Please, please, please, not again

The situation in Lebanon, with the number of Syrian refugees estimated to be in the range of  220,000-350,000 ( has continued to fester. Reports of Syrian child soldiers, rape, early marriages to protect daughters, severe malnutrition and depression, are increasing. Lebanese, people around the Middle East, and across the diaspora continue to fear another war. An example of the growing concern, with some Sunni Muslim leaders in Lebanon feeling ready to battle Hizbullah forces (that support the Syrian presidency and army) within Lebanon, is reported in  today's New York Times: .

Governments need to engage their public diplomacy networks to listen, understand, and take concrete policy steps to quell the Syrian war and the increasing stirrings of war in Lebanon. The world is waiting for diplomatic negotiation to work. I hope that the USG and other UN Security Council and Arab League member states pause, convene, and reflect on what another civil war in Lebanon would look like -- how disastrous it would be. Public diplomacy -- abroad and at home -- is what's needed to inform USG and other stakeholder states' policies so that they are credible. If they are credible to all in the global networks of key stakeholders, then the explaining part of public diplomacy will directly support nonviolent peacebuilding. The global stakeholders include Hizbullah, Salafi Muslims, Maronite and Orthodox Christians, Druze, Israelis -- their political leaders must be at the table with UNSCR. Today. We have reached a crisis in Lebanon that will only make the war in Syria last longer. Please, let's not wait. From experience, we have a good idea of what will happen without emergency, all-inclusive intervention.

Today is a political anniversary day in Lebanon, a reminder of what Lebanon has been through and how the US and Lebanon have a shared interest in peace there:

Anniversary of Lebanon's Cedar Revolution

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 14, 2013

Today marks the eighth anniversary of Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution, when the Lebanese people took to the streets to peacefully demonstrate and demand a sovereign and democratic country free from foreign interference and to call for the truth behind the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others.
The Lebanese people continue to face challenges as they work to ensure a stable, sovereign, and independent state that unifies all Lebanese. As Lebanon prepares for its parliamentary elections, we call on all parties to reject the use of violence and to resolve their differences peacefully and at the ballot box, consistent with the Lebanese constitution. Lebanon’s democratic process is a valuable achievement, and we urge Lebanon and its leaders to uphold their commitment to this process and hold elections on time.
The United States steadfastly supports the people of Lebanon and their advance toward a sovereign, stable, independent, and prosperous Lebanon.

PRN: 2013/0288