Tuesday, January 30, 2007

1701 Balloons. [Truth or Paranoia]



A little while ago, we heard about a possible breach of UN resolution 1701 in southern Lebanon. More specifically, in the southern village of Nabatieh.

It was reported that "Balloons drifting from Israel into southern Lebanon sparked a panic among villagers over the weekend amid rumors they were filled with poison gas".

After finding the balloons in his backyard, a villager and his family manifested symptoms of poisoning and were treated as such at the hospital. The reporter covering the incident, also showed the same symptoms, and in her turn, was treated at the hospital.

Could it be real? Could it be pure paranoia generated by the Hebrew typography found on the colorful balloons?

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV, claimed the balloons contained toxic gas and had been dropped by Israeli military aircraft, while Dr. Suleiman, an intensive care doctor at the hospital, said that although the patients complained of symptoms that are consistent with exposure to toxic gases, blood and urine tests did not reveal exposure to such gases.

"We have no explanation for it"

"Reports that balloons with Hebrew letters had popped up around Lebanon continued Monday, with one TV station reporting that balloons had appeared in Beirut. The report could not be immediately confirmed"

"The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday that helium balloons from a promotional event by Ha'ir, a chain of local newspapers, had floated north over the border into Lebanon.
Still, their appearance spread alarm among Lebanese — a sign of the tensions and suspicion that remain in the border region after last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah that devastated much of the south.

Here's my suggestion:
Erect another giant wall with sensors, lasers and such. Then issue passports for birds of all kinds. A Hassoun [local bird known for its beautiful colors and "voice"] can not eat from a tree in Northern Israel, and then cross the border to South Lebanon without being searched... and I mean cavity search.

What insolence!

Read the full article
here.

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14 Comments:

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know i never do any political comments, but the best thing to do is to interpret the situation in Lebanon in a drawing, a "caricature" so we can "laugh about it now" (title of a song by BLACK)...instead of stressing, just laugh...good for u Z, u stressed a lot lately on everything that was happening over there...
I love this post

NOUZ

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Krys said...

I didn't knew about these baloons until I read your post...
You can't blame the lebanese people for this paranoia _z.,they've had enough during the war.
But what's really strange is the doctor's diagnosis...symptoms confirming toxic gaz but biological tets nop...and that's all they came out with??
Love the x-files theme...so impressive :)

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger gitanes legeres said...

were u able to find any more info? ta3teem e3lemeh ya _z...

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Red said...

I have to say, I agree with Krys. Too much has gone on in recent months for the people not to be fearful and suspicious -- among other things -- of anything that flies bearing Hebrew letters. Remember the schoolgirls signing the missiles, "Love from Israel"?

Your drawings are super-cool, by the way.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger jooj said...

I wonder what the media would have reported if it had been the other way around; i.e. Lebanese balloons with Arabic writing landing on Israeli land.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Lirun said...

i see your concerns about the birds.. what if they start spreading our zionist crap everywhere after eating zionist fruit and flies.. :)

 
At 12:46 AM, Blogger _z. said...

Nouz_
thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it.
expressing unfortunate in drawing is a lot less stressing.

Krys_
hehe, I thought the X-file theme song was a must. look I am not blaming anybody, but the whole incident is a little weird, I thought.

Gitanes_
I didn't find a lot of documentation about the subject. Just a couple of articles, but that's it.

red_
thank you for liking the drawings. and as I told krys, I don't blame southerners. It was just weird, and I had to ask the question.
note, that the sarcastic tone is not just targeting the Lebanese. It even hits the Israelis.
it was just a graphical doocumentation of the "event" if you like.

 
At 12:46 AM, Blogger _z. said...

jooj_
I am sure we would have gotten the same reaction on the other side of the border. Both are as paranoid and as scared and sceptical against each others.

the question I pose is:
what would have happened, had the doctor confirm the presence of poison.

lirun_
I think birds should know better mate, don't you think ;)

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

_z,
This is all part of the society of fear that we live in (see Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine for further explanation).
I wonder if you were following the incident in Boston over the last couple of days where mass fear and confusion paralyzed the whole city over few ads that were mistaken for bombs.
Keep up the good work.
Fadi

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Lirun said...

:)

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger _z. said...

Fadi_
well yeah the society of fear is there because it is propagated by someone or something. but it is also the fault of mass population, not just mass media or mass indoctrination.
I did not know about the incident in Boston.. tell me.

;)lirun.

 
At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

z_,
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/02/buzz.marketing/index.html

Electronic signs posted around the city of Boston mainly underneath bridges as a publicity stunt for a TV show were perceived by the public as bombs. It turned out that the ad company did not take permission for the ads and the city did not know about them. The whole city was shut down among mass fear and confusion of a city wide terrorist attack.
Is this reasonable? Was the reaction of the Lebanese justified when they saw balloons with Hebrew writing on them after a deadly war in which Israel used banned weapons to target children?
It is a hard question. If I was in Boston or Beirut I would have disregarded the threats just like you and me disregarded all the advice not to go to Beirut over the holidays because of 'presumed danger' but you can't make fun of the mass reaction to situations that might turn out ugly.
The real solution will be to have a government (ruling entity) that will provide security to the people under its protection so that the people will have to assume that they are safe and someone is watching over them and not have to worry about possible unreasonable danger. Paradoxically, it is usually in the benefit of the government to spread a society of fear in order to be able to rule much easier. Again I refer you to Moore's movie that is fascinating in how it describes this strategy. If the regular people are afraid and are worried from 'terrorists' and attacks by 'enemies' they will not be free to oppose your everyday policy and will tolerate the governor who is 'protecting' them from this evil. It is the very old political trick of waging war in order to gain popular support but it still works.
Fadi

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

you never know.. either way it's sad..

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger _z. said...

fadi, i am not underestimating the power of fear. not at all. and a powerful government will not resolve anything. are you saying that the bush government is not powerful? but still it is that government that propagates fear amongst its citizens.

the solution my friend is a peaceful government NOT a powerful government. A government that signs peace accords with its surrounding. A government that brings peace and not one once of hatred or war.
Only then, we will stop being afraid, and stop dreading Hebrew balloons or Syrian kaak.


ba3deyn as mirvat said... who knows... who knows.

 

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