Monday, August 14, 2006

On the border

I have previously recommended Michael Totten's web site. Michael is a self-described political centrist, 35, a freelance journalist who has traveled at his own expense to many of the world's hot spots to report first-hand. I am fortunate to count him as a pen pal.

Right now Michael is in Israel with a friend. Just before the ceasefire he completed a visit to the Israeli border town of Metulla, where IDF tanks and combat vehicles prepared to enter Lebanon.
To my knowledge, no Katyusha rockets hit Metulla at any time. The little town sits just inside a “peninsula” that juts into Lebanon. It is surrounded on three sizes by Hezbollah’s territory. Presumably Hezbollah didn’t fire rockets at Metulla because three out of four would miss Israel entirely and explode inside Lebanon. So even though Metulla is literally on the front line, it may be the safest town in all of Northern Israel.

All day long thunderous outgoing artillery tore holes through the sky on the way to Hezbollah targets. But as soon as the ground invasion began, all fell eerily quiet.
Michael does not write with the "breathless drama" style of so many mainstream reporters, who seem to think every story is a potential Pulitzer winner. Michael's style is straightforward, factual and devoid of slant. Refreshing! His essays are photo-rich, too. Read the whole thing!


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