National Geographic : 1983 Feb
* A United Nations contingent of 6,000 mili tary personnel. * Dozens of private, well-armed militias, indistinguishable but for the leader followed and the cause espoused. Lebanon was transformed into a stewpot of anarchy. There was no central govern ment with authority, no army capable of keeping order. Boys no older than 14 stood on the streets, making menacing sweeping motions with their Kalashnikov automatic rifles. Shells whined overhead, while on the streets car bombs were set off to thick and mushy sounds that seemed to have rumbled up from the depths of hell. Garbage on west Beirut streets went uncollected, and the stray cats grew grotesquely fat. This was not simply brutal warfare between Christians and Muslims. There were alliances and counteralliances, unlike ly allies and reluctant enemies. There was confusion and uncertainty, and through it all, Lebanese sovereignty had come to lie like a fallen and forgotten leaf in winter. BEIRUT came to be a city defined by fear, a city bisected by the Green Line-Christians in the east, Muslims in the west. In those eight years of war there were dozens of cease-fires, but they of fered only wispy illusions of peace. At one such time there was Henri Phar aon, 82, taking his morning coffee in the re ceiving parlor of his stately house. Soon he would go to the Hippodrome, where some of his 70 Arabian horses would be competing in "P "