November 21, 2013
By nearly all measures, Lebanon should have long ago buckled under the weight of Syria’s civil war.
Yet, 2 ½ years into Syria’s war, Lebanon is still standing — barely. One reason is Lebanon’s memory of its own traumatizing 15-year civil war. Another, related reason is the internal balance of fear that underpins the country’s ramshackle political system: Each faction and sect is restraining its followers, well aware that the slightest mistake could bring the house down around everyone.