Battlepanda: What could have been...


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What could have been...

It is devastatingly ironic that Beirut seems to have been undergoing a tremendous construction boom before Israel attacked. The Central Business District was to be positively Dubai-esque, with glassy skyscrapers shooting up adjacent to the marina where Lebanon's leisure set can loll on yachts and and boats along an expanded waterfront. The 25-story Four Seasons Beirut and the 34-story Platinum Tower were both slated to be finished in 2007.

More photos of pre-war Beirut by Michael Totten. And also of elsewhere in Lebanon. "Here are 32 photos of a country that (unnecessarily) frightens some of my fellow Americans, but is actually perfect for tourists," he said, in a post dated May 23, 2006.

Tucker Carlson was roundly excoriated on the left for pointing out, as positives, that they sold condoms in his hotel in Lebanon and that they had gay bars. Sure, it was a little hypocritical, since those two things are probably not so glowingly greeted by Conservatives when they are found in America. But it was also a good observation that drives home the point that Lebanon does not equal Hezbollah. How many fundamental Muslims do you think get their morning cup of Joe from the Beirut Starbucks?

The empty shell of the Holiday Inn bombed out in the 80's now stand in Beirut along with the empty shell of the uncompleted Four Season construction. One speaks dully of long-ago devastation; the other of the fresh pain of newly-dashed dreams.

Image by Michael Totten

Projected realization of Four Seasons, Beirut