Between the US strikes on Syria in April and the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, we are in somewhat of a lull in the Empire’s search for a new war to start.
The always helpful Israelis, in the person of the ineffable Bibi Netanyahu, are now beating the drums for, well, if not a war, then at least some kind of false flag or pretext to make the US strike at Iran. And then there is the always bleeding Donbass (which I won’t address in today’s analysis). So let’s see where we stand and try to guesstimate where we might be heading.
To be honest, trying to guess what ignorant warmongering psychopaths might do next is by definition a futile exercise, but since there are some not negligible signs that there are at least a few rational people still left in the US White House and/or Pentagon (as shown by the mostly “pretend strikes” on Syria last month), we can assume (hope) that some residual degree of sanity is still present.
At the very least Americans in uniform have to ask themselves a very basic and yet fundamental question:
Do I want to die for Israel? Do I want to lose my job for Israel? How about my pension? Maybe just my stock options? Is it worth risking a major regional war for such a “wonderful” state?
A lot depends on whether the US military leaders (and people!) will have the courage to ask themselves this question and, if they do, what their reply will be.
But, first, let’s begin with the good news:
The DPRK and ROK are in direct talks with each other.
This is indeed a truly great development for at least two reasons. First, of course, the main and objective one: anything which lowers the risks of war on the Korean Peninsula is good. But there is a second reason which we should not discount: Trump can now take all the credit for this and claim that his (empty) threats are what brought the North Koreans to the negotiating table. I say – let him. In fact, I hope that they organize a parade for Trump somewhere in the US, with confetti and millions of flags. Like for an astronaut. Let him feel triumphant, vindicated and very, very manly. MAGA, you know?!
Yeah, that will be sickening to the thinking (not to mention counter-factual), but if a little bit of intellectual nausea is the price to pay for peace, I say let’s do it. If Trump, Bolton, Haley and the rest of them can feel that they “kicked ass” and that their “invincible military” is what brought “Rocket Man” to “give up his nukes” (he never said any such thing, but never mind that) then I sincerely wish them a joyful and highly ego-pleasing celebration. Anything to stop them from looking for another war to start, at least for a now.
Now the bad news.
The Israelis are at it again
Amazing, isn’t it? The Israelis have been whining about “imminent” Iranian nukes for years, and they are still at it. Not only that, but these guys have the nerve to say “Iran lied”. Seriously, even by the already unique Israeli standards, that is chutzpah elevated to a truly stratospheric level. If it were just Bibi Netanyahu, then this would be comical. But the problem is that Israel has now fully subjugated all the branches of the US government to its agents (the Neocons) and that they now run everything: from the two branches of the Uniparty to Congress, to the media and, now that Trump has abjectly caved in to all their demands, they also run the White House. They apparently also run the CIA, but there still might be some resistance to their lunacy in the Pentagon. The US is now quite literally run by a Zionist Occupation Government, no doubt about it whatsoever.
