Thursday, November 22, 2007

Do or die in Lebanon ...

That's how I interpreted this article from Milton Viorst, an experienced journalist who has been covering the Mid East for 40 years.

It's a succinct, detailed perspective that gives an accurate historical background. It is always important to remain mindful of the fact that Lebanon's current problems (and indeed the Middle East's current problems) are directly a consequence of what beset this country during the post-colonialist era and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Lebanon's problems are historic. Failure to address the root causes of our internal strife is akin to failing to deliver a solution to our problems today.

Excerpt from:

A powder keg in Lebanon

LA Times - Milton Viorst

Lebanon's problems are not new. They are rooted in the 1920s, when France's colonial regime created the country out of Syrian territory and squeezed Christians, Druze and Muslims -- Sunni and Shiite -- into it. At that time, the Maronite Christians, whose close ties to France dated to the Middle Ages, were the colonial power's political allies, so the constitution that France imparted required that Lebanon's president, its most powerful official, be a Maronite. The prime minister, under the constitution, would be a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of the parliament would be a Shiite. The system, a peculiar form of democracy, is called "confessionalism."

For full article, click here.

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