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    Lebanon on the Edge...Again! Rayan El-Amine December 1, 2010

    The pressure cooker that is Lebanon is once again about to boil over. This time the cause is imminent indictments by a UN-initiated Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), an international court tasked with investigating the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The indictments are expected before the end of the year and all signs indicate that Hezbollah members will be named. This is what the US and its Lebanese and Arab allies are hoping for since it will help de-legitimize the popular Shiite resistance group in Lebanon.

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    Pressed to Express 23-7-10

    BY MEEM, 2009</i></b>

    Bareed Mista3jil—roughly translated as “Express Mail”—is the perfect name for this collection of 41 personal stories by “lesbians, bisexuals, queer and questioning women, and transgender persons from all over Lebanon.” I waited by the door for my copy to reach me, with its urgent evidence and affirmation of affectionately-dubbed “Lesbanese” lives in process.

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    Echoes of Seattle: From Manama to Casablanca Sonya Meyerson-Knox July 14, 2002

    They’re talking about McDonald’s and Starbucks. Someone’s already downloaded the facts about a Burger King restaurant in an Israeli settlement, and now they’re compiling a “Top Ten American Companies to Boycott—and Why” list. They’re talking about petitions, about email forwards, maybe building a website, sending out cellular phone text messages. It could be New York or San Francisco, Porte Allegre or Buenos Aires. It happens to be Beirut, Lebanon.

    America’s left had its Seattle. The Middle East just had its equivalent.

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    Lebanese are united under flag of the 'cedars revolution' Robert Fisk March 02, 2005

    from The Independent They slept in tents. They slept on the pavements last night. Lebanon is cold in winter. Not as cold as Ukraine but the frost that has lain over Lebanon these past 29 years is without temperature. Never has the red, white and green Lebanese flag been used as so poignant a symbol of unity. Only a few hundred metres from the encampment, Rafik Hariri was killed. And so, the Lebanese are supposed to believe, the murder of the former prime minister has unleashed the "cedars revolution". The cedar tree stands at the centre of the Lebanese flag. With the resignation of the pro-Syrian Lebanese government, the equally pro-Syrian President, Emile Lahoud, was looking last night for a "caretaker" government ­ without much success.

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    The Next Crusades Uri Avnery March 07, 2005

    from Gush Shalom Many years ago, I read a book called "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene. Its central character is a high-minded, naive young American operative in Vietnam. He has no idea about the complexities of that country but is determined to right its wrongs and create order. The results are disastrous. I have the feeling that this is happening now in Lebanon. The Americans are not so high-minded and not so naive. Far from it. But they are quite prepared to go into a foreign country, disregard its complexities, and use force to impose on it order, democracy and freedom. Civil war: Lebanon. Lebanon is a country with a peculiar topography: a small country of high mountain ranges and isolated valleys.

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    "What are we supposed to do?" Sonya Knox March 01, 2005

    On Feb. 27 the unpopular, pro-Syrian Lebanese government announced a ban on all demonstrations, and the illegality of an already 2 week's long sit-in in Martyrs' Square. The Lebanese Army was deployed, blocking all entrances to the square. The Opposition, a political grouping of convenience spanning most of Lebanon's sects and held together by their goal of ousting Syrian control, called on people to defy the ban. Over the course of the night the sit-in grew from 200 people to over 7,000. That morning, as word went out that the Lebanese Army was not actually stopping people from entering the square, 30,000 - 50,000 more entered. On Feb. 28 - exactly two weeks after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - the government resigned.

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    After the Assassination of the Ex-Prime Minister, Is the Lebanese Opposition an Alternative? Ghassan Makarem March 01, 2005

    The road Rafic Hariri's motorcade prefers when coming back from Downtown Beirut is the stretch of corniche linking it with the western part of the city. The exit, or entrance, is flanked on two sides by 4 and 5-star hotels catering for rich tourists. On Monday, February 14, 2005, it decided to take this road again on his way back from a meeting at the Parliament which lies among a cluster of expensive restaurants in the heart of the city. Downtown Beirut is better known as SOLIDERE, the multibillion dollar company partially owned by Hariri. The company owns the whole of Downtown: its buildings, roads, services, security, cafes, hotels, office blocks, pavements, parks, and even Beirut's municipality, with one exception: the St. Georges Hotel west of the corniche.

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    Lebanon Realignment and Syria Juan Cole March 01, 2005

    from Informed Comment It is often pointed out that presidents get too much praise and blame for the economy, since the domestic economy has its own rhythms. We are now going to see everything that happens in the Middle East attributed to George W. Bush, whether he had much to do with it or not (usually not). What is now Lebanon consists of relatively hilly territory along the eastern Mediterranean coast. The abrupt rise of the land from the sea to the mountains is what led the French to refer to it as the Levant (i.e., "the rising (land)." The mountains allowed small and often heterodox religious groups to survive, since the mountain inhabitants were relatively isolated and central governments had a difficult time getting hold of them.

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    Bashar Assad: The Syrian Sphinx Charles Glass February 19, 2005

    from When Syria's young president, Bashar Assad, contemplates the forces ranged against him, he may recall that his father faced greater odds and won. Bashar was only 16 in 1982, when an uprising by Islamic fundamentalists and an Israeli invasion of Lebanon threatened the survival of the regime. The Muslim Brotherhood seized control of the northern city of Hama that spring. A few months later, Israel decimated Assad's army in Lebanon and destroyed his air force. Moreover, Israel appointed its client, Bashir Gemayel, as Lebanon's president to undertake further actions against Syria. Assad's health nearly gave out.

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    Lebanon Guided by the Nasrullah Factor Sami Moubayed February 26, 2005

    from Asia Times Online DAMASCUS - Any person who was in Beirut on May 24, 2000, the day Hezbollah liberated South Lebanon, understands how immensely popular the enigmatic Hasan Nasrullah is in the country's Muslim, and particularly Shi'ite, community. Any person watching his speech five years later, this month, after the US started to press for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, and the disarming of Hezbollah, of which Nasrullah is the head, knows how easy it might be for the United States to get Syria to leave Lebanon, but how difficult, if not impossible, it would be to disarm or weaken the Shi'ites.

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