So what are these guys really up to? Listen to the one man who knows them best, and whose every single word you can take to the bank, Hezbollah General Secretary Nasrallah (ever wondered why Hezbollah, which has not committed anything even remotely looking like a terrorist attack since the 1980s is called the “A-Team of terrorists”? Just saying…):
The first event is the Israeli blatant and manifest aggression against the T-4 base or airport on the outskirts of Homs, that targeted Iranian forces from the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution of Iran who were present there, hitting them with a large number of missiles, causing 7 martyrs among its officers and soldiers and wounding others. This was a new, significant and important event. Maybe some people do not pay attention to its importance and magnitude. In this operation, Israel has deliberately killed (Iranian soldiers). This is an unprecedented event. In the past, Israel has struck us [Hezbollah] for example in Quneitra, and it turned out that coincidentally Guardians [of the Islamic Revolution] officers were with us. Israel declared hastily that they did not know it, and thought that all (targeted soldiers) were Hezbollah’s. This is an event that has no precedent since 7 years, it is unprecedented since 7 years, that Israel openly targets the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Syria, killing deliberately, in an operation that caused a number of martyrs and wounded (…) I want to tell the Israelis that they must know – I wrote that statement accurately and I read it to them – they must know that they have committed a historic mistake. This is not a simple blunder. They committed an act of great stupidity, and by this aggression, they entered in a direct confrontation with Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran. And Iran, O Zionists, is not a small country, it is not a weak country, and it is not a cowardly country. And you know it very well. As a comment on this incident, I stress that it constitutes a turning point in the situation of the region. What follows will be very different from what preceded it. This is an incident that cannot be considered lightly, contrary to what happens with many incidents here. It is a turning point, a historic turning point. And when the Israelis committed this stupid act, they had some assessment (of the situation), but I tell them that their evaluation is false. And even in the future, since you have opened a new path in the confrontation, (you should ensure) not to be wrong in your evaluations. In this new path you opened and initiated, don’t be wrong in your assessment, when you are face to face, and directly (in conflict) with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I can only agree with this evaluation. As does The Jerusalem Post, NBC News, and many others. Regardless of how crazy this notion might sound to rational people (see below), there are all the signs that the Israelis are now demanding that the US start a war against Iran, either by choice or more likely, to “stand by our Israeli allies and friends” after they attack Iran first.
Israel is truly a unique and amazing country: not only does it openly and brazenly completely ignore international law, not only is it the last overtly racist country on the planet, not only has it been perpetuating a slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians for decades, it also constantly uses its considerable propaganda resources to advocate for war. And in order to achieve these goals, it does not mind allying itself with a regime almost as despicable and evil as the Zionist one – I am talking about the Wahabi nutcases in the KSA. And all that under the high patronage of the United States. Some “Axis of Kindness” indeed!
What is their plan? Actually, it is fairly straightforward.
The Israeli plan “A” (failed)
Initially, the plan was to overthrow all the secular (Baathist) regimes in power and replace them by religious nutcases. That would not only weaken the countries infected by that spiritual rot, it would set them backwards for many decades, some of them would break up into smaller entities, Arabs and Muslims would kill each other in large numbers while the Israelis would proudly claim that they are a “western country” and the “only democracy in the Middle-East”. Even better, when the Daesh/ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc types commit atrocities on an industrial scale (and always on camera, professionally filmed, by the way), the slow-motion genocide of Palestinians would really be completely forgotten. If anything, Israel would declare itself threatened by “Islamic extremism” and, well, extend a couple of “security zones” beyond its borders (legal or otherwise), and do regular bombing runs “because Arabs only understand force” (which would get the Israelis a standing ovation from the “Christian” Zionist rednecks in the US who love the killing of any Aye-rabs and other “sand niggers”). At the end of all this, the Zionist wet dream: unleashing the Daesh forces against Hezbollah (which they fear and hate since the humiliating defeat the IDF suffered in 2006).
Now I will readily agree that this is a stupid plan. But contrary to the propaganda-induced myth, the Israelis are really not very bright. Pushy, arrogant, nasty, driven – yes. But smart? Not really. How could they not realize that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would result in Iran becoming the main player in Iraq? This is a testimony of how the Israelis always go for “quick-fix” short-term “solutions”, probably blinded by their arrogance and sense of racial superiority. Or how about their invasion of Lebanon in 2006? What in the world did they think they would achieve there? And now these folks are taking on not Hezbollah, but Iran. Hassan Nasrallah is absolutely correct, that is a truly stupid decision. But, of course, the Israelis now have a “plan B”:
The Israeli plan “B”
Step one, use your propaganda machine and infiltrated agents to re-start the myth about an Iranian military nuclear program. And never mind that the so-called “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” was agreed upon by all five of the UNSC Permanent Members, and Germany (P5+1) and even the European Union! And never mind that this plan places restrictions on Iran which no other country has ever had to ever face, especially considering that since 1970 Iran has been a member in good standing with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while Israel, of course, is not. But the Zionists and their Neocon groupies are, of course, quite exceptional people, so they are constrained by neither facts nor logic. If Trump says that the JCPOA is a terrible deal, then this is so. Hey, we are living in the “post-Skripal” and “post-Douma” era – if some Anglo (or Jewish) leaders say “highly likely” then it behooves everybody to show instant “solidarity” lest they are accused of “anti-Semitism” or “fringe conspiracy theories” (you know the drill). So step one is the re-ignition ex nihilo of the Iranian military nuclear program canard.
