The Nuclear Signatures of the Beirut Blast

By David Macilwain

Source

Beirut blast cloud with disc 7eb6a

Amongst the plethora of theories on the cause of the Beirut explosion of August 4th, and justifiable suspicions that it was not entirely an accident, one theory was quickly ruled out. Thanks to the unusual mushroom-shaped appearance of the blast wave that preceded the explosion of a warehouse full of Ammonium Nitrate, many observers immediately thought of the “iconic” Bikini Atoll nuclear tests, and wondered if one of the usual suspects had tried out a new weapon.

The timing was odd too – two days before the 75th anniversary of the flattening of Hiroshima by an American nuclear bomb. As the dazed citizens of Beirut saw what had happened to their city, images of the blast and its devastating result appeared in news bulletins around the world alongside those of Hiroshima, with the surviving walls of the grain silo at “ground zero” reminiscent of Hiroshima’s still standing clock tower.

More pointedly, the explosion came just before the final release of the UN Investigative Tribunal’s report into the 2005 Hariri bombing. Despite immediate accusations against Hezbollah for storing weapons at the port from people desperate to shift the blame, it soon became clear that the port area was under control of Hezbollah’s chief opponents allied to Saad Hariri. Given what we know about the Rafiq Hariri bombing – as comprehensively analysed by Jeremy Salt – this is a detail to keep in mind.

As details began to emerge about the storage of 2,750 tonnes of “Nitropril” at the port, and the strange way it came to be there, the wrath of Beirut’s suffering citizens turned toward the government, and the perceived corruption that had allowed this explosive time bomb to sit there so close to the heart of the city for seven years. Speculation on the cause of the blast wave that did most of the damage was mostly limited – in the mainstream media at least – to how the Nitropril had come to be ignited. Despite lingering suspicions and speculation in independent media on “cui bono”, fuelled by apparent celebration in some quarters, a tragic accident combined with incompetence and corruption seemed most likely.

Until now that is – for this observer. Ironically it is two “pro-Israel” articles that have led to my own observations and investigation of the possibility that something else detonated in Warehouse 12 which caused the blast wave, and whose presence was overlooked in the shock of the moment and in the various videos of the incredible explosion.

The first of these from Richard Silverstein, claimed that Israel had bombed Beirut, targeting a Hezbollah weapons store, and setting alight the Nitropril unintentionally. This story was rapidly dismissed for obvious reasons, but was headed by a photograph showing the white mushroom cloud expanding around a red-brown exploding column.

But it also shows something quite strange – a white disc near ground level, oddly reminiscent of something we have all seen, both in classic space movies and in real-life. Although the sci-fi movie versions are only loosely based on astronomical phenomena, and called “the Praxis Effect” on that basis, the phenomenon of a disc-shaped shock wave is associated with some nuclear explosions. The most famous of these was the “Baker” test at Bikini Atoll in 1946, which can be seen in this video clip – and a hundred others – as well as in this still shot.

Baker nuclear test 81dc3

Viewing the video from which the frame illustrating Silverstein’s article came (also seen here) shows a chilling similarity to that shock wave from the Baker test, though it has significant differences which need interpretation by an independent expert – if such a person can be found! The Baker test was detonated underwater, ejecting two million tonnes of seawater up through a flotilla of abandoned ships. While the familiar mushroom cloud formed above the surface it was the expanding shock wave beneath that caused the white disc in the surface waters.

The expanding disc seen in the Beirut blast is however not just some optical phenomenon, apparently advancing ahead of the mushroom-shaped cloud above and about 20 or 30 metres from ground level. At the end of the DW news video the disc spreads over a ship in the harbour, reminding one further of the Baker test. A wave of turbulence can also be seen following behind the disc edge, before the blast wave reaches the camera. I have extracted frames from the video for the sequence of shots below.

Beirut blast sequence fac75

A fair bit has been written about the explosive behaviour of Ammonium Nitrate, questioning everything from the quantity needed to cause such a blast, its ability to create such a percussive explosion, and even claims the explosion was of other materials altogether. One such claim has been made by an Italian explosives expert of repute, who rightly observes that such a quantity of Nitropril could not be made to explode in one short blast, but the article then goes on to claim Iranian weapons containing lithium were responsible. The Lebanese website’s reference to Al Arabiya, and claims the port was completely controlled by Hezbollah make nonsense of the Italian’s expert opinion.

Of far more interest however is the view of numbers of scientists quoted by Business Insider, who agree the Beirut blast could not have been nuclear, based on its lack of some signature features. In particular the failure to see a blinding flash of light from a nuclear detonation confirms their opinion, and might have confirmed mine had it not been for one frame in another video shown on the Global News channel. The same sequence showing the fire before the detonation and the blast following it, is repeated several times with a slowed version at the end.

This slow sequence shows quite clearly a blinding flash visible in just one frame before a fireball forms, followed by the mushroom cloud blast wave. Four frames are illustrated in the image below, up to the point where the blast cloud is just starting.

AN blast sequence Beirut f4610

We are left to speculate on what sort of explosive or weapon created this blast, remembering that it was reportedly heard as far away as Cyprus, and felt like an earthquake in the region. Interestingly also it left behind a sizeable crater well below sea level, as visible now in shots from the air.  But one thing seems certain – that Hezbollah had neither the means nor motive to place a tactical nuclear device in the heart of Beirut. Nor would Hezbollah ever stoop to commit such an act of treachery even if it had the means and motive, nor even against its mortal enemies.

Draw your own conclusions.

Postscript:

Given the contentious nature of these claims, it’s important to make as much as possible of the observed phenomena – which in the absence of credible and impartial investigation is all we have to go on. The “investigation” now to be conducted by the FBI can only be expected to further obscure the truth, if that truth implicates Israel and exonerates Hezbollah.

Shortly after writing this article, I realised that I had made an error in interpreting the expanding white disc seen in the first video sequence, seeing it as a blast wave in the air some metres above the surface. On locating film of the Baker nuclear test, I was surprised to find that the similar white disc following the detonation was actually on the ocean surface, and caused by the shock wave beneath, and so could not say this feature was another “signature” of a nuclear explosion present in the Beirut blast.

Wrong conclusion! Further close observation of the Beirut “crack” reveals that it is in fact an identical phenomenon to that at Bikini Atoll, and is a surface disturbance in the water in the port. This is confirmed when the disc is seen to reach the ship at the end of the video clip as the disc passes beneath it. I had also wrongly assumed that the white disc was only visible over the harbour because the view was obstructed in the foreground.

Whether such a shock wave could have resulted from the explosion of 2700 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate is “unclear” – though seems improbable. Where the shock wave appears in the water it had to already pass through the ground beneath the grain silos, yet appears very similar to the nuclear bomb-induced “crack”. Most notably, people in Beirut well beyond the range of the aerial blast wave described feeling an earthquake, and this may well have been responsible for much of the structural damage to buildings. The blast was indeed recorded up to 1000 kms away by seismic monitors, as discussed here. Whether this blast had a “nuclear signature” they aren’t saying.

Sheikh Qassem: All Accusations against Hezbollah of Beirut Port Blast Proved False, Resistance Power Can Never Be Undermined

August 21, 2020

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Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed Friday that all the accusations made by some political parties against the party of being behind Beirut port blast proved to be futile, adding that all that propaganda failed to undermine the Resistance power.

Delivering a speech during Hezbollah televised ceremony to mark the second Ashura Night, Sheikh Qassem said that all the claims that Hezbollah had stored munitions in the port warehouses, possessed the big amounts of ammonium nitrate which exploded, or knew about their presence before the blast were refuted.

“Some political parties set a hypothesis based on accusing Hezbollah of being behind Beirut blast and started searching for pieces of evidence to prove it.”

Hezbollah will not resort to fabricating slanders in face of the opponents’ lies, according to Sheikh Qassem who urged the Resistance supporters to stick to patience in face of their provocations.

Sheikh Qassem stressed that Hezbollah will not be affected by that propaganda, confirming that the Resistance military units will always be ready to confront the Zionist aggression and liberate the Israeli-held territories.

Sheikh Qassem also underscored that Hezbollah supports creating a new government that is capable of rebuilding Beirut, carrying out the needed reforms and having a wide popular representation.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

من يرد اعتبار سورية وحلفائها عن سنوات الاتهام السياسي باغتيال الحريري

سعد الله الخليل

خمسة عشر عاماً قضتها المحكمة الدولية الخاصة بلبنان بالبحث عن الجناة الحقيقيين والمنفذين لاغتيال رئيس حكومة لبنان الأسبق رفيق الحريري، لتصدر بعد مئات جلسات الاستماع وآلاف العيّنات والمعلومات حكمها بطي صفحة الاتهام السياسي لسورية وحزب الله بالقضية، وإعلان أن لا أدلة على التورط بالجريمة.

ومع خلوّ قرار المحكمة التي فاقت تكلفتها المليار دولار من أيّ جديد في ما يتعلق بمنفذي الجريمة، فإنّ الثابت الوحيد فيها براءة سورية وحلفائها كحقيقة لم تعد قابلة للجدال.

بعد خمسة عشر عاماً من التحقيقات و3000 صفحة تضمّنها الحكم في قضية اغتيال الحريري، ودعم دولي غربي وأممي كان ينتظر اللحظة السانحة لضرب سورية وحلفائها، لم تثبت المحكمة تورط سورية وحزب الله في جريمة ليس حباً بهما بطبيعة الحال، وبما أنهما أول المتضرّرين منها لا بدّ من فتح الأبواب واسعة، أمام إدانة كلّ من اتهم سورية وحلفاءها بالجريمة، لردّ الاعتبار لهم أولاً، ولكشف من استفاد من الاتهام ثانياً للتغطية عن الجناة الحقيقين، خاصة أنّ بيان المحكمة أكد أنّ الادّعاء قدّم أدلة وافية عن الاتصالات التي استخدمت باغتيال الحريري، وبيانات الاتصالات قادت إلى كشف الخلية، وأنّ متابعة المتهمين لتنقلات الحريري تؤكد الترصد وليس الصدفة في التفجير، ولو تضمّنت هذه الأدلة ما يدين سورية وحلفاءها، فمن البديهي أنّ المحكمة لم تكن لتوفرها للنيل من سورية.

من سيعيد الاعتبار لسورية وحلفائها بعد سنوات التضليل والاتهام السياسي الكاذب، الذي بنى عليها المحقق الألماني ديتليف ميليس تقريره الشهير والذي أشار فيه صراحة إلى تورّط مسؤولين سوريين ولبنانيين، ومن سيعوّض الضباط الأربعة عن سنوات السجن بشبهة التآمر لارتكاب جريمة القتل، دون تهمة من السلطات اللبنانية لمدة أربع سنوات، لتفرج عنهم المحكمة الخاصة عام 2009، نظراً للتناقضات في أقوال الشهود الرئيسيين وعدم وجود أدلة مؤيدة لدعم هذه الأقوال.

بعد صدور الحكم بقضية اغتيال العصر لم يعد يكفي الاعتذار لسورية وحلفائها، عن سنوات الاتهام السياسي من الأطراف اللبنانية التي شكلت بعد الاغتيال تيار 14 آذار، وبالرغم من إجماع هذه القوى على معاداة سورية ومحور المقاومة، لم ينفعها الإتجار بدم الحريري في الحفاظ على وحدة كيانه السياسي، فسرعان ما فرط عقد التحالف المبني على كره سورية… أطراف عليها اليوم الكشف عن حقيقة اتهامها دمشق، ودورها في الحرب على سورية خلال السنوات العشر الماضية، بدءاً من تشكيل الأرضية المناسبة لشيطنة سورية حول العالم، قبل الدخول في العمق السوري وإشعال فتيل الاحداث بدءاً من 2011، وصولاً إلى قضية السفينة «إم في روسوس» وتخزين شحنة النيترات التي تحملها في مرفأ بيروت لأكثر من ست سنوات، والتي هرّب جزء منها للمجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة في سورية، مروراً بمئات الأدلة على تورّط الأطراف المطالبة بالحقيقة بسفك الدم السوري بالدعم والتسليح على الأرض، وفي المحافل الدولية، وهل يُقبل الاعتذار من تلك الأطراف وهي التي أعلنت قبل سنوات عن تجهيز الزنزانات، ونصب المشانق لقيادات سورية وحزب الله تحت شعار الحقيقة؟

اليوم مطلوب من سورية وحلفائها السعي أكثر من أيّ وقت مضى للكشف عن الحقائق الكاملة، احتراماً لكلّ من تعرّض للترهيب والتنكيل والطرد من العمل وصولاً للضرب والقتل، دون وجهة حق من السوريين واللبنانيين على يد فريق الرابع عشر من آذار.

اليوم، وبعد أن أعلن وريث دم رفيق الحريري نجله سعد الحريري رئيس حكومة لبنان الأسبق قبوله بحكم المحكمة، يمضي خطوة إلى الأمام في مساره السياسي، بين المضيّ بمواجهة سورية وحزب الله بمطالبته بتطبيق قرار المحكمة، والإصرار على تبني الحزب المطلوبين وبين الاستفادة من الفرصة التاريخية بالعودة للتفاوض مع حزب الله دون أيّ حرج بعد صدور حكم المحكمة والقبول به.

بغضّ النظر عن سلوك الحريري في الداخل اللبناني ثمة ما يهمّ السوريين أن تكشف حقائق بُنيت عليها فرضيات إتهام سورية، بدءاً من مصير من اعتبرته المحكمة الشاهد الملك محمد زهير الصديق، والذي وُضع منذ خريف 2005 في عهدة المخابرات الفرنسية، التي تولّت حماية الفيلا المقيم فيها على ضفاف السين، ثم اختفى فجأة عام 2008 وسط صمت السلطات الفرنسية الموكل إليها حمايته، ما يشير إلى سعي الحريري وباريس لإخفاء الصدّيق وإبقاء مصيره مجهولاً، كمصير هسام هسام الذي أعلنت مجموعة تقول إنها تنتمي إلى «الجيش السوري الحر» القبض عليه في دمشق، حيث ظهر في تسجيل مصور يؤكد امتلاكه لمعلومات لم تكشف من قبل عن الجريمة، حينها اعتبرت المجموعة الإرهابية القبض على هسام هدية «ثوار سورية» للحريري، فأين أصبحت الهدية وما هي المعلومات الثمينة التي يحملها؟ والتي كتمها الحريري عن المحكمة، وعلى ما يبدو أنّ إخفاء الشهود الزور جزء من طمس معالم الاتهام السياسي لسورية وحلفائها، في محكمة كلّ ما توصلت إليه مجهول، ما يؤكد أنّ الحقيقة الدامغة في مقتل الحريري تخفيها المحكمة خلف ما هو مجهول في قراراتها.

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في قرار المحكمة الدوليّة بين السياسة والقانون

ناصر قنديل

لم يتغيّر شيء من حقيقة كون المحكمة الدولية أداة من أدوات السياسة الدولية في لبنان، كما كانت من قبلها لجنة التحقيق الدولية، وقد بشّر جيفري فيلتمان عشية صدور الحكم بأن التفجير الذي أدّى إلى اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري قد فقد أهميته السياسية، لصالح أهمية أعلى لتفجير المرفأ، بما يعني نهاية زمن الاستثمار القانوني والسياسي لجريمة اغتيال الرئيس الحريري كآلية تطبيقية للقرار 1559، قد أدّت المطلوب منها في تحقيق الانسحاب السوري من لبنان وتعثرت في تشكيل آليّة مناسبة لفتح الطريق لنزع سلاح حزب الله. وهذا الزمن صار وراء الحسابات الدولية والإقليمية التي باتت تحكمها معادلات جديدة تتناسب خدمتها مع استثمار تفجير المرفأ، في وضع العلاقة مع المقاومة على جدول التفاوض لا الاستئصال، والتفاوض تنازلات متبادلة، فيه حكومة يعرضها الرئيس الفرنسي أمانويل ماكرون مميّزاً ممثل حزب الله بين ضيوفه، كما فيه مشاريع ترسيم حدود، وتجديد لليونيفيل من دون تعديل مهام، واستعمال دعوات الحياد ونزع السلاح والشيطنة التي تستهدف المقاومة، للضغط التفاوضيّ، مع رسم خطوط حمراء لأصحاب الدعوات، مثل ممنوع الاستقالات النيابية، ولا للانتخابات المبكرة، ولا حكومة حياديّة بل حكومة ترضي الجميع.

بمعزل عن السياق القانوني لقرار المحكمة، الذي مهّد له تحقيق مبنيّ أصلاً على الفساد، ومؤسس على الفبركات والاتهام المسبق، بحيث صار الحكم الذي برأ أغلبية المتهمين وحفظ ماء الوجه بإدانة واحد منهم، فإن القرار سياسياً وقانونياً، قال إن لا دليل على تورّط قيادة سورية وحزب الله في جريمة الاغتيال. وقال بالتوازي إن سياق الاغتيال سياسياً هو خلاف الرئيس الحريري مع سورية وحزب الله، وهو بالمناسبة خلاف مزعوم أدليت بشهادتي التي تثبت عكسه أمام لجنة التحقيق الدولية، من خلال مضمون ما دار بيني وبين الرئيس رفيق الحريري قبل أيام من الاغتيال، وبالتالي قال الشيء وعكسه ليبقى مشروعاً تفاوضياً صالحاً، وقال الحكم في القانون إن أحد وجوه الاتهام السياسي لا يزال على الطاولة وإن وجوهاً أخرى قد تمّت إزالتها، فبرأ من جهة وأدان من جهة مقابلة، بما يعني أن قرار المحكمة هو عرض تفاوضي سواء أدرك القضاة ذلك أم لم يدركوا، عندما تمّ وضعهم أمام تحقيق مهترئ وطلب إليهم حفظ ماء وجهه بالحد الأدنى الممكن، فكل السياق القانونيّ القائم على معادلات الخطوط الهاتفيّة حيث برأ وحيث أدان، هو في الحقيقة دون مستوى الإقناع والجدّية.

ما قالته المحكمة إن الرئيس الحريري تم اغتياله بتفجير انتحاري، لكنها لا تعلم ولا التحقيق وجه اتهاماً محدداً يتيح معرفة مَن هو الانتحاري، ولا مَن جنّده، وإن إعلان المسؤولية الذي رافق الجريمة كان للتضليل، لكنها لا تعرف مَن الذي ضلّل ولا مَن سجّل شريط إعلان، وإن التحقيق لم ينجح في توجيه اتهام مقنع على هذا الصعيد. وتقول المحكمة إن الاغتيال سياسي لكنها لا تملك أي أدلة على الأشخاص أو الجهات السياسية التي يمكن اتهامها، رغم تبنّيها فرضية من فرضيات تحليل سياسي حول سياق الجريمة، والتحليل السياسي مجرد فرضيات غير التحقيق والوقائع والأدلة، والمحكمة تعترف أن لا أدلة ولا وقائع. وتقول المحكمة إن الاغتيال تمّ بواسطة شاحنة الميتسوبيتشي، لكنها لا تملك أدلة، ولم يقدم لها التحقيق أدلة مقنعة حول مَن اشترى الشاحنة ومن اسخدمها للتفجير، وهذه هي عناصر الجريمة، أو ما يُعرف بالعناصر الجرميّة التي تقول لنا المحكمة بعد مليار دولار وخمس عشرة سنة إنها لا تعرف عنها شيئاً.

في كل السياق الذي انتهى إليه التحقيق، وتمّت على أساسه المحاكمة، تقول المحكمة إن كل ما لديها هي بيانات وتحليلات الاتصالات الهاتفية، وهنا من المهم الانتباه إلى أن المحكمة تعترف بأن ما قدّمه التحقيق ليس أدلة على قيام أشخاص معروفين باستعمال الخطوط التي تم استعمالها لغرض التفجير، بل إن شبكة التفجير المسمّاة بالخطوط الستّة لا تزال مجهولة الأصحاب، لكنها كانت ظرفياً لصيقة مكانياً بأرقام خطوط أخرى، هي بدورها كانت لصيقة ظرفياً ومكانياً بخطوط أخرى يسعى التحقيق لإثبات أنها كانت لصيقة ظرفياً ومكانياً بخطوط أخرى حاول التحقيق إثبات أنها خطوط شخصيّة لمن وجّه إليهم الاتهام، وبالنتيجة تقول المحكمة إنها لم تقتنع بإثباتات التحقيق في أغلب حالات الاتهام، واستثنت أحد المتهمين من البراءة من دون أن تقدّم ما يقنع بالفوارق بين حالته وحالة المتهمين الآخرين، وليس من ثابت هنا إلا الخطوط الستة التي عرفت بخطوط الضنيّة التي اشار إليها التحقيق اللبناني بعد أيام من الاغتيال، وهو التحقيق المتهم بالضعف والعجز وعدم الأهليّة.

مَن يستطيع اليوم القول إن ليس لديه الانطباع بعد الحكم بأن المحكمة مسيَّسة، وإنها تترجم مشروعاً تغيّرت أهدافه بعدما فشلت نسخته الأولى في التفجير الأول، بينما يُراد لنسخته الثانية أن تستثمر التفجير الثاني، فهل تكون العبرة التي يستخلصها اللبنانيون هي من جهة تحصين التحقيق اللبناني والضغط ليكون صحيحاً ومحميّاً وموثوقاً، ومجمعاً حوله ليكشف الحقيقة الحقيقيّة، ومن جهة موازية تحصين لبنان لكي لا يبقى مشرَّع النوافذ على التلاعب بمصيره في سوق الألاعيب المخابراتية والسياسية، وقد تكلف لبنان غالياً مالياً وسياسياً ووطنياً ودفع من أرواح أبنائه من قيادات ومواطنين ما يكفي كثمن للاتهامات السياسية التي لم تفعل سوى تشجيع القاتل على المزيد من القتل.

مقالات متعلقة

Nasrallah: If Israel is behind Beirut blast, our response will be devastating

Date: 16 August 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on August 14, 2020, on the occasion of the celebration of the 14th anniversary of the 2006 victory.

Source: moqawama.org

Translation: resistancenews.org

This video only captions the last section of the excerpt transcribed below

Transcript:

[Israel assassinated a Hezbollah fighter in Syria, and our retaliation in kind is inevitable]

[…] Today there is an equation that protects Lebanon, namely the deterrence equation (against Israel). And this equation grows stronger and stronger (to our advantage) day after day through the development of our equipment, our state of readiness, our personnel, our abilities, our human, military and material capacities (and our experiences on various battlefields —Syria, Iraq, Yemen…). And Israel and its (American) masters know it (very) well, and they fear and dread it. This is the equation that protects Lebanon today. There is nothing else that protects Lebanon. It is the golden equation Army-People-Resistance, and essentially (the) Resistance (Axis) through the equation of deterrence, that protects Lebanon. It is neither the Arab League, nor the Organization of the Islamic Conference —which is now called the Organization of Islamic Cooperation— nor the United Nations, nor the Security Council, nor the international resolutions (that protect Lebanon). And anyone who claims otherwise, let him come forward and enlighten us with his perspective. […]

[Having spoken at length about the 2006 victory and the reasons for America’s fierce hostility towards us], I will now address three points. The first is about the atmosphere that prevailed in southern Lebanon for several weeks. The second is the historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The third point relates to claims that Israel is responsible for the explosion in Beirut. And while speaking of the explosion in Beirut, I will follow up with several points relating to the internal (Lebanese) situation.

First point: two or three weeks ago, or even more, an Israeli aggression in the suburbs of Damascus led to the martyrdom of dear brothers, including a Lebanese martyr of Hezbollah, the martyr Ali Kamel Mohsen. Of course, since (this equation) had already been announced (before), the Israelis were well aware that ultimately, Hezbollah would not remain silent about this aggression and would retaliate (inevitably). And that is why on its own, with no need for any speech of mine, (nor any Hezbollah promise to retaliate and without) any communiqué or statement (from us), Israel has taken drastic (security) measures on the whole length of the border, from Naqqoura to the Golan Heights, over the entire Lebanese-Syrian border with occupied Palestine and with the occupied Golan. Israel remained (standing) on one leg and a half (ready to flee at the slightest alert), and took all necessary measures so that none of its soldiers would be exposed (to Hezbollah) and thus deny us any opportunity to strike back.

