Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 5th, 2014

Hero in two continents and of 3 revolutions: General Gibert du Motier de La Fayette (1757-1834)

Marie Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert Motier de La Fayette.

Born in the castle of Chavarin, at the Velay in Haute-Loire in the mountains of Auvergne.

The story of another kid orphaned at an early age. La Fayette was 2 when his father was killed at the battle of Minden and 13 when his mother died.

Ï blame anyone who has not even 50% of Fayettism in his heart” Joseph Delteil

At the age of 13, both his mother and grand father Marquis de la Riviere (his mother side) died and he inherited a fortune of a yearly income of $500,000 from rent and dividends on properties and wealth.

Gilbert was tall, strong, svelte, blue-eyed, red-headed, a cold exterior, looking serious and kind of a typical Scots.

He married at an early age of 16 with Adrienne, aged 14, and daughter of Duke of Ayen (Vergenne) who will become France foreign minister under king Louis 16.

In 1775, he is assigned as officer of the grenadiers at Metz and was initiated to Franc Masonry in Paris in the same year and he stayed an active member all his life, as were George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and established a couple centres himself with his own money.

In that year, Duke of Gloucester, brother of England king George III, stayed overnight in Metz on his journey to Italy. Marshal de Broglie through a sumptuous dinner in his honor. The Duke talked frankly and candidly of the insurgencies taking place in America and the Tea Party revolt. Captain La Fayette was bold and contrary to protocol, asked plenty of questions.

Later, La Fayette wrote: “That night I fell in love with America and knew that my mission was to come to aid to the insurgents in America

Go figure, how circumstances oriented the destiny of a person.

In 1777, La Fayette, barely 19, purchased a ship with his own fund, equipped it and sailed  surreptitiously to Charleston (South Carolina) via a Spanish port against the orders of the king and his father-in-law.

He joined the commander of the insurgents Gen. George Washington by land because the British ships were patrolling the coast. Gilbert and his companion volunteers needed 15 days by bad roads to reach destination up north and by August 1777, he lived in the entourage of Washington, who became his spiritual father during his life and both had abundant letters exchanged.

The US insurgents were initially successful adopting the guerrilla tactics, but they quickly suffered defeat after defeat as they tried to confront the British troops in regular conventional formations.

When La Fayette joined Washington, the British were getting ready to attack Philadelphia, the Capital of the insurgents, and they did enter this city on Sept. 16 after the British Gen. Burgoyne descended from Canada and defeated Horatio Gates at Ticonderoga.

To make matters worse, the British navy was amassing troops in Chesapeake Bay and the insurgents were about to be encircled by Gen. Howe.

The battle of Brandywine was a success story in orderly retreat to Valley Forges, close to Philadelphia, thanks to the intervention and organization of La Fayette.

La Fayette was now commanding the 9,000 insurgent troops of Virginians, rough, brutal, uncouth, ready to fight with one another, and lacking every thing in cloth and footwear. This troop quickly constructed a large camp of tents and civilians flocked into it for the harsh winter season.

La Fayette was to take command in Albany (NY State) of 3,000 troop to capture Canada. Instead, he was given 1,000 insurgents and little ammunition and foodstuff. And he turned down the mission.

The alternative action was for him to meet with the Indian tribes who were meeting all together at their annual ceremony. He was successful in rallying the 6 tribes to the cause of the American insurgency. The Oneidas, Cayuga, Mohawks, Tuscarora, Seneca and Iroquois.

The Indian tribes gave him the name of Gen. Kayewla  (Intrepid Knight)

Luckily, in May 1778, France recognized the independence of the US after the insurgent victory of Saratoga

When La Fayette returned to Paris, the kind restricted his movement in a castle for 10 and all Paris noble people flocked to see him and pay their respect.

La Fayette was adulated and loved as a hero at the age of 20 by the French and the Americans, even before he participated in the victory of Yorktown 4 years later.

France sent twice its navy to support the insurgents. The first mission was a failure and barely engaged the British. The second fleet was crucial in forcing the surrender of the British in Yorktown as the 26 British ships were chased out of the area.

The French Gen, Rochambeau managed to convince Washington and his staff to change their strategy of attacking New York and to get instead focused moving the troops to the weaker soft flank of the British down south.

La Fayette was commanding the Virginian troops down south and avoided any frontal attack with the regular British troops and even vacated Richmond in order not to be trapped.  He figured out that the US strategy has changed and he met the descending insurgent troops, strong with 8,000 French soldiers.

