*LBN-POLITICAL BRIEFING By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN: After Saddam Hussein seized neighboring Kuwait in 1990, the historian David Fromkin published an essay in the Smithsonian journal recalling how the modern Middle East was formed, in which he wrote: "In 1922, Churchill succeeded in mapping out the Arab Middle East along lines suitable to the needs of the British civilian and military administrations. T. E. Lawrence ["Lawrence of Arabia"] would later brag that he, Churchill and a few others had designed the modern Middle East over dinner. Seventy years later ... the question is whether the peoples of the Middle East are willing or able to continue living with that design." That same question is still on the table today - but even more so. What is happening right now in Iraq, Israel and Palestine is a new Churchillian moment. The contours and contents of these core Middle East regions are up for grabs, only this time these contours are not being redrawn by an imperial pen from above - and will not be. This time they are being shaped by three civilian conflicts bubbling up from below - among Palestinians, Israelis and Iraqis. As the Israeli political theorist Yaron Ezrahi puts it, "Three volcanoes are erupting at the same time. Lava is pouring out of each of them, and we are all waiting to see how it cools and into what forms."