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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pro-Western Lebanon Battling for Life

By David Aikman

Lebanon, a country of just four million, is the only Middle Eastern state with a pro-Western orientation, a genuine parliament, and tolerance of Christians. Now all that is in great peril. The parliament must decide whom to elect as the next president of the country by November 23, when the current president's term expires.

Threatening to hijack the choice is neighboring Syria, which invaded the country during its civil war in 1976 and uses as its political proxies the radical Shiite Islamic movement called Hezbollah. It was Hezbollah, you may remember, that dragged Lebanon into a war with Israel in the summer of 2006.

Syria has been murdering anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians for years and demanding that the choice of president be approved by Hezbollah. If unresolved in the next ten days, the Lebanese crisis might once again be plunged into chaos and Syria's influence in the region strengthened.


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