Past and practically current events in the life of Brid. Gen. el-Hajj

So a quick recap of Brigadier Francois el-Hajj’s military history in reverse chronological order

1- Played a central role in the destruction and defeat of Fath al Islam’s forces in Nahr el Bared.
2- Lead battles against the bad guys in Deniyeh (replicas of Fath al Islam) 7 years ago, only to find them released along with Samir Geagea in the euphoria run-up of the cedar revolution.
3- Countered Lebanese Forces attacks in 1989 moments after Geagea (leader of LF) assured him that the army (under the command of General Aoun at the time) won’t be attacked. Hajj accordingly led the attack from Qolei3at and pushed LF forces back to Nahr el Mot.
4- Escaped an Israeli-LF assassination’s attempt back in 1976, after Bashir Gemayel’s forces (LF old face) had asked him to coordinate with the Israelis in order to set up a security zone in the south, to which he refused.

Now consider this:

1- El-Hajj is from Rmeish (Christian), a border village with Israel that is a couple of minutes away from Ayta Shaab (Shiite) famous for its fierce resistance to Israel incursions (especially during the last war). During the latest Israeli murderous adventure, most people from Ayta sought refuge in Rmeish their neighbors with whom they have strong ties due to their common economic work (tobacco cultivation) and age-old family friendships. Considering the fact that Hizbullah and the Lebanese army were coordinating on many levels, I would not be exaggerating if I say that it is possible that people like El-Hajj played key roles in that process. People like that are either preciously cherished (politically I mean), or vehemently hated.

2- El Hajj was going to be the next General of the army.

3- This and that.

Does this look like a guy the “Syrian-Iranian axis” would try to kill? Only if they want to shoot themselves in the foot. More on this later.

16 Replies to “Past and practically current events in the life of Brid. Gen. el-Hajj”

  1. thanks for the insightful post. it does counterbalance a number of reports circulated in the mainstream media…

    but i was wondering about al seyassah’s ‘credibility’, so to speak. it usually doesn’t come across as a very trustworty source of information, commentary or analysis. its discursive reporting style is quite biased and lacking journalistic professionalism. this is not to discount other news sources from the same defects but i thought it was important to address, or at least, mention…

  2. you’re absolutely right about al seyassah. But it has been considered as a perfect recipient for western intelligence leaks, and has always held pro-American and anti-Syrian point of views. So quoting 14th of Marchers is like stating the obvious. Still this is not the most important point I am making as it is just about ad-hoc insults mentioned in the press which is, judging from the Olympic standards shifting nature of Lebanese politicians comments, not that important compared to the actual practices of the man on the ground.

  3. How do you know point 3 to state it as fact? General Suleimen told you?

    You are arguing that he is more useful than dispensable? Thats if the Syrian regime killed him of course.

  4. If it’s the americans, are you absolutely sure the Syrians had nothing to do with it ? How come the US didn’t immediately accuse All mighty Syria you will defend at any price ?

    I was sent this article, you probably read it, but I think it’s pretty interesting : different times, same highly protected area, which will be highlighted in the article. And Aoun was right, as usual a protected crime, but who says they can’t all meet for a bloody orgy every once and a while, Syria included ?

    One last point which I think is interesting : apart from the fact that he escaped an israeli attempt to kill him, François el Hajj refused to take command of SLA.


    JUNE , 2004- On September 15, 2001, just four days after the 9-11 attacks,
    CIA Director George Tenet provided President [sic] Bush with a Top Secret
    “Worldwide Attack Matrix”-a virtual license to kill targets deemed to be a
    threat to the United States in some 80 countries around the world. The Tenet
    plan, which was subsequently approved by Bush, essentially reversed the
    executive orders of four previous U.S. administrations that expressly
    prohibited political assassinations.

    According to high level European intelligence officials, Bush’s counselor,
    Karl Rove, used the new presidential authority to silence a popular Lebanese
    Christian politician who was planning to offer irrefutable evidence that
    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorized the massacre of hundreds of
    Palestinian men, women, and children in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra
    and Shatilla in 1982. In addition, Sharon provided the Lebanese forces who
    carried out the grisly task. At the time of the massacres, Elie Hobeika was
    intelligence chief of Lebanese Christian forces in Lebanon who were battling
    Palestinians and other Muslim groups in a bloody civil war. He was also the
    chief liaison to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel in Lebanon. An
    official Israeli inquiry into the massacre at the camps, the Kahan
    Commission, merely found Sharon “indirectly” responsible for the slaughter
    and fingered Hobeika as the chief instigator.

    The Kahan Commission never called on Hobeika to offer testimony in his
    defense. However, in response to charges brought against Sharon before a
    special war crimes court in Belgium, Hobeika was urged to testify against
    Sharon, according to well-informed Lebanese sources. Hobeika was prepared to
    offer a different version of events than what was contained in the Kahan
    report. A 1993 Belgian law permitting human rights prosecutions was unusual
    in that non-Belgians could be tried for violations against other
    non-Belgians in a Belgian court. Under pressure from the Bush
    administration, the law was severely amended and the extra territoriality
    provisions were curtailed.

    Hobeika headed the Lebanese forces intelligence agency since the mid- 1970s
    and he soon developed close ties to the CIA. He was a frequent visitor to
    the CIA’s headquarters at Langley, Virginia. After the Syrian invasion of
    Lebanon in 1990, Hobeika held a number of cabinet positions in the Lebanese
    government, a proxy for the Syrian occupation authorities. He also served in
    the parliament. In July 2001, Hobeika called a press conference and
    announced he was prepared to testify against Sharon in Belgium and revealed
    that he had evidence of what actually occurred in Sabra and Shatilla.
    Hobeika also indicated that Israel had flown members of the South Lebanon
    Army (SLA) into Beirut International Airport in an Israeli Air Force C130
    transport plane. In full view of dozens of witnesses, including members of
    the Lebanese army and others, SLA troops under the command of Major Saad
    Haddad were slipped into the camps to commit the massacres. The SLA troops
    were under the direct command of Ariel Sharon and an Israeli Mossad agent
    provocateur named Rafi Eitan. Hobeika offered evidence that a former U.S.
    ambassador to Lebanon was aware of the Israeli plot. In addition, the IDF
    had placed a camera in a strategic position to film the Sabra and Shatilla
    massacres. Hobeika was going to ask that the footage be released as part of
    the investigation of Sharon.

    After announcing he was willing to testify against Sharon, Hobeika became
    fearful for his safety and began moves to leave Lebanon. Hobeika was not
    aware that his threats to testify against Sharon had triggered a series of
    fateful events that reached well into the White House and Sharon’s office.

    On January 24, 2002, Hobeika’s car was blown up by a remote controlled bomb
    placed in a parked Mercedes along a street in the Hazmieh section of Beirut.
    The bomb exploded when Hobeika and his three associates, Fares Souweidan,
    Mitri Ajram, and Waleed Zein, were driving their Range Rover past the
    TNT-laden Mercedes at 9:40 am Beirut time. The Range Rover’s four passengers
    were killed in the explosion. In case Hobeika’s car had taken another route
    through the neighborhood, two additional parked cars, located at two other
    choke points, were also rigged with TNT. The powerful bomb wounded a number
    of other people on the street. Other parked cars were destroyed and
    buildings and homes were damaged. The Lebanese president, prime minister,
    and interior minister all claimed that Israeli agents were behind the

    It is noteworthy that the State Department’s list of global terrorist
    incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on
    Hobeika and his party. The White House wanted to ensure the attack was
    censored from the report. The reason was simple: the attack ultimately had
    Washington’s fingerprints on it.

    High level European intelligence sources now report that Karl Rove
    personally coordinated Hobeika’s assassination. The hit on Hobeika employed
    Syrian intelligence agents. Syrian President Bashar Assad was trying to
    curry favor with the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9-11 and was
    more than willing to help the White House. In addition, Assad’s father,
    Hafez Assad, had been an ally of Bush’s father during Desert Storm, a period
    that saw Washington give a “wink and a nod” to Syria’s occupation of
    Lebanon. Rove wanted to help Sharon avoid any political embarrassment from
    an in absentia trial in Brussels where Hobeika would be a star witness. Rove
    and Sharon agreed on the plan to use Syrian Military Intelligence agents to
    assassinate Hobeika. Rove saw Sharon as an indispensable ally of Bush in
    ensuring the loyalty of the Christian evangelical and Jewish voting blocs in
    the United States. Sharon saw the plan to have the United States coordinate
    the hit as a way to mask all connections to Jerusalem.

    The Syrian hit team was ordered by Assef Shawkat, the number two man in
    Syrian military intelligence and a good friend and brother in law of Syrian
    President Bashar Assad. Assad’s intelligence services had already cooperated
    with U.S. intelligence in resorting to unconventional methods to extract
    information from al Qaeda detainees deported to Syria from the United States
    and other countries in the wake of 9-11. The order to take out Hobeika was
    transmitted by Shawkat to Roustom Ghazali, the head of Syrian military
    intelligence in Beirut. Ghazali arranged for the three remote controlled
    cars to be parked along Hobeika’s route in Hazmieh; only few hundred yards
    from the Barracks of Syrian Special Forces which are stationed in the area
    near the Presidential palace , the ministry of Defense and various
    Government and officers quarters . This particular area is covered 24/7 by a
    very sophisticated USA multi-agency surveillance system to monitor Syrian
    and Lebanese security activities and is a ” Choice ” area to live in for its
    perceived high security .

    The plan to kill Hobeika had all the necessary caveats and built-in denial
    mechanisms. If the Syrians were discovered beforehand or afterwards, Karl
    Rove and his associates in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans would be
    ensured plausible deniability.

    Hobeika’s CIA intermediary in Beirut, a man only referred to as “Jason” by
    Hobeika, was a frequent companion of the Lebanese politician during official
    and off-duty hours. During Hobeika’s election campaigns for his
    parliamentary seat, Jason was often in Hobeika’s office offering support and
    advice. After Hobeika’s assassination, Jason became despondent over the
    death of his colleague. Eventually, Jason disappeared abruptly from Lebanon
    and reportedly later emerged in Pakistan.

    Karl Rove’s involvement in the assassination of Hobeika may not have been
    the last “hit” he ordered to help out Sharon. In March 2002, a few months
    after Hobeika’s assassination, another Lebanese Christian with knowledge of
    Sharon’s involvement in the Sabra and Shatilla massacres was gunned down
    along with his wife in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A bullet fired at Michael Nassar’s
    car flattened one of his tires. Nassar pulled into a gasoline station for
    repairs. A professional assassin, firing a gun with a silencer, shot Nassar
    and his wife in the head, killing them both instantly. The assailant fled
    and was never captured. Nassar was also involved with the Phalange militia
    at Sabra and Shatilla. Nassar was also reportedly willing to testify against
    Sharon in Belgium and, as a nephew of SLA Commander General Antoine Lahd,
    may have had important evidence to bolster Hobeika’s charge that Sharon
    ordered SLA forces into the camps to wipe out the Palestinians.

    Based on what European intelligence claims is concrete intelligence on
    Rove’s involvement in the assassination of Hobeika, the Bush administration
    can now add political assassination to its laundry list of other misdeeds,
    from lying about the reasons to go to war to the torture tactics in
    violation of the Geneva Conventions that have been employed by the Pentagon
    and “third country” nationals at prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

    Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and
    columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan
    administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the
    co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of
    George Bush II.” His forthcoming book is titled: “Jaded Tasks: Big Oil,
    Black Ops, and Brass Plates.” Madsen can be reached at:

  5. Oh and my conclusion concerning françois el hajj is clear, but concerning hariri, and we’ve exchanged on it before : probably the same scheme, Syria would have never dared without an american benediction, and in the same time to imagine that someone did it without Syrian knowledge… Come one. So this is all a huge terrible joke, and no one will ever be touched, except us, the sheep, the numbers.
    It’s always the same old crap over and over again. With the same countries and the same people.

  6. Nour I am chill, is there something I said that was not chill? 🙂

    First anonymous, I did not really get what you mean? The information is derived from military personnel who fought alongside Hajj (under Aoun in the late 1980s). It is quoted in the article.

    Sandrine, you make several interesting points although I don’t see how the possibility that Syria did it is any more probable. Also, I am not arguing that it is the Americans who did it. I think we need to move beyond the “It is the American / or Syrian” explanation. It may just be more complicated than that. My point rather in this post was to show that it is highly improbable that it was an official Syrian or Iranian plan.

  7. Bech, what I meant from my comment, is that we the sheep are killed after they all sleep together. I say there’s no point in dividing our options in american vs syrian.
    Something else I want to say, on a more personal level. I had heard of this guy before, and I know military in Leb, mostly from the South, since I’m from theSouth too. And just to say this : I have heard of him and I knew he was excellent, but the more I know, the more it hurts that people like this are killed. That the gov stands where it is, that Bush keeps on living.
    I understand Ben Laden now.
    This guy was supposed to spend christmas with his children, he was supposed to hang the star on the tree at midnight with his children, like he promised. And today he’s being buried, and it’s not even a national mourning day. What more does it take for someone to want to kill back ?

  8. la anno siniora charmouta. That’s how come. Because their only martyr is the biggest other bitch lebanon has known.
    That’s how come. Siniora refused, then someone announced it, then eventually, only schools closed.
    But it’s not a national mourning day. Because he wasn’t loyal to them, because thanks to him, hezbollah could still get weapons, because until he dies, he considered that the enemy is Isr. Basically, because he represents what it is to have some principles left today in lebanon and to be a military.

  9. Mourners threw rose petals on the casket, draped in the Lebanese flag, as leaders from both the March 14 ruling majority and the opposition, backed by Syria and Iran, stood in somber mood.

    Assassinations have continued without mercy for three years and today, the hand of treachery has reached the army and its brave leaders,” Sfeir said.

    “The series (of assassinations) have continued to take place even after the end of the nightmare,” he said in an apparent reference to the end in 2005 of 29 years of Syrian military and political domination in Lebanon.

    for you bech from naharnet 🙂

    isn’t great that just about everybody knows who is behind all of these bombings 🙂 and gets somethings to say in Lebanese politics why even the pope called and said hi.

    “10:30 Pope Benedict XVI offered his condolences to Hajj’s family and urged them to be patient.” again the famous website….

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