One year after the Beirut port explosion, Lebanon remains in freefall as it unravels under the pressure of its worst economic crisis in decades, high rates of COVID-19 infections, an indifferent political class, and Hezbollah’s control over critical junctures of the Lebanese state. Hezbollah is now caught between an increasingly dissatisfied broader populace and Beirut’s broken political order. To survive the current crisis, Hezbollah must retain, at a bare minimum, its current Lebanese Shia supporters. The group has therefore launched a multipronged strategy and propaganda campaign to deflect responsibility and blame the United States for Lebanon’s ills while also softening the impact on the party’s popular support.
In a new Atlantic Council issue brief, “Hezbollah Blames Lebanon’s Economic Collapse on the United States” Atlantic Council nonresident fellow David Daoud shines a light on Hezbollah’s propaganda campaign, which builds off the group’s longstanding anti-American narratives aimed at convincing the Lebanese people—or at least Hezbollah supporters—that the United States is deliberately orchestrating Lebanon’s collapse, and is, therefore, the party against which they should direct their anger.
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