See What happened —and didn’t happen— at the Israel-Lebanon border?

Of course, as far as we’re concerned, from day one our decision was to strike back. Naturally, our decision to retaliate, and the retaliation we will conduct, will be aimed at confirming the rules of engagement. Therefore, it needs to be a well-prepared, well-studied (and proportionate) attack, and a serious one (with casualties on the Israeli side). Our aim is not to make any fuss in the media, to show off, or to get on or off our high horses as soon as we are given the opportunity [reference to the pseudo Hezbollah incursion repelled by Israel, with the probable aim of defusing the real response while allowing Hezbollah to save face]. You misunderstood us. We are not looking for media (attention), we are not bragging, and we don’t seek any recognition. There is a real equation, there are rules of engagement in place and very present, and we want to preserve and uphold them. And we will confirm them with a serious, studied and calculated attack: this is (the only way) to confirm them.

See Hezbollah denies carrying out attack on Israel, vows imminent retaliation

And that is why everything that happened since the first day of the martyrdom of our dear martyr Ali Kamel Mohsein and until this day is part of the punishment. Just imagine… And of course, this has caused a great debate within the Zionist entity, the fact that for three weeks this (alleged) powerful regional army has been on high alert along the entire length of the border, taking all safety, prudence and precautionary measures, canceled training & maneuvers, and canceled (the majority) of the movements and patrols in the border area, pending the (imminent) Hezbollah response. It is all part of the punishment. If you kill one of our fighters, then you must expect a response which can come at any time and at any point on the border, and you will have to pay the price for your crime.

See Fearing imminent retaliation, IDF sends apology letter to Hezbollah

And tonight, I (only) want to say that this decision (to retaliate) is still valid, that absolutely nothing has changed (following the explosion in the port of Beirut). It’s just a matter of time. And they must continue to wait (our attack which can come at any time).

[The UAE-Israel Peace Agreement]

Second point: Yesterday, US President Trump announced a historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Israeli enemy. Of course, he had some sort of (party) at the White House, (just like a wedding, surrounded by his administration officials standing) to his right and left (and clapping). As a member of this (Arab-Muslim) Community, as a person believing in God the Most High and the Exalted and in the Day of Judgment, and considering that I will be questioned in the Hereafter on my stance about this issue, on a personal level, and on behalf of Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, I must say certain things about this.

Of course, I’m not going to get into (long) historical and geographic analyzes, or dwell (at lenght) upon the reasons that prompted the Emirates to do this. I only have a few clear and unequivocal words to say (on this subject).

First, we were (not at all) surprised by what the leaders, or some leaders of the Emirates, did. We were hardly surprised. It was the logical consequence and the inevitable destination of the path they were on. Anyway, normalization (of relations) was already a reality: planes were already flowing back and forth between the two countries, Israeli ministers were already (often) traveling to the Emirates, Israel was already participating in conferences and events (held in the Emirates), economic and medical aid, agreements and cooperation against the coronavirus were in place, etc. It was already a reality.

But it seems (manifest) that the need to announce a (peace) agreement was first and foremost an American need, a need for President Trump to put forward some accomplishment, for (the Emirates and Israel) could very well have continued at this pace for months, a year, two years, three years, etc. I mean if the goal was normalization (of relationships), it was already in force and (almost) total. So there is nothing surprising (in this announcement), which is the natural culmination of the path the UAE leadership has been trodding (for a long time). The current result (was eminently predictable).

The timing (of this announcement) confirms how some Arab regimes are just (docile) servants of the US administration. Trump needs a foreign political accomplishment because his term is coming to an end, and he has no foreign policy accomplishment to show off. (Not to mention) the internal situation (which sees the United States ravaged by) the coronavirus, unemployment, lock-downs, the (disastrous) economic situation, which constitute Trump’s great predicament. But even at the level of foreign policy, he left the Iran nuclear deal in the hope of breaking (the regime), but he failed; in North Korea, he got nowhere; as far as China is concerned, nothing has happened; the Deal of the Century was unanimously rejected by the Palestinians, and there was no real opportunity to get it accepted (by the Palestinians or the international community). (All his foreign policy) is nothing but a series of failures. That’s why he needs (any kind of) accomplishment. Who is ready to provide him with (illusory) accomplishments? His tools in the Middle East!

What the Emirates have done is an electoral, political and personal favour to President Trump, so that he can benefit from it during the (upcoming) election. That’s the reason for its timing. (This peace agreement was achieved) during Trump’s weakest electoral period, according to all polls in the United States (which, unsurprisingly, predict that he’ll lose the elections by a great margin). Likewise, it is a personal and political favour to Netanyahu. Within the Zionist entity, Netanyahu is today weaker than ever since the beginning of his political life: he is accused of corruption, he awaits a trial, demonstrations against him (are organized every day), his government is in decomposition, there have been three elections and there will perhaps be a fourth… He therefore needs to assert something in order to be able to present himself to his people —the people who occupy Palestine— as the one who achieved this historic peace agreement, an historic achievement, (has an) exceptional diplomacy, etc. Unfortunately, such is (the opportunity) that (the Emirates) provide (to Trump and Netanyahu).

And we must expect, until the US elections, that a number (of other) Arab countries and Arab regimes (do the same), and they are ready and (obediently) waiting their turn in the queue, just waiting for a snap of the finger not from Trump, but from (his special envoy to the Middle East Jared) Kushner. As soon as he signals them, they will travel (one after the other) to Washington, to the White House, and there will be several such historic peace agreements between certain Arab regimes (and Israel).

In truth, just as Trump wanted to strengthen America’s economic situation for years, and did it by milking —I use the verb ‘to milk’ (like dairy cows, as Trump said during his campaign) on purpose— financially some Arab Gulf regimes, extracting (hundreds of) billions of dollars from them, today, in order to improve his electoral situation until the presidential elections, he wants to milk them politically. He will extract from them (evertyhing, to the last drop) of their dignity, their image, their history and their religion, if they still have a religion. He is going to strip them of everything they have left, just for his sake and the sake of his friend Netanyahu, who is in disarray within the (Zionist) entity. And that’s why we shouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow such or such country, and maybe even more than that, (announces a peace agreement with Israel). It has to do with (Trump’s) electoral needs. It’s not a necessity. Maybe one country will suffice, or maybe the US administration will think they need two or three countries. All these (subservient Arab) countries are ready, and waiting their turn in the queue. This will not be a problem for the United States.

Either way, what was announced is now common knowledge and will be ratified within days or weeks by the current ruler of the Emirates. It was something to be expected, and reflects many Arab (treacherous) policies in our region, in which the (only) criterion is the approval of the United States. Whatever pleases the United States, they do (eagerly). What pleases the United States is to be at the service of Israel, to make peace with Israel, to recognize Israel, and so they all line up (obediently to do whatever their US master asks of them). (Likewise, when Washington asks them) to be hostile to the enemies of Israel, to fight the enemies of Israel, to fight (the Axis of) Resistance, to turn their backs on the Palestinian people, to abandon Al -Quds (Jerusalem), they all cry out ‘We hear and obey’ (Quranic verse adressed by believers to God and His Messenger) and just do it. This is the real situation today.

Anyway, day after day, it is shown that what the official Arab media and a large number of Arab regimes have done, especially in the Gulf, by speaking (constantly) of “the Iranian enemy”, by portraying Iran as a great threat, etc., it was all just smoke bombs to make peace with Israel, to recognize Israel and to establish relations with Israel, in order to (enable it to) devote itself (to its) real enemy, namely Iran. But at the same time, many of all (these countries) who speak of Iran as an enemy are trying to contact Iran behind the scenes, reassure Iran, and build relationships with Iran. Their public statements are hostile and aggressive, but behind the scenes they are saying something quite different. And they hope to get to a point where they will have very good relations with Israel, and very good relations with Iran, because they are weak, and have no color, no taste and no smell. In truth, the smallest storm from here or there can shake their thrones. I will say no more and I will express our position in two points.

The first point is that we all have a humanitarian, religious, legal, jihadist, moral, national and community obligation to stand up and say (loud and clear) that we denounce, reject and condemn this (peace agreement). It is a betrayal of Islam, a betrayal of Arabity, a betrayal of the (Muslim) Community, a betrayal of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and of the Palestinian people, a betrayal of the (Muslim and Christian) holy places. What the Palestinians said is true: it was an act of treason, a stab in the back. Any similar words (of condemnation) are fair to characterize this position (of the Emirates). If we cannot do anything concrete to fight this most execrable and detestable act perpetrated by the rulers of the Emirates, we can at least reject it by words (of condemnation). And the weakest degree of faith (for those who are at risk if they speak out publicly, especially inside Arab dictatorships) is to cast it into our hearts. But many can denounce it through a public stance (without endangering their life, freedom or livelihood), and if they keep silent today, they will pay (for this silence) on the Day of Judgment. The first point is therefore the necessary denunciation and condemnation of this peace agreement.

And in the second point, I address the Palestinian people who is oppressed and betrayed today, as well as the Arab and Muslim peoples who remain (committed) to the heart of the Palestinian cause, and to the Resistance movements: I tell them that we have to be angry in our hearts, and view this heinous act as despicable betrayal, but we are not to be saddened. Don’t be saddened. On the contrary, it is good that the masks fall off. It is good that what was happening under the table is done above the table. It is good that what was done in secret is now done in public. Basically, it is one of the divine, historical and social customs, as we have seen (time and time again) through the ages and in societies, just as it is something clearly established in the Holy Quran: when God the Most High decrees that the Front of Truth is approaching (the ultimate) victory, it must get rid of its burdens, purify itself, cleanse its ranks, expel hypocrites, liars and those who plot (against it), the submissive, those who stab him in the back. The fact that these people get out of the Front of Truth, the Position of Truth and the Cause of Truth —in this case the Palestinian cause—, far from being harmful, will on the contrary make the Resistance movements, the peoples of the Resistance and the regimes that believe in the Resistance (stronger), because this will allow the Resistance Front to clearly distinguish its friends from its enemies, to purge its ranks by getting rid of the hypocrites. This is a natural condition (for success).

Therefore, just as we are well aware of the hateful aspect of this betrayal of the Emirates, which must make us angry, we must say “You may hate something, and it may be (yet) a blessing for you” (Quranic verse). When the ranks of the (Muslim) Community become clean, healthy and purified of all those people who (can) stab you halfway, at a quarter of the way or (just) before the end of your journey and thus upset the equations, of those who plot against you, who present themselves as your friends but are your enemies, your adversaries and are nothing but spies (in the service of the enemy), on the contrary, it is a (very) good thing, even if it is painful. This is a (very) good thing, even if it is painful, just as it is painful to get rid of unhealthy parts of the body so that the body can regain its health, and get stronger and healthier.

The third point with regard to Israel is the explosion at the port of Beirut… (Before getting to this) I just want to mention one last thing: in Lebanon, we were always accused of going against the “Arab unanimity” (in the Israeli-Palestinian question) and we were accused of “leaving Arab unanimity” (by making the choice of the armed Resistance), but where is the Arab unanimity? The Emirates are going their own way. Where is the Arab peace initiative on the table? Is there even a table (of negotiations) and an Arab peace plan left? Does the Arab League still exist? Do we still have official Arab regimes? I’m not asking the question “Are there any Arabs left” because (these Arab rulers) are not the (genuine) Arabs. Arabs are other people (the resistant peoples of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, etc.).

[Beirut explosion: accusations against Israel cover up slanderous accusations against Hezbollah]

The third point is (the explosion at) the port of Beirut. I will approach this issue by mentioning Israel’s (alleged implication) and continue with the Lebanese internal situation. Of course, we in Hezbollah do not (yet) have a conclusion as to the causes of the explosion in the port of Beirut. If anyone asks us what the analysis (and conclusion) of Hezbollah are, we will say that we have no account (certain and proven of how the events unfolded). The correct conclusions will be made by the authorities conducting the investigation, and we are not in charge of the investigation. We have not been charged with this responsibility. It is not our responsibility (anyway), it is that of the State, justice and security authorities of Lebanon. And now we hear that they have asked for help from American experts, we have heard that FBI experts are coming or are already there, as well as French experts, etc.

In theory, there are two main possibilities. Either the first or the second (must be true). The first possibility is that it was an accident. It’s a possibility. I did not discuss these assumptions in my previous speech. Maybe there was this stockpile of nitrate (ammonium) on one side, a stockpile of fireworks nearby, some workers were using blowtorches, the flames hit the fireworks and started the fires, and the fireforws exploded (in all directions) and detonated the nitrate. This explosion would therefore be an accident (according to this theory). And all this would only be due to negligence, corruption of the administration, irresponsibility, recklessness, etc. Therefore, the first theory excludes the intentional act. The second theory is that this is an intentional act. It could have been executed in various ways: some have spoken of warplanes or drones carrying out strikes, which is not supported by any evidence so far. Another theory is a direct human intervention which would have started the fire or placed a small explosive charge which would have caused this fire and these successive explosions. Who could be the instigator of this intentional criminal act? Maybe this or that part, or maybe Israel. No one can rule out this possibility.

As for us, Hezbollah, we are awaiting the results of the investigation. Some claim that Hezbollah (already) knows how this explosion occurred, and that anyway Hezbollah knows (absolutely) everything about Lebanon, and that it has intelligence capabilities that keep it informed of everything that happens inside Lebanon. I’ve said in the past that (most of the time) we’re either underestimated or overestimated (by both friends and enemies). But I swear by God that we are not (omniscient nor omnipotent)! There are a lot of things, a lot of regions, a lot of organizations and a lot of events that we ignore, and it’s not our job (to know everything) anyway. This is the job of the State and its security agencies. What concerns us is the Resistance, it is Israel. Of course, the direct security of the Resistance concerns us. But let me be clear, because there are some of our friends and supporters who speak out on TV (asking from us the impossible): We don’t have the capacity to take responsibility for internal national security. We are incapable of it. I’m not (merely) saying we don’t want to do it. Of course, we don’t want to do it anyway (if we were tasked with police tasks, it could lead to many problems and ultimately civil war), but (even if we wanted to), we wouldn’t be able to! Why do you want to place an unbearable burden on us? This is the responsibility of the State, which has a budget, collects taxes, has a very large number of soldiers, security forces, an Army, (legions of public servants), etc. Either way, we do not have a full account of what happened, we are not in charge of the investigation, and we do not have precise (and definitive) information about the way this explosion happened. We are therefore awaiting (the results of) the investigation.

If the investigation establishes that it was an accident, then the judiciary will have to establish who is legally responsible for the carnage and punish them. If it is an act of sabotage, then there will still be (Lebanese) officials to identify and punish, because the fact that these explosives were stored for 6 years and that fireworks were stored nearby is in itself criminal negligence. But it will be necessary to identify who is the instigator of this act of sabotage. If this is Israel, then everything will be turned upside down.

I have read certain statements, and listened to certain press conferences, just as I have been informed that in Lebanon and outside Lebanon is said the following: the person responsible for this act of sabotage is the Israeli enemy… But of course, the purpose of these allegations is not to condemn Israel, but Hezbollah! (These rumors therefore say that the responsible for the explosion is Israel), that Hezbollah knows it (very well) but that we remain silent and hide this truth because we don’t want an escalation by retaliating against Israel, and that we are weak and incapable of retaliating against Israel. These are the rumors that prompt me to bring up this point.

Anyway, the investigation must continue, and give (clear) answers to the Lebanese people, and not to Hezbollah: to the Lebanese people as a whole and to the entire Lebanese State, because it is a huge national and humanitarian disaster that affected everyone. And God’s mercy has (largely) spared us. The mercy of God caused a large part of the explosion to be absorbed by the sea, and it is now said that a large part of these explosives did not explode, for if the 2,750 tons of nitrate of ammonium had exploded, the disaster and tragedy would have been much more serious. Either way, I’m not the one leading the investigation, and I’m not the one making the accusations. We are awaiting (the results) of the official Lebanese investigation.

Of course, I have to say that if the FBI steps in, and if Israel is really involved in this explosion, that means Israel will be cleared of all accusations. (This is sure to happen) if the FBI leads the investigation. Likewise, if Lebanon accepts an international investigation, its primary role will be to clear Israel of all responsibility for the explosion —if Israel is indeed involved. And this is why if some voices say that they do not trust a Lebanese investigation, just as you are Lebanese and it is your right not to trust a local investigation, we are also Lebanese and we declare that we have no trust (whatsoever) in an international investigation.

[If Israel is to blame, Hezbollah’s response will be more devastating than the explosion in Beirut]

If the Lebanese investigation concludes that this is an act of terrorism and sabotage, and that Israel is involved, it is not just Hezbollah that will have to respond. The Lebanese State in all its institutions, the Lebanese people in all its components, all forces and all political parties and all the Lebanese will have to stand up and respond to this Israeli aggression against the port of Beirut, against a warehouse storing such (quantities of) explosives. This is not an operation that targets Hezbollah, but all the Lebanese people, the Lebanese State and all the sects of Lebanon —I regret to have to specify it (because some Lebanese are still locked in a sectarian logic). So what will be your position, O Lebanese State, O Lebanese people? Are you going to say that since it was Israel that killed, wounded and massacred us, we must forget about it because we can’t do anything against Israel? What will be your position (if it turns out that Israel is responsible)? In truth, every Lebanese and all Lebanese political forces must be ready to respond to this theory, before Hezbollah responds to it.

But with regard to the response of Hezbollah and the Resistance, I tell you right now, I tell you right now (very clearly): (this) Hezbollah for whom it is impossible to remain silent & idle about the assassination of one single of its fighters, and which forces the Israeli Army to remain (on high alert) on one leg and a half across the whole border for weeks, and who is firmly committed to upholding the equation (of deterrence), (this) Hezbollah can in no way be silent in the face of a huge crime of this magnitude against the Lebanese people if it turns out that it Israel is the one who perpetrated it. And Israel will pay a price commensurate with the crime it has committed, if Israel did it, without the slightest thought required, without the slightest hesitation. It is not our answer that is unclear. If this theory turns out to be correct, it is the other political forces and the Lebanese people who must begin to wonder right now what will be their response to those who target them with such colossal violence. Because if it is indeed an attack, (the culprits) will have to pay not only for what happened, but for everything that might have happened (in terms of further bloodshed and desolation). But God the Most High and the Exalted (saved us from much worse). […]

The last part concerning the Lebanese internal situation will be translated soon.

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ما هي أسباب الدّخول الأميركيّ على خطّ التحقيقات في انفجار بيروت؟

شارل أبي نادر

شارل أبي نادر 

المصدر: الميادين نت

14 اب

ما هي أسباب الدّخول الأميركيّ على خطّ التحقيقات في انفجار بيروت؟

كان لافتاً ما ظهر من معطيات تستدعي التوقف عندها، لناحية ما قاله قبطان السفينة “روسوس” التي نقلت الأمونيوم إلى لبنان وما كشفته صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” الأميركيّة.

فور وصوله إلى بيروت، وعلى الرغم من أنَّ أهداف زيارته كانت محدّدة في الأساس بمتابعة النقاش بملفّ ترسيم الحدود اللبنانية البحرية مع فلسطين المحتلَّة، إضافةً إلى موضوع تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانيّة بعد استقالة حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، فقد أعلن ديفيد هيل، موفد الإدارة الأميركية، أنَّ هناك فريقاً من مكتب التحقيق الفيدرالي الأميركي سيشارك في التحقيقات التي تجريها السلطات اللبنانية في انفجار مرفأ بيروت، وذلك، بحسب ادّعائه، تلبية لدعوة من الدولة اللبنانية.

يتلاقى الدخول الأميركي حالياً على خطّ التحقيق في انفجار بيروت، مع دعوات داخلية لبنانية مشبوهة، كانت قد طالبت بتحقيق دولي، على خلفية عدم ثقتها بالقضاء اللبناني، وذلك مباشرة بعد الانفجار، وقبل أن يتبيَّن أي من الخيوط أو المعطيات أو الظروف المتعلّقة بالانفجار.

وكان لافتاً ما ظهر من معطيات تستدعي التوقف عندها، لناحية ما قاله قبطان السفينة “روسوس” التي نقلت الأمونيوم إلى لبنان، بوريس بروكوشوف، لـ”الميادين”، وما كشفته صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” الأميركيّة عن برقيّة دبلوماسيّة أميركيّة صدرت يوم الجمعة الماضي، بعد 3 أيام من انفجار مرفأ بيروت في 4 آب/أغسطس الجاري، توضح أنّ متعاقداً أميركيّاً يعمل مع الجيش الأميركي، حذّر قبل 4 أعوام تقريباً من أنَّ المرفأ يحتوي على مخبأ كبير للمواد القابلة للانفجار والمخزّنة بطريقة غير آمنة.

أمام كلّ هذه المعطيات التي تطرح العديد من التساؤلات، هل يمكن إيجاد أيّ دور للأميركيين في هذه القضيّة؟ وهل يمكن الوقوف على أسباب هذا الغموض وعدم الوضوح في مسار الباخرة التي حملت النيترات إلى بيروت؟ وكيف يرتبط هذا الغموض مع التخبّط الإداري والأمني والسياسي اللبناني في معالجة كمية النيترات، لناحية إفراغها ومصادرتها وتخزينها، وصولاً إلى الانفجار القاتل؟ 

في الواقع، ومن خلال إجراء مقاربة سريعة لشروط وإجراءات الشّحن واستقبال البضائع في لبنان أو أي دولة أخرى، تبقى هناك تعليمات أساسية في موضوع استيراد البضائع لا يتم تجاوزها، مهما كانت الظروف، وتتعلَّق بعدم إدخال أي بضاعة إلى لبنان أو أيّ دولة بشكل عام، إذا لم يكن هناك مالك أو طالب لهذه البضاعة متواجد في الأراضي اللبنانية، سواء كان فرداً أو شركة أو مؤسسة خاصة أو عامة، ومن المفترض أن يملك ترخيصاً باستيراد تلك المواد والتعامل معها، إضافةً طبعاً إلى وجوب أن تكون هذه البضاعة مستوفية للشروط العامة والخاصة للاستيراد، والتي تتعلَّق بالسلامة العامة، وبأن لا تكون من الممنوعات أو المحظورات وما شابه.

هذه الشروط المذكورة أعلاه لم تتوفر بتاتاً في كمية نيترات الأمونيوم التي تم إفراغها في لبنان في بداية العام 2014، ووضعها في عنبر رقم 12 في مرفأ بيروت، الخاصّ بالمصادرات بشكل عام، لناحية عدم وجود مالك أو طالب لها في لبنان، أو لناحية كونها مادة قابلة للانفجار، تتركَّز فيها نسبة الأمونيات الخطرة بحوالى 36 في المئة، الأمر الذي يجعلها مادة متفجرة بامتياز وغير صالحة للاستعمال كأسمدة زراعيّة، إذ لا يجب أن تتجاوز النسبة المركزة في الأخيرة أكثر من 15 في المئة، وبالتالي كان يجب أن تخضع قبل استيرادها إلى لبنان لآلية أمنية وإدارية معقَّدة تتطلب على الأقل موافقة اختصاصيين وخبراء متفجّرات وأسلحة وذخائر من الجيش اللبناني، استناداً إلى قانون الأسلحة والذخائر اللبناني.

انطلاقاً من ذلك، تُطرح أول علامة استفهام حول الجهة التي تم إفراغ الحمولة القاتلة لمصلحتها، والتي بقيت مجهولة طيلة فترة وجود النيترات في العنبر رقم 12، والتي، ببقائها مجهولة، خلقت إشكالية قضائية وإدارية وأمنية لدى مديرية الجمارك اللبنانية من جهة، ولدى الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية الموجودة على المرفأ من جهة أخرى.

من جهة أخرى، واستناداً إلى ما قاله قبطان السفينة الناقلة للنيترات لـ”الميادين”، تبقى علامات الاستفهام والشبهات كثيرة لناحية النقاط التالية: 

– لماذا لم تستجوب السلطات اللبنانية طاقم السفينة المكلّف بنقل وحماية مواد شديدة الخطورة، غير معروف مصدرها ووجهتها بالتحديد، قبل اتخاذ قرار بإفراغ حمولتها الخطيرة والحساسة؟

– لماذا لم يتقدَّم مالك السفينة أو أحد وكلائه لدفع رسم الرسو (المؤقت) في مرفأ بيروت، والذي يشكّل نسبة ضئيلة جداً مقارنة ببدل ثمن النيترات التي تمت مصادرتها، وبالتالي التسبّب بخسارتها من دون مقابل؟ ومن هي الجهة التي غطّت هذه المبالغ (ثمن النيترات وإيجار سفينة النقل وبدل إبحار الطاقم من جورجيا إلى بيروت على الأقل)، لكي يصل بها الأمر إلى المصادرة، وبالتالي خسارتها؟ 

في الواقع، إضافةً إلى هذه التساؤلات، يجب التوقف أيضاً عند ما نشرته صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” عن معرفة السلطات الأميركية (الأمنية على الأقل) بحيثيات النيترات، لناحية درجة تركيزها المرتفعة (36 في المئة)، والتي تجعلها بمصاف المتفجرات “الحساسة والخطرة والفعالة” جداً بالمعنى الكامل، أو لناحية وجودها في مرفأ بيروت، في مكان حساس ومؤثر بشكل كبير، في منطقة واسعة فيها تواجد ومرور لعدد كبير من أعضاء البعثات، ومن العسكريين والدبلوماسيين الأميركيين والأوروبيين، إضافة طبعاً إلى العدد الكبير من اللبنانيين والمقيمين في المنطقة المجاورة لمرفأ بيروت.

من جهة أخرى، ترافقت العملية (إفراغ الباخرة وحجز النيترات) حينها في العامين 2013 و2014، مع حركة نشطة جداً لنقل وإدخال أسلحة وذخائر ومتفجرات إلى سوريا، لمصلحة مسلحي المعارضة السورية والمسلحين الإرهابيين الذين كانوا، وما زالوا، يقاتلون الدولة السورية وحلفاءها، ومن ضمنها أكثر من باخرة تم اكتشاف إحداها وضبطها ومصادرتها في شمال لبنان (لطف الله 2).

من هنا، ومع إصرار السّلطات اللبنانية على عدم اعتماد تحقيق دولي كامل في الانفجار (ربما تستعين بخبرات دولية فنية فقط)، ومع وجود بعض المؤشرات إلى أنَّ التحقيقات بدأت تقترب من التوصل إلى إمكانية اكتشاف ارتباطات قضية الشحن والنقل والإفراغ المشبوه للنيترات، بقضية مركَّبة تهدف إلى تأمين متفجرات للمعارضة والإرهابيين في سوريا. انطلاقاً من كلّ ذلك، يمكن استنتاج أسباب دخول الأميركيين على خطّ التحقيق، عبر عرضهم على السلطات اللبنانية تقديم ما يملكون من خبرات متطورة، فنياً وتقنياً، تساعد في كشف ملابسات كيفية حدوث الانفجار وسببه، لعلّهم في ذلك، وعبر نفوذهم الواسع، يوجّهون التحقيقات أو على الأقل يضبطونها بشكل لا تتمدَّد إلى مكان يكشف تورّط بعض الأطراف أو المسؤولين السابقين اللبنانيين في تغذية نار الحرب على سوريا.

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How Israel views the Beirut explosion and Hezbollah’s involvement

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

“Hezbollah controls the Harbour of Beirut and is knowledgeable of everything happening in it. It uses its influence to smuggle its shipments through and prefers to keep these shipments at the harbour to prevent Israel from bombing them.”

“Hezbollah controls Lebanon and forced the choice of General Michel Aoun as a President and of Hassan Diab as a Prime Minister. Moreover, through its influence in the parliament and the cabinet, it is enforcing the protection of its arsenal and of its presence as a powerful armed organisation”.

“Israel will use its influence to prevent any financial support from reaching Lebanon unless it is conditioned on the disarming and dissolution of Hezbollah and prevention of its participation in the forthcoming Lebanese government”.

“The international community should prevent Iran from helping Lebanon to reconstruct its infrastructure or to offer financial support to the country; it should keep tight control over all cash flows reaching the government.”

“The international community should prevent Iran from taking advantage of the weakness of Lebanon and stop it from helping the Lebanese.”

Israeli media, military analysts and official commanders commented in these terms on the Beirut harbour explosion of 4th August. The explosion was caused by negligence and lack of regard for public safety. 2,755 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) – classified as dangerous goods– were left at the harbour in 2013 while local officials and judges threw the ball of responsibility at one another until it exploded. The AN (NH4NO3) widely used as fertiliser but is also a component in many types of mining explosives if mixed with fuel oil or detonated by an explosive charge.  AN does not burn on its own but acts as a source of oxygen to accelerate the burning of other materials. It is the rapid release of gases that causes an explosion if an intense fire ignites nearby. This is indeed what happened: at Beirut harbour, several tons of ignited combustible materials were left and firefighters tried to control the fire that had started an hour before someone realised it.

Israeli Foreign Minister GhabiAshenazi said “Hezbollah is acting in urban and populated territories and using Lebanese citizens as human shields as we saw in the unfortunate event last week. Hezbollah is responsible for the explosion of the harbour.”

Israeli Prime Minister said, “in order to avoid disasters like the one at Beirut port, we have to confiscate the explosives and missiles that Hezbollah has hidden in civilian population centres in Lebanon.”

Most Israeli officials and analysts concluded that Hezbollah is much weaker today and, therefore, should remain outside the forthcoming government. They considered the resignation of Prime Minister (now caretaker) Hassan Diab as a positive step for Israel because he was leading a “Hezbollah cabinet”.

Israeli officials called “for the rapid formation of new government excluding Hezbollah so Diab doesn’t remain for long as a caretaker.” It seems the general opinion among experts in Israel is that the political power in Lebanon will definitely change in favour of Israel’s objectives in Lebanon and the Middle East.

There should be grave doubts regarding the Israeli assessment, which is superficial and indicates little knowledge of Lebanese internal dynamics. Most of what the Israeli media and analysts said is taken from the Arabic and Gulf media hostile to Hezbollah, expressing wishful thinking and part of their general anti-Hezbollah propaganda.

Significantly, Israel’s own intelligence reports undermine the general conclusions of these analysts. They say, in no uncertain terms, that “no adequate options are available to indicate Hezbollah’s position has been weakened. All previous attempts have so far failed to isolate Hezbollah and to undermine its power.”

Israeli media analysts, like many Lebanese and Arab leaders and writers, failed completely to explain how a weak country like Lebanon could disarm Hezbollah, “one of the strongest armies in the Middle East”, according to Benny Gantz. Hezbollah is considered the only protector of the south of Lebanon against Israel’s ambitions and the defender of the Lebanese oil and gas rights in the Mediterranean. The US and Israel called for the disarmament of Hezbollah but offered no means for the Lebanese army to protect itself against over 53 monthly Israeli violations of Lebanon’s air, land and sea territories.

It is strikingly obvious that the Israeli demands, and those of the international community, coincide exactly with those of a few Lebanese political leaders, notably the Christian Leader Samir Geagea, the former ally of Israel and the leader of the “Lebanese Forces”, and with those of other politicians allied to Saudi Arabia. If the international community intends to link the financial support of Lebanon to the disarmament of Hezbollah, ……..

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Podcast: The Beirut Explosion, Economic Terror and the Drumbeat of War Against Hezbollah

Beirut Blast podcast image

By Mnar Muhawesh Adley

Source

Lebanese journalists Laith Marouf and Marwa Osman recount their experience living through the recent blast that destroyed much of Beirut, an explosion that not only occurred during a period of rapid economic decline but of increasing public outrage over corruption and Western sanctions that have squeezed Lebanon dry.

Welcome to MintCast — an interview series featuring dissenting voices the establishment would rather silence– I’m your host Mnar Muhawesh Adley.

Lebanon is reeling from a blast that destroyed much of the capital Beirut on Tuesday, August 4. 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate in the city’s port is thought to have caught fire and exploded, killing at least 157 people and injuring thousands more. The blast, believed to be one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, destroyed much of the city and has left an estimated 300,000 people homeless.

Exploiting this tragedy are the usual suspects within Western media and government including the United States and Israel who are beating the drums of war as they try to blame Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah for the massive explosion.

Joining us today to discuss this and what this means for the region and world are two independent journalists and analysts who lived through the blast, Laith Marouf, and Marwa Osman.

Laith Marouf is a journalist, geopolitical analyst, and activist who has served as Canadian National Chair of the group, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. He was the Executive Director of Concordia University Television in Montreal and currently lives in Beirut where he saw first hand the devastation caused by the August 4 explosion.

Marwa Osman is a lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University. She’s also the host of the MidEaStream broadcasted on Al-Etejah English Channel. Her writing focuses primarily on Middle Eastern issues and can be found in a wide range of outlets, including Press TV.  Like Marouf, Osman is a resident of Beirut.

 

The explosion could barely have come at a worse time for Lebanon, which is suffering through an economic meltdown, with a collapsing currency, rampant inflation, employment difficult to come by, and food becoming increasingly scarce. Worse still, the country’s Economy Minister Raoul Nehme confirmed that grain silos at the port, containing around 15,000 tons of wheat, were destroyed. As a result, the country has barely a few weeks of food in reserve.

Hospitals, already feeling the strain due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak, have been overwhelmed, and have been forced to turn away many arriving for urgently needed medical care. With the city destroyed, roads closed and vehicles upended, most of Beirut’s residents have had little option other than to stay where they are, begin to clean up, even as clouds of toxic fumes engulf the area.

The blast occurred in a context of rapid economic decline, increasing public outrage over corruption — including from Washington — and Western economic sanctions that have squeezed the country dry.

Planes Heard, Seen in Skies of Beirut before Blast

Senior Western sources said Western reconnaissance craft were in the skies around the time of the blast, but did not carry out any attack

By Alison Tahmizian Meuse

Global Research, August 14, 2020

Asia Times 11 August 2020

Military aircraft were heard, and in some cases seen, flying in the sky in the moments before the apocalyptic Beirut explosion, war-hardened residents of the Lebanese capital told Asia Times this week.

Araz Bedros, a resident of the Metn district overlooking Beirut, told Asia Times that she and her husband were drawn to their 11th-floor balcony last Tuesday, August 4, by the sound of a loud boom.

Bedros, 37, was raised during the Lebanese Civil War, which stretched from 1975 to 1990, and she lived through the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

“We ran to the balcony and we saw two aircraft, black planes flying. I screamed to my husband it must be Israel. And then the big explosion happened.”

Although the couple’s residence is located in the hills just above the city, she says she went into wartime mode, ordering her daughter to get dressed so they could evacuate to an open space.

“At first I thought they would continue to the Dahieh,” she said, referring to the Shiite-majority southern suburbs of Beirut, which bore the brunt of Israeli air attacks during the month-long 2006 war. But then, she says, she watched them fly out to sea, out on the Mediterranean.

“US forces in Lebanon were not flying any aircraft in the sky above Beirut at the time of the blast; however, we routinely utilize unmanned aerial platforms as a  force protection tool for our teams on the ground,” Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command, told Asia Times.

CENTCOM does not publicize the “mission specifics of our particular platforms,” Urban said, adding he was able to share that US forces were asked for and responded to a request by the Lebanese Armed Forces for video support following the explosion.

“On August 4, seventy minutes following the initial report of explosion and at the request of our LAF partners, we provided three and a half hours of full motion video support over the explosion to provide damage assessments as well as assist in personnel search and recovery efforts,” Urban said.

Senior Western sources told Asia Times that Western reconnaissance craft were in the skies above the Lebanese coast at the time of the blasts. These craft did not carry out any attack, they said.

“The cause of the first fire/explosion is still an unanswered question,” a US official told Asia Times on condition of anonymity. While there have been reports that the initial fire may have been due to negligence, the source noted he has not yet seen “actual evidence to support or confirm that,” and that “other alternatives” are possible.

Israel, which last year accused Hezbollah of militarizing Beirut Port and whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in 2018 that the Shiite group was “using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields,” has denied involvement in the human catastrophe. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi last week told Israeli N12 television the explosion was most likely an accident.

“If it was an Israeli attack, then this will not be revealed because it implicates both sides in a war they don’t want,” a senior Lebanese source close to Hezbollah told Asia Times on condition of anonymity.

The explosions killed more than 170 people and wounded over 6,000.

Sonic boom

In the city below, Marwan Naaman was leaving his work at Fashion Trust Arabia, whose Lebanon office is located directly across from the port. He sent a text message at 6:03 pm, just before driving off. He says he was about to turn off the Sea Road to get on the highway towards East Beirut when the first explosion hit.

“I turned and heard vrrrrr. I remember the war years we’d hear a vrrrr … not like a passenger plane flying, but much faster. I heard that, then heard BOOM.”

Naaman, 48, sped to get away from the Sea Road and onto the highway, and then the second explosion hit.

“This is when the buildings started exploding and the glass started flying. My first reaction was that the city was being bombed, I thought I was going to die now. It was really terrifying.”

Naaman, who experienced much of of the Lebanese Civil War, and spent a decade of his life in San Fransisco from 1990, says he had flashbacks to the sounds of Fleet Week, the annual air show between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

“All I could think of was the sound of the Blue Angels,” he said referring to the US Navy formation.

Naaman’s testimony was echoed by residents of Borj Hammoud, a working-class district adjacent to the port that is home to mainly ethnic Armenians, Syrian refugees, and migrant workers.

In security camera footage captured in the heart of Borj Hammoud, two men are seen leaving their shops to look up at the sky. One man grins, jokingly pointing his finger up, twirling it around, and then diving it down as if to mimic an expected strike.

In a moment, the grin evaporates from his face and he joins his friend across the street to watch something in the sky. Seconds later, a blast hits, sending the men back and shattering the glass of the entire street of shops.

Massive Explosion Destroys Beirut Harbor, Hundreds of Casualties

“I definitely heard the sound of a plane. First came the sonic boom, then you heard the explosion,” said shop-owner Nazareth Vandakardjian, 75, interviewed by Asia Times on Saturday.

“It was abnormal. An abnormal explosion. Every single person thought the blast was hitting building,” he said, sitting outside his shop, midway through a game of backgammon with his Syrian colleague.

Image on the right: Nazareth Vandakardjian, 75, says he heard the sound of a sonic boom before the August 4, 2020 Beirut explosion from the Borj Hammoud district located across from the port, where the explosion originated. Photo: Asia Times

Riad Mohammad Ali, who hails from the countryside of Aleppo, and who took shelter in Lebanon after the outbreak of the war in Syria, says he heard the same.

“I fled the war to here. A warplane sound? I heard it for sure – before the explosion.

“I heard it, and everybody heard it,” Ali stated flatly.

Vandakardjian interjects:

“Didn’t we live through the 2006 war? We know the sonic boom, it’s the same sound.”

The Syrian man told Asia Times he had spent the past four days evacuating wounded and helping people clean up their wrecked houses in the upscale Gemmayzé district, where his main workplace is located. The backgammon game was his first break.

Image below: Riad Mohammad Ali, a Syrian from the countryside of Aleppo, says he heard the sound of a warplane before the Beirut explosion of August 4, 2020. Photo: Asia Times

‘We’ve been hit’

Perhaps the most horrifying video, which has emerged from inside the port itself and which purportedly was filmed by a worker on a mobile phone, records the moments after the final, cataclysmic explosion.

“We’re in the port of Beirut, and we’re hit,” says the petrified man, filming as black smoke billows amid the forest of cranes and containers around him. A transport vehicle buzzes past.

“One minute ago, there was an airplane that did two strikes … that, or one plane made a strike, and then another came and made another strike,” he continues, aiming the camera to show smoke rising into the sky over French CMA-CGM containers, some of them lit with amber flames.

“We’ve really been hit,” he says. “I don’t know what’s happening.” He quivers before the video cuts.

Elie Asmar was in a bar in the adjacent district of Mar Mikhael, when the blasts occurred.

“The cloud of the explosion, the silence, the dust, is definitely the same,” he told Asia Times of the video from the port.

“I can clearly identify the silence. It was the most horrible deafening silence I have ever felt,” he said.

Asmar said he also thought it was an air strike in the moment, but told Asia Times he does not believe any strike from the air occurred.

In what is one of the clearest videos of the explosion, filmed from one of the luxury high-rises above the port, a couple document the initial fire billows.

They are at first totally unaware of the danger headed their way, alternately poking fun at themselves for playing TV journalists, and expressing mounting worry for those in the port.

One minute into the video, what sounds like an incoming jet is heard.

“What’s that sound? Emad get inside. Honey get inside. Emad! Get inside!” the woman shrieks to her companion, apparently on the balcony.

Twenty seconds into the audible crescendo, at 1:20, a blast is heard.

“Emad! Please, please get inside … something bigger exploded, dear God, hopefully no one was hurt,” she says. As seconds pass, the billowing charcoal clouds become more intense.

“Emad come inside! Close the glass please,” she implores him.

But he continues filming, even as small explosions begin erupting and orange flares are seen bursting from the area. At 1:54, the final explosion blasts out of the port and through apartment. The phone tumbles and the couple go silent.

Western reconnaissance confirmed

Lebanese authorities say that final, fatal blast was the explosion of a 2,750 metric-ton stock of ammonium nitrate, a notoriously weaponizable fertilizer, which had been inexplicably kept inside a warehouse in the port for the past six years, despite regular warnings and the obvious dangers and illegalities it presented.

US President Donald Trump and Lebanese President Michel Aoun have each raised the possibility that the Beirut blasts were triggered by an “attack,” or “external interference by a missile or a bomb.”

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in an address following the blasts, notably did not raise the possibility of any role by enemy Israel in the cataclysmic explosion, despite weeks of rising tensions along the border and in neighboring Syria, and after a series of mysterious explosions targeting sensitive sites in allied Iran.

Iran has said the explosions should not be “politicized,” while French President Emmanuel Macron, who has assumed an outsized role in managing the fallout and on Thursday demanded an international probe, as of Sunday judged there was “enough objective evidence” to judge the double blasts as “accidental.”

Lebanon’s Judge Fadi Akiki is currently overseeing an investigation by Military Intelligence and the Information Division of the Internal Security Forces. Akiki, Lebanese journalists are noting, is married to the niece of the powerful Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

President Aoun has rejected calls by Lebanese civil society for an international probe.

Israel, whose UN ambassador one year ago said Beirut Port had become “Hezbollah’s port” and accused the Shiite group of using civilian areas as human shields, has denied any role in the explosions.

On Monday, Israel’s military publicly said it was reducing its troop presence along the border with Lebanon and Syria, indicating confidence that Hezbollah will not or cannot reply at this time.

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Featured image: Two men standing on Arax Street in Borj Hammoud district, adjacent to the Beirut Port, are seen in security camera footage released after the August 4, 2020 double explosion, pointing to the sky. Photo: screenshotThe original source of this article is Asia TimesCopyright © Alison Tahmizian MeuseAsia Times, 2020

بيروت… تفجير داخل الانفجار!

فاديا مطر

من على شرفات بيروت التي شهدت أكبر انفجار منذ قرن من الزمن تتموضع الكارثة، ومن شوارعها التي عصف بها ٤ آب تتسم الصورة الحقيقة لمشهد الانفجار المروع، فالحقيقة باتت ضائعة ما بين من حلت به النكبة ومن يستجمع الداخل والخارج لتطعيم مشهد الانفجار بتفجير يؤلم أكثر، حيث لا تسعف الكلمات الصور، ولا ترتب الخراب الأمنيات، إلا أنّ مشهد الانفجار مازال يريد العصف بتفجير ما تبقى من شجر وحجر وبشر، فهي ذات الأيدي التي صوبت منذ الدقائق الأولى للانفجار ناره بإتجاه المقاومة كما جرت العادة ووثقت سابقاً أحداث عام ٢٠٠٥ ذلك، وهي ذات الأجندة التي ما زالت تعتبر نفسها رابحة برغم الخسارة في العام ٢٠٠٦ ومشهد الانكسار الذي حل بالعدو الإسرائيلي، فلم تعط الدروس العِبر ولم تملّ أيدي الخراب من التخريب، حيث تقف الحكومة اللبنانية أمام فوهتي مدفع داخلي وخارجي بدت جاهزيته للإطلاق قبل إخماد نار مرفأ بيروت، ولم تكن المقاومة ببعيدة عن ذات التسديد، فالواقع يحرك ذاته باتجاه معين من التدويل إلى الدعوات للتخريب إلى محاولات استهداف الوزارات التي تُعنى بترتيب ما تحطم والتي ما زالت تبتعد بنفسها عن مساءلة من السبب ولماذا، وهي بانتظار الوقت المتبقي لإعلان النتائج من الفريق الحكومي والأمني لشرح ما حدث، ولعلّ استباق ما حدث قد حط رحاله في شوارع بيروت المنكوبة قبل أيّ إعلان رسمي سوى ما أعلنه في ذات اليوم الرئيس الأميركي ترامب من أنّ انفجار بيروت يبدو «مفتعلاً»، ودعمه بذات التصريحات الزائر الأول لبيروت بعد الكارثة قادماً من باريس، والذي لم تخبّئ جعبته المقصد «الإنساني» والسياسي ودفتر الشروط لمؤتمر باريس الداعم للبنان، فالذي بدأه إيمانويل ماكرون يحاول بعض الشارع اللبناني استكماله في مشهد كان الإعلام المسموم سيده مع حصول الحدث وبعده، والداعم الإعلامي كان استناداً لقنوات «إسرائيلية» نفت ما جاء على لسان القنوات اللبنانية التي بثت الخبر، فيما كان حديث سماحة السيد حسن نصرالله موصفاً للواقع ومتجاوزاً لخبث تلك القنوات التي أفشلت نفسها بنفسها، فالمراقب لجملة المشهد في بيروت الجريحة قد أصبح أمام تساؤلات جمّة تشوبها استفهامات كثيرة وتعتصرها أحداث شارع يحاول التفجير بعد الانفجار، فالمشهد الداخلي اللبناني بات بزمام من بصماته لم تغادر المكان ليغيّر المشهد ما بعد الانفجار إلى مشهد ما قبل التفجير عبر متنبّئين جاءت تصريحاتهم ما بين طلب الوصاية الدولية والتشكيك بقدرة الحكومة على النهوض وما بين الاستقالة التي ربط بعضهم فيها نفسه بكلام الليل الذي محاه النهار، لتقف ضفتا بيروت أمام استحقاق ربما يأخد ما وضعته الكارثة بعيداً عن متناول التشاركية التي جسدها المشهد الشعبي والشبابي المتكاتف بهول الكارثة، فمحاولة إحداث تفجير بعد الانفجار تبدو حامية في روؤس البعض من مرتهني الخارج لتكبير رقعة الخراب وتدمير ما لم يدمّره انفجار ميناء بيروت، والمستهدف ربما وسّعت رقعته بعض الأحزاب السياسية ليصل إلى خارج الحدود وإلى خارج خارج الحدود، لكن الرسائل التي بعث بها سيد المقاومة للداخل والخارج ستكبح طموحات من خابت أمانيه وستفعل فعلها في مؤتمر باريس الذي لملم الكثير من متمنّي الخراب للبنان برغم تفاؤل سماحة السيد نصر الله الحذر من أنّ الوضع الخارجي حتى الآن جيد تجاه من يريد المساعدة «الحقيقية» للبنان في محنته، فأيّ بصمات سترفع بيروت عن مفتعل مصيبتها؟ وأيّ تكشفات ستحمل الأيام القادمة ؟ وأيّ مساومات ستعبّر إلى مطار الحريري لوضع الشارع في بازار ابتزاز قبل البدء بالحديث عن مساعدات الشرق، وهل فتيل التفجير أقرب إلى الماء منه إلى نار أخرى تجوب الشوارع السياسية والمالية؟ كل ذلك رهن ببصمات من تلطخت يده في حادثة بيروت الأليمة وما حملته من تغيّرات لكلّ لبنان الإقليمي والدولي، في مقابل محور بدأ العمل بميثاق الشرف الوطني الذي لم يتخلَ عنه يوماً وقد دفع فيه الكثير من الدماء والعرق كما دفعت شوارع بيروت، فالسائل لن يُطيل جوابه الانتظار حتى يتبيّن الخيط الأبيض من الأسود من الفجر.

ليس سماداً… ليس سماداً… ليس سماداً…

سياسة 

tayyar.org - حسن عليق: "لا أحب جبران باسيل ولا أكرهه".. وهذا ما قاله!

حسن عليق 

الأربعاء 12 آب 2020

منذ وصول باخرة نيترات الأمونيوم إلى مرفأ بيروت عام 2013، نظّمت الدولة اللبنانية العرض العسكري في عيد الاستقلال، أكثر من مرة، في جادة شفيق الوزان المتصلة بمدخل مرفأ بيروت. قبل كل احتفال، يتولى الجيش تفتيش كل «قرنة» في المنطقة الممتدة من جسر فؤاد شهاب جنوباً، إلى البحر شمالاً، ومن الكرنتينا شرقاً، إلى عين المريسة غرباً. لا يُترك غطاء لأقنية مياه الأمطار والصرف الصحي، من دون أن يُفتح بحثاً عن متفجرات. يُنشَر القناصون على أسطح مشرفة لاصطياد أي طائرة مُسيّرة عن بُعد، خشية حملها المتفجرات. تُقفَل الطرق خشية سيارة أو دراجة مفخخة بالمتفجرات. يُفتَّش المارة خشية حمل أحدهم للمتفجرات. الإجراءات نفسها طُبِّقت يوم انعقاد القمة الاقتصادية العربية في بيروت عام 2019، في مكان مطل على المرفأ. لكن أحداً في المؤسسة العسكرية لم يجد نفسه معنياً بوجود 2750 طناً من نيترات الأمونيوم، أي ما يعادل أكثر من 1100 طن من مادة الـ«تي أن تي» الشديدة الانفجار، على بعد أقل من ألف متر من المكان الذي تجمّع فيه آلاف العسكريين، وكل أركان الدولة، وسفراء دول أجنبية، للاحتفال بعيد الاستقلال. تكرر ذلك على مدى سنوات. الأزمة هنا ليست أزمة نظام وحسب، ولا أزمة فساد حصراً… بل هي قبل ذلك وبعده أزمة كفاءة. غالبية المعنيين بالأمن تعاملوا مع نيترات الأمونيوم بصفتها سماداً زراعياً يمكن استخدامه في تصينع المتفجرات، لا مادة متفجرة يمكنها تدمير المرفأ وأجزاء كبيرة من العاصمة، وقتل العشرات وجرح والآلاف، وتوجيه واحدة من أقسى الضربات إلى الاقتصاد الوطني. سماد زراعي. لهذا السبب، وربما لغيره، لم يكلّف أحد منهم نفسه عناء القول إن ما هو موجود في العنبر الرقم 12 يجب إخراجه فوراً.

داخل العنبر الرقم 12، يمتزج الفساد بقلة الكفاءة بسوء الإدارة بأزمة نظام عاجز عن تنظيم السير بين إداراته المختلفة. ما هي مسؤولية مكتب أمن المرفأ التابع لمخابرات الجيش؟ ما هي مسؤولية مكتب أمن المرفأ التابع لأمن الدولة؟ لماذا اعتبر الأخير وجود النيترات في المرفأ أمراً خطيراً، فيما تجاهل الأول الأمر؟ لماذا قضى الجهازان أربعة أشهر يتشاوران (بين 27/1/2020 و29/5/2020، بحسب ما قال المدير العام لأمن الدولة في اجتماع المجلس الاعلى للدفاع، وبحسب ما هو وارد في تقرير أمن الدولة بشأن العنبر الرقم 12) قبل إبلاغ النيابة العامة بما في حوزتهما من معلومات؟ لماذا لم يكشف أحدهما على محتويات العنبر؟

السؤال الأخير سببه ما أظهرته التحقيقات. فالسجلات تكشف عن وجود نحو 2750 طناً من نيترات الأمونيوم، ونحو 23 طناً من المفرقعات، و1000 إطار سيارة، وبراميل تحوي مواد سائلة سريعة الاشتعال تدخل في صناعة مواد التنظيف وفتائل (بطيئة) للتفجير… إلى جانب 50 طناً من فوسفات الأمونيوم. حتى يوم أمس، لم يتمكّن القضاء من تحديد كيفية وصول فوسفات الأمونيوم إلى العنبر الرقم 12. لا سِجلّ يُظهر ملكيتها. مفاجآت العنبر الرقم 12 لا تقتصر على وجود ما سبق ذكره من بضائع مجهولة المالك، بل تتعداه إلى وجود كمية من نيترات الأمونيوم، غير الـ2750 طناً، لا يُعرف وزنها ولا مالكها، إذ كانت موضبة في أكياس غير تلك التي وُضِّبت فيها الـ2750 طناً. مصدرها مجهول.

عند مدخل العنبر الرقم 12، حصلت الفجيعة الكبرى. عمليات التلحيم لسدّ الفجوة لم تحصل يوم 4 آب وحسب. بدأت يوم 30 تموز 2020، واستُكمِلت في الثالث من آب، قبل أن يتم إنجازها يوم الرابع من آب. عصر ذلك اليوم، وصل الحدادون متأخرين. لم يجدوا المسؤول عن العنبر الرقم 12. اتصلوا به ليطلبوا منه فتح الباب، فقال لهم إن دوامه انتهى وصار في منزله، خاتماً حديثه بـ«عودوا غداً». اتصلوا بمسؤولة عنهم في الشركة المتعهدة إجراء عمليات الحدادة لسد الثغر في العنبر، فقالت لهم أن يُنجزوا عملهم في الباب الرئيسي للعنبر وهو مقفل. لم يكن معهم أحد من إدارة المرفأ، ولا من أي جهاز أمني. أنهوا عملهم قبل دقائق من الساعة الخامسة من بعد الظهر، وغادروا المرفأ في تمام الخامسة. بعد نحو 35 دقيقة، بدأ الدخان يخرج من العنبر، فاستُدعيت فرق الإطفاء. ما إن فُتِح باب العنبر «المجهول المحتويات» بالنسبة إلى الإطفائيين، حتى استعرت النيران. عند السادسة وثماني دقائق من يوم 4 آب، وقع الانفجار.

المشكلة اليوم هي في الركون إلى خلاصة تحقيقية أولية تقول إن سبب الحريق هو حصراً «التلحيم فيما الباب مقفل، وبالتالي، لم يتمكّن الحدادون من معرفة إذا ما كانت عملية التلحيم قد أدت إلى سقوط شرر ما داخل العنبر. وهذا الشرر تسبب في الحريق الذي أدى إلى الانفجار». ما الذي يسمح للقيمين على التحقيق بحسم أن الحريق لم يندلع بسبب تدخّل ما، بعد إنهاء الحدادين لعملهم؟ لا شيء، ولا أحد، حتى اللحظة، قادر على حسم هذه الفرضية.

توزيع أوّليّ للمسؤوليات عن انفجار المرفأ: هؤلاء كانوا يعلمون

سياسة 

رضوان مرتضى 

الأربعاء 12 آب 2020

توزيع أوّليّ للمسؤوليات عن انفجار المرفأ:  هؤلاء كانوا يعلمون
(مروان طحطح)

تسبّب إهمال المسؤولين واستهتارهم، من السلطة السياسية إلى الموظفين المدنيين والأمنيين والعسكريين، بتفجير مرفأ بيروت يوم 4 آب 2020، ونكبة العاصمة. قَتَل سوء تدبير هؤلاء وقلّة مسؤوليتهم أكثر من ١٥٠ شخصاً وجرح الآلاف وتسبب في تدمير مئات المنازل وتهجير أهلها وفقدان عشرات الأشخاص. بيّنت التحقيقات الأوّلية وجود كُتب ورسائل عديدة تُحذّر من خطر مواد نيترات الأمونيوم والتهديد الذي تُمثّله. وفضلاً عن تقرير شعبة المخدرات بخطورة هذه المواد ورسائل مكتب محاماة لإدارة المرفأ عن مدى خطورتها وتقرير الجمارك وتقرير الخبيرة الكيميائية ميراي مكرزل التي كشفت على عيّنات منها، تبيّن أنّ المديرية العامة للأمن العام كانت قد أعدّت تقريراً عام ٢٠١٤ عن وجود هذه المواد الخطيرة في مرفأ بيروت حيث جرى إرساله ضمن البريد الأمني إلى رئاسة الحكومة ورئاسة الجمهورية ووزارة الداخلية ووزارة الأشغال، بتاريخ ١٦ أيار 2014. كذلك جرت مراسلات بين الجمارك ووزارة المالية، وبين الجمارك والجيش، وبين الجمارك والقضاء. كل ذلك لم يدفع أحداً إلى اتخاذ قرار واضح بنقل هذه المواد من مكان تخزينها، إلى حيث يمكن إتلافها أو استخدامها في تصنيع متفجرات…

غاية التحقيق الجاري أن يُحدد أصحاب المعرفة والسلطة والإمرة والقدرة على تغيير مجرى الأمور، ما سيؤدي إلى تحديد المسؤولين عن كل عمل ودرجات مسؤولياتهم وحدودها. الوثائق التي اطلعت عليها «الأخبار» تشير إلى حقيقة واحدة: المسؤولون كثر. لكن حتى اللحظة، يقتصر التوقيف على مجموعة صغيرة من الموظفين، من دون أي مسّ بأهل السلطة السياسية، كما بالمسؤولين الأمنيين والعسكريين خارج «الجمارك» وإدارة المرفأ

رئاسة الجمهورية ورئاسة الحكومة

ورد في تقرير أمن الدولة أنّ المديرية أرسلت بريداً خاصاً في ٢٠ تموز ٢٠٢٠ إلى كل من رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس مجلس الوزراء أبلغتهما فيه عن المواد الخطيرة الموجودة في مرفأ بيروت. غير أنّ المعلومات الأمنية تؤكد أنّ المدير العام لأمن الدولة طوني صليبا أبلغ رئيس الحكومة حسان دياب عبر الهاتف عن ضبط كميات ضخمة من المواد المتفجرة في مرفأ بيروت، قبل إرسال التقرير، على اعتبار أنّه كان يزفّ إليه خبر الإنجاز الذي تحقق. وعلمت «الأخبار» أنّ الاتصال حصل في الثالث من حزيران. وتكشف المعلومات أنّ الرئيس حسان دياب كان في صدد الإعداد لزيارة المرفأ لعقد مؤتمر صحافي للإعلان عن الإنجاز. وقد أرسل دياب ضابطاً لاستطلاع المرفأ والعنبر ١٢، إلا أنّ المصادر نفسها تكشف أنّ الرئيس دياب عاد وألغى ذلك بعدما أبلغه الضابط الذي أرسله أن هذه المواد موجودة في المرفأ منذ 6 سنوات، وليست سوى «سماد كيميائي»، وليست «تي أن تي» أو «سي فور». أما رئاسة الجمهورية، فقد أحالت ما وردها من أمن الدولة إلى الأمانة العامة للمجلس الاعلى للدفاع للمتابعة.

الوزارات المعنية

بيّنت التحقيقات أنّ السفينة التي كانت تحمل نيترات الأمونيوم حُجزت قبل 7 سنوات بناءً على قرار حجز من دائرة تنفيذ بيروت، بناءً على طلب المدير العام لوزارة النقل والأشغال العامة عبد الحفيظ القيسي. وقد تلقّى القيسي رسالة من المحامي جان بارودي أفاده فيها بخطورة المواد الموجودة على متن السفينة المحجوزة. وبالتالي، فإنّ التحقيق الجاري يجب أن يُحدد إذا ما كان وزير الأشغال آنذاك غازي زعيتر ووزير الأشغال الذي تلاه يوسف فنيانوس على معرفة بهذه الشحنات المحتجزة. كذلك فإنّ التحقيق يُبيّن أنّ المدير العام للجمارك أبلغ وزير المالية علي حسن خليل بالمراسلات التي كرر فيها وزير المال الطلب بمراجعة القضاء من دون التصرّف في الأمر، علماً بأنّ وزارة المالية هي وزارة الوصاية على مديرية الجمارك. أما في ما يتعلّق بإعلان وزير الأشغال المستقيل ميشال نجار، فقد كشف عن تلقّيه في الثالث من شهر آب الجاري مراسلة من الأمين العام لمجلس الدفاع الأعلى اللواء محمد الأسمر مؤرخة بتاريخ ٢٤ تموز. ورأى الوزير نجّار أنّه قد يكون تأخر وصولها بسبب عطلة عيد الأضحى، إلا أنّه كشف أنّه طلب من مستشاره بيار بعقليني الاتصال فوراً بمدير المرفأ حسن قريطم نهار الإثنين الواقع فيه ٣ آب لسؤاله عنها، فأجابه بوجود إشارة قضائية بشأن العنبر الذي تُخزّن فيه نيترات الأمونيوم، مشيراً إلى أنّ المراسلة سُجّلت في الوزارة صباح الرابع من آب، أي يوم حصول الانفجار.

المدير العام للجمارك

التحقيقات الأولية الجارية أدت إلى توقيف المدير العام السابق للجمارك، شفيق مرعي (وصلت السفينة عام ٢٠١٣ أي أثناء فترة إدارته)، والمدير العام الحالي بدري ضاهر (عُيِّن مديراً عاماً للجمارك في آذار ٢٠١٧). مرعي وضاهر لم يتخذا قراراً بإتلاف «نيترات الأمونيوم»، على الرغم من إبلاغ كل منهما، رئيسه المباشر، وزير المال علي حسن خليل. لكن المادة 144 من قانون تنظيم الجمارك تنص على أنّه «يمكن للجمارك إتلاف البضاعة التي يثبت من المعاينة أو التحليل مخالفتها للقوانين والأنظمة». وبما أن مادة نيترات الأمونيوم التي تتجاوز نسبة التركز فيها عتبة الـ33.5 في المئة (وهو ما ينطبق على شحنة الـ2700 طن التي يُشتبه فيها بأنها انفجرت يوم 4 آب في مرفأ بيروت) لا يُسمح بدخولها الأراضي اللبنانية من دون إذن مسبق، كان على الجمارك إما إعادة تصديرها، أو إتلافها فوراً، بدلاً من التلهي بتقاذف المسؤولية مع قاضي الأمور المستعجلة جاد المعلوف الذي أصدر قراراً بتعويم السفينة التي كانت تحمل هذه البضاعة. غير أنّ مصادر قضائية كشفت لـ«الأخبار» أنّ المحامي العام التمييزي القاضي غسان خوري سأل ضاهر عن سبب عدم إبلاغه وزارة الداخلية بالشحنة وخطورتها، فردّ عليه بأنّه لا يمكنه مخاطبة الداخلية، إنما يخاطب رئيسه المباشر وزير المال. وذكر ضاهر أنّ الوزير علي حسن خليل ردّ عليه بالطلب منه مراسلة القضاء بسبب وجود حارس قضائي على البضائع من قاضي الأمور المستعجلة جاد المعلوف. وقد أبرز ضاهر أكثر من مراسلة بينه وبين وزير المال الذي طلب منه مراسلة القضاء مجدداً، حتى بعدما ردّ القاضي المعلوف طلبات الجمارك بالسماح له ببيع شحنة النيترات أو إعادة تصديرها. كذلك كشفت المصادر نفسها أنّ هناك مراسلات بين شفيق مرعي والوزير علي حسن خليل الذي طلب إليه إحالة ردّ قاضي الأمور المستعجلة على هيئة القضايا.
كذلك كشف وكيل ضاهر، المحامي جورج خوري، لـ«الأخبار» أنّ قاضي الأمور المستعجلة وضع المديرية العامة للنقل البري والبحري حارساً قضائياً على نيترات الأمونيوم لتخزينها وحراستها. وبالتالي فإنّ ذلك يعني بحسب القانون أنّ المسؤولية تترتب عليها بحسب المادة ١٣١ من قانون الموجبات والعقود التي تنصّ على أنّ حارس الجوامد المنقولة وغير المنقولة يكون مسؤولاً عن الأضرار التي تحدثها تلك الجوامد، حتى في الوقت الذي لا تكون فيه تحت إدارته أو مراقبته الفعلية.

القاضي بيتر جرمانوس

اتصل المحققون في أمن الدولة لإبلاغ مفوّض الحكومة لدى المحكمة العسكرية السابق بيتر جرمانوس بملف شحنة نيترات الأمونيوم المخزّنة في المرفأ، وأطلعوه على مدى خطورة هذه المواد، لكنّ جرمانوس أبلغهم بعدم اختصاص النيابة العامة العسكرية في هذا الملف، لكون قاضي الأمور المستعجلة أصدر قراراً قضى بإفراغ المادة داخل العنبر الرقم 12. ورغم أن المسألة تتعلّق بالأمن القومي للدولة اللبنانية، وتدخل في نطاق اختصاص استخبارات الجيش، فإن جرمانوس قرر أنها ليست من صلاحيات النيابة العامة العسكرية. ورغم تأكيد جهاز أمن الدولة اتصاله بالقاضي جرمانوس، إلا أنّ الأخير نفى عبر حسابه على «تويتر» تلقّيه أي تقرير أو محضر بخصوص الأمونيوم من أي جهاز. وهنا يُفترض التحقيق للتثبت ممّن يقول الحقيقة من الفريقين، علماً بأن الغالبية العظمى من عمليات التواصل بين الضابطة العدلية والنيابات العامة يتم شفاهياً عبر الهاتف، إلى حين ختم محضر التحقيق المكتوب وإحالته على النيابة العامة.

غسّان عويدات وأمن الدولة

تكشف المصادر القضائية أنّ المحققين في أمن الدولة أبلغوا القاضي غسان عويدات بوجود مستوعب يحتوي على مواد خطرة، لكنهم لم يُرسلوا له التقرير المفصّل للتحقيق الذي أجروه. ورغم أنّهم اكتشفوا الأمر في الشهر الاول من العام ٢٠٢٠، وقرروا الاتصال بالقضاء. لكنهم، بحسب التقرير، انتظروا حتى ٢٩ أيار ٢٠٢٠ ليتصلوا بالمدعي العام التمييزي القاضي غسان عويدات ليبلغوه بالقضية، فأشار بفتح تحقيق فوري والاستماع إلى عدد من المسؤولين. استمرّ التحقيق أربعة أيام ليخابروا القاضي عويدات بالخلاصة، فأشار عليهم بوضع حراسة على العنبر وتعيين رئيس مستودع وصيانة الأبواب ومعالجة الفجوة الموجودة في جدار العنبر الرقم 12. غير أنّ ذلك لم يحصل قبل الرابع من شهر آب الجاري. لماذا انتظروا كل هذه المدة طالما أنّ التقرير المرفوع يتحدث عن مواد تهدّد بتدمير المرفأ؟ لماذا لم يتابعوا تنفيذ الإشارة القضائية أو يُنبّهوا هيئة إدارة المرفأ إلى الخطر الداهم؟ يرِد في تقرير أمن الدولة أنّ الجهاز نفسه، بناءً على إشارة القضاء، وجّه كتاباً إلى اللجنة المؤقتة لإدارة واستثمار المرفأ لتأمين حراسة للعنبر وتعيين رئيس مستودع له وصيانة كامل أبوابه ومعالجة الفجوة الموجودة. غير أنّه لم يُذكر في التقرير تاريخ حصول ذلك.
المدير العام لأمن الدولة، اللواء طوني صليبا، كشف لـ«الأخبار» أنّ المعلومة الأساسية التي وصلت إلى المديرية تفيد بوجود فجوة في حائط العنبر ١٢ تُتيح سرقة محتويات العنبر المذكور التي قد تُستخدم في عمل إرهابي. وذكر أنّ التقرير استغرق ثلاثة أسابيع بعدما كشف خبير كيميائي أنّ التركيز يعادل ٣٤.٧ في المئة، لكنه يجب أن لا يزيد على ١٠ ٪. وكشف اللواء صليبا أنّ جائحة كورونا والتعبئة العامة وتوقّف القضاء بناءً على قرارات المجلس الأعلى للدفاع جمّدت الملف لفترة قبل استكماله. وكشف صليبا أنّ مكتب أمن الدولة تأسّس في مرفأ بيروت منتصف عام ٢٠١٩ لممارسة مهام مكافحة الفساد وليس العمل الأمني في ظل وجود باقي الأجهزة الأمنية منذ سنوات. وإذ أكد صليبا أنّ الفجوة الموجودة في العنبر قديمة، أجاب ردّاً على سؤال عن سبب عدم متابعة المديرية إشارة القاضي عويدات بإقفال الفجوة، بالقول إنّ الإشارة كانت تنص على إرسال كتاب إلى رئيس هيئة إدارة المرفأ لإحكام اقفال الأبواب وسد الفجوة وختم المحضر وإيداعنا إياه، مشيراً إلى أنّ مهمة المديرية تنتهي بمجرد طلب ختم المحضر. أما لو كانت الإشارة «ترْك المحضر مفتوحاً، فإنّ ذلك يرتّب علينا المسؤولية». وعلمت «الأخبار» أنّ كتاب أمن الدولة أُرسِل إلى إدارة المرفأ في ٤ حزيران بالتزامن مع إبلاغ مجلس الدفاع الأعلى. كذلك أبلغ أمن الدولة رئيس مكتب مديرية المخابرات في المرفأ العميد طوني سلوم بمضمون القضية.

القاضي جاد المعلوف

بقي ملف شحنة نيترات الأمونيوم يتأرجح لسنوات بين المديرية العامة للجمارك وقاضي الأمور المستعجلة في بيروت جاد المعلوف. أُرسلت عدة مراسلات يطلب فيها ضاهر إعادة تصدير البضائع، لكن القاضي معلوف كان يدوِّن الطلب ويرسله إلى هيئة القضايا في وزارة العدل، التي لم تُجب سوى مرة واحدة بالموافقة على إعادة التصدير. وكلّف القاضي الدولة اللبنانية بمناقشة اختصاصه للبحث في نقل ملكية البضائع خلال مهلة أسبوع. رغم أنّ المادة 13 من اتفاقية «هامبورغ» تجيز إتلاف البضائع وليس فقط نقل ملكيتها في حال كانت خطرة ومن دون دفع أي تعويض لمالكها. واتفاقية «هامبورغ» هي اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة للنقل البحري للبضائع التي وُقّعت عام 1978، حيث عُرفت بـ«قواعد هامبورغ». وهي نظام قانوني موحّد ينظّم حقوق والتزامات الشاحنين والناقلين والمرسل إليهم بموجب عقد نقل البضائع بحراً. وقد بدأ نفاذ الاتفاقية في 1 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 1992.
لقد كان يجب على قاضي الأمور المستعجلة، وسنداً لأحكام الفقرة 2 من المادة 579 من قانون أصول المحاكمات المدنية، أي من دون طلب من أحد، اتخاذ القرار بإتلاف هذه المواد الخطرة سنداً لأحكام المادة 13 من اتفافية هامبورغ، من دون الاكتراث لحقوق مالكيها، لأن هذه المادة لا تفرض تسديد ثمنها لهمأو بيعها وفرض الحراسة القضائية على ثمنها، تماماً كما هو الامر بالنسبة إلى البضائع القابلة للتلف بدلاً من قضاء أربع سنوات في إجراء تبليغات وطلب مناقشة اختصاصه ومناقشة السند القانوني لبيع البضائع أو إتلافها.

