah would allow it...

Let the Lebanese prove they are not responsible and get Hezbollah out of the country....ha ha like that is possible with all the money your politicians are accepting from Syria and Iran, hardly likely they will own up to it when they can leave the country and have a nice life at the expense of their country...

God will sort it all out in the end...

stateroom said...

A record-setting year of North American Aliyah continued Thursday, with a plane full of immigrants touching down at Ben Gurion Airport. They were not deterred by the war and some are going up north.
http://israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=107923

ramansour said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ramansour said...

A lot of the posters here seem to make the assumption that the Lebanese deserve the ruin that is now raining down on them because they "harbored" Hezbollah. That's like accusing a sea captain of "harboring" rats aboard his ship. Hezbollah came without being invited and have proven very difficult to remove!

And while people are quick to point out Lebanon's mistakes, they're awfully silent when it comes to acknowledging Israel's own failures and shortsightedness.

This whole situation might have been different if the Israelis had listened to SLA members Etienne Saqr (surely the Cassandra of Lebanese politics!) when they asked Israel to aid them the same way that Syria and Iran are aiding Hezbollah and thereby empower the Lebanese to remove Hezbollah themselves. Instead, Israel abandoned its Lebanese allies when they pulled out in 2000. They left them to face a fate of either forced exile or imprisonment by the Syrian puppet government on charges of "collaborating with the Zionist enemy". Thousands of them were sent to Syria and remain "lost" in Syrian prisons. Saqr himself rebuked Israel's leaders before their Knesset for making "heroes out of Hezbollah."

But they are not the only ones who failed by lack of foresight. The United States also betrayed the democracy-loving and peace-aspiring Lebanese. In 1990 during the build-up to the first Gulf War, George Herbert Walker Bush lobbied Syria to join his UN-backed coalition. Syria agreed, but had one small request. Bush 41 had to promise not to meddle in Syria's handling of Lebanon. So, in exchange for Syria's help (such as it was) in the first Gulf War, Bush sold Lebanon to Syria. The puppet government was put in place. The various militias disarmed with the understanding that everyone was going to disarm. And everyone did... everyone but Hezbollah that is. The puppet government let them keep their weapons.

Now, fast forward to 2006 where historically illiterate posters on sites like this make snide comments about how the Lebanese should have taken care of this problem themselves!

How?! How exactly were they supposed to do this with a Syrian controlled government in place that was systematically raping and pillaging their country? How were they supposed to do this with no weapons and no militias? How were they supposed to do this when all of their militia leaders and soldiers either disappeared in Syrian prisons or were forced into exile?

And even if Lebanon had a well-armed and operational army, it still would be very difficult to get Hezbollah out. Israel has been trying to do that for the last 18 years! And lest we all forget, this isn't the first bombing offensive Israel has launched to get rid of Hezbollah. Rewind back to 1996 and Operation Grapes of Wrath: a 16 day military blitz in Lebanon whose objective was to subdue Hezbollah. And how did that one end? 118 Lebanese civilians killed, 350 wounded, hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes, the Lebanese infrastructure destroyed yet again, and Hezbollah still kept going and going like the Energizer bunny!

Oh wait, I almost forgot about Operation Accountability in 1993. Remember that one? It was a seven day strike to remove Hezbollah. Needless to say, that one didn't work out either.

It would be churlish of me to belittle the Israelis by taunting them with their failure to get rid of these thugs – just as it is churlish of them to taunt the Lebanese with this. The Lebanese army is only slightly larger than the Vatican's Swiss Guard and are trained to do about as much as the Swiss Guard (i.e. stand guard and try to look sexy in their uniforms). Israel has the fourth (or is it the third?) largest army in the world! If they haven't been successful, how can they expect an abused unarmed civilian populace to be? The Lebanese had enough to worry about trying to get their war-torn country in order with little or no help from the rest of the world. And sure enough, every damn time the Lebanese rebuild their country, their neighbors (from all sides) march right in and transform it into Belgium circa 1915!

Yes, thankfully, now Israel is trying to get rid of Hezbollah once and for all. And god willing maybe they'll do it this time. But it's just down right heartless to turn around and complain that the Lebanese should have taken care of this on their own.

But, perhaps this whole argument depends on who we mean when say the "Lebanese". By Lebanese, I'm referring to the people who are historically from Lebanon (of all sects & sub-sects of Christians, Druze, and Muslims), who own the land and have done so for centuries. I'm not referring to Palestinians or Syrians or Iranian-organized troublemakers who have commandeered a fiefdom for themselves as a state within a state.

I am writing all of this as someone who supports Israel in this action. Yes, I'm on Israel's side. I always have been. But I'm disgusted by the condescending sanctimonious braggadocio I hear. Just a tiny bit of humility and remorse for the innocent lives taken would go a long way in easing the tension here.

That being said, I would like to thank the kind Israelis who have posted comments here expressing sympathy and solidarity with the innocent people caught in the crossfire. You remind us of our common humanity, and that gives us hope.

And one little comment for Scott:

Don't you dare lump Lebanon in with the Islamo-fascist countries. Lebanon is a secular country that is half Christian, and its history and culture is inseparable from that of the Maronite Christians. When you say, "God will sort it out in the end," you're absolutely right. God hasn't abandoned Lebanon nor will He. We've seen armies come and go since the dawn of recorded time – Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, French, English, Arabs, Syrians, and Israelis. And we've outlasted every one of them.

Rocio said...

I am a Mexican-American agnostic in solidarty with the Lebanese right now. I went out yesterday and protested against the Israeli bombing of Lebanon (so this has nothing to do with nationalism or religion I am just doing the right thing). There are a lot of people in the US that are outraged over Israel's bombing Lebanon. At our protest in Los Angeles there were hundreds of people and across the street there were only a dozen pro-Israeli hawks. There were 4-5 times as many people who wanted a ceasefire and for Israel to stop the bombings. We are also outraged that our leaders like usual under the Bush Administation are ignoring us. We will continue to fight this because there is no justification for the death of hundreds of innocent civillians because 2 soldiers were kidnapped. My heart is with the half a million displaced Lebanese and all those affected by this unnecessary conflict. But knowing a little of your history you guys have been through a lot and are very tough. My heart goes out to all of you

ramansour said...

rocio,

If you sincerely wish for the best for the Lebanese people, then please don't ask for a ceasefire. Ask Israel to finish the job this time. If the international community forces another cease-fire agreement, all of this will have been for nothing. Hezbollah will remain in place to hold Lebanon hostage to its will and to terrorize northern Israel. My prayer is that the Israelis are victorious with as little collatetal damage as possible. That's the only way that Lebanon will have a future.

Dimitry said...

ramansour, the Lebanese have one massive advantage when it comes to chances of dismantling Hizballah - Hizballah is Lebnese guerilla (or semi-guerilla, those last 6 years) organization. Without aid and support of the local population, such organizations are greately diminished. Against the opposition of the local population, they are severely limited. There's only so much support you can gather with gunpoint.

Israel would likely fail to completely destroy Hizballah. Israel would likely succeed in weakening it enough so that if the Lebanese government backed by the population's support would move against them, it would destroy the Hizballah (as indepndent military force, at the very least). And likely, it will no happen, because they're the Glorious Opposition that Bravely Fights Israeli Occupation, and people who dare saying that it was Hizballah's actions that brought about the destruction of Lebanon are branded traitors (as per, for example, one of the recent posts in this very blog).

Mike Mangum said...

"The Lebanese are reaching a point of despair!"

I have a great deal of sympathy for the Lebanese people, and wish that only Hizbollah would be the ones taking casualites, although I know that will never be the case. And I understand the despair: you feel powerless.

Then FIX the problem. Take back that power. Give your government the ability to control the fate of your own country. The problem is the fact that your country's government is not willing to accept the responsibilities of being a sovereign state. That means getting rid of all militias that are not under the government's direct control.

It also means that when a group attacks another sovereign state from your territory, that YOUR government deals with that group. That's part of being a sovereign state. What do you think would happen if a private group in France attacked into Germany? Would France say "sorry Germany, but we can't take on this group, you'll just have to live with it"?

Israel will never be able to take on Hizbollah as effectively as the Lebanese Army would be able to, and they would never be able to disarm Hizbollah with low civilian casualites - which the Lebanese Army could do, if it was resolute enough, and had the support of all the non-Hizbollah Lebanese.

If you are at the point of despair...then what do you have to lose by taking on Hizbollah? You are worried about another civil war, I know...but Hizbollah has already delivered war to your doorstep.

Responsibility. You can either accept it and be free, or you can reject it and be pawns, because Iran, Syria, and Hizbollah are willing to fight for the destruction of Israel to the last drop of *Lebanese* blood.

If the Lebanese government isn't willing to defend its sovereignty, they won't be viewed or treated as such by the world. And now, frankly, they aren't.

Shmulik said...

Ramanascour
Your analysis is intersting but flawed a bit (I think).
1) In your sea-captain/rats analogy you ignore the fact that a large segment of Lebanon is behind the hizballah.
2) Israel has never tried to dismantle the Hizballah. Thee fighting with them was always in the south, usually wth small forces and concentrated at defending the border. i am not saying military might can destroy the hizballah, only weaken it.
3)The lebanese goverment was free for a year. The truth of the matter is that hizballah is both lebanese and pan-islamic. They will never disband peacefully.
4)The betrayel of the SLA was both cowardly and shameful. The problem was that as long as we would have stayed in Lebanon to support the SLA the world (and israeli public) would consider us the conqurers and hizbalah as resistance-fighters (which they are in a way).
5) The question remains, what should we do?

Mike Mangum said...

"How?! How exactly were they supposed to do this with a Syrian controlled government in place that was systematically raping and pillaging their country? How were they supposed to do this with no weapons and no militias? How were they supposed to do this when all of their militia leaders and soldiers either disappeared in Syrian prisons or were forced into exile? "

How was Israel supposed to defend itself in 1948 against many different Arab nations, with no weapons, an infant government, and while outnumbered by organized armies? And yet, in the middle of all that, Israel managed to disarm its own militas that had sprung up, which is why Israel is still alive.

How were the American Colonies supposed to defend themselves against the greatest army, navy, and industrial economy on earth in 1776 when they had few weapons, almost no gunpowder, *1* ship, and almost no trained soldiers, led by a general with almost no military experience?

How were the Viet Minh supposed to take on a major European power such as the French with a peasant army?

Somehow those groups all seemed able to do it.

If the Lebanese government proclaimed that it was going to take on Hizbollah once and for all, and quietly asked for help from a few countries, I'm sure they would get all sorts of help. Even if it was only in the form of weapons, logistical support, and satellite intelligence, it would be significant.

amir said...

Ramansour!

your "article" :-) was enlighting and I learned from it a lot about the politacl complication in Lebanon. and the problem of the Lebanese to control the situation themselves. I agree with all my heart that the attitude of Israel towords it's allies in Lebanon was shamefull, and a big historic mistake. it is a huge black spot in our policy.
it seems that we have no Alternative but to crash Hizzbulla this time. I know we are going to suffer many lost. but we have to do it. not just for ourselves but for the lebanies themselves.

thank you

Amir

Lynda said...

