Hi there, hey there, ho there. We are back.
After two glorious weeks south of the Mason Dixon Line, the Lens is back in New Haven. In other words, we have returned.
Starting tomorrow (Sept. 4, 2007), news and events permitting, we'll start a series on travel -- some hints, watch-outs and general views for those traveling at this time of year.
Whoa, you may say. School is back in session, with the exception of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and a few other places. Isn't it a bit late to be traveling?
Au contraire, mes amis. This is a great time to travel. The crowds, especially the crowds of school kids, are gone. Remember, many of those on the road are empty-nesters, people whose children have left for school or to start their own lives. This series is for them. So, please tune in tomorrow.
For today, let's talk about the Age of Miracles.
Human Rights Watch, an organization that has hardly been a gushing friend to Israel, last week issued a report castigating Hezbollah for its in"practice of deliberately and indiscriminately firing rockets toward Israeli civilian areas" during last summer's war.
From Human Rights Watch's Web site: "During the 2006 war, Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately and at times deliberately at civilian areas in northern Israel, killing at least 39 civilians, Human Rights Watch said ..."
Of course, Hezbollah reacted to this report by trying to bury it, forcing Lebanese authorities and the controlled media to demand the cancellation of a Human Rights Watch press conference in Beirut. The press conference was indeed called off.
“Hezbollah is trying to silence criticism of its conduct during the 2006 war,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. “But the fairness and accuracy of our reporting will speak for themselves, whether we hold a press conference or not.”
This is the same Human Rights Watch that didn't even wait until the war was over to rap Israel for its
conduct during the war, and is planning to release a report on Sept. 6, which probably will be quite critical of Israel for its conduct during the conflict.
But the fact that the organization took on Hezbollah for its bombing of Israeli civilians in population centers means that the usually anti-Israel media group is at least pointing the finger at all parties to the 2006 conflict.
According to Israeli sources, Hezbollah has acknowledged that it vastly underestimated the Israeli reaction to the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and its attack on northern Israeli towns last summer. Israeli officials have also rapped Ehud Olmert's government for its conduct of the war.
Human Rights Watch, for now at least, deserves our respect for taking on the terrorist organization that is running Lebanon, and proves that the Age of Miracles is still with us. Hey, I might even send them a couple of bucks.
By the way, happy Labor Day. At least we have a day's respite from the stock market's version bungee jumping and the New York Yankees lost again. Yes, I know the Yanks took the Boston Red Sox to the cleaners three times last week, but the Sox bounced back with a no-hitter.
Until next time....