The Explosion in Lebanon Has Been Delayed: Until When? – Global Research

the-explosion-in-lebanon-has-been-delayed:-until-when?-–-global-research

30-11-19 07:28:00,

Europe is concerned about the Lebanese political crisis and its potential spillover consequences in case of a civil confrontation. Even if the European states do not have differing strategic objectives in Lebanon from the US, a civil war will affect Europe directly, as refugees will be flocking from the neighbouring continent. 

Reaching an agreement over a new government to prevent further unrest is proving difficult. Sources in Beirut believe it may take several months to form a new government, as was the case in forming the last government. Some wonder if it might not be better to wait for the results of the US elections before forming a new government. Or perhaps a new government will only emerge after a major security event, like the assassination of the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri which triggered a political tsunami in the country. All indications on the ground point to the prospect of a civilian confrontation arising from the absence of a robust central government that can take in hand the security of the country. Can Lebanon avoid a civil confrontation?

The closure of the main roads and the “deliberate” incompetence and inaction of the security forces – due to US requests to tolerate the closure of main axes linking Lebanon with the capital – is no longer a surprising behaviour.

The main roads now closed have been carefully selected: closed are the roads linking the south of Lebanon to Beirut and linking Baalbek and the road to Damascus with the capital Beirut. These areas are mainly inhabited and used by Shia. The roads are being blocked mainly in certain sectarian areas controlled by Sunni supporters of the caretaker Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Druse ally Walid Joumblat. The closure of other roads in the Christian dominated Dbayeh by the pro-US Christian leader Samir Geagea, leader of the “Lebanese Forces”, and in Tripoli seem to be kind of diversions of attention from the main goal: challenging Hezbollah.

Sources in Beirut believe the objective is to exasperate the Shia who represent the society that protects Hezbollah. The goal is to force the organisation into the streets. Hezbollah is aware of this and is trying to avoid responding to provocations. The closure of these roads is an invitation to Hezbollah to take the situation in hand and direct its weapon against other Lebanese citizens,

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What lies behind the resignations in Lebanon

what-lies-behind-the-resignations-in-lebanon

15-11-19 08:52:00,

After the Lebanese revolt started in October 2019, the first roadblocks were put up by the Christian Lebanese Forces of Samir Geagea (photo) and the Phalange of the Gemayel family. [1]

The top officials of these two organizations had learned from King Abdullah II of Jordan that US President Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, submitted to Lebanese Prime Minister (Sunni Muslim), Saad Hariri, the idea of granting Lebanese nationality not only to Palestinian refugees in Syria but also to Palestinians in the West Bank. Naturalization is the pivotal element of the “Deal of the Century.” Announced by the White House over a year ago and repeatedly postponed, this plan would radically modify Lebanon’s demographics to the detriment of Christians and Shiites, stoking fears of the 1975-90 civil war.

Samir Geagea and officials of the Lebanese Forces were the first MPs to resign when the revolt broke out. They appealed to the entire political class to follow suit, in particular Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who then also resigned without, however, previously advising either his Christian allies of the Free Patriotic Movement (headed by President Michel Aoun) or his Shia Islamist allies of Hezbollah. [2]

Although US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently called for a return to calm in Lebanon, there are other US actors who are implicated in the ongoing unrest.

In a recent article written for the Brookings Institution in Doha, Jeffrey Feltman (former US ambassador to Beirut, then Assistant Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton, and finally UN Under Secretary-General) asserts that for an “American” (sic) the worst coalition that could occur would be between Hezbollah and the White House. [3] He deplored the suspension of US aid to the Lebanese army and hinted at a military coup in favor of General Joseph Aoun.

Agitators affiliated to the Doha branch of Canvas (trained by Gene Sharp to foment “color revolutions”) were spotted in the midst of the Lebanese demonstrations. [4]

1. 2.

3. 4. 5.

