Right on cue, McCain calls for more US Airstrikes not only in Iraq but Syria too

McCain calls for dramatic increase in US airstrikes against Islamic State

https://in.news.yahoo.com/mccain-calls-dramatic-increase-us-airstrikes-against-islamic-190420191.html

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – Republican Senator John McCain called on Wednesday for a dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and said the attacks should also extend into Syria.

McCain told Reuters that the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants should serve as a turning point for President Barack Obama’s deliberations on how to deal with the group.

“First of all, you’ve got to dramatically increase the airstrikes. And those airstrikes have to be devoted to Syria as well,” McCain said in a telephone interview.

Of the video of Foley’s beheading, McCain said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that this horrible video on the Internet is bound to have an impact on the American people. The nature of the brutality of this organization has been brought home by this.”

McCain said hitting Islamic State targets in Syria is necessary because the militants have captured military equipment in the Iraqi city of Mosul which they seized in June and moved it into enclaves inside Syria.

“We have to defeat them, not stop them,” he said.

The Arizona senator also said the United States should arm Iraqi Kurds and help arrange a reconciliation between Shi’ites and Sunnis in Iraq.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

The death of James Foley not only serves the interests of the USA but not unsurprisingly the ISIS terrorists

James Foley’s murder will see calls for military action – just what Isis wants

The ‘war on terror’ has made jihadism stronger than ever. The west must be careful not to fuel the fear upon which Isis thrives

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/20/james-foley-murder-western-action-jihadism-war-on-terror-isis?CMP=twt_gu

James Foley‘Everything about the video of Foley’s murder was intended to chill. It is unlikely that Islamic State selected a killer with a strong London accent for no reason.’ Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

The first defeat for the alleged killers of James Foley would be for him to be remembered as a courageous journalist. Reporting from a war zone is riskier than ever: over 200 media workers died in the Iraq war, more than any other conflict; at least 70 journalists were killed in global conflicts last year; and Agence France-Presse estimates that at least 30 have died this year. Foley had already spent 44 days in captivity at the hands of Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, but that did not deter him from seeking to uncover the truth about Syria. His apparent killers want him to be remembered as a tool to spread terror; celebrating his work would be an act of defiance.

Everything about the video seemingly of Foley’s murder is intended to chill. It is unlikely that Islamic State (Isis) selected an executioner with a strong London accent for no reason. It was the Iraq war that first popularised the execution video, but hearing the blood-curdling threats and dogma of Isis recited in tones that are all too familiar is itself a message.

Terrorism by definition aims to spread terror to achieve its political ends. One of the reasons Isis has outmanoeuvred its rivals is because it has embraced social media so effectively. By publicising its atrocities online, it tells would-be opponents what will happen if it is resisted, and this partly explains why so many have fled rather than confront Isis forces. The ruthless use of social media has proved instrumental in the toppling of entire cities. This operation is being gladly assisted by those in the west who portray Isis as a unique, undiluted evil that needs to be bombed out of existence, granting the militant group the mystique it clearly craves and relies on.

Foley’s murder will inevitably intensify calls for further western military involvement. Those agitating for such a course of action have a number of questions to answer. The “war on terror” began 13 years ago. It has involved bombs raining down on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. And with what success? Jihadism is stronger than ever; Isis is not only more extreme than al-Qaida, but what it has achieved surely exceeds Osama bin Laden’s wildest ambitions. Who can deny that the west has served as a recruiting sergeant for Islamic extremism, that it effectively helped hand large swathes of Iraq and Libya over to such elements?

Nobody is pretending that Isis is going to be defeated by a few rousing renditions of Kumbaya. But Isis strategists must surely crave further western military involvement. As the Norwegian terrorism expert, Thomas Hegghammer, put it: “Isis seems to be doing everything it can (short of attacks in the west) to draw the US into the conflict.”

Richard Barrett, the former head of counter-terrorism at MI6, warns current military action could play into Isis’s hands. In Iraq, the sectarianism of the former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, helped fuel Sunni resentment that Isis fed on; his departure offers at least hope of a unity government that can peel away those sections of the Sunni community who do not like Isis but fear the alternatives even more. Surely only then can the Iraqi military hope to defeat these sectarian murderers. As for Syria: well, it is no longer far-fetched to imagine a rapprochement between the west and the Assad dictatorship.

The counter-history favoured by supporters of western intervention is that these are the grim consequences of failing to support “moderate” Syrian rebels. Given that weapons provided by the CIA to such groups ended up in Isis’s hands, this is surely naive. What needs far more scrutiny is the role of western allies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia – which is armed to the teeth by Britain and the US, and whose social norms are all but identical to those of Isis.

According to the veteran Middle Eastern correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies are the “foster parents” of Isis. And the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has pointed out that Saudi financial support has proved critical to the rise of Isis. How long can western public opinion tolerate support for the Saudi dictatorship?

Foley appears to have suffered a despicably barbaric death; it is a fate being inflicted on many others. Because Isis has proved so successful in spreading terror, it will be difficult to have a rational debate about how to defeat it. But a rational debate is exactly what we need.

Militants holding Lebanese soldiers up their demands as Qatar joins in negotiations for their release

Lebanese army men patrol the town of Ersal after a week long battle with Islamists. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Qataris have now intervened in negotiations with Syrian radical Islamist militant group al-Nusra Front to help secure the release of the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers. For its part, the Islamic State, which has appointed a new emir for the Qalamoun region, has raised the ceiling of its demands, asking to swap 10 Islamist detainees for each soldier in its custody, and threatening retributions if its demands are not met.

According to sources, Abu Talal al-Hamad has demanded the release of 10 Islamist detainees from Lebanese prisons in return for every Lebanese soldier held by his group.

The conditions of captivity for the soldiers who were kidnapped during the recent battles in Ersal and are now held by al-Nusra Front are markedly different than the 11 soldiers held by the Islamic State (IS).
For example, al-Nusra Front has asked negotiators to bring clothes for the 18 prisoners from their families. Meanwhile, IS has reportedly been forcing the hostages to build sand barriers in the mountains all day long. According to further reports, the health of the prisoners held by al-Nusra is relatively better than those imprisoned by IS, who sources say are being held in bad conditions.
It was also learned that IS has appointed Abu Talal al-Hamad, from the Syrian clan of al-Weis, as the group’s emir in the Qalamoun region. Al-Hamad succeeds Abu Hassan al-Filastini, who was killed in battles with the Lebanese army near Ersal.
Incidentally, Abu Talal is related to a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Lebanon, which had helped initiate direct negotiations with IS. Two out of the four clerics (Samih Izz al-Din, Hussam al-Ghali, Mohsen Shaaban, and Ammar al-Weis) in charge of the negotiations are handling the direct talks with IS.
According to sources, Abu Talal al-Hamad has demanded the release of 10 Islamist detainees from Lebanese prisons in return for every Lebanese soldier held by his group. The sources said the emir of IS in Qalamoun promised to release one captive soldier as a goodwill gesture if he senses the Lebanese government is cooperating. Reports indicate IS has yet to produce a list of the detainees it wants released, pending the Lebanese government’s approval of the idea of a swap, bearing in mind that IS also holds the body of a Lebanese soldier the group says had died in the fighting, and wants to include it in the negotiations.
Hamad also happens to be the brother of the director-general of the Syrian Ministry of Oil, Omar al-Hamad, according to one of the elders of his clan in Lebanon. Al-Akhbar has learned that around 100 fighters from IS have now come from various fronts to join the group’s war effort in the Qalamoun region.
On the other hand, the “second phase” of the negotiations with al-Nusra has begun, as one leader in the group put it. The al-Nusra Front leader in question has been quoted as saying that eight detainees were released so far in return for a symbolic demand, namely, to ease the pressure on Ersal. As for the rest of the detainees, al-Nusra Front demands the release of two Islamist detainees in return for each soldier.
According to reports, the emir of al-Nusra Front in Qalamoun, Abu Malek al-Talli, has shown some flexibility in this regard. He has been quoted as saying that if the release of certain Islamist detainees is problematic, other less problematic ones can be released instead. Talli has also proposed releasing the detainees in batches of four Islamist detainees in exchange for each two soldiers, until the swap is completed.
In Roumieh central prison, the Islamist prisoners are pinning a lot of hope on the rumors regarding their imminent release. Some of them have purportedly even started packing their belongings, in anticipation of the “good news.” However, this is the third time this has happened, the first being with the Aazaz hostage crisis, and the second during negotiations for the release of the nuns kidnapped in Maaloula.
With regards to the names of the prisoners that the militant groups want released, Al-Akhbar has learned that the majority of the names involved had been arrested throughout the last year. Contrary to rumors that the names include leaders on the so-called “Islamist floor” in the central prison, credible reports indicate the majority of detainees al-Nusra wants released are affiliated to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, including two women, as well as Naim Abbas and Jamal Daftardar. This is while bearing in mind that the majority of these detainees are held at the Rihaniyya prison, which is run by the Military Police. But sources in the Association of Muslim Scholars denied that Abbas and Daftardar have been included in the negotiations, saying that the list of detainees to be swapped does not contain any prominent names.

“The issue of the martyrs and missing soldiers is the main concern of the army command, and will remain at the forefront of its concerns.” – Lebanese army commander Jean Kahwaji

What is new in the negotiations is that the Qataris have now become involved as mediators with al-Nusra Front. Sources involved in the negotiations have told Al-Akhbar that a representative from Doha has contacted Abu Malek al-Talli to help secure the release of the kidnapped soldiers. The sources said that the relationship between the two sides had begun during negotiations for the release of the nuns kidnapped in Maaloula.
However, Abu Malek demanded that the Association of Muslim Scholars be kept in the negotiations alongside the Qatari delegation. Reports have indicated that the Qataris, with a view to keep the issue of displaced Syrians in Ersal out of the negotiations, have told the emir of al-Nusra that Turkey and Qatar are prepared to move all refugee families in Ersal from Lebanon to Turkey.
Despite the strange nature of this proposal, especially in light of the Turkish decision to not receive any additional Syrian refugees, sources from the Association of Muslim Scholars have confirmed its authenticity, noting that the Qatari delegation had proposed moving 100,000 Syrian refugees by sea if the emir of al-Nusra approves.
Army commander: We are working on retrieving the soldiers
In the meantime, Lebanese army commander Jean Kahwaji made a statement saying: “The issue of the martyrs and missing soldiers is the main concern of the army command, and will remain at the forefront of its concerns.”
Kahwaji added, “The blood of the army’s martyrs has protected the unity of Lebanon and prevented the fire of strife from spreading to the heart of the homeland.” The army commander also stressed that the army would continue to work to achieve justice and bring back all those missing to their institution and families as soon as possible.
In a meeting with the families of the soldiers who died in Ersal, Kahwaji praised the “courage of the martyrs and their exceptional heroism,” saying that the military would honor the families of its martyrs who serve as an example for every citizen in patience, sacrifice, and loyalty to Lebanon.
Follow Radwan Mortada on Twitter | @radwanmortada
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Obama says “A group like ISIL has no place in the 21st Century” but you have to assume he means unless they are in Syria where we arm & fund them

Barack Obama Statement James Foley Execution

Obama: We will do everything we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.
“A group like ISIS has no place in the 21st century” – President Obama
Obama: A group like ISIL has no place in the 21st Century.
Obama: “The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people.”
Obama: There must be a common effort to extract this cancer. Need world cooperation to stop ISIL.
Obama: When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what is necessary to see that justice is done.
Obama on IS: “No just god would stand for what they did yesterday.
Obama: “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day
Obama: Entire world shocked by brutal murder of James Foley

ISIS militants threaten Mosul’s female doctors

 

A displaced Iraqi girl looks into the camera as a health worker administers polio and tetanus vaccines to Iraqis who fled fighting between Islamic State (IS) militants and Iraqi Kurdish fighters in the Mosul and Anbar regions, at a mosque where they are taking refuge in Abu Sukheir, west of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, on August 19, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed Ali)
Published Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Female doctors in the Iraqi city of Mosul are witnessing the practices of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) firsthand, since they have to maintain a closer contact with them compared to school teachers and government employees who opted to stay at home, fearing they might be kidnapped or raped by foreigners.
Baghdad – About three years ago, the Iraqi civil movement raised the slogan “Baghdad is not Kandahar.” Soon, it spread to Mosul and signs reading “Ninawa is not Kandahar… save us” written in bright red covered the city’s walls.
These signs were in reference to the vicious campaign launched at the time by al-Qaeda militants who killed women for not wearing the veil, even if they were Christian or Yazidi.
Today, the nightmare of Mosul’s residents has become a reality; their city has been transformed into a new version of Afghanistan’s Kandahar. People here are being executed, archeological ruins dating back to [ancient] civilizations that existed thousands of years ago are being demolished, and religious groups that lived in peace for centuries are being wiped out.

 

Expelling Mosul residents to the mountains and deserts is only the tip of the iceberg, as scores of stories are being told about people dying for no reason. Many talk about the barbarism of the Islamic State (IS), fatwas concerning the conscription of children, taxes collected from merchants, and many other vicious practices that even the Mongols did not commit when they invaded Iraq in the 13th century B.C..
This includes female circumcision [a widely-spread rumor that has since been debunked] and holding women captive, according to two Mosul female doctors who spoke to Al-Akhbar.
The doctors have already posted a message on social media sites, explaining the gravity of the situation and urging people “with [a] living conscious” to save locals from the “claws” of the Islamic State.
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Dr. Salwa Mohajer said, “They forced us to wear a burqa and a niqab. Usually men are not allowed in the delivery room, but they just enter with all their guns and their filth, claiming they are there for monitoring purposes and they molest women and doctors.”
Mohajer said she was subjected to various types of molestation, especially by Arab militants.
“A so-called Abu Mo’men made a pass on me, even though he knew I was married with children,” she said. “When I told my husband, he made some calls to people close to the militants, however, the situation turned against me because the next day Abu Mo’men threatened that he would cut my husband’s head off if I do not keep quiet.”
Mohajer explained that “militants treat women in Mosul as if they were slaves in al-Jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic era),” revealing that some doctors and nurses were raped and threatened to be killed.
She spoke about her days in the city before ISIS took control, saying “if a man assaulted us in the street, which was very rare in Mosul, all hell would break loose on him, but today our honor is threatened and no one is saying a word about it.”
Dr. Ansam al-Hamadani, Mohajer’s colleague, also spoke to Al-Akhbar, saying “militants banned all female doctors and female staff who do not wear a veil over their faces and wear gloves to cover their hands from entering the hospital.”
Asked how a doctor can do her job and examine patients with her face and hands covered, Hamadani said “these are the rules of the state.”
“They are rude enough to ask a doctor is she is married or not, and some have gone as far as to ask the married ones to wear black and single women to wear white!”
“Did they really come here to liberate us as they claim after winning our confidence? Do they have real Islamic values?” Hamadani wondered.
Hamadani shared the story of a colleague specialized in obstetrics and gynecology who was denied access by IS militants to a hospital, where she was scheduled to do a surgery, because she did not wear a veil over her face. When she explained that she needed to examine patients, they replied, with a Mosuli accent, “let the patients die, it is not important, what matters is your veil.”
With increasing air raids by the Iraqi army and US forces, more doctors are fleeing the city and leaving their jobs. Health officials in Mosul are expecting darker days with more wounded flooding hospitals amid a sharp shortage of resources and medical staffs.
Recently, a letter signed by “Mosul Female Doctors” was circulated on social media sites, calling for a strike in local hospitals in protest of the IS violations. They said female doctors are still working because the humanitarian situation is very critical and urged the international community to save them from IS, warning of a humanitarian crisis due to the flight of female doctors.
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ISIL Commander Killed in Syria’s Qalamoun

Local Editor

Field sources in Syria told al-manar that the commander of the Takfiri terrorist group, ISIL, in Qalamoun barrens, Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was killed.

The sources said that al-Iraqi was killed during a qualitative operation carried out by the Syrian army.

Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi

Meanwhile, the sources from ground assured that al-Iraqi is a prominent figure who was responsible for infiltration of suicide bombers and booby-trapped cars to Lebanon. The country had witnessed few months ago a series of terrorist blasts that targeted civilians in several areas across, including Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh) and the Bekaa town of Hermel.

On the other hand, dozens were killed and injured during helicopter strikes and shelling at gatherings for the foreign-backed Takfiri insurgents in Ras al-Maarra barrens, the sources added.

Source: AFP

19-08-2014 – 12:56 Last updated 19-08-2014 – 13:15

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Kurds taking over from where ISIS left off, destroying Arab villages

Kurdish forces torch Arab homes and refuse return of those displaced to their areas

http://www.azzaman.com/english/?p=1482

Kurdish militias are torching homes of Arabs in the villages they retake as they advance towards the city of Mosul aided by heavy U.S. air bombardment.

The burning of Arab houses has taken place in areas belonging to the districts of Kuwair and Zammarat which militants from the Islamic (IS) had overrun on August 10.

IS, formerly known as ISIS, pushed back Kurdish militias from all the so-called disputed areas in the Province of Nineveh of which Mosul is the capital but emboldened by U.S. airstrikes they have regained control of a few villages and retaken the strategic Mosul Dam.

Reports speak of a large exodus of Arabs from their villages fearing Kurdish reprisals particularly within the plateau adjacent to Mosul Dam west of the city of Mosul.

Sources say IS militants are withdrawing from open areas and thinly populated villages to bigger urban centers as the U.S. intensify its air battle against them.

The militias, locally known as peshmerga, are even reported to have refused the return of Arabs displaced by IS to their homes in the areas they have regained recently.

The move will worsen already heightened ethnic tensions in northern Iraq and play into the hands of IS whose militants describe Kurdish militias as enemies.

IS militants will now find it easy to recruit young people from among the displaced Arabs and win their tribes to their side.

IS has committed atrocities against Iraqi minorities in Mosul and its surrounding villages with tens of thousands of Yazidis, Christians, Turkmen and Shabeks displaced.

IS militants are said to have killed hundreds of members of the Yazidi faith because they refused their demand to convert to Islam.

Full speech delivered by Hezbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday August 15, 2014.

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of Prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, on his chaste and pure Household, on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

We meet today on this dear annual anniversary of the historic epic of steadfastness, resistance, heroism, and victory.

On this dear anniversary, we must renew our praise to Allah Al Mighty on pushing away calamities, strengthening our hearts, guiding our minds, and the great victory He bestowed on Lebanon, the Lebanese people, the Lebanese resistance, and the Lebanese Army, and in fact on the entire nation. This is a divine blessing bestowed on the entire nation in face of what was threatening it through that aggression as we will see in a while when we go back to this issue.

Praise be to Allah always for all His uncountable and unlimited kindnesses and blessings. {Should you list the blessings of Allah, you would not be able to count them}.

It is also our obligation tonight to thank and salute the souls of the martyrs who were killed and whose blood was shed so that we live with dignity and pride and who are still being martyred one after the other with all bravery and heroism. It is our obligation tonight to laud specially Martyr Leader Hajj Ibrahim Al Hajj who is known as brethren Abu Mohammad Selman who led the epic of steadfastness and confrontation in the borderline town of Aita Ashaab for 33 long days. Our salutations to all martyrs – the martyrs of all resistance movements, forces, and parties – the martyrs of the people, the Lebanese Army martyrs, the martyrs of the security forces, the martyrs of the civil defense, and the media outlets martyrs. We extend our salutations to every martyr who was raised to His Creator in that oppressive, aggressive war. We extend our regards to every loyal wounded, to every prideful steadfast person, to every tolerant displaced who was sure of his dignified return, and to all the honorable families – the families of the martyrs and the wounded, the families that remained steadfast, the families which were displaced, and the families which received the displaced and embraced them. We extend our regards to all presidents and leaders who assumed responsibility and partook in making victory. As for those who did not show any interest but on the contrary crippled making victory, let’s keep them aside as we don’t want to make any problem with anyone. On the other hand, we laud all those who assumed responsibility and partook in making victory whether presidents, leaders, forces, elites, and every one who showed solidarity and support whether states, governments, or peoples. We extend our sincere regards to all who did not refrain from offering any kind of support despite all dangers – I mean the Islamic Resistance in Iran and Syria. Still, I must thank dearly those who after Allah Al Mighty had all the virtue in making this historic epic. They are the heroic resistance fighters who remained steadfast in all their posts, fought with all bravery, took the enemy by surprise, intimidated him, and toppled all his schemes, tactics, and minds. They even transferred the battle to his side without showing any sense of boredom, hesitation, feebleness, melancholy, and weakness despite the cruelty of the aggression and the massacres of the enemy perpetrated against their families and dear ones in the villages, cities, and towns. After all, it was these resistance fighters who forced the enemy to shout and cry for his American masters to help and put an end to the war in the last days. Thus was the divine, historic victory in July War.

We must also recall with all awe and admiration all the leaders of the resistance especially the martyr leaders and more precisely the Master of the Islamic Resistance martyrs – Sayyed Abbass Mussawi – the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance martyrs – Sheikh Ragheb Harb – and the Leader Martyr whose virtues and efforts were enormous and great in this war – Hajj Imad Moghniyeh or Hajj Ridwan as he is known – besides all those who established this resistance day after day and generation after generation. We must recall with much reverence the establisher of this heroic resistance in Lebanon – His Eminence leader Imam Sayyed Mussa Sader especially that we are days away from marking the painful incident of his kidnap.

Brothers and sisters! Much was said about July War. Speeches were delivered as well as lectures and lessons. Books were written and studies were put. Investigations were made and morals were drawn by friends and foes in the world and in the region as well as by us. Still this war, the events of this war, and the repercussions of this war on all levels and domains are the issue for research, investigation and discussion simply because it was not a small war or a trivial incident. Rather it was a true war with political moral, economic, and historic dimensions and targets that transcend Lebanon and Palestine to cover the entire region and even to influence the international equation. It is enough to recall what the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said then on July Aggression to the effect that it was the labor pain for the birth of a Neo Middle East. So the war had regional targets and dimensions as well as international targets and dimensions. Much of this given was revealed during the war. However, following the war, all the given was revealed from the articles which were written, the journalistic interviews which were recorded, the investigations which were made, the studies which were carried, and the memoirs which were written by presidents, leaders of states, generals, and foreign ministers. All of that provided the required given and documents especially what the Israelis said and interpreted, what the Americans said and interpreted, and what one of the senior US men of intellect told me. In fact, this is not a secret. It was written in a number of articles.

Later on, it was revealed that July War – July Aggression – was a primary chain in a series of stages which had decisive targets. In 2006, it was required via the war on Lebanon first to put an end to the resistance in Lebanon and to crush the resistance in Lebanon and not only to disarm the resistance with the persistence of the structure and the persons or this entity which may get armed again later on. No, what was put forth was not disarming or disbanding the resistance. What was required was crushing the resistance and killing its leaders and cadres and hitting its joints and resistance men and arresting the greatest number of them. You can still remember that they were preparing a prison in one of the settlements in the north or in the middle of the Zionist entity to arrest 10000 persons. They wanted to achieve a structural change via this war which was a chain in a series which was to carry on with the end of the resistance in Lebanon. These are given and information. I am not making an analysis. Under the pretext that Syria backed the resistance and provided it with arms, rockets, and qualitative arms, the Israelis would then proceed and hit Syria what would lead to toppling the regime and the establishment of a friendly alternative which is allied with the USA.

I want to remind you that all of that took place in 2006 following the US occupation of Iraq and the major US military presence in the region. The third chain in the series was hitting the Palestinian resistance especially in Gaza Strip. Those who mentioned this said that all of that was supposed to be achieved in 2006 and before the end of 2006. That’s because partial elections were to take place in the US Congress. George Bush and the Neo Conservatives wanted to reach the legislative elections having in their hands three heads dripping blood: the head of the resistance in Lebanon, the head of the resistance in Palestine, and the head of the regime in Syria. This is according to the terminology of the Americans themselves.

Thus if we were observing the US media prior to July War, we would have noticed great exaggeration especially for Hizbullah, Hamas, Jihad, and the regime in Syria and their role in so-called “terrorism”.

All of that was a kind of psychological, media, and moral preparation so that if the three heads were cut off, George Bush would tell the Americans: I cut off for you three heads of international terrorism. Thus you have nothing but to vote for me as I can guarantee the interest and the future of the United States. Following his victory in the US Congress, the following step would be preparing for the war on Iran and toppling the regime in the Islamic Republic in 2007. I am not talking for history. I rather want to stop on the targets behind this track which are in fact two:

First: The firm compact US control over the oil, gas, and energy resources in the region. Well, Iraq is in their hands. They would lay their hands on the region here, hit the resistance movements, topple the regime in Iran, and put their hands on Iran. They are already in the Gulf. The main resources of energy in the world are in this area.

Second: The true targeting of the resistance movements, of Iran, and of Syria mounts in fact to putting an end to the Palestinian cause and imposing a settlement on the Palestinians and on the Arabs with US conditions. This was the target. This track was set to achieve this goal, and the elements of this track were the direct US occupation of Iraq and previously of Afghanistan which was occupied as a reaction to the events of September 11. Second comes the Israeli war as Israel was required to hit the resistance in Lebanon, topple the regime in Syria via the war, and put an end to the resistance in Palestine so as to achieve these goals.

How was this track crippled? Who crippled it? Why was it toppled?

Thanks for the resistance in Lebanon, the legendary Lebanese steadfastness, and all those whom I lauded in my prelude. The victory of the resistance in July War toppled this track or at least crippled it.

Why? It is because of the results in the battlefield. This is what I talked about on al Qods Day, and here I am reiterating this point as we address Gaza, the resistance in Gaza, the people of Gaza, and our Palestinian brethrens. The battlefield forced the Israelis to cry out when they reached a point in which they were not able to do anything. The air force was exhausted. The land force was exhausted. The sea force was canceled from the equation. Operations behind the borderlines came to be a very dangerous adventure due to the battlefield developments which took place. The Israelis reached a point where they were heading to a military catastrophe. Thus they called on the Americans to stop the war. All what was written in memoirs and all what we were told by Arab foreign ministers and leaders who partook in the talks in New York like on these days and nights assert this given.

Thus the steadfastness of Lebanon – the steadfastness of the resistance in the battlefield first, the popular steadfastness and incubation of the resistance second, and the political steadfastness third though we had a great political problem internally – forced the Americans, the Israelis, the Europeans, and the Security Council to make concessions concerning most of the conditions which they put in the first, second, and third weeks of the war to stop the aggression against Lebanon.

The result was:

First: The resistance in Lebanon remained. It was not crushed. Its structure was not hit. It was not disarmed. On the contrary, the resistance in Lebanon grew more and more whether in its structure, number, arms, and popularity, esteem, and confidence it enjoyed.

Second: The Israeli war did not reach Syria because it flopped in Lebanon. Should the Israelis have proceeded in Lebanon they would have been moving towards a catastrophe. Thus how were they to broaden the compass of the war?

Third: The war on Gaza did not take place in 2006 or it was postponed. Before the war in Lebanon, there were violent aerial operations against Gaza Strip. So at least the war against Gaza was postponed to the end of 2008. Moreover, the resistance operations against the US occupation in Iraq escalated, and consequently, the political steadfastness in Iraq, the resistance in Iraq, and the Iraqi national will led to the withdrawal of the US occupation without keeping any barracks or gaining any immunity for US soldiers and officers. Consequently, the Neo Conservatives lost the elections and a new administration came to power. Thus this track came to an absolute end.

That does not mean that the US goals were toppled. No! We must always keep in mind that there are always fixed US goals in the region.

