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By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Lebanese Government
Lebanon is a republic within the overall framework of confessionalism, a form of consociationalism in which the highest offices are proportionately reserved for representatives from certain religious communities. The constitution grants the people the right to change their government. However, from the mid-1970s until the parliamentary elections in 1992, civil war precluded the exercise of political rights. According to the constitution, direct elections must be held for the parliament every 4 years. The last parliamentary election was in 2009 . The Parliament, in turn, elects a President every 6 years to a single term. The President is not eligible for re-election. The last presidential election was in 2008. The president and parliament choose the Prime Minister. Political parties may be formed; most are based on sectarian interests. Syria was charged by Arab League with disentangling the combatants and restoring calm from the time of the second Lebanese civil war (which began in 1975) until 2005 when the Lebanese revolted against the Syrian presence and caused the withdrawal of Syrian troops with the support of the International community. Israel occupied parts of Lebanon in 1978 then withdrew from all Lebanese territories in 2000 although they still occupy Shebaa Farms, an area disputed between Syria, Israel and Lebanon. 2008 saw a new twist to Lebanese politics when the Doha Agreement set a new trend where the opposition is allowed a veto power in the Lebanese Council of Ministers and confirmed religious Confessionalism in the distribution of political power. - Source: Wikipedia
The United Nations is urging restraint after a Lebanese sniper shot and killed an Israeli soldier near the border, sparking a retaliatory incident by IDF troops and leading to a scheduled emergency meeting on Monday to try to diffuse the tensions.
The Lebanese government authorized the army on Monday to take control of the northern city of Tripoli for six months following three days of sectarian clashes, a decision meant to allay fears that fighting in Lebanon's second largest city was spiraling out of control.
"A closer look at Hezbollah" (Commentary, Sept. 12), the otherwise informative review by Joshua Sinai of "Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God," written by Matthew Levitt, confuses one important matter.
The Lebanese government collapsed over the weekend in the latest sign that the crisis in Syria is spreading instability throughout the Levant and the broader Middle East.
A car bomb ripped through eastern Beirut on Friday, killing at least eight people, shearing the balconies off apartment buildings and sending bloodied residents staggering into the streets in the most serious blast the Lebanese capital has seen in more than four years.
With the exception of Iran and Egypt (where the army appears to be effectively re-establishing control), there is no situation in the Middle East more potentially dangerous than the Syrian civil war.
Syrian rebels kidnapped 12 Lebanese Shiites in northern Syria on Tuesday, fueling fears that Lebanon is getting drawn into the chaos next door, security officials said.
The leader of Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah appealed for calm Tuesday after people blocked roads and burned tires in Beirut to protest the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiites in neighboring Syria.
Syria's war barreled over the border with an angry, raucous funeral Monday for an anti-Syrian cleric whose killing set off a night of deadly street battles in Beirut and raised fears that Lebanon is getting drawn into the chaos afflicting its neighbor.
Syria's conflict is increasing instability in Lebanon, which already is grappling with sectarian tensions, a crumbling economy, and a weak, divided government even as it so far has avoided the popular uprisings of its Middle East neighbors.
Syrian dissidents based in Lebanon have stepped up efforts to help the opposition in their country by smuggling medicine, satellite phones, cameras and weapons into Syria — and refugees and injured fighters out.
Another major border dispute has broken out between Israel and Lebanon, one that offers each country the choice of sharing prosperity or inflicting on each other an economic catastrophe. The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday approved the coordinates of an exclusive economic zone delineating waters up to 200 nautical miles off its coast in which it claims oil and gas exploration rights.
The American ambassador in Lebanon discussed recent Hezbollah threats against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in talks this week with a leading politician backed by the terrorist group, which dominates the new government.
A U.N.-backed court indicted at least one senior Hezbollah member and three other suspects Thursday in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Lebanese official said.
A top aide to Turkey's prime minister said Thursday that his country's policy of engaging Islamist groups and rogue regimes in the Arab world had given Turkey unique leverage in shaping the outcome of the "Arab Spring."