Who are they kidding?

A 48-hour halt to airstrikes?

Only an hour ago, an Israeli airstrike targeted a taxi on the Tyre-Abbassiyye road (Abbassiyye is northeast of Tyre).

This was followed by two additional airstrikes, one targeted a Lebanese Army barracks in Al-Qasimiyye, killing 1 soldier, wounding 3 others, and the other targeted a location near Marja’youn (north and slightly west of Al-Khiam).

From time to time I can still hear the roar of jets flying very low over the Matn and Keserwan region. Jets are also reported to be flying over the Masna’a area on the border in east Lebanon.

In other developments… 26 bodies were discovered today (actually, a while ago) in the village of Srifa in south Lebanon. Where is Srifa? Check out Google Earth’s satellite shot of the village itself as well as its general location. For more information on what this might be all about, read this and view this.

The country is almost out of fuel, and we might not have electricity at all in a week’s time. But life goes on, and we all find ways of adjusting to this “new” life. First and foremost it reminds us that we take some things for granted and fail to understand what life without these could be like. When I was in Toronto in August 2003, a power blackout brought much of the city to a halt, and caused such widespread panic and chaos. Here in Lebanon we’re not at that level of taking things for granted, but we are at a rather high level, and things like these make us think about and be all the more thankful for what we have. Whereas pre-July 12 we used to complain if a private generator malfunctioned and caused an electricity cut of one or two hours, today we are able to cope with electricity cuts of 10 hours, and in the coming days, of 24 hours. Life goes on.

More news: LBC – Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (TV station) – has sent a reporter to Bint Jbeil. He said that there is tremendous destruction there, enormous smell of dead people and rotting corpses. There are also elderly men and women who were unable to flee, and who are trapped in shelters of buildings that have collapsed. Few Lebanese Red Cross rescue workers have been able to reach the site, and have been working on evacuating some of the elderly. No word yet on the number of civilian casualties. The reporter said that he has lived through 1982 and the recent war in Iraq, but this is the first time he has seen such enormous damage. He also reported that the Israeli forces have been arresting civilians in Maroun al-Ras. Some civilians – including children and the elderly – were able to flee on time, and have been walking for almost a week now, from Maroun al-Ras to Tibnin, which is some 15 km from Bint Jbeil. Now imagine an 80-year-old man/woman walking 20 kilometers without food or water.

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22 responses to “Who are they kidding?

  1. Seeking views on the middle east crisis. Will you please contribute at middleeastcrisis.wordpress.com

  2. the biggest probelm in the middle east is ISRAEL. hezbolah is not the probelm here and neither is the pelestinian based islamic group hamaz…what the world needs to do is take out israel for good .this people do not belong in the world..they cannot live their lives peacefully and neither can they let anyone else live. it is the polotics of the united states of america to back up israel ..by giving them all this war machines and making them powerful which in return will serve their interest.. some one needs to nuke israel and wipe it of the world map.

    allah ul akbar

  3. hi man thanks for letting the world know what is happening even though what is happening is one of the most inhumane tragedies of our time the new millenium is all ready riddled with blood. i would usually curse israel and the zionest but its not worth wasting to many words on them. keep in mind the people of the real free world people that do not let cnn think for them are with please do not give up our prayers are wit you. please stay strong cuz every evil has its end written somewhere i pray and hope the end for this child of satan will be soon come to an end.

    god bless
    do not give up
    long live the resistance against any type oppression

  4. Maybe someone should send a reporter to Israel’s north to take photos of the damage and victims and maybe get lucky and get some really discusting corpse photos.
    But then again, our deads and their families deserve the minimum respect of not using them as media puppets…

  5. Michael Whelan

    When can mankind learn from the examples of Jesus, Buddah, Mohammad, and other such prophets of the past, that violence only begets violence.
    In the final analysis, we all inheret the same earth, we breath the same air, and we all care about our childrens future.

  6. Reggi – I think you’re right. It seems quite obvious that Israel is, indeed, the biggest problem. The Zionist barbarians running the country and supporting the war have not yet attained Homo sapiens status. They behave like bloodthirsty animals on a feeding fest.

    Their behavior is predictable, though. If you believe the Bible, the first recorded massacre in history was done by the Jews (read the story of the Canaanites), and, oh yes, the crucifiction of Jesus is on their hands, too. What do you expect from such people? Their latest adventure is no better. They maintain their time-honored tradition of killing mostly women and children.

    When the Zionists were first pushing for some piece of territory to occupy, a chunk of Brazil (I believe) was under consideration. The Brazilians are probably thanking their lucky stars that particular nightmare never happened to them.

    Interestingly, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 specifically stated that any granting of territory to the Zionists should, in no way, interfere with the indigenous culture or people on the land. Wow! That sure didn’t work out very well, did it? In a kind of leagalistic, hair-splitting way, they actually don’t want to interfere, just exterminate. Not the same thing, eh?

