Secret Document Revealed Plans for Civil War in Lebanon: Report

Pompeo Aoun

Source

October 31, 2019

During a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last March, Lebanese President Michel Aoun reportedly received a US-Israeli document detailing plans for creating a civil war in Lebanon, a report said.

In an article published on April 5, Geopolitics Alert reported on the secret document, based on a report by Lebanese TV channel Al-Jadeed. The report was months before the latest protests which started on October 17 and were calling for reforms and livelihood demands but were exploited then by suspicious foreign and local sides in Lebanon.

“The document detailed American plans to splinter the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF). The plans involve Washington investing 200 million dollars into ISF under the guise of keeping the peace but with the covert goal of creating sectarian conflict against Hezbollah with 2.5 million specifically dedicated to this purpose,” Geopolitics Alert reported.

The document stated that the ultimate goal was to destabilize the country by creating a civil war in Lebanon which will “help Israel on the international scene.”

“The United States and Israel plan to accomplish this by supporting ‘democratic forces,’ sounding remarkably similar to the same strategy used in Syria, Libya, Venezuela, and elsewhere,” according to the document.

The document noted that, although “full load of our firepower will be unleashed,” they somehow do not anticipate any casualties. They do, however, expect the civil war to “trigger requests” for intervention from the Israeli occupation forces, Geopolitics Alert reported, based on Al-Jadeed report.

During his meeting with Lebanese President Michael Aoun in March 2019, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo presented an ultimatum: contain Hezbollah or expect unprecedented consequences, the report said.

It cited the Foreign Policy as saying that Pompeo told Aoun that if he fails to complete the impossible task of removing Hezbollah from government institutions and cracking down on its military activities, Lebanon should expect an end to US aid and even potential sanctions.

“It will take courage for the nation of Lebanon to stand up to Hezbollah’s criminality, terror, and threats,” Pompeo reportedly said.

At a dinner, the top US official reportedly warned Lebanese officials that they themselves were potential targets for sanctions such as members of the Free Patriotic Movement, President Aoun’s party with the majority of its support coming from Lebanese Christians.

Geopolitics Alert’s report said that potential sanctions will likely first target the Lebanese Health Ministry “which is currently managed by an elected member of Hezbollah’s political party.”

However, the report cast doubts on the success of the US plan, noting that the ISF is not a ‘homogeneous group’.

“Members of Hezbollah and their Christian allies hold many positions not only in the ISF but throughout the Lebanese Army and several branches of government. The Lebanese constitution and political system require all sects have adequate representation in government. As such, a potential manufactured civil war would likely focus on re-writing the Lebanese constitution as a top priority,” the report said.

It reported that it was unclear if Pompeo’s staff presented Aoun with this document as a threat prior to their meeting, but stressed it was clear that the US and ‘Israel’ are plotting behind closed doors to create sectarian conflict in Lebanese society and its democratic political process, “similar to actions in Syria, Lybia, Yemen, Venezuela, Iran, and so on.”

Source: Websites

SITREP: Ecuador on the brink of civil war?

by Ruben Bauer Naveira (Brazil) for The Saker Blog

This is a very short summary of an article from Adoración Gusmán (Equatorian), published on Friday, Oct 04th (in Spanish):

https://ctxt.es/es/20191002/

On the evening of Tuesday, Oct 01st, Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno announced a whole bunch of new legislation, delivering to the people of Ecuador:

– Austerity;
– Deep cuts on social rights;
– Deep cuts on taxes for the wealthiest;
– Dismissal of public workers;
– Dismantling of labor relations;
– Dismantling of social security; and so on.

On Wednesday, Oct 02nd, people gathered on the cities, and began to march through the capital city, Quito. On the same day, the police and the armed forces started to violently repress the demonstrators.

On Thursday, Oct 03rd, the government decreed the State of Exception, for 60 days.

From then on, the situation has just worsened.

This video is from yesterday, on Monday, Oct. 7th:

And these videos are from today, on Tuesday, Oct. 8th:

Then, there is also this shocking declaration, from the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE):

From which there follows a translation into English (thanks to Peter Lenny):

*******

CONAIE declares a state of exception in indigenous lands

1) In view of the public authorities’ brutality and their lack of the awareness necessary to understand the popular nature of the demands of the National Stoppage against the Package, which adversely affects Ecuadorean society as a whole and worsens the conditions of life and existence of the country’s most vulnerable popular sectors;

2) In view of the government’s insistence on advancing on our territories to exploit mining, oil and goods of nature, destroying living environments and backing the corporations’ presence with military forces;

3) Exercising our right to self-determination and our authority to administer justice in the jurisdiction of the peoples and nationalities, as recognized in the United Nations Declaration on [the Rights of] Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, and the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador;

The CONAIE hereby declares a state of exception in all indigenous territories.

Military and police who approach indigenous territories will be detained and subject to indigenous justice.

*******

Ecuador has been brought to the brink of civil war.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Interview with Masseer Especial Journal [Part 1]

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Interview with Masseer Especial Journal [Part 1]

Translated by Khamenei.ir

Masseer Especial Journal, which belongs to Khamenei.ir, has conducted an interview with His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is published for the first time.

The following is part one of the interview:

I would like to start the interview by asking you how the situation in the region was, at the time when the Islamic Revolution became victorious. How was the situation in the West Asian region? Particularly given that one of the important dimensions of the Islamic Revolution is its regional and international implications, what changes occurred in the regional equations following the Islamic Revolution and what events have we witnessed? With the Islamic Revolution gaining victory, what took place in the region in general and in Lebanon in particular?

In the name of God the Beneficent, the Merciful. First, I would like to welcome you. If we go back to the past and observe the developments, we will find that, very shortly before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a very significant incident took place in the region, namely the withdrawal of the Arab Republic of Egypt from the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict and the signing of the Camp David Treaty. This event—due to the important and effective role of Egypt in the aforementioned conflict—had a very dangerous impact on the region as well as on the Arab-‘Israeli’ confrontation over the issue of Palestine and the future of Palestine.

After that incident, in the first place, it seemed that the confrontation was going on largely in favor of ‘Israel’. This was mainly because other Arab countries and Palestinian resistance groups were not able to confront major powers without the help of Egypt at that time. So, firstly, the occurrence of such an incident led to the emergence of a deep division among Arab countries.

Secondly, you remember that at the time, there was a US-led Western bloc opposing the USSR. Therefore, there existed a split in our region: the gap between the countries associated with the Soviet Union—that is, the Eastern bloc—and the countries depending on the United States, the Western bloc.

Accordingly, we could see a deep divide among the Arab countries in the region, and this gap had devastating consequences for the nations and of course, also had an impact on the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict. At the time, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States essentially affected our region and its developments.

