The Pillar of the Republic – 1 | عميد الجمهورية – ١

The Pillar of the Republic – 1 | عميد الجمهورية – ١


December 31st 1946, the withdrawal
of all foreign armies from Lebanon…– l am against the Cairo agreement…
The text of the Cairo agreementl have one aim
liberating my country l won’t renounce
any span of the Lebanese territoryThe Pillar of the RepublicThe sun shone
on the 25th of May 2000 over a complete withdrawal
of the Israeli army from the South of Lebanon Putting an end to years
of invasions, occupation and wars lt shone on the hands which controlled
the Khiam concentration camp doors To break them with the anger
of those who suffered days of detention And even seconds Those who eagerly waited
for a brother a son or a lover whom the occupation
army occupation detained Behind the bars
of the concentration camp and locked them
with the bolts of injustice and suffering in the Ras El Nabaa cemetery the white roses of death
and its wreaths did not wither yet They were sleeping
over a body perished because of illness without degrading
its awareness and perception The perception that led him to believe that the Israeli withdrawal
from Lebanon was inevitable A fact that the son of the Great
Lebanon has worked for for many years Before May 10th
two days before he passed away the Man was fighting
death without resisting it He left to the body its
belongings, weaknesses and defeats As his mind was diving within the
political events that were invading Lebanon While he completed
his 24th year in his French exile He wanted his soul
to celebrate the expected victory So he mumbled
his last known words And said: l think that they are going
to seriously withdraw and fell silent This is how he was born and how
he died, a politician until his last breath The governor of Beirut, Sami Bakr Beik
slammed the table and shouted Arrest this vile! While looking
at a boat sailing with on its board The lawyer of the French consulate
and young politician Emile lbrahim Edde None of the persons present
French Union Club in Zeitouni locality understood the position of the governor Who got angry
at his friend while playing Bridge He was trying to hide his previous
knowledge of his friend’s journey abroad Especially after an arrest warrant
was issued by the Ottoman authority preventing him
from crossing the Lebanese borders The help of Sami Beik took Emile Edde from
the coast of Beirut to the coast of Alexandria Where his wife Laudy Sursock was waiting
for him in her father’s house Georges Sursock He left the Lebanese
capital for two reasons first to escape
the Ottoman authority clutches And second to see his first born son He had been married for a year when his
eldest son was born on March 13th 1913 He named him Raymond after
the French President Raymond Poincare Who ruled France until 1920 ln Alexandria, the baby
was raised in a very large house and a renowned family who
received many Lebanese citizens Mainly Christians who were
running away from the Ottoman State They played pool together
and talked about politics Among them was Beshara el Khoury
who was a trainee in Emile Edde’s law firm Within the framework
of the mixed courts in Alexandria lt is a picture that was engraved
in the memory of Raymond Edde As the engraved picture
in Sidi Gaber station as he was waving to his father
wearing a military uniform Without knowing back then that his father
was one of the Lebanese called ‘Syrians’ They were a military troop who wanted to help liberating Lebanon
and Syria from the grip of the Ottoman State On that day, a large stature prevented him
from seeing his father boarding the train someone standing
beside his mother Laudy to comfort her lt was Beshara el Khoury
the friend of the family at that time ”He was the man who annoyed me
since my childhood”, Raymond said later By the end of 1918, the family
composed of the father, the mother the son Raymond
and the daughter Andree Went back to Lebanon
via Jaffa on a French military vessel Raymond was 8 years old and had received his primary education
in Alexandria at the Jesuits school And continued his studies at the Jesuits’
in Ashrafieh when he returned to Beirut Raymond came home
for lunch every day And when Aunt Rosa
found that he had good grades she was an excellent teacher
by the way he got a chocolate after lunch One day, he got grades
that he did not consider as bad But Aunt Rosa
found them insufficient So he did not get a chocolate What happened? The next morning and like
all the other mornings of their life All the women of the Edde family
attended the 7 o’clock morning mass The little Raymond was
a chorus boy serving the mass He got the following idea He said to himself, l did not get any
chocolate yesterday and that’s unjust And he could not stand the injustice Therefore, after the consecration he did not ring the bell
that indicates its end So his aunts stayed
kneeling for 20 minutes lt was his small vengeance His decision to practice law made him
attend Saint Joseph University to study law He graduated in 1934 and joined his father’s firm
in Allenby Street as a trainee until 1936 That is, just before his father was elected
President of the Republic on January 20th The family was living
in Clemenceau Street the parents had had
their third child, Pierre And adopted the little girl Leyli They moved later
on to the famous house in Sanayeh two years after the election
of the father as President 1938 l used to see him more during summer because l was in a boarding school
during winter l saw him in Sofar ln Sofar, Andree and Raymond used
to hang out together, they played tennis they went to their friends’ Because they were
of the same generation Pierre and l were younger we were very young and we were
kicked out in the morning from the house To allow Raymond to study Because every day from morning
till noon, Raymond studied in his room He was very attached to his mother I think his mother
was the only woman who… He adored his mother She was the only person allowed to go
into his room, when Raymond was sick Raymond considered his mother as a saint and considered his father
as an example and ideal Whom the young and handsome boy who
looked like Hollywood actors was proud of He always mentioned how his father contributed in drawing the map
of the Great Lebanon in 1920 And how he was among the first
to warn about the danger of Zionism And among the first
to establish the principle of partnership with the Muslims in the country Later, every time
he talked about his father he mentioned that 3 Presidents
of the Republic emerged from his office Emile Edde, Beshara el Khoury
and Camille Chamoun Raymond Edde considered
his father as the perfect example He is one of the persons
of whom Raymond Edde was proud he established a kind of a custom
that was not common back then ln 1936, President Emile Edde
had appointed for the first time a Muslim as
a Prime Minister Kheir Eddine Ahdab He considered his father as one
of the Fathers of Lebanon’s lndependence Or the natural borders of Lebanon And we know that he preserved the
original map of the French campaign of 1861 Which borders were
larger than the current Lebanon When my father went to Paris
with Patriarch Howayek and it was decided to draw
the borders of Lebanon in 1919 l remember that they went to Clemenceau’s
office who was then Prime Minister They disagreed on where
they shall draw the borders of Lebanon They brought a map and l have it now
some drew a line here, others there And some insisted that the borders
had to be the Litani river Because they considered
that a river can sometimes be, like in Europe the border between two countries Each one wanted to define
the borders as he wished ln the end, and because of the disagreement
Clemenceau took a pen and asked What does this old man want? He wants the borders to be here He sketched that way, and drew
a line from the sea until the Arkoub The next day there was a general
uproar, so they modified the borders Therefore like you see, the line
goes straight from Nakoura by the sea Then it goes up north because they wanted
to leave El Houli in Palestine for the Jews Therefore until now
l know exactly these things because my father told me
about what happened there He told me that the Jews
were since the first day in 1919 interested in the Hasbani waters Because they have
long wanted the water He drew the Eastern borders
of Lebanon according to the map of 1861 He dragged the pen
and attached Damascus to it So Emile Edde shouted and said
Mr. President, it is Damascus he said, what’s the problem? Take it So he said, how can we take it?
