This week is the fourth week of Israel’s war against Lebanon. The war is still the dominant subject of posts in the Lebanese blogosphere. Many new blogs emerged since the outbreak of the attacks. It is difficult to cover them all in this roundup. The few selected here are just samples of what one might see in the Lebanese blogs, in addition to photos, graphics and media resources.
JoseyWales criticized this sudden surge of blogs claiming that there is an increase in quantity at the expense of quality.
Have you wondered how Lebanese bloggers spend their day? Take a look at a day spend by Ahmad in Saida watching an Israeli plane trying hard to throw some leaflets on his city:
From where we were sitting, we could see the sea, and during the one hour we stayed there, an Israeli plane made three attempts to throw pamphlets on the city (between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM). Obviously the pilot has a serious vision problem or he is totally inept because all his three attempts ended up with the pamphlets in the sea. Of course, we returned home and he continued to trying (I bet anyone can do a better job on his very first aviation experience.)
Anyway, after many trials, it seems that the Israeli plane “succeeded” (thank God) in dropping the pamphlets on the city and not on the fishes. The stupid pamphlets are asking the people, in Saida, to evacuate.
How are we going to leave, when there is no fuel in the gas stations!? Does the terrorist army of Israel realize that we cannot fill our cars with water?
How are we going to leave, when all the main roads to and from Saida are cut!? I bet no one has a helicopter that he parks on the roof of his building.
Finally, in Saida, there are 150,000 refugees in Saida. In best cases, suppose everyone has a helicopter that he can fill with water, what can we do about 150,000 refugees? Keep them alone??
I am not leaving. And to all the terrorist Israeli army, I want to say, go **** yourself. :)
There are fears that a civil war may be one of the end results of the Israeli incursion into Lebanon.
Lebanon.Profile explained why this may not happen:
The current conflict rests atop a sea of unresolved issues that pre-date even the Lebanese civil war. Racism, sectarian animosity, feelings of oppression and neglect run deep in Lebanon. Christian support for Shia refugees is smoothing out some of these differences. The Shia population is in need and Christian supporters of Michel Aoun are coming to their support. Aoun already had support in the Shia community, but he is now widely respected.[…]If civil war is avoided and if Hezbollah is to be disarmed, it will most likely come about through the person to person bonds being made right now between Christians and Shia.
Sabbah posted a very interesting “Did You Know” exercise which sheds light on Lebanese and Middle Eastern politics today.
Leila at Dove’s Eye View quoted Uri Avnery in Tel Aviv as saying:
“On behalf of this demonstration, I say to the Lebanese people: As an Israeli, I feel deep shame for what we are doing to you! For the devastation we have brought on you. Deep shame! When this madness is finally over, we shall struggle together – Israelis and Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese, Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel – So that we can live a normal life, Each in his free state, Side by side In PEACE!”
Matthew Hogan wrote a mocking letter from Hezbollah to the State of Israel asking them to accept their earnest thanks for making them the most powerful force in Lebanon.
Ms Leventine also posted a letter by M. Kyriakos –Saad to a young Lebanese telling him of the futility of anti-war marches to London’s Parliament Square:
The solution to the problem is elsewhere. It is in Lebanon. Disarm militias, unite people and make them forgive what happened during the war, so that they can forget. Create a nation in Lebanon, rather then a succession of communities who fear and hate each other and battle each other for power and positions. And stop blaming others for the fate of Lebanon. The problem is not in Tel Aviv, Damascus or Teheran. It is in Achrafieh, Ras Beirut and Ghobeiry. And do not force me to go march with a bunch of excitable people; I prefer to smoke my cigar from the sidelines.
Propaganda and the way media presents the news was also discussed by some bloggers. Among them was Bech who targeted CNN with the following criticism:
I come to believe that there a different ways Americans value the lives of citizens.
On CNN today I almost choked on my food when Israeli General Ruth Yaron explained how civilians stayed in targeted areas against their will to serve as shield. Seriously who can buy this talk? So the Khezballah (Israeli accent) is in the same time not letting civilians leave, waging a guerrilla, trying not to make themselves visible, and hiding behind civilians…
By the way CNN spent the whole day talking about Haifa who had accidentally 3 dead today, because of an attack that Khezballah claimed it was answering for the targeting of residential areas in the suburbs of Beirut that kills more than 30 people per day. The whole day interviewing Israeli officials, mayors, truck drivers, people, going into shelters. bouhou demons outside poor Israelis wake up to your condition of spoiled mediatized people. Ask yourself how mediocre your government has been in handling this issue!
EDB cynically wrote about the propaganda efforts of the IDF including phone calls that Lebanese are receiving from Israel:
The Israeli propaganda effort is a reliable source of amusement amidst the incalculable violence and destruction. They drops pamphlets, which inform the Lebanese that “Hezbollah is destroying your country and homes,” followed by a barrage of American-made bombs that level entire villages. They interrupt radio- and TV broadcasts. Sometimes the images are just scrambled. While watching the news on Al Jazeera, the weather reporter morphs into Hillary Clinton– a grave injustice to say the least. During a re-run of Hassan Nasrallah's latest televised address, I gleaned valuable information from a banner obscuring his face that read, “I am a member of Hezbollah”. But they also individualize their efforts by bombarding cellphones with pre-recorded messages[…]
There is no stopping Hizbullah, and I am sick and tired of their false heroism, popular with the delusional masses of Islamo-Arabia. The Arabs lost their war with Israel a long time ago, and we are the only ones still fighting. And for what? At which point is self defense considered suicide? To me there is more honor in surrendering right now than “winning” by sacrificing everything we have. Nasrallah has committed Lebanese people to life in the dark tunnels of war where he keeps his human farm, the Shia of Lebanon.
Children suffer either directly or indirectly during wars. Perpetual Refugee described in his unique style the agony of the children of Qana:
During times of intense trauma, children look up to their parents. They believe that somehow, those that gave them life should be able to protect life. And they feel secure just knowing that mama or papa are there. A simple touch of the hand is all it takes to releave the anxiety.
When bombs are falling on their heads, they don't ask why is Olmert doing this? Why does Nasrallah say that? They only know that death is a possibility. And it's them against us. And they don't know why. The brainwashing will come later. It's much easier after trauma.
So while bombs fell. And fell. And fell some more. The children of Qana looked up to their parents. Their mothers. For reassurance. Huddled together in a basement. Beneath tonnes of concrete. And they felt safe. After all, lightning doesn't strike the same place twice. Unless the IAF controls the heavens. […]
The real story isn't the image of the dead infant with the pacifier still hanging from her pajama. It's that she was not allowed to walk her first steps. Eat her first bite of solid food. Brush her first tooth. Learn her first word. Sing her first song.
Her life. Along with countless others. Denied the right to live. By some twenty-something in an F-16 way up in the sky. Defending himself from the prospect of what she could one day become.
While JulyWarOnLebanon decided to change the strategy of explaining to the children that the bombs are far away from their school [sheltered because they are displaced] and will never reach them to a new strategy of lying to them about the explosions they keep hearing.
Sophia presented an argument for an economic and cultural boycott of Israel.
Dr. Victorino blamed the Bush administration and declared that:
Future generations will remember the reign of George W. Bushmert
As the Age of the Missing Leash: from Abu Ghraib’s Arabivorous German shepherds
To the escaped Israeli anaconda now suffocating the Texan snake-oil salesman who raised it!
1TooManyPeaches quoted a study from a research center which claims that the war in Lebanon is part of the battle for oil.
Jij took a shot at the proposed American-French draft resolution for a cease fire:
The French-American resolution draft is an extremely bad development. The resolution fulfils all of Israel’s demands. It is not a ceasefire draft; it is simply a formulation of Israel’s goals. It is an insult to Lebanon. If some uninformed observer was to read the draft, he would think that Hezbollah has been crushed militarily and rendered redundant, which is obviously far from being the case, as today’s heavy Israeli losses would attest.[…]
What is the purpose of this draft? Was it proposed precisely to be rejected, in order to give Israel some more time to finish the business? Was it presented so that Senioura’s seven-point plan would appear as the epitome of objectivity and balance in contrast? Or is it one more attempt to divide the Lebanese?
Raja addressed the Israeli readers who frequent his site:
I am very aware that Israelis visit this site. So my message to those visitors is that you not only destroyed the dreams of an entire generation of Lebanese (i.e. my own, and probably my children's). But, you guys and your government just shot yourselves in the foot! And I don't mean merely with one shot. No! I mean, you guys got an M-16 rifle, put it on full automatic and shot both your feet to smithereens.
Your reckless “shock-and-awe” military campaign ultimately turned a political-military organization that you hate into the Arab World’s hero; and in doing so, you have only increased the influence of your arch-nemesis, Iran. Ultimately, the biggest losers are the Lebanese people, and the hope they manifested in a region characterized overwhelmingly by hopelessness and depression.
Finally, among the blogs showing photos of the sufferings of the Lebanese is the Lebanese Blogger Forum.