ناقلات إيران تعلن تصدع القطبية الأميركيّة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

اختراق الناقلات الإيرانية محيطَيْن وخمسة بحار وحصاراً أميركياً غربياً – خليجياً مفروضاً على إيران منذ اربعين عاماً لا يندرج في اطار تحدّ أحادي يحدث مرة ويعجز في أخرى.

إنه إعلان عن سقوط مرحلة العصر الأميركي الكامل الذي هيمن على العلاقات الدولية منذ سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989.

هذه المرحلة التي استمرّت حتى 2020 قطعت أنفاس العالم في ثلاثة عقود سقط فيها ملايين القتلى في اجتياحات عسكرية أميركية في أميركا الجنوبية وآسيا الوسطى في افغانستان الى العراق وسورية واليمن والخليج ومصر والسودان والجزائر وأفريقيا وصولاً الى بحر الصين وجنوب شرق آسيا.

لقد تمكن الأميركيون في هذه المرحلة من أمركة البحار والمحيطات وتدمير الدول وبعثرة الشرق الأوسط وفرض الحروب بأسلوب الحصار والمقاطعات الاقتصادية حتى أصبحت هذه القرارات الأميركيّة الخارجة على القانون الدولي وتطبقها من دون اعتراض.

فتحوّلت المحيطات والبحار الى ملاعب للبحرية الأميركية وميادين الدول ساحات لفيالقها، فأمركت البحار والمحيطات وميادين الدول وسط غياب روسي وصمت صيني وشرود أوروبي.

لكن الأميركيين ركزوا في هذه المرحلة على اسقاط الجمهورية الإيرانية التي اعلنت منذ انتصار الإمام الخميني على الحاكم السابق شاه إيران في 1979 التمرد على مسألتين هما النفوذ الأميركي ورفض الاحتلال الاسرائيلي لفلسطين المحتلة. وهذا اساء للخطة الأميركية بإنهاء القضية الفلسطينية وإنشاء حلف عربي اسرائيلي للمزيد من ارساء القطبية الأميركية الاحادية في العالم.

لم تكتفِ إيران بالتمرد السياسي على المشروع الأميركي. بل سارعت الى ملء الفراغ المصري الذي أحدثه الرئيس المصري السابق انور السادات الذي صالح «اسرائيل» ساحباً مصر من حالة العداوة معها الى مرحلة التحالف، فأرسلت مساعدات كبيرة ودائمة للمنظمات الفلسطينية ودعمت العراق وسورية عسكرياً معادياً في حروبهما ضد الأميركيين والمنظمات الإرهابية. وساندت مجابهة الأميركيين في افغانستان واليمن، لكن علاقتها بحزب الله شكلت العمود الفقري لنمو مقاومات شكلت حالة جهادية ثابتة لمجابهة الأميركيين والاسرائيليين، ونشرت فكراً تحررياً في الشرق الاوسط وآسيا الوسطى وصولاً الى أميركا الجنوبية. بذلك نجح الإيرانيون ببناء علاقات راسخة في الشرق الاوسط وآسيا وافريقيا وأميركا الجنوبية وكادت تؤسس نتوءاً كبيراً في المناطق الاسلامية في ساراييفو والبوسنة وألبانيا لولا الاستخدام الأميركي لمهارات السعودية في بناء الفتن المذهبيّة لعرقلة التوسّع الإيراني.

إن هذه الإنجازات الإيرانية تقاطعت مع تطبيق عقوبات أميركية عليها هي الأقسى في تاريخ العلاقات الدولية وكان بإمكانها خنق النظام السياسي الإيراني وإسقاطه لولا نجاحه في بناء صناعات بديلة واسلحة كافية لصد الهجمات وتطوير الزراعة والخدمات.

لقد تطوّرت هذه المبارزات الإيرانية – الأميركية وسط بداية استيقاظ روسية وتوسّع اقتصادي صيني ونجاح حلفاء إيران في الشرق العربي وتحول حزب الله الى أيقونة الحركات الجهادية حتى ان كوبا وفنزويلا اللتين كانتا مكتفيتين بصمود صامد لا يعترضان عليه استفادتا من التمرد الإيراني على الهمجية الأميركية وابتدأتا بالاعتراض العلني الإعلامي مع إبداء استعداديهما لمقاومة الأميركيين عسكرياً ودعم إيران بكل السبل.

يتبين أن إيران نجحت في رفض الهيمنة الأميركية عليها، ببناء تحالفات قوية، استفادت منها روسيا التي دخلت طرفاً اساسياً في ضرب الإرهاب في سورية، بداية من خلال الدور الإيراني والسوري تطوّر لاحقاً الى دور روسي جيوبوليتيكي خاص بها.

كذلك الحال بالنسبة للصين، التي كانت تتحلى بصبر أيوب إزاء الاستفزازات الأميركية العسكرية في بحر الصين وكوريا الشمالية والاقتصادية في الأسواق العالمية التي كان الأميركيون يحاولون منع السلع الصينية من التموضع في حركتها التجارية.

لقد استفادت هذه القوى الكبرى من الاختراق الإيراني الواسع للنفوذ الأميركي فبنت عليه وبدأت تسجل الرفض تلو الآخر للقرارات الأميركية الجائرة، لكنها لم تصل كإيران الى مرحلة صدامات عسكرية متفرّقة معها، لم يفعلها احد مع الأميركيين مباشرة منذ 1990.

صحيح ان روسيا اقتطعت بالقوة مناطق فيها غالبية روسية من أوكرانيا وتحرّكت في جورجيا، لكنها لم تدرك ما فعلته إيران من قصف لأهداف أميركية خالصة في العراق، وتحدتها في بحر الخليج بأسلوب العين بالعين والسن بالسن، واتهمها الإعلام الغربي بقصف اهم مؤسسة نفطية سعودية لها علاقة رحمية بالغرب هي ارامكو، لكن إيران نفت وتبنت العملية اليمن في صنعاء.

