The sad and cautionary tale of Lebanon
Hezbollah, a tool of fanatics in Iran, could bring catastrophe upon the "Paris of the Middle East." It's all because of a century-old mistake.
There once was a non-Muslim ethnic group in the Middle East that could have formed its own small country with a solid majority and a Western-leaning culture. But it got a little greedy and opted for a slightly larger territory—where its majority was gone. The group’s leadership figured that the Muslim groups in the new hodgepodge could be kept at bay through various machinations.
That may sound a lot like the Israeli Jews, who are these days discovering anew the challenges of ethnic cohabitation in the Middle East. But I’m talking about Lebanon’s Maronite Christians, whose great tragedy was that a mind virus known as “Greater Lebanon” took hold of them as the powers were dividing up the defeated Ottomon Empire after World War I.
That mistake created Lebanon, which marks the 80th anniversary of its version of independence on Nov. 22. But it is not a celebration, for Lebanon is right now, as I write, at the mercy of a Shiite Muslim terrorist militia known as Hezbollah, which is armed and funded by the ayatollahs of Iran. Those criminals are weighing whether it might be a good idea to attack Israel, a neighboring nuclear power that they have already chosen to menace with perhaps 150,000 rockets pointing south.