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Palestine: Hamas Defeats Israel

THE SAKER • MAY 25, 2021

Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

The Israeli scorecard

To understand Israel’s goals in this war, we first need to place this latest war in its context, and that context is that Israel was comprehensively defeated in Syria. To substantiate this thesis, let’s remember the goals of the Zionists when they unleashed a major international war against Syria. These objectives, as listed in my July 2019 article “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel” were:

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone,” but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

As we all know, this is what actually happened:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)
  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

Seeing their defeat in Syria, the Zionists did what they always do: they used their propaganda machine to list an apparently never-ending victorious strikes on supposed “Iranian targets” in Syria. While a few civilian simpletons with zero military experience did buy into this nonsense, the truth about Israeli operations in Syria is simple: the Syrian air defenses have successfully prevented the Israelis from striking at important, sensitive, targets, and the Israelis have been forced to declare as major victories the destruction of empty barns as “destruction of important IRGC headquarters” thereby “proving” to a few naive folks in Zone A and to themselves (!) that the IDF is still as “invincible” as it “always was”. As for the Neocons, they doubled-up on that and declared that 1) Russian air defenses are useless 2) that Russia and Israel work hand in hand and 3) that the Israelis are still invincible. Yet if any of that was true, why has Israel failed to achieve a single one of its goals? And why are both the Russians and the Iranians still in Syria where the Russians just finished a 2nd runway at Khmeimim and they have just deployed a group of Tu-22M3 at that air base from where they can now threaten any ship sailing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In their otherwise “free time” they can drop tons of bombs and missiles on the remaining Takfiri forces in Syria.

As I have been saying for many years now, the truth is that the IDF is a poor fighting force. Why? First, they have the exact same problem as the USA (and the KSA, for that matter): they rely on expensive technology, but don’t have good combat-capable “boots on the ground”. That is now how modern wars are won (see here for a list of popular misconceptions about modern wars).

In its recent history, the entire gamut of Israeli “elite” forces (including the air force, the navy, the artillery and even the Golani Brigade) got its collective butt handed to them by about 1000 and only lightly armed regular Hezbollah fighters in 2006: keep in mind that the elite Hezbollah forces were deployed only north of the Litani river to protect Beirut against a possible land invasion by Israel. Instead of taking Beirut or “disarming Hezbollah” (that was an official goal!), the Israelis could not even control the small town of Bint Jbeil located right across the official Israeli border! So much for being “invincible”!

What the IDF is very experienced at is terrorising Palestinian civilians and executing what could be called a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people. The problem with Gaza now is the same that the failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 has revealed: just like the Lebanese in 2006, the Palestinians of 2021 are not afraid of the Zionists anymore. Furthermore, with a great deal of help from Iran and others, Hamas in Gaza is now much, much better armed than in the past. True, some of its missiles are decidedly low tech and not very effective (low accuracy, small warheads, simple trajectory, limited range), but Hamas also has shown some pretty decent UAVs too. Most importantly, from now on for Hamas it is only one way: up the “quality ladder” (just like the Houthis did in Yemen, starting with modest drones but eventually getting very capable ones).

The other major goal of the Israelis in this war was to prove to the world (and, even more importantly for the always narcissistic self-worshipping Israeli cowards, to themselves!) that their “Iron Dome” air defense network was the “super-dooper most bestest” in the world (no doubt, due to the famed “Jewish genius”!). It now appears that at best, the Israelis intercepted somewhere around 30-40% of the Hamas missiles. The way the Israeli hid this is by claiming that their fancy shmancy Iron Drone did not even try to engage missiles which were not deemed dangerous. But in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, that kind of silly nonsense can easily be debunked (including by showing the total chaos in the Israeli skies or, for that matter, the missile strikes on Israeli military objectives). While the full Iron Dome air defense system probably works marginally better than the quasi-useless US Patriot, the Israeli air defenses are clearly at least a generation behind the Russian ones, including the S-300s the Russians sold to Syria (again, in the age of of the ubiquitous smartphone, this is not hard to prove).

It is crucial to remember that Hamas’ missiles are much inferior to those of the Houthis and the Syrians, and even more inferior when compared to Hezbollah or Iranian drones and missiles! In other words, the “invincible” IDF can’t deal with even its weakest, least sophisticated enemies (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the grotesquely expensive Iron Done cannot protect the Zionists from any determined missile attacks by the Resistance coalition (Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia).

In their utter despair, the Zionist entity did what the AngloZionists always do when they fail to defeat a military force: they will turn their wrath on the civilian infrastructure and murder as many as they can. They will also strike highly symbolic targets such as the International Press Center in Gaza or a Red Crescent hospital (under the pretext that Hamas, which is the democratically elected local government) has offices there (this is clearly a F-you to those who condemn Israel for violating international law). To a normal human being, this sounds both obscene and ridiculous. But remember, the Israelis are first and foremost narcissists and they have no means of imagining how normal human beings think or feel. All these guys can feel is self-worship and hatred for all “others”.

We could say that in this war, the Palestinians defeated both military high tech and truly medieval type of genocidal hatred.

In other words, far from showing how “invincible” the Zionist entity is, this latest war against the Palestinians has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF cannot deal with any of its enemies.

Besides missiles and bombs, the Israelis love to use terror, as their ideology has convinced them of two things: the Arabs only understand force and we, the Israelis, are invincible. But this begs the question of why the Israelis did not dare to move into Gaza, not even symbolically. Yeah, I know, the official doxa of Zone A is that “Biden called Netanyahu and told him to stop”. As if “Biden” could give orders to the Israelis!

The truth is that even with a casualty rate of 10:1 in the IDF’s advantage and no armor or artillery, the Palestinians are much more willing to engage in street battles than the IDF. Would the IDF eventually win a ground battle against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Maybe, probably, the objective advantages in everything (except courage!) for the Israelis is so huge that no amount of skills and courage can forever negate the immense superiority in means of the Israelis.

However, as most people in the West tend to forget, wars are but means towards a political goal. If the IDF decided to basically flatten Gaza and kill many thousands of Palestinians at the cost of casualties probably in the hundereds, then this would be politically suicidal for the Zionist regime. This is why I offer this very basic conclusion:

During the latest Gaza war, deterrence did work. But only in the sense that the Palestinians successfully deterred the Israelis from launching a ground attack against Gaza.

There is another crucial political development which should also be noted: while both Iran and Hezbollah did give their full political support to Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the latter did not request any assistance. In other words, not only did the Palestinians defeat the Israelis, but they did so absolutely alone, with no help from the other Resistance members.

