terça-feira, 14 de novembro de 2006

Casa, Rio de Janeiro
Conversando com o Hizbollah

No post abaixo, eu mencionei algumas das conversas e discussões improvaveis que tive na internet. Possivelmente o meu interlocutor mais interessante (embora nem de longe o mais amigavel) é um membro autodeclarado do Hizbollah, com quem troquei alguns comentários no blog do Michael Totten. A discussão se extendeu por vários posts, e envolveu alguns outros libaneses, além de israelenses e americanos.

A surprendente discussão acabou sendo razoavelmente bem educada, e muito informativa. O AlGhaliboon (o cara do HA) se mostrou extremamente cortês, e aberto ao debate. Em relação a assuntos espinhosos, como o direito de Israel a existir, ele é muito mais conciliatório do que a posição oficial do seu partido. E o discurso dele é (para o meu alívio) livre daquela cansativa lengalenga conspirazoide sobre sionistas isto ou sabios de Sião aquilo, tão comum na região.

Mas sempre que o assunto era o seu vizinho ao Sul, ele esbarrava no axioma segundo o qual 'a culpa é sempre dos israelenses', e na consequente absoluta falta de autocrítica que o impedia de admitir que pelo menos alguns dos atos do HA foram imorais ou contraproducentes. Era deprimente ver um cara, que em geral parece sensato e bem informado, celebrar a possibilidade de outra guerra (meses após a última 'vitória' do HA ter devastado o seu pais) como algo não só provável como também desejável.

A discussão entre ele e os israelenses do fórum também foi instrutiva. Era obvio que não havia grandes diferenças entre eles a respeito do que seria nescessário para uma paz duradoura entre os dois paises. Mas bastou os israelenses objetarem ao 'direito de retorno' dos refugiados palestinos da guerra de 1948 (e seus filhos e netos) para que o AlG voltasse a sua concha e insistisse que o conflito é a única solução, negociações são impossiveis, etc e tal. Mas também ficou claro que existe dentro e fora de Israel quem acredite que os Arabes são uma massa uniforme de maníacos genocidas, independente de qualquer evidencia do contrário.

A ansia de repatriar os palestinos que moram no Líbano tem muito pouco a ver com o suposto amor que os Libaneses sentem pelos refugiados (que são confinados em campos esquálidos e impedidos por lei de trabalhar ou construir habitações permanentes), mas sim ao medo de que eles alterem o delicado equilíbrio entre os diversos grupos etnico-religiosos que compoem o Líbano, e em particular, que atrapalhem os planos hegemonicos da antiga maioria (os cristãos maronitas) ou da nova maioria emergente (os fecundos xiitas). Acontece que a insistencia em um direito absoluto ao retorno (de volta a algo que para todos os efeitos não existe mais), ao invés de um retorno (ou ida) à uma Palestina independente juntamente com compensasão financeira, só perpetua a situação. Gerações de palestinos cresceram acreditando que um mitológico retorno iminente à vilas próximas a Haifa que não existem mais, o que é uma anátema para os israelenses, já que isso implicaria no fim de Israel, seja como a pátria judaica ou como um país democrático.

Entre os Libaneses, o tópico mais quente foi a renuncia coletiva dos ministros aliados ao Hizbollah e ao Amal (o outro grande partido xiita) do governo Libanes. A causa imediata foi a recusa por parte do movimento anti-sírio '14 de Março', que é maioria no parlamento, de dar ao HA o poder de veto sobre as decisões do governo. A outra razão não verbalizada é tentar bloquear a criação do tribunal que está sendo instalado para julgar os culpados pelo assassinato do ex-premiê Rafik Hariri. O crime é atribuido aos sirios, e a ideia é usar o tribunal para extirpar de vez o controle que Damasco ainda exerce sobre o pais, assim como Elliot Ness usou a evasão de impostos para prender Al Capone. Mas os baathistas sirios desde a muito tempo tentam transformar o Líbano em uma província, e é improvável que saiam sem luta (seja na forma de carros-bomba, ou incentivando os conflitos sectários). Eu disse em um post anterior que a guerra com Israel é melhor entendida como um extensão dos conflitos internos para definir que tipo de país o Libano será daqui para frente, e que este conflito fundamental continou, indefinido, após o cessar fogo. Pois bem, agora as coisas estão esquentando de novo. O status quo não é mais sustentável, as tensões aumentam e algo ou alguem vai ceder.

Nesta linha, foi interessante o debate entre os Libaneses. Além do AlG, haviam vários que eram simpáticos ao '14 de Março', e um membro da FPM, o grupo de Michael Aoun,um ex-general que lutou contra os sírios até ser expulso com a conivencia dos americanos e franceses em 91, mas que ao retornar se aliou ao HA e (para todos os efeitos) a Síria. É dificil resumir várias opiniões dispares sobre um assunte tão complexo, mas os temas principais me parecem os seguintes:

  • Fora do HA ninguem parece muito animado com a tal vitória divina, e um retorno às hostilidades agora provavelmente deixaria o HA alienado até mesmo de sua base xiita.

  • Pelo menos entre as bases do HA e do FPM a Siria não é vista com bons olhos. O AlG até mesmo nega a existencia de uma aliança entre o HA e Damasco.

  • Nenhum dos lados quer o retorno da guerra civil, mas todos temem a possibilidade.

  • A mais importante demanda dos xiitas é uma participação maior no processo político, condizente com o seu peso demográfico. Tanto a guerra quanto a aliança com a Síria são vistas como meios de atingir este objetivo.

  • A FPM considera que os xiitas não devem ser isolados, pois isto seria explosivo. Outros grupos cristãos e sunitas tentam manter o seu controle sobre o processo politico.

  • O 14 de Março acredita que o HA está blefando, e está disposto a não se curvar ao HA desta vez

  • Crescem as tensões entre xiitas e sunitas. Grupos salafistas (i.e., Al Qaeda e assemelhados) atuam em Sidom e Tripoli (redutos sunitas). HA not amused.

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Abaixo uma seleção da discussão com o AlG

Eu:

AG:"I do not see why anyone would not give anyone with opposing views - but who nevertheless respects the unwritten rules of dialogue or written rules of commenting - the chance to challenge and discuss issues raised in one's blog."

AG, I agree. But you must admit you were given this chance. You adhered to these "rules", and presented your views and criticism in a reasoned way. MJT and others replied in kind and challenged your views, in the same spirit. As far as the conducting of the debate goes, I can't find fault in either side.

I am baffled by your position on an eventual peace with Israel. Do you think it is desirable? Do you accept that Israeli civilians have exactly the same right to peace and tranquility in their own land as Lebanese or American ones?

You also said:
"We will make peace with it when the time is right for our people to come to terms with the crimes committed against them"

If I understand you correctly this means you choose to be at war with Israel until you can get around to forgive it. Which makes me wonder:
Why is it so hard to forgive the Israelis in particular for the crimes they committed, even as you forgive other Lebanese factions and the Syrians (at least to the extent you are not advocating war with either), who also committed atrocities in Lebanon, often at a far greater scale?

Also, if you are at war with Israel, then Israel is at war with you, which in practice means lots of Lebanese will die. This to me means that achieving a just peace is a moral imperative, not something to be countenanced only after you come to terms with past wrongs. War is not psychotherapy.

My last two questions are practical. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the issues HA claims are unresolved (and must therefore be resolved by the force of arms) are some small uninhabited disputed bits of land and a handful of prisoners. Shouldn't you try to negotiate first? I mean sitting down with Israelis openly, and trying to come up with some peace deal acceptable to both sides. Do you oppose such negotiations in principle?

Finally, as MJT pointed out Israel can kill 1000 random Lebanese in 5 minutes if it chooses to. Its F16 can turn southern Lebanon literally uninhabitable (why bombing with F16 is cowardly but firing Katyushas is not?). Don't you think there is something flawed in a military strategy that relies on the relative restraint of your enemy, an enemy that moreover you hold to be evil and without scruples?

Ele:

Bruno,

Yes, I admit I was given the chance, but the point I raised was not about that, but about the qualification of this chance by many commenters.

Regarding peace with Israel: we are not war-mongers. We do not go out of our way to wage war. Whatever wars we have waged, have been imposed upon us. Our very existence has been the product of war and occupation. Peace is of course very desirable. I accept every human being's right to peace and tranquility in their own land, including the Israelis; this should not be at the expense of others, however.

Forgiveness does not happen overnight, nor does it happen on its own; it is a long process, and reconciliation takes a lot of effort; first the genuine desire on both sides to talk about the past with the intention of determining an equation that would include definite answers and steps (including compensation/reparation, return of lands, return of refugees, etc. - but the latter is part of the Palestinian issue). Anyway, this is what is chiefly missing in this region, because people (some sides more than others) are more willing to shoot than talk, because they believe that the other side only understands the language of force. At any rate, before we conducted the operation and captured the 2 soldiers, we warned a number of times that unless negotiations resume, we would take such action. Unfortunately, no one listened to us or took our words seriously (hence our operation name pointing out exactly this: "true promise/vow"). Even after the soldiers were captured, we again called for negotiations, and this was rejected out of hand. We told the Israelis that no matter what they do, at the end of the day they will not get their soldiers except through negotiations. We were true to our promise. At any rate, I presume some people will criticize the point in which I said that after we captured the soldiers we also called for negotiations, and they might say, after killing so many soldiers and violating Israel's sovereignty, you expect it not to retaliate? But I tell them, history does not start on July 12, 2006, so if we are going to take this issue to that level, then the operation was not only necessary, it was also completely justified and legitimate. As for a "peace deal", I already said this is out of the question until the Palestinian issue is settled, because you have 500,000 Palestinian refugees who will be lost in the Lebanese limbo, just so that Israel may close yet another front and concentrate its full strength on ethnically cleansing West Bank & Gaza of the Palestinians (the so-called disengagement does not mean Gaza is forever out of bounds for Israel). We cannot separate our conflict with Israel from the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. But we are willing to negotiate a truce and other details, indirectly of course.

Regarding the comparison between Lebanese criminals, Syrian criminals, and Israeli criminals, I do not think you can compare; but you are right, all are criminals - but to varying degrees. I do not accept nor recognize the legitimacy of the Lebanese criminals, indeed I call for their incarceration and trial for crimes against humanity. As for Syrian criminals, may I remind you that we have suffered also at their hands, for example, in 1993, many of our supporters were killed by the army on orders from the Syrians, because we openly defied Syria. However, the importance of the resistance to Israeli occupation, and our absolute preoccupation with it meant that we would not be able to open another front, whoever that front might've been. Moreover, Assad himself is not the one who was behind much of the crimes that the Syrians committed against our people; rather, people like Ghazi Ken'an, Rostom Ghazale, & co., were the ones who had the keys to Lebanon, and in many cases Assad was not even aware of what was going on, as he was deliberately kept in the dark (also provides clues as to who might've been behind the Hariri assassination if it was indeed Syrian elements - Khaddam, Ghazi Ken'an, etc. - the old guard).

Please do not compare bombing with F-16s to firing Katyushas, especially that our Katyushas were fired merely in RETALIATION for the cowardly F-16 attacks on our people; it says quite a lot that the Israelis, with all their guided missiles of F-16s have killed more civilians than we have, even though as I have stated earlier we could DEFINITELY have exacted heavy civilian casualties.

We do not rely on the restraint of our enemy; rather, we take it pretty much for granted. The only thing that we assume is that the enemy would not be stupid enough to massacre our people in broad daylight whereas we hit its battleships, helicopters, and tanks (I see why apologists for Israel never actually bring up these hits). Even then, we cannot provide shelter to civilians, as that would not be feasible; that is the task of the government anyway (they are desperately trying to frame the state-within-a-state argument in terms of the endless chicken-or-the-egg game, but this is not really the case; Hizbullah rose from the absence of the state and its authority and services, and the state continues to be absent, and by state I do not refer to the army, but the institutions).

Finally, as MJT pointed out Israel can kill 1000 random Lebanese in 5 minutes if it chooses to. Its F16 can turn southern Lebanon literally uninhabitable (why bombing with F16 is cowardly but firing Katyushas is not?). Don't you think there is something flawed in a military strategy that relies on the relative restraint of your enemy, an enemy that moreover you hold to be evil and without scruples?

Rest assured, however, when rebuilding our villages, we will take the things we learned from the July war, and put them into constructive use.

Eu:

AG, thank you for your reply. I appreciate your willingness to talk and listen, especially on such a charged subject. I have given up in frustration on discussions with people whose views I found far less extreme than yours, simply because they could not engage in honest debate.

You said:
"Forgiveness does not happen overnight [...], and reconciliation takes a lot of effort [...]"

I accept that. But forgiveness won't happen when both sides are still fighting either. Some 100.000 people died in the civil war, most of whom were not killed by Israelis. I don't know of any of those responsible, many of whom still hold leadership positions, apologizing. Lebanese of all sects suffered, and I'm sure not all is forgiven. Your country is still recovering from the carnage, and of course that takes time. Bur crucially, you have agreed to stop killing each other, and I think we can all agree that was a good thing. Why should the Israelis, uniquely, be excluded from this process whereby cessation of violence leads to acceptance, and acceptance leads eventually to forgiveness?

"[as for] Lebanese criminals, indeed I call for their incarceration and trial for crimes against humanity"
Agreed! But you are not at war with the factions they lead either.

Even if at some stage it was necessary to focus solely on the Israeli occupation, it ended in 2000 (except, possibly, in the SF). Surely from then on Syria became the main oppressor of the Lebanese? Damascus ruled over your country, assassinated people who dared to disagree, and to this day holds an unspecified number of Lebanese prisioners, and refuses to demarcate your common border (a step that could easily solve the Sheeba controversy in your favour). And yet HA not only failed to object (let alone oppose these things militarily), it allied with Syria agaisnt those who did!

I don't buy this 'Assad did not know' thing. But even if this is true, the fact remains that the real rulers of Syria are going around murdering Lebanese. Whether Assad is counted among their number or not is immaterial.

