Friday, July 21, 2006

Searching For Answers

Today as I headed out to work, I picked All Honourable Men, by Michael Johnson from my bookcase to read on the train. Perhaps I was trying to find an answer. Why is Lebanon the way it is....

Something profound caught my attention. In his analysis of the civil war in Lebanon, Johnson wrote that "by the mid 1980s most Lebanese were thoroughly tired of war, and yet a significant minority--10 per cent...--still favoured a total victory for their faction. This economically frustrated, highly militant group has no difficulties in imagining the expulsion of all opponents, and the presence of one or serveral groups with profiles of this nature are a godsend to any political force in or out of the country that has an interest in perpetuating tension."

I believe that in many societies, there is always this 10 per cent lurking somewhere, vying to assume control, betting on the weakness of the other to move ahead.

The 10 per cent is in Lebanon and also in Israel. As rumoured, the Israeli Army is amassing troops on the southern border of Lebanon for an overnight invasion of the South...but also on the other side the 10 per cent is getting ready for confrontation.

The Lebanese people are not defeatist. We're known to survive through invasions and move on with life. We're known to rebuild fast, we're known for loving life and finding ways to enjoy it despite the darkness.

I have nothing political to say; tomorrow morning might just speak for itself. But before I go, read "I Left for a Smile", by a fellow blogger.

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

67 comments:

andrewodom said...

I am not even sure how to begin this email. For the last two weeks I have enveloped myself in Lebanese blogs and the life of bloggers there. I have been blogging for three years now and believe in the voice of regular people. My heart is with each person involved in this conflict. In the US we only know what we see through media and other outlets. People like me, however, want to hear the voices of life that is still being lived each day in Lebanon. We want to again know there is laughter and love and compassion and outrage and all sorts of emotion coming from the people there. It so happens that I also work with a website called Evoca. We help bring audio to the web. You can check it out at www.evoca.com. We would love to give you a free PRO account to record for your blog anything you want. You can make recordings using Skype, your cell phone, your PC mic, an MP3 recorder, etc. We can even help you start a Podcast by offering you an RSS. The player is easy to embed right into you blogsite. You can see it in use on my blog if you visit "About Us". Please feel free to contact me at drew@drewandbritt.org if you want this account and you want to empower your voice on this blog and in the world at large. Thank you for reading my comment and blessings to you.......

drew.

João Pena said...

I´m just expressing a strange feeling. In the last days i have acompanied the israel-lebanon conflict reading not only blogs from the region ( and your´s is one of my favorite) but newspapers online and local news agencies. But for some hours, Ynet is strangely silenced about what is going on the border. Do you have some notion of what is going on? even if they are rumors, it would be helpfull. Thank you and i hope everything is ok with you and with you family and next ones.

stateroom said...

I too have been looking around for info but not much `cept for this overview (for what it`s worth):

Halutz said that close to 100 Hezbollah gunmen have been killed over the course of the IDF offensive.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/741318.html

Lirun said...

i hate this shitty war.. one day.. in the future - somehow - people will stop fighting and this will be history.. it seems so stupid for people to die along the way..

wishing peace to all of us

lirun
tel-aviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

Grace said...

they fighting in Marun Aras

Robert Gregory said...

Great blog.

I have been endlessly following this tragedy, and I am %100 in support of the Lebanese people on this. I can't believe this racist and immoral and hypocritical American government.

Anyway, I am looking for any writers who would like to contribute to my blog.

I am determined to do everything I can to help, but still feel so powerless--because, of course, I am.

Rob,

http://insolidarity.blogsome.com/

Lirun said...

gregory.. what a "balanced" report your blog represents.. it's great you show "both" sides and demonstrate such an "understanding" - its very "credible" and clearly takes into account "all" the complex issues in this conflict..

"well done" may all journalists "take a leaf" from your compilation of 3rd party accounts..

i am proud that my country doesnt take photos of our kids that get ripped apart by hostile fire and the lynched bodies and the devestated families.. i am proud that in all this shittiness at least we dont smudge the honour of our victims as part of a propaganda machine..

i get very disappointed by people who use this as an antidote to our war.. it only inflames and increases the disinformation and confusion..

these messages have failed for decades - its time for new messages of peace..

Lynda said...

Dear Doha
Why is Lebanon the way it is?
I don't think it's as simple as having 10% nutters in the country.
Why have problems between Israel and Lebanon gone on for so long? Why is it so difficult to resolve the issues?

THE STATED AGENDA
1 Occupation of the Cheba'a farms area by the Israeli army. The UN considered this area to be Syrian, not Lebanese, territory so did not insist on Israel's withdrawal when Israel pulled out of south Lebanon. However, Lebanese consider part of the area to be Lebanese and the UN demarcation was disputed when it was made. Hezbollah states the continuing occupation of this part of Lebanon as its reason for continuing attacks against Israel.
2 Up to 1982, PLO attacks on Israel from south Lebanon caused Israeli attacks on/invasions of Lebanon. In recent years, Hezbollahi rocket attacks on Israel have provoked several massive Israeli bombardments, hostage-taking and detention of cilvilians, destruction of infrastructure, collective punishment and closing off of entire villages. The rocket attacks have been an irritant to Israel so may have been the final straw that caused the gross over-reaction we are seeing today.
3 Lebanese civilian hostages held for years in Israeli jails, in contravention of the Geneva Conventions (which state that hostages or prisoners of war must not be moved across borders: these people were abducted in Lebanon and moved to Israel). Amnesty International has documented many of these cases, where it has been possible to get information about them.
4 Two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah last week. These were captured in Israel so Hezbollah is in contravention of the Geneva Conventions for the same reason as Israel (above) for having moved its hostages into Lebanon and then possibly into Syria and/or Iran. However, Hezbollah is not a signatory to the Conventions, not being a nation state so it's difficult to know whether they can be in contravention of the Conventions. However, Lebanon is a signatory so perhaps is legally responsible. I don't know, I'm not an international lawyer. Morally, it's perfectly clear that if what Israel has done with its hostages is wrong, then Hezbollah, having done the same thing, is equally wrong. Or is equally right if you believe in the barbaric practice of taking innocent civilians hostage.
Already, it's complicated. It gets more so: see my next posting.

eran levi said...

South Lebanon here we come again!
This time I'm afraid there will be no cease-fire without the utter braking of Hezbollah's militant forces and terror infrastructure.

after all is said and done, Lebanon will finally have a real chance to become a sovereign country - for real, not the mockery it is now - and it better grab the opportunity or get ready for another war in the future.

Lynda said...

Apologies for the length of this post but I wanted to think out the issues as clearly as I could and there are so many.
As Fouad Siniora said, there are no quick fixes because the issues are so complicated.

THE HIDDEN AGENDA
1 The five permanent members of the UN Security Council - America, Britain, France, Russia and China - all have very lucrative arms industries, which are the main suppliers of arms to all sides in Middle East conflicts. Not mentioned much in the international press or by politicians. People who make lots of loot out of selling arms are not likely to broker ceasefires or peace treaties. Watch for delaying tactics, watch for vetos. Both have already sprung into action this week.
2 The very lucrative drugs industry based on hashish grown in Lebanon's Beqa'a Valley. This officially no longer exists because officially the Syrian army blasted the drugs out of existence and now the farmers in the Beqa'a officially grow potatoes. I've seen the hashish fields since they officially ceased to exist. The greenery round Ba'albek must be a new, excitingly different type of potato.
A drugs industry can run more easily in conditions of instability and chaos than in a country able to impose law and order. I'm not sure who's making money out of Lebanese Red and Lebanese Gold these days but according to the Lebanese grapevine, which is usually very reliable, it used to be some extremely high-up political figures.
As with the arms industry, some in positions of power have a vested interest in NOT having ceasefires or peace.
3 Oil. As far as is known, Lebanon doesn't have any. So no self-interested reason for the oil-guzzling nations to intervene to restore order.
4 America, Israel's paymaster. Israel has the highest per capita income in the eastern Mediterranean region yet receives more financial aid from America than any other country in the world. A lot of the money is spent on arms, which is why Israel's army is the most powerful in the region. Mid-term elections are looming in America and the Jewish lobby in America can make or break politicians. Not mentioned much in the international press or by politicians. American politicians are not going to score own goals by condemning Israel for 'disproportionate' retaliation. America is probably never going to broker any peace deal that gives Israel less than 100% of what it wants.
5 Iran, Hezbollah's paymaster. Being mentioned a lot by members of the Israeli government lately and mentioned often in the international press. It has been conveniently forgotten that in the very recent past America and Iran were setting up to become great buddies. Iran would like to see an Islamic republic in Lebanon. To change the entire structure of the society, it is necessary first to destroy the status quo then rebuild on the ruins. Iran encourages Hezbollah to remain a destabilising factor.
6 Syria, Hezbollah's line manager. Being mentioned a lot by George W Bush lately and mentioned often in the international press. It has been conveniently forgotten that only 15 years ago, Syria was a very active ally to America and Europe in the fight against Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
7 Syria, Lebanon's Big Brother. The Syrian army was invited into Lebanon in early 1987 to quell the anarchy caused by inter-militia fighting in Lebanon. This they successfully did. They then outstayed their welcome. Lebanon was part of Syria from Roman times until after World War I, when it was made an independent country by Britain and France. Syria still regards Lebanon as legally part of Syria and imposes dictats on Lebanese government policy accordingly. Disagreement by a Lebanese politician with Syrian policy and assassination of that politician have been known to coincide (eg Kamal Jumblatt, Rafiq Hariri).
8 Israel, Lebanon's friend and enemy. When the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in 1982, they were welcomed by the people of south Lebanon as liberators from the hated, arrogant PLO, who were then treating Lebanon as if they owned it and Lebanese as underlings. The mood soon soured when the Israeli soldiers behaved as badly as the Palestinians. Like the Syrian army, the Israeli army outstayed its welcome.
9 Several of the 'developed' nations have nuclear weapons. Israel also has nuclear weapons. Iran is thought to be developing nuclear weapons. There is a strange, two-faced philosophy about nuclear arms. Those countries that have them want to dictate who else can have them and, of course, will only choose their own friends. This is why Israeli ministers are now mentioning Iran's nuclear development.
The really scary bit about this hidden agenda is that America has already shown the world it is capable of actually using them. Bush has a list of countries he'd like to attack: Syria, Iran, North Korea. If he goes ahead in any of these militarily then gets bogged down as in Iraq, who is to say what could happen next?
Israel and Iran have both been responsible for much violence, which doesn't engender confidence that they would never use the most powerful weapons in the world. Israel has already used, in Lebanon in the 1980s, weapons banned under international law, such as splinter bombs and phosphorous bombs (which it may be using again now). There have been no repercussions for this flagrant flouting of international law. With no comeback for using illegal weaponry, where is the safeguard to ensure nuclear weaponry will not be used?
10 Water. Water is very plentiful in Lebanon, none of which is desert. Lebanon has dozens of small rivers and lots of groundwater thanks to its high mountains, which reach over 3,000m and which are snow-covered for long periods every year. Water is very scarce in Israel, much of which is desert. The only internal source of water is the River Jordan, which we would call a stream not a river as it's not very wide. This is shared with Jordan. During previous hostilities, Syria is said to have diverted the flow of the Jordan so that Israel and Jordan lost some of their water. Since withdrawing from south Lebanon in 2000, Israel has made a trade agreement to buy water from Turkey, which has part of the huge River Euphrates in its territory. If the Israelis occupy south Lebanon again, they will certainly go as far as and including the River Litani. In fact, they have already warned Lebanese civilians to leave to the northern side of the Litani. The only thing that will stop them will be Israeli public opinion, which is opposed to getting bogged down in an occupation of Lebanon again.
There may be more items that should go on this list but these are the ones I am aware of.
The most important question is: do we have anyone in a position of power in this world fair-minded enough to address all the issues?
Regretfully, I have my doubts.

Lirun said...

interesting snapshot Lynda

I would like to add some

11. Arab opression
Many arab states run autocracies and totalitarian regimes that do not permit participation of the masses.. assuring the continuation of israel's reputation as the enemy is a vital diversion from local affairs.. the arab world is easily swayed into unity by focussing all anger against israel at any given opportunity.. a cease fire would weaken and shorten the leverage that such governments can gain from this event and in turn reduce the balance of hatred and limit tehir ability to opress..

