Sayyed Nasrallah: When Dealing with the Developments, We must Look for Our Responsibilities

August 14 2021

Sayyed Nasrallah: When Dealing with the Developments, We must Look for Our Responsibilities

By Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah urged followers to be mindful of their Taklif [religious mandate] when dealing with political, security, economic, and social events and developments that have repercussions on those around them.

In his speech during the fifth night of Muharram at the central Ashura commemorations hosted by Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “when any of us speak in this country [Lebanon], it has consequences and repercussions on the fate and future of the people.”

“I always tell the brothers that I hope to work as a preacher among the people and at the battlefront and not have to bear responsibility for decisions because it’s a very big and dangerous responsibility,’ His Eminence narrated.

He further stated that the people in these circumstances have a shared responsibility.

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that after nearly 30 years of shouldering responsibility in this march, he knows very well what the weight of the responsibility is.

“Day and night, in every situation and every assessment of a situation, we must think of our hereafter because on the Day of Resurrection we will stand between God’s hands and will be asked about the decisions we made and be held accountable for it.”

He further underscored that “There is no doubt that Hezbollah today is the largest of the Lebanese parties, and this is a positive thing, but it entails responsibilities.”

Sayyed Nasrallah saw that among the historical projections today are those who say, “Where are we from Hussein [PBUH] and how can we be patient in this situation?”

“Imam Hussein rose for great goals, so we compare him to a small battle here or there.”

He also highlighted that some argue that if they don’t carry the sword to fight for diesel, they abandoned Hussein [PBUH].

“This is not correct, we must pay attention to historical projections,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “Hussein [PBUH] went to Karbala for very great goals, in order to preserve Islam, reform the nation, and restore the system of government to a great Islamic prophetic rule. He rose in a very sensitive juncture.”

Regarding the misuse of historical events, especially those related to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, His Eminence said, “the peace treaty with ‘Israel’ is invalid because you are giving up land owned by the Palestinian people to the occupiers. This peace is illogical and inhumane. What is its relationship to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah? This is haram.”

He warned that there are people who criticize and have a different assessment. “We have to discuss and guide them, and this is our responsibility, not to attack the critics and lose their support, because the goal of pressure is to make people confused and suspicious.”

“One of the forms of confrontation is to take the initiative to explain, communicate, and clarify,” he added.

He called on people to bear some and understand others since difficult circumstances put pressure on people and leave them confused, objecting, and with questions, adding that this is normal and even happens to the elite.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram
Video Here

Translated by Staff

Full speech of Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the tenth day of Muharram (08/30/2020)

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 be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty reward you.

On the tenth day of the anniversary of the great calamity and tragedy that befell the Muslims and the nation, which we always remember, and every year on this day we offer condolences to the one who is truly consoled, to the one who cried Al-Hussein at his birth and before his martyrdom, the Messenger of Allah, the master of the messengers and the prophets, Muhammad bin Abdullah (PBUH), who was the grandfather of Al-Hussein (PBUH). To the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH); to the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, the mother of Al-Hussein Fatima Al-Zahra (PBUH); to Imam Al-Hassan Al-Mujtaba, the oppressed martyr (PBUH); to our masters and imams; to the remnant of Allah on earth, our souls be sacrificed for him, whose cries his grandfather blood instead of tears; to all Muslims and those who love the household of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), we offer our condolences on this great day and on this painful occasion.
This year, the tenth day [of Muharram], especially for us in Lebanon, comes sadder. The squares and streets in Lebanon, which were crowded and filled with devotees and mourners during times like this, are today empty because of this epidemic that struck the world.

Every year, the scene was always strong and distinctive. It expresses the people’s loyalty, insight, awareness, passion, and love for God, the Messenger of God, and the Messenger of God’s household.

We ask God Almighty to lift this pandemic from all the peoples of the world, from us and from you, so that the we can mark the anniversary next year as it has always been marked throughout the years, God willing.

It has been customary that on the tenth day that we summarize the situation in Karbala, and then from there, we talk about our contemporary issues. Here, I will invoke two well-known positions of the Master of the martyrs, Abu Abdullah Al-Hussein (PBUH).

The first position: When falsehood, its logic, policy, and position prevail and become dominant, while the truth is lost, becomes estranged, and even condemned, every believer, honest and free people are required to take a stance of protest that may reach to martyrdom.

In this position, Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned?” He said this when he was explaining the reason for his departure and his journey to Karbala as well as the state of the ummah at that time.

“Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned? In such circumstances a believer should desire to meet Allah.” – if every person will definitely meet God Almighty, and the believer will meet God, let him meet Him while he is right, defending the truth, fighting for the truth, and being martyred for the sake of the truth.

“In such circumstances, a believer should desire to meet Allah. Surely, I regard death as nothing but an honor and life with oppressors as anything but disgrace.” – what kind of life is this when falsehood becomes the one that governs all people’s issues, large and small.

The second position: When the pretenders, dictators, thieves, invaders, and occupiers give you two options: either accept the humiliating solutions and the humiliating life or bear the war they are imposing on you and its consequences. Then, the choice in the school of Karbala is clear, decisive, and strong. 

“Beware that this illegitimate son of the illegitimate one has made me choose between the two: drawing sword and humiliation, and never to humiliation!” – why? Was it a position based on his mood? No!

“Verily, Allah disagrees to it and so do His Prophet, and the sacred laps which nursed us, the modest, and those who abhor disgrace disagree to it that we bow down to the ignoble men, and they exhort us to being killed manly in the battlefield over it.” – this is the summary of the situation on the tenth day in Karbala.

Based on these two foundations, I will delve into some of our current issues.

I have a few words or two points regarding the situation in the region. Regarding the Lebanese situation, there are a number of points. Of course, the issue regarding the southern borders with occupied Palestine, I will include it with the Lebanese situation.

First: Regarding the struggle in the region today, there are two clear scenes or positions for the struggle between right and falsehood, meaning there is no confusion between them.

The first position: Palestine is occupied. The Zionist “Israelis” have been occupying this holy land since 1948 and 1967, in addition to Syria’s occupied Golan, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of al-Ghajar. There is a clear and unambiguous falsehood here – occupation, invasion, confiscation of the rights of others by force, terrorism, and massacres. There is also a clear and undisputed truth – the right of the Palestinian people to the entirety of Palestine from the sea to the river, the right of the Syrian people to the entire occupied Golan, and the right of the Lebanese people to the rest of their occupied land.

There are always those who want to impose falsehood – occupation by military force, wars, destruction, murder, assassination, displacement, economic siege and starvation. Today, in the face of this falsehood, there are those who stand by the side of truth, those who uphold the truth, and those who fight for this right and resist this occupation. They are the ones who reject this usurping entity. They include countries, peoples, and resistance movements.

Today, on the tenth of Muharram, on the day when faith is expressed firmly, we in Hezbollah and in the Islamic Resistance affirm our categorical commitment to rejecting this usurping entity and not recognizing it even if the whole world acknowledges it. We cannot recognize this apparent falsehood, this injustice, invasion, occupation, and the confiscation of lands, the people’s rights and sanctities. This is our commitment. 

We will remain beside all who fight and confront this entity that is usurping al-Quds, Palestine, the occupied Syrian Golan, and Lebanese territory still under occupation and is threatening the entire region.

The second position: The reality and fate of the peoples, governments, states, and resources not only occupied Palestine, but also the region in which we live. 

There is also a struggle between truth and falsehood. The truth is represented by the people and the governments that express the will of the people. The people in our region want to live in their countries free and dignified. They want their countries’ natural resources for them – oil, gas and water for the people; they want to make their own decisions. 

The falsehood is represented by the American hegemony and the American administration that wants to control and impose governments on peoples; to impose humiliating solutions that serve the interest of the Zionist enemy; to plunder oil and gas; and steal money directly and indirectly. The US represents this apparent falsehood, this clear falsehood.

Among the manifestations of the subjugation attempts and US hegemony on our region, peoples, and countries are the American policies towards occupied Palestine and the Palestinian people’s cause, the imposed war on Yemen six years ago (this war is primarily American with the Saudis and Emiratis being tools for fighting, spending money, buying weapons. But the real decision is an American one. Today, if the Americans want the war on Yemen to end, it will end. The Americans want this war to continue. The Saudis and the Emiratis are American tools. They carry out America’s desires and decisions.), the unjust blockade on Syria and the Caesar Act, the American occupation of a Syrian land east of the Euphrates and the direct plunder of oil fields by US companies, American support for authoritarian regimes in our region, foremost among which is the suffering of our people in Bahrain for many years, and the American impudence in dominating Iraq and plundering its resources under different pretexts.

Among the biggest manifestations of aggression, greed, and US interference in our region is the continuous aggression against Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution lead by His Eminence Imam Khomeini, wars, sanctions, blockades, regional and international complicity with a US administration and decision.

We are facing this conflict between the right – represented by these peoples, these governments, and the resistance movements, which we summarize as the axis of resistance – and the American falsehood that wants to dominate, control, plunder, and milk the money and good of our peoples and leave them in unemployment, ignorance, illiteracy, hunger, disease, fear, and anxiety,

On the tenth of Muharram, on the day of Karbala, from a doctrinal and religious position, we can only say that we can only be on the side of truth, on the side of the fighters for the truth and the defenders of truth in our region in the face of this American falsehood.

Contrary to the false numbers that some are spreading, we will triumph in this battle the way we triumphed in Lebanon and in Palestine during the past years; the way the steadfast and patient people in Yemen are achieving victory; the way Syria triumphed; the way Iraq achieved victory over Daesh and the takfiri terrorist organizations created by the US administration; and the way Iran was steadfast and achieved victory in its war. 

In our opinion, victory is in the future of this conflict – in first place Palestine and in its wider scope, the region. It is a matter of time. One of the important indicators of the strength of this axis is that during the past years it faced a global war in more than one country, arena, and field. Yet, it emerged victorious with its head held high. This is what will happen in the near future, God willing.

Second: The second point regarding the situation in the region. It is also my duty on the tenth of Muharram to say the truth no matter how high the prices. We condemn all attempts by any country, group, figure, class, party, and regime to recognize “Israel”, and we condemn any form of normalization with this enemy.

In this context, we reiterate our condemnation of the position of UAE officials and those who chose this option. Of course, as we said earlier, they moved from secret normalization to a public one. But look and learn a lesson, the “Israelis” did not allow some Emirati officials to save face. This showed the “Israeli” enemy’s arrogance and insolence. 

Some Emirati officials, for example, said that they took this step to prevent Netanyahu from annexing large parts of the West Bank. The “Israelis” did not even wait a few hours; Netanyahu invalidated their excuse and said the annexation is still on his government’s agenda.

He could have given them at least two to three days to pass the lie to their people, to the Arab people, and to Palestine and the Palestinian people; to sell them the lie; and make it seem like they made a great political achievement and got paid for the agreement. 

Of course, any agreement of this kind has no price, no matter how great it is. This is a betrayal. Whatever the price that they got in return, how so if there was no price? He (Netanyahu) did not allow them to save face – that is if they even had a face to show. He invalidated their claims more than once. He held a quick press conference and posted tweets on Twitter.

Moreover, the Emiratis have promoted that this agreement will open the door for the UAE, for example, to obtain F-35 aircraft and high-quality American weapons and technology. Netanyahu immediately declared that this is incorrect and not part of the deal, saying “Israel” will not accept to have the UAE acquire F-35s – knowing that Netanyahu, his masters, and his slaves are well aware that the F-35s will not be used by the UAE against the “Israeli” entity. However, “Israel” does not trust the UAE, any country in the region, or any people in the region. Its real guarantee is its strategic military superiority.

This is how the occupier deals with those who crawl towards it under the pretext of peace and normalization. They even said that we moved from the concept of ‘peace in return for the land’ to ‘peace in return for nothing,’ nothing at all except for humiliation and shame.

I mentioned previously and will repeat that what the UAE did is a free service to Trump in his worst political days. It is also a free service to Netanyahu in his worst political life. Anyway, this is a condemned position and it must be condemned. We will be asked about our condemnation of this position on Judgment Day about.

I turn to the Lebanese situation. In the Lebanese situation, we will present several points. 

1- The first point is the issue of the government. We assume and hope, God willing, that tomorrow during the parliamentary consultations, the Lebanese parliamentary blocs and deputies will be able to name a candidate who enjoys the required acceptance constitutionally to be mandated to form the new government. We pin high hopes on what will happen during these hours, which will be translated, God willing, tomorrow during the consultations.

We need a government capable of improving the economic, financial, and livelihood situation, reconstruction, and the completion of reforms. Reforms are a national demand, and they are everyone’s demand. We support going in reforms as far as possible. Of course, some hypocrites and liars in Lebanon say that Hezbollah poses as an obstacle to carrying out reforms. God willing, whether in naming the prime minister or forming a government, we will be cooperative and contribute to pulling the country out of the void that we have always rejected and warned against.

2- The second point: There are international calls from some countries in the world, both regional and domestic, to heed to the demands of the Lebanese people – the Lebanese people have demands, calling for a set of reforms: we want a government that expresses the Lebanese people’s will and represents them. 

Excellent, these are valid demands without discussion, regardless of the background from which these calls are based. But these are righteous words. Our desire in Lebanon as well as in all the region and the world, our desire is always to have a government and a state that express the desires and aspirations of our people and translate them in practical and realistic terms. But we must be clear and specific since there is a main misconception here. Someone may come from outside or from the inside and lay down or assume a group of demands, then say these are the demands of the Lebanese people. They may also assume a form of representation by themselves, then say this represents the Lebanese people.

Today, since we are talking about mains topics, I call for addressing this issue, meaning we all agree that any state, any government, any parliament, any judiciary, and any institution in our political system must heed to the demands of the Lebanese people and fulfill their hopes and aspirations. 

Regarding the Lebanese people and their aspirations and demands, it is clear who the Lebanese people are – unless we want to disagree in determining who the Lebanese people are. The Lebanese people are the Lebanese men and women in Lebanon and those abroad. There are no official statistics, but generally it is close to five million more or less between resident and expatriate. 

How do we identify and know the demands of the Lebanese people? Do we adopt the method of demonstrations as some are trying to adopt now? For example, if several hundred people took to the streets, in any area – Martyrs’ Square, anywhere in Lebanon – for one day or several days, held a sit-in, and put forward demands. Will these demands become the Lebanese people’s? If several thousand people took to the street and put forward a set of demands, are these the demands of the Lebanese people? If tens of thousands of people countered the aforementioned protests and put forward different demands, will these be expressing the aspirations of the Lebanese people? If another group of the Lebanese people were provoked, and in the face of the tens of thousands, a hundred thousand or hundreds of thousands came out, would these people be expressing the demands of the Lebanese people?

Do we use demonstrations and taking to the street as a mechanism for expressing and exploring the demands of the Lebanese people? Let us agree. If we agree on this mechanism, then we will all adopt it to express the demands and aspirations of the Lebanese people. Then the government, the state, and the international community must respect this mechanism, recognize it, defend it, and not deny it.

This is an example of a mechanism. Of course, I am not suggesting. 

Should we, for example, adopt a referendum, a popular referendum like in many democratic countries? The Lebanese always talk about Switzerland and that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the East. Well, Switzerland holds a popular referendum on main issues. 

Would you like us to adopt this mechanism and hold a referendum on the demands, aspirations, and hopes? There are people who do not accept the popular referendum and directly talk to you about the numerical majority and that it would not work in Lebanon, etc.

Would you, for example, adopt a reliable, scientific, multiple, intersecting, objective, and reliable opinion poll mechanism? Are there other mechanisms? We are ready to discuss whatever means you prefer. But this matter should be addressed in Lebanon so we all 
understand each other.

In Lebanon, we must define what our people want and what must be addressed in order to cut off the road to anyone who imposes demands and aspirations and says that they are the demands of the Lebanese people. You want to adopt the parliamentary elections, well, we made parliamentary elections based on the best possible law suitable for the Lebanese situation – the law of proportional representation. Opportunities were presented to everyone, and the current parliament won. And after a short period of time and very early on, there were calls for early parliamentary elections.

Well, what exactly do you want? My question today is to the political forces, to the religious authorities, to the judicial and media elites, and to the entire Lebanese people, a question even to the Lebanese people: What are the mechanisms that you, the Lebanese people, want to adopt in order to express your aspirations and hopes so the rulers, the ministers, the representatives, and the leaders in Lebanon as well as the countries in the world and the international community know them.