"because people (some sides more than others) are more willing to shoot than talk"

I agree! I would just add that there seems to be plenty of those on HA. The fact that HA feels it needs to kidnap Israeli soldiers to trade for prisoners and the SF is evidence that there is nothing else it is willing to offer. If HA (or, more appropriately, the Lebanese government with HA support) offered a permanent cease-fire, recognition of Israel right to exist, and accepted the UN demarcation as the border between both countries, I'm sure Israel would agree to give up the SF and to exchange all prisoners (even Samir Kuntar, though that creep does not deserve to be freed). Even if you disagree with my assessment of Israel's intentions, surely it is worth trying.

"But [HA is] willing to negotiate a truce and other details, indirectly of course"
Why indirectly? If you can get all you want from negotiations, why not do it openly? I always assumed this was the because because neither HA nor Israel was willing to accept the other's legitimacy. But surely if such a truce is worth the paper it would be written, surely HA must accept Israel's right to exist south of the Blue Line and west of the Green line? Israel likewise must accept HA as a legitimate Lebanese party.

"[...] our Katyushas were fired merely in RETALIATION for the cowardly F-16 attacks [...]"

The F16 attacks were also retaliation for
something else. Which was in its turn retaliation for some other thing. And so on and so forth.

In any case, firing Katyushas indiscriminately against built up areas is immoral. The fact that Israelis also comitted crimes is no excuse.

"[...]it says quite a lot that the Israelis, with all their guided missiles of F-16s have killed more civilians than we have, even though as I have stated earlier we could DEFINITELY have exacted heavy civilian casualties."

How? Could you fire more missiles than you did? They were too imprecise to aim for anything smaller than a city, how could you improve their letality?

"We take it pretty much for granted that they would defy all reasonable restraints."

The Israelis could have destroyed every power station, every dam and water treatment plant, obliterated the airport terminals and knocked down every high rise in Beirut. Think Hama 82, or Grozny 95, or even Caen 44. There would have little you could do if these things happened. This of course is no excuses for some of the things they effectively did, but they could do much worse, and chose not too. However imperfect, the Israelis had some restraints, on which HA bet the very physical existence Lebanon.

"Even then, we cannot provide shelter to civilians, as that would not be feasible"

You could spare some of your state-of-the-art bunker-building abilities to get them some proper shelters. It surely beats dying in stairwells.

"Rest assured, however, when rebuilding our villages, we will take the things we learned from the July war, and put them into constructive use."

Please do. But learn the right lessons. The last thing your countrymen need right now is another victory like that.

Ele:

Forgiveness won't happen when we are fighting; isn't this the dilemma in all conflicts? At any rate, the focus should be on smaller issues, things that might seem insigifnicant but which provoke hostilities and more hatred.

The Lebanese are from agreeing on stopping killing each other; they are as resolved to killing each other if that means they will get rid of the other viewpoint. As for comparing this to Israel, I would say the comparison does not hold; while we do have to live with other Lebanese, we do not have to deal with the Israelis. In fact there is a strong argument against the normalization of economic ties with Israel because that would greatly harm domestic agriculture and industries.

I think it's also important to clear this up; Syria are not our allies (vice versa). We have relations, mutual understandings, but not alliance; where did anyone see any alliance? We have had many fallouts with Syria exactly because our diplomatic/political relationship was based on an equal footing (though control of the state and the army apparatus effectively meant that they were the masters of the country, and fighting against them would have necessitated fighting against the army). At any rate, whom did Syria assassinate?

On the contrary, we at Hizbullah are organized and do not - have not at any point - violated orders. There is full control within the ranks. Not one rocket will leave our launchers without the knowledge and approval of our local units and commanders. Not one bullet would be fired until we are given the green light to do so. I will not elaborate more, but I think our great show of discipline speaks more than words can do it justice.

We - Hizbullah and the Lebanese government - have offered permanent ceasefire and accepted UN demarcation (the demarcation took place and the blue line was the result; we even accepted the Israeli encroachment onto Lebanese territory at Misgav 'Am, which we did not have to accept, technically, and could refuse if we wanted to), but have stopped short of recognizing Israel's right to exist; this is as I said part of the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and Lebanon cannot possibly take a stand independent of other countries' positions. Primarily the internal scene would not allow it either.

Indirect negotiations because we do not wish to give Israel something that it has done nothing to deserve, namely recognition of its right to exist. Why would we recognize a state that adopts terrorism as a way of life? Don't they justify their non-recognition based on this too? What would they lose if they recognize us? They even deny that we have a support base; I guess they started believing their own lies after all.

The Katyushas were not indiscriminate; they were fired with coordinates. Being unguided, however, if they fell elsewhere, or that the Israelis did not listen to their governments warnings to stay indoors, that has not been our intention. The same cannot be said for Israel, the same country that was proven to have deliberately targeted the UNIFIL compound at Qana in 1996, killing 102 civilians.
In war, people die, remember? Or does that apply only to us?

As for how we could've exacted hevay civilian casualties, I would leave it open for your speculation (because not everything can be said). However, I can assure you, on my own honour, that we could've done what I am saying, and did not. Feel free to doubt it, or accuse me of lying, as I am sure many will.

Eu:

AG, thank you for the reply

The Lebanese are [far?] from agreeing on stopping killing each other; they are as resolved to killing each other if that means they will get rid of the other viewpoint.

You are of course in a far better position to judge this than I, but the fact remains they are not killing each other in large numbers at the moment. They do not find it imperative to keep on fighting despite their enduring mutual hate. Thus, in this case practical considerations of peace and self-preservations trump old hatreds.

As for comparing this to Israel, I would say the comparison does not hold; while we do have to live with other Lebanese, we do not have to deal with the Israelis."

Yes you do. You may choose not to trade with the Israelis, but in a war you will be forced to deal with them. Fighting the Israelis (who are not exactly a continent away) brings about death and suffering with no end in sight, just like fighting your fellow Lebanese would. Thus the practical imperatives not to fight are the same if differences can at all be resolved or papered over.

In fact there is a strong argument against the normalization of economic ties with Israel because that would greatly harm domestic agriculture and industries

Fair enough, trading or not is your prerogative, but surely bombs are far more more damaging to your economy.

I think it's also important to clear this up; Syria are not our allies (vice versa). [...] At any rate, whom did Syria assassinate?

You are currently in an alliance, even if just one of convenience. In any case, by the criteria you set forth (occupation, prisoners, violation of sovereignty) they ought to be your sworn enemies. Even if you do not want to fight them militarily, directly or by proxy (although you do take on the IDF, a much harder nut to crack, so to speak), surely there should be some serious pressure to resolve these issues, and I can see none. As I said, demarcation of your common borders (implying Syrian de jure acceptance of Lebanese sovereignty) is not only a worthwhile goal in itself, it will all but guarantee the Israelis will leave the SF.

As for the assassinations, I find it hard to believe that those critical of Syria just happen to blow up spontaneously. In any case, you mentioned earlier a number of HA member executed by the Syrians. Surely that was murder?

We - Hizbullah and the Lebanese government - have offered permanent ceasefire and accepted UN demarcation [...]

My understanding is that HA did not accept the demarcation, which held the SF were Syrian, and after the Israelis pulled that uninhabited piece of land no one had ever heard of before was turned into a reason to continue the resistance. If Nasrallah is offering any sort of permanent cease fire now, he is being exceedingly subtle about it.

[...] have stopped short of recognizing Israel's right to exist; this is as I said part of the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and Lebanon cannot possibly take a stand independent of other countries' positions. Primarily the internal scene would not allow it either.
Why must Lebanon, and Lebanon only, be held at ransom of all the other countries' diplomacy? The Egyptians and Jordanians took an independent stand and have enjoyed peace ever since. The Syrian sat on their asses while you where fighting, and still you are expected to remain in a state of perpetual conflict until they get the Golan back. And if your internal scene cannot countenance the idea of genuine peace, then I'm sorry but you should get ready for rounds 2, 3, 4...n. You can't reject both peace and war and expect the universe to comply and come up with a third option.
Indirect negotiations because we do not wish to give Israel something that it has done nothing to deserve, namely recognition of its right to exist. Why would we recognize a state that adopts terrorism as a way of life? Don't they justify their non-recognition based on this too?
You do not have to do anything to have a right to exist. Many countries did far worse that the Israelis and have not forfeited this right. As far as I know, Israel accepts Lebanon's right to exist too.

Now, what is the point of negotiating if the other side does not accept your right to exist in the first place? It is like saying to someone you want to share a flat with him but you do not accept his right to live there.

This is basic, you do not have to accept any Israeli claims to the West Bank, or agree to resettle the Palestinians in Lebanon, or anything. You just agree to end the fighting, and accept the fellow down south as your neighbors. You give up nothing, and gain a a great deal. Peace between Lebanon and Israel is not a zero-sum game.

What would they lose if they recognize us? They even deny that we have a support base; I guess they started believing their own lies after all.

Nothing, I suppose, although it is hard to imagine them recognizing a movement that refuses to recognize them as a country. And yet, you are the one that ruled out direct negotiations.

The Katyushas were not indiscriminate; they were fired with coordinates. Being unguided, however, if they fell elsewhere, or that the Israelis did not listen to their governments warnings to stay indoors, that has not been our intention.

Come on! Israel could (did) claim with far greater propriety that Lebanese civilians should have heeded the call to evacuate, and that bombs sometimes miss their targets, and sometimes the targets are wrong. This is true, and still does not justify all of their actions. When they fired all those cluster bombs, they knew as HA did with the K. did that no matter how legitimate the aim point was civilians would be greatly harmed because this weapon was effectively unguided. They should not get away with it, and neither should HA.

