How the US controls Lebanon’s energy supply

Far from helping Lebanon solve its acute energy crisis, the US is leveraging Egypt’s gas supply to pressure Beirut over US-brokered maritime border talks with Israel

August 19 2022

By Yeghia Tashjian

Consider the chaos in Europe today caused by a sudden reduction in Russian gas supplies.

Now imagine the catastrophic state of Lebanon’s energy sector after two years of fuel shortages, limited foreign currency with which to purchase new, urgent supplies, and US-sanctions on Syria impeding Lebanon’s only land route for imports.

US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea intervenes in all of Beirut’s energy decisions Photo Credit: The Cradle

After decades of stalled reforms, Lebanon is running out of time and money.

In June 2021, a lifeline was handed to the country in a deal struck with Baghdad to supply two Lebanese power stations with Iraqi fuel. The agreement, which was due to expire in September 2022, has recently been extended for one year.

But while there are short and long term solutions available to remedy Lebanon’s energy crisis, the two main options are both monopolized by US policymakers with stakes in regional geopolitics.

The first option involves transporting fuel to Lebanon via the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP), whereby Egypt will supply gas through Syria. Although the proposal was originally an American suggestion, this fuel route requires US sanctions waivers that have not yet been approved by Washington.

The second option is for Lebanon to extract its own gas supply from newly discovered fields off its coastline. This too depends entirely on US-mediated, indirect negotiations with Israel to resolve a maritime dispute over the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Accessing its own gas supplies will go a long way to guarantee Lebanon’s own energy security, while providing the state with much needed revenues from exports.

However, the success of either project depends largely on the status of US-Lebanese relations at any given moment. The two options are also inextricably linked to each other: Washington is pressuring Beirut to compromise with Tel Aviv on the maritime border dispute before agreeing to “green light” Cairo’s gas exports via Syria, which is in turn heavily sanctioned by the US’s “Caesar Act.”

While Washington is playing a leverage game, Lebanon is slowly collapsing.

Gas from Egypt

Under the agreement signed with Cairo, 650 million cubic meters of natural gas will be exported annually via the AGP. As it turns out, the actual supply of gas, as per the World Bank’s conditions, awaits US approval to exclude Egypt from sanctions imposed on the passage of goods through Syria.

The AGP is already a functioning pipeline that has supplied Lebanon with Egyptian gas in the past, but operations were halted in 2011 when Syrian pipelines were damaged during the country’s armed conflict.

Under the deal, Egypt will pump gas through the pipeline to supply Lebanon’s northern Deir Ammar power plant, which can then produce 450 megawatts of electricity – adding four hours of additional electricity supply per day. It is a modest but necessary improvement over the barely two hours of electricity currently provided by the state.

The World Bank has pledged to finance the deal on the condition that the Lebanese government implements much needed reforms in the electricity sector, which has created tens of billions of dollars in public debt.

The Syrian equation       

For the Syrian government, the arrangement is perceived as a diplomatic victory as it confers ‘legitimacy’ to the state and represents a step toward its international rehabilitation. The AGP deal was also hailed by Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Bassam Tohmy as one of the most important joint Arab cooperation projects.

According to Will Todman, a research fellow in the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the agreement is “a win for the [Bashar al-]Assad government. The deal represents the first major move toward Syria’s economic integration with the region since Arab Spring protests shook Syria in March 2011, halting previous integration efforts.”

However, due to US Caesar Law restrictions, no concrete progress has been made over the past months. Amman and Cairo have both requested guarantees from Washington that they will not be subject to sanctions – to no avail. US President Joe Biden has yet to make a final decision on whether the plan will be considered a violation of sanctions on Syria.

Linking the Egypt deal with Israel talks

In order to create a certain interdependency in the region to minimize the possibility of new conflicts with Israel, the US is attempting to link the Egyptian gas deal with the ongoing, indirect, maritime negotiations between Tel Aviv and Beirut.

Amos Hochstein, the State Department senior adviser on energy security, who acts as chief mediator on the disputed maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, said after arriving in Beirut on 14 June that the US side will look at the final agreement between Egypt and Lebanon to evaluate the sanctions compliance of the natural gas project.

This means that Washington is linking the fate of the gas deal to the maritime dispute with Israel to exert additional pressure on Lebanon.

On 14 October, 2020 – just two months after the Beirut port blast which severed the primary transportation route for seaborne Lebanese imports – Lebanon and Israel began the long-awaited US-mediated talks to demarcate their maritime borders, under the supervision of the UN.

The framework agreement announced by both countries at the time was the most serious attempt to resolve the maritime dispute and secure gas drilling operations through diplomatic means.

However, there are many challenges that can slow or even derail these negotiations.

According to Lebanese estimates, the country has 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore, and is in urgent need to begin drilling to save its ailing economy.

Israel is also in hurry to resolve this dispute as it wants to finalize the negotiations before September 2022, when the Karish gas rig is expected to begin production. The concern is that if a deal is not signed by then, Hezbollah may take action to halt Israel’s extraction altogether – until Lebanon is able to extract its own fuel from those waters.

Resolution or conflict

Last month, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah reiterated warnings against Tel Aviv in the event that Lebanon is prevented from extracting its own resources in the Med. “When things reach a dead-end, we will not only stand in the face of Karish… Mark these words: we will reach Karish, beyond Karish, and beyond, beyond Karish,” he cautioned.

Initially, Lebanon took a maximalist position on its maritime borders with Israel: the main dispute was around the percentage both countries should share in the disputed 860 square kilometers, which covers Lebanon’s offshore gas Blocks 8, 9 and 10.

It is worth mentioning that Lebanon does not enter these negotiations from a position of strength and is in dire economic need to unlock foreign aid and begin the flow of potential gas revenues.

Meanwhile, the arrival this summer of the British-based Energean, an oil and gas exploration company, which will begin a drilling operation close to the Karish gas field, has sparked tensions between both countries, prompting US envoy Hochstein to race back to the region on 13 June.

In order to provide Lebanon with some much-needed leverage and accelerate negotiations, Hezbollah dispatched three drones towards the Karish gas field on 2 July. The operation sought several results: to test Israeli military responses to the drones, to scare off the private company contractors working on the rig, and to motivate both Tel Aviv and Washington to step up and strike a deal.

The operation achieved its goals. Israel’s military now can’t rule out the possibility that the Lebanese resistance movement will launch additional attacks on the gas field in the near future, or provoke Israel in a different manner – if the maritime dispute is not ironed out, and soon.

Beyond the Mediterranean Sea

The negotiations have also been impacted by international developments, chiefly, the war in Ukraine and the growing energy crisis in Europe. Sweeping western economic sanctions on Moscow’s economic interests have dried up Russian exports to the continent, driving Europe to seek alternative sources of energy, few of which are readily available.

In May 2022, the US and EU unveiled a plan to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and in June, the EU and Israel signed an agreement to export Israeli gas to Europe. These external factors have further motivated the US and Israel to hasten the negotiation process with Lebanon, all of which are overshadowed by the aforementioned US pressure on the Lebanese government.

Energy expert Laury Haytayan believes that linking Lebanon to regional energy projects makes it harder for Lebanon to go to war with Israel. Haytayan told The Cradle: “Lebanon needs gas, Israel needs stability, and the US wants to give both what they want.”

It is important to recognize that a final maritime demarcation agreement also means defusing the tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border, which may require a broader US-Iranian agreement, something that is unlikely in the short term.

If the gas deal is successful and the US approves the Egyptian energy exports, the move will only increase US leverage over Lebanon when it comes to future negotiations on energy security.

It is in Lebanon’s interest to ensure that one party, the US, does not continue to hold all the cards related to its vital fuel needs. A recent offer from Iran to supply the country with monthly free fuel was tacitly accepted by Lebanon’s prime minister and energy minister, but needs work. Other states have offered to build power generation plants to enhance the nation’s infrastructure and efficiency.

But with Lebanon so deeply affected by Washington’s whims – and punishments – it isn’t at all certain that the country can steer itself to these more independent options.

The US and Israel have never been this highly incentivized to solve the maritime dispute. If the deal fails, Hezbollah may proceed with military action, especially before the conclusion of political ally President Michel Aoun’s term this Fall.

Furthermore, the gas issue may turn into a contentious domestic political issue ahead of Israel’s November parliamentary elections. In that instance too, a military conflict between Israel and Hezbollah may be triggered.

The only solution is to strike a deal, get gas flowing, and avert war. Will saner minds prevail, or will the region’s high-stakes geopolitical competition continue to escalate blindly? More importantly, can Washington bear to allow Lebanon the breathing space after three years of severe economic pressure to control Beirut’s political decisions?

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

حبيب الشرتوني: أتوقّع أداءً مختلفاً من القيادة الجديدة للحزب أقرب إلى فكر المؤسّس

الأخبار 

الثلاثاء 10 أيار 2022

رغم غيابه عن الساحة الإعلامية، يبقى اسم حبيب الشرتوني حاضراً على ألسنة اللبنانيين، عند كلّ مناسبة واستحقاق حيث تحضر النقاشات التقليدية حول موقع لبنان من الصراع ومستقبله والنظرة إلى العدو والصديق. في المقابلة التالية، يعلّق الشرتوني على التطورات السياسية في لبنان قبيل استحقاق الانتخابات النيابية ومطامع العدو الإسرائيلي بلبنان ودور المقاومة المسلّحة في حماية لبنان وموارده، من دون أن يفوّت الإضاءة على الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي

 ملفّك هو الوحيد الذي بقي عالقاً في القضاء منذ أيام الحرب الأهلية.
ملفي عالق لأسباب لوجستية أكثر مما هي قانونية أو ثأرية. الجهة الأكثر تأثيراً في القرارات السياسية والقضائية والإجرائية في لبنان معروفة، ويخشى قسطٌ حليفٌ أو صديقٌ لها من المنظومة الحاكمة تأثيري على شريحة لا بأس بها من المجتمع، ما قد يحدث تغييراً لا يخدمُ فسادَه وخططه القائمة على امتيازات طائفية، والمرتبطة بتمويلٍ خارجي، وخصوصاً أن إطلالاتي في الإعلام وعلى وسائل التواصل ــــ ولو كانت نادرة ــــ أثّرت عبر السنوات في جزءٍ وازن من الرأي العام لم يعد بسواده الأعظم يعتبرني ــــ كما في البداية ــــ مرتكباً لجرمٍ سياسي وفارّاً من وجه العدالة، بل بطلاً وطنياً منفذاً لحكم الشعب وفق الدستور، والأمثلة على ذلك باتت منتشرة من خلال الشعارات المحبّذة للمقاومة والمُدينة للعمالة.

ولا حاجة، بالتالي، إلى التذكير بوضع الحزب القومي طوال ثلاثين عاماً كمؤسسة سياسية لا كأفراد. إذ لم يعد خافياً كيف أُدير هذا الحزب وكيف أدّت سياساتُه وتحالفاته إلى التخلّي فعلياً لا شكلياً عني. كان من الممكن طيّ هذا الملف في فترة زمنية مؤاتية خلال وجود الجيش السوري وإعادة بناء الدولة على أسسٍ وطنية. وقد تولّينا مع بعض المحامين والقانونيين وضع دراستَين معمّقتَين لتفنيد المسألة في ضوء القوانين اللبنانية، لكن المخرج لم يكن يوماً في القانون بل في السياسة. لا أعني بكلامي هذا القيادة الحالية للحزب التي تشكَّلت منذ سنة ونيِّف، إذ نتوقَّعُ منها أداءً مختلفاً أقرب إلى منطلق الفكر القومي وغاية مؤسّسه. وقد بدا فعلاً هذا النوع من الأداء على المواقف التي سجَّلتها، رغم الصعوبات التنظيمية الموروثة والضغوط السياسية المفروضة عليها من القوى المتحكّمة بزمام الأمور.

 كيف تقرأ المرحلة الراهنة وما رأيك بالواقع السياسي والاقتصادي والأمني؟
من الواضح أن الشعب اختار سلطته ونوابه وحكامه بعدما وضع الانتدابُ له شكلَ النظام، وهو لم يحزِمْ أمورَه بعد لتغيير هذا النظام المتخلّف، ولا يزال يلجأ إلى الاستفادة مما تقدِّمه له الأحزاب الطائفية التي فرضتها تركيبةُ النظام ولو من موارد البلد، ولا يزالُ يؤيّد علانيةً زعماءها الذين أشعلوا الحروب المحلية وساهموا في الصفقات والتهريب عبر تغطية الفاسدين والسارقين والمهربين، وأداروا بعد انتهائها دفّة الفساد والرشى والمحاصصات وسوء الإدارة، ما أفلسَ الدولة. ومن الواضح أيضاً أن عدداً من المعارضين لهم والمنضوين في منظمات غير حكومية، تربطهم علاقات، مكشوفة أو مستورة، بالسياسيين أو بالسفارات الأجنبية والعربية مما لا يبشِّرُ بالسعي لتحقيق المصلحة العامة بتجرّد. وقد يكمنُ السبب في حاجتهم إلى المال ككل الأحزاب والمنظمات.

هؤلاء قد لا يوقعون الضرر بالقدْر الذي أوقعه الساسة وفي مقدمهم أمراء الحرب، لكن عدم اتحادهم في أشكال تنظيمية وائتلافية وعدم اتفاقهم على آلية التغيير وعلى لوائح انتخابية مكتملة وفاعلة في كل الدوائر، مردُّه تغليب المصالح الفردية لبعض وجوههم البارزة، ما يشيرُ أيضاً إلى بعدهم نسبياً عن العمل بمفهوم الوطن والمواطنة. ولا أرى في ظل أجواءٍ كهذه إمكانيةً للتغيير أو للإصلاح، رغم وجود أمل بالمستقبل طالما أن هناك بداية وعي شعبي ولو بطيء.
أما الوضع الأمني المرتبط بمصالح الجهات السياسية وقادتها وبمصالح التمويل الخارجي، فالثابت هو أنّ مؤتمر الطائف عُقِد لغايةٍ واحدة هي وقف الحرب الأهلية، فيما لم يكن الوضع العام ملائماً لتطبيق سائر بنوده التي بقيت نظرية، ما دفع مع حلول الألفية الجديدة إلى أزمةٍ كادت أن تشعل حرباً أهليةً ثانية، وساهم في إطلاق عدوان تموز لضرب قدرات المقاومة العسكرية وإضعافها في الداخل، وأدّى بعد فشل العدوان إلى اتفاق الدوحة. وقد تخلل هذا المسار اختراق أمني للتنظيمات التكفيرية بموازاة تحركاتها الإرهابية حول العالم، ما أدى إلى اغتيال بعض الشخصيات البارزة وأهمها رفيق الحريري، وبالتالي إلى انسحاب الجيش السوري في ظل المناخ السياسي الداخلي والخارجي.

ما موقعك الحالي بالنسبة إلى الحزب القومي؟

أطلقت موقعاً خاصاً لبيع بعض مؤلفاتِك افتراضياً بسبب منعِك من طباعتها وتوزيعها، لكنه لم يلقَ بعد رواجاً كموقعك السابق الذي نشرتَ فيه مقالات وصوراً للمرة الأولى تثبتُ تعاملَ بشير الجميّل مع إسرائيل.

أطلقتُ الموقع السابق عندما اعتُقل لفترةٍ وجيزة بعض الأصدقاء والرفقاء بسبب مؤتمر صحافي في بيروت عام 2005، وطلبتُ تطويره عام 2011 حتى لا يبقى جامداً بموادِّه وبتُّ أديره وأدرجُ مقالاتي فيه بالتوازي مع حسابي على وسائل التواصل ومع بعض الحوارات الصحافية، وقد سجَّل دخول 700 ألف زائر من أرجاء العالم، قبل أن أضطرّ لظروفٍ قاهرة إلى إغلاقه بعد عام 2012. أخيراً، وبعدما أيقنتُ أن لا مجال لإصدار أيّ كتاب الآن أو لاحقاً، أطلقت موقعاً خاصاً ببيع الكتب من دون أن أتمكن لأسباب ظرفية من إدارته أو الترويج له. بعدما أطلقتُ على الموقع الأول historylaw.com سمّيت الثاني history-law.com بحكم أن شركة قانونية يابانية أعجبها الاسم الأول فسرقتْهُ. وقد ضمَّت المؤلفات المدرجة في الموقع كتابَ شعرٍ كان الوحيد الذي طُبع في بيروت عام 2011، وكتاباً آخر جمعتُ فيه المقالات والمدوّنات التي نشرتُها في الموقع السابق، وكتاباً أرشفَ مجمل ما قيل حول مقتل بشير الجميّل، إضافةً إلى مؤلفات غير سياسية غير صادرة بعد.

في 24 نيسان بلغت الرابعة والستين وأنت تعيشُ حياةً في الظل. كيف تمضي أوقاتك؟
لست من النوع الذي يخشى شيئاً أو يختبئ كما يشيعُ البعض. لا ينهي حياتك البائسة إلا الذي منحك إياها، وليس الموت عقوبةً بحد ذاته كسَجنِ الجسدٍ وتعذيبه، بل بدايةً لحياةٍ أُخرى قد تكون أهمّ بكثير من التي نحياها هنا. أما عيشي حياةً شبه عادية كسائر الناس، لكن في الظل، فأمرٌ بديهي بالنسبةِ إلى شخصٍ لا محل له من الإعراب إلا معنوياً.

كيف ترى مستقبل لبنان والمنطقة؟
لا شكّ أن وجود الكيان الإسرائيلي في المنطقة يعيدُ دائماً خلطَ الأوراق بسبب التدخُّل العدائي في شؤوننا لتأمين مصالح هذا الكيان المركَّب والغريب وأمنه، ولا شكّ أيضاً أن الأطماع لدى بعض دول الجوار والمصالح الخاصة للدول الكُبرى تؤدي دوراً أساسياً في ما نمرّ به. فهم الذين يكتبون تاريخنا، ومن يجرؤ على كتابة أيّ فقرة من هذا التاريخ يدفعُ ثمنَ فعلتِه شخصياً ولا يتعرَّف عليه أحدٌ من بيئته. المستقبل يحمل دائماً الأمل، لكن التفاؤل من دون توفُّر المعطيات الإيجابية عبارة عن أملٍ فارغٍ من أي مضمون. لذلك، أستنتجُ من حيوية شعبنا في لبنان ومحيطه الطبيعي، رغم كل الأخطاء والتخلّف عن اللحاق بقطار البشرية السريع، مؤشراً إيجابياً يوحي بالسير إلى الأمام. ويدعم هذا التفاؤل وجود ثروات طبيعية إلى جانب الثروة البشرية ولو لم تستخرج بعد، ربما حتى لا تُسرق أو تُهدر. لقد شاهدنا عبور دولٍ عدة بأزماتٍ مشابهة تمكنت من تخطّيها. أما في مجال الدفاع عن النفس ومقاومة العدوان، فنشهَد لبسالة الفلسطينيين وما يقدمونه من تضحيات حتى أرسوا مدرسةً تلقّن شعوب العالم كيفية الصمود في وجه الاحتلال والحصار والاعتقال والتنكيل. ولا ريب أن للجيش السوري أيضاً، إلى جانب الجيش العراقي مع كل القوى المشاركة، فضلاً كبيراً في ضرب التنظيمات الإرهابية والتكفيرية وتحجيمها. أما الواجب القومي المتمثِّل بوضع حدّ لخطر التمدُّد التركي شمالاً فلا بدّ من الاستمرار في بذلِه من دون توقّف.

تحدّثتَ عن فكر أنطون سعادة في ما مرّت البشرية بتجارب فكرية عديدة.

صحيحٌ أن دولاً عدة خاضت تجارب سياسية مبنية على عقائد وأفكار دينية ودنيوية، ولكن لا يمكن وضع دستور ونظام على أساسٍ ديني فقط، بما أن الدِّين يخاطبُ الماوراء ولا يولي الاهتمام الأساس للدنيا، وهذا لا يتيحُ المجال لإيجاد صيغةٍ بنيوية تقومُ على أساسها الدولة، ما يحتّم اللجوء إلى التشريع الإنساني لوضع الدساتير والقوانين والنظُم الملائمة للمجتمعات. لكنّ بعض الدول ذات الصبغة الدينية، نجحت نسبياً، كإيران مثلاً التي وجدت ضالّتها بعد حكم الشاه في الخط الديني الملائم والموحّد لمجتمعها وقوميتها ومصالحها، فيما انقرضت الممالك والإمارات والسلطنات القائمة على أسس دينية عبر التاريخ، ولم تتمكّن الحركات الوهابية والسلفية والتكفيرية من إعادة إحيائها. وهذا المشروع الذي يخدمُ في عصرنا وجود دولة إسرائيل كدولة يهودية، كان يمكن أن ينجح ويُعمّم في المنطقة على دويلات سابحة في فلك الأقوى من بينها، أي إسرائيل، لو نجح في إقامة دولة في لبنان كالتي طمحت إليها فئة من اللبنانيين واعتبرتها حلماً مجسَّداً بشخصٍ لم يتوانَ عن ارتكاب الفظائع المبررة للغاية. وإلّا عن أي حلمٍ يتحدثون حتى يومنا هذا، فيما خرج هذا الشخص من جلدِ المنظومة التقليدية الحاكمة والفاسدة ولم يُحرم من أيّ امتيازات سخّرت البلد من أجله.
أما بالنسبة إلى الأيديولوجيا الماركسية ــــ اللينينية، أو الشيوعية، فلقد فشلت في تجربة الاتحاد السوفياتي لثلاثة أسباب رئيسة، وهي محاربة الكنيسة وقمع رجال الدين كما جرى منذ عهود الوثنية، وحرمان المواطن من الملكية الخاصة مما لا يشعره بالانتماء إلى وطنه، وعدم منافسة الغرب على الصناعات المتنوعة، بل التركيز على العسكرية منها، فيما نجحت الشيوعية نسبياً في تجربة الصين وكوبا وكوريا الشمالية وفيتنام لأسباب قومية وحّدت شعوبها حول قضايا محقّة وجرّاء اتباع سياسات إدارية وتنموية ودفاعية ملائمة لبيئاتها.

ونجدُ في المقابل تطوُّر النظام الغربي الرأسمالي في الأصل بشكلٍ عام، ليغدو أكثر اجتماعيةً واشتراكيةً من خلال الضمانات كالشيخوخة والتقاعد ومن خلال توفير الطبابة والعلم المجانيَّين أو الرواتب اللائقة. وفيما تقاتل المنتمون إلى أحزاب عالمنا العربي بسبب الاختلاف العقائدي، أدركوا أخيراً أن المعيار الأساس يكمنُ في مدى نجاحهم في تطبيق مفاهيمهم العقائدية على أرض الواقع، وأن الفرز ليس بين الأفكار والعقائد بل بين الوطنيين الراغبين في تحسين أوضاع بلادهم وبين العابثين بمصيرها وبمستقبل أجيالها.

