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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Now I am confused. The Hasan Nasrallah who was speaking on TV: is he Hasan Nasrallah of Hizbullah or is he Hasan Dib Nasrallah, the grocer from Ba`albak who was kidnapped in a "daring Israeli commando raid"?

  • I have been writing about this war as of late. I have not been writing about the sinister roles (Sfayr, Jumblat, Sanyurah, mini-Hariri (where is he now?), etc) of Lebanese politicians during this war of aggression. More on them later.

  • I am watching Hasan Nasrallah's speech. I will write a commentary later tonight.

  • Despite the war of aggression, it is rather gratifying to live to a time when Israeli propaganda is more dumb than the Arab regimes' propaganda in 67. Look at this one.

  • This has been confirmed: only the planes from the Arab countries that are part of the American/Israeli/Arab conspiracy in Lebanon have been allowed to land in Beirut airport by the Israeli occupation forces. Today, supplies from Yemen were prevented from reaching Beirut. You see: according to Israel, only those countries that support its aggression will be allowed to bring supplies to Lebanon, in the hope of helping them to beautify their ugly images among the Lebanese public. Thus far, only planes from Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia have been allowed in.

  • "“How could you stay silent when you see your land burn and your children get killed?” said Mr. Yahia, who said he was a platoon commander with the local defense force. “The whole population here is resisting.” Israel aims to drive the Islamic resistance, Hezbollah in particular, out of south Lebanon. But its past occupations and wars here have provided a powerful rallying cause that is deeply rooted in this rugged land."

  • "In an event that would have been unthinkable a few months ago, in this country where politics is locked into religious lines, the Maronite Catholic patriarch — the spiritual leader of the most pro-Western populace — convened a meeting this week of religious leaders of other communities, Shiite and Sunni Muslims and several varieties of Christians, resulting in a statement of solidarity and photographs in Wednesday’s newspapers. Their joint statement, condemning the Israeli “aggression,” hailed “the resistance, mainly led by Hezbollah, which represents one of the sections of society.”"

  • "Mr. Olmert said in several interviews that the offensive was severely degrading Hezbollah’s military capacity. But in Lebanon, an expert on the militia said Mr. Olmert’s description of a traditional, formal military structure did not fit with the way Hezbollah was organized. “The command structure of Hezbollah — show me one,” said Timor Goksul, a longtime adviser to the United Nations peacekeepers in south Lebanon and now a university professor here. “They don’t work that way. There are three regional commands that have full autonomy, and under them districts and then cells in villages, with a maximum of 20 men. “They know their job,” he said. “Their uniforms, their weapons are in a cave somewhere. They do their jobs and then they’re home watching television.”"

  • "Seven people, including two children, were killed when Israeli planes bombed a house in Jamaliye, a few miles outside Baalbek. In the house were about 50 members of an extended family who had fled the house when the jets were flying over. After the family returned, a rocket landed in the garden, one relative said."

  • "Capt. Jacob Dallal, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, said soldiers had searched five houses and taken specific suspects into custody. But Mr. Jammal said the soldiers had taken only civilians, including a 15-year-old boy who was released when soldiers detained his grandfather instead."

  • Israeli war crimes are a mere "dilemma" according to the New York Times.

  • Did UN or Human Rights organizations condemn Israel for kidnapping Lebanese civilians and trasporting them across the border?

  • For the last few days, there is always a picture of Israeli soldiers in the New York Times, and they are always in non-combatant roles. I mean, there are plenty of pictures of Israeli soldiers bombing the hell out of Lebanon. But the New York Times selects those pictures: one where the soldiers are singing, yesterday they were looking at maps, today, they were hugging and embracing. How nice. You would not even know that they have been committing "war crimes"--at least according to Human Rights Watch, and you know how timid that origination is.

  • Riad wrote this:
    "Finally, while visiting north Israel, Olmert declared that "Today, the threat posed by Hezbollah is not what it was. It can no longer threaten this people, as this people have stood up to it and have come out victorious". Unfortunately, the speech had to be cut short and the prime minister quickly evacuated because of the more than180 rockets falling on the area. However, Olmert promised that a printed copy of this important speech will be delivered to every shelter in North Israel."

  • HRW: "Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes."

  • "But Israel must take the initiative. Unless it calls off the offensive and accepts a genuine cease-fire, there are likely to be many, many dead Israelis in the coming weeks--and a much stronger Hezbollah." WHAT ABOUT DEAD LEBANESE? Do they count at all? Also, Robert Pape has a good book on suicide bombings, but he is NOT a Middle East expert, and it shows. Don't get me wrong. He has good political instincts. But look what he says about Hizbullah here: "Hezbollah--never tight-knit--expanded into an umbrella organization that tacitly coordinated the resistance operations of a loose collection of groups with a variety of religious and secular aims." Are you talking about Hizbullah or PLO here? Also, I can't believe that you were told that Arab Socialist Union was active in the resistance against Israeli occupation.

  • "The US-backed Israeli assault on Lebanon has left the country numb, smouldering and angry. The massacre in Qana and the loss of life is not simply "disproportionate". It is, according to existing international laws, a war crime. The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon's social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate. The attempt has backfired. In Lebanon itself, 87% of the population now support Hizbullah's resistance, including 80% of Christian and Druze and 89% of Sunni Muslims, while 8% believe the US supports Lebanon. But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by the "international community" since the US and its allies that commit or are complicit in these appalling crimes will not permit it."

  • Those poor Israeli pilots. For those around the world wondering what the US press is writing about, here it is. The coverage is less sympathetic to the victims of Qana. It is busy being sympathetic to the killers of Qana. "Agonizing Choices for an Israeli Fighter Pilot: Exclusive: After the deadly Qana strike, a veteran pilot tells TIME of the wrenching everyday decisions whether to attack what could be the enemy or innocent civilians."

  • Apparently, Hasan Dib Nasrallah is not a brick layer, but a grocer. Another relative of his who was also kidnapped was a brick layer. There are rumors that those kidnapped are in fact communist. Which reminds me: Lebanese Communist Leader, Khalid Hdadah, was really good on LBC-TV's Kalam An-Nas. He was most effective.

  • "The Total Destruction of Srifa: Mangled Bodies in the Wake of Israeli Bombs and Missiles"

  • "He blasted his Democratic opponent, Bob Casey Jr., for failing to speak out forcefully enough in defense of Israel. "At a critical time in the America-Israel relationship, when you are a candidate for one of the hottest Senate races in the country, you have an obligation to step up and speak into this moment," Santorum said in an interview. Instead, he said, Casey shows "weakness.""

  • "Another man nodded. "Every civilian killed, his children, when they get older, will join the resistance," he said."

  • Clerical kook: " The chief of Iran's judiciary is to decide whether to have a woman stoned to death for adultery."

  • Robert Fisk (yes, I use him selectively): "The obscene score-card for death in this latest war now stands as follows: 508 Lebanese civilians, 46 Hizbollah guerrillas, 26 Lebanese soldiers, 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians.In other words, Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas."

  • I just by mistake had a minute from CNN. They were referring to the "daring commando raid" by Israeli occupation troops. American viewers did not know that this "daring commando raid is the same one that readers of this blog know because it led to the capture of Hasan Dib Nasrallah.

  • "An attack on a hospital, the killing of an entire Lebanese family, the seizure of five men in Baalbek and a new civilian death toll - 468 men, women and children - marked the 22nd day of Israel's latest war on Lebanon. The Israelis claimed that helicopter-borne soldiers had seized senior Hizbollah leaders although one of them turned out to be a local Baalbek grocer. In a village near the city, Israeli air strikes killed the local mayor's son and brother and five children in their family."

  • "Help save the children, victims of war"

  • Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    "Israel has not managed to crush Hizbullah and, worse, it has strengthened Hizbullah's standing in Lebanon and the Arab world, which are seeing how a tiny guerrilla organisation has succeeded in standing up to the mighty Israel defence forces and causing Israel serious losses among its civilian population. That is a dangerous precedent."

  • What do you do when you watch the city of your ancestors (and its remaining poor people) being destroyed on live TV? "Fears grow as Tyre runs short of food, fuel - and hope"

  • On a day when Hizbullah sent more rockets into Israel than any other day since the war started: "Ehud Olmert, said Hizbullah had been disarmed "to a large degree". "The infrastructure of Hizbullah has been entirely destroyed," he said."

  • Kinder to pets than to Arabs.

  • For those who use the term "international legitimacy" in Lebanon: "The [Israeli] prime minister has indicated only that it has at least until next Monday. In his note, Olmert wrote: "Chief of Staff! If we have time... at least until Monday... because only then will the Security Council convene."

  • This is most unusual. Mild-mannered and moderate (former Prime Minister), Salim Huss, issues an appeal to Arab leaders. It is most unusual. It begins with: "May God preserve you for the emptry titles, and may God preserve you for the perishable posts [that you hold]..."

  • Comrade Fawwaz Trabulsi asks the Syrian regime: how about resistance in the Golan Heights?

  • "A senior intelligence source in Jerusalem said that baseless boasting over a strike is not characteristic of Hezbollah." But notice that the Israeli military did not mention the missiles at the ship until today.

  • Rice's New Middle East. That is worrisome. So the new (Sunni) Islamic Fundamentalist Front (I mentioned it yesterday) was announced by Fathi Yakan, formerly of Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah. In his press conference, Yakan praised Al-Qa`idah and urged for more non-"theoretical" participation on their part in Palestinian and Lebanese affairs. The Bush administration has been working for several years now on the new Middle East. It will come out: and it will be a more dangerous and more scary Middle East: for the people of the East and the people of the West.

  • Lebanese Public Opinion: In numbers, and not based on New Yorker's correspondent's observations. Instead of relying on unnamed "Lebanese sources" of Yossi Melman or on whiskey-drinking Lebanese that Jon Lee Anderson meets, here is a real public opinion survey. It is my least favorite polling firm in Lebanon: it is the one that conducts surveys for the sectarian Christian, right-wing Lebanese TV station, LBC-TV. But the results are quite interesting, and displeasing for LBC-TV and US/Israel. And Ipsos which did the surveys obviously tried hard to ask questions in a way as to determine the results. For example, the first question was about whether this war's timing was "appropriate." Now when you phrase it like that, you mix the attitude to Hizbullah with the attitude to Israel. So 62% said that the timing of the war was not appropriate. And when the Lebanese were asked whether they support the US demand for disarming Hizbullah, 64% of Lebanese said no. (63% of Sunnis, interestingly). As for whether you blame Hizbullah or Israel for the war, 84% of Lebanese blamed Israel for the war. (84% of Sunnis, for those who think that Lebanese Sunnis are now supporters of Israel). And 67% of Lebanese supported the capture of the two Israeli soldiers. With results like this, I suggest the US press covers the interrogation of Hasan Dib Nasrallah, the brick layer.

  • Slick Israeli propaganda.

  • The Interrogation of Hasan Dib Nasrallah in Israel. As you know, an elite Israeli force successfully kidnapped Hasan Dib Nasrallah (not to be confused with Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah) along with his kid, relatives and a neighbor. I was able to receive a transcript of his interrogation in Israel where he remains in custody in a top secret location:
    Israeli interrogator: What is your name?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: Hasan Dib Nasrallah.
    Israeli Interrogator: Occupation?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: Brick layer, and I do some construction work too.
    Israeli interrogator: Don't be a smart ass. You also are a leader of Hizbullah. You have a secret identity like Clark Kent. Brick layer by day and Hizbullah leader by night, right?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: No, I only am a brick layer.
    Israeli Interrogator: but what is your name?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: Hasan Dib Nasrallah.
    Israeli interrogator: Don't be a smart ass. How many Hasan Nasrallahs are there?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: probably 10,000 in Lebanon, not counting Hasan Nasrallahs in Arab countries.
    Israeli interrogator: But our Orientalist experts assured us that there is only one Hasan Nasrallah. Are you telling me now that there is also more than one person with the name Usamah in the Arab world?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: Yes.
    Israeli interrogator: But you know the Hasan Nasrallah of Hizbullah, no?
    Hasan Dib Nasrallah: Well, no. But I have seen him on TV.
    Israeli interrogator: there. We got you.

  • The pride and glory of the Israeli state. So I was watching a report on the pro-Bush, right-wing Lebanese station, LBC-TV. It was about the Israeli raid on Ba`albak. Basically, we learn this: an elite force of 300 Israeli soldiers were in pitch battle against 4 Hizbullah fighters FOR MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS. This reminds me of the good old days in Lebanon: when four Palestinian resistance fighters used to battle a force of 1000 Lebanese army soldiers. But the Israeli raid was a success, according to Israeli media. Not only did it net Hasan Dib Nasrallah, but a pregnant woman was killed on her way to the hospital for delivery. She was shot from the air by Israeli helicopters.

  • The War Against the Lebanese civilians. Here, the Prime Minister of Israel makes his intentions clear: "All the population which is the power base of the Hezbollah in Lebanon was displaced," he said."

  • For those who care: at 7:00PM (Pacific Time), KPFA will air an interview with me that was taped last night. You may listen live.

  • .

  • "This is a letter sent from two FOX news producers in Amman, Jordan to FOX news:

    Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006

    Dear All,

    We would like to announce our resignation from Fox News in Amman. Although we never actually worked for your organization, we helped for the past three years in facilitating your work in the Middle East.
    We base our decision on moral issues. We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that. Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism. You have crossed all borders and red lines. An Arab mother cries over the death of her child very much like an American and Israeli mother.
    Arab blood is not cheap, and we are not barbarians. You ought to be more responsible and have more decency when you take one side against the other. You have a role to play and a responsibility to shoulder for the sake of your very naive viewers.
    Throughout the three years we worked with you, and helped you, we thought you would develop a degree of respect to people in this part of the world. But the disdain and blatant one-sided coverage of all Mideast conflicts only highlights your total lack of humanity and bias toward Israel. Your lack of professionalism has made you a tool of ridicule throughout the world. Your inexperienced anchors with their racist comments are not only a shameful scar on the American Media, they simply represent state run Television networks in countries you despise in the Middle East.
    Finally, our decision again is based on moral and professional basis and from now on we will no longer help in any Fox related matters.
    Serene Sabbagh
    Jomana Karadsheh

  • Yesterday, using a picture from the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle identified a mural of `Abbas Musawi (Hasan Nasrallah's predecessor) as that of Hasan Nasrallah. But Musawi also had a beard. That explains the confusion.

  • "Bipartisan Support for Israel"

  • "AIPAC not only lobbied for the resolution; it had written it. "They [Congress] were given a resolution by AIPAC," said former Carter Administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who addressed the House Democratic Caucus on July 19. "They didn't prepare one.""

  • Samidoun. This is a progressive group in Lebanon and they asked me to ask you to help out if you can. They are in the forefront of the relief work at As-Sanayi` Park where Southern Lebanese refugees live.
    PS For those who asked me. According to US laws, you can donate money to Middle East charities provided those charities do not give money to Hamas or Hizbullah or to groups that are categorized by the US government as terrorist.

  • "On July 18, the Senate unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution "condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors and supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense." After House majority leader John Boehner removed language from the bill urging "all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure," the House version passed by a landslide, 410 to 8."

  • The Nation Magazine is now Fair and Balanced. The American Left and the Middle East: the case of Robert Scheer (again). By the way, notice that Lebanese voices are missing from the various articles about Lebanon in the Nation magazine. And notice that the magazine has an article titled "View from Israel" but no "View from Lebanon." But then again. According to the Nation, Arabs have no view. Furthermore, some of the writers on the Israeli war have served in the Israeli army, and for the Nation magazine that qualifies as expertise in the Arab world. Scheer says: "The alternative to such excessive violence--an authentic peace process--had been supported by every American president since Harry Truman. Yet it was abruptly abandoned, indeed ridiculed, by the Bush administration." First, notice the term "excessive violence." So it is not the violence of Israel that is objectionable, but the "excess" of it. So if Israel commits less massacres, one would have been able to support it. So this is a call for 4 massacres instead of 8, say. He then wants the US to go back to "the peace process." Oh, ya. American foreign policy has been "fair and balanced" until George W. Bush assumed office. Yes, go back to the splendid US foreign policy of previous years. Oh, ya. Then Scheer says: "Israel foolishly jumped at the tempting opportunity presented by Bush." Notice that criminality and the perpetration of massacres become "foolish." Merely foolish. And then the thrust of the article becomes clearer at the end: "Israel will be threatened by a new generation of enemies whose political memory was decisively shaped by these horrible images emerging from Lebanon." So killing Arabs is not bad in itself, but is bad because it is bad for Israel on the long term. OK.

  • And then they wonder why Arabs--I am speaking about the people and not the House of Saud, the new best friends of Zionism--don't trust the so-called Israeli "peace" movement: "The military operation has the backing of the overwhelming majority of the Israeli people, including most of the mainstream peace movement, as missiles rain down daily on the north and many in the area have been forced to live in shelters or relocate. Even the opposition left-wing Meretz Party declared that "Israel has the right to act, in a way which expresses the values of the state, against anyone who attacks its sovereignty..."

  • From WSJ: "Israel Is Losing This War"

  • Look who the New York Times asks to write about Lebanon: "IN the summer of 1998, I was an infantry soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. Preparing for an operation in southern Lebanon..."

  • "“He told Sharon in that first meeting that I’ll use force to protect Israel, which was kind of a shock to everybody,” said one person present, given anonymity to speak about a private conversation. “It was like, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?’ “"

  • Hasan Dib Nasrallah is now in Israeli custody. So you heard about that brilliant Israeli special forces' operation in Ba`albak. So Israeli Orientalists as you all know think that there is one Mahmud Husayn in the entire Arab world, and one Muhammad `Ali. New TV just explained the "daring" Israeli operation at a hospital, HOSPITAL, in Ba`albak. So Israel "was told" that there is a certain Hasan Nasrallah at the hospital. The very commander of the airforce was put in charge to plan this daring kidnapping of Hasan Nasrallah. Well, it was a civilian by the name of Hasan Dib Nasrallah. They kidnapped other civilians along with him. Of course, the Nation magazine gives Israel the right for those kidnapping because it is all part of "its right to self-defense." Hasan Dib Nasrallah is now in Israeli custody wondering why he was kidnapped. In that "daring raid" Israeli occupation soldiers also kidnapped Muhammad Nasrallah, a shepherd, but later released him. He was 14. Israeli Orientalists thought that Hasan Nasrallah is a bit older. Later, to cover the fiasco, the Israeli army claimed that they kidnapped "members of Hizbullah." Even that claim was a lie, says New TV which investigated the story and interviewed the family members. The kidnapped Lebanese are poor construction workers.
    PS. This is really something. The commander of the Israeli Special Forces still claimed in a press conference that the "operation" worked according to plan. What does that mean? That the Israeli government has been really trying the capture Hasan Dib Nasrallah, not to to be confused with Hasan Nasrallah, the Hizbullah leader?

  • "Israel was given a green light for its latest war by the Bush administration, which found the opportunity to decimate Hizbullah and signal to Iran that "you may be next" too delicious to pass up. It is still early for a requiem, but it is clear that Israel's failure to deliver on its early promises of a decisive victory has left the White House discomfited and compelled to recognize, finally, that Israel's campaign is turning into a disaster in which time is working against success."