Our society is different than theirs We just want Lebanon So the answer was
if you don’t want it, that’s ok with me So he split it and the map
was drawn and later it was declared as the map of the Great Lebanon Announced by the French So Raymond Edde had a kind of a
complex that accompanied him all his life That his father, his brother Pierre
and himself were never acknowledged One time he told me
as he admired his father a lot ‘you knew me
and knew Pierre’, his brother ‘lf you multiply us by ten
we could never match Emile Edde’ He felt that History
had not been fair to his father All his life he thought about the achievements his father had reached
and his way of thinking He had a key role in establishing
Lebanon as a modern State Emile Edde knew that he did
not have enough time to establish it He noticed that Christians
were immigrating in large numbers When he was named
Prime Minister, in just four months he issued 735 legislative decrees That constituted the basis
of the Lebanese Modern State He decreased the number
of employees in the public sector by 40% which caused disputes
and led to the falling of his government But Lebanon moved on
from an old State to a modern oneThe phase towards independence,
Lebanon carries the flame of two culturesThe political beginning and law practice
joining both Edde and el Khoury in Alexandria Caused the division in Beirut
and that unity was transformed later on into a political
antagonism and a family hate The separation divided
the country into two parts The partisans of the National Bloc
and the partisans of the Constitution led by those aspired
for Presidency in 1943 From Beirut despite
their mountainous origins The Edde family
were related to Edde town in Jbeil The dispute started with the
Presidential aspiration of the two lawyers el Khoury ran
as a candidate against Edde in 1936 the latter won with a 4
votes difference out of 25 Then the disputes increased
before the election of 1943 which led el Khoury
to the Presidency The Presidential disputes were somehow
due to the difference of the two principles which constituted
the differences in politics Edde was calling for the
lndependence of the Great Lebanon but with international
guarantees favoring France ln return, el Khoury refused
all international guarantees and asked for special relations
with the Arab neighboring countries While defining clear principles
of a relationship with Syria ln the beginning of their alliance
they were friends since Beshara el Khoury Was a trainee
in the law firm of Mr. Emile Edde Then politics separated them it separated them for reasons
not related to their personalities Or because of a special
hatred for one to another But due to a large
difference in the doctrine On one hand
Beshara el Khoury believed that the liberation from the French
mandate is something good for Lebanon Providing that it is also liberated from the
Arabs’ ambitions to merge it or to dissolve it On the other hand
President Edde thought that the French protection
was a necessity for Lebanon To protect a category
of people from another General Spears wanted the withdrawal
of France from all over the Middle East To get the British hegemony
on the region and get the role of the French Emile Edde feared that the French withdrawal
will open the way to a British presence He feared that the French withdrawal
and the independence were anticipated and a trap for Lebanon Therefore, he signed in 1943
for the independence of Lebanon But he did not want the independence
to be achieved in certain circumstances As we are getting rid
of France during a weak period Without knowing, on the
other hand, which way we are taking Especially that he knew
that some Maronite politicians had already signed an agreement with
Arab leaders from the neighboring countries A treaty for the Arab unity We have this document
and it exists in the French archives also Emile Edde feared at that time
that the withdrawal of the French and the support of the British
will be for an Arab unity That will lead
to the end of Lebanon But these two principles
or political currents did not constitute a basis
for the victory of el Khoury Especially during
the political tension period drawn by the French and British conflict
on the land of the Great Lebanon The partisans of Edde considered
el Khoury as the British candidate and the partisans of el Khoury
saw in Edde the French candidate After negotiations that almost brought
Camille Chamoun to the Presidency Beshara el Khoury succeeded in getting
the approval of 40 parliamentarians who signed a petition Which led him to the Presidency
on September 21st 1943 During that year Edde and Khoury did not confront
each other for the Presidency only But through the two movements
the National Bloc and the constitutional one During the parliamentary election Raymond, the son, had
to enter his father’s campaign in Jbeil He said about that period My father ran as a candidate
in Jbeil, it was the first time for me That l participate
in an election campaign in due form And l learnt
how elections are organized ln the evening of the elections, we heard
that Henri Pharaon was coming to visit us His arrival meant
that he was bringing money ln the same evening
l dispatched some guys to cut the roads We stopped all the people who came on
behalf of Henri Pharaon and searched them lf they had money we took it l succeeded that way
in guaranteeing the victory of my father Because the money did not arrive The next morning, instead of taking
back the money, he decided to distribute it He gave the Christians in the region
through the convents two thirds of the sum and the Muslims one third
through Ahmed Husseini According to their demographic
distribution in the regionRachaya barracksOn the 11th of November
of the same year the authorities of the
French mandate arrested the President
of the Republic Beshara el Khoury The Prime Minister Riad El Solh, the
ministers Camille Chamoun, Adel Osseiran Selim Takla and
the parliamentarian Abdel Hamid Karame French and Senegalese soldiers
drove them to the Rachaya citadel while the High Commissioner
Jean Helleu, signed a decision Naming, pursuant to it, Emile Edde as
President of the Republic and Prime Minister until the reapplication
of the Constitution Which he had suspended
through another decision Raymond Edde was
awaken at 6 in the morning by a voice telling him
about what had happened The son left his room to join his father His mother told him that he left at 5 o’clock to meet Helleu in the Grand Seraglio And that he was accompanied by Antoine
Rizk, the adviser of the High commissioner He took the Buick his father offered him He passed through Basta and there people
were insulting the French and Emile Edde He arrived to the Grand Seraglio
with his gun on his waist And threatened the Senegalese
who refused to let him in to see his father He entered after insisting
and said to his father don’t accept any suggestion from Helleu Don’t you ever accept to assume power He answered him, go home, l will only
do what my conscience dictates to me So the son retorted
l warn you not to do this because the French will get us
into trouble as they always do Raymond Edde got back home and there, he heard with
his mother via Radio Orient in Beirut that his father had
accepted the Presidency He went into his room and closed the door
mumbling, this is the end of his political life Later on he asked
his father why he had accepted it he explained to him how a British
general was going to take power lf he refused to take it And Lebanon would have shifted
from a French mandate to a British one according to an agreement
between Lilton and De Gaulle And which will hinder
the independence of Lebanon The son was not convinced
by the words of his father the President So he left the house for some time
and got back for his mother’s sake The son’s boycott of his father led to a political boycott of Emile Edde by the
high government officials and by the people He was considered as a traitor
and an agent for the mandate authorities The son was then convinced
by the position of his father especially when Emile
was expelled from the parliament By the instigation of Beshara el Khoury and General Edward Spears
on the 31st of March 1944 That’s why the Dean Raymond Edde
bore a deep rancor against Sheikh Beshara because the latter tried
to take revenge on Dean Edde ln March 1944, through Henri
Pharaon and the Constitutional group tried to dismiss Raymond Edde
from his status as parliamentarian Even Mrs. Laure
Sheikh Beshara’s wife asked to dispossess him
of the Lebanese nationality l would like to say that Beshara el
Khoury did not call Emile Edde a traitor Sheikh Beshara wrote in his memoirs
a large paragraph about Emile Edde Praising his qualities and regretted
that President Emile Edde was tempted when they proposed the Presidency
to him during the period of Rachaya ln the end he was
the victim of his ambition And so the year 1944 witnessed a popular and a political boycott
to the important political house The head of the house left
for Paris and returned in 1946 After his return Emile Edde ran as a candidate once again
in the parliamentary election ln 1947 During his campaign
