The Forever Imminent Collapse of the Iranian “Regime”

July 29, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Seyed Mohammad Marandi

As Iran is literally depicted as illegitimate and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability.

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Under US occupation Afghanistan has become the beating heart of global opium cultivation and distribution, but for Iran haters, just a whiff of unrest anywhere in the country is often enough for them to get practically stoned. BBC Persian becomes embarrassingly euphoric, while Persian television ‘Iran International’ headquartered in London and with ties to Mohammed bin Salman, and VOA Persian begin to hallucinate completely.

Arabic media narratives usually depend on state policy towards Iran. Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel is consistent in its hatred and is often more deranged than ‘Iran International,’ while Aljazeera Arabic and English narratives largely sway in harmony with the state of play in Doha’s dealings with Riyadh, Ankara, and Washington.

Western corporate and state-owned media usually, but by no means always, put more effort into appearing balanced and professional than their state backed Persian language Iran bashing counterparts. However, in all these outlets there is a recurring and repetitive theme that can appear credible and even well documented to the uninitiated or the true believers.

Any objective review exposes a certain consistency in “analyses” that many years ago used to surprise me. Since the 1980s, audiences have been constantly told that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil, unstable, unpopular, incompetent and a corrupt “regime” that is on the brink of collapse. In over four decades of research and reporting, it has been regularly implied that the day is not far off when the “regime” will finally fall into the dustbin of history.

Some would argue that these “experts” confuse analysis with aspirations and facts with expectations. For them, it seems the ultimate collapse of revolutionary Iran is natural and inevitable, since its ideological foundations, constitution and political structures are not based upon “superior” or “contemporary” western intellectual traditions. These views are constantly reinforced by a small army of Iranian comprador intellectuals and many angry “scholars” affiliated with western academia, think-tanks and media, who reassuringly repeat the favorite talking points of their western overlords. Liberals and “leftists” at academic institutions may fight over Cuba, Venezuela, and Iraq, but when it comes to Iran there is often a loving consensus.

The latent Orientalism of these western analysts and their native informants as well as the Eurocentric worldview imposed upon western institutions and academia, are solid barriers that prevent most from recognizing the often irresolvable paradoxes resulting from such “expert” analyses. Hence, as the Islamic Republic is literally depicted as illegitimate, incapable of self-governance, and derogatorily labeled a “regime,” these “experts” can inform their audiences without irony of the rising “menace” of Iran and the growing threat it poses to regional stability and even the “international community.”

They feel no need to explain how an incompetent and universally reviled “regime” can possibly be such an enormous threat to the existing and well entrenched regional and international order. Either the US-led Western Empire is vastly overrated, or the Iranian “regime” is not quite the regime it is portrayed to be.

Their failure to acknowledge, let alone explain, this contradiction lies in the fact that most are simply blind to its existence. The Orientalist demonization of Iran makes almost all negative attributes seem reasonable and plausible, even though they are often mutually exclusive.

The seemingly always-in-crisis Iran doesn’t even have the luxury of being competently evil or deceiving. We are told that Iranians hate the “regime,” Iraqis despise Iran (no allusion to General Suleimani’s massive funeral processions in Iraq), Afghans are resentful, Lebanese feel subjugated, Syrians are outraged, and Yemenis abused. Nevertheless, it is largely left unexplained how an unpopular and heavily sanctioned Iran can wield such enormous influence and maintain such powerful allies, while its western and regional antagonists have infinitely more wealth and resources at their disposal.

These so called experts and analysts don’t seem to recognize that while these powerful anti-Iranian narratives may have a significant impact on perceptions towards Iran, they definitely do not inspire confidence regarding the stability or legitimacy of the US Empire. Hence, we will continue to be told that the Iranian “regime” is possibly facing imminent collapse, but the real story may actually be that the centuries old domination of the “Free and Civilized world” is closer to imminent collapse.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech in the “Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation” Conference

July 23, 2021

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Translated by Staff

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, delivered a speech at the opening session of the Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation Conference on July 5th, 2021

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

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

To begin with, I would like to welcome everyone attending this honorable and blessed conference. God willing, we will benefit from the dialogs, discussions, and outcomes of this conference to be used in our media battle, which is an essential and the main part of the great battle – the battle of the comprehensive confrontation. I would also like to thank the organizers of this conference, who made an effort to complete it today, and thanks to all the participants.

My speech will focus on the conference. But at the end of the speech, I will leave a small window, to discuss the political situation. Nevertheless, the bulk of the time will be dedicated to this conference.

First: The importance of the media and media discourse in this confrontation is very clear, and we do not need to talk to the media professionals, and the leaders of the media front in the resistance about this matter.

Second: The necessity and importance of developing and renewing the media discourse in this confrontation is also clear, precisely now and in principle. This is the circle of life; everything must develop and progress. There should be no stagnation. Since the conflict’s capabilities and methods of confrontation in its other forms developed so did the military, security, and political confrontations. It is natural that the media confrontation also develops. Firstly, because it is an integral part of the battle. And secondly, to keep pace with the developments in other arenas.
Another factor requiring this renewal in discourse is the steadfastness of the axis of resistance for ten years and its victory in more than one arena and field. When we say: the steadfastness of the axis of resistance within countries, governments, movements, parties, and peoples, people may see it as simple or small. But a huge number of martyrs, wounded, tears, blood, and pain were given and dangers, challenges, difficulties, obsessions, and battles of existence were fought.

Another reason is the resounding victory of the Palestinian resistance in the Al-Quds Sword battle and the new equations it imposed, in addition to the existing challenges as the battle continues. The battle is not over yet. Rather, it is on the rise and facing new dangers, new challenges, new hopes, and new equations.

Third: The media discourse that we want to renew and develop is in the face of whom? Here, we are not talking about internal problems of internal, local, or national nature. We are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the American hegemony, with the Zionist project and the American project in the region, the “Israeli” occupation of Palestine, all of Palestine – Gaza is outside the circle of occupation – the occupied Syrian Golan, the Shebaa Farms, the Kafr Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of Ghajar, the “Israeli” occupation as well as the American hegemony. 

In this confrontation, dismantling is not correct. The American hegemony is the basis and the most dangerous because this hegemony is, first and foremost, a problem for our countries and people. It is based stealing the decision-making process, plundering goods, imposing regimes, and preventing our people from deciding their fate in any field. This American hegemony is the one that is protecting “Israel.” Palestine cannot be liberated without confronting the American hegemony in our region because it has transformed the regimes and armies into dead structures – there is no movement, no will, and no action. This hegemony provides support and all the survival elements of this usurper entity.

Can you imagine, brothers and sisters, that after only 11 or 12 days of the Al-Quds Sword battle, voices in the Zionist entity began to rise and appeal to the United States of America to support it with what the Iron Dome needs in terms of missiles to confront the missiles of the resistance? After 12 days only! This entity is basically dependent on its existence, survival, continuity, arrogance, and superiority. It depends on American hegemony and support. Therefore, we cannot dismantle or isolate during our speeches and confrontation. Every massacre committed by the “Israeli” army is an American and an “Israeli” massacre as it is. Every “Israeli” aggression is an American as well as an “Israeli” aggression.

