I spent a total of seven months in Lebanon recently, and I never could quite figure out what prevented the country from flying apart into pieces. It barely held together like unstable chemicals in a nitro glycerin vat. The slightest ripple sent Lebanese scattering from the streets and into their homes. They were far more twitchy than I, in part (I think) because they understood better than I just how precarious their civilized anarchy was. Their country needed several more years of careful nurturing during peace time to fully recover from its status as a carved up failed state.More here.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Lebanon: 'I Made a Terrible Mistake'
Month in and month out, Michael Totten is at the top of the blogger heap when it comes to astute commentary from a ground-level perspective. This mades his Middle East Journal a must read. But Totten says he "made a terrible mistake" in telling a reader that it would be okay for him to take his wife and kids to Beirut. He writes: