Friday, August 04, 2006

Abu Moujahed

This week's special guest blogger is Abu Moujahed reporting from Beirut. Abu is a my friend's friend's friend's friend. The English is imperfect but it is far better than my Lebanese so it's the best we can do here. Having been sheltered by a linguistic media bubble of late I must admit that I have not been able to closely follow what is happening in Lebanon right now. No one seems to be talking much about it here. A Finnish national effort to raise money to support bombing victims has raised a whopping total of 200 euros. These words of Abu's made me angry, impotently so. What can I do about Israel's foreign pugilism? Fuck Israel. Long live the Jews but fuck Israel. There is no justification, no abstract rationalization, and no excuse for this steaming pile. Here is Abu's email:

Dear friends Again I have to thank all of you for your words and feeling with us in Lebanon by phones or Emails, more days of blood and destruction, more days of fright and pain.. more days of suffering. I am sorry for all those poor lebanese who lost everything, I am sorry for what has happen to Lebanon as a country out of what Israel war crime caused, I am sorry for the south Lebanon villages and cities, Iam sorry for the Southern Suburb of Beirut.. It's unbelievable....

I am saying sorry for Lebanon and not the Palestinian Camp. because really what is going on in Lebanon is reflecting a dicission was taken some where to destroy the country, to kill as much as they could...I don't know if you are seeing the TV news, or if the Tvs showing the reality of what is going on in Lebanon .. It's unbelievable. Buildings bacme complitly damaged on the ground, people just want to escap out side of Lebanon, or at least far from the bombing areas.. People are sleeping in the streets or parks, the lucky one who finde a place in a school or in a shelter under a building.. Children pictures shows how they were killed in a car small bus or runing in a street seeking the safty, escaping from the death without knowing that Isarel killing machine is waiting them everywhere they go... or children died under their demolish houses or lying wonded in hospitals crying out of pain... burneds of little buddies, you can read a great fear in the little angel faces. It's unbearable to see Israel as a dangerous beast threating and distroying the lives of people and their homes and properties while no body is trying to stop it. even the security counsil were coward to taake decission just to have sceise fire..

United States and Israel are stupid to think that in this way they make Hisbollah weak...They tried that with Hamas.. They oppose Hamas during the election in Palestine.. what the result was.. Hamas won double.. And now they are doing the same with Hibollah.. I have to say that Hizbollah is getting more respect and popular support, and it's getting bigger.. Because who is that stupid to trust or listen to those two awofl creation of USA and Israel.. It's shame on everybody who say that he is responsible or goveners or UN or what ever.. It's shame on all what call them selves humanitarian deffenders, or peace lovers... Some people like to use pholosphical way with discribing the war.. I never afraid of wars or blood, but it should be between fighters, between two forces.. It's now the war is lead by War criminals , it's not horonorable issue to kill people. young or old.. destroy roads, buildings, bridges, to cut the electricity or the water sources.. It's not bravenes to use all this forces against who doesn't have.. The camps didn't attacked yet,, but the smell of death, sound of rockets, war plaines and war ships are effecting the camps people and make them afraid the same.. They are afraid to be hit while their house like cartoon boxes,, so the are runing to the shelters out of the camps. Half of Shatila left..

Most of the Syrians and Lebaneses left to where they belong, and some Palestinian thought it might be safer if they go to North Camps, without knowing that no where is save. Israel is bombing everywhere.. 12 people have been killed today in a small bus, they were escaping from the death in the south to Beirut, but unfortunaletely they didn 't reach... All the embassies are worried how to transfare/ evacuate their sitizens from Lebanon.. The American, French, British, canadian, Austrians, Golf countries... It's good, but isn't better if these government make pressure on Israel to stop it's war and that will be a protection to everybody.. It's clear there is a plan for this war... I don't know how it will the end,, The decission is clear, destroy Lebanon's enfrustructure, road, electricity stations, bridges, everything... creat separation among tjhe Lebanese paople, and put the responsibilty on Hizbullah to make the resolution 1559 pass and make Lebanon out of the gravity of Syria or Iran, and frorget about the Palestinian cause...

