Let it be said to the credit of the Christians in Lebanon that they have played a strategic role in keeping Middle East tensions from erupting into world war. The delicate political balance of Christians and Muslims in Lebanon has enabled that small but affluent nation to act as an effective buffer (see News, page 43). Conditions that threaten Lebanon’s integrity automatically raise the specter of worldwide holocaust.

So it was last month when the autumn chill descended upon the foothills of Mount Hermon and the Arab commandos who had been living in relative isolation began to move into inhabited villages. The government of Lebanon rightly saw this development as hazardous, since it made the villages vulnerable to attack from Israel. A bloody confrontation ensued.

The decisiveness of the Lebanese military is to be commended. Their curtailment of the commando activity regrettably caused casualties. But there is reason to hope it averted a far more serious struggle.

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