Linda Chavez

Could it be that Kuntar is a changed man? That he somehow regrets what he did that horrible night nearly 30 years ago? Lest anyone think so, Kuntar left no doubt about his own intentions: to kill again -- and be killed as a martyr to his cause.

Dressed in military fatigues, Kuntar wasted no time making a public statement when he visited the burial site of another terrorist, Imad Mughniyeh, killed in a car bomb in neighboring Syria. "We swear to God ... to continue on your same path and not to retreat until we achieve the same stature that Allah bestowed on you," Kuntar promised. "This is our great wish. We envy you and we will achieve it, God willing," he said.

Just a few short years ago after the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri in 2005, it seemed Lebanon was on the verge of a democratic rebirth. Millions took to the streets to demand Syria, which had occupied the country for 30 years, withdraw its troops -- which it did. Lebanon held its first relatively free elections a few months later. But this week's public adulation of a stone-cold killer dashes any hope that Lebanon has abandoned its culture of violence.

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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