Saturday, 8 August 2020

Devastating Beirut Explosion: An Accident or Something More Sinister?


By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, August 05, 2020

On Tuesday, a massive explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon’s port area.

Scores were killed, thousands wounded, dozens of people missing, along with widespread destruction and damage.

According to Lebanese authorities, around 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate were stored in a port area warehouse for six years without proper safety precautions — an unacceptable ticking time bomb.

The material is used in agricultural fertilizers and dynamite. Its detonation is believed to have caused what happened, perhaps by a negligent spark.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun convened the country’s High Defense Council to discuss how to deal with the disaster.

Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that rescue workers dug through rubble overnight searching for bodies and survivors, adding:

The high death and injury toll is expected to rise. A two-week state of emergency was declared.

The port of Lebanon and surrounding areas resembled the aftermath of a powerful bomb blast.

At least three Beirut hospitals were destroyed, two others damaged, a devastating blow to the city’s hard-pressed healthcare system when thousands injured from the blast need treatment, including surgery.

According to the Red Cross, dozens of wounded people are in critical condition. The organization is providing treatment for non-critical injuries.

President of Beirut’s Order of Nurses Mirna Doumit said what happened was a “catastrophe” to Lebanon’s “already bleeding” healthcare system, adding:

“I don’t find words to describe what happened. It’s like we are in a horror film.”

American University of Beirut’s Nasser Yassin said Lebanon needs international help to cope with what happened, adding:

“Like many issues for the last few months, we’ve seen the Lebanese government not taking the right decisions when it comes to the economy, or finances or social issues.”

“And I can imagine that this disaster, this catastrophe, will be dealt by the way Lebanese people do – relying on themselves and the support of their communities.”

According to Germany’s GFZ geosciences center, Tuesday’s blast was the equivalent of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake.Beirut Is Burning: Rebellion Against the Elites Has Commenced

A personal note: I experienced an earthquake of this magnitude over half a century ago in San Diego, CA.

I was in my 10th floor’s office at the time. Everything shook violently for what seemed like an eternity.

It was only around a minute or two. On the phone at the time, my initial reaction was to get under my desk to avoid falling ceiling debris that didn’t happen.

Damage reported in the city was minor. I, others in my office, and family feared something serious was happening, fortunately not so.

Major destruction and damage in Beirut affected around a four-square-mile area. It was heard and felt scores of miles distant from the port of Beirut.

An investigation was initiated to determine the cause and who bears responsibility.

Import traffic was diverted to the port of Tripoli. Most likely what happened was caused by negligence, not terrorism or another form of attack. The fullness of time will tell more.

Ammonium nitrate was responsible for deadly explosions in Tianjin, China (2015), North Korea’s Ryongchon rail station (2004) Toulouse, France (2001), Galveston Bay in the port of Texas City (1947), Oppau, Germany (1921), and Faversham, UK (1916).

The port of Lebanon is the country’s import/export hub. Vitally needed wheat supplies stored there were destroyed.

Massive destruction and damage,  along with the loss of essential food supplies dealt a major blow to already dire economic conditions in the country.

While negligence most likely was responsible for what happened, possible sabotage or something as sinister can’t be ruled out.

Lebanon has the misfortune of bordering Israel. According to the Netanyahu regime, Hezbollah controls the port of Beirut.

While no obvious Israeli fingerprints are on what happened, Tuesday’s blast was reminiscent on February 14, 2005.

At the time, a powerful car bomb blast killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 20 others, scores injured.

The blast left a 30-foot-wide/six-foot-deep crater. Syria, then Hezbollah, were falsely blamed for what happened, four Hezbollah members wrongfully indicted by a Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the Netherlands.

Israel was responsible for what happened, targeted killings one of its specialties.

At the time, Hezbollah-intercepted Israeli aerial surveillance footage and audio evidence showed Hariri’s route on the day of his assassination.

Criminal law expert Hasan Jouni called its evidence compelling.

North Lebanon Bar Association head Antoine Airout said “revelations by Hezbollah (were) very serious and objective.”

Syria and Hezbollah had nothing to gain from what happened. Israel clearly benefitted, including by false accusations against its enemies.

