Nic, Bupkis and Nichevo

About Nothing, by Nothing, with German-flavored cleavage occasionally thrown in for local color.

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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

You can email me at NicBupkusNichevo at aol dot com. Aren't you excited?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Listening for Crickets

We could realistically find ourselves looking at a free Iraq and Lebanon and a reforming Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia not by the end of Bush’s second term but by the end of this year. A newly independent Lebanon, with its Western and Christian links, could become a cornerstone of a reforming Middle East. Perhaps Beirut once again will be the “Paris of the East.”

New Sisyphus has an extensive post about the President's speech in Brussels and his interpretation of each passage. Painfully conservative politics aside, he does have some excellent points (skip the "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" we-told-you-so-bits), including the too-short section on Lebanon and Syria. I can remember in high school watching Lebanon implode in a civil war so ugly and brutal that no one much thought it would ever come to an end. I even remember a short story (unfortunately I don't remember by who) based on the idea that Beirut eventually is taken over by the UN and turned into basically a giant playground for terrorists and other aggressors, the only place in the world where political violence still occured (mostly because no one could figure out a way to end it there, so it was co-opted). And I can most certainly remember with aching clarity the bombing of the Marine barracks in our misguided attempt to intervene.

But, lo and behold, the Druze and the Christians and the Muslims figured it out; if they kept fighting each other there would be nothing left to win (wish Israel and Palestine could have this same epiphany, but that's covered in a different portion of the President's speech). Despite Syria, despite Hezbollah, they were well on the way to reclaiming their beautiful country. And now Assad's baby boy decides he needs to prove his balls are as big as his daddy's. Baaaaaad move, buddy. May I kindly bring your attention to Kabul? Baghdad? Tripoli? Tripoli is my favorite warning, since we didn't have to do a damn thing to make Qaddafi figure out which way the wind was blowing. No, I don't think you'll see an Abrams rolling down Main Street, Damascus anytime soon; I don't think we'll need to. I *do* think that speeches such as the one in Brussels by the President (and hell, even Chirac's putting his two francs in) and anti-Syria demonstrations such as the one a few days ago attended by thousands in Beirut will bring Syria's leadership to the realization that maybe, just maybe, they done screwed the heck up.

And if that doesn't work, I'm sure we wouldn't object if the democratically-elected government of Lebanon (elections in just a few months, folks) asked us politely to drop a few Cruise missiles on the occupiers invaders of their country.

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