Friday, July 14, 2006

Lies and arrogance!

The lies of the Times: The New York Times printed the picture below with this caption today: "Israel used 155-millimeter shells against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon." Against Hezbollah? There are no fixed positions for Hezbolalh in South Lebanon. Unless all Lebanese Shi`ites (women, children, elderly, etc... etc...), in their cities, towns, and villages, are all now grouped under the word Hezbollah to rationalize Israeli killing of Lebanese civilians. Also, the Times said this: "Mr. Bush placed the blame for the tensions squarely on Syria for housing leaders of Hezbollah." I mean, if this is considered the most serious newspaper in the US, what do you expect from the rest? There are of course NO Hizbullah leaders in Syria. They all are in Lebanon.


Blogger melinda said...

Ah, now it's my turn to say henji (reply) ga osoku natte (becomes late), sumimasen ne (sorry!), or sorry for my late reply. Been busy with work and party prepping, which, in the face of the horrible uso (lies) and sondai (arrogance) you are discussing here, makes me feel a bit shallow, as I deliberate over what to pair with the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Will be back later with what I hope will be a meatier comment.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

Non ti preoccupare, e hai ragione: c’è una vita oltre al blog… Melinda (Don’t worry, and you are right: there is a life beyond the blog…)
You are not at all shallow, all comments are good as gold for me!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

*** On an unrelated note, I truly believe that this is an open blog where discussion and personal opinion are highly regarded and all kinds of comments will be most welcome. However, the use of nasty swearwords, lazy stereotyped-vitriol and open insults to religious believes will not be accepted, ergo all those kind of comments will be deleted (that I have just done) – thank you. ***

9:44 AM  
Blogger prying1 said...

You say: "There are no fixed positions for Hezbolalh in South Lebanon." - This is somewhat true. - especially since the headquarters of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and his residence have been destroyed.

Why is it these "freedom fighters" will not don uniforms and face their enemies on a feild of battle? Why instead do they hide behind the skirts of their women and old men by setting up their equipment in the middle of residential areas?

Why is it they did not simply return the Israeli soldier they had kidnapped and stop the battle before it started?

Israel had given them land and they abused it by setting up a place to attack Israel from.

You cannot get me to pity a group of people that strap bombs to themselves and their children in order to kill innocent civilians. They will recieve what they deserve.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

Well, well… you see prying1, it wasn’t that difficult, was it now? Just a good bit of change in your tone, no more swearing (you naughty boy), and there you go: your comment is up and running.

“Israel had given them land and they abused it by setting up a place to attack Israel from.” So we should all thank them for such an act of generosity isn’t it? Especially, we should thank them today, when Israel has confirmed that more than 50 civilians (the majority of which children and women) have been killed in an attack carried out by their air force.

Yes they might be hiding behind the skirts of their women, but a single Lebanese woman has more courage than a whole Israeli regiment, for the Israelis, similarly to the Americans, know very well how to hide behind their F16’s cockpits, their armoured vehicles, their bulldozers and, more specifically, behind their victimised rhetoric to inflict an unquestioned attacked on anyone and anything that do not agree with their ideology.

All this is happening because Israel is not prepared to accept any conditions related to the soldiers’ return, including a request for the release of 335 Palestinian children incarcerated in Israeli jails and openly tortured. It’s ironic that while the uniformed Shalit is being portrayed as an innocent, bespectacled boy-next-door, those children have been forgotten, along with over 9,000 adult Palestinian prisoners.

Correct me if I am wrong but since the beginning of April 2001, but to name one instance, Israeli military forces have launched several particularly brutal attacks on refugee camps in the southern Gaza Strip. On the night of 10 April, Israeli military forces entered Khan Yunis refugee camp with tanks, firing heavy artillery shells, heavy and medium calibre bullets. The camp is adjacent to Israeli military installations and Israeli settlements. During the Israeli attack, code-named “Operation Enjoyable Song”, 50 refugee shelters and their contents were demolished. More than 150 families were left homeless by the attack, 20 Palestinians were killed and 57 were injured. In the early morning hours of the 2nd of May, the Israeli military entered the Brazil quarter located near Rafah camp in the southern Gaza Strip, again backed by tanks and bulldozers. 18 refugee homes were destroyed, a dozen Palestinian residents of the camp were killed (the majority of which, again, children) with more than a dozen others injured by shrapnel, including several children that have been left mutilated.

Correct me again if I am wrong: Attacks on refugee camps and refugee-populated areas violate international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. Under the Fourth Geneva Conventions and the two Protocols to the Conventions, the Parties to a conflict, including the Occupying Power, must ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population.

Attacks on civilians, including refugees, are expressly prohibited (Article 51, Protocol I; Article 13, Protocol II). Destruction of real or personal property by the Occupying Power is also expressly prohibited (Article 53, Fourth Geneva Convention). Destruction of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population is prohibited (Article 54, Protocol I; Article 14, Protocol II). It is important to note that the presence of an individual combatant within a civilian population, including refugee camps, does not deprive the population of its civilian status (Article 50, Protocol I.

Attacks on refugee camps also violate a host of basic rights protected under international human rights law. This includes those rights set forth in the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights, such as the right to an adequate standard of living (Article 11) and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Article 12), among others.

Finally, attacks on refugee camps violate principles set forth in international refugee law. These principles have been elucidated in several Conclusions issued by the Executive Committee of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The Conclusions include No. 27 (XXXIII), adopted in 1982 in the aftermath of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, No. 32 (XXXIV) 1983, No. 45 (XXXVII) 1986, No. 48 (XXXVIII) 1987, and No. 72 (XLIV) 1993. Attacks on refugee camps, which are considered to have an exclusively civilian and humanitarian character, are unlawful. States are called upon to investigate violations of the personal security of refugees and institute criminal prosecution against all perpetrators of such violations. States and international bodies are called upon to provided effective physical protection to refugees (although very little has ever been done to protect these refugees).

prying1, I don’t want to get your pity, I am not interested in your pity, nor the Palestinians are interested in your pity. What we all are interested in is simple, mere, straightforward JUSTICE! Shame that the world, however, never takes a straightforward path and hides behind its hypocritical humanitarian mask, to absolve itself of all responsibility to deal with the growing crisis...


Written by Linda S. Heard

Friday, 14 July 2006

How much longer must the Palestinian and now the Lebanese people be bombed, starved, humiliated and abused before the international community speaks up with one voice? How much longer will world leaders avert their eyes from the cruel way Israel is pursuing a land grab? How much longer will ordinary people prefer the World Cup and blissful ignorance to the facts of Israel’s crimes and their effects on an entire people?

The US and the EU have labelled the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority and the Hezbollah “terrorist," a move that has virtually given the Israeli government carte blanche to do its worst. George W. Bush says Israel has the right to defend itself even as it works to deliberately terrorize a civilian population. The proof of intent is Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s instruction to the IDF last Sunday: “I don’t want anyone to sleep tonight in Gaza."

Almost 50 percent of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents are without electricity at a time when temperatures are hitting the mid-30s C (90s F). Israel saw fit to bomb a major power station, in blatant contravention of the Geneva Conventions, during an operation sadistically titled “Operation Summer Rain."

Experts say it may take up to eight months to restore power during which time hospital patients will die, families will be left without air-conditioners, fans, refrigerators and televisions, office workers and students without essential computers.

Those of us who live in this region and who have experienced inevitable brief power outrages should ask ourselves whether we could survive months of unrelenting heat and dark without even the respite of a cooling drink.

There is worse to come. Fuel for generators is running out fast. Water supplies will dwindle and the sewage system will collapse when electrically powered pumps become inert. In short, there is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the making. Yet, far from showing regret or remorse, Olmert, on Sunday, told his army to step up the action, with whatever related horrors that will entail.

During his weekly Cabinet meeting, which takes place in an air-conditioned boardroom, Olmert made this callous statement: “It is true that the situation in Gaza is inconvenient, so those who engage in terror should be inconvenienced. I told the United Nations secretary-general, ‘It’s inconvenient that there is no electricity but rockets kill.'”

Yes, rockets do kill, and so do Israeli bombs and tank shells that are currently raining down on the world’s largest open prison, where mothers can do nothing to protect their infants from the terrifying sounds of death and destruction, not to mention the deafening supersonic booms of low flying fighter jets.

Olmert hopes that no one in Gaza will sleep. He has got his wish. One wonders how this true ideological son of Sharon is able to sleep himself, provided, that is, he possesses a heart and a conscience.

Could this disproportionate military reaction to the abduction of a lone Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants be for real? The more cynical among us conclude it has more to do with the destruction of Hamas than the fate of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, especially when these heavy-handed Israeli tactics coincide with the acceptance by both Hamas and Fatah leaderships of the “Prisoners’ Peace Plan” that incorporates US and EU demands.

The last thing Olmert wants while he is thrusting his unilateral Convergence Plan onto the international community is for Hamas to accept Israel’s right to exist, thereby morphing into a potential partner for peace.

And so Hamas was systematically goaded into breaking its yearlong cease-fire, which began last August, when Israel began assassinating high-profile Hamas figures.

This pot-stirring tactic stretches back to the days when Yasser Arafat was president. On almost every occasion that Arafat would declare a unilateral cease-fire or support new peace measures, Israel would go out of its way to upset the applecart.

In recent days, Israel has rounded up dozens of Hamas Cabinet members, legislators and officials using the pretext that Hamas has officially been declared a terrorist group and has bombed the offices of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. These aggressive acts are surely shameful when the Palestinian people were encouraged by all and sundry to embrace democracy, which they proudly did, little knowing they would be judged and punished for their choice.

It seems that Israel is intent on bringing Syria and Iran into the row as well. Last week, Israeli jets buzzed the summer residence of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an attempt to force him to close down Hamas offices in Damascus and deport Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. On Sunday, Olmert told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “the directives to carry out operations and the orders to carry out terror attacks all come from Syria." This accusation Meshal vehemently denies.

What is becoming increasingly clear is this. Israel would prefer to escalate the crises rather than allow any possibility of returning to the peace table.

Israel is not prepared to accept any conditions related to the soldier’s return, including a request for the release of 335 Palestinian children incarcerated in Israeli jails. It’s ironic that while the uniformed Shalit is being portrayed as an innocent, bespectacled boy-next-door, those children have been forgotten, along with over 9,000 adult Palestinian prisoners.

With bridges literally burned by the Israelis, the Palestinians are pinning their hopes on Egyptian negotiators.

ldquo;We ask the international community and the Arab League to take its responsibilities toward our people and intervene to end Israel’s insane policy,” says Haniyeh. Judging by recent history, it’s a forlorn hope. We who do nothing and say nothing should all hang our heads in shame.

Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous GreyGuy said...

I agree with much of that article, but the one thing that always disturbs me from the "experts" who debate on both sides of the conflict is that neither are ever willing to take responsibility for the actions taken by the side for whom they argue.

If you try to read the article you just presented from a critical point of view with as little of your own personal bias as possible, you will understand what I mean. The same goes for the pro-Israeli articles I have seen too.

9:45 PM  
Blogger EuroYank said...

Since Israel has 450 nukes, and one of the most modern 4.5 billion dollars a year American supported military, and a numerous air force, I wonder if those katusha rockets are a little outmatched. Now if Syria and Iran join in the engagement can be interesting. They will probably just supply Hezbollah with more equipment and arms for the meantime, and also the 5000 Hezbollah force in southern Lebanon can only afford guerrilla tactics I believe. Also Syria and Iran and Russia have a mutual security and defense treaty, which has rarely been mentioned in the media!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

I agree with you Grey. And I also agree that what Hezbollah did, by the kidnapping and entering in Israel does constitute an act of war, which means that the question is about the proportionality of the response and its legality, not in terms of there being a response, but whether it went in accordance with the rules of the applicable laws and conventions.
What annoys me most, however, is that the international community, especially America, is not going to take a strong and fair stand towards what is happening there. Moderation, diplomatic talks, United Nation’s intervention should be at the order of the day. Sadly enough, what we are seeing is: full scale retaliation, hate rhetoric and a desire to drag in this mess other sovereign states too…
Sad… very sad…

2:17 PM  
Blogger Leon said...

The NY Times seems to have lost their credibility over the years. Don't really keep up with what's happening in Hezbolah. Sorry.

3:06 PM  
Blogger The Wager Witch said...

ALL media - all powers - show you that which they only want you to think.

Some things are wrong - some are right and some are grey.

It is never beauty to see war in any fashion.

It is never beauty to see death forced upon another.

Wager Witch -
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9:43 AM  
Blogger Shaman Dandulla said...

God! you are so right my dear Witch!

11:05 AM  

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