A thought-provoking sideshow to Israel's war on Hezbollah -- and what a precious gift Israel would bestow on the Free World by destroying the Hezbollah mini-state -- is the effort to extract "foreign nationals" from Lebanon, some of whom have had summer vacations in Hezbollah strongholds interrupted by war. Who are these people now clamoring, by the thousands, for international rescue?
Press reports label many of them "dual nationals." Some, despite their British, Swiss, American or French passports, make Lebanon their home. I was quite startled to hear, in an online audio report posted by the Telegraph, that British passport-holders evacuated to Cyprus were undergoing "Home Office screening" to determine whether any "might constitute a threat because obviously we're talking about a large number of people who have lived in the Middle East most of their lives."
This presents a bizarre spectacle: Britain's navy repatriating what you might call extreme expatriates who potentially pose a "threat" to Britain -- at least as currently constituted as a partner in the so-called war on terror. This makes the following rescue headline from The Guardian all the more inapt: "Britain's biggest sea evacuation since Dunkirk." As I recall, none of the 300,000 Dunkirk evacuees required a security screening before returning home.
In this wide-open question of loyalties we may see the expanding emptiness of the modern nation-state, where basic identification with the nation itself is no longer at the core of citizenship. And that includes the United States of America, where, for example, a good stretch of Main Street follows the Israeli war on Hezbollah via Al Jazeera -- at least Main Street in Dearborn, Mich., which writer Debbie Schlussel has described as "the heart of Islamic America, and especially Shia Islam America."
As The New York Times reported from Dearborn, "For miles along West Warren -- in hair salons, restaurants and meat markets -- shopkeepers and their relatively few customers stared at televisions tuned in to Al Jazeera." Incidentally, there were "relatively few" customers out and about only because, as one baker knew, "most of his regular customers were home watching [Al Jazeera], just as they had all day, every day," since Israel's offensive began.
Why does this matter? Al Jazeera, of course, is the relentlessly anti-American, anti-Israel, jihad-boosting "news" network. To find sets in the heartland tuned in to this station today is roughly akin to coming across an American town, circa 1942, tuned in to Axis Power propagandists Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw Haw.