LEBANON | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

LEBANON

Sep 15 05:30

Iran's Resistance Film Festival Key to Undo Hegemony of US Films: Canadian Journalist

"...A Canadian journalist and political analyst described the 16th Resistance International Film Festival underway in Iran as important in the face of the hegemony of American films..."

Sep 14 06:02

90 UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contract coronavirus

Ninety UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokesman for the UNIFIL force said on Sunday, the first reported cases of the illness.

The confirmed cases were transferred to a special UNIFIL facility equipped to deal with COVID-19 cases, UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said in a statement.

Sep 09 01:42

Iran Seeks Revenge For Sabotage Attack On Natanz Nuclear Plant

Iran has identified the perpetrators of an act of sabotage at Natanz nuclear facility in the central part of the country in July, according to a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Behrouz Kamalvandi said that while the details of the act of sabotage are still being investigated, the security forces “have detected the agents [who committed the act of sabotage] as well as the motive, methods and manner of the sabotage.”

The AEOI for the first time described the July 2 incident at the Natanz nuclear facility as a sabotage attack on July 23, and since then pro-Iranian sources have repeatedly vowed to take revenge for the attack.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami announced that the country is working to expand its missile capabilities even further. In particular, the military is working on air-launched cruise missiles that would be able to hit targets in the range of up to 1,400km.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a companion piece, also from antiwar.com, with the following title:
Iran moves its centrifuge-manufacturing in Natanz deep Underground.

Sep 08 11:42

War of nerves: Israel begs Hezbollah to retaliate

As we explained in our article What happened —and didn’t happen— at the Israel-Lebanon border?, Israel has been on high alert at its northern border since its July 20 strike in Damascus that killed a Hezbollah fighter. Three similar experiences have proven, in 2014, 2015 and 2019, that a bloody retaliation is inevitable, and fear has paralyzed northern occupied Palestine for more than a month.

Sep 04 09:00

Lebanon's military finds 4 tons of ammonium nitrate near scene of Beirut port explosion

The Lebanese military discovered more than 4 tons of ammonium nitrate near Beirut's port on Thursday, a find that's a chilling reminder of the horrific explosion a month ago that killed 191 people.

Aug 31 06:19

Hezbollah Chief Vows Not to Stop Attacks Until Israeli Soldier Killed

Hezbollah will slaughter an Israeli soldier for every militant killed as a means of “deterrence,” the Iran-backed terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday.

“Let the Israelis understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen [jihadists], we will kill one of their soldiers,” he said in a televised speech. “We are committed to an equation. Our objective is not revenge but punishment and to establish a balance of deterrence.”

Recent weeks have seen an escalation in provocations by the Lebanon-based group, triggered by the alleged killing of Hezbollah commander Ali Kamel Mohsenwith on July 20 by the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, the IDF has thwarted at least three infiltrations as well as bringing down a Hezbollah drone flown into Israeli territory.

Aug 27 12:58

Israel fires phosphorous shells at Lebanon’s southern border: Media

Lebanese media say Israeli forces have fired phosphorous shells at areas along the country’s border with the occupied territories.

Lebanon’s al-Manar television channel announced late on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation forces had fired phosphorus bombs at Lebanese territories in the southern towns of Houla and Mays al-Jabal.

Witnesses also said Israel had fired dozens of illumination flares at border villages in southern Lebanon over what the regime claimed was a "security-related incident.”

Israeli media initially said the firing was amid concerns over a possible infiltration near Kibbutz Menara in the Upper Galilee area, located near the Lebanese border and the Israeli-occupied side of Golan.

The firing of more than 30 flares was followed by orders compelling Israeli settlers in five communities to stay at home.

Aug 27 10:10

Netanyahu vows 'forceful' response if more attacks from Lebanon

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel views with "great gravity" the latest flare-up on the Lebanese border and pledged a tough response in the event of further incidents.

"We shall react forcefully to any attack against us," Netanyahu said in a statement. "I advise Hezbollah not to test Israel's strength. Hezbollah is once again endangering Lebanon due to its aggression."

Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating month-long war in 2006.

Israel said earlier it had launched air strikes against Hezbollah observation posts in Lebanon after shots were fired from across the border towards its troops the previous evening.

The border flare-up came hours after Lebanon rejected an Israeli call to reform the UN peacekeeping force which patrols the border ahead of a UN Security Council vote to renew its mandate.

Aug 27 09:39

Lebanon to complain to UNSC about Israel border escalation

Lebanon says it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council about a recent Israeli attempt at escalation that saw the regime fire dozens of flares over the country’s border.

The country’s Supreme Defense Council announced the plan during a meeting chaired by Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday, Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) reported.

Early in the day, Israel’s Channel 12 said the regime had fired more than 30 of the projectiles into Lebanon.

Lebanon’s al-Manar television network, however, described the projectiles as phosphorous shells and identified the targeted areas as the southern Lebanese towns of Houla and Mays al-Jabal.

Aug 26 07:09

IDF: Security incident on Lebanese border; residents told to stay home for hours

The Israeli military reported an unspecified “security incident” along the Lebanese border on Tuesday night, ordering residents of the surrounding area to remain in their homes. (Update: Restrictions were lifted on Wednesday morning.)

The Israel Defense Forces fired flares into the sky around the northern Galilee, near the community of Manara, as the military searched the area to ensure that no one had breached the border after troops reportedly heard gunshots at an outpost along the frontier.

Aug 26 06:50

Lebanon: Inconvenient Truths About Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and the Shia ‘Street’

There’s been a lot of nonsense passing as truth in post-blast Lebanon reporting. Most centers around alarmism about Hezbollah’s nefarious influence, the West’s "opportunity" to destroy it, and the supposed struggle with Russia, China, and Iran for paternalist-preeminence in a country that isn’t ours (or theirs) to preside over in the first place.

Aug 20 05:49

Washington dangles aid offer for blast-devastated Lebanon, as long as Beirut dances to its tune

A senior US official has declared that no outside aid can fix Lebanon’s problems, yet in the same breath offered funds to alleviate the country’s problems - provided Beirut toe the American line.

In the aftermath of the devastating explosion that levelled much of Beirut and killed more than 200 people, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale has condemned Lebanon’s ruling elite, declaring that his government cannot fix the country’s problems from outside.

Aug 18 09:11

Beirut blast ‘100 percent Israeli job’: Advisor to Iran’s Leader

Iran’s former defense minister and current military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the recent deadly explosion in Beirut was “100 percent an Israeli job” meant to pit the Lebanese nation against Hezbollah and disarm the resistance movement.

In an interview with China’s Phoenix Television broadcast on Sunday, Hossein Dehqan stressed that nothing is expected from the Tel Aviv regime other than crime.

Asked about the August 4 blast in Beirut, Dehghan replied, “I think what happened is 100 percent an Israeli job” as it targeted food stocks.

“What is the message when you destroy the lifeline of a crisis-hit country that already has problems in this regard, except to put pressure on the people to create room for another purpose? In my opinion, this is 100 percent an Israeli job,” he added.

Dehqan also said that when the Israelis do something, they quickly make up a story to divert attention from it.

Aug 17 06:11

Ex-Mossad, IDF intel, think tank try to predict Lebanon’s future

The recent Beirut explosion and the resignation of the Lebanese government could mean that Israel will be faced with new and crucial political and defense policy choices, according to Boaz Ganor, the director of IDC Herzliya’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).

Aug 15 07:37

Escobar On Battleground Beirut: Western Colony Or Back To The East?

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times

Facing oh so timely color revolution-style “protests”, the current Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Diab has already resigned. Even before the port tragedy, Beirut had requested a $10 billion line of credit from the IMF – denied as long as trademark, neoliberal Washington consensus “reforms” were not implemented: radical slashing of public expenses, mass layoffs, across the board privatization.

Post-tragedy, President Emmanuel Macron – who’s not even capable of establishing a dialogue with the Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests in France – has opportunistically jumped in full neocolonial mode to pose as “savior” of Lebanon, as long as the same “reforms”, of course, are implemented.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Lebanese people deserve far better than what they have received from whatever the next government shapes up to be, and I hope they get a government who will put the needs and concerns of the Lebanese people first, second, and third.

Aug 13 22:34

Beirut blast: dozens of historic buildings in Lebanon capital at risk of collapse

About 60 historic buildings in Beirut are at risk of collapse following last week’s devastating port explosion, Lebanese officials have warned, as the UN’s cultural agency vowed to lead the international campaign for the recovery and restoration of Beirut’s heritage.

