A new report by Arab news outlet Al-Khanadeq has confirmed what many have suspected: the October 17th movement was an attempt to destabilize the Lebanese government. The protest group suddenly appeared on the scene in 2019, when they took to the streets demanding the government disarm Hezbollah, one of Israel’s most powerful foes in the region, and replace the carefully designed sectarian balance of the state with liberal “technocracy.” They remain active, launching sporadic riots that are openly supported by US figures as diverse as neo-conservative former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Senator Bernie Sanders. According to an investigation by journalists at Al-Khanadeq, 32,000 activists working for US-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were spread out throughout the country and tasked with organizing and seeding the October 17th movement. The network of NGOs are a front for American intelligence services and are openly run out of the US embassy, with controversial ambassador Dorothy Shea serving as their spokeswoman. Under the auspices of the US State Department and the Agency for International Development (USAID), 60 “civil society” groups that in 2016 were combined under the “NGOs Are Stronger Together” project by agents of the United States were utilized to help spur unrest. According to Lebanese state records, an estimated 12,000 protesters were full-time paid activists belonging to this coalition, while approximately 20,000 were volunteers recruited and utilized by them.
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