u.s. uses israeli invasion as practice on iran

August 14, 2006

Seymour Hersh: U.S. Helped Plan Israeli War Plans, Cheney ‘Convinced’ Assault on Lebanon Could Serve as Prelude to Preemptive Attack on Iran” is the title of a piece at Democracy Now! who interviews Hersh about his New Yorker article entitled Watching Lebanon. In the Democracy Now! interview, Hersh discusses one of the U.S.’s plans for Iran, which looks like the Israeli bombing of Lebanon:

So when you watch what Israel did in its opening salvo, the first targets, I remember vividly, was — and everybody should — they took out the civilian airstrip. They took away civilian — the ability to use aircraft to travel. They took out highways. They took out roads. They took out petrol stations. They basically isolated Southern Lebanon. But I think part of the reason they did so much damage to the infrastructure was they believed — and I think the Israelis have been very clear about it — that the Christian population and the Sunni population — don’t forget Hezbollah is Shia — would rise up against Hezbollah, and it would be a great feather in the cap, etc., etc., etc.

The Democracy Now! interview of Hersh and the New Yorker article are well worth listening to and reading.

hawgblawg’s resources & beirut dc video

August 12, 2006

Just wanted to urge folks to check out Ted Swedenburg’s blog at hawgblawg. Ted is professor of anthropology at U. of Arkansas, whose mascot is the razorback hog…yup, I love that play on words with hawgblawg. Don’t let the play lull you into expecting yucks and jokes cuz Ted offers fantastic information on pop culture in the middle east, focusing on palestine and lebanon. In Ted’s 11 August posting, I found an article on the artist group Beirut DC and links to their two short videos, which are powerful pieces of work. The article is “Bringing the siege of Lebanon into focus” by Jim Quilty at The Daily Star, an English language publication for the Middle East (click on the About Us link to read The Daily Star‘s history). The videos, by Beirut DC, are From Beirut to…those who love us and dead time. Just found a link to YouTube for From Beirut to…those who love us. Please, please watch this.

must-see Mazen

August 11, 2006

let’s play by Mazen Kerbaj

If you haven’t seen Mazen Kerbaj’s 11 August drawing posted on his blog and available at Flickr (both linked above), you must. You just must. In Flickr, look above the image to find a very small magnifying glass icon with the words “All Sizes” next to it. Click on the link and you’ll see this image available in six different sizes. The one posted here is small, 170 x 240.

another blog translation and Laure Ghorayeb’s drawings

August 9, 2006

Laure Ghorayeb has some powerful drawings on her blog, Witnessing (Again). On her 8 August posting, she quotes Nayla Mouawad, Interior Minister, as saying that 75% of the Lebanese are unemployed or kept away from work because of the war.

Here’s the translation for Marc’s 7 August 2006 blog posting at impression. It’s entitled “wisdom”:

I saw a great man talk on TV. For once, a politician, a journalist, speaks in my name, in the name of the entire Lebanese people, without reference to each religious or social denomination.

In this very difficult moment in our country’s History, Ghassan Tuéni gives me life, this man who has seen his children disappear one after another under no less than tragic circumstances, and shows victory over the horrible violence which rages around us like a nightmare with no hope of waking.

The wisdom, vision, political intelligence, humor and humanity which emanates from this man marked by the weight of years is the antidote to the death which has prevailed over Lebanon for the last four weeks. Without a doubt it’s a paradox to see an old man carrying the hope of a people, but the political future of Lebanon can be found perhaps in the wisdom of its past.

Neither Shiite, Sunni, Christian, nor Druze, just a lay citizen facing the adversity of Israel, Syria and others…of their wars against my land. And just because Tuéni quotes Christ does not mean he acts out of a primitive confessional reflex or in order to proselytize; he does so simply out of pure humanity, in order to explain the sharing of suffering with others, those who have less luck in one moment of their life, that tragic moment which is life’s statistical injustice. One can fight injustice peacefully, above all, peacefully.

Ghassan Tuéni is currently serving in his son’s position in parliament. At 80 years old, he has had to fill his son’s political and journalist shoes after Géban Tuéni was killed by a car bomb in December, 2005. For Ghassan, he repeats in his old age what he did as a younger man; he sits in parliament and he leads a prestigious Lebanese newspaper, an-Nahar. Ghassan’s four-year old daughter died of cancer, and so did his wife; his son Makram died in a car accident, and his remaining child, Gébran, was assassinated. See Anthony Shadid’s Washington Post foreign service article (“‘Gebran didn’t die’, he lives on through his father“), housed at Ya Libnan, for more information.

Fouad Siniora’s tears

August 7, 2006

I’m reading Zeinobia’s Egyptian Chronicles which presents a powerful Arab perspective on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Zeinobia (22-yr. old Egyptian blogger) discusses Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s speech in front of Arab leaders and talks about his tears. She mentions that Aljazeera has one of the best presentations of the speech. And I agree. In today’s Aljazeera.net, you can read “Siniora in emotional plea for truce” and some reference to Lebanon’s 7-point plan. Where is this 7-point plan in U.S. news? I’ll look and listen today, but I doubt I’ll find it. Much of the news today instead discusses Siniora’s mistake about a bombed bunker; he said over 40 people were killed and later reduced the number to 1, when he received updated news. This is the focus in the news, not Lebanon’s 7-point plan to declare its own peace, to establish its voice as its own national voice…not the voice of the U.S., Syria, or Israel, the main forces Lebanon combats today simply to exist.

webtifada button

August 7, 2006

This is the webtifada button my sister Martha Seikaly designed. The idea for a webtifada button in English and Arabic came from a comment on Mazen Kerbaj’s KERBLOG. Any thoughts on the Arabic?

blog translation

August 6, 2006

Here’s today’s translation from Marc’s impression blog:

Sunday, August 06, 2006

the terrible equation

One Israeli death equals 10,000 Lebanese deaths according to a Jewish settler in the north of the Hebrew State who was interviewed on France 2. If I follow this reasoning exactly then 300 deaths in Israel would mean that Lebanon would be completely erased from the map.

Although being totally against the attacks of Hezbollah against civilians, which are not a means of effective defense but an archaic way of creating a balance of terror, I am nevertheless shocked by this settler’s equation. How can a foreign media spread such a statement? How can a descendant of the holocaust, a survivor of calculated barbarism have the gall to want a whole population dead?

The peace demonstrations in Tel Aviv, however, leave me with hope that this fascist ideology reflects the feelings of only a minority of Israeli Jews.

I am also a descendant of genocide, the first one of the 20th century, no matter what the naysayers claim, I can no longer conceive of a moment when humanity has not yet learned the lessons of History. History doesn’t repeat itself, it evolves, societies change, but in this region we still refuse to catch up with the pace of change in order to finally reach an age of reason. At the slightest tentative evolution, Lebanon is assailed on all sides. America, Iran, Israel, Syria, Russia…Each comes here with its power to destroy this small spark of hope that we’ve done everything we can to create.

The economic stakes and this manichean vision simplify the world in such a manner that the southern child disappears in the background, seems like a mistake of war, almost a necessity for priming the process of democratization in which one doesn’t see the issues, collateral damage. They visit the leader and some dignitaries of the political scene to present their condolences and the trick is played, the case closed. But this child, no process will bring it back to its mother, it’s not a martyr, it’s just the laughing-stock of fighters in a cause…I no longer even know which one.