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Thread: Lebanon days away from collapse

  1. #1

    Lebanon days away from collapse

    Protests trigger crisis of confidence in Lebanon economy
    Duration: 02:08 5 hrs ago

    In an exclusive interview, Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salame tells Becky Anderson that a political solution is needed within days to avoid economic collapse.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/news...pse/vi-AAJsWUN

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!



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  3. #2
    Lebanon protesters block roads to keep revolt alive

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ive/ar-AAJsx9f

    Defying pleas from Lebanon's top leaders, protesters sought to keep the country on lockdown for a 12th consecutive day by cutting off some of the main thoroughfares, including the main north-south highway.
    The protesters are demanding more freedom, better services and an end to corruption and sectarian politics, among other things.
    Their unprecedented mobilisation -- sparked by a proposed tax on voice calls via messaging apps on October 17 -- has quickly morphed into a massive grassroots push to drive out a political elite which has remained virtually unchanged in three decades.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  4. #3

  5. #4
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  6. #5
    Hezbollah supporters rampage in Central Beirut.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Leb...al-beirut.ashx

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  7. #6
    Hezbollah warns of civil war.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/ar...irut-witnesses

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah movement warned on Friday that a power vacuum could tip the country into civil war, suggesting that adversaries including the United States and Israel were seeking to exploit an unprecedented wave of demonstrations to provoke conflict.
    Lebanon has been swept by more than a week of nationwide protests against a political elite accused of corruption, mismanagement of the state finances and leading the country toward an economic collapse unseen since the 1975-90 civil war.
    A report from credit rating agency S&P was the latest to sound the alarm over the financial situation. Banks remain closed and have said they will only reopen when life returns to normal.
    Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose movement is part of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's coalition government, urged his followers to stay away from the protests after they clashed with demonstrators in Beirut.
    The heavily armed Shi'ite group is widely seen as the most powerful player in Lebanon and is part of an Iranian-led regional alliance that is in conflict with U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states that have political allies in the country.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  8. #7
    Good.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1XA2QX

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is withholding $105 million in security aid for Lebanon, two U.S. officials said on Thursday, two days after the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

    The State Department told Congress on Thursday that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold the foreign military assistance, the two officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The officials did not say why the aid was blocked. One of the sources said the State Department did not give Congress a reason for the decision.
    The State Department declined to comment.

    The administration had sought approval for the assistance starting in May, arguing that it was crucial for Lebanon, an important U.S. partner in the volatile Middle East, to be able to protect its borders. The aid included night vision goggles and weapons used in border security.
    But Washington has also repeatedly expressed concern over the growing role in the Beirut government of Hezbollah, the armed Shi’ite group backed by Iran and listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  9. #8
    Lebanon's been something of a success story since the end of the civil war, let's hope that's not undone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    The protesters are demanding more freedom, better services and an end to corruption and sectarian politics
    ...which, to the protestors, means what exactly?

    Somehow I doubt they mean smaller government.



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  11. #9
    Bet most politicians in our country want to intervene to make sure Lebanon doesn't collapse.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Lebanon's been something of a success story since the end of the civil war, let's hope that's not undone.

    ...which, to the protestors, means what exactly?

    Somehow I doubt they mean smaller government.
    Probably less corruption and nepotism than what they are experiencing now.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Lebanon's been something of a success story since the end of the civil war, let's hope that's not undone.

    ...which, to the protestors, means what exactly?

    Somehow I doubt they mean smaller government.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/01...druze-rage-on/

    In late October, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned after weeks of protest against his government. Days later, news broke that the Trump administration would be withholding military assistance to the beleaguered nation. Although the exact reason for the freeze is unclear, U.S. President Donald Trump has long threatened to punish the Lebanese government over the outsized role Hezbollah plays in Lebanese politics and society.
    With Beirut now facing an uncertain economic future—and with protesters continuing their call for an overhaul of the entire political class—we’ve gathered our top reads from the last year to explain why the uprising started and what comes next.


