Australia Lists Tehran-Backed Hezbollah as ‘Terrorist Organization’

Australia on Wednesday listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety – banning the armed wing alongside the political affiliate.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews told parliament there is no place “for violent, hateful ideologies” in the country as she announced the clamp down on the Shia Islamist militant group based in Lebanon but active abroad and predicated on the demand for the complete destruction of Israel.

She said the Tehran-backed group “continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organizations,” adding its militia has been listed as a terrorist organization in Australia since 2003 as well as overseas, as Breitbart News reported.

Fighters of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah march during a military parade commemorating their “Martyr’s Day” parade, in the city of Baalbek in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa valley, on November 13, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)

A member of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement fires his gun during the funeral of some of their members who were killed during clashes in the Tayouneh neighbourhood of the capital Beirut’s southern suburbs a day earlier, on October 15, 2021. (IBRAHIM AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

ABC News reports security experts have warned Hezbollah’s international network is expanding in size and influence, but prefers covert operations rather than direct conflict.

Until now Australia has only listed the group’s External Security Organisation (ESO) on the terrorist list, exempting its military and political wings from further scrutiny.

Andrews said Hezbollah was providing support to other terrorist organisations in the region, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Last year, Hezbollah vowed revenge for a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Solemaini while more recently working to disrupt shipping in international waters.

The government’s bipartisan committee on intelligence and security has also recommended the entirety of Palestinian group Hamas be listed as a terror organisation.

Canberra also labelled Neo-Nazi group The Base as a terrorist organization. Andrews said the “violent, racist, neo-Nazi group” is known by security agencies to be planning and preparing terrorist attacks.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:


LA Times Writer: Real Estate Listings Should Report Neighbors Who Own Guns

A columnist at the Los Angeles Times, who previously authored a freak-out piece over her Trump-supporting neighbor who shoveled her driveway, now suggests real estate listings show the rates of gun ownership in a surrounding area.

Virginia Heffernan made headlines in February for a column likening Trump supporters to the terrorist group Hezbollah and Nazis. The basis for her piece was her bizarre anger over a conservative neighbor who was kind enough to plow the snow from her driveway. “Loving your neighbor is evidently much easier when your neighborhood is full of people just like you,” Heffernan wrote.

The writer received a great deal of backlash for her intolerant article, in which she pondered, “What do we do about the Trumpites around us?”

Now, she is back at it again, arguing that home buyers should be able to see gun ownership statistics on real estate listings and that guns and gun violence should have a “meaningful tax.”

“Real-estate listings should include prevalence of gun-ownership in a 50-mile radius and number of annual mass shootings in the region,” Heffernan wrote. “Time to change what a ‘bad neighborhood’ is.”

“[A]nd introduce a meaningful tax on guns and gun violence,” she continued. “No one should say ‘this is a great place to raise kids’ about neighborhoods where even one person has an assault rifle.”

In response to Heffernan, someone sent a link to a 2012 piece in The Atlantic that described the outcome of when an interactive map of gun owners was published in New York counties by the Journal-News. Residents were infuriated and uncomfortable with them and their neighbors being doxxed. Hefferman responded to the person, “Not doxing. Just available data on gun ownership per capita,” ignoring the clear privacy invasion the local paper undertook.

While the left-leaning columnist seeks to doxx those who exercise their Second Amendment rights, it is unclear how her idea would help define a “good” or “bad” neighborhood. A widely-cited Justice Department report from 2019 found 90 percent of guns used in crime are obtained illegally.


Hezbollah terrorist founder dies from COVID-19

Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, who founded the terrorist organization Hezbollah died of COVID-19 complications Monday. He was 74-years-old.

Previously, Mohtashamipour survived an assassination attempt in 1984 when Israel’s Mossad reportedly sent him a book with a bomb inside. It successfully detonated, but only maimed him, mangling his right hand and left fingers.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.


Fresh U.S. Sanctions Against Hezbollah Make Lebanon Weakened and Divided Against Israel

Fresh U.S. Sanctions Against Hezbollah Make Lebanon Weakened and Divided Against Israel

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.


