Friday, February 25, 2005

Lebanon rises

I remember Lebanon. Vaguely.

Some twenty years ago, while I was in high school (has it really been that long?), the family was living in England, about 70 miles northeast of London. RAF Woodbridge/Bentwaters, Dad's station. My first (and last) experience with DoDDS - Department of Defense Dependent Schools. Also my first (and last) experience with Model United Nations, and for a very long time, the last time I was interested in and informed about world affairs, though at the time I was more "up" on Africa than the Middle East, since my school was acting as the delegation from Ghana.

Still, it was also contemporaneous with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed so many American soldiers and resulted in concrete barriers' being set up in front of the US military base gates all over the world to prevent car bombers from gaining access. Hard not to notice that when your school bus has to slalom through them daily. And I remember that Lebanon had the largest Christian population in the Middle East, which was interesting to me.

But after those two years, I'm afraid I didn't really spare a thought for Lebanon, to the point that I was only just barely aware that it was occupied(?!), and had no memory at all of who the occupiers were (Syria, in case you're in the same boat - and the current Lebanese government is a puppet of Syria). But apparently there are rumblings now that Syria is responding to the Bush Doctrine: Instapundit lists about four other sources that indicate plans for civil disobedience and a promise from Syria to withdraw from certain areas of Lebanon, apparently in response to recent accusations that Syria is complicit in the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri - and, I'd bet, in response to Secretary Rice's first world tour and her failure to be a kinder, gentler secretary of state than Gen. Powell (who, much as I liked the guy, was a bit too kind and gentle for my tastes).

Let's do the tally: Afghanistan. Ukraine. The Palestinians. Iraq. North Korea - feeling goaded and therefore entering another rant phase? Iran and Saudi Arabia - mutterings from the street about how Iraq gets to have elections, so why can't we? Now... Syria and Lebanon?

Please note: apologies that I haven't yet figured out how to link to specific Instapundit pieces... Just search for "Syria" or "Lebanon," or scroll down. It's on February 23.

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