Tuesday, September 27

Lê Đức Thọ

Lê Đức Thọ (October 14, 1911 – October 13, 1990) was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973.

The United States actively joined the Vietnam War during the early 1960s. Several rounds of Paris Peace Talks (some public, some secret) were held between 1969 and 1973. While Xuan Thuy led the official negotiating team representing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam at the talks in Paris, Thọ and U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger since February 1970 engaged in secret talks that eventually led to a cease-fire in the Paris Peace Accords of January 23, 1973. The basic history of the Accords included: release of POWs within 80 days; ceasefire to be monitored by the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICC); free and democratic elections to be held in South Vietnam; U.S. aid to South Vietnam would continue; DRV troops could remain in South Vietnam.

While January 23 is generally recognized as the enactment date of the Peace Accords, the talks continued out of necessity. Sporadic fighting continued in some regions. While U.S. ground forces were removed by March 29, bombing continued in North Vietnam. Due to continued allegations of ceasefire violations by all sides, Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ met in Paris in May and June 1973 for the purpose of getting the implementation of the peace agreement back on track. On June 13, 1973, the United States and the DRV signed a joint communique pledging mutual support for full implementation of the Paris Accords.

Lê Đức Thọ and Henry Kissinger were jointly awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords.When Henry Kissinger was announced to be awarded the Peace Prize two of the Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigned in protest. However, Thọ declined to accept the award and the prize money, stating:

"There was never a peace deal with the U.S. We won the war".

Thursday, September 15

François al-Hajj Commander of Maghaweer

General François al-Hajj was born in the southern Lebanese town of Rmaich. He was assassinated by a car bomb on December 12, 2007. The killing reverberated far beyond Lebanon. Condemnations poured in from the United States, Iran, Syria, France and Germany. Factions from across the Lebanese spectrum deplored the assassination, including Hezbollah, which called it a “great national loss.”

July 28, 1953 – December 12, 2007 (aged 54)

  • Place of birth: Rmaich – Qadaa of Bint Jbeil 
  • Place of death – Baabda
  • Resting place – Rmaich 
  • Allegiance – Lebanon 
  • Service/branch – Lebanese Armed Forces 
  • Years of service – 1972 - 2007 
  • Rank – Major General
  • Commands held 
Commando Regiment (1996 - 2002)
Third Intervention Regiment (1992 - 1996) 
  • Battles/wars 
Operation Nahr el-Bared
Operation Dinnieh
Liberation War
Israeli occupation in South Lebanon

He entered the military academy in 1972, graduating in 1975. He fought against the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon and was then transferred to head positions north of the Litani during the 1980s. In 1988-89 he fought against Syrian forces assaulting the “free zones” of West Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, he also battled the Lebanese Forces militia. In addition, General Hajj, led the Lebanese Army operation in Dinnieh during 2000. He gained recognition as a brilliant commander during the 15-week operation against Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared camp northern Lebanon during Summer 2007. He was a supporter of General Michel Aoun, a Catholic Maronite, that in 2006 allied with Hezbollah to push for a strategy of "war against corruption".

General Francois Hajj received the following honors and medals:

Medal of War
Order of the Wounded
Lebanese Order of Merit (3rd degree)
Order of National Unity
Order of the Dawn of the South
Lebanese Order of Merit (1st class)
National Cedar Medal
Medal of Loyalty
Cedar Medal of National Honor
Commended by the Army Commander over 24 times

Monday, September 12

Wine Label Design

Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. Francis Bacon