At least 8,000 buildings, many concentrated in the historic quarters of Gemayzeh and Mar Mikhael, were affected, said Sarkis Khoury, director general of antiquities at Lebanon’s Ministry of Culture, according to Unesco. Among them are some 640 historic buildings, approximately 60 of which were at risk of collapse, he said.....

Aug 13 09:09

The seven years of neglect, and 13 minutes of chaos, that destroyed Beirut

Residents across central Beirut were peering quizzically at a mushroom cloud of grey above their heads when the sky cracked open and a tidal wave of pressure roared through.

It was like sound itself had imploded in everyone’s ears. The world simultaneously broke apart and snapped shut. Bodies were pulled into the air and thrown across rooms and streets. The facades of apartment blocks, offices and hospitals were peeled off and chewed into pieces.

The explosion unleashed warring tornadoes of pressure that wrestled everything off the walls and the floors, spitting shrapnel that cut through the air like bullets. The power of the blast instantly eviscerated windows, smacked down buildings, crumpled steel shutters and crushed cars like a giant’s fist.

“It was like an atomic bomb,” says Hala Okeili, 33, a yoga instructor who was less than a mile away from the port when disaster struck. “I thought they had started a war and someone was bombing us.”

Aug 13 04:32

Mystery Deepens As Investigators Trace Ownership Of Chemicals That Blew Up In Beirut

Lebanese and international investigators have yet to identify the owner of the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which sat languishing in Beirut's port for seven years before it detonated amid an accidental warehouse fire on Aug.4, killing over 200 people and injuring more than 6,000.

It was estimated to be worth $700,000 by 2013 prices, but no one ever came forward to claim it. It's still a mystery even after Cypriot authorities at the request of Interpol late last week finally interviewed the man who originally abandoned Rhosus, a Russian businessman named Igor Grechushkin, during the ship's ill-fated intended trip to deliver the substance to an explosives maker in Mozambique.

Aug 13 04:29

With Beirut Reeling After Blast, US Prepares 'Maximum Pressure' Sanctions On Lebanon

Just a week after the August 4 Beirut port explosion the Trump administration is about to ramp up a "maximum economic pressure" campaign on Lebanon targeting Hezbollah and its allies.

With the country reeling in the wake of the deadly blast - its worst disaster going back to the destruction and death of the 2006 war - Washington is attempting to "drive a wedge between Hezbollah and its allies as part of a broader effort to contain the Shiite force backed by Tehran," as The Wall Street Journal writes.

Aug 11 12:37

Investigation: Excessive force used against Beirut protesters

Enraged over a massive blast in Beirut last week, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to call for accountability and the downfall of the country's ruling class.

A large number of protesters threw stones and other projectiles. They faced tear gas, rubber bullets, and birdshot fired from shotguns.

Aug 11 12:36

‘We could have saved more lives’: How Beirut firefighters were left to tackle port explosions blind

The firefighters who likely died in Beirut’s port explosions were not provided keys to the burning warehouse at the epicentre of the blast or shown its location, costing them precious minutes that could have saved lives, officials revealed on Monday.

Speaking to The Independent, fire department officials said the “unusual” lack of information during last Tuesday’s emergency call delayed the already ill-prepared crew, meaning they were not able to contain an initial smaller fire that likely detonated a stockpile of 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

Aug 10 11:19

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab announces resignation of entire government amid protests triggered by Beirut explosion

Lebanese PM Hassan Diab has officially announced the resignation of his entire government following days of protests sparked by the catastrophic explosion which levelled parts of Beirut last week.
Earlier, Health Minister Hamad Hassan confirmed to reporters that the resignation would be imminent.

Addressing the nation on Monday evening, Diab said he was with the people calling for responsibility for the "crime." Diab said the explosion was the result of endemic corruption.

I thought I could remedy this [corruption], but it is larger than the state and systemic...Therefore I announce the resignation of this government

Aug 09 08:41

Lebanese PM Calls for Early Elections, Blames Corruption for Beirut Blast Amid Massive Protests

Prime Minister Hassan Diab was appointed to his post in January 2020, succeeding Saad Hariri. Diab’s short time in office has been racked with instability from events mostly out of his control, starting with the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis, and culminating in the August 4 explosion in the port of Beirut.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called for new parliamentary elections, saying they are the only way to take the country out of its current crisis.

“We cannot get out of this structural crisis without holding early parliamentary elections,” the independent Sunni politician said Saturday in a televised address.

Diab clarified that he would be ready to continue carrying out his duties for the next two months until all of Lebanon’s political parties can agree on how to proceed.

Aug 09 08:40

Beirut Live Updates: Over 70 Security Officers Injured, One Dead in Clashes With Protesters

The protests are taking place in the aftermath of a huge blast at Beirut's port on Tuesday, which has killed at least 158 people and left some 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless.

Demonstrations resumed in the Lebanese capital earlier in the day, with protesters demanding the resignation of the government and social reforms. Protests have already been marred by violence, with demonstrators throwing projectiles and police firing tear gas.

The number of people injured in ongoing clashes between police and protesters in central Beirut has climbed to 490, according to local media reports.

Aug 09 08:39

Watch Grim Footage in Violence Plagued Downtown Beirut Amid Clashes Between Police, Protesters

The Lebanese capital descended into chaos on Saturday in the wake of Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut’s port, which killed at least 157 people, injured over 5,000 others and displaced 300,000 more. Demonstrators are calling for the nation’s government to resign.

A Sputnik Arabic correspondent in downtown Beirut has filmed dramatic footage of the situation in capital amid ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces.

Aug 09 08:34

‘Resign or hang’: Protesters in devastated Beirut turn fury on Lebanon’s leaders

Protesters in Beirut occupied government ministries, set fires and faced off against security forces Saturday in an outpouring of anger directed at Lebanon's leaders following the huge blast that ripped through the city earlier this week.

As the battles raged, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab delivered an address to the nation that left little doubt that the political establishment intends to dig in. He offered early elections and said he needed two more months to secure an agreement among the country's political factions.

Aug 09 08:34

Newly-emerged VIDEO shows how intense the Beirut explosion was, as search for more than 60 missing still underway

New footage shows the horrifying moment when Lebanon’s capital, Beirut was hit by a devastating shockwave from a deadly explosion at the city’s port. More than 60 people are still believed to be missing.

Rescue teams continue to clear the rubble in search of victims of the two blasts that devastated much of Beirut on Tuesday.

The short clip obtained by RT’s Ruptly video agency starts with bewildered residents staring at the giant mushroom cloud of thick smoke left by the first explosion at the capital’s port area. A few seconds later the second, more loud and powerful blast occurs, sending an intense shockwave far into the city streets.

Aug 08 12:10

Beirut police fire teargas at protesters demanding justice over explosion

Police in Beirut fired teargas and rubber bullets at thousands of people who had turned out to demand accountability for one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions the world has seen. They also shot live ammunition in the air, in an attempt to disperse the furious crowds.

Driven by anger at the corruption and incompetence that appears to have fostered Tuesday’s tragedy, people gathered from early afternoon in the city’s central Martyrs Square, where activists have erected a mock gallows for Lebanon’s top politicians.

The protesters chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime,” and held posters saying: “Leave, you are all killers.” More than 150 people died in the blast, about 6,000 were injured and at least 60 are still missing, according to the health ministry.

As the dust from the explosion settles, its political fallout is just beginning to be felt, reviving a protest movement that last year toppled the prime minister but left the system he presided over almost intact.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem for Lebanon is that without fundamental changes in the system, things for the Lebanese people will never get better, and something like this inconceivable catastrophe could well happen again.

I understand the desperation these people are feeling; it comes with voting and voting and voting, and nothing fundamentally changes; nothing with which we here in the US could ever identify, right?!?

Aug 08 07:57

Beirut explosion: former port worker says fireworks stored in hangar

Angry Lebanese plan major protest on Saturday, one day before team investigating explosion reports to cabinet.

Dozens of bags of fireworks were stored in the same hangar as thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port and may have been a decisive factor in igniting the explosive chemical compound that fuelled Tuesday’s huge explosion, a former port worker and other sources have told the Guardian.

As angry Lebanese plan a major protest in central Beirut on Saturday, scrutiny has focused on how 2,750 tonnes of the dangerous material could have been stored so close to residential neighbourhoods for years – despite repeated warnings of the risk it posed.

A former port worker, Yusuf Shehadi, told the Guardian he had been instructed by the Lebanese military to house the chemicals in warehouse 12 at the port despite repeated protests by other government departments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF what this guy is telling the Guardian is true, the Lebanese people have every right to be industrially ticked off at their government's, and military's, "magical thinking", even when they understood the dangers represented by this dangerous mix of fireworks, and ammonium nitrate.

And we have a very sad companion story, also out of antiwar.com, to which I hope the people of this planet will respond:

Lebanon faces 'grim' prospect of food, medical and housing shortages

Aug 07 05:53

False Alarm: Rocket Sirens Sound in Northern Israel Near Lebanon Border

Earlier, the Israeli air force struck facilities reportedly controlled by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after several explosive balloons had been launched from the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli military confirmed on Twitter that ?rocket alert sirens, which went off in northern Israel on Friday morning in the upper Galilee region, were a false alarm.

Aug 06 15:21

'It's crystal clear Hezbollah are in charge of the port and warehouse': Leading Lebanese politician blames terrorist group and 'corrupt' government for catastrophic explosion – as aerial images reveal blast even sank a cruise ship

A leading Lebanese opposition figure has blamed Hezbollah, along with the country's 'corrupt' government, for the devastating explosion in Beirut which capsized a cruise ship and has so far claimed 137 lives.

Bahaa Hariri, whose father, Prime Minister Rafiq, was assassinated in 2005, said last night everyone in the city knew Hezbollah controlled Beirut's port and airport and it was inconceivable that the authorities did not know the deadly ammonium nitrate was stored in a warehouse there.

Speaking for the first time Mr Hariri, 54, said: 'The question we have to ask is how come for six years this combustible material was allowed to remain in the middle of this city of two million people?'

Aug 06 08:12

Live Updates: Lebanon Declares Two-Week State of Emergency in Beirut

Many people have been injured after an explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon, causing significant damage to houses in the nearby area, LBC TV reports, citing the health minister.

A powerful explosion has taken place near a port in Beirut, Lebanon, a Sputnik correspondent has reported.

According to Sputnik’s correspondent, the explosion was preceded by a small pop, with black and white smoke appearing five minutes after.

The blast was so powerful that the windows of surrounding houses and shops were destroyed kilometres away from the epicentre, the report said.

Aug 06 08:11

Beirut Blast Brings Lebanon Years Back Amid Crucial Need for Aid – Cyprus Political Economist

At the moment of the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August, Professor Andreas Theophanous was at his home in Nicosia. His first thought was that there has been an earthquake. After checking online, he found out that Beirut had been shook by a large explosion.

Sputnik spoke to Mr Theophanous, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Nicosia and President of the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, to discuss the blast and its economic and political repercussions for Lebanon and the wider region.

Sputnik: Cyprus experienced a somewhat similar incident in 2011, when a large amount of ammunition and military explosives self-detonated at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base. What lessons has Cyprus learned from the tragedy that can be applied in the case of Beirut?

Aug 06 08:09

Russian Satellite Shows Dreadful View of Aftermath of Destructive Explosion in Beirut's Port

The massive explosion that hit the Lebanese capital's port damaged over half of Beirut’s buildings and roughly 300,000 people have been made homeless, the city’s Governor Marwan Abboud has said.

Russia's Roscosmos state corporation has shared satellite photos of Beirut's port before and after the apocalyptic explosion that destroyed much of the city. The photos were taken by Russia's Canopus-B satellite, developed by the All-Russia Research Institute of Electromechanics (NPP VNIIEM), and designed for remote sensing of the Earth.

Aug 06 08:08

Watch Beirut Blast Rattle Church in Chilling Footage

The Lebanese capital was rocked by a massive explosion on Tuesday that struck the city's port, leaving at least 80 dead and thousands injured. It also caused extensive damage to buildings, resulting in hundreds of people being left homeless.

A horrifying video has emerged online that shows a church mass in Beirut be interrupted by a powerful blast in the city's port, the shockwave of which caused the windows of the building to shatter.

In the footage, the priest is seen performing a ritual in front of the altar when the lights go out and the building begins to shake. A few seconds later, the church windows are blown in, causing the priest and the congregation to flee for their lives.

Aug 06 08:04

The cargo that blew up Beirut: Sailor REVEALS troubled history of doomed ship that brought TONS of explosive fertilizer to Lebanon

The explosion that devastated Beirut has been linked to a mishandled ammonium nitrate cargo confiscated from a foreign ship. Now a former crew member tells RT the vessel, owned by a dodgy businessman, was a disaster in the making.

Some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – a highly explosive fertilizer – went up in a terrifying blast in Beirut on Tuesday, Lebanese officials have said. The mushroom-shaped explosion left a wasteland where the city port stood, turning the surrounding buildings into ruins and killing more than 100 people. Thousands of others have been injured in a kilometers-wide radius. Personnel from the port authorities have been arrested while a probe has been launched into the mishandling of the dangerous material. But how did this ludicrously large cache end up in the Beirut port in the first place?

Aug 06 07:57

Iran sends humanitarian aid to Lebanon after blast

Iran sent its first and second batch of medical and humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, after a massive explosion in Beirut which has killed more than 100 people and wounded over four thousand others so far. The blast damaged buildings across the capital , sending a giant cloud into the sky.

The number of fatalities and those wounded is expected to rise as search and rescue operations are still underway. Some reports say up to 300,000 have also been left homeless by Beirut explosion.

Speaking to Press TV, the Iranian Red Crescent Society officials said they will send more humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in the coming days and by any means necessary. They also said they have offered the option of treating some of the injured in the Iranian hospitals.

22-member medical team, including general practitioners, orthopedists, anesthesiologists, operating room specialists, pediatricians, neurologists, nurses and field hospital experts were also dispatched to Lebanon on Wednesday.

Aug 06 07:47

After blast, Lebanon has less than a month's grain reserves

Lebanon’s main grain silo at Beirut port was destroyed in a blast, leaving the nation with less than a month’s reserves of the grain but enough flour to avoid a crisis, the economy minister said on Wednesday.

Aug 06 07:46

Beirut explosion leaves 250,000 homeless, hospital decimated

Some 250,000 people have become homeless and a hospital was destroyed in an explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, the city's governor Marwan Abboud told the local MTV Channel.

Aug 06 07:42

War Drums Beat In The Middle East After Thousands Of Casualties In Beirut Explosion

Initial reports suggested that the explosion may have been caused by an incident in the firework storage area. However, later, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which is typically used as an agricultural fertilizer, had been stored for six years at a port warehouse without proper safety measures, “endangering the safety of citizens.”

This statement was backed by General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, who said a “highly explosive material” had been confiscated years earlier and stored in the warehouse, just minutes’ walk from Beirut’s shopping and nightlife districts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF there was ever a time for some "adults in the geopolitical room" (and guys, you KNOW who you are!!) to be working the phones to ratchet down the tensions here, now is bloody well the time for them to get to it.

And folks, regarding a potential de-escalation of tensions, don't look at all to President Trump for help; he is way too enmeshed in his own pre-election issues to care.

Aug 06 05:10

'Catastrophe' in Beirut: Death toll rises, 200,000 homeless as blast leaves city in disarray

A huge rescue operation and an international aid effort got underway Wednesday, less than 24 hours after much of Beirut was buried by rubble and choked by smoke in a colossal explosion Tuesday afternoon.

Lebanese health minister Hamad Hasan said 135 people have been killed and 5,000 injured in the explosion. Dozens of people are still missing.

Those figures look set to rise with hospitals overwhelmed and victims still trapped underneath debris.

"There is no word to describe the horror of the catastrophe that occurred in Beirut yesterday," Lebanese President Michel Aoun said during an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the Lebanese News Agency reported.

Aug 06 04:55

Trump walks back claim that Beirut explosion was caused by bomb

President Trump on Wednesday hedged his comments from the previous day that the massive explosion in Beirut was caused by a bomb – saying that the blast that left more than 70 dead and thousands injured could have been an accident.

Aug 05 13:46

Breaking: Israel Bombed Beirut?