Step two is to declare that Israel is “existentially threatened” and therefore has the right to “defend itself”. But there is a problem here: the IDF simply does not have the military means to defeat the Iranians. They can strike them, hit a couple of targets, yes, but then when the Iranians (and Hezbollah) unleash a rain of missiles on Israel (and probably the KSA) the Israelis will not have the means to respond. They know that, but they also know that the Iranian counter-attack will give them the perfect pretext to scream “oy vey!! oy, gevalt!!” and let the dumb Americans fight the Iranians.
You might object that the US does not have a mutual defense treaty with Israel. You are wrong. It does, it is called AIPAC. Besides, last year the US established a permanent US military base in Israel, making it a “tripwire”: just claim that “the Ayatollahs” tried to attack the US base with “chemical weapons” and, bingo, you now have a pretext to use all your military forces in retaliation, including, by the way, your tactical nuclear forces to “disarm” the “genocidal Iranians who want to wipe Israel off the map” or some variation of this nonsense.
You might wonder what the point of all that would be if Iran does, as I say, not have any military nuclear program?
My answer would be simple: do you really think the Syrians have been using chemical weapons?!
Of course not!
All this nonsense about Saddam’s WMD, the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian chemical weapons or, for that matter, Gaddafi’s “Viagra armed raping soldiers”, and before that the “Racak massacre” in Kosovo or the various “Markale market” atrocities in Sarajevo for that matter: these were just pretexts for aggression, nothing more.
In Iran’s case, what the Israelis fear is not that they will be “wiped off the map” (that is a mistranslation of words originally spoken by Ayatollah Khomenei) by Iranian nukes; what really freaks them out is to have a large, successful Muslim regional power like Iran openly daring to denounce Israel as an illegitimate, racist state. The Iranians are also openly denouncing the US imperialism and they are even denouncing the Wahabi dictatorship of the House of Saud. That is Iran’s real “sin”: to dare defy openly the AngloZionist Empire and be so successful at it!
So what the Israelis really want to do is:
- inflict a maximum amount of economic damage upon Iran
- punish the Iranian population for daring to support the “wrong” leaders
- overthrow the Islamic Republic (do to it what they did to Serbia)
- make an example to dissuade any other country who dares to follow in Iran’s footsteps
- prove the omnipotence of the AngloZionist Empire’s
To reach this objective, there is no need to invade Iran: a sustained cruise missile and bombing campaign will do the job (again, like in Serbia). Finally, we just have to assume that the Zionists are evil, arrogant and crazy enough to use nuclear weapons on some Iranian facilities (which they will, of course, designate as “secret military nuclear research” installations).
The Israelis hope that by making the US hit Iran really hard, they will weaken the country enough to also weaken Hezbollah and the other allies of Iran in the region sufficiently and break the so-called “Shia crescent”.
In their own way, the Israelis are not wrong when they say that Iran is an existential threat to Israel. They are just lying about the nature of this threat and why it is dangerous for them.
IF the Islamic Republic is allowed to develop and prosper and IF the Islamic Republic refuses to be terrified by the IDF’s undisputed ability to massacre civilians and destroy public infrastructure, then the Islamic Republic will become an attractive alternative to the kind of repugnant Islam embodied by the House of Saud which, in turn, is the prime sponsor of all the collaborator regimes in the Middle-East from the Hariri types in Lebanon to the Palestinian Authority itself. The Israelis like their Arabs fat and corrupt to the bone, not principled and courageous. That is why Iran must, absolutely must, be hit: because Iran by its very existence threatens the linchpin upon which the survival of the Zionist entity depends: the total corruption of the Arab and Muslim leaders worldwide.