  • Today, I heard one analyst on Fox News say that "Sunnis and Shi`ites have been fighting for thousands of years."

  • Walid Jumblat evaluates: "“We will be just a weak state next to a very strong militia. Our government will be like the government of Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas) next to Hamas or maybe worse like the government of [Nouri al] Maliki in Iraq.” “All American policy in the Middle East is at stake,” he continued, “because their failure in Palestine, their failure in Iraq and now this failure in Lebanon will lead to a new Arab world where the so called radical Arabs will profit. “This is the new Middle East. Not the new Middle East of Ms [US secretary of state Condoleezza] Rice. Darkness everywhere.”"

  • Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    "Still in the fight after three weeks of war with Israel, Hezbollah is riding a surge of popularity in Lebanon and has acquired increased influence in the Lebanese government and its component factions, according to senior Lebanese officials and analysts."

  • "So when this latest foreign army arrives, count the days - or hours - to the first attack upon it. Then we'll hear all over again that we are fighting evil, that "they" - Hizbollah or Palestinian guerrillas, or anyone else planning to destroy "our" army - hate our values; and then, of course, we'll be told that this is all part of the "War on Terror" - the nonsense which Israel has been peddling. And then perhaps we'll remember what George Bush senior said after Hizbollah's allies suicide-bombed the Marines in 1982, that American policy would not be swayed by a bunch of "insidious terrorist cowards".
    And we all know what happened then. Or have we forgotten?"

  • "How Israel's bombing turned Hizbollah leader into a symbol of Muslim pride"

  • "Huge numbers of children are being killed, injured or displaced in south Lebanon."

  • "Israel has failed to understand that it cannot expel a people and call itself the victim; that it cannot conquer its neighbours and treat any and all resistance to that conquest as terrorism; that it cannot arm itself as a regional superpower and annihilate the institutional fabric of two peoples without incurring the fury of their children in the years that follow."

  • "Despite escalating violence in southern Lebanon, EU foreign ministers rejected a draft statement that would have called for an immediate ceasefire and would have branded Israel's bombardment as "a severe breach of international humanitarian law". In a semantic bow to Washington and Tel Aviv, they called instead "for an immediate cessation of hostilities to be followed by a sustainable ceasefire"."

  • You judge: do articles by Yossi Melmen not read like articles in the National Inquirer? Really. And notice how generalizations about the Lebanese public opinion becomes a guessing game on the part of his "Lebanese source"--also known as Billy Bob Husayn Batata, a reliable source for Melmen's reports on Lebanon.

  • An-Nahar's Samir `Atallah, a moderately right-wing Lebanese journalist, evaluates the impact of Hizbullah on Lebanese politics in the wake of this war.

  • Her house was destroyed by Israeli bombs in the southern suburbs.

  • `Ali Bin Hajj was arrested minutes after he stood holding a sign against the Israeli war on Lebanon in front of the US embassy in Algiers.

  • The Iranian Foreign Minister visited Lebanon. He offered words. Empty words.

  • The future trends in Lebanese politics are not going to be good. Secular and leftist groups and parties will be increasingly marginalized. Tomorrow, a new Islamic fundamentalist front will be founded in Lebanon. The Islamic Action Front will be announced by its founder, Islamic fundamentalist thinker, Fathi Yakan, who broke with Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah in the wake of Hariri's assassination. The Sunni front will comprise many radical Sunni fundamentalist groups and will declare its support for Hizbullah. I think that Sunni and Shi`ite politics in Lebanon will become more fundamentalist out of this, not less. This new front will weaken the stance of Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah which has clearly distanced itself from Hariri Inc since the Isareli war started. It is likely that Hariri Inc may try to cultivate and finance some of the kooky Bin Ladenite groups in order to prop up their "Islamist credentials." They have done that in the past.

  • "We don't need flour or sugar; we need caskets."

  • As-Safir has published the picture of this man above. His name is Muhammad Husayn Bazzi, 80. He is disabled. The Red Cross evacuated him from Bin Jubayl, but he is now missing. If you have information please call (3)322195 or (1)845899.

  • Saudi Ambassador in Washington (and the "former" sponsor of Bin Laden and the mid-wife of Al-Qa`idah) analyzes the Israeli war on Lebanon: "Please, let there be no mistake about this position. Saudi Arabia holds firmly responsible those who first engaged in reckless adventure under the guise of resistance. They have brought much damage and danger to the region without concern for others."

  • On AlJazeera today, Mounzer Suleiman made a plea to officers in Arab armies to act.

  • AlJazeera's correspondent, `Abbas Nasir (formerly of Al-Manar TV) is not a good correspondent. Not only is he a propagandist for Hizbullah in his reports, but his sense of Nasserist-style triumphalism is rather harmful for public opinion. He is out of control. In this context, I wish to praise again, the new LBC-TV's correspondent, Sultan Sulayman. He is doing a magnificent job in his reports from South Lebanon. I see him going places. On Al-Arabiya TV, they had a special segment on Condoleezza Rice today. One of the guests was Phyllis Bennis. Whenever Phyllis would criticize US foreign policy, the Lebanonese anchorwoman would curtly interrupt her and tell her that the topic is Rice. One of the questions that she actually asked Bennis was: "Does one's musical inclination make one more sensitive"?

  • The Comments' Section, Again. I have been receiving requests from people to change or regulate the comments' section. Many people complain, and more ask me to close it down. I have resisted thus far. I like to keep it open and uncensored. Some people have volunteered to monitor or police the comments' section. I still am resisting that. But let this be the last plea: especially in those highly charged times. Please try to express your views without insults to persons or groups or religions. Please remember that issuing threats are illegal--they are illegal here in the US. And please do not mention or make up personal information of other people--one person even posted personal address and the phone number of another contributor. That is illegal. It is easy to express views fiercely and uncompromisingly without resort to personal insults or threats or bigotry. Also, please don't use other people's names. Those who do so will be banned. I still hope to keep this space open and unregulated, but hope that you help me in that regard. I would hate to make rules and regulations. And please keep my mother and late father out of this.

  • Lebanese poet, Ghassan Matar, wrote this poem (The Olives Have Not Departed) yesterday on the massacre of Qana (my translation):
    "The Monster is hiding
    And Qana, the dark-skinned girl
    is sleeping by her grandmother
    dreaming of pretty butterflies
    and toys
    and flying in a field of olives
    she sits under a water wheel
    to lift up her hair,
    and she sees lighted grapes
    like tablets of gold,
    and she sees her father
    embedded in the rock
    embracing his rifle,
    and in his eyes are
    flags of dignity and rage,
    she gets scared, and wakes up,
    she seeks protection in her
    grandmother's arm,
    she tries to sleep,
    and before she falls asleep
    the planes raid,
    and the flesh sink in a sea
    of flames and fire
    only her shoe remains,
    she kissed it,
    and dipped it in her blood,
    and I threw it in the face of Arab rulers.
    They cut the bridges to you,
    did words arrive
    or did they prevent words
    from crossing
    I did not use to cry,
    but I bowed down before your wounds
    to pick up what splattered from incense
    and you whispered to me:
    "bullets did not make me bleed
    they cross from my veins to my homeland,
    what made me bleed are betrayal and debauchery"
    I don't own what can bandage,
    o you who are spotted on the forehead,
    I own the flames of love,
    will that suffice
    will it make you forget your wound?
    Or shall I also add the love of refugees
    who refuse the humiliation of those
    who loved the graves?
    Extend your hand to mine
    Between us are roads, valleys, and rivers
    and a land of wounds and light
    extend your hand
    and look how the processions are
    crossing toward your glory,
    the wounds are the bridges,
    olives have not gone,
    They extended their shade over the South
    and slept standing
    and said to those who asked:
    "This sand is my father,
    I was born at his hands
    and lived in it
    and my father stays here
    and he has not departed
    and has not abandoned his kids
    And I am here staying
    Maybe tomorrow a child
    who survived the wound of Qana
    will come.
    Who but me will direct him
    if he asks about his father"

  • Hanady Salman (editor at As-Safir in Beirut) sent this:
    "I know you think I've gone mad. Well, you're right. We all did. We burst into laughter while looking at pictures of the dead. We burst into laughter when we're told someone was killed,we all laughed histerically when Zeinab was telling us about the doctores she saw in Tyr hospitals yesterday . She thinks all of them have gone mad. They all told her they were in the south
    throughout all the wars : 78, 82, 93, 96, 98, and the smaller clashes in between , but that they'd never seen anything like this. The doctor in Tyr was smiling while pointing at a door and telling her : I keep here 200 corpses , I don't have coffins to burry them , I don't have names for them , I don't know where their relatives are , I don't know what to do because we're expecting tens of bodies today from the villages the Red Cross were able to enter after a week long siege. HE WAS SMILING. HE'S GONE MAD. We burst into laughter and we stop short when we feel it's going to turn into tears. WHAT CAN WE DO, WE'RE ALL SITTING HERE, COUNTING THE DEAD, WAITING TO BE KILLED ONCE THIS TRUTH IS OVER AT MIDNIGHT. Oh , yeah , by the way , maybe Hussein's mom isn't dead after all : we can't find her body. Isn't this funny?"

  • Today is the anniversary of the Lebanese Army. If DHL is delivering to Lebanon, I would have sent the command a crate of rotten tomatoes and spoiled eggs as an anniversary gift. Too bad.

  • If they ask you who did that to Lebanon and to the Lebanese, tell them: Israel. TELL THEM: ISRAEL. If they ask you who supported the Israeli war of aggression (directly and indirectly), tell them: US, EU, UN, Libya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jumblat, Hariri, Patriarch Sfayr, and Sanyurah. And if they ask you whether the victims will be forgotten, tell them: NEVER. And if they ask you whether Israel (as a racist, colonialist, and occupying state) will be integrated into the region, also tell them: NEVER.

  • If a survivor of Israel's many massacres in Lebanon decides in the future to attack targets inside Israel, will the American media (including the Nation) give him/her the right to "self-defense"? That "right" is automatically granted to Israel anytime it attacks Arabs. And when Western media use words like "excessive," "disproportionate," "counterproductive," or "inappropriate" I know that they are covering up, and providing pretests and justifications for Israeli aggression.

  • If an American or an Israeli ever wonder "why they hate us", just tell them: Let me count the ways.

  • So basically, 20,000 Israeli ground troops (along with the Israeli air force and navy) are fighting against less than 1,000 Hizbullah fighters. That says something about the pride and glory of the Zionist state, does it not?

  • Here is a tale of an American foreign correspondent. Jon Lee Anderson does not know Lebanon and its politics. He has been reporting from Iraq (he does not know Arabic but has a reliable staff of translators, chefs, personal trainers, and potato slicers wherever he travels although his staff is much smaller than that of John Burns of the New York Times), but has not reported from Lebanon, and he does not know about Lebanon, and it shows. So he interviews `Ali Fayyad, and he assumes (or believes) that Fayyad is a senior Hizbullah leader or that he is close to Nasrallah (which he is not). He then interviews Nayla Mu`awwad but does not know that her husband was installed as president by the Syrian regime, and that she was for years very close to the Syrian mukhabarat, and that she used to accuse Michel `Awn of killing her husband. I met her during her pro-Syrian years, and she spoke like a Syrian Ba`thist, and this was no more than 6 years ago. He does not know any of that, so he becomes a "hostage" to his interviewees, and like most Western foreign correspondents he mostly meets and gets along with Westernized Lebanese who like to impress Westerners, and can drink whiskey (notice how many times he mentions that Jamil Muruwwa was drinking whiskey--my father drank whiskey quite regularly, o Jon Lee Anderson, but you don't see me bragging), and who can smoke a cigar. Wow. A cigar. He talks to Jamil Muruwwa and listens to him guessing about Lebanese public opinion trends, while Anderson does not know that there are published public opinion surveys in Lebanon, and that Arabs can even use a fork. Where do I go, and what do I read? Sometimes I wish that I am a professor of chemistry or of potato studies. Where do I go if I want to earn a PhD in potato studies?

  • "This is Qana: Exposing you all."

  • Hanady Salman (editor at As-Safir in Beirut) sent this:
    "We just learnt that the mother of our senior reporter, Hussein Ayoub , was killed in her village Aynata in the south. She had been missing for five days now. She was staying with the rest of her neighbors at a house they figured was safe in the village. Five days ago , she left them and said she was going to visit her sister who lives one block away. Hussein managed to call his aunt two days later, and she told him his mom never came to her house.Today, the red cross confirmed they have found her body along with two other people in the woods near Aynata. They were trying to flee the village on feet. Hussein’s father was killed by the Israelis too, in 1978."

  • Under this picture, the New York Times had this caption: "A Gaza home destroyed by Israel Monday. The Israeli Army called the homeowner to warn him about the attack, and his family was evacuated.?" Which can only leave you with this impression: Is the Israeli Army not kind, gentle, and thoughtful?

  • Look at this article in the Business section of the New York Times about Lebanese-American businessmen (the New York Times thinks that Arab women can't handle business, you know). Notice how it basically featured the fascistic Ziad Abdelnour, and notice that it failed at what it promised "From Lebanese-American Financiers, Differing Views on the Strife." I did not find "differing views" in this piece. And notice that the New York Times assumes that Muslim Lebanese can't add or subtract: "A majority of these financiers seem to hail from Lebanon's many Christian factions." If this is the best American newspaper, please send me your worst newspaper. I want to avidly read it.

  • "The 20-day-old war has displaced between 800,000 and 900,000 Lebanese, and an additional 100,000 are still unable to get out of combat zones, said United Nations relief coordinator for Lebanon Mona Hammam."

  • "Secretary Rice, when asked on the flight back to Washington whether the continued aerial operations over Lebanon contradicted Israel’s pledge to suspend strikes for 48 hours, seemed to accept Israel’s explanation. “The Israelis tell us that it’s close air support for their forces,” she said, according to a State Department transcript."

  • "Ms. Rice said she had accepted Israel’s explanation for resuming airstrikes barely 12 hours after the suspension was announced."

  • "Bush Calls Attack on Qana ‘Awful,’ but Refrains From Calling for Immediate Cease-Fire" (New York Times calls Attack on Qana 'Cute')

  • Monday, July 31, 2006

    "Limits of Israel's high-tech power"

  • "Raise readiness, Assad tells Syrian Army" (What's readiness, says Syrian Army?)

  • This is what I am forced to read in the American press. I mean, is this journalism or IDF propaganda brochures? What's the difference: ""You're an officer now, so look after your soldiers, and always, always keep your eyes open," said his father, Yossi, who fought alongside two brothers in Israel's wars of 1967 and 1973 and was a 3-year-old child when his own father lost a leg to a land mine while fighting for the fledgling Jewish state in 1948." So do you see the impulse in the US press? They do a great job of humanizing Israeli killers, and a greater job in dehumanizing Arab civilians? I still can't believe that the Israeli government spends millions on propaganda in the US (it does).

  • "Hours after a promised suspension of Israeli air attacks, the civilian survivors of some of the most intense fighting in the war clambered from the wreckage. They were shrunken figures, dehydrated and hungry. Some had lived on candy bars, others on pieces of dry bread. Some were shellshocked, their faces blank, the expression that comes from living under bombing for 20 days. One never made it. He was carried out on a stretcher, flies landing on lifeless eyes that were still open." (I am not a Christian. Don't forgive. Don't forget).

  • "Namad Baidoun, traumatized by 20 days of Israeli bombing, screams as she walks out of the shattered ruins of her village of Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon."

  • I had written an ode to Jimmy Carter before. Here, Carter offers his views on the Israeli war: "It is inarguable that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks on its citizens, but it is inhumane and counterproductive to punish civilian populations in the illogical hope that somehow they will blame Hamas and Hezbollah for provoking the devastating response." Just look at the word "counterproductive." This is the Tikkun philosophy. Basically, it means: that "we" would be supportive of Israeli wars and occupations if "we" think that they are good for Israel. So Carter here is saying that if the Israeli killing spree in Lebanon was good for Israel's security, he would jump up and down in support. This is a corrupt man. I just finished reading the official biography of Al-Walid Bin Talal. You have to read what this ostensible champion of human rights have to say about Al-Walid--especially in the accompanying DVD of the book, who donates money to Carter's silly and patronizing projects. And then he says this: "Leaders on both sides ignore strong majorities that crave peace." Oh, no, o Mr. Carter. Oh, no. Nobody wants the kind of "peace" that you produced at Camp David. Please spare us. Are you not writing a new book on potato slicing? I am really looking forward to reading that one. And it promises to be more interesting than your previous books.

  • After the Israeli killing sprees in Lebanon, I am not in the mood to hear one word about the investigation of Hariri's assassination. Not a word. Maybe if you investigate Israeli massacres in Siddiqin, Tayr Harfa, Srifa, Nabatiyyah, Qana, Marwahin, and others, I may reconsider.

  • He would not dare speak in public: "Kofi Annan told Jack Straw of his anger at Britain's stance on the conflict in a phone call last Wednesday to the former foreign secretary, it emerged last night. The UN secretary general rang Mr Straw hours after Britain and the US blocked a call for an immediate ceasefire at the Rome summit, and a day after Israel bombed a UN monitoring position, killing four observers."

  • "[T]he king of fairyland would be forced to come to terms with the consequences of Israel's occupation of other people's lands and of its murder of civilians; of his own invasion of Iraq and of his failure, across the past six years, to treat the Palestinians fairly. And this he seems incapable of doing. Instead, his answers last Friday suggested, Bush is constructing a millenarian narrative of escalating conflict leading to the final triumph of freedom and democracy...The United States cannot pursue a wider settlement in the Middle East, for it is led by a man who lives in a world of his own."

  • Lies of Israel: "The 48-hour pause in bombardment announced by Israel to allow civilians to leave southern Lebanon was interrupted within hours of its start yesterday when the Israeli military launched three air strikes at targets near the border."

  • Israeli-Mayors-for-War: ""There is no cease-fire, and there will be no cease-fire in the upcoming days," Olmert promised to the cheers of mayors in attendance. Conference participants made it clear they want the operation to continue."

  • How could anybody in Lebanon make a defense of the Syrian regime anymore? I mean, really. Here is a regime that used to justify its military presence on Lebanon on grounds of military-strategic needs of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and here is a regime which has defense treaties with Lebanon. And look at it. The Asad family can care less about the destruction of Lebanon as long as they remain in power. (Of course, the wonderful Syrian people are a whole different matter. They have ignored the blatant racist anti-Syrian manifestations of Lebanonese demonstrators and politicians and have welcomed with open arms Lebanese refugees).

  • Qatar today officially accused "some Arab governments" of supporting the Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon.

  • Zionist potatoes. Today, Israeli occupation troops fired at a truck carrying potatoes. They later claimed that the potatoes were bearded and could have very well been supporters of Hizbullah. Like Zarqawi, Zionists kill truck drivers and poor workers.

  • I find it most offensive these days to read in Saudi-funded media former pathetic propagandists for Saddam Husayn now posing as advocates of "democracy" and "liberalism." Where do I go? Not to Disneyland.

