Pompeo Calls for Review of Security Assistance to Lebanon after Hezbollah’s Gains in Latest Elections

Local Editor

01-06-2018 | 14:04

The US State Department and congressional hawks are taking a second look at US support for the Lebanese Armed Forces after Hezbollah and its allies won a parliamentary majority in May’s elections.

Relatively, Mike Pompeo used his first official appearance before Congress as secretary of state to call for a review of US military assistance for Lebanon following the results of Lebanon’s 2018 parliamentary elections in which Hezbollah made sweeping gains.

Washington has long relied on the Lebanese Armed Forces as a bulwark against the resistance’s paramilitary group’s influence in Lebanon. But critics of the army’s unwillingness to confront Hezbollah, a key factor in Lebanese politics, are gaining traction as US President Donald Trump’s administration pursues a more aggressive stance against Tehran.

“We need a review … to make sure that we’re using American tax dollars right in supporting the groups that can most likely achieve our outcome there,” Pompeo testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee today as the Trump administration weighed in on a simmering debate about Lebanon.

“That’s the first time the administration openly mentioned some things related to a review of the use of the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces] aid,” Joseph Gebeily, the president of the Lebanese Information Center, a think tank critical of Hezbollah, told Al-Monitor.

“The Lebanese Armed Forces have been a very useful partner to the US military. They’ve built a good relationship,” he confessed.

The United States announced at a donor conference earlier this year that it was providing the Lebanese Armed Forces with three transportation helicopters worth $30 million. Since 2006, Washington has given the Lebanese Armed Forces more than $1.7 billion.

Proponents of the Lebanese Armed Forces point to the army’s recent deployment to secure the Lebanese border and its success last year in pushing Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] and al-Qaeda militants out of the country. Hezbollah, however, also participated in the offensive, lending further ammunition to the Lebanese Armed Forces’ critics in Washington.

Still, some Republican lawmakers who have voiced similar concerns nevertheless cite the Lebanese Armed Forces as an important tool in curbing Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon.

“We have worked closely with the Lebanese Armed Forces over the years to try to strengthen that institution because basically you have the formulation of a … state within a state,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., told Al-Monitor following Pompeo’s testimony. “So we want to make certain that there is distance between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the capability of … [Hezbollah] to get their hands on any material. And that is what I believe [Pompeo’s] referring to.”

However, Gebeily claimed that while the Lebanese Armed Forces have been effective in ensuring Lebanon’s security, a review of their objectives is warranted as they have failed to disarm Hezbollah.

“The taxpayer is asking: Is my assistance, the money I’m giving … to the LAF, disarming Hezbollah?” said Gebeily. “It’s not, so maybe we should review the objective of this assistance to make it more in line with what’s being achieved. If it has the purpose of disarming Hezbollah, then we should see how this can be implemented.”

While Pompeo himself has a reputation as a hawk, singling out Hezbollah in a hardline Iran strategy speech earlier this week, his stance on the Lebanese Armed Forces has historically been more nuanced.

Gebeily, who said he formed a relationship with Pompeo during his time as a congressman from Kansas, said that while Pompeo has always been “very tough on Hezbollah and Iran,” he was also “supportive of the LAF, strengthening state institutions overall – of course with the objective of weakening Hezbollah.”

As a member of Congress, Pompeo’s district included Wichita, which boasts a sizable Lebanese American population. During that time, he made at least two trips to Lebanon, in 2014 and 2015, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

A readout of that first trip says Pompeo “reaffirmed US support for Lebanon’s security and political institutions.” And on his second trip, Pompeo met with Michel Aoun, now the country’s president who has since been a Hezbollah-allied member of parliament.

Despite calling for a review, Pompeo still reaffirmed, in his testimony today, the US support for the Lebanese Armed Forces “to help us achieve the security element of our efforts.”