Risks with Israel’s plan “B”
Think of 2006. The Israelis had total air supremacy over Lebanon – the skies were simply uncontested. The Israelis also controlled the seas (at least until Hezbollah almost sank their Sa’ar 5-class corvette). The Israelis pounded Lebanon with everything they had, from bombs to artillery strikes, to missiles. They also engaged their very best forces, including their putatively ‘”invincible” “Golani Brigade”. And that for 33 days. And they achieved exactly *nothing*. They could not even control the town of Bint Jbeil right across the Israeli border. And now comes the best part: Hezbollah kept its most capable forces north of the Litany river so the small Hezbollah force (no more than 1000 man) was composed of local militias supported by a much smaller number of professional cadre. That a 30:1 advantage in manpower for the Israelis. But the “invincible Tsahal” got it’s collective butt kicked like few have ever been kicked in history. This is why, in the Arab world, this war is since known as the “Divine Victory”.
As for Hezbollah, it continued to rain down rockets on Israel and destroy indestructible Merkava tanks right up to the last day.
There are various reports discussing the reasons for the abject failure of the IDF (see here or here), but the simple reality is this: to win a war you need capable boots on the ground, especially against an adversary who has learned how to operate without air-cover or superior firepower. Should Israel manipulate the US into attacking Iran, the exact same thing will happen: CENTCOM will establish air superiority and have an overwhelming firepower advantage over the Iranians, but other than destroying a lot of infrastructure and murdering scores of civilians, this will achieve absolutely nothing. Furthermore, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is no Milosevic, he will not simply surrender in the hope that Uncle Sam will allow him to stay in power. The Iranians will fight, and fight, and continue to fight for weeks, and months and then possibly years. And, unlike the “Axis of Kindness” forces, the Iranians do have credible and capable “boots on the ground”, and not only in Iran, but also in Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. And they have the missiles to reach a very large number of US military facilities across the region. And they can also not only shut down the Strait of Hormuz (which the USN would eventually be able to re-open, but only at a cost of a huge military operation on the Iranian coast), they can also strike at Saudi Arabia proper and, of course, at Israel. In fact, the Iranians have both the manpower and know-how to declare “open season” on any and all US forces in the Middle-East, and there are plenty of them, mostly very poorly defended (that imperial sense of impunity “they would not dare”).
The Iran-Iraq war lasted for eight years (1980-1988). It cost the Iranians hundreds of thousands of lives (if not more). The Iraqis had the full support of the US, the Soviet Union, France and pretty much everybody else. As for the Iranian military, it had just suffered from a traumatic revolution. The official history (meaning Wikipedia) calls the outcome a “stalemate”. Considering the odds and the circumstances, I call it a magnificent Iranian victory and a total defeat for those who wanted to overthrow the Islamic Republic (something which decades of harsh sanctions also failed to achieve, by the way).
Is there any reason at all to believe that this time around, when Iran has had almost 40 years to prepare for a full-scale AngloZionist attack the Iranians will fight less fiercely or less competently? We could also look at the actual record of the US armed forces (see Paul Craig Roberts’ superb summary here) and ask: do you think that the US, lead by the likes of Trump, Bolton or Nikki Haley will have the staying power to fight the Iranians to exhaustion (since a land invasion of Iran is out of the question)? Or this: what will happen to the world economy if the entire Middle-East blows up into a major regional war?
Now comes the scary part: both the Israelis and the Neocons always, always, double-down. The notion of cutting their losses and stopping what is a self-evidently mistaken policy is simply beyond them. Their arrogance simply cannot survive even the appearance of having made a mistake (remember how both Dubya and Olmert declared that they had won against Hezbollah in 2006?). As soon as Trump and Netanyahu realize that they did something really fantastically stupid and as soon as they run out of their usual options (missile and airstrikes first, then terrorizing the civilian population) they will have a stark and simple choice: admit defeat or use nukes.
Which one do you think they will choose?
