Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Tragedy in Lebanon

Today I must digress. The tragedy unfolding in Lebanon, unchecked by the major powers, deserves all the attention we can provide.

Last year, I was privileged to help with the life story of a delightful lady from that country. Although at the outset I thought I knew a good deal about Lebanon and Beirut, having visited several times, as usual, being intimately involved with a family from the country puts a very different aspect on matters. Perhaps the bumbling politicians who initiated the disaster in the first place ( errors which go back some 120 years, incidentally) would have done well to have had the same experience.

The Lebanese family, who are now close friends, are all safely out of the country, something which cannot be said for many of their friends and relatives.

One daughter has had the foresight to start a blog to provide information on the situation, other than that provided by the British and American press.

I urge you to take a look at

Perhaps a significant measure of the state of ignorance concerning Lebanon is revealed by one anecdote I heard whilst working on the book:

One of the daughters, at University, was asked by a fellow American student, where she was from. “Lebanon,” says she. “Oh,” he says, “I’ve never been to Ohio.”

Meanwhile Britain’s Foreign Minister is off on her caravanning holiday and her US equivalent, tired of having to defend Israel and other distasteful Middle Eastern topics, has headed for the Far East where nothing contentious is happening.

Talking it over with a very good Jewish friend, he commented: “But making people feel sorry for us is what we do best.”

It certainly seems to have worked with the US and British governments.


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