War? In Lebanon, the next stage?

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War? In Lebanon, the next stage?

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Designates Hezbollah as Terrorists – Deploys Al-Nusrah Against them in LebanonBy nsnbc internationalGlobal Research, March 03, 2016nsnbc international 3 March 2016...

...So...is this the next move? To force Hizbollah back into Lebanon to defend their country`s Territory? To weaken the Alliance behind the Syrian Government`s effective military actions vs. NATO et al?


from Timothy Guzman Silent crow News....

Declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organization is the first step in launching a new war on Lebanon’s southern border. The idea is to defeat Hezbollah at all costs so that the U.S., Turkey and the GCC can weaken the Syrian government. That would allow enough time to rebuild ISIS and other terror groups to remove its President Bashar al-Assad but with Russia and Iran in the picture, that will not happen. What is inevitable is another war between Israel and Hezbollah.


from voltairenet.org/en   re the next war in Lebanon...

...Two options are now possible for Washington and Tel-Aviv – either a classical war, like in 2006, or else – more simple and more discrete – a civil war, like the war suffered by Lebanon between 1975 and 1990......

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A look at Lebanon’s ongoing historic uprising

The ongoing uprising in Lebanon, fuelled by political disillusionment and economic anxiety, is an extraordinary opportunity for progressive movements to change politics.​

For the last week, Lebanon has been witnessing an unprecedented uprising — both in scale and intensity — against the country’s ruling class. What started as a modest protest on Thursday, October 17, quickly turned into a massive demonstration. Over the next few days it grew to become arguably the largest protest movement in the country’s history. Estimations of the number of protesters across the country the following Sunday range from 1.2 to two million people, in a country of six million.

The magnitude of this movement stems primarily from its massive spontaneous grassroots involvement. The people not only filled the large squares of downtown Beirut, reclaiming it after it was transformed in the last 30 years into an exclusive gentrified space for the rich, but they also mobilized locally. At one point, protests were taking place simultaneously at up to 60 different locations, including most major cities and towns.

The power of these mobilizations has been simply overwhelming.

A general strike — although not comprehensive, as many employers are not allowing their employees to join — has disrupted the country’s economy and institutions since last Friday. However, it is not a strike led by unions, as one would expect. Instead, it is enforced by protesters blocking the major roads of the country, preventing most economic activities and giving workers an excuse to join the strike and demonstrations.

Unsurprisingly, the people’s demands are not set in stone; in the end it is a popular uprising where most participation is driven by the spontaneous initiative of citizens and residents, rather than by any organized effort. However, all protesters seem to agree on a few basic demands: the resignation of the current Council of Ministers, the formation of a government that is independent from the ruling parties to prevent an imminent economic collapse and early elections.

The political class has struggled to foil the uprising, but not for a lack of trying. First, political parties attempted to downplay the significance of uprising while supporting the demands. Then some parties attempted to co-opt the movement by encouraging their supporters to take part in the protests and influence rhetoric, especially outside Beirut, but lately also in the capital’s iconic Riad al-Solh square.

While authorities soon gave up on attempts to contain the uprising by means of police repression, it has deployed the army in an attempt to end the numerous roadblocks. Their reasoning is that even one million protesters in downtown Beirut do not disrupt governance and capital accumulation as much as the obstruction of the flow of goods and workers across the country.


The uprising started on Thursday afternoon with a call to protest by LiHaqqi — a progressive and horizontally-structured political movement that was born out of a grassroots parliamentary election campaign in 2018— and some individuals, after the country woke up to the news that the Council of Ministers passed a series of regressive taxes, most remarkably a strange 20-cent tax on every first WhatsApp call every day, which would amount to a maximum of six dollars per month.

The ministers could hardly have passed a more regressive tax, because the Lebanese, especially working-class people, rely on WhatsApp as an affordable means of communication as telecom services are very expensive and unreliable.

Two hours after the call, the protest had gathered just a few hundred participants, but when they blocked a main bridge in Beirut, the media became interested and news of the action quickly spread to all corners of the country. After marching through various neighborhoods of Beirut, the protest ended up coming back to the starting point in Riad al-Solh, now joined by many thousands more.

