Edited out on LGF
I posted a comment (#120) which so pissed off Charles Johnson that he deleted it (his blog, his rules).
I do try to stand by my public statements, so here is the comment, IIRC.........Edited out on LGF
its just around the corner
Q: You also have done a lot of reporting on an Israeli attack on a Lebanese ambulance full of people. What was that story?
Fisk: It was the thirteenth of April, 1996. Abbas Jiha was a farmer and a volunteer ambulance driver for the village of Mansouri in southern Lebanon. On this day, he'd taken two trips to Sidon--first with a wounded man, then with a wounded baby. When Abbas returned to Mansouri, there was panic, shells were failing all around. People were saying, "Take us to Sidon, take us to Sidon." He put four of his children in the vehicle, he put another family in, and another guy, a window cleaner--in all there were fourteen people in the ambulance. He'd gotten up to the U.N. Post 123 on the main coast road. He was one-third of the way to safety in Sidon. So he goes through the checkpoint, and Reuters photographer Najla Abujahjah is standing there and sees the car go through and sees two helicopters. One of them comes down and starts chasing the car up the road. When helicopters start flying at vehicles, you know you're in trouble. They're coming up behind to fire a missile into the back of the vehicle. That's the way they do it.
Q: There'd be no denying that the helicopter wanted to hit this ambulance?
Fisk: Oh, absolutely not. They intended to hit it, they absolutely did. They fired two missiles. One didn't explode, the other did. It exploded through the back door, engulfing the vehicle in fire and smoke and hurling it twenty meters through the air. Abbas Jiha stood in the road beside one of his dead daughters, weeping and shrieking, "God is Great." He held up his fists to the sky and cried out, "My God, my God, my family has gone." He saw his two-month-old baby, Mariam, lying outside the ambulance, her body riddled with holes and her head full of metal. His five-year-old, Hanin, "was cut through with holes like a mosquito net," he told me. The Reuters photographer saw her collapse on the broken window frame, her blood running in streams down the outside of the vehicle. Abbas Jiha also lost his nine-year-old daughter, Zeinab, and his wife, Mona. "She was so terribly wounded, I couldn't recognize her face," he told me. Two other passengers died, a sixty-year-old woman and her eleven-year-old niece.
On April 13, an ambulance driver named Abbas Jiha was rushing patients to a hospital in Sidon. Civilians caught in the crossfire of 'Grapes of Wrath' begged him to take them to Sidon, and so he squeezed his wife, his four children and ten others into his ambulance. An Israeli helicopter targeted his ambulance and fired two missiles. The ambulance was blasted sixty feet into the air, and Jiha was thrown clear. When he made it back to the remains of his rig, he found his nine year old daughter, his wife, and four others dead within the flaming wreckage.
An Israeli helicopter rocketed an ambulance packed with refugees fleeing south Lebanon on Saturday, killing two women and four young girls.
The helicopter blasted the white Volvo stationwagon carrying people fleeing Israel's bombardment of the south in full view of Fijian troops of the U.N.'s UNIFIL peacekeeping force at this checkpoint in south Lebanon.
I saw the ambulance engulfed in a huge ball of fire about 20 metres (yards) from where I stood with a group of journalists at the checkpoint, followed by a powerful blast.
The rocket exploded beside the car, hurling it 20 metres off the road, through a garden and into the front room of a house, destroying the room in an avalanche of falling stone and rubble.
"Four children were killed and six were wounded when an Israeli helicopter rocketed the ambulance they were travelling in to flee Israel's blitz of southern Lebanon on Saturday, witnesses said. Reuters reporter Najla Abu Jahjah, who witnessed the attack, saw the blood-covered bodies of four dead children being pulled out by rescuers from the ambulance which received a direct hit. She saw at least six wounded children. The attack took place near the village of Hinniyeh, eight km (five miles) south of the port of Tyre."
We were taking pictures of villagers fleeing the village of Mansouri. They were among some 250,000 people forced to flee south Lebanon by Israel's three-day blitz of south Lebanon villages.
As the ambulance drove past the checkpoint, packed with refugees, an Israeli helicopter appeared in the sky. When it headed towards the checkpoint, journalists hid behind the checkpoint wall with the Fijian U.N. troops.
