Monday, September 04, 2006

How did they do it?!

Many people compare the recent July war to the Lebanese Civil War, even though there is little similarity between the two. But ultimately both wars have at least one thing in common:

They were both Wars

And you know… War sucks, it’s a terrible experience, and in spite of all its flaws politics remains much better.

Now, I said it clearly and I repeat it again, I was personally very isolated from the war. Jounieh almost didn’t suffer from the war (in comparison with other regions). But still at night, I would stay up late at night listening to the sound of planes in the sky. The sound was low, and even inaudible by day, but it really makes you feel vulnerable. Suppose they shoot! Who will stop them? Hezbollah certainly wouldn’t! I knew that the IDF had no reason to fear us, in Jounieh, but I was scared never the less. I was scared most of all for my brother, he’s just a child, if they shoot somewhere near us (like the port for example) we would be physically safe, but how will we reassure him? I imagined him many times waking up at the sound of bombs… After a few minutes these thoughts become intolerable, knowing that I can do nothing to protect him, knowing that no one is capable and willing to protect us, sometimes it would be better to be born a thoughtless worm in the ground.

I never assumed that Israel would have any concern about the safety of the Lebanese citizens, why should it? Our own politicians don’t care for us. But in the first week, I tried hard to justify the Israeli action, I was positive, I thought this will lead to the disarmament of Hezbollah, the damage is already done, right? I remained positive for a long time, then I just lost it all! I seriously felt sick to my stomach from all this idiocy, it was obviously going no where and it was obvious Hezbollah won’t disarm and it was obvious that there is no place for neither reason nor democracy in this fucked up Middle East! Why do we bother? Why do we still believe?

Today, my opinion remains unchanged: Lebanon’s not worth it. Nothing’s worth dying for, and democratic expression is helpless in the face of radicalisation and extremism.

It took me only 34 days of war to reach this conclusion. I think of my parents, they went through 15 years of war! How did they do it? And most of all, how did they keep their faith in Lebanon? My dad didn’t even try to leave Lebanon until the late 1980s and then when the Ta’ef was signed he decided to stay here. He believed in Lebanon, he still does, in a way. How can they do that?

The other day I asked my mom how they endured the war, she gave me the answer that my dad had given me 3 weeks ago:

What choices did we have? It was fight or die. They wanted our heads

On one hand I do understand their fears, on the other I find it totally irrational. And besides, if reason didn’t convince them of the futility of that war, wouldn’t 15 years of war convince them?

15 years, of death, misery, humiliation, fear, bombings, massacres, displacement… And still they believed in war as the unique option. My mom says that if any civil war explodes in Lebanon again she refuses that we would participate in it, she’d leave Lebanon even if she had to do so by swimming in the sea. My dad never declared his opinion about it, my uncle from my dad’s side (he was permanently disabled during the last week of the war) says he even misses those days. My other uncles from my dad’s side don’t declare any opinion; I think there position would depend on the circumstances. On my mother’s side it’s unanimous, they would all participate in war, and seriously believe they can and will win it (?!).

How can people still believe in war…


shlemazl said...
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shlemazl said...
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shlemazl said...

I take your point and yet I "believe in war". During and prior to WWII a lot of Jews, particularly religious Jews were pacifict. There position was to rely on God. Others relied on England, US, France... Did not do them any good.

Ever since Israel was established, Jews fought to defend themselves and it helped. There are still organizations that want to kill all Jews just as Nazis did, but their success has been rather limited to put it mildly.

Israel has to fight so that medieval or Nazi persecution does not return.

It may be different for groups such as Lebanese Christians, who can simply move to another country without the risk of being persecuted.

Still, someone has to fight on our side because Hezbollahs of this world will always wage war.

Pazuzu said...

Well I can understand why you might say that, but I don't believe in any sort of war, war means to kill someone to convince them that you can hurt them. As for the Jewish example, I don't know, there's a lot to be said about it