في مقال لك عشيّة محاكمتك حسمتَ بحتمية صدور حكم الإعدام. كيف عرفت سلفاً بماهيّة الحكم، وما رأيك بالعهد الذي حاكمك وبالأحزاب اللبنانية؟
بعد بلوغ دولة لبنان عمر المئة، يمكن أن نستنتج مدى نجاح التجربة أو فشلها، بحسب الخلفية الفكرية والوطنية التي نعتمدُها في التحليل. وبما أن للبنانيين رأياً في مختلف المسائل، لا أعتقد أن هامش إعادة النظر بآرائهم وانتماءاتهم واسع بحكم الواقع الطائفي والسياسي والعام. فهم يعيشون قدراً لا يختارونه بالكامل، فيما تتقدَّم عادةً القوى الطليعية على عامة الناس في استشراف الآتي وفي تدارك المخاطر والدعوة للمعالجة والتغيير. فإن أعطيتُ رأياً غير إيجابي بأداء أحد الزعماء الطائفيين أو الأحزاب لا يعني ذلك تأييدي لزعيمٍ أو حزبٍ في الجهة المقابلة. الثابت هو تأييدي مع كل الوطنيين في بلادنا للمقاومة مهما تلوَّنت لافتاتُها حتى تقوم الدولة القادرة والعادلة والجامعة، وليست المقاومة حرفةً أو هواية أزلية وخصوصاً بالنسبة إلى المجتمعات والأوطان المظلومة والمحتاجة للدفاع عن نفسِها. لا ريبَ أن قسطاً وافياً من الآراء لا يزالُ يأخذ في الاعتبار سلوك الأحزاب خلال الحرب الأهلية. لكن إذا أردنا تقييم نجاح أيّ حزب أو فشله، نفعلُ ذلك بناءً على برنامجه وقوة حجته وصدقيّته والتزامه بقضايا الناس. ومن الأمثلة البارزة الممكن إعطاؤها: نجاح التيار الوطني الحر فترة تراجع، لا بل إفلاس، قرنة شهوان وعودة ميشال عون، ونجاح حزب الله فترة صموده وإعماره لما تهدَّم خلال حربه مع العدو التي أخذت اتجاهاً بطولياً ومحترفاً. وإذا لمّحنا إلى ممارسات الأحزاب تاريخياً، لن يكون من الصعب تقييم تلك الممارسات وما جلبته على الشعب من خيرات أو ويلات، أحياناً لأسباب مزاجية وشخصية وليس فقط لأسباب طائفية وميليشيوية. وحتى لا أقول ما لا لزوم له، أختصر جوابي بإشارة مازحة إلى شعار التيار العوني بمسدسٍ قاطعٍ للطريق بإصبعين وإلى شعار القوات بيدين ترمزان إلى العضو النسائي، من دون أن يكلِّف مسؤولو هذين الحزبين أنفسهم معرفة مصدر هذين الشعارين.

تتهمك تصريحات لمسؤولين كتائبيين وقواتيين بأنك عميلٌ مزدوج لسوريا وإسرائيل؟
أجبتُ في إحدى المقابلات بأني لم أكن، قبل حصول العملية، أعرف شخصياً أحداً من السوريين أو الفلسطينيين الذين اتهمتُ أيضاً بالانتماء إلى منظمتهم، ولو كنت على علاقة تنظيمية واستخباراتية بالسوريين كالعديد من السياسيين في لبنان، لربما ساعدوني باستصدار عفو فترة وجودهم في لبنان أو امتنعوا عن إزعاجي واستدراجي لمشاكل وحوادث جانبية في فترات معيّنة. أما بالنسبة لإسرائيل، فعندما لم يستطيعوا إقناعها باغتيالي بعدما فوجئوا بخروجي من المعتقل روّجوا بدعة عمالتي للعدو. ناهيك عن عدم عثورهم على ذريعة مخجلة ومعيبة حيال قيامي بما قمت به، ما لا يساعدهم على تبرير عمالتهم وخيانتهم للوطن والمجتمع للأسباب الطائفية المبررة بنظرهم.

ما رأيك بالجدل القائم حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية وربما البرية؟
لم يكن لبنان مهتماً في السنوات الماضية بترسيم حدوده البحرية ولم يكن الموضوع مطروحاً بإلحاح قبل اكتشاف ثروات طبيعية في حقول الغاز الواقعة على الحدود الجنوبية مع فلسطين. وبعد أن بدأ الإسرائيليون بالتحضير لاستخراج الغاز الذي قُدّر بكميات كبيرة، طرحوا موضوع الترسيم من خلال الأميركيين على بساط البحث، ومن البديهي أن تنحاز الإدارة الأميركية حتى لا يحصل لبنان على حقوقه كاملةً ما يخفّض الإنتاج الإسرائيلي لصالح الشركات التي ستتولى استخراج الغاز بالاتفاق مع الدولة اللبنانية، ونظراً لمعرفتها بأولويات حلفائها في لبنان.

لست من النوع الذي يخشى شيئاً أو يختبئ كما يشيعُ البعض. لا ينهي حياتك البائسة إلا الذي منحك إياها


وبما أن المسألة تتعلّق بالأمن القومي والاقتصادي وبما أن لبنان بات محاصراً وخاضعاً لشروطٍ مذلة حيال أزمة الشرق الأوسط، ومفتقداً لعوامل الازدهار والاستقرار، ويتعرّض لعملية إفقار تضع مجتمعه على حافة الانفجار، لا أجد شخصياً أي مخرج للأزمة غير منع الطرف الإسرائيلي من استخراج هذا الغاز قبل الاعتراف بحقوق لبنان البحرية المتمثّلة بالخط 29 وفق المسار القانوني والاتفاقيات الموقعة والوثائق المقدَّمة، ويتلخَّص هذا المنع في ضرب المقاومة لأي منشآت في حال تشييد إسرائيل لها، ولن تكون الخسائر التي سنتكبّدُها إن لم نحصل على حصتنا من هذه الثروة أقل من تلك التي سندفعها في تلك المواجهة العسكرية بل أكثر. وقد أعلن أخيراً رئيس كتلة نواب حزب الله عن موقفهم المشرّف من هذه المسألة، بعد أن تنازل أركان السلطة عن الخط، لأسباب مبهمة أو ربما من باب المناورة.

 هل يسعى حزبا القوات والكتائب للنيل منك وكيف تواجه ذلك؟

ليس سراً رصد حزب القوات ميزانية غير متواضعة لتحقيق هذا الغرض، كما لم يكن سراً أداء عائلة الجميل ومتابعتهم لهذه القضية منذ البداية، وفي المقابل لا نجد جهة رسمية تتولى حمايتي أو الدفاع عني وعن ذويّ كما يظن البعض، فكان بالتالي لزاماً عليّ الدفاع عن نفسي حتى لا يحصل معي ما حصل ويحصل مع كل الاستشهاديين أو المضحّين في سبيل هذه الأمة، وقد وفّقتُ حتى الآن في ذلك.

كيف تقيّم الأداء عشية الانتخابات النيابية؟
من المؤسف ألا نرى مرشحين إصلاحيين حقيقيين ومستقلين بأعداد كافية لتغيير النظام الطائفي والفاسد. ومن المؤسف أيضاً أن نرى هذا الكم من التهافت والتشنج والكذب والافتراء، واستثماراً لكل عملٍ اجتماعي في السياسة، بينما اكتفى اللبنانيون من الساسة ووعودهم ويحتاجون اليوم إلى تفعيل العمل الاجتماعي أكثر من أي عمل آخر. أعتقد أن اللبنانيين يعرفون تاريخ وحاضر مرشحيهم ولا يجهلون انتماءاتهم وولاءاتهم. وبعدما حُسمت معالم التحالفات والكتل والخيارات، لا أجدُ حاجةً لعملية تقييم شاملة، إنما أكتفي بالتعليق على ما يُسمى بفريق 14 آذار أو ما بقي منه من خلال حملة القوات الانتخابية. إن الذين يؤيدون القوات لأسباب طائفية يتجاهلون تاريخها منذ نشأتها كوحدات عسكرية تجاوزت بدمويتِها كل أحزاب تلك المرحلة. ويحاول حزب القوات منذ أعوام تبييض صفحته في العمل السياسي والإداري بعد أن نقل البندقية من الكتف الإسرائيلي في زمن الحرب إلى الكتف السعودي في زمن السلم. والجميع يعلم الجهة التي مولت اجتياحات لبنان ومولت الأطراف الموالية لسياسة أميركا المؤيدة لإسرائيل في المنطقة والمخاصمة للمصلحة الوطنية، ورغم ذلك يصطفُ فريقٌ إسلامي آخر في هذا الخندق متجاهلاً بدوره ما جرى ويجري حتى بحقِّه. وهنا بدأوا بتبرير موقفهم بانحياز الطرف الآخر إلى إيران إلى حد رفع شعار الاحتلال الإيراني. ومع أنني لا أؤيدُ نفوذَ طائفةٍ أو حزب على المجتمع، فإن امتلاك حزبٍ ذي انتماء ديني قدرات عسكرية استُعملت لحماية البلاد وليس ضدّ أهلها، لا يعني أبداً أننا نعيشُ تحت انتداب إيراني أو كأن اللبنانيين سيغضّون الطرف عن إيران لو سلكت مسار معاداة لبنان. ليس من عاقل يقبلُ بكلامٍ كهذا.

امتلاك حزبٍ ذي انتماء ديني قدرات عسكرية استُعملت لحماية البلاد لا يعني أبداً أننا نعيشُ تحت انتداب إيراني

وقد تمنيتُ من جهة ثانية، منذ أشهر، على أحد مسؤولي الحزب القومي أن يعلنوا عن موقفٍ حيال صدور حكم الإعدام كي لا يخسروا نسبةً مرتفعة من أصوات ناخبيهم في حال تحالفهم مع التيار الوطني الحر، وأن لا يتنازلوا عن دور الحزب وحقوقه، كما حصل مع القيادة السابقة لقاء الحفاظ على مواقع شخصية، أو أن يعزفوا عن المشاركة في الانتخابات إذا فُرض عليهم ما يشبه الرشوة الانتخابية، كي يعلنوا جهاراً انتصار فكر سعادة في تشخيصه لطبيعة النظام في لبنان وكي يتحولوا للعمل الاجتماعي. وفيما استمهلني هذا المسؤول وقتاً حتى يتمّ الاتفاق بحجة أن لا شيء محسوماً بعد، قدّرت أن الموقف لن يتعدّى الشكليات ولو تمّ الاتفاق، بحكم أنه لم يعد بإمكانهم فعل شيء في الملف الذي جرى تجاهله في الفترة السابقة التي كان من الممكن فعل شيء خلالها، وبعد أن بات الحزب في موقفٍ أضعف، خصوصاً أن كل ملفات الحرب أغلقت باستثناء هذا الملف. وقد شاهدنا بأُم العين ما توقَّعتهُ من تدهور حال العهد بعد إصدار الحكم لكسب أصوات مسيحية لم يكسبها بل انقلبت عليه، في وقت تطمح القيادة الحزبية الحالية لاستعادة كتلة نيابية فقدتها، علّها تحقق نجاحاً ولو محدوداً وتساهم في إحداث تغييرٍ ما، أو علّها تجري إحصاءً لأصواتها في مختلف الدوائر لتُحتسَب مع الحلفاء الافتراضيين في أية انتخابات مقبلة، نظراً إلى أن بعضَهم يهمّشُ دورَها، في الوقت الذي لم يؤسس الحزب عبر السنوات بنية تحتية للعمل الاجتماعي.


 منذ 4 آب 2020 كثُرَ الحديث عن انفجار مرفأ بيروت وتداعياته.
لستُ خبير متفجرات ولا قاضياً، ولا ملفات أو معطيات بين يديّ، ولكن لديّ نظرة عموماً بمختلف الأمور. وعندما لاحظتُ عدم معرفة معظم القضاة والسياسيين بنيترات الأمونيوم وكيفية عملها، بحثتُ وراسلتُ واستفسرت عن هذه المواد. المسؤول الأول عن إدخال هذه المتفجرات هي الأمم المتحدة المسؤولة عملياً عن دخول أي مواد حربية منذ عام 2006 وفق القرار 1701. وليس سراً أن هذا القرار هدفَ لمنع حزب الله من إدخال الأسلحة ومواد مستخدمة في صناعة الصواريخ. أما إضاعة التحقيق بإلقاء اللوم على وزراء مدنيين وموظفي المرفأ، فغايته عدم إلزام الأمم المتحدة بالتعويض على المتضررين وبناء المرفأ من جديد، وليس خفياً من هي الجهة النافذة في لبنان التي تقرر وتُملي على معظم السياسيين والمسؤولين والعسكريين ما تريدُه، ولا قدرة لهم على معارضتها خشية العقوبات. إذا كان الهدف مقتصراً على عبور النيترات نحو موزمبيق، كما أُشير في الوثائق والبوالص، لماذا سمحت الأمم المتحدة بإدخالها إلى المرفأ، ولم تتابعها طيلة سبع سنوات؟ أشير هنا إلى عدم فائدة اتهام المستورد لأنه غير مسؤول عن القرار القضائي الذي سمحَ بإنزال واحتجاز 2750 طناً من النيترات طيلة 7 سنوات. والغريب في مسار التحقيق أنه لم يُكشف حتى الآن عن حيثيات ملفتة للنظر وكامنة في الفارق الزمني بين انتهاء عملية التلحيم واشتعال المفرقعات والمواد الحارقة، ولا كُشف عن لغز تخزين مواد تشكّل خطورة إلى جانب النيترات في العنبر 12 ذاته. وأسمح لنفسي بطرح سؤال مقتصر على الثغرة غير المفهومة الكامنة في الفارق الزمني بين عملية التلحيم التي حصلت قرابة الثالثة بعد الظهر واشتعال المفرقعات بعد انتهاء التلحيم بأكثر من ساعتين، ولوقتٍ طويل نسبياً قُدّر بـ30 إلى 45 دقيقة ريثما وصلت فرق الإطفاء والدفاع المدني، قبل اشتعال المواد الحارقة في العنبر وحدوث الانفجار، مما يثيرُ الريبة ويشير إلى عملٍ تخريبي وليس إلى إهمال كما يريد التحقيق إثباته للحصول على تعويض شركات التأمين التي لا تعوّض في حالات العمل الحربي أو التخريبي.

كيف ترى الحرب بين روسيا وأوكرانيا؟
قرر الغرب منذ زمن محاصرة روسيا والمعسكر الشرقي السابق، وكتبتُ قليلاً عن ذلك سابقاً على مواقع التواصل. اليوم أرادوا محاصرة بوتين لأسباب استراتيجية ولانتزاع أوراق تعزز حربهم ذات الطابع الاقتصادي حتى الآن ضدّ الصين التي لا تُخفي حقَّها باستعادة جزيرة تايوان. من هنا دعمت الصين بشكلٍ غير مُعلن خطوة بوتين. وتذكّرني خطوته بسيناريو الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان بحجة تجريد المقاومة الفلسطينية من سلاحها، فيما سعوا مع حلفائهم اللبنانيين لانتخاب رئيس للجمهورية مطلق الصلاحيات وترك وديعة متمثلة في نظامٍ موالٍ لهم، لأن لا غطاء شرعياً لإسرائيل في لبنان، بهدف العبور في الخطوة التالية إلى دمشق وتحقيق سلامهم الخالي من أية حقوق. وعندما فشل مشروعهم بسبب مقتل بشير، ولد مؤتمر أوسلو الذي وصفه الرئيس الأسد بأنه ولِد ميتاً.
لقد استبق بوتين الهجمة عليه وأيّد إعلان الجمهوريتين الروسيتين في أوكرانيا ثم دخل إلى كييف من أقرب نقطة جغرافية لها ليس لمجرد احتلالها، بل لترك نظام فيها لا يعادي مصالح بلاده ولا يهدد أمنها القومي، مراهناً بذلك على انطلاق عملية تغيير النظام العالمي المفروض بعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي نحو نظامٍ جديد، ما يقتضي وقتاً ومواجهةً متعددة الوجوه وطويلة الأمد. وفيما لم يفعل ذلك السوريون واللبنانيون، ما أدّى للاجتياح واغتيال بشير، أكملوا بنفس الطريقة، أي لم يستفيدوا من مرحلة ما بعد الاجتياح لتفرضَ الأحزاب أو الحركة الوطنية مع الجيشين السوري واللبناني السيطرة العسكرية الكاملة على الأراضي اللبنانية، مما أطالَ سنوات الحرب.

لن أدخل الآن في تحليل الأسباب والخلفيات، إنما أرى أن خطوة بوتين التي كشفت عن مدى عنصرية الغرب وحرفيتَه في إدراج ثقافات ومصالح شعوب العالم ضمن قوالب جاهزة يفهمُها، والتي ستنعكس تصعيدياً على موقف دول عدة ممانعة أو رافضة للنظام العالمي المفروض من الولايات المتحدة وأتباعِها، ستعزز في النهاية وصول المفاوضات النووية مع إيران إلى خواتيمها.

Lebanon is ‘held hostage by Iran’, yet coercion from the Gulf suggests otherwise

January 7, 2022

This picture taken on January 3, 2022 shows a view of a screen displaying a televised speech by the head of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah, airing during a memorial service marking the second anniversary of a US drone strike that killed the top commander of the Iranian revolutionary guard corps (IRGC) Qasem Soleimani alongside Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at a hall in a school in the southern suburb of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. [ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images]

A common trope over the past decade has been the notion that Lebanon has been “held hostage” by the Hezbollah movement and its chief backer, Iran. This is based on concerns of the growing political and military power of Hezbollah, which along with the Amal Movement has been part of the Lebanese government since 2005 with the support of their ally President Michel Aoun. Claims of 100,000-strong trained fighters within its armed ranks, also mean it is larger than the Lebanese military and is the country’s most powerful armed group.

Such beliefs have been reinforced largely over the movement’s ability to consolidate power in the absence of strong state institutions while managing to avoid accountability and responsibility over its actions. Hezbollah’s alleged role in the assassination in former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and the acquittal of three members over their involvement is a case in point. More recently, the investigation into the Beirut Port blast has stalled due to Hezbollah and Amal boycotting cabinet meetings in protest over the perceived bias of the investigating judge, Tarek Bitar. Earlier calls by Hezbollah supporters for him to be removed led to intercommunal clashes with Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) militiamen. It was some of the worst street violence witnessed in the capital in years, leaving at least seven dead, all of whom were from the Shia community, sparking credible fears of a return to civil conflict and upending a fragile peace, although Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah vowed he would not be baited into civil war.

While it is understandable for segments of Lebanon’s sectarian society to view the country as being under the firm grip of an Iranian-supported Shia movement given its modern history which has had a lasting impact on the contemporary confessional political order, this idea is also rooted in deep-seated “othering” of the once-marginalised Shia Lebanese community who were and are still seen as an Iranian fifth-column.

This perception dates back well before the establishment of the modern Lebanese nation-state, where under four centuries of Sunni Ottoman rule, the Lebanese Shia (historically and colloquially known as the metwali) were discriminated against over alleged loyalties to Persia. After the end of French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon in 1943, the Shia were essentially excluded and underrepresented from the power-sharing arrangements between the Maronites and the Sunnis when they established the National Pact. It was following the activism of the charismatic cleric Sayyid Musa Al-Sadr in the 1960s and 70s that the Shia became more assertive of their rights and religious identities with the community becoming further empowered after the signing of the 1989 Taif Accord, both politically as there was more equitable distribution of powers for the country’s Muslim political elites, and militarily, as Hezbollah was the only militia allowed to keep its arms after the civil war ended.

OPINION: Lebanon may be independent, but it still depends on too many other states

Therefore, with this context in mind, one can appreciate the concerns about the political ascendency of the Hezbollah, the community it represents and the influence exerted in Lebanon of its main supporter Iran. These feelings will become more pronounced during and after the general and parliamentary elections scheduled this year, amid a worsening economic meltdown and potential for further social unrest. Yet while both Western and Arab media tend to focus on the idea that Lebanon is being held hostage by Iran via Hezbollah, the discourse is one-sided and there is relatively scant attention paid to the fact that the Gulf Arab states, headed by Saudi Arabia, have been pressurising and weighing in on the Lebanese government, undermining the country’s supposed independence in the process.

Riyadh has had a long history of playing an influential force in Lebanese politics, often supporting Hezbollah’s political rivals and acting as a protector of Sunni interests to counter those of Iran’s.

Speaking of hostage-taking, it is ironic to note that it was the Saudis who audaciously kidnapped an acting head of state, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in 2017, who was coerced into announcing his short-lived resignation from Riyadh. It was later revealed that he was “verbally intimidated and beaten” during his detention.

The recent diplomatic fallout in October between Beirut and Riyadh, however, has resulted in concerted efforts to force the Lebanese government into making political concessions in order to mend and maintain important strategic relations.

Following remarks which surfaced by the then-Information Minister George Kordahi criticising the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the Saudis expelled Lebanon’s ambassador, recalled its own ambassador and banned all imports at a critical time when Lebanon was grappling with an economic crisis. Fellow Gulf states, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE were also quick to summon their ambassadors in solidarity. Despite insisting that he wouldn’t step down over the row, Kordahi resigned last month, likely owing to external pressure and the potential devastating consequences for the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese expats working in the Gulf who send vital remittances back home.

READ: Remembering the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon (1914-1918)

While Kordahi’s resignation may have had a cooling effect on the crisis, tensions clearly remain in light of Nasrallah’s comments earlier this week regarding the Saudis and King Salman, accusing Riyadh of exporting the ideology of Daesh, specifically referring to the monarch as a “terrorist”. The remarks were an apparent response to calls by King Salman the week before for an end of “terrorist Hezbollah’s” influence over the state.

Rather than defend a coalition member within his own government, Lebanon’s Sunni Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned Hezbollah, distancing the government from the comments. This was echoed by dual-Saudi citizen Hariri who insinuated that the only threat to Lebanon is “the one who wants the state of Lebanon to remain hostage to the state of Iran”.

The Lebanese government appears keen on appeasing Riyadh and its Gulf allies out of a rational fear of political and economic retribution, which has included the Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi ordering the deportation of Bahraini oppositionists and the announcement of an interception of “nearly 9 million Captagon tablets” smuggled in citrus fruits destined for the Gulf. “We want to send a message to the Arab world about our seriousness and our work to thwart evil from harming our Arab brothers,” Mawlawi insisted. He followed these political gestures by ordering the removal of posters deemed offensive to King Salman from the predominantly Shia areas of southern Beirut. In its attempts to salvage ties with the Gulf, the compliant Lebanese government risks allowing the latter to utilise their leverage further as the elections near.

