In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon our Master and Prophet – the Seal of prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, his chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
I welcome all of you in the various meeting places – Dahiyeh, Baalbeck, Nabatiyeh, and Tyr – and I thank you for your attendance that always expresses your love, support and backing for this Resistance and its route and your true participation in its victories and achievements. Also first I renew my felicitation to you on the beginning of the Month of Allah and its great and blessed days and nights. It’s the month of Allah’s hospitality, the month of repentance, forgiveness, and mercy.
Also first, I must thank the brothers and sisters in the Islamic Resistance Support Association as well as the board, officials, employees and volunteers for their solemn services, incessant efforts and support for the Resistance for decades and long years.
Moreover, on the anniversary of the first of August – the Army Day – the Day of the national guaranteeing institution, the army institution, I would like to address the Head of the Army and its officials and soldiers with felicitation on their day – the day of establishing and launching of the Army. We hope that Allah Al Mighty would bestow his blessings so that all the Lebanese cooperate to guard this institution and to support and guard the Army’s unity and to enhance this institution so that it would be able to assume its responsibilities and the solemn national missions it shoulders.
Dear brothers and sisters! In the available time, I would like to tackle the Resistance from the perspective evoked lately. Indeed and as usual, I talk about Lebanon during the Resistance Support iftar and I about Palestine and the regional situation on Al Qods Day. Thus my speech today will be limited to the Resistance in Lebanon and thereof I will usher to the defense strategy, the dialogue table and the evoked ideas and sayings and finally we will specify our stance, and I will be as brief as possible Inshallah.
First, no one – but the arrogant – disagrees that Israel was defeated in 2000 and that Lebanon gained victory and made a historic and strategic achievement. Israel pulled out defeated and humiliated without achievements, guarantees and conditions. Any other speech would be that of lunatic and jealous people. This is the truth. Thus we are before a crystal clear historic victory.
Second, no one – but the arrogant – disagrees that this victory was made possible thanks first to Allah and to the Resistance which made this achievement with the blood of its martyrs, the sacrifices of its fighters and people and the rallying of the Lebanese who embraced it. This is also crystal clear. So it was not made through the international community, Resolution 425, the Arab League, or the Organization of the Islamic Conference. This also is not denied accept by the arrogant and the jealous.
Third, everyone knows that following the victory of 2000 what took place was contrary to the historic conduct. Usually when resistance movements win, they rule. This is what took place in France, Algeria, Vietnam among many of the world countries with the exception of Lebanon. That’s because Lebanon is exceptional in everything.
This Resistance did not make a demand to rule. It did not seek authority. It did not demand a portion in the authority. It rather offered the victory to the Lebanese and asked the authority to assume its responsibilities on the liberated borderline. It said there are still great responsibilities on our shoulders and we must carry on working to achieve them.
Following the defeat of Israel in 2000, an Israeli-American demand came to light. Here also if anyone argues against that being an Israeli-American demand, there would be something wrong. This Israeli-American demand was put as a target. They made a program and set a plot for it. This demand is to put an end to the Resistance and the arms of the Resistance. They would say the story is over; Israel pulled out; so let’s put an end to this issue. And as Hezbollah was considered the primary or the greatest faction in the Resistance in the latest years of the 90s, the issue was dubbed as disarming Hezbollah. In fact, it is disarming the Resistance. They do not want to disarm Hezbollah whose arms are beneficiary as a militia or in civil war. All the Lebanese possess arms of militias and civil war.
As for the arms that harm Israel, change the equation with Israel, protect the country and prevent Israel from imposing its conditions on Lebanon, “we want to get rid of it”.
Since then and following 2000, there appeared in the region, in the country, in the world and in the Security Council a cause entitled disarming the Resistance or in another word disarming Hezbollah. Some political forces in Lebanon adopted this target. Now whether these forces are aware that this is an Israeli-American demand or not, I have nothing to do with intentions. However, in short it adopted this target.
Thus, this has become a cause, and we came to be before a new political battle. So it is not a military battle; it is a new political battle. It is also a media battle, a public opinion battle, a battle of negotiations, a battle of discussion and argument on the Lebanese internal level, and a battle of wills inside and outside Lebanon. The title of this cause is disarming the Resistance which is an Israeli-American demand.
Following 2000, bargains on arms were presented on us from American and western sides. I will not waste my time talking about these bargains. I have previously tackled them. These bargains have to do with authority, money, facilities and removing us from the terrorists list. We refused all of that because we still see in the Resistance a guarantee and a source of strength to Lebanon as well as a source of protection to our people who were abandoned by the whole world in 1982. Our people are still abandoned by the whole world to this very day.
Moreover, in 2004 and before Resolution 1559 was issued, a settlement to this effect was presented on Syria. Here I would like to point out to the Lebanese – especially March 14 Bloc – that at the time they used to go to America and France and bet on Bush and Chirac to assist you to pull the Syrians for you from Lebanon, negotiations were taking place under the table with the Syrians on your heads, at your expense and on your project too.
In 2004, An Arab ruler came to President Bashar Assad (I am not allowed to disclose his name. Perhaps one day the Syrians themselves would reveal the name) and presented the following on him. He told him that US-French-European pressure on Syria to pull out from Lebanon has clear began. The opposition movement to this effect was mushrooming in Lebanon. He told President Assad: Do you want to stay in Lebanon? You may stay for hundreds of years. You may also enter the Lebanese south beyond Al Awali though it was a red line. You may dispatch a squad or two from the Syrian Army to the south and spread out all over the south until the very borderlines.
President Assad told the Arab ruler: That’s great! What is demanded in return or as a price. The Arab ruler answered: The price is disarming Hezbollah and disarming the Palestinians. So Syria and the Syrian army disarms Hezbollah and the Palestinians and Lebanon would be Syria’s. Lebanon is yours. Take it. The international authorization in Lebanon is yours. It remains as it were in the past and even stronger and fiercer. Even more, the red lines for the Syrian troops spread will be removed and you may spread one squad or two in the south.
Then in 2004, a political opposition was calling for the withdrawal of the Syrian troops in Lebanon. This Arab ruler – who is from the American Arabs – presented this offer. Indeed, President Assad refused. He had his logic. Here I would like to answer some intellectuals who commented on my last speech when I said that Syria supplied us with arms in July War or prior to July War saying Syria is a charitable association. No Syria is not a charitable association. How mistaken are these intellectuals. It is not a charitable association. However, Syria has a vision to protect Syria and Lebanon against Israel. It has a strategic perspective. It has a vision on the Arab and Syrian national security. According to this vision, President Assad answered this Arab ruler saying: “Well, let’s say I dispatched these couple of squads to the south, and then one day a conflict with the Israelis took place and the Israelis imposed conditions – or let’s say a settlement – and we refused it. Should the Israelis take a decision to stage an aggression, in a couple of hours they would wipe the two squads from the south. There is no aerial cover. There is no air defense in Lebanon. Syria has air defense. However, the existence of the popular Resistance in Lebanon forms the true element of strength for Lebanon, Syria and the Arabs. He views the Resistance in Lebanon as well as the Resistance in Palestine as part of the Arab national security strategy. Thus he refused the settlement. Afterwards, Resolution 1559 was announced and international pressure on Lebanon and Syria started to execute this resolution.
I would like also to remind you that Sylvan Shalom – the Israeli enemy Foreign Minister in the previous governments – in 2004 said that the issuance of Resolution 1559 was the outcome of long and exhausting diplomatic efforts exerted by the Israeli foreign ministry. So it is as the saying goes: I am condemning you using your own words. Here I would like to say: using their own words I want today to condemn some Lebanese. So we are before an Israeli resolution. It goes without saying that we refused this resolution. However some Lebanese political forces adopted Resolution 1559 who also adopted the content of this Resolution. At that time, long meetings and sessions between me and martyr PM Rafiq Hariri started months before his martyrdom. We discussed everything as well as the arms of the Resistance. The result was that the Arms of the Resistance in Lebanon must remain until the day in which a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement is achieved. I remember that we differed over the terms. PM Hariri said until inking a fair Arab-Israeli peace. I said let’s correct the term. I say a settlement. There is not any fair peace. We are talking about a settlement. So arms must be kept until a settlement is achieved i.e until Syria reconciles, Lebanon reconciles and everyone reconciles. Then we would agree on what to do about the arms of the Resistance. Accordingly we built a political alliance.
Then the man was martyred, and serious incidents took place on the Lebanese internal level, and wide gaps were formed. Until then, we used to refuse to share in any overt argument over the arms of the Resistance. We used to consider this point undisputable. However, because we wanted to assure the Lebanese and because we wanted to be open and reach an outcome on national public opinion, we in fact offered a concession. We agreed to discuss the arms of the Resistance one way or another. Otherwise, according to us the issue was indisputable. This was what took place with us in the agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement in February 2006. When we reached discussing this point the text in the agreement says: In the framework of guarding Lebanon against Israeli dangers and through a national dialogue which leads to forming a national defense strategy on which the Lebanese agree and in which they join through assuming its responsibilities and benefiting from its outcome.
