Voices from Syria’s Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

Global Research, July 05, 2019
MintPress News 4 July 2019

Eva Bartlett visited refugees in Syria escaping the horrid conditions in the Rukban Refugee Camp, a desolate outpost in the US administered deconfliction zone. What she found was very different than the ‘reality’ depicted by the Western press.

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A little over a year ago — just after the Syrian army and its allies liberated the towns and villages around eastern Ghouta from the myriad armed jihadist groups that had waged a brutal campaign of torture and executions in the area — I interviewed a number of the civilians that had endured life under jihadist rule in Douma, Kafr Batna and the Horjilleh Center for Displaced People just south of Damascus.

A common theme emerged from the testimonies of those civilians: starvation as a result of jihadist control over aid and food supplies, and the public execution of civilians.

Their testimonies echoed those of civilians in other areas of Syria formerly occupied by armed anti-government groups, from Madaya and al-Waer to eastern Aleppo and elsewhere.

Despite those testimonies and the reality on the ground, Western politicians and media alike have placed the blame for the starvation and suffering of Syrian civilians squarely on the shoulders of Russia and Syria, ignoring the culpability of terrorist groups.

In reality, terrorist groups operating within areas of Syria that they occupy have had full control over food and aid, and ample documentation shows that they have hoarded food and medicines for themselves. Even under better circumstances, terrorist groups charged hungry civilians grotesquely inflated prices for basic foods, sometimes demanding up to 8,000 Syrian pounds (US $16) for a kilogram of salt, and 3,000 pounds (US $6) for a bag of bread.

Given the Western press’ obsessive coverage of the starvation and lack of medical care endured by Syrian civilians, its silence has been deafening in the case of Rukban — a desolate refugee camp in Syria’s southeast where conditions are appalling to such an extent that civilians have been dying as a result. Coverage has been scant of the successful evacuations of nearly 15,000 of the 40,000 to 60,000 now-former residents of Rukban (numbers vary according to source) to safe havens where they are provided food, shelter and medical care.

Silence about the civilian evacuations from Rukban is likely a result of the fact that those doing the rescuing are the governments of Syria and Russia — and the fact that they have been doing so in the face of increasing levels of opposition from the U.S. government.

A harsh, abusive environment

Rukban lies on Syria’s desolate desert border with Jordan, surrounded by a 55-km deconfliction zone, unilaterally established and enforced by the United States, and little else aside from the American base at al-Tanf, only 25 km away — a base whose presence is illegal under international law.

It is, by all reports, an unbearably harsh environment year-round and residents of the camp have endured abuse by terrorist groups and merchants within the camp, deprived of the very basics of life for many years now.

In February, the UNHCR reported that young girls and women in Rukban have been forced into marriage, some more than once. Their briefing noted:

Many women are terrified to leave their mud homes or tents and to be outside, as there are serious risks of sexual abuse and harassment. Our staff met mothers who keep their daughters indoors, as they are too afraid to let them go to improvised schools.”

The Jordanian government, home to 664,330 registered Syrian refugees, has adamantly refused any responsibility in providing humanitarian assistance to Rukban, arguing that it is a Syrian issue and that keeping its border with Syria closed is a matter of Jordan’s security — this after a number of terrorist attacks on the border near Rukban, some of which were attributed to ISIS and one that killed six Jordanian soldiers.

According to U.S. think-tank The Century Foundation, armed groups in Rukban have up to 4,000 men in their ranks and include:

Maghawir al-Thawra, the Free Tribes Army, the remnants of a formerly Pentagon-backed group called the Qaryatein Martyr Battalions and three factions formerly linked to the CIA’s covert war in Syria: the Army of the Eastern Lions, the Martyr Ahmed al-Abdo Forces, and the Shaam Liberation Army.”

Those armed groups, according to Russia, include several hundred ISIS and al-Qaeda recruits. Even the Atlantic Council — a NATO- and U.S. State Department-funded think-tank consistent in its anti-Syrian government stance — reported in November 2017 that the Jordanian government acknowledged an ISIS presence in Rukban.

The Century Foundation also notes the presence of ISIS in Rukban and concedes that the U.S. military “controls the area but won’t guarantee the safety of aid workers seeking access to the camp.”

Rukban

The Rukban camp, sandwiched between Jordan, Syria borders and Iraq, Feb. 14, 2017. Raad Adayleh | AP

Syria and Russia have sought out diplomatic means to resolve the issue of Rukban, arguing repeatedly at the United Nations Security Council for the need to dismantle the camp and return refugees to areas once plagued by terrorism but that have now been secured.

As I wrote recently:

The U.S. stymied aid to Rukban, and was then only willing to provide security for aid convoys to a point 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) away from the camp, according to the UN’s own Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock. So, by U.S. administration logic, convoys should have dropped their Rukban-specific aid in areas controlled by terrorist groups and just hoped for the best.”

The U.S., for its part, has both refused the evacuation of refugees from the camp and obstructed aid deliveries on at least two occasions. In February, Russia and Syria opened two humanitarian corridors to Rukban and began delivering much-needed aid to its residents.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, noted in May 2019 that Syria agreed to facilitate the first aid convoy to Rukban earlier this year, but the convoy was ultimately delayed by the United States for 40 days. A second convoy was then delayed for four months. Al-Ja’afari also noted that the U.S., as an occupying power in Syria, is obliged under the Geneva Conventions to provide food, medicine and humanitarian assistance to those under its occupation.

Then, in early March, the Russian Center for Reconciliation reported that U.S. authorities had refused entry to a convoy of buses intending to enter the deconfliction zone to evacuate refugees from Rukban.

According to a March 2019 article from Public Radio International:

[W]hen Syrian and Iranian forces have entered the 34-mile perimeter around the base, American warplanes have responded with strikes — effectively putting Rukban and its residents under American protection from Assad’s forces.”

Despite the abundance of obstacles they faced, Syria and Russia were ultimately able to evacuate over 14,000 of the camp’s residents to safety. In a joint statement on June 19, representatives of the two countries noted that some of the camp’s residents were forced to pay “militants” between $400 to $1000 in order to leave Rukban.

Media reports on Rukban … from abroad

While Rukban — unlike Madaya or Aleppo in 2016 — generally isn’t making headlines, there are some pro-regime-change media reporting on it, although even those reports tend to omit the fact that civilians have been evacuated to safety and provided with food and medical care.

Instead, articles relieve America and armed Jihadist groups of their role in the suffering of displaced Syrians in Rukban, reserving blame for Syria and Russia and claiming internal refugees are being forced to leave against their will only to be imprisoned by the Syrian government.

Emad Ghali, a “media activist,” has been at the center of many of these claims. Ghali has been cited as a credible source in most of the mainstream Western press’ reporting on Rukban, from the New York Times, to Al Jazeera, to the Middle East Eye. Cited since at least 2018 in media reporting on Rukban, Ghali has an allegiance to the Free Syrian Army, a fact easily gleaned by simply browsing his Facebook profile. He recently posted multiple times on Facebook mourning the passing of jihadist commander and footballer Abdul Baset al-Sarout. As it turns out, Sarout not only held extremist and sectarian views, but pledged allegiance to ISIS, among other less-than-noble acts ignored by most media reports that cite him.

Ghali ISIS

Ghali paid homage to ISIS commander Abdul Baset al-Sarout on his Facebook page

Citing Ghali as merely a “media activist” is not an unusual practice for many covering the Syrian conflict. In fact, Ghali holds the same level of extremist-minded views as the “sources” cited by the New York Times in articles that I reported on around the time Ghouta was being liberated from jihadist groups in 2018.

Four sources used in those articles had affiliations to, and/or reverence for the al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam — including the former leader Zahran Alloush who has been known to confine civilians in cages, including women and children, for use as human shields in Ghouta — Faylaq al-Rahman, and even to al-Qaeda, not to mention the so-called Emir of al-Qaeda in Syria, the applauded Abu Muhammad Al-Julani.

Claims in a Reuters article of forced internment, being held at gunpoint in refugee centers, come from sources not named in Rukban — instead generically referred to as “residents of Rukban say”…

An article in the UAE-based The National also pushed fear-mongering over the “fate that awaits” evacuees, saying:

[T]here is talk of Syrian government guards separating women and children from men in holding centres in Homs city.There are also accusations of a shooting last month, with two men who had attempted an escape from one of the holding centres allegedly killed. The stories are unconfirmed, but they are enough to make Rukban’s men wary of taking the government’s route out.”

Yet reports from those who have actually visited the centers paint a different picture.

An April 2019 report by Russia-based Vesti News shows calm scenes of Rukban evacuees receiving medical exams by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who according to Vesti, have doctors there every day; and of food and clean, if not simple, rooms in a former school housing displaced refugees from Rukban. Notably, the Vesti journalist states: “There aren’t any checkpoints or barriers at the centre. The entrance and exit are free.”

The Russian Reconciliation Center reported on May 23 of the refugee centers:

In early May, these shelters were visited by officials from the respective UN agencies, in particular, the UNHCR, who could personally see that the Syrian government provided the required level of accommodation for the refugees in Homs. It is remarkable that most of the former Rukban residents have already relocated from temporary shelters in Homs to permanent residencies in government-controlled areas.”

Likewise, in the Horjilleh Center which I visited in 2018 families were living in modest but sanitary shelters, cooked food was provided, a school was running, and authorities were working to replace identity papers lost during the years under the rule of jihadist groups.

Calling on the U.S. to close the camp

David Swanson, Public Information Officer Regional Office for the Syria Crisis UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs based in Amman, Jordan, told me regarding claims of substandard conditions and of Syrians being forcefully held or mistreated in the centers that,

People leaving Rukban are taken to temporary collective shelters in Homs for a 24-hour stay. While there, they receive basic assistance, including shelter, blankets, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping mats, plastic sheets, food parcels and nutrition supplies before proceeding to their areas of choice, mostly towards southern and eastern Homs, with small numbers going to rural Damascus or Deir-ez-Zor.

The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters on three occasions and has found the situation there adequate. The United Nations continues to advocate and call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian assistance and access to Rukban as well as to all those in need throughout Syria. The United Nations also seeks the support of all concerned parties in ensuring the humanitarian and voluntary character of departures from Rukban.”

Hedinn Halldorsson, the Spokesperson and Public Information Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) based in Damascus, told me:

We looked into this when the rumours started, end of April, and concluded they were unfounded – and communicated that externally via press briefings in both Geneva and NY. The conditions in the shelters in Homs are also adequate and in compliance with standards; the UN has access and has done three monitoring visits so far.”

Syria Rukban

Syrian Arab Red Crescent members unload food and water for Rukban’s evacuees. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Halldorsson noted official UN statements, including:

“Alleged mistreatment of Rukban returnees

  • The United Nations is aware of media reports about people leaving Rukban having been killed or subject to mistreatment upon arrival in shelters in Homs.
  • The United Nations has not been able to confirm any of the allegations.

Regarding the issue of shelters, Halldorsson noted that as of July 1st:

  • Nearly 15,600 people have left Rukban since March – or nearly 40 per cent of the estimated total population of 41,700.
  • The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters in Homs on three occasions and found conditions in these shelters to be adequate.”

Confirming both UN officials’ statements about the Syrian government’s role in Rukban, the Syrian Mission to the United Nations in New York City told me:

The Syrian Government has spared no effort in recent years to provide every form of humanitarian assistance and support to all Syrians affected by the crisis, regardless of their locations throughout Syria. The Syrian Government has therefore collaborated and cooperated with the United Nations and other international organizations working in Syria to that end, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/182.

There must be an end to the suffering of tens of thousands of civilians who live in Al-Rukban, an area which is controlled by illegitimate foreign forces and armed terrorist groups affiliated with them. The continued suffering of those Syrian civilians demonstrates the indifference of the United States Administration to their suffering and disastrous situation.

We stress once again that there is a need to put an end to the suffering of these civilians and to close this camp definitively. The detained people in the camp must be allowed to leave it and return to their homes, which have been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army from terrorism. We note that the Syrian Government has taken all necessary measures to evacuate the detainees from the Rukban camp and end their suffering. What is needed today is for the American occupation forces to allow the camp to be dismantled and to ensure safe transportation in the occupied Al-Tanf area.”

Given that the United States has clearly demonstrated not only a lack of will to aid and or resettle Rukban’s residents but a callousness that flies in the face of their purported concern for Syrians in Rukban, the words of Syrian and Russian authorities on how to solve the crisis in Rukban could not ring truer.

Very little actual coverage

The sparse coverage Rukban has received has mostly revolved around accusations that the camp’s civilians fear returning to government-secured areas of Syria for fear of being imprisoned or tortured. This, in spite of the fact that areas brought back under government control over the years have seen hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians return to live in peace and of a confirmation by the United Nations that they had “positively assessed the conditions created by the Syrian authorities for returning refugees.”

The accusations also come in spite of the fact that, for years now, millions of internally displaced Syrians have taken shelter in government areas, often housed and given medical care by Syrian authorities.

Over the years I’ve found myself waiting for well over a month for my journalist visa at the Syrian embassy in Beirut to clear. During these times I traveled around Lebanon where I’ve encountered Syrians who left their country either for work, the main reason, or because their neighborhoods were occupied by terrorist groups. All expressed a longing for Syria and a desire to return home.

In March, journalist Sharmine Narwani tweeted in part that,

the head of UNDP in Lebanon told me during an interview: ‘I have not met a single Syrian refugee who does not want to go home.’”

Of the authors who penned articles claiming that Syrians in Rukban are afraid to return to government-secured areas of Syria, few that I’m aware of actually traveled to Syria to speak with evacuees, instead reporting from Istanbul or even further abroad.

On June 12, I did just that, hiring a taxi to take me to a dusty stretch of road roughly 60 km east of ad-Dumayr, Syria, where I was able to intercept a convoy of buses ferrying exhausted refugees out of Rukban.

Merchants, armed groups and Americans

Five hundred meters from a fork in the highway connecting a road heading northeast to Tadmur (Palmyra) to another heading southeast towards Iraq — I waited at a nondescript stopping point called al-Waha, where buses stopped for water and food to be distributed to starving refugees. In Arabic, al-Waha means the oasis and, although only a makeshift Red Crescent distribution center, and compared to Rukban it might as well have been an oasis.

A convoy of 18 buses carrying nearly 900 tormented Syrians followed by a line of trucks carrying their belongings were transferred to refugee reception centers in Homs. Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributed boxes containing beans, chickpeas and canned meat — the latter a scarcity among the displaced.

Rukban evacuation

Buses transported nearly 900 refugees from Rukban Camp to temporary shelters in Homs on June 12. Photo | Eva Bartlett

As food and water were handed out, I moved from bus to bus speaking with people who endured years-long shortages of food, medicine, clean water, work and education … the basic essentials of life. Most people I spoke to said they were starving because they couldn’t afford the hefty prices of food in the camp, which they blamed on Rukban’s merchants. Some blamed the terrorist groups operating in the camp and still others blamed the Americans. A few women I spoke to blamed the Syrian government, saying no aid had entered Rukban at all, a claim that would later be refuted by reports from both the UN and Red Crescent.

Image on the right: An elderly woman recounted enduring hunger in Rukban. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Syria Rukban

An old woman slumped on the floor of one bus recounted:

We were dying of hunger, life was hell there. Traders [merchants] sold everything at high prices, very expensive; we couldn’t afford to buy things. We tried to leave before today but we didn’t have money to pay for a car out. There were no doctors; it was horrible there.”

Aboard another bus, an older woman sat on the floor, two young women and several babies around her. She had spent four years in the camp:

“Everything was expensive, we were hungry all the time. We ate bread, za’atar, yogurt… We didn’t know meat, fruit…”

Merchants charged 1,000 Syrian pounds (US $2) for five potatoes, she said, exemplifying the absurdly high prices.

I asked whether she’d been prevented from leaving before. “Yes,” she responded.

She didn’t get a chance to elaborate as a younger woman further back on the bus shouted at her that no one had been preventing anyone from leaving. When I asked the younger woman how the armed groups had treated her, she replied, “All respect to them.”

But others that I spoke to were explicit in their blame for both the terrorist groups operating in the camp and the U.S. occupation forces in al-Tanf.

An older man from Palmyra who spent four years in the camp spoke of “armed gangs” paid in U.S. dollars being the only ones able to eat properly:

The armed gangs were living while the rest of the people were dead. No one here had fruit for several years. Those who wanted fruit have to pay in U.S. dollars. The armed groups were the only ones who could do so. They were spreading propaganda: ‘don’t go, the aid is coming.’ We do not want aid. We want to go back to our towns.”

Mahmoud Saleh, a young man from Homs, told me he’d fled home five years ago. According to Saleh, the Americans were in control of Rukban. He also put blame on the armed groups operating in the camp, especially for controlling who was permitted to leave. He said,

“There are two other convoys trying to leave but the armed groups are preventing them.”

Image below: Mahmoud Saleh from Homs said the Americans control Rukban and blamed armed groups in the camp for controlling who could leave. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Syria Rukban

A shepherd who had spent three years in Rukban blamed “terrorists” for not being able to leave. He also blamed the United States:

“Those controlling Tanf wouldn’t let us leave, the Americans wouldn’t let us leave.”

Many others I spoke to said they had wanted to leave before but were fear-mongered by terrorists into staying, told they would be “slaughtered by the regime,” a claim parroted by many in the Western press when Aleppo and other areas of Syria were being liberated from armed groups.

The testimonies I heard when speaking to Rukban evacuees radically differed from the claims made in most of the Western press’ reporting about Syria’s treatment of refugees. These testimonies are not only corroborated by Syrian and Russian authorities, but also by the United Nations itself.

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Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and occupied Palestine, where she lived for nearly four years. She is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza. She tweets at @EvaKBartlett

Featured image:  An elderly women evacuated from Rukban complained of hunger due to extremely high food prices. Photo | Eva Bartlett

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Hassan Nasrallah: Without Hezbollah, South Lebanon would be Israel’s, Palestinian & Syrian Refugee Crisis must be solved

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 25, 2019, on the 19th anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon.
 
Transcript:

[…] One of the most important results of this (May 25), 2000 victory, which was confirmed and strengthened over time, is to have shaped the equation of force in Lebanon. In 2000, with the Israeli defeat, it became clear that in Lebanon, a force had imposed on the Israeli enemy (by force) to get out defeated, humiliated, fleeing (the battlefield). Israel has not obtained any gain nor was it able to impose any conditions, any security agreement (for an orderly retreat or a peace treaty), any reward or compensation whatsoever: on the contrary, it was a retreat (without negotiations or conditions), a (real) humiliation. And anyway, Israelis themselves unanimously acknowledge this.

All that was said at the time to (try to) confiscate the results of this victory, that what happened was allegedly the result of a secret agreement, of a deal (between so and so), a (mere) implementation by Israel of UN Resolution 425 (passed in 1978!), it all fell apart within a few days, because it was a mirage, illusions, lies, mystification attempts that had no basis of truth or reality. The whole world –and primarily Israel itself– submitted to the fact, and recognized and accepted that what happened on May 25, 2000 was a total defeat for the Israeli enemy and a clear, decisive, conclusive, radiant and glorious victory for Lebanon, for the Lebanese people, for the Resistance in Lebanon, for the Lebanese army, and for all those who have helped shape this feat and the victory in Lebanon (especially Iran and Syria). And therefore, the presence of this proactive force was revealed (to the whole world), this force that imposed a defeat on the enemy.

And ever since, Lebanon is not considered anymore as the weak link in the Arab-Israeli conflict or as the main weakness of the body of the (Muslim) Community or in the structure or situation of the region. This is well and truly over. Now, Lebanon is regarded as the holder of a large point of strength (Hezbollah). And it is not (only) me who says so. Anyone can ascertain this truth by following (the statements of) Israeli officials, the Israeli enemy, its politicians and military, security services, analysts, media, study centers, conferences held each year within the (Zionist) entity, reports, security measures, (military) maneuvers, all the measures taken by Israel at the border (construction of a defensive wall, earthworks, trenches, etc.), all this confirms that the enemy is considering seriously and follows in real time this real strength present in Lebanon.

For a long time, we have been considered by Israel as a strategic threat or as the main threat. I’m going back to the fact that we are a “threat” to them. But the fact is that the enemy recognizes our strength, and that the whole world does the same, including the United States, and that’s why they constantly ponder how they can liquidate Hezbollah as the spine and base of the new Lebanese force equation which was achieved after 2000. They constantly wonder how they can get rid of Hezbollah. They speak of assassinations, sanctions, pressure, isolation, inclusion in the lists of terrorist organizations, blockade and even total war… All this, they have undertaken, but Hezbollah has stood against all these conspiracies and all these trials.