Until the British Gen. Clinton ordered from New York for the southern British commander Cornwallis to concentrate their forces in Yorktown.

La Fayette was the first commander to attach a forward fort and insured close bombardment of Yorktown in 1783.

In 1789, La Fayette was appointed by the National Assembly as general in chief of the National Guards. That was a hard task insuring the safety of the royal family from the mob and he managed to lead the royal family back to Paris where it was held practically locked in by the insurgents for a couple of years.

He again insured their safety after the royal family escaped from Paris and were captured. The rumors spread that La Fayette knew of this escape and he lost the confidence of many patriots.

In 1790, La Fayette was the main figure who was honoured during the historic Federation Day in the Champ-de-Mars where the King swore to defend the new Constitutional monarchy.  In that day, La Fayette had no enemies but Marat and Mirabeau if he had any plans to take over power.

La Fayette speech said: “I swear to be always loyal to the nation, the law and the king. To uphold the constitution of the national Assembly which was accepted by the king. To protect the security of people, their properties, the free circulation inside France of substances and the collection of taxes. To stay united with the French in their indissoluble links of the Fraternity

In 1791, the king appointed La Fayette to head the East Army against the advances of the Prussian and Austrian armies

In 1792, the Convention ordered Gen. Dumouriez to apprehend and detain La Fayette in order to bring him to trial. In these years of terror, Gilbert decided to go to the next down occupied by the Prussian troops and flee to a neutral nation. He was captured and the Austrian monarch Francois II opted to consider Gilbert as war prisoner. La Fayette was the most hated French by all European’s monarchs but adulated by the people.

While La Fayette was incarcerated The French army won the critical battle of Valmy. Apparently, the Prussian monarch Frederic-Guillome ordered his Marshal Duke of Brunswick to retreat against any rational logic, as Napoleon later stated.

La Fayette wrote: If I was leading this army at Valmy, this victory would have surpassed all my military campaigns, including the surrender of Cornwallis in Yorktown.

It was in his prison at Olmutz where he suffered abject indignities that La Fayette learned of the horrible reign of terror during Robespierre. Most of the revolutionary leaders whom he had no esteem for have been decapitated at the guillotine, the new instrument of quick death. Among these personalities were Brissot, Desmoulin (best friend of Robespierre), Danton, Herault de Sechelles, Andre Chenier, the king and the queen Marie-Antoinette, and most members of his wife’s family.

La Fayette spent the worst incarceration for 5 years. When his wife decided to join him in the prison of Olmutz, she and her two daughters succumbed to the harshest treatments, humiliation and indignities.

In 1797, Napoleon had defeated the Austrian troops in many battle and a peace agreement was being considered. Napoleon demanded the release of La Fayette who went into exile to Germany and the Netherlands.

Napoleon was not excited for any quick return of La Fayette and George Washington refused permit for La Fayette to find refuge in the American territories, although La Fayette was a US citizen and wore the US military tunic in all his displacement as the best representative of US interests overseas. The US was not in good terms with France in that period.

Although Napoleon refused La Fayette to return to France, he did return to Paris in 1799 and Bonaparte had to swallow his fury and try to bribe him to side completely with him.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson asked La Fayette to become Governor of the Louisiana Territories. La Fayette declined. He must have been furious with Napoleon who sold this vast territory to the US with British loans. The British didn’t want France to stay in America as they were kicked out of it.

In this year, Napoleon was amassing his troops and navy in Bois de Boulogne on the assumption that he was getting ready to invade England and he needed money very badly. Obviously the British were not taking this threat seriously. The British had already convinced and bribed 3 European monarch (Prussia, Austria and Russia) to attack Napoleon by land.

Napoleon defeated the armies of the 3 monarchs who were participating in person at the battle of Austerlitz. Bonaparte said to his soldiers after the victory:

You have already gained glory for the remainder of your life. All you have to say is “Ï participated in Austerlitz

Napoleon won an important battle that humiliated 3 monarchs but had lost the prize colony in America that changed the course of history.

Adrienne died in 1807 and La Fayette was inconsolable of losing the most steadfast ally to his principles and decisions.

In 1815, La Fayette was appointed by the National Assembly to receive the abdication of Napoleon after the French defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon knew that it was La Fayette who was behind the steadfast decision of the Assembly.

La Fayette is elected deputy of the Sarthe in 1818.