Those new colonisation will never win.. Lebanon needs at least more than 20 years to recover from the result of this war,, at least needs years to rebuild what have been destroyed. But what they don't understand that everytime they think that they defeated a resistance, a new forces born more fondamintalist and stronger... in 1948 when the issence of the problem started in the region as Arab- Israeli war awhich still continuing.. In the sixtith new resistance born- PLO. in 1982 they forced PLO to leave Officially Beirut. But Hizbullah established, and later Hamas, and then the Intifada in Palestine.. It's easy for the strong one to decide hitting the weak one.. but it's craziness not to think the children of this weak will never accept the humiliation.. and they will think how to revange and take their right in the same way... I think lebanon is going to be destroyed, yes.. But the way to reply and defeating Israel became shorter..

I am not stratigic persone, but I am reading the experiances which we are going through. Now, the NGO's are thinking how to bring blankets, matrasses, food boxes etc.. Many association are busy with writting proposals to page the donors for financial support.. Some political organizations start distripute relief assitants.. This is desapointed way to deal with those victimes of Israel and United States crimes...

It's not enough at all... when all the donors come singing for us the song of the development, human right right, democracy, peace, and bring for us the music of Advocacy, loppying, network. which I translated right of; respect, dignity, just, equity, good and peaceful life, protection, safty, health, happiness. So we as local NGO's and International NGO's , organizations, donor associations, beside we should think how to help those war victimes we have to think how to loud our voices to move our socities and all the civil society forces to act and creat prussure on the governments to force Israel to stop it's aggrussion and death machine against the Palestinian and Lebanese people in Palestine and Lebanon.. the American has to stop their imperialism war against Iraqi people... I think those who start looking for donation sources should start with what they have to support the needed people, and not waiting till the donation support comes..

I am sure who took the dicission to destry Lebanon and West Bank and Gaza already took the dicission to make the people run behind the assistances and rationes. The plan is to destry the lives and stones, but also dignities and wills... The plan to increase the strongs strenth and the increase the weak weakness...

I am calling the students and social workers, the human rights activists, all those Peace groups inviroment diffenders, all those against the depression and aggression, and exploitation, against the killing and deprivation, to raise their voices by any way of expression as one or two or hundreds or thouthands,, but we should protect who didn't die yet. not only in Lebanon or Palestine, but everywhere.. We are not humanitarian by crying or paying sempathy, paging support for the poors.. We are represantative of the truth and rights and just...

Thanks to all the friends who siad that they are working on some protesting or writing or they express their anger about what is going in Palestine and Lebanon.. I know some friends want me to say more than that, while others does.t like this way of expression... sorry, my heart is bleading about what Iam seeing everyday here in Lebanon and Gaza.. The pain is great, so instead complaining on the unger let us firht together to stop the reason.. Stop the war and the war criminal intiators in Israel and United States....

Best wishes Abu Moujahed


Oh Benji, back to your liberal knee jerk rational. By your own admission you say that you, by virtue of a “sheltered press” have been unable to “closely” follow what has been going on, yet you know that the “steaming pile” of Israel is to blame. Your stance is just classic, and so very predicable.

A Finnish national effort to raise money to support bombing victims… I bet you 2000 Euros those are not the Jewish bombing victims that they want to help…The ugly anti-Semitism of Europe is shining once again. Blame the Jews for everything.

Before the war any poll in the “Arab world” found that 60% to 70% of the respondents were in favor of “civilian deaths” in order to further a political cause. We see now that they must have only meant Jewish civilians or American civilians. Now that the shoe is on the other foot they condemn Israel for any action. Those fucking steaming piles of shit Jews, no?

Before the war, the President of Iran was calling for the death of all Jews and to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. The Arab world was silent. After all, it is only the Jews. Kill them all, the steaming piles of shit, no?

Now, again, the shoe is on the other foot. Wipe Hezbollah off the face of the earth, and the Arab world and their supporters are up in arms. How dare the Jews actually defend themselves? Why those steaming piles of shit!

Before the war, liberals condemn the US and Israel for military efforts. UN resolution 1559 goes unenforced. Under the nose of “innocent” Lebanon and the UN, Hezbollah builds up a military force and 10-15K rockets. The Arabs and Kofi Annan (Supreme Jew hater) says nothing, after all it is only the stinking piles of shit Jews those rockets will kill, no?