This issue needs a solution. This is not solved. No one in Lebanon, without exception, no religious authority can come out and say this is what the Lebanese people want.

How did you know? Did you conduct an opinion poll and asked the Lebanese people? Did you make a referendum? No political leader can come out and say this is the will of the Lebanese people, let alone someone who represents himself – even his wife might not believe in his political choices. 

No, not even us as a party can claim that we express the will of the entire Lebanese people even though the results of the elections and the facts state that we are the largest political party in Lebanon with more supporters than any other party or as a duo with the Amal movement, or with our other allies. We only express the will of those we represent.

Be honest and objective. This issue needs to be addressed so that we can set our country on the path towards a proper and correct cure. When the government is mentioned, who said that the Lebanese people, for example, want a neutral government, a technocratic government, a political government, or a technopolitical government? There is no solution. Yes, there is one solution – if we consider that the elections express the opinion of the Lebanese people and that the parliamentary majority, for example, is call for a certain type government, then we can say that this government is what the majority of the Lebanese people is demanding.

3- The third point: We heard a call from the French president, on his recent visit to Lebanon, for a new political era in the country. In the past few days, we heard from French official sources sharp criticism of the sectarian system in Lebanon, and that this system is no longer capable of solving Lebanon’s problems and responding to its needs. I would like to say today that we are open to any calm discussion in this field, to reach a new political era, but we have a condition – this debate and this national dialogue should take place in line with the will and consent of the various Lebanese factions. Thus, if there are people who fear that a debate will take place or fear heading towards a new political era, then we must respect these concerns.

It is good, that a hundred years after the establishment of the current Lebanese entity and the state of Greater Lebanon, for the Lebanese to sit down and discuss this matter. But I have a remark on the appearance of the suggestion and its content. This reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and the Lebanese political mentality. 

Let us assume that a Lebanese religious authority, a political authority, one of the three leaders, a group of MPs, or a Lebanese party called for a new political era. What would have happened in the country? They would have been accused of blasphemy, not being patriotic, agents, and someone serving a certain project. The matter will then take a sectarian dimension, etc. 

I remember a few years ago – I did not talk about a new political era; a new political era means starting from the beginning – I spoke about a founding conference to develop the Taif Agreement, to develop an existing political era. We remember at the time the reactions of some parties and authorities. Then, later I spoke and retracted it. 

The point is that this matter reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and mentality. When this suggestion comes from outside, from any president or another country, even if we respect his ideas and endeavors, you find the whole country silent. No one is objecting. No one was accused. The matter did not take a certain dimension. Of course, if the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Syrian president called the Lebanese to a new political era, what would have happened in the country? Some countries are classified as friends, and even those who disagree with them, the latter deals with them with respect, just as we do.

This, of course, is a problem in the Lebanese political life and mentality. Thank God, there is someone who came from somewhere in the world and the people in Lebanon did not comment negatively on what he proposed, and thus opening the door for such discussions. This debate should be opened some day.
4- The fourth point: The explosion in the port of Beirut. We emphasize the firm judicial follow-up, and we talked about this at the beginning. It should not diminish or weaken with time, and officials, especially in the judiciary, must pursue this matter without political accounts and courtesies. The blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the unknown fate of the missing people, and the suffering of people should not be lost or forgotten. We emphasize on speeding up compensation for people so that they can return to their homes. We also call on the competent authorities, specifically the Lebanese army since it is the one that carried out the technical investigation and sought the help of experts from abroad, to announce the results of the technical investigation.

Here, I am not talking about the judicial investigation – who is responsible, which director, minister, head of department. This is another matter related to the judiciary. But there should be something that has been accomplished or at being concluded. If it is accomplished, we hope it will be announced. If it’s being wrapped up, we hope that it will end and be announced.

Let the debate and fabrications in the country be resolved. We ask the technical investigation to tell us whether there were in Warehouse 12, in other hangars, or in the whole port of Beirut, missiles, weapons, or ammunition. Let it say that. Announcing this matter will end the lies and will cut off slanderous tongues, which have worked on this topic for days and are still working on it despite the clarity of the issue. But there is insistence on this matter.

Also, regarding the issue of the ammonium nitrate, because when it became known that there were no missiles, ammunition, or weapons, or any such nonsense, and since it was known who brought the ammonium nitrate, they change their story – the ammonium nitrate belongs to Hezbollah, they brought them in, the ship belongs to Hezbollah, the bank is for Hezbollah. The same lies. 

Any Lebanese or anyone from the Gulf can simply pay a foreign newspaper some money to write an article with some information. Then some Lebanese with their media outlets can quote a certain newspaper in the world and say that the ammonium nitrate was so and so. We hope the authorities concerned with the investigation, the Lebanese army in particular, resolve this issue and announce the results.

Of course, there is a second matter that will follow, and we must follow up on it. We will follow up on it. I will talk about the resistance since the president, the Free Patriotic movement, and everyone else is defending themselves. Is it reasonable, for example, that a TV station creates an atmosphere during sensitive and emotional times for days on end, convincing a stratum that this devastating and thunderous blast is caused by Hezbollah, Hezbollah’s missiles, and Hezbollah’s weapons?

If it turns out that this talk is baseless, does it mean forgive and forget? Thus, anyone can create a hateful and ugly atmosphere in the country with this level of distortion, incitement, and injustice. And it ends as if nothing happened. Aren’t there government agencies that should follow up on this matter? It just so happens that the government has resigned, but there are judicial bodies that must follow up on the matter. There are concerned parties in Lebanon that must follow up on this issue. 

It is important for people to hold these lying TV stations accountable. People should hold them accountable because people are being affected – their minds, hearts, and emotions. False convictions and positions are built on these lies. In the end, this is the fate of a country.

5- The fifth point: We have the anniversary of the second liberation in the Bekaa after the first liberation in the south in May 2000. We remember the suffering of our people in the Bekaa, especially in Baalbek-Hermel in the adjacent villages that were facing attacks by takfiri groups as well as the dangers and constant threats of storming these villages. Some suicide operations and bomb attacks took place here. There were also some explosive devices that were discovered.

We also recall these takfiri groups’ blatant aggression against the Lebanese army and the security forces; they kidnapped and killed officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army and the security forces; the humiliation they practiced via the media outlets available to them. All of this existed for years. However, the decisive response from the beginning came from the people and the resistance because the Lebanese army was committed to defense. It did not attack due to the absence of the political decision that came later during the Jaroud Operation. 

The decisive response and the last decisive battle were a new victory created by the equation: the army, the people, and the resistance. We always provide credibility for this proposition through achievements on the field. The second liberation, similar to the first, is one of the achievements on the field.

Yelling, complaining, and crying would not have liberated our barrens in the Bekaa. Our towns in the villages of Baalbek-Hermel, whose inhabitants are varied, would not have been aided because we have a sectarian composition in the country. The golden equation: the army, the people, and the resistance, is the one that protected, defended, liberated, and brought about security.

On this anniversary, as I said a few nights ago, it is our duty to thank the martyrs, the families of the martyrs, the wounded, all the fighters of the Islamic Resistance, the fighters in Hezbollah, the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army, and the officers and soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army. I also mentioned some of the forces in the Syrian militia that fought with us in the Qalamoun region on the second side of the Jaroud.
All of them made efforts, gave blood, got wounded, and made sacrifices, and some were martyred so that we can get to where we are now. There is also the diverse popular environment that has adopted this option. 

I will simply tell you that there were people in the Jaroud that opposed their political leaderships’ choices. All the people in those villages demanded that the battle against the takfiri groups be resolved. The people did not see the militants as rebels or a reform movement. They saw them as a group of takfiri terrorist and killers.

Today, we must issue a warning again since there is a daily attempt to re-produce Daesh in Iraq. There are security operations in Syria. There is an attempt to re-produce Daesh in the east of the Euphrates, most probably in the Jazira region that leads to the al-Sokhna and Palmyra. The Syrian army and its various allies in the Jazira region are fighting these groups that are being regenerated. They are, in fact, defending the security of Syria and defending Lebanon, its borders, and hills.

Unfortunately, if one day these militants were able to reach Palmyra again, surely these barrens and these sites would be one of the places they would want to seize.

In fact, we must be aware. On the second liberation day, we must value all those who are fighting today in the Jazira region in defense of Syria, Lebanon, and the whole region.

6- The sixth point: We will follow up on all the options and proposals that we previously talked about to address the economic, financial, and life situations in Lebanon with the new government, which we hope will be formed quickly. And there are steps that have been taken regarding the agricultural-industrial jihad and popular efforts to confront any attempt to starve that we announced. There are steps that will be followed up on. We must continue this work – set programs and cooperate at the national level, government and people, because this is a great challenge facing the Lebanese people.

7- The seventh point: We have the anniversary of the kidnapping of His Eminence the leader Imam Musa Al-Sadr and his two companions and dear brothers, His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, may God return them to their families and to their homeland safely.

This is a comprehensive national anniversary of what Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr represented not only at the Shiite level, but also at the national and Islamic levels. This cause belongs to all of us. 

Imam al-Sadr is the imam of the resistance. He drew for all of us a clear path and approach to the conflict with the Zionist enemy and the manner in dealing with national issues and issues of the region.

On the anniversary of his kidnapping, we affirm that we all in Hezbollah and in the Amal movement belong to this great imam, his mind, his soul, his thought, his path, and his approach. On the anniversary of his forced absence, we emphasize two things: 

The first thing is the depth of the relationship between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement – the cooperation, coordination, and integration between them. This is in our opinion and contrary to the desires of many in the country. 

Contrary to the desires of many in the country, this relationship, in our opinion, is what always achieves the most important and greatest interest of Lebanon, which is protecting Lebanon through the equation of the army, the people, and the resistance. It also serves many national interests.

Some unfortunate, sad, and painful events that take place between young people here and there, in this town or that place – thank God, some of these events take place within long intervals, not in succession – are condemned and rejected. The youth must face them consciously. 

But certainly, due to the trust and the strong and mutual relationship between the leaders of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, we can overcome even these unfortunate events and overcome them consciously, responsibly, and firmly. We have to cut off the road to all those who hope and are betting on a strife between the brothers.

The second thing is that we in Hezbollah have always been and will always be supportive of the leadership of the Amal Movement, the Supreme Islamic Shia Council, the family of Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr and the families of His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, i.e. supportive of all families, in all the steps that they have taken or might take in following up on their case. 

We are by their side and support them because they are the ones who are bearing the responsibility and took on this responsibility. And this is a very natural thing. We are by their side. We put ourselves at their disposal in all that can be asked of us in this regard.

8- The eighth point: Here I will speak clearly. I left it for the last for the “Israelis” and for the people to have a clear understanding of our position and the situation on the southern border with occupied Palestine. Several weeks ago, “Israeli” air raids on the vicinity of Damascus airport lead to the martyrdom of a number of martyrs including our brother and mujahid martyr Kamel Mohsen. We are committed to an equation, and we have always applied this equation and are keen on applying it. Our goal is not revenge in the true sense of the word. Our goal is to punish the killers and to establish the balance of deterrence for protection. This manner has been adopted since 2006.

We only issued a statement and said that martyr brother Ali Kamel Mohsen was martyred as a result of an “Israeli” raid on Damascus airport. We only said that, and we did not say anything else.

The “Israelis” on their own stood on a foot and a half. The “Israelis” know perfectly well, and this of course is one of the resistance’s achievements. The “Israelis” deal with arrogance and aggression with entire regimes and armies, but it deals with the resistance in a different way. This did not come as a result of words and speeches. This was the result of 38 years of sacrifices, jihad, perseverance, achievements, and victories, while the “Israelis” were dealt disappointments, defeats, as well as military and security failures.

On their own – to summarize the situation – stood on foot and a half along the borders from the sea to the Golan heights, not only on the Lebanese borders, but also on the Syrian border with occupied Palestine. 

The “Israelis” carried out all the measures that you know. They evacuated military sites – if you go there now, you’ll find that they’ve been evacuated. Meanwhile, there are sites that were not evacuated, but the soldiers there are in hiding. The patrols were canceled completely. Sometimes, a patrol quickly passes and exceptionally in places if they felt that there was no movement for the resistance. The “Israelis” started sending unmanned vehicles and putting dummies dressed as “Israeli” soldiers in them like last year. It is as if they are telling us to target this vehicle. Then a helicopter and an ambulance will come and put the soldiers in stretchers. By doing so, they think they fooled us. It’s like, O Hezbollah, what do you want? You want to kill a soldier, well you have. Isn’t this what they are doing? This is what the “Israelis” are doing now.

Yesterday, you saw on television how they brought a walking robot and put a dummy on it for us to assume it was a soldier and that this is an opportunity.
These measures are still in place and have been in place for weeks. This is part of the punishment. This is an army that considers itself the most powerful army in the region as opposed to the resistance in Lebanon. Yes, I tell you that it is standing on a foot and a half on all the borders. They are anxious. The measures are not only taken along the border, but also behind it – they check who enters the settlements and who leaves; checkpoints are set up; training programs are disrupted; maneuver programs are disrupted; artillery groups and troops are deployed; the Iron Dome is on high alert awaiting the resistance. The “Israelis” know that this resistance has credibility and is serious.

When something happens along the border, “they think that every shout is against them,” as we said in the statement. If they sensed a certain movement at a certain point, they begin bombing the perimeter of their posts in the Shebaa Farms, in the Manara point, i.e. facing Meiss Ej Jabal and Aitaroun, and in the western sector area.

This reflects a state of confusion, anxiety, and panic among the “Israelis”. Why would they bomb sites? They are supposed to have information and control over the information. They are supposed to be alert or have information in any case.

Today, I want to be clear about this. Up to this point, we consider everything that has happened since the martyrdom of our brother to be a part of the retribution. We are convinced of that. But I would like to be clearer for the benefit of the people in Lebanon who follow us, as well as for the “Israelis”. If we wanted to respond just in order to raise the morale or for media consumption, we would have retaliated on the first day. Let me go into details. Simply put, there are “Israeli” posts in Shebaa Farms and even along the border. as far as we are concerned, this matter is over. At one point, we used to distinguish between the Shebaa Farms and the border. The Shebaa Farms are occupied Lebanese territory, and nobody should dispute our right to resist. But when the “Israelis” attack, there is no longer a distinction between the Shebaa Farms and the international border. We concluded this matter the last time.

Quite simply, the men of the resistance could have hit a military post with a group of rockets, hitting some fortifications and some installations. Then, we could have filmed this and sent it to all media outlets. And Allah Akbar… and this would have been our response to the martyrdom of our brother. But no “Israeli” soldier would have been killed or wounded. 

It is also possible that “Israelis” might do what they did in the Shebaa Farms incident – they put the ladder for us so we can get down from the top of the tree. They can bring helicopters and stretchers and pretend to show wounded people the wat they did at the time of the Avivim barracks incident. Then everything is over.

This was not our goal. We are not looking to win points in the media or to just raise the morale. We want to set a certain equation, and today, I will be franker about this equation than any time in the past.

Let the “Israelis” understand: When you kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill someone your soldiers. That’s it. This is the equation. It is not that you kill one of us, and we bomb a post, hills, bunkers, some iron and tin installations. They have lots of money. They can replace these objects. This is not the one that will create a balance of deterrence with “Israel”.  

The “Israelis” know – this is the first time I speak bluntly – that we are not looking for success in the media or for a photo-op. They know that we are looking for an “Israeli” soldier to kill. This is why they are hiding all their soldiers. They are hiding like mice.

This is the resistance’s point of strength. This is not a point of weakness. This is not a failure. The accuracy is that the resistance is not here to spill its anger or seeking to do a consumer work. 

The resistance is serious in accomplishing this mission. The “Israelis” are hoping for anything to happen so that things return to normal in the north of occupied Palestine and their done with it. This matter is not like this to us. During the last incident a few days ago, more than one flare bomb was thrown, and phosphorous bombs set fire to places – unfortunately, shells hit some homes and an agricultural institution called “Green Without Borders” – but praise be to God, no one was injured or martyred. There were only material damages.

We did not engage in gun battle because, honestly, this is what the “Israelis” wanted – they attacked our front and we retaliated. They burned some trees, and we did the same thing. And that’s it. 

