Sunday, August 13, 2006
Lebanese families in Baalbek hiding in a cave during an Israeli airstrike
There’s talk of a ceasefire that will take effect in 10 hours and 12 minutes. In the meantime, I hear a drone creeping up on us, as all other sounds of generators and the odd nocturnal motorcyclist grow dim, and you have ears only for him —-the unmanned aviator. You are being stalked by an airborne, robotic peeping Tom. What if he develops feelings for a pretty girl and no longer wants to level homes? I’m waiting for Spielberg to produce that heart-wrenching film.
They drop lots of pamphlets and flyers from the sky, but never customer satisfaction forms. “On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate the value/futility/sleep deprivation/cunningness/brutality of our latest bombing raid? What is your opinion of the price to quality ratio, in human and financial terms? When dining on shrapnel and cluster bombs, how can we improve the experience for you? Thanks for your time. Please leave us your name and address so we can memorize the coordinates and serve you better in the future. We are an equal opportunity bomber. Signed: The State of Israel”. The signing off as “The State of Israel” is very telling— it’s the you-don’t-recognize-us fixation, as if non-recognition entails not believing rather than not accepting. Here’s the empiric proof that we exist, motherfuckers. Bang, bang, boom.
They leveled residential buildings in Dahieyeh today. 20 bombs dropped in a matter of minutes, and a few more in the evening. And again, a few minutes ago. My roommate Mohamed, who ordinarily lives in Dahieyeh with his family, called his home phone yesterday to see if the house was still standing. He hasn’t been back there since the beginning of the war when they fled with only their personal documents, a few sheets, and a satellite dish. And he hadn’t called earlier, because there was no end to the destruction in sight. The phone rang; he was ecstatic. We made plans to go pick up his bike and a few other essential items tomorrow. Today they bombed his neighborhood anew, and it seems they will continue through the night, until the last minute. Tomorrow the phone might no longer ring; the remains of his home might be indistinguishable from the surrounding rubble.
What to do between now and eight AM? What if nothing happens at 8 am —-kind of like the Y2K hype? Perhaps four months from now I’ll be sitting in a bomb shelter and trying to lighten up my neighbors with jokes about that that ceasefire deal, way back when, in August --or was it September? And what if it all suddenly ends, if quiet descends upon the land, and people crawl out of their besieged homes and villages to survey the damage, and infighting is once again the order of the day?
How did this all start again?
We’ll just have to wait and see. In any case, the clock is ticking. Rather than reaching the Litani river by land, they have finally realized they can just parachute down on its banks for the grand “Mission Accomplished” moment, the pacifier in photo op form.
Negotiations. Funny how that was on the table as an option 100,000 bombs ago. It feels like forever.
Posted by EDB at 10:46 PM