At least someone is making money in these difficult times. Arms dealers in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley are making out like, well, bandits as unrest in Syria sends black market gun prices through the roof says this story in Lebanon’s Daily Star. Rocket grenade launchers appear to be the hottest investment grade item, with prices more than sextupling from $400 to $2500 in recent months. Kalashnikovs and M16s are also up sharply, with 75 percent appreciation on the Russian guns and 100 percent on the US model.Perhaps more investments in Lebanese arms dealer funds could rescue US state and municipal pension funds; those are the kind of returns states like New York, Illinois, California and Rhode Island need to avoid massive service and benefit cuts in the years ahead.But what this news really means, of course, is that more and more people in Syria and Lebanon are preparing for all out civil war. Religious and ethnic divides half forgotten during the long decades when the dictatorship was secure are now beginning to revive as the Assad clan looks weak.This is the pattern I saw at work in Yugoslavia and the Caucasus twenty years ago as ethnic groups geared up to butcher their neighbors and drive them from their homes; I will never forget the night a Georgian poet asked me how much guns cost on the Istanbul black market; he was arming himself against what he called the “Abkhazian menace.”I made a note to myself at that time: when poets buy guns, tourist season is over. They are buying them now in Damascus; something wicked this way comes.