My Lebanese friend just sent me this report about Hassan Nasrallah’s speech today:

– There is much to say, but Sayyed did not allow the enemies any chance to turn this disaster into a ‘campaign’ against the Resistance, whereby the Resistance ‘reacts’ and gets led into their traps, further leading the country into chaos and destruction

– it must be said, Sayyed calmly but categorically denied that Hezbolllah had any knowledge of what goes on at the Port of Beirut, including what goes into it and what goes out of it. To quote his exact words:

‘We neither adminster the port (of Beirut), nor do we control it, nor do we interfere in it, nor do we know what was going on in the port, nor do we know what was present in the port. Some people said: ‘is it possible that you know about the Port of Haifa (in Israel) more than you know about the Port of Beirut?’. Hezbollah’s main responsibility is resistance. Hezbollah might know more about the Port of Haifa more than it knows about the Port of Beirut. (Knowing about) the Port of Beirut is not (Hezbollah’s) responsibility, yet (knowing about) the Port of Haifa is in fact (Hezbollah’s) responsibility, because it is part of the deterence equation and the (Resistance’s) defense strategy for Lebanon. Yet Hezbollah is not administering, nor controlling, nor is it interferring in, nor does it know what is happening in the Port of Beirut, nor what is present there and not present there, and how things are being administered there, this is something we don’t interfere in at all’.

– Sayyed also calmly but categorically denied that there were any weapons or ammunition belonging to Hezbollah at the port, and that the investigation will soon reflect this reality too.

– Sayyed said that even if this explosion was caused by sabotage, the point now is for the Lebanese state to uproot and rid itself of internal enemies (whether out of negligence they are enemies, or out of intentional malice)

– If the state cannot do that, then the belief in Lebanon as an entity and an idea may be completely lost, even for Hezbollah

– in general, the speech was 1) one of compassion towards Lebanon and its people, and 2) turning the apparent threat (against Lebanon and the Resistance) into a major opportunity.

– Sayyed said this disaster could in a positive sense, allow Lebanon to get out of the (economic and political) siege and difficulty that it was in

– So it seems Hezbollah sees real possibilities in this track (and not as some thought, that the US will be able to continue besieging Lebanon as it was doing prior to the disaster)

– to illustrate, you know there are many oil tankers that are on their way from Iraq to Lebanon via Syria (this is a major development), not to mention the changing international (particularly Western) political attitude towards Lebanon and support for it (even if only officially and publicly, because no state wants to appear like it is harming and besieging Lebanon at this moment before public opinion)

– Perhaps the Resistance sees that even economically, what Sayyed was saying about looking politically and economically eastward (in addition to any westward options) will now be an undeniable option (one that opponents of the Resistance cannot possibly argue against)

– Sayyed said all those that think we are beseiged today and are launching all of these political and media campaigns following the disaster, must know that the Resistance is way too powerful today, and that the whole regional situation is different

– let’s not forget that the US Elections are almost upon us, so perhaps any chance for the Trump administration to really escalate its confrontation any further with Hezbollah and the Resistance Axis has been severely compromised by this national disaster in Lebanon

– Not to mention the Resistance Axis has the upper hand across the region today, if seen purely from a military perspective

– I heard one anti-Hezbollah commentator on Lebanese TV saying: let’s see what Nasrallah is going to say in his speech, there is so much pressure on him now, Hezbollah is cornered, if this explosion is by Israel, then Hezbollah will be pressured to militarily respond, and if the explosion was caused directly or indirectly by Hezbollah, or even that Hezbollah had knowledge of the ammonimum nitrate that was stored at the port all these years but didnt do enough to rectify this situation, then the blame of the Lebanese people will be on the group etc etc

– So Sayyed basically does the opposite to the ill-wishes of such people. He calmly refutes all the lies, and sends out a message of compassion, condolence, support, calmness and hope for the Lebanese as a whole, and a message of power and strength to the supporters of the Resistance

– Even if there was sabotage (by say Israel) that led to the explosion, there was definitely major ‘negligence’ by Lebanese officials, and so they need to be punished strongly and harshly and before all the eyes of the Lebanese. This will be the final opportunity and test for the viability of Lebanon as a state. If the Lebanese state does not pass this test, then lebanon is finished.

– So, what point or value is there, especially at this moment, for Hezbollah to entertain the idea, or go down the track of: this may have been a sabotage by Israel and we must respond? No value whatsoever, it just further corners the Resistance and in the wrong corner (i.e turns this disaster into a defensive one for Hezbollah, one in which the group apparently needs to respond to Israel due to a crime that cannot be proven, and at a time when the Lebanon is in no position for such a confrontation)

– And Sayyed mentioned it, he said regardless if it was a missile or sabotage that caused the explosion, a major reason that led to this disaster is the utter negligence of certain Lebanese officials

– So either Lebanon does indeed have hope as an entity (so show us oh officials by holding the negligent ones to account, regardless of their sect and party, just as we say regarding the enemy collaborators), otherwise, Lebanon has no hope any longer, and Hezbollah will then draw its equations accordingly

– All Lebanese are furious and now watching: who will be punished, will those responsible really be punished?

– Anyway, just by Sayyed highlighting all of this, it completely removes all pressure and focus away from Hezbollah, and places it where it belongs: the ones responsible for this disaster. Even the Harriri tribunal is now completely defused by Sayyed’s intelligent approach today. Lebanese popular opinion is now looking for the perpetrators of this crime, not the crime in 2005 (which has been for many years used by the pro-US camp in Lebanon politically)

And by the way, with one swipe Sayyed completely defuses talk of a new international tribunal and foreign intervention after the explosion, by telling all Lebanese: you all claim you trust the Lebanese army dont you?!! Well, let the army carry out the investigation. Complete check mate. The administration of this crisis remains Lebanese, no internationalisation nor politicisation of this disaster on the official Lebanese level can now be justified

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