Tag Archive: Lebanon


“God gave the savior to the German people. We have faith, deep and unshakeable faith, that he was sent to us by God to save Germany”: Hermann Goering, speaking of Hitler

“Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this”: Lt Gen William Boykin, speaking of G. W. Bush, New York Times, 17 October 2003

“A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side”: Aristotle

“If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier – just so long as I’m the dictator”: George W. Bush, 18 December 2000

“International law? I better call my lawyer; he didn’t bring that up to me”: George W. Bush, 12 December 2003

Israel’s and America’s tactics in the Phony War On Terror:

TERROR BOMBINGS; CONDUCTING A BRUTAL WAR AGAINST CIVILIANS;

TRUMPED UP EXCUSES FOR INVASIONS;

DEHUMANIZATION OF THE ENEMY;
 
UNETHICAL AND ILLEGAL ENTRIES, SEARCHES AND DETENTIONS; USE OF TORTURE;

These are exactly the same tactics the Nazis used in WW2. They lost.

Click here to read The Axis of Powers by Joel Fischer in ICH

J’accuse

The following “news” report by Mohammed Zaatari was published in the Daily Star 21 August:

MARJAYOUN: Mohammad Ali Qobeissi, a member of the National Council for Scientific Research, said on Sunday that a crater caused by an Israeli munition in Khiam contained “a high degree of unidentified radioactive materials.”

Qobeissi, along with Ibrahim Rashidi from the Faculty of Sciences at the Lebanese University, have inspected the crater – which is 3 meters deep and has a diameter of 10 meters – in the Jlahiyyeh quarter in Khiam, with a Geiger-Muller radioactivity counter and nuclear material detector.

“A team from the council will test a sample from the crater in order to find out what kinds of radioactive materials it contains,” Qobeisi told The Daily Star.

He added that the Israeli weapons launched on Khiam and the neighboring areas of South Lebanon “probably contained a high level of uranium.”

The scientific team doubted, however, that the dust caused by these weapons was likely to contain the kind of radioactive materials which would later lead to cancers.

Copyright © 2006, The Daily Star.

This article refers to depleted uranium-tipped weapons, known in the popular media as “bunker busters”.

It is no news that the Israelis used US supplied weapons in the rape and destruction of Lebanon.

And that the Americans have been using DU ordnance since the first Gulf war is a matter of public record.

There is no doubt that scientists tested samples from the crater.

However, that the dust they found was unlikely “to contain the kind of radioactive materials, which would later lead to cancers” is a lie, and everyone responsible for the publication of the report knows it.

In 1998 the following article appeared in the Lancet:

The office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights has received a report hypothesising that the current health and environmental problems in Iraq may be linked to US and British weapons left behind after the Gulf War in 1991.

[It] points out that mortality rates among children have increased sharply along with cancer rates: as many as 500 children a day are dying in Iraq.

He proposes that radioactive waste caused by projectiles containing depleted uranium (DU) may have played a part.

DU weapons were developed by the Pentagon in the late 1970s as anti-tank armour-piercing shells but were not used in combat until the Gulf War.

DU is a radioactive by-product of the enrichment process used to make nuclear fuel rods and nuclear bombs.

The report notes that the death rate per 1000 Iraqi children under 5 years of age increased from 2.3 in 1989 to 16.6 in 1993.

Cases of lymphoblastic leukaemia have more than quadrupled with other cancers also increasing “at an alarming rate”.

In men, lung, bladder, bronchus, skin, and stomach cancers show the highest increase.

In women, the highest increases are in breast and bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Diseases such as osteosarcoma, teratoma, nephroblastoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma are also increasing with, according to the review, the most affected being children and young men.

Congenital malformations have also increased, as have diseases of the immune system.

The review says that a confidential report by the British Atomic Energy Authority in 1991 estimated that at least 40 tonnes of DU were dispersed in Kuwait and Iraq; but according to Greenpeace-based on US government information released under the Freedom of Information Act-“over 300 tonnes of DU mostly in fragmented form (dust) were left on the battlefields in Iraq and Kuwait”.

The review also quotes a letter from UK’s former Defence Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, to Sir David Steel, former Liberal leader, in December, 1994, saying that British troops used 88 DU rounds and that the USA had used much more.

The letter also said that the weapons would emit radioactive and toxic substances that “present a health hazard”.

Karen Birchard.

I accuse the “scientific team” cited in Zaatari’s article, because of their denial of the deadly nature of the radioactive dust bequeathed to Lebanese civilians and their unborn generations by Israel’s murderous campaign, of complicity in crimes against humanity.

And I accuse the Star “newspaper” of wilful and propagandistic dissemination of disinformation.

Sue me.

“The mother of all talk shows”

On Saturday, Respect politician and anti-war maverick George Galloway (to whom, as far as I know, I am not related) made broadcasting history by hosting a radio phone-in show from the ruins of southern Beirut.

Speaking about the ‘mother of all talk shows’ coming live from Beirut, Galloway said prior to the broadcast:

“I’m the first British political figure to visit the wreckage of Beirut and the south of Lebanon, seeing for myself the enormous toll taken by 33 days of aerial bombardment.

“I’ll be reporting to talkSPORT listeners on just what I’ve found here and inviting guests from across the spectrum in Lebanon who know what they’re talking about.

“I’ll be taking calls from the listeners across the UK as normal during this two day special on the conflict in the Middle East, its fundamental causes and, a way forward for peace.”

Click here to listen

Ceasefire breach was kidnap attempt

When reports of Israel’s blatant violation of the ceasefire on Saturday surfaced, the IDF tried to legitimise the action by claiming its purpose was to intercept weapons shipments from Syria.

No weapons were captured and no evidence was offered that any such shipments existed.

According to local eyewitness reports, Israeli special forces commandos disguised in Lebanese uniforms attempted to pass through Hezbollah checkpoints on the road to Baalbeck.

Their mission?

To kidnap Hezbollah leader Sheik Mohammed Yazbeck.

“The Israelis…flubbed a traditional Arab greeting…They were waved on to the next checkpoint, where Hezbollah fighters ambushed them, sending them fleeing…”

“When the Israelis came, everybody fought them…”

“All–not only Hezbollah–fought. All the people in the village brought their guns to fight. Fifteen year-old boys brought guns.”

Click here for Patrick Martin’s article

Lebanon: winners and losers

Hezbollah may have ignited the fuse that began the hostilities but it was Olmert who seized the opportunity, with support from Bush and Rumsfeld, to escalate towards his pre-planned destruction of Lebanon.

In the beginning the Arabian states of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, along with the Lebanese government, condemned Hezbollah; now its reputation is lionised throughout the Arab world and, not least, in Lebanon.

Olmert’s war – and the next one
by Patrick J. Buchanan (Worldnetdaily)

When Israel answered the Hezbollah raid that captured two soldiers with air strikes on Lebanon’s airport, runways, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, buses, apartment houses and power plants, we who questioned the wisdom and morality of what Israel was doing were denounced as anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.

Turns out we were right. In private, even Israeli army generals were raging that Israel was fighting a stupid, losing war.

Ehud Olmert, who gave Chief of Staff Dan Halutz the green light to launch the shock-and-awe air campaign, cannot survive the moral, political and strategic disaster his country has suffered.

While the Israeli Air Force was hammering Lebanon, Hezbollah rained down 3,000 rockets on Israel and fought off pinprick raids. When the Israeli army, after a month, moved in force against the real enemy, Hezbollah, Israel had already suffered irreparable damage to its reputation as a fighting nation and a moral country.
As the war began, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain all condemned Hezbollah, as did the Beirut government, for inciting the war. But with Hezbollah’s defiant resistance, as Israel smashed up Lebanon, the Arab street rallied to Nasrallah. Arab regimes followed.

The losers?

Lebanon, which suffered 800 dead, thousands injured and 1 million made refugees, saw its infrastructure destroyed and nation set back 20 years. If the government falls or Lebanon becomes a failed state, it will be an even greater calamity for the Lebanese, and for Israel and the Middle East. For the mightiest political and military force in Lebanon, and likely heir apparent to power slipping away from Prime Minister Siniora, is now Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah.

Says Walid Jumblatt, savage critic of Hezbollah and its Syrian alliance, “Hassan Nasrallah has won militarily and politically, and has become a new leader like Nasser.”

Another loser is Israel, and Olmert, who seized on the border skirmish to launch his Lebanon war. Writes Ari Shavit of Haaretz:

“Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeats and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close and then say, oops, I made a mistake.”

