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Baghdadee بغدادي

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hogan,

I think ME is laying in between two lines of political fault. The Israeli-Arab and the American-Iranian one..

The two are merging in a very complex way.. That is why any disturb on one would reflect on the other. I paid more attention last day on following on Israeli-Libanies conflict because I am expecting that any serious development on it to be of immediately reflection on Iraq..

 

Iraqis are more concern about their daily fight with all anti democratic evils than following others problems. However, you can't live isolated..

I think that US has the big say today on both files. And the Bush adminstartion should not loss such great opportunity by being sieged to the Israeli generals mentality views or listening only to the anti democracy Arab dictators. we need to understand the roots of the issues..

Both Iranians and Israeli governments have interests in pushing ME away from the new ME project, we should not get fooled by any

 

The democratic changes in ME over the last couple years ignited by Iraq libaration and and the new dynamics that the Iraq opertion had brought to the region need not to be lost just to please the old system backward alies. US who led these changes need to stick to it's values and goals .

Anyhow , freedom calls never die though their god fathers might choose to do.. The French Napolian calls for French revolution values brought to Egypt in eighteens century through invation had never died though the French troops used it as a cover to their invation. The call for new ME will never die though some might find it no longer appropriate.. The will of people and their tendency to freedom is a nobel one and it is not gift by others but rights that need to be excersized, as President Bush said once..

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6082200978.html

 

Now the cold war on Islamists has escalated into a shooting war, first against Hamas in Gaza and then against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel is perceived in the region, rightly or wrongly, to be an agent acting on behalf of U.S. interests. Some will admit that there was provocation for Israel to strike at Hamas and Hezbollah following the abduction of three soldiers and attacks on military and civilian targets. But destroying Lebanon with an overkill approach born of a desire for vengeance cannot be morally tolerated or politically justified -- and it will not work.

 

Very interesting article by Egyptian professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim in washingtonpost that might comply with some of Salim's views..

 

 

The 'New Middle East' Bush Is Resisting

 

By Saad Eddin Ibrahim

Wednesday, August 23, 2006; Page A15

 

President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may be quite right about a new Middle East being born. In fact, their policies in support of the actions of their closest regional ally, Israel, have helped midwife the newborn. But it will not be exactly the baby they have longed for. For one thing, it will be neither secular nor friendly to the United States. For another, it is going to be a rough birth.

 

What is happening in the broader Middle East and North Africa can be seen as a boomerang effect that has been playing out slowly since the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001. In the immediate aftermath of those attacks, there was worldwide sympathy for the United States and support for its declared "war on terrorism," including the invasion of Afghanistan. Then the cynical exploitation of this universal goodwill by so-called neoconservatives to advance hegemonic designs was confirmed by the war in Iraq. The Bush administration's dishonest statements about "weapons of mass destruction" diminished whatever credibility the United States might have had as liberator, while disastrous mismanagement of Iraqi affairs after the invasion led to the squandering of a conventional military victory. The country slid into bloody sectarian violence, while official Washington stonewalled and refused to admit mistakes. No wonder the world has progressively turned against America.

 

 

 

In a July demonstration prompted by the war in Lebanon, protesters in Cairo held up a banner with a poster of Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah, right, labeled "master," next to a picture of Arab leaders labeled "the servants." (By Hasan Jamali -- Associated Press)

 

Against this declining moral standing, President Bush made something of a comeback in the first year of his second term. He shifted his foreign policy rhetoric from a "war on terrorism" to a war of ideas and a struggle for liberty and democracy. Through much of 2005 it looked as if the Middle East might finally have its long-overdue spring of freedom. Lebanon forged a Cedar Revolution, triggered by the assassination of its popular former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri. Egypt held its first multi-candidate presidential election in 50 years. So did Palestine and Iraq, despite harsh conditions of occupation. Qatar and Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf continued their steady evolution into constitutional monarchies. Even Saudi Arabia held its first municipal elections.

 

But there was more. Hamas mobilized candidates and popular campaigns to win a plurality in Palestinian legislative elections and form a new government. Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt achieved similar electoral successes. And with these developments, a sudden chill fell over Washington and other Western capitals.

 

Instead of welcoming these particular elected officials into the newly emerging democratic fold, Washington began a cold war on Muslim democrats. Even the tepid pressure on autocratic allies of the United States to democratize in 2005 had all but disappeared by 2006. In fact, tottering Arab autocrats felt they had a new lease on life with the West conveniently cowed by an emerging Islamist political force.

 

Now the cold war on Islamists has escalated into a shooting war, first against Hamas in Gaza and then against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel is perceived in the region, rightly or wrongly, to be an agent acting on behalf of U.S. interests. Some will admit that there was provocation for Israel to strike at Hamas and Hezbollah following the abduction of three soldiers and attacks on military and civilian targets. But destroying Lebanon with an overkill approach born of a desire for vengeance cannot be morally tolerated or politically justified -- and it will not work.

 

On July 30 Arab, Muslim and world outrage reached an unprecedented level with the Israeli bombing of a residential building in the Lebanese village of Qana, which killed dozens and wounded hundreds of civilians, most of them children. A similar massacre in Qana in 1996, which Arabs remember painfully well, proved to be the political undoing of then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres. It is too early to predict whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will survive Qana II and the recent war. But Hezbollah will survive, just as it has already outlasted five Israeli prime ministers and three American presidents.

 

Born in the thick of an earlier Israeli invasion, in 1982, Hezbollah is at once a resistance movement against foreign occupation, a social service provider for the needy of the rural south and the slum-dwellers of Beirut, and a model actor in Lebanese and Middle Eastern politics. Despite access to millions of dollars in resources from within and from regional allies Syria and Iran, its three successive leaders have projected an image of clean governance and a pious personal lifestyle.

 

In more than four weeks of fighting against the strongest military machine in the region, Hezbollah held its own and won the admiration of millions of Arabs and Muslims. People in the region have compared its steadfastness with the swift defeat of three large Arab armies in the Six-Day War of 1967. Hasan Nasrallah, its current leader, spoke several times to a wide regional audience through his own al-Manar network as well as the more popular al-Jazeera. Nasrallah has become a household name in my own country, Egypt.

 

According to the preliminary results of a recent public opinion survey of 1,700 Egyptians by the Cairo-based Ibn Khaldun Center, Hezbollah's action garnered 75 percent approval, and Nasrallah led a list of 30 regional public figures ranked by perceived importance. He appears on 82 percent of responses, followed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (73 percent), Khaled Meshal of Hamas (60 percent), Osama bin Laden (52 percent) and Mohammed Mahdi Akef of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (45 percent).

 

The pattern here is clear, and it is Islamic. And among the few secular public figures who made it into the top 10 are Palestinian Marwan Barghouti (31 percent) and Egypt's Ayman Nour (29 percent), both of whom are prisoners of conscience in Israeli and Egyptian jails, respectively.

 

None of the current heads of Arab states made the list of the 10 most popular public figures. While subject to future fluctuations, these Egyptian findings suggest the direction in which the region is moving. The Arab people do not respect the ruling regimes, perceiving them to be autocratic, corrupt and inept. They are, at best, ambivalent about the fanatical Islamists of the bin Laden variety. More mainstream Islamists with broad support, developed civic dispositions and services to provide are the most likely actors in building a new Middle East. In fact, they are already doing so through the Justice and Development Party in Turkey, the similarly named PJD in Morocco, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine and, yes, Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 

These groups, parties and movements are not inimical to democracy. They have accepted electoral systems and practiced electoral politics, probably too well for Washington's taste. Whether we like it or not, these are the facts. The rest of the Western world must come to grips with the new reality, even if the U.S. president and his secretary of state continue to reject the new offspring of their own policies.

 

The writer is an Egyptian democracy activist, professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, and chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies.

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Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of War Crimes

 

By JOHN KIFNER

Published: August 24, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 23 — Amnesty International accused Israel on Wednesday of war crimes in its monthlong battle with Hezbollah, saying its bombing campaign amounted to indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and population.

 

“Many of the violations examined in this report are war crimes that give rise to individual criminal responsibility,” Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group, said in a report on the Israeli campaign. “They include directly attacking civilian objects and carrying out indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks.”

 

“During more than four weeks of ground and aerial bombardment by the Israeli armed forces, the country’s infrastructure suffered destruction on a catastrophic scale,” the report said, contending this was “an integral part of the military strategy.”

 

“Israeli forces pounded buildings into the ground,” the report went on, “reducing entire neighborhoods to rubble and turning villages and towns into ghost towns as their inhabitants fled the bombardments.

 

“Main roads, bridges and petrol stations were blown to bits. Entire families were killed in airstrikes on their homes or in their vehicles while fleeing the aerial assaults on their villages. Scores lay buried beneath the rubble of their houses for weeks, as the Red Cross and other rescue workers were prevented from accessing the areas by continuing Israeli strikes.”

 

Mark Regev, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, categorically rejected the claim that Israel had “acted outside international norms or international legality concerning the rules of war.” Unlike Hezbollah, he said, Israel did not target the civilian population, nor did it indiscriminately target Lebanese civilian infrastructure.

 

He added: “Our job was made very difficult by the fact that Hezbollah adopted a deliberate policy of positioning itself inside civilian areas and breaking the first fundamental distinction under the rules of war, by deliberately endangering civilians. Under the rules of war, you are legally entitled to target infrastructure that your enemy is exploiting for its military campaign.”

 

Citing a variety of sources, the Amnesty International report said Israel’s air force had carried out more than 7,000 air attacks, while the navy had fired 2,500 shells. The human toll, according to Lebanese government statistics, was estimated at 1,183 deaths, mostly civilians, about a third of them children; 4,054 wounded; and 970,000 people displaced, out of a population of a little under four million.

 

“Statements from the Israeli military officials seem to confirm that the destruction of the infrastructure was indeed a goal of the military campaign,” the report said. It said that “in village after village the pattern was similar: the streets, especially main streets, were scarred with artillery craters along their length. In some cases, cluster bomb impacts were identified.”

 

“Houses were singled out for precision-guided missile attacks and were destroyed, totally or partially, as a result,” the report said. “Business premises such as supermarkets or food stores and auto service stations and petrol stations were targeted.

 

“With the electricity cut off and food and other supplies not coming into the villages, the destruction of supermarkets and petrol stations played a crucial role in forcing local residents to leave.”

 

The Amnesty International report said the widespread destruction of apartments, houses, electricity and water services, roads, bridges, factories and ports, in addition to several statements by Israeli officials, suggested a policy of punishing the Lebanese government and the civilian population in an effort to get them to turn against Hezbollah.

 

“The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of public works, power systems, civilian homes and industry was a deliberate and integral part of the military strategy rather than collateral damage,” the report said.

 

It also noted a statement from the Israeli military chief of staff, Lt. Gen Dan Halutz, calling Hezbollah a “cancer” that Lebanon must get rid of “because if they don’t, their country will pay a very high price.”

 

The Amnesty International report came as a number of international aid and human rights agencies used the current lull in fighting to assess the damage.

 

The United Nations Development Program said the attacks had obliterated most of the progress Lebanon had made in recovering from the devastation of the civil war years. “Fifteen years of work have been wiped out in a month,” Jean Fabre, a spokesman for the organization in Geneva, told reporters.

 

Another urgent issue, aid groups say, is the number of unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs littering the southern villages. Tekimiti Gilbert, the operations chief of a United Nations mine removal team, told reporters in Tyre: “Up to now there are at least 170 cluster bomb strikes in south Lebanon. It’s a huge problem. There are obvious dangers with people, children, cars. People are tripping over these things.”

 

United Nations officials say at least five children have been killed by picking up the bomblets scattered about by the cluster bombs.

 

Despite the cease-fire, southern Lebanon remained tense on Wednesday. Three Lebanese soldiers were killed trying to defuse a rocket that had not exploded. An Israeli soldier was killed and two others wounded when, according to the Israeli military, they walked over a minefield that Israel had previously buried.

 

The Israeli military also said it had fired artillery rounds from the disputed territory of Shabaa Farms to the Lebanese village of Shabaa. There were no reports of casualties.

 

Greg Myre contributed reporting from Jerusalem for this article.

 

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>Subject: Fw: Open letter to President Bush

>

>

>

>

>

>--

>BYSalim al-Hoss, former prime minister of Lebanon " A moderate sunni "

>Dear Mr. Bush,

>

>

>We heard you express your regrets regarding the casualties of Israel's

>ravaging war against my country, Lebanon.

>

>I hope you have been furnished with a true profile of the atrocities being

>perpetrated in my country. You pose as being at war with terrorism. Let me

>honestly tell you: Charity starts at home.

>

>Israel is wantonly indulging in the most horrendous forms of terrorism in

>Lebanon: indiscriminately killing innocent civilians at random; not sparing

>children, elderly or handicapped people; demolishing buildings over their

>residents' heads; and destroying all infrastructure, roads, bridges, water

>and power arteries, harbors, air strips and storage facilities. Nothing

>moving on the highways is spared, not even ambulances, trucks, trailers,

>cars or even motorcycles, all in violation of the Geneva Conventions and

>human rights.

>

>The displaced population has reached more than one fourth of the total

>population of my country - all suffering the harshest and most miserable of

>conditions. The victims include thousands of killed and maimed.

>

>If this is not terrorism, what is?

>

>Israel's savage assault has been labeled retribution for Hizbullah's

>abduction of two Israeli soldiers. This smacks of collective punishment,

>which constitutes a brazen violation of the Geneva Conventions and human

>rights. Furthermore, the alibi is far from plausible. The two Israeli

>soldiers were abducted for the express purpose of reaching a swap of

>hostages with Israel. In fact, Israel had acceded more than once to such

>swaps in the past. Why would a swap of prisoners be acceptable at one time

>and a taboo, rather a casus belli, at another? This created a conviction

>among the Lebanese that the sweeping assault against them was premeditated,

>and the abduction was only a tenuous excuse.

>

>Israel is indulging in terrorism at its worst, at its ugliest, using the

>most lethal and sophisticated weapons you have supplied them.

>http://www.dailystar.com.lb

>

>We the Lebanese are justified in seeing in Israel as a most atrocious

>terrorist power, and seeing in you a direct partner. Mr. President: You are

>indeed a terrorist practicing the worst variant of terrorism as you condone

>the annihilation of my country, precluding a cease-fire to be announced,

>supporting the aggression against my people politically and diplomatically

>and bolstering Israel's destructive arsenal with the most lethal weaponry.

>

>Mr. President: You are not fooling anybody with your alleged war against

>terrorism. In our perspective, you and Israel are the most unscrupulous

>terrorists on earth. If you want to fight terrorism, we suggest that you

>start with your administration and your hideous ally, Israel.

>

>You repeatedly claim that Israel is acting in self-defense. How

>preposterous! Self-defense on other people's occupied territory is

>tantamount to one thing: blatant aggression.

>

>You call Hizbullah a terrorist organization. We call it a legitimate

>resistance movement. There would have been no military wing of Hizbullah if

>there had been no Lebanese territory under Israeli occupation, if there had

>been no Lebanese hostages languishing in Israeli jails, and if Lebanon had

>not been exposed to almost daily Israeli intrusions into its airspace and

>territorial waters, and to sporadic incursions into Lebanese land and

>bombardment of civilian targets.

>

>You cannot eliminate a party by demolishing a whole country. This would

>have been achieved peacefully by Israel withdrawing from the land it

>occupies, releasing Lebanese prisoners, and desisting from further acts of

>aggression against Lebanon.

>

>Israel is the most horrendous terrorist power. And you, Mr. President, are

>unmistakably a direct partner, and hence a straight terrorist.

>

>

>Salim al-Hoss, former prime minister of Lebanon

>

>August 1, 2006

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http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2006/8/171944.htm

 

In Arabic.. Many Palestinian groups "including Hamas" condenmed the kidnapping of the two American journalists. Hamas rep went futher to acuase Alqaeda saying that this is to cover some political non Palestianian agendas..

Many Palestinians thought that this kidnapping is to legitimize the shelling of Gaza by Isrealis !!

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I got the following through email.. Not aware of the refrence.

The three quated Egyptian writers are considered within Arab ME as pro American and some accused them as CIA collaberators!!

I found a lot that inline with Salim's views..

##################################################

 

During the war in Lebanon, three prominent Egyptian intellectuals known

for their reformist views expressed support for Hizbullah as well as

fierce opposition to the positions of the U.S., Israel, and the Arab

regimes.

 

 

Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim: Americans are Ugly, the Israelis are Even

Uglier, and the Arab Leaders are the Ugliest

 

In an article titled "The Ugly American and Lebanon, Once Again," Dr.

Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim attacked the U.S.'s support of Israel and wrote that

"the Israeli frenzy could not have continued for more than two weeks

without direct American aid, and perhaps also its indirect

encouragement." He related that while participating in a July 2006 London

demonstration protesting the events in Lebanon, he had heard cries calling for

"the downfall of the ugly American," and said that these cries took him

back 24 years, to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982.

He said that as President Bush was doing today, President Reagan had

supported Israel and given it economic, military, and diplomatic aid,

with the goal of uprooting from Lebanon the resistance to Israel.(1)

 

In a follow-up article, Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim explained his stand

regarding the U.S.:

 

 

"First of all... None of those who believed the lies of the official

media and the [security Service] Investigation Division has ever read any

book, study, or article of mine from which it would be possible to

conclude, directly or indirectly, that I am a propagator of anything

American – whether merchandise, policy, or any [American] invention. But they

listened, or passed from one to the other, the cud that the official

newspapers and the Investigations Division newspapers were chewing...

 

"Second... Many writers and speakers on satellite television have come

to be possessed by the 'American demon,' and the see the 'American

ghost' behind every tree and wall... They hold to the theory of the

'American conspiracy' concerning every problem that exists in Egypt, every

disaster that befalls the Arab world, and every calamity that occurs in

the Muslim countries, from Indonesia to Morocco. I am not among those

whose specialty is [such attacks on the U.S.], and those who are addicted

to them. I relate to the U.S. in the same way as do many intelligent

and upright people of various nationalities and from every group and

race.

 

"The U.S. is a [world] power, and it is the strongest [power] of the

post-WWII period... Just like every other country, it has interests, as

well as beliefs and values. When its interests are in keeping with its

values, the U.S. is at its best (as in the terms of Wilson, Roosevelt,

Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton). However, when its interests

stand in opposition to its values, the U.S. prefers its interests, and

then it is at its worst (as in the terms of Truman, Johnson, Nixon,

Reagan, and Bush). This is true of the presidents, the government, and

foreign policy. As for the American people, it, like the other peoples of

the world, aspires to peace, justice, and liberty...

 

"In 1982, I first published in [the Egyptian government dailies]

Al-Ahram and Al-Gumhuriya a series of articles on 'the ugly American.' Those

articles provoked at the time many responses in Egypt and in the U.S.,

to the extent that President Mubarak, his advisor 'Osama Al-Baz, and

the late foreign minister Kamal Hassan 'Ali asked me to desist, so as not

to pose a threat to relations between Egypt and the U.S. Even one of

the experts in attacks on the U.S. was surprised [at my articles], and

wrote things in his newspaper Al-Ahali to the effect that he and leftists

like himself were the only ones qualified to attack the U.S., and a

beginning amateur like myself... had best not burst in onto their turf.

The very same thing surprises the Nasserists, the Islamists, and the

Marxists in 2006, after the article I wrote...

 

"The Israelis are ugly just like the Americans who conspired with them,

encouraged them, and aided them in 1982. But the Israelis have become

'uglier,' since they repeated the same act 24 years later, in 2006. Over

the course of this period, Israel has become a very large military

power, very wealthy in its economy, very advanced in terms of technology,

but less wise in terms of strategy. In this way, they are like an echo

of the ugly American – but he lives dozens of miles distant from the

Middle East... whereas the stupid Israeli is surrounded by [Arab]

peoples... Every time his Arab neighbors give him an opportunity for [peaceful]

coexistence, like Egyptian President Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan

did, he wastes it through bloody adventures that ignite hostility

towards it among its neighbors, and provokes hatred for its behavior

throughout the world... It is as though the 'Israeli' provokes the entire

world, and enjoys the killing and the destruction. He doesn't care that he

becomes uglier in others' eyes, so long as he is accompanied by, and

under the protection of, the 'ugly American'...

 

"Israel has forgotten, or has attempted to forget, that it was its

military occupation of southern Lebanon in 1982 that created the resistance

movement called Hizbullah, just like its occupation of Palestine

created the Palestinian resistance, which has borne various names, from Fatah

to Hamas and Jihad. Hizbullah fought this occupation since 1982, until

it forced it to withdraw from 97% of Lebanese territory, [having not

withdrawn] only from one small part called the Shab'a Farms... Hizbullah

undertook to continue its armed resistance until every inch of the

Shab'a Farms was liberated and until the release of all of the prisoners.

Since Israel procrastinated on these two issues for six years, Hizbullah

captured two Israeli soldiers, in order to trade them for its own

prisoners who were still in Israeli prison. Israel saw this as an

unjustified provocation and even as an opportunity to respond, to take revenge,

and to get rid of Hizbullah. It even claimed that Syria and Iran incited

Hizbullah to this action, and it began its all-out attack, not just on

Hizbullah bases and fighters, but also on all of Lebanon...

 

"However, the surprise that embarrassed Israel and the U.S., but

gladdened the Arabs, the Muslims, and the world, was Hizbullah's courageous

resistance, which has lasted three weeks – up to the very moment this

article is being written – against the strongest army in the Middle East,

and has inflicted on it fatalities and losses that are unprecedented

for it in any conflict with any Arab element...

 

"As the legendary Chinese leader Mao Zedong said: 'When popular

resistance stands firm and does not surrender – it is the victor. When a

regular army does not conquer and achieve its objective of destroying the

enemy or forcing him to surrender – it is the loser.' Up to the moment

this article is being written, and according to Mao Zedong's saying,

Hizbullah is the victor and the Israeli army is the loser. This army does

not learn; it just destroys, kills, and expels, and thus it is the

uglier..."(2)

 

In a third article on the "ugliness" that he claimed was revealed by

the war in Lebanon, Dr. Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim states that the Arab

leadership is even uglier than the U.S. and Israel. According to him, the

current war between Israel and Hizbullah has demonstrated anew – in at least

two instances – that Arab leaders are "the ugliest of all."

 

The first instance, he writes, was when "the collusion of several Arab

countries with Israel, the U.S., and Britain" became known. "This

collusion ranged from official silence – as though what is happening is not

going on in an Arab state called Lebanon, but rather on Mars – ... to

condemnation of the victim. Accordingly, they used expressions like

'irresponsibility' in order to describe Hizbullah's action in which two

Israeli soldiers were captured and eight others killed... meaning that

Hizbullah had overstepped its bounds and entangled all of Lebanon – the

government and the people – in a battle, without having taken into

account the position of the Lebanese – this despite the fact that Hizbullah

is represented in parliament and is a partner in the government. Even if

this were indeed true, is that not a purely Lebanese matter?..."

 

The second instance in the course of the war in which, according to Dr.

Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim, the Arab leadership proved that it is "the

ugliest" was when it attempted to isolate Hizbullah, claiming that its people

are Shi'ites and thus are destined for badWord. This argument was made in

a statement by the mufti of Saudi Arabia, as well as in statements by

preachers at mosques in Egypt who hold to the Wahhabi school of Islam.

According to Dr. Ibrahim, "the introduction of sectarian dispute [into

the issue] has to do with some of the Arab regimes' fear of the

strengthening of Iranian influence in the region... In this context, the King

of Jordan spoke [in the past] about the danger of what he called the

'Shi'ite Triangle' or the 'Shi'ite Crescent,' and the president of Egypt,

Mubarak, did likewise when he said, in April, 2006, that the loyalty of

Arab Shi'ites is given not to their countries, but to Iran. This

statement, like the Saudi fatwa and the King of Jordan's statement, awakened

strong dissatisfaction...

 

"Whatever the hubris and the barbaric use of force by the 'ugly

American' and the 'uglier Israeli,' they at least act this way because, from

their vantage point, it serves the national interests of their nations.

The Arab rulers [on the other hand] are colluding against their Arab

sister states, and they are not acting this way in order to serve the

national interests of their countries, but rather in order to serve their

own personal and familial interests. To this end, they are prepared to

accommodate the demands of the American master and [to obey] his

orders, even if the [demands and orders] are for the good of his spoiled

daughter, Israel, and even if the price is the blood of thousands of

Lebanese dead, injured, and refugees. Thus, in the eyes of their peoples,

they are 'the ugliest of all'..."(3)

 

 

Gamal Al-Banna: The American Interest is to Destroy any Islamic Entity

and to Establish a New Middle East

 

The Islamic thinker Gamal Al-Banna wrote that the war would indeed lead

to the creation of a new Middle East, but it will be one entirely

different from that which the U.S. envisioned:

 

"For the Arab states, the war that was forced on Lebanon is something

akin to what the events of 9/11 were for the U.S.

 

"The first thing that attracted attention... and provoked shock was the

intentional cruelty in [israel's] conduct in the war, the singular

objective of which is destruction and annihilation...

 

"The second thing that deeply affected the public was the U.S.'s

position. Israel has repeated precedents of killing, destruction,

humiliation, and inflicting agony, but the U.S. outdid it in this war. After it

gave Israel the green light for the attack, the U.S. fought off every

political or humanitarian effort that intended to lessen the tragedy or

treat its humanitarian aspects, and encouraged Israel to continue its war

under the pretext of wiping out the Islamic resistance in Lebanon...

But Israel destroyed not the resistance, but rather beautiful Beirut and

the liberty and culture that it symbolizes...

 

"Condoleezza Rice wanted this all-out destruction to continue for one

or two weeks, until people went crazy and lived like they lived before

the first industrial revolution, and until [Lebanese] society collapsed

into chaos... out of which, and thanks to which, a new Middle East

would arise.

 

"[American policy] showed that the U.S. has an interest in this war,

and that it was it that caused its ally, Israel, to wage it in its name.

The American interest is the destruction of any Islamic entity – Hamas

in Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon – in order to realize its old plan

for the Middle East... The aim of this policy is to take advantage of

the chaos and the deterioration that the war caused, in order for the

U.S. to crush the forces of resistance and create a new Middle East.

 

"The third factor that deeply affected the public... was the stand of

the ruling Arab regimes on the war, a stand characterized by stupidity

and 'surrender,' and likewise their support for U.S. policy and the

attribution to Lebanon of responsibility for the outbreak of the war.

 

"To these factors one should add the resistance's success in defeating

the Israeli army in its first fight with it, [and the fact] that the

resistance's missiles succeeded in inflicting punishing blows on the

settlers [i.e. the Israelis], and made them taste something of what they

are doing to the Palestinians. Likewise, [one should take into account]

the courage, faith, and dedication that characterized [Hizbullah leader]

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of this resistance...

 

"These factors prepared the region for the appearance of a new Middle

East, but in a form that the U.S. had not dreamt of, since it will be

the opposite [of the U.S.' expectations], and will destroy the bridges on

which the current Middle East is built and the alliances with the

U.S...."(4)

 

 

Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd: The "Intelligent" Liberals are Afraid of Islam

 

Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd attacked those intellectuals whom he referred

to ironically as "intelligent liberals" who wash their hands altogether

of the resistance and support the stand of Israel and the U.S.: "One

cannot continue to remain silent in the face of the discourse of the

'intelligent' liberals and their analysis of Israel's actions, which

include destruction, murder, demolition, and the destroying of an entire

society, whose name is Lebanon... These 'intelligent people' do not see, or

rather do not want to see, anything other than 'the crime of

Hizbullah', which [only] exercised its natural right to capture Israeli soldiers

in order to trade them for Lebanese soldiers who have remained for a

long time in Israeli prison...

 

"These same intelligent people were driven into a collective 'craze'

when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and in other Arab countries

decided to become political parties and to take part in the

'democratic' game, in accordance with the existing rules, in the shadow of the

emergency laws and the restrictions of liberties. The craze turned into a

neurosis when the Muslim Brotherhood won 88 seats in [the Egyptian]

parliament, despite the cheating, the fraud, and so on.

 

"In occupied Palestine, Hamas decided to join the ranks of the

'democrats,' and raked in the majority of the Palestinian vote. Once more, the

curse of the 'neurotic craze' afflicted the intelligent liberals – for

that is not what democracy is, that is not what it should be. The

intelligent liberals in our countries want... 'democracy' that will bring

them to power, without their having to take it upon themselves to descend

to the level of the 'masses,' the 'rabble' – or, in more elegant

terminology, 'the man on the street' – and without having to rub shoulders

with him and to understand his situation...

 

"In the rational liberal discourse, which shakes off its [Arab] history

and washes its hands of the disgrace of 'resistance' – any resistance –

the U.S. and Israel are completely innocent. It is their right to

protect their interests and their security, and it is their right to fight

against the terrorism that threatens human civilization and brings

nothing but destruction.

 

"As I am a rationalist and one of those who call for rationalism, and

as I am also a liberal who has believed in freedom, democracy, and human

rights since my earliest youth, I cannot remain silent in the face of

this intentional falsification of the values of rationalism and

liberalism. The most important characteristic of a rational and liberal

intellectual is a sharp sense of criticism, which allows him to criticize

himself and to reevaluate his own statements. Thus I am not opposed to true

criticism of our history, our culture, and our situation, and I even

think that such criticism is obligatory, essential, and vital in order to

make progress. However, I am incapable of agreeing with the one-eyed

criticism that inspects the facts with only one eye [and claims that] the

error is always here, and the truth is always there. This is not

criticism, but rather falsification, since it uncritically accepts someone

else's ideology.

 

"Oh rational liberals... you who exercise an exaggerated sense of

criticism towards the 'I' and look with total blindness on the other, it

saddens me to announce that I am washing my hands of you and your

positions. Resistance is not 'adventure', but rather the only existing option

at the moment for our peoples, after the [true] face of the modern Arab

nation has been exposed...

 

"You are against Hamas, against Hizbullah, and against the Muslim

Brotherhood because of their religious ideology. You are afraid that their

growing stronger will lead to the establishment of religious states, but

you ignore the actual existence of a state that is not only religious,

but also racist, since it is a state for Jews 'only.' In your neurotic

fear of the Islamic religion within [the Arab countries], and with your

surprising calm towards the politico-religious existence called Israel,

you reveal that your liberalism and rationalism are not just phony;

they are destructive rationalism. This is American rationalism, in which

an idea is correct to the degree that it is useful.

 

"Sirs, you are afraid of 'Islam,' and not of political Islamism. You

are not capable of understanding that the Islamist choice of the peoples

is a choice of necessity, and not the choice of free people. The

Palestinians voted for Hamas out of desperation [from the] Oslo [Accords],

which died without anyone wanting to announce their death, and in an

attempt to escape the financial, administrative, and political corruption

of the PA...

 

"Was not the vote for the Muslim Brotherhood candidates in Egypt and in

other Arab countries simply an attempt to escape the corruption in the

political, economic, and social establishments? What other choice was

there in Egypt?... The Muslim Brotherhood is an Egyptian political

faction with whom a dialogue must be held... Nobody has a monopoly on the

meaning of Islam, but the rational liberals assumed that it was the

exclusive property of the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to fight against this

meaning [of Islam], they are trying to eliminate the Muslim

Brotherhood, and Islam itself, if possible...

 

"Hizbullah has never aimed weapons at any Lebanese or Arab, and

throughout its history, the resistance has made efforts not to hurt Israeli

civilians. This last war drove it to change this rational-ethical stance,

since Israel is not fighting for the return of its prisoners, but

rather is destroying an entire nation – a nation characterized by a

pluralism of coexisting [ethnic and religious] groups, as opposed to the

Zionist existence... Hizbullah's discourse in the current war is not in

essence sectarian or religious, but is rather a discourse of national

liberation, a rational discourse known as 'resistance'..."(5)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/25/world/mi.../25cluster.html

 

Opened Into Israeli Use of U.S. Bombs

 

By DAVID S. CLOUD

Published: August 25, 2006

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 — The State Department is investigating whether Israel’s use of American-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon violated secret agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons, two officials said.

The investigation by the department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls began this week, after reports that three types of American cluster munitions, anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area, have been found in many areas of southern Lebanon and were responsible for civilian casualties.

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http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2006/8/172378.htm

 

In arabic, quoting an article in Washigntonpost by Dr. Yuram Berry, professor at TelAviv university . I failed to find the original english copy but according to the translator , Proffeser Bery is calling for an Israeli national security council that is not governed by the generals views.. He was quoted to write that part of the Lebanon loss was the lack of Israeli civil counter balance to the military generals power with the decision making authority..

 

I am pleased to see more Israelis stepping up to point out the reall issues on the Israeli side ..I hope the Lebanon failing mission to be of a good lesson to both the Israeli generals and their allies in the west and some arab capitols.. they need to understand that Bush's call for democracy is a unique opportunity for Israel, Arab and the whole world. Opposing it would not be of any benefits to their countries interests..

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Hezbollah Didn't Win

Arab writers are beginning to lift the veil on what really happened in Lebanon.

 

BY AMIR TAHERI

Friday, August 25, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/fe...ml?id=110008847

 

A very interesting article by Shia Iranian Amir tahrie..

 

 

 

The way much of the Western media tells the story, Hezbollah won a great victory against Israel and the U.S., healed the Sunni-Shiite rift, and boosted the Iranian mullahs' claim to leadership of the Muslim world. Portraits of Hassan Nasrallah, the junior mullah who leads the Lebanese branch of this pan-Shiite movement, have adorned magazine covers in the West, hammering in the message that this child of the Khomeinist revolution is the new hero of the mythical "Arab Street."

 

Probably because he watches a lot of CNN, Iran's "Supreme Guide," Ali Khamenei, also believes in "a divine victory." Last week he asked 205 members of his Islamic Majlis to send Mr. Nasrallah a message, congratulating him for his "wise and far-sighted leadership of the Ummah that produced the great victory in Lebanon."

 

By controlling the flow of information from Lebanon throughout the conflict, and help from all those who disagree with U.S. policies for different reasons, Hezbollah may have won the information war in the West. In Lebanon, the Middle East and the broader Muslim space, however, the picture is rather different.

 

 

 

 

The Green Flood has been unleashed to silence criticism of Mr. Nasrallah and his masters in Tehran. But the trick does not seem to be working. "If Hezbollah won a victory, it was a Pyrrhic one," says Walid Abi-Mershed, a leading Lebanese columnist. "They made Lebanon pay too high a price--for which they must be held accountable."

Hezbollah is also criticized from within the Lebanese Shiite community, which accounts for some 40% of the population. Sayyed Ali al-Amin, the grand old man of Lebanese Shiism, has broken years of silence to criticize Hezbollah for provoking the war, and called for its disarmament. In an interview granted to the Beirut An-Nahar, he rejected the claim that Hezbollah represented the whole of the Shiite community. "I don't believe Hezbollah asked the Shiite community what they thought about [starting the] war," Mr. al-Amin said. "The fact that the masses [of Shiites] fled from the south is proof that they rejected the war. The Shiite community never gave anyone the right to wage war in its name."

 

There were even sharper attacks. Mona Fayed, a prominent Shiite academic in Beirut, wrote an article also published by An-Nahar last week. She asks: Who is a Shiite in Lebanon today? She provides a sarcastic answer: A Shiite is he who takes his instructions from Iran, terrorizes fellow believers into silence, and leads the nation into catastrophe without consulting anyone. Another academic, Zubair Abboud, writing in Elaph, a popular Arabic-language online newspaper, attacks Hezbollah as "one of the worst things to happen to Arabs in a long time." He accuses Mr. Nasrallah of risking Lebanon's existence in the service of Iran's regional ambitions.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Nasrallah was also criticized for his acknowledgement of Ali Khamenei as Marjaa al-Taqlid (Source of Emulation), the highest theological authority in Shiism. Highlighting his bay'aah (allegiance), Mr. Nasrallah kisses the man's hand each time they meet. Many Lebanese Shiites resent this because Mr. Khamenei, a powerful politician but a lightweight in theological terms, is not recognized as Marjaa al-Taqlid in Iran itself. The overwhelming majority of Lebanese Shiites regard Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, in Iraq, or Ayatollah Muhammad-Hussein Fadhlallah, in Beirut, as their "Source of Emulation."

quote]

 

 

There was a time when Shiites represented an underclass of dirt-poor peasants in the south and lumpen elements in Beirut. Over the past 30 years, however, that picture has changed. Money sent from Shiite immigrants in West Africa (where they dominate the diamond trade), and in the U.S. (especially Michigan), has helped create a prosperous middle class of Shiites more interested in the good life than martyrdom à la Imam Hussain. This new Shiite bourgeoisie dreams of a place in the mainstream of Lebanese politics and hopes to use the community's demographic advantage as a springboard for national leadership. Hezbollah, unless it ceases to be an instrument of Iranian policies, cannot realize that dream.

The list of names of those who never endorsed Hezbollah, or who broke with it after its Iranian connections became too apparent, reads like a Who's Who of Lebanese Shiism. It includes, apart from the al-Amins, families such as the al-As'ad, the Osseiran, the al-Khalil, the Hamadah, the Murtadha, the Sharafeddin, the Fadhlallah, the Mussawis, the Hussainis, the Shamsuddin and the Ata'allahs.

 

 

Far from representing the Lebanese national consensus, Hezbollah is a sectarian group backed by a militia that is trained, armed and controlled by Iran. In the words of Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, "Hezbollah is 'Iran in Lebanon.' " In the 2004 municipal elections, Hezbollah won some 40% of the votes in the Shiite areas, the rest going to its rival Amal (Hope) movement and independent candidates. In last year's general election, Hezbollah won only 12 of the 27 seats allocated to Shiites in the 128-seat National Assembly--despite making alliances with Christian and Druze parties and spending vast sums of Iranian money to buy votes

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Lebanon Throng Hails Hezbollah Chief, Who Calls Militia Stronger

 

By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

Published: September 23, 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 22 — Hundreds of thousands of people stood Friday and chanted “God, God, protect Nasrallah.” It was the moment they had waited for: Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, in person, declaring that his militia was stronger than ever and that no army in the world could force it to disarm.

 

News Analysis: Lebanon’s Future: Bending Toward Hezbollah or Leaning to the West? (September 22, 2006)

Iran Leader, at U.N., Skirts Issue of Hezbollah’s Disarmament (September 22, 2006)

 

At the rally, the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, declared that the militia had emerged stronger from its recent war with Israel. "Not a single army in the world will be able to dismantle our resistance," he said, and asserted that Hezbollah still had 20,000 missiles in its arsenal. It was Sheik Nasrallah's first public appearance since the war with Isarel started in July. More Photos »

This was Sheik Nasrallah’s first public appearance since the war with Israel started in July, and it was steeped in defiance: at Israel, the United States, Arab heads of state and those political forces in Lebanon aiming to clip Hezbollah’s political and military power.

 

If there was any thought the war weakened Hezbollah, Sheik Nasrallah had a different message: “It is stronger.” Even after Israel’s 34-day bombardment of Lebanon, Hezbollah, he said, still has more than 20,000 missiles. “Not a single army in the world will be able to dismantle our resistance,” Sheik Nasrallah said, as he stood beneath a big banner that read “The Victory Rally.” “No army in the world will be able to make us drop the weapons from our hands.”

 

The crowd was mammoth, packing every corner of the 37-acre square in the southern suburbs of Beirut. There was a plastic chair for nearly everyone, and a baseball cap for protection from the sun. Hezbollah’s martial choir belted out chest thumping music. The crowds waved flags, wildly cheering for Sheik Nasrallah, who has become a folk hero to many here and throughout the Arab world. The audience came on foot, by car and by bus from the south and the north, and in every case, people said they came because Sheik Nasrallah asked them to.

 

“Whatever Sayid Hassan wants Sayid Hassan gets,” said Hossain Zebara, 29, using a title reserved for descendants of the prophet Muhammad. Mr. Zebara said it took him 24 hours to walk from his home in the southern part of Lebanon to be at the rally. “We came to show the American administration, the British administration, the French administration, that the resistance population is increasing, not decreasing.”

 

That was exactly Sheik Nasrallah’s point — a show of strength to those who would challenge him from abroad, and those who would challenge him at home. In a country of about four million, turning out hundreds of thousands of people in a disciplined, highly orchestrated event, is a sign of strength.

 

But the rally also highlighted some of the deep divisions among Lebanon’s different factions, as the crowd at times chanted slogans calling the Druse leader, Walid Jumblatt, a “worm” and “Jew” and calling for the prime minister to leave office.

 

Sheik Nasrallah sought to overcome some of that by calling for unity in a speech that tried to define him as leader who is not just a local force, but a regional force as well. He gave voice to one of the primary feelings that has fueled anger throughout the Muslim world: a sense that Muslims are being victimized in places like Iraq and Gaza, and the world does not care. “How long will it go on that the world keeps quiet?” he asked.

 

And he aimed hard at Arab leaders, criticizing them for not being willing to fight Israel. “These Arab leaders prefer to protect their thrones as opposed to protecting Palestine,” he said, taking a shot at the traditional power brokers, like the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.

 

In Israel, Sheik Nasrallah’s speech was condemned as defying the international community by refusing to disarm.

 

Sheik Nasrallah had multiple messages to deliver: He said that Hezbollah would not disarm because the state was too weak to protect the people against Israel. He warned the international force deploying along the border with Israel not to spy on the “resistance.” He castigated Arab heads of state who recently asked the United Nations Security Council to help restart the peace process with Israel. He cautioned the Lebanese people about allowing political differences among sectarian leaders to become sectarian differences that might tear the country apart. And he repeatedly criticized the American-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, saying it needed to be replaced by a national unity government, which would in turn give Hezbollah even more power.

 

No one knew if Sheik Nasrallah would appear. People here talk about his assassination by Israel as though it is not just a matter of if, but when. The rally, billed as a celebration of the “divine victory,” presented him a chance to re-energize his supporters, to enhance his standing as a pan-Arab leader, and to try to buttress Hezbollah’s domestic political position. When he entered, he stood on a platform and appeared almost regal in finely tailored religious robes and a black turban. He was taken to the stage where he was protected by a wall of blastproof glass. He said that up until 30 minutes before the rally there were still discussions going on over whether he would attend.

 

“I couldn’t talk to you from afar,” he said. “I insisted to be with you.”

Israel began the war after Hezbollah crossed the border and captured two Israeli soldiers. The Israeli onslaught caused heavy damage to the mostly Shiite areas in the south and the north, and cost more than 1,000 lives, mostly civilians. But Hezbollah’s fighters never stopped, shooting hundreds of rockets into Israel, destroying Israeli tanks, an Israeli naval vessel and killing many Israeli troops.

Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

Hundreds of thousands of people packed a square in the suburbs of Beirut to listen to Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, declare a “divine victory” in the recent war with Israel. More Photos >

Judging from the size of the rally, and the remarks of the participants, Hezbollah’s base did not blame Hezbollah for the death and destruction. They blamed Israel and the United States. “This is good, good,” said Fatima Saad, 50, whose son, Kasem, was killed. There was no hint of sadness in her bearing. “I am very proud,” she said as she patted a picture of her son pinned to her chest. He was 20 when he was blown up.

 

Ahmed Hussein, 78, made the trip to Beirut from his southern village of Kafr Kila. He said his house and most of his neighbors’ homes were destroyed, but that Hezbollah gave them tents and water tanks to help them get by. “All of us whose houses were destroyed we came here for Nasrallah, to tell him what we lost is nothing,” Mr. Hussein said.

 

While Hezbollah and Sheik Nasrallah have been hailed as heroes throughout the Arab world, the group’s position in Lebanese politics is more complex. They have been attacked by opponents who fear that an empowered Hezbollah would exert even more influence over the country. Some of Sheik Nasrallah’s opponents said they thought the rally might help undermine his chance of reaching out beyond his Shiite base because he said he was comfortable being aligned with Syria and Iran. For his part, Sheik Nasrallah seemed to try to both embrace his benefactors in Syria and Iran and to distance himself from them. He said it made him angry when his detractors charged that the battle with Israel was a proxy war for Iran, or Syria. “We are with the Iranians, we are with the Syrians, but this was our war,” he said, as he thrust his right hand into the air, and the crowd cheered.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/23/world/mi.../23lebanon.html?

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I have a feeling that the US administration is learning a lot from the last conflict.. There are a lot of initiatives to push the ME crises solutions forward. What brought my attention was the the news that there is an american envoy to Lebanon to study with the governement possibilities to offer helps in reconstructing lebanon.

 

I think any support for the government is a critical issue. However, having the current dynamics, I might warn that such American help might not get it's attention by Lebanies if it is chosen to go through the berocratic corrupted ways..

We need to have much better and fast methods . Of course , US embassy have no such direct facities as the one available to Hizbullah, but still there some ways.

 

Today any reconstruction by the government is considered as some thing it is obliged to as part of it's duties.. American support, would lose significance if it goes only that way.. I am not familiar with Lebanon and US finincial details, but it come to my mind something in addition ,that I thought might be possible . I was thinking of it during the American experiences in offering a huge financial support to Iraq. Unfortunetly significant part of it ended up in the deep pockets of corrupted reconstruction authorties or being not appreciated by Iraqis.

What if the American help went through credits to Lebanies Americans to invest in Lebanon real state infrastructure.. For example each one of them is granted a real state loan with no or very low interest to buy or build a home.. Such loans can be managed through local Banks ..

 

 

I don't know if this is possible, but I am sure it will have it's great impacts on the Lebanon building program and on the way Lebanies look to USA , specially after the great damage that had happened through the biased stand during the war.

I still recall the answer by a Lebanies American friend when asked about the lack of help by the Embassy to evacuate them . His answer was " we are the sons of Hajer" .. he was refering to the slave wife of the father of prophets Ibrahim !!

 

The situation is so dynamic and let us go through non traditional ways once..

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http://www.alarabiya.net/Articles/2006/09/28/27850.htm

 

In Arabic , Nasrallah anounced that he is willing to visit Suadi Arabia to pay thanks to it government for all the help to Lebanon..

 

Very interesting development.. he might want to short cut the road around his new rival Alhariri.. It smart move as it come while the qATAREE GOVERMENT TRIED IT'S BEST TO LOOK LIKE THE CLOSESET TO GULF STATE TO hIZBULLAH..

Interesting move, that is to confirm some of my point that USA need to open dialogue with Hizbullah

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Iraq Contractor's Work Is Further Criticized

13 of 14 Projects Found Wanting by Audit

 

By Griff Witte

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, September 29, 2006; Page A15

 

The contractor that botched construction of a $75 million police academy in Baghdad so badly that human waste dripped from the ceilings has produced shoddy work on 13 out of 14 projects reviewed by federal auditors, the top official monitoring Iraq's reconstruction told Congress yesterday.

 

In a House hearing on what has gone wrong with reconstruction contracts in Iraq, Parsons Corp. quickly became the focus, taking bipartisan heat for its record of falling short on critical projects. The Pasadena, Calif., firm was supposed to build facilities at the heart of the $21 billion U.S.-led reconstruction program, including fire stations, border forts and health-care centers. But inspectors have found a litany of flaws in the firm's work. The one project reviewed by auditors that was being constructed correctly, a prison, was taken away from Parsons before its completion because of escalating costs.

 

 

Hope the above is not the US plan for constructing Lebanon.. Having in mind that The Lebanies government berocratic system , who is mostly the candidat managing contractor, is considered in Lebanon as the most corrupted one.. Alsanura was the finance minster during late PM Hariri .. During the reconstruction programs , Lebanon economy got billed with more than 45 Billion dollars banks debits..

 

Let us see if Lebnon reconstruction go into Black hole as the one in Iraq, kind of!

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By Shulamit Aloni [long time Israeli peace activist, on the far left of Meretz)

YNET

24.9.06

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3307081,00.html

 

 

Israel's leaders must change mindset, engage in dialogue with Palestinians

 

 

 

In a few months, we will mark 40 years of `enlightened` occupation by our famed army in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Israel pretends to be an enlightened state and signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which rules that `The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies` (Israel ratified the Convention in 1951.)

 

Over the years we deported, robbed land and stole water, destroyed crops, uprooted trees, turned every village and town into a detention camp, and set up hundreds of communities on land that doesn`t belong to us.

 

We allowed the settlers to make a living by providing them with huge amounts of money (more than 5 times per capita compared to residents of southern development towns.)

 

We paved roads for Jews only, a case of blatant apartheid, while defending it using witty Jewish self-righteousness in the absence of fair and public reporting of the budgets involved, dee ds committed, expropriation of land, and disregard for vandalism.

 

Morality, justice, law and order stopped at the Green Line. Lawlessness prevailed right under the noses and protective and soothing hand of the IDF and police, as lawbreaking settlers made their own laws undisturbed, and at times with the kind help of authorities.

 

Every illegal settlement enjoys water, hydro, and a paved road. The permanent residents, the natives, which the Israeli regime had to take care of, became seemingly non-existent. As if they are there but not there at the same time. The government only notices them if they bother it by filing complaints.

 

It`s no wonder that the leader of a political movement in Israel and a Knesset member can declare that we should expel the Palestinians (and also Israel`s Arab citizens) in order to take over what is still left to them.

 

But as we usually present it - we`re the victim while they`re the murderers with blood on their hands. We never report the number of Palestinians we murdered from the sky and killed by fire - women, children, the elderly, whole families, thousands of them.

 

 

 

No wonder they hate us

 

Aerial bombings kill wanted suspects, while eliminating many civilians - yet the hands of the pilot are `clean` of any blood. After all, the victims were killed at the press of a button while their killers returned home safely. None of them committed suicide to kill wanted suspects, who by the way are not a `ticking bomb` and no evidence exists against them.

 

At times it appears that the IDF, particularly during the last, needless Lebanon war, turn s the Gaza Strip into live-fire training grounds for all army branches. Is it a wonder they hate us, and is it a wonder they elected Hamas in free elections, the same Hamas whose establishment we encouraged in order to undermine the PLO?

 

Many peace-making windows were opened over the years. We hindered all of them, because we coveted the whole of the Territories. We had the Oslo agreements. Twenty countries, which in the past had no ties with us, recognized Israel. We had welfare, international ties were blossoming, peace was at our gates - but we didn`t want to make concessions.

 

Rabin was murdered for the sake of the settlers, and the job of burying peace-making attempts was completed by Ehud Barak with his `There`s nobody to talk to!` spin. In order to establish himself in power, Barak also allowed Arik Sharon to visit Temple Mount with armed escorts, even though he was asked by Arafat the night before not to allow this due to the frustration and fury among Palestin ians.

 

Now, another possibility for dialogue has opened. Yet our government is again turning its back on it. They don`t know how to and don't want to talk. Just now we brutally destroyed half of Lebanon at an immense cost and turned a million civilians into refugees in their own country.

 

Another superb achievement by the IDF and government of Israel. We`re willing to resort to any provocation and blow any incident out of proportion, just to hold on to the regular pretext that `There`s nobody to talk to`, and that we don`t talk to terrorists.

 

 

 

Kahane won

 

Yet the acts we undertake by starving, curfews, deportations, the theft of water and land, false arrests, and targeted killings - all those are, of course, not terror, because the acts are undertaken by a national army through the power of a decision made by legitimate government.

 

Wonderful, it turns out we forget the fascist states (including Stalin`s USSR) that were very legitimate accordin g to their own logic, while committing a plethora of terror acts.

 

The time has come for the government of Israel to start talking peace, and end the excuses for disqualifying and boycotting Palestinian representatives. The use of arms does not have to be the first reaction. Starvation, imprisonment, and expropriation by an occupying force attest to an unwillingness to reach an agreement and an addiction to greed.

 

This is reminiscent of Benny Elon comments: `We`ll embitter their lives so that they transfer themselves elsewhere.`

 

One cannot escape the impression that the racist and brutal declarations by Effie Eitam gave public expression to government policy over the years. We must note that the courts - the defenders of law and order, including the High Court of Justice - were partners to the developments that led to the legitimization of parties and Knesset members reminiscent of the racist, crude words uttered by MK Eitam.

 

In fact, it appears that Meir Kahane won, and we continue in his path - we don`t talk, but rather, only kill, raze homes and roads and bridges, cut off electricity, fill prisons with women and children and elected officials, because all of them are the `terrorists` while we, the Jewish state, need to be defended from them. We`re always the ultimate victim.

 

As Golda Meir said: `I don`t forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill them.` There you go, she`s the killer, yet she`s the victim.

 

For our sake, the citizens of Israel, and for the sake of brining peace and quiet - government leaders, start talking and keep doing it until you reach an agreement.

 

Unruly sons will be brought back into the country, we`ll be respecting UN decisions and international conventions, we`ll earnestly memorize the universal human rights declaration and our own declaration of independence, we`ll rehabilitate our soul, and we`ll attempt to establish a democratic country governed by the law and justice. Shana Tova.

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