Lebanon: Colour Revolution Redux
08-05-2020: The fake Coronavirus pandemic now comes with its first fake Coronavirus revolution. Lebanon’s colour revolution is driven by the same reactionary forces plundering the planet under the false pretext of saving it from a pathogen. For this, there are some dead giveaways. Firstly, if your “revolution” is backed by the US state department, invariably it is a counter-revolution – or one that will at the very least open up conditions which are the least beneficial for working people. Secondly, if your “revolution” has no demands but “the downfall of the regime”, “they all must go” etc. – with nothing positive suggested to take its place, ten to one it is backed by external forces who would benefit from the removal of an adversary. Thirdly, if your “revolution” is saturated by the waving of the national flag with few if any other symbols beside it, it is likely to be led by little more than petty-bourgeois nationalists playing with politics, and/or being played by, dangerous international actors infinitely more powerful than themselves.
Corporate media led “revolution”
On the 5th of May, the corporatised Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) aired a fatuous documentary on its Foreign Correspondent program, titled Revolution in the time of Corona. Reporter Adam Harvey films what seems like dwindling crowds hurling stones over concrete fences erected to keep them away from the Lebanese parliament. Through the documentary, his key interviewees are a hotel owner and a nightclub owner – small time capitalists, in other words. They admit that the numbers of protesters have receded, they say, because people are tired of fighting. Some of those briefly interviewed say they will “fight to the end”. But for what cause? They were patently bereft of even basic political demands, save the demand that “we have had enough”. There appeared to be no political parties, no leaders, no speakers of note – with this being explained away with “this is not your typical revolution”.
This fraudulent “uprising” has the hallmarks of an attempt at imperialist backed regime change, but one that is aimed at Hezbollah – even though Hezbollah itself does not form the government or the state. As we reported last year, this “movement” is aimed against the Lebanese Shia resistance movement largely due to it’s anti-imperialist and progressive role in defending the Syrian Arab Republic against the proxy war of regime change waged against it by the US government and its allies in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia, amongst others. Hezbollah is the largest political organisation in Lebanon, with more power and influence than the government itself. It has earned its popular status through its armed wing repeatedly defeating the attempts of the Zionist Israeli state to destroy it. While Hezbollah combines nationalism and Shia Islamism, it should clearly be defended by working people of the world via the overall struggle to end the reign of terror US imperialism holds above the Middle East, and indeed over large parts of the globe.
The Corona “revolution” has not a shred of progressive content. Their only aim is the overthrow of the Lebanese government – a sure sign it is a contrived movement with links to the deep state of the US Empire. One need look no further than the Washington Post, with the Orwellian slogan “democracy dies in darkness” on its masthead. A Post article under the name of Kareem Chehayeb bemoans “horrific inequality” and unemployment approaching 50%. There is no doubt there is a severe economic crisis in Lebanon, but how an overthrow of the state with nothing to replace it will help matters is of course unexplained. If the economic problems were the concerns of the protestors, they could do something like take over the banks and set up strike committees to administer them. Instead, we find protestors ransacking bank offices and setting fire to them. This is a sure sign that the aim is simply to provoke chaos and destruction, which will then no doubt be used by “the international community” as a rationale for a “humanitarian intervention” , Pentagon style.
Hezbollah resists imperialist takeover
To the extent that it was able, Hezbollah resisted imperialist takeover of Lebanon’s economy via the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In February Hezbollah, which has a majority in the parliament, blocked a proposal to have the IMF “supervise” the financial crisis, correctly fearing an effective handover. Hezbollah does approve of financial assistance from its Shia ally, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even though the new Prime Minister Hassan Diab has the backing of Hezbollah, Diab was able to secure an IMF “rescue plan” in late April. The Lebanese state defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time in March and is now seeking external financial support in excess of 10 billion dollars.
It is not only the US state which is plotting against Hezbollah. On March 30, the German government declared Hezbollah a “Shiite terrorist organisation” and banned its activities on German soil. In response, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheik Hassan Nasrallah denounced the German government for giving in to pressure from the US and Israel. He said that Hezbollah has not been active in Europe for years, and that this was part of the US/Israeli war on resistance movements in the region. This resistance axis includes Shia resistance movements such as Hezbollah, as well the Ansarallah movement in Yemen, and the states of Syria and Iran.
Workers the world over should be aware that the Anglo/US Empire is using the manufactured Coronavirus crisis to ramp up provocations, in their endless quest to light the flames of World War III. Unprincipled “uprisings” such as the current one in Lebanon could be one of many manipulated by imperialism as they strive to bring about the downfall of any force which it does not bow before it.
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