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Other Hotels That Earned Battle Stripes

* Intercontinental, Managua, Nicaragua: Staff at the hotel, located next to National Guard headquarters, provided yeoman service during the dangers of the civil war in 1979--until ABC cameraman Bill Stewart was murdered by the guard.

The next day, hotel employees called journalists into the kitchen and apologized, saying they could stand the pressure no longer.

They were gone in the morning, and journalists puttered around the place, making their own breakfasts.

* Intercontinental, Tehran, Iran: The non-revolutionary staff at this hotel served journalists room-service whiskey with a wink long after zealots had shuttered the bars.

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The staff gave the impression that they found foreign correspondents a good deal more likable than the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The covert whiskey runs did not end until the fanatics went on an Elliot Ness-style binge, destroying $250,000 worth of liquor and fine wines with ax handles and shovels.

* Commodore Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon: Now a Syrian Army barracks, the hotel was such a famous journalist haunt during the Israeli invasion in 1982 that it was featured in Doonesbury cartoons.

The owner, Youssef Nazzal, had his own 12-man army to protect journalists, a stash of AK-47s behind the reception desk and the only three working telexes in the capital.

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When a guest’s bar bill reached stratospheric proportions, the hotel bookkeeper, upon request, would transfer the charges to the laundry ledger so accountants in the journalist’s home office would not be ruffled.


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