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Author Topic: Massacre at Qana - Robert Fisk
majorvictory
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posted 06 January 2004 08:59 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Qana-South Lebanon: the place where the Israeli shells killed 102 people, mostly women and children, taking refuge in a United Nations headquarters on April 18, 1996.

quote:
By Robert Fisk
The Independent 4/19/96

Qana, southern Lebanon - It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like this. The Lebanese refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their hands or arms or legs missing, beheaded or disembowelled. There were well over a hundred of them. A baby lay without a head. The Israeli shells had scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter, believing that they were safe under the world's protection. Like the Muslims of Srebrenica, the Muslims of Qana were wrong.

In front of a burning building of the UN's Fijian battalion headquarters, a girl held a corpse in her arms, the body of a grey- haired man whose eyes were staring at her, and she rocked the corpse back and forth in her arms, keening and weeping and crying the same words over and over: "My father, my father." A Fijian UN soldier stood amid a sea of bodies and, without saying a word, held aloft the body of a headless child.

"The Israelis have just told us they'll stop shelling the area," a UN soldier said, shaking with anger. "Are we supposed to thank them?" In the remains of a burning building - the conference room of the Fijian UN headquarters - a pile of corpses was burning. The roof had crashed in flames onto their bodies, cremating them in front of my eyes. When I walked towards them, I slipped on a human hand...

Israel's slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive - 206 by last night - has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 - the youngest was a four- day-old baby - when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.

Shortly afterwards, three Israeli jets dropped bombs only 250 metres from a UN convoy on which I was travelling, blasting a house 30 feet into the air in front of my eyes. Travelling back to Beirut to file my report on the Qana massacre to the Independent last night, I found two Israeli gunboats firing at the civilian cars on the river bridge north of Sidon.

Every foreign army comes to grief in Lebanon. The Sabra and Chatila massacre of Palestinians by Israel's militia allies in 1982 doomed Israel's 1982 invasion. Now the Israelis are stained again by the bloodbath at Qana, the scruffy little Lebanese hill town where the Lebanese believe Jesus turned water into wine.

The Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres may now wish to end this war. But the Hizbollah are not likely to let him. Israel is back in the Lebanese quagmire. Nor will the Arab world forget yesterday'a terrible scenes.

The blood of all the refugees ran quite literally in streams from the shell-smashed UN compound restaurant in which the Shiite Muslims from the hill villages of southern Lebanon - who had heeded Israel's order to leave their homes - had pathetically sought shelter. Fijian and French soldiers heaved another group of dead - they lay with their arms tightly wrapped around each other - into blankets.

A French UN trooper muttered oaths to himself as he opened a bag in which he was dropping feet, fingers, pieces of people's arms.



From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 January 2004 11:09 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Purity of arms.

The reaction of the Arabs is important, and should be kept in mind when we hear about events such as UN buildings being bombed in Baghdad.

quote:
We had suddenly become not UN troops and journalists but Westerners, Israel's allies, an object of hatred and venom. One bearded man with fierce eyes stared at us, his face dark with fury. "You are Americans," he screamed at us. "Americans are dogs. You did this. Americans are dogs."

President Bill Clinton has allied himself with Israel in its war against "terrorism" and the Lebanese, in their grief, had not forgotten this. Israel's official expression of sorrow was rubbing salt in their wounds. "I would like to be made into a bomb and blow myself up amid the Israelis," one old man said.

As for the Hizbollah, which has repeatedly promised that Israelis will pay for their killing of Lebanese civilians, its revenge cannot be long in coming. Operation Grapes of Wrath may then turn out then to be all too aptly named.


Anyone who calls Hizbollah a terrorist organization should first consider why Hizbollah was created.


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Whazzup?
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posted 07 January 2004 12:19 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
According to the UN report on the Qana massacre (which was critical of Israel) Hizbollah fighters were active in and around the UN compound just before the shelling:

quote:
(a) Between 1200 and 1400 hours on 18 April, Hizbollah fighters fired two or three rockets from a location of 350 meters southeast of the United Nations compound. The location was identified on the ground.

(b) Between 1230 and 1300 hours, they fired four or five rockets from a location 600 meters southeast of the compound. The location was identified on the ground.

(c) About 15 minutes before the shelling, they fired between five and eight rounds 120 millimeter mortar from a location 220 meters southeast of the center of the compound. The location was identified on the ground. According to witnesses, the mortar was installed there between 1100 and 1200 hours that day, but no action was taken by UNIFIL personnel to remove it. (On 15 April, a Fijian had been shot in the chest as he tried to prevent Hizbollah fighters from firing rockets.)

. . . .

