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Hezbollah defends the people of the Mashreq

By Ghaleb Kandil

In his speech on the occasion of the day of injury resistant, the secretary general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has defined the strategic framework of the ongoing confrontation in the Arab Mashreq, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon against the alliance led by the United States and composed of Israel, the Takfirist movements, the European Union, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.

The main tool in this aggression are the Takfirist gangs working for the destruction of the national unity in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is clear that with their ideological baggage, these multinational groups plan to exterminate the Christians and expel them from the region, according to U.S. and Western project. The former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had mentioned during his meeting with the Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai the existence of such a plan.

Western statements on the existence on the ground in Syria of non Takfirist groups are a lie. The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) is a front for a hundred groups that have in their ranks deserting officers, become extremists and fanatical terrorists. The Battle of Qoussair and other clashes have shown that the behavior of these groups did not differ from that of al-Nosra Front, which has received over the past two years, a large part of the weapons and money provided for the rebels, as well as groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Recruitment for the extremists is made in the ranks of Takfirist worldwide and through company of mercenaries like the infamous Blackwater. Professional snipers and experts in the mass killings, which have raged in Iraq and elsewhere, were sent to Syria. Not to mention the common criminals, released from Gulf prisons, to go for "jihad" in Syria.

The Takfirist and Salafi extremists associations, funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are well established in the community of Arab and Asian immigration in many European countries. Their head quarters are well known to Western intelligence services that let them do. They recruited thousands of jihadists, hundreds were killed in Syria and discreetly buried in Western Europe.

The Takfirist groups in Mashreq target, primarily, the Sunni majority in Syria: they commit massacres, killing religious figures (like the great ulema Mohammad al-Bouti), political, cultural and scientific personalities, to cause religious discord.

The people, the state and the army in Syria supported alone the burden of the fight against this scourge. Hassan Nasrallah revealed details of this evil plan that aims also the Resistance and the Lebanese society and the social ties in Iraq and Jordan. The strategic goal is to destroy the idea of Arabism among the peoples of the region, only able to reflect the diversity of Mashreq. Israel is the main beneficiary.

In deciding to fight in Syria against this project, Hezbollah protects the people of the region, their religions, their diversity, the unity of the social tissue and the will to resist the hegemonic project of Israel, that is at the heart of the party combat.

Hezbollah remains faithful to its tradition as the vanguard fighting against the Israeli-American project, which uses today as the enforcement tool Takfirist groups.

The early failure of the new US plan

Paris recently hosted consultations between France, the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia, devoted to the evaluation of the situation in Syria after the Battle of Qoussair. The information from the French capital indicate that the American team, devoted to study political and military options, came to a conclusion based on two implacable realities: first, impotence, bankruptcy and fragmentation rebels; the fact that the Syrian people hate the rebels in areas under their control. This means that the extremists and mercenaries recruited and sent to Syria no longer have a significant popular support. This fact largely explains why the balance of power has changed in favor of the state and the army. It is clear that a majority of the population in rural areas now rejects these international extremist groups who commit the worst atrocities and abuses. The decision of the West to send weapons to the armed groups hated by the Syrian people will not contribute in any way to create a popular support, without which the chances of winning any meaningful victory are inexistent.

The evaluation procedure gives hints about the Americans plan aiming at "rebalancing the situation on the ground", which the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, alluded to allow the holding of the conference in Geneva 2 . The objective of this plan is to try to regain lost ground by extremists against the Syrian army in the province of Daraa, where along with victorious offensives, the state was able to convince, through negotiations, many rebels to lay down their arms and return to normal life.

After impotence strikes Turkey because of the Taksim intifada, and the extremist defeat in Qoussair after Hezbollah entered the battle, the West have decided to reactivate the front of Daraa. New weapons and ammunition were sent to rebel groups still active in the province.

This initiative will, however, doomed to failure because of the change in the popular mood. Those who sympathized with the rebels discovered with horror the bloody reality of their project. And nothing can roll back history.


STATEMENTS

HASSAN NASRALLAH, Hezbollah leader

«Our position after Al-Qusayr is the same as before, nothing has changed. We will be where we should be, and what we began we shall continue when it comes to taking up our responsibilities. If anyone thinks that by using lies, killings, or threats we will change our stances, they are wrong. Those who want to bring down Syria, want to bring down Lebanon and the rest of the region and put it under the control of the Israeli-American-takfiri powers. They are trying to create a sectarian war in the region. The crisis in Syria is not pitting two sects against each other, the battle in Syria is not sectarian, but those who consider it as such are those who are weak and those who are losing out. The worst that has happened recently is sectarian rhetoric. Security incidents in the Beqaa are worsening ties between Sunnis and Shiites. Some are working on creating problems between Sunnis and Shiites in this region. We will find a solution to the problem of rockets that are being fired on the Beqaa. I call on our supporters to exercise self-restraint, since any dispute is being given a sectarian meaning nowadays. We are a constituent part of this country, this land and the Lebanese people. We were born here, we will be martyred and buried here, and no one will rout us out of here. Let Shiites object and criticize us.»

SAAD HARIRI, Former Prime Minister of Lebanon

«None of the Lebanese groups, whether Sunni, Shiite, Druze or the Christian sects combined, can be kept away from the slippery slope that Hezbollah seeks to drag Lebanon toward. Hezbollah has unilaterally decided to breach every tradition, law and rule that govern national life among the Lebanese; it has arrogated to itself, as a party and an armed sectarian group, the rights of states in taking fundamental decisions without any consideration for the sensitivities of the groups it lives among, which constitute at the very least 50 percent of the Lebanese population. Hezbollah had managed to accomplish such a feat through its unprecedented intimidation as a result of its arsenal. Nasrallah has transgressed all norms, deciding to be the head of state, supreme commander of the armed forces, head of the executive branch –allowing the borders to be opened for thousands of fighters to take part in the Syrian war– and the legislative branch for issuing fatwas for defending religious sites and resistance regimes beyond the border. This is not a caricature of the political reality in Lebanon but a blatant and painful truth of the situation of the Lebanese state, which for years has suffered under the conditions and terrorizing acts of Hezbollah. This policy asks Lebanon’s Shiites to be the fuel of an endless, absurd war. It also wants Lebanon to become an arena for defending the regime of Bashar Assad, with front lines that will not be confined to the sects in Lebanon, especially if we spot the strategic dimensions of Iranian policy in the Arab Levant and the signals that are being sent regarding the advanced position of Hezbollah in this policy. To accept Hezbollah’s project simply means that there will never be a Lebanese state. And that this state will remain hostage to the party and above it, to the Islamic Republic of Iran, forever and ever. Hezbollah is trying to convince the Shiite community that its weapons are for protecting the sect, that Hezbollah has succeed in establishing the first army of its kind for Shiites in the east. We cannot accept Hezbollah’s actions under any condition based on our conviction that the party’s claims on this matter are historic lies.»

MICHEL AOUN, Free Patriotic Movement leader

«Hezbollah didn’t go to occupy Syria but has rather prevented the battle from being transferred to Lebanon. Those accusing it of interfering in Syria are those who protected gunmen and provided them with aid. In principle I object any interference in Syria, but I cannot be against those fending off war on my border and preventing it from entering my country. The negligence of the government led to a deterioration of the security situation in the country through the paralysis that hit the armed forces to the point where civil strife is now at the door.»

MAURA CONNELLY, US Ambassador at Beirut

«It is for the Constitutional Council and its members alone to rule on the matters before it, but what is most important is that the council meets as required by law and that it considers the issues before it without political interference. The inability to do so undermines international confidence in Lebanon and will have ramifications beyond the political arena. It is for the Lebanese people and their representatives to decide under which law elections take place and who comprises the next government. The key issue for Lebanese democracy, for any democracy, is that leaders and officials are accountable to the people and respect and abide by the rule of law, which includes allowing its democratic institutions to work. In Lebanon, we know both from the economic statistics but also from your stories how unbridled corruption significantly undercuts economic growth and hampers entrepreneurial initiative.»


EVENTS

• Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday insisted that Moscow had abided by "rules and norms" when providing weapons to Syria and called on other G8 countries which are contemplating arming rebels to do likewise. "We are not breaching any rules and norms and we call on all our partners to act in the same fashion," he said in a press conference in London following talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Putin warned that countries supplying arms to forces fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would have their reputation tarnished after footage emerged last month of one rebel apparently eating the heart of a dead soldier. "It is barely worth it [supplying arms] to support people who not only kill their enemies but open up their bodies and eat their internal organs in front of the public and the cameras," he said. "Do you want to supply these people with arms? "In that case this hardly has anything to do with the humanitarian values which have for centuries been preached in Europe," he added. "At least in Russia we cannot imagine this."

• The official said Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had joined the "conspiracy and incitement led by the United States and Israel against Syria by announcing the cutting of ties yesterday". "Syria is confident that this decision does not represent the will of the Egyptian people," the official added, accusing Morsi of announcing the severing of ties to deflect attention from internal crises. Morsi, an Islamist who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, announced Saturday the "definitive" severing of ties with war-torn Syria, and the recall of Egypt’s charge d’affaires in Damascus.

• Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has called for tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program regardless of who is elected as its new president, public radio reported on Saturday. "We must toughen the sanctions against Iran and make this country understand that the military option remains on the table to halt the progress of its dangerous nuclear program," the radio station quoted Yaalon as saying on a visit to the United States. A Pentagon statement confirmed that Yaalon discussed Iran in talks with Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday but gave few details. Hagel and Yaalon "reaffirmed that the United States and Israel will continue to work together to counter threats posed by Iran and remain prepared for a range of contingencies," the statement said.


PRESS REVIEW

AS SAFIR (LEBANESE DAILY, ARAB NATIONALIST, JUNE 14, 2013)

The events and the steps taken on both Lebanese and international level to protest against the ongoing arbitrary detention of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in France find their consecration with the participation of the "International Committee for the release of George Abdallah" on 23rd session of the Council of Human Rights in Geneva. The most important information at this stage is the announcement by the Secretary of the working group of the United Nations on Arbitrary Detention, Miguel De La Lama, his team will file the Lebanese complaint on June 21 held against the french government, so that it provides answers to the allegations contained in the complaint within two months of receiving it.

AS SAFIR (JUNE 13, 2013)

The tweet of the Embassy of the United States on "the obligation of the Constitutional Council to examine and rule on the appeal before it, far from any political interference" is a blow inflicted on the Lebanese state by Washington. This is a scandal and a flagrant interference in Lebanese affairs. U.S. Statements seem to give orders to the Lebanese authorities, miles away from diplomatic language should be mandatory. Doubt is not allowed: this position confirms the information about the pressures qu’exerceraient the United States on some of its allies in order to get the Constitutional Council accepts the application for invalidation of the law to extend the mandate of Parliament.

AN NAHAR (LEBANESE DAILY CLOSE TO 14-MARS COALITION)

(JUNE 15, 2013)

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam reiterated his objection to granting any of Lebanon’s parties a guaranteeing third in his upcoming government, which he also said will not be a de facto cabinet. “I refuse giving a blocking third to any party, whether March 8, March 14 or centrists,” Salam said on Saturday. “A de facto government would not include this guaranteeing third… and I do not think that anyone wants a de facto cabinet,” he added.

Following discussions with the country’s parliamentarians, the premier-designate announced in early May that he would not grant a “blocking third” veto in the government to any coalition, after the March 8 group reportedly made the request for a “blocking third” share in his upcoming cabinet.

AL AKHBAR (LEBANESE DAILY CLOSE TO THE LEBANESE RESISTANCE, JUNE 7, 2013)

NICOLAS NASSIF

As the various Lebanese political parties await the Constitutional Council’s decision on parliament’s 17-month elections extension, Western ambassadors are pressing for holding elections as soon as possible in a bid to punish Hezbollah for its involvement in Syria.

Nine days before the end of parliament’s term, no one is quite sure which way the Constitutional Council will rule: Will it accept the two appeals put forward by President Michel Suleiman and Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement against the parliamentary extension or allow renewal for the MPs for another year and half?

While members of the council insist that their decision will be strictly based on constitutional grounds, there’s no doubt that political and even sectarian considerations will come into play. Ultimately, the ten-member council will vote according to their political leanings.

There are a number of indications, however, that suggest that a third party wants to have a say in the matter, given its political and legal repercussions: 1-Inside sources suggest that several Western ambassadors – including some of countries that are UN Security Council members – are putting pressure on both the Constitutional Council and those political parties with influence over it to reject parliament’s extension. They want to see elections conducted as soon as possible; 2-These ambassadors, along with higher level representatives from the same Western countries, have spared no effort to remind every Lebanese official they meet that elections must be held on time. Yet they have been frustrated to find that their pleas have been virtually ignored by most Lebanese politicians; 3-In private discussions, these Western diplomats have expressed their strong belief that elections would help improve the country’s internal instability and allow Lebanon to get out of its current crisis.