Olmert and Halutz are history. The Kadima Party regime will fall. Left and right are already tearing at its flanks.

What does this mean? The Sharon-Olmert policy of unilateral withdrawal from the territories is dead. The Hamas-led Palestinian authority, the creation of the freest and fairest elections ever held in Palestine, is on a death watch, after Israel’s starvation blockade and ravaging of the Gaza Strip, which has left 150 Palestinians dead.

A new Israeli regime will not withdraw from any more land, nor shut down any more settlements, nor vacate any part of Jerusalem, nor negotiate with a Palestinian Authority led by Hamas or by a PLO that is unable to disarm Hamas. We are at dead end, as George W. Bush will not push the Israelis to do anything, nor will Congress.

America is another loser.

The United States knew in advance Israel planned to attack and, if possible, destroy Hezbollah. And America approved.

But when Olmert launched an air war on Lebanon, instead, Bush cheered him on, refused to rein in attacks on civilian targets, sent smart bombs and used U.S. influence at the United Nations to block an early cease-fire. Bush-Cheney are thus morally and politically culpable for what was done to Lebanon and the democratic government there that was born of a “Cedar Revolution” George Bush himself had championed.

Congress poodled alone with Bush, so Bush will not be called to account, as he would be were any other nation but Israel involved. From Morocco to the Gulf, there is probably not a country today that would welcome Bush, or where he would be safe on a state visit.

Where does this leave us? With Israel’s failure to achieve its strategic objectives in Lebanon and America having failed to attain its strategic objectives in Iraq, Nasrallah emerges triumphant, and Syria and Iran emerge unscathed and gloating.

What comes next? That is obvious.

With our War Party discredited by the failed policies it cheered on in Lebanon and Iraq, there will come a clamor that Bush must “go to the source” of all our difficultly – Iran. Only thus can the War Party redeem itself for having pushed us and Israel into two unnecessary and ruinous wars. And the drumbeat for war on Iran has already begun.

“(T)he dangers continue to mount abroad,” wails the Weekly Standard in its lead editorial. “How Bush deals with Ahmadinejad’s terror-supporting and nuclear-weapons pursuing Iran will be the test” of his administration. Yes, the supreme test.

Bush is on notice from the neocons and War Party that have all but destroyed his presidency: Either you take down Iran, Mr. Bush, or you are a failed president.

If the president is still listening to these people, Lord help the republic.  

Hezbollah victory

It is the second day of the so-called ceasefire between Israeli troops and Hezbollah (Lebanese Resistance).

George Bush says the “terrorists” have been defeated; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vows to “hunt down Hezbollah leaders”.

The truth is more complex.

The Israeli-American plan at the root of the foiled invasion was to humiliate Iran and Syria; but these two “rogue” states remain untouched as Hezbollah’s reputation is exalted throughout the Arab world and in particular among the Lebanese.

Robert Fisk writes:

“You have to be down here with the Hizbollah amid this terrifying destruction – way south of the Litani River, in the territory from which Israel once vowed to expell them – to realise the nature of the past month of war and of its enormous political significance to the Middle East. Israel’s mighty army has already retreated from the neighbouring village of Ghandoutiya after losing 40 men in just over 36 hours of fighting. It has not even managed to penetrate the smashed town of Khiam where the Hizbollah were celebrating yesterday afternoon. In Srifa, I stood with Hizbollah men looking at the empty roads to the south and could see all the way to Israel… This is not the way the war was supposed to have ended for Israel.”

But the war, of course has not ended; what we have now is merely an intermission.

Hezbollah is entrenched in its southern Lebanese villages as never before.

The Lebanese army is set to send 15,000 troops to the border area around the end of this week but Defence Minister Elias Murr said:

“The army is not going south to strip Hizbollah of weapons and do the work the Israelis did not”.

As thousands of refugees return south down the coast road from Beirut to their smashed villages and broken homes, many flying Hezbollah flags from their cars and displaying pictures of Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on their windscreens, Hezbollah fighters are distributing “victory” flags, along with leaflets warning parents of the dangers to their children from the tons of unexploded ordnance littering the countryside.

They are returning to rebuild their homes and their lives, with the help of Hezbollah: Nasrallah has said that the organisation will pay a year’s rent and other costs to help the owners of 15,000 detroyed houses and that his fighters will immediately begin repairing homes and infrastructure.