12. Distance from the West
Western nations prefer the violence to be centralised in the middle east.. there is a broad conflict between east and west.. there is a dire need for peace.. last year we watched all the way from israel how london trains were blown up by modern educated integrated and assimilated muslims in london or how muslims in australia attacked australian beach lifeguards and then proceeded to flow into sydney's eastern suburbs by the hundreds with weapons and arms in a full week of intense and fierce conflict.. it is much better for these nations to be able to lob the issue over to the middle east.. than it is so reckon with it locally.. and no one is fully prepared to address the issues with the appropriate level of care and detail..

13. Lebanese national composition
The Lebanese are terrified of civil war and live in intense fear of their own independence.. the cedar revolution was a very cautious and tentative movement and has not been properly completed.. the hizballa managed to avoid the momentum and in essence have managed to take advantage of this fragmentation and undermine the very essence of the movement - now forming a proxy of the syrian evictees..

14. Media imbalance
The two sides of the war are covered invery different ways.. this war is largely fought through the media and the arabs and israelis make very different use.. the resulting picture to the world is distorted at so many levels and it is therefore difficult for the world to form a balanced and concrete opinion.. the inconsistencies abound and people are inherently confused.. including the parties themselves..

15. The irrelevance of peace
no one seems to care about the positives that have been and that may be one day.. peace is so unsexy and war is "all that jazz".. we dont teach peace but we thoroughly study war.. its as if peace is only the absence of war rather than war being the absence of peace.. philosophical but i submit that it impacts the way we view the world..

other than that i thoroughly agree with your view that the world is complex and the issues are many.. and for this very reason.. i ask for all to pursue the simplest thing there is.. and that is peace.. ceasefire is a technical political state of affairs.. but peace is something that every single person can strive to.. and moreso.. in my mind..has the moral obligation to seek and bring into existence..

praying for everyon's safety and an expedient end to a horrible situation

lirun
tel-aviv

Baroon said...

Hi doha
as iranian bloggers are circulating this petition maybe u like to do the same

http://epetition.net/julywar/index.php

MaxZurich said...

This academic stuff hides the simpler facts: the HA is part of Lebanon, part of its government; its published ideology includes the destruction of Israel; the Lebanese people are - and were - well aware of its military build-up with thousands of rockets aimed at civilains, its intentions and actual ongoing usage of them. So solving the problem, stopping the atrocities of war must come with a credible solution to change these factors.

Lynda said...

Thank you Lirun. There's also an economic competition issue involved somewhere but I haven't figured that one out fully yet. Maybe someone else knows more than I do about why Israel usually destroys the Lebanese economy just when that economy has started to be in the black again.

Maxzurich, my blog is not academic. I've lived in both Lebanon and Israel: my thoughts come from deeply painful personal experience, including experience of being bombed in both countries. Read my credentials in my comment under the Lebanon Sold Out blog.
It is the current standard Israeli brainwashed person's idea that everything is Hezbollah's fault. Nobody intelligent could possibly believe the situation is that simple. If it were, Israel would have won security for itself years ago.
Open your eyes, take off the blinkers, go and learn some real-life recent Middle Eastern and world history.
Israel attacked Lebanon many, many times long before Hezbollah reinvented itself from a gang of thuggish terrorists into 'heroes of the resistance'.
It would be very naive to believe that Israel's stated aim of obliterating Hezbollah is its real aim in this war.
The situation is much wider and much more dangerous than that. Even some American politicians are already saying this is the start of World War III.
I think we're on the brink of possible nuclear war every bit as much as we were during the Cuba crisis in the 1960s.
There is nothing academic about it - this is hundreds of thousands of people's lives being devastated already and probably much worse to come yet.

Lirun said...

i think the point of the Hizballa's reinvention is really not critical here at all..

israel has the burden of a hidious paradox.. if it is bombed for six years and it does nothing - no one cares.. our sovereignty is meaningless to the world.. our people's blood means nothing.. so israel's alternative which is to defend itself is inevitably perceived as agression..

it is natural for people to point at the stronger party and say that they are the always the cause.. why? because they are "stronger" so naturally they are in control.. here lies the greatest fault in western analysis of mid east politics.. strength as it is perceived in the west has no correlation to strength as it is seen in the middle east.. infact it is generally the opposite..

so from our persepctive - in israel - over the past 6 years we attempted to apply western standards to our demonstation of strength.. resilience.. restraint.. controlled response.. verbal condemnations.. bla bla bla.. listen now to the international and arab media and understand that the passifist acts of strength have damaged israel's greatest shield - deterance.. and consequently the battle on ground has been reignited by arabs to test their revised perceptions of our strength and examin israel's defencability as a lithmus exercise..

to avoid a further degradation of the "deterance" and further invite such additional testing israel's view is that from this perspective it must crush this test.. it must remove the examiners and the aparatus - because not only does the testing itself continuously terrorise the lives of its citizens in the north (as it involves the regular carving of our skies with missiles) but it also creates a longer term risk of further adverse action..

much is said about international law and humantarian obligations.. international law (IL) is repeatedly used as a flag card to tarnish israel's name.. i call all those who freely use this card to examin international law at a closer level.. it is not so simple.. and death in battle is not genocide by default.. the liberal use of that word is an insult to all of those nations who have in fact suffered such fate.. and is reckless as it dillutes the validity of the term and the ability of genuinely endangoured nations to seek the relevant protection..

under international law.. not only is israel required to meet certain standards of cross border conduct but also internal conduct and obligations.. under IL israel must defend and protect its citizens.. this is in fact a positive obligation under IL.. the only thing is.. a violation of this duty would not concern anyone in the world.. no one would care about the cheap israeli blood.. it has flowed before and flows today and this has been factored by the world as a basic axiom.. so where is the world that cries about international law violations when israel neglected its northern residents for 6 years and allowed missiles to pepper their homes? nowhere to be found.. not a whimper..

the conclusion is simple.. our mechanisms are faulty.. our perceptions are flawed.. there is only one answer and that is to seek peace now..

lirun
tel-aviv

MaxZurich said...

