Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You Die -- We'll Sing

More violence in Lebanon, as the Lebanese army fights Fatah al-Islam, a small but tenacious Palestinian militant group based in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli. The bloodshed has forced more than half of the camp's population, some 15,000 people, to flee so far, with more packing up in anticipation of further violence, which seems inevitable, given Fatah al-Islam's refusal to surrender and the Lebanese army's determination to wipe them out.

In other words, the refugees have become refugees.

A particularly unpleasant situation for those not wanting to be ripped to shreds or watching their loved ones blown to bits. But a pair of Western pop groups, in the grand tradition of singing about misery, anguish, pain, and extremely violent death in those parts of the world where too few pop groups sing about misery, anguish, pain, and extremely violent death, have stepped forward to offer some musical comfort in this tense moment.

Meanwhile, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh tells CNN that Fatah al-Islam, which is Sunni, has received U.S. support via the Saudis as part of an attempt to stem the rise of Shi'a groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, and pro-Iranian elements in Iraq. This makes matters even more confusing for those who trust that the U.S. is doing all it can to bring democracy to the war-torn Middle East. But the power of American pop music cuts right through such complexities, making it easier for true patriots to understand what's really going on, while providing a toe-tappin' beat that is the envy of the world.

Nine U.S. warships are presently sailing just off the Iranian coast in a show of military force. Flock Of Seagulls, you're on the clock.