Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nahr El Bared: ENOUGH!

The army has lost 150 soldiers since the Nahr el Bared war with Fateh el Islam started three months ago.

Last Friday, the last civilians, mostly relatives of the criminals fighting inside the camp were evacuated. Following that very evacuation, the army lost at least another FIVE soldiers over the weekend (L’Orient- Le Jour, August 27, 2007).

I fail to see the humanitarian point this late in the game, other than as a PR mini-coup for General Michel Sleimane/Suleiman and perhaps for this stupid Seniora government that still worries about minutiae.

The army had previously, and more than once, I believe, allowed the wounded and civilians to be evacuated. Every time we saw the Fatah el Islam thugs regroup and kill more soldiers minutes later.

After every evacuation we hear from the army: this is it, only the die-hards are left, the end is near.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I saw:

Lebanon militants request evacuation of wounded

I read the Reuters headline a few times and thought: nah, gotta to be an old headline. No, It’s from Sunday August 26. After the “last” civilians evacuation and, while they are still killing soldiers, these freaks are asking for their wounded to be let go.

Saving “civilians” and wounded criminals may be compassionate and may give you the moral high ground in the first few days of a conflict. After that, all you are doing is helping the people killing you do their ghastly business, by not having to worry about their families and their wounded.

It’s not compassion anymore. It is verging on criminal stupidity. You, government and army command, are further endangering the nation by drawing out this war and keeping talks and contacts open forever. Your first duty is to protect YOUR citizens and YOUR soldiers who also have relatives you know.

I don't claim to know more than people on the ground do. However I believe that someone in position of authority ought to explain to the nation how is it that multiple evacuations and multiple ultimatums are NOT endangering our soldiers lives? Especially when the army is losing brave soldiers daily and when its casualties are higher now, with only 70 thugs left in the camp, than when this conflict first began?


  • At 8/27/07, 9:44 AM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said…

    I was surprised too!

    But perhaps the problem is with the operative word (evacuate) and not the actual deed itself. If we read it as FaI proposing the 'surrender' of its wounded fighters, then that wouldn't be so shocking.

    And there is, of course, a benefit to having them surrender. As a country with a capital punishment clause (that is surely applicable in the cases of these fighters), perhaps extracting them alive will give us a chance to learn more about this shady movement, how it recruited, how it infiltrated and armed itself in the camp, and how it survived the Army's bombardment for so long...surely that training must have come from somewhere.

    After that, then the state should/could kill them via the judiciary.

    That is, of course, if nobody gives them an early pardon...




  • At 8/27/07, 1:22 PM, Blogger Ms Levantine said…


    Civilians are civilians whether they are related to Fatah al-Islam, Pol Pot or Hitler.

    I share your confusion, frustration and disbelief regarding Nahr-el-bared.

    Who would have thought that civilans were still inside the camp and that the fighting would still be raging.

    Sleiman will make a good Lebanese politician since he is obvioulsy an adept of treating us like mushrooms: Kept in the dark and fed manure.

    Just do me a favor pls: refrain from posting for a couple of days after Fatah al Islam gets evacuated to Yemen grinning stupidely and flashing victory signs.

  • At 8/27/07, 2:41 PM, Blogger Bad Vilbel said…

    Ugh. I agree with the above sentiment. Time to carpet bomb what little is left of Nahr Al Bared. If technically all the civilians have been evacuated, no one can complain, right? Right??? (heh).

    And I'm also keeping an eye on the Suleiman angle here. Something tells me this whole matter is more closely tied to his presidential campaign that it would appear.

  • At 8/27/07, 8:40 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…

    Civilians are civilians whether they are related to Fatah al-Islam, Pol Pot or Hitler.

    Right Ms Lev, but after several warnings and 2, 3 or 4 evacuations of civilians I don't think those left behind still qualify.

    Furthermore, what about civilians outside the camp, do we need a rocket killing dozens in Tripoli to include our civilians in the cold calculus of battle?

    War is war and pussyfooting around it does not save lives. Those "civilians" had several chances to get out.


    Getting info is fine, but the state already has over 100 of these animals in custody who can "sing".

    People are now "joking" that after 3 months of "advancing" in Bared the army must now be across the Syrian border. This is not the kind of talk that will deter similar thugs in Ain el Helweh and in Naameh.

  • At 8/30/07, 7:32 AM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said…

    Looks like the Army's response was the best of both worlds:

    "Everyone surrenders, or everyone dies!"

  • At 8/30/07, 12:19 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said…


    "Everyone surrenders, or everyone dies!"

    Works for me.

  • At 8/30/07, 8:15 PM, Blogger Blacksmith Jade said…

    Same here.

  • At 9/1/07, 11:50 AM, Blogger Don Cox said…

    "Civilians are civilians whether they are related to Fatah al-Islam, Pol Pot or Hitler."____Half the trouble with terrorists is that they can be fighters one minute, and the next minute when it suits them they become "civilians". We are always getting complaints of "civilians" being killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc when many or most are actually fighters not wearing uniforms.


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