What If Hezbollah Strikes the “Israeli” Ammonium Nitrate Stockpiles in the North?

Thursday 16 June 2022

By Al-Ahed News

An expert in hazardous materials has warned that the “Israeli” entity might suffer from a catastrophic blast Like the Beirut port explosion.

“‘Israel’ has an acute problem of ammonium nitrate factories located next to residential areas,” Danny Kronenberg said, in remarks published Sunday in the “Israeli” newspaper, Haaretz.

Lebanon votes in 2022 parliamentary elections

May 15, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Lebanese people are heading to the polls in the first legislative elections in the country since it underwent several political and economic crises that put it on the world map of turbulence.

The polls opened at 7 am local time in Lebanon

The people of Lebanon are heading to the polls on Sunday for the first time since simultaneous, consecutive crises hit the country and brought upon public outrage due to the living conditions rendered intolerable and exacerbated by mounting international pressure on the country.

The parliamentary election comes to test the opposition – a vast majority of whom is backed and funded by the US – that came to life during the widespread 2019 protests that saw demonstrators taking to the streets all over Lebanon.

The election campaign faced many obstructions due to the stifling economic condition in the country, but Beirut overcame the obstacles, with now 3.9 million Lebanese people being eligible to vote as soon as the polls opened at 7:00 am (4:00 am GMT) and until 7:00 pm (4:00 pm GMT).

This comes days after former US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said he did not think the status-quo in Lebanon would shift due to the election, i.e., the situation would not change in the interest of the United States.

A key aspect of Schenker’s talking point was his claim of “growing discontent with Hezbollah amongst the Shia constituent”, adding that the US could have done more to “exploit” that discontent.

The senior diplomat cited the Bush administration’s siding with the Lebanese March 14 coalition in 2005 as an exception. The US had sided with the coalition in a bid to undermine the March 8 coalition comprised of Hezbollah and its allies, according to Schenker.

Since the state held its last election, Lebanon has been hit by a pandemic, a blast labeled one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, a political crisis, a diplomatic crisis, and widespread protests, all of which have exacerbated the economic situation and stocked surging inflation in the country.

Here is what you need to know about the parliamentary elections

The national currency has lost more than 95% of its value, people are blocked from accessing their savings in banks, and the minimum wage cannot cover basic necessities throughout the month, putting more than 80% of the population under the poverty line.

Due to the hardship the Lebanese people are suffering, the country landed at the very bottom of the 2022 World Happiness Index released in March. The country only came second-to-last to Afghanistan, a nation that has just ended a US occupation that lasted 20-years and brought it to the brink of collapse.

Check: Global Happiness Index 2019-2021

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The ultimate explainer to Lebanon’s 2022 elections

Even the Lebanese struggle to understand the mechanics of their elections. So The Cradle has provided a handy guide to understand the basics.

May 10 2022

Lebanese parliamentary elections are complicated, counter-intuitive and corrupt, but voters hoping for change will still trek to the polls this Sunday, despite the fact that results will almost certainly be challenged and negotiated.
Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Karim Shami

Lebanon’s next general parliamentary elections will be held on 15 May amid significant local, regional, and global tensions.

The Lebanese parliamentary election is based on a complex ‘confessional system’ and takes place once every four years. It is the only ballot where citizens directly elect politicians.

The long-awaited 2022 poll comes after more than two years of unprecedented social and economic challenges. The Lebanese people have endured the freezing of their bank deposits and life savings since late 2019, resulting in a collapse of the Lebanese lira, a shortage of foreign currency, and hyper inflation, which have in turn created countrywide shortages of basic commodities like fuel and medicine – and power outages of up to 23 hours per day.

It will also be the first election since the 2020 Beirut Port explosion that killed over 215 people and reinforced the public’s grievances over corruption and government mismanagement.

A brief history

The electoral system was implemented by France during its occupation of Lebanon (1923−1946) and was modified more than once during the intervening years.

A major update was implemented following the Al-Taif agreement (1989) in Saudi Arabia, where feuding Lebanese warlords agreed to end the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-1990. All sides endorsed a plan to divide parliamentary seats equally between Muslims and Christians. After the end of the war, the first election in twenty years was held in 1992.

Amendments to the Election Law were introduced again in 2017 when the ‘preferential vote’ was introduced in a controversial attempt to redirect the election from a sectarian focus to relative percentages in the final tally.

Who can vote?

Inside Lebanon, there are 3,967,507 registered voters, while the number of registered voters abroad has now reached 255,442. All citizens – 21 and above – can vote, providing they do not have criminal records.

In the 2018 election, the voter turnout was 50 percent, and the number of voters who cast ballots was 1,861,203.

Who can run?

Any candidate aged 25 and above is eligible for running in Lebanon’s elections as long as s/he does not hold a senior official rank or army position, has a clean criminal record, and is part of an electoral list that covers at least 40 percent of the seats of a major electoral district.

How it works:

The Parliament’s 128 seats are divided into two groups – 64 Muslims and 64 Christians – both of which are further divided into a specific number of seats designated for their respective sects.

The Muslims are divided into four groups: the Sunni have 27 seats, the Shia have 27 seats, the Druze have 8 seats, and the Alawites hold the remaining two seats.

Likewise, the Christians are divided into seven groups: Maronites are allocated 34 seats, Eastern Orthodox: 14 seats, Melkite Catholics: 8 seats, Armenian Orthodox: 5 seats, and Armenian Catholics, Protestants, and other minorities each with one seat only.

Typically, voting takes place on a Sunday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm to elect 128 representatives in 15 electoral districts, which are distributed based on sect.

The districts are divided into 26 sub-districts, the purpose of which is to create equilibrium among the different sects.

Beirut city, for instance, is divided into two electoral districts: Beirut I with a majority of Christians, and Beirut II with a majority of Muslims. Some sub-districts, however, are homogeneous. For example, the Sidon sub-district has exclusively Sunni seats, while those of Zgharta are restricted to the Maronite sect.

An example: Rami, Christian, from Jezzine, casts his vote 

Rami, a 22-year-old Christian born in the southern Lebanese sub-district of Jezzine, is excited to participate in his first elections, hoping for change. According to the electoral law, he can vote in his sub-district only, which has three Christian deputies – two Maronites and one Catholic.

Jezzine is part of two sub-districts in the electoral district of ‘South One’ (see the map above). Sidon, the second sub-district, holds two Sunni seats, which makes the total seats in ‘South One’ five.

On 15 May, he wakes up early and drives to cast his first vote ever. He stops at the nearest polling station and hands in his ID.

In return, he is provided with a voting ballot which contains electoral lists according to his district (in our example there are only three lists).

Rami has to select one of the three lists that represent ‘South One’ and has an option to select one ‘preferential candidate.’ But his favored candidate must be a Christian from Jezzine; thus, the Sunnis who are part of the lists are blacked out on his ballot paper.

Before casting his vote, Rami is told that if he chooses more than one list or chooses a preferred candidate on a list other than the one he voted for, his vote will not be counted.

After slipping into the voting booth, behind closed curtains, Rami chooses List B, selects Jessica as his preferred candidate, and drops his vote into the ballot box. He drives back home to await news coverage of the results that evening.

After 12 hours, at 7:00 pm, all polling stations close, and counting starts immediately.

In this scenario, a total of 60 thousand citizens voted in ‘South One’ across the three lists. Additionally, a total of 30 thousand preferential candidates were selected: 20,000 in Jezzine and 10,000 in Sidon.

To establish which candidate will become a parliamentary deputy, several steps are followed:

Step one: To find out which lists the deputies will be chosen from, a mathematical equation known as ‘electoral quotient I’ is performed which divides total votes by the number of seats up for grabs (60,000÷5 = 12,000). Lists with more votes than the result (12,000) qualify for the next stage.

In our case, the result of the votes in ballot boxes were as follows:  List A: 30,000, List B: 20,000, and List C: 10,000.

Left with two lists, the second step is to determine the number of seats for each.

Step two: At this stage, the ‘electoral quotient II’ formula is applied. First, the ballots of the disqualified lists are subtracted from the total votes and divided by the number of seats (60,000-10,000 = 50,000; then 50,000 ÷5 = 10,000). The result is then divided by the number of votes for each list separately; e.g. 30,000 ÷ 10,000 = 3 seats.

In our case, List A won three seats while Rami’s list won two seats.

In step three, the percentage of votes for each candidate is calculated. Here is when the ‘preferential vote’ equation kicks in:  multiply the number of the total preferential votes of each candidate by a hundred, and then divide the result by the total number of preferential votes in his/her sub-district.

For example, Rami’s favored nominee, Jessica, received 4,000 out of 20,000 preferential votes cast in Jezzine; hence, she gets 20% (4,000 × 100 = 400,000; then 400,000 ÷ 20,000 = 20%).

Step four: After all the calculations are completed, candidates are ranked by percentage – regardless of their list or sub-district. The candidate with the higher percentage wins first place with respect to his/her sect and the number of seats available.

The next day, Rami wakes up and quickly grabs his phone, but his battery is out and there is no electricity. He rushes to his grandmother’s old radio only to hear that his favorite candidate, Jessica, has lost.

In the final result, List A won three seats: two Maronite and one Sunni, while List B won two seats: one Catholic and one Sunni.

Despite garnering more votes and a higher percentage than her opponent Sameer, Jessica’s list had only two available seats, and both were already taken. Thus, Sameer wins and becomes a deputy, while Jessica does not.

When do the results come in?

Unofficial results begin to leak on the same evening, while the official results from Lebanon’s Ministry of Interior are announced the following day. The results from all the districts are revealed together, but if there is an issue in a specific district, its specific results are postponed until the issue is resolved.

Who is in the 2022 race?

This year, 718 candidates, 15 percent of whom are females, are running in the elections and are distributed across 105 lists.

In the 2018 elections, 109 seats were taken by four main political party alliances.

  1. Hezbollah-Amal alliance, a Shia alliance backed by Iran, won 45 seats.
  2. Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), a Christian alliance allied with Hezbollah, won 29 seats.
  3. Future Movement, a Sunni alliance backed by Saudi Arabia, won 20 seats.
  4. Lebanese Forces, a Christian alliance backed by Saudi Arabia and the west, won 15 seats.

Other western/Saudi-backed parties such as The Progressive Socialist, Azm Movement, and the Kataeb Party took most of the remaining seats.

The parliament was effectively divided into two main alliances: the Hezbollah-Amal-FPM Alliance with the majority of 74 seats, versus the pro-west/Gulf alliance of the Future party, LF and others.

The 2022 election will likely retain the same alliances except for one major exception. The largest Sunni bloc in Lebanon, the Future Movement, is not in play this time.

As an outcome of Saudi Arabia ending its support for Future Movement leader, Saad Hariri, the latter withdrew from political life and urged all his supporters to boycott this election.

This development leaves 20 parliamentary seats up for grabs, which all parties are vying to win.

There are 32 new registered lists that include independent candidates who now have an increased chance of winning, especially among Sunni supporters of Hariri.

Some of the new candidates are from the grassroots level, but many others are supported by an ever-rising number of western NGOs in the country since the Beirut Port Blast and the collapse of the lira.

Is the election fair?

Due to its complex and sectarian electoral system, the election is far from being fair.

Seats are district-bound; a candidate cannot win even if s/he gets more votes than other candidates, as we have seen in the illustrations above. An extreme real-life example of this was in the 2018 election when candidate Antoine Pano won a seat in the capital with a mere 539 votes from Beirut residents.

Given the intricate and stacked rules of Lebanon’s electoral process, it is nearly impossible for an independent candidate to win a parliamentary seat. A candidate must essentially be supported by a sect, party, or foreign country (or better, all) to be part of an electoral list – in order to even participate – and stand a chance of winning at all.

Stealing elections in Lebanon

Rampant bribery and foreign interference are the main issues casting a shadow over these and previous Lebanese elections.

Bribes are openly and directly distributed to voters by candidates, either through cash or other means, such as gas coupons, food aid, and even job offers. Bribes vary too, depending on the district, on the voter’s family/tribe size, and on the influence the voter has on his or her sect.

Lebanese elections have always been marked by heavy foreign interference, and rely heavily on externally funded propaganda campaigns and extensive coffers to pay off voters. Since the Taif Agreement, Saudi Arabia, France, Iran, Syria, the UK, and the US have actively meddled in Lebanon to fulfill their geopolitical agendas – and during election season, that interest spikes.

The most visible interference in the 2022 election has been from Saudi Arabia, when Riyadh scrapped 30 years of support for the Future Movement at this critical time. Through their ambassador, Walid al-Bukhari, the Saudis have openly endorsed candidates, parties, and sects that oppose Hezbollah in order to maintain their influence not only in Lebanon, but also in the West Asian region.

Why these elections are important

The importance of the elections lies in Lebanon’s political geography and the power of parliament to shape or hinder the country’s direction.

The parliament elects the president of the republic, and the president chooses the prime minister. The latter, however, needs to win a majority of parliamentary votes to become prime minister – another drawn-out game of horse trading that can take months, even years, in the post-election period – which makes the parliament the powerhouse of Lebanon.

One of the main reasons why the elections are so important to external states is Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah.

Besides its military power, Hezbollah is a major regional player with considerable influence on several West Asian counties and on many Shias worldwide. Additionally, it has always rallied against western-Israeli-Gulf machinations in the region, including on various battlefields from Syria to Iraq to Yemen.

Moreover, the resistance movement has firmly and actively opposed the Saudi/Emirati-led coalition war against Yemen, a conflict which became the focal point of the Lebanon-Gulf diplomatic row that erupted in October 2021.

Thus, western states, Saudi Arabia and Israel seek to undermine Hezbollah’s power in various ways, with Lebanon’s election being an obvious means to achieve this.

*The Lebanese election law can be found here in Arabic.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Leaked files expose Britain’s covert infiltration of Palestinian refugee camps

Under the guise of improving the plight of Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees, an initiative by the British Foreign Office has ulterior motives that impact Lebanese domestic politics.

April 13 2022

The British government has infiltrated Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, ostensibly to use those demographics to political advantage. Otherwise, why not assist them through UNRWA?Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Kit Klarenberg

In February, Lebanese journalist Mohammed Shoaib was arrested on suspicion of collusion with Israel’s Mossad spy agency. The writer who worked for Al-Jaras, confessed that the notorious spy agency secretly paid him to author “dozens” of anti-Hezbollah articles, receiving a paltry $30 to $70 per article.

In particular, Shoaib was tasked with writing hit jobs on the “Iranian occupation” of Lebanon, and falsely linking Hezbollah with the August 2020 Beirut port blast, drug trafficking, and murder of political activists.

It is also alleged that Mossad specifically requested his work incite hostility towards Palestinian refugees in the country who number almost 300,000. In all, Lebanon hosts more than 1.7 million refugees and has the largest per capita population of refugees in the world.

Roughly half inhabit camps administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), where they endure abysmal living conditions, overcrowding, poverty, unemployment, lack of access to justice, and other unspeakable hardships. The 11-year, foreign-backed crisis in neighboring Syria has also prompted Palestinian refugees there – and Syrian citizens – to seek sanctuary in Lebanon.

Given Israel’s track record of multifaceted crimes against the Palestinian people, that they are targeting an already vulnerable refugee population for propaganda purposes is hardly surprising. Nonetheless, Israel is not the only hostile foreign country resorting to these tactics.

Leaked files reviewed by The Cradle reveal the British Foreign Office has for many years secretly meddled in Lebanon’s refugee camps, courtesy of ARK, a shadowy intelligence cutout run by probable MI6 operative Alistair Harris. London’s agenda is rather different than Tel Aviv’s, however – it seeks to subtly stir up revolutionary fervor, and exploit them as unwitting foot soldiers in its ongoing clandestine war against Lebanon’s ruling elite.

‘Community Engagement’

The documents indicate ARK has been operating in all 12 camps since 2009, implementing British-funded “programming” of various kinds. This experience has granted the company “granular understanding” of their internal political, economic, ideological, religious and practical dynamics, and led to the establishment of a “diverse delivery team” and array of “local contacts” with “access throughout all camps and gatherings,” meaning community-level discussions and activities of residents can be spied upon and influenced.

This intimate, insidious insight is reinforced by “daily monitoring of neighborhood-level WhatsApp groups,” with “any new information, such as affiliation between a local group and a faction, or conflict between factions” documented by ARK’s in-house “stakeholder tracker.”