In the case of Lebanon, it should be said that Lebanon is also part of this region, and thus, it has been severely affected by its developments, including ‘Israeli’ actions, the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict, and the divisions in the region. At that time, Lebanon faced domestic problems as well, and was suffering from the civil war. The ‘Israeli’ enemy occupied parts of southern Lebanon in 1978, that is one year before the Islamic Revolution, and then created a security zone called the “border strip” on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders. The ‘Israeli’ enemy, through this security zone, continued its daily aggression against Lebanon, its cities, villages and people. Indeed, we faced a very serious problem: the ‘Israeli’ occupation in parts of southern Lebanon and its daily aggressions. ‘Israeli’ warplanes and their artillery bombed southern Lebanon; abduction operations and multiple explosions by the Zionist regime continued in its worst form, and people were displaced following these brutal acts. These events also took place between 1977 and 1979; that is, not long before the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Did they use the Palestinian presence in Lebanon as the pretext?

Yes; the ‘Israelis’ objected the existence of Palestinian resistance and operations carried out by Palestinians. However, this was just an excuse because ‘Israeli’s’ runs of aggressions in southern Lebanon began in 1948, when Palestinian resistance was not present in southern Lebanon. Palestinian resistance set base in southern Lebanon in the late 60s and early 1970s, especially after the events in Jordan and the arrival of Palestinian groups from Jordan in Lebanon.

It was in those circumstances that the Islamic Revolution of Iran gained victory. This victory came at a time when an atmosphere of despair was dominant in the Arab and Muslim world and concern for the future was widespread. Egypt’s withdrawal from the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict and the signature of the Camp David Treaty, the imposition of a humiliating political process on the Palestinians and Arabs, as well as the weakness of the rulers of the Arab countries all provoked the despair, grief, hopelessness, disappointment, and worry for the future at that time. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in such an environment, revived the lost hopes in the region and among the nations to begin with, particularly the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

This victory (the victory of the Islamic Revolution) also brought about the resurgence of the hopes of a nation that had been cornered by the existence of ‘Israel’. Because the position of Imam Khomeini (Q.S. – May his spirit be blessed) regarding the Zionist project, the necessity of the liberation of Palestine, and standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian resistance groups was clear from the beginning. Imam Khomeini (r.a) believed in supporting the people of Palestine, liberating every inch of the land, and obliteration of the ‘Israeli’ entity as a usurping regime in the region. Therefore, the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran created a growing hope for the future and increased a hundred fold the moral and motivation of the supporters of the resistance as well as the resistance groups in the region.

The victory of the Islamic Revolution also created a balance of power in the region. Egypt fled the fight against ‘Israel’ and the Islamic Republic of Iran entered. Therefore, the balance of power in the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict was restored, and for this reason, the resistance project in the region entered a new historical phase. This was the starting point for the Islamic movement and jihad in the Arab and Muslim world and among Shi’as and Sunnis alike.

Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) introduced several mottos regarding various subjects such as the question of Palestine, Islamic unity, Resistance, facing and confronting the United States of America, stability and sustainability, trust and confidence of nations in God and in themselves, revival of faith in one’s own power when confronting the arrogant powers and towards the realization of victory. Undoubtedly, these mottos had a very positive and direct impact on the situation in the region at that time.

In addition to the general atmosphere created by the Islamic Revolution and the new spirit that Imam [Khomeini (r.a)] inspired in the hearts of the people of the region, resurrecting the resistance, what memory do you specifically have of Imam Khomeini and his stances regarding the resistance in Lebanon and by Hezbollah?

Yes, in the year 1982. If we want to talk about it, we should consider the liberation of Khorramshahr in Iran. The ‘Israelis’ were deeply concerned about the war between Iran and Iraq, or Saddam’s imposed war against Iran. For this reason, after the liberation of Khorramshahr, the ‘Israelis’ decided to attack Lebanon. Of course, this action had its own root causes, and there was a profound connection between the victories in the Iranian front and the ‘Israeli’ aggression against Lebanon. This was how the ‘Israelis’ entered Lebanon, Beqaa region, Mount Lebanon Governorate, and Beirut suburbs. At that time, a group of scholars, brothers and fighters had decided to form the Islamic Resistance and establish the Islamic-Jihadi foundation of [the movement of] Resistance, corresponding to the aftermath of ‘Israeli’ invasion.

By then, ‘Israel’ had not penetrated in all of Lebanon and had only reached about half of Lebanon—that is 40% of Lebanon’s total area. 100,000 ‘Israeli’ soldiers entered Lebanon. They brought with them American, French, English and Italian multinational forces on the pretext of maintaining peace. Meanwhile, there were militias in Lebanon who were involved with and collaborated with the ‘Israelis’. By pointing to these facts, I mean to picture how very, very bad the situation was at that time.

Subsequently, a group of scholars (ulema), believers, and Mujahid brothers decided to launch a new movement for Jihad in the name of Islamic Resistance, which shortly afterwards was renamed “Hezbollah.” The formation of this front coincided with the decision of Imam Khomeini (Q.S.) to send Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces to Syria and Lebanon to oppose and confront ‘Israeli’ aggression. Initially, the intention was for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops to fight alongside Syrian forces as well as Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups. But after some time the scope of ‘Israeli’ attacks became limited, so this was no longer a classic battlefield, and the need for resistance operations by popular groups was felt more than ever.

It was at that time that Imam Khomeini (QS) replaced the mission of direct confrontation by the IRGC and Iranian forces, who had come to Syria and Lebanon, by offering help and providing military training to Lebanese youth, so that they—i.e. the Lebanese youth themselves—would be able to deal with the occupiers and carry out resistance operations. This is the first [of Imam Khomeini’s positions].

Therefore, the mission of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Syria, as well as the Lebanese Beqaa region—in Baalbek, Hermel and Janta, that is, where there were training bases—was changed to providing military training to the Lebanese youth. They taught the Lebanese youths the methods of warfare and provided them with logistic support. The mere presence of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Lebanon at that time gave the Lebanese youth and Resistance groups a purpose and a high spirit to stand up to ‘Israel’.

As I said earlier, it was decided that a large group would be formed and nine representatives were selected on behalf of the pro-resistance brothers, including the martyr Sayyed Abbas al Moussawi (r.a), to pursue this important issue. Naturally, I was not among these nine people, because at that time I was young, about 22 or 23 years old. These 9 people travelled to Iran and met with the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. They also had a meeting with Imam Khomeini (QS). During their meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a), while offering him a report on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, they presented their proposal for the formation of an Islamic resistance front. They said to Imam Khomeini (r.a): “We believe in your guidance, your authority (wilayah) and your leadership. Tell us what we need to do.”

In return, Imam Khomeini (r.a) insisted that their duty was to resist and stand against the enemy in full force, even if you have limited means and are in smaller numbers. This is while Hezbollah had a smaller number of members then. He said: “Start from scratch: trust in the Almighty God, and do not wait for anyone in the world to help you. Rely on yourself and know that God helps you. I see you victorious.” It was an amazing thing. Imam Khomeini (r.a) regarded this path as auspicious, and thus, the meeting during which our brothers met with him, laid the foundation stone for the formation of the Islamic resistance front, under the auspicious title of ‘Hezbollah’, in Lebanon.

