Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

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“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Family of Martyr Nizar Banat Sends Sayyed Nasrallah a Thank You Letter

October 12, 2021

Family of Martyr Nizar Banat Sends Sayyed Nasrallah a Thank You Letter

By Staff

The family of Palestinian martyr Nizar Banat sent a thank you letter for the Secretary General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in response to the stance of loyalty conveyed by Sayyed Nasrallah to the daring martyr Nizar Banat.

The family, in the name of Palestine, the land of prophets, the great people, and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, with all their vital forces that have been keeping the pledge to carry the message of glory, liberation, and the honor of resistance instead of compromising, and in the name of the household and the family of alive martyr Nizar Banat, thanked the leader of Resistance for the words through which he described the martyr, and the stances that made us proud of the great ones talking about the other great ones.

Nasrallah on obedience to God & how it guides Shia political action

October 10, 2021

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Speaking at a mourning ceremony to mark the yearly religious occasion of Ashura, Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah touched on the Islamic conception of worship and obedience to God, and the implications of this conception on the world of political decision-making and action within contemporary Shia Islam.

The following transcript helps to reveal the intersection of the religious, the spiritual, and the socio-political for Nasrallah and many Shia political movements today.

The Hezbollah leader’s comments were made at a time when Lebanon faces one of the worst political and economic crises in the history of the Mediterranean country.

Source: Al-Manar Tv

Date: August 13, 2021

(Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Transcript:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General:

True worship of Allah means complete obedience to Almighty Allah. ‘Uboodiyah (worship) is not (simply) defined by the number of prayers and fasts one carries out, even while keeping in mind that Salat (prayers) and Sawm (fasting) are part of worship.

‘Uboodiyah in its true essence means obedience to Almighty Allah, in all aspects – whether small or great – and refraining from disobeying Allah Almighty, no matter how small or big (that matter is). This is the school of the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt, peace and blessings be upon them.

And this is the message of Karabala for us. It is the message of worship of Allah, and obedience to Allah Almighty. And even if this obedience to Allah Almighty entails that we reach a point in which we are besieged, become hungry, and thirsty, and are forced to fight, and be killed, and our women are taken captive. This is the true (deeper) message (of Karabla), before talking about politics and the political circumstances and goals (of that time), in 61 A.H. This is the meaning of al-Husayn’s movement, peace be upon him.

For this reason, in all of al-Husayn’s speeches and statements he would say ‘God wills (this)’ (shaa’a Allah), but not in the sense of (having no choice but to accept) an unchangeable fate. ‘God wills’ in the sense that ‘this is God’s judgment’, ‘this is what God has chosen for me’, ‘this is what God is pleased with for me, and I am pleased with what God is pleased with, and I act in accordance with what God Almighty is pleased with’.

……….

When we obey Almighty Allah, indeed we act in the interest of our own selves, (in the interest of) our own aakhirah (life in hereafter), for (the sake of) our own dunya (worldly life), (in the interest of) of the dunya and aakhirah of the people (at large). Allah is needless of our obedience, and our disobedience does not harm him (in any way). Hence, the motive (that we must have) always, is carrying out our takleef (responsibility before God). To discover our takleef, and to carry it out.

Here I move on to a detailed discussion of this matter. To discover one’s takleef, is a very important issue, O’ brothers and sisters. Meaning that, when I am before a particular incident or development or issue, what is my takleef? What is my Islamic responsibility? What must I say, such that through my words I would be in obedience of Almighty Allah? How must I act, such that via my actions I would be in obedience of Allah Almighty? Discovering one’s takleef is a great and highly important matter.

In some of the meetings with his eminence, the leader, Imam (Sayyed Ali) Khamenei, may his life be prolonged, he use to say to us: ‘always supplicate and ask Allah Almighty with tawassul (intercession) and extreme humbleness and utter humility, to reveal to you your takleef (responsibility)’. One of the greatest blessings (of God) upon man, is that He reveals to him and guides him towards his takleef, and that He supports and aids him in discovering his (own) takleef. Why? Because aakhirah (is at stake)! Before we talk about dunya and the worldly ramifications (of knowing or not knowing one’s takleef).

We must humbly and consistently ask Allah Almighty to 1) (guide) us towards discovering our takleef, and 2) to carry out this takleef. Because sometimes we may discover our takleef but realize that it is difficult (to carry out). Difficult. Painful. Costly. So we refrain from (trying to carry it out). Discovering (one’s) takleef requires Divine attention (i.e. Grace and support), and carrying out the takleef and remaining patient in its implementation requires Divine attention. We must attain this Divine attention through supplication with humility and persistent turning to God Almighty.

In our own lives, (discovering our) takleef (religious responsibility) in many cases is clear and easy. For instance, (in relation to) the rules (ahkaam) of Salat, Taharah, Sawm, Zakat, Khums, Hajj, Umrah, trade, buying, selling, marriage, divorce etc. Mashallah (impressively), in the jurisprudential (fiqhi) books of all Muslims of all the various sects, you will find many editions and volumes on even the smallest of matters. This includes all the various sects and their various jurisprudential opinions (ijtihad) etc. Thus, depending on one’s sect, man is able to find out his takleef when it comes to many aspects and details of life.

However, the difficulty lies where? In the (new) issues that arise in the life of man. Here, we are not talking about the taharah (Islamic cleanliness) of this water or the najasah (Islamic uncleanliness) of this product, or the permissibility of selling (this thing or that). Rather, (the difficulty lies) with regards to new issues and developments in our lives relating to politics, security, military, society, economy, and culture. What do we do?

(These matters) affect us, our families, our children, our grandchildren, the people around us, and the generations to come. The stance that we take regarding this or that great and serious matter, will not only decide the fate of ourselves only, but rather, the fate of generations to come. Here, man must search for his takleef so that he may know it. And this has its particular mechanisms – and you know about (these mechanisms) – I will suffice myself with this much (on this issue for now) and (conclude) with this: this is where asking about one’s takleef becomes of (utmost) importance. That is, not just (solely focusing on questions like) the taharah of this water or the permissibility of selling this product, which are questions of a personal nature. These are personal issues. As for broader issues, or as Imam (Mahdi) says in a narration, ‘as for the hawaadith al-waaqi’ah (new events/developments that occur)’. The events and developments that arise in the life of man, (events) that affect the fate of all people.

(For instance), whether we fight, or don’t fight. Whether we resist, or don’t resist. For example, if there wasn’t a resistance in Lebanon in 1982, then Israel would still be occupying Lebanon in 2021, setting up settlements in Lebanon, controlling political decision-making in Lebanon, arresting the young men and women of Lebanon and forcing them into its prisons, as it done with thousands of Palestinian prisoners etc etc etc. Therefore, what the (Lebanese) generation of 1982, 1983, and 1984 carried out didn’t just affect them, but rather all the generations that will follow.

When the Ameer (i.e. Imam Ali) speaks about the one who enjoys foresight, he mentions that from among his qualities is (his tendency to carry out) deep thinking, analysis, contemplation, and that he avoids hastiness. For this reason, this is our responsibility today.


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

October 12, 2021

By Al-Ahed News

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

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

Elections On Time

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

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

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

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

Lebanon’s Blackout: US vetoes salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beirut Port Blast Investigations

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

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

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

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

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

Kunduz Mosque Attack

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

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

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

Nizar Banat the Outspoken Martyr

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

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

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

A Final Word to the Dear Yemenis

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

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Fifth Iranian Fuel Shipment Enters Lebanon

September 22, 2021 

Fifth Iranian Fuel Shipment Enters Lebanon

By Staff, Agencies

Lebanon’s media outlets reported entrance into the United States-sanctioned country of a fifth shipment carrying Iranian fuel as announced earlier by the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

The shipment was passing through the Syrian border into Lebanon carrying fuel residue, al-Mayadeen reported.

According to Lebanese sources, the consignments were passing into Lebanon through the Hermel-al-Qasir border area.

The shipments have been reaching Lebanon in the face of the US’s sanctions targeting both the Islamic Republic and the country.

The US re-imposed its sanctions on Iran in 2018 after illegally leaving a historic nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world countries.

It has been enforcing similar measures against Lebanon for more than a year to pressure the country over influence wielded in its political and military sectors by Hezbollah. In the 2000s, the movement fought off two major wars on Lebanon that had been waged by the Zionist occupation regime, Washington’s most treasured ally in the region.

The sanctions have taken huge toll on the Lebanese economy, leading to acute shortage of staples, including gasoline and diesel.

Hezbollah has, however, vowed that the country would keep importing Iranian fuel, pledging not to allow Washington to further interfere with the Lebanese people’s livelihoods.

During his speeches, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has identified the American Embassy in Beirut as the “operation room” devising sabotage plots against the country’s economy.

Announcing pending arrival of the third and fourth consignments on September 12, Sayyed Nasrallah said some had hoped and speculated that the ‘Israeli’ regime would intervene and target the shipments.

The speculations, however, simply served propagandist media purposes, His Eminence said, adding, “It became finally clear that such remarks are false.”

Nasrallah’s Timing

September 18, 2021

Nasrallah’s Timing

By Ahmed Fouad

In the past, present, and future, timing is everything in both life and politics. When an actor is good at choosing the appropriate timing for his decision, success is all but guaranteed. This applies to the vast ocean of politics, and relates to every human act, even the most ordinary ones.

There is greatness in choosing the right timing to revolt against a far-reaching siege – a choice made and implemented by the master of the resistance and the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

It broke the cycle of the siege on Lebanon and Syria forever and threw all the plans of the United States and the Zionist entity to isolate the two countries in the dustbin of history. It was a divine timing; it came during one of the manifestations of the meeting between heaven and earth – Ashura, the memory of ideals and unique heroism throughout history.

Sayyed crowned the most pivotal event during the last decade with his resounding historical speech about the arrival of fuel tankers from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Lebanon via sister Syria. The arrival comes on a memory that also carries many noble meanings – the martyrdom anniversary of Sayyed Hadi. This sends a dual message to friends, close ones, and the enemies.

The first, and loudest, truth about the convoys breaking the siege on Lebanon is that they are coming from those who led the liberation of the land. They are repeating that, but this time, by liberating the ordinary citizen from neediness and crises and giving every Arab a sign for the only way to a solution. Hezbollah did not resort to the IMF, nor did it borrow from the West. Rather, it brought production and mobilization tools from the East. This is one.

As for the other, it was achieved by the long-term sacrifices of the Islamic Republic, Syria, and Hezbollah together, in a region already in crisis. Finally, you find an example of achievement and success, completely outside the American sphere, which opens the door to a further shattering of dependency on the US and loosening the American collar around the necks of everyone in the Arab region.

 The American equation that was presented to the rulers of Arab countries has existed since the mid-1970s. It is as follows: Sign a peace agreement with the Zionist entity, and American investments would guarantee you prosperity and growth; unlimited American support would provide you with all the leadership roles you desire.

This was the first thing that was said to Sadat, for example, about the milk and honey that were waiting for him as soon as he signs the Camp David Accords. When the game ended, Sadat took a piece of paper in exchange for giving away his entire country to the Americans and Zionists. Right before he was killed by the hero Khalid Al-Islambouli, he realized that he fell for the trick in a barren desert and all that he wished for was a mirage.

Only now, the solution came from outside in a fully cooperative manner that enhances the value of the local currencies of the three countries and deprives the American giant of its absolute ability to act, punish, and move; thus, breaking the prestige of the Zionist entity and the American power to the same degree.

In the end, the Iranian solution presented something greater than the spectacle of diesel and gasoline convoys and better than just meeting the needs of a country that was already suffocating. The Iranians did so by using a method chosen by Hezbollah in its jihad work since its glorious first day on the Arab land.

With all faith, Sayyed restored Ashura to our daily reality. It became an approach not an epitaph, a renewed victory over the enemy, blood that never goes to waste, and a firm commitment to the slogan “Zainab will not be taken captive twice.” Let everyone see the transfer of the party’s slogans from the arena of jihad against the enemy to the jihad of building, serving, and cutting the continuous and long chain of suffering against the citizens of Lebanon.

Perhaps one of the most important points in Sayyed’s remarks about the muted media coverage regarding the arrival of Iranian ships to Syria is to set a new rule that achieving the greatest possible success is linked to doing the least amount of talking possible.

The multiple speeches only reveal locations and goals. Therefore, a lot of words narrow the possibility of movement, freedom of action, and most importantly, the flexibility required in a troubled area, which is as effervescent as the hopes of the actors or those who are greedy.

Sayyed’s speech, which is actually historic and not descriptive, was not a dedication to celebration or joy in the achievement of an unparalleled glory for the entire Arab nation. Rather, it was a new promise to continue the opposite approach to the submissive Arab march during recent decades and to turn the page on the old, dull, and impotent policies. Sayyed painted his speech with a victorious, confident smile after succeeding in presenting a new integrated solution away from the poor imagination that drives all our miserable rulers.

Hezbollah Oil Imports Praised in Lebanon in Blow to US – Foreign Policy

September 18, 2021

Hezbollah Oil Imports Praised in Lebanon in Blow to US – Foreign Policy

By Staff, Foreign Policy

Hezbollah has brought Iranian fuel to Lebanon to ease the people’s suffering and end their humiliation making up unending lines at gas stations all across the country.

The achievement dealt a blow to the US-led sanctions. But although the resistance movement considers it a necessity and a duty as it has always been in charge of serving its people, the measure has stirred a wave of commentaries, whether positive or not, in this regard.

In an opinion piece penned by Anchal Vohra, the Foreign Policy published the following:

Less than one month ago, Hezbollah chief [His Eminence Sayyed] Hassan Nasrallah announced that an Iranian oil tanker was on its way to aid fuel-starved Lebanon, daring the United States and ‘Israel’ to stop it. On Thursday, 20 trucks, each carrying 50,000 liters of Iranian fuel, entered northeastern Lebanon through Syria. The trucks duly went to the region of Baalbek, where it was reportedly stored at gas stations run by the Al Amana fuel company—a company with ties to Hezbollah and which is under US sanctions.

Sources told Foreign Policy the fuel would next be transported with smaller vehicles to Al Amana pumps in neighborhoods across the country, including Dahiye, a Beirut suburb.

In one sense, Hezbollah was defying US sanctions on Iranian oil. But this also represented Nasrallah as a savior for a country in deep economic crisis. At a moment when power outages are shutting down businesses and threatening the lives of patients at hospitals, most Lebanese are willing to show some ‘measure of allegiance’ to whomever can deliver a reprieve, according to the Foreign Policy.

“Ahlan wa Sahlan,” or “welcome,” chanted a Hezbollah supporter as he filmed the convoy of trucks passing through streets flanked with posters of [Sayyed] Nasrallah, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and former general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Qassem Soleimani. Men and women waved Hezbollah flags, while others showered rice and flower petals on the trucks. On one stretch a group of women chanted that they wouldn’t bow down to anyone but death.

On another passage trucks drove on laminated printouts of US and ‘Israeli’ flags pasted on the roads— to arouse pride among the crowd and accuse ‘Israel’ and the United States of plotting Lebanon’s domestic crises.

[Sayyed] Nasrallah said the fuel would be donated to government-run hospitals, orphanages, water stations, and the Lebanese Red Cross free of charge while sold to private hospitals, medicine factories, and bakeries at cheaper than the market rate. He promised not to discriminate based on religion or sect, and to supply the entire country. It isn’t yet clear exactly which institutions will benefit, but according to sources Hezbollah has already made a list of beneficiaries who will call Al Amana fuel pumps directly to organize procurement. 

Initially, Iran and Hezbollah critics had hoped that the United States and ‘Israel’ might stop the Iranian tanker before it docked in the Syrian port. But that was perhaps seen as too risky. Farzin Nadimi, an associate fellow at The Washington Institute and an expert in security and military affairs of Iran and the Gulf, said it was possible the United States did not stop the tanker because it wished to avoid confrontation with Hezbollah, but also because there is little legal basis for doing so.

“I believe the US policy on the subject at the moment is to avoid unnecessary tensions, considering the precarious situation the Lebanese people are in right now,” Nadimi said, and since Hezbollah is framing the latest shipments as help for the Lebanese people, “the US is cautious.” Nadimi added that this incident will likely set a precedent and encourage Hezbollah to bring Iranian fuel directly to Lebanon next time. He described it as “a show of force by Hezbollah,” and a blow first to ‘Israel’ and then to the United States.

The show of force by Hezbollah has so far gone unchallenged both by ‘Israel’ and the United States, said the Foreign Policy. ‘Israel’s’ intervention would have proven much more controversial since it has been at war with Lebanon, and any action by ‘Israel’ might have united the Lebanese against ‘Israel’ and behind Hezbollah. But the United States’ inaction is harder to explain. Former Lebanese Army Gen. Elias Farhat said the United States is unlikely to sanction Lebanon.

The American response to Hezbollah’s purchase of Iranian fuel was to announce the facilitation of gas and electricity from Egypt and Jordan through Syria to Lebanon. But Hezbollah was faster. A few in the country will refuse the fuel it provides.

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Sen. Murphy: Hezbollah Fuel Narrative Effective & Persuasive, US Should Address It Immediately

September 18, 2021

Sen. Murphy: Hezbollah Fuel Narrative Effective & Persuasive, US Should Address It Immediately

By Staff, Agencies

US Senator Chris Murphy focused on the importance of countering Hezbollah “effective” efforts in providing Iranian fuel to Lebanon.

“Hezbollah is spinning a very effective narrative about the US blockade of energy resources in the country. They’re offering ships of their own through Iran,” Sen. Murphy said during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The US senator urged the Senate to follow other ways to address the fuel crisis in Lebanon away from Hezbollah. “The narrative is persuasive and there are ways to address fuel shortage,” the Senator said, adding, “This is in Lebanon right now and we have to address this immediately”.

A day earlier, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch said in a tweet, “Lebanon’s receipt of US-sanctioned Iranian fuel, trucked-in by Hezbollah through Syria, is a disappointing sign for the future of Lebanon’s accountability and democracy.”

