Rejiggering Old Equations

The drama of TWA 847 may open new Middle East opportunities

While the hostage crisis ostensibly revolved around a dispute between Lebanese , Shi'ites and the Israeli government, it was played out against the larger and ever tortured context of Middle East politics. The American diplomacy used in bringing the Beirut drama to a conclusion, moreover, produced some new twists and turns in the labyrinth of Washington's policy in the Middle East, an area of vital but sometimes conflicting U.S. concerns. For the Reagan Administration, the episode revealed some casting changes among principal characters, created some fresh strains between the U.S. and countries in the region, and may have even opened new...

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