he was helped by his eldest son who was arrested along with archbishop
Boulos Akl for assailing government officials The father lost the elections and became
a severe opponent to the government especially after the renewal
of the mandate of el Khoury in 1948 Among his moves as an opponent the visit he undertook to Syria
presiding a delegation of the National Bloc ln 1949 To congratulate Husni el Zaim
the chief of the 1st military coup d’état The visit enraged Beshara el Khoury friend of Chucri el Kowetli
who was overthrown ln the same year Emile Edde passed away
because of a heart attack and the 27th of September
was marked as the last day of his life His sons Raymond and Pierre
organized a popular funeral for him to avoid inviting
the President of the Republic Beshara el Khoury
did not attend the funeral but his son Michel
attended it on personal basis l knew that Beshara el Khoury
was deeply affected when the Chief died He was torn between
presenting his condolences or not l learnt these details
from friends of mine One of them was
the late Abdel Kader Chehab who became the Chief
of the Army afterwards He was the aid of Sheikh Beshara There was a kind of unity
between Edde and Beshara He told me about
everything that happened He wanted to know if they are going
to present their condolences or not Then they asked
about making the funeral a national one but the family refused lt was a shock not only
for Raymond, Pierre and the Edde family But it was a shock for all the
Lebanese opposition at that time the opposition
to Beshara el Khoury mandate lt was a shock
to the Lebanese people What Raymond Edde did was
that he refused and his brother Pierre that the Lebanese State was represented
in the funeral of Emile Edde and that the Lebanese government
announces the death of Emile Edde because it considered
Emile Edde as a traitor He got a popular funeral one of the largest that took place
in Lebanon until this day lt was told
that Raymond Edde that day insisted that the Orthodox
Archbishop stands on the altar Next to the Maronite Archbishops He threatened them
when they refused to bury his father in the Orthodox cemeteriesThe Pillar of the RepublicRaymond Edde played
a minor role in politics He entered it as an obligation
for the son to support his father He did not want it and did not like it
as he repeated it in many occasions But the events forced him to enter the political
scene on a large scale Just after the death of the father, the
executive committee of the party gathered under the presidency
of Kesrouan el Khazen And announced the election
of Raymond Edde as Leader of the party The president Emile is the chief
of the party, he is the founder of the party And that young man
deserves to take his father’s place But a person like Tannous Freiha was kind of a deputy
chief to President Emile So how could they appoint
a young man, like Raymond as president over older personalities? They kept Freiha in his post and the person
that we all love and know remained the chief
of the National Bloc They then said that Raymond
is the Dean and they invented back then
the term Dean for Raymond lt was a burden on me, because Raymond
Edde did not like to deal with politics He wanted to dedicate
his time to the law practice He accepted the position of Deanship and inherited from his father the anger
against every mistake or fault or anyone who commits them He wanted to be sure of the truth
before announcing it and without fear He inherited the sarcastic
words and the violent ones But he also inherited a political
decision that his father took one day and that History
did not acknowledged until now Maybe he always saw
in Beshara el Khoury the direct reason
for the injustice rendered to his father For long years, he concealed
a profound hatred for Beshara el Khoury ”No legitimacy
for the 2nd mandate” This list became what was
known by the Socialist National Bloc when the candidate of the
National Bloc in Metn-Baabda joined it Pierre Edde and other candidates Of course they started from a
historic alliance that was in place between Mukhtara
and the National Bloc This alliance sat foundations
for the elections even in the 40s Both parties clung to traditions but they always sought modernism They were two civilized people
having a modern way of thinking With all the traditional binds
that were holding them They started up from this alliance
their alliance was against the constitutionals When the constitutional
system began showing corruption and ignorance
in some popular currents Along with the violent
clashes with the National Party As well
as the execution of Antoun Saade All that made them strengthen their alliance
more, to achieve the revolution of 1952 The Bloc formed
4 lists for the elections Raymond Edde was
the candidate for Kesrwan and Jbeil And his brother was the candidate
of the National Bloc in Baabda and Metn The bloc had to take
a series of preventive measures to face the clear and frank
intervention of Sultan Selim Beshara el Khoury’s brother
for the interest of the authority The bloc insinuated
near the end of the election day knowing the result
of the votes in Chouf and Aley To prevent all kinds of cheating ln 1952, the opposition began
and became strong, elections took place l ran as well as my brother l lost because
of Beshara el Khoury ln the 2nd round, there was a battle between
my brother Pierre and Pierre Gemayel The battle of Metn
the battle of the two Pierres My brother won with a difference
of 147 votes over Pierre Gemayel The Phalange party were
the Constitutional allies of course Pierre Gemayel attached the picture
of Sultan Selim and his own on the cars We were against anything related
to Sultan Selim and Beshara el Khoury So then we gathered
all that related to the opposite But his loss did not stop him
from being determined to fight Beshara el Khoury
and taking him down So he worked as an ally to the bloc or
to the parliamentary bloc that resulted from it And led a white
revolution that resulted in the stepping down of the President
of the Republic after a series of strikes demonstrations and political festivals Which made it difficult
for the Man of lndependence to form any kind of government The 2nd mandate
of Beshara el Khoury fell taking with it
the Constitutionals ideas in 1952 But Edde wanted to go to the end He asked for general inquiries to sue all the beneficiaries
from the mandate and all who took advantage
from knowing the previous president Moreover, Edde
insisted of having a president among the personalities
who worked the coup d’étatThe 6th fleet lands
its forces in Lebanonas a part of a global military
intervention in the Middle EastCamille Chamoun was the name
that all Parliamentary blocs approved on lncluding the Constitutionals He was elected on the 23rd of
September 1952 as president for the country After the withdrawal of the
candidate from Zghorta Hamid Franjieh after counting their respective votes ln order to bring a president
with the majority of votes Chamoun won with 7 4 votes out of 77 including the vote of the parliamentarian
of the National Bloc Pierre Edde The leader of the bloc entered
the Parliament for the first time after winning the elections of 1953 He ran on
for the Maronite seat in Jbeil against the two candidates
Semaan Bassil and Edward Noun He won with more
than 5000 votes for everyone of them The clock of the Nejmeh square
struck on a series of laws that transformed the Leader
from a law practitioner to a legislator Raymond Edde
followed a plan in his thinking Law was the center of his thinking He always reviewed the law
the constitution and the texts which were a main support
to all his thinking and actions We used to meet
and he always wanted to consult He wanted to deliberate He begins with a concept
l get his notes, he asks the question and he leaves
review the references We meet, and he discusses as if he was the climax
of specialization and a university teacher He learnt quickly the texts, it was
weird but it was an important feature Especially for politicians
lawyers and jurists His reason and his boldness drew
my attention towards him as well as his attachment
to the end to the democratic principles Starting from the liberty
of election and giving liberties Maybe the most important
laws that he stipulated was the law of Bank
Confidentiality that had a long story By the end
of the forties, 1948 or 1949 He was coming from Paris by
car and had a stop in Switzerland One day… l don’t remember if he
stopped in a hotel in Geneva or in Zurich The hotel was on his way He saw on the table of the hotel
a series of leaflets having on them The words Bank
Confidentiality, Bank Confidentiality He arrived
to Vaulfourt and he called me l was at that time a student
of Economic sciences in Paris He asked me
to go to Souflo Street to bring him everything
l can find about Bank Confidentiality l was 17 or 18 l went to Souflo Street
and found two or three good books About Bank
Confidentiality in Switzerland And l sent them
immediately to Raymond Two years later, the draft law
about Bank confidentiality was adopted lt was known as Edde’s law l was in Switzerland in 1947 and noticed that this law made
Switzerland an important nation What do we have in Lebanon?
