So I arrived in Beirut on Sunday after a weekend in Cyprus thinking it would be a fun place to watch the world cup as I have many friends in Beirut. 5 days later I am stranded with what seems to be quite a lot more tourists than I was expecting. A few observations
1) the U.S. embassy has been anything but helpful these last few days. When i finally got through to a human being last night he told me the embassy was closed, to try back tomorrow, and made me feel that I was crazy for even asking about an evacuation plan. Needless to say I spent the night terrified listening to fighter jets and bombs and awoke to an endless busy signal whenever I call their number. This is a common experience among all other Americans I've run into here.
2) The Lebanese people seem to be more than turned off by Hizbollah. Their fears are greater, however, that the Lebanese government would turn entirely against Hizbollah. This lies in the fact that they trust the Israelis to hit fewer civilian targets more than they trust a desparate renegade Hizbollah on their soil. There is a lot of fear over another civil war.
3) War is both nerve-racking and boring. Its hard to explain being shaken awake at 4:00 am by a bomb. Or just sitting around all day watching the news as your electricity comes in and out. Nothing really happens but you're chewing your nails the whole time. Excluding the new generation, the Lebanese people are eerily accustomed to this and know things I could never dream about, like cracking the windows at night to avoid shattering from sonic booms...
4) Pajamas Media is the most accurate coverage I've found so far.
Hoping there's a way out soon...
We're all hoping that. And we're hoping that it's a way that leads to a lasting peace in Lebanon and the whole region. And I'm glad you like the PJ Media coverage. Gerard van der Leun took over as editor a couple of months back, and I think he's worked some real improvements.