So here we are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the Zionist project with its ambitions, threats, and challenges to all countries and people in the region. We are also facing an American hegemony, which sometimes turns into a direct occupation as in Afghanistan that extended for nearly twenty years. And it is now over, with a humiliating, weak, and failed withdrawal. The US was unable to achieve anything. [The US occupation] turned into a direct occupation in Iraq. The American forces now in Iraq are occupying forces. They claim that they came at the request of the Iraqi government, but they are behaving as occupation forces, with their hegemony over Iraq’s skies, attacks against the Iraqi people, and in its recent aggression against the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border. These are the practices of occupying forces and not friendly or supportive forces. They also occupied east of the Euphrates in Syria. Hence, we are facing a hegemony that sometimes turns into an occupation, as well as other areas, as it is now said about the presence of US forces in southern Yemen. The speech, then, aims to confront the Zionist project, the American project, the “Israeli” occupation, and the American hegemony.

4- The media rhetoric in the axis of resistance was and still is based on main elements of power, and when we want to develop this discourse or renew it, we must renew and develop it based on these main elements of power, which the other media, the hostile media, lacks most of them. 

First: Relying on righteousness. The media of the resistance and the resistance axis as well as the media discourse here express righteousness, the right to Palestine, the right of the people of Palestine to their land from the sea to the river, Syria’s right to the Golan, and Lebanon’s right to the rest of its occupied territories. I always used to say that one of the features of the Palestinian cause is that today if we go around the world, we will find that the most important and clearest cause when it comes to righteousness, the legal right, the religious right, the humanitarian right, the moral right is the Palestinian cause. We find that the standards of righteousness that we use as a reference is the clearest in the Palestinian cause and in this conflict.

Hence, we rely on righteousness in our discourse and in our position. You stand for righteousness, while the other media outlets express falsehood by all standards – legal, religious, moral, and humanitarian standards. It is the right for our people to decide their fate away from American hegemony. America and the West must not impose on these people regimes and options. It is the right for our people to benefit from their wealth, while America and international actors loot these goods. So, first we rely on righteousness.

Second: We also rely on strength, and this is one of the developments in the struggle with the enemy today. The resistance’s media does not recite poems of lament and reminisce, but rather it recites poems of glory from victories and changing the equations. This is the truth.

Hence, today we also rely on the element of strength. When we talk about the resistance and its discourse, we are talking about achievements and victories, especially in the last two decades, in the past 20 years – the liberation of the south in 2000, the victory in 2006, the liberation of the Gaza Strip, the victories and steadfastness of Gaza in the face of several “Israeli” wars, and finally the last battle of Al-Quds Sword against the Zionists. There are also the achievements and victories of the axis of resistance against the global war and the biggest strife in our region, the rules of engagement imposed by the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, on the “Israeli” enemy as well as the Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.

The resistance imposed rules of engagement and balance of deterrence in more than one arena and area. The enemy’s army was considered the strongest and an invincible army that assaults, bombs, kills, and commits massacres without taking anyone into account. The resistance imposed new equations in protecting Al-Quds. The project I am talking about is liberating Palestine, and I will return to this point later. Therefore, reliance on strength and from a position of strength, and the media’s contribution in creating victory.

Third: Relying on external facts and realities. This is one of the strengths of the resistance’s media and media discourse. It relies on external facts and realities at the political, cultural, and emotional levels of the nation, its people, the resistance, and the resistance’s environments, and the enemy.

Knowing the enemy is one of the most important features of the discourse of the axis of resistance during the past 20 years. It was not gibberish discourse. I will use the expression scientific discourse, an objective discourse, a discourse based on numbers, facts, realities, studies, and research. Knowing the enemy’s points of strength and weakness, acknowledging them, confronting them, absorbing them, overcoming them, and weakening them. We should also know the enemy’s weaknesses to create victories.

The most important matter in the media discourse for 40 years, since 1982 when the resistance began in Lebanon; then, it escalated in Lebanon and Palestine, even though the Palestinian resistance came before. But now we are talking about our experience. The most important thing in this stage and in our psychological warfare is that it was based on facts, not illusions, fantasies, inventions, dreams, or lies. Of course, we must continue in this manner.

Fourth: Based on the third point, we come to the fourth point. One of the most important elements of strength in the media and the resistance axis is honesty. Honesty, which led to credibility, and credibility does not come for free. Credibility is not created by money, by the abundance of media outlets, or by the increasing expertise of media outlets.

True credibility is made by honesty – honesty in several areas:

1- Honesty in conveying the news of what the resistance is saying to the people and what the resistance’s media and its discourse are saying to the people. Honesty in conveying facts must continue regardless of the difficulties and challenges because this honesty accumulated and led to real credibility. Today, the enemy, its leaders, and settlers – because there is no people. There are occupying settlers, occupation army, and occupied people. There are no real civilians. These people today trust and believe the resistance’s media more than they believe their own leaders and media. How did we reach this conclusion? It is as a result of honesty, the long experience, and the facts that appeared before their eyes. Hence, honesty in conveying news.

2- Honesty in the promise. During all these decades, the resistance did not make promises that are far from reality and far from being achieved. When the resistance in Lebanon was founded – with all its parties and factions whose roles we appreciate – it promised liberation. It fulfilled its promise on May 25, 2000, and before that in 1985. When the resistance promised that we are a people who do not leave our prisoners in prisons, it waged wars for their release. The Palestinian resistance also entered into serious confrontations and challenges until it was able to release large numbers of prisoners, and the Palestinian prisoners are still at the top of the Palestinian resistance’s priorities. The resistance in Gaza promised to defend Al-Quds and start a battle with the enemy if it threatened the Maqdisis, the holy city, and the sanctities. Many in the nation were waiting [for this promise]. Some considered it a worthless threat. Hence, the resistance in Gaza began its battle starting with the defense of Al-Quds to create a new equation. Therefore, honesty in fulfilling a promise is also an element of strength. 

There is also honesty in the hopes you give.     The resistance does not promise dreams as a way of deception or false hopes. Today, when the resistance promises something, sets goals, or talks about equations of protection, it accomplishes the equations, as it did in Lebanon by establishing the rules of engagement and the balance of deterrence. The brothers in Palestine are now trying to do so too.

When we talk today in the axis of resistance about the liberation of Palestine – allow me to be very clear, and this disturbs many in the world – about the removal of this usurping entity that occupies, the cancerous gland, and the main enemy from existence, we are not talking about dreams, fantasies, or false hopes. And when we say that Al-Quds today is closer, yes, it is closer. The Al-Quds Sword battle brought Al-Quds closer, closer than ever before.

So, we’re talking about real hopes. We’re not exaggerating. This is one of the most important elements of the resistance’s strength: not exaggerating, not exaggerating in conveying the facts, being accurate, not exaggerating in portraying events, not exaggerating in describing achievements and victories, not exaggerating the goals achieved or the ones we seek to achieve, and not exaggerating hopes and distant goals.

Fifth: The popular base – on which the resistance media and the resistance discourse are based – is the broad popular base in our Arab and Islamic world and in the world as well. Among the characteristics of this base is that it is religiously diverse – Muslims, Christians, and even Jews who reject Zionism and have a real presence – intellectually, culturally, ideologically, nationally, and ethnically diverse. It extends throughout the region and in the world and is united by Al-Quds, its sanctities, and the grievances of the Palestinian people. It is the most important common denominator upon which followers of religions and ideas can agree because they agree on truth, justice, and confronting injustice. This broad base receives the discourse, accepts it from you, and interacts with it on more than one level.

Interaction can happen through the media or the people. It may be by being present in the field, by expressing a position in the media or on social media, by financial support, by going to the border with occupied Palestine, by participating in the battle fronts, by the willingness to sacrifice all that is precious and valuable, or by martyrdom.

There are people whose houses were destroyed, and yet they stand patiently over the wreckage, expressing their determination to continue resisting.

There are those whose family members are killed, as we have recently seen in Gaza and see every day in Al-Quds and the West Bank in Palestine as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948. There are similar scenes in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and many places. Therefore, this base exists. It needs your discourse, the facts that you report, as well as your interaction because the word that comes from the heart enters the heart. In many events, battles, and wars, when we used to see, for example, the commentator, the analyst, or the broadcaster emotionally interacting and shedding tears, the fighters on the battlefronts cried.

So, this level of interaction exists. When media outlets are launched, they search and want to establish an audience for themselves. I always used to say that when the resistance’s media was launched, it was based on an existing audience base. But the media must address the audience, preserve it, develop its culture and awareness, strengthen its will, respect its emotions and feelings, and increase its strength, momentum, and determination. It is also the responsibility of the media here to address the others who are still neutral, expanding this base. It should also address the others who lined up behind the enemy, championing it, normalizing with it, or conspiring against the resistance. This is a hard and difficult task, but it is possible. No one must despair, not those who are neutral or those who stood with the enemy.  

The historical facts in many wars show us – there is not enough time to mention examples – how true, honest, and logical discourse bring or push large numbers of people from the enemy’s front to join the front of the friend. This transformation was caused by logical and scientific discourse, truthful and persuasive discourse. This also falls under the domain of strength that bears responsibility.

Sixth: The great human and material capabilities that the axis of resistance enjoys these days. This, of course, has no precedent. It is as they say: It is what it is. If we compare between the resistance’s media in the past and now, there is a very big development – compared to the capabilities of the enemy is another research. There is no proportionality in quantity. Yes, there is a balance. The axis of resistance can sometimes dominate in its influence because it is based on elements of real strength. These capabilities include the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, social networking sites, popular platforms, various popular discourse platforms, and all other means. This, of course, today is one of the important points of strength of the resistance axis and in the battle of the resistance. These means were able, during all wars, to participate in creating victory.

Allow me to say that it did not only report or cover news of the victory, but it also participated in creating victory in every sense of the word. There is no exaggeration in it at all. In the latest battle, the Al-Quds Sword, the unbeatable enemy supported by the first superpower in the world, after days of military failure in the face of the besieged resistance and the besieged people in Gaza, what was it looking for? It was looking for an image of victory, an image of victory, and not for a real achievement of victory. As for the resistance front, there were real achievements of victory and real images of victory, and the media of the resistance participated in creating this victory. During all the previous stages, I believe that the media participated in creating victory, preserving it, and showing it. Without the media, victory would have been lost. This is one of the challenges that I will return to talk about shortly. This is possible thanks to the elements of strength as well as the human and material capabilities available to the resistance today, in addition to your blessed presence – there are distinguished human minds, experiences, and capabilities; there are creative people. This is a fact and not a compliment. We say this knowing that there is no proportionality between the material and financial capabilities available to the resistance media and the other camp’s media. We must be objective since we are examining. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes rush to focus on the elements of weakness, on the negatives, on the gaps, on the mistakes, and this is not objective. Objectivity in any evaluation assumes that we talk about achievements and failures, and not only about failures. We must talk about elements of strength and elements of weakness. We must talk about everything. Hence, we confirm, strengthen, and develop our strengths and achievements, address the weaknesses, and fill in our shortcomings and gaps.

Putting ourselves down as we always do is wrong. In the military field, there have always been gaps and mistakes, but they usually do not appear. What appears is the achievement, which is the field victory. The same applies to the security field where everything is even more concealed. When a failure occurs, only those concerned know about it. In the media, however, since it is clear and is public, yes, the failures, gaps, and errors appear and are highlighted. I tell you that the achievements of the resistance’s media are great and very important during the past decades. We must build on them. Focusing on the weaknesses only and beating down oneself does not lead to an objective evaluation nor does it open up prospects for development and renewal. Rather, it leads us to frustration, despair, and weakness. We can’t do anything; we’re weak and powerless – if we always think like this in the fields of media, the military, politics, and economy, we are choosing death, demise, and loss for ourselves. This should not happen at all. The first and most important sign of the influence of these media outlets is the position of the enemy front. Why are they taking down channels from satellites? If these channels have no effect, let them be.

There are hundreds of satellite channels, maybe thousands of satellite channels, I don’t know. Here, there is a hundred on the cable, at the very least. There is a thousand or more elsewhere. There are many satellite channels in the world. Let them forget and ignore these satellite channels the way they do with the rest of the channels in the world. But they take certain satellite channels, I will not name any so as not to leave some of the channels out, in more than one Arab and Islamic country and take them down. Today, the rest of the satellite channels live under the threat of being taken down from the satellites. The same goes for radio stations. Newspapers are prohibited from entering, even if we are now in the age of the Internet, because the issue is difficult. The same goes for the websites of some media outlets. A few days ago, the Americans shut down more than 33 websites. If these had no influence and were ineffective, why would the enemy bother taking them down?

This is evidence of influence, that it has a positive effect on the nation and is a source of disturbance to the enemy, regardless of the degree of disturbance. I’m getting close to the last part. We need to strengthen these means. They should complement each other. There should be positive not negative competition between them. We need to benefit from each other’s experiences in the media field the way we are doing it in the military field. One of the most important strengths in the armed resistance today is that there is an exchange of experience and expertise. There is no dismantled military front, but rather there is a continuous, cooperating, and integrated military front that will expand in terms of integration, God willing, in the future. The same goes for media.

What we need today which also requires your guidance and your expertise is to make the most of the great potential available via social media platforms and whatever reasons the enemy has in opening this door to the world. This is because we can turn threats into an opportunity. I looked over some statistics that asked why the world interacted more with the Al-Quds Sword battle than any other battle. Some studies credited the effectiveness of social media platforms for this. You can ban satellite channels, radio stations, and newspapers and bring them down. But you can’t do that with social media since it reaches the whole world today. It was able to transmit images and sounds of the battle in a way that wasn’t possible during past confrontations, injustices, and massacres in occupied Palestine.

This is a very great opportunity in which every human being, every individual, not only the elites, thinkers, analysts, intellectuals, and the media, but every individual in this axis and in this nation can become a creator and address the whole world and convey images, facts, and positions. Brothers and sisters, today we are waging the battle of revealing righteousness, reviving the people, and resurrecting sincere hopes. On the other hand, in the media, we are waging a battle against misinformation, distortion, fake news, and deception. This is a harsh battle.

This needs a plan on its own. This is in the defensive field, and all we talked about is included in the attack plan. Yes, today there are a lot of capabilities invested in this, especially in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Islamic world. These people cannot defend the enemy. They cannot talk about the right of the enemy because it is false; they cannot talk about the humanity of the enemy, even if some Gulf media outlets tried to do so during the past year. However, the Al-Quds Sword battle erased these lies. Thus, they cannot defend the enemy, its behavior, brutality, crimes, falsehood, massacres, ugly face, past, or its present. And they cannot convince the nation that this enemy has no ambitions in the future. Hence, they turn their weapons toward the resistance in order to distort its image, distort its truth, falsify its positions. But the central focus is distortion, distortion in every sense of the word. So, today we see when we keep up with other hostile media outlets, I am not saying the opposite [media outlets], but hostile, that they are waging a media war day and night. Many human cadres and billions of dollars are provided for them, by their own admission. What for? For the purpose of distortion.

But in general, the focus is first on the Palestinian cause – intellectually, culturally, and religiously. We have been hearing lately – here it also needs a cultural and religious effort –  from some Gulf media outlets, especially religious theorizations that yes, Palestine is a right of the Jews, it is the right of the “Israelites” – Allah Almighty says they believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part.

Focusing on the ability of the enemy – this enemy cannot do anything, so we have to accept the wreckage – and the inability of the nation. But the most dangerous is the focus on distorting the image of the resistance. Today, for example, the resistance fighters in Iraq are accused of being Iran’s tail by some hostile Iraqi media outlets and on social media. When you are a jihadi resistance fighter and want the sovereignty, independence, and freedom of Iraq and Iraq’s oil to belong to the Iraqi people, you are a tail. But when you are an agent of the American embassy and a servant at its gates, you are a patriot. The same applies to the resistance in all the region, in Lebanon, in Palestine – you are tails, you are agents, you are Iran’s agents, you are an Iranian community, etc.

This is all easy – communities and agents, especially in this time. Accused of being an agent has become a normal thing. But the worst is when the resistance movements are accused of being mafias, mafias that steal, drug-trafficking mafias, crime mafias, without presenting a single evidence. They work on this night and day, and some people believe it. They even hold the resistance movements responsible for the dangerous situations in their countries – the economic and living conditions in Lebanon and elsewhere – even though they have nothing to with them. In any case, they even deny the victories created by the resistance and work to deny them. This happened in Lebanon in 2006. 

But after the Al-Quds Sword battle, I was watching some Arab satellite channels. While the Palestinians were talking about their victory and how the world and the Zionists recognized their victory. These channels were focusing on the numbers of the wounded, on the job opportunities that were lost, and on the pain and suffering of the people, even though the owners of the destroyed homes and the families of the martyrs and those who lost job opportunities were expressing their belief and their pride in victory. Just like what happened in Lebanon. The enemy was unable to create an image of victory. Yet, the hostile Arab media outlets created an image of a victory for it out of the bones and limbs of children, women, martyrs, and the wounded in the Gaza Strip and in occupied Palestine. This, of course, needs to be confronted. This is a tough battle that needs to a planned and follow up. But, first, allow me to say we need self-confidence. First, we must not be shaken by this distortion. We must have great confidence in ourselves, in our brothers and sisters, in our environment, in our people, in the resistance movements. These people are not infallible. They make mistakes, but the resistance movements enjoy credibility, sincerity, a high level of willingness to sacrifice, and loyalty. But these qualities do not prevent them from having some who make mistakes and commit sins. We must work to address mistakes and sins. They exaggerate the mistakes, but in general, they are fabricating lies and fake news that have nothing to do with the resistance and the resistance movements.

Today, you are invited to study this discourse on the basis of these elements of strength and to develop and renew it on every level in line with all the developments taking place in our region, with all the capabilities available in our hands – militarily, politically, culturally, socially, financially, etc. Development should also be in accordance with the threats, challenges, and opportunities. We must work to transform threats into opportunities. We need to review our rhetoric, our discourse, our literature, the terminology, methods, means, tools, ideas based on these constants. We do not want to start from scratch, but we want to take this great amount of quantitative and qualitative achievements in the axis of resistance, including achievements in the media, as a basis. We all must benefit from the results of your discussions and dialogues, God willing.

I would like to personally ask you for your own effort to help consolidate the new regional equation that we are proposing, to make it the regional equation for the protection of the Holy City. The resistance in Gaza wanted to indicate that they will meet any threat against al-Quds. The entire region will protect Al-Quds against any threat. This talk is not for media consumption, not for scoring points. We didn’t do that in the past, and we won’t do it now. This is a serious and real project that can be used as a basis. It is now being used as a basis – even if it has not yet been translated into practice. When the Zionists are convinced, and they are convinced, that threating the Holy City as well as the Islamic and Christian sanctities in the Holy City will lead to a regional war, they will reconsider and tread carefully when taking such a step. Launching the equation can impose a deterrent rule, let alone working to stabilizing it or even translating it into reality in the near or medium future.

We are working to link the elements of strength – states, governments, movements, and people – to this equation in the axis of resistance. We stay up at nights, hold meetings, coordinate, communicate, study, make plans, and put possible and hypothetical scenarios and various plans, etc. But this also needs the creating of a new public opinion, as we are emerging from a difficult stage during the past ten years. We need a new public opinion. If we were talking about an equation that will protect a geographical area in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, the idea of a regional equation or a regional war might not be acceptable to many of our people. But when we talk about the Holy City and the sanctities that concern everyone – the entire nation, the governments in the nation, all the free people of the world, and all the followers of the heavenly religions – this idea must be accepted and appreciated and has fertile ground, and we must work strongly for it. This requires focused effort during the next stage.

The last part of my speech is a look into the local situation. It will be said that O Sayyed and brothers – the speech can be addressed to you and me – now you are gathered to discuss the media discourse and its renewal in the face of occupation and domination, assessment, investment, and appreciation of the victory in Palestine.  We were expecting you to talk to us about the queues at gasoline stations, absence of medicines and baby formula, and the internal problems we suffer from. I would like to comment on this point and conclude with a couple of words.

