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Syria and Iran Sign Defense Agreement: Defying Outside Pressure

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 29.08.2018

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami visited Damascus Aug. 26-27 in order to have a new military cooperation agreement signed. The move is evidently a response to US and Israeli demands to withdraw Iranian forces from Syria. No details have been provided about the document’s content but it’s logical to surmise it contains a list of mutual obligations in the event that the Iranian military is attacked in Syria.

The deal mentions Iran’s role in the reconstruction of Syria’s defense industry, thus ending any hopes that its military presence in that country will end. According to the Iranian defense chief, the “defense and technical agreement” provides for the continued “presence and participation” of Iran in Syria. He added that an agreement had been reached with Syria that Iran would have “presence, participation, and assistance” in the reconstruction and that “no third party will be influential in this issue.”

The agreement was signed just as the Russia-Turkey-Iran summit was announced, which is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Tehran. Such events normally require thorough preparations. The parties are expected to reach an agreement on further joint steps to achieve progress in Syria. It’s important to align their positions before the UN talks in Geneva, which are slated for Sept. 11-12. UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has invited the “big three” to participate. They can come up with joint initiatives while the US has nothing to offer but its demands for Iran’s withdrawal. It risks being left out in the cold, while diplomatic efforts initiated by other states bear fruit.

This turn of events will hardly be welcome news for those who would like to stymie the peace efforts and impose their own conditions for reaching any settlement of the problem.

The need to end Iranian assistance to Lebanon’s Hezbollah was emphasized during last week’s visit of US National Security Adviser John Bolton to Israel. The parties did not declare war on Iran, but there is no way to stop the supplies from reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon without cutting off the land routes going through Syria. The US official insisted before the visit to Israel that the withdrawal of Iran’s forces from Syria is a prerequisite to any resolution of the conflict.

The US and its allies in Syria find it important to scuttle Syria’s plans to liberate the province of Idlib from the rebels. A false-flag chemical attack is expected to be staged soon, to create a pretext for military action. Once Syria and Iran are in the same boat, it makes no difference which of them is attacked first or where. There have been media reports that a large-scale military operation is in the works and can be expected in August or September.

There is no way to know what exactly Mr. Bolton discussed with the Israeli authorities during his visit to Jerusalem on Aug. 19 but the reports about the military activities at the US al-Shaddadi base in the Syrian province of al-Hasakah emerged soon afterward. The facility has been reported to have been updated to enable the landing and takeoff of heavy cargo aircraft. Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) has also been expanded. In August, shipments of ammunition and military hardware were delivered to several US-controlled facilities in Syria and Iraq. Radars have been transported to the SDF-controlled areas east of the Euphrates River.

Meanwhile, several thousand militants with heavy weaponry and armored vehicles in Syria’s Idlib province are getting ready to launch an offensive against government-controlled regions of Hama and Aleppo. The attack will be targeted at Syrian as well as Iranian and pro-Iranian forces that have been invited in by the Syrian government.

It looks like plans are underway to force Syria to plunge into turmoil once again. In reality, the combat actions have already started. The US and Israel conducted their first joint operation against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and the Iraqi Shiite Khata’ib Hezbollah, their allies, on Aug. 23 near Abu Kamal, which is situated on the highway between Syria and Iraq. President Trump has said so many times and on so many occasions that he wants the Americans to leave Syria but US foreign policy is known for its flip-flops. Whatever is said today may be forgotten tomorrow.

This time, Lebanon may become a new front. It’s widely believed that a war between Israel and Hezbollah is inevitable. In February, US and Israeli troops held an exercise to practice for a potential war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a country that holds a military agreement with Russia. The offshore drilling contracts Lebanon has signed with other countries, without solving its border dispute with Israel, are spurring the war preparations.

Syria and Iran have defied pressure and demonstrated their resolution not to bow but to protect their right to make independent decisions. They are offering a challenge. If the defense agreement just signed between those two allies provokes a military conflict, it will most certainly spill over to other countries, such as Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq. It would lead to a long, protracted, and costly war.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli military can’t avoid defeat in spite of advanced weapons: Nasrallah

Press TV – August 26, 2018

The secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the Israeli military cannot escape defeat despite its apparent capabilities, stressing that thousands of Israeli troops are now seeking mental health treatment.

Addressing his supporters via a televised speech broadcast from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Sunday evening, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated that even though Israel has greatly developed its arsenal and acquired state-of-the-art missiles and military hardware, it cannot yet escape defeat in any possible military confrontation.

“The Israeli army is incapable of recruiting a new generation of soldiers as the draftees lack any sense of motivation to fight. According to Israeli media reports, 44,000 Israeli soldiers sought help from psychiatrists last year. Israel cannot change the spirit of the defeat that is with its military personnel,” he pointed out.

Nasrallah then praised Lebanese youths for the outstanding courage they demonstrated in battles to purge the country’s border regions of Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

“Foreign media outlets are seeking to intimidate our nation by over-counting the number of our martyrs. Those who think they can overawe our people are delusional. We achieved full liberation of our border lands through sustained efforts made by Lebanese army soldiers and resistance fighters,” the Hezbollah chief commented.

Nasrallah underlined that the United States has always offered financial support and funneled weapons to Daesh militants, saying, “US forces intervened to stop Lebanese army from launching a military operation against Daesh in Joroud al-Jarajeer area (in western Qalamoun region). On one occasion, US military helicopters even airlifted Daesh commanders from an area in Syria, when the terrorists had been besieged.”

The Hezbollah secretary general noted that the US does not care at all about the interests of regional states in the Middle East, emphasizing that Washington never stands by its allies and simply views them as tools in order to attain its own goals.

Nasrallah also warned against a false flag chemical attack in Syria’s northern province of Idlib as a pretext for airstrikes against the Damascus government.

“While the West is looking for an excuse to launch a military aggression on Syria, it is turning a blind eye to the crimes being committed against Yemeni children. Nobody knows into what abyss [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman is plunging Saudi Arabia and its nation,” he pointed out.

Turning to Lebanon’s internal affairs, Nasrallah stated that the inflammatory rhetoric against Hezbollah has intensified ever since parliamentary elections were held in Lebanon on May 6.

“The goal of the plot against Lebanon is to hold it responsible at all levels for the deteriorating situation in the country. We are modestly the largest party in Lebanon, but we have the least representation in the political arena. We bet on intra-Lebanese dialogue for the formation of the new government as the time is ticking away,” he concluded.

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

After The Failed Attempt at Syrian Regime Change, The Next Target is Hezbollah

By Elijah J. Magnier | American Herald Tribune | August 26, 2018

After more than seven years of war with the goal of changing the Syrian regime, the target has now become Hezbollah. But the question remains: after the failure of the 2006 war, what can the enemies of this organization do to achieve their goal?

Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said in his most recent speech that “Hezbollah is stronger than the Israeli army”. Israel responded by showing a drill of the Golani brigade and the 7th Armoured Brigade, in the presence of Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, simulating war against Hezbollah. This drill took place after routine ground forces exercises of the 36th Division to “improve coordination and readiness in case of war”.

In a message indicating that it will not distinguish civilians from militants, Israel has constructed a new training base in the occupied Golan Heights, the Snir facility, to simulate Lebanese villages. These mock Hezbollah villages are meant to be of the type Israeli soldiers might face in combat situations if an invasion of Lebanon is ordered.

Likewise, Hezbollah has constructed mock Israeli villages on the Lebanese-Syrian borders for combat training to prepare for war. Sayyed Nasrallah has promised to move the battle beyond the Lebanese borders and has asked his men to prepare to fight on “enemy ground” if war is imposed on Hezbollah.

Israel’s ongoing repetitive threats against Lebanon and Hezbollah are nothing new to Sayyed Nasrallah, who doesn’t give undue weight to these continuous menaces. In fact, he keeps himself informed about all news related to Israel, the Middle East and the world events of interest to him. A special team made of tens of translators and media expert collect daily all the news from open sources and keep the Hezbollah leader informed, as do his intelligence services, represented in various countries, and his own private contacts with allies he regularly meets.

He is not unfamiliar with reservist Major General Yitzhak Brik, the Israeli Army commissioner for the rights of soldiers, who talks of a serious crisis in an army that has become a “mediocre organization suffering from overburdening and exhaustion”.

Brik said top officials sell a false image (of the Army) that does not correspond to reality. “We have become a group of cowards. There is a serious crisis of motivation among young officers”.

The former head of the Israeli special service Nativ, Yaakov Kedmi, said that “the motivation to serve in the military has been reduced. Israeli society is no longer willing to grant privileges to the army”.

Sayyed Nasrallah did not mean that his organization has an air force (it has none, of course) stronger than that of Israel. Nor does Hezbollah receive financial support from Iran equivalent to that provided by the US to Israel, including “US forces ready to die for Israel”. Sayyed Nasrallah counts on a group of experienced young men, with strong ideology and a high level of training, not looking for death but also not afraid of it. Hezbollah’s goal is to stand against Israel and its allies who aim to eradicate the group: it is a matter of survival.

Hezbollah has proven its combat capability against the ISIS (Daesh) organization in Lebanon and Syria, as well as against al-Qaeda and other jihadist Takfiri groups. The Lebanese group lost only one battle over the last six years of war, a battle on the hill of el-Eiss in April 2016. This defeat resulted from a lack of coordination between allied forces. That day the military plan was for allied forces to occupy the el-Eiss hill surrounding the city of el-Eiss; the city itself was to be liberated by Hezbollah. The allies withdrew from the hill without informing the forces in the city. This lack of communication caused the death of 28 Hezbollah members whose bodies are still unrecovered and buried on the battlefield.

