Fuel paralysis: How 14 private companies control Lebanon’s oil supply and set its prices • The Cradle

Source: https://thecradle.co/Article/investigations/2449

By: The Cradle’s Lebanon Correspondent

It is a familiar event in the Land of Cedars: critical shortages of medicine, bread, oil, petrol; endless scenes of weary citizens spending hours, sometimes days, lined up in queues hoping to buy the basic food, fuel, or life-saving medication for their families.

The economic crisis in Lebanon has revealed the extent of the entrenched corruption and systematic monopoly among the state’s political elite that has existed in the country for over 30 years. But who are these organized cartels of oil, medicine, hospitalization, and bread that have for so long created deep chaos in the lives of struggling citizens?

The Cradle decided to investigate, and name names.

Warlords divide the spoils

The 1975–1990 Lebanese civil war ended with its leaders agreeing to share spheres of influence and state resources. Warlords distributed monopolies to one another; the emerging oil cartel was one ugly facet of this elite takeover of the rights and wealth of the Lebanese nation.

Between 1992 and 1998, the oil cartels were able to monopolize the import of oil by establishing companies for their trusted associates. The first of these alliances was between then-President Elias Hrawi and the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, who imported oil and gas derivatives through the Basatna Company, and through Roland Elias Hrawi (President Hrawi’s son) and Naji Azar.

Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri reinforced this corrupt business method and supported the presence of the company cartels, most of which arose during the civil war. Hariri, who came to power as a result of a US–Saudi agreement – and Syrian approval – paved the way for these companies to expand and develop in exchange for a weaker state presence.

The ruling cartel was joined by the traditional political families under the cover of Lebanon’s leading political parties: the Future Movement (the Hariri family), the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist party (Walid Joumblatt) and the Marada Movement (Suleiman Franjieh). These parties had agents or ‘businessmen’ who managed the oil market and accumulated spoils and profits, which were then distributed to their corresponding political bosses, who remained in the shadows.

Some of these companies are also directly owned by Saudi citizens and Kuwaiti businesses. Today, 14 companies in Lebanon control both the import of oil derivatives and the distribution market. They also own half of the 3,100 gas stations in Lebanon and control the daily price of fuel.

These companies control 70 percent of local market production, while just two Lebanese state facilities take the remaining 30 percent.

Given this set up, the Ministry of Energy is highly compromised in exercising its role as an impartial watchdog over the quantities of oil that the companies claim to import. Quite incredibly, it is the companies that set and regulate oil prices – without the intervention of the state – while the state absorbs the annual national oil bill, estimated at nearly $6.5 billion.

The oil cartel in Lebanon, consolidated and protected under the country’s nefarious monopoly law, is an agreement between companies to share the market and organize competition to protect their shared interests. Consequently, when there is risk of losing profits gained over the decades of this corrupt system, they withhold supplies of oil derivatives from the Lebanese market, causing the crippling shortages witnessed on a regular basis in Lebanon.

Historically, the only recorded attempt to combat the monopoly structure came during the 1998-2007 tenure of former President Emile Lahoud, who opened up the records of the oil cartels.

As a result of this rare transparency, Shahi Barsoumian, the Minister of Energy between 1995 and 1998, was imprisoned on charges of selling oil deposits at low prices and wasting public funds through a consensual contract with another collaborator, Naji Azar, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurogulf.

Other officials were also arrested, including the ministry’s former Director General Nicolas Nasr and Director of Zahrani Refinery Khalil Qambris. The cartel crackdown did not last long. After 2000, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri further legitimized the sector’s monopolistic character by offering long-term agreements that enabled the companies to continue leeching off the state.

The Cartel:

The Cradle sources revealed the names of oil companies that control the Lebanese market and the owners of some of these firms:

  • Uniterminals, established in 1992, is owned by Kuwaiti and Lebanese investors, and holds 15 percent of the market.
  • Coral Oil, founded in 1926, is owned by the Yameen family that supports the Free Patriotic Movement. Coral Oil holds 14 percent of the total market share.
  • MEDCO, founded in 1910, is owned by brothers Maroun and Raymond Al-Shammas, and holds 11 percent of the Lebanese market share.
  • Cogico, founded in 1986, is owned by Walid Jumblatt and the Basatna Company, is headed by Saudi citizen Mustafa Baltan, and holds 10 percent of the market share.
  • Total, founded in 1951, is owned by the French company of the same name and holds 12 percent of the market share.
  • Wardieh Holding, established in 1922, is owned by Saudi citizen Samuel Bakhsh and Lebanese shareholders. It holds 9 percent of the market share.
  • Liquigas, founded in 1965, is also owned by the Yameen family and holds 7 percent of the market share.
  • IPT Group, established in 1987, is owned by Michel and Toni Issa, who are close to former Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and holds 6 percent of the market share.
  • Apec, founded in 1985, is owned by Abdul Razzaq Al-Hajjah, who is affiliated with the Future Movement. It holds 5 percent of the market share.
  • Hypco, founded in 1965, is owned by the Al-Basatneh family in partnership with the (same) Saudi citizen Mustafa Baltan and holds 4 percent of the market share.
  • Gefco, founded in 1982, is owned by Qabalan Yammeen and holds 3 percent of the market share.
  • United Petroleum, founded in 1983, is owned by Joseph Taya, who is affiliated with the Lebanese Forces, and holds 3 percent of the market share.
  • HIF, founded in 2008, is owned by Ali Zughaib and Pierre Obeid.
  • ZR Energy, established in 2013, is owned by Teddy and Raymond Rahma, who are affiliated with Suleiman Franjieh’s Marada Movement. It is a new entrant to the original 13 cartel stakeholders.

As such, the owners of these companies are themselves the oil traders and constitute the most powerful cartel in Lebanon. No one, not even state agencies or the Ministry of Energy, is able to control or direct them.

A source from the Port of Beirut has revealed that Ministry of Energy officials cannot even exercise their authority over the quantities of oil that enter Lebanon through oil tankers. The source also notes that the ministry is unable to measure the quantities of unloaded oil, and that, in any case, their oil measurements are conducted through the obsolete method of using a dipstick to determine quantity.

Oil Directorate sources say that the cargo of oil tankers is off-loaded into a tank before the shipment is inspected at the customs checkpoint, which itself is not allowed to monitor the process. The sources also say that customs checkpoints are not properly distributed and that regulatory authorities simply rely on what companies tell them, and not on document and data verification procedures.

Approximately 340 oil tankers off-load their wares at the Port of Beirut every year. The enormous profit that these companies make as a result of the oil import monopoly, and the amounts of waste and smuggling operations, are immeasurable.

Director of Oil Facilities Ziad al-Zein confirmed to The Cradle that the state imports only 30 percent of local market needs, while seven major companies import the remaining 70 percent. He reveals that the Zahrani Refinery imports diesel only, or 15 percent of the local market, and that the diesel is distributed to all Lebanese territories.

According to other sources in the Oil Directorate, Lebanon’s import of oil derivatives amounted to about 9 million tons.

Although most of these companies use the state to store oil reserves – in low-priced tanks rented from the state, no less – Lebanon’s politicians have not yet found a way to increase the state’s markets share, which has all but collapsed during the country’s severe economic crisis. While supplies imported by the state are concentrated in oil facilities in Tripoli and Zahrani, the private-sector tanks, which hold approximately 500 million cubic meters, are distributed over seven ports in Dora, Antelias, Amchit, Zouk, Anfeh, Tripoli, and Jiyeh.

Can Iranian fuel break the monopoly?

It sounds like a trick question, but when a monopoly of a prized commodity is controlled by a well-entrenched, highly functional mafia whose members also happen to be the people running state affairs, who then has the power to protect the state from crimes committed against its critical resources? And what event might conceivably shake the foundations of this system and crack it open?

The recent move by Hezbollah to import Iranian oil through Syrian territory may be the first signs of a fracture in Lebanon’s notorious energy monopoly.

Hezbollah did not want to embarrass its ally, Lebanese President Michel Aoun of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), so it chose to bring in Iranian fuel through smuggling routes on the Lebanon-Syria border to avoid US sanction threats.

Lebanon is prohibited from importing Iranian oil, by threat of US sanctions.

Informed sources tell The Cradle that the importation of Iranian fuel through legal routes would require Hezbollah to apply for a license from the Ministry of Energy, but that it did not do so in order to avoid placing both its allies and the Lebanese state in a quandary.

The approval of the Minister of Energy, who is affiliated with the FPM, would have exposed him to US sanctions, and because he is a cabinet member of a sitting government, would have subjected the whole state to that same threat.

Conversely, the Minister’s refusal to grant the Hezbollah-imported Iranian oil a license would have embarrassed him among his constituents and potentially hindered the fuel’s passage into Lebanon.

But these are mere diversions. Lebanon’s political elite had other reasons to object to the Iranian fuel: namely, that it would break the cartel’s oil monopoly and its price-setting powers.

As Hezbollah noted at the outset, the price at which Iranian fuel will be distributed to major Lebanese institutions, hospitals, and regular citizens will be lower than the price set by the oil cartel companies.

This cost discrepancy will swing the door wide open to serious questions about the size of the profits reaped by private companies in the absence of a Lebanese state intervention.

As for why Lebanon’s fuel crisis still exists given the fact that fuel continues to enter the country unabated is clearly a political decision made at the highest levels.

The cartel has the ability to exacerbate the crisis by halting domestic supplies with sufficient quantity to create shortages and confusion. The issue of opening credit lines at Lebanon’s Central Bank is also subject to this consideration – linked to increasing or easing pressure on the street.

