Friday, July 28, 2006

Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah

Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah

Well, they're pretty pissed at Israel too...

Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hezbollah
TYRE, Lebanon, July 27 — The refugees from southern Lebanon spilled out of packed cars into the dark street here Thursday evening, gulping bottles of water and squinting in the glare of the headlights to find family members and friends. Many had not eaten in days. Most had not had clean drinking water for some time. There were wounded swathed in makeshift dressings, and a baby just 16 days old.

But for some of the Christians who had made it out in this convoy, it was not just privations they wanted to talk about, but their ordeal at the hands of Hezbollah — a contrast to the Shiites, who make up a vast majority of the population in southern Lebanon and broadly support the militia.

“Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,” said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. “They are shooting from between our houses.”

“Please,’’ he added, “write that in your newspaper.”

The evacuation — more than 100 cars that followed an International Committee for the Red Cross rescue convoy to Tyre — included Lebanese from several Christian villages. In past wars, Christian militias were close to Israelis, and animosity between Christians and Shiites lingers.

Throngs of refugees are now common in this southern coastal town, the gateway to the war that is booming just miles away. The United Nations has estimated that 700,000 Lebanese, mostly from the southern third of the country, have been displaced by the war.

But thousands of people have been left behind, residents and the Red Cross say.

What has prevented many from fleeing is a critical shortage of fuel. Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, a spokesman for the Red Cross who accompanied the convoy to Tyre, said Red Cross officials had offered to lead out any people who wanted to drive behind, but many did not have enough gasoline for the trip.

Those who did get out were visibly upset. Some carried sick children. A number broke down it tears when they emerged from their cars here.

“People are dying under bombs and crushed under houses,” Nahab Aman said, sobbing and hugging her young son. “We’re not dogs! Why aren’t they taking the people out?”

Many Christians from Ramesh and Ain Ebel considered Hezbollah’s fighting methods as much of an outrage as the Israeli strikes. Mr. Amar said Hezbollah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.

One woman, who would not give her name because she had a government job and feared retribution, said Hezbollah fighters had killed a man who was trying to leave Bint Jbail.

“This is what’s happening, but no one wants to say it” for fear of Hezbollah, she said.

American citizens remain in some southern villages. Mohamed Elreda, a father of three from New Jersey, was visiting relatives in Yaroun with his family when two missiles narrowly missed his car, while he was parking it in front of his family’s house. His 16-year-old son was sprayed with shrapnel and is now in a hospital in Tyre.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” said Mr. Elreda, who arrived here on Thursday morning. “They see civilians, they bomb them,” he said, referring to the Israelis.

“We had to move underground like raccoons.”

He said a person affiliated with the United States Embassy arrived in Yaroun and shouted for everyone to join a convoy that the Israelis had promised safe passage.

He left in such haste, he said, that he had pulled on his wife’s sweatpants (they had a pink stripe running down the length of each leg). His son’s blood still stained his shoes.

He said Yaroun had been without electricity and clean water for more than a week, and he had stirred dirty clothes in a pail of water and bleach to make bandages for his son’s wounds.

The village is largely Christian, but has Muslim pockets, and Mr. Elreda said he walked at night among houses to the Christian section, where a friend risked his life to drive his son to Tyre, while Mr. Elreda stayed with the rest of the family.

On Thursday he joined his son at the hospital.

“He’s my son,” he said, standing at the foot of the boy’s bed. “I just can’t see him like this.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Friday, July 21, 2006

Armchair's Links (in need of weeding)

s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "Even Ted Kennedy-hatin' conservatives agree.
2006-07-21 16:09:33

Bushsheep are fascist scum.

Even Ted Kennedy-hating conservatives (at least the smart ones) agree.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another Day in the Empire

Another Day in the Empire: " Alexandrovna to task on AlterNet?s forums, accusing her of sedition for simply reporting the story.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports this morning that Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Charles Schumer are using the hyped story of distant and untrained terrorists to ?offer legislative proposals to increase funding for mass transit security? in New York. ?The proposals would add $200 million to the $150 million already in the bill for subway and bus system security measures across the country; add $50 million for research and development of protective and warning systems; and add another $50 million to help local governments pay overtime to law enforcement agencies during terrorist threat-related emergencies.?
In short, the senators are exploiting the story to get more Ministry of Homeland Security largess for their district, thus demonstrating terrorism?or vastly overstated threats of terrorism, as the supposed perpetrator in the New York transit case was slapped in a Lebanese jail three months ago?may serve as a way to get cuts in the gravy train line.
Of course, with baseless and hyped terrorism stories making the rounds in the corporate media on a regular basis, ?terrorist threat-related emergencies? will become a regular and mundane occurrence, thus conditioning the public to accept more police state intrusions. Never mind the government is unable to apprehend real ?al-Qaeda? terrorists and instead depends on the FBI to entrap and frame patsies.
?One year and countless searches later, the practice [of random searches of New York subway commuters] once thought of as a temporary imposition with potential to trample civil rights remains firmly in place while barely causing a stir. The city?s top law enforcement official still insists the measure helps deter terrorism?and has no plans to halt it,? reports the Bu"

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Pierre Rehov's Middle East Documentaries

Pierre Rehov's Middle East Documentaries: "The Counterterrorism Blog Interview with Pierre Rehov, documentary filmmaker, on psychology behind suicide bombings.

On July 15, I appeared on MSNBC's 'Connected' program to discuss the 7/7 London attacks (you can see video of the segment on the linked page). One of my fellow guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, 'Suicide Killers,' is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to my request for a Q&A interview here about his work on the new film. Many thanks to Dean Draznin and Arlyn Riskind for helping to arrange this special interview.

What inspired you to produce 'Suicide Killers,' your seventh film?
I started working with victims of suicide attacks to make a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when I became fascinated with the personalities of those who had committed those crimes, as they were described again and again by their victims. Especially the fact that suicide bombers are all smiling one second before they blow themselves up.

Why is this film especially important?
People don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon. My film is not politically correct because it addresses"