President Aoun on Army Day Stresses Lebanon to Defend Itself against Israeli Attacks

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 August 1, 2020

Lebanese President Michel Aoun addressing the nation on Independence Day
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Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Saturday emphasized that Lebanon will defend itself against any Israeli attack pointing that the country has four enemies.

“Israel has been increasingly violating Resolution 1701 and repeating its attacks on Lebanon. While stressing our keenness on abiding by this Resolution and resolving the disputed issues under the U.N.’s sponsorship, we are also committed to defending ourselves as well as our land, water and sovereignty and there will be no leniency in that,” Aoun said in a speech marking Army Day.

Turning to the domestic situations, Aoun said Lebanon has “four enemies.” “The first enemy of Lebanon is the corruption that is rampant in institutions and in a lot of mentalities. It is fighting fiercely, but the steps towards eradicating it are ongoing firmly albeit slowly,” the president said.

He added that the second enemy is “those who tamper with citizens’ food security to accumulate profit,” the third is “those who contribute to undermining our national currency to amass money” and the fourth is “those who launch rumors to spread despair” and those who “roam the world inciting against their country and people and trying to block any assistance from them.”

Aoun also slammed those who have “opened fire at all rescue attempts” and those who “evaded responsibility amid the crisis.”

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‘Israel’ Pleading Hezbollah to Not Open Fire: Maariv

 August 2, 2020

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The Zionist military affairs editor at Maariv newspaper, Alon Ben David, said that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is victoriously observing ‘Israel’ which is taking all the alert measures on northern border in anticipation of the Resistance retaliation.

Ben David stressed that ‘Israel’ appears to be pleading Hezbollah to not open fire, adding that this confirms that Nasrallah has emerged victorious from this psychological warfare.

On July 27, the Zionist enemy fabricated reports about alleged Hezbollah attack in the occupied Shebaa Farms, deeming that it came in the context of the response to Damascus raid.

However, the Islamic Resistance issued a statement which refuted the Israeli reports and stressed that the enemy forces had unilaterally opened fire being under the tension caused the fear of Hezbollah potential attack.

It is worth noting that Hezbollah struck a Zionist military vehicle in Avivim settlement on September 1, 2019, in response to an Israeli air raid on Damascus countryside which claimed the two Resistance martyrs Hasan Zbeeb and Yasser Daher.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

New Rules of Engagement: Killing One Hezbollah Fighter Paralyzes Entire ‘Israel’

Zionist army deserts posts on Lebanon border

 August 2, 2020

Since the Zionist air force raided a certain target in Damascus on July 20 and killed one of Hezbollah fighters, the entire occupation entity has undergone an augmenting case of fear, confusion and tension while awaiting the Resistance response.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah had warned the Israeli enemy that killing any of the Resistance fighters will be followed by a decisive response.

The Zionist military and political analysts considered that Hezbollah silence about the timing and nature of its response is debilitating the Israeli ability to deter the Resistance, adding that the enemy’s army has raised its alert level in anticipation of Hezbollah attack.

The Israeli media outlets revealed that the enemy’s army deserted a number of posts on the border with Lebanon in order to not offer Hezbollah easy targets, pointing out that the possibility of a large scale confrontation is very low due to its tremendous costs.

On July 27, the Zionist enemy fabricated reports about alleged Hezbollah attack in the occupied Shebaa Farms, deeming that it came in the context of the response to Damascus raid.

However, the Islamic Resistance issued a statement which refuted the Israeli reports and stressed that the enemy forces had unilaterally opened fire being under the tension caused the fear of Hezbollah potential attack.

It is worth noting that Hezbollah struck a Zionist military vehicle in Avivim settlement on September 1, 2019, in response to an Israeli air raid on Damascus countryside which claimed the two Resistance martyrs Hasan Zbeeb and Yasser Daher.

Since the Zionist defeat in 2000, the Islamic Resistance has imposed on the enemy a balance of deterrence formula which controls the Israeli barbarity and prevent it from launching any aggression on Lebanon.

Recently, Hezbollah has managed to maintain new rules of engagement based on paralyzing all of ‘Israel’ if it kills any of the Resistance fighters.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Lebanon’s FM Vehemently Condemns Interception of Civilian Airliner by American Jets

Lebanon’s FM Vehemently Condemns Interception of Civilian Airliner by American Jets

By Staff

Beirut – In his first comments on an incident involving two US fighter jets that intercepted an Iranian civilian aircraft with Lebanese nationals on board, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti expressed his condemnation of the dangerous episode to Al-Ahed News.

Hitti blasted and protested the harassment of a civilian passenger aircraft because it endangers the safety of civilians.

He described any attempt to intercept a civilian plane with a military aircraft as unacceptable, noting that Lebanon adheres to and respects international norms and laws.

Moreover, Lebanon’s top diplomat condemned and rejected all attempts to intercept civilian aircraft.

“Even if there were no Lebanese on board, we would still protest,” Hitti added and noted that the presence of Lebanese nationals only reinforces the existing position. The issue, in Hitti’s view, is not political but rather related to international standards and norms.

In response to a question about whether Lebanon lodged a complaint or made international contacts due to the presence of Lebanese passengers on board, Hitti indicated that the airliner has the right to make the calls.

The foreign minister also shed light on the issue of extending the stay of UNIFIL forces operating in southern Lebanon until the end of next August. He affirmed that there are attempts by some to redefine the tasks of the peacekeeping forces in the south, and “we confirm our position that we do not want to change their numbers and reject any attempt to change UNIFIL’s task.”

“We have received support from some countries in this context, including Italy, where the Italian foreign and defense ministers assured us that the Italian force is committed to not compromising the tasks,” Hitti added.

“It is true that maintaining security and stability in the south is in Lebanon’s interest, but also in the interests of the region and the world. We welcome UNIFIL, and there is continuous coordination between it and the Lebanese army.”

Hitti also underscored Lebanon’s commitment to both Resolution 1701 and the current framework that UNIFIL operates in. 

On a separate topic, Hitti expressed his concerns regarding the annexation of the Jordan Valley, an issue he labeled as important.

In his opinion, this is one of the top issues, and the attempt by “Israel” to annex even a part of the Jordan Valley has not been halted, but postponed.

“This matter has great repercussions on the region, and we must be alert,” Hitti warned and stressed the need for caution about this matter because the danger of annexation still exists.

“We all need to be alert about this flagrant violation and its repercussions, and this is not new, as all ‘Israeli’ policies are based on breaching international resolutions and legitimacy.”

الحياد ومخاطر الدعوة إليه في لبنان؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

في خضمّ ما يعانيه لبنان من حصار أميركي، وانقسام داخلي ومخاطر متعددة العناوين من صحية (كورونا) ومعيشية مع تفشي البطالة وتفلت الأسعار، ووضع أقل ما يُقال فيه إنه من أسوأ ما شهده لبنان منذ إنشائه بقرار من المفوض السامي الفرنسي في العام 1920، في خضمّ هذا الوضع المأسوي البائس أطلق البطريرك الماروني لأنطاكية وسائر المشرق من لبنان مواقف تتعلق بواقع لبنان ومستقبله بناها على مقولة «الشرعية المصادرة» داعياً إلى حياد لبنان، الحياد الذي يرى فيه علاجاً لكلّ ما يعتور لبنان من مآسٍ وما يتهدّده من مخاطر. فهل الحياد يشكل فعلاً علاجاً لأمراض لبنان ويمكن اعتماده؟

للإجابة على هذا السؤال نبدأ أولاً بالتوقف عند معنى الحياد وطبيعته وشروطه المحددة في قواعد القانون الدولي العام وقانون النزاعات المسلحة والعلاقات الدولية، تلك القواعد التي تقول بان حياد الدولة يكون واحداً من ثلاثة: أولها الحياد العسكري، او الحياد المؤقت وثانيها الحياد الاتفاقي او الحياد الدائم، وثالثها الحياد الإيجابي عبر الانضواء في تكتل دولي محايد بين معسكرين دوليين متصارعين ولذا يسمّى «عدم انحياز»، وقد تبلور عملياً في حركة عدم الانحياز التي شكلها في منتصف القرن الماضي الثالوث المصري الهندي اليوغسلافي (عبد الناصر، نهرو، تيتو) وكان لبنان عضواً فيها ولا يزال رغم أفول شمسها وتراجع دورها حتى شبه الاضمحلال بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي وما سبقه من غياب القادة التاريخيين الثلاثة الذين شكلوها، وبالتالي إنّ الدعوة إلى الحياد المتقدّم الذكر والمسمّى أيضاً بالحياد الإيجابي لا يعني بأيّ حال هذه الحركة أو ما يشبهها ويبقى أن تكون الدعوة إلى حياد مؤقت أو دائم.

بيد أنّ الحياد المؤقت أو كما يسمى أيضا الحياد الحربي هو موقف تتخذه دولة ما بإرادتها المنفردة التي لا تتوقف عند إرادة الأطراف المتواجهة في نزاع عسكري، موقف تحفظ فيه الدولة علاقتها السلمية العادية بكل الأطراف من دون أن تنحاز لأي منهما ودون ان يشكل أي منهم خطراً عليها او يقتحم إقليمها لاستعماله في الحرب ضد الطرف الآخر. أي تعلن الدولة حيادها بنفسها وتتخذ من التدابير ما يقفل إقليمها بوجه كافة الأطراف، وتحفظ علاقاتها السلمية المتوازنة مع الجميع، فهل هذا ممكن في حالة لبنان الراهنة؟

قبل الإجابة نعرض للحياد الدائم او الحياد التعاقدي، الذي يختلف عن الأول لكونه لا يمكن أن يبرم بإرادة منفردة او يعطي مفاعيله دون ان ترضى الدول الأخرى به اقله الدول التي لها مصالح مع الدولة المزمع إعلان حيادها، فإعلان هذا الحياد وإحداث مفاعيله يشترط عرضاً (إيجاباً) من الدولة، وقبولاً من الدول الموجّه اليها ثم إبرام معاهدة يوقعها الجميع تنشئ حالة حياد الدولة المعنية. فإذا قامت هذه الحالة وجب احترامها، او فرض حمايتها لذا يجب على الدولة المعنية ان تمتلك القوة العسكرية الكافية للدفاع عن نفسها وعن حيادها.

فإذا راجعنا حالة لبنان على ضوء ما تقدّم نجد انّ إقامة حياد مؤقت او دائم تتطلب في الحد الأدنى إرادة وطنية جامعة تقرره، وقوة عسكرية مانعة لتحميه، وعلاقة سلمية مع كل دول الجوار والإقليم موسومة بعدم وجود صراعات معها حول أي من المصالح، ويُضاف اليها في حالة الحياد الدائم، قبول الدول المعنية به للتمكن من توقيع اتفاقية الحياد كما تفرض قواعد القانون الدولي العام، فهل تتوفر هذه الشروط في الحالة اللبنانية؟

نبدأ بالإرادة الوطنية الجامعة، ونرى ان اللبنانيين منقسمون عمودياً بين فئتين رئيستين، فئة تفاخر بالانتماء إلى الأمة العربية وتعتبر نفسها جزءاً منها، وفئة لا تستسيغ فكرة الانتماء ولا ترتاح إلى ممارستها، ويضاف إلى ما تقدّم وجود من يعيش انتماءه إلى الأمة الإسلامية أيضاً فضلاً عن العربية وهؤلاء يرفضون فكرة الحياد بين أمتهم وبين أعدائها لانهم يعتبرون مصالح الأمة هي مصالحهم، وهنا نذكر بموقف هؤلاء المعترض أصلاً على فكرة قيام لبنان المستقلّ عن محيطه ويرون أن قبولهم بالدولة المستقلة بعد زمن لا يعني تنازلهم عن انتمائهم، وعليه لا ينتظر من هؤلاء القبول بفكرة الحياد التي تترجم بالنسبة لهم انسلاخاً عن جسم الأمة عربية كانت او إسلامية، واعتقد انّ صاحب طرح الحياد انتبه إلى هذه الثغرة ولطف طرحه بالقول «بالحياد مع الاستمرار بالاهتمام بالقضايا العربية المشتركة». ولكن هذا التلطيف وهذا التراجع لا يغني ولا يسمن، فالحياد له قواعده وضوابطه فأما ان تلتزم ويكون الكيان محايداً أو لا تلتزم ولا يكون، أما سياسة «النصف نصف» فهي تلاعب على الألفاظ لا يعتدّ به، ولنقل صراحة ان تشكل إجماع لبناني على الحياد بمفهومه القانوني أمر مستحيل الآن وهنا ننوّه بموقف الرئيس العماد ميشال عون الذي واجه به صاحب الطرح قائلاً «الحياد يستلزم وفاقاً وطنياً» كلمة مختصرة قد تكون كافية لنعي الطرح كله.

أما الشرط الثاني المتمثل بامتلاك القوة الدفاعيّة اللازمة لحماية الحياد، قوة تكون وحيدة لا شريك لها على الأرض اللبنانية أي إقامة الجيش القادر على حماية لبنان، فهذا أمر شبه مستحيل الآن ويصعب تحققه في المستقبل في ظل 3 عوامل تحكم الوضع اللبناني أولها القرار الغربي بمنع لبنان من امتلاك تلك القوة التي تقيد التحرك الإسرائيلي وتمنع «إسرائيل» من تحقيق مطامعها في لبنان، ثانيها وضع لبنان المالي الذي يحول دون شراء الأسلحة والتجهيزات اللازمة لبناء منظومة دفاع مجدٍ، والثالث انقسام لبنان حول فكرة التحوّل إلى أسواق السلاح البديلة، وبالتالي يجد الجيش اللبناني نفسه محاصراً بضيق ذات اليد، والقيود الغربية، ورفض داخلي للبدائل ما يبقيه من غير سلاح يُعتدّ به لمواجهة المخاطر وتبقى القوة الدفاعية الرسمية الكافية حلماً لا يطال وتكون الحاجة إلى الحلّ الاحتياطي المتمثل بالمقاومة الشعبية أمراً لا مناص منه كما يرى رئيس الجمهورية العماد عون أيضاً، الأمر الذي يرفضه صاحب فكرة الحياد. وهنا انقسام آخر.

أما شرط إقامة علاقة سلمية متوازنة مع دول الإقليم لا عداء فيها فإنه أيضاً أمر مستحيل، فجيران لبنان اثنان دولة سورية الشقيقة، والكيان الصهيوني العدو الغاصب. واذا كانت العلاقة مع سورية محكومة بعوامل الأخوة والصداقة وبالاتفاقيات المبرمة معها والتي تنص على أنها علاقات مميّزة كما ورد في اتفاقية الطائف، فإنّ العلاقة مع «إسرائيل» عكس ذلك تماماً، فـ «إسرائيل» عدو للأمة التي ينتمي اليها لبنان ولا يغيّر من طبيعة هذه العلاقة إقدام بعض العرب على الصلح والتطبيع معها، كما أنها عدو للبنان تغتصب حقوقاً وتطمع بحقوق ومصالح في البر والبحر أرضاً وثروة وتنتهك السيادة وتهدّد مستقبل لبنان وجوداً ودوراً ووظيفة. وأيّ حياد يطرح قبل أن نستنقذ حقوقنا ومصالحنا من براثن «إسرائيل» يكون فيه انتحار ذاتي وخدمة للعدو، حقيقة وعاها صاحب الطرح كما يبدو وألمح إليها متأسفاً بالقول «للأسف… إسرائيل عدو» وطبعاً أسفه لا يقدّم ولا يؤخّر في طبيعة العلاقة بل إنه ينسف فكرة الحياد التي يطرحها.

وأخيراً نصل إلى فكرة قبول الحياد من قبل مجموعة الدول المعنية بالعلاقة مع لبنان، وهو قبول يشترط استباقه بأمرين، تصفية العلاقة والنزاعات حول المصالح البينية ثم عرض (إيجاب) يتقدّم به لبنان من اجل ان يستدعي القبول والموافقة عليه من قبل الطرف الآخر. وهنا نجد ان ما يحكم علاقة لبنان بـ «إسرائيل» جملة ملفات خطيرة منها توطين الفلسطينيين والخروج من الأرض اللبنانية المحتلة والاعتراف بالحدود البرية دون مناورة لإعادة ترسيمها والإقرار بالحدود البحرية دون الطمع بمساحات من منطقة لبنان الاقتصادية، فهل تقر «إسرائيل» بهذه الحقوق؟ نسارع للقول طبعاً لا. وها هي صفقة القرن تؤكد بكل وضوح انّ الحلّ الذي تطرحه يطيح بمصالح لبنان تلك، وبالتالي أي سلام يبتغى مع «إسرائيل» في ظل أطماعها تلك؟ أما سورية فيكفي ان نعود معها إلى مواقف سياسية أعلنت من قبل مسؤوليها لنجد أنها كلها تقطع برفض القبول بحياد لبنان ما يقود إلى القول إن الجوار غير جاهز للقبول بهذا الحياد أي يتعذر قيام الحياد الاتفاقي او الحياد الدائم.

حقائق اعتقد أن على مَن طرح الحياد ان يتوقف عندها، وبالتالي يكون من الأفضل له وللبنان ان يتجنب طرحاً مستحيلاً في مثل هذا الظرف بالذات، إذ لن يكون للطرح أثر او مفعول إلا زيادة الانقسام والتشرذم وإضافة ملف خلافي جديد تستفيد منه أميركا في خطتها الرامية لإنتاج فراغ سياسي مترافق مع الحصار والتجويع المنتج للفتنة والاقتتال الداخلي والممهّد لعدوان «إسرائيلي» على لبنان.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي

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 د. جمال شهاب المحسن

أن يهرب ائد المنطقة المركزية الوسطى في الجيش الأميركي الجنرال ماكينزي بطوافة عسكرية من مطار بيروت الدولي فهذا فيه الكثير الكثير من الدلالات وأهمّها أنّ الأميركيين مهزومون ويجرّون أذيال الخيبة والفشل في لبنان والمنطقة أمام صلابة وانتصارات محور المقاومة…

ولمَن لا يعرف فإنّ هذا الموقع هو موقع لأهمّ مسؤول عسكري ميداني في الجيش الأميركي في الحروب التي خاضتها وشنّتها وحرّكتها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على امتداد العالم… وبالمناسبة فإنّ أسلاف ماكينزي كان لهم دورٌ كبير في الحرب الإرهابية العالمية التي تُشنّ على سورية وقيادتها وجيشها وشعبها ودورها المحوري في المنطقة منذ أكثر من تسع سنوات… حيث كانوا «يجتمعون” مع بعض كبار المسؤولين في لبنان «وعينهم على سورية” فيشغّلون مَن يشغّلون في حربهم الفاشلة التي استخدموا فيها كلّ إمكانياتهم وقذاراتهم..

وكم كان ماكينزي وقحاً عندما قال في زيارته «اللبنانية” إنّ «لبنان شريك مهمّ للولايات المتحدة وسنستمرّ في دعم الجيش اللبناني بصفته الممثل المسلح الوحيد لحكومة لبنان… وأنّ لدى «إسرائيل” مصالح أمنية مشروعة ونتطلع الى اليوم الذي لا يكون فيه أيّ تهديد ضدّها ينطلق من جيرانها”.

على المكشوف فإنّ ماكينزي وغيره من المجرمين الأميركيين لا يُخفون أعمالهم وتآمرهم وخططهم العاملة ليل نهار لمصلحة الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب حيث لم يعد الدبلوماسيون منهم يتخفّون وراء ستار من الخطاب «الدبلوماسي المتحفِّظ” إعلامياً وشكلياً ليُخفوا أعمالهم القذرة، وها هو بومبيو وشينكر والسفيرة الأميركية في عوكر يتدخلون في شؤون لبنان الداخلية ويصرّحون بوقاحة ضدّ حزب لبناني كبير هو حزب الله، وضدّ مقاومتنا البطلة التي سجّلت في مثل هذه الأيام من تموز _ آب عام 2006 أروع الإنتصارات على العدو الصهيوني المدعوم أميركياً..

