The Lebanon War

The Lebanon War

The Lebanon War

The Lebanon War

Synopsis

In April of 1975, Lebanon, the tranquil Middle Eastern country called the Switzerland of the Orient, exploded into a violent conflict that lasted almost two decades. This book explores the convoluted politics and forces within Lebanon and the Near East that made the atmosphere in that tiny republic highly charged, thus inhibiting conflict resolution. This comprehensive study describes the strategies, battles, and conferences that kept Lebanon aflame, despite the best efforts of all concerned parties to terminate the bloodshed. Abraham looks at Lebanon from the inside-out, highlighting the conflicting politics of Lebanese leaders, the failure of the "democratic left" to take over the state, and the underlying problem of the PLO's presence in the country.

Excerpt

A bridge may link two entities together; tie one area to another; join different, alien cultures; or transmit differing ways of life and intellectual concepts from place to place. Throughout its history, Lebanon has been a bridge of civilizations, linking Eastern and Western cultures, arts, and sciences with one another.

That majestic land and its energetic prodigies have seen many civilizations planted deep within its fertile soil; it has been an island of the West on stormy Eastern shores and a window of the East on Western landscapes.

Geographically known as northern Canaan, the area that today comprises Lebanon gave birth to the Phoenician civilization but, in time, it was conquered by a host of ancient invaders traversing its strategic locale. It was part of the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine worlds and contributed intellectually and culturally to those empires. In the seventh century, Lebanon's coastal districts fell to the conquering army of Islam, which wrested the Near East from its Byzantine master. (Syrian rule lasted for approximately one hundred years; however, Syria has always maintained that both Lebanon and Palestine/Israel are districts of its own country.) The Arab hold seemed impregnable until the invading Turkish army of Sultan Salim annexed the Arab Near East, making it part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire until the end of World War I.

When World War I ended, Lebanon became part of the French Mandate of the League of Nations. The French presence, designed to bring Lebanon to independence, lasting throughout the interwar years, enabled Lebanon to make radical advances into the modern world. At the end of the war, Lebanese people of all political and religious persuasions joined forces to . . .

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