  • Zionism and House of Saud. Saudi columnist, `Abdur-Rahman Ar-Rashid, says that Israeli prolonging of the war beyond the two-weeks "embarrassed its friends." But Zionism deserves House of Saud. Zionism does not deserve better than that. In fact, they both deserve one another. A perfect fit, if you ask me.

  • Gamal `Abd-u-n-Nasser should never be forgiven. He is most responsible for the 1967 defeat, which instilled and expanded in Zionism this arrogant and massive use of violence against Arabs--a factor that was always a key element in Zionism of course. Nasser's loyalty to his incompetent friend, "General" `Amir, cost us not only that war, but the successive wars that Arabs lost to Israel. This does not absolve other Arab regimes. No. But nobody has faith in the rest.

  • Arabic newspapers have reported that Shi`ites have demonstrated in support of Hizbullah in Saudi Arabia. Now that the House of Saud is on the side of Israel, American Zionists would support any oppression and all executions in the kingdom. That Zionist-Saudi alliance is kind of amusing, if you think about it. Even the anti-Semitism of the House of Saud is now forgiven by supporters of Israel.

  • "A War Without End"

  • Not only is the cowardly and useless Lebanese Army refraining from defending Lebanon from Israeli attacks, but it also preventing Palestinians from helping in the defense of Lebanon. This Army should be disbanded. It is an embarrassment to the country and a huge waste of tax-payers money.

  • Israeli occupation troops (ab)using the lamas in their terrorist missions in Lebanon.

  • (Pictures of hassan on Monday , and zeinab on sunday)
    Hanady Salman (friend and editor at As-Safir in Beirut) sent this:
    "Three of my colleagues went to Tyre today. I will spare you the details of what they saw and wrote. Only one thing that I need to share with you. Saada went to Jabal Amel hospital. There she found the following: a four year old boy, Hassan Chalhoub, had spent the previous night between the dead, in the morgue. He was sleeping next to his sister , zeinab ,6 , in the shelter in Qana. There was his mom too and his dad, who’s on a wheeling chair. Many of the people of Qana are survivors of the 1996 massacre , when 110 people were killed and more than 100 were injured when by Israeli raids on civilians who had sought shelter in a nearby UN base. Thus , many of the people of Qana have special needs, if you see what I mean.
    So, hassan was sleeping when it all happened Saturday night. His mom was injured , but she managed to find her way under the rubble and was looking for her kids. She called him , and he answered her. She asked him if he was injured and he said no. So, she went to look for her daughter and husband. She found her daughter’s hand. She tried to take it out , to pull her up. She couldn’t . Then she saw her husband , so she crawled to him. But before that, she caressed her daughter’s hand and whispered to her “forgive me my angel because I can’t help you out of here.”
    She saved her husband, thinking that someone had already taken care of little Hassan.
    She and her husband spent the rest of the night the closest house, where the civil defense workers had taken them. The next morning, they took them to the hospital.
    Hassan was thought dead. They put were they put the other kids. HE woke up in the morning, opened his eyes to see a two year old girl lying next to him. He thought she sleeping. He looked around, and luckily found a man “Ammo, what am I doing here ?” he asked. The man couldn’t believe his eyes.

    He took hassan to his parents. When Hassan saw his mom , he started yelling at her “why did you leave me there , alone, sleeping with our neighbor’s kids? How could you? You know, if I weren’t scared I would have followed you home. But it was dark and they were shelling, so I slept again. Where is Zeinab ?”
    His mom , Rabab , told him the following “she’s having fun in heaven. There are no Israelis there, she’s happy there”.

  • Grand (never) Ayatullah Sistani issued a statement agaisnt Israeli aggression in Lebanon. It reads: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • House of Saud's propagandist (and Saudi embassy in DC advisor (and "former" Bin Ladenite), Jamal Khashuqji, distances himself from the opinion of anti-Shi`ite cleric, Nasir Al-`Umar.

  • "THE devastation that is being wrought in Lebanon — the destruction of civilian infrastructure, the death of hundreds of innocent civilians, the displacement of well over half a million inhabitants, the deliberate collective punishment of an entire population in an attempt to defeat Hezbollah — is not simply Israel's doing. It is also America's."

  • The Syrian president ordered an increase in the level of "preparedness and alertness" of the Syrian armed forces. The preparedness and alertness of the Syrian armed forces is measured on a scale from 0 to 5. So yesterday, it went up from -80 to -70. I took notice.

  • I wish I am kidding, but I am not. Today, mini-Hariri landed in Cyprus. He urged the Cypriot government to end the war in Lebanon. The president of Cyprus (seen above with mini-Hariri) promised to not bomb Lebanon anymore. The people of Lebanon expressed their gratitude to mini-Hariri for saving them form Cypriot attacks on their country.

  • Karen Hughes studies the Middle East: "Her nighttime reading is telling. A re-reading of Bernard Lewis' What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response. Alaa Al Aswany's The Yacoubian Building, about a building in Cairo and all its inhabitants. And, at her bedside, evangelist Billy Graham's new book, The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World."

  • Ad-Diyar newspaper, which seems to be receiving funds from Qatar as of late (in addition to funding from Al-Walid bin Talal who must not have enjoyed Ayyub's labeling of the Saudi King as "criminal" and "Zionist"), reported on the behind-the-scenes negotiations that averted a storming of the US embassy in Lebanon. Hizbullah, Amal, and the Lebanese Army all worked hard to avoid (and cancel) a demonstration in front of the US embassy in `Awkar outside of Beirut for fear of things getting out of hand. Many of the demonstrators yesterday were refugees from South Lebanon.

  • Hizbullah's Support among the Shi`ite refugees. Make no mistake about it. The surprising show of support among the Shi`ite refugees from South Lebanon for Hizbullah is only partly due to sectarian bonds of solidarity. In the ugly world of Lebanese sectarian politics, each sect is pushed toward a sectarian group or leader. And the sectarian lines are more sharply drawn now in the wake of that famous Hummus Revolution. Narrow sectarian identities now prevail more than ever, and Shi`ites feel, rightly or wrongly, that Hizbullah is what they have to protect members of the sect, especially that secular parties have all but died in Lebanon, and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party squandered a great opportunity (for pushing secularism that is) by becoming an arm of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon. But that is not the whole story. Israel and US were expecting the refugees to blame Hizbullah for Israeli bombings and destruction the way many South Lebanese Shi`ites blamed (so unfairly) the PLO for Israeli crimes in Lebanon in the early 1980s. This time around it did not happen. The main reason in my opinion is the very performance of the party and its fighters. In other words, if the fighters fled quickly in the face of Israeli attackers (as many Lebanese and Palestinian fighters did in 1982 not out of cowardice but due to the lousy and corrupt management and leadership of Yasir `Arafat--who has not sent millions to Suha `Arafat in a while now (my mother hates it when I attack `Arafat; she admires his asceticism), then the refugees would have easily turned against them. This time around, the stiff resistance exhibited by Hizbullah fighters solidified the bonds between the party and the Shi`ites, and it enhanced, not hampered, the image of the party.

  • Has there ever been an Israeli massacre in which Zionist perpetrators did not lie about it? Ever?

  • Collective Enthusiasm for War in Israel. Yesterday I saw a demonstration against the war in Jerusalem. I swear, I counted 8 demonstrators. Only two of them did not look Arabs.

  • Israel kills more terrorists: "The Lebanese Red Cross, which conducted the rescue, counted 27 bodies, as many of 17 of them children. The youngest of the dead was 10 months old, and the oldest was 95. One was in a wheelchair."

  • Human Rights Watch: "Israel Responsible for Qana Attack." (But notice that lousy last sentence by Kenneth Roth. In other news, I received the original and unpublished cartoon above about Roth (by Lattuff). (Kathy and Amer did not like the cartoon. They were worried that it could be misinterpreted. I don't know the cartoonist; I am assuming that the cartoonist (who knows Norman Finkelstein who sent this cartoon to me) did not have bad (anti-Semitic) intentions. As it is--at the risk of sounding defensive--it merely refers to the pro-Israeli political inclinations of those who fund Human Rights Watch).

  • The Hizbullah Body Language: read all about it. This is what American readers are reading: "We could identify them as part of Hezbollah by the way they behave, their age group and their body language." What a sad state of the US press.

  • Micheal Young discovers that sectarian feudal warlord, Walid Jumblat, is a genius. His evidence: "he surfs the Internet at night."

  • The leader of the Lebanese sectarian movement that called for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in the name of sovereignty and independence says: "We need a force that can cover all of Lebanon, like in Kosovo." Enjoy the batata revolution of Lebanon.

  • "The crowd chased after Ahmed Fatfat, Lebanon’s interior minister, after he inspected the damage done to the United Nations building and walked back toward the Saray. “You Zionist dog!” shouted one young man as a group rushed after Mr. Fatfat and his security detail. “He’s the bigger devil.” (This Minister of Ping Pong was recently in Washington, DC. He was being groomed as a rising "Sunni leader." Well, so much for that.)

  • Fake French Intellectualism and the Middle East: the case of Bernard-Henri Levy (Levy should be good for the intellectual self-esteem of Americans. You read him and you immediately laugh at the sense of French intellectual superiority): ""J'ai connu, depuis quarante ans, bien des ministres de la défense d'Israël. De Moshé Dayan à Shimon Pérès, Itzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, j'en passe, j'ai vu se succéder les héros, les demi-héros, les tacticiens de génie et de talent, les habiles."

  • Tikkun has a full-page ad in the New York Times--as always, the premise is (like in Paul Krugman's) what is good for Israel and the "anguish" of Israeli occupation soldiers. But how dare Lerner begin the ad with this: "In the name of our sisters and brothers suffering and dying in Lebanon, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories." Now, they very well may speak on behalf of Israel, but the day that Tikkun speaks on behalf of Arabs is the day when I will deny my Arab roots. Please tell Tikkun to NEVER EVER speak on behalf of Arabs.

  • The American Left and the Middle East: the case of Paul Krugman. I believe that Krugman is one of the sharpest columnists; his criticisms of the Bush administration have been quite effective. But you have to understand that American liberals are willing to tolerate from Israel what they would never tolerate from their own American government. Look at Krugman: "There's no question of this war having been sold on false pretenses; unlike America in Iraq, Israel is clearly acting in self-defense." And in case you missed that point, he later repeats it: "Again, Israel has the right to protect itself." As for the violence and destruction, this peaceful American liberal is willing to even provide a road map of bombings and devastationn: "There is a case for a full-scale Israeli ground offensive against Hezbollah. It may yet come to that, if Israel can'’t find any other way to protect itself. There is also a case for restraint-- limited counterstrikes combined with diplomacy, an effort to get other players to rein Hezbollah in, with the option of that full-scale offensive always in the background." Now don't you think that I was expecting Krugman to say anything different. I have lived too long in the US to harbor any illusions about the American left on the question of Israel. Basically, the difference between the American Left and the American Right on the subject of Israel is in the degree to which they want Israel to kill Arabs and grab their lands. They usually engage in oneupmanship here.

  • Why are they laughing? Well, Qana, of course. They think it is hilarious.

  • "A Jordanian protester is held by security men during a rally at the Jordan University, Monday, July 31, 2006."

  • Today, the Israeli military claimed victory. They said that they managed to kill a top Hizbullah leader. His name is Jihad `Awdah. Jihad who? Jihad `Awdah. Who is that? I don't know, and I am supposed to be an expert. Yesterday, Israeli military claimed that they killed another top Hizbullah leader: Billy Bob `Awdah.

  • "A resident walks past a mound of rubble which used to be a high rise apartment building in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon".

  • "A Lebanese youth carries a box of toys which he retrieved from his apartment, behind, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, July 31, 2006."

  • "Iraq's vice president on Monday accused Israel of carrying out "massacres" in Lebanon, the strongest criticism yet of the Jewish state by a top official of the U.S-backed Iraqi government. Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, singled out Sunday's Israeli airstrike that killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, in the village of Qana. The deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting has triggered an international uproar. "What happened in Qana is a repetition to these crimes that happened to our nation decades ago. It's time for this nation to stand up and stop this aggression and all forms of aggression that could affect any of its parts," Abdul-Mahdi said. "These horrible massacres carried out by the Israeli aggression, incites in us the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity," he said in a speech attended by Iraq's president, the prime minister and other top government officials."

  • Lies of Israeli propaganda: "Israel says hits 2/3 of Hizbollah's heavy missiles". In other news, Hizbullah yesterday lobbed 150 missiles--more than any other day since this Israeli war of aggression started-- on targets in Israel.

  • The new Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar, is about to be launched any day now.

  • "Hizballah: A Primer"

  • Sunday, July 30, 2006

    "MR. FRIEDMAN: You know, these are people who, who hate others more than they love their own kids, more than they love their own future. And that’s crazy, and that’s part of the pathology of that part of the world. But one thing I know for sure, you know, what we’re doing right now, what Israel’s doing right now—smashing things in Gaza again, smashing things in Lebanon—I understand it."

  • Even the demagogic TV religious speaker, `Amr Khalid, has spoken on the Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon, and he seems to disagree with Saudi Arabia.

  • You switch Arabic channels, and you read different Arabic newspapers and you so regularly hear and read that "the US government is running" this Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon. Is that not true?

  • Lebanese women holding a Beirut vigil in memory of those killed Sunday in Qana.

  • My friend Riad wrote this:
    "More Israeli lies and propaganda: I was watching Fox news again tonight for my daily dose of propaganda. One correspondent was describing how he was allowed to accompany Israeli soldiers to record their attack on Taibeh. The reporter was told by the group's captain that the aim was to destroy all the houses of the village to keep Hezbollah terrorists from using it in the future. The correspondent waited for hours till the soldiers came back, and the captain told him that they had successfully completed their mission. The reporter, who could see Taibeh from a distance, remarked that all the houses still seem to be intact, exactly as they were before the "successful" attack. Not being one to admit defeat, the captain replied (I am not making this up) that the damage was all internal. What the hell does that mean, internal damage!??? So, according to the IDF, here is what happened: after hours of heavy bombardment and erecting a ring of fire around the village, a group of battle hardened interior decorators attacked and changed the interior arrangement of every single house, then retreated with only few casualties. Let this be a lesson to Hezbollah and all other terrorist organizations. What's next, attack of the landscape divisions?
    More Israeli lies and propaganda: again from Fox (before I shut it off in disgust): When asked about the possibility of rockets being launched from the location of the Qana massacre, Major General Edwards, a US military Fox consultant who is solidly pro Israel, said that after looking at an aerial map, there is no possibility that rocket launchers could have been used in that area. He was also eagerly awaiting the results of Israel's investigation into the massacre. Isn't it amazing how the US media never questions the sensibility of the accused investigating the accusation?"

  • In the demonstration in downtown Beirut, there were many flags. I saw the flags of the Lebanese Communist Party, the Syrian Social National Party, among other local Lebanese parties. Let us not reduce all anti-Israeli politics in Lebanon to Hizbullah. It is well beyond Hizbullah. It is beyond beyond Hizbullah.

  • "US begins building treaty-breaching germ war defence centre"

  • "They wrote the names of the dead children on their plastic shrouds. " Mehdi Hashem, aged seven ­ Qana," was written in felt pen on the bag in which the little boy's body lay. "Hussein al-Mohamed, aged 12 ­ Qana", "Abbas al-Shalhoub, aged one ­ Qana.'' And when the Lebanese soldier went to pick up Abbas's little body, it bounced on his shoulder as the boy might have done on his father's shoulder on Saturday. In all, there were 56 corpses brought to the Tyre government hospital and other surgeries, and 34 of them were children. When they ran out of plastic bags, they wrapped the small corpses in carpets. Their hair was matted with dust, most had blood running from their noses. You must have a heart of stone not to feel the outrage that those of us watching this experienced yesterday. This slaughter was an obscenity, an atrocity ­ yes, if the Israeli air force truly bombs with the " pinpoint accuracy'' it claims, this was also a war crime. Israel claimed that missiles had been fired by Hizbollah gunmen from the south Lebanese town of Qana ­ as if that justified this massacre. Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, talked about "Muslim terror" threatening " western civilisation" ­ as if the Hizbollah had killed all these poor people."

  • Don't you like fuzzy bipartisanship: "The war in Lebanon is creating a warm political consensus. Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat, NY), normally one of the administration's most vociferous critics, said Sunday that "he has no criticism of the president on this issue.""

  • Ze'ev Schiff has a word for the Qana massacre: "incident".

  • This is a headline from the UK's Guardian: "Fresh ground assault on Hizbullah villages". Now we have Hizbullah villages, cities, bridges, roads, hospitals, children, women, houses, fields, factories, and sea.

  • "The US state department's annual reports on terrorism also list operations carried out against the Israeli Defence Force as examples of terrorism. The US government justifies this conclusion by way of a logical contortion that defines Israeli troops as "non-combatants", despite the fact that Israel continues to occupy territory in Lebanon and Palestine with military force. The intention is not just to stamp out terrorism as commonly understood, but also to stigmatise perfectly legitimate acts of resistance."

  • "How can 'terrorism' be condemned while war crimes go without rebuke? Washington's partners in this hypocritical war on terror are given free rein to wreak their own brutal, illegal violence""

  • "'They found them huddled together'"

  • There was a coup d'etat in Lebanon yesterday. Beirut has changed, and not to US/Israeli liking. In two days, a seismic change in Lebanese political attitudes can be noticed. And I am not only talking about public opinion. I am talking about the opinion of members of the Hariri coalition. In the last two days alone, all those Sunni Hariri deputies have clearly distanced themselves from remarks made by Walid Jumblat (although they have not named him): Muhammad Qabbani, Bahiyyah Al-Hariri, `Ammar Huri, Ahmad Fatfat, Samir Al-Jisr, among others). Bahiyya Hariri yesterday criticized the US "green light" on AlJazeera TV. Many of these politicians called AlJazeera live to express their condemnation of Israel and US. Many of them sounded as if they were pleading for their lives. The demonstrators yesterday, who stormed in the UN building in downtown Beirut where my sister works, chanted angry slogans not only against Arab regimes, Israel, and US, but also against Hariri. One chant went like this: "Beirut shall always be free, free; Hariri get the hell out." The demonstrators were planning to head to the US embassy, but Hizbullah and Amal members of parliament present prevented them. They clearly were afraid of things getting out of hand. They almost did. The second time around it could be ugly. I could see that; it is worrisome. The car of the Ping Pong Minister (Hariri acting Minister of Interior Ahmad Fatfat) was attacked. One demonstrator according to the right-wing sectarian Christian daily, AnNahar, asked the press to note that she was Sunni. An-Nahar among other newspapers noted that the Sunni Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah was heavily present in the demonstration. Yesterday, marks the end of the Hariri coalition in Lebanon. You can read its future on the face of Walid Jumblat--when he shows his face to the press as he has confined his interviews as of late to phone interviews. And the "decision" by Fu'ad Sanyurah yesterday was not his decision. There was a coup d'etat in Lebanon yesterday. Nabih Birri visited the prime minister and requested that decision. Sanyurah, the Abu Mazen of Lebanon, had no choice. The "street" was boiling, and his master, Sa`d Hariri, was nowhere to be seen. He was asking for a cease-fire from....Tunisia. The longer the Israeli aggression continues, the more the scale will weigh heavily to the side of Hizbullah. And then you think of those smiling faces around Bush in the White House's National Security Council who only a week ago thought, so foolishly and callously thought, that they were in the midst of a great Middle East politics game. They so eagerly were waiting for the results of Israeli aggression in Lebanon. They thought that they were doing some classical British Empire's manipulation of regional developments. Americans don't know yet. They don't know how more unsafe Bush has left them/us. They don't know what a mess Bush has made in the Middle East and beyond, well beyond. The catastrophic results of Bush's foreign policy will be seen, nay suffered, for years and decades to come. And his Secretary of State is the living proof that a PhD does not make you smarter. And there will come a time, I hope, when Americans will also realize that Israeli terrorism is exactly the same as that of Al-Qa`idah.

  • Qana Massacre II. But don't cry for him. He was launching Hizbullah missiles into your beloved Israel.

  • Tough words from moderate former Lebanese prime minister, Salim Huss, to George W. Bush.

  • Ghassan Shirbil, editor-in-chief, of the Saudi daily Al-Hayat, wrote this: "The Southern Lebanese is born waiting for his martyrdom. Life is a bridge hanging between two funerals. The land is treacherous and the sea is treacherous. Whenever a child is born, a bomb is born to hunt him/her down. This is our flesh minced under the rubble. This is our flesh splintering in every direction. This world is desolate. This world is savage. After 10 years, the killer came back to the scene of the crime, and slit the throat of his victim, again."

  • On the day of the Qana Massacre II, Walid Jumblat condemned "Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs."

  • Pierre Laval of Lebanon said this yesterday: "We used to think that Israel's goal was peace."

  • Would somebody tell Anthony Shadid that there are some Lebanese who don't agree with Walid Jumblat, just in case he has not noticed.

  • The defeat of Israeli plans in Lebanon can be read on the face of Walid Jumblat:
    ""We have to acknowledge that they have defeated the Israelis. It's not a question of gaining one more village or losing one more village. They have defeated the Israelis," he said. "But the question now is to whom Nasrallah will offer this victory.""

  • On an email list that I am on, Newsweek correspondent, Christopher Dickey, wrote:
    "What makes this incident all the more horrible is its predictability. This, from the article "Torn to Shreds" in last week's Newsweek:
    The history of earlier drives into Lebanon shows that even as the Israeli war machine gains momentum, so do the chances of terrible accidents and atrocities. In 1982, under the protection of Israeli forces, Christian Lebanese militias carried out the now infamous massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Ten years ago, during a campaign against Hizbullah similar to the one now underway, Israeli gunners blasted a United Nations monitoring post at the South Lebanese town of Qana, where terrified locals had taken refuge. More than 100 civilians were killed in a barrage that lasted only a few ghastly seconds. International outrage quickly forced Israel to end its offensive.
    The Israelis say they are being more careful this time around, not least because they don't want to be forced to stop. "The presidential approval by Bush, the surprising level of support he's giving Israel, the patience he's giving Israel—it looks as if there's a great amount of slack being cut to us," says a senior Israeli security source, who did not want to be identified by name because he is not authorized to speak on the record. "Absent a Qana, it might go on."

    The question now is whether this tragedy will be enough to prevent others."
    In reply, I wrote this:
    Today is a day when we Arabs really should be spared the language and terminology of the American press. "Accidents" and "tragedy" are not the words. Not today, Mr. Dickey. Not any day, Mr. Dickey.

  • "Blair and his ignorant Foreign Secretary have played along with Israel's savagery with blind trust in our own loss of memory. It is perfectly acceptable, it seems, after the Hizbollah staged its July 12 assault, to destroy the infrastructure of Lebanon and the lives of more than 400 of its innocents. But hold on a moment. When the IRA used to cross the Irish border to kill British soldiers--which it did--did Blair and his cronies blame the Irish Republic's government in Dublin? Did Blair order the RAF to bomb Dublin power stations and factories? Did he send British troops crashing over the border in tanks to fire at will into the hill villages of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal? Did Blair then demand an international, NATO-led force to take over a buffer zone--on the Irish, not the Northern Ireland side, of the border? Of course not. But Israel has special privileges afforded to no other nation. It can do exactly what Blair would never have done--and still receive the British Government's approbation. It can trash the Geneva Conventions--because the Americans have done that in Iraq--and it can commit war crimes and murder UN soldiers like the four unarmed observers who refused to leave their post under fire."

  • He wrote this before Qana: "And having seen the cadavers of so many more men and women, I have to say--from my eyrie only three miles from the Israeli border--that the compliant, gutless, shameful refusal of Bush, Rice and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara to bring this bloodbath to an end sentenced many hundreds of innocent Lebanese to death. As I write this near the village of Blat, which has its own little list of civilian dead, it's quite clear that many more innocent Lebanese are being prepared for the slaughter--and will indeed die in the coming days."

  • " "Look," he says, pointing to a blown-up highway interchange. " It's a terrorist bridge! And if you take the road to Zahle, you'll find a burned out terrorist flour and grain lorry!" If the world became a better place, I fear Cody would contemplate suicide."

  • ""Zawahiri is not any better than [President] Bush. They're both terrorists who kill innocent people," said Ahmad Sabri, 19, who was having lunch with a friend at a Chili's on Palestine Street."

  • "Hezbollah's fight with Israel, viewed widely here as a battle between the militia's David and the Jewish state's Goliath, has solidified support for the militant group and left U.S. credibility, already at an all-time low, in tatters. The conflict has highlighted how far apart the United States and the majority of Arabs stand on the most visceral conflict in the Middle East."

  • "The U.S.-Israel strategy of pounding Hezbollah could also backfire, former Bush officials warn. "Don't get me wrong -- if I thought that this air campaign would work and would eliminate [Hasan] Nasrallah and the leadership of Hezbollah, I think it would all be fine," former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage said on National Public Radio this week. "But I fear that you can't do that from the sky and that you're going to end up empowering Hezbollah and perhaps introducing a dynamic into the body politic in Lebanon that will take some great period of time to recover from.""

  • ""The U.S. is alienating even more world opinion, not to mention allies, for the sake of a strategy that is very likely to fail," said Augustus Richard Norton, an expert on Lebanese Shiite politics and a former U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon."

  • An American friend who watched US TV news coverage of Qana Massacre II sent me this:
    "Nauseating. It started out with "Well, Israel didn't know there were civilians there" and went to "It's all Hezbollah's fault anyway" to "Maybe Hezvbollah actually blew up the building after the Israeli airstrike" when Israel admitted that it was them "Israel didn't know there were civilians there". I've watched it spun ten different ways in about 5 hours."

  • On the day of Israeli-massacre-at-Qana-II, the New York Times had this picture on the front page of its print edition with this caption: "Israeli paratroopers sang on Saturday as they returned to Israel from Lebanon, carrying a wounded comrade."

  • From the poem Here, We are Staying by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation):
    "As if we are twenty impossibles
    in Ludd, Ramlah, and Jalil
    Here...on your chests, we stay
    like a wall, in your throat,
    like a piece of glass, like a cactus
    and in your eyes, a tornado of fire
    Here...on your chests, we stay
    like a wall
    washing dishes in bars
    filling glasses for the notables
    and wiping floors in the
    black kitchens
    to distill the bite for children
    from your blue canine tooth
    Here on your chests, we stay
    like a wall
    We get hungy...get naked...
    and defy..
    chant poetry
    fill the angry streets with demonstrations
    and fill the prison with dignity
    and make children...
    a revolutionary generation..
    after generation..
    as if we are twenty impossibles
    In Ludd, Ramlah, and Jalil
    We here are staying
    So let you drink the sea
    We guard the shadow of
    fig and olive trees
    and we plant ideas,
    like yeast in the dough
    The cold of ice in our nerves
    and in their heart the red hell
    If we get thirsty, we squeeze the desert
    And we eat sand, if we get hungy...
    And we shall never leave..!!...
    Here we have a past...a present..
    and future..
    As if we are twenty impossibles
    in Ludd, Ramlah, and Jalil...
    O, our living root, cling firmly"

  • On the day of the Qana massacre, I read this: "Israeli Soldiers Deal With Grief, Trauma"

  • San Francisco Chronicle is on most days one of the most liberal newspapers in the US. In this war of aggression on Lebanon, it has been most insensitive and most propagandistic for Israel.

  • "The Cabinet revolt against Tony Blair intensified last night as Jack Straw broke ranks to condemn Israel for causing "death and misery to innocent civilians"." He got his courage after leaving office.

  • "The standoff stunned Israel, whose offensive came in response to a Hezbollah cross-border raid that resulted in the death of eight Israeli soldiers and the capture of two others. Central to the embattled nation’s sense of survivability is the idea of its invincibility. Its intelligence knows everything, the mythology goes, and no army dare stand against it. In truth, Israel has, in part, been lucky in its enemies, mostly Arab regimes with armies suitable mainly for keeping their own populace in check. Although the Israelis announced within days that they had destroyed 50 percent of Hezbollah’s munitions, the guerrillas have continued to rain more than a hundred rockets a day on Israel. And on Wednesday, in Bint Jbail, a town the Israelis said they controlled, a well-laid Hezbollah ambush pinned down infantrymen from the elite Golani Brigade for hours. At times the firing was so heavy the brigade’s soldiers could not return it; eight Israelis were killed. The highly advanced Merkava tanks were reduced to ambulances and several were destroyed."

  • This is an intellectual exchange in the New York Times Magazine:
    "As terrorist groups go, do you think Hezbollah is worse than Hamas?
    Hezbollah is far more extreme than Hamas. Hezbollah is an organization that denies the legitimacy of Israel." (Don't ever use the word "dove" to describe
    A.B. Yehoshua in my presence).

  • Israeli Prime Minister on Qana. "Olmert: Hezbollah used Qana as base to launch 100s of rockets", so we decided to kill all the women and children who are launching these rockets. I proudly announce to the Israeli nation that we have succeeded in killing a large number of the women and children of the enemy today, and will kill more tomorrow. This is the essence of Zionism. And we shall continue to kill their women and children; this has been the mission of our proud IDF. And if anybody protests, we can easily call those women and children terrorists--whether they are PLO, Hizbullah, Communists, it does not matter. As the only democracy in the Middle East, we have the moral duty to kill their woman and children. I ask the people of Israel to stand behind the Israeli army in its moment of glory as they continue to kill the women and children of Lebanon and Palestine. And I have received the full support of the US administration (and 70% of the American public), and the US Secretary of State assures me that she only hears the "pangs of birth" of the New Middle East with every cry and scream from women and children under the rubble all over Lebanon. Secretary Rice has asked for more cries and screams of women and children in the rubble of destroyed buildings in Lebanon because she strongly feels that the "pangs" are very necessary for the birth of its "New Middle East."

  • A neo-con is selected by the New York Times to review a book by a neo-con: "Ajami’s American sensibilities come through most powerfully in his discussions of the American soldiers he meets in Iraq, from generals like David Petraeus to anonymous enlisted men. Ajami honors and respects their dedication, their optimism and their genuine desire to improve Iraq, and he quotes whole pages from their e-mail messages."

  • Blair and Middle East Studies. Today (yesterday), I had a chance to get a glimpse of US TV news coverage, on the way to and from Berkeley, I had access to US TV channels through my satellite radio. CNN is worse than Fox News. In fact, on Fox, their correspondent in Beirut was quite good in talking about Israeli harm to civilians. The anchor was not pleased, and she immediately asked the correspondent in Israel (Jennifer something) to provide some news about the harm to Israeli civilians. She went on to speak about Israeli bombing of civilians in Lebanon. The anchor was not pleased at all, and was not amused, and ended the coverage. CNN's coverage is anchored by the Israeli-American, Wolf Blitzer. I mean this guy started his "journalistic career"--even before serving as a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post--by writing for the publication of the Israeli lobby. But now, he is an objective reporter for CNN. And Brent Sandler can't be taken seriously--he is considered a staffer of Hariri Inc in Lebanon, and now is serving as a cheerleader for Israeli aggression on Lebanon. I mean, just watch him. Is "that" a foreign correspondent? And then I heard Tony Blair calling for Hizbullah to leave South Lebanon? What does that mean? In every village in the Tyre region where I come from, more than 80 % of people are either members or supporters of Hizbullah. So is Blair calling for the expulsion or extermination of 80% of people in South Lebanon? Enlighten us, o blair.

  • (On the van (above) is written "Lebanese Red Cross")

    Qana Massacre II: Condoleezza Rice gets her "New Middle East."

  • This picture was taken almost at the same time when Israeli planes were bombing women and children in a shelter in Qana.

  • "Two weeks into the fighting between Israel and Hizbollah, Wednesday's battle - 'the longest day', one newspaper called it - may have marked a bloody turning point. Indeed last night Israel announced it was pulling its ground troops out of Bint Jbeil, saying it had accomplished its objectives there and dealt a heavy blow to the militant group, but admitting it had paid a heavy price with the lives of Israeli soldiers. Heavy indeed, as it was a withdrawal, not a victory. Hizbollah fighters still hold Bint Jbeil."

  • "Tony Blair was facing a full-scale cabinet rebellion last night over the Middle East crisis after his former Foreign Secretary warned that Israel's actions risked destabilising all of Lebanon. Jack Straw, now Leader of the Commons, said in a statement released after meeting Muslim residents of his Blackburn constituency that while he grieved for the innocent Israelis killed, he also mourned the '10 times as many innocent Lebanese men, women and children killed by Israeli fire'."

  • At this time: all Arab TV networks are covering live the recovery of bodies--children and women mostly--from the Israeli massacre in Qana. You saw them digging out children from under the rubble. Viewers were warned about the images. AlJazeera's correspondent, `Abbas Nasir, broke down. Even the pro-Bush AlArabiya TV had to interrupt its Saudi stock coverage to go to Qana.

  • Saturday, July 29, 2006

    AlJazeera is now reporting on a new Israeli massacre in Qana. 35 are dead, and 21 are children. I have a cousin who lives in Qana. AlJazeera's correspondent `Abbas Nasir lost his composure. I switched to AlArabiya TV: and they were reporting on the Saudi stock market.

  • These are the standards of the New York Times: "There is a difference between justified and smart. Israel's airstrikes against Hezbollah targets are legitimate so long as Hezbollah wages war against Israel and operates outside the control of the Lebanese government. But the air campaign is now doing Israel more harm than good." So the New York Times (as it says later in the editorial) only objects to the mass killing of Arabs if it hurts Israeli propaganda: "And more weeks of television screens filled with Lebanese casualties, refugees and destruction would be a propaganda bonanza for the Hezbollahs and the Hamases." Otherwise, the New York Times would have no problem with the killings and destruction.

  • I received this message:
    "Dear sir,
    I live in Israel and I am a Jew. We don't all support the policies of Olmert or the policies of the Labor party either. And many of us grieve for the loss of lives in Lebanon and Palestine just as deeply as you grieve for those lives. I am sorry that this is happening to your country and I hope and pray that your family and friends will be safe and I hope that not one more Palestinian must die for the crimes of the state, the Israeli state.
    I would like to leave Israel before my son turns of age where he must serve in the military, I will not have my child be a part of an occupying army. I don't want my child to have the guilt of the death of your loved ones or of Palestinians on his heart.
    Please know that we are all not like the thugs that visit your blog and say cruel and callous things. I abhor the messages they leave on your blog and they are not representative of Judaism. Zionism is not Judaism. One day the Jews around the world will realize this fact and I hope that when they beg you and Palestinians for forgiveness that you will forgive them for the spiritual malaise that has afflicted them.
    In peace and in solidarity,

  • Lies of Israeli propaganda. Two days ago an Israeli military commander said that Nasrallah's deputy was killed by Israeli bombs. Today, Shaykh Na`im Qasim spoke to Reuters. Ahmad Sa`id (Nasser's radio propagandist) now speaks Hebrew. Who would have thought.

  • Nasrallah's new address. In this one, Nasrallah atypically reads from a written text although he added some while reading it. The speech as a speech was, from the literary point of view, not strong at all I think, but it may be the most effective because it speaks to Lebanese people from different sects, or so it was intended. I have been saying that Nasrallah needed to address the Lebanese people given the intensity of the Saudi-Hariri-Israeli propaganda in Lebanon. This was clearly an address to the Lebanese people, addressing Lebanese issues and concerns (although he made an important point regarding the decline of the status and image of the Israeli soldier--he knows that this is an important point for Arab and Israeli public. And he as always cites Israeli sources so as not to sound bombastic a la Yasir `Arafat. He also said that Israeli "achievements" in Lebanon are not military but in the realm of "savagery"--good point). It is amazing how much of his talks on Lebanese matters during this war are directed--without naming him--at the propaganda of Saudi tool (former Iranian and Syrian tool), the well-known feudal warlord, Walid Jumblat. He mostly responded to the notion that Jumblat raised yesterday in an interview with Hariri Future TV, and in Ash-Shira' magazine (Ash-Shira` was a publication for Libyan intelligence, before serving Iranian intelligence, and now serves Saudi intelligence). Jumblat raised this question: To whom will Nasrallah present the "victory of the resistance?" Nasrallah responded today with a very Lebanese nationalist speech--even the poetic parts spoke of Lebanon's beauty, of its mountains, etc. He also was very keen on speaking in terms of Muslim-Christian unity, invoking the name of Jesus, and speaking of the notion of "love." Nasrallah, some people in Lebanon say, is at his best when acting as a Lebanese politician against his opponents in Lebanese politics. His address was meant to reassure the Lebanese public about the results of this war. Jumblat is nervous, and he is showing it. The Israeli calculations, and the calculations of its (direct or indirect) allies in Lebanon was that Hizbullah will come weaker out of this, begging for forgiveness. No signs of that whatever. If anything, the tide of public opinion seems to be swinging in Hizbullah's direction. I was astonished that after Nasrallah's talk, AlJazeera interviewed Edmond Sa`b (a right-wing sectarian Christian journalist with An-Nahar) and he spoke in emotional and glowing terms in praise of Nasrallah. Jumblat is sensing that. Nasrallah's stature is growing in the Arab world and inside. As Sunni columnist Nuhad Mashnuq (who broke with Saudi Arabia last Monday) wrote in As-Safir, it was unprecedented that a picture of a Shi`ite cleric (Nasrallah) was posted and raised in Al-Azhar during the last few weeks. Mashnuq spoke of the miscalculation by Saudi Arabia--that explains that sudden announcement of generosity by House of Saud. When I was in Lebanon last summer, I met off the record with a former advisor to King Faysal who used to pay various PLO and Lebanese leaders. The list is so big. But the advisor spoke in very respectful terms of Kamal Jumblat (not like his corrupt son, Walid who reads the New York Review of Books and brags about it because it makes him feel like an "intellectual") who refused all offers of Saudi money. In the house of this person, I saw two pictures: one of Kamal Jumblat and another of Hasan Nasrallah--and the person is a secular Sunni. I think that latest address by Nasrallah will work in Lebanese domestic politics: after the talk, Hariri deputy, Muhammad Qabbani, spoke and he distanced himself from Jumblat's comments. Personally, I can't stand any tributes to Lebanon as a homeland, or to Lebanese nationalism. I personally have always been opposed to Lebanon as a political project. It is too early for me to evaluate the status of Lebanese politics in the wake of this Israeli war of aggression, but I can't see how the Hariri Inc crowd will be able to come out stronger. It is clear that they are now weaker than ever, although Walid Jumblat still reads the New York Review of Books. And what is with Walid Jumblat always, as of late, attacking Noam Chomsky and "that person in the Knesset"--a reference to `Azmi Bisharah? In other news, Israeli leaders are mourning the loss of Marun Ar-Ras--the pride and glory of the Israeli military.

  • Israeli government is saying that its troops did not withdraw from Bint Jubayl and Marun Ar-Ras. They merely "redeployed." Ya. When the US withdrew its troops from Lebanon in 1984, they also did not withdraw. They merely "redeployed."

  • "A large oil spill and fire caused by Israeli bombing have sent an oil slick traveling up the coast of Lebanon to Syria, threatening to become the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history and engulfing this town in smoke. “The escalating Israeli attacks on Lebanon did not only kill its civilians and destroy its infrastructure, but they are also annihilating its environment,” warned Green Line, a Lebanese environmental group, in a statement issued Thursday. “This is one of the worst environmental crises in Lebanese history.”"

  • Friday, July 28, 2006

    From the poem A Diary of a Palestinian Wound by Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish (my translation):
    "I grew up along the wound,
    and never asked my mother
    what made her a tent at night
    I have not misplaced my spring,
    my address, and my name
    Thus I saw in her dress
    a million stars
    My flag is black
    And the port is a tomb
    My back is an arch
    O, the autumn of the world
    which has collapsed in us
    O, the spring of the world
    that was born in us
    my flower is red,
    the port is open,
    and my heart is a tree!
    My language is the sound of the stream
    in the river of storms
    and the mirrors of the sun and wheat
    in the arena of war
    Maybe I erred in my
    expressions sometimes
    But I was--I am not ashamed
    to say--splendid when I
    substituted my heart for
    the dictionary!"

  • I love but by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation):
    "I love to be able to flip
    life over its head for you
    and to end tyranny
    and to burn every rapist
    and to ignite a hell
    under our old world
    with long flames
    and to make the poorest
    of the poor eat from
    plates of diamonds and gold
    and to walk in trousers
    of expensive threads
    and to demolish his hut...
    and to build for him
    a palace on the clouds
    I love to be able to
    flip life over its head for you
    But...things have a nature
    that is stronger than
    desires and anger
    Impatience is eating you
    up, but has it achieved results?
    Steadfastness, o people that I love
    Patience with misery
    Place the sun in the eyes
    and steel in the nerves
    Your hands can achieve
    the most splendid of dreams..
    they can make the most
    incredible of what is incredible"

  • My sources tell me that Walid Jumblat called Al-Jazeera's bureau chief in Beirut, and yelled in protest at AlJazeera's coverage of the war, and screamed: "You want to turn Hasan Nasrallah into a national hero"? He then slammed the phone.

  • One insider commented to me that Human Rights Watch really wants the Israeli war of aggression to end, only because they don't want to have to take a stand. They will not.

  • One of the privileges of having this blog is that I often ask for an obscure article or picture, and some reader or more will find it. I asked for this picture 2 days ago: I only saw them on TV chatting, and was hoping for a picture of that moment. Pierre Laval: for all to see. "Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora (L) and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz chat before the start of the meeting on the Lebanon crisis at the Farnesina Palace, the Italian Foreign Ministry, in Rome, July 26, 2006." (thanks Noaman)

  • Norwegian Cartoon: "A Norwegian cartoon depicting Prime Minister Olmert as a Nazi commander indiscriminately shooting Palestinian Arabs in a concentration camp has elicited an angry response from Israel's ambassador to Norway, Miryam Shomrat, and a defense of the newspaper's editorial stance by its editor. The cartoon, which caused little uproar in Norway when it was first printed, has become a hot topic of discussion after Ms. Shomrat filed a complaint with the Norwegian Press Trade Committee arguing that the cartoon exceeded the limits of free speech."

  • "Israeli propaganda, except in the United States where there isn't any other kind, doesn't work its old magic."

  • Is there anything more offensive than Bush calling Israel's war of aggression on Lebanon "moment of opportunity"?

  • "How Israel has lost way in its war on Hizbollah" (Israel lost its way in 1948)

  • "Israel’s Government has thrown its weight behind efforts by supporters to counter what it believes to be negative bias and a tide of pro-Arab propaganda. The Foreign Ministry has ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages. "

  • "Israel's secret war: the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Palestine: Israel is waging a hidden war on Gaza, killing 29 people over the last 48 hours and turning the besieged Strip into a prison"

  • "An injured Lebanese boy with his mother after their van was attacked by Israeli aircraft as they fled their village in Tyre, Lebanon"

  • This passes as "analysis" in the Israeli "liberal" newspaper, Haaretz: "Before any international agreement, Israel must sound the last chord, launching a massive air and ground offensive that will end this mortifying war, not with a whimper but with a thunderous roar."

  • Israeli Orientalism: "It is also turning the zealous Shiites into fighters who are ready to sacrifice themselves to sanctify the name of Allah. In 1988 Yitzhak Gershon was the commander of a Paratroops battalion that fought a bitter battle against Hezbollah at Maidoun. When he got back, he told his friends, "They aren't Palestinians. It's really hard with them.""

  • " In the middle of the week, a close personal friend of U.S. President George Bush, who is also a generous donor to the Republican Party, called an Israeli friend who is a senior officer in the Israel Defense Forces. "What's happening with you?" he asked, as angry as he was disappointed. "The best army in the region, one of the best armies in the world, is messing for two weeks with a terrorist organization three kilometers from the border, and the rockets keep falling on its population centers? We sent our army to bleed 6,000 miles from home after September 11. What's stopping you?""

  • "With all these briefings, how does it happen that 400 civilians have been killed in Lebanon?
    Colonel A.: "There are 400 fatalities."
    You don't accept the definition that they are civilians?
    Colonel A.: "Our soldiers who are killed in Bint Jbail are also civilians."
    I can show you the pictures. This baby does not look like a soldier. Do you feel moral with 400 dead, of whom half are children, according to UN data?
    Colonel A.: "The answer is yes. We are not the only country that fights. I see how other countries fight, how the Americans fight, and I have no doubt that we are the most moral army in the world.

  • Israeli military men of conscience: "Colonel A. has not heard about civilian targets that were attacked. All the targets are "terror targets.""

  • "Last weekend, 2,500 demonstrators turned out in Tel Aviv, but many were Israeli Arabs and radical left-wingers far from the political mainstream. A smaller demonstration in Haifa on Tuesday had to be postponed because air raid sirens wailed to warn of incoming missiles and protesters scattered to the shelters. Overall there is no traction to the anti-war movement."

  • "US plans Saudi tank sale worth up to $2.9 bln"

  • Leftist intellectuals and writers in Lebanese issue a call for resisting Israeli aggression on Lebanon.

  • I am 46-year old. I have lived through many Arab-Israeli wars and Israeli wars of aggression on Lebanon. I don't remember a time when Israeli propagandists were as confused, nervous, perplexed, agitated, and bumbling as those days.

  • Unintended Consequences: Former Lebanese Prime Minister, Salim Huss, predicts that Hizbullah will emerge stronger.

  • The Myth of the Israeli Soldier. The planners of this war on aggression on Lebanon clearly don't know much about Arab politics. They did not know how it will be evaluated by Arab public opinion. They assumed that Israel's savage will to destroy and kill on a mass scale--which was never in doubt, not in Lebanon for sure--is sufficient to subdue the Arab public, and to scare off potential resistors. But the battle is being measured by the actual combat between Hizbullah fighters and Israeli soldiers. And in that regard, something--without exaggerating here--has been shattered, no matter what will happen next. For decades Israeli propaganda and the propaganda of Arab regimes fed the myth of the mighty and invincible Israeli soldier. Israel wanted to discourage Arab armies from fighting them, and the Arab regimes wanted to instill fear and despair in their populations because they did not want to be dragged into a confrontation with Israel. This will be remembered by Arabs--rightly or wrongly--as a situation where Israeli soldiers ran away from Arab fighters, notwithstanding the fundamentally asymmetry between the two sides in everything. Arabs don't remember a time when Israeli soldiers were scared of Arab soldiers in contemporary times. The political impact of that will be significant. But don't get me wrong. Israel's long record of bravery against defenseless women and children remains intact.

  • My friends know that I am not on good terms with Lebanese writer, Ilyas Khuri. But I wish to send him a comradely salutation for this piece. Here, Khuri offers criticisms of Harakat Al-Yasar Ad-Dimuqrati (of which he is a member, I think). Kudos.

  • Cliches of Israeli propaganda. Having lived through many of Israel's brutal invasions of Lebanon, especially when there was no Hizbullah, let me share with you some of the cliches of Israeli propaganda in this context: "they are hiding behind civilians"; "the group--whatever the group is--is part of a Soviet (now Iranian) conspiracy"; "we harbor no ill feelings toward the people that we are killing;" "we can't have peace with terrorists"; "the enemy wants to destroy Israel"--Israel leaders say that as they go about destroying another Arab country; "they killed those civilians, not our bombs that fell over their heads"; "we are part of the free world"; "what about Hajj Amin Al-Husseini"; "Israel is the only democracy" [Cyprus is of course];" "our lives are much more valuable than Arab lives" [well, they don't say that, but it is implied in everything they say].

  • "The "hiding among civilians" myth"

  • "The 'Arab system' is dying in Lebanon"

  • Mini-Hariri continues his tour. He was in Tunisia today. I kid you not.

  • The Guardian's Brian Whitaker knows the Middle East: "Arab leaders - especially the rulers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan - have sustained further damage to their local credibility by not opposing the war more strongly. Though all three seem to be changing their tune slightly in the light of popular anger, many have accused them of adopting a soft line in the hope that Washington will reward them by not pressing hard for democracy and reform." But I have not read his new book yet.

  • "Talk of a "new Middle East" from the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has also been greeted by Arabs with almost universal derision. One newspaper cartoon depicting "the New Middle East" showed an Israeli tank parked on the crushed remains of Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq."

  • "Muslims unite in anger over Lebanon"

  • The poem Promises of the Storm by Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish (my translation):
    "So let it be...
    I have to reject death
    and to burn the tears of
    the songs that are soaked with blood
    and to strip naked the olive trees
    from all the fake bushes
    And if I am singing for joy
    from behind the frightened
    it is because the storm
    promised me wine...
    and new toasts
    and rainbows
    and because the storm
    brushed away the sound
    of lazy birds
    and the borrowed bushes
    from the standing trees
    And let it be...
    I have to brag about you,
    o, wound of the city
    You are the portrait of
    lightening in our
    sad nights
    The street frowns at my face
    and you protect me from
    the shadow and the looks
    of hate
    I will sing for joy
    from behind the frightened
    since the storm hit
    my homeland
    It promised me wine,
    and rainbows

  • From a message I received: "Also, my sister in Beirut told me that in one school croissants were brought for the refugees but the boxes had Hariri's picture on them. The refugees refused to eat... and they were kicked out of the school."

  • "Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Foreign Military Service". But it seems that Americans may "enjoy" the military service of Israel.

  • When Hizbullah uses the name "khaybar" for its missiles it only reminds Arab leftists why they can't--should not--support its ideology, no matter what the position toward Israel is.

  • "A private US-Israeli company, Security Solutions International, is responding to the need for better quality training by sponsoring a training missions to Israel for US law enforcement and security officers."

  • Haaretz: "Israel Defense Forces soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were abducted by Hezbollah on July 12, exposed secrets to their kidnappers, an Iranian Web site reported Thursday. The Web site, run by the former Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, General Mohsen Rezai, says the troops revealed "secret IDF military maneuvers," including Israeli plans for a massive attack on Lebanon in the fall.""

  • "Hezbollah's display of coordinated attacks and small-unit action is surprising the world community and making Western nations think twice about agreeing to put peacekeeping troops between the militant Lebanese Shi'ite group and aggressive Israeli forces, military analysts say." I can't believe that the Washington Times called Israeli forces "aggressive."

  • Look what I have to read in the US press: "American does her duty with Israeli army". Can you imagine a newspaper with the headline: "American does her/his duty with Hizbullah"? That person would land in jail, you know.

  • For history-repeating-itself moments, NBN TV has been replaying the pathetic comments that Bill Clinton made back in 1996 to justify the Qana massacre.

  • The Arab people will not be able to struggle for enlightenment, gender equality, Palestine, real peace, dignity, real independence, secularism, social justice, and equality in the presence of the regime of the House of Saud. Of that I am more certain than ever.

  • Israeli propaganda has often claimed that Arabs harbor hopes of "destruction of Israel." Well, Israel is actually destroying Lebanon, having actually destroyed Palestine. So who is destroying whom?

  • Jihad Al-Khazin of Al-Hayat cited these figures on AlJazeera: 90% of Israeli deaths are military; and 90% of Lebanese deaths are civilians.

  • "With the evacuation of Filipinos from war-torn Lebanon well into its second week, it is emerging that once again Filipino women are becoming the main victims. News reports tell of some cruel Lebanese employers refusing to let their Filipino employees go home because their contracts are not finished yet."

  • So who wants war? The Arab public is calling for an immediate cease-fire, while the Israeli public wants more war and destruction. As for Zeef Schiff: well, that guy probably favors nuclear weapons to be dropped on Lebanon.

  • Why is there no Lebanese calls for the resignation of Fu'ad Sanyurah? I mean this Laval did not even threaten to resign to force a cease-fire. That would have changed things.

  • One of the main conclusions that the Arab public--if I dare say so--will draw from this war is this: that Israel--and I am not speaking only from the military perspective--is vulnerable. Very very vulnerable. Much more than what Israel and Arab regimes have led them to believe. This will have far reaching effects, politically and otherwise.

  • So when they were planning this conspiracy on Lebanon, they said: OK, and then we will rely on the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan to lead Arab public opinion. We know how loved they are in the region. OK.

  • Listen to the children. I have been particularly interested in what the children of the Lebanese refugees have been saying on Arab channels. Fascinating. There is a lot of anger, and a lot of political awareness. They all are able to identify the enemy, and all have tremendous anger. I will not cite some of what they have been saying, or urging. Remember that in 1970, Black September organization emerged. Hizbullah was born in 1982. Something new will be born out of this chapter of Israeli aggression, and Israel (and Zionism in general) should be held responsible for what emerges out of this carnage and destruction.

  • Ilyas Khuri made a good point yesterday on AlJazeera. He said that Israel invaded Lebanon in 1972 because Katyusha were reaching Keryat Shmoneh. In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon, the Katyushas were reaching Haifa. A basic course in logic would lead you to draw conclusions.

  • "Turkey and Saudi Arabia have stopped Iran using their air space to send humanitarian relief to Lebanon, media in Iran have said."

  • "Lebanese wounded turn cold shoulder on Jordan aid"

  • "So bitter is Tyre's 70-year-old mayor over the war that he even refused aid from the U.S. Embassy this week. "From the U.S. government, I will not take," he said after a U.S. official called to offer help. "Even if they came all the way down from Beirut, I would not take it."" (In the print edition of the SF Chronicle (but not in the internet edition), the headline of the story is :"Bitterness grows in Lebanonese resort city". I swear. I thought a reader is playing a joke at the newspaper).

  • Look at the language of Thomas Friedman (how it is qualified): "and we've seen Israel retaliating by, at times, leveling whole buildings, with the guilty and the innocent inside." (And do you notice that Friedman becomes far less critical of Syria when he is in Syria? Are you scared, o NYT columnist?)

  • So the New York Times has been eager, nay desperate, for any Lebanese opinion against Hizbullah. Hell, they have been citing Israeli "experts" in order to advance "theories" about the Lebanese people. And you remember the Bar Illan University professor who talked about clashes between "Khizbullakh" and "other southern Lebanese". But it is common in the US media to allow Israelis to speak for Arabs. Arabs can't speak for themselves, if you have not noticed. Here is one article in the New York Times. So where did the New York Times go for this? The village of `Ayn Ibil--the capital of Israeli collaborators and spies during the long years of Israeli occupation of Lebanon. I am not saying that all the people of `Ayn Ibil were collaborators, but this was notorious, just as there were towns that were notorious during the Nazi occupation of France. `Ayn Ibil was a stronghold of SLA.

  • All Arab governments and Iran have been quite appalling in their behavior, to put it politely, during the Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon. They are either part of the conspiracy against Lebanon, or they are sitting idly buy washing the destruction of Lebanon, and hoping that their regimes remain secure. And I am in mood for those who want to make distinctions between Syria and Iran on the one hand, and the rest. Iran has not even announced any grant of financial aid. But in fairness: the Syrian Ba`th continues to produce its jarring Ba`thist rhetoric. Yesterday, the Syrian regime offered to feed the displaced people of Lebanon a stew of Ba`thist pamphlets and flyers. And then there are the glorious Palestinian people. The people who are the most oppressed and distressed have been the most supportive and generous. I am now watching a report on New TV about how Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have opened their homes for the Lebanese refugees.

  • When it comes to Middle East coverage, what I read in the New York Times, I read a week earlier in the Economist, and two weeks earlier in the Arabic press. Take this for example: "Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah." The NYT just noticed.

  • Nobody unleashes the law of unintended consequences better than Bush: "Hizbullah support tops 80 percent among Lebanese factions"

  • The Lebanese Embassy in Washington, DC has canceled a fundraising event due to sectarian/political feuds among the embassy staff, and among the Lebanese community in the area.

  • Israeli newspapers, especially in their military reports, read like Syrian newspapers at times of war. Notice how they just print uncritically Israeli military propaganda. Notice that in this article: they turn every civilian target hit into a Hizbullah target.

  • Schiff now merely produces justifications for Israeli bombing of Lebanese civilians. Tomorrow, you will read him tell an important story: that two Lebanese babies were killed by Israeli troops because they were launching missiles at Israel. (Notice that he gave no evidence. He assumes that by mentioning the floor level, the story becomes convincing).

  • This is how Islam is now presented to Western readers. When I read this, I miss the classical Orientalists. Unlike Karsh, they were at least learned, erudite, sophisticated, and quite knowledgeable.

  • From a poem by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation):
    "My land..! My friends!..
    My stolen treasure..! My history..
    The bones of my father and
    grandfather are denied to me,
    so how can I forgive?
    If they mount the gallows for
    me...I am not forgiving
    These green villages of ours
    have all become our blood
    and scattered traces
    Ones have remained
    and still fighting
    with nails...
    Do not tell not tell me..!
    Even tombstones have been scattered."

  • Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Ayman Adh-Dhawahiri and the Saudi role in the Conspiracy. It is a sign that Ayman Adh-Dhawihiri showed up his face and gave one of his tedious fulminations--fortunately, all his calls fall on deaf Muslim ears. But it was public opinion pressures--even Al-Qa`idah feels them. This is a sign of what is building up among he Arab/Muslim public although I would never expect revolutionary momentum to topple regimes any time soon. But the new US/Israeli/Arab conspiracy required an Arab role in fomenting Sunni-Shi`ite divisions and seditions. The plan would have worked, had the US selected a more credible leader of Arab Sunnis than the Guardian of the Two Holy things. The Saudi King? Are you kidding me? He does not even speak for the Sunni House of Saud. If anything: whatever is supported by the Saudi King will be ridiculed and mocked by Arab public. Do you know how wildly detested the Gulf royals are? During the Arab Cold War, the Arab public threw its lot with Nasser. There was no mistake about it; even some members of the royal family joined Nasser--how much Prince Talal would like to forget that. What I find more noteworthy than Dhawahiri's statement--and it is significant in the way he falsely presented Al-Qa`idah as an organization that sought to unite Muslims (it was also significant that he used the Qur'anic term mustadh`afin, which was quite popularized by Khumayni)--is the statement by the well-known fundamentalist "thinker", Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. Now Qaradawi speaks for important segments of Muslim Sunni public opinion. His statement was made--in support of Hizbullah--as part of his taped Sunday show on Al-Jazeera. And AlJazeera made sure to air it today. But Nasrallah and Qaradawi--many people don't know--have been friends, or friendly, although Salafi groups attacked Qaradawi for his meetings with Nasrallah. And even the Muslim Brotherhood (not to mention Saudi intellectuals and clerics) in Egypt officially disagreed with the Saudi position on Lebanon. The Saudi position in the current conspiracy seems to be weakening: Saudi Arabia is showing signs of embarrassment and confusion. I don't think that brilliant planners of House of Saud--and US and Israel behind them, or ahead of them--expected the Sunni Arab opinion to be so solidly behind Hizbullah's stance in South Lebanon. They really expected--how foolish, come to think of it--Arab public opinion to rally behind Mubarak, and the two royal `Abdullahs. Say what you wish about Arab public opinion but it never rallied behind those royals. The sudden announcement of the Saudi financial gift to Lebanon--which it will not materialize, mark my words--was intended to beautify the Saudi image not only in Lebanon, but in the larger Arab world, more importantly. Similarly, Israeli bombers have allowed Jordanian planes to bring medical supplies to Beirut airport, also to help them out in this "PR" mess. What will this mean? Saudi Arabia is embarrassed, and that explains their last statement warning (the US, presumably) that things would get worse in the Middle East. If Hizbullah does not respond directly to the Saudi role in this conspiracy after all this is over it will only reinforce the view that they allow themselves to be used in Iranian foreign policy.

  • This is a new standard of lies, even for Israeli propaganda: "Israeli commanders had earlier said the town was under control, but Shachar said the army never intended to conquer Bint Jbeil. Rather, he said, its goal was to "control the town from outside". Control from outside? How does that work? Like, can I control Poland from my California? Explain that to me, o brilliant Israeli propagandist.

  • Who cares what Prince Hasan of Jordan thinks about anything? Really.

  • ""The Israelis are radicalising Lebanon, even liberal democrats like me. I took part in last year's demonstrations against Syria. I was a critic of Hizbullah. Now I cannot help but support Hizbullah's fighters who are defending our country." What about Hizbullah's rocket attacks on Haifa? "It's right," she replied. "It's not only Lebanese who should have to suffer. Are human rights available only to Israelis? You can't have winter and summer on the same roof.""

  • "'It seems we and Uncle Sam think that shooting people is a good idea'""

  • For those who care, I will be commenting on the latest developments on AlJazeera in two hours from now (by phone), on the morning newscast.

  • Syrian propaganda is always jarring. These days, it is even more jarring.

  • The foolish political miscalculations of Hizbullah: the Lebanese political scene. My sister and comrades in Lebanon have asked me to refrain in this period from criticizing Hizbullah. But how could I not? After listening to the official statement of the Council of Ministers today? When I watched Minister of Information, Ghazi Al-`Aridi, pay one tribute-after-another to the Saudi Guardian of the Two Holy things, I could not believe my eyes. Here is the Saudi government officially endorsing the Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon while pledging some millions to Lebanon--Saudi Arabia is notorious for not giving what it pledges, you may ask the Palestinians about that. Here is Saudi Arabia and Fu`d As-Sanyurah providing the political cover for the Israeli war of aggression, and Hizbullah remains in the cabinet, and refrains from criticizing either Sanyurah or Saudi Arabia. This is like when I hear Hamas leader, Isma`il Haniyyah, sending salutations to "brother president, Abu Mazen". What is that? What can't they see?

  • It is hilarious to see Western media quoting the Kuwaiti daily, As-Siyasah, not knowing that its reports on Lebanon over the last two years have been as reliable as Bush's allegations of Iraqi WMDs. And is it not funny when they treat the publisher, Ahmad Al-Jarallah, as a real "journalist"? But as long as the manufactured news fit with the Zionist standards, they are reliable. And Ahmad Al-Jarallah was a close ally of Al-Asad family: the dispute was financial from what I am told.

  • I must confess that I squirm every time I hear `Amr Musa. And today, it was worse. I heard him use the expression "stability in the Middle East."

  • The children are shahd (8 months) and Maria (5) with their mother, Asma' (33). All were killed by Israeli occupation troops in Jabalya, Palestine.

  • Scenes from Lebanon: if only those "pangs of birth" can stop.

  • I have written about the Arab media and the way. Mouin sent me his observations on Al-Manar since I can't watch it here in the US anymore:
    "1. They are clearly on a war footing, and aspects of a personality cult re Nasrallah are evident, but at the same time have tried hard to be reliable and maintain their reputation for accuracy. They often seem to go out of their way to base their reporting on "masadir al-3aduw". At times this of course means some talking head on an Israeli television show is endowed with official authority.
    2. I have noticed they are very fast with their breaking news ticker, ahead of even Jazira and often at least 12 hourse ahead of Haaretz's website breaking news section (which is usually quite quick), at least when it comes to Israeli casualties. And so far they have to the best of my knowledge made no claims about Israeli killed and wounded that don't end up being confirmed by the Israelis within a day later. Their claims of Israeli tanks and vehicles destroyed haven't been verified. Not disproven, but not verified.
    3. I'd like to emphasise they are reporting own casualties. Example: "al-muqawama al-islamiya tuziff shahidiha [Name], born in village A in year B, joined the Resistance in year C, attended numerous military courses, [perhaps some more details], wa hasala 3ala tanwih min al-amin al-3am" [whatever the latter might mean]. So they are definitely reporting casualties, and giving details of them. Whether they are reporting all of them can't of course be ascertained. But if Israeli claims that they have already killed the entire leadership, every Hizballah member, and all potential recruits are accurate, they don't seem to be pulling too much wool over our eyes, at least thus far.
    4. They accept no - i repeat, no - criticism of individual Arab leaders. This is particularly evident with call-in shows and studio guests. Those who start with this are virtually immediately cut off, politely but firmly. Something akin happened during the Palestinian uprising - whether at the outset or during Defensive Shield I can't recall. Then it was more firm - those who cursed Arafat were immediately, and not politely, cut off, and "reminded" that Arafat is a national leader struggling against occupation, besieged etc. and Manar would not provide a forum for such attacks."

  • Dead civilian bodies are can still be seen in this van which was bombed by Israeli occupation forces on the road to Tibnin.

  • It is hilarous that Nasir Al-As`ad: is the Hariri Inc's hope as as Shi`ite alternative, now that the two Hariri Shi`ite deputies, Basim As-Sab` and Ghazi Yusuf have fled the country. When Nasir Al-As`ad was in the Communist Action Organization during the civil war in the 1970s, he once was asked to buy sanwiches for the fighters in downtown Beirut. So hoping to save some money, he decided to make Fasulya stew for the fighters in his house. The fighters called the command and said that the food has not arrived. They sent them somebody with the food. Hours later, Nasir Al-As`ad arrives with his Fasulya. One of the fighters takes the pot and dumps it on Nasir's head. (The source of the story is the head of the militia of that organization).

  • Unintentionally, Bush is uniting Sunnis and Shi`ites while he thinks--or is being told--that he is dividing them.

  • Do you notice that Arab governments become more "democratic"--by Western standards--as soon as they adopt policies favorable to Israel? I mean, House of Saud's rank in Freedom House has just been elevated this week.

  • Let me point out three not-so-small elements of the Bush Doctrine: they are the notion that Abu Mazen speaks for Palestinians, that Sanyurah speaks for the Lebanese people, and that House of Saud speaks for the Sunnis of the world. Dream on.

  • This is Zionism. The pro-Bush Al-Arabiya TV just aired a report about how the Arabs of Haifa are being prevented from entering some of the shelters of the city.

  • I forgot to say that crackpot Lebanese "presidential candidate"--whatever that means, but his title reminds me of Lyndon LaRouche here in the US--, Chibli Mallat, has been trying to meet with Hasan Nasrallah for 2 years now. They have refused to give him an appointment. Knowing what a crackpot he has become: I would not be surprised if he is making calls right now to meet with him.

  • By, of course, Palestinian artist, Naji Al-`Ali (assassinated by goons of Yasir `Arafat).

  • By the way, Hanady Salman is a WOMAN, not a man. What? You did not think that Arab women could write? (AlJazeera today did a story on her messages).

  • I am opposed to inviting Israeli propagandists on Arab TV. I am opposed to normalization with a state that is premised on religious preference, racism, terror, mass violence, and displacement. But Arab news stations now invite Israeli propagandists. AlJazeera today invited this really fascist Israeli professor at Bar Ilan University--he fulminated and got so angry, that he started to drool. He said many crazy things. One of them: he said that there have been clashes in South Lebanon between "Khizbullakh"--I think that he meant Hizbullah here but I am not sure--and other Shi`ites opposed to "Khizbullakh," and he accused AlJazeera of suppressing those news. He did not identify who those Shi`ites were. Could they have been supporters of Michael Husayn Young, the well-known leader in South Lebanon? He also promised the people of South Lebanon that villages will be destroyed one after another.

  • Something about Happiness by Iraqi poet `Abdul-Wahab Al-Bayyati (my translation):
    "They lied; happiness,
    oh, Muhammad
    cannot be sold
    Newspapers have written
    that the sky rained frogs
    last night
    Oh, my friend
    they stole happiness
    from you
    They deceived you
    They tortured you
    They crucified you
    with the ropes of words
    To say that you died
    to sell you a place in the sky
    Oh, what is the value of crying
    I am ashamed Muhammad
    Frogs have stolen happiness
    from us
    And I am heading
    toward the sun despite
    the suffering
    They planted daggers
    in the night, and dogs
    The ceiling of the night
    is crashing on them
    So rebel!
    Oh, Muhammad!
    So rebel!
    And beware of treason"

  • To my friends (and enemies) in Lebanon: Is Shibli Mallat losing his mind? I am serious. I heard him on LBC-TV the other day, and he said: "As a political leader, I say...." I am not kidding. This reminds me of this Arab journalist, who once read his paper at a conference and it contained the following sentence: "As a keen observer of Middle East politics, I think...."

  • From our friend Hanady (editor at As-Safir newspaper):
    "...I called Salim. He told me Mohamad’s mother is …. so I decided I won’t go . I’ll wait a couple of days. Is that enough for a mother to get used to the idea that her 23 years old “baby” was killed? Last night air raids were so close, I was almost out of my mind. Israeli fighters were flying so low, I couldn’t wait to go home and hug my little baby (we live on the 12th floor, remember?). It turned out later they were bombing more TV, radios and phone transmission arials somewhere close (Amsheet, near Jounieh). I’m not supposed to write to you anymore. That was my decision when Mohamad was killed. But I did miss you. And I know this will sound corny, but so many of you wrote to me, and it made me feel …"

  • This New York Times' account clashes with the account of Michael Husayn Young below: "Whatever the target, the result was an emotional outpouring in support of Hezbollah. Standing near a cluster of dangling electrical wires, a group of men began to chant. “By our blood and our soul, we’ll fight for you, Nasrallah!” they said, referring to Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. In a foggy double image, another small group chanted the same thing, as if answering, on the other side of the smoke."

  • This is mentioned in passing in a long article in the New York Times: "In another matter that has drawn criticism, the general acknowledged that Israel had used cluster munitions in the conflict. The munitions disperse bomblets over a wide area and have been banned by some countries because of the high number of civilian casualties they cause."

  • Humanity of Israeli society: "When asked if he thought Israel’s response to the initial Hezbollah raid was disproportionate, as many critics have charged, he minced no words. “I don’t think it was disproportionate,” he said. “It should have been much stronger, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

  • It is a bad sign when you answer a question with a question: "When asked what the Israeli military had achieved after two weeks of fighting, General Gantz replied: “I would suggest asking what Hezbollah has achieved."

  • Lies of Israeli propaganda: well, even Marun Ar-Ras is not "subdued". "Two days ago, Israeli military officials on the border confidently announced that first the village of Marun al-Ras and then the larger town of Bint Jbail had been subdued. But renewed fighting erupted in the region around daybreak Wednesday, and by afternoon military officers were being more circumspect about their progress. In the village of Marun al-Ras, one Israeli soldier was killed and three more were wounded Wednesday, the Israeli military said. Hezbollah fighters fired an anti-tank rocket that hit the soldiers in a building, it said."

  • The NYT has noticed, finally. "While the world has focused on the fighting in Lebanon, Israel has continued to shell Gaza. Most of those killed in Gaza on Wednesday were militants, but a mother and her two young daughters died when an artillery shell hit their home, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. A third young girl was also killed, and dozens of Palestinians were wounded."

  • Even US puppet, the Pierre Laval of Lebanon, is complaining: "“Is the value of human life less in Lebanon than that of citizens elsewhere?” he asked. “Are we children of a lesser god? Is an Israeli teardrop worth more than a drop of Lebanese blood?” Accusing Israel of “barbaric destruction,” he vowed to seek justice, announcing that Lebanon would begin legal proceedings for war reparations."

  • This is a headline from NYT: "World Powers Fail to Agree on Plan to End Fighting." That is a flat out lie, of course. World powers all agreed, only the US disagreed.

  • America's allies are allies of Al-Qa`idah. I have written before about how US allies in Lebanon, the Hariri Inc crowd, funded and cultivated Bin Ladenite groups in Lebanon to win the parliamentary elections last year. They relied strongly on Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah. Today, commenting on Ayamn Adh-Dhawahiri's latest TV fulminations, the secretary-general of Al-Jama`ah, Shaykh Faysal Al-Mawlawi, appeared on Al-Jazeera and offered words of praise for "our brothers" in Al-Qa`idah.

  • Lies of Israeli propaganda: "General Adam, who met reporters in a pine forest at dusk, acknowledged that after two days of bitter combat that had left 10 soldiers dead, Bint Jbail was still not under Israeli control." Do you know that two days ago Israeli propaganda AND Hariri newspaper, Al-Mustaqbal, claimed that Bin Jubayl was already under Israeli occupation control?

  • "The estimated death toll from the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was 18,000, about 0.5 percent of the population. Twenty-four years later, I have yet to hear any sign of remorse emanating from Israeli society. Nor were there any reparations for the carnage wrought by the Israeli Army. When the Israeli press, politicians and intellectuals speak with regret about the “Lebanon War,” it is usually to say the cost to Israel was too high or to point out that the invasion failed to achieve its objectives. The Lebanese fatalities are rarely discussed."

  • Guess who speaks for Lebanese Shi`ites now? Michael Husayn Young. That is right. He now speaks for Lebanese Shi`tes. And notice that he uses Israeli propaganda tactics: remember when Israeli propaganda used to allege in the 1970s that the Palestinians "in private conversations" are opposed to the PLO, and that the PLO "forces" them to be loyal? Listen to Michael Husayn Young here: "According to Michael Young, editorial page editor of the Beirut Daily Star, the Lebanese (including many Shi'ites in private conversation) blame Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, for triggering the current violence and the hardships they are now enduring." But at least he is being of service to the editorial of the Washington Times. If Michael Young speaks for Lebanese Shi`ites, I speak for Southern Baptists.

  • "According to 48 percent of Americans, Israel responded proportionately in the conflict with Hizbullah, while 26 percent believed Israel’s response was exaggerated...7 percent believing the US should criticize Israel."

  • Brother by Lebanese poet Mikha'il Nu`aymah--he wrote it in 1917 (my translation):
    "Brother, if a Westerner brags
    after the war about his exploits,
    and if he honors the memory of
    the dead and glorifies the violence
    his heroes,
    Do not celebrate those who prevailed,
    and do not despise those who fell,
    but bow down like me, with a bloodied
    and modest heart
    to cry over the lot of our dead
    Brother, if a soldiers returns home
    after the war
    to his homeland
    and if he throws his exhausted body
    in the lap of his kinsfolk,
    Do not ask if you return home
    for kinsfolk
    Because hunger did not leave us
    but the ghosts of our dead
    to converse with
    Brother, if a farmer returns home
    to till the land,
    and to build after a long absence
    a hut destroyed by a cannon
    our streams have dried up,
    and humiliation smashed our
    and the enemy only left us
    the corpses of our dead
    as plants in the land
    Brother, what happened would
    not have happened without our will,
    misery has spread, and we could
    have prevented it
    Do not mourn, the ears of others
    do not hear our grievances
    But follow me, to dig a trench
    with a shovel
    to bury our dead
    Brother, who are we? No homeland,
    no folks, and no neighbor
    If we sleep, if we rise up, we are
    covered with shame and dishonor
    Life has stunk with us, as it has
    with our dead
    Bring the shovel and follow me
    to dig another trench,
    to bury our living..."

  • "Richard Cohen's Blood Lust: Applauding While Lebanon Burns"

  • Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Define terrorism: "After seven days, 13 Israelis and about 230 Lebanese civilians had been killed in the war between Israel and Hezbollah."

  • Part of the on-going conspiracy against Lebanon requires certain propaganda measures. Notice that Israeli occupation is facilitating the "aid supplies" by pro-Bush Arab regimes, but not by governments critical of Israel. "two Jordanian C-130 Hercules military transports landed at Beirut's international airport Wednesday morning, the first planes to reach the facility since it was bombed by Israeli warplanes at the outset of the conflict July 12. A third was scheduled to arrive during the evening."

  • Where else would you find such brilliant analysis of the motives of those who are fighting Israeli occupiers in South Lebanon? WP: "their families will be looked after and their children educated at Hezbollah's expense if they die in combat. "

  • ""I dare say, based on what we've seen so far, these may be the best Arab troops we've ever faced.""

  • "Today, ordinary Saudi citizens are glued to Al-Jazeera and other Arab satellite TV networks to follow events in Gaza and South Lebanon. They see Arab (not Shiite) blood being shed, with only Hizbullah fighting back. In their eyes, Hizbullah has become a heroic model of resistance."

  • "UN told Israel 10 times that artillery attacks were near its observers"

  • "Is it possible - is it conceivable - that Israel is losing its war in Lebanon? From this hill village in the south of the country, I am watching the clouds of brown and black smoke rising from its latest disaster in the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil: up to 13 Israeli soldiers dead, and others surrounded, after a devastating ambush by Hizbollah guerrillas in what was supposed to be a successful Israeli military advance against a "terrorist centre"."

  • "The Israeli government is facing a barrage of criticism over its handling of the war in Lebanon, with questions about the decision to attack Hizbullah, mounting military losses, strategy and tactics, continuing missile strikes and disquiet about Lebanese civilian casualties."