The feelings expressed below are not my own but what I see as being the international community's.
Why doesn't the international community help Lebanon?
The international community won't interfere for a while. There's no support for that from anywhere except France and Russia, both countries without much power. America will veto any UN security council resolution to help Lebanon, as they have already done this week, in fact.
In any case, world public opinion is against Lebanon. I'll try to explain why.
Firstly, although most Lebanese conveniently choose to forget, everybody else in the world remembers with horror and hatred the Hezbollah's kidnapping, torturing and murdering of western and Lebanese civilians for so many years in the 1980s.
Many Lebanese might see Hezbollah these days as they have reinvented themselves, heroes of the resistance. We remember them as terrorists who committ terrible atrocities.
One of my AUB (American University of Beirut) colleagues was left unable to father children because they poisoned him for four and half years, in between torturing and humiliating him. Another 3 of my AUB colleagues were sold to Libya and murdered, their bodies dumped on a roadside. Several more have had their lives completely destroyed by their hostage experience and still, 20 years later, have nightmare flashbacks to years of torture.
When I helped to free a young boy from the Israeli-run Khiam prison camp in south Lebanon, I did it by attracting the attention of the world press to the fact that what Israel was doing to Ali Tayebi was as bad an atrocity as what Hezbollah had done to my colleague Brian Keenan. That's why my two posters were more effective than Amnesty International's 20,000 postcards. Because everyone knew and revolted against what terrible things Hezbollah had done to Brian. Israel did not want the world to think they were like Hezbollah and that's why Ali and his father were released a few days later.
So most westerners will be happy to see Hezbollah wiped off the face of the earth.
Secondly, we also remember that Hezbollah's avowed aim is to make Lebanon an Islamic state. To achieve that the country must first be completely destabilised and destroyed.
So when Lebanon is destroyed, we see that that's what Hezbollah want. They're happy.
To the west, it looks as if all Lebanese support Hezbollah because the Lebanese government didn't disarm and disband them when it got rid of all the other militias and nobody has stopped them attacking Israel for the last 15 years.
If Lebanon really wanted its occupied territory back from Israel, the right way to act would have been for the Lebanese army to attack Israel. Instead, Lebanon has used the hated Hezbollah. And not only that, calls them "heroes of the resistance".
To Europeans, the word "resistance" means the French resistance against the Nazis. To apply the word to a bunch of thuggish terrorists is felt to be an insult to people who really were true heroes during World War II.
Also, a lot of Lebanese people were seen in our media celebrating happily when Hezbollah announced they'd captured two Israeli soldiers so naturally we see Lebanese as supporting terrorists.
So, we see Lebanese as supporting Hezbollah. We know Hezbollah want the total destruction of Lebanon to achieve their aim of an Islamic state. Therefore, they and their supporters should all be happy with the present situation so why should any of us move to stop this war?
Thirdly, the 9/11 attack on America and the 7/7 bombings here in London have really made many people anti-Moslem. To most westerners, Lebanon is a Moslem country because they think the whole Middle East is Moslem (most westerners are as ignorant as most Lebanese about the world outside their own little area).
So again, the feeling is why should anyone feel sympathy for the Lebanese when Moslems had no sympathy for the civilians who were killed in 9/11 and 7/7? Many were openly gloating on the streets here in London, which naturally fuelled hatred against them.
Fourthly, Lebanon is seen as Arab and westerners have good reasons to dislike Arabs. The Iraqis were too cowardly themselves to fight to get rid of Saddam Hussein and left their dirty work to America and Europe. The Kuwaitis were too cowardly to fight when Saddam invaded Kuwait and left their dirty work to America and Europe. The Saudis, Emiratis, Bahrainis,Qataris and Omanis were too cowardly to defend their own countries at that time and left their dirty work to America and Europe. The Yemenis and Palestinians openly hailed Saddam as a hero for invading Kuwait.
America and Britain fought these battles out of self-interest, for the oil, just as America supports Israel from self-interest because of the strong Jewish lobby. But the Arabs used westerners because they couldn't or wouldn't fight for themselves.
Now the Americans and Europeans have done the Iraqis' dirty work for them, getting rid of Saddam's corrupt and repressive government, the Iraqis suddenly have the courage to fight - and to attack the very people who saved them from Saddam!
The same happened in Lebanon twice - under Camille Chamoun in 1957 and again when the American base at the airport and the American embassy were bombed in 1983. Many Lebanese choose to have short memories but other people remember and learn from their past mistakes. If America or Europe intervenes on Lebanon's behalf now, the ungrateful Lebanese will probably only attack us, as they did twice before and as the Iraqis are doing now. So why should anyone help the Lebanese?
This is how Arabs and Lebanese have used westerners so maybe you can understand why Americans and Europeans are against them for their cowardice and hypocrisy. This is the general feeling here - a BBC online poll shows most Britons think Lebanon deserves what it's getting right now. I'm sure it's similar in the rest of Europe and in America.
We also see almost every day on our news Arab suicide bombers killing innocent civilians in Palestine and Iraq, which again makes normal, decent people despise Arabs.
Fifthly, Lebanese are still seen as violent people because of all the atrocities committed during the war. For years and years, all westerners saw of Lebanon was war scenes and war crimes committed by Lebanese people. It was like Northern Ireland, it all went on so long that Beirut became a byword for violence and sickening behaviour, just the same as Belfast.
That impression hasn't changed because there has been nothing in the western media about Lebanon's peacetime - peaceful existence isn't news! So Lebanese are seen as people who like violence, and again this means no sympathy for them now.
The way I feel about the situation is different in many ways only because I've lived in both Lebanon and Israel and because I'm better informed about the politics of the region than most Europeans.
The Red Cross is trying to arrange to get humanitarian aid to Lebanon but I don't see any large-scale donations coming in from western countries. Not like the massive aid that went to the tsunami victims in Thailand and Sri Lanka, for example, where the whole world felt sympathy for people who were suffering through no fault of their own. The general feeling is that what the Lebanese are suffering now is their own fault so why should we help them? Especially since we'll only get smacked in the face for helping anyway.
I heard an economist yesterday saying it'll take at least 5 years before outside investors will risk investing in Lebanon again. He said the economy had been in debt for years since the war but this year had just started to bounce back. There's another reason for Israel's timing of this attack - they don't want economic competition from Lebanon. Now they've assured themselves another 5 years of no competition at all in the region.
Well, enough for now. I wish I could hold out some hope for you but I think there is none. Israel will be allowed to do what it wants and, to be honest, Lebanon will be lucky not to end up as part of an enlarged Israel.
The Israeli government is saying it "doesn't rule out a ground operation", which probably means they'll invade and make a permanent buffer zone out of south Lebanon as far as the River Litani, or maybe even the River Zahrani, to ensure no more attacks across the border (and to steal the much-needed fresh water, as they did between 1978-2000)
I wish I had some hope that the international community would do something to change the situation but I don't. I feel helpless to do anything except send the Lebanese people (but not Hezbollah) moral support and prayers.

