Adonis Diaries

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How Justice was done? Massacres of 1860 in Lebanon and Syria (Part 4)

How Justice was done in Damascus?

You may read Part 3

Fuad Pasha, the Ottoman foreign affairs, was dispatched to head the team and the military contingent of 4,500 troops in order to restore order and security in Lebanon and Syria. He landed in Beirut on July 17, 1860 and detained the governors Ahmed and Khorshid Pasha, the officers of the garrisons in Rashaya, Hasbaya, Deir Kamar, Mekse, and the right hand of Khorshid, Vasfi Effendi, during the Beirut uprising where an innocent Christian was decapitated to appease the turmoil after the death of a Moslem.

He resumed his travel to Damascus, where the fresh massacre alerted the European nations on the fate of the Christians in the Near East.

Fuad Pasha showed zeal and unusual activities to convince the Europeans that it was not necessary of sending troops and meddling in the Ottoman affairs. He rounded up 800 from Damascus, restituted the loots and stopped two large caravans loaded with the loots to Baghdad and Aleppo.

On August 20, 1860, Fuad Pasha  hanged 57 and executed by firing squads 110 officers and soldiers, particularly those who participated in the massacres in Hasbaya and Rashaya in Lebanon.  More than 700 were sent to exile and forced labor.

Most importantly, the former governor Ahmet Pasha, Ali Bey and the commanders of the garrisons were executed. It was rumored that Ahmet Pasha, who had twice warned the Ottoman government of potential crisis in Syria, was quickly executed in order not to clarify the role of the Ottoman government in the planning of these massacres against the Christians.

(Parallel governments were at play in that period in Turkey?)

Ahmed Pasha had lived in Vienna and mastered several languages. It appears that he lacked the troops that he could rely on and the Majlis warned him that any intervention might turn the “insurgents” against the Ottoman troops.

The police chief Ali Ferhad Aga and 300 police sergeants were arrested.

Halim Pasha erased the town of Jeroud and brought to trial all its adult male inhabitants.

As Fuad pasha was speedily and actively restitution order and security, Europe got the fresh news of the massacres in Damascus. Napoleon III and Russia, pressured by public outcries, decided to dispatch a military expedition, though England was very reluctant of giving the French this opportunity to return to Near East.

The French general marquis Beaufort Hautpoul led an expedition of 4,500 troop. Beaufort had previously participated along side the French officer Seves (Sleiman Pasha) in the  many victorious battles of Ibrahim Pasha.

How Justice was done in Lebanon?

After a lengthy delay, Fuad Pasha returned to Beirut from Damascus, after he established order and hanged scores of the perpetrators of the massacre, in order to meet with the European commissions. Fuad Pasha summoned 37 of the Druze leaders to Beirut to stand trial. Only 6 showed up.  And he followed this order by destitution 37 feudal Druze lords (Mukata3tejis) from their privileges and properties

The Maronite clergy handed Fuad the list of 970 Druze that he requested and whom the Maronites claimed to have participated in the massacre.

Fuad Pasha reluctantly rounded up these 970 Druze and set up a military court in Mukhtara, just to render justice away from the intervention of the commissions staying in Beirut.

The verdicts were:

1. The Turkish former governor Khorshid Pasha, Tahir Pasha, Nourin Bey, Vasfi and Ahmet Effendi were to serve life confinement in fortresses in Cyprus and Rhodes

2. Twelve Druze sheikhs, including their leader Said Jumblat and Hussein Talhouk were condemned to death…

3. Over 33 fugitive Druze, including Hattar Amad and Ismail Atrash were condemned to death in absentia.

No public execution took place and the condemned people were exiled or sent to force labor.

Justice in Lebanon was a slap on the hands, thanks to the firm intervention of the British who didn’t want to alienate the Druze  of Lebanon. And Fuad Pasha contemplated to be designated as the Vassal of the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Palestine.

Note 1: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler.

This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan. This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus.

The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.


The Ugliest period of involvement of France in Near East (1950-62): Dimona nuclear plant in Israel

The successive governments in France between 1950 to 62 established reduced “parallel governments” just to expedite transactions with the new State of Israel.  Most ministers, Parliament, and key institutions were kept in the dark of the decisions of the parallel governments, headed by the PM, the minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff of the army and aviation, and nuclear research institutions…

Whatever was the list for military hardware handed over by Israel to the French Defense Minister was approved with zeal and excitement. The new Myster IV fighter jet version were dispatched to Israel: The US had already contracted out 24 of this newest version of fighter jets for the NATO forces, and France worked diligently to appease the US into receiving only 12 fighter jets and deliver the remaining 12 to Israel, just before Israel preemptive war on Egypt in 1956…Israel withdrew from Sinai a year after France and England troops had vacated Egypt: Israel claimed Sinai as part of Greater Israel…

After the aborted invasion of Egypt in 1956 by France, England and Israel, which coincided with the invasion of Soviet troops of Hungary and pressured the US to offer a face lift to the western alliance and aborted the campaign on Egypt, following the nationalization of the Suez canal by Gamal Abdel Nasser, France zeal to providing Israel with weapons of mass destruction went unabated. Actually, the French people didn’t exercise enough pressures on the government to revise its foreign policies in the Middle East: The propaganda put forth Nasser as the main villain and public enemy number 1.

