Friday, July 28, 2006

Watching Beirut die

I haven't written about what's happening in Lebanon because there is so much out there, I can't imagine I can add to it. It's a nightmare.

I know that what is happening is wrong on so many levels - but I can't say I know who to blame. One can rationalize anything, I suppose, whether it's the decision to kidnap the first soldier, or the one to target civilians, or the one that puts rocket launchers near hospitals and schools.

Common sense says those things should never happen. Reality proves they do. And always, the innocent pay the ultimate price.

So while I can't add a lot to the discussion of these sad events, I can point you to a story on today which you should read. It's called "Watching Beirut die." It's written by Anthony Bourdain, a celebrity chef and author, who arrived in Lebanon with a camera crew to document the rebirth of the city and instead ended up holed up in a hotel for days, watching the city die around him.

It's a riveting first-person account, admittedly from a position of relative safety and far from the chaos of the rest of the city. But it's well done and worth reading.

One further link. Christopher Allbritton, whose blog, Back To Iraq, I have written about before, is now in Lebanon, in Tyre. If you want a first-person account from a professional journalist with a keen eye for what's going on, read his latest postings. And consider donating something to his cause.

Allbritton is a remarkable journalist and what he has done in Iraq over the past two years is an amazing story in itself.

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