At the strategic level then, the actions undertaken by the Saudi-led bloc are little to do with offensive comments by Lebanese politicians and leaders. Rather these have been shrewdly exploited in an attempt for the Saudis to play catch-up in trying to expand their own influence while steering the country away from Iran through Hezbollah. There may be compelling arguments that Hezbollah undermines Lebanon’s national sovereignty, however these often overlook or fail to recognise that it was Hezbollah that protected and reasserted Lebanon’s territorial integrity when the south was under foreign Israeli occupation. This may seem like harking back to the past, but it remains the biggest strategic threat to Israel to this day, having amassed an arsenal of “hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand missiles that can reach deeper into Israel“, providing a modest and credible deterrence against the prospects of any repeat invasions or a major flareup at the border.

As a fragile state with a history of foreign meddling and patronage from multiple actors, it would be disingenuous to use alarmist rhetoric that Lebanon is being “held hostage” by any one party or regional power. In reference to Hezbollah, this is based on an over-arching legacy of the civil war but also on prejudices against a formerly marginalised community that had historically never been a major player in the affairs of the country, now with unprecedented power and clout. Beirut, we are constantly being told, is under the firm control of Iran (apparently as Baghdad, Damascus and Sanaa are too) yet challenging this narrative are the Gulf states who seem to be the ones calling the shots and who, according to Nasrallah, are in effect holding some 350,000 Lebanese expats “hostage”. In reality, it is the outdated, corrupt political system that has taken Lebanon hostage, a system which will unlikely be reformed as long as people identify and vote along sectarian lines. The country is in the all too familiar position of having to balance relations with foreign rival powers while maintaining the delicate balance on the ground among its diverse communities who are currently facing an unprecedented economic crises.

OPINION: The last time Iraq was free of foreign interference was during the Abbasids—even then it was short lived

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

Judges protecting judges: why the Beirut blast investigation is a dud

October 28 2021

Can the Beirut blast’s lead investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, take on his negligent colleagues? Events so far suggest he won’t.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar refuses to prosecute his judiciary colleagues who signed to unload, store, then ignore the ammonium nitrates that devastated Beirut last August.

By Radwan Mortada

The Lebanese are split on the performance of Judge Tarek al-Bitar, the lead judicial investigator in the massive 4 August Port of Beirut explosion last year.

One side blindly trusts the man, believing Bitar will spearhead the fight against Lebanon’s existing corrupt political class and discover the identities of those responsible for the deadly port blast.

The other side views him as a foreign tool used to create sedition in Lebanon by targeting political figures critical of the US. The Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, was the first to draw suspicion to Bitar’s performance, whose arbitrary and biased allegations seemed to target only one side of the political divide.

Hezbollah’s charges have gradually escalated over the months. When Bitar first took on the blast investigation – the second judge to do so – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah urged him to publish the blast site’s technical report so it would quash unsubstantiated rumors about the group’s role in the explosion, or allegations that it stored ‘weapons’ at the Port of Beirut.

Bitar did not respond to Nasrallah’s request for transparency, however, and allowed political and media disinformation to go unchecked during a national crisis.

In one example of this, an alleged ‘witness’ named Imad Kashli appeared in a Lebanese media outlet claiming that he transported ammonium nitrate for Hezbollah from the Port of Beirut to a village in the south, in what was later discovered to be false testimony. Bitar failed to take any action against Kashli under the pretext that he was ‘sick,’ and media outlets never bothered to refute or retract the fabricated story.

Furthermore, Bitar’s political targets say the judge’s own allegations are not comprehensive, but deliberately selective. His interrogation roster focuses overwhelmingly on personalities belonging to one political affiliation, while unjustifiably excluding officials in the very same posts with opposite political views. Bitar has interrogated former Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander Jean Kawahji, for instance, while skipping over current LAF Commander Joseph Aoun, a Washington-favored army man.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Meets Army Commander General Joseph Aoun - U.S.  Embassy in Lebanon

Aoun cannot be bypassed or absolved of responsibility. The explosion happened on his watch, during his tenure. Bitar’s detractors rightly point out that the ultimate responsibility for the Beirut blast must focus on the Lebanese judiciary and the military. The former signed the papers that allowed in and continued to store tons of illegally-stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, and the latter has the final word on any explosives inside Lebanon’s legal boundaries.

The fact that Bitar has ruled out questioning the current army leadership, most of the judges, the Ministers of Justice and Defense, and the Justice Ministry’s cases commission from has raised eyebrows, obviously. Nasrallah did not mince his words when he stated, in a recent speech, that the greatest responsibility for the 2020 calamity rests with the judges who gave permission to unload vast amounts of ammonium nitrate explosives from a foreign ship seized by Lebanese authorities, and then gave permission to store these substances in dangerous conditions inside the Port of Beirut.

Bitar’s choices lead to armed confrontations

Leaked reports in the media and from within the corridors of Lebanon’s Judiciary, instead deflected blame onto cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), revealing that they would be arrested even before Bitar issued the summons. Furthermore, he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to fight, not avenge, the political class, which he did not deny in a press interview – thus, confirming the words attributed to him.

His behavior and the investigation’s bias has only reinforced suspicions against Bitar, who was expected, at the very least, to handle these processes and suspects impartially, and to display good faith by muzzling rumors and disinformation.

The judge’s questionable performance finally prompted supporters of Hezbollah, Marada, the Amal Movement, and members of professional organizations (lawyers, etc) to hold a protest in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice.

On 14 October, a peaceful demonstration by these groups was ambushed in Beirut’s Tayouneh neighborhood by far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party gunmen. Rooftop sniper fire quickly escalated into an armed clash that killed seven Hezbollah and Amal supporters and injured dozens of others.

The Black Record of Samir Geagea

The attack could have easily spiraled into a civil war had it not been for Nasrallah’s public calls for restraint, which gave space for an investigation by army intelligence, under the supervision of the judiciary, that this week summoned LF leader Samir Geagea for interrogation. That case continues.

Judiciary and military responsibility for the explosives

Why has Bitar overlooked the judicial and military responsibilities for the ammonium nitrates and its storage at the port for seven years? Why does he persist in focusing his investigation on cabinet ministers and parliamentarians mainly, despite the fact that the explosion was primarily a security and judicial failure?

If the army had carried out its function, entrusted exclusively to Lebanon’s military under the country’s Weapons and Ammunition Law, by supervising the nitrate storage, destruction, or re-export, the devastating explosion would have been averted.

Similarly, if judges had done their job, a legally binding – not a political one – decision would have ensured the destruction or immediate exportation of the explosive materials from Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut.

Despite the negligence of his judicial colleagues, Judge Bitar has been noticeably timid about addressing their liabilities in the lead-up to the explosion. The politicization of his investigation has all but buried the legal distribution of responsibility – the truth, so to speak – for the blast.

The judges who escaped Bitar’s ‘judgement’

Gassanoff on Twitter: "المجرم القاضي جاد المعلوف هو المسؤول عن انزال  النيترات لمصلحة من أمر بانزالها او بطلب من من؟ من هنا يبدأ التحقيق مع  المجرم جاد المعلوف .هذا هو الصندوق الاسود…
Judge Jad Maalouf

To this day, the ‘guardians of justice’ continue to remain unaccountable. But the names of seven judges and a state attorney suspected of negligence have been identified as those most liable for the judiciary’s failings: Judges Jad Maalouf and Carla Shawah from the Beirut Urgent Matters Court, Ministry of Justice Judges Marwan Karkabi and Helena Iskandar, head of the Beirut Executive Department Mirna Kallab, government commissioner at the Military Court Judge Peter Germanos, Appeals Court Attorney General Ghassan Khoury, and state attorney Omar Tarabah.

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) had identified these judges in a report presented to Judge Bitar at the start of his investigation.

The judiciary’s responsibility in the blast has also been lost amid blanket local media focus on Lebanon’s political class since 17 October 2019, when a street ‘revolution’ arose in response to the country’s economic collapse. The prevailing trend in the country has been to lay all blame on the politicians and bankers who let this happen.

So there would be little fallout for Bitar if he took the easy path, focused on the easy ‘villains,’ and didn’t rock the boat with his judicial colleagues or Lebanon’s ‘neutral’ military establishment.

Bitar checked some boxes, but basically played softball with the judiciary.  As an example, he formally requested that the Cassation Court’s public prosecutor separately verify the negligence of Beirut Judges Maalouf and Shawah in order to charge them with the crime of probable intent, like the rest of the defendants in the case.

Although more than a year has passed since the blast investigation began, any action against the judges, or even checking their files or hearing their statements, has been delayed for months, although the role of one of them – Jad Maalouf – is critical.

Maalouf signed off on the decision to unload the ship’s ammonium nitrate cargo and appoint a judicial guard as the head of the port, Mohammad al-Mawla. After Mawla claimed that he did not hold the keys to the warehouse, Maalouf was supposed to appoint another judicial guard and establish a time period for guard duty, which did not happen. Bitar listened to the statements of Maalouf and Shawah as witnesses only, unlike others who he intends to prosecute. Why?

The file of the ammonium nitrate shipment had swung back and forth for years between the General Customs Directorate and Beirut Urgent Matters Judge Maalouf. Several letters were sent to the Director General of Customs Badri Daher to re-export the goods, but Judge Maalouf kept writing down the request and sending it to the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, which responded only once by approving the re-export.

Maalouf was assigned to transfer the ownership of the goods within a week, even though Article 13 of the UN’s Hamburg Convention permits the destruction of goods – and if they are hazardous, without transferring their ownership – without paying compensation to the owner. The Hamburg Convention, signed in 1978 and enforced in November 1992, is the UN’s ‘Hamburg Rules’ on cargo sea shipments that unified a legal system regulating the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers, and consignees under the contract of transport of goods by sea.

According to legal experts, Judge Maalouf should have ruled to destroy these highly dangerous materials based on both Article 13 of the Hamburg Convention as well as the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 579 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure; that is, without a request from anyone and regardless of the rights of their owners, who are not entitled to compensation for the destruction of hazardous goods.

Instead, four years were spent on issuing notifications, or requesting discussions on jurisdiction and the legality of selling or destroying the goods. If Judge Maalouf had taken the decision to destroy the ammonium nitrates immediately, Lebanon would have certainly avoided its destructive consequence last August.

The same reasoning applies to suspected Judge Shawah, who was referred to the prosecution with Maalouf, but judicial sources tell The Cradle that she has not received any document or review from anyone since she took over the ammonium nitrates case from Maalouf.

Judge Bitar has also asked the Appeals Court public prosecutor to verify the suspected negligence of Public Prosecutor Judge Khoury for authorizing the closing of the nitrates file. But Bitar did not do that for months, and until the day before, he believed that the Court of Cassation might recuse him based on the lawsuits submitted by the defendants and ministers accusing him of bias.

It appears that Bitar initially suspected Khoury of involvement in criminal activities that contributed to the death and injury of people and causing damage to public property as a result of the judge’s decision to shelve the State Security’s investigation report. Then, inexplicably, Judge Imad Qabalan, the Court of Cassation’s public prosecutor, decided those suspicions were unjustified and threw out Bitar’s inquiries by saying he considered “the report of the judicial investigator [Bitar] dated 24 September 2021 to be empty of any suspicions and does not prove fault in the job duties of Judge Khoury.”

The fourth and fifth judges, Helena Iskandar and Marwan Karkabi, who headed the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, are suspected of years of procrastinating before responding to the correspondence of the Director General of Customs and the Urgent Matters Judge. Although they received several letters, they responded only once by proposing to re-export the nitrates without following up on the case, which is one reason the ammonium nitrates remained in the heart of Beirut.

The sixth judge, Peter Germanos, was contacted by State Security investigators – when he was the government representative at the military court regarding the ammonium nitrate stores – to notify him about the high risk of these materials. But Germanos told them this case was not in the jurisdiction of the military prosecution because the Urgent Matters Judge had ruled to remove that material from Warehouse 12.

Although the issue is related to the Lebanese state’s national security and clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Army Intelligence, Germanos decided that it is not within the powers of the Military Public Prosecution. Why?

Judge Germanos has denied on Twitter that he received any reports or minutes on the ammonium nitrates from the State Security or any other agency. Here, Bitar’s investigation needs to discover which side is telling the truth, bearing in mind that most communications between the judicial police and public prosecutor were conducted orally, over the phone, until written investigation minutes are stamped and referred to the Public Prosecution.

The seventh judge – Mirna Kallab, head of the Executive Department in Beirut – following correspondence from the Justice Ministry’s cases commission on the sale of the nitrates, was tasked specifically with appointing an inspections expert. A dispute emerged from the start between the Ministry of Works and the cases commission over who should pay the expert’s fees, which did not exceed 700,000 (approximately $467) Lebanese pounds.

Here, state attorney Omar Tarabah’s name appears for procrastinating for more than a year over correspondence related to paying the expert’s fees to inspect the Rhusos, the ship which transported the ammonium nitrate to the Port of Beirut.

In a nutshell, it is believed that the reason for Bitar’s leniency in holding negligent judges accountable for the Beirut blast is due to the prevailing conviction among judges of the need to protect and provide their colleagues with immunity, lest they next become scapegoats for the political class who would also wish to protect their colleagues with immunity.

Bitar should have refused to cater to the judiciary and military establishments, and made a beeline for whomever he suspected of negligence, regardless of their affiliations. Having failed to do so, this investigation is now a bust. Unless Bitar changes course and takes on these two protected institutions, only scapegoats will be charged for Lebanon’s deadliest explosion in history.

من تدخل السياسة في القضاء إلى تدخل القضاء في السياسة

ناصر قنديل

في بداية التسعينات طرح بعض السياسيين سؤالاً عنوانه، هل أن أولوية الملف الأمني المتمثل بسحب الأسلحة وحل الميليشيات وإعادة توحيد الجيش، سيفتح الشهية الدولية نحو اعتبار الجيش حصان الرهان السياسي الأول، بحيث ننام ونصحو على تعاظم دور المؤسسة العسكرية، ونستعيد صورة الرؤساء الذين يلبسون البزة العسكرية، وعلى رغم تجاهل الكثير من السياسيين لهذه المعادلة، تقول وقائع ثلاثة عقود لما بعد اتفاق الطائف إن العسكر تصدروا الواجهة السياسية، فما كادت مفاعيل توحيد الجيش وحل الميليشيات تكتمل، حتى صار الرئيس المدني الياس الهراوي آخر الرؤساء الآتين من المجتمع السياسي، وصار الذين تناوبوا قبل الطائف وبعده على منصب قائد الجيش يدخلون إلى قصر بعبدا كرؤساء للجمهورية، ويبدو اليوم  أن الأميركيين الذي يعاقبون لبنان بعقوبات جماعية يؤكدون بما لا يقبل التأويل عزمهم على مواصلة الاستثمار على علاقتهم بالجيش، لكنهم يضعون لهذا الاستثمار سقفاً أمنياً لا سياسياً، ويتراجع السقف السياسي الذي كانت عليه الحال في السابق، فالعنوان السياسي الرئيسي في زمن المواجهة الأميركية مع المقاومة لا يتخذ عنوان الرهان على المواجهة العسكرية والأمنية، فالأميركي يسلم، كما قال الكثير من المسؤولين الأميركيين صراحة، بأن تعريض الجيش لمخاطر الزج به في مواجهة مع المقاومة، يفوق قدرة الجيش وقابليته للاستجابة، والحفاظ على تماسكه.

في السياسة طور الأميركيون مقاربتهم منذ 17 تشرين الأول 2019، واعتبروا أن عنوان مكافحة الفساد هو الأنسب لتقدم الأجندة الأميركية في مواجهة المقاومة، على رغم القناعة الأميركية بلا جدوى تجاوز اتهام المقاومة بالفساد من الشعار إلى التفاصيل بتقديم أي واقعة مكتملة تؤكد هذا الاتهام، بينما يمكن، كما أكد كثير من المسؤولين الأميركيين إلحاق الأذى بحلفاء المقاومة تحت هذا العنوان، ولو اقتضى الأمر إصابة عدد من حلفاء واشنطن، الذين أظهروا  بنظر واشنطن تخاذلاً في خوض المواجهة مع المقاومة بداعي الحرص على السلم الأهلي، وخرجت دراسات وتحليلات تتحدث عن تجديد الطبقة السياسية، بإنشاء مئات وآلاف منظمات المجتمع المدني في مناخ 17 تشرين والدفع بها إلى الواجهة السياسية، وجاءت العقوبات الأميركية على سياسيين ورجال أعمال لبنانيين تؤكد هذا المنحى، لكن دفع المعركة تحت عنوان الفساد لتجديد الطبقة السياسية، وبطريقة مستهدفة لحلفاء المقاومة وتقليص حضورهم السياسي، تستدعي إنهاض صف أمامي وخلفي في المستوى القضائي، يعيد إلى الواجهة السؤال الذي طرح في التسعينات بطريقة جديدة، هل نحن أمام زمن فتح الشهية الأميركية ومحاكاة الشهيات المحلية، وعلى أعتاب الاستحقاق الرئاسي، لنشهد مرشحين رئاسيين من القضاة، لكن بدلاً من شعار الجيش هو الحل، يتقدم شعار القضاء هو الحل؟

يريد البعض منا أن نصدق أن الفرصة التي وفرها انفجار مرفأ بيروت لتظهير الدور القضائي في مواجهة السياسيين تعبيراً عن انتفاضة الجسم القضائي على التدخلات السياسية، وتمسكاً باستقلال القضاء، الذي كان متهماً بالتقصير والاستنساب والتبعية الطائفية والسياسية، فهل حدث بين ليلة وضحاها أن نزل الوحي وتغيرت الصورة، وما يقوله حجم التصعيد القضائي تحت عنوان التضامن بين القضاة في كل تفاصيل قضية التحقيق في انفجار المرفأ، والمجازفة بمخاطر رفضت قيادة الجيش تحمل مثلها، جسدها ما ظهر من علامات الانقسام الطائفي في المجتمع وصولاً إلى الجسم القضائي نفسه، إن التذرع السابق بالضغوط التي يمارسها السياسيون كان استساغة يسلس عبرها القضاة النفس للمطالب السياسية طلباً للنفوذ والسلطة، ويعيدون فعلها اليوم بالتمرد على السياسة طلباً للتدخل فيها من باب أوسع، تتيحه النظرة الخارجية التي تدعو القضاء لملء الفراغ الناجم عن تراجع الجيش إلى الخلف، فيتقدم قضاة ليقولوا القضاء هو الحل، أي الرئاسة لقاض بدلاً من جنرال، ولا يمانعون من تدخل القضاة في السياسة تعويضاً عن زمن تدخل السياسة في القضاء.

يريد البعض القول إن هذا تحول إصلاحي ثوري يستحق التشجيع بمعزل عن المقدمات والظروف، التي يمكن وضعها في حسن التقاط اللحظة المناسبة لهذا الانقلاب، فلماذا التشكيك طالما أن هناك إجماعاً على أولوية مكافحة الفساد، وأن اللبنانيين ضاقوا ذرعاً بالسياسيين وعبروا عن ذلك في انتفاضة الغضب في 17 تشرين، ويردون السؤال بالقول، ولماذا تضع المقاومة نفسها كخط دفاع أمامي عن الطبقة السياسية سواء في مرحلة 17 تشرين، أو في مرحلة الملاحقات القضائية، والجواب بسيط، لكن بسؤال أيضاً، وهو لماذا يحجم القضاء عن فتح ملفات المصارف ومصرف لبنان، طالما جوهر النظام الفاسد يجد قلعته الحصينة في نظام الريع الذي يرعاه مصرف لبنان وتمثل المصارف قوته الضاربة، وطالما أن الثورة على الفساد وإثبات الأهلية لقيادة العمل الإصلاحي تبدآن من هنا، ومن دون هذا الشرط يصير المشهد واضحاً، إعادة تعويم النظام الريعي التابع والمستتبع برموز جديدة أشد طواعية واستعداداً للمجازفة بتعريض السلم الأهلي للخطر، وأكثر عدائية للمقاومة، وأشد طائفية، من القيادات الطائفية، مقابل الوصول للسلطة، فهل هذا إصلاح أم خراب؟

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Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Nov 19, 2021

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackling a range of political developments on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and his grandson Imam Jaafar Sadiq [AS], and the Muslim Unity Week. 

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.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

In the coming days, God willing, we will welcome a very dear, precious, and great occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Messenger of God, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of Messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH]. I congratulate all Muslims in the world and all Lebanese on this great and solemn occasion in advance. God willing, on this occasion, we will hold a proper and appropriate celebration in a few days, and therefore, I will leave talking about the celebrant  and the occasion itself until then.

With regard to the topics, I divided them into two part. One part I will talk about today, and the second I will talk about it, God willing,  during that celebration.

I will begin with tonight’s topics. I will speak about the first topic as briefly as possible, appropriate, and unobtrusive.

1- The elections:

The country today is busy preparing for the electoral law, the dates of the elections, the administrative procedures related to the elections, and the natural prelude to entering the stage of the electoral atmosphere as well as having the elections on time.

Regarding the elections, I want to emphasize several points:

i- Holding the elections on time

We have already talked about this and emphasized it on more than one occasion. In any case, there still remain those who try to spread confusion by blaming a certain party, including us sometimes, of planning to extend and postpone the elections, etc. This is all baseless talk. We affirm, insist, and call for the elections to be held on time within the constitutional deadline. To be fair and according to our follow-up with all the parliamentary blocs, parties, and political forces, we believe that no one – so as not to make baseless accusations like some opponents do – whether implicitly or openly is planning or preparing to push matters towards the postponement of the parliamentary elections and the extension of the current Parliament. Therefore, let us put this issue behind us and let everyone engage in holding the parliamentary elections on time, and we are certainly one of those.

ii- The expatriate vote

We agreed to the current law, which was voted on in 2018 and followed in the 2018 elections, as a result of the discussions, and in all sincerity, taking our allies into account. We agreed to a number of things in that law. In the joint parliamentary committees, whether formally or informally, a discussion took place some time ago, and some parliamentary blocs asked to reconsider or demanded a reconsideration. Some of our deputies expressed a position based on an existing reality. This same discussion existed in 2018 and became more intense at the time than it was in the past. This issue was the expatriate vote.

Today, when we want to prepare electoral campaigns or for people who want to run for office or be elected, there is no equal opportunity, whether in conducting electoral campaigns, in candidacy, or even by going to the polls to exercise free elections, specifically with Hezbollah. There will be other political forces whose situation may be less sensitive, but Hezbollah’s situation abroad, in some European countries, in North America, in the Gulf, and some other Arab countries is known. There is no possibility for preparing an electoral campaign, candidacy, or elections. In fact, this is a point of appeal, and we had mentioned to our allies that with regard to Hezbollah, we would not submit an appeal.

