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Lebanon’s Example to Iraq

Iraq’s voters have spoken. Now a new government must be formed and a new constitution written. Lebanon, argues Paul Salem, may provide a guide for those Iraqis who seek a constitution that can reconcile the country’s Shi-ite, Sunni, Kurdish and Turkmen communities.

Rebuilding a country devastated by war, riven by internal divisions, and plagued by foreign intervention in a part of the world as volatile as the Middle East is one of the most daunting tasks imaginable. Add to it a desire to create a democracy from scratch in a region characterized by authoritarian government and that task becomes almost impossible. But the challenge has been met before, in Lebanon after its nightmarishly long civil war (1975-1990). So perhaps there are lessons from that experience that can be applied in Iraq.