هل تغيّرت «القوات» عن الثمانينيّات؟

الخميس 2 حزيران 2022

 ناصر قنديل

كلما قام أحد بتذكير القوات اللبنانيّة بتاريخها في ثمانينيّات القرن الماضي، تردّ بأن هذا هو أسلوب التخوين، وأن اللبنانيين طووا صفحة الحرب الأهلية في اتفاق الطائف، وأن التذكير بماضي الحرب نكء كيديّ للجراح. وفي السياق ترفض القوات كل تذكير لها ولقائدها باغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي، الذي تحلّ ذكراه اليوم، وتتذرع بقانون العفو الذي ناله سمير جعجع في السياسة، وعلق تنفيذ الحكم القضائي دون أن يستطيع العفو إلغاء الحكم القضائيّ، الذي لا يلغيه إلا حكم آخر، كان بيد جعجع التقدّم لنيله عبر طلب إعادة المحاكمة، لكنه لم يفعل، ورغم ذلك يفوز جعجع بالأحكام في القضايا التي يرفعها بوجه كل مَن يستعيد واقعة قتل الرئيس رشيد كرامي المثبتة بحكم قضائي، لأن القضاء الذي صفعته السياسة بقانون العفو، وأسقطت مفاعيل حكم أصدره كبار قضاة لبنان، بات مليئاً بالذين يرون العبثية في قيامهم بتحدي المتحصنين بمراكز القوة، طالما أن هؤلاء يحصلون في السياسة على كل ما لا يقبل القضاء بمنحهم إياه، وهذا ما حصل مع سمير جعجع.

تدّعي «القوات» أنها تغيرت عن الثمانينيّات فهي سلمت سلاحها، واصبحت حزباً سياسياً، ولا تقبل من أحد أن يزايد عليها بالعداء لـ«إسرائيل»، وهي تتصدر دعوات السيادة، فهل هذا صحيح؟ وهل يستقيم مع أولويات «القوات» اليوم؟

سنبدأ من أن لا معيار للسيادة يسمو على معيار العداء لـ«إسرائيل» ونقبل حكمه، ثم نتخيل أن «إسرائيل» تملك القدرة على تأسيس حزب كبير في لبنان، فماذا ستجعل له من أولوية، وسيأتي الجواب سريعاً، نزع سلاح حزب الله، وتحميل حزب الله مسؤوليّة خراب لبنان، ودعوة اللبنانيين للابتعاد عن الحزب وخياراته طلباً للحد الأدنى من مقوّمات الحياة. ومن ثم نسأل، أليس هذا ما تفعله القوات؟ ثم نسأل: ما هي العبر التي قالتها تجربة القوات في الثمانينيات، من زاوية خدمة الأهداف ذاتها، وليس من زاوية إعادة النظر بها؟ وسنكتشف أن القوات خسرت كل الحروب التي خاضتها، وأن قوتها العسكريّة عبء على مشروعها، وأنها جهة ناجحة في العمليات الأمنية، ومنها اغتيال الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي، وتتمتها اللاحقة عملية الغدر المبرمجة مخابراتياً التي نجحت بالاغتيال السياسي، الذي كاد يتحوّل الى تصفية جسدية، للرئيس سعد الحريري.

خطاب القوات العدائيّ نحو العروبة كانت ترجمته التوجه نحو العروبيين بالقول اذهبوا إلى البداوة الخليجيّة إذا كانت العروبة غرامكم، وكان العروبيّون هم الذين يدافعون عن الحضارة العربية الإسلاميّة بما فيها البداوة والمجتمعات الخليجية، بينما اليوم تقف القوات تحت سقف الدعوة لعروبة لبنان وبوابتها الخليج، فهل هذا تغيير؟

السؤال هو: مَن الذي تغيّر، الخليج أم القوات؟ فاذا كانت البوصلة هي الموقف من «اسرائيل»، فليس خافياً في زمن التطبيع أن حكومات الخليج هي التي تغيّرت. ومثله تبدو القوات التي كانت سابقا تناصب العداء العنصريّ لكل ما هو إسلامي، انها اليوم حليف قريب لعدد من القوى الإسلامية، لكن الا يتماهى هذا الموقف مع الوصف الذي أطلقه الاسرائيليّون على هذه القوى، فقالوا نأتمن النصرة على حدودنا مع سورية ولبنان، وردّد توصيف جماعاتها بالثوار بعض اللبنانيين، كما دعا جعجع أهالي بيروت عام 2006 والقاع عام 2014 لعدم الخشية منها، لأنها قوة حليفة؟

فلسفة الغيتو لم تتغيّر، وشعار من كفرشيما الى المدفون باقٍ، وحالات حتماً باقٍ أيضاً، لكن ضمن توليفة جديدة اسمها اللامركزية الموسعة، والفدرالية، بحسب المقتضى، وما تتيحه الموازين، والقتل هو القتل، وبدل بوسطة عين الرمانة، أحداث الطيونة.

سيبقى الرئيس الشهيد رشيد كرامي يطلب العدالة، وسيبقى القاتل معلوماً، كما أعاد التأكيد نجل الشهيد وولي الدم النائب السابق فيصل كرامي، ولا يستقيم أن يتحدّث أحد عن شهادة الرشيد ويقوم بتجهيل القاتل أو يحاول تبييض صفحته، ولعل صمت هؤلاء أفضل لهم ولذكرى الشهيد الرشيد، وقد قتل لأنه ركن بارز في جبهة الدفاع عن خط عنوانه العداء الحقيقيّ والعميق والجديّ والمبدئيّ لـ«إسرائيل»، وتم قتله تنفيذاً لطلبها.

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Will Lebanon’s Arab tribes fill Saudi Arabia’s ‘Hariri void’ in upcoming elections?

The Arab Tribe Federation of Lebanon has grown into a powerful political force that may be poised to replace the Future Movement as Saudi Arabia’s main Sunni political ally. 

March 28 2022

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar, head of the Arab Tribes Federation in Lebanon, is poised to play an outsized role in the country’s upcoming elections.Photo Credit: MTV Lebanon

By Radwan Mortada

Leaders of Lebanon’s Arab Tribes are to participate in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections alongside the right-wing Christian Lebanese Forces Party (LF), allegedly based on orders by Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar, head of the Arab Tribes Federation in Lebanon, is considered one of the most prominent players within the clans, and has strong relations with Saudi Arabia, to which his clan is affiliated.

Although his views often provoke controversy, he is backed by an extensive network of Arab tribes within various Lebanese regions, tens of thousands of whom were naturalized in 1994 by former prime minister Rafiq Hariri to serve his electoral ambitions.

Today, because of high birth rates, the tribes are more than half a million strong, have altered the demographic sectarian balance in various Lebanese regions, and could be the deciding factor in the country’s upcoming elections. Importantly, the tribes have grown to represent one third of the Sunni electorate.

The Arab tribes were launched into the national spotlight in July 2021 when some elements targeted and killed several members of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, a group despised by Riyadh.

A few months later, the Lebanese Forces were also implicated in the killings of Hezbollah supporters and their allies during a peaceful protest on 14 October 2021 in Beirut.

According to reports, the Saudis have demanded that Arab tribal elders electorally support LF leader Samir Geagea in opposition to the Hezbollah political alliance that swept Lebanon’s last elections.

Together, the two parties would provide Riyadh with some clout in Lebanon’s next election, which the Saudis lost when relations with former PM Saad Hariri and his political party soured.

Sheikh Jasem Al-Askar and a number of tribal notables have now sought to adopt the LF’s lists for a number of candidates in the country’s heavily-anticipated May elections.

How do Arab clans see the current reality of the Lebanese state? 

The current reality of the Lebanese state is not similar to the state we envision, we don’t believe there is a free state nor is there independent sovereignty. It is also not a state governed by constitution in accordance with the Taif Agreement. The Taif Agreement has not been implemented, and the problem is that not all Lebanese believe in implementing its provisions so that salvation can be achieved to build a civil state, as was attempted by the martyr, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before his martyrdom.

From our point of view, when Hariri was assassinated, the Taif Agreement was assassinated with him along with the state. The problem is that democracy has become consensual between political parties, through which the state has turned into states with partisan and feudal militias exhausted by corruption. This has led to the dismantling of institutions amid looting, stealing and sharing them among political parties.

The name of the state remained and all its components collapsed while Hezbollah succeeded in every aspect for its own benefit and for the benefit of its axis, which is part of a regional project.

How did the Arab tribes interpret the withdrawal of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the suspension of his political work? 

The views of the tribal federation does not necessarily represent the consensus of the tribes in Lebanon, but from 2005 until 2017, the federation was the most loyal in adhering to the project of Hariri, second only to his son, Saad in building the state. Unfortunately we did not meet with Saad when he was prime minister but we expected to meet him and involve us in decision making out of respect for our years of support.

We do not accept compromising on the vision of the martyr prime minister [Rafiq Hariri] from anyone, which we have endorsed and sacrificed and worked a lot for since 2005 – even if asked to do so by Saad Hariri himself.

What we have read in prime minister Saad Hariri’s announcement of stopping the political work of the Future Movement, is that there are differences between Hariri and Saudi Arabia on the political performance. We do not know any further details.

And I don’t agree on what was being circulated about a Saudi desire for a military confrontation with Hezbollah. If the decision to stop political action is an objection to Hezbollah’s dominance in Lebanon, then this is an explicit admission that Hariri’s resignation in 2017 was a correct decision. [Editor’s note: Hariri was forced to resign his prime ministership via television during a trip to Saudi Arabia, where he was reportedly ‘roughed up’ by his hosts. Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun refused to accept the resignation until Hariri was back safely on Lebanese soil].

President Saad was too late at that time. If this is the reason, I think that it is imperative for the [Progressive] Socialist Party (PSP), the Lebanese Forces party and the rest of the other political forces to follow in the footsteps of Hariri and the Future Movement.

Will you boycott the parliamentary elections if the Future Movement is reluctant to run? 

On 15 January, the final statement of the fourth conference of the Arab Tribes Federation of Lebanon was issued.  We announced our decision regarding the parliamentary elections and that we have great doubts about the postponement of the elections and the potential collapse of the state.

Last month we held a meeting through which we announced our position on parliamentary elections, by studying the stage in all its aspects and the benefit of running or not running in the elections, we will announce the outcome of the meeting for public opinion, God willing.

It is said that the Arab tribes will ally with the Lebanese Forces Party in different regions, what is the validity of this claim? 

The Federation has not announced any alliance to date and the union’s president has not met with the head of the LP since 2016. All that is rumored remains just speculation, media talk and analysis.

Is it possible to ally with [Samir Geagea] the killer of Prime Minister Rashid Karami, who was one of the Sunni leaders of Lebanon? 

To date, we have not allied ourselves with anyone, regardless of our position on the need to live together, build the state and forget the past.

We believe that at the moment this talk is just fuelling sectarianism and conflict and that it was better to ask this question in the face of the quartet in 2005. We were already within the March 14 alliance, and there were no objections to this alliance.

What are the objectives of the last conference you held at your home, and what message did you want to send? 

Our goals and rewards have not changed since the announcement of the launch of the Federation in 2012; we in Lebanon are an independent political equation that believes in Free Lebanon. We are also Arabs and we believe in the Constitution and the principles of Taif, our moderate approach rejects terrorism and extremism and we dream of a free civil state based on social justice. We also acknowledge our Arab and tribal roots and our mission was manifested in the presence of the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan, for our last conference where we stressed before him that moderation is our approach.

Why are you standing today under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia?

We can confirm that we stand under the Saudi umbrella not only from today but from ancient times due to our Arab heritage. Saudi Arabia is also at the forefront of the Arab world, this loyalty is natural and is what connects us with the Kingdom of religion, nationalism and tribes. The Kingdom is the pole of Islam and the land of revelation and the land of the Two Holy Mosques and to which we are united.

Do you get money from Saudi Arabia? 

From the first moment we announced our independence and political aspirations we were hoping and tried to convey our voice to develop our regions and villages to get service institutions like other political parties and forces. We hope that the Kingdom will provide us with material support, but today we can say that we have not received any development, service, relief or financial assistance.

What if Saudi Arabia tries to use you in sectarian fighting to confront Hezbollah?

Firstly we are moderate and we are doves of peace. In 2016, we brought together the tribes of Baalbek-Hermel and spoke out against sectarianism. However we have already stated and repeat that when anyone attacks us we will defend ourselves and those who fight us we will fight them. We do not compromise on our dignity.

As for the question of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to use us in sectarian fighting, I will not answer such hypotheses because it is Saudi Arabia that has always worked to achieve the security and stability of Lebanon, and it is the one who rebuilt it and not those who destroyed it, so I will not answer illusions.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

الزيارة المؤامرة… ١٧ أيّار جديد!

الثلاثاء 25 كانون ثاني 2022

محمد صادق الحسينيّ

 أكثر من مؤشر في الإقليم يشي بأنّ واشنطن لم تتعلم دروس انكساراتها على أكثر من صعيد وأكثر من ساحة في إقليمنا العربي والإسلامي ولا تزال تأمل زعزعة الاستقرار في أقطارنا من خلال إشاعة منظومة الفتن والحروب الداخلية المتنقلة وتستثمر المجموعات الإرهابيّة لهذا الغرض، كما تمنع تعافي أقطارنا وتدفع مكوناتها الاجتماعية إلى التقاتل في ما بينها او تعطل الحياة السياسية العامة فيها.

وآخر مثال حيّ على هذه السياسة دفع الحريري الابن للخروج هو وتياره السياسي بأمر همايوني أميركي ـ سعودي من الانتخابات والحياة السياسية اللبنانية!

 من جانب آخر، وعلى الرغم من مواصلة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية محاولاتها لإجراء اتصالات سريّة، مع بعض أطراف حلف المقاومة، بعيداً عن المفاوضات النووية الجارية في فيينا، إلا انّ واشنطن تواصل أيضاً عداءها لهذا الحلف وتستمرّ في تصعيد العدوان، بشكل غير مسبوق، على بعض أطرافه مثل اليمن، والتآمر وتوجيه التهديدات لأطراف أخرى لهذا الحلف، سواءٌ في إيران او العراق او سورية او فلسطين او لبنان.

لذلك لا بدّ من الربط، بين حلقات المؤامرة الأميركية الصهيونية السعودية الخليجية، ليس فقط ضدّ حلف المقاومة وانما ضد الأمتين العربية والإسلامية. فما قيام الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بإصدار الأوامر الى آل سعود وآل نهيان…

أ ـ بتصعيد القصف الجوي الإجرامي الوحشي على الشعب اليمني الأعزل المسالم، في محاولة لكسر معنويات هذا الشعب وثنيه عن الصمود ومواصلة معركة تحرير اليمن، من الاحتلال السعودي الإماراتي «الإسرائيلي» (جزيرة ميون وجزيرة سوقطرى).

ب ـ ومسرحية هجوم عناصر من فلول داعش على سجن تديره الوحدات العسكرية الكردية، العميلة لواشنطن وتل أبيب، وتهريب مئات من عناصر داعش، بغطاء جويّ أميركي، وبغضّ النظر عما يجري في محيط منطقة السجن من تبادل (مسرحيّ) لإطلاق النار.

