Better Days for Zha Zhas


In Bel-Air, 88-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor is back home after suffering a stroke. Husband number nine Frederic von Anhalt says Zsa Zsa is now walking and feeling "better than ever."

In Lebanon, one-time Maronite warlord Samir Geagea is getting ready to leave his prison cell, after Parliament votes him an amnesty. Hizbollah abstains from the vote, and street-fighting marks the announcement of his imminent release.

Samir Geagea is a bad man who deserves to be serving several life sentences, but with his release justice, of a sort, is being done. The circumstances of his imprisonment were utterly shady. (Here is a basically pro-Geagea account.) Like many bad actors, he was covered by a general amnesty for war crimes committed in the period from 1975 to 1990. In 1994, a bogus charge was brought against him in the bombing of a church in the town of Zouk Mikael, and through some legal shenanigans this indictment was used as an excuse to lift his immunity from prosecution for earlier crimes. Despite strenuous efforts, the government was unable to convict him in the bombing, but did bring him down for his wartime crimes—of which he was clearly guilty, but no more guilty than many people as bad as and worse than himself who are now serving in the government. I don't understand how French-style legal systems work, but I think it would have been better if an appeals court had thrown out these convictions rather than having the politicians break new rules to get him out of the clink. However, his release is a sign of progress, and the Daily Star notes that Lebanon's Christians "can no longer claim the luxury of alienation." (In related news, Iraq's Christians now can claim that luxury.)

And Jar-Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best, reduced to a single line of dialogue in Revenge of the Sith, says of the largely negative audience reactions to his character, "Seeing a completely innocent, docile cartoon character as something to be hated and despised [points to a bigger] problem within the American quote-unquote psyche."