At that time, our brothers told Imam: “We believe in your guidance, authority and leadership, but in any case, you are very busy, and you are at an old age, and we cannot allow ourselves to continuously disturb you about different issues and problems. For this reason, we are asking you to name a representative to whom we can refer on various issues.” Then he introduced Imam Khamenei (May God continue his oversight), who was the president at the time, and said: “Mr. Khamenei is my representative.” Consequently, the relationship between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei (May God protect him) began from the very early hours of the establishment and foundation of this group; we were always in contact with him in different times, we met with him frequently and gave him reports on the latest developments and he always praised the resistance.

I remember the issue of several Hezbollah martyrdom-seeking members. You know that the first experience of a martyrdom-seeking operation took place in Lebanon, and was conducted by our brothers. The brothers sent a video file—before publicizing it in the media—containing oral testaments of those fighters seeking martyrdom, who had carried out a major martyrdom operation in Lebanon, and had shaken the invaders to their core. This video was played for Imam Khomeini, and he watched it and discussed it. The testaments were very beautiful and full of enthusiasm, mysticism and love. After watching the testaments, Imam Khomeini (r.a) said: “These are young [chivalrous] people. All of them were young.” He then said: “These are the true mystics.” The fact is that the Imam was strongly affected by the testaments.

Imam Khomeini’s collaboration, support for, and attention to the resistance and Hezbollah of Lebanon continued until the very last day of his auspicious life. I remember about one or two months before the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when he was ill and rarely met with domestic officials and even less with foreign officials, I went to Iran as a member and an executive official of the Hezbollah council and met with Ayatollah Khamenei, late Ayatollah Rafsanjani and other Iranian officials, and asked if I could have a meeting with Imam Khomeini. I was told that he is ill and does not meet with anyone. I asked them to try and they agreed to do their best. Then I went to the office of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and put in a request for an appointment. At the time, one of our friends among Imam Khomeini’s household, Sheikh Rahimian (May God protect him)—who paid particular attention to the Lebanese—shared the matter with the late Sayed Ahmad Khomeini (r.a), and I was informed on the second day to get ready for a meeting. Naturally, we were all surprised. I went to meet Imam Khomeini (r.a) and nobody else was there, not even Sayed Ahmad; not even any of the Foreign Ministry’s officials or IRGC staff, who would usually attend the meetings, were there. Sheikh Rahimian accompanied me to Imam’s room but then went and left me alone with Imam. I was overwhelmed and awed by his presence.

Imam Khomeini was sitting on a high chair and I sat down on the floor. Awestruck by his grandeur, I could not say a word. Imam asked me to get closer. I went closer and sat next to him. We spoke and I handed to him a letter I had brought with me. Imam answered the questions I had shared with him regarding the developments of that time in Lebanon, then smiled and said: “Tell all our brothers not to worry. My brothers and I in the Islamic Republic of Iran are all with you. We will always be with you “. This was my last meeting with Imam Khomeini (r.a).

I wish we had time to hear more extensively from you about that time. Thanks again for the opportunity you gave us. You said that, Hezbollah was formed and began its activities during a very difficult time. You correctly mentioned that Iran itself was dealing with an invasion of its borders. In Lebanon, the Zionist regime periodically attacked the people and committed murder and plunder, and in any case, Hezbollah began its work in such a difficult situation. You also said that Imam Khomeini referred you to Ayatollah Khamenei to be in touch with him. I would like to ask you to point out some of the important pieces of advice that Ayatollah Khamenei (May God continue his oversight) gave you after the passing of Imam Khomeini, and let us know the measures that he guided you to take during his presidency. What we mean to make clear, when we reach the time of Imam Khamenei’s leadership, is the history of why Hezbollah was very pleased and reassured with his election as the leader of the Islamic Republic. What has happened that made you feel that way?

From the very first moment of our relationship with Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, I call him, in my own words, Mr. Leader. So let me use the same word, the Leader, to refer to him. My brothers had a Hezbollah Council within Hezbollah, with 7-10 members—changing at each stage. The members of this council always met with the Leader during his presidency. What I wish to say about that time, almost 7 years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s presidency before the passing of Imam Khomeini…

Was there a specific person to go between Hezbollah and Ayatollah Khamenei?

I get back to this point. The fact is that the Leader particularly valued Lebanese groups and provided them with sufficient time. I remember meetings that sometimes lasted for 2, 3 or even 4 hours. He listened carefully to what we had to say. Our friends and brothers also described the issues for him in details. As you know, at the time, they were not all on the same wavelength, and our brothers had different views. The Leader listened to all the comments, views, and opinions. Naturally, there was no Arabic language problem either, because he was fluent in Arabic and spoke it well. He spoke Arabic beautifully.

Nonetheless, he preferred to be accompanied by an Arabic translator; He usually spoke in Persian, but had no need for translation when the Lebanese spoke in Arabic. His full mastery of Arabic language contributed greatly to his deep understanding of the problems and the views of our Lebanese brothers. The important point is that, despite having full authority from Imam Khomeini, the Leader tried to play the role of a guide, and helped us make the decisions ourselves. I always remember that in every meeting, at that time and after being appointed as the Leader, whenever he wanted to comment, he would indicate ‘my suggestion is’. For example, he had reached a conclusion, but he would ask us to “sit down, consult with each other, and make the correct decision.

Indeed, the Leader at that critical stage managed to play an important role guiding the group in cultivating Hezbollah leaders and commanders intellectually, scientifically, and mentally, so that our brothers could make decisions confidently and by relying on their own capabilities even during the most difficult situations. He would make comments but he would refer to a Persian proverb that said: the expediency of a country is recognized by its owners. His Eminence would say: you are from Lebanon and thus have a better command of your affairs. We can only make a few comments and you can apply them, but it is you who will make the final decision. Do not wait for anyone to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, the role of the Leader in the training, growth and swift development of Hezbollah was very significant.

In the first years, our brothers went to Iran two or three times a year—that is, they would travel to Iran about every 6 months—to learn about the Iranian officials’ viewpoints regarding the developments in the region, as at that time, developments in the region were taking place very rapidly. Naturally, at that time there was also the war; the 8-year imposed war against Iran and its implications for the region. Therefore, our brothers constantly needed to exchange information, consult with and get support from Iran. At that time, if our brothers were faced with an immediate and urgent problem, they would send me to Iran. Because I was younger than the others, and there was no systematic protection, or anything similar in place for me. I was alone, carrying a bag with me. This means that my trips to Iran, since I was not well known, were not complicated and there was no security threat around me.

On the other hand, I was acquainted with Persian language more than my other brothers in Hezbollah, and for this reason, they preferred me to travel to Iran. From the very beginning, there was compassion and affection between me and my Iranian brothers. My brothers in Hezbollah would tell me: you like Iranians and the Iranians like you too. So you should travel to Iran. On behalf of my brothers in Lebanon, I met with the Leader for one to two hours. Even when all issues had been discussed and I was prepared to leave, he would say: “Why are you in a hurry? Stay, and if there’s anything left, let’s discuss it”. That stage was very important for Hezbollah, because Hezbollah had focused on fundamental issues, fundamental approaches and fundamental goals. They made a collection of varying opinions, but we eventually managed to compile a single united book. Now I can say that we have a unified viewpoint in Hezbollah. Different perspectives have been unified and consolidated due to the events and experiences that we have gone through, and thanks to the guidance, advice, and leadership of Imam Khomeini (r.a) while he was alive and of the Leader after the passing of Imam Khomeini.