In 1967 the Israelis defeated all the Arab countries in 6 days but here, in a month, using devastating firepower, they could not defeat the resistance.

Robert Fisk: Desert of trapped corpses testifies to Israel’s failure  

Lebanon an American campaign by proxy

I have written about the Bush administration’s covert involvement in Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah.

Now Dan Glaister writes in the Guardian:

“The US government was closely involved in planning [the war] even before Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raids in July. American and Israeli officials met in the spring, discussing plans on how to tackle Hezbollah.”

As of this morning the guns have been silent.

What we have seen in Lebanon, however, was, I believe, only the first phase of a strike by the US on Iran, with Israel as an American proxy, designed by Bush to reduce the threat of possible Hezbollah ( as a Syrian and Iranian proxy) retaliation against Israel in the event of such an action.

Seymour Hersh told CNN Sunday:

“July was a pretext for a major offensive that had been in the works for a long time. Israel’s attack was going to be a model for the attack they really want to do. They really want to go after Iran.”

In the current issue of New Yorker magazine Hersh, Quoting a US government source, says:

“Earlier this summer…several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, ‘to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear.”

The unnamed Pentagon consultant added:

“It was our intention to have Hezbollah diminished and now we have someone else doing it.”

State department and Pentagon officials deny the report.

“The Israeli government gave no official in Washington any reason to believe that Israel was planning to attack.”

Well, they would say that, woudn’t they?

This from Richard Silverstein:

“Everyone in the media talking about this crisis notes that Hezbollah is a Syrian and Iranian proxy. But no one is saying that Israel may be a U.S. proxy. Not that Israel is doing on our behalf anything it doesn’t want to do. But may we not be advancing our own foreign policy objectives in confronting Iran through Israel’s bloodying of Lebanon and by extension Hezbollah? Are we allowing Israel to fight the first phase of a proxy war against Iran in much the same way that the Nazis used the Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War both as a proxy and as a stepping stone to a much greater conflict to come? And if there is any truth here (and this is all educated conjecture on my part), then the second phase of this conflict could be a direct confrontation between Iran and the U.S.” 

Read Seymour Hersh’s article.

This is just the beginning

So today Israeli vice premier and advocate of murder Shimon Peres is smug; the UN resolution, unanimously adopted Friday, “vindicates Israel all the way through and says that Hezbollah was the aggressor and that they need to return the abducted soldiers”.

I have the impression of a guy in a bar talking about the result of a ballgame.

“We achieved all we could from the UN,” he adds, like a real- estate salesman celebrating a top drawer deal.

The Israeli cabinet is expected to express support for the resolution when it meets Sunday.

In the meantime Israeli forces have stepped up operations in Lebanon.

At least 1,184 people, 90% of them civilians, have died in the month-long conflict; more than a million are homeless.

If Peres gets his soldiers back will he resurrect the dead?

It’s not over yet, folks, on the contrary…

It’s only just begun.

Hizbollah’s iron discipline is match for military machine, by Robert Fisk (ICH) 

Our children will be next

A few days ago, according to official government figures, the death toll exacted by Israeli (U.S.) bombing raids against the Lebanese people was estimated at 900.

That number has by now surely swollen to well over a thousand.

90% of victims have been civilians.

Historically, this is by no means a unique state of affairs.

Airwars have always been essentially about killing innocent people.

In the current conflict ambulances, emergency centres, media outlets, mosques and churches have been targeted; illegal cluster weapons and white phosphorous have been used.

The hard hitting film by Joey Nasser, which you can access below, is not easy to watch but it needs to be seen.

Mainstream western media organisations deny you the right to see this kind of material; it is my belief that you must see it and that you must do everything in your power to force your governments to intervene at any cost.

If it continues our children will be next.

It may already be too late.

SORRY, BUT THE VIDEO HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM YOUTUBE AND CAN NO LONGER BE ACCESSED.

American terrorism?

“Let’s take a look at the Middle East, let’s take a look at the facts. The facts are, for 35 years, there has been a harsh, brutal, military operation. There has not been a political settlement. The reason there has not been a political settlement is because the United States, unilaterally, has blocked it for 25 years.”

Interview with Noam Chomsky (including transcript of the bits CBS edited out).

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