MaYHeM said...

I feel for your pain. However, I think some perspective is lost because of it.
Israel once handed your land back over to you. But Lebanon did not keep her promise. UN Resolution 1559 states Hizbollah must be disarmed, yet from the other side of the Lebanese border, they continue to maim and kill Israelis.

What makes you think Israel WANTS the duty of occupation. Occupation is not a shinning jewel to covet. It's a hardship for both peoples.

You say "Since when such scenario took place"

It's happened twice in recent history. Israel left Lebanon and Gaza and what are their rewards? More attacks from those places.

You ask for compasion but can show none.

You are right. Bush is saying the right things, but no one is doing it. Syria and Iran should be held to account. My opinion, the bombs should be dropping in Syria and not Lebanon. But, Hizbollah MUST be destroyed before Lebanon will every be truely a shinning example of democracy in the Middle East.

Please accept my appologies for your suffering and my callousness.

Herb and Beth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gidi said...

Dear Lynda,

Many thanks for your contribution of a distorted European outlook on the current violence.

I'd thank you even more if you managed to keep your posts free of objective lies. Israel has never used any kind of water from Lebanese sources; our northern sources come from Mt. Hermon, which is partially under Syrian control. Matter of fact, it was Syria who diverted river flows from their territory.

Besides that, there is a very solid popular opinion that strongly opposes any occupation of Lebanese land, under any circumstances. Israel did not pull out in accordence with the UN Security Council resolutions in order to return.

Bless all you bleeding hearts in Europe.

Media Tycoon said...

if lebanon was smart, they would have asked israel for help with rooting out hezbollah months ago. even now, i think lebanon should strike up a mutual protection treaty with the US and israel so lebanon doesnt have to worry about syria and iraq making trouble. the fact that they dont do that makes me wonder if lebanon really cares about defeating terrorism.

Lynda said...

Dear Gidi
'distorted European outlook on the current violence.'
Why do you call the European outlook distorted? Only because it is different from yours.
Any outlook is valid that is based on experience, surely, whether it agrees with your own or not. Respect for the views of others must surely be the basis of any action we ever take as we live in a world full of other people whose views are different from ours.
In your eyes, what would a non-distorted outlook be? Complete support for Hezbollah? Or complete support for Israel? From your name, I suspect the latter. Complete support for anyone stupid enough to think that violence solves problems and vicious enough to kill innocent civilians is surely the 'distorted' outlook.

'Israel has never used any kind of water from Lebanese sources'
Sorry, I didn't realise this could be contentious as the fact has been well documented for many years and the Israeli government does not deny it.
It isn't "objective lies". My information came from a United Nations Commission's Report on the Israeli occuupation of south Lebanon. It even quotes tonnage of water taken during the occupation. I am aware that Syria diverted the River Jordan at its source at Baniyas at one time, too, but that wasn't relevant to the point I was making about Israel's reasons for attacking Lebanon at this time.

'Bless all you bleeding hearts in Europe.'
You seem to have completely missed the main point of my argument, which is that the international community will not respond to Lebanese appeals for help until Lebanon helps itself.
That being the case, how can you talk about 'bleeding hearts in Europe?'
Lynda

Antonio said...

As i keep reading the comments i do realize most of them comes from non lebaneses, eager to give the inhabitans of this country under attack a lesson on what they are getting wrong, to blame their attutide, to preach for their errors. In many cases just basing their opinion upon some editorials printed in foreign newspapers in the last few days, instead of trying to listening from first-hand witnesses how things are going. I wonder if is this the only kind of attention the international community is able to dedicated to the fate of this country and of his citizens.

Jake said...

If this is not about Syria and Iran, then why doesn't Lebanon just ask Hizbollah to put down their arms? Because they wouldn't, and everyone knows it. We in America feel badly for Lebanon. We supported the Cedar Revolution and the inquest over the death of you former prime minister. We dream of the day when Beirut is again the "Paris of the Middle East". Yet we also see a country that cannot control its own territory and has to stand by while its borders are lined with terrorists. Until the regional powers in the Middle East decide that they are sick and tired of blaming all their internal problems on Israel, Americans will continue to support the only true democracy in the region - Israel. It is time for the Lebanese and other Middle Eastern peoples to look in the mirror and decide whether you want fifty more years of war, or try in earnest to solve your own governmental problems. Even now, under the pain of war, there are very few Lebanese standing up to Syria and Iran who, at this very moment, are pouring offensive weapons into your country to sustain a fight with Israel.

NoWhereMan said...

Dear Lynda;

That was a very articulate description of why the international community is standing by while so many innocent Lebanese civilians are killed. I hope you put it on your own blog somewhere. As an American, I see the same long term memories you describe. When bombs are falling from the sky, it is understandable that the Lebanese would selectively remember the short term justifications for a ceasefire. After considering your thoughts, it makes more sense now why the US is talking about looking for a longer term solution instead of just an immediate ceasefire. If Hezbollah is allowed to remain, any rebuilding done now will just serve as future targets in the next war. It seems like a waste to rebuild Lebanon when it will be bombed again after the next Hezbollah stunt.

