ONE year after the explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4, 2020, killing 218 people, injuring more than 7,000 and devastating much of the city, the Lebanese investigation into the blast has yielded zero results.
Last week, saw people who have suffered the loss of their loved ones in the blast being battered and beaten by riot police for simply demanding the truth about why their kith and kin died.
In that one year, none of the victims’ families have been asked to give witness statements. They have not received an official apology and their only contact with the Lebanese authorities has been at the end of policemen’s truncheons and rifle butts.
The families are demanding to know why the ammonium nitrate, used in IEDs and car bombs, was in the port in the first place, who ordered it, and since ‘only’ 700 tons exploded, what happened to the rest of the 2,750 tons being stored at the warehouse?
There has been no answers to their questions.
The explosion registered 3.5 on the Richter scale, killing 218 people in the blast. Many of those who were at ground zero at the time of the explosion were never found. More than 7,000 were injured, and over 300,000 became instantly homeless.
It has come out that the ammonium was recovered from a ship brought in illegally and stored in a warehouse at the seaport since 2014, and a lot of officials knew about it, including heads of state, prime ministers, and even the Commander in Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The lesson of the August 4th 2020 atrocity being drawn by the Lebanese masses is that accepting the US/French imperialist imposed regime means accepting leaders who are willing to murder their own citizens!
Further, if they are allowed to continue the door is being opened to catastrophes of an infinitely greater magnitude than this explosion.
The attitude of the masses is that: ‘This disaster must be our wake-up call for inaugurating a new Lebanon. There’s no salvation for a system that is rotten to the core and propped up by Western colonial powers.
‘Our salvation lies in collectively banishing those who colluded in Lebanon’s downfall and to remain wedded to a medieval and inherently corrupt sectarian system.’
The Hezbollah movement is urging in vain for officials to shed light on the truth behind the Beirut blast. A year after the explosion, none of the victims’ families have even been asked to give witness statements.
Families of the victims and every Lebanese citizen can get no answers to their many questions as to why the ammonium nitrate was in the port, who ordered it, and what’s happened to the rest of it since just 700 tons out of the 2,750 tons stored there reportedly exploded.
Thousands of Lebanese demonstrated on the first anniversary of the catastrophic explosion which rocked Beirut and they were battered by the police. They declared: ‘We want to know if there were other explosives kept in the port, and how the fire that triggered the explosion was started, and whether it was really just a fire, or was it an act of terrorism?’
Lebanese political parties initially promised a swift investigation into the blast, vowing to deliver results within five days. Over the past 12 months the investigation into the biggest crime in Lebanon’s history has been marked by little more than obstruction, evasion, and delay.
A year after this mass murder there is deepening hardship and mounting frustration after the collapse of the banks. It is clear that the situation of ordinary people in Lebanon is desperate and worsening by the hour.
Currently, the UN estimates that more than 1 million Lebanese out of a population of almost 8 million, including more than 2 million refugees and migrants, need relief assistance to cover their basic needs, including access to food, health, education and water.
Lebanon, which not so long ago was a high middle income country, is now facing the worst financial disaster and economic crisis in modern history. Over half of its population is living in poverty.
Lebanon’s leaders have been unable to reach consensus on the formation of a new government in the past 12 months, which has delayed urgently needed emergency measures to address the country’s economic collapse.
This is a crisis moment in Lebanon’s history. Najib Mirkati is not just the new Prime Minister Designate, he was Prime Minister when the ammonium nitrate entered the Beirut port. Nothing has changed!
The only way forward for the Lebanon is for the working class to take the power with a socialist revolution that will reveal the truth about the massive explosion and bring in a socialist nationalised and planned economy to put an end to the collapsed capitalist system.