Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria

Thirty Years Later, Another Embassy Bombing in Beirut

iranembassyToday’s attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut recalls a similar bombing thirty years ago against the US embassy in the same city. There is no mystery concerning the identity of the bombers nor the meaning of the bomb. As Bashar presses his advantage across the border, Lebanon remains an opening field for supply chain wars, assassinations, and suicide bomb diplomacy. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. responds to the bombing, given the rapprochement track Obama has chosen with Tehran.

This is an open thread for discussion. Apologies for the long break between posts. It’s been extremely busy over the past month or so, and Lebanon has been blissfully quiet, until today.


31 thoughts on “Thirty Years Later, Another Embassy Bombing in Beirut

  1. Are there a lot of similarities other than targeting embassies?

    Posted by Stephen | November 19, 2013, 9:48 am
  2. Welcome to the 30th Anniversary Celebration, whose official theme will be, “What’s sauce for the goose”. The banquet menu will feature gander prepared with the same sauce, but unfortunately we couldn’t get quite as good a chef this time.

    Posted by sam adams the dog (@samadamsthedog) | November 19, 2013, 10:19 am
  3. Lebanon will never seize to become the preferred podium for playing out international proxy wars. Alliances change, enemies become frenemies and life in Lebanon continues in its semblance of normalcy. The sad reality is the Lebanese have gotten used to disassociating such events from their day-to-day lives as quickly as possible after the fact. The truth of the matter is the loss of life, lack of security and anarchic nature of civil and political life in Lebanon cannot be restored if the proxy wars continue making sporadic stage appearances. “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players.”

    Posted by Anna | November 19, 2013, 10:32 am
  4. Wasn’t it a marine barracks bomb attack? It wasn’t an “embassy” bombing 30 years ago.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 19, 2013, 10:34 am
  5. Embassy and barracks bombings were separate incidents a few months apart…makes the comparison to today’s bombing more blurred in my mind

    Posted by Stephen | November 19, 2013, 10:40 am
  6. Well, it shows two things. Firstly, the first attack was perpetrated more professionally and took more casualties from people working in the Embassy. I think Syrian rebels are quite new to this. Nonetheless, this also shows that the middle-eastern politics has gone almost no where for a long time and the rhetoric and the actions are almost the same, be it from Hezbollah or its enemies.

    Posted by Kaveh Nematipour (@knematipour) | November 19, 2013, 10:41 am
  7. No one to be blamed but the Lebanese People and their acceptance of their Leaders. You harvest what you Plant. And we have planted those politicians who sold the country to the outsiders. Do not tell me about Syria and Bashar and hide behind our fingers. We brought this onto us. Unless, I, YOU and everyone else believes that Lebanon is our Country and not this Leader or that, we should not cry and blame others.

    Posted by mazz | November 19, 2013, 11:05 am
  8. Recall it was the abduction of Iranian diplomats in Lebanon three decades ago that prompted Iranian involvement in the war in Lebanon, an involvement that ultimately liberated Lebanon from that foreign military occupation, and proved instrumental in repulsing another foreign military invasion in 2006.

    Posted by Pyruz | November 19, 2013, 11:35 am
  9. I just think the Lebanese army has to be the sole military in Lebanon and act according to Lebanese interests. And apparently, they are too just too weak to do their job. The Lebanese army and police need a strong agency like the “Shabak” for internal security.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 19, 2013, 12:44 pm
  10. Pyruz- although your recollection and justification for Iranian involvement is absurd, now that you have liberated us from little Satan, could you guys **** *** and leave ? At least so we don’t have to justify the Saudi involvement to liberate us from you. Thanks

    [Editor: No insults, please.]

    Posted by Vulcan | November 19, 2013, 1:55 pm
  11. Sorry for being vulgaigh 😉

    Posted by Vulcan | November 19, 2013, 3:13 pm
  12. It’s as though the Lebanese state was designed to be weak. Today Lebanese themselves appear powerless to halt the political paralysis and fragmentation that has made their country a proxy battleground. All of the country’s major political forces are tied to external patrons who have their own fish to fry and battles to wage. The single most powerful local force (Hizballah) trumpets its role in its neighbor’s civil war. It is a discouraging situation, and I don’t see what ordinary Lebanese men and women can do to change it in the short run. (I hope I’m wrong, but recent history is discouraging.)

    Posted by James Reilly | November 19, 2013, 3:34 pm
  13. “It will be interesting to see how the U.S. responds to the bombing”…. here is the official press statement from John Kerry: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/11/217740.htm. He labels the attack violent, unjustifiable,senseless. despicable, terrorist. And while he can’t resist the standard line of “supporting” the Lebanese Government (ie and not certain–ahem–elements of it), he does manage to resist sneering at the Iranians and insinuating it was their fault, that they brought it on themselves. So at least the appearance of attempted diplomacy. Now what he and his are going to DO could be another story.

    Posted by Brenda | November 20, 2013, 1:53 am
  14. Now what he and his are going to DO could be another story.


    What do you expect the US Administration to do? The Obama administration has no plan in the Middle East other than to appease. He’s too busy with his domestic social engineering project.

    If I were president of the US, I’d create another coalition like the one we garnered against Saddam Hussein.

    I would then flatten all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and call it a day. But that’s just me.

    It’s time to force the Iranian theocracy to leave Lebanon, Syria and Iraq while taking away their dangerous toys.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 20, 2013, 8:07 am
  15. It is time to force the Saudi theocracy to leave Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq while taking away their dangerous Al Qaeda toys….

    Posted by Marion Mourtada | November 20, 2013, 3:39 pm
  16. Are you trying to say Saudi is involved in Lebanon only because of Iran Vulcan? Or that because of Iran, you are being forced to justify Saudi’s involvement here?

    Posted by Marion Mourtada | November 20, 2013, 3:44 pm
  17. Dear Marion,
    I am not justifying anyone’s involvement. As far as I am concerned, I don’t see any difference between Sunni radicals or Shiaa radicals, they are both the same. I would like them both to **** *** and leave us alone.

    Posted by Vulcan | November 20, 2013, 4:30 pm
  18. Marion,

    We know that Hezbollah is a foreign military residing in Lebanon that acts only on the orders of Iran. The Hezbollah military acts independently and is not part of the Lebanese Defence Forces. What Saudi military group resides in Lebenon that acts only on the orders of the KSA, and acts independently from the LDF?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 21, 2013, 8:33 am
  19. A Recent Post from Syria Comment

    144. Syrialover said:

    Fascinating TRUTH that blasts away the myth of Hezbollah being Lebanese and created for resistance to Israel.

    Hezbollah was an 100% Iranian construct and offshoot of Khomeini’s faction when it gained power 30 years ago.

    This explains a lot. In fact it explains everything.

    It’s incredible to see how the reality has been obscured and history deliberately rewritten by propaganda and disinformation about Hezbollah’s mission and history.



    It was always an outpost of the Iranian revolution




    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 21, 2013, 8:54 am
  20. AP, not defending HA and I reject their ideology and armed presence in Lebanon, but they are more Lebanese and a lot more rational than the crazed Al Qaida type mercenaries financed and supported by your new allies, the sick Wahhabi kingdom of Darkness. Your question “what Saudi Military groups reside in Lebanon” is an indication that you are either clueless or plain desperate.
    Do you think people who read this blog are stupid? Fox News tactics don’t work here.

    Posted by Vulcan | November 21, 2013, 4:15 pm
  21. Vulcan,

    It’s probably because I’m stupid. I know as much about Lebanon as, say, you probably know about the Zionist Project. Limited but not accurate?

    From the a simple google search, I find that 60% of Lebanon is muslim and 40% christian. Half the muslims are Sunni and half are Shia.

    We know that HA has been in Lebanon since the seventies and have become a powerful force in both politics and on the ground with their extra-governmental military force. What al-Queda organization is there both in the Lebanese government and in a paramilitary force? I am not aware of any.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 21, 2013, 4:58 pm
  22. This is where HA critics get unstuck. Sure they heed to Iranian dictat. Sure they are more for the empowerment of the Shiaa community than an actual “Resistance” force. It is very obvious that they don’t answer to the Lebanese Government or respect it as an entity and the list goes on.
    But, HA is not made up of mercenaries. They are young men mostly from the Bekaa valley and the South, the heartlands of the nation pulled in by the allurement of duty for one’s sect, ethnicity, community, country, honour, whatever… but it is nowhere near foreign as most critics like to express.
    The more accurate term to describe HA is a Fascist outfit with sectarian overtones.