We feel that this wastes the blood of our martyr and the equation of deterrence. What the “Israelis” did a few days ago as well as a few weeks ago when a missile mistakenly hit a house in al-Habbariya are all recorded in the account. Settling this is coming. We consider this a categorical and decisive decision. It is only a matter of time and place. We are not in a hurry or wrecking our nerves – is it going to be today or tomorrow? 

We do not consider it a weakness if the response was late because we could not find a target that would achieve the objective. In the end, how long will you stay in your burrows? How long? A week, two weeks, a month, two months, three months? Regardless of the duration, time is not a pressing matter to us. No one is pressing us with time either. 

Eventually, you will go out on the road and we will meet you. We will set this equation. All the threats by Netanyahu, Gantz, and the Chief of Staff Kochavi will not prevent us from setting the achievement that was enshrined by the blood of thousands of martyrs.

9- The last point: Just a few words regarding the coronavirus. The number in Lebanon is spiking, unfortunately. Every day, the number is going above 650 cases. The decision to close is not being implemented. Of course, there is a resigned government whose circumstances are difficult. Even if a new government is formed, I do not know to what extent we will be able to handle this matter.

On the other hand, closing is difficult. Shop owners, restaurant owners, and hoteliers are protesting. People need to go to work. Thus, there is a method which is adopted today in the world, but it requires commitment. It does not require closure, and people can go to work and making a living. 

There are two words circulating in the whole world: social distancing. Can we abide by social distancing or not? Can we commit to wearing masks or not? 

Hence, social distancing and wearing a mask. One of the knowledgeable doctors says: the mask, the mask, and the mask. In any case, the results of the vaccine have not appeared so far, and this situation may continue for months and years. So, what do we do? Today, hospitals, directors, and officials in Lebanon say that we no longer have the capacity to receive patients, and the number of deaths is increasing every day. Do we need a calamity to happen in order for people to wake up? Why isn’t there commitment? Can’t we get married without a wedding part? Yes, we can. 

Can we console each other over the phone and on social media? Yes, we can. The dearest thing to us this year was the month of Ramadan, and we were committed [to the measures]. Marking the nights of Ashura was the dearest thing to us, and we were committed. Can we commit to the measures during other occasions? In our behavior and our life? We can do that. Today, this is a very great responsibility, I repeat and say that has to do with religion, the Hereafter, and the question on the Day of Resurrection. This is a religious duty. It is not a desirable act and leaving it is undesirable. This is a religious duty that means neglecting it is a sin, for which a person will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection. This is speaking from a religious standpoint. If we want to speak from a humanitarian and moral standpoint as well as from our responsibility towards our families and others around us, we must resolve this issue. So, what can we do?

Should we, for example, beg you, plead with you, kiss your hands? O people, for your safety, for the safety of the country, and for the safety of all residents of this country. There should be a different sense of responsibility.

Since we are talking about the tenth day, I would like to conclude by talking about Hussein (PBUH). We were hurt that this year we did not have the chance to attend mourning ceremonies. From now, we must commit to the coronaviruss measures to get rid of this pandemic in Lebanon so that we can take part in mourning ceremonies next year. 

If there was still a pandemic, our performance to commit to the measures would make controlling it easier. What is the gateway by which we can use to tell people: O our family, our loved ones, and our people, please abide by social distancing, the mask, and disinfecting? 

I ask God Almighty to keep everyone in good health.

In conclusion, on Ashura, on the tenth day, we renew our commitment and pledge to our imam by continuing this path. We will keep telling him no matter how long “Labaik ya Hussein! [I am here, O Hussein!].”

No matter how great the sacrifices are, “Labaik ya Hussein!” With our blood, our tears, our remains, our cries, our patience, our grievances, our estrangement, our hopes and our pain, our cry will remain “Labaik ya Hussein!”

No Yazid in this world could cut us of from Hussein, from the truth for which Hussein was martyred, and from attending jihad arenas for the sake of the truth that Hussain called us to stand for. No one will ever be able to. We will remain Hussainis and people of Karbala and Ashura. We will carry this thought, this culture, this loyalty and sincerity, and this constant willingness to sacrifice souls, money, children, and dear ones for the sake of the truth that we believe in.

Peace be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty bless you, better your consolation, and reward you.
 

Sayyed Nasrallah to “Israel”: We’ll Kill Your Soldiers… Wait for Us

By Zeinab Essa

Sayyed Nasrallah to “Israel”: We’ll Kill Your Soldiers… Wait for Us
Click for Full Video

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Nasrallah delivered on Sunday a televised speech on the 10th of Muharram.

Condoling the Muslim world commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the scene today as “sad and different as the Lebanese streets and yards are empty due to Covid-19 pandemic.”

On Imam Hussein’s day, His Eminence recalled that “when being obliged to choose between humiliation and war, we say: Far from us is disgrace.”

“We, in Hezbollah, and on the 10th of Muharram affirm that we would never accept the existence of the false “Israeli” entity even if the whole world recognized it,” he stated, reiterating Hezbollah’s support to anyone who fights it.

His Eminence further highlighted that “There is a clear and unambiguous right of the Palestinian people’s right in all of Palestine from the sea to the river.”

“We stress the right of the Syrian people in the occupied Golan, and the right of the Lebanese people to liberate their occupied lands,” the Resistance Leader underlined, noting that “We will remain to support everyone who faces the “Israeli” entity’s occupation to the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories.”

According to His Eminence, “The peoples in our region want to enjoy living in dignity and freedom, away from the US administration that works to practice hegemony and impose governments on peoples.”

“In the imposed war on Yemen, the Saudis and Emiratis are the tools in the hands of the Americans as they implement the US’ wishes and decisions,” he emphasized, pointing out that “Today’s clear and explicit falsehood is represented by the US, which plunders people’s wealth and money.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also mentioned that “One of the greatest manifestations of the US aggression, greed and intervention in our region is represented by the continuous aggression against Iran through imposed wars, sanctions, sieges and schemes.”

Condemning all attempts to recognize “Israel” from any side, the Resistance Leader slammed any form of normalization with this entity.

“We reiterate our condemnation to the position of some UAE’s officials, whom Netanyahu did not respect, and any agreement of this kind is a treason,” he viewed, assuring that “As we have triumphed during all the past years in Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Syria Iraq and Iran, the future of this conflict is the victory that is inevitably coming. It is a matter of time.”

On “Israeli” PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance rejecting the sale of F-35s to the UAE, Sayyed Nasrallah said: ““Israel” does not trust the UAE or any other nation in the region.”

“What the UAE did is a free service for [US President Donald] Trump and Netanyahu in their worst political days,” His Eminence underscored.

Moving to the internal arena, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that in the coming hours a PM is named and a government is formed to achieve reforms

In addition, His Eminence announced “Hezbollah’s support for reforms in Lebanon to the maximum level,” warning of vacuum.

“Claims that Hezbollah is impeding reforms are mere lies,” he mentioned, noting that “We will cooperate to pull our country out of any governmental vacuum.”

On the calls for political change on the internal political arena, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The International calls for meeting the demands of the Lebanese people are excellent.”

However, he asked “Who sets the criterion? Are popular protests and street presence the criterion for reflecting popular demands? Shall we organize a referendum?”

In response, His Eminence went on to say: “No one in Lebanon not a religious authority nor any political leader can say this is the will of the Lebanese people.”

“We can say that we are the biggest political party in Lebanon with the biggest number of supporters, but we do not claim that we represent the entire Lebanese people,” he stressed, pointing out that “We in Hezbollah express the will of the people we represent.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah raised the questions, “Who says that the Lebanese people want a neutral, independent, technocrat or political government? The French president called for a new political contract in Lebanon during his recent visit. What if the Iranian President offered the same call? Had the presidents of Iran or Syria called for a new political contract in Lebanon, would have happened?”

“There is a problem in the Lebanese political culture,” His Eminence affirmed, unveiling that “Hezbollah is open to any calm discussions in the regard, of a new political contract, but we have a condition that the discussions should enjoy the consensus of all components.”

He also recalled that “Years ago, I mentioned a constituent assembly to improve the Taif Accord and we remember the internal sides’ reactions that occurred.”

Regarding Beirut Port blast, Sayyed Nasrallah called on the “Lebanese Army to announce the results of the technical investigation into the Beirut Port incident, because announcing the results will end the campaign of lies and slander.”

“We stress that the judiciary should firmly follow up on the port blast,” he said, asserting that “The blood of martyrs should not go in vain.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that “There is a new attempt to reproduce Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL] in Iraq, Syria and east of the Euphrates.”

In addition, he highlighted “the depth of the relation between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.”

“The memory of the kidnapping of Imam al-Sadr and his two companions is a comprehensive national memory, Imam al-Sadr is the imam of the resistance.”

On “Israel’s” raid that martyred the Resistance man- Ali Mohsen-in Syria, His Eminence reiterated Hezbollah’s equation: “Our objective is not revenge, but punishment and to establish a balance of deterrence.”

““Israel”, on its own, just after Hezbollah’s statement mobilized its forces and upped its measures on the Lebanese and Syrian borders. “Israel” is now sending remote control vehicles carrying dummies to give the Resistance targets to hit,” the Resistance Leader declared.

To the “Israelis”, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a sounding message: “I’ll be very clear, the “Israelis” must understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill one of their soldiers. For us, the decision to respond to the “Israeli” is a categorical and decisive one. Frankly, we are not in a hurry.”

“The issue of “Israel’s” targeting a house in the village of Al-Habaria is a subject to response, and all the threats from Netanyahu, Gantz and Kochavi will not deter us,” he confirmed, telling the “Israeli: “Your soldiers will eventually appear on the roads.”

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Sayyed Nasrallah: One “I Have Only Seen Beauty” Frustrates the Goal Millions of Dollars Were Put to Achieve

 August 29, 2020

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah
Click the Picture for video

Al-Manar Website Editor

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured on the eve of Ashura that our tools of confrontation in the battle we are facing today are our honesty, religious, political and moral commitment and wise presence in media.

His eminence assured that the battle we are facing today is unprecedented since the last 50 years.

“Due to the big role that media plays today, they follow a strategy in which they wage huge attacks through different media outlets all at once. This is because the administration of this wide campaign in one, so you see the same news on different media outlets and newspapers. The battle today is one of the most critical ones after they have failed on the security, military and political levels.”

“For example if an accident occurs in some place like Lebanon, Iran, or Iraq, statements are released, then they suddenly spread more and more, and if you trace the source of these statements you will find the 80% of them are from Saudi Arabia or Emirates or other countries. So these sentences are not from the people of the country in which the accident took place, this is rather an electronic army that is trying to impose a public opinion on the people of this country. Today journalists themselves assure that they are being offered money or monthly payments in return for writing articles against Hezbollah.

“It is our duty to confront by developing our media capacities and presence, and as Imam Khameni said, each of us should be an officer or a soldier in this soft war. We must hold on to our honesty, clean hands, virtuousness, our moral, religious, and political commitment, and our loyalty, etc… This frustrates all the attacks. When our environment reveals itself as a firmly coherent and strong one, this frustrates them.”

“Many social media and media outlets were cut from funds for a period of time because they failed to achieve the goal of prompting our environment against us. Now because there is a new battle, funds are being distributed once again. So the coherence of this environment is our weapon. For example when they try to take advantage of our martyrs’ families, just one stance like “I have only seen beauty” is capable of frustrating the goal that hundreds of millions of dollars were paid for media to achieve.”

“After all lying has an end, just like the events after the port explosion. Some claimed it was a missile storehouse related to Hezbollah, but eventually the truth was revealed after investigations by the Army, FBI and international intelligence.”

“I call for boycotting such media outlets, checking the credibility of all the news and avoiding the spread of rumors whether they are true or false. There is also no need to show any interest in any report that does not help. This is just a waste of time. It is better if you help yourself by following programs of benefit for you like documentaries…”

In conclusion his eminence assured that “neither killing nor threatening us will let us surrender… Moreover, we were offered huge amounts of money in order to abandon our cause but we haven’t and wouldn’t accept. We are not position or money seekers. We are the ones who offer money just as we offered blood.”

Source: Al-Manar

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

By Staff

As part of the continued security pressures practiced by the Saudi authorities against the people of Qatif while commemorating the Ashura mourning ceremonies, security forces removed all black Ashura flags raised in the Tarout Island graveyard.

The action represented a blatant provocation for the Ashura mourning organizers who, according to Qatif local sources speaking to al-Ahed, are subjected to unprecedented tightening under the pretext of the Coronavirus.

According to information obtained by al-Ahed, intelligence officers were granted ultimate authorities to intervene and impose their restrictions as part of the personal behavior and intervening in the details of the mourning ceremonies.

Donations made for supporting the ceremonies were totally banned. Additionally, names, contacts and civil records of the Ashura lecturers were collected by the authorities.

Local sources told al-Ahed that the authorities also prevented Ashura mourning organizers from raising the voice of mourning inside Husseiniyas and family gatherings.

The same sources added that the imposed measures were very strict and aimed at controlling all Ashura ceremonies.

Shia Muslims across the world commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of third Shia Imam Hussein bin Ali [AS] and his family members and companions who stood up to injustice and fought in the battle of Karbala in the year 61 Hijri. The ten-day commemoration begins on the first of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year.

Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala

August 03, 2020

by Mansoureh Tajik for the Saker Blog

As part of a very thoughtful email last month, the Saker wrote, “In your latest contribution you wrote ‘Every day is Ashura, Every land is Karbala’ twice.  Did you know that this is my absolute favorite Islamic saying?  I also believe that this belief is the real core of the strength of the Resistance in Lebanon, especially Hezbollah.” He was referring to the article (see here) in which I invoked the spirit of that phrase in relation to two case examples of injustice suffered by the people in North Casper, Wyoming, and the people in eastern North Carolina. These were two seemingly very unlikely candidates to be contextualized oddly in an expression that is very much known to be Shi’a Islam in essence.

The Saker also suggested mindfully that I write a short history about the phrase and explain its meaning for the readers of this blog in order to, as he put it, “make it possible for my readers to get a real insight into the Islamic ethos, especially the Shia ethos,” among other reasons. I was grateful about the suggestion and delighted to yield for several specific reasons. First, the phrase is one of the most cherished expressions for me as well and I would never tire of exploring and reflecting on it.

Second, the month of Muharram and its 10th day, the day of Ashura, are right around the corner (in a few weeks) and this essay could serve as a good introduction to this year’s Ashura as a lot of relevant and interesting events are happening all around us.

Third, this month is one full year since I began writing the monthly essays for the Saker’s blog and the article could serve as an appropriate one-year evaluation and reflection piece for me. It will also be a way to pay tribute to the Saker and his wonderful blog. What better way to show my appreciation for the opportunity he affords the global audience to take a mental path less traveled than to propose the most befitting Shi’a cue to the essence of what he actually does: With his digital pen as his weapon and his passion as its ink, he stands against global injustices and tyrant oppressors with extremely limited material resources. So, zero chance that I would not have agreed to write something on the subject!

In this essay, I hope to explore the literature and speeches of the some of the most influential contemporary thinkers and scholars who have interpreted this expression and employed it in a manner that has become a powerful Shi’a Muslim doctrine guiding an effective struggle against injustices and falsehoods in our modern era. A very brief segment about the history of Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala is presented first.

The History of the Expression and Its Role as a Doctrine

These two verses, کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا [Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala], are among the most widely used expressions by many Shi’a Muslim sages, activists, and religious scholars in one form or another. Some scholars have traced it back to Imam Ja’afar Sadiq (Peace be upon him), the sixth Imam of Shi’a Twelvers, but no actual valid narration, or hadith, exists to corroborate that claim. A few others have attributed it to the contemporaries and students of that beloved Imam, but no solid evidence exists to support that assertion either.

According to the encyclopedia of Imam Hussain, Daneshnameh Imam Hussain, the phrase کلّ یوم عاشورا، کلّ ارض کربلا may be an adaptation of the verses from a poem by the 13th Century Egyptian poet, Muhammad bin Sa’id Busiri. In one of his long qasideh poems, he wrote, کلّ یوم و کلّ ارض لکربی فیهم کربلا و عاشورا , which is translated, “Every Day and Every Land, due to my grief and sadness for them, is Ashura and Karbala.”[1]

Regardless of its genesis, however, the expression has been referenced and interpreted by very well-known Shi’a Muslim scholars like Martyr Morteza Motahari and Ali Shariyati and it has been referenced and reflected upon by two prominent imams and leaders of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei. In a very significant way, Imams Khomeini and Khamenei, who are also two of the most influential Shi’a Muslim leaders of the world in the 20th and the 21st centuries, have defined and put into practice this expression as a potent doctrine and in a decidedly pivotal and successful way. We will delve deeper into this since it could be quite illuminating and would provide a better understanding of the Shi’a Muslims, the Iranian Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution, and Iran’s international politics and stance towards the world’s arrogant oppressors.