At the time, Middle East journalist Patrick Seale said “(i)f Syria (or Hezbollah) killed (Hariri), it must be judged an act of political suicide…hand(ing) (their) enemies a weapon with which to deliver (a destabilizing) blow.”

Israel’s fingerprints were all over what happened, Hezbollah falsely blamed.

While vast destruction and damage in Beirut on Tuesday most likely was caused by negligence, possible Israeli (or US) involvement can’t be ruled out.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


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IOF Shoots Down Own Drone Over Occupied Golan Heights, Suspecting It Came From Lebanon

 IOF Shoots Down Own Drone Over Occupied Golan Heights, Suspecting It Came From Lebanon

By Staff, Agencies

The “Israeli” army said on Friday it shot down an “Israeli” Occupation Force [IOF] drone overnight near Jabal al-Shaykh [Mount Hermon] in the occupied Golan Heights after suspecting that it came from Lebanese territory.

The army said it is investigating the incident which happened overnight.

Later, warning sirens sounded Friday morning in several settlements in the [Galilee], near the “Israeli” entity’s border with Lebanon, but the IOF said no rockets were fired at the entity.

In a statement, the IOF said the sirens were activated over a suspected intrusion into “Israeli” entity territory by a drone, which later turned out to be false.

This comes amid heightened tension in the region, as the “Israeli” entity fears Hezbollah would retaliate the killing last month of one of its fighters in an “Israeli” airstrike in Syria.

The IOF had raised its level of readiness on the border, as military officials work to assess the impact of a massive explosion at Beirut port on Tuesday, which killed dozens of people.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Has Nothing to Do with Beirut Port, The Resistance is Greater than Being Attacked by Liars

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Has Nothing to Do with Beirut Port, The Resistance is Greater than Being Attacked by Liars
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By Zeinab Essa

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled Beirut Port tragedy resembled by the blast that targeted the Lebanese capital port on August 4. 

Considering that “What happened in Beirut is a huge humanitarian and national catastrophe by all standards,” Sayyed Nasrallah expressed sympathy and offered condolences to all the families of the martyrs, the injured, the lost and the displaced ones.

He further asked Al-Mighty God a speedy recovery for all the injured and patience to all people affected in this catastrophe. 

“This blast was cross-confessional as there are martyrs from all sects,” His Eminence added, pointing out that “The repercussions of the catastrophe are very serious and have major social, health and economic impacts.”

As the Resistance Leader stressed that “This tragedy needs exceptional approach at all levels,” he further praised “the popular solidarity among the Lebanese people.”

“In this tragedy, the popular scene has appeared to stand by each other, as the civil agencies and institutions were present on the ground from the first hour,” His Eminence said.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “Hezbollah, with all its institutions, individuals, and capabilities is at the disposal of the Lebanese state and our people.”

Denouncing the fact that “The entire country was besieged by the Americans and not only a single party”, he declared that “Hezbollah is ready to help every family that has lost its home and needs temporary alternative housing.”

“At the international level, we witnessed great sympathy. We thank all the countries that sent aid,” Hezbollah Secretary General underscored, mentioning that “The most prominent international scene was the visit of the French President to Lebanon, and we look positively to every visit and aid.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that “The international scene opens an opportunity for Lebanon to emerge from the siege and hardship that Lebanon is passing through. The international dealing with the incident is an opportunity and it should not be missed. We must look for the opportunities that the blast has generated.”

On the internal political level, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that “In front of such catastrophe, the parties in any country would suspend their disputes. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, since the first hour of the tragedy, some local and Arab media and some political forces came out and fabricated that the amber is a Hezbollah ammunition storehouse.” 
“Those who insisted that there was a Hezbollah arms depot sought to tell the Lebanese people that Hezbollah is to blame and this is a false accusation,” he added, stating: “We do neither manage the port, nor do we interfere in it, and we do not know what is inside it.”
As His Eminence clarified that Hezbollah and its people were affected by the tragedy as some of its people and supporters were martyred and injured, Sayyed Nasrallah “categorically and firmly denied that there is nothing for Hezbollah in the port, neither a weapon store, nor a gun, nor nitrates; not in the past and not now.”

