Posted by: sean | July 14, 2006

Strikes in Beirut

It’s a quarter to five, and I just woke up. I thought I heard a loud noise but then wasn’t sure. Now I’m sure there was an explosion. It sounds like neighbors pulling down their garage door fast. I’m pretty sure that it sounds like that, because it’s not very close, because I can’t see anything, except for people waking up to go outside and look around. I assume that the Israelis have hit Dahiye again, the Shi’ite suburb to the south of the airport. I’m watching al-Jazeera now, and it’s showing the bomb scene in Beirut (or maybe it was just a sonic boom?), but I can’t make out the neighborhood, because my Arabic isn’t good enough to keep up with the scrolling headlines. There is a picture of a young man in his early twenties or late teens. He’s covered in blood, but he seems to be unhurt, so it’s hard to tell if it’s someone else’s blood or if it’s his.

I’m sure that the news will get to the English language channels in a few hours. Last night, the airport was hit again. Other targets include the main road from the airport to the south and the road from Beirut to Damascus. I don’t know if any people were killed on the way to Damascus, but Israel has confirmed hitting the road five times, and I know a lot of people were taking that road, because it’s pretty much the only way out of the country since the ports have been blockaded and the airport closed. Apparently the fuel stores at the Jiyyeh power plant south of the city was also hit.

All of the Israeli talking heads keep talking about cutting off supply lines for Syria, but this is absurd. We all know where Hizbollah’s money and weapons come from: Syria. Hitting the airport and blockading the ports, effectively trapping everyone inside Lebanon, is meant to make a point to Beirut: look what we can do.

I think the latest attacks are over, so I’m going to try to go back to bed. I haven’t gotten much sleep in the last day or two. Here’s a map that shows (circled and in red) where I am in Beirut and where the airport is. Compared to American cities, or even Paris, Beirut is a small city.


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