Stretching from Lebanon to Gaza and Yemen, Iran has built an extraordinary military alliance. The core of it is Tehran’s homegrown missile program, one that has given its allies surprising abilities — and poses a fundamental, long-term problem for the United States’ role in the Middle East.
While Israel isn’t the U.S., and Lebanon isn’t Afghanistan, the common themes that run through both sets of wars are jarring, especially in the way a Western democracy tries to end a military campaign and how it manages (or not) the fate of local allies who fought alongside it.
It was a dark day. Like earlier generations, who remembered where they were when they learned of the great rock ’n’ roll deaths of the ’60s and ’70s, the moment we heard of Anthony Bourdain’s death will be forever etched in our minds.
We passed 10 firetrucks and other groups in helmets, some in bikinis and without masks. Half of us stayed put, and the other half rushed to help tug at a hose that slithered up a dirt slope and to deliver water bottles to those up there working.
Power-sharing arrangements have attempted to bridge the divisions in the two societies. The Good Friday Agreement and the Lebanese Constitution both aim to provide a form of democracy that protects the minority community from the majority — or, in the case of Lebanon, any of the 18 religious groups from each other.
If a grown sample in a colder region isn’t able to withstand frequent heat waves and gets wiped out, the genetically resilient samples created in ICARDA’s genebank would come to the rescue. So when the accessions made their way to Lebanon in late 2015, it was all hands on deck.
Hezbollah’s leader is a master of ceremonies and narrative. The head of arguably the world’s most powerful nonstate militant group is blessed with an auteur’s sense of theatrics and spectacle. He exemplified the tenaciousness of the Lebanese and their exceptionalism, capable of achieving what the world bet they could not.