Again, those Zone A civilians who believe that Israel is scoring huge victories in Syria on a quasi daily basis won’t get it, which is par for the course. But you can be darn sure that at least most of the IDF top commanders know the true score and for them it is yet another huge disaster.

There is also a political factor to consider. While there have been coordination resistance actions by the Palestinians in Israel (proper, as defined by the UN), this is the first time when the Palestinians from Gaza, those from the Occupied Territories and those in “Israel” truly fought, if not side by side (yet!), then at least at the same time and in a common cause. This is a major political victory for Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a major problem for Fatah and the Zionists. Now let’s look at the rest of the Palestinian scorecard:

The Palestinian scorecard:

Let’s start by the obvious one: the Palestinians were not defeated. This victory can be further subdivided in the following:

  • The Palestinian leadership has mostly physically survived, it still exists as a local authority. Plenty of Palestinians were murdered, but that did not affect the operational capabilities of the Palestinian forces (any more than the IDF succeeded in affecting Iranian operational capabilities in Syria).
  • The Palestinian leadership has also survived politically. It was not blamed by the “Palestinian street” for starting the war, nor was it blamed for how it executed it. As for Fatah, it is now, by all accounts, lost somewhere in a political no man’s land which, admittedly, it richly deserves for its incompetence, corruption and subservience to Israel and the USA.
  • Militarily speaking, the Palestinian missile strikes were not nearly as effective as, say, Hezbollah (nevermind Iranian!) strikes would have been, but, hey, they made huge progress and we can all rest assured that the Palestinians of Gaza will, sooner or later, catch up with the Houthis and, further down the road, maybe even Hezbollah.
  • By many accounts, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have made major political inroads into the Palestinian political scene outside Gaza. Even in spite of a truly immense hasbara effort by the Israelis, the international public opinion was blaming Israel for the orgy of violence.

It is interesting to note here that the famous Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has written an article for Ha’aretz entitled “Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone – Except Israelis” which was further subtitled “’Hasbara’ is the Israeli euphemism for propaganda, and there are some things, said the late ambassador Yohanan Meroz, that are not ‘hasbarable.’ One of them is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” This is how Levy’s article began:

And propaganda shall cover for everything. We’ll say terrorism, we’ll shout anti-Semitism, we’ll scream delegitimation, we’ll cite the Holocaust; we’ll say Jewish state, gay-friendly, drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, aid to Nepal, Nobel Prizes for Jews, look what’s happening in Syria, the only democracy, the greatest army. We’ll say the Palestinians are making unilateral moves, we’ll propose negotiations on the “settlement bloc borders,” we’ll demand recognition of a Jewish state and we’ll complain that “there’s no one to talk to.” We’ll wail that the whole world is against us and wants to destroy us, no less.

Now comes the best part: Levy wrote this on Jun. 4, 2015 and updated it on Apr. 10, 2018 – years before the current disaster! Since then, things have only gone south for the IDF and the Israelis in general. Just the blowback from the war in Syria is, for the IDF, a true disaster.

Of course, “Israel” is still worshipped and faithfully served by many ruling classes worldwide (that is one of the functions of the Empire, to enforce this), but that officially lauded Israel is viewed with disgust and revulsion on most of the planet. Hence the inevitable failure of the truly galactic PR effort to brainwash the regular people into believing that Israeli is a polyyanish country, a “place without people for a people without country”, etc. etc. etc. This “Ziolatry”, if you wish, was effective when the PLO was blowing up Jewish grade schools in Western Europe, but today it has lost almost all of its traction, especially amongst thinking people.

The sad and disgusting reality about the Zionist entity is truly coming out, seeping under the propaganda walls of the Empire, and slowly but inevitably resulting in a common reaction of outrage and utter disgust for what is nothing else but the last officially racist country on the planet, the only country with an open air concentration camp it surrounds on all sides, the only country which truly, openly and sincerely does not give a damn about international law or about the lives of non-Jews (while calling their own lives sacred, of course!). This is a state which constantly repeats the mantra about the supposedly “sacred” blood of Jews while, at the same time, committing a slow motion (but very real) genocide of the Palestinian people while using non-stop terrorist attacks against any country daring to defy the order of the latest, and hopefully last, wannabe “superior race” in human history. This is also why the “crime of crimes” for politically correct and successfully brainwashed people is to declare that Israel has no right to exist. This is such a major crimethink that I want to conclude by committing it right now and asking others to join me in this “crimethink”!

Israel has no right to exist whatsoever first and foremost because it is an artificial creation of West European imperialist powers. Second, it is a country which has always engaged in atrocities and massive violations of international laws and norms. Instead, Israel is based on a racist ideology which is, for all practical purpose, indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi ideology (both National Socialism and Zionism have the same roots in both time, space and culture, both being products of European secularism and nationalism). For these reasons, Israel, and the Zionist ideology which supports it, are both a clear and present danger for international peace and stability (for details on Zionism as an ideology and its toxicity, please see here). Furthermore, the only possible way for the Palestinian people to ever recover their land and their rights under international law is that the Zionist “regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” (to quote the often mistranslated sentence by Ayatollah Komenei). By the way, this awareness also presupposes a clear understanding that the so-called “Two State Solution” (2SS) is an impossibility. Yes, I know, the 2SS is currently the only one under international law, but that is hardly surprising since the state of Israel was created with not only many of the trappings of “being an internationally recognized state” but also with the shameful complicity of the country which won WWII. There is one thing which Israel has in common with the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”: they will be the very first to be liberated as soon as the AngloZionist Empire finally crashes visibly (of course, it has already crashed, hence the many disastrous outcomes for the USA and Israel on the international scene, but that is still denied officially in Zone A and, of course, by the AngloZionist propaganda and those who pay attention to it.

In truth, there is only one true “solution” to this war: the so-called “One State Solution”, meaning that those who live in this land will get to choose their leaders and lifestyles according to the old “one person, one vote” principle. All other “solutions” simply perpetuate the current genocide!

As for those Jews who still want an ethnically pure state of Israel, they can either grow up and get real, or they can choose to colonize some other planet. As long as they don’t persecute local lifeforms, that might work. But if they do this will all happen again, over and over.

Conclusion: “Gaza” and the future of the Zionist entity

I want to end here with what I believe is a glance at the future (or lack thereof!) of Israel. The website Islamic World News Analysis Group (which I highly recommend!) recently posted what it claims to be a video of a new Iranian combat drone named “Gaza” described as so: “The Gaza drone, capable of carrying 13 bombs and 500 kilograms of equipment, as well as 35 hours of flight up to a radius of 2,000 kilometers, is capable of carrying out a variety of combat and intelligence operations. According to the published images, it seems that the Gaza drone uses the Rotary Bomb Launcher mechanism under its fuselage, which can carry up to 5 bombs. This is the first Iranian drone to use this mechanism. 8 bombs are also installed under the wings and in total this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs”. Here is the footage of this new drone. Take a look for yourself and imagine what the next round of this campaign to liberate Palestine might look like.

May 26, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Countering the American Way of War – Proof of Concept

By Patrick Armstrong | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 23, 2021

The American Way of War is founded on three assumptions. Ever since 1945 the USA has assumed that it would have air superiority: it knew that it would have to fight for it against the Soviets but assumed that it would be able to gain it, at least in the areas where needed (local air superiority). In Korea there was some resistance but the USAF was able to bomb pretty freely. Wikipedia informs us that it dropped more bombs on Korea than it did in the entire Pacific Theatre and about half as many as it did in the European Theatre in 1941-1945. North Korea was obliterated: “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another, and some in South Korea, too.” Which, of course, is the principal reason why North Korea has nuclear weapons today.

Bombing became the American Way of War par excellence with ever greater tonnages dropped: Cambodia received about the same amount as Korea, Laos about three times as much, Vietnam about six times as much. And the bombing continues today throughout Washington’s forever wars. Officially it is precise, surgical, carefully selected: “The targets I’m assigned to destroy have been vetted through the most professional members of our armed services, and (I know) that others are taking their jobs as seriously as I am“. But U.S. Precision Bombing is a “Persistent Myth” and the reality is quite different:

Since World War II, the U.S. Air Force has loosened its definition of “accuracy” from 25 feet to 10 meters (39 feet), but that is still less than the blast radius of even its smallest 500 lb. bombs. [Here’s one.] So the impression that these weapons can be used to surgically “zap” a single house or small building in an urban area without inflicting casualties and deaths throughout the surrounding area is certainly contrived.

In the end, there is no difference from random carpet bombing: “precision strike” after “precision strike” after “precision strike” – even assuming the intelligence that guides the “precision” is accurate, which it isn’t – leaves nothing but rubble:

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It’s been a painfully apt term since Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful — rubblize and rubblization.

Here are pictures from Raqqa in SyriaAmnesty International calculates that 30,000 artillery rounds were fired and the New Yorker estimates 10,000 bombs dropped; given an assumed population of 300,000 that’s one for every seven or eight people; “precision” or not, what would your neighbourhood look like after that?

Doing war from the air is pretty cost-free especially if your targets have weak air defence. The 1998 NATO operation in Kosovo had two accidental NATO deaths and two aircraft shot down. The 2011 NATO operation in Libya cost one soldier and two aircraft from accidents and one helicopter captured. It’s engagingly technical and allows much talk of precision. To say nothing of the opportunity to smugly accuse others of just tossing bombs around: “Putin’s modern Air Force choosing devastating dumb bombs over precision strikes“. (In this puff piece the authors do not understand that the Russians actually have figured out a cheap way to make “dumb” bombs “precise”. The process is explained here. Also note the familiar American boast “We’re able to do very precise weaponeering in order to strike and then also minimize civilian casualty”.)

The second assumption of the American Way of War is a prerequisite of the first – assured communications. The American way of precision bombing requires that the bomb or missile “talk” continually to its guide, whether that be a laser designator, a signal to the target and back or GPS satellites. This “talking” must be free, unrestricted and continuous – if it is stopped, the “smart” missile or bomb immediately becomes “stupid”. (Another advantage of the Russian way, incidentally, is that the “talking” is unnecessary once the bomb is dropped.)

U.S. warfighting doctrine depends on air power operating and communicating freely.

The countries on Washington’s target list are well aware of this and that is why they are continually improving their air defence and electronic warfare capabilities. Conversely, the reason why NATO members have feeble air defence and limited EW capability is that they’ve never thought they needed to have them. Years of beating up countries with trivial air defence and EW has left them complacent. (Even a wake-up call like the shooting down of the F-117 is soon sent down the Memory Hole.)

Great strategists have always known that victory is found in avoiding the enemy’s strength and attacking his weakness and that one should “fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks.” Russia, China and Iran cannot expect to win a naval battle in the South Pacific against the U.S. Navy: there will be no second Battles of Leyte Gulf, Midway or Coral Sea. That would be to attack U.S. strengths. Missiles to take out aircraft carriers are the answer: do not attack the enemy’s strength, fight him with the weapons he lacks. Neither would they attempt to invade and conquer the USA itself. Defence is what they want and these are the principles that guide them.

But there is a third assumption of the American Way of War and that is simply this:

the air raid sirens will sound somewhere else.

Everything that I have said above applies to Israel. Just like the USA, Israel has grown accustomed to using air power, “precision strikes” and all the rest of it. In 1973 it had a hard ground fight but since its 2006 repulse by Hezbollah in Lebanon it has relied ever more on air strikes. Like the U.S., it is confident that it has air superiority and secure communications. Being so much closer to its enemies, it is not as confident that the air raid sirens will always scream somewhere else, but confident that it can inflict, via its air power, unacceptable damage on its enemy, Israel proceeds. Hezbollah and Hamas would be fools to try – even if they could – to build an air force to fight Israel, neither can they expect to have air defence and electronic warfare assets to seriously challenge Israel’s air superiority. Because they cannot attack the two assumptions of air superiority and communications, they must therefore attack the third assumption of invulnerability. Not the enemy’s strength but his weakness.

The last big U.S. ground operations, the Iraq wars of 1990 and 2003, were preceded by months of unimpeded transportation of immense quantities of supplies across the Atlantic. Baghdad never interfered and the complacent supposition that the air raid sirens would sound only in the enemy’s skies was further strengthened. But, should NATO be so suicidal as to provoke Russia to war, this will not be the case: the Iskanders will come calling and there will be no uninterrupted buildup. NATO bases will not be safe sanctuaries and the convoys will have to fight their way through.

We see, today, the proof of concept. In May Gaza fired hundreds of simple, cheap rockets at Israel. The Israeli air defence system, Iron Dome, was reasonably effective but it will run out of missiles long before Gaza, to say nothing of Hezbollah, will. Iron Dome suffers from the weakness that it is far more expensive than the simple rockets Hamas is using. Debris rained down on Israeli cities, the odd rocket got through (probably more than we were told). The air raid sirens were continuous and Israelis were in bomb shelters. It’s true that Israel’s air force obliterated buildings in Gaza but that’s not the point: everyone knew they could do that, it’s the continuous rockets that are new. This went on for eleven days with no diminution of fire from Gaza. A piece in the NYT, not a noticeably Israel-hostile outlet, quotes an estimate of 30,000 rockets in Gaza; only about ten percent were fired. Hezbollah has at least four times as many. The myth of Israel’s invincibility has been broken: gravely diminished in 2006 on land, its skies are no longer safe. Fight the enemy’s weakness (its home morale – how many dual citizens are already packing their suitcases?) and use weapons it does not have.

A ceasefire was announced after eleven days; we’ll see if it holds: Israeli police have again stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque which was the trigger in the first place. The Jerusalem Post attempts a summing up; and a very pro-Israeli one it is: so many commanders, headquarters, launching sites claimed destroyed. Most important though is its recognition that Hamas “increased its volume and range” of rocket launches. And “Hamas took credit for redrawing the equation of power in the region in its battle with Israel, asserting that Israel is now in a state of decline”. A claim to be sure. But one with some reality. Hamas struck with greater numbers and deeper into Israel than ever before and there were also disturbances in the Arab population in Israel proper. Hamas is claiming a victory and it is not wrong to do so.

Air superiority, assured immediate communications and security of the home front. Gaza and Hezbollah present the poor man’s solution to the problem – lots of cheap rockets to challenge the assumption of a secure home front: Israel’s “illusion of normality” is gone.

Richer and more industrially-based entities can counter the first two assumptions and challenge the third with more sophisticated answers. Perhaps the greatest challenge to the complacency that other countries will be the amphitheatres for American wars is the Russian Poseidon; this weapon, a sort of giant autonomous underwater cruise missile, is designed to create a tsunami to wipe out U.S. ports and coastal areas. Iran, in its retaliatory attack on the U.S. base in Iraq last year, showed that U.S. forces were not safe in their bases. China and Russia are both creating weapons systems to attack the USA where it is weak using weapons it does not have. U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups, rather than projections of mighty power, are mere targets to hypersonic missiles. Russian EW capability has been described by at least one U.S. general as “eye-watering“, able to turn off U.S. systems; and one may be sure that the Russians are saving their best for later. (Can they blind an entire warshipNot at all! Disinformation! Nonsense! Information Warfare! A little too much protesting?) Russia and China can do this because they are not lost to fantasies of “power projection” or “full spectrum superiority“; they defend themselves with weapons the aggressor does not have that are directed at his weakness. Enough and not too much is their guide.

Gaza vs Israel represents the proof of the concept.

May 23, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Certain groups attempt to create civil war in Lebanon, Hezbollah chief warns

Press TV – March 18, 2021

The secretary-general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement has warned against attempts by certain groups to foment a civil war in the cash-strapped country on economic, racial, and religious grounds, emphasizing that the movement will not allow anyone to realize such a fiendish plot.

Those, who become frustrated in the face of the country’s resistance, could resort to the option of trying to ignite such an internal conflict, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Thursday evening.

“I have information that there are outside forces and some internal ones that are pushing towards civil war … They are looking for the fuel to add to the fire,” he said.

“The chaos in Lebanon is aimed at driving Lebanon into a civil war and this is a red line,” he, however, added.

Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices are skyrocketing and more than half of the population is now living below the poverty line.

Nasrallah’s remarks came as the country’s major cities are hosting fresh protests at the situation afflicting the economy that is falling apart at the seams. He, therefore, entitled the high point of his address to the domestic woes.

“Lebanon is at the heart of a true and great national economic, livelihood, financial, and also political crisis,” he said, noting, “It can also be described as a crisis of the establishment.”

Nasrallah categorically dismissed that his movement harbored any intention to exacerbate the already explosive situation.

“Some say that Hezbollah is the party, which has weapons [and may start a civil war]. This rhetoric is wrong since the civil war can be waged by light arms and such arms are found everywhere in Lebanon and are in the hands of many people,” the Hezbollah chief said.

Hezbollah has no intention to resort to its weapons in a bid to form a government or to deal with the economic and financial crisis.

Since the Lebanese government formally resigned after a massive explosion in Beirut port last August, domestic political divisions and pressure by some Western states have hindered the formation of a formal cabinet.

‘US pressure main factor behind crisis’

Nasrallah pointed to the pressure that the United States was applying to Lebanon as a main principle driving the country’s crisis.

The United States wants for Lebanon to “be placed in the US-Israel axis” in the same way that such regional countries as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain did by normalizing their relations with the Israeli regime through Washington’s facilitation, he stated.

Nasrallah questions dependence on IMF

Without a formal cabinet, the country cannot resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for potential bailout packages.

Even if the country was to be thrown such a lifeline, it would be required by the IMF and the West to enact certain “reforms” in its political structure. The reforms entail introduction of stringent austerity measures, the biggest part of whose burden falls on the people.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri alleged earlier that the only way to stop the country’s economy from total collapse was to re-engage with the IMF.

“The main priority of any government is to prevent the collapse that we are facing today… that we proceed to start halting the collapse with the IMF and regain the trust of the international community,” Hariri said at a press conference at the presidential palace in Baabda.

Nasrallah, however, asked whether the Lebanese nation could bear the burden of the IMF’s conditions, including subtraction of subsidies from staples.

He considered the country’s economic policies, including the policy of borrowing money from others, to be one of the reasons that Lebanon had ended up this way.

The American pressure, he added, was aimed at forcing Lebanon into “resorting to certain economic options.”

It was this very fear of Washington that was scaring some inside the country from strengthening its ties with China.

Hezbollah agrees to a technocratic-political government

The Hezbollah leader, meanwhile, signaled his movement’s approval of the formation of a government composed of technocrats and politically influential elements at the same time.

He said if Hariri and President Michel Aoun reached an agreement on formation of such a ruling structure, Hezbollah would agree to it too.

US apparatuses freeing Daesh ringleaders in Iraq

Nasrallah also said there is evidence pointing to US intelligence and security apparatuses establishing contact with the Takfiri terrorist group Daesh’s ringleaders in Iraq’s prisons before enabling their release.

“With every day that goes by, the truth that lies behind the armed Takfiri terrorist groups and the nature of their handler and supporter comes further to light,” he said.

Nasrallah, however, announced, “We stand up to the terrorist groups that are shaped, run, supported, and armed by the American intelligence apparatuses.”

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trade-Off ahead on Syria and Yemen

By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog | March 16, 2021

In the past few weeks much has happened in the area of diplomacy on the part of Russia. Russia is forging ahead after stepping up its presence in the Middle East in the past decade, taking a strong pro-active political role. Moscow during this period has been intent on consolidating its efforts in re-establishing itself as the key player in any political settlements in the Middle East. Ever since Kissinger in the late 1970’s pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the USSR, striking a deal between Israel and Egypt, excluding the USSR and the rest of the Arab World, the political influence of Russia in the Middle East significantly waned until it came back with deciding force when Russia responded to the Syrian Government’s request for help in September 2015.

Lately, the economic crisis has deepened in Syria following the drastic Western sanctions. And specifically after the implementation of the Caesar’s Act, the Syrian currency took a huge tumble and the cost of living has soared to unprecedented levels. This left many cynics wondering and pondering what was Russia going to do in the face of the collapsed Syrian economy after having achieved an impressive military victory, taking its troops outside its former USSR borders for the first time and heralding the end of the single super power status of the USA.

To this effect, and on the diplomatic side, Russian FM Lavrov has recently visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for talks pertaining to an array of issues. The agenda issues that transpired to the media include trade, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as issues of global and regional security, albeit vague in details as what ‘security issues’ mean.

It appears that in these meetings, discussions included the return of Syria to the Arab League and the cost of reconstruction of Syria after ten years of war, a bill touted to exceed $Bn200. Expectations have existed for some time that the Arab Gulf states will fork out a huge chunk of this cost. As mentioned above, the bottom line here is that Russia’s military success in its operation in Syria needs to be followed by political success. Partly, this is achieved within the Astana talks which include Turkey and Iran. However, the very same Arab States instrumental in the ‘War on Syria’ are also instrumental in facilitating the return of Syria to the Arab League, the reconstruction efforts in Syria and the easing of sanctions. The Gulf states have always reiterated that there will be no return of Syria to the Arab League for as long as Iranian forces remain on the ground. The UAE seemed more open than Saudi Arabia to the prospects of Syria’s return to the Arab League and financing the reconstruction process.

But why would the Gulf States, the same states that spent tens of billions of dollars in order to destroy Syria, be suddenly now interested in the reversal of the process? This is a fair question to ask.

Quite unexpectedly, and almost immediately after the return of Lavrov to Moscow, a top delegation of Hezbollah, headed by Mohamad Raad, was invited to Moscow for talks. Apparently, the visit was cloaked in a veil of secrecy in Russia and was not at all covered in Western media, even though it made news in Arabic mainstream media. It would be politically naïve to imagine that Lavrov’s visit to the Gulf has no relation to this. All issues in the Middle East are related to each other, including the war in Yemen.

To put it succinctly, the UAE had already stepped away from the Yemen war. However, Saudi Arabia remains bogged down in this travesty and seven years on, must have come to the humiliating and painful realization that it is a war it cannot win. This is where Iran and Hezbollah can have leverage in any direct or indirect negotiations with the Saudis, and Russia is the only arbitrator who is able to communicate with all parties involved.

All parties in the Middle East are looking for face-saving tradeoffs; at least partial and interim ones. The Saudis in particular are tired and exhausted.

In an interview given to Sputnik Arabic, one not widely reported in other media, not even Sputnik English, Raad praised the cooperation between Hezbollah and Russia, stating that ‘the invitation we received aims to reopen the dialogue about the next phase after having reached the achievements that serve the interests of the people of the region in the recent past’ .

This is Raad’s first visit to Moscow since 2011. Of that visit, I am not trying to speculate in hindsight of the purpose of it and the achievements of it. Furthermore, Hezbollah has not ever been party to any international dis-engagement or peace negotiations in the past, except for ones relating to exchange of prisoners. The economic demise of Syria and Lebanon, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni impasse, may well have placed Hezbollah in a position of participating in peace-deals negotiations this time.

I am neither referring to peace deals with Israel here, nor any deal involving disarmament. Hezbollah will not be prepared to negotiate disarming itself under any political settlement either today or in the foreseeable future, and Moscow is totally aware of this.

According to my analysis, the deal that Moscow is most likely to suggest is a mutual withdrawal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on one hand, and an end of the Saudi war on Yemen. It is simple, Saudi Arabia to leave Yemen and Iran/Hezbollah to leave Syria. I believe that Lavrov has already secured the Saudi acceptance of those terms, terms that will not only end the war in Yemen, but also the return of Syria to the Arab League and a possible easing of the Western economic sanctions on Syria. Had Lavrov not secured the Saudi assurance, he would not have invited Hezbollah for talks.

A deal of this nature can potentially end the criminal human tragedy in Yemen in a manner that will portray the Saudis as the real losers in the war, and this is where they need a face-saving trade-off in Syria. In Syria, they will be perceived as winners by securing an Iranian/Hezbollah exit. But most importantly perhaps for the Saudis, this will put an end to a very costly and humiliating war in Yemen, one which is beginning to draw criticism from some quarters of the international community, including alleged talk of America considering placing arms deal embargos on Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased. Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia.

What will be in it for Hezbollah will largely depend on what Lavrov has put on the table, and it seems obvious that it is Hezbollah that will need more convincing than Iran, and this is why the talks are now with Hezbollah; not with Iranian officials. Perhaps the deal already has the tacit approval of Iranian officials.

It goes without saying; Israel will be watching these developments with keen interest. Israel wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. But the trade-off deal I am talking about is not one in which Israel is a direct party.

What is known at this stage is that a meeting has already taken place between the Hezbollah delegation and Russian officials. As I write this, I am not aware if other meetings are to follow and or whether or not the Hezbollah delegation is back in Lebanon.

Was the 2011 Moscow visit of Raad a prelude for Hezbollah to enter Syria? Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know. We may never find out the actual detailed outcome of the mysterious-but-not-so-mysterious current Hezbollah visit. It may not even end up with a press release, but in the next coming days, we will find out if a Syria-Yemen trade-off is indeed looming.

March 16, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hezbollah fighters intercept, shoot down Israeli reconnaissance drone in southern Lebanon

Press TV – February 1, 2021

The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says it has intercepted and shot down an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle as it crossed into Lebanon’s airspace near the border village of Blida in the south of the Arab country.

Hezbollah said in a brief statement that the drone was struck on Monday morning, adding that it was now in the control of the drone. It did not provide any further details.

The Israeli military, however, asserted that the drone had fallen in Lebanese territory during an operation, alleging that “there is no risk of breach of information.”

The development came a day after Palestinian resistance fighters brought down an Israeli quadcopter conducting an espionage mission against the besieged Gaza Strip.

The drone was shot down on Sunday while taking images over Beit Hanoun Crossing, which is located on the enclave’s northern border with the occupied territories, the Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

Israel frequently violates Lebanon’s airspace. Lebanon’s government, Hezbollah and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have repeatedly condemned Israel’s overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and the country’s sovereignty.

The resolution, which brokered a ceasefire in the war Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006, calls on the Tel Aviv regime to respect Beirut’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On August 23 last year, Hezbollah resistance movement said it had downed and seized an Israeli drone as it flew over the Lebanese border.

The Israeli military claimed back then that a drone had fallen in Lebanon during operational activity along Lebanese border, claiming that there was no risk of breach of information.

Tensions have been running high between Israel and Hezbollah since July 20 last year, when Tel Aviv killed Hezbollah member Ali Kamel Mohsen in an airstrike in Syria.

The Israeli military has placed its forces near the Lebanese and Syrian borders on high alert after Hezbollah promised retaliation.

Israeli forces shelled the Lebanese village of Habaria in late July 2020 to stop an alleged Hezbollah offensive, but the Lebanese movement dismissed the allegation, calling it the result of tension and confusion among Israeli forces.

February 1, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hezbollah: Terrorist Bombings Suspiciously Return to Iraq after Official and Public Calls for Withdrawal of US Occupation Troops

Hezbollah Media Relations | Al-Manar | January 21, 2021

Hezbollah firmly condemned the twin terrorist blasts which rocked Baghdad on Thursday and claimed dozens of martyrs and wounded after targeting a crowded market in the city.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Hezbollah considered it as suspicious that the terrorist bombings have returned to Iraq after a period of stability and amid a surge of popular and official demands for the withdrawal of the US occupation forces from the country.

The US administration responded to those calls by imposing more sanctions on the Hashd Shaabi Committee and its dear commanders in order to expose Iraq to the threats of ISIL and other terrorist groups, according to the statement.

In response to the brutal crime, the Iraqis must be alert and remain committed to, unity, independence, freedom, rejection of the US occupation, and exertion of more efforts to pursue the remnants of the terrorist groups in the country, the statement emphasized.

Hezbollah finally offered deep condolences to the Iraqi officials, people and the martyrs’ families, hoping that Holy God grants the wounded a speedy recovery and the entire Iraqi nation security as well as stability.

January 21, 2021 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Hezbollah Files Lawsuit against Bahaa Hariri for Throwing False Accusations pertaining Beirut Blast

Al-Manar – December 9, 2020

Head of Hezbollah Lawyers Assembly, Hussein Hashem, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Bahaa Al-Hariri for falsely accusing the Party of being involved in Beirut blast.

Hashem added that Al-Hariri will be accordingly summoned by the judge that is expected to inform him about the complaint.

Hasehm pointed out that during the coming days he will file a lawsuit against a new figure for the same reasons.

In the same context, Hezbollah had filed two lawsuits against the Lebanese Forces Website and the former MP Fares Souaid for throwing false accusations pertaining Beirut blast.

December 10, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

Mission Accomplished: Hezbollah Drone Flew over Galilee, Returned Safely

Al-Manar | December 3, 2020

A Hezbollah drone flew over the occupied territories’ Galilee and returned safely to Lebanon despite high alert among the ranks of the Israeli occupation army last October, a report said on Thursday.

Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar reported that a Hezbollah drone managed to enter the airspace of occupied Palestine on October 26 as the Israeli occupation army was on high alert and waging the so-called “Lethal Arrow” maneuver.

“The maneuver was accompanied with high activity by the Israeli air force,” the Lebanese daily said.

“One of the maneuver’s goals was to prevent drones from getting into the Palestinian airspace,” Al-Akhbar said, highlighting the paradox.

The drone managed to capture photos and footage of the occupied region of Galilee and then returned to its base in Lebanon safely, the daily revealed.

Al-Manar will broadcast the photos and scenes captured by the drone in the last episode of “The Second Liberation” documentary series.

December 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Lebanon’s Bassil says his refusal to break ties with Hezbollah led to ‘unjust & politicized’ US sanctions

RT | November 8, 2020

Prominent Lebanese Christian politician Gebran Bassil has condemned the personal sanctions the US Treasury imposed on him, calling them “unjust and politicized” retribution for his refusal to cut ties with the Hezbollah movement.

“These sanctions are an injustice, and I will fight them and sue for damages,” Bassil said in a televised speech on Sunday.

The politician rejected the US’ accusations of corruption, insisting the true reason for the sanctions was his political position. Shortly before the restrictions were rolled out, he was approached by US officials demanding assurances from him, including that he end ties with Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Bassil claimed.

The US considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, while Iran itself has been subjected to numerous sanctions and ever-growing political pressure by Washington.

Bassil said he refused to do so, telling the US he wanted to be its “friend” but not an “agent,” and that harming Lebanon’s integrity was not an option.

“We do not stab any Lebanese in the back for foreign interests,” he stated. “We will not agree to isolating any Lebanese component, even if we pay a heavy price for that.”

The sanctions against the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, the largest Christian party in Lebanon, were unveiled by the US Treasury on Friday.

The restrictions were imposed under the pretext of Lebanon’s rampant corruption, which Bassil had allegedly been “exemplifying.” The Treasury has also accused the politician – the son-in-law of Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun – of indulging in nepotism and placing friends in various important posts.

The Lebanese government has met the sanctions against Bassil with a certain skepticism. President Aoun instructed the Foreign Ministry to obtain any evidence the US has against the politician. When the evidence is produced, it will be forwarded to the Lebanese judiciary “to take the necessary measures,” the president said.

November 8, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Will the Mediterranean Sea save Lebanon from drowning in debt?

Steven Sahiounie | Mideast Discourse | October 16, 2020

The Lebanese population faces between six to twelve hours of electricity cuts per day, and in some rural areas, there is simply no electricity provided by the government grid. Amid the backdrop of decrepit infrastructure, government corruption, devalued currency, and widespread poverty, Lebanon began talks with Israel concerning their maritime borders in the gas-rich Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday at the UNIFIL headquarters at Naquora.

The UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL has been monitoring the disputed land boundary since Israel’s’ military withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000, ending a 22-year occupation. The two sides met together in the same room but directed their communications through a US mediator.

The US is the mediator between the two countries which remain technically ‘at war while hoping to end a long-running dispute which could eventually see Lebanon producing gas to convert to domestic electricity, as well as a potential revenue producer which could pay off Lebanon’s huge debts. Lebanon’s currency has lost 80 percent of its value against the dollar over the last year, and its debt-to-G.D.P. ratio is one of the world’s highest.

Lebanon and Israel are struggling to deal with high COVID-19 infection rates, while Netanyahu is slipping in the polls due to abuse of power charges, and the Lebanese government is in limbo after being labeled as corrupt and inept, while desperate for cash from foreign donors as it faces the worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. The financial collapse was compounded by an explosion at the Port of Beirut in August, killing nearly 200 people.

Israel is already pumping gas from huge offshore fields, and this meeting will allow both sides to proceed further within the safety of an understanding of the maritime borders.

US pressure

The talks follow years of diplomacy by Washington, and the Trump Administration had hoped to use the Naquora meeting as a dramatic media show less than a month after landmark US-sponsored normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain; however, this showy plan was aborted.

The US envoy David Schenker explained that these talks “have nothing to do with the establishment of diplomatic relations or normalization.” However, it was last month that the US turned up the pressure on Lebanon to start the talks with a deadline for the agreement before the US election on November 3, while the second round of talks is scheduled for October 28.

The Naquora meeting

President Michel Aoun is the key person managing the off-shore energy resources portfolio, and he placed a representative from the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) on the negotiating team as a nod to pressure from Washington who had insisted on civilian presentation, whereas Hezbollah requested only military and technical delegates.

There are four points on the agenda of the Naqoura talks: setting the land reference point from which to depart toward the sea; defining the southern maritime border where the disputed area is located; agreeing on the land border demarcation after the completion of the maritime demarcation, and exchanging documents and handing over copies to the United Nations.

The Lebanese Negotiating team

Brigadier General Bassam Yacine is the lead negotiator, Marine Colonel Mazen Basbous is the head of operations in the Lebanese military, Najib Masihi is a Lebanese American expert in maritime and territorial boundaries, and Wissam Shbat is a board member of LPA and head of its geology and geophysics unit.

 Lebanon’s offshore possibilities

In 2017, Lebanon’s information minister announced the Cabinet had approved licenses for Italy’s Eni, Frances’s Total, and Russia’s Novatek to carry out exploratory drilling off the Lebanese coast in two of Lebanon’s 10 offshore blocks to determine whether oil and gas exist in the area.

Analyst Diana Kaissy, who heads the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative think-tank, said it was “impossible to know” the extent of the accessible reserves before exploration operations begin, but she said, “preliminary evaluations” showed the five blocks offered by the government were the “most promising,” with block nine bordering a sector disputed by Israel.

At issue is more than 330 square miles in the Mediterranean that Israel and Lebanon both claim is in their exclusive economic zone. The pressure to resolve the dispute has mounted as Israel and Cyprus have begun exploiting offshore gas.

Lebanon estimates it has 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore. Israel is aiming to get a percentage of a contested area of 860 square kilometers that Lebanon is claiming.

The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulates that coastal states have sovereign rights in a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) concerning natural resources; however, the maritime dispute does not fall within the UNIFIL’s current mandate, and Israel is not a party to UNCLOS.

Lebanon reached a maritime border agreement with Cyprus in January 2007. This prompted Beirut, in July and October 2010, to deposit with the United Nations the geographical coordinates of the southern and southwestern maritime borders of that EEZ. Cyprus went ahead and signed an EEZ delimitation accord with Israel in December 2010.

Lebanon and Israel could share in the disputed 860 square kilometers, which covers Lebanon’s offshore gas Blocks 8, 9, and 10. The “Hoff line” proposal gave Lebanon 550 square kilometers, which was rejected as Beirut insists on full rights in this disputed area. Lebanon has refused to join the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum or any other regional mechanism that includes Israel; therefore, it has been more or less isolated in the eastern Mediterranean gas process given the emerging alliance between Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece.

France’s Total energy company is set to begin gas exploration in Block 9 by the end of the year, while Israel approved in June oil, gas exploration in Block 72, close to Lebanon’s Block 9 where exploration will soon start.

Hezbollah and Amal

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in a joint statement with Amal, the country’s other main party of resistance, released hours before the talks were due to start, called for the negotiating team to be revised to include only members of the military.

The Lebanese preconditions included having military and technical delegates, instead of diplomatic delegates, and setting no timeline to reach a deal, to avoid US pressure on the negotiations.

Last month the US placed sanctions on the top aide to Nabih Berri, the leader of Amal, for corruption and financially enabling Hezbollah.

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Rare maritime talks do not mean normalization with Israel: Hezbollah

Press TV | October 9, 2020

The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says a UN-brokered indirect maritime negotiations with Israel do not signify “reconciliation” or “normalization” with the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc said in a statement on Thursday that the talks have “absolutely nothing to do with either any reconciliation with the Zionist enemy… or policies of normalization recently adopted… by Arab states.”

“Defining the coordinates of national sovereignty is the responsibility of the Lebanese state,” it said in a statement.

Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri last week announced the talks would go ahead.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has recently said Lebanon’s maritime border talks, to be held at the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the southern town of Naqoura, will start around mid-October.

The issue of the sea frontier is especially sensitive as Lebanon hopes to continue exploring for oil and gas in a part of the Mediterranean.

In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and gas in two blocks in the Mediterranean with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem on Monday strongly condemned normalization with Israel as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause, emphasizing that Arab rulers scrambling to establish diplomatic ties with the Tel Aviv regime have reaped nothing but humiliation and disgrace.

He underlined that Palestinians are at the vanguard of the resistance front seeking to liberate Jerusalem al-Quds, calling for support for them.

Qassem was reacting to the recent decisions by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sign contentious US-mediated normalization deals with Israel.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the deals with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital, view the deals as betrayal of their cause.

Hezbollah is credited with ending two decades of Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000.

Lebanon marks the Resistance and Liberation Day on May 25 each year. In May 2000, the Israeli regime was forced by Hezbollah to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, ending nearly two decades of occupation of the country’s south.

Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.

Since then, the movement has grown into a powerful military force, dealing repeated blows to the Israeli military, including during a 33-day war in July 2006.

October 9, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Will Lebanon be the next US-NATO humanitarian war?

By Steven Sahiounie | Mideast discourse | October 2, 2020

The waters off Lebanon are the scene of a gathering Armada of French and American naval ships. What appeared at first to be a humanitarian response to the devastating Beirut Port explosion on August 4, is now feared to be the prelude of the next US-NATO humanitarian war.

French President Emmanuel Macron blamed Hezbollah and all of the Lebanese politicians Sunday and warned of a new civil war. I’m ashamed of the Lebanese political leaders. Ashamed,” Macron repeated.

He accused them of “collective betrayal” while putting their parties and personal greed above the needs of the Lebanese people.

Some political observers now believe that Lebanon may well be going the way of Somalia, as evidenced by the characteristics of a failing state, such as lack of governance, corruption and incompetence, chronic humanitarian problems, and persistent social tensions.

Prime minister-designate Moustapha Adib stepped down September 26, and Lebanon’s Central Bank reserves may soon dry up and the government would no longer be able to subsidize basic goods such as fuel, medicine, and wheat.

Macron has been pressing Lebanese politicians to form a Cabinet made up of technocrats that can work on urgent reforms, and Macron has traveled twice to Beirut since August 4, while making it a personal mission to try to repair the devastated country, which some see as a neo-colonial farce.

Macron criticized the Lebanese system of sectarian politics, “as if competence was linked to religious confession.”

He lambasted Hezbollah demanding to know its characteristics and identity, and he criticized Lebanese political leaders from all parties and dynasties. Each Lebanese faction has found a foreign godfather and has ended up as a pawn in a regional and international chess game. Tens of billions of dollars have reportedly been looted by politicians and deposited in European and American banks.

US-NATO Humanitarian wars

In 1999 NATO updated its ‘Strategic Concept to allow members to defend not only other members but also conduct ‘non-Article 5 Response Operations’. It would be under this mechanism that a US-NATO military operation, along with an Arab Gulf coalition, would be used to attack, invade and defeat Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Since 2002, it was agreed that NATO forces could be sent “wherever they are needed,” regardless of the location, and in 2006 the NATO Response Force (NRF) of 25,000 troops has been fully operational.

US President Bill Clinton and NATO waged the humanitarian war on the former Yugoslavia, which broke a larger nation into ‘bite-sized’ pieces.

Critics of the US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia have argued that certain attacks forming part of the campaign violated international humanitarian law. Noam Chomsky argued that the main objective of the US-NATO war was to force Yugoslavia into the Western economic system since it was the only country in the region that stood alone in defiance of the US world domination.

Hezbollah targeted by US-NATO war machine

Hezbollah’s prominence in the Lebanese government caused foreign donors and investors to stay away, because of US sanctions targeted on anyone with ties to the group, based on their designation as a terrorist group.

Hezbollah’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Tuesday, “We welcomed President Macron when he visited Lebanon and we welcomed the French initiative, but not for him to be judge, jury and executioner, and ruler of Lebanon.”

Nasrallah has headed the group since 1992 as Secretary-General; however, its military wing is considered as a terrorist organization in 21 countries, as well as by the Arab League and the European Union.

Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto listed its objectives as the expulsion of “the Americans, the French and their allies definitely from Lebanon, putting an end to any colonialist entity on our land”.

In 2008, the Lebanese government unanimously recognized Hezbollah’s existence as an armed organization and guarantees its right to “liberate or recover occupied lands”.

Hezbollah is an armed resistance group, as well as a political party that has seats in Parliament through free and fair elections.  Their ally in Parliament is the ‘Amal Movement, and together they hold the majority of Parliamentary seats. In a democracy, the majority rules and this is why recently Hezbollah and Amal insisted on choosing the Finance minister, which became a conflict point in the view of Macron.

Hezbollah is resisting the Israeli occupation of Shebaa Farms, an area in the far south of Lebanon. Moreover, Hezbollah also is resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  At one time, all of the Arab world demanded the rights for the Palestinian people, who have lived under brutal military occupation since 1948, and the UN has ratified resolutions calling for a 2-state solution, where Palestine would be given the land of the 1967 borders, and both Israel and Palestine would live side by side in peace.

In 2017, Ron Prosor, former Israeli ambassador to the UN said Hezbollah was then “10 times as strong now as it was in 2006, and its military infrastructure permeates Lebanon.” He added that Lebanese President Michel Aoun has also “embraced” Hezbollah’s arsenal as “a principal element of Lebanon’s defense.”

Many critics tried to blame Hezbollah for the Beirut Port blast on August 4, but the Lebanese officials and locals admitted that Hezbollah had no access to the Port, or authority over it.  Even officials known to be antagonistic of Hezbollah admitted that the blame would not plausibly stick on Hezbollah. The exact cause is not known, but it may have been an accident borne of corruption and ineptitude, or it could be sabotage, according to President Michel Aoun. MP Machnouck, member of the Sunni-led ‘Future Party’ stated he was convinced Israel was responsible.

The elimination of Hezbollah is Israel’s top priority

A former director of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Nuriel, said that another war between Israel and Hezbollah was “only a question of time.”

Hezbollah is the only force that Israel has faced that has caused the Israeli Defense Forces to retreat without success. Defeating Hezbollah is a top Israeli priority.

Under the Obama Administration’s Middle Eastern policy, Iran became a negotiations partner, while pressuring Israel to conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu recently gave a virtual speech to the UN Security Council, in which he displayed a detailed map of Beirut, and he predicted the location of where a future explosion would occur, and he blamed Hezbollah for having a weapons factory and warehouse at the location, which was a residential area.  During the Netanyahu speech, Nasrallah was also giving a live televised speech in Lebanon and was told what Netanyahu had claimed.  He immediately invited all media to go to the location that Netanyahu portrayed in his map, and inspect for themselves if there were any weapons or warehouse present.  Later, the media arrived, and live local TV coverage showed that in fact, the location was a cooking gas canister factory. This confirmed the Israeli accusation was false and led experts to assume a direct connection between the Port blast, and the Israeli proposed blast in Netanyahu’s map.

The Israeli occupation of Lebanon 

Israel occupied the south of Lebanon for 23 years, during which men, women, and children were imprisoned in Khiam Prison, where they were routinely tortured, abused and many died. Hezbollah aligned with many other Lebanese resistance groups, who resisted the occupation vociferously until Israel gave up and left in 2000. The south of Lebanon is populated by both Shite Muslims and Christians. The steadfastness of Hezbollah is remembered by those Lebanese citizens. However, the North of Lebanon was never occupied and lived free of fear, oppression, and intimidation which may have influenced many Lebanese citizens to either support or reject Hezbollah. As they say, “Your view depends on where your seat is.”

Using ISIS as ground troops by US-NATO

Recently, the Lebanese Army fought fierce battles against Radical Islamic terrorists near Tripoli in the north, in the area of Wadi Khalid.

In 2016, Efraim Inbar, an Israeli scholar, and the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies wrote, “The continuing existence of ISIS serves a strategic purpose,” and added that ISIS “can be a useful tool in undermining” Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and Russia and should not be defeated. He wrote, “Stability is not a value in and of itself. It is desirable only if it serves our interests,” and stressed that the West’s “main enemy” is not ISIS; it is Iran.

Saudi Arabia part of the Coalition against Hezbollah

The King of Saudi Arabia rarely gives speeches; however, he made a televised speech in which he accused Hezbollah of the Beirut Port blast, apparently unaware that that accusation has been debunked. This is the same King who summoned Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Lebanon to be kidnapped and forced to resign in Saudi Arabia. It was President Macron who personally negotiated Hariri’s freedom.

It appears that Saudi Arabia will be among the first Arab countries to send support for a US-NATO attack on Lebanon to eliminate Hezbollah.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist and political commentator.

October 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment