August 7, 2006: Day 27 of the July War • War of Attrition

This month marks the 15-year anniversary of the July War on Lebanon. I kept a diary at the time, and will be uploading excerpts from it over the coming 33 days. Mind boggling that 15 years later the search for acknowledgment as human beings still drives so much activism and social media churn.

Ten more bombs slammed the southern suburbs this morning, starting at the call to prayer.

The gas stations are all closed as there is no fuel left; there are tankers offshore but they want assurance they won’t be targeted and the Israeli’s refuse to give it. This is resulting in pleas from the hospital affiliated with AUB:

AUB Medical Center needs help. The fuel in Lebanon is running out and American University of Beirut Medical Center has only enough reserves to last a week. Seeing that electricity is barely available, soon the elderly, new-born, injured and sick—including the St Judes Cancer Children Center—will be in total darkness because of the Israeli blockade on Lebanon.

No electricity means no more life support, no more medical machines, no more ER, no more hospital communication and no more health system in Lebanon’s biggest hospital.

It is everyone’s duty to help by simply clicking on this link (and posting a message on the ABC News blog site) so that ABC Television can feel the story has enough interest in order to do a news report on it.

This news report would in turn be seen by millions around the world which would hopefully allow for fuel to be brought into Lebanon solely for the hospitals.

The more “clicks” and message postings the article gets on ABC’s website, the more leverage it gives to get the story on TV.

What is this game of public opinion that has taken over all logic in this war?

Not once during the civil war was the AUB Medical Center closed; and now Israel has the power to decide whether it remains functional or not? To be noted is that the president of the university was in contact with senior state department officials concerning this, and they refused to intervene in Israel’s blockade. You know things are bad when the primary think tank of US foreign policy in the region becomes a target.

* * *

From a friend’s balcony you can see the Red Cross building in Hamra only now you can see that they’ve decided to place a huge banner on their roof that basically says: “THIS IS THE RED CROSS”, so as not to be bombed I guess. The problem is that War Crimes seem to be a specialty of the attacks, so they might be careful placing a red cross that lines up a bit too nicely with the targeting readout of the Nintendo joystick held by Israeli pilots. I suggested putting huge pictures of Olmert on every rooftop in Lebanon….

Yesterday I met up with a friend and her family; she wanted to take her three boys out since they are so restless at home so I met up with them for lunch at Spinney’s in Achrafieh. After we did some grocery shopping and there was an older woman behind us in line who said: “I’m not scared of the war, the war is scared of me! Those bombs would come near me and then turn around and run!” On the way home I thought of her as they started bombing again in the southern suburbs.

* * *

If true, this goes a long way in explaining things [from Raw Story]:

Former Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith is claiming President George W. Bush was unaware that there were two major sects of Islam just two months before the President ordered troops to invade Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.
In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his Axis of Evil speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.
Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam—to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

This is a good summing up of things by As’ad AbuKhalil:

The silence of the so-called international community, which has been under the control and in the service of the US government since the end of the Cold War, has been most painful for those in Lebanon who have been told in the last two years that the international community cares about Lebanon and its people. Now people know better.

I do believe that the same racist impulse that considers Israeli lives worth more than Arab lives is at play here. I have no doubt that the lives of Arabs never meant much for the descendants of colonial powers in the region.
And it is important that we don’t allow Israeli propaganda to present an image of symmetry between the two sides: There is no symmetry between the two sides in this conflict. Not only in terms of Israeli military superiority, but also in terms of massive killings by Israel of largely innocent civilians.

* * *

If you are in New York City, please consider the following upcoming activist actions:

So long as Washington provides military and diplomatic support to Israel’s indiscriminate killing of civilians, a cease-fire will not be possible. It is time for the people of this country to speak up! United for Peace and Justice/NYC and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee/NYC (ADC/NYC), call on you to take action to press Senators Clinton and Schumer to back an immediate cease-fire and prevent Israel from using U.S. weapons to commit war crimes.

* * *

Spent today again packing up relief supplies. Will do the same tomorrow.

About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
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