We don’t have treasures nor oil, nor gold What do we have?
We have sunshine a good weather and we want
to establish Bank confidentiality To attract the oil money
and the money of the Emirs lnstead of sending
them to Switzerland we will stipulate for them
a law better than the Swiss law And their money will be near them The Confidentiality
was not already adopted? No We did not have
a confidentiality in this sense We had a kind of bank discretion lt was up to the people and their intention The habit in the banks preventing
the employees from talking about The accounts of their clients And the paperwork
done in the Banks But the confidentiality did not
exist in the way it exists today The Lebanese law
is much better than the Swiss one The draft law was adopted by the parliamentary
committee for money and budget And was also adopted
by the general assembly of the Parliament But it met difficulties
in the Presidential palace when Chamoun rejected it at first Pretending that many despicable
Lebanese persons will take advantage of it And accepted to ratify it for foreigners Edde had anticipated this decision by inviting a large numbers of journalists
to inform them about the draft law And when he informed the president
about their arrival to the Palace He threatened him to expose
what he had said about the Lebanese Calling them ”despicable” Chamoun retracted
his decision and signed the law Edde went out carrying
his law proud of himself Why not? He was the one who increased the number of the
Lebanese Banks from 35 during that year To 65 in 2000 Edde added to that law, another series
including the law of illegal enrichment The law of luxurious buildings
and the law of civil marriage And he established while being
Minister of lnterior, the squad 16 lt was a special squad in the police The Dean won
with his ideas and inventions He adapted the laws
according to the situation For example, Dean Raymond Edde
was against killing He hated lies and
was against all kinds of attacks And at the same time
he was defending the human life So when the security
was out of control in Lebanon he presented a suggestion He was maybe Minister
of the lnterior that time He proposed to apply
the death penalty for killers lmagine how he changed positions
according to circumstances Raymond Edde was a politician believing
in the civil society, ”la société civile” He was very influenced
by the French civil society That means that Raymond Edde
prepared a law for civil marriage Which was discussed later
during the mandate of President Elias Hraoui But it did not get the chance to be
ratified in the parliament like we all know Because Raymond Edde was
very interested in the human being His liberties and personal rights For example, Raymond Edde
was the one who suggested the law which imposed the presence
of the lawyer with the suspect Before the military court This law spared many people
from a lot of unpleasant things l contributed in 1953
in giving women their political rights l considered that women
being mothers, have the right to think about the future
of the country like the man And think about
the future of their children They have the right and the obligation
to participate in the election process To pass laws and apply them Raymond Edde was
a bachelor who loved women His mother Laudy passed away in 1955
without seeing her dream coming true her eldest son getting married The Don Juan, like his friends
called him, had many relationships The most important one was his relationship
with the French actress Michelle Alpha and the daughter of the Comte
of Paris lsabelle De France He told his father one day if Michelle Alpha does not become
my wife, l won’t ever get married He forgot what he said when he repeated to everyone
who asked him about marriage l married the Republic He told me, l am an unmarried
man and Beirut is like my wife But she is an old wife lf we were to get married
there won’t be any honeymoon lf Raymond wanted it
he would have married the daughter of one
of the most important European families l am convinced that this marriage which
the media talked about was not concluded It’s only because of Lebanon Because he thought that he wouldn’t be able
to be devoted to his country And once again, Lebanon was his priority l think that Raymond had a special
character, when he wanted to do something He did it with all his heart and exerted
all kind of efforts in what he was doing He was back then dealing
with politics and politics was difficult l think he felt that he could
not give the necessary importance for politics and
for his family life at the same time So he chose politicsThe Pillar of the RepublicThe 6th fleet lands
its forces in Lebanonln the 1957 elections Edde maintained his seat
in Jbeil after winning unopposed These elections
led to a bloody revolution by the end of Chamoun’s
mandate in 1958 The loss of some
members of the opposition including Kamal Jumblatt
after the National Socialist Front Revolted against
its candidate or vice versa Led to a number of demonstrations
which turned into a civil disobedience causing the death and injury of many The situation worsened when the authority was accused
of killing the journalist of the opposition and owner of the Telegraph
newspaper, Nassib El Metni The open strike was
announced, trenches were dug And Barricades were erected isolating
West Beirut from its Eastern side ln 1958, a civil war
erupted as they called it The army was the only entity
which could put an end to the war and establish peace among the people l was in the 3rd force
with President Charles Helou Who was not president yet
and Takkieddin El Solh A group which supported
Chamoun in his foreign politics and didn’t accept
the renewal of his mandate Even President Chamoun used to say
l don’t want to renew my mandate Raymond Edde and his brother Pierre
did not join any of these two currents But they plunged
in a series of negotiations which led them
in the heart of the battle When trying to find compromises The year 1958
was full of events for the Dean He confirmed himself as the man
of minor details amidst the important crisis A quality which remained
with him until his last breath ln the presence of my uncle
my father always took a minor position He always felt that he was the younger
brother, he always respected him Raymond Edde always
confronted, he discussed, he debated Sometimes he criticized and did not care if the people
were disturbed because of what he says But he had to say
what he had in mind Pierre Edde had
the same objectives the same political point of views
but formulated them in a different way He was more diplomat Raymond Edde
and his brother Pierre exerted large efforts and had difficult endeavors
with President Camille Chamoun To convince him at times to accept the
establishment of a transitional government similar to the one formed
in 1952 with Sheikh Beshara And at others, to convince him
to resign if the President wanted to resign Because Raymond Edde
was against the renewal of the mandate
of Camille Chamoun And also against overthrowing
the President of the Republic before the end of his mandate He tried to get a decision from Camille
Chamoun for not renewing his mandate He also tried
to convince his opponents to stop asking for his resignation The expansion
of Nasser’s partisans in Lebanon and their infiltrations
inside Lebanese milieu Especially among Muslims Got the president to refuse
to sign the pact of Baghdad Which aimed at fighting
communism and the USSR in the East But Chamoun signed the
Eisenhower principle on February 5th 1957 Which allowed
the United States to offer economical and developmental aids and
to have a military intervention in Lebanon lf Lebanon
was threatened by communism This transformed the days that followed
and especially in 1958, into bloody ones The signing of this principle led to a
collective resignation among parliamentarians On his part
Edde supported the principle and he sent a series
of requests from the United States And entrusted them to Charles Malek Following the sanguinary conflict, the Dean
and his brother undertook quick initiatives Trying to convince
the Chief of the Army Fouad Chehab to preside a transitional government And convince
