Posted by: r.m. | June 24, 2012

details and context, from Nahr el Bared to Brazil

Details and context. We should never lose track of the details and context.

They are critical in examining the deaths in Nahr el Bared.  Hey – the Army merely defended itself from youth throwing stones, right?  uh.. no.  details and context, please.  Going beyond who killed whom (The Lebanese killed a youth, and then another youth, and then another youth), but revealing the details (when? who? how?) and the critical context (why? what is the situation there?) ..  For Nahr el Bared, if you’re still wondering what happened (and continues to happen), start with this letter from a Palestinian refugee (currently in Ein el Heloui Camp) commenting on Nahr el Bared.

1. There have been no weapons in the Nahr al-Bared Camp since 2007, and it has been under military siege since then. The siege is so intense that no one can enter the camp – or leave it – except through the Lebanese Army. All the talk of confrontations proving the presence of weapons used bthe Palestinians against the Army are lies, defamations designed to plant hatred in the hearts of our Lebanese brothers.

2. No Palestinian is allowed to enter the camp, even if he or she lives there, without securing permission from the Army. None of their relatives can visit them at the Camp without permission from the Army. This is because the Camp, since 2007, has been a militarized area, so military rules and regulations are applied there. Any Lebanese person, however, can enter the camp by simply presenting their personal identity card, even if they do not live in the Camp or even in Lebanon. Even the old cemetery [in the camp] is under military control, and entering it is only allowed on religious holidays and, even then, only with permission from the Army.

3. The Lebanese Army can only open fire with the permission of a political decision, no matter against whom, as is the case in Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, even when the Army are under attack. We all saw how the Army stood by watching in Tariq al-Jdideh during the recent events. Yet, the Army needs no such political decision to open fire on Palestinians. The reason is quite simple: the Palestinians have no one defending them, even if only with words.

4. Let no one be convinced that merely throwing stones at the Army or shouting insults at the soldiers can justify their opening fire on a group of youths, the majority of whom were under the age of 20. And for those who do not know, the youth that was killed on June 15 in the Camp was only 16 years of age, and he was killed by a direct shot to the head. (He was just standing on a street corner in the Camp.) The others who were injured had wounds to the chest and heart. Another youth also died from similar injuries. And the other youth, who died in Ein al-Hilwe Camp, was not killed by a knife, as reported by LBC, but killed by a shot to the neck from an M16.

The same demand for details and context applies to the “green economy” promotion. Hey – green is good, right?  uh… no.  Here’s one example of an example of “green”.  Renewable energy, good? yes? uh… not always.

“… the Brazilian government is carrying out an objectionable project: a series of dams in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The Belo Monte and Madeira Dam complexes are already underway. They are part of a larger scheme known as the Integrated Regional Infrastructure for South America (IIRSA), supported by Brazil’s Accelerated Growth Program (PAC). The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has publicly committed to funding up to 80% of the project. The ultimate objective is to create a trans-Brazilian system of waterways to connect through Peru and Bolivia, to transport raw material exports to China, Japan and North America.”

and yet, it is presented as “green” ??


Belo Monte is being promoted as a source of green energy. As Dr Erwin Kräutler, the Bishop of Xingu, and a vehement opponent of the dam, said to me, ‘they call it a green project. What is green about Belo Monte? It will only be green if they paint the dam green. It used to be green around here. The forest was green.’

Fortunately, people rise up.

In Nahr el Bared, a sit-in is organized by the youth, in which they demand to be freed from the 5-year military siege imposed on the Camp

and in Brazil, On the 16th of June 2012, protesters stormed the construction site of the Belo Monte Dam. They dug a channel through the earth coffer dam, chanting ‘Free the Xingu.’ They lay on the dam, their bodies spelling out the words ‘Pare Belo Monte:’ Stop Belo Monte.

Details. Context. Search for them enough – and you find not the truth, but also inspiration.


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