Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

by Ramin Mazaheri exclusive for The Saker log

So when did you become an epidemiologist? You seem quite willing to shame anyone not sterilising every square inch of every square inch.

And when did you become an economist? “The economy is not important now” must have been a pretty unusual PhD thesis.

We have likely all heard of “internet tough guys” – people who make bold claims or threats online, yet would flee at the sight of conflict – but who knew social media had so many people qualified to tell entire nations what to do regarding Corona?

How much of the Corona crisis has been caused by social media virtue-signallers, hypochondriacs, communications degree-holding intellectuals, helicopter Dads, bossy cows, and sheep who generally follow whatever the herd, management or pop stars tell them to do? That’s an interesting question: would we all be in lockdown prior to the internet and Facebook?

A practical follow-up question is: which nations have leadership which are perhaps even steered by social media, and which nations have leaders who can steer the national boat through choppy waters?

As socialists know and accept, a vanguard party is essential precisely because there are so many choppy waters in life. Choppy waters are doubled for socialist-inspired countries due to imposed wars, sanctions, blockades and endless cold war.

Capitalists and libertarians once again use Orwell against us – the same old, facile “some pigs are more equal than others” of Animal Farm – conflating totalitarianism with socialism, even though the two have entirely different ends and means.

Despite their absurd claims, the vanguard party concept is not anti-democratic. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel had truly universal support from every Cuban (in Cuba) I asked because he rose level by level by repeatedly showing his competence as a civil servant. The same goes for Xi of China (as I will soon remind). Nobody expected a low-ranking cleric like Khamenei to take over for Khomeini, but he has repeatedly showed his competence and abilities; go tell the tens of millions shouting “Khamenei rahbar” (Khamenei the leader) that socialist-inspired democracy, with both direct and indirect, hasn’t worked out well. In post-1917 countries one rises to the 1% via actual competence, and not just by buying elections, as in the West.

Conversely, Hillary Clinton married the governor of Arkansas, who became president, and then America was stuck with her. Emmanuel Macron did… I don’t even know how he got so far so fast, and I really don’t want to know what went on behind closed doors with him.

Regardless, are some pigs more equal than others, to pose their question?

Certainly, what you won’t hear from such socialist detractors is that China’s President Xi spent years doing hard rural work during the days of the Cultural Revolution, and then teaching illiterate farmers how to read during his Cultural Revolution nights. Now, I suppose it is technically a possibility: none of that was earnestly heartfelt on Xi’s part, and he is secretly amassing a personal fortune because the recesses of his heart are nothing but pure bitterness and hate for the socialist ideal of equality which he was forced to display and teach; he has also spent decades duping everyone in China that he is a competent public servant; Xi has zero warm sentiment for those rural citizens he worked with, and wants only revenge; any moment now Xi will launch a surprise attack of totalitarianism designed solely for his personal benefit and revenge.

These are the very real – yet ALWAYS unsaid – logical extensions of Western arguments made against vanguard parties in general, as well as against Xi. Westerners insist that socialist vanguard parties are corrupt not just at the core but all the way to the periphery.

Another unsaid logical extension is that no vanguard parties informally exist in the West. If, however, there are, it is because such people have risen to the 1% solely on merit. Xi’s supposed “merit”, is not merit at all… unlike theirs. Don’t push Westerners to explain these points – they have no answers.

Much of this applies to Iran as well – their system is based on the idea of the “guardianship of the Islamic jurist”. “Down with those opposed to the guardianship of the Islamic jurist” is always included in the “down withs”, and even before “down with the MKO, England, the US and Israel”. The vanguard party in Iran is obviously the clergy; I have written extensively and objectively about how I believe this is being bureaucratically formalised into the “Basij”, and I have discussed how the structure of the Basij has been clearly modelled on the Chinese Communist Party.

How can that be, Ramin, when Communists are atheists? Firstly, they are not. Maybe Marx was, but to hell with him on this point. Cuba is full of Catholics, but even more prevalent are those who practice Santeria; Vietnam has always constitutionally protected religion; Confucianism and Taoism, it is rarely recognised, are two sides of the same East Asian cosmological coin, and China’s intolerance on this point is being remedied. The USSR never reconciled religion and socialism, and this is a huge reason explaining why they are no more; a reason as big as Krushchevian corruption and capitalist-roading.

However, the structural and political similarities between the Basij and the CCP arise not from cosmological agreement but from the natural similarities of two countries who have had post-1917, socialist-inspired revolutions. The similarities are not “coincidental” at all, though those who misunderstand and reject socialism would surely explain away my comparisons with such sweeping, facile, pseudo-explanations. I’m not sure that you can have a vanguard party without the structures, policies and protections – as well as many of the aims and demands – which are greatly dissimilar from the CCP and the Basij? Few examples exist, sadly, for me to study and compare. Never say never, I suppose.

The idea of a formalised vanguard party – as in Iranian Islamic Socialism and other forms of socialism – does not mean totalitarianism. I suppose it could, but why can it not also mean elite governance performance? Why must we look only at the negative aspects, and not the positive? What are we – capitalist-imperialists?

The Corona crisis is not going to validate the support of formal, socialist-inspired vanguard parties in China, Iran, Cuba and elsewhere – they need no validation among their people; their bones are made.

What it will certainly do is discredit the Western model of “non-vanguardism”, “hidden-vanguardism”, “technocratic vanguardism”, “1%er-vanguardism” or whatever else you want to term their bankocratic, aristocratic, bourgeois oligarchies which govern.

The incredible spanner Western politicians have suicidally thrown into their economies will prove this: they have none of the unity, foresight, determination and especially the political modernity of countries like China and Iran, yet they are adopting similar Corona responses. It simply can’t be done without causing Great Depressions in the Lost Decade II-embarking Eurozone for certain, and also for the US economy, which disastrously combines a finance & service & consumer-based economy with non-Trumpian evangelism for self-harming globalisation.

It will take great pain, but this is what humans often require to make serious change, sadly. It will split apart families, but that is what civil war does.

I don’t know which nation will be the first to see their lower class starting to attack their neoliberal/neoliberal-client systems – and attacking as well the reactionary selfishness of the “first responders” whom they are repeatedly told to adulate – but they will all reach the same place as China and Iran: who is in charge? Who is the vanguard party to lead and staff the bureaucracy, which organises and decides on the logistics, and who needs to spread the night soil so we all can eat?

All workers are valid and equal, of course, but a vanguard party is needed to run a government. The alleged path goes capitalism, socialism, communism, anarchism – the idea that no vanguard parties are needed is anarchism, and Cubans will also correct you when you call them communist: they know they are not that far. The amount of self-empowerment espoused in anarchism may not even be possible on a billions-level? These are questions for a later date….

Allow me to disqualify myself from the vanguard party: I have been passed up for management over and over (of course everyone claims this), so maybe they are right? I am used to being a powerless cog in a machine, and I quite like it now!

The people who deserve to be in vanguard parties are those who evince both the capability for selflessness as well as the capability for superior political thought. After all, some have capabilities for great artistic thought, or great engineering thought, or have great social skills – political policy certainly requires input from all sectors and classes but their bureaucrats do need to have a masterful grasp of modern political ideology, as well as a grasp of what not to do: i.e., the ideologies held by the enemies of modern political ideologies. These qualifications are evinced by people like Xi, Khamenei, Diaz-Canel and France’s Yellow Vests.

The roar that the Yellow Vests will make when France’s lockdown in over… that’s another article.

I don’t think you can find a journalist writing in any Western language who has stood shoulder to shoulder with them more often, and I can promise France: put the Yellow Vests in charge and you’ll have exceptional national governance immediately. Unlike the Iranian clergy, Chinese commies and Cuban socialist-Santeriaists, the Yellow Vests’ actual support is hard to gauge: polls constantly showed over 50% support, yet the Animal Rights Party won 2.2% in the 2019 European Parliament elections, double the Yellow Vests parties combined.

Who is the vanguard party in the US? That I cannot say – I do not think one is apparent. I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and their few public comrades are interesting given the limitations of the US political context, but they are still far from what’s necessary now, and especially far from what will be necessary given the trajectory of Great Depression 2.

The times make the man, as they say.

The West’s vanguard parties seem intent on making times as difficult for the lower classes as they possibly can. Time well spent would be turning of Western MSM, as well as social media, and reflecting on who you think should really be in charge.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

إيران وتركيا وفلسطين

شوقي عواضة

لم يكن الإسلام ديناً عربياً اختصّ الله فيه العرب، بل كان رسالة سماوية خصّ بها ربّ العالمين أصدق الناس وأمينهم على أداء الرسالة محمد، وقد حسم القرآن الكريم هذه الجدلية في الآية 107 من سورة الأنبياء (وما أرسلناك إلا رحمة للعالمين).