In that period, France was flush with all kinds of secret and cultist movements trying to usurp King Charles 10 power. La Fayette was appointed by the Carbonari movement to be one of its highest leaders. This secret movement was inherited from Naples and implanted in France by Joubert and Dougier.

The armed insurrection called Saumur and Belfort failed and La Fayette accepted the invitation of President James Monroe to visit the US and arrived in a US commercial ship Cadmus at the largest port of New York. No dignitary ever got this massive acclamation at the port.

He had a triumphal return to the USA in 1824 and the crowd that came to welcome him in every city was the biggest in all US  history.

La Fayette stayed an entire year and was invited and honoured in 132 municipalities, met with Thomas Jefferson twice, met with four former presidents and was officially invited by Congress and the Senate. He visited the battle fields and brought with him a ton of dirt from Brandywine to be thrown over his tomb.

Napoleon offered La Fayette many positions to gain him over, but La Fayette turn them all down because Napoleon was not serious in extending Liberty to the citizens and allow free press.

During the battle of Marengo in 1800 against the over-numbered Austrian army in Italy, Napoleon was about to be defeated when Gen. Desaix came to the rescue at the nick of time and changed the course of the battle. Napoleon had confided in these dark hours: “I  can see but Carnot or La Fayette to succeed me in ruling France“. Carnot was the mastermind in equipping and organizing the French army and was minister of war, and he opposed Napoleon dictatorship as was La Fayette.

Napoleon said in 1812: “Everyone in France has been corrected (totally agreeing with him), except La Fayette. He has Not retreated from a single principle. La Fayette acts as a private citizen and looks tranquil, but I know that he is ready to pounce and start all over again at the first opportunity

Since 1803, when Napoleon was appointed Consul for life, La Fayette stopped any contact with him. La Fayette will see Napoleon again in 1815 to accept his abdication after the disaster of Waterloo.

After Napoleon fled from the Island of Elba in 1814 and retook power, La Fayette refused the new reforms of having two kinds of representations, one elected and one appointed by peers. Only universal voting system by all the citizens suited his principles of democracy and liberty.

He aided Louis-Phillip to accede to the throne in 1830. La Fayette was appointed chief of the National guard and was the leader in the National Assembly and the only person to give credibility to any acceding to power. Apparently, the American ambassador didn’t encourage La Fayette to proclaim the Republic since it was 40 years late and Europe was not ready for another upheaval.

La Fayette had no rival if he decided to gain power and declare the Republic: He was more interested in popular glory than in power.  La delicieuse sensation du sourire de la multitude.

La Fayette was the staunch enemy of intolerance and violence. He fought for Liberty, the emancipation of the slaves, universal education, and universal election by all the citizens.

Nothing is constitutional and democratic unless elected by the people and universally.

Let’s summarize:

1. La Fayette was orphaned as kid

2. He was a tall, attractive and strong guy. And a Nature Boy to boot it.

3. Was filthy rich and inherited the millions of his grand father marquis de la Riviere from his mother side

4. He was well politically connected. His father-in-law, Duke of Ayne was the closest friend of the previous king Louis 15, and he was a respected military man (later Marshale) and the foreign minister during king Louis 16 and organized two expedition campaign to aid the American insurgents

We are how we are born. It is up to us to act according to our potentials.

Note 1: After la Fayette died, many illustrious personalities had statements on that occasion.

Madame de Stael wrote: “La Fayette spent all his fortune on his opinions with the utmost generous indifference. He was unshakable in his principles during the best and worst moments

President John Quincy Adams wrote: We will always look up to you as one of us

Stendhal, author of La Chartreuse de Parme and Black and Red wrote: La Fayette is a hero of Plutarque.  A very high esteem and admiration

Odilon Barrot said:

If we may reproach anything to La Fayette are his exaggerated qualities. If he lived in the Middle Ages he would have instituted a religious cult based on his fixated moral ideals

Chateaubriand  (a monarchist) who loathed La Fayette in his life as he despised Napoleon had this to say:

It took me 40 years to recognize the many qualities of La Fayette, qualities that we obstinately refused him. He was fluent as an orator in the assembly and no dirt were attached to his life

Their said:

The factions accused La Fayette for lack of cunning simply because they could not touch his character and incorruptible nature.