ضمن هذه المعطيات ووسط تأثير جائحة الكورونا في تهدئة العلاقات الدولية المحتربة، أرسلت إيران في حركة اخترقت فيها الحصار الأميركي الذي يستهدفها ناقلات تحمل وفوداً الى فنزويلا المحاصرة بدورها واخترقت بحار الخليج والأحمر والمتوسط والمحيط الأطلسي الى بحر الكاريبي قبالة فنزويلا لتفرغ حمولتها هناك، ولم تأبه للتهديد الأميركي بقصفها. كما ارسلت ايضاً ناقلات للصين من طريق بحر الصين.

هذا يعني ضربة استراتيجية لعقوبات أميركية كادت ان تصبح اهم من القوانين الأممية وتلتزم بها اوروبا ومعظم آسيا واوستراليا وكندا وبعض وافريقيا والشرق الاوسط.

لذلك القوة إن ناقلات إيران اخترقت حصارين أميركيين على بلادها أولاً وفنزويلا ثانياً وفتحت طريقاً بحرية على الصين كانت ممنوعة عليها منذ 1980.

وهذا قابل للاقتداء به عالمياً من قبل الدول المصابة بعقوبات أميركية بما يعني أن عصر الرعب من الأميركي بدأ يتراجع وله تداعيات هامة على مستوى القطبية الأميركية بما يؤدي الى تصدعها كأكبر قوة معروفة في التاريخ الى مستوى قوة أساسية توجد قوى أخرى تنافسها بتوازن.

إن هذا الاختراق الإيراني مقدمة للتصدع الأميركي المرتقب بعد كورونا والجسر الذي يربط بين قوى تحالف جديد هي الصين وروسيا وإيران، التي تبدأ مسيرتها لإعادة النفوذ الى القانون الدولي بديلاً من قانون القوة الأميركية الذي حكم العالم بهمجيّة غير مسبوقة منذ ثلاث عقود.

فهل بدأت رحلة إيران نحو القطبية العالمية؟

ISRAEL STRIKES SYRIA TO KEEP THE USA IN THE LEVANT. 20 YEARS AFTER THE UNCONDITIONAL ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON, WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED? (2)

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Following its defeat in the second war on Lebanon, Israel discovered that its only way to suppress Hezbollah would be to close the supply line between Lebanon and Syria. That could only be achieved by removing President Bashar al-Assad from power, disrupting the “Axis of the Resistance” that extends from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Gaza. But Israel and the US, supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, Turkey, Europe and many other countries all failed to achieve their goal of making Syria a failed state. President Assad called upon his allies whose own national security was in jeopardy. If Syria were to fall, jihadists of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” would be fighting in the streets of Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran. The jihadists would also be powerful enough to remove Russia from its Syrian naval base and to export the war beyond the Levant’s borders. So, Israel and the US failed to destroy Syria and to corner Hezbollah. On the contrary, Hezbollah has become stronger than ever. The Resistance has reaped the harvest of its victory. It has become the decision-maker with key institutions in Lebanon.

Israel sought to destroy Hezbollah because it is an obstacle to Israel’s expansionist plans in Lebanon, namely to steal Lebanon’s water and some of its territories, to force a peace deal of unconditional surrender, to break Lebanon’s alliance with Iran and deprive Tehran of its strongest ally in the Middle East. For the last forty years, since the victory of the “Islamic Republic” in 1979 led by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini which unseated the US proxy ruler, the Shah of Iran, Washington has imposed sanctions, because Iran has refused to submit to US power and because it supports its allies in the Middle East, mainly Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, to stand against Israel. 

In 2006, the US was involved in the planning of Israel’s war on Lebanon. At the 2006 G8 Summit, President George W. Bush described the relationship between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as one of the root causes of “instability”: “The World must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria, and continue to work to isolate Iran.” (Roshandel J. & Lean C.N. (2011) Iran, Israel and the United States, ABC-CLIO, CA, p. 109). 

US Secretary Condoleezza Rice refused to mediate a ceasefire unless “the conditions are conducive”, thinking Israel would win the war. Hezbollah was not only left on its own to face the US and Israel, but Lebanese US-Saudi proxies (Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Druse leader Walid Jumblat) supported the position of the US and Israel, and argued that there was “no point in a ceasefire.” (Wilkins H. (2013). The Making Of Lebanese Foreign Policy: understanding the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War, Routledge, Introduction). 

When Israel failed to achieve its objectives, the US agreed to mediate an end to the war. Negotiations concentrated on ceasing all hostilities (not a ceasefire) between the two countries. Tel Aviv and Washington failed to obtain the deployment of United Nations Forces in Lebanon, UNIFIL, on the borders with Syria. The US sought to accommodate Israel in its attempt to gain by negotiation what it failed to achieve using its huge war machine in 33 days of the war in 2006. “Israel’s objective was never realistic”, said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

When its attempt to control the Lebanese-Syrian borders failed after its defeat in the 2006 war, Israel had one remaining option with which to counter Hezbollah: close the road via Damascus and find a way to curb Hezbollah’s supply line. This required war on Syria.

Since confronting Hezbollah face-face was no longer an option, Syria became the next target in the campaign to isolate Iran, as President Bush declared. The motives behind the war in Syria have been erroneously described by many researchers and analysts around the globe, who have depicted the war as the outcome of an “Arab Spring” against a dictatorial regime. Yet Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and other Gulf countries have been ruled by dictatorships and the same family members for decades and indeed are considered by the west as its closest- oil-rich- partners!

Actually, the war on Syria started just after the al-Qaeda 9/11 attack on the US. Four-star US general Wesley Clark disclosed Washington’s plan as he learned of it in the days after 9/11: “occupy Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finish with Iran.” Just a few months after the US invasion of Iraq, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited President Bashar al-Assad and warned him that the US would invade Syria if he refused to interrupt his support for the anti-Israel organisations, Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups: the Syrian president would share the same fate as the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was far from being a piece of cake. The US occupation generated new resistance among both Sunni and the Shia. This encouraged President Assad to rebuff the US threat, unaware of what the future held for Syria. Dozens of states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, the Emirates, Europe and the US all supported a regime change operation via Takfiri proxies. But the consequences of destabilising Syria gave a unique opportunity for al-Qaeda to blossom in Syria and a more lethal group emerged, the “Islamic State” ISIS. President Assad called upon his few allies, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, to stand against the massive coalition gathered to create this failed state in Syria. The Syrian war which ensued offered unprecedented experience to the Syrian army, gave birth to a new Syrian resistance and offered unique warfare knowledge to Hezbollah, with a base for Iran that Tehran could never before have dreamed of having in the Levant.

