The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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There are rare moments in history, when even the most determined enemies can suddenly recognize the futility of battle. Sometimes, just for a moment or two. Sometimes, for longer. Such moments of sanity may save thousands, even millions human lives. And, such moments are not expressions of weakness or cowardice; on the contrary; they are... Read More
After the recent Israeli attacks against Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, the Middle East has found itself in the midst of undeclared war. Almost everyone in Lebanon appears to agree. “This time Israel went too far. In just two days, it bombed three countries,” I am told by a local UN staffer based in Beirut. The... Read More
On August 25th, 2019, Israel attacked Lebanon. It has done it again. Just as it attacked Syria, the same night. RT reported the same day: So, what? Really, we have been ‘here’ before, on so many occasions. PM Hariri is fuming, but he is one of the closest allies of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia... Read More
Beirut is mad! It is thoroughly insane. And that is not an insult. The inhabitants of this Middle Eastern metropolis are proud of their own lunacy. They wear it as a coat-of-arms, as their identity. “Do you like Beirut?” “Yes. But it is mad,” you reply. “Yes!!!” They grin at you with delight. It means,... Read More
Campaign Posters Adorn Concrete Wall
The Irony of Election Fraud
Beirut, Lebanon: On this lovely morning here on the coast of the Mediterranean there is not a cloud in the sky. In less than twenty-four hours voting will begin. However, on this day before the election, a howling wind is blowing from the south making the thousands of posters, banners and building-sized placards that feature... Read More
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“This is not good!” cautions a new Lebanese friend in a stern tone of warning, clutching this reporters arm for emphasis. “This, where you are going.. it is their neighbourhood... Hizbullah's neighbourhood. They control this completely!” Protesting that this quest is well-intentioned, no secret and no threat, this friend provides probably the most important council,... Read More
Independent Investigation or US-Israeli Cat's Paw?
In August 2010, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah presented "intercepted Israeli reconnaissance footage" and "the recorded confessions of Israeli spies" at news conference in Beirut to support his claim that Israel was responsible for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. The aerial footage, taken by Israeli unmanned drones, showed the same route... Read More
Wikileaked Cables Finger Collaborators in Beirut
When Israeli troops and armored units swept into Lebanon on July 12, 2006, not one soldier from the Lebanese Army was deployed to the South to defend the country. The army stayed safely tucked away in the North while Hezbollah militiamen engaged the IDF in ferocious combat for more than a month. 1,200 civilians were... Read More
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"Failed State" Myths
Why has Lebanon ended up as the graveyard of so many invaders? Israelis used to say in the 1960s that one of their military bands would be enough to conquer the country. Sometimes, prior to Israel and Egypt agreeing a peace in 1979, they would add archly that “I don’t know which will be the... Read More
China Abstains and Gets out of the Way
The Security Council, by a vote of 10-0-5 (five abstentions by China, Russia, Indonesia, Qatar, and South Africa), authorized the imposition of a tribunal to investigate, try, and sentence the murderers of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and maybe some other Lebanese citizens possibly murdered by Syrian agents. Middle Eastern affairs are way out of... Read More
Pack Up and Leave or Stay Home and Die
It's hard to know what Bush hopes to accomplish by backing the bloody siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, but one thing is certain; things are never as they seem. In an interview on Democracy Now last week, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh stated that, Fatah al-Islam---the group of Sunni extremists inside the camp--were getting... Read More
Lebanese Fields Sown with Israeli Cluster Bombs
Nabatiyeh, Lebanon. The war in Lebanon has not ended. Every day, some of the million bomblets which were fired by Israeli artillery during the last three days of the conflict kill four people in southern Lebanon and wound many more. The casualty figures will rise sharply in the next month as villagers begin the harvest,... Read More
But Katyusha Damage Much Less Than Claimed by Israel
Amnesty International has accused Lebanon's Hizbollah movement of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians with its rockets. The 4,000 rockets it fired into northern Israel during the war in Lebanon killed 43 civilians, seriously wounded 33 and forced hundreds of thousands of others to live in shelters. The Amnesty report is the latest... Read More
Little to Gain, Everything to Lose
Israel is in a state of post-war trauma. Its 34 day pounding of Lebanon has achieved none of the stated goals and has left the public furious at the incompetence of the Olmert government. 118 soldiers were killed in the conflict and Israel's celebrated "power of deterrence" was smashed to smithereens. Nothing was gained. In... Read More
President George W. Bush likes to call himself "the war president" and strike martial poses against patriotic backdrops, a trick he learned from another president who never saw military action, Ronald Reagan. In spite of Iraq and other foreign policy misadventures, and failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks, polls show that when it comes to... Read More
As a shaky cease-fire goes into effect in Lebanon, Israel's generals and politicians are furiously blaming one another for what many Israelis are calling a major political and military defeat. After 31 days of fighting, Israel has nothing to show but world-wide condemnation (the US excepted), scores of dead soldiers and civilians, burned forests, displaced... Read More
The Litani Gambit
Israel's sudden push to the Litani River is a blatant act of political desperation intended to conceal the humiliating defeat the IDF has suffered at the hands of Hezbollah. It comes in the wake of a UN ceasefire agreement worked out by friends of Israel in the Bush administration who were looking for a diplomatic... Read More
Last hours of the Lebanon War were extremely dramatic, but the drama did not veil the bottom line: Israeli army was defeated. Probably for this reason Israel tried to make a good show, and failed too. The US-drafted and Israel-approved Security Council resolution was profoundly unfair: the UN troops will be stationed - not in... Read More
The news about the Mideast most North Americans get is heavily biased by the media's need to cater to reader prejudices and misconceptions. To find out what's really going on in Israel, I turn to that nation's finest newspaper, Haaretz. Last week, Haaretz columnist Doron Rosenblum wrote a remarkable, explosive analysis that no one would... Read More
The spreading war in Lebanon and the ghastly massacre at Qana has bared the bizarre contradictions and self-destructive nature of US Mideast policy. With one hand, the US sends $30 million of food and blankets to Lebanon for the 20% of its population made refugees by the American-encouraged Israeli bombing. With the other, it rushes... Read More
Bush, Rice and Israel's Hack Legions
The frayed threads anchoring the American government to reality have finally snapped, just at the moment radiologists are reporting that Americans are getting too fat to be x-rayed or shoved into any existing MRI tube. The gamma rays can't get through the blubber, same way actual conditions in the outside world bounces off the impenetrable... Read More
"The US is probably more unpopular than it has ever been across the Middle East."
Amman. The arrival of the multinational force in Lebanon in 1982 brought with it a train of disasters. I still recall that great concrete sandwich near the airport that was all that remained of the US barracks in which 241 Marines died after it was hit by a suicide bomber on 23 October 1983. Elsewhere... Read More
A small band of determined warriors takes on, and fights off the mightiest army of the region: this is the stuff history is made of. Thermopylae , move over - Bint Jbeil is coming! Bishop Philip of Antioch has compared the levelling of this small Lebanese town with the destruction of Stalingrad , but these... Read More
Israel's Targeted Assassination of UN Peacekeepers
On the 17th day of a massive military offensive, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is no closer to achieving his objectives than he was on Day 1. Olmert originally promised that he would "disarm Hezbollah" and create a buffer-zone from Israel's northern border to the Litani River. He has accomplished neither. His violent reaction to the... Read More
"A Real Friend of Israel Wishes Its Army a Sound Defeat in South Lebanon"
This essay ends with a warning to Jews–"Fear The Wrath of God." This warning applies also in my opinion to the American people. After two weeks, the war settled down comfortably in the Middle East, like an old aunt on a regular visit to her nephews. It came to stay for a while, and as... Read More
Israel's relentless Biblical destruction of Lebanon continues, except that the old Testament calls for "an eye for an eye," while the new Israeli interpretation of vengeance has become ten Arab eyes for one Israeli one. As of this writing, hundreds of civilians in Lebanon have been killed by Israeli bombing and shelling; over 500,000 are... Read More
As Israel's ferocious and relentless destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure continues, veteran Mideast observers are experiencing a dismaying sense of déjà vu. In early June, 1982, the Reagan Administration in Washington gave Israel's then defense minister, Ariel Sharon, a green light to invade Lebanon. The inept US Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, told Sharon he could... Read More
The Bush administration, Israel and U.S.-aligned Arab states have been blaming Iran and Syria for igniting the worst Mideast fighting in many years. They claim Iran and ally Syria got Lebanon's political-military movement, Hezbollah, to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in a patch of disputed border territory. Tehran's goal, they say, was to divert attention from... Read More