Beirut Bombs Bring Empty Condolences

On February 20, 2014, in blog posts, by admin


Beirut Bombs Bring Empty Condolences

By Brenda Heard

We have now watched six terrorist attacks on Lebanon in 2014.  They were not domestic crimes—they were international terrorism.  Those responsible promise more to come.  Yet the organisations of the international community that are designed to address this sort of problem continue to do as they have for decades.  Once again, they seem to share a set of talking points.  They hope that “justice” will somehow just show up, like a sunny spring day.  They welcome the formation of a new Lebanese government “as a key step in Lebanon’s efforts to tackle effectively the extraordinary security” challenges.  They glare at the Lebanese people, telling them to “remain united,” to rally “around their state institutions,” to “come together in support of their. . . State institutions.”  It doesn’t require much effort to read between the lines.  At least Israel is candid about its policy (examples here and here—Israel is quite open about this), which it seems is also that of the international community: if the Lebanese people allow resistance to Zionism, then they will suffer the consequences.

Excusing violence and threatening violence and committing violence against civilian populations because of their social, political standing: is this not the essence of terrorism in itself?  If the UN had done its job in 1978, then the resistance of the Lebanese people would not have been necessary.  If the UN had done its job in 1981, then the resistance of the Syrian people would not have been necessary, and the Western powers and their allies would have no longer cared a whit about any Syrian regime.  Of course the drama itself has been highly complicated, but the recurrent theme has been “fall in line, or else.”  If justice had been truly desired and actually implemented decades ago, then the history of the Middle East might have been oh-so different.  But then it has never really been about justice.

Has it?


“UN Special Coordinator [for Lebanon] Derek Plumbly Condemns Double Bombing in Bir Hassan”

“The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, condemned today’s double bombing in the area of Bir Hassan in the southern Beirut suburbs that killed and wounded a number of people. He extended his condolences to the families of the victims of this bombing.

The Special Coordinator called on the Lebanese to remain united in the face of such appalling and indiscriminate terrorist actions and to build on the positive step taken a few days ago with the formation of a new government by rallying around their state institutions, including the army and security forces, to safeguard their country’s security and stability. He reiterated the commitment of the international community to supporting Lebanon in these efforts. He welcomed the recent efforts of the Lebanese army and security forces in detaining terrorist suspects and preventing attacks and hoped those responsible for today’s bombing and all other acts of terrorism will be brought to justice as soon as possible.”


“New York, 19 February 2014 – Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General [Ban Ki-Moon] on Car Bombing in Beirut”

“The Secretary-General condemns the car bombing today in the Beirut neighbourhood of Bir al Hassan that has caused several casualties, including children amongst the injured. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and the Government and people of Lebanon.  The Secretary-General notes the active efforts of the Lebanese army and security forces in working to detain terrorist suspects and prevent attacks, and calls for the perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice.  The Secretary-General calls on all Lebanese parties to come together in support of their newly formed Government and other State institutions, and to sustain national unity as the best safeguard of Lebanon’s security and stability in the face of terrorism.”


“Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative [for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy] Catherine Ashton on the deadly explosions in Beirut”

“The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

‘The High Representative strongly condemns today’s bomb attacks which once again targeted Beirut. She extends her condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.

The High Representative is deeply concerned regarding the spiral of violence in Lebanon, reaffirms that terrorism and any use of violence against civilians – and especially children – are completely unacceptable. She calls for the perpetrators of these heinous acts to be brought to justice. Four days ago, the High Representative welcomed the formation of a new government, as a key step in Lebanon’s efforts to tackle effectively the extraordinary security, economic and political challenges the country is facing. The High Representative reconfirms that EU will stand by Lebanon to face those challenges.'”



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