But this military setback did not affect the performance of the party, which was able to conduct both guerrilla battles on its own against different groups, and other battles alongside classical armies (Syrian and Russian). Together with its allies and the Syrian Army, Hezbollah managed to liberate territories at least 14 times bigger than Lebanon (the size of Syria is around 180,000 sqkm, while Lebanon is 10,453 sqkm).

Hezbollah has proven its fidelity to Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad rejected a recent offer from Saudi Arabia to rebuild everything the seven years of war has destroyed and to remain as president – with US backing – on the condition that he give up on Palestine and Hezbollah. Assad rejected the “generous” but poisoned offer – as he has described it in private.

The years of war taught Assad to distinguish between allies and countries such as Saudi Arabia who invested much to remove him from power at the cost of destroying the country: “An ideological ally (Hezbollah) is better than the richest of all countries because this real ally did not and would never abandon him, and has no ambitions in Syria but to see stability in the Levant and to prevent Takfiri Jihadists – supported by Arab and western countries – from creating a failed state”, Assad repeats often to his visitors.

Indeed, Hezbollah has given orders to evacuate its military units from all Syrian cities and villages, without exception: no Hezbollah military forces are to remain in urban areas. They (military) will be present only on the borders between the two countries.

Hezbollah is now on focusing its military attention on the border with Israel, preparing for a war that may happen tomorrow, or that may never happen.

A writer affiliated with a western think tank recently asked the West to “wake up“, claiming that Hezbollah is expanding into Europe and trading drugs to secure resources because Western pressure on Tehran threatens its sources of funding. Many other writers call for the elimination of Hezbollah as a threat to Lebanon. These articles reflect western ignorance about Hezbollah’s thinking, its work, power, funding and goals.

Hezbollah is stronger than the Lebanese army and all the Lebanese security forces combined. Nevertheless, it would never consider capturing, dominating or otherwise controlling Lebanon for many reasons unrelated to its superior combat capability.

The party is aware that Lebanon is a multi-ethnic country (with 18 sects and religions) and that an “Islamic republic” is unattainable because its conditions are currently unfavorable. Hezbollah does not want to and indeed cannot meet the demands of a state and the well-being of its entire population because it does not have the resources of a state. The group is not in a position to manage a country with little resources, a country receiving and dependent on foreign (Arab and western) aid and wealth, a country that cannot permit itself to be isolated from the world as it would be if ruled by Hezbollah.

Moreover, Hezbollah has agreed on an interior minister (Sunni), a political foe and friend of its greatest political enemy (Saudi Arabia), because it does not want to be responsible for the internal security of the country. Nor does the organization want to be accused of sectarianism, corruption or bribery, or of arresting Sunni jihadists on a sectarian basis.

Hezbollah believes it can continue to exist indefinitely only if the local population, and especially the Shiites in Lebanon, embrace the group and offer a safe environment for its operation. This is the key: Hezbollah’s militants, families, and supporters make up around 25% (Shia are estimated above 30% of the total sects and religion in Lebanon) of the Lebanese population.

Since 1945 the Lebanese state neglected the Shiite community, who lived for decades in worse conditions than residents of Palestinian refugee camps spread out all over Lebanon. When the opportunity arose for them to bear arms and build an identity, the community did not hesitate to take it.

Israel strengthened its raison d’être with its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hezbollah arose first to fight Israel, and then to liberate Lebanese territory in a second phase. It then moved on to supporting the “axis of resistance” in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Today, the Shiites of Lebanon are no longer in need of the Taqiya (concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of imminent danger) and shall not give up their arms in the face of any danger to their existence, domestic or international. No matter how seriously Israel and the US may threaten Shiite areas in Lebanon, they will not surrender the power, dignity, and status they have achieved in Lebanon.

Hezbollah today employs tens of thousands of Shiites – in the military and social activities – who positively contribute to the shaky Lebanese economy. These tens of thousands working in the ranks of “Hezbollah” did not come to Lebanon from another planet, country, or continent. They are the people of the Lebanon, the people of the southern suburbs, Beirut, Jubail, Saida,Tyre, Bekaa, Baalbek, Hermel, and all parts of Lebanon.  Thus, those who demand the abolition of Hezbollah are in effect calling for the destruction of an intrinsic and significant part of the population of Lebanon.

The US has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon and distort its image to no avail. Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri asked in a letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (intercepted by US forces in Iraq on the 9th of July 2005), when he was targeting Shi’ites instead of the occupier during the first years of the US occupation of Iraq: has any Islamic State in history ever been successful in eliminating the Shiites?

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hezbollah’s Reasons of Victory: Its Strategies and Readiness

By Sondoss Al Asaad | American Herald Tribune | August 11, 2018

On the 14th of August 2006, the Lebanese resistance of Hezbollah announced its great victory over the Zionists. In that aggressive war, the Zionists had already set three goals. First, to eliminate the arsenal of Hezbollah rockets, i.e. to destroy its long-range and medium-range missile capability. Second, to assassinate Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Third, to destroy the resistance’s infrastructure.

Earlier, Hezbollah thwarted these goals as its leadership showed a remarkable coherence and an unexpected command and control system. The ‘Operation of Khallet Warda,’ in Aayta al-Shaab, on the morning of the 13th of July 2006, during which two Zionist soldiers had been captured; was comprehensively analyzed by the resistance.

Judge Eliyahu Winograd, who chaired 2006 Lebanon’s War Inquiry, mentioned that the Zionist decision-makers’ political, military, and security failures, during the war, have been notable. Obviously, the enemy’s lack of strategic planning reflects the major imbalance regarding its system of command and control. Besides, the enemy admits on various occasions that the superiority of Hezbollah’s command and control system is comprehensive and can hardly be beaten.

Due to the absence of readiness, Hezbollah has been able to penetrate the Zionists’ internal front and to heavily bombard it; causing material damages and the displacement of the northern settlers. Whilst as for Hezbollah’s community, everyone knows his duties, the measures, the procedures, and the alternative plans. This level of organization is highly prearranged. Secrecy and the thorough readiness by Hezbollah at the security, civil, health, political and media levels is also distinguished.

Following the 2000 liberation, the resistance has been working hard to fortify its internal front, by both its leaders and cadres. It had taken advantage of its previous experience in 1993 and 1996 and developed its capabilities to meet any unexpected challenge. Undoubtedly, in the case of regular resistance movements or armies, as soon as leadership disintegrates; brigades and squads surrender. In order to avoid this, Hezbollah makes sure that every individual knows the entire process, how, where, why and when.

The Zionists can scarcely understand Hezbollah’s command and sophisticated control system and the strength of its communications network. It can neither break the resistance’s chains nor can it weaken its movement. Hezbollah’s leadership have many alternatives during the time of war. In addition, there is always many possible plans and answerers to the ‘What if’ questions.

For instance, when Hezbollah’s former Secretary General Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi was assassinated in 1992, the resistance operations accelerate and escalate in southern Lebanon as for Hezbollah there are many alternatives. Indeed, what the enemy considers an obstacle that must be removed is, to the resistance, a new opportunity to ferociously confront them.

In the aftermath of 2000, Hezbollah developed its missile capabilities, both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is one of the reasons for the flexibility of the resistance. In addition, it is the reason why the enemy failed during 2006 to destroy Hezbollah’s medium and long-range missiles.

Hezbollah’s leadership demonstrated the coherence of its command and control system and had already prepared enough answers and possibilities. In a direct response to the enemy’s bombardment of the resistance front positions, Hezbollah’s commanders held an assessment meeting. They met to assess the readiness and prepare answers to the ‘What if’ question. At a press conference, following the operation, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that the resistance has a good grip on the rules of the game.

On the following day, some 40 Zionist hostile jets took off; with smart US-made bombs, and they shortly issued signals, which means that they accurately achieved their targets. The reality was quite different. From the Zionist perspective, the final crushing of the resistance is only a matter of time for they thought that its leadership has been weakened and that Sayyed Nasrallah has fled to Damascus.

The resolution of the war had already been taken by the Zionist entity. For its part, the resistance was fully ready to confront and plans for evacuating the citizens had been already set. The enemy launched broad and subsequent attacks on Hezbollah positions throughout southern Lebanon and demolished all bridges over the Litany River. It targeted civilians, destroyed the resistance’s headquarters in Beirut’s Southern Suburb and deployed its naval units.

The enemy estimated that the war would not last long and considered that Hezbollah would not be able to respond to attacks. However, on 14 July 2006, the resistance retaliated against the hostile barge, which had attacked the Southern Suburb.

The surprise tactic has been long utilized by Hezbollah throughout the years of confronting its enemy, despite its possession of technological and huge reconnaissance aircraft and satellites. The enemy also cannot predict what kind of surprises or defense operation could be carried out by the resistance “To Haifa and beyond Haifa,” as stressed by Sayyed Nasrallah.

During a televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled its first distinguished surprise, saying, “The surprises that I have already promised you has begun, look at the hostile Zionist barge it is burning.” The bombing of the barge was a severe shock and a clear sign that it would severely be punished by the resistance for hitting Lebanese residential areas and infrastructure.

Before the July 2006 war, the Zionists envisioned Hezbollah as the upgraded version of Palestinian resistance of the 1980s. In the evidence, they managed their wars depending on this version, including The Operation Accountability in 1993, The Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996, The Liberation Process in 2000 up to The July 2006 war. However, Hezbollah has established its own concepts. It has adopted a special ideology associated with the doctrine of Wilayat al-faqih’s concepts.

