Michael Totten

Bashir

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.