The July War probably will always be remembered as what Kofi Anan, when he was UN General Secretary, “the war where children died more than the combatants”. This of course was from the Lebanese side, whereby 1/3 of over 1200 martyrs were children. Till this very day, civilians are wounded or killed from cluster bombs left from the racist Zionist nation: Israel. Best archive regarding the details of the July War, situation of the refugees, attrocities of the Israelis, media war, and everything else is the official Samidoun Website.
Till this very day, I keep remembering how I heard the sound of the Israeli airplanes hovering over Beirut, while Israeli warships remained bombed the Lebanese civilians (and not as the Zionists claim: Hezbollah). The war displaced in less than one month ¼ of the population (one million out of four million), while figures like the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch severely condemned such aggressiveness. The Israeli army, preparing for such a war, insisted to annihilate Hezbollah, and ended up as laughing stocks in the military arena, while their entire purpose ended up making Hezbollah as heroes through out the Arab world and anti-US imperialist activists (much to the dislike of the Bush Administration).
Lessons from Israel’s side
Ze’ev wrote a lot in the Israeli media that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted several Hezbollah operations but still never increased their security. The war broke out when Hezbollah militants broke through the borders of Israel, destroyed a tank, killed certain IDF soldiers, and kidnapped two hostages to be negotiated for swapping soldiers. Israel instead decides to “bring Lebanon backwards 20 years” which was in ruins and destruction from the civil war and the 1982 Israeli invasion.
The Israelis were lost on what to do, Olmert (Prime Minister), Levni (Minister of External Affairs), Peretz (Minister of Defense), and their biggest clown Dan Halutz (Chief of Staff), didn’t issue a unilateral statement. Their goal was in agreement to inflict biggest damage to Lebanon under the banner of ‘self-defense’. At first, they declared that they will destroy Lebanon. Then they sharpened their speech and declared that they will do whatever it takes to restore their two ‘beloved’ soldiers. Afterwards, they decided to destroy Hezbollah, and eventually, they announced they are rebuilding a peaceful middle east whereby ‘the Jews can enjoy peace with their neighbors’. Last logo was ‘Israel is doing what it takes to protect itself and afterwards they focused their propaganda on fighting Hezbollah and terrorism. We have to keep in mind that the July war broke out amidst confrontations in the West Bank, but unlike the West Bank, the case of Lebanon was much complicated for this pathetic excuse of called soldiers. Real soldiers do not bomb civilians blindly. To be exact, the behavior of the Israelis in the July War is similar to the atrocities of the Serbian army, kill blindly anyone who carries the Lebanese citizenship.
The Israelis directly placed the residents of Lebanon as hostages by bombing 99% of the routes leading outside Lebanon (from Syria) as well as bombing the airport while the Ships performed a siege. The Red Cross constantly complained that the Israelis held desperately needed aid to the Lebanese. The atrocities were too horrific. The first large massacre was of the residents of Marwaheen (a close bordering village). The Israelis of course justified their acts by ‘claiming’ that they warned the residents to evacuate. The truth was, they gave the residents of Marwaheen one hour to evacuate, after days of bombing every available car, route, gas station, and half of the village. The people of Marwaheen didn’t have anywhere to go, so they sought asylum to their neighbors, the UNIFIL who refused to give them refugees. Afterwards, Israel bombed them as they were going to their village as they were returning from UNIFIL. Wow, how the pilots were courageous in bombing those poor civilians (of course Israel defended itself in such a situation according to Condi Rice). 90% of the times Israel never warned its residents to evacuate, or sadistically gave them short time to bomb. Churches and Mosques were bombed because refugees were hiding, while Zionists argued that the Red Cross are lying to the world. Those who condemned Israel’s atrocities on an international level were accused of anti-semitism. Israel’s butchery of over 1200 civilians was considered self-defense in the eyes of Bush. 5000 wounded Lebanese were considered as “They should have disarmed Hezbollah” logo. In Lebanon, Olmert cartoons were compared to Hitler, while the fascination is Israel took a whole year to kick out PERMENANTLY about 710,000 Palestinians in 1948 and did it in three weeks in Lebanon.