ج ـ وقيام القوات الأميركية، المنتشرة في منطقة الحسكة السورية المحتلة، حيث يوجد السجن، او بالأحرى معسكر الاحتياط لعناصر داعش، نقول قيام القوات الأميركية المنتشرة هناك بإخلاء «الهاربين» من السجن ونقلهم جواً، بواسطة مروحيّات الجيش الأميركي، الى قضاء سنجار وقضاء البعاج في العراق، تمهيداً لقيامهم بسلسلة هجمات إجرامية، ضد المدنيين وضد القوات المسلحة العراقية، في قاطع سنجار / تلعفر، وقاطع البعاج / الشرقاط.

د ـ أو إصدار الأوامر، لوزير خارجية الكويت، من واشنطن وتل أبيب، بعد التحشيد المتواصل، ضدّ حلف المقاومة بشكل عام، وحزب الله بشكل خاص، بحمل قنبلة تفجير لبنان من الداخل وليس مبادرة «لحلّ الخلافات» مع لبنان، كما زعموا.

وبعيداً عن التنميقات الدبلوماسية والأغلفة المزيفة، التي يتمّ من خلالها توصيف أهداف زيارة هذا الوزير الى لبنان، وبالعودة الى ما صرّح به هو نفسه، في مؤتمر صحافي في العاصمة اللبنانية، بيروت، عندما قال إنه يحمل «مبادرة لحلّ الخلافات مع لبنان» بتكليف من دول الخليج مجتمعة ومن الجامعة العربية والولايات المتحدة وفرنسا، نقول إنه بعيداً عن ذلك فإنّ أهداف الزيارة مختلفةً تماماً عما هو معلن. والتي يمكن تلخيص أهمّها في النقاط التالية:

أولاً: الضغط على الحكومة اللبنانية لإعادة فتح موضوع سلاح حزب الله، وذلك من خلال العودة الى قرار مجلس الامن رقم ١٥٥٩، الصادر بتاريخ ٢/٨/٢٠٠٤، والذي يدعو في فقرته الثالثة، الى تفكيك جميع الميليشيات، اللبنانية وغير اللبنانية وتجريدها من السلاح.

وهذا هو الطلب الأول، الذي تقدّم به هذا الوزير الكويتي، الى كلّ من رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس الحكومة ورئيس مجلس النواب في لبنان.

وهنا يجب التذكير بأنّ مجزرة الطيونة، والتفجير الذي نفذه عملاء الموساد في مخيم البرج الشمالي قبل أسابيع، ما هي إلا حلقات في التحضير للوصول، عبر الازمة التي افتعلتها السعودية مع لبنان، الى إعادة طرح هذا الموضوع بقوة.

ثانياً: ولعلّ من الضروري، في هذا المقام، التذكير بالردّ اللبناني الرسمي، على قرار مجلس الأمن رقم ١٥٥٩، والذي نشر في حينه على الصفحة الرسمية للجيش اللبناني، وجاء في فقرته الثانية (باللغة الانجليزية) انّ المقاومة (في لبنان) ليست ميليشيا وهي قوة تدافع عن لبنان وحرّرت أجزاءً كبيرة من أرضه، وانّ الحفاظ عليها هو مصلحة استراتيجية لبنانية.

وتابعت رسالة الردّ اللبنانية قائلةً: اما بالنسبة للفلسطينيين في لبنان فهم يعيشون في مخيمات تديرها الأونروا، ويطوّقها الجيش اللبناني ولا يسمح بنقل الأسلحة الى خارجها، وهم يطالبون بحق العودة الى وطنهم، حسب قرار الأمم المتحدة رقم ١٩٤.

 ثالثاً: أما الطلب الثاني، الذي قدّمه هذا الوزير، للجهات اللبنانية المعنية، فقد كان أقرب الى التهديد منه الى الطلب. اذ انه أبلغ المعنيين بانّ استخراج النفط والغاز اللبناني، من المياه الإقليمية اللبنانية، مرتبط بتنفيذ طلب «معالجة» موضوع سلاح حزب الله.

رابعاً: إنّ الموافقة على إعادة إعمار ميناء بيروت مرتبطة بشرط «معالجة» موضوع سلاح حزب الله، بالإضافة الى شرط تلزيم الميناء لشركة «دولية» يتمّ إنشاؤها لهذا الغرض.

وهذا يعني انّ عمليات إعادة الإعمار، ومن ثم إدارة الميناء سوف تسلم لشركة ستضمّ، الى جانب الشركات الأميركية والفرنسية، شركة موانئ دبي وشركة ZIM «الإسرائيلية» للنقل البحري، ومقرها حيفا والتي تأسست سنة ١٩٤٥.

خامساً: لكن ما يغيب عن بال هذا الوزير هو انّ سلاح حزب الله ليس سلعة للتبادل التجاري او لعقد الصفقات، بل إنّ هذا السلاح، هو جزء من السلاح الاستراتيجي لحلف المقاومة برمّته، كما انّ هذا السلاح قد انتصر على الجيش «الإسرائيلي» مرتين في لبنان، ويردع هذا الجيش عن الاعتداء على لبنان، وهو بالتالي ذخر استراتيجي لبناني. وهو ما ورد في الردّ الذي أشرنا اليه أعلاه.

من هنا فإن لا أحد في لبنان يستطيع، او لديه الاستعداد، للتحدث في هذا الموضوع، بعد أن عجزت واشنطن وتل ابيب عن تحقيق هذه الأهداف. بالإضافة الى انّ سلاح حزب الله لم يعد شأناً لبنانياً خالصاً وإنما هو شأن اقليمي ودولي، بعد أن أصبح حزب الله قوة اقليمية فاعلةً، على كلّ الاصعدة. وخاصةً على صعيد الوقوف في وجه مشاريع توطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (والسوريين ايضاً) في لبنان، وتهديد وجود الدولة اللبنانية، من خلال إنهاء خصوصيتها وإخضاعها للهيمنة الصهيو ـ أميركية الكاملة.

سادساً: ولكل هذه الأسباب نقول لهذا الوزير إنّ بضاعته المعروضة على لبنان فاسدةً ولن تجد من يشتريها، وان ظروف اتفاقية ١٧ أيار اللبنانية الاسرائيلية قد ولّت الى غير رجعة.

ولبنان «الإسرائيلي» في العام ١٩٨٣ لن يعود إلا اذا تحقق حلم ابليس في الجنة!

ولبنان ٢٠٢٢ قوة عظمى لن يتنازل عنه أهله الشرفاء بالتأكيد.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Hezbollah MP: Lebanon Has Left the “Israeli” Era and Will Not Return To It

Nov 30, 2021

Translated by Al-Ahed News

The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohamad Raad said, “We smell a coup against the Taif Agreement. This coup aims at reassuring the ‘Israeli’ enemy that the Lebanese people can’t face its aggression, so that it dictates its normalization and authoritarian policies and control even deciding the fate of our gas wealth in our territorial waters, as gas exploration is confined to certain companies of certain countries. Despite all this, we still talk about independence and sovereignty, but we are incapable of building one power facility that supplies Lebanon with power 24/7”.

Raad made the statement during the memorial ceremony held by Hezbollah on the 40th day on the passing of Martyr Muhammad Jamal Tamer.

He added, “Our national currency collapsed because it depends on foreign currency. Tomorrow, our policy will collapse because it also depends on foreign policies. If the Lebanese people want this, it’s up to them, but we are sacrificing our blood and souls to protect those who don’t know where there interest is in this period. Is it required that we commit suicide so that others are satisfied? We are keen to preserve the common living in this country; we want it to rule sovereignly and independently, and that its interests are in accordance with the aspirations, will, and national decision”.

“If anyone thinks that the equation has gone wrong and that the power balance became in the interest of the ‘Israeli’ axis and normalization and wants to turn against the Taif, we tell our people to pay attention to this miscalculation because Lebanon has gotten out of the ‘Israeli’ era and will not return to it; as all the methods of force that were used to twist the arm of the Resistance failed, and the sponsors of strife realized that the Resistance benefits from the national consensus on its role in Lebanon. So, let us not allow a faction of the Lebanese to undermine this consensus… The weapon of the Resistance has become on everyone’s lips, and media outlets have been bought in order to promote this issue,” Raad added.

Regarding the Tayouneh crime, Raad said, “What happened is not just a clash between the people of two areas, it’s rather a designed and planned aggression in order to cause a strife and to push people to fight among themselves and mess up the whole situation, so that the killer gives his credentials to the people who hired and pay him regionally or internationally”.

Raad concluded saying, “From now on and without wasting time and opportunities, let’s figure things out. Don’t let anybody drag you to a new civil war in order to impose on you a settlement with new balances of power, as long as people are open to each other and ready for dialogue, and as long as they appreciate their common interests and have no enemies but one enemy, which is still occupying our land”.

Judges protecting judges: why the Beirut blast investigation is a dud

October 28 2021

Can the Beirut blast’s lead investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, take on his negligent colleagues? Events so far suggest he won’t.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar refuses to prosecute his judiciary colleagues who signed to unload, store, then ignore the ammonium nitrates that devastated Beirut last August.

By Radwan Mortada

The Lebanese are split on the performance of Judge Tarek al-Bitar, the lead judicial investigator in the massive 4 August Port of Beirut explosion last year.

One side blindly trusts the man, believing Bitar will spearhead the fight against Lebanon’s existing corrupt political class and discover the identities of those responsible for the deadly port blast.

The other side views him as a foreign tool used to create sedition in Lebanon by targeting political figures critical of the US. The Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, was the first to draw suspicion to Bitar’s performance, whose arbitrary and biased allegations seemed to target only one side of the political divide.

Hezbollah’s charges have gradually escalated over the months. When Bitar first took on the blast investigation – the second judge to do so – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah urged him to publish the blast site’s technical report so it would quash unsubstantiated rumors about the group’s role in the explosion, or allegations that it stored ‘weapons’ at the Port of Beirut.

Bitar did not respond to Nasrallah’s request for transparency, however, and allowed political and media disinformation to go unchecked during a national crisis.

In one example of this, an alleged ‘witness’ named Imad Kashli appeared in a Lebanese media outlet claiming that he transported ammonium nitrate for Hezbollah from the Port of Beirut to a village in the south, in what was later discovered to be false testimony. Bitar failed to take any action against Kashli under the pretext that he was ‘sick,’ and media outlets never bothered to refute or retract the fabricated story.

Furthermore, Bitar’s political targets say the judge’s own allegations are not comprehensive, but deliberately selective. His interrogation roster focuses overwhelmingly on personalities belonging to one political affiliation, while unjustifiably excluding officials in the very same posts with opposite political views. Bitar has interrogated former Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander Jean Kawahji, for instance, while skipping over current LAF Commander Joseph Aoun, a Washington-favored army man.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Meets Army Commander General Joseph Aoun - U.S.  Embassy in Lebanon

Aoun cannot be bypassed or absolved of responsibility. The explosion happened on his watch, during his tenure. Bitar’s detractors rightly point out that the ultimate responsibility for the Beirut blast must focus on the Lebanese judiciary and the military. The former signed the papers that allowed in and continued to store tons of illegally-stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, and the latter has the final word on any explosives inside Lebanon’s legal boundaries.

The fact that Bitar has ruled out questioning the current army leadership, most of the judges, the Ministers of Justice and Defense, and the Justice Ministry’s cases commission from has raised eyebrows, obviously. Nasrallah did not mince his words when he stated, in a recent speech, that the greatest responsibility for the 2020 calamity rests with the judges who gave permission to unload vast amounts of ammonium nitrate explosives from a foreign ship seized by Lebanese authorities, and then gave permission to store these substances in dangerous conditions inside the Port of Beirut.

Bitar’s choices lead to armed confrontations

Leaked reports in the media and from within the corridors of Lebanon’s Judiciary, instead deflected blame onto cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), revealing that they would be arrested even before Bitar issued the summons. Furthermore, he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to fight, not avenge, the political class, which he did not deny in a press interview – thus, confirming the words attributed to him.

His behavior and the investigation’s bias has only reinforced suspicions against Bitar, who was expected, at the very least, to handle these processes and suspects impartially, and to display good faith by muzzling rumors and disinformation.

The judge’s questionable performance finally prompted supporters of Hezbollah, Marada, the Amal Movement, and members of professional organizations (lawyers, etc) to hold a protest in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice.

On 14 October, a peaceful demonstration by these groups was ambushed in Beirut’s Tayouneh neighborhood by far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party gunmen. Rooftop sniper fire quickly escalated into an armed clash that killed seven Hezbollah and Amal supporters and injured dozens of others.

The Black Record of Samir Geagea

The attack could have easily spiraled into a civil war had it not been for Nasrallah’s public calls for restraint, which gave space for an investigation by army intelligence, under the supervision of the judiciary, that this week summoned LF leader Samir Geagea for interrogation. That case continues.

Judiciary and military responsibility for the explosives

Why has Bitar overlooked the judicial and military responsibilities for the ammonium nitrates and its storage at the port for seven years? Why does he persist in focusing his investigation on cabinet ministers and parliamentarians mainly, despite the fact that the explosion was primarily a security and judicial failure?

If the army had carried out its function, entrusted exclusively to Lebanon’s military under the country’s Weapons and Ammunition Law, by supervising the nitrate storage, destruction, or re-export, the devastating explosion would have been averted.

Similarly, if judges had done their job, a legally binding – not a political one – decision would have ensured the destruction or immediate exportation of the explosive materials from Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut.

Despite the negligence of his judicial colleagues, Judge Bitar has been noticeably timid about addressing their liabilities in the lead-up to the explosion. The politicization of his investigation has all but buried the legal distribution of responsibility – the truth, so to speak – for the blast.

The judges who escaped Bitar’s ‘judgement’

Gassanoff on Twitter: "المجرم القاضي جاد المعلوف هو المسؤول عن انزال  النيترات لمصلحة من أمر بانزالها او بطلب من من؟ من هنا يبدأ التحقيق مع  المجرم جاد المعلوف .هذا هو الصندوق الاسود…
Judge Jad Maalouf

To this day, the ‘guardians of justice’ continue to remain unaccountable. But the names of seven judges and a state attorney suspected of negligence have been identified as those most liable for the judiciary’s failings: Judges Jad Maalouf and Carla Shawah from the Beirut Urgent Matters Court, Ministry of Justice Judges Marwan Karkabi and Helena Iskandar, head of the Beirut Executive Department Mirna Kallab, government commissioner at the Military Court Judge Peter Germanos, Appeals Court Attorney General Ghassan Khoury, and state attorney Omar Tarabah.

Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) had identified these judges in a report presented to Judge Bitar at the start of his investigation.

The judiciary’s responsibility in the blast has also been lost amid blanket local media focus on Lebanon’s political class since 17 October 2019, when a street ‘revolution’ arose in response to the country’s economic collapse. The prevailing trend in the country has been to lay all blame on the politicians and bankers who let this happen.

So there would be little fallout for Bitar if he took the easy path, focused on the easy ‘villains,’ and didn’t rock the boat with his judicial colleagues or Lebanon’s ‘neutral’ military establishment.

Bitar checked some boxes, but basically played softball with the judiciary.  As an example, he formally requested that the Cassation Court’s public prosecutor separately verify the negligence of Beirut Judges Maalouf and Shawah in order to charge them with the crime of probable intent, like the rest of the defendants in the case.

Although more than a year has passed since the blast investigation began, any action against the judges, or even checking their files or hearing their statements, has been delayed for months, although the role of one of them – Jad Maalouf – is critical.

Maalouf signed off on the decision to unload the ship’s ammonium nitrate cargo and appoint a judicial guard as the head of the port, Mohammad al-Mawla. After Mawla claimed that he did not hold the keys to the warehouse, Maalouf was supposed to appoint another judicial guard and establish a time period for guard duty, which did not happen. Bitar listened to the statements of Maalouf and Shawah as witnesses only, unlike others who he intends to prosecute. Why?