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Lebanon: The Israeli Parking Lot We Helped Make | New Eastern Outlook

lebanon:-the-israeli-parking-lot-we-helped-make-|-new-eastern-outlook

25-10-19 09:25:00,

IOWA

It was the morning of 9 January 1984. The command “Battle Stations” came over the 1MC of the USS New Jersey. As we took our stations I remembered the conversations aboard ship in the preceding days. I remember wondering about these “enemies” our officers and comrades seemed so anxious to eradicate. And then New Jersey’s main battery of 16-inch guns opened up, for the first time since Vietnam.

A Rumor of a War

Like all the other sailors, my heart had been struck by the news that 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers had perished in a terrorist attack on the barracks of the 1st Battalion of the 8th United States Marines at Beirut airport. We were all angry over the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. For us, the situation was surreal. In my rack on either the USS Iowa BB-61 or her sister ship USS New Jersey BB-62, I’d listen to 80s tunes from Bon Jovi or Prince, then take the duty in ship’s living hell of an engineering space, buried inside 60,000 tons of reinforced steel. Then there we were, in striking range of the evil the world has battled since forever. Or, so we were told.

“We’ll turn Lebanon into a parking lot,” I remember one Senior Chief from WEPS saying. “Yeah, by the time we’re done there won’t be nothing left but a crater,” a shipmate who was a boatswain’s mate chided. In the galley of the great ship, on deck, in our racks, on duty in the boiler rooms, the bravado and the fear of unknown battle echoed each day. Then our ship shuddered as the recoil of our 16-inch guns fired 1900 pound projectiles at Syrian anti-aircraft positions miles onshore.

That “enemy” was unknown, unseen, and as mysterious to us young sailors as any mythic combatants. For all we knew, great Hector, or the general Hannibal may have been on the other end of our guns. It was a strange time. We were proud to serve, and I was arguably the proudest of all. But something nagged at me, even without knowing the political situation.

All the Wrong Places

As it turned out,

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Lebanon, Iraq, Iran call out Israel’s ‘declaration of war’ after it bombs 3 COUNTRIES in one weekend

lebanon,-iraq,-iran-call-out-israel’s-‘declaration-of-war’-after-it-bombs-3-countries-in-one-weekend

27-08-19 07:09:00,

Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have declared recent Israeli aggression as an act of war after attacks on Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq over the weekend, promising devastating retaliation if the violence continues.

A pair of kamikaze drone attacks on Beirut’s southern suburbs on Sunday and a drone strike on Palestinian militia in the Bekaa Valley early on Monday morning were akin to “a declaration of war,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun told the United Nations Special Coordinator on Monday, adding that the aggression “allows us to resort to our right to defending our sovereignty.

Also on rt.com
Lebanese PM accuses Israel of ‘open attack’ on sovereignty after 2 drones crash in Beirut

The international community must reject Israel’s “blatant violation” of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, PM Saad al-Hariri implored ambassadors from the UN Security Council’s permanent members. “Any escalation could develop into a regional cycle of violence that nobody can predict the extent of.”

And any Israeli drones overflying Lebanon will be shot out of the sky, Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Tel Aviv. “Hezbollah will tolerate no more Israeli drones penetrating Lebanese airspace,” he declared on Sunday after an explosive-laden drone took out Hezbollah’s media center in Beirut.

Nor was Lebanon the only nation to draw the line at the eruption of Israeli aggression over the weekend. A powerful bloc in Iraq’s parliament has demanded US troops leave the country after a series of Israeli airstrikes targeting Iran-allied Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Units over the past week.

The Fatah Coalition holds the US “fully responsible” for the Israeli attacks, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” it said in a statement on Monday after yet another drone strike killed a PMU commander in the western town of al-Qaim. US troops, the coalition insists, are “no longer needed” in Iraq.

And in Syria, Israeli missiles attacked several targets outside Damascus over the weekend,

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Lebanon Decides to Confront Israel and the US in Shebaa, Kfarshouba and Syria – Global Research

lebanon-decides-to-confront-israel-and-the-us-in-shebaa-kfarshouba-and-syria-8211-global-research

29-03-19 02:01:00,

Lebanese Judge Ahmad Mezher has given orders that a survey be conducted of Lebanese occupied territories in the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba, Huneen, Ideise and Bleeda. These villages are bordering Hasbaiya, Rashaya al-Fukhar and Kiyam and have been under Israeli occupation since 1981, as Syria’s Golan Heights have been since 1967. This step coincides with the illegal “gift” of the Syrian Golan Heights offered by US President Donald Trump to his closest ally Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Although Trump’s move was verbally condemned by the international community, no other state or international body seems likely to openly oppose Trump’s move at the moment.

However, Lebanon has decided to confront this move on the ground, showing its readiness to defend its territory if US “gifts” were ever seen to include Lebanese occupied territories. The Lebanese presidency, the Parliament and the government agreed that it is the right of Lebanon to regain its occupied territory and that the equation “the army, the people, the resistance” is united under one umbrella. Thus, the possibility of confrontation between the Resistance – i.e. Hezbollah in this case – and Israel is now on the table.

The level of tension and chances of confrontation increased during Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s visit to Moscow. During meetings with his homologue Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Christian President Aoun rejected US pressure on his country. The US establishment, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his envoys to Lebanon, wants to prevent the over one and a half million Syrian refugees in Lebanon from returning home. President Aoun also rejected Trump’s gift to Netanyahu, stating clearly that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel,  and not the property of  the US to dispose of as it will.

It remains unclear whether the Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba and neighbouring villages are part of Trump’s gift to Israel. This is why Lebanese authorities have requested the judiciary authority officially survey the southern Lebanese territories occupied by Israel. If, in response to the survey, any attempt is made to assert that these areas are part of Israel, then the Lebanese triad (the army, the people and the resistance) will be bound to recover its occupied territory. The timing of the decision is important because it shows the readiness of the Lebanese government to raise the subject and to confront Israel in the wake of the US decision on the Golan Heights,

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How The US Is Pushing Lebanon Into The Arms Of Iran And Russia

how-the-us-is-pushing-lebanon-into-the-arms-of-iran-and-russia

19-03-19 09:06:00,

Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media

Lebanon is readying to receive US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week in his first ever visit at a time when the Lebanese economic-political map is being redrawn and while Lebanon is suffering its most serious economic downturn in recent history.

Reasons for the deterioration of the local economy include not only the corruption of Lebanon’s political leadership and lower level administration but also US sanctions imposed on Iran. The latest sanctions are the harshest ever imposed. They will also dramatically affect Lebanon so long as President Donald Trump is in power if Lebanon does not follow US policy and dictates.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, center, escorted by his bodyguards. 2012 AP file photo

If, as anticipated, Washington declares economic war on Lebanon, the sanctions will leave Lebanon few alternatives. They may force Lebanon to fall back on Iranian civilian industry to overcome US economic pressure, and to rely on the Russian military industry to equip Lebanese security forces.

This will be the result if Pompeo insists on threatening Lebanese officials, as his assistants have done on previous visits to the country. The consistent message from US officials has been: you’re either with us or against us.

Politically, Lebanon is divided between two currents, one pro-US (and Saudi Arabia) and another outside the US orbit. The economic situation may well increase internal division to the point that the local population reacts angrily in order to exclude the US and its allies from influence in Lebanon. 

Such a scenario may still be avoided if Saudi Arabia injects enough investment to reboot the agonizing local economy. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia fears that those who are not aligned with its policies and those of the US could benefit from its support.

To date, Riyadh has not fully understood the internal Lebanese dynamic and what it is possible or impossible to achieve in Lebanon. The kidnapping of the Prime Minister Saad Hariri was the most flagrant indication of Saudi ignorance of Lebanese politics. The Saudis’ lack of strategic vision in Lebanon will likely prevent any serious support to the failing economy and may lead the country into serious instability.

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Lebanon Is Asking Russia to Protect It From Israeli Incursions, Airstrikes — Israeli Outlet

lebanon-is-asking-russia-to-protect-it-from-israeli-incursions-airstrikes-8212-israeli-outlet

27-11-18 11:52:00,

Editor’s note: This report comes from DEBKA which is a publication from the Israeli militant right-wing. It is also an sometimes accused of being an outlet for the Israeli intelligence. As such some of its reports may not reflect reality, or even what DEBKA editors believe is, or may be, reality–but merely what information the Israeli uber-hawks want out there. Nonetheless, the theory presented is an interesting one, and not entirely unplausible. Russia has vowed to help defend Syrian airspace from Israeli air power, but Israeli jets can still missiles into Syria from Lebanon (and indeed from Israel itself). Thus extending the guarantee to Lebanon — albeit politically costly and entangling for Russia — would make basic military sense.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has asked Moscow to bring Lebanese air space under the protection of the Russian air defense system being deployed in Syria, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. President Vladimir Putin has not yet replied to the request which Aoun posted through back channels. But neither has he so far turned him down. For now, it is under discussion at the highest levels of the Russian defense ministry, which tend to recommend approval.

According to our sources, the framing of Beirut’s request went through several drafts with the help of President Aoun’s friend and ally, Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, until he approved it – meaning, until Tehran approved it. If Putin decides to grant the Lebanese request for Russian air defense cover, Israel would face a further Russian restraint on its air force’s operations in the eastern Mediterranean, over and above the powerful Russian air defense system which is in the last stages of deployment in Syria. This system is composed of S-300, S-400 and Pantsir-S1E air defense missiles, boosted by layers of medium- and short-range anti-air batteries and an advanced electronic warfare network. This sophisticated edifice was designed by Moscow to provide the ultimate answer to any aerial threats the US and Israeli warplanes were capable of posing from Syria’s skies.

Putin’s accession to the Lebanese request would provide Hizballah, Iran’s proxy, for the first time with an umbrella by a world power against a potential Israeli air attack.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s assurance to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Sunday,

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It’s Israel Vs Lebanon And Hezbollah In Escalating Dispute Over Mediterranean Gas Field

It’s Israel Vs Lebanon And Hezbollah In Escalating Dispute Over Mediterranean Gas Field

01-02-18 01:14:00,

Submitted by Leith Fadel via Al-Masdar News,

The eastern Mediterranean gas field that has been put up for tender by Lebanon and is expected to be developed by an international consortium of energy companies, belongs to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday. “They [Lebanon] are announcing a tender on the gas field, including Block 9, which is ours by any definition,” Lieberman said at a conference in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli minister said that the respectable companies participating in the tender were making a major mistake, as their involvement in the project contradicts current rules and practices, calling Lebanese actions in the eastern Mediterranean “very, very challenging and provocative conduct here.”

Image via Al Arabiya

Lieberman said further that, “Respectable firms” bidding on the tender “are, to my mind, making a grave error – because this is contrary to all of the rules and all protocol in cases like this.” His remarks were made before an international security conference at a Tel Aviv University national security conference.

In December, the Lebanese government approved provisions for the right to explore two energy blocks, namely Block 4 and Block 9, in Lebanon to the consortium of Russia’s Novatek natural gas producer with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni. Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks up for international bids.

Lebanon launched its first oil and gas production licensing auction in January 2017, opening five of ten of its Mediterranean blocks (above) up for international bids. Source: Lebanese Petroleum Administration 

Disputed area above. Israel announced this week that “Block 9 is ours by definition” in a disputed area which also includes Lebanon’s claims on Blocks 8 and 10. Map source: Tekmor Monitor

Lebanon, together with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, sits on the Levant Basin in the eastern Mediterranean, where new gas fields have been revealed in 2009. However, two Lebanese offshore blocks now lie within a triangle of maritime territory claimed by Israel.

Meanwhile, Lebanon is standing its ground against Israel after the latter recently indicated its interest in oil and gas exploration in Lebanese territorial waters.

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