On August 25th, 2019, Israel attacked Lebanon. It has done it again. Just as it attacked Syria, the same night. The bitter and uncomfortable truth is, also, that Israel can basically do anything it desires, at least in this part of the world.
Text: Andre Vltchek | The article was first published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook and republished in NewsVoice with permission. | Archive photo from Aleppo in Syria – Photo: Freedom House, CC BY 2.0
RT reported the same day:
“Israeli drone flights were “an open attack on Lebanese sovereignty” and an assault on UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, Hariri said on Sunday, just hours after reports of two Israeli UAV incidents in Beirut. Hariri called the drone incursion a ”threat to regional stability and an attempt to increase tensions.”
He said there’s a heavy presence of planes in the airspace over Beirut and its suburbs, adding he will consult with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on what could be done to repel the “new aggression.””
So, what? Really, we have been ‘here’ before, on so many occasions.
PM Hariri is fuming, but he is one of the closest allies of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in the region. In fact, he is a Saudi citizen. Is he going to do anything, like getting into a war with Israel? Never.
Can he actually do anything? No; nothing, even if he would want to. The truth is that practically, he can do absolutely nothing. Not he, nor Lebanon’s President Aoun, or even the Lebanese armed forces. Lebanon has no means with which to repel any Israeli attack. Absolutely no means! The country’s air force is pathetic, consisting of several flying toys, like modified Cessnas, old helicopters, and several A-29 Super Tucanos. That could hardly frighten some of the mightiest and well-trained squadrons in the world – those of the Jewish state.
The bitter and uncomfortable truth is, also, that Israel can basically do anything it desires, at least in this part of the world.
Just a few days ago, I dared to drive, again, from Beirut all the way down to Naqoura, and then, along the Blue Line (‘protected’ by the United Nations), east to Kfarkela.
Now, the repulsive Israeli wall which is scarring one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Middle East, has almost been completed, all along the border. One year ago, the Lebanese government protested, calling it almost an act of war. The Israelis did not care. As always, they did what they wanted. They came right towards the line, or more precisely, at least on several occasions, they crossed the line; and constructed their concrete monstrosity right in front of the eyes of the Lebanese soldiers and the UN personnel. “So, now, what are you going to do?” they were practically saying, without pronouncing it.
Nobody has done anything in retaliation. Zero! Now UNIFIL Indonesian soldiers are taking selfies right in front of the Blue Line, leaning against their armored vehicles, while Hezbollah flags are waving only few meters away from Israel. All this horror show is just some 10 kilometers from the Israeli occupied Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. You can see the Golan Heights easily from here. A few years ago I was there, in the Golan Heights; I ‘smuggled’ myself there, to write a damming report. I learned then, and I am getting more and more confirmation now: Israelis are really great experts at building the walls that are ruining and fragmenting the entire region!
But then and now, nothing that can stop them!
Whatever Israel bombs it gets away with it, no one dares to intervene.
Today as the Israel drones, full of explosives, flew into Lebanon, UN battle ships were docked in the harbor of Beirut. After an explosion rocked a Shi’a neighborhood, damaging the Hezbollah Media Center (which I visited some two years ago), the ships did not even change their position, let alone depart from the harbor in order to defend Lebanon!
So why are these ships there? No one knows. No one asks, obviously.
Here, it is always like that. I drive to a Hezbollah area. There is a private checkpoint. I photograph it. They stop me. A huge guy with a machinegun blocks my way. I jump out of the car, put my hands together: “Do you want to arrest me?” He gets insecure. I ignore him. I drive away. I am pissed off: why not better fight the Israelis and their constant invasions, with such a physique and weaponry?
A friend of mine, a top UN official from the Gulf who doesn’t want to be identified, just told me bitterly:
“There is no condemnation: there is complete silence from the United Nations and from the West.”
Hariri feels obliged to protest, as his nation was attacked. But is he really outraged? Hardly. He hates Syria, he hates Hezbollah.
Lebanon is only united by a few iconic dishes, culinary delights; not by politics.
Is the country ready to defend itself? Hardly. Those who have money are too busy racing their European cars, without mufflers, on potholed streets, or showing their legs in various five-star malls.
The poor people of Lebanon do not matter; they do not exist. Palestinians matter nothing, living and dying, cramped like sardines in repulsive camps with hardly any rights. This has been going on for long decades.
Many Lebanese Christians actually secretly cheer Israel. Or not so secretly… And they are so enamored with everything Western, that, as they told me on several occasions, they would love to be colonized by France, again.
Lebanon is so fragmented by race, religion, social status, that it cannot stand on its feet. Turkish powerplant platforms are providing energy. Infrastructure has collapsed. Filth is everywhere. Cynical corruption consumes everything. But exhibitionism and showing off never stop. Money is there only for hedonistic clubs and sojourns to Nice. Hezbollah is the only institution which cares about the welfare of all Lebanese people; the only force ready to defend the country against foreign interventions. Israel and the West know it. And they are doing all they can to destroy Hezbollah.
Lebanon has become a laughing stock in the region. Like this, it is very difficult to face one of the mightiest militaries on earth.
Just a few hours before Lebanon was hit, Israel admitted that its air force hit the Shi’ite militia and Iranian targets in Syria. It declared that it took out “killer drones” prepped by the Quds Force to carry out attacks in Israeli territory.
Israel justifies everything by its ‘defense’. Any outrageous attack, any bombing, is always ‘preventive’. The world has become used to it, by now. The world is doing nothing to stop it.
People die. Many do; annually. So, ‘the Israeli citizens can be safe’. So the West and its allies can control the region, indefinitely.
On August 25th, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, described the ongoing situation in the Middle East as ‘very, very dangerous’:
“U.S. tries to revive Daesh in Iraq… U.S. helicopters are rescuing Daesh in Afghanistan… “
He spoke about the attack on Lebanon:
“The drones that entered the suburbs at dawn are military aircraft. The first aircraft was a reconnaissance aircraft flying at low altitude to get an accurate picture of the target. We did not shoot down the plane, but some young men threw stones at it before it fell. What happened last night was a suicide drone attack on a target in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Netanyahu would be mistaken if he thinks that this issue can go unnoticed.
Lebanon will face a very dangerous situation if this incident goes unaddressed. The dawn suicide attack is the first act of aggression since 14 August 2006. The Lebanese State’s condemnation of what happened and referral of the matter to the Security Council is good, but these steps do not prevent the course of action to be taken.
Since 2000, we have allowed Israeli drones for many reasons but no one moved. Israeli drones entering Lebanon are no longer collecting information, but assassinations. From now on, we will face the Israeli drones when they enter the skies of Lebanon and we will work to bring them down. I tell the Israelis that Netanyahu is running with your blood.”
The West and its allies are escalating tensions all over the Middle East. Some say, “war is possible”. Others say “it is imminent”. But it is not just a possibility. There is a war. Everywhere. In Afghanistan and Syria, in Yemen and Iraq. Wherever you look! Even in Lebanon.
Text and photo: Andre Vltchek
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Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Four of his latest books are China and Ecological Civilization with John B. Cobb, Jr., Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon