The Battle of Lebanon; New names, same games

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posted by Robert Dreyfuss on 05/28/2009 @ 10:55am

Five days before the crucial elections in Iran on June 12, voters go to the polls in another Middle East country: Lebanon. The stakes in Lebanon are high, since it’s looking more and more likely that Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite fundamentalist group, and its allies will win a majority and take control of the government in Beirut. That would create a fundamental choice for the Obama administration: does the United States continue to have contact with, and send military aid to, a Lebanese government controlled by Israel’s implacable foe?

Last year, in a power-sharing deal brokered by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, Hezbollah was given a share of power in the Lebanese state proportional to its strength in parliament and on the ground, after massive pro-Hezbollah demonstrations rocked the country.

Expect a lot of outside meddling in Lebanon during the next two weeks — on all sides.

An early shot was fired this week from Germany, where Der Spiegel, the conservative weekly magazine, revealed that investigators probing the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri have concluded that Hezbollah, and not Syria, is responsible for the spectacular bombing that killed Hariri, a pro-Western billionaire with close ties to France and Saudi Arabia. (Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri, is leading the anti-Hezbollah coalition in the June 7 election.)

What’s interesting about the Der Spiegel exclusive, if true, is not only that it exonerates Syria, but that it blames Hezbollah. The magazine reports that the UN special tribunal in the case intended to withhold its conclusion until late June, i.e., until after the election. The fact that it is now being reported makes the Spiegel report seem like a calculated leak designed to undercut Hezbollah’s election chances.

Reports the magazine:

Spiegel has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn. Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah (“Party of God”) that planned and executed the diabolical attack. Tribunal chief prosecutor Bellemare and his judges apparently want to hold back this information, of which they been aware for about a month. What are they afraid of?

That’s a good question — “What are they afraid of?” — but another good question is: what’s the motive of the people who leaked the super-secret conclusion? (And two other questions: is the Der Spiegel report correct that the UN panel has concluded that Hezbollah killed Hariri? And, if they have concluded that, is their conclusion true?)

Writing in the Washington Times, former Dick Cheney aide John Hannah, now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel thinktank with neoconservative ties, rings every alarm bell he can reach:

Make no mistake: Hezbollah’s triumph would constitute a major U.S. defeat. Despite the Obama administration’s overtures to Iran, it remains the case that across the Middle East, the battle for Lebanon is understood as part of a much larger struggle for power being waged by Washington and Tehran.

The formal collapse of the Cedar Revolution would send shockwaves throughout the region, providing powerful confirmation of Iran’s ascendancy and America’s decline. It would dramatically embolden Teheran at a time when Washington hopes to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its support for terrorism and its escalating efforts — frequently using Hezbollah operatives — to subvert pro-U.S. governments across the Arab world from Iraq to Egypt to Morocco.

From Iraq to Morocco! Whew! Talk about the Domino Theory. In fact, the Hezbollah victory would do nothing of the kind, except that it would ratify the democratic expression of what the Lebanese people want. If Hezbollah does win, its victory will be marginal, only a few points, and Lebanese politics will continue to be balanced on a knife’s edge, complicated by the presence of armed militias and ethnic warlords across the political spectrum.

America’s view of the Lebanon election is pretty clear. Recently, both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made high-profile visits to Beirut to boost the chances of the Hariri-led coalition. No doubt, pro-American, conservative Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt are pouring millions of dollars into the anti-Hezbollah effort, while Iran is doing the same — along with Syria — for the other side.

Meanwhile, less might be at stake than Hannah suggests. As the Jerusalem Post notes, Hezbollah will be a power in Lebanon whether it wins or loses:

Even if Hizbullah loses the upcoming election, it will continue to control Lebanon. It is the strongest force in Lebanon by far, and the country’s Shi’ite community is growing. The Christians in the North have been weakened, and the Druse in the central region will strike a deal with anyone who furthers their interests. Nobody will separate Hizbullah from its weapons, and the group will continue to strengthen and deepen its control of Lebanon.

What’s really at stake is not Hezbollah’s power and its ability to send dominos toppling, but its international credibility — and the crucial question of whether the United States will (a) deal with a Hezbollah-controlled government or (b) treat it like Hamas, which was duly elected in the Palestinian territories and then quarantined by the United States.

As the New York Times reports today, Hezbollah is already gaining legitimacy:

Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group, has talked with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union about continued financial support to Lebanon in the event the group’s political alliance wins the June 7 parliamentary elections, Hezbollah officials said Wednesday.

In Beirut last week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said future American support to Lebanon, which includes military aid, would depend on the elections’ outcome.

European governments have not issued any such veiled threats, and Western leaders have recently shown a greater willingness to engage in political dialogue with Hezbollah’s patrons, Iran and Syria. Britain’s Foreign Office said in March that it would re-establish relations with Hezbollah’s political wing.

My guess: if Hezbollah wins, the Obama administration will figure out a way to finesse its dislike of the group, hold its nose, and continue to support the Lebanese government. To the utter consternation of John Hannah, the neoconservatives, the Israel lobby, and Israel’s new right-wing government.

Interestingly, the elections come just two days after President Obama delivers a major speech in Cairo aimed at “re-booting” US relations with the Muslim world. Isolating Hezbollah, should it win a free and fair vote — at least, as free and fair as Lebanon can produce! — won’t help with the rebooting, unless Obama’s main audience is the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

New names, same games for Lebanon

“…. Influence in Lebanon is both a means to an end, and an end in itself, they say, and proven culpability for the assassination of al-Hariri would seriously hinder this status quo. With each criminal action, goes the tale, Syria is attempting to jeopardise the work of the tribunal and blackmail Lebanon. ….In a process which Syria had always condemned as being politicised from the start, it was ruled there would be no judging without sufficient evidence. While this should have momentarily brought the accusations to a full circle, there seems to be little wish to tone down the rhetoric….

Amid the crescendo of accusations about Syria and its allies, the biggest threat which never ceased to manifest itself remained Israel, whose savage July 2006 onslaught sent droves of Lebanese refugees across the Syrian border, where they were welcomed with open arms and homes.

Not only did this war bring back a dose of reality about the bigger stakes, but it also put Lebanon’s current majority in a difficult position against Hezbollah and effectively on Israel’s side.

The war was a turning point where real alliances could not remain in the background any longer….

No matter how it is packaged, and even if it was explained as Hezbollah being responsible for provoking Israel by seizing its soldiers, the enormity of this situation was unprecedented. It laid the ground for the next big crisis which would hit Lebanon in May 2007,…..

In the days of Pax Syriana following the Taif agreement which ended the Lebanese civil war and established Syria as the de facto boss, most parties complied with the S-S dynamic ruling their lives – as long as Syria and Saudi Arabia agreed on the path to follow, Lebanon was relatively quiet.

Today, while the major regional players are the same, they are betting on different horses…. Until there is a new census reflecting current demographics, most groups in the country are secure in the fact that they have a voice in government. It does matter, of course, who wins the most seats and who is charged with forming a government, and many observers wonder whether Hezbollah’s time has come to become the majority.

Given the clumsy foreign interference…. there seem to be real questions on the latter’s capacity or even desire to reach office.

While Aoun would certainly welcome a presidential role eventually, Hezbollah would probably be happy to remain in opposition, especially since it has already proved its capacity to overturn decisions when needed. ….This situation would also serve Syria’s interests for the time being…. Even without their own man in office in Lebanon, the Syrians know there is now little chance for any government to provoke it on the big issues and only need to wait for the other foreign powers to come to terms with this reality…”

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 10:14 AM

Toothless counsel

Toothless counsel

Opposition forces have been reduced by Arab regimes to servile advice givers, neglecting the aspirations of the people whose interests they exist to better defend, writes Azmi Bishara


Some Arab opposition forces criticise this regime or that for pursuing policies that run counter to its own interests. On what grounds does the opposition presume it is more aware of the regime’s interests than the regime itself? The very charge is a sign of weakness in the opposition force that levels it. It is not the job of the opposition to offer advice on what is in a regime’s best interests. Its job is to criticise a regime’s policies on the basis of their assessment of what is in the country’s and the people’s best interests.

Opposition in politics does not exist for its own sake. The exception to this is the critical eye of a handful of intellectuals who make a mission of constant critique and analysis. While such a practice plays a part in politics it is generally not politicised. Still, it remains an essential complement to political activity and in order to perform its function its practitioners must avoid the type of attitudes and behaviour that cheapen it, such as superficiality, vanity, exhibitionism and egoism. By the latter I mean indulging such personal whims or obsessions by playing the role of victim; venting emotions such as love, hate, envy or rancour; or avenging oneself on particular people. By exhibitionism, I refer to the tendency of the critic to care less about his subject and his function and more about projecting an image of himself as an enfant terrible or a permanent and flippant devil’s advocate.

Apart from this there is no opposition in politics for opposition’s sake. Of course there are people who oppose out of personal motives. A person might, for example, aspire to a government post and attempt to fulfil this ambition by grandstanding in the hope of forcing the government to award him an appointment merely to shut him up. Another may be similarly opportunistic, but his ambitions overlap with the aims of the opposition — his hope for growing status and influence is linked with the arrival of the opposition to power. Such personal motives are considered legitimate in politics, albeit within limits. In all events, they have little bearing on our subject here, which is the political opposition movement or party.