Typically, ARK has engaged in small-scale initiatives in the camps, including the restoration of streets and cemeteries, recycling initiatives, assisting in the launch of small businesses, providing income to disadvantaged and disabled residents, creating nurseries and daycare centers, and even launching a community hub, Sawa Coffeeshop. It serves to this day as “a popular place for youth to gather and promote civic engagement in their community and a shared Palestinian identity that bridges factional differences.”

In submissions to the Foreign Office dating to May 2019, ARK proposed ramping up these activities significantly. It pledged to create “Community Leadership Committees” in each camp, composed of hand-picked “stakeholders” – including NGOs, youth activists, women’s organizations, and representatives of neighborhood armed groups – to identify “quick impact projects” that could be implemented therein. These projects aim to “counter threats to social stability in the camps, create or improve livelihood opportunities, and provide better access to services.”

A social media platform created by ARK, Nastopia – which boasted 20,000 “highly invested” followers on Facebook at the time, a figure that has almost doubled since – was forecast to be fundamental to these efforts.

The page, run by a 24-strong team of ARK-trained “youth reporters”, would be used to recruit local participants, increase awareness and demand for “community engagement and improved conditions” among camp residents.  Other activities include the promotion of Foreign Office-financed projects and to publicize “success stories” generated by them, while “promoting Palestinian culture and a sense of belonging, and tackling social injustice.”

Nastopia was “already [an] effective voice for connecting Palestinian communities, particularly youth” by that point. ARK cited a recent “Camps Films Festival” organized by the platform, covered by Al-Jazeera, which showcased “films portraying life in the camps and what it means to be Palestinian,” and in the process provided “positive examples of a shared identity.”

All along, the Nastopia page was to be monitored with “community feedback” on the assorted initiatives gauged to identify areas in which these activities “could be adapted to maximize impact.” Specialist training provided to its staff meant the platform could also serve “as a forum for online and offline discussion about social injustices [and] virtual space to talk about topics considered taboo in the camps,” allowing ARK to burrow even deeper inside the heads of refugees.

‘Active Citizenship’

If the obvious surveillance and manipulation dimensions of ARK’s project weren’t troubling enough, it takes on an acutely sinister character when one considers a key objective of “highlighting successful initiatives” in the camps was to “[enhance] the audience’s confidence in their own ability to contribute to social change.”

A Foreign Office-commissioned Target Audience Analysis conducted by ARK in March 2019 sought to pinpoint a segment of Lebanon’s population that could be mobilized to “affect positive social change,” and methods by which tensions between sectarian communities could be reduced, in order to unify them in opposition to the country’s ruling elite. Reading between the lines, it gives every appearance of a blueprint for the overthrow of the Lebanese government.

An ideal audience was duly identified, representing 12 percent of the population, who disavowed violence but did not reject “other forms of contentious politics,” and could be “influenced” to engage in “behaviors leading to positive social change,” such as protests and community initiatives.

The only questions for ARK were: “What might be done to enable other Lebanese to have similar confidence in their potential to contribute to positive social change?” and “how might this segment of the population … be grown to include a larger fraction of the public?”

The answer, ARK proposed, was to both covertly and overtly promote the message that “change is possible and ordinary citizens have a role to play in achieving change,” by way of propaganda campaigns and civil society initiatives “[highlighting] where change has been achieved or where threats to Lebanon’s stability have been countered.” This would demonstrate to the country’s diverse population that “barriers” to reform can be overcome, by taking matters into their own hands.

Providing evidence of “responsive government at local levels” was crucial for reinforcing “principles of active citizenship” among Lebanon’s population – and the analysis specifically cited Syrians and Palestinians, who are mostly Sunni Muslims, as representing an “important part” of the country’s demography, to be motivated in this manner.

In other words, Foreign Office activities in the refugee camps form just one fragment of a wider, clandestine, multi-channel assault on public perceptions in Lebanon that Britain has been waging against its democratically-elected government.

A mobilized force

One can judge these efforts by their fruits. In October 2019, seven months after ARK’s Target Audience Analysis was supplied to the Foreign Office, large-scale protests engulfed the streets of Beirut, which have ebbed and flowed ever since, and generated enormous amounts of western media coverage along the way.

The extent to which ARK’s Foreign Office-funded meddling in Lebanon influenced this incendiary unrest may never be fully quantifiable, but it may be significant that in July that year, thousands of refugees across several camps began demonstrating in unison, demanding the government immediately reform employment laws barring them as “foreign workers” from numerous professions.

This turmoil was arguably the spark that ignited the entire “October Revolution” – and in one of its Foreign Office submissions, ARK refers to how it “takes pride” in ensuring refugees recruited to its illicit schemes receive “annual leave, sick leave, and health insurance,” despite this not being “legally necessary” due to local legislation “discriminating against Palestinians.”

Who benefits?

The influence of ARK on Lebanon’s impending general election in May, the country’s first since the riots began, is even more unambiguous. Several news outlets have hailed the unprecedentedly high profusion of young candidates vying for office – 80 in total, many of them women.

A clandestine Foreign Office project influenced by the aforementioned Target Audience Analysis sought to enlist Lebanese youth as “agents of change”, fostering among them a culture of active political participation, in order that they could better “hold political institutions and individuals accountable,” and increase “electoral participation” in favor of opposition parties.

Under its auspices, ARK convened “boot camps” in “priority areas” of Lebanon, cultivated “a national group capable of pushing for greater change” composed of young women, and created social media assets and youth-focused websites featuring political interviews, question-and-answer sessions, coverage of boot camp meetings, “calls to action,” and “humorous messaging campaigns.” Activity on these assets was scheduled to ramp up ahead of the 2022 elections.

Clearly, irrespective of the outcome of the Lebanon May elections, the ultimate victors won’t be the parties and candidates that secure office, or the average Lebanese citizens who elected them, but Britain – for whatever form the next government takes, one way or another, it will serve London’s financial, ideological, military, and political interests.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

France Throws Hypocritical Hissy Fit over Russian Satirical Cartoon

MARCH 26, 2022


France has thrown a hypocritical hissy fit over a satirical cartoon, ”L’Europe en 2022.” So exceptionally exquisite are the decent sensibilities of the French Foreign Ministry, that the Office summoned Russia’s ambassador to France, to whine that the tweeted caricature was “unacceptable,” in its reputed mockery of Europe.

Per Reuters, France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune described the cartoon as a “disgrace,” apparently particularly painful once given that “We [France] are trying to maintain a demanding channel of dialogue with Russia and these actions are completely inappropriate,” according to the Reuters report.

France’s Macron had a much more liberal view of free speech during his second trip in less than one month, to soothe “traumatized Lebanon” after the massive and deadly explosion which destroyed the Beirut Harbor.

France's Macron took a different stance on "free speech" when in Lebanon.
France’s Macron took a different stance on “free speech” when in Lebanon.
France’s Macron took a different stance on “free speech” when in Lebanon.

In a speech during his 1 September 2020 visit — related to Charlie Hebdo, and to a Muslim-majority audience — he stated: “It’s never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press…[T]here is in France a freedom to blaspheme which is attached to the freedom of conscience. I am here to protect all these freedoms. In France, one can criticize a president, governors, blaspheme.”

He did not explain how he was in Lebanon to protect Lebanese freedoms (though there remains a sulfuric stench Sykes-Picot residual).

Perhaps an entitled, imperialist mindset is required to consider a series of humorless, baseless, and vile caricatures which seem to have the intention of inciting anger decent and proper free speech, while one based in accuracy demands universal condemnation.

According to Macron in Lebanon, politicians can be criticized, and the rudest blasphemy is doubleplusgood.

Also according to Macron in NATO Brussels, an honest cartoon is ‘false propaganda,’ and completely “unacceptable.”

Reuters did not include the ‘mocking’ caricature of NATO and the US destroying Europe in its report, maybe fearing it would be sanctioned by the regime that selectively promotes freedom of speech.

France’s hypocritical hissy fit over Russia’s concise polemic is a call to political cartoonists to up the ante.

— Miri Wood

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Lebanese president emphasizes Hezbollah has no influence on the country’s security

President Aoun’s comments were made after he and Pope Francis spoke about the ‘peaceful religious co-existence’ between various sects that exists in Lebanon

March 22 2022

Pope Francis and President Michel Aoun (Photo credit: Vatican Media)

ByNews Desk

During an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Lebanese President Michel Aoun asserted that the Hezbollah resistance movement is not a terror group and that they have no influence in security matters.

“Resisting the occupation is not terrorism, and Hezbollah, which is made up of Lebanese people and which liberated south Lebanon from Israeli occupation, has no influence on the security reality in Lebanon,” Aoun said following a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican on 21 March.

In the interview, Aoun emphasized there was no chance of peace for as long as the territories of Lebanon and Syria are occupied by Israel.

Regarding the dire socio-economic situation currently plaguing Lebanon, the president and the Pope said they hope the crisis can be resolved through available measures, including international aid as well as through reforms in the Lebanese government.

The two also addressed the “disastrous consequences” of the Port of Beirut explosion which occurred on 4 August 2020, noting that the families of victims still demand justice and the truth behind the tragic event.

Tarek Bitar, the judge who was overseeing the Port of Beirut explosion, is accused of politicizing the blast and was suspended multiple times due to bias.

The Pope and Aoun both noted Lebanon’s unique position in the world as a model for co-existence between different religions.

“Soon I will visit Lebanon. This is a decision I have taken, because this country remains, despite anything, a model for the world,” announced Pope Francis, as reported by the office of the Lebanese president.

Despite general co-existence throughout Lebanon, sectarianism still threatens its security.

On 14 October 2021, the far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party opened fire on an unarmed protest against the politicization of the Port of Beirut blast investigation. The protest included members of Hezbollah and Amal, both Shia Muslim, as well as the Marada Movement, a Christian party.

Seven unarmed protestors were killed, including Maryam Farhat, a woman who was deliberately shot by a sniper while inside her home, standing by a window.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah responded to the tragedy, which was seen as an attempt to re-ignite a civil war, by stating that the Lebanese Forces party, which claim to represent Lebanese Christians, are themselves the biggest threat to Christians in Lebanon.

The LF has a history of killing other Christians, as they did during the Lebanese civil war, turning their sectarianism into a political rather than religious cause.

The Lebanese Forces party was formed out of the remnants of militias that served the Israeli occupation of Lebanon until the year 2000. Today, their foreign sponsors include Saudi Arabia.

Lebanese Government Won’t Convene before 2022 due to Political Stalemate Caused by Politicized Judicial Performance

December 22, 2021

Grand Serail in Lebanese capital, Beirut 

The Lebanese government will not hold any sessions this year, according to Al-Manar sources, which indicated the political crisis will not be addressed before 2022.

The well-informed sources added that the political stalemate, caused by the politicized performance of the judicial investigator into Beirut blast Judge Tarek Bitar, will affect also the efficiency of the major Constitutional institutions in the country as President Michel Aoun will reject to sign any decree.

Al-Bitar had issued arrest warrants against officials as well as military figures on an illogical basis, pushing the defendants and observers to cast doubts on his probe.

On August 4, 2020, a massive blast rocked Beirut Port blast, killing around 195 citizens and injuring over 6000 of others. The explosion also caused much destruction in the capital and its suburbs.

Source: Al-Manar Engish Website

No decision in the seventh and final session of the Constitutional Council
Today’s Politics 12-22-2021

Politics today with Faisal Abdel Sater
Politics today with Dr. Abdel Halim Fadlallah

لبنان تحت الحكم العرفي لثنائي سلامة ـ بيطار

 ناصر قنديل

عندما يكون بمستطاع موظف أن يضع دولة بكاملها على شفا الانهيار أو الانفجار، فهذا لا يكشف إلا هشاشة بنيان الدولة، وضعف مؤسساتها الدستورية، وفشل قادتها في امتلاك آليات معالجة الأزمات ضمن النظام الدستوري، وتغلب العصبيات والمصالح الفئوية على النصوص والمبادئ في صناعة الإصطفافات، وعندما يصبح الموظف مهما علا شأنه حاكماً بأمر البلاد والعباد، تحت شعار أن لا امكانية لاعفائه حتى تنتهي ولايته المحددة بزمن أو مهمة أو يقرر الإستعفاء، فذلك لأن المؤسسات الدستورية منقسمة طائفياً ومصلحياً وتعلو فيها التناقضات الصغيرة على الحسابات الكبيرة، وعندما تصير أولوية هذا الموظف أكان قاضياً أو حاكماً لمصرف مركزي هي حماية هيبته وسطوته على حساب مهمته، وتكبر الخسة في رأسه ليتخيل أن منصة الترشح لرئاسة الجمهورية تبدأ باسترضاء الخارج، واللعب على عصبيات وانقسامات الداخل، تصير الكيدية عند القاضي أعلى من مهمته بكشف الحقيقة، والقاضي يعلم أن توقيف مسوؤل سياسي في سياق التحقيق  لن يغير شيئاً في السعي للحقيقة، التي يمكن لكشفها إذا كان مدججاً بالأدلة والبراهين أن ينتهي بتمكين القضاء من توقيف كل المسؤولين، وعندما تصير تصفية نظام الودائع بالتلاعب بأسعار الصرف وصولاً إلى إعلان إفلاس الدولة تمهيداً لبيع ممتلكاتها، أهم من مسؤولية المصرف المركزي الأصلية بحماية استقرار سعر الصرف، والحفاظ على سلامة النظام المصرفي، وقد انهارا معاً ببركة قراراته وسياساته، فكل هذا يعني أن صدفة واحدة تكفي للانهيار أو الانفجار، وكل منهما يودي إلى الآخر من دون الحاجة  إلى خطة أو حتى صدفة.

المشهد الذي يرسمه للبنان الشلل السياسي والدستوري بالتوازي مع التدهور القضائي والمالي، تقول بوضوح إن تسارع المسارين المالي والقضائي الانفجاري سيسبق قدرة المسار السياسي والدستوري لاحتواء المخاطر، فسعر صرف الدولار دخل في السابق الجنوني نحو الارتفاع من دون ضوابط أو كوابح، حيث دولار الاستيراد بات يعتمد بصورة تصاعدية على سوق الصرف، وحاكم المصرف المركزي يؤكد كل يوم أن ضبط الاستقرار النقدي وضمان سلامة النظام المصرفي ليسا من اهتماماته، بل تجنب المساءلة عن الخسائر التي تسببت بها سياساته المالية، واستباق أي حلول تفرضها الجهات الخارجية بإنهاء تصفية الودائع بأسعار صرف متدنية تتيح تخفيض قيمة المطلوبات، ولو أدى ذلك إلى إفلاس اللبنانيين، وصولاً إلى تصفية ممتلكات الدولة وبيع الذهب لحساب المصارف تحت شعار سداد الديون، ولو أدى ذلك إلى إفلاس الدولة، وبالتوازي فإن المسار القضائي للمحقق العدلي لا يبدو معنياً بما يخدم كشف حقيقة السفينة التي جلبت النترات ومن أبقاها في المرفأ، بقدر ما هو معني بتصعيد التوتر السياسي، ولم يكتف بالدماء التي سالت بسببه وبسبب أسلوبه التحقيقي في الطيونة، وهو يعلم أنه يضع مصير التحقيق الذي يفترض أن هدفه الحقيقة، في كفة، والتحدي السياسي، بمعزل عن أهميته للحقيقة في كفة أخرى، فهو أول من يعلم أنه لن يحصل على أي معلومات تفيد التحقيق إذا تم توقيف أي مسؤول تنحصر التهمة الموجهة إليه بالتقصير، وهذا ما يعترف به في مذكرته التي لا تقول إن هذا المسؤول يملك معلومات خطيرة ستنير التحقيق، بل يتحدث عن إصراره على إخضاع الأجهزة الأمنية لسلطته، وإذلال السياسيين أمامه، كما يعرف القاضي أيضاً أن تهمته بالتقصير لكل المراجع السياسية والإدارية، التي يلاحقها، يتهاوى أمام السؤال ماذا كان بمستطاع هؤلاء أن يفعلوا غير مخاطبة قضاء وضع يده على القضية، يجيب على كل المراجعات التي وصلته من هؤلاء الوزراء والمدراء إما بعدم الإختصاص، أو برفض طلبات إخراج النترات أو بيعها أو إعادتها.