The file of the ammonium nitrate shipment had swung back and forth for years between the General Customs Directorate and Beirut Urgent Matters Judge Maalouf. Several letters were sent to the Director General of Customs Badri Daher to re-export the goods, but Judge Maalouf kept writing down the request and sending it to the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, which responded only once by approving the re-export.

Maalouf was assigned to transfer the ownership of the goods within a week, even though Article 13 of the UN’s Hamburg Convention permits the destruction of goods – and if they are hazardous, without transferring their ownership – without paying compensation to the owner. The Hamburg Convention, signed in 1978 and enforced in November 1992, is the UN’s ‘Hamburg Rules’ on cargo sea shipments that unified a legal system regulating the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers, and consignees under the contract of transport of goods by sea.

According to legal experts, Judge Maalouf should have ruled to destroy these highly dangerous materials based on both Article 13 of the Hamburg Convention as well as the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 579 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure; that is, without a request from anyone and regardless of the rights of their owners, who are not entitled to compensation for the destruction of hazardous goods.

Instead, four years were spent on issuing notifications, or requesting discussions on jurisdiction and the legality of selling or destroying the goods. If Judge Maalouf had taken the decision to destroy the ammonium nitrates immediately, Lebanon would have certainly avoided its destructive consequence last August.

The same reasoning applies to suspected Judge Shawah, who was referred to the prosecution with Maalouf, but judicial sources tell The Cradle that she has not received any document or review from anyone since she took over the ammonium nitrates case from Maalouf.

Judge Bitar has also asked the Appeals Court public prosecutor to verify the suspected negligence of Public Prosecutor Judge Khoury for authorizing the closing of the nitrates file. But Bitar did not do that for months, and until the day before, he believed that the Court of Cassation might recuse him based on the lawsuits submitted by the defendants and ministers accusing him of bias.

It appears that Bitar initially suspected Khoury of involvement in criminal activities that contributed to the death and injury of people and causing damage to public property as a result of the judge’s decision to shelve the State Security’s investigation report. Then, inexplicably, Judge Imad Qabalan, the Court of Cassation’s public prosecutor, decided those suspicions were unjustified and threw out Bitar’s inquiries by saying he considered “the report of the judicial investigator [Bitar] dated 24 September 2021 to be empty of any suspicions and does not prove fault in the job duties of Judge Khoury.”

The fourth and fifth judges, Helena Iskandar and Marwan Karkabi, who headed the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, are suspected of years of procrastinating before responding to the correspondence of the Director General of Customs and the Urgent Matters Judge. Although they received several letters, they responded only once by proposing to re-export the nitrates without following up on the case, which is one reason the ammonium nitrates remained in the heart of Beirut.

The sixth judge, Peter Germanos, was contacted by State Security investigators – when he was the government representative at the military court regarding the ammonium nitrate stores – to notify him about the high risk of these materials. But Germanos told them this case was not in the jurisdiction of the military prosecution because the Urgent Matters Judge had ruled to remove that material from Warehouse 12.

Although the issue is related to the Lebanese state’s national security and clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Army Intelligence, Germanos decided that it is not within the powers of the Military Public Prosecution. Why?

Judge Germanos has denied on Twitter that he received any reports or minutes on the ammonium nitrates from the State Security or any other agency. Here, Bitar’s investigation needs to discover which side is telling the truth, bearing in mind that most communications between the judicial police and public prosecutor were conducted orally, over the phone, until written investigation minutes are stamped and referred to the Public Prosecution.

The seventh judge – Mirna Kallab, head of the Executive Department in Beirut – following correspondence from the Justice Ministry’s cases commission on the sale of the nitrates, was tasked specifically with appointing an inspections expert. A dispute emerged from the start between the Ministry of Works and the cases commission over who should pay the expert’s fees, which did not exceed 700,000 (approximately $467) Lebanese pounds.

Here, state attorney Omar Tarabah’s name appears for procrastinating for more than a year over correspondence related to paying the expert’s fees to inspect the Rhusos, the ship which transported the ammonium nitrate to the Port of Beirut.

In a nutshell, it is believed that the reason for Bitar’s leniency in holding negligent judges accountable for the Beirut blast is due to the prevailing conviction among judges of the need to protect and provide their colleagues with immunity, lest they next become scapegoats for the political class who would also wish to protect their colleagues with immunity.

Bitar should have refused to cater to the judiciary and military establishments, and made a beeline for whomever he suspected of negligence, regardless of their affiliations. Having failed to do so, this investigation is now a bust. Unless Bitar changes course and takes on these two protected institutions, only scapegoats will be charged for Lebanon’s deadliest explosion in history.

Sayyed Nasrallah Declares 2nd Phase of Diesel Initiative, Urges Gov’t to Revisit Lifting Medical Subsidies

Nov 26, 2021

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech on Friday evening in which he tackled the latest local political developments, mainly announcing the beginning of the second phase of distributing diesel oil to the families for heat in Winter.

At the beginning of his speech, the Resistance leader congratulated all the Lebanese people on the Independence Day that was celebrated a few days ago, and wished that they can preserve their country’s sovereignty and independence, stressing that “There must come a day in which the annually renewable argument about the independence of Lebanon in 1943 would be settled.”

“Preserving the independence, unity and liberty of the country requires a continuous battle,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that it is the responsibility of all the Lebanese people to preserve their independence, even if it is a figurative one, and turn it into a real and true independence.

His Eminence hailed the many Lebanese people who resisted and believed in the different types of resistance until they reached the major victory in 1985 when the occupying forces withdrew from the capital Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Saida, and Rashayya, until the most prominent victory of 2000 when the ‘Israelis’ fled South Lebanon.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “When Lebanon is banned from benefiting from its resources, and when the US every day blatantly interferes in the judiciary, politics, security, and future parliamentary elections, then the country’s sovereignty is incomplete.”

As long as Lebanon is within the circle of the continued ‘Israeli’ threats, this means that we are in the middle of the battle for independence and sovereignty; the Hezbollah leader underscored, while also noting that “we’ve triumphed in many phases of this battle and we are quite sure that once we continue this path with determination and steadfastness then more victories are to come.”

“There will come a day when, through cooperation with all the faithful people, we will bring for our nation the unquestionable independence, sovereignty, and freedom.”

Moving to the escalating processes of normalization with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime, Sayyed Nasrallah lashed out at “the accelerating track of normalization many Arab countries are witnessing, the last of which was the shameful and blatant developments that took place in Morocco.”

As for blacklisting Hezbollah, His Eminence suggested that it might be either tied to the regional developments or the [upcoming] parliamentary elections.

Covid-19 in Lebanon

As he warned that the rise in the Coronavirus cases and virus-related deaths in Lebanon is critical, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis in Lebanon, Hezbollah has announced a plan that it implemented and succeeded in, and declared that the resistance movement decided to activate this plan with a 100% effectiveness.

He then urged the Ministry of Health to exert more efforts no matter what are the difficulties, voicing Hezbollah’s readiness to help in all fields.

Meanwhile, His Eminence made it clear that the political affiliation of the health minister is not an important issue as the country is in danger; adding that “as it happened with the previous one, Hezbollah sets all its capabilities at the disposal of the current Health Ministry.”

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese Prime Minister and all the concerned parties to revisit the recent decision about lifting the subsidies that were offered for some medicines.

“Lifting the subsidies on some drugs could not be justified by saying that the state doesn’t have enough cash for this; there are thousands who are exposed to the danger of death due to such uncalculated decisions,” His Eminence warned.

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah called on canceling certain ministries and budgets given the fact that there are thousands of people whose lives are in danger, and explained that this has nothing to do with political bids.

Lebanese Pound Crisis

In reference to the Lebanese currency’s steep crisis, Sayyed Nasrallah urged brave and daring action against the uncontainable prices of the Lebanese Pound against the US Dollar.

“We shouldn’t remain silent regarding the uncontainable price of the US Dollar and the state can make something, but what we need is a will, a decision, and shouldering the responsibility; the matter requires a brave and daring action,” the Hezbollah leader highlighted.

He then declared that Hezbollah decided to activate it institutions and medical centers to meet as much as possible the people’s need for those drugs.

Lebanese Judiciary

Regarding the judicial inspector, Sayyed Nasrallah remarked: “We found out that the concerned judicial parties are submitting to the politics and what happened in the past two days proves what we’ve been talking about over the past year.”

His Eminence then asked: “Is there today within the Lebanese judiciary a judge who dares to disqualify the judicial judge? There is one judge who tended to do this but was threatened in return.”

The Hezbollah leader noted that “what is taking place right now is that the members of the Lebanese judiciary establishment are defending each other; all data indicate that the judges concerned with the Beirut Port blast are within the circle of suspicions and accusation,” warning that the current judicial track of the Beirut Port blast won’t lead to the truth.

The Tayyouneh Incident

With respect to the Tayyouneh incident, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that the issue has been turned to the military judiciary, which, since the first days, has been subjected to huge pressure from religious and political parties.

“Some of the arrestees have been released and pressures are being made to release the other arrestees,” His Eminence said, blasting the religious and political pressures on the judiciary as insults for the martyrs, the wounded, their families, and the sides they are affiliated with, cautioning further that such pressures “might push the families of the victims to take revenge.”

“Adhering to the current track in the Tayyouneh incident is dangerous and may lead the nation to chaos,” His Eminence added.

Hezbollah’s Diesel Oil Initiative

In reference to the initiative Hezbollah has launched to bring in diesel oil from Iran, the party’s secretary general explained once again the reasons behind this move.

“In front of the lines in which people were humiliated being waiting in front of gas stations, the growth of the black market, and the lack of the material, we announced that once the situation remains the same, we will tend to buy gas and diesel oil from Iran to ease the crisis.”

However, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that although the material became available and the lines of humiliation vanished, Hezbollah didn’t abandon its promise and tends to ease the suffering of the people, yet it doesn’t seek to replace the oil companies but just to ease the crisis.

As part of the process, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that Hezbollah has to transport dozens of oil cisterns from Baniays to Baalbek, a distance that is equal to 250 kilometers, which if unloaded at the Zahrani or Tripoli refineries would have been way easier.

However, due to the US pressures on the Lebanese government Hezbollah brought the diesel oil via Syria despite the difficulties and repercussions, His Eminence outlined.

While declaring that the first stage of the project started in September and ended in November; Sayyed Nasrallah announced that the second stage will start within days. “Hezbollah directly delivered diesel oil to many municipalities, governmental institutions, hospitals, orphanages, and nursing homes, despite all the difficulties.”

Talking numbers, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that the amount of the donations delivered in the first phase hit near US $2,600,000.

“In a period of two months, Hezbollah offered diesel oil to 80 nursing homes and orphanages, 320 municipalities to operate water wells, 22 governmental hospitals, and 71 firefighting teams from the official Civil Defense service.”

The first phase of the diesel oil initiative costed Hezbollah US $7,750,000, Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that it has been ended with the aim to start preparing for the second phase.

The Hezbollah leader further admitted that the applied mechanism was somehow slow and complicated, saying this is normal as time is needed to make sure that the subsidized Iranian diesel oil will be handed to those who are worth it and not be used in the black market.

“We paid in the first phase of the diesel initiative ten million US dollars under the title of helping certain categories in Lebanon and easing their suffering,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, stressing that “The same categories that received donations in the first phase will receive the diesel oil in the second phase also.”

His Eminence then explained that all families residing in the villages and cities located at least 500 meters above the sea level are to take advantage from the second phase of the diesel oil initiative.

Sayyed Nasrallah also announced that Hezbollah will sell every diesel oil barrel to the families for one million Lebanese Pounds less than the official rate.

“According to Hezbollah’s statistics, hundreds of thousands of families will benefit from this project,” he also noted.

Meanwhile, the best way to distribute diesel oil will be through the municipalities which will be contacted to identify the numbers of the families they have and the needed amounts, then the Amana Company will deliver diesel oil to the stations selected by the municipalities, according to the mechanism clarified by Sayyed Nasrallah.

Additionally, another diesel oil ship will arrive within days, Sayyed Nasrallah announced, urging to complete the process of communicating with people quietly because the main goal is to ease their suffering.

While a big share of the required amount has been transferred to the Lebanese territories, there is another part which is being transferred from Syria.

Defaming Attempts

With respect to the attempts of defaming Hezbollah by faking documents that are allegedly referred to the resistance movement, Sayyed Nasrallah mocked those behind such actions as unprofessional and ridiculous.

“In the past weeks and months there has been a major attack targeting Hezbollah; this is not something new, but the new thing is the intensifying of this attack and the alleged documents.”

Sayyed Nasrallah described those fabricating such fake documents as unprofessional and non-Lebanese sides, noting that the content of the documents is very ridiculous.

“We regret that some sides deal with those fake documents with a high level of ridicule, ignorance, and pettiness. Those are operating based on the saying that you lie and lie and lie then people would believe you!” His Eminence added.

Slamming such attempts in a time of unjustness, defamation, and distortion of Hezbollah image, Sayyed Nasrallah advised those who believe such lies to at least examine what they are being told about the resistance movement.

At the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah labeled the act of firing some Lebanese people who work in the Gulf states as and dishonorable, inhumane, and unethical measure.

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Crimes without Punishment – Ever

November 25, 2021

A protest against US military aid to Israel. (Photo: File)
– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. 

What a chamber of horrors the third millennium has been so far in the Middle East, without even a quarter of it having passed.  Iraq, Syria and Yemen on a scale unimaginable even at the high point of imperialism in the 19th century. An estimated 300 children under five dying every day in Yemen from malnutrition, Palestinians shot dead in their occupied country every day, Lebanon and Syria slowly strangled by US sanctions, Iran threatened with military destruction and the revelation of yet another massacre by the US, in Syria, where “about” 70 women and children were killed at Baghuz by bombs dropped one after the other to make sure that no-one escaped.

There is no suggestion that anyone should be punished for yet another ‘mistake.’  This is where thousands of years of drawing up covenants to make the world a safer place have ended up:  back where we started,  the law of the jungle.

This is what the guardians of ‘western civilization’ have given to the world just in the past three decades:

Two wars on Iraq, the ‘cradle of civilization’ shattered by the cradle of a violent hamburger junk culture, millions killed or displaced. Libya, the most developed country in Africa, pulled up by its roots, uncounted thousands killed, the leader of its 1969 revolution slaughtered as Hillary Clinton cackled with glee like one of the witches around the cauldron in  Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Syria torn to pieces, ancient cities and markets destroyed, and half a million killed. In Yemen, more than 230,000 dead, with 43 percent of prematurely born babies dying because of the lack of medical equipment and a genocidal famine – 75 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition –  continuing even as fresh supplies of weaponry are dropped off in the Saudi kingdom by the US and Britain. Iran,  Syria and Lebanon targeted with economic sanctions: in occupied Palestine, in Syria and in Iran the Zionist state continues its murderous march through history.

Not one of the global criminals responsible for these massive crimes against humanity has been punished.  They play golf or roam the world picking up millions for their speaking engagements and their ‘philanthropic’ foundations. Not one word of contrition or remorse has been spoken by any of them for the lives they have ended or ruined. Not even the death of children has forced admission of guilt out of them.  Others have been punished for lesser crimes but not this gang. They are completely remorseless.

Imagine the reaction if these crimes were committed in Europe and white people were being slaughtered or driven out of their homes, out of their countries and drowning in their thousands as they tried to escape across the seas.

Well, between 1939-45 it did happen and those responsible were hanged at Nuremberg. We have no Nuremberg now but we do have an International Criminal Court (ICC) which does punish the architects of war crimes and crimes against humanity – as long as their skin is the right color. With the exception of pale-skinned Balkan Serbs charged after the breakup of Yugoslavia, all those hauled before the ICC have been brown or black.

The tsunami of death and destruction which began rolling across the region when Napoleon landed in Egypt in 1798 shows no sign of receding.  Almost no country from the Atlantic coast of West Africa down to the Arab Gulf has avoided being swamped by it and many have been swamped several times.

The prime beneficiary of all of the above in the past century has been the settler state implanted in Palestine after 1918. Israel is the heart and soul of US foreign policy. Indeed, US foreign policy is no more than the Stars and Stripes draped over the interests of the Zionist state.

Take Iran as an example. After the death of Ayatullah Khumayni, Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami sought to repair relations with the US. They offered investment concessions, diplomatic rapprochement and a political pathway into a region of critical interest, central Asia. Iranian society is conservative and God-fearing, rather like the US itself, but as long as Rafsanjani and Khatami refused to drop Iran’s righteous defense of the Palestinians, nothing else counted. Even in the ‘moderate’ Khatami’s time, economic sanctions were tightened, paving the way for the election of the ‘hardliner,’ Mahmud Ahmedinejad.

The attempted strangulation of Iran and Syria through war, assassination and sanctions necessarily involves Lebanon, Hezbollah’s home base.  Since the 1980s Hezbollah has successfully fought off all attempts by Israel – backed to the hilt by the US of course –  to destroy it.  Far from being weakened, Hezbollah has gone from strength to strength, militarily and as a Lebanese political party. The lesson learned by the US and Israel is just that they have to try harder,  to tear Lebanon apart if that is what it takes to destroy Hezbollah.

The latest provocation through Israel’s agents took place in Beirut on October 14, in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Chiyah, bordering predominantly Maronite Christian Ain Rummaneh, where the ‘bus massacre’ of 27 Palestinians on April 13, 1975, was the trigger pulled to start the civil war.

This time snipers positioned on rooftops shot at Amal and Hezbollah supporters as they moved towards the Palace of Justice in Al Tayouneh to hold a vigil calling for the removal of Tariq al Bitar as the judge appointed to investigate the Beirut port explosion on August 5, 2020, on the grounds that he is running a heavily politicized inquiry heading towards a preordained conclusion, that this was a crime committed by Hezbollah.

Holding Hezbollah or Syria responsible for the crimes they have not committed was first tried after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. Initially, four ‘pro-Syrian’ generals were imprisoned for four years before an international tribunal took over the prosecution and released them for lack of evidence. It immediately pointed the finger at Hezbollah, eventually finding one person, Salim Ayyash, guilty of “involvement” on the sole basis of tapped phone calls made through communications networks known to have been completely penetrated and manipulated by the Zionist state.

The tribunal cleared Hezbollah’s leadership. What this actually means is that if the leadership did not order the assassination, no senior figure in the movement would have carried it out.   Nasrallah and Hariri had differences but a good working relationship and it is virtually unthinkable that Nasrallah would ever have sanctioned such a heinous act.

The only beneficiaries of this monstrous act were the US, Israel and their agents in Lebanon.  Syria was embarrassed internationally and had to withdraw its remaining forces from the Bika’a valley. Lebanon was thrown into the chaos that gave birth to the rise of the anti-Syrian/pro-Saudi, US and Israel March 14 alliance.

Hezbollah produced intercepted reconnaissance footage showing that Israel had been tracking Hariri with drones wherever he went for years and was flying an AWACS plane and another reconnaissance aircraft over Beirut at the precise time of the assassination.  One of its agents had been located at the scene of the killing only the day before.   None of this circumstantial evidence was ever followed up by the tribunal.    Israel and the US have shed buckets of blood in Lebanon over many decades, have between them committed the most atrocious crimes, but the tribunal never even considered them as suspects.

The snipers waiting on the top of apartment buildings in Tayouneh on October 14 killed seven people, one a woman shot dead in her own home. Not just on rooftops, however, but on the ground, the demonstrators were surrounded by militiamen waiting to ambush them with guns, knives and even rocks.   Despite denials by Samir Geagea (Ja’ja), the head of the fascist/sectarian Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), the armed men were clearly LF and acting on his orders.   Of the 19 arrested, several quickly implicated him.

Geagea is one of the most murderous individuals in Lebanese history, which says a lot given the bloody track record of many others. During the civil war (1976-1989) he killed rivals within his own Maronite Christian ranks as well as Palestinians and other enemies outside them.  In 1994 he was sentenced to four life sentences for the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rashid Karameh (1987), National Liberal Party leader Dany Chamoun (1990), Falangist (Kata’ib) head Elias al Zayek (1990) and the attempted assassination of Defence Minister Michel Murr (1991).  In 1978 he and Elie Hobeika, at the behest of Bashir Gemayel, then head of the Falangists, led 1200 men in an attack on the north Lebanon family home of Tony Frangieh, leader of the Maronite Marada (Giants) faction.  Geagea was wounded and had to be taken away before Frangieh, his wife and three-year-old daughter were killed.

In the 1990 attack, Dany Chamoun’s wife and two of his sons were also killed.   If there is any poetic justice in any of this shedding of blood – including entirely innocent blood – it lies in the 1982 assassination of Bashir Gemayel and the car bombing murder in 2002 of Elie Hobeika, Israel’s leading henchman in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982.

Geagea himself served eleven years of four life sentences before being released under amnesty after the assassination of Hariri and allowed to take up the leadership of the LF. His brutality is a powerful weapon in the hands of Israel and the US, whose ambassador, Dorothy Shea, has been open in her interference in Lebanese politics.

US economic sanctions against Lebanon have one primary target, Hezbollah; one secondary target, Syria; and one-third target, Iran. How many Christians die defending ‘Christian Lebanon’ is not an issue for the US and Israel any more than the number of Muslims who die fighting them.  All they want is the chaos that will further their ambitions.  They tore Lebanon apart before and they will do it again, mercilessly, ruthlessly, callously, without a care for the innocent blood of thousands that will be shed.

Whatever cause Samir Geagea thinks he is serving, the piecemeal destruction of Lebanon, indeed of the entire Middle East, is primarily about the protection of Israel.  However, Israel is not as safe as it used to be or it might think it still is. It is confronted by enemies who have not backed off one meter from the struggle to liberate Palestine.  Israel has tried hard to destroy them. Up to now, it has failed, so it is getting ready to try again. While planning/contingency planning is a constant, Israel now appears to be actively preparing for a massive military strike that would target  Iran’s nuclear plants and missile capacity.

In September the Zionist chief of staff, Avi Kohavi, said plans for such a strike had been “greatly accelerated.” The military has been given an additional $1.5 billion to buy aircraft, drones and ‘bunker buster’ bombs that would probably include the USAF’s new 5000 lb. (2,267 kg.) GRU-72 Advanced 5k Penetrator, which would be aimed at Iran’s underground nuclear installations. Anticipating a simultaneous war with Hezbollah, Israel has also been carrying out extensive military exercises in northern occupied Palestine, coordinated with all emergency civil services to deal with an expected crisis on the domestic front once the missiles start falling. Israel is clearly planning for a big war, and can be expected to throw everything into this attempt to crush its principal enemies once and for all.

Unlike the white settlers in South Africa, the Zionist leadership sees no writing on the wall, no indications that history is not on their side even as it builds up against them.  No more than Netanyahu does Naftali Bennett have any intention of giving anything back to the Palestinians except the smallest fragments of municipal responsibility. Like Netanyahu, he sees no need to negotiate, no need to give anything away.  Why would he, when in the last resort Israel even has nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies? This is the question to which there can be no answer until the day comes when Israel faces the reality that even its conventional weapons are not sufficient to destroy its enemies.

All appearances to the contrary, unlimited US economic and military support has been a curse for Israel. It has created the illusion of power. Israel is like a plant with shallow roots. Only as long as the US keeps watering it, can the plant thrive. There is no permanent, unbreakable bond between states and all appearances to the contrary, there never will be between Israel and the US. Slowly, Americans are waking up and Israel’s incessant pleading is already beginning to fall on deaf ears, as the public becomes more aware of Israel’s criminality and as congressmen and women (mainly women) are emboldened to speak out. The time may come when the US can no longer afford Israel. The time may come when public opinion has changed to allow a US government to treat Israel as it treats other states.

US economic and military aid has had the same effect on Israel as steroids have on a bodybuilder. The 97-lb weakling is now the neighborhood bully swaggering down the street with pumped-up muscles. He smacks people around or they run in fright but Hezbollah and Iran are not running. They are standing firm and preparing to defend themselves. In any case, in the next war, Israel will take damage it has never experienced before, to the point where so many Jewish Israelis will just want to get out that Israel as a Zionist state is likely to crumble from within and die of its own contradictions.  Is this what it is going to take for peace to become possible?

Resistance Forces In The ME Stronger Than Ever, But Not If You Read Western-Gulf Media

24 Nov, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

The media establishment controlled by Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Western corporate elites is attempting to mislead supporters of the regional resistance and make them turn on the groups they currently support.

As the regional ‘Axis of Resistance’ to Western hegemony in the Middle East advances on multiple fronts, a desperate attempt is being made by Western and Arab reactionary regime media outlets, to portray the alliance, led by Iran, as being on its last legs.

Iran currently leads a successful alliance of forces, including; Ansarallah in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the PMU in Iraq, among many others. Although Washington puts on that its primary concern about the Islamic Republic of Iran is its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, its regional alliance is what truly bothers policymakers in the US beyond all other considerations. This regional alliance, dubbed the ‘Axis of Resistance’, is what makes Iran an impossible target for war and all attempts to weaken its cross-border presence have been tried and so far failed. 

The latest in attempts to dislodge Iran from its allies is in fact coming in the form of media psyops, designed to inflame local tensions in places like Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. In Iraq, as a clear example of such attempts to stir division is the narrative that is pushed by Western, Persian Gulf regime media, that seeks to paint Iraq as shifting away from groups allied with Tehran.

One of the biggest challenges to the US, preventing it from reigning supreme over Iraq, is the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU). After becoming the Iraqi ground force to rid the country of Daesh and Al-Qaeda terrorists, the PMU gained huge credibility for its efforts and later began to focus its attention on expelling the US from their country, especially in the wake of the 2020 drone strikes which killed leading PMU commanders such as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani. A vote in the Iraqi parliament that year did in fact conclude that the US be ordered out by the government in Baghdad.

Whilst the Iraqi parliament once had a large presence of the PMU-aligned Fateh bloc, who were democratically elected by the Iraqi people, this October saw a dramatic decrease in the seats won by the Fateh Alliance; from 48 seats in 2018 to 16 seats in the recent election. This was instantly pounced upon by Western media and their allied media outlets in the Middle East. The election was called to be fraudulent by the likes of Kataeb Hezbollah and Asaeb Ahl Al-Haq, with claims being widely made of UAE interference in the democratic process. 

But for the sake of argument, let’s put aside the claims of the PMU – about election rigging – and just look at what the results actually show. The Western and Arab reactionary regimes media-machine are using the dramatic drop in seats to corroborate their claims that Iraqis are shifting politically and are turning on the PMU. On the surface, 16 seats out of a 329-member parliament seem pretty damning, especially when the leading Sadrist movement won 74 seats. However, instead of delving deeper into this issue, the media of the empire stop there, because when you look at the popular votes, their narrative begins to look rather ridiculous. So, yes the PMU lost a large number of seats, but when we compare their popular vote count to that of the leading party, headed by Moqtada al-Sadr, these claims of a massive drop in support for the PMU are debunked entirely. The PMU aligned parties of the Fateh alliance won a total of 470,000 votes, meaning that they actually won the popular vote over the Sadrists who received 450,000 votes. The reason why the seats were lost was not due to a lack of support, in fact, they are the most popular in parliament, instead, it came down to the amendments made to the electoral system in Iraq. 

Additionally PMU ally, Nouri al-Maliki, won an astounding victory, this is to go along with other parties who are favorable to the PMU also winning seats. So the narrative that Iran and its allies are losing in Iraq is just a lie.

Then came the attempted assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, earlier this month. Instantly, media outlets belonging to Saudi Arabia, such as al-Hadath, and other media groups operating out of the United Arab Emirates, reported in a way which would make it seem like the PMU were responsible. Although Kataeb Hezbollah and Asaeb Ahl Al-Haq have been widely blamed for the assassination attempt, using three drones to do so, they themselves have denied it and pointed to irregularities indicating an American role in the attack. Most notably, the PM’s residence is based in Baghdad’s US Embassy ‘Greenzone’, which is protected by C-RAM air defense systems and has a relatively effective siren system. It wasn’t until explosions were heard, resulting from the drone attack, that the sirens went into effect and the C-RAM systems were never used to confront the threat.

With the assassination attempt, coupled with the loss of seats for the Fateh Alliance, a stream of stories ranging from Al-Arabiya, to Politico and the Telegraph, began producing pieces on Iran’s alleged weighing influence in Iraq and the fall of support for the PMU. But as we established above, the election example is completely invalid and in the case of the PMU being accused of attempting to assassinate PM Kadhimi, there is no proof. So ultimately there is no proof whatsoever of their claims.

If we then turn to Yemen, the Ansarallah movement is rapidly gaining ground in the northern, resource-rich, Marib area. The advance of the Yemeni resistance against the Saudi-backed forces of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has been steady, despite deadly airstrikes from the Saudi coalition. But if you turn to Western media and the media establishment in Saudi Arabia or the UAE, you would be made to believe that Ansarallah isn’t gaining territory at all.

Furthermore, if we take the example of Hezbollah inside of Lebanon, after the mass shooting of unarmed demonstrators by the Lebanese Forces, resulting in the deaths of 7 innocents in mid-October, the group could have easily been dragged into civil war. The situation could have been very different, but Hezbollah kept the peace and despite the severe economic crisis in Lebanon, the resistance group has not buckled under the pressure. Instead of reacting irrationally, Hezbollah has provided co-ops for the Lebanese people and has brought in fuel, whilst making it very clear to the groups’ enemies that they are ready to defend themselves. 

After liberating most of southern Lebanon from the Zionist army in 2000, later defeating the occupation’s military in 2006, Hezbollah has only grown in its strength and according to its Secretary-General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, now possesses a military structure of over 100,000 fully trained and armed men.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Regimes have recently attempted to squeeze Lebanon, by cutting off diplomatic ties and trade, over a comment made by Lebanon’s Minister of Information, George Kordahi, prior to him assuming office. With this, Gulf Regimes have used their media to coordinate a dis-information war against Hezbollah, after failing all other attempts to weaken it domestically.

Saudi Arabia’s broadcaster al-Hadath, owned by al-Arabiya, has also been producing outrageous propaganda, claiming that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has kicked out the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander, Javad Ghaffari, for so-called violations of Syrian sovereignty, in order to sow division between supporters of the two-sides. Yet, Javad Ghaffari was rotated weeks prior to the claims of Saudi media and it was said to have been an Iranian decision. 

In all, the media establishment controlled by Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Western corporate elites is attempting to mislead supporters of the regional resistance and make them turn on the groups they currently support. This is simply a last-ditch attempt to attack the Axis of Resistance after a long-term failed campaign, which has only damaged the civilian populations residing in the countries of the resistance, whereas the parties and armed groups maintain their power. 