But someone can file an appeal regarding the elections in terms of unequal opportunities. The brothers raised the issue from this angle, and an atmosphere emerged in the country that there were those who wanted to prevent the expatriates from voting. Extensive debates were held over this and there was no problem. We discussed the issue once again and came up with the following conclusion. It was expressed by our deputies at the last meeting of the joint committees. But I’d like to mention it here to close discussions on it.

We, once again, discussed and evaluated it. This is what we had to say. Regardless of how many countries in which expatriates or residents will take part in the parliamentary elections – they usually participate in presidential elections – and if there are countries that participate in parliamentary elections, this may be present and perhaps their number may be few, but in any case, as long as the injustice befalls specifically us, we do not have a problem. 

This means that we, Hezbollah specifically, will be oppressed. We will not be allowed abroad or have the right to campaign, announce candidacy, or the freedom to vote. This even applies to our supporters. But as long as the injustice pertains to us and there is a national interest and it allows the Lebanese residing outside Lebanese to feel that they are partners and bear responsibility, we have no problem with that. We will overlook this observation, and that is why our brothers amended and said that we support the principle of expatriate voting, in principle. We divided the issue.

Now, there is a detail that whether the expatriates or those residing outside the Lebanese territories will vote according to the constituencies in Lebanon or elect the six representatives that are said to be allocated for the elections abroad. If they are going to vote according to the constituencies in Lebanese, we have no problem with that. And if voting on the six representatives will be confirmed, we are open to discussions when it’ll be discussed in Parliament. However, if the topic is not discussed, there is a law. So, work according to the law. Hence, we consider this matter closed.

And we hope, God willing, from our brothers, our expatriates and people residing outside the Lebanese territories to register and take part in the elections. They are welcome, and we hope that they will have the real opportunity to frankly express their opinion.

iii- Voting at the age of 18

With regard to the issue of [voting at] the age of 18, I honestly tell all the Lebanese people and young people between the age of 18 and 21 that this matter is only raised to be used locally. It is always raised at a time close to deadlines, and time does not help. Although it was brought up at a time way ahead of deadlines, something strange happened. Since 1992 when we first took part in the parliamentary elections, we’ve been known to have strongly supported giving young people at the age of 18 the right to vote.

Whenever you talk with political forces, you find that everyone is in favor. Yet, you go to the Parliament and it gets dropped. There is something strange in this country. We not only raised this in our speeches, slogans, and political and electoral programs, but we also seriously worked and fought hard for it. In March 2009, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc proposed a constitutional amendment law to reduce the voting age to 18 since this needs a constitutional amendment. In March 2009, it was voted unanimously. This was before the 2009 elections. The constitutional amendment needs two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The government also voted unanimously on this proposal. It was returned to the parliament after the parliamentary elections in the February 2010 session. The session was attended by more than 100 deputies, out of which only 34 deputies voted on the project, mainly the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and some other blocs. The rest of the blocs abstained, and it fell through. There is really something strange about this country.

If you now make an opinion poll for the parliamentary blocs and the political forces, they all tell you: yes, this is their natural right, and they must elect, etc. Of course, I heard a strange two days ago saying that young people need to be prepared and educated. What is this talk!

In Lebanese, children as young as five or six years old talk politics! You are talking about 18-year-olds. These need educating, preparation, school programs!!! What is this nonsense?!

Anyway, we once again call, the expatriates have the right to vote. All people should demand this right and respect it. If they are wronged somewhere like us, let us go beyond this oppression. With regard to the issue of voting at the age of 18, there is no injustice to anyone. If this right is not given, this is injustice to all Lebanese youth who are being deprived of the right to participate in the parliamentary elections only for purely partisan and personal reasons, not for national or real reasons..

iv- The MegaCenter

Also, related to the elections is the MegaCenter. We have no problem so that no one later says that Hezbollah is preventing this from happening. From now, we do not have a problem. You want to adopt the megacenter, go ahead. You don’t want the megacenter, also go ahead. You want to adopt the magnetic card, we don’t mind. Whether the Ministry of the Interior wants to adopt it or not, let it go ahead. What do you want us to vote with? The identification card? We’ll use it to vote. An excerpt of the civil registry? We’ll use it to vote. We’ll use whatever you want. We do not have a problem. Just hold the elections on time and don’t come up with excuses for not holding the elections on their constitutional dates. The rest of the matters related to the elections, nominations, alliances, the electoral program, and reading the electoral scene will be discussed at their right time, God willing.

2- The electricity file:

In fact, I should have started talking about this file, but I deliberately did not start with it because this file contains some annoyance. Hence, I opted  to start with the elections.

In the past few days, they told the Lebanese that fuel has run out, the factories will stop working, and the country will go into complete darkness. Save us. What should we do? Now, they’ve found a temporary solution. They found some with the Lebanese army, and the army instructed to take advantage of what it has to overcome this stage. Of course, We thank the leadership of the Lebanese army for this kind humanitarian step.

But the question remains: Today, this issue should be an absolute priority for the current government. Basically, when the cry came out, it was necessary – this is our personal suggestion – that the government hold an extraordinary session, not a two- or three-hour session, but one that remains from dawn to dusk to find a solution. What does it mean that the country has entered complete darkness? This does not only mean that the country is in complete darkness because of power outage, the country is in a state of clinical death because here we are talking about hospitals, cooperatives, everything having no electricity. Despite this, what has been happening in the country? Instead of calling for a serious, radical, and real treatment, as usual, the Lebanese blamed each other for being responsible, insulted and cursed each other, and insulted one another. All of this does not bring electricity.

Eventually, responsibilities must be determined. But usually in the prevailing Lebanese way, people enter the labyrinth, with more grudges, insults, and swearing emerge. And you’ve seen social media in the past two days.

Since the government holds its session every Wednesday, the priority on the table must be the issue of electricity. What I want to call for tonight is for you to see what you want to do regarding electricity. Find a solution or put the country on the path to a solution, not that pump it with painkillers, i.e., take an advance from the central bank and buy fuel with it for power plants to generate electricity for a few hours. Does this solve the problem? How many days and weeks will this last? The issue needs a radical solution. There are contracts that exist. Make up your mind, say yes or no, but address the issue in any way.

Today, a sum of money was sent to the Lebanese government – the Lebanese state. One billion and one hundred million dollars is in the hands of the Lebanese government. If we want to speak as a matter of absolute priority, take advantage of this amount or part of it and primarily and radically address the issue of electricity – building new power plants, addressing the problem of existing plants. The matter is in your hands. There are many offers from various countries in the world, from the East and the West. You do not want from the East, from the West, then, unless there is an American veto.

If the Americans are forbidding you, tell the Lebanese people frankly: O Lebanese people, we are terrified and unable to bring in European companies because the Americans will be angry with us and have forbidden us from doing so.

In this way the people will express their opinions – whether or not they’d like to live in darkness and in humiliation with no electricity, as the Lebanese used to live in humiliation with the lack of gasoline and diesel. We’ll act depending on the outcome. I know, for example, in Iraq – this is a common and well-known thing there – that the Iraqis have an electricity problem. When they tried to reach an understanding with some European countries, the Americans intervened forcefully and prevented them. So, is there a veto here in Lebanon, an American veto preventing that?

As for the Iranians, there was an old offer. Today, there is a new offer. Two days ago, when His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was in Beirut, he reconfirmed that we are ready to build two plants and provide a certain, large, and respectable quantity. Respond to him.

Ask for an exception since America is your friend. To us, they are our enemy, and we expect anything from our enemies. But they are your friends and allies. You trust them and consider them moral and humanitarian who possess human values and law. Ask them for an exception.

Iraq got an exception. Afghanistan under the rule of the Ghani government had an exception – it used to import many things from Iran. Other neighboring countries have exceptions. You ask for an exception. I learned a rather funny thing that was in fact published in the media – when one Lebanese official was by told by the Iranian foreign minister to ask for an exception as the other countries, the official replied to him, saying: I hope you will ask for the exception. It’s a very funny thing. Imagine a Lebanese official telling the Iranians who have enmity with the Americans to do so. There is an ongoing war between them and the Americans, and I him: you ask the Americans for an exception so that you can build us, for example, power plants, or so you  can sell us fuel for the power plants, or so you can sell us gasoline or diesel. What a way of taking responsibility? 

Anyway, regarding this issue along with all the people, we will raise the voice. The government, the President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister must determine the agenda. But we are among the people who have the right to demand that electricity be at the top of the agenda, or they should allocate an emergency and urgent special session and work for a real radical treatment for this issue. If the issue remains a matter of throwing accusations and scoring points and who disrupted, we will get nowhere.

Hezbollah or others may have raised this suspicion in the past. For the first time, I would like to raise a suspicion. I’m one of those people who has a feeling that somewhere there might be a certain game. Let me say how. It’s the same with what happened gasoline, diesel, and food stuff. The state knows that at some point it will have to lift the subsidies. Everyone tells you that there is no solution except the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF will ask for the subsidies to be lifted, and no one dares to take the responsibility of lifting the subsidy. 

They’ll let the people fight, race to cooperatives, and queue at gas stations for petrol, diesel, etc. After a month, two, or three, they’ll start shooting each other, cursing one another, and wielding knives at each other. Then, they will call for the subsidies to be lifted just to be saved and accept the fact that the price of gasoline is 500,000LBP. 

If the subsidies are lifted, the problem of the humiliating queues will be solved. Therefore, if you notice and you can go back to the media when we saw the humiliating queues, the voices called for the subsidies to be lifted. This action was serving this. Whether this was intentional and planned or not needs to be verified.

When talking about the subject of electricity, privatization and selling some state assets and some public sectors, including the electricity sector, are always mentioned. The electricity sector is always being eyed for privatization.

There is a fear I would like to raise today. I do not want to accuse anyone. It is very unclear to me, to be honest, that somewhere – within the government or outside it or whether they belong to the opposition or not – they want the electricity sector in Lebanon to collapse. Then, the state would be helpless and unable to solve the problem. Hence, there would be no solution except through privatization. Then, the Lebanese people would not want to live in darkness, so they’d demand to solve this problem with privatization. This is the real fear. We must pay attention to this subject. 

From this subject, I will delve into the third point which is related to diesel, gasoline, and the like. I once again make appeal to the various political forces and leaders in Lebanon – brothers, go and check with your allies and friends. I repeat and say that whatever we are capable of doing with our allies and friends, we will do. What can Iran do more than this? They are already telling you that they are prepared to sell you gasoline, diesel, and fuel and build power plants and metro stations. They want to cooperate with you and offer you facilities. This is a solution. 

The Syrians told you they do not have a problem. Bring Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan. I will offer you the facilities you want. If there is anything else, I am at your service as well. These are our allies. 

As for your allies, we have not seen them do anything. You have not done anything. Talk to someone to make you an exception. Talk to someone to help the Lebanese. If your allies told you that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people, then exclude Hezbollah and bring help for the rest of the Lebanese areas. Act responsibly, not maliciously.

Until now, we still hear that, for example, they brought diesel from Iran. They brought it across the border into Syria, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We hear it every other Sunday, etc. Here is another example of the level of responsibility in the country. A politician reached a conclusion that the power cut stated happening when diesel was brought in from Iran as the power plants broke down. You all know. It is all known. He did not know that the state’s electricity plants run on fuel, and what was brought from Iran was diesel. There is no relation between diesel, fuel, and electricity plants. In any case, this is the level that exists in the country.

This is a call for the last time. Budge a little. Move a little, and don’t be malicious. What is your main role other than criticizing, insulting, and accusing? Do something positive for your people and your country.

3- Gasoline and diesel:

I moved to the third topic, in which I will talk about what happened with us and what will happen concerning diesel and gasoline.

So far, we consider ourselves still in the first phase. Of course, a number of ships have arrived so far, and we are gradually moving them to Lebanon. We consider that the first phase will continue until the end of October. During the first phase, we did two things, and we will continue with them.

The first thing we said is that there is a group that we will gift them diesel for a month and a group that we will sell diesel to. We did not put the diesel at the stations and said, “People, please. Who wants to buy can come.” Meaning that we are doing more than the goal. We said that the goal is to secure this material for these pressing and urgent cases, and we do not want to compete or block the way for companies and stations that sell diesel. In the end, we will give to a group and the rest can buy from the stations. By doing so, we are not cutting off people’s livelihood. We adopted this approach, and we will indeed continue until the end of October as a first phase.

Within this first phase, there are two points I would like to add. 

1- We had announced a gift or donation for a group for a period of one month. That period has ended. There is a quantity that has arrived and another that is on the way, and it will reach them, God willing. What I would like to announce today is that we will renew this gift. This gift is for the same group and will be for an additional month, for a second month.

I will again mention the institutions belonging to this group: government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, centers for people with special needs, official water institutions, water wells belonging to municipalities, provided they are a poor municipalities, and fire brigades in the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. After the end of the first month, I announce today that we will provide the quantity they need from this material as a gift and assistance, God willing, for a second month.

2- Regarding the groups, I would like to announce that this material would also be sold to the fishermen. This addition comes following many revisions that have been made. We’ve already started and not just starting. This happened in the last period. The fishermen has been added to the segments to which this material can be sold to. The same institutions that we talked about before will remain – private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, mills, bakeries, etc. We will complete the first phase by working with the same [entities] we worked with last month.

When we reach the second phase, which starts from the beginning of November, we will add heating for families. We and our brothers are studying the standards because the most important thing is to abide by the standards. During the past month, there were cases that included people not belonging to the group that this material can be sold to contacted us. These people are very dear to us and we love to be of service to them. However, we had a serious commitment to the standards and the groups. If we did not abide, it will be chaotic, and, therefore, we would not be able to serve the groups that we considered a priority.

Today, we have the issue of heating that needs to be studied, and it is a very big topic. For example, among the entities that it will be sold to are private hospitals, bakeries, mills, laboratories, etc. We considered that establishments and companies operating generators are the largest segment, and they, in fact, are the ones that need the largest amount. But when we bring in the issue of heating, there is no comparison because here you are talking about Lebanese families in areas where there is cold and frost.

This requires different controls, standards, and a distribution mechanism that we are studying. God willing, before the beginning of November, we will talk about this issue, I or one of my brothers, and it will be announced in detail. Also because of winter, we may add new entities. This, too, is being evaluated and studied – first of all because of the high demand that happened. The volume of requests in all Lebanese regions was very large. I’d say it was greater than expected, yes, greater than expected. It is very large in all areas. This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, winter season is coming, and of course, the demand for diesel will increase exponentially – we had made diesel a priority. This means that we have decided to continue with diesel being the priority. We postponed bringing gasoline. Even if we get gasoline, we will exchange it for diesel with the merchants because the priority now is to provide the fuel oil in the way that it is secure. Thank God, now, in one way or another, the queues of humiliation are over. Gasoline is available at the stations, albeit at a high price. Our main concern was to get rid of the queues of humiliation. Now, these queues are over. Gasoline is available. We do not believe now, as a result of the large file, that we should work on all the entities. We have to focus our priority on diesel, especially since we are a few weeks away from winter season.

I will conclude this whole file. We heard people say, leave the Lebanese state buy its own gasoline and diesel from Iran. We support this talk. This is our demand. Let the Lebanese government ask the Americans for an exception, while the Lebanese companies buy. We guarantee that they will get facilities from Iran to buy diesel, gasoline, and fuel from Iran, etc. At that point, we will withdraw from this file. We will leave the file completely. We will not buy, nor bring ships, nor transport to Baniyas, nor bring from Baniyas to Baalbek. We will leave the matter completely. Go ahead, take responsibility. Open this door. This only needs some courage and boldness. Many countries neighboring Iran have exceptions – exceptions in buying gasoline, diesel, oil derivatives, and many other materials. Go ahead, work on this matter. This is one of the doors – you consider that we are violating sovereignty. Good, then help us so that we do not violate sovereignty. Go ahead, ask for an exception and open this door.

4- The Beirut Port [blast] investigation:

I would like to recall what I used to say since the beginning – we want and support the investigation. I honestly say and tell you that even if the families of the martyrs and the wounded abandoned the investigation, we, Hezbollah, will not abandon the investigation. We consider ourselves among those who were affected not only in terms of martyrs, wounded, and homes, but we were also affected morally, politically, and media wise.
Taking humanitarian considerations towards the families of the martyrs, we want the truth and accountability. Politically and morally, we, as Hezbollah, want the truth and we want accountability. There is no discussion regarding this topic. It is not cutting of the road in front of the investigation nor is it to end or cancel the file. Never. Whoever says this is unfair. We want to reach a result. What is really required is justice. What the former judge did is clear. He was biased and politicized. We spoke loudly about this and gave advise. The man rose and asked with legitimate suspicion and left. The man made a legitimate request and left. However, instead of benefiting from all the mistakes and the observations made to the previous judge, the current judge continued with the same mistakes. He ignored these remarks and did worse. The current judge’s work is politically motivated and biased. His work is being politicized and has nothing to do with the truth and justice.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the families of the martyrs – if you expect to uncover the truth with this judge, you will not. If you expect that this judge will bring you justice, even at the level of an indictment, you will not get it. The work of this judge is politically motivated. He is exploiting the blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the tragedy, and the calamity to serve political goals and political targeting.

1- We previously talked about the evidence, but now I would like to highlight the issue more because we have reached a point that can no longer be tolerated.

Let us simply talk logically. Is this interference in the affairs of the judiciary? But first off, tell me this is a judiciary so that I can agree with you whether this is interference or not. This is not a judiciary. This is a politically-motivated job. As long as it is a politically-motivated job, allow me to say a couple of words. What do science and justice say? They say there was an explosion. Hence, look for the responsibilities. This is a problem that I will return to shortly.

I would like to ask the current judge – disregard the previous judge. Since the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship to Lebanon’s Beirut Port to Lebanon, there have been two presidents: President Michel Suleiman and His Excellency President Michel Aoun. His Excellency, President Michel Aoun has said on more than one occasion – a transparent man – “I knew on this day and I followed up this way. I am ready for the judge to come and listen to me.” 

Did you listen to him? You are a judge who works as the judiciary, did you listen to His Excellency the President and took his statement? He is the one telling to go to him. What are you afraid of?

Did you ask President Michel Suleiman? Did you listen to him? did you ask him – you were the president of the republic when this ship came and entered, did you know? What did you do? Regardless of whether he was responsible or not. You did not ask him, and you did not listen to His Excellency the President even though he invited you. 

Since the day the ship entered Lebanon in November 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. You, the judge, quickly belittled Prime Minister Hassan Diab and thought you can accuse him, summon him, etc.

One question. Did you ask former heads of government? Did you listen to them? I’m not telling you to summon them. Did you go to them? Did you sit with them? Did you ask them even a question about their knowledge of the subject? What did they do if they had knowledge? Were they responsible or not? You did not do any of this. You quickly went to Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Can you tell me that the explosion took place during the premiership of PM Hassan Diab? Why did you go after the former ministers and not the current ministers? I am not defending people who are our friends only. Among them are our friends and those who are not our friends. The people I’m telling you to investigate include some of our friends. Why did you not ask the ministers in the current government who were in office when the explosion occurred? Instead, you went to the former ministers. Why not all the former ministers? Did you ask all the finance ministers? Did you summon them all and investigated with them? Did you investigate and ask the ministers of works who were in office in November 2013? The current Minister of Works is also our friend. The ministers of interior who were in office in November 2013 until today is also our friend. The ministers of defense as well as the ministers of finance and works are also the ministers of guardianship. Did you investigate with the ministers of defense? Non, you didn’t. Did you ask the ministers of justice? No, you didn’t. Did you ask all the heads of the security and military services? No, you did not. I tell you no because they really did not ask them. he asked some of them, but not all of them. What do they call this? You are going after specific agencies, specific ministers, and a specific prime minister is clearly [political] targeting. Does the issue need a little understanding in order to see that there is clearly targeting? There is political targeting. This is the first point. We’ve spoken about this in the past. We also warned you. Do not be biased and politicized. Or else, we will demand you leave. Then he continues working as if nothing happened. On the contrary, he rose even more and behaved as if he was the ruler with regard to this file. This is the first point.

2- The main subject in the explosion: 

The whole thing is incomprehensible. Yet, you skipped it. Basically, it is like what many Lebanese say. I am not saying anything new. The basic principle, O honorable judicial investigator, is that you go and tell the families of the martyrs before you incite them against the politicians. You have to tell these families that you sit with every other day who brought the ship, who let the ship dock, who gave permission, who left the materials in hangar 12, and who gave approval. You are not doing any of these. You are tackling another matter which comes in second place which is negligence. You are making a big deal out of this for settling political scores. O brother, tell the Lebanese people. If you don’t want to tell the Lebanese people, at least tell the families of the martyrs. And you, our people and our loved ones, the families of the martyrs, go and demand. This is your right to demand. Ask him how your children were killed? You, an investigative judge, do not want to tell them because this does not serve the politicization that you are working on. So, what did you turn to? To negligence. You are making a bigger deal out of negligence – the one who is charged with negligence should receive the most severe penalties.

I’m not asking for anything. I am only asking why he is disregarding and neglecting the first part of the issue. Why is the truth not told to the Lebanese? The judicial secrecy is the issue. It is not about someone killing another person. This is a catastrophe that has befell the country, and the country is heading towards a catastrophe if this judge continues working in this way. Therefore, the matter needs a different approach.

3- Bias:

The judges, who were involved and whose responsibility wss greater than that of the presidents of the republic, are responsible. I do not know. I am not a judge to rule on this matter. The responsibility of judges is greater than that of heads of government, ministers, and heads of the security services because the judges are the ones who allowed this material to enter and to be stored. The rest are all procedural. The two judges or the judges are the first to be responsible. O families of the martyrs, ask this judge. Ask him about those judges whose responsibility is unquestionable.

There might be a discussion about the responsibility of the prime minister, a specific minister, and the security apparatus. But there is no discussion that these judges are responsible. What did you do to them? You did nothing. You filed a lawsuit against them in court, the High Judicial Council and the Discriminatory Public Prosecution, and to appoint a special court. Great! You do not want to summon the judge, issue an arrest warrant for him, or imprison him because he is a judge. The judiciary wants to protect itself. However, you want to summon a respectable prime minister like Hassan Diab, subpoena him, issue an arrest warrant against him, and throw him in prison. Is this a state of law? Is this a state institution? Does this country have morals? The law says that judges go to court. The constitution says that presidents and ministers go to the presidents’ court. In the case of the presidents and ministers, why don’t you accept. You consider this your right and transcend all constitutional principles and attack people? However, in the case of the judges, the law says that they go to the High Judicial Council. Answer us so that we know whether what is happening is right, just, and fair or is political targeting?