Therefore, the enemy recognizes the presence of this force, and the reality of this great upheaval that took place in Lebanon after 2000, and took root and expanded after the victory of the Resistance in 2006. Today, Israel says about this force, particularly about Hezbollah, that it is a strategic threat or the greatest threat to Israel. I would like to… Of course, this is a glorious testimony for us, and we are proud of it and take pride with this fact, because what even our enemies acknowledge undeniably underlines our merit. But I want to present it in positive and national terms, from our front, our side, not from the perspective of the enemy. Because when Israel presents us as a strategic threat and the main threat, it aims thereby to incite the world against us. But we have to present (this reality) from our point of view, positively. In a positive way, what the enemy sees as a threat, we designate it as a defensive force, a force that prevents (aggression), a force that pushes back (the enemy), a protection, deterrence and confrontation force. In a nutshell, as an integral part of the Lebanese force that got rooted after 2000, Hezbollah represents part of the force of deterrence, response and prevention that prevents the Israeli enemy to satisfy any of its greed (in Lebanon), or to carry out any of its threats.

We all know that the enemy has ambitions in our lands, waters, country, borders, etc. So far, even in border areas –to which I shall return in a moment–, the Israeli enemy continues to claim certain strategic areas for Lebanon, like the issue of the Shebaa farms, or others who have a major value in terms of security, strategy and economy. The same goes for the issue of the (maritime) border (and offshore resources in) oil and gas. The greed of this enemy goes far beyond these borders. Anyway, Israel’s cupidity and threats are well known, and he tries to forcefully impose his choices to our country, to our people and to the Lebanese State, but this force (Hezbollah) stands before him (and neutralizes his aggressive tendencies).

This force, just like the enemy recognizes it and works to neutralize it, to liquidate it and get rid of it, as for us, we need to know, we the Lebanese, the importance of this force for the preservation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, welfare, safety, choices and resources, for the present and the future of Lebanon, and we must work to protect this force, that we dubbed the ‘Golden Equation’, namely the Army, the People and the Resistance. We must preserve this strength to face this greed and these threats. And it is thanks to this strength that we could liberate our territory.

Imagine that there were no Resistance in Lebanon, that there were no Liberation in May 2000. So imagine that the army of occupation were still occupying our territory, at least Southern Lebanon, to this date, wouldn’t we see Mr. Trump grant southern Lebanon, or at least large areas of southern Lebanon, to the enemy government, as he granted them Al-Quds (Jerusalem), as he granted them the Golan, as he will grant them the West Bank, and as his predecessors in the past granted them the 1948 territories?

Therefore, today, the Resistance, as a part of this fundamental Lebanese force, this fundamental Lebanese force, this defense force, this deterrent, this protection force, this retaliation, prevention and confrontation force, it is the force that we must protect with great care and at the best of our capabilities. When we see that our enemies target it by all means to finish it off, we need to know that they act in their interests, and therefore, as Lebanese, we must act on the basis of our national position, our sovereignty, our ethics and also according to our interests. Our interest as Lebanese is to live in security, welfare and health, to protect our territory, our capabilities, our blood, our honor, our dignity and our freedom, which implies that we should be strong. The strength is our (only) real guarantee (against Israel).

What we need to confirm during the occasion that we celebrate this day, especially in a world that appears more than ever as making no place to international law, UN resolutions, the Security Council, or to international organizations, and where only the US-Zionist tyranny, arrogance and despotism have a voice, as well as the Resistant, strong and steadfast peoples, those who are fully committed to their rights and are prepared to defend themselves and to sacrifice for these rights to be respected. As for the others, they are (mere) victims, who have no place in the equations, and must spend (huge) sums of money, pay the consequences (of their cowardice), and in the end, the (US) will get rid of them when they become a burden (refers to Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Based on the occasion that we celebrate this day, I want to briefly mention a few related points. First, on the 19th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day, we must confirm our commitment to the Shebaa Farms, the hills of Kfar Shuba and the Lebanese part of Ghajar village (occupied Lebanese territories). The statement issued yesterday by His Eminence the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun on this issue was strong, clear and categorical. The same applies to the Declaration of the General Staff of the Lebanese Army, which affirms its absolute commitment in appropriate terms: it was, in essence, an irrevocable commitment to liberate the Shebaa Farms, the hills of Kfar Shuba and the rest of the (Lebanese) occupied territories, whatever sacrifices are required and at any cost, as high as it may be. I do not quote verbatim from their statement, but you can refer to it, and that’s what it says in substance, and its content is clearly strong and appropriate. So today, we confirm our natural right to our territory, to resist, to deploy all forms of Resistance and to implement all means to liberate the rest of our Lebanese (occupied) territory.

The second issue is the demarcation of borders. Currently, one of our elements of strength is the agreement between the various Lebanese officials, and in particular between the three Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Chamber of Deputies) on this issue. The Hezbollah Resistance supports the position shown by the State and stands behind him, as we have announced in the past. In all certainty, the Resistance, the Lebanese people and all the Lebanese trust and place their hopes in the commitment of the (three Lebanese) Presidents and of all the State officials to all of our land, sea and natural resources rights presumed in our waters, and expect from them a wise management of our case, persistence in our national claims and to see them live up to their historic responsibilities in the negotiations on these issues.

In these (indirect) negotiations, Lebanon can rely on two key points: 1 / The strength (provided by) right because what Lebanon demands is its rights. What Lebanon demands is rightfully ours. 2 / The strength (provided by) the strength I have just mentioned, and which is present in Lebanon.

Today, Lebanon is not in a weak position against Israel, not at all. And no Lebanese must feel that their country or State is in a weak position, never. Today, Israel is intimidated, scared, worried and fearful with what is in Lebanon. And just as Israel can prevent Lebanon from exploiting the oil and gas (present in the Mediterranean), similarly, Lebanon can prevent Israel from exploiting maritime resources in oil and gas. I have no need to utter new threats. The Israeli enemy, and behind them the United States are very familiar with these (deterrence) equations.

And therefore, as long as the Lebanese State and politicians rely on the strength (provided by) the righteousness of our claims, and the strength (provided by) our strength, we’ll remain committed to our rights and we can be very optimistic, as the President of the Chamber (of Deputies) Nabih Berri, in our ability to achieve a great victory in this case, God willing.

The third point (of my speech) is the issue of the (permanent) settlement (of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere). I would like to draw attention to the fact that the most important thing that can come out of the Bahrain Economic Conference (scheduled for June 25 and 26, 2019, to launch the ‘Deal of the Century’) and the economic investments (for Palestine) that must be discussed there, plus some incentives and financial aid here and there, all this can open the door for the naturalization of our Palestinian brothers (who are refugees) in Lebanon and in the rest of the countries in which they are located, in addition to the pressures and restrictions experienced by UNRWA, that can lead to stopping its activities (of vital aid to Palestinian refugees, especially in Gaza).

Similarly, as for the issue of the border demarcation (between Lebanon and occupied Palestine), there is common ground, a common background on the Lebanese scene, namely that all the Lebanese, despite the many differences between them, are unanimous in the refusal of the naturalization (of Palestinians), be it in the Constitution, politically, patriotically, and on all levels. It is also a common ground with our Palestinian brothers in Lebanon, as all Palestinians, whether Palestinian factions, the Palestinian people (as a whole), Palestinian refugees, all our dear and honorable Palestinians brothers in Lebanon are unanimous in their rejection of naturalization, and insist to assert their right to return to their land, Palestine, in their lands, their property and their homes. This is a common ground (between all Lebanese and all Palestinians).

