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In the News

By Remy Benoit

From MSNBC and Lisa Myers Security contractors largely unregulated.

No one knows who was responsible for the assassination of Mr Hariri - the Lebanese, the Syrians, the U.S. have all called for investigations while Secretary Rice has recalled the U.S. Ambassador to Syria.

The history of this area, indeed, the history of each of its countries, is very complex as you will see in the following links. Nevertheless, the history of this area plays very real in the world of today and needs attention and understanding in order to comprehend the current issues with their very large impact on the world.

From Ed O'Loughlin, Herald Correspondent in Beirut Iran and Syria unite to defy US pressure.

From the Lonely Planet Lebanon History.

From the Lonely Planet Syria

Who are the people being spoken of in all the news?

From Prominent Lebanese Rafic Hariri.

From the AP, Paul Garwood and ABC Hariri's Family Demands Probe Into Killing.

From the BBC and Tarik Kafala Profile: Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

From Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Hoseini Khameni.

From the BBC 1979: Exiled Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran.

From Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

From Pictures of Beirut. Beirut was called the Paris of the Middle East.

From the Encyclopedia of the Orient Lebanese Civil War.

From Early History of Beirut.

From Middle Beirut.

From Around the World in 60 Clicks Syria.

From Damascus online Pictures of Damascus.

From Damascus online Damascus History.

From Ancient Routes by Rod Baird Ancient Trade Routes.

It is said that prayer, focused prayer, heals illness. Perhaps we need focused prayer, from all sides, to bring about an end to the dis-ease that all are bringing to the table from so many disparate views; perhaps focused prayer to find the common denominators that could focus understanding instead of fear, anger, and destruction. Perhaps we need to focus on the legacy too that we are creating for future generations.

From Religious Interfaith Websites.

Once again, perhaps all of us need to at least consider the ideas propounded by Dr. Deepak Chopra. Peace Is the Way.

And a question, one that has always bothered me. When I applied for a teaching position in history at the college level, I applied to teach in areas of my expertise. To me, it would not have been appropriate to apply for a position in Latin American or Africam history or, indeed, math, as they are not my fields. I felt that it would not be just to the students if I did not know what I should know to teach them.

Thus, the question that has bothered me for decades is, why do we appoint ambassadors to countries who do not speak the language(s), know the culture, customs, perceptions of themselves and the world in relation to them, or religious beliefs of the people with whom them are sent to communicate?

Even McNamara, looking back over decades, at his role in the Vietnam War said, "If only we had known the enemy."

What if we brought enough expertise to diplomacy to know the people before we knew them as enemies? Would your company hire you as CEO if you didn't even know what the letters stood for? Just a question or two to consider.

Your comments on my question, and anything else here, are welcome. Just click on Feedback.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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