Lebanon link dump

Since I criticized HRW last week, I should highlight that they are now condemning Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon. I worked on the use of cluster bomb in Kosovo in the late 1990s -- these are extremely nasty weapons that can cause damage long after the initial bombing. All cluster bombs, which as their name indicates contain smaller ordnance that spreads over a wide area, has a certain number of duds that do not detonate immediately. Because these are often brightly colored and spread widely, children have been regularly killed or severely wounded weeks and months after a conflict by detonating them accidentally. In other words, they create small minefields. It's a weapon that should be banned, and it's particularly disgusting to use them in civilian areas. I hope to see more serious work like this from HRW, especially when they were much quicker to condemn Hizbullah than Israel.
Read frequent Arabist reader Praktike on the Dream Palace of the Americans. I am very jealous of his clever title, and have a comment under his post. And speaking of Fouad Ajami

In other news: Muammar Qadhafi is still insane, and now claims to have been very close to building a nuclear bomb.

Lebanese writer Elias Khouri on the invasions of Lebanon.

A petition for academics condemning Israel's aggression.

Not about Lebanon, but here is Gush Shalom's debunking of Ehud Barak's "generous" 2000 offer. (To bookmark and send to the next idiot who mentions it.)
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.