Hezbollah had forced unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in the year 2000 and challenged all those Israeli-US plans for a “new Middle East” after the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. And the long nine years of war in Syria Hezbollah forced Hezbollah to refine its tactics and armaments and provided Hezbollah with an unprecedented victory. Just as Israel had boosted the creation of Hezbollah, it taught this quasi-state actor all manner of skills and forced it to acquire more training and weapons to repel wars and dismantle the enemy’s objectives. Israel’s former Chief of Staff and Prime Ministerial candidate Benny Gantz believed that Hezbollah had become one of the strongest irregular-organised armies in the Middle East, capable of imposing its rules of engagement and its “balance of deterrence” on the strongest classical army in the Middle East. 

“Show me four or five states with more firepower than Hezbollah: they are the US, China, Russia, Israel, France, & the UK,” Gantz said when speaking at the 2014 Herzliya Conference.

That was Israel’s assessment in 2014. Six years later, last February, Israel’s minister of defence Naftali Bennet said: “For every convoy you hit, you miss five convoys and slowly Hezbollah accumulates the critical mass of rockets [missiles] that threaten us.”

Hezbollah has become stronger than many armies in the Middle East. Hezbollah is no longer the organisation that clashes with the Israelis on a hill or site or ambushes a patrol behind an alley. Rather, in Syria and Iraq, it has successfully experienced different warfare scenarios. It has acquired many advanced weapons and became a strategic threat to Israel if it ever contemplated waging outright war on Lebanon and Syria.

Israel set as its goal bringing down Assad in Syria and separating Syria from the “Axis of Resistance.” Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “Israel prefers ISIS on its borders over Assad.” But Israel, America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates have lost the war. Israel has now chosen to maintain the conflict because it fears that America would let go. This is why Israel is hitting hundreds of targets in Syria, -most of the time without no strategic value whatsoever.

Sources in the “Axis of Resistance” in Syria say that “Israel targeted the Iranian HQ at Damascus airport (a building with green glass where Israel destroyed two floors). The following day, Iran restored it and it is back in operation.  Israel has repeatedly targeted warehouses with Iranian weapons but also an abandoned training centre in the Kiswa area that has been empty for years. Their aim is to signal to the US that Israel is threatened and that the departure of the US forces would constitute a threat to Israel’s national security. It is indeed too late for Israeli jets to make any difference to Syria’s capabilities. Iran is not exporting weapons but manufacturing them. If it took Israel 9 years and 300 bombing raids to destroy Iranian warehouses in Syria, it took Iran only one year to refill and equip the Syrian army with much more sophisticated precision missiles- and all strategic missiles are in underground warehouses.”

Iran has only a few hundred advisers and officers in Syria, but it leads some tens of thousands of allies from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and auxiliary Syrian forces that resemble irregular-organised military formations. 

In Syria, Hezbollah was able to operate in an area ten times the size of Lebanon, which gave it a unique experience any army in the world would have wished to have. It was also subjected to attacks by a NATO member, Turkey, which used armed drones on the battlefield. That provided Hezbollah with a wealth of experience and taught them lessons that have become integrated into curricula at military schools and colleges in Iran with Hezbollah and their allies.

President Assad does not say that it is time for his allies (especially Hezbollah) to leave Syria. Rather, he says – according to this source – that “Syria has a debt to Hezbollah. Wherever Hezbollah wants to be, it will be also Syria’s wishes.” America and Israel created an unbreakable alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has started to harvest its gains. Hezbollah was able to impose the name of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, despite repeated opposition from Saudi Arabia and the US, the losers in the Syrian war. Lebanon remained without a president for several months until General Aoun assumed the presidency.

Hezbollah rejected multiple offers from different countries by giving the Presidency of the Parliament to anyone other than President Nabih Berri, leader of the Amal movement, who has been on this throne for decades. Hezbollah holds the real power – though not all of it – in Lebanon to call for the appointment of the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the Parliament.

As for the premiership, it cannot be assumed without Hezbollah’s approval of the candidate. Hezbollah has sufficient political weight within the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic to nominate or accept the nomination or direct the appointing of a prime minister. Former prime minister Saad Hariri is making sure his daily friendly contacts with Hezbollah are maintained because he would very much like to return to power. Hariri knows that the door to the premiership goes through one gate: Hezbollah.

This does not mean that Hezbollah wants to take control of Lebanon as a whole. Hezbollah leaders are aware that the Druse leader Kamal Jumblatt, Sunni leader Rafic Hariri, the Maronite Christian leader Bashir Gemayel and the Palestinians have all failed in controlling Lebanon and seizing the country. Hezbollah does not want to succumb to the same mistakes and doesn’t wish to control all of Lebanon. This means that the counter influence of other countries exists and is well-rooted in Lebanon. For example, the US ambassador in Beirut is threatening the Lebanese government with a warning not to remove the Central Bank Governor Riad Salama. Also, the US removed a Lebanese-Israeli agent, Amer Al-Fakhouri, via a plane which landed him at the US embassy without taking into consideration Lebanese sovereignty. The US supports the Lebanese army and internal security forces to maintain its dominance over certain key figures.

Syria has given the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, powers in Lebanon that he would not have obtained without the intervention of Israel and the allies in Syria. Hezbollah has managed to preserve its military pipeline via Syria by defeating the Takfiris (al-Qaeda and ISIS) and has prevented them from establishing an “Islamic emirate” in Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah’s victory comes at a price: thousands of martyrs and thousands of wounded. However, the resulting harvest is so abundant and strategic that the Lebanese Shiites now enjoy more power in Lebanon and Bilad al-Sham than they have since the year 661 when the fourth caliphate’s Imam Ali bin Abi Talib was killed.

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

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Sayyed Safiyeddine: “Israeli”, American Aggressors Only Understand the Language of Force

Sayyed Safiyeddine: “Israeli”, American Aggressors Only Understand the Language of Force

By Fatima Deeb Hamzah

Lebanon – On the twentieth anniversary of the glory of May otherwise known as the liberation of southern Lebanon from “Israeli” occupation, Al-Ahed interviewed the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, His Eminence Sayyed Hashem Safiyeddine. He spoke about the future, the prospects of conflict with the enemy, and the next stage.