To achieve these goals, the US administration follows definite tracks or put specific schemes and projects. When a track is toppled, it resorts to another, a third, a forth, and a fifth until an absolute end is put to the entire US-Israeli project in the region. Only then there will remain no project or target or track. However, as long as the US-Israeli scheme and these US targets – part of which are Israeli targets – exist, it will always search for tracks on the light of the existing capabilities, events, developments, and factors.

Well, this war flopped.

We said all of this first to usher into the main study which is the main part of tonight’s speech.

Second, we want to remind of the magnitude of the political and historic victory with which July War was so that it would not be forgotten amid the current events and developments.

Lebanon, the Lebanese people, the Lebanese resistance, the state, the army, and everyone who had a true hand in this achievement and this historic victory made this great, historic, political, military, intellectual, cultural, moral, and humanistic achievement whose repercussions are still valid until our very day.

Third, we want to assert before the current and upcoming dangers and intimidations that we are all able to confront these dangers and we are able to topple any track conspiring against our region, country, countries, peoples, and sanctities. That’s because in July War, when the Americans adopted this track they had all the elements of strength. I even claim that at that time the Americans were at the peak of their strength. In fact, not a power in history and in the world reached the peak the Americans reached following 2001 and 2002. The peak of the US military, security, political, information, and media power and the peak of US intimidation and ferocity was in that decade.

Second, the regional and international conditions were favorable. There were no Soviet Union, no socialist camp, and no Arab world. All of these collapsed before the USA. So the regional and international conditions were very favorable.

Those who were able to confront that track and topple it at that time are able to confront any other track and topple it. I am not talking about a specific side but rather about the sum of these sides in the region from Lebanon to Palestine to Syria to Iraq to Iran and the other sides in the region – every side according to its capacities, post, and capabilities. This is another goal from recalling all of the above.

In our viewpoint, the Israeli aggression and war taking place against Gaza Strip is part of a new track. We said that the first track was toppled. The region moved to other developments and events which we may differ in evaluating, reading, and specifying their reasons. However the entire Arab region entered a new status quo.

Well, on light on this new status quo, the Americans or the other antagonistic project drew a new track to achieve its goals which are still the same: controlling the region and the resources of oil in the region, achieving victory for the Israelis, liquidating the Palestinian cause, and imposing condition on the Palestinians and the Arabs with Israeli provisions. So they are the same targets. They did not change. From time to time, only the tracks and tactics change.

What is taking place in Gaza today is part of this new track which started before the launch of the war on Gaza. Now Gaza is a chain in a series or one of the stages of the new track which consists of two elements as in the previous decade. I said that in the previous decade there were two elements: the first element is the direct military action which led to the occupation of Iraq and the control over the Gulf region via this occupation. The second element is Israel, the Israeli army, and the Israeli war.

Following all what afflicted them and their withdrawal from Iraq and their crisis in Afghanistan, the Americans today are very much cautions of any military return to the region or at least of any military land return. Thus when they talk about US intervention in Iraq, Obama, the Secretary of State, the Secretary Defense, and the National Security officials daily say that they will not dispatch land troops or soldiers or infantry soldiers. This one way or another expresses this condition.

Well, today there are two factors exploited in this track. I will say things in their names. To all those who listen to me, please open your minds and hearts because we are all in Lebanon and the region in a stage of existential danger. Thus we will not talk about privileges, perfections, and better and more prosperous conditions. We are talking about the very existence.

Well, today there is a new track which I will talk about before going back to the two factors. The new track is more difficult and more dangerous than the previous one because it is not the track of toppling regimes and establishing alternative authorities. In such a track, when you topple a regime and bring along an alternative authority, the country remains as an entity; the state remains, the borders remain, the social structure remains or it might be harmed, and the army remains or might be harmed. The only thing that takes place is toppling an authority and bringing along an alternative authority.

The new track is not that of toppling regimes and establishing alternative regimes. It is rather the track we talked about in more than one occasion. It is the track of demolishing and ruining states, armies, peoples, and entities. We do not need evidence on what is taking place. We will go to that later. So it is the track of demolishing, disintegrating, crushing, and ruining everything.

The Americans are moving in this track along with all those who are with the Americans in the region including Israel too. They want to draw a new map for the region. However, on what is this new map to be drawn? New maps were drawn for the region following World War I and World War II. However, now on what they want to draw a new map for the region? They want to draw it on the disjoined limbs not only of individuals but also of states, peoples, societies, and ruins. So it is not that pillars and walls would remain and we would have only to repair them and rebuild the ceiling. The new map is to be drawn on baffled minds as a result of the events which are taking place and are plotted to take place in the region. Thus minds would become baffled: Where are we to go? What choices do we have? What are we to do? The new map is to be drawn also on terrified hearts. There is a very moving scene: a helicopter in Sinjar – I don’t remember now whether it is an Iraqi helicopter or an American helicopter though I believe it is an Iraqi helicopter – carrying women and children from land. Just look at their faces and eyes and recall your women and children to know on what the new map of the region is to be drawn. It is to be drawn on disjoined limbs, ruins and wrecks, baffled minds, and terrified hearts. They want us all in the region to reach a catastrophe, and to end this catastrophe we would accept any dictations. Just put an end to this catastrophe. Save us from this calamity and you will have whatever you want in return. We are even ready to offer you our eyes. It would be a social, security, political, economic, intellectual, mental, and emotional catastrophe. Even worse, the main enemy would be the savior and the rescuer after all. This is where the region would be dragged to.

Well, what are the main factors of this track?

The first factor is the Israelis. This is what I talked about when talking about the demolition and ruining taking places in Gaza. As the Palestinian brethrens said, the true and factual target is hitting the resistance, disarming the resistance, putting an end to the structure of the resistance, and making the people in Gaza Strip frustrated from everything called resistance and that thus surrender. As such nothing would remain but ruin and wrecks.

The second factor is no less dangerous. It is the Takfiri current which the ISIL has become today the most prominent and evident manifestation of. ISIL is the greatest manifestation of this current.

Well, these are the factors of this new track. I will return later to this point when I talk about ISIL and the new track. However, now I want to usher to this study through this question which is the main idea in tonight’s speech. Is it possible to gain victory over this new track and to defeat it? Yes! I tell the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Palestinians, and all the peoples of the region: Yes, it is possible to defeat this new track as the previous track was defeated. However, this can’t be achieved by wishes. This may be achieved with action supported with supplication. This requires conditions and elements and special efforts to be exerted.

There are two points which I want to stress on. Yes, we can reach a place in which we can defeat this new track.

The first title is that we comprehend and believe that there is a true existential threat confronting us. First, we must comprehend whether there is such a threat or not.

Second, we must comprehend whether there is a true serious threat or whether it is a joke or an absurd jest. What are the dimensions of this danger, the capabilities of this danger, and the capacities of this danger? We must understand, comprehend, and believe this first. So no one must say that there is nothing and that this is mere exaggeration. No one must say there is nothing in the region. There is no danger. This is an absurd jest. This is a transient incident. There is nothing. Well, this is wrong. Why? In fact, there must be a state between exaggeration and understatement.

That’s because you in Lebanon may come face to face before this danger at a time you have not prepared anything. You have no strategy. You have no elements of strength. You did not get ready. You have no plan. Then you will feel remorse, but that would be of no good to you at a time you would have run out of time. That is wrong. Those who say there is nothing of this sort are insisting stubbornly against the real fact. You see all what is taking place and still you say there is no danger!

Second: you would be exaggerating if you present things in a magnitude greater than their true magnitude what might lead to a state of horror, fear, frustration, and despair. Thus the spirit of defeat and surrender would sneak to the souls. People might start thinking of how to gather their things and pack their bags and travel. This would prepare his passport. That would think of a place to hide in because things are over. Danger is proceeding and he has no power to confront it as what befell the region during the Mongol invasion for example.

So it is neither true to say that there is nothing and that this is a jest nor that there is no ability to confront and thus a state of despair and frustration and defeat might prevail. Both tracks are wrong. What’s true is that we comprehend the danger, the magnitude of this danger, the capacities of this danger, and the capabilities of this danger and believe that there is a danger. This is the first point.

The second point is to search for the means to confront this threat, to topple it, to put an end to it, and to defeat it. The means must be true, factual, and serious. So we must not go to illusions and mirage options. We must not go for choices which were tried and proved to be fruitless. We must go for factual choices from the history of our region, from the history of our peoples, from the history of our nation, and from the history of the entire humanity while taking into consideration all the facts, data, and international, regional, and local equations. Then we would say there is such and such and so and so means. Then we would put a plan and say these are the elements of this plan and get ready to confront this threat. Through these two points it is possible to confront this threat taking into consideration July War, the current war on Gaza, the previous war on Gaza, the experiences of the resistance and what took place in the region, and the experiences of the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the peoples of the region, and even the entire Arab world, and the entire Islamic war over decades – meaning before 1948 to our present day. We had painful and sorrowful experiences and at times humiliating experiences. Some experiences were very hard on the peoples, the governments, the generations…. This is what we inherited. We inherited the experience of Israel, the Zionist project, the Zionist expansion…

First and only to make the idea clear with the beginning of the twentieth century, they started bringing along the Zionist families, peasants, craftsmen, and merchants to Palestine.

What was the number of the Arabs and what was the number of the Jews? What was the number of the Jews in Palestine? They were incomparable. If you would tell any Palestinian or any Arab that the Jews want to establish a state in Palestine via the Zionist project, he would answer you saying: You are kidding indeed. You are lying for sure.

They started getting the families along. There was no evaluation of the danger at first. Some people did not foresee the danger at first. Some people underestimated it. Others oversimplified it. Others classified it under the human dimension. They said: Poor they! They are homeless and scattered in the states. In WWII they were exposed to such and such. Of what harm it would be if some families were brought along and settled in our regions? The land of Palestine is wide, and the people of Palestine do not cover the entire Palestinian geography.

Since the very beginning, these families were distributed in settlements pursuant to military and security offices. From the very beginning, nothing took place by accident. However, the peoples, the elites, the governments, and many others did not comprehend this point. Not all of them though; some people comprehended what took place. Some people were conscious of what took place. Others have previous expectations and sounded the bell of alarm. However, the overwhelming majority did not comprehend this point.

In 1948, they said: “They want to take the land occupied since 1948 and establish a state. Well, the land of Palestine is vast, and the Arab land is vast”. They did not deal with that as a danger and that Israel will extend with its eye on al Qods and other areas.

Also in 1967, some Arabs used to find excuses to Israel. They used to say: “Israel has expansionary goals! That’s impossible. It does not want to seize the Bank. It does not put its eyes on west al Qods. It does not want to enter Jordan, Golan Heights, and definite regions in Lebanon. What Israel perpetrated in 1967 was a pre-emptive war because it had information that the Arab states and the Arab armies – especially both the Egyptian and the Syrian Arab armies – were preparing themselves for a final war with the Israelis besides the Palestinian resistance factions which existed then. Poor Israelis! They have waged a pre-emptive war. However, they do not want to expand. Wasn’t this said in the Arab world?

The magnitude of threat started to mushroom until we reached a place in which Israel became a state having the most powerful army in the world. It became the most powerful state in the world which threatens, bombards, displaces, kills, perpetrates massacres, goes to the negotiations table, and imposes conditions. How did we reach this result? Here we go back to the first title as there was debate over whether the Zionists who came from all around the world posed a threat or not. In case they posed a threat, what is the magnitude of this threat? What are the capacities and elements of strength of this threat? This is first.

Here we come to the second title. They bet on wrong choices. Only few did not. I will discuss the choices of these few later.

Some bet on the international community, international institutions, and the Arab relations with their allies. Some believed the English; others believed the French; others believed the Americans. Others bet on international intervention and then on the Arab League and on waiting for a united Arab strategy. That took place in Lebanon, in Palestine, and in several states in all the confrontations with the Zionist project. Others bet on the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the unity of the Arab and Islamic world. What is this? We remained waiting for ten years followed by another ten years and followed also by another ten years. By today, we have been waiting for 70 years and even more if we started counting from the previous century.

They resorted to choices such as going to negotiations, turning to the world, to the international community, to the Arab conscience, to the Human Rights Chart, and to Geneva Agreement for help. That did not lead to the true road. Experiences show that that did not lead anywhere, and the evidence is what befell the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and the peoples of the region over all of these decades. Whoever has another logic let him present it.

However, the only thing which was true from the very beginning was going to so called armed struggle, so called war of liberation, and so called military choice as there were terrorist gangs supported by some foreign states which occupied the Palestinian territories in 1948, displaced the Palestinian people and turned them to refugees in their own land and outside Palestine. It was also required that the nation be awakened, that armies be prepared, that the resistance factions get ready, and that everyone work to achieve this goal and to expel these invaders. This is the right path. There was no other right path.

However, this path was adopted partially. The Palestinian resistance factions with all its popular forms emerged from the very beginning – before 1948 and after 1948. All of this was recorded as a history, and lessens must be drawn from it as a history.

Then came the confrontation with Egypt, confronting the tripartite aggression by the end of the 50s, and preparing following 1967 to the war with Israel which took place in 1973 in which the Egyptian and the Syrian armies waged heroic battles ending in what it ended in.

Because of the resistance movements in Lebanon and in Palestine, achievements took place and victories were made. These are the right kind of choices and not the miserable choices which either we laugh on ourselves with or we laugh on our peoples with or we amuse ourselves with.

For example, one of the theories which remained for tens of years is that the solution is establishing an Arab lobby as there is a Zionist lobby. As such equilibrium would be made between us and the Zionist lobby, and thus we would pressure the American administration and reach a solution in the Middle East. What is this? This talk is for amusement. This is a kind of lying on the people. This is a legend and not only a theory.

This is the experience that took place in the Israeli file. Now the bet is on Gaza, on the people of Gaza, on its fighting and struggling factions, on its peoples, its will, its resistance because it depends on this choice and does not want to surrender to the Israeli enemy. They do not want to bow despite all the sacrifices. They are not losses but rather sacrifices: martyrs, wounded, demolition, and everything. There is no other choice.

Now let any Palestinian brother or sister who lives in Gaza Strip or in any place recall all the modern history – we are not talking about things that took place 200 years ago or a 1000 years ago. Thus we conclude that this path is the right path and this for sure would lead to a result and in many places would lead to results.

This is the implementation of the two titles on a file which is still valid, alive, vital, and dangerous – meaning confronting the Zionist project.

We come now to the second sample which exists now. I want to talk a little now. I want to say: “O brothers and sisters! I am addressing the Lebanese and all the peoples of the region who are listening to me. Based on all what previously was mentioned and apart from all what took place in the past three weeks and the discrepancies on the viewpoints, the evaluation, the reasons, and assuming responsibilities and saying we are right and blaming the other, let’s put all of this aside because all of that is of no use. Why? Because there is a true danger on your entities, sanctities, states, and on your foreign existence, houses, mosques, churches, women, and children. Consequently, today it’s no time for reconsideration. Are we to make reconsiderations now? Well, we want to make that later on. However, today the entire region and the peoples of the entire region are before a new, great, and true danger.

Today, let’s see what is called ISIL and what is taking place today? Let’s talk about facts.

Today, there is a regime which has become a state which is occupying and controlling a very vast geographic area – a part of Syria, and a part of the Iraqi territories. In fact, this area is much larger than some of the states in the region and the world. If we talk about the geographic area, they are controlling the sources of energy, oil, gas, and others. They control major rivers, major water dams. They have enormous quantities of arms and artilleries. They sell oil, and there are those who buy from them and trade with them and facilitate this operation. This is questionable. There are countries which have thousand problems in selling an oil carrier. How is ISIL able to sell and be financed before the eyes of the international community and regional countries for example? This organization has a great number of fighters too. The overwhelming majority of the main fighters are not Syrian or Iraqi fighters. They are rather fighters who were brought along from abroad. Their travel and their crossing the border were facilitated. This is also questionable. This organization which has this presence and has a special doctrine, view, understanding, and conduct which we noticed from Syria to Iraq started perpetrating massacres. It is not that they were engaged in a war. Rather they committed massacres, killed prisoners and captives, and killed innocent people. They started with their fellow tribesman – the followers of the same organization, the same intellect, the same pillar, and the same pledge. They are the al-Nusra. Then they started killing and are still killing the rest of their allies who are naturally their allies – meaning the Syrian armed forces. Battles are taking place now in the northern reef in Aleppo between ISIL and the rest of the factions. In fact, in some places al-Nusra kept themselves aside. The battles are taking place in Reef Idlib and north Idlib. Major battles took place in Deir Al-Zour. In Iraq and in Syria they fight, kill, and even slaughter everyone who differs with them in their viewpoints. So notice that they choose the means that depends on terrorizing. Well, if you concluded that you are allowed to kill those people, open fire on them and kill them. But no, they do not kill them except by slaughtering them before the camera. They even put it on the you-tube and broadcast it on satellite outlets so that the scene is seen worldwide. This is part of the psychological war that aims at spreading fear, terror, and horror among the peoples of the region, the governments, and the armies of the region. I would like to tell you that the massacres which were perpetrated are in the first place against Sunnis. You can review the numbers. Who killed the Sunnis? Who killed the Sunni scholars who are not with the regimes but rather against the regimes? See the people who were killed by ISIL. That’s because the Sunnis whom we know as Sunnis are according to ISIL considered as unbelievers. That’s because according to their doctrinal, intellectual, and jurisprudential categorizations, the unbelievers are so and so and so. This also applies to the Ash’aris, and most of the Sunnis in the world are Ash’aris in the doctrinal and intellectual sense of the word. However, if they were not Ash’aris but they differ with them politically or over the pledge, they would kill them. Didn’t this take place?

What about the recent war waged by the ISIL? Well are the Kurds Christians or Shiah? Their majority are Sunnis. In this battle, over a million and a half million were displaced because of the ISIL war in Iraq. They are Sunnis. They are neither Shiah, nor Christians, nor Oyazdians. Well, in Iraq, ISIL did not spare anyone of whatever religion: Muslims, Christians, and Oyazdians. They did not spare anyone of whatever sect: Sunnis and Shiah. They did not spare anyone even if talking about races and nationalities: Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. They did not spare anyone. Also in the battle in Syria, the same thing took place. They spared neither Arabs nor Kurds.

The ISIL ruined sanctities, sacred shrines, mosques, and churches. They want to forcefully impose a definite life-style with the force of arms and terrorizing people – all people and not only Christians but rather Muslims and Christians alike. This life-style does not have anything to do with Islam, with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), or with the Holy Quran. This is something else. Go and meet scholars. Ask all sects.

Well, does this scene exist or not? Is it a joke? They are announcing their goals. They put their map which they want to draw and they threat and bombard. What is even more dangerous from all of that is that they have a popular ground. Why should we hide behind our finger? They have a popular ground in several Arab states. It is not a Sunni background. No! Their background is the followers of this intellect which labels as an unbeliever everyone other than themselves. They declare killing everyone other than themselves permissible. They take as prisoners everyone’s women except their women. They brag saying we came to slaughter you. That does not belong to any divine religion. No religion revealed by Allah Al Mighty says “we came to slaughter you”. Attributing that to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is very dangerous and fake. After opening Mecca, Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) stood confronting Abu Sufyan and so and so… who fought him, displaced him, killed his companions, killed his uncle, devoured his uncle’s liver, confiscated houses, and harmed him severely until he said: “No prophet was harmed as I was harmed.” They fought him until they were frustrated. They became his prisoners and still they remained polytheists. Not all of them became Muslims. Some pretended to be Muslims, and some remained polytheists and ran away and hid themselves. However, what did the Prophet tell them?

Go you are free. He did not behead them. He did not slaughter them. He did not say “we came to slaughter you”. When did he say “we came to slaughter you”? This is the slogan of ISIL. This is the slogan of this current.

So there is a true scene. Whoever says this does not exist lives in another world. In fact, such a person is not allowed to assume responsibility. He is not entitled even to assume the responsibility of his family and not the responsibility of a current or a group or a society or a country. He is not entitled to assume the responsibility of his wife and children. He is not entitled to assume responsibility. This is a clear scene.

As for those who stand behind ISIL, the stories of the Syrian intelligence, the Iraqi intelligence, the Iranian intelligence, and even of Hizbullah fabricating ISIL and running it are absurd. This does not deserve to be commented on. Well, yes there are regional countries which sponsored and are sponsoring ISIL and led it to this place. The Americans may have a hand pursuant to the word Hilary Clinton was quoted as saying. I do not want to be responsible of saying this as I do not know whether this is right or wrong. However, all I know is that the Americans kept a blind eye on that, offered facilitations, and opened the gates to exploit this phenomenon in the track I talked about before. Indeed they are penetrated. Indeed, there is US influence, and whether they know or not, they are serving the US and the Israeli target in this new track.

Well we reached where we reached. Here I want to ask a question before moving to the last part of my speech. I call on every Lebanese, every Palestinian, every Syrian, every Iraqi, and every man in the Gulf to sit alone and make reflections. Allah Al Mighty says: {Do stand before Allah in pairs and singly}.

So put fanaticism aside whether party, sectarian, factional, regional or national fanaticism. Let’s keep personal, party, and political calls aside. Really let’s keep such calls aside this time and sit and think and make reflections. This poses a danger on everyone. Does that pose danger on Hizbullah only? Is there Hizbullah in Deir Al-Zour or in Riqqa or in Mussel? Was Hizbullah fighting ISIL so that the latter invaded Mussel? Does that pose danger on the Shiah only? On Christians only? On the Oyazdians only? On the Alawis only? On the Ishmaels? On the Ibadis who are still far away? Or on Druze only? This poses a threat on everyone and on the Sunnis above all.

Thus we wholeheartedly hope that no one present the battle in the region as a sectarian battle. It is not an Islamic-Christian war. It is not a factional war. It is not a Shiah-Sunni war. It is a war of another kind. It is the war of ISIL which has this annihilative, eliminative, Takfiri, brutal, slaughtering intellect against anyone against them. Their intellect is not based on Islam or on what took place at the time of the Prophet or at the time of the first Muslim Caliphs, or on the map that was previously drawn for the region, or on religious minorities. All of this is deleted. The sects, factions, minorities, churches, mosques, and shrines they are demolishing are 1400 years old. The overwhelming majority of the holy sites they are downing were under Sunni government. However, the ISIL have nothing to do with this history, this intellect, or even this culture. They want to wipe everything. They pose a threat to everyone.

Anyway, first we must know that this poses a danger.

Second, we must discuss what we must do? We are all in the sphere of danger. What must we do? Must we – for example – benefit from the experience of our struggle with the Israeli threat which is still valid today? Shall we – for example – bet on the international community saying we can’t do anything so let’s go and talk with the Americans or the French or the English (as now Russia is preoccupied in Ukraine)? Let’s see what we might do. There is no solution other than resorting to the international community to intervene. What international community would intervene? Where would the international community intervene? Whose side it will take? See what took place in Iraq. I am not calling for an American intervention. However, I just have a question. When ISIL invaded Mussel, Nineveh, and a large section of Salaheddine province, and broke into Diala and perpetrated massacres what forced people to run away in the desert (and all of these massacres are documented and we watched them on the TV), why did not the international community intervene? Why wasn’t Obama’s humanity and the American administration moved? Also when hundreds of thousands of Christians were attacked, they were not moved? In fact, they do not care for the Christians in Mussel or in Iraq or in Syria or in Lebanon. I would like to tell the Christians in Lebanon: Deluded is he among you who believe that the Christians in Lebanon mean anything to America or the west. Before any danger they will tell you what France told the Christians of Iraq: You are welcomed as refugees and we will grant you citizenships too. This is the project some seniors among you heard from the former French president. Does the west really care for the Christians in the region? Do you still seek help from the Americans, French, English, the international community, and the International Security Council after all what took place and is taking place? They do not care for Sunnis, Shiah, Christians, Oyazdians, and even Kurds. They did not care for the Kurds who were killed in Mussel, at the edges of Karkuk, in Zumar and Sinjar. They did not care for the Turkmen or the Arabs. Well, yes when ISIL came close to Erbil, they intervened because Kurdistan means what it means politically, security, and economically to the US administration and to the west. They intervened to tell ISIL that they are not allowed to come close to that area. These are your borders and limits. It is permitted that you slaughter Sunnis. It is permitted that you slaughter Shiah. It is allowed that you slaughter Christians and demolish their churches and imprison their women. It is permitted that you perpetrate genocides against Oyazdians, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Turks alike. As for Erbil and Kurdistan, they have a different position on the map. Do you want us to bet on these Americans and on the international community? O Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, and peoples of the region! What are you waiting for? Will the Arab League protect you? Are you waiting for an Arab consensus or a united Arab strategy? I want to be very clear and precise. In any country around the world, when anyone feels that his existence is in the sphere of threat, elimination, and annihilation, does he wait for a national consensus? Has such a thing ever happened in history? No! Never!

So the big question is: If we agree that there is a danger threatening us, the question would be: How are we to confront this danger? Where shall we go? What are the capabilities? What are the means? What are the tools? There are major and big responsibilities to be shouldered by the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Palestinians, and the peoples of the region. I want to address the Lebanese and my logic can be applied on all the other peoples and countries because Praise be to Allah there are authorities, leaderships, scholars, parties, and movements which are perfect and great and fit to assume responsibility.

Allow me to go into details concerning the Lebanese application. Well, as Lebanese, do we agree that this danger exists and that it is a lurking danger and not a postponed danger that would come in 2 or 3 or 5 years? This was true before the events of Iraq and the event of Mussel. In fact, the country was in one situation and overnight it became in another situation. Anything may take place overnight in any country because ISIL today is a serious threat to Syria and Iraq. In logic, they say potential and actual. ISIL is an actual threat to Iraq and Syria and a potential threat to the rest of the countries: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries. The Turks even must reconsider their stance. There is a threat against all countries. Well, what is it possible that we as Lebanese do? What we must go to?

There are even questions which are posing themselves seriously nowadays. I even say that we in Hizbullah must make discussions. It’s our obligation to make discussions with the rest of the Lebanese. The rest of the Lebanese must undergo dialogue among themselves. Indeed, I am not calling for a national dialogue conference for this issue because we will not reach anywhere as far as this issue is concerned. What we need is what I said a while ago: Stand before Allah in pairs and singly. Let every party and every group make their own discussions. Then they may communicate together and make bilateral or threefold talks. Let’s as men of intellect, politicians, and elites talk with each other and see what we may do. There is a serious question which is always evoked. It is not an issue of making internal and political settlements among ourselves: Is the solution in the withdrawal of Hizbullah from Syria?

Hizbullah’s main presence is in Qalamoun and Qusair – meaning the bordering area. It is presented that Hizbullah’s withdraw from Qalamoun and Qusair is the solution!

I ask the Lebanese and especially the residents of Bekaa. I ask all the Lebanese Muslims and Christians alike. I am really serious. Put all quarrels aside. To make quarrels everything may be said. Is it true that if Hizbullah withdraws from Syria, the danger will be gone from Lebanon? Will ISIL then leave Lebanon alone? Does the ISIL really have no aspirations in Lebanon? Is it that some Lebanese officials would go to Mussel and meet Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and tell him to eliminate Lebanon’s 10452 km2 (in addition to some blocks) from the map he broadcasted on TV outlets because we talked with Hizbullah which will withdraw from Syria? Is that a fact or a simplification of things? Will withdrawing from Qusair and Qalamoun protect Lebanon?

Apart from our presence there, and apart from debating whether this is the reason or not as that will be of no use because everyone has his logic and everyone may provide his events, let’s start from the very end. At the time being, the whole region is in danger. There is no time for intellectual luxury as what took place on the first day of July War 2006. Buildings were downed, infrastructure was being bombarded, people were being slaughtered…. Still some people were debating whom to hold responsible. Hizbullah is to be accused because they kidnapped the prisoners.

Well there is a crisis in the country. Let’s address it and then we would debate whom to hold responsible. Now the national responsibility says: Let’s face the war. Now the national responsibility says: Let’s do something to protect the country. Let’s protect our state, our Lebanon, our people, our society, and our region. I am asking you a serious question. Let’s discuss this issue together. Does really our withdrawal from Syria protect Lebanon or does staying in Syria protect Lebanon? Among the other ideas proposed today is expanding the implementation of Resolution 1701 which is applied on the Lebanese southern borders. Well, let’s expand it to cover the rest of the Lebanese borders with Syria. Others said only the Bekai borders. I have another serious question. The situation in the south is perfect. In fact, following July War, the situation changed as far as the Israeli issue is concerned. In the past, Israel used to act with utmost freedom in Lebanon. It used to kidnap and break in and move freely. Now it is not able to carry security operations as it has to take thousands of issues into consideration to do so. Well, some say the south is secure now. Thanks to Resolution 1701 it is secure! Thanks to the presence of the UNIFIL and the international forces. Is this really the case? Do you really say so and believe what you say? Whom are you laughing at? Well, go and ask the residents of the south. Ask the people in Lebanon. What is the validity of this idea?

Does Israel really observe international resolutions? Does Resolution 1701 protect Lebanon? Whom are you laughing at? Are you laughing on a people who had suffered for 60 or 70 years with Israel and now you want this people to believe that Resolution 1701 is protecting Lebanon?

Poor UNIFIL! They are protecting Lebanon! The UNIFIL need protection themselves. Was there no incubating environment, was there no state, and was there no army, the UNIFIL wouldn’t have been able to protect themselves. It is the Army-People-Resistance equation which protected and is protecting Lebanon and the south. The resistance rocket power which they know very well, the capacities of the resistance, the resistance men, and the national doctrine of the Lebanese Army (as the Lebanese Army has no considerable military capabilities) are what protect Lebanon. These elements form the deterrence power and not the international umbrella of Resolution 1701 or the international forces or the UNIFIL. Let no one laugh at the Lebanese and cheat them saying he would protect Irsal, Labweh, Qaa, Ras Baalbeck, Zahle, Mount Lebanon, and Akkar through deploying the UNIFIL there. Is the Lebanese Army able to cover all the borders? Where from are you to get UNIFIL and spread them all over this area? What international umbrella are you talking about? Here I say that there is an international project. There is a track sponsored by the USA to destroy, crush, and ruin everything. Go and ask your allies who are afraid on their states and entities from this international connivance. When we say so about Resolution 1701, we would be wasting our time. Still I say that we must sit together and carry on discussions.

Well over the past few years, the previous government which we were part of and the current government practiced the policy of staying aside. Well does the policy of staying aside protect Lebanon? Well suppose we have followed this policy in the past and currently, and suppose that ISIL controlled Syria and came to be at the borders – God forbids. May this never take place. Suppose ISIL came to be at the borders of Rashaya, Hasbaya, Shebaa, Baalbeck, Bekaa, and the north. Shall we still say there is no danger in that? What are the guarantees? Would the country be protected?

Does the policy of staying aside protect the country? Is it true that we have nothing to do with what is taking place in Syria? Let ISIL, Al Qaeda, or whatever come, we have nothing to do with that. Is this approach realistic? Here I am not talking from the logic of the resistance or from the perspective of our loyalty to Syria. I am talking as a national Lebanese. Let’s say that I am a fanatic Lebanese. Is this policy – the policy of staying aside – which indeed we did not adopt and others did not adopt so far the right policy to be followed? Is it right to reach a point in which the Lebanese National Army is being conspired against, its soldiers are being kidnapped and its soldiers and officers are being slaughtered and still it is not allowed to contact Syria because of the policy of staying aside. Is this logical?

Anyway, these are questions. Let’s talk together. Hizbullah’s presence in Syria: Does staying there or withdrawing from there protect Lebanon? Let’s discuss this. Lebanon is in danger. We have a real problem with whoever says it is not in danger or among the Lebanese. Second, does Resolution 1701 protect the country? Does the policy of staying aside protect the country? Let’s see what is the problem? Let’s carry a quick revision for all of these choices to see together what the problem is.

I will wrap up my speech with our proposition. Between my hands is the last page that contains the head notes. Anyway, what does the logic, the mind, the religion, the Law of Islam and human experience say?

All of these say: When an entity, a state, or a society is before an existential danger, the absolute priority before this existential danger would be to make reorganizations in a way that meets this existential danger. Whoever does not act accordingly would not be acting according to the mind, religion, morals, and humanity. He would be exposing his people to the danger of annihilation while he is sitting and wasting his time with issues he sees as fateful and of priority. Well, such issues may be important but they are not fateful.

The first thing I present to the Lebanese now is the following:

I call on all the Lebanese to comprehend that our country, our entity, and our society is before an existential danger in an exceptional and very dangerous way. I am not exaggerating and whoever does not want to believe let him believe later. In face of this existential danger, we must define our priorities. This in the first place needs loyalty. It requires putting factional, sectarian, party, and personal considerations aside. This confrontation requires loyalty, seriousness, and sacrifices. It is not shameful to reconsider one’s stance. It is not shameful to change one’s speech if that serves the battle of existence. On the contrary, that is required. The mind, religion, and humanity say that is required. We must search for and gather the elements of strength and confront the danger.

The first title is the Lebanese Army and the official security forces. The army and the security forces must be the sides responsible for protecting the country, the people, the villages, and the borders. It is not Hizbullah or any other party. This is the main responsibility. The state must act accordingly and it must be fit to act accordingly.

In debate, some might say we are preventing that. No, we are not. Did we prevent anyone from providing the army with weapons? Did we prevent anyone from providing the army with tanks? Did we prevent anyone from donating aids to the army? On the contrary, we welcome all kinds of donations. What is important is that the army be furnished with arms, and not only with Rios, trucks, and troop carriers that do not stand before B7 or BKC or average arms. No! It is required that the army be provided with true arms. The army and the security forces are responsible of protecting the people, the state, and everyone.

So first, at this stage, there was a project for politicians to deliver some words to support the army. This project was in the hands of journalists, and I don’t know what became of it. However, I like to say what I intended to say then as every person was supposed to talk for three minutes. What is required is true, popular, and official support to the army and not only materialistic support. What do I mean with true support? Today the army has a definite number of soldiers and such and such capacities and artillery. However, in the first place what about its morals, spirits, fighting doctrine, dignity, and pride? This is the responsibility of the state as well as the people.

Today, the primary and main support to be given to the army is that the state stands with the Lebanese Army to restore the captive soldiers and army and security forces officers who were kidnapped and imprisoned. Let no one interpret what I am saying as a kind of instigation. We always talk as such. Every hour and every moment pass while these dear ones are imprisoned is a moment of humiliation to Lebanon and not only to the army. It is a moment of humiliation to the state and to every Lebanese person. We always used to feel offended when there used to be any resistance man in Israeli prisons even if this man did not belong to Hizbullah. It is enough that this prisoner is left in prison.

As for the soldiers and the Lebanese Army and security forces officers who are detained by the armed forces, it is the responsibility of the state to seek to free them. This cause must be addressed in a way that saves the dignity of the army, the security forces and the dignity of this attire and these institutions.

First, the army must not be accused, and second any accusation to the army must be rejected. Every now and then, someone would say the army is cruciferous! What does that mean? The army is Safawi. It is a tool in the hands of Hizbullah. No it is not a tool in the hands of Hizbullah. There is no problem between the army and Hizbullah. On the contrary, this is required on the national level. The army takes pain to have no problem with any political force in the country. What if this political force is a primary faction in the resistance? Is fighting between Hizbullah and the army required? Does this serve the national interest? Indeed not!

All politicians know that the army is not a tool in the hand of Hizbullah at all. All of these accusations must not be made, and they must be rejected if they were made. This is our national army. This is the army of all the Lebanese. It needs this support and this backing on all levels. The same logic applies to the security forces. We must all achieve this so as to have a strong army, soldiers, artillery, spirits, morals, dignity, and confidence to change the equation. This makes a very remarkable change in the equation. Thus at any moment of danger, we would all be by its side shouldering it.

Second comes preserving the current government. We must not allow the dissolve of the current government whatever the discrepancies are because now it is one way or another the only active institution apart from the magnitude of the work it assumes. Everyone can see that the parliament is crippled. We do not have a president apart from allotting responsibilities.

We only have this government. The government is among the elements of power which we must guard until a president is elected and a new government is formed.

The third point is putting an end to party, sectarian, and factional instigation. All forms of instigations must be stopped. Where does instigation lead to? Let’s take for example the cause of Irsal. Today, I will not say anything though there is much to be said. However, we are part of the people who preferred in this very sensitive moment as far as the political issue, the security issue, the national issue, the issue of the army, the issue of the structure of the country to remain silent though there is much to be said. However, you have seen that if they talk about the armed forces once, they attack Hizbullah 20 times. However is what I am saying of any good? Should I say what I am saying a thousand times, it will make no difference. It will only increase the state of congestion.

Today, I read a piece of news, and I do not know the truth about it. I read that the security forces arrested the person who stands behind the Al Ahrar Al Sunna Brigade website. Does this person really stand behind this website? Who is he? What is his relation with this brigade? With whom is his relation? No matter what the result is, must he be tried in the same way as any other person who is stirring sectarian and factional instigations in Lebanon is tried? That’s because some media sides started drawing conclusions based on this arrest. I hope that this would be the beginning in Lebanon, and I hope the trial would cover the politicians too. Let no one say that would harm freedom. In fact, instigation is similar to a booby trapped car. This is not freedom. Sectarian and factional instigation is not freedom. It is rather similar to a booby trapped car. Be responsible as far as this issue is concerned, and an end would be put to instigation.

Fourth come regional reconciliations. Later we would see whether reconciliations would be made concerning the vast political situation or not. However, at least approaches and initiatives must be made among the residents of regions. I will talk in a transparent way. Let’s take for example the region of Irsal Baalbeck Al Hermel and its future. O people of Irsal! O dear brothers! The future of Irsal is Baalbeck Al Hermel. Its future is north Bekaa. Its future is not al-Nusra or ISIL and what is taking place behind the borders. That is not your future. Take the experience of Irsal as an example, before the events, during the events, and after the events. Let the people of Irsal talk about what happened with them. I will not talk about that. I am only saying that someone must go and take initiatives for reconciliations there in Irsal, Labweh, Al Ain, Nabi Othman, Qaa, and Ras Baalbeck. The residents of that entire region must reunite and reconcile. This protects against danger or else the danger will invade us all. The first to pay the price and the first to have paid the price are the people of Irsal. Let’s go to other regions. The social structure might have been become upset due to the recent events. Something must be done between Jabal Mohsen and Bab Attebanah. Something must be done between Dahiyeh and Chweifat as well as in west Beirut, Sidon, Shebaa, the neighborhood of Shebaa, Rashaya, and Hasbaya. This is a clear topic, and things must be done to address it. Indeed this is a responsibility to be shouldered by everyone and not by the state alone. Leaderships, authorities, parties, and political forces are all concerned as far as this issue is concerned.

Some people do not want to tolerate what I am saying but they must tolerate it. A kind of cooperation with Syria is required as far as the issue of the displaced is concerned at least. It is not true that Syria wants to keep the displaced in Lebanon. It is not also true that we can’t find a solution between Lebanon and Syria. However a party can’t do that. This must be assumed by both governments and states. We all agree that this is a serious and important file. It is a dangerous file from all perspectives, and I do not want to go into details. Well what is the solution? Is it in delivering speeches? Is the solution in waiting for the fall of the regime in Syria? Is the solution in waiting for the arrival of ISIL? If ISIL takes over, will the displaced return home or will their number increase in Lebanon? What are we waiting for? What are we – all the Lebanese – waiting for as far as this issue is concerned?

There is no need to insist stubbornly. Official talks between Lebanon and Syria are indispensable. They must all sit on the table. The Lebanese must tell the Syrians that there are a million or a million and a half million or whatever Syrian displaced in Lebanon. Well there are secure regions in Syria where people may live and work in a normal way. How are these people to return? Well if there are places where there are crises how can these crises be addressed? We are ready to help as far as this issue is concerned. We must not be satisfied with holding conferences, delivering speeches, and investing the issue of the displaced in political speeches and political conflicts. That does not solve the problem. What puts an end to the dangers we are talking about whether security danger, political danger, or demographic danger as some Christian leaderships say?

To be serious, we have only a very normal condition. These are Syrian displaced, and our borders are the sea, Occupied Palestine and Syria. How do we address this crisis? Shall we send them to Australia for example? Indeed no! We address it by sitting with the Syrians whether you like them or not and whether they agree with your classification of the regime or not. Classify the regime as it appeals to you. However, this is the truth. After all, do all the states that sit together and talk to each other consider each other legitimate and democratic? Now is this the basis for international relations?

We must talk with the Syrians and cooperate with them as far as the file of the displaced is concerned and later on whether we liked it or not as Lebanese and as a Lebanese government as far as the borders set pursuant to Resolution 1701 is concerned. The UNIFIL is not able to do anything neither is the Lebanese Army alone even if all its soldiers were deployed. There are hundreds of kilometers and not only 60 or 70 kilometers. Well, there are some points which you want to convince us of. Well let’s find a way to agree with you. There are points which we want to convince you of. So why don’t you find a way to agree with us?

The issue is not anymore a source of danger to the Shiah in Lebanon, or the Sunnis in Lebanon, or on the so and so party or the such and such movement, or on Christians or on Druze. The danger is facing us all.

So we must sit together and discuss everything including the presidential entitlement. Indeed if ours became a state with a president and an active parliament and a new government and dynamic institutions, Lebanon’s ability to confront this danger would increase.

On my own transparent and clear way, I have to tell you one more thing. Perhaps I took much or your time tonight, but the presidential election is a topic that deserves our attention. Stop moving to and fro to no avail. As far as the presidential election is concerned, you know with whom you must talk. Do not talk with mediators. None of us in March 8 Bloc is a mediator. We are a bloc that supports a definite candidate. Whoever has anything to say knows with whom to talk. So don’t waste time. Wasting time is not to the interest of Lebanon. If anyone has anything logical to say let him carry direct dialogue or else what would you be waiting for? Are you waiting for regional changes? Are you waiting for international changes? Nothing has anything to do with the regional or international issue. The side which takes the primary decision as far as the presidential entitlement is concerned is the Lebanese themselves. Let no one wait for a decision from abroad as far as the presidential entitlement is concerned. Let’s be clear and precise.

It is also required to give the urgent files a kind of priority. This is required on the humanistic and moral level. Such files include the wages series, the crisis of day workers, the Lebanese University, the water crisis, the electric power crisis… Addressing these crises provide a kind of fortification. That does not mean let’s work to confront the existential danger at a time people in villages have no water. Man may stay without electric power but not without water.

Indeed if we cooperate to address these files we would be fortifying our country. We would decrease the chances of tension and the dangers facing the country. This is a group of primary ideas. I do not claim that I set a plot tonight. I am evoking ideas which are debatable. We must altogether sit and see how to discuss these issues. I stress again that talks might be bilateral, threefold, fourfold, or fivefold. However, they must not be a dialogue table to be broadcast on TV outlets and to be watched by the audience and that would be the end of the story. As such we would not be holding serious, responsible, and faithful discussions. As for us, we are a group which is ready to partake in such talks and ready to make sacrifices. We are a group which is ready to offer sacrifices. We offer martyrs daily. We have wounded daily in this battle. We never refrained from offering sacrifices to our people, our country, our sanctities, and our nation.

See the families of the honorable martyrs. The family which has a lonely son would write you saying: “Why are you preventing my son from partaking in the battle. It is a battle of honor. It is a battle of dignity. It is a battle of existence. As for us, we are ready to offer sacrifices. I even have more to tell you. As for waiting for the results of discussions, had the Lebanese waited for reaching a national consensus over the resistance, Israel would have been today in Beirut and in Tripoli. Had the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Egyptians, and the Palestinians waited for an Arab consensus over the issue of the resistance, Israel would have been today controlling the area between the Nile and the Euphrates.

I will wrap up my speech in two clear brief words.

The first word I would like to address all the Lebanese with and all the peoples of the region with is that ISIL and those behind them may be defeated with utmost ease. It is not an incredible mission at all. Well, the battle with Israel is much more difficult than the battle with ISIL. Part of the battle with ISIL is psychological, meaningless collapses, and being penetrated. I really do not wish to go into details.

Is it possible to confront this danger? Is it possible to topple this track? Yes, this track has no future in the region. However, we can’t say this track has no future in the region while we spend our time making pleasure trips. This track would have no future in the region if the Iraqis unite and assume responsibility, the Syrians unite and assume responsibility, and the Lebanese unite and assume responsibility. This issue is similar to the Israeli issue in face of which every Arab country must assume its responsibility. In all of my speech I was telling you that it is easy to defeat this project if we were responsible. However, this project might gain victory if we buried our heads in the sand. This project may invade and control states if the opposing side was frustrated, desperate, frightened, and horrified.

We must not fall into this state. Thus on the anniversary of July War, I call for a responsible national Arab stance on the Lebanese level, on the level of the government, on the level of the army, on the level of constitutional entitlements, on the popular level, and on the media and political level. Well, yes we are fit and able to guard our country and to defend our country so that our country remains proud, strong, noble, and honorable, and so that its components are guarded, and so that its mosques, churches, and sects are preserved. All of that might remain and might not be harmed. This is possible and not incredible no matter who stands behind ISIL.

The second thing I would like to say and be clear in saying is that if anyone abandoned his responsibility we will not abandon our responsibility. We will not migrate to any other place in the world. We will not hold any other nationality. We will not leave this land at all. We will remain here. We will remain here raising our heads high. Here we will live, and if fighting is imposed on us, here we will fight. Here we will be martyred and here we will be buried. This is our choice. As for the other Lebanese who would have this choice, we are ready to overlook all the past and all the conflicts between us.

Today, our country, the components of our people, our state, and our existence is in danger. We must assume this responsibility. As such we may guard our blood and the blood of all those who were martyred in like these days. As such we may guard the sufferings and the aspirations of all those who suffered and nurtured aspirations in like these days. As a Lebanese people, we are all fit to our country. We are all fit to defend our country. We are all fit to gain victory. So let’s make victory. We will not bury our heads in the sand. We will not be defeated. We will not run away. Let no one pack his bag and tell us he wants to migrate. Let’s stay here so that this country persists to be. Let’s change the path of the region as July War changed the path of the region. This small Lebanon will change the path of the region.

Felicitations anew on this day of victory! Inshallah we will be moving towards more victories with the blessings of seriousness, faithfulness, and readiness to offer sacrifices. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Syrian Defense Minister Visits Mleiha

Local Editor

Syrian caretaker Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij visited the town of al-Mleiha in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus Countryside, which was recently retaken by the Syrian army.

Accompanied by a number of General Command officers, al-Freij, who is also Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Syria’s armed forces, inspected on Sunday the army units which restored security and stability to the town and checked on the soldiers.

Al-Freij in MleihaThe Syrian Arab Army assumed control of al-Mleiha, which is located southeast of the capital, last Thursday following months of intense operations against the terrorist organizations that had overrun it, flushing them out from their dens and pushing them farther away from the capital.

Al-Freij was briefed by field commanders on the nature of the military operations which the Syrian army carried out in al-Mleiha and the surrounding farms that led to the victory there.

He applauded the combat capability and morale of the army personnel, saying “they are performing their sacred duty of defending the homeland and citizens.”

The retaking of al-Mleiha “is a key step towards eliminating the remaining pockets of terrorists in Eastern Ghouta,” al-Freij said, according to official news agency, SANA.

He conveyed to the army personnel who restored security and stability to al-Mleiha President Bashar al-Assad’s “greetings, love, as well as pride in the sacrifices and heroic achievements they made in the city and are making all over the country to rid it of terrorists.”

“This victory is part of a string of victories being achieved by our Armed Forces,” said the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, stressing that the Syrian Arab Army will continue to press ahead with confronting terrorism and will not rest until security and stability are restored to each and every area in Syria.

Source: Agencies

18-08-2014 – 11:10 Last updated 18-08-2014 – 11:10

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

ISIS / ISIL is the brainchild of the sworn enemies of Islam

ISIL sired, reared to wipe out Islamic identity

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/08/17/375643/takfiris-born-and-bred-to-taint-islam/

The turmoil currently gripping the Middle East region is the brainchild of the sworn enemies of Islam, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) deputy for political affairs says.

“Today, there are think tanks in the enemy front that define the strategies and even the tactics of Takfiri groups and the ISIL, whom they have sired and reared themselves,” Second Brigadier General Rasul Sanai-Rad, the IRGC deputy for political affairs, said in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday.

What is going on in the region is part of a scenario devised to destroy the revived Islamic identity whose main advocate and promoter is the Islamic Resistance Front, Sanai-Rad added.

Referring to the atrocities perpetrated at the hands of Takfiri militants and ISIL terrorists in the name of Islam in a number of Middle Eastern countries, the IRGC commander said their acts best serve those who wish to tarnish the image of Islam.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly conflict, fueled by Western-backed militants, for more than three years. Iraq also plunged into crisis in early June after Takfiri ISIL militants took control of large swathes of the Arab country.

Pointing to the crimes committed by Boko Haram Takfiris in the African continent, the Iranian commander further noted that their acts are another part of the plot that the enemies of Islam are pursuing and supporting to deal hard blows to Islam.

Boko Haram — whose name means “Western education is forbidden” — has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since 2009. It has repeatedly targeted civilians, killing more than 2,000 people since January.

“WHY DO YOU NOT SHOULDER YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND WHY DO YOU NOT DEFEND?”

Against Any Further US Intervention in Iraq:

“More US intervention is the last thing that is needed in Iraq. The current phase of conflict (the rapid advance of the Islamic State forces, also referred to as either ISIS or ISIL) is in many ways the direct outcome of US and other international intervention in Iraq over the past quarter century at least (and the failed campaign to back the armed overthrow of the government of Syria).

The effective partitioning of Iraq to separate the Kurdish zone is one consequence of the illegal no-fly zone instituted and enforced by the US and UK throughout the 1990s.

The gradual and then drastic destruction of the Iraqi state, via international sanctions and then with the invasion and occupation that started in March, 2003, deliberately and intentionally created disorder. This was a grand act of vandalism, designed to terminate a unified, secular state that had been forced to oppose US interests. Arming and training sectarian militias as part of the “surge” and General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy, opened the door to atrocious ethnic cleansing that has not ceased since it began under US tutelage. An unstable government in Baghdad, and inter-ethnic violence, is precisely what American victory looks like.

…As we see, the US is only bombing ISIS when it gets too near to US business interests in Kurdistan—which is not to say that the US should do something otherwise. Otherwise ISIS can do as they like, as they have in Syria with the support of Turkey, a member of NATO, and US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with US funding and equipment itself. Further US intervention can only further delegitimize the Iraqi state and army.”

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Bashar al-Jaafari on Syria, ISIS [VIDEO]

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from about 8:10, the eloquent Bashar al-Jaafari continues in English ( a nicer English than the UK man who stumblingly) “thanked” al-Jaafari for his statement–while cutting him off… Al-Jaafari speaks with the dignity of Syria, approving the (3-years-belated) the UN resolutions to combating terrorism. The obvious rhetorical question: ummm, where were the resolutions over the past few years? Why none when Syria was (is still) being terrorized?

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Syria asks UN why its warnings on ISIL were ignored for 3 years [VIDEO]:

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Hezbollah chief calls for regional unity to confront ISIL

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‘ISIS a pretext for US-sponsored regime change in Iraq’:

[excerpts] The ousting of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is part of a broader US plan for Iraq and the Middle East as a whole.

Against the backdrop of the war against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Washington has managed to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. Not only has the US removed a political leader who had proven to be problematic due to his opposition to US military presence in Iraq, as well as his staunch support for Syria and President Assad, they have also created the conditions for the dismemberment of the Iraqi state.

The US and its allies are supporting de facto ‘independence’ for the Kurdish region in the north of the country, using the IS as a convenient pretext for openly arming and supporting Kurdish forces. Naturally, one should not look for altruism in Washington’s motives. Rather, this strategy is to benefit western oil companies with dollar signs in their eyes, licking their lips in anticipation of being able to deal directly with Kurdish President Barzani.

Additionally, Maliki’s ouster deprives Syrian President Assad of a key ally, thereby emboldening the IS and the other militants waging war against Syria. It provides further evidence, as if more were needed, that the political future is bleak for any Iraqi leader who dares to break from the script written for him by Washington. Perhaps most importantly, it allows the US and its allies to be the leading force politically in the war against the IS, an organization created by US policy and covert operations in the region. …

While the IS was waging its brutal and vicious war against the Syrian people and government however, the IS was merely an afterthought, simply a group of extremists fighting the ‘brutal dictator’ Assad.

It seems then that the danger of ISIS and the necessity to eradicate it is directly correlative to US interests. Put another way, the IS is a useful tool in Syria and southern Lebanon where it creates chaos to the detriment of Assad and Hezbollah respectively, while in Iraq, the IS is dangerous where it threatens the US client regime in Kurdistan and Western oil interests. But of course, the detail consistently left out of most analysis of the IS problem is the simple fact that it is a creation of US intelligence and its covert war on Syria.

As early as 2011, the US CIA was involved in an elaborate and widespread program to covertly arm militant extremists in Syria in order to overthrow the government of President Assad. As the New York Times and other media outlets reported in 2012, the CIA was working with the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups along the Turkish-Syrian border to funnel weapons, communications equipment, and other military materiel to terrorist groups at war with Damascus. Despite vehement claims by Washington that only ‘moderate rebels’ were receiving such support, it is an open secret that much of those supplies ended up in the hands of then-ISIS, which already by 2012 was beginning to establish itself as a dominant fighting force in the Syrian war.

Perhaps it should then begin to make sense why, when ISIS launched its allegedly ‘surprise’ attack on the critical Iraqi city of Mosul in June, they were so well armed and equipped with everything from matching pickup trucks to anti-tank weapons, RPGs, and a host of other US-made equipment. Naturally, in the days and weeks following the attack, ISIS armed itself even further with confiscated Iraqi military equipment, also provided by the US. So it would be fair to say that, consciously or unconsciously, the United States helped to create and unleash the IS we know today.

No longer simply another militant organization among many, the IS has grown, thanks to US sponsorship, into the premier terrorist fighting force in the region, capable of engaging national militaries (Iraq, Syria) and other well-organized armed groups such as Hezbollah. In effect, the IS has become the enforcer of US foreign policy, a proxy force that furthers the US agenda without any significant US military presence needed. …

Since as early as 2011, Western oil companies sought to bypass Maliki and the legal government in Baghdad by making independent deals with the Kurds. Not only did they not want to pay the taxes that would be used to fund the recovery of Iraq from more than a decade of war, they attempted to play the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities off one another in a cynical ploy to more effectively and efficiently exploit the corruption and competition that exists in both.

