MIDDLE EAST: Further Detours on the Road to Peace

Racked from within by deep-seated political and religious tensions and troubled from without by neighbors whose feuds overlap borders, Lebanon is something akin to a high-wire act in a hurricane. Last week without warning, it slipped. The result was a bloodbath.

For some still unexplained reason, a busload of Palestinian guerrillas drove into the east Beirut sector of Ain Rumanneh. That neighborhood happens to be a stronghold of a fiercely nationalist, right-wing and predominantly Maronite Christian party, the 75,000-member Phalange, whose private 6,000-member militia is the largest in the country. The...

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