Chapman calls that “old liberal porridge”nfrom the “great stove of governmentnexpansionism.” This is hardly anclarion call to rev up the draft boards.nSecondly, the charge that I outline anfascistic plan of national service is patentlynabsurd. A system of national servicenorganized and operated at the statenand local levels — meeting the socialnand environmental needs deemed worthynby state and local communities, notnWashington bureaucrats — would benthe very antithesis of the centralist dogmanon which fascism is based, li Chroniclesnwere going fascist, we would bensupporting the plan recently proposednby a prominent conservative, a plan tontie college financial aid and homebuyingnassistance to service in a PolicenROTC and to organize high-schoolnstudents into paramilitary platoons thatnwould conduct “surveillance” whilenSYRIA’S CONQUEST of Lebanonnis the first fruits of the Bush administration’snMiddle Eastern policy. Whilen200,000 American soldiers were fightingnoff boredom in Saudi Arabia, ournnewest noble ally in the region, “President”nAssad of Syria, was storming thenChristian positions in Beirut. With an40,000-man force that included hundredsnof Soviet T-54 tanks, the Syriannarmy finally broke the resistance of thenChristian militia headed by GeneralnMichel Aoun. Early reports put thencasualties at 300, but the death toll hasnclimbed to at least 750, including anlarge number of Christian militiamennwho were shot with their hands tiednbehind their backs.nThe Syrian conquest, conductednunder the very feeble pretext of assistancento the Syrian-backed LebanesenPresident Hrawi, marks the end notnjust of the fifteen-year civil war innLebanon but of the country itself Thentragedy of Lebanon is also a milestonenin the deteriorating relations betweennChristians and Muslims in the MiddlenEast. In the 1950’s, Lebanon was anshining example of what a free economynand political toleration couldnachieve in a multiethnic society. Thenacting as a “presence” in our neighborhoods.nWe’re not and we don’t.nOn the ‘NationalnEndowmentnfor the Arts’nThe crux of Jacob Neusner’s (CulturalnRevolutions, September 1990) frustrationnlies in the fact that he is desperatelyntrying to find a “middle position” solutionnto the NEA funding crisis. There isnno middle position to take with NEA,nsimply because the very nature of itsnbeing violates free market principles.nArt is a business just like any othernbusiness and should not be exempt fromnthe dictates of the consumer.nCensorship is an issue in NEAnfunding — however, not in the samenCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSnChristian half of the population didnexercise a sort of political preeminence,nbut this special position was largely theneffect of the economic success of thenpro-Western, French-educated Christians.nWhen pan-Arab nationalists attemptednto overthrow the constitutionalngovernment of President CamillenChamoun in 1958, President Eisenhowernwas quick to send in the Marinesnto defend a legitimate governmentnthat governed the only free andnthriving country in the Arab world. Henwas also, as we all knew, defending anpeople whose religion and way of lifenhad much in common with our own.nEven in the midst of almost continuousncivil war, the Lebanese people —nChristian and Muslim alike — displayednincredible fortitude. All theynneeded, it seemed, was a few monthsnof comparative peace, and they werenbusy repairing houses and hotels andnrebuilding the economy. Now, after ansuitable period of massacre and pillaging,nthe Lebanese can become thenexploited subjects of a greater Syriannempire. Their new leader is morenruthless than Saddam Hussein, morensavage even than the Hitler-Hussein ofnGeorge Bush’s nightmares. But, as wennncontext currently used by supporters ofnthe NEA. It is ironic to think that thenones who distribute and the ones whonreceive NEA funding are the first toncry censorship when their taste in “art”nis questioned. Is it not censorship to thenmany who do not receive funds? Is itnnot censorship for the state to decidenwhat is and is not art?nThe fact is censorship is not such anbad word, so long as there are objectivenrather than subjective standards innplace. And the only possible way fornobjective censorship to take place is tonreturn the arts to the free market wherenthe consumer will decide what is and isnnot “art.” This will be the only solutionnto saying “yes to the arts, no tonpornography, and no to censorship.”n— Barbara RanchnHouston, TXnlike to say in America, he’s “ournS.O.B.”nThere is considerable speculation innWashington that the Bush administrationngave Assad the green light, butnAssad hardly needed any encouragement.nAs our faithful ally at this diffi^ncult juncture, he knew he could countnon the silence, if not the support ofnthe United States. How times havenchanged. In 1958 a moderate Republicannadministration sent in the Marinesnto protect the Christian pro-Westernngovernment of Camille Chamoun; inn1990 another moderate RepublicannPresident sends troops to defend thenvirulently anti-Christian royal house ofnSaud and connives at the massacre ofnLebanese Christians, including the sonnof former president Chamoun: a weeknafter General Aoun’s surrender. Christiannleader Dany Chamoun, who remainednin Beirut under Syrian protection,nwas brutally murdered along withnhis wife and two children. What is thenadministration’s response to this violentnand brutal conquest? The StatenDepartment would only comment thatnit hoped Aoun’s surrender “ends a sadnchapter of Lebanon’s history.” Sonmuch for America’s determination tonJANUARY 1991/5n