Chapter 16:

The Tripartite Agreement.


The shameful Tripartite Accord between the Lebanese Forces, Amal and the Druze was sponsored by Syria politically and Rafik Hariri financially. The text had been cooked up during secret meetings held at intervals between Rafik Hariri, Jean Ghanem, one of Bashir’s lieutenants, and a Lebanese Forces executive committee member, and a prominent journalist-editorialist from Al Nahar Arabic language daily paper known for his antagonism for Bashir, and the Christian options, Sarkis Naoum, and the middleman Michel Samaha as well as Johnny Abdo former Lebanese army Intelligence chief.

I was present at all the preliminary meetings as Hobeika’s close bodyguard and trustful « watchdog ». There were three major top-secret meetings. One was on the island of Crete in Greece, it lasted for three days. It was attended by Hariri, Hobeika and the close counsels. Another one was held at Hariri’s residence in the suburbs of Paris. I even remember a funny incident during the flight aboard Hariri’s private jet. I had noticed that all the porcelains crockery and sets of utensils were stamped with Hariri’s initials R.H., which happen to be my own «R» for Robert and «H» for Hatem. So I decided to steal as much as I could lay my hands on. Hobeika noticed and slanged me. So I put everything right back where it belonged sorrowfully.

Meetings were also held in Beirut. One was in Ashrafieh and another in Vivian Debbas’ residence in Naccache in the Northern Matn. At the end of each of these meetings, whether in Lebanon or abroad, «Samsonite» attache-cases full of United States dollars were offered to each of the participants.

Being a messenger, I also discovered that the military part was drafted by General Michel Aoun himself, and that the bandmaster, Michel Murr bought off everyone, even Aoun to whom he offered a house in Naccache.

The political part was drafted by Sarkis Naoum and Sejaan Azzi, Michel Samaha. It was reviewed and revised by former foreign minister and noted attorney, Fuad Butros. Toto (Antoine) Bridi, a Greek orthodox like Murr and Butros, and the latter protege were the link.

When everything was ready, Hobeika judged that it was high time to make the decision public. He held a gigantic rally at the Casino du Liban in the Kessrouan. It was a bright and sunny Sunday, but a bloody Sunday for the Lebanese Christians who were once more were about to witness the fiercest battle between the Christian factions.

At the same time, the Kataeb Party, under the chairmanship of Dr. Elie Karameh, the Kataeb Party’s President since Sheikh Pierre’s death, and an unshakable supporter and close friend of Sheikh Pierre and Amin Gemayel, organized a popular rally in the Matn. Hobeika could not accept anything to divert attention from him, so he ordered a boobie trapped car to be placed in Nahr Al Kalb and explode at the passage of his vehicle. The boobie trapped car was spotted before it went off by Amin’s special security squad. Karameh was saved but the rupture between Elie Hobeika, the Kataeb Party and Amin Gemayel was consummated. The worst was yet to come. The Christians were so far away from September 1982 and from the innocence and pureness of the two-year war.

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