One Missing Word Sowed the Seeds of Catastrophe By Robert Fisk

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By Robert Fisk
ICH
December 20, 2008 —The Independent

No one in 1967 thought the Arab-Israeli conflict would still be in progress 41 years later

A nit-picker this week. And given the fact that we’re all remembering human rights, the Palestinians come to mind since they have precious few of them, and the Israelis because they have the luxury of a lot of them.

And Lord Blair, since he’ll be communing with God next week, might also reflect that he still – to his shame – hasn’t visited Gaza. But the nit-picking has got to be our old friend United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. This, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the resolution that would guide all future peace efforts in the Middle East; Oslo was supposed to have been founded on it and all sorts of other processes and summits and road maps.

It was passed in November 1967, after Israel had occupied Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai and Golan, and it emphasises “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.

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Secrets of Iraq’s death chamber by Robert Fisk

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by Robert Fisk
http://www.independent.co.uk
Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Prisoners are being summarily executed in the government’s high-security detention centre in Baghdad. Robert Fisk reports

Like all wars, the dark, untold stories of the Iraqi conflict drain from its shattered landscape like the filthy waters of the Tigris. And still the revelations come.

The Independent has learnt that secret executions are being carried out in the prisons run by Nouri al-Maliki’s “democratic” government.

The hangings are carried out regularly – from a wooden gallows in a small, cramped cell – in Saddam Hussein’s old intelligence headquarters at Kazimiyah. There is no public record of these killings in what is now called Baghdad’s “high-security detention facility” but most of the victims – there have been hundreds since America introduced “democracy” to Iraq – are said to be insurgents, given the same summary justice they mete out to their own captives.

[…]

via Secrets of Iraq’s death chamber – Middle East, World – The Independent

h/t: CLG

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

One on One: Robert Fisk

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AlJazeeraEnglish

One on One – Robert Fisk – 07 Nov 08

In this episode of One on One, Riz Khan meets the veteran war correspondent and Middle East commentator.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “One on One: Robert Fisk“, posted with vodpod

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Robert Fisk: Endless War, Iraq and 9/11 (must-see video)

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Robert Fisk: Endless War, Iraq and 9/11 (must-see video)

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The Age of the Warrior 9.26.08

Talk by Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent for The Independent (UK) and author of “The Age of the Warrior: Selected Essays by Robert Fisk” given September 26, 2008 at Seattle Public Library. Continue reading

Robert Fisk: The Age of the Warrior

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Democracy Now!

Oct. 2, 2008

“The Age of the Warrior”: Robert Fisk on the US Elections, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine

Robert Fisk is Britain’s most celebrated foreign correspondent and has borne witness to countless tragedies in the Middle East for over three decades. With the publication of a new collection of essays, Fisk joins us to talk about the US elections and their bearing on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel-Palestine. [includes rush transcript]

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Democracy Now! | “The Age of the Warrior”: Robert Fisk on the US Elections, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine.

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Riz Khan: Robert Fisk: Challenge Authority

Inside Story: US anti-missile system in Israel

Pakistan

Iran

Iraq

Israel

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Obama-Barack

Horrors of War Our Leaders Never Have to Confront By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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This story contains descriptions depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be read by a mature audience.

By Robert Fisk
ICH
This article was originally printed in The Independent on Sept. 13.
09/25/08

Just outside Andrew Holden’s office at the Christchurch Press off Cathedral Square – and, believe me, New Zealand’s prettiest city is as colonial as they come, a Potemkin town of mock-Tudor government buildings, Scottish baronial churches and wooden versions of Victorian homes – is a brightly coloured, cheerful little water-colour. Boarding a big steamship, thousands of New Zealanders in big broad-bottomed brown hats are lining the quaysides, the gangplanks and the decks.

For a moment this week, I thought this might be some annual festival (perhaps involving New Zealand’s 35 million boring sheep). But then Andrew spotted my interest. “They’re going to Gallipoli,” he said. And – fast as the lightning bolt of history – my eyes returned to the tiny figures on the deck. Off they were going, another flower of youth, to the trenches and dust and filth of my father’s war.

I’m not sure of this, but I think – I suspect and feel – that the Great War, the war of 1914-1918, is beginning to dominate our lives even more than the terrible and infinitely more costly conflict of 1939-1945. As the years go by, the visitors to the great cemeteries of the Somme, Passchendaele and Verdun grow greater in number. The Second World War may haunt our lives. The First World War, it seems to me, imprisons us all.

The statistics still have the power to overawe us. As John Terraine calculates, by November of 1918, France had lost 1,700,000 men out of a population of 40 million, the British Empire a million – 700,000 of them from the 50 million people of the British Isles. The British Army, let it be repeated, lost 20,000 killed on the first day of the Somme. I noticed that in Christchurch Cathedral, the bronze plaques to the Great War dead had been newly polished – so that they looked as they must have been seen by those who came to mourn almost a hundred years ago.

Who would have believed, even half a century ago, that this year’s Toronto Film Festival would open in Canada with a film called Passchendaele – perhaps the most-difficult-to-spell-movie of all time – the film poster showing just a young man standing in mud and filth and rain? Who could conceive that one of the most popular non-fiction books in recent Canadian history would be the Ottawa War Museum’s Great War historian Tim Cook’s At the Sharp End, the first volume of his monumental study of Canadians in the 1914-18 war?

Canada had its Douglas Haig – a maniac called Sam Hughes (“Minister of Militia and Defence”) who forced his young men to use the hopeless Canadian-made Mark III Ross rifle which jammed and misfired and heaped up the corpses of Canadians who could not defend themselves with this patriotic, murderous weapon. Cook, despite his occasional tendency to cliché (says Fisk) is superlative.

His description of desperately young Canadian men cowering in shell-holes – showered by the putrefying remains of their long-dead friends as bodies are again torn apart by shells – is devastating. So, too, are his quotations from the letters home of Canadian soldiers. “I went thru all the fights the same as if I was making logs,” Sergeant Frank Maheux writes home to his wife in an innocent, broken English. “I bayoneted some (sic) killed lots of Huns. I was caught in one place with a chum of mine he was killed beside me when I saw he was killed I saw red … The Germans when they saw they were beaten they put up their hands but dear wife it was too late.”

My God, how that “dear wife” tells the truth about the surrendering Germans’ fate. And here is Captain Joseph Chabelle of the Canadian 2nd Division’s 22 Battalion: “Oh! The sensation of driving the blade into flesh, between the ribs, despite the opponent’s grasping efforts to deflect it. You struggle savagely, panting furiously, lips contorted in a grimace, teeth gnashing, until you feel the enemy relax his grip and topple like a log. To remove the bayonet, you have to pull it out with both hands; if it is caught in the bone, you must brace your foot on the still heaving body, and tug with all your might.”

Private James Owen was to describe how an enraged friend was trying to bayonet another German. “He lunged at the German again and again, who each time lowered his arms and stopped the point of the bayonet with his bare hands. He was screaming for mercy. Oh God it was brutal!”

Haig, by the way, was initially dismissive of the Canadians. “They have been very extravagant in expending ammunition!” he complained. “This points rather to nervousness and low morale.”

How the gorge rises at such wickedness. But it rises far more as you turn the pages of the beautifully produced, desperate collection of French soldiers’ amateur paintings and sketches of the Great War – “Croquis et dessins de Poilus” – which, ironically, includes a set of sad portraits of the poilus’ Canadian comrades. This magnificent book was produced by the French Ministry of Defence; why it could not have had a joint production with the Imperial War Museum beggars belief – does the Entente now count for nothing? For anyone who wants to understand the total failure of the human spirit which war represents – and the utter disgust which must follow the “arbitrament”of war (a Chamberlain word this – see his 3 September 1939, declaration of war) – must read the extract from Jean Giono’s Le Grand Troupeau, which accompanies Louis Dauphin’s bleak, rainswept painting, “Supply Route at Peronne”.

“The rats, with red eyes, march delicately along the trench,” Giono writes of the creatures with whom he shared the war. “All life had disappeared down there except for that of the rats and the lice … The rats were coming to sniff the bodies … They chose the young men without beards on the cheeks … rolled up into a ball and began to eat the flesh between the nose and the mouth up to the edge of the lips … from time to time they would wash their whiskers to stay clean. Then the eyes, they took them out with their claws, licked the eyelids, and would then bite into the eye as if it was a small egg …”

My father saw these horrors on the Somme. They all did. Of course, Messrs Bush and Blair did not have to soil their thoughts with such images. Our boys shipping off to war – Mrs Thatcher happily endured the Gallipoli-like departures from Portsmouth – is enough for our leaders. But could it be, perhaps, that we – the people – know more about horror than our masters? Our history suggests this is true.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Inside Iraq: American master plan with Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

My gosh, this is difficult to watch.  This is the worst interview I’ve seen.  Who is this guy, Brad Blakeman?  And why was he invited to do this show?  Wonder if Fisk will ever do another show with Al Jazeera?  ~ Lo

AlJazeeraEnglish

Since the end of the Cold War a decade ago, the U.S. has gone to war in Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan.

Supporters say the interventions are humanitarian deployments to stop aggression, to topple dictatorships, or to halt what they describe as terrorism.

Critics argue that with the US possessing unprecedented economic and military strength, American leaders have openly embraced the idea of imposing its ambitions on to the world.

However, after each U.S. intervention, the attention of supporters and critics alike has turned to speculate on which countries would be next.

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The West’s weapon of self-delusion By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
ICH
06/07/08 “The Independent

There are gun battles in Beirut – and America thinks things are going fine

So they are it again, the great and the good of American democracy, grovelling and fawning to the Israeli lobbyists of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), repeatedly allying themselves to the cause of another country and one that is continuing to steal Arab land.

Will this ever end? Even Barack Obama – or “Mr Baracka” as an Irish friend of mine innocently and wonderfully described him – found time to tell his Jewish audience that Jerusalem is the one undivided capital of Israel, which is not the view of the rest of the world which continues to regard the annexation of Arab East Jerusalem as illegal. The security of Israel. Say it again a thousand times: the security of Israel – and threaten Iran, for good measure.

Yes, Israelis deserve security. But so do Palestinians. So do Iraqis and Lebanese and the people of the wider Muslim world. Now even Condoleezza Rice admits – and she was also talking to Aipac, of course – that there won’t be a Palestinian state by the end of the year. That promise of George Bush – which no-one believed anyway – has gone. In Rice’s pathetic words, “The goal itself will endure beyond the current US leadership.”

Of course it will. And the siege of Gaza will endure beyond the current US leadership. And the Israeli wall. And the illegal Israeli settlement building. And deaths in Iraq will endure beyond “the current US leadership” – though “leadership” is pushing the definition of the word a bit when the gutless Bush is involved – and deaths in Afghanistan and, I fear, deaths in Lebanon too.

It’s amazing how far self-delusion travels. The Bush boys and girls still think they’re supporting the “American-backed government” of Fouad Siniora in Lebanon. But Siniora can’t even form a caretaker government to implement a new set of rules which allows Hizbollah and other opposition groups to hold veto powers over cabinet decisions.

Thus there will be no disarming of Hizbollah and thus – again, I fear this – there will be another Hizbollah-Israeli proxy war to take up the slack of America’s long-standing hatred of Iran. No wonder President Bashar Assad of Syria is now threatening a triumphal trip to Lebanon. He’s won. And wasn’t there supposed to be a UN tribunal to try those responsible for the murder of ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005? This must be the longest police enquiry in the history of the world. And I suspect it’s never going to achieve its goal (or at least not under the “current US leadership”).

There are gun battles in Beirut at night; there are dark-uniformed Lebanese interior ministry troops in equally dark armoured vehicles patrolling the night-time Corniche outside my home.

At least Lebanon has a new president, former army commander Michel Sleiman, an intelligent man who initially appeared on posters, eyes turned to his left, staring at Lebanon with a creditor’s concern. Now he has wisely ordered all these posters to be torn down in an attempt to get the sectarian groups to take down their own pictures of martyrs and warlords. And America thinks things are going fine in Lebanon.

And Bush and his cohorts go on saying that they will never speak to “terrorists”. And what has happened meanwhile? Why, their Israeli friends – Mr Baracka’s Israeli friends – are doing just that. They are talking to Hamas via Egypt and are negotiating with Syria via Turkey and have just finished negotiating with Hizbollah via Germany and have just handed back one of Hizbollah’s top spies in Israel in return for body parts of Israelis killed in the 2006 war. And Bush isn’t going to talk to “terrorists”, eh? I bet he didn’t bring that up with the equally hapless Ehud Olmert in Washington this week.

And so our dementia continues. In front of us this week was Blair with his increasingly maniacal eyes, poncing on about faith and God and religion, and I couldn’t help reflecting on an excellent article by a colleague a few weeks ago who pointed out that God never seemed to give Blair advice. Like before April of 2003, couldn’t He have just said, er, Tony, this Iraq invasion might not be a good idea.

Indeed, Blair’s relationship with God is itself very odd. And I rather suspect I know what happens. I think Blair tells God what he absolutely and completely knows to be right – and God approves his words. Because Blair, like a lot of devious politicians, plays God himself. For there are two Gods out there. The Blair God and the infinite being which blesses his every word, so obliging that He doesn’t even tell Him to go to Gaza.

I despair. The Tate has just sent me its magnificent book of orientalist paintings to coincide with its latest exhibition (The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting) and I am struck by the awesome beauty of this work. In the 19th century, our great painters wondered at the glories of the Orient.

No more painters today. Instead, we send our photographers and they return with pictures of car bombs and body parts and blood and destroyed homes and Palestinians pleading for food and fuel and hooded gunmen on the streets of Beirut, yes, and dead Israelis too. The orientalists looked at the majesty of this place and today we look at the wasteland which we have helped to create.

But fear not. Israel’s security comes first and Mr Baracka wants Israel to keep all of Jerusalem – so much for the Palestinian state – and Condee says the “goal will endure beyond the current American leadership”. And I have a bird that sits in the palm tree outside my home in Beirut and blasts away, going “cheep-cheep-cheep-cheep-cheep” for about an hour every morning – which is why my landlord used to throw stones at it.

But I have a dear friend who believes that once there was an orchestra of birds outside my home and that one day, almost all of them – the ones which sounded like violins and trumpets – got tired of the war and flew away (to Cyprus, if they were wise, but perhaps on to Ireland), leaving only the sparrows with their discordant flutes to remind me of the stagnant world of the Middle East and our cowardly, mendacious politicians. “Cheep-cheep-cheep,” they were saying again yesterday morning. “Cheap-cheap-cheap.” And I rather think they are right.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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“With Liberalism Like This, No One Needs the Neocons”

Stewart Speaks the Truth About Presidential Pandering to Israel!

Has Obama moved to the right? Part I

Mosaic News – 6/5/08: World News from the Middle East

Obama’s speech at AIPAC (video; transcript) (updated) (entire speech)

Who does AIPAC represent? + AIPAC and the American right

Remarks With Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan + U.S.-Turkey Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation

Horrors We Have No Choice But To Forget By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
ICH
05/31/08 “The Independent

I have a clear memory of a terrible crime that was committed in southern Lebanon in 1978. Israeli soldiers, landing at night on the beach near Sarafand – the city of Sarepta in antiquity – were looking for “terrorists” and opened fire on a car load of female Palestinian refugees.

It took the Israelis a day before they admitted shooting at the car with an anti-tank weapons, by which time I had watched civil defence workers pulling the dead women from the vehicle, their faces slopping off on to the road, an AP correspondent holding his hands to his face in shock, leaning against an ambulance, crying “Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ. I suppose all this is because of what Hitler did to the Jews.” Save for his remark, however, all I remember is silence. As if the whole scene was muted, sound smothered by the dead.

Yet I was running a tape recorder for part of the time, and when I listened to the old tape again a few days ago, I could hear many women, weeping, cars passing, honking horns above the shrieks of grief. My own original notes state, in my handwriting, that “a throng of women stood crying and wailing”. Yet all I remember now is silence. A child was on a stretcher, cut in half, a girl in the back seat of the car, curled in death into the arms of an older woman. But silence.

I was reminded of all this by an especially powerful interview conducted at Cannes with the Israeli director Ari Folman, who has made a remarkable film – Waltz with Bashir – about Israel’s later, 1982 invasion of Lebanon and about the “collective amnesia” of the soldiers who participated in this hopeless adventure.

Bashir Gemayel was the name of Israel’s favourite Christian Maronite militia leader who was elected president but almost immediately assassinated. It’s an animated film – a film of cartoons, if you like – because Folman is trying to fill in the empty space which the war occupies in his mind. Because he can’t remember it.

“I never talked about my army service,” Folman said. “I got on with my life without talking about it, without thinking about it. It was like something I didn’t want to be connected with whatsoever.” In one astonishing scene, Israeli soldiers come ashore in Lebanon – only to find that there is no one there. They are entering an empty country, washed clean of memory.

Alas, Lebanon was not empty; more than 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, almost all civilians, died in that terrible war, and at the end of Folman’s movie, the animation turns to reality with photographs of some of the 1,700 Palestinian dead of the Sabra and Chatila massacre, murdered by Israel’s Phalangist allies while the Israelis watched from high-rise buildings. It is Folman’s dream that this film should be shown in an Arab country – given the dotage and stupidity of most Arab ministers, that is surely a hope that will not be realised – but it did almost win the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Amnesia is real. And it afflicts us all. But it is also a block to memory. Take my old letter-writing friend, poet Don Newton. He dropped me a note the other day, asking why humans have to create wars and mentioning, at the start, that he remembered the Second World War and, in 1944, Germany’s V2 missiles. What grabbed me by the throat, however, was the penultimate paragraph of his letter, written with an eloquence I cannot match – and whose power and suddenness will shock you, as readers, just as it shocked me. This is what Don wrote:

“I saw some of my friends killed around me when I was 12, when a V2 punched into the road near where we were playing … I was lucky and survived but ran over the road to find my father lying dead by our front gate. He looked for all the world like a grey, dusty broken puppet with his left arm laying next to him. It had been sliced off just above the elbow by a piece of shrapnel that had also cut through the oak gatepost behind him.

“Strangely enough, that sight seems to have wiped from my conscious mind all but a handful of memories of him and those are mostly unpleasant in their associations, like the time I burst into the toilet when I was only six, to find him sitting reading a newspaper, and blurted out that my younger brother by a year had been run over. Peter died in hospital the next day without ever recovering consciousness. This ‘amnesia’ is, I suppose, a defence mechanism but I find it weird and unable to break. I am struggling to put this problem into a poem and, hopefully, when it is out on paper maybe the fog will clear?”

I find this letter – horror and the mundane inextricably, unbelievably mixed together – unanswerable. The V2 explosion turns into a father’s death, the interruption in the lavatory into a child’s death. And a poem to clear the amnesia? Only a poet could suggest that. I didn’t see my father die but I was sitting beside my own mother when she died from the results of Parkinson’s. My memory is clear – she choked on her own saliva because she could no longer clear her throat – and I do remember sitting by her body and thinking (and here I quote another Israeli, a fine and brilliant novelist), “I’m next!”

So I turned, of course, to a haiku in Don’s latest collection of poetry, The Soup Stone, called “Mum’s Death, 1982” – the same date as Folman’s Israeli invasion when he (and I) were trying to stay alive in Lebanon:

“Just sitting, waiting,

For your last slow breath.

Suddenly – it’s here.”

Which is about as close to death as you can get in verse. And there really is a silence at the end.

Robert Fisk’s new book, ‘The Age of the Warrior: Selected Writings’, a selection of his Saturday columns in ‘The Independent’, is published by Fourth Estate

Copyright The Independent

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Lebanon does not want another war. Does it? By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk in Beirut
http://www.independent.co.uk
Sunday, 11 May 2008

I went to cover a demonstration in West Beirut yesterday morning – yes, please note the capital W on “West” – and then I get a text from a Lebanese woman on my mobile phone, asking if she will have to wear a veil when she returns to Lebanon. How do I reply? That the restaurants are still open? That you can still drink wine with your dinner?

That is the problem. For the war in West Beirut is not about religion. It is about the political legitimacy of the Lebanese government and its “pro-American” support (the latter an essential adjective to any US news agency report), which Iran understandably challenges.

A few days ago, I went to view an exhibition – here, in Beirut – of posters of the terrible 15-year civil war which cost the Lebanese and Palestinians 150,000 lives. It was called “Signs of Conflict: Political Posters of Lebanon’s Civil War, 1975-1990”, and I came to the conclusion that there would never be a civil war in Lebanon again. How could a people who were prepared to show such outrageous placards re-fight this hopeless conflict? But, am I not seeing almost identical posters in the streets of West Beirut?

…continued

h/t: ICH

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Disturbing Stirrings – Ratcheting Up For War on Iran by Stephen Lendman

Are the Clashes in Beirut a Signal of the inception of a new War for the “New Middle East”?

Mosaic News – 5/9/08: World News from the Middle East

Inside Story: Lebanon’s army (video)

Civil war in Lebanon? + Lebanon Descends Into Chaos By Robert Fisk + Nasrallah address Lebanon

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

Gunfire on the streets of Beirut. Is Lebanon decending towards civil war?

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Clashes intensify on Beirut streets

Al Jazeera’s james bays reports on the continued battles in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, amid reports that Hezbollah has taken control of many parts of the capital.

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Nasrallah address Lebanon

Added: May 08, 2008

Hezbollah’s leader has warned the government’s moves to close the Shia group’s private telephone network are tantamount to “a declaration of war”.

Al Jazeera broadcast extracts of his speech.

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Lebanon Descends Into Chaos – Rival Leaders Order General Strike

By Robert Fisk
ICH
05/08/08 “The Independent

Burning tyres on the airport road, flights suspended, demands from the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt that Hizbollah moves secret cameras from runway 1-7 and end the militia’s equally secret underground communications equipment. Across Corniche Mazraa, crowds of shrieking Sunni and Shia Muslims hurl abuse and stones at each other. A soldier comes up to my car at the crossroads. “Turn round,” he shouts. “They’re shooting.”

Lebanon seems to feed on crisis, need crisis, breathe crisis, like a wounded man needs blood. The man who should be the president is head of the army and the man who believes he leads the resistance – Sayed Hassan Nasrallah of the Hizbollah – accuses Mr Jumblatt of doing Israel’s work while Mr Jumblatt claims the head of Beirut airport security, Colonel Wafic Chucair, works for the Hizbollah and should be fired.

Yesterday, in case you hadn’t guessed, was a “general strike” by opponents of the Lebanese government with all the usual chaos. Mr Nasrallah is to hold a press conference today and then we’ll all find out if this latest crisis is the greatest crisis since the last great crisis. Yes, a good cup of cynicism is necessary to wash down the rhetoric and threats of the past few days. At its most serious is the incendiary language in which Lebanon’s politicians now address each other, the kind of menacing words that could easily touch an assassin’s heart.

Indeed, the start of this latest drama might be traced to the murder of two Phalangist officials in the Bekaa town of Zahle a few weeks ago. The murderer has been named, is linked to the pro-Syrian opposition and is still at large.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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A Wild Day in Beirut

Lebanon on brink of civil war

Talking to Fisk: Truth as a Causality of War

Dandelion Salad

By Dan Glazebrook
ICH
04/19/08 “PalestineChronicle

“Just as the Wall is Called a Fence, So are the Mercenaries Called Contractors”

Robert Fisk has a well-earned reputation as one of the most honest and hard hitting foreign correspondents in the British media. He has worked in Northern Ireland, where he exposed the presence of the SAS in the mid-1970s, as well as Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon. It was here, as a witness to the immediate aftermath of the Israeli-organised Sabra and Shatila massacre of 2000 Palestinian refugees, that his journalism took on its current form: angry, passionate, and as he puts it “partial on the side of the victims”–a style of journalism which, unfortunately, is not shared by many of his colleagues in the profession. In the midst of a torrent of lies and propaganda emanating from our media about British and US policy on the Middle East, Fisk’s writings are a breath of fresh air–although the hellish reality he depicts does not always make for pleasant reading.

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