الأغبياء وحدهم يعتقدون أن إقامة المتاريس توحي بشيء غير الحروب، أو أن التصعيد والتوتر القائمين على الساحة الدولية والاقليمية والانسداد السياسي أمام فرص التسويات، على الأقل راهناً، لا يحتاجان ساحة تفجير وصندوق بريد، وأن الخواصر الرخوة كبلدنا تشكل ساحة نموذجية لهذه الوظيفة، وأن الموظفين الكبار الذين يتصرفون كحكام عرفيين يأخذوننا إلى الهاوية، ونحن ننقسم على خطوط التصفيق لهم، والمطالبة بتنحيتهم، نصف  هنا ونصف هناك، والحمقى وحدهم يتوقعون أن غياب فرص الحروب الكبرى يحجب امكانية حروب صغيرة أو تفجير ساحات تجارب وتجاذب، فالعكس هو الصحيح، وعندما دخل لبنان الحرب الأهلية اصطف الأغبياء على ضفة والحمقى على ضفة، تحت شعارات كبيرة ولم

يرف لهم جفن، فصاروا رموزاً وقادة.

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سياسة المشهد السياسي

يقول متابعون للاتصالات إن الاستقالة ستشكّل إرباكاً للسعودية لجهة التعامل معها (هيثم الموسوي)

مع تقديم وزير الإعلام جورج قرداحي استقالته من الحكومة، لا يمكن إغفال عدد من التطورات. قد لا تؤتي هدية لبنان إلى المملكة العربية السعودية أُكلها، لكنها في الداخل قد تؤمّن انطلاق مسار سياسي جديدالمبادرة الخاصة جدّاً التي قام بها وزير الإعلام جورج قرداحي، بالاستقالة من الحكومة لفتح الباب أمام معالجة للأزمة مع السعودية ودول خليجية، تنتظر أن يلاقيها الطرف الآخر، وسط تباين في التقديرات حول ما يمكن أن تقوم به الرياض ردّاً على هذه الخطوة، ووسط مخاوف من استمرار موقفها من دون أيّ تصعيد في الخطوات الإجرائية، مقابل أن تتراجع دول خليجية أخرى عن إجراءات اتخذتها بتجميد العلاقات مع لبنان.

لكن الأمر ظلّ يلقي بظلاله على غياب الاستراتيجية اللبنانية الموحّدة حيال ملفات حساسة أبسط من الاستراتيجية الدفاعية التي يطالب بها خصوم المقاومة. إذ إن «الانهيار» أصاب مواقع رئيسية في البلاد حيال المطالب السعودية والاستجابة الضمنية للضغوط التي جاءت من الأوروبيين أيضاً، علماً بأن الجميع يعرفون أن القدرة على إدخال تحوّلات كبيرة في الموقف السعودي من لبنان ليست في متناول اليد الآن، بل إن الرياض تبدو مستمرة في التصعيد ريثما تتمكّن من تحقيق توازن على أكثر من صعيد.

ومع ذلك، فإن الخروج «الطوْعي» لوزير الإعلام من الحكومة خلط الأوراق من جديد. تكاتف فرنسا مع رئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي ترافق مع «قبّة باط» سياسية داخلية جاءت من معظم القوى والمرجعيات. وبينما حاول البعض رمي الكرة في ملعب حزب الله، فإن الجميع يعرفون حقيقة موقف الحزب الذي بقي مصرّاً على احترام قرار قرداحي، مع الاستعداد للوقوف إلى جانبه لو قرّر المضيّ في المعركة. لكنّ الآخرين، جميعاً وبلا أيّ استثناء، كانوا في مكان آخر، وعملوا، كل من جانبه، على ممارسة أشكال مختلفة من الضغط على قرداحي لأجل تنفيذ الاستقالة. ومع ذلك، يتصرّف الجميع على أن الاستقالة أمّنت انطلاق مسار جديد في البلد. استعان ميقاتي بـ«الصديق» الفرنسي على الداخِل، ونجح الرئيس إيمانويل ماكرون في انتزاع «هدية» يدخُل بها على مُضيفه في الرياض.

السؤال عن السبب الذي دفَع القوى السياسية إلى ترك قرداحي «على هواه» يتراجع أمام الاستفسار عن «الثمرة» التي سيجنيها لبنان، وخاصّة أن «المطلوب رضاه» لا «مسامح ولا كريم»، فهل حصل لبنان على ضمانات بأن تدفع هذه الخطوة السعودية إلى أن تُعيد النظر بتصعيدها؟

الإجابة عن هذا السؤال قد تكون في ما قاله قرداحي في مؤتمره الصحافي، ولعلّه المختصر الأهم: «نحن اليوم أمام تطوّرات جديدة، والرئيس الفرنسي ذاهب إلى السعودية بزيارة رسميّة، وفهمت من رئيس الحكومة أنّ الفرنسيّين يرغبون في أن تكون هناك استقالة لي تسبق زيارة ماكرون، وتساعد ربّما على فتح حوار مع المسؤولين السعوديّين حول لبنان»، أي أنها «يُمكن أن تصيب أو تخيب»، علماً بأن ما علّقت به قناة «العربية» السعودية كانَ علامة أولى، قائلة: «في خبر عاجل، غير مهمّ للغاية، وزير الإعلام اللبناني يُقدّم استقالته من الحكومة».

بمعزل عن ذلك، يقول متابعون للاتصالات إن الاستقالة، لا شك، ستشكّل إرباكاً للسعودية لجهة التعامل معها؛ إذا قبلت الرياض الهدية وتراجعت عن إجراءات التصعيد، فسيظهر بأن حجم ردة فعلها على تصريح وزير لا يتناسب وحجمها كدولة. أمّا في حال رفضت المبادرة اللبنانية تجاهها، فيتأكد حينها بأن للمملكة أجندة للانتقام من لبنان، وسيحرِج ذلك أصحاب حملة التهويل على وزير الإعلام والذين سعوا طوال الفترة الماضية إلى تحميله المسؤولية.

استقالة قرداحي تريح فرنجية محلياً وخارجياً وانتخابياً

أمّا داخلياً، فإن الجميع يسعون في استثمار الخطوة، كل من وجهة نظره. رئيس الحكومة، الذي يتعرّض للضغط الفرنسي ويواجه الكراهية السعودية، يريد «فك العزلة» التي تواجه حكومته، وقد يسعى إلى استثمار الأمر من أجل إعادة تفعيل الحكومة، ولو أنه يحتاج إلى تسويات أخرى ذات طبيعة سياسية وأكثر تعقيداً ربطاً بمطالب الثنائي الشيعي وتيار المردة بما خص التحقيق في ملف المرفأ.

كذلك، ظهر أن سليمان فرنجية، نفسه، والمحطين به، ولا سيما نجله النائب طوني، يتصرّفون على قاعدة أنه «همّ وأزيح» ربطاً بالمسائل المتعلّقة بواقعهم الانتحابي، من جهة، وحتى بملف الانتخابات الرئاسية، من جهة ثانية، علماً بأن معركة انطلقت حول فرنجية الآن على من يخلف قرداحي، إذ يطمح مسؤولون في التيار نفسه إلى تولّي المهمّة بدلاً من اللجوء إلى صديق كما حصل مع قرداحي.

وتلفت مصادر مطّلعة إلى ضرورة مراقبة ما إذا كانت استقالة قرداحي مجرّدة عن التطورات التي تخصّ ملفات أخرى. وتوقفت المصادر عند تصريح ميقاتي لوكالة «أنباء الشرق الأوسط» في لبنان حول «إصرار الثنائي الشيعي على الفصل بين التحقيق القضائي بانفجار ميناء بيروت والتحقيق مع الرؤساء والوزراء»، وقول ميقاتي: «لدينا في الدستور المجلس الأعلى، وهو محكمة كاملة متكاملة مؤلفة من 8 قضاة من أعلى رتب قضائية، إضافة إلى 8 نواب»، في إشارة ضمنية إلى احتمال اللجوء إلى تسوية تقضي بفصل ملفات التحقيق الموجودة بين يدي المحقق العدلي في قضية انفجار مرفأ بيروت طارق البيطار، من دون الاضطرار إلى عزله أو تنحيته، علماً بأن ميقاتي كان دائم التأكيد على «عدم التدخّل في القضاء»، لكنه أعطى إشارة على استعداده للتراجع خطوة، إذ لفت إلى أن «ما يقوم به القضاء من دمج محاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء مع التحقيق القضائي أثار تباينات»، مؤكداً أن «الفصل بين التحقيقين ضروري حيث إن للعسكريين محكمة عسكرية وللقضاء هناك تفتيش قضائي، وأيضاً أوجد الدستور هذه المنظومة لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء». وتساءلت المصادر عمّا إذا كان ميقاتي «يقول ذلك من عنديّاته، أو أنه استحصل على تراجع فرنسي عن الدعم المطلق لرئيس القضاء الأعلى القاضي سهيل عبود، والقاضي البيطار»، مشيرة إلى أن الأيام المقبلة ستؤكّد ذلك في حال «سجّل عبود خطوة لافتة وخرج حلّ ملف البيطار من القضاء بفتوى دستورية للفصل بين التحقيق وإعطاء صلاحية محاسبة الرؤساء والوزراء لمجلس النواب».

وكان رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون قد شكر قرداحي على مبادرته، مجدّداً التأكيد على حرص لبنان على إقامة أفضل العلاقات مع الدول العربية الشقيقة عموماً، ودول الخليج خصوصاً، متمنياً أن تضع الاستقالة حدّاً للخلل الذي اعترى العلاقات اللبنانية ــــ الخليجية. أمّا ميقاتي، فعلّق عليها بالتأكيد أنها «أتت ضرورية بعد الأزمة التي نشأت مع السعودية وعدد من دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي، ومن شأنها أن تفتح باباً لمعالجة إشكالية العلاقة مع الأشقاء في السعودية بعد تراكمات وتباينات حصلت في السنوات الماضية».

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أن يتواطأ القضاء ليُقرر باسم بعض الشعب أحكاماً وقرارات معلّبة سلفاً لتُرضي جمهوراً يتظاهر على أعتاب قصر العدل المتداعي، فذلك ما حصل أمس تماماً في قرار محكمة التمييز الذي أصدرته القاضية رندة كفوري. وبالتزامن معها، أصدرت، الهيئة العامة لمحكمة التمييز، وهي الهيئة القضائية الأعلى، سلسلة قرارات بالجملة لتواكب رغبات المحتجين. بقيت «عربوسة» القاضيين نسيب إيليا وحبيب مزهر التي فتح قرار «التمييز» الباب لطيّها«قدرة قادر»، في تزامن مريب، شاءت أن يصدر قرارا الهيئة العامة لمحكمة التمييز ومحكمة التمييز في وقت واحد، على وقع أصوات متظاهرين أمام قصر العدل للمطالبة بإبقاء طارق البيطار محققاً عدلياً في انفجار مرفأ بيروت.

المايسترو» واحد، وهو رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى (الطائفي) سهيل عبود

«المايسترو» واحد، وهو رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى سهيل عبود الذي يُقال، همساً وجهراً، في أروقة قصر العدل إنّ «مَوْنته كبيرة» على رئيسة محكمة التمييز رندة كفوري التي انتدبها لرئاسة الغرفة السادسة في «التمييز» التي تنظر في طلبات النقل للارتياب المشروع. وقد وقّتت كفوري قرارها في طلب قُدِّم لها منذ أكثر من 3 أشهر على توقيت «الهيئة العامة»، ملبياً ما يصبو إليه عبّود رغم المخالفات الكثيرة التي ارتكبها البيطار. جرى ذلك كله على وقع تصفيق المتظاهرين في ساحة قصر العدل التي تحوّلت مسرحاً يخشاه القضاة ويتسابقون لخطب ودّ المتفرجين بقرارات معلّبة بناء على «ما يطلبه الجمهور»، كما على «ما يطلبه» الفريق السياسي الداخلي والخارجي المصرّ على استخدام التحقيق في انفجار المرفأ لتحقيق أهداف سياسية.

طارق بيطار: من هو القاضي اللبناني الذي وصلت الانقسامات بشأنه إلى اشتباكات  في بيروت؟ - BBC News عربي

هكذا، ردّت محكمة التمييز برئاسة كفوري دعوى الوزير السابق يوسف فنيانوس ضد البيطار بسبب الارتياب المشروع. وقبلت دعوى نقابة المحامين ضد القاضي غسان خوري بكف يده عن النظر في دعوى المرفأ بسبب الارتياب المشروع. كالت كفوري بمكيالين، ففيما ردّت الطلبات ضد البيطار، قبلت دعوى نقابة المحامين لرد النيابة العامة متمثلة بخوري عن الملف، وهو «موقف فريد عجيب»، وفق مصادر عدلية. إذ إنّ قبولها ردّ خوري وقرارها إبقاء البيطار يطرحان «ألف علامة سؤال ويخلقان التباساً كبيراً». فهي اعتبرت أنّ المحقق العدلي التزم بالقانون، لكنها ارتابت في أداء خوري لقوله في الدفوع إنّ صلاحية ملاحقة الوزراء والرؤساء منعقدة لمجلس النواب والمجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء، معتبرة أنّه بذلك كمن يُساعد المتقدمين بالطلب، مع أنّ القانون يبيح للنيابة العامة أن تبدي رأيها بحرية في الموقف الذي تراه مناسباً، ولها أن تبدّله. كما يحق للنيابة العامة أن تحفظ وتدّعي متى تشاء.

قرار القاضية كفوري هرطقة قانونية، إذ يأتي رغم الاجتهاد القائل إن النيابة العامة لا تُرد. والاجتهاد هذا تجاهلته القاضية عمداً. وكان هذا جلياً إذا ما قورنت بالتعامل مع القاضية غادة عون التي لم يستطع أي من القضاة وقفها أو كفّ يدها باعتبارها ممثلة للنيابة العامة. أعابت كفوري على خوري جهله بقرار محكمة التمييز، من دون أن تلتفت إلى الاجتهاد المعمول به. «تخبيصات» رئيسة محكمة تمييز، التي يُفترض بها أن تكون قدوة في القانون وبوصلة تستدلّ بها المحاكم والقضاة الأدنى درجة، لم تقف عند هذا الحدّ. فقد ذكرت في أحد قرارتها أن النص أعطى صلاحية استثنائية للمحقق العدلي لأن يدّعي على من يشتبه به من دون الرجوع إلى النيابة العامة، لكنها لم «تكتشف البارود» بذلك، باعتبار أنّ النصوص القانونية أصلاً تُبيح لأي قاضي تحقيق أن يستدعي أي مشتبهٍ فيه بصفة مدعى عليه من دون ادّعاء النيابة العامة، كونه يضع يده على الدعوى بصورة موضوعية.

تحديد المرجع الصالح للنظر بردّ المحقق العدلي يُشرّع الباب لتقديم طلبات الرد لدى محكمة التمييز

أما الهيئة العامة لمحكمة التمييز المؤلفة من القضاة سهيل عبود رئيساً، وسهير الحركة وجمال الحجار وعفيف الحكيم وروكس رزق أعضاءً، فقد أصدرت قرارها بالإجماع. بتت في طلبات الخطأ الجسيم المقدمة من النائب نهاد المشنوق ورئيس الحكومة السابق حسان دياب. واتخذت القرار بتحديد المرجع الصالح للنظر في طلبات رد المحقق العدلي وما إذا كان المحقق العدلي يُرَدّ في ضوء إصدار محكمتي الاستئناف والتمييز طلبات تفيد بأنّه لا يقبل الرد. كُرِّس أمس أنّ المحقق العدلي يُرد بعدما كانت محكمتا الاستئناف والتمييز قد وضعتاه سابقاً فوق القانون، وحُدِّد المرجع الصالح الذي بإمكانه رده، وهو محكمة التمييز.

بالتالي، بات اليوم بإمكان المتهمين الذين يستشعرون الارتياب من أداء المحقق العدلي تقديم طلبات رده أمام محكمة التمييز من دون أن يجتهد رؤساؤها بأنّ لا صلاحية لهم. في المحصلة، ردت الهيئة العامة لمحكمة التمييز برئاسة عبود طلبات مخاصمة الدولة بسبب «أخطاء جسيمة ارتكبها قاضٍ»، المقدمة من دياب والمشنوق ضد البيطار، على خلفية اتهامهما له بمخالفة الدستور من خلال الادعاء على رؤساء ووزراء، وهي الصلاحية التي يريان أنها للمجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء. كما ردت دعاوى مخاصمة الدولة المقدمة من النائبين علي حسن خليل وغازي زعيتر ضد القاضيين جانيت حنا وناجي عيد، كون القاضيين الأخيرين خالفا نصوصاً قانونية تُلزمهما بتبليغ أطراف الدعوى قبل النظر في طلب رد القاضي بيطار. وألزمت المحكمة المتقدّمين بالدعاوى دفع مبلغ مليون ليرة كغرامة عن كل دعوى تقدم بها كلّ منهم.

بين محكمة التمييز والهيئة العامة لمحاكم التمييز، ضاعت «عربوسة» القاضيين نسيب إيليا وحبيب مزهر، اللذين يترأسان غرفاً في محكمة الاستئناف في بيروت، واللذين يواجهان سيلاً من طلبات الرد التي تقدّم بها فنيانوس. لم يصدر عنهما قرار يقطع الشكّ باليقين، إلا أنّ المسار المرتقب يُبين أنّ تحديد محكمة التمييز مرجعاً للنظر بطلبات رد المحقق العدلي، يُتيح لإيليا بأن يقول إنّه ليس المرجع الصالح للنظر بصفته رئيس غرفة في محكمة الاستئناف.

أمام كل ما سبق، يُفتح مسار جديد في ملف الدعاوى. إذ إنّ تحديد المرجع الصالح للنظر بردّ المحقق العدلي يُشرّع الباب لتقديم طلبات الرد لدى محكمة التمييز عملاً بقرار الهيئة العامة. بالتالي، فإنّ الدعاوى المرتقب تقديمها سيتسلّمها رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى ليُحدد الغرفة التي ستنظر فيها، علماً أن كثراً يستشعرون الارتياب في أداء عبود نفسه. فهل سيكون القضاة الذي سيُحيل إليهم الملفات على شاكلة كفوري واجتهاداتها؟

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شكراً للميادين

الأربعاء 24 تشرين الثاني

قدمت قناة الميادين وثائقياً من حلقتين تحت عنوان الحقيقة في انفجار مرفأ بيروت، ومن عناصر تميز هذا الوثائقي درجة الحيادية العلمية التي قدمها باستبعاده لأي تحليلات وعدم استحضار خبراء وأصحاب رأي وحصره بتقديم سردية تستند فقط إلى الوثائق.

حسمت سردية الميادين الموثقة الغموض حول شحنة النترات والسفينة التي حملتها، فبات واضحاً أن الجهة المعلومة في موزمبيق هي التي اشترت النترات وبذلت جهوداً هائلة لتأمين الحصول عليها، وعندما تأكدت من تلف الشحنة بعد سنتين من الملاحقة أبلغت المعنيين بأنها لم تعد معنية بها، وكذلك السفينة التي تبدو عائدة كما بحارتها لجهة مفلسة أو قليلة الموارد أو تحكمها عقلية الابتزاز التجاري لتحصيل مبالغ تحت ضغط التوقف عن أداء المهمة، وهذا ما جاء بها إلى بيروت لتحميل شحنة معدات إلى العقبة، لكن بالحصيلة يصعب القبول بنظرية أن النترات والسفينة قد خطط سلفاً للمجيء بهما إلى بيروت، ما يجعل تقدير التفجير الناجم عن حدث عرضي للاشتعال أقرب للتصديق.

التقارير الموثقة للجانب الفني من التفجير تقاطعت بلا التباسات تلتقي على استبعاد نظرية التفجير من الخارج بصاروخ أو عبوة، وأجمعت على أن التفجير ناجم عن اشتعال بدأ مع التلحيم وتصاعد مع اشتعال المفرقعات النارية، وتباينت التقارير عند نقطة تحتاج إلى الحسم، حول الكمية التي تفجرت، حيث يقول التقريران الفرنسي والأميركي أن كمية تعادل ربع الكمية الأصلية فقط هي التي تفجرت، ما يطرح سؤالاً حول وجود تسريب أو سرقة أو استعمال لكميات منها يتيح التفكير بوجود مصلحة لمستفيدين تجارياً أو سياسياً من إبقاء النترات، بينما جاء تقرير قوى الأمن الداخلي ليقدم تفسيراً لهذا الفارق بتلف القدرة التفجيرية للنترات بسبب الإهمال وسوء التخزين ومرور الزمن والرطوبة.

سردية الميادين الموثقة تظهر حجم الاهتمام الذي تعامل من خلاله الإداريون، الذين يمكن ملاحقتهم بتهم فساد في ألف قضية، لكن في هذه القضية تبدو العقدة مستعصية أمام مراسلات مدير الجمارك السابق واللاحق، ومدير المرفأ ومدير النقل البحري، ومن خلفهما شراكة الوزراء المعنيين في المراسلات، فلا مجال للشك بأن الصد القضائي كان سيد الموقف، مرة بداعي عدم الاختصاص ومرة بداعي الحاجة لمراجعة الجيش، ومرات بالتباطؤ، بحيث لا يسارونا الشك بأن دخول النترات وبقائها كان عملاً قضائياً بامتياز، وإفشالاً لكل مسعى للمعالجة من الإدارات المعنية التي يقبع رموزها في السجن ويلاحق وزراء الوصاية عليها بتهمة القتل الاحتمالي، بينما القضاة المعنيون أحرار.

 الجهتان الوحيدتان اللتان كان عليهما ولا يزال الإجابة عن سؤال، كيف تم التساهل مع دخول النترات، وعدم تتبع مسارها وملاحقة وجودها، والتخلي عن المسؤولية في التعامل مع هذا الملف الخطير، هما قوات اليونيفيل والجيش، والأمر في صلب صلاحيتهما ومسؤوليتهما، بينما قام جهاز أمن الدولة بمهمته ولم يتساهل أو يتلكأ، فيلاحق مدير الجهاز، ولا يسأل أحد الآخرين عن مسؤولياتهم.

التحقيق القضائي سار بعيداً من الحقيقة، وأضاء حيث يرغب الشارع الملتهب بقوة 17 تشرين لتقديم رؤوس سياسية طلباً لحماية المسؤولين الحقيقيين، وإشباعاً لعطش شعبوي لتقديم أسماء كبيرة، وإرضاء لطلب سياسي خارجي ينسجم مع الاستهداف المبرمج ضد حلفاء المقاومة، كما قالت العقوبات الأميركية وقالت الملاحقات، يا للمصادفة المذهلة، تتكرر الأسماء نفسها.

شكراً للميادين لأنها اعتمدت مهنيةعالية ولم يجذبها إغراء السياسة، فقدمت لنا مادة غير قابلة للطعن في التأسيس لسردية لا تشوبها شائبة، في قضية بهذه الأهمية وعلى هذه الدرجة من الخطورة.

What Did Al Mayadeen Reveal in Its First Part of “Truth Uncovered: Beirut Port Blast”? انفجار مرفأ بيروت.. ماذا كشفت الميادين في الجزء الأول من “رواية الحقيقة”؟

What Did Al Mayadeen Reveal in Its First Part of “Truth Uncovered: Beirut Port Blast”?

The “Truth Uncovered: Beirut Port Blast” is a documentary that unveils key facts about the Beirut blast that differ from previous stories through documents and the accounts of experts.

“Truth Uncovered”… Al Mayadeen’s exclusive documentary

Since the Beirut blast, the Lebanese people have been trying to cope with the catastrophe that ravaged their country’s capital. And since then, many ambiguous and confusing accounts and testimonies have come out in a bid to answer one question that remains unanswered: who blew up the Beirut port? If there was neglect, where are the neglecters?

A probe was launched into the Beirut blast, and the case took an international turn that pushed some Lebanese parties to question the integrity of the judiciary apparatus. The internationalization also prompted said parties to become concerned that the humanitarian case would become grounds for political skirmishes and score-settling. That would deprive the families of the martyrs, the wounded, and the affected, not to mention the Lebanese public opinion, from knowing what happened on the afternoon of August 4, 2020.

When one is facing all of that, unveiling the truth and conveying it to the public becomes not only a professional obligation but a moral one that drives them to refrain from exploiting the blood of the martyrs to serve certain political interests and push premade agendas forward.

Al Mayadeen decided to televise a documentary that narrates August 4 and addresses details and mysteries surrounding the Beirut blast in a technical and objective manner that relies solely on the testimonies and words of experts.

The fulfillment of our journalistic obligation came in the form of this documentary with the hope that the fruits of our labor, directed by Shiraz Hayek, can get the truth across to those yearning for it.

Highlights and key scenes from the documentary can be watched in this Twitter thread:

انفجار مرفأ بيروت.. ماذا كشفت الميادين في الجزء الأول من “رواية الحقيقة”؟

22 تشرين ثاني

المصدر: الميادين

“رواية الحقيقة” وثائقي يعرض حقائق تتعلّق بانفجار مرفأ بيروت، بالاعتماد على وثائق ومستندات، يشرح ويفصّل ويرتّب وينظّم جميع المعلومات التي وردت في قضية مرفأ بيروت، من أجل عرضها للرأي العام.

ماذا كشفت الميادين في الجزء الأول من “رواية الحقيقة”؟

منذ وقوع انفجار مرفأ بيروت، وبعد محاولة اللبنانيين تلقُّف الصدمة، خرجت روايات وشهادات ملتبِسة ومشوّشة، تحاول الإجابة عن السؤال الذي لم يجد حلاً بعدُ: مَن فجّر مرفأ بيروت؟ وإذا كان الإهمال، فأين المهملون؟

بدأ التحقيق في انفجار المرفأ، واتخذت القضية بُعدَين: إقليمياً ودولياً، دفعا بعض الأطراف اللبنانية إلى التشكيك في نزاهة الآليات القضائية، والتخوّف من تسييسها من أجل تحويل هذه القضية الإنسانية إلى فرصة للمناوشات والتصفيات السياسية، الأمر الذي يحرم أهالي الشهداء والجرحى والمتضررين، فضلاً عن الرأي العام اللبناني، من معرفة ما حدث عصر الرابع من آب/أغسطس 2020.

أمام ذلك، يصبح إظهار الحقيقة وإطلاع المتابعين عليها ضرورةً لا تقتضيها مبادئ المهنة فحسب، بل الواجب الأخلاقي، الذي يدفع إلى التورّع عن استغلال دماء الشهداء في المساجلات السياسية والأجندات الـمُعَدّة.

ارتأت “الميادين” أن تعرض وثائقياً يحكي “4 آب”، ويتناول التفاصيل والخفايا المحيطة بانفجار مرفأ بيروت، في قالب تِقْني وموضوعي يعتمد على روايات المختصين وشهاداتهم. 

أنجزت شيراز حايك سابقاً سلسلة وثائقية بعنوان ال”العنبر 12″ من 3 أجزاء، عرضته شبكة الميادين، وتنجز اليوم وثائقياً بعنوان “رواية الحقيقة – انفجار مرفأ بيروت”، يشرح بإسهاب ماذا يوجد في مرفأ بيروت، وما هو المرفأ وأهميته، وكيف وصلت الباخرة التي تحتوي على نيترات الأمونيوم إلى بيروت؟ من أين أبحرت؟ وكيف استقرت في لبنان؟ ويشرح كيف أبحرت 2750 طناً من “نيترات الأمونيوم” من مرفأ “باتومي” في جورجيا إلى مرفأ بيروت عام 2013، وتسبّبت بانفجار كارثي عام 2020! فماذا حدث؟

يجيب الوثائقي عن عدة أسئلة،أهمها: ما هي شركة “سافارو”، وهل فعلاً هي شركة وهمية، كما قيل في بعض التقارير الإعلامية؟ من هم أصحاب شِحْنة الأمونيوم، ومن هم مستوردوها، وكيف كانت وجهتها؟ هل كانت وجهتها الفعلية بيروت، أم وصلت إليها عبر “الترانزيت”؟ وكيف تم التعاطي معها من الناحيتين، الإدارية والأمنية؟ السفينة “روسوس” كانت موجودة في مرفأ بيروت، وبدأ مالكوها ابتزازَ شركة “أغرو بلاند” للشحن، ومطالبتهم بتسديد مبلغ مقداره 180 ألف دولار أميركي للإبحار من بيروت، لماذا؟

لكن “رواية الحقيقة” يكشف أنه تبيّن، عام 2014، أنّ السفينة “روسوس” تعاني عيوباً كثيرة، وقد يتفاقم وضعها نحو الأسوأ، الأمر الذي استدعى من جهاز الرقابة على السفن رفعَ توصيات تشمل مقترحاً، مفاده ضرورة مغادرة السفينة مرفأ بيروت! لكن عوائق كثيرة حالت دون إبحار السفينة “روسوس” من مرفأ بيروت، كان أبرزها العوائق المالية.

في الـ 21 من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2014، حضر الكاتب القضائي زياد شعبان إلى المرفأ، وعاين الرصيف الرقم 9، حيث ترسو الباخرة “روسوس”، والتقى رئيسَ الميناء الذي أفاده بخطورة المواد المحمَّلة في الباخرة، وأنه تجب تهوئة العنبر وإخلاء محيط الباخرة، والعمل على نقل المواد إلى مكان خاص للتخزين، فنُقلت إلى العنبر الرقم 12 في 27 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2014، داخل حرم مرفأ بيروت،وسط تحذيرات بشأن خطورة بقاء النيترات في المرفأ. 

“ما عُرض في هذا الوثائقي مُغاير للروايات السابقة”

بعد عرض الوثائقي، رأت المحامية بشرى الخليل للميادين أن “ما عُرض مهم جداً، ومُغاير للروايات السابقة بشأن باخرة نيترات الأمونيوم”.

وتساءلت الخليل “لماذا التزمت اليونيفيل الصمتَ بعد دخول الباخرة المياهَ الإقليمية اللبنانية، ولم تغادر؟”، ولماذا لم يتم الاستماع الى الرئيس تمام سلام بينما الباخرة دخلت لبنان في أثناء توليه رئاسة الحكومة؟”.

بينما قال الصحافي والكاتب السياسي بيار أبي صعب للميادين إن “وثائقي رواية الحقيقة قدَّم معطيات مجردة بعيداً عن سردية الاتهامات والاستغلال”، وإنه يشكّل “تحدياً لمن يريد تزوير الحقيقة وتركيب سيناريوهات لاتهامات سياسية”.

واعتبر أن “هناك إهمالاً من قادة الدولة والجيش واليونيفيل الذين كانو يعلمون بشأن الباخرة منذ اللحظة الأولى”. ورأى أنه “كان في وسع القضاء اتخاذ مجموعة من الإجراءات بشأن الباخرة، لكنه لم يُقْدِم عليها”.

وقال أبي صعب إن “هناك محققاً عدلياً لا ينتبه إلى أنه يلعب بمصير بلد بسبب استنسابية تحقيقاته وعلاقته بالسفارات”، وإن “هناك استنسابية غريبة في التحقيقات في البحث عن المتهَمين”.

إنفجار مرفأ بيروت.. الحقيقة بالدلائل والمستندات/ بيار أبي صعب وبشرى الخليل والعميد شارل أبي نادر

“لو أن الجيش اللبناني واليونيفيل قاما بدوريهما لما وقع انفجار مرفا بيروت”، هذا ما أكّده الباحث في الشؤون العسكرية العميد شارل أبي نادر للميادين، معتبراً أنه “لو قام القضاء اللبناني بدوره لما وقع الانفجار في مرفأ بيروت، ولو قامت الأجهزة المعنية بواجباتها كذلك لما وقع انفجار المرفا”.

وأكد أبي نادر، الذي استبعد فرضية العمل التخريبي، أنّ “لا مبرر مقنع لعدم إعلان التقرير الفني بشأن باخرة نيتيرات الأمونيوم”.

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Nov 19, 2021

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackling a range of political developments on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and his grandson Imam Jaafar Sadiq [AS], and the Muslim Unity Week. 

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

In the coming days, God willing, we will welcome a very dear, precious, and great occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Messenger of God, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of Messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH]. I congratulate all Muslims in the world and all Lebanese on this great and solemn occasion in advance. God willing, on this occasion, we will hold a proper and appropriate celebration in a few days, and therefore, I will leave talking about the celebrant  and the occasion itself until then.

With regard to the topics, I divided them into two part. One part I will talk about today, and the second I will talk about it, God willing,  during that celebration.

I will begin with tonight’s topics. I will speak about the first topic as briefly as possible, appropriate, and unobtrusive.

1- The elections:

The country today is busy preparing for the electoral law, the dates of the elections, the administrative procedures related to the elections, and the natural prelude to entering the stage of the electoral atmosphere as well as having the elections on time.

Regarding the elections, I want to emphasize several points:

i- Holding the elections on time

We have already talked about this and emphasized it on more than one occasion. In any case, there still remain those who try to spread confusion by blaming a certain party, including us sometimes, of planning to extend and postpone the elections, etc. This is all baseless talk. We affirm, insist, and call for the elections to be held on time within the constitutional deadline. To be fair and according to our follow-up with all the parliamentary blocs, parties, and political forces, we believe that no one – so as not to make baseless accusations like some opponents do – whether implicitly or openly is planning or preparing to push matters towards the postponement of the parliamentary elections and the extension of the current Parliament. Therefore, let us put this issue behind us and let everyone engage in holding the parliamentary elections on time, and we are certainly one of those.

ii- The expatriate vote

We agreed to the current law, which was voted on in 2018 and followed in the 2018 elections, as a result of the discussions, and in all sincerity, taking our allies into account. We agreed to a number of things in that law. In the joint parliamentary committees, whether formally or informally, a discussion took place some time ago, and some parliamentary blocs asked to reconsider or demanded a reconsideration. Some of our deputies expressed a position based on an existing reality. This same discussion existed in 2018 and became more intense at the time than it was in the past. This issue was the expatriate vote.

Today, when we want to prepare electoral campaigns or for people who want to run for office or be elected, there is no equal opportunity, whether in conducting electoral campaigns, in candidacy, or even by going to the polls to exercise free elections, specifically with Hezbollah. There will be other political forces whose situation may be less sensitive, but Hezbollah’s situation abroad, in some European countries, in North America, in the Gulf, and some other Arab countries is known. There is no possibility for preparing an electoral campaign, candidacy, or elections. In fact, this is a point of appeal, and we had mentioned to our allies that with regard to Hezbollah, we would not submit an appeal.

But someone can file an appeal regarding the elections in terms of unequal opportunities. The brothers raised the issue from this angle, and an atmosphere emerged in the country that there were those who wanted to prevent the expatriates from voting. Extensive debates were held over this and there was no problem. We discussed the issue once again and came up with the following conclusion. It was expressed by our deputies at the last meeting of the joint committees. But I’d like to mention it here to close discussions on it.

We, once again, discussed and evaluated it. This is what we had to say. Regardless of how many countries in which expatriates or residents will take part in the parliamentary elections – they usually participate in presidential elections – and if there are countries that participate in parliamentary elections, this may be present and perhaps their number may be few, but in any case, as long as the injustice befalls specifically us, we do not have a problem. 

This means that we, Hezbollah specifically, will be oppressed. We will not be allowed abroad or have the right to campaign, announce candidacy, or the freedom to vote. This even applies to our supporters. But as long as the injustice pertains to us and there is a national interest and it allows the Lebanese residing outside Lebanese to feel that they are partners and bear responsibility, we have no problem with that. We will overlook this observation, and that is why our brothers amended and said that we support the principle of expatriate voting, in principle. We divided the issue.

Now, there is a detail that whether the expatriates or those residing outside the Lebanese territories will vote according to the constituencies in Lebanon or elect the six representatives that are said to be allocated for the elections abroad. If they are going to vote according to the constituencies in Lebanese, we have no problem with that. And if voting on the six representatives will be confirmed, we are open to discussions when it’ll be discussed in Parliament. However, if the topic is not discussed, there is a law. So, work according to the law. Hence, we consider this matter closed.

And we hope, God willing, from our brothers, our expatriates and people residing outside the Lebanese territories to register and take part in the elections. They are welcome, and we hope that they will have the real opportunity to frankly express their opinion.

iii- Voting at the age of 18

With regard to the issue of [voting at] the age of 18, I honestly tell all the Lebanese people and young people between the age of 18 and 21 that this matter is only raised to be used locally. It is always raised at a time close to deadlines, and time does not help. Although it was brought up at a time way ahead of deadlines, something strange happened. Since 1992 when we first took part in the parliamentary elections, we’ve been known to have strongly supported giving young people at the age of 18 the right to vote.

Whenever you talk with political forces, you find that everyone is in favor. Yet, you go to the Parliament and it gets dropped. There is something strange in this country. We not only raised this in our speeches, slogans, and political and electoral programs, but we also seriously worked and fought hard for it. In March 2009, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc proposed a constitutional amendment law to reduce the voting age to 18 since this needs a constitutional amendment. In March 2009, it was voted unanimously. This was before the 2009 elections. The constitutional amendment needs two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The government also voted unanimously on this proposal. It was returned to the parliament after the parliamentary elections in the February 2010 session. The session was attended by more than 100 deputies, out of which only 34 deputies voted on the project, mainly the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and some other blocs. The rest of the blocs abstained, and it fell through. There is really something strange about this country.

If you now make an opinion poll for the parliamentary blocs and the political forces, they all tell you: yes, this is their natural right, and they must elect, etc. Of course, I heard a strange two days ago saying that young people need to be prepared and educated. What is this talk!

In Lebanese, children as young as five or six years old talk politics! You are talking about 18-year-olds. These need educating, preparation, school programs!!! What is this nonsense?!

Anyway, we once again call, the expatriates have the right to vote. All people should demand this right and respect it. If they are wronged somewhere like us, let us go beyond this oppression. With regard to the issue of voting at the age of 18, there is no injustice to anyone. If this right is not given, this is injustice to all Lebanese youth who are being deprived of the right to participate in the parliamentary elections only for purely partisan and personal reasons, not for national or real reasons..

iv- The MegaCenter

Also, related to the elections is the MegaCenter. We have no problem so that no one later says that Hezbollah is preventing this from happening. From now, we do not have a problem. You want to adopt the megacenter, go ahead. You don’t want the megacenter, also go ahead. You want to adopt the magnetic card, we don’t mind. Whether the Ministry of the Interior wants to adopt it or not, let it go ahead. What do you want us to vote with? The identification card? We’ll use it to vote. An excerpt of the civil registry? We’ll use it to vote. We’ll use whatever you want. We do not have a problem. Just hold the elections on time and don’t come up with excuses for not holding the elections on their constitutional dates. The rest of the matters related to the elections, nominations, alliances, the electoral program, and reading the electoral scene will be discussed at their right time, God willing.

2- The electricity file:

In fact, I should have started talking about this file, but I deliberately did not start with it because this file contains some annoyance. Hence, I opted  to start with the elections.

In the past few days, they told the Lebanese that fuel has run out, the factories will stop working, and the country will go into complete darkness. Save us. What should we do? Now, they’ve found a temporary solution. They found some with the Lebanese army, and the army instructed to take advantage of what it has to overcome this stage. Of course, We thank the leadership of the Lebanese army for this kind humanitarian step.

But the question remains: Today, this issue should be an absolute priority for the current government. Basically, when the cry came out, it was necessary – this is our personal suggestion – that the government hold an extraordinary session, not a two- or three-hour session, but one that remains from dawn to dusk to find a solution. What does it mean that the country has entered complete darkness? This does not only mean that the country is in complete darkness because of power outage, the country is in a state of clinical death because here we are talking about hospitals, cooperatives, everything having no electricity. Despite this, what has been happening in the country? Instead of calling for a serious, radical, and real treatment, as usual, the Lebanese blamed each other for being responsible, insulted and cursed each other, and insulted one another. All of this does not bring electricity.

Eventually, responsibilities must be determined. But usually in the prevailing Lebanese way, people enter the labyrinth, with more grudges, insults, and swearing emerge. And you’ve seen social media in the past two days.

Since the government holds its session every Wednesday, the priority on the table must be the issue of electricity. What I want to call for tonight is for you to see what you want to do regarding electricity. Find a solution or put the country on the path to a solution, not that pump it with painkillers, i.e., take an advance from the central bank and buy fuel with it for power plants to generate electricity for a few hours. Does this solve the problem? How many days and weeks will this last? The issue needs a radical solution. There are contracts that exist. Make up your mind, say yes or no, but address the issue in any way.

Today, a sum of money was sent to the Lebanese government – the Lebanese state. One billion and one hundred million dollars is in the hands of the Lebanese government. If we want to speak as a matter of absolute priority, take advantage of this amount or part of it and primarily and radically address the issue of electricity – building new power plants, addressing the problem of existing plants. The matter is in your hands. There are many offers from various countries in the world, from the East and the West. You do not want from the East, from the West, then, unless there is an American veto.

If the Americans are forbidding you, tell the Lebanese people frankly: O Lebanese people, we are terrified and unable to bring in European companies because the Americans will be angry with us and have forbidden us from doing so.

In this way the people will express their opinions – whether or not they’d like to live in darkness and in humiliation with no electricity, as the Lebanese used to live in humiliation with the lack of gasoline and diesel. We’ll act depending on the outcome. I know, for example, in Iraq – this is a common and well-known thing there – that the Iraqis have an electricity problem. When they tried to reach an understanding with some European countries, the Americans intervened forcefully and prevented them. So, is there a veto here in Lebanon, an American veto preventing that?

As for the Iranians, there was an old offer. Today, there is a new offer. Two days ago, when His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was in Beirut, he reconfirmed that we are ready to build two plants and provide a certain, large, and respectable quantity. Respond to him.

Ask for an exception since America is your friend. To us, they are our enemy, and we expect anything from our enemies. But they are your friends and allies. You trust them and consider them moral and humanitarian who possess human values and law. Ask them for an exception.

Iraq got an exception. Afghanistan under the rule of the Ghani government had an exception – it used to import many things from Iran. Other neighboring countries have exceptions. You ask for an exception. I learned a rather funny thing that was in fact published in the media – when one Lebanese official was by told by the Iranian foreign minister to ask for an exception as the other countries, the official replied to him, saying: I hope you will ask for the exception. It’s a very funny thing. Imagine a Lebanese official telling the Iranians who have enmity with the Americans to do so. There is an ongoing war between them and the Americans, and I him: you ask the Americans for an exception so that you can build us, for example, power plants, or so you  can sell us fuel for the power plants, or so you can sell us gasoline or diesel. What a way of taking responsibility? 

Anyway, regarding this issue along with all the people, we will raise the voice. The government, the President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister must determine the agenda. But we are among the people who have the right to demand that electricity be at the top of the agenda, or they should allocate an emergency and urgent special session and work for a real radical treatment for this issue. If the issue remains a matter of throwing accusations and scoring points and who disrupted, we will get nowhere.

Hezbollah or others may have raised this suspicion in the past. For the first time, I would like to raise a suspicion. I’m one of those people who has a feeling that somewhere there might be a certain game. Let me say how. It’s the same with what happened gasoline, diesel, and food stuff. The state knows that at some point it will have to lift the subsidies. Everyone tells you that there is no solution except the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF will ask for the subsidies to be lifted, and no one dares to take the responsibility of lifting the subsidy. 

They’ll let the people fight, race to cooperatives, and queue at gas stations for petrol, diesel, etc. After a month, two, or three, they’ll start shooting each other, cursing one another, and wielding knives at each other. Then, they will call for the subsidies to be lifted just to be saved and accept the fact that the price of gasoline is 500,000LBP. 

If the subsidies are lifted, the problem of the humiliating queues will be solved. Therefore, if you notice and you can go back to the media when we saw the humiliating queues, the voices called for the subsidies to be lifted. This action was serving this. Whether this was intentional and planned or not needs to be verified.

When talking about the subject of electricity, privatization and selling some state assets and some public sectors, including the electricity sector, are always mentioned. The electricity sector is always being eyed for privatization.

There is a fear I would like to raise today. I do not want to accuse anyone. It is very unclear to me, to be honest, that somewhere – within the government or outside it or whether they belong to the opposition or not – they want the electricity sector in Lebanon to collapse. Then, the state would be helpless and unable to solve the problem. Hence, there would be no solution except through privatization. Then, the Lebanese people would not want to live in darkness, so they’d demand to solve this problem with privatization. This is the real fear. We must pay attention to this subject. 

From this subject, I will delve into the third point which is related to diesel, gasoline, and the like. I once again make appeal to the various political forces and leaders in Lebanon – brothers, go and check with your allies and friends. I repeat and say that whatever we are capable of doing with our allies and friends, we will do. What can Iran do more than this? They are already telling you that they are prepared to sell you gasoline, diesel, and fuel and build power plants and metro stations. They want to cooperate with you and offer you facilities. This is a solution. 

The Syrians told you they do not have a problem. Bring Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan. I will offer you the facilities you want. If there is anything else, I am at your service as well. These are our allies. 

As for your allies, we have not seen them do anything. You have not done anything. Talk to someone to make you an exception. Talk to someone to help the Lebanese. If your allies told you that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people, then exclude Hezbollah and bring help for the rest of the Lebanese areas. Act responsibly, not maliciously.

Until now, we still hear that, for example, they brought diesel from Iran. They brought it across the border into Syria, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We hear it every other Sunday, etc. Here is another example of the level of responsibility in the country. A politician reached a conclusion that the power cut stated happening when diesel was brought in from Iran as the power plants broke down. You all know. It is all known. He did not know that the state’s electricity plants run on fuel, and what was brought from Iran was diesel. There is no relation between diesel, fuel, and electricity plants. In any case, this is the level that exists in the country.

This is a call for the last time. Budge a little. Move a little, and don’t be malicious. What is your main role other than criticizing, insulting, and accusing? Do something positive for your people and your country.

3- Gasoline and diesel:

I moved to the third topic, in which I will talk about what happened with us and what will happen concerning diesel and gasoline.

So far, we consider ourselves still in the first phase. Of course, a number of ships have arrived so far, and we are gradually moving them to Lebanon. We consider that the first phase will continue until the end of October. During the first phase, we did two things, and we will continue with them.

The first thing we said is that there is a group that we will gift them diesel for a month and a group that we will sell diesel to. We did not put the diesel at the stations and said, “People, please. Who wants to buy can come.” Meaning that we are doing more than the goal. We said that the goal is to secure this material for these pressing and urgent cases, and we do not want to compete or block the way for companies and stations that sell diesel. In the end, we will give to a group and the rest can buy from the stations. By doing so, we are not cutting off people’s livelihood. We adopted this approach, and we will indeed continue until the end of October as a first phase.

Within this first phase, there are two points I would like to add. 

1- We had announced a gift or donation for a group for a period of one month. That period has ended. There is a quantity that has arrived and another that is on the way, and it will reach them, God willing. What I would like to announce today is that we will renew this gift. This gift is for the same group and will be for an additional month, for a second month.

I will again mention the institutions belonging to this group: government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, centers for people with special needs, official water institutions, water wells belonging to municipalities, provided they are a poor municipalities, and fire brigades in the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. After the end of the first month, I announce today that we will provide the quantity they need from this material as a gift and assistance, God willing, for a second month.

2- Regarding the groups, I would like to announce that this material would also be sold to the fishermen. This addition comes following many revisions that have been made. We’ve already started and not just starting. This happened in the last period. The fishermen has been added to the segments to which this material can be sold to. The same institutions that we talked about before will remain – private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, mills, bakeries, etc. We will complete the first phase by working with the same [entities] we worked with last month.

When we reach the second phase, which starts from the beginning of November, we will add heating for families. We and our brothers are studying the standards because the most important thing is to abide by the standards. During the past month, there were cases that included people not belonging to the group that this material can be sold to contacted us. These people are very dear to us and we love to be of service to them. However, we had a serious commitment to the standards and the groups. If we did not abide, it will be chaotic, and, therefore, we would not be able to serve the groups that we considered a priority.

Today, we have the issue of heating that needs to be studied, and it is a very big topic. For example, among the entities that it will be sold to are private hospitals, bakeries, mills, laboratories, etc. We considered that establishments and companies operating generators are the largest segment, and they, in fact, are the ones that need the largest amount. But when we bring in the issue of heating, there is no comparison because here you are talking about Lebanese families in areas where there is cold and frost.

This requires different controls, standards, and a distribution mechanism that we are studying. God willing, before the beginning of November, we will talk about this issue, I or one of my brothers, and it will be announced in detail. Also because of winter, we may add new entities. This, too, is being evaluated and studied – first of all because of the high demand that happened. The volume of requests in all Lebanese regions was very large. I’d say it was greater than expected, yes, greater than expected. It is very large in all areas. This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, winter season is coming, and of course, the demand for diesel will increase exponentially – we had made diesel a priority. This means that we have decided to continue with diesel being the priority. We postponed bringing gasoline. Even if we get gasoline, we will exchange it for diesel with the merchants because the priority now is to provide the fuel oil in the way that it is secure. Thank God, now, in one way or another, the queues of humiliation are over. Gasoline is available at the stations, albeit at a high price. Our main concern was to get rid of the queues of humiliation. Now, these queues are over. Gasoline is available. We do not believe now, as a result of the large file, that we should work on all the entities. We have to focus our priority on diesel, especially since we are a few weeks away from winter season.

I will conclude this whole file. We heard people say, leave the Lebanese state buy its own gasoline and diesel from Iran. We support this talk. This is our demand. Let the Lebanese government ask the Americans for an exception, while the Lebanese companies buy. We guarantee that they will get facilities from Iran to buy diesel, gasoline, and fuel from Iran, etc. At that point, we will withdraw from this file. We will leave the file completely. We will not buy, nor bring ships, nor transport to Baniyas, nor bring from Baniyas to Baalbek. We will leave the matter completely. Go ahead, take responsibility. Open this door. This only needs some courage and boldness. Many countries neighboring Iran have exceptions – exceptions in buying gasoline, diesel, oil derivatives, and many other materials. Go ahead, work on this matter. This is one of the doors – you consider that we are violating sovereignty. Good, then help us so that we do not violate sovereignty. Go ahead, ask for an exception and open this door.

4- The Beirut Port [blast] investigation:

I would like to recall what I used to say since the beginning – we want and support the investigation. I honestly say and tell you that even if the families of the martyrs and the wounded abandoned the investigation, we, Hezbollah, will not abandon the investigation. We consider ourselves among those who were affected not only in terms of martyrs, wounded, and homes, but we were also affected morally, politically, and media wise.
Taking humanitarian considerations towards the families of the martyrs, we want the truth and accountability. Politically and morally, we, as Hezbollah, want the truth and we want accountability. There is no discussion regarding this topic. It is not cutting of the road in front of the investigation nor is it to end or cancel the file. Never. Whoever says this is unfair. We want to reach a result. What is really required is justice. What the former judge did is clear. He was biased and politicized. We spoke loudly about this and gave advise. The man rose and asked with legitimate suspicion and left. The man made a legitimate request and left. However, instead of benefiting from all the mistakes and the observations made to the previous judge, the current judge continued with the same mistakes. He ignored these remarks and did worse. The current judge’s work is politically motivated and biased. His work is being politicized and has nothing to do with the truth and justice.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the families of the martyrs – if you expect to uncover the truth with this judge, you will not. If you expect that this judge will bring you justice, even at the level of an indictment, you will not get it. The work of this judge is politically motivated. He is exploiting the blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the tragedy, and the calamity to serve political goals and political targeting.

1- We previously talked about the evidence, but now I would like to highlight the issue more because we have reached a point that can no longer be tolerated.

Let us simply talk logically. Is this interference in the affairs of the judiciary? But first off, tell me this is a judiciary so that I can agree with you whether this is interference or not. This is not a judiciary. This is a politically-motivated job. As long as it is a politically-motivated job, allow me to say a couple of words. What do science and justice say? They say there was an explosion. Hence, look for the responsibilities. This is a problem that I will return to shortly.

I would like to ask the current judge – disregard the previous judge. Since the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship to Lebanon’s Beirut Port to Lebanon, there have been two presidents: President Michel Suleiman and His Excellency President Michel Aoun. His Excellency, President Michel Aoun has said on more than one occasion – a transparent man – “I knew on this day and I followed up this way. I am ready for the judge to come and listen to me.” 

Did you listen to him? You are a judge who works as the judiciary, did you listen to His Excellency the President and took his statement? He is the one telling to go to him. What are you afraid of?

Did you ask President Michel Suleiman? Did you listen to him? did you ask him – you were the president of the republic when this ship came and entered, did you know? What did you do? Regardless of whether he was responsible or not. You did not ask him, and you did not listen to His Excellency the President even though he invited you. 

Since the day the ship entered Lebanon in November 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. You, the judge, quickly belittled Prime Minister Hassan Diab and thought you can accuse him, summon him, etc.

One question. Did you ask former heads of government? Did you listen to them? I’m not telling you to summon them. Did you go to them? Did you sit with them? Did you ask them even a question about their knowledge of the subject? What did they do if they had knowledge? Were they responsible or not? You did not do any of this. You quickly went to Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Can you tell me that the explosion took place during the premiership of PM Hassan Diab? Why did you go after the former ministers and not the current ministers? I am not defending people who are our friends only. Among them are our friends and those who are not our friends. The people I’m telling you to investigate include some of our friends. Why did you not ask the ministers in the current government who were in office when the explosion occurred? Instead, you went to the former ministers. Why not all the former ministers? Did you ask all the finance ministers? Did you summon them all and investigated with them? Did you investigate and ask the ministers of works who were in office in November 2013? The current Minister of Works is also our friend. The ministers of interior who were in office in November 2013 until today is also our friend. The ministers of defense as well as the ministers of finance and works are also the ministers of guardianship. Did you investigate with the ministers of defense? Non, you didn’t. Did you ask the ministers of justice? No, you didn’t. Did you ask all the heads of the security and military services? No, you did not. I tell you no because they really did not ask them. he asked some of them, but not all of them. What do they call this? You are going after specific agencies, specific ministers, and a specific prime minister is clearly [political] targeting. Does the issue need a little understanding in order to see that there is clearly targeting? There is political targeting. This is the first point. We’ve spoken about this in the past. We also warned you. Do not be biased and politicized. Or else, we will demand you leave. Then he continues working as if nothing happened. On the contrary, he rose even more and behaved as if he was the ruler with regard to this file. This is the first point.

2- The main subject in the explosion: 

The whole thing is incomprehensible. Yet, you skipped it. Basically, it is like what many Lebanese say. I am not saying anything new. The basic principle, O honorable judicial investigator, is that you go and tell the families of the martyrs before you incite them against the politicians. You have to tell these families that you sit with every other day who brought the ship, who let the ship dock, who gave permission, who left the materials in hangar 12, and who gave approval. You are not doing any of these. You are tackling another matter which comes in second place which is negligence. You are making a big deal out of this for settling political scores. O brother, tell the Lebanese people. If you don’t want to tell the Lebanese people, at least tell the families of the martyrs. And you, our people and our loved ones, the families of the martyrs, go and demand. This is your right to demand. Ask him how your children were killed? You, an investigative judge, do not want to tell them because this does not serve the politicization that you are working on. So, what did you turn to? To negligence. You are making a bigger deal out of negligence – the one who is charged with negligence should receive the most severe penalties.

I’m not asking for anything. I am only asking why he is disregarding and neglecting the first part of the issue. Why is the truth not told to the Lebanese? The judicial secrecy is the issue. It is not about someone killing another person. This is a catastrophe that has befell the country, and the country is heading towards a catastrophe if this judge continues working in this way. Therefore, the matter needs a different approach.

3- Bias:

The judges, who were involved and whose responsibility wss greater than that of the presidents of the republic, are responsible. I do not know. I am not a judge to rule on this matter. The responsibility of judges is greater than that of heads of government, ministers, and heads of the security services because the judges are the ones who allowed this material to enter and to be stored. The rest are all procedural. The two judges or the judges are the first to be responsible. O families of the martyrs, ask this judge. Ask him about those judges whose responsibility is unquestionable.

There might be a discussion about the responsibility of the prime minister, a specific minister, and the security apparatus. But there is no discussion that these judges are responsible. What did you do to them? You did nothing. You filed a lawsuit against them in court, the High Judicial Council and the Discriminatory Public Prosecution, and to appoint a special court. Great! You do not want to summon the judge, issue an arrest warrant for him, or imprison him because he is a judge. The judiciary wants to protect itself. However, you want to summon a respectable prime minister like Hassan Diab, subpoena him, issue an arrest warrant against him, and throw him in prison. Is this a state of law? Is this a state institution? Does this country have morals? The law says that judges go to court. The constitution says that presidents and ministers go to the presidents’ court. In the case of the presidents and ministers, why don’t you accept. You consider this your right and transcend all constitutional principles and attack people? However, in the case of the judges, the law says that they go to the High Judicial Council. Answer us so that we know whether what is happening is right, just, and fair or is political targeting?

4- The last part in this file:

When presidents, ministers, and representatives feel that they have been wronged, who do they turn to? They tell you – this specific judge is biased. He is attacking us and is unfair with us. He want to arrest us unjustly. He is impatient with formal matters as in talking with us and our lawyers. We are being wronged. Who do we turn to? In a state of law and institutions, the law must answer. They turned to a judicial body, and we see that this judicial body did not take its time to study the case, did not discuss, nor summon, nor investigate. It returned the request saying it’s outside of their jurisdiction. Whose jurisdiction is it? So, guide us. You say the law and the state of institutions, O Higher Judicial Council, answer. Bring the prime minister who will be summoned for arrest, the ministers, and others who may be caught up in lawsuits. Where are they being wronged? If there is no jurisdiction for so and so and so, who has jurisdiction then? This needs a solution and an answer. In any case, we have big problems. We consider that what is happening is a very bad situation. It will not lead to the truth and justice, but it will lead to injustice and to concealment of the truth. This does not mean that we are demanding that the investigation be closed. Not at all. We want an honest and a transparent judge, who works on a clear and transparent investigation based on rules, an investigation in which there is no bias. He must continue the investigation and this matter should not stop at all. 

First, we want an answer. Where would an oppressed person and a person with suspicions seek refuge in this country?

Another thing, the issue is no longer a personal matter, the issue has repercussions at the national level and on the country. Today, I am appealing to the High Judicial Council. What is happening has nothing to do with the judiciary, nor with justice, with fairness, nor with the truth. You must find a solution to the matter. The Supreme Court does not want to resolve the issue. The Council of Ministers is required to resolve this issue. It referred this issue. It will be raised in the Council of Ministers. We will speak and others too. This matter cannot continue this way. There is no possibility for it to continue this way, especially in the next few days. Therefore, among the institutions, the High Judicial Council should meet and see how to address this issue. We are talking to you and on behalf of many people in this country. We are a large segment in this country, and we have the right to be heard. We have the right to be given an answer. We have the right to demand in the Council of Ministers. It is our right that the Council of Ministers discuss this issue and take a stance. In all honesty, I tell you this matter must not continue this way.

As for the rest of the points of discussion, I wanted to talk about the demarcation of the maritime borders, the disputed area, the new negotiations, the Israeli steps, and other files. We will talk about all this, God willing, during the occasion in a few days.

I just want to conclude with two points. I must, morally and ethically, talk about them.

The first point is the bombing that took place in Kunduz, a few days ago, in Afghanistan, in a mosque during Friday prayers, which led to dozens of martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is a painful matter. Any person, Muslim or not, will ache when he sees elderly people and children being killed, just because they were praying in a mosque. This is very sad and very painful.

Despite the distance, we also share with our family and loved ones and these oppressed families their grief and pain. We express our sorrow for what happened and condemn it. But what’s most important is that Daesh committed this crime and claimed responsibility. I say the Wahabi terrorist organization Daesh. 

I hope from all our friends, companions, and the media in our axis, if they accept from me, to call it the Wahhabi terrorist organization. Because what Daesh is doing is the result of this school of thought that accuses the other of being an infidel. One can accuse the other of being an infidel, but he does not spill one’s blood and take his money and honor. A doctrinal disagreement, a certain person says that so-and-so is an infidel and does not believe in a specific cause. But what is more dangerous than takfir [accusing another Muslim to be an apostate] is spilling blood and taking someone else’s money, honor, and social public safety. It is this school of thought that led to these results throughout the world, especially in our Arab and Islamic world. 

The one who also bears the responsibility is America. Before the Americans left Afghanistan and on more than one occasion, I mentioned to you in the media and in speeches that we and others have information that the Americans are moving Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and from the Al-Hol camp. They even transferred some from Iraq to Afghanistan. At that time, many were wondering what the Americans wanted from Daesh in Afghanistan? Of course, at the time, even when they transferred them to Afghanistan, Daesh did not carry out a single operation against the American forces there. Rather, they fought those who were fighting the Americans, including the Taliban. But today, the goal has appeared more, to be sure.

I am an enemy of the Americans and I am accusing them. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, who is an ally of the Americans but has a problem with them, also said that the Americans had moved Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and eastern Syria to Afghanistan. That’s the Turkish foreign minister, a country that is not a small one in the region. He is a friend of the Americans. This is well known. Why did the Americans take Daesh to Afghanistan during the year they were negotiating with the Taliban in Doha to withdraw?

They were preparing for a post-withdrawal phase. What is the post-withdrawal phase? It is preparing for a civil war in Afghanistan. They had two tools. The first tool was the Afghan state and the Afghan army, which they spent hundreds of billions of dollars on. This collapsed, but the alternative was ready, which was Daesh. Today, Daesh’s work in Afghanistan is to drag the country into a civil war. They carried out operations against non-Shiites in Jalalabad and Kabul. But targeting the mosque in Kunduz, where Shiite Muslims pray, is also to create a state of internal tension that will lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

The Americans are responsible. The American policies, the American administration, the American army, the CIA, and all those who are working on the issue of Daesh and Afghanistan, we also hold them responsible for the innocent blood that was shed in Afghanistan. The responsibility of the current authorities – whether the world recognizes them or not – now that it is an authority that exists in Afghanistan, is to protect these citizens regardless of their affiliation to any religion or sect.

There is another matter that I must talk about from a moral standpoint, even though it has been a while since it transpired. An incident took place a while back in Palestine where a group of security services affiliated to the Palestinian Authority arrested, beat, and tortured martyr Nizar Banat, a Palestinian brother, a resistance fighter, and a thinker who had brave and courageous positions, which led to his martyrdom.

Of course, one may ask why are you talking about this now and that this story is old? At that time, although we saw that all the Palestinian factions took a position, we preferred to wait because the issue was not very clear, and we considered that it could be an internal affair. But today, it is my duty to pay tribute, even for a few minutes, to this resistant martyr, mujahid, thinker, and bold, brave, and oppressed martyr Nizar Banat. I am one of the people who during the previous period – I mean during his life and not after his martyrdom – I usually and for security reasons do not have internet, but every once in a while, the young men give me recorded summaries, I listen and watch what this person said, how he spoke, and how he expressed a position?

At various times, I listened and gave time to Brother Nizar. I was very impressed by his clarity, his pure thought on the issue of resistance, the issue of “Israel”, the issue of the situation in the region, the position on the axis of resistance, the conflicts in the region, and targeting the axis of resistance. I was amazed by his courage – he lives in the West Bank and it is possible that he might be attacked, arrested, or killed at any moment. Of course, I had in mind that the “Israelis” would kill him and not anyone from the PA. In fact, I would like to say a couple of words first to shed light on this bold, courageous, clear, authentic, and strong figure as well as his position on the issue of resistance, the Palestinian cause. He had courage until his martyrdom. Secondly, as this is the first time I am talking about the subject, we share with honorable family, all his family members, his loved ones, his friends, and his companions the pain and the unending grief. I know that to them this matter has not ended. 

The third point is to demand justice and truth from the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian judiciary, and all the Palestinian people for martyr Nizar must. Time will not stop this, and this blood must not be wasted just because those who have wronged him or committed crimes against him belong to a certain security apparatus. This is regarding martyr Nizar. I wanted to talk about him. 

I said at the beginning of the speech that in a few days we will have a great and very dear occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest Messenger of God. Of course, celebrations and commemorations take place in different regions of the Islamic world.
But in the past years, what must also be noted with admiration and pride is how the dear and oppressed Yemeni people are commemorating this occasion. We are talking about the areas under the control of what they call the Sana’a government, meaning in the areas where Ansarullah is present. Huge crowds gather in all governorates and cities at the same time.

The whole world saw how they’ve been commemorating the birth of the Messenger of God Muhammad during the past two years despite the war, destruction, difficult economic conditions, difficult living conditions, rampant diseases, great dangers, and siege. But it is really amazing the way they commemorate this occasion, and as a Muslim, I tell you that I feel ashamed. Despite the circumstances and situation, these people mark the occasion in such a way, while we, the rest of the Muslims in different parts of the world, how do we commemorate this anniversary even though our circumstances are much better than theirs, even if there are some difficulties. 

First, salutations to the dear and oppressed Yemeni people, who love and adore the Messenger of God, for what they will do during the next few days.

I consider the way the Yemenis mark [this occasion] as an argument for all of us as Muslims in the Islamic world.

In the past few years, we used to hold celebrations. It is possible that during the last two years, we’ve eased down on celebrations a little because of the coronavirus. This year, we want to hold a decent and respectful celebration. That is why starting from now I invite the lovers of the Messenger of God to make the marking and celebration of this year’s occasion appropriate and to the level of their love, adoration, and loyalty to the Messenger of God.