In fact, it is required of those who conspire and lay plans in the region, in our Arab and Islamic world is to make all the people of this region preoccupied with internal issues, political problems, bread, gasoline, fuel, a bottle of gas in their homes and the milk of their children, their salary, and the national currency, so that there will be no place in their minds and hearts nor will they have the will, determination, concern, planning, and following on matters that concern the nation, including Palestine and Al-Quds. This is well known, and there is nothing new. But I am only reminding you. This has been in the works for decades, in one form, other than regional wars, wars between brothers, wars between friends, tearing up the nation, tearing up countries, etc. This is what is taking place in every country; the siege and economic sanctions on our countries, especially on countries and people belonging to the axis of resistance. In fact, their goal is for us to reach the point where there is no place for Palestine – in our minds, hearts, emotions, sentiments, our media follow-ups, our interests, our participation in the battle at any level. This is where they wanted people to be, and they are relatively successful. Let’s be realistic, and they are relatively successful. We have to acknowledge this and face it.

The correct thing to do is to work on two tracks or paths at the same time. The first path is to remain fighting this main conflict, not to lose sight of it, not to leave it, not to neglect it. The second path is to address our internal problems in our local, national society. We must do our utmost to address our political, living, financial, and economic crises and not abandon them. But we have to – here is our problem – work on both tracks, and I admit to you that working on both tracks is stressful, tiring, confusing, and difficult. However, with will and determination, we can advance. The first path does not make us abandon our internal interests, and the second path should not drown us and cause us to fall into our internal problems at the expense of the first path. This is the complexity of our battle that we must continue and fight.

Today, the Lebanese people and all those who queue in front of petrol stations and pharmacies must know what is happening with their currency and salaries. They must not lose sight of all the real causes of the crisis. The same goes for the countries in the region. Yes, there are real reasons that are frankly related to the crisis of the system in Lebanon. We are not only facing a government crisis. The government crisis in Lebanon expresses the crisis of the system. It is the product of the crisis of the system. There is a crisis of the system in Lebanon. There is a political crisis in Lebanon. There is rampant corruption. There are a lot of thefts. There is limitless monopoly. Until now, it is incomprehensible what is happening with the  gasoline and diesel and in renewing its causes. Sometimes some reasons are being exaggerated. They talk to you about smuggling. Control the issue of smuggling. How much is the percentage of smuggling? But look at the percentage of protected and abandoned monopoly. Well, we have a problem. True! It is a political crisis, corruption, a crisis of administration, a crisis of government, monopoly, a crisis in responsibility. Allow to speak at the popular level. There is a crisis of awareness among the people. We are not beating our people down. There are many people who are aware. But there are people take things where the enemy really wants. We need a little patience. It doesn’t make sense for people to shoot and attack each other with knives at the gasoline station. This is ignorance. This is ignorance beyond ignorance.

In any case, there is another reason, a real reason, a very big reason –  it’s America and its policies. It besieges, punishes, and prevents any help that can come from anyone in the world, whether it comes in the form of deposits in the Central Bank, donations, or loans. The US is the one that is preventing [them from reaching Lebanon]. You are America’s friends in Lebanon, don’t you know that? Aren’t you ashamed of that? The US ambassador makes appearances every day and sheds crocodile tears. Isn’t her government and administration the one preventing any country in the world from providing assistance, gifts, a deposits, or loans to Lebanon for political goals that are not related to Lebanon? Rather, it they are in the service of the “Israeli” occupation, in the service of the project to stabilize “Israel”, in the service of the settlement project, in the service of usurping gas and oil from our territorial waters, in the service of for “Israel’s” security. Isn’t it? Is it not the US administration that is preventing Lebanese banks from bringing their money and dollars from abroad? Is it not the US administration that is imposing sanctions and threatening sanctions? Is it not the US administration and its policies that are preventing the Lebanese, the Lebanese governments, the Lebanese state from seeking the assistance of any friend from the East? It is forbidden to ask assistance from China. Here, we are not just talking about arguments. There are real opportunities to address the economic and living situation in Lebanon. Real opportunities. Lebanon needs investments. This does not require a lot of philosophizing, either deposits to strengthen the Lebanese pound a little, gifts, aids, loans, or investments. The best are gifts and investments because they do not have effects on the budget and the Lebanese people. There are major Chinese and Russian companies that are ready to invest in Lebanon based on the BOT method, and without the Lebanese state paying anything. Then, these companies are told: No, no, no.

Don’t the Lebanese officials know that this will revive the Lebanese economy and the country, address a large part of our crisis, and secures tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of job opportunities? They know, but I tell you frankly, there is the American veto and fear of the Americans. They do not fear that the US will include the Lebanese state and the Central Bank on the list of sanctions. Rather, there is personal fear – they fear that they, their people, their wives and children, be included in the list of sanctions. 

The Lebanese people in various areas and from various parties and factions offered their best youth, men, and women, as martyrs to save Lebanon and liberate it. In order to save them financially and economically, don’t Lebanon and the Lebanese people deserve that the politicians in Lebanon sacrifice and bear, even if that means they will be included in America’s list of sanctions? Why don’t we have the courage?!

Otherwise, tell me what are the solutions? What are we waiting for? The Lebanese are waiting for a slow death; everyone is talking about collapse. They only differ on the timing of the collapse. Well, these are real solutions, these are realistic solutions. America is threatening to put Lebanon, the officials, or political figures in Lebanon on the sanctions lists. Reality is telling us that all of Lebanon is heading toward death. What will you do? How will you act?

This should not be forgotten while facing the internal confrontation. This is part of the main conflict. This is basically their goal. They tried for years in Gaza to incite the people against the resistance. They besieged Gaza. 

After more than two years of calm, stability, and security in most of the Syrian regions and governorates, and when Syria was calling on companies from all over the world, from the east and elsewhere, from the Arab world, even Lebanese companies to invest, America’s Caesar Act came to impose a siege on Syria. It threatened any company that invests in Syria within a certain scope with sanctions. So, the companies retreated. They got frightened and retreated, even countries friendly to Syria. This is in order to put pressure on Syria.

Iraq is still suffering. Iran is still suffering. Yemen is besieged. Gaza is still under siege. This is the logic of the sanctions in Lebanon. The Americans are frankly saying that our goal in Lebanon is to incite the Lebanese people against the resistance in general and specifically the environment of the resistance against it. These people have no shame. They do not hide their goals. They said years ago that we spent 500 million dollars in 2005 and 2006 just to tarnish the image of Hezbollah. Today, the Americans are saying we want to incite the Lebanese people and the environment of resistance against the resistance.

O Lebanese, the main partner in destroying your national currency, the reason for the crises and calamities you are also experiencing, the high prices, hunger, and the loss of job opportunities is the US administration, the US policies, and the US embassy in Lebanon, which deceives you by giving you two or three masks here and malicious smiles. Yes, there are other problems – I don’t want to defend – but other problems have always been there, corruption, banditry, wrong policies for decades. But the difference is that these practices were protected by American policies and by successive American administrations. The most prominent thieves, spoilers, and corrupt people in Lebanon are America’s friends in Lebanon as well. Why did America remain silent about them during all the past years and now came out to fight corruption? It is not even honest when it talks about corruption. This is a cover for the real economic battle.

Today, we find them clearly speaking in “Israeli”-American discussions. Following their failure in the July 2006 war – so far, they have failed, and we are in 2021 – they threatened us with war. They threatened us with bombing, bombing our places, our camps, and our factories if we do not stop with precision missiles. All their threats were in vain because they know the nature of the equation. They know that war with Lebanon is not a picnic. They keep on threatening, but they also know the price in return. Well, what are they betting on? Today, all the “Israeli” enemy’s research centers are pinning their hopes om the economic and living crisis in Lebanon. So, I tell our people to, first, arm yourselves with awareness, patience, and determination – yes, with hard work, you can address these crises – to, at the very least, persevere during these crises.

In conclusion, the issue of the government. Now, the prime minister-designate has returned. These days are supposed to be decisive. I do not want to say anything now because there are meetings that will be held today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow that can clearly paint a picture of the government scene.

We also have the news that we heard in the media about allegations against the caretaker prime minister, a number of former ministers, and a number of military and security leaders. We did not read names of judges, and it was not said that there were judges. Of course, it is unfortunate that the defendants find out about the allegations against them from the media. Until this moment, I think – at least this morning – no one has been officially informed that they are the defendants or wanted for investigating over the Beirut Port case. Of course, this is one form of political exploitation of the issue. We previously rejected this, and we reiterate our rejection of this issue.

Today, I will not comment. I will leave the comment for a later time until the real judicial information comes out to see whether the information circulated and leaked in the media is true or not. We previously talked about the standards and the difference in standards. What we are seeking as the anniversary of the explosion and this horrific massacre nears is justice and truth. Until now, justice is still far away, and the truth is hidden. For a year and for months, we called on the former investigative judge and the current judge to publish the file of the technical investigation regarding this horrific incident. So far, our demands have fallen on deaf ears. Was what happened an explosion? Was it intentional? Was it caused by negligence? Were there rockets owned by the resistance in the Beirut Port? Were there resistance weapons stores Beirut Port as was said in the first few days and weeks?

This is part of the campaign of lies that we did not spare time to give evidence for. And you know it doesn’t need evidence. So far, no one told the truth yet, not even to the families of the martyrs. We do not want you to hold a press conference, my brother. Just gather the families of the martyrs and tell them how their children were martyred. Was there an “Israeli” missile? Was there an “Israeli” aggression? Were there explosives? Did the resistance use the warehouses in the port? Was there negligence? And secondly, we want to see whether there is a unity of standards or not, a real judicial action or political targeting. Then based on this, action will be taken.

As for the living conditions, we must all continue to work towards real solutions, effective solutions, not small or simple actions. This can only happen through a courageous will and a high willingness to sacrifice to open the doors to save the Lebanese economy.

Thank you for giving me your attention. You are used to listening to me for an hour and maybe I go further to an hour and a quarter. I wish that your conference will be productive and useful, God willing. And we will certainly benefit from all your ideas, opinions, and creations. May God grant you wellness. Thank you for all your efforts from now and in the past. And thank you, in advance, for your sincerity and loyalty in this battle. 

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

Dr Bouthaina Shaaban: a decade of dirty war on Syria

May 8, 2021

It’s 10 years since the war in Syria began, and Western media & pundits are still eager to keep it going

*Media headlines at the 10 year anniversary of the war on Syria.
moi

March 15, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

After many wars built on lies over the decades, people might have developed a good BS radar. Instead, in March 2011, when media and human rights groups pushed propaganda about Syria, the public once again fell for it.

Front page, round-the-clock headlines were pumped out, and transparently hollow Western pundits tut-tutted Syria’s president and claimed the Syrian government was cracking down on “peaceful protesters.”

But this is March 2021, and while Western lies and fake concern have dominated news on Syria, Syrians deserve to have the reality – their suffering under some of the most heinous terrorism the world has known – highlighted instead.

In reality, March 2011 in Syria saw well-armed thugs attacking not only government buildings, but killing soldiers and civilians too.

In the months and years that followed, some of those who had been dubbed as “peaceful protesters” committed massacre after massacre of Syrian civilians and security forces.

Independent observers like Homs-based Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt witnessed “armed demonstrators who began to shoot at the police first.”

Flemish priest Father Daniel Maes, based in Damascus’ countryside, said:

I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people.

From my own fourteen visits from April 2014 and over the next seven years, what I’ve heard and experienced in Syria only confirmed my early suspicions that what Al Jazeera and Western media were purporting were lies.

– While people did aspire to political change (and the government made changes), from the start there was violence from well-armed “protesters.”

– Contrary to what the media would have us believe, there wasn’t wide support for what was dubbed a “revolution,” and it wasn’t actually a revolution. Predominantly Sunni Aleppo rejected the non-revolution.

– The core message of the protesters who continued beyond the first few protests was not about democracy but about driving out Christians to Beirut and killing Alawites. A sectarianism promoted by the West and its Gulf allies.

Although mass media attempted to paint events in Syria as a “civil war,” both Israel and Western nations have long been supporting terrorists in Syria, including Al-Qaeda in Syria (reportedly providing them medical treatment), and even Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

And as I detailed, the West has long been working to change the government of Syria, even decades prior during Hafez al-Assad’s time.

How I saw Syria vs. what it looks like through al-Qaeda-tinted glasses

In April 2014, I met an American living in Latakia who recalled reading a LA Times blog post alleging a protest which had turned violent in her city three years prior, but which never happened. According to her, she had been to the places mentioned in the report that day, and there was no unrest.

Years later in Damascus, I met and interviewed a Syrian doctor who had been based in Dara’a province in March 2011. He described how his hospital operated at normal capacity at the time. At the same time he says he saw a repeated report on another mainstream outlet that said the facility was overwhelmed, not enough doctors were available, and moreover, that the hospital was denying treatment to civilians, when in fact the hospital directives were to treat civilians before soldiers.

Since a core message in regime-change reporting on Syria has been that the people want the president gone, it’s worth noting that President Assad is actually quite popular among Syrians. In fact, I was surprised to come across a January 2012 admission of this, one of the worst purveyors of lies and war propaganda on Syria.

Assad’s popularity has only steadily grown. From the early months of 2011 to late 20112012, and beyond, Syrians held mass demonstrations in support of their president.

In Lebanon in 2014, I witnessed a mass show of support during the presidential election. These were people determined to vote, and people I spoke with proudly declared their support for Assad.

From 2014 to my last visit in 2020, Syrians have maintained to me that while there are a host of changes they do want for the country, seeing President Assad step down is not one of them.

The Syrian government issues visas to journalists from the worst propaganda outlets (including the BBC, Channel 4, the New York Times, CBC). Yet, they have reported a vastly different Syria than that which I or my colleagues know.

In their Syria, the suffering of civilians in government-controlled areas doesn’t exist. If mentioned, they are dubbed “regime supporters,” thus somehow deserving of the shelling and other abuse perpetrated by terrorist factions.

The outlets don’t take into account the millions of internally displaced Syrians who have fled terrorism or fighting elsewhere in Syria and taken shelter in government-controlled areas, frequently coming under attacks of terrorists.

When greater Aleppo, with around 1.5 million people, were for years being attacked with gas canister bombs, mortars, grad missiles and sniping by terrorists occupying areas of the city (by November 2016 resulting in the deaths of nearly 11,000 civilians), media downplayed this, or simply didn’t mention it at all.

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*From my February 2015 “University Hospital, Damascus: Meeting Victims of Western-backed Mortar and Rocket Terrorism

Even when mixed Christian and Muslim areas of Old Damascus were shelled by terrorists occupying eastern Ghouta—and they were shelled for years, until Ghouta’s liberation—this terrorism, and the many maimed and killed, was underreported, if reported at all.

In one instance, after an elementary school was mortared (killing one child and injuring over 60 more) the BBC’s reporter later disingenuously wrote, “the government is also accused of launching [mortar shells] into neighborhoods under its control.”

In summer of 2016, I travelled around Syria, meeting Syrians who had started their lives anew, displaced by terrorists, and meeting Syrians who had survived terrorist attacks only to be living within a few hundred metres proximity and daily at risk of sniping and shelling.

And all the while, the same war propagandizing, script-reading, media glossed over the horrific realities of life under terrorist rule, which included imprisonmenttorturestarvation, rape of women, and public executions of civilians by sword or point-blank assassination.

Fallen’ cities, ‘chemical attacks’ and other lies

I’ve gone to many key cities and towns post-liberation from terrorist factions. Western media inevitably said these areas had “fallen,” bizarrely trying to claim that life under the government would be worse than life under the extremists who easily and routinely murdered civilians in the street.

Civilians under terrorist rule were starving—not by the Syrian government, but by the terrorists—and were often imprisoned in ghastly often underground prisons.

From the old city of Homs, to the ancient Aramaic-speaking village of Maaloula, to eastern Aleppo, to Madaya and al-Waer, to eastern Ghouta and even areas of Idlib province, civilians I met spoke of the hell they had lived under terrorist rule, and of their relief at being liberated.

When mass media said those areas “fell,” they were lying. Those areas returned to peace and stability.

UN representatives may feign concern and neutrality in matters Syria, but the UN has been complicit in ignoring terrorists’ shelling of Damascus. And in silencing the voices of suffering civilians and Syrian representatives at the UN.

Then there is the issue of the alleged and never proven “chemical attacks” by the Syrian army.

I’ve written about the chemical weapons accusations, noting even a lead member of the UNHRC commission of Inquiry, blamed the “rebels.”

Many journalists, including myself, have gone to Douma, the location of the latest alleged chemical attack, and interviewed medical staff and civilians, concluding that a chemical attack did not take place.

Douma witnesses spoke at The Hague, including a boy featured in Western media’s claims. Instead of considering these Syrian sources, pundits and media sneered “obscene mascarade” regarding the testimonies.

Yes, the same media which uncritically endorsed the Twitter account of a seven year old English-illiterate Aleppo girl as gospel in the lead up to the liberation of Aleppo refused to consider the testimonies of seventeen civilians from Douma.

The same media refused the revelations of OPCW whistleblowers who spoke out, damning the final OPCW report for its glaring omissions—omissions that completely changed the narrative around Douma.

In October 2020, the UN Security Council itself refused to allow José Bustani, former General Director of the OPCW, to speak. I urge people to read Bustani’s words on the cover up of OPCW expert findings around the Douma allegations.

*Screenshot I took in 2020 when seeing CNN recycling their lies of 2018–as though it was happening in 2020

Still lying after all these years

Even now, five years after his image was plastered across global media as the “face of suffering in Syria,” allegedly hurt in a Russian or Syrian airstrike, the UK’s Independent has a photo of Aleppo boy Omran Daqneesh as its Twitter cover photo.

But this was a narrative debunked in mid-2017, when I met a healthy Omran and his father. The father specifically said there was no airstrike.

Still other lies that were debunked years ago are being recycled anew, in the West’s ceaseless attempt to criminalize Bashar al-Assad and legitimize the US coalition’s illegal presence in Syria.

But none of the media or pundits who claim to care about Syrians’ well-being address the actual causes (including terrorists) of their suffering, chief among which, the brutal Western sanctions against Syria, which directly impact on Syrian civilians’ ability to live and procure medicine, much less rebuild.

Also impacting on Syrians’ economy and sufficiency, the US’ theft of Syrian oil and cotton, and burning of wheat. And this, along with other US illegal polices in Syria, will only get worse under the Biden administration.

And if you peruse recent headlines, you’ll see the same old Western insistence that things won’t change until Bashar al-Assad is gone. They’ve blatantly said sanctions will continue until then.

And now they’re going after the first lady, a woman who is well-liked on the ground in Syria for dedicating her work to helping the country’s poorest through development and microfinance projects.

The West would have us believe she has, “incited and encouraged terrorist acts,” a claim, emanating from the UK (which most definitely incited and encouraged terrorism), that would be laughable were it not so revolting.

Russia has called this, “psychological pressure on the eve of the presidential election.”

look at the legal entity behind the absurd allegations reveals this isn’t the first time they’ve attempted a legal attack against the Syrian government.

To adequately write about the past ten years of war on Syria would take volumes. For the sake of brevity: it need never have happened, nor the deaths and destruction accompanying it.

This was a premeditated and cruel war on the people of Syria, spurned forth by media who truly do not care about the lives of Syrians.

To quote Father Daniel:

“The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

RELATED LINKS:

Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

The Terrorism We Support in Syria: A First-hand Account of the Use of Mortars against Civilians

Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda

Western media ignoring reality on the ground in Syria

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”

Overcoming Savagery and Treachery, Maaloula’s Heroic Defenders Fight for the Future

Where is the West’s compassion & condemnation following terror attacks in Middle East?

Torture, starvation, executions: Eastern Ghouta civilians talk of life under terrorist rule

Syria War Diary: What Life Is Like Under ‘Moderate’ ‘Rebel’ Rule

Order Returns To Western Cities as Syrian Civilians Recount Horrors Of ‘Rebel’ Rule

Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

Scoundrels & gangsters at UN: Silencing the Syrian narrative

The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head

Statement of Concern: The OPCW investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria

US sanctions are part of a multi-front war on Syria, and its long-suffering civilians are the main target

As Syria Struggles Under COVID-19 Lockdown, America’s Scorched Earth Policy Ensures Food Insecurity

Syria, Venezuela sanctions

Joe Biden Unlawful Aggression in Syria Signals the Endgame in the Region

Impressions From An Informal Meeting With Asma al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady

حرب فضربة فعمليّة

طبّلت وزمّرت وسائل الإعلام الخليجية لمشروع حرب يشنها الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب وتقلب معادلات المنطقة، انطلاقاً من خبر قيام ترامب بإقالة وزير دفاعه مايك إسبر. وخلال أيام وبعد تعيين وزير جديد كتبت الصحف الأميركية عبر تسريبات ترامب نفسه أنه كان يفكر بضرب المفاعل النووي الإيراني في نطنز، لكنه صرف النظر عن الفكرة بعد تلقيه تحذيرات من مستشاريه بخطورة فتح حرب كبرى في المنطقة.

