Geagea for president?

Samir Geagea, leader of the extreme rightwing christian Lebanese Forces, convicted for 4 separate assassinations including a Lebanese prime minister and rival christian leader Danny Chamoun, whose entire family was wiped out with him, is a man with probably more assassinations and war crimes on his conscience than anybody else in this country where war criminals are not exactly lacking. Yet when he visited the ‘you’re either with us or with the terrorists’ crew at the White House, he was warmly received by everybody on the Middle Eastern department there, all the way up to Rice. One man’s terrorist seems to be another man’s freedom fighter indeed. For an exhaustive list of the man’s insane acts (even under the circumstances), see here – the most shocking part is actually not even the assassinations and mass murders and torturing of civilians (including many of the christians he was supposedly defending) by his Ouet brigades – it is the one where he accepts to fill the land of the people he claims to ‘protect’ with imported toxic waste just to make a buck:

1986-1987 – Geagea’s militia buried nuclear and chemical wastes in self-controlled region in exchange for millions of dollars. The Lebanese army worked later on removing the wastes and exporting them. “Jelly Wax, an Italian company, had been paying the Christian militia led by Geagea to store the toxics in Lebanon, including in a quarry near Beirut that once held 16,000 barrels and 20 containers of heavy metals, toxic pesticides, and other deadly chemicals. The Italian chemical barrels began to bubble over and explode, so the Lebanese Forces [militia] asked Mr. Pierre Malychef, one of Lebanon’s most respected environmental scientists, to test them. He alerted the public that the barrels contain toxic chemicals, and he discovered other dumping sites scattered around the country. The Lebanese Forces [militia] were angered as their pollution kickback was threatened. The government jailed Malychef for a week for allegedly giving false testimony during an investigation of the dumping, but the charges were dropped. Months later, thugs paid by the Lebanese Forces militia severely beat him. By 1986, companies from Germany, Canada, and Belgium, secretly delivered toxic chemicals to other parts of Lebanon. Today, Lebanon is paying the price. According to a World Bank study, toxic dumping, along with Lebanon’s own sewage and toxic waste problems, has led to contamination of 70% of the country’s drinking water.”

Hey, what can you expect from a politician who puts mascara on to pose for election billboards… Franklin Lamb makes a lot of this visit (here on Counterpunch), and implies that Geagea might be the White House’s new favorite for the presidential post. I don’t actually think even the neocons would be so mad and ignorant as to try and impose this ruthless Bcharriote – the explicit candidate of Israel, by the way – on the Lebanese population. Unless they really do want to foment a civil war, because that would be the immediate (and probably only) result. Geagea is not even acceptable to 90% or so of the christians, let alone anybody else…

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