[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/02/lebanon.pre.vote/art.flags.afp.gi.jpg caption="A rally for Hezbollah supporters with yellow flags and their allies, the Free Patriotic Movement in Beirut."]
CNN Senior Editor, Middle East Affairs
Lebanon's parliamentary elections will determine which path the country will take in the next four years - the direction of Islamic militancy and closer ties to countries such as Iran and Syria, or a route to more westernization and openness.
A rally for Hezbollah supporters with yellow flags and their allies, the Free Patriotic Movement in Beirut.
The results will undoubtedly dictate the course for the entire Middle East. Will the region remain steadfast in the face of an Iranian growing influence and stature or will the threat of a Shiite spread create new hostilities, conflicts and even redraw some maps?
Whatever the election results in Lebanon, they will set the stage and tone for the new U.S. administration in its attempt to change its image in a troubled ever-changing Middle East.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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