Friday, December 01, 2006
Beirut Quiet but Tense
Bon Jour from Beirut!
The city is undergoing an extraordinary building
boom, with skyscrapers going up all along the beach
front. There are still many destroyed buildings
from "the crisis years" from 1975-1990, during
which time much of the central city was completely
destroyed by warring, heavily armed, factions.
Following the assassination of the Industry
Minister a couple of months ago, the city has
been expecting trouble.
[See his image and bullet-riddle car in photo above]
There have been a couple of enormous demonstrations, hundreds
of thousands of peole, but virtually no violence. This is a city that
has seen 15 years of civil war, massive car bombs
to assassinate gov't officials, while taking out
many innocent civilians, interferemce/domination
by Syria, not to mention, being the target of
many thousands of IDF airforce soirtees in the
south. Thousands of landmines remain.
Attached image: Victims of cluster bomb explosions in Lebanon.
The streets, at least the parts we have seen so far,
are crawling with soliders, armored personnel carriers,
sand-bagged gun positions, road barriers, and, Jeez!,
real live tanks with the those super-duper machine
guns that can cut down an entire building in a coupla'
minutes. Extra barbed wired is piled alongside bldgs.
Yet, the soldiers are fairly friendly, "Bon Jour!"
They are impressed with the WMDB's blonde tresses, and
as usual, are bored silly. The soldiers around the campus
of the American Univerisity must feel lucky guarding
the lovely co-eds in the their skintight apparel.
We plan on going clubbing tonight with our
man in Beirut, "Solid" Jackson, but he has not
answered his mobile in several hours...following
his interview with a Hezbollah rep for a radio
We assume he is just running late, but we shall see...
Bye from Beirut,
jim & the WMDB
Hell of a way to celebrate my birthday! in a part of the world where WMD blonde takes on a whole 'nother meaning.