Adonis Diaries

Testimonials of a civil war: The story of a Communist Action member

Posted on: October 22, 2008

Testimonials of a civil war: The story of a Communist Action member

The issue of daily Al Balad, April 30, 2005

Mahmoud Wehbe is from south Lebanon and was a member of the Organization of the Communist Action, a splinter of the Communist Trotsky Party. One of his militia officers asked him whether military training in the army involved some artillery duties, especially the use of Hawn 82 caliber.  Mahmoud replied that his military knowledge did not go beyond generalities.

Thus, Mahmoud was attached to an artillery unit in Aley as an artillery assistant. It turned out that the artillery man was a Syrian Communist with no artillery training whatsoever, with no maps, no compass and no pointer man to guide targeting. Even after three trials, the shells fell one kilometer from target.

Many civilians were killed because of this targeting inefficiency. Mahmoud was ordered to join a local party headquarter as a cook.  He chastised the leaders who smoked Havana cigars, ate varied course meals, and lived the high life while the fighting comrades barely had one dry sandwich a day in the trenches.

The leaders temporized with him claiming that this local headquarter is a place to meet with other parties’ heads and dignitaries. Fighters were utterly bored and tended to shoot all day long for no reason or specific targets.

When Mahmoud returned to his home town for a short leave, he was welcomed as a hero.  The real fighting he engaged in was in the hills of Zaarour in the Metn region of Mount Lebanon against Lebanese army units commanded by General Barakat.

Mahmoud soon realized that they were fighting against the Syrian forces as well and had to retreat.  It was down hill to this Marxist militia from then on and widespread depression and defeatism set on.

By this time, the Shiaa Amal militia was gaining territory in the South, the Bekaa and Beirut.  The Christian “Lebanese Forces” were consolidating their hold on the “Christian” area conquered.

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