In pluralistic democracies that permit for the peaceful rotation of power, the opposition advocates a platform of policies that conflict with those of the government. It claims that in order for these policies to be put into effect it must be voted into power or invited into sharing power. Protest movements and pressure groups, by contrast, try to influence the ruling government but do not strive for power. They do not present themselves as alternatives to the government. Rather, they oppose certain policies and try to press the government into changing these policies and meeting their demands. In democratic states there are numerous instances of protest movements transforming themselves into political parties after having accomplished their initial mission. There are also cases of opposition parties or forces using protest movements for their own ends. If the government is unable or unwilling to meet the protesters’ demands, they can be mobilised in favour of the opposition. Conversely, the opposition may attempt to infiltrate the protest movement and manoeuvre it in such a way as to forestall the government’s meeting its demands, for fear that if the government did concede this would weaken the opposition and undermine its prospects for the next elections. Protest movements sometimes try to steer clear of the influence of opposition parties and forces precisely because they fear the reaction of the ruling authorities that are perfectly aware of the aforementioned tactics.

The aim of the political opposition in democratic systems is to attain and/or share power. This is the only reason for establishing and organising a political party. Of course one occasionally finds fringe parties in democratic countries that have other designs, such as overthrowing the entire system of government, attaining power by subverting the rules of the game, or merely to advocate an idea different from the rivals in the mainstream. In the latter case, such parties gradually evolve into something more akin to an intellectual club or a cult in some cases.

Returning to our opening point, we stress again that an opposition party does not see it as one of its functions to counsel the ruling party or government on its best interests. Rather, it operates on the premise that it knows better than the government what is best for the country. It may go so far as to charge that the interests of the current government are at odds with the interests of the country. But his is not advice, but rather censure. To be thorough and precise, we must exempt from this rule certain extreme situations in which there is an overwhelming national consensus, as occurs when a country is under attack or suffers a natural catastrophe. In such cases, a wise government may actively solicit the advice of the opposition and the opposition may sincerely tender it on the overriding matters of national security on which they are in full accord in order to safeguard the political order in which they share a common interest and which embraces their democratic rivalry.

But if the above applies to democratic countries, does it also apply to non-democratic ones? Do not opposition forces in such countries also aspire to power? They certainly do. In modern non-democratic states, opposition forces organise themselves, per force, in clandestine or semi-clandestine parties that aim to leverage themselves into a position to put their political programmes — whether democratic or anti-democratic — into effect. Of course, non-democratic regimes may experience changes in rule or power structure without the direct influence of opposition parties. Political reforms or coups undertaken by the ruling party, the army or other agencies are the two major avenues towards this end. The new authorities may bring the opposition parties onboard or, conversely, they may step up the repression of these parties. Both trends are probably equally commonplace. Be that as it may, let us not be detracted from our primary concern here, which is the state of opposition parties themselves in non-democratic countries, Arab countries included.

A regime consolidates and bolsters itself by expanding its support base of beneficiaries and creating new sectors dependent upon it and/or by effectively suppressing and fracturing the opposition by means of clampdowns, detentions and exile. The longer a party remains in opposition under such circumstances the greater the chances that its remnants will also consolidate and perpetuate themselves. Some may strike a bargain with the ruling regime enabling them to function legitimately or semi-legitimately as an opposition party with a margin of freedom to criticise from the fringes of political life, resulting in a kind of permanent loyal opposition that prohibits itself from so much as thinking about attaining power. As we suggested above, a party that resigns itself to eternal opposition and, for the sake of self- preservation, to operate semi-legitimately in accordance with the conditions set by the regime gradually forfeits its capacity as a political party and loses its politicised character. It survives solely by power of inertia, awaiting an opportunity that will never come because it has effectively thrown in the towel in terms of its structure, ideas, aims and aspirations for power.

One of the peculiar phenomena such a situation gives rise to is a critical political discourse crafted and packaged as “advice” so as not to upset the regime and call down upon itself the authorities’ wrath. It will say, for example, “it is in the interests of the regime to change its policy and side with the resistance,” or “the regime would be well-advised to examine the concerns it has in common with other Arab nations,” or “it would do credit to the regime to sever relations with Israel,” and so on. I imagine the authorities smile contentedly when they hear such “criticism”. It performs a service for them as it reveals that the opposition is operating on the premise of the interests of the regime. Indeed, it elevates this premise to a national axiom above discussion while simultaneously putting paid to the political and social functions a real opposition party should perform. Offering advice is a task suited to an advisor not to an opposition party that hopes to expose the futility or misguidedness of a government’s policies or the inability of this government to safeguard and promote the welfare of society and the people.

Another curious phenomenon occurs when the opposition — Arab nationalist as a rule — acts as though it has some claim to authority and pretends to take the hand of the regime, the king or president, as though it were a guardian figure imparting wisdom to a minor. Now surely a regime that has remained in power for decades, if not necessarily wise, is far from a doltish minor. The perpetual opposition, meanwhile, has yet to prove that it could govern if it ever came to power, let alone offer sound advice to those in power. A real opposition, on the other hand, concerns itself with establishing that the government is acting against the interests of the people and the country or contrary to the principles (or its understanding of the principles) that underpin the national consensus. In addition, by means of its ability to mobilise, lead and organise its followers and the people it also establishes its credentials as a potential candidate for power. If a regime made a strategic decision to place its country in the American camp and believes that its relationship with Israel will help strengthen its relationship with the US, what stance should the opposition take? Should it say that this is not really in the interests of the regime or should it say that this runs counter to the interests of the country and the people? Should the Palestinian opposition try to convince the Palestinian Authority (PA) president that he would be doing himself a favour by cooperating with the resistance? Surely he is more aware than the opposition that his perpetuation in power is contingent upon his alliance with the US and Israel and that to change this policy in a way consistent with national unity is to change the security basis on which the PA is founded and thus to change its leader. So, if it makes little sense to offer such advice to the head of a Palestinian Authority that has no sovereign capacity it makes even less sense to offer similar advice to fully-fledged regimes with decades of experience in perpetuating their rule.

If the interests of the regime are founded on notions and policies that the opposition believes run counter to the welfare of the country then it’s the job of the opposition to expose this on the basis of facts and logical arguments that proceed from these facts. The opposition should make solid criticism its mission, even if the prospect of attaining power is beyond it or not on its agenda. In the pursuit of this mission it should take the interests of the country — as opposed to the interests of the ruling regime — as its springboard.

Explaining Israel’s Mysterious Imperial Agenda

CONTRIBUTED BY RITALIN

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Islam and Politics

Written by Imran N. Hosein

When Harry Belafonte declared that US President George W. Bush was “the world’s greatest terrorist”, it was clear that while he had not studied the subject sufficiently, since that notorious distinction belongs to Israel and not to Bush, he certainly showed greater understanding of the subject and more courage than most politicians and leaders today.

But Israel has another unique distinction that continuously escapes the attention of scribes, scholars and politicians. It is the only state in the world that has continuously waged unjust war with disdain for ‘gentile’ opinion, and even escalate its warfare while rendering the rest of the world powerless to do anything tangible to prevent it.

The rest of the world, that is, except Islam!

Israel’s deliberately barbarous and disproportionate military response to the Sunni Islamic resistance’s capture of one enemy soldier in the Gaza Strip, and the further capture of two more enemy soldiers by the Shia Islamic resistance in Southern Lebanon, not only constitutes yet another Israeli war crime but also sets up Israel once again for eventual retributive punishment that would be commensurate with all those war crimes. Neither Prophets David nor Solomon (peace be upon them both) ever waged war the Israeli way, with a barbarian ethical code of warfare which permits the indiscriminate bombing-destruction of entire civilian populations, men women and children, in their homes, villages, temples, and bomb-shelters (60 just killed in a village bomb-shelter in Qana, including 37 children) as well as the destruction of civilian airports, roads, bridges, electricity power plants, water works, etc., and the displacement of almost half the population of a country as refugees fleeing for their lives.

One can only wonder why the Israelite Jews who lived in peace with Muslims in the Muslim world for more than a thousand years prior to the birth of the Euro-Jewish State of Israel, have not as yet asked themselves whether Israel’s Euro-Jewish rulers are really Jews, or whether they are Euro-barbarians who disguise themselves as Jews.

BINT JABEEL, BIN JABEEL, AND ISRAEL’S FINAL RETRIBUTION

The world must now know that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has prophesied Israel’s final and just retribution at the hands of a Muslim army. Israel has already had a taste of that coming retribution. In an essay published in the ‘Daily Express’, columnist Raffique Shah, himself trained in military strategy, described what happened when Israel attempted a ground assault on the Southern Lebanese village of Bint Jabeel:

“Having pounded the enemy for days, they thought they would have encountered only rubble. Instead, they ran into ambush after ambush, mounted by men seasoned in desert warfare. Within hours, 11 Israeli soldiers lay dead with scores more seriously wounded. The wounded were crying in agony as the Hezbullah fighters poured more fire on them. It took the Israelis several hours to extricate their troops, and that only by using their finest tanks as ambulances. Reporters on the Israeli side of the border wrote of weeping commanders and soldiers, dazed by a taste of real battle, wandering back to safety like a bedraggled, defeated army.”

Bint Jabeel, in Arabic, means Jabeel’s ‘daughter’, while Bin or Ibn Jabeel would be his ‘son’. Israel must now pause and ponder. If Bint Jabeel could fight like that, how will Bin Jabeel fight?

Israel’s final retribution, as prophesied by Prophet Muhammad in words that are engraved in the hearts of millions of Muslims around the world, would come to pass only after Jesus returns. The Prophet declared:
“You would fight the Jews and you would (succeed in) killing them (to such an extent that even) a stone would speak (and would say): Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me so come and kill him!”
(Bukhari, Muslim)

That prophecy suffices today to distinguish the true Muslim from the pseudo Muslim. The true Muslim is unafraid to declare that the Jihad (just war) to liberate the Holy Land from Israeli oppression has already begun. Pseudo Muslims, from captain to cook, hurry to distance themselves from any armed struggle while insisting that Jihad is an exclusive ‘inner’ moral and spiritual struggle and has nothing at all to do with that just armed struggle.

