23 August 2006

The Lebanese Army

_
The Lebanese army is an internal police force, and unfortunately



nothing more. Although Lebanese people from all walks of life wish that the Lebanese army is strong enough to defend Lebanon, this army lacks the most rudimentary of defensive capabilities.

The Lebanese Right Wing refuses to support a national political

will that would make the army strong enough and equipped enough and politically oriented enough to be able to repel Izraeli aggression, including the ability to neutralize Izraeli air power.



Having such a political will is unthinkable for the Lebanese Right, because this would: (a) emancipate Lebanon from Western political and military patriarchy, a patriarchy that the Lebanese Right is absolutely addicted to; and (b) automatically put Lebanon in the camp of Eastern populations that are opposed to Izrael, which the Lebanese Right absolutely abhors.

The whole "Eastern Arab Muslim Third-World Monkeys" identity is not very appetizing to the Lebanese Right.

_
_

22 August 2006

A Transient Blog

::
You should check out the blog NO WORDS. The blogger calls himself "Transient", but I know his real name; he and I grew up together decades ago. Well, we're still growing up.

As a writer, he is a sculptor of words and utterances. He twists words to paint the images that are born from moments of indigo-tainted room corners; gently pushes their linguistic clay, coaxing their sound to bring out liquid thoughts; sharply slices them to let irrelevant parts drop away, leaving only the melancholy, draped shadows of language and speech. So yeah,that's his style. Click to check him out:

::

19 August 2006

Dennaoui on Liberty

::
My friend C Dennaoui is a philosopher-artist-poet-mastermind. Here is her latest artwork. It is an absolutely beautiful work:

(Click for larger view)

She states about this piece:
This piece was accepted to participate in the ACLU of Michigan's "Lady Liberty Project." The ACLU sent out invites to local and national artists asking them to create a piece that reflects their thoughts on the current state of liberty. We, the artists, were given one of two prompts to choose from. the first was a free-response where we could create any piece in any medium to render our thoughts on aforementioned conceptual prompt. The second was to create a "mask" for the statue of liberty. Oh, by the way, we were asked to play with Statue of Liberty imagery. A few of us were chosen and we were asked to create our pieces as donations to the ACLU. In short, I will print out this work and it will be auctioned off at some fancy VIP ACLU dinner in November and the money raised from the sale of the piece will be donated to the ACLU...

Check out her blog: http://ayatollahburkabaddy.blogspot.com/
_

18 August 2006

A State of Mind

What is it about the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples that they refuse to kneel to power?

Hundreds of thousands of people began flooding back to the South of Lebanon just minutes after a cease fire was supposed to have taken place, in a jubilant celebratory elation amidst a devastating annihilative scenery of their homeland, homes, towns and livelihoods. But they were cheering. What were they cheering for? The destruction? Do they consider themselves victorious, having sat in homes without bomb shelters under the rain of bombs, having spent weeks running from town to town to avoid death, as everything they've built for generations was being destroyed around them? Why do the Lebanese consider themselves victorious, and in the same regard, how can the Palestinians stand honorable and proud as they are, to this very moment, incessantly ransacked, raped, beaten and butchered, while they are deliberately and increasingly abandoned and sold out by the rest of the Arab world, and conspired against in the most historic of betrayals? What constitutes a victory, and what constitutes a defeat for such a people?

For such a people, victory is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with a mental state of denial and everything to do with a differentiation between right and wrong. Not that they represent angelic societies which are infallible and which respect every aspect of the Declaration of the Rights of Man; far from it. Arab society, in general, is in a deep sociological and psychological crisis. But there is one grandiose wrong that the Lebanese and Palestinians have continuously rejected. The complete and utter defiance of occupation and military domination has become a legacy of Lebanon and Palestine.

Defiance of domination is synonymous with Lebanon and Palestine.

When a person or a people choose to refuse, they are victorious, even, and especially, under relentless slaughter and destruction by way of the most elite and technologically sophisticated weaponry that a ruthless juggernaut can dish out. It is the concept of the blood rising triumphant over the sword. They keep refusing because there is a great travesty that they cannot comprehend accepting: zionism. The zionist project of military, economic and socio-political hegemony over the other peoples of the region plans to make itself a reality one way or another. The zionists, who are not synonymous with millions of Jews around the world, want to continue to live among the peoples of the region but only on the axiom of mastery over them. This basis for the Izraeli government's behavior continues, and the outright refutation of it also continues.

Defeat is also a state of mind. Izrael will always feel a crisis within it, a crisis of imminent catastrophe, not because everyone around it is about to invade it and destroy it tomorrow; but more because the zionist project can never fathom the idea of coming down from its lofty mental superiority complex to accept the reality of its existence: It exists only on the pretext of expulsion, occupation, and a U.S. sponsored paper-tiger economy. It can only exist by means of weaponry that is simultaneously most superior and least effective, in the midst of a sea of hundreds upon hundreds of suppressed Arabs and Muslims, suppressed by Izrael and what Noam Chomsky pinpoints as "The Arab Facade." It is the Izraelis who are in denial about the fact that they are in this sea.

It's amazing to me that some Lebanese discuss so objectively the idea of not trusting outside powers, namely Syria, but still rely in their analysis on the trust of other foreign powers when it comes to Lebanon's self-interest. What they fail to accept when making such analysis is that there are millions of Lebanese who will absolutely never accept an Izraeli, American or French paternal relationship. If the Lebanese are to be honest with themselves, they must not be under any illusion about replacing one dominant foreign relationship with another. The only way Lebanon can ever maintain unity and at the same time protect itself after this destructive war, is for its national army to be equipped with a political will and a defensive military that is able to neutralize any and all Izraeli offensive threats, including Izraeli air power.

Below is a story that my friend sent me recently. He was on a trip to Lebanon with his wife and children and found themselves caught in the war. It is this story that affirms that Izrael gained nothing and accomplished nothing in this war, save for emotional revenge by killing civilians and breaking things.

Waseem writes:

We wanted this summer to be special. My wife, my daughters and I spent months planning for it. It was supposed to be our first vacation in ten years, our return to Lebanon after seven years and the first occasion for my daughters to see their country. I feared from the expectations waiting for me, I am not talking about the war of course; I was not even thinking about it, I was thinking about the endless inquisitive questions of my daughters (born and raised in the US). They wanted to learn everything about their country and the city they relate to. With a lot of effort I was able to answer most of their questions. The uneasy questions emerged as we were preparing to visit the liberated part of Lebanon which we did not have the chance to see yet: What is occupation? What did the bad guys (Israelis) do? How come the bad guys kill children? Etc…

Well, I did not personally answer these questions. The days we spent under Israeli fire, the sound of the airplane raids, the rockets exploding, the news of the massacres, and the historic persistence of the resistance did the job. I can say that my daughters got a hands-on training in history and how to make it.

Two days ago, I was reading some excerpts from Israeli journals. One analyst presented a simplistic comparison between Israel & Lebanon from one side, and Tom & Jerry from the other side. While some people prefer classic cartoons, my daughters’ favorite movie is “Mulan”.


BTW, my daughters are looking forward to the next vacation: They want to see their grandfather’s new house. Guess what happened to the old one...

Waseem


Crime and Law

_

"Once crime was as solitary as a cry of protest; now it is as universal as science. Yesterday it was put on trial; today it determines the law." Albert Camus, from L'Homme Revolte.



_

17 August 2006

Palestine Still Suffers

Maps, Videos Below

What does Izraeli "disengagement" really mean? Does it truly mean that the government of Izrael will unilaterally leave Gaza and the West Bank and basically leave Palestinians alone? "We in our state and you in yours"? Even after Izraeli disengagement from Gaza, Gaza remains one collosal hellish prison, surrounded by Izraeli forces, with non-stop militry incursions and bombing from land and sea. The war in Lebanon has ceased, but the war on Gaza remains, and the occupation of the West Bank continues to oppress its inhabitants.

Actually, the fact of the Izraeli plan for disengagement is a plan for the extreme slicing up of the West Bank into "
Bantustans", and a continued domination of Palestinian life by way of a besieged occupation from the outside. It has NOTHING to do with an future independent state that is actually sovereign in the complete sense of the word.

This is the original Izraeli plan for the zionist apartheid separation wall, as of 2003 (dark black line.)
click image for larger view.

This is newest Izraeli plan for disengagement. The whole territory of the west bank is to be cut up by apartheid wall (black line), izraeli military roads running throughout the isolated sections (white lines), and izraeli military occupation lining the whole eastern section of the west bank (dashed area.)

click image for larger view

Bil'in (بلعين‎) is a Palestinian village in the West Bank that is on the front lines of confrontation between the Izraeli military and the people, aided by international activists, in the struggle against the zionist apartheid separation wall. Each week, protesters who are native inhabitants are joined by international supporters from the ISM to confront the building of the wall.

You can see below how almost half of the land of Bil'in and neighboring Saffa have been stolen and will be separated by the wall. All area west of the wall will be annexed to Izrael in its disengagement plan. The stolen Bil'in land to the West is farmland that Bil'in villagers used to work in, but have now been cut off from. You can also see below Videos of Izraeli forces confronting protesters in Bil'in.

click image for larger view



Palestine: "Closed Military Zone




IDF fires on unarmed protester


16 August 2006

Amidst the Destruction, Life Re-emerges

Refugees by the hundreds of thousands started marching back to the South minutes after the ceasefire began. The Mighty, Triumphant Lebanese Spirit
lives on.

click for picture gallery:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Click for


in Art, Activism & Upcoming Events

::

What are crimes against humanity?

..

"A crime against humanity is a term in international law that refers to acts of murderous persecution
or any large scale atrocities against a body of people."[1]

Does mass murder, mass destruction, prolonged mass terrorizing, expulsion and unrelenting bombing of an entire population constitute crimes against humanity? judge for yourself:


(click this banner for
IMAGES THAT TESTIFY)




::

15 August 2006

August 12 DC March

::

Click for August 12 Photo Gallery:

::

14 August 2006

Who's The Terrorist?

::
"Meen Erhabi" (meaning "Who's the Terrorist") is a Rap song by the Palestinian Group "Dam." The video montage below was created by our friend film-maker Jackie Salloum, as a music video for the song.


_

Izraeli Savagery in Bint Jbeil

::

_

Izraeli use of Phosphorus Weapons in Lebanon

::
Phosphorus Weapons are NOT considered chemical
weapons by the UN, US, Izrael, and the "civilized"



Western governments. Then again, Izraelis are God's chosen people and therefore can do whatever they want, with God's consent, right? They mock innocent people as they kill and torture them from the safe distance of an F-16. Our Creator will judge us all in the end.

The Mighty, Triumphant Lebanese Spirit

Amidst the destruction, life re-emerges. Refugees by the hundreds of thousands started marching back to the South, minutes after the ceasefire began. The Mighty, Triumphant Lebanese Spirit lives on.


Even before the blood has dried,


even before the smoke has cleared,


the Lebanese stubbornly return to their homes,


to their land,








stubbornly,


defiantly,






despite all odds,

To affirm that their victorious spirit cannot be destroyed with bombs.
_

Ralph Nader, teacher and friend of the People

::

For whatever reason, this picture looks so comforting and sincere, so innocent and non-toxic. I wonder what era they're from? maybe from the not-too-distant past when political fear was not the pervasive mood, and it was easy to envision a future of goodness.
(click for larger image)


Click image bar below for letter from Ralph Nader to Prez Bush:


Ralph Nader quotations over the years:

  • "The goal of a just society is inseparable from love and beauty."
  • "We must strive to become good ancestors."
  • "Your best teacher is your last mistake."
  • "I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
  • "The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
  • "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity "
  • "There's no ticket of admission for active citizenship. Anybody can get through that gate, and anybody can ask that basic question that gets the ball rolling."
  • "A good citizen is not just a person who votes all the time."
  • "If you choose between the lesser of two evils, at the end of the day, you still have evil."
  • "Today the large organization is lord and master, and most of its employees have been desensitized much as were the medieval peasants who never knew they were serfs."
_
_

13 August 2006

Big Giant Plowshare!

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
-- Isaiah 2:4, Old Testament

Maybe this tank will be beaten into a big giant plowshare!
Many Bint Jbeil* farmers can sure use a big giant plowshare!

August 12 DC Photo Gallery

Tens of thousands of protesters convened from across the country to march on the White House in Washington D.C. on August 12, to make their voices heard againsT Izraeli aggression and U.S. government support of it.


The Chronicle / Darryl Bush


The Chronicle
/ Darryl Bush


The Chronicle
/ Darryl Bush


The Chronicle
/ Darryl Bush


REUTERS
/ Joshua Roberts


REUTERS
/ Joshua Roberts


REUTERS
/ Joshua Roberts


REUTERS
/ Joshua Roberts


REUTERS
/ Jonathan Ernst


REUTERS
/ Jonathan Ernst


REUTERS
/ Joshua Roberts


REUTERS
/ Jonathan Ernst


REUTERS
/ Jonathan Ernst


REUTERS
/ Jonathan Ernst


MANUEL BALCE CENETA
/ AP


MANUEL BALCE CENETA
/ AP


MANUEL BALCE CENETA
/ AP


Linda Spillers
/ Detroit News


Linda Spillers
/ Detroit News


AP
/ Nick Wass


AP
/ Nick Wass


AP / Nick Wass


AFP
/ Mandel Ngan


Andrea
/ Bruce Wash Post


AFP
/ Mandel Ngan


AP / Manuel Balce Ceneta