And although he expressed concern about Hezbollah’s strength in the Lebanese government, he conceded that “ultimately it’s our assessment at this point that the overall balance of power won’t be materially changed” by this month’s [May’s] elections.
Source: Al-Monitor, Edited by website team


President Lahoud to Al-Ahed: Liberation One of the Most Beautiful Days in My Life

Fatima Salameh

25-05-2018 | 08:49

It would not be a “Resistance and Liberation” holiday without hearing from him. He holds the title of the pro-resistance president and the “man” – described as such by the master of victory.

Emile Lahoud

His national and historic positions, which never abandoned the resistance, testify to that. The path of President Emile Lahoud, the nationalist, is full of honorable stances that carried Lebanon from the age of dependency to liberation. He defended the resistance before he knew them. It is enough that he is one of those who sought to liberate the land. The historic victory of 2000 was the pride of his reign and the result of his courageous positions that supported the path of Jihad at a time when the entire world stood against him. He was offered a lot in exchange for abandoning this path. He chose to work with conscience and in accordance with his convictions, which are not bought and sold.

In an interview with al-Ahed, President Lahoud recalls many stages, from his time as commander of the Lebanese army to the time he took over the presidency. His does not conceal his “joy” with the liberation of the land during his reign. He describes this event with pride. He tells how he learned about Hezbollah and its leader for the first time and how very proud he was of meeting him [the leader]. He often expresses his happiness that he is living in the time of the resistance fighters, who have returned Lebanon’s stolen dignity.

Emile Lahoud

Below is the script of the interview:

Eighteen years after liberation, what does President Emile Lahoud remember from that era?

It is the most beautiful day of my life. Before that date, there was no hope that we would be able to regain our dignity. Our land has been occupied for 22 years. All the officials who inherited the government were accustomed to this issue until it became obvious. Truthfully, I never heard of Hezbollah. When I took over as army commander, I was living in Rayak. The atmosphere was charged against Hezbollah. When I wanted to visit my family in the north, they used to send me telegrams asking me to be careful and watch out for Hezbollah members who intended to kill me. However, the teaching inside the house, which does not know a path of sectarianism, made me not interested in the matter, even though the picture in my mind drawn about Hezbollah is that it was a Takfiri group. When did I learn of Hezbollah? It was in 1991, when I took over the army command. A decision was issued by the Lebanese state to position the army in the South. I went to Tyre. One of the officers told me: “For 22 years, I was deployed here. I was a company commander and we received instructions that ‘if a militant is caught, we must hand him over to the intelligence services, who in turn will imprison him.’ You are a new army commander, what are your instructions for me in such a case?”

I asked him, what is their nationality, are they Palestinians? He said no, they are Lebanese who want to return to their villages, which are occupied by the “Israelis”, and they carry out operations against them. Sometimes we catch them before they arrive as they are on their way to the valleys. What do you want us to do in such a situation? I told him: “Lebanese who want to return to their villages that are occupied by the Zionists are resistance fighters. You have to support them.” He told me, “appreciated” and he rejoiced. It was the first time an officer thought in this way. ” To me, as Emile Lahoud, any nationalist army commander should not ask permission from anyone to issue such an order. Should I stand in the face of those who seek to liberate the land! On the contrary, I should be an absolute support for them.

Then I returned to Beirut and the President of the Republic, Elias Hrawi, told me:

“Emile are you crazy? You are supporting people who are causing trouble at the border. Tomorrow an “Israeli” soldier will be killed and [“Israel”] will attack all of Lebanon.” Do you want to ‘destroy’ Lebanon?

I told him:

“Have you ever heard of an army commander whose land is being occupied and he gives an order to his officers that whoever liberates the land should be imprisoned? We must support them. He told me: I give you an order to confront them. I told him: I will not obey.

