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Lebanese Civil War

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    Posted: 07 Jun 2013 at 23:27
I heard that there was a civil war in Lebanon from 1975-1990 and that it was an all-out battle between the Maronite Christians that favored westernized government and the left-wing Arabs that opposed it. This simplicity makes sense, however I was told that there were more groups involved because mercenaries were "paid off to take it to a whole new level. Their brutality against innocent people was immeasurable."

What does this mean? How did mercenaries play a role in the Lebanese Civil War and where did the money come from to pay them off?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2013 at 21:10
Originally posted by jim601 jim601 wrote:

I heard that there was a civil war in Lebanon from 1975-1990 and that it was an all-out battle between the Maronite Christians that favored westernized government and the left-wing Arabs that opposed it. This simplicity makes sense, however I was told that there were more groups involved because mercenaries were "paid off to take it to a whole new level. Their brutality against innocent people was immeasurable."


No it doesn't. It is a lie pure and simple.

Christians were 45% of the population yet had 60% of parliamentary seats, controlled the army, the civil service, the education and the economy. Fascist phalangists dominated politics on the Christian side and not only refused to govern in a democratic way, they started using the State to build their own militias. When muslims and left wing Christians demanded an equal share of the government (chrisians from left wing parties were denied access to the electoral process) similar to what exist now (now they are 40% of the population and still control the army and the presidency).

The Palestinian issue didn't help either. Palestinians were forced upon the Lebanese and they started attacking Israel from Southern Lebanon and Israel typically retaliated in Christian majority areas. Things flared up several times before they finally broke down in April 1975 when phalangist terrorists massacred a bus full of Palestinian civilians.



Originally posted by jim601 jim601 wrote:


What does this mean? How did mercenaries play a role in the Lebanese Civil War and where did the money come from to pay them off?


With mercenaries, well the war first began as a sectarian affair bringing evangelical Christians, Armenian terrorist groups, Kurdish rebels and left wing groups into the war. The Shah intelligence, SAVAK, established AMAL movement, the first modern shia militia in the Arab world after hundreds of shia militants joined Christian militias to fight Palestinians and other left wing groups. Sunnis joined the left wing groups and never established a militia of their own.

Later the war became a war for profit with Christian militias siding with Palestinians against fellow Christians and Palestinians joining the fight with the Hizb against AMAL.

Their support came from the intelligence services the world over. Every single intelligence service known in the 70s and 80s was involved in the war there. Lebanon was also a lucrative smuggling route and remained a banking/money laundering center during the war.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2013 at 03:33
So the main perpetrators were the Phalange? I asked my girlfriend's mom who grew up in Lebanon during the time the war started and she said it was all-out war from all sides, but that the fascist phalangists started instigating guerrilla warfare tactics which previously hadn't been seen yet.

She said that they put up checkpoints everywhere and they stopped everyone. If it was a man, they would strip him naked, and if he was circumcised, they knew he was from the enemy so they would cut off his penis then watch him run around until dying. A whole barrel full of severed penises were found in Beirut. She didn't say what happened to women. Is this true?

To escalate, all sides started implementing guerrilla tactics like this. They even assassinated high-ranking officials such as the newly elected president in 1982 and it led to a massacre of Palestinians. This is what she told me. I will read into this more because I don't know about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2013 at 17:28
Hello Jim

The unfortunate "foreskin test", started by a small time shia gang called "Ali's Boys", was fortunately a limited though very ugly side of the civil war. Lots of members of Christian militias, including Guardians of Cedars militia the most right wing of all militias, were either shias or Alawis while many leftist militia members and quite a few Palestinians were Christian or Lebanese christians. Not to mention the many awful incidents involving mixed marriages which were then quite common. This policy was quickly abandoned by major combatants though small time gangs did continue to follow it usually for ransom reasons.

As for the phalangists, well what you said is more or less true. Their refusal to share government equally with the majority was the reason behind the war which they started it by attacking the Bus on April 13th 1975. The war quickly escalated into a full out war with heavy weapons, tanks and artillery and sometimes even fighter jets. While the fighting was largely confined to urban areas some times it took on a conventional war type like when Zahle was besieged before Syria troops relieved it.