“Twenty years after the victory in 2000, we must always remember that had it not been for the sacrifices of the martyrs, the mujahideen, the detainees, the resistance as well as the supporters of the resistance, we would not have obtained this pride and dignity,” said Sayyed Safiyeddine. “Today we are in dire need of more faith and trust in God, adherence to our religious and cultural identity and resistance, and remaining on this path because what awaits us is even greater.”

Promising a new victory, Sayyed Safiyeddine tells Al-Ahed that “the victory of May 2000 is a great historic achievement.”

“From my faith in God Almighty and trust in Him, I believe that greater victories than the May 2000 await our resistance if we remain on this path. And the message of May 2000 is persistence on this resisting approach. Everything that the enemy does, even if it appears to be large and influential, will all disappear. All rights will be restored, God willing.”

Sayyed Safiyeddine summarizes the experiences amassed by the resistance since the 2006 aggression.

“Since the 2006 war, the resistance grew in strength, experience, understanding, and awareness of the nature of the battle and confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ enemy. We benefited from many of the strengths we attained. In 2006, we established that ‘Israel’ was indeed weaker than a spider’s web. The capabilities that are being prepared to confront the enemy in any future war that we are definitely not seeking, must be more focused and hit the targets that hurt the enemy. We have become more aware of the enemy’s vulnerabilities.”

Sayyed Safiyeddine believes that “during the past years, it has been proven that ‘Israel’s’ home front is ill-prepared.”

“Our readiness is based on faith, spirituality, and the individual’s strength in Hezbollah. Today, we are giving special attention to the fighter in various dimensions. Hence, the emergence of the Radwan force, which haunts the ‘Israeli’ army with sinister nightmares. What ‘Israel’ said is accurate: ‘Radwan forces will enter northern occupied Palestine.’”

Touching on the human asset, he said that “people are dependable, and we now depend on the ability of the Palestinian people, our popular resistance as well as the people in our Arab and Islamic world whose word will one day unite and eliminate this usurping Zionist entity.”

His Eminence speaks confidently about achieving the desired objective – liberating al-Quds.

“We live with a real hope of achieving a realistic goal, according to our view, which is the liberation of al-Quds. And we believe that the successive blows that the ‘Israeli’ enemy is being dealt will one day exhaust it and make it unable to face this tidal resistance. Sayyed Safiyeddine said. “This framework consists of two directions: one is resisting the enemy and the other is the enemy recognizing its weakness, day after day. We will reach a point where the ‘Israelis’ will feel powerless. On the other hand, the people will advance their resistance work, and today they are in tens, or even hundreds of thousands regionally. These hundreds of thousands ready to resist coupled with the accumulation of achievements as well as the deteriorating structure of the Zionist entity in addition to other elements will one day lead us to the inevitable liberation al-Quds. This is something we never doubt.”

Great victories are made by great leaders, and so were the liberation of 2000 and the victory 2006.

“Major General Hajj Qassem Soleimani and the commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh were the architects of the victories in 2000 and 2006. The support the resistance received from the Quds Forces, led by Hajj Qassem Soleimani, contributed extensively to the liberation. In 2000, Hajj Imad was on the battlefield and a de facto leader as well as the leader of the Islamic Resistance’s operations. Through his follow-up with all the Mujahideen brothers, leaders, martyrs, and everyone who worked under Hajj Imad at the operational level, the 2000 victory was achieved.”

“We cannot look at the historic victory in 2000 with all its blessings without remembering these two great martyred leaders,” Sayyed Safiyeddine stresses.

Speaking of the possibilities of both military and economic war against the axis of resistance, His Eminence tells us, “The ‘Israeli’ enemy always uses the military tool as well as the political, economic, and media tools through American support. ‘Israel’ alone is not able to encircl the resistance and the axis of resistance financially and economically. This is an American act that serves ‘Israel’ and the American and imperial interests in this region. Today, we cannot say that the ‘Israelis’ are no longer a military threat. The threat still exists. But the ‘Israelis’ have slim hopes of launching a military aggression against the resistance in Lebanon. This is because they feel that they are unable to resolve the battle.”

As for the economic embargo imposed by the United States on the axis of resistance, Sayyed Safiyeddine says it is the result of “Israel’s” “sense of helplessness in the face of this axis that is growing and becoming stronger than ever before and recording great achievements in terms of capabilities and readiness.”

He stresses that the “sanctions imposed by the Americans on the resistance and the axis of resistance may be the last weapon they use to confront it as they have exhausted all options.”

“Since its inception, the resistance’s options, logic, path, methods, and objectives have been fixed. These are constants. It is contrary to what some believe – that time can make us retreat, tire, or reconsider our position. The more we advance in the resistance work and confronting the ‘Israeli’ enemy, the more convinced we are that our positions must be firmer,” the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council adds.

“The ‘Israelis’ and the Americans only understand the language of strength and force, and when you are strong and capable you can confront this enemy, achieve your goals, and regain your rights. Today, we are more confident about our readiness in the area of armed resistance,” Sayyed Hashem concludes.

الخامس والعشرين من أيار يوم لم ينته – يوم بطول عشرين عام – نقاط على الحروف- ناصر قنديل

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New Guiding Principles Have Emerged

May 23, 2020

Having Confidence In Your Case Is a Virtue or New Guiding Principles Have Emerged

Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

PART I

Living in a rich Western country is by far not without problems. Sure, until now, I do not suffer from material worries. No sanctions are imposed on the country. No bombs are put on the roads or fall from above. Police is not knocking on my door and I can move more or less without restrictions (no, no, I will not cry because of some limitations due to the Covid-19 crisis). I am even not forced to hate anyone or to believe in anything. As long as I pay my taxes and do not violate the laws, more or less nobody disturbs me. You may call this a privileged situation. You may even dream of such a life.

The other side is less funny. Whatever newspaper I open – whatever day – I find at least one article which is profoundly anti-Chinese, or anti-Iranian, or anti-Russian, or anti-Syrian. On the whole, this has stopped upsetting me, but still, it is really boring. And then there is the absence of all sense of logic. When US-ships are far from at home, in the Persian Gulf or in the South China Sea, say, then this is just „normal“ for these professional journalists. But when Iranian ships are going to Venezuela, then this is much less „business as usual“. Or, for them, more or less every problem of the USA is a result of the craziness of Trump. But miraculously, as soon as the USA act against China or Iran or Russia or Syria, then the Trump’s craziness is like blown away.