However, this is not an uprising against a WhatsApp-tax; this was nothing but the straw that broke the camel’s back. The tax merely served to expose the real face of the country’s political elite and its top-down class warfare. Moreover, the days before the protest had already displayed the elite’s profound incompetence in managing the country.

Four days before the uprising started, wildfires had ravaged in various areas of Lebanon, eventually destroying as much forest in two days as are normally lost to wildfires in an entire year. The Lebanese state rushed to ask the support of Cyprus, Jordan and Greece, who sent firefighting airplanes, as Lebanon’s own firefighting helicopters had been grounded for years because the authorities failed to allocate funds for their maintenance.

While people came together to create spontaneous solidarity initiatives and send support to volunteer firefighters, some politicians saw the moment fit to incite division. A member of the right-wing political party Free Patriotic Movement, the largest both in parliament and the cabinet and known for its sectarian rhetoric and scapegoating of migrants and refugees, popularized a conspiracy theory that fires targeted the Christian demographic in the Chouf area of Mount Lebanon.

The failing to deal with the wildfires combined with the passing of regressive taxes brought the frustration many people felt with the government to a boiling point. It reminded many of us that we lived in a country ruled by incapable elites who not only fail to manage the government, but who moreover actively seek to divide and impoverish the people.

It was a week which brought out the very worst in Lebanese politics, and the very best in its people....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..includes film footage

“People Have Reached the Limit”: Lebanon Joins Wave of Anti-Government Protests Across Middle East


RAMI KHOURI: Yes, I think to see these protests in their proper historical and human context, you have to see them as being the latest phase of popular street demonstrations, activism using the law, activism using elections, petitioning leaders, boycotting groups that are abusing you, doing all kinds of things that Arab men and women and groups, civil society groups, have done for the last about 45 years. You could really trace the beginning of this movement of citizen activism for a more decent life, for social justice, for equity, for opportunity, for accountability, for participation, for voice, for a decent life.

That’s all people are asking for. They’re not asking for power or wealth or revenge. They just want to live normal lives, which they haven’t been able to do in recent years, with about 66% of all Arabs now well documented by many surveys, both Arab and international—about 66%, about two out of every three Arabs is poor and vulnerable. And they are marginalized politically and they don’t have any rights and they often don’t even have any voice. If you speak out now in places like the United Arab Emirates or Egypt or other places, you are indicted or sent to jail or something.

So this is a long process that started 30, 40 years ago, never got anywhere because the autocratic authoritarian power structure was so strong and could beat back any kind of rebellion. But now people have reached the limit. And you see in Jordan and Lebanon and Iraq, Sudan, Algeria, other places, you see people just—they can’t put up with it anymore. They can’t feed their children in many cases. They don’t know what to do when they have four or five children and none of them have jobs, none of them are going to have any decent income.

So this is a process of public demonstrations representing people who have reached the limit of their endurance, and they are being treated by their own power structure—forget about Israel, forget about the U.S., forget about Russia, Iran, all these other people who are militarily and politically being involved in the Middle East and abusing people—just the internal disdain with which governments treat their own people, that’s the driving force.


Lebanon and the Threat of Renewed Strife


"Hariri's resignation places Lebanon on the mouth of a volcano. There are many forces at play, both local and foreign, that care nothing for the country's stability and security and whose sole aim is to target Hezbollah due to the challenge it poses to Israeli and American schemes in the Middle East..."


An example of the above...


Lebanon Arrests Canadian-Lebanese Dual Citizen Over Syping For Israel


"Lebanese intelligence forces have arrested a Lebanese Canadian dual national on charges of spying for Israel's Mossad spy agency through gathering intelligence about army forces. Lebanon's private LCBI television network reported that the man, identified as Tabet Tabet, was arrested by members of the General Security Directorate at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport..."

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri Resigns, But Protests and Demands For a New Government Continue


For more, we go to Beirut, Lebanon, where we’re joined by Lara Bitar, an independent journalist who is co-founder of the independent media workers collective Al-Murasila. We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Lara. I know there is a bit of a satellite delay. Can you explain to us the significance of the resignation of the prime minister demanded by the protests and what more the protesters are demanding?

LARA BITAR: Good morning, Amy. Good morning, Juan. As you indicated in your report, the people on the street who have been demonstrating since October 17th, they’ve declared a general strike that lasted about nine days. Schools and banks have been shut down for 11 days. So yesterday after the announcement of the resignation, people were celebrating, they were congratulating each other, while at the same time acknowledging that the struggle is still very long.

However, the general public is very uneasy with the situation right now because there is uncertainty in terms of the political and economic front. We are going through a severe economic crisis at the moment. Political parties such as the president’s party, the Free Patriotic Movement, and their supporters viewed this resignation as cowardly, as Prime Minister Hariri as relinquishing his duties and his responsibilities to the nation. But we just got word earlier that the current Lebanese president assigned Prime Minister Hariri to stay on as caretaker prime minister.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: What happens now, Lara? Will the president call new elections or will there be an attempt to form a parliamentary majority government without elections?

LARA BITAR: This is what civil society organizations on the street are calling for. They are calling for primarily the formation of a new, completely independent government that is not represented by any of the political parties that are currently in power, and specifically not the political parties that participated in the 15-year-old Lebanese Civil War. They are asking also for that independent government to have the ability to legislate laws, laws including one to guarantee the independence of the judiciary, another law to reform the electoral law and hold early elections to form a new independent government.

AMY GOODMAN: Lara, can you explain who the political elite is? The demand of the protesters that it’s not enough for just Hariri to step down; they want the ouster of the entire political elite. And you just said that he has been asked to stay on as a caretaker. So does that mean he is not leaving?

LARA BITAR: It seems like for the short term, at least, that he is going to be staying in power. I just got news of this right now, so I’m not sure what the reaction on the street is, but I assume people are not very happy with this decision. I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear the beginning of your question, but in terms of the ruling elite, these are different political parties. As they say, as demonstrators have been saying, these are people who in essence at the end of the Civil War in the early 1990s took off their military uniforms and replaced them with suits and ties, and they have been ruling this country since.

So when people talk about the complete overhaul and the complete and radical change of the political system, they’re talking about these people. They’re talking about the neoliberal economic policies that were implemented at the end of the Civil War that people are really suffering because of these policies. They want to change the entire system and they want every single political party or officials who have been complicit in the crimes that were committed during the war and postwar to be held accountable. And just let me also add—and this is why it’s incredibly important to have an—


The Neo Arab Sting, in Lebanon & Iraq


"(a) Popular protests in Lebanon and Iraq, aimed at corruption, elites and dysfunctional states. (b) US and Israeli based forces target the Resistance which saved Lebanon from Israel and Iraq from Daesh."


Why Lebanon and Iraq Are At the Brink of Further Strife


"While the devastation in both countries are about local economic and political issues there are foreign actors involved who want to use them to achieve their own goals..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Women Stand Defiantly At The Vanguard Of Lebanon's Protest Movement

In Beirut’s calls for revolution stand a distinct army that are protecting the mass protests from falling into violence: the women’s frontline.

Throughout the sprawling anti-government protests that have brought Lebanon to a halt, the country’s women have positioned themselves at the front line of protests. As they assert their role in the demonstrations, they are also redefining their role in Lebanon.

For over a week they have been forming human walls between protestors and security forces to ensure that the Lebanese revolution is peaceful. Now they face new resistance as police have deployed women officers to assist clearing the roadblock revolution and violent Hezbollah supporters have descended on the capital.

The women’s frontline began on the third day of the demonstrations, as a small group of women stood between riot police and protestors in front of one of Beirut’s principal government buildings.

After the first two nights of anti-government gatherings, in which tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, and water cannons were deployed against protestors, they did not want to see further clashes.


As word quickly spread of what they were doing, the women’s front line grew in strength.

Since that first Saturday, the women, often three or four rows deep, guard the space between the protesting masses and security forces.

Outside central Beirut, women have been a key factor in the success of acts of protest across the country. Throughout the past week protestors have been trying to close down roads, hoping to bring the country to a halt and maximise pressure on the government.

With the police trying to dismantle roadblocks and open the roads, the women’s front line yet again sprung to action.

At a normally busy intersection on the edge of Beirut’s Downtown, the Lebanese police deployed female officers on Saturday to remove the women protestors taking part in a sit-in. For a time police succeeded in reopening one lane of the highway but as more protestors joined, the police finally gave in.

The security forces’ new tactics stood little chance against the protestors’ determination to keep the roads closed. “We’re not going anywhere,” said Fay Abu Hassan, 30. “They can bring dog cops and we’re not going to get off the street.”

“It didn’t really matter if it was men or women trying to pull us off the street,” agreed her sister Fairuz. The 27-year-old actor believes the protestors hold a key advantage: “The police are with us, they’re with what we’re trying to say.”


Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Quick Formation of Lebanon Gov't: 'Resistance is Very Strong'


"...Regarding the current situation, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Lebanese people to push for avoiding vacuum. 'A new government must be formed as soon as possible,' His Eminence affirmed. 'This new government must listen to the demands of the people who went to protest in the streets.' He also called for dialogue and communication between all Lebanese components and the protest movement's representatives. 'We call for a real sovereign government whose decisions should be purely Lebanese. We must talk about the American role that prevents Lebanon from getting out of its current situation..."


'Stay the Hell Away From Us' (and vid)


"Lebanon does not need lessons from an admitted liar, thief and cheater..."


The Angry Arab: The Origins of Lebanon's Protests


"Rafiq Hariri, assassinated in 2005, is more responsible than any other person for the corrupt economic-political system fueling the demonstrations, writes As'ad AbuKhalil..."


"Lebanese protesters struggling to live the Ukrainian Dream - abject poverty and kleptocracy, neo-Nazi death squads and civil war, endless austerity budgets and a remittance economy that forces millions of citizens to work abroad as cheap, exploitable migrant labor..."


The same propaganda flik is currently being promoted by USAID backed protesters in Hong Kong. Another 'Arab Sting' anyone?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Statement by MENA Socialist Feminists and Allies on the Popular Uprisings in the Region

In all the ongoing struggles in the region,  the most progressive demands have been raised by women participants who oppose patriarchy and do not separate social justice from women’s emancipation.  In order for the 2019 uprisings to move forward,  the struggle for women’s emancipation and its inseparability from the struggle against capitalist exploitation and alienation needs to become much more explicit and act as a guiding light for the movement. What can socialist feminists in the region and around the world  do to help in this effort?

November 4, 2019

The current wave of popular protests in Iraq and Lebanon are a breath of fresh air and a beacon of hope for the region and the world.   What truly stands out in these protests and the uprisings which emerged earlier this year in Sudan and Algeria,  is the presence of women and the ways in which the mostly young protesters do not separate the struggle for social justice from opposing religious, ethnic and other types of sectarianism and religious fundamentalism.

The protesters’ demands for the overthrow of regimes and the challenge to all the ruling factions, regional and global powers,  reveal that the desire for a  radical transformation in life and labor is alive and well in the MENA region.   In Lebanon, women  have formed barriers on the frontlines to protect the rest of the protesters, and have called out sexist and homophobic slogans.  A woman kicking a firearm out of the hands of a man has become the icon of the Lebanese protests.  In Iraq,  women  who have been protesting sexual harassment and rape,  are active participants in the struggle.  In Sudan,  the symbol of the anti-military sit-in  which was violently crushed by the military last June,  was a woman.  Sudanese women protesters were actively promoting discussions about their self-emancipation.  In Algeria, the continuing mass protests involve a large number of young women who oppose the  subservient roles that were re-imposed on women revolutionaries  after the Algerian war of independence.

In all the ongoing struggles in the region,  the most progressive demands have been raised by women participants who oppose patriarchy and do not separate social justice from women’s emancipation.....


"This is a bad direction for Lebanon protests to take. They are being used by Lebanese Forces, PSP and Future, all US stooges who have become a part of the protests. They will steer it in a very ugly and violent direction to increase their political power. It's in the open now.



Brown shirts come in all colours and are being deployed globally by oligarchies. Fascists understand their history.

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Despite uncertain future, Lebanon’s uprising remains united against political elite

Holding a megaphone, a women chants to the crowds gathered at Martyrs’ Square in the middle of central Beirut, “We are the revolution of the people, you are the civil war!” The people, filling up the entire square and streets leading up to Lebanon’s parliament, repeat the words in unison. “You are the civil war,” they chant, “we are the revolution.”

It is an afternoon in early November, more than three weeks since the uprising against political corruption began in mid-October. Unlike previous protest movements in the small Mediterranean nation, demonstrations have spread to all parts of the country, including small towns and villages, and are targeting the entire Lebanese political elite.