The U.S. Treasury Department announced on May 11 new sanctions against Hezbollah. Washington continues to attack the finances of the Shi’ite party via the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to undermine the groups influence and to maintain perpetual economic chaos and political division in Lebanon. 

According to the Treasury Department, Al-Qard al-Hassan is the financial wing of Hezbollah that oversees the groups “overall budget and spending, including the group’s funding of its terrorist operations and killing of the group’s opponents.” Those targeted by the sanctions have reportedly transferred more than $500 million to Hezbollah despite sanctions. Andrea Gacki, director of OFAC, said that Hezbollah continued “to abuse the Lebanese financial sector” and that such actions demonstrate the groups “disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon.”

The message from the Joe Biden administration to Hezbollah was clear: they do not want the Iranian-backed party to have financial autonomy that will allow it to fully dominate the political scene.

After classifying the movement as a terrorist organization in 1995, Washington made its first sanctions against them a year later. Amato-Kennedy’s law sanctioned Syria and Iran for supporting the Lebanese movement. However, since then, the measures taken by Washington have been increasingly targeted.

Seeking at all costs to cut Hezbollah’s funds, the U.S. government has already carried out a series of coercive measures against several personalities close to the group. In 2015, President Barack Obama enacted the “Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act.” This decree made it possible to freeze assets in the U.S. belonging to any individual or entity suspected of financing Hezbollah or of having any connection to them.

Since then, American authorities have directly sanctioned party leaders. Last September, the U.S. Treasury targeted two Lebanese figures – former Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos and former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil – and accused them of having helped the Shi’ite group. Hezbollah reacted by asserting that “everything that emanates from this (American) Administration is condemned and rejected.”

Lebanese banks, which were trying to respect American directives, were tempted, for political and commercial reasons, to look away and allow such operations to be carried out for the benefit of Hezbollah. At the same time, the U.S. did not attempt to control Lebanese banks as they find themselves trapped by their own contradictions. Washington therefore did not hesitate to plunge Lebanon into an even deeper banking and economic crisis to attack Hezbollah.

By means of these new sanctions, and fearing an all-powerful Hezbollah, American logic is ultimately to make the Shi’ite party unpopular in the eyes of the Lebanese people – a policy which is also based on various forms of pressure.

In fact, regardless of economic sanctions, Washington has implemented a series of measures aimed at undermining Hezbollah’s influence. Through an associative, educational and journalistic network, American public diplomacy is trying to damage the image of the Shi’ite party. Washington has therefore funded a local humanitarian organization, the MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative) to counter the actions undertaken by the pro-Iranian movement. But this funding also affects hostile political parties, as well as local and regional media.

Countries which oppose Iranian influence in Lebanon and the wider region have panoply of means to contain this influence. In addition, U.S. leaders are reportedly pressuring its European partners to include Hezbollah in their list of terrorist organizations. After the United Kingdom, Germany and Serbia, Latvia granted this request last December, a decision hailed by Washington

But the question remains whether such pressure can break Hezbollah’s significant political, economic and military control over Lebanon.

Such measures do next to nothing to alleviate the significant political and economic crisis in Lebanon. A weak and divided Lebanon means that Iran (through Hezbollah) cannot gain full control of the country. Although Hezbollah says its purpose of existence is to destroy Israel, one would imagine that the current conflict between the Israeli military and Gazan militants, in addition to the breakdown of civil society as mobs of Jewish and Muslim Israeli citizens attack each other, provides Hezbollah an opportunity to embark on its self-proclaimed ambition. Yet, after many days of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military, Hezbollah is yet to make a move against what it calls the Zionist Entity.

This would suggest that U.S. sanctions and pressure to keep Lebanon weakened and fragmented achieved its goal of pacifying a major threat against Israel. As long as threats against Israel emanate from Lebanon, Washington will ensure that the country will remain in a state of permanent crisis, and the latest sanctions are a testament to that fact.


Note to readers: Please click the share buttons above or below. Follow us on Instagram, @crg_globalresearch. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Featured image is from LobeLog


Video: Israeli Missiles Target Iran-Hezbollah backed Forces in Southern Syria

Late on August 31, air defense forces of Syria were activated to repel Israeli missile strikes on the countryside of the Syrian capital of Damascus and the southern part of the country. According to reports, Israeli missiles targeted positions of Iranian-backed forces in the area of Mahajah and Hezbollah positions in the area of Izraa in the province of Daraa. Another group of missiles reportedly hit alleged positions of Iranian-backed forces in the area of Sahnaya in the Damascus countryside. The missiles were allegedly launched from the area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

According to Syrian media, at least 2 people were killed and 7 others were injured in the attack. Material damage was also reported. The Israeli strikes were likely conducted as a part of the current Israeli-Hezbollah tensions in the region. Just recently, the sides exchanged a number of threats and the Israeli military even struck a supposed Hezbollah target on the Israeli-Lebanese contact line. In response, Hezbollah vowed to kill an Israeli soldier for every killed Hezbollah member. Therefore, if some Hezbollah members were killed in the August 31 attack, the movement will have to respond to this by force, or its public image in the region will be significantly undermined. Such a blow will be especially painful in the conditions of the developing political and social crisis in Lebanon following the Beirut port explosion on August 4.

On August 29, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency claimed that the United Arab Emirates has had intelligence agents in northern Syria working with Kurdish YPG and PKK militias over the past few years. They reportedly trained YPG/PKK members in the fields of espionage, counter-espionage, sabotage, acts of assassination, signals intelligence, information security and communication networks. This training allegedly took place in the areas of Qamishli, Hasaka and Deir ez-Zor.

Earlier, on August 27, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV reported that a group of Saudi service members had entered the area of al-Shaddadi in the province of al-Hasakah. According to reports, the Saudi side has been trying to convince local Arab tribes to support the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF mostly consists of and is led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that in its own turn have ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey and a number of other countries, including the United States. Thus, Turkey conducts military operations against the SDF and the YPG in northern Syria, while the United States supports them with weapons, funds and diplomatic cover.


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.


PayPal: [email protected], or via:


How the US Helped Push Lebanon to the Brink of Collapse, and Now Threatens More Sanctions

While the media blames the crisis in Lebanon solely on corruption, the US government unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign to push regime change and crush Lebanese resistance with sanctions and aggressive hybrid warfare.


As the people of Lebanon suffer through one of the worst economic crises in their nation’s conflict-ridden history, the Donald Trump administration is exploiting the disaster to force regime change and weaken Lebanese resistance groups.

A massive explosion on August 4 devastated Lebanon’s capital Beirut, killing more than 150 people, wounding thousands, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, and ravaging a sizable chunk of the city.

The massive blast also destroyed Lebanon’s most important port, where 80 percent of food was imported into the country.

Even before the apocalyptic incident, Lebanon was enduring an economic calamity that had caused hyperinflation and wiped out the wealth of much of the country, fueling widespread food shortages and 20-hour blackouts.

Lebanon’s economy is now in a state of total collapse. The value of its national currency has plummeted by 80 percent, and more than half of the population is languishing in poverty.

Political kingpins, activists, Western government-funded NGOs, and international corporate media have blamed Lebanon’s problems solely on corruption. And there is no question that widespread financial impropriety and outright theft was a key factor in bringing the country to such a dismal point.

But an even more important element that has been conveniently left out of this picture is the role of the United States, and its allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have pursued a concerted policy of destabilization, or what they call “maximum pressure.”

Washington has suffocated Lebanon and its neighbors with aggressive economic warfare, explicitly aimed at paralyzing the country and weakening Hezbollah, one of the most powerful and popular resistance forces in the region, which has successfully resisted US and Israeli interventionist designs, helped defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, and even expelled the Israeli military after two decades of brutal military occupation of south Lebanon.

Hezbollah has a political arm that is democratically elected, holding 12 seats in Lebanon’s parliament, and which has been a member of the country’s governing coalition for a decade. Because of the resistance movement’s presence in government, Washington and Tel Aviv have refused to recognize the legitimacy of Lebanese democracy, and have desperately pursued regime change.

The crushing sanctions Washington has imposed on Syria and Iran have not only devastated the economies in the area; they have produced a ricochet effect back in Lebanon, severing the country from regional trading partners.

Then there is the nine-year Western-backed proxy war on the government in Damascus, which has destabilized Lebanon’s neighbor and unleashed a historic refugee crisis, putting enormous pressure on Beirut.

All of these factors have led to a catastrophe in Lebanon.

Trump administration pushes ‘maximum pressure’ campaign on Lebanon

The response of the Trump administration to the fateful Beirut blast was more sanctions.

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 12 that the US government was preparing to impose new sanctions “against prominent Lebanese politicians and businessmen in an effort to weaken Hezbollah’s influence.”

The newspaper noted that the blast “has accelerated efforts in Washington to blacklist Lebanese leaders aligned with Hezbollah.” It added that US officials see the post-explosion chaos as “an opportunity to drive a wedge between Hezbollah and its allies as part of a broader effort to contain the Shiite force backed by Tehran.”

Top US officials want to “turn the screws in Lebanon,” the Journal reported. It quoted an unnamed official who remarked, “I don’t see how you can react to this kind of event with anything other than maximum pressure” – a reference to the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign to bring about regime change in Iran.

Senior US officials remarked bluntly that they want Lebanon’s current government to be replaced with a “technocratic” regime that shuns Hezbollah.

This demand confirmed a 2019 report in The Grayzone by journalist Rania Khalek, which detailed how Western-backed NGOs in Lebanon were exploiting anti-corruption protests to advance a strategy to remove Hezbollah from the country’s governing coalition and install US-aligned, IMF-friendly technocrats.

The Wall Street Journal also acknowledged that the Trump “administration’s existing sanction programs against Hezbollah” have already “taken an economic toll” on Lebanon.

Washington has therefore made it clear that it has no problem pushing Lebanon deeper into the economic abyss, to the edge of state collapse, in hopes of neutralizing Hezbollah.

Washington’s all-out war on the ‘Resistance Axis’

The crisis in Lebanon cannot be understood outside of the wider context of the overarching, obsessive US strategy aimed at crushing what is known as the “Resistance Axis,” in which Hezbollah serves as a key actor.

The ongoing, nearly decade-long war on Syria looms large in this situation. When the US government and its allies in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey initiated a regime-change war against Syria in 2011 and 2012, Hezbollah immediately recognized the proxy conflict as an attack on all resistance forces in the region, which would inevitably swallow Lebanon as well.

So while Washington and the Wahhabi Gulf monarchies poured billions of dollars into arming and training Salafi-jihadist rebels groups in Syria, giving birth to ISIS and fueling the spread of al-Qaeda, Lebanese Hezbollah helped to prevent state collapse in Damascus, battling Western proxies that threatened to turn the country into a failed state, as they did in Libya after the 2011 NATO regime-change war.

Some US lawmakers openly argued in Congress that it was a “good thing” that ISIS and other Sunni extremists were attacking “Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us.” And an Israeli think tank funded by the US government and NATO even insisted in 2016 that ISIS should not be defeated, precisely because it could “be a useful tool in undermining” Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.

Meanwhile, as Israel treated al-Qaeda militants in its hospitals and Israeli officials said they preferred ISIS staying in power, Hezbollah played a key role in the fight to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, both of which had crossed from Syria into Lebanon and took over Sunni-majority border towns, which they subsequently used as bases to launch attacks on Shia- and Christian-majority Lebanese villages.

Hezbollah successfully expelled these extremist Salafi-jihadist groups, and defended Lebanese sovereignty, in collaboration with Christian militias, Sunnis and Druze, and the Lebanese national army itself.

Faced with its own failure in the military component of the war in Syria, Washington then turned to full-scale economic warfare.

US economic warfare on Lebanon, Syria, and Iran

In June, the US government imposed a crushing unilateral coercive measures regime on Syria known as the “Caesar” sanctions. The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal detailed how the US and European sanctions on Syria effectively amount to a medieval-style siege of the entire country, and all of the millions of civilians who live inside of it.