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

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Nov 20, 2021

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Tranlstaed by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

The political segment from the speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the festival held by the party marking the Prophet’s birthday and the Islamic Unity Week at the Ashura courtyard in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

1- Palestine:

The first file we will be talking about which is our priority as followers of the Messenger of God is Palestine, the point of consensus in this ummah. There is no disagreement about this. The Shiites, the Sunnis, and other Muslims are united on this file.

Here, we repeat and remind you of the responsibility. There are oppressed people in Palestine that are suffering from a siege and a suffocating livelihood crises and from very pressing humanitarian issues, including that of the detainees and their families, for example, and that of the displaced inside and outside the country – because there are displaced inside Palestine and outside. There is an occupied land and sanctities that have been violated – Islamic and Christian sanctities. No free person, not just a Muslim, any reasonable human being with feelings and instinct cannot say that this isn’t their concern. Let alone if this person is a Muslim. He cannot say that he is not concerned about this. We in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen, and everywhere are concerned.

There are new theories that say that each person should be concerned with his country only. However, this is not a validation for interfering in the internal affairs of others. This is an occupied land whose people are persecuted and oppressed and their sanctities violated. To make matters worse, the enemy poses a threat to all neighboring countries, people in the region, and the nation. So, we must not say, for example, that this is not our concern and that we are neutral. The values that the Messenger of God called for say that we must bear a responsibility towards Palestine – if you cannot fight, you can spend money. Today the resistance in Palestine needs money – the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in their land in light of the stifling living crises, the unemployment crisis, the siege, and the crisis of temptations to buy land, which unfortunately are now assisted by merchants from Arab countries who deceive people. Those who have money should give. It is not mustahab.

This is part of the battle. If you do not have [the ability to support with] money, weapons, or taking part in fighting, you can have a position – show your support and do not turn your back as a result of flimsy pretexts, as is happening now in much of the Arab world. They abandoned Palestine and the Palestinian people. They began looking for the “Israelis’” right to the land of Palestine and talk about the “Israeli” society as an oasis of peace, etc. This is very unfortunate and very sad. Can you take a position? Your duty is to take a stand at a time when there is television and radio. However, today there is social media. Everyone has radio or television set. This is an influential matter. No one is saying that this is ineffective, but silence toward what is happening in Palestine is not right. We can never be silent. If you cannot speak out in a certain country, then do it in your heart – hate this enemy and to deny this occupation, this aggression, this injustice, and this violation.

Today, brothers and sisters, America and some Arab regimes want to destroy and eliminate this hatred and denial in the heart by our Arab and Islamic people, which is the weakest of faith, through normalization – we must love “Israel”, not only to recognize it but also to embrace it and love it, organize poetry for it and recognize its rights. Is this not what is happening today in some countries in our Arab and Islamic world. That is also why today this is one of the most important battles that must be fought. All of us can fight it, even as an individual, who does not belong to a party, movement, organization, group, current, faction, etc.

Each one alone can fight this battle in the face of normalization by boycotting and expressing positions or opinions. Let us take Bahrain, for example. Bahraini scholars issued statements of condemnation regarding what the Bahraini authority is doing with the “Israeli” enemy, in terms of relations, normalization, and opening embassies. They wrote their names in it even though they may be threatened with arrest and persecution. They did that anyways. A few days ago, we saw Bahraini youths taking to the street to denounce the visit of the enemy’s foreign minister and the opening of an “Israeli” embassy in Manama. They were suppressed, beaten, and arrested. They know the conditions of the detainees and the torture they are subjected to.

Despite their suffering, the Yemenis insist on supporting Palestine. They demonstrate and donate money for it. They declare their readiness even before the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday – the leader of Ansarullah declares his readiness once again to be part of the regional equation that protects Al-Quds and the holy sites in Palestine. This is an expression of commitment to duty and responsibility. This is the prophetic spirit. This is belonging to the Messenger of God.

We also find this in many countries in the Arab and Islamic world. A conference for normalization that was held in Erbil was meant to feel the pulse and was the beginning. If people were silent about it, normalization in Iraq would have passed. But the Sunni and Shiite religious authorities, Shiite and Sunni scholars, and the rest of the sects, political parties, resistance factions, clans, and tribes from the south to Anbar took a sharp, decisive, and harsh stance. The official and judicial position was also excellent. They cut off sedition from the start, and this was meant to feel the pulse. If the Erbil conference had passed without official, popular, scholarly, and religious reactions, other conferences would have followed. But now, the issue is different. Therefore, this battle must also be fought – for people to bear the consequences of standing by Palestine as the Islamic Republic in Iran, Syria, and others are bearing. This is one of the duties, one of the simplest duties that we must accept and coexist with. This is one file.

2- Yemen:

Also, it is our responsibility to talk about another file in a few words. I will mention all the files in a couple of words. The Yemen file.

From the beginning, we made a position. We said that these people are oppressed and assaulted. It’s been seven years since this aggression. The criminal or the wrongdoer in the Arab and Islamic world are those who stand by these oppressed people and condemn the aggression. Therefore, we are the ones who are wrong, and the actions of others are right. Therefore, we must be held accountable for this wrongdoing. This is absolutely not right. Isn’t this the responsibility of the Islamic peoples, Muslim scholars, Islamic movements, the Islamic nation, and indeed all the free people of the world in the face of this bloody war that has been going on for seven years?

The Security Council and the international community are talking about the will of the people. A few days ago, in the Yemeni capitals, major cities, and governorates that are with Ansarullah and with the Sana’a government, we saw huge demonstrations of millions, hundreds of thousands – describe them the way you wish – regardless of them celebrating the Prophet’s birthday. These people were expressing popular will and a popular position. Shouldn’t this popular will be respected? Who are concerned about the Yemeni people? These are the Yemeni people, who attended the demonstration in their millions in some cities and in the hundreds of thousands in others under the banner of this leader and this jihadi faith movement. Shouldn’t the will of these people be respected?

Thus, instead of condemning the victim, the world and the UN Security Council must work to put pressure on the powers, on America, on Saudi Arabia, and on the others – the forces that are continuing to wage the war and aggression? On the other hand, those who are saying that these brothers do not want to stop the war are wrong. They really want to stop the war, meaning a cease-fire and the lifting of the siege. However, a cease-fire and the continuation of a siege means the continuation of the war. Here, at the very least, we must have sympathy in our hearts and condemning this crime that has been going on for seven years are also among our duties.

3- Daesh:

The third file is Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and what it brought upon the nation, Muslims and non-Muslims, humanity, and the Messenger of God, his religion, and his name. Unfortunately, all the atrocities it commits are under a banner that has the seal of the Prophet on it – “Muhammad is the Messenger of God”.

People are killed and slaughtered with knives, massacres are committed, and worshipers – men, women, and children – are killed in mosques and churches in suicide operations. However, many in this world remain silent. The Americans say we created Daesh. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this.

The Americans say that they are using Daesh to tear apart Muslims, to destroy armies and countries, and to destroy and tear apart peoples. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this talk. This is being said by the Americans and in previous and current post on a daily basis. One of the most imperative duties today in defending the Messenger of God, Muhammad, and his name is for Muslims, Muslim scholars and elites, Islamic movements, and, first and foremost, the general public to stand in the face of this brutal, terrorist, and murderous group, which is portraying the worst image of Islam and its Prophet since the Messenger of God was sent.

There has not been a monstrous and offensive model like this since the first days of Islam. This is also a responsibility – we cannot do anything for the people who are being killed in mosques. Today, thank God, it seems that we have come to a good end. However, last Friday in Kunduz during Friday prayer and the second Friday in Kandahar. Today, it seems good precautionary measures were taken. They send two or three suicide bombers to a mosque filled with hundreds of worshipers. What kind of mind is this? What kind of brutality is this? Then, you find people who are silent. They don’t even issue a condemnation. This is a strange and contradicts the spirit of Islam and belonging to this Messenger.

4- Islamic Unity:

Before I tackle some of the points concerning Lebanon, I will talk about the last file which is the Islamic unity file. We say the Islamic Unity Week. Of course, this file has been in the works since the victory of the Islamic revolution. Before the Islamic revolution, religious authorities and major religious centers in the Muslim world – Shiite and Sunnis – have been working on it. Following the victory of the Islamic revolution, a distinctive interest in it arose. When talking about Islamic unity, neither Imam Khomeini, nor His Eminence Imam Khamenei, nor any of the Sunni and Shiite scholars and elites meant by it is unity to merger, unity to cancel, unity to melt – call it whatever you want. No. The Sunnis have their own doctrines and understanding, so do the Shiites, etc.

There is no problem with this topic. There are also other Islamic groups. What is meant here is cooperation, closeness, collaboration, support, and integration between Muslims on the basis of {And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience.} It also means avoid fighting, conflict, and negativity – {and do not dispute, lest you falter.} This is the intended meaning [of Islamic unity]. The whole point is this realistic idea because there will always be people – who have been arguing for forty years – who will argue that this [Islamic unity] slogan is unrealistic, an imaginary and philosophical talk, and talk that has no ground. Yes, if merger, and solubility is the intention, then this is true. Otherwise, it is hypothetical and imaginary talk.

But this was never the intention – for the Shiites to become Sunnis or the Sunnis become Shiite. Rather, all the great things Muslims have in common must all meet. Hence, they must cooperate, advise each other, and be like one body, but each having his own personality. This idea should be reorganized and work to achieve. Of course, in all the squares where they converged and cooperated, they triumphed. Through this closeness and cooperation, the resistance in Lebanon achieved victory. The resistance in Palestine triumphs when it unites inside and outside Palestine with the rest of the resistance as it is happening now. Today, the resistance that includes Sunnis and Shiites is a main force for resistance in Palestine. Similarly, when the Sunnis and Shiites fought shoulder to shoulder some of these groups, including a Daesh, they were able to achieve victory in more than one Arab and Islamic country.

When we cooperate, we triumph. When we fight, we fail. Our enemy who wants to dominate the region and control it and continue to occupy Palestine wants us to always be fighting each other. It wants to convert any political problem into a sectarian one. It wants to exploit any personal dispute and light it up to ignite a big sedition.

This is a great responsibility. Today, one of the Muslims’ greatest responsibilities, including their scholars, leaders, elites, and seniors, is to prevent any action that could lead to sedition, to rupture, to separation despite all the enemies’ conspiracies and all the existing ignorance and hatred. And let us be frank. Among the Shiites in the Arab and Islamic world, there are those who do not accept this idea and project and do not support it. They work to sabotage it. Some do so as a result of certain convictions, while others do so as a result of the American and British intelligence penetration into the Shiite community. Same goes to the Sunni community. Today, the Americans are toying with us Muslims, and the British, who have historical experience in this matter, are toying with us Muslims.  Today, everything that brings you closer is an obligation, and everything that drives you apart is forbidden, and we must work to avoid it.

I will talk about the Lebanese files in a few words quickly.

1- The Tayouneh incident and the massacre that was committed:

On Monday, I spoke about it in some length. I will stick to what I said on Monday and assure everyone that we are all following up on the investigation. According to my data, it is a serious and accurate investigation that follows up on the details. It is also a brave investigation, and we should wait for things to come to an end. The political, popular, and media condemnation of the perpetrators, killers, and those who nearly dragged the country into strife, internal fighting, and civil war must also continue. The data does not justify them at all even though they are trying to say no, it is not. In any case, the investigation will reveal this topic. We once again commend and show our respect and appreciation to the awareness, patience, insight, and wisdom of the families of the oppressed martyrs of the Amal movement and Hezbollah. The families of these beloved and oppressed martyrs will, God willing, continue with this position, and together we will follow up on this file until its conclusion.

2- The demarcation of the maritime borders and the issue of the economic zone and the disputed area:

Regarding Hezbollah, since this issue has been raised in the country again, we said: We do not want to interfere in this matter. We will not express an opinion or a position related to the demarcation of the border – do we support Line 23? Do we support Line 29? Do we accept anything under Line 29? Do we accept below Line 23? We have declared on more than one occasion that we do not want to interfere in this matter. This is left to the state, and the state should take a stand and make up its mind. But what I want to talk about tonight is related to what the “Israeli” enemy has done recently –we heard from the media that it assigned one oil exploration company to start drilling for oil in the disputed area. We waited until we saw what position would be taken. Of course, we are continuing to collect information to verify these data. But I want to say tonight, clearly and frankly, is that when I spoke about the resistance’s ability, numbers, and capabilities, I said on Monday that the resistance’s capabilities are intended to defend Lebanon and protect Lebanon’s wealth, oil, gas, land, and waters from “Israeli” greed.

If the enemy believes that it can act as it wants in the disputed area before resolving this conflict, it is mistaken. I will not issue a position now not to complicate the existing negotiations, but I will definitely say that the resistance in Lebanon by following up on this file. When it finds that Lebanon’s oil and gas, even in the disputed region, are in danger, it will act accordingly at the right time and at the right moment. It is able to do so.

3- The IMF negotiations:

We have no problem with the negotiations. We hope that Lebanon will have a real unified delegation, not a bilateral, tripartite, or quartet delegation. They should act as a single Lebanese delegation to unify the numbers, the vision, and what is accepted and rejected. Secondly, Lebanon should negotiate from a position of responsibility and concern for the national interest and not from a position of surrendering and accepting dictates, some of which may not fit Lebanon’s circumstances, interests, people, and the harsh living conditions in the country.

4- Livelihood following the rise of petrol prices in particular in the past few days and its impact on employees, teachers, schools, factories, work, transportation, etc.:

So today you and I are appealing to the Lebanese government to go back to subsidizing fuel. This is talk futile, and no one will listen because the intention was for us to reach this point. They tortured people and brought them to this point. Secondly, they will tell us that we do not have money in the central bank. Thirdly, this is one of the conditions of the IMF that they want to follow – it is not possible to do anything. Yes, something can be done, of course, under the title of alleviating suffering:

1- Reminding them to launch the cash card as soon as possible. Basically, their idea was that the subsidies would be lifted as the cash cards are introduced. But subsidies have been lifted and there is no cash cards yet.

2- Activating the cash card

3- Agreeing to the demands of the employees in raising the transportation allowance so that their salary can at least get them to work and they’d have some left for food.

4- This is the most important – the revival of public transportation. It can be activated within a few weeks if there is serious follow-up. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport can shoulder this responsibility. It needs protection from the prime minister, the government, and the president of the republic. There is also a loan from the World Bank that has been frozen for a long period of time. This loan can be activated. This project can be activated and will help alleviate the suffering of people to a reasonable extent.

It is therefore not right for the state, government, and ministries concerned to say that there is no more money and that the IMF will not accept with us just to keep the tragedy going on.

We estimate that we can do a set of steps that can help relieve suffering. In all cases regarding this file, I would like to remind the rich that even those who pay Zakat from their money are responsible for people who are suffering under the poverty line. We remind traders to fear God when dealing with people – let them not monopolize, raise prices, and are looking for huge profits. We remind everyone to bear responsibility and cooperate, and that there are options that only need will, decision, and resolution from officials and the people.

In conclusion, I once again congratulate you on these occasions and venerable and great days. We, the resistance, will continue jihad and hard work and will heed to the appeal of God and His Messenger to liberate the land and sanctities as well as shoulder the responsibilities of this nation. Regarding the internal situation, we will continue to be patient and endure. We will continue to follow up wisely to prevent any internal fighting and maintain internal and domestic peace, coexistence, and cooperation to take our country out of all its crises, difficulties, and hardship.

