Today's Blogs

Live From Lebanon

Lebanese bloggers offer on-the-ground coverage of the third day of Israel’s invasion, while stateside writers celebrate a blow to Halliburton and dismiss Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against Karl Rove and company.

Live From Lebanon: Day three of the Israeli-Lebanese hostilities concluded with the bombing of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s apartment/headquarters in the suburbs of Beirut. He was unhurt. Israel has further targeted communications sites in Lebanon controlled by the terrorist group. While most Lebanese bloggers have no love for Hezbollah’s “adventurism,” they chastise Israel for what they see as a disproportionate retaliation.

At The Lebanese Bloggers, Doha, now a resident of Washington, D.C., comments on a statement made by the Israeli ambassador to Lebanon, who claimed that Hezbollah is launching rockets from civilian homes. “This is truely a brutal way of operating by Hizbullah. I hate violence and death. Enough is enough; the Lebanese government needs to take a stand. My country is wounded.”

Ramzi at the Beirut-based Ramzi’s Blah Blah has a message for Nasrallah: “You care not for this country nor it’s citizens. You are blind to the borders and the fate of this nation. And you thrust me into the unknown and ask me to follow you?! Wake up and smell the burning runways … ”

However, the Lebanese “Lazarus” of Letters Apart pens a furious open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “What type of retaliation is this? We want exactly what Israeli’s seem to claim: security and peace, yet you make it such that peace and security seem impossible to have with Israel as a neighbor. Is this procedure part of becoming a man - a rite of passage - back home for you? Killing Lebanese?”

A poignant note is struck at Beirut Spring, where Mustapha quotes from a letter sent to his Lebanese friend by the latter’s former roommate (they had lived together in London): “I just want to tell you this: Whatever happened in the world, wars, terrorists attacks, etc, I will never consider you as my enemy, because we are friends and nothing is stronger than friendship and love. It is our strength not to be intimidated by these acts … continue being friends and talk about it.”

Read more from the Lebanese bloggers.

No more no-bid: Citing fraud, incompetence, and massive overpricing, the Army decided Thursday to rebid the $10 billion contract to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure that had originally been awarded noncompetitively to Halliburton. Cyberspace applauds the decision, even if arrives a day late and many dollars short.

“Legionnaire” at popular porn-punk site Suicide Girls observes: “It’s not clear why a political party whose major economic platform lists ‘Restraining spending by the Federal Government’ as its first priority would refuse to at least investigate a contractor accused of wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars unless there were some political ulterior motive involved.”

Righty James Joyner at Outside the Beltway defends the conglomerate on historical grounds: “[T]he constant refrain that Halliburton is ‘politically connected,’ presumably owing to the fact that the Vice President’s previous job was as their CEO, and therefore under less scrutiny is unwarranted. Certainly, they’re influential owing to their size and history. Halliburton has been supplying these services to the government since Dick Cheney was in grad school. … They’ve been the go-to contractor for wars big and small ever since, regardless of what party’s in the White House.”

Liberal Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report follows the calendar: “As [Army spokesman Dave] Foster told the Post, ‘The Iraq reconstruction is winding down … so there is no need for new contracts to replace the existing.’ In other words, Halliburton’s sweetheart reconstruction deals are ending at the exact same time the Bush administration is no longer spending big bucks on reconstruction deals. It’s remarkable timing, isn’t it?”

Read more about Halliburton’s travails.

Hard Wilsonianism: Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, whose identity as a CIA agent was exposed by Robert Novak three years ago, are suing Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby for ending the couple’s careers in government and violating their privacy. Pay no attention to the man and wife behind the microphones, reply bloggers weary of the whole affair.

Legal eagle Ann Althouse has a tortious thought experiment: “If the defendants were to agree to settle the case this way, would they agree to have a neutral arbiter calculate the amount they made because of what has happened to them and the amount they would have made if it had not happened, and have the defendants pay them the difference if the second number is larger, and have them pay the defendants the difference if the first number is larger?”

Righty Patrick Hynes at Ankle-Biting Pundits asks “how does she expect to win damages in a lawsuit when she and Joe became rich and famous beyond their wildest dreams, even though Pat Fitzgerald found no one committed a crime by allegedly ‘outing her.’ “

Read more about the Wilsons’ lawsuit.