Posted by: sean | July 14, 2006

One more exit route bombed and Saida shelled by sea

I’m more awake now after a couple of hours of sleep. It looks like what woke me up this morning was the tail end of last night’s attack this morning. Saida was shelled last night from the sea, while Dahiye (southern suburb of Beirut controlled by Hizbollah) was hit again, along with the road to Damascus and the airport.

Dan Halutz, chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, has said that Israel will “take Lebanon back 20 years.” Beirut in 1986 was not a good place to be. If you have any doubts about that, a quick look at Robert Fisk’s journalism from the period will change your mind.

The electricity went out earlier this morning, but only for a minute or two. I’m a little worried about the Israelis are going to start destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure, which would mean that I’d be without electricity.

I went out for a drink last night, where I ran into someone from the British embassy. A discussion with him did not really make me feel any better. He was telling me how many British citizens here have this idea that there must be Black Hawks poised to break the blockade and evacuate the crown’s own. This is not the case. At least not yet. All of the embassies that I’ve spoken to (US, French and UK) have said that the main course of action now is to just wait and see, trying to stay away from areas that might be subject to Israeli shelling. He also told me that travelling to Damascus was a bad idea, since people were driving like fools trying to get to the border, and there’s a chance that the Syrians might turn you back anyway, depending on your passport. Last night’s attack on the road to Syria showed that his advice and my gut feeling against Syria were indeed correct.

Looking at the western press, there’s something that keeps bothering me. I keep hearing that a Hizbollah stronghold has been targeted by Israel. That’s one way of putting it. Another would be the residential Shi’ite suburb of Beirut where Hizbollah has a lot of support, as well as their offices and television station. I can’t help but think that people hear “Hizbollah stronghold” and imagine some sort of a militarty base. This is not the case. Dahiye is a residential suburb where families live and children go to school. Likewise in the south of the country. On one of the bridges that was bombed in the south, you can see the skid marks of a car that didn’t stop in time after the explosion. The car, and everyone in it, fell 50 feet to the ground.

These are the kinds of people that are being harmed:

I’m going to go out and get something to eat, but in the meantime, looking at some of the consequences of this conflict is a good idea.

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