Creating people's geographies
various writing from Lebanon, Live from Lebanon, 30 July 2006
Today in the Lebanese village of Qana, over 54 civilians, including at least 34 children, were killed in Israel’s most deadly strike on Lebanon since it began bombarding the country 19 days ago. The attack echoes Israel’s strike on the same village 10 years ago, when 100 civilians taking shelter in a UN base there.
Here is a collection of posts made on Lebanese blogs in reaction to the massacre.
2,000 years ago, in Qana, Jesus transformed water into wine.
Today, in Qana, the Israeli air force transformed kids into ashes.
Today, in Beirut, I am not able to transform this page into a drawing.
There had been a massacre in Qana early this morning. History repeats itself. The Israelis dropped a bomb on a building that was sheltering refugees. The news at this point is that 55 were killed. Mostly women and children … but the numbers are growing. The news is still fresh. It was only a few years ago that the Israelis did the same thing, except last time, it was a UN building that they hit and over 100 people were killed. Mostly women and children killed … why? How can anyone be so inhumane?
I think Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to hit UN posts and get away with it. Only a few days ago, a UN post was hit in the South. UN peacekeepers died. To their families, I beg forgiveness. Lebanon is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. We all mourn your loss.
This whole attack has been one massacre after another. And still they persist. And still, it continues …
The facts will come trickling in, preceded by the excuses: the Israeli military will insist the civilians were warned, will insist Hizbullah fired from the village first; Hizbullah will deny firing from houses, will argue the Israeli drones, above the village all day, had recorded the civilians’ presence; the remaining, bereaved family members will say, again, how they had nowhere to go, no way to leave, and that the roads out have been unremittingly bombed for the past week.
But none of it will matter. Not to those who make callous, calculated decisions from their comfortable, removed safety, nor to those who sell and deliver the weapons. The innocents suffer, and only the impotent care.
|The families will grieve. The children will grow up without their mothers. The memorial at Qana, already displaying the coffins of 106 civilian deaths, will swell by at least 55 more, at least 20 of them children’s sized. And the atrocities, tacitly and repeatedly permitted, will continue.|
The families will grieve. The children will grow up without their mothers. The memorial at Qana, already displaying the coffins of 106 civilian deaths, will swell by at least 55 more, at least 20 of them children’s sized. And the atrocities, tacitly and repeatedly permitted, will continue.
We need to find a way to make this stop. Not just in this war, nor just for this region. If justice cannot be served, cannot be used as an effective deterrent, then a new answer is needed. If we, the outraged, cannot offer anything better than official, inarticulate platitudes, then we are also to blame as the cycle of violence swells again. We must be more than pained voyeurs.
For today, an immediate ceasefire is needed. Let the dead be buried, let the families grieve, let food, water and medicines be delivered the isolated villages in the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon. For tomorrow, we must do something more.
— Siege of Lebanon
One more time, Israel turned life into death in the village of Qana where Christ supposedly attended a wedding and turned water into wine. The Israelis massacred, butchered, tore the limbs of at least 51 people, including 22 children. The democratic state of Israel, the moral state of Israel is burning Lebanese children alive to the god of Zionism.
Ten years ago Israel massacred more than 100 refugees in a UN base in Qana. And Israel went unpunished.
Lebanese kids are inferior, aren’t they? They do not matter to Western societies. Israel can kill as it pleases and wishes, and it is always unintentional.
Poor Israel, Poor Israelis. They after all are victims defending themselves from the Arab monster. They can kill its children, its grand children and its mothers. They are fighting for survival.
Poor Israel, Poor Israelis. They are the first line of defence for Western civilization and ethics. They can make a mistake and kill tens of children and apologize and the US quickly forgives them. That is allowed.
After all they are human and Lebanese children are Hezbollah supporters that should die for the new and democratic Middle East that George Bush has promised the world.
A Middle East of death, misery and hate. A Middle East where criminals are celebrated and victims are swiped under the carpet of international justice.
That is the brave new world that Bush, his neo-con intellectuals and their Israeli instigators promised us.
The EU is “shocked” and “dismayed” by the massacre of 57 sleeping civilians (and 30-something children) in Qana.
Kind of like, “Jimmy, I am dismayed that you rode your brand new bike into a tree”; or “Bobby Sue, I am dismayed that you didn’t share those cookies with your sister”; or “Judy is generally a good student. Her reading comprehension is average, and she showed some progress in learning basic addition. But I was dismayed by her abysmal performance in gym class. Better running shoes and a balanced diet would go a long way.”
|Earlier today, CNN asked a Lebanese blogger about her opinion of this conflict. Her response: “violence begets more violence.” Tonight on this bloody Sunday, I ask all those who are fighting this war with great zeal, whether at the helm of an F16, katyusha, stick or pen — I beg you, take a breath, as hard as it may be, and ponder those four simple words.|
What Israel did today was grotesque and horrible beyond words. It’s too easy to channel this anger into revenge and then translate this into increased support for Hizballah, especially for all those excited political activists out there who don’t actually live in this country or care deeply about it falling into further oblivion. But if Hizballah does indeed retaliate tonight or tomorrow by shooting a missile into a civilian area — essentially committing the same kind of crimes that Israel does, albeit on a smaller scale — then things are only going to get worse for us, all of us. Earlier today, CNN asked a Lebanese blogger about her opinion of this conflict. Her response: “violence begets more violence.”
Tonight on this bloody Sunday, I ask all those who are fighting this war with great zeal, whether at the helm of an F16, katyusha, stick or pen — I beg you, take a breath, as hard as it may be, and ponder those four simple words.
Whenever Israel loses militarily, it likes to take it [out] on powerless babies. It couldn’t defeat a bunch of guerrillas in a couple of small towns with its “mighty” army, so it decided to take the cowardly route.
They want to “teach us a lesson” by bombing a clear civilian target with women and handicapped babies in Qana. So far, 30 babies are dead in this all-too-familiar massacre, and some are stuck in the rubble because Israelis refused to allow humanitarian assistance to reach Southern towns.
I would’ve said funny quote of the day if it weren’t so tragic: “No, I think Hezbollah deliberately set those people up to be slaughtered.” – an Israeli blogger on the massacre at Qana.
I won’t say more, because some things are better left unsaid. Sometimes you just have to let actions and words do the job of exposing the character, education, and morality of their authors. Naive as I am, I expected that some (self-identified moderate) Israelis would express at least some shock at, if not condemnation of, the massacre (deliberate or not).
Pushed into a corner, bullied and bloodied by Israel’s war machine, Fouad Siniora had no choice but to sanction Hizbullah’s counter-attacks until a ceasefire is reached. Siniora, who went out of his way to get Hizbullah to agree to a seven-point plan that would extend control over all Lebanese territory, sees his efforts dead under the rubble of Qana.
Addressing diplomats today after his joint press conference with Nabih Berri, Siniora pleaded with them to relay the “truth” of what Israel is doing in Lebanon to their countries. For the first time, he thanked Hizbullah’s fighters for defending Lebanon’s independence and dying for their country. And he said any attack by Hizbullah would constitute a natural response, reiterating that there should be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.
If you’re the prime minister of Lebanon, and your people are being killed by an arrogant force of false virtue, and when thousands of your angry citizens are shouting outside your window, you find yourself forced to make a choice until the brilliant minds of this world regain their humanity. Siniora’s choice has always been Lebanon, but today, under the threat of Israeli guns, he was forced to choose between Israel and Hizbullah. Siniora is Lebanese, and those who were killed were Lebanese, and Hizbullah is the only weapon against an aggression of this proportion.
Israel and the United States, through ignorance and disregard for human life, are pushing Lebanon into Hizbullah’s camp. Well done.
|All of Lebanon pays the price for war. Israel will not achieve much through its agression. Military solutions are old and tired solutions. They take away lives, shatter the dreams and make out of civilized people aggressors.|
The Lebanese are tired of war. My brother told me today that the Lebanese are not willing anymore to pay LL5,000 per a gallon of gas in the name of resistance. The northeners might not be fighting amongst their southern nationals, but they’re housing the displaced and paying the electricity and water bills for the southerners. And this is not just something new.
All of Lebanon pays the price for war. Israel will not achieve much through its agression. Military solutions are old and tired solutions. They take away lives, shatter the dreams and make out of civilized people aggressors.
If PM Seniora does not quickly and swiftly move forward with blanketing the country with state sovereignty, then Lebanon will head to civil war and the exodus of dreams will continue.
ANOTHER AIR-STRIKE BY ISRAELI CRIMINALS RESULTED IN ANOTHER MASSACRE IN QANA.
OUR CHILDREN ARE BEING SLAUGHTERED EVERY SINGLE DAY.
ANYONE WHO DOES NOT TRY TO PUT AN END TO THIS HORROR IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM IS AN ACCOMPLICE TO THESE CRIMES.
DONT JUST READ. DONT JUST WATCH.
DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
THIS MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY.
I am ill, we see too much, our tvs arent censored, the rest of the world sees too little. I saw babies, some without a head, some without an arm, half a girl, stuffed pet covered with blood. An arm erected from within the wreckage. And it’s not a fallen building or two; villages, houses are turning to dust, you don’t see broken walls, you see crushed stones, and human pieces scattered. Mass destruction. Elimination. Women and children first and the children first. This is why people grow up with so much violence in them, this is the cause of terrorism. Violence generates violence.
I am a little rag doll who has lost her owner. Yesterday she played with me, combed my hair, and showed me off to all her friends. There were quite a few of them, all huddled together in the basement. For a moment I was lost as a little boy grabbed me by the arms and tossed me high into the air, but then my owner rescued me and cradled me in her arms once again.
Today, I am discarded, just another toy buried underneath a pile of stones, which used to be our playroom. My owner, that beautiful girl, is laying nearby, eyes closed, clothes torn, her fragile body coated in white dust. Has she become an angel? She seems to be at peace, I wonder when she’ll wake up and keep me safe in her arms. I am a bit scared … I heard rockets overhead, but I’m used to them by now. My owner used to count them, but she is silent now, so I guess she doesn’t know how to count that much.
People are running around me. I guess the game of hide and seek is over. Quick! Wake up! Let’s hide in the toilet! Quick! I see a man wearing a red cross coming towards you, lifting you gently … Why don’t you take me along? Aren’t I your favorite doll? You promised! You promised!
I’m worried now. Your nap usually lasts 1 hour, and since there has been constant bombing you haven’t been getting much sleep, but you were never quiet for so long. Why aren’t you singing? Why aren’t you soaking up the sun, teasing your brother, hiding his slippers?
Then I see your mother, the woman who washes me when I get dirty after being dragged around the house all day, but she doesn’t pick me up as usual. She is crying and calling your name, over and over. Answer her! Why are you so silent? Where are the others? Why is there so much noise? Who are all these people?
Wait! Pick me up! Tell me what is going on! Don’t take her away! We haven’t finished playing … We haven’t … She promised to comb my hair before we left Qana. She promised …