Many happy return. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’Israel’ Lives Existential Threat, Saudis Seek to Fight Hezbollah and Drag Lebanon into Civil War

Nov 11, 2021

By Al-Ahed news

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’Israel’ Lives Existential Threat, Saudis Seek to Fight Hezbollah and Drag Lebanon into Civil War

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Thursday a speech in which he tackled various internal and regional files.

Addressing thousands of Resistance people comemmorating Hezbollah Martyr’s Day, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that “We are commemorating the biggest operation in the Resistance’s confrontation with the Zionist entity, the start of the self-sacrifying martyrs’ era.”

On the occassion, His Eminence explained that “Hezbollah chose this great and blessed day in the history of the  Lebanese resistance in general, and the Islamic resistance in particular, and the history of the resistance in the region to be a day for all the martyrs.”              “The date 11/11 is an annual memorial for all the martyrs, and therefore every martyr’s family in Hezbollah considers this day its martyr’s day,” he added, noting that “We glorify the martyrs, respect and appreciate them, and this is based on our religous commitment and Quranic faith.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “We praise  the martyrs as our tremendous spiritual, moral and emotional wealth. With the blessing of these martyrs, there exists passion, nostalgia, love, adoration, psychological effects, and a lively spirit.”

He further warned that “Today the groove is of different kind. It’s that of living crises, sieges, media wars and so on.”
“The families of the martyrs are the ones who lead the front by offering the blood and remaining firm in their positions,” he underscored, pointing out that “When we mention these martyrs, we are talking about historical achievements, not time-limited ones.”

Sayyed Nasrallah wen on to say: “Among the most important achievements are the liberation of land and prisoners, as well as protection and deterrence. These achievements continue. Among the achievements of the martyrs is confronting and toppling the American-takfiri scheme in the region.”

Meanwhile, the Resistance Leader commented on the recent Arab openess towards Syria by saying: “Arabs have acknowledged Syria’s victory and the defeat of some Arab scheme that costed millions of dollars.”

“Among the achievements of the martyrs is preventing a civil war in Lebanon, and this still exists. With the blessing of this blood, we prevented the civil war,” he viewed.

Moving to the enemy’s front, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “Today “Israel” is anxious, after it viewed the so-called “the Arab Spring” as suitable environment for it.”

“The “Israeli” drills reflect the real fear from Hezbollah’s storming in to the settlements in the Galilee,” His Eminence elaborated, noting that “If the resistance enters northernOccupied  Palestine and the Galilee, this will have very big repercussions on the “Israeli”entity.”

He also stressed that “The “Israelis” are aware of the resistance’s strength, sincerity, readiness and the importance of its strategic minds,” lamenting the fact that “There are those in Lebanon who talk about the “weakness” of the axis of resistance, despite the fact that the the opposite is true.”

According to Hezbollah Secretary General, “”Israel” is living an existential fear and the increase of “Israeli” violence against the prisoners and the Palestinians is not a sign of strength, but rather a sign of anxiety and panic.”

On the internal Lebanese arena, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that Hezbollah has prevented a full US hegemony over Lebanon. “We do not claim to have fully liberated Lebanon of US hegemony. The US still have significant influence in Lebanon and in its state institutions. Lebanon has been under US pressure for years, and this increased during [former President Donald] Trump administration.”

However, he assured that “Till now, the Lebanese state has rejected the US dictations regarding border demarcation and Lebanon managed to remain resilient due to the blood of the martyrs.”

“We in Hezbollah look forward to the rise of a Lebanese state that enjoys true sovereignty and which rejects foreign dictations,” His Eminence declared, noting that “The Americans are lying to Lebanon regarding the so-called Hof Line. Lebanon here relies on the strength of the martyrs’ blood, the strength of the living among us, and the resistance that is able to deter the enemy and those supporting it to steal a Lebanese grain of soil or wealth.”

Regarding the recent crisis that Saudi Arabia stirred with Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that “We are very interested in clarifying the facts because we are facing a battle of public opinion and injustice.”

“Lebanese Information Georges Kordahi did not attack anyone and did not use harsh terms,” he said, emphasizing that “The crisis that Saudi Arabia created is part of the battle on the resistance in Lebanon. Since 2006, Saudi Arabia has been on top of this battle, and we know the Saudi incitement during the July war.” 

In addition, His Eminence clarified that “The Saudi reaction to Kordahi’s statements was very exaggerated.”

Sayyed Nasrallah addressed those defending the Saudi stance in Lebanon by saying: “The Saudi demands and conditions do not end in Lebanon, and is the national interest resembled by submission and humiliation?”

On this level, he reminded that “Saudi Arabia, which claims to be an Islamic country, did not react to the insults of the Prophet by officials in several countries.”

“Saudi Arabia presents itself as a friend of Lebanon and the Lebanese people and it has a problem with Hezbollah which we acknowledge. Is this how friends deal with their friends?” His Eminence wondered.

To those who asked the Minister of Information to set the national interest on top, Sayyed Nasrallah raised the following question: “Does the national interest mean to submit to all that is requested by the foreign sides?”

“Saudi Arabia’s pretext to create a crisis with Lebanon because of Hezbollah’s hegemony is a complete slander and lie,” he said, unveiling that “Saudi Arabia wants its allies to drag Lebanon into civil war.”

Stressing that Hezbollah is the biggest party in Lebanon on more than one level, Hezbollah Secretary General clearly stated: “We are influential in Lebanon but we are not dominating the country. Others have more influence over the Lebanese state, institutions, army and security forces.”

“Saudi Arabia’s problem with its allies in Lebanon is that it wants them to engage in a fight with Hezbollah on behalf of the American-“Israeli” regional scheme,” he mentioned, asking that “Are we a dominant party at a time when we cannot make a diesel vessel settle on the Lebanese shores? Is Hezbollah a dominant party as we lack the ability to remove a judge.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence underscored that “The story in Yemen is that of Marib and the aggression on it and the results of this war. After 7 years of war and spending hundreds of billions, the result was a failing Saudi aggression.” 

“The repercussions of Marib battle will be very big in Yemen and the region, and Saudi Arabia is fully aware of this,” he added, noting that “The Americans themselves confirmed that the fall of Ma’rib is a resounding defeat for Saudi Arabia and that was clear in David Shenker latest words.”

Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that “The Saudi and Iranian negotiations didn’t tackle the Lebanese file from any angle.”
“The Saudis asked the Iranians to interfere on the issue of Yemen, and the Iranians told them to negotiate with the Yemenis,” His Eminence mentioned, pointing out that “The Saudi foreign minister himself announced that his problem with Lebanon is with Hezbollah, especially regarding the Yemeni issue, and Saudi claims about ‘Iranian’ occupation of Lebanon are trivial.”

To Saudi Arabia, he sent a sounding message: “To end the Yemen issue, means not to sanction Hezbollah or Lebanon or to follow any other way. The only way is through a ceasefire and siege. The victories in Yemen were created by Yemeni leaders and brains and by Yemeni miracles and a divine victory.”

“Everything that was said about a trade-off between the Beirut port file and the Tayouneh file is absolutely false. What is required is to reach the truth and justice in both files,” His Eminence said, underscoring that “We’re continuing our follow-up of the investigations into the Tayouneh massacre that was deliberately committed by the Lebanese Forces.”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “Those who killed our brothers in Khaldeh will face their punishment, and the problem remains within the limits of this circle and we’re open to other solutions.”

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Hezbollah Deputy SG Urges Saudi Arabia to Stop Interfering in Lebanon’s Internal Affairs

Nov 11, 2021

Hezbollah Deputy SG Urges Saudi Arabia to Stop Interfering in Lebanon’s Internal Affairs

By Staff, Agencies

A top official of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah calls on Riyadh to stop meddling in the country’s internal affairs amid a Lebanon-Saudi rift over comments on the Yemen war.

“Lebanon is an independent country that does not accept subordination to anyone,” al-Manar television network cited Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem as saying at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

Referring to the current dispute with Saudi Arabia, the senior Hezbollah official stressed that it was Riyadh that started the problem with Beirut.

 “We don’t have any demand from it [Saudi Arabia] but to stop interfering in our [Lebanon’s] internal affairs,” he stressed.

Sheikh Qassem on Sunday had said the real target of the Saudi diplomatic aggression on Lebanon “has been always Hezbollah as well as its military power.”

Tensions rose between Riyadh and Beirut following critical comments made by Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi regarding the Saudi-led war against Yemen.

On October 29, Saudi Arabia gave the Lebanese ambassador 48 hours to leave the country over Kordahi’s remarks. The kingdom also imposed a ban on all imports from Lebanon.

The measures were taken days after an interview with Kordahi was aired by an online show affiliated with Qatar’s al-Jazeera television network.

During the interview, Kordahi called the Saudi-led Yemen war futile, and said that Yemeni army forces and their allied fighters from Popular Committees are defending themselves.

The interview was recorded before Kordahi was appointed as minister, but it aired on October 25.

Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies, backed by the US and other Western powers, have been waging a devastating war on Yemen since March 2015 to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The Saudi war, which Riyadh had claimed would last only a few weeks, but is still ongoing, has failed to achieve its goals. It has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, killed tens of thousands of innocent people, and destroyed the impoverished state’s infrastructure.

Elsewhere in his Wednesday remarks, Sheikh Qassem pointed to a last month’s deadly shootout in Beirut and noted that the resistance movement dealt wisely with the massacre which was committed by the Lebanese Forces [LF] political party in Beirut in mid-October.

At least seven people were martyred and 60 others injured in the attack on October 14, during which Hezbollah supporters were shot from rooftops while they were gathering to peacefully protest against a judge investigating last year’s Beirut Port explosion as they accused him of bias.

In a statement, Hezbollah and its ally Amal Movement said armed groups affiliated with the LF party, a former militia group during the 1975-1990 civil war, fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into new sectarian strife.

“Hezbollah and Amal movement spared the country from going into the unknown,” Sheikh Qassem stressed, calling for a “fair, impartial and transparent judiciary.”

هل دفع الذعر من المتغيرات القادمة جعجع للخطأ القاتل؟

26.10.2021

ناصر قنديل

– لا نعلم بعد مضمون الاعترافات التي أدلى بها الموقوفون الذين تسببت إفاداتهم بتسطير مذكرة الاستماع لرئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، ليقين بأن هذا الاستدعاء لم يكن متوقعاً صدوره بالسرعة والتشدد اللذين شهدناهما، بصورة معاكسة لتدخلات مرجعيات لها تاثيرها  على القضاء وقيادة الجيش، وإحراجها لهما، كحال بكركي والمداخلات الأميركية، وما كان هذا الاستدعاء ليحدث ويتم الإصرار عليه لولا وجود وقائع لا يمكن تجاهلها بالنسبة للجهتين المعنيتين، وهما القضاء بشخص مفوض الحكومة لدى المحكمة العسكرية، الذي لم يكن يوماً مفوضاً لحزب الله كما قال جعجع، وتاريخ النزاعات حول الملفات بين حزب الله مليء بالوقائع، ولا يمكن لأحد التشكيك بأن قيادة الجيش ومديرية المخابرات قد يمثلان مجرد صدى لطلبات حركة أمل وحزب الله، وفي الحادثة نفسها كان واضحاً من توضيح قيادة الجيش لتفاوت مضمون بياناتها في اليوم الأول، أنها تسير بموقفها تبعاً لما تتوصل إليه من وقائع، ولا تزال قضايا الخلاف في مقاربة أمل وحزب الله لملفات كملف العميل عامر الفاخوري في الذاكرة القريبة، وقيادة الجيش كما المحكمة العسكرية فعلتا ما تعتقدانه تعبيراً عن مسؤولياتهما بمعزل عن كيف سيقيم أداءهما كل من حزب الله وحركة أمل، وغداً قد تزداد الضغوط الداخلية والخارجية عليهما، ويحدث ما يفتح الباب لخلاف جديد بينهما وبين حزب الله وأمل.

– واقعياً نحن أمام معادلة تقول إن الاستدعاء مبني على شكوك جدية بدور لعبه جعجع في ترتيب مسرح مجزرة الطيونة، عبر معاونين مقربين منه، يملك التحقيق تفاصيل كافية لسؤال جعجع عنها، ومواجهته بها عندما يمثل للاستماع إليه، ولن يكون مفيداً لجعجع الإنكار لأنه سيضيق عليه دائرة الضغط ويزيدها إحكاماً، بقوة تدفق المعلومات التي ستوضع في مواجهته، وقد وفرتها فيديوهات وإفادات واعترافات وداتا اتصالات، ولن يفيد التهرب من المثول لأنه سيخلق ضغوطاً عامة في البلد لفرض المثول عليه، وسيفرض ضغوطاً وإحراجات قانونية له وعليه وعلى الجهات المعنية بمواصلة التحقيق، والأمر مختلف جذرياً عن قضية ملاحقين من قبل المحقق العدلي يطالبون وفقاً لنص دستوري بنقل ملفهم أمام جهة قضائية أخرى نص عليها الدستور، بعدما مثلوا وأدلوا بإفاداتهم أمام المحقق العدلي الأول عندما طلب الاستماع إليهم من دون إطلاق الملاحقة القضائية الاتهامية بحقهم، وصفات هؤلاء مذكورة في نص الدستور كرؤساء ووزراء، ولو كانت هناك محكمة أخرى ذات صلاحية لملاحقة رؤساء الأحزاب سيكون على جعجع المثول أولاً للإدلاء بإفادته الأربعاء، ثم في حال إطلاق ملاحقة اتهامية بحقه أن يطلب نقل ملفه إلى محكمة لرؤساء الأحزاب ليست موجودة.

– إذا صحت الفرضيات بأن جعجع دبر ورتب مجزرة الطيونة، عبر زرع مجموعات استفزاز للمتظاهرين لاستدراجهم بحال فوران إلى الشارع الفرعي وهم يقومون بالتكسير والهتاف، ما يمنح الذريعة لتدخل سلاح جعجع المنظم لفتح النار بداعي حماية الأهالي، أملاً بإطلاق تفجير يستدرج بالدم تورطاً مقابلاً، تضيع فيه نقطة البداية، عندما تغرق المنطقتان المتقابلتان بدماء أبنائهما وبناتهما، وهنا سيكون جعجع قد ارتكب الخطأ القاتل، لأنه على الرغم من النجاح النسبي، سواء باستدراج جزء من التظاهرة عبر الاستفزاز للخروج عن السياق المرسوم لها، سواء في مسارها أو في سلوكها، أو في استدراج إطلاق النار بعد سقوط أول دفعة من الشهداء والجرحى، إلا أن لا هذه ولا تلك شكلتا النجاح الذي يحجب حقيقة المجزرة، لأن الحكمة التي رافقت إدارة ما بعد المجزرة نجحت نجاحاً كلياً في إبقاء الأمور تحت السيطرة، فمنعت توازن الدماء الذي يخفي المجزرة، ومنعت التشكيك بالقضاء ومنحته كل الثقة حتى باعتقالات طالبت بعضاً من مناصريها، ومنعت الطعن بصدقية الجيش التي جرت محاولات لتفخيخها بنشر فيديوهات تظهره مصدراً لإطلاق النار يجب أن نعرف من كان وراء نشرها الآن.