4- The last part in this file:

When presidents, ministers, and representatives feel that they have been wronged, who do they turn to? They tell you – this specific judge is biased. He is attacking us and is unfair with us. He want to arrest us unjustly. He is impatient with formal matters as in talking with us and our lawyers. We are being wronged. Who do we turn to? In a state of law and institutions, the law must answer. They turned to a judicial body, and we see that this judicial body did not take its time to study the case, did not discuss, nor summon, nor investigate. It returned the request saying it’s outside of their jurisdiction. Whose jurisdiction is it? So, guide us. You say the law and the state of institutions, O Higher Judicial Council, answer. Bring the prime minister who will be summoned for arrest, the ministers, and others who may be caught up in lawsuits. Where are they being wronged? If there is no jurisdiction for so and so and so, who has jurisdiction then? This needs a solution and an answer. In any case, we have big problems. We consider that what is happening is a very bad situation. It will not lead to the truth and justice, but it will lead to injustice and to concealment of the truth. This does not mean that we are demanding that the investigation be closed. Not at all. We want an honest and a transparent judge, who works on a clear and transparent investigation based on rules, an investigation in which there is no bias. He must continue the investigation and this matter should not stop at all. 

First, we want an answer. Where would an oppressed person and a person with suspicions seek refuge in this country?

Another thing, the issue is no longer a personal matter, the issue has repercussions at the national level and on the country. Today, I am appealing to the High Judicial Council. What is happening has nothing to do with the judiciary, nor with justice, with fairness, nor with the truth. You must find a solution to the matter. The Supreme Court does not want to resolve the issue. The Council of Ministers is required to resolve this issue. It referred this issue. It will be raised in the Council of Ministers. We will speak and others too. This matter cannot continue this way. There is no possibility for it to continue this way, especially in the next few days. Therefore, among the institutions, the High Judicial Council should meet and see how to address this issue. We are talking to you and on behalf of many people in this country. We are a large segment in this country, and we have the right to be heard. We have the right to be given an answer. We have the right to demand in the Council of Ministers. It is our right that the Council of Ministers discuss this issue and take a stance. In all honesty, I tell you this matter must not continue this way.

As for the rest of the points of discussion, I wanted to talk about the demarcation of the maritime borders, the disputed area, the new negotiations, the Israeli steps, and other files. We will talk about all this, God willing, during the occasion in a few days.

I just want to conclude with two points. I must, morally and ethically, talk about them.

The first point is the bombing that took place in Kunduz, a few days ago, in Afghanistan, in a mosque during Friday prayers, which led to dozens of martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is a painful matter. Any person, Muslim or not, will ache when he sees elderly people and children being killed, just because they were praying in a mosque. This is very sad and very painful.

Despite the distance, we also share with our family and loved ones and these oppressed families their grief and pain. We express our sorrow for what happened and condemn it. But what’s most important is that Daesh committed this crime and claimed responsibility. I say the Wahabi terrorist organization Daesh. 

I hope from all our friends, companions, and the media in our axis, if they accept from me, to call it the Wahhabi terrorist organization. Because what Daesh is doing is the result of this school of thought that accuses the other of being an infidel. One can accuse the other of being an infidel, but he does not spill one’s blood and take his money and honor. A doctrinal disagreement, a certain person says that so-and-so is an infidel and does not believe in a specific cause. But what is more dangerous than takfir [accusing another Muslim to be an apostate] is spilling blood and taking someone else’s money, honor, and social public safety. It is this school of thought that led to these results throughout the world, especially in our Arab and Islamic world. 

The one who also bears the responsibility is America. Before the Americans left Afghanistan and on more than one occasion, I mentioned to you in the media and in speeches that we and others have information that the Americans are moving Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and from the Al-Hol camp. They even transferred some from Iraq to Afghanistan. At that time, many were wondering what the Americans wanted from Daesh in Afghanistan? Of course, at the time, even when they transferred them to Afghanistan, Daesh did not carry out a single operation against the American forces there. Rather, they fought those who were fighting the Americans, including the Taliban. But today, the goal has appeared more, to be sure.

I am an enemy of the Americans and I am accusing them. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, who is an ally of the Americans but has a problem with them, also said that the Americans had moved Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and eastern Syria to Afghanistan. That’s the Turkish foreign minister, a country that is not a small one in the region. He is a friend of the Americans. This is well known. Why did the Americans take Daesh to Afghanistan during the year they were negotiating with the Taliban in Doha to withdraw?

They were preparing for a post-withdrawal phase. What is the post-withdrawal phase? It is preparing for a civil war in Afghanistan. They had two tools. The first tool was the Afghan state and the Afghan army, which they spent hundreds of billions of dollars on. This collapsed, but the alternative was ready, which was Daesh. Today, Daesh’s work in Afghanistan is to drag the country into a civil war. They carried out operations against non-Shiites in Jalalabad and Kabul. But targeting the mosque in Kunduz, where Shiite Muslims pray, is also to create a state of internal tension that will lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

The Americans are responsible. The American policies, the American administration, the American army, the CIA, and all those who are working on the issue of Daesh and Afghanistan, we also hold them responsible for the innocent blood that was shed in Afghanistan. The responsibility of the current authorities – whether the world recognizes them or not – now that it is an authority that exists in Afghanistan, is to protect these citizens regardless of their affiliation to any religion or sect.

There is another matter that I must talk about from a moral standpoint, even though it has been a while since it transpired. An incident took place a while back in Palestine where a group of security services affiliated to the Palestinian Authority arrested, beat, and tortured martyr Nizar Banat, a Palestinian brother, a resistance fighter, and a thinker who had brave and courageous positions, which led to his martyrdom.

Of course, one may ask why are you talking about this now and that this story is old? At that time, although we saw that all the Palestinian factions took a position, we preferred to wait because the issue was not very clear, and we considered that it could be an internal affair. But today, it is my duty to pay tribute, even for a few minutes, to this resistant martyr, mujahid, thinker, and bold, brave, and oppressed martyr Nizar Banat. I am one of the people who during the previous period – I mean during his life and not after his martyrdom – I usually and for security reasons do not have internet, but every once in a while, the young men give me recorded summaries, I listen and watch what this person said, how he spoke, and how he expressed a position?

At various times, I listened and gave time to Brother Nizar. I was very impressed by his clarity, his pure thought on the issue of resistance, the issue of “Israel”, the issue of the situation in the region, the position on the axis of resistance, the conflicts in the region, and targeting the axis of resistance. I was amazed by his courage – he lives in the West Bank and it is possible that he might be attacked, arrested, or killed at any moment. Of course, I had in mind that the “Israelis” would kill him and not anyone from the PA. In fact, I would like to say a couple of words first to shed light on this bold, courageous, clear, authentic, and strong figure as well as his position on the issue of resistance, the Palestinian cause. He had courage until his martyrdom. Secondly, as this is the first time I am talking about the subject, we share with honorable family, all his family members, his loved ones, his friends, and his companions the pain and the unending grief. I know that to them this matter has not ended. 

The third point is to demand justice and truth from the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian judiciary, and all the Palestinian people for martyr Nizar must. Time will not stop this, and this blood must not be wasted just because those who have wronged him or committed crimes against him belong to a certain security apparatus. This is regarding martyr Nizar. I wanted to talk about him. 

I said at the beginning of the speech that in a few days we will have a great and very dear occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest Messenger of God. Of course, celebrations and commemorations take place in different regions of the Islamic world.
But in the past years, what must also be noted with admiration and pride is how the dear and oppressed Yemeni people are commemorating this occasion. We are talking about the areas under the control of what they call the Sana’a government, meaning in the areas where Ansarullah is present. Huge crowds gather in all governorates and cities at the same time.

The whole world saw how they’ve been commemorating the birth of the Messenger of God Muhammad during the past two years despite the war, destruction, difficult economic conditions, difficult living conditions, rampant diseases, great dangers, and siege. But it is really amazing the way they commemorate this occasion, and as a Muslim, I tell you that I feel ashamed. Despite the circumstances and situation, these people mark the occasion in such a way, while we, the rest of the Muslims in different parts of the world, how do we commemorate this anniversary even though our circumstances are much better than theirs, even if there are some difficulties. 

First, salutations to the dear and oppressed Yemeni people, who love and adore the Messenger of God, for what they will do during the next few days.

I consider the way the Yemenis mark [this occasion] as an argument for all of us as Muslims in the Islamic world.

In the past few years, we used to hold celebrations. It is possible that during the last two years, we’ve eased down on celebrations a little because of the coronavirus. This year, we want to hold a decent and respectful celebration. That is why starting from now I invite the lovers of the Messenger of God to make the marking and celebration of this year’s occasion appropriate and to the level of their love, adoration, and loyalty to the Messenger of God.

May God give you wellness. We’ll talk about the rest later, God willing, if God keeps us alive. May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

واشنطن ونصرالله: حرب بالنقاط لا الضربة القاضية ترسيم الحدود البحرية والغاز والنفط ساحة المنازلة

  ناصر قنديل

عندما يكون الصراع على زعامة أميركا للعالم من الطبيعي أن يكون القطب المقابل في الصراع كلاً من روسيا والصين، وعندما يتحوّل الصراع إلى عنوان مستقبل الهيمنة الأميركية على آسيا من الطبيعي أن تبرز إيران كقطب مقابل، لكن عندما تقرر واشنطن الانسحاب من المنطقة وتتعثر بعقدة الأمن الإسرائيلي، وتتركز عندها كل خيوط الحركة الأميركية في آسيا واستطراداً بوجه روسيا والصين، يتحول التجاذب إلى قطبين متقابلين، واشنطن في ضفة ويقف حزب الله على الضفة المقابلة، بصفته القوة الممسكة بالتهديد الأكبر على أمن “إسرائيل”، ويتعقد كل المشهد الإقليمي والدولي عند هذه النقطة، وتصير كل قراءة سياسية مدعوة للتوقف أمام المفردات التي يتشكل منها مشهد التجاذب والصراع بين واشنطن وحزب الله، وتصر التفاصيل اللبنانية التي لا تقدم ولا تؤخر في الحسابات الدولية، ذات أهمية استثنائية في هذه الحسابات، فتقرر واشنطن تجميد مفاعيل قانون قيصر للعقوبات على سورية، لتسجيل نقطة في السباق التنافسي الذي أطلقه حزب الله مع سفن كسر الحصار.

ينطلق الفريقان في هذا الصراع من مسلمة استحالة حسمه بالضربة القاضية خصوصاً من الجانب الأميركي، طالما أن حزب الله لا يتطلع إلى الضربة القاضية في المواجهة مع السياسات الأميركية ولا يزعم قدرته على ذلك، لكن المهم أن واشنطن كقوة عاملية عظمى تلاقي الحزب على التسليم بنتيجة مشابهة في ما يخص مواجهتها معه، فكثيرة هي الدراسات والتحليلات التي تتحدث عن استحالة إلحاق هزيمة ساحقة بالحزب، سواء عبر الحرب أو عبر المسارات البديلة، لحروب جانبية، فسقف الرهان الأميركي على تجييش اللبنانيين بنتيجة الدفع نحو الانهيار الاقتصادي هو إضعاف الحليف المسيحي لحزب الله الذي يمثله التيار الوطني الحر في الانتخابات النيابية كما قال جيفري فيلتمان في قراءته لانتفاضة 17 تشرين التي تحولت إلى برنامج عمل أميركي منذ ذلك التاريخ، والرهان الذي ترجمه الاعتماد على تشكيلات المجتمع المدني وحزبي الكتائب والقوات اللبنانية للاستثمار بهذا الاتجاه، وهو ما يسميه حزب القوات بنقل الغالبية النيابية من ضفة إلى ضفة، وهذا إن حصل لا يغير كثيراً في التوازنات الحاكمة، فالكل يعترف أن أكبر إنجازات حزب الله في فرض إرادته في مؤسسات الدولة كان الفوز بالمجيء بالعماد ميشال عون رئيساً للجمهورية، وهذا حدث عندما كانت الغالبية النيابية عند حلف مناوئ لحزب الله.

الحدثان الكبيران المحيطان بالتجاذبات اللبنانية الداخلية لا يصلح أي منهما لتشكيل المنصة التي سيظهر عليها حاصل التوازنات المتنازع على ترسميها بالنقاط، بعد التسليم بسقوط فرضية الضربة القاضية، فقضية التحقيق التي يقودها المحقق العدلي قاضي بيطار وتشكل محور اشتباك كبير بين واشنطن وحزب الله، واستحضار مخاطرة دفع البلد نحو الحرب الأهلية، التي أطلت بقرنيها من بوابة مجزرة الطيونة، منصتان خطيرتان لكنهما لا تصلان إلى حد تمثيل إحداهما المنصة الرئيسية لتسييل التوازنات، فالذي يعرفه الأميركيون أن سقف كل من هاتين المنصتين مشاغلة حزب الله، من دون القدرة على فرض أي تنازلات عليه، والتحقيق القضائي لو بلغ ذروته بتوجيه الاتهام لحزب الله، وهو أمر إشكالي كبير يبطل كل منهج القاضي القائم على استبعاد جرم تفجير وتركيز الملاحقة على التقصير والإهمال، وليس لحزب الله مسؤول حكومي معني بالمرفأ يمكن ملاحقة الحزب من خلاله، وفتح ملف النترات ومن جلبها ومن استعملها سيسقط قيمة الملاحقات الحالية ويظهر كيديتها، ويمنح حزب الله فرصة الخوض في ملفات موثقة لديه حول مصدر النترات ووجهتها ومن استفاد منها، وفي أسوأ الأحوال إن سار القاضي نحو الاتهام، فلن يكون أشد خطورة من حكم صادر عن محكمة دولية يتهم الحزب باغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، لم يغير شيئاً في التوازنات ولم يفتح باباً لتفاوض وتنازلات، أما الحرب الأهلية فهي ليست قراراً يتخذه طرف، ما دام الآخرون غير مستعدين للاستجابة، وسقف الممكن هو المخاطرة بميني حرب أهلية قابلة للتكرار، وهذا يسغل بال حزب الله، لكنه ليس منصة الربح بالنقاط على حزب الله لفتح باب المساومات المفترض أميركياً، فهو لن يكون أشد خطورة في إشغال واستنزاف حزب الله مما مثلته الحرب على سورية بسعتها وامتدادها وجدية ما أتاحته من فرص حشد مقدرات يمكن الرهان عليها لقلب الموازين بوجه حزب الله.

المنصة الوحيدة التي تصلح لتشكيل محور التجاذب، والتي لا تغيب عن خطابات السيد نصرالله هي منصة ثروات النفط والغاز، وهي التي تشكل المحور الأشد أهمية لدى الأميركي، والتي يعتقد الأميركيون أن صرف أي توازنات داخلية لبنانية يتم على منصتها، فعلى هذه المنصة يراهن الأميركيون أن يتم التوصل بشأنها إلى تسوية تتيح استثمار ثروات النفط والغاز على طرفي الحدود، وخلق مناخ اقتصادي يخلق ظروفاً ضاغطة تحول دون التورط في الحروب، التي تخشى واشنطن منها على أمن إسرائيل بعد الانسحاب من المنطقة، طالما أن تحصيل أي تنازلات من حزب الله لضمان أمن إسرائيل صار أعلى مرتبة من المستحيلات، وهذا معنى وصول المبعوث الأميركي لتهيئة ظروف العودة للتفاوض حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية، فما شهدناه ونشهده في قضيتي التحقيق ومجزرة الطيونة، بالونات اختبار لقياس مدى قدرة حزب الله على تجاوز المطبات الخطيرة، وقياس مدى توافر فرص لخلق مناخ داخلي لتمرير تسوية بخصوص الترسيم، لا تحمل إسرائيل أكلافاً باهظة، بعدما قرر الأميركي السير بخيار السعي لفكفكة العقد التي صنعها أملاً بإضعاف حزب الله، وباتت اليوم عبئاً يجب التراجع عنه، لكن بأقل الأكلاف، تماماً كما جرى في الملف الحكومي، فجرى فك الحظر عن ولادتها، لكن لم يفك الحظر عن شروط نجاحها.

قرأ الأميركيون جيداً سلوك حزب الله تجاه ملفي التحقيق ومجزرة الطيونة، وتمعنوا في كلام السيد نصرالله وما بين السطور، وسيحاول موفدهم حول ترسيم الحدود إنعاش التفاوض، وسيحاولون الوصول إلى تسوية يقبلها لبنان، وضمناً حزب الله، وربما يحمل المبعوث الأميركي مسعى القبول بخط الـ860 كلم الذي رفضه سلفه فريديريك هوف وعرض على لبنان نصف المساحة، ويبقى تقدير ما يراه لبنان بتوازناته وحساباته مقبولاً أمراً معلقاً لحين سماع العرض الأميركي، وحتى لو تم التوصل إلى تفاهم فهذا لا يعني أن الأميركي سيترك لبنان سيرتاح، فسيعاود العرقلة في مسار التنقيب، وستبقى المواجهة سجال، ولذلك لا يبدو حزب الله مستعجلاً على حسم الترسيم قبل الرحيل الأميركي من المنطقة، من دون أن يشترك بالسجال حول خطوط الترسيم، أو المراسيم.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

19.10.2021 

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on Monday evening in which he touched on the latest political developments in Lebanon and the region.

Starting with a message marking Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s birth anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated all Muslims around the world and the Lebanese people, and stressed that the festival will be held to celebrate the occasion on Friday despite the pain resulting from the Tayyouneh massacre.

His Eminence praised the masses in Yemen who celebrated today the holy occasion of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s birth anniversary despite the war and the siege against their country.

Moving to Afghanistan, the Hezbollah leader mourned the martyrs of the Kandahar mosque blast who have been massacred by the Wahhabi terrorist Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] organization.

His Eminence then extended condolences to the Syrian leadership and people on the martyrdom of the liberated detainee Medhat Saleh who had been assassinated by the ‘Israeli’ enemy in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Tayyouneh Massacre

Moving to the main subject behind his appearance, Sayyed Nasrallah extended condolences to the families of the martyrs of the Tayyouneh massacre that was committed on Thursday by the “Lebanese Forces” [LF] party, led by Samid Geagea.

Noting that the latest events are critical, dangerous, and require identifying the stance, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the families of the martyrs as saying: “Your sorrow was ours and your pain was ours in this dangerous crime.”

The Hezbollah leader lashed out at the perpetrators of the Tayyouneh massacre, in which seven Shia protesters were sniped, and many others sustained injuries. “There is a party that wants to make our people in Ain Remmeneh and Furn Shebbak feel as if the people living in Dahiyeh are their enemies

Some “LF” leaders referred to opening fire at the protesters as “resistance”, and the leader of this party wants to fake an enemy and keep the Christians worried about their existence, Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the goal behind provoking such concerns is to present this party as the main defender of the Christians.

“The goals belong to leadership as well as to the roles offered by Gulf countries that have interests in our country,” His Eminence warned, naming the party as the “Lebanese Forces” and its leader, whom Hezbollah didn’t name before, as it didn’t want to create tension with anybody.

“We didn’t respond to this party despite all the insults it has been addressing us with,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, pointing to that “What happened is critical in a new phase for us to deal with the internal Lebanese affairs.”

“This party has long been attempting to fake an enemy for passing its scheme and chose the foreign-targeted Hezbollah for this purpose, and although the martyrs of the Thursday massacre are from Hezbollah and Amal Movement, the “LF” leader focused on Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah made clear.

In reference to the weapons, training, and structure, the Resistance leader underscored that everything prove that there have been militias fighting in the event: “This party doesn’t care if a military confrontation or a civil war would erupt as this serves its foreign [agendas].”

Sayyed Nasrallah told the Christian people that the ‘LF’ main agenda was to create a civil war that would lead to a demographic transformation. “The ‘LF’ party doesn’t quit using the language of the old war and division, which prepared for their latest crime.”

“The ‘LF’ offered former Saudi minister al-Sabhan in 2017 to start a civil war in Lebanon, its leader stabbed his ally Saad Hariri in his back while he was arrested in Saudi Arabia, and provoked some old allies some months ago to confront Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah outlined.

Regarding Thursday’s massacre, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that: “We’ve been assured by the Lebanese Army which we requested to be deployed heavily in the area [of the protest]. And Geagea’s talking about a “mini Christian May 7th incident” condemns the leader of the ‘LF’ himself as it represents a complete claim of responsibility for the massacre.”

Regarding the Army’s assuring that everything was ok, Sayyed Nasrallah explained: “We [thought] we’ve been protected by the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese state on Thursday. We didn’t take any security or precautionary measures due to the area’s sensitivity.”

However, the Resistance leader stressed that “this mine that we were able to contain on Thursday requires a solution and a treatment.”

Sayyed Nasrallah told the Lebanese people in general and the Christians in particular that portraying Hezbollah as an enemy is an illusion and unfairness, and it is the ‘LF’ party that covered the Nusra Front and the Takfiris in Lebanon and Syria

Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Christians in Lebanon to ask the Christian areas in Syria how Hezbollah defended them, and asked them: “Who supported the people of Arsal outskirts villages and who supported the “rebels” who have been backed by the ‘LF’?”

His Eminence then answered: “It is Hezbollah that defended the Christians back then before the Lebanese Army was allowed to interfere. Hezbollah eliminated the danger that was threatening the Christians there and sacrificed the elite of its youths in these battles.”

“We are not bragging about our achievements, but facts and truth shall be conveyed,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, recalling that after the ‘Israeli’ withdrawal from south Lebanon, every Hezbollah or Amal member was banned from entering Christian areas.

We consider that we’ve done the right thing in 2000, and we didn’t attack the collaborators who tortured and killed us, however, in every area where the ‘LF’ party has been, a battle or war has occurred, the Hezbollah leader said.

“All of those whom we arrested were handed to the Lebanese Army and we didn’t prosecute even those who killed us. We had a historic chance to apply the charges against us but this is not what our religious teaches us,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

In a continued address to the Christian Lebanese, His Eminence noted that even the supporters of the ‘LF’ party live in our areas and Hezbollah didn’t harm any of them. “All the accusations against us are unfair and represent a big mine in the country.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “The biggest existential threat to the Christians in Lebanon and the security of the Christian society is the ‘LF’ party whose scheme to establish cantons still exists. This party is a threat because it allied with Daesh and the Nusra Front, whom it called “opposition”.”

Drawing the Christians’ attention to possible scenarios from the past, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Had Daesh and Nusra achieved victory, no Christian would have been left in Syria, and the ‘LF’ leader’s alliance with those groups exposed a major threat to Syria.”

“Those who forced the Christians to flee Iraq are the Saudi-run Wahhabi terrorist groups; we don’t pose any threat or danger to the Christians, it is rather from the side of the ‘LF’ and its leader,” His Eminence added.