    Lebanon’s most recent round of trouble dates back to its last election, in 2018, which returned Hariri to power but led to a nine-month struggle to form a coalition government amid a surge in popularity for Hezbollah. Once installed in late January 2019, the new unity government had difficulty doing much of anything. And, as the professor Sune Haugbolle wrote in February, “[s]topgap measures will not suffice much longer. Pollution is rampant; burned and dumped trash is spoiling the natural environment and contaminating water. Lebanon’s economy is faltering under the weight of mismanagement, debt, and Syrian refugees.”
    That’s why, he argued, it would be a mistake for the United States to jump in and try to punish Hezbollah for its increasingly strong political position. Anchal Vohra, a Beirut-based reporter, had much the same to say after a visit to Lebanon by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in March. His threat, she explained, was clear: “If Lebanon fails to limit Hezbollah’s political and military power, it would risk not just losing U.S. aid but also a more severe response, possibly in the form of debilitating national sanctions.” But that, she argued, might only strengthen the group in the longer run.
    As the question of what to do about Hezbollah loomed, Lebanon’s other governance problems stacked up.
    In February, Firas Maksad of George Washington University explains, “George Zreik, a struggling father who could no longer afford his young daughter’s tuition, torched himself in her school’s playground. His desperate act of self-immolation shook the country to its core.” Then, over the summer, a former Miss Lebanon runner-up died of cancer, which, for many observers, “personified mounting fears about living in a country where the air, water, and soil are increasingly toxic,” reports Maskad, along with the writer Sarah Lord. As the country’s levels of pollution have increased, deaths from chronic respiratory disease and cancer have soared.
    In late October, wildfires raged across the country, and “[e]ven as Lebanon’s once lush mountains were still smoldering, an out-of-touch government announced a fresh round of taxes, including on WhatsApp, the popular messaging service,” Maksad notes. “The Lebanese had finally had enough.”
    To be sure, protesters had taken to the streets before, but these marches have been different. Rather than dividing along sectarian lines, the movement includes Christians, Muslims, and Druze, rural Lebanese and urbanites alike—all demanding the resignation of the government.
    In particular, the participation of Shiite protesters despite an injunction from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to support the government raised questions about the group’s future—and Iran’s influence over it. According to Hanin Ghaddar, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the protests in Lebanon and Iraq have been very revealing. “For the Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon, Tehran and its proxies have failed to translate military and political victories into a socioeconomic vision; simply put, Iran’s resistance narrative did not put food on the table,” she writes. And that is why its influence across the Middle East, she points out, might be on the wane.
    For Vohra, both countries’ institutionalization of sectarianism is to blame for the uprising. The division of power in both “has reduced sectarian conflict but failed at making government efficient or transparent.” That’s why, she writes, “[s]ome Lebanese believe that this long after the civil war, it is time to move on from the old system and take the risk to invest in something different. In last year’s elections, a new movement of independent, nonsectarian ‘civil society’ candidates stepped up, and though only one succeeded in winning a seat, amid claims they are too disparate and divided to succeed, they are still determined to try again.”
    At the very least, even after Hariri’s resignation, it seems clear that the protesters will push on. Many seem determined to continue marching until every last representative of the old guard is gone. “Many protesters say their leaders have purposely fostered sectarian divisions in the country to keep people scared and feeling dependent on their political parties,” explains Rebecca Collard, a broadcast journalist. And perhaps that is why they have appointed no leader for themselves. “The fact that the government has no one to even try to negotiate with is a strength.”
    Read More

    Lebanon’s Protests Are Leaderless. That May Be Their Strength.
    Fed up with decades of economic mismanagement and corruption, most demonstrators just want the government gone.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/01...druze-rage-on/

    In late October, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned after weeks of protest against his government. Days later, news broke that the Trump administration would be withholding military assistance to the beleaguered nation. Although the exact reason for the freeze is unclear, U.S. President Donald Trump has long threatened to punish the Lebanese government over the outsized role Hezbollah plays in Lebanese politics and society.
    With Beirut now facing an uncertain economic future—and with protesters continuing their call for an overhaul of the entire political class—we’ve gathered our top reads from the last year to explain why the uprising started and what comes next.


    Lebanon’s most recent round of trouble dates back to its last election, in 2018, which returned Hariri to power but led to a nine-month struggle to form a coalition government amid a surge in popularity for Hezbollah. Once installed in late January 2019, the new unity government had difficulty doing much of anything. And, as the professor Sune Haugbolle wrote in February, “[s]topgap measures will not suffice much longer. Pollution is rampant; burned and dumped trash is spoiling the natural environment and contaminating water. Lebanon’s economy is faltering under the weight of mismanagement, debt, and Syrian refugees.”
    That’s why, he argued, it would be a mistake for the United States to jump in and try to punish Hezbollah for its increasingly strong political position. Anchal Vohra, a Beirut-based reporter, had much the same to say after a visit to Lebanon by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in March. His threat, she explained, was clear: “If Lebanon fails to limit Hezbollah’s political and military power, it would risk not just losing U.S. aid but also a more severe response, possibly in the form of debilitating national sanctions.” But that, she argued, might only strengthen the group in the longer run.
    As the question of what to do about Hezbollah loomed, Lebanon’s other governance problems stacked up.
    In February, Firas Maksad of George Washington University explains, “George Zreik, a struggling father who could no longer afford his young daughter’s tuition, torched himself in her school’s playground. His desperate act of self-immolation shook the country to its core.” Then, over the summer, a former Miss Lebanon runner-up died of cancer, which, for many observers, “personified mounting fears about living in a country where the air, water, and soil are increasingly toxic,” reports Maskad, along with the writer Sarah Lord. As the country’s levels of pollution have increased, deaths from chronic respiratory disease and cancer have soared.
    In late October, wildfires raged across the country, and “[e]ven as Lebanon’s once lush mountains were still smoldering, an out-of-touch government announced a fresh round of taxes, including on WhatsApp, the popular messaging service,” Maksad notes. “The Lebanese had finally had enough.”
    To be sure, protesters had taken to the streets before, but these marches have been different. Rather than dividing along sectarian lines, the movement includes Christians, Muslims, and Druze, rural Lebanese and urbanites alike—all demanding the resignation of the government.
    In particular, the participation of Shiite protesters despite an injunction from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to support the government raised questions about the group’s future—and Iran’s influence over it. According to Hanin Ghaddar, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the protests in Lebanon and Iraq have been very revealing. “For the Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon, Tehran and its proxies have failed to translate military and political victories into a socioeconomic vision; simply put, Iran’s resistance narrative did not put food on the table,” she writes. And that is why its influence across the Middle East, she points out, might be on the wane.
    For Vohra, both countries’ institutionalization of sectarianism is to blame for the uprising. The division of power in both “has reduced sectarian conflict but failed at making government efficient or transparent.” That’s why, she writes, “[s]ome Lebanese believe that this long after the civil war, it is time to move on from the old system and take the risk to invest in something different. In last year’s elections, a new movement of independent, nonsectarian ‘civil society’ candidates stepped up, and though only one succeeded in winning a seat, amid claims they are too disparate and divided to succeed, they are still determined to try again.”
    At the very least, even after Hariri’s resignation, it seems clear that the protesters will push on. Many seem determined to continue marching until every last representative of the old guard is gone. “Many protesters say their leaders have purposely fostered sectarian divisions in the country to keep people scared and feeling dependent on their political parties,” explains Rebecca Collard, a broadcast journalist. And perhaps that is why they have appointed no leader for themselves. “The fact that the government has no one to even try to negotiate with is a strength.”
    Read More

    Lebanon’s Protests Are Leaderless. That May Be Their Strength.
    Fed up with decades of economic mismanagement and corruption, most demonstrators just want the government gone.
    The problem with leaderless protests is that they have a hard time getting anything done.

    The Yellow Vests still have accomplished nothing important.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  15. #13
    Lebanon getting the Romanov treatment?

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The problem with leaderless protests is that they have a hard time getting anything done.

    The Yellow Vests still have accomplished nothing important.
    A great time for Hezbollah or some other group to jump in.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    A great time for Hezbollah or some other group to jump in.
    Something like that will happen probably.

    Will the people end up better off or worse off?
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    A great time for Hezbollah or some other group to jump in.
    Looking down on Lebanon from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, soldiers wonder whether the political turmoil in the neighbouring country will weaken arch-enemy Hezbollah or make it more dangerous.

    Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah -- a major political player -- has warned the unrest could lead to "chaos and collapse" of the economy.
    Now Israel wonders whether Lebanon's troubles -- and the rising street pressure that is also being felt by Nasrallah -- could spell a threat or an opportunity for the Jewish state.
    "We are monitoring what is happening in Lebanon, of course we have an interest," Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters during a recent Mount Hermon visit.
    "We don't have any involvement in what is going on", he stressed.
    But he said Israel remains worried about Hezbollah, which could "collect intelligence, patrol the area and, when they want to, attack Israel" from southern Lebanon, including with precision guided missiles it has been manufacturing.
    Conricus argued Lebanon should "get rid of" Hezbollah.
    "As long as they allow Hezbollah, Iran's proxy, to do what they want in Lebanon, that becomes a threat for us, and maybe now it is a good opportunity to change that", he contended.


    Israel is trying to convince the international community to limit Hezbollah's influence.
    The Jewish state believes leverage could be exerted through economic aid for Lebanon, a country burdened by public debt of $86 billion, or 150 per cent of GDP.
    "Israel has asked the United States and European countries to make any aid to Lebanon conditional on the closure of Hezbollah missile factories," a senior Israeli official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
    Middle East expert Eyal Zisser of Tel Aviv University said such a strategy could achieve "some minimal progress", including pushing Hezbollah to back off developing missiles, but cautioned that it would not resolve the wider conflict.
    A far worse outcome would be for an under-pressure Hezbollah to seek to divert attention and rally support by unleashing new attacks against Israel, warned Orna Mizrahi, a former security executive in the Israeli prime minister's office and now an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies.
    If Hezbollah "want to demonstrate that they continue the fight against Israel and they are the protector of Lebanon, you can't ignore the scenario of deterioration -- that if they are doing something, and Israel is retaliating, then we get some kind of deterioration," said Mizrahi.
    In the long term, Israel must face the danger that Hezbollah will maintain its influence in Lebanon, or even increase it if chaos sets in, as Nasrallah has already suggested.
    Such a scenario, said Mizrahi, "might be more complicated for us".
    For the time being, however, said the Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour, the country's self-inflicted chaos meant that "if anyone is having a laugh", it is Israel.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/threat-chance...163939383.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Looking down on Lebanon from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, soldiers wonder whether the political turmoil in the neighbouring country will weaken arch-enemy Hezbollah or make it more dangerous.

    Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah -- a major political player -- has warned the unrest could lead to "chaos and collapse" of the economy.
    Now Israel wonders whether Lebanon's troubles -- and the rising street pressure that is also being felt by Nasrallah -- could spell a threat or an opportunity for the Jewish state.
    "We are monitoring what is happening in Lebanon, of course we have an interest," Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters during a recent Mount Hermon visit.
    "We don't have any involvement in what is going on", he stressed.
    But he said Israel remains worried about Hezbollah, which could "collect intelligence, patrol the area and, when they want to, attack Israel" from southern Lebanon, including with precision guided missiles it has been manufacturing.
    Conricus argued Lebanon should "get rid of" Hezbollah.
    "As long as they allow Hezbollah, Iran's proxy, to do what they want in Lebanon, that becomes a threat for us, and maybe now it is a good opportunity to change that", he contended.


    Israel is trying to convince the international community to limit Hezbollah's influence.
    The Jewish state believes leverage could be exerted through economic aid for Lebanon, a country burdened by public debt of $86 billion, or 150 per cent of GDP.
    "Israel has asked the United States and European countries to make any aid to Lebanon conditional on the closure of Hezbollah missile factories," a senior Israeli official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
    Middle East expert Eyal Zisser of Tel Aviv University said such a strategy could achieve "some minimal progress", including pushing Hezbollah to back off developing missiles, but cautioned that it would not resolve the wider conflict.
    A far worse outcome would be for an under-pressure Hezbollah to seek to divert attention and rally support by unleashing new attacks against Israel, warned Orna Mizrahi, a former security executive in the Israeli prime minister's office and now an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies.
    If Hezbollah "want to demonstrate that they continue the fight against Israel and they are the protector of Lebanon, you can't ignore the scenario of deterioration -- that if they are doing something, and Israel is retaliating, then we get some kind of deterioration," said Mizrahi.
    In the long term, Israel must face the danger that Hezbollah will maintain its influence in Lebanon, or even increase it if chaos sets in, as Nasrallah has already suggested.
    Such a scenario, said Mizrahi, "might be more complicated for us".
    For the time being, however, said the Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour, the country's self-inflicted chaos meant that "if anyone is having a laugh", it is Israel.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/threat-chance...163939383.html
    Wonder what Iran thinks about all this?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/w...anon-iran.html

