Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Vol. VI, No. 25      July 30 - August 5, 2006      Quezon City, Philippines











Web Bulatlat


(We encourage readers to dialogue with us. Email us your letters complaints, corrections, clarifications, etc.)

Join Bulatlat's mailing list



(Email us your letters statements, press releases,  manifestos, etc.)



For turning the screws on hot issues, Bulatlat has been awarded the Golden Tornillo Award.

Iskandalo Cafe


Copyright 2004 Bulatlat



alternative reader no. 137

Mad Dogs Ravage Lebanon

Posted by Bulatlat

"Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."(General Moshe Dayan, Former Israeli Defense Minister)

"Army Chief Dan Halutz has given the order to the air force to destroy 10 multi-story buildings in the Dahaya district (of Beirut) in response to every rocket fired at Haifa." (Israeli Army Radio, July 24,2006)

"I think it's important that we not fall into the trap of moral equivalency here. What Hezbollah has done is kidnap Israeli soldiers and rain rockets and mortar shells on Israeli civilians.  What Israel has done in response is act in self-defense."  (US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton)

"Israeli leaders could be charged with war crimes."  (Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, July 2006)

"The Third World War…has already started.  What we're seeing today in the Middle East is a chapter of it."  (Daniel Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, July 2006)

"Israel is the biggest threat to peace in the eyes of most Europeans."  (Poll conducted by the European Union in early 2006)

Kristalnacht, the 1939 Nazi assault on Jewish homes, stores and persons in “reprisal” for a Jew killing a German Embassy officer, was a garden party compared to the Jewish State's ongoing destruction of Lebanon.  The Nazi “reprisal” led to the killing of several Jews and property damage in the millions of dollars.  Israel's murder and destruction toll now includes over 400 Lebanese civilians dead, thousands maimed, 750,000 (some say 900,000) refugees, hundreds of destroyed apartment buildings, thousands of homes, schools, factories, aqueducts, water and sewage treatment facilities, churches and mosques, radio and television stations, all the major bridges and highways, the airports and ports – in fact anything and anybody standing, hiding or fleeing for safety.

Israel's deliberate “total blockade” in addition to its carpet-bombing has created a humanitarian catastrophe for 2.5 million Lebanese, including the 750,000 refugees.  According to the Financial Times, "The humanitarian situation has been made worse by an Israeli sea and air blockade and the targeting of roads and bridges that hinder the distribution of aid, both to the refugees and to the people who have stayed behind." (Financial Times July 25, 2006 p.3)  Refugees tell of days of Israeli shelling, shortages of water and food, power outages and cut phone lines. Even more sinister many refugees "recount how they were first told by Israel to leave, only to be hit by Israeli shelling on the road to safety" (Financial Times ibid)

All the major Jewish organizations in the US, Europe and Canada pledge fealty to the Israeli state and endorse its crimes against humanity as do all the mass media; they influence or control the US Congress, executive branch and trade union confederations in the US.  The “Big Lie” of Israeli “reprisals” has been repeated so often in the media and in official circles that it is taken as an accepted fact.  If we return to the “ancient history” of July 12, 2006, we discover that Hezbollah attacked an Israeli Army post on the border with Lebanon – a military target with no civilian significance.  Immediately after this localized military incident, Prime Minister Olmert ordered massive bombing of Beirut and civilian targets throughout Lebanon. After Israel's carpet-bombing of civilians and civilian infrastructure throughout Lebanon, Hezbollah responded on July 14, 2006 by “declaring war” on Israel, namely bombing Israeli cities.  On July 14, 2006 the Jewish Lobby propaganda and power machine went into action criticizing Bush over his concern for the Lebanese client regime, which the White House had so laboriously put in place (Forward July 14, 2006).

Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, sharply attacked Bush for asking Tel Aviv to show restraint and not undermine Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora. The Conference of the Major American Jewish Organizations put its 52 groups into action. Bush quickly backtracked and forgot about his Lebanese client. Israel and the “52 Groups” pushed the US to supply more five-ton bombs for its bombers to drop on a defenseless country without a functioning air force.  The leading ideologues of the Jewish Lobby pushed for the US to bomb Iran and Syria, the “hand behind Hezbollah” – hoping to start Israeli Ambassador Gillerman's World War Three.