في الخبر نفسه أن وزير خارجية ترامب مايك بومبيو كان الوحيد في فريقه المؤيّد للعمل العسكري في المدة المتبقية من ولاية ترامب ووجاءت جولة بومبيو الخارجية تعبيراً عن سعيه لتسويق مشروعه وربط الخطوات السياسيّة في المنطقة بنتائج هذا المشروع.

في باريس كان واضحاً أن بومبيو سعى لتجميد ولادة الحكومة اللبنانية الجديدة تحت شعار أن متغيرات كبرى مقبلة وستقلب الوقائع في المنطقة ومنها لبنان ولاستبعاد أي فرضية تربط كلام بومبيو بفرضية عمل عسكري أميركي أصدرت وزارة الدفاع الأميركية بياناتها عن تنفيذ قرار انسحاب متدرّج من المنطقة بتوجيهات ترامب.

لم يكن كافياً تقلّص الحرب الى ضربة فتقلص المرجع أيضاً من ترامب الى بومبيو الذي حط رحاله في كيان الاحتلال وقام بجولات استفزازية وصلت الى الجولان تعبيراً عن الوقوف الأعمى مع الكيان في كل خطواته العدوانية وفي طليعتها ضم الجولان، لكن يبدو أن زيارة الجولان كانت تعبيراً رمزياً عن أبوة بومبيو لتقلص جديد حيث الضربة صارت عملية تنفذها قوات الاحتلال على تخوم الجولان المحتل وتمنحها وسائل الإعلام الخليجية تغطية استثنائية بصفتها تغييراً نوعياً لقواعد الاشتباك وإصابة استراتيجية لمحور المقاومة.

الشهداء عندما يسقطون مهما كانت رتبهم ومهما كان عددهم هم إصابات موجعة، لكن التغيير الاستراتيجي شيء آخر.

بلغ الهزال في حالة المشروع الأميركي حدّ أن يكون الردّ على قرار الانسحاب الجزئي صواريخ على السفارة الأميركيّة وأن يكون سقف المقدور عليه أميركياً وإسرائيلياً هو تكرار لما سبق وتمّ اختباره من عمليات توجع بسقوط الشهداء، لكنها لا تغير معادلات باتت فوق طاقة الأميركي والإسرئيلي والمطبع الخليجي معهم ولا تعوّض عجز الفقاعات الإعلاميّة ولا النقل المباشر للقنوات الخليجية وخروج بعض المعلقين المدفوعي الأجر ليكرروا عبارة تحول استراتيجي.

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علّقوا المشانق

ناصر قنديل

رغم كل الحرب الإعلامية التي خاضتها وسائل الإعلام المموّلة خليجياً لتوظيف الكارثة من دون أي حس بالتضامن مع المصابين، بقيت الحقيقة واضحة عصية على التحريف والتزوير، رغم قيام عدد من المتحدثين المأجورين بالتناوب على توزيع الاتهامات وتأويل الكارثة لتخدم في السياسة فكرة تحميل المقاومة مسؤولية كل أذى يصيب لبنان، حتى لو كان تسونامي. فكورونا في البدايات سوّق له كمشروع إيراني نفّذه حزب الله بنقل العدوى إلى العالم العربي، ولم يردع حجم الكذب أصحابه هذه المرة من تكرار المحاولة لمسرحة الكارثة والمتاجرة بها.

الحقيقة التي باتت ثابتة هي أن موادّ شديدة الانفجار بكميات كبيرة كانت قد تمت مصادرتها من سفينة تهريب نقلت السلاح للجماعات المسلحة الإرهابية في سورية من تركيا عن طريق مرفأ طرابلس، وتمّ تخزين هذه الكميات وهي بالأطنان في أحد عنابر مرفأ بيروت منذ أعوام عدة، رغم عدم صلاحية عملية التخزين في المرفأ والمخاطرة الكبرى الناجمة عن ذلك، ووقع حريق تسبب بانفجار مستوعبات تحمل مفرقعات، وامتد الحريق والانفجار إلى المواد المخزنة الشديدة الانفجار، فوقع ما وقع.

الانفجار الكارثي يعادل زلزالاً بقوة 4 درجات ونصف، وصلت تأثيراته إلى زجاج المنازل في قبرص، وهي تبعد 180 كلم عن بيروت، وربما يكون أكبر انفجار منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية، وبالمقارنة بين نيويورك وبيروت في عدد السكان والمقدرات الاقتصادية، هو بضخامة 11 أيلول على نيويورك، والحصيلة ستزيد عن مئة شهيد وخمسة آلاف جريح، والخسائر ستفوق المليار دولار، فمن تسببوا بالكارثة بالإهمال أو التغاضي مجرمون يستحقون أن تعلق لهم المشانق.

كل شيء في المساءلة عن الفساد والخراب الاقتصادي قد يحتمل التأويل، أما هذه الكارثة فلا تأويل للمسؤوليات فيها، فكل مَن تولّى مسؤولية وزارة أو إدارة معنيّة بمرفأ بيروت وتخزين المواد المتفجّرة فيه، خلال كل السنوات التي مضت بعد مصادرة هذه المواد، يجب أن يحاسَبوا، وأن يلقى كل منهم العقوبة التي تتناسب مع حجم مسؤوليته، وأقلّ العقوبات يجب أن تكون الطرد من الوظيفة العامة، والحرمان من الحقوق المدنية بما فيها حق الانتخاب والترشح للانتخابات، حتى على مستوى بلدية، وأقصاها هو الإعدام شنقاً لمن تثبت مسؤوليته المباشرة عن ترك هذه المواد تنتظر صدفة، كالتي حدثت لتقع الكارثة.

رئيس الحكومة وعد اللبنانيين بأن المسؤولين سينالون الحساب والعقاب، والمطلوب بسيط محكمة مختلطة مدنيّة عسكرية ذات صلاحيات عرفيّة تتشكل سريعاً مهمتها حصراً تحديد المسؤوليّات خلال أسبوعين عن الكارثة، وإصدار القرارات الاتهاميّة لإصدار الأحكام خلال شهر، وإلا على لبنان السلام، فاللبنانيّون لم يعودوا يثقون بشيء، واللبنانيون في صدمة، واللبنانيون يريدون أفعالاً لا أقوالاً، ومَن يُرد كسب ثقة اللبنانيين فعليه أن يبادر الآن وليس غداً.

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