By Feroze Mithiborwala for VT
An attempted coup d’état is underway in Lebanon. Another orchestrated colour revolution being attempted, as rioters turn violent, take over government buildings, burn documents and properties. The target is regime change, or worse, an outright religio-sectarian Civil War, which for long has been a US-Israeli-Saudi plan to destroy Lebanon.
Interference by US and France in the immediate aftermath of the terror attack
Statements by US Ambassador Shea Dorothy and French President Macron are clear pointers to this nefarious design.
USA ambassador Shea Dorothy issued a statement supporting the rioters stating,
“The Lebanese people deserve leadership that listens to their demands for transparency and accountability.”
In fact, MK Moshe Feiglin, an extreme right-winger from Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Likud Party, could not hide his happiness at the tragedy that had befallen Beirut. Feiglin wrote that he was, “sending his thanks to G-d, and all the geniuses and heroes really (!) who organized for us this wonderful celebration in honour of the Day of Love.”
Feiglin surely seems to know the “geniuses and heroes who organised” this massive terror attack. Interesting indeed, should I say, “Elementary my dear Watson!”
President Macron of France, the old colonial power, immediately flew into Beirut on the 6th of August, 2 days after the terror attack on the 4th of August and went on to say, “If reforms are not carried out, Lebanon will continue to sink. What is also needed here is political change. This explosion should be the start of a new era.”
This is the same Macron facing massive popular protests in France from hundreds of thousands of discontented and angry farmers, workers, students, pensioners, who are protesting against Macrons’ Neo-liberal reforms and massive corruption. The Yellow Vest movement as it’s popularly called, faces great repression and violence from the French police. Thus the pretentious and arrogant Macron is hardly qualified to preach to other nations.
In fact, on a lighter note, the French are appealing to the Lebanese to keep Macron in Beirut, as he’s a disaster for France.
Which country, which government, which army, will permit an ambassador or a president of a foreign nation to make such provocative statements immediately in the aftermath of such a massive terror attack on their soil?
The entire Beirut port destroyed, more than a 150 dead and counting, more than 5000 injured, with an unprecedented 300,000 people who have lost their houses. The population of Beirut is around a million, while the entire population of Lebanon is around 4 million. It will take between an estimated $10 to $15 Billion to rebuild the port and the city. Beirut city itself has been declared a National Disaster.
An online petition has been floated on Avaaz, appealing to France to once again come and rule Lebanon under the French Colonial mandate for 10 years. This is truly pathetic, and the collaborators will soon be exposed.
These are all clear signals for the collaborator forces to carry out a coup, ensuring US, French, Israeli and Saudi support.
Protesters resort to violence and vandalism
Protesters have killed one policeman, even as many protesters have been injured in violent clashes with the police. A group of Retired Army officers too got into the act and took over the Foreign Ministry and announced that it was the HQ of the revolution and appealed to the protesters to takeover other government buildings. Three hours later they were vacated by a contingent of the Lebanese army.
The protesters are destroying, burning documents and files in key government ministries, namely Foreign Affairs, the Economic and the Environment Ministries.
These are clear attempts to destroy the evidence and thus pre-empt the time bound investigation being carried out by the Government looking into the Beirut blast.
On their part, both the Lebanese Government, President Michel Aoun, PM Hassan Diab and the Army have stated that the people have legitimate grievances and have the right to protest. But the protests must be peaceful and the vandalisation of property, of government buildings and documents will not be allowed. PM Diab has also called for elections to be held within a period of 2 months.
Target: The Lebanese National Resistance
The target of this terror attack, contrived destabilisation and chaos is undoubtedly Hezbollah and all the constituents of Lebanese National Resistance that have all made great sacrifices whilst valiantly resisting the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
They have defended Lebanon and successfully defeated Israel, when finally the Zionist military machine was forced to retreat in the year 2000, though yet they continue to occupy the Sheba farms.
This was followed by another Israeli invasion in 2006, where again the Lebanese National Resistance defeated Israel and ended their military domination of the region. Israeli terror via its military machine had finally been counter-balanced by the courage and resilience of the Resistance.
The Beirut Port Blast
In context of the Beirut blast, aspersions are being cast and anger mainly being directed against the Hezbollah for storing weapons at the port, a charge that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has denied and scoffed at.
Hezbollah is the primary target of the Israeli war machine, and thus Hezbollah takes great precautions in hiding and securing its weaponry from being targeted by Israel. Thus a public place like the port is clearly out of the question.
On his part, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has called for an open and transparent investigation into the Beirut blast.
Key Questions for the Investigation
The investigation will prove as to who were the real perpetrators and thus some of the key issues that they need to ascertain are the following:
▪Who controlled the port security?
▪Was there a Hezbollah weapons depot?
▪Who was responsible for the storage of the Ammonium Nitrate, since when was it present, why was it allowed to remain in the port?
▪Was the destruction caused by an advanced potent weapon fired by a foreign nation?
▪According to the Lebanese Army, there were 29 aerial incursions of Lebanese airspace by Israeli fighter-jets, over the 1st and 2nd of August just 48 hours prior to the blast on the 4th of August.
▪Radar images of unusual patrols and reconnaissance operations of four US Navy spy planes on the Lebanon-Syria are also part of the evidence. Was the US monitoring the operation leading to the massive attack on Beirut?
So who does control the access to the port?
According to Steven Sahounie, Damascus based journalist and political analyst, “Hassan Koraytem is the General Manager of the Port Authority of Beirut, and a member of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s ‘Future Party’, which controls access to the Port.”
Thus once again we have the Hariri factor, the pro-US-Saudi ally in control of the port, another key part of the mounting evidence of internal sabotage and an external attack.
On the issue of the Ammonium Nitrate, that does require further investigation, as it was clearly present in the port. Yet the “White Mushroom Cloud” that we all have witnessed, is evidence of another volatile material, a new weapon, a new advanced missile, that has been ominously plausibly unleashed in this terror attack.
Here Lebanese President General Michel Aoun has publicly stated that, “The cause has not been determined yet. There is a possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act.”
In fact US President Trump clearly stated that it was a “terrible attack”, and went on to say that “American generals told him that it was likely caused by a bomb.”
Trump’s public statement is remarkable indeed, as his Generals clearly told their President that it was an “attack”.
This later led to denials by Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who insisted it was an “accident”. Yet the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended the President and stated that, Trump only told reporters on Tuesday what military officials had told him. “The president shared with the American people what he was briefed on, with 100% certainty I can tell you that.”
Clearly an attack by an external force, namely Israel, with the full knowledge of the US, France and Saudi Arabia cannot be ruled out. In my estimation, they are the real perpetrators of this vile act of terror. They have a history of such bloody acts, as we all well know.
The Lebanese National Resistance
In this hour of great peril, we stand in solidarity with the Lebanese people and the Lebanese National Resistance and both are intertwined. This remarkable nation has survived despite all the plots to divide the society and engineer civil wars.
Lebanon has survived despite the economic sanctions imposed upon them by the US, France and Saudi Arabia. This has created a severe economic crisis, leading to hyper inflation and record unemployment rates, even as Lebanese oligarchs have swindled the banks, leaving Lebanon burdened with a gargantuan debt of around $90 Billion.
This is compounded with the fact that the war on Syria has led to a great degree of political, economic and social destabilisation within Lebanon.
Do note that effigies of President Michel Aoun and Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah are being selectively burnt by protesters. This is despite the well known fact that it was the US-Saudi backed Hariri clan, the Future Party and their allies, that control the key sectors of the economy and have gained enormously by their corrupt misrule of the country.
Thus if the current Michel Aoun government arrests certain powerful corrupt leaders and individuals, Lebanon will descend into civil war, protected as they are by foreign powers and private militias.
Lebanese Confessional Political System
According to noted Syrian-Palestinian analyst and Beirut based journalist Laith Marouf, it is in fact the French gift of the sectarian parliamentary system that has been the bane of Lebanon.
The entire political edifice is based on a “confessional system” whereby the political representatives are elected on the basis of their narrow religious and sectarian identities. This has ensured that Lebanon remains internally divided and weak. The political system itself is designed to prevent a larger Lebanese National identity from emerging, strait-jacketed as they are in a narrow religio-sectarian system.
This compounded with the fact that there is a disproportionate amount of foreign interference in domestic Lebanese affairs, due to which the government remains divided, weak and indecisive. This in fact provides the space for the unbridled looting and corruption by the ruling classes.
The Lebanese National Resistance
Despite all these seemingly insurmountable hurdles, Lebanese society has given birth to one of the most remarkable national resistance movements of our time, a resistance movement that has withstood and defeated the combined might of the US and Israel over nearly 4 decades. This in itself is a miracle.
Basically Lebanon is paying the price of standing with the axis of the Resistance in the region, namely Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen. These nations refuse to surrender their sovereignty and their independence to the might of the imperial, Zionist, collaborator nexus and are thus facing an outright war on military and economic fronts.
Despite all the odds, this nation with a population of only 4 million, continues to resolutely stand with the resistance. The overwhelming number of the Lebanese People remain committed to the liberation of Palestine and of the entire region – and it is due to this very reason that they are paying the ultimate price.
All these plots have failed, even as the Lebanese National Resistance has grown stronger and has gained legitimacy and respect across the world, much to the chagrin of the imperial-collaborator nexus.
We stand with Lebanon
This is also an appeal to the International solidarity movements against Imperialism and Zionism, the international Palestine solidarity movements, the Anti-War movements, to come out and expose this nefarious plot against the Lebanese National Resistance and the liberation movements across the region and the world; an appeal to come and stand with Lebanon and defend the Resistance that today is the vanguard and stands at the very frontlines and defends the world.
Feroze Mithiborwala is an expert on West Asian affairs. He is also the Founder-National General Secretary of the India Palestine Solidarity Forum. He was also the organiser of the First Asian Convoy to Gaza (2010) and the Global March to Jerusalem (2012).