When the Qana massacre occurred (Part II), the Israelis invented all types of bullshits. Some again bluntly used it that this house witnessed a missile coming from this house to their side, others argued that Hezbollah bombed their own residents. When the CNN reporters described the horrors of the Qana massacre, the CNN head-office kept asking if the Israelis warned them to evacuate while the correspondent repeated for a hundred times that the Israelis bombed every means to escape. This also to add that the Israelis broke a three day seizes fire to bomb Lebanon (and hence they bombed with their artillery and later disregarded the whole thing and used their airplanes).
The Red Cross, UNIFIL, al-Jazeera, BBC, humanitarian aid also were bombed by the Israelis. They tried to impose a media blackout on the situation, and only gave all the journals one-side of the situation while they themselves enjoyed massive media support. The CNN for example would repeat on TV a lady weeping in Israel (despite the fact they have bomb-shelters) while CNN overlooked how Israel bombed civilians in a funeral burying their beloved (amongst other things).
When the seize fire deadline was announced by the security council, when UN resolution 1701 was announced, the Israelis used their unlimited artillery to inflict damage on Lebanon as much as possible. Most of the economic institutions were damaged, hospitals damaged, bridges torn down, greatest oil spill in the history of the Mediterranean occurred when the Jieh Generator was bombed, and worse 1200 perished without the war criminals being held accountable.
Israel, like the US in Iraq, disregarded the whole UN institution and decided to wage a war which will make them appear to be clowns in military affairs. They were over-confident that they at first sent an elite squad to Maroon Ras, and ended up annihilated. They couldn’t occupy it fully till the end of the war, so was the situation with Bint Jubail. Each time they claimed victory in this tiny village, they were kicked out. Most of the Lebanese celebrated every time an Israeli tank exploded, and henceforth, the Israeli army is no longer viewed as an invincible army. From sending a tiny military elite squad, Peretz had to afterwards recall 30,000 Reservists at the Lebanese borders, and his goal was downsized to pushing Hezbollah beyond the Litani River, rather annihilating Hezbollah.
Israel was hindered from purging the whole of Lebanon due to the fact a pro-US government was present with two Hezbollah ministers and 4 opposition ministers. Hence minor locations were spared the bombings, and these points became focal points for refugee centers.
The July war taught us different things in relations to Israel and military warfare. Other than the traditional logic of Zionists of “self-proclaiming” themselves as superior to others ethnically, they are cold-blooded murderers. They lack democracy as well, specially when a couple of Communist activists protested against the war, they were beaten up by the Zionist supporters.
Second, the IDF is no longer invincible; rather they can be defeated in face to face combat. Their greatest advantage remains their warplanes. However, the underdogs caught up against their “invincible tanks: the Mirkavas”, and this means in the near future, their planes can be solved in a military perspective. The Israelis for the first time feel they are hostages due to their government’s racial policies. Sadly, the Jewish Proletariat remain mostly in general adopting this racial ideology, and still believe what the Zionist history are trying to recreate their own history of glories. They are unaware that their atrocities and butcheries have caused Arab Nationalism to be replaced with Islamist activists.
Third, the IDF lack any intelligence and long vision preparations. The IDF and IAF (Israeli Air Forces) bombed blindly the hell out of the Lebanese Army, while they were demanding that the Lebanese Army should protect its Northern Borders. Well, how can the Lebanese Army do that if Israel tagged the Lebanese Army (like the Lebanese Civilians) as ‘terrorist targets’ despite the fact the Lebanese army was not involved except in relief activities. Well done Peretz. Bush today praises the Lebanese army, but forgot to argue why Israel should be held accountable for that butchery of the Lebanese Army.
Fourth, the Israelis lack any logic. After bombing the hell out of Lebanon, they expected that the Lebanese government would sign peace treaty. They left cluster-bombs that still explode today in innocent people. They destroyed the economy of Lebanon, and still they weep they are the victims. The UN is nothing but social forums to chat between the superpowers.
Fifth, the war with Lebanon as exposed the weaknesses of the US satellite regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. Those regimes were heavily involved in suppressing their people rather boycotting Israeli goods and expelling the Israeli diplomats. Moreover, the Israelis have to consider that the more they annihilate Lebanese and Palestinian people, the weaker their allied regimes would be. Again, other than to worry on the military level, they also have to worry on the regional level. The Islamist activists of Egypt would become in the future a new headache for Tel Aviv other than Tehran.