Worse, France in a frenzy volunteered to build the first nuclear power plant in the Middle-east, and specifically in the Negev desert in Israel. France military and research centers contributed whatever uranium and heavy water that was needed to make the plant operational. France detonated its first atomic bomb in 1960, and Israel was equipped of a bomb in 1968.

The plans for the plants and factory to extracting pure plutonium from the enriched uranium were started in 1958. The USA of Eisenhower got worried, and for some reasons, france decided to lie and claim that the plant was for peaceful reasons: generating electrical power! The US opted to take the assurances of France at face value… And later on, in 1962, what the factory for the extraction of plutonium was meant for?

Many Jewish nuclear scientists and pro Zionist physicists in Europe converged to Israel after WWII. The scientist and chemist Chaim Weizmann was the President of Israel and he encouraged that exodus. Mind you that the Jewish Oppenheimer was the lead theoretical scientist who detonated the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.

In 1949, a year after the UN voted Israel in by a margin of a single vote, Israel defense ministry dispatched overseas (The Netherlands, Switzerland, England and the USA) groups of young researchers to specialize in nuclear fields. A research department was created under the Weismann Institute to study the know-how of extracting low-level of uranium in phosphate and how to distil heavy water for nuclear purposes…

Israel created in June 1952 the Commission for Atomic Energy under chairman Ernst David Bergmann, and it was kept a secret for two years. The USA had constructed a small nuclear reactor (5,000 KWatt) in Nahal Soreq for research purposes. Israel was to handover (restitute) to the US all the used up combustible of uranium.

In 1953, France concluded an accord of cooperation in the nuclear field with Israel. France was also in the process of acceding to the Club of nations possessing atomic bombs that can be delivered by missiles.

The chemist Israel Dostrovsky claimed that he developed a new procedure for producing heavy water not based on electrical energy, and France bought the patent. It turned out that this method was totally uneconomical! Israel PM, Moshe Sharett, informed the Knesset that researchers from Israel and France are closely collaborating in the production of atomic bombs…

Hence, France extended to the Israeli researchers the most modern scientific centers in France to swap technological know-how, particularly in Saclay. This atomic cooperation went hand-in-hand with military cooperation on the vastest of scales, never witnessed between a colonial power and a small emerging State…

In fact, Shimon Peres ratified an agreement in Sept. 1956 for the construction by France of a nuclear reactor of the Type 13 to be installed at Richon le Sion in Israel. In that period, Peres was literally parked in France, dealing, wheeling, and conspiring… France PM, Guy Mollet, kept repeating after the Suez fiasco: “I owe it to the Zionist State our atomic bomb. And I will give Israel its nuclear capability…”

In 1981, Francis Perrin, a high authority figure in France political circles, confirmed that france contributed to the construction of the installation that transformed combustible uranium into pure plutonium, ready to be used in atomic bombs. This declaration was supported a year later by Pierre Pean, another high official.

Mordecai Vannunu, Israel nuclear scientist, revealed this fact to the Sunday Times in 1986, and was kidnapped by Israel secret services and jailed for 18 years.  Vannunu is still under house arrest.

The French Jew Bertrand Goldschmidt had developed the plans for the construction of this plutonium factory.

Israel imported 20 tons of heavy water from Norway in 1959, and 4 tons from the USA in 1963, under the false pretence of peaceful usage…

Evidences point to the fact that the plutonium factory was designed to require 36 tons of heavy water (24 tons as refrigerator, and 12 tons as moderator) from its inception.

The financial transactions were done through Rivaud, as a smokescreen behind the company Saint-Gobain undertaking the vast project.

The irony is that, if all the ground work and planning were done under the 4th Republic, the execution phases were undertaken under de Gaulle 5th republic, even after the preemptive war of Israel against Egypt and Syria in 1967.

Between 1963-64, more than 700 Frenchmen were working in Dimona (2,500 French citizens, including wives and children).  French technicians stayed till 1969 at Dimona

Israel had produced enough plutonium by the end of 1966 to get an atomic bomb ready in 1968. Most probably, France delivered the first atomic bomb to Israel since Israel had not the means to test the bomb.  It is not sure that the 300 atomic bombs that Israel had put together are functional or will work:  They are mostly constituting a serious danger for their obsolescence and nuclear leaks…

It is rumored that Israel blackmailed the US with its atomic weapon to be dropped on Egypt in 1973, if the US fails to deliver all the necessary sophisticated conventional weapons via an aerial bridge, which the US did…

Note: Post inspired from chapters in the “Itineraires de Paris a Jerusalem” (Schedule from Paris to Jerusalem) by Samir Kassir and Farouk Mardam Bey (1992)




June 2023

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