Israel retaliates and the liberal and Arab world condemns and blame the sticking piles of shit Jews for everything.

God damn, Benji, for Christ sake WAKE THE FUCK UP.

PS. Yes, it’s the same Anon, from a new place for a week.
Well Well.

There we are then. Both your post an Anon's comments leave me in the same place I was before.

Totally and utterly confused.

All I hear in the media is how Israel is flattening Lebanon. I don't know why or what for.

As far as I can tell, this has been going on for years and will keep going for years.

Hundreds of lives being taken because everybody outside the line of fire is afraid to make a move in a conflict where the boundaries are even more unclear than they usualy are.

Who started it all?


Does it even matter anymore?

I think I need to do some heavy research, because I can't seem to make any incisions into this situation without hitting a main artery.


A whole lot more diffcult than War.
anon, you're the first i've heard blame the jews. i blame israel, yes i do. they are the ones dropping the bombs, no? perhaps, anon, you can elucidate for us sleepy peaceniks the benefit to this attack on lebanon. how does this make the world a better place?

Ultra, I share your confusion. We are confused, I think, because there is no reasonable explanation. It's just bullshit. Unfortunately Anon is far from alone in his willingness to buy the big pile being sold by war profiteers. I'm not sure how this particular product enriches his life, but apparently it does.
I have been researching since I read your post.

It runs something like this:

The UN divided Palestine into two states, creating Israel for the Jews and leaving Palestine for the Arabs. The Arabs did not accept this and attacked Israel.

After this war in 1948, Many Palestinians fled to Lebanon . By the mid 1970's, there were over 300,000 of them. They had large sway over the south of the country. There was a lot if infighting during a Lebanese civil war and it wasn't long before Israel invaded southern Lebanon, mainly to weed out Palestinian militants.

Eventually Israel withdrew, but ever since they have made numerous attacks on southern Lebanon - which is guarded by Hezbollah. At one stage, they occupied a small strip of southern Lebanon as a rudimentary security buffer to protect their northern villages.

They withdrew a few years back. Now it has all kicked off again.

Alliances have been formed and betrayed so many times in lebanon that it is near impossible to distinguish between who is right and who is wrong.

So here we are.

And who's fault is it?

I'm going with us - The British - and the UN. We took over after the Ottoman empire collapsed and screwed it up, by all accounts.

It was the UN cleaving Palestine in two that finalised this permanent division. It has gotten bloodier and bloodier

Go to Wikipedia.

I lifted most of this from there
anon, you're the first i've heard blame the jews. i blame israel, yes i do.

I was NOT blaming the Jews. Please notice the bit of sarcasm that I intended in YOUR calling them piles of shit through the blame of Israel. Oh, you only called Israel a pile of shit? Please. Get real.

they are the ones dropping the bombs, no?
What do you call all the missiles that are heading into populated civilian areas in Israel? Just who are they intended to kill? So, no, they are not the only ones dropping the bombs.

how does this make the world a better place?
If it is not crystal clear to you how getting rid of a militant organization whose goal is the death of Jews and Israel by means military force, then there is not much I can tell you.

If it is not clear to you how Iran spending 100 million a year to supply Hezbollah with rockets, rifles, etc. is NOT making the world a better place then there is not much I can tell you.

If it is not clear to you how the liberals complain that Israel is destroying all life for Arabs in the middle east, oppressing and occupying their land while BILLIONS of money in oil profits is spent to arm militant groups, there is not much I can tell you.

If it is not clear to you how the militants have hijacked the “religion of peace” to use the islam schools to indoctrinate millions of youngsters with a hatred of Jews and all non muslims, well, I am afraid that I can’t tell you much.

If it is not clear to you that there are over 2 million “Arabs” living in Israel while in the rest of the Arab world they work themselves up into a frantic lather screaming “Death to the JEWS”, well, I’m afraid it is not I who can clear your mind.

alone in his willingness to buy the big pile being sold by war profiteers
Darn, if only Lebanon had oil. Amazing how you jump right into this with the “no more wars for oil” mentality. It would seem you are the one who has bought the big pile being sold by the terrorists and their liberal supporters.

