All right, all right, it's unfair to judge a man by his origins. But I can't help laughing when I hear Seamus Milne, that horny-handed son of a BBC Director-General, jeer at Lebanon's democracy movement (or "the 'people power' jamboree", as he calls it) for being a tool of "the well-heeled Beiruti jeunesse dorée". In another lifetime, Milne would have made a good commissar. Now that the Berlin Wall has come down, he'll have to settle for being a comedian.

For a more reasoned, non-classist response to Shameless Seamus, drop in on

More on Lebanon from Michael Totten, who links to a column on the regional war between "White" and "Black" Arabism (no racial ovetones intended). Austin Bay casts a pessimistic eye on Beirut, but also brings back encouraging news on the democratic surge in the Muslim world. His source is Benazir Bhutto, a politician with, let's say, a mixed reputation in the West.

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