“All of them, and we mean all of them!” the protesters chant, sparing no one.

Like each day, it is a diverse crowd that has gathered in the square. Parents have arrived with their children, young people with their friends. In their hands are posters with handwritten slogans or jokes, each smarter than the other.

“We are missing our lessons to teach you one,” one student’s poster says.

“We are not here to study history, we are here to write it,” says another.

More than ever before, youth have come to form an important part of the movement. University students have led sit-ins and strikes; school children have articulated the most clear-sighted demands and critiques. Just like the uprising as a whole, the students do not have a unified leader. Many have organized on their own, or through university student groups.


But Lebanon is different. There is no absolute ruler to be toppled, no dictatorship to be brought to an end. The country, at least on paper, has some features of a democracy — an elected government, even if many politicians are former warlords, a partly free media and a deeply rooted tradition of free speech.

What remains is a long list of failures, which is what brought people out into the streets. There is record-high inequality (Lebanon has one of the highest rates of billionaires in a population), terrible infrastructure (the electricity cuts out daily, and despite rich rainfalls, water is in constant shortage), the looming ecological crisis (manifest most blatantly in the garbage crisis of 2015, when trash was left in the streets for weeks) and an ongoing, yet-to-be-resolved economic emergency.

The blame for all of this, say the protesters, is on the political class, which has managed, successfully and uninterrupted, to stay in power since the days of the 1975-1990 civil war, ruling through extended networks of patronage.

The formula for ruling, since Lebanon’s foundation as a state, has been to distribute power along religious lines (the country has 18 recognized religious groups). But it has been a formula for division, not unity.

“The sects have been hijacked by the politicians, and people have become hostages to their sects. This sectarian system will never be able to function,” said Lamia Osseiran, a long-time civil activist.


But the path ahead is far from straight. Political divisions, kept in place by the sectarian system, run deep in the country, and are not easily overcome. In the face of a mostly absent state and non-existing welfare system, people are left with few options but to rely on the sectarian leaders.

Leaders from across the political spectrum have tried to play things to their own advantage. Parties like the Kataeb and Lebanese Forces went down to join the protests — to the outrage of activists, who do not want to their revolution to be hijacked. Supporters of opposing parties, Amal and Hezbollah, intimidated and confronted demonstrators, and destroyed the tents on Martyrs’ Square.

After two weeks of demonstrations, Prime Minister Saad Hariri came out with his resignation, leaving the country without a sitting government. But few saw this as a victory for the protesters.

“He was the low-hanging fruit who was likely to resign,” political analyst Rami Khouri said to Al-Jazeera.

It did not end the uprising either. Schools may have reopened — as have banks, amidst talks of collapse and bankruptcy — but sit-ins and demonstrations are organized daily. People take aim at symbolic institutions like the Central Bank and the state-owned electricity company, or hotels built on formerly public land.

Across the country, at 8 p.m. each night, people beat loudly, in unison, with spoons on pans from their kitchens. The message: We have nothing to put in our pots.


Few people can say where things are headed, whether there will be any real, significant change. Not everyone is optimistic. But one thing is clear, one transformation has already happened.

“We have never seen people united like this before. Not even before the war, nor at any time in our history,” Osseiran said. “I think no one expected it to happen so soon and in such a massive way.”.....


"Israel violated Lebanon's sovereignty to launch its criminal raid on Syria. All this talk about Iran from the corporate press and the US State Department, but it is the Israeli regime that is terrorizing our people - as it has done daily and nightly since its inception in 1948."



Lebanon's Oil & Gas: MES- EP 28 (and vid)


"The Lebanese-Israeli maritime border is in an area potentially rich in oil and gas..."

[Includes additionally, excellent discussion of Yemen]


The Angry Arab: US Role in Lebanon's Crisis Goes Unrecognized


"The bulk of Lebanon's corrupt ruling class are clients of the US and Saudi Arabia, not Iran. But this fact is inconvenient for Western media to point out, writes As'ad AbuKhalil...."


"A civilian, Mohammad Ali Mousa, was injured by an unexploded IDF cluster-grenade in South Lebanon in the village of Arab-Salim. He lost his left hand. In 2006 Israel used 1,000,000 cluster bombs over Lebanon, many of which were old stock and didn't explode, injuring and killing people till today."



