The Hizballah Dilemma


RELENTLESS FORCE: Hizballah supporters rally in a Beirut suburb

My first year working in Lebanon, I met with an American official at a café in East Beirut. Embassy officials can't easily leave their compound, on a hill outside the city, thanks to security procedures that treat this normally fun-loving Mediterranean country as if it were Iraq or Sudan. That's because the previous embassy was destroyed by a suicide car bombing in 1983, an attack that the U.S. blames on Hizballah, the Shi'ite Muslim Party of God that had been formed a year earlier to resist the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. But this café meeting was taking place in the spring...

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