Instapundit posts an interesting reader email. An excerpt:
So I arrived in Beirut on Sunday after a weekend in Cyprus thinking it would be a fun place to watch the world cup as I have many friends in Beirut. 5 days later I am stranded with what seems to be quite a lot more tourists than I was expecting. A few observations
1) the U.S. embassy has been anything but helpful these last few days. When i finally got through to a human being last night he told me the embassy was closed, to try back tomorrow, and made me feel that I was crazy for even asking about an evacuation plan. Needless to say I spent the night terrified listening to fighter jets and bombs and awoke to an endless busy signal whenever I call their number. This is a common experience among all other Americans I’ve run into here.
2) The Lebanese people seem to be more than turned off by Hizbollah. Their fears are greater, however, that the Lebanese government would turn entirely against Hizbollah. This lies in the fact that they trust the Israelis to hit fewer civilian targets more than they trust a desparate renegade Hizbollah on their soil. There is a lot of fear over another civil war.
Update: From a reader:
Careful about anecdotes about the Lebanese people being turned off by Hizbollah. There is a 99% chance that this emailer was not talking to Shiites, was not in shiite neighborhoods in Beirut, and was not in the Shiite south of Lebanon. I don’t know this for a fact, but I feel confident that the shiite community by and large is not turned off by Hizbollah. There is no “Lebanese people.” That’s why civil war is always just under the surface.