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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Baffled

What can I write right now? How can I make myself relevant or useful? Do I march in a peace rally where I fear crazies will be burning flags and chanting war songs? What the hell can I do?

I have recently lost contact with my family who chose to evacuate their home because they couldn't sleep anymore... A garbage truck depot close to where they live got bombed... So they packed up and left. My friends' families all packed up and left. Not a single soul I know in Lebanon stayed in their home... All refugees now, five hundred thousand of them by the latest Lebanese count.

For what ? For whom? This will be over I keep telling myself, but we will come out of it, we will rebuild! But then I ask myself how many times have we "come out of it", how many times have we "rebuilt"... How many times have we had a glimmer of hope and how many times has this been taken away from us. I don't even want to count.

So what will happen when this is over? Lebanon will be in ruins. Thats for granted. Will the Hizbulla problem be solved ? I doubt it. Will Iran and Syria take their hands off my country? Probably not. Will any solution that anyone comes up with really tackle the problems we face? Most probably not. How many years before this happens again? Too few...

Every country is doing its bidding, pursuing its national interests. Iran wants to be a regional power and demands to be acknowledged as such. Syria, well don't even get me started there... Israel is doing what it thinks should be done to protect itself... And us, Lebanon? I don't even know if there even is a Lebanon. We lack a national identity, we lack the proper loyalty to our state, we lack everything. Every disaster we have to live through, every war, every assault, every attack, every time we rebuild the damn country, is a reminder of our sorry state of affairs.
Who do we have to blame ? Everyone. But mostly ourselves. Hundreds of years of coexisting (!), decades of having a country, years after the end of the civil war, many months after we achieved a semblance of sovereignty over our country, have we learned anything from our history ? Will we ever?

That is the question that begs an answer...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow

IsrealiMom said...

I hear your frustration, my friend.

There is only one solution in my mind right now, and it will have to wait until the current fighting subsides. Some will say it's naive, maybe it is. But in the long run, I think only some sort of a regional coalition of sane, modern, secular, Western oriented forces can stop the region's fanatics from taking over and making all of us leave (or worse).

Don't get me wrong, I think Israel has its share of fanatics too, and I'm including them together with the Muslim extremists.

I think if the sane, secular, liberal modern people in Israel, Lebanon, maybe some are in Jordan and Egypt too, and some among the Palestinians too, will get together and work together to banish Hammas, Hezbulla, the Israeli extremists, the tyrants of Iran and Syria, then, who knows, maybe there will be a chance for a better Middle East.

Utopia? maybe. What other way is there?

dougjnn said...

“So what will happen when this is over? Lebanon will be in ruins. That’s for granted.”

I’m not sure the damage is really as widespread as the rather hysterical TV news in particular (CNN, BBC etc.) make it seem. In addition, 400 civilian deaths really isn’t that many in even a short war, particularly when it’s largely concentrated among Hezbollah supporters and when one side intentionally places itself among its supporting civilian population.

Yes, a huge number of bridges are out. But that isn’t completely destroyed. That’s a span missing, typically. Yes a number of TV and cell phone towers are out. But the overwhelming majority of the damage in Beirut seems to be in the Shi’a suburbs surrounding Hezbollah’s headquarters and other buildings.

Lots more damage in southern Lebanon, again in heavily Hezbollah supporting Shi’a neighborhoods around Hezbollah assets. Tyre badly damaged.

Meanwhile the Saudi government has pledged $1.5 BILLION in rebuilding money, beyond the UN’s call for $150 million in near term humanitarian relief, towards which the US pledged an initial $30 million. If the Shi’a areas are now to look to the central government to dispense rebuilding money, rather than Hezbollah dispensing Iranian money, that might have some upsides.

The greatest damage, potentially, is to confidence in the peacefulness of Lebanon’s future and the security of investment there. That all depends on the end game, rather than exactly how long this conflict goes on.

If Hezbollah were disarmed and Israel withdrew (without being replaced by any closely allied power such as the US or Britain), and especially if also a comprehensive peace agreement was also signed with Israel, the peaceful future of Lebanon would be FAR more assured.

dougjnn said...

“So what will happen when this is over? Lebanon will be in ruins. That’s for granted.”

I’m not sure the damage is really as widespread as the rather hysterical TV news in particular (CNN, BBC etc.) make it seem. In addition, 400 civilian deaths really isn’t that many in even a short war, particularly when it’s largely concentrated among Hezbollah supporters and when one side intentionally places itself among its supporting civilian population.

See e.g. this NY Times article from yesterday:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/world/middleeast/25beirut.html?pagewanted=1&ref=middleeast

Yes, a huge number of bridges are out. But that isn’t completely destroyed. That’s a span missing, typically. Yes a number of TV and cell phone towers are out. But the overwhelming majority of the damage in Beirut seems to be in the Shi’a suburbs surrounding Hezbollah’s headquarters and other buildings.

Lots more damage in southern Lebanon, again in heavily Hezbollah supporting Shi’a neighborhoods around Hezbollah assets. Tyre badly damaged.

Meanwhile the Saudi government has pledged $1.5 BILLION in rebuilding money, beyond the UN’s call for $150 million in near term humanitarian relief, towards which the US pledged an initial $30 million. If the Shi’a areas are now to look to the central government to dispense rebuilding money, rather than Hezbollah dispensing Iranian money, that might have some upsides.

The greatest damage, potentially, is to confidence in the peacefulness of Lebanon’s future and the security of investment there. That all depends on the end game, rather than exactly how long this conflict goes on.

If Hezbollah were disarmed and Israel withdrew (without being replaced by any closely allied power such as the US or Britain), and especially if also a comprehensive peace agreement were also signed with Israel, the peaceful future of Lebanon would be FAR more assured.

Matthew said...

R-
Congratulations on your new and very own blog site. Allthough this is a somewhat belated comment, I'm looking forward to reading your posts here as well as with Abu Kais and others.

All my best my friend,
Matthew

R said...

Hi Matthew,

Thanks and welcome, I hope you enjoy my posts.

Looking forward to your comments.

Best,
R

janb said...
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