WATCH: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the audacious, intrusive behavior and statements of the American Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea..."




Beirut Explosion


"At about 15:00 UTC today a large explosion happened at a quayside building in the port of Beirut Lebanon. A few minutes after the first explosion another very, very large one happened which also caused a huge shockwave. There are many casualties. What exploded is not yet known. This post will be updated when new information comes in..."


Weeks prior...

US Ambassador to Lebanon Insolently Threatens PM Diab: Report


"After her public statements in which she called for creating a technocratic government that excludes Hezbollah, the US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, insolently sent threats to the prime minister Hassan Diab in the context of the escalating pressures exerted by the United States on all the Lebanese...The daily added Shea intensified her pressure on PM Diab after she realized that Diab is seriously handling the economic cooperation with Iraq and China in the fields of oil and investments in order to cope with the US siege imposed on Lebanon. Al-Akhbar pointed out that PM Diab does not respond to Shea's messages and threats...."


"A severe economic collapse. On a brink of war with Israel. Political and sectarian tensions. Worsening Corona pandemic. And now this. Our entire port evaporated within seconds. Lebanon is highly dependent on imports to survive. I can't imagine what the country will be now."



New US Sanctions Aim to 'Starve' Syria, Lebanon: Hezbollah


"The Caesar Act aims to starve Lebanon just as it aims to starve Syria, Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech..."


Cui Bono?


"The Canadian ambassador is requesting that the mouthpiece of MbS remove the fake news being circulated."


It is apparently alleged that Canadian consular officials may have had prior-knowledge of the Beirut explosion, telling employees to stay away from the embassy.


Massive Blasts Leave Beirut Port in Ruins (and vid)



Update: Lebanon's health ministry says the death toll from the Beirut explosion rose to at least 78. Nearly 4,000 people were injured. About 2,780 tons of ammonium nitrate was being stored near the blast sight without safety measures, the PM said, calling it unacceptable."



Bloomberg: Beirut Explosion: Trump Says Generals Told Him Blast Was 'Bomb of Some Kind' (and vid)


"Trump said Tuesday that generals told him the explosions in Beirut, Lebanon were due to 'a bomb of some kind' and he referred to the incident as an 'attack.'


"While the head of the Beirut authority and customs is primarily responsible for this storage of a dangerous chemical, I never discount the possibility of Israeli sabotage: This is a state that sent booby-trapped cars, trucks and donkeys into Lebanon and detonated them in civilian neighborhoods...Just this week, Israeli leaders threatened destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure. No US media reported Israeli threats, naturally..."




It is unhelpful to make accusations at this point, and anyone I've heard from Lebanon is pleading not to do so. There is an ongoing investigation. Of course neighbouring countries (Israel, Syria) could be involved but utterly nothing is proven at this point. Please, no fake news.


Speaking of 'fake news':

BBC Breaking News...


"So much irresponsible journalism last night that also needs to be held to account."


Kenneth Roth, HRW: 'Is This Hezbollah's Way of Saying Don't Mess With Us For Killing Former Lebanese PM Hariri?'


"The chief exploitative merchant of human rights in the West offers a theory on behalf of Israel. Even Israel did not make that claim. This guy is more protective of Israeli propaganda than Israel itself. I am told he deleted the tweet."


"US didn't lift Iran sanctions during COVID-19, but rather intensified them and blocked Iran's recent request for aid from IMF. Now with the tragic Beirut blast, the US State Dept has offered 'all possible assistance.' If the US means business, it needs to lift Lebanon sanctions [Ceasar Act] in this sad situation.



IDF: Israel Has Offered Humanitarian & Medical Assistance


"After occupying our land for 22 years, bombing Lebanon for 33 days straight in 2006; repeatedly threatening to destroy our infrastructure; violating our sovereignty every single day, and murdering thousands of Lebanese civilians over the last few decades? We'll pass."


'Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes'


CBC, The Current: Aug 5, 2020 (radio)


"We talk to eyewitnesses of the enormous explosion in Beirut, which has killed dozens and injured thousands, and hear what can be done to help victims, as well as calls to bring about systemic change..."