HA's claim to have fired missiles at a city with no intention of harming civilians, on the off chance it may hit a soldier somewhere, is simply not credible, and would not be morally acceptable even if true.

As for how we could've exacted hevay civilian casualties [...] I can assure you, on my own honour, that we could've done what I am saying, and did not. [...]

Fair enough. But then accept that the Israelis could also have done far, far worse and did not.

Eu (em relação a uma resposta dela para outra pessoa)

AlG:
"especially ones that are willing to risk bringing Syria back to Lebanon for their adventures in regime change in other countries, whose affairs are none of our business."

Can you be more clear? I genuinely do not understand who you are talking about in the paragraph above.

While we are at it, what is your opinion on the court that is being set up to try the Hariri killers?

Ele:

Bruno,

I am referring to feudal chieftain Walid Jumblatt, Saudi billionaire Sa'ad el Hariri (Rafiq el-Hariri's son) who does not know how to speak proper Arabic (I wonder what language he speaks in??), and warlord Samir Geagea, and their minions. These people continue to lead a self-destructive (by self I am referring to Lebanon of course; though they would see to it that if they are to go down, Lebanon would go down with them) policy of provocation against Syria. Jumblatt and Hariri have openly expressed the wish to see a regime change in Syria, and the replacement of the Alawite leadership with a Sunni one. They also hailed Khaddam's defection and exile; this guy Khaddam was one of the chief architects of Syria's presence and continuation (and oppression) in Lebanon. He was, and continues to be, their ally, hero, whatever you want to call him.

The court... is a joke. A joke because it is a travesty of justice. Nevertheless, we do not oppose it. But we say, let those who are concerned with crimes also hold investigations into and trial of the perpetrators of the assassination of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, attempt to assassinate Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah (80 civilians killed instead), disappearance of Imam Mussa al-Sadr, assassination of Samir Qassir, assassination of Mr. Gebran Tueni, Mr. Georges Hawi (Lebanese Communist Party), assasination of Sayyed Abbas Al-Mussawi and his family, Mr. Elie Hobeika, Mr. Dany Chamoun and his family, and countless other figures, not to mention the civilians who were killed by these same people who are calling for the court.

Eu (novamente respon

AlG, you said [em outro comentário]:
"I also have knowledge of some things that supporters otherwise do not."

Should you be bragging about it then?

About the Palestinian refugees, you consider it an imperative that they be disarmed, and that they do not become naturalized. I believe these are reasonable concerns, but don't you think allowing them decent living conditions (instead of penning them into squalid camps where 'permanent constructions are not allowed') would go a long way towards bringing about such disarmament?

Still on the subject of the Palestinians, why should they settle in a country to which they (obviously, and rightly) hold no allegiance? Because a corolary of the implementation of the 'right of return' is that they would have to somehow become Israelis. Since we both seem to agree that there should be an independent Palestine alongside Israel, to me its obvious that these people should return (or go) to their own country, not to that of their erstwhile enemies, even if their ancestors happened to have lived there.

The two sides could agree on compensations, and even on the acceptance of the RoR in principle but not in practice (i.e., agree that although thae have a right to go back to their former homes, these no longer exist in any meaningful way, so they'll get the next best thing: to go back to their own homeland with an apology and enough money to start over). Whaddyathink?

Ele:

Bruno,

Should you be bragging about it then?
No; I was not bragging; I don't believe in vain pride. I was only stating a fact, which does make a difference. It's one thing to talk with someone who has his information from hearsay or some book, it's another to talk with someone who has a certain degree of internal knowledge albeit he would not say anything that would jeopordize anyone's or the party's wellbeing. I thought that was pretty clear. Where did the accusation of bragging come from?

Regarding Palestinian refugees, their disarmament should be coupled by giving them more rights though not naturalizing them because that would pretty much mean giving up on the right of return. So basically the right to work, and so on. Anyway, there are a number of Palestinians who were in fact naturalized because they were Christians, and if we are to be fair, their citizenship should be revoked.

What the country they are returning to is called is irrelevant, and who lives there today is irrelevant too. This is not 1920 when the native Palestinians were disgusted with the "western" lifestyle that the Jewish settlers brought with them from Europe. They have come to accept this lifestyle themselves, they have become pretty urbanized and if you like, westernized. The Israelis themselves have accepted some aspects of the local traditions and culture. Anyway, these people care about returning to their ancestral lands, and putting an end to the suffering (especially the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who suffered A LOT during the 1975-1990 war). By the same token the Palestinian citizens of Israel are loyal to the state and co-exist with their neighbours, though they are not exactly treated as equals. They have learned to address their grievances through institutions and legal means. For example the "ADALAH" legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, also other joint Jewish-Palestinian projects like Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Ta'ayush, and even a political party with mixed leadership and support base, the Hadash/al-Jabha. A large number of Palestinian citizens of Israel prefer to give their vote to Labor than to Arab parties.

Yes, returning to their "homes" means returning to the land, these homes most probably no longer exist; entire villages have been completely wiped out, often replaced with Kibbutzim and often not replaced with anything, they are just no longer there (by the way, there is also a joint Palestinian-Israeli initiative for raising awareness of this issue in Israel, and every year there are tours to areas where villages used to stand and were wiped out during the "nakba" the catastrophe). So these people can be given meaningful sums (maybe contributed to, in addition to Israeli payments, by Arab countries and also Britain whose role in creating the Arab-Israeli conflict should not dismissed or forgotten) to start over again. You will find, that if and when this is done, this will be met by absolute goodwill on the part of the returning refugees, rather than "revenge" attacks, etc. One can always say that these could be merely "acting" and waiting for the right time, but such an attitude would mean that no trust is forthcoming, and where there is no trust, there is no solution to any conflict, because reconciliation would be impossible.

Eu:

AlG:

"Should you be bragging about it then?

No; I was not bragging; I don't believe in vain pride. I was only stating a fact [...]"

You should say you are just a humble gardner or something like that, even as you plant bugs on the knesset during the night or mass produce katyushas in your backyard. That would definitely enhance your aura as an international man of mystery.

PS: This is a joke. HA knows everything about jokes, they have long studied the jokes of its enemies, and should not be underestimated.

PS2: This too is a joke. I'll give you a serious answer to the remainder of your post after I eat something and the hallucinations stop.

PS3: err...
[humor não é o ponto forte do HA. Eu estava parodiando a tendencia que ele tem de afirmar que o HA sabe sobre tudo, está sempre certoque não deve ser subestimado, yadayadayada. Falando um pouco mais sério, eu continuo:]

AlG: "Yes, returning to their "homes" means returning to the land, these homes most probably no longer exist; entire villages have been completely wiped out, often replaced with Kibbutzim [...]"

But it goes beyond that. They were a community that was uprooted and largely replaced with another. Today their culture survives in the camps in exile and among their brehtrem in the WB & Gaza; but if they were to return to Israel, they would remain strangers in what is effectively someonelse's land, or they would make the Israeli Jews strangers in their own homeland. In either case its too high a price to pay to stick to an absolutist point of principle. Their home, and place of residence, should be an independent Palestine.

You say you support Tsedek's husband's family right of return to wherever they were expelled from (but are you willing to fight for it, putting your own country on the line?). From what I gather they have found a home in Israel; while their former home elsewhere no longer exists. I don't see what good could come from a 'return' in this case. Recognizing this new reality does not imply forgeting or minimizing past injustices.

This insistence on an absolute right of return serves no good purpose (there are plenty of bad, cynical purposes though), it just helps to prolong the sufering. And I find it somewhat cynical that some Lebanese profess a total support of Palestinian aspirations even as they deny the Palestinians residing in their own country the most basic living conditions.

Lira, the Lebanese are not responsible for what Israelis did 50+ years ago. But they are responsible for treating the refugees residing in Lebanon humanely today. Blaming Israel for whatever is not a get out of jail card, you still are responsible for your own actions.

E ele:

Bruno, i agree that the Palestinians are treated badly and should be treated equally, but they should not be naturalized because that would mean giving up their right of return. also, if some people have chosen not to fight for returning to their homeland it does not mean that others should adopt their worldview. what you say about the palestinians being unable to fit in and being alienated or alienating the jews is not true, and even if true it is not a good enough excuse to violate their right of return.

the christian palestinians who were naturalized and also the armenian christians and non-lebanese sunnis should be de-naturalized.

Este útimo ponto dele é uma receita garantida de guerra civil, além de ser uma ideia particularmente repelente. De novo, o imperativo no caso é manter a pluralidade demográfica xiita emergente.

Em referência a comentários dele sobre a sua suposta vitória neta guerra, e como todos os seus objetivos serão atingidos se não desta vez então na próxima, ou na logo em seguida, etc, eu disse:

To quote Monty Pyhton:

"Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what you're gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands."

I'm sorry AlG, but that is how you sound like at the moment.

e também:
Another thing:
"First, they were not war crimes, as they were not unprovoked,"
They remain war crimes even if committed in response to another crime. Why is it that warring parts in the ME act as if the crimes by one's enemies excuses one's own?
e em referencia a suposta intenção israelense de roubar as aguas do rio Litani (no sul do Líbano):

AlG,the Litani stayed there from the armistice in 49 to the Cairo agreeement in 69. Doesn't it strike you as odd that during that time, when there was no effective force to oppose them, the Israelis didn't attempt an invasion*? They only seem to attack when there is someone to shoot back, be it the Palestinians or you. Must be some bizarre jewish notion o sportsmanship...