In 1993, the resistance became stronger than before. The Zionists were annoyed and exerted pressure on the Americans, who in turn pressured the Lebanese state and the Security Council. The latter took a decision to get rid of Hezbollah. The Lebanese state at the time issued a decision. I remember an incident that took place at the time. Members of the army spoke to me. They told me that a Zionist tank bombed a Lebanese area and killed a woman. What do you want us to do? It was the first experience with “Israel”. I asked them: is there a Lebanese tank in range? They said yes. I said, what are you waiting for? Respond. At this point, the President of the Republic summoned me and told me: “Emile, what is happening? How could you do that and give an order to respond? I told him this is what I must do. He asked me more than once to eliminate Hezbollah with the support of the UNIFIL forces. I told him: You are not understanding me, I will not do it. He told me: ‘Tomorrow is the meeting of the Supreme Council of Defense and you have to attend.’ I said, ‘I will not attend.’ He replied, ‘then we will take the decision without you. Someone else will be the army commander.’ I told him: let him come. I am doing my duty and what my conscience tells me. The next day I came late to the meeting. I found them meeting with the UNIFIL commander. They designed a map for the elimination of Hezbollah. I told them: what are you doing? Fold this map. The commander of the UNIFIL forces replied: ‘they have taken the decision in the Security Council.’ I told him: let them take whatever they want. I will not comply. Let them bring another army commander to carry out what they want. What right does the Lebanese state have to order a national army to strike its people because the “Israelis” are annoyed?

Emile Lahoud

All this and you had no interaction with Hezbollah. When was your first direct contact with them?

After all these years, there was no contact between us. But there was absolute support on my part.

The first contact in which I got to know Hezbollah was in 1997 when I got a call saying that Hadi, the son of the Secretary General of the party, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, was martyred. I told them, this is the first time that an Arab leader presents his son as a martyr. I want to get to know him. Indeed, the measures were taken. I found him relaxed although the news of his son’s martyrdom was announced an hour before my visit. We spoke for about ten minutes as I consoled him. I felt that we would win and triumph with this leader. Days passed, and we did not meet. In 2000, at the time of the liberation, Sayyed Nasrallah asked me to meet him. So we met and he presented me with an “Israeli” rifle. After that, I never saw him until I left the presidency. At the time, we sat for about three hours and talked about everything. He told me, ‘I do not know you.’ I told him, ‘We met in good conscience.’

What does to Emile Lahoud that the land was liberated during his reign as you have always described this event with pride?

It means my dignity. I take pride in this event very much. I am glad that the dignity of the Lebanese had been restored during my days. Is it possible that the “Israelis” occupy our land for 22 years and no one is shaken. Only a handful of resistance fighters met and liberated the land and defended us. Without them, “Israel” would have been among us.

How did the liberation of the land contribute to your military experience?

We can achieve the impossible. Many asked me what I was doing. No one can resist “Israel”. I told them, you will see. The resistance is the immunity of Lebanon. I am surprised how some people speak after the conclusion of the elections on the need to disarm the resistance, after all that it has done! They certainly get money from their masters who incite them to do so.

How do you perceive the golden equation, which you supported early on?

Without the golden equation, Lebanon would no longer exist, especially after the events that took place in Syria and Iraq, which made Lebanon strong and able to stand up to “Israel”. Unfortunately, we did not learn that we must preserve it through national action and not through sectarianism.

Today, the Palestinians are doing all they can to liberate their land. What is your advice for them given the experiences with the liberation of Lebanese lands?
There is no talk with “Israel” except in the language of force. I do not want to criticize, but when I hear some Palestinian officials talking about the need for a settlement, this does not return the land. The solution is only by force, just as we did in Lebanon. Here, I recall an incident. At one of the closed summits of the Arab heads of state in Khartoum, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said ‘how can I possibly pay for the salaries for the ‘Strip’ when the Zionists are not allowing the funds to arrive. I ask you Arabs to mediate with the concerned parties to put pressure on “Israel” so that the money can reach us. I told him, ‘Abu Mazen, behave like we did in Lebanon. It is shameful to beg for our salaries. We have to attack them by force. If you acted like Lebanon, you will not be here right now.’

You have always said that the the crisis in Syria will conclude with a victory. How do you describe the situation seven years after the crisis started?

Syria triumphed. The losers including the Zionists and the Arabs are coveting a winning card. That is why they are pressing in the last quarter. But they will not triumph. The crisis will soon be over and with it the conspiring mentality in Lebanon will end.

A final word

How lucky we are that we have lived in the time of the resistance and the men who sacrificed themselves for the homeland.