Furthermore, it sheds light on why the expression induces “panic attacks” among the most oppressive and corrupt-to-their-core entities, like the British regime, so much so that they invest significant resources on paid religious “scholars” to re-write history and offer utterly compromising interpretations of this expression.

During the early days of the Iranian revolution, Imam Khomeini explained in one of his speeches,[2]

“This expression, ‘Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala,’ is a really important expression but many misunderstand it. They think it means we should mourn and cry every day. But its true meaning is something quite different. What did Karbala do? What role did the land of Karbala play on the day of Ashura? A handful of people came to Karbala and stood up against the injustices of Yazid. They stood against a tyrant ruler and an emperor of their time. They sacrificed themselves and they got killed but they did not accept the injustice and defeated Yazid. Every place must be like this and every day must also be like this. Every day, our nation must reach this realization that today is Ashura and we must stand up against the injustice. And this very place is Karbala and we must make this place, right here, a Karbala. It is not restricted to one land. It is not restricted to one specific person. The story of Karbala is not restricted to a group of seventy some people and a land of Karbala. All lands must play this role. And all days must play the same role.” (Page 122)

In that speech, Imam Khomeini universalized the day of Ashura and the land of Karbala. He defined Ashura and Karbala in a way that a critical and decisive extrapolation from a specific time and place could be made to all times and all places. It reminded the Muslims in general and the Shi’a in particular about their ongoing responsibility and duty to stand up against falsehood and injustice, just like Imam Hussain, in all places and all the times.

A more direct reference was made on the occasion of the 17th of Shahriver event. The 17th of Shahrivar 1357 [1978] was the day when thousands peaceful and unarmed demonstrators were all allowed into then Jaleh Square [later renamed Shuhada/Martyrs Square] from every direction. Once the crowd filled the square, the major streets, alleys, and backstreets were blocked by the Shah’s military force. In a matter of just a few minutes the military rained a heavy fire on men, women, children, the young, and the old. A massive reaping and threshing of the crowd. “Rivers of blood” began flowing everywhere. It was the first time since the start of the uprising that the Pahlavi regime had opened fire on the masses. That day became known as the “Black Friday”.

In a powerful speech delivered on the occasion of the 17th of Shahrivar massacre in Shohada Square, Imam Khomeini made a clear and precise reference again to the Ashura and Karbala expression. In his speech,[3] he qualified the event as follows,

“The bitter memory of 17th of Shahrivar, ’57, and the bitter memories of the days of great hardship that were witnessed by the nation bore in them the sweet fruit of the toppling the palaces of tyranny and arrogance and replacing them with the flag of the republic of Islamic Justice. Is it not so that the instructive mandate of “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala” should serve as a paragon for the Islamic Ummah? A rising up of the masses in every day and in every land. Ashura was the rising up of the seekers of justice, few in number but fortified with their strong belief and love against tyrannical palace dwellers and arrogant predators. And the life lesson is that paragon must serve as a plan for life every day and in every place. The days that passed us by were the repeats of Ashura. And the squares, the streets, back streets, and the alleys in which the blood of the children of Islam were spilled, they were the repeats of Karbala. And in this paragon there is both a duty and a good news. It is a duty because the oppressed, even if few in number, have a responsibility, they have a duty to rise up, like the Master of Martyrs [Imam Hussain], against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power. They are charged with that duty. It is a good news since our martyrs are put in the same rank and file as the martyrs of Karbala. A good news that martyrdom is the key to victory. The 17th of Shahrivar is the repeat of Ashura. Shuhad Square is the repeat of Karbala. And our martyrs are reiterations of the martyrs of Karbala. Our enemies are reiterations of Yazid and his cronies. Karbala smashed the palace of injustice with blood and our Karbala destroyed the palace of Satanic rule. Now, it is time for us who are the inheritors of these bloods and those who have been left behind by these young martyrs not to become lethargic. We must strive to bring into fruition their sacrifice with our unwavering wills and hard fists. It is time for us to bury underneath the feet of the martyrs of goodness the remnants of that tyrant regime and the conspirators of injustice who are beholden to the East and to the West.” (Pages 445-446)

This speech was the most clear and definite way Imam Khomeini directly linked the events of the Iranian Revolution to the events of Ashura and Karbala. Another fine and noteworthy point that was raised in Imam Khomeini’s speech was this point: “the oppressed, even if they may be few in numbers, have a responsibility to rise up against the arrogant powers who may have all sorts of equipment, armaments, and great Satanic power.

The importance of this key point is appreciated only when people examine how a country like Iran which has neither the most “powerful military in the world” to be reassured, nor is she “the most powerful economy” in the world to buy her way in and out of trouble, nor the most populous nation in the world to have many lives to spare sees it necessary to defend the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Yemenis, the Iraqis, the Venezuelans, and all others in any way that she can.

It also explains how Iran mustered the willpower to take over the United States’ Spy Den masquerading as an embassy in Tehran (1979) and arrest and hold 52 spy agents for 444 days. It clarifies how Iran managed to fight an 8-year war alone (with the exception of Syrian help) with almost empty hands and under all sorts of sanctions with a regime (Saddam’s) that that the backing of all powerful governments of the world at that time (1980-1988). It lays bare the SS Bridgeton explosion (1987), the defeat of Israel and world powers in the 33-Day war by Hizbullah forces (2006), the capture of UK officers in Persian Gulf (2006), the capture of RQ-170 (2011), Syrian resistance (2011-present), Yemeni resistance (2015-present), the capture of US Sailors by Iran in 2016, RQ-4 Global Hawk capture (2019), ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Asad (Lion’s Eye) Air Base (2020), sending oil tankers to Venezuela (2020), just to name a few examples.

The successor to Imam Khomeini, the current leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khamenei, too, has interpreted the expression with the same worldview. His most comprehensive explanation and the philosophy related to the phrase could be found in one of his books titled, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura[4] Here, however, I will bring a short segment of one of his speeches in which he has a very concise and pointed reading:

“That they say, Every day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala, it means the time passes by but the happenings in life as they pertain to humanity, the truths of the creation remain untouched. If in every era, humanity who has a role to play, if they play that role at the right time, exactly when they should play that role, then everything will be reformed. The nations will grow and achieve excellence. The humanity will grow.”[5]

When there is injustice, the role every human being must play to remove the injustice is now, not later. Not when it is convenient but when it is necessary and needed. Not just in places where it is politically correct and materially advantageous to do so but in all places that is right to do so. Not just when and where it costs us nothing but when and where it costs us all worldly things.

Another great Muslim Shi’a scholar, Martyr Morteza Motahhari, who was killed in 1358 [May 1979] by agents of a terrorist organization right after the victory of the revolution, expands on the phrase in this way,

“If we say the prophets are victorious, it does not mean a military victory. If we look at the battle between Hussain Ibn Ali (peace be upon him) with the army of Yazid and Ibn Ziyad from a military perspective, that means on the surface of things and how they appear, then Imam Hussain was defeated and they won. But if we look at the heart of the subject which relates to thoughts and beliefs, that is, Yazid’s establishment represented a movement that wished to destroy the true essence of the Islamic thought and Imam Hussain fought to revive that thought. In this case, we must examine if Imam Hussain reached his goal or not. Was he able to revive a given mindset in the world or not? We see that he could. It is one thousand three hundred years that this movement has gained a new victory every year. That is, every year Ashura is Ashura. And the meaning of Every Day is Ashura becomes this fact that every day, in the name of Imam Hussain, there is a fight against injustice and falsehood, and every day, truth and justice are revived. This is victory. What victory would be greater than this? Yazids and Ibn Ziads disappear but Hussains and Abbasses and Zaynabs remain. Of course, they remain as an idea not as a person. They remain as a guardian and the ruler of their society. Yes, those who are there die. But these who are here remain alive and eternal.”[6]

Martyr Motahhari appraises the expression in terms of its endurance over a millennium and several centuries not just as a worldview but as a lifestyle of choice. Another well-known Muslim Shi’a thinker and sociologist, Ali Shariati defines the phrase in a manner that links it to the school of Intizar, or the expectation of the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) at the end of time in a simple but psycho-socially nuanced way:

“What does Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala mean? It is not that wherever we find, we recite the Ashura prayers! It is to expect. The philosophy of expecting means a philosophy that a justice-seeking intellectual thinker, no matter what the circumstances, is not afflicted with philosophical and historical hopelessness and despair. There are no peoples or groups like Shi’a and no school of thought like the Shi’a school of thought that would fight for thirteen, fourteen centuries; all their leaders are slaughtered; they are poisoned; they are put in jail; they are killed; all their movements are all crushed. But they never succumb to despair! Why and what factor has kept these believers still convinced, still believing, and still hopeful despite protracted periods of setbacks, hardships, and adversities,?! The belief in the inevitability of history based on the philosophy of expectation!

What does a human being with expectation mean? Look at it this way. If you are at home and expecting a guest, if it is an army unit expecting an inspector or a call for readiness or a call for war or the arrival of a commander, if it is a city expecting the arrival of a person of importance, if it is someone who is expecting the coming of guest or a friend, any sort of expectation that you examine, to expect means to be prepared and to be ready. It does not mean to be dormant and sluggish! To expect means to be ready, equipped, and responsible. Therefore, the philosophy of expectation is to believe in the inevitability of history and be reassured, in all circumstances, that standing up for justice and in retaliation for spilt innocent bloods must take place all the time. It is a battle that since the beginning of history has been moved from one hand to the other, from one Prophet of God to the other, from one Shi’a Imam to the other. This battle, generation after generation, is propounded and put before every single individual. And despite all desperate condition, this flag is decidedly victorious in the future.”[7]

Shariati points to a historical and unbreakable link among all Prophets of God, Imams, and true believers throughout all times and all places to the coming of Mahdi (peace be upon him). It is useful to open a parenthesis here and make an important note: this very idea that Shia Muslim Twelvers must always evaluate their time and place on a daily basis and see where they stand in terms of their opposition to injustices and at the same time take the necessary measures to rectify and reform in preparation for the coming of Imam Mahdi (peace by upon him) defines their Waiting and Expectation. This approach stands in stark contrast with notions of passive waiting for a savior or helping create chaos and mayhem to engineer an end of time, an approach that inevitably helps and enables corrupt oppressors of every time and every place. Close parenthesis.

In closing of this essay, I would like to include a video of Maddahi, or religious recital, about Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) by Maysam Moti’ei (here) in which he has woven together several key concepts (discussed in the article) in one neat lyrical package. Since the song does not have any English subtitles, I did a translation of the lyrics (below). والسلام.

The master and the leader is Hussain,

The sereneness in hearts is Husssain.

The whisper of his lovers and devotees,

Nothing but Ya Hussain, Ya Hussain.

Besides you, I have no thought or notion,

My kin, my belonging, my life and devotion.

To the somber recital of the killing field,

Like the pouring rain we weep.

Grieving and mourning you these nights,

Alongside the martyrs we weep.

Our tears the elegy of the Euphrates,

Our Imam “Qati’ul Abarat” killed for tears.

By our Molaa, the leader, we remain,

From Ashura is the zeal that we gain.

O Lovers! Bimsillah!

The path to Al-Quds is from Karbala!

In the battlefields, I shall never abandon Ali,

My Molaa, my Leader, Sayyed Ali.

Every Day is Ashura,

Every Land is Karbala.

O the heir to Hussain’s blood!

Mahdi, the son of Zahra, arrive!

The defender of the oppressed,

The proof from God, hasten and arrive!

References

[1] Muhammadi Rayshahri M., Daneshnameh Imam Hussain (Aleyhi-Salaam) According to Quran, Hadith, and History. Vol. 6, Page 89. Digital Copy, Available online at: http://lib.eshia.ir/27254/6/89

[2] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 10, Pages 122. Available online at: https://farsi.rouhollah.ir/library/sahifeh-imam-khomeini/vol/10/page/122

[3] Ruhullah Khomeini, Sahifeh-ye Noor, Vol. 9, Pages 445-446. Available online at:

https://farsi.rouhollah.ir/library/sahifeh-imam-khomeini/vol/9/page/445

[4] Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Four Discourses: Clarification of the Circumstances, the Causes, and the Consequences of the Event of Ashura. Digital Copy, Institute for Cultural Research in the Islamic Revolution, the Office of Preservation and Publication of Ayatullah Ali Khamenei’s Works, Enghlab Islami Publication, Tehran, Iran. Book ID#: 978-964-2951-55-0.

[5] Ayatollah Khamenei, Speech during the joint educational ceremony of the students in Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) University on Farvardin 26, 1388 (2009). Available online at: https://www.leader.ir/fa/speech/5172

[6] Martyr Morteza Mottahari, “The Battle of Truth and Falsehood.” Cultural and Scientific Foundation of Martyred Teacher Morteza Mottahari, Pages 40-41. Available online at: https://3danet.ir/morteza-motahhari-books-pdf/

[7] Ali Shariati, The Philosophy of History in Islam, Section 4. Available online at: http://www.shariati.com/farsi/tarikhdarislam/tarikhdarislam4.html

Iraq condemns US airstrikes; says soldiers, police, civilians killed

Source

Friday, 13 March 2020 11:40 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 13 March 2020 12:28 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Iraqi security forces inspect the wreckage from an airstrike.

The Iraqi military and the presidency have condemned new US airstrikes, saying they killed soldiers, police officers and civilians overnight. 

“The Iraqi Presidency condemns airstrikes on several bases in Iraq, including a recently opened airport in the Holy City of Karbala which led to the death of security forces and civilians,” the presidency said in a statement on Friday.

The Iraqi military also denounced the US strikes as a targeted aggression against the nation’s official armed forces and a violation of its sovereignty.

According to the Iraqi military statement, three soldiers, two police officers and one civilian were killed in the attacks.

The statement said four soldiers, two police officers, one civilian, and five individuals affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) were also wounded.

The Pentagon had said earlier on Friday that the strikes targeted five weapons stores used by Iraqi groups that “targeted US forces.”

Iraqi resistance groups denied such accusations even though they supported fighting occupying US forces.

PMU group: Humiliating Iraqi nation will not go unpunishedIraq

The attack came only a day after more than a dozen Iraqi fighters were killed in airstrikes targeting an area in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The attacks are the most provocative since the US assassinated Iran’s top anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s PMU commander Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis in an airstrike at Baghdad airport in January.

Iraqi groups have pledged to take revenge for the assassination and ultimately drive out US troops from the country. 

After the assassination, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel American troops, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten that the US would seize Iraq’s oil money held in a bank account in New York if it was forced to withdraw. 

Calls mount for expulsion of US troops

Following the overnight attack, Iraqi figures and officials stepped up calls for the expulsion of US troops from the country.

“We condemn the violation of Iraq’s sovereignty by foreign fighter jets and bombing of bases belonging to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and security forces,” senior cleric and political leader Ammar al-Hakim said in a tweet.

He also called on the Iraqi government to take whatever steps needed to defend the country from the assaults.

Iraqi lawmaker and Security and Defense Commission member Adnan al-Assadi said the attacks were “a blatant offense against Iraq and its people”.

He added that any Iraqi interested in preserving the sovereignty of the nation should condemn the American attack and urge the expulsion of US forces from the country.

Iraqi lawmaker Naim al-Aboudi of the Fatah (Conquest) alliance also tweeted that the US will not be “able to remain on this soil much long” despite attacks targeting Iraqi people and the country’s infrastructure.

Iraq’s Nujaba resistance movement, meanwhile, issued a statement condemning the US violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

It warned that the provocations may push Iraq into a “new phase” of armed and popular resistance against US forces.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Historic Recurrence: Soleimani Immortalized

Jihad Sermon 27

By Nour Rida

A favorite theory of mine [is] that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often.” Mark twain

The concept of historic recurrence has been applied to the overall of history of the world. Repetitive patterns in history provides what some theorists call the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. People, who see things with a worldly or materialistic perspective, simply get on with their lives and hope these appalling trends and conditions will go away. This school of thought believes that history is a human construct.

Conversely, the Graeco-Roman and the biblical tradition contributed to the history of this idea. This historic recurrence concept also exits in Shia belief, with one additional dimension that positivists do not believe in: Metaphysics. To understand Shia thought, one cannot but take the spiritual facet into consideration. In Shia thought, one needs to recognize the direction of world affairs and their connection to Quranic history.

Islam and the Qur’an believe that the process of inner and outer changes should proceed side by side so that man may reconstruct his inner faculties that is his spirit, his thinking, his will and his inclinations. This inner infrastructure should be in complete harmony with the outer superstructure.

Man cannot accept truth and act uprightly so long as a desire for a change for the better does not have a firm hold on his heart and he does not rebuild himself from within. Society cannot be shaped in a befitting manner unless man’s heart is replete with human values representing truth. Otherwise any talk of truth will be hollow and meaningless. One of the most important marks of a person’s faith or commitment to religious or ethical values is his readiness to defend that belief with life itself if necessary.

In Shia tradition, Hussein, the Grandson of Islam’s Prophet Mohamad is a martyr par excellence, who was killed to raise the issue of resisting injustice.  Martyr, according to Britannica encyclopedia, is one who voluntarily suffers death rather than deny his religion by words or deeds; such action is afforded special, institutionalized recognition in most major religions of the world. The term may also refer to anyone who sacrifices his life or something of great value for the sake of principle.

History recurrence and Ashura

How does this relate to recurrence in history? Hussein is an ideal for the oppressed vs. oppressors, justice vs. injustice, and to defend human values and piety. Ashura marks the martyrdom of Hussein and 72 of his companions in 680 AD in what is known today as the city of Karbala, Iraq. They refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler of that time, Yazid. The Battle of Karbala between a small group of supporters and relatives of Hussein and a larger military detachment from the forces of the Umayyad caliph represents the war as one between good and evil. Hussein’s martyrdom is considered by the Shia community as a symbol of humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny and oppression. Ashura has, according to Shia though, religious, spiritual, political, cultural, military and epistemological dimensions. This Ashura historical event formed a paradigm shift in Shia tradition and is one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It does not matter if you are Shia or not, as long as you are oppressed you will be provided support in face of tyranny.

The moral fabric of society began to decay as Yazid ruled with his own interests in mind. Hussein was highly respected within society, and his endorsement would carry great weight. Yazid needed a man like Hussain to follow his rule in order to provide legitimacy to his corrupt government. But Hussain was a man of morals and strived for social justice. Hussain could not sit and endorse Yazid and spoke out against him, despite it being a risk to his life.

Hussein was martyred to preserve Islam and its teachings, and to defend justice and human values. His legacy is invoked as a source of strength when people face insurmountable challenges. The epic of Karbala is ultimately a legacy of resistance against wrong, with a central hero whose sacrifice immortalized him.

Immortalizing Soleimani

On Friday, 3rd of January 2020, US President Trump declared himself standing behind the assassination of head of the Quds Forces, General Qassem Soleimani. In 2015, Candidate Trump confused the Quds Force, an elite Iranian military unit then led by high-profile Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, with the Kurds, a high-profile ethnic group in the Middle East. Well anyways, it is not the first time he does not seem to know his stuff. Gen. Soleimani had played a major role in defending Iran against its enemies and assisting regional countries fight foreign occupation and terrorism. He gradually became known as an adept commander during the US-backed Saddam Hussein 8-year war against Iran. He gradually became a forefront figure as he assisted regional states and helped fight US-backed terrorist groups a.k.a Daesh. In the recent years, the IRGC commander emerged as a key strategist and ingenious commander leading Iranian military advisers assisting Syrian and Iraqi troops in battles against terrorists.

Thinking he might run away from impeachment or get a full strike on preparing for a stronger presidential campaign, Trump ordered the assassination. Soleimani was killed and Trump turned him more alive than ever; he immortalized him. Iranians poured into the streets like never before; only once seen in the history of Iran when founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini passed away. Iranians see Trump as a ‘terrorist in a suit’.

During the Karbala epic, Yazid was the embodiment of evil, as is Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Daesh, American Imperialism, ‘Israeli’ apartheid, African apartheid and the like; the analogy can be drawn here.

Paradigm shift: beginning of US withdrawal

The US rejects to see any form of independence, sovereignty or autonomy in the Middle East, not to mention that it’s all about the oil and economy.  In their book Going to Tehran, the Leveretts, former US National Security Council staffers, argue that the Islamic Republic is a powerful, rational actor in the Middle East. In their book, and based on their visits to Iran and first-hand experience, they note that it enjoys political legitimacy internally and is faithful to its constitution and accountable to its people. It is also the main impediment to the United States’ hegemonic dominance in the region. Since the 1979 paradigm shift of the Islamic Revolution, and Iran choosing to be independent and different, US governments have been putting immense pressure on the country; it has broken the norm of accepting colonialism and imperialism and chose to stand up for its values. Since then, the US consecutive governments and through a mainstream narrative has been launching soft and hard wars against Iran.

Trump killed Soleimani, the paradigm shift and a new beginning started. In retaliation for the assassination operation, Iran fired dozens of rockets hitting the two-trillion worth American military base in Iraq of Ain al-Assad. Iran broke the norms, and broke the US army invincibility just like Lebanon’s resistance broke the ‘Israeli’ army’s invincibility in 2000 when it forced the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces to withdraw from Lebanon. Today, Iran vows that the final revenge for the Soleimani will be only one thing: A US total withdrawal from the region.

Just like the martyrdom of Hussein preserved human values and Islam, the martyrdom of Soleimani and all those who believe in resisting oppression, hegemony, tyranny and imperialism will be fruitful. 

From Karbala to al-Sham: “I Did not See Except Beauty”

October 07, 2019

From Karbala to al-Sham: “I Did not See Except Beauty”by Mansoureh Tadjik for the Saker Blog

We have many well-known and universal concepts that, over times, places, and people, have gone through expansions and contractions in meaning and connotation. One such concept is that of beauty. To return this concept to a level of transparency it requires and afford it a deeper understanding, we must first launder it clear of all that which is not. What is meant here is not that concept of “beauty” which toxifies bodies and the planet[1] by courtesy of L’Oreals, Proctor & Gambles, Estee Lauders, and Johnson & Johnsons of the world. Nor is it the concept of “beauty” that is savagely carved on vulnerable bodies of misguided souls using sharp scalpels and laser beams[2], poison injections[3], and leaky augments[4] performed by medicine wo/men who took the oath[5] to uphold the principle of non-maleficence—first, do no harm—expunged away by pharmaceutical and bio-tech giants. It could be safely assumed, as well, that it cannot be that concept of “beauty” which commits celebrities to suicide,[6,7] drugs superstars to overdose, and liquors personalities up into a semi-permanent state of inebriety at best, and death at worst.[8,9] None of the latter, sadly enough, remains an exclusive domain of Bollywoods, Hollywoods, Jollywoods, Mollywoods, and Nollywoods of the current times. Rather, they act as vectors of contagions affecting the general public.[10, 11] An insider, motivated by an unfortunate event, once described things quite candidly,

“[Demi] Moore is a product of our youth-obsessed culture which teaches women from when they are girls that we are valued by our beauty. We are taught to stay young and thin at any cost, and there is no other industry that consistently reinforces that message more than Hollywood. It is clear that we are all buying and believing this message.

The fact of the matter is the film industry, in the US and around the world, have pitted women against Mother Nature. It’s an impossible battle to win and we all know it.

Abandonment coupled with age in a town like Hollywood makes us feel sorry for Moore, but deep down we are actually terrified because we know what happened to her can happen to us. We are all equally vulnerable to our insecurities. Every one of us fears rejection and heartbreak.

We are all products of our society and that society is obsessed with staying young. Demi Moore embodies that obsession. Can there be a worse place to grow old than in Hollywood where as a woman you can literally find yourself out of work because you had the audacity to age? The sad fact is as we grow older, women around the world, but especially those working in films, are told that they are worthless. How ridiculous and wrong is that?” [12]

Just to put a couple of final nails in the coffin of misnomers, neither is it that concept of “beauty” which is actualized by moguls of soft porn masquerading as fashion, music, and sports industries; nor is it the one that motivates the profiteers to add all sorts of carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic colors and dyes to our food, beverages, toys, wall paints, packaging, and more[13] to “beautify” things.

A dizzying chain of dismissals all in a one-paragraph breath. What contemporary human enterprise, one might be curious to ask, is left then that was not held in contempt in the prologue? In truth, quite a lot but they are in stealth mode and our task is to identify and safely land just a fraction of one here. Perhaps we could intellectually indulge ourselves for a few minutes and regard the above section as a filtering or damping technique to sift the concept of beauty and isolate all sorts of non-random and purposefully engineered noises that have inundated it. This is just an exercise to expand our horizon far enough and our range of view wide enough for a different vision of beauty to emerge. It is a necessary preliminary step in order to find, to listen, and to look at the actual and truthful signals emitted from this most familiar yet well-concealed concept. It might also prove useful in achieving excellence in our souls as well as in our bodies.

«مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty[14] is perhaps one of the most well-known phrases narrated in Shi’a remembrances and sermons about the aftermath of Ashura in Karbala. The phrase is attributed to Hazrat Zainab (s.a.), Imam Hussain’s (a.s.) sister, the very lady whose Al-haram— tomb, sanctuary or holy shrine— in the southern part of Damascus, draws fighters from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, and other places from around the world to come to Syria to defend and protect it. The warriors call themselves “مدافعین الحرم”, the Defenders of Al-haram. When they are killed, they are referred to as “Martyr Defender of Al-haram.” Exploring the context for Hazrat Zainab’s statement may help facilitate seeing a lot more than just another way of looking at beauty.

Petty, inferior, and two-bit victors, when intoxicated by their own peculiar brand of triumph, often act in ways that betray the vulgarity of their minds and infirmity their souls. Some incinerate masses of unarmed and defenseless people in a span of three weeks, land on an aircraft carrier, attired in a green flight suit strategically strapped, to photovoice their “Mission” as “Accomplished.”[15] Calling it a lampoon would be embarrassing; for a lampoon, that is. Others capture, sodomize, and kill their own ex-partners, murder thousands of yet other defenseless people, loot their resources then channel their muse and deliver their own version of veni, vidi, vici interviews to crow.[16] Yazid ibn Mu‘awiya, that junior in Umayyad Dynasty, ordered Ubayd Allah Ibn Ziyad, his sycophant in Iraq to finish Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his companions off so that he could have free hand in his corruption, transgression, and oppressive rule. Ibn Ziyad did as ordered on the day of Ashura in Karbala. He then took the survivors of Imam’s household as prisoners, among them was the matriarch, Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.).

Yazid and Ibn Ziyad, too, did not behave any better than their colleagues, in our contemporary era, who just got dishonorable mentions. They decapitated those who had been killed and put the heads on spears. They tied ropes and chains around women, children as young as three years old, the ill, and the injured prisoners. They then paraded them in towns and cities, all before the eyes of a dis-informed and propagandized public who had been duped to believe they were witnessing a defeated group of non-believers gone rogue who had turned their backs to God, the Prophet ﷺ, and Holy Quran. Now that is what one might call an extremely effective, although transient, propaganda campaign. The prisoners were taken along a path from Karbala to Ibn Ziyad’s palace in Kufa, and onward to al-Sham (Damascus, Syria) where Yazid lived and ruled. A trail of more than a 1000-kilometer, mostly on foot, sometimes on bare-backed camels.

The concept of beauty. Surely somewhere along the way, this essay must have forgotten what it was supposed to be about. A bit of leeway, I request. The above demonstrates how small, petty, inferior people without vision act when they achieve an apparent victory. A victory that is already on its way to obsolescence. It does take a true stretch of imagination, especially for an unaware mind, to explore the concept of beauty in any of these. Most imaginations do not have that much spiritual elasticity. So, let us go back to the lady who led us this way in the first place: Zinab Al-Kubra (s.a.). She was taken as a prisoner of a battle in which she had just witnessed her brother and Imam and seventy two plus of her closest loved ones and allies including her other brothers, her sons, nephews, and cousins to get killed, their heads chopped off and raised on spears. She is witnessing more than twenty five heartbroken mourning women, small children who have just become orphans, and an unwell nephew, Imam Sajjad (a.s.), who must now carry on the leadership of Shi’a (whoever is left of it) all being dragged as prisoners from place to place and paraded in front of a propagandized public who are committing all sorts of dishonorable, disgraceful, and despicable acts against them. And, she “did not see except beauty”? Seriously?! On what grounds? Through what sort of a cognitive filtering were these events processed? What basic principles for beauty is she using? I, for one, am dying to know and will follow the clues to wherever they lead me.

The statement «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty” was extracted from the following excerpt of an extended dialogue that took place inside Ibn Ziad’s palace in Kufa, two nights after the battle of Karbala. It was an exchange between Ibn Ziyad and Hazrat Zainab (s.a):[14]

Ibn Ziyad, “Praise God Who exposed you by killing and disgracing you that shows what you people were saying was nothing by falsehood.” [Tries to imply that if God were on your side, He would have protected you from getting killed and captured.]

Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.), “Praise God Who graced us with dignity through Muhammad ﷺ and purified us from all impurities and corruptions. Only the immoral are disgraced and only the corrupt falsify. And we are neither.”

Ibn Ziyad, “How did you see what God did to your household?”

Hazrat Zainab Al-Kubra (s.a.), «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty. They were people ‘upon whom it was decreed to be killed and go to their places of death’[17] therefore ‘they surely went’[18]. Very soon, God will bring you and them face to face [in the Day of Judgment]; and they will censure you and litigate against you [before God] and you will see who prevails. May your mother mourn you, Son of Majaneh.”

Hazrat Zainab (s.a.) is given the title of the Messenger of Karbala. She delivered many powerful, frank, and compelling speeches and sermons to make sure the message of Karbala remains alive and does not get distorted. Numerous books, speeches, and articles are written and/or delivered that try to explain just this one phrase «مَا رَأَیْتُ‏ إِلَّا جَمِیلًا» “I did not see except beauty” and what she might have meant. Many of them are quite insightful and interesting but I would like to take the simple way and see what Hazrat Zainab (s.a.) may have meant in her own words. She immediately states, “They were people “upon whom it was decreed to be killed and go to their places of death’[17] therefore ‘they surely went’[18]. Very soon, God will bring you and them face to face [in the Day of Judgment]; and they will censure you and litigate against you [before God] and you will see who prevails.”

She actually references and recites parts of a verse from Quran (Chapter 3, Verse 154) to describe, or perhaps qualify what she had seen/witnessed in the killing field of Karbala. The verse, in its entirety, reads:

“Then after that affliction, He sent down upon a group among you a peaceful sleep to soothe you. Others, however, who were preoccupied more by concerns about their own lives, they were harboring thoughts about God that were unjust/untrue, similar to those of the time of Jahiliyyah, the age of ignorance. They would say, ‘Are we not supposed to control everything?’ Say, ‘Everything is controlled by God.’ Thus they harbored wrong thoughts and concealed them from you. They said, ‘If it were really up to us, none of us would have been killed here.’ Say, ‘Had you stayed in your homes, those decreed to get killed would have certainly gone to their places of death.’ God thus tests the intentions in your heart and thoroughly purifies your inner most convictions. And God fully knows innermost thoughts.”

For the sake of clarification, we will open up the verse just a bit. This verse addresses the circumstances after the battle of Uhud, in which Muslims were on their way to victory but then lost the battle. Earlier, when the unbelievers of Mecca had been defeated in the battle of Badr, they vowed to take revenge and began to prepare themselves for a major attack against Muslims in Medina. In Medina, a division was created among Muslims under the leadership of someone by the name of Abdullah Ibn Ubay, who was later revealed to be a hypocrite, in terms of the strategy for defense and the location of the battle. He taunted the idea that Muslims should bring the battle inside Medina and fight within the city’s perimeter. The majority were against this idea and fully believed the best location for the battle would be outside of the City limit at the foothills of Uhud Mountain. The decision, by a majority vote, was made for the latter strategy. Of the thousand fighters on their way to Uhuh, Abdullah Ibn Ubay was able to deceive about three hundred fighters and have them turn their back to their brothers and return to Medina.

