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Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2006 at 11:58 AM
BEIRUT, Jul 23 (IPS) - Much of Beirut is a devastated city, infrastructure in many areas lies in a shambles after the Israeli bombing. But the Lebanese are also just feeling devastated.
ataque_a_beirut..jpg, image/jpeg, 260x170
"Does our country not have the right to move forward like other democracies," says Nidal Mothman, a 35-year-old taxi driver in downtown Beirut. "We hate the American government for giving the green light for the Israelis to bomb us back to the stone age."
Mothman, like so many Lebanese in the capital city, is seething with anger over what he called "indiscriminate" Israeli aggression towards their country.
"How many Hezbollah have they killed," Mothman said. "Maybe just a few, while they've killed over 350 Lebanese civilians. What kind of war are they waging against my country?"
From the street to the leadership, most people seem to talk the same language. Last Thursday Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora told reporters that his country has been torn to shreds. "Can the international community stand by while such callous retribution by the state of Israel is inflicted on us?"
Siniora also accused Israel of massacring Lebanese civilians and attempting to destroy everything that allows the country to stay alive.
The facts on the ground add credence to his remarks. The humanitarian crisis continues to worsen by the hour, with close to a million Lebanese displaced. Officials say at least 64 bridges have been bombed. Many roads are cut by the bombing, and this is hindering transportation of food and aid supplies.
Other Israeli targets have included the country's largest milk factory, a food factory, two pharmaceutical plants, water treatment centres, power plants, grain silos, a Greek Orthodox Church, hospitals and an ambulance convoy.
In certain districts of Beirut life goes on as normal, but southern Beirut has been hit hard, with entire buildings brought to the ground by Israeli air raids.
"When do you think this war will end," 22-year-old student at the American University of Beirut Nishan Ishaqi said. "I lived in southern Beirut, and everything I know is totally destroyed now. I only want peace, and a safe place to stay."
Ishaqi, who was preparing to leave for Tripoli (north of Beirut in Lebanon) to stay with relatives, wept as he said, "Why must they do this to us? If they want to fight Hezbollah, let them fight them -- but not the Lebanese civilians."
Meanwhile, Israeli military operations continue to pummel southern Lebanon, including the city of Tyre, while Lebanese in Beirut had a day of relative calm Sunday.
Foreign war ships are crowding ports as evacuation of foreign nationals continues. "Yes, we see the priorities of the western countries as they evacuate their people," 55-year-old clothing merchant in the Hamra district of Beirut, Ayad Harrar said. "So you see, screw the Lebanese, they do not matter to us. This is what their governments are saying to us by these actions."
Harrar said people are shocked that his country was once again plunged into war, just when they thought they had found peace.
"This afternoon it is calm, but we all know that when they finish evacuating their people, we will be bombed once more," Harrar said. "It is not possible to live a life while we live under these conditions; not knowing when our day to die is coming from more Israeli bombs."
On Saturday, after meeting with members from a United Nations team who had just returned from the region, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters that the situation in Lebanon was part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East," and said that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire.
Not many people in Beirut are able to see it that way. Suthir Amalat carrying her child in one arm as she bought water to take home for emergencies said she was preparing for everything to worsen.
"We are angry at Hezbollah for starting this catastrophe, but even more angry at the Israelis for destroying all of Lebanon," she said.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 118 posted about this article.
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||Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2006 at 3:34 PM
|It is easy to imagine
||Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2006 at 7:27 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 1:12 AM
|they do not find themselves losing that war
||guerrillas in their midst
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 1:28 PM
|started a war without any justification
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 2:24 PM
|Blaming the Zionist victim
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 2:59 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 4:43 PM
||Wikipedia says,"anmti-semitism" mea
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 4:56 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 5:30 PM
||we were worried about you
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 6:10 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 6:22 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 8:26 PM
|Connections to Nazism
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 8:54 PM
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 8:56 PM
|United Nations Staff Council protests attacks on Lebanon
||Thursday, Jul. 27, 2006 at 8:59 PM
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:00 PM
|applying Nazi label to Arabs is stupid and bigoted
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:10 PM
|Connections to Nazism
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:25 PM
|"the Nazi collaborator/terrorist gang that founded the rogue state of Israel."
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:28 PM
|lying liars and their lies
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:40 PM
|The cemetary isn't the issue
||another Zionist distracration
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:53 PM
|Now in the year 2006 we are dealing with quasi-Nazi Zionist aggression
||a racist is a racist is a racist
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 1:58 PM
||another logical fallacy
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 2:08 PM
|Israelis as a whole
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 2:15 PM
|What I was commenting on
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 2:46 PM
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 3:50 PM
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 5:09 PM
|I guess the zionists are right.
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 9:18 PM
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 9:56 PM
|Can you sing it to this tune?
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 9:58 PM
|No? (must be an anti-Semite) Here, try this one
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 10:00 PM
|Okay, this is your last chance before you go on the death-list
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 10:34 PM
||Distoring the truth with propaganda
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 10:38 PM
|Good point, Yid-dumbo!
||Friday, Jul. 28, 2006 at 10:56 PM
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 1:05 PM
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 1:55 PM
||spam n' insults
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:02 PM
|victims at hospital
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:04 PM
|victims at hospital
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:04 PM
|The whole Eye Care Ward is gone
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:09 PM
||choices come consequences
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:13 PM
|Israel doesn't hide weapons at hospitals
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:18 PM
|re: Hezbollah rocket hits Nasariyah hospital
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:25 PM
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:32 PM
|rest of world
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:47 PM
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:51 PM
|eye care unit
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:55 PM
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 2:58 PM
|Tee Wdumbya the crypto Nazi
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 3:06 PM
|And where are the
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 3:15 PM
|Anti-Zionists are funny in how desperate they get in debate
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 3:19 PM
|Israel, South Africa cooperation
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 3:27 PM
|Israel charged with murdering UN troops
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 3:54 PM
|Scores of Syrians pray for Hezbollah chief to emulate Saladin’s victories in present time.
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 4:04 PM
|Zionism's unchanging self-victimology fun-house mirror
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 4:12 PM
|Amy Goodman's Democracy Now Show has total credibility on this
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 4:23 PM
|Oh NO, 'course not, shetizdayen baby-killer
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 4:24 PM
|Collective punishment is nothing new for the Terror State of israel
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 5:40 PM
|zionist pirates cause worst environmental disaster in Lebanon's history
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 7:49 PM
|"It seems that zionism specializes in spreading filth and death."
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 10:03 PM
|Zionism is racism
||Saturday, Jul. 29, 2006 at 10:10 PM
|Explanation of Why I Hid It
||Sunday, Jul. 30, 2006 at 3:03 AM
|Hid the Zionism is Racism article
||Sunday, Jul. 30, 2006 at 6:03 AM
|Things you have to believe to be a right wing idiot
||Bush in a sack of human refuse
||Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 12:52 AM
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