The Lebanese army is pounding away at Fatah militants holed up in Palestinian refugee camps while thousands are at the beaches enjoying summer sun. There is a surreal atmosphere in Lebanon these days as the nation is being torn to pieces by various militant forces, some native to Lebanon, and some from outside. Hizbullah has promised to find out and punish who killed six Spanish UN peacekeepers while Palestinian fanatics fire away at the Lebanese army.
People on the outside forget Lebanon has been engaged in one form or another of civil war since 1980 but daily life must go on. Dani M. told a reporter as he lounged in a beach chair: “I don’t think it is inappropriate to have fun– just because the country is in a war.” Fortunately, Lebanon has been spared the madness of suicide bombers so people can swim, drink, and conduct their daily business of work and romance.