|Dany Chamoun wearing a shirt with the Tiger's Militia logo.|
26 August 1934|
Deir el Qamar, Lebanon
|Died||21 October 1990
|Political party||National Liberal Party|
Dany Chamoun (Arabic: داني شمعون) (26 August 1934 – 21 October 1990) was a prominent Lebanese politician. A Maronite Christian, the younger son of former President Camille Chamoun and brother of Dory Chamoun, Dany Chamoun was also a politician in his own right, and was known for his opposition to the occupation of Lebanese territory by foreign forces, whether Syrian or Israeli.
Early life and education
Chamoun reported that he had not had any interest in politics before the Lebanon civil war. He became the National Liberal Party Secretary of Defense in January 1976, after the death of its predecessor Naim Berdkan. As Supreme Commander of the NLP's military wing, the Tigers, he also played a major role in the early years of the Lebanese Civil War.
By 1980, the Phalangist-dominated Lebanese Forces were under the command of Bachir Gemayel. Rivalry began to arise between Bashir and Dany. Dany's Tigers were eliminated as a military force in a massacre perpetrated on 7 July 1980 by the rival Phalangists. Chamoun's life was spared and he fled to the Sunni Muslim-dominated West Beirut. He then went to self-exile.
Chamoun was a supporter of the nationalist Christian cause at heart, however, and he soon returned to the cause to which he, like his father, had dedicated his life. He served as General Secretary of the National Liberal Party from 1983 to 1985, when he replaced his father as the party leader. In 1988, he became President of the revived Lebanese Front – a coalition of nationalist and mainly Christian parties and politicians that his father had helped to found. The same year, he announced his candidacy for the Presidency of Lebanon to succeed Amine Gemayel (Bashir's brother), but Syria (which by this time occupied some 70 percent of Lebanese territory) vetoed his candidacy.
Gemayel's term expired on 23 September 1988 without the election of a successor. Chamoun declared his strong support for Michel Aoun, who had been appointed by the outgoing president to lead an interim administration and went on to lead one of two rival governments that contended for power over the next two years. He strongly opposed the Taif Agreement, which not only gave a greater share of power to the Muslim community than they had enjoyed previously, but more seriously, in Chamoun's opinion, formalized what he saw as the master-servant relationship between Syria and Lebanon, and refused to recognize the new government of the President Elias Hrawi, who was elected under the Taif Agreement.
On 21 October 1990, Dany Chamoun, along with his German-born second wife Ingrid (45), and his two sons, Tarek (7) and Julian (5), were assassinated. After Aoun’s rout, and Geagea’s defect and loss of popularity, the Christian society was maimed. The only Maronite Leader left on the scene and capable of filling the gap was Dany Chamoun. Elie Hobeika was held in contempt, though feared, because of his political hairpin bends. However, he had canvassed for the position and actually dreaded Dany’s challenge, especially that Chamoun had preceded Hobeika in the arms of the Syrian Command in Zahleh in 1980 after being ousted by Bashir Gemayel, and his "Tigers" annihilated. Though Dany Chamoun had not lived up to the Syrian expectation, then, he had established his connections.
From his position, Hobeika sensed that the Syrian command was seriously thinking of giving Dany a portfolio in the new Cabinet. Hobeika could not let that happen. Too much was at stake. Dany had to be put out of his way, one way or another. That is the reason why when he asked Robert hatem to fix an appointment for him with Chamoun at his Baabda Residence, he insisted on knowing the exact number of guards protecting Dany. On the day of the meeting, he set out to count them himself and determine their exact positions in and around the building. Tamara, his 11 months old daughter, survived. The assassination occurred following the full invasion of Beirut by Syria.
- "Dany Chamoun". Wars of Lebanon. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Maha Sanzara (January 1991). "Murder of Dany Chamoun Marks End of an Era" (Background Brief). Washington Report. p. 91. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
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