  • "The administration has traditionally engaged in promiscuous threat conflation - al-Qaida with Saddam Hussein, North Korea and Iran in "the axis of evil", and now implicitly the Shia Hizbullah with the Sunni Iraqi insurgency. By asserting "we" before "will prevail", Rice is engaging in national interest conflation.

  • "In a seeming U-turn, Mr Olmert signalled that he would make do with a weakened Hizbullah rather than one that had been completely disarmed."

  • Israeli military: "He refused to give full casualty figures."

  • "Growing evidence that the ground battle in Lebanon will be far tougher than Israel had expected emerged yesterday after firefights against Hizbullah in two border villages left Israeli troops counting their highest death toll in a single day since the conflict began. Up to 13 Israeli soldiers were killed and many more wounded yesterday in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil during the fiercest battle so far in the Middle East conflict. Nearby, in the village of Maroun el-Ras, which troops had entered at the weekend, an Israeli officer was reported killed. Last night the city of Tyre was hit in a major Israeli air strike. Sixteen people, including six children, were injured..."

  • "Si, en revanche, l'existence du Hezbollah au Liban, comme celle du Hamas en Palestine, n'est pas une simple création machiavélique de l'axe Téhéran-Damas, mais le résultat des quarante ans d'occupation par Israël de la Cisjordanie, de Gaza, de la Palestine et du Golan syrien, de vingt-deux ans d'occupation d'une large partie du sud du Liban par Israël (1978-2000) - en infraction à toute légalité internationale -, alors le traitement de la question libanaise doit être tout autre."

  • "Wounded troops describe Bint Jbail battle as 'hell on earth'"

  • "An international force is no magic solution whether it deploys independently or in conjunction with the Lebanese army. Many soldiers in the army are Shiites, and they are more likely to applaud Hizbullah than to disarm it. As for the international soldiers, what will happen when Israel, with a robust record for recidivism, raids Lebanon, kidnaps or kills Lebanese, or attempts to prevent Lebanese from returning to their homes in a unilaterally imposed buffer zone? Hizbullah draws many of its members from the south. Will they be excluded from their own villages?"

  • Violette Daghir: on European Liberals.

  • The Beirut Center's Public Opinion survey is published in As-Safir.

  • Israeli military victories: recorded against this Palestinian child in Gaza. You better not use the term "Israeli peace movement" in my presence.

  • To Rudwan As-Sayyid: I hope that you are reading this, and if not, I hope somebody transmits it to you. Don't you think that your fawning praise for the House of Saud discredits any word you say about "democracy"?

  • Jihad Maqdisi. Died under the rubble of her house in Tyre.

  • Lest we forget about Palestinian victims. Palestinian children surround the body of Palestinian child, Bara' Habib (3), killed by Israeli occupation troops.

  • Egyptian star `Adil Imam joins other Egyptian in a rally against Israel. It is amazing how much you miss if you only follow the Middle East from English language newspapers. The Egyptian government also prevented several demonstrations for Lebanon from reaching their destination. Husni Mubarak said that Egypt "will not join a war against Israel for Lebanon." US Congress immediately noted an advance in the democratic "credentials" of Mubarak.

  • I signed this petition.

  • Comrade Fawwaz Trabulsi on Rice's New Middle East.

  • French collaborators.

  • "Hizbullah is ratcheting up its kill ratio with the Israeli military toward 1:1, something no other Arab fighting force has even approached."

  • Salim Huss on the Israeli "Crime of the Age". (I just wish that Salim Huss would stop thanking Saudi Arabia for the financial "gift.")

  • "My colleague Yoel Marcus wrote in his latest article that we must win, but added in the final paragraph that the IDF is a "stupid army." A stupid army has no chance to win this war. I do not agree with the conclusion that the IDF is a stupid army." Stupid and savage.

  • He is consisered a "strategic analyst" in US/Israel: " What matters is not the future of the Shiite town of Bint Jbail or the Hezbollah positions in Maroun Ras, but the future and safety of the State of Israel."

  • Wisam Sa`adah on the dilemmas and fears of Hariri Camp.

  • "Saddam says he’d rather face firing squad than gallows if convicted" (OK, Saddam. That can be arranged.)

  • Riad sent this:
    "This just in: Olmert is leaning towards establishing a 1-2 km wide security strip along the borders. That way, instead of reaching Haifa and beyond, Hezbollah rockets will only reach.......Haifa and beyond. So far, the Israeli operation is an unqualified success.
    By the way, check out this piece in Haaretz. In it, the IDF reports that they were reluctant to deploy Apache helicopters to rescue soldiers in Bint Jbeil for fear of being shot down, indirectly admitting that the previous Apache that crashed was actually shot down by Hezbollah."

  • I wanted to see what Hariri TV (Future TV) is saying. I swear: for more than 30 minutes, the newscast just cited words of praise for "the Guardian of the two holy" things for his financial contribution to Lebanon. There were also words of lamentation for the demise of the sex tourist industry in Lebanon.

  • "The goal seems to have been to weaken and intimidate Hezbollah while forcing the Lebanese government and army to act. If so, the end results are likely to be just as strategically self-destructive as Sharon’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and attempts to create a Maronite-dominatedpartner. Going too far turned a victory against the Palestinians into permanent Shi’ite hostility and gave birth to Hezbollah."

  • "Domestic Workers Abused Worldwide" (Israel/US blame abuse on Hizbullah)

  • For the investigative people on this site: I saw the footage of the Rome Conference. There was a moment of shared laughter between Lebanese Hariri prime minister, Fu`ad Sanyurah (Pierre Laval of Lebanon) and Paul Wolfowitz. Would somebody find me a picture of that moment? Thanks. Oh, and I want it NOW.

  • I received this letter (modesty and privacy required that some sentences be deleted)--I obtained permission of author:
    "Professor AbuKhalil,
    I am an avid reader of your blog and admirer....
    I read your recent blog entry of a letter from a member of the US armed forces. I am in pretty much in the same boat except for the fact that I am also Arab and Palestinian in origin. I am very much a believer in the American principles of equality, freedom and justice...unfortunately the reality of US foreign policy is sometimes far from it in application especially when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. One of the reasons I became an officer in the military is the hope that rising to a position of influence might someday help me cause a positive influence in the American people's mentality (specifically in the military) towards the conflict. You often hear complaints from the Arabs and Muslims that the Israelis have a considerable influence on the trajectory of US foreign policy due to the infamous "Israeli lobby" and the penetration of influential Israeli supporters into the American political, social and military establishment. The argument in my opinion goes "Why can't the Arabs do the same?"
    There are times when I feel that just by talking to my coworkers I am making a difference, and that my position in the military lends some credibility to what I say. There are other times when I feel that is a hopeless case and that what is going on is inevitable. The recent turn of events in Lebanon and Palestine has engulfed me in a feeling of utter dismay and dissappointment at my government...and that what is going on is far greater than what I could fix with my humble capabilities. I am also approaching a milestone in my career which gives me the opportunity to leave if I choose to. I would be extremely appreciative if you could offer your opinion on this.
    Thank you for your time.
    Best Regards,

  • So if you follow Israeli propaganda, you get this picture. Of all the Israeli military casualties in Lebanon thus far, 70% are from "friendly fire"; 10% are due to cooking accidents; 10% due to traffic accidents; 3% to peanut allergies; 1% due to snake bites; and the rest are due to poisonous mushrooms eaten in Marun Ar-Ras. OK.

  • Mark my words. In a matter of days, Israeli military propagandists will start "finding evidence" of Al-Qa`idah in South Lebanon. They will even produce a picture of Abu Mus`ab Az-Zarqawi sitting in a Jacuzzi with Hizbullah leaders. And the US press? Will reproduce the "evidence" as is. No questions asked.

  • So if you exclude the Arab population, 99.99% of Israelis support the war of aggression on Lebanon.

  • The American Left and the Middle East: the case of Robert Scheer. You really have to read this piece. I mean, really. Don't get me wrong. He is quite critical of the Bush administration but...not a word on Israel. You would read this piece and would not know that Israel is doing the destruction and killing in Lebanon.

  • Why do I do this? Why do I do this to myself? As if I don't have enough aggravations in the US media. So why did I decide to open the Dining section of the New York Times? Why? "and now a half-dozen spots in Manhattan serve proper Israeli hummus." So my parents and my grandparents have been eating Israeli food--long before the state of Israel was established--and they never knew it. Well, now I have to go. I need to make Israeli tabbulah, and eat some Israeli Baba Ghannuj. And I really really like Israeli Knafah, especially the Israeli Knafa Nabulsiyyah.

  • "Winning Modern Wars" (page 130) General Clark states the following:
    "As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
    ...He said it with reproach--with disbelief, almost--at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either. ...I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned."

  • ""Over here, everybody is the army," one soldier said. "Everybody is Hezbollah. There's no kids, women, nothing." Another soldier put it plainly: "We're going to shoot anything we see.""

  • How can I not be angry with Arab/Muslim masses? They have made it very clear that they get more outraged over Danish cartoons than over the destruction of Lebanon. But in fairness: they also care a great deal over who wins and who loses in the World Cup. The priorities of the nation. Where are the Danish cartoons when you need them?

  • I am not talking in military terms. From a political perspective, the repercussions of this war--no matter how it ends--will be deep and far reaching on Arab politics. Those repercussions will not be consistent with US plans, or with the security and survival of Arab regimes. Mark my words.

  • Well, they seem to have made up after all. Have you noticed that Al-Qa`idah's position on the Israeli war on aggression on Lebanon is the same as that of the House of Saud?

  • What is significant is Saudi public opinion. So Saudi clerics and "liberal reformers" have both broken with the regime and signed petitions against the House of Saud's position. And when you watch call-in shows on Arabic TV: many of the angry callers who blast Arab regimes are from Saudi Arabia. But don't tell Bush. He still thinks that House of Saud speaks for all Arabs, just as the Clean Break crowd thought that the Iraqi people are going to demand the Hashemites of Jordan to rule over them.

  • "More than 130 Palestinians have died in the offensive so far, about half of them reportedly civilians."

  • "Hizbullah sending text messages to Israelis?"

  • "In Ramallah, just as in Beirut, demonstrators protested Ms. Rice’s visit."

  • "A government minister, Eitan Cabel, a former paratrooper, caused a stir on Sunday when he expressed disappointment in the performance and speed of the army. “I admit I had hoped for better from the army,” he said, arguing that it was illusory to try “completely to eliminate Hezbollah as an armed force in Lebanon.”"

  • "At the Pentagon, senior military planners cast the conflict as a localized example of America’s broader campaign against global terrorism and said any faltering by Israel could harm the American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan."

  • American newspapers devoted more space to the story that Ariel Sharon moved his toe when his son made him smell a Shawirma sandwich than to the stories of Israeli killing of civilians in Lebanon.

  • The Lebanese newspaper, Sada Al-Balad, reports today that the "German intermediaries" who managed the indirect negotiations between Israel and Hizbullah in the past over prisoner exchanges have begun to act.

  • F. sent me this: "On the news on NBC last night, a former miss Lebanon thinks that the people dying are "from over there, and we have nothing to do with them. There are 2 Lebanons: the dolce vita and over there""

  • From the poem Lamentation in Baghdad by Iraqi poet Abdul-Wahab Al-Bayyati (my translation):
    "I am searching for a cloud,
    that is green
    to wipe out melancholy
    from me
    to carry me
    to the mainland of my homeland
    to the fields of lilies
    to grant me
    a butterfly and a star
    and a drop to whet my thirst
    and a word
    because the waters of the Tigris
    have been muddied
    and have not run
    except to flood dams
    and villages
    So who will, I wonder,
    wash me with its water
    and under the shadow of its
    palmtrees bury me?"

  • The New York Times is outraged: "Jonathan Tasini, the antiwar candidate mounting a Democratic primary challenge against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, said this week that Israel had “committed many acts of brutality and violations of human rights and torture.”"

  • "According to Maariv, the site, with content in Arabic, English and French, had been set up by Israeli intelligence."

  • I would never, EVER, accuse Western media of not caring: "Plight of animals at Haifa Zoo"

  • "Mr. Bush also sent Condi Rice to lay out a plan to the Arabs and Europeans about the destruction and refugee flight in Lebanon, but the plan turns out to be a plan to do nothing until Israel has more time to kick the Hezb out of Hezbollah. W. says he supports more diplomacy, but it’s the diplomacy of sanctimony. He now grudgingly notes that “the violence in Baghdad is still terrible,” but doesn’t seem to grasp the tragic enormity of an occupation that is sliding into civil war and constricting his leverage to deal with all the other crises crackling around the world. The U.N. reported last week that in May and June no less than 5,818 Iraqi civilians were killed. Although he talked about whether America could be “facile” and “nimble” enough to change with the circumstances in the Middle East, in fundamental ways, he has not changed his attitude at all. Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe says he conducted four “freewheeling” interviews with the president last week, and concluded: “Bush thinks the new war vindicates his early vision of the region’s struggle: of good versus evil, civilization versus terrorism, freedom versus Islamic fascism. He still believes that when it comes to war and terror, leaders need to decide whose side they are on.” The president sees Lebanon as a test of macho mettle rather than the latest chapter in a fratricidal free-for-all that’s been going on for centuries. “I view this as the forces of instability probing weakness,” he said. “I think they’re testing resolve.”"

  • Michael Young and the op-ed page of the Daily Star. So "this person" contacted me about his/her experience writing an op-ed piece for the Daily Star. He/she told me that it was the most unusual and unprofessional experience that she/he had--and that person has been in journalism for more than a decade. I am told that Michael Young does not "edit" the pieces, but insists on injecting his political biases and right-wing inclinations in every contribution. I saw some of the email exchanges, and Young basically wants the contributors to adhere to his neo-conservative point of view. I wish I can share some of those emails with you. They are classic.

  • Thomas Friedman: who never met a war against Arabs that he did not endorse: "If the Bush team wants to go to war with Syria, I get that."

  • "Lebanese Psychic Flooded With Calls"

  • Lies of Israeli propaganda II (from NYT, the official mouthpiece of Israeli propaganda): "Israel said it had killed the Hezbollah leader in the area, Abu Jaafer." Is this not hilarious? So Israel can't get to Hizbullah leaders, so they just invent one. Abu Jaafer? And what is Abu Jaafer. Is that supposed to be Abu Ja`far? And who is Abu Ja`far? In other news, Israel claims that they are now zeroing in on top Hizbullah leaders: Abu Potato, Abu Eggplants, and the most dangerous foe is of course that militia leader known as Abu Chicken Fried Rice. My message to Arab readers is this: you really should read Israeli newspapers, and Israeli propaganda outlets (like NYT), and listen to Israeli analysts. Their stupidity is good for the self-esteem for every Arab, especially during those times.

  • The lies of Israeli propaganda (from NYT): "A week ago, Israeli officials said their military had knocked out up to half of Hezbollah’s rocket launchers and suggested that another week or two would finish the job of incapacitating the Lebanese militia. That talk has largely stopped. Hezbollah is still launching 100 rockets a day at Israel, nearly as many as it did at the start of the war. Soldiers return from forays into Lebanon saying the network of bunkers and tunnels is more sophisticated than expected. And Iranian-made long-range missiles apparently capable of hitting Tel Aviv remain in the Hezbollah arsenal. “Two weeks after Israel set out to defeat Hezbollah, its military achievements are pretty limited,” lamented Yoel Marcus, a columnist and supporter of the war, in the daily Haaretz on Tuesday. Israeli military commanders say they are not surprised. The struggle is so difficult, they say, because Hezbollah is an organized, well-trained and well-equipped force and is fighting hard. “Hezbollah is organized more like an army than the Palestinian militias, and they are supported with some of the best weapons systems that Iran and Syria have,” said Yaakov Amidror, an Israeli major general, now in the reserves, who headed the research and assessment branch of Israeli military intelligence." I really really never thought that I would live to see Israeli war propaganda becoming more dumb and more stupid than Arab Nasserist propaganda during 1967. Read the above and judge. But my favorite part is the last sentence: "with some of the best weapons systems that Iran and Syria have." Best weapons systems that Iran and Syria have? And Israel is talking? A country that receives the most up-todate weapons systems from the US considers the Soviet era weapons from the 1950s "best weapons system"?

  • Our Friend Hanady Salman (editor at As-Safir in Beirut) in Beirut:

    "This “boum boum ha ha” technique doesn’t seem to work all the time; not with me at least. After 24 hours of “nothing“ in Beirut , I was almost getting ready to bid you farewell , and thank you for your support during 14 long days. Everything in Beirut was so calm I even went home for lunch. There were ongoing air strikes on the South but no reports of causalities yet. Kinda wanted to come with me to the office when she saw that I was going back there. The minute we reached the street, we heard the sounds of four huge consecutive explosions. I don’t remember what I did, maybe I jumped , but when I looked at Kinda she was pale. It took her two seconds to get back on earth and say the magic words “boum boum ha ha “. And she kept repeating that for five minutes, automatically. She was not smiling. She was asking: Boum boum ha ha ? Four people were killed, others were seriously wounded in that air strike on the southern suburb. Yes, the suburb again. I sent the pictures of the rubbles, of people searching for their homes in streets that were completely wiped off, didn’t I? Well, it seems that was not enough. I wonder what they’re looking for… It must be something really important. Seven raids hit the suburb today, dropped ten shells on an area that’s already almost completely destroyed. They spared it for a while, so people went to check on their belongings and then .. BOUM It killed four people; I know one of them. He’s my best friend’s young cousin. He went there with his brother , without telling their family , to check on their home that they’d left five days ago under the shelling. Mohamad is Palestinian. He was staying at his cousin’s house, Salim, my friend. At the moment he died, the moment Kinda and I had reached the street and heard the explosions, his mom and Salim were on Salim’s balcony , trying to locate were the shelling was falling. They did not know it hit a building that fell on four people and killed them. They did not know it was falling on Mohamad. Now they do.
    Counting the dead: Twenty people were killed today. It brings it up to 411 since July the 12th. Zeinab Mounes , 9, her brother Mohamad , 11, and their uncle were found under the rubbles of their house in Halloussiyeh where 6 air raids had destroyed 3 apartment buildings. Nine other people were injured. No one knows how many people are still under the rubble. One other civilian from the same village was killed in a morning raid. Two civilians were killed in Ma’lyeh, west of Tyre. One Palestinian was killed, 5 others wounded, one of them is a child, in Rashidiyeh refugees camp. Eight people were found under the rubbles of their house in Qana. Seven people , the members of one family were killed when their house was destryed by a shell in Nabatiyeh. Six Red Cross paramedics were injured on their way to Qana, IN AN AMBULANCE. You want more? There’s plenty, but I just can’t keep doing this. You were right Linda, writing was therapeutic, but I’m just totally fed up. Who cares? They’re dead. Killed. Chidren, women, men , oh yeah some are men… unfortunately, their pictures, dead, aren’t as sensational as those of toddlers’. The UN “peace” keeping forces evacuated today a number of civilians from some villages in the south. Only those who hold a western nationality were evacuated. The filthy holders of Lebanese passports were begging them to take them along. THEY DID NOT. They just left them there to die. Do they tell you about this in your newspapers? Do they tell you that the UN “humanitarian” envoy who came and toured MY country was lecturing the refugees with that patriarchal “arrogant-knows it all\ seen it all- trying to look sweet and companionate with other species” look in his eyes? Do they tell you that this same guy , whose monthly wage is most probably higher then the yearly revenues of all those who died today , had concluded that MY country needs 150 million dollars in humanitarian aid, and that once he reached Cyprus, he concluded all this was Hezbollah’s fault? Do they tell you we’re not beggars? Do they tell you we don’t need charity? Do they tell you we work for a living? That we earn whatever we hav? That we sweat, we sing, we read, we learn, we breath, we love and we hate. That woman, Hweiyda’s aunt, is not a beggar. She’s all alone with her burnt niece in a Beirut hospital. Four days ago , she had a house and a family. Four days ago she had a life. Yesterday, when I gave her the hundred dollars Rola had given me for the people in need, she cried so hard it made me want to die. Dignity. That’s what it’s all about. Dignity.
    ـــــــــــــــــــNo more pictures, that’s it. Showing their pictures will not “open the West’s eyes “ . Showing their pictures will not bring them back. It will merely deprive them whatever is left from their dignity. Those pictures are never published anywhere, there are laws that ban it. No laws ban killing people like this. These people are not dying so we get to see their pictures. Let them die, tens of them each everyday. Don’t pity them. I bet you they pity us. They pity us. They’re somewhere where nothing worse could happen to them. We’re left here, dealing with our consciences , debating whose fault it is , what’s wrong and what’s right. Pity us , pity those who did not get killed. Pity us who will be living in the New Middle East the US is tailoring for us. Pity the days to come. Does Hweiyda know that there’s a bunch of people who will decide her fate in a conference in Rome?

  • The one Lebanese politician who has been most candid and most truthful is Usamah Sa`d of Sidon. This secular, leftist, Arab nationalist member of parliament has been quite honest with the Lebanese people about the nature of the conspiracy against Lebanon and its local allies. Hizbullah, typically playing behind too much Lebanese dissimulation, refuses to criticize any political leader or party in Lebanon, and has not even criticized Saudi Arabia or any other Arab government. The brave Usamah Sa`d said the obvious: that there are personalities in Lebanon who are part of this Israeli/Arab conspiracy against Lebanon.

  • So what do the Lebanese people really think? Now that there are American Zionists who regularly speak on behalf of the Lebanese people, now that I have seen Bush--BUSH--speak about what the people of Lebanon need, and now that some Lebanese mercenaries and war criminals have been anointed to speak on behalf of Lebanon, we have at least a survey of Lebanese public opinion. It was conducted by the reliable Markaz Bayrut li-l-Abhath (and I thank `Abduh and Amal for sharing the unpublished results with me). These are some of the highlights: 70 % support the capture of the two Israeli soldiers (73.1 among Sunnis, 96.3 among Shi`ites, 40% among Druzes, and 55 among Christians); 87% support that "the resistance fight Israeli aggression on Lebanon" (88.9 among Sunnis, 96.3 among Shi`ites, 80% among Druzes, and 80% among Christians); 8% think that America adopted a positive position toward Lebanon during this war (7.9% among Sunnis, 4 among Shi`ites, 13.6 among Druzes, and 15 among Christians).
    PS Sample size is 800. The overwhelming majority were face- to -face interviews (including all displaced individuals).

  • The Israeli war of aggression is now called "an opportunity:" "This is an opportunity now in the midst of this crisis to see freedom strengthened in Lebanon."

  • " The UN secretary general Kofi Annan says an Israeli attack on a UN observation post was "apparently deliberate"." Watch him change his mind in 2 days or less.

  • "Israeli warplanes bombed 100 targets in southern Lebanon yesterday and one family of seven civilians was killed."

  • "Minutes after our arrival, two artillery shells slammed into the hillside below the hospital. A woman screamed: "Save us". A man yelled at the crowd to calm down, and then a surge of human flesh carried both of them inside. Another shell landed, and then two more."

  • "The Israeli prime minister today told the UN secretary general that the killing of four UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon in Israeli air strikes yesterday was a mistake." As for the killing of women and children in Lebanon, Olmert stressed that it was not a mistake.

  • "In recent days, Israeli news outlets, which had largely lined up behind the army's conduct of the war, have begun to ask why an army that once defeated the armies of several Arab neighbors in six days was finding it so difficult to push one militia off Israel's border."

  • 51 Communist parties from around the world met and strongly condemned the Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon.

  • Unintended Consequences. Al-Jama`ah Al-Islamiyyah (the Islamic Brotherhood organization in Lebanon) assembled Sunni clerics from around the country. They issued a strongly worded statement supporting Hizbullah. It seems that Israel's war of aggression is really helping Sunni-Shi`ite unity. The statement said that the Israeli plan is directed at "all of us especially in Lebanon."

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    An account of the meeting between Rice and the Lebanese Hariri leaders.

  • A Saudi cleric, Muhsin Al-`Awwaji, breaks with the House of Saud on Lebanon, and criticizes the statement of the royal family. I was surprised that he praised Nasrallah because Salafis hate him, but notice that he praised him as a "politician."

  • It seems that this Israeli war of aggression on Lebanon has succeeded in bringing Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (whose house was destroyed by Israeli bombing) closer to Hizbullah.

  • "Yet many religious leaders believe the Israeli government's decision to allow a world homosexual parade in Jerusalem is having real-life consequences. "This [parade] is an attack against God himself," Winston said. "God has told the Jewish people, 'If you are not going to fight for my honor, you will be forced to fight for your own honor.'" Winston points to the clashes that broke out after Hezbollah staged a raid last week in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and eight more soldiers were killed".

  • Arab Parliamentary Union. They met. They really did. Delegates of Arab "parliaments" met today, and issued a proclamation. I will not insult you by quoting from it. They deliberated and discussed. Each delegation argued that its Arab tyrant is better than the tyrant of the other delegation. They got into a fight. They then disbanded. In the meanwhile, the Arab masses continued their collective nap.

  • In an interview with AlArabiya, Nabih Birri revealed that of the 35,000 people in Bin Jubayl, 28,000 hold American citizenship. Is that why Bush is refusing to call for a cease-fire?

  • Since 2000, Hizbullah violated the Blue Line on the Israeli-Lebanese border 100 times, while Israeli violated that line 11,782 times. (These numbers are based on UN observers and were cited by Lebanese Speaker of Parliament in his interview with Al-Arabiya TV).

  • Al-Hayat columnist, Jihad Al-Khazin, who had supported the Oslo process, here calls on all Arabs to not recognize Israel, and calls on Arabs who had recognized Israel (like himself) to withdraw that recognition.

  • Hasan Nasrallah's new TV message. This was a new TV message by Hasan Nasrallah released through Al-Manar TV to all Arab media. It was carried by all of them, except the sleaze-and-dance channels funded by House of Saud--who on the side also fund Bin Ladenites, chief among them is the Mufti of Saud Arabia. Visually, as Ghassan Bin Jiddu of Al-Jazeera pointed out: it was much better than his second message (video-taped) during this war of aggression by Israel. The quality of that one was not good, and he looked for some tired. In this one: it was a much more relaxed setting. He was sitting on a chair, with the flags of Lebanon and Hizbullah behind him. He spoke from an outline of a talk--he does not read texts of speeches. His main point was to respond to the charges that Hizbullah erred by capturing the occupation soldiers. To that he said: that there is evidence that Israeli troops have been conducting maneuvers and exercises for a large-scale attack on Lebanon to begin in September or October of this year. He did not cite sources for the information. He said that this on-going large-scale attack could not logically be a spontaneous response to the capture of the occupation soldiers. He said that the plan--if the timing was giving to Israel to execute in September or October--aims at destroying the command and leadership of the party, to cause paralysis in its rank. He said that the capture of the soldiers gave Hizbullah a tactical advantage--my words. That if the timing was left to Israel to determine, the Party would have been caught by surprise. It seems that Hizbullah, like Israel, does contingency plans. He also said that he would not accept (and he read that part) any settlement that would be insulting to the dignity of the country and of the resistance. He also said that the timing of the war was determined by the US: he said that the US has been sending one military delegation after another in the last year, trying to determine the ability and willingness of the Lebanese Army to fight against Hizbullah. He said that this was part of a plan against Hamas, Hizbullah, Iranian regime, and the Syrian regime. He said that the US realized that the new Lebanese army would not accept to do that job--he did not say that the "new" Lebanese Army is mostly Shi`ite, unlike the US-pampered "old" Lebanese Army which was mostly Christian, especially during the war up until the horrific administration of Amin Gemayyel. He praised the Lebanese Army--don't ask me why. The Minister of Defense, Ilyas Murr, threatened last week to teach Israel a lesson IF Israel advances its troops into Lebanon. Maybe Murr has not hard the latest news. He did not speak in any details about domestic Lebanese politics, and he also did not criticize any Arab government. He noted the affection expressed by Arab people toward Hizbullah. He also spoke about the lies of Israeli propaganda: and promised that he would deal with the battle and its developments transparently. He was here trying to contrast the communiques of the party with the bombastic claims of Israeli propaganda. (Nasrallah follows Israeli media very closely. I once asked him what he reads. He said that time is now limited for him to read what he enjoys, and that he has to read books on Islamic theology. He said that his religious rank requires that he keeps up with that. But then added that so much of his time is devoted to reading Israeli press and studies of Israel.) He said that losses would be reported, and that Israel has been making false claims. (He did not mention that Israelis are still dancing in the streets for the ability of the mighty Israeli army to occupy the village of 12 houses--Marun Ar-Ras--in 14 days. Come to think of it: with all that money and weapons that US tax payers send to Israel, should that army not be able to take it in 12 days? It is Marun Ar-Ras, for potato's sake.) Again, I know that Arab public opinion would stand on the side of any group or even regime that defies Israel and the US--that opinion--to my dismay--supported Saddam in the past, but not for his tyranny, mind you. But the key question is how this will be seen by Lebanese public opinion. That remains to be seen. One pollster in Lebanon will be conducting a poll any day now, and I shall report to you the results. Just don't expect Bush to popular, ok? Nasrallah also spoke that negotiations are in good hands--a reference to Nabih Birri--and that Rice yesterday merely carried Israeli demands. He also said that the "beyond Haifa" phase of the military confrontation shall begin. He did not elaborate. From the standpoint of Nasrallah's political perspective, the message needed more--I think--about the Lebanese population. I felt that he did not address the larger Lebanese public especially given the incessant Saudi propaganda and its focus on deepening the Sunn-Shi`te rift. But whatever propaganda gains Hasan Nasrallah may make, it has to be measured against the lousy media performances by Hizbullah deputy, Husayn Al-Hajj Hasan, who seems to be the most frequent Hizbullah guest on Arab TV during this crisis. He could not be more ineffective and more incompetent.

  • "The Israeli army has been accused of using Palestinian civilians as human shields in an operation in northern Gaza."

  • A human story from the New York Times. They do have a heart, after all. "Yuri Foreman, a rising professional boxer living in Brooklyn, uses phone calls and TV news reports to stay in touch with members of his family in northern Israel, where rocket attacks out of Lebanon have become a part of daily life."

  • Rebellious Puppets? "A group of House of Representatives Democrats was circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert urging the Illinois Republican to secure an apology from Maliki or cancel the address on Wednesday to a joint meeting of Congress. Ron Bonjean, Hastert's spokesman, said there was no intention to cancel Maliki's speech, and accused Democrats of "political gamesmanship during an election year." Iraq's U.S.-backed government on Saturday denounced Israel's "criminal" raids on Lebanon and Gaza and warned that violence could escalate across the Middle East."

  • Saudi Arabia donated $50 million to Lebanon. By the way, they often pledge what they don't wind up giving. Saudi Arabia spent $20 billion to arm, support, and finance Bin Laden and his army of fanatics during the Afghanistan War.

  • The Thieves by Iraqi poet Nazik Al-Malaki'ah (my translation):
    "It is the night; all the borders
    sank in its pitch-darkness
    and it wrapped the existence
    O, Arab beware
    The desolute open ranges
    are filled with the steps of enemies
    from behind the banks of
    the Euphrates and the Gulf,
    to San`a'
    And numerous thives,
    all are greedy and deceptive
    They came from behind the seas
    stealing the food of the hungry
    They descended upon the dark-skinned
    stealing fruits and dates
    taking away the ground and air
    capturing dew and light
    They will deprive you, if they can
    the green of the smiling trees
    suffocating the tender songs
    preventing sleep and dream
    They are blocking the road,
    obstructing all paths
    Wake up, Ye noble Arab"

  • The ever-shifting Walid Jumblat--who discovers "documents" on the internet--just made a speech in which he sent "salutations" to Hizbullah for its resistance against Israeli occupation troops. Yesterday, he supported the demands of Israel in a meeting with Rice, and today he supports Hizbullah. This is the star of the Lebanese "Cedar Revolution." PS It is hilarious: just as Jumblat was making this statement, MEMRI was circulating an interview with Jumblat from a few days ago in which he criticized Nasrallah. Do you think that MEMRI will circulate the new remarks?

  • Those poor invaders; those poor occupiers. Well, well, well. Did I not predict that to you. I was just waiting for this to come out, and it has. Please. Wake up the children and release the pigs from the barn. This is big news. The New York Times' article--or the first in a series--about "the anguish" of Israeli occupation troops has been released. Please, survey your local newspapers in US and Canada and share such stories of "anguish"--they are a staple of US press coverage of all Israeli wars of aggression: "Ohad said he called his wife to say goodnight before going into battle, and called her when he came out to say he was O.K." Don't you feel bad for this occupier? Are you not getting goose bumps reading about the emotional strain of killing women and children in Lebanon? Do think it is easy to kill for hours on end, especially in a land of inferior people? Do you now know how difficult it is for Israel to maintain its racist occupation of Arab lands? Do you now understand why Ted Bundy used to suffer nightmares?

  • More Hizbullah terrorist targets hit by Israeli bombing. I can even feel the pangs of birth of "the new Middle East."

  • Another not-so-small false assumption of the US administration is this: the US has assumed that House of Saud--HOUSE OF SAUD for potato's sake--can speak on behalf of Arab public opinion, AND lead it in Bush's direction. Oh, ya. Good luck in that one.

  • American Liberals and the Israeli War on Lebanon: the case of Nicholas D. Kristof. This is a man who turned Darfur into kitsch; this is a man who exploited the suffering of the Darfur victims before the TV cameras. This is a man who organized press tours of the refugees, and if you mention his name, he will get you an autographed picture with a refugee or two. This is a man--it should be remembered--who used his column not to bring attention to the suffering of the refugees and the murders by the Sudanese government and the janjawid but to showcase his "heroic" role--because he takes those highly publicized tours. This is a man who found a pet cause in order to fill the space of his columns--which are so hard to read. Really, see how much you have to struggle to finish a column by him. In fact, I have always believed that people who can finish a whole column by Kristof should receive a blender as a gift. Here, he shares his wisdom about Israeli war on Lebanon: This is what he said about Israeli withdrawal from Arabs lands--as rare as those withdrawals are--that it had brutally and illegally occupied: "Israel should have been rewarded for those withdrawals." He also adds: "Israelis are brimming with moral clarity, as we Americans were after 9/11." I really believe that American liberals are the true inheritors white supremacist colonialism.

  • Even the New York Times has noticed the Lies of Israeli propaganda: "The military spokesman’s office said the troops were on the outskirts, fighting their way in as of Monday evening. But Capt. Mitch Pilcer of the army’s northern command, said, “We’re definitely in there, we control it, though there are still pockets of resistance.”"

  • The US ambassador in Lebanon was looking for a propaganda event when he met the press today in Beirut to announce some medical aid for Lebanon. The press skewered the ambassador, and asked him about the weapons used on Lebanese civilians. He said that he is not a "medical expert."

  • Former prime minister, Salim Huss, visited the displaced people who now live in the Sana'i` Park in Beirut. He received a hero's welcome. The Pierre Laval prime minister of Lebanon does not dare visit the refugees. Let us just say that he will not be greeted with "sweets and flowers."

  • An early estimate put the number of homes--HOMES--that have been destroyed in the Southern suburbs of Beirut at 50,000.

  • Not all are Hizbullah. Not all the Southern Lebanese who are fighting the brutal Israeli occupation troops are members of Hizbullah. Today, the Lebanese Communist Party announced the death of two members who were fighting the occupation troops.

  • Arab League's Secretary-general is finally right about one thing. That the UNSC has deliberately avoided saying or doing anything about the war on Lebanon--in its 14th day--. This Council often meets whenever one Palestinian uses violence against Israelis, even against occupation soldiers, and has been meeting weekly about that Rafiq Hariri.

  • Yesterday, Israeli media reported that Israeli occupation troops have occupied (or "captured" according to US media--Israel never occupies, it "captures" "controls", etc) Bint Jubayl. Today, having been caught lying on live TV, the Israeli military had to admit that it does not control Bin Jubayl.

  • From a poem by Palestinian poet Kamal Nasir who was assassinated by Israeli terrorists while he was sleeping in 1973 in Beirut (my translation):

    "What, you are crying?
    Your father has died,
    And so has your brother?
    And you have been listed
    in the procession of refugees?
    Stand up and let us
    tighten our pride
    on the playground of dignity
    I am your father and brother
    grew up on the agony of refugees
    and silenced the wailing on my side
    Stand up and let us
    tighten our pride
    on the playground of dignity
    I am the comrade in the
    strange conflict
    the comrade of
    the beloved garb
    I worry about you
    I worry about suffering,
    I worry about eulogy
    killing the traces of pride
    and bloodying in your chest
    the meaning of sacrifice
    and existence gets sweeter,
    and you stay in loss
    in the procession of refugees"

  • A colleague sent me this:
    "As if you need one more account but let me share this with you in agreement with your latest update "Israel's False Assumptions.." I left Lebanon on July 13th. I come from Qab Elias in Central Bekaa. The town has Sunni and Christian population only (my brother's wife being the only Shii there, I guess). On the 12th and the 13th, everybody I met was very mad at Nasrallah, cursing him and the Party. I was in CHtoura on those two days as well and there was a similar mood. My driver who took me to Syria was from Bar Elias (mainly Sunni) and he too was mad as hell at the Party. The Party had earned respect in those towns until the events following Hariri's assassination. I phoned my family on July 15th and I got a totally different reaction this time. Israel's vicious reaction turned the clock to pre-Hariri's assassination time. I heard no word of criticism of the Party and the Party's ability to damage the Israeli battleship elevated Nasrallah to his previously high stature. Qab Elias is now housing Shi'i refugees, 40 of them by my family. The help the refugees is getting from the town is formidable. There is a sense of solidarity that was very lacking before July 14th. People there are doing their best to help the refugees and no one I have talked to (land lines in the Bekaa too are still working), no one wants to level any criticism against Nasrallah and the Party now. So, yes, the Party's ability to show Israel the red eye, Israel's brutality, and equally important, the US's blind support to the bombing campaign have created a sense of defiance among many and haven't produced the results Israel would have liked."

  • When Jan Egeland, the UN emergency relief coordinator, was in Beirut. The Arab and Western media did not report this. A UN source in Beirut told me the following: when Egeland visited the southern suburbs, the people there threw human remains and flesh at him. He basically was chased out by angry people.

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