One of the videos I saw on line showed smoke and a fire and burning in the port area and then it blew up. Looks very much like negligence not terrorism. This reminds me of the horrific reports I've read about the Halifax explosion.


Beirut Blast Wrap Up


"...Syria and Iran have immediately promised aid for Lebanon. An Iranian emergency hospital is currently on its way to Beirut and is expected to open later today. Syria dispatched medical teams and is receiving  patients from Beirut's overwhelmed hospitals. The explosions hit Beirut at a moment when the country is under US sanctions and while its currency is cratering with inflation reaching 90% per month after a ponzi scheme run by its Central Bank blew up. The whole country is disintegrating. Lebanon's LBCI-TV reported on August 5 that according to preliminary information, the fire that set off the explosion was started accidentally by welders. The head of Beirut port and head of customs both said on Wednesday that several letters were sent to the judiciary asking that the dangerous material be removed, but no action was taken...."


Former MK Celebrates Beirut Blast, Calls it 'Spectacular Pyrotechnics Show'


"Zehut Party chairman and former MK Moshe Feiglin published on Wednesday a Facebook post celebrating the massive explosion in the port of Beirut in Lebanon, which left at least a hundred dead and injured thousands...'In honour of [Tu B'Av - the Jewish holiday of love which took place on Tuesday/Wednesday] we got a 'spectacular pyrotechnics show' in the port of Beirut,' wrote the former firebrand politician. 'You really don't believe this was just a messy fuel depot, right?"



"By the way, the party that is most responsible, legally, for the disaster in Lebanon is by far the Lebanese Army intelligence (which works very closely with the US government). You will see least references to it in Western media. Army intelligence was in charge of security at the port."



Fisk: Beirut Has Suffered A Catastrophe That Will Live Long in the Memory - And the Repeated Betrayal of Its Citizens is a Tragedy


"Lebanon's people face a terrible mix of long-term economic ruin, a pandemic and now a devastating explosion. All presided over by a 'government' unworthy of the name..."


Rania Khalek & Richard Medhurst Discuss Lebanon's Economic Crisis, US Imperialism


Premiered July 31, 2020


George Galloway on the Beirut Blast (and vid)


"If the United States had any sense...It would now call off the war against Lebanon - it would flood Lebanon with humanitarian aid. But I'm not sure that the US has a heart, or even a head. The whole world must rise up and demand we save Lebanon..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I agree with Fisk and Galloway.

Maybe I wasn't paying attention in the past but I don't recall governments making all sorts of provisos for the emergency aid they provide for disasters. Is this relatively new (as in the last decade or two)? In the past, if there was an earthquake or tsunami or whatever other horrible calamity hit a country, did Canada always make a point of dissing the governments before directing their emergency aid? I found it wholly disrespectful and insulting that they made a political point of ensuring all aid went to the Red Cross (somewhat reasonable) and any other charitable organization that they trusted rather than directly to the government. Thank the planets that WE wasn't established in Lebanon with a school building or well making project or two.


If there are any Independent premium subscribers, I'd love a version without so many ads, which are terribly distracting.

شكرا, shoukran


Canada To Match Donations to Lebanon Relief


"...Donations made by Canadians before Aug 24 to the Humanitarian Coalition - a group of 12 established aid organizations working on the ground in Lebanon - or to one of the coalition's members will be matched by the federal government up to a maximum of $2 million. This matching fund is part of the $5 million in emergency aid pledged by Ottawa earlier this week after Tuesday's blast in Lebanon's capital. Another $1.5 million of aid has been earmarked for the Lebanese Red Cross. Earlier this week, International Development Minister Karina Gould told  reporters any direct aid to the government of Lebanon would only come with 'significant fiscal and political reforms' in light of widespread domestic and international concerns about poor governance in the country..."


Two Senior US Officials Heading to Beirut


"The monster that orchestrated invasions, massacres, terrorism and the destruction of Lebanon's economy now wants to arrive as an angel."


Lebanon Needs Assistance, Solidarity, Not Intervention


"...Macron has asked for a 'new political pact' among the Lebanese groups. 'I will talk to all political factions to ask them for a new pact. I am here today to propose a new political pact to them,' said the French president in central Beirut on Thursday."


Who Benefits From Beirut Explosion?