    I’m not a big fan of nuking everyone to ashes, though. Although, there have been times when, if I had the power, I would have seriously considered it. Maybe this “security” wall thing is a good idea. Only use it to seal off Israel from the civilized world. Just throw pieces of raw meat over the top every now and then to keep them happy.

    Bloodthirsty animals should be caged.

  7. From http://informationclearinghouse.info/article14307.htm :

    “YESHA RABBINICAL COUNCIL: DURING TIME OF WAR, ENEMY HAS NO INNOCENTS
    07/31/06 “Ynet” — — The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that “according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as ‘innocents’ of the enemy.”
    All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians,” the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)
    (07.30.06, 17:37)
    Copyright © Yedioth Internet. All rights reserved.”

    God help us?

  8. “At least 598 people have been killed in Lebanon, although the health minister puts the toll at 750 including bodies still buried under rubble. Fifty-one Israelis have also been killed…”

    eran kampf, do you know math ? can you figure out what the death ratio is ?

  9. Obviously, the Yesha Rabbinical Council is composed of bloodthirsty animals with no respect for the dignity or rights of innocents in times of war. The monstrosity of their proclamation falls into the “It’s OK to Kill Everybody” school of thought.

    Clearly, they have no depth of understanding of their own religion or its teachings. A sad bunch. Kind of a double-edged sword though, eh?

    Does the Rabbinical Council lament the loss of a paltry couple of dozen or so Jewish non-combatants? Are they not, by definition, guilty, too? Or is the loss of a Jewish citizen an outrage prompting further bombing, while the death of an Arab citizen is just a shrug of the shoulders?

    For those of us who actually have brains, it is just beyond belief that a Judaic organization could even consider saying something like this. Especially considering the events in Europe 60 years ago. You’d think that they’d want to promote dialog and the sanctity of life. But no, it is not to be. It’s “Gas up the tanks and kill everybody” time. Yahooooo!

    Anonymous – the pathetic part is that eran kampf probably loves the ratio and wishes it were higher.

    Eran – you looking forward to the Second Coming? I’ve got good news and bad news. Good news is, all this shit’s gonna get straighted out. Bad news is, you can’t dig a hole deep enough to hide in!

    PS: Eran, dude, you take 750 and divide by 51.

  10. Actually, isn’t 51 the overall figure, i.e. including Israeli soldiers? I believe the civilian toll is much lower, somewhere around 20 (or maybe less, sorry, I don’t count).

  11. Yes, 51 is a total figure (depending on which news feed your reading) and, as you Anarchistian, I believe that roughly half of them are civilians.

    So, yeah, we may need to amend this ratio to 750 (minimun) divided by 25 or so. Then again, the numbers are rough but the overall ratio will will still be rediculous.

  12. War issues aside, I’d like to address a certain point. I’m a relative newcomer to this blogging thing but it seems to me that there is a distinct trend in the posts. Either that, or maybe I’m being excessively cynical. This is the trend I am seeing.

    1) Those who sympathize with the plight of the Lebanese and Palestinians, in general, post commments laden with facts and, more or less, are engaging each other in their comments – Anarchistian referring to one of my comments, me to Anonymous, Anonymous to Anarchistian, etc.

    2) Those who are expressing ideas vehemently pro-Israeli…don’t seem to be engaging anyone. There never seems to be a reply from one of them that addresses ideas or challenges from the other side.

    The thing that I find troubling is that there doesn’t seem to be any reasoned debate here. One side lashes out (and others on that side contribute supporting comments). The other side lashes out (and similar comments are posted). There’s not a whole lot of “cross-talk” going on here.

    I, for one, have posted some very sharp (and, admittedly sarcastic) comments to eran kampf. A reply? Nothing. I’ve noticed the same thing with posters other than myself.

    It’s as if we have two camps: one stands at one side of the room and yells at the camp on the other side. Those on the other side of the room, don’t yell back. They make isolated, disconnected comments of a very provocative (and nuts) nature that does not connect with what the others are saying.

    Here’s my challenge: We, on both sides, enter into a debate that actually discusses the issues in a give and take, a parry and riposte, if you will. Are you up to it? Do you have the balls?

    Here’s my parry: I accuse the pro-Israeli posters here of being cowards. They refuse to engage in a reasoned debate. They, as far as I’ve seen, shrink from actually responding to any of the anti-Israeli posts logged here. You log in, shoot a flaming arrow into the blog, and cowardly skulk away into the darkness, too afraid to engage in a real discussion – based on facts, based on reality, based on, hell, anything you want.

