one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Thursday, August 24, 2006 | Americans are not malicious, so why didn't they Resist?
America is all about business. When you talk to most people, the first thing they will tell you about themselves generally has to do with their family, their home, or their interests.
When you talk to Americans, the first thing most will tell you about themselves is what they do to make money. That is how they define themselves, what they do to make money and how much of it they make by doing it. "What do you do?" is the first question most will ask each other when getting acquainted, and it is understood that "do" means "make money."
Among American atrocity apologists, one of the most popular and accepted justifications for the commission of atrocities is that the perpetrator did what he did in the hope of receiving a benefit.
I have even seen Americans who were in favor of the Iraq crusade but now oppose it because they are not included in the beneficiaries. They feel deceived and robbed, they had thought that they too would be receiving a benefit, usually cheap gasoline.
I don't think of this as malice exactly, just a sort of cultural solipcism. The very same people who were in favor of the crusade in Iraq until it became apparent that they would not be receiving a benefit are not being malicious, just honest. If you asked any of them to commit an atrocity on their next door neighbor, the vast majority would refuse, I think, even if you told them it would help the war on terror, or that their favorite politician desired it, even if you offered them money or promised them cheap gasoline.
The reality of what they purchase with their tax dollars is not real to them. The victims are not real to them, for one thing, they are far away, strange looking people they see on TV who wear funny clothes and do not speak English. They are not really perceived as human.
Add to this the fact that photographs or video that show the reality of atrocities are considered by most Americans to be in "bad taste."
US corporate media goes to great lengths to protect their viewers from blood, even the blood of Americans. They will warn sensitive viewers before doing a report on the site of an automobile accident if there are bloodstains on the highway.
I believe that this very resistance to anything that might cause them to think, to reflect, on the humanity of their victims, the reality that for many people, it is "911" every day, and that this is done in their name, with their money, and that these are activities from which they had hoped to receive a benefit, is an indication that it is not malice.
There are some, certainly who are malicious, who will very openly call for genocide, who quite simply hate people from certain ethnic groups and wish them dead. And yes, signing up for the crusades is a very appealing notion to these individuals and many of them do so.
Others are the proverbial "chicken hawks" who prefer to cheer from their keyboards or armchairs the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, against humans whose humanity they do not recognize, or if they do, want them dead anyway.
But this particular sector of the American populace is a small minority, as the crusade recruiters have discovered to their chagrin.
Most mainstream Americans are not inclined or interested in personally doing harm to anybody, they simply do not think of their warlords' activities in those terms.
Some of the quaint cultural quirks that Americans are famous for, such as an exaggeratedly insular view, pride in ignorance of pretty much anything very far from their own immediate reality and experience, when combined with a cliched rah-rah "nationalism" that even old imperial Englishmen would envy, could not be more advantageous to the warlords.
To actually resist what they consider their "government" is not something that would occur to them, any more than the reality of an Iraqi mother holding the bloodied remains of her child occurs to them, when they think or speak about their "war on terror."
They believe what they are told, by their warlords and their corporations, not because they are stupid, but because to not believe them is simply not in their nature. Of course America is Number One. Of course America is an Exception. And of course the whole world should be grateful to America, and put American interests before their own. Because America is Number One, and is going to prevail in the war on terror.
Recently, some of them have broken through this cultural bubble, have looked around them and contemplated what all their plastic Wal-Mart junk actually represents.
They have read about history that was never taught to them in schools, and they have come to see the people of Iraq, of Afghanistan, of Palestine, as real human beings, they have come to see Arabs as real human beings, Muslims as real human beings, and as a result, set forth upon a journey as painful as it is liberating, as wrenching as it is empowering.
They have looked beyond their kitchen window and sought to see the world as it is, not as Wolf and Lou and their politicians and their corporations tell them it is, and the gap has left them reeling.
Their reactions have been as individual as they are, some have become active in anti-war activities, others have noticed the suffering a few blocks from their own homes, and have set about to do what they can to relieve just a bit of it, for one person, for two, a dozen.
Some, not quite ready to make the leap, have attempted to make themselves devotees of this or that politician, still struggling with the last membrane of that bubble, until they learn their idol's views on Iran, on Palestine, and their tears dissolve that last membrane, and they are free.
Free to Resist.
It is these courageous folks that would have formed a Reform movement in the US, if there were enough of them to form one, if the world had ever known of their existence, there would have been plenty of people willing to help.
It is a sad irony that while they became aware of the world, the world was never made aware of them.
And it is even sadder that their countrymen who today revile them would one day have listened to their grandchildren learning their names, writing reports on them: American Heroes of the 21st century.
It is not possible to praise them enough, not possible to pay them the homage they deserve.
It is not possible to listen to them tell of their struggle, gaze on the person they have become, consider what they came from, what they had to break free from, and not be humbled. posted at
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization: Grim Realities of The Situation
An internet friend sent me the link to an article today. In many ways, it is not unique, there have been several in recent days, many, like this one, written by Israelis for Israelis.
My main issue with them is that they do appear to buy into the rather odd "Hezbollah hath bowed the mighty Israel" propaganda meme, I confess I am at a loss as to whose interests this is meant to serve. I have emails from the east that make the rather facile suggestion that there is some desire to make people in the Middle East overconfident and then slam down hard, and that is possible, however, it seems rather unecessary. If what US-Israel wishes to do is slam down hard, they have but to do it.
It is rather absurd to suggest that a handful of rockets would seriously present such a deterrent to such a weaponry super-power as Israel. Obviously, they were losing more men than they wished, and perhaps somebody in the Israeli government was getting skittish about popular support for the operation.
Yet that too sounds odd. Since when did the Israeli public object to such "operations?"
But let us, for the sake of argument, assume that that is the case. Israel has cranked it up before, and it could crank it up again. Israelis suffering from shock. There were even some Israeli civilian casualties that could easily have been autobiographied repeatedly not only on Israeli TV but on the US news channels as well.
The more considered opinions whispered in both east and west reference The Situation. The entire Lebanon show was nothing more than a run-up to a larger bombing campaign in Iran, and it is felt, for whatever reason, that it will be preferable to merely have Lebanon mission-creep itself Iran-ward, as opposed to putting the press on alert a week in advance and having them all fly to Teheran and get stiff necks watching the sky, each hoping to break first with those initial blasts.
Iran, says the west every five minutes or so, is "behind" Hezbollah. As if Hezbollah would have folded and died long ago were it not for those evil Iranians.
Which invariably reminds me of the small but very interesting faction who claims that Iran, or at least certain parties there, have been conspiring with Israel for some time now. That would certainly account for Iran's failure to provide Hezbollah with better weapons, maybe even some newer than 3 or 4 decades old. Or perhaps Iran is, as they say, giving very limited backing to Hezbollah. Perhaps Iran is more concerned with The Situation as it will impact Iran, and has a very limited budget of backing energy for the Lebanese Resistance.
One grim reality for Hezbollah, and for any other Resistance entity: they cannot win.
The US and Israel simply have more powerful weapons and more of them. Fighting back against an occupation is not winning, except in a very intangible go down fighting sense. Winning would be sending the other side scurrying back home, tail tucked firmly between legs, and that is not what Israel has done. They have successfully re-occupied Southern Lebanon, dug in their heels, and to top it all off, they will soon be joined by international troops who will assist them in occupying Lebanon, station themselves in the line of Resistance fire to protect Israeli gunmen, and details are being worked out now that will extend the mandate of those troops to include killing Lebanese nationals who resist the occupation, while Israel continues to conduct its "military operations" inside Lebanon with impunity.
This is hardly what one editorial writer described as "re-drawing the Middle East."
While it is undeniably an encouraging sign to see any entity in the region even attempt to stand up to Israel, after decades of region-wide submission to western hegemony, albeit said submission has become increasingly costly to maintain. This is one reason for the popular-in-the-east "conspiracy theory" that all the "Hezbollah kicked Israel's ass" propaganda is a deliberate strategy to lure other would-be, nascent and inchoate Resistance entities to move out into the open, emboldened by the "success" of Hezbollah, so that they can be more easily mowed down, kind of like the strategy employed recently by Israel of leafletting areas, telling the residents to leave immediately or be bombed in their homes, then blowing up the roads as they filled with fleeing refugees. This strategy, goes the speculation, is intended to facilitate the inevitable attack on Iran.
Almost every speculation, theory or musing always leads back to that grim reality of The Situation: that inevitable attack on Iran.
Whatever the actual plans being laid in Washington may be, one interesting aspect of this phase of The Situation is that it appears that a number of Israelis have also bought into the "Hezbollah won" meme, and as a result, have been giving their own Situation quite a bit of thought that meanders into some areas that are quite off the beaten path of typical Israeli bits of thought.
...something about terrorists changes over time when they actually are faced with the real challenges of governance. When they are faced with actual constituents, with diverse needs and diverse belief systems, and little real taste for the iron fist and the religion of rifles and explosives.
It is too convenient for many of us, rightists here and abroad, to dismiss the Arabs as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers....
It is impossible not to feel for Israelis who make the effort to move beyond labelling Hezbollah as "terrorists," however, they, as must the "non-west" accept another reality as well:
...If the fossil right is to be believed, then, there's no hope for any of us. If what we are facing 200 million terrorists, as the fossil right would have us believe, there's no hope for the right, either.....
The vast majority of Americans and Israelis are sadly, according to the author's criteria, members of that "fossil right." They are not interested, to say the least, in making such distinctions as referenced in the earlier quote from the same piece about "terrorists" evolving into governing entities. Whatever comparisons anyone wishes to make about South Africa or Ireland, as far as mainstream American and Israeli opinion is concerned, Hezbollah opposes the occupation, Hezbollah resists it, fights back against Israel, and therefore the US, therefore they are terrorists, and therefore they, and everyone who "supports" them, must be killed.
This grim reality sums up the west's "war on terror" very nicely. The war on terror is in reality a war against any entity who opposes US policies, US hegemony, US "exceptionalism," the US as the boss of earth.
It is an endless cycle. US policy includes invading and occupying other countries. All opposed are terrorists, and the US has declared war on terror. The US has declared war on any and all who dare oppose it. You are with us, Bush repeated after his earpiece, or you are with the terrorists.
And thus was born another grim reality: billions more terrorists than anyone in Washington can even imagine.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea, so many people in the east buying into this propaganda meme of "Hezbollah won."
Maybe it will inspire Resistance where there has been none, or none to speak of.
Unfortunately, that will not alter The Situation, the grimmest reality of all, It will only mean that more of us will go down fighting. posted at
Friday, August 18, 2006 | Formerly Divided Americans Unite in Support of Zionist Atrocities
Over the past month, as the US has moved forward toward Operation Iranian Liberation, deploying its Israeli assets in a brutal re-invasion and occupation of Lebanon, the reaction of Americans has been fascinating to observe.
While at least according to some polls, support for the Iraq crusade may have begun to soften in recent months, especially among those Americans who consider themselves "moderate" or the term they are more likely to favor, "progressive," (I could easily do an entire rant on what the various factions crowded onto the four inch balance beam of the American political spectrum like to be called) the recent slaughter spree of US proxy forces in Lebanon just may have turned that around, reviving, if such was needed, America's enthusiasm for its "war on terror."