These concepts maintain that the resistance is a national revolutionary movement of the people, who are oppressed. Therefore, the resistance and the people are a unified solid whole; one body known as the resistance society. The resistance has promoted and reinforced its front. It has a unified internal and military front while the enemy has not considered this during the July 2006 war.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Hassan Nasrallah: Resistance victorious in Gaza, Syria & Iraq, Hezbollah Ready to fight Saudi-US Coalition in Yemen

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on June 29, 2018

[…] Regarding the situation in the Middle East, I also have some issues to address, in a quick and synthetical way as well.

The first point is the Palestinian issue. It is clear that the developments, as we say in the Lebanese political language, the advances (meant to prepare the success) of the ‘Deal of the century’ began to be implemented with force. [Jared] Kushner has roamed the region for a long time, as well as Trump’s special envoy (in order) to (prepare) the peace initiative, what is known as the peace initiative. It is clear that serious US and Israeli efforts to ensure the success of the ‘Deal of the century’ are actively deployed. It is no longer empty words, mere expectations of journalists or such. We may be very close to the official US announcement on this agreement and on this really infamous step.

This is why at the stage where we are, all political leaders and all people who care about the Palestinian cause must of course follow these movements and developments to see what can be done (to neutralize them), and this, according to me, on several fronts.

Today, it is through this prism that we must consider what is happening in Palestine, as well as what is happening in the region, what has happened and is happening in Jordan, and also, as regards Lebanon, the disputes about the border, discussions on the Shebaa Farms (occupied Lebanese territory), on land and sea borders (with Israel): sometimes, these issues are not related to the ‘Deal of the century’, but sometimes they fit into what is known as the ‘Deal of the century’, and we must then be more careful and precise about it, of course with the strong commitment of all Lebanese to recover all their territories and get all their rights over our territorial waters.

Similarly, what is happening in Syria, when we will discuss it in the next step, we must consider it partly in this context, along with the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the continued pressure on Iran, whether political pressure, psychological warfare, economic pressure, threats of sanctions, the fact that Iran and Iranian oil (are embargoed) worldwide… All this, we must interpret it within one frame, the frame of the major US project in our region today, to which they will give (absolute) priority, ie the ‘Deal of the century’ which means the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

This project should be followed closely and with vigilance, and that’s why everyone concerned must think about what to do, how they will fight, face and resist, and we already talked about it in detail (it is important that no Palestinian sign this agreement).

Also on the Palestinian issue, we must pay tribute, especially now, during these hours (of Friday afternoon), to all the men, women, young and elderly who gather (massively) on Friday afternoon on the border strip which separates Gaza from the remainder of Palestine occupied in 1948. These demonstrations of the March of Return prove the determination and perseverance of the Palestinians, and the continuity of this determination and of this (Resistance) movement. Because during all the past weeks, as should know those who follow these events, Israel has made every possible effort in psychological warfare, security pressure, mobilizing all its military and security capabilities towards the Gaza Strip, up to striking the young throwing kites, in addition to various regional pressures on the Palestinians to get them to despair and make them give up the March of Return. The March of Return represents a great challenge which is one of the few remaining opportunities for the Palestinian people.

And the third point is that we must pay tribute to the courage and boldness of the leadership of the Resistance in Gaza, the leaders of the (different) factions of the Resistance, and to the audacity and courage of the Resistants who demonstrated, during these last days and in recent weeks, that the equation of retaliation against any aggression was well in place.

This Israel who thinks he can bomb and kill (with impunity), and in return, he will not suffer any retaliation whatsoever, the Palestinian Resistance, during the past few days, has passed that stage and demonstrated the reality of this equation. We can truly say that they have demonstrated it, and this is the result of their boldness, their courage and their wise and just planning.

Anyway, whether it be the confirmation of this equation, the support to the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, for the March of Return to continue, or a firm stand alongside the Palestinian people to deal with concrete measures being implemented today for the ‘Deal of the century’, everyone must assume his responsibility for everything that was said during the last weeks and months.

My second point about the regional situation is Syria. I have two points about it.

First point, the developments in southern Syria in recent days and today. I was in contact with the brothers (from Hezbollah) present there just a few moments ago, and (I can confirm that) the data that you hear in the media (on the dazzling success of the Syrian Arab Army) are true, and what is not public yet is even more important.

All data indicate a total collapse of the armed groups, which are completely abandoned by their (popular) base, in case they ever had one, with a strong impetus of the people to return to the State and to the bosom of the State, as has been expressed by a large number of towns and villages. And it may even be that data confirms that it is not only the western part of the Deraa region (whose liberation) must end today or tomorrow, but the entire southern region, whether in Deraa or Quneitra: all armed groups are in a state of collapse and defeat, and there are no prospects for more fighting (from them).

And anyway, the data also indicate that many of these (armed) groups have begun to review their calculations and to head towards the search for agreement and reconciliation. And in this region, only the darkest and the most obscurantist part controlled by ISIS will remain, whose fate (defeat) will in any way be clear and inescapable during the next step.

In a nutshell, in the south of Syria, we are facing a significant development and a great victory against all the armed organizations that were led and protected by the United States, and assisted and supported by Israel, those organizations who received all possible forms of support from some regional countries.

And what is happening in southern Syria, and happened in recent weeks in Manbij with the Kurdish-Turkish-American question, has many major and eloquent evidences of which we will talk (in detail) another time, because I do not have time today. And I believe it is in our interest that the battle in southern Syria comes to an end first before we talk about this evidence and these lessons of which we must all benefit in the light of this great decisive battle that is being waged in Syria for over 7 years.

The second point about Syria is that at the Syrian-Iraqi border, just a few days ago, enemy aircraft struck positions of factions of the Iraqi Resistance that operated there. The faction that was targeted is the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq, which suffered many martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is an important and dangerous event, even if some may think (wrongly) that it is (already) in the past and that there will be no consequences.

First, I would like to extend to the families of those noble and dignified martyrs my congratulations (for the blessings and honor conferred by) this martyrdom and my condolences for the loss of loved and beloved ones, as well as to my brothers, dear and beloved leaders of the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq and all their mujahedeen (fighters). And we also have to extend our congratulations and condolences to all the factions of the Resistance in Iraq to honor their martyrs, because martyrs of each faction are the martyrs of all.

And I would also like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their assistance and support in Syria (to fight terrorists). In Iraq, there is no doubt that all these factions, gathered behind the Hachd al-Cha’bi (popular mobilization), have had a real and important role of auxiliary force in defeating ISIS, the obscurantism of ISIS, the darkness and barbarism of ISIS, and the international and regional powers that stand behind ISIS. But ultimately, in Iraq, they were defending themselves, their holy places, their people and their nation. We must remember the jihad (struggle) of these Iraqi brothers, their sacrifices, their martyrs, their wounded, their perseverance, determination and presence in Syria, which continue until today, especially those who are present at the border between Syria and Iraq, to eradicate the last throes of life in this monstrous body shaped by the United States and Israel in the region and called ISIS. And we thank them for the extent of their support, their help and their presence, because as we have said during these 7 years, the battle in Syria is not only the battle of Syria, but it is the battle of Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, the Middle East and the future of this region.

Also, our brothers in the Hezbollah Brigades and in the rest of the factions of the Iraqi Resistance announced that they are investigating to ascertain which part (USA? Israel?…) hit these positions and caused so many martyrs and wounded, and that when the identity of this part shall be established with certainty, the attackers will be punished. This is a wise and natural position, and we pledge our support for any decision that these Resistant factions of Mujahideen (fighters) will make.

Yes, dear and noble brothers, yes, I declare to all peoples of the region: to our brothers in Palestine, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, across the whole region. Wherever the Resistance is struck and its blood is shed unjustly in acts of aggression, this aggression must not remain unanswered, without retaliation and without punishment. Because our enemies only understand this logic. This is what experience teaches us.

We can not count on either international law or on any moral principle, whether in Yemen, Palestine and in all that is happening in the region, and even in the United States. The image of immigrant children separated from their fathers and their mothers, their isolation clearly shows the monstrous reality of President Trump and his administration. Then they backed off because of pressure, but it does not change the truth of his being. If people could see the true face — in religious terms, we speak about the appearance of the (Divine) Kingdom (the reality of our soul, to be unveiled in the afterlife) —, the true appearance of Trump, they would see a ferocious beast (instead of a human being). Who can do such things?

Anyway, we are in a region and in a world where if we do not defend our people, if we do not avenge our martyrs, if we do not chastise our enemies, their aggression will never cease. If we remain inactive in front of this aggression, it will happen again and again, and we will suffer more attacks and lose many more martyrs and wounded.

I hope that by the grace of God, our brothers from the Hezbollah Brigades and other factions of the Iraqi Resistance will quickly manage to establish the identity of the aggressors and to take the (retaliation) measures they deem necessary. It is their decision that no one can impose on them.

Hezbollah is ready to fight Saudi-US coalition in Yemen

I will address my final point about the regional situation, (Yemen), through (what was reported by) the media in recent days.

A few days ago, what we used to refer to as the Arab alliance, and is now referred to as the Saudi-Emirati alliance, but for our part we refer to it as the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen, the forces of the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen… These forces announced two news items, broadcasted by (official Saudi) channel Al-Arabiya, some Arab satellite channels, [Western news agencies & mainstream media] and also some Lebanese media have followed suit, considering these news sources as very reliable.

The first is that because of the bombing in a specific region of Saada, Hezbollah would have lost 8 martyrs, including commanders of Hezbollah. At the same time, they announced another piece of information – do consider these two pieces of information (together) – according to which 8 Hezbollah members were captured. That is to say that the liar who disseminates these news items claimed at one point that 8 members of Hezbollah were killed, and at another time said they were taken prisoner. 

