Wow, looks like Thursday Thirteen is the only thing getting me to blog this week. I am thoroughly, utterly depressed about the continuing carnage in Lebanon. The mainstream media can’t seem to draw the distinction between direct armed conflict between Hezbollah and the I.D.F. and the morally indefensible bombardment of civilians and infrastructure. It’s all “fighting”, as in “fighting continued today across Lebanon”. Bombing apartment buildings in South Beirut is not fighting, it is arguably an ongoing war crime. Likewise for lobbing rockets at Haifa.
And the U.S. position on this? We want a speedy resolution, just not yet. The Israeli strategy (backed up by expedited arms shipments and diplomatic foot-dragging by the U.S.) is to turn the Lebanese against Hezbollah. From the Washington Post:
According to retired Israeli army Col. Gal Luft, the goal of the campaign is to “create a rift between the Lebanese population and Hezbollah supporters.” The message to Lebanon’s elite, he said, is this: “If you want your air conditioning to work and if you want to be able to fly to Paris for shopping, you must pull your head out of the sand and take action toward shutting down Hezbollah-land.”
Zbignew Brezinski put it like this: “I hate to say this but I will say it. I think what the Israelis are doing today for example in Lebanon is in effect, in effect — maybe not in intent — the killing of hostages.” Juan Cole, as usual, has perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the situation available on the Web.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. No! It’s time for another Thursday Thirteen, and, like last week, I’m doing a light-hearted one to contrast the deeply troubling times we are in the midst of. This week: Thirteen Things I’m Looking Forward To:
- Seeing my kids, every day.
- Having a cold drink under the stars in our yard with my lovely wife at the end of the day.
- 908 days until George W. Bush leaves the Whitehouse.
- 70 days until the hockey season begins.
- More cool nights. We’ve had an ungodly hot spell in Portland, like the rest of the U.S., and it’s finally starting to cool down at night. Forecast is for highs in the merciful 70s this weekend. Ah, sleep, glorious sleep! FYI, Portland is known for its mild, ideal summer weather. Warm and sunny with cool breezy nights. It makes up for our 9 months a year of drizzle. So you can imagine our dismay at being subjected to a heat wave! (Native Portlanders have a comfort range of approximately 73F – 77F. Any more or less, and they start to whine hard.)
- Going to a baseball game tomorrow night. AAA minor league Portland Beavers, cheap beer and “mullet night”.
- Getting some debts paid off, and a new budget worked out.
- Installing a new version of Pivot for my blog to help foil the spammers.
- Taking a walk with the family around the block after dinner.
- Losing 20 pounds.
- Getting all our various home improvement projects wrapped up, paid off, and put to rest.
- Indian food for lunch and dinner several times a week.
- World peace. Someday, somehow.