Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘War diary in Lebanon

July 23, 2006

Victor heard on the news last night that the retired military officers who have professions in engineering or medicines to join the army. The news also asked the retired military who were drivers or technicians to sign in.  His wife Raymonde told him that these requirements do not apply to him, so he better forget it.  At lunch, my semi drunk father, (he desisted drinking before lunch on account of experiencing several falls), blurted out that the newspaper stated that all graded officers have to call up and join the closest military units to their residencies.  Dad went on that yesterday Victor’s former unit officer called up and father told the caller that Victor is not in (to avoid that the officer directly talks with Victor).  Victor got upset and started eating fast and absentminded to what was being said and ruminating his anger; then he flared up and demanded why my father did not inform him about the call and all the routine irrelevant crap.

So far, it appears that Israel has managed to gain a bridgehead on the hill of the small town of Maroun Al Rass that has a view to a dozen Lebanese villages and most Israeli colonies; Israel is suffering continuing casualties as it wants to capture this strategic town.  Hezbollah has denied the successive claims of Israel that Maroun El Rass had fallen.  Hezbollah has just announced that the village did not fall yet and that 3 Israeli Merkava tanks have been destroyed and at least 20 Israelis soldiers were killed or injured.

We are still waiting for a land invasion but I sense that if it happens it will be very restricted to a couple of miles along the southern border, unless crazy Bush feels like emulating his clinically dead Sharon all the way.  My hunch is that Israel had no quarrel with Hezbollah and could live with a secure and rational peace on its northern borders.  It is the US that wanted to punish Hezbollah for its suicide attacks on the Marines in 1983 in Beirut and more importantly, to destroy any political cards that Iran may hold in the Middle East that could “destabilize the region” in preparation for the crucial next negotiation on Iran’s nuclear program.

Since Israel was ordered by Bush Junior  to deal a military defeat on Hezbollah then Israel decided to destroy Lebanon’s social and political structure that is basically the arch enemy for the viability of the Israeli social and political structure.  Lebanon’s political structure would never be able to unite on a platform for a serious peace treaty with Israel.  Lebanon economy could compete seriously and hurt Israel’s economy when Lebanon catches on the globalization band wagon for fast and integrated communication.

G.W Bush administration is adamant on a military victory on Hezbollah, even if Israel will pay dearly for such a victory since cheap missiles in “rogue” very angry hands, fundamentalists or nationalists, would wreck havoc on its security and tourism; even if such a victory would destabilize the whole Middle East for an unknown political status; even if oil prices might shout over the roof.

Israel, a mercenary State par excellence, is not in a position to turn down an order from Washington though Israel has enough lobbying power in the internal US political structure to always manage well its negotiation to extracting political advantages in addition for more financial and military support.

Syria is more than ready to satisfy the US demands at this junction, if only a quick cease fire in Lebanon is voted in the UN.  The reason for Syria readiness is that it fears Iran’s wrath and then, clear pressures from Iran to engage Israel militarily, a move that Syria refused for over 30 years after the 1973 peace treaty.  Any threat from Iran to remove its cover from Syria is a much more serious threat for the Syrian regime than any other threats because Iran can deliver directly when others have to search for a proxy to do the job.

It is not in the interest of the US to disintegrate Syria, and most probably the US does not want chaos in Syria, but this is in the offing if the US persists in inflicting a crushing military defeat on Hezbollah, leaving all the neighboring countries, including Israel, weak, exhausted and disoriented to assert a seaming of security.  At this stage, the US will experience the extent of the devastation that real terrorism could inflict on World system stability.

May be the coming ten days will offer us an answer to how crazy and irresponsible the Bush administration is; how weak and puny the Olmert PM administration is in handling the crisis forced upon her.  Most probably, a low level war will continue for an extended time erasing any definite perceived advantage any party thought to achieve. What is almost certain is that this government in Lebanon is not a viable one to steer the society in Lebanon to a stable political environment:  it just did not know how to lead, to read between the lines, to take a firm position and create a sense of affinity toward this beleaguered society.

July 22, 2006 (continue)

I tried to go to bed early but kept getting up and switching the TV on:  There were allusions that Israel is amassing more reserve soldiers and regular army on its northern front, most probably for imminent large-scale land invasion.  So far, Israel claims that it has entered in two points for only a mile and lately has retreated from one point. Around 1 pm we heard loud and close blasts:  air strikes on the LBC TV channel and Alfa mobile antennas on Sannine and Turbol.  Hasbayya was hit and this area was isolated from the town of Marjeyun.

Ashley got her surprise birthday party; five of her best friends woke her up in the morning; I went up late to join the party for breakfast of “mankoush” bi zaatar and bi kishk, tea, three kinds of cakes and fruit.

More refugees are heading toward the districts of Mount Lebanon; so far, more than 700 thousands have been displaced.  The US embassy is evacuating 5,000 of its citizens today on private ships; it has evacuated 7,000 yesterday.  A Greek war ship brought 13 tons of supplies in addition to 3 tons from Cyprus and 2 tons of medicine from the organization of “physicians with no frontiers”.  The radio is appealing to all the retired army officers to volunteer in the operations of rescue missions.  I did not yet tell Victor about this piece of information because I do not want to be responsible for the anxiety of his family.

Hezbollah sent another wave of missiles into Haifa, kibbutz Kiryat Shmouna, and Naharia; a big fire in Kiryat and Haifa is a dead city on this Sabbath day and shops are closed and no circulations..

A paragraph from the book I’m reading “the Lexus and the olive tree” captured my attention; it said that the “Qaeda” leader Osama Bin Laden was consistently haranguing his followers to get the US from the Arabian Peninsula because its culture was defiling the Islamic homes.  The book was published in the year 2000 before the September 11 attack on the nerve centers of the Twin Towers in Manhattan; Bin Laden got quickly on the globalization bandwagon of fast communication and Internet facilities and managed to utilize this new and fast freedom of knowledge and action to hit the US where it hurts most.

I bartered 10 home-grown eggs for fresh ground meat; I am selling one egg for 15 cents. There are good demands for home egg,s not only because of the war but also for the wave of fear of chicken influenza.  A month ago we had surpluses of eggs and could not figure out what to do with the surplus; we certainly consumed more omelets and bake cakes. Now the chicken are not laying that many eggs and people are starting to suspect that we might be favoring other customers.

William got hooked to meditation this semester: he copied all sort of metaphysical books, spent an hour each morning on a version of yoga meditation and started trying his hands on Chinese calligraphy.  He practically let go of his studies and assignments ; the family got hysteric; anxiety, anger, and depression got hold of all of us because William will fail to graduate in graphic design after he dropped the idea of finishing his last year project to graduate in architecture.  As the first-born son who suffered from heart problems at his birth, William was constantly pampered by his father who never denied him any request: in fact , everything that he needed was to be new and top performing, from cars, to computer equipments, and to digital camera.  William fully realizes the advantages that he benefited from being the first-born and appreciates them, but somehow he tends to forget to return the favors in the critical moments. His family claims that he takes after me in craziness not in genius.

Tuesday, July 19, 2006

Note: This diary covers the 33 days war of Israel on Lebanon, presumably against Hezbollah’s military machine.

Yesterday, Syria provided a few statistics:  more than 100,000 Lebanese and other foreign nationals have already crossed its borders.

The first day of war experienced a mass exodus of the tourists from the Arab Gulf States, around 25,000 tourists and then, the Syrian laborers followed suit.

Today, we attended the burial of a four years old girl Rita-Maria who finally died of kidney failure after years of fighting against her disease.  Her parents (cousins)begot her after thirteen years of trying for a child.  While carrying the baby to her burial-place her mother kept sobbing softly: “Where are they taking you?”

Today, my mother sent me on an errand for her basic medicines, Glibomet for her blood sugar level and Capozide for her blood pressure.

The husband of our regular pharmacist claimed that he has no more Glibomet because it is delivered from West Beirut and no shipments were forthcoming, he did not have even Panadol!  I remembered our local, almost a non-profit clinic, in Beit Chabab and bought two packs of Glibomet and a substitute to Panadol and also a pack of generic Capozide at a price one-third lower than the one I purchased from pharmacies.

Around 1:30 pm,  the phone was ringing off its hook for quite a while: the pharmacist was telling me that she received Glibomet and I thanked her for her prompt reply to our request.

It is to be noted that four months ago, our National Health Social Security kicked my father and mother out of its list and refused to pay for their medicines because they were over the age of 80, and its budget could no longer afford to pay for medicines.

As soon as I arrived home, my brother–in–law asked me to buy a 50-kilo sac of white wheat for emergency; I told him that I’ll think about this request tomorrow.  However, in the afternoon I bought 25 kilo because there was not enough for the other customers.

On my way I passed by the “mukhtar” to say hello and found relatives of mine filling forms for applying to passports and I was asked to sign the application as one of the witnesses.  It was an opportunity to apply also for a new passport. The last time I renewed my passport was in 2000 at Washington DC when I decided to go back definitely to Lebanon.

The cover of the passport was then red-brown as the Syrian passports; and the Lebanese government decided to change the color back to navy blue when the Syrian withdrew from Lebanon in 2005.

For some days I have been trying to be in contact with a few friends but at no avail:  all the lines sounded busy or disconnected or nobody available to answer my calls.  I needed to know if they were safe, have left Lebanon or managed to relocate away from the close and persistent noises of jet planes and Israeli frigate shelling and the polluted atmosphere, a thick cloud that was covering and hovering over Beirut and its environs.

I decided to check a friend’s apartment close by after he relocated to West Beirut for convenience sake two years ago.  He was there with the extended family of his wife, his mother with a friend of hers, and the Sir Lankan helper, about a dozen people.  They spent three days cleaning their two stories apartment and refilled the pool.

As soon as entered my friend’s house Ramez, Lebanon Seniora PM was to deliver a speech to the foreign diplomatic corps.  He bewailed the plight of the Lebanese citizens, 500 thousands refugees, most of them with no roofs over their heads and the difficulty of delivering provision to the stranded in their villages; he exhorted the world communities not to forget them as they did during our civil war that started in 1975 and lasted 13 years.

It was an impassioned plea that reflected the impotence of this government, but he did not sound as a viable leader for a country in need of lifting its soul and the reserves of its human energy.

Since the beginning of the war I stopped driving my car except for short errands to buy supplies because I felt it was my patriotic duty to save on gas and also to keep away from the possibility of altered and diluted gas in this time of scarcity.

My nephew Cedric went to his job today and I was told that William has shaved his head after a year of growing long hair.

Sunday, July 17, 2006

My aunt Montaha told me that our local public middle school was flooded by refugees and that Zouzou is in charge of managing the situation. They were in need of blankets, pillows and mattresses and thanking God that this was the summer season.  The next day, the office across the school that Zouzou was heading for managing the refuges problem was filled with bags of breads and sacs of potatoes in order to feed the refugees.  In the court of the school two kerosene ovens were installed, probably borrowed from homes and used during the winter season for heating and boiling water.

Monday, July 18, 2006

Israel has already destroyed all our roads and bridges leading to the south in order to destabilize Hezbollah’s logistics in men and armament. The headquarters of Hezbollah in south Beirut is totally destroyed and still the enemy jets keep shelling it. The so-called Security Square of Hezbollah is a huge mass of rubble but the leader Hassan Nasr Allah is still alive and promising new surprises for his missiles to reaching Haifa and beyond Haifa. 

At the end of his televised message, Nasr Allah told us to watch the Israeli frigates that were visible in front of Beirut.  Seconds later, one of the frigates was hit by two missiles and gun shot of joy were heard in Beirut.

Israel’s air force hit all the Lebanese army radar sites along the littoral and now it is targeting the army barracks too; twelve soldiers and officers have perished and two dozens wounded.  It seems that Israel is trying to alienate the army from the Resistance.  Fact is, as if the majority of Shiaa soldiers in the army is about to satisfy the wishes of our enemy Israel.

George W. Bush is aggravating my nerves with his insipid, ignorant, and flatulent short speeches; he has a one directional view in politics because he is too lazy to read reports and connect dots.  You might think that a wife could infuse some humanity and compassion in a husband but it seems that Lora Bush is the real racist and ignorant party in the relationship for failing to educate her husband properly. 

Hearing Bush you have the impression that taking two Israelis soldiers prisoner is a good enough reason to destroying Lebanon because he loathes what he calls the “Hezbolla terrorists”.  Nasr Allah was correct by stating that the actions and behavior of Hezbollah were on target in increasing our pride, honor and safety from the collusion of the Arab regimes with Israel and the US plans in the region that are meant to weaken our resolves for independence and progress.

My niece Joanna never skipped a day work because Indevco does not believe in days off under any circumstances, although the Christian cities of Jounieh, Achrafieh, and Byblos received Israeli shelling.




June 2022

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