Well, Speaker Nabih Berri had then called for national dialogue. The first session was held in March 2006. We partook without any reservations. Searching for a defense strategy was on the agenda of the national dialogue table. It was meant to discuss the arms of the Resistance. However there is a difference in saying we are discussing the arms of the Resistance on one hand and in saying we are here to respect each other and thus we would say we have a great national issue which is guarding Lebanon, Lebanon’s entity, Lebanon’s state, and Lebanon’s people. We came to discuss this strategy which comprises discussing the Resistance among other topics. We headed to the national dialogue faithfully and seriously. In fact, we had great hope in the possibility of reaching a national agreement after reaching the agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement. In fact, there was a kind of covert agreement between PM Saad Hariri and us as the former had told me in the presence of witnesses that he would carry on with all what we had agreed on with his father. Well, this issue was among what we agreed on with his father – meaning that the Resistance and the arms of the Resistance would remain until a settlement is reached. When a settlement is reached in the region, we would see what to do. Thus, in fact, we went to the dialogue table to make a serious discussion. That’s because we had a vision, logic, pretext, evidence and experience. It is the experience from 1982 to 2000. It is the experience of the Resistance in Lebanon and the defeat of Israel in Lebanon.
Well, we went to the dialogue table which you know until we reached the last point. Speaker Nabih kept this point to the last because he knew that there is a great conflict over this point. Thus we reached this point. Speaker Berri called on them to talk in that session. It was known before hand that on that day we want to discuss the defense strategy. He called on them to talk but no one wanted to discuss. I asked the Speaker to talk and I presented a defense strategy – Hezbollah’s vision for a national defense strategy. I presented a strategy which is not in my hands now. I talked in utmost brevity on the enemy, who is this enemy, what’s the nature of this enemy, the greed of this enemy, the enemy’s capacities, the forms of aggressions that might be staged by this enemy against Lebanon, the enemy’s points of strength, and the enemy’s points of weakness. I presented all of this. Indeed we did not discuss these points.
Then I presented Lebanon the aggressed against and the threatened, Lebanon’s points of strength, and Lebanon’s points of weakness. Some might wonder whether Lebanon really has points of strength. I tell them that Lebanon has points of strength. Lebanon’s people is one of Lebanon’s points of strength. Human being is one of Lebanon’s points of strength – the men, women, the seniors and the juniors whom we have been seeing for decades. Their will, faith, nationalism, bravery, patience, determination, tolerance, and steadfastness are among Lebanon’s points of strength. Lebanon’s geography – the mountains, valleys, hills, the complicated roads and even the drillings (which are points of weakness from one perspective may be among the points of strength from another) – are among the points of strength. So in Lebanon there are points of strength as well as points of weakness. We also presented these points of strength and weakness until reaching the option available before us. We are in need of a comprehensive defense strategy – whether on the military, security, diplomatic, political, economic, media, educational, and infrastructure levels. This is the text of what I said. The discussion was not only as far as arms and military are concerned. Lebanon’s national security and defending Lebanon in face of an enemy with such a magnitude needs a national defense strategy which takes into consideration all of these topics.
As far as the military level is concerned, we said there are two pillars: a strong army and a strong popular Resistance, and cooperation and integration between the army and the Resistance in the framework of a united national strategy. I said that there is a successful experience before our eyes. This experience is there before our eyes. It is the Grapes of Wrath in 1996. What did the Resistance do? What did the army do? What did the Lebanese diplomacy do? The Israelis were not able to achieve their goals. We achieved April’s Agreement which has established for the victory of the Resistance in 2000. This was the outcome of a joint military-field-popular-media-diplomatic effort. I wrapped up my presentation with a quotation for PM Salim Al –Hoss (May Allah prolong his life span). I brought along with me his quotation to the session. He says that the cause is defending the country, and the Resistance is an urgent strategic necessity for defending the country. The problem is that the arms of the Resistance is confined in the hands of one group from one sect. This is the problem. How are we to reconcile between the cause and the problem? This is what we are to find a solution to. We have an army. We want a strong army; we want a resistance; we want a coordination between the Army and the Resistance which reaches the highest level without developing to the level of control. That means we do not put the Resistance under the control of the Army or the control of the state. If coordination develops to the level of control, the Army will be over. That means should the Resistance be under the control of the Army, the latter would be hit in any confrontation with Israel. PM Al Hoss is saying so. He is a man of state. He is not an official in Hezbollah. He is not an adherent to arms or anything of this sort. He saw the whole balance and lived all the experiences. He witnessed the victory of 2000 along with His Eminence President Emile Lahoud. He is telling us we want a strong army, a resistance and coordination between the Army and the Resistance which reaches the highest level without developing to the level of control. If coordination develops to the level of control, the Army will be over. Should the margin between the Army and the Resistance be lost, the state would have to assume the repercussions.
