Lebanon in the 1970s could not really be called a nation. More
accurately, it was a constellation of warring states within
a state. Palestinian guerrillas, Shiite Muslims, right-wing
Christian Phalangists and leftist Sunni Muslims fought together
as well as against one another for control of Lebanon's destiny.
Israel, Iran, Syria, France and the United States also had a
hand in the fighting. The key vehicle for Shiite self-expression,
Hezbollah (the Party of God) emerged as a product of this conflict
in the form not only of a militant organization but also of
a shadowy state-within-a-state.
by David Montero
David Montero is a freelance journalist based in Oakland, California.