Rivarol was the most brutal of all critics:

La Fayette (Philarete) managed to convince himself as the author of 2 revolutions. He takes noise for glory, an event for a success, a sword for a movement, a compliment for immortal title, graces for recompenses and valor for heroism

Note 2: La Fayette humbly said to Napoleon relating to his victory in Yorktown: “Ce furent les plus grand interets de l’univers, decide par des rencontres de patrouille”An accurate historical account for events.

Note 3: In the US, 40 cities, 7 counties and even a mountain bear his La Fayette name. The US embassy maintains his castle in France and renovate it on a yearly basis.

La Fayette defined democracy as election by universal voting, and any institution of peers appointment is an oligarchic system.

Note 4: In a letter to his spiritual father George Washington, La Fayette who fought for a Constitutional monarchy wrote:

Our king Louis 16 enjoys Oriental power: he has the means to restrict, punish and corrupt…

Professor Ilan Pappé: Israel Has Chosen to be a “Racist Apartheid State” with U.S. Support

As the Palestinian death toll tops 2,000 in Gaza, we are joined from Haifa by Israeli professor and historian Ilan Pappé.

I think Israel in 2014 made a decision that it prefers to be a racist apartheid state and not a democracy,” Pappé says. (And the previous two pre-emptive wars on Gaza? Were they not as savage, brutal, ruin all infrastructures, including the UN and European installations?)

Israel still hopes that the United States will license this decision and provide it with the immunity to continue, with the necessary implication of such a policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians wherever they are.”

A professor of history and the director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter, Pappé is the author of several books, including most recently, “The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge.”


I’m hiring. Not people like you, Sir.

I’m looking for a doctor, but of course, not someone like you.

We’re putting together a study group, but we won’t be able to include people like you.

Redlining is an efficient short-term selection strategy.

At least that’s what we tell ourselves. So the bank won’t loan to people in that neighborhood or people with this cultural background, because, hey, we can’t loan to everyone and it’s easier to just draw a red line around the places not worth our time

The challenge with redlining, beyond the fact that it’s morally repugnant, is that it doesn’t work.

There’s a difference between “people like you” and “you.” You, the human being, the person with a track record and a great attitude and a skillset deserve consideration for those things, for your psychographics, not your demographics.

When there’s not so much data, we often resort to crude measures of where you live or what you look like or what your name is to decide how to judge.

But the same transparency that the net is giving to marketers of all sorts means that the banks and the universities and the hiring managers ought to be able to get beyond the, “like you” bias and head straight for “you.”

Because ‘you’ is undervalued and undernoticed.

When we say, “I don’t work with people like you, I won’t consider supporting someone like you, I can’t invest in someone like you,” we’ve just eliminated value, wasted an opportunity and stripped away not just someone else’s dignity, but our own.

What have you done? What do you know? Where are you going?

Those are a great place to start, to choose people because of what they’ve chosen, not where they started.

Not because this will always tell us what someone is capable of (too many people don’t have the head start they deserve) but because it is demonstrably more useful than the crude, expensive, fear-based shortcuts we’re using far too often.

In a society where it’s easier than ever to see “you,” we can’t help but benefit when we become anti-racist, pro-feminist, in favor of equal opportunity and focused (even obsessed) on maximizing the opportunity everyone gets, early and often.

Seth Godin, November 04, 2014

Despite, in spite of, because… three ways to manage creativity

The people you hire will do creative work despite your management style, sometimes.

Or they might do it in spite of your approach, rarely.

But the most likely way to get the work you seek is to earn it, to have people bring their best ideas forward because of the leadership and guts you bring to the table.

You can’t demand creativity, not for long. You can earn it though.

(Best way to bring out the creative self is by endearing the people to what they want to create, look at the far away horizon)


Political Murders.  What a Former CIA  agent said

Robert Baer appears to have a knack for pissing off powerful and dangerous people.

The 62-year-old who resigned from the CIA back in December 1997 after ruffling feathers by suggesting that dirty foreign money could have possibly been injected into the previous year’s presidential race.

We Talked to a Former CIA Spook About Political Murder

Danny McDonald posted this November 3, 2014

During his time in the agency, the father of four and Colorado resident was charged by the FBI with plotting to assassinate Saddam Hussein. That charge, he says, was weirdly nonsensical – why charge an American spy with trying to kill a man considered, at the time, to be one of America’s most notorious enemies?

Federal authorities ultimately declined to prosecute.