A confidential highly-informed Israeli source has told me that Israel caused the massive explosion at the Beirut port earlier today which killed over 100 and injured thousands. The bombing also virtually leveled the port itself and caused massive damage throughout the city.

Israel targeted a Hezbollah weapons depot at the port and planned to destroy it with an explosive device. Tragically, Israeli intelligence did not perform due diligence on their target. Thus they did not know (or if they did know, they didn’t care) that there were 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a next door warehouse. The explosion at the arms depot ignited the next door warehouse, causing the catastrophe that resulted.

It is, of course, unconscionable that Israeli agents did not determine everything about their target including what was in its immediate vicinity. The tragedy Israel has wreaked is a war crime of immense magnitude.

Aug 05 13:15

Ex-Israel MK declares Lebanon blast as 'gift from God'

Former Israeli Member of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin gleefully hailed yesterday’s devastating explosion in Beirut as a “gift” from God in time for the Jewish festival Tu B’Av.

Feiglin posted on Facebook that he thanked God that the deadly blast took place in Beirut, and claimed it was just in time for Tu B’Av, which is a festival of love, and in modern times has become a romantic Jewish holiday for dancing, handing out flowers and singing.

“Today is Tu B’Av, a day of joy, and a true and huge thank you to G-d and all the geniuses and heroes really (!) who organized for us this wonderful celebration in honor of the day of love.”

Aug 05 12:45

Lebanese port officials are put under house arrest over Russian businessman's abandoned ammonium nitrate which blew up Beirut: String of warnings were made over chemicals impounded six years ago as astonishing images show it stored at the dock's hangar 12

Lebanon has placed every official responsible for the security of Beirut's port for the last six years under house arrest as it investigates a massive explosion which has devastated the city.

The country's political leaders vowed those responsible for the tragedy would 'pay the price', but customs officials pointed the finger of blame back at them - saying they were repeatedly warned of the danger but failed to act.

It came as an astonishing photo emerged, purporting to show the dock's Warehouse 12 filled with ammonium nitrate - with the highly explosive chemical stored in simple construction sacks with no other protection in place.

Aug 05 08:07

Trump Calls Beirut Explosion "A Terrible Attack - A Bomb Of Some Kind" After Briefed By Generals

Lebanon's health ministry has raised the death toll to over 73 killed, including 3,700 wounded, after late afternoon a blast centered on Beirut's port unleashed a massive seismic shock and explosion that leveled an entire district of the city and was felt as far away as Cyprus in the Mediterranean.

Later in the evening Lebanon's Prime Minister announced that the explosions were caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse. This came on the heels of a formal Israeli denial that it had anything to do with it, which also seemed be echoed by Hezbollah officials.

With the official consensus growing that the massive explosion was horrible accident due to neglect, President Trump's words on the tragedy once again presented that it could be something more. He said early in the evening that after meeting with top military commanders: "They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind."

Aug 05 02:21

Trump says Lebanese explosion was caused by 'a bomb of some kind'

President Trump on Tuesday said that U.S. military generals have informed him that the massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut earlier in the day – leaving more than 70 people dead – was likely caused by a bomb.

“I've met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that this was not some kind of manufacturing explosion type of an event,” Trump said. “They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind.”

The blast flattened much of the city's port, while damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. Along with the more than 70 deaths, at least 3,000 others were injured.

Aug 04 11:05

Beirut explosion: footage shows massive blast shaking Lebanon's capital

The second clip appears to show fireworks.

Aug 04 11:05

Powerful Explosion Occurs Near Beirut's Port

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lebanon is saying this was a fireworks warehouse that went up.

Aug 04 10:39

Beirut "Like A War Zone": Terrifying Mystery Blast Shockwave Filmed Over City

It appears confirmed that the source of the massive blast that rocked Beirut and grabbed the world's attention was centered on a fireworks depot.

Jul 30 14:12

Israel Moves Advanced Missile Systems To Lebanese Border On Fears Of Hezbollah Attack

Via AlMasdarNews.com

A Hebrew-language channel stated on Wednesday night that the Israeli army expects an attack by Hezbollah during the Islamic Eid Al-Adha holiday.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, Kann, reported that Israel fears a “second attack” by Hezbollah in the next 48 hours, that is, during the celebration of Eid al-Adha.

The news channel reported that, based on this expectation, the Israeli army has strengthened its forces in the north near the Lebanese and Syrian borders, deploying advanced missile systems, special rockets and intelligence-gathering capabilities, for fear of a reaction from Hezbollah, after one of its members was killed in an airstrike on July 20th in Damascus.

The Israel-based news channel quoted a “Lebanese diplomat in Beirut” – whom they did not name – as saying that Hezbollah does not want a comprehensive escalation with Israel, but that it is looking for a real retaliation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Is this for real, or is the Israeli government broadcasting it is preparing to try a "false flag" against Hezbollah?!?

False flags are a very common form of Israeli statecraft; I am hoping (and praying) for calm, but I don't know that this will happen, looking at the level of distraction Netanyahu needs to misdirect Israeli citizens away from looking at the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and his own corruption trial problems.

Jul 29 05:58

Israeli Army Reports Detecting Suspicious Activity on Border With Lebanon

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said on Tuesday they had detected individuals deemed suspicious on the border with Lebanon, dubbed the "Blue Line" to mark the color of helmets of UN peacekeepers who were deployed there after Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

On Monday, the Israeli forces said they had thwarted an attempt by what they called "terrorists" to infiltrate the country, referring to Lebanon's Hezbollah paramilitary troops.

"Several suspects were spotted at a security fence along the Blue Line in Western Galilee shortly ago," the IDF said in a press release.

Jul 28 11:15

Heightened Tensions Along the Lebanese/Israeli Border

Along with Iranian military advisors and Russian air support, Hezbollah fighters are involved in aiding Syria combat US aggression, including its ISIS, al-Nusra and other jihadist proxies.

Israeli airstrikes in Syria killed Hezbollah fighters before. Its leadership vowed to retaliate against Israeli aggression when any of its personnel are harmed.

For days, tensions along the Lebanese/Israeli border remain heightened.

On Monday, Lebanese Al-Manar television reported the following:

Israel’s IDF “claim(ed) that “Hezbollah attempted to carry out an infiltration operation and that the Israeli army frustrated the attack and killed a number of its fighters,” adding:

“Hezbollah then issued a statement to refute the Israeli claims and stress that the Israeli army unilaterally opened fire for fear of Hezbollah response to the killing of the martyr Ali Mohsen in the latest raid on Syria.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It feels as though the entire Middle East is about to be set ablaze; unfortunately, the guys striking the match are Prime Minister Netanyahu's government in Tel Aviv, and their enablers in this US administration and Congress. After all, it's not THEIR kids who will get killed and maimed for life, in a campaign against Lebanon and Iran.

And here is a companion story, also from globalresearch.ca, which should catch everyone's attention:

Military Escalation in the Middle East: Is Israel Planning a Multi-Front War against Its Arab Neighbors?

Jul 28 11:07

The Beginning of the U.S.-Iran Hot War?

“Americans should not blame others in vain,” Iranian general Esmail Gha’ani has declared, “this is a fire they have lit and today has engulfed them.” Gha’ani, a veteran military commander who heads the Quds Force, the branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responsible for extraterritorial operations, was speaking about the massive fire that has overtaken a U.S. navy vessel in San Diego.

The provocative remarks come amid signs of a new level of covert warfare being waged against Iran. The country has been beset by its own mysterious infernos and explosions, including at parks, medical clinics, power plants, ports, factories, a missile production compound, and a nuclear facility. The latter has been attributed to Israel by a source speaking to the New York Times. The incidents also come as the Trump administration has greenlighted the CIA to target Iranian infrastructure with cyberweapons.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump has utterly no clue of what he might unleash, if he either he joins with Israel to attack Iran, or attacks Iran directly, for which Netanyahu has been constantly been agitating.

Am I the only human being on this planet without SMD (selective memory disorder) who remembers what Moscow's envoy said at a diplomatic conference to his Iranian counterpart last summer, when the guy made the statement: Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says The article goes on to state the following:
"“Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow.

When asked if Russia was ready to provide material support to Iran if the U.S. attacks it, Kabulov said that “specific actions are a question for the Russian president.”

“But it’s not just Russia, many other countries sympathize and empathize with Iran,” the Kommersant business daily quoted him as saying. “Tehran won’t be alone if the U.S., God forbid, takes wild and irresponsible actions against it."

War with Russia over Iran?!? You have GOT to be flipping kidding me!!

However,unfortunately, just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government and military could possibly do, is utterly no guarantee that they won't do it.

Next Monday is 3 August; we're barely 90 days out until the next election, and between the Covid 19 pandemic and the economic depression with which the country is dealing, President Trump is losing the window on gaining another term in office, and rapidly.

Animals are at their most dangerous when wounded, and between the "Nothing-gate/Russiagate", and his current woes in office, the President is a very definitely geopolitically wounded politician.

He may think that his only card, right now, he's left with, is to play "the war card" against Iran, and that this country, and the world, will line up behind him solidly on this; the man could not possibly be further from the truth.

As long as I have breath, and it does not become illegal, through the suspension of the Constitution and Bill of Rights as a "wartime measure", I will continue to advise President Trump, and this administration, against this recklessly dangerous path of action.

And there is a companion article, from sputniknews.com today, with the headline reading:

This article goes on to state: "At the same time, Washington has repeatedly ignored Tehran's calls for the US to stop sending its carriers to the Gulf and its warnings that such actions only contribute to the escalation of tensions in the region, not to security.

The US Navy has criticised Iran’s military drills that are taking place along the waterways in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, adding that it is monitoring them closely. The American military further called the war games an Iranian attempt "to intimidate and coerce", without clarifying whom or for what purpose.

"We are aware of the Iranian exercise involving attacking a mock-up of a vessel similar to a motionless aircraft carrier [...] We are always watchful of this type of irresponsible and reckless behaviour by Iran in the vicinity of busy international waterways", US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich said in an interview with AFP."

Folks, something wicked this way comes.

Jul 28 10:05

‘Do not repeat this mistake:’ Israel’s Netanyahu threatens Hezbollah after group denies ‘infiltration’ at Lebanon border

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Lebanese Hezbollah fighters not to test his military, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz has promised a powerful response, after a bout of shelling on the Israel/Lebanon border.

Israeli forces opened fire on the disputed Shebaa Farms area along the Lebanese border on Monday, responding to what they said was an infiltration attempt by a “terrorist cell.” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops say they blasted the infiltrators with machine guns and tanks, and managed to thwart the incursion.

Although witnesses from Lebanon contacted by Reuters verified the Israeli story, Hezbollah officials denied an infiltration attempt, saying in a statement that Israeli forces had taken “nervous action” and fired upon the Shebaa Farms themselves.

Jul 28 06:15

Watch: Israel Reinforces Troops Near Golan Heights Fearing Hezbollah Retaliation To Strikes On Syria

Submitted by South Front,

The Middle East is rapidly moving towards a new round of confrontation between the US-Israeli bloc and Iranian-led Shiite forces...

On July 26, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deployed M109 Doher howitzers near the separation line with Lebanon. The deployment of howitzers became the latest in a series of broad measures employed by the IDF near Lebanon recently. Earlier, the 13th “Gideon” Infantry Battalion of the IDF’s elite 1st “Golani” Brigade reinforced troops near the border. The number Israeli Hermes 450 drone reconnaissance flights also significantly increased over southern Lebanon. Additional IDF units were also deployed in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. On top of this, the IDF announced that it will hold the Lebanese government responsible “for all actions emanating from Lebanon”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the election-year turmoil here in the US, coupled with the broader issues of Covid 19 and riots in major metropolitan areas of the US, Netanyahu feels he can "get away with" major provocations in Syria and Lebanon, and that President Trump will do utterly nothing to stop him; the world is in for a profoundly dangerous set of moments which may well not resolve themselves until far after the US elections in November.

Jul 28 04:10

Israel & Hezbollah Exchange Fire Across Lebanese Border In Major Clash

Just this past weekend, on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put Syria and Lebanon on notice, saying that any and all attacks for provocations along the border would result in a military response.

Netanyahu further outlined that the governments would bear responsibility. The remarks made at his weekly cabinet meeting seemed particularly aimed at Hezbollah. He said this was part of Israel's “consistent policy to not allow Iran to entrench militarily on our northern border” — this in reference to Lebanese Hezbollah, which is widely seen as but an arm of the Ayatollah. And on Monday there are already reports of shots fired along the Israeli-Lebanese border, something that's been somewhat rare of late. The AP reports:

Jul 27 08:14

Israeli surveillance drones violate Lebanese airspace over two dozen times

Lebanon says Israeli reconnaissance drones have entered the country’s airspace and flown over the southern parts of the Arab country more than two dozen times in flagrant violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

The Lebanese Army said in a statement that the unmanned aerial aircraft crossed into Lebanese skies at around 5:50 a.m. local time (0250 GMT) on Friday and left at around 12 p.m. They hovered over southern Lebanon and conducted 20 missions.

The statement added that Israeli aircraft violated Lebanese airspace 9 times on Saturday.

All violations were in a circular flight format and are being monitored in coordination with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), it said.

“Enemy forces have flown unmanned air vehicles with observational purposes, and flown them over the southern Hula province," Lebanon's official National News Agency reported.

Jun 30 08:46

Bread queues return to Lebanon as protests surge over economy crisis

People in Lebanon are once again queuing in front of bakeries in the hopes of getting their much needed share of bread, as the country spirals into an unprecedented economic crisis.
The national currency has collapsed, leading the Lebanese pound to lose more than 70 percent of its value - pompting renewed protests across the country on Sunday night.

Over the past few days, videos have surfaced on social media of Lebanese citizens crowding bakeries, and even bread trucks, to battle for loaves of bread.

Furnace owners have refrained from selling their bread to shops due to alleged high production costs according to fluctuation in the currency’s exchange rates, Arabi21 reported.

Activists in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city north of Beirut, called for protests on Monday, which have resulted in the closure of shops.

Local residents tweeted images of the onece-bustling markets empty, with the stalls removed and shuttered shop fronts on Monday morning.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a recipe for utter disaster, and a potential revolution, if the Lebanese government cannot fix this, and quickly.

Jun 30 06:35

US-Iran Confrontation in Lebanon: Counter-measures and Escalation

It’s looking like a long, hot summer, as tensions increase between Washington and Tehran, US elections approach, and the “maximum pressure” exercised by the US escalates. After Syria, it is Lebanon’s turn. The country’s financial failure has reached the point of no return. The US is trying to attribute the consequences of the severe economic situation to Hezbollah, the strongest of Iran’s allies even if US officials claim otherwise. However, Iran and its ally have resolved that the Lebanese society to which Hezbollah belongs will not be bullied or pushed into famine. No one should be surprised to see Iranian ships docking at Latakia harbour to supply Lebanon with much needed food, energy and medical supplies.

Jun 29 07:50

Israel Is On Brink Of War With Iran & Hezbollah: Top Israeli Officials

The former Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah are pushing Israel to the brink.

In an interview with Israel's national Hebrew-language daily newspaper Maariv on Friday, the former Israeli Defense Minister had expressed his concern about Iran possessing enriched uranium, which he said is eight times the permitted amount according to the nuclear agreement, and that a month ago Iran successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit.

Jun 29 06:55

ISRAEL IS ON BRINK OF WAR WITH IRAN & HEZBOLLAH

Jun 17 06:51

Hezbollah not keen to topple govt: Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said during a televised speech Tuesday that new US sanctions would aim to starve Lebanon, stressing that the party would not submit to the latest “American move.”

Apr 22 03:28

Israel Kills Nine in Attack Near Syria’s Historic Palmyra

At least nine people were killed Tuesday in Israeli attacks on a Syrian military base near the historic city of Palmyra. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the death toll, saying six of the slain were “not Syrian,” but were believed to be Lebanese.

Israeli attacks in Syria are common enough, and often target foreign Shi’ites, who irrespective of their country of origin will be labeled “Iranian” by Israeli officials. The Syrian government confirmed the attack, saying they’d intercepted several Israeli missiles.

Palmyra is not a major site of combat lately, so it’s not clear why Israel would attack it in the first place. Palmyra is an important historical site, and after years of complaining of damage ISIS might do there, its likely there will be a backlash if Israel damages anything as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how long Russia's President Putin will allow these Israeli targeted assassinations to continue; I would like to hope, not much longer.

Mar 17 05:25

Outrage over Lebanese court acquittal of notorious Israeli agent ‘under US pressure’

A Beirut tribunal has dropped charges against an Israeli collaborator accused of overseeing the torture and killing of captives at a prison facility in southern Lebanon some two decades ago, in a verdict that the Hezbollah resistance movement and rights activists say was issued under pressure from the US.

Amer Fakhoury — a dual Lebanese-American national — was accused of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and torture while presiding over Khiam Prison run by the Israeli-sponsored South Lebanon Army (SLA)militia group — formed by army defectors — during the regime’s 1982-2000 occupation of southern Lebanon.

Widely known as the ‘Butcher of Khiam,’ he fled Lebanon along with hundreds of other SLA members after the Lebanese army, backed by Hezbollah, drove Israel out of the country in 2000.

Mar 09 05:02

Lebanon Announces Default On $1.2BN Debt Payment In Historical First

Lebanon announced Saturday it will default on its Eurobond debt for the first time in its history. The protest-racked country has seen a recent change in government, banks opened for merely about half of the past few months, strict controls on hard currency withdrawals and transfers abroad amid a liquidity crisis, a plummeting Lebanese Lira since October, a run on dollars, and crushing public debt which has lately blown up to nearly 170% of its gross domestic product (now about $89.5 billion).

Prime Minister Hassan Diab confirmed in public statements the bond payment of $1.2 billion due on Monday will not be paid: “The debt has become bigger than Lebanon can bear, and bigger than the ability of the Lebanese to meet interest payments,” he said in a televised address. “We are paying the price for the mistakes of the past years. Must we bequeath them to our children?”

Mar 06 06:49

DOD LINGUIST ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE FOR SHARING IDENTITIES OF US SPIES WITH HEZBOLLAH

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE

A US department of defense employee has been arrested and charged with transmitting "highly sensitive classified" information to a foreign national with ties to the Lebanese Islamist militant group Hezbollah.

According to US federal prosecutors, 61-year-old Mariam Taha Thompson told a Lebanese man the names of foreign informants, as well as details of the information they provided to the United States - revealing some of the government’s most closely held secrets, according to the New York Times. Officials say Ms. Thompson endangered the lives of both sources and military personnel.

She was arrested at an overseas US base on February 27.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a couple of questions which immediately spring to mind, following this arrest:

1. What in heaven's name possessed this woman to do such a thing?!?

2. Why was it that the DOD was only able to make this arrest well after "the horse was already out of the barn", as my late maternal grandmother was fond of saying?!? Why were the DOD's concerns not addressed until after the damage was already done?!?

3. And the dramatic "find" of a note under her mattress, when she had to understand that her personal effects would be the most immediately searched?!?

Forgive me, but something here does not pass the "smell test". I have to wonder if this woman is not being "flipped" by the DOD, in search of a far larger, more menacing threat to American security, OR, as is frequently the case with FBI stings, they have demonized her, and made her appear to be far more threatening than she ever was, to prove to a rather skeptical American public, that they are "doing something" to prevent terrorism from striking at the American heartland.

Mar 05 13:16

Ending the Myth that Trump Is Ending the Wars: Trump has sent more new troops to the Middle East than he’s bringing home from Afghanistan.

There was this moment during the State of the Union Address that I can’t stop thinking about.

When President Trump spoke to army wife Amy Wiliams during his speech and told her he’d arranged her husband’s return home from Afghanistan as a “special surprise,” it was difficult to watch.

Sgt. Townsend Williams then descended the stairs to reunite with his family after seven months of deployment. Congress cheered. A military family’s reunion — with its complicated feelings that are typically handled in private or on a base — was used for an applause line.

That gimmick was the only glimpse many Americans will get of the human reality of our wars overseas. There is no such window into the lives or suffering of people in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, or beyond.

That’s unacceptable. And so is the myth that Trump is actually ending the wars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given that many of the Trump-Centric Evangelicals in this country are also "End of Time Believers", who believe that it will be only after a massive world war (which humankind MUST bring about) that Jesus' "Second Coming" will happen, coupled with the push by the military industrial complex for wars and more wars, I see both the chances for bringing about the end of existing wars, and not bringing about new ones, is statistically very slight for this administration.

And the hell of it it is, once the Dementocrats finally have nailed down their choices for President and Vice President, whoever they may be, we are still looking at a party which will never "cross the line" in terms of questioning if such a war is necessary, and if there might possibly be other alternatives which would see the US get what it wanted to get, geopolitically, without firing a shot.

So, as usual, at the end of the day, the American voter has utterly zero choice in finding a non-warmonger as their presidential or vice-presidential candidate, because no matter who they vote for, every vote in this Kabuki-like charade, is a vote for more war.; it pains me to say this, but if people are honestly, dispassionately looking at the American Presidential political process, this is the butt-ugly truth, no matter how you describe it.

Feb 28 05:45

The War Scenario Between Israel and Hezbollah

Sources within the “Axis of the Resistance” believe the next battle between Hezbollah and Israel, if ever it takes place, would be “controlled and not sporadic, with a focus on specific military objectives without damaging the infrastructure, on both sides”.

The sources consider Gaza as a precedent. In Gaza Palestinians and Israelis have fought many recent battles that lasted only a few days in which the objectives bombed were purely military. This is a new rule of engagement (ROE) regulating conflict between the belligerents. When Israel hits a non-military target, the Palestinian resistance responds by hitting a similar non-military target in Israel. The lesson extracted from the new ROE between Israel and the Palestinians is that every time exchanges of bombing go out of control, both sides understand they have to bring it back to an acceptable and equitable level, to limit damage and keep such mutual attacks from targeting civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Hezbollah seems to be discounting, and this is a highly dangerous, if not a thoroughly naive position for Hezbollah to embrace, is that there is zero guarantee that Israel will not deploy chemical/biological weapons against it to "enhance" its capabilities on the ground, no matter how many missiles Hezbollah may have with which to do damage to Israel.

Feb 28 04:55

Beyond Israeli Elections: Israel at the Cusp of a Bleak Era

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, must be channeling the spirit of Houdini as he continues to plot his escape from one of the most convoluted political dilemmas in Israel’s history.

It is no secret that Netanyahu’s political behavior is almost entirely shaped by his desire to survive in office for as long as possible in order to avoid possible jail time. But how long will the Israeli escape artist manage to survive, now that a date for his trial has already been set?

After months of bargaining with the country’s political elite, on one hand, and pleading to his own right-wing constituency on the other, Netanyahu has failed to create the necessary momentum that would render him immune from prosecution and secure his position at the helm of Israeli politics.

After failing to form a government following the April elections, Netanyahu has masterfully linked his fate as a Prime Minister to all of Israel’s affairs, internal and external.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is why Netanyahu desperately needs a "misdirection", to deflect Israeli anger at his failure to deliver a government twice, not to mention his upcoming corruption trial.

The man is certainly not above creating a "false flag" in order to do this, let's say, creating a false flag strike against Saudi and US military personnel in Saudi Arabia, then blaming it on Iran.

Israeli elections start this Monday, and trust me; the man will do everything in his power, to stay in power, and present himself as "untouchable" in these ongoing corruption investigations.

The big question for Israeli voters is, how much is he actually willing to risk in terms of Israel's security, in order to attempt to pull something like this off?!?

I must tell you, I wouldn't want to have to be an Israeli voter, pondering that question right now.

Feb 17 07:41

WITH SANDERS SURGING IN THE POLLS, ISRAEL LOBBY SPENDS BIG BUCKS TO SINK HIS CHANCES IN NEVADA

SOURCE: RT
After emerging as the Democratic frontrunner in wake of Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, Bernie Sanders heads to Nevada leading in polls but facing new opposition: the Israel lobby and its vast cash reserves.
Despite being pipped at the post in Iowa by Pete Buttigieg (with the help of a malfunctioning voting app, his supporters claim), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came out victorious in last week’s New Hampshire primary. With the Nevada primary just a week away, a Morning Consult poll published this week put the progressive senator ten points ahead of Joe Biden, the former vice president and until now, the supposed frontrunner for the 2020 nomination.

While the news has energized Sanders’ supporters, it’s also motivated mainstream Democrats and establishment talking heads, who’ve taken to slamming Sanders as a “communist,” and a “left-wing version of Trump.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was a perfectly predictable ploy on the part of Tel Aviv, particularly with Bloomberg and Hillary jumping into the race, as the US Democratic Party's "Gruesome Twosome"; these candidates are believed by Tel Aviv to be far more bullish on Israeli hegemony in the Middle East than anyone else the Democratic Party can produce, even if such a presidency must necessarily result in a US return to the draft, and more endless wars of aggression against Iran; Lebanon; Syria; and ultimately, Russia.

Remember; it will never be Bloomberg's or Clinton's kids or grandkids who will be drafted, killed, or maimed for life, to support US financial global hegemony, or Israel's self-proclaimed hegemony over the entire Middle East.

Feb 11 12:25

Vanessa Beeley Interview - Turkey & US Openly Protect Extremists In Idlib As Lies Begin To Crumble

Joining me today is Vanessa Beeley, an independent investigative journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, and has covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. In 2018, Vanessa was named one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. In 2019, Vanessa was among the recipients of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromising integrity in journalism. Today we are discussing Syria, Idlib and the wall of propaganda surrounding all of it.

Feb 10 03:53

Hezbollah Fires Anti-Aircraft Missile At Israeli Drone Over Lebanese Airspace

A major incident has unfolded along Lebanon's southern border with Israel on Thursday involving an Israeli drone. Hours ago Lebanese media reported that Hezbollah operatives shot down an Israeli aircraft, identified as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), likely with an anti aircraft missile, specifically a MANPAD (or man-portable air-defense system).

Feb 09 04:25

'War Games in the North': Is Israel Bracing for New Conflict Involving Syria, Lebanon & Iran

On 28-30 January, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held its 13th annual international conference entitled "Strategic Assessment for Israel: A Look at the Coming Decade." INSS researcher, Retired Brig. General Dr Meir Elran, has shed light on Israel's strategic goals and outlined Israel's vision of Russia's role in the Middle East.

"War Games in the North" came as part of the INSS annual conference in the Smolarz Auditorium at Tel Aviv University with Israeli, American and Russian participants discussing various scenarios of a potential development of a conflict in the Middle East, involving Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Hezbollah and Iran and global players – the United States and Russia.

The participants in the military simulation came to the conclusion that all of the actors of the hypothetical conflict - in which Israel initiates attacks on Lebanon and Syria – would opt for de-escalation as no one is interested in an all-out war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh, I would very politely suggest that Israel would be for all-out war... as long as the US military does its fighting for Israel.

Just take a look at this article, reported last December in jpost.com: Netanyahu, Pompeo push forward with US-Israel defense pact

This would OBLIGATE the US to fight Israel's battles for it, in the Middle East; but in understanding just how difficult Israel finds living among its neighbors without starting wars of aggression against them, is this really where US foreign policy should really be, at this moment in the history of the US relationship with Israel?!?

We are probably going to hear a lot about why such a pact is necessary, to save Israel from its "existential (read: economic) threats" in the region when AIPAC convenes in DC this March, and particularly when Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses the group.

We already understand the degree to which AIPAC "owns" many of those in the bowels of power in DC; but to enact legislation which insures that, no matter what Israel might have done to cause a problem in the Middle East, that the US military is committed to saving Israel's backside, when it may well be Israel which caused the problem leading to conflict in the first place?!?

This is utterly not good US foreign policy, and will forever confirm, to Israel's neighbors, that the US cannot be a moral force for peace in the region.

Feb 04 13:53

Podcast – Episode #19 – Alistair Crooke and the Civilizational Wars of the U.S. and Europe

Alistair Crooke and I sit down for a wide-ranging chat on the loss of institutional legitimacy all across the West and the Middle East. Starting with Brexit and what it means for the U.K. and spanning the globe to include Europe, its relationship to Russia and the ideological wars being waged by various factions against Iran and China, this is an episode I don’t think anyone should miss.

I know that I am better served for having been a part of it. And, if in our own small way we can prevent further wars of this type, it will

Jan 31 14:44

FLASHBACK: The New Mediterranean Oil and Gas Bonanza

The discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel’s Mediterranean shores triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. The results revealed that the entire eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves. That discovery is having enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It well may have potential military consequences too.

Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially, Syria.

Jan 31 08:26

President al-Assad: The American presence in Syria will generate military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, consequently force them to leave

He pointed out that the American presence in Syria will generate a military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, and consequently force them to leave. “However, America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies. We remind them of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Syria will not be an exception.”

President al-Assad indicated that the immediate and most effective solution is to unite as Syrians and as patriots and this would cause the Americans to leave the Syrian territory.

Jan 31 07:38

The United States: a Record-Holder in Political Assassinations

The crowing by Donald Trump that he “terminated” the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, Major General Qaseem Soleimani, simply because Trump believed, mobster-style, that he had it coming, should remind the world that the United States government stands as the world’s record-holder in either directly carrying out or coordinating with other parties the assassination of political leaders, American and foreign.

§1116. Murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons
https://corpuslegalis.com/us/code/title18/murder-or-manslaughter-of-foreign-officials-official-guests-or-internationally-protected-persons(4) “Internationally protected person” means—

Jan 30 21:37

FLASHBACK: How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars?

March 23rd, 2018

By Nicolas J.S. Davies

How many people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars? I have been researching and writing about that question since soon after the U.S. launched these wars, which it has tried to justify as a response to terrorist crimes that killed 2,996 people in the U.S. on September 11th 2001.

But no crime, however horrific, can justify wars on countries and people who were not responsible for the crime committed, as former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz patiently explained to NPR at the time......

Jan 27 11:17

1/24/20 Dan Caldwell on America’s Conservative Antiwar Veterans

by Scott | Jan 26, 2020 | Interviews

Dan Caldwell of Concerned Veterans for America talks to Scott about his organization’s latest efforts to change the conversation about support for America’s wars in the Middle East. Their new ad campaign emphasizes the fact that even most veterans simply want to end the wars. Caldwell hopes to remind Americans that a truly conservative foreign policy would be much more restrained than the current neoconservative status quo.

Jan 24 14:12

Is this what is going on behind the scene? The Yinon plan

“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
The Infamous "Oded Yinon Plan". Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky

Introduction

The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government, the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.

President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank). In recent developments, the Trump administration has expressed its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“Greater Israel” will be part of the forthcoming March 2020 election campaign. Netanyahu has pledged to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Jan 19 07:34

Lebanese president calls on ARMY to intervene as massive protests turn violent in Beirut (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Lebanon’s capital Beirut has been plunged into chaos amid massive protests. Police struggled to contain the angry crowds with tear gas and water cannon, prompting President Michel Aoun to ask the military to intervene.
Aoun has asked the national army to restore peace and order on the streets of Beirut, as the city saw fierce clashes between protesters and security forces. Aoun called on the military to “protect the safety of peaceful protesters and of public and private property.”

Army storming the crowd with their reinforcements. Just more scare tactics. #Beirutpic.twitter.com/6u29chqyWs

— Samah Hadid ???? (@samahhadid) January 18, 2020
Crowds have taken to the streets of Beirut in a massive protest against Lebanon’s soaring debt, which stands at about $87 billion, equal to more than 150 percent of GDP. The public unrest is also fueled by an almost three-months-long power vacuum and by a crippling economic crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how complicit Israel has been, in terms of fomenting these riots in Lebanon; it would love to see its neighbor destabilized, and Hezbollah "neutralized", as it it both a political, and military, movement in Lebanon.

But the following companion articles make me wonder just what Israel's intentions are here, at this point:

IDF begins installing tunnel-detecting sensors along Lebanese border

There is a confirmation of this story in the jerusalem post.com, as follows: IDF laying new infrastructure to detect sounds of Hezbollah digging

The article, of course, goes on to define this work as "defensive in nature"; but the timing of activities like this is rarely... accidental.

Jan 12 10:25

Key Notes from Nasrallah speech marking one week after Soleimani assassination

Every single suicide bomb operation carried out by Daesh against our people (in the region) and in every mosque and church, must be labelled with ‘Made in America’

– America is the number one threat and Israel is merely a US tool and military outpost planted in our region

– The response to America’s crime (in killing Soleimani & Muhandis) is not one operation, but rather a long track which must lead to US forces leaving the region

– What happened in Ain Al-Assad is only a slap & not the (entire) revenge for the assassination. It is a strong military beginning. It is the first step that will lead to the withdrawal of US from the region

– The main target (of Iran’s missile attack) was Ain al-Assad, the missiles reached the heart of the base and struck their targets

– When (certain) media began to say there were no deaths or injuries & downplayed the attack, we knew Trump will not go to war

Jan 11 12:02

The reality we must face: Our Country, the United States, is a Rogue Nation and Our Leaders are Criminals

For as long as I’ve been alive, my country has been a rogue state.

Actually, the US became a rogue state four years before my birth in 1949 when, in 1945, Washington decided to bomb two militarily insignificant cities in Japan with its new super weapon, the atomic bomb, instantly incinerating several hundred thousand Japanese civilians, including many, many children, and condemning at least that many more to slow agonizing deaths from resulting cancers and birth defects.

Jan 09 09:45

Top IRGC General: Strikes on US Forces in Iraq Just Beginning of Full-Scale Op Across Region

Head of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has stated that the 8 January missile attack on American bases in neighbouring Iraq was only the start of a series of attacks that will take place across the entire region, Tasnim News Agency reported. The general further shared that the country had hundreds of missiles ready for launch, when it carried out strikes and added that Tehran conducted cyberattacks on the same day against American plane and drone navigation systems.

Jan 06 10:32

Axis of Resistance.The West and its Allies Support al Qaeda and ISIS Globally

The West and its allies support al Qaeda and ISIS globally. They are the proxies, the “boots on the ground” that destroy sovereign, independent countries for their Western permanent-state masters. They are the essence of barbarism and evil, shrouded in torn veils of “plausible deniability” that deceive only those who willfully choose to be deceived.

Jan 06 09:50

There Will Be Blood by Larry C Johnson

America's naive belief in the miracle of the assassination fantasy, especially when applied in the Middle East, reminds me of an Alzheimer's patient who believes in magic beans but fails to remember that the beans never sprout. We keep on planting the same seed and look anxiously for a beanstalk that never sprouts.

Killing Qassem Soleimani is the latest meaningless chapter in this blood soaked narrative of revenge and retribution against a "bad" guy. Killing a "bad" guy makes us feel proud and provides the emotional equivalent of a sugar rush. But there is no compelling evidence that these killings actually advance the cause of peace or coerce the other bad guys into hiding in a cave and praying that we go away.

Let me take you for a walk down memory lane. Let's start in Beirut in 1982--that's 38 years ago. In other words, if you are younger than 45 this is likely to be new to you.

Jan 06 09:00

The Middle East Strategic “Balance” Shredded

Soleimani was officially visiting Iraq. He arrived openly as a VIP guest from Syria, and was met on the tarmac by an equally senior Iraqi official, Al-Muhandis, who was assassinated also, (together with seven others). It was all open. General Soleimani regularly used his mobile phone as he argued that as a senior state official, if he were to be assassinated by another state, it would only be as an act of war.

This act, performed at the international airport of Baghdad, constitutes not just the sundering of red lines, but a humiliation inflicted on Iraq – its government and people. It will upend Iraq’s strategic positioning. The erstwhile Iraqi attempt at balancing between Washington and Iran will be swept away by Trump’s hubristic trampling on the country’s sovereignty. It may well mark the beginning of the end of the US presence in Iraq (and therefore Syria, too), and ultimately, of America’s footprint in the Middle East.

Jan 04 09:10

America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.”

Jan 03 08:46

Resistance forces across world carry task of avenging Soleimani: Nasrallah

Secretary General of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said that resistance forces across the world bear responsibility of punishing those behind the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani.

"Meting out the just punishment to these criminal assassins, which are the worst criminals of the world, will be the responsibility and task of all resistance fighters worldwide," the Hezbollah chief said in a statement on Friday.

Nasrallah added that his group will continue the path of the assassinated commander and that Washington will fail in achieving its goals with these "big crimes".

Dec 30 09:19

2019: A disastrous year for Trump’s foreign policy

Twenty-nineteen could best be described as a year when Donald Trump’s foreign policy unraveled on so many fronts. It became ever more erratic, one-sided and personalized, changing with the US president’s mood swings. The crisis, as many would call it, has been a long time in the making, and the implications will surely cast a long shadow over the new decade.

Trump, a self-proclaimed deal maker, is floundering as much internationally as he is domestically. The US, on his watch, arguably has less leverage with its allies than it has had at any time in modern history. Trump’s foreign policies—from the Middle East and North Korea to Venezuela— have largely failed

Dec 28 15:33

US Navy Chief Says Only ‘Regime Change’ in Iran Can Stop Country’s ‘Provocative Actions’ in Gulf

Russian and Chinese warships joined Iran’s Navy and Revolutionary Guards vessels on Friday for four days’ worth of maritime exercises in the Gulf of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean, simulating search and rescue, anti-piracy and shooting drills.

The US Navy is concerned that the recent lull in hostilities with Iran following this summer’s string of escalatory actions in the form of tanker sabotage attacks, ship seizures and drone shootdowns may be repeated, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has said.

“I think they’re going to continue to perform provocative actions over there,” Modly said, speaking to Reuters on Friday. “And I think they’ll look at every opportunity they can to do that,” he added, without offering any more details.

“There’s nothing that suggests to me, short of a regime change there, that you have a different tone set from the leadership, that would suggest to me that they’re going to stop doing what they’ve been doing,” Modly explained.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Major Modly, can you please produce something even remotely resembling the hard evidence, regarding Iran's alleged "provocations"?!?

Because for the US to go to war against Iran right now, or in the near future, is "inviting" a Russian retaliation through the deployment of their newest and most deadly weapon, against which the US and its allies have utterly no defense; the Avangard, which has recently been introduced to the Russian military.

Dec 28 06:03

Israel's Military Chief Outlines Strategy For "Coming War" With Iran & Its Allies

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

The Chief-of-Staff for the Israeli Armed Forces, Aviv Kochavi, said on Wednesday that Israel cannot allow Iran to station militarily in Iraq. According to Ynet News, Kochavi stated on the seventh anniversary of the death of the former Chief-of-Staff, Amnon Lipkin Shahak, that the Israeli army would never allow Iran to be stationed in Iraq.

“The Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq… transfer advanced weapons there monthly. We cannot leave this situation without interference,” he said.

“In the coming war, we will have to attack with great force in populated areas and also target the state structure or the entity that allows terrorism to act against us,” Kochavi continued.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, Aviv Kochavi has certainly spelled out Israel's intentions; but one has to wonder, just where does that put the US government, vis a vis, with its relationship with Israel?

Let me tell you about a Defense Pact, being cobbled together by Netanyahu and Pompeo, which should have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up and shivering:

Netanyahu, Pompeo Push Forward With US-Israel Defense PactAnd here is the most utterly terrifying line in the whole article:

"Details of the pact aren’t clear, beyond it committing the US to war to defend Israel."

What the hell?!? I mean, yes, we know that Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State is a "Rapture Aficionado", as he has made clear in a number of speeches, including this one in 2015:
Mr. Pompeo talks about the rapture. “We will continue to fight these battles,” he said at a “God and Country Rally” in 2015, because there is a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture.”

But to conflate biblical conjecture with insane foreign policy, which such a US/Israeli defense pact would imply?!?!?

Those who believe in The Rapture, also believe that an entire, world-engulfing war has to happen as the "trigger" for the Rapture to begin. Is this, possibly, Pompeo's "trigger" for such an action to happen?!?

“Be part of it,” he said at the meeting, at the Summit church in Wichita, Kan. “Be in the fight.”

In November, Mr. Pompeo told a reporter for The New York Times Magazine that the Bible “informs everything I do.” The reporter noticed an open Bible in his office, with a Swiss Army knife marking his place at the end of the book of Queen Esther.

This legislation will most probably be "rolled out" in some form, in March, right after the AIPAC Policy conference in DC.

The fact that Netanyahu, bribery charges, et al, still won the last "snap" election in Israel last week, means that he will be certain to push for this legislation to be "fast-tracked and passed" by Congress, before they even can realise the implications of such a pact, which throws America's military into any Israeli confrontation in the Middle East, no matter if Israel actually started the fight, or did not.
Unfortunately, just because something might be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid piece of legislation to be thrown at Congress, is utterly no guarantee that they will not pass it, particularly if their political lives depend on those AIPAC donations and its good will.

Dec 27 15:41

Get Ready to Fight Israel’s Next War

It will be up to you, the clueless American citizen, to fight and pay for Israel’s war against its neighbors. This coming war was announced this week by Aviv Kochavi, the Israel Defense Force chief of staff.

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