Lebanon Buries a Dream
As Pierre Gemayel is laid to rest and pro- and anti-Syrian factions square off for a confrontation, the modern Lebanese state appears to be on life-support.
The rituals of martyrdom are sadly familiar to the Lebanese: Barely hours after the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, billboard-sized posters with his portrait began appearing, as if, like obituary editors at a newspaper, Lebanese political parties keep the obligatory martyr poster of their leaders ready for the inevitable.
Thursday's funeral for Gemayel, one of Lebanon's most prominent Christian politicians, was burdened by more than a little bit of djvu. Gemayel is the latest of the country's anti-Syrian leaders to have died in a spate of assassinations which began last February with the car-bomb killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. As if in a repeat performance of the demonstrations that followed the Hariri funeral, hundreds of thousands of protestors filled central Beirut waving Lebanese flags and carrying catchy anti-Syrian slogans written in English. "Syria'l Killing Regime: Enough," read one.