Hezbollah has been positive to all dialogue proposals in Lebanon and made the understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement in 2005, and the first to oppose it was the ‘LF’ party, which didn’t spare any effort to cancel this understanding, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled.

“Our main concern was to prevent the Sunni-Shia sedition the ‘LF’ party has been seeking and the state is the guarantor for all the Lebanese people, whether Christian or Muslims,” His Eminence added.

“Although the ‘60’ electoral law doesn’t serve Hezbollah’s interest, we accepted it as it serves the Christians’, and the side that negated the Orthodox electoral law is the ‘LF’ party,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Hezbollah has done its duty, but we are displaying the facts, Sayyed Nasrallah added. “Hezbollah is a very important positive factor and doesn’t represent any threat. It didn’t set any condition on the President of the Republic in the elections, and Minister Suleiman Franjieh was loyal and made a very ethical stance during the elections.”

When the ‘LF’ attacked us and we gathered our martyrs and our wounds, it is because we avoided a civil war in the country, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

To the “Lebanese Forces”!

Sayyed Nasrallah advised the ‘LF’ leader to give up on fighting and internal wars; referring to him as a person who definitely miscalculates his schemes.

“The “Lebanese Forces” officials admitted in their statements that they are an armed militia,” His Eminence said.

The Hezbollah leader then addressed their leader, Geagea, urging him to bear in mind that Hezbollah hadn’t been stronger in the region than it is today; “you are wrong” as you claim that Hezbollah is weaker than the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“Bear in mind that Hezbollah’s only military body is formed of 100,000 fighters who are not trained for civil wars but to defend our country against the enemies. Our calculations are right; we have constants, ethics, and values; so, don’t miscalculate, better stay polite, and take lessons from your wars and our wars,” Sayyed Nasrallah told Geagea.

His Eminence then urged the state and all the Lebanese people to stand against this vampire and criminal to prevent a civil war: “For the first time we announce the number of our combatants not to threaten with war but to prevent a civil war.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then dared the ‘LF’ party to answer: “In case of war, would the frightened ‘Israel’ support you, or would the US and Saudi Arabia support you?”

Right to Peaceful Assembly

“It is our right to peaceful protesting as any other side, and we formed a committee of 2000 members instead of a popular invitation. We didn’t intend to breakthrough or attack; it was just a peaceful protest,” Sayyed Nasrallah described the Thursday rally.

“Provocative slogans were voiced, which is wrong, and after that the shooting started and martyrs were killed. After opening fire towards the protests, and after the death of the martyrs, some youths got weapons to deter the attackers,” he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah then announced that Hezbollah has been informed by the security apparatuses that the martyrs have been killed by the “Lebanese Forces” fire.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah noted, “We, the ones killed unjustly, want a serious and quick investigation about how the massacre took place, and we want to hold those responsible accountable. We also need to know whether the soldier who opened fire at civilian protests had done this individually or had he been given an order to do this.”

But despite all the previous incidents, we are keen on the Lebanese Army establishment, which is the sole guarantor of the Lebanese unity, the Hezbollah leader underscored.

As for the Khaldeh incident, Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered that the Lebanese Army is investigating and the prosecution of 18 of the arrestees will be done within days.

“The Lebanese Army personnel are our brothers and they are part of the golden equation to which we adhere,” His Eminence said, urging that: “The right track is to investigate the Tayyouneh massacre and hold the killers accountable,” noting that had the investigation been politicized, Hezbollah won’t abandon the issue of the blood of its martyrs.

Beirut Port Blast Cause

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah clearly noted that “We are concerned about the Beirut Port blast cause, in which we sacrificed martyrs, and we are very keen to learn the truth,” and “Once the track of justice turns into political targeting, we have no right to remain silent.”

“The ‘LF’ party is the first abuser of the Beirut Port blast cause, and we won’t abandon this issue. Hezbollah was the most daring to tackle this issue are there has been intimidation for those willing to tackle it,” His Eminence added.

“Hezbollah took it upon itself for the families of the martyrs to learn the truth and the reasons why the technical report regarding the investigations has not been issue yet.”

He then dared those who are accusing Hezbollah of being behind the blast to bring their evidence, asking whether Hezbollah’s demand to change the judge is considered threatening while the US intimidation is not?

“Those who mostly bear the responsibility of the Beirut Port blast are the judges that permitted the entry of the nitrates to the port,” the Resistance leader underlined.

Addressing the state of law and institutions, Sayyed Nasrallah told them to do something and shoulder their responsibility, as it is the time for treatment.

To the Families of Tayyouneh Martyrs

At the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the families of the seven martyrs of Tayyouneh massacre, praising their level of responsibility and belonging, and patience despite the incitement.

“Punishing the killers is a path we will continue, and your martyrs are in the same level of that of the martyrs of Resistance. We have to preserve the goal for which thousand of martyrs have been sacrificed; it is a secure and stable Lebanon,” His Eminence underscored.

“The US wants a civil war as it has done in other countries; it wants us to lose our civil peace. What is needed is patience and insight, awareness and openness, and overcoming the wounds to spare another mine or any other choice the enemy wants for us,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

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Sayyed Nasrallah to Lebanese Forces: Don’t Miscalculate, Hezbollah Has 100,000 Fighters

October 19, 2021

Sayyed Nasrallah
Hezbollah S.G. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah during a televised speech via Al-Manar (Monday, October 18, 2021).

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Monday lashed out at the Lebanese Forces militia, advising its chief to abandon attempts to ignite a civil war in Lebanon.

In a speech that basically tackled the latest massacre by the notorious militia in Tayouneh last Thursday, Sayyed Nasrallah warned the head of Lebanese Forces party (LF), even without mentioning his name, against any miscalculation regarding the civil war in Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah in this context, revealed the number of Hezbollah fighters who are ready to defend their country.

“Don’t miscalculate and behave,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed LF, adding: “Hezbollah has 100,000 fighters who are fully ready to act in case we just point to them to do so.”

The Hezbollah S.G. said the Lebanese security apparatus confirmed that LF militants and snipers were responsible for Tayouneh massacre which killed seven Lebanese civilians during a protest against the politicization of an investigation into Beirut Port.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the LF has been for long time instigating the Christians in the country, especially residents of Ain Al-Rimaneh and Al-Hadat, against Hezbollah through creating fake enemy of residents in Dahiyeh.

His eminence stressed that Hezbollah, Amal Movement, the entire Shiite sect and Muslims don’t pose a threat to the Christians in Lebanon, but rather the LF poses an existential threat to them.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on state institutions to hold a serious probe into the massacre in Tayouneh, stressing importance of staging another investigation by the Lebanese Army in order to look into the videos circulated by social media showing Lebanese soldier firing at a peaceful protester during October 14 massacre.

On the issue of Beirut Port blast investigation, his eminence stressed that Hezbollah has been keen to reveal the truth in this issue, slamming judges who gave permission to the ship carrying ammonium nitrate to enter Beirut Port several years ago.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah praised families of the martyrs who fell in Tayouneh massacre, hailing their patience and wisdom. In this context, his eminence vowed that Hezbollah won’t abandon the martyrs and will go ahead with legal course in a bid to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Lebanese Forces Trying to Ignite Civil War

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by congratulating Muslims on the birthday anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), announcing that despite pain and grief, Hezbollah will hold a ceremony to mark the occasion next Friday in Dahiyeh.

His eminence praised celebrations held by the Yemeni people on the occasion, as well as stances announced by Ansarullah leader Sayyed Abdul Malek Al-Houthi.

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, offered condolences over martyrdom of a number of Afghan people in a terrorist attack staged by ISIL terrorists on a mosque in the city of Kandahar.

He also offered condolences over martyrdom of freed prisoner Medhat Saleh, who was killed by Israeli occupation forces few days ago.

The Hezbollah S.G. then get into the main issue of his speech, the massacre committed by Lebanese Forces militants in Tayouneh last Thursday.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the LF has been instigating against Hezbollah for long time, trying to create a fake enemy to the Christians in Lebanon.

“The Lebanese Forces party wanted to make our people in Ain Al-Rimaneh, Forn Al-Chebbak and Al-Hadat feel concerned and afraid of people of other regions especially in Dahiyeh.”

“This party and its leader (Samir Geagea) aim at presenting themselves as defenders of Christians in Lebanon in order to serve their goals related to political leadership,” he said, noting that the LF leader has been convicted by the Lebanese judiciary over war crimes.

“In the latest years, the Lebanese Forces, and with the support of regional and international powers, has been working to create an enemy to the Christians in Lebanon and to present himself as the defender of this community against this so-called enemy, which is Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, citing schemes to target Hezbollah by the US, ‘Israel’ and some Gulf states.

And to confirm that Hezbollah is being targeted by the LF along with regional and international powers, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Lebanese Forces chief focused in his remarks following the massacre in Tayouneh on Hezbollah, despite that fact that three of the seven martyrs are supporters of Amal Movement.

“The real program of the LF is to the civil war, for this scheme leads to the displacement of the Christians and then creating a Christian canton which LF chief aims to rule.”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the massacre in Tayouneh opens a new chapter of Hezbollah’s way to deal with the local issue.

He said that both Hezbollah and Amal Movement were reassured by the Lebanese Army a night before the massacre over the security situation in the region of the protest near Justice Palace, where the shooting took place.

Commenting on LF leader’s remarks that the Tayouneh massacre was a “mini May 7 events” Sayyed Nasrallah said that such remarks is a clear claim of responsibility of the shooting.

Hezbollah Defended Christians, LF Existential Threat

Sayyed Nasrallah then elaborated on the idea that Hezbollah is not an enemy to the Christians in Lebanon and Syria. He stressed that Hezbollah’s behavior with Christian in Lebanon and Syria throughout years confirm that the Lebanese Resistance party look at the Christians in the country as political partners and not enemies.

“For those who say that Hezbollah is the enemy of Christians, you can ask the churches which Hezbollah defended in Syria against Takfiri terrorists.”

“When Hezbollah defended its people of the Christians in Syria and the Lebanese border towns against ISIL and Nusra terrorists, the Lebanese Forces party was offering all forms of support to the Takfiris.”

He addressed the Christians in Lebanon by saying: “All those who tell you that Shia and Muslims are an enemy they are fabricating such accusations. The greatest existential threat for you is the Lebanese Forces since this party had allied with the terrorists in Syria.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then pointed to Hezbollah’s behavior towards Christians following the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000.

“Hezbollah prevented any of its fighters or fighters belonging to Amal Movement from entering the Christian towns in south Lebanon upon the Liberation in 2000. We even did not harm collaborators with Israeli enemy in that towns, rather we handed them over to the Lebanese Army. This was in a bid to avoid any Muslim-Christian sedition.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then said that Hezbollah, throughout years adopted a policy of openness with political parties, including the Christian powers.

“In February 6, 2006 we held a MoU with the largest Christian party, which is the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM),” Sayyed Nasralah said, noting that the LF was the first side who stand against the MoU between Hezbollah and the FPM.

S. Nasrallah Advises LF Not to Miscalculate

Sayyed Nasrallah then advised the LF and its leader to abandon the idea of suing discord in a bid to ignite a civil war in Lebanon.

“If you want to prepare for a civil war then have not to miscalculate. Take a note that Hezbollah is made up of at least 100,00 well-trained and experienced fighters whom can act in case Hezbollah’s leadership points to do so,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the LF and its chief.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Resistance is not weak, but rather is keen to preserve security and avoid sedition.

“Hence, I say to LF and its leader: Don’t miscalculate, behave and take lesson from the wars you had been engaged in.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Lebanese state institution along with religious figures, especially the Christians, “must bear responsibility and stand against this criminal butcher in a bid to avoid civil war and preserve national peace.”

He then stressed importance of launching a serious investigation into the massacre in Tayouneh, noting that the Lebanese Army must also do so regarding a video circulated on social media and shows a Lebanese soldier firing at a peaceful protester during Tayouneh shooting.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah warned against any dispute between Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army, stressing that the national army is part of the golden formula aimed at defending Lebanon: Army-People-Resistance.

Beirut Port Blast Probe

On the issue of Beirut Port blast probe, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that Hezbollah is keen to know the truth behind the tragedy which killed more than 200 Lebanese people and injured thousands on August 4, 2020.

“We won’t take back on this case. It’s a political responsibility to know those who were responsible for this tragedy.”

Several sides contacted Hezbollah and reassured the party that it would not be accused, Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that those sides also acknowledged that the probe is discretionary.

“The way the probe is going on won’t lead to reveal truth. The judges who gave permission to the ship carrying the ammonium nitrate to enter Beirut Port bears responsibility of the tragedy in the port.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed patience and wisdom of Tayouneh massacre’s martyrs, vowing that the blood of those martyrs won’t go in vain.

His eminence also equated Tayouneh martyrs to those of the Resistance who were martyred in defending Lebanon.

“We have to preserve goals achieved by the Resistance and its martyrs, on top of which are security and national peace,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed martyrs’ families as saying.

Addressing the Resistance supporters, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that this stage prompts more patience and insight in a bid to avoid any form of infighting in the country. In this context, his eminence noted that igniting a civil war is the “last card played by our enemies.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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الأميركي وفرضية عدم عودة إيران للاتفاق

التعليق السياسي

أعلنت واشنطن عن سلسلة مشاورات تشمل كيان الاحتلال ودول الخليج لمناقشة فرضية فشل مساعي العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وأوردت واشنطن الفرضية بناء على معطيات يوردها الأميركيون تحت عنوان عدم رغبة إيران بالعودة للاتفاق، وتضعها إيران تحت عنوان مواصلة واشنطن لعبة التذاكي لعودة مشروطة تتبنى ما كان الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب يسعى الى تحقيقه ولا يمكن لإيران القبول به.

التسريبات الأميركية تقول ان إيران تواصل السعي لتطوير برنامجها النووي، وانها باتت قريبة من بلوغ اللحظة النووية الحرجة، أي امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لإنتاج سلاح نووي، ويضيف الأميركيون انه إذا أرادت إيران تأجيل العودة للاتفاق الى ما بعد هذه اللحظة، فإن واشنطن لن تكون مستعدة لذلك.

المسؤولون الأميركيون يتحدثون عن خطة عمل، والوقائع الحاضرة في المنطقة تقول ان هذه الخطة وضعت قيد التطبيق، ففي افغانستان تحول تنظيم “داعش” من تفجيرات عشوائية ضد “طالبان” أو الأجانب الى تفجيرات تسهدف قومية الهزارة القريبة من إيران حيث سقط العشرات كضحايا بتفجيرين كبيرين، وفي العراق خطر انفجار سياسي وربما امني على وقع الإمساك بنتائج الانتخابات النيابية والدفع بها الى نقطة مواجهة داخل البيت الشيعي الذي يشكل بيئة التحرك القريب من إيران، وفي لبنان تحقيق قضائي في انفجار مرفأ بيروت لم يعد خافياً حجم الدعم الذي يلقاه أميركياً، وتوجيه التحقيق نحو حزب الله وحلفائه، وتأتي مجزرة الطيونة لتقول ان المخاطرة بأخذ لبنان نحو الحرب الأهلية فرضية قائمة ضمن سلة الخيارات البديلة.

تتجه واشنطن بعد الانسحاب من افغانستان لترك قواتها للمنطقة، على قاعدة حرق الأخضر واليابس وراءها ما يضع قوى المقاومة امام مسؤوليات جسام، قد يكون بيان غرفة عمليات حلفاء سورية الذي يتضمن إعلاناً عن العزم على رد قاس على الغارات الإسرائيلية أول رسائل محور المقاومة للأميركي نحن عنوان وصلت رسالتكم وإليكم جوابنا.

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هل يوجد قضاء بجرؤ على اتهام جعجع؟

أكتوبر/ 16 تشرين الأول 2021

ناصر قنديل

قبل ربع قرن تجرأ قضاة المجلس العدلي الذين لا يمكن توصيفهم كأدوات تعمل لدى ما سُمّي بنظام أمني سوري لبناني، وهم خيرة الجسم القضائي في لبنان وأعلى مراتب قضاته، وأكثرهم نزاهة، وأصدروا أحكاماً بحق قائد القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، ولأنّ أحكامهم يصعب إبطالها لم يجرؤ الذين أرادوا إعادة جعجع إلى الحياة السياسية على طلب إعادة محاكمته بموجب قانون خاص، بل أصدروا عفواً ينهي عقوبته ولا يعيد تقديمه للمحاكمة التي يفترض أن تعلن براءته إذا كانت الأحكام مسيّسة كما يزعم، حصل ذلك في لحظة استثمار الانقلاب الأمني والسياسي الذي تحقق تحت كذبة التحقيق الدولي (المهني والمحترف والنزيه)، حيث تم سجن القادة الأمنيين بتهمة التورط في اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري وفقاً لشهادات زور، وأخليت الساحة هذه المرة لتركيب نظام أمني أميركي لبناني مشترك لا يزال قائماً في الميدانين الأمني والقضائي، لا بل تمت عملية رعاية تجذيره وتطويره، بينما كانت المقاومة وحلفاؤها يحصرون معاركهم في رسم التوازنات السياسية للسلطة، برلماناً وحكومة ورئاسات.

خلال مرحلة ما بعد خروج جعجع من السجن حرصت ماكينته الحزبية، وحرص شخصياً على بناء فريق حقوقي من عشرات المحامين يتواجد بصورة لصيقة بالجسم القضائي، وتعمد إقامة مئات الدعاوى على كل من تجرأ ووصفه بالقاتل أو المجرم، وفقاً لتوصيف الحكم الصادر بحقه عن أعلى مرجع قضائي، وهو حكم لا يطاله قانون العفو الذي يلغي العقوبة وليس الحكم، ولا تمت عملية مراجعة الحكم بحكم جديد يصدر بعد إعادة محاكمة، لكن الذي جرى أن أغلبية كاسحة من الأحكام القضائية تم أخذها في جلسات شكلية تحيز فيها أغلب القضاة بعصبية عدائية لصالح جعجع لاحظها المدعى عليهم من تفاصيل حضورهم أمام القضاة، وطبيعة الأحكام، التي لم تكن أهميتها بمضمونها بقدر دورها في تطويع الجسم القضائي لتجنب تكرار وقوف قاض يتجرأ على إصدار حكم لا يرضي جعجع، وكأن القضاء يريد محو ذاكرته تجاه الحكم الصادر عن أعلى مراجعه، وهو ما لا يطاله قانون العفو، بل أراد القضاء التكفير عن تجرؤه على جعجع وكسب الرضا، طالما أن القضاء بموجب قانون العفو صار ممسحة لألاعيب السياسة والسياسيين، وفقدت أحكامه قيمتها القانونية وصار سهلاً اتهام كبار القضاة بزبائنية ومحسوبية وجبن وتبعية لمجرد أنهم تجرأوا من مواقعهم كأعضاء في المجلس العدلي الذي أصدر الحكم على جعجع، ويكفي تذكر الأسماء لنعرف حجم الجريمة التي لا زال القضاء يقع تحت أعبائها، قضاة من وزن فيليب خيرالله وحكمت هرموش وحسين الزين وأحمد المعلم ورالف رياشي وجورج قاصوف.

تزامن ذلك خلال خمسة عشر سنة مع اهتمام أميركي استثنائي بالجسمين القضائي والأمني، على كل مستويات المسؤولية، بعلاقات مباشرة وتكوين ملفات، ودعوات وزيارات، ومنح دورات تدريبية، واشتغل الأميركيون على بناء منظومة صلبة في الجسم المتداخل بين الأمن والقضاء والهيئات الحقوقية، بينما كانت الأحزاب السياسية بما فيها المعنيون بالمقاومة تشتغل السياسة بطرقها التقليدية، وتتهاون بكل استهداف يطالها، فتحجم عن رفع الدعاوى بحق من يتناولها بالإساءة بداعي الترفع مرة وداعي الشعور بعدم الأهمية أو الشعور بالقوة مرات، فترك الجسم القضائي يخضع للضغط من جهة واحدة، وفي كل مرة تأتي التعيينات القضائية والأمنية، كان القضاة والضباط يتم ترشيحهم من مرجعيات طوائفهم، لكن الكثيرين كان ولاؤهم الداخلي لمرجعيتهم الطائفية، لكن تحت عباءتها يقيمون حساباً ومكانة لعلاقتهم بالأميركي الذي يملك قدرة الترغيب والترهيب، وكثيراً ما تتحول العلاقة معه إلى مصدر نفوذ لدى المرجعية الطائفية يتلقون عليها التهنئة، وفجأة عندما وقع انفجار المرفأ خرج كل شيء إلى العلن، بعد مؤشرات لم تنل حقها من العناية كقرار المحكمة العسكرية بحق العميل عامر فاخوري وآليات الاشتغال عليه بهدوء وتداخل الأمني والقضائي فيه، وبدا أن هناك منظومة قضائية أمنية تملك السفارة الأميركية القدرة على تحريكها، بينما يملك الآخرون شبكة علاقات عامة بلا نواة صلبة متماسكة تشبه ما يوازيها، رشح المحقق العدلي فادي صوان، وعندما تمت تنحيته رشح المحقق طارق بيطار، فمن رشحهما واحد، ونالا الأغلبية اللازمة ورضا المرجعية السياسية والطائفية والوزارية، وتفاجأ الجميع بالأداء، وظهرت حولهما منظومة إعلامية وحقوقية، تحيط بها تشكيلات من عشرات النشطاء في الشارع يملكون حصرية التحدث باسم أهالي ضحايا المرفأ، وليس معهم من أهل الضحايا أكثر من أهالي عشرة منهم ينتمون إلى خلفيات سياسية قواتية أو قريبة من القوات، بينما لم يقم أحد بتنظيم أهالي أكثر من مئتي شهيد وستة آلاف جريح وآلاف الذين خسروا بيوتهم ومؤسساتهم الموزعين على كل الطوائف والميول السياسية.

جاءت مجزرة الطيونة، وبدأنا نشهد الفيلم الأميركي الطويل منذ زيارة فكتوريا نولاند وتغيير البيانات التي توصف الحدث من رشقات نارية استهدفت محتجين إلى إشكال تحول إلى اشتباك، وحفلت مؤسسات الإعلام الممسوك والقادر والفاعل شهادات لشهود العيان لتقول إن ما جرى كان إشكالاً تحول إلى اشتباك، فتذكرنا فجأة حكاية شهود العيان والحرب على سورية وقناتي الجزيرة والعربية، وكيف كشف لاحقاً عن موظفين لدى القناتين برتبة شهود عيان، وعن شهادات أدلي بها من غرفة قرب استديو الأخبار مع مؤثرات صوتية توحي أنها من الميدان، ولو سلمنا بالروايات التي رأينها وسنرى الكثير منها خلال الأيام القادمة، بأن جراد المحتجين كما قال شاهد عيان دخل شارعاً فرعياً وراح يعتدي على الأملاك، هكذا من دون سبب، وخرج من بين المحتجين مطلقو نار من مسدسات كما قال شاهد آخر، هل هناك من يخبرنا كيف مات الذين قتلوا، ولماذا كل القتلى والجرحى من فئة واحدة، هل ماتوا بصعقة كهربائية، أم أنهم أطلقوا النار فأخطأوا الهدف وربما أصابوا أنفسهم بالخطأ أو جاءهم من رد عليهم بالنار فأصاب الهدف، فهل يريدون إفهامنا كما قال سمير جعجع أن حزب الله أراد تنفيذ 7 أيار ففشل وكان الردع الأهلي العفوي له بالمرصاد، أم نصدق ما كتبه بعض مناصري القوات عن أنه وقت الثأر للقواتيين الذين سقطوا بتفجير المرفأ، فيصبح أفضل ما قد يكشفه التحقيق هو أن مجموعة من هؤلاء قامت، بدافع الغضب من تصريحات ومواقف حزب الله، بالتجمع والتحضير لمواجهة تظاهرة دعا لها الحزب ضد المحقق العدلي الذي يثقون أنه سينصف دماء ضحاياهم، وأن اشتباكاً حصل بين هؤلاء وبعض المشاركين في التظاهرة وانتهى إلى ما حصل قبل أن ينتقل الاشتباك إلى الأحياء المتقابلة، وأن قيادة القوات فوجئت كما الآخرين بما جرى.

هل نتوقع أن يوجد قاض يجرؤ على توجيه الاتهام لسمير جعجع بعد ما جرى في المرة الأولى وما تلاها، وفي ظل رعاية أميركية مباشرة للملف القضائي والأمني، بأوراق قوة تؤثر في قضاة وضباط لهم حسابات مصرفية يهدد الأميركي بتجميدها، وعلى بعضهم ملفات يملك الأميركي قدرة الابتزاز بها، ويرغبون بسفرهم وتعلم أولادهم حيث يملك الأميركي حق الاستضافة بدورات تدريبية ومنح جامعية، وهناك دوائر منظمة حقوقياً وإعلامياً وجمعيات من النشطاء الجاهزين لدعمهم أو ابتزازهم بالتهديد، وهؤلاء النشطاء جاهزون للشهادة بأن اللبن أسود إذا اقتضى رضا الأميركي الذي يعدهم بمقاعد نيابية، أن يقولوا ذلك، والشيعة بينهم هم الأشد حماسة من أقرانهم لفعل ذلك، ولا يجوز إبداء الدهشة والاستغراب من أن ثمة قضاة مستعدون لتوجيه الاتهام لحزب الله فقوته لا تخيف أحداً، وعلى رغم كل الاتهامات بالاغتيالات يعرف الجميع أن حزب الله لا يقتل بل يعرف كيف يقاتل، بينما يخشون سواه كثيراً، سواء كان سواه داخلياً أم خارجياً، فهذا ما تقوله الوقائع عما قد يفعله هؤلاء.

يجب أن ينتبه المعنيون في المقاومة وحلفائها وخصوصاً التيار الوطني الحر أن تنصيب سمير جعجع زعيماً للمسيحيين من بوابة دماء الطيونة، يهدد المقاومة سواء حزب الله وحركة أمل بما هو آت، لكنه ينهي فرص التيار بالحضور السياسي اليوم، فتزعم القوات يمر على جثة التيار وسواه، وليس لدى التيار ترف التلذذ بالشماتة بأمل، وتهديد حزب الله وأمل يمر حكماً بتحجيم التيار ومحاصرته، وأن لا بديل من مواجهة هذا التحدي الذي فرضه الأميركي على الجميع بمن فيهم تيار المستقبل والحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي والقوى المسيحية الوطنية وفي طليعتها تيار المردة والقوى غير الطائفية وفي طليعتها الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، حيث لا أحد لديه ترف التلذذ بالشماتة بإضعاف التيار الوطني الحر بسبب تاريخ المعاناة من التفرد، فالإضعاف سيتم لحساب تغول جعجع، وأن ذلك يستحق مراجعة جذرية من الجميع، موقع تذكر ويلات الحرب الأهلية وما يعنيه خطر إعادة ماكينة الحرب الأهلية إلى الحياة مجدداً، فالجميع سيقول لاحقاً أكلنا جميعاً يوم أكل الثور الأبيض، ولا أحد يعلم اليوم من هو الثور الأبيض فكلهم مرشح لهذا الدور.

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«القوات» تستعجل حصاد المجزرة: ترهيب الخصوم المسيحيين!

السبت 16 تشرين الأول 2021

ابراهيم الأمين

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في كل مرة، يُعاب على الضحية أنها لم تكن على القدر نفسه من الإجرام أو الوقاحة في ردها على القاتل. يُعاب على من قُتلوا غيلةً وغدراً في الطيونة أول من أمس، أنهم فشلوا في الدفاع عن أنفسهم. لكن، هل سبق أن تحدّث أي من المقتولين في صبرا وشاتيلا، في النبعة وضبية، في زغرتا والصفرا، في بعبدا والحازمية وثكنة سعيد في عين الرمانة، في كرم الزيتون وكورنيش النهر، في شكا والبترون والكورة، في وادي شحرور والكحالة وجرد المتن الشمالي…؟ هل سمع أحد رواية هؤلاء؟ ما سمعناه، طوال الوقت، أنهم لم يكونوا على قدر «المسؤولية»، أي أنهم لم يكونوا مجرمين بقدر القاتل الآتي إليهم جاهزاً ومصمماً ومخططاً، ومعه صك غفران أعطاه إياه كاهن حاقد تربّى على زرع الخوف في قلوب رعيته، وأقنعهم بأن مفاتيح الجنة في جيبه، ينالها من يرضيه بالقرابين من دماء الأقربين قبل الأبعدين.

قرّر قائد الجيش اللبناني، خلافاً لتقدير مديرية الاستخبارات لديه، ولقادة العمليات على الأرض، أن ما حصل في الطيونة كان اشتباكاً مسلحاً بين مجموعات مختلفة. قال بيان الجيش (الثاني في اليوم نفسه مخالفاً البيان الأول) إن ما حصل لا يعدو كونه مشكلة بين زعران كما يحصل في كثير من المناطق. لكنهم ليسوا من النوع الذي يتطلب عملية دهم واعتقال أو قتل إذا لزم الأمر. وهو تدرب على فعل هذا في أمكنة أخرى، حيث لا صور للضحايا ولا من يحزنون.

أما ديكة مزابل المجتمع المدني وصيصانهم، اليمينية منها واليسارية المقيتة أيضاً، فقد انتظروا بضع ساعات، قبل أن تأتي التعليمة بأن ما جرى في الطيونة لم يكن سوى عملية انتحار تسبّب بها من قرّر التعبير عن رأيه. وأكّد لنا هؤلاء أن الاحتجاج على تحقيقات طارق البيطار جريمة وليس مجرّد رأي يخالف صاحب السلطان، وأن هؤلاء المحتجين لا يشبهون أولئك الذين قرروا التظاهر لـ«قبع» السلطة والدولة والنظام، لأن الصنف الثاني من شعب الله المختار، ولديهم حق الحصول على مبتغاهم وليس التعبير عن مطلبهم فقط. أما من يرشقهم بحجر، أو يضربهم بعصا، فمجرم يُفترض أن يدفع الثمن مع كل أهله حتى لا يعيد الكرّة.

صيصان السفارات، كما إعلام طحنون بن زايد وتركي آل الشيخ ودوروثي شيا، قرروا أن التظاهر أمام العدلية مخالف لقواعد العمل السياسي. فبحسب دساتيرهم، لـ«الصفوة»، فقط، حق الدعوة إلى نسف النظام، أما «الرعاع» فلا حق لهم حتى بالاحتجاج على سلوك قاض يقود البلاد نحو الفتنة الكبرى. وجد هؤلاء أن ما حصل في الطيونة لا يعدو كونه إشكالاً تسبب به من دعا إلى التظاهرة، ولا حاجة إلى السؤال عن القاتل. وعند الحَشْرة. تبدأ لعبة السرديات:

أين هم مسلحو القوات اللبنانية حتى تتهموا هذا الحزب الأخضر وملاكه القائد بسفك الدماء؟ أين صورهم وأسلحتهم وصراخهم وصوتهم المرتفع؟ فيما يُبرزون صور مسلحين من حركة أمل انتشروا في المنطقة بعد تعرّض تظاهرتهم لإطلاق النار. ورغم أن عراضات أمل لم تكن يوماً موفقة وفعّالة، لا في الشكل ولا في المضمون، إلا أن القاتل وحماته وإعلامه قرّروا أن هؤلاء هم من ارتكب المجزرة، ويُسلّطون الكاميرات على زجاج واجهة محطمة ليُثبتوا لنا أن ما حصل لم يكن سوى رد فعل على غزوة قام بها زعران ضد منطقة آمنة!


كيف قرر قائد الجيش أن ما حصل تبادل لإطلاق النار، وكيف قتل «الزعران» أهلهم ولم يصيبوا خصماً بخدش، وكيف تحوّل محترفون إلى هواة في لحظة؟


مع ذلك، فإن أياً من هؤلاء لا يشرح لنا ما الذي حدث. من سفارات القتل والقهر والسرقة التي تمثل أميركا وبريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا والسعودية والإمارات، إلى الجيش والقوى العسكرية والأجهزة الأمنية على اختلافها، إلى الأحزاب والقوى الثورية التي تريد استعادة رونق الزمن الجميل في بلاد الأرز، إلى الصيصان الذين يقترحون أنفسهم بدلاء لإدارة ما تبقى من دولة، إلى قضاة اختارهم النظام الفاسد ويريدون إقناعنا بأنهم ينتفضون للكرامة الوطنية حتى ولو شاركوا في التحريض على ما يقود إلى جريمة بحجم حرب أهلية، وبعضهم الآخر تجمّع في ناد لا يميّز بين القاتل والضحية، ولا يرى في كل ما يحصل سوى حصانة مطلقة لقاض لا يُرد حكمه ولو كان على شكل فتنة… مروراً بجمعيات الصيصان وأحزابها بكل تلاوينها وأشكالها، وصولاً إلى البيان – المأساة، الذي أصدره الحزب الشيوعي السابق محملاً المتظاهرين مسؤولية مقتلهم…

حسناً، قرر زعران من الشياح غزو عين الرمانة لا التوجه إلى قصر العدل. لكنهم، بدل التوجه مباشرة إلى الأحياء المقابلة لزواريبهم كما يُتهمون دائماً، سلكوا طريقاً بعيداً يتطلب منهم جهداً كبيراً للوصول إلى قلب «قلعة» فأر معراب. لكن تبيّن أن هؤلاء الزعران، الذين يقول «الحكيم» إنهم من مقاتلي حزب الله، لا يعرفون عن القتال شيئاً. فلا هم قاتلوا إسرائيل وهزموها ولا قاتلوا الأميركيين والبريطانيين والفرنسيين وهزموهم في لبنان وسوريا والعراق وفلسطين، ولا هم الذين تقول السعودية إنهم يقودون الحرب ضدها في اليمن، بل تبيّن، بحسب خبرات الفوج المجوقل في القوات اللبنانية، أنهم ليسوا سوى هواة متى ظهر أمامهم المحترف الذي يتقدم حيث لا يجرؤ الآخرون. هكذا، في لحظة واحدة، تحوّل حزب الله الذي يقول هؤلاء إنه متخصص في القتل والتفجير والاغتيال والحروب المعقّدة، إلى هاو سقط أمام جبروت وحدة الحماية في معراب…

هذا ما يردّده القواتيون في معرض زهوهم، ومفاخرتهم أمام مشغليهم العرب والغربيين، حتى يقول حاقد تافه مثل بيار أبي عاصي إنه لن يوجه تحية للضحايا، ويلوّح مجانين «القوات» بأنهم مستعدون لـ«تربية» من تسوّل له نفسه «رفع راسه» في زعيترية المتن والنبعة وبرج حمود وبلاد جبيل، ويُسمع بعضهم مسلمين يقطنون في أحياء بيروت والمتن وكسروان بأن يختاروا الصمت أو الرحيل… فيما يصرّ الفريق الذي يحمي القتلة على أن إطلاق النار لم يصدر سوى من جانب «زعران الشياح» الذين قتل وجرح نحو مئة منهم، فيما لم يصب أي من خصومهم!
لكن، لنراقب من أين تريد القوات أن تبدأ حصاد الجريمة. بدأ موفدون يؤكدون أنهم لا يريدون حرباً مع الشيعة، وفي بال بعضهم أن «زعران الشياح» أنفسهم هم من أنقذوهم من ميشال عون نهاية الثمانينيات وأن التواصل يومي مع أبناء الشياح للتنسيق في محاصصة زبائن مولدات الكهرباء وكابلات التلفزيون والسوق السوداء في المازوت والبنزين والغاز. تريد القوات أن تجني «الثمار» في المكان الصحيح حيث يمكن إفهام سامي الجميل وابن عمه نديم بأنهما لا يساويان شيئاً، وإبلاغ من يهمهم الأمر من جماعات المجتمع المدني، من ميشال معوض وبيار عيسى إلى مجموعة «نحو الوطن»، بأن كل هؤلاء مجرد واجهات انتهى دورها، ولا مكان لها خارج عباءة القوات، بالتالي إفهام الأميركيين والسعوديين، ومعهم بقية الغربيين، بأنهم الجهة الوحيدة القادرة على مواجهة المقاومة في لبنان. وعلى «البيعة»، لا ضير بأن يحفظ وليد جنبلاط وسعد الحريري صورة الطيونة جيداً حتى لا يحاولان تجاهل جعجع في أي استحقاق مقبل.

هكذا يبدأ الجنون، وهذا ديدن القوات اللبنانية بفكرها الطائفي المقيت، وعقلها السياسي المنغلق، وعقد قائدها النفسية، وهذا ما يجب على التيار الوطني الحر أن يفهمه جيداً قبل أي أحد آخر، لأن قاموس القوات لا يتيح للتيار مكاناً لا تحت عباءتها ولا حتى في ظل شرفة بعيدة، بل وعيد بالسحل والإبادة انتقاماً لثلاثة عقود…
مع ذلك، ينبغي تكرار لفت انتباه من يهمهم الأمر، ولإشعار من يجب أن يتحمل المسؤولية، أن الدماء التي سفكت ليست من دون أولياء، وأن أمام الناس الغيورين على هذه البلاد مسؤولية على شكل فرصة لمحاسبة القتلة الحقيقيين. ومن يتهرب من المسؤولية ليس سوى شريك كامل الأوصاف في جريمة سيُحاسَب المسؤول عنها… حتماً

!من ملف : أميركا تهدّد ميقاتي: ممنوع المسّ بالبيطار

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US Official F* Europe Nuland in Beirut, 6 Protesters Killed and 37 Injured

 ARABI SOURI 

Beirut - Saudi-sponsored Lebanese Forces Kill 6 protesters injure 37 others

As the US official, foreign policy and politicians maker, and the wife of neocon Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland visits the Lebanese capital Beirut today, and during her visit, the US/ Saudi/ Israel sponsored so-called Lebanese Forces, a private militia, sniped peaceful protesters killing 5 of them and a lady in her house and injuring 37 others.

The lady who wherever she goes disasters ensue, met with the Lebanese top officials to show support for a single Lebanese judge who is handling the investigations in the explosion that destroyed the Beirut Port a couple of years ago.

The said judge is under heavy criticism for his handling the investigations by ignoring substantial material and evidence while focusing on a ‘negligence’ in the procedures that were carried out by the former Lebanese prime minister Hasan Diab and a couple of ministers who are known not to be in the US camp.

Visiting Nuland forgot that her ambassador to Lebanon gave her instructions to the former Lebanese government to remove a Lebanese judge from his job, in June of the last year, for giving an order to prevent the US ambassador from giving statements fueling strife in the country directly to local media bypassing the Lebanese foreign ministry and carrying out acts that stabilize his country, back then, the “independence and integrity” of the Lebanese judicial system was breached by a US official.

See the source image

Only in Lebanon a Lebanese Judge is Fired by the US Ambassador!

The blatant mishandling of the investigations in the Beirut Port explosion led groups of protesters, some of them are family members of the victims of the explosion, to take to the streets in protest of the appointed investigation judge’s mishandling of a case of a national level of importance.

The protest came after the lawyers representing those accused of negligence were carrying out a sitdown at the Justice Palace protesting the mishandling of the same case.

As the protesters were reaching the street before the Justice Palace, they were shot at by snipers positioned in the nearby tall buildings instantly killing a protester with a shot to his head and injuring a dozen others, followed by over 3 hours of direct shooting that killed 4 other protesters and injuring in total 37 others and one of the snipers saw a lady in her apartment and decided to snipe her for no reason, she’s a mother of 5 children.

Warning – Graphic Contents:

GRAPHIC CONTENTS

In total, 6 civilians were shot dead in their heads by professional snipers highly trained, loaded with massive quantities of light and medium weapons and munition, out of the 37 injured, at least 4 are in critical condition and between life and deaths. Calls for blood donation were sent by the hospitals in the area the victims were taken to.

All fingers point to the so-called Lebanese Force, a militia known for some of the most heinous massacres during the Lebanese civil war and its leader was convicted of ordering and contributing to some of the civil war era crimes one of which was the assassinating of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami and a Lebanese brigadier accompanying him by a bomb placed under his helicopter seat, and for slaughtering the whole family of an opposing politician, in addition to blowing up a church! He was released from prison by the group who took over power in Lebanon post the 2004 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Hariri, the heinous crime which was also mishandled by the Lebanese judicial system in accomplice with special tribunal investigators formed for this crime, as per the admission of the court itself.

Sources close to the Lebanese army confirmed the arrest of 9 some of them are members of the Lebanese Forces militia who admitted to committing the massacre after setting the stage for it, others from the ‘shot at’ side. This investigation is continuing, the visit of Nuland to the Lebanese Army commander on the same day and the other Lebanese officials might hinder the investigations or stop it from reaching those giving the instructions to commit the massacre, as been the custom in Lebanon so far.

The mishandling of the former crime, the threats of the Lebanese Forces leader and his militia aides, and the US spending of billions of dollars to demonize the Lebanese Hezb Allah, by the admission of the US Congress, all led to the increased suspicions in the mishandling of the Beirut Port explosion especially when the appointed judge had leaked much of the investigation information to certain media outlets known to be on Saudi payroll, and only the part of negligence and not the essential parts on who brought the explosives, who stored it, who used it, and in whose favor the explosion was committed, if it was intentional.

The visit of Nuland is suspicious by its nature, the same US official infamous for her ‘F* Europe’ when she was leading Ukraine’s Maidan regime change that ousted a democratically elected president and replaced him with neo Nazis loyal to the USA.

US official Victoria Nuland protesting against the Ukrainian democratically elected president in Kiev

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Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Duly Parliamentary Elections, Promises More Diesel Will be Brought for Winter Season

October 12, 2021

By Al-Ahed News

Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Duly Parliamentary Elections, Promises More Diesel Will be Brought for Winter Season

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackled in a Monday evening speech the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

Elections On Time

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized on the need to hold the Lebanese parliamentary elections in their due time, ruling out any possibility that any side in Lebanon wants to delay this occurrence.

Regarding the issue of running for elections and voting from abroad, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that there are no equal opportunities to run for elections or vote abroad, especially when it comes to Hezbollah.

“It has long been unfair for Hezbollah and we were not allowed in the countries of migration to campaign for elections or vote freely; but when it is a national interest in which the Lebanese people feel that they are taking their part, then we support the idea of their voting from outside the country.”

As for reducing the age of voting to 18, Sayyed Nasrallah considered this effort as weird in the time being, especially that “Hezbollah has [previously] worked seriously to amend the Constitution and reduce the age of voting to 18,” His Eminence explained, noting that “most of the parliamentary blocs have been rejecting this, except for Hezbollah and Amal Movement, in addition to some MPs.”

Lebanon’s Blackout: US vetoes salvation

Despite slamming those behind driving Lebanon to a total blackout, which he referred to as a phase of ‘clinical death’, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked the Lebanese Army Command for its temporary solution to provide the electric current.

His Eminence however underscored that “the government should have held a session that mustn’t have ended without finding a solution to the problem of electricity,” adding that “Instead of shouldering their responsibilities, the Lebanese officials started trading blames and insults.”

While asking the Lebanese government for a radical solution to the electricity problem, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated time and against that “There are various offers from the East and the West to solve the electricity problem in Lebanon, and this issue must be decided.”

The Resistance leader further dared the Lebanese officials to declare if there is an American veto against solving the problem of electricity, by which knowing such a fact would help Hezbollah build upon it in its work.

“There should be a response to the offer voiced by Iran’s Foreign Minister to solve Lebanon’s electricity problem,” Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted, focusing on the demand that the issue of electricity be on top of the cabinet’s agenda.

His Eminence further warned of a possible aim behind the collapse of the electric sector, which is to justify the choice of privatization.

Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out at the sides that are still objecting to bringing diesel oil to Lebanon, asserting that regarding the issue of diesel oil, Hezbollah is still in the first phase which will last until the end of October, and has added fishermen to the beneficiaries who will have access to diesel oil.

Meanwhile, His Eminence set a timeframe for the second phase of bringing diesel oil in, which he said will start in November under the title of providing heat to the families.

“Providing heat is a big title that requires regulations and a different mechanism of distribution that we will talk about before the start of November.”

Beirut Port Blast Investigations

Hezbollah Secretary General lashed out at the current judge in Beirut Port blast issue whom he accused of abusing the blood of martyrs for political goals.

“The investigative judge in the Beirut Port blast is continuing to make his predecessor’s mistakes, and even went to worse [deeds],” Sayyed Nasrallah said, stressing that “Truth and justice must be served in this issue.”

“It is better for the investigative judge to reveal the identity of those who brought the ship carrying the nitrates to Beirut Port,” His Eminence added, underscoring that the responsibility of the judges is greater than that of the presidents, the ministers, and the MPs as they are the ones who issued the approvals for the ship to enter and remain at the port.

“While the judiciary wants to protect itself, it wants to imprison a respected Prime Minister like Mr. Hassan Diab. Is this a state of law and judiciary?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered.

“The Beirut Port blast investigations are very wrong and won’t lead to any truth,” His Eminence stressed.

Kunduz Mosque Attack

Sayyed Nasrallah mourned the victims of Kunduz Mosque blast in Afghanistan, which has left scores martyred and injured among worshippers performing Friday prayers in one of the city’s Shia mosques. His Eminence condemned the Wahhabi terrorist Daesh [Arabic for ISIS/ISIL] organization, which has already claimed responsibility for the bloody attack.

Accusing the United States of transferring Daesh members from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed the blame at the United States and its policies, holding it responsible for all the blood that has been shed in Afghanistan until our day.

“The Americans prepared before their withdrawal from Afghanistan for a civil war, and it is Daesh’s mission to push the country to this war,” the Hezbollah leader emphasized, holding the current authorities in Afghanistan responsible for protecting the Afghan people regardless of their religious and sectarian affiliations.

Nizar Banat the Outspoken Martyr

Although so much time has passed since the incident, Sayyed Nasrallah admitted that it is an ethical duty to mention the brave and intellectual Palestinian martyr Nizar Banat who was assassinated by the Palestinian Authority.

Sayyed Nasrallah appreciated martyr’s Banat’s outspokenness in conveying the ideas of resistance despite his presence in the occupied West Bank.

Stating that he didn’t mention anything before getting to learn all the facts about the person and his assassination, Sayyed Nasrallah condoled with his family, friends and lovers, shared their sorrow, and asked the Palestinian Authority for serving justice in this issue.

A Final Word to the Dear Yemenis

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by greeting the the dear and oppressed Yemeni people’s commemoration of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] birth anniversary despite all of the harsh circumstances they have been passing through

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The Objectionable Discourse of Those Insisting on Sovereignty: ’Iranian Occupation’ & Overlooked Facts

The Objectionable Discourse of Those Insisting on Sovereignty: ’Iranian Occupation’ & Overlooked Facts

By Ali Abadi

The topic of diesel fuel deliveries from Iran is still making the rounds among elements belonging to the American camp, which seems to have been caught off guard. Following unrealistic propositions, these circles launched intensive media campaigns to recapture the popular base that emerged from the claws of the propaganda directed against Hezbollah and Iran.

The diesel fuel has become a form of “Iranian occupation”. That’s according to the point of view of those who got dizzy from their inability to keep up with this initiative. Not a day has gone by since the arrival of the Iranian diesel convoys without someone calling for neutrality, to liberate Lebanon from Iranian occupation, to join the wave of peace and normalization with “Israel”, and to reject the helping hand extending to Lebanon from Iran, Russia, or China, unless this is accompanied by explicit American permission.

These people are trying to regroup and raise their voices, but their weak presence in the arenas is being exposed and reflects the fragility of their proposal and approach.

All the headlines that were used to reject the initiatives presented by friendly countries that are ready to support Lebanon in times of need do not support the principle of national sovereignty and going through the state. Let’s take a closer look at the following headlines and facts:

1- Refusal to allow urgent relief aid to pass from Iran except through the state:

Those opposed to fuel coming from Iran claim that it passed through unofficial crossings. But is this the full story? In fact, they lobbied loudly not to receive oil derivatives from Iran through the official Lebanese crossings, sometimes under the pretext of international or US sanctions and other times claiming that Lebanon does not need them and can manage its affairs with the presence of import companies in conjunction with the imminent lifting of subsidies.

[Does this claim agree with the suffocation of markets and long queues for several months, in light of the collusion between local forces and external hegemonic forces?].

And when it became clear to them that the project to import fuel from Iran was very serious, and its effects began to appear in different areas, they changed their discourse tactically by showing a forced acceptance of the goods through official channels. But in reality, they placed one obstacle after another to prevent this from being achieved in order to preserve the interests of deep-rooted local capitalist forces and to sever the way for advanced economic relations that may link Lebanon and countries outside the system of American hegemony.

2- The organic organization of those opposing the American project:

While the logicof sovereignty and going through the state is used as a barrier to Iran and a red card in the face of Hezbollah, they accept the American statements that explicitly call for ignoring the existence of the Lebanese state and passing funds and aid to the so-called civil society associations under the pretext of corruption in the state apparatus. How is one right and not the other? Who guarantees that corruption will not occur in these associations as well, in light of reports of new “revolutionaries” enriching themselves while few benefits trickle down to society? Simply put, there is no comparison between Iranian fuel, which has tangibly reached all areas and sects, and the US aid, which is characterized by limitation and special teleology.

The US administration aims to support scattered cluster groups for an “eventual goal” which is the creation of “a more structured civil society organization that enjoyed strong relationships with the U.S., Europe, and international institutions and focused on creating economic opportunities, empowering new political voices and offering a meaningful alternative to Hezbollah for frustrated Lebanese Shias.” That’s according to an article published in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the voice of the Zionist lobby in the United States.

The institute adds that “donor nations, including the United States and international institutions like the World Bank and IMF, could work with the Lebanese business community to structure, develop, fund, and manage the organization. The critical thing is that this would take place outside Lebanon’s state institutions and political parties.”

How will this umbilical cord that was established between the American agencies and these societies that spawned in their hundreds help with the establishment of a healthy Lebanese state?!

3- Ignoring initiatives and official offers from Russian, Chinese, and Iranian companies in the energy field, at a time when electrical supply is the biggest problem for the Lebanese. Offers to establish railways to reduce the cost of transportation were also ignored.

These companies have presented attractive offers based on the BOT [build, operate, transfer] system, which does not cost the state a single penny. But there has been no answer! Who is restraining the will of the state and preventing it – with intimidation – from being open to various economic options that are in the interest of the Lebanese people? And another question: What has the United States provided, for example, over the past years to solve the electricity crisis in Lebanon, in light of its capabilities and huge energy companies?

The Lebanese must know the extent of the losses they incur as a result of the continuous rejection of the initiatives coming from Iran, Russia, China, and other countries offering deals related to electricity and various infrastructure projects. Such deals are only rejected by stubborn people or those who are ignorant about the interests of their country. On the other hand, we see nothing of the American, French, or Gulf support except for some crumbs here and there. Meanwhile, their companies are waiting for the privatization of key sectors, such as the port of Beirut, the airport, as well as communications and electricity, and the acquisition of oil and gas fields at sea.

For many years, the paralyzed interaction with the initiatives from abroad has produced a reality based on addiction to begging and waiting for aid and gifts from the Gulf and Western countries, as well as addiction to borrowing from governments and now from the International Monetary Fund.

A final note regarding the current controversy over Iranian aid and Hezbollah’s role at home: The approaching parliamentary elections are exacerbating the political campaigns around all the steps the party is taking. Washington has long invested in the siege and drying up the sources of the Lebanese local economy in order to strike the strength of the resistance and disperse the masses from around it. However, it was surprised by the bold steps taken by Hezbollah from outside the traditional economic equation, and now it fears that its plan may backfire.

Hezbollah MP: The Blatant American Interference in the Lebanese Affairs Has Reached Its Maximum

October 4, 2021

Hezbollah MP: The Blatant American Interference in the Lebanese Affairs Has Reached Its Maximum

By Staff

Member of Hezbollah’s “Loyalty to the Resistance” Parliamentary Bloc Sayyed Ibrahim Al-Moussawi asserted that “The American administration is practicing a policy of dictation, where the blatant American interference in the Lebanese affairs has reached its maximum, as it is permeating all the levels, amid the silence of some parties about the American violations.” 

MP al-Moussawi condemned the “The US blatant breach to decimate Lebanon” in a radio interview, inviting the Lebanese foreign minister to take a stance that condemns this interference.

He also stressed that the bet in this context is on those who have wisdom and reckon the nature of the United States.

Regarding the cabinet affairs, Sayyed al-Moussawi said that “the cabinet should fully take its chances,” adding in the context of the ministerial committee that aims at negotiating with the International Monetary Fund: “Let’s give the cabinet a chance as long as we are part of it and we support it.”

Regarding the “Biqaa Nitrate”, MP al-Moussawi underscored that “there is a big conspiracy that is being gradually revealed,” stressing that “it’s the right of the victims’ families to learn the truth of the Beirut Port blast.”

On the other hand, Sayyed al-Moussawi stressed that “Hezbollah is going for the initiative of distributing the Iranian diesel oil”, considering that “the unity of the Lebanese people is being renewed today in this regard.” He added that “we are working on alleviating the suffering of people as much as possible, and we stress that we aren’t an alternative to the government.”

“Hezbollah is currently studying a plan regarding offering a special help regarding transportation to schools, notably official schools, through providing as much as possible diesel oil supply,” he added.

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هل من خيط بين نيترات بعلبك ونيترات المرفأ؟

الإثنين 20 أيلول 2021

هل من خيط بين نيترات بعلبك ونيترات المرفأ؟

رضوان مرتضى

لم تتكشف بعد كل خفايا شحنة نيترات الأمونيوم التي ضُبطت في بعلبك أول من أمس، وتبين أنّ نسبة تركيز الآزوت فيها تبلغ 34.7 في المئة، وهي النسبة نفسها التي كانت في الشحنة التي أوصلتها الباخرة روسوس إلى مرفأ بيروت لتنفجر في الرابع من آب، فيما تبين أن علاقة تجارية قديمة تربط صاحب الشحنة بالأخوين إبراهيم ومارون الصقر اللذين يعملان في تجارة الأسمدة الزراعية والمحروقات، وأُبقي مارون الصقر محتجزاً رهن التحقيقضبطت القوى الأمنية، فجر السبت، شاحنة محمّلة بـ 20 طُنّاً من نيترات الأمونيوم في شركة تعمل في مجال الأسمدة الزراعية في الطريق المؤدي إلى بلدة إيعات (بعلبك) فجر السبت. المعلومات الأولية رجحت أن تكون النيترات للاستخدامات الزراعية، لكنّ فرار صاحب البضاعة سعدالله صلح ومدير المشتريات في المستودع أحمد الزين عزز الشكوك. وبعد إرسال عيّنات إلى المختبرات الجنائية لتحديد نسبة تركيز الآزوت في النيترات، طلب وزير الداخلية بسام مولوي من رئيس مكتب المختبرات الجنائية التابع للشرطة القضائية إصدار النتيجة بساعة واحدة بدل 48 ساعة، ليتبيّن أن نسبة الآزوت في النيترات تعادل 34.7 في المئة وهي النسبة نفسها التي كانت في نيترات الأمونيوم التي انفجرت في العنبر رقم 12 في مرفأ بيروت في الرابع من آب من العام الماضي.

وبعد نقل الشاحنة إلى سهل بلدة بدنايل بعيداً من المناطق السكنية توجه المولوي إلى المنطقة لمعاينة الشحنة المضبوطة، وأوقف ثلاثة أشخاص على ذمة التحقيق. وبعد تولي الشرطة القضائية التحقيق بداية، أحيل الملف إلى فرع المعلومات للتوسع في التحقيق بإشراف القاضي منيف بركات. القوى الامنية داهمت مستودع صلح في ايعات وتم العثور على فتائل تستعمل في الكسارات والمقالع ما يطرح فرضية استعمالها في تفجير الصخور، الا أن فرع المعلومات لا يزال يحقق في الامر باشراف القضاء المختص لكشف كل التفاصيل. ولم يعثر على نيترات بالتركيز العالي نفسه سوى تلك المضبوطة.

فيما تبين أن علاقة تجارية قديمة تربط الصلح بالأخوين مارون وإبراهيم الصقر (الأخير مسؤول في القوات اللبنانية) اللذين يتعاملان تجارياً بالنيترات والأسمدة. علماً أن القوى الأمنية كانت قد ضبطت لدى الأخوين صقر أخيراً ملايين الليترات من المحروقات في خزانات خُبئت تحت الأرض في محيط مدينة زحلة.

علاقة تجارية قديمة تربط صاحب الشحنة بالأخوين إبراهيم ومارون الصقر


واستُدعي مارون الصقر للاستماع إلى إفادته في فرع المعلومات أمس، بحضور وكيله المحامي جورج خوري، وأُبقي محتجزاً رهن التحقيق. وأوضحت مصادر أمنية أنّ أكياس النيترات التي ضُبطت في الشاحنة كانت مغطاة ببالات من التبن بشكل يوحي وكأنّها أخفيت لتُهرّب. وبحسب المعلومات، فإن الصقر لم يُنكر وجود علاقة تجارية مع صلح، مؤكداً أنّه يبيعه النيترات التي تُستخدم كسماد للمزروعات، نافياً أن يكون قد باعه شحنة العشرين طناً ذات التركيز 34.7. غير أنّ مصادر قضائية تحدثت عن وجود فاتورة تُثبت أنّ الصقر باع صلح النيترات، فيما قالت مصادر التحقيق إنّ وجود الفاتورة لا يتضمن نسبة تركيز الآزوت في النيترات المباعة.

المعلومات التي يسعى المحققون إلى كشفها تتعلق بتحديد مصدر النيترات وكيفية دخولها إلى لبنان والبيان الجمركي الذي يُبيّن بإذن من دخلت على اعتبار أنها مواد محظورة وتحتاج إلى إذن وزارتي الداخلية والدفاع.

كذلك تم الاستماع إلى إفادة غالب صلح ابن صاحب البضاعة فنفى معرفته بتفاصيل عمل والده، وأن ما يعرفه هو أنّ والده يشتري النيترات من مزرعة الأخوين مارون وإبراهيم الصقر في رياق.

وذكرت المصادر الأمنية أنّ صلح قرر نقل النيترات من المستودع لأنه كان خائفاً من انكشاف أمره، مشيرة إلى أنّ مخبراً وشى به في اليوم الذي حمّل النيترات لتُضبط الشاحنة أثناء انتقالها.

أما عن ربط النيترات المضبوطة بتلك التي كانت مخزنة في العنبر رقم 12، فأشارت المصادر الأمنية إلى أنّ الأكياس المعبأة فيها مختلفة. كذلك ذكرت أنّ الخبير الكيميائي بإمكانه تحديد العمر التقديري للنيترات المضبوطة، مشيرة إلى أنّ المعلومات الأولية تُفيد أنها موجودة لديه منذ ثلاث سنوات.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Third Iranian Ship to Be Loaded with Fuel, Dispatched to Lebanon

August 27, 2021

Marwa Haidar

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced on Friday that a third Iranian ship will be loaded with fuel and dispatched to Lebanon.

In a televised speech via Al-Manar, Sayyed Nasrallah said that due to the fuel shortage in the country a deal was reached with Iran to send a third ship to Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah was speaking on the fourth anniversary of Second Liberation, when territories in eastern Lebanon were liberated by Hezbollah and Lebanese Army from ISIL and other Takfiri terrorist groups.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the victory during the Second Liberation was part of the universal war on Syria.

His eminence hailed sacrifices by the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese Army, pointing to the battles which the Syrian Army were taking part in from the Syrian side.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the latest developments in Afghanistan is a defeat to the United States, calling on the people of the region not to bet on the US occupation.

The Hezbollah S.G. also slammed the delay in government formation, calling on the Lebanese officials to meet the people’s demands.

Sayyed Nasrallah voiced rejection to a decision in which a subpoena was issued for caretaker PM Hassan Diab, describing it as politicized.

Second Liberation

Talking about the occasion, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Second Liberation took place thanks to the Resistance weapons and to sacrifices by Hezbollah fighters, Lebanese Army and Syrian Army.

“We insist to mark this occasion in order to take lessons from the dangerous experience and challenges our country was passing through.”

“What happened in the barrens in Bekaa years ago was part of the universal war waged against Syria, and part of a great scheme in the region.”

Sayyed Nasrallah said Lebanon was targeted by the ISIL scheme, stressing that the battle against the Takfiri group was joint on two fronts: The Lebanese and the Syrian.

His eminence said that both ISIL and Nusr Front had the same ideology, pointing to the backing which such groups were offered by several international powers.

“ISIL was made by the US. Donald Trump repeatedly said that the group was created by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

“The Resistance had intervened in the battle in Bekaa barrens after the Lebanese state abandoned its responsibility to liberate its territory.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out at the US, noting that Washington was pressuring the Lebanese Government to prevent the Lebanese Army from taking part in the battle against Takfiri groups.

“The Second Liberation was part of the victory against ISIL and terror across the region.”

Sayyed Nasrallah underlined importance of the trilogy of Resistance, Army and People.

“As we say to the Israelis, we say to the Takfiris: ‘If you repeat (the crime) We shall repeat (the punishment)’.”

Afghanistan

Stressing that the US scheme in the region is being defeated, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the latest developments in Afghanistan prove that all pretexts used by the US are deceiving and aim at occupation and expanding influence.

“What we witness today in Afghanistan is a pure defeat. It’s also a moral failure when the US and UK troops leave the Afghans who help them while take their police dogs, cats and alcoholic drinks.”

“The US administration had transferred ISIL membered to Afghanistan in a bid to destabilize Asian neighbors and Russia.”

Blockade on Lebanon?

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, hit back at those who deny that the US has been imposing a blockade on Lebanon.

“Yes Lebanon has been blockaded by the US for years. The US has been preventing several states from investing in Lebanon or even offering aids to Lebanon.”

“When the US issued the so-called Caesar Act it was not targeting Syria only, but also Lebanon. When the US ambassador says that the US will allow the entry of the Egyptian gas via Syria, then she is acknowledging that her country has been blocking such projects in the last three years.”

“If Lebanon really concerns the US then it shall give it waiver to import the Iranian fuel.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that the third Iranian ship will be loaded with fuel and dispatched to Lebanon.

“We have agreed with our brothers in Iran to load the third ship with fuel and dispatch it.”

Gov’t Formation, Subpoena for Diab

Sayyed Nasrallah slammed delay in government formation, citing the urgent need to deal with the sufferings of the Lebanese people.

“Neither the blood of Tleil explosion victims, nor Lebanese people’s sufferings had prompted the Lebanese officials to fasten the formation of the new government.”

Commenting on the decision in which a subpoena was issued for caretaker PM Hassan Diab, Sayyed Nasrallah described the move as politicized voicing rejection to the decision taken by the judge Tarek Bitar who is investigating the Beirut Port investigation.

Imam Moussa Al-Sadr Abduction Anniversary

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the abduction of Imam Sayyed Moussa Al-Sadr is a painful incident “as it posed an aggression on Lebanon, its people and Resistance.”

“The abduction of Imam Sayyed Moussa Sadr was a scheme against the Resistance and the project of liberating Palestine.”

“We vow that we will keep going on the path of Imam Sayyed Moussa Al-Sadr.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Quick Formation of Gov’t: Hezbollah Will Definitely Bring Iranian Fuel to Lebanon

August 16, 2021

 Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Quick Formation of  Gov’t: Hezbollah Will Definitely Bring Iranian Fuel to Lebanon
Video

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Sunday a speech in which he commented on Akkar incident that led to the death of dozens of citizens and Lebanese Army soldiers.

On the 7th night of Ashura, Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “What happened today in Akkar is full of sorrow and pain to every human and Lebanese.”

His Eminence further offered condolences to the Lebanese Army as well as the families of Akkar who lost their beloved ones. In parallel, he wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, he announced setting everything Hezbollah is capable of as well all its institutions in service of Akkar people and the Health Ministry to help people overcome the horrible tragedy.  

As His Eminence called for investigation to the incident, helping the people and punishing all those who are responsible, he insisted that “What is required is to uncover the details of the incident and hold those responsible for it into account, and learn from this tragic incident not to be repeated in Akkar or any other place in Lebanon.”

In addition, the Resistance Leader lamented the fact that “Instead of relieving the pains, officials in the internal Lebanese political arena started trading blames, insults, and mastered political investment,” recalling the same scene that the Lebanese have suffered after Beirut Port explosion on August 4.

“This incident must lead to the speedy formation of the government as we have no more time,” he said, noting that “The incident should be a decisive element for those concerned with forming the government as the country could no more tolerate [delays].”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that “The first message from the martyrs and their families is that a government should be formed with two or three days. Lebanon could longer tolerate, a government should be formed and everybody should sacrifice. We’re in the phase of collapse and chaos. The situation might develop to an inclusive state of chaos.”

To the Lebanese political sides, His Eminence sent a clear and sounding message: “Form a government at any cost and in any form. For Lebanon, the game of time is over.”

Regarding the issue of lifting subsides, he stressed that “The solution for lifting subsidies isn’t to trade blames but to form a government,” cautioning that “We have a failed and disabled authority, and we have no authority to run the crisis. People are left to live with the current situation.”

As he urged all sides to facilitate the formation of the government; His Eminence viewed that “Many Lebanese people are partners in responsibility for the people’s suffering due to their greed.”

“Those who stored and sold fuel derivatives at the black market have betrayed the trusteeship,” he clarified, criticizing “Most of the companies that are keeping fuel derivatives to sell them at the black market. Those who monopolized or smuggled Lebanon’s oil to Syria are treacherous and their cash is religiously forbidden.”

The Resistance Leader reiterated that Hezbollah has continuously urged the state to follow up the issue of medicines and food warehouses but it refused.

“The Lebanese Army’s decision to raid gas stations, although it was late, it pushed some station owners to retreat their acts,” he added, addressing those stocking gasoline at their homes by saying: “What you are doing is a crime, this gasoline might explode and you might be a partner in the crime.”

He also reminded that “Confiscating oil cisterns is a robbery and whoever does this is a thief.”

Back to the issue of importing fuel from Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah wished that “The Lebanese government has taken the step.”

“There is fuel in Iran to the extent that ships are loaded and are waiting for the customers,” he declared, affirming that “By God’s will, Hezbollah will definitely bring gasoline and diesel oil from Iran to Lebanon.”

According to His Eminence “When we will bring gasoline to Lebanon it won’t happen at night, but rather in the broad daylight. We’ve promised, we won’t break out promise and won’t leave the country face this situation. It is settled. I will tell you [the timeline] in two or three days.”

“Wait for me or wait for a statement from Hezbollah,” he went on to say.

“The Americans are responsible for all what is happening in Lebanon. They’re running the chaos from inside their embassy,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, pointing out that “There is a room running the events and targeting the electric facilities in Iraq and Lebanon is not a coincidence.”

His Eminence underscored that “The time must come when we depend on our people, minds, and right policies to build our nation. We do believe that what protect Lebanon is its people, resistance, and army.”

Bringing Afghanistan scene in front of the Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that the US continues to betray its allies and tools. “America occupied Afghanistan for 20 years. It used to topple a government and form a new one. Now the Americans have gone and forgotten all their friends and allies. If the agreement with the Taliban has been confirmed, it means that Washington has abandoned its friends and stabbed them in their backs. The Lebanese people betting on US guarantees should bear in mind the Afghan example.”

“They’ve destroyed Lebanon by relying it on foreign powers and by destroying agricultural and industrial sectors,” he emphasized, pointing out that “There must be industry and agriculture and we have to turn into a productive nation. The US has left millions of Afghans starving, thirsty and displaced.”

Recalling August 15th Ruweiss blast anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed those sending booby-trapped cars by saying: “We will reach you wherever on Earth you happen to be.”

“The crowds and the minds that support Imam Hussein [PBUH} on the tenth of Muharram won’t be affected by famine, poverty, siege, lies, or rumors,” he concluded.

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