MIDDLE EAST: To the Brink in Lebanon

THE sights and sounds in Lebanon last week suggested a string of grenades exploding among boxes of dynamite stacked against the wall of an arsenal. In the second week of deadly clashes between the military and Palestinian guerrillas, some Lebanese politicians and civilians actively sided with the Palestinians, raising the specter of a civil war. Beyond Lebanon's borders, other Arab nations and Israel stirred, triggering fears of intervention and a major Middle East confrontation.

The fighting between Lebanese forces and the fedayeen was serious enough in itself. Scores were killed and hundreds...

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