المجرمون الأميركيون يعملون بوضوح في استهداف حزب الله من خلال الأحداث اللبنانية، ولا تعنيهم سوى بالاستخدام والتوظيف

«الإصلاحات ومحاربة الفساد ومصلحة لبنان” في شيء وإنما تعنيهم في الأساس والجوهر مصالحهم ومصالح «إسرائيل» فقط عبر استهداف حزب الله الذي بات يمثّل خطراً وجودياً على الكيان الصهيوني المجرم…

وعلى الرغم من الأبواق المأجورة عبر بعض وسائل الإعلام المسخّرة من طرف الإنتهازيين والعملاء الذين يتستّرون وراء قناع «النضال والثورة” لأجل تنفيذ أهدافهم الخاصة وأهداف مشغِّليهم، حيثُ أن «القوة الناعمة” الأميركية تدخّلت كثيراً وانكشفت في التضليل الإعلامي والتلاعب بعقول الناس وركوب الموجات الجماهيرية والقضايا المطلبية المحقة والمشروعة، فيتأكد في كلّ لحظة من نهارٍ أو ليل ما قاله السفير الروسي في لبنان ألكسندر زاسبيكين قبل اندلاع الحريق والإنفجار الشعبي الكبير في لبنان حين أكد أنّ الأميركيين يهيّئون لفوضى في لبنان، وقال حرفياً: إنّ ما يحصل في لبنان على صعيد أزمة العملة الأجنبية المستجدة هو بسبب «الخطّة الأميركية لإحداث الفوضى في لبنان”.

وأضاف: إنّ «الفوضى كما يريدها الأميركيون هدفها ضرب حزب الله في لبنان ومِن خلفه خصوم أميركا في المنطقة”، وتابع: «إنّ مجموعة العمل لأجل لبنان والمُشَكَّلة من سفراء الدول الخمس الكبرى كانت دائماً تضع في بندها الأول مبدأ الحفاظ على الاستقرار الداخلي والوضع الأمني، لكنني مؤخّراً بتُّ أشعر أنّ الأميركيين يُهملون هذا المبدأ في خطّتهم التي توصِلُ إلى انهيار الوضع الاقتصادي وحصول غليان شعبي، وهم بذلك يهدّدون استقرار لبنان في حربهم لتطويع خصوم أميركا بدل الحفاظ على هذا البلد وحمايته”.

وسأل زاسبيكين: «ما هي الجهة الوحيدة التي ستحافظ على تماسكها في حال الانهيار الاقتصادي وانهيار الدولة؟ ثمّ أجاب بنفسه قائلاً: إنه «حزب الله”…

وليس دفاعاً عن الفاسدين في السلطة اللبنانية الذين يجب أن يُحاسَبوا وأن تُسترجعَ الأموالُ التي نهبوها من الشعب اللبناني، هناك ملفات وقضايا ستُفتح للذين يركِبون الموجة ويحاضِرون بالعفّة وهم «ما هم عليه” من عمالة وإجرام وفساد كبير يغطّونه من خلال محطات تلفزيونية فضائية يدّعي أصحابُها اليوم أنهم «ثوريون” وهم في حالة التُّخمة من جرّاء التمويل الخارجي والصفقات الداخلية والخارجية القذرة، حيث يتحدّثون في كلّ شيء ولكنهم «مؤدّبون” أمام حاكم مصرف لبنان الذي يعمل منذ فترة طويلة من الزمن لصالح الأميركيين لأنهم من طينته وعلى نفس المستوى بالعمالة والفساد والإفساد.

وهنا أجدّد التأكيد أننا نحن الثوّار ولآخر مدى ولن يستطيعَ شُذّاذُ الآفاق من خلال محاولات «الإحتلال المدني” سرقة نضالاتنا وأغانينا وثورتنا الحقيقية لمصلحة «ثورات الفوضى الأميركية” المدمِّرة كما جرى في العديد من بلدان المنطقة والعالم.

وأصِلُ الى بيت القصيد لأقول: إنه وعلى طريقة التخلّص من حسني مبارك وبن علي والبشير فإنّ «مركز اللعب” بالمخابرات الأميركية يعمل بجدية من خلال «الحرائق المشتعلة” على التخلّص من قيادات سياسية حاكمة وإحلال قيادات جديدة تدّعي أنها «حيادية” للوصول الى هدفها السرّي والعلني ألا وهو «القضاء” على حزب الله اللبناني المقاوم… وهذا مستحيلٌ لأن هذا الحزب متجذّرٌ في أرضنا الوطنية الطيبة ولأنّ قائده وعدنا دائماً بالانتصارات المحقّقة بإذن الله.

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*إعلامي وباحث في علم الإجتماع السياسي

«الترحيب» بماكنزي

الأخبار

 الخميس 9 تموز 2020

التزامن مع وصول قائد المنطقة الوسطى في الجيش الأميركي الجنرال كينيث ماكنزي إلى مطار بيروت، اعتصم عشرات الأشخاص أمس قرب مدخل المطار، احتجاجاً على نية ماكنزي، والسفيرة الأميركية دوروثي شيا، إقامة احتفال رمزي تكريماً للجنود الأميركيين الذين قُتلوا في تفجير مقر «المارينز» في بيروت يوم 23/10/1983.

وبعد الإعلان عن الاعتصام، اضطر الجانب الأميركي إلى تغيير خطة سير ماكنزي وشيا من المطار، واختصار برنامجهما داخل حرم الميناء الجوي، فلم يخرجا بموكب، بل بمروحية، أقلّتهما من أمام طائرة ماكنزي، إلى موقف السيارات الذي جرى فيه التفجير قبل 37 عاماً، حيث مكثا لدقائق قليلة، قبل أن تغادر بهما المروحية، مع الوفد المرافق، لبدء جولته على المسؤولين السياسيين والعسكريين في بعبدا واليرزة والسراي الحكومي وعين التينة. ورفع المعتصمون شعارات مؤيدة للمقاومة وصور الشهيد عماد مغنية، هاتفين ضد التدخل الأميركي في لبنان.

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HEZBOLLAH BETWEEN TWO FIRES: ITS OWN SOCIETY AND ITS DOMESTIC ALLIES

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Hezbollah between two fires: its own society and its domestic ...

Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah enjoys unparalleled support among Shia in Lebanon and more broadly among the “Axis of the Resistance” he is leading. He is the most famous leader in Lebanon and is highly respected and heeded by both followers and enemies, particularly Israel. However, since the financial situation in Lebanon has sharply deteriorated, he is no longer in an enviable position and will need exceptional skills to keep Lebanon united at a time when his supposed political allies are exhibiting unfriendly behaviour. Hezbollah’s followers and Hezbollah’s political allies are no longer in harmony. Tensions are now reaching unprecedented levels, not only in social media, but also with regard to political choices. The reasons are many.

Sayyid Nasrallah has uncontested influence over his supporters to the extent that most of them echo the word of “Sayyid”- as he is called by his followers who also use the acronym “Samahto”, the Arabic terms meaning his eminence, a religious title. His speeches become a roadmap to followers, analysts, journalists and politicians, and details of his political views and ideas are repeated on most media

But this does not prevent members of the society that bred Hezbollah – of which Hezbollah is an integral part – from disagreeing with the Sayyid’s statements with regard to his political bond to his allies, in particular the largest Christian party “Tayyar al Watani al-Hurr”, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). In fact, Hezbollah’s supporters have decided to bypass Sayyid’s recommendations and “ride the night as riding a camel” (an expression used by Imam Hussein Bin Ali to his followers the day before the last battle of Karbala, when he invited his followers to leave at nightfall to avoid been seen by the enemy and escape death the next day). On social media, another war is taking place where Hezbollah’s followers harshly vent their frustrations, impinging on Hezbollah’s comfort zone and challenging its political preferences.

In one of his latest speeches, Sayyid emphasized the importance of moderating social media platform exchanges among allies on all sides, affirming that the bond with his allies is robust and in good condition. Sayyid Nasrallah wanted to deflate the current level of tensions resulting from a series of events that have taken place in Lebanon. No doubt, Hezbollah’s leader hoped to tackle the real problem between allies from a different angle, away from public platforms.

As with similar demonstrations in Iraq, the US embassy attempted to subvert the popular wave of protest to divert protesters against Israel’s most feared enemy, Hezbollah. 

The “Future Movement” – founded by the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and now led by his son Saad, both targets of the protestors – escalated the situation to the brink where its supporters closed the only road linking Beirut to the south of Lebanon. Hariri was upset that he had failed in this selection of a new government and was replaced by Hasan Diab. Hariri regretted having approved the selection of Diab and since then has sought to undermine any chances of success of the new cabinet.

Closing the South Lebanon – Beirut road means blocking the movement of Hezbollah to the south, necessary to maintain military readiness in the case of any possible war with Israel. Following repeated blockage of this vital road, Hezbollah called on its reserves located along this road to be prepared to clear it by force. At this point the Lebanese army intervened to avoid confrontation, defusing tensions and winning a commitment to keep the road open at all times. The goal was to preserve the rights of peaceful demonstrators while preventing rioters with a political agenda from jeopardising Lebanese co-existence among different religions.

Because the Americans are protecting him, Salameh is for Berri a bargaining chip to prove to Washington that he is also a protector of the US interests in Lebanon. Moreover, Berri doesn’t want to replace him because he, as Salameh’s protector, in effect controls the Christian Central Bank governor. This would not be the case if Salameh were replaced and a new governor appointed by the leader of the largest Christian parliamentary block, Tayyar al-Watani, the FPM led by Berri’s fiercest political enemy, the former minister Gebran Basil.

In fact, for many decades, Berri and his closest (late) partner Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri divided amongst themselves the key positions that were, according to the domestic agreement, the share of the Christians. Because the Syrians were in command in Lebanon, the Christians were not allowed to choose their own representatives. However, this imbalance led the FPM to a fierce battle to regain all the lost positions, making its leader Basil the enemy of all parties, Christian, Druse, Sunni and Shia, with the exception of Hezbollah.

There is another motive for Hezbollah to accommodate Speaker Berri at this time: why should Riyad Salameh be dismissed from his function when he is responsible for accomodating Presidents of the Republic to avoid sharing with the public the reality of Lebanon’s financial situation and for failing to warn depositors? Why did he agree to “buy time”, devise financial engineering and fabricate figures creating a time bomb that would explode without warning decades later, leaving more than 95% of the population without access to their savings? Let him stay and endure the consequences of his own policies since an immediate solution is not apparent.

The dollar has already come halfway towards the ominous target predicted by the speaker in the case of Salameh having been removed. It is fluctuating between 7,500 and 10,000 L.L. to the dollar; it was 1,500 several months ago. Berri has become the focal point of the 14th of March political groups. He is their mediator and protector. The speaker, who has held his position for 28 years and is fully supported by all those accused of decades of corruption, is also a “good guy” in the eyes of the US embassy because he holds back his powerful ally, Hezbollah (as Berri offers himself) from taking over the country and thus protects the allies of the US, the 14th of March group.

The Leader of the FPM is now left with only Hezbollah as an ally; unlike Geagea, he doesn’t enjoy US support. When the time comes for presidential elections, the Americans will not remember the apologies of all the FPM officials and ministers to ambassador Shea because the US quite simply has no allies but only interests. In any case, Washington is no longer in a position to decide who will be the next Lebanese president.

The current Lebanese government of Hassan Diab has decided not to give up on the West but to diversify its choices and to fast track its industrial collaboration with China. It is also signing agreements with Iraq to import fuel and gasoline in exchange for Lebanese agriculture and local products with generous facilities for payment. Lebanese are already receiving medicine and food from Iran. Starvation is not imminent as Hezbollah is supporting the Shia population to cultivate the land, offering fertilisers and other agricultural needs.

The possibility of civil war is remote. No one can stand against the Lebanese armed forces and Hezbollah. Both entities represent a wall against any possibility of a civil war whose existence is mainly limited to the social media.

Hezbollah is showing high tolerance even towards those Lebanese who manifested in front of the US embassy in Beirut and offered their condolences to the US Marines killed in Beirut during the suicide bomb attack in 1983, triggered by the US bombing of several Lebanese locations and for taking part of the civil war. Although these protestors represent a show of folklore, their weight in Lebanese politics is insignificant. Hezbollah is not behaving like the ultimate dominant of the ground or the government even if it is the strongest military force in the country and is part of the largest political coalition.

Hezbollah has always excelled in treading carefully the domestic and regional minefields and turning the tables on its enemies at the right time. Current alliances in Lebanon have been shaken by an economic crisis which is expected to last for a number of years. This crisis will certainly test Hezbollah’s diplomacy and the cohesion of its membership. 

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and  Maurice Brasher

Group of So-Called “Donald Trump Friends” in Beirut Plead US to Disarm Hezbollah

Source

July 4, 2020

Capture

A group of around 10 people gathered Saturday near the US embassy in Beirut, thanking Washington for its “support” to Lebanon.

The so-called “Donald Trump Friends” group demanded that the US administration disarm Hezbollah and implement the UN Resolution 1559.

It is worth noting that certain media outlets weirdly provided the event with a remarkable coverage despite the  very humble participation.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

هل سيعود لبنان إلى العام 1975؟ أم 2005؟ أم 2008؟ فتنة أم احتواء؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

بعد الفشل الذريع الذي أصاب مشاريع الغرب بقيادة أميركية في المنطقة، عاد المعتدون إلى الساحة اللبنانية لإنجاز شيء يشكل لهم جائزة ترضية بعد الإخفاق الاستراتيجي في سورية. فقد اندلعت الحرب الكونية على سورية تحت عنوان رئيسي: إسقاط القلعة الوسطى من محور المقاومة لتفكيك المحور وفرض التسوية التصفووية بتسليم فلسطين كلها لـ «إسرائيل» وشطب حق العودة للفلسطينيين وإعطاء «إسرائيل» ما تريد من أرض الجوار في لبنان وسورية.

بيد انّ الحرب الإرهابية على سورية تكاد تنتهي اليوم على إخفاق كبير وفشل في تحقيق أهدافها، وانّ الوقت المتبقي لترامب لفرض رؤيته للسلام المسماة «صفقة القرن» بات ضيقاً لا يسمح بترف التسويف والانتظار وان الأوضاع في أميركا تتدحرج بسرعة حتى باتت تهدّد ترامب نفسه، لذلك يبدو أنّ المخطط عاد إلى لبنان لدفعه إلى فتنة تحاصر حزب الله وتقود إلى ترويضه ووضع اليد على سلاحه لإراحة «إسرائيل» من هذا الهمّ الذي حرمها حرية قرار الحرب وفرض عليها معادلة ردع استراتيجي وقواعد اشتباك ندّية جعلت الردّ على عدوانها حتمياً ليعيد التوازن إلى الميدان. يريدون فتنة تحاكي ما حصل في العام 1975 وأدّى إلى إخراج المقاومة الفلسطينية أو فتنة الـ 2005 التي هيّأت البيئة لعودة الجيش العربي السوري من لبنان إلى سورية، ويرون الآن حاجة إلى فتنة ثالثة تؤدّي إلى التخلص من سلاح المقاومة التي يقودها وينفذها حزب الله.

لقد أدرك الصهاينة انّ وجود سلاح المقاومة في لبنان يمنع نجاحهم وهو السلاح الذي تحرّكه إرادة فولاذية صلبة واعية وتستعمله حيث يجب وكيف يجب، سلاح من شأنه أن يفسد عليهم خططهم لأنه يشكل رأس حربة محور المقاومة الاستراتيجي القادر رغم كلّ الضغوط والحروب عليه القادر على الاستمرار في رفض وتعطيل خطط تصفية القضية الفلسطينية كما أنّ هذا السلاح بموقعه وانتشاره الجغرافي على حدود فلسطين وبالنوعية والدقة التي بات عليها قادر على أداء المهام المطلوبة في مسيرة حفظ لبنان والدفاع عنه ومنع استباحة حقوقه، كما هو قادر للعمل في إطار محور المقاومة خدمة لاستراتيجية تحرير فلسطين وإعادة الحق فيها إلى أهله.

لقد بات سلاح حزب الله بعد التطورات التي حصلت في المنطقة والعالم الهدف الرئيسي البديل لكلّ الأهداف التي طرحت منذ العدوان على سورية وبات يشكل بالنسبة لأميركا و»إسرائيل» هاجساً تشكل معالجته والتخلص منه دليلاً على الانتصار في مسعى التصفية، أما الفشل فيه فيكون قرينة على الهزيمة الاستراتيجية.

بيد أنّ نزع السلاح هذا لا يمكن أن يتمّ بفرار من مجلس الأمن وقد جرّبوا حظهم منذ 16 سنة بالقرار 1559 وفشلوا، ولا يمكن أن يحصل بحرب ساحقة تدمّره وقد جرّبوا ذلك في العام 2006 وهزموا، ولا يمكن أن يحصل بالحصار وقطع طرق الإمداد وتجفيف مصادره وقد جرّبوا أولاً بالقرار 1701 ثم كان الأدهى والأعظم الحرب الإرهابية التي شنّت على سورية طيلة 10 سنوات والتي آلت إلى الفشل الذريع والهزيمة والإخفاق في المسّ بالمقاومة التي ارتقت في معارج الخبرة الميدانية والقوة العسكرية كمّاً ونوعاً. لذلك لم يبقَ بيدهم إلا ورقة الفوضى والفتنة في لبنان فتنة تغرق حزب الله وسلاحه في وحول الداخل وتشغله عن أهدافه الاستراتيجية الكبرى في مواجهة العدو الأساسي للعرب والمسلمين «إسرائيل» وراعيتها أميركا. فتنة تمهّد الطريق لـ «إسرائيل» لتنفيذ ما ربها باجتياح جديد.

ومن أجل هذه الفوضى التي تحدثها الفتنة والفراغ كان الأداء الأميركي في لبنان منذ مطلع العام 2019 وكانت زيارة بومبيو إلى بيروت واجتماعاته مع من يأمل انخراطهم في مشروع الفتنة والفوضى التي تحاصر حزب الله، ومن أجل ذلك كان الإعداد لاستغلال «ثورة» شعبية محقة انطلقت في 17 تشرين الأول مطالبة بمطالب معيشية محقة 100%، وهي ثورة تأخرت وكان يجب ان تحصل ضدّ طبقة الفساد السياسي قبل زمن. ثورة أيّدنا ونؤيّد كلّ ما طرحته في أيامها الأولى لأنها ثورة مظلومين محرومين ضدّ ظالمين ناهبين.

بيد انّ المخطط للفوضى فوجئ بحكمة الفريق الوطني في التعامل مع الثورة والفراغ الحكومي الذي تسبّبت به استقالة سعد الحريري، فكانت حكومة جديدة تتبنّى مطالب الثوار وتقطع الطريق على الفراغ وتحول دون انتشار الفوضى وتعقد السير في مسارب الفتنة، ثم جاءت جائحة كورونا لتحدث إخلالاً في الخطط الموضوعة وعرقلة ظاهرة في تنفيذها. وفقد المخطط ثلاثة أشهر ثمينة وشعر بأنّ الوقت يضيق عليه ويهدّد أحلامه التي لم يتبقّ لتنفيذها إلا أشهراً ستة هي ما تبقى من ولاية ترامب المهدّد بعدم العودة إلى البيت الأبيض والذي يرزح ويئنّ تحت وطأة الاحتجاجات والمظاهرات الشعبية رفضاً للعنصرية في أميركياً وطلباً للعدالة.

انّ لبنان وسورية الآن هدفاً لموجة عدوان أميركي متجدّد من طبيعة خاصة، طبيعة مركبة من عنصرين الأول يتمثل بالتضييق والحصار حتى الاختناق اقتصادياً ولأجل هذا يعدّ لتطبيق قانون قيصر الإرهابي في سورية اعتباراً من 17 حزيران/ يونيو2020، والثاني يتشكل بعمل شوارعي أساسه الفتنة المنتجة للفوضى التي تتلاقى مع الحصار لدفع البلد إلى الانهيار وإغراق السلاح في الوحول لا بل ودماء الداخل فيتحقق المطلوب، ولهذا تتوجه أنظار المخطط وعملائه إلى لبنان من أجل الإعداد للفتنة التي أسند تنفيذها إلى جماعات عرفت بارتباطها بالمشاريع الأجنبية الاستعمارية وتعمل اليوم بأمرة مباشرة من السفيرة الأميركية في عوكر/ بيروت التي حوّلت سفارتها إلى غرفة عمليات لشؤون الفتنة.

انّ لبنان اليوم على أبواب عدوان خطير عنوانه الفتنة والحرب الأهلية الممهّدة لعدوان إسرائيلي، خطة تذكر بما حصل في العام 1975 حيث رفع حزب الكتائب شعار نزع سلاح المقاومة الفلسطينية وافتعل مجزرة عين الرمانة بحق الفلسطينيين وأنتج بيئة قادت «إسرائيل» إلى تنفيذ اجتياحين في لبنان وصلت في الثاني منهما إلى بيروت فأخرجت المقاومة الفلسطينية ثم انقلبت الأمور إلى عملية مراجعة النظام السياسي مراجعة أدّت إلى خسارة حزب الكتائب والطائفة المارونية مواقعهم المتقدّمة في الحكم وباتوا واحداً من ثلاثة شركاء أساسيين يتولون السلطة واقعياً…

بيد انّ تلك الفتنة والحرب التي استمرّت 14 عاماً بين كرّ وفرّ تسبّبت في تدمير لبنان وانهيار عملته (كان الدولار يساوي 3 ليرات ووصل إلى 3000 ليرة، أيّ خسرت الليرة 1000 ضعف من قيمتها) كما هجر 50% من اللبنانيين إلى الداخل والخارج في أعظم وأقسى مأساة حلت بلبنان في العصر الحديث، فهل يريد من يخطط للبنان تكرار هذه التجربة الكارثية؟ وهل سينساق لبنانيون لتدمير بلدهم مقابل دراهم معدودة كما فعلوا في العام 1975؟

نطرح السؤال خاصة أنّ تجربة الاعتبار من التاريخ ليست مشجعة، فقد كانت محاولة أخرى في العام 2004 عبر القرار 1559 بالرعاية الأميركية محاولة ترجمت بقتل واغتيالات وحصار فأدّت إلى خروج الجيش العربي السوري ثم استدعاء الجيش الإسرائيلي إلى لبنان في عدوان فشل في تحقيق أهدافه في العام 2006 ثم تكرّرت بفتنة أطفأ نارها حزب الله بحسم الأمور في ذاك اليوم المجيد من أيار 2008.

أننا حتى الحظة نعتقد بأنّ العمل للفتنة والدعوة اليها لن تنجح في إشعال النار في لبنان، كما أنها حتى ولو نجحت فإنّ هناك عوامل تمنع انتشارها وتسهّل إخمادها، عوامل أهمّها قدرة الجيش اللبناني على إحكام السيطرة على الوضع في مناطق الاحتكاك، يضاف إليها قدرة الفريق المستهدف بالفتنة على حسم الأمور سريعاً في مناطق الخطر والاشتعال، دون ان نهمل أيضاً وجود أصوات وطنية عاقلة ترفض الانجرار اليها.

بيد أنه ومع الثقة وحسن الظنّ نرى أنّ على الجميع من رسميين وغير رسميين تحمّل مسؤولياتهم لأنّ الفتنة إذا انفجرت وسعرت نارها قد تفلت الأمور عن السيطرة خاصة أنّ من يقودها دولة عظمى (أميركا) يعمل تحت قيادتها دول إقليمية عربية وغير عربية تجمعهم رغم عدائهم مصلحة «إسرائيل» بنزع سلاح المقاومة. لذلك نرى أنّ وجوب اتخاذ التدابير الاحترازية على صعيد الإعلام والسياسة والميدان لتعقيد عمل الفتنويّين أمر واجب ولنا في ما حصل يوم 6\6\2020 عبرة حيث أدّى فشل الدعوة إلى التظاهر ضدّ سلاح المقاومة إلى انقلاب المظاهرة إلى غوغاء تكسر وتحرق ثم تطلق الإشاعات حول قتل وخطف ثم تثير النعرات المذهبية والطائفية… لكن الفتنة فشلت في ظلّ حكمة الجيش وقوّته ووعي القيادات وحرصهم.

نعم انّ لبنان مستهدف بفتنة كبرى تحاكي ما حصل في 1975 و2005، ورغم انّ الظروف مختلفة والمستهدف مختلف فإنّ الخطر لا يمكن تجاهله، ورغم ثقتنا بقدرة الجيش والمقاومة ومعهما معظم الشعب للتصدّي لها فإنّ الهواجس تقلقنا فيجب الحذر والحذر الشديد.

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

لبنان أقوى من الفتنة

معن بشور

شاء البعض أن يكون السادس من حزيران، يوم بدء الحرب العربية – الإسرائيلية على لبنان وفيه، قبل 38 عاماً يوماً لبدء «حرب» جديدة على هذا البلد مستغلاً جوع الناس ورفضهم للفساد والفاسدين والمفسدين، فيضع اللبنانيين مرة أخرى بوجه بعضهم البعض ويحقق بالفتنة ما عجزت عن تحقيقه الحرب القديمة التي تكسّرت، أول ما تكسّرت على أسوار العاصمة وفي شوارعها المضاءة بدماء الشهداء…

ولكن هذا «البعض» أخطأ التقدير مرة أخرى، بل لم يحسن قراءة الأوضاع الداخلية في لبنان، على تردّيها، ولا حتى الأوضاع الإقليمية والدولية التي تشهد متغيّرات لغير صالح القوى التي تقف وراء هذا «البعض» وتشجّعه على ركوب موجات عنف انتحارية تستهدف البلد كله، بكلّ مكوناته ومقوماته في آن…

فرغم إدراكنا هشاشة أوضاعنا الداخلية، السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية، ورغم أجواء الغليان الشعبي الناجم عن تجاوز حال الفساد كلّ قدرة على الاحتمال، وتمادي القيّمين على أمور البلاد في تجاهلهم مطالب الناس وعدم تحسّسهم بأوجاعها، إلا أنّ اللبنانيين بشكل عام، وأهل بيروت بشكل خاص، قد تعلّموا من دروس الماضي، أنّ الوقوع في الفتنة هو أخطر من أيّ خطر آخر، ووجع الحرب في الشوارع والأزقة وعلى خطوط التماس أكثر إيلاماً من أي وجع آخر… بل بات اللبنانيون يدركون أنّ مستقبلهم على كلّ المستويات، مرتبط بوحدتهم وبسلمهم الأهلي، وانّ انتفاضتهم الرائعة في 17 تشرين الأول كانت متوهّجة يوم وحّدت اللبنانيين حول مطالب اجتماعية واقتصادية محدّدة، وأنها فقدت بريقها يوم حاول البعض إحياءها على قاعدة شعارات تؤجّج الانقسام بين اللبنانيين…

ومَن «يحلم» في الداخل أو الخارج، في هذا الفريق او ذاك، أنه قادر على إعادة لبنان الى أجواء السبعينيات والثمانينيات من القرن الفائت، «واهم» جداً، وغير مدرك حساسية أغلبية اللبنانيين ورفضهم أيّ محاولة لإعادتهم لأجواء «الحرب الأهلية» التي تزيد وجعهم وجعاً، وجوعهم جوعاً، وخسائرهم خسائر، وفساد القيمين على أمورهم فساداً، وطائفية نظامهم ومذهبيته طائفية ومذهبية…

فهذا «الحالم» بفتنة جديدة، مستغلاً هتافاً مسيئاً الى رموز محترمة عند كلّ لبناني، وليس فقط عند أهل طائفة أو مذهب، لا يدرك أنّ هناك حقائق باتت راسخة في واقع لبنان وحياة اللبنانيين:

أولى هذه الحقائق انّ الحرب كرقصة التانغو تحتاج الى راقصين إثنين، «فراقص» واحد لا يكفي، فكيف إذا كان هذا الراغب «بالرقص» عاجزاً عن إشعال حرب، فيما القادر على إشعالها غير راغب «بالرقص» الدموي أصلاً… وهذه معادلة أكدنا عليها منذ ظنّ البعض أنه قادر على استجرار البلاد الى «فتنة» جديدة بعد اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رفيق الحريري قبل 15 عاماً.

وثانية هذه الحقائق: أنّ في البلاد جيشاً وقوى أمنية، موحدة القيادة والقرار، ومصمّمة على التصدّي لأيّ عبث أمني، وأن ثقة المواطن الى أي فئة انتمى، بهذا الجيش والقوى الأمنية تزداد يوماً بعد يوم على عكس ما كان عليه الأمر عام 1975، حيث أدّت بعض الانزلاقات الى انقسام في الجيش وحوله… فيما هناك ما يشبه الإجماع على جيشنا الوطني وقوانا الأمنية.

وثالثة هذه الحقائق: انّ القوى الخارجية، إقليمية كانت أم دولية، الراغبة في الضغط على لبنان لصالح العدو الإسرائيلي الساعي بكلّ السبل الى تجريده من قوته المتمثلة بمعادلة «الشعب والجيش والمقاومة»، تشهد تراجعاً داخل بلادها، كما باتت بدورها عاجزة عن تمويل حرب طاحنة في لبنان، كما هو الأمر في سورية واليمن وليبيا، بل كما كان الأمر في لبنان نفسه خلال سنوات الحرب اللعينة، فكل هذه القوى تدرك حجم التكاليف المالية والبشرية، التي أنفقتها في هذه الحروب، وهي عاجزة في ظلّ الشحّ المالي الذي تعانيه عن تكرار إنفاقها في لبنان.

طبعاً هذا لا يعني انّ هذه القوى، الإقليمية والدولية، قد نفضت يدها من لبنان تماماً، لكنها تسعى إلى إبقاء سيف الضغوط الإقليمية والمالية مسلطاً على الدولة والمجتمع في لبنان مع بعض التوترات الأمنية «هنا وهناك» لكي توحي أنّ لبنان ليس مستقرّاً..

ولقد جاءت أحداث «السبت» الفتنوي مستغلة هتافات مسيئة لرموز دينية، وهي هتافات مرفوضة من كلّ لبناني، بهدف إشعال نار الفتنة في أكثر من شارع في العاصمة وفي المناطق الأخرى، لكن الموقف المدين والمستنكر لهذه الهتافات للمرجعيات الدينية والسياسية المعنية، ووعي المجتمع الذي ذاق الأمرّين من مرارة الصراع الطائفي والمذهبي، والحضور القوي للجيش والقوى الأمنية، عطل الألغام التي كانت مزروعة وتعطلت «أحلام» مَن كان ينتظر تفجيرها…

المهمّ أن تقوم القيادة الحكيمة الحاضرة، في أكثر من فريق، بمراجعة جريئة وصادقة للأداء وللخطاب السائد وللثقافة المعتمدة، كما تقوم بمحاسبة كلّ من يتثبت تورّطه في فعل فتنوي وإنزال أقصى العقوبات به، سواء بإطلاق هتاف او فبركة فيديو، او تحريض شارع.

يكفي لبنان ما فيه من أوجاع ، فلا تضيفوا الى أوجاعه وجعاً جديداً.

ولكن، رغم كلّ شيء، يبقى لبنان أقوى من الفتنة ومن وأصحاب الفتنة إلى أيّ فريق انتموا…

المنسّق العام لتجمّع اللجان والروابط الشعبية

The ominous Jihadis war; From Tripoli to Tripoli:

The ominous Jihadis war; From Tripoli to Tripoli:

May 23, 2020

By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

The ‘War on Syria’ is far from being over, and it will continue until all foreign forces illegally present on Syrian soil retreat; either willingly, or defeated.

And even though the American presence in Syria has no clear and realistic political purpose other than wreaking havoc. https://transnational.live/2020/05/19/america-exists-today-to-make-war-how-else-do-we-interpret/ and making it hard for Russia to help reach a decisive victory, in a twist of fate, the focus of the Russo-American conflict in the region may soon move away from Syria.

In reality, the outcome of the ‘War on Syria’ was never expected by the initial assembly of adversaries when they launched the attack. Furthermore, they had many deep differences and nothing in common other than a shared hatred for Syria, but the unexpected turn of events has intensified their internal conflict and seemingly catapulted the strife between those former allies much further afield to a new hub in Libya.

Whilst the world and its media are busy with COVID-19, a new huge struggle is brewing, and this time, it is drawing new lines and objectives that are in reality going to be fueled, financed and executed by the former once-united enemies of Syria; but this time, it will be against each other.

An array of regional and international issues lies behind the impending conflict; and to call it impending is an under-statement. It is already underway, but hasn’t reached its peak yet, let alone making any significant news coverage.

It is a real mess in Libya now, and the short version of a long story goes like this:

Soon after NATO hijacked the UNSC mandate to enforce a no-fly-zone decision over Libya and manipulated it in a manner that ‘legalised’ bombing Libya culminating in toppling and killing Gadhafi, the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the formal capital Tripoli on the Western side of the coast, was created.

But the ‘revolution’ against Gadhafi was launched in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi. After Gadhafi’s demise, another interim government was formed in Libya’s east under the name of National Transitional Council (NTC).

The NTC, whose flag is the flag of the ‘revolution’, did not recognize the GNA and regarded it as a Western lackey.

After a few years of squabbling, NTC strongman General Haftar decided to militarily disable the GNA.

With little concrete protection on the ground from the West, and under the guise of upholding UNSC mandates, Erdogan jumped into the existing void and the opportunity to grab Libya’s oil, and decided to send troops to support the GNA.  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51003034

In return, Haftar is getting support from other regional players. Recently, representatives from Egypt, the UAE, Greece, Cyprus and France had a meeting and denounced Turkey’s involvement in Libya. https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/05/12/greece-egypt-cyprus-france-uae-denounce-turkey-in-joint-statement/. Erdogan perhaps borrowed a term from his American part-ally-part-adversary and referred to the meeting and its decree as an ‘alliance of evil’. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/turkey-accuses-five-nations-of-forming-alliance-of-evil/2020/05/12/a3c5c63a-9438-11ea-87a3-22d324235636_story.html Fancy this, a NATO member accusing other NATO members of being in an alliance of evil.

It must be noted that even though Saudi Arabia did not attend the meeting, it was there in spirit, and represented by its proxy-partner the UAE.

The USA took a step further and accused Russia and Syria of working behind the scenes and planning to send fighters to Libya to support Haftar. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-security-usa-syria-idUSKBN22J301

But this article is not about the geopolitical hoo-ha. It is about shedding a light on what score-settling is expected to eventuate in Libya, and who is likely to end up doing the fighting against who.

Even though the Afghani Mujahedeen were purportedly the first Jihadi fighters to engage in battle in the 20th Century, their fight was against foreign USSR troops. In terms of an internal force that aimed for fundamentalist Muslim rule, there is little doubt that the first event of such insurgency in the Middle East was the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) revolt that took place in Syria in the early 1980’s and which was quashed by the then President, Hafez Assad. After their smashing defeat, the fundamentalists kept their heads low until they lit the flame again in the Palestinian refugee Naher Al-Bared Camp at the northern outskirts of Tripoli Lebanon in 2007.

There are, for those who are unaware, two cities bearing the name Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast; one is in Northern Lebanon, and it is Lebanon’s second largest city, and the other Tripoli is located on the Western side of the Libyan Coast. They are sometimes called Tripoli of the East and Tripoli of the West, respectively.

Shaker Al-Absi, leader of Fateh Al Islam, a Salafist terror organization, declared jihad and engaged in a bitter fight against the Lebanese Army. He was defeated, remained at large, but any look at Lebanon’s Tripoli after his demise displayed a clear evidence of a huge build-up of Salafist presence in the city.

When the ‘War on Syria’ started only four years later, Tripoli became a major hub for the transport of fighters and munitions from Lebanon into Syria. Nearly a decade later, and with a few Jihadi pockets left in the Idlib province now, their defeat in Syria is imminent.

But who exactly are those murderous head-chopping radical elements that we talking about; past and present?

When the coalition that started the attack on Syria took form, it was comprised virtually of all of Syria’s enemies. Most of them were religious fundamentalists. In an early article, I called them ‘The Anti-Syrian Cocktail’.  https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-anti-syrian-cocktail-by-ghassan-kadi.html

Back then, ISIS, did not exist in the form that it became known as. Furthermore, I have always advocated that there was no difference at all between Al-Nusra and ISIS and/or any other Takfiri organizations. They are all terror-based and founded on violent readings of Islam.

In time however, and this didn’t take long, it became apparent that even though the ideologies were identical, there were two major financiers and facilitators to those many different terror organizations. One was primarily funded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the other by Qatar and facilitated by Turkey.

The former group is affiliated with what is known as Saudi Wahhabi Islam. They are also known as the Salafists. The latter group are the MB’s.

As the war was shifting in favour of Syria, their agendas diverged, the schism grew deeper and strong rivalries emerged; especially as the Wahhabis and their sponsors were sent home defeated. Part of this fallout was the ongoing Saudi-Qatari conflict.

But the rivalry that is least spoken about is personal. It is the one between Erdogan and Al-Saud.

They are both fighting over the leadership of fundamentalist Sunni Islam. But Erdogan also has his nationalist anti-Kurdish agenda, and of course, he is desperate to put his hands on oil supplies that he can call his own. He cannot find oil on Turkish soil or in Turkish waters, but he is prepared to act as a regional pirate and a thug and steal another nation’s oil. If no one is to stop him, he feels that he can and will.

Upon realizing that Turkey could not get in Syria either victory or oil, Erdogan is now turning his face west towards Libya. He finds in Libya a few scores that he hopes to settle after his failure in Syria. He wants a face-saving military victory, he wants to assert his position as THE Sunni leader who can reclaim glory, and he wants free oil. Last but not least, In Libya, he will find himself close to Egypt’s Sisi; the political/religious enemy who toppled his MB friend and ally, President Mursi.

On the other side, defeated but not totally out, Saudi Arabia wants blood; Erdogan’s blood.

The Saudis blame Erdogan (and Qatar) for their loss in Syria because he was more focused on his own agenda and spoils rather than the combined ones of the former alliance they had with him. They blame him for abandoning them and making deals with Russia. They hold him responsible for the breakup of the unity of Muslim fundamentalism. They fear his aspirations for gaining the hearts and minds of Muslims who regard him as a de-facto Caliph. As a matter of fact, it was Saudi Crown Prince MBS who used the borrowed word ‘evil’ first when he stated more than two years ago that Erdogan was a part of a ‘Triangle of Evil’. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-turkey-idUSKCN1GJ1WW. And how can we forget the Khashoggi debacle and the ensuing standoff between Turkey and Saudi Arabia?

We must stop and remember once again that not long ago at all, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were allies, who together, plotted how to invade Syria and bring her down to her knees. These are the heads of the two major countries that facilitated the war machine with Saudi money injecting fighters and munitions into Syria from the south, and open Turkish borders and Qatari money injecting them from the north.

Back to Libyan General Haftar. In his westerly advance along Libya’s terrain, he cleaned up the ISIS elements who stood in his way and hindered his progress.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/02/libya-foreign-powers-khalifa-haftar-emirates-russia-us But ironically, he is now fighting their religious rival; the Turks, the protectors of the MB’s.

The USA may accuse Syria of sending troops into Libya, but where is the proof and why should Syria do this after all? And even though the Saudis and the Emiratis are warming up relationships with Syria, the Syrian Army is still engaged in battle and is not prepared to go and fight in Libya. There is nothing for it to gain. Once the war is over, Syria will be concerned with rebuilding a war-torn nation. Syria has no interests in Libya; none what-so-ever.

The role of Russia is not very clear on the ground even though there are clear indications that Russia supports Haftar ideologically. The support began when Haftar demonstrated to the Russians that he was adamant about fighting ISIS and exterminating its presence in Libya. He lived up to this promise thus far and gained Russian respect.

How will the situation in Libya eventually pan out is anyone’s guess. That said, apart from sending regular Turkish Army units, Erdogan is not short on rounding up fighters; and he has attained much experience in this infamous field of expertise from his vicious attack on Syria. With Qatari money in his pocket, he can recruit as many fighters as Qatar can afford.

Erdogan realizes that the West is not interested in backing him up militarily in Libya. The best deal he can get from America is a tacit support. And with France, a NATO member taking part in the above-mentioned five-nation conference, he will definitely have to stand alone so-to-speak.

He has Qatar behind him, but how powerful is Qatar? A ‘nation’ of 200,000 citizens? How can such a small state play such a big role and why?

Qatar is not really a nation or even a state in the true sense. Qatar is an entity, a ‘corporation’ owned by a ruling dynasty that serves the interests of the USA and Israel. https://thesaker.is/qatar-unplugged/. This family will outlay any sum of money to guarantee its own protection and continuity.

And Erdogan, the friend-and-foe of both of America and Israel, knows the vulnerabilities and strengths of Qatar, and he is using his deceptive talents to provide the Qatari ruling family with the securities that the shortfalls that America and Israel do not provide. For example, it was he who sent troops to Qatar after the Saudi threats. And even though Erdogan will never take any serious actions against his NATO masters except in rhetoric, the weak and fearful Qataris will dance to the tune of any protector and will sell their souls to the devil should they need to.

On the other hand in Libya, if Haftar finds himself facing a huge Turkish army, he will need assistance on the ground. Where will he seek it from?  His next-door neighbour Egypt? If so, will it be in the form of regular army units or hired guns?

Sisi is neither a religious nor a fundamentalist zealot, but this is not meant to be a complementary statement. He has not taken any serious black-and-white steps in regional politics. This does not mean he is a man of principles. He is probably waiting for dollar signs, and if he sees financial benefits in supporting Saudi Arabia in a proxy war against Turkey in Libya, he may opt to agree; if the price it right.

Whether or not Saudi Arabia can afford a new war, especially with current crude prices, is another story, but as the war on Yemen winds down, the gung-ho MBS is irrational enough to be persuaded. His regional enemy is no longer Assad. His current enemy is Erdogan.

To be fair to MBS, despite his vile, criminal and megalomaniac attributes, he never claims to be a religious leader, but Erdogan does, and many Sunni Muslims see in Erdogan THE leader they have been waiting for. This alone constitutes a huge challenge for MBS because neither he, nor anyone else in the whole of Saudi Arabia for that matter, is regarded anywhere in the Muslim World as a potential leader of the Sunni Muslims.

In reality, as far as Muslim leadership is concerned, the Saudis can only bank on the location of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Apart from this, they only have wealth that enables them to buy supporters, but their oil wealth is becoming increasingly vulnerable.

In the uphill fight against Erdogan within the Muslim World, both of the Saudis and the Turks realize that the fight between them in Syria is over. Actually, the Saudis have no loyal ‘troops’ on Syrian soil left to fight anyone with. This begs the question of whether or not the Turks and Saudis are moving the battle ground and the score settling from Syria to Libya.

This time around, such a potential battle between the two lines of Jihadis may have to morph from a fight between terror organizations to a war between regular armies; the Turkish Army against the Egyptian Army. Such a battle will rage over Libyan soil, with the Turks financed by Qatar and Egypt by Saudi Arabia.

Such a war will not necessarily bring in Iran into the fight. If it eventuates, it will be a fundamentalist Sunni-Sunni war, sponsored by fundamentalist Sunni states, each fighting for and against different versions of radical Muslim fundamentalism, under the watchful eyes of the USA and to the glee of Israel.

The jihadi war that was first ignited in Tripoli Lebanon between a rogue terror organization and the Lebanese Army did not end. It kept moving theatres and objectives and changing players. Is the final score going to be settled in Tripoli Libya?

Former Lebanese president elaborates on Rafik Hariri’s bribe to bomb southern Lebanon

Source

By  Fadi Boudieh and Mehdi Azizi

May 8, 2020 – 11:24

TEHRAN– The former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud referred to Rafik Hariri’s half a million-dollar bribe to bomb southern Lebanon which made Lahoud demand his own resignation.

Emile Lahoud is the 15th President of Lebanon from Nov. 24, 1998, to Nov. 23, 2007. He was born on January 12, 1936, in the town of Baabdat. He is the son of General Jamil Lahoud, who played a key role in establishing the Lebanese army and strived to achieve independence for the country.

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Emile Lahoud discussed a number of regional and global issues. This is the second and final part. The first one was previously published on Monday.

What is your assessment of the latest events in Lebanon? Are there still efforts to destroy the weapons of The Resistance and Hezbollah in Lebanon? Especially since all the plans and scenarios for disarming the Resistance failed?

Since the beginning of 2005, when Rafiq Hariri was assassinated, I have only spoken to the media once a year, after the anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, because I was the army commander at the time and was speaking on the anniversary of the army’s feast.

Rafiq Hariri was a businessman and was always looking for making more profit. When I was commander of the army, he offered me half a million dollars a month to buy army officers, but I strongly opposed him. When I became president, he offered me the same thing again, but as someone who believed in the rights and interests of the Lebanese people and the importance of resistance to deter Israeli threats, I strongly opposed the offer. Due to my thorough familiarity with military affairs, I strongly opposed the merger law (Hezbollah’s integration into the military), while the Lebanese authorities at the time insisted on doing so.

In 1993, I was the commander of the army, and I did not know Hafez al-Assad, the then president of Syria, and all Lebanese politicians opposed the merger of the army and complained to Hafez al-Assad. He further told them that Lahoud is right and that the merger should take place.

In 1993, when bombing Israel was planned, Rafik Hariri, Abu Jamal, al-Shahabi, and Ghazi al-Kanaan said that it was the right of the Lebanese government to get rid of Hezbollah. Hariri told me that the Lebanese Supreme Council of Defense was going to pass a resolution in order to terminate Hezbollah and that all I had to do was to hit (bomb) Hezbollah in the south.

My conscience would not allow me to bomb the Lebanese in their homes, and I demanded my resignation and told them to find someone else as commander of the army. Of course, I had predicted that they would not be able to pass the resolution in the Supreme Council of Defense. Despite this, they made their decision and informed me of the order to attack Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

After the order was issued, as I entered my office, I saw a map prepared by the commander of the international forces for the destruction of Hezbollah. The commander of the international forces was affiliated with the intelligence service in which Jamil al-Sayyid and Michel Rahbani were playing a part in. I asked them to ignore the plan, but they refused, then I told them to look for another commander for the army.

The then foreign minister Farès Boueiz called and asked me to launch a missile attack on Hezbollah’s positions. I told him I was no longer in the army. During a trip to Damascus, Jamil al-Sayyid met with Mohammed Nasif and informed Hafez al-Assad of this issue, which surprised him. It was later revealed that Abu Jamal, al-Shahabi, Ghazi Kanaan, together with Rafik al-Hariri had made the decision.

For the first time, Hafez al-Assad wanted to meet with me. At that time, if this decision was made, Hezbollah could only resist for 2 hours. I said this to show that Lebanon is built on a mountain of corruption and commercial profit. Here, I need to mention the election law in Lebanon. I consider the election law in Lebanon to be a purely Israeli because each of the foreign parties, including France, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, is working to secure Israel’s consent to support their tribes in the Lebanese elections. I believe that the new election laws in Lebanon can save the country politically from the shackles of religious tribalism.

Can the government of Hassan al-Diab make a serious change? Given your political experience and knowledge of Lebanese political leaders, can the new prime minister implement these changes, especially since the region is undergoing new developments?

Hassan Diab is able to make changes, and he is an honorable man and follows a school that has taught us responsibility. It should be noted that the credentials of the cabinet ministers have been approved by Parliament, which has come to power on the basis of religious divisions. Most cabinet members are out of politics, and each has its own authority in parliament. Therefore, al-Diab had no choice but to make some concessions. In my opinion, Hassan al-Diab has done 100 times better than al-Hariri. If Hariri remained prime minister, things would certainly not have gotten any better.

In the tenth month of last year, when the entire Lebanese nation sought the survival of al-Hariri as prime minister, I explicitly stated that Hariri should leave because, due to his presence, the country’s affairs would not improve. So I announced that he should be replaced by al-Diab whom I didn’t know well at the time. However, after watching him closely for a while, I realized that he is a very good person and has taken the right path. I also stated that we must form an interim government to assume certain duties and responsibilities.

These tasks include monitoring individuals who have transferred their money out of Lebanon and whose assets must be transferred to Lebanese banks and the Lebanese economic cycle; the policy brings in $ 20 billion in foreign currency to the country. Unfortunately, they deny this today. Recently, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salamé falsely claimed that there was no such amount, despite the $ 20 billion. Therefore, I believe that returning such money to Lebanon could solve the problem of the dollar or foreign currency in the country and reduce prices.

Today, decisions are being made in the Lebanese cabinet, but it is clear that cabinet members will not be able to prosecute the powerful corrupted individuals and punish them. It seems that today everyone is satisfied that we cannot provide the necessary foreign currency for our country; We have not borrowed money for seven months, and this is due to the fact that the Lebanese authorities have decided to use the deposited property instead of borrowing.

Here, I warn the government and the country’s political rulers not to encroach upon people’s property, because protecting this property is part of the people’s sacred rights. If the government plays with this property, I will be the first to stand up to it. We did not allow Israel to take our rights, so how can we allow government officials to oppress the rights of the people with their corruption.

End of part 2 of the interview

هل تنجح أميركا بتعديل تفويض اليونيفيل في الجنوب؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

بعد أن فشلت “إسرائيل” في تحقيق أهداف عدوانها على لبنان في العام 2006 بسبب بسالة المقاومة في الدفاع، قدّمت لها أميركا جائزة ترضية تمثلت بالقرار 1701 الذي غيّر بعض الشيء من تفويض قوات اليونيفيل المنتدبة إلى لبنان منذ العدوان الإسرائيلي الأول في العام 1978، كما عدّل تشكيلها ورفعها إلى 15000 عسكري منهم قوة بحرية ألحقت بـ “اليونيفيل” لأول مرة، وقد حاولت أميركا تشديد أحكام القرار يومها وإصداره تحت الفصل السابع وجعل القوات المنتدَبة قوات متعددة الجنسية، لكنها فشلت في مساعيها أمام الواقع الذي ارتسم في الميدان والإقليم يومها والذي لم يكن لصالح أميركا و”إسرائيل” المهزومة. ونذكّر هنا بالفقرة 10 من مشروع القرار الأميركي التي كانت تتحدث عن ذلك، لكن الرفض اللبناني المقاوم أسقطها.

وفي الأشهر الأولى لوصول التعزيزات العسكرية الدولية والتي شكلت قوات الأطلسي النسبة الأكبر فيها براً وبحراً حيث بلغت 75% من مجمل القوات (11000 من أصل 15000 براً وبحراً) حاولت تلك القوات الأطلسية خاصة الفرنسية والإسبانية أن تفرض قواعد اشتباك عملية ميدانية تتخطى منطوق القرار 1701 الذي صدر تحت الفصل السادس والذي يقيّد الأمم المتحدة في المهمة بحصرها في مساندة الجيش اللبناني في مهامه، ويقيّدها في بقعة العمليات ويحصرها في منطقة جنوبي الليطاني بين الحدود الدولية وخط جنوبي النهر ويقيّدها بإطلاق النار ويمنعها من ذلك إلا في حال الدفاع عن النفس أو لزوم مهمة مساندة الجيش. أما الممارسة العملية التي حاول الأطلسيون فرضها يومها فكانت تتخطى كلّ ذلك بعيداً عن القرار. وكانت المفاجأة أنّ الحكومة اللبنانية ورغم تحذير الجيش ورفض المقاومة واستنكار الشخصيات والقوى الوطنية، التزمت الصمت يومها أمام سياسة الفرض بالأمر الواقع، ما استدعى تصدّي الأهالي المدنيّين للأمر حتى كادت تقع مواجهات يسقط فيها ضحايا.

أمام هذا الواقع أدركت القوى الأطلسيّة التي استأثرت منذ العام 2006 بقيادة قوات اليونيفيل أنّ سياسة الأمر الواقع وفرض قواعد اشتباك تتخطى ما قبل به لبنان بمقاومته خاصة في القرار 1701 انّ هذا لن ينجح لا بل انّ الإصرار عليه سيعرّض سلامة القوى للخطر وسيحوّلها بنظر الأهالي إلى قوات احتلال يكون مصيرها كمصير قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، عندها تراجع الأطلسيون ومعهم كلّ اليونيفيل عن المحاولة واعتمدت قواعد اشتباك تلتزم نص القرار 1701 بالشكل الذي ذكرنا.

بيد أنّ أميركا لم تسقط التعديل من رأسها وكانت مع كلّ تجديد او تمديد لمهمة اليونيفيل في لبنان، تحاول فرضه مرة جديدة وكانت تواجَه بالرفض اللبناني الذي كان يضغط على القوى المشاركة في القوات الدولية بما يشكله من خطر عليها فتهدّد بالانسحاب في حال تمّ التعديل الذي كانت تريده أميركا بتحويل قوات اليونيفيل من قوات سلام تعمل برضى الأطراف في بيئة ديمغرافية تتقبّلها، إلى قوات قتال في بيئة تعاديها أو ترفضها. وفي المحصّلة فشلت أميركا طيلة العقد المنصرم من أجراء أيّ تعديل للقرار 1701.

واليوم تتكرّر المحاولة قبل أشهر ثلاثة من انتهاء تفويض اليونيفيل وتريد أميركا إجراء تعديل يخوّل اليونيفيل بمهام بعيداً عن مساندة الجيش ويجيز لها فتح النار خارج حالات الدفاع عن النفس. والبعض يقول أيضاً السماح لها بالعمل في النطاق الأمني شمالي خط الليطاني في العمق اللبناني والقصد من كلّ ذلك تكليف اليونيفيل القيام بمهمة تخدم حصرياً المصالح “الإسرائيلية” بجمع المعلومات والتفتيش عن سلاح المقاومة ونزعه وهي المهمة التي عجزت “إسرائيل” عنها في حرب الـ 33 يوماً وتراها اليوم أكثر ألحاحاً مع ما يُتدَاول عن امتلاك المقاومة لترسانة صواريخ تخطت الـ 100 ألف صاروخ حسب قول “إسرائيل”، ومنها كمّ مهمّ من الصواريخ الدقيقة التي تقضّ مضاجع “إسرائيل”.

إنّ المحاولة الأميركية خطرة وخبيثة وإذا قيّض لها النجاح فإنها ستضع المقاومة والشعب في الجنوب وجهاً لوجه وينقلب الأمن والاستقرار السائدين حالياً في المنطقة إلى حالة من الاضطراب والاختلال الأمني التي لا يمكن لأحد أن يتوقع إلى أين تصل في حال تدحرجها. ولذلك نرى انّ على لبنان أن يضع مجلس الأمن منذ الآن بين خيارين أما التمديد لـ “اليونيفيل” دون أيّ تعديل للقرار 1701 او سحب هذه القوات التي تقدّم حتى في واقعها الحالي خدمات لـ “إسرائيل” أكثر منها للبنان.

وبالمناسبة نقول إنّ اليونيفيل لم تنفذ مهامها التي أسندت اليها بالقرار 1701 في واقعه الحالي خاصة لجهة مزارع شبعا والغجر ومناطق الاحتلال الإسرائيلي الـ 13 شمالي الحدود الدولية والخط الأزرق المعتمد للتحقق من الانسحاب الإسرائيلي، والذي تريده أميركا و”إسرائيل” خطاً للتفاوض على حدود جديدة وفقاً لصفقة القرن، ولم تلتفت أميركا او أحد من المعنيين إلى هذا التقصير، بينما تصرّ أميركا على أمر آخر يتعلق بتعديل التفويض لمحاصرة المقاومة والتفتيش عن سلاحها ودفع الجنوبيين إلى حالة من القلق لا يعرفون معها متى تدخل عليهم في بيوتهم وممتلكاتهم قوات أجنبية ترتدي القبعات الزرقاء لتفتش أماكن تظنّ أنها فيها ممنوعات متجاوزة الجيش اللبناني وقوى الأمن اللبناني ذات الصلاحية وممارسة لوظيفة قوات احتلال وليس قوات سلام او حفظ سلام.

لبنان: انتهاكات إسرائيل الجوية "خطيرة" - وكالة سند للأنباء

إننا ورغم شكّنا بقدرة أميركا على إجراء التعديل، وذلك لأكثر من اعتبار أهمّها ما يتعلق بخوف الدول المشاركة في اليونيفيل على أمن قواتها إذا جرى التعديل دون موافقة بيئة المقاومة وشعبها في الجنوب، وكذلك حاجة ذلك لموافقة الحكومة اللبنانية التي بتركيبتها الحالية لا يمكن لها أن توافق على التعديل ولا يغيّر من الأمر شيء القول بانّ مندوبة لبنان في الأمم المتحدة قد توافق، فهذا الأمر هو أمر تأسيسي استراتيجي لا يمكن للمندوبة أن تتخذ فيه قراراً دون العودة الى وزارة الخارجية، رغم كلّ ما يُقال بهذا الصدد، أضف إلى ذلك توقع الرفض الروسي والصيني والفرنسي تبعاً للرفض اللبناني.

بيد أنه ورغم كلّ ما ذكر نرى أنّ على الحكومة اللبنانية ومنذ الآن إبلاغ مجلس الأمن بكتاب خطي واضح رفضها أيّ تعديل للقرار 1701 ورفضها أيّ مراجعة لقواعد الاشتباك مهما كان الأمر طفيفاً. وقبل أن ينظر بتعديلات تقيّد لبنان وتطلق يد الأمم المتحدة فيه لمصلحة “إسرائيل”، وأنّ على الأمم المتحدة تطبيق القرار بأحكامه الحالية وتأمين المصالح اللبنانية التي قيل إنها اعتُمدت لترعاها.

*أستاذ جامعي – وخبير استراتيجي

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‘They Accept Us as We Are;’ Christians Join Forces With Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon

‘They Accept Us as We Are;’ Christians Join Forces With Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon

May 02, 2020

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‘They Accept Us as We Are;’ Christians Join Forces With Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon

By Vincent Funaro, Christian Post Reporter

The Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah, classified for many years by U.S. Intelligence as a terrorist organization, is training Christians to fight ISIS in Lebanon and the Middle Eastern believers say their new and unlikely allies “accept us as we are.”

Citing Lebanese sources, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin says Christian villages in the Bekaa Valley area of Lebanon are forming militias to join Hezbollah fighters already engaging ISIS and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nursa Front in the Syrian Qalamoun mountains opposite villages in central and eastern Bekaa.

Rifit Nasrallah, a Catholic businessman who is part of the militias fighting ISIS in Ras Baalbek, discussed the alliance with Hezbollah in an International Business Times report last month.

“We’re in a very dangerous situation,” he said. “The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah. The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let’s not hide it anymore.”

Nasrallah said Hezbollah does not expect its allies to convert to Islam or create an allegiance to the group’s ideals.

