There is now doubt about the new-found esteem for the military (also related to its deployment to the south after last summer's war). One now often sees in Lebanon the entirely new phenomenon of billboards extolling the Army, put up by private companies.

However, the Lebanese Army has had a very tough job of it in Nahr al-Barid (against what are now only a few dozen Fateh al-Islam combatants), and I'm not sure that a lack of modern weapons systems is really the problem. Particularly striking has been the ability of Fateh al-Islam to fire off the occasional rocket barrage against nearby villages or the power plant, something that ought not to be happening when they're reduced to a small area, completely overlooked by Army positions.

That being said, the refugee camp is a nightmare to fight in: it is essentially a now-abandoned densely-build town of 32,000, with one road, 2-4 small lanes, and otherwise a maze of very narrow (1.5 m) zig-zagging alleyways.

Google Earth users can find a rather good view of it at 34º30'43.38" N 35º 57' 37.55 E