I, Water Vapor

The influence I (and most everyone else) can have on the ever-greater catastrophe in the mideast is minimal. So why do so many people feel compelled to learn as much as possible about what’s happening? For myself, I’ve decided it’s so that in 2009 when terrorists set off the atomic device ten blocks from my house, I can—just before I turn into a puff of water vapor—shout “I understand EXACTLY why this is happening!”


1. Dennis Perrin imagines what would happen if Israel were Lebanon and Lebanon were Israel.

2. Jonathan Versen, who grew up partly in Beirut, says: “The Middle East is not a dream someone else is having”

3. Billmon reads the accidental transcript of Bush and Blair talking in Russia and thinks:

This is fascinating as well as terrifying. It suggests that Bush and his faithful water carrier both really believe their own bullshit…it’s hard not to be impressed with the level of delusion picked up by that treacherous microphone.

4. Chris Floyd: “…since we do live in a world dominated by vicious (not to say vacuous) sectarian folderol, we should at least try to deal with the actual reality in front of us, not the heat mirages thrown off by warring sects.”

5. Amal Saad-Ghorayeb points out some boring old facts:

The prisoners Hizbullah wants released are hostages who were taken on Lebanese soil. In the successful prisoner exchange in 2004, Israel held on to three Lebanese detainees as bargaining chips and to keep the battle front with Hizbullah open. These detentions have become a cause celebre in Lebanon.

6. Egypt’s Mahmoud Sabit sez: “In a Fragile Situation, Engage Hamas”