“They accept us as we are,” he said. “They do not impose on us anything. When there’s an occasion, they come to our children’s birthdays. The people here accept that Hezbollah comes and helps.”

This unlikely alliance between Christians and Hezbollah is a far cry from the adversarial relationship depicted between the two groups in the region.

According to the IB Times report, however, the alliance is one of convenience. Hezbollah is Iran’s strongest proxy in that area of Lebanon and has been a key factor in keeping President Bashar Assad’s regime in power after four years of the Syrian war. Protecting Ras Baalbek is a priority for the group because losing it to ISIS would put the surrounding Shiite towns under direct threat.

As a result, Hezbollah has invested heavily in sustaining the relationship with Christians. The group trained Christians in Syria to fight ISIS alongside them, according to a November report from Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar and even paid wages similar to Hezbollah members for Christians joining their ranks.

“We are not speaking of an assumed threat, we are speaking of a real aggression that exists every hour, every day, every night,” said Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in a recent speech. He explained that armed groups have launched continuous attacks inside Lebanese territories while also holding dozens of Lebanese soldiers and police officers hostage, “so we need a permanent solution.”

Last fall, The Christian Post reported that GOP 2016 presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was booed after he offended some Middle Eastern Christians by declaring at an event in Washington, D.C. that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute of Religion and Democracy and an attendee at the evening event, later wrote in a blog entry that he was not surprised by the reaction.‘They Accept Us as We Are;’ Christians Join Forces With Muslim Group Hezbollah to Fight ISIS in Lebanon

“It’s no secret that many Mideast Christians generally aren’t big fans of Israel. I learned this firsthand during the 2006 Israel war on Hezbollah, when my discussion at church with a Lebanese Christian nearly escalated to a shouting match,” wrote Tooley.

“Sometimes American Christians romanticize overseas persecuted Christians into disembodied noble souls unaffected by terrestrial concerns. But they, like everybody else, have histories, loyalties, resentments, grievances, and political calculations.”

The Times of Israel reported in March that Iran and Hezbollah were removed from the list of terror threats against the U.S. as a result of its campaign against ISIS.

“We believe that this results from a combination of diplomatic interests (the United States’ talks with Iran about a nuclear deal) with the idea that Iran could assist in the battle against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and maybe even in the battle against jihadist terrorism in other countries,” the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said in an analysis of the unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Communities released in February.

Another American body, the Defense Intelligence Agency, however, said both Iran and Hezbollah were still terrorism threats.

“Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Lebanese Hezbollah are instruments of Iran’s foreign policy and its ability to project power in Iraq, Syria, and beyond,” noted the body in their assessment, submitted to the U.S. Senate on Feb. 26.

“Hezbollah continues to support the Syrian regime, pro-regime militants and Iraqi Shiite militants in Syria. Hezbollah trainers and advisors in Iraq assist Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militias fighting Sunni extremists there. Select Iraqi Shiite militant groups also warned of their willingness to fight U.S. forces returning to Iraq,” it noted.Contact: Vincent.funaro@christianpost.com; follow me on Twitter @vinfunaro

رياض سلامة: رجاءً… ارحلْ

رياض سلامة: رجاءً... ارحلْ!

ابراهيم الأمين 

الخميس 30 نيسان 2020

يتعامل رياض سلامة مع الإعلام بكلّ ما يضمن له اللعب ضمن المربّع الذي يريد. فهو، منذ تولّيه منصبه، لم يخرج إلى الإعلام بشروط الإعلام والشفافية، بل وفقاً لشروطه هو. ولطالما كانت مقابلاته التلفزيونية «مهندسة» تماماً، وهامش المفاجأة فيها شبه معدوم. كما بقية مقابلاته الصحافية التي تقع تحت عنوان «مدفوع الأجر».

أمس، هرب سلامة، مجدّداً، من الأسئلة المتراكمة أمامه منذ ربع قرن. الأسئلة التي تحاكي من يفترض به لعب دور تعزيز الاقتصاد المنتج لا الاقتصاد الريعي. وهو واحد من مهندسي الاقتصاد الريعي، وابن أصيل لمدرسة الرأسمال الاستهلاكي الذي قاد العالم منذ ثمانينات القرن الماضي. وكان رفيق الحريري وجهه الشرق أوسطي، وسلامة حيلته النقدية. طار الحريري وطارت معه الرؤوس والحكومات والسلطات، لكنّ سلامة بقي في موقعه. يريدون إقناع العالم بأن الجماهير كانت تتظاهر يومياً لبقائه. ويريدون لنا أن ننسى أنه الركن الثابت في سلطة تمثّل جميع وجوه النظام البائس، وأن نتجاهل كونه ممثل الرأسمالية العالمية في بلادنا، والوديعة الحقيقية للنظام الاقتصادي الاستعماري الذي تقوده أميركا في العالم.

لم يقبل سلامة يوماً المثول أمام لجنة عامة في مناظرة عامة. هو لا يقف في وجه خصم له. ولا يناقش علناً معارضين لسياساته. يُحضّر الأسئلة التي تناسبه ويقدّم الإجابات التي لا مجال لمناقشتها، مثله مثل رجال الدين في عظاتهم وخطبهم الأسبوعية. يقفون على منابر أعلى من الناس المصطفّين للاستماع من دون نقاش. سلامة لا يحبّ إلا هذا النوع من التواصل مع الناس. وهذا ما يوجب عليه معرفة أنه لا مجال لاحتساب ما يقوله. بل يمكن احتساب ما يفعله فقط، وما يصلنا منه على شكل نتائج. وبالتالي، عليه توقّع الأفعال المضادّة لسياساته بالطريقة التي تناسب خصومه، ووفق المسرح الذي يختاره هؤلاء، وبشروطهم، طالما أنه قرّر اللعب بنظام الركلات الترجيحية وعن بُعد.
كان على سلامة الإجابة عن أسئلة حقيقيّة تُطرح في وجهه طوال الوقت، وليس خلال الأشهر الماضية:
– كم كانت كلفة سياسة تثبيت سعر الصرف على الاقتصاد كلياً، وعلى القوة الشرائية للعملة الوطنية؟

كم كانت سياسة الفوائد عامل تنشيط للاقتصاد الحقيقي؟ وكم وفّرت من فرص عمل جدّيّة؟ وكم خفّفت من عجز الميزان التجاري؟

كم كانت مفيدة سياسة تفريخ المصارف مثل النقابات والدكاكين؟ وكم كانت مفيدة سياسة استخدام المال العام لمصلحة مُرابين تخلّوا عن زبائنهم عند أول مفترق؟

كم كانت هندساتك المالية مفيدة في حماية مصارف سقطت بالضربة القاضية، وأفلست حتى ولو رفضت هي وأنت إشهار إفلاسها؟

– كم كانت سياسات الدعم ناجعة في خلق اقتصاد منتج، لا حماية لمنظومة استهلاك تافهة تعرف اليوم أنها لا تفيد في شيء؟

كم كنت أميناً لعمليات التطوير واللحاق بالعصر في مجال العمل المصرفي تحديداً، وكم سهّلت انتقال النظام المصرفي عندنا ليصير شبيهاً بما يجري في دول قريبة لا في العالم الحرّ المتقدّم الذي تعشقه أنت ورفاقك؟

كم مرّة استخدمت صلاحياتك لكبح جماح المُرابين من حولك، على الأقل بالتوازن مع استخدامك المُفرط لصلاحياتك من أجل تعزيز نفوذهم وأرباحهم، إلا إذا كنت شريكاً فعلياً لهم؟

كم مرّة فكّرت أن العمل العام له نظام وإطار زمني، وأنه يجب التقاعد الطوعي لا الإخراج القسري المحتوم – كما هو متوقّع الآن – حيث لا تنفع معك لا مساعي الشركاء من زعماء الطوائف، ولا رشاوى المُرابين من حولك، ولا دعاء رجال الدين المتملّقين لك بصورة مُهينة، ولا ضغوط العم سام.

أمس، هرب سلامة، مجدّداً، من الأسئلة المتراكمة أمامه منذ ربع قرن

رياض سلامة يعرف، ولا يجرؤ على القول، بأنّ أزمة نظامه هو، لا أزمة النظام في لبنان، قد تفاقمت يوم قرّر الأميركيون بالمشاركة مع السعودية ممارسة أقسى الضغوط على لبنان. هو لا يريد أن يقول لنا حجم تأثير اعتقال السعودية لسعد الحريري على التحويلات المالية، ولا كم كلّفتنا عملية التجديد له في منصبه. كما لا يريد القول لنا كم هرّب أترابه في العام الأخير من أموال إلى الخارج بعلمه وتحت رعايته. ولا يريد أن يقول لنا ما هو الحجم الفعلي للقطاع المصرفي اليوم، وما الصالح منه للبقاء. كما أنه لا يريد أن يقول لنا الرقم السحري الخاص بكمية المبالغ التي مرّت عليه خلال ربع قرن، ومن أين أتت وإلى أين ذهبت، لا أن يكتفي بتعداد ما أنفقته الدولة ولو ضمن برامج خاطئة.

رياض سلامة: كل عمليات التجميل لم تعد تنفع، رجاءً… ارحلْ!

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الطريق المسدود مرعب

ناصر قنديل

من جهة يظهر المشهد في الشمال مشبعاً بالغضب الناتج عن اليأس والجوع والشعور بالعجز، والتعرّض للخداع والسرقة، مع بلوغ الدولار سعر الـ 4000 ليرة والمزيد، وتوقف عجلة العمل وتناقص الموارد حتى الجفاف وارتفاع السعار حتى حدود الخيال، والغضب عندما يتفجّر فهو لا يُعقل، ويبحث عن الصخب والضجيج وجذب الأنظار ويصير ساحة مناسبة للشغب الآتي أحياناً من براءة المنتفضين، الذين يعتبرون أنهم لا يكونون قد فعلوا شيئاً إذا عادوا إلى بيوتهم بعد تظاهرات سلمية باردة هادئة، وأن غضبهم لن يؤخذ على محل الجِدّ من دون عمليات تكسير وحرق، ومواجهات بالحجارة وغير الحجارة مع الأجهزة الأمنيّة، من جيش وقوى أمن وسواهما، وهم لا يعتبرون الإنجاز إلا بسماع أنباء من نوع استقالة رئيس أو وزير أو توقيف وإلقاء القبض على مسؤول، أو بإعلان سحري عن تخفيض سعر الدولار وفتح الباب لسحب يسير للودائع بالليرة والدولار، وانخفاض فجائي للأسعار، وما عدا ذلك يعتبرونه تضليلاً وخداعاً وتلاعباً بهم وبـ «ثورتهم «.

من جهة مقابلة، جنود وضباط وعناصر أمنية معنيون بتطبيق صارم لثلاث مهام، مهمة الحظر والعزل والتباعد التي يفرضها زمن كورونا ومخاطر تفشي الوباء الجدّي والذي لا يحتمل مزحاً، ولا يجد أعذاراً للاستثناء، وإذا تفشى هذا الوباء فهو سمّ زعاف وموت يحصد بالجملة ولا يرحم. وثانياً مهمة منع التعدي على الأملاك الخاصة والعامة وأعمال الحرق والتكسير، وهي من صلب واجباتهم القانونية والدستورية. وثالثاً، منع المندسين والمتسللين والعابثين من افتعال الصدام مع الوحدات الأمنية واستهدافها لتفجير علاقة الجسم الشعبي الغاضب بهذه المؤسسات، طلباً لنزف الدماء الذي يريده متربّصون كثر يجدون في اللحظة من التقابل بين المتظاهرين والقوى الأمنيّة فرصة ذهبيّة ليلعبوا لعبتهم.

من جهة ثالثة أمامنا منطقة تختزن كل المشاكل اللبنانية، فالفقر في أعلى نسبه في الشمال، والإهمال في أعلى درجاته في الشمال، والثراء الفاحش للسياسيين كما الفساد الذي نخر الدولة ونهب المال العام، يقدّمان نماذج فاضحة شمالا، والقيادات السياسية شبه مهمّشة شعبياً، لكنها تملك تشكيلات منظمة قادرة على التلاعب بالتظاهرات والاندساس فيها ورفع شعارات وتفجير مواجهات. وهذه القيادات تجد أنها في مواجهة سياسية مصيرية مع الواقع المستجد مع حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، وفرصتها الوحيدة لتوجيه الرسائل المتفجرة هي بركب موجة الغضب الشمالي. وفي الشمال منظمات ذات طابع أمني لها تاريخ دمويّ مع الجيش اللبناني، ومافيات تهريب منظمة لها مصالح بالفوضى ولها تاريخ كر وفر مع القوى الأمنية. وكل منها تجد في المسرح الذي توفره ساحات الغضب فرصتها المنشودة، وفي الشمال تنافس خليجي تركي قطري، يحضر فيه المال كما تحضر المخابرات، وسباق على ملء فراغات تراجع القيادات السياسية التقليدية بتنمية زعامات صف ثالث ورابع وعاشر، مسرحها هو تعبيرات الغضب الشعبي.

من جهة رابعة، حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، التي لا تحمل أوزار المرحلة السابقة، خصوصاً برئيسها، الذي يشعر أنه يُعاقَب من الناس الذين يؤمن بأنه يمثلهم، لحساب زعماء يريدون تعطيل مساره الإصلاحي، خصوصاً في مكافحة الفساد، الذي يمثل هؤلاء الزعماء نماذجه الفاقعة، بينما الحكومة التي يترأسها بنظر الناس وقد نجحت في إثبات جدية وفعالية في مواجهة كورونا بدت بطيئة في إخراج أجوبة تمنح الأمل للناس تجاه واقعهم المعيشي الآخذ في التدهور، سواء في قدرتها على لجم ارتفاع سعر الدولار أو مواجهة الغلاء.

في السياسة تقع الفتنة النموذجيّة عندما يتقابل الحق بالحق ويندسّ الباطل بينهما. وهذا ما نحن عليه، ولهذا الخشية من الطريق المسدود، وما يثيره من ذعر ورعب مجرد التفكير بتخيل ما قد يكون آتياً على الطريق. إنها الفتنة، فمن يستطيع الانحدار إلى قعرها بسرعة تشبه انحدار سعر صرف الليرة أمام الدولار؟

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رياض سلامة يتآمر على الاستقرار: هل انطلق الانفجار الاجتماعي من طرابلس؟

حسن عليق

 الثلاثاء 28 نيسان 2020

رياض سلامة يتآمر على الاستقرار: هل انطلق   الانفجار الاجتماعي من طرابلس؟
(هيثم الموسوي)

هل بدأ الانفجار الشعبي من طرابلس؟ ما كان متوقعاً ظهرت بوادره الاولى امس، في عاصمة الشمال خاصة، وبصورة أقل حدّة في صيدا وبعض شوارع بيروت والبقاع. وصل سعر صرف الليرة إلى رقم قياسي. الكثير من المحال التجارية، في طرابلس وغيرها، توقف عن شراء المواد الاستهلاكية بسبب أسعارها التي لا تكف عن الارتفاع بصورة جنونية. لم يكن ينقص ليكتمل المشهد إلا عنف الجيش في وجه متظاهرين غاضبين في المدينة الأفقر في لبنان. ليلة امس، تظاهر شبان بعد «صلاة التراويح»، في ساحة عبد الحميد كرامي، بدعوة من مجموعة تعرفها الاجهزة الأمنية جيداً وتعرف ارتباطاتها. الداعون اختفوا، وبقي في الشارع الغاضبون الذين يعانون الأمرّين جراء البطالة وارتفاع الأسعار. هاجم المتظاهرون واجهات مصارف. واتجه بعضهم نحو منزل النائب فيصل كرامي. في الساحة، جرت مواجهات بينهم وبين قوة من الجيش متمركزة هناك. استخدم المتظاهرون الحجارة والزجاجات الحارقة. رد الجيش كان اعنف من السابق. لم يكتف بالرصاص المطاطي، إذ استخدم بعض الجنود الرصاص «الحي» أيضاً. سقط عدد من الجرحى، احدهم كان لا يزال في حال الخطر حتى ساعات الفجر الاولى.

انفجار عاصمة الشمال توّج يوماً «حامياً» في الكثير من المناطق. الطريق الساحلي بين بيروت والشمال، وبوابة الجنوب صيدا، شهدا الكثير من التحركات. في ساحل كسروان والمتن، لم يكن صعباً تمييز الخطاب السياسي المؤيد لحاكم مصرف لبنان «يندسّ» بين المتظاهرين. خطاب يلاقي الهجمة السياسية التي يقوم بها «حزب المصرف»، المترامي الأطراف سياسياً وطائفياً، دفاعاً عن سلامة، وعن طبقة الـ2 في المئة من المودعين، ورفضاً لأي عملية مساءلة عن ارتكابات الفترات الماضية، ولو كانت هذه المساءلة غير مضمونة النتائج لجهة استعادة ما يُسمّى «مالاً منهوباً»، او لناحية وضع بعض السارقين في السجون.
الحكومة كانت بطيئة في الاستجابة للتداعيات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لحجر «كورونا». لا شك في ذلك. لكن دور رياض سلامة لا يترك أي مجال سوى لنظرية المؤامرة. صحيح ان الانهيار الاقتصادي وقع، وباتت البلاد تعيش على إيقاعه. وصحيح أيضاً أن أي حكومة، ولو كان رئيسها ووزراؤها من طينة «سوبرمان»، لا يمكنها انتشال البلاد من الكارثة في غضون أقل من خمس سنوات. لكن اداء سلامة لا يمكن وصفه بأقل من المشبوه. إذ أنه مصرّ على عدم التدخل في سوق القطع، لتخفيف وتيرة انهيار سعر الليرة، ومعها الارتفاع الناري للأسعار. كما أنه مصرّ على خلق كتلة نقدية إضافية من الليرات، بما يضاعف من ارتفاع أسعار السلع، كل السلع. وبدلاً من القيام بواجبه المنصوص عليه في القانون، وهو (حرفياً) «المحافظة على سلامة النقد اللبناني»، و«المحافظة على الاستقرار الاقتصادي» (المادة 70 من قانون النقد والتسليف)، قرر خوض معركة سياسية، لحماية نفسه، وما يمثّله، مرتكزاً إلى حماية اميركية، وإلى احتضان من قبل طغمة مالية – سياسية – دينية – طائفية شريكة له في فساده، ليبدأ بهجوم عبر وسائل إعلامية فاسدة لطالما استفادت من رشاويه من المال العام، ومن تغطيته على ارتكابات أصحابها. هجومه السياسي يتركّز حول نقطة وحيدة، مفادها ان المسؤول عن ازمة الدولار هو حزب الله. يتصرف سلامة بطريقة العميل الوضيع الذي يريد إرضاء مشغّله. وهدفه المزيد من تجويع السكان، لكي يصبح استغلال الغضب الشعبي أكثر سهولة ممن يريدون استغلاله، والذين بدأت السعودية تجميعهم على قناتها التلفزيونية («العربية»)، لخوض معركة إسقاط البلد في المزيد من اهتزاز الاستقرار.
يرفض سلامة القيام بالواجبات التي يفرضها عليه القانون، لأهداف سياسية. ينفّذ عملية انتحارية، سياسياً ووظيفياً. هي مهمته الأخيرة. وهو يدرك انها ولايته الأخيرة، وأن إكماله لها صعب جداً. وبناءً على ذلك، وعلى ارتباطاته الإقليمية والدولية، يحرص على انهيار الهيكل تماماً. لم يعد رياض سلامة خطراً على سلامة النقد والاقتصاد وحسب. وجوده في مصرف لبنان بات خطراً على الامن والاستقرار العام. إزاحته من موقعه يجب ان يكون الاولوية. ليست إقالته عملية سحرية ستنقذ البلاد من الانهيار فوراً. لكن التخفيف من حدة الانهيار مستحيل بوجوده. البلاد تحتاج اليوم لمن يسعى حقاً إلى تنقيذ القانون: «المحافظة على سلامة النقد اللبناني»، و«المحافظة على الاستقرار الاقتصادي». هاتان المهمتان ينفذهما من يشارك الحكومة في أي عمل إنقاذي، لا من يتآمر على البلاد وأمنها واستقرارها.

