Monday, July 24, 2006

Occasionally, a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially in political situations. Speaking of the conflict, as a counterpoint to the weblog from Beirut I linked to last week, here's a weblog from an Israeli bunker. I think that reading these sorts of accounts - from people who are living it every day - is probably the only way to get an idea of what's really happening there.

Cool photographer of the week: Thorsten Schimmel.

New York City denizens: Here's Your Copy tracks down the shows that you don't hear about but should go see (and I'm not linking to it just because I know the intrepid reporter behind the site, either).

Vintage ads are always great. Vintage ads for drugs can be truly amazing. "Thorazine can control the agitated, belligerent senile"! "Injectable whole opium"! Wow.


Anonymous said...

OMG! Those drug ads are GREAT! Some are obviously trade ads, but some are also obviously consumer! I wonder if we're going to be laughing at the fact that people were using "Lunesta" for common sleeping problems...

bjkeefe said...

The picture from the Belfast Telegraph makes a nice sight bite.

However . . .

I think most of us in the US that don't self-identify as members of the Bush Administration or neocon wingnut eschatologists would like to see a cease fire. I suspect the same is the case for the majority of Britons and Israelis, too.

I myself hardly ever think shooting is the answer. But when you're being shot at, and there's nowhere to hide, it gets a little sticky.

I have a lot of sympathy for the (British?) Foreign Secretary's statement. Specifically, how does one broker a ceasefire with Hezbollah? One can argue that the policy of "never negotiating with terrorists" is the wrong attitude to take, but despite my vague sympathies for such a stance, it seems a little ivory tower in the short term. Even were someone to talk with Hezbollah, assuming they want to talk, how does that someone extract any sort of guarantees? How does that someone know whether the Hezbollah representatives speak for all of their people?

A good argument could be made that Israel should declare a unilateral ceasefire, for, say 48 or 96 hours, and let's then take it from there. Ordinarily, I'd jump right up with that idea. But I'm beginning to wonder how naive it is to suggest that in the current situation. From my reading on the matter, Hezbollah was itching for a fight, and provoked it with, among other things, the second kidnappings. Also, the idea that Hezbollah might be continuing with their rocket and missile attacks out of some sense of self-defense is a canard. At best, it can be spun as retaliation.

I also hold Hezbollah as responsible as the Israelis for the killing of the Lebanese innocents. It's not such a big surprise that launching rockets into Israel is going to provoke a swift and harsh attack. Hezbollah must know this. Yet, they continue to stage their launches from within the very same neighborhoods.

I know that the Palestinians and other Arabs in that region have a lot of legitimate complaints with Israel. No argument there. But I've never seen a consistent stance from any of that side's leaders that compromise is the only other choice to non-stop fighting.

Maybe the best short-term solution is to try anything to keep things at a low simmer, and the short range unilateral ceasefire by Israel is the only thing I can come up with. But I don't know how you sell that to the Israeli government, and I sure don't know how they sell that to their people.

I've gone on for too long about this, both here and on my blog, and I don't have any easy answers. In fact, the more I think about it, the more despairing I get, so I should probably just stop talking about the subject.

The one thing that I am convinced of, however, is that sloganeering isn't going to carry the day this time. The poster in the Belfast Telegraph is little more than that.

Anonymous said...

Satori, love, I think we are already laughing about Lunesta! At least I am. ;-)