Ironically, US sanctions on Lebanon are the biggest fear of the oil companies controlling the country’s energy market. Some of the companies were forced to submit reports to the American embassy in Beirut, disclosing the real quantities of imported fuel and the areas of distribution. How much, then, does the US embassy know about the covert oil operations and the real state of Lebanon’s energy shortages? And how much leverage does it have over these companies? Enough to dictate the amount of fuel distributed to the Lebanese people?

There is no doubt that the US embassy has played a role in exacerbating the fuel crisis ­– especially in areas that contain a large base of support for Hezbollah. As any follower of Lebanese events will know, the fuel crisis has been most severe in the Bekaa Valley, south Lebanon, and the southern suburb of Beirut, areas in which Hezbollah enjoys most support.

Hezbollah is prepared to expel America from Lebanon • The Cradle

Source: https://thecradle.co/Article/analysis/2555

In a bold announcement that made no foreign headlines, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Hashem Safieddine has declared that the Lebanese resistance group will seek to expel US meddling and influence from Lebanese state institutions.

“The US is an enemy no less hostile than Israel, and sometimes more hostile than Israel,” insisted Safieddine, an extremely close confidante of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, during a 4 October internal party meeting. “We cannot deny America’s security, financial, and economic power and influence; it has a strong presence in the Lebanese state.”

According to Hezbollah sources, the Lebanese Army establishment, led by General Joseph Aoun, tops the list of institutions under strong US influence, followed by the Central Bank of Lebanon and other Lebanese security departments, state administrations, and development ministries, all deeply infiltrated by America’s yes-men.

While Safieddine’s declaration – made as Hezbollah defied Israeli threats and a US siege by importing Iranian fuel to lessen Lebanon’s dire energy crisis – was unexpected, it nevertheless constituted a marked escalation from Nasrallah’s usual claim that the US embassy in Lebanon is a “nest of spies.”

It is no secret that the US is on a mission to militarily extricate itself from various West Asian conflict zones in the coming months, particularly from the Syrian and Iraqi theaters. But before doing so, Washington seems hellbent on curbing Hezbollah’s powerful regional role to balance out its own waning influence in the region.

This would explain the recent flurry of diplomatic activity in the Levant, beginning with the meeting between Jordan’s King Abdullah and US President Joe Biden, during which the former calmly informed the latter that Syrian President Bashar Assad is here to stay.

Jordan’s special relationship with Syria is one that King Abdallah is keen on repairing, as his country’s future hinges on reviving the Jordanian corridor between Syria and the Persian Gulf states to reboot his economy. There is also his highly-ambitious ‘Levant Plan,’ a joint economic project tacitly agreed upon by Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon to boost their economies and jump-start region-wide reconstruction – but that plan has been sharply curtailed by Washington, and reconfigured to include only Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

The latter version simply isn’t a sustainable or valuable alternative, and so American eyes are firmly fixed on Iraqi election results, where they hope for the reinstatement of the US-friendly Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who can advance their vision. As one of the region’s influential mediators in Iraqi political affairs, Hezbollah, too, is keenly watching the new political map unfolding in Iraq.

But the US knows very well that given the political and sectarian divisions among the Lebanese, that Hezbollah’s main area of vulnerability is in Lebanon, the resistance group’s safe house. So, Washington spares no effort to besiege Hezbollah at home.

It started by slapping sanctions on wealthy Shia figures and banks by accusing them – often without evidence – of financing the resistance groups’s activities. It moved on to imposing a crippling economic and oil embargo on the whole country, and halting Lebanon’s ability to extract gas from its sea by pressuring French company Total into issuing a discouraging report on those energy resources.

The US, however, has neither succeeded with the economic pressure it has exerted internally on the Lebanese, nor with the external restraints it imposed on Gulf states – led by Saudi Arabia – to limit trade, investment and loans to Beirut’s hard-hit economy.

If anything, American attempts to cordon off the country and deny it supplies provided Hezbollah with the validating impetus necessary to confront the US directly, import Iranian fuel, and transport it via US-sanctioned Syria.

This move not only broke the US siege and forced American consent, but triggered unprecedented US efforts to exempt Lebanon from Washington’s own sanctions on Syria, in order to obtain Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity for the state.

Sources reveal that the US Ambassador in Beirut Dorothy Shea has embarked on a series of private visits to Lebanon’s energy minister, security officials, and Public Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oweidat. The Cradle has learned that she personally visited Oweidat two weeks ago, ostensibly to ‘thank him’ for giving child custody to an American family. During the meeting, the sources say Shea drilled him on details of the Beirut Port blast investigation, and said the US is watching the case closely.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, also reveal unprecedented US administration activity in the Beirut Port blast investigation, as it believes the process can be used to pressure or isolate Hezbollah. They cite a series of meetings between US embassy representatives and lead judicial investigator Tariq al-Bitar, that are being disingenuously portrayed as “routine reviews” because one of the detained suspects holds US citizenship.

Hezbollah sources, however, tell The Cradle there is a deliberate attempt to falsely characterize the port blast crime as an attack on ‘Christians’ exclusively, and go after Hezbollah by picking off its alliances in government. Judge Bitar has already pointed the finger of suspicion at Hezbollah’s political allies and accused the party of protecting them from accountability. Hezbollah, the sources say, has also been monitoring the relentless activities of US-funded organizations that spawn many of the disinformation narratives surrounding the Port of Beirut explosion.

Concern about Bitar’s performance is reinforced by a recent US Congress Foreign Relations Committee statement, which “praises the integrity of investigator Tariq al-Bitar and expresses concern about Hezbollah’s role in suspending the investigation into the Beirut Port explosion.”

Hezbollah has described this accusation as “playing with fire.” Its officials believe that warning the US against attempts to remove Hezbollah from Lebanese state institutions serves also to warn them that the option to strike back is on the table. These messages also signal to the US that if it persists in meddling in the state affairs of Lebanon, Hezbollah will be forced to act upon this decision, whatever its domestic cost may be.

Hezbollah is well-aware that the fight to remove US interference from Lebanon will be too high a cost for the country to bear at this critically harsh period in its economic crisis. Perhaps that is why Safieddine caveated his language by saying Hezbollah will first evaluate the pros and cons of eradicating American influence from Lebanese institutions. One thing is clear, though – Safieddine sought to send Washington an upgraded warning: “Beware. Don’t test our patience.” One misstep from the Americans, and a con can start to look more like a pro.

Lebanon Is Under Maximum Pressure, and the Target Is Hezbollah: Iran Sends Its Support • Katehon

Lebanon is under unprecedented economic and social pressure, paying the price for Hezbollah’s military capability that causes a threat to “Israel”. The options offered by those (US, EU and “Israel”) effectively participating in cornering Lebanon -notwithstanding decades of domestic corruption and mismanagement – are limited to two: either disarm Hezbollah or push Lebanon toward a failed state and civil war. However, the “Axis of the Resistance” has other options: Iran has responded to the request of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah by regularly sending to Lebanon food supplies and medicine. It is now sending oil tankers, which are expected to reach the country in the coming weeks via the Syrian port of Tartous. Iran is rushing to support one of its strongest allies in the “Axis of the Resistance”, Hezbollah, which is suffering severe domestic pressure, as are the entire Resistance Axis members in their respective countries. Hezbollah’s supporters of all persuasions are affected by the acute socio-economic crisis. But will Hezbollah succeed in overcoming the inevitable result of the current long-term crisis? How serious are the challenges?

In one of his private meetings, Sayed Nasrallah said: “Israel considered that Hezbollah’s military capability constituted a “vexing danger” at the first years of its existence. The level of danger moved up to “challenge” in 2000 when “Israel” withdrew from Lebanon, to the “serious menace” level after the 2006 war, and to “existential danger” after the wars in Syria and Iraq.”

In line with what the Secretary-General of Hezbollah believes, it is common knowledge that “Israel” possesses nuclear weapons. Therefore, no other power in the Middle East can be considered an “existential threat” to “Israel”. However, according to the Israeli military leadership, Hezbollah possesses accurate missiles carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives each. Thus, Hezbollah needs only ten missiles – not hundreds – to hit 6 electric stations and 4 water desalination plants over the entire geography to render life impossible for a vast number of Israelis. The Israeli leadership stated that there is no need to count the precision missiles that could hit any oil platform, ship or harbour and destroy any airport control tower in any future war.

Consequently, there will be not many Israelis willing to stay, and it is conceivable to believe that a considerable number of Israelis would leave. This scenario constitutes an existential threat to “Israel”, indeed. In this case, as the military command says, “Israel” will never be able to coexist with such an existential threat looming over its head generated from the other side of the Lebanese border. Hezbollah possesses hundreds of precision missiles spread over a wide area in Lebanon, Syria, and mainly along the fortified eastern mountainside that offer ideal protection for these missiles. So what are “Israel’s” options?

Following the failure to subdue Hezbollah in 2006 in the 3rd war, the victory of the “Axis of Resistance” in the Syrian conflict, the prevention of the division of Iraq and the fall of Yemen under Saudi Arabia’s control, the area of ​​influence of the Resistance Axis expanded, as well as its theatre of operations. Consequently, the danger to “Israel”, to the US’s goals and hegemony in West Asia, significantly increased.