May God give you wellness. We’ll talk about the rest later, God willing, if God keeps us alive. May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

الثقب الأسود في ذاكرة الحاسوب السعودي

نوفمبر 2 2021

 ناصر قنديل

حسناً فعل وزير الخارجية السعودي فيصل بن فرحان بالكشف عن الأسباب الحقيقية للخطوة السعودية التصعيدية ضد لبنان، لنقل النقاش من المكان السخيف الذي وضعه البعض فيه في الأيام الأولى إلى السياسة، أي حيث هو فعلاً، وحيث يجب أن يكون، فالقضية ليست قضية تصريح وزير الإعلام، بل قضية موقف الدولة ومؤسساتها من حزب الله، باعتبار أنه وفقاً للوزير السعودي، يكفي أن لا تقوم الدولة بإعلان الحرب على حزب الله ليستنتج بأن حزب الله يهيمن على الدولة، ومفهوم ألا يستطيع الوزير أن يتخيل للبنان مصلحة بحجم استرضاء السعودية، وصندوق مالها، وهو في أزمة خطيرة، وعلى شفا انهيار شامل، والثمن لفتح صندوق المال أمامه هو مواجهة حزب الله، فماذا تنتظرون إن لم يكن حزب الله مهميناً عليكم، هكذا ببساطة هي النظرية السعودية، وهي بجوهرها تقول إنه ما دامت الدولة اللبنانية تتلكأ في القيام بالمهمة فقد قررت السعودية معاقبة لبنان وصولاً لإسقاطه، حتى يرضخ ويلبي الطلب.

ليس موضوعنا مناقشة تهافت نظرية هيمنة حزب الله على دولة، صاحب القرار المالي فيها حاكم المصرف المركزي صديق الرياض وواشنطن وصاحب القرار الأمني فيها مدير عام قوى الأمن الداخلي وفرع المعلومات، وصاحب القرار العسكري فيها قائد الجيش، وكلهم أصدقاء للرياض وواشنطن، وحزب الله يخوض مواجهة مع مسار قضائي ويعجز قضائياً وحكومياً، حيث يفترض أنه الحاكم، ووفقاً لوصف رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية، أن حزب الله وصل إلى طريق مسدود قضائياً وحكومياً، ونعم الهيمنة إذا كانت كذلك، لكن بعيداً من هذا التهافت، السؤال هو هل أن المواجهة مع حزب الله هي أمر جديد يحدث الآن من دون تاريخ ومن دون ذاكرة، حتى ندخل في تحليل الفرضيات ونتساءل عن المسارات؟

في اجتماع وزراء المالية لدول قمة العشرين، في كانون الثاني 2020 وقف وزير المالية الفرنسية برونو لومير كاشفاً أن ما يتعرض له لبنان هو خطر انهيار مالي اقتصادي، داعياً إلى عدم استسهال دفع لبنان نحو السقوط لأن النتائج ستكون أشد قسوة من مساعدة لبنان على التعافي، مطالباً واشنطن والرياض بفك الارتباط بين مساعي مساعدة لبنان على التعافي، ومعاركهما مع طهران وحزب الله، وأسقط بيد فرنسا يومها وانضمت صاغرة إلى الصف الأميركي السعودي في الدفاع عن سياسة الإسقاط، تحت شعار، فليسقط لبنان على رأس حزب الله، وعندما وقع انفجار مرفأ بيروت أعادت فرنسا الكرة بمبادرة الرئيس إيمانويل ماكرون، لإقناع شريكيها السعودي والأميركي بنظرية فك الاشتباك وفشلت على مدار سنة ونيف، حتى اختبر الأميركي منهج التصعيد ومحاذيره ومخاطره، عندما أطلق حزب الله مسار سفن كسر الحصار، واستدار الأميركي تفادياً للتصعيد، وقرر الإفراج عن فرص لبنان بتشكيل الحكومة، وقرر الانتقال إلى منافسة حزب الله في تخفيف حدة الأزمة، فاستثنى استجرار الغاز المصري والكهرباء الأردنية عبر سورية من عقوبات قانون قيصر، وبقيت السعودية وحدها ترفض فك الاشتباك، تواكب النصف الثاني من السياسة الأميركية القائم على محاصرة حزب الله تحت سقف عدم الدفع بالأمور نحو الانفجار، كحال المسار القضائي للقاضي بيطار، والاشتغال لتحضير صيغ مناسبة للتأثير في مسار الانتخابات المقبلة، لكنها تستثمر على ما تعتقد أنه تعبير عن خيار المواجهة المفتوحة، وهذا هو مكان الرهان على حزب القوات اللبنانية، الذي فشل في تقديم ما كان يتوقعه منه السعوديون قبل أن يقرروا الدخول مباشرة على الخط، والسؤال هنا، أي ثقب أسود في ذاكرة الحاسوب السعودي لتراهن على أن تحقق منفردة ما عجزت عن تحقيقه وهي شريك في حلف تقوده واشنطن ويضم باريس معهما، وكيف ستتمكن من المضي بمواجهتها من دون أن تصطدم بالسقوف الأميركية الفرنسية للحفاظ على الحكومة وعلى الاستقرار من خلالها، بعدما كانت طليقة اليدين في الماضي ومعها كل زخم الشراكات الكبرى وفشلت؟

بعد عام 2006 وحرب تموز، التي لم تخف السعودية تغطيتها بشعار، مغامرون سيدفعون ثمن مغامرتهم، في توصيفها لحزب الله، لم تسلم السعودية بأن خسارة الحرب نهاية المطاف، فدفعت بالتناقضات اللبنانية التي كانت تتحكم بإدارتها عبر سيطرتها على حكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة، نحو خطوات متسارعة للمواجهة، بدأت بتفجير الحكومة، مع إحراج وزراء ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله لإخراجهم، ثم استصدار قرارات عن الحكومة تترجم ما تريده السعودية من حكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي اليوم، وهي تنسى أن هذا حصل سابقاً، واستجابت حكومة السنيورة التي قررت تفكيك شبكة الاتصالات العائدة للمقاومة في 5 أيار 2008، واتصل الملك السعودي بالحكومة متحدثاً مع أعضائها فرداً فرداً شاحذاً هممهم للمواجهة مؤكداً دعم السعودية لهم، وكانت أميركا والغرب كله مع الموقف السعودي، ويومها كانت العلاقات السعودية -السورية مقطوعة بالمناسبة، على خلفية الغضب السعودي من معادلة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في توصيف مواقف الحكام العرب من الحرب بأشباه الرجال، ولم تكن هناك حرب تغرق فيها السعودية كحرب اليمن اليوم، وتورطت أحزاب بتمويل سعودي لتنظيم مواجهة مسلحة مع حزب الله، فماذا كانت النتيجة، الفشل ثم الفشل، والانتقال لأول مرة إلى الدوحة بدلاً من الطائف أو الرياض لتحقيق المصالحة، واضطرار السعودية بعدها لمصالحة سورية، وإرسال الرئيس سعد الحريري إليها، ليعتذر عن اتهامها بقتل والده، فأي ثقب أسود في ذاكرة الحاسوب السعودي لتراهن أن دعوتها اليوم ستلقى أذناً تسمعها، ولسان حال الحكومة من جرب المجرب كان عقله مخرب، وقد تمت التجربة في ظروف أفضل بكثير وانتهت بالفشل الذريع، فكيف لعاقل أن يتوقع لها النجاح في ظروف زادت سوءاً وتعقيداً؟

الثقوب السوداء كثيرة، لكن ثمة ثقوباً بدأت تصيب الحملة السعودية، فسقف أميركي لحماية الاستقرار من جنون قد يتسبب بنتائج كارثية، كانت إشاراتها الأولى كافية لاستدارة الأميركي إلى منتصف الطريق، والأميركي يقول اليوم إنه لن يتدخل بالخلاف واضعاً الحكومتين اللبنانية والسعودية على مسافة واحدة، مؤكداً تمسكه بالاستقرار وبالحكومة اللبنانية بخطوط حمراء أمام المغامرة السعودية، فتبدأ وساطة قطرية، وأخرى فرنسية، وقد تورط السعوديون في مغامرة رسمها لهم بوم شؤم، والمثل يقول الحق البوم يدلك على الخراب!

MP Raad: US Ambassador to Lebanon Preventing Removal of Judicial Investigator into Beirut Blast Tarek Bitar

 October 25, 2021

Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad

Head of “Loyalty to the Resistance” bloc, MP Mohammad Raad, on Monday indicated that the US ambassador to Lebanon has been preventing the removal of the judicial investigator into Beirut blast, Tarek Bitar.

Al-Bitar had issued arrest warrants against officials as well as military figures on an illogical basis, pushing the defendants and observers to cast doubts on his probe.

“There are honest judges in Lebanon, and those who politicize matters. The judiciary and its structure need to be reconsidered,” MP Raad added.

MP Raad expressed during a political meeting in the southern town of Rayhan a will to engage in the forthcoming electoral and constitutional entitlements to enhance the country’s stability.

“We want to participate in them, but this conspiracy, authoritarianism, abolition, and racist thinking have come to an end,” he said.

“We want our people to know that we are open to solutions under national dignity, sovereignty, and security, but we want double standards to come to end now,” MP Raad added.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and NNA


هل دفع الذعر من المتغيرات القادمة جعجع للخطأ القاتل؟


ناصر قنديل

– لا نعلم بعد مضمون الاعترافات التي أدلى بها الموقوفون الذين تسببت إفاداتهم بتسطير مذكرة الاستماع لرئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، ليقين بأن هذا الاستدعاء لم يكن متوقعاً صدوره بالسرعة والتشدد اللذين شهدناهما، بصورة معاكسة لتدخلات مرجعيات لها تاثيرها  على القضاء وقيادة الجيش، وإحراجها لهما، كحال بكركي والمداخلات الأميركية، وما كان هذا الاستدعاء ليحدث ويتم الإصرار عليه لولا وجود وقائع لا يمكن تجاهلها بالنسبة للجهتين المعنيتين، وهما القضاء بشخص مفوض الحكومة لدى المحكمة العسكرية، الذي لم يكن يوماً مفوضاً لحزب الله كما قال جعجع، وتاريخ النزاعات حول الملفات بين حزب الله مليء بالوقائع، ولا يمكن لأحد التشكيك بأن قيادة الجيش ومديرية المخابرات قد يمثلان مجرد صدى لطلبات حركة أمل وحزب الله، وفي الحادثة نفسها كان واضحاً من توضيح قيادة الجيش لتفاوت مضمون بياناتها في اليوم الأول، أنها تسير بموقفها تبعاً لما تتوصل إليه من وقائع، ولا تزال قضايا الخلاف في مقاربة أمل وحزب الله لملفات كملف العميل عامر الفاخوري في الذاكرة القريبة، وقيادة الجيش كما المحكمة العسكرية فعلتا ما تعتقدانه تعبيراً عن مسؤولياتهما بمعزل عن كيف سيقيم أداءهما كل من حزب الله وحركة أمل، وغداً قد تزداد الضغوط الداخلية والخارجية عليهما، ويحدث ما يفتح الباب لخلاف جديد بينهما وبين حزب الله وأمل.

– واقعياً نحن أمام معادلة تقول إن الاستدعاء مبني على شكوك جدية بدور لعبه جعجع في ترتيب مسرح مجزرة الطيونة، عبر معاونين مقربين منه، يملك التحقيق تفاصيل كافية لسؤال جعجع عنها، ومواجهته بها عندما يمثل للاستماع إليه، ولن يكون مفيداً لجعجع الإنكار لأنه سيضيق عليه دائرة الضغط ويزيدها إحكاماً، بقوة تدفق المعلومات التي ستوضع في مواجهته، وقد وفرتها فيديوهات وإفادات واعترافات وداتا اتصالات، ولن يفيد التهرب من المثول لأنه سيخلق ضغوطاً عامة في البلد لفرض المثول عليه، وسيفرض ضغوطاً وإحراجات قانونية له وعليه وعلى الجهات المعنية بمواصلة التحقيق، والأمر مختلف جذرياً عن قضية ملاحقين من قبل المحقق العدلي يطالبون وفقاً لنص دستوري بنقل ملفهم أمام جهة قضائية أخرى نص عليها الدستور، بعدما مثلوا وأدلوا بإفاداتهم أمام المحقق العدلي الأول عندما طلب الاستماع إليهم من دون إطلاق الملاحقة القضائية الاتهامية بحقهم، وصفات هؤلاء مذكورة في نص الدستور كرؤساء ووزراء، ولو كانت هناك محكمة أخرى ذات صلاحية لملاحقة رؤساء الأحزاب سيكون على جعجع المثول أولاً للإدلاء بإفادته الأربعاء، ثم في حال إطلاق ملاحقة اتهامية بحقه أن يطلب نقل ملفه إلى محكمة لرؤساء الأحزاب ليست موجودة.

– إذا صحت الفرضيات بأن جعجع دبر ورتب مجزرة الطيونة، عبر زرع مجموعات استفزاز للمتظاهرين لاستدراجهم بحال فوران إلى الشارع الفرعي وهم يقومون بالتكسير والهتاف، ما يمنح الذريعة لتدخل سلاح جعجع المنظم لفتح النار بداعي حماية الأهالي، أملاً بإطلاق تفجير يستدرج بالدم تورطاً مقابلاً، تضيع فيه نقطة البداية، عندما تغرق المنطقتان المتقابلتان بدماء أبنائهما وبناتهما، وهنا سيكون جعجع قد ارتكب الخطأ القاتل، لأنه على الرغم من النجاح النسبي، سواء باستدراج جزء من التظاهرة عبر الاستفزاز للخروج عن السياق المرسوم لها، سواء في مسارها أو في سلوكها، أو في استدراج إطلاق النار بعد سقوط أول دفعة من الشهداء والجرحى، إلا أن لا هذه ولا تلك شكلتا النجاح الذي يحجب حقيقة المجزرة، لأن الحكمة التي رافقت إدارة ما بعد المجزرة نجحت نجاحاً كلياً في إبقاء الأمور تحت السيطرة، فمنعت توازن الدماء الذي يخفي المجزرة، ومنعت التشكيك بالقضاء ومنحته كل الثقة حتى باعتقالات طالبت بعضاً من مناصريها، ومنعت الطعن بصدقية الجيش التي جرت محاولات لتفخيخها بنشر فيديوهات تظهره مصدراً لإطلاق النار يجب أن نعرف من كان وراء نشرها الآن.

– فشل جعجع سيكون هو السبب في تحول فعلته إلى الخطأ القاتل، وهذا الفشل لم يحدث صدفة، بل لأن التفوق الأخلاقي والوطني الذي جوبهت به المجزرة هو الذي أجهض التتمة المطلوبة لتتحق الأهداف المرجوة منها، لكن يبقى السؤال، لماذا يقدم جعجع على هذه المغامرة التي قد يكون بدأ يلمس أنه سيواجه نتائجها وحيداً، هل أن التعطش للمال أعمى بصيرته في ظل توهم حجم العائد المترتب على الظهور كقوة مستعدة للعبة الدم مع حزب الله، أم أن ثمة من نصحه بتصعيد المناخ الطائفي إلى اقصى الدرجات لتحسين نتائج استطلاعات الرأي الانتخابية حتى لو أدى ذلك لسقوط الدماء، أم لأن ما لدى جعجع من معطيات، أسوة بما لدى كل الذين وضعوا بيضهم في السلة الأميركية، أثار ذعره من الآتي، بعدما رأى مشهد أفغانستان، ووصلته المعلومات عن الانسحاب المقبل من العراق وسورية والعودة للتفاهم النووي مع إيران، وحجم الموقع المتنامي لحزب الله في المعادلة الإقليمية وصولاً لتكريسه شريكاً بنصف القرار الذي يصنع الاستحقاق الرئاسي المقبل، ليتقاسم الآخرون النصف الثاني بقيادة واشنطن، فراهن على إنتاج معادلة تتيح له التحول إلى الرقم الصعب الموازي؟

– هل يجوز القول للمرة الثانية غلطة الشاطر بألف، أم أنه لا يكون شاطراً؟

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What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

23 OCTOBER 2021

By Sonja van den Ende


What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

Lebanese forces on the streets in Beirut, to control mainly the poor and Shia neighborhoods, many of these neighborhoods are suffering, they are the ones who don’t have electricity and lack food.