Good job, and thanks for the research. I do have some comments I’d like to make but I am late already for a work. Please check back. Thanks.
Of course there is a distinction between Jews and the state of Israel, just as there is a difference between me and my government, which rarely does what I want it to, anon. What I called a steaming pile of shit was not even Israel, it is this particular action and that state's sustained attack on people simply living their lives.

What is not clear to me is how dropping bombs on civilians rids the world of terrorists, as you claim. Guess what buddy, they don't go away? In fact, the more you bomb, the more of them there are. As Ultra pointed out, this has been going on for decades. But Ultra, it isn't just the British who are to blame, the good old U S of A had its hands all over this division, and, although Anon was the first to bring up oil (not me), it had a lot to do with oil at the time. It also had to do with a powerful nation meeting its needs at the expense of a less powerful nation. When Israeli 'settlers' were allocated Palestinian land their government made a gigantic false assumption, or deception. They claimed that the land was vacant. Settlers to North America made the same false claim after Columbus bumped into Plymouth Rock, another example of military and political might (and some nasty introduced diseases) made right.

But beyond blaming governments, there is a lot of religious and racial motivation in this as well. But why, anon, do you assume that we have to take a religious side, Jews or Muslims? Violence is violence. I am angry when I read of terrorist attacks by Palestinians too. I happen to think they have a legitimate beef with Israel, but I don't see how suicide bombs help their cause. I understand their frustration, as I understand the frustration of Israelis who are afraid to take public buses. The fear goes both ways and is perpetuated by fanatics on both sides. Unfortunately, the fanatics on the Israeli side seem to be highly placed; they maintain their original advantage of having much greater military and political might on their side. So, instead of deploying a few suicide bombers they can bomb a whole other nation while the world watches in horror, unsure how to stop this constant escalation of hatred.

Except those war profiteers, which of course benefit from more than just oil. Where there is death and destruction, they profit from the sale of guns, bullets, bombs, tanks...the amount of money we spend on this steaming pile of explosives is more than enough to end poverty and water-borne diseases. But fuck that, let's go get us some terrorists, woo-fuckin-hoo.

I figured, anon, that you would be completely unable to explain how this helps the world. It should be obvious, right? Common sense. Not worth explaining. Yet everytime the USA invades another country millions of people around the world, none of whom have any common sense I guess, take to the streets in protest.

Since you couldn't answer my question, I'll answer it for you. The benefit to constant war and violence as perpetuated by supposedly legitimate states is that it keeps the profitable hatred flowing in all directions. They call it common sense because it is indeed easier than peace. Peace is very hard work, harder than profits or destruction. At this point in our history, it has become harder to even fathom than peace, for all too many of us.
On a side note, the president of Iran is a lunatic living in an intellectual cave where he likes the hollow echo of his own words. His words are offensive, but his international bite is about as strong as my cat's. That is why the reaction to Israel's attack on Lebanon is strong while the reaction to this one man's foolish rants is negligible.

Domestically, I look forward to the day that Iranians can liberate themselves from the oppression of their government.
Are you really as uninformed as you seem?

In your entire post you made not one single reference to either Lebanon or to Hezbollah or to the rockets (as of today about 3000) that Hezbollah has sent into Israel with THE EXPRESS INTENT TO KILL CIVIZLIANS. No wonder you do not understand what is going on.

Do you not read newspapers? If you do, do those newspapers not mention the Katyusha rockets that blast daily into Isreal? Close to 150-200 every day during this war. They are not sent by the Palestinians, rather Hezbollah, who is backed by Iran/Syria. If you do not know the difference between these groups, well, you have some learning to do young man. You mention suicide bombers sent by the PLO; hell, young man, we are talking about KATYUSHA rockets sent directly at civilian areas by Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran. What exactly about this situation is it that is not clear to you?

Are you really so obtuse that I have to spell out to you, again, how ridding the world of Hezbollah, a militant group whose main purpose is to kill Jews would make the world better?

Well, then here is the answer to how this military action by Israel will make the world better: ANYTHING THAT STOPS MILIANT MUSLIMS FROM KILLING JEWISH CIVILIANS IS GOOD FOR THE WORLD AND WILL MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. Got that? Read it really slow and digest it. If you can not understand it, then get someone to read it to you and then have them explain it to you. Then think really hard how that would be good for the world.