Sheikh Qassem to Al-Manar TV: Hezbollah is Ready for War with ‘Israel’ at Any Time

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem

April 14, 2020

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qasem stressed that on April 11, 1996, the Israeli enemy wanted to rift the relation between the Islamic Resistance and the Lebanese people by committing massacres, adding most of the world governments conspired with the Zionists after Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

In an interview with Al-Manar TV Channel, Sheikh Qasem confirmed that the steadfastness of the Resistance, people and Army in the context of the golden formula led the Israeli enemy to humiliatingly stop its aggression on Lebanon and recognize a written pact that guarantees Hezbollah right to fire rockets in response to any Zionist assault on the Lebanese civilians.

His eminence indicated that 1996 confrontation established the principles of the balance of deterrence which subdued the Zionists, stressing that Hezbollah is now ready to confront any Israeli war on Lebanon whenever it erupts.

Sheikh Qassem said that the coronavirus is an enemy for the entire humanity, pointing out that the US administration enhances the pandemic outbreak by insisting on its sanctions against certain countries and pirating the medical stuffs while being sent to EU states.

Hezbollah Deputy Chief maintained that after the coronavirus stage, the world will witness major political and economic changes, adding that the US will no longer be able to lead the world.

Sheikh Qassem considered it is obligatory to thank the Lebanese health minister Dr. Hamad Hasan and all the governmental institutions which cooperated with him to fight the coronavirus, noting that Dr. Hasan works professionally and in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Sheikh Qassem stressed that the international testimonies confirm the Lebanese government’s success in controlling the coronavirus outbreak, adding that Hezbollah plan in this regard is not a substitute for the governmental role.

His eminence asserted that Hezbollah used to have the structure of the aid institutions before the coronavirus outbreak, pointing out that the party intensified its efforts in providing people with the socioecoromic support during the pandemic crisis.

Sheikh Qassem also highlighted that Hezbollah anti-coronavirus plan aimed at reassuring the Lebanese people, expressing readiness, if asked, to support any town against the pandemic.

Sheikh Qassem reiterated that Hezbollah endorses the return of the Lebanese expats, adding that the party set only one condition in this regard which is observing the safety measures in this process.

Hezbollah Deputy Chief added that the Rasoul Aazam Hospital is not concerned at all with the fake video circulated via social media to disrepute the medical institution, pointing out Hezbollah specialized a different hospital for the coronavirus cases.

Sheikh Qassem stressed that PM Hassan Diab invited all the Lebanese political parties to have a ministerial share in his government, adding that this grants it a national legitimacy.

His eminence called on certain parties to avert the slogan of the one-color government, considering that it is the government of the brave who accepted to assume the responsibility of addressing the crisis caused during the past 30 years.

Sheikh Qassem voiced Hezbollah support to the government, adding that the party will propose a plan to address the economic crisis in a way that protects the rights of all the Lebanese.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

العالم تخطّى المليون إصابة: 80% من الإصابات و85% من الوفيات في أميركا وأوروبا. دياب: أنقذت ضميري وسحبت التعيينات لأنها لا تشبهني… وهناك كورونا سياسيّ أيضاً. عودة المغتربين تبدأ الأحد… والفحوصات في بيروت… والجيش ينتشر في طرابلس

https://www.al-binaa.com/archives/243015

كتب المحرّر السياسيّ

مع تجاوز العالم عتبة المليون إصابة بفيروس كورونا، رفعت منظمة الصحة العالمية من مستوى التحذير من خطورة المزيد من انتشار الفيروس، خصوصاً أن أرقام الوفيات لا تزال مقلقة مع تجاوزها عتبة الـ50 ألف حالة، وما يربك منظمة الصحة العالمية هو أنها اعتادت التعامل مع تفشي أوبئة أشد فتكاً، لكن في البلدان الأشد فقراً والأقل قدرة على مستوى الإمكانات الصحية والمالية، ولذلك كانت المعالجة التقليدية تتم عبر مناشدة الدول المقتدرة على تخصيص موازنات لمساعدة الدول المصابة، وتقديم الأجهزة والأدوية واللقاحات، واستنفار الجسم الطبي للتطوّع في حملات الإنقاذ، لكن الجديد والمفاجئ للمنظمة كما يقول القيّمون عليها هو أن النسبة الكبرى من الإصابات هي في البلدان الأكثر تقدماً والأشد اقتداراً، فـ 80% من الإصابات الفعلية التي تمثل 780 ألف إصابة من اصل إجمالي المليون الذي شفي منهم أكثر من 200 ألف وتوفي منهم 50 ألفاً، هي في أميركا وأوروبا، حيث سجلت 600 ألف إصابة فعلية، كما سجلت فيها 43 ألف حالة وفاة أي 85% من حالات الوفاة، بينما لا تشكل حالات الشفاء فيها أكثر من 30% من إجمالي حالات الشفاء، وذلك على عكس الصين التي سجلت 8% من العدد الإجمالي للمصابين المليون، منهم 2% من الإصابات الفعلية، و30% من حالات الشفاء، و6% من حالات الوفيات، بحيث توزعت إصابات الصين المسجلة الـ80 ألفاً بين 75 ألف حالة شفاء و2000 إصابة فعلية و3000 حالة وفاة، بينما عدد سكان الصين يعادل ضعف مجموع سكان أوروبا وأميركا.

لبنان الذي لا يزال في مستوى مقبول من التعامل مع الفيروس بمكانة جيدة بين دول العالم، وفق معدل 72 إصابة بكل مليون نسمة، مقابل معدل وسطي عالمي بـ 125 إصابة للمليون، وبرقم تسلسلي بين الدول هو الـ 74 من حيث عدد الإصابات، والـ 88 من حيث عدد الإصابات بكل مليون نسمة، لكن هذا لم يمنع من تسجيل مصدرين للقلق على خسارة هذه المكانة، الأول هو درجة التفلت التي تمّ رصدها في تطبيق حالة التعبئة العامة، بسبب عدم انضباط فئات عديدة بإجراءات العزل، والثاني هو تعثر تطبيق آلية عودة المغتربين عبر إجراء الفحوص المخبرية قبل السفر، بسبب رفض عدد من الدول لهذا الترتيب، ما استدعى من الحكومة التي عقدت جلستها أمس في قصر بعبدا برئاسة رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، تكليف الجيش والقوى الأمنية المزيد من التشدد في تطبيق الإجراءات، وتلويح الحكومة على لسان رئيسها الدكتور حسان دياب بالمزيد من التشدد، وقد سجل أمس انتشار للجيش في مدينة طرابلس، بينما أعلن وزير الصحة الدكتور محمد حسن عن بدء تطبيق آلية العودة للمغتربين من السعودية ودولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة ودولتين أفريقيتين، ومراقبة النتائج بعد إجراء الفحوصات في لبنان وتطبيق إجراءات العزل بعدها.

القضية الأبرز على المسار الحكومي كانت أزمة تعيينات مصرف لبنان وهيئة الأسواق المالية، التي كادت تعرض الحكومة لأزمة سياسية مع تلويح تيار المردة بالانسحاب من الحكومة، ما لم ينل التيار حصة تناسب حجمه من التعيينات، وفشل محاولات الوساطة التي قام بها حزب الله بين التيار الوطني الحر وتيار المردة لتسوية النزاع حول التعيينات، وكان في بداية الجلسة الحكومية موقف لرئيس الحكومة، أعلن خلاله سحب البند الخاص بالتعيينات عن جدول الأعمال، قائلاً “أنقذت ضميري وسحبت التعيينات لأنها لا تشبهني”. ونقلت وزيرة الإعلام منال عبد الصمد عن الرئيس دياب قوله، “من الواضح أن المصاعب التي تواجه البلد تتزايد وتكبر، وتهدّد اللبنانيين بمستقبلهم وصحتهم ومعيشتهم. قدر هذه الحكومة أن تحمل أعباء هذه التحدّيات دفعة واحدة، وأن تخوض هذه الأمواج العاتية من المشكلات، وأن تتحمّل المسؤولية من أجل تخفيف الأضرار عن لبنان واللبنانيين. هذه التحديات الوطنية، تفترض من المسؤولين، وخصوصاً من القوى السياسية، حدّاً أقصى من الحجر الصحي على المصالح والحسابات والمزايدات، لأن الوضع في البلد، وعلى كل المستويات، لا يحتمل مزيداً من التناحر السياسي وتناتش الحصص، خصوصاً أنه لم يعد هناك شيء في البلد يمكن تناتشه”.

وأضافت عبد الصمد نقلا عن دياب قوله “بكل أسف، لم نشعر أن هناك وعياً وطنياً أو تخلٍّ عن السلوك السابق الذي يتحمّل مسؤولية رئيسية وأساسية في الانهيار الذي نعيشه، أو ارتقاءً إلى مستوى المخاطر الوطنية. هناك من يعتقد أن شيئًا لم يحصل، وأن انتفاضة اللبنانيين في 17 تشرين الأول انتهت، ويحاولون طمس حقيقة أن البلد يعيش تداعيات كل السياسات الماضية. نحن لطالما قلنا وردّدنا أننا لا نريد منافسة أحد في السياسة، وأنه ليست لدينا طموحات سياسية، وأننا نريد العمل بصمت كي ننقذ البلد من الانهيار الشامل. لكن، وبكل أسف، هناك من يصرّ على عرقلة الحكومة ورميها بالحجارة، لأنه يعتقد أن نجاحها يؤدي إلى كشف عورات السياسات السابقة، وأن البلد لا يمكنه أن يعيش من دون الدوران في فلكهم. في كل الأحوال، يبدو أن فيروس كورونا كان مرضاً منتشراً في مختلف مفاصل الحياة في لبنان قبل أن يتحوّل إلى وباء مرضي في الصحة. حظّ هؤلاء المتحاملين أننا في هذه الحكومة مصرّون على مواجهة الأوبئة المالية والصحية والاجتماعية والمعيشية. وهي أوبئة تكاد مكافحتها تكون مستعصية، بسبب عمقها وتجذّرها. ومسؤوليتنا تحتّم علينا أن نستمر في مهمتنا وأن نتحمّل وأن نصبر… فنحن حكومة مواجهة التحديات… نعم حكومة مواجهة التحديات.”

لم ينجح مجلس الوزراء بتمرير سلة التعيينات المالية والمصرفية بسبب الخلاف السياسي على الحصص والأسماء لا سيما بين التيار الوطني الحر وتيار المردة بغياب وزرائه عن الجلسة التي عقدت أمس في بعبدا برئاسة رئيس الجمهورية ميشال عون. فيما يرفض الرئيس سعد الحريري ايضاً تغيير نائب الحاكم السني او تجاهله في تعيين مرشح آخر.

وقد استمرّت الاتصالات الى ما قبل الجلسة في محاولة للتوصل الى صيغة توافقية بين التيارين الحر والمردة، لكن وصلت الجهود الى طريق مسدود ما دفع بوزراء المرده لمقاطعة الجلسة تعبيراً عن رفضهم للتعيينات ما دفع برئيس الحكومة حسان دياب الى انقاذ الموقف وحماية الحكومة من اي انقسام وتضعضع، بادر الى سحب ملف بند التعيينات من جدول الأعمال، وتحدث مطولاً في مستهل الجلسة ورد على الحملة التي استهدفت الحكومة والتعيينات مؤكدًا رفضه لمنطق المحاصصة السياسية في التعيينات. وشدد دياب على أنّ حكومة التكنوقراط لا يمكنها أن تقبل بتعيينات لا تعتمد معايير الكفاءة. وأعلن سحب بند التعيينات من الجلسة.

وطلب مجلس الوزراء تخفيض رواتب نواب حاكم مصرف لبنان وهيئة الرقابة على المصارف وهيئة الأسواق المالية. وافادت المعلومات ان “الاتصالات لم تتمكّن من تذليل العقبات امام التعيينات في ظل اصرار تيار المردة على الحصول على مقعدين بينما رفض التيار الحر الامر، اما العقدة الثانية فهي سنية مع عدم رغبة بالتصادم الكامل مع الحريري”، فيما افادت مصادر “البناء” أن دياب لم يقتنع بالاسماء المطروحة بعد اطلاع على سيرهم الذاتية تبين انهم لا يتمتمعون بالكفاءة المطلوبة لهذه المواقع. ولم يقرر مجلس الوزراء بحسب المعلومات إدراج بند التعيينات على جدول اعمال الجلسة المقبلة.

وقرر مجلس الوزراء “السماح للرّاغبين بالعودة بالصعود الى الطائرات مع ضوابط صحية على أن تحصل الاختبارات في لبنان وتكرّر بعد أسبوع من عودتهم”. وذلك بسبب رفض دول عديدة استقبال الطواقم الطبية اللبنانية ورجال الأمن وإجراء الاختبار في مطاراتها. وأفيد ان اميركا وفرنسا والسعودية ودبي ابلغت وزارة الخارجية اللبنانية انها ستتولى اجراء الاختبارات بواسطة طواقمها الخاصة وليس اللبنانية. ومن المتوقع أن تصل الاحد المقبل الى بيروت 4 طائرات 2 منها من افريقيا وواحدة من الرياض تقل المغتربين.

واعلن وزير الصحة حمد حسن امس، بعد اجتماع مع رئيس الحكومة وعدد من الوزراء البدء بتسيير الرحلات الأحد المقبل في مرحلة أولى، وستشمل دول الخليج والقارة الأفريقية التي تشهد انتشارًا أقل للوباء، شرط إجراء الفحوص المخبرية الخاصة PCR antigen + antibody قبل 72 ساعة من الصعود إلى الطائرة. وإذا تعذر ذلك، ينبغي على الراغبين بالعودة الإقامة في الفندق وانتظار 24 ساعة لحين إجراء فحص الـ PCR في بيروت”، وأضاف: “بعد 24 ساعة، يتم التقييم الوبائي للمرحلة الأولى وبعدها تنطلق خطة العودة المعدَلة ابتداءً من 7 نيسان من كافة الدول ومن ضمنها الأوروبية وغيرها من الدول وفق الخطة المعدلة للعودة وقد اتخذت الحكومة كل هذه الإجراءات لحماية اللبنانيين الوافدين على متن الطائرات وأهلهم ومجتمعهم في لبنان”.

وأعلن الرئيس عون خلال الجلسة ان “عودة اللبنانيين من الخارج تتطلب تنظيماً دقيقاً لأن التزايد المضطرد للأعداد يفرض إجراءات استثنائية تؤمن سلامة العائدين كما سلامة محيطهم”. ونقلت وزيرة الاعلام منال عبد الصمد عن رئيس الحكومة حسان دياب قوله خلال الجلسة “هناك خرق كبير وخطير لإعلان التعبئة العامة ومناطق لا تلتزم بالتدابير ما يسبب ثغرة فاضحة لانتشار الوباء واذا لم تطبّق الإجراءات بصرامة قد نضطر الى اتخاذ قرارات اكثر تشدداً وتدابير قاسية”.

وسبق الجلسة لقاء بين الرئيسين عون ودياب.

في غضون ذلك، أعلنت وزارة الصحة العامة بلوغ عدد الحالات المثبتة مخبرياً في المستشفى الحكومي ومختبرات المستشفيات الجامعية المعتمدة بالإضافة إلى المختبرات الخاصة 494 حالة بزيادة 15 حالة عن يوم الاربعاء علماً ان عدد الفحوصات التي أجريت في الساعات الأربع والعشرين الماضية بلغ 539 فحصاً. وتم تسجيل 4 وفيات جديدة بالفيروس، ليصبح عدد الوفيات حتى تاريخه ست عشرة وفية.

في المقابل استمر خرق قرار التعبئة العامة على حاله منذ بداية الاسبوع، وسجلت زحمة سير لافتة على الطرقات وازدحام للمواطنين امام المصارف.

وبعد الإشكالات التي جرت في طرابلس، ظهر عضو كتلة المستقبل النيابية وليد البعريني متجولاً في عكار وعمد الى مصافحة مناصريه في غياب أي إجراءات صحية في خرق فاضح لقرار التعبئة العامة ما يؤشر الى تزايد الخروقات في مناطق شمالية معظمها تقع في مناطق وجود تيار المستقبل. ونشرت قيادة الجيش على “تويتر”، إرشادات للمواطنين استكمالاً لفترة التعبئة العامة ‏جاء فيها: “تقيّد بالتعليمات، التزم منزلك، امتنع عن التجوّل إلّا في حالات الضرورة القصوى”.‏

وأعلنت غرفة العمليات الوطنية لادارة الكوارث في تقريرها اليومي حول أن “الإصابات بفيروس “كورونا” في المتن ارتفعت إلى 104. أما في بيروت فقد بلغت الحالات 93 وفي كسروان 64 وفي بعبدا 48 وفي جبيل 41 حالة وهناك 7 حالات ما زالت قيد التدقيق من قبل وزارة الصحة”. وبحسب التقرير، “تتراوح نسبة الالتزام بالحجر المنزلي بين 70 و80 بالمئة في المحافظات، وسط تسجيل حركة سير ناشطة وتجمعات أمام الـATM والمصارف وتظاهرات مطلبية وفتح محال تجارية ومراسم الدفن”.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech On The Latest Developments / 13-3-2020

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech On The Latest Developments / 13-3-2020

Translated by Staff

Sayyed Nasrallah’s full speech on the latest developments delivered via satellite on 13-3-2020

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

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

Tonight, I would like to talk about several topics if time permits.

Among the urgent topics that concern everyone at this stage is the new coronavirus outbreak. This topic has become the number one concern not just for Lebanon or the people in our region but the whole world. It has become the primary concern in China, where this pandemic first broke out, in Europe, the U.S. and in countries of our region in west Asia.

I am going to talk about this topic, but I will not delve into the details. This is the task of the competent authorities such as the ministry of health, the doctors and the World Health Organization (WHO). So, I will not be repeating what they said in the past few days and weeks.

Rather, I want to set a framework for dealing with this tremendous development and define our responsibilities. First, we have to acknowledge that we in the midst of battle. Whether we are talking about Lebanon or the whole region, this is no longer a battle fought by one country. It is in fact a global war. It is a global war that is being fought by the countries and peoples of the world. It has become a priority for governments and people all over the world.

First, we must feel like we are fighting a battle. Thinking in this way is important in order for us to approach the matter and address it. There is an enemy and there are targets in this battle. The targets must confront the enemy. The experiences of the resistance, all the resistance movements and all the wars in the world, teach us that the enemy should be clearly identified. However, the problem in this battle is that the enemy is the new coronavirus. This virus is still unknown to the world. They are still researching about it, analyzing it and trying to decipher its secrets to find a cure in the form of medication, or a vaccine. This enemy is still unknow. Its dangers have become mostly clear in the past few weeks. It poses great danger. Hence, this enemy poses a great threat. How?

It threatens people’s lives. One type of enemy is the one that destroys homes, burns farms, disrupts security, and annoys your peace of mind. This enemy launches a war against you and can hurt you emotionally or psychologically. There is another type of enemy that wants to kill you and kill people. Its target range is not limited to villages, cities, countries, or even continents. It has global reach. It does not stop at a certain number of casualties – hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or millions.

Some media outlets in the U.S. are talking about very pessimistic estimates. They are talking about tens of millions, between 160 million to 225 million infected cases. These are just estimates made by some American media outlets expecting the number of infected cases in the U.S. alone to reach these figures.

