As Lebanon sinks further into decline, whilst the international community refuses to help, Hezbollah is stepping in to keep the country afloat amidst criticism that it seeks to take over the country.
On August 19, the Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, announced that his Party had secured a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to transport oil shipments to Lebanon. Nasrallah made it clear that any attacks on the oil tankers, three of which have currently departed to Lebanon, will receive harsh responses and that the ships are considered by the group as akin to “Lebanese territory”.
Lebanon is currently in economic collapse, fuel is so scarce across the country that hospitals have been forced to close and currently 55% of the nation’s population live in poverty. Reports have even emerged of the poor resulting to eating from the garbage in order to survive, whilst electricity is almost completely unavailable in some areas of the country. Even goods like wheat and grains are now running out, with inflation adding to an already difficult crisis in food shortages.
In the midst of such chaos, with no government having been formed in Lebanon, the one shining light of hope has been the very group that the West had hoped would be worst effected by such a national crisis, Hezbollah. Lebanese Hezbollah has been operating its own co-ops inside of Lebanon, issuing the poorest in society with special cards so that they can buy essential products mainly sourced from Iraq and Syria.
During Lebanon’s economic crisis, Western think-tanks and governments, along with their Middle-Eastern allies, have sought to paint Hezbollah as an Iranian proxy seeking to exploit the current situation in order to take over Lebanon. This is despite the fact that the group has long been superior in might to the Lebanese army and has had the ability to take the country by force but never endeavored to do so. Still, now, when the time is perfect for a hypothetical Hezbollah takeover, they clearly have not moved an inch in this direction.
Some Western mainstream media outlets insist that Hezbollah seeks to extend the current crisis in order to expand their support in the country, without directly implying that the group seeks to implement a military coup. This is also a disingenuous argument as Hezbollah are doing the work that the rest of the world refuses to do. It is undoubtably true that their actions do win favor with the people of Lebanon, but this is natural when their lives are literally being saved by the aid of Hezbollah, who ask for nothing in return for their charity.
With a country so poor that its military could not, only months ago, afford to pay its own soldier’s salaries and has relied upon charity from Qatar, it’s no surprise that a group like Hezbollah would step in to help where it can. As a political and armed group, which derives much of its support from its charitable work in Lebanon for both its own constituents and others, it was obvious that Hezbollah was going to step in to help the country. In addition to this, US and EU sanctions work to hinder the work of Hezbollah towards the aiding the Lebanese people, which continues to breed anger towards the West and its allies.
Given these facts on the ground, that the West has not only contributed in large part towards the decline of Lebanon, but also that it helps to sustain its current crises and refuses to aid the suffering population, its no surprise that they continue to stand behind the only group working to help them.
The entry of fuel into Lebanon, provided by Iran and coordinated via Hezbollah, will save countless lives inside the country. Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has made it clear that the fuel will be used to benefit the whole of Lebanon and allow for hospitals to open first. The job performed by Hezbollah, is one which normally is dealt with by the State itself, yet this is just not an option in Lebanon. If Hezbollah stepped aside, the Western media would criticize them for refusing to help, so its a lose-lose either way.
In reality, Lebanese Hezbollah has always stepped in first to aid the Lebanese people wherever possible, this was the case following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war when Hezbollah instantly helped with the process of rebuilding the areas destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. So the reality is, contrary to what is being reported on the corporate Western media, that Hezbollah is doing a good deed in Lebanon and is aiding its people.