This phenomenon is perhaps nowhere more easily observed than on the internets, where as the first bombs began to fall on Lebanon, the famous cyber-armies of "defenders of Israel" were on the case! Pre-emptively heading off any potential critics at the pass, what they lack in eloquence more than compensated by extra zeal and ardor, these fighting keyboardists quickly reduced any temptation on the part of the more maverick cyber-thinkers to express any opposition to burning the flesh off Lebanese children to soft little mewlings of "maybe Israel overreacted a bit..."
It is worth pointing out that what Israel "may have overreacted a bit" to, for those unfamiliar with the story, is the ostensible capture by Lebanese not in the employ of the recently installed US puppet regime of a couple of Israeli gunmen, just conducting a routine military operation in Lebanon.
Of course, such an action must be referred to as a "kidnapping." "Capture" is a term reserved only for individuals seized by US or Israeli gunmen. And of course, Israel is free to conduct its military operations in Lebanon any time it wants to. It is, after all, Israel.
Israel was, therefore, obliged to launch a full-scale invasion and re-occupation of Lebanon, complete with 24 and 7 aerial bombardment, including the use of white phosphorous and other new, improved chemical agents, cluster bombs and the expected accoutrement of the most moral army in the world.
That is, of course, the western orthodoxy of events. Which, as western orthodoxies of events are wont to do, have some differences from the facts.
Facts, however, are irrelevant in the war on terror, and affinity for or use of them is frequently a sign that the speaker is in fact a terror sympathizer whose sole aspiration in life is to Push Israel Into The Sea.
It seems increasingly difficult for me to write much of anything recently without discussing gaps. Widening gaps, unbridgeable gaps.
But in the past month, I have noticed something different: a narrowing, closing gap.
There has traditionally been a very visible difference in the internet sites maintained and frequented by Americans who consider themselves to be more moderate as opposed to "right wing" or conservative, the "left" or "pro-Reform faction" is not really a player in this game, the United States has no "left," aside from a very very small number of individuals, so small that it cannot even be called a "minority" and certainly nowhere near anything that could be called a "Reform movement."
There are basically two sides: One side, the "right" or "conservatives," agree with US policies, and for the most part, agree with how they are being implemented, and are devotees of George Bush and of the Republican party.
The other side, the "moderate" or "progressive" side, agree with US policies but believe that the party and politicians of whom they are devotees, the Democratic party, could do a better job of implementing those policies.
Ralph Nader, who ran as the "Green Party" candidate, which is to say he did not really run, as third parties are for all practical purposes not allowed, called the Democrats and Republicans the "two branches of the corporate party," which is a very apt description, however, Mr. Nader's suggestion regarding the Iraq crusade was essentially the same "outsource the wetwork" offered by the Democrats, and that vignette from the 2004 "election campaign" is perhaps the most clear illustration of the American political landscape.
The Republicans believe that Americans should do the wetwork, and that the crusade should benefit corporations owned by Republicans.
The Democrats believe that the wetwork, at least some of it, should be outsourced, and that the crusade should benefit corporations owned by Democrats.
The notion that the crusade should not be taking place at all, that the US has no business invading and occupying other countries, and should cease aggression and disarm, is a concept endorsed only by that very very small number of individuals who are sadly, too few to make any idea of a Reform Movement a reality.
This is why it was so remarkable to see such a marked gap-narrowing, such a dramatic reduction of the perceptible difference in the ambience of internet sites frequented by the two sides.
Invasion, occupation, destruction of civilian infrastructure, chemical weapons, families burned alive, buried alive, people corralled onto highways for easier bombing - compare the "criticism" such as it is, of these actions to the floodgates of pure, unbridled, raw outrage reserved for the suggestion that the victims of such atrocities have the right to resist them!
I had noted, with interest, that while the phrase "Israel has the right to defend itself" is repeated roughly every third sentence uttered by any American or Israeli speaking on the subject in the media for the last month, and dutifully intoned on the internets by the ubiquitous Cyber-Defenders of Israel, I had yet to hear even one person utter what I came to call The Forbidden Phrase:
Lebanon has the right to defend itself
I did not, however realize how little the intensity of the sheer hatred that would be unleashed at the very notion that anyone in Lebanon might dare to do such a thing would differ whether one visits a website that styles itself as "conservative" or "progressive."
One of the jokes going around, more among easterners, I guess, since the westerners are obliged to cleave to the current orthodoxy of the propaganda of their warlords, is that when Bush has more than complied with the promise he made to be a "uniter, not a divider," since he has succeeded in unifying Sunni and Shia where all other attempts have failed for centuries.
It seems that he has also succeeded in unifying his own people, his detractors with his champions, Democrat with Republican, conservative with moderate.
All are now united inthe poison of their primitive bloodlust, in the raw, savage poison of hatred for those of their brothers their warlords have bade them consider as less than human, they are united in the poison of unquestioning obedience to those warlords, united in sacrificing the future of their own children to the poison of The Sitation. posted at
Saturday, August 12, 2006 | We Are All Hezbollah
Today, on another blog which I will not name, in order to spare the poor tired fingers of the operatives of GIYUS et al, I was privileged to see what is to my knowledge, the first instance of an American even hesitantly approaching the momentous and terrible utterance of the Forbidden Phrase:
Lebanon has a right to defend itself
Hezbollah, like "Al Qaeda," has "morphed;" as a Lebanese lady said the other day to a western reporter, asking some predictable question probably on the order of "but of course you don't support the people who dare to defend you against the Sacred Israel?," to which the lady replied, "We are all Hezbollah."
And all over the Majority World, in the same spirit that so many there, as well as in the more affluent 15% world said on one day in September not so long ago, "We are all New Yorkers," many, many people are saying "We are all Hezbollah."
Hezbollah, having "morphed," is no longer a struggling little band of guerilla fighters, no longer a political party in Lebanon, no longer even the only entity in Lebanon that has provided the nation what infrastructure and services it has had for the past far too many years.