    Enormous antigovernment demonstrations in Iraq and Lebanon, some tinged with hostility toward Iran, have suddenly put Iran’s interests at risk.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n-lebanon-iraq

    ran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei signaled his opposition to uprisings roiling Lebanon and Iraq, where the Islamic Republic’s allies are resisting calls to oust governments through street protests.


    “The people have justifiable demands, but they should know their demands can only be fulfilled within the legal structure and framework of their country,” Khamenei said on Twitter.

    Iran’s rivals will likely use his comments as proof it has the most to lose from uprooting regimes dominated by Islamic Republic proxy groups. Protesters in both countries accuse the ruling elite of lining their pockets at the expense of populations reeling under stagnant economic growth and rising unemployment.

    Khamenei blamed the protests on the U.S., Israel and some Western countries, echoing the remarks of Iran’s supporters in Lebanon and Iraq.
    Demonstrations against corruption, rising inequality and prices have swept several countries, toppling leaders in Algeria and Sudan.
    But unrest in Lebanon and Iraq pose a particular challenge to Iran, which relies on Hezbollah as well as Iraqi militias for influence as it fights a proxy war with Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    Wonder what Iran thinks about all this?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/w...anon-iran.html

    Enormous antigovernment demonstrations in Iraq and Lebanon, some tinged with hostility toward Iran, have suddenly put Iran’s interests at risk.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n-lebanon-iraq

    ran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei signaled his opposition to uprisings roiling Lebanon and Iraq, where the Islamic Republic’s allies are resisting calls to oust governments through street protests.


    “The people have justifiable demands, but they should know their demands can only be fulfilled within the legal structure and framework of their country,” Khamenei said on Twitter.

    Iran’s rivals will likely use his comments as proof it has the most to lose from uprooting regimes dominated by Islamic Republic proxy groups. Protesters in both countries accuse the ruling elite of lining their pockets at the expense of populations reeling under stagnant economic growth and rising unemployment.

    Khamenei blamed the protests on the U.S., Israel and some Western countries, echoing the remarks of Iran’s supporters in Lebanon and Iraq.
    Demonstrations against corruption, rising inequality and prices have swept several countries, toppling leaders in Algeria and Sudan.
    But unrest in Lebanon and Iraq pose a particular challenge to Iran, which relies on Hezbollah as well as Iraqi militias for influence as it fights a proxy war with Saudi Arabia and the U.S.
    We need to get out of there and let them fight it out, that might even be the best way to bring down the Iranian regime.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    We need to get out of there and let them fight it out, that might even be the best way to bring down the Iranian regime.
    I agree.

    Now, what if Lebanon and Iraq become allies against Iran? Then the MIC will jizz all over itself.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Globalist View Post
    Bet most politicians in our country want to intervene to make sure Lebanon doesn't collapse.
    No. They don't care.

    Lebanon produces no oil.
    "Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?"--Will Rogers

    "All I know is what I read in the newspapers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance."--Will Rogers

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    No. They don't care.

    Lebanon produces no oil.
    + rep

    Besides, Syria would be more bang for the buck. (get it?..."bang" for the buck? hehehe I kill myself)

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/01...druze-rage-on/

    In late October, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned after weeks of protest against his government. Days later, news broke that the Trump administration would be withholding military assistance to the beleaguered nation. Although the exact reason for the freeze is unclear, U.S. President Donald Trump has long threatened to punish the Lebanese government over the outsized role Hezbollah plays in Lebanese politics and society.
    With Beirut now facing an uncertain economic future—and with protesters continuing their call for an overhaul of the entire political class—we’ve gathered our top reads from the last year to explain why the uprising started and what comes next.