The nuclear dossier is not that far away from the threat the “Axis of the Resistance” is confronted with. By increasing its nuclear capability, Iran forced President Joe Biden to put the nuclear negotiation at the top of its agenda during (former) President Hassan Rouhani’s mandate. Whatever has been said about the possibility of future progress in the nuclear talks in Vienna, lifting sanctions on Iran – while Iraq is labouring under heavy financial debt, Syria is subjected to a severe economic blockade, and Lebanon faces a becoming degraded state -seems unrealistic to the US.

To the west and “Israel”, releasing Iran’s frozen funds – which exceed $110 billion – at a time of maximum financial pressure and heavy sanctions, is not logical. Moreover, allowing Iran to sell and export its oil and lifting the maximum pressure means that all the previous US efforts to curb Iran’s will and progress are due to fail just when the results of these sanctions are turning in favour of the US in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Consequently, maintaining economic pressure on the “Axis of Resistance” has become a US necessity and strategy. With this in mind, the US failed to comply with the nuclear agreement, to improve the leverage of the US negotiator and impose its conditions over Iran to include, above all, its relationship with its allies and the maintenance of hundreds of sanctions in place.

With the arrival of President Ibrahim Raisi to power and his plans to give little time for the nuclear negotiation, the US sees itself faced with two very bitter choices: either allowing Iran to become a nuclear power or removing all sanctions so as to persuade Iran to delay its entire nuclear capability. Both decisions are impossible choices and inconvenient for the US administration. Thus, the US needs to hit Iran’s allies without negotiating with Tehran, because it refuses to include it – as well as Iran’s missile program – in any nuclear talks.

Suppose the maximum pressure on Lebanon fails to weaken Hezbollah. In that case, Washington needs to evaluate future steps to choose between the nuclear threat or the “Axis of the Resistance” threat to “Israel”. And if the US opts for the 2015 nuclear agreement –which is unlikely – then “the Axis of Resistance” will experience a strong revival, recovering from the extreme US pressure. Whatever America’s choice is, it has become more than evident that Iran will eventually become a nuclear power and offer more than adequate support to its allies to keep them strong enough to face whatever challenges.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah cannot provide and has no intention of replacing the services provided by the state. Nevertheless, it is involved in the food supply through “al-Sajjad” cards delivered to families needing to buy food at a sharply reduced price, which raised the number from 150 000 to 200 000. It is supporting thousands of families who have reached the level of extreme poverty. Moreover, Hezbollah brought medication from Iran (more than 500 types) to cover some of the country’s needs when pharmacies are closing their doors and lacking essential medical supplies.

Furthermore, in the coming weeks, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah have agreed on delivering Iranian oil to Lebanon. Hezbollah will receive the gasoline from the supply to its forces and for covering its daily movements. Hospitals are at the top of the list of those expected to receive the Iranian oil distributed by Hezbollah to prevent their shutting down. Many hospitals closed more than half of their departments. Other medical facilities transferred their patients to hospitals that still have fuel to generate electricity for the next few days. In various parts of Lebanon, hospitals are asking many patients to leave due to the lack of diesel fuel for electricity. The American University of Beirut Medical Centre stopped ventilators and other lifesaving medical devices for the lack of fuel oil.

Also, Hezbollah is expected to deliver Iranian oil to the owners of tens of thousands of private electric generators. The lack of electricity in the country boosted the presence of thousands of privately-owned generators who, for decades, offer their paid services to compensate for the lack of electricity. These are expected to benefit from the oil delivered by Hezbollah to secure electric power supply for people. The shortage of diesel fuel for the owners of generators reached a critical degree in the current hot summer, raising the level of discontent among the population.

Also, diesel fuel will be provided to some municipalities to secure waste removal from the streets for fear of the spread of disease. Al-Amanah Company is also expected to distribute the Iranian oil and diesel to dozens of stations approved by it and other local gasoline stations spread throughout the Lebanese territory.

But Hezbollah will not satisfy everyone in the country and is not able to prevent internal deterioration within the Shia society (-the majority of Shia stand with Hezbollah, but there are others in the Amal movement under the control of Speaker Nabih Berri and not Hezbollah) in the first place and among its allies in the second place. The social decline is at a peak, and Iran’s support is insufficient unless Iran fully achieves its own recovery – if sanctions are fully lifted – and its domestic economy recovers. As far as it concerns Iran, the consent to its allies is mandatory because the “Axis of the Resistance” is united and all share the same vocation.

However, it is not in Iran’s capability to take on the entire burden of Syria and Lebanon’s economy. Iran supported Syria financially throughout the decade of war but is in no position to finance all the needs of the state. Also, Hezbollah started as a popular resistance force against the Israeli occupation, intending to impose deterrence and protect the state from Israeli violations and ambitions. It has been heavily involved in social support to the deprived Shia sect and managed to cover many infrastructure and service holes left by the incapability of the state. But the challenge faced in the last couple of years is beyond Hezbollah’s competencies and probably beyond the means of the state itself.