Now we are at a stage where it is no longer enough for everyone to declare that we are against the naturalization (of Palestinians). O Lebanese, O Palestinians in Lebanon, it seems that the danger of naturalization is dangerously close. And that is why I call for a quick meeting, which does not need to be extensively prepared, because it is not a negotiating table, nor a set of conferences. (This meeting will not require) long days (of preparation or discussions). It is simply a meeting of Lebanese and Palestinian leaders in Lebanon to discuss seriously the creeping and imminent danger of naturalization, and to devise a plan against it.

Of course I do not mean the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC), which debates of major problems in detail, but of a meeting that will come on top of this committee, or will be at its side, or held at a higher level, and I suggest that it be held at a high level, with the main officials, and in a serious manner. Today, we must be vigilant, and it is not enough that I make a statement (against naturalization), that the other (Lebanese groups) do the same, and that our Palestinian brothers too, and all will be well. Absolutely not. Because in our statements, we are all opposed to naturalization. But what is the Lebanese-Palestinian joint action plan (to be implemented)? We need a common plan to face the creeping and imminent danger of naturalization. We must all sit together, the Palestinian and Lebanese officials concerned must sit and devise an action plan. And as for the ideas, suggestions or active assistance that can be asked from us, of course we are very willing to participate in this fundamental, patriotic and national struggle.

The fourth point of my speech is a word about the Syrian refugees, to which I referred (at the beginning of my speech) regarding Syria. I will also speak of it briefly, although the subject deserves an entire hour, because it is full of tedious details. But today I just say this to the Lebanese: everyone is unanimous in Lebanon, and it is also a common ground – I try to be positive today, and look for common ground between all Lebanese. In terms of appearances, all Lebanese are unanimous in declaring that they want to help our brothers and families of Syrian refugees return in their country. We all agree on the principle, but we disagree on how, on the means, etc.

But the truth of the issue, because I want to reveal the truth and to be clear, and not make up false reasons for these divergences: the real reason (of the obstacles to the return of the Syrians) is a political reason. All this is related to the upcoming presidential elections in Syria. The mandate of President Bashar al-Assad will end in 2020-2021, and elections will be held no matter what happens, regardless of what may or may not occur in Astana, in Geneva, whether a constitutional committee be organized or not, whether a political solution (to the conflict) is found or not, presidential elections will be held as scheduled.

There is an insistence of the United States, of Western countries (France, Great Britain, etc.) and of the Gulf countries… We must be clear. Today, the Lebanese people is unanimous in his desire to resolve this issue, whose sufferings are shared (between Syrians and Lebanese): Syrians suffer from being displaced, except a minority of them who managed to get a good situation in Lebanon, and now have shops, restaurants, facilities, resources, and everything is fine for them, and they are comfortable, but it is a minority. The majority of the displaced Syrians are living the suffering of displacement. The Syrians are suffering, and the Lebanese also suffer, in all regions. At some point, some people, and that is unfortunate, tried to give a sectarian dimension to the differences on the issue of the displaced Syrians, and a religious or regional dimension. But today, all Lebanese, in all regions, regardless of their religious group, are suffering the consequences of this displacement and are therefore concerned by it. They suffer economically, socially, in terms of security, and you know the details of the situation. We see the news every day, and know well the details of the situation.

Why is the suffering of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon still ongoing? Why is the suffering of the Lebanese still ongoing? Why should the two sides continue to bear all these burdens? For a simple reason. This is the truth. This is the (plain) truth: the United States, the West, and at least some Gulf countries do not want the displaced Syrians to return to their country, at least not before the Syrian presidential elections. The reason is (purely) political.

This has nothing to do with humanitarian considerations. Rather, humanitarian considerations require that everyone returns home, to his house, shops and fields, to his family and beloved ones, to his country. And it has nothing to do with security reasons. All those who have returned to Syria live there (in peace), like the other Syrians. The rumors that some Lebanese officials have tried to spread about alleged murders, settling of accounts, etc., are mere inventions and lies, and I ask – I have already asked some officials at the State level, outside the media – that these false claims be the subject of an investigation because they are dangerous. And in truth, these fabrications constitute a (false) charge against all the political parties who supported or facilitated the return (of the Syrians), and especially against a respected Security institution of prime importance in Lebanon, namely the Directorate of General Security in Lebanon who mainly took charge of the issue. These lies, designed to scare the displaced Syrians so they do not return to their country, are baseless, but serve the political purpose that I just mentioned.

As for the State and the Syrian government, several years ago – it is not recent -, during a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, I spoke to him frankly and asked him frankly: “Do you want the displaced Syrians to return to Syria?” Because it was necessary that we understand each other. We are friends and allies, and shouldn’t harm each other (even unintentionally). He answered frankly and truthfully, “Yes, we want them all back in Syria and we are ready to make it easy for everyone to return to Syria.” Today, what is the obstacle? This is the one I mentioned. It is a political obstacle. The obstacle is political.

Can Lebanon, the Lebanese State and the Lebanese government be subject to these political considerations, and should they take precedence over humanitarian considerations, security considerations and economic considerations only because the United States, the West and some Gulf countries give the priority to these political considerations, and impose on Lebanon a ban on the return (of the displaced Syrians to their country)? I say that what is happening in Lebanon is that displaced Syrians are prevented from returning to their country. It would be wrong to say that there is a voluntary return in place, and those who want to return can do so, and those who want to stay (in Lebanon or elsewhere) can do so. It is not the case! There is a real impediment. One way to prevent this return is intimidation and fear spread by some Lebanese officials in the past and to this day (for some). Some Lebanese media continue to spread (these false, scary rumors). And likewise, one of the ways to prevent the return of the displaced is to entice them, to make their staying in Lebanon desirable. Therefore, we must do away with these obstacles (preventing the return of the Syrians), and not merely (condemn them).

Today, of course, no one in Lebanon, no Lebanese political force can declare themselves in favor of maintaining the Syrians in Lebanon, or declare themselves opposed to their return to Syria, no one would dare say that, even if that’s what they really want. Everyone says that the Syrians must go back home and that we must help them. I believe that after the debate on the budget, the government and the Lebanese political forces must seriously discuss this issue and not just give their stance about it.

Anyway, the regional and international scene has become clear: the Lebanese delegations, during the conferences that were organized and the contacts that have been made with all countries of the world… And I declare that what I now reveal on television has become a certainty for the Lebanese officials for months at least, if not for years. (Lebanese officials know with certainty that the United States, the West and the Gulf are fiercely opposed to the return of the Syrian refugees) since months at least. Therefore, it is clear to all Lebanese officials and leaders that there is a political obstacle (to the return of the displaced Syrians). How will we react? What are we to do with this issue which is a major national problem? […]

See also: Nasrallah: ‘Invading Israeli Forces Would be Annihilated, Hezbollah will Liberate Shebaa Farms’  & Israeli Officials: a War against Hezbollah would be Disastrous

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

Sayyed Nasrallah: If It Weren’t for Liberation in 2000, Trump Would’ve Granted South to Israel

May 25, 2019

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech Saturday 25th of May on the anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation day.