The enemies of Islam can bite their finger-tips in frustration and with rage as they criticize and condemn those powerful words of the Prophet as ‘incitement to terrorism’. Misguided Muslim apologists can exhaust the ink in their pens as they furiously deny that Prophet Muhammad ever made such a prophecy. They can even try to sugarcoat those words with a ‘progressive interpretation’. Israel can go on to attack Iran and to madly destroy even more of the Arab/Muslim world after destroying Gaza and Lebanon. Yet none can avert the eventual fulfillment of the Prophet’s prophecy that Islam’s armed resistance to Israeli oppression would eventually be successful. On that day of success when even the stones would speak, Islam would have triumphed over all her rivals!

But while the final success of that armed resistance and retributive punishment on Israel would have to wait until Jesus (peace be upon him) returns, it is quite likely that Israel’s present political and military leadership would take the world to the brink of utter destruction if and when Israel launches a preemptive nuclear attack on Iran. (See essay entitled “Will Israel attack Iran?”) Such a nuclear attack on Iran would be designed to provoke that country, in the unlikely event that Iran already possesses nuclear weapons, to retaliate in kind. If Iran does not do so, Israel would still press on to destroy all Iranian nuclear power plants and other related infrastructures that could possibly be used for the development of an indigenous Iranian nuclear deterrent.

If Iran does possess nuclear weapons purchased from others, and chooses to retaliate with them, such a preemptive Israeli nuclear attack could eventually result in the death of hundreds of thousands of both

Israelis and Iranians, and that would land us all in the pit of blazing fire! If it turns out that Iran did not possess nuclear weapons, then Iranian gentile deaths do not really count as deaths with God’s so-called ‘chosen people’.

An Israeli nuclear attack on Iran could ignite such disastrous economic and monetary crises around the world that the present Pax Americana world-order could collapse and be replaced by another world-order dominated by Israel.

I believe that Israel no longer has any use for a United Nations Organization that has already been successfully used to protect the Jewish State through infancy and childhood to her present superpower status. The UN would be a cumbersome hindrance for the universal messianic dictatorship that would be Pax Judaica. Perhaps the deliberate and contemptuous murder of four UN Observer personnel that resulted from the recent Israeli bombing of the UN Observer Post in Southern Lebanon was meant to deliver to the world a message that the UN’s days are now numbered.

Islam the religion is the only significant force in the world today offering armed resistance to oppression in and around what should properly be known as the Holy Land. Islam now occupies center-stage in international affairs and the central importance of the religion can only increase as Israel relentlessly pursues the realization of her messianic destiny with an abandon that defies both morality and common sense. Islam alone is both accurately explaining the strange world today, and is correctly anticipating tomorrow’s even more horrendously evil world.

And yet, while others have privileged access to the media to articulate their viewpoint in a country which declares, “here every creed and race finds an equal place”, there is no column on Islam in any daily newspaper in Trinidad and Tobago. This Muslim scribe, who is a senior Islamic scholar and writer in the country, is forced to solicit donations with which to buy expensive newspaper space in order to explain the Islamic viewpoint on such crucially important subjects as addressed in this essay. He also has to correct misinformation and lies about Islam from the malicious pens of an ever-increasing number of crusading scribes who, with a straight face, would attempt to convince readers to accept a ‘kiskedee’ (a favorite local bird) to be a ‘corbeaux’ (a vulture). One of them just explained to us, again with a straight face, that when Prophet Muhammad declared “a people who choose a woman to rule over them would never be successful”, what he really meant (in her progressive interpretation) was that it was permissible for Muslims to choose a woman to rule over them!

This writer also has to constantly defend against devilish attempts at character assassination that maliciously seek to portray him as a “terrorist” and “a great security risk”. And if that was not enough, he also has to prepare himself for the new so-called ‘democratic’ dispensation now underway (i.e. the tribal dictatorship and police state that this country’s ruling tribe is pursuing with pig-headed determination) when freedom to buy even newspaper space would also be denied to Islam.

THREE STAGES OF A MASTER-PLAN

This essay suggests the existence of three basic stages in a mysteriously unfolding master-plan through which Israel seeks to realize her messianic destiny. The master-plan is culminating at this time when the so-called ‘chosen people’ have been mysteriously brought back from 2000 years of exile to reclaim the Holy Land as their own. Their ultimate destiny, they believe, is to rule the world from what would appear to be a restored Biblical Holy State of Israel located in the Holy Land. (The word rule is continuously italicized because of the pivotal place it occupies in the mission of the Anti-Christ.) That ultimate destiny appears soon to be realized, and so it is time enough for our readers to try to understand the subject from the perspective of Islam. In explaining those three stages of the master-plan we can, in fact, also explain much of the history of international politics and economics over the last few centuries.

In the first stage, which lasted for a long time, a Pax Britanica world-order waged strange colonial wars on the rest of the world and eventually and cleverly succeeded in ‘liberating’ the Holy Land from benevolent Muslim rule, and in presiding over the birth of the imposter Euro-Jewish State of Israel. Along the way the world witnessed the strange and otherwise inexplicable event of a secular Britain pledging, in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the secular British Government’s commitment to deliver a national homeland in the Holy Land to the Jewish people. Our thesis offers to readers an explanation for that mysterious British obsession with the Holy Land.

We must also carefully note that in the effort to establish itself as the ruling State in the world, Britain had to take the initial steps towards control of the world’s money. (See the writer’s seminar on ‘Islam and Money’ available on his website http://www.imranhosein.org) And so the British sterling pound became the international currency, and Britain became the money-lender par excellence of the world. This was a unique event in monetary history.

Then in the second stage of that master-plan – a stage which is still in progress and which will last for a shorter time than the first – a Pax Americana world-order replaced Pax Britanica and has proceeded to mysteriously protect the arrogant, aggressive and expansionist Euro-Jewish State with countless UN Security Council’s vetoes. That world-order has also been waging wars on Israel’s behalf in order to make the world safe for Israel to grow into a nuclear-armed superpower. Instead of the spectacular colonial wars which delivered to Britain the status of a ruling state, it took two world wars to bring about the transfer of power from the first to the second ruling state.

Our thesis offers to readers an explanation for that equally mysterious American obsession with the Holy Land.

There was, in addition, a monetary component to the process of emergence of USA as the second ruling state since the US dollar replaced the Sterling pound as the international currency, and USA became the money-lender par excellence of the world.

The history of these two ruling states, Britain and USA, suggests that whoever achieves control over the world’s money, can also control the world. Control over money can be used to prevent the circulation of wealth through the economy, thus ensuring that the rich remained permanently rich and the poor, permanently poverty. Control over money could also be used to buy the allegiance of the rich who would grow constantly richer, and who would join the oppressor and assist him in controlling the world. It would also reduce the poor to such impotence that they become helpless to resist oppression. That is precisely the state of the world today and it constitutes a critically important goal of the master-plan.

And then in the third, final and briefest stage of the master-plan, a Pax Judaica world-order is about to replace Pax Americana. The passage from the second to the third and final ruling state in the master-plan is again taking place through a series of strange wars. Israel would soon replace USA as the ruling state in the world and when that occurs, a Jew would eventually rule the world from Jerusalem and claim to be the true Messiah! But he would not be Jesus the true Messiah. Rather, Prophet Muhammad explained that he would be Dajjal the false Messiah (Anti-Christ).

We are now very close indeed to the culmination of that devilish master-plan that has been ominously unfolding ever since the small island Britain startled the world a few centuries ago by becoming the first ruling state in post-Biblical history (i.e., since David and Solomon created the world’s first ruling state).

TERRORISM AND THE MASTER-PLAN

The passage from the first to the second stage of the master-plan was initiated through an act of carefully planned terrorism, i.e., the assassination of the Grand Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo in the summer of 1914. Those who planned the assassination (was Trotsky part of the plot?) also planted false footprints at the crime-scene that led to Russia. It paved the way for the First World War which, in turn, was successfully used to dismember the Ottoman Islamic Empire and to ‘liberate’ (i.e., from the Jewish perspective) the Holy Land.

The passage from the second to the third stage of the master-plan was also initiated through an act of less-carefully planned terrorism, i.e., the 9/11 terrorist attack on America. This time around the false footprints that were planted at the crime-scene led to Arabs and Muslims, and that created opportunities for an arrogant and power-drunk USA and its Euro-allies to wage a series of wars (still in progress) to eventually impose total control over the world’s major oil resources that were not already controlled – hence American war on Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israeli wars on Lebanon, Gaza Strip, and eventually Syria and Iran. War on Venezuela as well seems inevitable, and that, perhaps, explains the haste with which the ruling tribe in Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to establish its tribal dictatorship.

Today’s wars also allow USA/Israel to eventually control the new electronic money-system of the world that would soon replace paper money when the US dollar collapses. Anti-terrorism legislation and war on terrorism (which is a euphemism for war on Islam) would eventually pave the way, in the name of international security, for the imposition of a new international monetary system of electronic money. That monetary system would make the world even safer for Israel since anyone who dared to oppose Israel could be targeted as a terrorist and could have his wealth electronically short-circuited.

The most important point this essay makes is the world is now located at that moment in time when stage two of the master-plan is culminating and stage three is commencing.

PROPHET MUHAMMAD, THE MASTER PLAN AND 666

I believe that Prophet Muhammad prophesied these three stages of the master-plan (i.e., the ultimate world-system) through which Dajjal the false Messiah (Anti-Christ) would eventually accomplish his mission of impersonating the true Messiah and thus of ruling the world from an imposter State of Israel in the Holy Land. The Prophet said:
“… when Dajjal is released he would live on earth for forty days — a day like a year — a day like a month — a day like a week — and all his days (i.e., all the rest of his days) like your days.”
(Sahih Muslim)

He also prophesied, in what has come to be known as the Hadith of Tamim Dari, that Dajjal’s initial base, i.e., in the first stage of his mission that would last for ‘a day like a year’, would be an island which specialized in spying, and was located about one month’s journey by sea from Arabia. I believe that island could not have been other than Britain!

The Bible described the very same three-stage process that would culminate with a new international monetary system of electronic money and with the Anti-Christ ruling the world from Jerusalem. It did so when it declared:
“…and he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred — three score — and six.”
(Revelation: 13:16-18)

When the Bible’s religious symbolism is analysed it clearly reveals that the number ‘six hundred’ in relation to the Anti-Christ refers to the first stage of the master plan that lasted for a long time and witnessed the emergence of the first ruling state in post-Biblical history and to Pax Britanica. The number ‘three score’ refers to the present second stage that lasts for a shorter period of time and witnesses the emergence of the second ruling state and to Pax Americana. Finally the number ‘six’ refers to the third and last stage of the master plan with which the Anti-Christ finally completes his mission and emerges in human form to rule the world from Jerusalem and from an imposter ruling State of Israel with Pax Judaica.

The most distinctive features of that unfolding master-plan from its very beginning, with the Euro-Christian crusades, to this day, have been its godlessness, decadence, deception and barbaric oppression. Only those who are deaf, dumb and blind would recognize the above as evidence of divine grace.

We now look at differing responses to oppression.

RESPONDING TO OPPRESSION

Muslims who live in the modern age have long been inspired by the prince of believers, Malcolm X, who once addressed the subject and explained the differing responses to oppression endured by slaves. The ‘house slave’ was subject to the same oppression as the ‘field slave’. Both were without ‘external’ freedom and hence in ‘external’ slavery. But while the ‘field slave’ hated that oppression and slavery, the ‘house slave’ submitted to it, identified with the slave master, and accepted his slavery. He was so brainwashed and ‘internally’ blind that he became an appendage of the slave master. He was always there to serve the slave master, however required, and whenever the slave master needed him. When the slave master was ill, the ‘house slave’ would feel his master’s pain and suffering and would declare to his master: “we sick!” The ‘house slave’ was both ‘internally’ as well as ’externally’ a slave. He became a part of the system of slavery (the ‘internally’ blind always end up as slaves). The slave master rewarded the ‘house slave’ for his faithful service by ‘buttering’ his bread. He still does that today with a US visa, or with jobs and protection in exchange for political support for the ruling tribe!

Around the world today ‘house slaves’ have hoisted themselves up to become leaders of Muslim communities.

The ‘field slave’ on the other hand was ‘externally’ a slave but ‘internally’ a free man. Because of that ‘internal’ freedom, the ‘field slave’ had the capacity to ‘see’ and to thus recognize the slave master’s oppression and wickedness, and he hated it with all his heart and soul. The ‘field slave’ never submitted to oppression and wickedness but, rather, longed to regain his freedom and to dismantle

the system of slavery. And so the ‘field slave’ responded to oppression and slavery in a manner that was anti-systemic. The slave master who was an oppressor was his enemy with whom he would never play football or cricket. Hence he would also never host either of today’s football or cricket World Cup competitions. Instead, when the slave master’s house was on fire the ‘field slave’ prayed to God to send a strong wind which would burn down the house. The slave master despised the ‘field slave’ and made him pay a terrible price for his refusal to submit and become a willing part of the system of slavery.

Muslims who faithfully follow Prophet Muhammad are today’s ‘field slaves’! Field slaves who dare to offer armed resistance to Israel’s barbarous oppression in the Holy Land and elsewhere are today demonized as terrorists. Had Malcolm X been still alive today, it is certain that he would have been declared a “terrorist” and “a great security risk”. His entry into most Caribbean states would certainly have been banned.

The Anglo-American-Israeli alliance, which today rules the world, once demonized South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) as a terrorist organization. In fact the ANC at that time was comprised exclusively of ‘field slaves’! Today, of course, there is a house-slave/field-slave struggle within the ANC. Yesterday’s heroic field-slave freedom-fighters around the world must be turning in their graves as their children succeed them as rulers and are transformed into Massa’s house-slaves.

When US President George Bush (Jr.) was preparing to wage his own unjust war on Iraq, the ANC demonstrated courage and integrity in responding with a massive street demonstration of protest. I marched with them in Johannesburg three years ago (2003) on a bright sunny February morning when Zulu dancers stole my heart with their hauntingly beautiful tribal chants and dances, and Nelson Mandela defiantly denounced the war as an attempt to steal Iraq’s oil. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir also, did not hesitate to denounce both the war on Iraq as well as the 9/11 terrorist attack on America as events planned and executed on Israel’s behalf.

Trinidad and Tobago’s tribal government could not have been unaware of the shameful implications of Prime Minister Manning’s ill-advised recent diplomatic pilgrimage to Jerusalem in which he confirmed his government’s friendship for the Euro-Jewish State of Israel. Perhaps this extraordinary high-profile diplomatic initiative was required of him because an Israeli national was embarrassingly caught red-handed while holed-up in a forest-shack close to the town of Arouca in illegal possession of a Trinidad and Tobago immigration stamp. Had he who was so caught been a Muslim he would never have been allowed to fly out of the country with a light $2000 court fine and with narry a hint of any charge connected to terrorism. Around the world today, Massa’s native house slaves would have eagerly consented to his extradition to that curious new manifestation of Republican America’s great symbol of democracy, i.e, a torture camp in Guantanamo where American military personnel have been known to urinate on copies of the Qur’an and to even flush copies of the Holy Book down the toilet..

Apart from a few misguided so-called Muslim leaders in Trinidad and Tobago who share with this country’s ruling tribe an embarrassing friendship for the oppressor State of Israel, most local Muslims oppose the Euro-Jewish state and many would gladly join in the struggle for liberation from Israeli oppression. They are not alone in their opposition to that oppression as is evident from recent essays by David Abdullah and Raffique Shah published in local newspapers. Indeed as long ago as the 17th century the English poet, John Donne (1572-1631) recognized in verse what the ruling tribe in this country still cannot recognize:
“And when the ‘chosen people’ grew more strong, Their righteous cause became the wrong.”

As the full picture of Israel’s continuing aerial bombardment and destruction of Gaza and Lebanon continues to unfold, and as Israel continues to expand the mad war of destruction now underway, perhaps to test whether Iran has nuclear weapons, we can confidently expect more people of this country to denounce Israel for its war crimes. Politicians, however, and regretfully so, hardly ever muster the integrity and fortitude to call a spade a spade when Israel happens to be the spade!

THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE SUBJECT

Many Christians declare that the birth of the Euro-Jewish State of Israel was an act of divine grace that fulfilled Biblical prophesy. It was also divine grace, in their view, which explained the seemingly miraculous return of the Jews to the Holy Land to reclaim it as their own some 2000 years after they were expelled therefrom by divine decree.

Such misguided people do not pause to consider that the essentially godless, decadent and oppressive Euro-world-order that ‘liberated’ the Holy Land from benevolent Muslim rule and made possible the return of the Jews to that Holy Land could not possibly have been an instrument of such divine grace since truth is incompatible with godlessness, decadence and oppression.

They believe that today’s Euro-Jewish State of Israel is destined to rule the world and that its destiny would finally be realized with crowning glory when God Himself, in the person of the true Messiah the son of the Virgin Mary, returns to rule the world from Jerusalem. They believe that end of history to be now close at hand, and when it does materialize they believe it would confirm the Christian claim to truth. In the meantime they insist that every bloody step that Israel takes to expand her control over territory and to impose her authority over the surrounding Arab/Muslim world must be supported since it fulfills corrupted imperialist Biblical prophesy (“every spot on which your foot treads shall be yours”; Deuteronomy: -11-24.). They close their eyes to Israel’s shedding of innocent blood since they believe that the evil Israeli war dance is morally and spiritually justified in the context of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

According to Christian supporters, Israel’s conduct may appear to be that of an oppressor, but there is a mysterious moral philosophy somewhere in the universe (perhaps in Hollywood) that exonerates Israel and justifies as divine punishment the oppression and wanton slaughter that she has unleashed on largely defenseless Arabs, Christians, as well as Muslims. They regard all those who oppose and resist Israel to be evil. And since the true followers of Prophet Muhammad remain the only significant force resisting the Euro-Jewish state’s oppression, they consider Muslims to be the most evil people in the world. When David Abdullah asked “Has Israel has gone mad?”, and Raffique Shah warned “Don’t cry for Israel when retribution comes”, they probably blame the ‘misguidance’ of these two scribes on the Muslim connection implicit in their names. They are convinced that Muslims must be the evil Gog and Magog tribes mentioned in their scriptures, and that Prophet Muhammad must have been the Anti-Christ.

THE JEWISH VIEW OF THE SUBJECT

If the evangelical Christian view of modern-day Israel is so difficult to digest, what are we to make of the prevalent Jewish view that believes Jesus to be a ‘bastard’ and false Messiah, and Muhammad to be a false Prophet?

Most Jews believe that the birth of modern Israel and the return of the Jews to the Holy Land herald the imminent advent of the true Messiah who would rule the world from Jerusalem and through whom truth in Judaism would be validated. Such validation of truth in Judaism, they believe, would ipso facto invalidate Christian and Muslim claims to truth, and would also confirm the Jews as the “chosen people” to whom God had granted the Holy Land unconditionally and in perpetuity.

Now the secularism of modern western civilization has led western society increasingly towards atheism and godlessness. The West also has a despicable record of oppression of non-Europeans.

People who worship the God of Abraham cannot become allies of those with a record of such atheism, godlessness and oppression. But Jewish Israel believes that it has a divine right to use whatever means may be necessary to realize its goal of ruling the world from Jerusalem since the ‘end’ justifies the ‘means’. What also appears to Israel’s critics as oppression and barbarism on Ishmaelite Muslims is, in their view, divine punishment that is justified by the Torah. How so?

Arabs and Muslims have descended from Abraham’s son, Ishmael, who was condemned in the Torah as:
“… a wild ass of a man; his hand against every man (i.e., he is a bandit), and everyone’s hand against him (i.e., all of mankind would hate him and
fight against him).”
(Genesis: -16:12)

The Torah also falsely proclaimed that the Holy Land was given to the seed of Abraham through Isaac (Ishmael being falsely excluded as legitimate seed) and that the Israelite claim to the title deed of the Holy Land remains valid regardless of whether or not they are righteous in conduct:
“Know therefore that it is not for thy righteousness that the Lord thy God giveth thee this good land to possess it; for thou art a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:6)

But most alarming of all is the Torah’s frontiers of the Holy Land: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying:
“To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates . . . .”
(Genesis: -15:18)

Our readers can now understand the connection between distortions in a corrupted Torah and Israel’s ominously ever-expanding territorial frontiers.

THE QUR’AN AND THE HOLY LAND

The Qur’an makes a crucially important statement concerning certain Christians and Jews who would eventually emerge in history. It says:

“You will find (time and again) that the most hostile of all people to the believers (i.e., Muslims) would be the Jews and those who are idol-worshippers or pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers would be those who say, ‘We are Christians’, because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.”
(Qur’an, al-Maidah, 5:82)

It prohibits Muslim friendship or alliance with a Judeo-Christian alliance:
“Oh you who believe (in this Qur’an), do not take (such) Jews and the Christians as (your) friends and allies who themselves are friends and allies of each other. And whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, Allah does not guide such evildoers.”
(Qur’an, al-Maidah, 5:51)

It has corrected the falsehood about Ishmael:
“Also mention in the Book (the story of) Ishmael: He was (strictly) true to whatever he promised and he was an Apostle (and) a Prophet. He used to enjoin on his people prayer and charity and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord.”
(Qur’an, Maryam, 19:54-5)

It has also corrected the falsehood concerning the alleged unconditional grant of the Holy Land to the Israelite people. Rather, Allah Most High granted them the Holy Land conditional on “faith in Allah” and “righteous conduct”:
“… and We declared in (both) the Torah and the Psalms (of David) that (only) Our righteous servants shall inherit the earth or land (i.e., the Holy Land).”
(Qur’an, Prophets, 21:105)

This statement of the Qur’an is supported by some of the Psalms:
“But the meek shall inherit the earth or land (i.e., the Holy Land); and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm, 37:11)
“The righteous shall inherit the earth or land (i.e., the Holy Land), and dwell therein forever (i.e. provided that they remain righteous).” (Psalm, 37:29)
“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth or land (i.e., the Holy Land).” (Matthew, 5:5)

The Qur’an has explained that whenever the Israelites violated the divine conditions of inheritance of the Holy Land (i.e., faith in God and righteous conduct) Allah Most High expelled them from that Land. The first expulsion took place after the death of Solomon (peace be upon him) as a consequence of their “telling lies about Allah” (i.e., rewriting the scriptures to plant falsehoods in them). They were exiled to Babylon. Upon their return to the Holy Land they again violated those divine conditions when they rebelled against Allah’s Prophets and killed several of them. They even boasted of how they had crucified Jesus. As a consequence they were again expelled from the Holy Land.

After that last expulsion took place in the wake of the rejection of the true Messiah and the attempt to crucify him, Allah Most High declared
“… if you return (i.e., to the Holy Land with your wickedness and oppression), We would return (with Our punishment).”
(Qur’an, the Israelites, 17: 8)

The Israelites have today returned to the Holy Land with more wickedness and oppression than ever before, and hence it should be quite clear to those who can recognize wickedness and oppression that Divine retributive punishment as promised in the Qur’an is also certain.

Who Killed Rafiq Hariri?

Who Killed Rafiq Hariri?

Spies, Lies and Mr. Lebanon’s Demise

By RANNIE AMIRI

There are agents, like Mahmoud Rafea, who confessed to have delivered bags with explosives. Other collaborators have confessed to have carried out field reconnaissance missions. Others have facilitated the entrance and exit of Israelis after accomplishing their missions. This is what is meant by executive agents. The door must be opened wide … this Israeli path should be scrutinized so as to reach a place where we would find information about many crimes, particularly 2005 onwards.”


– Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, commenting on the recent spate of Israeli spy
arrests during a rally marking the ninth anniversary of the removal of Israeli troops from Lebanon, 22 May 2009.

Israel suffered two defeats in Lebanon, and both were against Hezbollah. The first occurred in May 2000 when Israeli troops were expelled (or withdrew, depending on which side of the border you are on) from southern Lebanon after a 22-year occupation. The second was the premeditated yet disastrous 34-day war waged in the summer of 2006. It may have succeeded in ravaging Lebanon but it certainly did not vanquish Hezbollah. They fought the mighty Israel Defense Forces to a draw, and in the minds of many this itself constituted victory.

Israel has neither forgiven nor forgotten these losses. For them, the war against Lebanon and Hezbollah did not end in 2000 or in 2006 but continues today, albeit in different form. And events of the past several weeks revealed exactly what Israel has been up to.

Spies

There have always been Lebanese nationals acting as spies for Israel, but this should come as no surprise. They fought on their behalf for two decades after all, as members of the now-defunct South Lebanon Army during the occupation of the south.

Although initially receiving little attention, a crackdown on these spy networks began late last year. Rapid advances in breaking them have evidently occurred, as dozens of suspects have been taken into custody since April.

“If the Lebanese authorities say they have caught Israeli spies, there’s a high likelihood that it’s true,” said Shlomo Brom, former chief of strategic planning for the Israeli military.

The Lebanese government is currently holding 30 suspects and has already charged 21 with spying for Israel in an ever-widening investigation. Those detained include an army colonel, a retired general, a deputy mayor, a truck driver and a mobile phone salesman, which two managed to escape across the border into Israel before being caught. Confiscated high-tech equipment and electronics used to transmit information to the Mossad were put on display by Lebanese Internal Security afterward.

Because intelligence provided by certain agents may have led to increased destruction in the 2006 war (which killed 1,200 Lebanese, the vast majority civilians), Nasrallah demanded the death penalty be levied against those found to be complicit. As he declared in his speech on “Resistance and Liberation Day”:

“I ask on your behalf and on behalf of the families of the martyrs and the wounded, on behalf of those whose homes were demolished and those who paid taxes to rebuild their infrastructure, I demand that the collaborators who provided the enemy with the data that had caused all of this, be sentenced to death.”

Lies

In the midst of unraveling and dismantling these espionage rings operating in Lebanon, a report penned by Erich Follath surfaced in the sensationalist, pro-Israel German weekly Der Spiegel implicating Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. The allegation was immediately dismissed by Hezbollah who claimed it was simply an attempt to sully its image prior to the upcoming June parliamentary elections as well as sow discord between Sunnis and Shias.

But does it have any merit?

Not a single piece of credible evidence was presented to substantiate Follath’s claim. No sources were named, no documents were produced and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon charged with investigating the Hariri assassination denied ever coming to those conclusions (yet alone discussing them with Follath).

“We don’t know where the Der Spiegel magazine did get their information from and we don’t know where they brought this story from. No one in the prosecutor’s office has spoken to the German magazine about anything,” said the spokeswoman for the Tribunal.

According to Nasrallah, “The Israelis and the Americans wondered how to scuttle the election and influence its outcome. Der Spiegel was their answer.”

The case against Hezbollah is not only flimsy, but one likely fabricated by the author’s anonymous “sources.” It was discounted or simply ignored in Lebanon, even by Hezbollah’s opponents; Saad Hariri refused comment and Walid Jumblatt cautioned it may “derail justice.”

Readers are referred to the trenchant reporting of Dr. Franklin Lamb who clearly exposed the gaping holes in, and unanswered questions of, Follath’s article.

‘Mr. Lebanon’

It is important to appreciate that the killing of “Mr. Lebanon” in February 2005 shook the country and ultimately led to the creation of the opposing March 8 and March 14 Alliances. It sharply divided Lebanese along sectarian lines and led to mutual recriminations and prolonged political paralysis.

The confluence of the aforementioned events – discovering the extent of Israeli spy networks in Lebanon, followed by publication of the Der Spiegel article two weeks prior to crucial elections accusing Hezbollah of ordering the hit on Hariri – is no coincidence.

So how do they relate to one another?

Nasrallah stated it candidly:

“The Israelis are acting preemptively before it is discovered that their spy networks were involved in assassinations in Lebanon.”

Could it be that information fed from Israel to a friendly German periodical was done not just to foment Sunni-Shia tension prior to the June election or divert attention away from an imploding espionage ring, but to obfuscate Israel’s role in Hariri’s murder (which may be disclosed by their captured spies)?

Unlike his son Saad today, Rafiq Hariri had good personal relations with Nasrallah and Hezbollah generally – facts Follath conveniently overlooked – making their participation in his murder especially unlikely.

But, division and destabilization in Lebanon works to Israel’s advantage, and instigating political disorder and civil turmoil has always been its modusoperandi. Indeed, the fallout from Hariri’s assassination nearly sparked another civil war.

Should Israel be implicated in his death however, all of Lebanon’s political parties and confessional groups would unite against them in an instant.

The cases of four pro-Syrian generals thought to be involved in the crime and held for four years without charge were recently dismissed by the Special Tribunal due to lack of evidence and recanted witness testimony. When it becomes clear the case against Hezbollah is likewise without merit and Israeli espionage rings operating in Lebanon are fully exposed, the Special Tribunal should waste no time in investigating Israel for its possible involvement in the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Rannie Amiri is an independent Middle East commentator. He may be reached at: rbamiri AT yahoo DOT com.