It should be borne in mind, though, that the flow of the Iranian oil into Lebanon carries with it several potential risks:

First: The risk of an Israeli strike on the supply lines. This will require Hezbollah to strike back “Israel” to maintain the balance of terror and deterrence equation. The tension in the military situation between “Israel” and Hezbollah will reach its climax without going to an all-out war because “Israel” prefers “campaigns between wars” to control the damage that may result from the confrontation. However, if “Israel” strikes the Iranian oil tankers or other countries try to stop the oil from reaching Lebanon, Iran would reply and it is not expected to stop sending its tankers to Lebanon.

Second: The supply route passes through areas not controlled by Hezbollah. What will the other anti-Hezbollah groups do? Will Hezbollah find a solution to convince the (hostile) Druze, Sunni and Christians spread along its supply road to avoid intercepting its trucks, or would it be forced to face groups and be dragged into an internal battle? How will Hezbollah guarantee the cohesion of its areas from the Beqaa to the southern suburbs of Beirut and even to the South of Lebanon so that its environment would be safe from the sectarian incitement the US manipulates and drags the country toward it?

There is no doubt that Lebanon is heading toward the dissolution of the state in a fast-paced manner. This will lead to the security forces’ weakness in general and push each sect or party to provide the necessary support to the membership of its society. Lebanon is expected to live again in the 1980s era when social services were reduced, waste spread in the streets, health and education levels declined, security forces were inefficient and hopeless, and warlords were emerging out of it.

From a specific aspect, the US-Israeli blockade is relatively in the interests of Hezbollah because it receives its financial support in foreign currency. Hezbollah is a regular and coherent organisation, and it will increase its revenue from the sharp devaluation of the local currency, the selling of medicine, oil and food. Hezbollah is expected to sell gasoline and diesel at prices relatively lower than the market price. Furthermore, it is also expected to allow other areas in Lebanon to have access to all the reached products. That will permit Hezbollah to expose greedy Lebanese merchants who monopolise and stockpile medicines and gasoline to starve the market and increase prices. These Lebanese merchants will be forced to sell their goods if these are no longer a rarity in the market. The goods are currently sold on the black market at prices unaffordable to the majority of the inhabitants.

What Lebanon is suffering from is the result of decades of corruption conducted by the US friends who held the political power in the country. The downgrading of Lebanon is primarily due to the US and Israeli interventions and influence in this country: It has lost the name “Switzerland of the East” forever. The disadvantage for Hezbollah will be the security chaos, the fragmentation of the security forces and their inability to impose their authority, and the spread of poverty to hit all walks of life. It is also expected to see the country suffer different sabotage acts, bribes, further corruption- and to become a fertile platform for the Israeli intelligence to operate in. A possible and potential scenario will force Hezbollah to “clean up” the roads to ensure the continuity of its supplies, link all Shia areas together and impose “self-security” to reduce their vulnerability.

Time’s arrow cannot be reversed, and Lebanon will not return to what it was before, not for the next ten years at least. There is a possibility to create Lebanese cantons with different warlords without engaging in a civil war. Each Lebanese party would end up arming its group to support its people and area, not to engage in a battle with other parties, but to defend itself.

The collapse is the master of the situation. The US has prevented Lebanon from benefiting from Chinese and Russian offers to rebuild the country and stop it from deteriorating further. Moreover, the US forbad Europe and the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries from helping Lebanon in this crisis as they used to in the past. After all, Lebanon needs 3 to 4 billion dollars to stand on its feet and regain some of its strength after halting subsidies on various items that gobble up its cash resources.

But the challenge remains for the “Axis of Resistance” members, struggling to survive and resist the US hegemony and confront the US projects to dominate West Asia. Unless the “Axis of Resistance” members take the initiative and move from a defensive to an offensive position and impose new equations that prevent starvation of the population, this pressure will remain and even increase with time. However, supposing the US pressure is maintained, and the “Axis of the Resistance” adopts only survival mode: In that case, Lebanon’s people and the country’s stability will pay an increasingly heavy price, both now and in the years to come.

https://english.almayadeen.net/articles/opinion/lebanon-is-under-maximum-pressure-and-the-target-is-hezbolla

Source: Lebanon Is Under Maximum Pressure, and the Target Is Hezbollah: Iran Sends Its Support

The Poisonous Spread of “Democracy” in the age of the newly defangled NEW WORLD ORDER – and the rising from the ashes of a New World Order once again.

The NWO as seen in 1990 died in 2020. The idea of a New World Order we lost alot, and worse here in America complete loss of trust in any government/media/bullshit narrative:

• The sensational attack on Iraq (which had legitimate beef with Kuwait). This was done under the guise of liberating Kuwait – when in fact this was done to entrench US Military assets permanently in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Israel….at the behest of the wishes of the Zionist agenda for a Greater Israel Project.

• Waco – documented on the film “Waco – A New Revelation” , this is the most powerful expose of what really happened at the beginning of the standoff with a 4 hour gun battle raging between Waco compound Christians vs. ATF, DEA, FBI, State Police agents armed to the teeth for a blood bath. And how the fuckery intertwines with Texas State Government, the Clinton Administration…and how Delta Force (a shadow black ops force) officially ended the standoff providing military grade ammunition rounds, flame accelerants and tactical and logistical support. If you watch the documentary, there are dozens of former ATF, DEA, FBI, CIA, local Waco police, Texas State Police members (mostly former members) testify to the truth – Waco was a GAY-OP.

•Y2K… this was such a scam. Look at the power vacuum quickly usurped by this explosion in “security software” which actually created bloatware/spyware/adware/viruses/worms/trojan horses etc to make their bullshit software seem effective. Anyone that understands TCP/IP protocols and FTP/SSH/SSL and a bulk of these network telecommunications standards know that a PHYSICAL FIREWALL that manages layers of administrative access is the best way to reduce “h4XX0rz” ….

•The tech “dot com” stock bubble and Lead Zeppelin like crash. Financial analysts, advisors and planners as well as brokers etc had violated their FIDUCIARY DUTY to the PUBLIC TRUST by pushing fictious asset bubbles that were stocks trading at 247 times earnings – because they weren’t earning anything. Pets.com at one point was trading at like $400 share. All it was – was a domain. In the realms of private equity and venture capital this type of scenario is commonplace. That is, a business entity lacking actual business operations as well as any type of Immediate plan to launch an operation….pure SPECULATION AND MOMENTUM KILLED THE INVESTMENT MARKETS. Now 82 yo retired truckers in Nevada as well as 22 yo college students in Boston could electronically place stock trades – purely riding speculation and momentum. Very few people understood “day trading” The value of a capital investment – in financial/economic fundamental terms proper means “the net present value of future discounted cash flows.” These principals of the markets died with momentum and speculation based trading and hence the big tech dot com bubble crash in March 2000. With people having $500 in the bank yet they have leveraged 4x the amount of shares in Lucent Technologies, never realized any of the unrealized gains they had for they figured the boom times would last forever…and ended up in bankruptcy.

•Enron accounting fraud in collusion with their auditors Arthur Anderson CPA. Enron was bigger than Exxon Mobil – on paper. But their auditor (the auditor acts as a detective of the reasonableness and completeness of stated balance sheet account items as well as the yearly statement of operations aka income statement. It was quite obvious that AA, CPA was breaking their duty to the public trust and were entangled in the greatest financial conflict of interest of the new millennium as they were AIDING AND ABETTING the financial scheme which allowed Enron to bury losses through off balance sheet “variable interest entities”. These entities however would obtain millions even billions in funding. And Enron had tens of thousands of them. And they would take the monies that technically, in accounting terms, were loans or the fancy term “corporate debentures”. Therefore these monies should have been reported as LIABILITIES/DEBT. Instead the influx of the cash was recorded as REVENUE. Enron was the largest entity in market cap of all the energy companies circa 2000, battling with rivals Exxon Mobil and Gazprol. Enron even tricked their entire workforce to sink 100% of all of their retirement assets into Enron ESOP and Preferred Stock and Common Stock acquisitions. This was malicious in intent, made two years before the Enron collapse, which was a decade in the making. And those tens of thousands of ordinary working class people were left penniless in terms of retirement funds and had no where to turn. And the SEC, the regulatory body that is supposed to monitor such related party and offshore and off balance sheet events and transactions – dropped the fucking ball! Who got punished? A small handful of Enron executives , some of which took their own lives prior to facing the judgement of the court of law. This was the biggest erasure of net worth revolving around a SINGLE FUCKING BUSINESS. EVER. The impact on the prudence and viability and reliability and the skeptics new eye of the actual financial health and reality of publicly traded companies entered a new phase for fear. Let’s couple this with similar schemes at Tyco, WorldCom, there are many others.

