Patrick Lang did a post last week titled Good News in the Levant. The good news just keeps on coming on the Middle East political front, so take your eyes off the stock market and the US economy and consider these developments:
July 11: Lebanon forms a government.
President Bush has authorized the most significant American diplomatic contact with Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979
(Just like Obama said he would do, while McCain said it would be treason)
July 16: Israelis and Hizbullah exchange prisoners and remains, clearing out one set of conflicts. You don't have to think these guys are heroes - just note that a painful impasse that has caused bloodshed over the years has now been resolved.
Pentagon to recommend faster drawdown of Iraq troops.
Ongoing: Turkey mediating talks between Israel and Syria. The link analyzes the U.S. role.
Reasons why US won't attack Iran after all. Seem convincing to me even though I've never heard of the commenter...
I have selfish motives for being happy about all these hopeful signs from the Middle East - I plan to travel to Lebanon and Syria at the end of September through mid-October. Only war, economic collapse rendering my family bankrupt, or sudden change in my health would prevent me. It's looking like my health is in good shape and the war drums are fading. Economic collapse... well... maybe I'll buy my plane ticket right now and hope the airlines are still flying by September.
Meanwhile I shall continue my policy of not getting too upset about crises in the making. It worked for Lebanon. (Remember, we thought we were going to have a blow-up in May, merely two months ago) Let's all continue to ignore the stock market, oil prices, and weather catastrophes as best we can. Refuse to be moved by any of this. The crises will then have to dry up and blow away from lack of attention.