Today Hezbollah has, and not by its own hand, but by the hand of the Enemy, undergone a magical transmorgification into that most powerful, yet ephemeral and yes, dangerous thing an entity can be.
Today Hezbollah is a symbol.
And not just any symbol. It is a noble symbol, a symbol of something very laudable, at least in the minds of the Majority World, namely Resistance against the tyranny of the US and its fat little pitbull there in the Levant, it is now a symbol that trumps and transcends the luxury concepts of politics or theology, it is now a symbol of the most primal and basic instinct we have: protecting our children, our future, preservation of our species from the fearsome beast, protecting our babies from the predator's talons, from the hungry tiger of the night, the horde of brutes from the tribe across the river, across the Blue Line.
When someone, somegang, anyone, anygang, rushes snarling into our cave, gaping maw set to devour our young, We are all Hezbollah.
And frankly, the Majority World has been in sore need of a little Hezbollah for quite some time.
Considering the Situation, we need all the Hezbollah we can get.
| Kofi Bakes His White Folks A Big Ol' Resolution!
I think it is only natural that just about any "resolution" would be hailed with great joy by many westerners, most of them well-intentioned people who truly do not even notice the racism inherent in the taking for granted that, as As'ad (who by the way, is much more "pro-western" than I) puts it:
"Arab prisoners are just not as cute and not as valuable as Israeli prisoners. For Israeli prisoners, it calls for immediate release, but for Lebanese prisoners, it urges "settling the issue." Settling the issue?" Is that like US settling the Palestinian cause over the years? Or is that like that reference in UNSC 242 to the "refugee" problem?
That is just one example, and I don't know if it is really possible for many westerners to understand how offensive it is, just as referring to any effort to defend Lebanon as an "attack" which must cease immediately, under the terms of this resolution, but Israel's activities in this other country it has invaded are referred to as "military operations" and those are not forbidden by the resolution. Only the "offensive" operations of Israel must cease. But what kind of military operation can Israel conduct in any other country, that is not offensive?
The resolution also gives approval to the occupation of Lebanon, which is why the US and Israel have agreed to it. I know that it will be a disappointment to some to realize this, something of a Catch-22, but the fact is that for any resolution to be signed by either US or Israel, such a resolution MUST
A) Contain approval in some form to Israeli occupation of Lebanon
B) Permit Israel, in some form, to continue its "military operations" in Occupied Lebanon.
There is just not going to be any resolution that the US will permit that would oblige Israel to cease aggression and leave Lebanon, no ifs, ands or buts, and most certainly not oblige Israel to free all the I'm not sure how many Lebanese nationals their operatives have seized.
Now to put this in perspective, I will recommend that old "civics class" exercise that at least in the past, was popular all over the world:
Take the text of the resolution, and for every instance of "Lebanon," substitute "United States," and for every instance of "Israel," substitute "Iran." Then discuss with whoever is around how popular you think such a resolution would be with the residents of an Iran-Occupied United States, as they listened to the bombs overhead.
The resolution requires essentially nothing from Israel. "Upon cessation of hostilities" means when Israel decides that it is through bombing Lebanon, the resolution requires them to move out "in parallel" with the moving in of a force of international gunmen of unspecified mandate, however, the only reason Israel would agree to such a force is if the mandate is for these international troops to do what the US and Israel tell them to, which if you are a Lebanese survivor of the month long slaughter spree in your land, you will be well advised to assume it means their mandate will be to kill you.
It also is very vague, and offensively so, on the subject of Shebaa Farms - I could go on, and As'ad has, if you want to go over to his blog and read what this westernized, moderate and pro-American Arab has to say about it.
I say it is another pile of racist imperialist crap, and I would advise against anybody having any illusion that it will have any relation to actual events on the ground (and in the air), or affect in any reality-based way the march of The Situation. posted at
Friday, August 11, 2006 | Zionist Militants to US: We Need More Cluster Bombs!
The request for M-26 artillery rockets, which are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area, is likely to be approved shortly, along with other arms, a senior official said.."
The US-funded Zionist Janjawid martyred more Palestinians and Lebanese today, as part of their ongoing cleansing project, Israel radio, per the Haaretz ticker, says they have attacked over 100 "targets" today in Lebanon alone. The additional cluster bombs will be a big help in those areas of Lebanon not already cleared, as well as the "target"-rich Gaza, the most densely populated area of the planet.
And speaking of the planet, Hugo Chavez is apparently the only head of state on it who possesses a shred of common decency. Venezuela will be dispensing with all ties, "diplomatic" and otherwise, with the Zionist warlord-occupied area called "Israel" by its many fans.
"It is a second Naqba," said an offline friend. "No," said another. "The first one never ended." posted at
Wednesday, August 09, 2006 | Zionist Janjawid Atrocity Roundup with Iraq Crusade Stress Relief Bonus
A few news stories (with links) that may be of interest to those who are following the progress of the Situation. Let's start with Iraq:
A US military court deciding whether four soldiers should be court-martialled for rape and murder heard today how troops were "driven nuts" by combat stress and how one of the accused burned a puppy.
Yesterday, the court at Camp Liberty heard graphic testimony of how three of the soldiers took turns raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before murdering her and her family.... link
A quick google of the news accounts of this particular "operation" of the bestial horde of torturers and sexual predators that are currently deployed to the crusade in Iraq, where they are carrying out the will and desires of the American taxpayers, made clear that western media reports are focusing on the "stress" experienced by their beloved "troops." Certainly no media outlet wishes to be accused of failing to support the troops.
The little girl's name was Ameer. The picture, at left, is the only one I have seen, and I thank the kind person who forwarded it to me. It is not clear whether she was shot prior to being burned, after she had provided stress relief to the crusaders.