There is a big mental problem in the West: a sickly conviction in the own superiority combined with systematically blaming others for the own weaknesses. No, no, you cannot say that this is just the fault of the ruling classes or of the evil monopoly capitalists. It is not that simple. Quite many „ordinary people“ think in this way. Of all sorts of education or profession. And they have no real excuse. Still, I will not condemn them. I will not throw the first stone. Nevertheless, I would like to be less alone with my feelings, my convictions, and my ideas.

Since quite some time, I have named four guiding principles for me: autonomy, humility, perseverance, and positivity. Let me explain them a little bit. Autonomy stands for a proper mind. Feel, act, think in your own way, on your own responsibility. Support President Assad as one of the outstanding leaders of our time, even when many of your own friends and relatives see him as a criminal. Be just astonished by the existence and the amazing strength of Hezbollah as one of the authentic miracles nowadays, even when the government of a neighboring country has declared Hezbollah as a threat and when you can see no big protest in this neighboring country against this cowardly act.

Humility is crucial for a citizen in a Western country. After centuries of world domination, every criticism (in the West) of non-Western countries should be taboo. Not because of the (wrong) idea that non-Western countries are without problems or better by principle. Just by humility; you cannot life in a rich Western country and give lessons to others. This also includes accepting that the driving force for a better world is not a Western one; as citizens in a Western country, we are only a supporting force, at best. During this Covid-19 crisis, I was very disappointed by some genuine anti-imperialist Western people who were admiring Western scientists and professors as heroes, due to some criticism against their government. But what about scientists and professors in China, Iran, Syria, or Hezbollah? Stop thinking that Western scientists and professors are better.

Perseverance was not always easy for me. As a gifted child, things were sometimes too simple for me. I had to learn not crying about every small problem. You have to work hard for many years in order to get expert in some domain, even when you are gifted. This Western style of life with all these amusements and conveniences is not very beneficial for perseverance. And this ideology of just believe in yourself and realize your dreams is very lightweight.

Positivity is truly important. Being angry and full of hate cannot help much. Even when there is a reason. For example, I usually avoid writing about Israel, I even avoid thinking about Israel. This is merely in order to keep my mental health. I prefer by far to write and think about Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. My aim is another world, which, by the way, is already existing. I agree, blaming is sometimes necessary. But blaming is also quite easy. Look at this Covid-19 crisis. You cannot expect that your government makes no mistake during this crisis. What would YOU do in such a situation? Ok, it is probably not your job to govern. But even in your job, new, unexpected situations arrive and you have to struggle in order to find a solution. This might be difficult, even when you are well intended.

Overall, this is the logic behind my four guiding principles and I have tried to describe the „state of the art“ such as it existed some weeks ago. But meanwhile, my perspective has changed. I am still judging these principles as positive; however, I am now convinced that they are somewhat outdated and much too defensive. A step forward is urgently needed. What follows is a first try – which surely has to be adjusted subsequently.

PART II

In March 2020, in a joint letter to UN Secretary General Guterres, the ambassadors of eight countries, namely China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, urged that the present pandemic should not be politicized. They underlined that the fight against the pandemic is difficult – if not impossible – for countries facing sanctions. The latter are described as illegal, coercive measures of economic pressure.

The common action of these countries is highly noteworthy. It is well known that they all have to counter Western sanctions of different degrees, ordered by the USA. Even if there are rather big differences among the eight countries, let me try to treat them as a unity, as the representatives of the now world, together with some other forces, Hezbollah and Ansarullah in particular. From their point of view, what can be said concerning my four guiding principles?

Autonomy or independence are derived values. They are related to somebody else, you are independent of somebody. In particular, one may be autonomous or independent with respect to Western hegemony. Obviously, this does not correctly describe the current situation. Independence is no longer the big problem. The new forces have already taken their own way. They are neither imitating nor competing the Western system. They just try to advance, based on their own historical experiences and their own wisdom. They know that Western hegemony would like to stop them. While they take this threat seriously, they are not at all paralyzed by it. The hegemonists have become quite predictable, with few creative ideas. Of course, the possibility exists that they will act still more desperately. But this is life and one has to be prepared.

Advancing on their own way naturally needs competences. This was one of the advantages of the West in the past. But the new forces rapidly cutch up and are already in the lead in some domains. In short, the main task of the new forces (I repeat that, simplifying, I look at these forces as a unity) is resolving the problems and obstacles which they meet on their way, prudently, confidently, creatively, competently. So, „autonomy“ has to be replaced by something like „firm self-confidence and competence“.

I would say that arrogance is the most typical behavior of Western hegemonists. Certainly, humility is not an adjusted answer, the hegemonists would just laugh about. Humility is too weak and too defensive. Manifestly, strength and courage are required. Of course, they have to be combined with caution. Yet, we may be assured that the new forces have accumulated enough knowledge about Western tactics and tricks. The Western arsenal is quite limited. Essentially, it consists of a big mouth and nothing behind. Nevertheless, one should not be impressible nor provokable. I would like to propose something like „robustness and solidity“ instead of „humility“.

Perseverance is not enough. The new forces need a long-term strategy. The Western hegemony has lasted for some centuries while we may say that the new forces exist since some 100 years. These 100 years were however quite wild and unbalanced. At least, a lot of experiences was acquired. In some sense, the „youth“ of the new forces is now over. They have entered the age of adults. They take more and more responsibility.

Related to perseverance is the question of rigor. In the ascending period of Western hegemony, rigor was essential. In the middle of the last century, rigor was still a strength of the West. This is now over. The new forces show more rigor. Their societies are more serious and much less exposed to Western amusements and decadence. You may look at Hassan Nasrallah and Netanyahu with respect to rigor and you immediately see that there is no comparison; to the point that something in me strongly objects putting these two names in the same sentence, it is like a sacrilege. Here is another illustration: Clearly, Karl Marx was exemplary as a rigorous scientist. But the European left of today see rigor, seriousness, and discipline merely as suspect. Quite to the opposite of someone like famous German supermodel Claudia Schiffer who knows very well that without discipline, there is no career.

So, let us replace „perseverance“ by „perspicacity and rigor“.

Finally, what may signify positivity for the new forces? What immediately comes to mind is confidence. Confidence in their case, confidence in their struggle, confidence in their success. For example the confidence of the Chinese that they will reach their target of eliminating poverty in their country at the end of 2020. Or the confidence of the Syrians that they will liberate every inch of their country.

Some weeks ago, on May 9, I was very impressed by the text written for this blog by Faina Savenkova, a child of 11 years from Lugansk. Above all by her confidence. This is really a deciding factor. It is as she writes: „I know for sure […] that the war will end sooner or later, and we will create a new future.“

Accordingly, let us replace „positivity“ by „deep confidence“.

I recapitulate. My guiding principles have emerged from „autonomy, humility, perseverance, positivity“ to something like „firm self-confidence and competence, robustness and solidity, perspicacity and rigor, deep confidence“. This is less static, less neutral, less defensive as well as more dynamic, more purposeful, more optimistic. And more in line with existing reality. We may trust in this new world. Which is in the process of being created, before our eyes.

Untold Stories About The Two Martyrs, Sheikh Abu Dharr And His Son Ali

Untold Stories About The Two Martyrs, Sheikh Abu Dharr And His Son Ali

By Yassmine Moustafa

On May 15, 2000, Sheikh Aba Dharr’s name was engraved in the memory of the young and old. The Sheikh had complained to the Secretary General of Hezbollah that liberation has come, but his spirit has not yet joined the martyrs. After a long wait, he finally got what he hoped for. He was given a good ending. He attained the two best things. He was a witness to victory. And he was martyred on the path of dignity.

A victorious turban

In 1986, Abu Dharr returned from Iran, turbanized with the blessing of the architect of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Imam Ruhollah Khomeini. He returned bearing in mind and heart Imam’s promise of victory. For Imam told him, “You will witness victory with this turban.”

Many knew the Sheikh and experienced daily life with him. This was a time when being both a scholar and a fighters was rare. There was something special about the sight of him moving from one axis to another adorned with his white turban as a religious scholar and a fighter.

Our father Aba Dharr

“He was our father, our confidante, and the love of our hearts.” These were the words uttered by everyone who spoke to us about him.

Jihadi leader Abu al-Fadl recalls the Sheikh’s movements. He was always on the move day and night, moving between axes and headquarters. Sometimes he’d be talking to the Mujahideen about religion and the world. Other times, he’d let his BKC machine gun – his sole companion – do all the talking.

“The Sheikh always insisted that His Eminence the Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah grant him a self-sacrificing martyrdom operation,” his friend Hajj Jawad tells Al-Ahd. “Sayyed would answer him, ‘If you, O Sheikh, do a martyrdom operation, we will rejoice for you. But your martyrdom will have a major impact on the psychology of the young men’.”

This is how the light travels

The sheikh had few provisions, but he helped everyone around him, especially the Mujahideen. He was constantly traveling from one village to another and from one house to another because he was wanted by the “Israelis”. That’s why he adopted many security measures. The possessed only the most basic things in life and one car would have been sufficient to transport the furniture of his entire house.

Wounded resistance fighter, Mahdi Yassin, talks about Sheikh Aba Dharr’s asceticism and his high degree of humility: “Once I asked him why he didn’t buy new furniture for his house. Since he was a man of few words, he answered me briefly. ‘I assume that the landlord would want me to leave the house at any time, then I would have peace of mind and would not be preoccupied with moving the furniture. Man does not live in this world for the sake of Dunya [temporal world], but he lives for the Hereafter. He does not know when he will be leaving this world.’”

Only God knows one’s intentions

The wounded resistance fighter adds, “Once, the Sheikh returned from an operation with a group of Mujahideen. He then started washing their clothes and serving them. So, I told him, Sheikh, you were also with them. Why don’t you sit down while we serve you? He did not reply, so we repeated the question. Then he said, ‘It is true that I was with the brothers during the same operation, but only God knows one’s intentions. Some of them might have better intentions than me. I want to earn a reward. So, perhaps if I gave someone water, I will be rewarded for serving a Mujahid.’”

Working for the Dunya and the Hereafter

Martyr Saleh Harb was a relative of Sheikh Abu Dharr’s wife. After his martyrdom, the Sheikh supported the martyr’s young children, Hawra, Maryam, and Muhammad as the martyr’s wife fell ill.

“My parents did not distinguish between us and them,” says Rouhollah, the son of the Sheikh. “We were seven children who lived in one humble house, and my father’s kindness and affection embraced us all.”

“He was very good to us. He never went out for a picnic without us and never left the house before checking up on us. He never ate unless we are all there. He considered our presence as a blessing in his life and sought to earn rewards [from Allah] through us. He was very patient. We were seven children including his children. He cared about our studies and helped us. He would never ever tire,” said Mariam, the daughter of martyr Saleh.

Khomeini style

Mariam, along with the Sheikh’s family, often moved residences. However, there was one thing in common in all those houses.

“The first thing that grabs your attention in all the houses we moved into were the pictures of martyrs and the Leader Ayatollah Imam Ali Khamenei on the walls, and even on the doors and closets. The house was more like a center than a home. The living room as well as the sitting room consisted of two mattresses each. As for kitchen utensils, they only included the most basic things that a person needs for everyday life.”

Mariam did not forget the martyr’s very humble Volvo and his simple turban – worn Khomeini style.

To God’s door

Maryam says that every time he left the house, they would ask about his destination – “Sheikh, where are you going?”

His answers would always be “to God’s door”.

“We’d know that he is going to the axes. This work made him feel very happy.”

“All of our trips with him were visits to the Mujahideen and the families of the martyrs and to attend festivals hosted by the resistance. He was one of a kind and an exceptional person. But he rarely returned home due to the nature of his work. We missed him so much that we used to look at the parking spot near the building where he’d park his car. On rare occasions we’d see his car parked there, we were overwhelmed with happiness.”

In the middle of the dark nights, Mariam would wake up to Sheikh’s recitation of the Qur’an. She would feel serene while he read Ziyarat Ashura. This left an imprint on her heart.

“We used to wake up for morning prayer every day. He would wake us up one by one and accompany us as we performed ablution. He insisted that we read 50 verses from the Holy Qur’an every day. He also put verses from the Qur’an and proverbs on the doors of each room. I still remember a number of them: ‘Do not tell the prayer I have lessons but tell the lessons I have prayer.’ Even now, whenever I hear the Adhan [call for prayer], I remember this phrase, leave what I’m doing, and go to pray.”

Ali, Sheikh’s son, becomes a martyr

Martyr Ali was Sheikh Aba Dharr’s eldest child. He was his father’s successor and the breadwinner of the family after him. His mother relied on him since the age of 12, and he was the father to his younger brothers.

At dawn on May 25, 2015, Ali decided to commemorate his father’s memory differently. He headed towards Syria to teach the Takfiris a lesson as his father did with the “Israeli” occupation – the other face of Takfiri terrorism.

The objective of the battle was to liberate the strategic Al-Thallaja Hill in Syria’s Flitah. The hill is more than 2000 meters high and is a rugged, open area with no trees.

“O Sadiq Sadiq, head with five of the Mujahideen to the hill quickly. The men there are isolated, and the number of martyrs and wounded is high.”

This is what the jihad companion of martyr Ali Sheikh “Sadiq” heard at 4:30 a.m. on the radio. He went to wake the martyr and the rest of the comrades.

At the top of the hill, the smell of gunpowder was overwhelming, and the sound of rocket-propelled grenades and bullets disturbed the usual calm at dawn. No one could raise his head without getting wounded. An intervention force of eight members from Hezbollah’s Radwan Unit advanced. Ali, the son of the sheikh of the resistance martyr Ahmed Yahya (Aba Dharr), was one member of that group.

“We did not know what was waiting for us on the top of the hill except that we were going to support the advancing forces in the battle, but the surprise was that there were martyrs and wounded on the ground,” Hussein, the company commander and martyr Ali’s childhood friend, tells us.

“Guys, our group leader, Sajid al-Tiri, has been martyred.” These words resonated throughout al-Thallajah Hill.

“Martyr Ali showed unmatched valor. He was fierce and started running towards the militants, opening fire on them. His courage sparked enthusiasm in our hearts. He was the first to arrive at the top of the hill. When a colleague of ours was wounded near him, he turned to him to aid him. At that moment, he was directly shot in the head and was martyred. I got to him and hid his body behind a small rock, and we continued the battle,” Hussein says.

They are alive, but you don’t perceive it

Sheikh Sadiq, a wounded fighter, tells us about his companion in jihad.

“The battle of the Zabadani Hills in Syria was the reason we first met. There, I heard him talking on the walky-talky with his company commander amid heated clashes. As he spoke, he did not stop mentioning the Prophet’s household (PBUT). As he advanced in the fighting, you would hear him call out: O God, O Zahraa.”

Sheikh Sadiq was the one who woke up Ali at dawn on May 25 to join the battle.

“Ali did not drink water and did not ask me for a few minutes until he prepared himself. As we reached the top of the hill, I said: ‘God’s peace be upon the injustice that befell you O Aba Adullah al-Husayn.’ The number of the wounded and martyrs was high. It was a tough day, but martyr Ali displayed a unique leadership spirit. He quickly divided the tasks. He took the lead in securing the right side, and the rest of the members secured the left side.”

“Ali’s martyrdom was hard on us and difficult to accept. He was exceptional. Him advancing first was an act of great altruism and sacrifice,” Sheikh Sadiq says with a lump in his throat.

The month of May brought father and son together. Its spring breeze carried freedom to people worthy of it.

The martyrdom of the Sheikh and his son sum up the resistance’s march that did not wane or withdraw. Its Mujahideen are along the frontlines in Lebanon’s south fighting the “Israeli” enemy as well as in Syria and the Syria-Lebanon border facing the Takfiri enemy.

As for the objective, it is safeguarding the nation and protecting the land and honor. For that purpose, the choice is between one of the best two [victory or martyrdom].

20 YEARS AFTER THE UNCONDITIONAL ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON: WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED? (1)

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

A woman mocking an Israeli tank left behind when withdrawing from south of Lebanon in the year 2000, using its cannon as a hanger to dry cloths. Photo by @YounesZaatari

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

We were Hezbollah trainers. It is an organisation that learns quickly. The Hezbollah we met at the beginning (1982) is different from the one we left behind in 2000”. This is what the former Chief of Staff and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, said twenty years after the Israeli unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon.

For the first time we met a non-conventional army, but also an ideological organisation with deep faith: and this faith triumphed over us. We were more powerful, more technologically advanced and better armed but not possessing the fighting spirit …They were stronger than us”. This is what Brigadier General Effi Eitam, Commander of the 91st Division in counter-guerrilla operation in south Lebanon said. 

Alon Ben-David, senior defence correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13, specialised in defence and military issues, said: “Hezbollah stood up and defeated the powerful Israeli Army”.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the architect of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, said: “The withdrawal didn’t go as planned. The deterrence of Hezbollah and its capability increased greatly. We withdrew from a nightmare”. Barak meant he had planned to leave behind him a buffer zone under the control of his Israeli proxies led by the “South Lebanon Army” (SLA) commander Antoine Lahad. However, his plans were dismantled and the resistance forced Lahad’s men to run towards the borders, freeing the occupied buffer zone. As they left Lebanon, the Israeli soldiers said: “Thank God we are leaving: no one in Israel wants to return”.

Israeli soldiers are happy to leave Lebanon in the year 2000.

In 1982, Israel believed the time had come to invade Lebanon and force it to sign a peace agreement after eliminating the various Palestinian organisations. These groups had deviated from the Palestinian compass and had become embroiled in sectarian conflict with the Lebanese Phalange, believing that “the road to Jerusalem passed through Jounieh” (the Maronite stronghold on Mt. Lebanon, northwest of Beirut, a slogan used by Abu Iyad). Israel intended Lebanon to become the domicile of its Palestinian conflict. It failed to realise that in so doing it was letting the Shiite genie out of the bottle. Signs of this genie began to appear after the arrival of Sayyed Musa al-Sadr in Lebanon and the return of students of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr from Najaf to their home country and residency in the Lebanese Bekaa. Also, the victory of Imam Khomeini and the “Islamic revolution” in Iran in 1979 was not taken into consideration by Israel, and the potential consequences for the Lebanese Shia were overlooked.