The unanimity of the major Jewish organizations support for Israeli ethnocide extends to the “peace time” Israeli peace organizations and progressives like Amos Oz, who calls on Israel's peace organizations to close ranks behind the butchers of Beirut in the name of the “defense” of Israel.

As Washington rushes a new supply of five-ton bombs and “precision missiles,” there can be no doubt that the Israeli leaders' destruction of the civilian homes, apartments and infrastructure is a precisely calculated target (BBC News July 23, 2006).  As precision-guided missiles are playing a key part in Israel's military strategy, it is clear that the repeated bombing of refugee caravans and ambulances on the highways, hospitals, mosques and the Muslim and Christian sectors of Beirut and other cities are an integral part of that strategy.

Professor Juan Cole argues persuasively that the war on Lebanon was planned for at least a year, citing the presentations by senior Israeli army officers to Washington think-tanks, diplomats and journalists outlining the coming invasion (www.juancole.com  July 23, 2006).

The Israeli pretext of rescuing two captured soldiers is laughable given the instant massive offensive and the sustained destruction of all of Lebanon, including large areas of central and northern Lebanon where there are few if any Hezbollah.

It ill behooves us to ignore the recent historical context for the Israeli bombing and wanton murder of Lebanese.  For several years the Jewish Lobby has pressured the White House and Congress to disarm and destroy Hezbollah; to accomplish that goal it was necessary to change the correlation of forces in Lebanon by forcing the Syrians out – which was successfully accomplished through the assassination of a prominent Lebanese politician (Hariri) then pinning the murder on Syrian intelligence – though no proof was ever presented and perjured testimony, later retracted, was the sole evidence.  Subsequent to Syria's departure, a Lebanese assassin in the pay of the Israeli secret service, Mossad, was captured by the anti-Syrian Lebanese police, and admitted to committing numerous bombing assassinations on Lebanese citizens targeted by the Israelis.

With Syria out of Lebanon, Washington secured a one-sided UN resolution calling for the disarming of Hezbollah, without any military or territorial concession from Israel (such as the return of Israeli occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms) or the return of Lebanese or Hezbollah prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons for up to 10 years. That UN resolution, probably the only one Israel abides to for obvious reasons, subsequently provided part of the cover for Israel's invasion as they bombed Lebanon into a miserable state more like Afghanistan than a vibrant Mediterranean republic. Israel's strategy was transparent: it sought to isolate Hezbollah in the world, securing UN support via Washington and pressure from the Lobby on the Bush Administration, and to promote an internal conflict in Lebanon between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, in which the US/UN would intervene in favor of its favored Beirut clients.

Failing on both counts, Israel decided, in consultation with Washington, to launch a frontal murderous assault on Lebanon on the pretext of the captured soldiers and attacking Hezbollah.  Washington saw in the Israeli military attack several favorable possibilities apart from destroying the anti-imperialist Hezbollah.  One was to isolate and create a pretext to attack Syria and Iran if they exerted any efforts on behalf of the Lebanese.  Secondly Washington saw the Israeli invasion as a means to distract the horrified world opinion away from the US genocidal occupation of Iraq.  Thirdly the Bush administration sought to secure the Jewish Lobby's continued powerful media influence in support of the US occupation of Iraq when a majority of US citizens were increasingly hostile.  Finally, in supplying Israel with weapons of mass destruction, like five-ton bombs, the Republicans and Democrats sought to secure campaign funding from their millionaire and billionaire Jewish political supporters.

For Israel, the military attack was directed toward destroying all of Lebanon, converting it into an economic wasteland, with the idea that by ethnically cleansing the Lebanese civilians from southern Lebanon, they would have an easier time in declaring the country a “free-fire” zone – to be bombed at will killing any Hezbollah sympathizers, activists, social workers, medics and fighters.  The strategy was to “empty the pond (southern Lebanon and south Beirut – perhaps 40% of the country's population) to catch the fish (Hezbollah).”  (Hezbollah is a mass political and social movement with a mass base of 1.1 million Lebanese).  In the process, Israel seeks to create a client regime in Lebanon and to cut off the moral and material support, which Hezbollah gives to the democratically elected Hamas government in Palestine.