As for the rest of your comments:

Of course there is a distinction between Jews and the state of Israel
Please read Ultras comments or find out for yourself just exactly who Israel was founded for. It was founded for Jews. Of all counties, the distinction between their religion and their country is more closely tied. Therefore, when you mention Israel, it is parallel to mentioning Jews. Don’t try and weasel yourself out of your anti-Semitic comments by saying “oh, I didn’t mean the Jews, just Israel”. It will not fly. It really is amazing to me just how anti-Semitic liberals are becoming.

sustained attack on people simply living their lives.
Isn’t it amazing how those innocent Lebanese, simply living their peaceful little lives didn’t notice Hezbollah building up a terrorist organization of 30,000 fighters. How they didn’t notice 15,000 Katyusha rockets being moved into their neighborhoods after being sent in by Iran and Syria. How they didn’t notice the miles and miles of tunnels that the Hezbollah militants were digging right under their houses. How these innocent Lebanese sent their young men to terrorist training camps in Iran. Yes, and the German citizens also tried to claim just how innocent they were after 6 million Jews where killed by the Nazis, how they were just living a peaceful little life…
What is not clear to me is how dropping bombs on civilians rids the world of terrorists,
Yes, isn’t it just amazing how there are never any terrorists around when the bombs fall? Even as you say they don’t go away, and more and more are created, yet Israel never seems to kill any of them. Not a single terrorist, just civilians. Geez, can you figure that one out, or do I need to spoon feed it to you as well?

Yet every time the USA invades another country millions of people around the world, none of whom have any common sense I guess, take to the streets in protest.
And they yell “Death to America/Death to the Jews”. And you wonder why religion is brought into this?

As for common sense, I do wonder: Just look at what is going on around the world that these “millions” are seemingly blind too in their anti-American zeal.
Venezuela and their arms build up, Darfur and genocide, muslims killing muslims in Iraq, human rights in China, Iran, heck I could go on and on, but the only target is the bad old USA and Israel.

Iran a “Pussycat”? Please tell me that you at least know that Iran is the main financial arm and military supplier of Hezbollah, and that they spend $100 million a year supplying them with arms. You do know at least that, right?

Man, I really would like to know what you read. Where in Gods name do you come up with this stuff? Some of the things you say just simply amaze me. They really do. So much that I can not even respond to some of because I am just bewildered.

Domestically, I look forward to the day that Iranians can liberate themselves from the oppression of their government.
Why not the same feelings for the people of Iraq? It was the USA, the bad, mean, empire building oil stealing fucks that liberated them from their oppressive government. Or do you not think Saddam was oppressive or as much as a lunatic as Ahmadinejad?

May I suggest this commentary by Charles Krauthammer. If you are not familiar with him, you should know that he does write from the conservative point of view, so please keep this in mind when you read. The article follows nicely with the facts that you presented.

Article here: here

I read the article, but it just made me more confused, as does everything I read or hear about this conflict.

So Hezbollah have been squaring up to Israel despite their UN noted tactical withdrawal.

Should the UN regard Hezbollahs incursion into Israel (which triggered this powder keg) as a violation of UN laws?

Should they go in and disarm Hezbollah?

Maybe. But will the Lebanese people accept it? Does the Arab world really want to see another western intervention in Arab affairs?

Would that end this tangled conflict?

More questions than answers, as usual.

Most of out media coverage centres on Lebanese deaths rather than Israeli.

They talk about the evacuation of western citizens from Lebanon, but not from Israel.

I don't know what to believe.

Only that needless loss of life on both sides because of militants who cannot resist the trigger is as common a thread in this war as it is in any other.
Ultra, you may be "confused" as you say, but seems to me you may be showing more common sense than either Benji or myself! :)
Anon, personal insults aside, you are missing the forest for the trees as the cliche goes. I suspect that it is because you are trapped in the US propaganda machine.

The main point of my last comment remains true: this isn't a fair fight. Why are you so surprised that when Israel claims someone else's land as their own that those people want to fight back? With whatever means they have.

How would your government react if someone decided to claim Baltimore as their own? Bush and the hawks would dust the fuckers. But what if you didn't have the trillion dollar war infastructure in place? You would use whatever means you had available. If someone supplied you with rockets for this purpose, you would use them. Just as the Finns once used every piece of archaic weaponry they could find against the invading Russians.

