Posted by Bilal at 19:33
“all Pls need in order to win is to survive.” Gilad Atzmon – comment 27
Cluster bomb victim
By Andrew Wander in southern Lebanon, Al Jazeera
September 30, 2009
“He was picking grapes when he died,” says Khalil Kassem Terkiya, glancing at his wife as he recalls the day their son was killed by a cluster bomb in southern Lebanon.
Greying and slight, Terkiya looks older than his 46 years: “A cluster bomb was caught in the vine and it exploded. It was the day after the war finished. He was 19.”
His wife walks away without speaking, her head bowed. The couple’s son, Ali, was one of the first post-war victims of the estimated one million cluster bombs fired by Israel into southern Lebanon during a month-long conflict with Hezbollah in 2006.
Because so many of them failed to detonate on impact, Ali was not to be the last victim.
Since the end of the war, more than 350 people in Lebanon have been killed or injured by unexploded cluster bombs acting as de facto land mines, and every month that figure slowly increases.
Terkiya lives in the village of West Zawtar, at the heart of a swathe of land south of the town of Nabatiyeh that was badly hit during the war.
Large areas of southern Lebanon became a no-go area as a result of the cluster bomb-strikes; farmers were cut off from their land and schools forced to close their playgrounds.
While more than half of this land has now been declared safe, de-mining progress is stalling.
The crucial donations that pay for cluster bomb clearance are drying up as new crises deflect attention away from what has become “yesterday’s war” and the global recession puts pressure on foreign aid budgets.
The result has been a dramatic cut in de-mining capacity in the country.
“In 2007 there were 114 clearance teams working here,” says Lt Col Mohamed el Cheikh of the Lebanese Mine Action Centre (LMAC), a military body set up to co-ordinate the clearance with the various civilian de-mining agencies that work in the country.
“At the beginning of this year we had 46 teams left. Now there are just 20.”
At current capacity, LMAC estimates that it will take at least another three-and-a-half years to finish the job, although that time could be cut to just 18 months if new donations are made.
Danish Church Aid (DCA), one of the clearance agencies working in Lebanon, predicted earlier this month that the delay would lead to “many more” civilian casualties.
As clearance organisations pack up their equipment and pull out, LMAC is expanding its efforts to educate the civilian population, particularly children, about the risks posed by the deadly devices.
Officials say mine risk education and bomb-clearance go hand in hand- they are the two most essential components of efforts to avoid further casualties. But with clearance work faltering, the education programmes have taken on a new significance; people are going to have to live the bombs for longer than they thought.
“Since we don’t have enough money for clearance, we have to increase the mine risk education campaigns,” Cheikh says. “It’s logical. We have to keep reminding people of the danger – particularly children.”
Children at risk
Almost a third of the post-war cluster bomb casualties have been under the age of 18.
Children are particularly at risk, experts say, because they often play in remote areas and are curious about strange objects they come across. In August alone, six children were hurt in cluster bomb explosions in Lebanon, according to DCA.
The mine-risk education programme has been devised to maximise children’s exposure to mine safety messages while providing incentives for them to pay attention.
Soldiers give presentations in community halls and schools across southern villages, distributing school bags and stationery emblazoned with the “golden rules” for dealing with unexploded ordnance: “Don’t approach, don’t touch, telephone immediately.”
For younger children there are colouring books with cluster bombs in the pictures, stickers featuring their favourite cartoon characters warning them to take care and even a game based on Monopoly, all aimed at driving home safety messages.
The gifts are popular with children in the south.
Soldiers educate children
In Yohmor, a small village perched on a hillside near Beaufort Castle, they seem to be educating as well as entertaining.
“I’ve never seen a cluster bomb,” says eight-year-old Aya, as she watches a soldier carrying a display case filled with inert explosives in preparation for an education session.
“If I did, I wouldn’t touch it. I would tell my parents about it.”
She is clutching a copy of the colouring book. Other children are busy swapping stickers. At the back of the room, parents look on as the soldiers prepare to distribute more stationary items, drawing names out of a basket to see who gets what. There are not enough supplies for everyone.
“These are poor people,” Cheikh explains. “If you give the children school bags and pencil cases, it saves the family money and it spreads the message to the children.”