قيادة الجيش… ومكتب أمن المرفأ

تتولى مديرية المخابرات في مرفأ بيروت ملف أمن المرفأ. وتدخل ضمن اختصاصها مكافحة الإرهاب والتجسس. ويرأس هذا المكتب العميد طوني سلّوم الذي أصيب في التفجير، لكونه أُبلغ بالحريق أثناء وجوده بعيداً، فتوجّه عائداً إلى المرفأ. كذلك يتولى مكتب أمن المرفأ، كما سائر مكاتب وفروع مديرية المخابرات، متابعة كل ما من شأنه أن يمس بالأمن القومي للبلاد. وبالتالي، يدخل في صلب عمل المكتب وجود هذه الكمية من المواد الأولية التي تدخل في تصنيع المتفجرات، والتي كان تنظيم «القاعدة» (على سبيل المثال لا الحصر) يستخدمها لزيادة عصف التفجيرات التي يُنفّذها، مع الأخذ في الاعتبار وجود ثغرة في الجدار الجنوبي للعنبر الرقم 12 ما يُتيح السرقة منها، بحسب تقرير أمن الدولة، فضلاً عن وجود أكثر من تقرير أمني وتقرير خبيرة كيميائية عن مدى خطورة هذه المواد، وذلك كان يفرض على مديرية المخابرات التصرّف لإزالة هذا الخطر، بدلاً من رمي المسؤولية، على اعتبار أنّ الخطر سيطال الجميع. وبرزت في هذا الملف مراسلة جوابية بعث بها رئيس أركان الجيش السابق اللواء وليد سلمان (وقّع المراسلة نيابة عن قائد الجيش السابق العماد جان قهوجي) إلى المدير العام السابق للجمارك، شفيق مرعي، تبلغه فيها قيادة الجش أنها ليست بحاجة إلى مادة نيترات الأمونيوم البالغ وزنها ٢٧٥٥ طناً. واقترحت قيادة الجيش على الجمارك «مراجعة مالك الشركة اللبنانية للمتفجرات مجيد الشماس لتبيان إمكانية الاستفادة من المادة المذكورة في حال عدم الرغبة في إعادة تصديرها إلى بلد المنشأ على نفقة مستورديها». اللافت هنا أن قيادة الجيش، وبدلاً من اتخاذ أي خطوة لنزع الفتيل من المرفأ، قررت التصرف كـ«دليل تجاري» بين الجمارك وشركة تجارية. واللافت أيضاً أن كتاب سلمان، الصادر يوم 7/4/2019، يشير إلى وجود مراسلة سابقة بين الجيش والجمارك بتاريخ 19/11/2015.
أما مصادر الجيش فتنفي مسؤولية المؤسسة العسكرية، واضعة الكرة في ملعب مديرية الجمارك. تستعيد هذه المصادر قراراً حكومياً صادراً عام ١٩٩٠، ينص على أن يتسلم الجيش المعابر البرية والبحرية كافة، مشيرة إلى أنّ مسؤوليتها منع دخول الممنوعات. وتؤكد المصادر أنها لا تهتم بصلاحية البضائع الموجودة في المرفأ. وتؤكد المصادر العسكرية أنّ صلاحية الجيش لا تتجاوز صلاحية الجمارك في هذا الأمر. وتضيف: «ساعدنا، عبر مديرية العتاد في الجيش، لأخذ العيّنات… واقترحنا حلولاً على الجمارك. ونطاق صلاحياتنا يتركز في المداخل وفي البواخر العسكرية». وفي اتصال مع قائد الجيش السابق جان قهوجي قال لـ«الأخبار»: «كانت مراسلة من جهاز رسمي لجهاز رسمي. من الجمارك للجيش. لقد كانت نيترات الأمونيوم بعهدة الجمارك وتحت سلطتها بإشارة قضائية، لم تكن مُهرّبة ولم نضبطها نحن. سئلنا عنها فأجبنا بأن لا قدرة لدينا على استيعابها في مستودعاتنا، كما لا يمكننا إتلافها بسبب حجمها الضخم، لذلك اقترحنا في القيادة، وبعد دراسة للملف، اسم مجيد الشمّاس الذي يملك شركة كبيرة لتصنيع المتفجرات، ووحده من قد يملك القدرة على استيعابها». وذكر قهوجي أنّهم اقترحوا على الجمارك إعادة تصديرها بسبب عدم القدرة على إتلافها بسبب خطورتها. أما عن مسؤولية الجيش في هذا الخصوص على اعتبار أن الملف أمنيّ، فقال قهوجي: «الجيش يتحمّل مسؤولية الأبواب، أي الدخول والخروج. أما المواد الموجودة في العنابر فتكون في عهدة الجمارك».

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

August 10, 2020

by Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

At the end of the year 2019, I wrote: „From my point of view, 2019 was a very positive year and I am convinced that the same will be the case for 2020.“ Unfortunately, my expectations for 2020 have turned out to be too optimistic. There is however no reason to hang one’s head. The general outlook remains positive, a Western dominated world has gone forever.

Shit Happens

The year 2020 started badly with to murder of general Soleimani. Even, US-president Trump could „proudly“ claim that he was responsible for this abominable act, without paying an appropriate prize, until now. The reaction of the Iranian people and of other peoples in the region were very impressive, but there was also this accident with the Ukrainian civil aircraft. Next, there was a very positive offensive of the Syrian army and its allies against the terrorists in Idlib. However, an impertinent invasion of Turkey, openly supporting the terrorists and partly replacing them, was able to stop the offensive. It is true that, in March, there was an agreement between Russia and Turkey concerning the situation in Idlib. But this agreement was not as positive as expected. The Syrian government and the Syrian Army did not obtain an adequate place in this agreement. Since then, the situation in Idlib and in the other parts of Syria occupied by Turkey or USA or Israel is rather blocked, the Syrian side could not make real progressses in the liberation of her country.

Next came this pandemic. Again, it is true that in the first phase, the rich European and North-American countries were the most touched. But in the sequel, the countries of the global South were more and more affected, in particular in Latin America. In Russia also, the pandemic has become a big problem. And while it is clear that the economy in the rich European countries is really suffering, the situation for the peoples in the global South is even worse, for obvious reasons. Among other things, their central banks cannot so easily provide lot of money.

And now, there is this terrible explosion in Beyrouth.

Some Positive Developments

Nevertheless, the post-Western side has made progresses, in a calm and solid way. China has adopted a key law concerning Honk Kong which gives better possibilities in order to fight against the criminals there, the latter being openly supported by the West. In Russia, important amendments of the constitution were adopted by a clear majority. An economic collaboration between Iran and Venezuela is developing, despite the stubborn opposition of the USA. A plan for a long term, big partnership between China and Iran has been elaborated. Also, Iran and Syria have formally strengthen their military cooperation. The patriotic forces in Yemen could liberate more parts of their country and are now close to the strategic city of Ma’rib.

During the pandemic, Cuba has gained many friends because of her medical system. Countries like China, Vietnam, Syria, as well as the Hezbollah in Lebanon have reacted fast and predominantly correct, better than many other countries. Due to the fact that the economy in East Asia and Southeast Asia seems to recover quite well from the pandemic, it can be expected that the Western influence in this crucial region will further weaken. And I would say that the general situation in China remains very pleasant.

Destructive Attitude of the Hegemonic West

The hegemonic West is in the defensive. Their behavior is more and more destructive. The USA are no longer capable of developing their proper strength so they just concentrate on bothering the others. The sanctions against Syria and Lebanon, against Huawei, and against the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 are typical examples.

The West is still in a big crisis. In the USA in particular, the crisis is quite enormous. Also in Israel, with the repetitions of elections and an unstable government, the current conditions are not so well. Nonetheless, the USA and Israel remain as aggressive and as brutal as ever and, at least for the moment, they are not stopped. However, one gets the strong impression that their actions are increasingly desperate.

The rich European countries do not intend to change something important in order to do more for a world of more justice. They continue with their anti-Chinese, anti-Russian, anti-Iranian, anti-Syrian, and anti-Venezuelan politics, more or less with impunity. On the other hand, during the pandemic, the popularity of the USA in the rich European countries has got weak and the general pressure for a more autonomous European politic is clearly increasing.

Blame the West or Strengthen the Own Position ?

The combination of the occurring problems described above and the destructive attitude of the West often provoke a reaction which blames the West for all these problems. The meaning is quite popular that the Ukrainian plane was hit due to Western sabotage, that the pandemic was a US bio-attack against China, or that the Beyrouth explosion was the result of an outside strike. Of course, all this is possible. Morally speaking, Western hegemonists and Zionists are certainly able of such criminal acts, there have been enough examples in the past.

Nevertheless, there is also the question of a wise general approach to the current situation. What signifies this spontaneous leaning to see the West as the responsible? Certainly, on the one hand, there is the intention to counter the Western media for which it is inconceivable that the West is behind atrocities. On the other hand, there is also the result that the West appears as almighty. This is a defensive position which lacks confidence in one’s own strength.

Objectively speaking, Western hegemonism is much weaker now than in the past. They are not almighty. They are not at all able of planing all in advance – and of acting accordingly. They are not omniscient and they are not unbeatable masters of manipulation.

Look at Hassan Nasrallah’s speech of August 7. This is a very good example of concentrating on one’s own strength. Nasrallah focused on Lebanon and the Lebanese people. He expressed his feelings for the affected families and promised help for them. He called for solidarity and unity in Lebanon. He spoke of his conviction that Lebanon will be able to establish the causes of the explosions, to identify those who are responsible, and to hold them accountable. He insisted that this tragedy also gives opportunities for Lebanon. He spoke in positive terms of the international solidarity, which happens despite the US sanctions against Lebanon. Nasrallah finally clearly stated that all those who try to exploit this tragedy in order to attack Hezbollah, will fail.

China is another example of this mood. Since the Chinese people has stood up in 1949, China has learned to carefully analyze the own situation and to accept that not all problems come from outside.

Similarly, when you are against capitalism, it is notwithstanding wrong to blame capitalists for all economic problems. And governments in the Western countries are not always wrong and are not always corrupt. Moreover, you cannot blame the Western media for all your erroneous ideas – nor can I blame somebody else when my proper ideas turn out to be mistaken.

During the pandemic in the Western countries, the same type of questions arose. Who should be blamed, who can be made responsible? Attacking routinely the governments is rather defensive. Insisting during months on the question whether wearing a mask is a good thing, is a job for specialists, not for anti-hegemonic people. And all these claims that the whole pandemic is essentially a big manipulation, show a quite immature viewpoint.

I can only repeat: In order to build a post-Western (and post-Zionist) world, it is not enough to blame the West (and the Zionists). Own values and own concepts are required. If there are problems, one should look for opportunities.

Very probable, the difficulties inside the anti-hegemonic movement of the last months are temporary, they are not due to a reinforcement of the hegemonic camp. Remaining calm, solid, confident, and positive is an appropriate attitude.

حقائق يجب أن تُقال

ناصر قنديل

الحملة التي استهدفت الرئيس حسان دياب قبل تفجير المرفأ وبعده هي حملة ظالمة لا علاقة لها بالحرص على البلد ولا على ناسه ولا على تحديد المسؤوليات عمّا أصاب البلد والناس قبل التفجير وبعده. وهي حملة تستهدف توظيف معاناة الناس وتعقيدات الأزمة للتخلص من فرصة مثلها الرئيس دياب لتحمل شخصية آدمية مسؤولية الحكم، وتستهدف التغطية على ما ارتكبه ويرتكبه أصحاب الحملات الغارقون في الفساد والمنطلقون من مصالح لم يتورط فيها حسان دياب ولا ساوم على السعي لمواجهتها وكشف عنابر فسادها والخراب الذي تسببت به على البلد والناس.

رحيل الرئيس دياب من المسؤولية في الحكم هو خسارة لفرص التغيير والإصلاح، وسقف البدائل الإيجابية التي يمكن أن تأتي وتتراوح بين فراغ طويل لا يهتز فيه السلم الأهلي، أو حكومة تعود بنا إلى صيغة الحكم التي كانت قائمة قبل انفجار الأزمة المالية وانفجار الغضب الشعبي معها، وسائر البدائل أشد سوءاً، ولذلك سيتذكر اللبنانيون حسان دياب وينصفونه في يوم ما، بصفته محاولة لم تكتمل لفتح صفحة جديدة في إدارة الشأن العام.

فرص ضائعة كثيرة كان ممكناً توظيفها بصورة أفضل مع حكومة الرئيس دياب، ضاعت بسبب نقص الخبرة لدى وزراء في الحكومة، أو لعدم تطابق حساباتهم مع حسابات رئيسها، أو لسقف عالٍ طمح لتحقيقه رئيس الحكومة لم يتلاءم مع سقوف شركائه السياسيين في تشكيل الحكومة، او بصورة أكبر لحجم وضخامة المشكلات التي ورثتها الحكومة مع ضيق ذات اليد وضعف الإمكانات والفرص المتاحة للإنقاذ، وصعوبة تقديم حلول سحرية لمشاكل عميقة ومزمنة في بلد يعيش الإفلاس المالي، وفي عهدة التهالك الإداري، وتحت خيمة الفساد السياسي، وفي جزء أقل لعناد مفهوم أحياناً وغير مفهوم أحياناً لدى رئيس حكومة يتمسك بعنفوان موقعه وموقفه.

من حيث لا ننتبه نكتشف أن سبعة شهور شديدة القسوة مرّت من عمر لبنان، بدأت بالإفلاس المالي وتبعه التفشي الوبائي لكورونا وتوجه التفجير الكارثي لعنابر الفساد والإهمال، وأن حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب لم تنجح بتقديم حلول، لكنها بالتأكيد منعت وقوع الأعظم، وللذين يسألون وهل هناك بعد ما هو أعظم من جريمة التفجير، نقول نعم هناك الفوضى التي تأخذنا إلى القتنة، والتي كانت أقرب إلينا من حبل الوريد لولا وجود حكومة ملأت الفراغ الدستوري والسياسي.

المرحلة التي يدخلها لبنان بعد استقالة حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب ليست سهلة ولن تكون مفروشة بالزهور، فأوهام الحلول الجاهزة ستتكشف عن مسارات مواجهة غير محسومة النتائج وانتظار طويل مليء بالمخاطر، والمداخلات الدوليّة لا تحمل حلولاً بقدر ما تحمل مشاريع مفتوحة على الحروب بقدر ما هي مفتوحة على التسويات، ومواجهة هذه المرحلة من دون حكومة ربما يريح الرئيس حسان دياب من تحمّل المسؤولية، لكنه لن يريح اللبنانيين من تحديات وضغوط المرحلة المقبلة، خصوصاً في ظل عجز القوى السياسية عن ضمان قبول تسوياتها على المستوى الشعبي، وعجزها عن امتلاك حلول، والشروط الغامضة للمشاريع الدولية، والتسويات غير الناضجة التي يتم التسويق لها.

من زاوية معينة ربما يتيح رحيل حكومة الرئيس دياب إسقاط الحاجز الذي كان يحول دون رؤية المخاطر والمسؤوليات، التي كانت تختبئ وراء التصويب على الرئيس دياب وحكومته، وها هي الحكومة ورئيسها يرحلان، فماذا سيكون في الغد، التصويب على العهد لن ينفع ولن يوصل الى مكان، والدعوة للاستقالات النيابية ستقف عند حدّ الرمزية، وسيعود المسؤولون الفعليون عن ادارة البلد الى الواجهة بالتساوي رغم الانقسام، فماذا عساهم يفعلون؟ وماذا عسى الناس تقول فيهم؟ ولم تنضج بعد تفاهماتهم ولا نضجت تسويات الخارج لتمويل هذه التفاهمات وتعويمها، ولا نضج الشارع لقبولهم مجدداً.

Lebanese government resigns: ‘Corruption is stronger than the State’


Date: 10 August 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Statement by Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announcing the resignation of his government, August 10, 2020.

This technocratic government formed in January 2020 was the first ever in which Hezbollah’s strongest opponents didn’t hold positions.

Source: http://www.pcm.gov.lb/arabic/subpg.aspx?pageid=18047

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

We are still in the throes of the tragedy that struck Lebanon. This disaster that struck the Lebanese people to the core occurred as a result of chronic corruption in politics, administration and the State.

I said previously that the system of corruption is rooted in all articulations of the State, but I have found that the system of corruption is bigger than the State, and the State is constrained by this system and can’t face it or get rid of it.

One of the examples of this endemic corruption has exploded in the port of Beirut, and this calamity has struck Lebanon, but such examples of corruption are widespread in the political and administrative geography of the country, and the danger is very great that other hidden woes (still threaten the people), very present in many minds and stored in other warehouses, with the protection of the class which controls the fate of the country and threatens the lives of the people, falsifies the facts and lives off the sedition, trading in the blood of the Lebanese people as soon as the opportunity arises, depending on fluctuating interests, whims, calculations and allegiances.

Today, we are facing a great tragedy, and all the forces concerned with preserving the country and the interests of the people were supposed to cooperate to overcome this ordeal, by imposing on themselves silence for several days, mourning for the souls of the martyrs, respecting the pain of the bereaved, parents, siblings and orphans, striving to help people, heal their wounds, and provide them with housing, and helping those who have lost their livelihood.

The scale of the tragedy is too great to describe, but some live in another era. They are not interested in everything that has happened except to the extent that it can allow them to score political points, launch populist electoral speeches and demolish what remains of the State.

They should have been ashamed of themselves, for their corruption has produced this calamity hidden for seven years, and God knows how many calamities they hide under the cloak of their corruption.

But these people have the habit of changing their position according to the circumstances, to falsify the facts, when what is needed is to change them (get rid of them permanently), because they are the real tragedy of Lebanese people. Yes, they are the real tragedy of the Lebanese people.

They have changed and evolved a lot in the past, (to neutralize) every opportunity to get rid of their corruption.

They did not correctly interpret the Lebanese revolution of October 17, 2019. This revolution was against them, but they did not understand it well. They continued with their practices and calculations, believing they could dilute the Lebanese people’s demands for change, for a just and strong State, for an independent judiciary, to end corruption, waste and theft, and the policies that have emptied the State treasury, squandered the savings of the people and placed the country under enormous debt burdens, causing this financial, economic and social collapse.

But the greatest paradox is that a few weeks (only) after the formation of this government, they tried to make it bear the responsibility for their infamies, and to hold it responsible for the collapse, the waste and the public debt.

Really, they should die of shame.

This government has gone to great lengths to chart a road map to save the country.

Each minister in this government has given his maximum because we are concerned about the country, and we care about its future and that of our children.

We have no personal interests, and all that matters to us is saving the country. Because we have taken on this mission, we have suffered many attacks and false accusations. But we refused to let ourselves be drawn into futile polemics, because we wanted to work. Nevertheless, the enraged trumpets did not stop their attempts to falsify the facts, to protect themselves and cover up their crimes.

We carried the Lebanese demand for change. But between us and change lies a very thick and very thorny wall, protected by a class which resists by all dirty methods, in order to preserve its privileges, its positions and its ability to control the state.

We fought fiercely and with honor, but this battle could not be won. We were alone and they were united against us. They have used all their weapons, distorted the truths, falsified the facts, spread rumors, lied to people, committed all mortal and venial sins. They knew that we were a threat to them, and that the success of this government would mean real change in this class which has always reigned until the country was suffocated by the smells of its corruption.

Today we have come to this, with the earthquake that struck the country, with all its humanitarian, social, economic and national repercussions. Our first concern is to deal with these repercussions, along with a swift investigation that defines responsibility and does not let the disaster be forgotten over time.

Today we appeal to the people, to their demand that those responsible for this hidden disaster for seven years be held to account, to their genuine desire to move from a state of corruption, waste, bribes and thefts to a rule of law, justice and transparency. To a State that respects its children.

Faced with this reality, we are taking a step backwards, in order to stand alongside the people, to lead the battle for change with them. We want to open the door to a national salvation that the Lebanese will help shape.

Therefore, today I am announcing the resignation of this government.

May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon. May God protect Lebanon.

Long live the Lebanese people. Long live Lebanon.

***

Hassan Nasrallah: our opponents have demonstrated their moral bankruptcy and lack of lucidity

Echoing extracts from the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General on August 7, 2020.

[…] In general, it is said that dignified peoples, who have a certain level of culture and ethics, a certain sense of responsibility and humanity, a sense of national interest, even when there are struggles and disputes among themselves, when a great national tragedy occurs, or a terrible event occurs, everyone temporarily freezes their struggles and disputes, as well as their personal calculations, to rise above all these (partisan) considerations, and to behave on a nobler ethical and human basis, and everyone helps each other to overcome this tragedy or this catastrophe. Once the crisis is over, things can resume their usual course. Things are like this (in general) all over the world.

Sometimes we have even seen that in the midst of war, when a tragic event such as a massacre occurs, the enemies conclude a truce, a ceasefire, even in the midst of war! It does happen and it is well known (even against Israel), but I will not waste time citing examples. But outside of war, within the same country, where there is a government, an opposition, rival political forces, when a catastrophe affects everyone, all regions, all families. What happened was not a tragedy that only targeted certain categories of the population, no. In general, in such situations (of national disaster), differences are temporarily put aside, and everyone helps and cooperates (even with their political opponents), and adopts more dignified language, with different sentiments, and different statements and political speeches. Likewise, the media behave differently, with humanity and ethics, each granting a respite (to their adversaries), if only for a few days, at least a few days (of truce)! I’m not talking about months or years, no, a few days, (one or) two weeks! To give people time to recover the remains of their martyrs, to heal their wounds, to visit the wounded, to assert the fate of the missing people, to put out the fires, to clear the debris, to find a way to relocate the displaced, etc. After that, we can reopen the accounts (and rekindle the rivalries), no problem.

But unfortunately what happened in Lebanon with this incident is that from the first hours of this tragedy and this cataclysm, and even from the first hour, not the first hours, when no one yet knew what was going on or had happened [our adversaries flooded the media with lies accusing Hezbollah of the explosion]. […] Even before anyone knew the answer to these questions, the Lebanese and Arab media, and certain political forces expressed through their official social networks, and even through some public statements by officials… These are not from obscure people running (Twitter or Facebook) accounts, but statements on television and in the media, made as soon as the explosion was known to the public, and while the fires in the port were not yet extinguished, and the destruction and amazement was the lot of all the Lebanese and the whole world. But these people spoke out in the media and announced their position before they knew anything. Their position was decided in advance: the cause of the explosion in hangar number so-and-so at the port of Beirut was a Hezbollah missile warehouse that exploded and caused this unprecedented terror and cataclysm. Or, they said it was stockpiles of Hezbollah ammunition, explosives, or weapons. The bottom line is that it must have belonged to Hezbollah, whether it was missiles, ammunition, explosives. […] Even before an investigation was launched, before anyone knew what happened, some media, some Lebanese and Arab TV channels, since the incident began and until now —they haven’t changed their tune— asserted that the hangar belonged to Hezbollah, that what exploded was Hezbollah missiles, Hezbollah explosives, Hezbollah nitrate, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah… We heard nothing else from them, because there is no other (hypothesis) for them. It is a great crime committed against us. And their method has been to lie, lie, lie and lie and lie again, until people believe it. […]

I have seen yesterday and today that the majority of international media and journalists have abandoned the hypothesis (of a stockpile of Hezbollah weapons), except for a few voices in Lebanon and the Arab world. Thus, those who launched (this slander) are now all alone (to support it), because all the media and all the voices in the world are anxious to keep a minimum of credibility, even if they are our enemies engaged in a political war against us; but when it turns out that the accusation is clearly a lie as shiny as the sun at its zenith, they (have enough good sense to) back off and conjure up other possibilities.