    Posted by Maverick | November 21, 2013, 8:18 pm
  23. Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems the old framework of “regional powers” sending “messages” to the Lebanese “mailbox” doesn’t apply at all here. The nature of the beast is fundamentally different this time, as it was in Ruwais too. To believe the line being peddled by “Resistance” types is to believe that Saudi and Israel are the patrons of a group – the Abdullah Azzam Brigades – that is wanted for terrorism in Saudi and fires rockets at Israel. Nor would it make any sense (as I’m sure Khaled ad-Daher is going to tell us any minute now) for the Syrian regime to attack the very benefactor to whom it owes its survival. That a genuine jihadist insurgency, not answerable to any foreign government, is taking hold in Lebanon is certainly an uncomfortable conclusion, but it also appears to be the most logical one.

    Posted by Alex Rowell (@disgraceofgod) | November 22, 2013, 7:59 am
  24. Then they came…


    How can a nation survive when a competing and independent military does what it wants and isn’t answerable to the government? It can’t.

    HA defeated the Israelis and threw them out of Lebanon. HA were the heroes.

    Then we had Utopia, until, of course, the real challenge became apparent: arabs asked for freedom.


    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 22, 2013, 2:00 pm
  25. Now, now, now……

    Funnily enough, Haaretz’ senior defense analyst logically suggests a Saudi hand:

    “Amos Harel wrote in Haaretz (Hebrew):

    The open question is whether the [Abdallah Azzam Brigades] could’ve carried out such an attack by itself or whether it was aided by a foreign country…The principle supporter of the Sunni extremist forces in Syria is Saudi Arabia; and it has invested an extraordinary effort in persuading the international community to continue pressuring Iran on the nuclear issue…”
    Any news on the nature of the explosives?

    Posted by lally | November 22, 2013, 8:28 pm
  26. IMHO, the issue isn’t who lit off the latest bomb “du jour”, the issue is how to protect and secure society.

    This can’t be accomplished with competing militaries, unelected government, or weak legal systems.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 23, 2013, 11:03 am
  27. If anything, a Qatari role seems more plausible than a Saudi one, not least because it now transpires one of the suicide bombers was a partisan of Ahmad al-Assir (who, in turn, was widely rumoured to be a Qatari client). And, again, I go back to the point that the Abdallah Azzam Brigades are blacklisted in Saudi. Their former leader, Saleh al-Qaraawi, is now in a Saudi jail. Amos Harel’s argument that because Saudi finances Islamists in Syria it must have plotted the embassy bombs is not one that should impress thinking people.

    Posted by Alex Rowell (@disgraceofgod) | November 24, 2013, 1:00 pm
  28. AP, Congrats On the signing of the interim deal with Iran.

    I wonder what AIG is thinking about this latest.

    Posted by Vulcan | November 24, 2013, 5:04 pm
  29. The best ever reaction to the Agreement. From Angry Arab

    “Now will Lebanon be compelled to halt its enrichment of Tahini?”

    Posted by Vulcan | November 24, 2013, 5:09 pm
  30. Vulcan,

    It seems whatever Obama does impresses AIG.

    But I’ll let AIG speak for himself. My ideological heroes, John Bolton and Charles Krauthammer are against it. As well as the Saudi Royals. I wonder how two extremely polar opposites agree on something like this?

    From what I can tell, the Iranians can cheat and expect the same group of spineless appeasers to do nothing for years. They’ve bought themselves another decade.

    I hope those 30000 lb bunker busters work, and I hope the Iranians haven’t built hospitals and schools near their nuclear facilities.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | November 24, 2013, 8:10 pm
  31. Your ideological Zionist heroes Akbar, are in bed with the Saudi Wahabis and they both make me sick to my stomach….but hey, it is a free world and you can Align yourself with whoever you like, and I can still feel like puking…

    Posted by Marion Mourtada | December 12, 2013, 1:04 pm

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