One of the points of strength I presented on the dialogue table is this margin which we – the Lebanese – may move within as a state and as a Resistance in face of Israel and in face of the International Community. This formula could defend the country since 2000 until the time we were sitting and talking and consequently presenting this issue. I wrapped up my word then. You my say the Sayyed is narrating a story. No, we want to reach a conclusion. That’s because some people up till now say that Hezbollah did not present a defense strategy. This is a weird country. This is the country of lying that mounts to impudence. That means the person lies while laughing. Hezbollah was the first to present a defense strategy on the dialogue table. You did not present any strategy. This story is over. The Speaker called on them to talk. The session was taking place early so we still had three or four hours. One of the attendees – I will not mention names – said: This is an important word which needs meditation and close examination. I suggest the adjournment of the session and we would carry on later. MP Walid Jumblat said what the Sayyed said is very important. There are technical perspectives of which we are acquainted. There are political sides over which we have questions and which we can’t evoke now. We need time to think. The session was adjourned. Then July War took place. Before moving to July war let me settle one point once and for all. That is that we expressed our vision over the national defense strategy clearly and in a scientific, firm, and precise way on the dialogue table. You may listen to the record, as it was recorded. Even more, everyone was listening and everyone was writing in absolute silence. The following day some of what I said was leaked to the media. However that was curtailed. The opening session for a conference on the culture of the Resistance was held at that time. I showed up and told the Lebanese people openly all what I said on the dialogue table. So Hezbollah presented its vision on national defense strategy on the dialogue table and to the Lebanese people altogether live and openly. This is final. So all what is said to the effect that we did not present a strategy or that we are running away from discussing because we do not want to do so is impudence and not only lying. This is impudence and falsehood. Then July War took place and ended as it did, and all what we said in presenting the defense strategy took place at war. Thus the strategy was implemented at war. We do not have plenty of time now to provide you with the evidences. However all the brothers may go back to the text which was published in newspapers and may be published again. Then I told them: “The Israeli air force may destroy a classical army which does not have an air force within hours. However, the Israeli air force can’t destroy the Resistance or decisively end a war with the Resistance.” Following 33 days of war, the Israelis said that the air force couldn’t put a final end to the war with the Resistance. I told them on the dialogue table before the war: “In any territorial confrontation, the Resistance may defeat the enemy’s army. The enemy’s army would find difficulty in occupying geography. However, the enemy’s army can’t stay there.” This was what took place in July War. When I was tackling the points of weakness, I told them when Israel would have to bring down two million refugees to shelters, the settlements, Haifa, the industries in Haifa, and tourism in the north until reaching the middle area would cause pressure on the Israeli cabinet and make it halt its aggression. This took place in July War. The war led to what it led to – a clear Israeli acknowledgement of defeat and a denial of the defeat by those who bet on war and lost their bet.
Events which have to do with the STL, the government, the resignation and demonstrations also took place on the internal level. Then Doha Summit took place and a call was made for electing another president. His Eminence President Michel Suleiman called for holding a dialogue table with the only topic of the defense strategy. There wasn’t any other topic. We responded to this call unconditionally. Here is the point I wanted to stress. I made all of this presentation to reach this point. So far, several sessions for the dialogue table have been held in Baabda Palace. Papers were submitted. What I wanted to tell you – dear audience and all the Lebanese who are listening to me – is that until this very moment Hezbollah’s paper on the defense strategy has not been discussed yet. Here I am telling you: No one discussed it. It’s not that they want to discuss it and no one is discussing it. No one sat on the table and said: So and so in such and such a session talked about the enemy, the forms of the enemy’s aggressions, and we do not agree on that according to such and such an evidence. The enemy threats Lebanon and has greed in Lebanon. We do not agree because of such and such. So and so said the enemy has such and such points of strength and points of weakness. We do not agree. The true evaluation is as such. As far as Lebanon is concerned, so and so said there are these points of strength and points of weakness. This is not true. The options as far as the army is concerned are such and such… So no discussion is taking place up to this very moment! Brothers! This paper has been presented since 2006 – days before July War. So far nobody discussed this paper on the dialogue table or in any other place.