Humanitarian experts have even warned that the Western economic warfare could unleash a famine. The United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization’s Syria representative, Mike Robson, cautioned there may soon be bread shortages in Syria. “There is already some evidence of people cutting out meals,” he stated.

The economic blockade has also damaged the economy in Lebanon, which has been virtually unable to do business with one of its most important trading partners. In 2017, Lebanon was by far the largest recipient of Syrian goods, receiving nearly 32 percent of its exports. Now, the sanctions have made that exchange nearly impossible.

The US ambassador in fact explicitly stated that Lebanon would not be allowed to buy energy from Syria due to the Caesar sanctions. The US-imposed severance of the two neighbors has exacerbated the electricity crisis in Lebanon, where there are often power shortages for up to 22 hours per day.

The US economic blockade of Iran has also caused a fuel shortage in Syria, forcing people to wait in lines for hours to get gasoline.

Moreover, Damascus had relied on the Beirut port for imports prior to the explosion. Now that its crucial economic lifeline has been destroyed, both Lebanon and Syria are facing extremely severe crises and the serious possibility of famine.

A Syrian-American economist, financial analyst, and prominent online commentator known by the pseudonym Ehsani told The Grayzone “there is little doubt” that the Syria war has terribly impacted Lebanon’s economy.

While disastrous, fiscally unsound policies overseen by the Lebanese central bank – which is also heavily influenced by the US embassy – played an important role in pushing the nation to the economic brink, the war on Syria has also hurt the Lebanese economy “in a big way,” Ehsani said.

“Economic growth clearly decelerated since 2011,” the start of the war in Syria, he explained. “And it ground to a halt in the past few years, leading up to the financial crisis. Between 2016 and 2019, Lebanon’s economic growth was practically zero. And it kept declining from its pre-2011 levels steadily.”

While corruption is an endemic problem in Lebanon, it has plagued the country for decades. Yet a pivotal economic shift occurred with the introduction of the US policy of exacerbating the crises in the region to destabilize independent governments and weaken the Resistance Axis, explained journalist Elijah J. Magnier, a war correspondent who has covered the region for decades.

“The US sanctions crippled the Syrian economy due to the restriction of the flow of cash, oil, and machinery needed to re-boost the local economy,” Magnier told The Grayzone. “Moreover, the US presence in north-east Syria and their control of the oil and gas prevented the country not only from vital energy but also from the rich agriculture resources the area is known for.”

“The US sanctions on Syria stopped all Arab and Gulf countries from rebuilding the country and pushed back all possible financial investment,” he said. “This has caused the devaluation of the local currency and prevented the Lebanese market from offering an alternative to Syria for fear of direct sanctions on the Lebanese government.”

Magnier added:

“As far as it concerns Lebanon, the US asked a local bank to collect over $20 billion in cash and to ship it abroad, creating a real thirst for foreign currency in the country. Moreover, the US imposed sanctions on wealthy Lebanese living abroad and on more than one bank, injecting real fear among the population of being accused of supporting terrorism or seeing their savings confiscated by the US authorities abroad. That has starved Lebanon of several billion dollars in cash that family members used to send back home to their relatives.”

US boasts of impact of sanctions on Lebanon, and CENTCOM commander visits

While imposing de facto economic blockades on Syria and Iran, the United States has hit Lebanon with several rounds of what it calls “targeted sanctions.” These US Treasury sanctions on Lebanon have sought to punish Hezbollah and its allies in the government and business sector.

While Washington portrays targeted sanctions as supposed humanitarian measures that do not hurt civilians, economic experts say this is patently false.

Ehsani, the Syrian-American economist, told The Grayzone,

“The effects of the US sanctions on the region is to push most business transactions underground. Lawless rogue elements typically fill the void as more legitimate businesses exit the scene. Such legitimate businesses do this because most global organizations opt to follow an ‘over-compliance’ posture to avoid any chance of getting entangled in such transactions.”

US sanctions have also hurt Lebanon by “the loss of potential money inflows that had fallen under significantly more scrutiny from US Treasury,” Ehsani added. “How much of the average $7-8 billion yearly inflow got affected by these sanctions is hard to ascertain.”

“While Western capitals speak of ‘smart sanctions,’ the fact is that even industries exempt from sanctions tend to quickly fall under the sanctions regime. This can be seen with importers of raw materials for medicine for example,” he explained.

“What has been clear is that benign sanctions are a myth,” Ehsani said. “Sanctions are akin to carpet bombing the standards of living of the average citizen.”

Before the August 4 explosion, Washington itself acknowledged that its sanctions were stinging Lebanon.

Just two weeks before the Beirut blast, the US government-run media outlet Voice of America (VOA)  celebrated the effect its coercive measures were having. “US Sanctions on Syria Leave Hezbollah More Isolated in Lebanon,” it gloated.

The VOA report noted that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had described the US sanctions as part of an “economic war” aimed at “starving both Syria and Lebanon.”

The neoconservative group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) approvingly tweeted the VOA article, insisting that the resistance “network is vast, but it can be reined in.”

This VOA report came on the heels of a quiet yet important visit that the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Frank McKenzie, took to Beirut on July 8, to pressure the Lebanese Army to distance itself from Hezbollah and strengthen its bonds with the US military.

The US embassy in Lebanon reported that the CENTCOM commander met with top Lebanese political and military officials. Lebanese President Michel Aoun tweeted a photo of a meeting with McKenzie and the US ambassador, Dorothy Shea.

Saudi monarchy-backed media outlet Al Arabiya reported gleefully on the CENTCOM visit, chirping, “US general affirms support for Lebanon; Hezbollah supporters burn Trump photos.”

The quiet US junket demonstrated that, on the eve of the Beirut blast, Washington was already ratcheting up its pressure on Lebanon’s government.

Western governments, NGOs, and media try to pin Beirut blast on Hezbollah

The August 4 explosion appears to have been the result of the explosion of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate that the Lebanese government confiscated from an abandoned ship in 2013 and improperly stored at the Beirut port, violating safety protocol.

The Lebanese government, which resigned a week after the blast, officially attributed the incident to negligence. But President Michel Aoun acknowledged it could have possibly been the result of an attack.

Some Beirut residents told Asia Times that they saw and heard military aircraft flying overhead moments before the explosion.

Asia Times also reported, citing unnamed Western officials, “that Western reconnaissance craft were in the skies above the Lebanese coast at the time of the blasts,” although the officials denied carrying out an attack.

A US Central Command official told Asia Times that the “cause of the first fire/explosion is still an unanswered question,” adding that there is no “actual evidence to support or confirm that” it was caused by ammonium nitrate, and that “other alternatives” are possible.

Although the incident appears to have been an accident, some Lebanese analysts have suggested the blast could have potentially been an attack by Israel, which militarily occupied south Lebanon for more than 20 years and waged a devastating war in 2006, brutally bombing Lebanon and leaving more than 1,000 Lebanese dead and parts of the country in ruins.

Israel violates Lebanon’s sovereign airspace on a daily basis. In 2019, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon reported an average of 96.5 violations each month. UN Secretary-General António Guterres even spoke out against the Israeli aggression, stating,

“I reiterate my condemnation of all violations of Lebanese sovereignty and my call for Israel to cease its violations of Lebanese airspace.”

Despite the presence of Western aircraft during the explosion, the history of Israeli attacks, and the constant Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, there has been a concerted campaign to try to pin the blast on Hezbollah, waged by the US and Israeli governments, a coterie of hawkish think tanks, and a sizable portion of the corporate media.

There is not even a scintilla of evidence linking Hezbollah to the explosion. In fact, the Lebanese resistance group would have everything to lose if it were involved.

But this didn’t stop the Atlantic Council, NATO’s de facto think tank, which is funded handsomely by the governments of the United States, Britain, and United Arab Emirates, along with top weapons and oil corporations. The Atlantic Council’s Gulf monarchy-backed Rafik Hariri Center tried to link Hezbollah to the blast with nothing more than insinuations.

Then there was the hawkish executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth. Never one to let something like a dearth of evidence get in the way of his mindless speculation about Washington’s foreign adversaries, Roth immediately implied after the blast that Hezbollah was responsible. He did not provide a shred of evidence; it was just his gut instinct.

Pro-Western protesters in Lebanon have also seized on the chaos to call for the dissolution of the Lebanese armed resistance.

Following the explosion, anti-Hezbollah groups took over Lebanese government buildings and unfurled banners calling for Beirut to demilitarize — an obvious demand for Hezbollah to put down its weapons and end its fight against Israel.

The US embassy in Beirut openly welcomed these demonstrations, tweeting openly, “We support them.”

US pledges ‘aid’ while intentionally exacerbating Lebanon’s economic crisis

Even as the Trump administration threatens to impose more aggressive sanctions on Lebanon, seeking to punish forces that support the Resistance Axis, the US government has pledged humanitarian aid to the country.

Moments after the explosion, Washington put its public relations operations into hyperdrive, seeking to portray itself as a noble protector of Lebanon.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – the former CIA director who quipped, “We lied, we cheated, we stole; we had entire training courses” – promised support following the blast.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a soft-power arm that Washington uses to destabilize foreign governments it has targeted for regime change, announced it would be providing Lebanon with humanitarian aid.

John Barsa, the hardline neoconservative Trump loyalist recently installed as head of the USAID, who has explicitly used the ostensible aid agency as a weapon to overthrow the progressive governments in Latin America, announced support for Lebanon the next day.

US Central Command revealed that they were working with USAID to distribute medical supplies to Lebanon.

Ironically, in the weeks before the explosion, as Lebanon’s government begged for an economic lifeline, Washington was dragging its feet.

As millions of Lebanese citizens struggled to put food on the table, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also refused to play ball. This baffled many international observers. Left unmentioned in coverage of the IMF’s behavior was the de facto veto the US holds in the organization, which it wields as a neoliberal instrument of Washington’s economic power.

“The IMF conditions include privatization and taxes the Lebanese society can’t afford,” the journalist Elijah Magnier explained to The Grayzone. “Moreover, the IMF is controlled by the US administration, which is asking for a new government without Hezbollah. That is not feasible because Hezbollah represents 13 MPs and enjoys the support of the majority of the parliament.”

Magnier also emphasized that when Lebanon had assembled a new government in the middle of the crisis, under Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Washington waged a destabilization campaign.

“With the formation of a new government, the US boycotted it and pressured Europe and the Gulf countries to cease any support, defining it as ‘Hezbollah’s government,’” Magnier said. “These measures contributed in the hectic financial situation in the country, which was also triggered by decades of corruption and mismanagement by the US friends who ruled Lebanon for all these years.”

The pro-Israel lobby group the American Jewish Committee (AJC) let the cat out of the bag when it tweeted on August 9 that international assistance to Lebanon following the explosion “must be conditioned on the long-promised, long-avoided disarmament of Hezbollah.”

AJC made it clear that Western aid will be hung over Lebanon like a sword of Damocles, adding,

“Unless the malignant role of Iran’s terror proxy is addressed there will never be meaningful change for the people of Lebanon.”

Magnier also pointed out that the amount in international aid being offered to Lebanon is relatively little.

“35 countries gathered all to offer to the UN and NGOs in Lebanon $300 million, the equivalent of what Hezbollah spend in less than five months in the country, only on salaries,” he said.

Meanwhile, as millions of Lebanese civilians suffer, financial analysts expect the US campaign of economic warfare and “maximum pressure” to only continue going forward.

“The sanctions policy are likely to stay,” Ehsani told The Grayzone. “This policy is more acceptable to the average Western electorate than direct military involvement. Policy makers are therefore likely to make more use of them post the Iraq debacle. Regional governments and average citizens will bear the brunt of this silent evisceration of their economic well being.”


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.



Please help truthPeep spread the word :)