Sayyed Nasrallah tackled regional and internal files including the upcoming Bahrain Summit, localizing the Palestinians in Lebanon, strength of the resistance axis, return of the Syrians to their country, and internal files.

His eminence called for a wide participation in Al-Quds day which is held annually on the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan, stressing that this day is of great significance this year because of the efforts being made to put an end to the Palestinian cause, specifically during the upcoming Economic Conference in Bahrain.

He greeted the Palestinian’s united stance to boycott and refuse this conference and praised the Bahraini people, scholars, and political powers’ stances that condemned the country’s decision to be the first to embrace “the deal of the century” which aims at putting an end to the Palestinian cause.

25/May/2000: Resistance and Liberation Day

Sayyed Nasrallah greeted everyone who was part of this victory by sacrificing, staying patient, supporting and aiding.

“We should remember the families of the martyred and injured, Lebanese factions, Security Forces, Army, Palestinian factions and the Syrian Army and keep in mind that Iran and Syria are the ones who stood by our side and they are our companions in victory,” he said.

Hezbollah SG assured that one of the major outcomes of this victory was the “Equation of Strength” in Lebanon because the Israeli enemy had to pull back without any victories or conditions.

“Lebanon was no longer regarded as the weak ring in the Arab/Israel conflict, and today the Israeli enemy states that in Lebanon there is a “strategic or central threat against Israel”, he noted; adding “just like the enemy is aware of this strength, the Lebanese people should be aware of its importance in order to sustain their country’s sovereignty and safety and in order to protect it. This what forms the Golden Equation “Army, people and Resistance”.”

“If it weren’t for the resistance and liberation in 2000, Trump would’ve granted the south of Lebanon or other parts of it to Israel, just like he did with Al-Quds and the Golan,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, reassuring holding on to “Shabaa Farms, Kfarchouba hills and the Lebanese part of Al-Ghajar village.”

Localization in Lebanon

Concerning localizing immigrants in Lebanon, his eminence said: “we suspect that the economic summit in Bahrain will be opening the door for the localization of immigrants in Lebanon and other countries. The Lebanese agree on refusing localization politically and constitutionally, and the Palestinians as well agree on refusing localization and holding on to their right of return.”

Sayyed Nasrallah called for “a meeting between Lebanese and Palestinian officials to put a joint plan on how to face the danger of localization because the threat is approaching and statements are no longer enough”.

Syrian Refugees’ Return

Hezbollah SG pointed out that “the real reason behind delaying the return of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon to their country is political and it is related to the presidential elections in Syria because the presidency of Bashar Al-Assad will end in 2020 or 2021, and there is an American, Western, and Gulf insistence on keeping the refugees away from their countries until then. There are no humanitarian or security reasons behind postponing the refugees’ return to Syria and claims about that are just rumors.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further stated that “Assad has confirmed to me that he supports the return of everyone to Syria and is ready to offer facilitation, but the obstacle is political. Should Lebanon submit to this political obstacle only because the US, west and Gulf want that?”

Battle against Corruption Files

His eminence stressed Hezbollah’s commitment to fight corruption, reiterating that this needs time and patience, and it is even harder than the battle of liberating the south.

He indicated that the ministers are doing their jobs and have not found corruption in the Ministries of health and sports, and called on everyone who has information or data against these two ministries to propose them so that action would be taken.

On another hand, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “budgeting discussion has been our priority because it is a major point in the process of fighting corruption and stopping financial waste.”

Source: Al-Manar

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Syria: US SS Won’t Leave Rukban Concentration Camp; MSM Ignore Terror Attacks

April 4, 2019

rukban-concentration-camp

Rukban Concentration Camp, where US-led SS is holding 40,000 Syrians hostage & starving them. Photo via SANA.

In Syria, the US-led SS forces continue to hold 40,000 internally displaced persons hostage in the Rukban concentration camp. In Syria, the US and EU funded and armed moderate terrorists continue to bomb civilian neighborhoods. In Syria, landmines provided to these moderates and left behind, continue to explode under the feet of Syrian civilians.

Massive coverage on Trump’s alleged golf cheating by media that are silent over the Rukban Concentration Camp. On rare occasions the camp is mentioned, lies have hostages appreciating their captivity. Author remains surprised that her relative who survived Auschwitz never mentioned his appreciation to the Nazis for his well-being.

The world’s human garbage, the criminally insane pimped by western world leaders and warmongering media as demigods, continue to breach the [unilaterally applied] Idlib “de-escalation zone agreement.” On 1 April, terrorists fired multiple rocket shells into Mhardeh (“rocket shells,” like “mortars,” is a euphemism for ground-to-ground-bombs). Houses, businesses, and other infrastructure were damaged.

The civilians of Mhardeh, Syria, are frequent targets for the Saudi-run, Jaish al Ezza Benevolent Society, located in Ltamenah, and whose social media activity was used by UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Investigation Lab report, published 18 January 2018.

Syria
Baboons — er, ‘medics’? — keep busy when not building unhospitals in Ltamenah.
syria
Ten coffins carrying the remains of civilians are draped in the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic for their mass funeral.

The Syrian Arab Army has destroyed some rocket launchers of Saudi al Ezza and Qatari al Nusra — the latter, still on the designated terror lists of UN, US, and European countries. It is likely that the media will soon issue a condemnation.

Yesterday, 2 April, the SAA discovered another weapons cache and telecommunications trove in Daraa, Syria.

Weapons & telecommunications devices left behind by retreating terrorists.

They were abandoned by the beloved friends of US Sen. Adam Kinzinger, who neglected to nominate them for the Nobel Peace Prize for having slaughtered Syrian Arab Army soldiers after which they proudly mutilated their corpses.

syria
SAA soldiers slaughtered, their corpses abused. What American would cheer seeing a US soldier so brutalized?

The SAA also targeted hideouts of the not Syrian Turkistani Party, in the outskirts of al Ankawi and Shorlin, in the northern countryside of Hama in response to the foreign terrorists ongoing breaches in the “de-escalation” agreement.

Syria

Also, yesterday, another 9 civilians were blown up in yet another landmine explosion, in Aleppo countryside.

Do a search of Syria news and see zero reports on the Trump SS concentration camp of Rukban, zero reports on landmines and on human garbage bombing civilian neighborhoods.

Instead, you will find reporting on a British terrorist actually on trial for terrorism. Leading the stories, you will find Fox News as press liaison for al Qaeda in Idlib — Syria — quoting Amnesty supporting al Qaeda, and posting an impressive staged photo of the savage White Helmets.

It should come as no surprise that the faux conservative Fox gives the same criminal propaganda as CNN; after all, Fox did not mention that Trump followed “fake news CNN” interview with a Brit illegal whose medical license was permanently revoked for terrorism charges and bombed Syria based on his lies.