I think you will find that most if not all commenters here think the occupation of Lebanon from 1982-2000 was a lousy idea. But it ended, and it seems HA has been desperately looking for excuses to keep violence alive ever since. Seriously, you had to dredge up something Ben Gurion said in 1919!



E é isso. A discussão continua no blog do Micheal Totten.

12 comentários:

Viuvas do Rafael Cury disse...

espero que a nossa saude nao sofra tanto com nossas noites mal dormidas.

Paula disse...

Bruno, vim dar uma olhadinha. Como está a sua @$%#%@* de tese?
Então você faz isso também? Deixa um tema para desenvolver depois?
É bom que obriga a gente a escrever. Eu venho cobrar a conversa com o Hizbolla.

Paula disse...

Bruno,
dei uma olhada. Que interessante! Jornalismo via Blog. Entristece a falta de disposição em sentar para conversar. Acho que enquanto a postura for esta fica muito difícil. Confesso que parei de me prestar muita atenção nas questões do Oriente Médio. Dá uma sensação de impasse ou beco sem saída que dá até tristeza. Pelo que eu vi lá no Blog do Totten a discussão tá quente. Mas eu volto depois para ler com mais calma.

|3run0 disse...

Obrigado Paula. Uma faceta interessante desta última guerra foi a interação entre as blogosferas israelense e libanesa. Uma interação que não foi na sua maior parte hostil. Dá para ver que de ambos os lados não existe uniformidade de pensamente ou discurso.

Viuvas do Rafael Cury disse...

nao existe uniformidade nenhuma nem dentro do proprio libano. Na verdade, o que as pessoas nao conseguem entender sobre o Libano e' que nao se trata de um pais, mas de um conglomerado de pequenas tribos. Minha familia, por exemplo, nao se sente minimamente ligada ao Pais enquanto nação, mas ao pequeno vilarejo ao sul de Tripoli de onde vieram meus avos...

|3run0 disse...

Rafa, concordo com vc, esta tribalização é a grande tragédia do Libano. Ao longo de sua história os vários grupos se aliaram à potências externas mais poderosas (Israel, Siria, Arabia Saudita, Irã, EUA, França, etc.) contra os seus inimigos etnico-religiosos locais, e por isso o Líbano foi e é o campo de batalha para as guerras 'por procuração' das tais potências.

Paula disse...

Bruno,
Admiro muito a sua preocupação com os países islâmicos. É realmente uma problemática que levará muito tempo para ser resolvida. Vi você lá no Weblog falando a respeito do Afeganistão e você sempre faz um comentário bastante embasado. Aprendo muito com você. Só fico curiosa de você não postar sobre a sua área, física. Venho aqui e penso, hoje vai ter... não tem...:) Gosto de interdiciplinariedade também. Atualmente é a única via possível. Claro, se atendo à estudar a nossa área para não dispersar e procurar se informar sobre as outras. Um abração.

|3run0 disse...

Paula, o problema é que física, pelo menos no que concerne a minha tese, é atualmente um assunto meio doloroso (e embaraçoso, considerando o quanto estou atrasado).

Veja o Rafa aí em cima. Ele também está terminando o doutorado (em engenharia metalúrgica), e fica postando receitas de crepes no blog dele ;-).

Quando essa desgraça terminar, prometo falar mais de cosmologia.

Anônimo disse...

O bruno, e o trabalho, como vai?

A cecília sabe que vc anda com terroristas?

|3run0 disse...

Anon, o trabalho anda bem, agora que enviamos a ultima revisão do último artigo para a revista (ele foi aceito em um prazo recorde de 3 dias. Acho que assustamos o referee...).

Quanto a Ceci, acho que a essa altura do campeonato ela não se assusta com mais nada do que eu faço.

Paula disse...

Bruno,
Estou no Rio sim. Obrigada pelo link. Eu bem que desconfiava, e este Anon me confirmou, que você anda com terroristas. Entendi tudo. Mas, por favor, nunca chegue a homem-bomba. Afinal de contas você tem uma tese para terminar. Imagino que seja sobre novas bombas que não matam o homem mas destróem tudo ao redor.

pedro leite ribeiro disse...

Bruno:
A propósito de liberdade de expressão, deixo-lhe aqui o link de um blog que, acho eu, deve ser visitado:
http://alcineacavalcante.blogspot.com/
É um dos blogs nomeados pela Deutsche Welle, o único de língua portuguesa (Brasileiro).
P.S.: Os seus comentários são sempre muito apreciados, pela informação acrescida, pelo apontar de outras perspectivas, pelo enriquecimento que trazem aos posts! E então agora que andam por lá (no meu blog) umas coisas esquisitas que nem eu entendo, muito mais!