Source: www.Counterpunch.org

May 30, 2009Posted by Elias

Abuse photos suppressed by Obama is another crime

Taguba denies he’s seen it
he was misunderstood

The general told a U.K. paper about images he saw investigating Abu Ghraib — not photos Obama wants kept secret.

By Mark Benjamin

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba

Reuters/Larry Downing

Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba testifies in 2004 before the Senate Armed Services Committee to answer questions about the abuse by U.S. military personnel of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

May 30, 2009 Retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba denied reports that he has seen the prisoner-abuse photos that President Obama is fighting to keep secret, in an exclusive interview with Salon Friday night.

On Thursday an article in the Daily Telegraph reported that Taguba, the lead investigator into Abu Ghraib abuse, had seen images Obama wanted suppressed, and supported the president’s decision to fight their release. The paper quoted Taguba as saying, “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.”

But Taguba says he wasn’t talking about the 44 photographs that are the subject of an ongoing ACLU lawsuit that Obama is fighting.

“The photographs in that lawsuit, I have not seen,” Taguba told Salon Friday night. The actual quote in the Telegraph was accurate, Taguba said — but he was referring to the hundreds of images he reviewed as an investigator of the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — not the photos of abuse that Obama is seeking to suppress.

In March 2006 Salon published “The Abu Ghraib Files,” 279 photographs and 19 videos collected by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division as it examined the shocking cases of prisoner abuse at the notorious Baghdad prison. The photos depict scenes of extreme cruelty – prisoners forced to publicly masturbate, naked prisoners held in extreme stress positions, or being walked naked by a female guard. Some photos show prisoners bloodied and otherwise injured, with untrained guards tending to their wounds.

Several news organizations have described some of those same images as among the ones Obama is seeking to suppress, when in fact, they’ve already been published by Salon.

Taguba says the Telegraph story got one important fact right: He said he does support Obama’s decision to fight the release of the images subject to the lawsuit, even though he has not seen those images. “No other photographs should be released,” Taguba told Salon, because he worries additional images might threaten the safety of U.S. troops.

Iraqi victims recall U.S. abuse

Fri May 29, 2009 1:00pm BST


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By Mohammed Abbas

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The marks on Firas al-Sammarrai’s body from when he says U.S. soldiers repeatedly electrocuted him are one reason he can’t forget his abuse at their hands, even if other Iraqis want to move on.

U.S. President Barack Obama this month blocked the release of new detainee abuse photos on fears they may trigger more attacks against the U.S. military. The move enflamed Western opinion, but elicited little response in Iraq.

After years of bombings and sectarian slayings many Iraqis say they have seen worse, and some add the release of the photos has much to do with the U.S. image abroad as Obama attempts to mend ties with the Muslim world.

He is due to give a major speech in Egypt on June 4.

Sammarrai, a senior Foreign Ministry official under Saddam Hussein, said he was stripped naked, had cold water thrown over him in winter and was repeatedly beaten and electrocuted.

He says there are still pits in his elbows and knees where the electrodes were attached.

“Iraqis at times are trapped between wanting to forget and wanting to remember,” he told Reuters by phone from Sweden, where he fled after being released. He found it hard to describe what had happened to him.

“They want to forget so they can move on, but at the same time they don’t want to forget because it was such a scandal.

“But deciding to cover the photos up in order to manipulate world opinion … I believe this is another crime against the Iraqi people and humanity in general.”

Mohammed Ali, 23, is another person who says he was abused by U.S. military. Speaking from Falluja in Anbar province, he recalled hearing U.S. soldiers take photos while he was beaten, a bag shoved over his head. He needed two operations to repair damage to his stomach, he said.

“I was sat on the floor. (They) would beat me two at a time. They put cigarettes out on me and threw cold water on me. That lasted for two days,” he said.

“I think it’s better for the pictures to be released so those in the Middle East and the West can see what happened.”

IRAQIS SHRUG

Many Iraqis who never faced alleged U.S. abuse greeted Obama’s decision to block the release of new photos of torture with a shrug.

“I think the pictures won’t affect Iraqis, but it will affect world opinion. The methods of the Americans are well known to Iraqis, who see worse than this every day,” said Hameed Fadhil, an engineer out with his family in a Baghdad park.

Iraqis have only recently started to make forays into parks after violence fell sharply over the last year. Some feared the photos would risk reversing the fragile security gains.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard of more photos. It’s old now, it’s over … The people that want to destabilise Iraq will use these pictures, the rest of us just want to get by and finish with this matter,” said Radwan Uday, a shopkeeper.

Pictures of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison, where Saddam Hussein used to have his opponents tortured, shocked the world in 2004. They included inmates being threatened by dogs and forced into sexually degrading poses.

“When you see body parts scattered after a bomb, a picture of a man being beaten is a simple thing,” said Imad al-Sabty, sat in Baghdad’s Kheyteh coffee shop.

While Iraqis may now be numb to such images, some said there would be a stronger reaction if, as reported in Britain’s Daily Telegraph this week, photos blocked by Obama had included scenes of rape and sexual abuse. The Pentagon denied the report.

“We can take anything except an assault on our honour. That will shake this country,” said Zahra Monem, out shopping.

After Saddam’s brutal rule and six years of U.S. occupation, torture is nothing new to some. Saddam’s security men were infamous for it, including hanging people from ceilings and removing fingernails.

Obama’s refusal to release more photos barely registered in Iraq’s media, which this week reported hundreds of cases of abuse against Iraqis by Iraq’s own security forces.

“People are not bothered. They’re unemployed and struggling to get by. Everyone knows about this. Torture has become normal here. I’m 66 and I’ve seen it all now,” said Abu Qasim.

OBAMA = BUSH?

Harith al-Ubaidi, a member of parliament’s human rights committee, said he understood why Iraqis struggling with a lack of jobs and services might ignore more photos of abuse, but he contested Obama’s reasoning for holding them back.

“This is an absolutely invalid excuse. If armed groups could exert more pressure, they wouldn’t wait for the photos.”

In Ubaidi’s view Obama is trying to avoid whipping up Arab opinion as he attempts to repair U.S.-Middle East relations, damaged under former President George W. Bush, and was also protecting interrogators guilty of abuse.

Obama has said CIA agents who followed legal guidance on interrogation would not be prosecuted, but left the door open to prosecuting Bush-era officials who developed the policies.

Ubaidi said Obama’s overtures to Muslims in Egypt next week are likely to fail if he is seen as continuing Bush’s policy of secrecy over detainees, or as blocking efforts to hold those who abused prisoners accountable.

Laila al-Khafaji, another member of Iraq’s parliament, said she preferred to forget the past.

“The page of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal was turned a long time ago and it’s time to forget. What’s the point of reminding us of these pains?”

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Sattar Rahim in Sadr City and Fadhel al-Badrani in Falluja, Editing by Michael Christie and Sara Ledwith)

The Pathologies of Israel’s Guilty Conscience

link

Negating the truth about the Nakbah — the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs from what became Israel in 1948 — has been a staple of Jewish-nationalist propaganda as long as I can remember: As a youngster in Habonim, I was told bubbemeis tales about foolish Arabs marching off into the wilderness like zombies after being hypnotized by radio broadcasts urging them to leave; a “miracle” on a par with the parting of the Red Sea that ostensibly gave the Zionist movement the “land without a people” about which it had fantasized. It should have been painfully obvious that this was a preposterous self-serving myth (which even then didn’t account for the fact that the ethnic cleansing was sealed by Israel in one of its founding laws that denied the right of any Arab absent from their property on the day of Israel’s creation to return to that property). But to suggest anything less than a miraculous conception and bloodless birth for the state of Israel was to deny its “legitimacy”, we were told. As international pressure grows for an historic reckoning between Israelis and Palestinians, the frenzy of denial and negation has intensified. Suddenly, Netanyahu is demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state”, even though to do so requires that Palestinian refugees simply sign away their birthright, erase their history and identity. Even more bizarre, perhaps, is the effort by members of Israel’s parliament to outlaw commemoration of the Nakba. There are other Israelis, of course, who don’t deny the Nakba, but strive to reveal its history to their fellow citizens, precisely because the pathological denial of their own country’s own history as perpetrators of dispossession and ethnic cleansing, there can be no true healing between Israelis and Palestinians. One such brave and visionary Israeli is Eitan Bronstein, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year. He graciously agreed to allow Rootless Cosmopolitan to republish an English translation of his article published in Yediot Ahoronot today article challenging the proposed Nakba law.

A Response to the Proposal to Ban Commemoration of the Nakba on Independence Day

By Eitan Bronstein

The proposal to legally bar the commemoration of the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day reflects growing trepidation in Israel about the inevitable encounter with the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding that the Nakba is a foundational part of Israeli identity. Until recently, the threat of exposing the Nakba was barely felt. There was no need to fight this repressed demon, which might suddenly reveal itself and disrupt the seeming calm of a harmonious Jewish democracy. But the Nakba is not a demon, not the fruit of deceptive imagination, and therefore we should not underestimate the challenge facing Israeli society: to recognize Israel’s part in the expulsion of most of the Palestinian inhabitants of the land in 1948, the destruction of most of their localities (upwards of five hundred), the annihilation of urban Palestinian culture, and tens of massacres, rapes, incidents of looting, and dispossession. Looking into so dark a mirror takes courage and maturity, demonstrated in the research of such scholars as Morris, Gelber, Milstein, Khalidi, Pappe, and others, as well as in the diaries of Netiva Ben Yehuda and Yosef Nahmani.

