Monday, July 17, 2006
What a beautiful city Beirut was and probably the city where I felt the most comfortable of all the cities I traveled to in the ME.
I have been talking quite a bit with my Jordanian and American friends about what is happening there right now. Opinions vary, but the main consensus is that it is all just really sad.
We all agree that Hizbollah's kidnappings were inexcusable and reprehensible. Many of us also think that Israel has a right to defend itself but that they are overdoing it by not only going after Hizbollah strongholds but also destroying infrastructure in downtown Beirut and killing and injuring civilians of this fragile new Democracy. One Jordanian friend eloquently observed that "Israel always goes straight for the jugular."
I mourn what both countries are going through right now. On a personal level, I am worried for the people I met in Lebanon and my friends in Jordan who have loved ones there. Even though I visited Beirut during a time of relative stability, it was clear that fatalism has been etched permanently into their hearts and minds. To put that in more colloquial terms, the folks I spoke with talked openly about impending war and death, many had thousands in credit card debt (you can't take $ with you when you go), and literally partied like there was no tomorrow.
We can't choose where we are born. We can't choose the time we are born in. But it is more important then ever that the countries who can choose their leaders do so with great caution.
The evangelical Rapture Ready message board for evangelicals read last Thursday, “Is it time to get excited?” Crazy times.