Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Maroun El Ras

“Why Hezbollah of Lebanon pissed me off “: GW. Bush explains

GWBush wrote in his biography:

“On July 12, 2006, Laura and I had a stop-over in Germany on our way to the G8 at St. Petersburg. Angela Merkel recounted her childhood during the communist era in East Germany. Angela had a happy childhood, but her mother never ceased to warn her of mentioning family discussions in public: The Stasi (internal intelligence services) was everywhere.

News of Hezbollah capturing Israeli soldiers as hostages (and killing 8 Israeli soldiers who arrived promptly to the rescue and fell in the trap) triggered a strong reaction from Israel.

Israel bombed Hezbollah targets in South Lebanon, and bombed the civilian airport in Beirut to prevent further weapon supplies.

Hezbollah launched missiles on Israeli towns and cities

(How simplistic are the recollection of Bush Jr. on this important preemptive war on Lebanon! In a paragraph, Bush Jr. summarized the various attacks of Hezbollah on American targets within Lebanon in 1983…)

At the G8 summit, all members condemned Hezbollah for starting Israel reactive war. (

It was proven later on that Bush and Israel had finalized a plan of attack to begin in September, and thus Hezbollah preempted this planned war, but was not aware of the violent all-war reaction of Israel).

I was frustrated that Israel declined to attack Syria, thus facilitating communication and movement of Hezbollah.

Israel military targets in Lebanon were mostly doubtful, especially targets in Beirut and north Lebanon.  The immense damages to the infrastructure in Lebanon and the over 1,500 casualties among the Lebanese civilian were widely disseminated in the news media, and hampered the long-term prosecution of the war.

(In the first week, Israel failed to capture the first small town on the border called Maroun el Ras)

On the second violent week of Israel war, many members in the G8 demanded a cease-fire.  I didn’t side with their request: I wanted to continue the war until Hezbollah military power is eradicated. Fundamentally, the war on Hezbollah was to sending a strong message to Iran and Syria.

Unfortunately, Israel behavior in the third week of the war plan exacerbated the world community and the Lebanese government headed by Seniora, which was a strong ally to the US drive for democracy and liberty…

Israel bombed a building in Qana and killed over 30 civilians huddled in the basement.

(Israel had bombed Qana in 1996 where civilians took refuge in a UN compound and killed over 30o civilians).

Seniora was furious and was about to resign if the war resumed. The Arab leaders were afraid that the carnage in the pictures and video, circulating 24 hours on TV, could foment strong reactions of the people in the streets.

I convened the National Security Council, and the debate was hot.

Dick Cheney said: “We have to let Israel finish off Hezbollah.

Condoleezza Rice replied: “If we allow that, you may kiss good-bye to the presence of the US in the Middle-East region” and she proposed a cease-fire resolution in the UN and dispatching a multinational UN force to the Litany River.

I was for the resumption of the war, but I feared that lodging a veto in the UN will lead to isolating the US, instead of Syria and Iran.  Consequently, I figured out that long-term pressures on Syria and Iran out-weight the short-term successes on Hezbollah.  I dispatched Condi to the UN to iron out resolution 1701.

A cease-fire took hold on August 14,  Israel reactive and approximate war decisions, cost its precious and remaining credibility in the world community, even though Hezbollah was seriously weakened militarily.”

Four days before the voting on a resolution, Israel attempted a last, all-out advance of just 3 miles toward the Litany River.

Hezbollah destroyed 50 Merkava tanks and forced the Israeli troops to retreat every which way to the border.

(Interestingly, in the third day of the war, the delegates of Lebanon to the UN demanded to submit a cease-fire resolution.  The UN ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, informed them haughtily and in no uncertain terms that there will be no resolution before Israel annihilate Hezbollah.

Three days before the actual cease-fire, it was Bolton hurrying up to the Lebanese delegates and begging them to present a resolution.  He explained: “The Israelis are horribly harassing us for a cease-fire resolution, at any cost…”)

Note 1: The July war 2006, covered only three pages of the 484-page of the autobiographical book “Decisive moments: GW.Bush”  Amazingly, this war was the turning moment for the total failure of the US strategic plan of the “Greater Middle East.

Israel was reduced to defensive position, licking its wounds, examining its failures…

The Arab dictators and absolute monarchs who encouraged Israel to prosecute the war in order to eradicate Hezbollah military power were judged traitors by the Arab masses.

