Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘preemptive war

Types of Bloggers: Global breed of authors?

There are two main categories of bloggers: Bloggers from the developed nations and those of the “developing” States (whether they form nations or incomplete UN recognized States)

The bloggers from developed nations have two critical advantages:

1. They can move freely withing their nation and outside their borders. All they need is landing a ticket to anywhere on earth: No humiliating lengthy visas requirement and no serious discrimination in the host countries they visit.

Contrary to “citizens” from developing countries who need to plan a year ahead of time to amass all the documents and requirements in order to “enjoy” a miserly 2 weeks vacation in a developed nation

2. They enjoy a wide range of opportunities for the subject of studies, continuing education, and facilities to improve their talents and performance.

I’ll focus on the types of bloggers in the developing countries, particularly in Lebanon:

1. One category is constituted of people who spent a couple of years abroad in their youth and attended schools before settling in their home country and are eeking out a living.

These bloggers claim to be “apolitical“: They refuse to keep up with “local politics” and cannot name the President of their country or know the difference among the political parties, as if refusing to admit their current condition.

Strangely, they are highly political on the global scene: gender discrimination, climate change, sustainable environment, equitable commerce, freedom of expression, life-style in food consumption and ever changing life-style as internet “research” suggest….and they are not aware that these issues are plainly political in nature.

2. A category who spent a few vacations abroad, not lasting a couple of months at a time, and are settled in their countries.

Two subcategories emerge:

Those well-off who attended private schools and university and managed to “learn” another language of either French or English, and not completely mastering any of the languages. These bloggers exhibit tendencies for cynicism in their abridged comments and share links pertaining to entertainment and outdoor events. Many join “cultural groups” as tribes.

And those who could not attend but public schools and barely comprehend another language to be used as medium of communication.

These bloggers are not able to expound on their opinion for lack of general knowledge and lack of reading.

3. A category who managed to settle in a developed nation and is earning its living in a “developed environment”.

These are valiant immigrants who made it against all kinds of barriers in discrimination and constricting laws and surmounted the nasty odds of earning a living in a foreign land.

Although they were apolitical before they immigrated, these bloggers become the main source of in-time follow up on the troubles facing their homeland. They are very active in sending links to articles, videos and pictures of foreign information related to their home state. And they do participate in organizing demonstrations and activities to unite their people abroad

4. A category who “know” the world from the imaginary reality of global inter-connectedness and formed a worldview that they have never experienced.

These bloggers resume their traditional life by attending religious social events and tending to stick so some kind of shallow customs. They are members of sectarian political parties and vote to their feudal leaders whether right or wrong.

Note: I am used to click on Top Posts  at WordPress. In the last couple of months, I have the impression that I am disconnected with the subject matters of almost all selected top posts.

I am under the impression that a new “selection team” is focused on selecting local US topics and disregarding the rest of the world concerns.

If the team does its due diligence of writing a short “in context” message or asking the bloggers to add a few paragraphs “in context” in order to inform the general reader of “what’s going on” and why the post was selected in the first place, may be we can get used to clicking on a few of them for curiosity reasons.

Actually, during this horror preemptive war of Israel on the huge concentration camp of Gaza, I didn’t stumble on a selected article on this topic. It is as if the team is revolving in a dual world.


Binary Beirut in the eyes of western media: Fashion or war?

Binary Beirut: Perpetually partying or at war

Either Lebanon is a terrorist-infested, war-ridden hell,  or the Paris of the East.

For example, in a sentence that expresses the article’s main idea, this western journalist sets up  a binary: “Beirut traditionally has been described as the Middle East’s most  fashionable city – but in recent decades the country has been better known for  conflict than couture, especially today with the civil war in Syria.”

 Shirine Saad published in The National this October 5,  2013 “Through western eyes, Beirut is perpetually partying or at war

Last week, the day after Lebanese president Michel Suleiman met Barack Obama  at the United Nations to discuss the Syrian conflict, The New York Times thought  it timely to publish an article titled In Beirut, Where Fashion Lives  Dangerously.

The article discussed the apparently innocuous question of the survival of  couture in a conflict-ridden country. It framed Beirut’s couturiers in the  context of a paradigm that most Western readers expect when reading about  Lebanon: the war.

The journalist began by describing an explosion, then quoting a young  couturier: “‘It sounded like a bomb,’ said [Krikor] Jabotian, who grew up in the  city during the civil war that raged in Lebanon from 1975 to 1990 and started  his label there five years ago. ‘But we just kept working. That’s just how we  work in Beirut: expect the unexpected.’”

There was more of this familiar contrast throughout the rest of the article.  On one hand, terror and explosions. On the other, dreamy gowns, clouds of  chiffon, pearls and satin – and a culture of resilience in the face of  inevitable disaster.

On one hand, terrifying chaos, monstrous carnage, a doomed destiny of  violence. On the other, French couture; luxury, escapism and sophistication.

Conflict or couture?

This article falls into a tradition of western  coverage of Lebanon that reduces the country to a clash between barbarism and  western-style liberalism, attempting to create a causal link between the two and  ultimately failing to grasp the deep history and many layers of complexity in  contemporary Lebanon.

Beirut is a labyrinthine web of religions, cultures, political parties and  socio-economic strata, all of which are the result of centuries of various  domination, geopolitical struggles and socioeconomic crises.

Anyone attempting  to write about Beirutis’ reality today must understand and explain this context.

By setting up this simplistic binary opposition, the journalist defines the  Lebanese as the other – which cannot be contained or understood outside  pre-established categories.

Beirut, in this Western construct, is foreign and  exotic. It is the most sophisticated city in the Middle East – and yet it is  ravaged by war. Behind these contrasts are a way of viewing Lebanon that is fundamentally Orientalist, fundamentally “othering”.

Beirut cannot merely be a  city, in the way of Paris or New York are cities, collections of living,  breathing people. Instead, it has to permanently be a “symbol” of something, a  reflection of a greater struggle.

The language of the article – which is  symptomatic of a wider narrative – suggests that Beirut is always torn between  these two longings, this oriental barbarism and the western sophistication.

The  idea that Beirut could merely exist on its own terms, that it could be a city in  and of itself and not permanently striving to be something else, is alien to the  West.

In the midst of a week of crucial and rare diplomatic dialogue, such articles must be read in the context of the ideological struggle between the West and the  Middle East.

There are serious political issues in Lebanon and they provide the context for why the country is riven by conflict.

But in the New York Times article,  they are ignored. Rather than place the resilience of fashion in the context of  the city and the country, the piece presents Beirut as if it is permanently at  war.

But war is not a permanent part of the Lebanese national psyche; it is an  alien event that came to Lebanon.

And the roots of it go far back into history.

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Historically, the tiny land of Lebanon has been manipulated and fought over  by world powers seeking access to the East.

When the French and English sliced up the Levant as part of their plans for regional hegemony, France made sure to  draw the borders between Syria and Greater Lebanon to create a Christian majority on the coast and mountains, which they then courted, creating an elite  that ruled the country and aggravating sectarian tensions.

For years, Lebanon was known as the Paris of the East, the Saint Tropez of the  East, the Switzerland of the East, a country where you could ski and swim in the  same day – with sexy, couture-clad women shaking champagne bottles and  belly-dancing belts in your face. It was an exotic yet friendly East, far from  the untamed orient of the movies and novels. It was Christian. It was  western.

Then the civil war started and images of a tanned Jean Paul Belmondo lounging  at a pool were suddenly replaced by scenes of slaughter, grenades, bombs and  bloodshed.

For 20 years news networks and papers filled their pages with  analyses of the civil conflict, which seemed to everyone – including Lebanese,  who still call the war “the events” as if to erase its monstrous scar – gruesome  and unfathomable.

The Lebanon that we were proud of, an ancient and tolerant land of history  and culture, a complex web of religions, languages and sensibilities, morphed into a never-ending, grueling news report. Lebanon died.

And then, as the cliché says, the phoenix rose from its ashes and the city restored its bullet-scarred façades, blasting skeletons of the city and  replacing them with hotels, restaurants, bars, cabarets, luxury boutiques, valet  parking, high towers, all eager to restore Beirut’s place as a choice  tourist destination.

The media began to promote the city again, reassuring weary readers with sexy clichés.

Once again, Beirut was the Paris of the East! The city of all sins! Of  partying with sexy girls on rooftop bars!

Only, this time the clichés were even  more alluring. What’s more thrilling than a war-torn city partying away to bury  the horrors of human atrocity? Tourists flocked in, lured by the mix of danger  and Mediterranean hedonism.

They called it living on the edge.

But Lebanon fell into the darkness again when, at a time of revolutions and  calls for change in the region, the Syrian regime abruptly shut down its voices of dissent, drowning the country into a tragic – and seemingly endless –  war.

And, among images of gas-massacred children and despairing refugees, as  frustratingly ineffective world powers convened to discuss solutions, The New  York Times thought it pertinent to ask: “So what is the point of fashion in  Beirut now?

Surely the newspaper could – and should – have asked many other questions.

But perhaps the worst sin is that of omission: the exclusion of the complex,  subtle and nuanced reality of Lebanon today. We are fed up with being reduced to  stale clichés.

A journalist I know once said that the world’s perception of the Middle East  is dictated by TV news. I would say that it is the media in general that shows  what it claims is the reality, and that reality is dictated by norms, by ideas  about what a place such as Beirut represents and how it can be reported.

Western, and especially American, media treats Lebanon in a way it would  never report on another western country, constantly surprised to find Beirutis  doing what millions of Lebanese, Arabs and people around the world do: dance,  fall in love, create art, make a living.

What truly matters is that Beirut has  always been one of the region’s thriving centres, a great model of plurality,  openness, tolerance and relative democracy. A city of ideas and change. This is  the Beirut we need to fight for, both from the inside and from afar.

Shirine Saad is a Brooklyn-based writer on culture and lifestyle. She is the  author of Boho Beirut: a Guide to the Middle East’s Most Sophisticated City and  is working on her next book Boho Brooklyn

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Israel Filka Site: Fouad Seniora, Lebanon former PM, an Israeli Spy…?
Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasr Allah gave an extensive interview to the channel Al Mayadeen, a day before the car bombing of Bir Al Abed that harvested 26 killed and over 270 injured.
In that interview, corresponding to the anniversary of the cease fire of Israel preemptive war on Lebanon in 2006, and which lasted 33 day, Nasr Allah explained:
“On the 30th day of the war, Israel dropped all its preconditions in order to reach a UN resolution for a cease fire. The US and Israel dropped their conditions for the demilitarization of Hezbollah, the assembling of a 15,000 UN peace corps before retreating, or the return of the 400,000 Lebanese refugees to their villages and towns in the south… The return of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers were to be dealt with in later swap negotiations for prisoners….
The problem was that the UN was waiting for the response of the Lebanese government agreement to the resolution for it to take effect.
Fouad Muhammad Seniora was the PM and he delayed the response for two days: He was an even more of a hardliner than Israel and US combined, and wanted that Hezbollah hands over its weapons to the Lebanese army, even knives, before he agrees to Resolution 1701.
What happened in the following two days?
1. Israel air bombed haphazardly the area of Dahiya, demolishing buildings in order to inflict maximum casualties among the civilians.
2. Israel demanded cluster bombs, and British Tony Blair PM obliged by shipping the bombs from a Scottish military depot. Israel spread 4 million tiny bombs in the south with the objective of delaying the return of the Lebanese to the south
Most Lebanese strongly suspected, if not convinced that Seniora was a US agent, but Israel Filka Site dropped this bombshell on August 2013: “Seniora has been an Israeli spy since 1974, and participated in the assassination of his boss Rafic Hariri PM in 2005…”
فؤاد السنيورة
The spy Fouad Seniora.
Israel Filka Site revealed that Israel Military censured an article by Aaron Goldbird (former Mossad agent) in the daily Haaretz that mentioned Lebanon former Fouad Seniora PM to be an Israeli spy since 1974.
Israel Filka Site pointed out in its report Bleu Farcom the following:
1. Commander Goldbird worked for the Mossad from 1970 to 1989 and was the “handler” of Seniora and met with him three time during Lebanon civil war.
2. After Goldbird retirement, Israel General Prosecutor ordered him never to leave Israel.
3. The story of how Seniora was enlisted in the Mossad was released to the Israeli dailies by Gelaad Levine, Goldbird’s lawyer.
4. Goldbird was responsible for training and following up on the foreign agents in Lebanon and he receive a file called Nour
5. Goldbird traveled to Beirut under a faked French  passport (#84/33455) and rented a furnished apartment in the resort town of Aley.
6. Goldbird called Nour, who was Fouad Mohammad Seniora from Saida, and trained him on communication facilities, safe connection, techniques for gathering pieces of intelligence, and confusing the investigators… All these training were conducted in 1974
7.  Goldbird met Seniora again in Tel Aviv in late 1976, Seniora arrived via Greece
8.  He met with Seniora again in Paris
9. And a third time in 1977 using a faked Jordanian passport.
10. Every time Seniora met with Goldbird, he would carry Lebanese sweet in the name of his family, claiming to be handmade by himself
11. Goldbird was dumbfounded as he watched Seniora on TV acting as Prime Minister to Lebanon.
12. Seniora offered Israel very important pieces of intelligence before and after he became Prime minister.
13. During Israel preemptive war on Lebanon in 2006, Seniora was Prime Minister and aided Israel far more than anyone could, particularly during his many meetings with the US administration personalities, journalists and his steadfast position against Hezbollah military power…
14. Professor Eliahu Penysson claims that it was Seniora who gave the assassins of his master Rafic Hariri the route that Hariri would be taking from the parliament
15. Seniora rewarded Hariri’s personal security man Wissam Hassan, who failed to show up the day of the assassination, by appointing him chief of the internal intelligence section, which was heavily funded and closely supported by the US, France, England and many Arab governments.
Note 1: The day the cease fire officially took effect, the Lebanese refugees returned on the same day and lived in tents for months and worked their lands. They did not wait for anyone to give them permission to return and crossed rivers and makeshift bridges on feet.  The cluster bombs are still killing and injuring Lebanese civilians since 2006, and the de-mining project is not over yet, for lack of funding.
Note 2: Seniora worked closely with Israel and allowed Israel to establish dozen of “safe houses” and weapon depots in Beirut till 2008.  He ordered that Hezbollah relinquish connecting fixed land lines that cannot be easily be monitored. Hezbollah overran all these safe houses, called private security services and Seniora was ousted as PM.
Note 3: The Algerian daily Al Shouruk published that Seniora code name was Nour with a file # 345548 and it was Seniora who forwarded to the Israeli the schedule and route of Rafic Hariri movements when Hariri was assassinated by a violent car explosion on February 1975. Seniora visited Israel via Greece and met his Israeli agents in the USA and Europe…
 هام وخاص بصحيفة الشروق الجزائريّة نتمنى نشره يا جماهير المقاومة الكرام : فؤاد محمد السنيورة , عميل الموساد الاسرائيلي منذ عام 1974 , نشرت صحيفة الشروق الجزائرية تقريراً مهماً وخطيراً , وجاء في التقرير أن الضابط الاسرائيلي أهارون غولدبرغ , جند العميل الاسرائيلي , المدعو ” نـور ” في الملف رقم 345548 , وكان ذلك في العام 1974 , ويشير الملف الى الاسم الحقيقي للعميل الموسادي نور , وهو : فؤاد محمد السنيورة , رئيس وزراء لبنان الأسبق ,ويشير التقرير بوض…وح , الى ان العميل نور هو من كشف للاسرائيليين , عن تحركات الشهيد رفيق الحريري من البرلمان الى منزله , ويتهمه التقرير بالضلوع في عملية اغتيال الشهيد الحريري , وعملية اغتيال الضابط اللبناني في فرع المعلومات , وسام عيد , وقريبا ستكتشف الصحيفة أيضا ان السنيورة , له علاقة مباشرة باغتيال وسام الحسن ,ويضيف التقرير عن اجتماعات كثيرة وعديدة , تمت بين الاسرائيليين والسنيورة , في دول اوروبية وأمريكية , حتى ان التقرير يشير الى دخول السنيورة الى اسرائيل عن طريق اليونان ,هذا هو فؤاد محمد السنيورة , ” العميل الاسرائيلي نور “فؤاد السنيورة , الذي كانت دموعه في حرب تموز نتيجة الفشل , لعدم تمكن العميل نور , من اغتيال سماحة السيد نصرالله , أو لفشله بكشف مكان اقامة السيد نصرالله في الحرب مما سبب له الكثير من الضغوطات سياسيّا وعسكريّا بعد الكم الكبير لخسائر جيش العدو الاسرائيلي في الجنوب اللبناني براً وبحراً وجواً .See More

Note 4:  I Translated the Filka Report from Arabic

• عمل المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد بجهاز الموساد الإسرائيلي خلال الفترة 1970- 1989, تمكن المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد عبر طرق ثلاث من القيام بتجنيد فؤاد السنيورة الذي يتولى حالياً منصب رئيس الوزراء اللبناني.
• بعد تسريح المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد، فرض النائب العام الإسرائيلي عليه شرط عدم الخروج من إسرائيل.
• رواية تجنيد فؤاد السنيورة لدى الموساد الإسرائيلي تم تسريبها للصحافة عبر جلعاد لافيني، محامي الدفاع عن المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد.
– تفاصيل تجنيد الموساد للسنيورة: أبرز تسريبات المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد، صرح المحامي جلعاد لافيني، بأن موكله المقدم غولد بيرد ضابط الموساد السابق، كان خلال فترة عمله مسؤولاً عن تدريب ومتابعة العاملين في جهاز المخابرات الخارجي الإسرائيلي (الموساد) في لبنان، وقد تسلم آنذاك ملفاً يحمل اسم (نور)، ورقماً خاصاً به، وذلك من أجل القيام بالمتابعة والتدريب.
انتقل المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد إلى العاصمة اللبنانية بيروت عبر مطار باريس بجواز سفر فرنسي مزور (84/33455) وبعد وصوله إلى بيروت حجز لنفسه شقة مفروشة في منتزه عاليه بجبل لبنان، بعد ذلك اتصل بالعميل (نور) والذي اتضح أن اسمه الحقيقي هو فؤاد محمد السنيورة من مدينة صيدا.
وأشرف المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد على تدريب العميل (نور) على وسائل الاتصال والمراسلة الآمنة، وتقنية الجمع الاستخباري للمعلومات، وتضليل المحققين وكان ذلك في عام 1974م.
بعد ذلك، أشار المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد بأنه قابل العميل (نور) عدة مرات:
– المرة الأولى في إسرائيل عندما نقله الموساد الإسرائيلي سراً من اليونان إلى تل أبيب وكان ذلك في أواخر عام 1976.
– المرة الثانية في باريس.
– المرة الثالثة واستخدم فيها جواز سفر أردني مزور وكانت في عام 1977.
اللقاءات الثلاثة بين المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد كانت تهدف إلى:
• تقديم المزيد من التدريب
• متابعة تطور العميل (نور)
وأفاد المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد، بأنه شاهد فؤاد محمد السنيورة على شاشة التلفزيون، وعرف فوراً أن العميل (نور) قد استطاع أن يتغلغل بنجاح ويصل إلى منصب رئيس الوزراء اللبناني.
وقال المقدم أهارون ، بأنه يتذكر عندما كان (نور) يحضر إليه على الدوام، حاملاً بيده هدايا الحلوى اللبنانية الشهيرة باسم “عائلته” وكان يؤكد لمعلمه المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد بأن هذه الحلوى من صنع يده.
هدد المقدم أهارون غولد بيرد الحكومة الإسرائيلية قائلاً بأنه حالياً “لن يستمر –في كشف المزيد- وسيتوقف عند حدود كشف رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الحالي فؤاد محمد السنيورة الذي يعمل مجنداً لصالح دولة إسرائيل منذ عشرات السنوات.
كذلك أشار المقدم أهارون بأن المجند فؤاد محمد السنيورة , والذي أشرف على تدريبه، قد قدم خدمات لصالح إسرائيل بما يفوق قدرة أي مجند إسرائيلي على تقديمها، ويتمثل أبرز هذه الخدمات في الآتي:
• ما فعله علناً خلال حرب لبنان الثانية
[1]• ما فعله بعد الحرب من لقاءات شبه علنية في واشنطن وبيروت مع صحفيين وضباط ودبلوماسيين ووزراء إسرائيليين
[2] • ما فعله من وقوفه ضد حزب الله وقائده السيد حسن نصر الله وعموماً، بالنسبة لقرائنا الذين يريدون متابعة المزيد حول ملف “مجند الموساد (نور) 0 نقلا عن صحيفة الشروق اليومي الجزائرية
وقد نشر موقع “فيلكا إسرائيل” تقريراً أعده البروفيسور إيلياهو بنيسمون , المعروف بمعاداته للكيان الصهيوني ودعمه للفلسطينيين , بنيسمون نقل هو الآخر عن غولد برغ تورط السنيورة في مقتل رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية رفيق الحريري , مشيراً بالقول:
كانت نقطة أساسية من جهود كشف قضية مقتل الحريري تقوم على محاولة معرفة من هو الشخص المقرب منه و مشيراً إلى السنيورة , الذي أعلم القتلة بخط سير موكبه , ومن هو الذي أعطى القتلة إشارة توجه من البرلمان إلى منزله ساعة الاغتيال ؟؟ , بعض الملاحظين اتهم مسؤول أمنه السابق الذي لم يغب عن الموكب إلا يوم الاغتيال , والمعروف باسم وسام الحسن و والذي كوفئ من قبل فؤاد السنيورة على تقصيره في حماية سيده رفيق الحريري بأن عينه مسؤولاً عن أكبر جهاز أمن في لبنان , وهو فرع المعلومات الذي دعمته وقوته ومولته ودربته أمريكا وفرنسا وبريطانيا وعدة دول عربية.

Israel to bomb chemical weapons in Syria? Would the civilian casualties be forgotten as “collateral damages”?

The vast recent war maneuver of Israel in the Golan Heights (in occupied Syria territory since 1967), and the simultaneous and concomitant maneuvers in south Lebanon, demonstrates the decision in Israel to bomb the chemical weapons in Syria, for various reasons:

1. For two years now, Israel of Netanyahu PM has been disseminating the suffocating smokescreen that Iran is the nemesis, particularly its nuclear program. On the assumption that “Islamic Iran” intends to produce an atomic bomb and impose its theocratic regime in the region. The real objective of this propaganda was to forget the Palestinian problem and relegate it to the bottom of the list of priorities in the US Administration.

It is working and the Palestinians are feeling helpless and neglected and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

But Israel is unable to bomb anything in Iran and the US is not ready to be carried away in a war project that the end results are at best inconclusive and blurred… The US knows that any military engagement in Iran has to be a full-fledged, wide scale confrontation…? Why?

Just “Bombing nuclear installations” will pressure Iran to actually produce the atomic bomb. And the closing of the Hermuz Straight is not that difficult at all, regardless of scores of “demining” ships in these water.

To bomb Iran, Israel has to cross the air spaces of many Arab States, and it is doubtful that the people in these Arab States are to believe that their governments were taken by surprise and didn’t give their approval…

Otherwise, Israel has to use US bases or US aircraft carriers to reach the Iranian airspace: A de fact US declaration of war…

In any case, the Israeli citizens and the military are not hot about these military projects and they voiced their opinions and refusal to this hazardous idea pretty bluntly…

2. Now that Israel is not capable of bombing Iran and the US is not ready to get engaged, Israel has to diffuse its military incapacity by bombing targets that can be reached. Like what? Syria supposed chemical installations.  As Israel did by bombing Syria supposed nuclear installation in Deir al Zour in 2007, and the one in Iraq in 1980, without any perceptible political flaps internally and externally.

In the last two weeks, Israel and the western States have been spreading the possibility that the Assad regime is about to use chemical weapons on the armed insurgents, and relocating the weapons to various “unknown” location for the serious eventuality of being bombed by Israel…

Israel is under the previous assumption that, also this time around, the bombing of chemical installation will go unchecked in any serious reactions, since the western nations are in favor of such “local engagement” and does not disturb the flow of oil and gas…

Israel wish that this bombing will decide Iran to provide a “casus belli reason” for the western nations to get engaged militarily against Iran…Will not happen.  And the probability is high that the reactions from the Assad regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon will drag the military confrontations to over a month, as it happened in 2006 during the preemptive war against Hezbollah and all Lebanon.

Netanyahu thinks that his government is cohesive enough to try this bombing project. The main difficulty is that the soldiers going to the front are not the ultra orthodox or the sons of liberal capitalists: They are these liberal citizens who are paying the taxes and the body count so that the ultra orthodox and liberal capitalist classes reap whatever advantages any preemptive war generates in the short-term.

It is no longer what the radical right-wing ultra capitalist governments in Israel wish in matter of military actions that will decide the army to obey: It is “Are the soldiers ready to go along with another foolish military excursion, with no tangible benefits to the economic situation and the welfare of the middle classes?”


Interview with a general in Israel air force: Who is Specter?

Robert Fisk covered for 9 years the civil war in Lebanon as correspondent to the British The Times and described in minute details the events of the preemptive war of Israel on Lebanon in 1982.

Fisk witnessed the bombing of hundreds of civilian building in Beirut and described the carnage.

On July 27, Fisk dispatched to the Times a telex asking Walker to conduct interviews with Israeli pilots.  Walker replied that Israel does not allow any interviews with pilots.

Israel had the habit of describing its pilots as the best in the world and that the pilots are trained to hit targets with “surgeon precision“.  Surgeon precision was the exact term used for their gunners… The evidence on the ground demonstrated that they were very poor in accuracy and thousands of innocent civilians were dying like flies after each bombing raid.

Natanya (Israel), April 14, 1987

I called Brigadier General of Israel Air Force from Jerusalem and asked him “How all this happened. Why your air-force pilots and you could have done what you did?”.  

Specter understood my question and he was in the mood of talking.  Specter was the commander of Galilee air force base in 1982, during the savage Israeli incursion in Lebanon and the occupation of its Capital Beirut.

Specter was in his garden, a tall, olive colored skin and large faced.  He seemed intelligent, active, and he talked of the moral obligations of handling military arms…His shy wife Elisa followed him with a tray of tea.

Specter was listening to Bach and said: “How can I be of help?”

Specter barely spoke English and took his time selecting his words.  He said: “We were under the impression that we were not targeting civilian areas, but specific targets in civilian quarters.  We didn’t use bomb launcher jets such it was used in WWII. The targets were selected in the battle fields.  We could see our targets.  We were the support force. Long time passed before we realized that something fishy was happening.”

I asked him: “Have you ever visited Beirut, even after Israel occupied this city?”

He replied: “None of us ever visited the targets we were about to demolish or after they were hit. All we did is to get up, hit the target and return to base. Pilots rested for 15 minutes before going on another mission; they carried out three missions a day.”

I asked: “Did any one of the pilots complain? Did any one of them knew what were the consequences of their bombing?”  

Specter replied: “At first, a few pilots expressed sensitivity to the collateral damages on civilians.  Their sensitivity was always fresh. General David Every discussed the issue in every report.

From then on, Specter sounded more confident and shook his head for confirmation, and used to smile when he believed that I comprehended what he was conveying. He went on: “There were rules of engagement:

1. The first rule was to never drop bombs if the pilot could not determine the target.

2. Second, targets not on the lists should not be hit unless fired upon, on condition that the target is 3 miles away from civilian areas…”

I asked him: “Did all pilot abide by these rules?”

Specter said: “I just gave instructions and flew. Officers of the intelligence services selected the targets, their importance, and the timing for the missions.  We had no feedback whether we hit the targets: We had no private sources on the ground. The rule was to drop bombs in the sea if we failed to pinpoint our target.” (It was never recorded that any pilot did drop bombs in the sea)

I asked him: “Who are these intelligence officers? From where did they get their sources of information?”

Specter made a large swap with his hand from right to left and said: “I cannot answer it

I said: “Did the pilots have any confidence in the pieces of intelligence for the targets?”

Specter replied: “I can say this in an after thought that we got suspicious of our bombing. People in Israel started to ask questions: There was something in common between their worries and what we felt in our air-force ghettos of bases.  We believed that we went far overboard, and our missions had no military utilities”.

I drew a sketch of the civilian area in Beirut that was devastated on July 27 and that I witnessed personally.

Specter didn’t confirm and resumed: “There might be reasons. For example, a personal vendetta from the pilot or for targeting the erroneous buildings.”  I said: “Do you mean that the intelligence officer gave on purpose the wrong coordinates?” Specter replied: “Errors come from both sources.  It is also possible that the terrorists had vacated the area before the target was hit…”

I said: “What about the casualties. Don’t pilots ever read or follow-up on what happened after their mission?”

Specter replied: “They occasionally do.  But you are aware of Begin PM opinion “If Hitler was present among innocent civilians, I would have blown up the location…”  Specter looked perturbed of what he just said.

Specter resumed: “We knew that we were targeting civilian quarters. Our tactic was that if we blew up a few buildings then the people in Beirut would vacate the capital.  But the number of targeted civilian building kept climbing and the people stayed in their buildings. The intelligence officers would tell us how many terrorists were located in this or that building and when they will meet…I started to warn my pilots of the doubtful targets the intelligence officers were providing…”  But he admitted that no discussions on current issues of targeting civilian buildings were undertaken

I brought to Specter’s attention that he was constantly referring to the Lebanese and Palestinians as “terrorists“.

Specter then refrained from mentioning terrorists again in the interview.

I asked: “When the pilots began to realize that most of the targets were wrong and misleading?”

Specter said: “It was the genocide in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut that was the cornerstone of our reversal and questioning.  We realized that what we were doing was not plain mistakes but a horrendous error. It was then that pilots started saying “How can we be sure that information on targets are correct?”

Specter got voluble and said: “Look, there is a problem. We are saying to our pilot if you want to refuse orders then you better agree on our ideology before joining the air force.”

I asked: “Tell me. How does it feel to bomb Beirut? How Beirut looked to you?” 

Specter said: “Beirut is an exact replica copy of Haifa in every thing. In missions, you just focus on the target. It is after you return that you revert to normal life.”  It dawned on me that pilots were trained to fly over Haifa before  being sent on missions to bomb Beirut.

I asked: “If you say that the missions were professional and precise, that the bombing were surgically executed, why all these errors? Isn’t the targeting a matter of computer precision?”

Specter said: “It is all visual.  The computer helps in the timing. We hold the map and the photographs in our left hand and try to locate our target.  The computer is for the correct timing of dropping the bombs or firing the missile on our visual target.”

Note 1:  I reviewed many chapters of “Affliction of a Nation“.

You may start with this post

Note 2: Israel used all kinds of most modern bombs on Beirut such as phosphorous bombs, cluster bombs, and bombs that perforate floors and detonate in basement where hundred of people huddle

Over 40, 000 civilians died in the siege of Beirut in 1982 by Israeli shells.

What’s going in Hama (Syria)? Western States selective memories: Stability is NOT synonymous with continuity of political systems!

What’s going in the fourth largest city Hama (700,000 citizens) in Syria?  News were too overestimating the number of demonstrators at 500,000 marchers! Nevertheless, it is an indication that Hama is against the Assad regime, stock and lock.  Hama is probably the most strategic city in Syria for internal logistics, located smack in the center of Syria.

The French daily Liberation reported from a nurse working in the hospital in Hama: “On July 3rd, the hospital received 35 civilians killed by live ammunitions.  The people in Hama are in a state of rage.  They used to demonstrate peacefully after closing shops and on Friday.  Right now, they refuse to leave their city and let the brutal Syrian security forces enter easily.  The citizens are burning tires and setting up barricades.”

Robert Fisk wrote in the British The Independence: “The cycle in Syria is closing on.  On February 1982, the regime of Hafez Assad opened fire with tanks on the civilians in Hama for many days and killed over 10,000 at least.  This time around, the revolt is not concentrated on Islamists.  The people have rekindled the indignities (zul) they suffered three decades ago.”  A hundred families have fled Hama, as long as fleeing is not the trend, as in Jisr al Shaghour.

Last month, the Syrian regime decided not to encircle or enter Hama:  Hama streets were left to the peaceful insurgents.  A couple of days ago, Bashar al Assad decided to send over 100 tanks to surround Hama and its suburbs, and resumed searching every house… Lately, the US ambassador and the French ambassador decided to visit Hama, on the eve of Friday prayers.  Are they trying to send the strong message:  Syria regime, “No pasaran into Hama”!

Sarkis Naoum, the editorialist in the Lebanese daily al Nahar, wrote: “There is no real survival for the ethnic minorities in the Middle-East, as there is no stability for the brutal majority rules”. (This is a most important topic to be discussed at length)

It is time to comprehend that stability is Not synonymous with continuity, and vice versa.  For example, Lebanon political structure has been instituted to be a Non-State for over 70 years, and still going “strong”, but Lebanon barely witnessed any kind of stability for any length of time.  Military coups and civil wars are score, if we count the unofficially recognized coup and civil wars.

The dictators and absolute monarchs and their oligarchies were happy noticing the heads of the Western leaders nodding approval that the continuity of their regimes is synonymous to stability of the western interests.  The western leaders knew better, but it is so convenient to dealing with dictators “who deliver” on biased non-discussed contracts, by any representative of the people and at the expense of the wealth of a developing country.

Israel is serious about launching its nth preemptive war, early this September for several reasons:

First, Israel knows that war (the only activity that Israel did better than anything else before the 2006 war) is the best diplomatic means to delaying the establishment of a Palestinian State:  A war before the UN vote will delay the issue and Israel will gain more time for proving that a Palestinian State is a geo-political non-feasibility…

Second, Israel will try again, using a different military strategy to weakening the military might of Hezbollah.  Hezbollah is the most scary enemy to Israel because no system can destroy short and medium-range missiles, landing by the hundreds on cities, towns, airfields, and military infrastructure and production complexes…

Third, Israel will coax Syria to respond and take the initiative to demolishing the regime security forces centers and headquarter of Bashar al Assad.  Consequently, facilitating regime change and weakening the strategic links of Iran in that region.

Fourth, Israel is about to get the green light for that preemptive war from the US and Turkey.  This triumvirate has reached an agreement that the Moslem Brotherhood parties sharing power in Egypt and Syria is good to business and stability.

Iran wishes that Israel will refrain from coaxing the Syrian regime into a war, simply because any war with Syria will change the name of the game with its strategic ally.  Iran wants to agree with the US, China, and Russia that the most plausible alternative in the short-term is a resumption of benign insurgencies, and the Syrian regime not going overboard with its repressions.  I believe Israel beg to foolishly differ:  Israel military infrastructure and production is the strongest catalyst for engaging in preemptive wars:  It is good for business and for the military budget in periods of internal crisis.

Lebanon will endure harsh periods whether Bashar regime succeed or fail.  Especially, if a civil war sweeps Syria:  Lebanon social structure is so drastically divisive.  Would the new Lebanese government take seriously the imminent next preemptive war and vigorously coordinate the defensive strategy among the resistance, the army, and the people?

Frankly, what may delay the preemptive war in early September is a strong stand by Egypt (State and people) and a change of regime in Syria.  I believe, this time around, a preemptive war launched by Israel will be catastrophic to this Zionist State, economically, politically, and militarily.  Definite political and social changes will get roots in the Middle-East.  “An Arab Autumn Revolt” will spread its fire and seeds for freedom and democratic systems.

Note: It is plausible that Israel might advance its D-Day as Syria tanks enter Hama:  Thus, fomenting a civil war that was not forthcoming.

Is there a strategic defense program in Lebanon?  Yes, there is one and in progress.   You don’t have to take my word for evidence.

In short, the Lebanese army is in charge of security and civil defense in all Lebanon; the army is to take on defensive positions and respond to Israeli guns and repealing any land incursions and sea landings.  The Lebanese resistance forces of Hezbollah is in charge of targeting deep land and marine strategic installations within Israel: Hezbollah’ Secretary General, Hassan Nasr Allah, promised to target Tel Aviv if Beirut is targeted; to target Ben Gurion airport if Beirut airport is targeted; to sink any navy or commercial cargoes heading toward Israel if Israel Navy decides to seal off Lebanon’ sea front.  This is a very pragmatic and efficient strategic plan for several reasons:

First, the Lebanese army lacks war materials and is denied any modern and efficient weapons to strategically check the Zionist army.  Thus, Hezbollah is training and extending short to medium range missiles to the army in order to countering any Israeli pre-emptive war and the massing of troops by the borders.  This strictly defensive job is within the rights of the State of Lebanon: the international community could not lay blame on the Lebanese army to using weapons stocked by Hezbollah to defending the motherland.

Second, Hezbollah has the job of hurting Israel’s economy, commerce, transport, and whatever it takes to slow down any land or sea invasions.  Hezbollah cannot be blamed to counter attacking in kind, given the barbaric war that Israel waged in 2006 by destroying almost all Lebanon’s infrastructure and industrial complexes and polluting our sea shores with oil from destroyed refineries.

Third, this is a pragmatic plan well suited to Lebanon’s intricate political system that would have never agreed on any realistic strategic plan.   It is a plan being ironed out as difficulties and diplomatic troubles wreck the political and social landscape of Lebanon.  There is high level field cooperation between the army and the resistance which is antagonizing many political leaders who would like Lebanon to remain weak and begging foreign interventions to safeguarding its sovereignty.

Fourth, the political discussion around the famous “Table for the strategic defense plan” is an excellent source for open communication among the various parties to extending political cover for field integration and cooperation between the army and the resistance.

This approach to strategic defense could not have been possible without the tacit agreement among Iran, Syria, and  Qatar and their financial and material supports.  The political support of Turkey to Lebanon is a serious diplomatic counter weight to the US total support for Israel.

History revisited: Decline or loss of hope? (Part 2, Apr. 21, 2010)

In the previous article I wrote: “History is a collection of stories that need to be revisited frequently; stories to be revised with new eyes and new knowledge, since human behavior did not change perceptibly.  If any, human cruelty to mankind and nature increased by several notches.”

In general, history stories are recounted Hollywood-style, packed with actions, heroes, traitors, smart generals, and far-sighted leaders and monarchs.  Empires decline due to steady decrease in demography.

The Moslem Ibn Khaldoun, in 15th century North Africa and considered to be the first sociologist and ethnographer, wrote that when a people lose hope for a better future to their descendants they decrease the procreation rate; in periods of high hope population increases.”

If you revise history stories, you can link, with high positive correlation, between periods of luxury and fast and increase in procreation. It is basically a mass perception of predicting the short-term evolution for survival.

For example, France was the most populous nation in Europe in the 18th century until people started reducing procreation, which affected the process of holding on to colonies.  The Napoleonic wars exacerbated this perception of instability and insecurity. It was useless giving birth so that children are sent to wars for no return in profit or hope of a better future.

You might offer a counterpoint: “How come after 70 years of slow and steady holocaust process, inflicted by the Zionist movement (Israel State) on the Palestinian people, this strategy did not slow the increased procreation of the Palestinians?”

My conjecture is that most Palestinians live in camps: Camp life would be too depressing if devoid of kids playing, laughing, and cheering up the camp.  The more kids are playing around the more hope is sustained.

Camp life creates community supports and discrepancies among classes are not noticeable to prevent sharing the little that families have, and to caring for kids of neighboring families.

Another example relates to demography in South Lebanon.  Even during the French mandate to Lebanon (1919-1943) the Zionist movement planned and schemed to extend the northern borders of the future States of Israel (recognized in 1948) to the Litany River.  The successive Lebanese governments, since Lebanon Independence in 1943, ruled as if South Lebanon was of no concern to them: no funds and no budgets were allocated to infrastructures, schools, hospitals or any kinds of development.

Then, in 1969, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and headed by Yasser Arafat, and with the support of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser forced Lebanon to allocate a portion of South Lebanon (Al Arkoub) an autonomous status to the PLO.

Israel was pleased with this new situation and bombed the villages in the south on pretense of reacting to the presence of the PLO.

The “inhabitants” in south Lebanon started to vacate their villages and flocked to the suburbs of Beirut (Al Dahiah).

As the civil war started in 1975, the PLO was ruling as the de facto State in South Lebanon. Regular mass immigrations of Lebanese Shiaa to Africa and elsewhere set in. South Lebanon was in the steady process of being depleted of its inhabitants, which should have satisfied Israel’s great dream.

Israel decided on the worst strategic blunder ever: Israel of Begin and Sharon invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Israeli army entered Beirut, and the military wings of the PLO were chased out to Tunis, and thus freeing south Lebanon from the hold of the PLO.  Israel resumed its blunder and decided to occupy south Lebanon for 25 years.

That is how purely Lebanese Resistance to occupation from many political parties started in full fledged. The Islamic regime of Khomeini in Iran extended new religious zeal, an ideology, organization, training and arming a Shiia splintered faction of AMAL named Hezbollah.

The tide had turned.  Israel was forced to vacate south Lebanon unilaterally in 2000.  The Lebanese returned to their villages with greater hope in the future.

Israel tried another attempt in 2006 to chase out Lebanese from the south during an intensive and savage 33 days preemptive war.  Israel covered the land with over 3 millions cluster bombs imported from Tony Blair of England.  The purpose was to scare people off from returning to the south.

The day the UN declared cease-fire people returned the same day to the south and not waiting from the government declaring the trip safe.

Makeshift bridges were erected (Israel had bombed out all bridges and highways) and where cars and trucks could not cross then walking was as good a means of transport.

Currently, the border villages in Lebanon are witnessing boom in tourism and tourist facilities, yards away from Israeli tanks and border patrols.  The tide has turned.

Israel may launch another savage and devastating preemptive war in Lebanon but the game is over: hope in south Lebanon is high for a better future while Israel is experiencing the worst period in lost hope for a stable Israeli State.

Israeli is reverting to its ghetto mentality and holding on to biblical archaic myths and laws. And had built the Wall of Shame along all its borders: No see, no fear, no aches…

Note: The Shiaa population in Lebanon is over 50%, and increasing at a higher rate than the other 17 other religious sects.

Part 8. “On the Wild trail of Mount Lebanon”: Aaychieh; (Mar.13, 2010)

Pierre Bared, a middle-aged man, tall, svelte, with graying beard and three children decided to walked alone for 22 days on the wild trails of Mount Lebanon.

He crossed Lebanon from the upper northern town of Kobayat to the southern town of Marje3youn in June 2008.

At 8:30 am Pierre and his part-time companion Chamoun walk toward the south: destination unknown.  They pass by an improvised station for washing cars by an irrigation canal.

They had decided to take the asphalt road for fear of cluster bombs that Israel haphazardly dropped on South Lebanon in 2006, in the last three days of the 33 days of the July preemptive war. At noon, they take a rest under the lone oak tree in the vicinity.  They eat at a restaurant in the village of Kfarhouneh: homus, chich taouk (chicken), and a large platter of salad.

It is Sunday and calm. The break is extended: Pierre’s friend George called and is joining the walkers with his girlfriend Farfoura.  Pierre visits alone a convent because the cleric seemed antipathetic; a local TV team is filming the inside of the convent.

By 7 pm, they are in Zeghrine. The Moslem Muezzin is calling for evening prayer.  Adolescents are eating ice cream and dropping the paper where they stand.

Next destination is Aaychieh.

Three armed civilians ask for ID; Pierre responds by asking for their ID first.  The armed men contact the Hezb HQ.  Two brothers invite the walkers and bring them fruit juice; the youngest accompany them to his house in the village; after a hot shower, the travelers join the family for dinner and sleep in an apartment.

In the 70’s, Palestinians killed the father; the family has now forgiven and looking forward.

The next morning they pass a house; the man invites them for tea.  The town of Marje3youn appears on the top of a mountain.  There is an army post.

Private Ali from Akkar whom Pierre met a couple of weeks ago holler to Pierre: Ali confided that he is no longer satisfied with army life and its small rations.

The Litany River valley separates the travelers from Marje3youn in the south and the Crusaders’ Beauford Castle (Chekeef Arnoun) on the west.  Several pauses were necessary during the steep ascent.

In Marje3youn, Pierre orders mankoush and soda; the owner refuses to accept money. Pierre finds a church and takes off his boots.

The residents in the second floor of the opposite building call the army; two soldiers arrive and search all the belonging of Pierre.  Pierre told the fat harassing soldier that he will meet with the Army Chief and will suggest to him to order all soldiers and military personnel to walk Lebanon from North to South; the fat corporal is not happy and takes Pierre’s conversation very seriously.

Chamoun arrives with Nasser, a good-hearted man (aleb tayeb); they eat at Nasser’s house where the family was ready to have dinner around an outside table; all kinds of food were arranged on the table.

Pierre asks to care for the barbecue since he does not feel hungry yet.  Then Pierre locates the mayor to negotiate the proper location for planting the cedar tree. Political infighting with the council is exacerbating any decision.  The travelers spend the night at Jamil’s (Nasser’s nephew) house.

The next evening, a correspondent from the daily Al Nahar had an interview with Pierre; Chamoun tried to pressure Pierre to lie and say that Chamoun coincidently walked in a separate trail. The photographer Alfred arrives and takes photo sessions for the planting ceremony. They had a car ride to Jezzine to perform another planting ceremony.

Pierre got into thinking: it is these warm, good-hearted and welcoming families who represent the true character of Lebanon.  End of the 22 days walking trip on the wild trails of Mount Lebanon.

The Jante Law: Mediocrity is King, (March 24, 2009)

In Scandinavia, the Jante Law said: “You are worthless.  Nobody is interested in what you think. Mediocrity and anonymity are your best choices.  If you act according to the Jante Law, then all your problems will vanish”

This Janti Law is the most common and most adhered to principle by most countries and people, though it was never formulated as clearly or known as the Law of the Lands of Mediocrity. 

The Janti Law was stated in the novel “A refugee surpasses his limits” by Aksei Sandemose in 1933.  This law was disseminated recently when the Norwegian Princess Martha-Louise married the writer Ari Behn.

Ari Behn was a recognized and acclaimed writer before he wedded the princess.  After the marriage, Ari was vehemently critiqued and lambasted by writers for no other reason but for daring to surpass his class status.  That is how the world got familiar with this Scandinavian Law. 

By the way, Princess Martha-Louise embroidered her gown with the names of who counted in her life for her 30h birthday, and many started to emulate her generous spirit.

People always claim that many wars would not have started if an anti-Janti Law was preponderant:

1. That people knew that they are worth far more than what they think. 

2. That what you do on earth is far more important than what you believe in;

3. That acting against injustice and expressing your opinions against tyrants will ultimately prevail.

That might be so, but it was still an abstract notion until 2003, when the King of Mediocrity, George W. Bush, prevailed against all the world community and launched his preemptive war against Iraq.

The Spanish PM Aznar defied the wishes of 90% of the Spanish citizens and so did the British PM Blair. The UN did not cover the operation.

Turkey declined 26 billions dollar in aid and denied the US troops a right to cross the Turkish land or launch military operations against its neighboring State.

Colin Powell was forced to forge falsified proofs, documents, and aerial photographs that Hans Blix, the inspector of Iraq disarmament on nuclear and chemical engines of war, contested for many months.

Britain Foreign Minister, Jack Straw, went as far as justifying this war on moral grounds.

The European Nations and their people were against this war.  The Arab States unified to decry this war.  The entire world demonstrated for two months but the King of Mediocrity prevailed.

No, it was not all in vain. Things have changed even if a few leaders still feel shy to denouncing the genocide that the Zionist State perpetrated against the Palestinians in Gaza.

The results of democratic elections are recognized, even if they don’t suit the philosophy of a few powerful nations.  A new urgency for diplomatic resolutions is taking over in world politics.  Sure, financial and economic downturns are helping that climate of overture, but Mediocrity is subsiding among nations.

The common people of nations are reawakening to known fundamentals that terrorism and religious extremism are the symptoms of fear, inequality in rights, injustices, and lack of freedom of speech coupled with anemic economies and lack of opportunities and professional diversity in jobs.

In order to establish just, prosperous, and democratic political systems around the world we have got to believe that it is very possible because it is right and urgent.

Note 1:  The theme of this post was inspired by “Like a Flowing River” by Paulo Coelho with re-arrangement.

Note 2: This post was published over three years before the Arab mass uprising and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the US and in Europe




June 2021

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