Tomb of Imad Mughniyeh and Mustafa Badreddine in Beirut, Lebanon.

Tomb of Imad Mughniyeh and Mustafa Badreddine in Beirut, Lebanon.
Part 1

Every single foreign intervention has made the Middle East reconfigure itself against the interventionists. It has harshly counter-attacked, creating the opposite of the insurgents' desired effect. When we look at recent history (the last four decades since the PLO was expelled from Lebanon), the list is cataclysmic. We find the formation of Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, ISIS, the ousting of the Taliban regime, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Ghedaffi, the attempt to topple the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the attempt to divide Iraq, and the war on Yemen. The list bears witness to the unbelievable resources brought to bear by the US, Israel, Europe and their Middle Eastern allies in attempts at "regime change", and their total failure at creating a "new Middle East".

In fact, they have managed instead to create generations of powerful non-state actors (or quasi-state actors). They strengthened Iran's influence in the Middle East and brought Russia back into the international arena after the lull of Perestroika. But they have wrought huge destruction, completely destroying the basic infrastructure of many countries and severely regressing this part of the world, creating more migration, misery, lack of services, trauma - and anger toward the west. A huge amount of money has been paid by Middle Eastern countries, mainly at the request of and with the agreement of the US, debilitating Middle Eastern inhabitants and governments with one clear result: a poorer, unstable region - and hostile to the West.

Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 (successful in its objective to remove the "Palestinian Liberation Organisation" (PLO) a state within a state) helped give birth to an organised irregular army called Hezbollah, the "party of God". Lebanon was under the control of the Christian Maronites on one hand and the Palestinians on the other. The PLO and other minor Palestinian groups had attacked Israel sporadically from South Lebanon with blind soviet-made rockets (Katyusha) or even with a timer linked to small calibre blind-rockets abandoned in an olive-grove or orange field in the south of Lebanon, directed and launched in the direction of Israel.

Tel Aviv's erroneous assessment was that they could create a "friendly, obedient, powerless Protectorate" (Lebanon) on its northern border. Israel intended to force the hand of Lebanon's leadership to sign a peace treaty with Israel and be totally submitted to its will and expansionist plans. The PLO was headed by Yasser Arafat, a man with pragmatic objectives who enjoyed a bouquet of contacts around the Middle East and the world. Because he was financed by several Arab countries, their leaders had influence over his decisions and the organisation was so corrupted that it, in fact, represented no real danger to Israel. Arafat was ready to sign a peace agreement with Israel (which he did years later) and was a secular leader far removed from any real ideological belief.

The PLO was kicked out of Lebanon, paving a clear road for Hezbollah to blossom and gather strength. Throughout the years, Hezbollah learned to tackle internal politics and managed to earn the "hearts and minds" of the population because it was not a body alien to the Lebanese Shia community but an inseparable part of it.
Sayyed Abbas al-Mussawi

Sayyed Abbas al-Mussawi, Hezbollah’s Secretary General assassinated by Israel.
In 1992, wrongly misunderstanding the organisation, Israel assassinated Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi and members of his family, the Hezbollah leader who acted as its theological guru, father figure and modest commander. Tel Aviv believed it was crippling Hezbollah, thinking its leadership was pyramid like. But Sayyed Abbas was replaced by the cunning and charismatic warfare psychologist and innovator Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who took the group to a disproportionate size and transformed it into a very powerful organisation.

Under Sayyed Nasrallah's command, Hezbollah grew stronger than the Lebanese Army and all domestic security forces put together. Today, the organisation has solid fuel precision missiles, laser-guided anti-tank missiles, precision anti-ship missiles, guided anti-air missiles and several thousand well-trained and disciplined Elite Forces. It has social infrastructures, a hospital, schools, a bank, organisations to support orphans, widows and martyr families, electricity supply generators in the south of Lebanon and the suburbs of Beirut, and several municipalities under its direction.

In 2005, following the assassination of the member of the parliament and ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri, the US believed it was taking back control of Lebanon and managed to force a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, ending the so-called Syrian political and military hegemony. But by elbowing the Syrians out, Lebanon became a loose cannon, with no Maestro to think twice before unleashing hell against Israel, or allowing a group like Hezbollah to do so.

Moreover, without Syrian intervention in the Lebanese government, Hezbollah is today part of the Parliament and enjoys over 18 Ministers in the actual government who support its strategic objectives to use military force against Israel in case of war, and to maintain its advanced "balancing-factor" weapons to prevent Israel from lightly choosing war.

