Word from Lebanon16 Jul 2006 17:47 GMT
Word from Lebanon
A communication from Raida Hatoum in Beirut.
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006
Thank you for writing to me, I am fine, and all the members of my family are fine, some of them had to sleep in the shelters as they live close to the bridge that was attacked twice yesterday and today by Israel, the house of my sister was damaged seriously yet she and her family are fine, of course the children are terrified.
As for my coworkers in the Palestinian camps in the south, I am not able to reach them by phones, I lost contact with them in the 2nd day of the Israeli war, I hope they are fine. Israel destroyed Lebanon completely. We have electricity for 2 hours per day yet other regions have no electricity at all.
I think you are following the news, 4 massacres till now, two families were killed, all members of the families, two civilian cars also were attacked and many were killed, till now 100 civilians were killed among them there is many children.
Israel says this war will continue for two weeks, this means the attacks will reach every region in Lebanon. Iraqis, Syrians and Kuwaities were killed also in the attacks. The photos attached are of people displaced or killed in the israeli shelling and bombing.
I will end my email now because I fear the electricity will be cut again now. Thanks again for your email and concerns, I salute you and Sue and all the other friends by your side hope always to hear from you
It breaks my heart to be aware of what is happening in Lebanon and Gaza. It's in times like this that I wish I were ignorant, unaware, knowing nothing.
I see the photos of the refugees, the photos of these children and I think of all the little ones my comrades and I have helped nurse back to health from illnesses and injuries, some from "incurable" conditions - some of them born straight out of the womb into our arms. The realization that a rocket might crush and rip 'em up, tear them to shreds, rend them apart and steal their lives, their laughter, just paralyzes me. Gives me the shakes. I can't navigate the storm of these feelings.
I'm happy to hear you're safe. And then again, Raida, I know that in a time and place where reality is ruled by bombs, artillery shells and missiles raining from the sky, your safety of this moment might mean nothing ten minutes later. It can all be lost in a flash and a twist of hot shrapnel. All of us who have friends, lovers, comrades, relatives in Lebanon and Palestine in these days are in constant upset, worry, irritation. We pray that all of you will be safe, and at the same time we curse with the knowledge that prayers are not enough. And frustration is infinite.
Please be well.
Two New Electronic Weapons of the Resistance, and a Strategic development in the war
The weak overcomes the strong,
Therefore the sage says:
But the sentiments are real:
The first is a political development in electronic media, the second is a home-made military weapon with electronic components.
The group of independent journalists who publish the Electronic Intifada has launched the "Electronic Lebanon" project
In its pages there is a large amount of material, photos, eyewitness reports, news and analyses which are entirely absent from and censored by the global Corporate and authoritarian State media.
Truth and free information are indispensible weapons for the Liberation Movement. This new project by our colleagues of the Electronic Intifada group will enhance everyone's ability for direct access to news and information, especially for World Peace, Anti-War, and Anti-Imperialist activists and community organizers everywhere.
Please visit their pages, and please donate and support this project anyway you can.
The Remote Controlled Drone
Forces of the Lebanese popular resistance/ Hezbollah (Party of God) yesterday attacked an Israeli warship and destroed it by a Remote Controlled Drone - a Drone is an automatic craft without a pilot or staff, directed by remote technologies.
Eyewitnesses from a University dormitory on the beach report that the Israeli ship was firing rockets into Beirut and all of a sudden it was hit by an unknown weapon, set on fire, and began to sink. Immediately, the Hezbollah television station announced this new development in the war, not only as an atack against the warhip, but as a qualitative leap into new weaponry enriching the arsenal of peoples' war.
Israeli forces announced that they were able to prevent sinking and to tow the destroyed ship back to base. Also, that a number of sailors were killed and missing in the attack.
It's a horrible feeling to feel the urge to cheer with a new act of violence, but when the oppressor sends out machinery to sow indiscriminate death and destruction on an entire population, shredding children to pieces and systematically destroying an entire county's infrastructure, what other solution is there for the people but to fight back for survival, by any means necessary? And what can be more natural than to cheer when an effort is successful? Whenever the means of defence themselves are improved, there's an immediate potential for reducing the slaughter of innocents.
The word "drone" is a relatively new and fashionable term, which in recent years has been applied to weapons that have existed for many decades, actually. But in the last few years, the global Empire's military-industrial-university complex has improved these weapons to a great degree by miniaturizing many components and linking the weapon systems to satellite networks of surveillance and communication, signifying a new generation of these remote controlled weapons. So, the new name "drone" had come to symbolize a new degree of sophistication and accuracy in industrial high-tech warfare.
Even though the idea (and actual capability) of putting explosives on a remote controlled aircraft has been around for a long time, its use in improvised weapons has been very limited, and only experimental. The new strike by the Lebanese resistance utilizing this weapon had two immediate effects:
1. it destroyed an enemy warship which was in the act of attacking the defenseless civilians of Beirut,
This second effect of the appearance of new weapon is nowhere more visible than in how it was treated by the Empire's Corporate and State media.
At first, within a few minutes of the attack by Hezbollah, headlines all over the world proclamed "Hezbollah drone attacks warship". Spectacular descriptions of the event tried to compete with the coverage given by Hezbolla's own tv station.
Soon, the editors (conscious political players of the highest degree on the global chessboard) realized that this was a tremendous propaganda victory for the popular resistance because the word "Drone" implies high-tech weaponry and military sophistication, and they began scrambling to modify the titles of their articles to "Hezbollah aircraft" adding the words "unmanned", "remote-controlled", etc.
Additionally, they began to blame the Government of Iran for supposedly supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon with "high-tech weapons" and at the same time began to minimize the image of sophistication that the weapon is assumed to have.
So, they began to publish two conflicting and contradictory theories at the same time in a hope to demoralize and confuse people. On the one hand they claim the popular resistance could not have produced this weapon on their own and "must have" received it from Iran. On the other hand, they describe the device as a simple thing that might have been made in the secret underground workshops of the Lebanese movement, in order to illustrate its makers as poor, low-tech, crude and unsophisticated.
Sometimes the contradictory theories come out of the same mouth at the same time - here's a quote from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:"...Defense analyst John Pike of the Washington-based firm Global Security doubted that claim.
"I think Hezbollah has people capable of rigging explosives to a drone, but I don't think they could develop a UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] on their own," he said.
Global Security's website notes that a leading Arab newspaper, London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, once reported that Iran sold eight Mohajer-4 drones to Hezbollah.
Iran fields several types of UAVs, including one, called the Ababil, with a 9-foot-long body, capable of flying for 90 minutes, and able to carry a 90-pound payload. Nasrallah [spokesperson for Hezbollah] was quoted in 2004 as saying Hezbollah's drones could carry 40 kilograms - 90 pounds - of explosives.
The drone's TV camera makes it relatively easy to mount such an attack, Pike said.
"It's not bigtime rocket science to put explosives on the thing and then use the TV camera to home in on the ship," he said."
"Hezbollah 'air power' first flew in 2004"
In the month of June, Israeli forces killed more than 50 Palestinians - this was during a time of "peaceful operations". In the two weeks of July since Israel began its invasion of Gaza, more than 80 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilian non-combattants and children.
Something incredible happened when the Lebanese Hezbollah attacked a military position on Israel's north killing a few soldiers and taking two prisoners. The entire war shifted.
The Zionist Government of Israel launched an unprecedented wave of destruction on Lebanon, and even though the entire world community, including many prominent countries' Governments voiced its opposition and horror at this move, the Israeli leadership continues unabated, and promises that it will not stop.
At the same time, Israel has been receiving a tremendous amount of military and financial aid from the United States, and to top it all, the United States used its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to prevent a resolution that would have told Israel to pull out of Gaza.
And yet, even while it had the upper hand in Gaza, even while it won a victory in the Security Council with US support, the Israeli military was forced to withdraw. It remains in a tight grip around Gaza, but it removed its invading forces as soon as Hezbollah began to hit back at the Israeli invasion with rockets reaching all over northern Israel.
No one is talking about it in these terms, yet there it is, the prime lesson on people's war from Che Guevara and Mao: open up more fronts than the enemy can handle. "What we need is two, three, many Vietnams".
The initiative by Hezbollah worked: it drew the lion's attention away to a new front. "When Spiders Unite, They Can Tie Down A Lion", says an Ethiopean proverb.
No matter what we may think of Hezbollah's social and religious politics, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with them, the reality is that in the absense of a viable and conscious socialist/ communist/ anarchist/ autonomist mass resistance to the Imperial and Zionist forces, nature itself throws up another form of people's war: Hezbollah right now are the only popular force putting up a credible, worhty, and at times victorious resistance to the invaders, even more so than the Lebanese government itself. Drawing Israeli forces away from Palestine - even if only temporarily - by opening a new front for Israel is a brilliant move.
An Israeli army statement about the Gaza pull out said that the troops had "currently completed their activities in the area". Well, what are they going to say, "we can't support war on so many fronts right now, our military leaders and politicians don't know what they're doing"?