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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world - Citizen Journalism at its finest!

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« The Untouchables: Politically Mediated Loans and Political Impunity in Cameroon | Main | Louis Etongwe: Fighting Against Domestic Slavery in the Cameroonian Community »

July 31, 2006

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Ma Mary

What is going on in the Middle East is patently crazy. It is also unique in human history that we can watch it in real time. The journalistic control as exists in Iraq is not going on here. Lebanon more or less allows free journalist access. The outrage of this lone African registers little on the mind of the protagonists. My beef with the double standards of the Arab nation is not a secret either. Arab nation complains to the world - tell Israel to get off my toe; I retort - you have been standing on my toe, get off first.

Back to Israel. It looks like part of the fuel of this disaster is the street cred of Olmert, the successor to Ariel Sharon. It is almost certain that Sharon would have reacted violently, but not in this scale. Olmert needs to prove that he can be as badass as Sharon. An impotent man is a very lethal creature.

The other side of this issue that is not mentioned by Dibussi is the increased capacity of Hizbollah to retaliate against Israel and to fire more lethal rockets from unexpected places including the sides of apartment buildings filled with women and children. It has taken Israel by surprise, and is fueling the ongoing tit for tat exchanges with both sides using crude weapons of massive lethality.

I think this is going to go on for a long time, and might eventually spread to include Syria and Iran. Tighten your belts folks, we are in for a long ride.

lifongo VETINDE

I am simply aghast at the impunity with which Israel carries its atrocities in the Middle East with the blessing of big brother US. For a long time US administrations have treated Israel as the 51st state giving her a pass in everything she does. The US systematically blocks any UN resolution critical of Israel and makes sure Israel doesn't implement those that were passed. But the Bush administration has taken this inhuman support to a different level. As far as the present conflict goes, there is no question that Israel was provoked but for God's sake, any person who is not a fanatical supporter of Israel will agree that the Hebrew State's reaction has been vastly disproportionate to the provocation. Even as we speak, Palestinian cabinet Ministers and Parlementarians are wallowing in Israeli prisons because some Hamas militants captured a single Israeli soldier! Would it have been OK for the Palestinians to go bombing Israel or unleash a horde of suicide bombers to kill civilians in Israel as retaliation? No. The hypocrisy of the West, especially the US, is astounding in its total lack of empathy for the suffering of the Lebanese and Palestinian people. The Bush administration really needs to rethink its foreign policy. It has doggedly blocked any possibility for a cease-fire. That can only happen when the job of disarming Hezzbollah is done. Which is synonymous with more loss of human lives and the total devastation of Lebanese homes and infrastrucure. And yet Bush has the guts of sending humanitarian aid to the Lebanese refugees. Allowing a cease-fire would be the best help he can give to those hapless people.

Are all these people really terrorrists? Is everyone who has been killed a terrorist? The actions of Israel in Lebanon today are not only indefensible but morally reprehensible. It has nothing to do with self-defence. It is bullying at its most barbaric form. The logic goes something like this: I am stronger than you. I can occupy any part of your territory I want because I am stronger. You dare not pose any act of resistance against my crushing and humiliating occupation of your land or I will crush you. Bomb you to sumbmission! You terrorist! Let's not talk about occupation. Your struggle for the right to self-determination is an evil enterprise, you terrorist. With the blessing of Condi Rice we shall create a New Middle East where we reign supreme and build as many settlements as we want. You have no right to talk about your lands. If you do we will label you terrorists. Forget about the key issue which is our occupation of your lands. The World Community will not talk about it because the US wouldn't allow that. Mmm... It is difficult to understand this kind of behavior from a people who had suffered so much in the hands of the lunatic Nazis. Oh! maybe not. It is all a question of power. But Israel is clearly going too far in the cruelty of the collective punishment that is being visited on the people of Lebanon as well as the Palestinians. For all I know, the human spirit is not crushed by bombs so there will always be resistance against Israeli/US injustice in the region which means that the violence will continue.


Lifongo VETINDE


Watesih

The fight in lebanon is a test of wills between antagonistic forces in the world.
Lebanon is just a pawn on the chessboard.Some schools of thought hold that Iran is emptying the old stock of weapons left over during its eight year war with its neighbour Iraq.They are also said to be testing the new weapons they have been making for a while.What matters most is to know that what is known as the free world is lurked in a deadly clash between
a dangerous offshoot of Islamic fundamentalism,and the West.This form known as Shiism and championed by Iran has as goal the destruction of the existing order through militantism ,and thus allowing this pervated form of Islam to dorminate.The only way to do this is to entertain dangerous entities like Hamas ,and its neigbour to the north hezbollah.An Islamic Republic like Iran has built its reputation on violence,and its leaders can only be domestic and regional megastars when they involve themselves in a confrontation with the West.
The second point is that a strong Lebanon is both a threat to Iran,and Syria.
Syria is at its best now because it is being desired oncemore by a sister in need.We all know Syria felt terribly bad when it was forced out of Lebanon,and by accomodating all the terrorists and providing them with bombs,Syria has regained its lost influence.A strong Lebanon will mean Syria and Iran will have less influence here,something they don`t want to see.
The third point is that the Iranian President`s outbursts against Israel cannot be treated as mere threats ,because he is actually providing the hezbollah with Zelzah
bombs that could reach Tel Aviv.So the killings in Qana should not be looked at as an isolated case of savagery,but as a response to what is considered to be a design to wipe out a way of life of a people.The cruelty of the killings has as goal the dissuation of future attacks against Israel,especially by Iran.The whole middle east has always known Israel as Invincible when it comes to war ,as was the case in 1967 ,and 1982,but the events in Iraq have made the Arabs to doubt this assertion,for if America could be bugged down by them,Israel could also be reserved the same treatment.Hezbollah has therefore become the darling of everybody in the Middle East for standing up to Israel.
Before,israel`s invincibility had to do with the Hezbollah missiles not having to cross its borders,but today if people actually have to live in bunkers in Israel in order to be safe,then sponsors of terrorism like Iran and Syria ,only have a good smile ,and will only see to it that The Great satan ,and the Small Satan should should feel the pinch.
When Hamas refuses to recognise Israel`s right to exists despite the disengagement is it because the West`s hypocrisy? No,of course.When they go in an abduct soldiers ,is it because of the West`s hypocrisy? When missiles are launched into northern Israel on daily basis,is it because oh yhpocrisy in the West? We see how hezbollah now says they did not know the response from Israel was going to be as hard as it turned out.But any right thinking person should know that the abduction of soldiers is the most vexing thing to all nations.It gives the impression that the army of that country is made of women,who can`t defend their country.
The last thing is that we can`t compare the thousands of Palestinian and Hezbollah fighters in Israeli jails with the kidnapping of soldiers.The prisoners in jail in Israel are actually picked up redhanded ,in the process of carrying out terrorist acts against Israel.But the soldiers kidnapped were surprised in plain daylight,without provocation.Its too easy to blame Israel for occupying land.They withdrew from most of these lands ,but the Arabs wanted to show the world that the Israelis were being driven out,and continued with terror against them.Even when Hamas knows fully well that the Isaeki PM won a mandate because he promised disengagement,it cannot even give him the opportunity and time to put this into practice.Everytime,when there is a glimmer of hope in the Middle East,somebody will do everything to set the hands of the clock behind.

Rugged

From the Daily Star (Lebanon)

Israel's current siege of Lebanon has set Hizbullah on a political trajectory that only an Israeli show of humility and humanity will reverse. It is unrealistic to expect that the Lebanese will be forced to accept that they can be killed off in their hundreds with utter impunity.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expressed "sorrow" about the latest massacre in Qana, but he has simultaneously pressed for another 14 days to perpetuate the killing of innocents. Olmert says that Israel will not relent in its military offensive until it has accomplished its mission in Lebanon. We say to Olmert, and to the Israeli people, that throughout 22 years of occupation, from 1978 to 2000, Hizbullah was not eradicated, even though the resistance movement was under the very noses of the Israeli occupiers.

The tragedies in Qana suggest to the Lebanese that the Israelis, who are waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing in South Lebanon, have forgotten their own suffering during the Holocaust. The Israelis and their allies have callously ignored a besieged people's pleas for mercy. Instead, the children of the Holocaust, whom one would expect to show empathy for the plight of weak and helpless innocents, are now meting out the same racist rage that was demonstrated in Treblinka, Auschwitz and Dachau. How can Israeli mothers and fathers sleep at night knowing that their government is conducting massacres in Lebanon? Do they believe that by virtue of our religion or nationality that we innocent Lebanese are expendable? Have they now embraced the very logic that sought to eliminate their people?

We urge the Israelis to abandon the logic of death and destruction that they have been showering on the people around them. We urge them to instead embrace the pursuit of meaningful negotiations and the rapid implementation of all UN resolutions. What is needed is a sense of humanity and an intelligent resolution of this conflict, not America's laser-guided "smart" weapons, or other tools of extermination.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&article_id=74375&categ_id=17

Watesih

The Lebanese do not want to be killed off in hundreds,but they want Israel to live in fear forever.When Hezbollah guerillars who are mostly Shia ,and make up about 40% of the Lebanese population terrorise Israelis daily by incessantly launching missiles into their country,one has the feeling that they think Israel has not yet suffered enough from the Holocust.If for 22 years Israel has continued to suffer and lose lives as a result of rockets,then any appeal from the Lebanese people is taken with a pinch of salt,for Hezbollah is the Lebanese people and the Lebanese people is Hezbollah.By participating in the Lebanese government,and taking over the security of the country,any calls ,dictum from Hezbollah is heeded to.
The world is also tired of the Arabs` desire to spill blood ,but the firt to cry foul when the going gets tough.We still remember vividly how the Israeli PM warned that the consequences were going to be far reaching if the abducted soldiers were not released.But Hezbollah knows what it counts on.It is being pushed along by some psychopaths.By having more than 10,000 rockets stock-piled in underground bunckers,
and actually using them on daily basis against Israelis shows what Hezbollah stands for.If Hezbollah knew that the Israelis suffered from the Holocust and will not entertain such a canage,they would have made their weapons to die down,to show the world that Israel has been out on a mission to perpetrate another Holocust,but they have been threatening ,and bringing in more sophisticated missiles daily,to make true their threat to wipe Israel off the map of the world.
If the Hezbollah loves the citizens of their country,they should not use them as shields.They should stand up to Israel and fight to the end.If they launch missiles at Israeli cities killing innocent civilians ,and take cover behind their own civilians,then the world knows these civilians condone this violence.How can Lebanese fathers and mothers sleep at night knowing that their children are still inflicting pain on these Israelis who have spent all their lives suffering? The humility and humanity the hezbollah expects Israel to show should rather come from them.
It is not humane to launch rockets at somebody everyday.It is not humane to invade,shoot and kill ,and finally abduct another country`s soldiers.They are not the ones to determine Israel`s response now,while at the same time looking for more sophisticated missiles to continue killing innocent Israeli civilians.

Clement Nfor

Mr. Wateshi,

You are simply paroting the line of the Western media. Do you really believe that this is about kidnapped soldiers or missiles being launched into Israel? Can you tell us how many times since the Israeli withdrawal from lebanon in 2001 has Hezbollah launched missiles into Israel? And can you tell us if Israel has not also kidnapped LEBANESE soldiers in the last couple of years to use in a prisoner swap deal? And can you tell us if the Israeli Supreme did not bar the Israeli army from using Palestinians as human shields?

You see my friend, in the Middle east there is no "good guy" on one side and the "bad guy" on another. Forget about the media reports. Go back to your O'level history textbooks, i.e., if you are Cameroonian, and learn about the conflict in an unabiased manner. Then you will earn the right to make your outlandish claims.

Watesih

Clement Nfor,
I thought you were going to make your own level-headed claims without quarelling,but you have spent your time asking questions and asking me to go and read my History books,instead of telling me what is found in this History books that i don`t know.If i`m paroting the line of the Western media,i would like you to parot your own line and disprove our line.The answer to your first question is a categorical yes.The remote cause of the confrontation between Israel and the Hezbollah is about the abduction of its soldiers and rockets being incessantly launched into Israel,but even a two year old baby will know the main problem underlying all this.If you have not been reading ,and waiting on me to tell you the number of times Hezbollah has launched missiles into Israel,then you will surely wait for long.The problem is not whether rockets are launched a million times,but why they are launched.Clement Nfor i`m afraid you are showing some ignorance when you say Israel has also kidnapped Lebanese soldiers.For your information Sir,Israel has not been fighting the Lebanese soldiers but Hezbollah,unless you want to tell the world that Hezbollah merged with the Lebanese army to carry out the exactions on Israel.If Israel used Palestinians as shields,it was to shield themselves against who?
Mr Nfor ,you say there`s no good guy ,nor is there a bad guy on the one side in the Middle East conflict.This implies that there are on an equal footing,so the savagery should continue.Sir,i don`t need to earn the right to make my own judgement about the affairs of the world.If i had celebrated Hezbollah`s missiles launched at Israel,if i had celebrated the fact that rogue regimes like those of Iran and Syria are openly campaigning for Israel`s demise you wouldn`t have treated me as biased.But i will never do that,because i don`t need the Western media to breakdown the call to wipe Israel off the map of the world for me,I don`t need the western media to open my eyes when Iranian officials accept to be providing Hezbollah with Missiles ,I don`t need the western media to open my eyes about the fact that Syria grooms and hosts Hamas,and Hezbollah leaders.When the Iranian leader says there was nothing like the Holocust,calls for the destruction of Israel,and actually provides Hezbollah with
10,000 missiles stock-piled in underground storages ,this implies he is looking forward to his own modern day Holocust.In this wise,Israel must not fold its arms and see its citizens maimed forever.

Saladin

How do we sleep while Beirut is burning?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/806/re111.htm

How many years of vilification, how many generations of criminal racism, how many CNN programmes with Wolf Blitzer, how many New York Times editorials and Thomas Friedman columns, how many neocon creatures, how many Fox News obscenities, how many Salman Rushdie, Fouad Ajami, Fareed Zakaria, and Ibn Warraq native informers, it takes to turn an entire people -- living, breathing, hoping, struggling people -- into non- entities, as if they don't exist, they don't matter, they don't count. In the United States even animals have activists speaking on their behalf and demanding they be treated "humanely". But how about humans? What is this monstrous madness, this pro-Israeli propaganda machinery that has successfully reduced an entire world, billions of people, millions of victims, into subterranean creatures not even worthy of a single voice of decency in the bubonic madness of the US media?

Warn them to run away exactly where? Wolf Blitzer and other ghastly and shameless propagandists use the propaganda language that the Saudis and the Khalijis in Beirut, and above all the suburban mendacity of New Jersey and Connecticut understand best. "We give them warning." Say Alan Dershowitz and the Israeli Ministry of Deceit and Disinformation, "So they can flee." Flee to where exactly? To the suburbs of Tel Aviv?

Hizbullah does note hide in the Dahiya. The Dahiya, the seething despair of its wounded pride of place, gave rise to Hizbullah. Hizbullah is the rising minaret from the courtyard of the Dahiya. You knock down that minaret, two more will rise again, 10 more in five more mosques -- you cannot bomb misery to nullity. Injustice will demand and exact attention. The world is not the newsroom of CNN and Fox News. You can fool the whole world once, you can fool one president forever, but you cannot fool an entire world forever.
...
Just for a split second dare the elements and imagine what would have happened if the shoes were in the other foot -- if Lebanon was capable and doing to Israel what Israel is capable and now doing to Lebanon! Imagine if Lebanon had moved its navy, air force, and army, surrounded Israel, and started bombing the living daylight out of its inhabitants -- destroyed every bridge, bombed every motorway, and shelled every square inch of populated area in sight; then blew up Ben Gurion Airport runways and destroyed its terminals; then flew myriads of jetfighters over Tel Aviv and bombed it to kingdom come; then blockaded all its ports; bombarded its beaches and destroyed all its buildings; then went ahead and bombed every highway before ordering civilians to leave, and just as they started doing what they were told to do the Lebanese started shooting the Israelis and tearing them to pieces.

Just imagine the US and European outrage; imagine the moral outcry of Michael Ignatieff if these were Jewish children being slaughtered; imagine the legalese uproar of Alan Dershowitz; imagine the editorials of The New York Times, the headlines of The New York Sun, the graphics of The New York Post, the waving colours and background music of CNN and Fox News, the columns of Thomas Friedman; imagine the face of Wolf Blitzer, the words of Elie Wiesel, the ads that ADL would have purchased in newspapers, the messages Nathan Sharansky would have sent to President Bush. Imagine the number of times that Fouad Ajami were asked to explain to CBS audiences the deranged Arab mind. Imagine! Just imagine!

lifongo VETINDE

Dear Mr. Watesih,
I am very allergic to fanatics although it is their right to be that way. There are so many fanatical supporters of Israel who think that Israel has the right to defend itself and has no moral and judicial obligation at towards the international community because she is backed by the US. Any fair minded person would agree that:

1. Israel is occupying Arab lands.
2. Israel has adamantly ignored UN resolutions to withdraw from them.
3. Israel has the strongest army in the region and as such is using that power to oppress Palestenians. The IDF can move in and out of their territories at will. When it withdraws that is considered a favor.
4. Israel's response to the kidnapping of two soldiers is only a pretext to go to war with Lebanon and reoccupy parts of their territory.
5. True, Israel is in a hostile neighborhood for obvious reasons but Israel's behavior is not helping to bring about any form of dialogue. How can the leaders do that with such a powerful army that is reducing Lebanon to rubble because of the kidnapping of two soldiers?

Supporters of Israel have always brandished the Holocaust as an excuse for Israeli arrogant aggressive behavior. But, what astonishes me is that a people who has suffered oppression and near annihilation should engage in a strategy that is a stark reminder of those dark days in their history.

The bottom line is that Israel is not only occupying Palestinian lands but has continued to build settlements. The world powers don't talk about that. All they care to talk about is terrorism. Mr. Watesih, the best path to peace in the region, in my view, is Israel's withdrwal from the occupied territories.

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