A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

spring cleaning, militia style

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 14, 2008

Despite my initial mental wool-gathering, I have been able to cobble together a reasonably productive work day. Whew. It still doesn’t feel normal outside, but in the little bubble that is my office, things are looking up.

On my way to the gym this morning I stopped to take a few photographs of the subtle differences I mentioned in my previous post – like this one:

I’ve mentioned this graffiti before – its all around one of the neighborhoods I pass through on my walk to the gym. Or at least it was all around. This morning I noticed that every graffiti I passed had been carefully sprayed over, with black or silver paint. Its a tidy job – and not a very effective one when done in silver. But its a definite change.

This bit of “spring cleaning” I think was actually a mistake, or the product of some over-zealous young guy with more poster-tearing enthusiasm than brains:

Yes, that’s right. The opposition militia that took these streets decided to tear down posters of the country’s consensus presidential candidate, General Michel Sleiman. They also tore up posters of Saad Hariri, but left almost every poster of Rafiq Hariri intact.

Tearing up the posters of Saad isn’t a surprise. Leaving the posters of Rafiq (or at least the parts with him on them) hanging is a bit of a surprise, given some of the television coverage I’ve seen showing defaced Hariri posters. And tearing up the posters of Sleiman is very odd. I don’t think it was a militia-wide order – I think this poster-tearer was on a rampage and didn’t realize what he was doing.

But someone else must have, because a bit further down the wall there is another poster of Sleiman, torn only part way. And after that one, the rest are all intact. I imagine that the half-torn poster shows the point at which the poster-tearer’s supervisor noticed, ran over, and started yelling.

Wonder what the neighbors thought of THAT in the midst of all the shooting :).


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