    And here’s my suspicion: The more vehemently (bloodthirsty?) pro-Israeli posters here are not actually interested in a discussion of any kind. They’re almost like blog hackers (blackers?) who don’t actually take your site down, but are only interested in, what, getting a rise out of you (us). People who get a chuckle out of pissing you off.

    Anyway, enough. Let’s see some balls. Kampf? Got any?

  13. Chris – I don’t think that those who have a point and know that they do would stay away from responding. So what you have is one side being logical in condemning the massacre of civilians (on both sides) while the other refuses to acknowledge that civilians on the other side of the border are worthy of treatment that is expected to be bestowed upon civilians on their side of the border. So what you have is the complete dehumanization of civilians of one side by the other side, whereas the side that has paid the heavier price is the one that seeks an end to the suffering of civilians on both sides – simply because this whole thing is a MADNESS and has GOT TO STOP.

  14. Yes. The plan is moving forward. Israel to take out Hezbulla and then go into Syria(time to reap what your sew) and the United States to pummel Iran after they foolishly try to defend Syria. I can’t wait. The solution to this new “power in the middle east” meets an expected and foolish end. Aliance with terror is going to be met with real power. Why is “terror” not that scary? Because when you have power the battle will be fought in the terrorist’s home. The occupents are the only ones who care about the dead. (And they will eventually care aenough to compromise their principles enough to kill those terrorists who brought the destruction to their lands. This my friend is common sense.
    Signed, Middle East Fuck You

  15. Hey Chris- Ask Anachristian how these peace loving people felt when they turned a bling eye to the rockets being fired on a daily basis into Northern Israel before the invasion. Do you think they knew what the construction of rocket launchers and bunkers were for. Think maybe they knew innocent civilians whould eventually pay the price? Think these are the people everyone should trust to keep the peace now? Ahh, no.

  16. Mr “Swift”,
    I don’t mean to tell you how to think just to say please start. In any conflict that reaches a boiling point if you just started to observe it from a neutral position it may seem that the fed up and more powerfull party was being irrational and even a bully when they finnaly responded to force to the irritation of a weaker party. Why do you pick sides at this point? You don’t. The behavior of terror is to hope your actions are noteworthy in the news as to bring attention to your cause but not to the point where the target of the terror gets so mad that they fight back. So if you want to debate the issues I would like to debate your timing of support for a side that actually is not without the blood of innocents or honnor.
    Signed, Middle East get real

  17. Well Chris, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but I do have a very specific question that has yet to be answered anywhere.

    In October 2000 Hezbullah abducted 3 Israeli soliders and offered
    a prisoner exchange for 14 prisoners, including Simar Kuntar. It took until 2004 (and the killing of the soldiers and a few more
    kidnappings) before Isreal finally exchanged about 30 prisoners, the remains of 60 or so militia and some maps of mines in southern
    but NOT Kuntar.

    So after 4 years, the death of some soldiers and further kidnappings
    the Isrealis were still unwilling to release Kuntar.

    So the very real question is: how can anyone actually try to claim
    that Hezbullah expected the prisoner exchange to work this time?

    What could possibly have changed that they believed that the longest held
    lebanese prisoner in Isreal, a man that numerous hostage takings havd failed to release, a man that bashed a 4 year old girls head in witht he butt of his rifle after killing her father in Isreal, would be traded this time?

    I’ve yet to see a single cogent post or even decent report on that.

    That is why some of us, even some who completely condem Isreal’s reaction, who think it is stupid, muderous, criminal and unconsionable, are
    also convinced that the Hezbullah kidnapping and offer was not a serious attempt at prisoner exchange, but designed to provoke and invasion because Hezbullah felt their hand would be stregthened by fighting Isreali soldiers on the ground.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  18. Chris,

    The same phenomenon has been troubling me lately too. I’m not new to blogging, but this war has brought a lot of ugliness to a head. Read some of the blogs Anarchistan has linked to under the heading “Blogs/Health Warning” and if that is not enough (they are exreme, hence the health warning), read some of the “other” blogs too. After that, read through a few messages on BBC’s ‘Have your say” (check the recommended ones) and you might even check the feedback section on reuters. The shouting trend you notice is everywhere. AND check out the more reasoned blogs – the comment boxes are swamped with the vitriol we’ve seen a shadow of here (well, unless Anarchistan has been filtering a lot of it).

    My conclusion I mentioned in an earlier post – basically, this is the foxification (if you can use the word) of debate, and of news generally. That is: shout, simplify your opponent’s position, and make invalid but sensational conclusions in order to get the opponent on the defensive. The result is that they (the opponent) ends up defining their position, correcting distortions etc. so the debate goes nowhere and no one is any wiser exept to know that all the BS is reason enough to doubt…

    BTW, are you, Chris, from the RA list? Your name is really familiar!