In the course of events, Israel's and the US's assumptions failed.  Israel's massive terror bombing undermined the pro-US Beirut regime and turned the great majority of Lebanese in favor of Hezbollah.  In the total absence of the Lebanese government, it was Hezbollah, which rushed victims to hospitals, provided food, evacuation convoys and a modicum of relief to all Lebanese – regardless of affiliation.  Washington's precautions to the Israeli's to respect Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure were brazenly ignored by the Jewish state from the start, knowing full well that the Jewish Lobby in the US would ensure Washington's complicity in mass murder and the undermining of their own client regime.

There was never any question that the White House facing a choice between defending a conservative, recently installed Lebanese regime or supporting Israel's total war, the Lobby and Tel Aviv would be supported – hands down.

If the US miscalculated on Israel's “precision intervention,” the Jewish State over-estimated their capacity to bomb Hezbollah into submission.  The Israeli regime proceeded to launch a land war, which is extremely costly in the mountainous zones of South Lebanon.  For the first time there were large-scale Israeli military casualties, which mounted; the dying was not only among innocent, unarmed Lebanese families killed by Israeli planes and helicopters.  Hezbollah's action in attacking and capturing two Israeli soldiers was to come to the humanitarian aid of the besieged Palestinians of Gaza, suffering the hammer blows of Israel's invasion and daily assassinations.  Neither Syria nor Iran had any influence on Hezbollah's decision to take Israeli pressure off the Palestinians.  According to several Iran experts, "Iran has taken a pragmatic approach in its foreign policy and does not want to get into a serious confrontation with Israel," (Financial Times July 18, 2006 p 3).  Another expert argued "Iran was not looking for a crisis in Lebanon at a critical moment in the nuclear diplomacy," (FT ibid).  An expert on Hezbollah pointed out "it was inconceivable that Iran had ordered Hezbollah to take Israeli soldiers prisoners.  Hezbollah leaders are not the types to take orders from elsewhere," (FT ibid).  In addition Israel was holding numerous Lebanese political prisoners, some for over a decade and Hezbollah sought to secure a prisoner exchange, as well as to free Lebanese territory still under Israeli occupation.

Israel, by attacking Lebanon and focusing on Hezbollah, sought to further isolate the Palestinian government and to continue its policy of bombing its people into a “voluntary” exodus.  During the first two weeks of the Lebanese bombing, Israel continued its assassination and bombing campaign in Gaza and the West Bank, killing and maiming scores of civilians, children and resistance fighters.  Perversely, Israel by raising the death (nearly 500), destruction (an estimated $2 billion dollars) and forced exodus of at least 750,000 civilians in Lebanon, has effectively distracted the philo-Israel mass media focus from the daily murder and injury of dozens of Palestinians.  Mass media coverage of Israeli genocide in Lebanon is at its worst: the television media - CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and National Public Radio and the respectable press not only repeat the Israeli propaganda about 'precision-guided missiles…destroying Hezbollah bunkers," but focus on the handful of Israeli deaths and injuries as opposed to the thousands of Lebanese civilian deaths and injuries and the million who are homeless, without electricity or water and subject to 5-ton bombs looking for 'bunkers' but locating multi-storied apartment blocks.  "At least one third of Lebanese casualties are children," according to the UN's Jan Egeland after a field inspection.  Less than one-tenth are Hezbollah fighters.  Faced with massive civilian bombings, US Secretary of State Rice referred to it as “the birth pangs” of a new order  just as her predecessors in the Third Reich justified the bombing of London during World War Two.

On July 24, 2006 the Daily Alert, the news sheet of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations published and re-published articles written by apologists for Israel's bloody invasion.  Not a single criticism of the flight of at least 750,000 refugees, not a word of the destruction of apartments, not even a passing mention of the murder of over 100 children.  Quotes from President Bush opposing a ceasefire, of ultra rightist “Israel Firster” Ambassador Bolton (US Ambassador to the UN) defending Israel's terror bombing arguing that the destruction of Lebanon is less consequential than the few small rockets falling in Israel with deaths but not effect on the infrastructure…Op-Ed articles in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and New Republic support Israel's bloodbath.  Editorials in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Miami Herald closely follow the Lobby's lines.

The entire massive Jewish and pro-Israel propaganda machine has covered the US media with messages of unconditional support for Israeli murder, denials of Lebanese suffering and justification of wanton destruction, presented as an act of heroic defense… by the “mad dogs” (Moshe Dayan) of Israel.  The voices of Americans horrified by Israeli atrocities or who just feel sympathy for its victims goes unheeded, or worse, are attacked and ridiculed, (the veteran octogenarian White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, of Lebanese ethnic origin, was taunted as the “voice of Hezbollah” by the President's Press Secretary Tony Snow).  The US peace movement, prohibited by its Jewish progressives from voicing outrage at Israel, let alone the Lobby, is moribund.  Once again, Israel gets away with murder; its overseas political transmission belts dominate the mass media.  The US Congress kneels to the Lobby's dictates.  The entire White House Staff act as messengers for the Israeli Foreign Office:

"You need two weeks for more bombing?  Oh, don't  fear, there will be no time limit…Yes sir, we'll channel the EU, UN and World opinion – there'll be no 'cease fire' we'll  tell'em!"

"Destroying an entire country as reprisal for 2 Israeli prisoners …we believe that Israel has a right to defend herself."

The US submission and complicity in the Gaza ethnocide and now the destruction of Lebanon without internal debate in Congress, in the mass media, or even in the so-called “peace movements,” speaks loudly and clearly to the stranglehold of Israeli power within the United States and to the enormous and continuing damage to our basic democratic freedoms.  To stand against totalitarian terror and US complicity should be a common reflexive act of decency.  Today under the Lobby's all-pervasive domain it is an act of courage, even though it may reach only a few tens of thousands through the alternative media.

Israel's idea of a “ceasefire” parroted by the Israel Lobby and regurgitated by the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Lebanese leaders is first to allow Israel to continue the carpet-bombing of  Lebanon with the newly shipped 5-ton American bombs, thus rejecting Lebanon's Prime Minister's pleas for an immediate ceasefire (FT July 25, 2006).  Once Israel has totally devastated the country, Washington will propose an “international force” (of Israel's choosing) along with the Lebanese Army to occupy Southern Lebanon (currently under Israeli occupation with the remnant of the battered unarmed UN peace keepers).The “international force” is then supposed to proceed to the total disarming and forced removal of all Hezbollah fighters and their half-million supporters in the South.  At that point Israel would consider a ceasefire.  Apparently Israel's mad-dog disease is contagious and has affected the few remaining grey cells in the White House.  According to the New York Times, there are no commitments for the proposed “international force”:  "The US has ruled out its soldiers participating, NATO says it is overstretched, Britain feels its troops are overcommitted and Germany says it is willing to participate only if Hezbollah agrees." (NYTimes July 24, 2006).  Secondly since the Israeli scorched-earth policy, and Hezbollah's tough resistance, few if any Lebanese soldiers will take up arms to implement Israel's conditions, as even the conservative Lebanese leaders reject a foreign occupation.  Thirdly and most important, Hezbollah is prepared for and capable of engaging in a prolonged popular guerrilla war of resistance, such as Israel has never faced before, in terms of organization, morale and military capability.  According to Jane's Defense Weekly, analyst Nicholas Blandford, "(Hezbollah) are well armed, well-motivated combat veterans from the 1990's.  It's the old Mao Tsetung guerrilla strategy of retreating when the enemy advances and advancing when the enemy retreats.

According to another expert on Hezbollah: "They operate in small isolated cells. One cell does not know what the other cell is doing…This decentralized structure is part of the group's military potency" (Saad-Ghoreyeb cited in Aljazeera July 25, 2006).  Hezbollah's military force, as large as 7,500 fighters, has like the Vietnamese earlier been preparing underground tunnels across South Lebanon and has built an advanced well-stocked armory.  Unlike previous Arab armies, which were heavily infiltrated and which fought 'standing wars' under highly centralized commands, Hezbollah works in small, decentralized groups, which move quickly and have taken effective measures against Israeli informers. Hezbollah is waiting for a full-scale ground invasion to fight a guerrilla war in the mountains and on their terrain.  According to Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, "When the Israelis enter, they must pay dearly in terms of their tanks, officers and soldiers." (Al Jazeera July 25, 2006)  Israel is clearly not going to win a “seven-day war.”  Even in the first 10 days, Alon Ben-David, a Janes Defense Weekly correspondent wrote that the Israeli military has suffered "considerable casualties" in its push north into Lebanon.


