Damascus is a half hour drive from the Lebanese border, and refugees from the civil war currently raging in Syria are flooding over that border in ever-increasing numbers. An authoritative estimate is that asylum-seekers from Syria have reached 400,000, which, if true, would mean a 10 percent increase in Lebanon’s population of 4 million. If the influx of homeless people into a small--and not particularly prosperous--country continues on this scale, it will quickly turn from being a humanitarian crisis into a large scale disaster.The number of refugees is only one aspect of the problem for Lebanon. Just as important is the sectarian allegiance of the majority of those pouring into the country. For the most part, they are Sunni Muslims fleeing from Syrian President Bashar Assad and his ruthless Shi’ite-affiliated regime, supported by Iran and its protege, the Islamist terrorist organization, Hezbollah. But Hezbollah has managed to infiltrate itself into Lebanon’s body politic and is an integral element in the government. Sunni refugees are perforce flying into the arms of a country where a government minister is a member of Hezbollah, and the terrorist organization controls eleven of the thirty seats in the cabinet. In such circumstances, it is perhaps not surprising that the Lebanese government has done little to aid their hapless visitors, who are being left to fend for themselves. The civil war in Syria − which to a large extent involves a Sunni-backed attempt to oust the Alawite, Shi’ite-affiliated Assad regime − is a deeply divisive issue in Lebanon, and its sectarian issues are preventing the government from taking decisive action to relieve the humanitarian crisis on its doorstep. Lebanon’s political constitution is a complex mechanism, aimed at achieving a delicate balance of power between Christians, Sunnis and Shi’ites. The composition of the government and many public institutions are shared between these three elements.