MARKUSWOLF said...

Dear Lebanon people.

My name is Gerardo, I'm from Argentina. Early today, someone pass me an URL address to see some pictures. Well that pictures completly shock me. Because in the World chains news, the only shows part of the trut. Lebanon children dead, bodies, blood. What a maddness?
I Hope that some persons from the both sides appears with some brains with the strong enough to stop this. EEUU, you mother fuckers, inspire israelies, to do this..GEnocide, that the correct word. All those kids, they didn't know anything about wars, religion, terrorism etc. When will you understand that the truly god, the truly sense of live are into the human sense?
God, is inside us, when you see a smiley face of a kid, happy to have the chance to play a game, to enjoy free air, runing below a ball, eating some sweets!!! THAT IS REAL, THAT IS LIVE..PLEASE STOP THIS, THEY ARE INNOCENTS.....WHERE DO YOU HAVE THE BRAIN..IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT?? THEY ARE INNOCENTS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT HEZBOLLA OR ISRAEL GOVERMENT OR WHATEVER....CHILDREN, ARE THE FUTURE, WE MUST SHOW PEACE..HOW COULD BE POSSIBLE...
JUDES DON'T LEARN ANYTHING GOOD FROM HOLOCAUST EXPIRIENCE...YOU ARE DOING THE SAME GENOCIDE!!!!
LEAVE THE LEBANON PEOPLE ALONE...!!!

GERARDO.

ramansour said...

Jake,

It's easy to be a democracy and control your borders when you're armed with US F-16s and have the fourth largest army in the world. It's also much easier when your neighbor to the south isn't dumping half a million hostile refugees on your doorstep. It's awfully difficult to remove an organized and well equipt rogue army of Islamic fanatics when you've been compelled by the UN and the international community to disband your militias and unilaterally disarm. And it's even more difficult when your only ally in the region abandons you to exile and imprisonment because their politicians want to win elections and you're no longer a winning issue. Oh, and it's also difficult to do all of this when you are an occupied country -- much like Poland was during the Cold War.

But despite all of these difficulties and without the help of "the world community", the Lebanese have managed to rebuild their country over, and over, and over again. And again like Poland, Lebanon has spent the latter half of the last century watching foreign armies roll through on their way to make war with each other.

A note to media tycoon who wrote:
if lebanon was smart, they would have asked israel for help with rooting out hezbollah months ago. even now, i think lebanon should strike up a mutual protection treaty with the US and israel so lebanon doesnt have to worry about syria and iraq making trouble. the fact that they dont do that makes me wonder if lebanon really cares about defeating terrorism.

Gee, what a great idea. Why didn't we think of that? Oh wait, we did. And Israel abandoned us! And they now wonder why no one in Lebanon is eager to jump up and join them in their fight (here's a hint: maybe because you broke faith with us when we needed you the most!).

Let's see if I can come up with a statement equally as stupid and insensitive, like:

"If israel was smart, they would ask the US to help with getting the Palestinians to stop blowing up discotheques. They should have done this years ago. I think Israel should strike up a mutual protection treaty with the US so that they don't have to worry about the Palestinians making trouble. The fact that they don't makes me wonder if Israel really cares about living peacefully."

Yep. That sounds just about as historically ignorant, illogical, insensitive, and condescending.

Sir Sefirot said...

lynda:

European outlook IS distorted. As someone with an European passport, I can certify this. From inside you can't notice, that's for sure, but looking at some european TV channels is just like looking at some kind of satirical film compared to other places, with the difference that it's no fun at all.

If you want to see for yourself how ill-minded europeans are, look here: http://www.brusselsjournal.com , and laugh. Or cry, whatever you feel like.

Sir Sefirot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sir Sefirot said...

BTW, ramansour, from your statements I can deduce you are or a coward, or ignorant, or just insane. Choose one of above.

xor84 said...

ramansour-
when did Lebanon ask Israel for help?
what knid of help did Lebanon ask for?

Friend2006 said...

Get Rid of Hezbollah!
If the Lebanese people would rise up against terrorists and remove Hezbollah, you would find yourself at peace with a peaceful people.

Hezbollah is an evil that Iran has inserted and foisted upon you. The Lebanese people have long been a good folk - don't let these rats (Hezbollah/Syria/IRan) ruin you.

Friend2006 said...

Sorry - I re-read my post and am not happy with how it comes across. I know the Lebanese people to be a kind, peaceful people that have had to put up with a lot. What I meant in my earlier post is to help Israel remove the Hezbollah infestation from your beautiful country. When terrorists are allowed to live beside decent folk like the majority of the Lebanese people, they can do whatever they like and the punishment always falls on the innocent. RISE UP AND DESTROY THIS EVIL!

Sorry for the earlier posting that was too vague. I pray that the innocent will be spared and conflict will end soon. I also pray for the destruction of ALL terrorists!

Jessica D said...

Please accept my apology on behalf of all peace loving people of the United States, who not only are sickened by what is happening in Lebanon right now, but also are extremely angry at the Bush administration for their total lack of leadership -- we didn't vote for this, in fact our votes & elections were stolen. We did everything we could to stop the war in Iraq, and to elect John Kerry in 2004. I think there is no doubt in the minds of all people in my country that President Kerry would not have allowed things to deteriorate to this level, never mind President Al Gore.

I was born and raised in New York City. My mother is from Iran -- she is Persian Armenian. My father is American, 1/2 Irish Catholic & 1/2 Jewish (nice combination, right?). So, believe me, I understand all sides. I have grown up with a Middle Eastern people my whole life. I can confirm for you that 99.9% of Americans kniow ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the cultures, history and peoples of the region.

I don't know what the polls here say, but I have a feeling that even among people who support Israel 100%, there are many who do not agree with how they are carrying out the attacks. I think (hope) most Americans can see through the Bush/Cheney admin's motives here -- that what they are really trying to do is stir up sentiment against Iran and Syria. And I really REALLY think & hope that most Americans see that is a path we SHOULD NOT start to follow.

One of my oldest girlfriends has been trapped in Lebanon this week -- in fact she was interviewed live from Beirut (on FOX News of all places -- one of her friends works there). She sounded very serious and worried. I think she finally left yesterday. I'm extremely worried for what is going to happen to Lebanon once all the Americans leave.

I feel like all I can do is promise you that I'll do everything in my power to put pressure on my Senators and Congresspersons to call for an immediate end to this crisis. I don't know how successful that will be, but please know there are millions of people here who are pleading for this madness to end.

Lynda said...

Dear Markuswolf
It's strange that you are Argentinian and yet you're using the same word that Lebanese fundamentalist hotheads are using today: genocide.
I'm not sure where this poor use of vocabulary originated: perhaps because someone wants to echo the language of the Nazi holocaust, which really was genocide.
But it demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the English language.
Genocide means that one ethnic group tries to annihilate a different ethnic group.
Since Lebanese and Israelis both belong to the same ethnic group - Semitic (descendants of Ishmael and Isaac is how they describe it in the Middle East) - the killing of Lebanese by Israelis cannot be called genocide. The Israelis would have to kill themselves too to achieve genocide.
A pleasant thought for some, perhaps, but not their stated objective at this time!
A more correct English word to describe the kind of mass slaughter Israel is currently indulging in in Lebanon would perhaps be "massacre".
Personally, I would call both Israeli murder of innocent civilians and Hezbollahi murder of innocent civilians "atrocities" and "war crimes", as defined by the Geneva Conventions. More legalistic terms but infinitely more accurate descriptions.
I think questions of what language we use are really important because, as a previous blogger noted, all parties to this conflict are locked into the language of violence.
This is a great problem in the area. As Dr Hanan Ashrawi and Professor Edward Said have made clear time and time again, we need a language of peace before we'll ever get a situation of peace.
To establish my credentials, I should perhaps add that my knowledge of the region comes not from the last few days' media reports but from personal experience and extensive reading and research.
I have lived and worked in both Lebanon and Israel.
I lived in the Middle East/North Africa region from 1985 until late 2004, almost 20 years.
I was living in Lebanon during the heyday of Hezbollah abductions during the 1980s, teaching at the American University of Beirut and Beirut University College.
I was living there in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 when Israel bombarded Lebanon in much the same way as now, though now it's worse so all my friends tell me.
I was among the first people to visit the Fatima Gate after the Israeli withdrawal in 2000 and also among the first to see inside the horrific Khiam prison camp after it was closed.
I was living in Israel during the second intifada.
I've lived with the local syndrome that if you don't agree with every word someone says, you're considered an enemy. I have been accused of being an Israeli spy in Lebanon because I gave students low marks for slipshod, shoddy work. I have been hauled up to exonerate myself by a Kalashnikov-toting Druze militia leader for giving students a Fail mark for cheating on their coursework.
I have been accused of being anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, anti-Moslem, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish because I gave students low marks for slipshod, shoddy work.
I know exactly what people in both countries are suffering now because I've suffered it in both Lebanon and Israel myself, long before last year's suicide bombs here in London.
Being bombed is a hellish experience. Having family and friends killed is a hellish experience. Having your home, a lifetime's work, destroyed is a hellish experience. Losing everything you've worked for because you've had to be evacuated is a hellish experience.
Given freedom of choice, I have chosen to be Christian but I have Jewish blood so close that I could do aliya and become an Israeli citizen if I chose. My partner is Moslem (though not Lebanese or Palestinian).
My friends currently suffering in both Lebanon and Israel are of all religious denominations so I have no sectarian axes to grind.
I have been a pacifist for 40 years. I learned very early in life that violent action solves nothing because my home town manufactures nuclear-armed submarines.
Lynda, English graduate and English teacher

azora_blue said...

hello there.
i am a student from germany... i have hardly every seen anything worse than a traffic accident or stories about war on the news.....
i am shocked about what is going on in lebanon in israel, and as far as i can, i feel with the people, both the israelis and the lebanese.
fact is, europe and america are much too far away to really get an inside view and understand what is going on there.
i follow the latest news each day, and instead of seeing clearer i get even more confused day by day, and i think there is no right solution.
there is no "right" thing to do, neither for the lebanese, the israeli, nor for the US- or european governments.
there seems to be no way that just brings peace to everyone without any side effects.
to me it seems far too complicated for enabling anyone to postulate he would know the true answer, the "solution" to these problems.
no single person can solve all the problems between israel and lebanon.
but everyone can do their best to avoid that conflicts, that can escalate like this, even are created, even emerge.
what people all around the world, and probably as i assume also israelis and lebanese, connects, is, that they want to live in peace. they want safety, for themselves, for their friends and their children. they don't want to be afraid. they don't want their cildren to be afraid.
and i think the best everyone can do right now, is to concentrate, to focus their minds on this.
sure, for me this is easy to say, as i live in germany and i don't need to fear for my life or my friends' or family's life to be taken away by any bombs so far.
but still, for me the only solution is to connect. to try to understand each other. and to see, what people have in common, instead of seeing what seperates them.
we are not as different as we sometimes think we are.
i hope the best for all the lebanese and israeli people!

Lynda said...

Dear Nowhere Man
Thank you for your kind comment.
I won't open a blog site as I think this one is excellent and it already has acquired a good reputation internationally.
The whole idea behind it, that people can communicate across political barriers, is wonderful and one of the few things that gives me hope for any possibility Israeli/Lebanese dilemna.
I did run a discussion forum when I was in Lebanon and we were working to get Khiam prison closed down, in the 1990s. It had Lebanese, Palestinian and Israelis communicating.
It was great for a while but then both Israeli and Hezbollahi fanatics started posting obscene, brainwashed comments. So much so that it became impossible to maintain rational discussion.
I hope that doesn't happen to this site but I don't ever want to go through that experience again with a discussion forum.
However, I am thinking of putting some kind of peace protest on my homepage. I haven't decided what format to use yet.
The reason I am posting stuff here is because Lebanese friends from Srifa (the village near Tyre that was heavily bombarded a couple of days ago) have asked me to please do something to protest against what is happening to them.
I will be on the peace march in London tomorrow (Saturday 22 July) but feel I should do something more personal, too.
I was greatly encouraged by yesterday's peace demonstration in Beirut and would dearly love to see one in Israel.
Someone asked earlier what should Israel and Lebanon do, other than what they are currently doing. The answer is TALK.
History, ancient and modern, shows us that all political problems are solved in the long-term by negotiation, not warmongering.
I'm a firm believer in non-violent action and rational discussion and I think we have to maintain that in the face of the idiocy of the current bloodletting.
I'm glad that this blog site gives people a chance to communicate rationally like human beings. It's a grand contrast to killing one another mindlessly like animals.

Lynda said...

Error correction to my last post: ...should read "that gives me hope for any possibility of peace in the Israeli/Lebanese dilemna."
I don't know how this got chopped from my preview!

Gidi said...

Dear Lydia,

Do not presume to lecture me on pluarilty or freedom of speach. If you've come by any web sites or blogs online that are devoted to any topic related, and including, the Middle Eastern conflict, you'll notice that those truly hell-bent of giving a one-sided story don't bother about comments. Thus, the mere fact that we're actually having this discussion on a Lebanese-owned blog goes to say I actually do care plenty for oppinions other than my own.

As for distorted European opinions, it has been said previously that most of European public opinion is based on "facts" you see on TV, or -- worse -- read off the net. Besides starting off with slanted facts as presuppositions, Europeans also tend to judge our little Levantine mess as though it was taking place in continental Europe.
Please take note, twofold: First, I am not giving air to some nonsense claim about relativity of moral standards, or any such thing. I am only stating that this region's Psychology is (in some cases) radically different to anything you're used to. Second, I am not being specific about which direction European views are slanted. That is, because I don't care; 'pro' or 'con' makes no difference to me when it is based on regurgitated mass-media soundbites.

As for the "I've done a tour-of-duty in the Middle East so now I'm some kind of expert" argument, please stop. I would never presume to understand a culture and region that I was never born to, even if I spent quite a few years there. Your experience and insights are unquestionably real and true, but they are your own. They carry your bias (or, a bias) whether you know it or not, as we all do. As I've mentioned in my previous post, you haven't quite grasped how deeply traumatized the Israeli public is from the occupation of Southern Lebanon, let alone realized that it cannot happen again.

Moreover -- the issue of water. Here, I admit, I am probably barking up a wrong tree. Reading your post again, I realized your claim was unspecific and sketchy, and I may have misunderstood what you were saying. Nevertheless, it is hardly the issue here, is it?

Finally -- your point. "Lebanon won't be helped until it helps itself". Ignoring the generality of this conclusion, and assuming it's correct, I'll say that it does Lebanon a fat load of good.
See, the central Lebanese goverment was nigh-powerless before this conflict, and now it is in dire straights.
I think that if Lebanon could have helped itself, it would have long ago. So, your argument concludes in zero hope for Lebanon.
As recent developments have proven, the international community is quite ready to help Lebanon, and rightfully so. What Lebanon needs, besides humanitarian relief, is a careful yet resolute mechanism which ensures that the central goverment is secure to implement it authority over the entire country, including the South.
Lebanon, one realizes, is a country, where a free, plural and moderate Arab state can come to be, unfettered to outside interests. A country that can provide all the security and quiet its citizens deserve without the interference of the US, members of the EU, the Arab League or radical Islamic factions.
Hopefully, this could be a country that could bury those feelings that bar it from ever trusting Israel in the future, and so ensure a lasting co-existence. Israel, as a nation, has managed to do so (or is warming to the idea). I can only hope the same from our devestated neighbors.

Tamale Loco said...

Dear Gerardo,

Not having a slightest desire to get your adrenalin levels out of whack again, nevertheless, in order to get a balanced view of things, may I suggest reviewing the following links :

http://www.almidfarah.fanspace.com/islamterror.htm
http://www.israelemb.org/articles/2003/March/2003031300.htm

Hint: It is precisely because JUDES were not left alone, Lebanon/Gaza is getting what Lebanon/Gaza is getting.

Lee said...

"But what about the Administration? This is what President Bush had to say yesterday: "In order to be able to deal with this crisis, the world must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria and to continue to work to isolate Iran." Please tell me if you see the word Lebanon anywhere. It's not about Lebanon; it's about Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. But guess what country is being destroyed and who is being killed (over 300 dead now) and displaced (over half a million)? Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

I realized then that Lebanon has been sold out!"

Stop being a victim.

Lebanon has a freely elected government and independent military. You and your leaders did not evict Hisbollah, didn't hold them accountable when they kidnapped two Israeli Soldiers, and were ineffective in securing their release.

Any rational person would conclude, correctly, that the civilian government, citizenry and military have no control over Hisbollah. As such, Hisbollah is acting as a supra-national entity and must be dealt with on its own.

Thus Israel must bomb them out of their locations and create a buffer so that they do not lob missiles at Israel.

You had your chance to get rid of them. Now you suffer the consequences of not distancing yourselves from them.

You want Peace? Then turn in every Hisbollah Militia man, woman and child. Divulge the locations of their AAA and rocket batteries. Show us where the weapons stockpiles and safe houses and bunkers are.

You have only yourselves to blame.

NoWhereMan said...

Dear Lynda;

Your explanation for why the international community sits on the sidelines was excellent. It mirrored my own experience. I was hoping you would post it to a blog so that it would be easy to link to it. I do agree with your assessment that talking about these issues is critical.

There are too many innocent Lebanese civilians paying the ultimate price. When an innocent bystander is in such fear they clutch at any possible solution. I understand how they might feel abandoned by the rest of the world. By talking about the issues people can see beyond their own narrow experience. The radical elements promote the propaganda to manipulate the masses. If they can get enough gullible people to parrot this material, they begin to believe their own lies. Before it can become a self fulfilling prophesy, it is important to get the full story out. Instead of creating another generation of radicals, we ought to talk about what is really going on and present all the facts. Then people can think for themself. The ignorant masses are too willing to blindly follow some supposed authority. We cannot force them to use their brains but we can make sure the information is available to them for reference.

Theyoggi said...

First of all i would like to say that i am very saddened by the vast loses that the Libanese people have suffered and most of all the women and children.

This whole crisis is very disturbing and not so much because of the casualties on both sides of the border but because of the serious questions that this war raises.

First of all i would like to come out and say that as the war started the Israeli government was hoping that there would be strong criticism towards hizballa by the libanese poeple and government as a result of the attacks of the israeli airforce on Beirut as part of it's efforts of bringing back the kidnapped soldiers and putting an end to the katiyusha attacks.

Not surprisingly the critics remained silent and to make things worse the libanese government resulting from it's inability to take any kind of action to impose it's sovereignty pivoted it's focus only on condemming the israeli attacks.

Few people in the arab world know the israeli history and i am not about to go into details on that matter but just so you know we the israelis got were we are because we fought for what we believed in and we struggled so much to acheive all this.
What is it we acheived?
We are a democratic country, with ONE army who answers only to the government, we have a strong economy, we have western lifestyles and everybody is entitled to live as he wishes as long as it's legal.
We had to go to war a number of times against more than one army at the same time , wars that we didn't ask for but we prevailed because we believed and we still believe in our right to exist.

So why did i tell you all this?
Well because when i look at Lebanon i see a beautiful country with so much potential and promise. But lebanon seems to be a no man's land.
I get so frustrated when i see the control Syria has over the libanese people.
I get so frustrated when i see the power hizballa has on the destiny of lebanon.
And i get the most frustrated when i see the lack of courage and will of the libanese people to take their destiny into their own hands and make the libanese dream a reality.

Israel doesn't want to control Lebanon.
Israel doesn't want to conquer libanese territories.
Israel does not want to hurt innocent people.

But Israel DOES want to live a normal life like France or England or Australia where people can feel safe where they stand-that is the minimum any person could ask for.

Lebanon has let Syria and Iran do whatever they wish on their soil and hizballa is the best example.

Israel is left without any choice but to act.

There is so much more i could write and i guess i probably will but to end this post i ask the libanese people again: What kind of country it is that you want?

abe said...

Your right that lebanon has been sold out. However, i disagree with you on the timing and manner it was sold out. IMO lebanon was sold out by its own citizens when it put its faith and hands in the west and america in particular. Those same people that chanted for syrian withdrawal should have realized that you dont do that at the request of the americans and their political stooges in lebanon. You should have known that the americans were not interested in you and yes even you christians. Now i only can sit back and hope that the lebanese resistance is successful because i fear the day when lebanon becomes an israeli client state where its citizens and politicians have to bow to the zionist country. Thank you citizens of lebanon for selling us out, i hope you happy now. As for our prime minister please stop asking for pity from your so called friends. Havent you learned from the palestinian leader Abu Mazen that you will be crying forever. GET A BACKBONE.

abe said...

To the poster from israel: THeyoggi.

I have two simple words for you. SHUT UP. Take your zionist propoganda and shove it. If you want people to believe that you fight for your life then you would have fought hitler instead of being rounded up like sheep. The only reason israel is where it is today is because of american tax payers and foreign policy. I just hope you know that the same people helping you including your zionist big brothers are setting you up to your own destruction. Open your eyes. your being used just like the rest in the middle east.

Beny Shlevich said...

(Regarding the Post article) yes, it's very sad that the Lebanese are dying in a war that doens't concern them much. But, as I'm forced to point out time after time, the Lebanese brought this on themselves by allowing the Hizbullah to build up an internal, non-governmental militia, openly hostile to your powerful neighbour and openly building a vast rocket array aimed at the same neighbour. You all knew they'll attack Israel sooner or later. you all knew Israel, like any other state, would retaliate. Why didn't you do anything? Why did you let Hizbullah flourish for six whole years? I'm really sorry, but you didn't exercise your wonderful new democratic sovereignity, and you must now face the consequences.

Dimitry said...

abe,

What a beautiful argument. Jews didn't fight Hitler in self defense (wrong, btw, but let us accept this generalisation as quasi-correct for the moment), so it is impossible that what is they're doing those days is self defense. That makes quite a lot of sense, actually.

Also, the histroy lesson you give us is extremly important. It was the States that supplied Israel with czech Weapons in 48, as we all know. and the weapons embargo on the entire Middle East (including Israel), that they had until the 70's or so, yeah, that too garanteed Israel's existance.

And no doubt, the Lebanese showed an amazing lack of backbone when they tried to get indepndence a end the Syrian occupation. A pity they weren't a bit wussier, perhaps they would've routed the Hizballah and prevented this war a long time ago.



How did ol' Douglas say it? "`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove
that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing."