Lebanon’s New ‘Great Satan’
by Khaled Abu Toameh • July 16, 2020 at 5:00 am
- Hezbollah’s financial crisis is the result of US sanctions on its patrons in Iran, which had been supporting the terrorist group annually with about $700 million from oil revenues…. — Fahim al-Hamid, Saudi journalist, okaz.com.sa, March 22, 2020.
- For several weeks now, a hashtag titled “Nasrallah has ruined the country” has been trending on Twitter, with many Lebanese and Iraqis accusing the Hezbollah leader of destroying their countries.
- “Nasrallah has taken Lebanon hostage and accused the US of Lebanon’s economic collapse. Hezbollah is a major partner of the network that looted the Lebanese treasury and banks. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization running an entire country.” — Video clip posted on social media platforms.
- “No one has the right to drag us into the place they want, and no one has the right to impose on us a lifestyle that we do not want…. We do not want to live in isolation and be cut off from the West, Arabs and the entire world.” — Sami Gemayel, Lebanese Member of Parliament, Asharq Al-Awsat, June 18, 2020.
- Hezbollah (Arabic for “Party of God”) has long been functioning as a state-within-a-state in Lebanon and its leader, Nasrallah, is the de facto ruler of the country. Now that he is having trouble paying salaries to his terrorists, Nasrallah is hoping that the US will step in and rescue Lebanon (and Hezbollah) from collapse.
Has Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah changed his mind about the US, which he always considered a great enemy of the Arabs and Muslims? Not likely. More likely is that he is trying to dupe the Americans into giving Lebanon money to prevent the collapse of his Iranian-backed terrorist group.
Dominated by heavily-armed Hezbollah, Lebanon is currently facing the worst economic crisis in its history. The crisis is seen as the biggest threat to stability since the 1975-90 civil war in Lebanon. The World Bank warned last November that if conditions worsened, the proportion of Lebanese living in poverty could rise to 50%. Since then, the economy has been further hit by the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, so the crisis has only deepened.
As the country’s currency collapsed to an all-time low against the US dollar, thousands of Lebanese have been protesting by blocking roads with burning tires and setting fire to banks.