Turkey and the European States were pissed off with GW.Bush insistence of continuing the war for over 4 weeks. It was evident after the first week that the strategic goals have fizzled.  The remaining 3 weeks of the war were total liability to the US administration and Israel.

Hezbollah was on the offensive and frustrated all the haphazard attempts of Israel to getting back on the driver seat.

Note 2: Three days before the decided cease-fire, Israel imported cluster bombs from England of Tony Blair and launched 3 million bombs in south Lebanon (kids are still being killed and injured six years later).

This behavior was in retaliation of huge frustration and with the hope that the tiny bombs will delay the return of the inhabitants to their homes.

Amazingly, the next day of the cease-fire, the citizens in the south returned in mass, irrespective of official warnings and the destruction of all bridges

Israel goals failed on all front, and Hezbollah emerged as the first resistance force to checking Israel offensive all-out war.

Note 3: You may read the follow-up article How I spread liberty...https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/how-i-spread-liberty-george-w-bush-explains/

Note 4: Why Israel begged for a cease fire? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/why-israel-begged-for-an-immediate-cease-fire-in-its-preemptive-july-war-of-2006/

Day 2. Volunteered two hard days of work: Where is this Kawzah (South Lebanon)?

Posted in August 27, 2011

Note: In Context. It is a small village in south Lebanon, this Kawzah, barely 50 families still hanging on, and a tiny St. Joseph church looking neglected from the outside, though fine and shining in the inside.

The church needed a face lift in repainting walls white, the iron fences and doors black, and planting a few plants in the miniature wild garden…and mainly collecting the dirt and a good hosing down of the yard…

Kawzah is mainly two hills: One of the hills is occupied by the UN contingent of Ghana.

Lebanon is the guest of a dozen UN contingents in the south, presumably to providing security to the offensive State of Israel.  The money for this volunteer program is from an old grant signed with Italy in 2007.

Sunday August 21, 2011

It is 11 pm on a clear night. We are departing from Maroun el Ras, the highest small town overlooking Israel (altitude 1,000 meters) and which resisted Israel “preemptive war” in July 2006 for a week.

We entered Bint Jbeil, the capital city of western South, and prevented Israel to enter it, even after being totally demolished. Apparently, Hezbollah was Not ready to confront Israeli advance to that town, and half a dozen Communist fighters took strategic positions on buildings and delayed the advance until Hezbollah fighters arrived and took over the battle.  The Emir of Qatar contributed and rebuilt the city.

We drove through Rmeish and witnessed two humongous wedding parties.  Rmeish has three luxurious wedding restaurants, and 12,000 of its inhabitants flock in summer time.

In winter, Rmeish population is barely 6,000, (an estimate according to the hearsay of the people), still the largest “Christian town” in this southern region.

We passed the wedding that the volunteers from Debel and Rmeish were attending, and headed to another complex Sky Plaza (with an olympic swimming pool) where another wedding was going full blown.

We sat for dinner, overhanging the wedding party.  The restaurant claimed that it has no “a la carte” menu (tonight?), but regular mezze ( an arrangement of a dozen small platters of a little of everything Mediterranean dishes).  We ordered Lebanese beer Almaza.

We were 8 sitting at the table, but hunger was satisfied quickly. It appears that Ihab, Marwan, and I tasted from each dish and saved the honor of the eaters. We were kind of ripe for bed.

Chelsea just dropped her head on the table and was having a night dream.

It was time to pay the bill. Ihab was asked to pay his share.  He was beside himself and told me: “Food was supposed to be free of charge to volunteers.  We were entitled to a dinner. I have only about $5 left in my pocket…”  I agreed with him.

We were home by 12:30 am.

The air-conditioned room allocated to males was displaced to a non-conditioned.

We were expecting a cool night as promised, but our luck deteriorated in this humid night.  I had two alternatives: Cover up my face from mosquito bites and sweat it out, or doze on the balcony, much cooler. Cedric moved his “bed” to the saloon, facing an open door.

Ihab was plainly hot and suffocating.  I kind of overheard him saying that his bunk should have been by the open door and not by the wall:  I was prompt in being first to selecting my bed, though it didn’t make much difference.

As Cedric was just getting to sleep, Ihab woke him up to complain again of the unfairness of paying for the dinner at the restaurant.  I woke up at night, and here is Ihab complaining again.

I stepped outside to the balcony and Ihab followed me. I went back to bed and Ihab joined me.  I think we didn’t sleep much that night.

I woke up around 5:30 am and shaved and then got back in bed and covered my face.  You think mosquitoes give up after 6 am, or after 7 am.  This was not the case.

Around 6 am, Ihab was feeling too hot to staying in bed.  For an hour, Ihab kept zipping and unzipping his small bag. The process is zip, ramage inside the bag, kratch, kritch…zap, and this noise continued for ever, including re-arranging the plastic bag.

I thought: “Either the zipping mechanism is going to break down, or Ihab is going to be surprised of finding gold in the bag…” It was the turn of Cedric to wash and re-arrange his bags.

Around 7 am, the party was having a nice, village-type breakfast, fresh products, real olive oil, jams, cheese, tea, fruits…

We arrived at the church in Kawzah by 8:15.  The volunteered kids were already there and eating manakeech.

Frankly, the piece of mankouch that I tasted was not tasty and was hard to chew on, but the hungry kids were not complaining.

The scene looked “exhausted”, Not ready for work:  The girls were waiting nonchalantly.

I decided to clean up the debris, dirt, plastic hand gloves, just to to have a good visual of the battle field.  Emilie gathered us in groups again:  Priority was to make the church surrounding as white as possible.

By 9 am, we were surprised to witness the Rmeish volunteers step out of the bus:  They had barely slept from a night-long wedding partying.  Mass started at 9:30 and many had an excellent excuse to attend mass instead of working.

The priority shifted toward rendering the outside wall white instead of brown dirt. Michelle galvanized the Rmeish volunteers by working on the ego of their “leader”: “If you work, they will join you“.  It worked, and the outside wall was kind of whiter within two hours.

After 2 pm, we focused on scrapping the ground of paints, white and black. We had four hand scrapers (mejhaf) and I worked pretty hard scrapping, kneeling and stooping.

Mario was the hardest male volunteer and climbed on the roofs to paint white the borders.  Three girls worked very hard, among them was Manuella who took over from me hosing down (shatef) the saloon:  She had one finger blistered by the end of the task.

A water truck arrived and a complete hosing down of the yard was undertaken.

The job was done by 3:30 and we settled in groups talking.  The volunteers of Rmeish and Debel complained that the government has this policy (for the last 30 year, of castrating them from higher offices in public service positions).  Why?

Debel and Rmeish are considered potential hotbed towns for spies to Israel:  They have been recruits in the Lebanese army detached to the south, which allied to Israel for over 25 years against the Palestinian Resistance and later against Hezbollah.

Elie said that the highest rank he could dream off is sergeant in the internal security forces (darak).  Elie said that the only ways to keeping in touch with relatives and families living in Israel was through the Christian churches.

Many Lebanese who fled to Israel in May 24, 2000 returned to Lebanon. A few who returned faced military court, served short prison terms and where released.

(It is to be noted that Hezbollah never entered any of “Christian towns” in order to avoid quick revenge, as it happened in France as the Germans vacated Paris, and waited for the lebanese army to take care of the situation)

I said to Elie that they should keep knocking on all doors and not just wait for any quick changes in policies toward the Christian Lebanese in the southern villages. I said that the current government will be more receptive to their demands if they get out of their shells and connect.

(My contention is that they should open lines of communications with Hezbollah: The successive Lebanese government never considered the south as part of Lebanon, kind of hopeless case, since independence in 1943)

Around 4 pm, tables and chairs were brought by a caterer, along with food to be cooked fresh.

It was the usual: shish tawook (chicken), shish pork, homus, baba ghanouj (mashed eggplant with sesame sauce), and imported German beer, which made me sick an hour after we finished.  I had gas pressing on my chest and stomach for over 3 hours.

We danced dabkeh and I participated vigorously.  The volunteer of Debel insisted that we prolong the party and we arrived at a natural grove, surrendered by five ancient oak trees.  There is an underground cave dug in stone with 12 burying grounds dug in the stone inside.

The people in this region disseminate the myth that Jesus and his disciples, who actually lived in that region for 20 years before Jesus ventured to upper Galilee to preach his message, made this cave a dwelling place in period of persecutions.

They claimed that Israel, on purpose, tried to bomb this place during the preemptive war of July 2006.  My contention was “if they are hiding, why do they have to dig in the stone to sleep instead of arranging a more comfortable place?”  I think this grove was the burial ground of a rich family.

Well, I was in bad shape to participate in the conversation, but I shared a cup of whiskey. There was a swimming complex ten meters up and I was glad to pay a visit to the toilet.

By 8:30 pm we were heading back home.  It took over 2:30 hours to arrive in front of the ministry of social affairs. Cedric had decided to join the car of Hala in order to have a reprieve from Ihab’s repeat stories.

Emilie was feeling sleepy and hungry for a dish of real salad.  We had to wait 20 minutes for Hala to arrive: They paid a visit to the nearby office of Cedric to check the WC.

Cedric drove half asleep and we were lucky to be home at around 12:30 am.

Note 1:  Emilie teaches Arabic at a private school, and work on contract with the ministry of social affairs for volunteer programs during summer.  She is also a member of YMCA and participate almost every year to YMCA conventions and training sessions. (I think it was Emily who congratulated Cedric for having such an uncle ready to volunteer in hard work)

Note 2:  Hala, the chief program coordinator, works on contract with the ministry of social affairs.  When she saw me she said: “I have seen that face”.  It turned out that she was studying computer engineering at LAU Byblos during the period I was teaching courses in Industrial Engineering.  She has a friend of a few Industrial engineers whom took a few courses with me.

Note 3:  Read Day One https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/day-1-volunteered-two-hard-days-of-work-where-is-this-kawzah-south-lebanon/

Day 1. Volunteered two hard days of work: In Kawzah (South Lebanon)?

August 27, 2011 

It is a small village in south Lebanon, this Kawzah, barely 50 families still hanging on, and a tiny St. Joseph church looking neglected from the outside, though fine and shining in the inside.

The church needed a face lift, repainting walls white, the iron fences and doors black, and planting a few plants in the miniature wild garden…and mainly collecting the dirt and a good hosing down of the yard…

Kawzah is mainly two hills: One of the hills is occupied by the UN peace contingent of Ghana. The money is from an old grant signed with Italy in 2007. (see note 1)

Volunteering two hard days of work for a stupid church?

Not my cup of tea: It would have never crossed my mind to beautify a church, since the concept of religion is anathema to me, a dangerous exclusive concept that was not intended to bring peace and equitable behavior to mankind.

Maintaining a church was not my goal for this adventure: I wanted to get acquainted with the western region of south Lebanon and get to meet the youth…

Cedric woke me up at 6:15 am:  We had to drive to the ministry of social affairs in Badaro to join a bus, for about a 3-hour trip.

My niece Chelsea came along: She just had two days of scout camp, and barely had enough hours of sleep.  She made up the loss in sleeping in the car all the way.  This was the case of Cedric too: He had two hours of sleep.  And I wonder, are volunteers lacking sleep serious about working?

We brought sleeping bag on account that we were to sleep in a vacant school.  No bus was waiting for us.

Instead, Emilie the project coordinator was waiting (see note 2 in Day Two).

Since over 40 volunteers were expected to arrive from the neighboring villages to Kawzah, it was advantageous to cut down on expenses. Consequently, we waited for the chief coordinator Hala to arrive and drove in two cars.

As we were waiting, a tall and chubby guy showed up carrying a small bag and a large plastic bag.  His name is Ihab.  Ihab began his marathon of talk:  He was waiting since 6:30 am for this bus to show up, and then he walked around the corner and met us.

Hala arrived with Michelle.  Michelle had barely two hours of sleep since she spent last night dancing in a bar in Gemmayzeh till 5 am. Chelsea joined the car of Hala.  Cedric and Ihab and I accompanied Emilie.

We stopped at a Bohsali sweet shop by Tyr and waited for Hala.  Ihab explained that the portion of the highway from Saida to Tyre was not constructed because late Rafic Hariri PM decided to build a Mosque in the name of his father, just where the highway was planned to pass. The reverse trip on the highway is fine all the way, and passes by the Main Street of Saida and by the mosque.

Ihab never stopped talking: He has this urge of cutting in every conversation as he recalled a story to tell.  Usually Ihab starts with a long introduction and then forget the main topic.  Ihab keeps repeating his stories.  It is kind he has a Markov memoryless dysfunction Markov Chain process is a mathematical probability method where an event cannot remember the previous event, it has no links whatsoever…

Iqbal is a professional “search and locate” of volunteer associations and NGO that provide expense-free adventure in transport, food and lodging for free work.  This trip was supposed to be free as announced.

Iqbal claims that he has been volunteering for these kinds of associations since 2001 and has visited most of Lebanon.  He claims that he established his own NGO, but it is not taking off, due to his “control freak” attitude.

Although Emilie has done this trip once before, we had to ask for directions for added confirmation:  We were already 30 minutes late for the appointed schedule.

We arrived at 10:30.  The dozen gallons of paints were there, but not the tener bottles for thinning and cleaning paints. The paint rollers and garden equipments were ready, but the plan for beginning the work was still in the “planning phase”.

There was a confusion of how to start, since the expert artisans had not received direction to guide and train the troops.

We were divided into three groups. White T-shirt were distributed. I decided to join the group of wall painters and took the initiative to rub and clean a wall, and then started to paint.

The tone was set and people began to get involved at work.  The sun was scorching and it was hard work at noon time.  It is not possible to work between 11 and 3 pm, but that what we were doing.

It was a field day for the children who enjoyed painting, but they refused to rub and clean the iron first. 

You had more paints on the ground and on shirts and hands than on the iron fences.  You cannot believe the quantity of hand plastic gloves that were wasted: You think they were candies.

The kids also poured more white paints on the floor in the adjacent one room construction than on the walls.

An older person in kaki short hollered to the kids to never touch on paints anymore.  The kids just found another area to bypass the eyes of the kaki-shorted individual. The next day was dedicated to cleaning the mess that the children did!

We had a break around 1:30 pm because food was not ready.  I overheard someone saying that 100  “tawook” (chicken) sandwiches and 100 kafta will be delivered.

I said that quantity was far more than needed and the guy said: “These hard working young men need plenty of nourishment”.  Half of the sandwiches ended as leftover.

We had Pepsi and Miranda for drinks.  Someone asked for hot water for his Nescafe, and I said: “There are plenty of warm potable water, but not that hot for your purpose.”

I told the curator of the church to think of allocating a toilet for this crowd.  One of the doors in the previous municipality quarter was thus opened to give way for a decent WC.

We resumed work around 3 pm, but the energy had gone and we dragged on till 5 pm.  We were supposed to have dinner and an evening of partying (sahra), but the volunteers from the villages of Rmeish and Debel had a wedding to attend to.

The sahra was cancelled to next day afternoon as we finish our job.  Marwan was appointed by Tony to lead us on a tour of the villages of Ain Ebel, Bint-Jbeil and Maroun el Ras in the evening after we had our showers.  The school to sleep in was substituted to a house.

Tony welcomed us to his house in Debel.

The extended family was waiting for us.  It appeared that the houses of Tony’s brothers and sisters, and parents were adjacent to one another, sort of an enclave for the clan. I was kind of apprehensive of shaking hands with the women, but Tony said: “Go ahead, it is alright”

Since everyone was kind of shy, I took advantage to using the shower first.

After my quick wonderful shower, Rita was serving fruits in the open balcony.  (Na3eman Adonis). Hala and Michelle used the shower of Tony’s brother home. Such a clear night: It seemed to me that all the stars in the sky were concentrated on top of me; so many stars, and so close to one another.

I learned that Tony and Marwan spent three years in Naharya (Beach town in Israel/Palestine) after Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 24, 2000 without any preconditions or negotiation. 

Marwan must have been a child then and joined his parents to Israel, supposedly fleeing the wrath of Hezbollah for  them joining, facilitating,  and participating in Israel occupation of south Lebanon for 25 years.

Tony did a six month prison term in the infamous Roumieh prison, after he returned to Lebanon. Six months in Roumieh, a prison designed for 1,500 prisoners and currently holding 4,000 prisoners is a brutal prison term: Drugs flow freely in that prison and conditions are very bad.

Marwan joined us on the vast balcony.  Alex, the 11 year-old son of Tony kept lighting firecrackers.  Michelle is scared of firecrackers and I told Alex to bring a book so we can read. Alex said :”7el 3anni” (keep away from me) and resumed firing.

Is this need to hearing loud cracking noises a new gene that grew out of 15 years of brutal civil war?

Seems people who were not born during the civil war (1975-1990) need hearing bombing to feel that life is back to normal!

This summer, firecrackers turned out to be of the very powerful kinds and the ministry of interior prohibited firecrackers.  Two weeks of reprieve for our ears was all that resulted: Firecrackers of heavier caliber surfaced to “disturb the peace”.

Debel is built on a hill, and it is surrounded by 7 hills, two of the hills are part of Kawzah and the others are part of Debel, though nothing is built on them.

I asked Marwan if there is any river crossing the tight valley and he said that only one potable fresh source is available down the valley, and water flows into a small lake (berkeh).

Marwan said that he heard that, in early days, water depth reached the neck of camels, but now water reaches you waist.  Marwan resumed: “Once a year, the village of Debel descend to clear and clean the water source area, but the residents of the village of Anouf throw all kinds of waste in there” (Marwan meant that the Chias of that village do not respect the environment…)

As everyone had his shower by 9 pm, we drove in two cars and passed Ain Ebel, Rmeish, Bint Jbeil, Yaroun, and Maroun al Ras.

We could see the dozen lighted Jewish colonies.  A few colonies use yellow lights and others blueish.  I presume the older colonies use older yellow lighting bulb.  I noticed red lights, spaced a mile away.  Marwan said the red lights might be used to delimit boundaries; it does not explain that the red lights reach deep into the colonies.

There is a new fantastic and new resting place up there in Maroun el Ras, facing down the Jewish colonies.  Families spend their days and evening in individual booths, equipped with a water fountain and a grill.

Each booth is named after an Iranian district with details on the districts, such as area, population, where it is located on the map…One handicap though:  The toilets are Arabic style, which means you have to stoop on your heels.  I can do that for three minutes, but then if my bowel movement is not that ripe, I might end up sitting on my shit… (The night is not over. Expect continue of Day 2)

Note 1:  Italy had signed grant contracts with the ministry of social affairs in 2007, but it will not renew any grants before 2013 for budget cuts, sort of cutting expenses on foreign aids, a million here and a million there so that Italy air force may purchase an extra fighter jet in order to play the game of cat and mouth with presumed “rogue States“.

It is the same story with Spain, France…Italy has one of the largest UN contingent in South Lebanon.  Italy has donated a bus to the nearby village of Debel, a couple of miles from Kawzah. The bus purpose is to provide transport of elder people for tour trips and occasional events such as wedding and tasting of food of student cooks…I used to organize these kinds of tour for elderly people in San Francisco…

Note 2: Read day two https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/day-2-volunteered-two-hard-days-of-work-in-kawzah-and-western-south-lebanon/

Beyond Versailles and Vienna; (Mar. 20, 2010)

            I have seen Versailles in 1975 before landing in the USA. I have seen majestic Baalbak in Lebanon.  I have not visited Vienna yet though I was very close when I spent a week in Budapest (Hungary) in 1981. The audio-visual mediums have supplied me with vision of Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and many other glorious edifices.  All those magnificent edifices could not match what I have seen in one of my latest dreams.

            I had a fantastic dream of an ancient city, far flung with a hallucinating beauty; streams of Emperors, kings and prices who settled this city or decided to leave a mark for eternity consecrated a few blocks to build their own particular imprints with megalomaniac edifices according to the style of the period.  I have seen the fantastic but I am sorry that I never took formal classes in art or architecture: I lack the terminology to describe this illusion.

            There were the Gaudy and the baroque styles; I don’t recall seeing anything classical, at least from the outside.  There were edifices in state of crumbling but most looked as ready to accommodate entire governments with their ministries.  I had the impression that the ground, valleys and mounts, had magnetic inertia so that I could not fall in steep inclines or need to descend on four or on my behind.

            I think the whole dream started by the news (in my dream) that a homicide occurred in the tiny village in south Lebanon of Maroun El Ras. I have never been to Maroun El Ras, perched on a mountain, where you can see the entire region of Galilee in northern Palestine/Israel. Maroun El Ras was made famous during the July war of 2006: the Israeli army tried for four days to capture this village; the Israeli radio would claim that Maroun El Ras fell and then, an hour later, counter news confirmed the lie.  When finally Israel entered Maroun El Ras it decided to vacate it at night fall as if lethal ghosts inhabited the totally ruined village.  Well I drove to Maroun El Ras as the dective in charge of the case and the dream took another turn.

            I am venturing with three friends toward the borders with Israel. There are pubs in Maroun El Ras packed with tourists (I doubt pubs will be permitted there for many years); the Israelis were ogling these pubs with jealousy and anger since they cannot cross the borders with Lebanon to enjoy the good life.

            Little by little, I am swept over to this huge majestic ancient city, as if turning a corner life and sceneries change abruptly and you are immersed into previous glorious periods.  I described my dream. Share with me your fantastic dreams.