Lynda, I have the impression you have some mix of fact and belief, which is great when you want to convince no matter what, but not so good if you're trying to find a lasting solution. After all, if Israel is forced/convinced to stop & wait and in a few years it gets worse (for Israelis), the reaction will be even worse. What I'm saying is: it's important for both sides to reach an understanding and credible solution, maybe even more so to the Lebanese people. The complexity is real, and the future danger may also be, but it's a longer term speculation. I did read in another blog that Israel is afraid that Lebanon is being used by Iran as a test field: but if this is true, all the more reason for Lebanon to end the crisis! I fail to understand why in Israel there're demonstration against the war but in Lebabnon there're no demonstration against the HA; I fail to understand why in all the blogs I've read I didn't find a Lebanese saying: we should've gotten rid of HA's military, we should've made sure to distance ourselves from HA, we're now paying a huge price, how do we make sure it doesn't happen again? Rather, I have the impression that discussion turn to be: Lebanon can't really control its fate, too many strong interests around us... great, but then what's Israel to do?

SadLebaneseGirl said...

Lirun, I don't know if u are aware of it, but israel have continued on violating lebanese air and water without any provocation, and thus violating the lebanese sovereignty, and should remind you of the massacres perpetruated against the lebanese people during the last years (qana massacre against lebanese refugies in the finil center 1996, the sabra and shatila massacre in 1982) and the recent killing of sheep breeder in the bekaa, what would you call these? don't ask lebanese to be objective after seeing these horrors!the damage done to israel done by some katyusha rockets doesn't even come close to all the horrors that have been done to us on the hands of ur f16s and sophisticated weapons. but we all r tired and want to have a decent life, don't we? the core of all this conflict is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, end it and all else will end, pressure ur government to give palestenian a decent and fair deal, they have come to accept the existance of israel, and have less than 20% of the land, what more do u want??
the solution is in the hands of peace loving israelis who can pressure their leaders more than the americans can.

"And there is no solution to the Palestinian problem without negotiations with their elected leadership, the government headed by Hamas.

If one wants to finish, once and for all, with this shit – as Bush so delicately put it – that is the only way"
or else, i don't even want to think about it, too sad and sick of the human race!

Lirun said...

sad lebanese girl..

for their elected palestinian government i dont exist as part of state entity.. i am merely a jewish pig who is a member of the zionist enemy.. who is worthy of nothing more than kassam rockets in its towns and cities..

Michel said...

The way I see it, just think of the Solar System. Jupiter is Israel, Mars is Syria, and Lebanon is the Asteroid Belt. The Asteroid Belt wanted to be planet, but the gravitational pulls of Mars and Jupitor tore it into bits and pieces.

George said...

SadLebaneseGirl, you sure are great with words, and you sure have wonderful ideas about how the peace loving Israelis should pressure their government to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
I just don’t understand one thing - why won't you set example for what you believe is right?
Why you never went out against terrorist group growing inside your land?
Why you never pressured your leaders to resist this group? To outlaw it?
If you truly tired of war and want to live a peaceful life, as you say, and I believe you, then use your words not only to write comments, use them to make a change in the real world. Set example for what you are asking from others to do.

Michel said...

So you guys don't think i am complete waste of brain power, i stumbled upon this insightful post by Free Cedar on the war. It reflected my frustrations perfectly.

http://cedarfree.blogspot.com/

peace

michel

Arabgirl said...

To Lynda,
I totally agree with you that the situation in Lebanon is intricated beyond any visible solution. But as a person who lived her adult life during the 1982 invasion- I didn't, I was too young to understand-, I think that you of all people should see differently now. Who could have believed back in those days that all the militias in Lebanon would disarm (well except one) ? Could you have believed that the empire of the Lebanese Forces would collapse? The druze, amal, kataeb... Can you believe that the Syrians are actually out of the country? ( I know about the secret servises and bla-bla). Beirut resurrected for the rubbles. (granted we're back to square one). You do remember all the kidnapping that took place in Lebanon during the 80'. I would have thought that Europeans and Americans would never forget this ugly chaotic surreal period. But guess what? 20 years later, there was more than half a million tourist in Lebanon, Europeans and Americans. 40 years back, no arab state would even think about mentionning Israel without adding zionist/imperial/ennemy/satan etc. etc.. Do you feel the air in the middle east nowadays.. There are people who actually talk about peace now. Mahmoud Abbas for one. Saudi Arabia condemned Hizbullah. Syria is witnessing the eclipse on the assad reign. People are getting to be more and more realistic, their feet more on the ground. Eventually, everybody will sign peace with Israel. Because unlike the crazy Ahmadinajad, most of the people in the region are starting to understand that Israel is a reality they will have to deal with sooner not later. And let me tell you. As soon as there is peace in Lebanon, I'm coming back with my culture, my kids, my knowledge, my manners, my money and I'll establish myself in Lebanon. Because this is my country. This is where my family is. This is where my school is. I'm not naive, I'm just optimistic

SadLebaneseGirl said...

To Lirun:
1-The mere fact that Hamas is willing to negotiate with israel is an implicit recognition of it's existance.
2- How about the fact that it's israel who nutured hamas and aided it to counterbalance nad undermine the plo, knowing from the beginning it was in their chart to exterminate isreali state?
3- what have got israel to lose to negotiate with hamas?and otherwise with whom they could negotiate(or do tey want to negotiate at all?)? 4- have you ever tried to see things from palestinian point of view? even ehud barak once said that if he was palestenian he would have done the same thing!

Behemoth101 said...

You also forgot to mention that a whopping 90% of Israelis "want a war" right now.

3li- said...

sadlebanesegirl,

You can write all you want, but I will tell you, from experience on this blog site, that you are wasting your time (you can check my previous comments in the last two posts as a case in point).

The Israeli bloggers will knit pick all you say to death. Trust me when I tell you that you will get nowhere. They are totally convinced/brainwashed of their positions.

We have repeatedly asked them to leave us alone, but they keep coming back to this Lebanese site to try to convince us of their absolute right to murder us, and lay waste to our country. Even as they pulverize a big part of Beirut, some have had the gall to tell us that they can’t wait to come and vacation in some of the hot spots around Beirut. There is no limit to their callousness.

wintermotek said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3,
that's not true!
i am israeli. 100% against israeli agression (in lebanon and palestine). i think all this war thing is extremely wrong, and i don't think i'm the only one.
oh, i don't like HA either.
rut

(i wrote here some more about it)
http://wintermotek-inparis.blogspot.com/

3li- said...