In Uhud, prior to the start of the battle, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ assigned a group of fifty fighters, under the command of Abdullah Ibn Jubair to guard the Uhud Pass to prevent any infiltration of the enemy forces through the Pass. The group was under a strict order not to leave that position until and unless they have received words directly from the Prophet ﷺ himself to return. Toward the end of the battle, when the group saw that Muslims were winning, majority of those fifty people guarding the pass left their position and rushed to collect the spoils. Only twelve remained obedient to the order of the Prophet ﷺ but a false news was circulated that the Prophet ﷺ had been killed. This led to more fighters leaving their position and a weak defense of the pass ensued resulting in an infiltration path into the Muslims fortifications. A surprise attack by the enemies through the Uhud pass led to Muslims’ defeat in that battle. That battle was an important and critical lesson for Muslims, some of who had acted based on greed, some based on ignorance, and some based on hypocrisy.[19, 20, 21, 22] So it seems the real and true battle was a battle of belief authentication. This time, it had taken the shape of the battle of Uhud. Another time, another place, it would take another shape. The essence remains the same though.

Perhaps we might be getting a bit closer. Zainab (s.a.) may have seen this: The Most Beautiful Beloved of Hussain (a.s.) and the Creator of all beauties that ever were, are, and will ever be, decreed that Hussain (a.s.) and his loyal companions must go to the battle of Karbala. The outcome of the battle was up to God and only God. The outcome of their test, was up to them and only them. They heard their decree; they obeyed without waiver, they passed their test. Their blood sealed the deal. Perhaps this is an operationalization of the concept of beauty in its most exalted and divine form. Something that perhaps only Zainab (s.a.) could see and narrate.

Now, travelling through time and space and returning to Iran. For certain, we have had a long and perilous road before us. On one hand, ridiculously absurd amount of money and resources are being spent to bombard us by all sorts of books, films, games, shows, media messages, disinformation, advertisements, and more that have one single goal: to convince our young, old, man, and woman, to turn their back to concepts of beauty that bring with them salvation, serenity, and positive authentication by God. Instead, they should embrace concepts of beauty that bring with them sadness, insecurity, disease, pain, immorality, injury, toxicity, and misery. On September 12, 2002, B. Netanyahu addressed the United States’ House Representatives. Here is a fragment[23] of his speech,

“Yes. Now the question you have is this: This is now a question of not of values. Obviously, we would like to see a regime change, at least I would like to, in Iran, just as I would like to see in Iraq. The question now is a practical question. What is the best place to proceed? It is not a question of whether Iraq’s regime should be taken out, but when should it be taken out. It is not a question of whether you would like to see a regime change in Iran, but how to achieve it.

Iran has something that Iraq does not have. Iran has, for example, 250,000 satellite dishes. It has Internet use. I once said to the heads of the CIA when I was Prime Minister that if you want to advance regime change in Iran, you do not have to go through the CIA cloak-and-dagger stuff. What you want to do is take very large, very strong transponders and just beam Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 into Teheran and Iran.

That is subversive stuff. The young kids watch it, the young people. They want to have the same nice clothes and houses and swimming pools and so on. That is something that is available, and internal forces of dissention that are available in Iran–which is paradoxically probably the most open society in that part of the world. It is a lot more open than Iraq, which is probably the most closed society, and therefore you have no ability to foment this kind of dynamic inside Iraq.

So the question now is choose. You can beam Melrose Place, but it may take a long time. On the other hand, if you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region. And I think that people sitting right next door in Iran, young people and many others will say the time of such regimes of such despots is gone. There is a new age.”

That speech was delivered seventeen years ago. The resources could have been used more wisely. But wisdom, too, is one of those intangible beauties. For decades, sponsoring of a chain of inauthentic publications that lack quality substance, grace, intellectual honesty [24, 25, 26] has been the hallmark of the western push to impose on us their conceptual understanding of beauty. On the other hand, we are not empty-handed defenseless bunch. We have our Zainab (s.a.), Zahra (s.a.), Khadijeh (s.a.), Ma’asoumeh (s.a.), and more. Once again, let’s see whose version of beauty outlasts all others. We hear our decree; we obey without waiver. Insha’allah, God will help us pass the authentication process. السلام علیکم.

Mansoureh Tajik lives in Alborz Province in Iran. She has a background in teaching and research in the areas of community and environmental health, environmental justice, and media literacy. She collaborates with various local community members, groups, and organizations to provide support in addressing health and environmental problems, sustainable agriculture, and in design, implementation, and evaluation of relevant improvement projects.

References

[1] Lisa Gue (2010). “What’s inside that counts: A Survey of Toxic Ingredients in our Cosmetics”; Research sponsored by David Suzuki Foundation in Canada. ISBN 978-1-897375-33-4. The report can be downloaded free of charge at www.davidsuzuki.org/publications

[2] American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2018). “2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report.” ASPS National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics. Available online at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2018.pdf

[3] S. Samizadeh and K. De Boulle (2018). “Botulinum neurotoxin formulations: overcoming the confusion.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Vol. 2018:11, Pgs. 273-287,

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S156851

[4] Woo Yeol Baek, Dae Hyun Lew, and Dong Won Lee (2014). “A Retrospective Analysis of Ruptured Breast Implants.” Archives of Plastic Surgery, 41(6): 734–739. DOI:10.5999/aps.2014.41.6.734

[5] Erich H. Loewy (2007). “Oaths for Physicians – Necessary Protection or Elaborate Hoax?” Medscape General Medicine, 9(1): 7; PMCID: PMC1925028

[6] Mary V. Seeman (2019). “Celebrity Suicide.” Psychiatric Times. Available online at: https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/portraits/celebrity-suicide

[7] Steven Stack (1987). “Celebrities and Suicide: A Taxonomy and Analysis, 1948-1983.” American Sociological Review; DOI: 10.2307/2095359

[8] Johannes M. Just et al (2016). “Drug-related celebrity deaths: A cross-sectional study.” Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy; 11: 40. doi: 10.1186/s13011-016-0084-z

[9] S. Robert Lathan (2009). “Celebrities and Substance Abuse.” Proceedings of Baylor University Medical Center, 22(4): 339–341. PMCID: PMC2760168

[10] Myung, Woojae, Hong-Hee Won, Maurizio Fava, David Mischoulon, Albert Yeung, Dongsoo Lee, Doh Kwan Kim, and Hong Jin Jeon (2015). “Celebrity Suicides and Their Differential Influence on Suicides in the General Population: A National Population-Based Study in Korea.” Psychiatry Investigation 12 (2): 204-211.doi:10.4306/pi.2015.12.2.204. http://dx.doi.org/10.4306/pi.2015.12.2.204.

[11] King‐wa Fu and Paul S F Yip (2007). “Long‐term impact of celebrity suicide on suicidal ideation: results from a population‐based study.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; 61(6): 540–546. doi: 10.1136/jech.2005.045005

[12] Anushay Hossain (2012). “No Country for Old Women: Demi Moore And Our Fear of Aging,” Women @ Forbes, World with a View Contributor Group. Available Online at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/worldviews/2012/02/08/no-country-for-old-women-demi-moore-our-fear-of-ageing/#287f41064516

[13] House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (2019). “Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life,” HC 1805, Published on 16 July 2019 by authority of the House of Commons. Available online at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1805/1805.pdf

[14] Ibn Nama Helli (1950). “Mathir Al-Ahzan,” Page 90, Trans. from Original in Arabic. Digital Copy Published by Center for Computerized Research in Islamic Studies in Isfahan. Available Online at: http://www.ghbook.ir/index.php?option=com_dbook&task=viewbook&book_id=2600&Itemid=167&lang=fa

[15] CNN (2003). “Commander in Chief lands on USS Lincoln,” CNN International, Inside Politics. Available Online at: http://edition.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/05/01/bush.carrier.landing/

[16] Glynnis MacNicol (2011). “Hillary Clinton On Qaddafi: We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Business Insider, Oct 21, 2011. Available Online at: https://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-qaddafi-we-came-we-saw-he-died-2011-10

[17] Holy Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 154 Words 57-60.

[18] Holy Quran, Chapter 3, Verse 154, Words 56.

[19] Abulfazl Bahrampour. Nasim Hayat: Al-tafsir Quran Karim, 14th Edition, Vol. 4, Page 49-51. Hijrat Publishing Institute, 1390.

[20] Muhammad Javad Muqniwh, Al-tafsir Al-Kashif, Vol. 2, Page 148. Dar-al-Kitab Al-Islami Publishing, 1424.

[21] Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai, Tafsir Al-mizan, Vol. 4, page 11. Available online at: http://elmvadin1395.ir/fa/page.php?rid=45

[22] A.A.F. Hasan Tabarsi, Majma’ol Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Vol. 2, Page 497. Available online at: http://lib.eshia.ir/12023/1/0.

[23] House Hearing, 107 Congress (2002). “Conflict with Iraq: An Israeli Perspective.” Hearing before the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives One Hundred and Seventh Congress, Second Session, September 12, 2002, Serial No. 107-139.

[24] A. Nafisi (2003). “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.” Published in the United States by The Random House Publishing Group, 2003.

[25] A. Moaveni (2006). “Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran.” Published in the United States by PublicAffairs, a member of Perseus Book Group, 2006.

[26] P. Mahdavi (2009). “Passionate Uprising: Iran’s Sexual Revolution.” Stanford University Press. 2009.

 

Iraqi Unrest: Saudi, US Hands Clear, Iraq won’t be a Milking Cow, Arbaeen won’t be Affected – Political Analyst

Iraqi Unrest: Saudi, US Hands Clear, Iraq won’t be a Milking Cow, Arbaeen won’t be Affected – Political Analyst

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – As far as the protests engulfing Iraq has turned violent, something suspicious appeared to the surface as the timing seems more or less fishy since the anticipated date of the annual massive Arbaeen visit to the country’s holy cities approaches.

Iraqi Unrest: Saudi, US Hands Clear, Iraq won’t be a Milking Cow, Arbaeen won’t be Affected – Political Analyst

Commenting on the latest development, Iraqi expert and political analyst Mohammad Sadeq al-Hashemi told al-Ahed News that the worsening situation is definitely pushed by foreign intervention, yet Iraq won’t be like Saudi Arabia and won’t submit to the pressures exerted by Saudi Arabia that eyes Iraq’s oil with much greed.

Situation on ground

According to the political analyst, there are a few protests taking place now in Iraq, in which protesters claim that they have rightful demands such as improving services, ending corruption and the political parties’ control of power. The protests, however, are serving other ideologies in favor of the US interests. In fact, what protesters have done, violence, and the slogans they raised don’t reflect that the rallies demand reforming the situation and obtaining services as much as they show how connected they are to foreign agendas.

The protests, in fact, aim at reversing the situation and the political regime in the US favor, Sayyed al-Hashemi noted.

“They also stress the fact that the US is not satisfied with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi after he rejected being part of the ‘Israeli’ and Gulf plots, rejected the ‘Deal of Century’ and many contracts with the United States.”

This happens as Iraq rejected being part of the US mechanism to pressure Iran and the Popular Mobilization Units [Hashd al-Shaabi]. This is why the US mobilized its tools to infiltrate among people who took to the streets to really demand their rights.

Sayyed al-Hashemi didn’t rule out that the Iraqi government derelicts in its duties, and this is confessed by the Iraqi religious leadership on the levels of services, spread of corruption and nepotism. And the responsibility of this is on the political parties that allow the US make use of the already existing gaps inside Iraq.

Protests and the Arbaeen Walk

Asked about the suspicious timing of the breakout of protests ahead of the annual Arbaeen visit for Shia Muslims who walk from the holy city of Najaf to the Holy city of Karbala to visit Imam Hussien [AS] on the 40th day of his martyrdom anniversary, an event that is described as the modern world’s biggest pilgrimage as it gathers millions of Muslims from many countries, Sayyed al-Hashemi said the the Arbaeen visit would never be affected.

“What is happening will never affect Iraq,” he said. The Iraqi people, according to the expert, really want to change the current situation. They want to improve services, pressure the government and the political parties, stop stealing the Iraqi money, move the industrial and agricultural cycles, but at the same time they don’t want to destroy their country,” the Iraqi political analyst said.

Iraqis, he said, don’t believe that their will can be imposed by certain mechanisms. There is a group of youngsters who are burning banks, governmental buildings, cars and block roads. The government, however, is ready to surround them, as they are few.

“I believe that things will be better in the few coming days although some individuals who are instructed by foreign embassies will remain. In all, the situation is under control and the Arbaeen visit will take place amid a stable security situation,” the Iraqi expert stressed.

Foreign hands behind the situation

Sayyed Mohammad Sadeq al-Hashemi didn’t rule out that the foreign role will continue its efforts, adding that it aims at spoiling the country’s political process. “It aims at destabilizing Iraq to be a field for struggles and a platform for the ‘Israeli’ and American existence, yet the power of internal resistance, the state, the political and security institutions, the presence of the religious leadership, and the cohesion among the Iraqi people and the rejection of the western schemes will definitely thwart them.”

Targeting the PMU

The Popular Mobilization Units are part of the governmental body as provided by the law and the resolutions of the Iraqi Parliament. They are targeted by ‘Israel’, the US and even the Gulf countries, which reject the fact that the PMU are part of the governmental institutions.

However, al-Hashemi noted, the applied Iraqi resolutions provided this and the PMU take orders from the General Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces and will remain part of the forces that protect Iraq also from the internal riot, by the side of the army and the federal police, adjust the institutions and protect the state.

Is Iraq exporting oil to Saudi Arabia?

There are unofficial narrations and rumors in Iraq that the chaos caused in the country was moved by Saudi instructions in response to the strike against Saudi Aramco Company, al-Hashemi explained. Another official narration is that Saudi Arabia is asking Iraq to supply it with oil to compensate the 50% deficit caused by the Aramco strike. This is because the company has binding obligations with foreign companies in the west and the US that Saudi Arabia shall stay committed to. Until now, Iraq still didn’t accept, but also didn’t refuse. Iraq is not a milking cow that would offer its milk for free and without conditions. Iraq is a sovereign country and has its parliament, and offering 500 million barrels, which represent 50% of Saudi Aramco’s Company, is a process that needs approvals, agreements and something in return.

Saudi Arabia, however, cut off all oil supply lines to the Gulf and turned it in its favor, while it is used with Iraqi money. Saudi Arabia until now finances terrorism. Iraq has so far signed 16 memorandums with Saudi Arabia but it still didn’t implement any of them. There are in Iraqi prisons thousands of Saudi terrorists. Saudi Arabia hasn’t until the moment condemned Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] officially. It didn’t compensate our victims and losses. Hence, it is impossible to open to such level of economic cooperation without guarantees.

Abdul Mahdi’s China visit

The US is not satisfied with the performance of the Iraqi PM as he supports the PMU and the resistance. The US was not satisfied with our premier’s visit to China and Russia because he wants to buy an S-300 system because he wants to secure the Iraqi airspace from violations. An added cause is that he frankly accused ‘Israel’ of bombing Iraqi camps and weapons warehouses as this is considered an international condemnations that is registered at the United Nations.

Additionally, Mr. Abdul Mahdi refused to be a part of the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the US scheme to starve the Iranian people and pressure them, in addition to the blockade against them.

All the stated reasons push the US scheme to topple the current Iraqi government.

Media’s role in the entire situation

It is well-known that the media outlets related to the US and UK embassies, the Gulf, the Baathists and the betrayers don’t want a stabilized Iraq. They want to provoke the situation inside the country, Sayyed al-Hashemi concluded.

Nasrallah: Iran’s Khamenei is our ‘Husayn’ & the leader of Resistance Axis – English Subs

Source

September 30, 2019

Description:

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a large commemoration of ‘Ashura’ in Beirut (10-09-2019) that Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the modern-day example of Imam Husayn and hence the Lebanese group will never forsaken him.

The grandson of Prophet Muhammad and the third Imam in Shia Islam, Imam Husayn was martyred in Karbala (southern Iraq) in 680 AD by the army of the Umayyad caliph, Yazid I.

Due to his sacrifice, Imam Husayn is considered to be a great symbol of courage, reformation, and martyrdom in Islamic thought, and especially among Shia Muslims.

Nasrallah also said that Khamenei is the leader of the so-called Resistance Axis, and that any war on Iran will be a war on the entire axis, and that this war will spell the end of Israel and US hegemony in the region.

The ‘Resistance Axis’ broadly refers to a strategic anti-Israel/anti-US imperialist alliance composed of, but not limited to, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, Yemen’s Ansarullah, and various Palestinian armed factions.

Source: Al-Mayadeen Tv (YouTube)Date: 10 September, 2019

Transcript: http://middleeastobserver.net/nasrallah-irans-khamenei-is-our-husayn-the-leader-of-resistance-axis-english-subs/

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Related Video

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plus Justice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

August 02, 2019

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plusJustice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

by Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plus Justice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

For a brief moment in human history, or what feels like only a fraction of a second now, the United States of America experienced a mirage of a position, dubbed a “superpower,” self-appointed1. Those who lacked ethical and moral imagination went along with that coronation2. Or, perhaps they were just humoring it until a better replacement came along3.

Internally and externally, the United States maintained its illusion of superpower status through the application of diverse tools, some hard and harsh, some soft, and some gray in nature. On the economic front, it mass produced an industrial-scale fiat currency4 as a trading tool and adopted games of chance, fundamentals of speculation5 and gambling as its “genius” economic principles. It manufactured large bubbles of debt6, mimicking a toddler’s birthday party, then divided and sold the airs within as investment bonds. The illusion of trust in an untrustworthy entity was the collateral. No worries though. Whenever the time got ripe and the bubbles burst, sophisticated air-capturing devices and adjustment tools were customized, nicely packaged, and were readied for retail. The hamster on the wheel of finance kept on running but never arriving; alas, the chicanery of economic progress was kept alive.

On the military front, the United States dropped two atomic bombs killing and genetically maiming hundreds of thousands of people for generations to come. In the Eyewitness Account of Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945, Father John A. Siemes, then a professor of modern philosophy at Tokyo’s Catholic University, concluded his remarks by saying:

“We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good that might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”7

While the “moralists” on whom Father Siemes pinned his hopes seventy four years ago were too busy theorizing about their own slumber, the United States of America stockpiled thousands of ready-to-be-deployed nuclear bombs, as fear-inducing threat tools. It deviated enormous amounts of world’s precious resources into the development of military hardware and software gadgets, using “defense” and “American interest” as its rationale8. It then created chaos and mayhem all over the planet9 as its pressure lever to sell death toys to teeny-weeny boys10—expensive batteries not included and costly -900- numbers for instructions on operations and maintenance11.

On the public relations and propaganda front, it used industrial-scale colorful media forms12 as its tool to lie, to cheat, and to fool. It is useful to remember that the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, freely burnt alive and made melted charcoals13 of tens of its own defenseless and unarmed mothers, fathers, and children in Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas14. It bravely broadcasted, live, the entire event on several television networks for days to nip it in the bud for its own agitated population exactly how low it is capable of sinking to maintain its clutch and subdue dissent. For sure, that trick alone silenced many for a few years, Timothy McVeigh15 and his disloyal company excluded, while it worked on another script for another terror-inducing spectacular performance. Too many tricks to remember and too many tools to recount in this short essay; but at last, the jig is up.

Internally, the house has fallen on moral, ethical, justice, and economic grounds, but has forgotten to collapse. Those who cannot see this need corrective lenses or the right standards to evaluate and measure things. Externally, and more relevant to our topic here, the structure of the world’s power relations and alignments are changing rapidly in a tangible and measureable way away from the United States’16 autocratic clutch. While the self-absorbed and the infatuated speak of dangers of a power vacuum, others are quite busy realigning themselves. Let us remind ourselves of Saxon White Kissinger’s poem about delusions of indispensability,

“Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.”17

Coalitions, partnerships, and algebraically aligned groups of countries around the globe, some with hybrid letter-number titles of “this plus that minus the other,” are emerging left, right, and center. Even multi-billioners, themselves cheerleaders and enablers of the Empire of Illusions, are busy, like rats, circling the globe door to door to release their poisonous capital in the hope of infesting another Titanic, another morality-free sinking ship into making. There is a buzz that George Soros is trying to establish his own anti-war ‘Code Pink’ group (should name it Code Navy Blue, perhaps). No doubt, the irony would not have been lost to George Orwell had he lived to see it.

Enough eulogizing. What do all these mean, or should mean, to ordinary people and local community groups around the world? That is, for what, where, when, why, and how should the very people who often shoulder the brunt of all the dregs that roll downhill prepare themselves? For the rest of us, too, no matter what positions we hold and what relationships we have with the rest of the world, the same questions apply. I and the local community groups with and within which I work are grappling with these questions on a daily basis. We are doing what we can to ensure that our short and borrowed lives on this earth is worth the breaths we take. Many of us find ourselves feeling increasingly fortunate to live in Iran where doing so many things in so many ways is possible. More fortunately for us, the general frameworks within which we ask questions, analyze situations, design solutions, and implement them are all intertwined and enmeshed in our culture and belief system: Quran, Our Prophet’s and Imams’ teachings, and an important element called “Al-Hekmah” or the Wisdom. So, how do we evaluate the current transformations in the world around us and how do we try to choose the correct position and make a difference? Here, I present a brief and simple snapshot of our local-universal eye-view.

Firstly, Quran’s ethical teachings, as exemplified through the words and deeds of our Prophet, Imams, and pious scholars, tell us that there is no separation of religion and politics in Islam. As Allammeh Seyyed Hassan Modarres (1249 – 1316 HS, parallel in date with 1870-1937 AD), a religious sage and one of the champions of Iranian Constitutional movement, said in one of his most famous speeches, and Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Revolution, quoted, “Siasat-e ma eyn_e dianat_e ma, va Dianat_e ma eyn_e Sia’sat_e mast.” (“Our politics is exactly our religion and our religion is exactly our politics.”) The paragraph from which the line is borrowed reads,

“The source of our politics is our religion. We are on friendly terms with the entire world so long as they have not aggressed against us. But, if anyone aggresses against us, we will respond. Our politics is exactly our religion and our religion is exactly our politics.”18

Notwithstanding a particular religious belief and appealing simply to human logic, how would it even be possible for someone to have an authentic personal and private ethical and religious belief about, for instance, “thou shall not kill the innocent,” and live, work, and play within the rules and regulations of countries and political systems that kill innocent people to generate revenues and to maintain their national economic lifestyles of choice? Or, appealing to a more rudimentary level of human thought, how could we possibly afford not to be political, when the concentration of the very oxygen in the air we breathe, the amount of poisons with which our waters and foods are laced, the diseases we suffer, the so-called cures we are allowed to access, our fertility, our sexuality, our freedom to move from point A to point B are all determined by politics? Are we living with our heads buried in the sand?

Given these realities, for our people and local community groups here, being political is not a matter of choice but a religious obligation, a human necessity, and a critical survival instinct. Since we cannot avoid this, we do our utmost and take great deal of care to be well informed in order to be able to choose the right (as in correct) politics. People here take the trouble of going that extra kilometer so that, God forbids, they do not end up assuming they are on the right side and the followers of Imam Ali (the first Imam of Shi’a belief) and Imam Hussein (the third Imam of Shi’a belief) but, in fact, do things that are tantamount to carrying water for the turbines of Mo’avieh and Yazeed (Father and Son corrupt tyrants in Ummayyad dynasty against whose policies the Shi’a imams stood, resisted, and eventually got martyred).

Secondly, our religion and our pious religious scholars teach us that we should neither oppress others nor submit to oppression by others. So, our resistance has at least three dimensions: one, we must resist our own urges to oppress others, while at the same time, resist being sucked into siding with oppressors. Two, we must resist oppression against ourselves by anyone. Three, whenever and wherever we hear the cry for help of the oppressed people (Muslim and/or non-Muslim), we are obligated to respond and help, within our means and capacity to do so, and in a sound and appropriate way. Standing silently on the sideline and keeping quiet out of fear or greed is not an option for us. People here commemorate Imam Ali as the epitome of excellence in justice and in “qist” (particular form of justice). They commemorate Imam Hussein as the epitome of resistance against oppression and injustice. When you hear the chants of “Kullu Yau’men Ashura, Kullu Arzen Karbala” -Every day is Ashura, Every place is Karbala, it is useful to remember that today’s Karbala extends from Afghanistan to Yemen to Syria to Palestine to Nigeria to Sudan to Caracas and to any other place on the globe that people are fighting injustice, resisting oppression, and asking for help.

This stance is not just an isolated religious belief of some uninformed local community groups. It is written clearly into our constitution, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran19. In Article 2, Section 6.c, and in Article 3, Section 5,6,15, and 16, it reads:

2:6.c – the negation of all kinds of oppression, authoritarianism, or the acceptance of domination, which secures justice, political and economic, social, and cultural independence and national unity.

3:5 – the complete rejection of colonialism and the prevention of foreign influence.

3:6 – the eradication of all kinds of tyranny, autocracy, and monopolization of power.

3:15 – the cultivation and strengthening of Islamic brotherhood and general cooperation among the people.

3:16 – the organization of the nation’s foreign policy based on Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unrestrained support for the impoverished people of the world.

Any of our elected and/or appointed officials who would tell you otherwise, is either ignorant of the very law he must uphold (in which case, shame on him) or he has gotten to his position by lying, cheating, and swearing to uphold the very laws he is deliberately breaking (in which case, he is a hypocrite and double shame on him). On a bright note though, the ordinary people in the trenches feel extremely blessed that the most senior person in their land, the Leader, is also the most steadfast champion and the flag bearer of the constitution. To put him on a sanction list means to put the Iranian constitution and millions of ordinary people in local communities on a sanction list. Of course, had the US done differently, we would have questioned our own authenticity.

More generally though, as the current situation in the world unfolds, it is useful to remember some basic facts. No imperialist, no arrogant power, no superpower wannabe operates in a vacuum. There are always cheerleaders, enablers, junior and senior accomplices, profiteers, and conspirators. Regardless of what their mouth says, their action speaks louder. Let’s consider a simple example. The Unites States was able to spend trillions in military adventures killing millions of innocent people around the world and expropriating their resources in two fundamental ways: 1) It shortchanged its own tax-paying population, the young, the retired, and even the unborn in all sorts of social and public rights and amenities. 2) It kept on issuing treasury bonds on its accumulated debt, currently about 22.5 trillion dollars20, with People’s Bank of China, Central Bank of Japan, and naïve citizens21 as its most devoted purchasers.

To speak inside a parenthesis and to be totally candid, the ordinary people here find Japan’s “I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up!” attitude which has lasted nearly 74 years quite puzzling. Once upon a time, they lost a war. Who doesn’t at one point or another? Now that it happened, shouldn’t they stand up, dust off, and shake off this subdued and subservient house servant role and assume an independent position with dignity and self-respect? I am told. As Imam Hussein said, “If you do not have any religion and are not fearful of the Day of Judgment, at least be protective of your liberty and autonomy in your life in this world.22 People hope and pray to God that hardworking and noble people of Japan will rise up and will one day free themselves of the US occupation. Again, regular, ordinary people here are genuinely willing to provide support, if the Japanese themselves are willing to fight for their independence.

We will assume being under occupation by the US is Japan’s excuse. But, what has been China’s excuse? China has been buying the US debt as an export-led strategy to ensure its economic growth23. Therefore, to the extent that China, out of self-interest, has acted as an enabler of the United States aggressions and wars, it, too, is responsible. Its development, too, is contaminated with the crime and injustice against, and the blood of innocent people proportionate to the amount of advantage it had gained through its indirect support of those acts. We will not even address its voting record, until just a couple of years ago, as the UN’s Security Council permanent member. Now that it, too, is a target, its change in behavior is not trustworthy enough because it does not appear to be based on ethical and moral principles. It would not be illogical to assume that the moment the direction of winds changes, it is likely that China’s current stance would change, too.

Therefore, for ordinary people in local communities here, that is, the very same people who are active, and who willingly volunteer their own lives and their children and spouses to go and fight alongside those who resist oppressions and hegemony by the US and the West, these and other critical points and lessons will not go unchallenged and unlearned. Only those who have a proven record of being honest and trustworthy, of acting on principles, and steadfast in their resolve fighting against oppression are worthy of trust and long-term partnership, regardless of their race, nationality, and religious affiliation. Others must work much harder, regardless of what they profess to be.

As the entire world is moving on, and as partnerships and coalitions are constantly dissolving and forming, and as the nuclear strike buzzes & hypes are being heard again, I would like link back to the beginning of the essay and re-insert, again, the quoted parts of Father Siemes’ remark, but this time, I complement the segment with a new twist in interpretation and prediction. He recounted,

“We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good that might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”7

I can guarantee anyone who reads these lines that ordinary people in local communities here in Iran are fully aware that what is currently going on is, in fact, a total war against their very existence. They also know there is no difference between civilians, soldiers, and [they add] our Commander in Chief (Seyyed Ali Khamenei). Should one, two, or more nuclear bombs be added to the United States’ repertoire of its pressure levers in its ongoing total war against Iran, unlike the Japanese, the ordinary devout Shi’as in Iran (who are quite significant in number), from all levels of the society, are not going to be sitting around philosophizing, musing, and theorizing about whether or not the total war against them was justified, where all the moralists have gone, or play the role of an obedient house servant. Furthermore, they are not going to enter into a shock & awe state, not knowing what to do. Bihawl’lallah wa Quwwatah (By God’s Power and Might), they will, however, make sure that will not end the bloodshed; rather, it will begin a very effective and exact bloodshed. From my reading of the population here, I can bet my life on that. Can the US, holding tight and fast to its nuclear Trump card, be equally sure of its own bet? If yes, Bismillah.

Mansoureh Tajik lives in Alborz Province in Iran. She has a background in teaching and research in the areas of community and environmental health, environmental justice, and media literacy. She collaborates with various local community members, groups, and organizations to provide support in addressing health and environmental problems, sustainable agriculture, and in design, implementation, and evaluation of relevant improvement projects.

References

1. Thomas Donnelly, Donald Kagan, and Gary Schmitt (2000). “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New American Century,” A Report of The Project for the New American Century, September 2000. Accessed on 7/9/2019; Available online at: https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.

2. Fotios Moustakis & Rudra Chaudhuri (2006). “Counting the Cost of an American Unilateralist Policy: a Superpower at Risk?” Published By: Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Conflict Studies Research Centre, Special Series, 06/43. ISBN 1-905058-88-8, August 2006, UK.

3. Jan Nijman (1992). “The Limits of Superpower: The United States and the Soviet Union since World War II.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), Pages 681-695. Published by Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers.

4. Steven Russell (1991). “The US Currency System: A Historical Perspective.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, September/October 1991. Accessed on 7/9/2019; Available Online at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c909/a844511a78720c5d2800170c06109d797fde.pdf

5. Ricardo J. Caballero, Emmanuel Farhi, and Mohamad L. Hammour (2006). “Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy.” The American Economic Review,” Vol. 96, No. 4, Pages 1159-1192.

6. Nathan Perry (2014). Debt and Deficits: Economic and Political Issues. A GDAE Teaching Module on Social and Environmental Issues in Economics. Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

7. The Manhattan Engineer District Report (1946). The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Manhattan Engineer District of the United States Army under the direction of Major General Leslie R. Groves on June 29, 1946. Accessed on 7/25/2019; Available Online at: https://www.abomb1.org/hiroshim/hiro_med.pdf

8. Office of Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Chief Financial Officer (Feb. 2018). Defense Budget Overview, Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request. Generated on 2018Feb02. Ref. ID: A-6E677F4. Accessed on 7/25/2019; Available Online at: https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/FY2019-Budget-Request-Overview-Book.pdf

9. Sarah N Pedigo (2016). “United States Interventions: Power Vacuums and the Rise of Extremist Groups.” Master of Arts (MA) Thesis, Sociology/Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/86pc-ex82 Available Online at: https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/sociology_criminaljustice_etds/6

10. Zahra Aghamohammadi1 and Ali Omidi (2018). The Prospect of the United States and Saudi Arabia’s Relations In Light of the Khashoggi Murder. Journal of World Sociopolitical Studies, Vol. 2, No. 4, October 2018, Pages 605-632.

11. Congressional Research Service (2019). “The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative,” Updated April 5, 2019. R41916· VERSION 49.

12. Sebastian Kaempf (2019). “A relationship of mutual exploitation’: the evolving ties between the Pentagon, Hollywood, and the commercial gaming sector.” Journal of Social Identities, Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 25:4, 542-558, DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2018.1514151.

13. Official Death Reports, Autopsies and Other Reports of the Davidian Dead. Accessed on 7/26/2019; Available Online at: http://www.holocausts.org/waco/death/reports/county-list.html

14. Timoty Lynch (2001). “No Confidence: An Unofficial Account of the Waco Incident”. Policy Analysis, No. 395, April 9, 2001, Pages 1-18.

15. Linder, Douglas (2007). The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Trial of Timothy McVeigh, University of Missouri at Kansas City – School of Law, Posted on Nov. 17, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1030565.

16. Robbert Kappel (2015). “Global Power Shifts and Challenges for the Global Order.” German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Policy Paper 2/2015.

17. Saxon White Kessinger (1959). “Indispensable Man.” Available Online at: http://www.appleseeds.org/indispen-man_saxon.htm.

18. Hossein Razmjoo (1366 H.S.). “Modarres and His Principle Non-Equilibrium in Politics.” Meshkaat, The Center for Computerized Research in Islamic Sciences, Dr. Shariati College of Literature and Humanities. Original in Farsi, Translated by the author.

19. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (English Version). Available Online at: https://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/ir/ir001en.pdf

20. US Debt Clock. Accessed on 7/26/2019; Available Online at: https://www.usdebtclock.org/

21. Kimberly Amadeo (2019). “Who Owns the US National Debt? The Biggest Owner is You!” The Balance. Accessed 7/26/2019; Available Online at: https://www.thebalance.com/who-owns-the-u-s-national-debt-3306124

22. Muhammad Baqer Majlisi (1403 HQ). Translation, by the author, of a portion of Narration (Hadith):

ان لَم یَکُن لَکُم دینٌ و کُنتُم لاتَخافونَ المَعادَ فَکونوا اَحراراً فِی دُنیاکُم

from Bihar ul-Anwar, 2nd Edition, Vol. 45, Page 51.

23. Ingvild Borgen Gjerde, DNB Markets (2019). “Why China will not sell its US Treasuries.” The Note, Market Matters, 15.05.2019. DNB Markets, a division of DNB Bank ASA. DNB Bank ASA is a part of the DNB Group.

WHAT MAKES IRAN STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND AGAINST A SUPERPOWER LIKE THE USA?

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s the Islamic Republic of Iran deployed the slogan “Karbala, Karbala we are coming” ( كربلا كربلا ما دارييم مياييم) to “defend the value of Islam”. In Syria the battle cry “Zeinab shall not be abducted twice” helped mobilise Shia allies and rally  thousands of men to fight the Sunni Takfiri of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Today, despite the existential battle between Iran and the US, the “Islamic Republic” no longer uses religious slogans, but is instead rallying support on a national basis. Even Iranians who disagree with the present regime are supporting their country in the face of the aggressive posture of the US. Iranian pragmatists were disappointed by the US’s unlawful revocation of the JCPOA nuclear deal. Severe sanctions are being imposed on the Iranian people because Trump ditched the deal to please Netanyahu and to spite his predecessor Obama. In the face of these sanctions, the Islamic Republic refuses to bow to US dictates. Unlike other Middle Eastern countries who willingly submit to Trump’s blackmail and bullying, Iran says “NO” to the superpower. Why? How can Iran do what Saudi Arabia and other regional powers could do but will not?

Iran manufactures its own tanksmissiles,submarines and is a member of the global club of nuclear science capable countries.

Iran has strong allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Yemen and can rely on them to take part in any war imposed on Tehran, even one imposed by the US.

Iran has democratically elected members of the parliament and a President who serves a four-year mandate and has the right for a single term renewal if he wins via the ballot, unlike Arab states who have presidents for life or inherited monarchies. Christians and Jews are recognised minorities in Iran; the Jews have a member of the Parliament, Siamak Moreh, and feel “safe and respected”. They number around 15,000 out of 85 million Iranians and have more than 25 synagogues.

Iran has faced US sanctions for over 40 years without bowing to US demands. It has confronted the US in many arenas around the Middle East and recently shot down a drone to send the clear message that it is ready to face war and its consequences, if war is imposed on it. Iran is ready to pay the price of defending its air, water and lands; it will not compromise on any violations of its sovereignty even by a superpower like the US. Iran is sending a message to the US, its main ally Israel, and to all Middle Eastern countries: it will retaliate harshly against any aggression.

Iran is not afraid of regime-change attempts because its electoral system is in the hands of the people, and, if hit internally, Iran has the capacity to hit back anywhere its allies are deployed, against its regional enemies wherever they are deployed.

Iran’s situation should not be unique or surprising. It is natural to have democratic institutions. It is normal for a country to have allies ready to stand by and lend support when needed. It is ordinary for any country to use force, when needed, to defend its sovereignty and protect its borders. Citizens support their government and armed forces when they defend the country against aggression and when their rulers take tough and courageous decisions.

There are no voices in Iran calling for the fall of the current regime despite the US “maximum pressure”. The Iranian President responded with “maximum patience” for 14 months before taking the first legal step to partially withdraw from the nuclear deal. Rouhani then moved towards a “confrontational strategy” and has ended up adopting a “strategy of equal response” against any attack. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has no need of religious slogans this time because Iranians are united, regardless of ethnicity, behind their leaders and against the US. Trump has managed to unite the pragmatists and the radicals under one flag, against him.

Europe rushed to play a mediation role in a failed attempt to ease tensions between the US and Iran. European leaders have little leverage against President Trump because they are far from united, even if they are signatories of the JCPOA nuclear deal and are therefore bound to respect it. Iran imposed on Europe the devising of a new payment system, INSTEX, notwithstanding its lack of effectiveness. INSTEX shows the will of European leaders to accommodate Iran in order to stop its production of nuclear bombs. That is a substantial European effort.

Iran will not give up on its allies neither would they because they are at the forefront of its national security and the defenders of its values and existence. Without them a confrontational policy towards US hegemony would not be possible. The harsh sanctions on Iran have hurt its allies but have not deteriorated or even affected their military capabilities.

Iran will not give up on its missile capabilities because they are its only defensive mechanism and potential. Iran is ready to go to war; it will not abandon its missile production and development. It has delivered many of these missile capabilities to allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Iran will not submit to the blackmail by which Trump extorts hundreds of billions of dollars from Middle Eastern countries by forcing them to buy US weapons and spare parts. Middle Eastern countries, like Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar, pay handsome ransoms to limit the damage of Trump’s bullying.

If all these Middle Eastern countries were to stand up against the “neighbourhood bully” as Iran has done, and invest a fraction of what they are paying Trump in the region’s development and prosperity, the US would be incapable of racketeering Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates.

And last but not least, Iran rejects the plan Trump is attempting to impose on the Palestinians: a demand that they sell their territories for a handful of dollars. Many Middle Eastern countries have adopted the childish plan of an amateur – Jared Kushner, who holds power only because he is the US President’s son-in-law – who believed he could achieve what many experienced presidents and diplomats failed to do over decades. Iran, together with Iraq, Lebanon and Kuwait, has rejected the “Deal of the Century”.

Trump admits that he understands only “the language of figures and money”. Iran’s response to the US blackmail strategy embodies the perception that this world only respects and understands those who manifest strength and refuse to submit to coercion, and its conscience is only awakened by those who have the will to resist.

Proofread by: C.G.B 

To Think Outside the Box, It Helps First to Understand What’s IN the Box

Image result for To Think Outside the Box, It Helps First to Understand What’s IN the Box

Alastair Crooke
July 8, 2019

Daniel Levy, an erstwhile Israeli negotiator with the Palestinians, writes, “what Manama [Kushner’s presentation on the economic aspects of the ‘Deal of the Century’] tells us about the Kushner approach to the broader region beyond Israel-Palestine, may be more worrying yet for American and global well-being in the next 18 months …”:

“[The] ongoing American misdiagnosis of the region, including this White House’s naïveté, combined with an absence of bullsh[*]t detectors when it comes to what Israelis and certain Gulf states are spinning, were on dangerous display in Bahrain. The Trump administration has not succeeded in creating a new way forward on Palestine and the region. It has however bought into a project in which Israel and certain Gulf parties cooperate not in stabilizing the region, but in goading the White House into doing their bidding on Iran. The preference in Jerusalem and Riyadh is that, rather than come to terms with a necessary balancing of regional interests, including the legitimate interests of Iran, it is better to have America in maximum confrontation with Iran.

“Manama showed the limitations (let alone desirability) of any supposed new regional alliance [configured against Iran] … The gathering certainly brought into focus their shallow grasp of the Israel-Palestine portfolio. (One very senior participant privately confided that while it is nice that this US team prides themselves on thinking outside the box, it would be good if they first understood what was actually inside the box.) It was a jaw-dropping display of how completely they are being played by various regional actors in ways highly detrimental to American interests.”

So what exactly is it that is ‘inside the box’? Well firstly, ‘what exactly is it’ that the regional actors fear? Not an Iranian nuclear weapon – for sure. That is a ‘bogey’ conjured up by Israel to frighten and mobilise American officials in support of Israel. Even were Iran to develop such a weapon (which all US intelligence agencies say Iran is not so doing), how could it be used against Israel, whose population, between the river and the sea is 6.5 million Palestinians and 6.5 million Israelis? Nuclear weapons don’t discriminate by ethnicity.

Long ago, senior Israelis were quite open in saying to me that it was Iran’s conventional weaponry (and unconventional forces) that concerned them – they never believed Israel’s twenty-year narrative of Iran being a year away from having an ‘Islamic bomb’.

A year or two ago, I spent a week as guest of the two holy mosques at Karbala (Iraq). I saw there, in the Imam Hussein shrine something unforgettable. Inside that place, literally seething with humanity, was the spectre of fluid energy. It was a people who were mobilised – hugely energized, and for whom Hussein’s grim killing (the grandson of the Prophet) was unfolding at that very instant. They were living it, then and now, in a way that westerners simply cannot fully fathom.

What does this mean?

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What frightened the Gulf states then in 1979 – and what frightens them now – was the revolutionary, insurgent impulse of Iran’s Revolution. Shi’ism from the very outset has been somehow at odds with domineering, worldly power-plays: always seeking something – some deeper ‘within’. Kerbala showed me that if the revolutionary impulse in Iran had quietened to a smolder, it was not extinguished. And rather, that Shi’a religiosity is still igniting at the periphery.

Of course the 1979 Revolution – and the seizure of the Grand Mosque at Mecca by Wahhabi (Sunni) revolutionaries in the same year – frightened the Gulf states. The latter – in spite of their predilection towards launching religious Jihad against their enemies – at home, have embraced a secular, neo-liberalism. But the legitimacy of a security-autocracy or monarchy has been waning, and there is a lack of any credible system of governance (or even of any system for stable succession). There is in short, no compelling ‘vision’.

This is the point. These grand ‘dynamics’ of the Muslim world are none of America’s business, and more than that, they will not be settled by foreign intervention (any more than the bloody European ‘Reformation’ could have been arbitrated by a foreigner). In short, Shi’ism is experiencing a renaissance, just as the Arab ‘system’ continues its downward trajectory in terms of its popular legitimacy and credibility. For the US to think that the Gulf States are capable of confronting Iran – of quenching this Shi’a renaissance – is, as Levy says, naïve.

No, they cannot. Yet the Gulf States and Israel do however share a common interest. They would like America to destroy Iran on their behalf, in the hope that this would somehow prolong the longevity of Gulf monarchies. And, as it were, inoculate them too from internal civil unrest (with the region’s revolutionary ‘gene’ dispatched). But even so, some Gulf leaders see the danger that such a project might not be confined to Iran, but would immolate the entire region. For Israel, these security states provide the compliant – if inadequate – strategic depth in which a Greater Israel might, one day soon, be actualised.

So, what then is the nature of this Iran crisis? Well, there are two components: Firstly, the crisis between Iran and Washington is only nominally about nuclear issues. It is rather, a political crisis between Iran and America, which reaches back to the humiliation of US President Carter in the context of the US embassy siege in Tehran. The nuclear wrangle is just the pretext for this bitter struggle. When Secretary Pompeo speaks of negotiations being only possible – as and when – Iran were to become a “normal nation”, he plainly means only ‘when Iran abjures its revolution’. Again, this reflects a complete lack of understanding of ‘that’ which makes Iran precisely what it is.

This US-Iranian antagonism also explains why Iran rejects to negotiate on the JCPOA with Trump. The Supreme Leader understands that the nature of the crisis is one of deep political hostility, rather that of the parties needing to agree some technical download ‘patch’ to the JCPOA software (such as an extension to the ‘sunset clauses’).

A short term ‘sticking plaster’ applied to the JCPOA solves little. The antagonism remains unresolved. Instead, Iran intends to raise the stakes for Trump by giving him the choice: Risk your Presidential election prospects for 2020 through entangling yourself in ratchetting escalation with Iran, or back-off on oil and banking sanctions. The Iranian leadership will mount its own counter-measures against “regime collapse” pursued by economic strangulation. Trump may find he becomes obliged to choose either the military way – or retreat.

The second crisis is that inside Israel. Observe what a leading Israeli political commentator, Ben Caspit, wrote (in Hebrew, for Ma’ariv – 24 May) as a cri de cœur, prior to the large march called by the opposition to Netanyahu, just prior to the recent Israeli elections:

“It is imperative that to come to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art tomorrow evening. Come by car, come on foot, bring your bike, bring your scooter, come together, come alone. Bring your friends, your parents, your children, your wife, your husband, your caretaker. Come running, come walking, come with your walker or your wheelchair. Come as you are: from the left, right, up, down or center. What matters is that you come. It’s happening here, it’s happening now. You will have no excuses later. When you ask yourselves where you were when it happened, say that you were there. You came. You volunteered to save the State of Israel that we knew. You will know that you did not give up, that you did not complain, that you did not accept the decree, that you came to fight for your home. That’s not a cliché. This is a war for our home.

“This is not the war of Blue and White or the Labor Party or “the left” or the center or the liberals or the conservatives … It’s the war of every Israeli who believes in freedom, equality, the values of the Declaration of Independence and Israel’s character as the founding fathers envisioned it. Of everyone who is unwilling to accept a tyrannical government, who recognizes the slippery slope that we will be pushed towards when the Knesset places the government above the law and revokes the courts’ ability to perform their accepted function in any democratic country: oversight of the government.

“This is the war of everyone who is unwilling to let the Knesset turn into a city of refuge for criminals. This is also the war (as the polls have proven) of the right wing, of religious Zionists, of people who wear knitted and black skullcaps, of the Likud’s registered party members and its voters.”

Yes, the crisis of secular liberalism to which President Putin referred in his interview with the Financial Times is not confined to Europe. It is in Israel too.

Laurent Guyénot has written an erudite book, From Yahwey to Zion, that traces the path from biblical Yahweyism to secular, (yet still ‘biblical’) Zionism, as exemplified in the person of Ben Gurion. But what we can observe frightening Caspit so in his Ma’ariv pleading, is his fear that Israel may be transiting now, from liberal Zionism (of the early Kibbutzim stalwarts) back towards Yahweyism.

The Gulf States certainly have an inkling of this. And Iran certainly does. This constitutes the unspoken second strand. In a Washington Post piece headlined Trump’s Envoys take a Hammer to Middle East Peace, the Posthighlighted a photo of US envoy David Friedman hoisting a sledge hammer a few days ago to open an ancient passage way to “what some archaeologists and a right-wing Jewish nationalist organization believe to be an ancient thoroughfare that led to Jerusalem’s holy sites (but which passes directly beneath the ancient Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan). Friedman was accompanied by Trump donor, Sheldon Adelson, Jason Greenblatt, Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife and former mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.

This may play well with Trump’s and Netanyahu’s bases, but do Trump and his advisers understand what they may be unleashing, through the emboldening of the religious Right in Israel (i.e. Yahwehism with all its biblical connotations of domination and even Empire)? Does Team Trump, Daniel Levy asks, really understand “how completely they are being played by various regional actors, in ways highly detrimental to American interests”?

Probably not – which is why the region is so on edge. The actualization of a biblical Israel – which US evangelicals clearly desire – represents a provocation far, far more potent than the ‘Deal of the Century’.

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