They calculate that elections are likely to produce a majority for March 14, which would take a much harder line on Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria than the current Najib Mikati government; 4-Western officials believe that the expected March 14 election gains will send a clear message to Hezbollah that the Lebanese public does not approve of its military adventure in Syria, which in turn would make the party’s “victory” in Qusayr ring hollow; 5-Western diplomatic sources were alarmed by news that the first draft proposal for parliament’s extension suggested renewal for two years. The logic behind this, according to those who supported such an extension, is that in two years Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s term would have ended and everyone would have a clear idea as to the direction of the crisis.

AL AKHBAR (JUNE 10, 2013)

IBRAHIM AL-AMINE

A great number of Hezbollah’s opponents have transformed into sworn enemies bent on the group’s destruction. This could signal a confrontation, whose theater will be my small country or my bigger one.

Many victims could fall. And since the situation is extremely dangerous, I find myself, once again, compelled to attempt an explanation of Hezbollah’s current reality.

Those who want to act rationally will hopefully understand and listen to what I say, even if they decide to go ahead with the final confrontation.

Today, Hezbollah is a major regional power. It has been so for the past decade. With the liberation of 2000 and Israel’s defeat in Gaza, then the US defeat in Iraq, followed by the failure of the plan to control Lebanon after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, then the July 2006 war, Hezbollah went through – or was forced into – several trials and theaters. It expanded its expertise, increased its influence, and doubled its capacity.

Knowingly and unknowingly, Hezbollah became synonymous with the rejection of all things US and Europe, whether Arab or not.

In addition, Hezbollah has institutions comparable to those of states, not local organizations. It has a structure allowing it to function in all aspects of life. Notwithstanding its ability to succeed here or there, Hezbollah is now a security and military force, which represents a fulcrum in the axis against the West and its acolytes in the region.

With the expansion of its multifarious capacities, Hezbollah is now a source of power for all those who stand by it. This is what the Palestinians realized in their conflict with the Israeli occupation. It is what the Iraqi resistance against the US occupation found out. And now, it is what the Syrian army is experiencing against the armed groups.

In each experience, Hezbollah, which learned and absorbed a great deal of the Israeli enemy’s experience, knows how to recast a threat into an opportunity and a crisis into an opening for a new reality.

What is most important in those experiences is Hezbollah’s ability to produce the appropriate political discourse for each stage. Therefore it can introduce mechanisms allowing it to continue mobilizing a new generation for its forces. After a quarter of a century of military experience, its fighters are still in their early twenties.

Does anyone who wants a feud imagine what it means in real life, being able to maintain the ability to renew one’s human military capacity? And what if this went hand in hand with an enormous burgeoning at the level of military systems, security capabilities, and logistical capacity?

Today, Hezbollah is abhorred by a not-so-small number of Arabs and Muslims. Yet it does not worry about its popular legitimacy. It never linked its struggles or position with obtaining prior approval from those who everyone knows are not fit to hire a government employee, let alone make a strategic choice.

This issue helped the party avoid the kind of collapse that faces political forces based on such calculations. They wither as soon as the cover of this or that state is lifted.

However, when Hezbollah decided, openly and blatantly, to penetrate the heart of the battle against the armed groups in Syria, it did so with awareness of its new role. It is not an objective reaction or a tit-for-tat service provided to the Syrian regime after a quarter century of support.

The new role of Hezbollah is to lead a Levantine – if not Arab – current, aiming to redraw the political, economic, and social map of a country of 75 million Arabs. Hezbollah can be a lever, but cannot produce a complete transformation and never claimed so.

Common sense says that this mission seeks to regain the individual and collective rights of Arabs to resist the occupation of the US, Israel, or their agents in the Levant. The mission aims to revive the real national identity of all Arabs.

In the first phase, it requires the elimination of all narrow viewpoints, whether we call it "an independent national decision" or "my country first." This means all of the people of the Levant, from Palestine and Jordan, to Lebanon and Syria, to Iraq, Turkey, and the Arabian Gulf.

As a consequence, I advise anyone who wants to get rid of Hezbollah to start acting as if the issue is no longer related to military and security groups, a neighborhood or two, or a border strip monitored by an international police force or the like.

I am speaking of a current with a mix of leftists and Syrian and Arab nationalists. It has a tremendous base of poor who aspire for full independence that protects their cultural and social diversity, before the political and the administrative. It is this diversity that will eliminate the thought of takfiris led by the Saudis and their relatives.

This is Hezbollah’s new address. Get to know it well – God forbid – before you begin fighting it.

THE DAILY STAR (LEBANESE DAILY, JUNE 14, 2013)

Hezbollah aid Friday Gulf states made a shameful decision to target supporters of the resistance group living in their countries.

No one threatens us over our livelihoods or those of some of our [citizens] living in these countries,” said Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad during a ceremony in Nabatieh, south Lebanon. “This is shameful act by these countries.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced Monday that it would take measures against Hezbollah loyalists’ in the GCC as well as against their finances. The GCC decision comes in response to Hezbollah’s growing military involvement in Syria.

Raad described the GCC decision as form of blackmail.

No one makes us any favors or blackmails us regarding the livelihood of citizens who still live in the countries where we have heard they have started to take measures,” he said.

We have no loyalists in these countries but we do not accept that being a loyalist be reason for making false accusations against people working hard in these countries,” Raad added.

Turning to the subject of the Constitutional Council, Raad said members of the body had every right to prevent a quorum.

The [behavior] of the Constitutional Council is democratic of the highest caliber. Members have the right to prevent a quorum if they only find a deaf ear inside the council, which want the elections” he said.

We might be able to hold the elections in the south and the Beqaa Valley but God knows how elections could take place in Mount Lebanon and the north,” he said,

Earlier in the month both the March 8 and March 14 camps agreed to extend the term of Parliament, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country.

AFP (FRANCE-PRESS AGENCY, JUNE 15, 2013)

Turkish protesters hunkered down in an Istanbul park Saturday, rejecting an olive branch the government had hoped would end two weeks of nationwide civil unrest. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer to halt the redevelopment of Gezi park that first ignited the protests was presented as a major concession but after conferring all night the protesters said their movement was about something bigger than a conservation struggle. "We will continue our resistance in the face of any injustice and unfairness taking place in our country," the Taksim Solidarity group, seen as most representative of the protesters, said in a statement.

The decision looked set to inflame tensions a day after Erdogan offered to halt the Gezi Park redevelopment until a court ruled on its legality, his first conciliatory gesture yet in a bid to end the biggest challenge of his Islamist-rooted government’s decade-long rule.

"Young people, you have remained there long enough and delivered your message.... Why are you staying?" Erdogan said in a speech broadcast on live television.

In the capital Ankara, meanwhile, riot police again fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators overnight. Around 30 protesters were arrested.

Later on Saturday, tens of thousands of supporters of Erodgan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were expected to take to the streets of the capital for an election rally, in what has been billed as a show of strength for the embattled premier.

A peaceful sit-in to save Gezi Park’s 600 trees from being razed prompted a brutal police response on May 31, spiraling into nationwide demonstrations against Erdogan, seen as increasingly authoritarian.

Nearly 7,500 people have been injured and four killed in the mass unrest, which has seen police use tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against demonstrators who have hurled back fireworks and Molotov cocktails.

The United States and other Western allies have widely condemned Erdogan’s handling of the crisis, undermining Turkey’s image as model of Islamic democracy.

After taking a combative stance against the demonstrators, dismissing them as "looters" and "extremists", Erdogan on Friday held his first talks with an umbrella group called Taksim Solidarity, seen as most representative of the protesters.

He agreed to abide by a court-ordered suspension of the project — a move welcomed by the protesters. He also said that if the court rules the Gezi Park redevelopment is legal, he wants to hold a popular vote on plans to build a replica of Ottoman-era military barracks on the site.

But Taksim Solidarity said the government had failed to address their list of demands, including a call for arrested demonstrators to be released and for police chiefs to be sacked.

Buoyed by the dialogue with Erdogan, the group said the protesters were "stronger" than ever. "The party in power has lost its legitimacy before the eyes of local and international media and failed to achieve its objective."

"We will stay because our demands have not been satisfied by the government," Gezi Park protester Ata told AFP, adding that the protests had given him renewed confidence in his country. "I’m very hopeful now for the future of this country and also for my own future. Nothing will be the same in Turkey," the 32-year-old doctorate student said. "The general opinion is to resist," said 20-year-old medicine student Pelin on her way to the park.

Opponents have accused Erdogan of repressing critics and of forcing conservative Islamic policies on the mainly Muslim but staunchly secular nation — including religious education reforms and restrictions on alcohol sales.

Erdogan has repeatedly urged supporters to answer the protesters by voting for his AKP in local polls next year.

Britain’s BBC meanwhile announced it had suspended ties with Turkey’s private station NTV after it pulled a BBC program that covered the initial failure of mainstream Turkish media to cover the protests.

Turkey’s protesters have already criticized the country’s mainstream media for failing to properly cover the story.

Source
New Orient News