[News] Good Morning Beirut

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Jul 16 20:03:40 EDT 2006

Not surprisingly the voice of Arabs on the ground, be they in Lebanon or
are not being heard.

  Below is a report from Lebanon. Please distribute widely as the latest news
indicates that Israel is going to probably do its heaviest bombing of South
Lebanon soon. One family that did try to flee was brutally cut down by
rockets. See pictures of the massacre at

  If you work in the alternative media or can by some miracle convince the
mainstream media to allow the voices of those on the ground in Lebanon to be
heard, Bilal can be contacted at 011 961 303 1737...if you can get through.

  With most of the governments of the world having abandoned the
Palestinian and
Lebanese people, it's important that people in the US and elsewhere
continue to
demonstrate, have teach-ins, speak outs, and even fundraisers because of the
humanitarian crisis which has developed in Gaza and Lebanon will only be

  Good Morning Beirut
July 16

  Hi everyone. First of all, I am fine as are family and friends. We're
scattered in
different places, some still in the south, some in Tyre, the rest in
Beirut and
its surroundings. Those who live in the southern suburbs where Hizbullah
is based
managed to leave before the latest strikes and are safe with relatives.

  As most of you know, Hizbullah carried out a bold operation a few days
ago and
managed to capture two Israeli soldiers. The resistance has been saying
for quite
some time now that it intends to free the remaining Lebanese prisoners in
most prominently Samir Qantar. Dubbed the "dean of the prisoners," Qantar
is the
longest serving Arab prisoner in Israel. He was to be released along with
Lebanese prisoners in a swap between Hizbullah and Israel. The Israeli
voted not to release him and two others and stupidly kept the prisoner
file open.

  The Hizbullah operation was an attempt to put an end to the matter.
There were
several previous unsuccessful attempts that were costly to the resistance.
operation according to Nasrallah, the general-secretary of Hizbullah, was
in planning and its timing, which has been endlessly criticized, may have
logistical more than anything else.

  In light of Israel's ferocious response, it is worth noting that the
capture of
the two Israeli soldiers was a pure military operation and did not as much
an Israeli civilian. Israel's counter is exactly the opposite-collective
punishment of the civilian population by destroying the country's
and committing ugly massacres against families and fleeing refugees as
they did
yesterday in the south. Who's the terrorist in this case, even by the
definitions peddled in Washington.

  Why did Hizbullah do this, did they not know that Israel would respond
this way.
I'm certain that they considered this scenario as one of several. But
two decades of experience in dealing with Israel have taught it one thing
and that
is Tel Aviv will never budge on any matter without threat of force. Israel
compelled to leave southern Lebanon in May 2000-after over 20 years of
occupation-only after the resistance gained the upper hand militarily.

  The consequent prisoner swap in which nearly all Lebanese prisoners in
Israel were
released was only possible once Hizbullah managed to capture Israeli
soldiers and
offer them in exchange. As Nasrallah put it, the recent operation was the
logical conclusion given Hizbullah long experience with Israel. To get the
remaining prisoners out, Israeli soldiers must be captured-Israel simply
no other option.

  The current situation only confirms Hizbullah's experience. The whole
most painfully the Arab governments-have refused to lift a finger to restrain
Israel. The UN met and decided to do nothing, yesterday the Arab League
met and
was even more insulting. The Lebanese government has yet to act, besides
denouncing Hizbullah and distancing themselves from the resistance--not even
providing the most basic services to the displaced and injured.

  The Arab League meeting and statements by the Lebanese prime minister
suggest that
there is a convergence of interests between them and Israel over putting a
halt to
the Lebanese resistance by disarming Hizbullah and burying once and for
all those
forces in the region, including Hamas for example, that believe in a line of
confrontation with Israel as the only road to get some semblance of
justice. The
Saudi royals and their slavish counterparts in Jordan and Egypt, want
Arabs to
submit and swallow the humiliation we are subjected to daily in Iraq,
and Lebanon, all in the name of stability and rational thinking.

  Since 1993 and the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Arab leaders, the US
and the
UN have been saying that negotiations and normalization with Israel are
the only
way to peace. But we have yet to see Israel make the smallest concession,
the opportunity to swallow up yet more land, butcher the Palestinian
people and
continue to imprison thousand. Hamas' election was but one indicator that
Arabs have understood that successive peace accords have brought them
nothing but
further misery-only resistance, with all the suffering that comes with it,

  Like the Palestinians, the Lebanese are all alone, abandoned to be
taught a lesson
by the regional and global powers. Hizbullah's incredible response
(striking a war
ship and bombing as far as Haifa) shows that they perhaps considered and
for Israel's ferocious response. Only their ability to strike back
effectively can
save Lebanon from complete destruction at the hands of Israel-the lunatics
in Tel
Aviv know no other language.

  Bilal El-Amine

  Bilal El-Amine is the former editor of Left Turn Magazine 
(www.leftturn.org)  who
returned to his native Lebanon last year. If you would like to contact
Bilal you
can reach him in Beirut at 011 961 303 1737 (Beirut is 10 hours ahead of PST)

Claude Marks
Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977

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