Letters to the Editor

Lebanese context

Nowhere in Marlin Dick's Jan. 23 commentary concerning Lebanon did he mention the French Mandate or the Cairo Agreement. Let me briefly explain both.

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire broke up, and the League of Nations gave Lebanon to France in 1920, hence the term "French Mandate." The French Mandate created what is today Lebanon by combining what was formerly called Phoenicia (the largely Muslim coastal plain), the Muslim Bekaa region, and the mostly Christian Lebanon Mountains. Lebanon gained independence from France in 1943.

The Cairo Agreement of 1969 forced the Lebanese government to allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization to use its southern territory as a base to attack northern Israel. When the PLO subsequently based its headquarters in southern Lebanon in 1972, the Lebanese government was seemingly powerless to prevent it. The paramilitary group Hezbollah came to being out of the Lebanon-based PLO militia and the Lebanese civil war.

Mainstream media rarely puts current events into context. Perhaps if more Americans were as curious about history as "American Idol" they would demand more from corporate media.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman