Friday, May 10, 2002

Robert Fisk, the tortured conscience of the West, weighs in with this politically loaded Lebanese travelogue

The French colonial general Henri Gouraud created Lebanon from part of Syria for the benefit of the Christian Maronites whose fractional majority was afterwards overwhelmed by the country's Muslim communities. This imbalance helped to provoke the civil war, although – in keeping with the confessional system imposed by the French – a Christian president still presides over a largely Muslim country. The Maronites, roaring their opposition to the Syrian military presence (though never, in the past, to the Israeli occupation), regard Lebanon as their place of refuge, a sanctuary after centuries of Muslim domination of the Middle East. Kemal Salibi, one of the American University's finest academics, has refuted this in a clinical, slightly cynical book.

Maybe cause Israel never occupied the whole country and behaved a lot better than the Syrians. Funny that he's unable to entertain such thoughts, Westernized people are always the baddies in his world view!