In a shock series of events, four pro-Western Persian Gulf regimes have tightened the screws on an already impoverished Lebanon, all because a single Lebanese politician dared to challenge the genocidal war in Yemen. But for Western media, this seems to be a non-Story. Why? Well, war crimes are fine if US allies commit them.
On October 29th, Saudi Arabia stopped all imports and recalled its ambassador from Beirut, after noting that the current Information Minister in Lebanon, George Kordahi, had once described Riyadh’s intervention in Yemen as “absurd”. Shortly after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took such escalatory measures against the Lebanese State, so too did Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who played a role in the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen.
What is perhaps even more outrageous is that in order to end the row, Saudi Arabia is demanding the resignation and an apology from Lebanon’s Minister, for comments he made prior to assuming his position. Worse than this, the pressure campaign aimed at controlling what Lebanese officials can say in their own country, has managed to pressure the Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati. He has fallen in line and urged Minister Kordahi to step down.
To put this in perspective, Lebanon is currently battling through an economic crisis, the likes of which the nation has never seen before. Three quarter’s of the population are now considered to be living in poverty, as blackouts, fuel shortages and even food shortages rampage the once bustling tourist destination. But for the so-called “brotherly States” of the Gulf, the people of Lebanon are completely worthless and above all other consideration are the feelings of corrupt Western-backed, anti-democratic, Monarchs. So much so that they are willing, ironically, to Yemen-ize the population of Lebanon further, so that they can make the Lebanese State capitulate to their incessant assertions that their war in Yemen is simply for saving the fluffy Honey Badgers of Sanaa.
The UN, along with most Western nations, which claim to work for the forwarding of global democratic values — like freedom of speech — seem to be completely silent on the matter, with the exception of France’s Emmanuel Macron who has urged his friends in Riyadh to end the row.
But who cares about Lebanese civilians, human rights, and national sovereignty when Kings and Crown Prince’s have just received criticism for causing the world’s number one humanitarian catastrophe? Apparently not a soul in the “free world”, so long as Hezbollah are being looped in for the comments of a non-Hezbollah affiliated Christian who became famous hosting the show ‘Millionaire’. George Kordahi, to Western media, is proof that Hezbollah, not Saudi Arabia, is holding Lebanon hostage.
For all their focus on how terrible Hezbollah is in Lebanon, and how it is a “terrorist group” seeking the very worst for the Lebanese people, you would think that surely it would be a focus for Western mainstream media to perhaps show some consistency and call out the Persian Gulf Arab reactionary regimes for their anti-free speech blackmail attempts — but no.
If the proof isn’t already right before your eyes at this point, regarding the laughable level of propaganda from the so-called mainstream “journalists” covering the Middle East, here it is. After Lebanon almost descended into civil war last month, following the murder of 7 innocent people in Beirut, Western media did not even bother to mention the group responsible. For outlets like CNN, MSNBC and their ilk, we should surely expect fascists (an ideology they claim to oppose) to be called out for such actions as killing civilians and nearly sparking war. Yet the Lebanese Forces of warlord Samir Geagea were somehow non-existent in a situation they created, and instead, supporters of Lebanese Hezbollah were supposedly at fault for ramming themselves into the peacefully fired bullets of snipers positioned on rooftops.
If you are asking yourself why such sarcasm, about such a serious issue, it is because as a journalist I find it seriously difficult to respond so frequently to such poor levels of reporting found in the Middle East. Not only are the morals espoused by mainstream networks completely inconsistent with their reporting, but their work is just poor and could be carried out by teenagers. The so-called trustable sources on the Middle East have become reporters who not only cannot understand a word of Arabic, Aramaic, Kurdish, Farsi, etc., but do not even slightly grasp the cultures of the people they report on, or even seem to grasp the landscape at all, politically. It is not just the lying that is difficult to respond to in a serious fashion, because at least there is a point in engaging with the lies of educated individuals, but when you see work that a 10-year-old in the Middle East would laugh at, it is frustrating.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain are currently attempting to exert their control over what Lebanese officials can and cannot say. If they manage to win, this will set a terrible precedent. The actions of these Persian Gulf regimes cannot be condoned.