(e) At some point (it is not completely clear whether before or after the shelling), two or three Hizbollah fighters entered the United Nations compound, where their families were.



From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 January 2004 12:31 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The arms remain pure.
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worker_drone
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posted 07 January 2004 02:12 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Anyone who calls Hizbollah a terrorist organization should first consider why Hizbollah was created.

To kill jews? Revenge?


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 January 2004 02:40 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To free Lebanon from Israeli occupation, or is the 1982 invasion something else that never happened?
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Mishei
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posted 07 January 2004 02:44 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
To free Lebanon from Israeli occupation, or is the 1982 invasion something else that never happened?

And today their purpose is...to kill Israelis? Revenge?

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 02:52 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:

And today their purpose is...to kill Israelis? Revenge?

Yup. No one is allowed to organise to defend themselves by force except Israel. Considering the chaos that the (illegal aggressive) Israeli invasion and destruction of the Beirut government has helped leave Lebanon in, far be it from enterprising individuals to get together to defend their interests in the absence of a clear central authority which could carry out that task. And heaven forbid a human being might entertain thoughts of revenge after some other human being destroys their life and family with impunity. Yup, those Arab terrorists are genetically full-of-hate - almost supernatural....

So Israel can do everything they can to destroy a state and then you moan that there are armed groups left in the wake of the destruction to fill the power vacuum. Do you ever get tired of your false righteous indignation?

Never mind that the IDF has carried out atrocities in greater frequency, number, and scope than anything the pikers in Hizbollah can lay claim to. Like, for instance, the subject of this thread - Qana.

Oh, and here you thought you might have distracted us...

[ 07 January 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


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skdadl
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posted 07 January 2004 02:58 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I thought that this thread was meant to archive testimony about a massacre.

No?

Mishei? You are not going to demand that everyone form up in straight lines and denounce this massacre? No?

Gee. It is such a relief to get back to Middle East discussions, after hours spent debating feminist issues.

PS: majorvictory, I have often meant to say this to you but never have: you do us such a service on babble. I don't know why you do, because you so seldom converse. But you are a terrific resource. Thanks very much.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 03:02 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Whazzup?:
According to the UN report on the Qana massacre (which was critical of Israel) Hizbollah fighters were active in and around the UN compound just before the shelling:


It doesn't matter - it is equally the responsibility of all parties in an armed conflict to distinguish between civilians and combattants. Just because Hizbollah didn't does not give the IDF carte blanche. Ask your gramma - she'll tell you that two wrongs don't make a right...


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 January 2004 03:22 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:

And today their purpose is...to kill Israelis? Revenge?

Or to provide social services, to build and maintain schools and hospitals (as noted in previous babble threads), to remain a deterrent against further Israeli aggression and to maintain a TV station that gives us another perspective on the news from the region.


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worker_drone
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posted 07 January 2004 05:03 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Or to provide social services, to build and maintain schools and hospitals

Hey, wow, just like the US Army in Iraq is doing! And you know they invaded to free Iraqi civilians from Hussein's rule, just like Hizbollah was formed to free the Lebanese from the Israelis.

Now that Israel isn't in Lebanon anymore, when do you figure Hizbollah is going to start working to free them from Syrian occupation?


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Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 05:23 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey! Look over there...No, THERE!
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Mishei
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posted 07 January 2004 06:00 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

Or to provide social services, to build and maintain schools and hospitals (as noted in previous babble threads), to remain a deterrent against further Israeli aggression and to maintain a TV station that gives us another perspective on the news from the region.



Really seems to me that they are on the Canadian governement terrorist list....

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Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 06:09 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Logically, and factually, one does not preclude the other. An interesting comparison would be Jewish organisations like Haganah who were not only involved in paramilitary 'terrorist' actions (and officially proclaimed to be terrorists by the British government) but who were also involved in various endeavours within the Jewish community in Palestine not related to terrorism - i.e. labour organising, settling new immigrants (illegal and legal) and other social programmes.

[ 07 January 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


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Mishei
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posted 07 January 2004 06:13 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Courage:
Logically, and factually, one does not preclude the other.
OK but they still are terrorists and any alleged good they may do is far outweighed by their terrorism.

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DrConway
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posted 07 January 2004 06:18 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, so Haganah, the Stern Gang, and Irgun's terrorist acts against the British outweigh any "good" that came out of their actions, like, oh gee, the creation of the state of Israel after the British finally got whacked on the nose with the metaphorical two-by-four one too many times and buggered out.

Double standards rear their head again, Mishei.

[ 07 January 2004: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 06:21 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mishei:
OK but they still are terrorists and any alleged good they may do is far outweighed by their terrorism.

What kind of calculus do you use to 'weigh' (i.e. quantify) Good and Evil? Do you have a handy formula? I mean, it seems that complex moral problems are so easily boiled down to simplistic rhetorical solutions for you, so I'm curious what method you use to make such problems so easy to tackle.

Moreover, this argument smacks of the ideological hysteria recently attached to 'terrorism'. You are trafficking in emotive blackmail in order to make your argument rather than actually addressing the complexity of problem presented by Hizbollah.

Frankly, I would guess that if you are on the receiving end of the security, healthcare, and social programmes they provide (not allegedly, but really; factually, concretely) they seem a lot different than they do to someone on the wrong end of an exploding bomb. Alas, things aren't always simple.

[ 07 January 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


From: Earth | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 January 2004 06:38 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Hey, wow, just like the US Army in Iraq is doing! And you know they invaded to free Iraqi civilians from Hussein's rule, just like Hizbollah was formed to free the Lebanese from the Israelis.

Is this supposed to make sense? Your comparison between foreign invaders is a little dodgy there.

The US in Iraq is acting like the Israelis wherever they invade, although the Israelis don't bother with PR euphemisms such as "ridding the land of tyrrany". On the other hand, claiming God granted them the right to butcher and steal from Arabs isn't much better.

And Israel is still occupying some of south Lebanon and Syrian territory in the Golan Heights.


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Courage
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posted 07 January 2004 06:52 PM      Profile for Courage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is interesting to note the parallels between the arguments made by the Israeli government and supporters of Israel such as Mishei in regard to 'terrorist' groups and those arguments made by Serbian government officials in regard to Albanian 'terrorists' in Kosovo/a. The Serbian government also used to like to complain that Albanian political organisations (like the KLA) were 'terrorists' (usually attacks against Serbian state forces, much like Hizbollah's attacks have largely been confined to IDF targets) and that so being, the Serbian government was justified in doing whatever it could to shut them down. Always hidden from sight was the tremendous amount of work done by Albanian groups (some of them quite militant) to ensure that Albanians were clothed and fed because the Serbian government had effectively closed down all the factories, schools and other institutions which had supported the population economically and socially. In the absence of a central authority, a shadow government was developed and life went on.

Here we see Mishei trying the same cynical argument as that applied by Milosevic and his apparatchiks to attempt to discredit the legitimate work done by people faced with the absence of any central authority to rely upon. That this work and the work of 'terrorists' is usually not carried out by the same people escapes the radar. Nope - no division of labour here - just paint the entire lot of 'em with the 'terrorist' brush...

On the other hand, we see that there is any and every effort made in Western states to perform the opposite move, though one equally obfuscatory. In this case, we see militaries presented as 'humanitarian' figures bringing supplies and aid to impoverished underlings and are shown virtually no evidence of these same militaries' immense destructive capabilities and actions. We count every food packet, but we don't count the dead on the other side.

But there is a common thread in both positions - in both cases we diminish the figure of the 'other' to something less than fully civilised humanity. In the one case their violence marks them off as uncivilised and reduces any non-violent acts they may carry out to unimportant trivia. In the second case it's their impoverished-ness that marks them off and they are presented as objects (like props) in a morality play for our own consumption. Where they die from our actions, they are unseen. In both cases, 'they' become something morally less valuable, and ontologically less complex, than 'us'.

[ 07 January 2004: Message edited by: Courage ]


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Peacefulnotion
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posted 07 January 2004 11:26 PM      Profile for Peacefulnotion     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And why did Israel invade Lebanon -- because terrorists were carrying out attacks on Israel from Lebanon. BTW Lebanon is currently occupied Syria which is in cahoots with Hezbollah. And Al-Q'abong neglected to mention what kind of programming is on Hezbollah TV such as a Syrian-made miniseries on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (I guess to rival Egypt's version). Also Hezbollah has some international work such as bombing Jewish centres in Argentina. It is also common knowledge that the truth is not one of Robert Fisk's better attributes when it comes to his reporting.
From: Guyville | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 January 2004 01:25 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So the Qana massacre never happened either.
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majorvictory
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posted 08 January 2004 01:53 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
PS: majorvictory, I have often meant to say this to you but never have: you do us such a service on babble. I don't know why you do, because you so seldom converse. But you are a terrific resource. Thanks very much.

Thanx, skdadl, i'm never too busy to remark on a compliment!


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 January 2004 08:25 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And why did Israel invade Lebanon -- because terrorists were carrying out attacks on Israel from Lebanon.

Or as Israeli Jacobo Timerman wrote, the invasion happened because of "the obsessions of inept rulers and vain military men who are running a nation created by moralists and dreamers."


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Cueball
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posted 09 January 2004 01:15 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lol
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged

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