Friday, August 04, 2006

Dude, Here Is Your Civil War

Good Morning. A few new items today.

  • Room for Disagreement: The focus on Lebanon in the last three weeks has generated what no discussion about the Levant has managed to avoid since the third day of creation (did God create oranges first that day, or lemons? Citrus groves have been waging their own intifadas over that one ever since). Namely: disagreement. I post two of the more compelling recent comments, one by an American married to a Lebanese Christian, disagreeing with my characterization of Hezbollah as, among other things, a Shiite Taliban. The other, by one of our friends at Jewlicious, disagreeing with my take on Israeli designs as described in yesterday’s piece. See the letters...

  • Candide's Recommendations for Friday will be posted today in the early morning hours, Eastern Standard.

Good weekend

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Preemeditated War--Going Back to 2005

Good Morning. Two new items today.
  • On July 10, 2006, two days before the Hezbollah caputure of Israeli soldiers and the Israeli assault on lebanon, the Wall Street Journal coincidentally ran a front-page analysis of Hezbollah's evolution into a polkitical force in lebanon. A third of the way into the article, in a paragraph describing the attacks on Hamas in Gaza, the reader comes across this curious line: “[W]orried that Hezbollah’s armed wing might attack too, the Israeli military has issued a high-level alert along its northern border with Lebanon.” From there, Pierre connects dots all the way back to May 2005 to conclude that the ongoing war was premeditated (and put on hold by the Hariri assassination), and that the end game this time is no different than in 1982: installing a pro-Israel president in Lebanon, whose name happens to be Michel Aoun, his current alliance with Hezbollah notwithstanding. See the full article here...
  • Today's edition of Candide's Recommendations is a bit long, but worth the browse: The war's latest "occupation" euphemisms; how America's neo-cons, out of targets to radicalize, are going after Cuba now that Castro is on his seventeenth death bed; how Marines are deflecting attention from the Haditha massacre in Iraq by suing... John Murtha (!); how Tony Blair has become Britain's Bush, bumblings and idiocy included; and what bloggers are reporting on a Qana conspiracy theory, Dick Cheney's war on civil liberties and cats that look like Hitler. All in Candide's Recommendations...
As always, Ecrasez l'infame! and thanks for

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

From Baalbek to America's Taliban

Good morning. Several new items today.

  • If you missed the Tuesday column, say your prayers: Pierre looks at America's Evangelical Taliban and finds few differences with its Islamic variants--incitements to violence included: "At this late stage of the Bush rapture, American evangelism is a lot like the Exxon Valdez: Massive, sloshing with oily energy and not a little drunk on its power as it steers through hazards of its own designs. The moment evangelicals began tearing down the church-state wall, the rubble became their shoals. The wreck will be ugly." See "America's Evangelical Taliban..."
  • News was trickling out late Tuesday evening of an Israeli airborne assault on Baalbek, the town in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley that's home to some of the greatest Roman ruins. Here's a more personal and at times sappy essay that has nothing to do with politics and the war, and everything to do with a boyhood's memories of one's father in the ruins of Baalbek several decades ago: "In My Father's Court: Baalbek..."
  • Horn-tooting time: I was interviewed and The Notebooks featured in a religion column by Cary McMullen of The Ledger in Lakeland (the New York Times-owned daily where I used to work), in the context of--what else, Lebanon's tap-dance between Israel and Hezbollah. See the column in full...
  • A busy day for Candide's Recommendations: The latest Orwellian chicaneries from Ehud Olmert, Stiletto diplomacy from Condi Rice, unsurprising bigotry from Mel Gibson, whose latest act is a Richard Nixon impersonation, a round-up of bloggers' views, and quite a bit more. All in Candide's Garden...
As always, remember that the Notebooks update throughout the day. Join the conversation, drop in a comment or two, and thanks for

Monday, July 31, 2006

Massacre Redux

Good Morning, at least here. The latest massacre at Qana in Lebanon dominates.

  • In "When 'Never Again' Needn't Apply to Lebanon," I looks back at the massacre at Qana in 1996, during Israel's "Operation Grapes of Wrath"--the assault that Shimon Peres halted as a result of the shelling attack on the refugees at Qana, which killed 102 civilians who'd escaped to a UN camp there. The 1996 massacre is compared with Sundays: nothing has changed, except for the bombing halt: Peres' bombing was over for good. Olmert's is to last only two days. See the full post...
  • Candide's Recommendations on Sunday were focused entirely on the attacks, with links to bloggers' pictures that aren't likely to make it to the front pages and the evening newscasts, as well as Michael Totten's prediction of an impending civil war in Lebanon. The permanent lionk to Sunday's recommendations is here. I hope to have the recommendations updated for Monday by early morning on the front page, here.
As always, check for roving updates on the front page. Thank you for your interest in the