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Monday, July 31, 2006 - Kingston 2 X 1GB DataTraveler USB Flash Drive Kit - DTI/1GBKR - Kingston 2 X 1GB DataTraveler USB Flash Drive Kit - DTI/1GBKR

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Cedar Point Amusement Park, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!

Cedar Point Amusement Park, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!

Rides I made to:

A Ride I missed but my wife made it:

Rides I missed:

Blue Streak

150-foot-tall Giant Wheel

92-foot-tall Sky Ride

Antique Cars

Disaster Transport

U.N. issues nuke deadline for Iran - Jul 31, 2006 -

"Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the text was watered down from earlier drafts, which would have made the threat of sanctions immediate. It now essentially requires the council to hold more discussions before it considers sanctions."

Tehran said last week it would reply to the Western incentive package on Aug. 22, but the council decided to go ahead with a resolution and not wait for Iran's response.

On Friday, Iran called again for international negotiations on its nuclear ambitions and said it was considering the incentives. Western nations have dismissed the idea of such talks without a halt to Iran's uranium enrichment.

Iran failed to meet its own deadline of an August 22 response.

(I just don't understand this statement from CNN!!?? Deadline of August 22 not met? This is July 31?? Hello...)

UN issues Iran nuclear deadline


Meanwhile, the ambassador for Qatar - the only Arab nation with a seat on the Security Council - says the Council's demands are legitimate but the timing is wrong.

"We do not agree with the resolution at a time when our region is in flames," Nassir Al-Nasser said.

poetry: "The face of Qana"


The face of Qana

(All pictures in this page are for those who died in Qana massacre, before, and after!)


The face of Qana

Pale, like that of Jesus

and the sea breeze of April...

Rains of blood.. and tears..


They entered Qana stepping on our charred bodies

Raising a Nazi flag

in the lands of the South

and rehearsing its stormy chapters

Hitler cremated them in the gas chambers

and they came after him to burn us

Hitler kicked them out of Eastern Europe

and they kicked us out of our lands


They entered Qana

Like hungry wolves

Putting to fire the house of the Messiah

Stepping on the dress of Hussain

and the dear land of the South


Blasted Wheat, Olive-trees and Tobacco

and the melodies of the nightingale

Blasted Cadmus in his bark

Blasted sea and the gulls

Blasted even hospitals

even nursing moms

and schoolboys

Blasted the beauty of the Southern women

and murdered the gardens of the honeyed eyes


We saw the tears in Ali's eyes

We heard his voice as he prayed

under the rain of bloody skies


Who ever will write about the history of Qana

Will inscribe in his parchments

This was the second Karbala


Qana unveiled what was hidden

We saw America

Wearing the old coat of a Jewish Rabbi

Leading the slaughter

Blasting our children for no reason

Blasting our wives for no reason

Blasting our trees for no reason

Blasting our thoughts for no reason

Has it been decreed in her constitution,

She, America, mistress of the world,

In Hebrew .. that she should humble us al-Arab?


Has it been decreed that each time a ruler in America

wants to win the presidency that he should kill us ..

We al Arab?


We waited for one Arab to come

pull this thorny prick from our necks

We waited for single Qureishite

A single Hashemite

A single Don Quixote

A single local hero, for whom they did not shave the moustache

We waited for a Khalid .. Tariq .. or Antara

We were eaten chatter (while engaged in vain talk)

They sent a fax

We read its text

after paying tribute

and the end of the slaughter


What does Israel fear from our cries?

What does she fear from our faxes?

The Jihad of the fax is the weakest of Jihads

It is a single text we write

for all the martyrs who left

and all the martyrs those who will come


What does Israel fear from Ibn al-Muqaffa'?

Jarir and .. Farazdaq?

And Khansa throwing her poems at the gates of the cemetery

What does she fear if we burn tires

Sign communiqués

And destroy shops

And she knows that we have never been kings of war

But were kings of chatters


What does Israel fear

from the beating of the drums

the tearing of clothes

and the scratching of cheeks

What does she fear

when she hears

the stories of `Ad and Thamud?


We are in national comma

We did not receive

Since the times of conquest

a single mail


We are a people of made of dough

The more Israel increases in her killing and terrorism

the more we increase in idleness and coldness


A Smothering Dominion

A regional dialect that increases in ugliness

and a green union that grows in isolation

Summer trees, growing barren

And borders .. whenever the whim strikes

erase other borders


Israel should slaughter us, and why not?

She should erase Hisham, Ziyad and ar-Rashid, and why not?

[Why not?] and the Banu Taghlab lusting after their women

[Why not?] and Banu Mazen lusting after their slave boys

[Why not?] and Banu Adnan dropping their trousers to their knees

debating .. necking and .. the lips!


What should Israel fear from some of al-Arab

When they became Yehuda???

Nizar Qabbani


Arabic Version

1996 shelling of Qana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1996 shelling of Qana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shelling of Qana took place on April 18, 1996 in Qana, a village located southeast of Tyre, Lebanon. Amid heavy fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah during "Operation Grapes of Wrath", a Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village was shelled by Israeli artillery. Around 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge there to escape the fighting, of whom 106 were killed and around 116 others injured. Four UNIFIL soldiers were also seriously injured. [1][2] The event has sometimes been referred to as the Qana massacre, for example by Human Rights Watch[3] and the BBC.[4]


In April 1996, a cease-fire that had ended the July 1993 fighting between Hezbollah and Israel broke down due to violations, which involved several attacks on Israeli population centers by Hezbollah. During the five weeks of fighting between March 4 and April 10, seven Israeli soldiers, three Lebanese civilians and at least one Hezbollah fighter were killed. The tally of injured was sixteen Israeli soldiers, seven Lebanese civilians, and six Israeli civilians.[5] On April 9, in response to the cease fire violations, Maj.-Gen. Amiram Levine declared: "The residents in south Lebanon who are under the responsibility of Hezbollah will be hit harder, and the Hezbollah will be hit harder, and we will find the way to act correctly and quickly."[6] On April 11, after initial strikes against Hezbollah positions, Israel, through SLA radio stations, warned residents in forty-four towns and villages in southern Lebanon, to evacuate within twenty four hours.[7]

Operation Grapes of Wrath

Within forty-eight hours, Israel launched the military campaign known as Operation Grapes of Wrath. On April 11, Israel bombarded Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon and Beirut first, with artillery and later laser guided missiles. On April 13, Israeli warships initiated a blockade against Beirut, Sidon and Tyre, Lebanon's main ports of entry. Meanwhile, Hezbollah continuously bombarded northern Israel with Katyusha rockets. Israel continued to bomb Hezbollah installations.


The scene shortly after the attack
The scene shortly after the attack

The conflict intensified and thousands of Lebanese civilians sought to flee the area and find safe refuge from the fighting. By 14 April, 745 people were occupying the United Nations compound at Qana. More than 800 were there on April 18.[8]

Beginning with the second day of combat Israel had been retaliating within 10 minutes directly at any source of fire discovered by reconaisance. This tactic was widely discussed in Israeli media, and well known to the Hizbolla fighters and Lebanese citizens.

According to a U.N. report, on April 18, Three Hezbollah militia men, stopped outside the compoutnd and fired two Katyusha rockets and eight mortars at Israeli soldiers near the so-called Red Line (the northern limits of the "security zone") from areas about 200 meters southwest and 350 meters southeast of the United Nations compound. 15 minutes later an Israeli unit responded by shelling the area with M-109A2 155 mm guns.[9] According to the Israeli military, thirty eight shells were fired, two-thirds of them equipped with proximity fuses, an anti-personnel mechanism that causes the weapon to explode above the ground. The UN investigation found that 13 shells exploded within or above the compound and 4 "very close to it."[10]

As a result of the shelling, 106 civilians died, with more wounded. Most of the casualties were residents of nearby villages who had fled the conflict, while four were UN troops.



Israel immediately expressed regret for the loss of innocent lives, saying that the Hezbollah position and not the UN compound was the intended target of the shelling, and that the compound was hit "due to incorrect targeting based on erroneous data." Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Matan Vilnai stated that the shells hit the base not because they were off target, but because Israeli gunners used outdated maps of the area. He also stated that the gunners miscalculated the firing range of the shells.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres claimed that "We did not know that several hundred people were concentrated in that camp. It came to us as a bitter surprise."[11] Following the attack, Lt.-Gen. Amnon Shahak, Israel's chief of staff, at a press conference in Tel Aviv on April 18 defended the shelling: "I don't see any mistake in judgment… We fought Hezbollah there [in Qana], and when they fire on us, we will fire at them to defend ourselves… I don't know any other rules of the game, either for the army or for civilians..."[12]. Both the U.S. and Israel accused Hezbollah of "shielding", the use of civilians as a cover for military activities, which is a breach of the laws of war. The U.S. State Department spokesperson, Nicolas Burns stated, "Hezbollah [is] using civilians as cover. That's a despicable thing to do, an evil thing."[13] and Prime Minister Shimon Peres cited the use of human shielding to blame Hezbollah. On April 18 he said, "They used them as a shield, they used the UN as a shield — the UN admitted it."[14] Rabbi Yehuda Amital, a member of Peres' cabinet, called the Qana killings a desecration of God's name (chilul hashem).[15]

The UN appointed military advisor Major-General Franklin van Kappen of the Netherlands to investigate the incident. His conclusions were:

1996 shelling of Qana
(a) The distribution of impacts at Qana shows two distinct concentrations, whose mean points of impact are about 140 metres apart. If the guns were converged, as stated by the Israeli forces, there should have been only one main point of impact.

(b) The pattern of impacts is inconsistent with a normal overshooting of the declared target (the mortar site) by a few rounds, as suggested by the Israeli forces.

(c) During the shelling, there was a perceptible shift in the weight of fire from the mortar site to the United Nations compound.

(d) The distribution of point impact detonations and air bursts makes it improbable that impact fuses and proximity fuses were employed in random order, as stated by the Israeli forces.

(e) There were no impacts in the second target area which the Israeli forces claim to have shelled.

(f) Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.

While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors.[16]

1996 shelling of Qana

Amnesty International conducted an on-site investigation of the incident in collaboration with military experts, using interviews with UNIFIL staff and civilians in the compound, and posing questions to the IDF, who did not reply. Amnesty concluded, "the IDF intentionally attacked the UN compound, although the motives for doing so remain unclear. The IDF have failed to substantiate their claim that the attack was a mistake. Even if they were to do so they would still bear responsibility for killing so many civilians by taking the risk to launch an attack so close to the UN compound."[17]

Human Rights Watch concurred, "The decision of those who planned the attack to choose a mix of high-explosive artillery shells that included deadly anti-personnel shells designed to maximize injuries on the ground -- and the sustained firing of such shells, without warning, in close proximity to a large concentration of civilians -- violated a key principle of international humanitarian law."[18]

A video recording made by a UNIFIL soldier showed an unmanned drone and a helicopter in the vicinity at the time of the shelling. Uri Dromi, an Israeli government spokesman, confirmed there was a drone in the area, but stated that it did not detect civilians in the compound. The Israel response to the report stated that "The IAF drone shown on videotape did not reach the area until after the UN position was hit and was not an operational component in the targeting of Israeli artillery fire in the area. There was no way in which it could see the camp, especially on a cloudy day," he said. "The shelling took place from six minutes past two to 13 minutes past two. It was only at 17 minutes past two that it was ordered to fly towards Qana. At 21 minutes past two it established contact with the camp for the first time, but the pictures were sketchy because of the cloud cover. It relayed pictures of the camp again at 2:30pm. The Israeli video was shown to the UN in New York . . . before they published their findings." [19]

On December 15, 2005, relatives of those killed filed suit in a Washington, DC, court against former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon for his role in the deaths. The lawsuit was prepared by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Yaalon, who is a visiting scholar in Washington, reportedly refused the papers serving the lawsuit.[20] [21]

Position of al-Qaeda

Osama bin Laden has repeatedly and publicly cited the deaths of civilians at Qana in justification of his policy towards the United States of America.

In his 23 August 1996 declaration of jihad against the United States, he wrote (addressing his fellow Muslims), "Your blood has been spilt in Palestine and Iraq, and the horrific image of the massacre in Qana in Lebanon are still fresh in people’s minds."

In November 1996, he told the Australian journal Nida'ul Islam about Qana again, saying that when the United States government accuses terrorists of killing innocents it is "accusing others of their own afflictions in order to fool the masses."

When he met CNN’s Peter Arnett near Jalalabad in March 1997, he mentioned Qana several times, saying that "the mention of the U.S. reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took pace in Qana," and said further that this would have consequences for American civilians: "As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and in other places, and its support of its client regimes who filled their prisons with our best children and scholars... The U.S. today, as a result of this arrogance, has set a double standard, calling whoever goes against its injustice a terrorist. It wants to occupy our countries, steal our resoures, install collaborators to rule us with man-made laws, and wants us to agree on all these issues… we find that it judges the behaviour of the poor Palestinian children whose country was occupied: if they throw stones against the Israeli occupation it says they are terrorists, whereas when the Israeli pilots bombed the United Nations building in Qana, Lebanon,while it was full of children and women, the US stopped any plan to condemn Israel.”

Speaking to Tayssir Alouni of Al Jazeera on 20 October 2001, bin Laden cited Qana again even as he declared, "if killing those that kill our sons is terrorism, then let history witness that we are terrorists," and referring to a "balance of terror" between Muslims and the United States. [22]


The shelled area is marked by a memorial and the marble sarcophagi of the 102 civilians killed. The memorial was funded by the Syrian government.[23]

April 18 is held as an anniversary to commemorate the victims of the bombardment. At other times, Hezbollah has used this event to arouse ill will toward Israel and the United States, prominently marching after the relatives of the victims, or making inflammatory speeches at the event.[24]

In the aftermath of the massacre the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani wrote the poem The Face Of Qana about the shelling. The poem is available online at