Battleground Lebanon

Battleground Lebanon

Lebanon has been a political and religious powder keg for decades. It’s a nation known for its intellectual and cultural capital, and its political instability. Lebanon was built on a shaky sectarian foundation with religious identity at the heart of its political system. History has shown that when there is a palpitation, it can have deadly consequences. This summer, after two years of political paralysis and a couple of bloody spasms, Sunni, Shia, and Christian factions compromised and formed a consensus government. But, between the domestic divisions, regional conflicts, and international interests, there’s no telling how long the current calm will last. 

Guests include:

  • Hilal Khashan, Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut
  • Paul Salem, Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center
  • Rajah al Husseini, Media Officer for the Waad Company
  • Sheikh Mazen Mohammad, Imam at the Harba Mosque in Tripoli
  • Samir al Taqi, Al Sharq Center for International Relations in Damascus
  • William Harris, Professor of Political Science at Otago University in New Zealand
  • Mohammed Berjawi, former Member of Parliament for Beirut’s Second District
  • Timur Goksel, Senior Advisor to the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon
  • Judith Palmer Harik, President of Metn University and author of Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism
  • Michael Young, Opinions Editor for Lebanon’s English language newspaper, The Daily Star
  • Nicholas Veliotes, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
  • Robert Dillon, US Ambassador to Lebanon
  • Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor to President Reagan
  • Sulieman Haddad, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Syrian Parliament
  • Ziad Haidar, Political Editor of Syrian newspaper Al Watan
  • Elie Fawaz, Political Analyst with the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation
Segment 1

Deborah Amos examines the relationship between Lebanon’s sectarian identity politics and its chronic instability.

Segment 2

Ray Suarez looks back at the major role foreign powers have played in Lebanon’s turbulent history.

Segment 3

Deborah Amos explores the rise of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim fighting force turned political powerhouse.

Segment 4

Ray Suarez examines America’s unsuccessful attempt to calm Lebanon’s troubled waters in the early 1980s.

Segment 5

Deborah Amos explores Syria’s interests and long-standing influence on its tiny Western neighbor.