Source: Al-Ahed

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Berri: Let Polls Be Referendum to Prove Patriotism Can’t Be Compromised

May 3, 2018


Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri, called for “heavy participation in the crucial upcoming elections,” stressing the need “to vote in favor of the Hope and Loyalty lists in order to defend the constants of unity and coexistence, establish the state of institutions and equal opportunities, fight corruption and preserve Lebanon’s strength translated in the Army-People-Resistance formula.”

He also upped calls to “turn the elections into a genuine referendum to prove that patriotism is neither a slogan, nor profits or gains, nor is it up for bargaining.”

On the eve of the parliamentary elections, Speaker Berri addressed the Lebanese by saying “on this historic day in the life of Lebanon, be as Imam Sadr wanted you to be (…) great in your democracy as in your resistance.”

Speaker Berri tackled the electoral process during his meeting with a popular delegation from the town of Burj Al Shamali in the presence of the mayor and members of the town’s Municipal Council.

He also received a popular delegation from the town of Al-Humeiri in Tyre district.

Source: NNA

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Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Massive Voting: Resistance Needs Political Fortification, Strong Representation within the State

08-04-2018 | 21:29

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed the importance of “working to make the entire electoral lists of Hope and Loyalty succeed,” announcing that the day of May 6, as all other days of resistance, is a day of the resistance leaders, every martyr, wounded, detainee and resistance fighter.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

Sayyed Nasrallah made his remarks in a televised speech he delivered from the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh where Hezbollah held the first electoral festival entitled “Loyalty to Victory.”

The Secretary General touched in his speech upon several important local issues, but first he commenced his words hailing and greeting the resistance and endurance of both the Palestinian and Yemeni people in their struggle against the occupation and aggression against them.

In this respect, His Eminence said:
“I greet the resistant, enduring people of Gaza who have crawled to the strip’s borders and expressed their brave and commando presence in the face of the occupation.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah greeted the Yemeni people’s endurance in the face of the aggression despite the crimes and starvation.

The “Hope and Loyalty” Electoral List

As he thanked the crowds for taking part in the event, the resistance leader made clear that this festival is a show of support for the electoral List of Hope and Loyalty, adding that hope is a part of our belief, culture and education, “we want to boost it in every occasion, event and battle,” the Sayyed said.

Explaining further the significances of the name of the list, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized in his speech that
“loyalty is to all those who sacrificed with their leader Imam Sayyed Musa Sadr and his companions, loyalty is to Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi and Haj Imad Mughnieh.”

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah made clear that loyalty is to our sacrificing, enduring and faithful people and all martyrs who were raised defending this country.

Hence, the Sayyed noted:
“When we vote, and through the elections’ results, we show our support of this hope and this loyalty.”

In the same context, Sayyed Nasrallah explained the importance of the Parliament as a place where laws are being cooked, mentioning that Hezbollah’s MPs will always work for making the laws that save the country and will fight every plan to increase the public debt for personal purposes and to solve individual financial issues.
“The importance of the Praliament in Lebanon is that it is the mother of all institutions in the government and that it has big and very important powers. The Parliament is the only institution that is authorized to amend the Constitution without a popular referendum,” the Sayyed said.

Consequently, Sayyed Nasrallah urged all the resistance people to take part in the voting process:
“We have to vote because not voting means abandoning responsibility and leaving the people’s rights, future and dignity.”

“Israeli”, Others’ Conspiracies Non-Stopping

On the Zionist issue, Hezbollah leader stressed that the enemy is still eying our resources and taking advantage of the plots being made against the resistance, on both the local and international levels.

“Since 2000, the Americans and the “Israelis” recognized that there is a power named “Resistance” that entered the hearts of the Lebanese people, made a victory and kicked the “Israeli” out of Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

For this reason, conspiracies against the resistance started on the
 eve of the May 25, 2000 liberation:
“Zionists left Lahd’s spies because they miscalculated that when the resistance enters the area with the enemy’s defeat it will commit massacres,” however, the Sayyed noted that “Southerners and all those who were resisting in all regions proved their awareness and recognition of the enemy’s conspiracies.”
Image result for Georges Nader
Relatively, Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered that “After the September 11 attacks, American journalist Georges Nader was delegated by Dick Cheney and informed me that the US is ready for anything in exchange of stopping resistance against “Israel” and working with them.”

“After the 2005 events in Lebanon, all what a party may wish was offered to us.”

Desired Clashes between the Army and Resistance

As the Hezbollah leader stressed that one of the main reasons to target Syria is to hinder all resistance movements in the region, the Sayyed unveiled that:
“The most dangerous of all what was being plotted against the resistance is internal clashes through a fight between the army and the resistance.”

It was also dangerous that during the July 2006 war, some sides worked to orient the army towards a fight with the resistance, and the PM at the time ordered the Lebanese army to stop any truck carrying weapons for the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

Such issues, however, were solved between the army and the resistance.

In the same respect, a US study was conducted in 2005 to explore the psychological and sectarian readiness of the Lebanese army officers and soldiers to fight the resistance, and they found out that the Lebanese army rejects that, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

“After that, the US started targeting the resistance land communication network, and the Lebanese government obeyed in which the decision to stop the resistance telecommunication network was implemented.”

Guarantors are the people, being inside the government

While Sayyed Nasrallah pointed to the fact that the guarantee in the July war was President Emile Lahoud and Minister Yaacoub al-Sarraf, he made clear that the biggest and strongest guarantee was Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

But meanwhile, what guarantees the lack of conspiracies against the resistance is being inside the governmental body, Sayyed Nasrallah said.
“Also the Lebanese army, its officers and soldiers and their patriotic belief is one of the guarantees.”

Zionist Issues are not Over

With all the internal problems engulfing the country, the resistance leader always points to the issue of the Shebaa Frams and Kfarshouba Hills as saying that “it isn’t over yet, and the “Israeli” won’t return them through negotiations.”

“There is also the issue of oil which all of the Lebanese are still waiting and the “Israelis” won’t leave it safely.”

As he stressed that there are always plots being made by the Zionists against Lebanon and the Lebanese people, Sayyed Nasrallah noted the importance of “the golden equation of the army, the people and the resistance, and we must strengthen the army beside the people and the resistance to stabilize this national equation.”

Unity Helps Us Fight Financial Issues

“The strongest guarantee is our unity, the Lebanese people’s unity,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

On the financial issue, if we continued with the same pace then we are heading to a catastrophe because the public debt is near $80 billion. The debt will increase with the new loans and in a few years it will reach $100 billion.

“We are in front of an exceptional financial state that requires having MPs and a government that doesn’t accept debts by somebody who wants to solve personal problems.”

Don’t Deceive the Lebanese people by saying that those debts will change the situation in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah warned.

For this, we have to elect MPs that have serious stances to prevent the passage of any bill for any person or any financially-ill side that needs money, the Sayyed advised the people.

“We need MPs who are serious in their commitments to the Lebanese people to prevent any new taxes on the poor. We are facing new taxes against the poor and limited-income people, we might be obliged to take to the street because the social situation doesn’t tolerate any more taxes.”

Making clear that staying in the government will serve the people, mainly the poor people’s interests, the resistance leader noted that the coming elections depend on the people’s awareness, will and strong presence and that the blessed people of resistance don’t accept bribes, and they don’t sell their votes because resistance is their choices, culture and belief.

Warning that the enemies would make anything to prevent people from casting their votes on May 6, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that our people’s response must be to vote to the Hope and Loyalty, and that “We have to work for the success of the entire lists of Hope and Loyalty.”

“On May 6 we will see your crowds and loyalty as you have always been meeting the level of challenges,” Sayyed Nasrallah ended his speech to the people of resistance.

