Losing Lebanon

Once a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, Lebanon is veering toward civil war. Here's what went wrong

It's never a good sign for a country when the Prime Minister and most of his Cabinet members spend their days barricaded in an Ottoman-era compound. That's what Fouad Siniora and Lebanon's other top officials have done since Nov. 21, when gunmen assassinated Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel in broad daylight. Siniora's worries go beyond his personal safety. With Lebanon still trying to recover from last summer's 34-day war between Israel and the Shi'ite militant group Hizballah, the government has seen its authority undermined, renewed meddling from the country's neighbors and the growing assertiveness of Hizballah. Organized by Hizballah and its allies,...

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