Lebanon Saving a City From Itself

The militiamen lose their weapons and their beards as the Syrians move into West Beirut

There are only 2.7 million Lebanese, but they are divided into so many feuding factions that the sound of their fighting can be heard round the world. Week after week over the past decade, battles have taken place among confusing groups of militants who seem united only in their determination to blow themselves and their country away. The outside world has become an unhappy participant in the civil war through the hostages held by one group or another. Amid all the car bombings and shellings and kidnapings, the only certitude of Lebanon seems to be that the battle will go on.

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