"These Hezbollah that Israel is fighting, did they come from Iran?" I asked FA, my financial adviser.
"No, they are native Lebanese who are being aided by Iran."
"Why can't Iran stay out of other people's affairs and mind their own business, the way we do?"
"The Hezbollah are fundamental Islamists like the Shiites in Iran. According to Israeli estimates, there are 2,000 men in the Hezbollah militia. They regard themselves as protectors of Lebanon."
"They sure aren't doing a very good job of it. Israeli bombers have leveled cities and destroyed bridges and roads. The beaches have been contaminated with oil from bombed storage tanks."
"The Israelis better be careful," said FA, "or they'll get the environmentalists after them. But what about the killing of civilians and children in Qana?"
"Israel admits it was a mistake and has apologized. What more can they do? Besides, those people should have left South Lebanon."
"They were too poor to afford taxis to escape. They were like those people in New Orleans trapped by Katrina. Meanwhile, Iraq suffers more casualties in any one day than Israel has in three weeks."
"President Bush and Condi Rice don't want a cease-fire until international peace-keeping troops are in place to enforce it."
"But countries like France who will furnish the UN troops are not keen about sending in their soldiers while fighting is going on. As for the bombed-out Lebanese, they think any cessation in hand is worth two Bush promises in the future."
"Well, Israeli bombing has been much more effective than Hezbollah rockets. Lebanon will soon be a wasteland. Who will rebuild it?"
"After World War II, America rebuilt Germany and Japan."
"Are you implying that Israel should do the rebuilding?"
"It would be the Christian thing to do."