بعد وفاة الرسول بدأت الفتوحات الإسلامية في عهد الخلفاء فوصلت إلى بلاد الشام والأندلس وبلاد فارس والأناضول وغيرها حيث سجل فيها المسلمون انتصارات وفتوحات في تلك البلاد ومنها بلاد فارس التي شهدت عدة معارك خاضها المسلمون أهمّها معركة اليس المعروفة باسم معركة نهر الدم، وصولاً إلى معركة القادسية التي يتغنّى بها العرب على أنها من معارك الأمجاد العربية وما تلاها من حملات وغزوات وفتوحات لبلاد فارس لم تكن تحت أيّ مسمّى عربي بل كانت تحت عنوان الفتوحات الإسلامي، وسجلت انتصارات للإسلام وليس للعرب لأنها لم تكن حرباً قومية أو عشائرية أو إثنية، إنما كانت حروباً وفتوحات إسلامية انتصر فيها الإسلام على الوثنية عند الفرس حينها مثلما انتصر على الجاهلية والوثنية عند العرب.

استمرت الفتوحات ما بعد الخلفاء مروراً بالدولة الأموية والفاطمية والعباسية وصولاً إلى الدولة العثمانية ومؤسّسها عثمان بن سليمان شاه التركماني، المعروف بعثمان الأول، أول سلاطين السلالة العثمانية التي حكمت البلقان، والأناضول، والمشرق العربي، وشمال أفريقيا طيلة 600 عام عانى خلالها العرب والمسلمون أبشع أنواع الظلم والقتل وسفك الدماء وسرقة خيرات بلادهم طيلة فترة حكم العثمانيين الذين كانوا شركاء في تسليم فلسطين لليهود ونشوء الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب.

تحت راية الإسلام وباسم الفاتحين والمدافعين عنه كان العثمانيون أكثر المتآمرين على فلسطين والمنطقة من خلال تقاسمهم خيرات البلاد واستعمارها بالتعاون مع البريطانيين والفرنسيين والايطاليين.

سياسة أقرّها عثمان الأول ولم تسقط بسقوط دولتهم عام 1922 بعد إعلان قيام الجمهورية التركية، بل رسخها الأتراك واعتمدوها وطوّروها وأصبحت من صلب السياسات التركية التي تتجلى اليوم في أردوغان الذي يتستّر براية الإسلام فاتحاً ومدافعاً عن الإسلام والسنة، وهو الذي لم يشهر سيفه إلا في وجه أهل السنة، وكأنّ التاريخ يعيد نفسه، ففي فترة حكم العثمانيين كان اليهود يغزون فلسطين ويمعنون في ارتكاب المجازر بحق شعبها واغتصاب أراضيهم كان السلطان العثماني منشغلاً في فتوحاته لمصر وبلاد الشام لإسقاط نظام محمد علي، الذي كان من أولويات الدولة العثمانية، التي يؤكدها عملياً أردوغان الذي يرى أنّ إسقاط الرئيس بشار الأسد وشنّ عدوان على سورية قلعة المقاومة هو أولوية قبل فلسطين.

يرسل مقاتليه لتحرير ليبيا من أبنائها ولا وجود لفلسطين في أجندة فتوحاته وكأنه لم يقرأ تاريخ أجداده جيداً أو لعله لم يفهم أنّ التاريخ لا يخطه إلا الشرفاء والمقاومون وأنّ المستبدّين إلى زوال.

التاريخ القريب يشهد على المواقف التركية الإيرانية منذ احتلال فلسطين حيث كانت إيران الشاه وتركيا أول وأكبر دولتين إسلاميتين تعترفان بشرعية الكيان الغاصب لفلسطين منذ نشوئه، وأقامتا علاقات معه وفتحتا سفارات، حتى أنّ الشاه كان أكثر تقرّباً للصهاينة من خلال مواقفه ودعمه لهم في عدوان أكتوبر عام 1973.

أُسقط موقف إيران بسقوط الشاه بعد انتصار الثورة الإسلامية بقيادة الإمام الخميني الذي أقفل السفارة الصهيونية وكان أول من فتح سفارة فلسطينية في خطوة لم يجرؤ على الإقدام عليها أيّ زعيم عربي أو إسلامي. وكأنّ انتصار الثورة الإسلامية عام 1979 جاء تعويضاً لفلسطين وللمقاومة عن خروج مصر من معسكر المواجهة بعد توقيع مصر السادات معاهدة الذلّ في كامب ديفيد.

وبالرغم من ذلك لا يزال أغلب المتغنّين بالفتوحات الإسلامية التي لم يعرفوا منها إلا اسمها يتسابقون نحو نيل الرضا الأميركي والتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني لم يشهروا سيفاً ولا قرطاساً في مواجهة الكيان الصهيوني، أو في نصرة الشعب الفلسطيني، في حين يستشرسون في مؤامراتهم لتفتيت الأمة وإضعاف قوّتها لأنهم لم يدركوا بأنّ فلسطين ستجلد كلّ سجانيها وستحاكم وتسقط كلّ متآمر عليها أيّاً كان… والقادم سيثبت ذلك.

*كاتب وإعلامي

IS IRAN ILL-ADVISED TO FINANCE ITS REGIONAL ALLIES WHILE UNDER SANCTIONS?

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:@ejmalrai

Many Iranians question the benefits of arming and financing Iran’s many allies in the Middle East while Iran is suffering the harshest ever US “maximum pressure”. Iran’s allies are spread over Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Is Iranian support for these allies the main cause of the US’s aggressive attitude towards the Iranian people and their state, or there are other factors? What makes Iran finance these allies and strengthen them with the most advanced warfare equipment, and be ready to fight and die on their territory?

Since Iran’s “Islamic Revolution” prevailed in 1979 under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, the country has been heavily sanctioned, sanctions increasing with the advent of almost every new US President. In 1979, Iran had no allies but was surrounded by enemies.  Its regional neighbours joined western countries in supporting Saddam Hussein’s war (1980-1988) on the “Islamic Republic”. The US war on Iran has its origin in the fall of its proxy the Pahlavi Shah. It was disclosed how the CIA brought Pahlavi to power in an organised Coup d’état against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohamad Musaddeq in 1953 in order to keep Iranian oil under US-UK control. Democracy has never been the real issue: western-provoked wars can be understood as motivated by self-interest and the quest for dominance. But attempts to overthrow regimes are always publicly justified by the West in the name of freedom and democracy.

In 1979, the US set a trap to drag the Soviets into invading Afghanistan by supporting the mujahedeen from whom al-Qaeda was born. This catastrophic result and similar destructive phenomena are habitually described as “unintended consequences” in order to rationalise the devastating costs of these savage interventions into other people’s lives and in world affairs. However, in 2001 the US fell back into exactly the same type of quagmire and invaded Afghanistan with tens of thousands of US troops. The US plan was to block the path of a possible return by Russia to Eurasia; to weaken the Russians and to encircle Iran with a chain of hostile elements; to bully all countries concerned into submission, particularly the oil-rich states, thus preventing any possible alliance with Russia and China. This is still the US objective in the Middle East. History has never been a good guide to powerful leaders and their administrations because they apparently consider themselves not subject to its lessons.

Iran found itself deprived of allies. With the consent of the Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia, Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to remove and subdue the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) led by Yasser Arafat, who had rejected King Fahd’s peace initiative. However, the “unintended consequences” of the invasion and the occupation of the first Arab capital by Israel (Beirut) offered Iran an excellent opportunity to respond to the demands of a group of Lebanese asking for help to stand against the Israeli aggressor. Imam Khomeini replied to his Lebanese visitors (who described the horror and the killing committed by the Israeli war machine): “al-kheir fima waqaa”, meaning “What has happened is a blessing”. His visitors did not understand the meaning of Khomeini’s words until many years later. 

Iran found in the Lebanese Shia fertile ground to plant seeds for its ideology. The ground was already prepared in 1978. Lebanese Islamist followers of Sayyed Mohamad Baqer al-Sadr were already receiving training in various Palestinian camps, including the Zabadani training boot camp (Syria), and had embraced the Palestinian cause. When Imam Khomeini took power in Iran, Sayyed Mohammad Baqer al-Sadr asked his followers in Iraq and Lebanon to declare loyalty to Imam Khomeini and “melt into him as he has melted into Islam” (which means “adopt Imam Khomeini as your Imam and Marja’ al-Taqleed”). Iran established great ideological compatibility with the Lebanese Shia, who had historically been considered second-class citizens in Lebanon. Their territories in the south of Lebanon were considered disposable and were put on offer to Israel by Lebanese leaders (Maronite President Emile Eddé suggested to detach South of Lebanon and offer it to Israel to reduce the number of Muslim Shia) , elites and governments.

The Iranian constitution (articles 2 and 3) stipulates that the Iranian government will support any group or country suffering from an oppressor. Its outlook fit perfectly with the oppressed Lebanese Shia. 

The Iranian IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) travelled to Lebanon and shipped their weapons via Syria to strengthen the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, known later as Hezbollah, and defend their country from the occupier. It was, therefore, necessary to establish a strategic relationship with the Syrian President because most shipments arrived via Syria. 

The Iranian-Syrian relationship went through various ups and downs. It had reached its high point in the last years of President Hafez al-Assad’s rule when his son Bashar was responsible for the relationship with Lebanon and Hezbollah in particular. 

The destinies of Lebanon, Syria and Iran became linked. President Bashar al-Assad was struggling to keep his country out of the conflict when the US-occupied Iraq in 2003. The circle around Iran became tighter, and US forces occupied neighbouring Iraq. Even though getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a blessing for the Iranian regime, Saddam was so weak that he did not represent any real danger to Iran. The US embargo had weakened him, and he had no friends in the Gulf countries after his invasion of Kuwait and his bombing of Saudi Arabia.

The US prevented Iran from moving forward to support the Iraqi resistance to overthrow Saddam Hussein, instead of establishing its own control over Baghdad. The next US objective was Syria and Lebanon. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned President Assad that he was next on the list of presidents to be taken down if he continued offering support to Hamas and Hezbollah. The US declared itself an occupying power, and the Iraqi right to defend their country was acknowledged by the United Nations resolutions. Assad, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, supported the insurgency against the US occupation forces in Iraq. The Saudis rejected Shia-dominated governance over Iraq. The Iranians were next on the US list. So, Iran chose to fight the US on Iraqi ground, which was much less costly than fighting on Iranian ground. Strengthening Iraqi allies was, therefore, an essential component of Iranian national security and an important line of defence. 

In 2006, the Bush administration pushed an unprepared Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to agree to destroy Hezbollah and was expecting the war to be expanded to Syria. This was an opportunity to conquer Syria and cut the supply of Iranian arms. The US and its allies were aiming to close the circle around Iran by eliminating its strong ally in Lebanon. Hezbollah was an impediment to the US-Israeli project of bringing all the Arabs to the negotiating table, eliminating the Palestinian cause and its defenders, and weakening Iran as a prelude to overthrowing its government.

When Israel bombed and invaded Lebanon in 2006 with the goal of defeating Hezbollah, President Assad opened his warehouses and offered dozens of game-changing anti-tank missiles and anything Hezbollah needed to fight back, regardless of Israeli air force superiority. Assad became an essential partner in the successful defeat of Israel in Lebanon. The fall of Hezbollah would have had devastating consequences for Syria and Iran. Joining the destinies and alliances of the Lebanese-Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian front was necessary for the survival of each.

In 2011, the world declared war on Syria. It took President Assad two years before he realised the plot was both regional and international, aiming to create chaos in the Levant and to produce a failed state dominated by jihadists. The same ideological jihadists first planted in Afghanistan were expanding and offered a perfect tool for the US to destroy Iran and its allies. The regional and world intelligence services infiltrated the jihadists, and well understood their strengths and weaknesses. They were well suited to fighting the Iranian ideology and Iran’s ally. Wahhabi jihadism was perfect cancer to destroy Iran on many fronts.

Jihadists were growing in Iraq and expanding in Syria under the eyes of the US, as US intelligence sources themselves revealed. The Levant was the perfect and most desirable ancient place for jihadists to mushroom and expand. This was when President Assad asked his allies for support. Iran’s IRGC forces came to Damascus and the journey to liberate Syria started. Syria, like Iraq, offered a vital defence line to Iran. It was another platform to fight – on non-Iranian soil – an enemy that was about to migrate to Iran (had Syrian been defeated). An opportunity that Iran could not miss because of Syria’s strategic importance.

It took Russia until September 2015 to wake up and intervene in the Middle Eastern arena, in Syria in particular. All these years, the US was planning to leave no place for Russia to create alliances, preparing to vanquish Iran and its allies, the “Axis of the Resistance” standing against US hegemony in the Middle East. All Gulf countries succumbed to US power, and today they are hosting the largest US military bases in the region. The US had deployed tens of thousands of troops to these bases and through them enjoyed superior firepower to any country in the world. Still, Iran and the Levant (Syria and Lebanon) remained impervious to the US attempt at complete dominance.

Without Iran’s allies, all US military efforts would have been concentrated on Iran alone. The US would have moved from sanctions to military attack with little fear of the dire consequences. Today, the US needs to consider the now unquestioned fact that if Iran is attacked, its allies in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq will open hell for the US and its allies in the Middle East. Forty years of Iranian support for its allies have created a wall of protection around it and a bond whereby the allies join their fate to that of Iran. There are no allies in the world any country could count on to sacrifice their men more readily and stand for a common ideological motivation and shared objectives.  Iran is not only investing in its partners, but it is also investing in its own security and well-being. Iran is prepared to offer the same sacrifices provided by its allies to support them when needed. 

Many Lebanese and Iraqis fought in the Iraq-Iran war. Thousands of Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah (and other allies) lost their lives in Syria protecting the well-being of the Syrian ally and preventing the country from falling into the jihadists’ hands.

Many Iranians and Lebanese were killed in Iraq to support the Iraqis against the terror of ISIS. Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah are today in Yemen, supporting it against the Saudi-led genocidal massacres. Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah took the risk of supporting the Palestinians and their cause to free their land, to have their own state and the right to return home. No US allies anywhere in the world are ready to offer comparable solidarity to the US. Iran has created deep alliances whereas the US has failed to do so.

Iran openly attacked the US Ayn al-Assad military base following the unlawful assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani. No other country in the world has dared to attack the US face-to-face and inflict over a hundred casualties on US service members while continuing to challenge US hegemony. There was no need for Iran to ask its allies to act on its behalf. Iran and its partners on the battlefield are united against their enemies. The US wants Iran without missiles, without armed drones, and without access to intelligence warfare. These vital programs have proved crucial to protecting the country and preventing it from becoming vulnerable. If Iran did not have the allies it has today and the missiles it has manufactured, the US would already have retaliated without hesitation.

The war is far from over. Iran and its allies are still in the heart of the struggle, and the US and Israel are not sitting idly by. Solidarity between Iran and its allies is needed more than ever. The question of how much of its annual budget Iran is spending on its partners is less than relevant, though ordinary Iranians may complain and even challenge its benefits. The spirit of sacrifice that unites allies in mutual protection cannot be limited to monetary considerations. It is priceless.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

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The Transnational Hezbollah Commander: Sayyed Abbas Mousawi

Israa al-Fass and Marwa Haidar

“This resistance is our source of pride. It taught us everything. The resistance taught us that we can make strength out of our weakness,” said Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi, former Hezbollah Secretary General who was assassinated by Israeli occupation on February 16, 1992.

Sayyed Abbas was known for his resistance movement that knew no boundaries. Starting by Lebanon and Palestine, and not ending by Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Sayyed Abbas considered Palestine as the primary cause of the Muslim nation. He saw the resistance as a transnational movement that can’t only operate in one battlefield.

Palestine Was the Spark

Sayyed Abbas AlMousawi

Inspired by a youth who was the first Lebanese to be martyred in a battle with Israeli occupation in 1968 in Jordan, Sayyed Abbas, who was 15 years old back then, went to Syria’s Zabadani to take part in a training camp established by Fatah Palestinian resistance movement.

The senior commander then decided to apply himself to Hawza studies. He affiliated with leading Lebanese Shia cleric Imam Sayyed Mousa Al-Sadr in the southern town of Tyre. After that, he joined Hawza of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf. Sayyed Mohammad Baqer Al-Sadr was an influential Shia cleric, philosopher, political leader, and founder of the Daawa Party of Iraq.

Upon his arrival to Lebanon in 1978, when the Baathist regime expelled all non Iraqi clerics, Sayyed Abbas founded Al-Muntathar Hawza in Baalbeck. He believed that the role of this Hawza was not limited to the Shiite arena in Lebanon. In March 1978, the Israeli enemy launched an aggression on Lebanon in which it managed to occupy areas located to the south of Litani River. At time, Sayyed Abbas played pivotal role in mobilizing the Lebanese people for resistance.

Sayyed Abbas was highly inspired by the victory of the Islamic Revolution led by Imam Sayyed Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979. The revolution in Iran represented for the former Hezbollah S.G. a glimpse of hope in face of the US hegemony and Israeli oppression.

Establishing Hezbollah

Following the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon in June 1982, Sayyed Abbas returned to Lebanon from Tehran along with Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Lebanese cleric who was well-known for his anti-Israel stances and then was a senior Hezbollah commander. The two men worked at the end of that year on establishing the resistance movement, Hezbollah.

“The Islamic Resistance in south Lebanon. We called it Islamic because its ideology ad spirit is Islam. However, it is for all the oppressed people across the world,” Sayyed Abbas said about Hezbollah, the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.

In that year (1982), Sayyed Abbas headed a delegation representing Hezbollah to Iran, where they met Imam Khomeini who blessed their efforts, telling them that “he sees victory on their foreheads,” according to “Jihad and Martyrdom Leader” documentary which explores the life of Sayyed Abbas.

Sacred Defense in Ahvaz

Later in 1983, Sayyed Abbad headed for Iran’s Ahvaz to take part in the sacred defense during the war launched by the Baathist regime in Iraq.  Imam Khomeini dispatched his personal delegate Sheikh Abbas Al-Kaabi who urged Sayyed Abbas to go back to Lebanon, stressing that the Lebanese battlefield needed him more.

When he returned to Lebanon, Sayyed Abbas tried to strengthen ties with other Muslim clerics from outside the Shiite arena in a bid to boost Islamic unity and unify resistance movements allover Lebanon.

He coordinated resistance efforts with both Sheikh Said Shaaban in the northern city of Tripoli and Sheikh Maher Hammoud in the southern city of Sidon.

Resistance Path of Victory

ormer Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi with resistance fighters (photo from archive)

“Sayyed Abbas presented the resistance as a path of victory not only as a path of martyrdom,” Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah described his predecessor in the documentary which was aired on Al-Manar TV.

Sayyed Abbas was the military commander of the Islamic Resistance in south Lebanon. He personally oversaw resistance operations which forced the Israeli enemy to withdraw from Beirut and then from Sidon to the southern villages and towns.

Visits to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir

In March 1990, Sayyed Abbas went to Pakistan, to take part in a pro-Palestine conference. In that visit he toured 17 Pakistani villages, where he tackled Israeli oppression, importance of resistance and US schemes in the region. After that, Sayyed Abbas visited Afghanistan, where he met with fighters against Soviet troops, and then he went to Kashmir.

Hezbollah S.G.

In April 1991, and following years of hard work in ranks of the Islamic Resistance, Sayyed Abbas was elected to be Hezbollah Secretary General. Sayyed Nasrallah narrates in the “Jihad and Martyrdom” documentary how long it took to convince Sayyed Abbas that he has to accept this post.

“After ten days of attempts to convince him, Sayyed Abbas accepted to assume his duties as the Secretary General of Hezbollah,” according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

Upon his election, Sayyed Abbas was maintained strong relation with resistance fighters as well as with Lebanese people whom was keen to serve them. He raised the slogan of “We Are All at Your Service,” referring to securing basic needs of the people in light of the state’s absence in several areas especially in south, Bekaa and Beirut southern suburb.

Martyrdom and Will

Sayyed Abbas was assassinated in February 16 1992, when he was returning from south Lebanon where there was a ceremony marking the martyrdom anniversary of Sheikh Ragheb Harb. Israeli Apache helicopters fired missiles at his motorcade, killing him, his wife, his five-year-old son, and four others.

Following his martyrdom, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah succeeded Sayyed Abbas, whose primary will was to “preserve the Islamic Resistance.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

Voice Message from Former Hezbollah SG Martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi to His Family in 1983: Preserve Faith & Education (Video) 

العربي الذي هزّ عرش الشاه

 

شوقي عواضة*

بعد إعلان دولة الكيان الصهيوني على أرض فلسطين بدعم بريطاني وغربي ولدت ثورة 23 يوليو/ تموز عام 1952 بقيادة جمال عبد الناصر والضباط الأحرار، وكان ذلك تحولاً مفصلياً على مستوى المنطقة. تلك الثورة التي أرعبت الأنظمة الملكية وعلى رأسها شاه إيران ومملكة آل سعود اللتين كانتا متحالفتين في وجه تلك الثورة الوليدة والتي كانت أولويتها تحرير فلسطين من الاحتلال الصهيوني.

وقد شكلت ثورة عبد الناصر بارقة أمل كبيرة لكلّ أحرار العالم لا سيما بعدما عمد عبد الناصر إلى دعم كلّ الحركات التحررية ونجح في دعم حركات التحرر من الاستعمار في الجزائر وليبيا والسودان واليمن، وإيران حيث كان الشاه محمد رضا بهلوي حليف الغرب والمعترف الأول بالكيان الصهيوني وأحد أقطاب حلف بغداد الذي شكلته الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وضمّ بريطانيا وتركيا وإيران وأفغانستان وباكستان والعراق.

ذلك الحلف الذي رأى فيه عبد الناصر خطراً حقيقياً على الأمة قامت الثورة الأولى بقيادة الإمام الخميني في 15 حزيران – يونيو 1963، وبعد فشلها اتهم شاه إيران جمال عبد الناصر بأنه كان يموّلها ضدّه، وتمّ اعتقال الإمام الخميني وحكم عليه الشاه بالإعدام لكن تغطية الحوزة العلمية له في قم وكبار المراجع فيها أنقذ الإمام من الإعدام فتمّ نفيه إلى تركيا ومنها عاد الى العراق حيث استقرّ في النجف 1964 حتى نفاه صدام حسين عام 1978 فجاء إلى (نوفل لوشاتو)، وكان الإمام الخميني قد وجه رسائل عديدة إلى الرؤساء العرب شارحاً مأساة ومظلومية الشعب الإيراني وما يعانيه من نظام الشاه القمعي، لم يستجب أحد لتلك الرسائل باستثناء الرئيس عبد الناصر الذي كلّف رجل المهام الخاصة لديه ومهندس حركات التحرر وأحد مؤسّسي جهاز المخابرات العامة فتحي الديب وكمال الدين رفعت، وبدأ العمل وتمّ افتتاح إذاعة للمعارضة الإيرانية وكانت ناطقة باللغة الفارسية في قلب القاهرة موجهة للشعب الإيراني مع إعطاء الثورة الإيرانية حيّزاً كبيراً في الإعلام المصري إضافة إلى فتح معسكرات تدريب وتأهيل الإيرانيين عسكرياً وأمنياً وإعداد كوادر إعلامية من أجل فضح نظام الشاه.

رحل عبد الناصر قبل أن يشهد سقوط الشاه الطاغية وشهدت مصر بعده تحوّلاً قياسياً في سياستها لا سيما بعد استلام السادات الحكم وتوقيع اتفاق الذلّ في كامب ديفيد في 17 أيلول/ سبتمبر 1978. بعد عام من توقيع الاتفاق وخروج مصر من دول المواجهة انتصرت الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بقيادة الإمام الخميني الذي عاد الى طهران قادماً من نوفيل لوشاتو ليعلن شعار الثورة وهدفها الأسمى اليوم إيران وغداً فلسطين، كاشفاً أنّ الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر هو الرئيس العربي الوحيد الذي دعم الثورة ليهدي الانتصار له ولكلّ أحرار العالم لينتصر عبد الناصر في تربته ضدّ طاغية العصر بإنتصار الإمام الخميني.

ثمة أسئلة كثيرة تطرح اليوم بوجه كلّ من يتحدّثون عن العداء التاريخي الإيراني ـ العربي وعن الأطماع الإيرانية في المنطقة العربية، لا سيما في ظلّ رحيل الرئيس عبد الناصر. ألم يكن انتصار الثورة الإسلامية بقيادة الإمام الخميني تعويضاً للعرب عن خسارة مصر عبد الناصر وخروجها من معسكر المواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني؟ وماذا قدّم العرب بعد عبد الناصر لفلسطين باستثناء سورية الأسد؟ وهل ما قدّمته طهران للقضايا العربية وعلى رأسها فلسطين انتقص من كرامة العرب والمسلمين أم زادها عزة وشموخاً؟

*كاتب وإعلامي

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Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council to Al-Ahed: “The Americans Will Be Expelled from the Region”

Mohsen Rezaee

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – Forty days have passed since the martyrdom of the commander of the Quds Force, Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] in Iraq, martyr Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions.

The occasion coincides with the 41st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran led by Grand Ayatollah His Eminence Imam Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini. The timing is not a coincidence. Martyr Soleimani was a soldier in the march of this revolution, and the birth of the resistance front was the result of the Islamic Revolution that thwarted the Zionist-American project in the region.

The blessed Islamic Revolution once again directed the nation toward Palestine. Since February 11, 1979, the course of history changed when the American project was thwarted. The sons of the resistance front have managed in recent years to defeat the great fateful plans that aimed to divide the region and restore American hegemony over the Middle East.

On this occasion, Mohsen Rezaee, the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council in the Islamic Republic of Iran, sent a message to the sons of the resistance front.

“The martyrdom of our brother Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his companions created an international renaissance to fight American arrogance,” Rezaee said in an exclusive statement to Al-Ahed news website.

“The supporters of this renaissance are not only in the countries of the region, but a lot of free people in the world know that the US presence in this region is aimed at controlling and stealing global energy sources as well as putting trade in the world under the control of American colonialism.”

Rezaee concluded his statement by saying, “Today we need an international renaissance against the American presence in the region. It will, alongside this renaissance, lead to the mobilization of countries from outside this region. In the end, the Americans and their military presence will be expelled from this region.”

To read the article in Arabic, click here

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Iran Votes: Rouhani Urges Attending February 11 Rallies As another Strike on Enemies

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the presence of the people on the stage of the country’s upcoming elections as a key to victory, saying “the key to resolving our society’s problems and resisting hostilities is unity and trust and confidence between the establishment and the people.”

Speaking on Wednesday at a cabinet session, Rouhani said, “Today, we need to stand together on February 11 more than ever and tell our enemies that we have stood by our revolution for 41 years and that we will be in the path of the revolution, Imam [Khomeini] and Iranian Leader until the end of our life.”

We are glad that our great nation is preparing again for the great, glorious celebration of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, which will be celebrated after 41 years of effort, self-sacrifice, and devotion that this nation had made for the aspirations of the Revolution.

The climax of our Islamic Movement was since the beginning of the year 1962 when our dear people stepped on the stage, Rouhani added.

He further stressed that any day that people came to the stage, that day was the climax of the Revolution and weakening dictatorship and defeating the ill willing against the Iranian people.

People’s presence is a big social capital, Rouhani stated. “That is, the day when the people took to the streets with the 100% trust they had on the leaders of the Islamic Movement and especially our dear Imam [Khomeini] and stood up to the then regime that was armed to the teeth and achieved victory, Imam relied on people.

He did not let any division happen between people and the armed forces of that regime, but with the attraction he had, he attracted all of the other side’s forces and –except a few specific ones- he forgave them.

If it were not for Imam Khomeini’s moderation and attraction, radical groups and hardliners would have torn the country and people apart, Rouhani stressed.

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