Also, the 2006 war "to destroy Hezbollah" created an unprecedented military supply chain from Syria to Hezbollah during the course of the war. Hezbollah learned how to use the lethal Russian anti-tank laser guided "Kornets" in few hours and managed to prevent Israel from reaching its objectives. Hezbollah grew stronger and resupplied its arsenal with weapons appropriate to the lesson it learned from the 2006 Israeli war.

On the 12th of February 2008, Israel assassinated Haj Imad Mughnniyah, aka Haj Radwan, who occupied the position of vice head of the Jihad Council. He commanded the "army", the military innovation, the foreign intelligence service, the support of the Iraq and Palestinian resistance, and so many other dossiers - all in the hands of one man. His assassination was a real hit to Hezbollah. Nevertheless, Sayyed Nasrallah distributed all Imad's functions to half a dozen commanders who were already within the organization. These have managed to increase Hezbollah's strength and performance as seen in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Hezbollah leadership is of horizontal governance where no one is indispensable.

Despite the objections of many countries, Hezbollah imposed a Christian "President of the Republic", General Michel Aoun. It defended the Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri during his abduction in Riyadh by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and insisted on his nomination in the actual government. It has accepted an inferior number of Ministers in the new government (even if the quota allows it to nominate more Ministers). It has forced a Sunni Minister into the government, representing Sunni minorities, and has a Health Minister (among others) chosen by its command.

Hezbollah doesn't hide the fact that its Medicare bill is very high. This is not only due to its involvement in Syria and the casualties inflicted upon its members (that actually represent a very small percentage of its expenditure). It is mainly due to the tens of thousands of families enrolled in its private free of charge Medicare system offered to whole families of militants.

Moreover, it has to concern all Lebanese citizens without exclusion because the price of imported medicine is ridiculously high, due mainly to a monopoly system (lack of competition) and corruption: the same medicines manufactured in Turkey, Syria or Iran cost little in comparison to the Lebanese market price.

These interferences throughout the years in the affairs of Lebanon leave no doubt: they were counter-productive for the interventionists and were greatly to the benefit of Hezbollah, its allies in Iran and the "Axis of the Resistance". It would have been much better to leave the Middle Eastern countries to evolve at their own speed and choose their ruling system without outside intervention.

The US and its allies can never intervene successfully in the Lebanon or any other country, especially in the Middle East, unless they find local support and the domestic will to accommodate Washington and allow its establishment to play around with the destiny of the country. This can and will cease the day local populations become aware of the foreign meddling.

Part 2

Foreign intervention has pushed many Middle Eastern populations into poverty, at the same time making them more determined to confront and reject the global domination sought by the USA. The number of Middle Eastern countries and non-state actors opposed to the US coalition is relatively small and weak by comparison with the opposite camp, but they have nevertheless shaken the richer and strongest superpower together with its oil-rich Middle Eastern allies who were the investors and the instigators of recent wars. They have coalesced as a Resistance movement attracting global support, even in the face of unprecedented propaganda warfare in the mass media. The soft power of the US coalition has been undermined domestically and abroad from the blatant deceit intrinsic in the project of supporting jihadist takfiri gangs to terrorize, rape and kill Christian, Sunni, secular, and other civilian populations while allegedly fighting a global war on Islamic terrorism.

The small countries targeted by the US coalition are theoretically and strategically important due to their vicinity to Israel. Notwithstanding the scarcity of their resources and their relatively small number of allies in comparison with the opposite camp, they have rejected any reconciliation on the terms offered by Israel.

Israel itself is progressively revealing more overt reconciliation and ties with oil-rich Arab countries: we see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strolling in Warsaw, discussing and shaking hands with Arab leaders. These are obviously not first meetings: recent years have shown a progressively warming rapport and openness between Israel and many Arab leaders.

These Middle East countries have long been supportive of Israel's aggression against Lebanon and its inhabitants. And in the last decade, this support expanded to include a plot against the Palestinians, Syria and Iraq.

The US has exerted huge pressure on Syria since 2003, following the invasion of Iraq. During Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to Damascus in March 2003 he offered long-lasting governance to President Bashar al-Assad in exchange for submission: Assad was asked to sell out Hamas and Hezbollah, and thus join the road map for the "new Middle East".

When Powell's intimidation failed, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the US's main Arab allies and the countries responsible for cash pay-outs to help the US establishment achieve its goals (and those of Israel), promised to inject untold gold and wealth into Syria.

Assad was not willing to comply with this US-Saudi influence and pressure. The influence belonged to the US; Saudi Arabia and Qatar stood behind, holding the moneybags. A war against the Syrian state became essential, and its objectives and prospective benefits immense.

