The bio-box on the Wikipedia page for the notorious Lebanese Maronite warlord/militiaman Samir Geagea, who is meeting with American officials this week in Washington, D.C., reads rather interestingly:
Born: October 25, 1952
Occupation: War Criminal
Home town: Bsharre
Known for: Assasinations and Killing Civilians
Predecessor: Fouad Abou Nader
Political party: Lebanese Forces
Religious beliefs: Maronite
Spouse: Sitrida Taouk Geagea
Listening to many, it is not all that far from the truth:
In one of the most notorious events of the war, Samir Geagea of Bcharré amassed several hundred militiamen, went into the home of Tony Franjieh (son of President Suleiman Franjieh) in Ehden and proceeded to kill him and his entire family as they slept. While this was explained by political differences between the two families, in fact it had its roots in a feud between the Geageas and the Franjiehs, which dates back to the 19th century. At that time, according to local (Bcharré) lore, a Geagea woman was killed by two Ehden men after offering them water and food. In response Bcharré’s residents burden down the town of Ehden and killed many of its inhabitants.
On Geagea’s visit, he has met with top State and Defense Department officials responsible for Near and Middle Eastern affairs, including NSC advisor Elliot Abrams, whose expertise on the Middle East and North Africa was elucidated to me when he explained to a friend in the DoS that although there was no real geopolitical reason (aside from arms sales, which have been on the decline) to support Morocco’s claim/occupation of the Western Sahara since the Cold War had ended his persistent support for the Moroccan position derived from the fact that “I just like Moroccans.” Perhaps his affection for Mr. Geagea comes from a similar impulse.
Abrams said, “We were impressed by the loyalty and patriotism of all the March 14 leaders, and their willingness to work for their country, but we waited for long time for you Dr Geagea. Now that I have met you I feel honored and I want to welcome you back to Washington.
I Believe you said that what was needed was faith and perseverance and effort. Here I disagree with you a bit. What is required is what you have proven through faith, perseverance, effort and courage untold. Therefore, I salute you of all what you have done and I am honored to be with you and welcome you to Washington.