The first billboard I saw in Lebanon yesterday had pictures of what looked like wax figures of Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush side-by-side, with the logo "The Past and the Future." It turns out they were wax figures. The text of the sign read, "Where is Saddam? He's at the Hall of Fame Wax Museum!"
At the St. Simon festival last night, I got buttonholed by a group of guys who live in the U.S. but are back on vacation. Said one, "Americans all think Lebanon is a haven for terrorists. They don't even know the president of Lebanon is a Christian. You have to tell them! I love America because it gave me what my country didn't—opportunity, money, and a job."
As a journalist (or at least a feuillitoniste), I had, my new friends claimed, a special duty to get the message out to Americans, so I'm passing it along. And also one complaint: Citing Darrell Issa's unrewarded role in the California recall and John Abizaid's getting stuck with the hangover in Iraq, they say Lebanese-Americans have to do all the country's dirty work. (And that's not to mention that it was Jamie Farr who had to wear the dress on M*A*S*H.)