This month more than 10,000 children from southern Lebanon will have attended LMAC’s mine-awareness presentations and the programme is to be expanded in coming years, as the Lebanese army look to take on more dedicated de-mining staff.
Back in West Zawtar, Khalil Terkiya looks on as the hall fills up with chattering children who have come to the village’s LMAC presentation.
He believes the education sessions are important, but he knows the only way the children will be truly safe is if the cluster bombs are cleared.
“The olive groves here are still polluted with cluster-bombs,” he says. “They are still a threat to all of us.”
Andrew Wander, a media fellow with legal charity Reprieve, works on Al Jazeera’s Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk.
Cyprus has no missiles
Panama has no missiles
Israel has a multitude of missiles
the USA, France and UK
have all kind of long range missiles.
Cyprus and Panama are not complaining about Iran ??
the UK,USA and France do complain !!!
If having a missile is a sin
why are those sinners louder
than the innocents ??
Posted by Тлакскала at 8:32 PM
Tribalism and nationalism still plague the Arab world, 1400 years after the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) message of unity to the world through Islam. This time its in Iraq, where Black people are being discriminated against:
“Black Iraqis are still seen as slaves although engaged in different sectors of the society and there isn’t a law that guarantee our rights as citizens,” Salah Hashimi, 38, told IslamOnline.net. “The government says that they don’t discriminate and that we are all Iraqis, however, those of us who face daily discrimination know otherwise.”
The article is interesting in that it reveals new information to me, for example I didn’t know there were 2 million black people in Iraq and I didn’t know that the term ‘zenji’ was a racist word, then again in Palestine we used to call this desert here……’raas el-abd’ which means ‘head of the slave’. So the issue of racism in the Arab world has no borders, some say Gulf countries are more racist or Lebanon is more racist but its clear that we have a problem in ALL Arab countries with racism towards those who have dark skin. Why is this? Is this because of colonialism in the beginning of the 20th Century? Did we learn to love our white masters so much that we have acquired the love of the colour of their skin?! Or is it because of the phenomena of slavery in the Arab world? We need to learn that racism is totally against the teachings of Islam and anyone who works to eradicate racism in Arab countries needs to be supported. Istighfara Allah.
UPDATE: Looks like Abbas has capitulated to US pressure on settlements:
According to Haaretz, the meeting signaled that Abbas has significantly weakened his negotiating stance. The newspaper states that under massive US pressure, Abbas has dropped the demand for a settlement freeze as a precondition for talks.
Here we go again. Let me just give you a quick breakdown of the ‘summits’ and ‘meetings’ and ‘understandings’ the Palestinian Fatah leadership has had with the Israelis:
This is not to mention the hundreds of other photo-ops and secret meetings that have taken place between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators. And what do we have to show for it? This:
Its even worse now than in 2005, not to mention the thousands of Palestinians killed by the Israeli war machine, our leaders assassinated, our houses demolished, our rights taken. This is why we have so much contempt for the so-called ‘moderate’ leaders of the Palestinians, they do not represent us. The peace process is (as Ali Abunimah from ei puts it):
There is the old joke about a man who is endlessly searching on the ground beneath a street light. Finally, a neighbor who has been watching him asks the man what he is looking for. The man replies that he lost his keys. The neighbor asks him if he lost them under the streetlight. “No,” the man replies, pointing into the darkness, “I lost them over there, but I am looking over here because here there is light!”
The intense focus on the “peace process” is a similarly futile search. Just because politicians and the media shine a constant light on it, does not mean that is where the answers are to be found.
The recent ‘pressure’ exerted by America has of course gone to the dogs:
…the US is really saying to the Palestinians in the wake of Mitchell’s failure: “We, the greatest superpower on Earth, are unable to convince Israel — which is dependent on us militarily, economically and diplomatically — to abide by even a temporary settlement freeze. Now, you Palestinians, who are a dispossessed, occupied people whose leaders cannot move without an Israeli permit, go and negotiate on much bigger issues like borders, refugees, Jerusalem and settlements, and do better than we did. Good luck to you.”
Resistance will never die, no matter how many times collaborators meet with enemies.
Posted by Bilal at 02:07
With David Chandler
26 minute analysis of NIST fraud:
at 12:10 PM
Labels: False Flag Terror