Doha,

A SPECIAL PLEA…

The last thing I want is to get into an argument with, what with the Israeli onslaught mercilessly devastating the country. I have always reiterated that this is a time when all the Lebanese should unite, irrespective of their present differences, because this war threatens to break us apart and plunge us into the abyss of another internal conflict that may spell the end of Lebanon, once and for all.

So I will ask you one more time to please stop posting simplistic, naive comments such as your jab at the un-named (but we can guess who) being the 10% that wanted to secure advantage through militancy. I can argue about this point with you forever, and have many accusations of my own; but exactly what is your point right now?

Do you not see how this and similar points you’ve made fuels the very rational of this brutal aggression? Do you not see how the Israeli bloggers have picked up on this point to keep hammering to us that their obliteration of Lebanon is to help us extract this militant minority from amongst us to “help us out?”

Do you not see how such political cover eggs the Israelis to use wholesale devastation to your beloved country, both as a pretext and to further encourage such sentiment to pit the Lebanese against each other?

You’ve posted some great comments overall, and have given us a great deal of information, but I will plead with you to leave alone our internal struggles, which we can and should work out peaceably and through dialogue. Giving comfort and rational to the enemy that their plan and objective is right on target is something I am sure you do not intend.

Lirun said...

i dont want a war.. i'm just trying to balance the inaccuracies.. every coin has two sides..

i pray for peace non stop

(i wrote here some more about it)
http://emspeace.blogspot.com

seeker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MERKOVA said...

When are you arabs\lebanese going to learn that the Israelis will pound your asses until its red and bloody.

And when are you guys going to recognize that the homos(gay palestinian terrorist) and the hezbalabala(camel screwing terrorist from iran) are not interested in your affairs. All they are interested in is making you guys as human shields against the Israelis. And the Israelis is just "oblige" to kill you guys with a smile.

And please "STOP" saying massacre, genocide and dialogue. There is no reasoning and dialogue with terrorist. You just kill 'em ALL.

Massacre is when King abdul of jordan, father of king hussien, ordered the killing of more than 80,000 palestinians in jordan for insurgency. Guess you guys did not know about that little known history. jordan is the palestianian birth right land. Generations of arabs\palestianians was made "Pawns" by other arab states. And now the lebanese are being made "pawns" by terrorist that are not even lebanese.

If I were you guys. Have some "BALLS" and take back your own country from terrorist. Even if you die trying. Atleast you die with dignity and not a victim.

dunes said...

hi
well i have been following this blog for the last week.
and finally have decided to register just to answer to all those who post here.
what i wanted to say to all of you is wake up people this a war.
i live in israel and so i cant relay what i think from an israeli point of view , im not a left wing and not a right wing israeli im a middle one ,
and so i cant tell you how israelis view these events.
for the last 6 years HA has invaded israeli soil and all israel has done in return is maybee send some jets over beirut and thats it.
but now its all over the old status is not going to return HA cannot sit near the border and plan attacks on israel.
israel has no intention of occupaying any lebanon soil.
and i ask you lets say someone is hitting you what would you do turn the other cheeck or fight back ?
all this story started because of HA.
i can only blaim lebanon as the lebanense ppl could have done something to prevent all this mess .
and as the the so called "labense prisoners " like amir kontar and the rest of the labanese held in israel jails
all i can say i have no obejection to realeasing prisoners but not prisoners who has blood on thier hands
and let me remind you most of those held in israel prisons are murderers who has killed civillions not soldiers.
so dont be naive and think that all these prisoners will be released.
all i can say is that israel dont want this war it is forced uppon us but dont think for a moment that if it came to the security of israel population
that israel will just give it up - until something will change israel wont stop even if it comes to the total destruction of lebanon.
and if it came to this no one in israel will shed a tear - we had enough and if silence in the border wont come through peace then it will come through
the total desturction of lebanon - its not something israel wants , but if push comes to shove we can shove
all we want is to live in peace but lebanon didnt gave us that chance ,
all i can say is that we tried peace but arabs appearantly see this as a weakness , israel wont make that mistake again !!!

SadLebaneseGirl said...

Al-Ghadabulsaati3
I like ur nickname, great song!
I haven't given up, yet, and I know that israelis on this blog won't have a miraculous change of heart by reading my posts, but they should know some of our truth, and I hope it will lead them to see this conflict in another perspective.

Voyager said...

Lebanon could be an interesting state with great economic potential, mind you so could large areas of the Middle East.

So long as the political fanatics can buy the poor and uneducated and give them AK47s and a grievance it will not happen. Last year the Palestinians got $1.1 billion in aid, all but $124 million from non-Arabs...........what happens, terrorists get police uniforms and pay, and Swiss banks get new accounts.

This is a joke and cannot go on. It is getting really tiresome firing rockets and wearing masks and blowing up silly schoolgirls and sexually-fruatrated schoolboys to kill those around them.

There has to be more in life than death, and maybe stupid bearded men with fiery phrases and comfortable Mercedes should be ignored so people can buy, sell, trade, and live a life before they die.

Lebanon is the chosen battlefield of the Mad Mullahs of Teheran and Boy Assad is along for the ride. This is rather tiresome to the world at large like a Hollywood Disaster Movie Episode 20...........we know the cast, we know the plotlines, we just watch the car crash repeatedly.

Sorry Lebanon, you are going to get trashed. You probably don't deserve what's happening but you have to get free of Syria and Iran's poodle Hezbollah or you are never going to escape being puppets on a string.

Doha said...

ghada,

Of course I am so angered with Israel's attacks on Lebanon. The Israeli Army just decided to hit transmission antennas for many of the TV stations that have nothing to do with Hizbullah. It's an attack on Lebanon, all of it.

This blog is the Lebanese bloggers, it's for the Lebanese to debate and discuss issues. Little did I know that many Israelis will start reading this blog and also flood it with comments.

Many times I've struggled because I wanted to write posts discussing more of Lebanon's internal politics, but then I just decide not to, because it's not time to do so.