  19. unless Anarchistan has been filtering a lot of it
    Yes, I have been doing that. I am simply not willing to turn my blog into a trash bin where all sorts of people come and spew their hatred. Whoever does not make a point and goes rambling on and on about something that makes no sense and he/she shows no willingness to defend with proof, I am removing. I simply have no time for back-and-forth accusations and hateful gibberish about civilians not being killed in Lebanon or them deserving what they’re getting.

  20. I’m still wondering why anyone think Nasrallah and Hezbullah, if they were reacting to killings and kidnappings in Gaza, demanded the release
    of Kuntar? Or why they kidnapped and killed soldiers in 2000 to
    demand Kuntar’s release? Or why they turned down an offer of 400 Israeli
    prisoners instead of Kuntar? Or why they thought this time it would be different? And how getting Kuntar released would help the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank?

    It’s a part of this entire debate I simply don’t understand and it
    gives lie, I think, to the suggestion that Hezbullah acted due to some events in Gaza and/or the West Bank.

    What will happen after the cease-fire? Will Lebanon go to war with Syria over Sheba’a farms? Hezbullah had attempted to kidnap and/or kill
    Israeli soldiers at the border at least once a year since 2000. How
    long do you think before they try again? And what will be the Israeli response?

    And what will happen to Lebanon?

  21. if they were reacting to killings and kidnappings in Gaza
    Who said they were merely reacting to those? Did you even pay attention to what I said???? Only a month before they took those 2 soldiers POW, there was an assassination of 2 people in Sidon, and it resulted in many civilian injuries as well. A few weeks later Israeli agents were arrested by the Lebanese Army, and they confessed to having planted the bomb that killed those 2 leaders. What is that assassination if not a clear provocation? In 1982, Israel used the assassination attempt of its ambassador to London by Abu Nidal, who had been condemned to death by Arafat’s PLO, to justify its invasion of Lebanon to “uproot PLO terror infrastructure”… So, what makes Israel’s reaction any more justifiable (and there is virtual consensus – though I think it stems from misinformation – that 1982 was pretty much justified as Israel was defending itself [always the same excuse]) than that of HezbAllah? And can you see how impotent the Lebanese Army actually is? If HezbAllah is disarmed, Israel can march to the northernmost tip of Lebanon in less than 1 day.

    As for Kuntar, I don’t understand why you’re so obsessed with him. Let us take this scenario: HezbAllah or Hamas somehow capture an Israeli soldier who has the blood of a Palestinian or Lebanese child on his hands. They imprison him for 30+ years. So, do you think that Israel will just give up on him saying “well, he’s bashed the skull of a four-year old, so we don’t care about getting him back” ? When you can imagine that ACTUALLY taking place, do let me know. And before you start saying, Israel is a state actor and HezbAllah is not, that is IRRELEVANT!!! Murder is murder, terrorism is terrorism – doesn’t matter what the murderer’s status is! A police officer who murders/hurts someone is just as bad as a civilian who does the same!

    Well I think HezbAllah will remain armed for good. It will also make whatever political advances that were made in Lebanon towards the goal of disarming HezbAllah or incorporating it into the army (which I think is pretty pointless, because HezbAllah is largely successful because of its secrecy, and opening its command to the Lebanese Army makes it pretty much ineffective) pretty much irrelevant… The Shi’ites in Lebanon will never accept anything less than keeping HezbAllah armed, as they have seen the inaction and impotency of the Lebanese Army. And Lebanese politicians will have to be very careful when pushing the agenda of disarming HezbAllah from now on, because Israel’s actions have doubled the sensitivity around this issue…

  22. I am not obsessed with Kuntar, I am wondering why Hezbullah is. You have to go back to before 2000 (even before that, actually) as even then Hezbullah had kidnapped and killed Israeli soldiers in a bid to
    get Kuntar released.

    Your argument that this excursion is somehow different from 2000 or the failed Al-Gajar attack is non-sense. They have the exact same stated goals.

    None of this absolves Isreal from criminal, absurd, self-defeating murderous acts, which they have most certainly committed and continue to commit. But Hezbullah – not Lebanon, I don’t believe – wanted a
    confrontation – and one that would be drawn out and give them more power as they were in fear of being marginalized.

    I think the strategy worked, to a large extent, although at the
    expense of the modern state of Lebanon. The provocation was a selfish
    self-serving act by Hezbullah that was not in the interest of Lebanona.

    You seem to care more about Hezbullah than Lebanon anyway, so I
    am not surprised you try to ignore Kuntar. But the fact remains, he
    was the target of the 2000 kidnapping, Hezbullah turned down 400 prisoners
    that Isreal was willing to exchange in order to remain fixated on
    Kuntar. I didn’t even know Kuntar’s name until 2000 – even though
    he was a target of the Achillie Lauro.

    If Kuntar is not important, why provoke a war by kidnapping and killing soldiers and demanding his release?

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