This week’s roundup of the Lebanese blogosphere, posted on Global Voices Online:
The war that Israel is waging against Lebanon remains the primary issue discussed by bloggers blogging about Lebanon this week. This roundup does not do justice to the amount of posts that contain analysis, updates, personal experiences, reflections and photos of the situation in Lebanon. But it gives a feel of what things are like.
Amal prays to God to save Lebanon in her unique way:
Perpetual Refugee writes a very touching post about how he watched, in real time on TV, his neighborhood being bombed and his grandfather’s house destroyed.
And in another post titled: “From the killing fields. Silence”, Perpetual Refugee writes:
I try and imagine the 371 stories of each fatality of this current genocide. I try and remember how beautiful a summer it was in Lebanon. How children played in the streets at all hours of the day. The sounds of innocence echoing through the valleys of Lebanon’s countless villages. How the restaurants were full of foreign people in love, I mean totally in love with the host country that has so generously welcomed them into her heart. How each person I had spoken with just one week ago had so positively looked to the future of a nation that just earned a hard fought independence. A confident Lebanon. A proud Lebanon. A Lebanon so full of promise.
And now, as I watch high rated news telecasts projecting images of destruction. Images of genocide. I don’t hear anything. Just silence. Mixed in with ads for McDonald’s and Ford automobiles interspersed between the funerals.
Prof Juan Cole gives evidence that the “War on Lebanon Planned for at least a Year” ago.
John Bolton: Syria must pressure HezbAllah to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
John Bolton: Syria must pressure HezbAllah to hand over the two Israeli soldiers.
Who will pressure Israel to stop dropping 23 ton bombs on Lebanese civilians?
Who will pressure Israel to hand over Lebanese hostages in Israeli jails?
Who will pressure Israel to stop targeting journalists and TV stations?
Who will pressure Israel to lift its siege, which is an act of war against all of Lebanon?
Not our good friend the USA, surely?
Having in mind that an all-serious tone on the blog would turn off many readers who argue that we must always find something to laugh about even when bombs are falling on our heads, I have decided to launch a funny Middle Eastern quote of the day initiative. Here’s today’s:
“Israel’s offensive in Lebanon is not aimed at destroying HezbAllah.” – Avi Dichter
Lazarus defines terrorism in this fill in the blank exercise:
Terror: violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.
Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.
Murder: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.
Use these three words to fill in the blanks.
The IDF, through its actions of _______ing civilians, engages in state-sponsored ___________ and inflicts _________ on Lebanese civilians.
*Definitions from Merriam Webster.
Abu Kais sees that “Maybe Israel has a problem too” and says:
The international focus now is on getting rid of Hizbullah, implementing resolution 1559, and allegedly “helping the democratic Lebanese government.” The method is war, and the outcome so far has been an empowered Hizbullah and a weakened government that is quickly losing credibility among the very population it is supposed to protect.
Jij describes and analysis in much detail the reasons that lead us to this this situation.
Propaganda machines are usually most energetic in time of war. Prof Abu Khalil notes this in one of his posts:
Is anybody keeping track with the lies of Israeli propaganda (which seems to emulate Nasser’s propaganda of the 1967 war) in this war? They claimed that they have killed 100 Hizbullah members but failed to provide evidence–wait, maybe the pictures of the incinerated children count as evidence; then they claimed yesterday that they occupied Marun Ar-Ras, only to claim today that they really really really now fully occupy Marun Ar-Ras; and then they claimed a few days ago that they have scores of Hizbullah fighters in captivity, only to claim today that they have two. Which is which, o propagandists of the Israeli war machine? Also, having lived under Israeli occupation in 1982, I am glad to see that the quality of Israeli Orientalism has not improved one bit. In fact, the quality of the Arabic in the propaganda flyers has even gone down.
As well as quoting a doctor in one of the hospitals in the South of Lebanon who observes that all the injured are innocent civilians who were trying to escape and were carrying white flags.
While Dr Victorino discusses the issue of propaganda in this article:
Many apologists of the Bushmert regime have pumped up their shameless propaganda campaign in the airwaves and on the internet since the start of Israel’s war of aggression on Lebanon.