Thanks to the power of the US-Jewish Lobby and the reach of its international affiliates, the US government secured the agreement of the world's powers meeting in Rome on July 26, 2006 to give Israel's 'mad dogs' free rein to continue their genocidal policies in Lebanon and Gaza, a vote hailed by the mouthpiece (Daily Alert July 27, 2006) of the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations.  Given the Lobby's supremos efforts to stifle dissent from genocide special importance is the fact that the Rome vote took place less than 24 hours after Israel deliberately murdered (decapitated) four UN peace keepers through direct targeting of their camp and after having received over a dozen frantic phone calls from the beleaguered international peace keepers before, during and after the Israeli missile and tank shelling attack (BBC News July 25, 2006).  Even the US toady, UN Secretary General Kofi Annam couldn't accept the Israeli claims of error.  His statement that the Israelis deliberately attacked the unarmed UN observers in their clearly marked outpost provoked fits of indignation in Israel and among Israel Firsters in the US.  Needless to say, the US Jewish Lobby automatically backed Israel's slaughter of the UN peacekeepers and published Israeli Ambassador to the US Dan Ayalon's demand that Secretary General Annam “apologize” for his “baseless” charges. (Daily Alert July 26, 2006)  In the meantime, the respectable press, led by the ultra-Zionist Washington Post continued to provide exclusive editorial and news space for the apologists of Israeli genocide in Lebanon.  David Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey argued that the mass terror bombing of Lebanon (and by the same logic Gaza) are "within (Israel's) right" and provide the most convoluted pseudo-legal arguments that would have made Goebbels blush. (Washington Post July 25, 2006)  Needless to say, we are told that both authors served in the Reagan Justice Department, apparently cutting their teeth sanitizing the Central American killing fields.

Israel's crimes and the impunity granted to it by the “Rome meeting” is seen as a license to commit every outrageous crime forbidden in the UN Charter under the rubric of "Crimes against Humanity.”  The British Guardian reported on July 25, 2006, "The ambulance headlights were on, the blue light overhead was flashing and another light illuminated the Red Cross flag when the first Israeli missile hit, shearing off the right leg of the man on the stretcher.  As he lay screaming beneath fire and smoke, patients and ambulance workers scrambled for safety, crawling over grass in the dark.  Then another missile hit the second ambulance." (Guardian  July 25, 2006)

As the world's attention turned to the genocide in Lebanon, the Israeli military machine continued to slaughter Palestinian children and civilians…(Reuters July 26, 2006) reported that 19 Palestinians, over half civilians, including 3 children under 4, were killed and 60 people wounded.  The toll of Palestinian dead and wound in the Jewish state's month-long assault rose to over a thousand.

The official Israeli peaceniks have joined the war party, as have most of their followers.  A poll published by Israel's Maariv daily newspaper states that 82% back the continued offensive and 95% say Israel's action is justified. (BBC News July 27, 2006). Since Israel is generally considered a democracy limited to its Jewish citizens, we can safely state that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews are willing accomplices to Israeli crimes against humanity.  (Did Goldhagen ever find a consensus of 95% of Germans in favor of Nazi ethnic cleansing?)  Likewise, in the United States and Europe, the great majority of Zionist organizations and their activists are extremely active in securing US support for Israeli genocide.  The hidden horror and the voices of dissent of many US citizens are stifled by the overbearing dominance of the Jewish Lobby's monopoly of the mass media.  It is as if the Lobby-promoted invasion of Iraq was a dry run for US backing for Israeli invasions in the Middle East, aimed at provoking major wars with Iran and Syria.  This is a prospect actively promoted by most Neo-conservative Jewish ideologues like William Kristol of the Daily Standard.

Posted by Bulatlat




© 2006 Bulatlat  Alipato Media Center

Permission is granted to reprint or redistribute this article, provided its author/s and Bulatlat are properly credited and notified.