I wish there was more time to listen to your memories at length…

You will at some point say ‘I wish’… [laughs]

Anyways, our time is very limited. Putting that period a side, now let’s talk about 1989, when Imam Khomeini passed away to the mercy of Allah, and our people and every devotee of the Islamic Revolution were mourning. Those moments were naturally critical moments for both our country and the devotees of the Islamic Revolution. Please explain briefly what the state of your affairs was, at the time when Ayatollah Khamenei was chosen as the successor to Imam Khomeini? Also tell us more about the events that you encountered at that time, after Imam Khomeini’s passing away, in the regional and international arena.

We had a very critical period at that time, because that era coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the beginning of American unilateralism and the end of the Cold War. At the same time, we saw that the Zionist regime started talking about peace negotiations, and on the other hand, the Islamic Revolution was in a particular situation. Obviously, the Americans had plans for the post-Imam Khomeini (r.a) era. We would like you to talk about those circumstances and describe them to us, and about how the Leader responded to the important developments that took place at regional and international levels?
As you know, during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini, members of Hezbollah of Lebanon and the supporters of the resistance, had close ties with him, both intellectually and culturally. However, Hezbollah members were also emotionally and passionately dependent on Imam Khomeini. Like many Iranians who fought against Saddam’s war on Iran, they really loved Imam Khomeini (r.a). Members of Hezbollah of Lebanon regarded him as an Imam, a leader, a guide, a Marja’, and a father. I have never seen the Lebanese love anyone so much. Consequently, the demise of Imam Khomeini on that day brought about a mountain of sadness and grief to the Lebanese; a feeling definitely not less intense than the sadness and grief of the Iranians. This was the emotional connection between the Lebanese and Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But on the other hand, there was a major concern at that time, and it was that the Western media were constantly talking about the post-Imam Khomeini era (r.a), claiming that the main problem was this man and that Iran would collapse after him and a civil war would break out; that there would be no substitute for the leadership of the country. In this regard, a very intense psychological warfare had started in those years, in the last year of the glorious life of Imam Khomeini (r.a), [particularly in the light of other incidents including the dismissal of Late Ayatollah Montazeri and other issues]. For this reason, there were concerns. At that time, we were being told that your source of support—i.e. the Islamic Republic of Iran, upon which you rely and in which have faith—will start a downfall and collapse after the passing of Imam Khomeini. That was for the second issue.

The third issue, regardless of the psychological warfare, was our lack of information about the situation after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a). We did not know what was going to happen after him, and what turn the events were going to take; so we were worried. We were following up on the events after the death of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on television, and when we saw national security and the calm in Iran as well as the glorious presence of the Iranian people at his funeral, we regained some confidence and peace of mind.

We were reassured that Iran would not go towards a civil war, nor would it collapse, and eventually the Iranians would choose a suitable leader in a reasonable and sincere atmosphere. We, like all Iranians, were waiting for the decision of the Assembly of Experts on this matter. The fact is that the election of Ayatollah Khamenei as the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Assembly of Experts was unpredictable for the Lebanese. Because we did not know Iranian figures properly and we did not know if there was a better, more knowledgably and more competent person to replace the Leadership. We only knew the Iranian officials that we were in touch with. Electing Ayatollah Khamenei for this responsibility, surprisingly and unusually, made us feel happy, fortunate and confident.

In any case, we passed through this stage. We started our relationship and this relationship continued. After a short time, we traveled to Iran and offered our condolences for the passing away of Imam Khomeini (r.a) and we met with the Leader. He was still at the Presidential office and received people there. We pledged allegiance to him in person and directly. Our brothers told him: “During the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a) you were his representative in the affairs of Lebanon, Palestine and the region as well as the President of Iran, so you had time [for us]. But now you are the leader of the Islamic Republic and all Muslims, and therefore, perhaps you do not have enough time as before. So, we would like to ask you to appoint a representative, so that we do not disturb you continuously.” At this moment, the Leader smiled and said: “I am still young and I have time, God willing. I pay special attention to the issues of the region and the resistance and therefore we will remain in direct contact with each other. ”

Since then, unlike Imam Khomeini (r.a), he has not appointed any representative to refer to about our issues. Naturally, we did not want to bother much, and did not require much of his time. Especially because in the first years, the early years of the establishment of the movement, he was involved in everything. The principles, goals, foundations, criteria, and guidelines that we had, provided a solution to every issue. All of this was a divine blessing; the blessing of guidance was quite clear and we did not need to constantly refer to him. So, we continued to do the same as the Leader had told. This should answer that part of your question about our relationship with Ayatollah Khamenei after his election as the Leader and the authority for Muslims [wali amr al muslimin] after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a).

But regarding the events that happened, it should be noted that the events after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a) were, naturally, very critical and dangerous. At that time, the important issue for us was to continue the path of resistance in Lebanon, an issue that the Leader had emphasized from the outset. The Leader provided the officials of the Islamic Republic with many recommendations and words of advice, to attend to the Resistance in Lebanon and the region, saying that, just as during the lifetime of Imam Khomeini (r.a), when we followed this path with the thoughts, methods, principles and culture of Imam Khomeini (r.a) on our agenda; today I persist on this path and insist on the need for it to continue.

Therefore, as a blessing from the Almighty God, there was no change in the position of the Islamic Republic in its support for the resistance in the region, especially in Lebanon, not even in the face of changes within ministries and official entities in Iran as well as some differences in their political policies. Therefore, not only such a change did not happened, rather things went on in a better way; because these stances were strengthened after each president’s and each official’s term and this happened as a result of direct attention by the Leader to Hezbollah of Lebanon and the resistance in the region.

Now we can enter the discussion on the events that took place. Where would you like me to start from? I am ready. I mean, we can now address the political events; because we have already elaborated on our relationship with the Leader and how we kept working with him after the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.).
The most important issue for us at that time, i.e. during the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei, was the issue of domestic problems of Lebanon. At that stage, as you know well, there were some problems between Hezbollah and the Amal movement, and the Leader paid special attention to this matter. Hence, the most important thing that happened to us during the early years of Ayatollah Khamenei’s leadership was the resolution of discords between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement. This blessed resolution, was brought about as a result of special guidance and advice by the Leader, as well as contacts between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, including the current chairman of the Lebanese parliament Mr. Nabih Berri and Syrian officials. Subsequently, Resistance groups in Lebanon got united and this was accomplished thanks to the Leader and his strong emphasis [on unity].

The Leader opposed any issue, any conflict or dispute among Lebanese groups and constantly stressed the need for extensive relations between them as well as achieving peace by any means necessary among them. These efforts took years to bear fruit. That is to say, it took 2 or 3 years for us to pass through that stage. The foundation of the close relations between Hezbollah and Amal that we see today were laid by the guidelines of the Leader, and today the relationship between Hezbollah and Amal is not strategic, but beyond strategic. Through the resolving of the problems between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement and the cooperation between the two, we were able to continue the resistance and attend to defending Lebanon and the south of Lebanon. The achievement and the great victory of 2000 against the Zionist regime were realized as a result of this unity. In 2006 and during the 33-day war of the Zionist regime on southern Lebanon, this unity helped us again, and we were able to resist during the “July War” and impose a defeat on the enemy. Today, political victories in Lebanon and the region continue to be achieved. One of the fundamental factors of Hezbollah’s political, national, and military power is this coherence, unity and friendly relations.