Anyway, after a few hours, they backtracked on the announcement of 8 prisoners, to which they preferred the announcement of 8 martyrs, because if there were prisoners, they should show them on television. And with certainty if there were prisoners, now or in the past…

You know that in recent years, in recent months, they have repeatedly claimed that they had captured a Hezbollah or Iran members (in Yemen), etc., good for them. Some time ago, they considered that they had got hold of a gem and made a fuss claiming they captured an Iranian in a region of Yemen. But it was later revealed that it was simply a Pakistani worker who had come to work in Yemen to earn his livelihood, and they got confused, being unable to distinguish Urdu from Persian.

Anyway, the information concerning prisoners died out of itself, and they stopped talking about it, but during 48 hours, they have not stopped talking about the martyrdom of eight Hezbollah members, including several commanders. I want to comment this information (to draw lessons) for both the past and the future, and I will also say a few words about the situation in Yemen.

First, throughout the past period, and until today, for various reasons and interests, we have not disclosed if we had a presence in Yemen or not. We have not addressed this issue. It is true that one day, I clearly said that we did not send fighters to Yemen, because our brothers in Yemen do not need fighters. Is there something else (counselors, military aid…)? We do not confirm it nor deny it, due to a number of interests. That’s the first point.

Second, whether we are present or not (in Yemen), I categorically deny this information that there would be martyrs of Hezbollah in Yemen, not during these last days nor during the past years.

Third, this is not the first time that the Saudi media evoke (falsely and without any evidence) Hezbollah martyrs or prisoners in Yemen.

Fourth, if we assume that one day this happens, and that members of Hezbollah are martyred in Yemen, I tell you frankly that we would not hide it, we would not be ashamed of it: on the contrary, we would be very proud and honored, and we would raise our head high because of these martyrs, if this was to happen one day. And on the contrary, we consider that we do not have to be ashamed if Hezbollah members fall martyrs in Yemen. We should rather be ashamed if we do not bring them the necessary assistance, if we do not provide what we hope or even dream of offering to the Yemeni mujahideen (fighters) and to the oppressed people of Yemen.

Therefore, let no one imagine that in Yemen or elsewhere (we hide our martyrs). If we have a martyr in Iraq, we acknowledge it. If we have a martyr in Syria, we acknowledge it. If a brother is arrested anywhere in Egypt or elsewhere, as has happened in the past, we are never ashamed of our actions, and we do not abandon our martyrs nor our prisoners. We are proud of them, proud of what they do, and we always declare it publicly. (I say this) as a basis for the future.

And so this question does not require that whenever news are spread about Hezbollah alleged martyrs or prisoners, the media contact us to get our denial. As long as we have not published a press release, that we have not talked ourselves of our martyrs to take pride in them, it means that there was nothing of the sort, and any such (propaganda) is fundamentally false and does not even need to be denied (as far as we are concerned). Let it be an established base for the future.

Fifth, about the situation in Yemen, anyway, they may have needed (false) information of this type that could go along the press campaign of Saudi media and of all those who are with them, whether the American media, the Gulf, etc, through recent weeks. Because what we have seen during the Battle of Hodeida, at the airport, around the town and in adjacent villages, and on the west coast of Yemen, is two scandals (humiliations). We witnessed two disgraces. A military disgrace in the field, and a media disgrace following military disgrace on the battlefield.

Regarding the military disgrace on the battlefield, for months, the United States and even, unfortunately, some European countries participating in this aggression – information evoke British, French and other Western countries’ participation – alongside the forces and states of the (Saudi) coalition, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the group of Abd Rabbo Mansour, mercenaries from all around the world, aviation, a huge number of military vehicles, tanks and armored vehicles (were preparing for an attack). Military vehicles seem even more numerous than the soldiers themselves, from what we see on television. The preparations took place for months, and a fierce psychological warfare, pressures, bribery, intimidation, terror…

And despite all that, when they went down to the battlefield, they suffered a humiliating defeat. A defeat in every sense. And what happened on the western coast of Yemen in recent weeks and so far is actually, even by military standards, truly miraculous. Because the fighting there takes place between on the one hand the most powerful aviation, extremely powerful intelligence agencies, leading-edge technical and technological equipment, experienced commanders, mercenaries, armies, forces, against a fighting people with modest abilities, but with enormous faith and considerable confidence in God the Almighty and Exalted.

These Resistants are, truly, from what we saw in this fight, an incarnation of (the recommendations of Imam Ali to his son before the Battle of the Camel): “Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Lend your head to God (be ready for the ultimate sacrifice). Mountains may move from their position (because of the multitude of enemies), but you should not move from yours.” They are a model (of courage and victorious Resistance).

And that is why I am one of those who can talk about this in full knowledge because me and my brothers have a similar experience. We know what war is, we know what it is to fight against a powerful aviation, violent, ferocious, having unlimited direct capabilities, we know what Resistance, endurance and perseverance are.

And that’s why when considering the war in Yemen, and especially this last experience on the west coast, in Hodeida Airport and everything around this region, me, all my brothers and any Resistant in the world and anyone who knows the military equations and has military experience, we must bow our heads with respect and humility before these fighters, these Resistants, these heroes and their wise, courageous, firm and steadfast leaders. This is the truth, this is not an exaggeration, I do not aim to cheer, no.

And I say to these fighters: myself, with others, I am embarrassed not to be at your side. In my heart, when I see videos (of the fighting) on ​​TV, these heroic acts, this legendary endurance, I keep telling myself: “If only I could be with you.” And I know that all my (Hezbollah) brothers feel exactly the same. And any dignified man in this world thinks the same thing: “If only we could fight alongside you. If only we could be with you. If only I could be one of your fighters, under the banner of your noble and courageous leader.” This is the truth. This faith and determination have inflicted this defeat (to the Saudi-US alliance).

And this is a great lesson that adds itself to the lessons of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. This is a lesson to all Arab and Muslim peoples: through faith, perseverance and determination, relying on the people and the brave, faithful and noble youth, we can face the most powerful tyrants, the most powerful armies and the most powerful arrogant bullies of this world, armies and security forces.

And there is also the media scandal: how many times have they said they took and occupied Hodeida Airport? But they could not provide any pictures, while we could see every day videos showing the presence of leaders of AnsarAllah (Houthis attacked by Saudi Arabia) in the airport. How many times have they said that they had arrived inside the city, inside the harbor before it was revealed that they did nothing of the sort?

Weeks of lies to the peoples of the region, the Saudi people, the people of the Gulf countries, the peoples of the world, before it was revealed that these victories had no reality outside the Al-Arabiya channel, nothing more, nothing less. And this is the yardstick with which we must measure the credibility of these media [Western press agencies & mainstream media included] that are completely detached from reality, both for Yemen and for everything else. [Such an AFP report was deleted but still appears in cache]

Along these lines, we must also add our voice and our thanks to the new Malaysian government, the new head of the Malaysian government, Mahathir Mohamad, and to the government and to the Malaysian Defense Minister who announced yesterday the withdrawal of Malaysia from this infamous alliance. And we hope that the rest of the Muslim and Arab countries, at least, will follow suit.

And I particularly call on the Sudanese President, the government of Sudan, the Parliament of Sudan and the people of Sudan. It is sad, really sad that the forces of the Sudanese army fight alongside those tyrants. It is truly appalling that the forces of the Sudanese army are engaged in a battle alongside the US, the West, the takfiris, Israel, allied to Saudi Arabia and others. It’s really disgraceful. Sudan, which had a significant presence and a strong commitment to the causes of the region, the Palestinian cause, many causes of the (Muslim) Community. I also insist on Sudan because of the spectacle of young Sudanese who are abandoned in the deserts, valleys and mountains of Yemen, without protection, without defense and without any support or assistance. Why are they killed? For what cause are they dying?

Anyway, we call for this and we hope that all (the countries of the Saudi coalition) will reconsider things (and withdraw). And we hope that the experience of the last battle on the western coast and all these open frontlines will allow Saudi Arabia, the UAE and those who stand by their side to learn the lesson, and understand that they face a people who will never surrender, who has a very high capacity of Resisting and shaping victories, that your battle has no horizon, and that you must answer all Yemeni, Arab, Muslim and international calls to end the war and aggression, to declare a cease-fire and direct you towards dialogue and national reconciliation, and to save Yemen and the Yemeni people, all the people of Yemen, all the tribes of Yemen and all Yemeni political forces of the consequences of this devastating and destructive war.

I’ll stop there, and as for the rest, if necessary, I will speak shortly.

May the peace of God be upon you, and His mercy and His blessings.

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan (RSS)

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July 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upon Israel’s request, Twitter closes Hamas, Hezbollah accounts

MEMO | July 3, 2018

Twitter has closed a number of accounts belonging to Hamas and Hezbollah officials, the Israeli Ministry of Public Security and Strategic Affairs said yesterday.

According to Haaretz the move comes two weeks after Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Twitter’s CEO and executive chairman claiming the social media giant was “largely irresponsive to requests by the Israeli authorities to remove terrorist content and shut down terrorist accounts.”

He also said in his letter that “enabling terrorist organisations to operate freely and spread their messages via your platform may be a violation of existing Israeli laws regarding providing support to terrorist organisations.”

The letter supplied a list of 40 Twitter accounts which are affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah and threatened legal action if they are not removed. Twitter, according to the Anadolu Agency, closed 35 of them.

July 3, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hezbollah Accuses Int’l Organizations of Intimidating Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Sputnik – 29.06.2018

BEIRUT – International organizations and some Lebanese actors have been intimidating Syrian refugees and asylum seekers displaced by war and who want to return to their country from Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement, said on Friday.

“According to our data, there are some international organizations, and certain local parties, which intimidate the refugees and provoke concerns about the return,” Nasrallah told the Al-Manar broadcaster.

The Hezbollah leader called for action to ensure a safe and comfortable return to Syria of those willing to go back to their homeland.

The Lebanese movement would take its own measures to help the refugees until the Lebanese and Syrian authorities establish cooperation in this area, Nasrallah added. Hezbollah has set up a special mechanism for these activities, and plans to open special centers where the refugees can call, and civil committees for interaction with the refugees, according to the group’s leader.

Since the beginning of the Syrian military conflict in 2011, millions of Syrians have fled the country to other states, including neighboring Lebanon. The situation around Syrian asylum seekers and refugees in Lebanon has recently exacerbated in a wake of the authorities’ claims that the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR had been discouraging those displaced by the Syrian war from returning to their home country.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Hassan Nasrallah: Al-Quds will be returned to its rightful owners

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on June 8, 2018, on the occasion of the International Day of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Translation by Sayed Hasan

Transcript:

[…] Today, Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Palestine, as Imam Khomeini wanted when he instituted the (International) Day of Al-Quds, became a cause of (Islamic) dogma, a cause of faith, outside the (opportunistic) area of ​​politics and the political bazaar, they became a cause of dogma, faith, humanity, truth, values…

Young Palestinians (in Gaza) go out (demonstrating) with bare hands against live bullets, and in Sanaa (tens of thousands of Yemeni) demonstrated under the bombs, just like in Al-Foua and Kafraya (Syria), the besieged and starving population demonstrated (for this International Day of Al-Quds). And combatants and Resistance are ready to shed their blood on all fronts for this (inevitable) day where Al-Quds and Palestine will be returned to their people, their owners and their (Muslim) community.

Today, this is our generation, these are our people, and this is a point of strength. Today, the power of the Resistance Axis lies firstly and fundamentally in his generations, one generation, a second, a third… Those who count on the fact that these (new) generations… Some refer to them as the generations of the Internet, Facebook, etc. Do not count on the fact that these generations in our Arab and Muslim world will stay silent, collapse, abandon or withdraw from the battle. And it’s the same for countries.

I have two words to say about the countries.

First, Iran. Since the first day of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it announced a resolute, radical and decisive stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue (“Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be wiped out”), and pays the price of this position. And I want to tell you quite simply that the Islamic Republic of Iran would never have seen any hostility from the United States, Israel and the Gulf if Imam Khomeini had said from the first day: “We, Iran, just overthrew a tyrannical regime, we have poverty in our country, needy, hunger, underdevelopment, unemployment, etc. What do we care about Palestine?” It was not necessary that he recognize Israel, it would have been enough for him to say that he did not care about Palestine, that it was a cause that didn’t concern them at all, and Imam Khomeini and Iran would not have suffered this hostility, this collusion and these huge plots.

But the Islamic Republic, with Imam Khomeini, Imam Khamenei and its noble people, for 39 years, confirmed its resolute, radical and decisive position, of the magnitude of (religious) dogma, at the side of Palestine and the Palestinian people, and its absolute position with regard to Israel and Israel’s existence (illegitimate entity doomed to extinction). And Iran suffers the consequences of that position. It is natural, my brothers and sisters, that all those who oppose Iran find themselves allies of Israel. Excuse me (to emphasize this truth), but it is a natural equation. The hostility to Iran leads to embrace Israel, and it is a service rendered to Israel.

Also today, our Arab and Islamic peoples have the responsibility not to allow the United States, Israel and some of their instruments in the region to turn Iran into an enemy. Israel must remain the enemy, Palestine must remain the cause and Iran must be regarded as the fundamental, powerful, honest and truthful support. And this is what was expressed by His Eminence Imam Khamenei in his last speech, despite all Trump’s intimidation and threats, his withdrawal from the nuclear deal, US sanctions. And the US Secretary of State said Iran will face sanctions unprecedented in history. But these sanctions and threats, have they led to hesitation in the position of His Eminence Imam Sayed the Leader (Khamenei), officials of the regime or the Iranian people? Absolutely not. Today’s demonstrations in the streets of Iran confirm it.

Therefore, in our (Resistance) Axis, we also have a State, a regime and a people… Iran is not only a State and a regime. Behind us in Iran, stand a leader, a plan, a State, a people, religious authorities and a major regional power who support the Resistance, support Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the Palestinian cause and Resistance movements, who persevered for 39 years and are determined to persevere (in this direction), refusing subservience, submission, surrender or abandonment of any of their rights. Therein lies (another) point of strength.

And to all those who, as it happened just a few months ago, are betting on the fall of the Islamic regime in Iran that would cause a substantial disruption of the strategic situation, I tell them that their hopes are illusions, mirages. These people do not follow the Iranian media. I want to give them proof, since yesterday was the last Night of Decree in Iran. If they had taken some time, or if they had asked their media to collect photos of the Night of Decree in Iran yesterday, in Mashhad, Qom, Tehran, in other cities, (they would have seen the fervor) of this people, who fasts during the day, and stays up all night until dawn, for three nights, and reads (for a long time). And listen to me, listen to me, they read the Quran in Arabic, while we Arabs read very little of the Quran. They read (long) invocations for hours in Arabic. We see it on television. They read for hours invocations in Arabic! And the father, mother, children and grandchildren (the whole family, all generations) go (to mosques) for these occasions. Can such a people abandon its religion? Can it abandon its Islam? Can it abandon its Imam? Can it abandon its Islamic regime that it established itself with the blood of hundreds of thousands of martyrs (during the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war)? In what illusory world do you live? On what mirages do you base your hopes? This Iran, despite all the blockade that has been imposed, has become increasingly powerful, present and active, both inside and in the region. Even if people could manifest here and there (in Iran) because of such excuse or such problem, it was fixed and it will lead to nothing (this is not an uprising against the regime).

I declare to Palestine in the first place, and to all the Resistance movements in the Resistance Axis, and the (different) generations of our (Muslim) community, our Axis: this great regional country (Iran) is powerful, influential (and stands) with resolve and decisiveness (with you).

Second, the upheaval that took place in Iraq in recent years (is another point of strength for the Resistance). In 2016-2017, Iraq was in grave danger, under threat of ISIS, this ISIS created by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi thought. But Iraqis have overcome it, and today in Al-Quds Day 2018, armed demonstrations and military parades are held in Baghdad for the International Day of Al-Quds, organized by those who participated in the victorious struggle against ISIS.

The Iraqi people elect their deputies, and we know the choice of the people. The position of religious authorities in the holy city of Najaf on Al-Quds and Palestine is very old, going back well before 1948, intangible, from Imam Sayed Mohsin al-Hakim, God have mercy on him, up to Imam Al-Sayed Khu’i, God have mercy on him, up to the highly active current authorities, (all denunced Israel as illegitimate and supported Armed Resistance). This is a well-known historical position followed by all (the successive authorities). The political forces in Iraq, the Iraqi people (are also on the same Resistance line). I do not want to attribute an official position to the Iraqi government, but I know well, thanks to my information, my contacts and my meetings, the true position of these people, and I know where they will be when the great battle (against Israel) will be triggered in this region. I will return to this point in conclusion.

This great upheaval in Iraq favors the Resistance Axis and the armed forces of the Resistance. Iraq, which the United States wanted to see busy and submitted, has not been submitted and never will be.

(As for) Syria, pillar of the Resistance Axis… Please bear (my speech for) a few more minutes for Al-Quds’ (Jerusalem) sake. Syria, this essential country of the Resistance Axis, was subjected in recent years to great trials, a total war, world war. This country belongs to this Axis (par excellence). Unlimited amounts of money have been poured there from all sides, as well as all types of weapons and all means, and all the red lines have been crossed. Today we are in 2018, and by the Grace of God the Most Noble and the Almighty, the largest and most important parts of Syria have regained peace and security, and the State has restored its control and presence, (including) in Damascus and the Damascus suburbs. And it is clear that the enemy Axis is now trying (desperately) to achieve if only a few (tokens of) victory.

Let me (explain) as regards Israel. Since the beginning of the events in Syria, Israel… I do not have time to read it (all), but our young (Hezbollah members) have compiled for me statements by Israeli officials since 2011 to date: from the President, then Shimon Peres, to the head of the government, Netanyahu, to successive ministers of Defense, chiefs of the intelligence services and some experts. Since 2011 and until recently, what did they say? I’ll just read you the headlines.

All options are preferable to Assad‘.

Israel’s interest lies in the departure of Assad‘.

Nobody in Israel prefer Assad to jihadists‘.

The fall of Assad would be a clear victory for Israel‘.

Assad will fall within a few weeks‘, said Barak in 2011.

The decisions of the Arab League against Assad are courageous and important‘.

We do not want the defeat…‘ said who? The chief of Israeli intelligence in 2016, and we inflicted a defeat on ISIS with our entire Axis in 2017-2018: in 2016 (he said) ‘We do not want the defeat of ISIS in Syria‘.

The weakening of Assad and his government’s expulsion is in the direct interest of Israel‘, said Ya’alon (Chief of Staff of the Israeli forces) in 2013.

We must defeat the regime of Bashar al-Assad‘. Etc., etc.

And after (all these Israel hopes were dashed), see how they called the (alleged) battle. Allow me (to speak) a few (more) minutes. Now they have (changed the aim of the battle, which was toppling Assad), and called it (‘Kicking Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria‘). Rather than conceding defeat in Syria, and recognizing that their hopes in Syria, pinned on terrorist takfiri organizations, collapsed, (these very groups that) Israel supported with its media, (direct) assistance, through its airstrikes, by providing weapons, ammunition, and everything (they could provide them). Absolutely everything. Instead of declaring their failure and defeat in Syria, and (recognize) that the State will remain, as well as the President and the (Syrian) Army, and that the organizations they have supported in recent years are about to disappear, Israel wants to falsify the (real) meaning of the battle, and now, Netanyahu, Lieberman and other are discoursing day and night (pretending) that the battle in Syria aims to kick out Iran and Hezbollah from Syria.