Source: Al-Ahed

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الحريري رأس حربة الغرب بوجه حزب الله

مارس 24, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– ليس كلام رئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري عن أنّ الهدف من معاركه الانتخابية هو حزب الله شدّ للعصب، لأنه يعلم أنّ حليف حزب الله في بيروت الذي تمثله جمعية المشاريع الخيرية سيحصد مقعداً نيابياً بأصواته التي تضمن له المقعد في أيّ لائحة يشكلها بالتعاون مع مرشحين آخرين، كما يعلم أنّ مقعد النائب السابق أسامة سعد مضمون بتصويت الناخبين في أيّ لائحة يشكّلها سعد بمعزل عن التصويت الشيعي في الدائرة يوفر فرصاً إضافية لفوز المرشح الماروني إبراهيم عازار، على حساب مرشح حليف حزب الله الذي يمثله التيار الوطني الحر، وفي باقي الدوائر لا تشارك بين تيار المستقبل وحزب الله على التنافس في دوائر مشتركة، لأنّ حال المقعد الشيعي في زحلة تضمنه أصوات الناخبين الشيعة، وكذلك حال المقعد الشيعي في البقاع الغربي، وحال الحليف السني هناك الوزير السابق عبد الرحيم مراد، فلماذا افتعال عنوان للمعركة الانتخابية اسمه حزب الله؟

– يفتّش الحريري عن الأماكن التي لحزب الله فيها مرشحون ولوائح، ويسعى لتجميع أيّ تحالفات ولو كانت لا تشبهه سياسياً، أملاً بالتأثير على لوائح حزب الله، وخصوصاً منح مرشح سني سينضمّ لكتلة المستقبل إذا حجزت اللائحة مقعداً لها ونال مرشحه العلني أو المموّه أصواتاً تفضيلية كافية، وإلا السعي لترجيح كفة مرشّح شيعي على حساب أحد مرشحي اللائحة، أو أحد الحلفاء المسيحيين فيها. وهذا ما يقوله تشكيل لوائح يشارك فيها المستقبل أو يدعمها من تحت الطاولة، في دوائر الجنوب والبقاع، والقضية لا تتصل بتنافس مشروع لنيل فرص الفوز بمقاعد إضافية، بل بهمّ والتزام عنوانهما المواجهة مع حزب الله التي أعلنها عنواناً لمعركته الانتخابية في خطاب الإعلان عن لائحة بيروت.

– بات واضحاً أنّ حملة تهميش اللواء أشرف ريفي، سعودياً، والتبنّي الأوروبي الأميركي لمؤتمري روما وباريس المشبوهَيْن، وحملات لوائح الحريري المباشرة وغير المباشرة، حلقات في سلسلة واحدة عنوانها إعادة اعتماد الحريري رأس حربة الغرب في مواجهة حزب الله، فلمؤتمر روما وظيفة تتصل بفتح ملف سلاح حزب الله، تحت عنوان شرط دولي غربي للمساهمة في دعم الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية، هو وضع استراتيجية عسكرية، تسمّى دفاعية وليس فيها من الدفاع شيء، لأنّها مطلوبة خالية من كلّ ما يزعج «إسرائيل» ويضع حداً لانتهاكاتها للسيادة اللبنانية. فالاستراتيجية التي سيرتبط بها دعم الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية مطلوب أن تجيب عن سؤال يتصل بمستقبل سلاح حزب الله، وإظهار موقف رسمي مستعدّ للتفاوض على هذا السلاح ورفع الغطاء عنه، ومؤتمر باريس هو مؤتمر يتلطّى وراء دعم لبنان اقتصادياً، لقول الشيء نفسه في السياسة، أنّ هناك مليارات تنتظر لبنان، لكنها تنتظر موقف لبنان من سلاح حزب الله، علماً أنّ المليارات المزعومة هي المزيد من الديون ليس إلا، ولا يُخفى على أحد أنّ تحديد مواعيد للمؤتمرين تسبق الانتخابات، وتستعجل إقرار الموازنة بالتهويل والضغط بعيداً عن الحرص الدستوري على الاستحقاق الدستوري المتعلق بالموازنة نفسها، كلّه ضمن روزنامة مدروسة معاكسة لمصلحة لبنان ومصلحة الراغبين بالدعم لو كانوا صادقين. فالطبيعي في بلد يذهب لانتخابات كلبنان أن تنتظر هذه المؤتمرات الانتهاء من الاستحقاق الانتخابي وما تفرزه من واقع حكومي، للتفاوض مع حكومة باقية لا حكومة راحلة، والتطلع لبرنامج تصدّقه قوى نالت تفويضاً شعبياً طازجاً، لا قوى راحلة وقد لا يعود بعضها، أو لا يستعيد حجمه وموقعه، فالتوقيت مشبوه، كما الهدف، تلميع للحريري، وتقديمه بوابة للعلاقة بالأوروبيين والغرب والخليج، في قضيتي الأمن والمال.

