Keep the war out of Lebanon - Mark Blaisse
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Keep the war out of Lebanon

The Lebanese military have asked the politicians in their country to calm down their followers. It begs the civilians not to respond to challenges like the (probably Syrian) bomb that killed a high official and many others last week in Beirut. This is unusual in a state with a civilian government, but it shows how huge the worry is. No more war in Lebanon, no more blood in the name of one or the other God, no more victims in a country where everybody already lost enough friends, brothers, cousins. More than thirty years of wars have left big enough scars for all involved never to start one again. The sad thing is that it is Syria, not Lebanon, that is putting the fire in the powder. Lebanese opposition sides up with the Syrian opposition; Lebanese governing parties side up with Mr. Assad in Syria. Do they have another choice? Or is Lebanon de facto a Syrian province, as many observers say it is? Not only is Lebanon suffering economically from the civil war in Syria, loosing fortunes in missed exports and imports, it seems forgotten by the international community. Where is the call from the UN to send troops to protect Lebanon’s borders with Syria? We see the blue helmets near the borders with Israel, but the direct threat of a war is long gone. Not so in the North, where refugees mingle with worried locals, all expecting yet another spill of Syrian unrest over the borders. Lebanon is worth more than compliments for its night life and wines in peace time. It deserves attention, financial and military assistance and our sympathy in times as these. If the powder does explode, it is too late to intervene. Lebanese are more used to fighting than to preserving peace. Maybe they could use a little help from their friends.

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