Either way, investigations are ongoing, and the truths will emerge quickly, as this is not a question that will take time. I believe that the criminal, security, military and technical investigation will be able to quickly establish (with certainty) what was in the hangar, what was the nature of the explosives and how it was triggered, because at the technical level, this does not require much time, and the truths can be expected to come to light quickly.

When the truths come to light, I hope that the Lebanese public opinion, in all regions of Lebanon, because in our country there is a problem in terms of punishments and responsibilities, and in the name of freedom of opinion and expression, some (media and politicians) accuse, insult, abuse, oppress and lead the country to the brink of civil war, and (despite all this), ultimately, the Criminal Court imposes them a (mere) fine of 10 to 50 million Lebanese pounds (6,000 to 35,000 dollars), and it stops there. What I want to ask the Lebanese people is that they should themselves judge these media (and politicians) and condemn them. In what way? By ceasing to give them the least credit, the least importance, and by ceasing to consult them or to look at them. Because when we know that such media has no credibility, and that it is based on lies, manipulation and falsification, and that it participates in the battle that targets our country (to destroy it), then we must condemn them and turn our backs on them for good. And it is in my opinion the most important punishment (that can befall) these false and falsifying television stations which push to the civil war. This should not be taken lightly! This is not a (simple) political accusation. When somebody comes and tells hundreds of thousands of people that it is Hezbollah who is responsible for this carnage, all these deaths and injuries, all this destruction and all this displacement, what is it (if not pushing the country towards civil war)?

On the other hand, still concerning the political scene, on the other hand we saw the political instrumentalisation of the incident, and all those who had a problem with so and so reopened this problem (in this tragic context), whether it is the Lebanese National Pact, the government or other political forces, and of course those who have a problem with us. Today, I do not want to open an argument with anyone, and we are putting off (the settling of accounts) for later because we remain attached to avoid settling political or personal disputes, out of ethical, humanitarian and national considerations. This is the time for solidarity, compassion, mutual aid, to heal wounds, to clear debris, to determine the fate of the missing, to treat the wounded, to help people return home, which is a vital priority. The country needs this kind of attitude and calm for several days in order to overcome the crisis. Then we can talk politics and settle accounts. Our position will be firm. And as for certain analyzes which compare the current situation with previous experiences (assassination of Hariri in 2005, etc.) or build hopes (on capitalizing on this tragedy for political gains) like so many of their past illusions, (remember that) for a long time, some people (Hezbollah adversaries) chased after mirages, only to realize that they were all mirages, but I will talk about that later. At this point, I don’t want to get into these considerations, and I don’t want to attack anyone. I’ll put it off until later. The priority is compassion, cooperation and mutual aid, to overcome these days of pain, suffering and humanitarian crisis. Let’s put all the differences aside and get back to political (disputes) later.

My last point, which is most important, is investigation and retribution. A huge, terrible and dangerous event has happened. First, there must be an investigation. His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister declared from the outset that there will be an impartial, resolute, firm, definitive and strong investigation, and that whoever will be identified as having a responsibility in this incident, by his actions or by negligence, corruption or insufficiency, will be held to account, whoever he is, big or small. Very well. It’s a good start. The Lebanese are now asking for action and effort (in this direction). I consider that faced with the shock of the event, there is national, popular and governmental unanimity, of all political parties and all deputies, etc., demanding that an exhaustive, frank, transparent, precise, fair and impartial investigation be carried out on this event, and that whoever bears any share of responsibility be judged and condemned in the most severe and exemplary manner —a fair punishment, of course (not a lynching). We are also among the voices that demand this loud and clear. We must not allow anyone to be covered or protected during the investigation, and truths to be withheld about anyone. It is not tolerable that the investigation and then the trial should be done in the “Lebanese fashion”, that is to say in this well-known way where one takes into account religious and sectarian calculations and balances. Anyone who was inadequate or negligent, instigated (this event) or engaged in corruption, has no religion or sect, as is the case with collaborators (of the Israeli enemy). They should be judged on the basis of what they have done, not on the basis of their sectarian, religious or political affiliation. Neither the investigation nor the trial should be conducted on a sectarian basis (requiring a precise ratio of Sunnis, Shiites or Christians). Whoever is in charge, whether they belong to several sects or are all from the same sect, whatever their political affiliation and group, whatever their family clan, truth and justice must prevail and determine the position, the investigation and the punishment. […]

In this regard, I would also like to add something very important. Just as the event is exceptional, today the attitude of the Lebanese State towards this event will be in our eyes decisive and fateful. This will determine the future of Lebanon. In what way? Today it is not about the President of the Republic, the National Pact or the government (which can come and go at the whim of elections and crises). It is about (the safeguard of) the Lebanese State, (which will depend) on the way in which the authorities will behave in this regard, be it the judicial body, the army, the security services, and even the Chamber of Deputies. It is about (the sustainability) of the (Lebanese) State and its institutions. Everyone has some responsibility for the trial and the punishment. The way to act in the face of such a catastrophe, which has affected all sects, all neighborhoods and all regions, and must in no way be tinged with sectarianism, religion or politicization, a national and humanitarian tragedy par excellence, the way State institutions will behave about it, as well as political leaders and the various political forces in the country, will have a fateful consequence for the whole country. What will this fateful consequence be? How this tragedy is dealt with will determine in the eyes of the Lebanese people —and in my eyes the verdict will be irrevocable— whether there is a (genuine) State in Lebanon or not. The second question (which will find an irrevocable answer) is about the hope of building a State (in Lebanon). Because I tell you quite frankly: if the Lebanese State and the Lebanese political forces —whether in power or in the opposition—, in such a case and such a cause, do not achieve a result in the investigation, and fail to punish (all those responsible), it means that the Lebanese people, political forces, State institutions (are bankrupt), and that there is no hope to build an (authentic) State. I don’t want anybody to despair, but I accurately describe the reality.

But we must (all) work so that this despair does not happen, in order to confirm, create and sow hope (to see a real State) among the Lebanese. Today, all the calls to fight against corruption that may have denounced a biased judge, a cowardly judge, a force that buried court files for such or such consideration, (are eclipsed by the magnitude of this case). We have to see a heavy punishment, because even if the investigation reveals that it was an intentional act or an aerial bombardment, the fact that this nitrate was stored in this way for 6 or 7 years clearly implies that there was a (criminal) negligence, inadequacy and corruption on the part of judges. This is where the war on corruption must (be a priority)! If in this case all those who call for a war on corruption, and we are part of it, if we are unable to do anything (to identify and punish all the culprits), it means that we are unable to do anything (forever). Game over. We will frankly declare to the Lebanese people that it is impossible to fight corruption, to fight neglect and insufficiency, and we will say, “O Lebanese people, you have no State and there is no hope of building an (authentic) State, so it’s up to you to see what you can do with yourselves”. To me, such is the magnitude of the question. So that people do not say later that it was a tragedy (without culprits) and forget about the matter, we make it clear that as far as we are concerned, it is impossible to forget this disaster, to move on and to allow let it be neglected. The whole truth must be revealed about this tragedy, and those responsible must be tried without any protection, whether political, sectarian or partisan. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will consider that there is a crisis of the regime, a crisis of the State, maybe even a crisis of the (Lebanese) entity, some will be entitled to go this far. And some people try to ignore it, one way or another.

Therefore, I call on State officials, at all levels and in all authorities, to show the utmost seriousness and determination, whether to complete the investigation or to judge and blame, and chastise all those responsible for this tragedy. This is required so that the leaders and the political forces can give hope to the Lebanese people that there are authorities, a State and institutions, or at least that there is hope that a State be erected on the basis of truth, justice, transparency and the protection of the Lebanese, because sometimes the consequences of corruption, negligence and incompetence accumulate and become apparent after several years, and can be destructive, like what happened in this terrible event where in seconds, in a matter of seconds, tens of people were killed or missing, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands of families were affected and had to leave their homes… And some people say that God prevented an even greater tragedy, and that if this hangar had not been so close to the sea, and without such and such peculiarities of the site, if this same amount of nitrate had exploded in a different geographic configuration, perhaps the whole city (of Beirut) would have been destroyed. All this in an instant, in a matter of seconds, because of corruption, neglect and incompetence, and no one should say it is simply because of the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Never. We are talking about stocks that could completely destroy the capital and certain suburbs (in an instant). The blame cannot be blamed on the intricacies of bureaucracy. […]

I declare to all those who, from the first moment, launched a campaign against us, against the Resistance and against the Axis of Resistance, trying to take advantage of this tragedy, you will get nowhere, and I tell you that frankly and sincerely. I also declare to the masses (who support) the Resistance, and some of whom are perhaps worried, scared, wonder what is the (underlying) atmosphere, if this is a big regional or international plot , (I reassure them by reminding them) that the regional situation is very different (from what it was before), as is the international situation (much more favorable to us than ever). We are very different from what we were, and so is the (Axis of) the Resistance (we are stronger than ever), so there is really nothing to worry about (for us). These people (our adversaries) run after mirages, as they have always run after mirages. All of their choices have always been doomed to failure and defeat.

And I say this to our adversaries: just as you have been disappointed and defeated (in all your past undertakings: Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2006 war, war in Syria, etc.), you will once again be disappointed and defeated. You will not achieve anything. This Resistance, by its credibility, its sincerity, by the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, by its (victorious) battles, by its positions, by its attitude and its behavior, and by its strength, its place in the country and in the region, is too large, too strong and too noble for it to be tainted by (the slanders) of certain oppressors, liars and falsifiers of the truth, who (constantly) incite sectarian rivalry, and who encourage civil war. They have always worked at this and have always failed, and they will fail again. […]

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

CHAOS IN LEBANON MARKED START OF NEW ROUND OF ISRAELI-IRANIAN STANDOFF

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The explosion in the port of Beirut in early August that caused thousands of casualties became a trigger point for the further development of the already existing crisis in Lebanon.

In the following week days after the August 4 explosion, a series of large-scale protests took place in Beirut. Protesters clashed with police, hung cardboard figures of Lebanese politicians, like President Michel Aoun and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and stormed government buildings, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of the Environment, the Association of Banks and the Ministry of Energy and Water. As of August 10, a few dozen people have already been injured and protests continue.

A number of Lebanese politicians, who are known to be close to the West, announced their resignation from the country’s Parliament. The Lebanese Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad, also resigned along with the Environment Minister Damianus Qitar. According to the Lebanese media, a number of other ministers are planning to announce their resignation soon. The Lebanese government is about to end its existence in its current form.

The protests received wide coverage in Israeli media, which painted the crisis as a ‘popular resistance’ against Hezbollah and political parties that cooperate with it. Various pro-Israeli sources actively speculate that the entire tragedy was likely caused due to the ‘destructive Hezbollah actions’ if not a Hezbollah weapon depot explosion. The Hezbollah political wing is an official political party in Lebanon and its Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc has 13 seats. The movement itself through its social, economic and security programs has strong popular support across the country. Slogans and chants known to be allies of the U.S. expectedly received less coverage.

The deepening crisis in Lebanon also caused a notable reaction on the international level, in particular with the United States and France actively offering their assistance. US President Donald Trump, who already declared that the explosion may have been an attack, was especially active in calling about the need to find the party behind the Beirut explosions. Taking into account the general course of the Trump administration aimed at the confrontation with the Iranian-led bloc in the Middle East and its unconditional support to Israel, it’s easy to suggest whom the White House will find guilty in the crisis.

At the same time, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continued their military buildup on the contact line with southern Lebanon and in the occupied area of Syria’s Golan Heights. On August 9, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Chief of the General Staff of the IDF, came with new accusations against Iran claiming that the shelling of Israeli forces on the separation line with the Syrians was linked with Iran. In his speech, Lt. Gen. Kochavi set the Israeli goals in what he called the “battle between wars” as follows:

  1. The Iranian nuclear program.
  2. Preventing the “radical axis” [Iran and its allies] from establishing a presence in Syria.
  3. Denying Israel’s enemies on all fronts, especially in the north, from obtaining precision-guided missiles and munitions.

IDF troops in northern Israel have been on a high alert since July 20, when a series of Israeli strikes on the Syrian capital, Damascus, killed a fighter of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

In fact, the Beirut port explosions became a gift for the Israeli political leadership and its supporters giving them a chance to use the crisis to achieve their goals in Lebanon. The observed diplomatic and media activity demonstrates that Tel Aviv and Washington have already started a campaign to undermine positions of Hezbollah, at least on the political level, and fuel tensions between supporters of the group and the relatively pro-Western part of the population. Clandestine actions to fuel chaos in Lebanon are likely to follow.

The main problem of this approach is that in the case of success, it may lead to a new cycle of violence and civilian casualties in Lebanon, first of all in Beirut and may even trigger the resumption of clashes on the Lebanese-Israeli contact line. Nonetheless, this is the price that the pro-Israel bloc is ready to pay to achieve its political goals and deny the Lebanese the ability to protect its national sovereignty from foreign actors in any foreseeable future.

أيام الاسئلة الكبرى؟

إبراهيم الأمين : المرحلة الثانية من الأزمة – مجلة وفاء WB

سياسة 

ابراهيم الأمين الإثنين 10 آب 2020

استقالة حكومة او هزيمة سلطة او سقوط للنظام. ما جرى ويجري، منذ انفجار الرابع من آب، يقود الى الاسئلة الكبرى امام الناس جميعاً، مواطنين ومسؤولين… ومتآمرين ايضاً. وهي اسئلة تخص الخارج المهتم بخلاص لبنان، او ذاك الباحث عن فرصة لتدميره نهائياً.

وقع حسان دياب تحت الضغط الكلي. مشكلته لم تكن محصورة بالقوى المعارضة لوجوده في السراي، بل في حلفائه ايضاً. وهو وجد، من تلقاء نفسه، ان اقتراح الانتخابات المبكرة قد يمثل مدخلا لهدوء يقود الى حل. نسي الرجل ان قواعد اللعبة ليست للشارع كما يظن المتوهّمون، بل لمن لا يزال بيده الامر. فكان القرار باطاحته مشتركاً: الرئيس ميشال عون الذي تعني له الانتخابات النيابية نزعاً للشرعية عنه. جبران باسيل الذين تعني الانتخابات المبكرة تشليحه نصف كتلته النيابية. سعد الحريري الذي لا يطيق الجلوس في البيت والخائف من ان تصبح كتلته بضعة نواب على شاكلة ديما الجمالي. وليد جنبلاط الذي يخشى على مصير زعامته..وفوق كل هؤلاء، الرئيس نبيه بري الذي لم يكن اصلا من المرحّبين بحكومة دياب. وكان ولا يزال يفضل الحريري على جميع الاخرين، والهارب ايضاً من ضائقة شعبية لا يمكن لحزب الله ان يعالجها كل الوقت… كل هؤلاء، معطوفين على الجهد المتواصل من الاميركيين وحلفائهم السعوديين والاسرائيليين، ومنظماتهم غير الحكومية في لبنان، انتج الجدار المرتفع الذي يعطل كل شيء. فكانت النتيجة القرار المبدئي باستقالة الحكومة. سيكون بوسع حسان دياب ان يستقيل بدل ان تتم اقالته في المجلس النيابي، وهو الذي رفض فكرة استدعائه لتحميله مسؤولية جريمة ارتكبها كل خصومه من داخل الحكومة وخارجها خلال السنوات الماضية. ومعه وزراء هم اليوم في حالتهم الطبيعية، عراة من كل شيء، لا قوة لهم ولا ثمن. من أتى بهم يبيعهم على مفترق طرق. يجري كل ذلك، وسط حال من الجنون تسود الشارع ومعه الاعلام الفاجر المنتشر على كل الشاشات والمنابر.

لكن الى اين من بعد هذه الهزة؟

الطبقة السياسية تريد تنفيذ توصية الرئيس الفرنسي ايمانويل ماكرون بتشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية. يعتقدون انه في حال استقالة حكومة دياب، سيُدعون الى استشارات نيابية تسمّي الحريري بطلاً منقذاً، على ان يجري منحه فرصة تشكيل حكومة تضم ممثلين عن كل القوى السياسية من دون أقطابها، وان يصار بعدها الى وضع برنامج عمل هدفه تهدئة الوضع في انتظار القرار الدولي.

لكن من يفكرون بهذه الطريقة، هل يملكون الاجابة عن الاسئلة المحرّمة، ومنها:

– ماذا يعني الفشل في تشكيل حكومة سريعاً؟ هل يصبح الجيش المكلف بقرار ادارة العاصمة الكبرى في ظل حالة طوارئ الحاكم الفعلي للبلاد؟ وهل الجيش قادر على هذه المهمة وهو الذي فشل في ادارة شوارع مثلومة الاسبوع الماضي؟ وهل لدى قيادته وهم بأن سلطة الامر الواقع تتيح له تشكيل حكومة واجراء انتخابات والاتيان بقائد الجيش رئيسا للجمهورية؟

– من سيكون المسؤول عن البلاد بعد ثمانية ايام، عند صدور قرار المحكمة الدولية الخاصة بجريمة اغتيال رفيق الحريري؟ من سيتسوعب الصدمة ومن يمكنه ضبط الشارع الذي سيتصرف على انه اسقط الحكومة وعليه اسقاط المجلس النيابي ورئيس الجمهورية ايضا؟ وكيف سيكون الوضع لو ان الشارع ضم الى مهامه ايضاً مهمة تنفيذ حكم المحكمة الدولية؟

– فرنسا التي قادت مؤتمراً لتحصيل مساعدات تقرر حصرها بنتائج الانفجار، تقول انها جمعت نحو ربع مليار يورو. لكنها – كما الولايات المتحدة – تريد ان تشرف الامم المتحدة على انفاقها. وهي تريد ذلك في ظل وجود الحكومة، فكيف اذا صارت البلاد من دون حكومة. وبالتالي، فان الامم المتحدة، وكر الفساد الاول في عالم المساعدات، ستتولّى تشكيل «حكومة ظل» قوامها مرتزقة المنظمات غير الحكومية ليتولّوا الاشراف على صرف المساعدات، وبالتالي الدخول الى الادارة العامة، وتخيلوا ما بعد ذلك.

– اذا كان اسقاط حكومة حسان دياب هدفاً بذاته، فان الفرق اللبنانية لديها اهدافها الاخرى. والمرجح ان الساعين الى رئاسة الجمهورية سيدعمون تنشيط المعارضة لاسقاط المجلس النيابي، وهم يعتقدون بأن انتخابات جديدة تحت اشراف دولي ستتيح تغييرا واسعا في تركيبة المجلس النيابي، وسيجدون العلاج لملف الرئاسة واطاحة الرئيس عون من بعبدا. وهؤلاء، سيفتحون بازار المفاوضات مع كل شياطين الارض لتحقيق الحلم بالوصول الى الرئاسة. وعندها سنقترب من الملفات الحساسة.

– العالم الخارجي الذي «حزن» بعد انفجار المرفأ، قرر صرف مساعدات موضعية. لكن قرار فك الحصار عن لبنان لم يحصل بعد. وبالتالي فان هذا العالم لديه مطالب غير تلك التي تهم الجياع والمطالبين بحسن التمثيل. هدفه واحد ومحصور في ضرب المقاومة. وهذا العالم، سيعتقد انه بمقدوره الضغط اكثر على اللبنانيين بغية ممارسة ضغط جانبي على المقاومة لاجبارها على الاتيان الى طاولة لتفاوض على سلاحه ولو بالتقسيط، هل يعتقد هؤلاء ان مصير المقاومة يعالج كأننا نصنع العجة؟

– حسناً، اذا كان الهدف اسقاط السلطة لانها لم تعد قادرة على القيام بمهمات تلبي حاجات الناس، فهل يحاول هؤلاء الهروب من استحقاق تغيير وجه النظام القائم وقلبه، سياسيا واقتصاديا واداريا. من يرد تعديل قواعد اللعبة، عليه ان يعرف ان المطلوب فعلياً ليس تغيير الحكومة، بل تغيير النظام، وهذا يعني الآن امراً واحداً: رصاصة الرحمة على اتفاق الطائف.

– اذا كانت فرنسا حصلت على تفويض ولو جزئي من العالم لادارة الازمة اللبنانية. واذا كان خيار تغيير النظام هو الاساس. فان الطاولة المستديرة التي جمع الرئيس الفرنسي اقطاب البلاد حولها، سيُعاد تشكيلها بغية ادارة حوار يستهدف عنوانا جديدا، وهو الاتفاق على نظام جديد في البلاد، ما يعني ان ثمن الانهيار القائم اليوم، هو المباشرة بالعمل على مؤتمر تأسيسي جديد لتشكيل سلطات جديدة، نيابية وحكومية وادارية وعسكرية وخلافه. واذا كانت سوريا منهكة بدمارها، والسعودية غير مؤهلة لادارة شؤونها، واميركا كما بقية العالم تشكل طرفا في الازمة، فهل توكل الى فرنسا مهمة ادارة حوار لبناني – لبناني للاتفاق على نظام سياسي جديد. وفي هذه الحال، هل يعلم الناس ان فرنسا ستتحدث باسم المسيحيين، اما المسلمون فسيواصلون انقساماتهم من دون التوصل الى قواسم مشتركة… وعندها سنكون امام لوحة فوضى مكتملة.

– سيحصل كل ذلك، والبلاد تسجل مزيداً من الانهيار الاقتصادي والمالي. فهل سيعود رياض سلامة حاكما لكل الادارات وليس للسياسات النقدية فحسب. وتطيير الحكومة الحالية يعني تطيير كل اشكال التدقيق الجنائي المحلي او الدولي في عمليات مصرف لبنان وبقية المصارف. وهذا هدفه الاول، لكن هل يمكنه إدّعاء القدرة على توفير تمويل للعصابة اياها لادارة البلاد من جديد؟

– الاكيد ان الاميركيين يعتقدون ان الافضل، الان، هو سقوط الحكومة وعدم تشكيل حكومة بديلة سريعا، وان يصار الى فرض سلطة الجيش مع وصاية خارجية على اقتصاد البلاد. وهم سيكثرون من الكلام عن ان لبنان قابل للحياة من جديد، فقط اذا قرر التخلي عن المقاومة.

ايها اللبنانيون، استعدوا لما هو اسوأ. واستعدوا لمنازلات لا نعرف حدودها ولا مساحتها ولا طبيعتها، واستعدوا لتحمل مسؤولية ما تقولون وما تفعلون وما تقرّرون من خطوات لاحقة… ولا شيء أمامكم أكثر وضوحا من فوضى الانهيار الكبير.

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وثانياً ليتم امتصاص محاولات توظيفها السيئ والتخريبي من جانب الذين تعودوا التبعية للخارج من احزاب السفارات…

‏ومع ذلك يجب أن لا تغرّنكم استعراضات مانويل ماكرون ولا بهلوانياته الكلامية…

‏اطمأنوا انه لم يكن ليزور بيروت أصلاً حتى مع هذا الحدث الجلل لولا صمودكم أنتم يا جمهور وبيئة المقاومة ووقوفكم بعزم وحزم خلف قيادتكم الحكيمة والرشيدة والمسددة..

‏ولم يكن ليتجرأ اصلاً على التمايز ولو ظاهرياً مع الأميركي ويلتقي وبخصوصية ظاهرة للعيان مع من اسمه على لوائح الإرهاب لولا شعوره بان ما تبقى له من أتباع في لبنان باتوا شحاذين على الطرقات…

‏لقد جاء ليستعيد بعض ما خسره على شواطئ المتوسط والهلال الخصيب، وتحديداً بعدما يئس من سورية والعراق وليبيا…

ومع ذلك نقول لكل من راهن او يراهن على الخارج بان عقارب الساعة لن تعود الى الوراء، كما ان الزمن ليس زمن القرن التاسع عشر ولا زمن إمارة لبنان الصغير ولا الكبير.

‏إنه زمن المقاومة والشموخ والعز وزمن السيد الأمين…

موازين القوى على الأرض تغيرت كثيراً جداً…

‏وحكومة دياب هي حكومة مخلصة تبلورت من تضاريس أوجاع الناس وآلامها وهي أشرف من كل تاريخ الفاسدين والمفسدين الذين تربوا في أحضان الدول الكبرى والقناصل والسفارات..

‏وهي ستعمل حتى الساعة الأخيرة من زمن الصمود والتصدي قبل أن يقرر أصحاب القرار الحقيقيون اللبنانيون من استبدالها بحكومة أخرى، فزمن الوصاية قد ولى

‏ ولبنان بات أكبر من ان يتطاول عليه احد.

واما ماذا يعد الغرب السلطوي الهيمني وتحديداً الأميركي للبنان فإليكم تقديرنا:

فخلافاً لما كان يعتقده البعض بأن الأميركيين كانوا يريدون التهدئة خلال المرحلة المتبقية لهم الى حين استحقاق الرئاسة الأميركية، فقد كان الاعتقاد الأقرب ان الاميركي سيستمر في تنفيذ برنامجه، وقد أعد للموجة الثانية من الضغط على المقاومة واصدقائها في لبنان، بالتزامن مع إعلان الأحكام النهائية للمحكمة الدولية في السابع من آب، الا ان الانفجار «المفاجئ «الذي حصل في مرفأ بيروت من خارج أجندة ترامب في الظاهر أربك اجندته واستعجل حلفاء أميركا في استثمار هذه المأساة الانسانية لقلب الأوضاع وتحميل حزب الله والحكومة الحالية المسؤولية والعودة الى مقولة إخراج كل الرؤساء من الحياة السياسية اللبنانية عبر دفعهم للاستقالة، بتفكير ساذج تقوده القوات والكتائب وحراس المدينة والاشتراكي والحريرية الباطنية بدفع أميركي، معترضين على النهج السياسي الذي ستسلكه الدول الغربية وعلى رأسهم فرنسا – التي يبدو أنها خذلتهم – وبعض الدول التي تحركت لاستيعاب محور قوي على وشك السيطرة على غرب آسيا ومحاصرة «اسرائيل» المحور المتجه شرقاً بقوة، مما يعني خروجهم النهائي من المنطقة، لذا فإن هذه الاندفاعة للاستقالات من البرلمان والاحتجاجات بالشارع هي محاولة اليائس من إحداث تغيير لصالحه في لبنان وبسرعة.

وما تفعله وسائل الاعلام المعروفة ونزولها الى الدرك الاسفل من المهنية والمناقبية والأخلاقية، والتزامها امام مشغلها الاميركي بقيادة الجماهير الغاضبة وتأطيرها لصالح التحشيد ضد ايران والحزب تمهيداً لطرح الشعار المنتظر كما في العراق إيران بره بره…

وحزب…. بره بره…

لهذا الغرب ولأتباعه الصغار نقول بان أميركا الشيطان الأكبر واولئك المتمسكين بذيلها لقد فقدتم المصداقية وباتت جوقتكم تصرخ في واد سحيق لا قرار له ولا صدى، بسبب وعي الجمهور اللبناني المتنامي، وانكشاف كذبكم وتضليلكم وغشكم، ولن تنفع كل محاولات التضليل لهز إيمان الجمهور المستهدف بجرّه لحرب أهلية بقضيته ووطنه ومعرفة عدوه الحقيقي.

نقولها وبكل يقين المرحلة القادمة ليست لكم وسيخيب ظنكم وأملكم حتى ولو بعد صدور قرار المحكمة الدولية، لأن المشروع والبرنامج الأميركي بات واضحاً جدا ولا احد يمكنه الدفاع عنه لأنه بات بدون مصداقية ومكشوف جداً.

المعركة مستمرة وهي في لبنان تتعقد في ذروة اشتباك أمني اقتصادي سياسي واجتماعي استراتيجي، يحتاج للكثير من الصبر والبصيرة والتروي والحكمة للانتصار على هؤلاء الشياطين المتمرسين في الشيطنة.

أخيراً وليس آخرا يبقى الأمر لنا بيقين الاوفياء والمخلصين والعاضين على الجراح.

‏ وعصابات الهاغانا «اللبنانية» من أزلام السفارات التي نزلت للشارع لإكمال فاجعة هيروشيما بيروت وإخفاء او إتلاف وثائق الإدانة بحرقها للوزارات…

لن تتمكن من تحقيق مآرب أسيادها…

‏واما الهجوم الديبلوماسي الاستعراضي الغربي لإغاثة لبنان

‏فإن الهدف منه قطع الطريق على طريق الحرير الصيني في محطة لبنان…

‏هل لاحظتم ‏صمت الناطق الصينيّ الروسيّ الإيراني…!؟

‏ وسمو سيد الحرب والسلام في خطابه الأخير..!؟

‏إنهم يتجرّعون السم

‏ونحن نحضّر لصعود الجليل.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

Who Profits from the Beirut Tragedy

by Pepe Escobar : Republished from Asia Times by permission of author

The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere.

And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it.

Lebanon is prime John Le Carré territory. A multinational den of spies of all shades – House of Saud agents, Zionist operatives, “moderate rebel” weaponizers, Hezbollah intellectuals, debauched Arab “royalty,” self-glorified smugglers – in a context of full spectrum economic disaster afflicting a member of the Axis of Resistance, a perennial target of Israel alongside Syria and Iran.

As if this were not volcanic enough, into the tragedy stepped President Trump to muddy the – already contaminated – Eastern Mediterranean waters. Briefed by “our great generals,” Trump on Tuesday said: “According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack.”

Trump added, “it was a bomb of some kind.”

Was this incandescent remark letting the cat out of the bag by revealing classified information? Or was the President launching another non sequitur?

Trump eventually walked his comments back after the Pentagon declined to confirm his claim about what the “generals” had said and his defense secretary, Mark Esper, supported the accident explanation for the blast.

It’s yet another graphic illustration of the war engulfing the Beltway. Trump: attack. Pentagon: accident. “I don’t think anybody can say right now,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I’ve heard it both ways.”

Still, it’s worth noting a report by Iran’s Mehr News Agency that four US Navy reconnaissance planes were spotted near Beirut at the time of the blasts. Is US intel aware of what really happened all along the spectrum of possibilities?

That ammonium nitrate

Security at Beirut’s port – the nation’s prime economic hub – would have to be considered a top priority. But to adapt a line from Roman Polanski’s Chinatown: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Beirut.”

Those by now iconic 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in September 2013 on board the Rhosus, a ship under Moldovan flag sailing from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique. Rhosus ended up being impounded by Beirut’s Port State Control.

Subsequently the ship was de facto abandoned by its owner, shady businessman Igor Grechushkin, born in Russia and a resident of Cyprus, who suspiciously “lost interest” in his relatively precious cargo, not even trying to sell it, dumping style, to pay off his debts.

Grechushkin never paid his crew, who barely survived for several months before being repatriated on humanitarian grounds. The Cypriot government confirmed there was no request to Interpol from Lebanon to arrest him. The whole op feels like a cover – with the real recipients of the ammonium nitrate possibly being “moderate rebels” in Syria who use it to make IEDs and equip suicide trucks, such as the one that demolished the Al Kindi hospital in Aleppo.

The 2,750 tons – packed in 1-ton bags labeled “Nitroprill HD” – were transferred to the Hangar 12 warehouse by the quayside. What followed was an astonishing case of serial negligence.

From 2014 to 2017 letters from customs officials – a series of them – as well as proposed options to get rid of the dangerous cargo, exporting it or otherwise selling it, were simply ignored. Every time they tried to get a legal decision to dispose of the cargo, they got no answer from the Lebanese judiciary.

When Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab now proclaims, “Those responsible will pay the price,” context is absolutely essential.

Neither the prime minister nor the president nor any of the cabinet ministers knew that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi, the director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations in Tehran, confirms. We’re talking about a massive IED, placed mid-city.

The bureaucracy at Beirut’s port and the mafias who are actually in charge are closely linked to, among others, the al-Mostaqbal faction, which is led by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, himself fully backed by the House of Saud.

The immensely corrupt Hariri was removed from power in October 2019 amid serious protests. His cronies “disappeared” at least $20 billion from Lebanon’s treasury – which seriously aggravated the nation’s currency crisis.

No wonder the current government – where we have Prime Minister Diab backed by Hezbollah – had not been informed about the ammonium nitrate.

Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion.

Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?

So far, the prime straight to the point explanation, by Middle East expert Elijah Magnier, points to the tragedy being “sparked” – literally – by a clueless blacksmith with a blowtorch operating quite close to the unsecured ammonium nitrate. Unsecured due, once again, to negligence and corruption – or as part of an intentional “mistake” anticipating the possibility of a future blast.

This scenario, though, does not explain the initial “fireworks” explosion. And certainly does not explain what no one – at least in the West – is talking about: the deliberate fires set to an Iranian market in Ajam in the UAE, and also to a series of food/agricultural warehouses in Najaf, Iraq, immediately after the Beirut tragedy.

Follow the money

Lebanon – boasting assets and real estate worth trillions of dollars – is a juicy peach for global finance vultures. To grab these assets at rock bottom prices, in the middle of the New Great Depression, is simply irresistible. In parallel, the IMF vulture would embark on full shakedown mode and finally “forgive” some of Beirut’s debts as long as a harsh variation of “structural adjustment” is imposed.

Who profits, in this case, are the geopolitical and geoeconomic interests of US, Saudi Arabia and France. It’s no accident that President Macron, a dutiful Rothschildservant, arrived in Beirut Thursday to pledge Paris neocolonial “support” and all but impose, like a Viceroy, a comprehensive set of “reforms”.  A Monty Python-infused dialogue, complete with heavy French accent, might have followed along these lines: “We want to buy your port.” “It’s not for sale.” “Oh, what a pity, an accident just happened.”

Already a month ago the IMF was “warning” that “implosion” in Lebanon was “accelerating.” Prime Minister Diab had to accept the proverbial “offer you can’t refuse” and thus “unlock billions of dollars in donor funds.” Or else. The non-stop run on the Lebanese currency, for over a year now, was just a – relatively polite – warning.

This is happening amid a massive global asset grab characterized in the larger context by American GDP down by almost 40%, arrays of bankruptcies, a handful of billionaires amassing unbelievable profits and too-big-to-fail megabanks duly bailed out with a tsunami of free money.

Dag Detter, a Swedish financier, and Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese minister and central bank vice governor, suggest that the nation’s assets be placed in a national wealth fund. Juicy assets include Electricité du Liban (EDL), water utilities, airports, the MEA airline, telecom company OGERO, the Casino du Liban.

EDL, for instance, is responsible for 30% of Beirut’s budget deficit.

That’s not nearly enough for the IMF and Western mega banks. They want to gobble up the whole thing, plus a lot of real estate.

“The economic value of public real estate can be worth at least as much as GDP and often several times the value of the operational part of any portfolio,” say Detter and Saidi.

Who’s feeling the shockwaves?

Once again, Israel is the proverbial elephant in a room now widely depicted by Western corporate media as “Lebanon’s Chernobyl.”

A scenario like the Beirut catastrophe has been linked to Israeli plans since February 2016.

Israel did admit that Hangar 12 was not a Hezbollah weapons storage unit. Yet, crucially, on the same day of the Beirut blast, and following a series of suspicious explosions in Iran and high tension in the Syria-Israeli border, Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted , in the present tense: “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this.”

That ties in with the intent, openly proclaimed late last week, to bomb Lebanese infrastructure if Hezbollah harms Israeli Defense Forces soldiers or Israeli civilians.

headline – “Beirut Blast Shockwaves Will Be Felt by Hezbollah for a Long Time” – confirms that the only thing that matters for Tel Aviv is to profit from the tragedy to demonize Hezbollah, and by association, Iran. That ties in with the US Congress “Countering Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Military Act of 2019” {S.1886}, which all but orders Beirut to expel Hezbollah from Lebanon.

And yet Israel has been strangely subdued.

Muddying the waters even more, Saudi intel – which has access to Mossad, and demonizes Hezbollah way more than Israel – steps in. All the intel ops I talked to refuse to go on the record, considering the extreme sensitivity of the subject.

Still, it must be stressed that a Saudi intel source whose stock in trade is frequent information exchanges with the Mossad, asserts that the original target was Hezbollah missiles stored in Beirut’s port. His story is that Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to take credit for the strike – following up on his tweet. But then the Mossad realized the op had turned horribly wrong and metastasized into a major catastrophe.

The problem starts with the fact this was not a Hezbollah weapons depot – as even Israel admitted. When weapons depots are blown up, there’s a primary explosion followed by several smaller explosions, something that could last for days. That’s not what happened in Beirut. The initial explosion was followed by a massive second blast – almost certainly a major chemical explosion – and then there was silence.

Thierry Meyssan, very close to Syrian intel, advances the possibility that the “attack” was carried out with an unknown weapon, a missile -– and not a nuclear bomb – tested in Syria in January 2020. (The test is shown in an attached video.) Neither Syria nor Iran ever made a reference to this unknown weapon, and I got no confirmation about its existence.

Assuming Beirut port was hit by an “unknown weapon,” President Trump may have told the truth: It was an “attack”. And that would explain why Netanyahu, contemplating the devastation in Beirut, decided that Israel would need to maintain a very low profile.

Watch that camel in motion

The Beirut explosion at first sight might be seen as a deadly blow against the Belt and Road Initiative, considering that China regards the connectivity between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as the cornerstone of the Southwest Asia Belt and Road corridor.

Yet that may backfire – badly. China and Iran are already positioning themselves as the go-to investors post-blast, in sharp contrast with the IMF hit men, and as advised by Hezbollah Secretary-General Nasrallah only a few weeks ago.

Syria and Iran are in the forefront of providing aid to Lebanon. Tehran is sending an emergency hospital, food packages, medicine and medical equipment. Syria opened its borders with Lebanon, dispatched medical teams and is receiving patients from Beirut’s hospitals.

It’s always important to keep in mind that the “attack” (Trump) on Beirut’s port destroyed Lebanon’s main grain silo, apart from engineering the total destruction of the port – the nation’s key trade lifeline.

That would fit into a strategy of starving Lebanon. On the same day Lebanon became to a great extent dependent on Syria for food – as it now carries only a month’s supply of wheat – the US attacked silos in Syria.

Syria is a huge exporter of organic wheat. And that’s why the US routinely targets Syrian silos and burns its crops – attempting also to starve Syria and force Damascus, already under harsh sanctions, to spend badly needed funds to buy food

In stark contrast to the interests of the US/France/Saudi axis, Plan A for Lebanon would be to progressively drop out of the US-France stranglehold and head straight into Belt and Road as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Go East, the Eurasian way. The port and even a great deal of the devastated city, in the medium term, can be quickly and professionally rebuilt by Chinese investment. The Chinese are specialists in port construction and management.

This avowedly optimistic scenario would imply a purge of the hyper-wealthy, corrupt weapons/drugs/real estate scoundrels of Lebanon’s plutocracy – which in any case scurry away to their tony Paris apartments at the first sign of trouble.

Couple that with Hezbollah’s very successful social welfare system – which I saw for myself at work last year – having a shot at winning the confidence of the impoverished middle classes and thus becoming the core of the reconstruction.

It will be a Sisyphean struggle. But compare this situation with the Empire of Chaos – which needs chaos everywhere, especially across Eurasia, to cover for the coming, Mad Max chaos inside the US.

General Wesley Clark’s notorious 7 countries in 5 years once again come to mind – and Lebanon remains one of those 7 countries. The Lebanese lira may have collapsed; most Lebanese may be completely broke; and now Beirut is semi-devastated. That may be the straw breaking the camel’s back – releasing the camel to the freedom of finally retracing its steps back to Asia along the New Silk Roads.

Nasrallah denies any Hezbollah activities at the port, calls to end incitment and impunity (full speech)


Date: 8 August 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2148

Translation: resistancenews.org

Key points:

  • The tragic context requires a sacred union, in order to overcome the humanitarian crisis, and not to settle political accounts; Hezbollah has mobilized all its resources to help the victims
  • All the accusations claiming Hezbollah is somewhat responsible are outrageous, because Hezbollah has never had any activity, no warehouse and no role or control over what goes on in the port; this slanders constitutes an incitement to civil war
  • At this stage of the investigation, no hypothesis can be ruled out as to the intentional or accidental nature of the explosion, but criminal negligence seems to be proven in all cases.
  • An impartial investigation must identify and severely punish all the culprits, and break with the traditional sectarianism of the judicial system which judges people according to their political and religious affiliation; without a fair & transparent trial and full accountability, Lebanon will always be a failed State
  • The Lebanese army is the body most able to carry out this investigation, and all the calls to form an international commission of inquiry are only delaying tactics aimed at perpetuating the establishment and impunity.
  • Lebanon must use the current opportunities to overcome the US embargo and revive its economy
  • All those who hope to weaken Hezbollah through this crisis demonstrate their moral bankruptcy and lack of lucidity

Transcription:

Prior to this terrible event, I had announced a speech for Wednesday (August 5), and I intended to speak about several issues which were the hottest news at the time, namely:

– the situation on the border between Lebanon and occupied Palestine, and the ongoing clash between Hezbollah and the Israeli enemy;

– the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (and the expected verdict) on August 7 (concerning the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005);

– the coronavirus, its development and the recent increase of cases in Lebanon;

– the oil shortages and the gasoline crisis in the country;

– other questions related to the regional situation.

But when the catastrophic event happened on Tuesday (August 4), I decided to postpone my speech, and today I am not going to bring up any of these topics, but only talk about one point, namely the cataclysmic event that occurred (in the port of Beirut) and the humanitarian crisis that engulfed Lebanon and the Lebanese people in recent days.

[A major and unprecedented cataclysm]

Regarding the event itself, first of all, we are faced with a colossal incident, a great tragedy, be it from a humanitarian or national perspective, or by any (other) criteria. There are more than 150 martyrs, the vast majority being Lebanese. Notably, there are a large number of Syrian martyrs, and martyrs of various nationalities. There are thousands of injured. The latest figures speak of nearly 80 missing people. As a precaution, let’s talk about dozens of missing people. There are tens of thousands of families who had to leave their homes damaged (and rendered uninhabitable) by the explosion. Thousands and even tens of thousands of people have lost their property, their source of livelihood, their business. (Not to mention) the state of fear and even terror that has indeed struck the hearts of millions of people, and not hundreds of thousands of people, for the inhabitants of Beirut and its suburbs make up almost half of the population of Lebanon, if not more [Lebanon’s population is almost 7 million]. The buildings were shaken to the point that people believed there was a huge earthquake, and each neighborhood felt like the explosion was happening in its own neighborhood. What people have experienced in terms of fear and worry, be it men, women or children (is indescribable).

Of course, the consequences of all of this are huge and very dangerous, as are the (apocalypse) scenes we have all seen. We are facing an event which has considerable consequences on the humanitarian, economic, health and social levels. Concretely, the port of Beirut was almost completely destroyed, which implies a necessary reconstruction of the port, with economic repercussions which are added to the serious financial and social crisis which the country was already going through. In short, at all levels, we are facing a major cataclysm.

I extend my sincere condolences to all the families of martyrs… One thing should be stressed: you know that Lebanon, in general, is divided along sectarian and regional lines, and that a region can be affected (by a problem) without affecting another. But this explosion has crossed sectarian and regional lines: there are martyrs and wounded from all sects, and all the neighborhoods & regions (of the capital) have been affected. Beirut is the city of all Lebanese, and embraces all Lebanese. The inhabitants of Beirut are a microcosm of all Lebanese people, in their different regional, religious and sectarian affiliations. This tragedy made no distinction.

I therefore extend my sincere condolences to all the families of martyrs, and I ask God the Most High and the Exalted to inspire them with patience and endurance in the face of the loss of their loved ones, and I also ask Him to grant a speedy recovery to all the injured and to all those who have been affected (in one way or another). I ask God the Most High and the Exalted to inspire them all with the patience and the ability to bear and endure (this tragedy), and to grant the determination (required) to overcome this terrible ordeal to all those who have been affected, whether in their relatives, homes, livelihoods or property, or who have been displaced from their homes. I ask Him to give them the patience, endurance and mutual assistance (required) to overcome this tragedy. Of course, this requires the Grace of God the Most High and the Exalted, and the cooperation, effort and sacrifice of all.

By this brief description, I wanted to indicate that we are facing an exceptional event, at least in the modern history of Lebanon, which requires exceptional behavior at all levels, whether at the psychological level, at the level of action on the ground, at the media, political and judicial levels: all measures must be strong and exceptional because of the major and unprecedented nature of this event.

Of course, man is unable to express (as it should) his feelings in front of our people, our beloved ones in Beirut and its suburbs, in all the districts of Beirut and its suburbs, and put into words the suffering, sadness, sorrow (that we feel), as well as our solidarity and our presence by their side, and our (sense of) common responsibility.

Likewise, in the face of this event and its consequences, and I will now turn to the other points, we were able to see several things in Lebanon. I want to talk about each scene, comment on it and take a stance.

[The sacred union of the Lebanese people and their institutions]

First, the popular scene alongside the State. Since the first hours, very naturally, the departments concerned, the security, military and health authorities, civil defense, emergency services, firefighters, all have been on the ground, but what is remarkable is the popular atmosphere, the ardor of the people in all regions, this rapid presence of many civil and popular groups and associations, whether they are firefighters, ambulance workers, rescue organizations, volunteers, in order to help the State authorities, because this situation exceeded the capacities of the State, whether it be hospitals, doctors, nurses, blood donations… It is perhaps the first time that Hezbollah officially appealed for blood donation, and thank goodness all the required blood was obtained, even though the number of injured was huge from the start.

This atmosphere of compassion & popular responsiveness has also continued in the clearing of debris, the cleaning of streets, houses and squares, and we still see a massive presence of volunteers in these squares. A (large) number of municipalities and communities, religious associations and political forces, families and houses have announced their willingness to guarantee housing for those who have lost their homes, whether it is temporary damage or total destruction. Despite all the financial and social crises that the country is going through, we have seen such a level of compassion and solidarity. Of course, we also have to consider the psychological and emotional side that has reached a high level of excellence, namely this (massive) ardor, this sadness, this compassion. At the popular level, we do not see abuse or indifference, everyone feels concerned, everyone is affected. These are the emotions of the inhabitants. We must give this scene (of popular solidarity) a very high grade, at the level of civilization, humanity, ethics, nation, emotions. It is evidence of the conscience, life, soul, culture, ethics and humanitarian and national feeling of our people in all regions, in all sects and in all places.

[Total mobilization of Hezbollah to rescue and relocate the victims]

Of course, as far as Hezbollah is concerned in this regard, from the first moments, the presence of our bodies, our associations, our members and our popular base, the municipalities and communities in which we are represented or present, I considers that they did not spare any effort, and that they were present (massively). And today, I confirm once again that Hezbollah, at the level of all its bodies, associations and staff, and of all our human and material resources, we are entirely at the service of the Lebanese State and the Lebanese government, and of the relevant ministries, and we are available to all our people and all our fellow citizens who have been affected by this tragedy.

Of course, I want to stress our relocation project for disaster victims, because we have had a lot of experience in this regard since the 2006 war, and I hope people will take it with due seriousness. And I confirm once again what the president of the community of municipalities of the southern suburbs of Beirut and various municipalities in Lebanon announced: any family who has lost their home, and who need time to clear or repair this home, and needs a temporary accommodation in the meantime, we are open, happy and ready to help these families through this project, with the Grace of God. It is not acceptable for a single family to remain on the streets, nor for them to feel like a burden on their relatives or friends who host them because they have requested them. Temporary housing can be provided until further notice, in order to give them time to return home as soon as possible, when their homes have been repaired and cleared.