I recall that at that time, after the martyrdom of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi (r.a), our brothers chose me as the secretary-general. Later, we met with the Leader. He brought up some issues, saying: “If you want to make the heart of Imam Mahdi (May Almighty Allah Speed His Reappearance) and also the hearts of all the believers happy, you have to work hard to preserve the calm in your country. You have work with each other, especially Hezbollah, Amal, Allama [scholar] Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din.” At that time, Sheikh Fadlallah and Sheikh Shams al-Din were both alive and the Leader strongly stressed reinforcing internal unity in Lebanon. His emphasis was on maintaining unity among the Shi’as, as well as between Shi’as and Sunnis and other Muslims. He also emphasized on the necessity of unity among Muslims and Christians and would insist on it during internal meetings; that is [he promoted] an open door policy for all Lebanese. This was the second issue. The primary issue was the relationship between Hezbollah, Amal and the domestic situation of the Shias. Another important issue that he emphasized was the open door strategy of Hezbollah towards other Lebanese political groups, despite religious, political, and ideological differences. The realization of this important project was also on account of his wise leadership.

There was an emphasis on continuing the resistance, confronting belligerence and determination to liberate southern Lebanon. That’s why the Leader also focused on the issue of resistance and its progress. He always insisted that resistance should progress, grow, and ultimately take back occupied lands. Hence, he always diligently encouraged the Resistance to persist on the path it had taken. You know that at that time there was a problem that some resistance groups, other than Hezbollah, had got entangled with internal political affairs, and thus, they had been gradually distracted from the mission of resistance. This would make the resistance limited to Hezbollah and the Amal Movement—chiefly Hezbollah. Even inside Hezbollah, there were some of our brothers who were inclined to get involved with domestic politics. But the Leader always emphasized the need to give priority to the mission of resistance and Jihadi tasks.

Why the Protestors of Hong Kong Are Destroying the Prosperity of Their Country

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Martin SIEFF

September 14, 2019

The people of Hong Kong enjoy one of the highest standards of livings of any city across continental Asia. Since peacefully being reabsorbed into mainland China in 1997, they have confounded endless Western Prophets of Doom: These falsely claimed that Beijing would not maintain its solemn undertakings for peace and security in the city and territory. They maintained that Hong Kong’s historic position as one of the great business hubs of Asia and the world would rapidly be destroyed. Nothing of the sort happened.

But the prosperity of Hong Kong for generations to come is danger now – and the threat manifestly does not come from Beijing.

The mass protests for greater democracy and freedom continue. And following a grim dynamic that goes back well over two centuries to the French Revolution they can never be satisfied.

The more that the administration of Hong Kong led by Carrie Lam and the national Chinese government in Beijing seek to avoid the undue use of force and the infliction of casualties, the more violent, the demonstrations slowly and remorselessly become, the broader and more sweeping are their demands for political liberties – though these are invariably vague and ill-defined.

I predict here – simply and clearly – that no matter how many concessions allegedly for liberty are given they will never satisfy the protestors and the Western governments who at the very least are using them as political puppets and pawns. All that can possibly be achieved is to create an atmosphere of fear, insecurity and violence: That is toxic to attract both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and also regular investment from the rest of China.

Therefore Hong Kong’s economy will founder, while unemployment and economic suffering will grow. Then, those suffering from it will be encouraged to blame the very government that has sought so long and so hard to prevent disasters from happening.

I speak with a particular authority on these matters: Half a century ago as a teenage Irish boy, I watched the same kind of protests destroy forever the peace and prosperity of one of the most advanced industrial centers on the face of the planet in the city of Belfast.

The lessons I learned then would serve the people of Hong Kong well today before they bring an unimaginable disaster upon themselves.

For popular violent protests against authorities never bring peace: They only bring war – Almost always on a scale that none of the protestors dreamed of when they took to the streets.

Prosperity never follows. At best there is mass unemployment and despair as local businesses and national investment flee the territory for decades and generations. You do not build factories and hire workers for them when the factory will be burned down in one of the endless clashes that will soon follow.

The “freedom” that the protestors demand is illusory. It is fools’ gold: It is the fantasy of wealth at the end of the rainbow that is never found.

Hong Kong’s enormous economic advantage for nearly 180 years under first British and over the past two decades of enlightened Chinese autonomous rule has been that it has been a secure, predictable and safe place to do business with the Mainland and with the wider region.

But that is no longer true: The longer the protests rage and the wider and more serious they become, the more that incalculable advantage is eroded before our eyes.

When I was a young boy, my father on Sunday mornings proudly took me down to the Harland & Woolf Shipyard on Queen’s Island to see some of the biggest moving vehicles in the world – giant cargo vessels, tankers, aircraft carriers and cruise ships – being built.

My father was proud of his son, but he was proud of his city too: Belfast was still the largest ship building center on earth. The great shipyard at its peak employed 35,000 workers. Enormous rivers of humanity would flow back and forth on the bridge over the River Lagan every day as its workers streamed to and from their labors. But for most of the past 50 years, almost all of it has become an industrial wasteland peopled only by ghosts.

Peace finally returned to Northern Ireland after 30 years of civil strife, but it was too late. The great shipyard never recovered and it never revived. What had been done could not be undone.

If these riots continue, that will be the fate of Hong Kong too. Nearly two centuries of growth and prosperity will wither and die.

This is no wild prediction. It is tantamount to a mathematical inevitability: There is a remorseless tidal wave of fate to the pattern of rising political protests that escalate into a violent revolution that can only be contained by the use of military force.

The Civil War in Northern Ireland raged – sometimes horrifically, sometimes more subdued – from 1968 to the landmark Good Friday Agreement of 1998. My old, dear friend, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Marjorie “Mo” Mowlam was the key figure driving the negotiations. She undermined her health doing so. Then a host of political parasites from US President Bill Clinton to British Prime Minister Tony Blair were eager to hog all the praise and credit for themselves years later as Mo lay dying from a brain tumor.

The decades that followed the collapse of law and order in Ireland in 1968-1972 were the darkest in the island’s troubled history since the Great Famine of the 1840s. The British government’s record of secret manipulation and involvement in dark excesses and crimes during those years gives London no moral standing today to lecture China on how it handles the unrest in Hong Kong, or anywhere else.

I never expected to see the end of apparently endless war in Ireland in my own lifetime. Thanks to Mo Mowlam’s selfless labors and those of countless other British and Irish figures great and small, peace finally came. The protestors of Hong Kong too now need to take a step back, suck in a deep breath and pause to think long and hard before they charge down that same doomed and awful path.

“Greater Lebanon”: where to?

August 19, 2019

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Abou Omar, a close friend of mine, is one whom I have so much in common. Not only he was my boss many moons ago, but we were both brought up in political families that endorsed and advocated the unity and integrity of Syria.

When I caught up with him recently after many years, I was not surprised that our thoughts had many congruencies, and the discussion we had has given me the inspiration to write this article.

One does not have to be a member of the Social Syrian National Party (SSNP) to realize that Syria and Lebanon have been the same country up till nearly a century ago when French General Gouraud redrew the map of what was then called “Petit Liban” (ie Small Lebanon) and annexed to it other territories and gave the “Grand Liban” (Greater Lebanon) tag to the new entity.

One of my first articles on The Saker, if not the first, was titled “The Capitulation of Grand Liban” https://thesaker.is/the-capitulation-of-grand-liban/. It outlines briefly the history of Lebanon in the 100 years or so.

For the benefit of those who do not wish to read the whole article above, I reiterate that the term “Small Lebanon” was used to describe a predominantly Christian Maronite and Druze entity. This state was the love child of an uneasy concession of the ailing Ottoman Empire to European powers (Britain, France, Italy, Austria and Russia) to give Mount Lebanon a reprieve after decades of sectarian strife between the Maronites and the Druze. The Maronites, being Catholic, were France’s favourites, whilst the Druze were Britain’s.

In rebranding Lebanon, as it were, and for whichever reason, Gouraud decided to include a Muslim component to the Lebanese demography. To this effect, the predominantly Sunni coastal cities of Beirut, Tripoli, Saida plus other Sunni provinces in the North, together with some Shiite provinces in the South and the Beqaa Valley were included in the new Mosaic that gave, according to the 1932 census, a marginal Maronite majority and hence stipulated, perhaps as planned, that the President of Lebanon will have to be a Maronite Christian. http://countrystudies.us/lebanon/34.htm

The 1932 infamous census was used as the defining foundation of “fairness” upon which all positions in all tiers of government were established. So unlike other states that provide merit-based employment, not only the President of Lebanon had to be a Catholic Maronite, but the PM had to be a Sunni Muslim, the Speaker of the House a Shiite Muslim, his deputy a Christian Orthodox and so forth. Each electorate was represented on sectarian grounds by candidates of same religion and sect, and even unqualified positions had to be based on “sectarian equality”. A government office could not even hire a janitor even if it needed only one, it must hire two; a Christian and a Muslim.

It wasn’t till the 1989 Taif agreement that followed the sectarian Civil War that the 1932-based model was revisited. But after a decade and a half of blood bath, one would think that the failed sectarian model was dumped altogether, but it wasn’t. It was only amended to give Muslims equal number of Parliamentarians as against the former 11-9 split.

But that sectarian “compromise”, which in itself was a reason for conflict, was not the only problem Lebanon had and has. In the 1920’s, the “new” Sunni Lebanese did not want to belong to what they considered a Western puppet state, and they took to the streets chanting “We demand Syrian unity, Christians and Muslims”. A few decades later when Egyptian President Nasser rose to prominence, the children of the first generation of new Lebanese took to the streets with a slightly amended version of the slogan demanding Arab unity for Christians and Muslims.

The Right-wing Lebanese Christians therefore felt Lebanese Muslims are fifth columnists who are not loyal to Lebanon, and as the rift grew and the Lebanese Left supported the PLO in its struggle, the Christian Right formed well trained and equipped militia, and the 1975-1989 Civil War was an inevitable outcome.

When the Syrian Army entered Lebanon in 1976 upon the request of the Lebanese Government, Syria had a golden opportunity to mend the growing rift between Lebanon and Syria, a rift that was fanned by pre-Civil War economic and development successes of Westernized Lebanon as opposed to an impoverished socialist Syria. But by then, Syria was on the road towards recovery under a huge nation-building scheme that was put in place by President Hafez Assad, the father of the current President and the founder of the Assad legacy.

Ironically, even after four and a half decades of the Lebanese slump and Syrian rise (despite the war), some Lebanese still live in the past and feel and act superior to their Syrian cousins. I say cousins not only metaphorically, but also because there is hardly a family in Lebanon that doesn’t have family in Syria.

But during the 29 year long presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon, Syria did not manage to win the hearts and minds of the average apprehensive Lebanese. Among many other acts of corruption, Abou Omar’s (my friend) car was stolen by a corrupt Syrian Army officer. Acts of such nature did not sway those who understood the basics of the anti-Syrian politics. Abou Omar was a victim of corrupt Syrian Army thugs, but his loyalty to Syria remained unwavering.

Ironically, eventually a substantial section of Lebanese Sunnis became aggressively Lebanese in their outlook. It is possible that the current anti Hezbollah passion has united some Sunnis and Christians against a “common enemy”. But perhaps by the time they developed this sentiment, it was already too late for Great Lebanon to rise from the ashes.

And whilst the Lebanese economy is going down the gurgler, corruption is having a huge surge and the state is now virtually bankrupt with very heavy debt and no solution in sight. Corruption has reached epic proportions that recently, a Lebanese Member of Parliament has publically said in the House that the public knows that politicians are lying to the public about the debt, and the politicians know that the public knows that the politicians are lying. https://www.facebook.com/1234196636614228/posts/2624089564291588?s=549881917&v=e&sfns=mo (Facebook link).

During the Civil War, the specter of Lebanese partition was always on the cards and high on some agendas. Back then, the scenario for such a partition was that Israel would take South Lebanon and control the Litani River water, a Maronite “canton” akin to the former Small Lebanon would be created, and the North and the Beqaa would go back to Syria.

Such a partition scenario is no longer feasible, mainly because there is a new force on the ground; Hezbollah.

With Hezbollah on the ground, Israel will never be able to secure any territorial gains in Lebanon. Furthermore, the Maronite politicians ie members of the so-called “The Maronite Political Entity” are now split between a traditional Right and pro-Hezbollah faction. The incumbent President Aoun belongs to the latter group, but his tenure has thus far been plagued by bigtime corruption and squandering of resources.

Aoun’s ascendance to the presidency was not an easy birth. It was fraught with hard labour and many political settlements; the most important of which was the reconciliation of Maronite leaders. Another friend of mine, a former ambassador, a Sunni, told me back then that he felt that the Maronite-Maronite reconciliation puts Lebanon finally in good hands. This is because the Maronites are meant to be the custodians of Lebanon, the integrity of its statehood and independence, and that they would rebuild the state and its economy. But the Aoun presidency has failed abysmally and poured oil onto fire with its rampant corruption. Aoun, who is in his eighties, has given the actual reigns to his son-in-law Gibran Bassil, and Bassil is one hell of a corrupt crook with an insatiable fetish for dirty money.

General Gouraud announced the birth Greater Lebanon 99 years ago, and specifically on on the 1st of September 1920 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Lebanon. Will this state survive another century? It is simply cannot, because it is heading towards a cliff edge, and heading there fast.

So where does Greater Lebanon go from here?

With partition no longer on the agenda and Israel kept at arm’s length, Lebanon can only eventually merge back with Syria; but currently this is not possible given that the “War on Syria” has not yet ended.

