Lebanon: Hell to Chief

Hell to Chief

The death of Lebanon's body politic, so often declared, may yet prove to have been (slightly) exaggerated. Last week, meeting in an abandoned air base at Qlaiaat in northern Lebanon, 58 aging Deputies of the country's parliament elected Rene Moawad, 64, a moderate Maronite Christian lawyer who enjoys the backing of Syria, to the presidency. The vote was a crucial step toward fulfilling the conditions of the peace plan brokered last month by the Arab League.

Moawad is opposed by General Michel Aoun, commander of the fanatically loyal Christian army in East Beirut. Aoun is enraged that, as part of the...

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