[Exceptional international solidarity despite US sanctions]

The second scene was abroad, namely the positions of many States and governments in the world, of the great religious authorities in the world, Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites, political forces, Resistance movements, leaders, scholars, elites, media, parties, etc. Lebanon and the Lebanese people have been the object of great compassion internationally, and many countries have announced their readiness to provide assistance, while we are under siege: the United States has clearly announced that they were not going to besiege a group or a party, as some try to claim, but all of Lebanon. If only they were content to besiege only one party or group! This is what we have been asking for from the start! You have a problem with us (Hezbollah), so besiege us, and only us, without chastising and making a whole country and a people pay the price!

Anyway, we thank all the countries that sent us aid, all the friends and brothers, Arab, Islamic and other countries, the whole international community. Some have announced that they will help us, and we hope they will keep their word (without fear of US sanctions). Likewise, delegations & ministers from various countries came, and the most visible was the visit of the French President to Lebanon. We positively view any help and compassion with Lebanon, and any visit to Lebanon in these days, especially if it is part of aid to Lebanon, or a call for cooperation and dialogue between Lebanese. We look at this kind of visit (in a positive way). We want to focus on the positive side. Perhaps some call for vigilance and concern (over the hidden motives of these visits), and express fears (of interference which may be legitimate), but at the present stage we prefer to consider this kind of visit in its positive aspect and focus on the positive side, (at least) for the time being. [Note: the section of the speech concerning France was read verbatim by Nasrallah on a statement prepared in advance, while for the rest of his speech he spoke spontaneously and had only prepared notes; this reflects Hezbollah’s mistrust and lucidity in the face of Macron’s initiative and outrageous statements of interference, which he prefers not to comment on for the time being in order to remain in a perspective of sacred union; it should be noted that the main politicians behind the explosion appear to be France’s closest friends, namely the Hariri clique.]

Therefore, this external and international scene was on the whole positive, and was full of compassion, and I consider that this opens an opportunity for Lebanon, as a State and as a people —I will come back to this in conclusion— to get help, and open a way out in the face of the state of siege and the difficulties that Lebanon was going through recently.

[The moral bankruptcy of Hezbollah’s opponents]

The first and second scenes are therefore positive, but the third scene (which I want to evoke) is the internal Lebanese political scene, and certain external elements. In general, it is said that dignified peoples, who have a certain level of culture and ethics, a certain sense of responsibility and humanity, a sense of national interest, even when there are struggles and disputes among themselves, when a great national tragedy occurs, or a terrible event occurs, everyone temporarily freezes their struggles and disputes, as well as their personal calculations, to rise above all these (partisan) considerations, and to behave on a nobler ethical and human basis, and everyone helps each other to overcome this tragedy or this catastrophe. Once the crisis is over, things can resume their usual course. Things are like this (in general) all over the world.

Sometimes we have even seen that in the midst of war, when a tragic event such as a massacre occurs, the enemies conclude a truce, a ceasefire, even in the midst of war! It does happen and it is well known (even against Israel), but I will not waste time citing examples. But outside of war, within the same country, where there is a government, an opposition, rival political forces, when a catastrophe affects everyone, all regions, all families. What happened was not a tragedy that only targeted certain categories of the population, no. In general, in such situations (of national disaster), differences are temporarily put aside, and everyone helps and cooperates (even with their political opponents), and adopts more dignified language, with different sentiments, and different statements and political speeches. Likewise, the media behave differently, with humanity and ethics, each granting a respite (to their adversaries), if only for a few days, at least a few days (of truce)! I’m not talking about months or years, no, a few days, (one or) two weeks! To give people time to recover the remains of their martyrs, to heal their wounds, to visit the wounded, to assert the fate of the missing people, to put out the fires, to clear the debris, to find a way to relocate the displaced, etc. After that, we can reopen the accounts (and rekindle the rivalries), no problem.

[A cabal of calumnies]

But unfortunately what happened in Lebanon with this incident is that from the first hours of this tragedy and this cataclysm, and even from the first hour, not the first hours, when no one yet knew what was going on or had happened… In the first moments, people spoke of an earthquake, and it was only later that it was established that it was an explosion . (We still had to determine) what type of explosion it was, where in the port it had taken place, what had exploded, what was in the hangar that exploded, how did the explosion happen, was it an accident or an intentional act, etc. Even before anyone knew the answer to these questions, the Lebanese and Arab media, and certain political forces expressed through their official social networks, and even through some public statements by officials… These are not from obscure people running (Twitter or Facebook) accounts, but statements on television and in the media, made as soon as the explosion was known to the public, and while the fires in the port were not yet extinguished, and the destruction and amazement was the lot of all the Lebanese and the whole world. But these people spoke out in the media and announced their position before they knew anything. Their position was decided in advance: the cause of the explosion in hangar number so-and-so at the port of Beirut was a Hezbollah missile warehouse that exploded and caused this unprecedented terror and cataclysm. Or, they said it was stockpiles of Hezbollah ammunition, explosives, or weapons. The bottom line is that it must have belonged to Hezbollah, whether it was missiles, ammunition, explosives … And then, even when the official authorities announced that it was not missiles, weapons, ammunition, explosives or anything like that, but (ammonium) nitrate used as a fertilizer or an explosive, these people said that this nitrate belonged to Hezbollah, that it was the Hezbollah that brought it, that it was Hezbollah that stored it for 6 years, and again Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah.

Without even knowing whether this explosion was criminal or accidental, whether it was an accident due to fire or otherwise, or whether it was an attack, or, as some have claimed, an air attack, missile or whatever, none of that interested these people at all. Accident or crime, missile, drone, fire, etc., they didn’t care. The important thing was to affirm that this hangar belonged to Hezbollah. Why? So that they could tell the Lebanese people, the inhabitants of Beirut, the inhabitants of the suburbs of Beirut, to all the Lebanese, that the one who had destroyed their houses, killed their children and their relatives, destroyed their port, their livelihood and their property, had injured thousands of you and terrorized you, it was Hezbollah, Hezbollah was responsible for everything.

Of course, this is a huge injustice done to us, a crime, and I don’t know if this can be seen as falling within the scope of free speech, freedom of the press (or rather defamation and incitement to hatred and violence). These questions need to be debated. At the moment… Let me talk a little about our feelings. We are among the killed and injured. Among the martyrs and the wounded, there are our relatives, our supporters, Hezbollah members. All these people have a job, they are workers, they have cars, they gave first aid (many firefighters and rescuers died), etc. Likewise, our feelings extend to all of our people, not just those who support Hezbollah. We are filled with sincere friendship for all Lebanese, and we are very moved by what happened. While in the throes of tragedy, we endured on top of that the suffering of oppression (these slanderous accusations). Some have told me it is not worth talking about. No. I have to talk about it, for sure! For the degree of oppression (constituted by these gratuitous attacks) is exceptional: just as the event is exceptional, the oppression inflicted on us is unprecedented. Even before an investigation was launched, before anyone knew what happened, some media, some Lebanese and Arab TV channels, since the incident began and until now —they haven’t changed their tune— asserted that the hangar belonged to Hezbollah, that what exploded was Hezbollah missiles, Hezbollah explosives, Hezbollah nitrate, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah, Hezbollah… We heard nothing else from them, because there is no other (hypothesis) for them. It is a great crime committed against us. And their method has been to lie, lie, lie and lie and lie again, until people believe it. And it seems that some people, because of the pangs of tragedy and disaster, and the media hype (putting the blame on us), it is possible that it had an influence on some, although in general we rely on people’s awareness and lucidity, and their knowledge that these sources have no credibility, and have a whole history of lies, deception, inventions, falsifications and inversion of reality.

[Hezbollah has never had any activities or storage in the port]

Despite the fact that, as some of us have said, these accusations (are so ludicrous that they) do not deserve an answer, if there is anyone that can be affected by these allegations, perhaps some will say that Hezbollah has not made any statement or denial or comment, and out of respect for reasoned minds and public opinion, I would like to stress and confirm today: I deny in a firm, categorical, absolute, final, total and definite way that Hezbollah has absolutely nothing in the port. There is no weapons warehouse, no missile stock, not a single rocket, a single rifle, a single grenade, a single bullet, (a single drop) of nitrate, there is nothing of all this, neither in a hangar nor outside a hangar, neither now nor in the past, there is nothing and there never has been anything. Nothing at all. There is absolutely none of that. Either way, the results of the investigation will be known soon, and everything will be proven and demonstrated, because such things cannot be hidden. If the blast in the harbor was due to missiles, ammunition, weapons or anything military, the investigation will (infallibly) reveal it. As for nitrate, we already know where it came from, who brought it into the country, how many years it was stored there, etc. All of this will be established and confirmed by the investigation. I don’t need more than this brief denial, because all I care about is that no one would give credit to these lies and fabrications (because of Hezbollah’s silence), and to denounce this enormous oppression inflicted on Hezbollah and the Resistance in Lebanon.

Of course, some opted for another wave (of slanderous accusations) when they saw that the majority of local media, commentary and data (favored another direction)… Even Trump, for example, in the White House, walked in this direction at first, talking about a possible bomb, or whatever, but the United States backed out. I have seen yesterday and today that the majority of international media and journalists have abandoned the hypothesis (of a stockpile of Hezbollah weapons), except for a few voices in Lebanon and the Arab world. Thus, those who launched (this slander) are now all alone (to support it), because all the media and all the voices in the world are anxious to keep a minimum of credibility, even if they are our enemies engaged in a political war against us; but when it turns out that the accusation is clearly a lie as shiny as the sun at its zenith, they (have enough good sense to) back off and conjure up other possibilities.

[Hezbollah has no control over the port and has never interfered in its affairs]

Another thing some people have said is that Hezbollah controls the port of Beirut, run it and supervise it, and that nothing can happen in the port without us knowing it, seeing it and giving our consent, etc. These are also lies, deception, forgery and great injustice (against us). We don’t run the port, we don’t control it, we don’t oversee it, we don’t interfere in its management or affairs, and we had no idea what was going on in the port and what was (stored) in the port. Some objected: “Is it possible that you are more aware of what is in the port of Haifa (reference to the stocks of ammonia that Nasrallah threatened to target in the event of Israeli strikes on Lebanese infrastructure) than what is in the port of Beirut?” Of course! Hezbollah’s primary responsibility is resistance (against Israel), and it is normal that Hezbollah be more aware of the port of Haifa than of the port of Beirut, which is not our responsibility, while the port of Haifa is our responsibility, because it is part of the deterrence equation and the defense strategy of Lebanon. But Hezbollah does not rule, control, interfere or know anything about what is going on in the port of Beirut, what is there and what is not there, how things are managed, it is a matter that we ignore and in which we do not interfere at all. But anyway, we will continue to hear this (second) wave (of accusations), these (false) allegations, because if the hangar does not belong to Hezbollah, we must find something else to blame Hezbollah for the tragedy. Because as far as these oppressors are concerned, the important thing is to place one responsibility or another on Hezbollah, and to look for a pretext, an allegation, a lie, a forgery (which allows it). I’ll ay no more on this issue.

[Defamation and the incitment to civil war must be punished severely]

Either way, investigations are ongoing, and the truths will emerge quickly, as this is not a question that will take time. I believe that the criminal, security, military and technical investigation will be able to quickly establish (with certainty) what was in the hangar, what was the nature of the explosives and how it was triggered, because at the technical level, this does not require much time, and the truths can be expected to come to light quickly.

When the truths come to light, I hope that the Lebanese public opinion, in all regions of Lebanon, because in our country there is a problem in terms of punishments and responsibilities, and in the name of freedom of opinion and expression, some (media and politicians) accuse, insult, abuse, oppress and lead the country to the brink of civil war, and (despite all this), ultimately, the Criminal Court imposes them a (mere) fine of 10 to 50 million Lebanese pounds (6,000 to 35,000 dollars), and it stops there. What I want to ask the Lebanese people is that they should themselves judge these media (and politicians) and condemn them. In what way? By ceasing to give them the least credit, the least importance, and by ceasing to consult them or to look at them. Because when we know that such media has no credibility, and that it is based on lies, manipulation and falsification, and that it participates in the battle that targets our country (to destroy it), then we must condemn them and turn our backs on them for good. And it is in my opinion the most important punishment (that can befall) these false and falsifying television stations which push to the civil war. This should not be taken lightly! This is not a (simple) political accusation. When somebody comes and tells hundreds of thousands of people that it is Hezbollah who is responsible for this carnage, all these deaths and injuries, all this destruction and all this displacement, what is it (if not pushing the country towards civil war)?

[A political instrumentalisation of the crisis]

On the other hand, still concerning the political scene, on the other hand we saw the political instrumentalisation of the incident, and all those who had a problem with so and so reopened this problem (in this tragic context), whether it is the Lebanese National Pact, the government or other political forces, and of course those who have a problem with us. Today, I do not want to open an argument with anyone, and we are putting off (the settling of accounts) for later because we remain attached to avoid settling political or personal disputes, out of ethical, humanitarian and national considerations. This is the time for solidarity, compassion, mutual aid, to heal wounds, to clear debris, to determine the fate of the missing, to treat the wounded, to help people return home, which is a vital priority. The country needs this kind of attitude and calm for several days in order to overcome the crisis. Then we can talk politics and settle accounts. Our position will be firm. And as for certain analyzes which compare the current situation with previous experiences (assassination of Hariri in 2005, etc.) or build hopes (on capitalizing on this tragedy for political gains) like so many of their past illusions, (remember that) for a long time, some people (Hezbollah adversaries) chased after mirages, only to realize that they were all mirages, but I will talk about that later. At this point, I don’t want to get into these considerations, and I don’t want to attack anyone. I’ll put it off until later. The priority is compassion, cooperation and mutual aid, to overcome these days of pain, suffering and humanitarian crisis. Let’s put all the differences aside and get back to political (disputes) later.

[Impartial investigation and exemplary punishment for all those responsible are essential to save Lebanon]

My last point, which is most important, is investigation and retribution. A huge, terrible and dangerous event has happened. First, there must be an investigation. His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister declared from the outset that there will be an impartial, resolute, firm, definitive and strong investigation, and that whoever will be identified as having a responsibility in this incident, by his actions or by negligence, corruption or insufficiency, will be held to account, whoever he is, big or small. Very well. It’s a good start. The Lebanese are now asking for action and effort (in this direction). I consider that faced with the shock of the event, there is national, popular and governmental unanimity, of all political parties and all deputies, etc., demanding that an exhaustive, frank, transparent, precise, fair and impartial investigation be carried out on this event, and that whoever bears any share of responsibility be judged and condemned in the most severe and exemplary manner —a fair punishment, of course (not a lynching). We are also among the voices that demand this loud and clear. We must not allow anyone to be covered or protected during the investigation, and truths to be withheld about anyone. It is not tolerable that the investigation and then the trial should be done in the “Lebanese fashion”, that is to say in this well-known way where one takes into account religious and sectarian calculations and balances. Anyone who was inadequate or negligent, instigated (this event) or engaged in corruption, has no religion or sect, as is the case with collaborators (of the Israeli enemy). They should be judged on the basis of what they have done, not on the basis of their sectarian, religious or political affiliation. Neither the investigation nor the trial should be conducted on a sectarian basis (requiring a precise ratio of Sunnis, Shiites or Christians). Whoever is in charge, whether they belong to several sects or are all from the same sect, whatever their political affiliation and group, whatever their family clan, truth and justice must prevail and determine the position, the investigation and the punishment.

[The investigation must be carried out by the Lebanese army, the only institution with unanimous support]

Likewise, with regard to the investigation, one hears calls, opinions and thoughts. I want to address certain political forces who are talking about the question of the investigation (and asking that it be done by international bodies, like Macron did). The official security authorities are quite capable of carrying out this investigation: they have the technical capacity and the required expertise, that is certain. But you have doubts about their reliability (and impartiality). I ask you a question: because sometimes, political settling of accounts (are flagrant), and the thread of lies is short. All the political forces in Lebanon affirm their confidence in the Lebanese army, the national institution (par excellence), guarantor of stability and security in the country, guarantor of sovereignty. We have heard many poetic praises to the glory of the Lebanese National Army. Very well. So let the Lebanese army take care of the investigation. I believe that the services of the Lebanese army have already been requested, the military police it seems to me. If the Lebanese army is an institution that enjoys the confidence of all Lebanese people, all Lebanese political forces and all Lebanese leaders, let us entrust it with the task of carrying out the investigation, since you say you trust it! At least let the Army do the investigation, since you trust them! Let them investigate and reveal the findings, so that everyone can see them.

There is yet another choice. Maybe some Lebanese have confidence in one body, but not in another. It’s possible. So let’s form a plural investigative committee, where each security body which you trust will be present, even if in my opinion charging the army is sufficient, independently of the other bodies which can have the trust of some but not of others. Everyone says there is unanimity around the Army, so let the Army investigate! Let the military conduct the investigation, and let them announce its findings to all people, not just the courts, on their own responsibility. Let them declare that they, the Lebanese army, with their expertise, their capacities and their means, carried out an impartial and transparent investigation, and these are their conclusions, O Lebanese people, concerning the explosion which took place in the Port of Beirut. This will suffice to manifest the truth for all to see.

[Lebanon’s survival as a genuine State is at stake]

In this regard, I would also like to add something very important. Just as the event is exceptional, today the attitude of the Lebanese State towards this event will be in our eyes decisive and fateful. This will determine the future of Lebanon. In what way? Today it is not about the President of the Republic, the National Pact or the government (which can come and go at the whim of elections and crises). It is about (the safeguard of) the Lebanese State, (which will depend) on the way in which the authorities will behave in this regard, be it the judicial body, the army, the security services, and even the Chamber of Deputies. It is about (the sustainability) of the (Lebanese) State and its institutions. Everyone has some responsibility for the trial and the punishment. The way to act in the face of such a catastrophe, which has affected all sects, all neighborhoods and all regions, and must in no way be tinged with sectarianism, religion or politicization, a national and humanitarian tragedy par excellence, the way State institutions will behave about it, as well as political leaders and the various political forces in the country, will have a fateful consequence for the whole country. What will this fateful consequence be? How this tragedy is dealt with will determine in the eyes of the Lebanese people —and in my eyes the verdict will be irrevocable— whether there is a (genuine) State in Lebanon or not. The second question (which will find an irrevocable answer) is about the hope of building a State (in Lebanon). Because I tell you quite frankly: if the Lebanese State and the Lebanese political forces —whether in power or in the opposition—, in such a case and such a cause, do not achieve a result in the investigation, and fail to punish (all those responsible), it means that the Lebanese people, political forces, State institutions (are bankrupt), and that there is no hope to build an (authentic) State. I don’t want anybody to despair, but I accurately describe the reality.

But we must (all) work so that this despair does not happen, in order to confirm, create and sow hope (to see a real State) among the Lebanese. Today, all the calls to fight against corruption that may have denounced a biased judge, a cowardly judge, a force that buried court files for such or such consideration, (are eclipsed by the magnitude of this case). We have to see a heavy punishment, because even if the investigation reveals that it was an intentional act or an aerial bombardment, the fact that this nitrate was stored in this way for 6 or 7 years clearly implies that there was a (criminal) negligence, inadequacy and corruption on the part of judges. This is where the war on corruption must (be a priority)! If in this case all those who call for a war on corruption, and we are part of it, if we are unable to do anything (to identify and punish all the culprits), it means that we are unable to do anything (forever). Game over. We will frankly declare to the Lebanese people that it is impossible to fight corruption, to fight neglect and insufficiency, and we will say, “O Lebanese people, you have no State and there is no hope of building an (authentic) State, so it’s up to you to see what you can do with yourselves”. To me, such is the magnitude of the question. So that people do not say later that it was a tragedy (without culprits) and forget about the matter, we make it clear that as far as we are concerned, it is impossible to forget this disaster, to move on and to allow let it be neglected. The whole truth must be revealed about this tragedy, and those responsible must be tried without any protection, whether political, sectarian or partisan. If that doesn’t happen, yes, I will consider that there is a crisis of the regime, a crisis of the State, maybe even a crisis of the (Lebanese) entity, some will be entitled to go this far. And some people try to ignore it, one way or another.

Therefore, I call on State officials, at all levels and in all authorities, to show the utmost seriousness and determination, whether to complete the investigation or to judge and blame, and chastise all those responsible for this tragedy. This is required so that the leaders and the political forces can give hope to the Lebanese people that there are authorities, a State and institutions, or at least that there is hope that a State be erected on the basis of truth, justice, transparency and the protection of the Lebanese, because sometimes the consequences of corruption, negligence and incompetence accumulate and become apparent after several years, and can be destructive, like what happened in this terrible event where in seconds, in a matter of seconds, tens of people were killed or missing, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands of families were affected and had to leave their homes… And some people say that God prevented an even greater tragedy, and that if this hangar had not been so close to the sea, and without such and such peculiarities of the site, if this same amount of nitrate had exploded in a different geographic configuration, perhaps the whole city (of Beirut) would have been destroyed. All this in an instant, in a matter of seconds, because of corruption, neglect and incompetence, and no one should say it is simply because of the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Never. We are talking about stocks that could completely destroy the capital and certain suburbs (in an instant). The blame cannot be blamed on the intricacies of bureaucracy.

[Lebanon must seize the opportunities of the crisis]

In conclusion —because I won’t be long today— I would like to finish with two points.

First point, in these days of tragedy, humanitarian catastrophe and sacrifice —because even today there have been sacrifices, martyrs, wounded, displaced persons, means of subsistence destroyed, an enormous weight added on the the Lebanese economy and the Lebanese State—, (we must not forget) that from the abyss of crises, from the matrix of crises, opportunities arise, whether they are internal, regional or international opportunities. The international attitude towards this event is an opportunity that the Lebanese must seize and take advantage of, both State and people, and they must not let these opportunities be lost because of their differences. We must seek out the opportunities that have been created by these crises and take advantage of them in a united manner and through cooperation.

[Hezbollah’s enemies must stop chasing mirages]

And the second and last point to conclude, is that I declare to all those who, from the first moment, launched a campaign against us, against the Resistance and against the Axis of Resistance, trying to take advantage of this tragedy, you will get nowhere, and I tell you that frankly and sincerely. I also declare to the masses (who support) the Resistance, and some of whom are perhaps worried, scared, wonder what is the (underlying) atmosphere, if this is a big regional or international plot , (I reassure them by reminding them) that the regional situation is very different (from what it was before), as is the international situation (much more favorable to us than ever). We are very different from what we were, and so is the (Axis of) the Resistance (we are stronger than ever), so there is really nothing to worry about (for us). These people (our adversaries) run after mirages, as they have always run after mirages. All of their choices have always been doomed to failure and defeat.

And I say this to our adversaries: just as you have been disappointed and defeated (in all your past undertakings: Special Tribunal for Lebanon, 2006 war, war in Syria, etc.), you will once again be disappointed and defeated. You will not achieve anything. This Resistance, by its credibility, its sincerity, by the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, by its (victorious) battles, by its positions, by its attitude and its behavior, and by its strength, its place in the country and in the region, is too large, too strong and too noble for it to be tainted by (the slanders) of certain oppressors, liars and falsifiers of the truth, who (constantly) incite sectarian rivalry, and who encourage civil war. They have always worked at this and have always failed, and they will fail again.

[Conclusion]

May God have mercy on the martyrs, and heal (promptly) the wounded, and I hope that by His Grace, the missing will be found alive; even if they are hurt God will heal them. May God grant patience and endurance to the families of the victims, as well as patience, relief and determination to all the families who have been affected and have suffered from this tragedy, be they our families in Beirut or in the suburbs of Beirut. With the Grace of God, through the mutual aid and solidarity of all, and the endurance of the State in its various institutions, as well as the efforts of political forces and the Lebanese people in its various categories, we will succeed in overcoming this ordeal and build a better tomorrow, and come out of it stronger and more resolute in our determination to persevere, endure and be victorious.

Peace be upon you, as well as the mercy of God and His blessings.

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

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