Sooner or later, one way or the other, willingly or unwillingly, fully or partially, and I dare say for better or for worse, the Lebanese will see themselves back in the bosom of Syria. This however will be faced by resistance; not necessarily armed resistance, but one cannot zero out violence. Ironically this time, the biggest opponents may prove to be the anti-Syria Sunnis in the major coastal cities of Beirut, Tripoli and Saida. The Right wing Lebanese Christian groups will also oppose any such merger, but the much wiser Lebanese Christians understand that Syria has proven to be the actual defender and custodian of Levantine Christianity when the West stood by and watched young Christian Syrian girls sold as sex slaves.

The success or failure of the future “Take 2” version of the Syrian Army entering Lebanon will also depend on to what extent victorious Syria will be able to curb corruption within Syria first. A repeat of the 1976-2005 experience of Syrian Army presence in Lebanon will ultimately lead to another unsavoury outcome.

Syria has to win her moral war like she won her military war; and I have been emphasizing the need to do so in many previous articles, because unlike most other wars, this war has been a war of morality against immorality. Morality and corruption do not mix, and fighting corruption should now be high on President Assad’s agenda.

But above all, Syria is the key for the future of the region. She is the key for the regional geopolitical make-up, the key for Lebanon, the key for justice for Palestinians, the key for Palestine, the key for any matter pertaining to the Levant, because Syria is The Levant.

14 آب ليس يوماً مضى بل صيرورة مستمرة… والمطلوب؟

أغسطس 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– في الرابع عشر من آب 2006 تحقق عظيم الإنجاز بما يقارب الإعجاز في نصر تاريخي هزم أعتى قوة يعتمد عليها الغرب في فرض سياساته على الشرق، وبزغ فجر حركات المقاومة لتعيد كتابة التاريخ وترسم حدود الجغرافيا باسم الشعوب التي غيّبت طويلاً عن قضاياها المركزية، حيث ترجمت المقاومة التي احتفلت بانتصارها كل شعوب المنطقة إرادة هذه الشعوب في تعبير نوعي عن مفهوم الديمقراطية والإرادة الشعبية. بالتوازي سقطت أحلام وتهاوت أبراج من الأوهام، حيث كل ما سيهدد به الغرب لاحقاً هو ما سبق وما فعله سابقاً، وكانت حرب تموز البديل الذي راهن عليه لاستعادة ماء وجهه بعد حربين فاشلتين في أفغانستان والعراق، لتشكيل شرقه الأوسط الجديد كما بات ما لا يحتاج دليلاً ولا برهاناً، وأصيبت «إسرائيل» في روحها، حيث لن تنفعها بعد ذلك لا قبب حديدية وفولاذية ولا خطط ترميم لقوة الردع ولا استعادة العافية لجبهة داخلية أصيبت بمرض عضال لا شفاء منه، وخرج الشعب في مسيراته المهيبة فجر الرابع عشر من آب يكلل النصر بالمزيد من التضحيات حاضناً مقاومته وفارضاً تفسيره للقرار الأممي 1701، وخرج الجيش اللبناني المتوّج بالثلاثية الذهبية مع شعب ومقاومة لا ينازعانه الحضور العلني لعروض القوة، كأقوى جيوش المنطقة بهذين الرديفين، لا تعوزه المساعدات ولا الرعاية الأميركية الهادفة لتجريده من أقوى ما عنده، وهو الثلاثية المقدسة التي أكدها النصر.

– الصيرورة المستمرة لمعادلات 14 آب ظهرت مع تعميم نموذج المقاومة من لبنان وفلسطين إلى العراق واليمن، وظهرت في النموذج السوري لمقاومة الغزوة الدولية الكبرى، وفي صمود إيران، وفي نهوض روسيا لدورها كدولة عظمى، وفي استفاقة التنين الصيني للمنازلة في ساحات الاقتصاد تمهيداً لمنازلات مقبلة في سواها. وفي هذه الصيرورة تأكدت معادلات نصر آب، وترسخت وتعملقت، وخلال الأعوام التي مضت حاول الأميركي والإسرائيلي وما بينهما من حكام الخليج والغرب، وبعض الداخل اللبناني والعربي والإسلامي تعويض نواقص الحرب ومعالجة أسباب الهزيمة، فكانت كل حرب لإضعاف المقاومة تزيدها قوة.

– قرأ المعنيون بالهزيمة على تنوّع مشاربهم وهوياتهم أن نصر آب هو نتيجة الطبيعة الخارجية للحرب، وأن تفوق المقاومة على جيش الاحتلال تقنياً جاء بفعل أسلحة لا قيمة لها في مواجهات داخلية، فكانت تجربة الفتنة الداخلية، من محاولة كسر الاعتصام الذي دعت إليه المقاومة وحلفاؤها في مطلع العام 2007، وصولاً لقرار تفكيك شبكة اتصالات المقاومة، تمهيداً لتوريطها في فخ التصادم مع الجيش وتفتيت الشعب إلى قبائل متحاربة، فكانت عملية 7 أيار، التي يقدمها البعض دليلاً على استخدام المقاومة لسلاحها نحو الداخل اللبناني، تأكيداً لمعادلة العجز الشامل عن كسر مصادر قوة المقاومة. ومثلها جاءت الحرب على سورية وما رافقها من استقدام كل منتجات الفكر الوهابي أملاً بتعويض عجز جيش الاحتلال عن بذل الدماء باستحضار من لا يقيم لها حساباً، فجاءت نتائج الحرب تقول إن مصادر قوة المقاومة لم تمسها لا محاولات الفتن الداخلية، ولا المواجهة مع تشكيلات الإرهاب التكفيري.

– اليوم ومع تسيّد معادلات المقاومة على مساحة المنطقة من مضيق هرمز إلى مضيق باب المندب ومضيق جبل طارق، ومضيق البوسفور، وما بينها من بحار ويابسة، تبقى المعضلة في قدرة مشروع المقاومة على بلورة نموذج للحكم يُحاكي نجاحاتها في مواجهة العدوان والاحتلال والإرهاب، فيما السلاح الاقتصادي الهادف لتفجير معادلات الدول من داخلها يشكل أهم استثمارات المشروع الأميركي، ويبدو أن إعادة تنظيم الدولة الوطنية ومؤسساتها يسبق في الأهمية الحلول الاقتصادية والمالية التقنية في خطة المواجهة. وهنا لا بد من التأكيد أن بناء الدولة القوية كهدف يبقى هو العنوان، والمقاومة محور تحالفات عن يمينها وعن يسارها ما يكفي لموازين القوى اللازمة لمفهوم الدولة المرتجاة مع مراعاة ضرورات الواقعية والمرونة، وحيث يتحدث الجميع عن الدولة المدنية كإطار للحل، يتباين المفهوم حول طبيعتها، وتبدو المقاومة معنية ببدء الحوار الجاد حول هذا المفهوم خصوصاً مع حليفيها الاستراتيجيين في حركة أمل والتيار الوطني الحر ومعهما حلفاء أصيلون بالمناداة بالدولة المدنية ويحملون نموذجهم اللاطائفي إثباتاً على إمكان تخطي الطائفية، كما حمل مشروع المقاومة الإثبات على إمكانية هزيمة الاحتلال، وهؤلاء الذين يتقدمهم الحزب السوري القومي الإجتماعي متطلعون لهذا الحوار الجاد من موقعهم الشريك في مشروع المقاومة ومعاركها، والهدف هو البدء ببلورة مفهوم موحد، سيكون وحده الجواب على التحديات، خصوصاً ان الهواجس التي يثيرها طرح التيار الوطني الحر بالدعوة لتطبيق عنوان الدولة المدنية بما يتخطى إلغاء الطائفية كشرط للسير بها، ليست هواجس العلمانيين بل هي هواجس تمسّ ما يهتم به حزب الله من شؤون تتصل بدور الدين في الدولة وكيفية الفصل والوصل بينهما وضمن أي حدود. وما يثيره حلفاء حزب الله الذين يثير هواجسهم خطاب الحقوق المسيحية التي ينادي بها التيار الوطني الحر كتعبير عن تصعيد للعصبيات الطائفية، لا يخشونها من موقع طائفي وهم عابرون للطوائف، بل من موقع الحرص على عدم إثارة العصبيات، بينما في هذه اللغة ما يثير مباشرة هواجس قواعد وجمهور المقاومة وبيئتها الحاضنة.

