Lebanon Grenades Are Bad for Business

Westerners flee Beirut as a once splendid way of life perishes

The bar of the Commodore Hotel in West Beirut had been a place where journalists congregated to relax and trade war stories. Today, it is so deserted that the bartender "feels guilty for even being here." Most evenings, there is not enough in the till for his salary. Just before one of the last remaining U.S. journalists, Associated Press Correspondent Ed Blanche, finally left the war-torn city last month, he stopped off at the bar. A well-known gunman, slightly wobbly from drink, approached Blanche, tucked an object into his pocket, then burst out laughing. "I failed to see the funny side...

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