Still, no on notices, as is the outcome showing the success of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird.

No matter that Fox & CNN are fully aligned in anti-Syria propaganda, when there are important differences, regarding how many Mexico’s are in existence.

Syria News further notes the collaboration of FoxCNNand the UN, in complete and utter silence regarding the humanitarian aid convoy to victims of mass floods in Hasaka.

UN has ongoing meetings of the humanitarian situation in Syria. UN falsifies statistics, and these lies are reported by media sources such as Fox & CNN.

It is essential this conspiracy of omission be acknowledged.

Let us be mindful of the very active roll the UN has taken in helping to destroy Syria; showing itself to be “a place to demolish peace and security, to destabilize societies”:

Syrians continue to ignore the UN.

The US-led SS troops continue to hold Syrians prisoners at Rukban Concentration Camp. US/EU/Gulfie – backed takfiri and other wetworkers continue to commit atrocities against the Syrian people, as western media perform as press liaison, with the help of the UN.

syria
H.E. al Jaafari quoting Egyptian Nobel Laureate Najib Mahfouz to the rabid & deaf UN hyenas

Once proven, a conspiracy is no longer a theory. Though rabid, the unleashed media dogs of war are mindful of Dr. Assad’s promise to his people, the Syrian people, and they have begun the campaign in support of alQaeda in Idlib.

syria
Syria’s President, Dr. Bashar al Assad,

— Miri Wood

النعامة العربيّة وقلق لبنان

أبريل 1, 2019

ناصر قنديل

-سيقع قارئ البيان الختامي للقمة العربية في دورتها التونسية، كما المستمع لكلمات الملوك والرؤساء والأمراء، كما المتابع للمؤتمر الصحافي الذي عقده الأمين العام للجامعة العربية ووزير خارجية تونس، على خلاصة واضحة بأن النعامة العربية لا زالت تحكم القمم، وسياستها القائمة على دفن الرأس في الرمال، وتجاهل مصادر الخوف والقلق، صارت مزدوجة. فالقمة تهربت من الاعتراف بعجزها المزدوج، وصارت النعامة برأسين تدفن أحدهما هرباً من الغضب الأميركي، وتدفن الثاني هرباً من حقائق الحضور القوي للشعوب وقوى المقاومة التي بدأت ترسم مسارات بديلة لا تقيم حساباً للقمم ولا تنتظر حساباتها. فالنعامة العربية الخائفة من شعوبها وقوى المقاومة لم تجرؤ على مواصلة الهروب من استحقاقات القضية الفلسطينية، لكنها اكتفت بأنشودة عنوانها أولوية القضية الفلسطينية والتمسك بالقدس، وعندما وصلت للإجابة عن سؤال: كيف نمنع دول العالم من نقل سفاراتها إلى القدس؟ وكيف نضع ثقل العرب الاقتصادي والسياسي والمالي في كفة، ونقل السفارات في كفة موازية؟ تفاجأت القمة بأن عليها البدء بتقديم المثال بما تفعله مع واشنطن أول المنتقلين، وصاحبة المبادرة العدوانية، فتلعثمت القمة، وتلعثم المكمّمون.

-النعامة العربية ذاتها كانت تنظر بنصف عين مفتوحة، نحو سورية، وتحاول أن تواصل التجاهل، فمقعد سورية الشاغر يجب أن يبقى شاغراً، ولكن ماذا عن قرار واشنطن الاعتراف بضم الجولان لـ«إسرائيل»؟ والتجاهل يمنح المشروعية لقوى المقاومة بتصدر المشهد كمدافع وحيد عن قضايا السيادة العربية، والحقوق العربي.، وبدلاً من دفن الراس الأول القائم على التجاهل، دفنت الرأس الثاني القائم على التثاقل، فلماذا العجلة، يكفي الحديث عن التمسك بأن الجولان سوري وتحت الاحتلال، وما يزال هناك المزيد من الوقت للبحث في كيفية حمايته، بل في كيفية حماية سورية كلها، وفي ترتيب العلاقات معها وعودتها إلى مقعدها الشاغر. والوقت يتسع، إلى اللحظة التي يمكن ان يعرض فيها المقعد على سورية وترفض، لأن مثل هذه العودة عار لا يشرّفها، عندما يكون شرطها الانضمام إلى مملكة الصمت، ومزرعة النعام.

-في القمة عيون شاخصة ومفتوحة على مصادر الخطر، كانت للصقر اللبناني، الذي لا يغلق عيونه في عز إبهار الشمس ولا في ذروة العتمة، لكنه لا يملك أكثر من التحذير، كحال زرقاء اليمامة، التي كانت ترى الخطر وتحذر، وتقول لقومها انتبهوا، لكن القوم غارقون بما يثنيهم ويشغلهم، عن مواجهة الخطر، فقد كانت كلمة الرئيس اللبناني العماد ميشال عون، التي تكررت فيها مفردة، القلق مرات عدة، القلق على مفهوم الدولة الواحدة الجامعة وخطر تفكيك المجتمعات الواحدة إلى دويلات طائفية وعرقية تبرر قيام «إسرائيل» كدولة يهودية. والقلق من المبادرات الأميركية لهدم ثوابت القوانين الدولية والقرارات الأممية القائمة على حرمة الأراضي واحترام سيادة الدول، والقلق اللبناني على تهديد سيادة لبنان وحقوقه في مزارع شبعا، والقلق على المبادرة العربية للسلام، بعدما أطلقت عليها رصاصة الرحمة، بعد ضياع الأرض المفترض مقايضة عودتها بالسلام، والقلق من عجز عن المواجهة بسبب حدود مغلقة بين الدول العربية ومقاعد شاغرة في القمة، والعرب وهم موحّدون أضعف من أعباء المواجهة، فكيف وهم مشرذمون، والقلق على فلسطين وسورية واليمن ولبنان والعراق، والقلق من غياب المبادرة والعجز عن التوحد والحوار.

-وحدها صرخة القلق اللبناني كانت تشبه توقيت القمة، وتلامس الجروح بالملح لتوقظها، بينما الآخرون يريدون للجرح أن ينام كي تستكين النعامة العربية في رمالها، لذلك صرخ الرئيس اللبناني في النيام مكرراً، يقلقنا إصرار المجتمع الدولي على إبقاء النازحين السوريين في لبنان، ويقلقنا مصطلح العودة الطوعيّة ويقلقنا ربط العودة بالحل السياسي والقضية الفلسطينية خير شاهد على نتائج ربط العودة بالحلول السياسية، ويقلقنا أيضاً السعي لضرب قرار حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين وسعي للتوطين، والصرخة تقول في مضمونها، يقلقنا أننا جئنا إلى قمة فما وجدنا أننا في قمة.

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Lebanon Shows Entire World Pride in Face of US Tyrant

 March 23, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his entorage waiting for President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace

Mohammad Salami

US officials’ visits to the world countries in most of the cases seem to be political raids aimed at imposing certain conditions which serve the interests of Washington and its allies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Friday (March 22) in Beirut to convey the Israeli demands and conditions to the Lebanese officials, pertaining the demarcation of the marine borders and the natural resources investments.

Pompeo also wanted to pressure the Lebanese officials against tackling the displaced Syrians file in order to exploit their crisis in the US scheme which targets Damascus.

Pompeo and his entourage started touring the various decision-making centers in Beirut in order to provoke the Lebanese against Hezbollah resistance which has protected the country from the Zionist and the takfiri enemies.

The victorious country decided to show the heavy guest and the entire world how power can never defeat national dignity and pride, blocking the way of the US tyrants’ schemes in Lebanon and the region.

President Michel Aoun coldly shook hands with Pompeo and disregarded his assistant David Hale, stressing during the meeting that Hezbollah is a Lebanese party stemming from a popular base that represents one of the main sects in the country.

Aoun also asked Pompeo for his country’s assistance in the return of the Syrian refugees to the safe areas in Syria, stressing that the refugees’ return operations administered by the General Security will continue.

House Speaker Nabih Berri received Pompeo and highlighted the importance of maintaining stability in Lebanon and the need to deal with the maritime borders issue, including Lebanon’s Special Economic Zone.

Berri also stressed that Hezbollah is a “Lebanese party represented at the parliament and the government. Its resistance and that of the Lebanese are the result of the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.”

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil explained to pompeo the dangers posed by the issue of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon, asking for US help in this regard and stressing that Hezbollah is a non-terrorist party that has a great popular support.

The US Secretary of State, consequently, failed to impose on the Lebanese officials any of Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s conditions, stating that his talks in Beirut were “negative”.

As coincidences may convey truth more than planned events, Pompeo’s “yellow” necktie says so much about the yellow flag which have been always squeezing the US plots in Lebanon and the whole region.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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ماذا في زيارة بومبيو وإعلان ترامب غير الكلام الانتخابي؟

مارس 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يصعب على كثيرين تصديق التفكير بأن واشنطن لم تعد تملك إلا الكلام. ويعتبرون هذا الاستنتاج استخفافاً في غير مكانه بالقوة العظمى الأولى في العالم. لذلك لا بد من الدعوة للتدقيق التفصيلي بما تحمله وتريده واشنطن من زيارة رئيس دبلوماسيتها إلى لبنان. وما يريده رئيسها من الإعلان عن موافقته على ضم الجولان إلى كيان الاحتلال. فواشنطن تحزم حقائب الرحيل العسكري من المنطقة تسليماً بمحدوديّة قدرة القوة العسكرية على التأثير في معادلات المنطقة المتغيّرة بعكس اتجاه ما تريد. وبالمقابل الكلفة المرتفعة للاعتماد على القوة العسكرية. والعقوبات التي تنتهجها واشنطن لإضعاف محور المقاومة دولاً وحركات تتسبّب بالتعب لأطراف المحور لكنها لا تغير في السياسات ولا في المعادلات. والذهاب فيها بعيداً لتصبح مجدية يستدعي تعميمها على دول مهمة بالنسبة لإيران مثل تركيا وباكستان والعراق والصين وروسيا وأوروبا. قبل الحديث عن معاقبة الدولة اللبنانية. وفقاً لتلويح وتهديد وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو.

– يعرف بومبيو أن لا نتيجة ستحققها زيارته إذا كان الهدف زعزعة مكانة حزب الله اللبنانية. فالمعنيون في لبنان بملف العلاقة مع حزب الله. كالمعنيون في واشنطن بملف العلاقة مع «إسرائيل». والأمل الأميركي بنتاج لبناني يشبه الأمل اللبناني بتبدّل أميركي تجاه حقوق لبنان ومصالحه وسيادته المهدّدة من «إسرائيل». وفي واشنطن قلة ضئيلة تشارك اللبنانيين بتوصيف الأفعال الإسرائيلية باللاقانونية. كما في لبنان قلة ضئيلة جداً تشارك الأميركيين بتوصيف مواقف ودور حزب الله سواء في مواجهة «إسرائيل» أو الإرهاب باللاقانونية أو اللاوطنية. وكما الغالبية الأميركية تنظر لموقع ومكانة «إسرائيل» بحسابات داخلية. تفعل الغالبية اللبنانية تجاه حزب الله. وكما «إسرائيل» جزء من النسيج السياسيّ الأميركيّ وتوازناته. حزب الله ببعده الإقليمي جزء من نسيج لبنان السياسيّ وتوازناته. وبمعزل عن الصح والخطأ والحق والباطل. لا وجود واقعيّ لمن يتخلّى عن «إسرائيل» في واشنطن لإرضاء لبنان أو سورية أو العرب. ولا وجود واقعي لمن يخاطر بالتآمر على حزب الله في بيروت حتى لو كان الثمن إرضاء واشنطن. طالما أن معادلة واشنطن هي أنّها بعدما فشلت في قتال حزب الله بقواها الذاتية. وفشلت قبلها «إسرائيل». جاءت تطلب من اللبنانيين فعل ذلك لحسابها وحساب «إسرائيل».

– من دون أن ينتبه بومبيو. لبس ربطة العنق الصفراء والبدلة السوداء. مجسداً برمزية لباسه في اللاوعي. الحزبالله فوبيا. أو رهاب حزب الله الذي يسكن مخيلته. ولكنه وهو شديد الانتباه كان يدرك أن زيارته لبيروت ليست لتحقيق نتائج من الغرف المغلقة. كما هو حال رئيسه وإعلاناته المتلاحقة. فحزم حقائب الرحيل من المنطقة. يصيب «إسرائيل» في صميم شعورها بالأمان والاستقرار. وواشنطن لا تستطيع البقاء حتى تحقيق ضمانات الأمن الإسرائيلي في سورية ولبنان. وليست بوارد خوض حروب هذا الأمن الإسرائيلي. لذلك فهي تعوّض على «إسرائيل». بإعلانات متدرّجة. ما كانت في الماضي طلبات إسرائيلية ملحّة وفقدت اليوم قيمتها العملية والواقعية. فتمنحها الاعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لكيانها مع الإعلان عن نية الانسحاب من سورية. وتمنحها الاعتراف بضمّ الجولان إلى كيانها مع اقتراب ساعة الانسحاب. وهي تدرك أن زمن تحويل القرارات الأميركية قرارات أممية تغير الوضعية القانونية لمفهوم السيادة قد ولّى إلى غير رجعة. وأن زمن قدرة «إسرائيل» على ترجمة القرارات الأميركية كغطاء لتغيير الواقع الميداني مستحيل في القدس والجولان.

– من بيروت يخاطب بومبيو الإسرائيليين، مؤكداً وفاء أميركا بالتزاماتها لهم ومعهم. وهو كرئيسه يخاطب الناخب المؤيّد لـ«إسرائيل» داخل أميركا أكثر من سواه. ليقول إنه أفضل رئيس أو مرشح رئاسي في تاريخ أميركا يقف إلى جانب «إسرائيل». ولسان الحال الأميركي. «لا خيلَ عندك تهديها ولا مالُ فليُسعف النطق إن لم يُسعف الحال».

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