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May 02, 2005


Thanks for enabling this link. I have a few comments and questions. First, I wonder, how does the 35 billion (in US dollars)of national debt compare to that of other "developing" nations; and is privatization and encouraging foreign investment a responsible strategy here? Second, there are several references to squalor and impoverishment. This indicates structural inequalities that must be addressed in order that the hopeful moment can continue.
It would really be useful to have an economic/social overview of Lebanon to compliment Jonathan's superb exposition of the political dynamics of the country. Some areas of interest would be: 1. The labor force (now apparently over 75% service based); 2. Agriculture - formerly a dominant area but decimated by labor flight during the war. Could regional co-ops help revive it?; 3.Textiles and possible cross-border cooperation with Syria; 4. Regulation of a resurgent banking industry (think Chalabi here); 5. The status of Palestinian refugees and their ability to be productive members of the larger society.
Anyway, Leila, thanks again for the link.I've appreciated your comments on Head Heeb and Just World News and I'm glad to see that you have your own site.
Salud from a fellow Oaklander (Fruitvale).

Hey Frank - great questions, all of them. You could e-mail Rodenbeck via the Economist but he doesn't answer e-mail...(I've tried, and we were friends in college!)

Maybe Jonathan will want to tackle this project but most of the questions fall a little outside his area. I'm not going to do it! If you read the rest of my site, you'll see that I'm busy... Perhaps when I get a moment I will collect some links that may help answer your questions.

Thanks for dropping by, and see you around the neighborhood!

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