Here I am telling you why they did not discuss it and they would not discuss it on the dialogue table or in any other place. That’s because this discussion is not required. One thing only is required. You all know that. Since 2000 it has been required and would remain required as long as there is a commitment with America and the west – I will not say with Israel. One thing is required. There is a definite goal which is disarming the Resistance. So you talk logic saying a classical army is such and such and the resistance is so and so. These are the points of strength and these are the points of weakness. These are the experiences of the peoples. See Algeria, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. See what has taken place here…. They only say: We comprehend but little of what you are saying. What would be the good of any scientific word or logic or talk about schools and human experiences? There is no place for that. By God we were wasting our time. Why? That’s because the other party took a final decision: Give in you arms and let’s put an end to this long story. There is no other reason. Never did the discussion on the dialogue table mean to defend Lebanon.
Today in the very Month of Ramadan, I say and assume the responsibility of what I am saying in this world and in the hereafter. The aim was never guarding Lebanon. March 14 Bloc are not sitting on the table seriously seeking to see how to guard Lebanon, how to protect the people of the south – all the people of the south – Hasbaya, Jizine, Marjoun, Bint Jbeil, Sidon, Tyr, Nabatiyeh – how to protect the residents of West Bekaa and Rashaya, how to defend Lebanon as a whole starting with Bekaa to the North, to the capital and Mount Liban and the infrastructure. Never! There is only one topic. The Americans want the arms. Hand in the arms. It is as simple as this. Papers were handed by some March 14 Bloc forces. Read them. They were published in the media. First, they do not discuss our paper. Second they do not depend on experiences. Third they have one aim: Hand in your arms to the Army and that will be the end of the story. This is the defense strategy to the March 14 Bloc forces. I want to stress to you that this is the true aim.
Days ago, one of the great leaders in March 14 bloc said: Do not bother yourselves with the dialogue table and the defense strategy. Listen well to what I am saying. Your Eminence the President of the Republic! This person is telling you – and not me – so. Do not bother with discussion and the defense strategy. Soon the regime of Bashar Assad would collapse and Hezbollah would be obliged to hand in its arms.” That’s it. So the aim is handing in arms. He did not say: “Soon the regime of Bashar Assad would collapse (Indeed these are his convictions) and consequently, we will have to guard Lebanon and the people of southern Lebanon and the people of Bekaa, the people in northern Lebanon and the infrastructure in Lebanon in such and such a way.” This is the last thing he thinks of. No this is not precise. He does not think of that at all in fact. This does not interest him. What he cares for is arms. They want to address the Americans saying: We have done what we were required to do. Allow us then to have a grip on the country and control over it. This is one evidence. I have another evidence. One leader of March 14 Bloc says the dialogue on the defense strategy is similar to the dialogue among the deaf! That’s true. He knows himself. That’s because they do not listen. They do not want to listen. They are not ready to listen. That’s because they – and not we – are deaf as far as this issue is concerned. On the contrary, we are very much concerned to reach a strategy that would truly defend the country. The hands of all the Lebanese are in fire. However, the hands of those sitting on the border are most in fire. They are the most people concerned that their country, government, state and political forces providing them with a national defense strategy and providing them with national protection.
Despite this conviction, here I am telling you we are not thinking by any means of boycotting the dialogue table which was called for anew by His Eminence the President. We do not want to ruin this table contrary to what some are saying. This is not true by any means. Any other analysis is baseless. However – brothers – with utmost clarity and frankness we refuse that the participation of the other bloc in the dialogue table turn to a subject for blackmailing the President of the Republic, the government, the state, the political forces or to a subject for blackmailing to achieve or to impose conditions which have nothing to do with the topic of discussion, whether the data or any other thing. What is taking place now is blackmailing, and some want to submit to this blackmailing while we refuse that. Do you know what would that open way to? It would lead to submitting to blackmailing and submitting to the conditions of any side partaking in the dialogue table. That would lead to similar conduct by other forces. For example, we might believe that there are some demands which have not been achieved yet and which have to do with some services or which have to do with security causes or with appointments let’s say. Are we to say: To be assured and to return to the dialogue table we want such and such to be fulfilled. O President! We want this to be fulfilled now. If they are not fulfilled, we will not participate!!
Here I will be very precise. If the goal of dialogue is serious and truthful in leading to a national strategy to defend Lebanon and the people of Lebanon, this goal would be more sacred and precious than any other cause and it must not be crippled for the interest of any other security, political, developmental, service or administrative cause. However, here I am telling you: This has never been the goal and would never be the goal.
Today the state is being blackmailed to partake in the dialogue table and the goal is the return to the dialogue table to topple the government and not to guard the government. They said that our group takes pain to keep the dialogue table to guard the government and to save the government. This is wrong. First the dialogue table does not save the government. What keeps the government or topples it is a political will. If any of the current majority components resigns, the government would be toppled. So no dialogue table would save the government. This is comprehended by those who know politics. In fact, your goal from the dialogue table is to topple the government and to evoke the issue of a national rescue government and a neutral government and the like. We did not demand from His Eminence the President a call for dialogue table. Go and see who called for that. Indeed the man has sufficient national motives and national interests to call for dialogue table. However still there are helping factors. See who demanded from His Eminence the President to renew the call for dialogue table and insisted on you to partake when you did not want to participate. It’s not we or our political party who made the demand.
I would like to wrap up this topic saying the following: Should the dialogue table convene any time and despite our conviction we will not boycott it and we will go and partake in it. If it does not convene what are we to do? The persistence of this government or not has nothing to do with the convention of the dialogue table.
Now I move to a sensitive topic which is a point of dispute. This is not a new point. It has been evoked for years. However, today it was brought along to the dialogue table and we were asked to address it. Some also make theories on this idea in the media. They include some of our partners in the current majority. Some say there are two solutions: All of us agree on that we want a strong army. This is the true challenge before the political regime and not before the government of PM Najeeb Mikati. Does the political regime have the courage and bravery to take a decision to equip the Army from the side which is ready to equip it? I mean Iran which is willing to equip the Army as it equipped the Resistance?
Are the political regime and the dialogue table ready to take such a decision or are they afraid of America? That’s how things move. We have a political regime which is afraid of the Americans and not only as far as equipping the army is concerned but also concerning power plants from Iran and even any help that might be offered. All of you remember that when the huge Iranian ministerial delegation headed by the Iranian vice president came, it was preceded 24 hours ahead by an urgent visit by Feltman. Feltman’s message was that cooperation with the Iranians is forbidden. They are not allowed to provide us with power, to equip our army, to pave our roads or build tunnels to address traffic jam as they offer because they have wide experience and are ready to bring along investments for billions of dollars to Lebanon. O people of Lebanon! Iran which you want to label as an enemy is ready to offer services and is ready to make vast investments in Lebanon. That is forbidden. The political regime in Lebanon does not have the courage to take such a decision because there is an American veto. The Americans said that is forbidden and if you cooperate with Iran we will cripple the Lebanese banking regime under the title of violating the sanctions with Iran.
Some would say: Let’s hand the arms of the Resistance to the Army. Then we will have a strong army and the story would be over. It is as simple as this. The cause does not need dialogue table and discussion.
Here I will ask a question. If we handed the arms of the Resistance to the Army, and the Army came to have the Resistance anti aircraft and rockets such as Zilzal, Raad, khaibar and the other names we usually use, where would the Army place them and erect them. Will they remain hidden from the Israelis or would they come to know their places? The army which does not have air force and anti aircraft because it is an official, classical, regular army would naturally be an exposed army which is unable to hide like the Resistance and the young men of villages. Such an army would be wiped in a couple of hours. Is this how we would protect Lebanon with my respect to the Army? If we were a regular army we would be wiped away in an hour and the army would be wiped in a couple of hours! This is the truth. However talks about handing the arms of the Resistance to the Army mean losing the Resistance and the Army alike. Some in fact do not believe in the Resistance as well as in the Army.
Second do you really want a strong Lebanon? We are ready to go to Iran and fetch arms similar to those of the Resistance and hand them to the Lebanese Army. Thus we would have a strong army and a strong resistance. As such we would protect our country. Thus this suggestion asserts to you anew what started taking place in 2000 which says that handing in the arms of the Resistance to the Army does not aim to protect Lebanon but rather its aim is to get rid of the arms of the Resistance.
Desperate from having the Resistance hand in its arms, they thought: What are we to do? During July War and after July War, we evoked the whole world against them, abused them and accused them of treason.
They accused us of being sectarian, authoritative and seeking to take grip of the country and that we want to occupy the country. They started saying you want to do so and so.
Anyway, I am trying to simplify things for the public opinion. Well, O Hezbollah and the Resistance! Keep your arms with you but put it under the control of the state. This is nice and kind rhetoric. This is possible. If the issue would be solved as such there won’t be any problem in the country. Well is it a matter of a problem or of defending the country? We say let there be a scientific discussion. The topic is on the dialogue table, and there are questions and these questions in fact aim to reach this point.
A while ago, I read on you the word said by PM Al Hoss to this effect. When we put the Resistance under the control of the Army or the state, the first thing to be lost is the margin. Second and what is most important is that what protects Lebanon today is the deterrence balance with Israel and the Fear balance with Israel. I will say only this remark and in case discussion on the dialogue table takes place, Inshallah our brethren Hajj Abu Hassan would discuss and make other remarks.
So as Lebanon is afraid of Israel because it possesses the strongest air force in the Middle East and because it is able to destroy, likewise, Israel today is afraid of Lebanon. Indeed Lebanon’s cause today may not be anymore addressed by a musical band and a drum. Some people are occupied by the drum while others are stocking rockets. Israel is watching these who are stocking rockets and is afraid from them. Today it is very clear that the Israelis see a threat in Lebanon. If they hit Lebanon, the infrastructure in Lebanon, the airport, the seaport, the power plants or a village and kill people and perpetrate massacres, there are people who would respond and are able to respond. The Israelis confirmed all what I said in previous speeches. Indeed I do not seek their confirmation. However their confirmation is important as it means that the message has been conveyed and I want the message to be conveyed. We want to enjoy our wealth and we want to protect the country. When the Israelis say it is true that if we hit Beirut Airport the Resistance would strike Tel Aviv Airport and is able to. Should we besiege Lebanon, they could hit the incoming ships and that would ruin our economy. If we hit Dahiyeh or other cities, their strikes could reach any city in occupied Palestine. So they are convinced in that. This is the deterrence balance.
What provides this balance? It is not only arms. It is also Israel’s fear from those who own the arms. The Israelis say that if we hit Beirut Airport, Hezbollah would within half an hour strike Ben-Gurion Airport. If we strike the seaport, they would hit the airport. If we strike the power plant, they may hit the power plant instantly and they have the courage to do so. This Resistance have the courage and bravery to respond to the enemy.
How are we to put the arms under the control of the state which is unable to address the crisis of day laborers, which is unable to dismantle a sit-in, which is unable to solve the most trivial problem in the country no matter whether our government or any other government was in power. This is the state of things as they are in Lebanon.
I read a book to one of the intellectuals on the history of Lebanon in which he says: I was surprised to know that in the past, governments used to fall because they used to differ over the evaluation of a piece of land. They differed in the government over the pricing of a piece of land. For example they would suggested the price of 100 L.L.. the land owner would say he wants 150L.L.. They would refuse and say we would give you 100L.L. Thus the government would fall. The government of men of state and senior figures would fall. This is the structure in our country.
This country which has a sectarian regime is much weaker than taking a decision on such a level and even on the level of defense. We claim that the moment the arms become under the control of the state it loses its capability to defend and cause fear. The Israelis would then feel much assured because they know that the Americans would make a call and tell the Lebanese state; The Israelis would strike. Well it is not allowed that you respond. Should you strike back we would impose sanctions on your banking system. The Lebanese response would be: O please spare us that! This has been the Lebanese state always. That has nothing to do with the figures in the state. Let no one misunderstand me. I am not underestimating anyone or defaming anyone. This is our political regime. Our political regime is weak. Our presidents and ministers may have the courage. Their courage may vary. However, the mechanism of decision taking in the regime is out of order. They are disabled mechanisms. Consequently, there would not be deterrence balance and fear balance with the Israelis. The Israelis would violate us. That’s beside the other repercussions which may take place or be realized. In the deterrence balance, the enemy must remain worried and afraid. The enemy must not feel assured for one moment. The enemy must keep in mind that if he wants to stage an aggression he must take thousands of points into consideration. If things are not as such, there wouldn’t be any deterrence balance even if you own arms. This is our view point. This is our opinion which we presented on the dialogue table. We see that the true strategy which goes with the current conditions and in the presence of such a state, such a structure in Lebanon, and such a situation in the region is the existence of a strong army and a strong resistance, and coordination and integration among them. We fully adopt the quotation by PM Salim Al Hoss.
I would like to hint to the words said by some March 14 Bloc members. Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) says: “Whenever man hides anything, it is exposed in the slips of his tongue and the features of his face”.
One of these members said: Should we fail to disarm Hezbollah, we would make these arms rust in their stocks.
We are not saying let the Resistance make war. We are talking about cooperation, coordination and integration between the Resistance and the Army in the framework of a national unity strategy.
The last point I want to tackle is the liberation strategy. As such we would have wrapped up this research. There remains a part of the search which has to do with the crisis of the arms, the sect, the definite sect, the faction, and investing sectarian sedition so as to reach a definite outcome which is ‘Let’s annul the arms of the Resistance”. I will keep this to another occasion because this is also from the serious points which exists now against us.
Talking about the liberation strategy is not new. Years ago we have said that we want a defense strategy as well as a liberation strategy. Here I will say again. Yes we need a defense strategy as well as a liberation strategy altogether. We need a defense strategy because Lebanon is threatened and there is Israeli greed and Israel daily violates our air sovereignty and transgresses and enters our territories…. Thus Lebanon needs a defense strategy. Lebanon also needs a liberation strategy. Shebaa Farms are under occupation. Kafar Shouba Hills are under occupation. There is the Lebanese section of Al Ghajjar town under occupation. These territories are to be liberated. However, nobody talks about that. If the story is that of sovereignty, what is the difference between the enemy occupying 1000 meters or a million meters or 10 thousand kilometers. If the issue is that of sovereignty, don’t they say that sovereignty can’t be disintegrated. I would like to know where do the Lebanese territories which are still under occupation lie in their minds, hearts, culture, terminology, political speech and political agenda. Their answer is that this issue is not primarily in their minds. In fact, when the border line was occupied – and not only some mountains, hills and half of a town – and there were people from all the sects under occupation and when the rest of the south which comprises people from the various sects used to be attacked, these political forces were unconcerned. The occupied borderline was not in their minds, hearts, emotions, speeches, terminologies, and political agenda. How come they would be interested in talking about hills, valleys and half of a town? They may underestimate this issue in such a way. However if we talk in the logic of sovereignty, there is no width or length. There is occupied Lebanese land. They may say that we agreed an d that we need to delineate the borders in Shebaa Farms and Kafar Shuba Hills. Well Al Ghajjar does not need delineation. The story is final there. Yes we need a liberation strategy and we demand such a strategy. We call on the dialogue table to set a liberation strategy as well as a defense strategy. We insist on this. If the state does not want to set a liberation strategy and wants to abandon its responsibilities, then I will be clear. I will be clear in the other message in this speech. It is the right of the Lebanese people, the people of the Ourquob, the people of the south, and any one in Lebanon to say there are occupied Lebanese territories and the state is not showing concern. No one is showing concern, and this is a national, religious, legitimate and moral right. We want to assume this right. This is their right. Well, am I to call for this or not. Let’s keep it for another time. However, if the state abandons setting a liberation strategy that means it is charging the people again with this mission. As the Resistance was launched in 1982 and because there was not a state ready to liberate the land, the people made a resistance. If there is still land under occupation and the state does not want to assume the responsibility of liberating it, people will liberate it also. This is an important affair.
I will go back to the same point to wrap up my speech. Do you know why they do not want to discuss a liberation strategy though we have been calling for this for years? It’s because the liberation strategy would lead to consolidate the Resistance whereas the defense strategy aims at annulling the Resistance. This is not our concern. Our issue is national, moral and humanistic.
Today in this iftar ceremony, you meet to support the Resistance, the culture of the Resistance and the track of the Resistance and not a faction. You are supporting the culture, intellect and track of the resistance. We are one of the Resistance factions. However, the Resistance today has become to represent the whole history, heritage, intellect and the great sacrifices of our people and Resistance with its various factions and parties whether Islamic or national as well as the Lebanese Army and all the Lebanese people. Consequently, we launched this Resistance. We are not the worshippers of arms. We are not the worshippers of land. We are not the worshippers of entities. We are not the worshippers of nations. We are the worshippers of Allah Al Mighty. However, when Allah Al Mighty – the God of the Month of Ramadan – created us , He created us as human beings having the natural disposition of dignity, pride, honor and honesty. Allah Al Mighty also created us by nature having the disposition of refusing to live with humiliation or to accept that anyone occupy our land or that anyone subjugate our people or that anyone hurl our young men and women in prisons. By nature, by creation and by legislation, we were ordered to fight the occupiers even if there is no power balance because that is a battle of defense. As far as we are concerned, the issue is existential, natural, moral, legislative, religious and cultural before it being the issue of several spans of land, drops of blood or pieces of arms.
That’s how we approach this issue. Thus we refuse that this issue be approached from the perspective of arms and disarming the Resistance. We accept, cooperate, discuss and take pains to reach a conclusion. When the various sides of the discussion and dialogue really want to defend Lebanon and the people of Lebanon and the dignity of Lebanon and the sovereignty of Lebanon, the blood of the Lebanese, the money of the Lebanese, the honor of the Lebanese, and the dignity of the Lebanese, indeed we will be ready for more than discussion and agreement. We are ready to be soldiers in the first front and to be the first to offer sacrifice as in the past. This is our Resistance. That’s how it was and how it will always be.
Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the central Iftar held by the Islamic Resistance Support Association
In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon our Master and Prophet – the Seal of prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, his chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.