– بعد الانتخابات كلام من نوع آخر.

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Lebanon Achieves New Border Victory over Zionist Entity

March 14, 2018

Lebanon flag

The Lebanese army, supported by the UNIFIL troops, managed on Wednesday to advance into the B1 sea position which was used to delineate the Lebanese-Palestinian border in 1923, confirming the national right to preserve the land and sea borders and resources.

The House Speaker Nabih Berri described the event as a new Lebanese victory over the Zionist entity, underlining that Lebanon and the Lebanese adhere to their sovereignty and borders, whether in land or sea, as well as to all their rights and resources.

Few weeks ago, a rhetoric row erupted between Lebanon and the Zionist entity which claimed right to posses certain land and sea border positions in Lebanon whose officials stressed the country’s right to defend its borders and resources.

Hezbollah SG Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned the Zionists against attacking the Lebanese seashore oil facilities or violating the country’s land border, stressing the party’s readiness to deter any Israeli aggression.


Source: Al-Manar Website

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خطآن ارتكبهما الحريري «اللبناني»

مارس 12, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بعيداً عن الخلاف في الخطاب السياسي الذي ينتهجه الرئيس سعد الحريري والذي يحمل الكثير من القضايا الخلافية، يمكن للمراقب من موقع القراءة التقنية للخطاب الانتخابي تسجيل ملاحظات تتّصل بدرجة الدقة والمصداقية من جهة والحاجة والبراعة من جهة أخرى. وهي عناصر كان الرئيس الراحل رفيق الحريري يهتمّ بها كثيراً في حملاته السياسية والانتخابية، وكان الرئيس سعد الحريري يشعر بالقدرة على الاستغناء عنها وعن امتلاك خطة للانتخابات، وحسابات لها في الانتخابات السابقة، في ظلّ ثلاثة عوامل هامة كانت تتكفّل بحسم الفوز للوائحه الانتخابية، هي المرجعية السعودية الحاسمة في زمن صعود حربها على سورية والمقاومة منذ القرار 1559، ومكانة استشهاد الرئيس رفيق الحريري في هذه الحرب من جهة، وفي صناعة التعاطف مع اللوائح الحريرية من جهة أخرى، ومع هذين عامل المال الوفير وقدرته على صنع المعجزات.

– للمرة الأولى يخوض الحريري الانتخابات بحسابات لبنانية صرفة، فهو رغم التطبيع مع الرياض وولي عهدها يعرف ما بات معلوماً من علاقة رفع العتب التي يعامله بها الحاكم الفعلي في الرياض، وسط شبكة حماية غربية لخصوصية حريريّة لا بدّ منها لبنانياً لضمان الاحتفاظ بنصيب من الحضور للغرب بعواصمه كافة، ومعه للرياض نفسها، في ظلّ متغيّرات عكسية قاهرة ولا قدرة على منع توسّع تأثيرها، تصيب الحضور الغربي والحضور السعودي في المنطقة معاً. وللمرة الأولى يواجه الحريري الاستحقاق الانتخابي بدون المال الوفير ولو توفر بعضه، وللمرة الأولى الحريري محتضن من جمهوره بعد أزمته «السعودية»، وخلاصه بتضامن وطني شامل ضمّ رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس مجلس النواب، وحزب الله، وهو تضامن عاش جمهور الحريري تفاصيله وعبّر عن تقديره لها، وخصوصاً لموقف حزب الله، فيما يسدّد الحريري بصورة مبالغة فواتير العداء له لجعلها عنواناً لحملته الانتخابية، منذ تطميناته البلا مبرّر عن أن لا حلف مع حزب الله.

