Lebanon: The Language of the Gun

The Language of the Gun

The scene was numbingly familiar. A 550-lb. car bomb exploded in a crowded commercial section of Christian East Beirut, setting eight buildings ablaze and gouging out a 9-ft. crater in the street. The toll: 30 dead, l33 injured.

Western observers assumed that the explosion was linked to an ongoing struggle between Lebanon's rival Christian factions. Less than a week earlier, 350 died when troops loyal to President Amin Gemayel defeated a militia force headed by Elias Hobeika, who fled to Paris and then to Damascus. The fight stems from Gemayel's rejection of a Syrian-brokered agreement that was supposed to have brought...

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