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Party of slain lebanese modeled after nazi party { October 2006 }

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The history of the Phalange party
By: Ali Moossavi / The Arab American News

The Phalangist party is a Lebanese political party and militia that is not only responsible for numerous atrocities during the 15-year civil war, but was and still is a fascist party modeled on Hitler's Nazi party.

While this history is well documented, anyone ignorant of this history would remain ignorant after reading the various media accounts of the assassination this week of industry minister and Member of Parliament Pierre Gemayel. As a member of a pro-Western party in a pro-Western, anti-Syrian government amidst a power struggle with anti-Western and pro-Syrian parties, mainly Hizbullah, the international reaction was swift and obvious.

French President Jacques Chirac expressed "horror and dismay." British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "We need to do everything we can, particularly at this moment, to protect democracy in Lebanon and the premiership of Prime Minister [Fouad] Siniora."

Others waded in, including King Abdullah of Jordan, urging Lebanese to "unify their ranks," presumably referring to Hizbullah, while Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni actually had the gall to point out Syria's "negative role" in Lebanon. Livni apparently believes Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon brought something positive to the 20,000 Lebanese Israel killed, or perhaps to the 1,300 killed and their families last August.

But leave it to the United States to bring the most vociferous denunciation to the killing - which had the look of a professional mob hit - and denounced it they did. Both U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, and Undersecretary of State for political affairs R. Nicholas Burns called the act terrorism - which it technically was - while President Bush railed against Iranian and Syrian meddling in the country.

"We support the Siniora government and its democracy and we support the Lebanese people's desire to live in peace," Bush said, apparently referring to all Lebanese except for the Shi'a community who had the nerve to get in the way of Israel's missiles.

The killers of Gemayel, according to Bush, are "the vicious face of those who oppose freedom." Since the meaning of words like peace and freedom are used in Orwellian doublespeak, it's worth examining the record of the Gemayel's history of supporting peace and freedom.

The Gemayel legacy began with another Pierre Gemayel, the grandfather of the slain 34-year old, who was inspired to form a political party after visiting the Berlin Olympics.

Germany was then the Third Reich and so impressed was he by the discipline of the Nazi Party, that he formed the Kataeb, or Phalange, the latter term borrowed from Spanish fascist dictator General Francisco Franco's party, the Falange. Fascism was on the march then, and the outcome of the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39 on the side of the fascists gave Hitler the green light to start WWII.

As a fascist party, the Phalange became a leading force in preserving the Christian dominance granted by France after Lebanon's independence in 1943. It was the outbreak of the civil war in 1975 - which the Phalange started - that provided the party an opportunity to dominate the Christian political scene after the assassinations of other Christian leaders, and the Lebanese Forces was born.

During the civil war, the Phalange committed some of the worst massacres, mainly against Palestinian paramilitaries and refugees whom they hated with a passion. Massacres, including Black Saturday on Dec. 6, 1975 with 200 killed and Tel al-Za'ater in August 1976, with thousands killed, stand out as early examples of Phalangist brutality, along with Karantina that same year. It was at this time that the Phalange sought - and received -Israeli aid. Also, Bashir Gemayel - the slain Pierre's uncle - went from being a CIA agent to an agent of Israel.

But it was in the Sabra/Shatila massacre in Sept. 1982 that the world was exposed both to the soul of the Phalange and their Israeli backers, who helped stage the atrocity. (Both the Rabin-Labor and Begin-Likud governments armed, trained and financed the Phalange, while staging their own murderous reprisals against both Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.)

The 1982 invasion of Lebanon had as one of its goals the establishment of a Phalangist regime in Beirut; ironic considering the Phalange's fascist roots and that the Holocaust is Israel's rationale for its own existence. Meanwhile, the Phalange practiced its own form of ethnic cleansing, removing those non-Christian elements that came under their control.

According to the Israeli-Palestinian journalist Attallah Mansour - writing for Ha'aretz at that time - it was the Phalangists, among others, "who drove out of the areas they controlled in Beirut, Junieh, and other areas almost all the non-Christian population." In other words, ethnic cleansing.

Yet, practically all the media I surveyed left out any mention of this history. In fact, of them - including the "New York Times," "Washington Post," "International Herald Tribune," Fox, Voice Of America, Radio Free Europe, the Associated Press, Reuters, and even "The Daily Star" in Beirut - only the BBC managed to say something.

Here's what "Obituary: Pierre Gemayel" in the BBC had to say:

"The name Gemayel is inextricably linked to the right-wing Maronite Christian party, the Phalange, founded by his grandfather (also named Pierre) in 1936 and one of the main players in the bloody civil war that gripped Lebanon through the 1970s and 1980s."

Under the heading, "Essential Facts," was one sentence referring to the party having been "founded on Fascist lines in the 1930s," while another sentence mentioned the Phalange's "controversial legacy" during the war.

That's it. No details about the details of the Phalange's origin, the massacres or its overt sectarian ideology. Nothing. And while much was made of his anti-Syrian stance, only one - the "International Herald Tribune" - bothered to mention a remark the late minister made last year, about how Lebanese Shi'a "may be the quantity, but we are the quality." Judging by his "controversial legacy," it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who constitutes the "quality" he's referring to.

In an era where a "war on terror" is conducted against "Islamo-fascism," it's important to remember those secular fascists who have held power thanks to the patronage of the so-called free world. If we don't, no one else will bother to remind us and those inconvenient facts go down Orwell's memory hole.

Annan urges syria iran to aid lebanese { November 18 2006 }
Army fears sectarian violence in lebanon { December 5 2006 }
Beirut protests camping against western government { December 5 2006 }
Bush warns syria iran after lebanon killing { October 2006 }
Hezbollah gains power in lebanon after fighting { May 16 2008 }
Hezbollah overruns west beirut { April 2008 }
Hezbollah rebuilds beirut { November 18 2007 }
Israel bombs beirut airport hezbollah tv { June 2006 }
Lebanon shiites grapple with new feeling of power { December 10 2006 }
Party of slain lebanese modeled after nazi party { October 2006 }
Slain lebanese politician worked with fascists { November 21 2006 }
US blocked plans to disarm hezbollah { September 25 2007 }

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