Michael J. Totten knows and loves Lebanon, and sees all too clearly what lies in wait for the serially war-torn country after Hezbollah and Israel break off the fight that’s destroying it: more hell.

During all seven months I spent in Lebanon the overwhelming majority feared an imminent return to civil war. I always told them they were too pessimistic even while I wondered if I was too naïve. Perhaps I’ve absorbed too much of that Lebanese fatalism by spending so much of my time among them. And perhaps my naivete has finally been washed away. [ … ]

Either way, the odds are quite a lot grimmer than they recently were. [ … A]fter the first war ends there really could be another.

Civil war, again, as the Sunni and Christians and Druze who grudgingly stand with Hezbollah under Israel’s bombs may turn and go Shi’a-hunting once the external enemy Hezbollah called down on them goes home.

Michael Totten’s matchlessly independent and intimate reporting from the Middle East is reader-supported. Read him, and hit his PayPal button if you possibly can — he needs a ticket back to Beirut.

Politics Cry the Beloved Country