The Syrian hand was also strong in the war. Often times they intervened to stop the victor on his tracks and help the losing side until they get the upper hand before switching over. For the first 8 years of the war the Syrians were vehemently anti-Palestinian before supporting them after Arafat left Lebanon in 83. It joined the war to save the Phalangist from total defeat, helped them massacre the Palestinians in Tall Al-Zaatar before switching over to the left militias. Later in the war they blew up several peace deals, assassinated Bashir Al-Gemayyel and the PM Rashid Karami, Helped Geagea take over the Phalangist before turning against him.

By the way, what religion is your girlfriend's mom if you don't mind me asking?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 07:18
So it started more or less as a power struggle that the Phalange didn't want to lose, and escalated into a major, multi-faceted war that defined the middle east to this day. Would this be an accurate statement? It sounds to me that war really is the best business and it's like a magnet to criminals/mercenaries, just like in that movie Above The Law.

What was the issue with mixed marriages? And was this only a war between men (soldiers, civilians, etc) or did things happen to women as well?

On the Syria note, it looks like they did a lot of flip flopping. And now they are in their own turmoil.

My girlfiend's mom is Christian. I think she was a teenager when she moved to the US.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 09:02
AJ, please provide a source, if you can for Amal being a Savak creation as all of my previous reading has indicated it was an Al-Assd baby. Also please clarify whether you are saying it was the first militia in Lebanon and was what sparked the creation of Sunni militias.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 09:03
Originally posted by jim601 jim601 wrote:

So it started more or less as a power struggle that the Phalange didn't want to lose, and escalated into a major, multi-faceted war that defined the middle east to this day. Would this be an accurate statement? It sounds to me that war really is the best business and it's like a magnet to criminals/mercenaries, just like in that movie Above The Law.

What was the issue with mixed marriages? And was this only a war between men (soldiers, civilians, etc) or did things happen to women as well?

On the Syria note, it looks like they did a lot of flip flopping. And now they are in their own turmoil.

My girlfiend's mom is Christian. I think she was a teenager when she moved to the US.




I'd say it defined Lebanon, not th e Middle East.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 14:55
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

AJ, please provide a source, if you can for Amal being a Savak creation as all of my previous reading has indicated it was an Al-Assd baby. Also please clarify whether you are saying it was the first militia in Lebanon and was what sparked the creation of Sunni militias.


AMAL began as "Harakat Al-Mahromeen" in 1974, established by Iranian born Musa Al-Sadr, to counter both the feudal shia lords in South Lebanon lead by Al-Asaad clan as well as leftist and Christian lead right wing movements popular among shia youth.

Musa Al-Sadr lived and studied in Iran until the 1960s when he moved to Lebanon on the invitation of the SAVAK station chief who introduced him to the big shots of Lebanese society. Officially he only became at odds with the shah 1970. In reality the biggest supporter of AMAL was the shah regime and Qaddafi largely because of Saddam's support of the Palestinians who were at odds with shias of southern Lebanon:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amal_Movement

http://www.politicalreviewnet.com/polrev/reviews/MEPO/R_1061_1924_157_1007689.asp

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=elHww0W0ZO4C&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=savak+lebanon&source=bl&ots=5ffR-MdAzR&sig=RGokF-IxsdW7KPHx2XWW9SxjmsI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=33i4UZ_pHqak4AT5joDYCQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=savak&f=false


Syrian involvement came after the civil war started and Syria intervened.

And I don't understand the second part of you question. Sunnis never had a militia (that is an exclusively religious sunni militia) in the war, they were either neutral or with left wing/Palestinian militias. Neither were shia part of the civil war until 1978. There were gangs claiming to represent shia or sunnis (like the shia Ali's boys or sunni Al-Ahbash) but they were criminal gangs and often lead by people who weren't even muslim but claiming so to get favours from foreign intelligence services and/or other big militias.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 15:36
I had no Idea Shah was involved in creating some militia (apparently Islamist) groups in Lebanon! Al don't you think some Arabs want to blame everything evil in ME as a creation of Iran? Iranian regime like to think this way; anything against Iranian regime is a creation of the Great Satan (US), Old Fox (UK), Cancerous Tissue (Israel) or Wahhabi regime (Saudi Arabia)!!! (Certainly those titles are only in Iranian regime vocabulary and not mine)Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 18:39
If you read the book you will see the SAVAK had a hand in every political party that was anti-Arab nationalism which makes sense since Saddam in particular and all major Arab nationalists in general were against certain Iranian policies in the Gulf, the Bahrain issue comes into mind, as well as supporting Kurdish/Iranian opposition to shah rule.

My enemy's enemy is my friend they say and supporting a guy like Sadr who was vehemently against Vilayat-i-Faqih, the Phalangists (Kataeb), the Armenians (Dashnak/Hashnak) worked in the general scheme of things.

Sadr was a tool in the Shah's quiver and like Churchill the shah was willing to deal with the devil to keep his rule.

As for blaming Iran for everything thing, well its escapism with a pinch of reality.

When you have a vacuum something will fill it and the Arab regimes right now are massively weak and wide open to foreign influences. I don't blame Iran for using this weakness to infiltrate Arab states, I would do the same if I had the other shoe. It is the active intervention of Iran in Arab affairs that probably saved it from American intervention because the damage would be out of control.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 19:03
Amal was actually secular.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim601 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2013 at 07:43
So this was more of a lengthy battle between the men of these various groups or was it like in Ukraine where the women were spies assisting the men? Did anything happen to women or were they left alone?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marv32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2013 at 06:50
My mom says that there were women spies that would help gather weapons and intelligence for  their side.

For example, the maronite christian side would have their women spy on the arabs, and vice versa.

But she said if they were caught, they would be tortured and she motions to her chest. She didn't explain so I had no idea what she means. Does anyone have an idea? Question
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EW World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2017 at 03:39
She probably meant female spies had their throats slit. I remember commonly seeing this reported on the news in the late 1990s during the Kosovo conflict.

As for which "militia" group was the fiercest and most barbaric? It sounds to me from prior posts that they were equally bad. But, if "Ali's Boys" really did cut off the penises of the men they captured, then I would say they would win that debate. That is as nasty as it gets. Just curious, why would they castrate only the circumcised men? Seems kind of bizarre...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jun 2017 at 22:07
Technically, castration is removal of the testicles, emasculation is removal of everything.  Circumcision is a Jewish custom, adopted also by many Christians.  I don't know if muslims or Arabs do it, although it was done in ancient Egypt.  Oh, cutting off the penis is called in Thailand, "feeding the ducks."  Thailand is a leader in reattachment surgery, if a duck doesn't eat it first.  That is all I know about that painful subject.

Of course, one should remember the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, and the US intervention under Reagan, with the ill-fated Marine barracks.  And the battleship Missouri, shelling the coast.  Lebanon has a weird parliamentary system where religious groups are represented in the parliament, and are guaranteed(?) a block of their own ethnic MPs.  I don't know how far that goes back, it might have been a compromise that ended the civil war.


Edited by franciscosan - 24 Jun 2017 at 22:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EW World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2017 at 04:23
I found this published article which has some information about the Israeli occupation in Southern Lebanon you mentioned. It was written by an editor from the Washington Post who also wrote a book on the subject.

http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue51/articles/51_28-29.pdf

The article sites approximately 3,000 innocent, unarmed civilians were murdered in a refugee camp during the early 1980s. It appears the Israelis allowed a Lebanese Christian Militia go in and kill these Palestinian civilians at the refugee camp. Also, important to note, the article mentions they weren't just "killed," but actually slaughtered:

"Accounts of the slaughter stunned the civilized world –- bodies of diapered babies, the elderly, corpses in stacks. Breasts and penises had been cut off; a Christian cross was carved into the flesh of some victims. Pregnant women had their wombs torn open."

Marv32, probably what your mom meant (assuming you haven't asked her yet), is that women spies were tortured by having their breasts cut off. If it happened at the refugee camp in the example above, then I can't imagine the women spies would get a free pass...

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