Rachid Karame to stop the clashes Saeb Salam came then and announced
his acceptance to stop the bloodshed Enthusiastic, the Dean tried
to convince Karame to do the same He went to visit him with
Ahmed Daouk and Ahmed Ahdab He talked to him in private until the leader from Tripoli
accepted to stop the armed conflict They both took one car and Karame asked
to visit Chehab in Jounieh After half an hour of meeting, he went out
to announce before Edde, Ahdab and Daouk That the chief of the army
maintained his position to staying neutral On July 14th
the revolution erupted in lraq And overthrew the Emir Abdel Ellah, the
tutor of Emir Faycal who was still underage The rebels killed them both The Prime Minister
Nour el Said was killed too after arresting him
on the borders disguised as a woman The news rushed within
the halls of the Presidential palace And arrived to Chamoun ln the streets, his opponents
were wishing him the same destiny ln the afternoon of that same day the American 6th fleet had taken
its position in the sea Just when he heard about it
Edde rushed to the Ministry of Defense as he was member of the
parliamentary defense committee He felt a general resentment
among the Lebanese officers and their determination to face the fleet And to defend their dignity The Dean recounts that
when he was in the Ministry of Defense News about the arrival of the American ambassador to meet with the chief of the army
Fouad Chehab was reported The officers insisted on the general staff
Toufic Salem to attend the meeting But he withdrew quickly
as Edde recounted and added 20 minutes later, we heard the door
opening and we saw the ambassador leaving The door of the room
where we were was opened And Fouad Chehab
stepped in and did not see me He said, this American came and
notified me that the 6th fleet had arrived And told me that the fleet came
upon the request of the government lt would not have come otherwise lt is a legitimate government
that is why he came to notify me ln order to see which measures
to adopt to avoid clashes Between the Lebanese army
and the Marines of the 6th fleet Aziz Ahdab was in the airport and said, if the 6th
fleet men step down l will shoot them And Fouad Chehab
replied, l have no objections But inform Aziz
that his canon is this big And the 6th fleet
canons are that big so if he wanted
to shoot, let him shoot Anyway, l am going to sleep
and don’t wake me up before 4 The assistant of the American
secretary of State for the Middle East Robert Murphy came
to Lebanon in September So the American
ambassador Robert Mclintok asked his friend the
Dean to receive him over lunch The Dean chose a tour
in the high mountains of Jbeil A lunch in Afqa, then
a small tour in the ruins of Jbeil When the delegation came back to
Beirut, it was received by a military vehicle Of the American infantry unit which
delivered a telegram to the ambassador He read it then gave it to Murphy He said to the Dean
l want you to be the first Lebanese to know about
the content of the telegram We agreed
with Gamal Abdel Nasser to elect Fouad Chehab
as President of the Republic And Edde answered that’s good, but it is an uncommon
way to agree upon electing a president l think it is the first
time it is used as such anyway this kind
of democracy befits the United States As for us ”natives” of this country
don’t have the right for democracy We don’t have the right
to practice democracy l would also want
to greet you back and l want you
to be the first American To know that l will run against
Fouad Chehab to maintain democracy ln 1958, President
Chehab set a condition he wanted to be elected
president unanimously Raymond Edde, being stubborn
as usual, the ”stubborn Dean” Said no, l will maintain my candidacy He did not want Fouad Chehab
to be elected from the first round There won’t be a
unanimous voting, not a first round They discussed and decided
that Ghassan Tueni was the only one who could convince him l went to see him and said
Raymond, let’s solve the issue and elect Fouad Chehab
unanimously and forget about war Especially that Raymond
was not with us in the Third Force but he was known to be in the
anti-war clan, the party against the war He told me, you don’t understand
anything, it was his way of talking A military should
never be elected unanimously We have to note that a military, even the
chief of the army, despite the fact that l know the majority wanted him
to put an end to the problem was not elected unanimously And not elected from the first round
so to say not imposed on us That was his opinion, preventing in the period of military
coup d’état in the Middle East Lebanon did not witness
any military coup d’état the chief of the army whom the majority
agreed upon to resolve the problem Was not elected unanimously Raymond Edde had that obsession Being a military man and the
unanimous election which makes Lebanon resemble all the
neighboring dictatorships Kamal Jumblatt
had the same obsession We cannot say that he liked
military people, he did not like them But he liked
and respected Fouad Chehab While Raymond stayed
far from President Fouad Chehab after an experience with him
When Fouad Chehab appointed his ministers
for the first time, he chose Raymond He appointed him
in a quadripartite government Then Raymond dissociated
from him and left during a period when he considered that
the Second Bureau was the nightmare The obsession, the substitute
for the constitutional institutions The Chehab mandate started with
three precedents noted by the Dean The first being the refusal
to elect the Lebanese president with a non Lebanese compromise Second, the refusal to elect
a military person as President And last, the refusal of the parliamentarians
to vote as they were imposed to do As soon as he started his
mandate, Chehab formed a government presided by Rachid Karame The most prominent personality
of the anti-Chamoun revolution The government fell quickly after
the kidnapping of the writer and journalist of the Phalangist ”Al Aamal”
newspaper Fouad Haddad Known as Abu el Hen His assassination
and the strike to protest against his murder in the Christian regions As well as the deployment of armed
troops which assaulted Muslim citizens Almost brought back
an even bloodier revolution in its confessional aspect Especially when the Muslims in Beirut took a hostile position
towards the Christians After the government fell Raymond Edde suggested
that Chehab forms a government comprising the antagonist leaders lf you bring Rachid Karame, you have to
appoint Pierre Gemayel, from the other side The Dean had to call his political rival
Pierre Gemayel who accepted his proposal A quadripartite government was
formed, and included Rachid Karame Pierre Gemayel
Hajj Hussein Oueini and Raymond Edde Who was given
the Ministry of lnterior A revolution and
a counter-revolution occurred in Lebanon The counter-revolution occurred
after the formation of the first government Which was presided
by Rachid Karame And refused by the Maronites Everything was tightly shackled there wasn’t any progress
in the formation of the government Or any progress in resolving
the counter-revolution We were at Al Nahar Raymond Edde came to me
and said he was going to solve the problem l told him l know you can
do miracles, how are you going to solve it? He said, don’t worry
and he called the Presidential palace He asked to speak with the General We waited, and a couple
of minutes later we heard on the radio that the government was formed When Raymond came
we asked him how he did it He said that everyone
had to impose different conditions And President Chehab
is a polite and calm gentleman So he had to discuss their conditions l told him, don’t discuss any condition
consider that there are no conditions Decide to have the quadripartite
government with 2 Maronites and 2 Sunnis The rest of the confessions
were not represented The Maronites
would represent all Christians And the Sunnis
the rest of the Muslims He asked
who do you have in mind? He said, me… and Pierre Gemayel So that’s about the two Maronites You keep Rachid Karame
and appoint Hussein Oueini Hussein Oueini is the leader
he is the dean of the Sunnites Then Fouad Chehab asked him
