THE LEBANESE bankers’ state has collapsed, undermined by the worldwide capitalist crisis which has plunged the country into a desperate situation of bankruptcy, mass unemployment, low wages and pauperisation, with the masses permanently in the streets calling for the state to be smashed by a revolution.
Lebanese capitalism is rotten-ripe and ready to be overthrown – but it won’t go peacefully, as last Tuesday’s massive port explosion showed.
A blast, equivalent to around 1,155 tones of TNT tore through the port city of Beirut, last Tuesday evening (August 4th). At least 154 people were killed, at least 80 more are missing, more than 5,000 have been injured, and up to 300,000 made homeless.
The explosion was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated by the government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years.
The people of Lebanon are furious that the government had stored, in a warehouse in a residential area far away from the wealthy’s luxurious homes, the equivalent of a nuclear bomb, for over six years. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
On Thursday evening security forces fired tear gas as thousands of anti-government protesters calling for revolution and the Lebanese government’s resignation massed near the parliament building in Beirut.
Lebanon’s ambassador to Jordan, Tracy Chamoun, said on Thursday: ‘I am announcing my resignation as an ambassador … in protest against state negligence, theft and lying. This disaster rang a bell: we should not show any of them mercy and they all must go.’
Naila Saba, co-owner at Aaliya’s Books which was flattened in the blast, exclaimed: ‘I felt the blast, I saw the news, and I was unable to be any more moved. I am exhausted. I have no more tears, I am a revolutionary. I was on the streets from October to January, then the Lebanese pound depreciation hit, our money got stuck at the bank, and we are left paying black market rates.’
The crisis is now so grave that the bankers’ regime was forced to call in French President Macron to try to prop them up and calm the angry masses. He was not welcomed by the masses. They will not tolerate any kind of return to being dominated by French imperialism.
In a flagrant act of interference, Macron called for a ‘new political pact’ among Lebanese political factions and said he had proposed a roadmap to the Lebanese authorities to unlock billions of dollars in funds from the international community, no doubt for them to thieve, and that he would return to Lebanon in September to follow up.
Macron’s remarks prompted Twitter users to react: ‘French cities are in chaos and now Macron is going to take care of business in Lebanon? Lebanese beware!’ – Marc (@o_liuw) August 6, 2020.
‘I can’t comment on #Macron’s visit to #Lebanon from a Lebanese perspective, but as a French citizen, it’s interesting to see Macron celebrating Lebanese citizens protesting their government while at home riot cops are sent to tear gas French citizens protesting his own.’ — Rim-Sarah Alouane (@RimSarah) August 6, 2020.
30-year-old Beirut resident Mohammad Suyur said: ‘We can’t bear more than this. This is it. The whole system has got to go.’
The Lebanese government have allowed the banks to savage the country. Last year the dollar-rationing policies implemented by Lebanese banks caused major shortages and price hikes in gasoline, petrol, food and other vital supplies.
The Lebanese masses led by the working class must overthrow the bankrupt bankers’ regime and bring in a workers’ government. This must nationalise the banks and all of the major industries and use the incredible wealth of the ruling class to rebuild the country.
It must make a bargain with the French working class that it must use its force to smash any plans to restore colonial rule to the Lebanon, and in return the Lebanese masses will assist a French workers’ revolution to overthrow Macron and his bankers’ government.
A Lebanese socialist revolution will be a huge leap forward and bring the state of Palestine much closer, within touching distance!