Therefore, we are facing an enemy that poses a great and clear danger. We are not saying this for us to surrender, panic, or feel scared and frightened. But because we must know our enemy and the threat it poses, so we can assume our responsibilities and fight it.

In any case, it does not only threaten the economy, the academic year, or the different aspects of life. As I said, it also threatens lives.   The most important thing is to preserve people’s lives, to stay alive and healthy. People’s health is the priority. It must be the priority – as I will explain in the objectives. We can compensate for losing a school year. We can compensate for an economic downturn. We can compensate for anything else. But those who pass away, the loved ones that we lose and leave this world, they are gone. That’s it. We’ve lost them. Therefore, this is the enemy, and this is the threat.

What should be the response against this enemy and threat? What should the decision be? It should be to fight it. This is obvious. There are certain debatable axioms in our country and in many places around the world. For example, when “Israel” invaded Lebanon and occupied its lands, waters, airspace, and sovereignty, the axiom was to resist – which was controversial and debatable.

Hence, the choice should be to resist this occupying and invading enemy that has become a global pandemic. The choice should not be to surrender, despair, feel defeated or helpless, or to feel unable to do anything or make it easier. Rather, the decision must be confrontation and resistance. It should be fighting this battle with a resolute spirit and by assuming our responsibilities.

Third, when we talk about this confrontation or this responsibility, it must be general and inclusive. Let us take Lebanon for example. The responsibility in Lebanon today lies with everyone in the state, including the leaders, the government and all its ministries. It is not just the health ministry which is concerned with a certain aspect of the battle. It is the judiciary, the parliament, the army, the security forces, the municipalities, all state sectors and institutions, and everyone working for the state. The Lebanese people – young or old and in all the regions – must also shoulder their responsibilities. The non-Lebanese nationals who are residing in Lebanon including the Palestinian refugees, the displaced Syrians, and other Arab and non-Arab nationals residing in Lebanon should be a partner in this confrontation and must assume their responsibilities during this battle. 

Of course, each person should assume their own responsibility and do what is required of him. Everyone in this confrontation is required to do certain tasks. This battle is more comprehensive and requires everyone’s efforts and for every individual to shoulder his responsibility. This battle may differ from political or military battles. During a military battle, some people might fight, and thus, the onus falls from the rest. Some might fight the political battle, taking the responsibility from the rest. But in this battle, everyone is responsible. Everyone should do their part.

In a military battle, the army and the security forces are the ones fighting on the frontlines. Similarly, in the resistance’s battles, the fighters, the mujahideen, or the resistance fighters are the ones fighting on the frontlines. On the political front, political leaders and politicians are at the forefront of the confrontation. In this type of battle, the ministry of health and other similar ministries, their staff, the state-run hospitals, private hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and anyone working in the health sector in the country are the ones fighting on the frontlines. We must see them as officers, soldiers, and resistance fighters fighting along the frontlines. We must appreciate their efforts. I will return to this point later.

Hence, everyone must assume their responsibilities in this battle.

The next point is the objective of the battle. What will it be? Let us say we are at the heart of the battle. What is the objective of this battle that we are fighting? What are we hoping to achieve? Knowing the objective helps us know the course of action. Defining the objective helps in setting up plans and programs, knowing the manner of cooperation, and evaluating the right and wrong moves – are we heading towards achieving the objective, are we falling behind, or are we succeeding?

What should the objective be? To await medication or treatment for this pandemic. It would be excellent if Lebanese scientists and Lebanese scientific institutions were partners in this process. Until then, the objective is to contain and prevent the pandemic from spreading and to limit the loss of life. That is if we can limit the loss of life from 100 to 20. Losing 20 is better than losing 100. Reducing human losses is the priority because, as I said, we can compensate for other things like education, the academic year, the economy, trade, and industry even they are not functioning properly in Lebanon. But in any case, we can compensate for everything that has value apart from human life. The priority is to preserve people’s lives, safety, and survival. This is the objective.

This objective is divided into two parts. The first part involves preventing the spread of the virus as much as possible. The second part is the treatment of the infected cases. It is true that there is no medicine yet, but there is a possibility to treat the infected cases. Is the objective achievable? Yes, it is an achievable objective. It is neither a theoretical objective nor an impossible one. It can be achieved.

With regards to preventing the spread of the virus, theoretically, all the competent health and medical authorities, starting from WHO to everyone else say that if individuals, families, and governments, follow the prescribed measures, which you have heard about a lot – there is no need for me to repeat because I am no expert – they can limit the spread of the virus to a great extent. Hence, theoretically, it is possible. Practically, it has been done in China, and we have seen the results that were announced so far. God willing, the results maintain this trajectory. So, it is possible theoretically. And the Chinese experience says it is possible and can be done.

Regarding the second part, which is treatment and recovery of the infected cases, WHO and other health experts say recovery is possible and the percentage is high. Practically, reports show that tens of thousands of people recovered from the virus in China, thousands recovered in Iran, hundreds recovered in other places in the world. Recoveries are being announced. So, the recovery of the infected cases is possible scientifically, theoretically, realistically, and practically. Preventing the spread of the virus is also possible practically and theoretically. And as an experience, it is a fact.

Thus, the objective that we are setting for this national battle is a realistic, practical, and an achievable goal. Yes, it needs action, decisiveness, will, endurance, patience, implementation, measures, accuracy in follow-up, and assuming responsibilities.

Now, we have set the framework. We said that we are fighting a battle, and this battle is part of a global war. Today, we as Lebanese are not alone in this war. We also spoke about the enemy, its nature, and the threats and dangers it poses. We also spoke about the degree of responsibility, the objective, and the required measures that the competent authorities outlined. In the context of this battle, I must recommend and stress on several things.

The first thing we need in this battle is cooperation and solidarity. We must fight it with a human, moral, and patriotic spirit. This should be the case in all other countries. This is not only for Lebanon. The people of every country must cooperate with each other, with the state, with the government, with the security forces, with the media, and with various institutions. Everyone without exception must cooperate in this battle. The prevailing spirit must be a positive one. This battle is not the time to settle scores, target someone politically, or take revenge. I do not want to go into arguments. There have been debates over certain matters and choices in the country since the very beginning. There is no problem in having disagreements over options, but the language used was inappropriate and wrong.

I do not want to argue with anyone. I want to overcome this matter. But I would like to say that those who have political aspirations and continue to argue will not achieve any of their political objectives. It will only lead to more hatred, more grudges, more psychological fragmentation among the people in Lebanon.

What is required is positive engagement. This does not mean that we should not criticize. On the contrary, let people criticize, advise, and express their opinions in the media, to the relevant ministries, to the relevant government committees, and officials. This is normal. No one is talking about silencing voices. But approaching and addressing these cases requires a spirit of morality and humanity. Gloating should have no place here. It only expresses moral decadence. It is the negativity that leads to more losses. It also expresses moral and national decadence.

What is required is the spirit of cooperation. We should act with full responsibility. Arguments are a waste of time and pointless. We all know that there has been an ongoing debate over resistance since 1982, and we are in 2020 now. A few days ago, when a number of resistance fighters were martyred in battle, the same question arose – what are you doing in Syria? From 2011 until today, there have been letters, articles, and dialogue regarding this choice. Still, we have not reached common ground.

Hence, I don’t want to get into arguments over everything that takes place. There is no problem for anyone to criticize or give one’s opinion. But we must stay away from any language that might cause grudges, enmities, and divisions. Let us not designate the coronavirus according to ethnicity, continent, region, religion, sect, area, or political party. It is a pandemic that does not discriminate. It knows no race, border, or sect. We are fighting a battle to preserve humanity. Thus, it must be fought with a humane spirit.

The second point is to emphasize the human, moral, national, and legal responsibility when fighting this battle. Since I am a scholar of the religious sciences, my position here is different from government officials. I would like to add the religious responsibility.

Generally in Lebanon, Muslims or Christians – whether religious or not – we believe in God, the Day of Resurrection, and Judgement Day. We believe that we will be asked [about our actions]. Muslims and Christians, according to their religions, know that God Almighty commanded us in his heavenly teachings to preserve the human soul. He considered it the most valuable thing. Even in the provisions of Islamic law and jurisprudence when scholars issue precautions, they say precaution with wealth and with honor. But the highest precaution is that of the blood and soul. He asks to preserve the human soul. Preserving people’s lives and safety is at top of the top duty conclusively and decisively.

If we believe in Judgment Day … What I wanted to add today concerning this battle is that we must fear God Almighty while we are fighting it. How can this be translated into practice? Through adhering to your duty to protect yourself, your life, your safety as well as the safety of your family and the people around you. This is your religious duty, your divine duty. This is the duty of every man and woman. You will be asked about this on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever ignores this duty is committing a sin, not an ordinary sin, but one of the major sins, the kabair.

Hence, this matter does not fall in the circle of favored or recommended actions. Rather, we must absolutely abide by the instructions and measures.

All religious references and our well-known and senior references issued statements and fatwas stating that everyone must adhere and commit to the measures. They did not say it is a favored action or that you have the choice to commit or not to commit. We must commit to the recommendations issued by the concerned responsible and official health and medical authorities that are spearheading this battle, especially the authorities in the medical field. Here, we are no longer talking about the law. That is if a person did not abide by the law, the army, the security forces, or the judiciary will arrest and prosecute him. This is the court of this world.

I would like to familiarize you with the court of the Hereafter. This is everyone’s responsibility and not just the religious people. I am addressing all the people now. On Judgement Day, you will have to answer God the following: did you preserve yourselves, your lives, and the people around you? Or did you ignore and forsake yourselves and did not commit to the recommendations? Answering these questions and being judged accordingly are is going to be difficult.

Of course, we should fight this battle with this spirit of religious and divine spirit and have a sense of religious responsibility and that we will be tried in the court of God on the Day of Judgement. In this world, you can escape the prosecution of the judiciary or the security forces. There might be someone providing covering for him and protecting him.

But on Judgment Day you cannot hide or flee. There is no escape from God’s judgement and God Almighty’s government. According to our view and knowledge, I believe that this religious restraint and responsibility is one of the most powerful factors contributing to victory in this battle as it was in the resistance’s battle.

The miracle the resistance created was not due to its equipment, the number of its fighters, or its experiences. These are important and fundamental factors, but the most important factor is its knowledgeable, loving, pious, and responsible spirit that extends from this world to the Hereafter. The resistance is mindful of the time when it will have to stand before God and be asked about our occupied land, our sanctities, our honor, our riches, our waters, our dignity, and our sovereignty. This is the spirit the resistance had during battles. We should have the same spirit when we fight this battle.

What is also important is for people, especially the religious ones, not to allow themselves to be dragged into arguments. The senior religious authorities suspended Friday and communal prayers. Why? Because there is a more pressing matter at hand. We should set aside everything that opposes this important matter without any reservations and hesitation. There must not be any arguments regarding this matter.

Christian religious scholars and authorities also suspended services in churches because of this most important matter. All heavenly religions call for preserving lives. So, this is the second point.

In the third point, I will delve into some details concerning this battle. We need transparency and honesty. This should be applied in Lebanon and in other countries. I am talking about Lebanon because we are part of the battle. Any person who feels that he has been infected with this virus or shows symptoms must be transparent and honest. He should tell the truth to the concerned authorities. He must go to the hospital and get tested to know whether he has been infected or not. He also has to self-isolate at home. This is not a favored action, O people. This is a must. Reason, morals, and religion stipulate this. We should not overlook this matter or be ashamed to report that I am showing symptoms or have been infected with the virus. We should not think that being infected will affect your dignity or your political status. What is this talk?

You are committing one of the biggest sins if you conceal this because it can kill you or kill others. One of the senior religious references in the holy city of Qom even said that – of course, based on certain data and conditions – whoever infects another person and leads to his death must pay blood money of the person whose death he caused. This is how big the matter is. No one should underestimate it at the religious level.

Thus, there should be honesty and transparency. If the infected person is ashamed of coming forward. His family, mother or father, his relatives, the people he works with, or his friends should reveal his condition. In other words, the infected person should reveal his condition, and it is not permissible for those who know about his condition to cover up on him. Concealment or providing cover is not permissible. There should be absolute transparency. You should tell the infected person to head to the hospital or the laboratory or to the concerned authorities and to be tested. This should not be taken lightly.

I would like to point out something since I am following up on the situation very closely. The ministry of health has been transparent since the beginning. All that has been said about corna cases in Lebanon being withheld by the ministry of health or by Hezbollah – there are those who are accusing Hezbollah. This claim is absolutely not true. It is a lie.

The first case was uncovered by the ministry of health and the its working group. Some people revealed the identity of the victim to the media and was dealt in an inappropriate manner. The dear sister’s identity and picture were circulated. Transparency was to this extent. Whenever a case was discovered through testing or through information, it was announced on a daily basis.

And if announcing cases were delayed, it was because they were not discovered or the infected people did not declare their condition or people close to the infected did not report them. The health ministry is working in a very clear manner, and it should continue in this way. I tell them that they should continue in this manner regardless of the difficult facts. Until now, the number of infected cases is still bearable. But even if we reached a high number of infected cases or deaths – God forbid – truth should not be concealed from people. People should be told the whole truth because this helps raise the responsibility, the level of mobilization, and the level of seriousness in dealing with the situation. It is the right of the people to know. Also, by doing so, the ministry of health and other ministries would remove themselves from the blame game.

Of course, the issue of transparency and honesty today is a major problem in the world. Let us take, for example, countries that are classified as the First World and democratic countries or superpowers with their media and freedom of speech. Didn’t Britain hide the numbers? It was not transparent and honest. Every day, the British government would say that there are 5, 10, 15, and 20 cases. But yesterday, British officials announced that the number of cases is between 7000 and 10,000. There was no transparency. But in Lebanon there was. 

In America, Trump even tweeted a few days ago, “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

Why would you get upset, if we just have this number of infected cases? Trump mention the number of the infected in the hundreds and the number of deaths in the tens. And in the end of the tweet, he wrote: “Think about that!”

He is downplaying the matter to this extent. He says despite last year’s flu and the deaths of 37000 people, he said life and the economy went on.

Now, of course, Trump is facing a catastrophe in the US. His speech yesterday had negative repercussions, and today he is forced to make a second speech. While he downplayed the topic, Ohio governor and the state’s health director said the opposite. Of course, the govern backs her statement on CNN. I read this. You know nowadays anything that is printed or in social media might be fake. All need to be checked thoroughly. But the fact is that I watched the man on television say it. The governor said that in our state of 11 and half million people, we estimate that we have 100,000 infected cases. And in the future, we will not be able to test everybody because our medical apparatus is not prepared.

Who is the biggest liar? He is the biggest liar. The battle against the coronavirus revealed that Trump is the biggest liar on earth so is the US administration, the US vice president, and the team following up on the matter. Today, the US secretary of state cruelly and vulgarly accuses the Iranian officials of lying to their people when the fact is that since the very beginning Iranian officials transparently announced the numbers of deaths, infected, and cases in recovery. This is a point of pride for the Iranian officials.

Unfortunately, there are people gloating on the Gulf media. Shame on you. The deputy health minister, for example, or brother Dr. Velayati was infected because he was the chief of Tehran Hospital combating the virus and not because he was the chief advisor of His Eminence the Leader. It is a source of pride when officials, doctors, and concerned ministers as well as other figures stay in the country with their people and not pack up their bags and leave to safe places with their families.

In any case, Pompeo accuses the Iranian officials of lying. Echoing his accusations are Pompeo’s people in Lebanon who are accusing the ministry of health and Hezbollah of concealing the truth and lying. This is not true. Pompeo is the liar. Forget about Pompeo’s people. We said we do not want to engage in arguments.

In any case, this biggest liar, the president of the Great Satan, at the same time, says we are ready to help Iran. First of all, go and help yourself. Solve your own problem and the catastrophe you are heading towards because of your administration, intransigence, arrogance, pride, ignoring the facts, and disregard for people. You only care about the dollar, the barrel of oil, and gas.

Second, if you want to help Iran, lift the sanctions. Iran does not need your help. Just lift the sanctions even in a way that will allow it to import medicine and medical equipment.

In any case, this is one form of American hypocrisy.

The fourth point is complete commitment, O people, complete commitment to governmental procedures and measures not just those issued by the ministry of health. When the ministry of education says that schools are suspended, it means schools are closed. It does not mean that if I own a private school, I open it. When it says universities are suspended, it means universities are closed. Everyone should abide by the measures issued by the government as well as all the ministries, including the ministry of labor. When restaurants are asked to be closed within certain limits, they should be closes within those limits. All these measures must be respected and followed.

Fifth, the most important point regarding the measures related to preventing or containing the spread of the virus is halting gatherings and meetings, quarantine, and self-isolation that is staying home with one’s wife and kids. One can stay home and not go anywhere.

O brother pray home. There is no need for you to pray in the mosque or go to church. I will speak on behalf of the Muslims and the Christians. Except for those who have to go out because if they didn’t work, they will not be able to secure their daily bread, or those who have to go to work or else they will be fired. They can go out until the Lebanese government takes measures that must be followed. In any case, even though this disease is dangers, yet it is easy to combat. Despite its dangers, the way to fight it is simple and easy. You have to do the following measures: washing, disinfecting, eating, going, coming, self-isolation, and stopping the gatherings. What do you need? You need to make some decisions. What should we do?

We are bored! This is a war. You have to consider that you are living in a state of war. During the time of war, do you go on a tour? Do you go skiing? Do you go on a picnic to the river? During the war, people follow war measures. If you please, consider these as measures taken during a war. Therefore, these gatherings in mosques as well as religious, social, and political activities should be suspended. As for the martyrs’ families, there will be annual martyrdom anniversaries in the coming days. We all understand each other here. Please, do not host celebrations, meetings, gatherings in the husayniyah, even in the cases of death. God willing, there will be no martyrs falling in the line of duty. 

But assuming that a martyr fell, let us commemorate their martyrdom with the least number of mourners. The dead person is gone, may Allah have mercy on his soul. God will welcome the martyr. Let the mourning ceremony include a few people, the family members of the martyr. We have to get over the issue that the resident of a village feel that they have to show their respects to the family of the deceased and take part in the funeral procession as is the custom in our villages and countries. These are beautiful customs.

But for now, set aside this beautiful custom. It is no longer beautiful during this battle. What is beautiful is a fewer number of mourners possible. I am not telling you what is wajib [duty] or not. I am just hoping so that we can overcome this stage. With regard to this matter, I hope that people do not put pressure on other people, on themselves, and on the family of the deceased. A few days ago, I saw on social media a family of a deceased, who had earlier invited people for a mourning ceremony, announced the cancellation of the consolations. Many thanks to them and God bless them. That is excellent. In other words, the family of the deceased or the martyr’s family should do the initiative and tell people not to attend. The family should tell the people to recite the Fatiha to the deceased and pray for him, and that’s it. Thank you, and we do not need anything else from you.

Hence, these things should not be subject of compliments, customs, or traditions. All these activities should be frozen. These are details. So, the main topic is there should be no gatherings. People should self-isolate and stay away from each other. They should only go out when necessary. In some cities, people have gone to their villages. This is a good thing. But this does not mean that we went to the villages to socialize and go on tours there. No, we go to the village and stay home. The virus spreads in the villages as it does in the cities. But the spread is more dangerous in the cities because they are more populated.

The sixth point is related to the state and the people. Caring for the medical and first aid staff. We said that these are at the front line these days. Hence, it is our duty to thank all the officials who have assumed their responsibilities during this period. We extend our thanks to the minister of health, the working group of the ministry of health, the public hospitals, especially Rafic Hariri Governmental Hospital in Beirut as well as the hospital management, its doctors, and nurses. All the thanks and greetings to them because they are at the front line. We must support them morally. We pray for their safety and for everything that can help these staff.