But it was different then. The war was an actual fight, men (and sometimes women) v. men, with guns. Not superpowers launching superbombs from hundreds or thousands of miles away. The 'collateral damage' was not so great, terror was reserved for revolutionaries. Now it is used by freedom fighters, and more so by states with military might.

I acknowledged in my last comment that there are obvious religious hatreds and motivations on both sides. But my question remains, why should we the outsiders take a side based on religion? You call me anti-Semitic yet your comments would offend many Muslims.

I do read the news anon, but I temper their coporate patriotic fervour and sensationalist lust for violence with real news from real people. The piece I posted that sparked this inane little debate was written by someone living in Beirut who works closely with peace-building NGOs there. He is a far better source of information than some news and google junkie who won't even identify himself and thinks that his age gives him some sort of paternalistic wisdom.

I also take my news from people I have worked with and met in Toronto. I had the great privilege in my work there to meet immigrants and refugees from many of the places where the most powerful of the world militaries have started wars. Wars for oil, wars for irrational fear of the commies, wars against war if you can wrap your mind around that one. Universally they tell me they don't want war. They tell me that every time some asshole, whether from Texas or hiding in his cave in the middle east, starts the shit flying it lands on their people, and guess what, it creates more terrorists.

And then I have a knee jerk reaction to it. What do you do, anon? You seem to take some perverse glee in the deaths of innocents. And you call that rational because it rids us of terrorists and helps in the long run. But if the bombs keep missing their terrorist targets then why don't the terrorist hunters find a better method? The answer is that it isn't about getting their man, it's about spreading the terror around, and it's about revenge. What is in your heart that you take pleasure in that? That you condone that?

I have also lived briefly in Indonesia, where democracy was slaughtered along with close to a million communists thanks again to a foreign government with too much power, too much desire for control, and too much fear. I learned a great deal from muslim indonesian scholars, farmers, fishers, etc. Most of them thought the USA was a-ok, they just wished that the feeling was mutual. They were far from anti-Semitic, they longed for peace, just like most people do, anon.

I read a lot anon, probably very different things than what you read. But reading only takes you so far. It really helps one understand the world if one talks to people with cultural differences, age differences, gender differences, even different analyses and worldviews. Especially if they can do so in a way that is not condescending.

One thing that I learned, from an Iranian woman living in Toronto, was that Iranians don't necessarily need or want help from the United States World Police Force or any big power. I feel EXACTLY the same way about the Iranian struggle for liberation as I did about the Iraqi one. You'll note that I said "liberate themselves," not have the US bomb the shit out of them in the twisted name of democracy and peace. Nobody asked for your military's help there.

I have also learned from reading and from talking and listening that Palestinians are living in apparteid conditions under Israeli rule. Does that mean that the Jews are baaaad? Of course not. It means that Israel is in charge and has the power to oppress. And because the Palestinians have had their land stolen from them, Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the US, and many other nations stand in solidarity with them.

You won't hear about that in the news either, anon. If you really want to understand the world beyond your door, I suggest taking your nose out of the books, TV, Internet, etc. for a while and go talk to some of the people you are currently villainizing. You are surprised by my point of view because you are unfamiliar with it and do not understand it.

I almost never refer to myself as a liberal because, although my views tend to fall on the left side of the fence on many issues, I don't see the world in black and white, and I have learned a lot from conservatives too. But I am a liberal in that I oppose all oppression. I feel that this current action by Israel, supposedly against Hezbollah even though it is killing mainly civilians, is an extension of that state's oppression in Palestine. You claim it is in reaction to terrorism but that particular terrorism is in reaction to Israel's initial oppression of Palestine.

You claim that the bombs will make terrorism go away. I say they only make it worse, and more rockets, and more bombs, will follow. If it continues to escalate we could indeed have another holocaust against an oppressed group.

The way to peace, the way to end terror, is not through more bombs (duh). It is through dialogue, education, understanding. It is hard work, but if we keep doing the same thing we have been doing (bombs) we will get the same results (war, oppression).
Ultra, I agree with anon on one thing, you make way more sense than he does.
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