Bombed Away… 26 August 2006Posted by marisacat in Beirut, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, South America, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
- Resistance -
Two ‘Live’ Diaries from Electronic Lebanon - both are voices of privilege, heading south to work on post conflict reconstruction and aid - and both voices moving to either embrace, or at the very least, understand Resistance.
Resistance to War – Ramzi Kysia
[I]n Sriefa, three entire blocks of homes are smashed to ground. Other buildings and shops throughout the town are bombed and destroyed. Women walk the streets, sobbing.
In Sultanya, dozens of homes are destroyed. The local hospital lies bombed and gutted by fire. The house I stayed at in the village has three unexploded cluster bombs in its garden.
Bint Jbeil, a city of over eighty thousand people, is completely shattered. Much of the city is simply rubble, but even what’s left standing is damaged. The entire back wall of the three-story primary school is just gone. The city center is barely passable to cars, so cratered are the roads. I literally did not see a single building in all of Bint Jbeil without serious damage. Not one. Not a one. [...]
This wasn’t a war against Hezbollah, with some collateral damage on the side. This was a war against the basic structures necessary to sustain civilians in South Lebanon. This was a war against the basic structures of human life.
But there are Lebanese who will not let that happen.
During the war, a coalition of Lebanese educators, engineers, architects, merchants, health care workers, NGO workers, students, and others, came together under banner of Civil Resistance – the Arabic phrase for non-violent direct action. …
“We, the people of Lebanon, call upon the local and international community to join a campaign of civil resistance to Israel’s war against our country and our people. We declare Lebanon an open country for civil resistance.” [snip]
”An Nour Radio – A Voice Stronger than the Aggression” - Electronic Intifada – Lebanon - Photostory
Breakdown - Sami Hermez
[B]orders. Borders that make me want to cry and laugh all at once. Who are they trying to fool? It seems all of us, doesn’t it?!
Being on the border, in the South, I could see what we are fighting for and the need to build and maintain a movement of resistance against Israel (there is a stark contrast between this border and the Syrian-Lebanese one). The border for me is no longer abstract, it is no longer just an image on a TV screen. I see now how tied we are to Palestine, how our south is a beautiful extension of their north were it not for guard towers, colonial settlements, and the presence of a well fortified, aggressive army.
I hear the stories of occupation, that there was a huge population of Lebanese who needed passes to enter their villages, who were oppressed in similar ways to the Palestinians of today. It is all so real now. And all this makes it so vital for us to boycott Israel and Israeli supporters, and why it is critical for us to develop a culture of resistance that is at once academic, cultural, artistic, economic, political and of course, militant (let us be a bit realistic as America arms Israel to the teeth). [...]
There is one thing I have learned in this war and its aftermath: when you have nothing left, when even the hope you raise is stripped from you, when the war and the destruction becomes so brutal, there is only one thing we, each one of us, has left in order to remain human and keep our sanity: laughter. I cannot stress this more. Everywhere we go people are laughing and have been laughing all through the war. And no, this is not the laughter of happiness, it is the sharp, distinct, deep laughter of resistance.
I will see you in more peaceful times I pray.
- Iraq -
From the Sydney Morning Herald: Mother
[B]ut suddenly the word “alasa” – traitors – was in the air as Shiites accused old Sunni friends of fingering them for an insurgency clean-out of Shiites. Then on July 31, Muthanna, the fourth son of Wabila Felehi, was abducted from the makeshift shop where he sold ice, fruit and blackmarket petrol.
“The next day they started shooting at our house. We left in just the clothes we were wearing,” the mother says as she sits cross-legged on the marbled floor of a friend’s home.
“We searched for 10 days before someone told us that Muthanna’s body had been dumped in the river at Arabjabour [which is inside the Triangle of Death]. I asked the police to get him back. They said it was too dangerous. The Iraqi Army and the Mahdi Army [a Shiite militia] refused to recover him, so I had to do it myself.” [snip]
“Traitor” is a volatile word, in any culture I would guess. And the one instance in which I have always believed in capital punishment? if carried out by the immediate family. Most especially by the Mother.
Deep Dark diary on the SMH Paul McGeough reporting. [thanks gong]
There is a comment from DD in his diary thread, what many of us discussed in spring of 04, one likely end – stretched supply lines, trapped, US soldiers forced to fight their way out. Their supply lines were stretched going in, there were reports in March of 2003, as the US fought its way in, of our soldiers being fed by Iraqis.
Now we can say, fight to where? Where? Where should they go, surrounded as they are by millions, hundreds of millions of Arabs – and others – with every single reason on earth to hate us?
The projections of 2004 look mild to me now.
In spring of 2005 I posted this at LSF, having caught a report on Democracy NOW! by a war corrrespondent, Janine di Giovanni, for the Times (UK).
She and a small number of reporters found themselves in Grozny as it fell – having gone into Chechnya illegally. And elected to walk out with the retreating Chechen army who thought they had bought safe passage from the Russians. So they thought.
We were with the retreating Chechen army, who had crossed a minefield, to get out of Grozny. They had bribed Russian soldiers to get out, but the Russians had lied to them and tricked them and sent them over a minefield. So, as soon as they began crossing it, they realized that they were—they had been, you know, hideously fooled.
And they began, you know, I think it was something like one in four of them blew up. So, there were these incredibly sad stories of some guys saying, I’ll go forward. You know, brother, I will go forward, and some went forward, sacrificed themselves. So when they got to this little suburb called Al Khankala, they were wearing winter white uniforms. I’ll never forget it, and they were covered in blood, and they were dragging the dead behind them. And because it was so unbearably cold, it was this kind of apocalyptic scene, and the line of the soldiers stretched for miles. And it was freezing cold, and we were stuck in this suburb, and there was one doctor. And he was amputating a lot of limbs, because these guys had gone over a minefield.
And he was set up in this school, and I remember going in, and I was walking, and my feet were sticking to something, and I looked down, and it was just blood everywhere. And I could hear these men screaming as he was operating because they didn’t have a lot of anesthetic. And I went into some rooms to talk to some of the men, and they were blinded and missing arms and missing legs. And it was just â€“ it was like a scene out of hell. And then I started trying to call my office but, of course, as usual, the one moment I really needed my satellite phone, my batteries started dying. And there was no electricity. So I was desperately trying to find a generator to charge my batteries because it was my only link to the outside world.
And I suddenly realized I’m, you know, a lone foreigner here with the photographer and this other woman. There was no M.S.F. (Medicins Sans Frontieres), no U.N., no Red Cross. So, if something happened to us, that was it.
… it will end worse than we can imagine. That is what I think now.