Back from Beirut

Sometimes I’m a bit cagey about my travel plans, not because I’m paranoid but because I think it’s a good habit to cultivate even when I don’t think it’s necessary. Even so, it seems like half the known universe found out I was in Beirut, Lebanon, last week when my colleague Christopher Hitchens was roughed up on Hamra Street after defacing a commemorative sign guarded by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. I was with him when it happened, as was Jonathan Foreman from Standpoint Magazine. I must have received fifty emails from concerned friends and readers asking if I was okay when the rumor spread from the blogosphere to the media.
Yes, I am fine. I got one scratch and one bruise when I tried to extract Christopher from the mob. I wouldn’t have even been scratched had I simply stepped aside and let the angry young men go to work on him without interference.
Almost every narrative yet published of this minor battle in Beirut is wrong in at least one detail. Now that I’m home and have time to write, I’ll knock out the real story and publish it here. Stay tuned. This won’t take long.
In the meantime, “here is an excellent interview with Christopher”: in NOW Lebanon that was conducted over dinner in Saad Hariri’s house a few nights ago. Read it all.



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