We accept this battle. We accept it. But before turning the page and opening this new chapter, you should first acknowledge, O Zionists, that you have been defeated in Syria, you have failed to bring down the pillar of the Resistance camp in the region, your hopes on terrorist groups were scattered to the four winds. Acknowledge that, and then, we could open a new page for the (alleged) battle you have entitled ‘Kicking out Iran and Hezbollah from Syria‘. And some Gulf countries also regard this battle as their own today, looking forward to make this new achievement, imagining that Russia will cooperate with them to get Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. And they have high hopes and (are) happy (at this perspective), and they are ready to celebrate their victory.

I also say to these Gulf countries and all this Axis which fought (against us) in Syria: if you acknowledge your defeat, good. If you want to start a new battle under a new title, we can talk about it. I do not have time to talk about it in detail now, but I want to say a word regarding Hezbollah, so nobody thinks that this (PR stunt) is a (true) battle they can win.

As for Hezbollah, my brothers and sisters, when we went to Syria, we went there for two reasons, or rather for a reason that has two aspects. The first is our vision, our understanding and faith in the fact that what is happening in Syria is a major plot targeting the Syrian people, the Syrian government and the Syrian entity, and the Resistance Axis, and that if Syria fell into the hands of its enemies, into the hands of takfiris, a catastrophe would ensue for Lebanon, for Palestine and for the Resistance. And that’s what we explained for the last 7 years. That’s the first aspect. And the second aspect (is that we did it) at the request and with the agreement of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian government. That’s what got us in Syria.

When we went to Syria, we had no particular project. (Some say) that Hezbollah went to fight in Syria in order to get a seat in the Syrian government, or the Syrian Assembly, or to interfere in Syrian internal affairs, politics, government, or whatnot, or to get a share of the Syrian economy, etc., etc., etc. Sincerely and honestly, we had no particular project in Syria, and now that we are in 2018, and that Syria celebrates its victories, I declare to the world, to enemies as well as friends, that Hezbollah has no particular project in Syria, absolutely not. We are present in Syria where we need to be, and where Syrian leaders have asked us to be based on developments on the ground. There is (no project) for Hezbollah – as for Iran, they can speak for themselves, I will not appoint me as their spokesperson, unless they ask me to translate their position in Arabic. I speak for Hezbollah. This battle is an imaginary battle.

Naturally, when the goal is achieved, we will consider that we have won, from the position of those who have contributed (to victory), on their scale – you know me well, I do not increase the actual proportions of things and I do not exaggerate. Anyone has the right to comment on numbers, but as for us, we are not divulging (in detail the extent of our presence in Syria). At our level, with our contribution, (we participated) to the great Syrian victory in the World War (which was imposed on it). When Syria will be safe, when the remnants of armed terrorist groups disappear, when those responsible for the project (of destruction of Syria) will despair of (their ability to achieve) their project, we will consider it as a great achievement. And what I say publicly now, we (clearly) told it before to President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian leadership. We have no problem. There is no problem.

At any time, anywhere, in any area where the Syrian leadership will consider, because of field data and national interests of Syria and the Syrian people, that Hezbollah should not be there, we will be grateful to them. We will not assume in any way that anyone inflicted a defeat us. O people, we will be glad and happy! Let Gulf countries know that. Let Israel know that. When we repatriate our youth (fighters), our people and our brothers to Lebanon, to their cities, to their homes and to their families, we will be happy and we will feel victorious, we will have the feeling of a mission accomplished. This is why we do not consider that there is any (real) battle in Syria aiming to have us stay or leave. What keeps us there is our duty and the Syrian leadership.

At the same time, I want to tell you something. At the same time, I want to tell you something. If the whole world formed a coalition… If the whole world formed a coalition to force us out of Syria, it would fail to make us leave. Even if the whole world gathered (against us). There is only one way (for us to leave), it is that the Syrian leadership tells us “Guys, God bless you, thank you…” They are grateful people and they thank us at every opportunity. “We are grateful and appreciate you, God bless you, the fighting has ended in this region and we won, you can go home.” How many fighters do we have (in order to) send troops to Syria (with no reason, our forces being limited)? Therefore, nobody should believe that there is a battle of this kind. Never. There is no battle here (these are lies of the enemy meant to allow him to save face). This whole issue concerns only the Syrian leadership, their estimate of the situation on the ground and their national security interests, and the current position of Syria against the great conspiracy which was hatched against it.

Final War Is Coming, No One Wants New Holocaust

O my brothers and sisters! In Lebanon, we will bear all the pressure, (the designation as a) terrorist organization, etc. We have already talked a lot about the situation in Lebanon, the Israeli threats, I mentioned all these issues on May 25, and there is no need to evoke them again.

But on this International Day of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), I want to say to the Israelis, to the Palestinians and to the peoples of the world: just like we believe firmly, decisively and irrevocably, that Al-Quds and Palestine are just causes, we firmly believe, basing ourselves on our faith, on the Koran, on our doctrine, on the lessons, experiences and principles of History, and on our prediction of the future, that Al-Quds will be returned to its rightful owners, and that Palestine will be (completely) liberated. And Netanyahu’s sophistry will be to no avail.

Yesterday, Netanyahu said that Imam Khamenei wants to enrich uranium again in order to make a nuclear weapon and kill 6 million Jews in occupied Palestine. These are lies. First, Iran does not seek the nuclear bomb, and secondly, no one wants to kill 6 million Jews in occupied Palestine.

What we say, what the Palestinian people and the Arab and Muslim peoples say, and even what Islam says — I can say that this is the view of Islam — and what the Resistance says is this: we do not want to kill, we do not want to destroy, we do not want to throw (or drown) anyone in the sea. We tell you in a very civilized manner: embark in your ships, embark on your planes, and return to the countries from which you came. Regarding the (minority of) indigenous Jews, who are from Palestine, they are people of Palestine and they can stay there. As for the (Zionist) invaders, occupiers and settlers who came from all around the world, let them pack up their things and leave. This is the message of Islam, and this is the message of the Resistance. This is the message of the peoples of the region.

Contrary to what Netanyahu says, nobody wants to perpetrate another Holocaust or anything like that. But if you insist on perpetuating the occupation, then I assure you that the Day of the Great War in this region, whatever triggers it, is coming (fast). That day is close on which we will all pray in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

We are awaiting that day, with a positive (active) expectation, getting ready for it, truly and faithfully. Fare well, and God’s peace be upon you and His mercy and blessings.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook, Twitter Shut Hezbollah-Linked Accounts – Reports

Sputnik – 23.06.2018

Facebook and Twitter accounts of a Hezbollah-affiliated news service covering the Syrian war were shut down on Friday without explanation.

Central Military Media accused the US-based websites of running an “anti-media campaign,” in a post on the Telegram messaging app. It said both accounts were closed without warning.

The agency shared links to its new profiles on Facebook, Twitter and several other social media platforms. Sputnik was unable to obtain comments from the two networks.

Hezbollah was established in the 1980s as a paramilitary and political organization originating in Lebanon’s Shiite population. The group aims to end Israel’s occupation of Lebanese territory.

Israel, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the presence of Iranian and pro-Iranian forces and the Hezbollah movement in Syria. Earlier this year, Israel several times attacked what it called the Iranian forces’ positions in Syria, citing aggressive actions on the part of the Iranian-backed militia in the Golan Heights, annexed by the country from Syria.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Press TV interview with Syria’s President Bashar Assad

PressTV | June 13, 2018

June 14, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hassan Nasrallah on Israeli Warmongering & US Sanctions: Hezbollah Stronger than Ever, Resistance Not For Sale

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 25, 2018, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 18th anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon.

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

Transcript:

In Any Upcoming War, Hezbollah will Surely Defeat Israel 

[…] Despite all the intimidation, all the threats, all the blockades, (despite the inscriptions on the) lists of terrorist organizations, the (campaigns of) defamation, all these efforts (to weaken Hezbollah and diminish its popularity in Lebanon) have been in vain. Therefore, we have a community, a people who, prior to 2000, were worthy of victory, and that is why God granted us victory (on May 25, 2000), and He gave us the victory of 2006, and we remain, by the grace of God, the strongest and the most glorious, because we are worthy of it.

Myself, personally, when I talk about the future … Of course, we always say that we do not rush to war, but we do not fear it. The (Israeli) enemy is always threatening, promising, erupting, (trying to) terrorize us, but when we talk about the possibility of a war (against Israel) – may God take this perspective away from this country and this region –, whether during internal meetings or other, I speak of our victory with certainty, because God, with whom we were and with whom we still are, stands by our side. He never left us nor abandoned us, because our people, our community, our Resistance, are there and are worthy to be granted victory by God, the Most High and the Exalted. This is the fundamental point of strength on which we base ourselves and rely. […]

Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine Not For Sale

(First, the US are exerting) pressure on our popular base to punish it (for its support for Hezbollah), psychological, moral, financial, economic pressures, meant to dislocate, reduce and weaken it.

Second, (there is pressure on) our friends and allies to scare them and induce them to distance themselves (from us), because of fears (of sanctions).

Third, and this is the fundamental and most important goal, (these sanctions are intended to) cut our funding sources, what they refer to as the drying up of the funding sources of Hezbollah, of the Resistance in Lebanon and of the Resistance movements in the region. But this is not something new, they work at it since 1990. We are on the list of terrorist organizations since the 1990s. It is in order to dry our funding sources that continuous pressure is exerted against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is our main support. And that is a mark of honor for the Islamic Republic of Iran, this gives it a high rank and status.

