Blogging freedom

Blogging freedom

: Michael J. Totten and Jim Hake are in Beirut, blogging the citizens’ movement there and raising money to help support their vigil.

A sign taped to the elevator doors in my hotel lobby: “Due to the security situation we no longer allow food deliveries from outside the hotel. Thank you for understanding.” And thanks for making me feel so much better.

But being here is not as scary as you might think….

On the contrary, the post-Hariri car bombs are more like those Europeans have come to expect from the Irish Republican Army and the Basque ETA. They seem deliberately planted so they won’t kill anyone. What’s happening here is an old school terrorist campaign, markedly unlike Al Qaeda’s new mass-murdering terrorist onslaughts. The attacks seem cleverly calibrated to frighten people into submission without provoking yet another, stronger, anti-Syrian backlash.

“If the Syrians kill people with car bombs,” one Lebanese told me, “they will be lynched in the streets.”

The siege is, most likely, Syrian psychological warfare.