Slamming the fact that “Lebanon has witnessed a great political exploitation of the incident,” Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “Any claims that Hezbollah runs the Beirut Port are lies.”

“The investigations are underway and the facts will emerge quickly because the matter is not complicated,” His Eminence added, noting that “Hezbollah might have knowledge of what exists at Haifa’s port, but not at Beirut’s port, because this is not our responsibility.”

Moreover, His Eminence said: “I don’t want to engage in any debates with anyone. This is a moment for solidarity and cooperation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also urged fair punishment on anyone who the investigation shows involved in the incident, away from any accounts or affiliations. “It should not be allowed during the investigation to protect anyone or hide the facts.” 

In parallel, His Eminence called on the “Lebanese people to hold accountable the media channels that instigated and sought to push the country into the edge of civil war.”

“All security agencies can take part in a joint investigation. The Lebanese Army, which everyone says they trust, can carry out the investigation,” he added, underscoring that “The most important point is investigation and accountability.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “If the Lebanese state, with all its authorities, has not been to reach a conclusion in the investigation and trial, then there is no hope of building a state. I’m one of those who believe that the approach towards this incident would decide whether or not there is hope in building a state in Lebanon.”

To all those who opened a battle with Hezbollah and the axis of resistance, on the basis of the blast incident, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear message: “You will reach nowhere.”

“This resistance, with its credibility and the confidence of the Lebanese people in it, in its performance, strength, as well as its national and regional position, is greater than being attacked by some oppressors, liars, and civil war-seekers,” he assured, pointing out that: “From the womb of the tragedy, chances could be born, and the international approach towards the recent incident is a chance that must be seized by the Lebanese state and people. We can get out of this crisis stronger and more determined to win.”


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المقاومة واثقة ومطمئنة والأولويّة لفكرة الدولة

ناصر قنديل

عندما يضع الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله الأولوية لبناء الدولة، سواء بإثبات التحقيق الشفاف والنزيه أو في المحاكمة العادلة في قضية تفجير مرفأ بيروت وتحديد المسؤوليات فيه. وعندما يتمسك السيد نصرالله بالترفع عن السجالات مانحاً الفرصة لتضميد الجراح، فذلك لأن السيد نصرالله أجاب عن ثلاثة أسئلة ضمناً أسست للمعادلة التي طرح خلالها بناء الدولة كامتحان سياسي ومصيري يواجه لبنان واللبنانيين، في ضوء كارثة التفجير في المرفأ، والسؤال الأول حول حجم فرضية وقوف عدوان إسرائيلي وراء التفجير، والسؤال الثاني حول حظوظ الرهانات الداخلية والخارجية على تحقيق دولي في جريمة التفجير يفتح الباب للمزيد من الحصار حول المقاومة، والسؤال الثالث حول المداخلات الدولية في ضوء التفجير، وعلى رأسها زيارة الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون وما حمله إلى بيروت بالأصالة عن نفسه وبالوكالة عن الأميركيين.

في الإجابة عن السؤال الأول، أورد السيد نصرالله جوابه ضمناً، بتقديمه فرضيّة وقوف عمل “إسرائيلي” مدبّر وراء التفجير، ضمن إطار محاولات متسرّعة للتحريض على المقاومة بالإيحاء أن الاستهداف ناتج عن وجود مخازن ذخيرة أو صواريخ للمقاومة في المرفأ، ولم يعط السيد لهذه الفرضية أي أهمية ولم يتعامل معها بصفتها محوراً رئيسياً يستحق النقاش، بينما توقف أمام ما يريده الذين وجهوا الاتهامات للمقاومة بامتلاك منظومة سلاح في مرفأ بيروت، ونفى الاتهامات جملة وتفصيلاً، بحيث بدا أن همه وتركيزه هما على الرأي العام اللبناني كي لا يقع ضحية تضليل وأكاذيب، أكثر من أنه يتعامل بجديّة مع فرضية اليد الإسرائيلية في التفجير، وذلك يبدو عائداً للثقة بما لدى السيد نصرالله، من “إسرائيل” في حال ذعر لدرجة يستحيل أن تقدم على عمل طائش يمنح المقاومة مبرر ضربات تهدّد الأمن الاستراتيجي لكيان الاحتلال.

بالثقة نفسها بقوة المقاومة، كان السيد نصرالله يتعامل مع الحملات المنظمة والمبرمجة للدعوة لتحقيق دولي، داعياً أصحابها من موقع الحرص على التحقيق إلى التعاون في الالتفاف حول الجيش كمرجعيّة يلتقي اللبنانيون على الثقة بها، أكثر من قلقه من وجود أساس يمنح دعوات التحقيق الدولي ما يدعو للقلق، فالمقاومة أقوى بكثير من عام 2005، وما يحلم به البعض من تكرار لسيناريو التحقيق الدولي، والوضع الإقليمي والوضع الدولي مختلفان كلياً لصالح المقاومة وحلفائها، وبالتالي لا قلق من أن يجد المتربصون فرصاً جدية لمشاريعهم، التي ستبقى سراباً يلاحقونه، ليحصدوا الخيبة كما حصدوها سابقاً، ولكن هذه المرة استباقاً.

اللافت في حديث السيد نصرالله منح الصفة الإيجابيّة لزيارة الرئيس الفرنسي، ولكل الانفتاح الدولي على لبنان، والذي يتبدّى بإشارات لم تعُد محصورة بالرئيس الفرنسي، فالرئيس الأميركي ليل أمس، أبلغ الرئيس ميشال عون استعداده للمشاركة في مؤتمر بالفيديو سيدعو له الرئيس الفرنسي للمساهمة في إعمار لبنان، ودول الخليج التي قاطعت الحكومة والعهد ترفع الحظر وترسل الطائرات وتقرّر فتح الباب أمام المساعدات، والسيد ينظر لكل ذلك بعين اعتباره فرصة أمام لبنان من دون أن يساوره القلق من أثمان سياسية ستطلب مقابل الاستعداد لتقديم المساعدة. وهذا ليس مجرد منح فرصة للنيات الحسنة، فلدى المقاومة من الخبرة الإقليمية والدولية، ومن المعرفة بدرجة قوتها، ونقاط ضعف أعدائها، ومن المعلومات حول الرسائل المتبادلة بين محور المقاومة، والمحور الذي تقوده واشنطن، ما يتيح للمقاومة وللسيد نصرالله خصوصاً، معرفة أي لحظة سياسية يكون الانفتاح فيها مشروع تطويق وضغط وابتزاز، وأي لحظة سياسية يكون فيها اعترافاً للمقاومة بالحجم والدور وسعياً للتشبيك معها.

كلام السيد نصرالله أمس، وضع نقاطاً جديدة على حروف موازين القوة، وطمأن بيئة المقاومة إلى حجم شعور مقاومتهم بالقوة والثقة، في مرحلة تحمل الكثير من الأسئلة حول المخاطر.

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THE BEIRUT EXPLOSION: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

 Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier


2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate stored at warehouse 12 at Beirut harbour a few hours before the explosion while a blacksmith was working at a few centimetres from the AN bags lying on the floor since 2014.

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

On Tuesday 4thof August, an explosion at the Lebanese harbour in the heart of the capital Beirut caused devastating human casualties and material destruction. Over 140 people died instantly, 80 are still missing under the rubble, and over 5000 were wounded. More than 300,000 homes were destroyed and many more were damaged. 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) (an equivalent of 1,000 tons of TNT) somehow ignited and registered the largest explosion since the end of World War II. Many theories, accusing Israel or Hezbollah or the CIA, are circulating like wildfire in the Lebanese capital. Where is the truth? Cui bono?

The Rhosus, a ship flying the Moldavian flag was sailing from Georgia to Mozambique carrying (among other merchandise) 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate destined for the Fabrica de Explosives in Mozambique. This shipment was paid for by the Banco Internacional De Mozambique. It stopped in Beirut on 20/11/2013 to offload agricultural machines and was expected to load goods from Lebanon for Jordan on its way to Mozambique. An inspection concluded the ship was unfit to sail, and local Lebanese authorities effectively prevented the Rhosus from sailing. Lebanese port authorities discharged the cargo into Port Warehouse no.12 and later confiscated the cargo due to bills unpaid by the shipowner.

Ammonium Nitrate has many properties, notably as a component of explosive mixtures (Mellor, 1922; Elvers 1989, Suslick 1992). Pure AN is very stable and should meet specified quality requirements to be used in the production of industrial explosives. According to the European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, AN is especially difficult to detonate and does indeed need a substantial stimulus for this to happen. But it must be stored in a dry, well-ventilated and sealed storage area. Moreover, any electrical installation in the storage area must be resistant to ammonia vapour.

For over six years, the 2,750 tons of AN remained in the Lebanese warehouse without any plans to relocate or re-sell it. Moreover, the storage area chosen is subject to the changing weather of the Lebanese climatic seasons, which include suffocating heat in the summer. The storage area was of metal construction with no proper ventilation.

Last year, Captain Naddaf who works at the harbour under the National Security Service, called his superior to inform him about the presence of a “dangerous cargo at warehouse no. 12.” His superior officer, General A. instructed the young officer to provide a written report and take pictures of the warehouse and the contents. The warehouse construction had a breach big enough for the passage of a man, which would facilitate entry or even theft. 

How is the Lebanese harbour organised? It is controlled by a kind of local mafia composed of high ranking officers, customs directors, administrators and security officials. Each person in charge has been appointed by a political leader offering his men immunity and protection. The harbour produces immense amounts of money and bribes are the daily bread of all those who run this “show”. In the face of such corruption, it is now clear that scientific expertise about what is happening to store AN and the conditions in which 2,750 tons of it are stored counted for little. Actually, many officers in this Port have no competence for the jobs they do and are appointed, as we have seen, by favouritism and through political connections. This is indeed the case for the Director of Customs and the Army intelligence, General S., responsible for harbour movements and contents. So, given all that, when a problem or a disaster occurs, as it did on Tuesday, it will obviously be very difficult to find those really responsible. So how did the conditions for this AN explosion arise?

On the 4th of August, at 15:00 local time, a blacksmith was asked to close the holes in the warehouse to prevent potential smuggling of the content. The blacksmith was not informed about the hazardous content of the warehouse, nor he was told to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of metal particles that produce fragments and can trigger a fire. He was working at a distance no more than a few centimetres from the AN bags that were lying on the floor, from which a clear substance was leaking. Once the job was done, between 16:30 and 17:00, smoke was seen coming from the warehouse. 

Firemen were called to deal with the potential fire. At 18:08 the first explosion was heard, followed by the second one over a minute later. After the first explosion, a fire ignited inside the warehouse. The fire generated more heat, enough for the entire stock of AN to blow up and create a vacuum (negative pressure). The pressure of the explosion caused the many casualties and devastating destruction in the city.

Who called the blacksmith and allocated the budget for his work? Was he informed of the hazard of welding next to Ammonium Nitrate? Why were the 2,750 tons of AN left for more than six years in non-regulation storage for no justifiable reason whatsoever? 

The question has to be asked: “who benefits from the explosion?” The affected area belongs mainly to people who are not generally friendly to Hezbollah. Therefore, it would not have been in Israel’s interest nor in that of the US to bomb and cause so much damage to the properties and businesses of friendly parties. Destroying this part of Beirut in order to impose a “new Middle East” or a “new Lebanon” makes no sense either, because the anti-Hezbollah population is currently weaker than ever and is not in a position to confront Hezbollah. France and the US are in no better position to influence the population.

Speculation about Hezbollah storing weapons at warehouse 12 is ridiculous and unfounded- because the place was under constant surveillance by cameras controlled by the security forces themselves. Hezbollah would certainly not store weapons in an area both unfriendly and not under its own control.

Hezbollah, in fact, is currently waiting for the Special Tribunal for the assassination of the ex-Prime Minister Rafic Hariri to announce its verdict. This is how the US, to please Israel, is trying to curb Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon- but to no avail. Indeed, the US and Israel have tried everything in their power in Syria, in Iraq and in Lebanon but failed in their attempts. The US is imposing harsh sanctions on Syria and Lebanon (preventing Gulf and European countries from assisting with the severe Lebanese financial crisis) but the outcome is the same: Hezbollah won’t submit.

The many “conspiracy theories” fail to line up with the facts of this accident. Ignorance, incompetence, favouritism and bureaucracy are the reasons for the loss of so many lives and the destruction of Beirut, a capital where people have not learned to stand together. This is a huge national tragedy. The Lebanese hold property in many foreign countries, west and east. This expresses the lack of a sense of belonging- because this is a country where elected politicians have amassed and stolen all the country’s wealth, where they hoard power, and where they pass it on to their sons.

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and  Maurice Brasher


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Macron in Lebanon: Hijabi Reporter Not Allowed to Speak and Dual Standards on Protesters

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Macron in Lebanon: Hijabi Reporter Not Allowed to Speak and Dual Standards on Protesters

By Nour Rida

On Thursday, August 7, 2020, Western mainstream media covered French President Manuel Macron’s visit to Lebanon in the aftermath of the Hiroshima-like explosion that hit Lebanon three days earlier. News headlines and stories covered his visit as he called for “reforms and change”, and told Lebanon that any money to help Beirut recover must come with what he called a “new political order” to replace a “system that no longer has the trust of its people.”

Of course the media failed to mention two things; Macron’s (indirect) racist attitude towards a Lebanese reporter when he got her prevented from asking a question during a press conference, and his dual standards in dealing with protesters in Lebanon and protesters back in France.

Mona Tahini, a Lebanese citizen who has been working as a news reporter for the past 13 years was prevented from asking Macron a question during his press conference at the Pine Palace in Beirut on Thursday, one single question, at the time other reporters were allowed to ask multiple questions or even have discussions and pose for pictures with the French president.

The reporter who works for al-Manar TV, posted a video on her Twitter account which shows Macron having a side talk and taking selfie pictures with a number of journalists although the pretext for preventing her from raising her question was that that the French President Macron did not have enough time before heading to the airport to back into France.

Tahini said that some journalists consumed a long time while raising their questions, adding that she was not given her turn to ask although she had already taken a permission for that.

Interpreting the instance, Macron’s attitude towards Tahini can be explained as prejudice and bias towards the female reporter in what clearly indicates a racist attitude towards her wardrobe as she was the only reporter wearing the Hijab. Macron was unfair, and did not give Tahini the chance to ask a question for wearing her Hijab. Else, there would be one more interpretation to preventing Tahini from asking: he is afraid of the question itself in advance.

It is said that people usually fear what they are unfamiliar with. But for someone like Macron, a President of what he claims to be a “modern” and “developed” France, he should have educated himself a bit more on that piece of cloth called Hijab; supposedly a personal and religious freedom.

Both, banning Tahini from speaking and his double standards on confronting French protesters with violence while supporting Lebanese protesters (for political aims obviously) refute the claims about Macron’s France holding the values of democracy and freedom of speech. Not only does his attitude contest his claims of being democratic, but also highlights the lack of values France claims as one of its major legacies in its motto of the so-called French revolution: “egalité” i.e. equality.

Now before discussing Macron and his dual standards on protesters, it is interesting to see how Western mainstream media frames the story. It reported that “Lebanese protesters” seemed to feel like Macron was on their side and reporting that they said “he was their only hope.” Quoting one protester, the media allowed itself to do what it does all the time, have one speak on behalf of a few million who do not agree with that view point necessarily.  Western media and Macron are similar in one aspect: they both allow themselves to speak on behalf of others.

Now Macron warmly reacted with Lebanese protesters who chanted “Revolution!” as he walked through the Gemmayze street. The scenario seems a bit odd when remembering France’s 2019 which offers a preview of Macron’s real face and how he could not take in any criticism: growing protests against liberalism—and growing brutality against the protests.

Protesters in France believed they were objecting Macron’s Neoliberal policies which have brought so much poverty & human misery to France, but Macron could not digest it. Thousands of Yellow vests or “Gilets Jaunes” took to the streets in for long consecutive weeks and were confronted with severe violence.

Never mind, we are by no means in a place to impeach Macron for his violence against his own people, they can sort out their issues within their country, but of course it remains sad to see how French protesters are confronted with tear gas bombs and severe ferocity.

What should be unclouded and completely transparent is that Macron, who enjoys no tolerance back at home towards his people and is accused of standing behind a corrupt system is by no means eligible to guide Lebanon on what to do and how to sort out its issues.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II

When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, August 04, 2020

To read this article in other versions, click: French, German, and Russian.

First published November 4, 2017. Revisions to the English Text, December 10, 2017

Author’s Note 

Since this article was first published in 2017, YouTube has decided to Censor the short video produced by South Front which is largely based on the declassified documents quoted in this article. 

US nuclear threats directed against Russia predate the Cold War. They were first formulated  at the height of World War II under the Manhattan Project when the US and the Soviet Union were allies.  

The plan to bomb 66 Soviet cities was “officially” formulated in mid-September 1945, two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan.  

Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

Flash Forward to 2020: Nuclear War is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

A one $1.2 trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing. 

Michel Chossudovsky, August 4, 2020

***

According to a secret document datedSeptember 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union  with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.

All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The tables below categorize each city in terms of area in square miles and the corresponding number of atomic bombs required to annihilate and kill the inhabitants of selected urban areas.

Six atomic bombs were to be used to destroy each of the larger cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.

The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities.

To undertake this operation the “optimum” number of bombs required was of the order of 466 (see document below)

One single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima resulted in the immediate death of 100,000 people in the first seven seconds. Imagine what would have happened if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on major cities of the Soviet Union as outlined in a secret U.S. plan formulated during the Second World War.

Hiroshima in the wake of the atomic bomb attack, 6 August 1945

The document outlining this diabolical military agenda had been released in September 1945, barely one month after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August, 1945) and two years before the onset of the Cold War (1947).

Video produced by South Front

The secret plan dated September 15, 1945 (two weeks after the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, see image below) , however, had been formulated at an earlier period, namely at the height of World War II,  at a time when America and the Soviet Union were close allies.

It is worth noting that Stalin was first informed through official channels by Harry Truman of the infamous Manhattan Project at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945, barely two weeks before the attack on Hiroshima.

The Manhattan project was launched in 1939, two years prior to America’s entry into World War II in December 1941. The Kremlin was fully aware of the secret Manhattan project as early as 1942.

Were the August 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks used by the Pentagon to evaluate the viability of  a much larger attack on the Soviet Union consisting of more than 204 atomic bombs? The key documents to bomb 66 cities of the Soviet Union (15 September 1945) were finalized 5-6 weeks after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (6, 9 August 1945):

“On September 15, 1945 — just under two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan and the end of World War II — Norstad sent a copy of the estimate to General Leslie Groves, still the head of the Manhattan Project, and the guy who, for the short term anyway, would be in charge of producing whatever bombs the USAAF might want. As you might guess, the classification on this document was high: “TOP SECRET LIMITED,” which was about as high as it went during World War II. (Alex Wellerstein, The First Atomic Stockpile Requirements (September 1945)

The Kremlin was aware of the 1945 plan to bomb sixty-six Soviet cities.

The documents confirm that the US was involved in the “planning of genocide” against the Soviet Union.

Let’s cut to the chase. How many bombs did the USAAF request of the atomic general, when there were maybe one, maybe two bombs worth of fissile material on hand? At a minimum they wanted 123. Ideally, they’d like 466. This is just a little over a month after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Of course, in true bureaucratic fashion, they provided a handy-dandy chart (Alex Wellerstein, op. cit)

Pentagon Plans to Destroy Dozens of Soviet Cities and the So-called Cold War

The Nuclear Arms Race

Central to our understanding of the Cold War which started (officially) in 1947, Washington’s September 1945 plan to bomb 66 cities into smithereens played a key role in triggering the nuclear arms race.

