For a good summary of the different perspectives on the situation, please check out Thanassi Cambanis’s blog here. I also had a listen today to a podcast I did on Lebanon a couple years ago — about six months after the “mini civil war,” and after I had spent a summer reporting there — to get me back in the Lebanon mood. I talked to four people — a filmmaker, a musician, an insurance professional, and a Syrian en route to America. It had been a while since I had heard those voices, and they brought back a lot of vivid memories of the energy in the country. Among the people I spoke to, everyone was pretty anxious about the future, and while not all their predictions have panned out (yet), it was a good reminder that the drama with government (or lack thereof) in Lebanon is not much of a surprise. If you care to have a listen, the podcast is still available here. (By the way, if I had to do it over, there’d be some more editing. But considering this was the first ‘cast I ever did, I think I did OK… right?)
Another thought: while it’s no surprise that there are problems in Lebanon, it’s also good to remember its resilience, its exhaustion with war, and most importantly its treasure trove of intelligent people who are committed to peace in their own ways, large and small. Let’s hope that this standoff is resolved without bloodshed.