In addition to the above, we thank the responders in all the institutions including the Red Cross, the different health committees, and the scouts. Also, I recommend, suggest, and wish that the Lebanese government consider exceptionally supporting them. For example, a few days ago there was a problem related to their budget, their salaries. It should not be delayed. Today, other expenses should be postponed. Everything should be spent for this battle. They should be given their full rights.

They should even be given something called an additional gift, an extra effort, an additional burden. The risk they are facing, the burden they are carrying, and the stress they are facing is more than that of the regular circumstances. Therefore, thanks to all of them. These staff should be supported morally, psychologically, and financially. People should make them feel appreciated. They should be thanked. People should know about the sacrifices they are making.  

I hope they follow Iran’s footsteps. I don’t know if other countries did the same. There are some people in Lebanon as soon as you mention Iran, they get repulsed. In Iran, they implemented His Eminence the Leader’s suggestion as proposed by the ministry of health. A doctor, a nurse, a paramedic, or anyone whose job entails fighting the coronavirus, would be considered a martyr if they got infected by the virus and died. This, of course, comes with moral and financial support for the martyr’s family.

I hope in Lebanon, these medical teams receive this honor since we are talking about a battle. When Lebanese army soldiers, security forces, or state employees are martyred, their families are given financial and moral compensation. Like them, these teams should also be treated in the same way.

Seven, preparing from now for the worst-case scenario:

We must now cooperate to prevent the spread. But let us suppose for some reason, the spread occurred. The ministry of health, the rest of the ministries, the institutions, and the people, should prepare for the worst-case scenario. We should prepare places. There are countries in the world, some considered developed and capable medical wise, used hotels, schools, and universities. There is no problem, even at the level of planning, to prepare places, equipment, and staff for worse situations, God forbid we headed to worse situations.

Here, I must also thank the students at the Lebanese University in the Faculty of Health as well as other colleges and universities who volunteered and donated. University students who study medicine, health, or nursing should serve as a backup for the medical staff in case we headed to a more difficult situation. The important thing is to prepare places, equipment, and medical staff for the worst-case scenarios. We should not sit and wait. I just wanted to emphasize this idea and take it to the widest extent possible.

In this context, I must say that Hezbollah has put – and already announced that – all our capabilities as well as our health and medical staff, our resistance fighters, our men and women, our human capacity, our institutions, and our material capabilities at the disposal of the government and the ministry of health to fight this battle. The Lebanese government is the leader of this battle. We are not claiming anything at all because this is a different kind of battle. We do not possess all its complete tools. The state has them. We and others can be helpful factors.

Eight, to learn lessons from the experiences of other countries – China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Iran, France, Germany, Belgium, even the Americans. What is the problem in this? We should learn from the experiences of other countries to save time and effort and not to repeat the same mistakes because time is valuable and precious. Time is of the essence in this battle. The hour, the day, two days, and three days all count.

Nine, this battle should be the absolute priority for the government, the state, the Lebanese people, the residents of Lebanon, the media, all influencers, and everyone who can make an effort. This battle must be given the highest priority.

Tenth, social solidarity. (I am running through these points quickly because they are clear.) When the government enforces measures such as closing restaurants or halting tourism, this means a lot of people will not receive salaries. This will pose another problem – we might be avoiding the coronavirus but might be facing hunger. This might disrupt the social security. Before we ask the army, the security forces, and the judiciary to shoulder their responsibilities in preventing disruption to the social security – this as the state’s capabilities are known – we should focus on the people’s responsibility of social solidarity.

In every village, in cities, in neighborhoods, families, and everywhere there are people who are well-off, wealthy people, people with money. We should help each other. There are already families, people in the villages and neighborhood who have started to offer their help a few months ago. But we urgently need this now.

I would like to address my speech to Hezbollah officials in the villages and the cities because I can ask them to commit. Officials and religious scholars in villages, towns, and cities must consider that part of their responsibilities is take care of families around them that might not have food or the most basic needs. We have to cooperate, show solidarity, and donate as much as we can. This should be part of our responsibility.

The Lebanese government should also include this matter in its agenda. It is not enough for it to ask people not to go to work or schools. There are also some people who are in a hurry for the state of emergency. I tell you from now, the Lebanese government is the one that announces the state of emergency when it sees fit. Do not put it on Hezbollah. You are free. You are the ones leading this battle. The Lebanese government, the prime minister, and the ministers are the ones leading this battle, of course, under the supervision of His Excellency the President along with the Speaker of Parliament and all state institutions.

Whenever you see that the time has come to declare a state of emergency in Lebanon, this is your responsibility, go ahead. Do not pay attention to anyone. But until that moment, when you are asking people not to go their work, you should look for an alternative or else people will be without salaries and livelihoods.

We know that a lot of people in Lebanon work on a daily basis. when they do not work, they do not have money to pay for food and bread. This issue is part of the battle. It is not just about the hospitals and the medicine. This is a complementing part of the battle. If we addressed the first part and ignored the second part, we will lose social security as well as the first part which is combating the spread.

In this context, while following up with the events in the past few days, I have seen banks in many countries declaring its readiness to help their governments. These banks have large sums of money and deposits. So, they declared their readiness to provide support and not to ask high interest rates. They offered support for governments and the health sector to enable them to face this unbridled pandemic.

I call on Lebanese banks to act responsibly. We all know that the state’s budget is in a bad state. You, the banks, have lots of money. You have been profiting and making tens of billions of dollars since 1993. Now, you must shoulder the responsibility, and of course optionally. Legally, it is the job of the government and parliament to oblige the banks. As a Lebanese citizen, I ask the Lebanese banks and tell them that you should be among the first to extend a helping hand and offer financial support for the Lebanese government and the health sector. You should also show social solidarity to people so they can endure, and eventually the country wins the battle.

I do not have many topics left. I still have to talk about the second topic and then conclude. I will talk briefly about the second topic.

The last point regarding the coronavirus, in my opinion, is the most important point. When fighting this battle, O people, O dear ones, we must be armed with faith, faith in God, glory be to Him, in Allah the Merciful, the most Gracious, the Almighty, in whoes hand is the realm of the heavens and the earth, in Allah who is competent over all things.

This faith must be strongly present in our minds, hearts, and souls as we fight this battle and all battles. We must seek refuge in God Almighty. We must pray for His help and guidance.

This battle requires patience, persistence, endurance, hope, firmness, determination, and will. We must not despair. God will give us everything. In this battle, we need guidance. We need the guidance of the scientists, the doctors, the laboratories, and the research institutions in the world. There is a possibility that we might not see any results in the coming months, or a year or two. God will guide them. He will show them. Allah is the one who will open the doors for them, the closed doors. Seeking refuge in God and having faith in him must be stronger than ever while fighting this battle. Look my brothers and sisters. The most dangerous thing in any battle, be it political or military and now medical, is when one of the warring sides becomes frightened, feels helpless, weak, and despair. Even a great army that possesses a nuclear weapon or great capabilities, when overwhelmed with the spirit of defeat, will be defeated. What is important is the core – the heart. We have to overcome everything that is causing people to be scared and frightened. Spreading fear or despair – and that we cannot do anything because this pandemic has not cure and we cannot survive it – is real disaster. It is a crime. It amounts to wrecking havoc on earth. One should pay attention to how he speaks and what he writes on social media. Terrorizing people, intimidating them, spreading lies and the spirit of defeat, despair, and weakness means that we will be defeated. We must overcome all of this.

Let us suppose we are at war or even in the face of death. Let us assume that a certain infected person was isolated and remained in the hospital for a period of time. The doctors said that age and other factors caused his death. All is good, God willing. Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die. Every soul will taste death. We will all die. His time has come. So, we do our jobs. We should not give up just because our time has come. Our religious obligation is to do all we can to preserve our lives. But let us assume that death has come, we accept God’s will and continue our lives. It is the same as the war. During the war, our homes and livelihoods were destroyed, our loved ones killed and wounded. People were displaced. Others became homeless. But we persisted. When we persist, we overcome and triumph. But if the killing, the wounds, and the destruction resulted in defeat, then we will lose everything. It is the same in this battle. Faith, here, gives us strength. Prayers, pleading to God and seeking refuge in Him – every person in his own way because the relationship with God is open. It can be in any language and style you see fit. Talk to him as if you are talking to anyone. He hears you. He knows what you are saying and what is in your mind and heart. He knows when you are honest. Thus, we need this faith, prayers, and this strong spirit.

Our resolve must not be shaken. We must be strong in facing this challenge even if the facts are difficult. In wars, they used to inform us that there were a hundred martyrs, two hundred martyrs, a thousand martyrs, five thousand martyrs, ten thousand wounded, and a hundred thousand homes destroyed. And we were not shaken. That is why we achieved victory. Today is no different. Whatever the losses that this pandemic will inflict, we must face it with strength and toughness. The strong are the ones who will stay and will achieve victory. I ask God Almighty for good health and safety for all and victory in this battle, God willing.

I will talk briefly about the last topic before the conclusion. In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it, not because it is controversial but because it is one of the most important and biggest challenges facing the Lebanese government.

Now a press conference: Trump officially declares a national emergency and asks all sectors to join efforts – bring his tweet three or four days ago, look what he said then, and what he is saying now –and work to obtain $50 billion to fight COVID-19. He directly runs towards money!

Regarding the financial and economic issue in the country, the government Prime Minister [Hassan] Diab is thanked for accepting to take the responsibility. It held extensive meetings to develop a reform plan regarding the financial and economic situation. It announced that its priority is financial and economic rescue in the first place. It is working on this matter. Of course, the coronavirus has taken a big portion from this responsibility. The government still needs time to complete its plan because this is a difficult, complex, and not an easy matter.

Regarding Hezbollah’s position, I would like to say a couple of words and conclude.

First of all, we did not present a plan to the Lebanese government. Some writers, some politicians, and some media outlets said that the government is implementing Hezbollah’s plan or adopting Hezbollah’s plan. I am negating the issue. We did not present a plan to the Lebanese government. We have a plan. We have a vision. We have main ideas, and we have discussed during the years, especially during the past few months. But in all honesty, I tell you we did not present a plan. The Lebanese government is the one that should present a plan. It mandates a ministerial committee that meets and presents its plan. We have our opinion and ideas.  We are the same as any other political party in this country. All the political blocs in the country discuss, comment, and advice. But we are not responsible to present a plan. It is also not right for us to shoulder this kind of responsibility. There should be a plan where everyone takes part in setting, making, approving, and shouldering its responsibility. This is the first point.

And I previously called on every party, every parliamentary bloc, and every institution that has ideas to present them to the concerned ministers or the relevant ministerial committee. The prime minister’s door is open. The president’s door is open. The parliament speaker is closely following up. They can go and present their ideas. What is important to us is that the current Lebanese government take reform steps. The more these steps garner national consensus or broad national support, the more likely and the greater it is to succeed.

The second point regarding the financial and economic issue that I wanted to refer to is the issue of seeking help from international institutions, the International Monetary Fund, any country in the world, any international framework, the European Union, the Islamic Action Organization, or the Arab League, even if they were not concern about anyone. But in general, our position is very clear. There is no confusion. Unfortunately, some in Lebanon are working on it. What is the problem if the Lebanese government asked for an advice or a counseling from anyone in the world? We have no problem with it, and we did not even have any reservations about it although some say that we are reluctant about that. This is not true. This is first.

Second, we do not object to any party that wants to provide unconditional assistance to Lebanon, a soft loan, or any kind of assistance – of course within the political regulations adopted by the state. Because the headlines now read that Hezbollah is refusing foreign aid to Lebanon – it is part of the lies and the misinformation that is spread in all fields. We have no problem with any assistance, support, or loan that is unconditionally given within the approved legal constraints.

Third, we do not have a problem if the loan, aid, or plan was provided under conditions. But what are the conditions? Conditions that do not violate the Lebanese constitution. Let us assume, for example, someone said we are ready to lend you a soft loan of 50 billion dollars provided that the Palestinian refugees are resettled. This condition is against the constitution. Let any brave and strong person in Lebanon stand up and say I agree with this condition. I am just mentioning an example. I do not see a problem if the condition did not violate the constitution and the law, does not affect the Lebanese sovereignty, and achieves or at the very least does not violate the national Lebanese interest? We do not have a problem even if it was from the International Monetary Fund, any international institution, or any other place as long as the conditions do not violate the constitution, the national interests, or the government’s reform plan.

Let me give you a clearer example. It is quite a big example and they might say O Sayyed this is out of question. One of the simplest examples is that I loan you but as you to increase the value added tax or VAT on everything to 15% or 20%. I tell you from now, we in Hezbollah are against this. You can say whatever you want. Who in Lebanon can take the decision to raise the VAT to 15% or 20%, who?

We had a national unity government where most if not all the political parties were represented, and still this government could not save a couple of cents on WhatsApp. People, then, took to the streets. What government in Lebanon can take such a decision? And is it in Lebanon’s interest? Is it in the interest of the Lebanese people?

There are many other options that we have not resorted to, and this is always being discussed in the media, in the advisory committees, and in the government. There are many options that we have not tried. To reach there, we just need to make a decision. From now, we are against any assistance whether from the IMF or anyone in the world that would condition Lebanon to increase taxes on the poor and people with low income. Say whatever you want. People who agree with this option and have the courage to say it should not hide. Let them say on TV that they agree with increasing the VAT because this is the way we address the situation in the country. But we are against this option. Hence, it depends on the condition.

But if someone offered helped and demanded conditions. What are the conditions? For example, if they asked us to shut down unproductive and inactive institutions and find an alternative for the people working there, we have no problem with this. This is a demand. Or if they asked us to enact anti-corruption laws. This is a national demand. This is one of our demands, Hezbollah’s demand. If they asked to enact laws of transparency, financial accountability, and financial expenditure, if they wanted tenders and not contracts by mutual agreement, or if they wanted a real and independent judiciary, we welcome them. These are excellent conditions.

So, the situation here is not about the position alone. It is position that depends on the nature of the conditions and commitments. Our brothers said that we do not accept Lebanon to be put under IMF tutelage. This made a lot of controversy. Who in Lebanon accepts to place Lebanon under the sponsorship of the IMF?! Who accepts to place Lebanon under anyone’s sponsorship and not just the IMF’s?!

It is unacceptable that Lebanon be placed under anyone’s tutelage. It is forbidden for Lebanon to hand over its financial and economic management to anyone and for anyone to dictate policy. The Lebanese government or the Lebanese state is the one responsible for the financial and economic management. It is the decision-maker. It accepts and rejects what it wants. It implements what it wants. No one is to dictate conditions or force it on to something. This is our position. But if the IMF wanted to provide assistance and funds to Lebanon and sets conditions that do not contradict neither the constitution nor our national interests, then we have no problem with this issue.

Even yesterday, for example, because the brothers in Iran asked for assistance for a $ 5 billion assistance from the IMF to fight the coronavirus. Almost all of the news in Lebanon was arguing with Hezbollah. How come Iran asks assistance from the IMF, and you are preventing the Lebanese government from cooperating with the it? When did we stop it? Who said we are preventing that? Who said we refuse Lebanon asking help from the IMF? Our brothers said we do not accept guardianship or dictating conditions. Who accepts Lebanon to be under guardianship? Who accepts Lebanon to be dictated?

The CEDRE conference is a project that is mostly based on loans, a couple of billions of dollars. The donors conditioned reforms. We were in the government, and we did not mind it. It is a normal condition, and we agree to this condition. But if CEDRE or anyone else dictated conditions on Lebanon in return for assistance, it might cause the country to explode. Several months ago and not so long ago – we are not talking about years – the Lebanese national unity government took a decision to increase a couple of cents on WhatsApp, you saw what happened in the country. So, should we accept dictating terms of this kind?! No. As for any assistance even with logical, reasonable, and possible conditions, there is absolutely no problem with it. So, people can rest assured and this issue cease to be a point of contention.

Of course, there are other options other than the social solidarity that I mentioned earlier. Several days ago while I was following the news, banks in some Western countries offered those governments financial support to help them save commercial, industrial, and agricultural companies – that is the economic situation – from collapsing. Great! Banks in Lebanon are one of the options. Now, these banks have protectors, it’s fine. You are telling us to present our ideas. Well, one of the options is the Lebanese banks. I don’t want to mention a precise number to avoid discussions. I asked and checked. They told me that banks in Lebanon made at least tens of billions of dollars from getting loans, debts, treasury bonds, etc. Tens of billions of dollars. You increased your capital, took money abroad, and helped other people get money out. This money was coming out of the Lebanese people’s pocket.

Now, you took this illegally or legally, halal or haram, is another discussion. But this is the reality, today. I am not forcing you. I am merely advising you. A few months ago, when I spoke about this matter, media outlets backed by the banks, accused me of threatening the banks. I did not threaten the banks. I said something different. I will repeat and say. When Lebanon came under occupation, Lebanese families sent their children to fight. Some were martyred and others wounded. Some of the wounded are now disabled. People’s homes were destroyed. Some people made sacrifices to bring back Lebanon’s freedom, sovereignty, dignity, and security. Some people sacrificed their most precious possessions.

Today the challenge is not occupation. The challenge is an economic collapse. And you have billions of dollars. So, go ahead. Help and sacrifice the way those families sacrificed their most valuable possessions. What is more valuable than money? What is money? The human life, the children, the beloved, the husband, the wife and family are more precious than money.

In order to preserve this country’s freedom, sovereignty, dignity, security, survival, resources including the oil and gas that will be extracted, which you, the banks, as well as others will benefit from, the Lebanese people sacrificed their blood. Now, the real challenge facing Lebanon is not the occupation because it is an existing threat and it has a solution. But the real challenge is the financial and economic situation.

What does Trump tell them? You are going to pay. To the banks, you have to do the initiative. You have to shoulder your responsibilities. But first and foremost, you have to have a sense humanity and shoulder national responsibility. You have to make the initiative and not argue. You have to tell the offer assistance to the prime minister like the rest of the banks in the world did. These are respectable banks. Gather yourselves and head to the prime minister and tell him we, the banks, in light of the current situation, will make a contribution to the Lebanese state in this amount – whether to prevent financial collapse or in the fight against COVID-19.

You should take this step. This is your humane, moral, patriotic and religious responsibility – if you are people of religion and you care about religious legitimacy and reason. You must shoulder this responsibility.

I would like to conclude with the regional situation – the events taking place in Syria and Yemen. There is no time left because the coronavirus topic took up all the time. But I will say a few words regarding the event that took place in Iraq because we cannot overlook it. The US aggression last night against the military camps, sites, and civilian installations for the Iraqi army, the Iraqi police, and the Popular Mobilization Units, which is an official body, as well as civilian facilities such as the airport being built in Karbala, which is a civilian facility and not a military base.

What the Americans did last night was violation of Iraq’s sovereignty of Iraq regardless of any agreements, even if they relied on agreements. Who told them that they can bomb and destroy? If they wanted to use Iraq’s airspace, they need permission from the Iraqi government. The Americans crossed all lines. They acted arrogantly, insolently, angrily, foolishly, and blindly. Usually foolishness and blindness lead to the abyss.

The crime committed by the American occupation forces yesterday in Iraq, certainly began to receive the appropriate responses and will receive more appropriate responses from the Iraqis, the Iraqi government, the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi people, the Iraqi parties, and the Iraqi resistance – this dear and honorable people who refuses to live under the humiliation and arrogance of these tyrants, oppressors, and demons.

We ask God for mercy for all their martyrs. God willing, Iraq and the people of Iraq, with their faith, steadfastness, and resistance will be able overcome this serious and new challenge.

God willing, everyone remains healthy and safe. Through prayers, effort, work, honesty, sincerity, and togetherness, we will overcome this difficult stage, and we will emerge from this war triumphant and our heads up with the help and grace of God Almighty.

Peace and the mercy of God be upon you.

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