My entry was just trying to explain that the 10% is in every country. And I did say that the Lebanese are not defeatist and we will not bow down.

Our audience is not the Israelis. Many have already set up their mind about Lebanon and the Lebanese. But I'm not going to cheer on Hizbullah either.

Bad Vilbel said...

"If I were you guys. Have some "BALLS" and take back your own country from terrorist. Even if you die trying. Atleast you die with dignity and not a victim."

If only BALLS were enough to defeat people armed with missiles, we wouldn't be here today.

It's easy to say things like this when one has F-16s, nukes, and one of the most advanced military in the world.
But us people who only have "BALLS"...well, short of throwing them at terrorists...I'm not sure how we can do much.

dunes said...

"It's easy to say things like this when one has F-16s, nukes, and one of the most advanced military in the world.
But us people who only have "BALLS"...well, short of throwing them at terrorists...I'm not sure how we can do much."
all i can see is excuses well you did have BALLS when you wanted sirya out .....

D.B. Shobrawy said...

I am sorry, I dont mean to shamelessly plug my post but I think i have answers "why" on my post. so I might as well send you there instead of writing the whole thing all over again here. but a little hint, the answer is Syria.

whisperofmadness.blogspot.com

3li- said...

Doha,

I am not asking you to cheer the Hizb.

I know you have your criticism of the Hizb and others, as I do. There will be a time, and hopefully a nation left, when we can do this.

But we do not have to keep airing our dirty laundry and have others use it and exploit it to justify the rape of our country, and the killing of our people.

Certainly we know now that this about everything but the handful of Israeli soldiers. Israel's carpet-bombing of some areas may even have killed their two captured soldiers already for all we know.

Lirun said...

most of my countrymen and women have made valid contributions to your blog and challenged your concepts.. as you have ours..

the last few have shamed gravely - but they too represent an angle not too different from some of the lebanese bloggers..

the ugly 10% as doha has put it..

i offer to you all a song i recorded wishing israel sow seeds of peace..

i hope you listen and can tell that it came from my heart

http://www.dreamstaterecords.com/peaceearthsafe/mp3/israelwinter.mp3

Scenic View said...

Unfortunately the 10% in Lebanon you speak of have all the guns.

box said...

for what it's worth, as i am not lebanese but have a strong sense of sympathy for lebanon and its people, i am very glad you are here to tell me who you are!

the israelis (and pro-israel americans) are here in full force because it's their job. i think of it as their internet "leaflet" campaign.

the holm-halom message board is a sham - having my persona attached to it is depressing. they're moving shortly; i'm not. out of that rubble i hope to foster a place for people who do not agree with this israeli action, and i hope you'll join me. people all over the world support lebanon; unfortunately, it is 2 countries' leaders who have all the military might and therefore call the tune for the rest of us - whether israeli, lebanese, palestinian, sunni, shia, iraqi, afghani, saudi, american, european, etc. i find that hard to digest.

peace now.

Bad Vilbel said...

dunes:

We weren't able to expell the Syrians for 30 years. Balls alone were never enough.
The only reason we were able to expell the Syrians last year is because we had the backing and support of the USA (because it suited them at the time, to put pressure on Syria).

This speaks to my very point. We can do the same with Hezbollah, but it would take longer (given that Hezbollah is not a foreign force that's as easy to expell), more talking, and more importantly a LOT more support from the west (be it by helping build a strong Lebanese Army, etc.)

I've said over and over. I realize Israel can't stand by idly and wait for Lebanon to go through that process. I get that. No one is arguing that.

But to think that we could've disarmed Hezbollah by flicking our red slippers three times and whispering the magic words is outright unrealistic and childish. These things take time. Hell, Israel's own "disengagement" from the Palestinians has been going on for how long now? These things can't be done in one night, one month, or even one year.

NoWhereMan said...

Great post Doha;

This 10% plagues the rest of the world too. Most Americans realize that the political system in the US is dominated by these 10%. They are the ones who control the political parties. When you hear about the 'Silent Majority' or the 'Moral Majority' during a campaign, it is an acknowledgement that these 10% do not speak for the rest of us. I am not sure the world recognizes how disgusted most Americans are when this 10% overplays their hand.

Every now and then, an individual from this 10% will blow up a building in Oklahoma or will poison their followers with Kool-Aid. The media jumps all over stories about these individuals but turns a blind eye to the President or Congressman who comes from this 10%. The ordinary citizen feels helpless against this big bad government. We do care though and occasionally this 'Silent Majority' expresses their views. When this happens though, the politicians usually jump all over themselves to analyze the voting patterns and claim they represent us. We do have a loud voice and the 10% usually refer to it as the 'will of the American People' as they try to harness it.

I hope you and the rest of the Lebanese people will be more successful at controlling your 10% than we are. Your blog speaks directly to us although the 10% here may ignore you. When the terrorists crashed planes on 9/11, they pissed off the remaining public who usually place limits on the 10% here. Many Muslims have felt the wrath of these 10% who have been unleashed. It is too bad that Muslims could not control their 10% and we now live in the world we do. We must have dialogue to put these 10% back on the leash. Ghandi showed how a single peaceful man can accomplish this.

Keep speaking your mind. While the 10% may criticize you, many more of us will read what you say and agree in silence.

dunes said...

Bad Vilbel:
as you had stated we cannot sit idly and wait for lebanon....
so in your right mind would be a proper reaction by israel to all that happend a week ago ?

SadLebaneseGirl said...

Dunes: Syria was in lebanon with the blessing of westerner countries, and had to retreat because of the same countries decided so, disarming HA is an internal matter that could only be done with negotiation and internal dialog, it could help if israel withdrew from shebaa and did something about the arab prisoners rotting in it's prisons(a gesture for the women and children)
and funny u talk about B**** when u have free arms, financial aid and uncondtional support of the us administartion, britain, germany, france and the international media

3li- said...

bad villbel,

If you, as a Lebanese, are willing to engage your Israeli counterparts about their accusations and agree with some of what they say, just try to put things in context for them so that they understand how their policies have fostered groups such as the Hizb and Hamas in the first place.

You are not serving a peaceful or educational purpose by narrowly looking at the symptoms of why we've had this latest conflict.