Here is the paradox: in purely military terms, using nukes on Iran will serve no pragmatic purpose. Nuclear weapons can be used in one of two ways: against military assets (“counterforce”) or against civilians (“countervalue”). The point is that by the time the Neocons and their Israeli patrons come to the point of considering using tactical nuclear forces against the Iranians, there won’t be a good target to hit. Iranian forces will be dispersed and mostly in contact with allied (or even US forces) and nuking an Iranian battalion or even a division won’t fundamentally alter the military equation. As for nuking Iranian cities just out of savagery, this will only serve one purpose: to truly get Israel wiped off the map of the Middle-East. I would not put it past the Neocons and their Israeli bosses to try to use a tactical nuclear weapon to destroy some Iranian civilian nuclear facility or some underground bunker with the very mistaken hope that such a show of force and determination will force the Iranians to submit to the AngloZionist Empire. In reality, this will only infuriate the Iranians and strengthen their resolve.
As for the currently “macronesque” Europeans, they will, of course, first show “solidarity” on the basis of “highly likely”, especially Poland, the Ukies and the Baltic statelets, but if nuclear weapons start going off in the Middle-East, then the European public opinion will explode, especially in Mediterranean countries, and this might just trigger yet another major crisis. Israel wouldn’t give a damn (or, as always, blame it all on some totally mysterious resurgence of anti-Semitism), but the US most definitely does not want the Anglo grip on the continent compromised by such events.
Maybe a Korean scenario?
Is there a chance that all the huffing and puffing will result in some kind of peaceful resolution as what seems to be in the works in Korea? Alas, probably not.
A few months ago it sure looked like the US might do something irreparably stupid in Korea (see here and here) but then something most unexpected happened: the South Koreans, fully realizing the insanity of Trump’s reckless threats, took the situation in their own hands and began making overtures to the North. Plus all the rest of the regional neighbors emphatically and clearly told Trump & Co. that the consequences of a US attack on the DPRK would be apocalyptic for the entire region. Alas, there are two fundamental differences between the Korean Peninsula and the Middle-East:
- On the Korean Peninsula, the local US ally (the ROK) does not want war. In the Middle-East it is the local US ally (Israel) which pushes the hardest for a war.
- In Far-East Asia all the regional neighbors were and are categorically opposed to war. In the Middle-East most regional neighbors are sold out to the Saudis who also want the US to attack Iran.
So while the risks and consequences of a conflagration are similar between the two regions, the local geopolitical dynamics are completely different?
What about Russia in all this?
Russia will never *choose* to go to war with the US. But Russia also understands that Iran’s security and safety is absolutely crucial to her own security, especially along her southern borders. Right now there is a fragile equilibrium of sorts between the (also very powerful) Zionist lobby in Russia and the national/patriotic elements. In truth, the recent Israeli attacks in Syria have given more power to the anti-Zionist elements in Russia, hence all the talk about (finally!) delivering the S-300s to Syria. Well, we will see if/when that happens. My best guesstimate is that it might already have happened and that this is simply kept quiet to restrain both the Americans and the Israelis who have no way of knowing what equipment the Russians have already delivered, where it is located or, for that matter, who (Russians or Syrians) actually operate it. This kind of ambiguity is useful to placate the pro-Zionist forces in Russia and to complicate AngloZionist planning. But maybe this is my wishful thinking, and maybe the Russians have not delivered the S-300s yet or, if they have, maybe these are the (not very useful) S-300P early models (as opposed to the S-300PMU-2 which would present a huge risk to the Israelis).
The relationship between Russia and Israel is a very complex one (see here and here), but if Iran is attacked I fully expect the Russians, especially the military, to back Iran and provide military assistance short of overtly engaging US/Israeli/NATO/CENTCOM forces. If the Russians are directly attacked in Syria (and in the context of a wider war, they very well might be), then Russia will counter-attack regardless of who the attacker is, the US or Israel or anybody else: the Zionist lobby in Russia does not have the power to impose a “Liberty-like event” on the Russian public opinion).
Conclusion: Accursed are the warmakers, for they shall be called the children of Satan
The Israelis can eat falafels, create “Israeli kufiyeh” and fancy themselves as “orientals”, but the reality is that the creation of the state of Israel is a curse on the entire Middle-East to which has only brought untold suffering, brutality, corruption and wars, wars and more wars. And they are still at it – doing all they can to trigger a large regional war in which many tens or even hundreds of innocent people will die. The people of the US have now allowed a dangerous cabal of psychopathic Neocons to fully take control of their country and now those, who Papa Bush used to call the “crazies in the basement” have their finger on the nuclear button. So now it all boils down to the questions I opened this article with:
Dear US Americans – do you want to die for Israel? Do you want to lose your job for Israel? How about your pension? Maybe just your stock options? Because make no mistake, the US Empire will not survive a full-scale war against Iran. Why? Because all Iran needs to do to “win” is not to lose, i.e. to survive. Even bombed out and scorched by conventional or nuclear strikes, if Iran comes out of this war still as an Islamic Republic (and that is not something bombs or missiles will change) then Iran will have won. In contrast, for the Empire, the failure to bring Iran to its knees will mean the end of its status as the world Hegemon defeated not by a nuclear superpower, but by a regional conventional power. After that, it will just be a matter of time before the inevitable domino effect breaks up the entire Empire (check out Richard Greer’s excellent book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” for a very plausible account on how that could happen)
Okay, unlike Russia, Iran cannot nuke the US or, for that matter, even reach it with conventional weapons (I don’t even think that the Iranians will successfully attack a US carrier as some pro-Iranian analysts say). But the political and economic consequences of a full-scale war in the Middle-East will be felt throughout the United States: right now the only thing “backing” the US dollar, so to speak, are USN aircraft carriers and their ability to blow to smithereens any country daring to disobey Uncle Sam. The fact that these carriers are (and, truly, have been for a long while) useless against the USSR and Russia is bad enough, but if it becomes known urbi et orbi that they are also useless against a conventional regional power like Iran, then that’s it, show over. The dollar will turn into monopoly money in a very short span of time.
Wars often have “Nietzschean consequences”: countries which wars don’t destroy often come out even stronger than before they were attacked, even if it is at a horrendous price. Both the Israelis and the Neocons are too dialectically illiterate to realize that by their actions they are just creating increasingly more powerful enemies. The old Anglo guard which ran the US since its foundation was probably wiser, possibly because it was better educated and more aware of the painful lessons learned by the British (and other) Empire(s).
Frankly, I hope that the ruling 1%ers running the US today (well, they are really much less than 1%, but never mind that) will care about their wealth and money more than they care about appeasing the Neocons and that the bad old Anglo imperialists who built this country will have enough greed in themselves to tell the Neocons and their Israeli patrons to get lost. But with the Neocons controlling both wings of the Uniparty and the media, I am not very hopeful.
Still, there is a chance that, like in Korea, somebody somewhere will say or do the right thing, and that awed by the potential magnitude of what they are about to trigger, enough people in the US military will follow the example of Admiral William Fallon and CENTCOM commander at the time who told the President “an attack on Iran will not happen on my watch”. I believe for his principled courage, the words of Christ “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt 5:9) can be applied to Admiral Fallon and I hope that his example will inspire others.
Israel’s Murderous Strikes on Syria, Via ‘Pacified’ Lebanon
By Andre Vltchek
May 07, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – On April 9, 2018 at least 14 people were killed during the murderous strike by the Israeli air force on the Syrian T-4 airfield at Homs.
Israeli F-15 fighter jets flew over Lebanese airspace, as they have done on many previous occasions, in total disregard of international law.
Both Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, and the latest action could easily be considered as yet another shameless provocation. Apparently, whatever terror Western allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel decide to spread throughout the region, their actions will always go unpunished.
To add insult to injury, instead of condemning Israel, the Western mass media outlets began their predictable and embarrassing servile howling against the government in Damascus, some ‘correspondents’ even calling President al-Assad an “animal” (The Sun, 9th April, 2018).
This time, Lebanon, which in the past suffered from several brutal Israeli invasions, and where Israel is commonly referred to as ‘Palestine’, decided not to protest too loudly against the violation of its airspace. There were some statements made by individual Lebanese politicians, as well as a statement by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which objected to the attack against Syria, claiming that Lebanon will file a complaint to the UNSC. Most of the statements, however, appeared only in the Arabic language. There was definitely no robust national response, as one would have expected.
Ms. Zeinab Al-Saffar, an Iraqi educator and television anchor based in Beirut, Lebanon, shared her thoughts on the subject:
“It is not the first time that this is happening. Israeli forces have been violating the airspace of Lebanon, as well as the land and sea belonging to Lebanon. Violation of the territory of Lebanon [by Israel] became something ‘regular’. What happened recently is a flagrant intrusion which should not go unanswered, as they were using Lebanese air space in order to attack the Syrian land. I believe this is the right time for the U.N. to do something more than just to make the reports and write numbers. This is an extremely serious situation; to use the territory of a neighboring country in order to attack a third nation; it is a barefaced crime.”
Why do Lebanon’s protests not resonate louder?
There are several reasons. One: the country recently ‘secured’ an enormous package of mostly loans from the West, at a ‘Paris conference’, amounting to more than 11 billion dollars.
Two: A great percentage of the ‘elites’ of Lebanon is accustomed to taking orders from the West. The West is where their villas are, where their relatives live, and their permanent residency cards issued.
A much greater war may be nearing; both the U.S. and Europe are now attacking Syria directly. In this decisive time, the Lebanese rulers are opportunistically showing where their allegiances lie: not with the people of the devastated Middle East, but with Paris, London, Riyadh and Washington.
But back to the first point – to money. As reported by Reuters on April 6, 2018:
“The pledges include $10.2 billion in loans and $860 million in grants, France’s ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Foucher said on Twitter…
Donors in turn want to see Lebanon commit to long-stalled reforms. In a nod to those demands, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri pledged to reduce the deficit of the budget as a percentage of GDP by 5 percent in the coming five years.
Macron told Hariri in a news conference the aid aimed to give Lebanon a fresh start, adding that it put “an unprecedented responsibility” on authorities there to carry out reforms and preserve peace in the country.
“It is important to continue reforms in the coming months,” Macron said, adding: “We’ll be by your side.” …
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the conference: “… Lebanon needs major reforms of its economy, structural and sectoral.””
‘Structural reforms’ is a key term. This shameful package of loans which will further tie the hands of Lebanon could insure the complacency of the country: both economic and political obedience at the time when the West is ready to unleash a new wave of its military onslaught in the region.
There is hardly any transparency in Lebanon, and therefore almost no guarantee that the loans will be used to improve the standard of living of the suffering population. Corruption in Lebanon is endemic – it is institutionalized – to the point that it is often not even called ‘corruption’, anymore.
Social services are almost non-existent. Here, the contrasts are truly appalling. Ferraris and Lamborghinis, as well as outrageously expensive sailing boats, co-exist side-by-side with absolute misery and lack of social services, such as, at least periodically, garbage collection.
Hezbollah, a movement which is on the so-called terrorist list of many Western countries, is often the only reliable source of social services in the country.
The West will now demand more and more neo-liberal ‘reforms’. Almost nothing social will be build. Funds will disappear into the deep pockets of the shameless Lebanese ‘elites’ and ‘leaders’. It will be the poor, who will be expected to service the loans, as the rich in Lebanon hardly pay taxes.
In exchange for their booty, many Lebanese politicians will be further obliged to follow the Western line towards the region, including the neo-liberal and increasingly neo-colonialist policy of Washington and France (Lebanon’s former colonial master) towards Syria and the rest of the region.
And across the border line, the war is still raging. Washington and London fulfilled their shameful promises to perform ‘punitive actions’; to ‘chastise Syria’ for something that was clearly invented/manufactured just in order to justify an invasion, destabilization and in the end, the destruction, of this small but strong and proud nation.
