Excellent analysis of the protests in Lebanon by Laith Marouf:
Hear me out about Lebanon; although all the demands of the protesters are legitimate, the cascade of events that triggered them is all planned meticulously.
Since 2017, the Empire and its local enforcers, Apartheid Israel and Saudi Occupied Arabia, wanted the government of PM Hariri to collapse, therefore bringing down the pro-resistance Presidency of Michel Aoun. The reason was the same as that of the 2006 war and the current war on Syria: to end resistance to Imperialism in geographic Syria; in this case by forcing a civil war in Lebanon.
If you remember, Saudi Occupied Arabi invited Hariri to Ryadh, and then held him hostage and forced him to resign live on air while blaming Hizbullah for it. That was way before Khashuggi was chopped up, but during the Helton hotel roundup of rich Amirs.
When the plan of Bone-Saw-MBS fell apart with the news of Hariri being a hostage leaked; the people responded opposite to the intention, and demonstrated for his safe return to Lebanon.
This gave the President the power to refuse the resignation and call for him to give it in-person in Beirut. The Europeans had no choice but to vain disdain for MBS, as if for 600 years they didn’t call-in Indigenous leaders for a meeting before butchering them for resisting colonization.
Hariri came back alive, pulled his resignation and the country was saved from a civil war designed to distract Hizbullah from helping in Syria and resisting Apartheid Israel, or even to butcher the movement.
So a new plan was hatched to bring the government of Hariri/Aoun down, with the willing hands of the Lebanese people. Since then, the government that was formed after a year of stalling, had not been able to pass budgets before the end of fiscal calendar; mostly because of corruption and the invisible hand of the Empire controlling finance in the country.
In past few months, the Banks were targeted by the Empire, first by sanctioning some, then by asking the chairman of the Bank of Lebanon which it controls to squeeze some more. Money transfers from the diaspora, that were already hard to make, became even hard to receive. Dollars were sucked out of the economy to crash the local currency.
Then the Falang (Christian-Supremacist) minister of labor, banned all Palestinians and Syrians from work in the country; triggering demonstrations in the refugee camps and labor shortages in all sectors. Then they pulled out the dirty secrets of Hariri spending $18 million on a model at an “Epstein-like” Island in the Seychelles. Followed by gas shortages and gas-station strikes and Bakery strikes.
Then the minister of education held the salaries of teachers for the afternoon shift dedicated for Syrian refugees for a year, and refused to pay; forcing a teachers strike.
Then came the mysterious fires across all of Lebanon last week, in October, in the fall; over 150 of them that destroyed the power lines coming from Syria and supply half of the country’s needs. Government supplied electricity went down from 12hrs a day to 6; straining all the neighbourhood generators and raising their diesel and subscription costs. And the scandal of the three fire-fighting helicopters that were bought, never used, and then found to be defective at purchase.
Finally, a budget for the almost ending 2019 was being presented at Parliament next week, and news of its details started leaking. Things like zero tax on the two cell providers who together represent the most profitable businesses in the country, and a WhatsApp call tax on the population who use it to cut on their phone bills; providing the straw that broke the camel’s back and triggering the demonstrations….”
“Incomplete Summery of Nasrallah’s speech on #LebanonProtests:
It’s easy for everyone to blame others for the problems, to call for a fall of the government or to resign, to ride the wave or attack it, to abandon their responsibilities. Within 24hrs all the past, even recent past, like the Helicopter scandal and the fires; all forgotten…we must all be held responsible including me…even though we are only a small part of the government…I accept my responsibility.
There are real dangers facing the country, first the financial collapse, second the explosion of public anger because of it. The only solutions they offer is more taxes on the working class. To force financial solutions that are against the will of the people, is to purposefully work towards the explosion of public anger.
The people can’t carry this weight, the majority are working class; the rich politicians will not be effected by these new taxes. When they say they are fixing the problem, they mean more taxes and more fees, less services and lower salaries. The country is rich with resources, it is a lie to say there are no solutions except more impoverishment of the people.
It is easy to tax the poor; harder to provide real solutions, because that will anger this or that partner and powerful sectors. They say we all have to sacrifice to save the country, but they only want the poor to save the country; what is needed is to ask for a sacrifice from the rich, the corporations, the banks.
What is required is for the politicians to come and say to the people; here is how we taxes this company, here is how we cut corruption. Sure we all have to sacrifice, but to come to the masses and ask them to sacrifice while everyday they hear about another scandal that is not addressed, you are calling for an uprising.
It is not important what we say to the people, what is important is what actions the people see are being taken by us. I am against the gov resigning; because this means it will take two years to form another one. Some say create another coalition; that will only rearrange the corruption (musical chairs), some say a technocrat gov, those who call for it will make it fall as soon as it’s formed; some call for a new election which will lead to the same results.
The solution is for this current government to deliver sovereign solutions with courage. I respect the right of people to demonstrate; I even understand the reasons…your demos already forced retreat on the WhatsApp tax…your power is in the fact the movement is spontaneous, non-sectarian, and just.
My advise to the demonstrators; you are calling for us to join, we heard your requests on air. If Hizbullah would have joined you, it would turn this into a political battle, they would have said Iran is behind it. Your strength is that you are not associated with us. Be careful from the parties in power who will ride you, who will call for their members to join you, this will divert your movement from being independent and politicize it in the wrong way.
I call on you all to not attack public property, or denigrate individuals; you can call me names, but don’t do that to others.
I call on security forces to be gentle and respectful to the demonstrators, you both are our children.
I said before that Hizbullah will go down to the streets if an unjust budget was passed; that has not happened yet, thanks to all of you on the street. Keep going out, when you can’t any more, and if the budget is passed, we will take the streets as promised. This is because if we as Hizbullah take the streets, we will not abandon them until we get all our demands. This is a last resort, it will come when needed, but I hope it will not be needed; but if we do it, I promise you to deliver.
We call on all politicians to take their responsibility, including bringing the corrupt to justice. If you bet on the fall of the “compromise” of Auon/Hariri, as your play; we tell you that you will lose. We will not abandon our people and the country, and we will not allow you to burn it all down.
All politicians must take their responsibilities and not give in to despair; for that is a trait of the weak and cowardly. We are not that, we stand against all the mighty oppressors and are not afraid to take our responsibility to save our homeland.”
Originally published (Laith Marouf, Facebook)