    Lebanon’s most recent round of trouble dates back to its last election, in 2018, which returned Hariri to power but led to a nine-month struggle to form a coalition government amid a surge in popularity for Hezbollah. Once installed in late January 2019, the new unity government had difficulty doing much of anything. And, as the professor Sune Haugbolle wrote in February, “[s]topgap measures will not suffice much longer. Pollution is rampant; burned and dumped trash is spoiling the natural environment and contaminating water. Lebanon’s economy is faltering under the weight of mismanagement, debt, and Syrian refugees.”
    That’s why, he argued, it would be a mistake for the United States to jump in and try to punish Hezbollah for its increasingly strong political position. Anchal Vohra, a Beirut-based reporter, had much the same to say after a visit to Lebanon by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in March. His threat, she explained, was clear: “If Lebanon fails to limit Hezbollah’s political and military power, it would risk not just losing U.S. aid but also a more severe response, possibly in the form of debilitating national sanctions.” But that, she argued, might only strengthen the group in the longer run.
    As the question of what to do about Hezbollah loomed, Lebanon’s other governance problems stacked up.
    In February, Firas Maksad of George Washington University explains, “George Zreik, a struggling father who could no longer afford his young daughter’s tuition, torched himself in her school’s playground. His desperate act of self-immolation shook the country to its core.” Then, over the summer, a former Miss Lebanon runner-up died of cancer, which, for many observers, “personified mounting fears about living in a country where the air, water, and soil are increasingly toxic,” reports Maskad, along with the writer Sarah Lord. As the country’s levels of pollution have increased, deaths from chronic respiratory disease and cancer have soared.
    In late October, wildfires raged across the country, and “[e]ven as Lebanon’s once lush mountains were still smoldering, an out-of-touch government announced a fresh round of taxes, including on WhatsApp, the popular messaging service,” Maksad notes. “The Lebanese had finally had enough.”
    To be sure, protesters had taken to the streets before, but these marches have been different. Rather than dividing along sectarian lines, the movement includes Christians, Muslims, and Druze, rural Lebanese and urbanites alike—all demanding the resignation of the government.
    In particular, the participation of Shiite protesters despite an injunction from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to support the government raised questions about the group’s future—and Iran’s influence over it. According to Hanin Ghaddar, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the protests in Lebanon and Iraq have been very revealing. “For the Shiite communities in Iraq and Lebanon, Tehran and its proxies have failed to translate military and political victories into a socioeconomic vision; simply put, Iran’s resistance narrative did not put food on the table,” she writes. And that is why its influence across the Middle East, she points out, might be on the wane.
    For Vohra, both countries’ institutionalization of sectarianism is to blame for the uprising. The division of power in both “has reduced sectarian conflict but failed at making government efficient or transparent.” That’s why, she writes, “[s]ome Lebanese believe that this long after the civil war, it is time to move on from the old system and take the risk to invest in something different. In last year’s elections, a new movement of independent, nonsectarian ‘civil society’ candidates stepped up, and though only one succeeded in winning a seat, amid claims they are too disparate and divided to succeed, they are still determined to try again.”
    At the very least, even after Hariri’s resignation, it seems clear that the protesters will push on. Many seem determined to continue marching until every last representative of the old guard is gone. “Many protesters say their leaders have purposely fostered sectarian divisions in the country to keep people scared and feeling dependent on their political parties,” explains Rebecca Collard, a broadcast journalist. And perhaps that is why they have appointed no leader for themselves. “The fact that the government has no one to even try to negotiate with is a strength.”
    Read More

    Lebanon’s Protests Are Leaderless. That May Be Their Strength.
    Fed up with decades of economic mismanagement and corruption, most demonstrators just want the government gone.
    Leaderless mobs are inherently dangerous.

    That said, it's good to see that the rioting isn't sectarian; they've come a long way since the civil war and can't afford another.

    Let's hope things calm down, and they keep booing Ted Cruz.

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The Yellow Vests still have accomplished nothing important.
    Dieu merci

    Quote Originally Posted by bv3 View Post
    Lebanon getting the Romanov treatment?
    There's nothing like a Romanov in Lebanon, no king for a long time, but there are a lot of communists there, so that would be a concern.

    ...that's the thing about howling irrational mobs: never know where they're going to go.

    Jefferson! ...nope, woops, Stalin.

  27. #24
    Protest-racked Lebanon over the past month has seen its banks opened for only half that time. First, the deteriorating security situation since Oct. 17 forced their closure for two weeks, with the country's association of banks then fearing a run on deposits, and after a brief opening staff went on strike, citing personal safety at the hands of angry citizens demanding their cash from the "thieving" banks (literally in some cases involving clients with guns).
    Banks reopened Tuesday after the latest week-long closure interval, though with security personnel-enforced restrictions on hard currency withdrawals and transfers abroad.
    This as Lebanese parliament was prevented from holding a session Tuesday when protesters blocked the outside of the building, forcing SUVs carry Lebanese MPs to turn back when demonstrators rushed their convoy, also amid gunfire ringing out. Parliament postponed the session indefinitely, according to Reuters.


    And now the predicted and long expected tidal wave capital flight, despite dubious "silver bullet" attempts at imposing controls, is underway.
    Lebanon has lost over $10 billion of its bank deposits since August, Bloomberg reports, citing The Institute of International Finance (IIF). In a new report, IIF chief economist Garbis Iradian writes, “Half of this decline represents withdrawals from the country, while the other half remains as cash under mattresses in Lebanon.”
    Video showing protesters chasing away members of parliament as they attempted to approach the building Tuesday:
    An MP's convoy of 3 cars tries to drive past protestors blocking the road, who then try to stop the car & throw bottles and other small objects

    One bodyguard opens the window & shoots warning shots into the air -- then appears to detour.

    (Video via an eyewitness)#Lebanon pic.twitter.com/KXwKYVWmbq
    — Kareem Chehayeb | كريم (@chehayebk) November 19, 2019
    Further alarming is that yields on some of the country's dollar bonds are now entering socialist Venezuela territory, Bloomberg writes:
    The political crisis in Lebanon has sent yields on some of its dollar bonds into triple digits.
    Rates on the government’s $1.2 billion of notes maturing in March next year have climbed 28 percentage points this week to 105%. They were at 13% five weeks ago, just before the start of protests that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and exacerbated the nation’s economic woes.
    Dollar yields reaching 100% is extremely rare, territory which debt-strained Argentina has yet to even enter.

    More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/...uela-territory
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  29. #25
    https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wire...rsens-67190248

    Businesses and households have been thrown into disarray. Residents say they don't know how they will come up with dollar payments needed to pay for tuition, health insurance and housing loans. Companies are struggling to transfer salaries to staff, others have cut salaries or are simply laying off employees.

    Lebanon has one of the highest debt ratios in the world, at around $86 billion or 150% of GDP. Much of the government’s budget is sucked up by salaries in the sprawling public sector, while infrastructure has gone undeveloped for years. Struggling with the broken economy, the government began hiking taxes and taking other measures, prompting small protests early in the year.

    But the protests exploded across the country on Oct. 17 in response to a new round of proposed taxes and evolved into a revolt against the country’s entire political elite. Protesters blame the politicians for decades of systematic corruption and mismanagement that brought the country into its dire economic straits. The prime minister stepped down on Oct. 29, but political parties have been unable to agree on a government since.


    Politicians impose taxes (take money from people), then suck the money out of the public sector into a corrupt government system (extort it from government agencies), and then make themselves rich. Hmmm...
    Last edited by Pauls' Revere; 11-21-2019 at 03:47 AM.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  30. #26
    Lebanon may have just repaid $1.5 billion of Eurobonds, but its chances of escaping a default still look grim.
    It will probably come down to how far it can stretch its foreign reserves while containing the worst currency crisis since it pegged the pound over two decades ago.
    On both counts, recent developments have been negative.
    The central bank’s reserves dropped by nearly $800 million in the first two weeks of November alone. At the current pace of depletion, they could run out as soon as next June, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report seen by Bloomberg.
    Deprived of the remittances from Lebanon’s diaspora that have sustained its finances for years, the economy is unraveling. The bond market is flashing warnings of a default.
    “In the absence of inflows, we expect further declines in FX reserves, pressuring the government’s capacity to service debt,” Fitch Ratings analysts, including Jan Friederich, said in a report. They estimate Lebanon’s sovereign debt will stand at 154% of gross domestic product at the end of 2019, one of the world’s largest burdens.
    Making matters worse, the country is without a functioning government after more than a month of nationwide protests.
    Demonstrators are clamoring for a government of experts to get a grip on the crisis, a demand opposed by some political parties, including Iran-backed Hezbollah. The president’s talks with lawmakers to name a new prime minister will probably be delayed until next week.
    In the meantime, Lebanon’s currency is under pressure. The pound has weakened almost 30% on the black market since the start of August, according to local website lebaneselira.net. It trades at 2100 per dollar on the streets of Beirut, as businesses struggle to buy foreign exchange at the official rate of 1507.5 from local banks.

    More at: https://news.yahoo.com/lebanon-chanc...220000784.html
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  31. #27
    Update:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-n-chief...061845769.html

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah-backed government will be walking a political tightrope as it looks to secure urgent foreign funding to ward off financial collapse, and it may look to the International Monetary Fund for assistance.

    Prime Minister Hassan Diab's cabinet is also facing increasingly violent protests against a political elite that has led Lebanon into its worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
    Formed by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies, the cabinet faces an economic crisis at a time when Gulf Arab states, who along with Washington label Hezbollah a terrorist group, appear no longer willing to bail out Lebanon.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement on the new government, did not refer to Hezbollah, but emphasized the need for reform and fighting corruption.
    "Only a government that is capable of and committed to undertaking real and tangible reforms will restore investor confidence and unlock international assistance for Lebanon," Pompeo said.



    Thought we didn't negotiate with terrorist.

    We're being governed ruled by a geriatric Alzheimer patient/puppet whose strings are being pulled by an elitist oligarchy who believe they can manage the world... imagine the utter maniacal, sociopathic hubris!

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    Update:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-n-chief...061845769.html

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's Hezbollah-backed government will be walking a political tightrope as it looks to secure urgent foreign funding to ward off financial collapse, and it may look to the International Monetary Fund for assistance.

    Prime Minister Hassan Diab's cabinet is also facing increasingly violent protests against a political elite that has led Lebanon into its worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
    Formed by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies, the cabinet faces an economic crisis at a time when Gulf Arab states, who along with Washington label Hezbollah a terrorist group, appear no longer willing to bail out Lebanon.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement on the new government, did not refer to Hezbollah, but emphasized the need for reform and fighting corruption.
    "Only a government that is capable of and committed to undertaking real and tangible reforms will restore investor confidence and unlock international assistance for Lebanon," Pompeo said.



    Thought we didn't negotiate with terrorist.
    Looks like another color revolution in Lebanon, anything to prevent Iranian allies from securing a major victory in Syria.Hezbollah were the main forces that prevented much of many those jihadist American backed proxy groups in Syria that were fighting agaisnt them and the Syrian gov.


    Although i dont see how this is going to help the Jihadists in Syria idlib jihadists.
    Looks like America has more money for color revolutions but not its own people.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    We need to get out of there and let them fight it out, that might even be the best way to bring down the Iranian regime.
    Your love for the Saudis regime is showing again. Bring down the Iranian and get it replaced with a pro Saudi/Israeli puppet gov? and then what? happy ending for the American control dominance of the middle east? no opposition agaisnt American occupations in the middle east for how long? till the American roman empire collapses? you Americans really need to get out of the middle east.

    It seems also Trump lied when he said all was well! lol.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryCanadian View Post
    Your love for the Saudis regime is showing again. Bring down the Iranian and get it replaced with a pro Saudi/Israeli puppet gov? and then what? happy ending for the American control dominance of the middle east? no opposition agaisnt American occupations in the middle east for how long? till the American roman empire collapses? you Americans really need to get out of the middle east.

    It seems also Trump lied when he said all was well! lol.
    LOL

    I have a whole thread dedicated to celebrating the coming collapse of the Saudis.

    You just can't understand someone who isn't serving an agenda like you are.

    We will leave and all was well, no deaths and only minor injuries.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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