Peter Ford: Beirut, Calling out the cynical exploitation of the disaster


Ambassador Peter Ford for VT …London

What if the US was opportunistically taking advantage of the Beirut explosion to create problems for Hizbollah and Iran?

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion Trump quoted ‘some of our great generals’ as thinking it was ‘a bomb of some kind’ and described it as ‘a terrible attack’. Now what could possibly prompt the Pentagon and Trump to want the world to think that it was a bomb, which could only mean that Israel had mounted an attack?

Well, how about a desire to create, as a minimum, confusion in a country which has defiantly failed to toe every US line, and more ambitiously, to put pressure on Hizbollah to react against Israel? That Pentagon sources later disavowed having any evidence of there being an attack proves nothing.

We need to connect the dots. In the same week that Trump made this odd Hizbollah-baiting claim he was appointing as special envoy for Iran the veteran arch-neocon, arch-Israel supporter Elliott Abrams. This is a man notorious for his involvement in regime change operations in Latin America and the Middle East and for his hatred of Iran. What could be more calculated to signal an intention to raise the temperature over Iran in the lead up to a November election where Trump’s chances of winning diminish by the day? And what better way to stoke a crisis than to manipulate Hizbollah into making an unwise move against Israel?

Hizbollah has for a long time vowed to retaliate against any Israeli attack on itself. While an Israeli attack on the port need not necessarily force Hizbollah to respond it would if the first triggering explosion was a Hizbollah arms store as some have speculated and not a stash of fireworks.

Social media speculation about an Israeli missile strike can only embarrass Hizbollah, either because its alleged arms store was an invitation to trouble or because it was failing to follow through on its vows of retaliation, undermining the credibility of its own deterrence.

A moment’s serious reflection, however, suffices to reassure us that this was in all probability no Israeli attack.

The rules of engagement between Hizbollah and Israel have held firm for fourteen years since a balance of deterrence was established after the 2006 conflict. Israel knows that any attack on Hizbollah will incur an at least proportionate response. For Israel to upend fourteen years of successful deterrence just to take out a single Hizbollah arms store or even more improbably just for the hell of seeing Beirut burn stretches credence.

What does seem to be going on here, however, is an orchestrated attempt to take cynical advantage of the disaster. We can see this in the use by Western media of talking points designed to highlight the corruption and incompetence of the Lebanese government as being the ultimate cause of not only the disaster but of all Lebanon’s woes, including the worst economic crisis in living memory and an uncertain response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The sub-text is that it is Hizbollah’s role in government which helps perpetuate the alleged corruption and incompetence, and that the Lebanese confessional system which permits Hizbollah to play this role must be reformed root and branch.

Any fair observer of the Lebanese scene, however, would acknowledge that despite the governing system’s undisputed failings the country has witnessed a near miraculous recovery from fifteen years of civil war and devastation of its infrastructure by Israel in 2006 on a much greater scale than today’s, success in avoiding being sucked into the vortex of the Syrian conflict next door stoked by Western powers, notwithstanding its absorption of over a million refugees, and relative internal stability without repression on anything like the scale seen in Western Arab allies.

Those weeping crocodile tears for Lebanon today are the same people who cheered on the recently implemented ‘Caesar Act’ which, in imposing fresh sanctions on Syria, provoked a stampede on Lebanese banks, sending the economic crisis in Lebanon over the edge.

The enemies of stability in the Levant have many weapons to call on. It will be unwise to allow them to direct through psy- ops the political and information aftershocks from the explosion.



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  1. Israeli tactical nuke or US tactical nuke – what does it matter? Both countries report to the same deep state/criminal cartel actors.

  2. We don’t need to know anything of the sort. The only thing we need to know is that the Beirut Port facility was completely destroyed, not just a warehouse, not just some supposed fertilizer stash, absolutely everything… This comes conveniently at a time when China was negotiating with the Lebanese government about updating and expanding the port facility.

    It has long been Israel’s wet dream to destroy this busy and industrious port, originally built by the ancient Phoenicians. For it to fall into the hands of the Chinese is totally unacceptable. That’s why it had to be destroyed. Expect some CIA/Mossad “color revolution” to happen soon. So-called “protesters” are currently throwing rocks at government offices, just like they did a while back in Iran. That turned out to be a CIA/Mossad operation and so will this.

  3. The latest news from the BBC is that there are “protesters” out throwing rocks at the Foreign Ministry offices in Beirut, very similar to the protests that took place a while back in Iran. Are these folks paid CIA/Mossad agents just like those were? What color will this “revolution” be?

  4. el analisis parte de una base totalmente falsa y es que trump ganara comodamente en noviembre y no como los deseos de su autor lo reflejan.

  5. Most the comments on this site center around the “whodunit” aspect of this dastardly attack, leaving the “why” to speculation. Here’s a simple fact, China was on the verge of making an agreement with the Diab government to expand and renovate the Beirut Port complex. This has to be part of why the AngloZionist Empire decided to take it out. The plan was for China to expand the Belt and Road Initiative to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The US and Israel just couldn’t have that.

    Now, the Chinese have offered the Diab government the chance to totally rebuild the port and to save Lebanon from its current intractable financial crisis. It remains to be seen if Diab will be brave enough to face further US and Israeli terrorism in order to align with China.

    • This should be read in the specific context of Israel pulling out of its deal with China whereby China was to Lease the entire of Haifa’s Deep-water Port for a period of 25-30 years as part of it’s Belt & Road until Pimpeo stomped into town and caused BiBi to reverse course. This caused China to engage in discussions with the Lebanese Government to leave the Port of Beirut with that Lease presumed to be signed sealed and delivered within weeks, if not days.
      In whose interests would it have been to destroy the Port and Docklands of Beirut in the context of American bootstompers having previously put the brakes on the Leasing of Haifa?
      I leave you all to draw your own conclusions, specifically in the context of #CIA Ops very often being unknown to the Generals who sit outside the Oval Office.

    • It’s as clear as a bell who stood to benefit from the destruction of the Beirut port facility. The US is desperate to stop the advance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative into Europe. China is ready and willing to step in and rebuild the port, and provide Lebanon with the financial aid they need to counter US and Israeli aggression.

      We can keep haggling over the details of how this false-flag was pulled off… Meanwhile, the next CIA/Mossad outrage will be happening soon, maybe within days.

  6. “Well, how about a desire to create, as a minimum, confusion in a country which has defiantly failed to toe every US line, and more ambitiously, to put pressure on Hizbollah to react against Israel?”

    Am I missing something here? Is he actually postulating that the reason for a tactical nuclear strike on a country was to precipitate a counter attack by that nation’s militia? So, western media stories of ammonium nitrate are more to cover for Hezbollah, saving them from embarrassmen,t and the need to respond?

    • Ford is getting old, and wrote this based on media reports, an example of an aging commentator wanting to make an appearance on this issue without rolling up his sleeves. He is the only one talking about an arms cache in Beirut on an open dock, with no espionage security whatsoever.

  7. Why Trump made such a statement because he is blabbermouth and fucking idiot who did not realise if he says it’s a bomb that means logically it’s an Israeli strike.
    However dont undersestimate Elliot Abrahms the still breathing angel of death.
    His job will be to spin it so;
    that is a Hezbollah missle and a clever Hezbollah false flag to put blame on Israel! ….this if it does “come to truth” (doubtful!) it was a missle attack and there was a nuke component to it….then stage two of lumpy gravy would be the Iranians have nukes now, and this missle is proof of it.

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