Is something happening to Lebanon soon? I don't mean to sound like some crazy, tin-foil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist, but I couldn't help but notice you and Vice-President Biden have reached out to Prime Minister Hariri twice in as many days. This seemed odd, in and of its self, but then I read about the missile drills Israel is staging this week, which are being taken by the Lebanese government as preparation for war. Hizbollah's ties to Iran might also indicate that something is possibly about to happen to Iran, instead. Either way, I hope I'm just being paranoid. If I'm not, just in case it doesn't go without saying, I'm hoping that you exhaust all of our options to help avoid another conflict that will only cause the innocent to suffer.
When I worked at Borders in downtown Washington, I once rang up a woman for all of our remaining copies of Killing Mr. Lebanon, a book about the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Her distress was evident, and so I asked her about Mr. Hariri, who, she said, had been her boss. She tearfully told me about working in his government, how much she'd admired him, and how much she missed him still. It was moving to see her affection for this man, both on a personal and on a political level. Her grief came, in part, at the immense loss her country had suffered. This was not long after the 2006 war that destroyed so many lives and so much of her country. Maybe it's easy to say this, when the tragic history of this place is given a face in my memory, but I think Lebanon has been through enough. We (and, more importantly, our allies,) could maybe let Beirut stand for more than 4 years before trying to knock it all down, again.