– فشل جعجع سيكون هو السبب في تحول فعلته إلى الخطأ القاتل، وهذا الفشل لم يحدث صدفة، بل لأن التفوق الأخلاقي والوطني الذي جوبهت به المجزرة هو الذي أجهض التتمة المطلوبة لتتحق الأهداف المرجوة منها، لكن يبقى السؤال، لماذا يقدم جعجع على هذه المغامرة التي قد يكون بدأ يلمس أنه سيواجه نتائجها وحيداً، هل أن التعطش للمال أعمى بصيرته في ظل توهم حجم العائد المترتب على الظهور كقوة مستعدة للعبة الدم مع حزب الله، أم أن ثمة من نصحه بتصعيد المناخ الطائفي إلى اقصى الدرجات لتحسين نتائج استطلاعات الرأي الانتخابية حتى لو أدى ذلك لسقوط الدماء، أم لأن ما لدى جعجع من معطيات، أسوة بما لدى كل الذين وضعوا بيضهم في السلة الأميركية، أثار ذعره من الآتي، بعدما رأى مشهد أفغانستان، ووصلته المعلومات عن الانسحاب المقبل من العراق وسورية والعودة للتفاهم النووي مع إيران، وحجم الموقع المتنامي لحزب الله في المعادلة الإقليمية وصولاً لتكريسه شريكاً بنصف القرار الذي يصنع الاستحقاق الرئاسي المقبل، ليتقاسم الآخرون النصف الثاني بقيادة واشنطن، فراهن على إنتاج معادلة تتيح له التحول إلى الرقم الصعب الموازي؟

– هل يجوز القول للمرة الثانية غلطة الشاطر بألف، أم أنه لا يكون شاطراً؟

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Geagea Summoned by Military Court over Tayouneh Ambush, Refuses to Testify

October 22, 2021

Samir Geagea

Head of Lebanese Forces militia Samir Geagea was summoned by Lebanon’s military court for questioning over the deadly ambush which killed seven civilians earlier last week in Tayouneh.

Both Reuters news agency and local media reported the move late Thursday, noting that it was based on confessions made by militants who were arrested on the day of the deadly shooting.

“The government commissioner to the military court Judge Fadi Akiki gave a signal to listen to the testimony of the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Samir Geagea, in the Tayouneh file,” Reuters news agency quoted informed sources as saying.

“Confessions made by the detainees in this file… Judge Akiki’s reference requires that Geagea be heard before him in the military court,” the sources added.

Commenting on the summoning, Geagea said he has not yet received a request to listen to his statement, but noted that if this happens he will not appear before the Military Court if Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is not also summoned.

“The commissioner should listen first to Sayyed Nasrallah,” he said in an interview with MTV local channel.

The head of the notorious militia who committed massacres during the 15-year civil war claimed that his party “has a license,” while Hezbollah has not, without referring to the deadly shooting in this regard.

On October 14, seven Lebanese civilians were martyred as Lebanese Forces (LF) militants and snipers opened fire at peaceful demonstrators protesting against politicization of investigation into last year’s powerful Beirut Port blast.

Among the victims were a passerby and a woman who were shot in their heads by (LF) snipers.

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashed out at the LF, saying that its project is to ignite a civil war in the country. In a speech on Monday (October 18), Sayyed Nasrallah hit back at Geagea threat that the LF has 15,000 militants, warning him against miscalculation with the powerful Lebanese Resistance movement.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Al-Manar Security Sources: Confessions of the Arrested for Tayouneh Crime Led to Issuance of Subpoena against Geagea

October 22, 2021

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Security sources told Al-Manar TV that 25 suspects have been arrested for Tayouneh crime, adding that their confessions led to the identification of the culprits in the attack on the protesters and the locations in the scene surrounding.

The confessions also revealed that some of the culprits were holding guns and hiding inside cars in the neighborhoods close to the protest, according to Al-Manar sources.

The security sources added that a considerable number of the culprits have got out of sight.

The sources noted that political interventions led to procrastination of the issuance of subpoena against the head of the “Lebanese Forces” militia, Samir Geagea in order to identify the legal authority which will hear his testimony.

Seven martyrs and around 30 injured were reported during the armed attack carried out by the “Lebanese Forces” militiamen on the peaceful protestors in Tayouneh area on Thursday, October 14. The protesters were demonstrating against the politicized decisions of Al-Bitar.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Lebanon: Samir Geagea Summoned By Lebanon’s Military Court over Tayouneh Ambush

22.10.2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

The summon follows incriminating confessions made by members of the Lebanese Forces.

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Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea
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Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea was summoned by Lebanon’s military court for questioning over a shooting attack on a peaceful demonstration in Tayouneh. The summons follows incriminating confessions given by some of the arrested Lebanese Forces members, according to a source cited by Reuters.

Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has lately confirmed that the Lebanese Forces party was behind the attack that left 7 martyrs, saying that rooftop snipers aimed directly at people’s heads.

What do you need to know?

On Oct. 14, hundreds of Lebanese citizens were marching towards the Palace of Justice in Beirut. Protesters desired to object to the politicization of what was supposed to be a uniquely juridical process regarding the Beirut Port explosion that rocked the city almost a year and a half ago. 

The demonstration was supposed to be a peaceful act but the reaction the protesters received was not – some did not make it back home to their families. According to security reports cited by various Lebanese media outlets, it is almost certain that at some point in the march, the latter came under fire from snipers belonging to the Lebanese Forces Party (LF). The ambush left 7 people dead including Maryam, a mother of 5, who was deliberately sniped while attempting to get her children to safety after hearing gunfire.

Who is Samir Geagea?

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Samir Geagea, the head of the current LF party, has a long history of massacres. In 1978, Geagea headed an assassination squad that broke into Tony Frangieh’s home, the head of a rival faction named Al-Marda, and assassinated Frangie in cold blood, along with his wife and 3-year-old child.

What did Nasrallah say? 

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

“The real endgame of the Lebanese Forces is to ignite a civil war that would lead to demographic change.”

This is what the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, revealed in his speech on the recent developments in Lebanon after the Tayouneh ambush.

Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed the desire of a party [The Lebanese Forces] to make “our people in Ain al-Remmaneh and Furn El Chebbak” believe that their surrounding neighbors in the Southern suburbs are their enemies, decrying the labeling of the murder of demonstrators as “an act of resistance” by some of the LF’s officials.

The Secretary-General pointed out that the head of this party is trying to generate an imaginary internal enemy in the hopes of keeping Christians worried about their local presence, thus spreading desperation in order to anoint himself as “the defender of Christians.”

The LF and its leader were not mentioned by name previously in order to avoid raising tension, the Secretary-General noted, despite the recurrent insults Hezbollah received from the right-wing party.

Lebanese and international condemnations 

Former Lebanese Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora, Saad Hariri, and Tammam Salam expressed their “deep shock and sorrow,” and completely condemned the reprehensible events which left seven martyrs in the Tayouneh (Beirut) area. 

In the same context, the international response continued on the recent Lebanese events, as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran issued statements regarding the ambush.

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Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 

22.10.2021

Lebanese Military Court Summons ’LF’ Leader over Tayyouneh Massacre 

By Staff, Agencies 

Lebanon’s military court summoned Thursday the Leader of the Lebanese Forces [LF] political party Samir Geagea, over the slaughtering of seven civilians in Beirut last week.

Lebanese media outlets on Thursday reported that the court summoned Geagea to hear his testimony on the October 14 violence in light of the confessions of those detained over the massacre that was committed in Tayyouneh area, a region close to Beirut’s southern suburb.

At least seven people were martyred and 60 others injured in an attack on October 14, during which Hezbollah and Amal Movement supporters were shot from rooftops while they were gathering to peacefully protest against a judge investigating last year’s Beirut Port explosion as they accused him of bias.

In a statement, Hezbollah and Amal Movement said armed groups affiliated with the LF party, a former militia group during the 1975-1990 civil war, fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into new sectarian strife.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Monday said that “the  Lebanese Forces’ true agenda for Lebanon is civil war.”

He further added: “The biggest existential threat to the Christians in Lebanon and the security of the Christian community is the Lebanese Forces party.”

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جعجع الضعيف المرتبك رغم التلميع المستمر: يكاد المريب يقول خذوني

 ناصر قنديل

منذ مجزرة الطيونة وماكينة إعلامية عملاقة متعددة الجنسيات تشتغل لتظهير سمير جعجع كبطل لحماية المسيحيين مرة، وكمنتصر قدم له كلام السيد حسن نصرالله وما جرى في الطيونة هدية مجانية لزعامة المسيحيين والسنة، مرة أخرى، وكسياسي محترف يحترم الدولة ويتقن فنون السياسة والإعلام، ويشكل خط المواجهة الأول لصالح مشروع الدولة  مع حزب الله المتهم بمشروع الدويلة، حتى جاءت المقابلة التلفزيونية التي أطل عبرها جعجع متحدثاً بنفسه عن نفسه، كاشفاً حجم تهافت المنطق وضعف الحجة ورثاثة الموقف، ويظهر المسخ الميليشيوي الذي يعشعش في ثنايا كلماته وينبض بين حروفه، كما تظهر الخلفية الإجرامية التي تحول الاتهامات الموجهة إليه إلى مضبطة قابلة لصرف، فيصح فيه القول الذي تلعثم وهو يقوله، ربما لأنه يحاكي حالته، يكاد المريب يقول خذوني.

خلاصة كلام جعجع تضعه في ثنائيات يستحيل جمعها في خطاب سياسي واحد، فما قدمه كاف لنسف خطابه الذي دأب على نثره كشظايا بوجه حزب الله طوال سنوات، مستفيداً من تقديمه من المحور المعادي لحزب الله بصفته القوة القيادية محلياً في هذا المحور ليرث كل التحريض الإعلامي وكل الشيطنة التي شارك بها كثيرون من سياسيين وتشكيلات مجتمع مدني ظهروا أمس مجرد عسكر في جيش يقوده سمير جعجع، لا مكان فيه للدولة ولا للقضاء، ولا يستقيم له نص متجانس قادر على الصمود أمام أي أسئلة جدية، وأمام أي تفكيك منطقي يفترض أن يتولاه من يحاوره، ولم تفلح في ستر هذه الفضيحة كل محاولات التجميل والماكياج التي منحت له من المحطة والبرنامج الذي استضافه، وما نفعت رقع الرتا في إظهار أكثر من خزق يتسرب منه التهافت ويظهر عبره الارتباك والضعف والتهافت، فسقط النص السياسي لأول السحرة المتقدمين في المشروع المعادي لحزب الله، بالضربة القاضية، من دون أن يتولاها أحد، لأنه تكفل بالنيابة عن كل الخصوم بتسديدها لنفسه.

أول دخولو شمعة عطولو، ظهر جعجع في أول كلمة نبست بها شفتاه، على حقيقته الميليشيوية، وعدائه للدولة والقضاء، بنبرة ومضمون كلماته تعليقاً على استدعائه للمثول كمستمع إليه أمام القضاء، ففجأة صار القضاء محسوباً على حزب الله، وكل النص المعادي لحزب الله مبني على اتهامه بالتشكيك بالقضاء، وفيما تشكيك حزب الله نابع من مطالعة طويلة تراكمت عبر شهور من التجربة مع كل من المحققين فادي صوان وطارق بيطار، ولم تترجم مرة واحدة بالقول لأحد لا للمثول أمام القاضي بنية الاستماع، أو كشاهد، وقد تكرر التسهيل لعمل القضاة مراراً تحت عناوين مشابهة وصولاً لشيء مختلف جداً جداً جداً، هو ادعاء القاضي على وزراء ورئيس حكومة سابق ومدراء أجهزة أمنية من دون سواهم الذين يماثلونهم رتبة ودوراً تجاه ملف النترات، من دون أي مبرر، وتجاوز نص دستوري يحصر مثل هذه الملاحقة بالمجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء من دون أي تفسير، مع الإصرار على استثناء القضاة من نص قانوني لا دستوري يقول بملاحقتهم أمام محكمة خاصة بالقضاة، هي أدنى مرتبة دستورياً من إلزامية نص حصر الملاحقة بحق الرؤساء والوزراء بالمجلس الأعلى، وصولاً للتعمية على أسماء القضاة وحجبها عن الإعلام الذي شكل منصة حضور مريب للقاضي، وليس لدى حزب الله اسم واحد من أسماء قياديه مطلوب للمثول أمام القضاء، وجاء الأهم من خلال رفض جعجع العلني والمباشر لمجرد الاستماع إليه، ليسقط كل نصه ونصوص أصحابه بدعوة الغير للمثول وقد وجهت لهم اتهامات وتقررت ملاحقتهم، ولم يعد ممكناً لجعجع وأصحابه الجمع بين النصين، مع القضاء ليلاحق الغير ويتهمهم من دون وحدة معايير وبمخالفة نص دستوري، وضد القضاء لمجرد أن وجه لكم دعوة استماع؟ فقولوا نعم واحدة للقضاء أو لا واحدة للقضاء؟ وحزب الله جاهز ليأخذ بوصفتكم بلا تعديل.

ثاني الهنات غير الهينات، سقطة جعجع أمام الرئيس ميشال عون والتيار الوطني الحر، فكيف يستقيم القول بقضاء مستقل يدير تحقيق المرفأ، والتعيينات تمت وفقاً لجعجع برعاية رئيس الجمهورية والتيار، فكيف يستقيم ذلك مع اتهام الرئيس والتيار بتسليم الدولة لحزب الله، ومعركة حزب الله مع هؤلاء القضاة كما يصفها جعجع معركة وجود وحياة أو موت، وكيف يستقيم الجمع بين سيطرة حزب الله على الدولة، مع الحديث عن وصول حزب الله إلى طريق مسدود في المراجعة القضائية وثم في المراجعة السياسية، أي باللجوء إلى الحكومة، التي قيل من جعجع وأصحابه إنها حكومة حزب الله، فإذا كان حزب الله قد وصل إلى طريق مسدود في القضية التي يقول جعجع إنها مصيرية بالنسبة للحزب، فمتى يصرف حزب الله سيطرته على الدولة، فإما حزب الله غير مسيطر وهذا يفسر وصوله إلى طريق مسدود، وهذا يعني أن الرئيس عون والتيار الوطني الحر كان حليفاً لحزب الله يمارس استقلالية تامة ويختلف ولا يتبع ولا يطيع ولا يشتري وجوده في السلطة بالتبعية، وجعجع طبخ الرز بالبصل وأراد من الناس ألا تنتبه كي لا تسأل، لكن القبوات لا تخفي السماوات، فكيف إن كانت حبة صنع منها قبة؟

ثالث الأثافي غير خاف، فجعجع ليس حليفاً للنصرة وداعش والإخوان المسلمين، ولا هو من قال عن غزوة الأشرفية عام 2006 إنها تظاهرة سلمية لحلفاء، وعلى رغم تكسير الكنائس وتدمير السيارات وواجهات الأبنية واقتحام المنازل، لم يخرج أي من مناصريه بطلقة سلاح صيد، وهي الغزوة التي فرضت على العماد عون يومها تقريب موعد الإعلان عن التفاهم مع حزب الله لطمأنة المسيحيين وفي الأشرفية وعين الرمانة، ولذلك اختار كنيسة مار مخايل ولاقى القبول من حزب الله، الذي يرى الكثير من بيئته أنه يبدو تابعاً للتيار يراضيه ويسايره ويلبيه في كل طلباته، ويلقى اعتراضاً ورفضاً وتمنعاً في الكثير مما يطلب بالمقابل، وتنكر جعجع لواقعة الأشرفية يحمل إضافة للتعمية على الحقيقة أحد أمرين، إما أنه أعطى أمراً في عين الرمانة لم يعطه في الأشرفية، أو أنه يتهم أهل الأشرفية بالتخاذل، علماً أنهم نفذوا تعليماته بالتروي، بينما لم يسمع منه أهل عين الرمانة، خصوصاً محازبيه فيها والآتين من خارجها إليها، دعوة كتلك للمسالمة، بل سمعوا منه الدعوة للاستعداد للمواجهة قبل ليلة، ومهما أنكر جعجع هو لا يستطيع إنكار أن رفضه لمشاركة حزب الله في سورية لم يكن مجرد رفض لخروج الحزب عبر الحدود بل لأنه كان كما جاهر مراراً بالرهان على الجماعات المسلحة في سورية، وصولاً للرهان على بقائها في جرود لبنان الشرقية، بصفتها حليفاً، كما قالت زيارات الوفود والحلفاء إلى عرسال والكلام المقال في حضرة الدم هناك، بينما الثابت بالمقابل أن من قالت هذه الجماعات دفاعاً عن قرى وبلدات المسيحيين والمسلمين في لبنان كله لا في البقاع فقط هو حزب الله، فماذا يقول جعجع في اعتبار غزوة الأشرفية حركة سلمية وتوصيف احتلال الجرود بتموضع الثوار من جهة، وتصنيف حزب الله بالعدو والدعوة لمواجهته، من جهة مقابلة، غير أن ستر الفضيحة صعب بل مستحيل؟

هذا غيض من فيض، لحوار أسقط كل الهالة المصطنعة التي تشاركت في تلميع صورة جعجع عبرها وسائل إعلام لبنانية وعربية لأيام متصلة أملاً بتجميع حليب يصنع من لبنان يصلح لتلوين الحقائق وطمسها، فجاء وضرب قدر الحليب بقدمه وأسال الحليب على التراب، واللبنانيون لم يمر عليهم مشهد سياسي يختزن الضعف وينثر من حوله الهراء والكلام العبثي بلا سند، ويستخف بعقول الناس وذاكرتها، كما كانت إطلالة سمير جعجع، التي تصلح نموذجاً للتدريس الجامعي بالفشل المزدوج، تحت عنوان، عندما يسقط المحاور بالنقاط ويسقط الضيف بالضربة القاضية.

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This is Hezbollah!

 October 19, 2021

Hezbollah fighter Saidnaya

This image shows a Hezbollah fighter saluting the Statue of Jesus in the Syrian town of Saidnaya. The picture was taken in 2017, when Hezbollah fighters were engaged in fierce clashes aimed at cleansing Syria from Takfiri terrorists.

It was said that this fighter was martyred several months after this photo was captured.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Monday (October 18, 2021) lashed out at Lebanese Forces party and its leader for portraying the Lebanese Resistance movement as an enemy and a threat to the Christians.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah has been for years defending the people in Lebanon and Syria, including the Christians, citing fierce battles with Takfiri terrorists in the two countries.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Ghubeiri Municipality Files Lawsuit Against Geagea رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت للميادين نت: دعوى قضائية ضد جعجع بأحداث الطيونة

20.10.2021 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut files a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, in light of the Tayouneh ambush events.

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Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut has filed a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea.

The Ghubeiri municipality in Beirut has filed a lawsuit against the Head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, and against those arrested by the Lebanese army in light of the Tayouneh ambush events last Thursday.

Maan Al-Khalil, Head of Ghubeiri’s Municipality told Al Mayadeen that the lawsuit is the municipality’s right since one of its policemen, Mohammad Al-Sayed, was martyred during the incident and so was the wife of the police commissioner, referring to martyr Maryam Farhat. One other municipality employee was also injured.

Al-Khalil stressed that the lawsuit comes in the context of preserving the right of citizens to receive compensation, knowing that the incident caused huge harm and some people were forced to evacuate their houses.

The ambush left 7 martyrs and several injured after snipers opened fire on peaceful protesters against the politicization of the Beirut Blast investigation.

In a statement, the Lebanese Army announced arresting several members of the Lebanese Forces.

The number of detainees has reached 20, as some of the detained confessed to preparing for the Tayouneh ambush.

رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت للميادين نت: دعوى قضائية ضد جعجع بأحداث الطيونة

المصدر: الميادين نت

رئيس بلدية الغبيري في بيروت يعلن رفع دعوى قضائية ضد رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع والموقوفين ومن يظهرهم التحقيق متورطين في حادثة الطيونة.

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رجل يسير بالقرب من الدماء في منطقة الطيونة بضاحية العاصمة بيروت الجنوبية في 14 تشرين الأول 2021  (أ ف ب)

 تقدّمت بلدية الغبيري في بيروت بدعوى قضائيّة ضد رئيس حزب “القوات” اللبنانية، سمير جعجع، في أحداث الطيونة التي جرت الخميس الماضي، والموقوفين لدى الجيش اللبناني ومن يظهرهم التحقيق متورطين في الجريمة.

رئيس البلدية معن الخليل قال للميادين نت إن “الدعوى هي حقّ شخصي من قبلنا بسبب استشهاد الشرطي في البلدية محمد السيّد، وزوجة مفوّض الشرطة مريم فرحات، وجرح موظف آخر”. فضلاً عن الأضرار المادية التي لحقت بالمباني السكنية إثر إطلاق الرصاص من قبل القناصين وإغلاق عدد من المؤسسات في المنطقة.

وأكد أن الدعوى تأتي في سياق الدفاع عن الحق العام وحقوق المواطنين حفاظاً على الأمن الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، “لأن الحادثة تسببت بأذى معنوي كبير للأهالي بعد اضطرار بعضهم إلى إخلاء بيوتهم إثر عمليات القنص وتضررها نتيجة ذلك”، مشيراً إلى أن الدعوى هي لحفظ حق البلدية والحق العام وضمان الحصول على تعويضات للمواطنين.

وكان ارتفعت حصيلة الشهداء إلى 7 إثر إطلاق قنّاصين النار على محتجِّين سلميين ضدّ تسييس التحقيق في انفجار مرفأ بيروت.

وأعلن مصدر رفيع في الجيش اللبناني للميادين عن توقيف عدد من عناصر حزب القوات اللبنانية، فيما وصل عدد الموقوفين اليوم إلى 20، لافتاً إلى أن منهم من اعترف بالتحضير لأحداث الطيونة.

‘US/Israel seek Lebanese civil war to derail a Hezbollah in its prime’: Kandil

October 18, 2021

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In light of the recent massacre of seven protesters and the wounding of dozens of others in a highly sensitive district of Beirut, senior political analyst Nasser Qandil argues that the US and Israel are seeking to drag Hezbollah into a new Lebanese civil war that would rob the movement from engaging in a decisive war with Israel while in its military prime.

Days ago, on the 14th of October, at least seven people were killed and 60 others injured after unknown gunmen attacked Hezbollah and Amal supporters as they passed through Beirut’s sensitive Tayyouneh district as part of an organised peaceful protest.

In a joint statement, Hezbollah and Amal said armed groups belonging to Samir Geagea’s Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) Party fired at the protesters from rooftops, aiming at their heads, in an attempt to drag Lebanon into a sectarian civil war.

The Tayyouneh district is historically an area of political and sectarian sensitivity, as a key site in the outbreak and development of Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990).

Source: NBN via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube)

Date: October 17, 2021

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

Transcript:

Nasser Qandil, Senior Lebanese Political Analyst:

I hear those that (say) ‘they believe Lebanon is a priority (for the US to target)’. Indeed (it is), from the very first day that a resistance (movement in Lebanon) was born, (a resistance) that defeated and humiliated Israel, Lebanon became an American priority, because Israel was – and will always remain – an American priority. (It is only if) the resistance (in Lebanon) is defeated, only then will Lebanon no longer be an American priority.
 
Back in 2007, I saw an image of (former PM) President Fouad Saniora with (former) President George W. Bush on the White House lawn, and the news said that the Prime Minister of Japan was (meanwhile) waiting in the hotel; Lebanon is not more important than Japan (for the US), and (former) President Fouad Saniora is not more important than the Prime Minister of Japan either, but the resistance (in Lebanon) is indeed more important than the US interests in Japan, because it threatens Israel’s security and poses an existential threat to Israel’s future. (Therefore,) as long as this reality (i.e. resistance being an existential threat to Israel) increases and grows, and the American concern about it grows (in light of the) idea of (a US) withdrawal from the (Middle East) region, (the US worries) how (it) will leave Israel (behind with the threat of) this reality. Consequently, (US) activity for creating security belts for Israel is accelerating.

(Yet) from whom (does the US want to protect Israel)? Iran will not start a war (against Israel) – let’s say things as they are – Syria will not start a war (on the level of) states. The spearhead that can turn any confrontation in (this) region (between it and) Israel into a war –

Host:

– (is) the resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) –

Qandil:

– is the resistance in Lebanon, which the Israelis say (about it) – and that’s not me saying it – the Israelis say, and the Americans (themselves) say that the surplus power that Hezbollah now has at the level of the expertise of its fighters (gained) from the Syrian war, (these fighters) who are more than 50,000 and that possess contemporary (and advanced) combat experience, and (at the level of) the kinds of weapons that it has, (this powerful position of Hezbollah) may not be seen again. (They believe that) five years later, Hezbollah may not have this readiness (for war) which they have today –


Host:

– Why (is that)?

Qandil:

Because five years later, the resistance (in Lebanon) might not possess weapons more advanced than the precision-guided missiles (it currently has), while the Americans and Israelis might possess a more developed (weapon by then), at least this (current favourable position for Hezbollah) is not guaranteed (in the future), (while) now it is guaranteed that (Hezbollah) is the superior (force today), and (their weapons) are the more powerful/effective weapons. (Hezbollah’s) elite fighters that have just came out of a war still have the same vitality, readiness, and (required) experience to enter a new war. Five years later (however, according to US calculations), this (elite force) would be out of the battlefield, and a new generation that does not have the experience of the (previous elite) would be on (front lines instead) –

Host:

– For this reason, they are working on suppressing this (generation of elites) and producing a new generation; the fifth-generation (perhaps)?

 
Qandil:

No, they consider – the Israelis consider – that Hezbollah is ready for a war (against them) now, for that, we must pass up (Hezbollah’s) opportunity of dragging us into a war which they have the legitimacy (to start). They believe that Hezbollah is on full readiness (to start) a war. I’m not adopting (these views), I’m describing the American-Israeli view; they say that the issue of (intercepting) the fuel ships (coming from Iran to Lebanon) gives Hezbollah the legitimacy to start a war if we intercept them –

Host:

– (This would) justify (starting a war against Israel).


Qandil:

–  (Hezbollah) would obtain the legitimacy (to start a war) but they –

Host:

– The (Israelis) don’t want to go to a war against (Hezbollah) because (Hezbollah) enjoys full readiness –

Qandil:

– Yes, (that’s the point), in their opinion (Hezbollah) is now (fully ready for a war) –

Host:

– five years later, will (Hezbollah) no longer be ready for a war (against Israel)?

Qandil:

That’s (the US and Israel’s) reading of the matter, that they must avoid (going to a war against Hezbollah) during the (next) five years –

Host:

– So, for the next five years, the (preferred US-Israeli war is the war –

Qandil: 

– a Lebanese civil war –

Host:

– that (seems to be) brewing today. They would distract (Hezbollah) with internal (affairs and issues) –

Qandil:

– Exactly!

Host:

– They’re betting (their hopes on Hezbollah’s loss of) this readiness five years later –

Qandil:

– Exactly! (Hezbollah, according to their perception,) will be drained and have lost the moral high ground (that it enjoys today), and that’s a very significant matter; Hezbollah (is) a pure force (i.e. committed to morals/ethics etc) no matter how hard they try to slander it –

Host:

– The balance of power will change too.

Qandil:

– (but) when (Hezbollah) takes part in the civil war ‘game’, it’ll no longer be the same (party) it was, it will turn into a local militia (fighting) with (other) local militias. Even the majesty of (Hezbollah’s) power will erode by (its very participation in) the civil war, as it is different from wars that we’re familiar with, (such as) wars against Israel and other (enemies threatening Lebanon). Consequently, (dragging Hezbollah into a civil war) is necessary for the erosion of its moral and material strength. Therefore, the American-Israeli decision, after their failure in turning the October 17 (2019 protests) into a revolution against Hezbollah (under the false pretext that it is the party) responsible for the (Lebanese) economic crisis and the prohibition of cash flow into Lebanon – after this failure – the alternative (plan) is (exploiting) the (Beirut) Port (explosion) investigation case and triggering the Christian street with militia formations to lure Hezbollah into a civil war –

Host:

–  And (Hezbollah) will not be tempted (by this incitement).

Qandil:

Until now…

Host:

Those are dangerous words! What (do you mean by) ‘until now’?

Qandil:

Let me explain to you –

Host:

Why (would they be lured into a civil war)?

Qandil:

(In) my opinion, there is always a limit to which leaderships can control the (rage) of the public, and those who know the history of wars would understand this idea; we are currently before – there are opinions that have begun to emerge among the Shias –

Host:

– ‘Why didn’t we continue (the fight in Tayyouneh), we would’ve beat them up…’

Qandil:

(Yes, and talk such as) ‘we always adopt stances of chivalry, we get slaughtered and killed, and you (leaderships) tell us (to be) patient and endure (the harm that is targeting us); they did (the same) to us in Khaldeh, and Badaro as well, and tomorrow they’ll (attack us for the) third and fourth time’ –

Host:

– And (they attacked Shias) in…I forgot what’s the name of the town, near the Lebanese borders…

Qandil:

Yes, in southern (Lebanon), in Chouaya.

Host:

Yes, (I meant) Chouaya.

Qandil:

If we reach a moment where – God forbid – the focal point that is supposed to deal with (a certain attack) is one of the (Shia) tribes (in Lebanon), and the Amal and Hezbollah leaderships fail to control them, and (if the events take place) in an area in which control is not organized (by certain political leaderships); an area in which, if a tribe was attacked, and the people respond (to the attack) – I’m giving scenarios (as an example) –

Host:

– So, the scheme to create a civil will remain (a major threat today) –

Qandil:

In 1975, Imam Musa al-Sadr (may God reveal his whereabouts), why did he go to the town of al-Qaa? Because the problem was made up there (in al-Qaa) such that the people of the (Shia) tribes would attack al-Qaa; a problem was made up (to drag Shia) tribes ( in a war against Christians), so (Imam al-Sadr) had to go and sit in the church and say ‘I would defend this church with my ‘amāmah (turban) and jubbah (gown)’, because he felt that the target (of the made up events) was to trigger a response (from Shia tribes in that region).

Okay, so Mr (Nabih) Berri would do it once (i.e. call people to control their rage and follow the orders of the leadership), his eminence Sayyed (Hassan Nasrallah) would do it too, (but) if the scheme (of dragging Lebanese people into a civil war) is ongoing, if there’s no general national climate that would react to this threat (with wisdom) and (take the necessary) steps at that level, if (we keep acting upon) the prevailing mentality in security, judiciary, and political (affairs in Lebanon) that is the mentality of ‘Abu Melhem’ (i.e. a TV character that’s referred to in Lebanese culture to denote a person who proposes reconciliation and peaceful solutions in all dispute) to (resolve issues) with courtesy, using (words like) ‘disputes’  (to describe severe problems), and (calling for) controlling a situation (whenever an issue arises) –

Host:

– (falling into a civil war) would be inevitable (in that case)? –

Qandil:

(We) will then be in (grave) danger (of falling into a civil war) – in my opinion – we will be in (grave) danger.

R

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