A Syrian intellectual, who lives in both Beirut and Damascus, offered his analyses for this article. However, he requested not to be identified by his name, afraid of repercussions from both Lebanon and the West:
“The Israeli attack comes at a time when the Syrian army is winning its fight against terrorist groups in Damascus suburbs, and it could be read as an indirect answer to these wins. It is also a dangerous move since the T4 airbase is heavily involved in the fight against the remaining of ISIS in Syria. This attack is unacceptable aggression against a sovereign nation and it is a violation of international laws. It also shows that Israel is helping directly and indirectly various terrorists groups operating on the Syrian territory.”
However, the commentaries that are being spread by the Western mainstream press are increasingly defying all logic. They are progressively turning out to be racist, supremacist. Well, actually now they are what they have always been earlier, throughout the centuries of European and then North American colonialism.
Just read The Guardian article from April 9th, 2018- “Israel has launched countless strikes in Syria. What’s new is Russia’s response”:
“Israel has launched many previous strikes into Syria, mainly to protect its borders from a buildup of Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces and armaments on the Golan Heights. Israel, has not, as a rule, attacked al-Qaida or Islamic State positions in Syria.
On all previous occasions, Russia – which has controlled Syrian air space since it sent troops to defend the regime of Bashar al-Assad in 2015 – has turned a blind eye. There had been an understanding that Israeli interests in Syria would be preserved by Russia, primarily by limiting the presence of Iranian-backed troops in Syria’s south-west. The Israeli fear is that access to the Syrian side of the Golan Heights allows Hezbollah to launch attacks into Israel.”
At least The Guardian does not pretend that it believes in the Western fabrications that President Assad is poisoning his own people…
But the article is clearly trying to justify and find logic behind the Israeli terrorist attacks against the independent nation.
‘Poor Israel – it is worried about ‘Hezbollah forces and armaments on the Golan Heights.’
But the Golan Heights is by international law an inseparable part of Syria. I repeat: by all international norms! Including, the United Nations Security Council UN Resolution 497. Golan Heights had been attacked, occupied and forcefully (and it looks like indefinitely) annexed by Israel, during the so-called ‘Six-Day War’ in 1981.
I visited the Golan Heights. I worked there, for several days, clandestinely, some 5 days ago. What I encountered there was true horror: ancient villages were totally destroyed, most of the original population deported from their land, Israeli-paid spies and provocateurs approaching and scrutinizing random visitors. All around – scattered rich Israeli agricultural enterprises protected by barbed wire and tall concrete walls. It all felt like working in Angola or Namibia, during the South African apartheid, or perhaps even worse; divided communities, stolen land, electric wire, and omnipresent fear and oppression.
But it is Israel which now has the right to ‘worry’ and to murder people in the name of its ‘security’. That is precisely what the tone of the Western mainstream periodicals clearly suggests.
Israel had stolen more than a thousand kilometers square of the Syrian territory in 1981, and now it is mercilessly bombing its victim; from Lebanese territory, in order to assure its ‘safety and security’. It is doing so from the territory of Lebanon, a country which was invaded by the Israeli military, on several occasions.
And the West is cheering.
Of course, Israel is acting with total impunity, because it enjoys both the support and encouragement from its allies: The United States, the U.K. and Macron’s France.
Lebanon is panicking. Its’ ‘elites’ are trying to both survive, and not to anger the West.
Syrians have, it often appears, nerves of steel.
They worry but are determined not to give one single inch of their land to the invaders.
My friend in Damascus wrote to me, just a few hours before I submitted this report:
“People are worried and they constantly follow up the news. My brother asked us to go to Safita for one month, as it is safer there. I’m not sure if we do it, but we are closely monitoring the situation.”
My colleagues and comrades on the ground in Syria are angry, very angry. They can clearly see through the lies, which are being spread by the West.
Israel is repeatedly bombing heroic Syria.
On April 29, 2018, the Israeli attacks killed 26 Syrians and Iranians, just before Midnight, near Hama and Aleppo.
The U.S. and Europe are bombing and threatening to cause even more damage.
But this is 2018, not those dark years when the West could murder and rape without any consequences. If these attacks continue, there will be a counterpunch: fully justified, determined and powerful.
Then even the tiny Lebanon would have to decide where it stands.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.