"Listen carefully to what Sayed Nasrallah said a year ago..."


"Little Bonaparte Macron whose own streets have been burning for over a year has landed in Beirut as a savior. Join George Galloway on the Mother of All Talkshows @4:30. 'Will Lebanon become the next Ukraine, Syria or Hong Kong?'


See Rania Khalek, explosion eyewitness and ME analyst, on the crisis in Lebanon @1:12:25.00, and more!


Lebanon's Government Resigns Amid Mounting Pressure


"Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab is expected to submit his resignation later today, capitulating to the demands of protesters in the wake of last week's deadly blast in Beirut. Speaking following the Cabinet's meeting, Health Minister Hamad Haisan conceded that 'the government has resigned..."



Statement By IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva...


"Finally, the IMF is spelling it out. In typical IMF fashion, it wants Lebanon to remove government subsidies that help the poor eat and survive..."


Pepe Escobar: Who Profits From the Beirut Blast?


"The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere. And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it...."


Traitors Use Lebanese Tragedy to Demand French Colonialism


"If you wanted to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure this is the spot. This is the prime target..."


Protests Erupt in Lebanon


"They're trying to provoke western involvement. 'We need an international investigation', is a cloak to bring in the Americans, more westerners to administer us..."


"The US State Department called for an end to corruption in Lebanon. In other news, the US government continues to threaten Lebanon if it sacks the number one architect of Lebanon's financial collapse, the Governor of the Central Bank, that it continues to shield from prosecution."



Those Who Are With Lebanon Will Not Condition Their Aid


"We stand ready to support Lebanon and all of its diverse people in their freedom, independence and sovereignty. The choice of what Lebanon should be, the form of government it should have and how it should conduct its affairs belongs solely to the Lebanese people. We pledge to help them defend that right against the evils of imperialism, Zionism, neocolonialism and their friends in the region who are trying to profit from this tragedy to advance their agenda and seeking to use this tragic event for their own ongoing plot against Lebanon and the region...Please send your group's endorsement of this statement."


Ramzy Baroud: The Politics of War: What is Israel's Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?

"On August 4, hours before a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, issued an ominous warning to Lebanon. 'We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this,' Neyanyahu said during an official tour of a military facility in central Israel.

Former Israeli Knesset member Moshe Feiglin, was among many jubilant Israelis who celebrated the near demise of the Arab city. Feiglin described the horrendous explosion as a 'day of joy', giving a 'huge thank-you to God.' 'If it was us,' meaning Israel being involved in the deadly explosion, 'then we should be proud of it, and with that we will create a balance of terror.' But what is Israel's plan anyway...?"


Nasrallah: 'If Israel is behind Beirut Blast, Our Response Will Be Devastating' (and vid)


Speech by Hezbollah Sec-Gen Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on Aug 14, 2020 on the occasion of the celebration of the 14th anniversary of the 2006 victory [over Israel].  "Today there is an equation that protects Lebanon, namely the deterrence equation against Israel. And Israel and its American masters know it very well, and they fear and dread it. This is the equation that protects Lebanon today..."


The Angry Arab: The Franco-American Designs on Lebanon


"Despite appearances to the contrary, Macron is implementing a phased version of the US plan with the consent of the US, which has failed so far to exclude and boycott Hizbullah, writes As'ad AbuKhalil..."


New documents show how the British government secretly created 'regime change' protests in Lebanon


"Three months ago we reported on documents obtained from 'Her Majesties Government' in Britain which revealed the intense involvement of the UK government in organizing, financing and propagandizing 'Syrian rebels' since the start of the war on Syria. These programs were conducted by the CIA's and the Gulf Aarab's army of the various Jihadis. New documents obtained from the British government reveal an intense British Strategic Communications' program that is directed against the government of Lebanon.."


Lebanese author and activist Luqman Slim, 59, was found dead on Thursday morning in the southern region of Zahrani. His killing was the first of a Lebanese Shiite anti-Hezbollah figure since 2004.

. . . .

This is a reminder of the risk journalists face in Lebanon, including those who have paid the ultimate price,” Mansour of the CPJ added, saying that, “I was reminded of the first documented murder an anti-Iran Shia journalist in 1992, Mustapha Jeha, and that also includes 3 other known cases in 2000 including prominent writers and intellectuals.”