Note:  Three weeks later after this dream, I saw on the news that Maroun Al Ras has already established tourist play gardens and restaurants facing the Israeli colonis.  It is not just a defiance attitudes: tourists are flocking to the borders in south Lebanon where attractive centers welcome visitors.  Before the July war in 2006, Israel had only to threaten to her demands be obeyed.  This is no longer the case:  Hezbollah has just to warn Israel for Israel to re-assess her plans.

What are the consequences of the July 2006 war? (Extracted from my diary, and written on November 24, 2006)

It is a sunny and clear day. I think that it is important to first review the study prepared by Mark Perry and Alistair Crook for the British Forum of Confrontations on the July war between Israel and the Lebanese Resistance of Hezbollah. The study came to the conclusion that Hezbollah won the war and was successful in penetrating the Israeli strategy, its cycle of decision making in the chain of command, intelligence gathering, and military maneuvering.

Though Hassan Nasr Allah, General Secretary of Hezbollah), warned Israel in many public speeches that Hezbollah is about to capture Israeli soldiers in exchange of the release of the Lebanese prisoners, still Israel was taken by complete surprise at the bold attack: mainly Israel supposed that this maneuver will not take place during summer when the Arabs from the Gulf and the Moslem Lebanese Shia emigrants flock to Lebanon for vacation.

The Hezbollah operation was easily carried out. and the later videos demonstrated that fact. The incompetence of the Israeli commander, who failed to follow the military procedures, resulted in two tanks being destroyed in a mine field and many Israeli soldiers died. This unwarranted Israeli military error forced Olmert PM to escalate the confrontation into a full-fledge war, ahead of schedule set for late autumn.

Though the vicious surprised escalation by Israel took Hezbollah by surprise it managed within minutes to mobilize its forces and the rocket officers.  The study estimated that Hezbollah has 600 rocket depots hidden 40 meters deep in mountains south of the Litany River.

The Hezbollah political officers had no knowledge of the locations of the depots for security reasons, even a field commander knew about the location of only three depots within his field of operation.

All the varied Israeli sources of military intelligence failed to accurately locate the rocket sites, as well as locating the leaders of Hezbollah, since not a single one was killed; even Abu Jaafar, the southern military commander of Hezbollah did not die as Israel proclaimed on June 28.

Israel was flabbergasted by the total adherence of the Hezbollah militants by the war truth, 33 days later, a fact that confirmed the effective communication among Hezbollah bases after the methodical Israeli aerial bombardments for over 30 days and nights.

Hezbollah was also very successful in counter thwarting the Israeli espionage operations in Lebanon: it captured 16 spies before the war, many more during the war, and leaked erroneous information to the Israelis about the rocket sites which resulted in civilian casualties and worldwide uproar for the Qana massacre. (The same town that witnessed the massacre of 110 civilians massed in the UN compound in 1996)

Israel lost as many soldiers and officers as Hezbollah did, or about 180. The Hezbollah Nasr brigade in the south, strong of 3,000 fighters, did not need to be replenished neither in fighters or supplies during the whole period of the war.

The cause of continuous wavering of the Israeli military command to start the land invasion was due mainly to the disastrous previous small skirmishes that proved that the Hezbollah fighters were steadfast in holding on to their towns and villages and will not retreat.

When Israel called up the reserves sooner than expected on June 21, the US military strategist surmised that the Israeli army is in great trouble and is no longer doing well as hoped.

On June 21, Ehud Olmert PM urgently demanded from the US ammunition supplies which confirmed that Israel’s air depots have been depleted within the first week of its air strikes, and that Israel is in deep trouble. The environs of the towns of Maroun El Ras and Bent Jbeyl, by the border, did not fall in the hands of Israel for the duration of the war, even after Israel called up an additional 15,000 soldiers and the Golani brigade to dislodge the tenacious fighters.

The Merkava tank was defenseless against the second generation of anti tank missiles used by Hezbollah and which were fabricated in 1973. At the same time, the “Khibar One” rockets which targeted the airbase in Afoula, deep inside Israel, could not be intercepted.

Finally, the US hurriedly worked out a UN truth, at the instigation of Israel on August 10, because the Zionist soldiers, deep in south Lebanon, feared encirclement, total defeat, and surrender.

The consequences of this defeat, as stated by the study, were disastrous to both Israeli image of an undefeated State and the US foreign policies.

First, when US diplomats and politicians tried to be in touch with Jordan, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia after the war they realized that nobody in these pro American States dared respond to their calls;

Second, the US realized that its air superiority in a war against Iran is susceptible to be a failure in order to snatch any quick victory;

Third, the popularity of Hassan Nasr Allah has become overwhelming in all the Arab and Moslem World, a fact that pursuing the accusations of terrorism will ridicule the US administration and sap any remnants of its credibility;

Fourth, the strategy adopted by Hezbollah discredited the complete political affiliation of the Arab regimes with the US policies in order to gain a few irrelevant advantages;

Fifth, the US is already unable to contemplate a coalition of the Arab and Moslem States in anticipation of an invasion of Iran, simply because these States can no longer afford to look as US stooges toward their people;

Sixth, any attempt by Israel to disable the Iranian nuclear plants will instigate a retaliation toward Israel nuclear plants and further weakening of the American presence in the Arab Gulf States as well as the fall of many pro American Arab States in a domino fashion;

Seventh, Israel is going to need, at least 15 years, to rebuild its military and intelligence capabilities in order to regain the image of undefeated army;

Eight, the position of Iran in Iraq has drastically increased and the Shiaa might soon start an offensive against the US and British troops, their previous allies;

Ninth, the position of Syria in Lebanon has strengthened which is a defeat to the French program since it would be impossible from now on to form a government in Lebanon that antagonizes Syria.

The previous consequences of the study are conjectures so far.

Let us review what happened since after the July war.

First, George W. Bush administration was defeated grandly in the House and the Senate. This administration has voiced readiness to consider alternative solutions to the Iraqi quagmire.  This administration will view world politics from a different perspective, except in the Greater Middle East.  It seems that the Bush government is expressing its bitterness in our region. The Bush administration is the cause that the unity governments in Palestine and Lebanon are being postponed weeks after weeks at the detriment of our security and economic development.

Second, Britain has already decided to hand over the civil administration in Basra by the end of the year and has plans to retreat from Iraq altogether; Britain and the European States are vigorously seeking open and direct negotiations with Iran and Syria for a political resolution in Iraq

Third, Pakistan has reached a truth in the provinces bordering Afghanistan and is no longer willing to pursue the US maddening demands to fighting terrorism.

Fourth, Bush is facing serious hurdles meeting with Arab leaders; the Iraqi Prime Minister Maleki is not sincerely willing to meet Bush for the time being after Moktada Sadr threatened to quit the government and the Chamber of deputies if he did because the recent onslaught of the US forces in Sadr City in Bagdad.

Fifth, Saudi Arabia is diversifying its military hardware by purchasing for over $1, 5 billions from Britain and Europe; Vice President Cheney visited Saudi Arabia to pressure it to purchase military hardware from the US.

Sixth, the US is about to transfer its major military bases from Qatar to another Gulf State after Qatar was actively flaunting the US plans in the region and openly voicing its concerns in the UN.

Seven, China has publicly announced that it will continue to aid Pakistan with its nuclear programs; China is implicitly behind the Iranian peaceful nuclear program and that is why the US is feeling impotent in setting up an economic effective embargo or contemplating any military alternative.

Eight, a recent survey by a European agency showed that Israel is considered the worst racist and apartheid State.

Nine, the US and Israel are trying hopelessly to start a civil war in Lebanon by assassinating the Maronite Minister Pierre Gemayel. Jordan King Abdallah is warning of imminent civil wars in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq; Bush is coming to Amman to met Iraqi Maliki PM and, most probably, to put the final touches to the execution of the civil war in Lebanon.

Ten, the foreign visitors to Lebanon are flocking to the south to witness the complete destruction of 30 towns and villages; they are carrying back video, pictures and interviews with the southern residents after shedding bitter tears at the view of these cataclysmic scenes; hopefully a renewed awareness in the US and Europe of the main task of this mercenary State of Israel will expand.

Eleven, the parliamentary election in Bahrain, 70% of Shiaa, allowed the Shiaa and leftist movement to win big.

Twelve, Israel Olmert PM has finally agreed to a truth with Hamas in order to put a stop to the “Al Kassam” rockets directed to the kibbutz Sedirot closest to Gaza.

Thirteen, Iranian Prime Minister has promised to help the US in Iraq if the US forces vacate completely this country.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

December 2020
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