In a few paragraphs, this is what the seven years of war in Syria were about:

The Palestinian cause was pushed to the periphery by the mushrooming of ISIS, a group that terrorised the Middle East and participated in the destruction of the region's infrastructure, killing thousands of its people and draining its wealth. It was also responsible for numerous attacks around the globe, extending from the Middle East into Europe. ISIS didn't attack Israel even though it was based on its borders under the name of "Jayesh Khaled Bin al-Waleed." Nor did al-Qaeda attack Israel, although it also bordered Israel for years, enjoying Israeli intelligence support-and even medical care!

All this was done in order to destroy Syria: dividing the state into zones of influence, with Turkey taking a big chunk (Aleppo, Afrin, Idlib); the Kurds realising their dream by taking over Arab and Assyrian lands in the northeast to create a land of Rojava linked with Iraqi Kurdistan; Israel taking the Golan Heights permanently and creating a buffer zone by grabbing more territory in Quneitra; creating a failed state where jihadist and mercenary groups would fight each other endlessly for dominance; gathering all jihadists into their favourite and most sacred destination (Bilad al-Sham - The Levant) and sealing them into "Islamic Emirates".

It also involved, strategically, stopping the flow of weapons from Iran through Damascus to Hezbollah in Lebanon; weakening the Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi-Lebanese "Axis of Resistance" by removing Syria from it; preparing for another war against Lebanon once Syria was wiped off the map; stealing Syria's oil and gas resources on land and in the Mediterranean; building a gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe to cripple Russia's economy; and finally removing Russia from the Levant together with its naval base on the coast.

At no point in the Syrian war was a single leader proposed to rule the country and replace Bashar al-Assad. The plan was to establish a zone of anarchy with no ruler; Syria was expected to become the jungle of the Middle East.

It was a plan bigger than Assad and much bigger than the Syrians. Hundreds of billions of dollars were invested by Middle Eastern countries - Saudi Arabia and Qatar - to kill Syrians, destroy their country and accomplish the above objectives. It was a crime against an entire population with the watchful complicity of the modern and "democratic" world.

Many pretexts were given for the Syrian war. It was not only about regime change. It was about creating a jungle state. Think tanks, journalists, academics, ambassadors all joined the fiesta by collaborating in the slaughter of Syrians. Crocodile tears were shed over "humanitarian catastrophes" in Syria even as the poorest country in the Middle East, the Yemen, was and still is being slaughtered while the same mainstream media avert their gaze and conceal the nature of the conflict from the general public.

Anyone who understood the game, or even part of it, was called "Assadist", a designation meant as an insult. The savage irony? This epithet "Assadist" was freely wielded by the US chattering class - who themselves have evidently never publicly counted and acknowledged the millions killed by the US political establishment over the centuries.

So, what has this global intervention brought about?

Russia has returned to the Levant after a long hibernation. Its essential role has been to stand against the US world hegemony without provoking, or even trying to provoke, a war with Washington. Moscow demonstrated its new weapons, opening markets for its military industry, and showed its military competence without falling into the many traps laid in the Levant during its active presence. It created the Astana agreement to bypass UN efforts to manipulate negotiations, and it isolated the war into several regions and compartments to deal with each part separately. Putin exhibited a shrewd military mind in dealing successfully with the "mother of all wars" in Syria. He ventured skilfully into US territory against its hegemonic goals, and he has created powerful and lasting strategic alliances with Turkey (a NATO member) and Iran.

Iran found fertile ground in Syria to consolidate the "Axis of the Resistance" when the country's inhabitants (Christian, Sunni, Druse, secular people and other minorities) realised that the survival of their families and their country were at stake. It managed to rebuild Syria's arsenal and succeeded in supplying Hezbollah with the most sophisticated weapons needed for a classic guerrilla-style war to stop Israel from attacking Lebanon. Assad is grateful for the loyalty of these partners who took the side of Syria even as the world was conspiring to destroy it.

Iran has adopted a new ideology: it is not an Islamic or a Christian ideology but a new one that emerged in the last seven years of war. It is the "Ideology of Resistance", an ideology that goes beyond religion. This new ideology imposed itself even on clerical Iran and on Hezbollah who have abandoned any goal of exporting an Islamic Republic: instead they support any population ready to stand against the destructive US hegemony over the world.

For Iran, it is no longer a question of spreading Shiism or converting secular people, Sunni or Christians. The goal is for all to identify the real enemy and to stand against it. That is what the West's intervention in the Middle East is creating. It has certainly succeeded in impoverishing the region: but it has also elicited pushback from a powerful front. This new front appears stronger and more effective than the forces unleashed by the hundreds of billions spent by the opposing coalition for the purpose of spreading destruction in order to ensure US dominance.