The senior US Senate member acknowledged that America’s tough sanctions against Lebanon have been largely ineffective as the Arab country has been receiving desperately-needed fuel from Iran, which is itself under severe sanctions imposed by Washington.

“US sanctions must mean something. It’s unnerving to see this admin. Not make that clear,” the American senator said.

Lebanon is facing a crippling economic crisis due to fuel shortages that have forced businesses and government offices to close while threatening vital sectors of the country.

The plan to buy Iranian fuel, first announced by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on August 19, marked a watershed in foiling the US sanctions, which have severely affected the two countries.

The first ship containing Iranian fuel entered Syria’s territorial waters early September.

On Thursday, a convoy of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel, arranged by Hezbollah, arrived in Lebanon, with Lebanese media reporting that the tankers loaded with Iranian fuel entered the village of Hawsh al-Sayyed Ali in Lebanon’s northeastern Baalbek-Hermel province.

As tanker trucks entered from Syria in the eastern region of Hermel, they were greeted by large crowds of people waving Hezbollah’s yellow flag and women tossing rice and rose petals.

Hezbollah declared that it had broken an “American siege”.

The next Iranian ships are also expected to deliver their cargo to Lebanon through the same pathway.

المازوت الإيراني: انتصار جديد للمقاومة وللعلاقات المميّزة مع سورية


سبتمبر 18, 2021 

حسن حردان

شكل حدث دخول قافلة صهاريج المازوت إلى البقاع اللبناني عبر الأراضي السورية، والذي استورده حزب الله المقاوم من الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، شكل محط اهتمام العالم، حيث احتلّ صدارة الأحداث المحلية والعربية والدولية، لما له من أهمية ونتائج هامة على الصعيد اللبناني الداخلي، وعلى صعيد العلاقات اللبنانية السورية، واستطرادا على صعيد العلاقات اللبنانية الإيرانية…

الثمرة الأولى، تكريس كسر الحصار الأميركي وإسقاط أهدافه التي كانت تستهدف خنق اللبنانيين ودفعهم للانقلاب على مقاومتهم التي أثبتت مرة جديدة أنها أمَلهم في تخفيف معاناتهم الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والمعيشية، كما كانت املهم في تحرير معظم الأرض من رجس الاحتلال عام الفين، ومن ثم في صد عدوان تموز عام 2006, وفرض معادلات الردع في مواجهة العدو الصهيوني وبالتالي حماية لبنان من اعتداءاته وأطماعه. وبهذا المعنى فإنّ نجاح المقاومة في كسر الحصار يشكل انتصارا جديدا في مواجهة الحرب الاقتصادية الأميركية.

الثمرة الثانية، إحداث انفراج وتحسّن ملموس على المستويات الخدماتية والنقدية والاقتصادية والمعيشية:

ـ استيراد المازوت أدّى ويؤدّي إلى تحسين التغذية بالكهرباء بالتزامن مع وصول أول شحنة من الفيول العراقي…

ـ كسر الاحتكار بإجبار الشركات والمحتكرين على بيع ما لديهم من كميات المازوت قبل بدء حزب الله بعملية توزيع وبيع المازوت الذي أحضره من الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية بسعر أقلّ من السعر الرسمي، وذلك خوفاً من أن يخسر المحتكرون المزيد من الأرباح غير المشروعة.

ـ تراجع الطلب على الدولار لاستيراد المازوت من الخارج، وهذا أدّى، الى جانب تشكيل الحكومة، الى تحسّن سعر صرف الليرة، وانخفاض سعر الدولار بما يتجاوز الخمسة آلاف ليرة لبنانية.. الأمر الذي ستكون له انعكاسات إيجابية على مستوى القدرة الشرائية ومعيشة المواطنين، من خلال انخفاض أسعار المواد والسلع الاستهلاكية، وخفض فاتورة مولدات الكهرباء.

4 ـ تنشيط عملية الإنتاج، الصناعي والزراعي، وخفض أكلافه.

الثمرة الثالثة، إنهاء المقاطعة بين لبنان وسورية، وتدشين تطبيع العلاقات اللبنانية السورية، والتأكيد ان المقاومة اليوم تسهم، من خلال قرارها كسر الحصار، بإعادة وصل العلاقات المميّزة بما يحقق التكامل والمنفعة بين البلدين ويضع حدا لسياسة القطيعة التي أراد الأميركي فرضها، وإثبات انّ سورية إنما هي الرئة التي يتنفس منها لبنان، واللبنانيون.

الثمرة الرابعة، إسقاط حملة التحريض التي تقوم بها بعض القوى السياسية التابعة لواشنطن، ضدّ إيران، بتصويرها عدوا للبنان وتسعى إلى فرض الهيمنة عليه بوساطة حليفها حزب الله، وانهما السبب في الأزمات التي يعاني منها اللبنانيون.. والتأكيد انّ حزب الله الذي حرّر الأرض ويحمي لبنان من العدوانية والأطماع الصهيونية، إنما يوظف علاقاته مع إيران ـ الثورة، لأجل حلّ أزمات اللبنانيين، في حين انّ الدول التي تدّعي أنها تقف مع لبنان تمتنع عن تقديم أيّ مساعدة للبنانيين، لا بل تقف وراء الحصار الجائر الذي يفرض عليهم منذ ما قبل عام 2019..

هكذا يتبيّن للبنانيين ان المقاومة التي قدمت الشهداء والتضحيات الكبيرة لتحرير أراضيهم من الاحتلال الصهيوني، تسهم اليوم في مساعدتهم على التخلص من معاناتهم التي تسبب بها الحصار الأميركي وقوى الاحتكار في الداخل..

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Touch Move; America’s Vicious Circle in Lebanon

Al Mayadeen English

September 18, 2021 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Lea Akil 

In light of Lebanon’s current energy and unprecedented economic crises, Hezbollah’s decision to import Iranian oil to aid Lebanon led the US into a state of confusion, thus limiting its options.

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Foreign Policy: The United States has no active plan to rescue the country

Lebanon’s economic crisis is a book with many authors. This is a tale of a country that plunged into poverty, dragging down a large percentage of its population. 

The Lebanese are desperate, as the economic situation in the country worsens. So, the hopes of some Lebanese were pinned on the United States, which issued several statements and expressed some reactions, but made no solid actions. In other words, the United States never intended to provide an action plan to help the country out of its crisis.

It is worth mentioning that one factor of the country’s economic crisis is the siege that the US has put the country under. 

The opening; oil ships to Lebanon 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech on August 20, stated that the “Caesar Act on Syria was not only meant to besiege Syria alone but also Lebanon.” The country is isolated from all directions, Syria from the north and east with the longest borderline, and Palestine since its occupation in 1948.

During the same speech, Sayyed Nasrallah announced, “We agreed with the Iranians to start loading the third ship of oil derivatives,” adding that Lebanon will need more than 3 ships to face the forthcoming stage of the crisis.

He emphasized that there are no aims for trade or profit, “our aim is to alleviate the suffering of the people.” 

The first ship reached Syria’s Baniyas Port on September 12 and its cargo was unloaded. Passing through Syria, the Syrian tankers, each carrying 50,000 liters of Iranian diesel, have made it to Lebanese soil a few days later

Back to the US agenda

International politics and its game rules dictate that there is no clear agenda on the table, especially when it comes to western agendas in West Asia. However, history can sometimes speak for itself.  

During a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sep 24, 2020, former US Under Secretary of State, David Hale, revealed that the United States has spent $10 billion in Lebanon, on security forces and the army on one hand, and on the civil society represented mostly by non-governmental organizations on the other, throughout several years.

He continued to say that Washington’s support for the Lebanese army comes within the US strategy to confront Hezbollah’s “terrorism”, explaining that the Lebanese army is “capable of carrying out its tasks.”

Back in 2010, July 8, the former US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman revealed that after Lebanon’s 2006 war, the US invested $500 million to demonize Hezbollah’s image using the media and to drive people away from the party. 

Feltman’s testimony, one of many, reveals that the US wanted to assist and support Lebanon after the war by “reducing” Hezbollah’s appeal to Lebanon’s youth. To this end, the US rushed to invest millions of dollars through USAID and the Middle East Partnership Initiative. 

“Hizballah’s persistence as a well-armed terrorist group within Lebanon, as well as its robust relationships with Iran and Syria, and the transfer of increasingly sophisticated missiles and rockets to Hizballah, threaten the interests of the United States, Lebanon, and our partners in the region, especially Israel,” Feltman stated. 

US policy in stalemate 

There are two moves to play here, either to impose sanctions on Hezbollah or to intervene militarily directly or by proxy. Sanctions were already pushed to their limits, while war looks costly under the current balance of power, with an intrinsic possibility of insurmountable losses.

Following its policy of maximum pressure, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. The three parties were the main players in the current oil transportation route, but sanctions were already there years back. Starting from when the ship set sail from Iran, reaching Syria’s Baniyas port, and then ending on Lebanese territories, America’s siege was considered broken and the US reached stalemate. 

Sayyed Nasrallah clearly and purposely emphasized that the oil ships will indeed reach Lebanese territories. In other words, he was stressing that any attack on the ships would be considered a violation of Lebanese national sovereignty, which will rationally lead to retaliation. Since the other party does understand this simple algorithm, the question is: Is the US ready for escalation?

For a closer look, take a few steps back to August 6. On that day, in response to Israeli raids on Lebanese territories, the Resistance responded.

Hezbollah fired rockets in response to the raids on open areas in Al-Jarmaq and Al-Shawakir, noting that the bombing was carried out with about twenty 122mm rockets.

Checkmate; a win-win for Hezbollah 

In light of talks that Hezbollah would import Iranian oil to Lebanon, a delegation of four US senators announced that the US is looking to help Lebanon overcome its crisis, but warned against importing Iranian oil.

Senator Richard Blumenthal added that there should be no reason for Lebanon to depend on Iran because there are plenty of “other sources” that could be relied on.

Following Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech, in which he announced that Iran would be sending oil ships to Lebanon, the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, revealed that the Biden administration is ready to facilitate Jordanian surplus electricity and the export of Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Syria. 

It is worth mentioning that the announcement about exporting Egyptian gas was made over a month ago, but the facilitation of the process was hastened right after Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech that without a doubt created a rush of speculations and catalyzed the reactions in the political arena.

This announcement by the Biden administration seems to unintentionally benefit Hezbollah’s plans to aid Lebanon. Needless to mention that the gas they said they will help to export will pass through Syria, a country that is already under a US siege imposed by the Caesar act. It looks like the Americans will have to seek Syria’s help in this regard. 

Zugzwang; the compulsion to move 

The US created a corridor that defies the point behind the siege, which it has imposed on Lebanon, thus forcing it to waiver sanctions on Damascus. As such, the US is forced to either rehabilitate the infrastructure in war-torn Syria or to give it funds to do so in order to use the electric transmission line and gas pipelines, which both need repairs. 

Moreover, Hezbollah welcomed the plan that offers aid to Lebanon, whether from Iran, Jordan, or Egypt, as long as it serves the country. Stability after all appears to serve the interests of the Lebanese party more than its foes’. 

The US policy for Lebanon could be easily marketed as a fierce competition with Iran, but the US plan could nevertheless assist Lebanon out of its crisis, regardless of its real intentions, thus, a win-win situation for Hezbollah that is after stability in its home country. The US, on the other hand, seems to only judge Lebanon primarily through the lens of Israeli interests. 

In sum, just as the Foreign Policy wrote, “The United States has no active plan to rescue the country—nor is there any indication that one is in the works,” adding that, “the United States has only offered ad hoc support, doing the minimum to keep the country from utter collapse.”

US Sen. Says “Unnerving” to See Sanctions Meaningless Amid Iran Fuel Shipments to Lebanon

September 18, 2021 

US Sen. Says “Unnerving” to See Sanctions Meaningless Amid Iran Fuel Shipments to Lebanon

By Staff, Agencies

A senior US Senate member has acknowledged that America’s tough sanctions against Lebanon have been largely ineffective as the Arab country has been receiving desperately-needed fuel from Iran, which is itself under severe sanctions imposed by Washington.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch said, “Lebanon’s receipt of US-sanctioned Iranian fuel, trucked-in by Hezbollah through Syria, is a disappointing sign for the future of Lebanon’s accountability and democracy.”

“US sanctions must mean something. It’s unnerving to see this admin. Not make that clear,” the American senator added, implying that Iran’s fuel export to Lebanon demonstrates US failure in its sanctions policy against both countries.

Lebanon is facing a crippling economic crisis due to fuel shortages that have forced businesses and government offices to close while threatening vital sectors of the country.

The plan to buy Iranian fuel, first announced by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on August 19, marked a watershed in foiling the US sanctions, which have severely affected the two countries.

The first ship containing Iranian fuel entered Syria’s territorial waters early September.

On Thursday, a convoy of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel, arranged by Hezbollah, arrived in Lebanon, with Lebanese media reporting that the tankers loaded with Iranian fuel entered the village of Hawsh al-Sayyed Ali in Lebanon’s northeastern Baalbek-Hermel province.

As tanker trucks entered from Syria in the eastern region of Hermel, they were greeted by large crowds of people waving Hezbollah’s yellow flag and women tossing rice and rose petals.

Hezbollah declared that it had broken an “American siege”.

The next Iranian ships are also expected to deliver their cargo to Lebanon through the same pathway.

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US-Sanctioned Al-Amana Company in Charge of Distributing Iranian Fuel to All Lebanese Beneficiaries

September 17, 2021 

US-Sanctioned Al-Amana Company in Charge of Distributing Iranian Fuel to All Lebanese Beneficiaries

By Staff

After the convoy carrying Iranian fuel passed through Syria and arrived in the Lebanese territories on Thursday, director of the US-sanctioned Lebanese Al-Amana Company Ossama Ollaik announced that 65 diesel cisterns entered Beirut’s Southern Suburb [Dahiyeh] last night.

Iranian diesel cisterns headed on Friday morning to different Lebanese regions, Ollaik said, adding that the cargo is being unloaded in the reservoirs of the al-Amana Company in Beirut, South, Beqaa, and North Lebanon.

“Al-Amana Company will start distributing diesel oil to the beneficiaries upon the priorities set be Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah,” he also noted.

Reiterating Sayyed Nasrallah’s words, he said that two categories will benefit from the Iranian diesel oil, the first will be granted it and the second will pay its costs.

Ollaik then explained that the company has been receiving many requests from all Lebanese regions since Sayyed Nasrallah announced that the first ship has arrived.

Al-Amana will start within days to deliver the diesel oil to the sides that applied for it according to priorities.

“We have committees that will observe the delivery of Iranian diesel to its eligible sides, and will make sure that the diesel is consumed in the suitable places and not being stored.”

Dozens of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel bought by Shia businessmen and organized by Hezbollah arrived in Lebanon on Thursday.

Hezbollah declared that it had broken an “American siege.”

As they entered from Syria in the eastern region of Hermel, the trucks were greeted by large crowds of people waving Hezbollah’s yellow flag and women tossing rice and rose petals.

Earlier this week, Sayyed Nasrallah said the Iranian fuel shipments would be distributed free of charge to institutions, including state hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages and the Red Cross.

“[Hezbollah] is not looking to make a business out of this but wants to help ease the people’s hardships,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the rest of the Iranian fuel would be sold “below cost” to bakeries, private hospitals or companies that run private generators.

Lebanon has been mired in a deep economic and financial crisis since late 2019. The crisis is the gravest threat to the country’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

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With Fuel from Iran, Hezbollah Steps In Where Lebanon Has Failed

September 17, 2021 

With Fuel from Iran, Hezbollah Steps In Where Lebanon Has Failed

By Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad – NYT

Hezbollah said it trucked more than a million gallons of Iranian diesel fuel into Lebanon from Syria on Thursday, celebrating the move as a way of spiting the United States while bringing much-needed aid to a country nearly paralyzed by fuel shortages.

With Lebanon suffering one of the worst economic collapses in modern history, Hezbollah portrayed itself as a national savior, stepping in where the Lebanese government and its Western backers had failed.

Hezbollah supporters lined roads in northeastern Lebanon as dozens of tanker trucks arrived. They waved Hezbollah flags, distributed sweets, and blasted heroic anthems in celebration.

The fuel delivery — which a Hezbollah official said was the first installment of more than 13 million gallons — underscored the severity of Lebanon’s crisis, as well as the government’s failure to address it.

The move appeared to violate American sanctions involving the purchase of Iranian oil, but it was unclear Thursday whether the United States would press the issue. Hezbollah, blacklisted by the United States, is already subject to American sanctions. Although the group is part of Lebanon’s government, it appeared to be acting independently.

The American Embassy in Beirut declined to comment on Thursday. But when Hezbollah announced last month that fuel was on the way from Iran, the American ambassador played down any threat of punitive measures.

“I don’t think anyone is going to fall on their sword if someone’s able to get fuel into hospitals that need it,” the ambassador, Dorothy Shea, told Al Arabiya English.

The fuel arrived as Lebanon struggles through what the World Bank has called one of the world’s worst economic meltdowns since the mid-1800s. Since the fall of 2019, the national currency has lost 90 percent of its value, and prices for many goods have tripled.

Fuel shortages have caused widespread electricity cuts and left many Lebanese waiting in long lines to fill up their cars.

The government bodies charged with overseeing energy imports were not involved with the delivery. The trucks drove from Syria into Lebanon over an open stretch of land, not via an official border crossing, with no customs or security checks. It was unclear whether the imports had any legal authorization or if any taxes would be paid on them.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who formed a new cabinet this week and has vowed to work to ease the country’s woes, made no public statement about the fuel shipment on Thursday. Nor did the authorities overseeing the borders.

“The country is facing a serious crisis, so the government couldn’t care less whether the trucks entered legally or illegally,” said Elias Farhat, a retired general in the Lebanese Army. “We’re in an emergency situation.”

The shipment was the first tranche of 13.2 million gallons an Iranian ship delivered to the port of Baniyas, Syria, this week, Ahmed Raya, a Hezbollah media official, said. The rest will take several days to offload and transport to Lebanon.

TankerTrackers.com, a group that tracks global oil shipments, estimated that the ship carried less than eight million gallons.

The fuel crisis set off a showdown of sorts between Hezbollah and its allies and the United States over who could act faster to ease the people’s pain, a competition that Hezbollah won, at least for the day.

Nearly every step of the fuel’s journey was a challenge to the United States, which has imposed sanctions on the purchase of Iranian oil, the Syrian government, Hezbollah and the Hezbollah-linked company that will distribute the fuel inside Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s Secretary General, [His Eminence Sayyed] Hassan Nasrallah, said the fuel had been paid for by unnamed Lebanese businessmen and that most of it would be donated to institutions that included government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, the Lebanese Red Cross and organizations involved in water distribution.

Cut-rate fuel will also be sold to private hospitals, medicine factories, bakeries, supermarkets and private electricity providers, he said.

“Our aim is not trade or profit,” Mr. Nasrallah said in a speech on Tuesday. “Our aim is to alleviate the suffering of the people.”

He also said three more Iranian ships, one carrying gasoline and two carrying diesel, were en route to Syria.

Jessica Obeid, an energy policy consultant and nonresident scholar at the Middle East Institute, said that the one million gallons Hezbollah reported bringing on Thursday was not a lot relative to the country’s needs, but that it could help individual institutions.

A hospital generator, for example, might burn about 26 gallons per hour, she said.

Hezbollah has blamed the United States for Lebanon’s economic crisis, claiming that it has put Lebanon under siege.

“This feeds into the image that Hezbollah has won the battle of perseverance against the US siege,” said Mohanad Hage Ali, a fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

After Mr. Nasrallah’s announcement, Shea, the United States ambassador, said she was working to put in place another arrangement to help solve Lebanon’s energy crisis. It calls for natural gas from Egypt to be sent to Jordan and transferred to Lebanon via a pipeline through Syria.

A high-level delegation from Lebanon visited Damascus, Syria, this month to discuss the plan, but its details remain unclear, including how long it will take to repair the pipeline, who will pay for it and what fees Syria will charge for letting the gas pass through its territory.

That could pose yet another challenge to the United States, which has sanctions against anyone who does business with the Syrian government.

“I’m not sure how willing the US is to risk placing sanctions on a needy population,” Mr. Hage Ali said. “That would paint the US as being harsh and heavy-handed, and that is a win for Hezbollah.”

The Fuel, Sayyed Nasrallah’s Equation and the Ungrateful, Contingent People

September 16, 2021

The Fuel, Sayyed Nasrallah’s Equation and the Ungrateful, Contingent People

By Charles Abi Nader

Now that the Iranian fuel has arrived to Lebanon via Syria – under the care, sponsorship and protection of Hezbollah – and now that it is available in the Lebanese market at the preferences identified by His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as free or low-cost and to be distributed according to clear standards, it is the duty of every observer whether concerned or not [the unconcerned is definitely concerned but prefers not show it] to say what should be said neutrally. He should express his opinion objectively, if he could, about this achievement that has neither been fulfilled by Lebanon nor any other state with the challenges it carries. Of course, the challenges are not intended for internal parties who are completely ineffective and their words are nothing more than mere dust. But rather, the challenges confront regional and international parties which have been and still are laying a siege and pressuring major countries, and are somehow succeeding in that.

At first and foremost, the challenge facing the United States – which bet, through unprecedented economic and political pressure – that Lebanon and its entire component would surrender, in such a way that the Lebanese would yell at Hezbollah: “Enough! Yield to what the Americans want and engage in the game of subservience, normalization and surrender. Withdraw from the regional equations that you support or you had shaped, and have mercy on your people who are on the verge of collapse and have entered the tunnel of hunger, thirst and disease”.

The second challenge faced “Israel”, which also bet on Hezbollah’s reluctance to dare to transport the Iranian fuel, not only because that’s against Washington’s will, but also in transporting it via a sensitive sea route fraught with high risks, where “Israel” and its allies militarily control a large section of it to some extent, between the Arabian Sea, Bab al-Mandab, the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. “Israel” thought that Hezbollah would be afraid of launching even one ship in this sea route where it has frequently assaulted many Iranian ships. It was surprised by Hezbollah’s boldness, and what shocked it even more was when Hezbollah considered the ship or the ships that will transport Iranian fuel to Lebanon as a “Lebanese Territory” and the rules of engagement will apply to it just as they apply to the Lebanese land and facilities; asserting that any attack on it after it is loaded with fuel even if it is still docked in Iranian ports are tantamount to an attack on Lebanese territory.

The other challenge, despite lacking the importance and influence and does not pose any military danger such as the challenges confronting Washington or “Israel”, is the challenge facing some internal parties who bet – as usual – on the stances of Washington and “Israel”, believing that both would at least impede the transport of the Iranian fuel to Lebanon and ease the siege on the country. These parties remained at ease until they were certain that Iranian fuel had started flowing to Lebanon via the Syrian tankers. As they gasped its sweet scent, they were dumbfounded, silenced and tongue-tied, after being vocal and bold about the impossibility of Iranian fuel arriving.

It’s normal for these tongue-tied parties – after smelling the scent of Iranian fuel and hearing Sayyed Nasrallah’s detailed plan of fuel distribution to all the Lebanese; surely, those who desire and not by force, because oil by force has huge health and psychological repercussions – to keep their mouths shut, not to react positively with the event and never thank Hezbollah for this achievement. It’s typical of them because these people with their masters in the region and in the west attacked and conspired against Hezbollah when the latter was shedding blood in confronting the “Israeli” occupation or Takfiri terrorism in order to defend and protect the sons of these contingent and ungrateful people.

What’s worth noting in the reaction of these ungrateful parties is that their media refrained from reacting and appropriately reporting this event. Rather, they abided by the orders of their masters, benefactors and sponsors and overlooked broadcasting Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech regarding the details of transfer and distribution.

Last but not least, the event of the Iranian fuel will end soon and may stay for a little longer if the new government delays in carrying out its basic duties, but Hezbollah will always remain Lebanon’s safety valve and right hand to its legitimate military forces, if the political authorities fail to carry out their duties in protecting the country and its economic security. Accordingly, part of the contingent and ungrateful Lebanese will remain pawns and mouthpieces of their foreign masters, just the way we are used to them being.

Hezbollah Foes Desperately Tried to Underestimate Its Fuel Import Plan, Propaganda Failed: Video

September 15, 2021

Since Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced in his Ashura speech that the first fuel ship set off from Iran, the opponents of the Resistance Party in Lebanon, the region, and the whole world desperately tried to underestimate its fuel import plan.

Anti-Hezbollah forces launched a propaganda that depreciates the Resistance endeavor to confront the US siege by importing the Iranian fuel. That propaganda was based on misleading information about Hezbollah intentions and Iran’s ability to provide Lebanon with diesel and gasoline.

After Sayyed Nasrallah announced the arrival of the first oil ship, all the efforts of Hezbollah foes went in vain.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=106691

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah Calls for Avoiding Popular Gatherings during Passage of Fuel Convoy in Baalbek-Hermel Area

September 15, 2021

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah called Wednesday for avoiding popular gatherings in Baalbek-Hermel area during the passage of the fuel cisterns convoy.

In a statement, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that his eminence checked out the ongoing media and popular preparations in Baalbek-Hermel area to welcome the fuel cisterns convoy on Thursday, appreciating the sincere interaction of the inexorable people with this step.

Sayyed Nasrallah thanked the Baalbek-Hermel locals for this interactions and embrace over decades, urging the residents, especially Hezbollah commanders in the area, to avoid the popular gatherings during the passage of the fuel cisterns convoy to preserve locals’ safety and facilitate its movement.

Upon Sayyed Nasralla’s orders, Hezbollah command in Bekaa canceled all celebrations which had been scheduled to be held.

Sayyed Nasrallah announced on Monday that the first fuel ship, which Hezbollah decided to import from Iran, arrived in Banyas seaport early Sunday finished unloading its cargo, adding that the cisterns transferring the diesel load will enter Lebanon on Thursday.

The diesel will be stored in specific tanks in Baalbeck city before distributing it over the various Lebanese areas, Sayyed Nasralalh said.

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Hezbollah Finalizes Preparations to Receive Iranian Fuel in Baalbeck

Lebanon Fuel Crisis

 September 14, 2021

Hezbollah has finalized preparations to receive Iranian fuel in the northeastern city of Baalbeck, local media reported on Tuesday.

Hezbollah’s Al-Bekaa command has finalized logistic and technical preparations to receive tanker carrying the Iranian fuel oil, which will arrive in Baalbeck this week.

Mass ceremony will be held in the Lebanese city when the tankers will arrive next Thursday, local media reported.

Between70 to 80 tankers carrying fuel oil are on their way to Baalbeck from the Syrian port of Baniyas, where the first Iranian vessel docked in the past days.

The tankers are carrying nearly three million liters of fuel oil, according to local media.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah announced on Monday that the Iranian fuel oil will arrive in Lebanon on Thursday.

His eminence said that Hezbollah will be distributing the fuel oil on governmental hospitals and other vital facilities for free.

The fuel oil will also be distributed for low cost on other institutions across the country, according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

Hezbollah S.G. said a second ship with fuel oil would arrive in Baniyas in a few days, with a third and fourth, respectively carrying gasoline and fuel oil, also due.

Daily life has been almost paralyzed in Lebanon as fuel dries up because the country lacks the dollars to pay for it.

The state-owned power company is generating only minimal electricity, leaving businesses and households almost entirely dependent on small, private generators that run on fuel oil.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Diesel to Arrive in Lebanon Thursday… The American Conspiracies Will Fail as They Always Did

September 13, 2021

Sayyed Nasrallah: Diesel to Arrive in Lebanon Thursday… The American Conspiracies Will Fail as They Always Did

By Al-Ahed News

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

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah mourned the demise of prominent cleric Sayyed Mohammad Said al-Hakim in Iraq and the Head of the Supreme Shia Council in Lebanon Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan.

Moving to politics, Sayyed Nasrallah welcomed the formation of the Lebanese government that was announced on Friday and thanked all those who contributed to this achievement. His eminence didn’t forget to thank the caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab for his patience and patriotism and shouldering the responsibility over the period of caretaking the responsibilities of the already resigned government.

Highlighting that the current government’s priorities must be to save the nation from the heart of the downfall, carry out reforms, and take care of people’s livelihood, the resistance leader also voiced support for getting prepared to hold the municipal elections in the due time, and insisted on this issue.

Also on the governmental level, Sayyed Nasrallah called for finishing the ministerial statement as soon as possible for the government to gain confidence and drive the country out of the crises, urging everybody to stand in solidarity to grant the government the sufficient time before judging it.

Fuel bound to Lebanon

In key notes that were the reason for delivering Monday’s speech, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the fuel shipments heading for Lebanon, explaining that Hezbollah had two choices regarding the destination where the ship docks, one was Lebanon and the other was Syria.

“Not to embarrass certain parties inside Lebanon, we decided to send the ship to Syria, which agreed on the matter of receiving the ship at one of its ports,” His Eminence stated, adding that Syria facilitated the movement in Baniyas Port for the storage and transferring the oil via the borders, and it also provided the cisterns in which the oil will be transferred.

Sayyed Nasrallah announced that the first ship carrying oil derivatives docked at the Syrian Port of Baniyas on Sunday evening, and today [Monday] unloading its cargo will be finished.

His Eminence further declared that transferring the oil derivatives to Beqaa area will start on Thursday and will be stored in certain reservoirs in Baalbek.

Lashing out at some bets that considered the promise to send the ships is just for media consumption, the resistance leader said the matter is left behind as the ship already arrived.

“The ‘Israeli’ was in trouble as the equation of deterrence was set, and it is the one that protected and allowed the arrival of the first ship,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined, slamming those who betted on the Americans who failed to prevent the arrival of the ships despite the pressures and threats.

Additionally, His Eminence noted that betting on causing a trouble between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state has also collapsed thanks to the cooperation of the Syrian state: “All bets have collapsed and serious work has started although we expected setting new gamblings.”

The Hezbollah leader elaborated that the ship that has already arrived was carrying diesel oil, and the second ship will arrive at the Baniyas Port within a few days. Meanwhile, all administrative measures to send the third ship have been finished, and it will carry gas oil from Iran.

The fourth ship will later be carrying diesel oil to be used for heating as winter approaches, Sayyed Nasrallah made clear.

Elsewhere in comments on the same issue, the Hezbollah leader mentioned that based on the new government’s track and the given data, the destination of other ships would be decided.

Ruling out any intention of making profits, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah doesn’t seek trade or benefits from such ships, and it only aims at easing the suffering of the people. “The cargo that will arrive will be handed to all classes in Lebanon and is not limited to certain people,” His Eminence assured.

“We prepared a specific mechanism to deliver the oil derivatives, and we don’t aim at competing with others,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “As per distribution, we adopted several divisions; the first of which is a donation that will be sent for a one-month supply for several sides.”

Those sides are public hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, and centers that take care of people with special needs, Sayyed Nasrallah said. Additionally, water facilities and poor municipalities that has water wells, the civil firefighting centers, and the Lebanese Red Cross will be considered in this donation.

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, the second section that will receive those derivatives with appropriate prices – and there are priorities in this regard – are the private hospitals, serology laboratories, bakeries, and supermarkets, the food industry, and the agricultural equipment.

“We will sell the oil derivatives to the second section with prices that are lower than the costs at the market and there will be no oil that will be sold to individuals,” the resistance leader underscored.

In the phase of distribution, Hezbollah will depend in the first place on the Al-Amana company that is already blacklisted by the US and will deal with other companies later. The quantities will be distributed gradually to increase the amount of the beneficiaries and Hezbollah will focus mainly on the municipal unions, according to Sayyed Nasrallah.

His Eminence underscored that the important point for Hezbollah is that the material reaches the due recipients and not the black market. “We will shoulder a big amount of the costs against the greed and monopoly found in Lebanon.”

The resistance group will sell the material in prices that are less than their expenses as it doesn’t seek profits and will consider the losses as an aid from Hezbollah and Iran, its leader added.

The official price for selling the diesel oil will be either announced on Wednesday or on Thursday, and it will be less than the expenses. The material will be sold in exchange for the Lebanese pound and Hezbollah will not cost the country’s treasury anything, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

“We aim at breaking the black market and the greed of the monopolists,” His Eminence reiterated.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on the new government to have the Lebanese Army as the guarantor in the process of delivering subsidies to the people.

In clear remarks highlighting Hezbollah’s capabilities, Sayyed Nasrallah said the party was able to get a convoy of ships at once with a media coverage, but it didn’t do so because it didn’t want to incite anybody and it is why Hezbollah achieved the matter with the minimum of media coverage.

“We don’t aim at any political employment of what happened,” His Eminence noted, affirming that among the blessings of what happened is that it opened new doors to Lebanon, especially after the direct US move to bring Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria.

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah welcomed the official visit of the Lebanese delegation to Syria that was open and loving despite the critical situation.

Regarding the agreement of exchanging Iraqi fuel, Sayyed Nasrallah said it is supposed to arrive in Lebanon and thanked the Iraqi government for its efforts in this respect.

Also on the local level, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that the ration card might open another door to stealing, corruption, and politicization and called on the Lebanese to adhere to the law related to the ration card without any fraud: “Those who don’t meet the restrictions should leave the money offered by this card to other people in need.”

Gilboa Heroic Op

Hailing the operation of Gilboa Prison break, Sayyed Nasrallah described the “Tunnel of Freedom” Operation that was carried out by Palestinian heroes and resistance men as an event with major and very important significances.

“The “Tunnel of Freedom” Operation expresses the creativity of those heroes and it is a source of pride for every honorable man, it also expresses the Palestinian insistence on freedom,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Additionally, His Eminence ruled out that detaining four of the six escapees would undermine the success of the operation and underscored that the responsibility of protecting the two remaining escapees should be shouldered by all Palestinians.

July 13 Events: Gaza Liberation, Airport Massacre, Jabal al-Rafei Confrontation

As today marks the 16th anniversary of liberating the Gaza Strip, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on this “major victory the resistance has scored and it emphasized the benefit of the choice of resistance”, noting that liberating the Gaza Strip led to turning it into a main base for resistance and a source of hope for all the people of Palestine.

July 13 also marks the day when the Lebanese Army opened fire at the heads of people protesting against the Oslo Agreement, in comments on the tragic massacre, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “We were very patient on this calamity to ward off sedition some sides wanted to create against the Lebanese Army.”

“Nobody in Dahiyeh has opened fire against the security forces although they were killing their sons and daughters. Our people blocked the road in front of the sedition that was desired and later, the blood of our martyrs blended with that of the army’s martyrs,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined, in reference to the martyrdom of a group of resistance men, including his own son, martyr Hadi Hassan Nasrallah, and a group of Lebanese Army soldiers on July 13, 1997 while combatting an ‘Israeli’ commando unit in Jabal al-Rafei, south Lebanon.

“The blood of our resistance men blended with the blood of the Lebanese Army officers, which led to victory,” the Hezbollah leader.

US will always fail

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by assuring the Americans that they will fail in every conspiracy they hatch against Lebanon: “Just as your hopes and conspiracies failed, you will fail once again and the golden equation [of Army, People, and Resistance in Lebanon] will persist.

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الأسد الاستراتيجي.. هابوك.. فحاربوك..

See the source image


الاثنين 13 أيلول 2021

سماهر الخطيب

منذ أن تسلّم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد مقاليد الحكم في تموز من عام 2000، بدأت معظم مراكز الدراسات العربية والغربية والأميركية عبر أبحاثها ودراساتها حول شخصية الرئيس الجديد لسورية وطريقة حكمه طرح العديد من السيناريوات التي حاول معدّوها في الغرف السوداء عرض أفكارهم وآرائهم حول شخصية الرئيس الأسد وكيفية السيطرة على سورية من خلال تفنيد سياساته وقراراته والبحث في تطلعاته.

شكل مجيء الرئيس بشار الأسد إلى سدة الحكم، مع ما يحمله من أفكار، استمرارية لمسار والده الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد وتطويراً لمدرسة الأب بما يحمله الإبن من أفكار استراتيجية عصرية، الأمر الذي شكل هاجساً لدى صناع السياسة وأصحاب القرار في المجتمع الدولي، خاصة أنه عبّر، مع أول خطاب له، عن رغبته في تحرير النظام السياسي والاقتصادي وتعزيز الديمقراطية في الداخل السوري، معلناً نيّته إطلاق عمليات لبرلة اجتماعية واقتصادية وقد أعطى الأولوية للإصلاحات الاقتصادية بهدف خلق الشروط الملائمة للدمقرطة السياسية اللاحقة، فعُرفت بداية عهده بـ(ربيع دمشق)، وباتت سياساته هدفاً للسياسة الأميركية التي لم تُرِد سورية قوية كعهدها.

لم يحدّد الرئيس الأسد فقط نهج سورية في المجالين الاقتصادي والتقني بل حدّد مسارها الديمقراطي؛  مسارٌ لم يكن مستنسخاً عن الغرب، بل هو خاص بسورية تستمده من تاريخها وتحترم عبره مجتمعها. وقال في موضوع الديمقراطية: «لايمكننا أن نطبّق ديمقراطية الآخرين على أنفسنا، فالديمقراطية الغربية على سبيل المثال، هي نتاج تاريخ طويل أثمر عادات وتقاليد تميّز الثقافة الحالية في المجتمعات الغربية. ولتطبيق ما لديهم علينا أن نعيش تاريخهم مع كل أهميته الاجتماعية، كما أنّ من الواضح أن هذا مستحيل، ينبغي أن نمتلك تجربتنا الديمقراطية التي هي خاصة لنا وهي استجابة لحاجات مجتمعنا ومتطلبات واقعنا».

كما انتقد الرئيس بشار الأسد منذ استلامه مقاليد الحكم «بيروقراطية الدولة» معتبراً أنها «عقدة رئيسية أمام التطور»، قائلاً: «لا تعتمدوا على الدولة ليس لديها عصا سحرية وعملية التغيير تتطلب عناصر لا يملكها شخص واحد.. السلطة بلا مسؤولية هي السبب في الفوضى» وتابع: «يجب أن نحرر أنفسنا من تلك الأفكار القديمة التي غدت عقبات، ولننجح نحتاج إلى تفكير حديث.. قد يعتقد بعضهم أنّ العقول المبدعة ترتبط بالعمر وأنها يمكن أن توجد مع العمر غير أنّ هذا ليس دقيقاً تماماً فلدى بعض الشباب عقول قوية حية وخلاقة».

خارجياً، بدأت القيادة السورية تعمل جدياً على وضع استراتيجية سياسية خارجية للبلاد، فأولت اهتماماً لروسيا والصين دولياً، ولإيران وتركيا إقليمياً، مع الحفاظ على مكانة سورية في التعاون العربي – العربي وتعزيزه، بهدف تشكيل ائتلاف لاحق يمنع الانتشار الأميركي وتمركزه في المنطقة ويحول دون إعادة توزيع القوى في الشرق الأوسط لصالح هذا التمركّز.

حينها، تخطّت سورية العديد من الصعوبات التي واجهتها منذ 2001، فعززت دعمها للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين واستقرّ وضعها الداخلي وحافظت على علاقاتها مع الداخل العراقي وتعاونت مع طهران وتركيا لبناء شبكة إقليميّة. وطيلة الفترة الممتدّة بين 2001-2006، واجهت سورية زلازل إقليمية عديدة كانت تنذر بالسوء والأخطار الكبيرة عند كل منعطف.

ثم بدأ الوضع بالتحسن منذ خريف 2006 وخرجت سورية من دوامة الأزمات والعقوبات التي فرضت عليها، وأخذت تتعافى تدريجياً وتستعيد حيويتها الإقليمية في الأعوام 2007 و2010 وتجدّدت علاقاتها العربية، خاصة مع لبنان والعراق، ومدّت جسوراً مع أوروبا والولايات المتحدة وتعمّقت تحالفاتها، وفي الوقت عينه، واصلت دعمها للمقاومة في العراق ولبنان وفلسطين. كما بدأت رؤية سورية الاستراتيجية لربط البحار الخمسة، المتوسط والأحمر والخليج والأسود وقزوين، بشبكة تعاون إقليمية، من خلال إقامة شبكات ربط للنقل البحري بين المرافئ السورية ونظيراتها في كل من رومانيا وأوكرانيا، أو من حيث ربط شبكات إمداد الطاقة الكهربائية أو الغاز العربية مع منظومة الطاقة الأوروبية عبر تركيا، كخطّ الغاز العربي الذي يتم العمل على ربطه بمنظومة الغاز التركية عبر سورية، وبالتالي بمنظومة الغاز الأوروبية، ليس هذا فحسب، بل إن هذه الرؤية تلقى دعماً من قادة الدول الإقليمية التي تشكل عناصر أساسية في هذا الفضاء الاقتصادي وينظر إلى توسيعه لربطه مع الدول المطلة على بحر البلطيق الأمر الذي يقع في صلب الرؤية الاستراتيجية لسوري، ومن ينظر إلى المشروع الصيني يدرك أنه استكمال لتلك الاستراتيجية.

تبيّن للرئيس بشار الأسد حال الفراغ الاستراتيجي الناجم عن الأزمات التي لحقت بالدور والوجود الأميركيين في المنطقة، قارئاً وجود تحوّل كبير في معادلات الجغرافيا السياسية وعلومها، مستنتجاً سقوط مفهوم الشرق الأوسط، مورداً البديل لمفهوم الأقاليم الجديدة، مقدّماً صياغته لمنطقة إقليمية تحلّ مكان مفهوم الشرق الأوسط هي منطقة البحار الخمسة، وفيها تصير روسيا وإيران وتركيا ودول أوروبا المتوسطية شركاء في إقليم جغرافي واحد، مخاطره واحدة ومصالحه متقاربة، داعياً إلى منظومة تعاون إقليمية بين القوى الكبرى لحفظ الأمن وقيام التعاون الاقتصادي.

في سبيل ذلك، أجرى الرئيس الأسد في 2 كانون الأول 2010 مباحثات في القصر الرئاسي في كييف مع الرئيس الأوكراني فيكتور يانوكوفيتش في سبيل تفعيل تلك الاستراتيجية عبر توقيع اتفاقية التجارة الحرة بين البلدين، ما أثار الغضب الغربي والأميركي الذي كانت له رؤيته الخاصة للشكل الذي ينبغي أن تتطور الأمور عليه. فكان هدف واشنطن فرض رقابة لصيقة على العمليات الجارية في الشرق الأوسط وكان أحد شروطها المركزية إضعاف إيران، إنما سارت الخطوات السورية الموجهة نحو توحيد قدرات الدول الإقليمية الكبرى بالتعارض مع المخططات الأميركية، فوقفت دمشق «عثرة» أمام تحقيق الاستراتيجية الأميركية في المنطقة.

تمّ التأكيد على التحالف الاستراتيجي بين إيران وسورية في نهاية شباط 2010، وقام الرئيس الإيراني حينها محمود أحمدي نجاد بزيارة هامة إلى دمشق التقى فيها الرئيس بشار الأسد والأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله، كما التقى رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس خالد مشعل والأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الإسلامي رمضان شلح، وأعلن الرئيسان الإيراني والسوري عن «التوحد أمام التحديات والتهديدات، وأنّ أيّ حركة يمكن أن ترفع التوقعات في الدراما الدولية في ما يتعلق بأيّ من الدولتين».

كما أعلن الرئيس الإيراني أنّ «على العالم أن يعرف أنّ إيران ستقف خلف الشعب السوري إلى النهاية، وأن الروابط  الإقليمية قوية للغاية». وأشارت أحداث اللقاء إلى أنّ حلفاً استراتيجياً يتكون ويتأكد، ويشكل جبهة جديدة في مواجهة التحالف الأميركي – «الإسرائيلي» ومن يسانده من العرب والقوى الأخرى.

أدرك الأميركيون حينها، أنهم إن لم يوقفوا عمليات توزع القوى الجديد في المنطقة فإنهم مضطرون للتعامل مع إقليم جديد تماماً وعلى درجة عالية من التضامن ومن المستبعد أن يكون مستعداً للخضوع لإدارتها بلا قيد أو شرط.

ويمكن لمتتبع السياسة الأميركية تجاه سورية أن يعلم مسبقاً أنها لطالما دأبت على محاولات «إخضاع» الدولة السورية والتغيير «القسري» للنظام، واهتم المحافظون الجدد بإمكانية السعي إلى فرض تغيير قسري للنظام في سورية. ففي عام 1996 نشرت مجموعة من المحافظين الجدد الأميركيين، بينهم دوغلاس فيث وريتشارد بيرل، تقريراً قدّمت فيه توصيات لرئيس الوزراء الصهيوني المقبل آنذاك بنيامين نتنياهو في ما يتعلق بسياسة الأمن القومي «الإسرائيلي» وهي تتضمن «استخدام القوة لتحقيق أهداف إضعاف واحتواء بل وحتى صدّ سورية».

كان على سورية أن تجري حسابات إقليمية استراتيجية لا تتخلى عن مواصلة السعي إلى توازن عسكري تكنولوجي مع «إسرائيل» ومواجهة حروب وأزمات أخرى اشتعلت في الوقت ذاته تقريباً. حيث استندت في مواجهة تلك التحديات الأقليمية إلى استراتيجية واضحة كرّسها وعدّلها الرئيس حافظ الأسد منذ 1975. بدأ الرئيس بشار الأسد استلهام دروس استراتيجية والده وفي أساس تلك الاستراتيجية كان بناء الجبهة المشرقية (جبهة لبنان وسورية والأردن والفلسطينيين تمتد من رأس الناقورة في جنوب لبنان إلى مدينة العقبة جنوب الأردن)، فعمّق علاقات سورية بلبنان والأردن والمقاومة الفلسطينية خلال السبعينات، وبات الدعم الذي تحصل عليه سورية من روسيا وإيران يوازي الدعم الأميركي لـ»إسرائيل»، معتمداً على ما قاله الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد في كلمته بمناسبة عيد الثورة في آذار 1992: «التحالفات الجديدة القادمة لن تكون كالتي كانت. التحالفات الجديدة ستبحث في مجالات حيوية.. إن العرب كمجموعة لم يفعلوا شيئاً لمواجهة المستقبل ولم يقدموا جديداً للتعامل مع العالم الجديد، وإلى أن يتكوّن وعي عربي أفضل يفهم أبعاد ما يحدث فإنّ سورية في سياستها وفي أفعالها تأخذ بالاعتبار هذه الأبعاد كما تراها واثقة أنها ستظل القلعة الوطنية القومية. فسورية لن تجامل ولن تساوم أحداً على المبادئ، خاصة عندما يتعلق الأمر بالأبعاد القومية هكذا نحن وهكذا سنبقى وهذا هو دور سورية القومي النقي ماضياً وحاضراً ومستقبلاً، مهما ضخمت مصاعبنا فالتسليم ليس خيارنا.. السلام الذي نقبله هو الذي يعيد الأرض ويعيد الحقوق وينشر الأمن في المنطقة وأقل من ذلك هو استسلام.. إذا كان أحد يظن أن المتغيرات الدولية ترضخ الشعوب فبئس هذا الأحد لأنه لم يستعد السيرة البشرية ولم يستوعب مدلولاتها وعبرها ولم يدرك أن النسيج النفسي والاجتماعي للشعوب يجعلها تنتزع من كل ظرف جديد خلاصة العناصر والإمكانات التي تجعلها قادرة على التكيف ومواجهة التحديات الجديدة».

بالتالي، فإنّ استراتيجية الرئيس بشار الأسد لم تكن جامدة، بل تعامل مع استراتيجيته كخياط ماهر يتعاطى مع رقعة قماش على طاولة يجري فيها تعديلاً وتفصيلاً لتتلاءم مع متطلبات المرحلة. فعكف على تثبيت استراتيجية سورية جديدة تأخذ بالاعتبار كافة المتغيرات. ومن جملة الدروس المستوحاة أنّ سورية لم تغيّر خطابها القومي، ورغم تواضع ثروات سورية الاقتصادية أصبحت دولة مركزية في المشرق العربي شديدة الاستقلال في قراراتها وخياراتها وهو استقلال أصبح نادراً بين الدول في العقد الأول من القرن الحادي والعشرين وأشار إليه كبار الباحثين الأوروبيين.

اليوم تواجه سورية تحدياً اقتصادياً يعود تفاقمه إلى أسباب عديدة أبرزها القانون الأميركي (قيصر)، وعُقوباته التي تريد عرقلة عملية التطوير، لكنّ من صمد وتصدّى لمختلف أساليب الحرب ببشاعتها فإنه سيدير هذه الأزمة بضراوتها.

هو الأسد الذي قاد سورية نحو العز والنصر…

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Hezbollah Deputy SG: Iranian Fuel Shipments to Lebanon A Political Achievement against US Injustice

September 11, 2021

Hezbollah Deputy SG: Iranian Fuel Shipments to Lebanon A Political Achievement against US Injustice

By Staff, Agencies

The fact that Iranian ships transport fuel for Lebanon is a political, social and moral achievement in the face of the US oppression and its crimes against humanity, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem said.

Addressing the Arab Forum, United for Lebanon Resisting Siege, Monopoly, and Corruption on Friday, Sheikh Qassem said the developments in the country are in stark contrast to the US-‘Israeli’ project.

He said the Americans were surprised to see that the fuel-laden ships – coming from Iran – have broken the siege of Lebanon and provided the Lebanese with the vital product.

Hezbollah has confronted the ‘Israeli’ occupiers and would be able to counter the US siege in appropriate ways, the deputy secretary general emphasized.

Sheikh Qassem also called for cooperation and solidarity among Arab countries, particularly among Lebanon’s neighbors, saying Beirut welcomes any unconditional support.

The first ship carrying Iranian fuel reportedly entered Syria’s territorial waters on September 2 to unload its cargo, which will be then transferred to Lebanon via tankers. Informed sources said that two other Iranian ships will also deliver their cargo to Lebanon through the same mechanism.

Fuel shortages in Lebanon have forced businesses and government offices to close, threatening to cause blackouts at hospitals and halt transportation and other vital sectors in the Arab country.

The plan to buy Iranian fuel, announced by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in August, is seen as a watershed in the US sanctions, which have severely affected Lebanon and Iran alike.

Hezbollah Continues to Dismay the US By Changing Every Threat into An Opportunity

September 10, 2021

Hezbollah Continues to Dismay the US By Changing Every Threat into An Opportunity

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah’s initiative to bring ships of Iranian fuel to Lebanon has prompted Washington and its allies to kick start actions to sabotage the step or to lessen its positive effects on Lebanon and the Lebanese.

The US administration is heavily involved in the Lebanese affairs and following up attentively daily politics in the country, yet all this to no avail.

The US Congress delegation to Lebanon last week expressed dismay over the Iranian fuel supplies saying that Lebanon is not in need for Iranian petroleum and provoking Saudi Arabia to play a role in blocking Tehran’s help and replacing it by a Saudi one.

In another position, the delegation described Hezbollah as a cancer that should be eradicated. This reflects Washington rage and frustration from the resistance group…

The ship that will change the face of Lebanon

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s decision to import petroleum from Iran has prompted a series of reactions that positively impacted the critical situation in Lebanon.

In an effort to break the US blockade and sanctions against Lebanon and alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese people came the party’s initiative, yet it is to be considered a step in the course of events that will follow later.

The decision is not an isolated step, nor it is an emotional reaction to the miserable situation; it rather reflects a sober policy, a deeply pondered decision to change the course of events and begin to break this chain of US sanctions.

Lebanon has been suffering for centuries from the continuous aggressions of Washington allies and tools, namely the ‘Israeli’ enemy occupation and recently the takfiri groups; to this effect Hezbollah has dearly sacrificed thousands of his leaders and fighters protecting Lebanon and liberating its territories. Thus, logically speaking, it would be easier for a party that sacrificed blood and lives which are the most precious to spend things of less importance and value to help people.

When our resistance against the ‘Israeli’ occupation started back in 1982, few people believed in it, fewer believed it can make real achievements against one of the mightiest armies in the world; but nowadays, after all the military achievements and victories against the ‘Israeli’ occupation, whether they like it or not, many admit the balance equation that the resistance has been able to build.

The Axis of Resistance is a real strong force that has its say in determining the course of events in the region. A real trustworthy force that our enemy has to make consideration before it dares to attack or carry on with its malicious plans and conspiracies.

Now the resistance in Lebanon kick-starts a new bold initiative which will definitely face skepticism and doubts about its effectiveness. The party has been prudent from the beginning as not to boast, but in reality this is a course of events that will bring lots of positive developments where by the Lebanese depend on themselves and start to build a real productive economy that can endure and stand the sanctions and siege and surmount their negative impact.

One of the most important things that the ship has brought to Lebanon was the newly formed government yesterday and not the petroleum oil.

The ship, upon its arrival, has sent a strong alarm to the American and their Western allies that they better handle the situation as the game they have started is backfiring on them and taking a course of action beneficial to Hezbollah. The party has successfully been able to reverse the tide, to contain its consequences and to start a counter initiative that made the US plea to devoid of its content. Again and again, to Washington’s dismal, Hezbollah changes the threat into an opportunity.

There will pass not a long time before Washington realizes again how mistaken it was to impose siege and sanctions against Lebanon, as this is going to usher in a new era of changes that will bring Lebanon closer to its economic independence, to a new equation where Lebanon is of more control and Washington of less influence.

A new promising hope is looming, thanks to the US arrogance and shortsightedness.

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