Today, what is the US problem with Iran? You’ve seen the 12 demands of the US Secretary of State (Mike Pompeo) for them to reconsider their relations with Iran. Among the 12 demands… What do they really want from Iran? That it becomes a weak country, without missiles, without civil nuclear power, excluded of the Middle East’s (issues), that takes no responsibilities and has no involvment nor influence at the regional level, that it becomes, like many countries, an enslaved country. That if (Washington) requires (Iran) 100 billion, they would pay it cash. If (Washington) wants to appoint or depose a President, a King or a Prince, (Iran) would comply at once. That’s what they want from Iran. That’s what they did in Iran at the time of the Shah.

Anyway, among the US demands, there is cessation of support to Resistance movements that (Washington) characterizes as terrorist. And (Pompeo) mentioned Hezbollah and Palestinian Resistance movements. Thus, one reason of these pressures against Iran is that it assumes (the responsibility of Resistance to Israel).

Likewise, (the sanctions) are pressuring any contributor or benefactor who can bring money or donations to this Resistance, its organizations, its (families of) martyrs, its wounded, its orphans, its Resistors, its infrastructure, its capacity… This is their goal (to dry any financial support for Hezbollah).

This is part of the struggle. I do not mean just to describe its aspects, but also to determine our responsibility (against these measures). They are part of the confrontation, of the current battle. And we, psychologically, have to understand (the goals of) our enemy and realize that this is part of the current struggle.

It goes without saying that when the Resistance in Lebanon stood since 1982 and proclaimed its rejection of continued Israeli occupation of Lebanon –which is also a US occupation–, its rejection of the American-Zionist project in Lebanon, either as an occupation, or the imposition of political control, policy management or peace agreements with the enemy… (When) we reject this and struggle, fight and sacrifice, and inflict a defeat on this enemy… When Israel is the primary project for the United States and its military forward base in the region, and that you cross their path, confront them and defeat the army (reputed) invincible, when you humble and expel it from your territory, humiliated, defeated, running (for their lives)… When you cause a strategic turning point in the Arab-Israeli struggle because of what happened in 2000, with its repercussions inside occupied Palestine and the launch of the Intifada… When you are responsible for a huge cultural transformation in the region… When you face the American project, as happened again in 2006, the new Middle East project which, according to Condoleeza Rice, was being born before our eyes… When you raise against the US-Israeli projects and contribute to their collapse – I do not pretend that we have ruined them alone, but we helped to make them fall to some extent, according to places, battlefields and countries… When you are a force that denies US and Israeli hegemony over Palestine, in Lebanon and the countries of the region… When you are a force demanding your rights to sovereignty, authentic sovereignty, not sovereignty as a slogan (devoid of reality)… Every day, the Israeli enemy violates our airspace. Yesterday, it hit Syria from Lebanese skies. Where are the (pseudo) sovereignists? (I mean genuine) sovereignty! When you are a force that demands and truly works for the sovereignty, freedom, liberation (of your territory), for its independent decision, not submitting to the United States or anyone else in this world, (when you claim) that the people of each country is sovereign at home, and must take decisions by its own in his country… When you do not allow neither the US nor Israel to put their hands over a (single) inch of your territory at the border, or one (single) cubic meter of your (territorial) waters, or a (single) drop of your oil, it is natural that this enemy will see the threat (you represent for him), for its projects, for its hegemony, for its interests, (because you are) a force that defends your people, your nation and your Community and it will not sit idle in front of you. It will (try to) fight you, kill you, launch wars against you, it will plot against you, etc., etc., etc. Then from there, it will submit you to an economic and financial blockade, (put you on) the list of terrorist organizations, dry your funding sources, etc. So that’s (a full) part of the struggle.

And those of our brothers, among our noble families, merchants, businesses, organizations, associations, affected by (the sanctions), they must consider the damage as part of the struggle. This is exactly the same as for the family that offers a martyr, who has an injured or a partial or total paralysis, who sees their house bombed during the war and who ends up in a camp. In the same way, this is part of the sacrifices required by this battle, and those affected and disabled (by sanctions and inscription on the list of terrorist organizations) must consider this damage, firstly at the personal and psychological level, as part of the sacrifices (required), we have to consider this as part of the sacrifices on the path (of Resistance) that we took, we must consider that this is part of the battle and face it.

How to cope with it? In order to face (these measures), the essential point, as we have said in some (previous) battles, is to defeat the purpose (of sanctions). We cannot respond to these inscriptions on the list of terrorist organizations (and the resulting sanctions) by similar measures, because we have neither banks nor US currency, nor do we exchange dollar, euro or any such thing. But we have to frustrate their purpose. What is it? Their goal is to shake our resolve, the determination of our people and our popular base. They want to engage our will, our determination and our resolve, our perseverance and persistence on this path, on this line and on this position. As long as we remain resolute, determined and steadfast, (their sanctions) have no weight. And may God make the best out of it.

True, there will be damage, we will suffer losses, but this is part of the required sacrifices, like the martyrs, the wounded, demolished homes and factories that were destroyed during the war. After that, God the Almighty and the Exalted compensated, international assistance helped rebuild, the State assumed its share of responsibility, we took our responsibility, but it’s part of the path (of Resistance we chose).

So far, the experience showed (our enemies) that death, murder, wars, massacres, destruction, refugees, and all that was inflicted on us, to us and to our people in Lebanon, in no way diminished our commitment, our resolve and our determination. And therefore, now, I say that these measures will lead to no result. They do not delay nor accelerate anything. They cause damage, this is natural. As I said, it’s like all the other sacrifices: when a martyr falls, the father, mother and wife are grieving, the woman becomes a widow, the mother becomes *** (word untranslatable designating the mother who lost her child), children become orphans. We are human beings, we have feelings, but it’s part of the struggle. We endure, we rely on it to go ahead, and we shape victories over these losses. We do not stop, we are not scared, we are not afraid.

Now I want to return to the point that I mentioned at the beginning, I said I would come back to it. Before 2000, the capacities of the Resistance were very modest. And now it is true that the capacities of the Resistance are very large, and it needs money, no doubt. But in the worst case, in the worst case, say this inscription on the list of terrorist organizations and financial and economic siege manage to cut a large portion of that money, or even all of the money. I declare to the US, its allies in the region and the Israeli enemy: you are very wrong in understanding the Resistance and the people.

Wherein lies this error? It stems from their culture. It is that they see their friends (allies) and the people in general as mercenaries. Every man, every individual, for the United States and its allies or instruments, is not considered a man. They consider them, as we joked before, like an S with two bars (dollar sign). Money. How much are you worth? How much do we have to pay to buy your voice (in elections)? $100? $1,000? $3,000? Or is it that (on the contrary), your voice is not for sale? Can your position be reversed with money, with suitcases (full of banknotes)? If one brings you suitcases, will you move from one position to another? Or is it that (on the contrary), your position cannot be bought, it’s not for sale? They see the world only through the prism of money. They do not believe in principles. If they are told that such people are people of principle, patriots, they will ask you to explain the meaning of “principle”, “patriot”, “humanity”. (They are unaware of and unable to understand) these concepts, they have no existence for them. What matters for them is the work, money, weapons trade, how much money you have, how many yachts, how many banks, how much is your oil, how much credit you have in the banks, etc. This is your value. Your value is not your good deeds, as the prophetic tradition says: “The value of a man lies in his good deeds.” Your value is the balance of your bank account.

Their mistake is to consider the Resistance as mercenaries of Iran, for example. Since Iran gives money (to Hezbollah), just like Syria, they believe that we are mercenaries, that we are fighting as mercenaries, and that if they deprive us of our money, we will stop fighting and change our position. This is their fundamental error.

This Resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and the region, those people who demonstrate every Friday in Gaza are not mercenaries. They are defenders of a cause. These Resistors, and their people, their fellow countrymen, their families, their popular base and all who are with them, (Washington and its allies) must know that they are people of principle, patriots, humanists, defenders of a cause in which they believe (fervently), and for which they fight and are willing to sacrifice, and sacrifice their dearest ones and their children. They are ready to live their entire lives in the worst conditions for their cause to triumph. Such people cannot be defeated neither by lists of terrorist organizations, nor by sanctions, nor by a financial siege or by drying up their sources of money.

When you fight, in Lebanon and Palestine, those opposed to the Israeli enemy, a popular will, a popular Resistance and a popular culture, you are unable to inflict a defeat on them, regardless of any measure you can implement. That is why their (economic) battle (against us) is lost in advance.

But the condition for that, like in the military war, as in all previous challenges, is that we become aware of the essence of this (economic) war, that we understand their motive and goals, that we endure and that we make its objectives fail. And this is easy. Because if we maintain our determination, our resolve and our will, they will not be able to do anything.

Denunciation of Morocco and tribute to Algeria & Soudan

Even (the US attempt) to isolate (Hezbollah) in the region (will be in vain). The fact that such country has no links with us, that another breaks relations with us, than another yet (accuses us) under a thousand false pretexts, as did Morocco just a few weeks ago without any basis of truth.

(Morocco) said that the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Iran, and submitted a folder to the Foreign Minister of Iran about the involvement of Hezbollah with the Polisario Front. The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs promised to keep me informed, and he did. I asked where is the folder, but there is no folder! The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs did not even provide a single file or piece of paper, although they claimed to have provided evidence and documents, but they refused to give even the sheet that… He had a sheet in his hand, from which he was reading (to the Iranian minister) the names (of Hezbollah members allegedly involved with the Polisario): so and so, so and so, so and so, so and so. (The Iranian minister) asked for the sheet, but (the Moroccan Minister) refused. Even this piece of paper (he read), he refused to give it!

