I was at a dinner the other night and was introduced to a lovely Lebanese woman. We started reminiscing about the good old days in Lebanon and I asked her where she lived in Beirut. She said it was in a building off “Rue John Kennedy.” I stopped her immediately. “Rue John Kennedy?” I said, rolling over the words in my mind. “I forgot there was a time when they actually named streets in the Arab world for an American president.”
Will there ever be a street in Baghdad named after George W. Bush or any U.S. president? The fact that even asking the question today seems absurd tells you how far things have deteriorated.
What’s absurd here is Friedman expecting to get away with his sleight-of-hand.
Lebanon in the 1960s was about as typical an Arab country as, say, Jamaica. My great grandmother, Dorothy von Hoffmann, used to go to Beirut to gamble, fer crissakes. And don’t think she wasn’t gambling without her ever-present scotch & soda.
Drinking and gambling