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Friday, July 28, 2006


Lebanon links roundup

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, July 28, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
Obsidian Wings has a tremendous guest post from an Armenian of Lebanese origin, with family living there right now. It paints a much more complex picture of Lebanon, of identity, and war than I think most analyses have made. He talks a great deal about the fragility of the Lebanese civil society to begin with, and the further strains that the war has made upon them. And he talks about where the money for reconstruction is probably going to come from. Essential reading.

On the topic of Lebanese identity, Josh Trevino argues that Lebanon is a fiction. However, Michael Totten draws upon his own direct experiences traveling in the region to argue that Lebanese national identity is nascent and something very real. Why does it matter? Jonathan Edelstein points out that anarchy in Lebanon - or partition, as proposed by streiff at RedState - is an outcome that bodes ill for Israel's security as well as our own interests. Do not miss the discussion on Jonathan's post, which touches upon proportionality (hardly a canard), polls, the Arab-Israel relationship, and Western values. It's by no means a monochrome discussion; keep an eye out for especially cogent arguments by Diana and Randy.

It's also important to recognize that there is a tension between our own national interest in Iraq and the official position of the Administration regarding Lebanon. Abu Aardvark has been absolutely indispensable; he points out the sheer magnitude of the faux pas that was Dr. Rice's comments about the "birth of a new Middle East". The price of such poor choice of words? The authentic voices for freedom and liberty within the middle east society - voices that speak with great courage and risk to themselves - have lost critical credibility.

And do you know the real significance of the Shebaa Farms? Bitter Lemons has the details - from a number of perspectives that will surprise you.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.