After the blast we looked for the ambulance but could not see it so we thought it had driven on. But moments later a man ran up, blood drenching his face and carrying a child in his arms.
He was followed by another man whose face was also covered in blood. Then we saw the ambulance thrown into the house beside the road.
Earlier in the day, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired on an ambulance near the southern Lebanon city of Tyre, killing six civilians, including at least three children...
"It all happened in a second," said the ambulance driver, Abbas Mdeihli, who was treated for shoulder wounds. "I heard a wooshing sound. I was sucked out of the vehicle."
"Ambulance driver Khoder Ghazal thought he was doing a good turn by transporting villagers fleeing Israeli attacks in southern Lebanon. He never believed that Israeli helicopters would not even spare his ambulance. Ghazal, 35, was evacuating nine people from Mansouri, a village east of the southern port of Tyre, when an Israeli attack helicopter fired a missile at his vehicle. Ghazal, who was unharmed but shocked, said at a Tyre hospital that he only had time to dive out of the ambulance. His passengers were not so lucky. Six of them were killed and three were wounded. Among the dead were three sisters, aged 3, 5 to 10 years old. Since Israel began its offensive Thursday, it has repeatedly said its forces are trying to limit attacks to the Iran-backed Hezbollah guerrillas. But nearly all casualties have been inflicted on civilians, mainly women and children, Lebanese security sources said. Ghazal said the ambulance attack occurred near a post manned by Nepalese soldiers with the U.N. peacekeeping force. ''They did nothing,'' he said of the peacekeepers. ''There were at least two other people bleeding on the road and other dead people, but nobody sent an ambulance to rescue them.''"
The Israeli effort seemed intended to minimize the public relations damage when a civilian-filled ambulance was hit by an Israeli missile Saturday. Graphic film broadcast internationally showed three dying children and three dead mothers, but Israel's unsupported claim was that the ambulance contained a Hezbollah guerrilla.
"Where is the Hezbollah in these children?" asked Dr. Jawad Najem, at a small hospital south of Tyre, as he pulled open the doors of the morgue where five of the victims lay yesterday. The bodies of the tiny children were entwined on one drawer shelf. No relatives remained uninjured to bury them.
"The vehicle was sighted by the Israeli army and the terrorist was killed. According to reports by the other side there are children who were killed too. If children were killed I regret that but repeat and stress they were in an area from which the Hizbollah fires Katyushas and they were warned not to be there. We will continue hitting anyone who goes around in the places from which Hizbollah fires."
Reuters Television footage of the incident showed first a car clearly marked as an ambulance, then the vehicle engulfed in smoke, and finally the car wrecked and full of dead and dying women and children. The front seats were empty.
Injured soldier Peter Damon works on one of his pastel paintings... Photo courtesy of Brockton Enterprise
Peter Damon's "County Crossing" depicts a railroad crossing in Middleboro's Rock Village - Photo courtesy of Brockton Enterprise
Photo of Peter Damon & Family in front of
Middleborough Art Gallery building - Appears courtesy of Jane Lopes, Middleboro Gazette
Anyone interested in submitting artwork for an exhibition at the gallery can visit the Middleborough Art Gallery website here or email Peter Damon at: email@example.com for more information.
Boston Herald: Artistic touch keeps disabled vet inspired
Brockton (MA) Enterprise: Injured National Guardsman plans to open art gallery By Alice C. Elwell, Enterprise correspondent
Middleboro (MA) Gazette, 8-3-2006: Art and Restoration: Town gets an art gallery, the Damons a new career by Jane Lopes
[h]e's processed 100 bodies -- many of them grotesquely mangled and burned -- and on his pickup runs has been forced to leave behind many more that he can't recover from cars and destroyed buildings.
"It's much more [than the official count]," he says. "There are many trapped under the rubble. The death toll will reach 1,000."
Mr. Shadi was standing in front of a refrigeration truck that was packed with 20 bodies, days after he helped bury 74 bodies in a mass grave. When he opened the door to show the black body bags haphazardly piled on top of each other, a staggering stench came out, despite the refrigeration.
"The last two days have been the worst. Yesterday and the day before, the bodies that came in were completely burned. Charred. It was a shipment of burned bodies."
Of the dead he's seen, Mr. Shadi says, "maybe 3 per cent" were men. The rest were women and children. "They're [the Israelis are] not targeting fighters."
The arm of a child slipped from beneath the dirty gray blanket that covered him. On the same stretcher, toes painted with bright red polish peeked out. A rescue worker lifted the blanket to show two shattered children who were curled up looking asleep except for the thick dried blood at their noses.
To many in the West, such photographs are surprising; but they are not unusual in the Middle East, where grief and drama are often intertwined, and that can include displaying of bodies.
Bloggers have accused rescue workers and volunteers of showing off victims for the media. The Lebanese make no apologies for wanting the world to see the civilian suffering in the Israeli onslaught aimed at uprooting Hezbollah.
Abu Shadi Jradi pulled bodies out of wreckage for hours _ two toddler girls wearing tiny gold earrings, a small boy whose pale blue pacifier still hung from his neck. Somewhere in the middle, Jradi slumped beneath a tree and wept.
"There are so many children, so many children," the veteran civil defense worker said Sunday, barely able to get out the words.
One body was wrapped in a child's bed sheet covered with Raggedy Ann and Andy figures.
On Sunday, rescue workers dripped with sweat in the blistering heat as they pored through the wreckage, tossing out a baby carriage and moving hunks of concrete and brick.
From his hospital bed in Tyre, Mohammed Ali Shalhoub said that from their graves, his wife and children "were all saying God bless Sheik Hassan Nasrallah," the Hezbollah leader.
In Qana, resident Mohammed Ismail waved at seven dead lined up on the ground, saying President Bush "laughs when they ask him about the dead bodies."
Critics, however, say he has an agenda of his own — one that's anti-Muslim, pro-Israel, and full of hate.This is the sort of sentence that MSM drones pound out of their goofy-looking ergonomic keyboards every day, of course. "Pro-Israel" is ranked alongside "anti-Muslim" and "full of hate", as if these were comparable characteristics. Note that "critics" accuse Charles of being pro-Israel. Of course, so do his best friends. Anybody with the reading comprehension skills of a blind hamster knows that Charles is pro-Israel. Even a professor of journalism, after much excruciating effort, might manage to squeeze out this insight. He might have to call Glenn Greenwald for hints, but eventually he would discover this to be a brazen fact, not a shameful secret.
Millions of words have been written by bloggers on the conflict between Israel and Hezb'allah/Lebanon. But what do people really know? Those in the United States, protected by the geographical barriers of two great oceans, lack from the immediacy of this war. To know a conflict is to truly grasp its immediacy and intimacy.
Thus we sought out, through a series of varying questions, the opinions of those affected by this war, the Israeli bloggers, their homeland subjected to uncontrolled missile attacks and barrages, damage and destruction, lives lost, innocents dead, and a Israeli response to the Hezb'allah threat by bombings and incursions into Lebanon to seek out the purveyors of this latest round of Mideast hostilities..
In this In T View we present a young Israeli blogger Eliesheva from Merkaz, Israel who does a fine job at Lizrael Update, and is just about to get married. We wish Eliesheva the best of luck on her upcoming nuptials.
MG: How does your routine or perception change during a crisis like this? Do you become a news junky, call frequently to check on your family members and friends, worry a lot, spend more time with your loved ones?
Eliesheva: I became a news junky. I craved family time. I thought about it consistantly and it interfered with my focus at work and at playtime. At least at first I did. I think Israelis know they need to fight for their survival, they need to protect their lives, and they need life to go on.
It's a cliche but it's true. In the beginning when I lived here, everytime I got on a bus I thought about where the safest seat was. I watched who was getting on. I stayed away from the big crowds pushing to get on at once.
I don't do that anymore either. You live your life, you go to work, you have family dinners, you dance at clubs, you pray at the Kotel. You do what you have to do because that's half the battle of surviving here.
You always keep things conscious, they are always in your head because you have no choice. You also try to help in ways that you can.
MG: When or where do you think this current conflict will end?
Eliesheva: Sigh. I don't know. I was wrong in some of what I originally thought of the Iraq war and I know I'm no political analyst.
I think it's the next step in a process that's been developing for a while. Unfortunately, the 'Western world' tends towards the luxuries of laziness, ignorance, and being blinded by 'shtuyot' (nonsense). But the process is moving along whether everybody's aware or not.
Iran has finally gotten it's hands directly into the attacking Israel business. The Islamist movement is moving. It's growing, and it's only getting bigger. I think things will only move deeper and deeper into trouble, and it may not be tomorrow or next month, but we are definitely getting there.
People need to realize that not everyone in the world has the same values as they do - not everyone has money, not everyone is comfortable, not everyone has things - or even their lives - at stake. For a large part of the world the bigger picture matters - collectivism vs. idealism. It's about total belief.
It's about ancient belief. Not everyone views themselves as an 'indivdual' with 'humanitarian values'. It's time to take different cultures seriously and realize that they are different cultures to ours - and act accordingly.
Maybe we've (Westerners) woken up to it, but it's time to wake up before we're stabbed in our drowsy, yawning awareness.
MG: Does it take a special quality to be an Israeli? You seem to be surrounded by groups that want to drive you into the sea, subjected to bombings and rocket attacks, participate frequently in wars - Does it ever get to the point where you say, I've had enough, get me out of here? In other words, what keeps you in Israel?
Eliesheva: I think being 'Israeli' is a continuation of lifetimes, generations, centuries of being pursued as a Jewish nation. Now we're called Israelis, then we were Juden, before that Children of Israel and Hebrews. Whatever the name, we've been running this race to get to the finish line of freedom before 'they' catch up and destroy us forever. I'm not so sure there is even a finish line at all; this is an ultimate test of spiritual stamina for this tiny nation of historic people.
And I don't really get why we've always been targeted; why we can never be left alone. But that's how it is.
And why would a small people return to their biblical land in the conditions they find themselves in?
What keeps me in Israel is knowing that I'm a part of what needs to be done, surviving. I'm safer admitting that I'm Jewish and hope for a better Jewish life in Israel than hiding out abroad. Living in the States was great and very comfortable, but I didn't want to be comfortable somewhere else. I'm hoping one day, I'll be absolutely comfortable here, along with the rest of the Jews who are living here. For now, though, I need to help us hold our place.
MG: The Iranian government and the Mullahs and the religious junta that rule Iran have basically stated that they want to obliterate Israel, nuke Israel - When you hear about another country wanting to destroy you, what goes through your mind?
Eliesheva: When I lived in the States, I'd get horrified, angry, frustrated, sure.Now, it's different. I didn't think it could be, but it is. My heart burns. My head pounds. I can't see past myself and Israel for a few seconds, and just get ridiculously frustrated and hurt and angry. Then I come back to the 'real' world and realize, a lot of people think this all the time and don't say it.
I know that, and hearing it out loud just makes it worse but I should always remember that this is the case for a good chunk of the world. The other element of this is, with the Iranian president, it seems more of a reality and call for action. On some level, I see him pursuing this. He's behind Hezbullah. He's getting behind Hamas. There's the nuclear angle. This is reality.
And that is absolutely terrifying.
MG: Has Ehud Omert been a strong leader during this crisis? Do you have confidence in him or do you think Benjamin Netanyahu would have been a better choice to lead Israel during this period of war?
Eliesheva: I definitely don't think Bibi would have been a better choice. I don't think he's a good frontman where diplomacy and leadership are concerned. He's better at doing what he's good at.
As far as Olmert; look, I think we all miss Sharon. We'd all prefer him right now over anyone. And since that isn't an option, Olmert's there, and that's it.
I have no choice but to have confidence in him, otherwise, what can I believe? I think he's doing an alright job. At first I was definitely more worried with Peretz in the picture. Now, Olmert is growing into it. I hope he doesn't become jaded, though.
I think Olmert is a peacetime socio-economic prime minister. He wasn't meant for war. But this is Israel, the Middle East, and you don't always get to choose your future or your role or your fate here.
MG: Americans, other than when natural disasters strike, have no concept of what a shelter/bomb shelter is and living in one of them - if you've spent time in a shelter, could you describe the experience for us?
Eliesheva: Don't have this experience first hand...
MG says: Our thanks go out to Eliesheva.