palestine journal: 2 august
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here is a journal sent from Hanady Salman, editor of the Lebanese paper As-Safir.....
I feel I could have written it myself.
"We write the news while crying", she says.
hey, aren't we reporters supposed to be able to 'separate themselves' from their
story....de-personalize it? I mean, we're supposed to be 'objective', "not take
somehow though.....we just can't keep from crying.
and the ambulance workers, trying their best to hold themselves together - they need
to think straight, to mend bodies, to fix wounds.....
look at the pain in this picture:
....as the ambulance worker cradles the head of the tiny child's body....pobably the
twentieth he's pulled from the rubble that morning (yesterday in Qana)......he's
trying so hard to hold it in, to be able to keep doing his job.......
imagine if that was your child.
here is hanady's journal:
Beirut , august the 1st , 2006
So July is over. Now it's Beirut, August 2006.
I don't know if any of you are reporters who covered wars in their homeland.
But it's really weird, somehow "funny".
Editors crying while reading their reporters' stories, photographers breaking down,
colleagues calling their kids in the middle of the night after seeing pictures from
the south, weird sounds during editorial meetings ( you know how men like to hide
their tears and emotions), women wearing black as a "natural reflex", men growing
the beards, even our publisher doesn't wear suits anymore.
People are sleeping here [in the newspaper's offices], somewhere in the basement.
Women sleep in the nearby furnished apartment building.
In the morning, we don't greet each other anymore; we just look deep into each
other's eyes. Some turn their faces away, some lecture about the necessity of being
strong. We touch each other a lot. Hugs here, holding hands there, a mere tap on the
shoulder.. you name it.
People stay around each other. No one likes to stay alone in an office. We order
food and eat together. But we never talk about anything concerning what's happening.
We watch the news together, we weep, we smile, but we don't say anything and then we
get back to work. Someone goes out , the only question I ask them when they get back
is : how many words , and when will you be done. No details, no one wants to tell
what they see, no one wants to hear it. We write while crying, we read it and cry,
but we never talk about it.
Saada had tears in her eyes yesterday in her office. I came in and spoke to her and
she answered back and her tears kept coming but we both behaved as if nothing was
happening. I didn't see her tears, and she wasn't crying.
Zeinab called me from Tyre yesterday. She was in the hospital. She was telling me
something about her story and then suddenly she started yelling "you can't believe
what's happening here, you won't believe what's happening here, oh Hanady please
khalas [enough], please I can't take it anymore." And then, suddenly also, she
stopped, went back to her normal tone of voice and finished our "professional
Yesterday Wajdi and Ali decided to take me out to the sea side. They almost dragged
me out of the office, put me in the car and drove through Hamra to the Corniche. I
was looking at the streets, the houses, the cars, the shops as if I see them for the
I hadn't been to Hamra ever since this had started. I go out to the southern suburb
to check out the damages, I go to schools and parks where refugees stay, but
otherwise I stay in the office and go home.
So, we went to the Manara Corniche, they got me coffee, we sat on a bench and they
started making plans for when this will be over. They agreed they should take their
families to Sharm El Sheikh, in Sinai, Egypt. There, the kids will swim, and they
will get to rest. I told them that the whole newspaper should take a week off, when
this is over, to rest. So they suggested we all go together to Sharm el Sheikh. I
said I'm renting a whole floor in the hospital for psychiatric patients there,
called "Assfouriyeh". They suggested I make reservations now, because at the end of
the war, room prices in Assfouriyeh will rise. They spoke as if they were certain
this will end before the summer is over, as if they were certain Sharm el Sheikh
still exists, as if they were certain that outside this country , life is still
I always thought that I had a limited mind. For me life happens only here and now.
I want to add this article about Bush at the G8.....I received it by email, and I
don't know the original source, so if you do, tell me so I can cite it.
I know, I know, I've already written about Bush's 'Yo Blair!' conversation captured
by cameras at the G8 summit in Russia several weeks ago. But as I think of this
nightmare scenario Israel is pulling the Middle East into, with the U.S. at their
side, ready and willing to carry out whatever massacres are necessary to keep their
foothold in the region, and keep on "bringin' home the oil" to preserve the
"American way of life" at the expense of the rest of the world.......I just want to
reiterate my call that somebody, SOMEBODY over there in the U.S. get their act
together and impeach this guy, AND his cabinet....because.... The Emperor Has No
it's weird, I was just reading today in the Israeli media how frightening Olmert
[the Israeli Prime Minister] could turn out to be, as a political functionary with
no military background, who has followed the term of a Mighty Military Man (Ariel
Sharon - known in the Arab world as the man behind the massacre in Sabra and Chatila
in Lebanon in the early eighties when he was a General in that war), and feels like
he has something to prove (ie. that he can fight wars too)....
(see http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/744061.html )
and I realized that Bush is that way too......not only does he have no military
background (or brains, for that matter), but he feels he has to "outdo his
daddy"....ie. He REALLY has 'something to prove' (and iraqis and afghanis have
really been paying a heavy price...their lives. close to 40,000, at last count.
but I guess, for a boost to bush's ego, 'the price is worth it').
The Ugly Truth: Our President is an Imbecile
You know it, I know it and the American people know it. But everyone is afraid to
say it. They say it privately, but people are afraid of saying it publicly because
you will be branded as a liberal, elite, intellectual snob. But believe me, you
don't have to be an intellectual to see how painfully stupid our president is.
Just look at the conversation he is having with world leaders at the G-8 summit.
Mikes picked up the causal talk between the world leaders. Forget that Bush appears
to have three sandwiches in his mouth while talking. Forget that he calls out to the
Prime Minister of Britain as if he is Flounder in "Animal House." Forget that he
uses profanity. I don't give a shit about those things.
I thought it was ridiculous that people made fun of George H. W, Bush for vomiting
on the Japanese Prime Minister. What was he going to do? He had to puke, so he
puked. It happens to the best of us, and more importantly, has nothing to do with
his intelligence or how capable he is as a leader.
But his son's verbal vomit does have a lot to do with his ability to lead this
country and the world. What I found to be the most damning is the least quoted part
of Bush's comments. As you read this transcript, remember that this is not a small
child talking, but the President of the United States of America: The camera is
focused elsewhere and it is not clear whom Bush is talking to, but possibly Chinese
President Hu Jintao, a guest at the summit.
Bush: "Gotta go home. Got something to do tonight. Go to the airport, get on the
airplane and go home. How about you? Where are you going? Home? Bush: "This is your
neighborhood. It doesn't take you long to get home. How long does it take you to get
Reply is inaudible.
Bush: "Eight hours? Me too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country."
At this point, the president seems to bring someone else into the conversation.
Bush: "It takes him eight hours to fly home." He turns his attention to a server.
Bush: "No, Diet Coke, Diet Coke."
He turns back to whomever he was talking with.
Bush: "It takes him eight hours to fly home. Eight hours. Russia's big and so is
Russia's big and so is China??????? This guys sounds like a third grader. Do you
know anyone who would have a conversation like this with their neighbor, let alone a
business associate, let alone a world leader? Who's proud to know that Russia is big
and so is China?
Can anyone now credibly claim that Bush is secretly working on a master plan behind
the scenes and that he's just playing cowboy for the cameras? I hope the master plan
doesn't involve figuring out how long it takes to get to China.
If someone is this ignorant, they're usually embarrassed and try not to talk much.
But this guy is so dumb he has no idea how dumb he is. This sounds like a
conversation you might have with a child, a mentally challenged child. Johnny, do
you know how big Russia is? How about China? This would all be unfortunate if George
was your dentist, or worse yet, your accountant. But he is the leader of the free
world. This man makes life or death decisions every day. If you say you're not
scared about that, you're lying.
Would you let him do the books for your business? Would you trust your company in
his hands for eight years? (No matter how Republican you are, you know you just said
no to that question.) Would you trust him to be your kids' guidance counselor and
take his advice seriously? If your kids were in the Army and he was their field
commander, would you feel good about putting their lives in his hands?
Come on, no one is crazy enough to say yes to that. Yet, he has all of our lives in
his hands. The emperor has no clothes. The emperor has no clothes. It's about time
someone in the mainstream media said it.
In the old empires, there would be a lot of marriages between the royal families.
And from time to time, these inter-family marriages would produce a mentally
challenged son who would inherit the throne. This would set the empire back for
hundreds of years. I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying. Russia is big and so is
The Democrats for a long time have felt embarrassed about pointing out the obvious.
The emperor has no brain. This is what I can't understand about the Democrats,
they're always playing patty cakes while the Republicans are ripping their face off.
John Kerry should have stood at the lectern during the debates and pointed to George
Bush and said, "The leader of this country has to be the best and the brightest. If
any of you think that he is the best and the brightest America has to offer, go
ahead and vote for him!" The theory is that people would be turned off by that. The
theory assumes that people are also idiots and they love their cohorts. That is
simply not true.
Everyone understands that they have a friend they'd like to go fishing with and a
friend they can trust to look after their affairs - and they're not necessarily the
same guy. And that your fishing buddy might not be a great choice for President of
the United States of America.
Kerry should have embarrassed Bush, made people feel sorry for him. It would have
hurt in the short run and given him a temporary downward blip in the numbers, but in
the end, when people went into that voting booth, they would have felt pity for Bush
- in that scenario, Kerry wins easily. Nobody votes for someone they pity.
Unfortunately, right now we are in the position of being pitied by the rest of the
world. We have a third grader for a President. And worse yet, the Vice President has
him convinced he is the second coming of Winston Churchill. Scared yet?
the story of one of the 175 killed this month, 5000 killed in the last five years,
link to www.imemc.org
an interview I did with one of thousands of Palestinian-Americans living in the West
Bank who have been the targets of what appears to be a new Israeli policy denying
them re-entry status into Palestine:
link to www.imemc.org
Ministry of Health report on the ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza:
link to www.imemc.org
"Condi's New Middle East":
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