I've been busy negotiation things on the Book Deal side of things... so my blogging has been light, as has my following of Syrian-Saudi summit in Beirut. (I highly recommend you listen to this NPR report.)
But in other news, maybe the looming clash between Sa'ad Harari's Future Movement and Hezbollah wont be the next source of conflict. Maybe they can work together and pass a Lebanese law that defines their Mediterranean Sea policy. Why? Well, NPR reports:
The discovery of large natural gas reserves under the waters of the eastern Mediterranean could potentially mean a huge economic windfall for Israel and Lebanon, both resource-poor nations — if it doesn't spark new war between them...
Israel is far ahead in the race to develop the resources. Two fields, Tamar and Dalit, discovered last year, are due to start producing in 2012, and experts say their estimated combined reserves of 5.5 trillion cubic feet (160 billion cubic meters) of natural gas can cover Israel's energy needs for the next two decades.
OK. Now who's ready for the best part? It's a US company who got the contract:
In June, the U.S. energy company Noble Energy, part of a consortium developing the fields, predicted that Israel will also have enough gas to export to Europe and Asia from a third field — Leviathan, thought to hold up to 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic meters) of gas.
Remember that the US supports the government of Lebanon, too. Even though Hezbollah is part of it (though a minority).
This is like some Soviet Cold-War stuff... sleeping with the enemy, playing both sides, milking the best deal. Never mind the human toll of war... That's on the Other Side of the World. But really, I wonder what the US roll is in this looming Lebanese-Israeli clash. And will it be enough to quell Lebanese factionalism for a while?