Why Isn’t Beirut Bombing Called “Terrorist”? What’s Behind It?

For Immediate Release

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Why Isn’t Beirut Bombing Called “Terrorist”? What’s Behind It?

WASHINGTON - CNN reports: “At least 22 people were killed and hundreds injured when a car bomb rocked a southern suburb of Lebanon’s capital, authorities said Friday, raising the death toll from the blast a day earlier.”

EMILY DISCHE-BECKER, [currently in Berlin] emilydische at gmail.com, @edbbeirut
Dische-Becker is a Beirut-based freelance writer and editor who has worked for Harper’s magazine, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, and Al-Akhbar English among other publications. She is currently in Berlin. She said today: “The stock phrase employed by western mainstream media that the bomb struck a ‘stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group,’ to quote the Washington Post, belies the fact that the area is dense and residential, and that the victims were civilians. This is akin to describing the September 11th attacks in Manhattan as striking ‘a stronghold of American bankers.’ It may be true symbolically, and also by crude motive of the bombers. But who are the victims and why were they targeted? They were civilians, overwhelmingly from the Shia sect, which make up Hezbollah’s base of support in Lebanon. Curiously, despite the fact that civilians were indiscriminately targeted, U.S. mainstream media did not refer to the bombing as a ‘terrorist attack.’

After the July 9 car bombing in the same area, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar revealed that the CIA had warned its Lebanese counterparts of two impending terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda-linked groups in Beirut’s southern suburbs. This information was passed on to Hezbollah. Apparently, some U.S. pundits believe the CIA shouldn’t warn Lebanon when intercepted communications may help save the lives of Hezbollah supporters.

“Caretaker Prime Minister Mikati said on TV yesterday that they know who was behind the July 9 attack, but that political consensus is required to make the results of the investigation public.”

RANIA MASRI, rania.z.masri at gmail.com, @rania_masri
Masri is assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. She said today: “On August 15, one day after the anniversary of the end of the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon, a car bomb exploded in a busy commercial street in the southern suburb of Beirut.” Masri notes the death toll is now at 24 with seven people missing. “This is the second car bomb to have been placed in that general area recently; the first one being on July 9. … Both were intended to cause maximum fatalities — since both were placed in busy areas during busy times. And, again, another (previously unknown) militant wing of Al Nusra Front in Syria, allied with the so-called Free Syrian Army, has claimed responsibility. …

“A wing of the terrorist Al Nusra Front (which fights along side the FSA [Free Syrian Army] in Syria) has claimed responsibility. Although Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the main financiers of these armed groups, the U.S. government has been providing logistical support since 2012, and, more recently, openly providing direct ‘lethal aid’ in the hundreds of millions of dollars. While Qatar and Saudi Arabia openly support Al Nusra, the U.S. government continues to claim that it supports ‘moderate secular’ forces within the Free Syrian Army. However, it has already been proven that arms — sent either from the U.S. or with the assistance of the CIA — have reached Al Nusra in Syria; it’s also proven that the FSA (the so called ‘moderate, secular’ armed group) has fought alongside Al Nusra numerous times in Syria.

“Thus, we need to ask: why is the U.S. fighting Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen, and — directly or indirectly — supporting Al Qaeda in Syria? We also need to ask: What are the objectives of the U.S. and its petro-monarchs of Qatar and Saudi Arabia? The objective clearly cannot be democracy. Most of the armed wings in Syria have openly stated that they do not support inclusive democracy in Syria. And what credibility do Qatar and Saudi Arabia — and even the U.S. — have in calling for democracy? Secretary of State Kerry earlier said that the objective is to resolve the imbalance on the field in Syria. Doesn’t that mean to ensure more killing and more bloodshed and more destruction?

“A unifying factor behind the U.S. and its allies in the region is their opposition to resistance to Israel. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayid Hassan Nasrallah revealed recently — on the 7th anniversary of the military defeat of Israel in the 2006 war against Lebanon — that ‘a significant portion of our military preparedness in 2006 was because of Syria,’ including Syrian-made weapons. Is the objective of funding these armed groups in Syria the defeat of any attempt at resisting Israeli violations and occupation? And the consequences? The destruction of Syrian infrastructure, the killing of thousands of Syrians a month, the creation of a new training base for terrorists.”

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