if it would work, and he said yes Chehab informed him one day about receiving a request
to meet Gamal Abdel Nasser So Edde answered him l know about the necessity
of your meeting with Abdel Nasser You can send him a telegram like the one he sent you
when you were elected president You are a general
and he is just a major But after thinking thoroughly Edde suggested to build a tent in the
no man’s land between Syria and Lebanon For the meeting of the two leaders A tent was
of 15 meters long was put And there on March 25th 1959
Chehab met with Abdel NasserAdel Nasser and Chehab
issue a common understandingSolve economical problemsThe idea of Edde to appoint Gemayel in
the government was one of the main reasons That put him in the opposition trench
against Chehab and the Chehabism The Dean from Jbeil felt that the President of the Republic
preferred the chief of the Phalangists to him The Dean enabled the President
to choose between him and Gemayel But he did not Then he asked him to limit the
prerogatives of General Antoun Saad the chief of the Second Bureau When his friend Philippe Kheir
was slapped by the assistant of Saad officer
Gaby Lahoud The General was confident
about the responsibility of Saad who hid the truth
about slapping Kheir On that day, Edde told Chehab
l am coming to present my resignation The President replied
through punishing Saad However, the punishment did not
prevent Saad from attending a ceremony held by the British
ambassador in Beirut The Dean felt provoked so he went back home, and
called the President of the Republic Who answered that punishing Saad does not prevent him
from being charged with a mission Edde answered, you send him
in a mission to the barren lands of Hermel And not to a party in an embassy He was one of the strongest
believers in the state of law And never accepts
to violate the law Of course he had a feeling that
emanated from his sense of the state of law And his sense of the decency
of the human being, his rights and liberties He deeply respected all of this He respected
the liberty of the people However his problems
with the president did not prevent him
from thinking in an ideal way To meet with Gamal Abdel NasserThe Pillar of the Republicln 1960, Edde won again
the Maronite seat in Jbeil When Fouad Chehab
promulgated the famous electoral law known as the 1960 law Thanks to this law, his roll won and was composed of Gabriel
Germanos, for the 2nd Maronite seat And Ahmed Esber
for the Shiite seat They were two new personalities at
that time, and did not have a popular basis These elections proved
a large popularity of the Dean As his partisans said that if Edde ran a stick
into elections, it would have won He provoked the Second Bureau
and thus constituted in the region what was known
by the Jbeil Solidarity Where he transformed
the Constitutionalists into Chehabists Bringing a double retaliation, he won
in the next parliamentary elections in 1964 The Dean lost after a series of arrests that threatened his partisans
and the members of his campaign Threatening their interests
jobs and stopping their transactions While the Second Bureau
worked for the two rival candidates the two doctors
Antoun Soueid and Shahid el Khoury The elections
of Raymond Edde was always tough He won one time unopposed
during the mandate of Camille Chamoun And he lost one time, l asked
him what will he do if he loses? He said, l am a politician
l accept the winning and the loss l will go to the Saint Georges
after the end of the elections l will dive in the water, he was a good
swimmer and l will forget all my worries While diving
two times in the water Upon the elections of 1965, the Second
Bureau worked on toppling Raymond Edde ln the by-elections held
after the death of late Dr. Antoine Soueid We had to intervene to support
the candidacy of Dean Edde Not only from the Shiite voters
but also from all the citizens of Jbeil As we share with them profound
and important relationships l think that l could help
to a certain extent The death of the Dr. Soueid brought
the Dean back to his parliamentary seat After leading a campaign
against the Second Bureau And not against the widow
of the Doctor, Nouhad Germanos Who ran
for her husband’s seat that year The Chehab mandate
was about to end and the Dean had asserted
to the chief of the Syrian Nationalistic Party Dr. Abdallah Saade That he was ready to support
him politically and popularly in case he succeeded
in overthrowing Chehab And the Chehabism However, he was discreet
about the means of the coup d’état preferring the democratic
and peaceful means in resolving the struggles in the country When he was passing
by the old Ministry of Defense he saw a group
of people Officers etc… He saw the Captain, his chief
l don’t want to name him… he was there He asked him, what are you
doing here? Do you need anything? You were supposed
to be positioned in Tyre He replied, yes, just go and tell
everybody that we planned a coup d’état and overthrew the commandment And we kidnapped Fouad Chehab The telephone was not working
so he took his car and came to wake me up l dressed up and went
in his car to Rachid Karame He was the Prime Minister He came saying
what’s wrong Dean? This person here told me about a coup
d’état, do you know anything about it? He said no not at all So l said: what is the general
security doing? The Second Bureau? And all the state body?
Are they inexistent? How couldn’t you know about that? He said l don’t know
so l replied, what can we do? Let’s go to President Chehab he said l replied, how can we go to President
Chehab? They must have cut the road and this guy told me
that President Chehab was kidnapped We must find another way l immediately sent somebody
to Colonel Harb in Fayadieh and asked for help That’s how l learnt about the coup d’état Raymond Edde is a lovable
character, even his rivals liked him Hence he helped the Second
Bureau without really knowing it l mean that he increased
the power of the Second Bureau l remember very well Raymond Edde
in 67-68 and mainly during the war of 67 When l helped controlling the press We sometimes got
very violent declarations written by Raymond Edde against
the State and the Second Bureau And l was always in contact
with Gaby Lahoud who was the chief
of the Second Bureau To ask him if we can
publish the declaration or not we are allowed to discard it He always asked me my opinion
on whether to discard it or not l always asked him
not to discard it Because that gives a power to the Second
Bureau that was inexistent back then Therefore, the important
criticisms of Raymond Edde gave more significance to the
Second Bureau than it already had At that time, the Second Bureau worked
on distorting the image of Raymond Edde Saying that he is
against the Lebanese army lt was said that during a session of the
Cabinet, Chehab wrote to him on a paper Your Excellency, you have
to separate politics from the Army The Dean answered
back, yes Mr. President the Army has to be
separated from the politics And he declared one day the missions of the army is to protect
the system and the people all together And when the choice is imposed, the army
has to choose the protection of the people During the Chehab mandate Edde
may have marked two victories The first one is putting the Minister
of lnterior in charge of the army After the assassination
of the Chouf MP, Naim Mghabghab ln the paroxysm
of the Second Bureau influence And after the son of Chouf
was killed a couple of hours before the intended
visit of Chehab to Beiteddine Edde informed him
that he was not responsible because he was not notified
about the visit of the President Being the Minister of lnterior And blaming the chief
of the Second Bureau and his men Chehab then decided that the chief of
the army Adel Chehab shall take his orders from the Minister
of lnterior Raymond Edde Raymond Edde
arrived to Beiteddine palace just when he entered, they told him
that Naim Mghabghab was killed He went to see
President Fouad Chehab… They used
to speak together in French He told him, did you know
that Naim Mghabghab was killed? No one dared to inform President Chehab
about the assassination of Naim Mghabghab He replied surprisingly, what?
He called Antoun Saad who came He slapped him once, twice in front
of everybody, it was not a secret And asked him Antoun
Naim Mghabghab was killed? He said, yes Mr. President Fouad Chehab had
to leave the Beiteddine palace because confessional
uproar exploded And it was Raymond Edde who
took control of the security from then on He gave Fouad Chehab his car, the car of
Raymond Edde without any protection at all And he got in the presidential car
just in case an attack was perpetrated you know vengeance, confessional
conflicts may erupt here and there He registered another victory when
he got the President of the Republic to sign The law for executing the murderer And the decree to distribute it
in all the towns and villages The decree was issued as a result of the killing which was known
by Takmil, of three people Two of which worked
in the Ministry of lnterior apart from accusing the same people of
kidnapping Fouad Haddad and killing him He was a naive man, and some
say that he was easily influenced The authority did not know
at that time where the bodies were Edde tried to know and someone came
to announce to him the news After a hard pursuit, Edde went
to check the place with a gun on his waist He climbed on a wall separating
the poor neighborhood from a small garden lt was 11 o’clock when the minister
saw the bodies of the three victims As they started to deteriorate The Dean insisted on the death
penalty law, Chehab signed it unwillingly Then he asked for somebody
who knows how to hang They brought him a guy
who executed the Takmil in the square separating
the seraglio and the old ministry of justiceThe president
no dictatorship for the majorityBy the end of that mandate
and with the beginning of the new one Edde showed an insight a vision and a very transparent
political and true approach to the events So he warned Charles Helou from
fooling with the waters of the Wazzani river Because it flows into Palestine And in case of a diversion
of its waters, lsrael will feel provoked So it would cause
a struggle in the region The President did not comply
with the recommendation And answered that the Syrian army will
protect the operation of the waters diversion Then the Dean answered suggesting to send
an international force of the United Nations That will be responsible
for the protection mission Because any of the Arab
armies could not confront lsrael ln case the Security
Council accepts to send Special Forces to protect Lebanon When it decides
to exploit the Hasbani waters That means that Russia
America, France and England agree So we can exploit
the Hasbani waters in all tranquility Or else it would
be better if we don’t do it Because the day we decide to begin
the work to divert the Hasbani waters The lsraeli army
will come and provoke a problem So l went to meet
with President Helou, who said That’s impossible
because l am not yet in office When he became officially president l talked to him about that issue
and he answered, that’s impossible l told him
Mr. President, l advise you to do so ln the end, just like l expected
the Jews came, hit twice and that was it Raymond had the merit of being the first
one to ask for an international task force At that time, they
considered this request as a treason Knowing that now
everybody is asking for the international task
force that Raymond requested Less than a year afterwards, and
despite the protection of the Syrian army lsrael bombarded the constructions
and destroyed them completely Raymond Edde
commented by saying, of course it was not scared by the
tarbush of Emir Majid Arslan Nor by his moustaches or his narguileh That he used to smoke while
supervising the construction to divert waterThe Pillar of the RepublicThe elected president Charles Helou
feared since 1964 the Palestinian expansion So the tripartite alliance was set
off from the house of the Shiite Judge MP and member
of the National Liberal Party Khazem el Khalil Where Camille Chamoun
Pierre Gemayel and Raymond Edde met to form an alliance to face an expansion
that they considered dangerous To Lebanon and to the Lebanese lt was in the evening
of the 10th of February 1967 lt was a very difficult mission truly and Raymond Edde did not think
for one minute that Khazem el Khalil Will succeed in joining the point
of views among the three leaders Khazem el Khalil insisted
on having the alliance and succeeded Raymond Edde and Khazem el Khalil took up
a bet about the possibility of reaching a result The bet was 1 Lebanese Pound Raymond Edde signed it
and it is still in our records And it is also mentioned
in the memoirs of Khazem el Khalil Signed by Raymond Edde saying that if Khazem el Khalil
succeeds in forming that alliance Raymond Edde will sign the
acknowledgement of el Khalil success in executing this hard mission This is how the Dean
accepted unwillingly due to political developments to conclude
a political marriage with his mortal enemy The chief of the Phalange Party He joined the alliance doubting that the Phalangists
will continue being part of it Because according to the Dean, they were
ready to do anything for their own interests So he coldly shook the hand
of Gemayel without looking him in the eyes Four days later, they
ratified an internal discipline and made declarations based on it After every meeting And before any visit they undertook
to the President of the Republic Edde did not give him
any credit for a role in the alliance Contrary to the Second Bureau
who saw in it an occasion for Helou to get rid
of the domination of its officers After a hardship of disagreements
among the members of the alliance Regarding the formation
of the electoral rolls Chamoun and Edde considered
the suggestions of Gemayel as an expansion
of the Phalangists into their regions The three of them agreed
upon the names of their candidates And entered an easy parliamentary
battle because of their alliance The three lists they agreed upon in Baabda Metn and Kesrouan won And they won 24 seats in the parliament
while their ally Joseph Skaff in Zahle lost And Khazem el Khalil the godfather
of the agreement in Tyre also lost Edde put a regulation
for the alliance, and everybody agreed on it Dean Edde had his opinions
regarding some issues Saying that the personality
of each party did not have to dissolve Every party has
to maintain a liberty to act Sheikh Pierre did not accept to confront
President Fouad Chehab personally He considered that he is part of this
alliance for a general Lebanese interest And not to fight
President Fouad Chehab Since the beginning, Khazem el Khalil
wrote a document and made them sign it lt concerned the distribution of the
parliamentary seats among the three parties They agreed at that time
to keep this document a secret And in the care of Khazem el Khalil only One copy was only draft To prevent the disclosure of the
news, thus everything would be known And when we set the
basis of this tripartite alliance And ran for elections The result was 33 parliamentarians
out of 99 joined the tripartite alliance lt was decided then
to form a preparatory committee Composed of 8 persons Our mission consisted
of preparing a conference that was held later in Printania hotel The committee asked me to prepare the political
and patriotic program of the alliance And l prepared it and was
then accepted by the committee lt was signed by President Chamoun
Sheikh Pierre and Dean Edde Khazem el Khalil called upon all
candidates and delivered a speech ln this occasion By the end of his speech
he asked the audience to stand up raise their hands and take
the following oath with him We took the oath
by God to entirely cooperate in the next elections
with honesty and faithfulness Without any blemish
or monopolization This was the oath
Khazem el Khalil imposed on them All of them stood up including President Chamoun, Sheikh
Pierre Gemayel and Dean Raymond Edde And they repeated the oath at loud El Khalil had always bet
on the breaking of that alliance Especially because of the behavior of
the Dean during every meeting with Gemayel Every time Gemayel spoke
Edde took a newspaper and read it Or looked out of a window
or got distracted with something else To avoid listening
to his imposed ally When the tripartite alliance was
in place, l had a mission in the meetings Because Raymond Edde often
disagreed with Pierre Gemayel And he often
did not attend the meetings l had this mission, due to my
personal friendship with Raymond Edde To accompany him to the meetings ln the morning
fights took place in his house He often refused to go and l tried to convince him Eventually l succeeded
in taking him to the meetings During the meetings, we always witnessed
disputes between him and Sheikh Pierre To the extent that President Camille
Chamoun used to leave the meeting room and say to late Khazem el Khalil Who was the vice-president
of the National Liberal Party And our meetings were often held to find a solution before calling him
back when everything is settled And that’s what used to happen El Khalil wager was in place especially
with the ambition for the presidency for each one of the tripartite alliance The chance of Raymond Edde
in winning the presidential elections was always difficult… He draws near
to it then it slips out of his hands Even President Chamoun who
was his ally, did not want Raymond Edde First, he did not want
a President from Mount Lebanon he always preferred the President
to be from the North, South or from Beirut One time, when he was
in the tripartite alliance President Chamoun
entered the Parliament session And at noon, the ”Lissan el Hal”
newspaper which was issued at noon wrote in its headline in red A meeting between
Jumblatt, Edde and Skaff All three of them
late Mghabghab took the newspaper and went into the Parliament
to see President Chamoun And he showed him the news President Chamoun quickly thought that in case Skaff, Jumblatt and
Raymond Edde reached an agreement Edde will be elected President Because there was a turn the person who brings more votes
will be supported as a candidate lt happened after the election
of Franjieh when he had two votes Suddenly, they asked the journalists
present in the Parliament to enter because President Chamoun
was going to hold a press conference We entered and President
Chamoun announced his candidacy Before getting his turn The first one on the list was Sheikh Pierre then Raymond Edde
then Camille Chamoun We were surprised by his candidacy So we went quickly to Raymond Edde’s office
which was near the Parliament we told him that
we were just in the Parliament and President Chamoun held a press
conference and announced his candidacy He said what are you talking about?