Lebanon is in a bad state for a long time already, the country is ripped apart through corruption, by mainly Western backed politicians, the influx from two million Syrian refugees, who are the poorest from poor and live in slums or ghettos, as I saw two years ago destroyed the country and already bad economy. It’s ripped apart by the US and Saudi influence who try to stir up the Lebanese and tell them the resistance group Hezbollah is very bad and also consider the Shia political AMAL movement bad because of their ideology. Well it depends how you see it, the Lebanese government has failed its own citizens since the end of the civil war in 1990, the West divided their politicial system and until today there is unrealistic segregation so finally the country totally collapsed when the Beirut explosion occurred. Hezbollah and the Amal were the only stronghold for the people, giving them free education and economic help, also the Christians speak well of them, they know that the Hezbollah and Amal parties are the ones who will help the needy and poor.

On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Port of Beiru tin the capital city of Lebanon exploded, causing at least 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety”.

The question now is who was responsible for storing such a large amount in a densely populated area? Of course people blame the ones responsible of managing the port, but in the end the government of Lebanon is responsible and what was the involvement of the US and its Western allies? The current judge on the case and several Lebanese MP’s want to blame the last sitting prime-minister Hassan Diab, who was only in office since 2020 and was informed only four days before the accident by the port authorities, but governments before him, like premier Saad Hariri (son of the murdered Rafic Harriri) was in office for thirteen years and knew all too well about the deadly cargo in the port of Beirut. Actually many of the prime-ministers of Lebanon of the last 15 years knew through several warnings from the port authorities about the deadly cargo, they were warned by them, received complaints and letters, but never did anything to get rid of the dangerous cargo or attempted to do so.

According to the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, but also the opinion of many Lebanese in the streets, according to my sources, the last incident and the murder of at least six people was an effort of destabilising Lebanon again, some elements like Samir Geagea, who served a long prison senctence and is now trying in cooperation with Western backed politicial parties and the deep-state a coup. Samir Gaegea, a Christian Maronite, is a notorious war criminal, responsible for the death of thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese during the civil war has re-emerged into the Lebanese spotlight, ready to kick off another civil war in his bid for power. We know all too well the West and the US are the masters of color-revolutions around the world, which usually ends up in war, upheaval and the the murder of millions of people, so this war criminal Samir Geagea tried another coup, after getting the back-up and support of the US, hardliner and warcriminal Victoria Nuland, who happened to visit Lebanon a few days before the attempted coup and spoke with members of the ultra-right-wing political party called the Lebanese Forces(LF) of which Samir Geagea is the leader.

This is what we have seen the last thrity years or maybe longer in in many countries around the world, the last attemted coup and which succeeded was in Ukraine, were Victoria Nuland tolled in a taped telephone call F***k the EU. The Lebanese experienced hardship since many years and certainly don’t want to experience a civil war anymore, they want prosperity and to overcome their religious differences, which never existed (like in Syria) before the West destroyed their societies and spreaded the poison of war and destruction, through their biggest asset, the Zionist state of Israel, not the Jewish people, but their government , military and deep-state, like in many Western countries, are the biggest repressor of the region, even surpressing its own people with a strict politized covid-regime. Before visiting Lebanon, Victoria Nuland visited Russia, most likely to speak with the so-called opposition around Navalny, always when Victoria is visiting, trouble will come. She is part of the illegal Biden government and serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the fourth-ranking position in the US government.

Samir Geagea is a Zionist asset and also paid the Israelian notorious Secret Service Mossad and he and the Mossad were trying everything in their power to blame Hezbollah, as part of the until now, hybrid war, between Israel and Iran, according to Benyamin Nethanyahu, the last prime-minister of Israel, charged with corruption. Late in September 2020, all attention in Lebanon suddenly shifted to the warehouse, the one which exploded in Beirut, in the port in Jnah, where Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Hezbollah was running a missile factory. In response, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah invited reporters to tour the warehouse in Jnah and reporters were able to enter and had a tour. There was no no missile factory but in November 2020, various Lebanese news sites reported images and videos taken from that particular warehouse showing there was ammonium nitrate stored. Which was publicly known and of course the lebanese government was responsible for the storage of the highly dangerous ammonium nitrate which saw explosions which had similarities with a small atomic bomb.

The Lebanese people live in terrible conditions right now, similarities can be seen with the Syrian people, but even Syria supplied them with electricity, so bad is the situation. Recently petrol and gasoline has reached the port of Baniyas in Syria, from sanction stricken Iran to Lebanon. The West is still imposing sanctions on many countries in the Middle-East, another form of warfare.

Beirut Shootings: How Western Media Manipulation Hides the Murky Hand of US Imperialism

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Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Steve Sweeney

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Last week’s killing of seven people in the Lebanese capital Beirut, widely believed to be carried out by a far-right Christian fascist militia, is a worrying sign that the US wants to provoke a new civil war to destabilize the country in a change in its Middle East strategy.

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Supporters of the Shi’ite Amal and Hezbollah movements were fired upon as they made their way to the Palace of Justice for a peaceful demonstration against what they perceive as the politicization of a probe into last year’s devastating port explosion.

The judge heading up the investigations, Tarek Bitar, is being directed by the US Embassy they claim, accusing him of unfairly and disproportionately targeting their allies while ignoring those close to Washington.

They may have a point. But the debate over the fairness and transparency of the judicial report is a side issue to the events that took place in the Tayouneh district of Beirut last week.

A peaceful march that had been approved by the authorities was fired upon by snipers placed on buildings along its route. It was an ambush by US-backed fascists who are hell-bent on plunging Lebanon into chaos.

None of the seven people killed in the protest were armed. Among the dead was Meryem Farhat, a mother shot through the head as she was getting ready to collect her child from kindergarten. Delivery driver Ali Ibrahim was also killed by sniper fire.

Not that you would know any of this judging by how the incident was reported by the western press. Readers would be forgiven for thinking that it was a Hezbollah march that turned violent, with the movement seemingly responsible for the deaths of its own supporters.

Liberal British mouthpiece The Guardian explained to its readers: “The trigger for the clashes in neighborhoods near the justice courts, which left dozens more injured, was a protest by members of Amal and Hezbollah, two predominantly Shia political parties, against a judicial probe into the massive blast in the port last year.”

“…eyewitnesses said they heard at least two explosions near the site where a protest was supposed to be held by Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah against a judge who is investigating last year’s devastating blast at Beirut’s port. Thursday’s shootings mark the deadliest civil violence in Beirut since 2008,” reported the part Saudi-owned Independent.

It concluded in carefully chosen language: “The heavily armed Hezbollah has accused Mr. Bitar of conducting a politicized probe.”

The Independent failed to mention the Lebanese Forces at all. Instead, it opted to make vague references to ‘unidentified gunmen.’ The Guardian mentioned their name once, but only to say that Hezbollah ‘claimed’ to have been shot at by the Christian militia.

The rest of the article followed a similar pattern to that of The Independent, containing snippets such as ‘chants of “Shia, Shia, Shia’ were heard on the streets.

“Large numbers of men brandishing weapons took to the streets throughout the day, and gun trucks flying Hezbollah and Amal flags paraded through the Bekaa Valley in a show of strength not seen since Hezbollah overran west Beirut in May 2008…” it added, failing to mention that Bekaa is nowhere near the Lebanese capital. This was the crowning glory of The Guardian hatchet job, evoking images of violent Muslims seeking to overthrow Lebanon, no doubt to impose an Islamist caliphate.

France 24 went with: “Last week, Hezbollah led a protest to demand his dismissal. It sparked a gun battle in the heart of Beirut that left seven people dead and reignited fears of new sectarian violence.”

It continued with a paragraph about “hostage diplomacy and what it means for those imprisoned by Tehran” in an exceptionally tenuous attempt to link the shootings to Iran.

That they let the Lebanese Forces, a US-backed right-wing militia led by a war criminal, off the hook is no mere accident.

Nor is the reporting down to lazy journalism. This would be to deny the role of the media as a propaganda tool used and manipulated by western imperialism to manufacture a consensus among the public.

That is that Hezbollah and Amal are the bad guys and it is up to the west, always the good guys in any situation, to step in and save the people of Lebanon from their evil clutches.

The use of descriptions such as ‘Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah’ is a not particularly subtle, but deliberate attempt to paint the movement – which is a legitimate political force with representatives in the Lebanese parliament – as a foreign-controlled entity.

The irony of this is, that it is, in fact, the very group responsible for the attack that is in hock to external forces, namely the US, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia who see the Lebanese Forces as its proxy inside the country.

It is perhaps best known in the west for its role in the brutal massacre of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children on behalf of “Israel” at the Sabra and Chatila camps during the Lebanese civil war.

I visited the camps and met survivors of the three-day pogrom in Beirut earlier this year and they described how the Christian militia raped and executed more than three thousand defenseless people, as the camps were surrounded by Israeli soldiers.

The leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, has been convicted of war crimes, sentenced to life in prison for ordering four political assassinations, including that of former prime minister Rashid Karami in 1988.

For many, he will always be associated with the massacre of scores of people, including the bombing of Sayidat al-Najat church in Jounieh killing 10 people and wounding 54, with Christians also targeted by the bloodthirsty Geagea.

But he was released under an amnesty in 2005 following Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution which took place after the assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri, the perpetrators of which have never been brought to justice.

Geagea’s propulsion into the limelight once more comes with the US suffering a series of defeats across the Middle East, including its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and its failure to dislodge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

His reelection in May has led many Arab and European nations to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus, with border crossings reopening along with the return of ambassadors and consulates as they recognize political reality.

But Assad could not have held on to power without the explicit support of the Syrian people. No leader could have withstood the pressure exerted on him without it.

Not only has he defeated Washington’s regime-change operations – he has come out the other side stronger, having faced down five US presidents; Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.

The US now appears to be strengthening its relations with Kurds in the north of the country once more where its soldiers are based as an occupying force. The Biden administration recently announced there would be no troop withdrawal, reassuring Kurdish officials after the debacle in Afghanistan.

Despite Assad’s plans for decentralization announced in April, the Kurdish administration there is pursuing a policy that seeks political recognition from the US. It is a move that has alienated many of its supporters and undermines its dismissal of claims it acts as a “proxy force” in the region.

Having lost the military and now the political war on Syria, it seems logical that the US would change its strategy to foment further instability in Lebanon, with a return to civil war only serving to benefit Washington and Tel Aviv as they hope for the sectarian division of the country.

The hands of the US were all over the Tayouneh attack, which came straight out of the Washington/CIA copybook, mirroring its interventions and use of proxy forces to oust governments or prop up its client states in Latin America and across the world.

Geagea’s militia – many of whom have been trained by “Israel” – would be an obvious choice for the US given his previous overtures to Washington, confirmed in a 2008 Wikileaks cable.

He claimed that the Lebanese Forces had as many as 10,000 well-trained soldiers, telling the US embassy: “We can fight against Hezbollah. We just need your support to get arms for these fighters.”

But, speaking in a public address on Monday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah explained that the Shi’ite movement commands a 100,000 fighters-strong military structure, dwarfing that of the Lebanese Forces. The difference between the two, he pointed out, is that Hezbollah’s forces protect the Lebanese people.

It may be enough to concentrate the minds of the more pragmatic US officials, but the links between Washington and the Lebanese Forces run much deeper than that of Geagea who, despite his delusions of grandeur, remains a marginal figure and is unlikely to be trusted with a leading political role.

Walid Phares, a former leading light in the Lebanese Forces, now acts as a national security advisor and consultant on Middle Eastern politics in the US. Fleeing the country in 1990, he went on to advise the presidential election campaigns of Mitt Romney and then Donald Trump.

During the Lebanese Civil War, Phares told Christian militiamen that they were the vanguard of a war between the West and Islam. He justified the fight against Muslims by saying “we must have our own country, our own state, our own entity, and we have to be separate.”

Despite his peddling of far-right, Islamophobic conspiracy theories, he has rebranded himself as an academic and has testified to international bodies including the European Parliament and UN Security Council on international security matters and the Middle East.

He does not appear to have held any official government post, but his closeness to a former president and his movement in elite circles is clearly a cause for alarm.

The links do not end there. Soon after the shootings, journalist Hosein Mortada claimed to have identified one of the snipers as Shukri Abu Saab – who he said works as a security official at the US embassy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been a blanket media silence over the revelations, while the embassy itself has not responded to the allegations, raising suspicions further.

US ambassador Dorothy Shea has long been accused of using the embassy as an outpost for the imperialist carve-up of Lebanon and opening the country up to the mercy of the World Bank and the IMF.

It may be passed off as a mere coincidence that under secretary of state Victoria Nuland was in the Lebanese capital at the time the ambush took place, pledging an additional $67 million to the country’s armed forces as she demanded economic reform and the need to hold elections as a prerequisite for continued US support.

It also may be a mere coincidence that the Lebanese army changed its narrative of events soon after the US cash boost to appear to blame Hezbollah for its own supporters being shot at. This is despite footage circulating that appears to show a Lebanese soldier shooting at protesters.

But the attempts to destabilize Lebanon came soon after the formation of a new government, ending 13-months of political deadlock, along with the US failure to disarm Hezbollah despite sanctions and other external pressure.

The US is also angered after Hezbollah smashed sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran and Syria, by importing oil to alleviate Lebanon’s fuel crisis. This slap in the face for imperialism was a humiliating defeat, breaking the siege of Lebanon with ease and at the same time rendering the restrictive measures meaningless.

It also exposed the declining power of the US on a global stage, with the dollar at risk of losing its position as the world currency and with it Washington’s ability to control global financial markets.

Solidarity among nations has proved vital in defeating the US, and it is solidarity among the Lebanese people that will help the country rise up once more and consign the likes of Geagea and the Lebanese Forces along with all those who seek to destroy Lebanon to the dustbin of history.

Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 


Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 

By Staff, Agencies 

Lebanon’s military court summoned Thursday the Leader of the Lebanese Forces [LF] political party Samir Geagea, over the slaughtering of seven civilians in Beirut last week.

Lebanese media outlets on Thursday reported that the court summoned Geagea to hear his testimony on the October 14 violence in light of the confessions of those detained over the massacre that was committed in Tayyouneh area, a region close to Beirut’s southern suburb.

At least seven people were martyred and 60 others injured in an attack on October 14, during which Hezbollah and Amal Movement supporters were shot from rooftops while they were gathering to peacefully protest against a judge investigating last year’s Beirut Port explosion as they accused him of bias.

In a statement, Hezbollah and Amal Movement said armed groups affiliated with the LF party, a former militia group during the 1975-1990 civil war, fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into new sectarian strife.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said that “the  Lebanese Forces’ true agenda for Lebanon is civil war.”

He further added: “The biggest existential threat to the Christians in Lebanon and the security of the Christian community is the Lebanese Forces party.”

Related Videos

The Ambush of Tayuna and the Leb-forces’ quest for civil war – politicizing the investigation into the explosion of the port of Beirut
The Massacre of Tayuna A detailed event and a dangerous crossroads/ Dr. Wasim Bazzi
Salem Zahran/Latest Political Developments in Lebanon

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Russian President Vladimir Putin comments on the Beirut port explosion.

21 Oct 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By alMayadeen Net

Russian President Vladimir Putin comments on the Beirut port explosion.

Visual search query image
the statements were made at the Valdai Discussion Club, held in Sochi, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed that “the Beirut port blast disaster was linked to the desire of some to achieve financial gains, by selling fertilizers at better prices.” 

Putin’s words came during the conclusion of the Valdai Discussion Club, held in Sochi. The Russian President stressed that the position on Hezbollah differs from one country to another, and explained in response to a question, “I know very well that different people in different countries take different positions on Hezbollah.” As for the Russian position, he divulged that “Hezbollah is a significant political force in Lebanon.”

Putin indicated that his country is working with all Lebanese political forces to maintain security, stability, and peace in Lebanon. He stressed Russia “practically communicates with all political forces in Lebanon and will continue to do so.”

“In Russia, they are completely concerned with finding common ground for an agreement between the Lebanese parties without a fight,” and he added, “We are working with all the Lebanese to prevent bloodshed.”

About the Beirut Blast investigation

On the issue of the investigation into the Beirut port blast, he announced that “we will study the possibility of assisting in the investigation of the Beirut port explosion, and we will provide satellite images, if available.”

Putin added, “We cannot comment on political processes related to the Lebanese judiciary. We cannot support one party against another, because that will have counterproductive results on our efforts to reconcile between the Lebanese parties.”

2020 Beirut Blast

On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The blast followed a fire in a warehouse inside the port. Investigations showed that this warehouse was storing large quantities of ammonium nitrate.

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