More on "The Battle of Beirut," or "The Afternoon of the Tiny Fist," or as I like to think of it - "The Valentine's Day Menacing"...
Michael Young comments in the Beirut Daily Start on Hitchens' speech at the American University, paying particular attention to the audience. Qifa Nadbki comments on Young's comment. Abu Muqawamma, a former Beirut resident, weighs in. The comments on AM's are particularly interesting. The Exiled rants... ill-informed and fallacious, but fun. No matter the context ("what are the ethics of vandalizing a swastika?"), it is very odd when writers cheer for thugs stomping on a writer's best hand. Unprecedented in my memory.
It should be noted that not a great deal of blood was spilled... but rather a great deal more ink and electrons than blood. No weapons were brandished. Meanwhile in the wake of the Hariri commemoration the city was festive. At the time of the menacing, I was drinking tea at a cafe less than a mile away as bottles of Kefraya were being opened.
May Beirut no longer be a battleground. It's a wonderful city. Go see for yourself.