Well, where is the evidence, where are the facts? Do you have videos, recordings, witnesses? Who are your witnesses? But there is absolutely nothing. (Morocco) said that so and so, so and so, so and so, so and so from Hezbollah… Moreover, some of these (Hezbollah members) have no involvement in the security and military operations, and these brothers mentioned work in very remote locations from each other, so it is clear that it is the Israeli intelligence that provided the names to Morocco, but there is no link between these (Hezbollah) brothers. (Morocco is merely asserting emphatically that) Hezbollah supports the Polisario, and it breaks its ties with Iran, (just like that).

While we have no relationship with the Polisario, not even political relations. I do not even take a position on this issue, that we have not studied, and on which we have no position, neither negative nor positive. In truth, there is no relationship between us, not even political, we have no contact, but we will see Morocco accuse us of having received the Polisario in Lebanon, of having visited them in their town –I do not even remember its name, it was the first time I was hearing of it–, of having provided them with support, training, training camps, weapons, etc.

Anyway, these accusations and actions are futile, they will have no result in terms of resolution and determination of the Resistance. Before 2000, when the Resistance has triumphed and achieved this feat of which we celebrate the 18th anniversary today (Lebanon’s Liberation), it had no regional relations. There was Iran and Syria, nothing else. We could have friendly relations with the Embassy of Algeria, the Sudanese Embassy, ​​such or such country, but we did not have regional relations. Rather, many did not even dare to open links or contacts with us, because since 1992, we are on the list of terrorist organizations.

Therefore, all these measures of political, diplomatic and financial siege, this intimidation, I say to our enemies that it will not change anything. The Resistance that has shaped the victory of 2000, this glorious and resounding victory that imposed on the (Israeli) enemy to get out humiliated and crushed, with no clause, without any conditions, without any concession whatsoever (only by the force of arms, as Hezbollah refused any negotiations with Israel), the Resistance is stronger today, more powerful, more robust, even regarding the determination, faith, principles, soul, mind, until the new generations that you think (corrupted by materialism).

It is this new generation that fought in 2006, and much of our martyrs are part of the generation born in the 1990s. And today, it is also the case for the great battle that was conducted in the region (Syria). When you participate in the fight against the American project in the region, in Syria… We are proudly and publicly involved in this crucial battle. And it is during such a commemoration (on May 25) that I announced our entry into this battle several years ago (in 2013). And we said then that the US and its allies have gathered the takfiris from all around the world to bring down Damascus and the Syrian State, and I said in a speech like this, without vis-a-vis, that the Syrian leadership, the Syrian people and the Syrian army and its allies would never allow Damascus to fall, whatever sacrifices were required.

Today, on the occasion of the holiday of the Resistance and Liberation, which we celebrate to commemorate the South(-Lebanon) Liberation, today also, we address Syria, the Syrian leadership, the Syrian Arab Army, the Syrian people and all their loyal allies, and we congratulate them for the liberation of Damascus, the Damascus suburbs and the whole Damascus area in its entirety, freed from any danger and any (terrorist armed) organization, especially during this last battle against ISIS and the glorious victory that took place there, and now that all Syria goes from success to success, successes that set up the next stage (of reconstruction). Those who (like Hezbollah) take such positions must bear the consequences, and I declare that we are stronger, more determined and more present, and with God’s grace, these (diplomatic sanctions) will have absolutely no effect. […]

Vidéos en FRANCAIS : vimeo.com/sayedhasan / Videos in ENGLISH: unz.com/sayedhasan / Facebook

June 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The West & Gulf Couldn’t Sway These Lebanese Elections

By As`ad AbuKhalil | Consortium News | May 31, 2018

The recent Lebanese parliamentary election generated a lot of publicity in Western media. To be sure, free elections are rare in the Middle East, and Western media get excited over the prospects of success for what they dub as “pro-Western” candidates or coalitions anywhere. Also because foes of Israel and the U.S. were in the running, Western media become automatically invested in the outcome. This time, Western media decided that Hizbullah won “a majority of seats” in the election—as the headline of The Financial Times had it. The results were certainly a blow to Western and Gulf regimes who invest—politically and financially–heavily in Lebanese elections.

We can’t really talk about free elections in the Middle East—or anywhere else in the developing world for that matter. Not because people there don’t want them but essentially because Western governments and Gulf regimes won’t allow it. To be fair, the U.S. is clearly in favor of free elections, but only when the results guarantee a victory for its puppets. Thus, when Hamas won the legislative elections of 2006 (which the U.S. had been insisting on), the U.S. not only refused to recognize the free expressions of the Palestinian people but the U.S. worked on a covert operation to undermine the results and to overthrow Hamas in Gaza.

Historically, the U.S. (among other outside parties, chiefly Gulf regimes) intervened heavily in Lebanese elections through the provision of cash payments to its favored right-wing, anti-communist candidates. For instance, the 1947 election lives on as one of the most corrupt in Lebanese history, and former CIA agent, Wilbur Eveland, wrote about his adventures of driving to the residence of then president, Kamil Sham`un, with a load of cash to ensure that the right-candidates win. But the cash wasn’t really necessary because Sham`un forged the election anyway and arranged for the defeat of his opponents.

In 1968, the U.S. was most likely behind the rise of the far-right coalition of “the tripartite alliance,” which included the Phalanges, who swept through the election and, in few years, would—with U.S. help—trigger the Lebanese civil war. (New U.S. archival materials show the extremely close relations between those parties and U.S. and Israel).

But the U.S. and Saudi Arabia surpassed all previous foreign intervention in Lebanon in the 2009 election, when they threw close to a $1 billion to sway the vote on the side of the March 14 coalition, which included the Muslim Brotherhood and right-wing groups—all dubbed “pro-Western” by U.S. media. The victor was arranged although the election was very close: no one side was able to rule without veto power by the other side.

In this election, the Saudis didn’t spend as much as previously probably because they thought it wouldn’t make much difference since a new electoral system had changed the rules. But Western and Gulf governments convened a special economic conference in Paris to prop up the leadership of Sa`d Hariri, who claimed in the wake of the conference that he would be create no less than 900,000 jobs.

Elections in ‘Democracies’

Elections in democratic political systems are merely some of the people selecting representatives who speak on behalf of “all the people.” The propaganda about the virtue of elections is highly exaggerated in order to provide the political system with much more political legitimacy than warranted.

In the U.S., there is still a clear agenda to suppress wide political participation. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world which holds the vote on a working day—and in the winter where much of the East coast is buried under rain and snow. Furthermore, the U.S. requires voter registration, when most democracies don’t. The low voter turnout in the U.S. is by design, and not by default. If the U.S. were to adopt a proportional representation system—which both parties won’t allow because they enjoy holding the exclusive monopoly over political representation—voter turnout would increase. Most world democracies have—at least partially or at some level—adopted proportional representation.

The leftist coalition during the Lebanese civil war years, the Lebanese National Movement, proposed political reforms in 1975. They included—among other things—the adoption of proportional representation at the national level, with Lebanon designated as one electoral district. The political class rejected that because they preferred the single-member district (at a small local level) since it facilitates the utilization of cash in swaying voters. Also, Lebanese national proportional representation wouldn’t fit well with regional sectarian leaderships.

The May 6 Lebanese election took place nine years after the previous one. Regional conflicts and Lebanese internal turmoil gave sectarian leaders the excuse to postpone the elections repeatedly. Sectarian leaders also had a hard time agreeing on a new electoral law. But the election of Gen. Michel Aoun to the presidency in 2016 expedited the process of finally holding a ballot. His parliamentary bloc had been vociferous in calling for new elections. After long months of acrimonious negotiations, the sectarian leaders agreed on a new electoral law.

Aoun: Pressed hard for a vote.

Hizbullah and the progressives in Lebanon called for a proportional representation system, while Hariri and his allies fought against it. Hizbullah was willing to risk losing a few seats in return for the election of some of its allies from different sects, while Hariri knew that his broad coalition in parliament would lose substantially because most of his Christian MPs were elected in specially-designed districts where the majority Muslims vote for Christian and Muslim MPs.

The design of electoral districts is not a simple matter in Lebanon because the system has to balance different political interests with a sectarian arithmetic formulae (which is incorporated into the political system of the country). For example, the top posts of government (presidency, speakership, and prime ministership) are distributed among Maronites, Shi`ites, and Sunnis respectively.

Elections to the 128-seat Lebanese parliament must split seats evenly between Christians and Muslims though Muslims surpassed Christians demographically long before the 1975 civil war. It is estimated that Christians are now no more than a third of the population. There is a quota for Christians in the Lebanese parliament that keeps up the pretense that they are half the population no matter how different the demographic reality. In fact, the Lebanese state refuses to conduct a census for fear of upsetting Christians. The last census was conducted in 1932.

So Lebanese leaders agreed on a new electoral law that would mix the proportional representation system with the single-member district. They arrived at a law which divided Lebanese governorates as electoral districts but then gave the voter the choice to rank one candidate on the electoral list as his/her “favored” candidate, which basically prioritized sectarian preferences of voters. The whole purpose of proportional representation was defeated.

The law was quite complicated and the low voter turnout (around 49 %, less than the 2009 election) seems to confirm that many voters and even Interior Ministry experts did not fully understand the rules. The low turnout can also be explained by the low level of enthusiasm among voters and the diminished sense of expectations for change. Furthermore, sectarian leaders in Lebanon suppress the vote by not allowing 18-year-olds to vote. If they did it’s estimated that it would substantially increase the Muslim voters—especially Shi`ites.

Part Two will look closely at the election’s winners and losers and what it means.


As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America’s New ‘War on Terrorism’ (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He also runs the popular blog The Angry Arab News Service. 

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment