10.6.06

Not to forget that the ''Extermination of the two legged beasts'' was largely rehearsed by Israel in Lebanon in 1982

On June 6, twenty four years ago, Israel invaded Lebanon taking the much travelled Damascus-Beyrouth road. The first stop was the Palestinian camp of Rachidiyyé, south of Tyre, then the camp of Ain-El-Heloué, near Saida. Israeli tanks headed then to Beyrouth, the Lebanese capital and its Palestinian camps leaving behind them a trail of destruction and death. The objective was to drive the PLO out pf Lebanon and they did so pretending that it was the PLO's presence that was damaging the security of civilians that the Israeli were themselves bombing and shelling...After they drove the PLO out from Lebanon, with the cheers of the international community and the press and late outrage directed only at the methods and means employed, they continued indiscriminate shelling and air bombardment with increasing intensity targeting civilians in houses, hospitals, and schools. The culmination of this invasion came three months later in September with the Israeli army entering the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian Camps in Beyrouth with the Christian Lebanese militia to butcher thousands of defenseless women and children ...

This event signed the death certificate of the PLO who lost all its negotiations cards for a future settlment with Israel. Whatever followed after, Israel's intentions to advance peace were a hoax, including Oslo...
History will now repeat itself. Israel will do the same with Hamas and will offer even a tinier peace settlement by previous standards, based on 'generously' giving Palestinians some overpopulated and poverty stricken ghettos with no territorial continuity while spinning its reputation at the international scene as a peaceful country...


However, I think facts being what they are, spin is doomed to fail and no spin doctors in the whole world will ever succeed in salvaging Israel's and Zionism's images for centuries to come...

Noam Chomsky recalls the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the savagery of the Isareli army in his book 'Fateful triangle' (1999).

''The first target was the Palestinian camp of Rashidiyeh south of Tyre, much of which, by the second day of the invasion, "had become a field of rubble." There was ineffectual resistance, but as an officer of the UN peace-keeping force swept aside in the Israeli invasion later remarked: "It was like shooting sparrdws with cannon." The 9000 residents of the camp-which had been regularly bombed and shelled for years from land, sea and air-either fled, or were herded to the beach where they could watch the destruction of much of what remained by the Israeli forces. All teen-age and adult males were blindfolded and bound, and taken to camps where little has been heard about them since.''

''Israel's strategy was to drive the Palestinians to largely-Muslim West Beirut (apart from those who were killed, dispersed or imprisoned), then to besiege the city, cutting off water, food, medical supplies and electricity, and to subject it to increasingly heavy bombardment. Naturally, the native Lebanese population was also severely battered. These measures had little impact on the PLO guerrilla fighters in Beirut, but civilians suffered increasingly brutal punishment. The correct calculation was that by this device, the PLO would be compelled to leave West Beirut to save it from total annihilation. It was assumed, also correctly, that American intellectuals could be found to carry out the task of showing that this too was a remarkable exercise in humanity and a historically unique display of "purity of arms," even having the audacity to claim that it was the PLO, not the Israeli attackers, who were "holding the city and its population hostage"-a charge duly intoned by New York Times editors and many others.''

''The attackers used highly sophisticated U.S. weapons, including "shells and bombs designed to penetrate through the buildings before they explode," collapsing buildings inwards, and phosphorus bombs to set fires and cause untreatable burns. Hospitals were closed down or destroyed. Much of the Am el-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon was "flat as a parking lot" when Connell saw it, though 7-8000 Palestinians had drifted back-mostly women and children, since the men were "either fighting or arrested or dead." The Israelis bulldozed the mosque at the edge of the camp searching for arms, but "found 90 or 100 bodies under it instead, completely rotted away." Writing before the Beirut massacres but after the PLO had departed, he notes that "there could be a bloodbath in west Beirut" if no protection is given to the remnants of the population.

The Israeli press also reported the strategy of the invading army. One journalist observing the bombardment of Beirut in the early days describes it as follows:

With deadly accuracy, the big guns laid waste whole rows of houses and apartment blocks believed to be PLO positions. The fields were pitted with craters. . . Israeli strategy at that point was obvious-to clean away a no-man's land through which Israeli tanks could advance and prevent any PLO breakout.''

''The military tactics, as widely reported by the Israeli and foreign press, were simple. Since Israel had total command of the air and overwhelming superiority in firepower from land, sea and air, the IDF simply blasted away everything before it, then sent soldiers in to "clean out" what was left. We return to some descriptions of these tactics by Israeli military analysts. The tactics are familiar from Vietnam and other wars where a modern high technology army faces a vastly outmatched enemy. The difference lies in the fact that in other such cases, one rarely hears tales of great heroism and "purity of arms," though to be accurate, these stories were more prevalent among American "supporters" than Israeli soldiers, many of whom were appalled at what they were ordered to do.''

''The Lebanese government casualty figures are based on police records, which in turn are based on actual counts in hospitals, clinics and civil defense centers. These figures, according to police spokesmen, do "not include people buried in mass graves in areas where Lebanese authorities were not informed." The figures, including the figure of 19,000 dead and over 30,000 wounded, must surely be underestimates''

''Repeatedly, Israel blocked international relief efforts and prevented food and medical supplies from reaching victims.* Israeli military forces also appear to have gone out of their way to destroy medical facilities-at least, if one wants to believe Israeli government claims about "pinpoint accuracy" in bombardment. "International agencies agree that the civilian death toll would have been considerably higher had it not been for the medical facilities that the Palestine Liberation Organization provides for Its own people"'-and, in fact, for many poor Lebanese-so it is not surprising that these were a particular target of attack.''

''An American nurse working in Beirut, who was appalled by the "watered-down descriptions in American newspapers," reported that Israel "dropped bombs on everything, including hospitals, orphanages and, in one case, a school bus carrying 35 young schoolgirls who were traveling on an open road"; she cared for the survivors. The U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander in charge of removing unexploded ordnance in Beirut reports that "we found five bombs in an orphanage with about 45 cluster bombs in the front yard. We were called there after five children were injured and four killed." About 3-5% of the shells and bombs failed to go off and are considered highly dangerous, he said. This particular orphanage, then, must have been heavily bombed.

One of the most devastating critiques of Israeli military practices was provided inadvertently by an Israeli pilot who took part in the bombing, an Air Force major, who described the careful selection of targets and the precision bombing that made error almost impossible. Observing the effects, one can draw one's own conclusions. He also expressed his own personal philosophy, saying "if you want to achieve peace, you should fight." "Look at the American-Japanese war," he added. "In order to achieve an end, they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

''The bombings continued, reaching their peak of ferocity well after agreement had been reached on the evacuation of the PLO. Military correspondent Hirsh Goodman wrote that "the irrational, unprovoked and unauthorized bombing of Beirut after an agreement in principle regarding the PLO's withdrawal had been concluded between all the parties concerned should have caused [Defense Minister Sharon's] dismissal," but did not.

The 1l-hour bombing on August 12 evoked worldwide condemnation, even from the U.S.. and the direct attack was halted. The consensus of eye witnesses was expressed by Charles Powers:

To many people. in fact, the siege of Beirut seemed gratuitous brutality. . . The arsenal of weapons, unleashed in a way that has not been seen since the Vietnam war, clearly horrified those who saw the results firsthand and through film and news reports at a distance. The use of cluster bombs and white phosphorus shells, a vicious weapon. was widespread.

The Israeli government, which regarded news coverage from Lebanon as unfair, began to treat the war as a public-relations problem. Radio Israel spoke continually of the need to present the war in the "correct" light. particularly in the United States. In the end, however, Israel created in West Beirut a whole set of facts that no amount of packaging could disguise. In the last hours of the last air attack on Beirut, Israeli planes carpet-bombed Borj el Brajne [a Palestinian refugee camp]. There were no fighting men left there. only the damaged homes of Palestinian families, who once again would have to leave and find another place to live. All of West Beirut, finally, was living in wreckage and garbage and loss.

But the PLO was leaving. Somewhere, the taste of victory must be sweet.''

Read the full chapter...

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

After Abe Rosenthal's recent death, Thomas L. Friedman at the New York Times let it slip in a column that Rosenthal edited out the phrase "indiscriminate shelling by Israeli forces" from one of his articles.

And people think we're paranoid because we complain about zionist control of the media! Even some of the zionists think it's too much!

Sophia said...

Elizabeth,

These 'confessions' are meant to sooth the indignation. Some of Israel's most ardent advocates are worried by the present state of absolute force Isarel is exerting on Palestinians and Arabs because they forsee the impact on zionism !
The next media manipulation, in my opinion will come from these groups. There are manifestos circulating from these groups trying to mix things up: calling for a two state solution at a time it became impossible and at the same time trying to gain with this advocacy condemnation for Anti-zionism as Racism ! I kid you not !
Angry Arab received such a manifesto for signing. It is coming from some British leftists. There was also a meeting mentioned by Mark Elf from 'Jews sans frontières' in London trying also to make the equation between anti-zionism and racism.
There are also zionist bloggers teaming with naive expat apolitical Palestinians in a move to present a better image of themselves.
Zionism is not only spinning the media but the blogosphere also and everybody with a shaky judgement will fall for their 'good intentions'.
The actual worru for zionists is their 'Image' in the western world and they are fighting hard to salvage this image by all means possible!

Gert said...

Sophia:

I know how you feel about me but couldn't help also linking to this excerpt. Hope you don't mind. Time to bury the hatchet, in my view.

Wolfie said...

I have been observing a highly organized element forming amoungst ultra-Zionist bloggers over the last six months or so myself. The most insipid comment will insite quite heated accusations. It worries me.

Sophia said...

Gert,

There is no 'war' between us. There are deep differences.

Sophia said...

Wolfie,

I think there is a 'war' of ideas and ideology going on on the blogosphere and zionists want to have their share of blogs and blogging because this is where highly minded, educated and independant individuals are expressing themselves and influencing opinions. However, it is not enough to be highly minded, educated and independant to be able to go against the current. One needs moral knowledge and the good judgment that comes with it, not a relativistic middle of the road stance which seems to have taken up the void left by the absence of moral judgement, mainstream in our society. I am not talking here from the stance of those who, like the American Christian right, have sequestred morality in kitsch and stererotypes, I am talking from the stance of a free thinker, or at least this is how I perceive myself.

Wolfie said...

Absolutely spot on Sophia. I'm very worried about the judgement of even the most admired intellectuals these days who seem to be either espousing an insipid social nihilism or have capitulated morally altogether. Personally I think they're afraid and given current events in the world maybe they should be.

 
Since March 29th 2006