LEBANON: Reshaping the Country, Syrian-Style

After 19 months of bloodshed and brutality that have taken at least 37,000 lives, the civil war in Lebanon took a hopeful turn last week. Reason: Syrian troops, who only a week earlier had been combatants in the war, suddenly switched to peacemakers and took the road to Beirut—in order to enforce peace between the Christian and Moslem factions. With the tacit permission of other major Arab powers—notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia—Syria was on the verge of turning Lebanon into a de facto protectorate.

Initially at least, the new peacemakers met with little...

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