More recently, in 2011, Hezbollah suggested he was responsible for a car bomb that killed 80 people in Lebanon in 1985. He bats away that accusation as ludicrous, saying it’s an attempt to discredit a special tribunal he was involved with that investigated the  ​assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

Baer is now an author and his  most recent book, The Perfect Kill, delves into the politics of assassinations.

Much of the book chronicles his attempts, while working for the CIA, to track down Imad Mughinyah, also known as Hajj Radwan, a masterful and ghost-like Lebanese commando who used targeted assassinations to achieve militaristic and political goals for several decades. Baer never got his man, although Radwan was killed by a car bomb in Damascus in 2008.

We caught up with the former spook to talk about the art of political murder.

VICE: In the book, you say Washington doesn’t understand the rules and workings of assassinations and how targeted political murder affects change and when it doesn’t. Do you think that plays into the ongoing US failures in Afghanistan?

Robert Baer: Yeah. I don’t think we understood that ​Mullah Omar has only limited sway over what is essentially a Pashtun insurgency. And although he was key in founding the Taliban, removing him wouldn’t mean much of anything. And then you have groups like the ​Haqqani network, that are so abstract to us, you wouldn’t even know where to begin to cut off the head of that to make a difference.

Is it fair to say the US can’t assassinate the problem away in a place like Afghanistan?

In a place like Afghanistan the only thing you can do is what the Mongols did – go in and kill everybody – which obviously wasn’t going to happen. We took sides with a Pashtun tribe that didn’t have much support in the rest of the country. And so killing one guy or two or ten or a hundred wasn’t going to make any difference.

You mention the Pashtuns’ horizontal power structure and opaque politics and how the US never really knows what it’s getting out of targeted killings or assassinations in Afghanistan because it doesn’t truly understand the machinations of power there. Do you still feel that to be the case?

And, as a follow-up, if that’s true, how is that possible? The US is more than a decade into this war and its military still doesn’t know how things work?

Ask the question: how many Pashtun speakers do we have? There was that guy in the Air Force​but he was assassinated.

You can’t figure this out by sitting in Kabul in the Serena Hotel and expect to understand what’s happening in a rural insurgency. And you can’t send a lieutenant from Kansas who speaks neither Dari nor Pashtun to the field and figure out what makes these people tick.

You mention the assassination of ​Anwar Sadat and how that changed very little in Egypt. Talk to me about the main differences between assassinations that prompt political change and those that don’t.

If you’re going to make an assassination work, the guy you’re assassinating has to pretty much be a one-man show. I think the clichéd assassination we all refer to we all refer to is Hitler. I think the Third Reich would have fallen apart if he would have been killed.

Also I think that (the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak)  ​Rabin clearly changed any chance of the Israelis and the Palestinians reaching a settlement. It died with him.

Rabin was accepted in the military and a large number of Israelis and if he said this would work, people believed him. Once he was gone, any chance of a settlement disappeared with it.

Sadat was held in power by the military. And it’s a group of generals. Any military dictatorship where there’s multiple generals and also strong core commanders, it’s not going to do any good killing that one guy.

In Pakistan, you can kill the chief of staff but you have five core commanders. Any one of them could step up into his position and hold Pakistan together.

Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, when we were looking at him, had eviscerated his military, including his son-in-law. Anybody who was a potential threat was eliminated. There was no bench strength in Iraq, as we’ve seen with the chaos. There’s no general who has stepped forward to hold it together.

Let’s talk about ​Hajj Radwan. I detected an admiration for him in your writing.​

Well, it was his skill. He could narrowly channel violence and make things move. Unlike me.

I’m clearly not an operator here. He clearly knew what he was doing. He was raised on the battlefield as a teenager and he understood that setting off car bombs against symbolic targets didn’t get him anything, but when he was ready to murder, he understood the narrow channeling of violence, removing a single person.

In 1999, they got rid of the Israeli commander ​Gerstein. And that met the conditions of an assassination. They avoided war or further war and preserved force and the Israelis withdrew. That doesn’t mean I’m on their side necessarily but I could see where he was going with all this.

Hajj Radwan, aka Imad Fayez Mughniyah. Image ​via Wikimedia Commons

You say in the book he invented modern political murder. What do you mean by that?​

There was a series of attacks against our ambassadors, embassies, the Marines. He marched Hezbollah, his nominal sponsors, into power. I can’t think of someone else who has done this. You’ve had coup d’états, you’ve had revolutions, but someone who has manipulated precise violence, I can’t think anyone who was as good as him.

I look at Bin Laden. He didn’t put 9/11 together. That was a pick-up team and he sort of blessed it and off they went. And I think ultimately, Sunni Muslims, if that’s who he represented, didn’t get anything out of it.

Hezbollah controlled the apparatus of the state in Lebanon. Radwan did a takeover of Lebanon with political violence. You and I can’t go to Lebanon without coming to the attention of Hezbollah and them deciding whether we’re a risk or not or a threat to them. Which I think is quite remarkable, this subtle takeover of a state.

Talk to me about how the legality 16a0 of assassinations has changed. You make reference to President Reagan issuing an executive order banning assassinations in 1981. How has the law changed in the interim?​

It completely changed. It’s sort of like our attitude toward torture and renditions and violating the ​Fourth Amendment. We simply redefined the constitution and redefined executive law to allow what clearly are assassinations, like Awlaki. By deeming people enemy combatants, we remove all their rights.

In going outside the law, isn’t the US opening itself up to all sorts of fuck-ups?
I think we are. I don’t think Al Qaeda or ISIS are existential threats to this country at all. It certainly wasn’t time to suspend the Constitution, which we effectively did.

What about internationally? What does international law say about assassinations?
It’s the problem of reciprocity. If we decide we can assassinate someone in a strange country like Mali, why can’t they exert the same right to do it here?

You compare drone strikes to phone sex, saying the impersonal nature of drone strikes means they’re not as effective form of assassination. What did you mean by that?​

The worst is ​signature strikes. If there’s a couple guys exercising in the field with Kalashnikovs and you say they shouldn’t be there, well, they could be just the local narcos, or they could be local police force.

I think there’s so much evidence we’ve been killing innocent people. There’s so many problems with that. Practically speaking, we’re creating more enemies than we’re destroying. But it also shows there’s a vulnerability on our side.

The FBI charged you crossing interstate borders to attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein. What was going through your head as they were reading off those charges?
I was thinking: “This has got to be a joke”. I’ve got no political sense at all. How could this ever look good if it ever gets out? The FBI is trying to put five CIA officers in jail for attempted murder against a man who we had legal authorities against. It’s just dumb.

I think the FBI agents recognised that. They were just doing their duty. In fact they told that this was just idiotic. It was just complete, typical Washington screw-up. People were covering their asses.

Do you consider yourself an assassin?
Not at all. I was put out in the field, which if we had executed any of these operations, like against Saddam, the target for an arrest or a coup d’état would have died. But no one ever used that word. I’m just a person. I wouldn’t go around saying I’m an assassin.

So, during your time in the CIA you were never involved in the execution of a political murder? Is that accurate?

What was it like to be called out by Hezbollah for orchestrating a car bomb that killed 80 people?
I didn’t realise what a sensitive nerve I touched. I wasn’t a witness in the Hariri trial, but I get this call on the I-5 from Lebanon, a journalist fri 5a8 end of mine and they’re saying, “I’m watching you on TV and they’re accusing you of setting off a car bomb.”

I knew I had crossed a line. I hadn’t realised I was so much in their focus for Hezbollah to do a special TV show on it.  And since then, Hezbollah got a copy of the book and they don’t like it. They put me on some sort of list. Who knows what the real threat is.

That car bomb – it was pretty bad. There’s no American responsible for it. I think it was the Lebanese Army who did it, acting on their own. I wasn’t even in Lebanon.

Were you terrified?
Here’s what goes through my head: Why bother with me? When they’ve got so other many problems in Syria.

Problems around the world. Problems with Israelis who really are killing them. Why bother with a CIA guy who has been out for years who isn’t a direct threat? I can’t take it very seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t set foot in Lebanon, but I basically can’t go anywhere in the Middle East now. I’ve annoyed very body. It’s hard to do but I know how.

They may stupidly think I had something to do with ​Hajj Radwan’s assassination in 2008. They don’t understand that, once you leave the CIA, you’re gone. They don’t want you back. I don’t think Hezbollah understands that. They probably said, “Well, he used to target this guy and he probably set this up.”

What can the US learn from a guy like Radwan?
I think we have to learn that the politics have to be right. Hajj Radwan survived because there was a feeling in Lebanon, they wanted the foreigners out of their country. He was riding a wave and it was a matter of his pushing the politics to get what he wanted.

You can’t go into a country where everyone is against you and make one political murder work. You’re going against history. And you can’t do an assassination that goes against history.(But was the assassination of Rabin against history?)




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