We said, that’s what happened – Unbelievable
– That is the truth, we just came from there Why? We agreed as a tripartite
alliance to meet up and decide We met and we agreed
that Sheikh Pierre will begin and when my turn comes in case l could not get the necessary votes The turn will go to President Chamoun
He did not respect that order lt was clear that time The tripartite alliance did not succeed
in having a candidate despite their strong Christian basis The result was then
the election of Sleiman Franjieh who won by one vote Before the candidacy
of President Chamoun there was a proposition
that either Dean Edde or President Chamoun
run for elections Dean Edde went to Khazem el Khalil
and told him, if you want to help me support my brother
Pierre and not myself He sought in fact that his brother Pierre
becomes the next President and not him He did not aspire
to become President of the Republic The alliance broke, with the
disagreement between Edde and Gemayel upon the nomination of the
President of Parliament in 1968 The Alliance wanted Kamel el Assaad
but Gemayel preferred Sabri Hamade The first one lost
after a second round by 8 votes ln a summary done by the Dean
about the alliance he said one day Pretending that the tripartite alliance
was the beginning of the war is not true l left it a year later l wanted to bring
6 parliamentarians into the Parliament to face the Second
Bureau and l succeeded l would not have succeeded without
my alliance with Chamoun and Gemayel Who had presidential aspirations One time l made a joke They agreed to meet
at President’s Helou and not to disclose what was said
because it was a very critical meeting l left my office and passed by Ounsi l asked him if he had something
to do the next day, he said no So l told him, the tripartite alliance
a meeting at Charles Helou’s home For 3 or 4 hours He said, all of them swore
on the Bible that nobody will talk l told him, that’s good you want us to write that they swore
on the Bible that nobody will talk? We are journalists, so he said
what can we do? l answered, l will tell you l asked an editor to come
and l dictated to him a report He said, they told you everything
what can l do, they don’t tell me a thing l told him, no, they did not tell me everything those are yesterday’s declarations
before going into the meeting They said inside what they say outside We fabricated everything as a report The next day, the three of them met and had a fight about
who gave a declaration to Al Nahar On December 27th, 1968, while
listening to the news on the lsraeli radio A news drew his attention lt was about two Palestinians who went to the Greek
capital Athens from Beirut And blew up an lsraeli plane The news ended with the term Lebanon does not have to feel
safe about what had happened The Dean took the news seriously and he called immediately the chief of Beirut
Airport Edmond Ghosn Asking him to gather all armed
forces to protect the passengers ln anticipation any lsraeli strike Ghosn asked him
at what time they will come? The Dean answered
ironically, they did not tell me He was then Minister
of Public Works and Transportation lmmediately, he rushed
to attend a session of the Cabinet where he talked about his fears Of an attack launched
by lsrael on the planes Prime Minister
Abdallah Yafi agreed with him so Edde asked him
as the interim Defense Minister and because
of the absence of Hussein Oueini To notify the Army Chief
about these fears in order to take
all necessary precautions But Yafi refused, considering that
the Army was in a state of alert since 1967 Edde insisted on his request Then the President
of the Republic arrived and the increase on salaries
was ratified and the session adjourned The Dean objected raising his voice and asked to call
immediately the Chief of the Army Helou answered by notifying the
director of the president’s office Boutros Dib to call the office of the Chief
of the Army and keep him posted Gemayel objected considering
that it was all a mere obsession And there were
no information until then Boutros Dib came
and Edde asked him to notify General Emile Boustani
in the name of the Cabinet The necessity to take the adequate
measures, the Prime Minister refused While the Dean insisted on having the phone
call before the Assembly The call was made
and the session was adjourned ln the evening, and while Edde was
having dinner in one of Beirut restaurants A young lawyer approached him and said allow me Dean to congratulate you
for your composure He answered
what do you mean? He told him that an lsraeli
commando unit shelled the airport l went directly to the airport the President of the Republic and all the
public officials had already went there and left l arrived in front of the airport and l
saw that the army restraining the press the television and the photographers from entering
so l allowed everybody to enter we asked all foreign televisions and local ones and all journalists
to go inside and take pictures Because l considered that we
have to spread the news largely The next day, Edde urged the Cabinet
to call Boustani to come before it Boustani answered that
he had to present his condolences The Dean got upset and asked to refer the Chief
of the Army to the military court And asked to get
the help of lnternational Forces Both of his requests
were rejected so he resigned He released a statement in which he defined the
three dangers threatening Lebanon Communism, Chehabism and Zionism Many people and many
politicians make mistakes in interpreting the famous
call of Raymond Edde in 1969 The dangers threatening Lebanon He defined them in
Communism, Chehabism and Zionism Zionism, everybody knows
that it is a danger on Lebanon it has aspirations
in the South of Lebanon lt has aspirations in the
surface waters of Lebanon lt has aspirations in the
underground waters of Lebanon That’s why it seized
Shebaa and Shebaa farms About ”socialism”, Raymond Edde did
not disagree with Karl Marx or with Lenin But he was talking about the single
party system, the one-party system And the disadvantages
of the one-party system That hurts Lebanon, hurts its interests and hurts the entity, the existence
and the borders of Lebanon Concerning Chehabism He was not hostile
to Fouad Chehab as a person He was hostile to the military
or to what was called the military background
of Fouad Chehab The Second Bureau
that was intervening in everything Raymond Edde
said something very serious 5 days before he passed away He said, l made
a mistake, l want to admit it He said that, in the presence
of Ambassador Johnny Abdo He said, l made a big mistake by allowing myself to disagree
with President Fouad Chehab Because the experience proved that Fouad Chehab was a great
statesman, and a great patriotic man l shouldn’t have allowed
myself to disagree with him l had to support him in his
”mission” to protect Lebanon The fact that Raymond
Edde said that Johnny Abdo told him l told him no, you are
talking about Fouad Chehab you are the one who said
that three dangers threaten Lebanon Zionism, Communism and Chehabism He said yes, it was a political
declaration but now l am saying That the best president, the best
Maronite leader of all was Fouad Chehab One day in 1972, one year before the
late president Fouad Chehab passed away l was talking to him l asked him, why did you
disagree like this with Raymond? He answered, you know?
Sometimes l wonder why Because when the first Cabinet
was formed during my mandate lt had 4 ministers Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
and Raymond Edde for the Maronites Rachid Karame
and Hajj Hussein Oueini for the Sunnites They were 4 He told me, it was excellent
we began in an excellent way Raymond was working very well, he was
very precise and pursued all the affairs l admired him and told my people
that this guy was very important l told Raymond that President
Chehab said something about him And about him having a brilliant
future and being a very important man What happened?
He answered, l don’t know That was maybe
due to political reasons l told him, don’t you
think you exaggerated a bit? He answered, maybe He said, what can l do? That’s life Nobody can go back
in history, we cannot go back He has something
very unique, he had a feeling he had a kind of prediction
he had a very strange political foresight He had certainly a foresight Lebanon avoided three lsraelis
invasions between 1969 and 1972 lf his feeling or his deduction after a news he heard
on the radio led him to conclude That lsrael was going
to bombard Beirut airport His rejection of the Cairo agreement
which the Parliament ratified in 1969 Was his political way
of interpreting the events The man in opposition
was never alone during the mandate
of President Beshara el Khoury Or his adversity to Chehabism But his rejection to the Cairo
agreement consolidated his isolation This ominous agreement opened
the borders of Lebanon from North to South On international and regional conflicts ln which Lebanon
and all Lebanese were the powder

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