By Dr Firoz Osman
The devastating blast of earthquake proportion measuring about 4-magnitude ripped apart Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, yielding an equivalent of several hundred tons of TNT explosions.
Rated as one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history, it killed and injured thousands of people, levelled Beirut port, leaving more than 300,000 people homeless, destroyed its wheat and grain stockpiles, all at a time when the country is struggling both financially and politically, and facing the Covid pandemic.
Notwithstanding what or who sparked the explosion, it was the chilling threat by scandal-plagued Zionist Israel’s ruler Bibi Netanyahu, who warned: “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hizbullah, to consider this… These are not vain words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the IDF behind them and this should be taken seriously.”
Israel has a long history of destabilising, invading and occupying Lebanon for decades. It occupied Lebanon for 22 years, from 1978 to 2000. Israel still occupies the Sheba farms.
It bombed Lebanon for 33 days in 2006 destroying much of its infrastructure and continues to violate its airspace, and murders civilians with impunity using drones.
In 2006 Israel devised a military strategy known as the Dahiya Doctrine, where the misnamed Israel “Defense” Force inflicted massive destruction on civilian infrastructure and the use of “disproportionate power” against their adversaries.
The doctrine is named after the Dahiya neighbourhood of Beirut, where Hizbullah was headquartered during the 2006 Israeli invasion.
Israel has continued this savagery with attacks on Gaza, while groups of Israelis gathered each evening on hilltops close to the Gaza border to cheer, whoop and whistle as bombs rained down on people in a hellish war zone a few kilometres away.
Just as reprehensible is the retort by the leader of the “Israeli” Zehut party, Moshe Feiglin who said: “I am happy with the scene of the Beirut explosion. This joy was given by God to the Israelis on the occasion of the Jewish Valentine’s Day that started yesterday and ends today.”
The United States has its own version of the Dahiya Doctrine, as demonstrated by the “shock and awe” murderous onslaught on Iraq in 2003, fabricating claims of weapons of mass destruction.
The war started with a month of massive bombing—followed by a four-day ground war. The US-led coalition dropped 88,000 tons of bombs, equivalent to over seven Hiroshimas.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, civilians as well as soldiers, were killed or injured.
Bombings destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure—including bridges, electrical plants and water treatment facilities.
Without sewage treatment millions of civilians continue to die of disease long after the war ended.
Air Force strategists admit this was a deliberate strategy—to give US the leverage over Iraq by destroying facilities that could only be repaired with foreign assistance.
There has been a systematic, Western-orchestrated destruction, destabilization and regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, primarily to maintain Western hegemony over oil supplies and to protect the Zionist entity.
The West and its surrogates have always played the divisive sectarian and tribal card to stoke inter-Muslim conflict.
The lies and deception are being replayed, with the same actors, the same plot and the same aim in the Muslim East.
The same scenario played out in Iraq, Libya, Syria and now in Lebanon.
To this end, the February 2011 NATO attack on Libya was accompanied by a concerted media campaign which promoted the line that its objective was to protect the Libyan people from massacres by Muammar Qaddafi and to bring about democracy and restore human rights.
Libya has since been ruled by a patchwork of rival heavily armed gangs that terrorize the population, turning it into a failed state.
Syria followed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The so-called ‘Caesar Act’ came into force imposing sanctions on Syria with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo serving notice that additional, more punishing, sanctions would follow.
Similar sanctions were imposed on Iraq, setting the stage for the invasion and occupation of the country and the killing of over one million people.
Successive American regimes have imposed sanctions, strangulating embargoes and a series of counter-revolutionary, state-sponsored acts of terrorism and sabotage with the deliberate intention of grinding down the masses of the targeted country and worsening their suffering, in the hope that this will provoke them to rise up against their governments and overthrow them.
In Syria, the proxy armies comprised the combined forces of US regional surrogates in the Persian Gulf, financed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The US has openly declared a ‘New Middle East’, subordinating every country in the region by unilateral disarmament or direct overthrow.
In fact, not long after the 9/11 attack, former NATO general, Wesley Clark, exposed US global war plans stating: “[W]e’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
All these countries are on the Pentagon’s drawing board. These seven countries have directly or indirectly been subjected to US aggression.
Israel has carried out several attacks on Syrian and Lebanese targets, hoping to pull Hizbullah into a military confrontation.
Donald Trump was virtually alone among western ruler to go public and called the massive Beirut blast a “terrible attack” and a “bomb of some kind.”
The wars on Syria and Lebanon are a proxy war against Iran, the final NATO target.
If the Arab and Muslim countries do not reform their political systems based on the colonial-era tribal and sectarian structures designed to create perpetual conflict led by corrupt elites and despots, there will be unending chaos, strife and suffering in the region.
Dr. Firoz Osman is executive member of the Media Review Network, an advocacy group based in Gauteng, South Africa.