LEBANON: Hamlet in Action

As army chief of staff during Lebanon's 1958 rebellion. General Fuad Chehab, 58, earned the nickname "Hamlet" from U.S. officials for his indecisive refusal to attack the rebel barricades in Beirut. But in the impassioned Middle East, refusal to act can sometimes be more impressive than action itself. Chehab avoided bloodshed, and Lebanon admired that more than any other of his accomplishments. Both Moslem and Christian rallied behind this champion of compromise, elected him to the presidency for six years as the little country's best hope for peace and unity.

Last week change threatened Lebanon's long political truce. Saeb...

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