The 1982 Israeli invasion triggered the emergence of the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon”, which later became known as “Hezbollah”, and it forced Israel to leave Lebanon unconditionally in 2000. This made Lebanon the first country to humiliate the Israeli army. Following their victory over the Arabs in 1949, 1956, 1967 and 1973, Israeli officials had come to believe they could occupy any Arab country “with a brass band”.

Israeli soldiers exited through the “Fatima Gate” (on the Lebanese border, also known as Good Fence, HaGader HaTova) under the watchful eyes of Suzanne Goldenberg on the other side of the border. She wrote: “After two decades and the loss of more than 1000 men, the chaotic Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon leaves its northern flank dangerously exposed, with Hezbollah guerrillas sitting directly on its border. The scale of the Israeli fiasco was beginning to unfold… After the Israelis pulled out of Bint Jubayl in the middle of the night, their SLA allies, already in a state of collapse in the centre of the strip, simply gave up. Branded collaborators, they and their families headed for exile. Behind them, they left tanks and other heavy equipment donated by their patrons. Shlomo Hayun, an Israeli farmer who lives on Shaar Yeshuv farm, said of the withdrawal, “This was the first time I have been ashamed to be Israeli. It was chaotic and disorganised.”

Israeli withdrawal (2000) crossing Fatima Gate.

What did Israel and its allies in the Middle East achieve?

In 1978, Israel occupied a part of southern Lebanon and in 1982, for the first time, it occupied an Arab capital, Beirut. During its presence as an occupation force, Israel was responsible for several massacres amounting to war crimes. In 1992, Israel thought that it could strike a death blow to Hezbollah by assassinating its leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi. He was replaced by his student, the charismatic leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah has proved to be more truthful than the Israeli leaders, and thus capable of affecting the Israeli public through his speeches, as Israeli colonel Ronen, chief Intelligence officer for the Central Command of Israel Defence Forces, has said.

The new Hezbollah leader showed his potential for standing up to and confronting Israel through TV appearances. He mastered the psychological aspects of warfare, just as he mastered the art of guerrilla war. He leads a non-conventional but organised army of militants “stronger than several armies in the Middle East,” according to Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, the former Israeli Chief of Staff. 

The Israeli doctrine relies on the principle of pre-emptively striking what is considered as a potential threat, in order to extinguish it in its cradle. Israel first annexed Jerusalem by declaring it in 1980 an integral part of the so-called “capital of the state of Israel”. In June 1981, it attacked and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor that France had helped build. In 2007, Israel struck a building in Deir Ezzor, Syria, before it was completed, claiming that the government had been building a nuclear reactor.

6 years after its withdrawal, Israel declared war on Lebanon in 2006, with the aim of eradicating Hezbollah from the south and destroying its military capacity. Avi Kober, a member of the department of political studies at Bar Ilan University and researcher at the Israeli BESA centre said: “The war was conducted under unprecedented and favourable conditions the like which Israel has never enjoyed – internal consensus, broad international support (including tacit support on the part of moderate Arab States), and a sense of having almost unlimited time to achieve the war objectives. The IDF’s performance during this war was unsatisfactory, reflecting flawed military conceptions and poor professionalism and generalship. Not only the IDF fail in achieving battlefield decision against Hezbollah, that is, denying the enemy’s ability to carry on the fight, despite some tactical achievements, throughout the war, it played into Hizballah’s hands.”

“Soon we shall pray in Jerusalem” (Portray Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah).

Israel withdrew from the battle without achieving its goals: it was surprised by Hezbollah’s military equipment and fighting capabilities. Hezbollah had managed to hide its advanced weapons from the eyes of Israeli intelligence and its allies, who are present in every country including Lebanon. The result was 121 Israeli soldiers killed, 2,000 wounded, and the pride of the Israeli army and industry destroyed in the Merkava Cemetery in southern Lebanon where the Israeli advance into Wadi al-Hujeir was thwarted. 

Hezbollah hit the most advanced class Israeli destroyer, the INS Spear saar-5, opposite the Lebanese coast. In the last 72 hours of the war, Israel fired 2.7 million bomblets, or cluster bombs, to cause long-term pain for Lebanon’s population, either through impeding their return or disrupting cultivation and harvest once they did return. “An unjustified degree of vindictiveness and an effort to punish the population as a whole”, said the report of the UN commission of inquiry conducted in November 2006 (Arkin M. W. (2007), Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, Air University Press, Alabama, pp 67-71).

The battle ended, Israel withdrew again, closed the doors behind its army, raised a fence on the Lebanese borders, and installed electronic devices and cameras to prevent any possible Hezbollah crossing into Palestine.

When Israel’s chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said “Israel instructed Hezbollah in the art of war”, he was right. Hezbollah has learned from the wars that Israel has waged over the years. In every war, Hezbollah saw the necessity of developing its weapons and training to match and overcome the Israeli army (which is outnumbered) and which enjoys the tacit support of Middle Eastern regimes and the most powerful western countries. Hezbollah developed its special forces’ training and armed itself with precision missiles to impose new rules of engagement, posing a real threat to the continuity of the permanent Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Today, Hezbollah has sophisticated weapons, including the armed drones that it used in Syria in its war against the Takfirists, and precision missiles that can reach every region, city and airport in Israel. It has anti-ship missiles to neutralize the Israeli navy in any future attack or war on Lebanon and to hit any harbour or oil platform. It is also equipped with missiles that prevent helicopters from being involved in any future battle. The balance of deterrence has been achieved. Hezbollah can take Israel back to the Stone Age just as easily as Israel envisages returning Lebanon to the Stone Age.

Hezbollah is Israel’s worse nightmare, and it was largely created by the Israeli attempt to overthrow the regime in Lebanon, occupy Lebanon, and impose an agreement that Israel could then mould to its own liking. But the tables were turned: a very small force emerged in Lebanon to become a regional power whose powerful support was then extended to the neighbouring countries of Syria and Iraq. The harvest journey has begun.

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

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