The truth is that more than a third of towns and villages targeted by the Israeli Air Force are actually located in exclusively Christian areas – Yahweh’s glorious army made a point of bombing both Roman Catholic and Byzantine Orthodox areas, thus proving its attachment to the development of Christian ecumenism!
Jamal uses his very witty style to make up some accomplishment for Olmert’s killing campaign which still has no military accomplishments to speak of.
Ahmad describes how he woke up to the bombing and demolition of a center in Saida that hosts clinics, a pharmacy, a medical laboratory and a mosque among other civil things. The center is just 10 minutes walk from where he lives.
Lebanese Bloggers Forum is a blog maintained by a number of Lebanese bloggers and has posts on many topics, updates, calendar of demonstrations etc. It has this post which lists the 68 UN Resolutions that Israel is in violation of among other things.
Most writers agree that Israel’s actions are leading to the exact opposite of what Israel claims that it wants to achieve. Pierre Tristam writes in this article:
The more the Israeli assault lasts, the more distant it gets from its presumed aim of destroying Hezbollah—the more impossible it becomes to destroy what the bombing campaign of the last twelve days can only recharge and redirect in proportion to the tonnage of savagery it is dropping on Lebanon. Who, the Lebanese are rightfully asking themselves, are the terrorists now?
And Sophia writes in one of her posts:
Up to now, the ‘war on terrorism’ has produced nothing and killed much more civilians than the attack on the WTC. It didn’t even produced friendly regimes for the US, let alone winning hearts and minds in the ME.
Moreover, Hezbollah enjoys now a support from a defiant sizable part of the Christian population in Lebanon. My guess is that, before the war on Hezbollah will end, the US and Israel would have lost all their allies in Lebanon, except may be for the weakened Lebanese forces who appear more and more to be the shadow of their former self in terms of Christian support. As in Ukraine, the US sponsored Cedar revolution will be short lived.
Israeli war machines are also intercepting radio broadcasts. EDB at Anecdotes from a Banana Republic writes about one such incident:
I get a huge kick out of the Israeli radio interception. Halfway through a news broadcast on the Lebanese Communist Party radio station, a monotonous, droning voice interrupts to address Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah fighters (in Arabic): “Come on, oh Hassan, you coward. Pack your bags and go to Masnaa [the remaining border crossing to Syria, last time I checked].. come on, you brave men hiding in your tunnels and caves…”
Couldn’t they do that to the TV stations, too? It might diversify the content a bit, if we weren’t just seeing bombs and dead babies. Also, I’d love it if they dressed up like “real Arabs” to interrupt the broadcasts. That would be ultra-effective; a guy in a turban interrupts a cooking show or, say, Fashion TV, which is also still broadcasting, to say, “Surrender now, Jesus… I mean, Allah loves you”.
Intercept every media outlet and tell the Lebanese what to think and do; then you will be welcomed with flowers and baklava. Do they have figures on how successful the conversion rates are from their propaganda? More successful than penis-enlargement spamming? Surely not. People aren’t grateful for being bombed. That’s a tough lesson.
EDB also shows the logical fallacy behind Israel’s claim that it is not targeting civilians:
US hypothesis Nr. 1: Israel does not attack civilians and civilian infrastructure.
US hypothesis Nr. 2: The US “is concerned for the personal safety of American citizens due to the current security situation in Lebanon” because “major roads … are subject to an air strike at any time” (according to an email I received from the US Dept of State)
In short, Americans in Lebanon are in danger of being hit by an Israeli bomb.
US hypothesis Nr. 3: We must evacuate all American civilians.
We must evacuate all American civilians, for they are in danger of being attacked by Israel, which does not attack civilians.
The American civilians who are in danger must all be human shields for Hezbollah or hiding Katyushas under their beds. Why, oh why, would they be in danger, if Israel is attacking Hezbollah, rather than everything that moves?
Finally, for now, Zena has these pictures of the environmental damage caused by the Israeli war.