Middle East: Bracing for the Worst

Israel and Syria offer little room for compromise

The atmosphere was electric. Even as U.S. diplomacy tried to keep them apart, Israel and Syria exchanged bellicose threats and seemed to draw closer to all-out conflict. Israeli armored forces headed north for what many feared might be a combined land and air attack inside Lebanon. As if preparing for the worst, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin warned, "We have from time to time to take decisions to send our sons to war." Syrian forces were similarly mobilized. In Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, where most...

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