– المهمة ليست سهلة، لكنها ليست أصعب من مقتضيات النصر في آب 2006، وأهميتها في كونها تكمل حلقات النصر، وتجعله مشروعاً وصيرورة، لا مجرد لحظة تاريخية مجيدة.

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دروس في ذكرى الحرب اللبنانية

أبريل 13, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– قبل أربعة وأربعين عاماً انطلقت الشرارة التي أشعلت حرباً امتدت لخمسة عشر عاماً في لبنان، قبل أن تنتهي باتفاق الطائف الذي أعاد ترسيم حدود التوازنات المحلية والإقليمية التي ستحكم لبنان الخارج من الحرب، والأكيد أن هذا الحدث اللبناني والعربي والإقليمي الكبير وما استدرجه من سياسات وتطوّرات كان الاجتياح الإسرائيلي عام 1982 أبرزها، وكان اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار لإنهاء علاقة لبنان بالصراع مع «إسرائيل»، برعاية أميركية مباشرة وحضور عسكري أميركي مباشر أحد أهم ملامحها الدولية والإقليمية، تحتاج إلى الكثير من الدراسة والبحث لفهم أسبابها العميقة، الأعمق والأبعد من فهم أطراف الحرب لسياق انخراطهم أو تورطهم فيها.

– الدرس الأهم الذي تقوله الحرب اللبنانية خصوصاً للجيل الذي انخرط في غمارها تحت شعارات اعتقد أن الحرب سبيله لتحقيقها، أن الحماسة والصدق لا يعوّضان عدم دقة الحسابات، وأن النيات الطيبة كثيراً ما تخدم في ساحات حساسة وفي لحظات حرجة مشاريع شريرة، فقد ثبت سوء الخيار وعقم الرهان، بعد سنوات من الحرب تكفلت بإحراق الأخضر واليابس وإيقاظ العصبيات والغرائز وتدمير العمران في الحجر والبشر، واستخلاف أجيال ولدت وترعرعت في ثقافة التعصب والقتل والجهل والعصبية على مصير وطن، تقاتل حول هويته ومستقبله قادة الحركة الطالبية والمثقفون والحالمون بالتغيير، كل على هواه ووفق رؤيته. وصار وقف الحرب أغلى من أي هدف يبرر استمرارها، وصار الثابت الوحيد أن الخط الأحمر الذي يجب أن يحكم كل مشروع سياسي حالم يميناً أو يساراً، هو عدم المجازفة بالسلم الأهلي، الذي صار كما المقاومة التي أدارت ظهرها للحرب الداخلية ومقتضيات الانخراط فيها، ثمرتان ذهبيتان يكفي الحفاظ عليهما إطاراً لأي مشروع سياسي جدي، يرى تحسين الأداء السياسي والإصلاح السياسي والتقدّم في بناء الدولة ومهماتها، أهدافاً نبيلة يقتضي الخوض فيها والسعي إليها مع الحذر من الوقوع في محظور المساس بإحدى هاتين الثمرتين أو إحداهما.

– تحتاج الحركات الاحتجاجية الناشئة في العالم العربي، سواء تلك التي اكتوت بخماسين الربيع العربي، أو تلك التي تختبر مشاريعها التغييرية الآن، إلى هذا الدرس ومثله درس ثانٍ حول كون الدولة، كهياكل لإدارة الشأن العام، بمعزل عن درجة صواب خياراتها السياسية الداخلية والخارجية، منجزاً حضارياً وإنسانياً يشكّل التفريط به تحت شعار الثورية والتغيير، عملاً أحمق وقفزة في المجهول ومخاطرة بالذهاب إلى الفوضى وشريعة الغاب واستيلاد أشكال من التوحش السياسي والاجتماعي، تستجلب معها كائنات تناسب استمرارها وتناسلها ثقافة وسلوكاً، تتكفل بخلق سياقها وتناسلها، وتحويل الأوطان ساحات تعبث بها كل أشكال التدخلات الخارجية، وتستثمر فيها كل أجهزة المخابرات، وتستنهض كل العصبيات والغرائز، بحيث يمكن القول بمسؤولية إن الدولة السيئة تبقى أفضل ألف مرة من اللادولة، وإن السعي لتغيير سياسات وأداء الدولة يجب أن يلتزم الحذر من الوقوع في فخ تدمير هياكل الدولة، والذهاب نحو تشريع الفوضى. وهذا لا يجوز أن يعني دعوة للتكلّس والذعر من كل دعوة للتغيير، بل الحذر من التسرّع في إجراء الحسابات واستسهال القفز إلى المجهول.

– أسئلة لا بد من الجواب عليها بتأنٍ حول الحرب اللبنانية ومثلها حروب أخرى، تتصل بالنظرة الغربية لكيانات المنطقة، التي رسمت حدودها بأقلام القناصل وخرائط وزراء الخارجية، وأبرز ما فيها ذلك التلازم بين اتفاق سايكس بيكو ووعد بلفور، والحاجة الوظيفية لترسيم الحدود في تمرير نشوء كيان الاحتلال الاستيطاني في فلسطين، والحاجة لامتصاص الفائض السكاني الناتج عن تهجير الفلسطينيين دون امتلاك فائض قوة يتيح التفكير بالحرب، وتركيب معادلات للديمغرافيا السكانية داخل حدود كيانات الجغرافيا السياسية للكيانات، تتيح تفجيرها من الداخل عند فشلها في تحقيق الهدف، كما حدث مع لبنان، أو عند امتلاكها فائض قوة يهدد أمن «إسرائيل»، كما يحدث اليوم مع لبنان، وكما قالت الحرب على سورية أمس، وكما هو الحال منذ عقد ونيّف في العراق.

– هل بلغ اللبنانيون رشداً سياسياً كافياً لسلوكهم طريق بناء دولة عصيّة على اللعب بتوازنات الديمغرافيا، وعصيّة على الحرب بقوة إدراك قواعد الجغرافيا، وعصيّة على الكسر بالتهديد، وعصيّة على العصر بالإغراءات؟

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