Reflecting on Lebanon, it appears that there's a general consensus that things didn't go as planned, from Hezbollah itself (which states that it would not have abducted the soldiers if it had known the results), members of the Israeli military, a number of Israeli people, etc etc. The United Nations isn't exactly to "blame", as it's acting within its intended purpose, but in this case that purpose is harmful. War and eradication of forces are not always a bad thing -- it can act to solve otherwise perplexing situations in a (hopefully) swift, decisive way. The horrors of war are well known, but in many cases, the horrors of peace (or, rather, the situations that peace can prolong) are worse. I believe this to be such a case - from the perspective of the Hezbollah supporters, a major reason for their organisation's existence will be stifled by peacekeeping forces for a bit (as is always the case, and as France has complained bitterly about, peacekeeping forces are often withdrawn at the first sign of conflict, making them more a line in the sand than anything). From the perspective of the Israelis, Hezbollah will take missles off the menu for how they attack their counry (at least for awhile), returning to other tactics. The soldiers over which the whole mess are still held by Hezbollah, and probably won't be freed unless some dangerous criminals are freed from jail in exchange. In a sense, both Israel and Hezbollah have won some propogandic points -- Israel has fought for its abducted soldiers and shown that it's not going to sit idly by while it's attacked, and Hezbollah got to play soldier with its army, fighting "the" enemy. In the end, because the conflict was ended early, nothing was solved. Long-time readers of my blog understand that my preferred outcome would be for Israel to wrap up in purging Hezbollah completely from southern Lebanon, killing all of its members, providing some reconstruction aid, freeing the abductees, and heading back home. Instead, we get this false peace..
I've been having a grand time loaning out books to different friends and trying to figure out their tastes based on what they like. It also gives me warm fuzzies because I'm committed, both emotionally and ideologically, to resource reuse, and the idea of sharing stuff when it's unused makes me feel good about life. My library of books is finite but large - eventually I expect to run out of suitable books for each person, but until that happens... and speaking of which, if any other Pittsburghers want to come by with a backpack and borrow 10 or 20 books, if I know you and we're on relatively friendly terms, drop me an email -- it'd be my pleasure.
It's irritating that all the pens I ever get at work eventually migrate home, requiring me to get yet more pens, which within a week or two, also migrate home. My theory is that the reason for this is that I empty my pockets at the end of the day before sleep (which is more often at home than in my office), and don't tend to fill them back up again with the same stuff after waking up in the morning. Given that I don't use pens much in general (I'm computerbound, mostly) outside of work (yay paperwork!), ..
It's kind of cool how readable Frisian is to an English speaker.
The weather is now becoming intolerably cold again -- this is likely the last day I'll be able to wear shorts without checking the weather first. Given that I now seem to be comfortable with blue jeans and belts, I should probably go clothes shopping again sometime soon. Unfortunately, wearing gloves all the time looks funny - I wish there were a good way to deal with my hands being cold all the time. I hate Northern weather. Brr.