Thursday, March 09, 2006

Baghdad Does As Beirut Did: The Makings of a Civil War

[This is the first of two parts]
One of my sharpest memories of growing up during the Lebanese civil war is of the daily concurrence of horror and normalcy—of playing Monopoly at a friend’s while rumors of beheadings were serrating the neighborhood, of shooting marbles in the driveway while the town across the valley got its five o’clock shelling. So it was around the country: Feasting in one sector while another burned, sometimes because another burned; a sector thronged with shoppers and typically wild drivers in the morning (road rage being a Lebanese talent going back to the Phoenicians, who must have invented seafaring rage) only to be deserted by afternoon as snipers or fugitive checkpoints drenched the place in terror. Read the rest...