Sixth, Hezbollah became national heroes in Lebanon. Their remarkable performance in the July war made the Israeli look military dumb. Kids while playing strategic games (such as Generals and War Hammer) use the term “Shoo, ana mastool mitl el-Israelieh” (Translation: I am stupid like the Israelis?). Anti-Imperialist activists disregarded the Islamist side of Hezbollah and adopted them as National Liberation Movement against US puppies. Hated figures like Galloway or Chavez became more popular for their opposition to the Israeli aggression. Moreover, the war proved that Israel has no where to go but to ditch this Zionist propaganda in order to sooth this Islamist surge of activists.
Seventh, political calculations were wrong. The Israelis thought that a civil war would erupt as they were bombing Hezbollah in Lebanon. What happened was the Lebanese on a grass roots level were holding hands with each other as everyone was involved in assisting refugees. Muslims and Christians interacted with each other on all scales, sadly this euphoria didn’t last much after the war. One of the rarest occasions that Lebanon witnessed such unity, despite the political division lines, was the July war.
Finally, the Zionists should learn to demolish this racial ideology. Zionism has transformed Judaism from a Sect to a race. Israel can never enjoy such a peace (which they do not want based on their brutality in the July war) if they pretend people to forget or simply subdue to US satellite puppies. First time the US and Israeli armies connected was in Lebanon in 1982, the US and the Israelis almost ended up shooting each other in separate occasions because the Zionist IDF were too racial even to the US soldiers (check Cursed is the Peace Maker, memoirs of Phil Habib).
The last theme, as Marxists, our war with Israel is not ethnic, rather it is class struggle. Those Zionist leaders abused their own people, and in the end from that side, we have no choice but gradually emancipate the Jews as part of the Proletariat so that they can get rid of their leaders/oppressors in a class awareness perspective. The July war, was the first war without having Ariel Sharon, and some speculate if Sharon was still conscious, he wouldn’t have entered this war out of the blues.
This is the first war where Israel severely suffered military losses. Not in its history they suffered most, but history witnessed how Israel managed to sneak away with its war crimes and quasi-ethnic cleansing of non-Jews. Israel has to learn to accept the fact that people are people wherever you go, and no peace can be imposed without the intent of abandoning those bulldozers of demolishing the houses of the Palestinians.
Lessons from the July War (Lebanese Side)
Lebanon’s myth of warriors and resistance became known through out the world. The war they suffered last year was the perfect example of how a people of different tendencies and political division line, stood one hand on the grassroots level to oppose Israel’s aggression. The IDF was so bloody that the majority of the Lebanese stood one hand in resisting the Israeli aggression.
The July war was not a war between Hezbollah and Lebanon. Hezbollah were not the only ones resisting the Israeli aggression, rather the whole Lebanese were involved one way or the other against Israel. The backbone of this resistance was not Hezbollah’s superb military performance, rather it was the success of the civilian resistance. How can it be a war only with Hezbollah when the Lebanese on all scales were being bombed, including the Lebanese Army? Hezbollah wouldn’t have been able to do anything if the majority of the Lebanese didn’t give shelter to their fellow displaced citizens, something Israel wasn’t anticipating.
When the war broke out, a lot blamed Hezbollah’s general secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, for dragging Lebanon to the war with Israelis. He said it clearly at Day 1: “I will take responsibility for everything that happens.” Luckily for Nasrallah, the civilian resistance did everything else other than going head to head with the Israelis militarily (although we heard rumors that the Lebanese Communist Party, The Syrian Social Nationalist Party, and AMAL movement were active down there as a military support).. Just as Hezbollah inflicted maximum damage on the IDF, the civilian movement, which included all sorts of nationalities from Europe and the US. Probably the first grassroots organization to be active is Samidoun, which was made of activists involved on all scales (except of military) of resistance. As Israel’s brutality appeared on different victims through out Lebanon paralleled with Hezbollah’s ground and sea victories, everyone hated the IDF and supported Hezbollah. Some logic was that “since the Israelis are going to bomb me, I might as well support them” and the sort. Hezbollah’s popularity spread due to Israeli war crimes and military defeats.
While political division lines were hard and shining, the grassroots witnessed different issues. Shiites for the first time interacted with Christians during the relief work. When villages or Dahhieh regions were emptied, Hezbollah’s security proved powerful as no empty house was robbed. The stress and anger was directed towards the Israelis (except for few people). The TV witnessed heated debates between the politicians of 14th of March and the Opposition, while these lines popped out occasionally during the relief campaigns. Some sites publicly endorsed Hezbollah, others simply focused on how Israeli leadership is made of cold-blooded murderers and sited their atrocities. Some activists (like the Free Patriotic Movement and Democratic Left Movement) refuted to work with each other in some occasions.
Racism appeared when the Palestinians were not allowed to enter the relief areas. A lot of upper and middle class Palestinians live through out Lebanon, specially in the urban areas. They were not allowed to seek asylum in the schools and relief centers because they lacked the Lebanese citizenship despite the fact they lived all their lives in Lebanon.
Worse, the scandal of the High Commission for Relief proved to be incapable of doing anything. They lacked the stock to support this wave of refugees (suspicion of informal deals were directed towards the High Commission for Relief. They said that they were not prepared for War, but to be exact isn’t Lebanon considered to be in a dubbed earthquake region? Lebanon never signed a peace treaty with Israel, and indirectly we are still in a state of war with the Zionists. Sometimes food brought to refugees was outdated. Luckily the Civilian resistance was there to compensate that disgrace.
Despite the war, some locations witnessed regular nightlife, (safe areas from bombings). Well no safe area was present, because the Israelis bombed such places, my house danced a lot to nearby bombings in a ‘safe haven’. Majority of Christians and Muslims were pissed of the situation because Christians and Muslims were killed.
The shocking thing is the realization of a lot of Lebanese with ‘patriotic’ logic, having a second nationality and FLEEing Lebanon. I remember clearly the anger of staying in Lebanon to rot while those were running away, only to return and brag about themselves while we were left here to rot!!
The death toll and social life was horrific on everyone, but more horrific to the refugees in specific. Plenty of the activists were university graduates from top universities who decided to pitch in their experience to help their fellow kin. The daily massacres left a lot frustrated and the sensation of helpless against Israeli War planes was disgusting.
Israeli fliers were dropped mocking the Lebanese on how they will burn in hell and witness how their Lebanon will burn to the ashes used to be dropped everywhere. Children with psychological problems are not solved till now (and the number is huge), while ¼ of Lebanon would permanently clutch to Hezbollah due to their military performance in avenging their deceased loved ones and their refugee status. A lot of people walked from the borders to Beirut despite all the horrors taking place because they lacked the means to drive, or it was too risky to drive. If the Israelis bombed the BBC, al-Jazeera, and the Red Cross convoys, their cars are sitting ducks. A lot of refugee buses carrying white flags, heading to Beirut, were bombed. Tyre and Saida (two of the five major cities of Beirut) were rendered destroyed and empty. Tyre, pre-July War, had a huge anti-Hezbollah masses, witnessed the majority of these masses switching 180 degrees. Let us face it, the Zionists are dumb.
Nasrallah never the less was regarding during the July war by some as the man who opened a Pandora’s Box. “Who in the right mind would do such an operation against blood thirsty Zionists without consulting the rest of the Lebanese?” Jumblatt till this day replies to Hassan Nasrallah: “Your Divine victory ended with divine extra billions of dollars of debt” or “Your Divine victory became in the end of the war as ‘If only I knew’.
Galloway and Chavez established huge popularity among the Lebanese (and remained so among the opposition). Chavez kicked out the Israeli ambassador and cut ties with Israel, while Galloway (despite my dislikeness to him) was the only one to reflect the situation in Lebanon on Sky News (despite the imposed corporate Media block-out on Lebanon). The Arab Leaders proved they are traitors to the people living in Lebanon and to their own. Some (like couple of gulf nations) opened their land to allow US flow of weaponry to Israel. None of them boycotted Israel, rather Bolton in an interview with Marcel Ghanem said loud and clear: “A lot of Arab Nations asked the US to allow Israel to bomb Lebanon to get rid of Hezbollah”. Henceforth, the ones we can think of are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan. They suppressed their own people to demonstrate in solidarity with Lebanon. They never exerted any political pressure on Israel during the war, rather they sent money donations (which we never saw later) to shut their people up. There couldn’t have been a great stand of an Egyptian artist, A’del Imam, carrying a candle on stage and weeping for the butchered people in Qana.
The fact that the government was 14th of March dominated, saved minor locations from being eradicated by Israel. Yet, the disgrace was the government meeting with Condi Rice at the US embassy for lunch despite the fact Rice said it loud and clear they are sending laser guided missiles to make the accuracy of the Israelis better (two days of the Qana massacre) as well as the fact she was celebrating in Tel Aviv that a new Middle East was being shaped. A day later, the Lebanese Prime Minister refused to meet with her and she had to tune down her logos to “helping Israel to defend itself”. Well, I demand that Olmert and Peretz be dumped in the Lebanese South among his victims!!!! The government also witnessed a meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers (under US blessings of course), and then they traveled to the UN to launch UN resolution 1701. The opposition was disastrous politically, when the Minister (currently resigned) of Foreign Affairs Fawzi Salloukh went to the UN, the Israeli diplomat made a fool out of him. It was till Tarek Metri (Minister of Culture) went he reflected the situation better, “As I begin to speak, seven civilians were just killed 10 minutes ago in Marj Ayoun [Christian Village in the South].
Donations were raced to Lebanon after Lebanon remained one additional month under siege. The donations, on state level, were to assist the Lebanese Government to remain strong in its position. The relief was so disastrous that Palestinian refugees welcomed Lebanese refugees in their REFUGEE CAMP in Ain el Hilwi, while the Lebanese activists didn’t allow urban refugees to enter the schools (which didn’t have much of humanistic conditions and supplies).
After the July war was over, the division lines returned and reflected on the grassroots level.
Bashar el Assad, a president who raises logos which he cant satisfy, threatened to kick out the government. He took the whole victory of the Lebanese in resisting Hezbollah as his private own despite the fact he didn’t lay a finger to assist the Lebanese (rather his staff was busy ripping off Lebanese entering boarders). Couple of Israeli missiles hit Syrian borders, he made it clear ‘it was on the Lebanese side’ and ‘threatened if they did hit Syrian borders’ (which was totally amusing of that President since a week prior to the July war two Israeli planes flew over his head).
The Arab regimes focused on how to isolate Hezbollah, while Israeli planes remained flying over Lebanon. Three days after the July war was over, they carried an operation in Northern Lebanon and their operatives were butchered. IAF planes kept flying over Lebanon and breaches remained from their side loud and clear which caused the UNIFIL and Israel to almost enter close encounters. The first to kiss ass with Israel were the Germans, who spearheaded the Navy UNIFIL to monitor accession of weaponry to Lebanon from the sea (in the greatest military transfer since World War II) in order to erase their history of the Holocaust. Their military staff almost entered a confrontation with the Israelis (specially when Helicopters detected missile locks from IAF planes.
The war, despite this national unity, triggered a further heated division lines among the government and the Lebanese. At least from this dimension, Israel was successful in polarizing Lebanon as anti-Hezbollah (affiliated to Iran and Syria in the eyes of the Government supporters) and Pro – Hezbollah (regarded as the protectors of Lebanon in the eyes of their supporters except for a lunatic general who sees Hezbollah as a chance to make it to presidency). The UNIFIL are suspected to become part of NATO’s strike force in the long-run. People wonder why it is only from the Lebanese Side they are still present in the border since the Israelis keep breaching borders as UNIFIL remain helpless.
The Lebanese Marxists proved to be still efficient due to their outstanding performance in the relief campaign and resisting Israeli media. Fawwaz Traboulsi and Elias Khoury expressed the Lebanese sentiment during the war. Traboulsi trashed the Saudi ambassador to Washington when that ambassador said that he opposed undemocratic decisions taken by Hezbollah, Traboulsi's reply was "when Saudi Arabia had democracy before?" Elias Khoury was perfect in attacking the US satellites Arab regimes.
The Lebanese still didn’t learn to rely on themselves. Each of the two camps has its own foreign sponsors. The only time that happened, it happened during one month called the July war. Now, they await to go butcher each other. (Like Hamas and Fatah). Nevertheless, and despite all the loses on the humanistic and materialistic level, Lebanon emerged victorious in the face of the Zionists, and a lesson emerged that a bully can be taught a harsh lesson in military warfare, they still need to be taught lessons in humanity. The Lebanese need to be taught a lesson to be less racist towards the Palestinians and a lot others as well.
THERE IS NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR
For an emancipated Proletariat despite race, nationality, religion, gender, and tendency!
Hasta La Victoria Siempre