It is not surprising that the “appropriate Zionist response,” to inscribe the forgetting of this human horror into law, comes from the circles of the political right-wing. They have always been more sincere in their racist attitudes toward Arabs in Israel, compared to the Left, which marketed to the world and to us its honest (yet illusory) longing for peace.

More than eighty years ago, it was clear to Jabotinsky, the leader of the historic Right and perhaps the most realistic Zionist thinker, that the establishment of the Jewish state required citizens to be forever soldiers under the protection of the “Iron Wall.” Jabotinsky understood that Jewish existence depended upon violent strength, on killing and being killed in a predominantly Arab region that would never accept them. A year ago his student, Tzipi Livni, suggested that Palestinians remove the word ‘Nakba’ from their lexicon as part of a comprehensive peace deal. Our current Prime Minister announced during his recent campaign that he would expunge the Nakba from educational curricula (since when has the Nakba been taught anyway?) and would order the teaching of Jabotinsky’s legacy.

The Greek philosopher Thrasymachus taught us that “the law is what is good for the stronger,” but no law, not even that of the democratic Jewish Knesset, can erase the horrors of history. Traces of these horrors will always be visible, in both personal and collective memory and forgetfulness. In Israel, the sabras, prickly cactus bushes, have become vivid and thorny monuments of the Palestinian Nakba. This obstinate plant was brought by the Palestinians from Mexico to mark and defend their territory. The sabra not only persists in the landscape long after Israel expelled those who planted it, it also grows wild despite attempts to eradicate it. Perhaps, in response, the Israeli government should make it unlawful to eat its fruit?

At the same time, remembrance of the Nakba is growing and takes root in the deepening fissures in the Iron Wall. The Palestinian refugees – the majority of Palestinians are, indeed, refugees – have mourned the Nakba from the moment it occurred and demand justice. After the Oslo Accords, when they realized their concerns would be pushed aside indefinitely, they began to struggle effectively against the worldwide disregard for their tragedy. However, the proposed law to forget the Nakba is in actuality a response to cultural shifts in Jewish-Israeli society to coping with this disaster. The real threat to the colonialist Iron Wall occurs as the majority of its soldiers refuse to obey the commandment not to remember. In the last few years, hundreds of Jews in Israel (and around the world) have participated in events commemorating the Nakba during Israel’s Independence Day. In recent years hundreds of Israelis have turned to Zochrot – an organization working to bring the Nakba to the consciousness of Jews in Israel – to request information on the topic. Journalists, writers, architects, as well as people in film, television, and theater who grew up on the good old stories of Israel seek to discover their repressed past. Educators are requesting the educational packet on the Nakba developed by Zochrot. Soldiers from the Palmach are turning to Zochrot towards the end of their lives to share stories of what they did and saw in 1948.

Who knows, maybe the day is not far off when the choice at the center of the political debate will be the State of Israel as it is today versus recognition of the Nakba and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees. When this day comes, the citizens of Israel will be able to choose between two clear visions: separation and perpetual violence versus a life of equality for all the country’s residents and refugees. To hurry this day forward, maybe we should make up another Hebrew word: “de-colonization.”

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Faces New and Dangerous Challenges

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Faces New and Dangerous Challenges

Mohamad Shmaysani

29/05/2009 In the framework of celebrating the ninth anniversary of the liberation of most of Lebanon from the Israeli occupation, Hezbollah marked Resistance and Liberation Day in the city of Baalbek.

Tens of thousands of people, including religious, political and military figures attended the festival and waited with strong enthusiasm Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Nasrallah to appear and address them live through a giant screen.

Amid cheers and pledges of allegiance to the path of the resistance, Sayyed Nasralla hailed Baalbek, the reservoir of the resistance, and the entire Bekaa region. He congratulated them as well as all the Lebanese on this glorious day.

“I address all our people in the Bekaa, particularly in the Baalbek-Hermel region and congratulate you on the ninth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation day; this Day that you fully contributed in achieving and this resistance that you spearheaded be it in founding it or in scarifying in its ranks.

This region that was the launch pad of the resistance from the very first day in the Imam Montazar hawza (pbuh), was the core of Hezbollah, under the guardianship of our great teacher Sayyed Abbas Moussawi.

In very fast pace, the Bekaa and Baalbek-Hermel embraced everyone who migrated to it from south Lebanon, Western Bekaa and Rashayya, Beirut’s southern suburb and Mount Lebanon after the zionists occupied them. Later on, recruitment, training, arming and rehabilitating stations were established and the resistance rised. This region’s participation was not only logistic, but its sons have sacrificed and fought until liberation was achieved in 2000. They also fought in Beirut’s southern suburb and in south Lebanon, even after the Israelis withdrew to the security zone. You have offered martyrs and bore the burdens of the resistance during the 2006 war, when your brothers and sons were fighting in the battlefield. We all remember the bombing that led to the martyrdom of many of your loved ones in the city of Baalbek and other places. Sacrifice reached its peak when the Bekaa and the south were destroyed and their residents displaced. You could have said that you are a deprived and neglected region and that you have nothing to do with this battle, but you did not. You continued to support the resistance. I hereby bare witness that you acted with a clear background of faith, ethics and patriotism. You resisted and bore the hardship of resistance, but you did not wait for anyone in this world – even in Lebanon – to support you, just like those who had faith in the resistance and embraced it; you did not wait for national consensus, although we would have loved such consensus to have taken place.

Since the very beginning, there was no national consensus on the resistance. Therefore we did not lose national consensus because you cannot lose what you don’t have. How can Lebanon come first, and Israel is violating its airspace every day? How can Lebanon come first, and the Shebaa Farms and the Kafarshouba Hills are still occupied? How can Lebanon come first, and it is still in the circle of danger and threats, at a time we are not taking real action to confront this?

This is your Day. This is the Day of the families of the martyrs and the injured and the liberated detainees. This is your Day that bares the memory of martyrs Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, his wife Um Yasser and their child Hussein. This is the Day of all the martyrs of this resistance that you took part in founding and launching; in its path and its victories and challenges.

This resistance today is facing new challenges.”

“The resistance faces today new and serious challenges that prompt us to assume great responsibilities. Following the 2000 victory, the zionists have worked on a new strategy which was frequently declared by former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. He said that Israel will work on a new strategy through which the whole international community will be put in the face of Hezbollah. He also said that Israel will work on issuing international resolutions to put an end to Hezbollah and establish it as a terrorist organization. The zionists exerted massive efforts. Some countries responded to the zionists and enrolled Hezbollah on their terror lists like the United States and Holland, however other countries like France and the United Kingdom, have refused this notion from the beginning. The Zionist lobby spared no effort to convince world governments to list Hezbollah on their terror organizations lists.

This is not analysis, this is what Shalom had said and admitted that UNSCR 1559 was made by Israel. Some of the Lebanese may have contributed in issuing this resolution, whether they were aware of it or not. I do not wish to charge anyone with treason, but interests had intersected and eventually led to this resolution. But Shalom acknowledges that this is an Israeli made resolution.

Pressuring the resistance was followed by the 9/11 events, the occupation of Afghanistan, the occupation of Iraq, the assassination of martyr Rafiq Hariri, the pullout of Syrian forces from Lebanon and the general elections that brought the current political bloc at the helm of rule. Ever since, and despite our quadripartite alliance, our openness and our cooperation, the focus of this bloc has been on the arms of the resistance. They know that the resistance can never be disarmed by force, so they started to speak about handing Hezbollah’s arms to the army. As if there is no economic problem, no financial problem, no social problem, and no deprived regions; as if there is no problem in Lebanon but the arms of the resistance. How can Lebanon be in a good state with $50 billion debt, detainees in Israeli jails and daily violation of the Lebanese sovereignty? There is no problem in Lebanon but the arms of the resistance that liberated Lebanon and defended it against the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. I used to tell that ruling political bloc to solve the problems of the people and make them feel safe…consolidate the army and then assail the arms of the resistance; you will find all the people with you against us. But it seems that they had limited time.

On the other hand, we called for dialogue and for a defensive strategy for Lebanon and this was mentioned in our understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement. Throughout the past years, we sensed that some sides did not give heed to ways to protect this country, to liberate the remaining occupied lands, to release the rest of the detainees from Israeli jails and to confront the daily violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty. All they care about is how to disarm this resistance. This is the same mentality that exposed Lebanon.

In 1967, the Israeli chief of staff said the Lebanon only needs a military orchestra. But today, what made Lebanon strong, ready and undaunted to confront the Israeli army’s five divisions, even all its divisions, is you and your resistance.

We came under tremendous pressure but we held on to our right. When the political efforts failed, the 2006 war was waged on us with the aim to crush the resistance and the popular base that embraces it, however this war also failed with help of Allah and your steadfastness as well as the bravery of our fighters. When the war ended, they returned to raising the issue of disarming the resistance, as if there were no other problems caused by the 2006 war.

Israel acknowledged its defeat three years ago and embarked on tackling its mistakes and defects. For three years, Israel has been training, conducting maneuvers and arming itself with modern fighter jets. Israel is working on restoring its broken image and strength. On the other hand, for the past three years, the resistance that defeated Israel has been arguing and discussing those who are demanding it to lay down its arms. Where is the logic in this? How can this be fair? Israel is preparing itself and Lebanon is not taking action to strengthen the army and arming it or to adopt a defensive strategy; on the contrary, they are working on eliminating the element of strength that achieved victory in the 2006 war.”

“We have been calling for building a strong state and we will be very relieved to have a strong state, but who is ready to finance and arm the Lebanese army? After all these experiences, we all know that the US and the West as well as the vast majority of world is not willing to arm the Lebanese army against Israel. Their justification is that the weapons will reach Hezbollah; this is ridiculous. Hezbollah has enough weapons that can destroy the Israeli army’s divisions; it does not need the weapons that the US will give to anyone in Lebanon.

The real reason is the US does not consent giving the Lebanese army weapons to fight Israel. Who is ready to arm the Lebanese army? Vote for the opposition and I will then tell you who. For instance, did the government ask for weapons from Syria and it said no?

I followed up President Sleiman’s visit to Iran. True, Iran did not offer arms to Lebanon and will not offer, because this is not logical. But, until this moment, Lebanon did ask for weapons from Iran. If Iran had offered to arm the Lebanese army, they would have said that Tehran wants to push Lebanon into war and include it in the Syrian-Iranian axis. This is why no one should wait for Iran to offer arms, however any Lebanese government in the future will have to ask Iran for arms.

The US Vice President brought us a few tanks and a few cannons; what are they good for? Had Lebanon asked Iran for weapons, what would the Islamic Republic’s response be? Will it help Lebanon or not? I know the answer but I will not say it; you all know it. I know that Iran and Imam Khamenei in particular will not withhold anything that could render Lebanon a strong and honorable country without preconditions.

I tell you this: if the opposition alliance won the upcoming elections and formed a national government will work on having a strong national army capable of defending Lebanon. They ask us to hand over our arms to the Lebanese army. This cannot be because the types of weapons we have are of no use for a regular army; they are only useful for a popular resistance.”

“Yes, the war that the zionists are threatening to wage is still standing, though unlikely. They know very well that Israeli war have failed in the past and they will fail in the future to eliminate the resistance. This is why they will probably continue working on assassinations as they did with our dear brother martyr Imad Moghniyeh. This also explains the huge number of spy cells and collaborators seeking targets. Yet, the most important and most dangerous challenge that we are facing is the persistence of Shalom’s strategy after 2000 which is to introduce Hezbollah as a terrorist organization that attacks nations and peoples and threatens international security. The worst is the attempt to accuse Hezbollah of assassination martyr Rafiq Hariri so as to create sedition in Lebanon. Our information is that the Der Spiegel report is Israeli made and this accusation is Israeli made. You have noticed how the Israelis swiftly launched statements which, unfortunately, speak clearly of the entity’s relation with the international investigation. They have been making schemes against Hezbollah and the arms of the resistance as well as its popular base. They have been preparing security, military and political schemes while others have been working on redirecting the course of the Hariri investigation towards Hezbollah because the consumed everything within their reach. They have killed Sayyed Abbas, they have killed Hajj Imad, they have destroyed homes and waged war in vain. They are facing a resistance that believes in what Imam Khomeini had said: Kill us and our people will become more aware.

What is the worst thing they can threaten us with? Death? Our answer is clear. It has been our answer for hundreds of years; the answer that our fathers raised us on: You threaten us with death? It is hour habitude to be killed and it is the honor Allah has granted us to be martyrs.

They realized that killings, massacres, assassinations, destruction and instigation are futile when it comes to Hezbollah, the Islamic Resistance and the blessed people who support us. What else do they have? We have passed through a dangerous phase, but thanks to Allah and the awareness of officials and leaders, the Der Spiegel report was exposed. However, the challenge is still standing because there are some who have decided to continue this since there is no other way. God willing, we will proceed through this challenge with our heads high, just like we have always done. I assure you that we want a national unity government following the June 7 elections. We want understanding and cooperation even we followed a review policy to draw lessons. We support dialogue because we want a defensive strategy that the government, the people and the resistance would commit to.”

“Have the consecutive governments considered the Bakaa region part of Lebanon? The government must answer this question. This is about the state’s mentality. In recent years, someone told the Bekaa residents that they are being punished because you support Hezbollah and the resistance. This is not true. The problem does not lie in the Bekaa alone, but in Akkar in the north, in south Lebanon and all precincts.

In south Lebanon’s festival I read an important text by Imam Sahrafeddine, and today I will read another text by the Imam directed to then President Bshara el-Khouri. Back then, a problem had occurred in the Bekaa and some members of the region’s tribes escaped to barren mountains. The government dispatched a massive armed force after them, and the catastrophe was on the brink of taking place. Imam Sharafeddine sent a letter to the President in September 1949 saying: The tribes in Hermel did not rise against the authorities nor did they abandon any community. I fear of weepers filling every house in Lebanon…and blood calling for more blood. Would your Excellency consider reviewing the methods of disciplining the delinquent? Wouldn’t you consider invading them with tolerance? Wouldn’t you consider disciplining them to take them from unemployment to jobs and from despair to hope? Don’t you believe that building schools and hospitals would be more useful that building prisons and digging graves? Yes, we are sure that your noble character is enough to make this happen and to guarantee the prosperity of Lebanon.

Peace be upon Imam Sharafeddine who did not receive any answer. Since the establishment of the state of Lebanon, the Bekaa has proven through its patriotic conduct and sacrifices that it is one of the dearest parts of this country.

We tried – as Hezbollah – to treat some of the aspects of deprivation in this region. Our MP brothers have worked incessantly to realize something, however there is no party or side that can take the full responsibility with respect to this region as the government ought to. In the elections of 2005, we had a chance. We had hoped that we would be able to serve this region through our four-party alliance. Unfortunately, the former government’s priorities were different. It had other political commitments. Whenever we talked to them about Bekaa, they talk back to us about the arms of the resistance.

Four years have passed and they were not in Lebanon’s interest. In the elections of 2009, we have another even better chance. We should all vote for a cohesive political alliance that proved its strength against tough challenges. Should we help this alliance to win, we would be in front of a new government with a new mentality towards deprived regions and balanced development in those regions. Political cunning has even deprived the city of Baalbek of a mayor.”

“I would like to stress that we will also work on the issue of the tens of thousands of arrest warrants in Bekaa. If the opposition wins the coming elections, it will call for the formation of a joint ministerial-judicial-legal panel to study this file from a to z. I am not promising a general pardon. There are killers and thieves and they should be punished, but there are other arrest warrants for other reasons that can be tackled, particularly that there are too many legal problems in this region; problems that the consecutive government are responsible for. We don’t want to see any armed conflict with the army and security forces in this region. They are our brothers and our sons. We will not settle for a temporary solution. What we need is a radical solution to this issue. Another top priority will be agriculture. They campaign against growing drug plants and we agree with them, but there should be alternatives. If the opposition wins elections, the entire Bekaa region will benefit economically as the new government will not be engaged in a conflict with Syria and this will soothe Lebanese – Syrian relations. There is absolutely nothing to be scared of in case the opposition won. They might say that Lebanon would turn into another Gaza, but the circumstances in Lebanon are totally different. We should compete wherever there is completion in constituencies. When there is no completion, like in south Lebanon, we should vote to hold a referendum on the resistance and its arms. In Zahle and western Bekaa, we clearly and proudly back the opposition. I hereby call on our supporters in the Bekaa to consider every opposition candidate as Hezbollah’s candidate, as the resistance’s candidate and as Sayyed Abbas Moussawi’s candidate. I would like to renew my gratitude to the Loyalty to the Resistance deputies, MP Jamal Taqsh, MP Hasan Hobballah, MP Mohammad Haidar and MP Amine Sherri who sacrificed for the sake of the resistance and the alliance. I would also like to thank MPs and dear brothers Ismail Sukkariyeh and Pierre Serhal.

We are facing an election in which the US administration is directly involved in, not through a Secretary of State by through the US Vice President in person. If they had the capacity to spend more money to bring Obama to Lebanon they would have went for it. The elections we are facing are also plagued with rumors.

When Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad speaks about elections but does not interfere in them and does not call for voting for this group or against that group. What Ahmadinejad does is analyzing what the situation would be like in case the opposition won the elections; he says that in this case things will change and the resistance will be stronger. What’s astonishing is that all those who commented on President Ahmadinejad’s words have not yet commented on (Israeli Defense Minister) Ehud Barak’s threats to Lebanon; when he warned the Lebanese against voting for Hezbollah and said that if the opposition wins, the Lebanese people will have to face the might of the Israeli army! The might of the Israeli army has been crushed under the feet of our children, not only our fighters. Barak still thinks that this is 1948, 1967 or 1982.

The triumph of the opposition means that the rulers of Lebanon will be true believers that Lebanon’s strength is in its strength not its weakness. It means that those who will rule in Lebanon will not be intimidated by Israel’s threats. You will decide on the 7th of June.

You, the people of Baalbek and Hermel have protected the resistance but the country was not rebuilt. The 2009 elections are different. This election is to protect the resistance that protects the country. It’s an election for building the country, uniting the country and strengthening it.

You, the patriotic people who have rushed to sacrifice themselves will also rush to vote. We count on you, the proud and the dignified …. You, who humiliated the arrogant zionists and the arrogant world, who yelled with resolve the slogan of you Imam, the greatest of martyrs, in karbala (PBUH) who yelled: Disgrace, how remote. You sacrificed and you showed patience in the battlefield, and the result was the resistance, jihad and victory. You, the protectors of the country, the martyrs of resistance, the trustful, the loyal to the vow, the gallantry, the enthusiastic and the arduous , the 7th of June is waiting for you, the people who took the pledge with Imam Moussa Sadr at this very square. You, who renewed your pledge with Sayed Abbas Mousawi at this square also and were loyal to your vow all these years while facing all the challenges. You are invited to show a strong presence and a new vow and a new gallantry on the 7th of June.

We bargain on you, your loyalty, your sincerity, your presence and your will to renew your pledge of allegiance to the resistance on the 7th of June. I congratulate you on the glorious Day that you made with blood, tears, patience, sincerity and sacrifices. There shall be no more defeats, there shall be only victories. Long live your resistance, long live Lebanon. Peace be upon all of you.”

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