The Soviet Union was threatened and developed its own atomic bomb in 1949 in response to 1942 Soviet intelligence reports on the Manhattan Project.

While the Kremlin knew about these plans to “Wipe out” the USSR, the broader public was not informed because the September 1945 documents were of course classified.

Today, neither the September 1945 plan to blow up the Soviet Union nor the underlying cause of the nuclear arms race are acknowledged. The Western media has largely focussed its attention on the Cold War US-USSR confrontation. The plan to annihilate the Soviet Union dating back to World War II and the infamous Manhattan project are not mentioned.

Washington’s Cold War nuclear plans are invariably presented in response to so-called Soviet threats, when in fact it was the U.S. plan released in September 1945 (formulated at an earlier period at the height of World War II) to wipe out the Soviet which motivated Moscow to develop its nuclear weapons capabilities.

The assessment of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists mistakenly blamed and continue to blame the Soviet Union for having launched the nuclear arms race in 1949, four years after the release of the September 1945 US Secret Plan to target 66 major Soviet cities with 204 nuclear bombs:

“1949: The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. “We do not advise Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their heads a month or year from now,” the Bulletin explains. “But we think they have reason to be deeply alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions.” (Timeline of the Doomsday Clock, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 2017)

IMPORTANT: Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union lost 26 million people during World War II.

The Cold War List of 1200 Targeted Cities: 

This initial 1945 list of sixty-six cities was updated in the course of the Cold War (1956) to include some 1200 cities in the USSR and the Soviet block countries of Eastern Europe (see declassified documents below). The bombs slated for use were more powerful in terms of explosive capacity than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Source: National Security Archive

“According to the 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe. Major Cities in the Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings.  (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

Source: National Security Archive

Washington, D.C., December 22, 2015 – The SAC [Strategic Air Command] Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, produced in June 1956 and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive www.nsarchive.org, provides the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear targets and target systems that has ever been declassified. As far as can be told, no comparable document has ever been declassified for any period of Cold War history.

The SAC study includes chilling details. According to its authors,  their target priorities and nuclear bombing tactics would expose nearby civilians and “friendly forces and people” to high levels of deadly radioactive fallout.  Moreover, the authors developed a plan for the “systematic destruction” of Soviet bloc urban-industrial targets that specifically and explicitly targeted “population” in all cities, including Beijing, Moscow, Leningrad, East Berlin, and Warsaw.  Purposefully targeting civilian populations as such directly conflicted with the international norms of the day, which prohibited attacks on people per se (as opposed to military installations with civilians nearby).National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

List of Cities

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive, op. cit.

From the Cold War to Donald Trump

In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

What distinguishes the October 1962 Missile Crisis to Today’s realities:

1. Today’s president Donald Trump does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.

2, Communication today between the White House and the Kremlin is at an all time low. In contrast, in October 1962, the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. They collaborated with a view to avoiding the unthinkable.

3. The nuclear doctrine was entirely different during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow understood the realities of mutually assured destruction. Today, tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity (yield) of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are categorized by the Pentagon as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”.

4.  A one trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing.

5. Today’s thermonuclear bombs are more than 100 times more powerful and destructive than a Hiroshima bomb. Both the US and Russia have several thousand nuclear weapons deployed.

Moreover, an all war against China is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon as outlined by a RAND Corporation Report commissioned by the US Army  

“Fire and Fury”, From Truman to Trump: U.S Foreign Policy Insanity

There is a long history of US political insanity geared towards providing a human face to U.S. crimes against humanity.

Truman globalresearch.ca

On August 9, 1945, on the day the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, president Truman (image right), in a radio address to the American people, concluded that God is on the side of America with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and that

He May guide us to use it [atomic bomb] in His ways and His purposes”. 

According to Truman: God is with us, he will decide if and when to use the bomb:

[We must] prepare plans for the future control of this bomb. I shall ask the Congress to cooperate to the end that its production and use be controlled, and that its power be made an overwhelming influence towards world peace.

We must constitute ourselves trustees of this new force–to prevent its misuse, and to turn it into the channels of service to mankind.

It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.

We thank God that it [nuclear weapons] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes” (emphasis added)

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!