Christopher was the target. He was the one who had defaced their sign. One of the guys smacked him hard in the face. Another delivered a roundhouse kick to his legs. A third punched him and knocked him into the street between two parked cars. Then they gathered around and kicked him while he was down. They kicked him hard in the head, in the ribs, and in the legs.
Read the story for the escape but here are my favorite parts:
“You’re bleeding,” Jonathan said and lightly touched Christopher’s elbow.
Christopher seemed unfazed by the sight of blood on his shirt.
“We need to get you cleaned up,” Jonathan said.
“I’m fine, I think,” Christopher said.
He seemed to be in pretty good spirits, all things considered.
“The SSNP,” I said, “is the last party you want to mess with in Lebanon. I’m sorry I didn’t warn you properly. This is partly my fault.”
“I appreciate that,” Christopher said. “But I would have done it anyway. One must take a stand. One simply must.”
Later on Chris point out what an actual traditional liberal thinks as opposed to the phony human shields
“Anyway,” he said, “call me old fashioned if you will, but my line is that swastika posters are to be defaced or torn down. I mean, what other choice do you have?
He elaborates further:
“You know these guys are widely suspected for setting off most or all of the car bombs,” I said.
“They weren’t ready for that then,” he said.
“They weren’t,” I said, “but they’re dangerous.”
“Once you credit them like that,” he said, “you do all their work for them. They should have been worried about us. Let them worry. Let them wonder if we’re carrying a tool or if we have a crew. I’d like to go back, do it properly, deface the thing with red paint so there’s no swastika visible. You can’t have the main street, a shopping and commercial street, in a civilized city patrolled by intimidators who work for a Nazi organization. It is not humanly possible to live like that. One must not do that. There may be more important problems in Lebanon, but if people on Hamra don’t dare criticize the SSNP, well f***. That’s occupation.”
It stirs something that I hadn’t felt since 9/11.
On the day of the attacks I was playing a game in my tabletop baseball league at another person’s house. I had already seen the two planes hit and I frankly wasn’t phased by it. I figured it was a terror attack, I figured that terror attacks happen and it was only a matter of time that it hit us. It was an intellectual exercise.
Then I heard about Flight 93 and the people fighting back. For me THAT changed everything. The idea of ordinary Americans determined to fight back and die game changed them from the sheep being eaten by a wolf (the way life works) to the Shepherd defending against the wolf pack.
Christopher demonstrated that one has to stand up and be counted. There is a reason why the French Resistance is celebrated and honored while the Vichy is not.
As one of the great atheists he might resent it but how can you NOT pray for a fellow like that.