Thursday, November 23, 2006
Pierre Amine Gemayel, aside from being one of the Hariri gang pushing brutal neoliberal policies on Lebanon, was inextricably linked with the fascist Phalange. The Phalange have only occasionally been correctly designated in the Western press as fascist, and even less frequently as mass murderers. Among their crimes was the attack on the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps in September 1982. I'll quote from Robert Fisk's account:
"What we found inside the Palestinian Chatila camp at ten o'clock on the morning of 18th September 1982 did not quite beggar description, although it would have been easier to re-tell in the cold prose of a medical examination ... there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies - blackened babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24 hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition - tossed into the rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army medical equipment and empty bottles of whisky ... Down a laneway to our right, no more than 50 yards from the entrance, there lay a pile of corpses. There were more than a dozen of them, young men whose arms and legs had been wrapped around each other in the agony of death. All had been shot at point-blank range through the cheek, the bullet tearing away a line of flesh up to the ear and entering the brain. Some had vivid crimson or black scars down the left side of their throats. One had been castrated, his trousers torn open and a settlement of flies throbbing over his torn intestines.
"The eyes of these young men were all open. The youngest was only 12 or 13 years old ... On the other side of the main road, up a track through the debris, we found the bodies of five women and several children. The women were middle-aged and their corpses lay draped over a pile of rubble. One lay on her back, her dress torn open and the head of a little girl emerging from behind her. The girl had short, dark curly hair, her eyes were staring at us and there was a frown on her face. She was dead ... One of the women also held a tiny baby to her body. The bullet that had passed through her breast had killed the baby too. Someone had slit open the woman's stomach, cutting sideways and then upwards, perhaps trying to kill her unborn child. Her eyes were wide open, her dark face frozen in horror." (Robert Fisk, Pity The Nation: Lebanon At War, Oxford University Press, 1992).
What had happened was this: the Israelis had formulated a plan with the Phalangists to attack the camp, and had set up observation posts in the surrounding area for that purpose. They bombarded the place with ordnance and then, on the evening of 16th September, two days before Fisk and his colleagues arrived, the Phalanges and a number of SLA fighters entered the camp, with the perimeter sealed by IDF troops, and set about mutilating and destroying every living human being that they could find. The whisky bottles are telling. This was a business that took some time. The killers had only left when Fisk et al arrived, and one of the bodies was still issuing warm blood. There is no sign of there having been any fighting. Rather, witnesses report the sound of laughter from the Phalange - an effortless task, and a pleasurable one.
For all the talk of 'Islamo-fascism', the only fascist party ever to have emerged in the Middle East has been the Phalange, and its genocidal skills were deployed on behalf of Israel and no one else. This is the tradition represented by the deceased Pierre Amine Gemayel.