Of course, it should be noted that the US, Israel, and other Western powers have long maintained very close ties with Barzani and the Kurds. A valid argument could be made that Kurdistan represents a forward base for US military power projection in Iraq and, particularly against Iran. Additionally, Israel has long maintained close ties with Kurdish authorities, both in terms of political support as well as covert intelligence and espionage-related activities. …

Washington’s decision to use military force against ISIS is a cynical ploy to protect intelligence assets, economic interests, and create a nominally independent Kurdish state which will become integrated into the US-Israeli sphere of influence in the region. In order to achieve these strategic objectives, first and foremost, Maliki had to be gotten rid of.

And so, regime change has once again come to Iraq, this time through the backdoor. By arming ISIS in Syria, the US unleashed a monster in Iraq, which it now uses as the pretext for fulfilling the long-standing goal of de facto partition of Iraq….”

***

Hezbollah leader claims battles would have reached Beirut if party had not intervened in Syria:

“Resistance took off in Iraq, and a large part of it was, to put in quotes, a Shia resistance, in the sense that the factions engaged in resistance were affiliated to Shia Iraqis. A large number of the operations were documented by video, but the Arab satellite channels, like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya and others, refused to carry them. Isn’t that odd? Why did that happen? Because they did not – and this is not an accusation against Sunnis but against some regimes – want to acknowledge the existence of a Shia resistance with ties to the Iraqi Resistance.

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From the outset, they opted for sectarian agitation in the Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese issues. …

Those who want to continue using this characterization let them do whatever they want. But for us, we were keen from the beginning on stressing that our presence in Syria was not on a sectarian basis, and that we had helped resistance in Iraq on non-sectarian grounds as well. We have helped Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian factions, which happen to be Sunni. It has always attempted to cover up our contribution in Palestine to project upon us a sectarian motive. We say: Where we can defend Palestine, the Resistance Axis, and the people, where we can be present and where we can help, then we will do so. If Hezbollah has the will to defend its people and the cause of its nation, and is willing to do so, then this is not a crime or a sin. The question should be directed to the others: Why do you not shoulder your responsibilities and why do you not defend?”

***

Wahhabi Cleric Explains Proper Way of Beheading to his Followers: You Should Enjoy Yourselves [VIDEO]

“A video has recently emerged that shows a Wahhabi cleric explaining to a group of his followers the proper way to behead people. He points out that it is different from slaughtering animals. He states that the sword should be placed on the neck and then moved back and forth while slitting the throat. He said that people performing the killing should enjoy themselves while doing it.”


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Nasser Kandil: On Iraq Daash and Lebanon

حوار اليوم | ناصر قنديل 17-8-2014

حديث الساعة | غالب قنديل – أنيس النقاش 15-8-2014

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The jihadist group ISIS was created by USA and israel to give Islam a bad reputation.

Allegations: U.S. Allies Back ISIS Islamic Terrorists

Who’s Really Pulling the Strings?

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/allegations-u-s-allies-back-isis-islamic-terrorists.html

The Times of Israel reported Wednesday:

A Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week.Read more: Syrian rebel commander says he collaborated with Israel.

In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday … Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light arms. Safouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.

“The [opposition] factions would receive support and send the injured in [to Israel] on condition that the Israeli fence area is secured. No person was allowed to come near the fence without prior coordination with Israel authorities,” Safouri said in the video.

***

In the edited confession video, in which Safouri seems physically unharmed, he says that at first he met with an Israeli officer named Ashraf at the border and was given an Israeli cellular phone. He later met with another officer named Younis and with the two men’s commander, Abu Daoud. In total, Safouri said he entered Israel five times for meetings that took place in Tiberias.

Following the meetings, Israel began providing Safouri and his men with “basic medical support and clothes” as well as weapons, which included 30 Russian [rifles], 10 RPG launchers with 47 rockets, and 48,000 5.56 millimeter bullets.

Also on Wednesday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency – a 97-year old Jewish wire servicereported:

A senior employee of the Dutch Justice Ministry said the jihadist group ISIS was created by Zionists seeking to give Islam a bad reputation.

Yasmina Haifi, a project leader at the ministry’s National Cyber Security Center, made the assertion Wednesday on Twitter, the De Telegraaf daily reported.

“ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name,” wrote Haifi ….

In March, Haaretz reported:

The Syrian opposition is willing to give up claims to the Golan Heights in return for cash and Israeli military aid against President Bashar Assad, a top opposition official told Al Arab newspaper, according to a report in Al Alam.

***

The Western-backed militant groups want Israel to enforce a no-fly zone over parts of southern Syria to protect rebel bases from air strikes by Assad’s forces, according to the report.

World Net Daily reports that the U.S. trained Islamic jihadis – who would later join ISIS - in Jordan.

The Jerusalem Post reports that an ISIS fighter says that Turkey funds the terrorist group. Turkey is a member of NATO and – at least until very recently – a close U.S. ally.

A former high-level Al Qaeda commander has repeatedly alleged that ISIS works for the CIA.

In June, investment adviser Jim Willie alleged:

The [Isis] troops that are working there [in Syria and Iraq] are Langley [i.e. CIA] troops. They’re trained, funded, and armed by Langley.

What I’m hearing… the U.S. military – Pentagon regulars –  and you have to be careful when you refer to U.S. military anymore. What kind of U.S. military? Is it the Pentagon U.S. Army, or is it the Langley military, which has unmarked uniforms and 10′s of thousands of mercenaries?

They’re about to encounter each other in Iraq. The U.S. military Pentagon regulars evacuated Iraq, and what filled the vacuum was the Langley mercenaries, trained for Syria, that migrated South and announced their new agenda.

If and when the Pentagon regulars encounter the Langley mercenaries in Iraq, Obama’s going to get a house call, because U.S. military will be fighting U.S. military. Pentagon vs. Langley.

While we don’t know which – if any – of the above-described allegations are true, two things are certain:

  • Wealthy donors in close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar back ISIS …  and Western intelligence officials say that those governments must be approving the support.

Why would the U.S. and its allies back ISIS, when they are barbarian Islamic terrorists?  Well – assuming it’s true – oil and gas could be the explanation.

After all, there is evidence that the U.S. and her allies have wanted to break up the nations of Iraq and Syria for decades.  And ISIS has done so.

In any event – whether or not it’s true of ISIS – it’s well-documented that the U.S., Saudis and Israelis have been backing the world’s most dangerous and radical Muslim terrorists for decades. And see this.

And anyone who looks at the battle against ISIS as a religious war is being played.

Vise News: The most important documentary series about Daash, not seen before!

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Nasser Kandil: Syria and Lebanon, Between Mleha and Ersal سوريا ولبنان .. بين المليحة وعرسال

حديث اليوم _ ناصر قنديل _ سوريا ولبنان .. بين المليحة وعرسال | الاتجاه 16 08 2014

عرسال _ نهاية الطريق الى القلمون | الاخبارية 16 08 2014

 

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‘ISIS a pretext for US-sponsored regime change in Iraq’

Reuters

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.

Aug 15, 2014, Eric Draitser, RT

The ousting of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is part of a broader US plan for Iraq and the Middle East as a whole.

Against the backdrop of the war against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Washington has managed to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. Not only has the US removed a political leader who had proven to be problematic due to his opposition to US military presence in Iraq, as well as his staunch support for Syria and President Assad, they have also created the conditions for the dismemberment of the Iraqi state.

The US and its allies are supporting de facto ‘independence’ for the Kurdish region in the north of the country, using the IS as a convenient pretext for openly arming and supporting Kurdish forces. Naturally, one should not look for altruism in Washington’s motives. Rather, this strategy is to benefit western oil companies with dollar signs in their eyes, licking their lips in anticipation of being able to deal directly with Kurdish President Barzani.

Additionally, Maliki’s ouster deprives Syrian President Assad of a key ally, thereby emboldening the IS and the other militants waging war against Syria. It provides further evidence, as if more were needed, that the political future is bleak for any Iraqi leader who dares to break from the script written for him by Washington. Perhaps most importantly, it allows the US and its allies to be the leading force politically in the war against the IS, an organization created by US policy and covert operations in the region.

In the sales and marketing industry, there is a term known as ‘solution selling’ whereby the salesperson either creates or exaggerates a problem, then presents his or her product as the invaluable solution. Indeed, this sort of sales strategy is precisely the approach Washington has taken in the region, and specifically in Iraq.

The IS disease

The IS has only very recently become an internationally recognized epidemic of militant Islamist extremism that must be eradicated at all costs. That international recognition came only when the organization began taking control of territory in Iraq, threatening Western oil and gas interests. While the IS was waging its brutal and vicious war against the Syrian people and government however, the IS was merely an afterthought, simply a group of extremists fighting the ‘brutal dictator’ Assad.

It seems then that the danger of ISIS and the necessity to eradicate it is directly correlative to US interests. Put another way, the IS is a useful tool in Syria and southern Lebanon where it creates chaos to the detriment of Assad and Hezbollah respectively, while in Iraq, the IS is dangerous where it threatens the US client regime in Kurdistan and Western oil interests. But of course, the detail consistently left out of most analysis of the IS problem is the simple fact that it is a creation of US intelligence and its covert war on Syria.

As early as 2011, the US CIA was involved in an elaborate and widespread program to covertly arm militant extremists in Syria in order to overthrow the government of President Assad. As the New York Times and other media outlets reported in 2012, the CIA was working with the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups along the Turkish-Syrian border to funnel weapons, communications equipment, and other military materiel to terrorist groups at war with Damascus. Despite vehement claims by Washington that only ‘moderate rebels’ were receiving such support, it is an open secret that much of those supplies ended up in the hands of then-ISIS, which already by 2012 was beginning to establish itself as a dominant fighting force in the Syrian war.

Perhaps it should then begin to make sense why, when ISIS launched its allegedly ‘surprise’ attack on the critical Iraqi city of Mosul in June, they were so well armed and equipped with everything from matching pickup trucks to anti-tank weapons, RPGs, and a host of other US-made equipment. Naturally, in the days and weeks following the attack, ISIS armed itself even further with confiscated Iraqi military equipment, also provided by the US. So it would be fair to say that, consciously or unconsciously, the United States helped to create and unleash the IS we know today.

No longer simply another militant organization among many, the IS has grown, thanks to US sponsorship, into the premier terrorist fighting force in the region, capable of engaging national militaries (Iraq, Syria) and other well-organized armed groups such as Hezbollah. In effect, the IS has become the enforcer of US foreign policy, a proxy force that furthers the US agenda without any significant US military presence needed. And yet, the IS is presented in the mainstream media as the greatest threat in the Middle East. Why so? Why were they no threat at all in Syria, but have become the great menace in Iraq?

Iraq, Maliki & Western interests

The US waged an aggressive war and occupation of Iraq for nearly a decade for the purposes of establishing a puppet government that would be amenable to Western economic and geopolitical interests. In many ways, that project failed as PM Maliki emerged as a strong, nationalistic leader who was unwilling to accede to the demands of the occupiers.

Washington wanted to permanently base US troops in the country, and Maliki rejected this proposal, demanding the permanent withdrawal of all US forces by the end of 2011. Maliki purged Iraq of the US-sponsored terrorist organization the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) which had waged a decades-long campaign of terrorism against Iran by closing down Camp Ashraf, the base from which the organization operated. Maliki also sacked two key figures in Iraq’s banking establishment, both of whom were close associates of neocon darling, and failed Iraqi presidential candidate, Ahmed Chalabi, thereby earning him the ire of Washington, which sought to maintain its grip on the purse-strings of Iraqi wealth.

But of course, these were by no means Maliki’s only ‘crimes’ in the eyes of the US. He also challenged Western oil companies looking to make massive profits off of Iraq’s vast energy deposits. Perhaps the best-known instance occurred in 2012 when ExxonMobil signed an oil exploration deal with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq. Maliki rejected the validity of the deal, noting that any oil contracts must be negotiated with the central government in Baghdad, rather than Barzani’s US-aligned government in Arbil. Maliki’s spokesman noted at the time that:

“Maliki views these deals as representing a very dangerous initiative that may lead to the outbreak of wars… [and] breaking up the unity of Iraq…Maliki is prepared to go to the highest levels for the sake of preserving the national wealth and the necessary transparency in investing the wealth of the Iraqis, especially oil… [He] sent a message to American President Barak [sic] Obama last week urging him to intervene to prevent ExxonMobil from going in this direction.”

It is no secret that Maliki’s strong-willed resistance to this deal, in addition to his refusal to pay ExxonMobil upwards of $50 million to improve production at one major southern oilfield led directly to the oil company pulling out of the lucrative West Qurna-1 project. Essentially then, Maliki took on the very powerful oil corporations (BP is no friend of Maliki either), seeking to get a better deal for Iraq. It would be safe to assume that the endemic corruption in Iraq would have made it easier for Maliki and his associates to enrich themselves by skimming off the top and/or receiving payouts from other oil interests. However, this is secondary to the primary ‘crime’ of challenging the hegemony of oil companies in Iraq.

And it is here that we see quite clearly why the US has been so keen on protecting their Kurdish puppet government, which really should be understood as a ruling clique centered on President Barzani and ex-President of Iraq Talabani, their families, and cronies. Since as early as 2011, Western oil companies sought to bypass Maliki and the legal government in Baghdad by making independent deals with the Kurds. Not only did they not want to pay the taxes that would be used to fund the recovery of Iraq from more than a decade of war, they attempted to play the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities off one another in a cynical ploy to more effectively and efficiently exploit the corruption and competition that exists in both.

Of course, it should be noted that the US, Israel, and other Western powers have long maintained very close ties with Barzani and the Kurds. A valid argument could be made that Kurdistan represents a forward base for US military power projection in Iraq and, particularly against Iran. Additionally, Israel has long maintained close ties with Kurdish authorities, both in terms of political support as well as covert intelligence and espionage-related activities. As Israeli scholar Ofra Bengio recently wrote in the pro-US, pro-Israeli publication the Middle East Quarterly:

“From the 1990s on, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) maintained relations with Kurdish officials since ‘pro-Israel Jewish activists viewed support for the Kurds, a small nation struggling for self-determination in a hostile Arab neighborhood, as helping Israel reach out to a natural ally.’ According to Morris Amitay, AIPAC’s executive director from 1974 to 1980, ‘Our Israeli friends always appreciated our friendship with the Kurds.’ Amitay’s son, Mike Amitay, also served as executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI) from 1996 to 2005.”

Naturally, the Israeli connection is not strictly a benevolent one. Rather, Israeli intelligence and special forces have been deeply intertwined with their Kurdish counterparts as far back as 2003 and the commencement of the second US war in Iraq (though likely decades before that). As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh noted in 2004:

“The Israelis have had long standing ties to the Talibani and Barzani clans [in] Kurdistan and there are many Kurdish Jews that emigrated to Israel and there are still a lot of connection. But at some time before the end of the year, and I’m not clear exactly when, certainly I would say a good six, eight months ago, Israel began to work with some trained Kurdish commandoes, ostensibly the idea was the Israelis — some of the Israeli elite commander units, counter-terror or terror units, depending on your point of view, began training — getting the Kurds up to speed.”

So, as should be self-evident, Washington’s decision to use military force against ISIS is a cynical ploy to protect intelligence assets, economic interests, and create a nominally independent Kurdish state which will become integrated into the US-Israeli sphere of influence in the region. In order to achieve these strategic objectives, first and foremost, Maliki had to be gotten rid of.

And so, regime change has once again come to Iraq, this time through the backdoor. By arming ISIS in Syria, the US unleashed a monster in Iraq, which it now uses as the pretext for fulfilling the long-standing goal of de facto partition of Iraq. With Kurdish independence robbing Iraq of vital oil resources, it is unlikely that any ruling coalition consisting of Sunnis and Shia will effectively govern the country, regardless of the individuals at its helm. And this is precisely the point. Sadly, in the interests of the West, Iraq will now endure yet another civil war and period of misery and despair. There will be no economic development, no political progress, no peace. Exactly what Washington wanted.

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MLEIHA LIBERATED, ONE LESS DEN OF TERRORISTS TARGETING CIVILIAN AREAS….

Eva Bartlett

 

Army establishes control over al-Mleiha town in Damascus Countryside:

“Following months of operations against terrorists who had entrenched themselves in the town, the Syrian Arab Army established control of al-Mleiha in Damascus Countryside on Thursday, August 14.

A statement issued by the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that Syrian Arab Army units, assisted by civil defense groups, managed to carry out the task of restoring security and stability to al-Mleiha and the surrounding farms in the Eastern Ghouta area.

…this was achieved following a series of decisive special operations in which the army eliminated large numbers of terrorists who were holed up in the town and had been using it as a base from which to carry out terrorist operations and attacks on civilians.

…with al-Mleiha under control, the Syrian Army has effectively closed the noose on the remaining pockets of terrorists in the Eastern Ghouta, and established a springboard from which these terrorists can be eliminated completely.

…the significance given to this town by terrorists resulted in it becoming a reservoir of terrorists from outside Syria, with Saudis, Tunisians, Algerians, Qataris, Joradnians, Yemenis, and others of foreign nationalities joining the ranks of the terrorist organizations operating there under names like “Al-Rahman Legion, Islam Army, Islamic Union of Ajnad al-Cham, and al-Qa’qa’a Brigade,” but foremost among these terrorist groups was the notorious Jabhat al-Nusra.

…turned al-Mleiha into their first line of defense, barricading themselves in residential areas after they forced the locals to flee, littering its streets with landmines and IEDs, and digging a network of tunnels beneath it.

Political analyst Afif Dalla asserted that restoring security to al-Mleiha is of critical importance due to its strategic location in Eastern Ghouta, saying that the operations carried out there by the army were very careful and deliberate in terms of geography and timing.

…this achievement will have tremendous effects on the course of the battle in Damascus Countryside as their loss of al-Mleiha has had a devastating effect on the morale of terrorist organizations that have suffered consecutive defeats and are weakened by infighting and current international and regional political shifts.”

***

Syrian forces claim victory near Damascus

من دمشق _ كلمة السيد في ذكرى انتصار المقاومة _ د خالد المطرود ، حسين مرتضى

 

بث مباشر _ د سليم حربا _ المليحة .. انجاز آخر | الفضائية 

 
 

حوار اليوم _ العميد تركي الحسن _ انجاز تحرير المليحة | الفضائية

 
 

Turkey Ruling Party Favors Davutoglu as New PM

Local Editor

More than 1000 Turkish citizens are fighting under the umbrella of the Takfiri terrorists group fighting in Syria and Iraq, FNA reported according to Turkish officials.

However the Turkish officials admit that they are unable to learn the exact number of the Turks engaged in the fight.

The estimated number of armed ISIL fighters is around 12,000 to 15,000, which shows that Turks make up just less than 10 percent of the Takfiri group.

Turkish media broadcast a few days ago pictures of hundreds of men with long beards in Taliban-style dress gathering for Eid al-Fitr somewhere in Istanbul.

The group was allegedly linked with ISIL, and they dedicated their Eid al-Fitr prayers to ISIL fighters in Iraq and Syria.

 

Source: AFP

16-08-2014 – 13:19 Last updated 16-08-2014 – 3:2

 

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S. Nasrallah: It is Not a Joke, We Are Facing Existential Takfiri Threat, We will Change Path of Region Fight to Win or be Martyred.

كلمة السيد حسن نصر الله 

Sayyed Nasrallah: July War Had Political, National, and Regional Aspects

TRANSLATED BY NOUR RIDA

SHN

 

Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that the July 2006 “Israeli” aggression on Lebanon was a key part in a series of attempts to crash the Resistance. He assured it was a real war that had major goals and dimensions on the different levels, also repercussions on the entire region.

Delivering a speech on al-Manar TV on the 8th memory of the July 2006 Divine Victory, Sayyed Nasrallah saluted the souls of the martyrs who belong to the Resistance, the Lebanese army, the security forces, the civil defense and the media. He also greeted the wounded and the families who were partakers in the victory, as they stood unwavering in face of the “Israeli” aggression.

Sayyed Nasrallah mentioned in particular maryr Ibrahim al-Hajj, who was a major pillar in the Aita al-Shaab battles for 33 days during the Zionist aggression. He further thanked Syria and Iran for helping in this victory.

Also saluting the late leaders of the Resistance, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, Haj Imad Moghnieh, and absented Imam Moussa Sadr, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that if it were not for these leaders who established the Resistance movement, all the victories would not have been achieved.


July War Aim: Eliminating the Resistance

The Resistance leader pointed out that the July war was a main part of a bigger plot to give birth to a “New Middle East”.

“A lot has been said about the July war, lectures were given and books were written to discuss it… This war remained a case study because it was a real war with political and historical dimensions which transcend Lebanon and Palestine to influence the entire region. And here, we must recall former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statement on this war producing a new Middle East,” he stated.

The Resistance leader accentuated that the July war turned out to be part of a scheme that aimed at annihilating the resistance in Lebanon, not disarm it only. “

After ending the war on Lebanon, “Israel” continued its plan by attacking Syria with the aim of creating a new regime allied with the U.S.,” he explained, adding “The third part of this plan was attacking the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and this was to be achieved before the end of 2006.”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the two goals behind this plan are: the U.S. would take control of all oil and gas fields in the region and the second is that it would draw an end to the Palestinian cause and impose a settlement on Palestinians and Arabs.

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, the plan which included direct American occupation, an “Israeli” war aimed at attacking the resistance in Lebanon, then attacking Syria and ending the resistance in Palestine was obstructed thanks to the resistance in Lebanon the fabulous Lebanese resilience through the July war victory.

“The steadfast of the Resistance, also the political and popular resilience forced the Americans, “Israelis”, Europeans, and the UN Council to withdraw most of their conditions since the very first days of war. Meanwhile, the Resistance was glorified in Lebanon, the “Israeli” war did not reach Syria and the war on Gaza was postponed from 2006 until 2008. Not only that but also the Iraqi resistance gained momentum and expelled the U.S. occupation from Iraq,” he elaborated. 

Yet, Sayyed Nasrallah assured this does not imply the U.S. has failed to achieve its goals but rather changed its path. “We must follow up on their paths to topple the American-Zionist plan for the region,” he stated.

The Hizbullah SG highlighted that this war has failed, and assured that the region -amid all dangers- that it is still able to face these dangers and able to overthrow any projects in the region.


New Project for the Region: “Israel” & ISIL 

 

Sayyed Nasrallah said what is happening today in Gaza is part of a new path for the region and in light of new developments, which in fact has the same goals of an “Israeli” control over the region’s oil fields.

This new project being drawn for the region, according to Sayyed Nasrallah has two factors.

 “The new project is more difficult and dangerous from the previous one, because it does not aim at overthrowing regimes and replacing them with new ones, because in this case the country and the army remain the same while the authority changes only. The new project, meanwhile, is that of destruction, of destroying countries and armies, people, and entities.”

He added

“This new project aims at setting up a new map for the region in which the enemy becomes the savor. The first factor is the “Israelis” who aim at eliminating the resistance, while the second factor is the so-called Takfiri movement, of which ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Daesh] is a clear example.”

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed

“I tell all the people of the region that we can take down this project but it needs time and effort.”


ISIL: Existential Danger Threatens All 

More on the current situation, Sayyed Nasrallah explained

“We have to believe that there is a real existential danger threatening us all and it is not a joke, and we must be aware of the threat’s potentials.”

He stressed that all are concerned find means to face this threat with real tools.

“We must not resort to illusions and options that have been tested and have proved to fail. Rather we must choose real means based on the history of our people.”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that some people mounded on the international community and on the UK, the Arab League, and the GCC to confront the Zionist project yet without getting anywhere. He also stated that in the early 20th century, when the Zionist entity established its presence on Occupied Palestine, people did not recognize it is a real and existential threat, noting they should be aware to the similar situation today.

He accentuated that ISIL today is a real threat to the region.

“I want to tell the Lebanese and all the people of the region that we have to put all differences aside because these is a real danger threatening your entities, churches, mosques, kids and women.”

He clarified.

“The so-called ISIL is a group that has now taken control of large geographical areas in Syria and Iraq and has taken control of resource fields and main water dams. It has huge quantities of weapons and ammunition and is selling oil. It also comprises many foreign fighters whose arrival here has been facilitated,”

Sayyed Nasrallah added

“This group has committed massacres, has killed prisoners and civilians in Iraq and Syria, and also killed people close to ISIL, like al-Nusra fighters, and then assassinated people of other Islamist factions in Deir Al-Zour and Aleppo and Iraq before cameras to augment their psychological war… The massacres harmed Sunnis primarily and ISIL did not spare anyone in Iraq like Kurds, Yazidis, Shiites, Christians, and Turkmen…This example [takfirism] has nothing to do with Islam, Prophet Mohamad -pbuh- or the Holy Quran.” 

“What I know is that some regional countries have adopted these groups and the Americans have turned a blind eye and expanded their vision to benefit from this phenomenon.”

Battle Inclusive War, Not Sectarian

Sayyed Nasrallah called on every Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian and any Gulf national to leave sectarian chauvinism behind and reason if this phenomenon is a threat against Shiites only.

“No one should regard this battle as a sectarian one; it is a takfiri war against anyone who opposes it. It is a danger threatening everyone. We must discuss what we should so; should we hang on the international community?”

Addressing the Christians of Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said

“if you think the U.S. would do anything for you, you are wrong. The U.S. will tell you to travel abroad, just like what France told Iraq’s Christians.”

On the Hizbullah presence in the Syrian battle, Sayyed Nasrallah said that

“If Hizbullah withdrew from Syria; this would not eliminate the danger and would not safeguard Lebanon from [IS founder Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi’s map.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that some people mounded on the international community and on the UK, the Arab League, and the GCC to confront the Zionist project yet without getting anywhere. He also stated that in the early 20th century, when the Zionist entity established its presence on Occupied Palestine, people did not recognize it is a real and existential threat, noting they should be aware to the similar situation today.

 More on the disassociation policy to which many call for, Sayyed Nassrallah highlighted
“If ISIL seized control of Syria and reached Rashaya and Baalbek and the North, would the disassociation policy protect the country? Is this a realistic approach? Is this approach correct in the first place?”
 He stressed that logically speaking, when the country is facing an existential threat the priority becomes facing this danger.
“Those who do not do that are not acting logically, morally or based on religious values.”

LA, Security Forces To Preserve Country

 As for the foremost factor to be invested to face this existential danger, Sayyed Nasrallah noted it is the Lebanese army and security forces.
“They protect the state and towns, not Hizbullah. We welcome any help for the Lebanese army but troops must get real weapons”

He pointed out that the major thing required is official and popular support to the army, which should be financial and psychological.

More on the army, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the state should stand by the army all the time to release its kidnapped troops. “Secondly, we should stop insults and never slam the army as a tool in Hizbullah’s hands,” he stressed.

The Hizbullah leaders pointed out that the Lebanese must also preserve the current cabinet and not allow it to collapse despite the differences.

He iterated that all Lebanese regions should reconcile and stop all forms of incitement.

 Commenting on the person who was arrested for operating the Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade, he assured such persons must be punished.
As for Arsal’s future, Sayyed Nasrallah said it is linked to Baalbek, Hermel and the Bekaa – not al-Nusra or ISIL. Hence, there should be efforts of reconciliation among the different regions. 
On the issue of Syrian refugees, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that minimum cooperation should take place with Syria regarding the refugees’ issue.
Meanwhile, on the presidential polls Sayyed Nasrallah said “We support a certain nominee and you know him.”
 Ending his televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted
“We will not abandon our responsibility and will not leave this land, but rather will stay here with our heads high, and if war is to be imposed on us we will either fight to win or be martyred.”
Source: Al-Ahed news 

15-08-2014 | 21:00

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