• Then the planes hit the buildings. Men like Alex Jones who were laughed off as koooks and fear mongering desperados trying to make a buck saw this coming for years. Infact, there were multiple streams and live call in shows Alex Jones and Infowars (pre-Super Male Vitality horseshit days) from May 2001- August 2001 where Jones stated as clear as the night is day that “an attack is going to happen on the United States soil, a terrorist attack, to help usher in a police and welfare state as part of the NWO’s master plan for power over the people of the free world. Yeah, there were “radicalized Islamic Jihadists” that boarded those planes convinced they were on a holy mission. And for them, it very well was. However, the state’s official narrative that 19 men circled the globe and circumvented investigation and then successfully hijacked 4 large jumbo jets and crashed them into targets – this is only the Jihadists version. Perhaps aware, perhaps not, this was allowed to happen. The Israeli mossad agents dancing and lighting lighters and taking pictures admitted on a November nightly TV show in Israel that they were there to “document the event”. Ryan Dawson has done absolutely amazing work laying out in mind-blowing, explicit details and I highly suggest checking out his work for you to see the inner workings of the powers behind the 9/11 attack. Another thing, a man named Lyndon Larouche, a politician (Third Positionist) wanted to enter the Senate and begin to point out the major fuckery of our wages/prices disparity, over-aggressive appreciation in property values in record minimum time, he spoke about the Secret Police state, how no citizen is safe and how a Zionist cabal of international central banks was working to ultimately destroy the freedoms of the constitution. In January of 2001 – HE PREDICTED THE ATTACKS, THE NARRATIVE, THE RETALIATION AGAINST AFGANISTAN TALIBAN FOR HOUSING AL QAUDA – and finally how this would be the carrying out of Bill Kristol’s PNAC white paper – written in 1998. And Larouche got thrown into an investigation of filing inaccurate tax returns that landed him in federal felony territory. I myself have been a CPA since 2006 and I know the severity of the charges he faced – where to destroy his political career – for any ordinary tax payer may have made the same mistakes – it’s a 95% chance they would simply be mandated by the IRS to amend their returns. The fuckery of FREEDOM!




• AFGANISTAN war. Very ironic. For in 1979, THE US CIA, STATE DEPARTMENT, the Israeli Mossad, the British MI-6 and other glow in the dark CIA ninjas created the Mujahideen – Islamic Jihadists, mostly mercenaries that were not from Afganistan – they were armed to fight “Capitalism’s proxy war” against the USSR.

They were supplied with liquidity, weapons, training, logistics, food, medical supplies, tactical training. And one of the main assets of the Mujahideen was one Tim Osman. Aka Osama Bin-Laden. The book House of Bush, House of Saud does an excellent job of illustrating in detail the emergence of an alliance between the Bush family and it’s consortium of close ties, with both the Royal Saudi Family as well as the Bin-Laden dynasty – a very large electricity and commercial hardware powerhouse in the Middle East and surrounding areas (think General Electric, Honeywell sized – also think monopoly).

As the Afganistani native forces with heavy support from this Mujahideen apparatus never allowed the Soviets to take control of Afganistan and after a decades long campaign of guerilla warfare, the Mujahideen prevailed. Soon there after , with 2 years, the USSR fell.

The remnants of the Mujahideen were not that. No remnants. This was now a unique Pro-Islamic, Pro-protect vital resources, Anti-privatization, Anti-deregulation, Anti-Western value system, Anti-foreign intervention league of HOLY WARRIORS. And a generation went by (1989-1998) when the Mujahideen morphed and created new alliances, Sunni and Shiite alike, with Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Nusra…there are many thousands of small factions over history the Mujahideen – renamed “Al-Queda” upon the day of the planes hitting the buildings in NYC and DC. Al-Queda simply means “the base” in Arabic.

What transpired was these Holy Warriors had a new enemy of oppression, new enemies and ideals intertwined with DEMOCRACY. 1. The aggressive actions of the Zionist ethnostate against Palestinian people, land and rights. 2. Companies like the now defunct Enron, also Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, etc absolutely ignoring the sovereignty of these Arabic nations and frankly coercing Arabic governments into taking loans from the International Monetary Fund that were destined to default. And default they did. And from Morocco to Libya to Tunisia to Lebanon to Afganistan – mega fossil fuel conglomerates were pillaging fossil fuels from the region. Amongst many more human atrocities never discussed under the banner of American Exceptionalism.

And US military assets became the police of the world for one key reason – to enforce the viability of the Petrodollar. Plainly stated, say the UN recognized 200 sovereign nations. Some 175 of them were REQUIRED to be in PHYSICAL POSSESSION of the DOLLAR to purchase Brent and Crude market oil.

The Afganistan war was tied into this. Also, the opportunity to seize control of 90% of the world’s poppy supply (used for oxycodone, heroin, etc). 20 years since 2001 we are still there…and for what? For the struggle of the precious resources – poppy – and pipelines.

• 2003, the Iraq war, marked the official downfall of America as the “do no wrong” world superpower. They wanted this war against Saddam Hussein and this had nothing to do with “SPREADING DEMOCRACY”.

  • Opiate crisis
  • 2000 election/supreme Court
  • Housing, food, transport costs rise
  • Tech, toys, distractions , porn free
  • Sexual revolution in the 20 yrs
  • Hope and change – Obama
  • Financial crisis 2007-08
  • APPLE, GOOGLE, MICROSOFT, FACEBOOK, AMAZON – monopolies that stifle innovation, crush ordinary people, run on tax funded telegram taxes, public utility, public square, censorship
  • Trump – the candidate vs the president
  • COVID -19 – the end and the beginning.