Lebanon is not a state, and certainly not a nation-state. It's rather more like a market place, for evidence of which you need only know that bombs are exploded in its souks and shopping bazaars regularly. Like yesterday, in Tripoli, where at least 18 people were never to return home. And elsewhere in the Muslim world where wars are fought not across battle lines but on demographically indeterminate streets and within neighborhoods that are home to the poor.

The market place model has finally been settled for in Lebanon, and the evidence is that Syria will finally recognize its independence after 65 years. I do not mean this ironically. But the country has been divvied up. The Christians and the less and less important Sunnis have been defeated but not removed; they will get their discounted share of the market which is all that really counted and really all that could be salvaged after Hariri p