You are from Lebanon, and have been witness to its history, its people, how Palestinians fled there, how their presence and lack of a solution for them keeps affecting you and me and have involved us in this conflict;

Unless they know what hand they've played in this development and why everyone is suffering, how can they understand and modify their ways?

By blaming this squarely on the Hizb, and basically brain-storming its extinction, you are being rather disingenuous and even dishonest about the Lebanese reality. You had a good point that the Hizb is not a foreign force but rather an organic Lebanese militia (my comment), but you can continue by saying that they are, in addition to that, a political, social, economic and educationl power who represent the interests of a sizable number of the Lebanese people; You can also talk how this force grew as a reaction to Israel's occupation of Lebanon.

This is not defending the Hizb on your part, nor agreeing with its ideology, but rather an accurate representation of why we have it today, and how its annihilation is a far-fetched dream. You may weaken it considerably, but what will you do with the very popular base that gives them their power and authority? Wipe out all the Shia in Lebanon?

Even the Israelis and Americans have already conceded they cannot completely get rid of them, but rather lessen their influence in the overall regional Palestinian/Israeli conflict (which, whether you agree or not, is the what this war is all about).

So I hope you begin to contextualize your comments to those Israelis who would like to learn, and see our reality for what it is, and not how they it has been fed to them all these years.

3li- said...

Nowhereman,

If your country is threatened with annihilation, I am sure you will not be posting to your annihilator how the "mistake" of your nation's 10%, whom you disagree with, justifies this vicious aggression.

ahmed said...

victory for lebanon

Lirun said...

alghadabulsaati3

i dont think its about what you would and owuldnt do at the abstract level.. i mean in all fairness.. who cares what you post.. the splendour of this medium is that you dont need any special clearance or purpose.. every post becomes a movement and every contributor has the power to steer it to a certain extent..

we are building connections and establishing commonalities and boundaries in our minds.. whether or not these connections are idealyc is something that time will tell.. but in any event.. its more meaningful and more significant than the silence that has maintained our fragile ceasfire over the years..

i dont think this is the battle field.. i think this is the tunnel of friendship..

nevertheless.. you make of it whatever you like

peace man

lirun
telaviv

dunes said...

SadLebaneseGirl: shebaa is a syrian soil and as i remmber ur from lebanon
the un also stated shebaa is not a lebanese soil so dont go looking for reason to justify these actions
also when it comes to B**** israelis have been known for them or should i remind you off all the wars in israel history

Al-Ghadabulsaati3: should i remind you that all of this mishap occured solly because of HA and its actions israel has not made any actions prior to this
so please look at the mirror before you begain blaming anyone else .
and as for
"If your country is threatened with annihilation, I am sure you will not be posting to your annihilator how the "mistake" of your nation's 10%, whom you disagree with, justifies this vicious aggression."
as for the vicious aggression should i remind you that israel has suffred from these vicious aggression long before 1981 or 1973 when almost every day
arabs from all the countires sorrounding israel has send terrorists over the border to israeli villages to kill civvilions and not once any arab or muslim
has ever shouted stop the killing as far as any israeli and me too hipocracy is a common trate ommong arabs

Lynda said...

Doha
Are you the owner of this blog site?
If so, my apologies. I was told by friends that this was a website where both sides to the current hostilities, Lebanese and Israelis, are actually communicating with one another rationally.
I thought that was wonderful.
Now I am appalled to note that you say it's only yet another site for Lebanese to cop out from real life, contemplate their navels and tell one another how wonderful the members of their sect and their leaders are and how awful are all the sects and leaders except their own. Yet another Lebanese site to talk, talk, talk without communicating anything at all.
As I am not Lebanese, my apologies for contributing to what turns out to be unwanted rational discussion.

Lirun said...

oh come on people.. dont get silly..

no one owns cyber space..

this is what you make it.. doha maybe an initiator - if you want peace - bring it.. i doubt doha would personally oppose peace.. she is an enlightened and intelligence person..

dont get so sensitive

eran levi said...

I have a massage to all of you Lebanese reading the blog, hoping to answer one of your most dire questions – what can we do to end this crisis?
As the war entering it’s 12th day you can see that the Israeli army is preparing ground assault – it is inevitable – this time, says the Israeli government – the offensive will last as long as Hezbollah keep holding south Lebanon hostage and the Two of it’s soldiers are captive by the hands of the Archterrorist Nassrallah. Bombings will probably continue against any target recognized or suspected as Hezbollah related or cooperative and entire villages will be trashed in the process – not because the Israeli army or government feels the sudden urge to destroy Lebanon – but simply because the Hezbollah terrorist activists are using the urban landscape as a battlefield and sensitive places such as mosques as missiles Arsenal.
The Hezbollah chose to take the fight into populated areas. Is this war really necessary? Unquestionably yes! For the last 6 years since the Israeli pullout from south Lebanon, Hezbollah has gathered a huge Arsenal of missiles and rockets to be used blindly against the northern Israeli cities and through those years they have been trying (and twice already succeeding) to attack Israeli border patrols and kidnap soldiers beyond the UN recognized border without any provocation.
There is no doubt about it – the world is united – Europeans, Americans and many Arabs as well – Hezbollah must go if the region is to become a safe and peaceful place. Israel will not quit this war before the terms have changed – before Hezbollah is neutralized – south Lebanon is terrorist free and the two kidnapped soldiers returned…

So…

How can you help this war reach a happy ending – as Ironic as it may sound?
There is something that you can do!
First thing – get away form any Hezbollah forces and infrastructure – they are targets! If you have complaints – complain to Hezbollah and yourself – for allowing them to take roots inside you like cancer.
Second thing – cry out against Hezbollah! If you keep quite it will only show a silent support in the terrorists’ cause, therefore encouraging them to keep on fighting –and this will only lengthen the period of the war, since Israel will not back off before the terms have changed in the region – and have no doubt about it – Hezbollah will brake eventually, at least militarily – then it is obviously better to contribute your part in their swift removal from medaling in the regions affairs.
Third thing – call for peace, real peace – not a peace including Hezbollah militants near the border – a peace that includes each country taking responsibility over their own piece of land and what goes on in it!

Kifaya said...

eran levi,

I am in agreement with everything you say, but need to add one more thing that all Lebanese who want peace, political and religious freedom, and a sovereign country...

if you know an extremist Hizbollah fanatic or the whereabouts of their arsenals turn them in and give up their positions. The sooner they are eliminated the sooner you, your neighbors, and the world will realize dreams of peace.

NoWhereMan said...

Dear Al-Ghadabulsaati3;

You are absolutely right. "If your country is threatened with annihilation, I am sure you will not be posting to your annihilator how the "mistake" of your nation's 10%, whom you disagree with, justifies this vicious aggression.",

Instead, I would post ignorant drivel justifying the killing of innocent civilians. Everyone knows I live in a country where the streets are paved with gold and there are money trees in the back yard. When Nigerian scammers commit fraud, my government gives me back the money I lost.

Before you assume you know me and pretend you can speak for me, remember that America was built on immigration. There is a reason why people still flood the borders trying to get in. If I am willing to tell the truth in court and watch my own brother go to jail, you have no right to lecture me.

Eran Tel-Aviv said...

I just read beirut notes last blog and had tears in my eyes.
Doha, your creative writing has opened a world and a place in my heart in the midst of all this viloence and chaos. For this i just want to thank you. I don't want to argue with anyone - I don't see any point when whole communities on both sides of the border are sufferng ( I dont want to quantitize suffering...so please..). I can only hope the "good fence" that once was will return. To my Israeli compatriats - we don't need to agree with the Lebanese or arab claims here - but in the face of so much human mysery - the least we can do as guests of this blog is to show ampethy.
peace and safety to all

3li- said...

Nowhereman,

I did not pretend to know you, neither am I lecturing you; I was simply responding to your point by putting you in our shoes right now.

You can argue with your family all you want, but when someone is bringing the roof down on all of you, arguementaion is pointless.

I will tell you that I want all the criticism of the world in Lebanon. Only honest criticism can propel a society/country forward.

I am not asking Doha to stop criticising, I am only pointing that this is the wrong time especially when all of Lebanon is suffering, and more importantly because we have an aggressive enemy who is using this internal Lebanese criticism to justify its onslaught on us.

dunes said...

eran : you know that we do have the tendency to argue but i believe that all israelis who have posted here did do it with thought and with a need to express themselfs....
as we do not agree with the lebenese here we can still talk things over

shlomi said...

i dont live in lebanon so i want to ask you Lebanese about how the pepople in lebanon see the hizb'

do most of the people see this organization as an enemy of lebanon or as an organization who serve lebanon's interest ?

eran levi said...

To tell you the truth Dunes – the time to talk is over, the time to act has come. Just like the Palestinian leader’s, Abu-Mazen, weak will and impotency: since he lack the guts to purge terror militia forces among his people and corruption inside his own party – so does the Lebanese government and sane majority – which although lounging for peace – are willing to do nothing to strive towards it. They are so fearful of an internal civil war that they don’t mind ignoring Hezbollah’s actions and letting him go unchecked inside their sovereign country.
It’s very easy to avoid confrontation when you’re not the one on the bad side of Hezbollah’s rockets’ edge.
It’s time Israel will make it clear for the Lebanese: Hezbollah is your problem and responsibility! And it is harming Israel and posing an existing threat – and if Lebanon won’t deal with it’s problem, the Israeli government will have to protect their citizens, and it will be costly for the Lebanese that are discovering as we speak that swiping their problems under the table will only blow in their face in the not so far future. Let’s hope that after all of this is over the Lebanese people, which will be given a second chance to repair their mistakes will not Ignore their “skeletons in the closet” because they fear confronting their demons!

My empathy with the innocent getting hurt in the middle, my only comfort is that when it’s over – the life of countless future innocents will be saved by the outcome of this war.

shlomi said...

i want to say to all the people in lebanon that your problem is not israel. your problem is the hizballa !!!
israel always wanted to live in peace with its neighbours but the terror does not stop.

AND THE ARAB LEADERS ARE DOING NOTHING TO STOP IT!!!

6 years since the israeli army left lebanon. what have u done during this period ? u defently didnot try to disarm this organization or to control it.
this terror organization claims day and night that his goal is to destroy israel - in other country this organization was illegal, but in lebanon they are in goverment !!!

THIS ORGANIZATION IS BIGGER THREAT TO LEBANON THAN TO ISRAEL.

if you love your country get rid from hiz' and you will enjoy it more than enybody else.

waiting for peace
shlomi

Yohay Elam said...

I've been to a demonstration against the war, in Tel Aviv. It seems that currently, there are less than 10% of Israelis who are against the war.
But, the number is growing. As time passes by and the war continues, more people forget how it began, and just suffer from it.
I hope the world can help both sides to stop the violence.

http://things.co.il/blog/36

dunes said...

eran : read my first post its exactly what i wrote
yohay: all i have to say is wake up and smell the cofee all you left winged demented people will have to wake up soon

Lirun said...

the news report just said that the kassams may have stopped - there may be a ceasefire with the hammas brokered by abu mazen.. god willing..

btw dunes please i urge you to refrain from using the word "we" because your posts make me sick to the stomach.. your dementure and lackof sensitivity are painful to the mind and soul..

lirun
tel-aviv

dunes said...

lirun i urge you to get real and face the honest fact that we (israel ) and i know all of the country is behind me when i say that . are in a war
and. i know that you as a left wing dont really want to know whats going on
so dont lecture me !!!!
the sain middle layer of israelis are not like you as you know you are a minority in israel
and i know i represnt most views by israelis so dont call me demanted.
i know you dont want me to use the word we becuase you dont want me represent you, but i represent the majorety of israelis.
and from what you said i know you represnt the demanted minority. so next time if you want to ask something learn how to ask it you patronizing little man.

shlomi said...

yohay
the reason that only few people in israel agree with u is because we cannot sit and do nothing when hiz' attacks us .

IF WE STOP NOW THET'LL DO IT AGAIN

and as it seems the lebanon goverment (which hiz' is part of it) do not try to stop the hiz'

so what can we do?

THIS ORGANIZATION'S GOAL IS TO DESTROY ISRAEL

we can not ignore them

Lirun said...

sain?

"sain

\Sain\, v. t. [Cf. Saint, Sane.] To sanctify; to bless so as to protect from evil influence.
"