Tuesday, August 01, 2006  

Suffer the little children...

It is not just a matter of many children huddled together, of course: with numbers come all sorts of problems. If an air raid is coming, and you are running, how many children can you pick up and carry with you? How many do you have to leave behind?
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad explains this horrific dilema.

The invasion of Lebanon may well go down in history as one of the seminal conflicts of the 21st century just as WWI and the American Civil War did. Each achieved a ghoulish notoriety for which they are forever remembered. The American Civil War gave us Sherman's March to the Sea, a savage scorched earth policy brought to its ultimate expression as Sherman burned and destroyed every living, standing thing in his path through Georgia to the sea. It effective destroyed that area of the South for decades after, and its memory still lives in the American South to this day.

WWI brought us a new, unheard of warfare, the kind you can't stand on a hill to watch (like they did in wars previous). WWI was the beginning of modern warfare, total war- the kind that consumes and invents new, ghastly ways to kill one's fellow man. In this case the weapon du jour was mustard gas, a deadly weapon that burned out your lungs.

My great-uncle immigrated to the US, joined the army in WWI as a courier between the trenches and got gassed in service to his new country.

And now, we have this- what I think we can call the "War of Innocents" or the "War of the Children." It sounds so medieval in a way, calling up another, long ago time when 1,000's of children perished on their way to the Holy Land. But this time, the children live in the land where they are dying and this conflict is fast becoming known for the unusual amount of young victims- up to 1/3 are children, according to the Red Cross. They rise, like pale ghosts, held aloft by the traumetized hands of their fathers, cousins, uncles, neighors.

Israel claims to have warned the population of Southern Lebanon to flee in anticipation of the Israeli bombing attacks launched under the pretext that Hezbollah is lauching rocket attacks from places such as Qana. Israel has stated that those who "stayed" behind would be considered enemy combatants. But surely, Israel is aware that the poor, the frail, the elderly and the young have limited resources and may not be able to leave at a moment's notice.

So, how does one explain the attacks on civilians, the targetting of refugee convoys? I think the answer might be found in the agressive colonial tactic of destroying and demoralizing a society from within. Two of the more effective measures are raping the women (Bosnia)and killing the children (Lebanon now). In Lebanon, the policy seems to be the effective dismantling of the productive future of the country: the destruction of the development produced by the Cedar Revolution in the last 10 years - the backbone of its economic and social development and the children- the soul of Lebanese society.

I would venture that the destruction at Qana, where over 30 children died over the weekend in an echo of an attack by the Israelis on Qana in 1996,in which 100 people died, is no accident, no matter how much Israel protests. It appears to me to be part and parcel of a demoralizing campaign aimed at dismantling the very heart of Lebanese society. One can only fear what is in store over the next few weeks as the Israelis seek to create a"buffer zone in the South.
ma aghla min il-wild illa wild il-wild
Nothing is dearer than one's children except the children of one's children.

What happens to a society when you destroy both its infrastructure and its children?

"What happens to a society when you destroy both its infrastructure and its children?"

And thus Israel's and the Zionists' whole war aim.

Destroy Lebanon.
You destroy it's future, which like dar said, I think is the whole point of this war.
Exactly- but I think there is another point which is a bit hard to articulate but I'll try. The point is this- the destruction is not aimed at the society so much as it is aimed at the men. The destruction of the society is a sort of psyops against the men- if you destroy all the hard work that went into rebuilding Lebanon, you kill the children (and many of their mothers and grandparents), what is there left to fight for, to rebuild for? There are only 3 choices left after that: a) pick yourself up and re-build yet again; b) give up and submit; c)attack your aggressor and hope you take as many of them with you as possible as you die, because what do you have to live for anyway?

I really think there are elements in the IDF and Israeli government who are hoping for c, because then the choice of levelling the place and taking it over as a protective (and protectorate) will be seen as logical and obvious by the US and a few others.

This sounds really cynical, I know, but this kind of strategy has been used before.

If Lebanon ever rises again, it will be the phoenix of our times.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Locations of visitors to this page
Technorati Profile