October 2, 2005


You know you’re in a Christian part of Lebanon when you see a photograph of Bashir Gemayel on a wall.

Bashir Gemayel Poster.jpg

He was a Christian, a warlord, the head of the Phalange, a bit of a Franco-type fascist, and briefly the President of Lebanon in 1982.

If you appreciate black humor, here are two fun quotes from Bashir:

First, about Lebanon during the civil war: “This is not Norway here, and it is not Denmark.”

And this, one of the last things he ever said in his life: “To all those who don’t like the idea of me as President, I say: they will get used to it.” Just a few moments later - BOOM. He was assassinated with a bomb planted by Syrian agents.

UPDATE: I have quite a few Lebanese readers already, and they're slugging it out in the comments. (Welcome to Lebanon, indeed. Politics is the national sport here.) Bashir Gemayel is a real lightning rod in this country. Usually my comments are filled with Americans slugging it out. This is a refreshing change…I think.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 2, 2005 3:06 AM
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