I would like to ask my brothers and sisters, Americans and Israelis included, who have been blessed with little daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, that you take a moment to look, really look, at Ameer's picture, take a moment, pretend she is an Israeli child if you need to, and think of all she could have been, think of the proud moment of the graduation day that will never occur, think of her as the bride she will never be, on the joyous day of a wedding that will never take place. And think of all the moments in between, of her laugh, hear her sing a song, completely out of tune, as she plays with her little sister, dressing up as a princess, see her twirl round in the garden, get dizzy, fall down laughing. Imagine her delight and pride at the first time she prepares a meal for the family, helps her father repair the shed, her first real grownup dress, see the wonder in her eyes as she gazes into the mirror, seeing for the first time a glimpse of the woman that now will never be...
I ask you all to please take that moment, and then, take another moment, to hold your own little princess close, in memory of Ameer, in memory of her tiny sister, her little family.
May God accept their martyrdom.
And on to the ongoing bold and daring exploits of the Zionist Janjawid (props, once again, to Angry Arab for such an apt appellation) but first a tidbit of interesting media gossip from that same Angry Arab: An informed source sent me this (following the post of the resignation of two Fox News producers in Amman): "Jane Arraf, and Rula Amin were chief CNN correspondents from Baghdad and Jerusalem. I cannot speak for Arraf, but she 'left the scene' without saying a thing. M. met Rula Amin in person and she told him that efforts to portray the situation with more Justice and evenhandedness were censored from the top; I believe she is now working with one of the Arab language Satellite stations--Al Jazeera or Al Arabia to start English language stations under their auspices. Reem Brahimi also left CNN a couple of years ago. Her father is L'akhdar Brhimi-- a diplomat. She married into the Jordanian Royal family-- one of the late King Hussein's sons."
On now to the news stories. With links.
Lebanese officials said there were many reports of other casualties throughout southern Lebanon but rescue workers were not able to reach the sites because of continued Israeli airstrikes. Israel also threatened to attack UN peacekeepers if they attempted to repair bomb-damaged bridges in southern Lebanon. UN officials contacted the Israeli army to inform them that a team of Chinese military engineers attached to the UN force in Lebanon intended to repair the bridge on the Beirut to Tyre road to enable the transport of humanitarian supplies.
According to the UN, Israeli officials said the engineers would become a target if they attempted to repair the bridge.
Senior UN officials reacted angrily to the destruction of a temporary causeway over the Litani river overnight. "We must be able to have movement throughout the country to deliver supplies. At this point we can't do that," said David Shearer, the humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon. "The deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure is a violation of international law."
International aid groups have blamed Israel for not providing security guarantees, thereby paralysing the delivery of aid to the south. Even when aid reaches Tyre, convoys have to apply on a case by case basis for permission to take it out to the villages. Most applications are refused... link (props to catnip)
JERUSALEM, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Israeli army plans to attack strategic infrastructure targets and symbols of the Lebanese government after Hizbollah rockets killed 15 people in northern Israel, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported Monday.
"We are now in a process of renewed escalation. We will continue hitting everything that moves in Hizbollah -- but we will also hit strategic civilian infrastructure," a senior General Staff officer told the Haaretz newspaper.
It did not offer any examples of what symbols of the Lebanese government might include...
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, for the past two hours, Beirut has been a city under attack. Israeli warplanes circling overhead have unleashed a barrage of bombs on the capital, on its southern outskirts and closer within.
It started about two hours ago. The bombs have been falling in clusters, mostly on a -- on an -- a heavily popular, or a Shia area to the south of the city, near Beirut international airport. The focus of the attack very much has been concentrated on this area.
It must be said that, shortly before the -- before dusk yesterday afternoon, Israeli planes dropped leaflets, warning residents of three areas of impending attacks, advising them to evacuate. The area that is currently under assault was not one of these three areas. There's also airstrikes in the northeast, in the Bekaa Valley, the traditional Hezbollah stronghold. link
On July 24, Human Rights Watch reported that Israel was using cluster bombs "in populated areas of Lebanon," which it said "may violate the prohibition on indiscriminate attacks contained in international humanitarian law." But despite the extensive media coverage of the current conflict in the Middle East, almost no U.S. outlets are reporting on these findings....
doctors and Lebanese officials believe that injuries in Lebanon indicate the use of incendiary weapons such as white phosphorus (Inter Press Service, 7/28/06; Agence France Presse, 7/30/06). White phosphorus causes severe and deep burns to the skin and cannot be extinguished with water; the New York Times once called it (3/22/95) one of "the worst chemical weapons" in existence. Israel's use of such weapons would not be without precedent; Human Rights Watch reported in 1996 (5/96) that there was "compelling" evidence that Israel used phosphorus weapons against civilians in its 1982 and 1983 attacks on Southern Lebanon. (The U.S. has admitted to using white phosphorus as a weapon in Iraq... link
Israel, which has been blockading Lebanon’s ports for three weeks, yesterday refused to allow the shipment of much-needed fuel for its power plants, Lebanese government officials said.
"Once again, Israel which has been carrying out a maritime blockade, refused Thursday the arrival of ships currently stationed in Cyprus," said an official from the Lebanese government High Relief Commission.
"(Israel) has told the UN, who acts as a communication channel, that paperwork was still missing."
Earlier in the day, the president of fuel importers said that the UN had received Israel’s agreement in principle for delivery of the shipments. link
Israel's overnight bombing of highway bridges in northern Lebanon and strikes at a Hizbollah stronghold in south Beirut paralyzed aid convoys on Friday and relief workers warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Israeli jets destroyed three bridges on the main coastal highway linking Beirut to Syria, stalling an eight-truck convoy carrying food, shelter material and other aid to the estimated 900,000 Lebanese displaced by the three-week-old war.
Astrid van Genderen Stort, senior information officer for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said the bombing had shut down the major relief pipeline for supplies traveling to the hardest-hit areas in the south...
