Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Who's Really Funding the Rebels in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp?

Reported by Marie Therese - May 29, 2007 -

On Friday, May 25th, Your World substitute host David Asman questioned FOX News correspondent Steve Harrigan who was present while the Lebanese army shelled the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in a night-time assault. Asman later interviewed Brigitte Gabriel, a woman with deep ties to the BBG (Broadcasting Board of Governors), a government-linked company that owns Voice of America, Middle East Television and Radio Marti, among others. A few months ago in March 2007 investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported in The New Yorker that many small rebel Lebanese Sunni groups (similar to Fatah al Islam) are being funded by Saudi Arabia (through Bandar Bush) and the U.S. in the hope that they would act as foils to the influence of Hezbollah, which is Shi'a. All in all, it would seem that wheels are spinning within wheels in Lebanon.With video.

Here's a transcript of the conversation between David Asman and Steve Harrigan, Friday, May 25, 2007:

STEVE HARRIGAN: "Neil (sic), it's definitely a rough time right here because it's a heavy pounding from all different sides. It's just sometimes like, like a wall of noise because you've got tanks going off, you've got APCs firing off, you've got 50 caliber guns, and it seems like everyone with a Kalashnikov is firing away also. Some of those tracers you can probably see behind me. Some of those buildings are being hit. Of course, inside those buildings and around that camp, a couple of hundred Islamic militants, some of them dedicated to Al Qaeda. When one of those buildings is hit by a tank round, you can just see it glow for a few seconds and then burn out, so we've really seen fires throughout the night. There was heavy fire last night and more heavy fire tonight. David, back to you."

DAVID ASMAN: "Steve, I gotta ask. I didn't know that it had not let up. Essentially, has this been going round the clock since you were caught in the middle of it yesterday?"

STEVE HARRIGAN: "No. It really died down during the day and then right after evening prayers, right after it gets dark, it does pick up. It's strange. You'd think an operation like this, to try and root out a couple of hundred terrorists inside a heavily populated area, you think it would take place during daylight, especially if your army doesn't have night vision. But what we're seeing now is really a pounding of that camp, perhaps trying to soften it up before they do go inside. It happened last night and it happened tonight about eight hours and the violence really comes and goes in waves. Someone will start firing and then everyone else will pick up the call."

ASMAN: "Is there any way of telling who has the advantage in this situation of attacking at night?"

HARRIGAN: "I think right now the clear advantage is qwith the Lebanese army. They've certainly got them heavily outnumbered. There's a few thousand Lebanesse troops in the field. They have the heavy artillery. They have the tanks and the APCs. The only fire we've heard coming from the camp is small arms fire. I talked to some soldiers today and they said not even a cat could get out of that camp. So those - as you can hear that fire in the background - those people are really locked in there and as the government says it's up to them whether they want to surrender or die. Right now they seem to be making the - choosing the latter."

ASMAN: "Steve, we still hear - we do hear the firing in the background. Is it going all around, that is, is some of it going behind you, around you, close to you or is it all concentrated in that area we see on fire?"

HARRIGAN: "Now, there's two of three different firing points. They've really got this camp surrounded and they are hitting it from a number of different targets. It seems like they focus, they concentrate on one building and then just light up that building. It looks like a piece of coal that's really burning until you realize it's a five- or six-story building. They really - they're hitting it from a number of different targets. They have tanks. They have armored personnel carriers and they have those 50 caliber guns. And every twenty minutes or so, you'll just hear a roar and a wave of firing like we're hearing right now."

ASMAN" "Now, is - these terrorists are known for using civilians as shields. It's one of the most cowardly things they do. Is - is there any sense that the civilians that are in the camp have been able to get out or is there still the possibility that these terrorists are using them to protect themselves?

HARRIGAN: "Well, there was estimated to be about 40,000 civilians in that camp, and more than 20,000 have left. It's not clear how many are still in there, but certainly at least a few thousand. This morning, when we got up, we could see people hanging out their wash, their laundry - women hanging up clothes and, in part, that may have been a signal, a signal to the Lebanese military outside here that 'Hey, we are still in here. There's still civilians here - women and children inside. We're hanging out our laundry. Don't shell us.' But certainly the government has shown just pure determination in taking this fight to the terrorists inside that camp. Whoever could get out, waned to get our or had the means to get out is probably gone. A much lighter flow of refugees out of the camp during the day today."

ASMAN: "Our man Steve Harrigan in the thick of things in Tripoli. Now, Steve, we're gonna keep your connection open. If there's anything that happens there, we'll be coming right back to you - anything more than what we already see - we'll be comin' right back to Steve within this hour, so stay tuned for that. Our man Steve Harrigan, once again, one of the bravest men around. Thank you, Steve."

If Seymour Hersh is right, it is quite possible that Fatah al Islam has received funding from either the Saudis or from the United States.

Why did the Lebanese army fire at the camp only at night without night vision equipment and not, as Harrigan pointed out, during the day when they could actually see at whom they were aiming? Such a tactic can result only in a large number of civilian casualties. If Steve Harrigan reported correctly, the Lebanese government had to know it would mostly kill or injure civilians in this attack. It seems to me that such an action has got to be against international law.

Later in the show, Asman interviewed two other guests - retired Marine Charles Henderson, who "lost a bunch of his buddies" in the 1983 bombing of the American embassy in Beirut and Lebanese radical Catholic-Christian activist and Arab-hater, Brigitte. Ms. Gabriel, a brassy, hate-filled harpy, is a favorite guest on FOX News.

Gabriel worked for Middle East Television, which is owned and operated by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), whose current Chairman, Ken Tomlinson, is well-known to many of us as the man who tried to bring down PBS. She met her husband, a war correspondent, in Jerusalem in the late 1980s. Upon arriving in America, she was able to start her own successful television production company. One assumes hubby-dearest had connections. Ms. Gabriel's biography omits the name of that company and of her husband.

Charles Henderson is a Vietnam veteran who has written several books including Marine Sniper, Marshalling the Faithful, Goodnight Saigon and Jungle Rules. Henderson was present in 1983 when the U. S Embassy was blown up by a suicide bomber. He lost several friends in the attack considered by many to be the beginning of the Islamist "blowback" precipitated by American meddling in mideast affairs. In typical FOX News fashion, they schedule a guest not for his/her expertise but because their views reflect those of the FOX management team.

Needless to say, both guests found nothing wrong in the massive, indiscriminate shelling of 20,000 people in a camp that had been sealed off.

In the days following this report, FOX has continued its updates, proudly announcing that good old America is giving ammunition and other military supplies (like night vision equipment) to the Lebanese army so they can continue pounding the Palestinian camp into rubble. Additionally, they've stopped calling the rebels "Al Qaeda inspired". As of 12:54 PM EDT this morning, on FOX News Live Jon Scott called them "Al Qaeda militants." So much for accuracy in media!

FOX News's attitude about this attack has been gung-ho, rah-rah, it's OK for the Lebanese government to kill Palestinians like sitting ducks and it's just fine if America showers them with the weapons to accomplish this bloody task,

In any other world at any other time, what the Sinoura government is doing in Tripoli would be called genocide. But in today's over-saturated, under-informed world, it's just another mass killing by just another government. Violence against our fellow human beings has become so commonplace we find it tedious and change the channel.

Maybe that's why the name "Rome"has been entering my mind more and more these days.