When I visited the United Nations headquarters in New York City, I bought a book named:" From Beirut to Jerusalem", written by Thomas L. Friedman, published by Anchor books, NY, 1989, 1990 & 1995.
This book give an image over the Middle East region since the Lebanese civil war till the mid 1990's.
With what's is happening now in Lebanon, I found in page 70 of the book this paragraph:"The biggest threat in my mind was from Syrians and the extreme pro-Syrian Palestinians groups. The Syrians did not take a joke well at all, and during a period in the late 1970's and early 1980's their agents in Beirut shot several Arabs & Western journalists, including Salim Al-Lawzi the editor of the popular Arabic weekly called EVENTS, who, in March 1980, was abducted in Beirut and found a short time later with a bullet in his head and his situations got so bad that many Lebanese were afraid to even mention the word "Syria" in public.
There was a joke that made the rounds during this period about a Lebanese man who ran up to a policeman and said:" Officer, Officer, s Swiss stole my Syrian watch"
The policeman gave him a quizzical look and said" What do you mean, a Swiss stole your Syrian watch? You mean a Syrian stole your Swiss watch."
The Lebanese man looked at the policeman and smiled. "You said it, Officer, not me."