The UNHCR was also forced to postpone trips around Beirut to assess the needs and deliver aid to up to 400,000 people... link
Israeli warplanes wrecked four bridges Friday along the coastal highway in north of Beirut in an apparent bid to further isolate Lebanon and pounded new targets in the southern suburbs in a blistering succession of early morning raids.
The bridges are along the northern coastal highway which was practically the only outlet by land through Syria after the bombardment of other border crossing points by the Israeli air force since the start of the offensive on Lebanon on July 12.
Israeli warplanes also again struck the main Masnaa border crossing in eastern Lebanon and the Faraya-Ouyoun Al-Simane road linking the Mount Lebanon range with the inland Bekaa Valley, the state news agency ANI said.
The targeted Christian areas in Mount Lebanon had up to now been largely spared by the Israeli attacks. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced from Beirut, its suburbs and the south of the country have sought refuge in Mount Lebanon. link
...The Beirut Centre for Research and Information (BCRI), along with myself, conducted a survey to gauge the Lebanese people's views of the main actors and events in the ongoing conflict. The survey's findings suggest that the Bush administration has to seriously rethink its pitiful attempt to frame the US's unbridled support for the Israeli onslaught against Lebanon as part of both its democracy and "war on terror" agendas, as exemplified by Bush's recent contention that, "Hizbullah ... are willing to kill and to use violence to stop the spread of peace and democracy," and his framing of the conflict as "part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror in the Middle East". Such crude casuistry falls far out of step with Arab mainstream opinion, as revealed in poll statistics, which shows that Hizbullah's resistance has unprecedented popular support in Lebanon while the US has lost all credibility as a peacemaker amongst the Lebanese....
87 per cent claimed they supported Hizbullah's "resistance to Israeli aggression", with 80 per cent of all Christians and Druze, 89 per cent of all Sunnis and 96 per cent of all Shias declaring their support. These findings are all the more significant when compared to the results of a similar survey conducted just five months ago, which showed that only 58 per cent of all Lebanese believed Hizbullah had the right to remain armed, and hence, continue its resistance activity. In effect, Israel's aggression against Lebanon has had the unintended consequence of increasing nationwide support for the resistance, which it would not have otherwise enjoyed. Thanks to the high death toll, with close to one quarter on the population displaced, and the colossal material destruction of the economy wreaked by Israel's war machine, Hizbullah's "logic of resistance" and deterrence has been both vindicated and demonstrated. It has stepped in to fill the huge political and military vacuum left by the state...
In other words, Hizbullah, which owes its creation to the Israeli invasion of 1982, is the result of Israel's predatory behaviour and war-mongering, not the reverse. Tackling the roots of the problem therefore lies in pressuring Israel to accept a comprehensive and just regional peace agreement, not in destroying Hizbullah....
The notion that the US is complicit in Israel's war crimes against the Lebanese people is evinced by 89.5 per cent of the sample who reject any suggestion that it is an "honest broker" in the current conflict...
An examination of the ground forces' achievements to date shows that they have hit no more than 10 launchers. The immediate goal of the fighting is not stopping the rockets, but eliminating Hezbollah's southern unit, the Nasser, on the assumption that this will crack the organization's fortitude.
Hezbollah's losses are already estimated at some 380 combatants. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is convinced that Hezbollah's breaking point is near. The army is more skeptical. ...
An Israeli air strike hit the last crossing over Lebanon's Litani river on Monday, cutting off the main artery for aid to the southern port of Tyre and hard-hit areas nearby, a humanitarian group said.
Christopher Stokes, director of operations for Medecins San Frontieres (MSF), said the bombing of a makeshift bridge had blocked a convoy of food, medical aid and fuel to Tyre, which has seen an increase in wounded from heavy fighting this week.
"Our last remaining supply route into Tyre into the south has been cut," he said after the air strike on the Qasmiyeh crossing about 10 km (6 miles) north of Tyre. The main Qasmiyeh road bridge was knocked out by earlier air raids.
"They have also told us that they can provide no security guarantee that our convoy will not be attacked, so if we move it will be at our own risk and peril," Stokes said...
BOMBAY, 6 August 2006 — In a country widely referred to as the world’s largest democracy, the Indian government has succumbed to mounting Israeli pressure and ordered a nationwide ban on the broadcast of Arab television channels.
The Indian government’s ban on Arab television stations is in complete contrast to the friendship that Arab countries imagine exists with their neighbor across the Arabian Sea. It seems the ban is a move to ensure that Indians do not get to see the atrocities that are presently being committed by Israel in Lebanon and the occupied territories.
Nabila Al-Bassam, a Saudi businesswoman on a trip to Bombay, told Arab News how she became exasperated at not being able to watch Arab channels at Bombay’s leading five-star Oberoi Hotel. When she took up the issue with the hotel manager, she was told that Arab television channels had been banned across India...
Backstory: This was written a couple of weeks ago, I didn't post it here because I foolishly thought I would blog Israel's "cleansing" of Lebanon, but others are doing a much better job of that, and this piece speaks to the larger picture, online META included, and the significance to us all of the images we see on our screen, the words we hear and read, and the reality of the Situation that now envelops us...
It seems that almost everything I write recently drifts into the area of gaps, of divides, disconnects, and which have a measure of bridgeableness and which do not, of wagons circling and doors closing, and others opening.
There is something in the nature of some of us, I think, that naturally rebels at the suggestion that a gap is unbridgeable, a divide so deep that no compromise, no negotiation is possible. And so we hammer away, ignoring smashed fingers, because that something in us does not want to "give up." There is such a fine line between giving up and recognizing that our energies are sorely needed somewhere else that many of us often miss it. In our zeal to bridge that gap, we often lose sight of the one thing any compromise or negotiation needs most: a recognition and comprehension of the other party's point of view.