– لم يستطع الحريري قول ما يعرف أنه حقيقة، وقال أمينه العام عكسه قبل أيام، فتياره ليس محارَباً من الجميع، ولا من أحد فعلياً، والفرق كبير بين الحرب والمنافسة الانتخابية المشروعة لتمثيل عادل يعبّر عن الأحجام ويفتح باب التعدّد السياسي داخل الطوائف، وتشكيلة مرشحي المستقبل معبّرة عن الرغبة بتمثيل غير محدّد بطائفة، فكلّ ما يحيط بالحريري يقول له، من ضمن حق القوى بنيل تمثيل يعادل أحجامها، إنه في السياسة محاط بعناية الجميع من الفاعلين، وفي مقدّمتهم حزب الله وحركة أمل والتيار الوطني الحر والحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي، ويتمنّون له حضوراً نيابياً وازناً، ولا يشنّون عليه حرباً، بل يرونه في السياسة شريكاً مطلوباً، ولو لم يكن حليفاً لأسباب بعضها مراعاة لظروفه.

– الكتلة التي يرغب الحريري بالحصول عليها، والتي تصل إلى ثلثي عدد مرشحيه لن يحصل عليها بلغة الحرب، فالحصول على فوز نصف المرشحين وأقلّ كافٍ ليكون رئيساً مقبلاً للحكومة، والجمهور الذي يريد مخاطبته لن يكسبه لصناديق الاقتراع باستعارة لغة الذين خانوه وتآمروا عليه. ولا تكفي هنا اللغة الهادئة لخطابه الانتخابي. فالشارع يحتاج لغة مطمئنة للشراكة العائدة بعد الانتخابات، ولصياغة دور لتيار المستقبل بعيداً عن اللعبة الإقليمية والعداوات التي أورثتها للحريري وتياره. اللغة التي يحتاجها تيار المستقبل والحريري في توصيف الدور والوظيفة، هي لغة تشبه الدور المفترض لرئيس حكومة قادم، يمثل خيط المسبحة التي ستجمع المكونات اللبنانية في حكومة جديدة، والجسر الذي يعبر من خلاله المتخاصمون إلى لغة الوفاق والشراكة، التي تشكّل وحدها الخرزة الزرقاء التي تحمي لبنان من الفتن، وتعزّز دور الجيش والمقاومة في حمايته من العدوان وخطر الإرهاب.

– دخول الشعار الانتخابي لتيار المستقبل على حماية لبنان، ولو برمزية الخرزة الزرقاء وشرح الحريري لها، وصفة إعلانية غير متقنة مهنياً، لما فيها من ثقافة الشعوذة التي ستثير بوجهه فرصاً لقناصة الخلفيات الدينية المتعصّبة في لبنان، وخصوصاً في السعودية حيث تكفّر الوهابية كلّ مَن يؤمن بهذه الرموز، وفيها استعلاء على سائر المكوّنات السياسية، لكن الأهمّ أنها تستبطن تحرّشاً بلا مبرّر مع مفهوم الحماية الذي يحتاجه لبنان ولا تفيد فيه خرزة زرقاء، ولو كان اسمها تيار المستقبل والرئيس سعد الحريري، إلا بمقدار ما يكون الحريري والتيار سنداً لثلاثية الشعب والجيش والمقاومة، وهو ما ليس مطلوباً قوله من الحريري اليوم، لكن لا مبرّر لقول عكسه ولو بالإيحاء، فالانتخابات ليست معركة ولا حرباً، بل سعي لمشروع لتمثيل عادل، كان الحريري سيوفق كثيراً لو قال لناخبيه، القانون النسبي سيمنح كلّ فريق وكلّ زعيم حجماً يعادل وزنه بين الناس وبيدكم أن تقولوا حجم زعامة سعد الحريري، وهذا حق له لا ينازعه عليه أحد، مهما كبر هذا الحجم، ولا يحتاج لنيله إلى خرزة زرقاء.

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