Painting the Passports Brown
Lead the sheeple to the order like the lamb to the slaughter
The wars of this century will be over water - Clarity
Sorry for the extended silence, but it's been a hard week. Though seriously, given the kind of week it's been I feel foolish complaining.
Let me just lay this out briefly, in case you've missed it, like I almost did.
From Reuters, on the eve of the IDF's ground offensive, "Late night calls from Israel spook jittery Lebanese":
At first, Bushra Khayyat tried to ignore the incessant ringing of the phone at her house in Lebanon's southern port city of Sidon. It was 4 a.m., but she finally got out of bed.
"I said hello and got a recorded message from Israel," she told Reuters.
In clear Arabic, the strong voice on the phone said: "Oh Lebanese people, we tell you not to follow Hizbollah. We will continue to strike and no one will bring your prisoners back from Israel except the Lebanese government."
Other residents of the south have received similar calls.
"My grandmother got two calls at 5 and 6 in the morning saying the Israeli state would not stop the attacks and asking everyone to leave the area south of the Litani," said one woman who is stranded in Sidon. "She slammed the phone down."
"Operation Litani" was the official name of Israel's 1978 invasion of Lebanon, intended to drive the PLO across the river and beyond the range of Israel's northern communities. The southern reaches of the Litani run parallel to the border - a "natural" border, thought Chaim Weizmann - before emptying into the Mediterranean north of the port of Tyre.
From Lonergan and Brooks' Watershed: The Role of Fresh Water in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, published in 1995:
Israel’s incursion into Lebanon and the establishment of the “Security Zone” in the early 1980s allows it access to the lower reaches of the Litani River (which flows within 10 km of the Israeli border). These actions, coupled with past unsuccessful attempts by Israel to reach an agreement with Lebanon to share Litani water, have led to great Arab concern that Israel will unilaterally divert the Litani into the Jordan River.... In a letter to the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, Chaim Weizmann noted [in 1919] that Lebanon “is a well watered region . . . and the Litani River is valueless to the territory north of the proposed frontiers . . . . It can be used beneficially in the country much further south” This interest in the Litani continued through the 1950s, when both Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, Israel’s Chief of Staff, advocated Israeli occupation of Lebanon up to the Litani River. The fact that Litani water is very high in quality with a low mineral content only enhances its value — and the perceived threat.
During the years of southern Lebanon's occupation, there were persistant rumours, eventually proven unfounded, that Israeli engineers were constructing a tunnel to divert the waters of the Litani towards the south. As Lonergan and Brooks write, "the lack of any evidence supporting the claim of an Israeli diversion of Litani River water does not mean that some Israelis do not covet the Litani River. It is the only nearby source of surface water that would allow Israel to maintain its present consumption rates and avoid the difficult choice of whether to reallocate water away from agriculture."
If Israel again reaches the Litani and holds it, the pressure will be that much greater to exploit Lebanon's waters, because the environmental exigencies are that much more exacerbated this century then they were even twenty years ago. In 2002, Ariel Sharon threatened Lebanon with war if it diverted the water of the Hasbani River from the Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest reservoir.
How will nations behave when they're dying of thirst? America's giant Ogallala aquifer could go dry in two decades. Sooner or later, we'll find out.