Even as we cajole and wheedle and try to choose the best words to make them see ours, the temptation to wishfully craft theirs into what we long for it to be is sometimes just too strong.
Extricating ourselves from such a predicament can be a painful process, as it challenges our stubbornness, and forces us to acknowledge things that we wish were not so.
But as painful as it may be to confront and accept the fact that someone else's point of view is indeed one that our own moral absolutes will simply not allow us to meet halfway, that there are some drawing rooms into which we should not enter, and in which, if we have entered, we should not remain.
People in gated communities put those gates there for a reason, and rather than crashing those gates, even if our gesture is tolerated for whatever reason, our efforts will be better spent in working toward our goals outside of that "closed space," and if we are also obliged by circumstances to circle our wagons, we can make the circle a large one.
The Situation that is now upon us does not recognize national borders, nor ethnic or religious divides. It is universal, it is basic, and it is absolute.
How ironic that the words of a man disliked by so many both in and outside of so many spaces so aptly and so tragically correctly define the plight of us all: "You are with us (US policies) or you are with the terrorists."
It is this sorry rag of truth that we all share. We are on either one side or another. We are either for invasion, occupation, kidnapping, torture, etc etc etc, or we are against it.
It does not matter whether one side calls the other "terrorists," or "extremists," or "radicals," "obstructionists," "rejectionist," "anti-business," and calls itself "patriotic," "pragmatic," "centrist," electable."
It does not matter whether the other side calls its opponents "the real terrorists," "nationalist," "racist," "colonialist," "imperialist," "exceptionalist," and calls itself "the real patriots" or "pro-peacce," or whatever term each side wishes to apply to the other, whatever term each wishes to apply to itself.
Just as the Situation knows no national borders, neither does it bow to nomenclature. It is a divide that cannot be bridged by euphemisms or presentation strategies or even the current favorite "nuances."
The only path to a solution, if there is one, begins with acceptance of these painful truths, with meeting the reality of the Situation head-on, despite our very natural fear, and very natural desire to take refuge in the comfort of semantics and platitudes.
Two recent comments on my blog, as well as an article pointed out to me by catnip brought this home to me with a terrible and inescapable starkness.
One, from a tireless peace activist, stunned by the fact that she is now at risk, not from some shadowy foreign "terst" entity, but from her own countrymen. The Situation, remember, is knows no national borders. It is the Ultimate and Extreme non-national space.
The other, from a very courageous man who has not only the bravery and nobility of soul to make a journey so agonizing, so difficult, that those of us who have not had to make it can only imagine the wrenching pain of the process, but a man who also has the grace and pure-hearted generosity to have shared every step of his passage with earth residents, that we might all be edified, inspired, and educated by his heroism. He pointed out a hard and universal truth: Aggressors put their fate in the hands of their victims.
These two, both Americans, might take some small measure of comfort to know that they are not alone, that while the Situation knows no borders, at least one of their countrymen has moved his wagon next to theirs, and I suspect we may be hearing from more.
As events unfold (are you as tired of reading that phrase as I am of typing it?), we will all go through some painful and unpleasant experiences, offline, we will watch helplessly as families divide, as office water coolers ring with angry words, we will be witness to all the various ways in which human beings make manifest the grim and unbending horror of the Situation.
Online, the "kerfluffles" and textual hysterics we may have seen are nothing to what we will see. We will receive emails verging on, even descending into, "hate mail" from internet friends we have for years called "brother." With eyes still wet from those inbox tears, the online phenomena we see will, like its offline homologue, involve irrevocable dissolution of longstanding friendships, as individuals come to grips with the totality, the vastness, the all-encompassing and unbridegable gap of the Situation.
We will variously bid farewell to innocence, or "put away childish things," as the Christian bible says, and with that unglorious weight of sadness and fear in our hearts, reluctantly move our wagons into one circle or another, and forsake the relatively irrelevant and picayune battles that have of necessity and by definition failed to stave off the inevitable, and prepare ourselves for the War without Borders into which we are all, every one of us, without exceptions, thrust into by the universality of the Situation. posted at
Friday, August 04, 2006 | Nasrallah Defies Israel Again!
As everybody whose anybody on certain oh-so-exclusive email lists knows, the villainous Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrullah was captured a day and a half or so ago, depending on one's time zone, if one participates in time zones, which I personally do not, I find them vulgar.
Anyway, Nasrallah, being the leader of Hezbollah was disguised as a hospital, as usual, but this time he did not fool the wily (not to mention bold and daring) militant Zionist commandos, acting as is their wont, on the unerring intelligence of Mosaad, the famed torture wing of the shiniest ho in PimpUSA's stable, who had informed them that the evil terrorist mastermind had gotten up as usual and donning the obligatory Hezbollah hospital disguise, set out for Baalbek, to plan more giant firecracker attacks against Israel to push it into the sea.
And of course everybody knows the story now, of that brave raid that exposed Hezbollah's hospital disguise to all the world, and succeeded in the bringing to eternal justice of many terrorists, some of them of that small variety that will most certainly be lobbing Katusha's at the Zionist stronghold of Haifa in less than two decades, or would have been, if those brave commandos had not acted pre-emptively.
Not even Olmert mentioned the big "Get" though, he had already been talked to a bit by Mosaad, who had wanted it made public about the Hezbollah practice disguising itself as a hospital, at least not until the next Geraldo, anyway, so the juicy intellibit was confined to those certain newsletters, and on a few of the most elite and exclusive websites, just waiting for the Now It Can Be Told moment, "Reveal Day," as Miss Niecy says on "Clean House."
So Israel was quite unprepared for the terrible shock of turning on their TV sets to see the recently-captured fiend giving a speech looking for all the world like someone who had not been recently seized by bold and daring commandos at all, and was, in fact, undergoing the most thorough of "interrogations" at that very moment, in a most unpleasant cell reserved for the most vile fiends, namely anybody who disagrees with natural settlement expansion and burning Arab children alive.
The cheek! The nerve! The - if we may be so bold and daring, and why, yes, I believe we will - sheer and unmitigated chutzpah of Nasrullah is unprecedented!
It is said that gunmen were dispatched to the chamber where Nasrullah was being interrogated, stubbornly, despite the best efforts of Israel's best and brightest, insisting that he was only a man who lived in Baalbek and ran a grocery store, and furthermore having the audacity to claim that the name Hassan Nasrullah is not the most uncommon appellation in Lebanon, and there are liable to be dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals running around the country on any given day with that selfsame name - Aha! We can hear the Mosaadlings exclaim! So he has doubles! Just like Suh-day-um, drawls the American observer, just there to see if they need any more tongs, he has brought a FedEx plane full of new ones, just in case - Seize them all! the cry goes up! No, wait - Mosaad disagrees, they will be expecting that. Let us instead deceive them. We will kill all the ones who are NOT named Hassan Nasrullah! That will teach them! No, No, not the tongs! The terrorists, you ignorant schmucken! The ones who have dared to name themselves something other than Hassan Nasrullah, thinking they can fool us. Do they not know we are Mosaad! We cannot be fooled!
Yes, yes, agreed the politicians, sweating in their Armani, that will show that we have compassion for our enemies, that we have the most moral army in the world. Now those tongs - are they stainless? We are a bit fastidious about these matters, you know... posted at
Wednesday, August 02, 2006 | Israel Obliterates Hezbollah, Which is Disguised as a Hospital
There are unconfirmed US propaganda reports that realizing that they might face as many as several hundred individuals opposed to the invasion of their country, brave little Israel dispatched a few thousand of their bold and daring commandos to a hospital, where they are said to have "interrogated" some, kidnapped some, and murdered some beings that I, and possibly you, consider human, but the US and Israel consider vermin.
On hearing that the gandanets had reported the bold and daring commando raid on the hospital, popular atrocity enthusiast Olmert said that it was not a hospital, and that all Hezbollah is always disguised as a hospital. It was later revealed that Israel had seized only top Hezbollah and Al Qaeda masterminds, who are also Number 2 Hamas - no wait, it is Al Qaeda that has all the Number Twos, Hamas and Hezbollah only have "top leaders." But Iran and Syria are sending them some Number Twos. And maybe a Zarqawi. Or China. Maybe China can send some replacement civilians for all the ones Israel has slaughtered.
Israel has now all but obliterated any remaining traces of Hezbollah, yet needs another month to "mop up" those traces. Though all their giant firecrackers have been destroyed, they have fired more today than ever at poor little Israel, and may have damaged the ground in some fields, even though Israel has kept up its part of the cease fire, bombing Lebanon only when it feels like it.
It is not known at this time how long populations in the region, and for that matter, other regions, will be content to sit quietly and wait for the buzz of the bombs, for their children to be seized, their homeland to be "mopped up."
The US taxpayers would be well advised to take second and third jobs, (even if they are among the affluent who have not had to do so already simply to remain in housing) as the funds required to maintain population crackdown, on top of all these costly "cleansing" operations, and subsequent settler incentives will continue to spiral upward...
For those wishing details of Israel's "bold and daring" operation to destroy Lebanon, I recommend, as I have many times before, that you visit and bookmark Angry Arab 's site. While I cannot claim to agree with As'ad on a variety of topics, and have in fact chided him over the years for not being angry enough, he has without a doubt, provided the most comprehensive commentary and information for those seeking to learn more about this particular aspect of the Situation.
The US gandanets inform us that Israeli gunmen are now within 20 kilometers or so of the Syrian border, they do not, of course, mention any covert operations whose location may involve other co-ordinates.
Now that those so inclined have been allowed to vent any sentiments that may have bordered on criticism of Israel's re-massacre in Qana, all the nets are returned to their normal practice of leading the viewers in singing the praises of Israeli atrocities, and for its part, Israel has responded by asserting that the massacre in Qana did not happen, that it was a terrible error that they regret, and that Hezbollah did it, and that the photos taken by the western news agencies were staged. They have also made some very concerted and visible changes regarding media management, adopting a variation, as I predicted, of the popular "embed" technique employed by the US for selected operations in its Iraq and Afghanistan theatres, stationing reporters in a set location, with plenty of bangs and booms in the background, and it is from these locations, under the watchful eyes of Israeli gunmen, that the "journalists" issue their praises of the operation before returning to their hotel rooms.
The day after the Qana "incident," Reuters did report on a number of other villages with a number of bodies buried in the rubble, but this story was naturally downplayed or completely ignored, and it is safe to assume that the reporters involved have been "talked to."
The usual suspects have dispatched an army of operatives to counteract internet posts that might be considered critical of Israel, and what they may lack in skill and subtlety is more than compensated by their zeal, and they have actually been very effective in bringing the western internets back on message from a dangerous slippery slope.
No matter how many more Qanas there may be, and one need only to view the live shots of the US-supplied 500 pound bombs raining on Lebanon to know that there are many, what Americans will hear are how Israel is "mopping up," "softening," and of course the popular "bold and daring commando raids."
Israel has now, according to the gandanets, all but destroyed Hezbollah, and the Lebanese people are grateful to them for all they are doing to prepare the land for settlements.
One can only suppose they are every bit as grateful as the Iraqis. posted at
Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum.
Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage
had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage
propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who
should be put in a cage on gitmo Skinner
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
peopleforchange.netductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks
Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
inadequate, halfway house bullshit
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple." hamletta
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh
dailykos.coma turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
dailykos.comdespicable and literally mentally ill