army day bi lubnan

we wake up flipping back and forth between al jadeed and nbn watching the pomp and circumstance. it is army day in lebanon today. they are marching on television with banners carrying slogans that read, “through martyrdom we protect.” the announcer on nbn tv tells us, “these are the men who “fought the terrorists in Nahr el Bared” refugee camp last summer. somehow this elicits pride among the population. byblos bank still seems to have their camouflage “support our troops” mastercard. from tayyar:

In addition, we can mention the 1999 election of President Emile Lahoud, and his support to the resistance; and the 2008 election of President Michel Sleiman, who is trying to build a real union between all the Lebanese.

This unity between the Lebanese armies and people attained its peak during the war in “Naher–El–Bared”.

from an nahar:

The army command later issued a communiqué, adding to the Order Of the Day and calling for “safeguarding the national accomplishments of the army, the resistance and the people.”

my friend’s sarcastic commentary as we watch the soldiers march: “look how big their arms are!”; “on my god, they’re singing”; “they’re singing and walking. well that’s impressive”; “if Hezbollah’s band were this bad they might not have won” the war in summer 2006.

in all seriousness, though, two years after incidents like the lebanese army invited the israeli occupation forces into their army base for tea in marjayoun, and one year after the lebanese army destroyed the palestinian refugee camp of nahr el bared it is very difficult for me to watch, read, or think about the army without thinking of it as a destructive force with respect to invading enemies as well as to innocent civilians internally.

it is the resistance, in its various political forms, that gives meaning and hope to the people here, hope that we can see in the way that people have honored the dead martyrs and political prisoners who have returned from the zionist state. here is a sampling of some of the posters around lubnan these days:


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