I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.
Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
First I would like to welcome you all in this night of the Holy Month of Ramadan – the Month of Allah. I welcome you all in the various regions – in Shahed Hall, in Imam Khoei (May Allah sanctify his secret) Charity, in Baalbeck, in Suhmur, in Ghazieh, in Nabatieh, in Tyr, and in Tyreh. I ask Allah Al Mighty to reward you abundantly for your fasting, worship and jihad in this blessed and holy month. I also felicitate you on these days and nights which are the best days and the best nights. I ask Allah Al Mighty to comprise us with His mercy, forgiveness, absolution, kindness, and bounty in this great month.
I also would like to thank all my brothers and sisters in the “Islamic Resistance Support Organization” in Lebanon on top of whom dear brother Hajj Hussein Shami – the Head of the Organization – for their efforts, sacrifices, and industrious work all through the long past years. The Resistance Support Organization could really via these blessed efforts form the best link between our people and their various sections, with many peoples, and with all those who believe in the resistance and support it materialistically, morally, politically and in all kinds. Again I thank you for your attendance which we consider and which really forms a support for this resistance so that it carries on its way and seeks to achieve all the desired goals Inshallah.
It goes without saying that in the Holy Month of Ramadan there are several religious and political occasions, especially this year as the Holy Month of Ramadan concurs with the month of July. There is a great number of occasions that concur during the calendar month and the blessed hijri lunar month. As there is not enough time today, and as there are many occasions to come, when we mark together Al Qods Day, we will talk about Palestine, the situation in the region, Syria, Egypt, and all what is taking place in the region. Moreover, Inshallah following Eid Al Fitr – if we remained alive – we will naturally mark July War anniversary and the divine victory of July War on the day of victory – on August 14th. Until that day, there are many occasions in which we may deliver speeches. Thus as it usually goes, during the Iftar dinner of the Resistance Support Organization, allow me in the available time today to focus on the Lebanese issue as there are many topics, subjects, and concerns which indeed will not be covered by the time limit of this speech.
The first point when we talk about the resistance in Lebanon is that principally and from the very beginning the resistance is based on a clear vision, clear targets, clear mission, and clear path. Everything was clear from the very beginning. This is what we call in our terms insight. From the very beginning, this resistance had insight. That means that everyone knows where to go, from where to get started, which path to follow, and where to reach. This clarity in the vision is coupled with faith, determination, will and readiness to offer sacrifices and to carry field action. This has founded the continual resistance which has extended across generations. If we talk only since 1982, there are generations which have joined the resistance and carried on the path. This insight is available. It is among the most important elements. In fact, it is the guarantee. It’s because there may be faith, determination, willingness to offer sacrifices, and field action; however if there is no insight, conscious, awareness of the targets, the path, and priorities and if there is no awareness of the traps and ambushes, man may consequently get lost in the midway and be deviated in his battle from his true track and true goal.
On the national level, the resistance in Lebanon used to seek targets. Here I am not talking about new issues. I am rather carrying on the research in a useful way that serves what is discussed these days. First: liberating the occupied Lebanese territories. Here I am talking on the national level. Second, before 1982, the Israelis used to occupy a part of the Lebanese territories, they used to have detainees. Following 1982, the occupation expanded its occupation and then held more detainees. Second: liberating the detainees and the captives in the jails of the enemy and its collaborators – Lahd Army – and to restore the bodies of the martyrs.
Third: The resistance does not claim that it assumes the responsibility of guarding Lebanon and confronting risks. It rather partakes in guarding Lebanon and its land and people against Israeli military and security aggressions, threats, and risks besides the army and the military forces.
The first goal was achieved in several stages since 1985 until May 25th, 2000 except for Shebaa Farms, Kafar Shouba Hills and the Lebanese part of Al Ghajar Town. This national and Lebanese obligation is still valid. The second goal is liberating the detainees and captives from enemy jails. This goal too was achieved in stages the last of which was via Ridwan Operation following July War. Some files are still unresolved such as the file of brethren captive Yahya Mohammad Skaff and brethren Abdullah Khalil Alyyan and files for missed and bodies of martyrs who are still detained by the enemy. Indeed on the light of the latest swap operation, the enemy denied detaining any prisoners or the bodies of martyrs. However this obligation is still valid on the national and Lebanese levels.
The third target is contributing in guarding and warding off any aggression. As for the first step concerning the third target, we will go back in memory to July 1993 when the confrontation which the enemy dubbed settlement operation took place before April Operation in 1996 which the enemy dubbed the Grapes of Wrath. We then called it the seven-day-war. Later when July War took place, we started calling it the seven-day-operation or the seven-day-war.
In this confrontation, the resistance vastly shelled the Zionist settlements in response to the bombing of southern villages and towns by the Israeli enemy. As a consequence of the battle and the international mediations, confrontations were halted what led to what was called then July Understanding. It is an oral understanding; there wasn’t anything written. I remember then that the brethrens in Damascus called us and asked: What are your demands to reach a ceasefire? We said that all what we want is ceasing the aggression on villages, towns, and civilians.
The resistance will carry on as long as there are occupied territories. Let them stop shelling the towns and killing civilians and on our behalf we will stop shelling the settlements. An agreement was concluded to this effect. It was called then the oral July Agreement. This was the first balance made by the resistance to guard the villages, towns and civilians. It was a balance in the field; it put the northern settlements counter to the southern towns and villages. Since then, I may say that the resistance set out on the goal of partaking in guarding the Lebanese people, the Lebanese towns, and the Lebanese territory and people.
Indeed this agreement lasted for years. Afterwards April War 1996 took place. The enemy called it “The Grapes of Wrath”. Following the steadfastness of the resistance, the steadfastness of the Lebanese army, the steadfastness of Lebanon, and the steadfastness of Syria against the enormous international pressure, April Agreement was achieved with Iranian and European help. Indeed as usual the Arabs were absent. In fact it is a written July Agreement that has more details. Thus April Agreement came to consecrate this balance which is guarding the towns and cities, infrastructure, edifices, and Lebanese civilians. On the other hand, the resistance is not to shell the Zionist settlements in northern occupied Palestine. At that time, the whole argument was on the north and the settlements of the north. Then there neither were arms that reach farther than these cities nor field power more than this. This balance was consecrated in April Agreement what helped the resistance carry on in its qualitative and developed operations. Thus was the liberation of 2000.
|Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a video conference|
July War 2006 came to confirm this concept in the field. There is something new in Lebanon. There is a new balance in Lebanon. There is a new situation in Lebanon. The story of Israel taking a ride in Lebanon or dispatching a musical band to Lebanon or imposing its conditions and achieving its targets and greedy schemes came to an end. There came to be something called deterrence balance, fear balance, and terror balance. Indeed we do not claim – not for a moment – that we own the same number of soldiers as in the Israeli army and reservists. We do not claim that we own military equipment, weapons, capabilities, and capacities as these owned by the Israelis. We never claimed that. When we talk about deterrence balance and fear balance we do not mean that. On the contrary, the school of the resistance in Lebanon is different. That’s because according to the classical or traditional vision, to achieve balance you must have arms, equipment and capacities – not only military but also human, economic, political and security – and a geography that equal or outmatch the capacities of the enemy so as to reach balance. What took place in Lebanon is that there is a popular resistance which is embraced popularly and, as we have said a while ago, has faith, insight, determination, will, field action, willingness to offer sacrifices, capacities, and willingness to make use of these capacities. We thus reached a stage in which we could create a fear balance, terror balance, or deterrence balance. Call it as you wish.
That means that the enemy has a thousand apprehensions if it wants to stage an aggression against Lebanon or its waters or its oil wealth or civilians or towns or infrastructure or the like.
The third target: As we talked about liberating the Lebanese territories, there remained a national obligation – liberating or revealing the fate of the missed and restoring the bodies of martyrs. This is a national obligation; however, the great and continuing and ongoing obligation which does not stop at the borders of a small piece of land or a small number of individuals – though they are surely dear and honorable – and which concerns Lebanon as a whole on the national level and the popular level as well as its fate, existence, wealth and future is the Israeli greedy schemes, risks, and dangers.
Here we usher to our topic. Does anyone in Lebanon argue saying that Lebanon has become outside the Israeli sphere of threats and greedy schemes and risks. In fact, if anyone argues saying so, then there would be a true catastrophe.
We can see what the Israelis are doing in Palestine. On Al Qods Day, we will talk about the new proposal, Negev Desert, the new situation which has to do with negotiations, the West Bank, the swap of lands… There are no limits for the greedy schemes of the Israelis.
Some time ago, the Energy Minister talked and rang the alarm bell for all of the Lebanese saying the Israelis are almost able to lay pipelines and take our – Lebanon’s – oil and gas. However as usual nobody made a move. Nobody made a move while the Israelis are able to lay hand on our oil, water, land, sovereignty, and decision. This is indubitable.
Thus this is still a great obligation. These are facts. I am not talking about a time in which we were small children who may remember or not. We are not talking about facts that have to do with history. We are talking about facts we all lived, experienced, witnessed, and felt their pains, joys and victories, and their morals and conclusions are clear before our eyes.
Today and despite all the major dilemmas in the country, we really must not absent this great, critical, national, sovereign concern from our councils, minds, and discussions. Let’s talk about the serious risks. Are there major risks or not and what is the magnitude and nature of these serious risks on the Israeli level? Second, what are the choices available for us as Lebanese and what is the efficiency of these choices? Let any authority – whether religious, political, economic, cultural, or social – approach the issue of the army, the resistance, and diplomacy from this perspective: What are the serious risks and what is their magnitude, the options and capabilities which are available on the Lebanese level, and the efficiency of these options? This is not a new argument anyway, and the new point I want to demand might not be new. Let’s stop making angelic discussions. Let’s not keep the discussion scientific, legal, constitutional, and technical concerning the arms and whether they are legitimate or not. Let’s keep this argument aside and ask another question: Is the resistance among the map of options which are available on the Lebanese level? Is there any need for the resistance? Is there any need for these arms? Is there any need for these capacities or not?
Let’s keep the argument over whether the arms are legitimate or not aside as that will not lead anywhere. Let’s be practical. Let’s have a look. This is our country. This is our enemy. These are the greedy schemes and threats. This is the region around us. This is the whole world surrounding us. This is the international situation. This is the US status. This is the European status. This is the status of the Arab states. This is the status of the states of the region around us. This is our status in Lebanon. These are the threats facing us. These are the available options. In this way, we would be discussing the issue in a scientific and objective way.
We come to the following great question: On what do we – as Lebanese – bet to ward these Israeli dangers, greedy schemes, and threats off our country and to guard our country?
On what do we bet? Do we bet, for example, on the Americans? Are we to take guarantees from the Americans or conclude an alliance with the Americans? Against whom would that be? Against Israel?
Experience has proven the futility of such logic. This was not proven a year or two ago. It was proven since 1948. We – the Arab and Islamic peoples – are living this experience since Palestine was lost. The United States abandons all the Arabs, the Arab League, and all the Islamic nations for the sake of Israel. That’s because Israel is the primary project of the US in the region.
Even if we took guarantees from the United States, and even if we formed an ally with the United States or said that Lebanon is a purely American country or that the US is our friend and ally and that there are strategic and historic ties with the US and that we are at the service of the Americans, all of that will be fruitless before Israel’s greedy schemes.
Well, can’t we see what is taking place around us? Can’t we see how the United States abandons its allies who had served it for decades for the sake of its interests on top of which its interests in the region – namely Israel? Can’t we see that the United States is not anymore the power which is able to impose what it wants on the world? The Unites States was crushed in Iraq, and it pulled out defeated. Now it is seeking a way to wrap its defeat in Afghanistan. When it approaches any file in the region, it approaches it with fear and caution because it is not that strong American anymore. The same applies to Europe. Imagine that Netanyahu mocks the Europeans and accuses them and attacks them for whatever topic – whether Hezbollah and putting it on the European terrorism list or the agricultural products for Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the like. This is the situation now.
So how is the situation around us? This is the Arab status. In fact, when there were stability and security in the Arab countries and when the Arab League was firm, what could the Arab states do? These are not questions for the future. The answers for these questions exist in the past. All of us as Lebanese experienced that. Our various generations experienced these facts and events. Consequently, it is absolutely clear from the beginning that neither the Arab League, nor the Islamic Cooperation Organization, nor the International Security Council, nor America, nor Europe can do anything. Brothers! Our problem is with Israel and not with anyone else.
O Lebanese! As far as your problem with Israel is concerned, you don’t have to trust except Allah Al Mighty and yourselves – your will, determination, action, faith, readiness to offer sacrifices, dignity, and readiness to defend this dignity. If there is a friend in Syria, in Iran, or in any place in the world who stands by our side, help us, and defend us that would be from Allah’s blessings and kindness. This is the truth. I am not creating anything new tonight. In fact, some people at times amid ordeals, misconceptions, mental distractions, the multiplicity of cases and files forget the clear causes. Well if these causes are decisive, then it would be scandalous for some people to forget them.
Here I would like to assert today that this resistance which you support and honor tonight is based on this logic, evidence, experience, proof, as well as these achievements and victories which proved fruitful.
As far as the resistance is concerned, we do not talk about theories, compose books, or deliver speeches. We are presenting facts and saying: Let’s take these facts, morals, and correct conclusions which we depend on to see how to carry on in the future and to defend our country because the resistance is based on this logic and this popular will. That’s because people are convinced in what I am saying. I am not a part of the resistance and am trying to impose these convictions on people. People became gradually assured of these convictions on the light of experiences and over years in which the people lived, saw, gained victory, felt pain, offered sacrifices, offered injured, were bombed and displaced, made achievements, knew the friend and the foe, and saw who are with you and who aren’t, and felt who cares about you and who doesn’t.
Thus in 2013, when we argue with people, we find that these convictions exist in the conscience of people as their blood that moves in their vein. These convictions are part of their spirits, hearts, minds, consciousness, unconsciousness, feelings, and emotions. Thus the resistance in Lebanon is strongly deep-rooted in the popular conscience. It is popularly backed and it enjoins this support, love, and great embrace. So it is not a transient state that is temporary or passing or imported. Thus you find it unbeatable. Whoever tries to beat this resistance since its very launch and whoever tries to isolate the resistance flops. – Here I am not talking about Hezbollah only which is one of the factions of the resistance; I am talking about all the factions in the resistance. That’s because the resistance is not an organization. It is not a party. It is not a movement. It is not a faction. The resistance is an overwhelming, firm, popular will coupled with faith, insight, and great willingness to give.
Among the terminologies used these days – even when talking about politics or about any other topic – they use the word invest and investment. The honorable people in this country invest in the resistance their most precious valuables. They invest their children, their blood, their souls, and their dear ones. Thus the resistance is a concern; it is not a party or an organization which you may besiege, isolate or harm.
Well, these options remain open and they open the way for the second point. We are always ready for dialogue within any framework or form – whether the current dialogue table or any other form – to discuss the national defense strategy. That’s for one simple reason. It is because we are honest in defending our country and its capacities and our people and their dignity and we are ready to share in dialogue with no conditions. Even if now and before the government is formed, you want to make dialogue, we are ready. We are ready for dialogue after forming the government as well.
Dear brothers! You know that in the last session for the dialogue table which was held before July War – I do not remember whether it was held at the end of June or the beginning of July – I presented a defense strategy. No one was ready to offer a defense strategy; thus they told me to present mine. Well since that session till our very day, how many sessions were held? No one took this defense strategy to discuss it technically, scientifically, militarily…. No one came to say that O my brother you are saying so and so concerning the army, the resistance, the role of the army, the role of the resistance, the enemy’s points of weakness, the enemy’s points of strength, Lebanon’s points of weakness, Lebanon’s points of strength, and the means of confrontations and…. Did anyone come from the other party who has another viewpoint and sat with me following all what we talked about? Perhaps from among our party some experts, scholars, researchers, investigators, and authors wrote to this effect. However, did anyone from the other party make any discussion? Did any discussion take place on the dialogue table? I even say more: Apart from the dialogue table, did anyone from the other party hold a research seminar or a televised seminar for example, or write articles, or discuss this strategy and proposal? No! That’s because in fact, there is no seriousness in searching for a national defense strategy as I told you last year. Since that time until today, it is asserted more and more day after day that there is only one point: O men! Hand in your arms, and may Allah keep you in good health. This is the whole story. Are we to hide behind our finger? We talk about a national strategy for defense and talk strategically; still we find nothing from their behalf. Well, I will say even more: They even deny the truth to the extent that some still say until now that Hezbollah did not even present its strategic defense vision, though we were the first to make such a proposal. Well, when they were asked to take their part in the discussion, they said this is a great, important, and precise speech which needs meditation and contemplation and referring to experts. They went and they did not come back again. They came back but they did not consult and discuss things with experts.
Here I am telling you again: We are ready. This country is for all of us, and we – all of us – want to defend and guard it. We are all threatened in this country along with this country’s wealth and riches. That means that apart from abstentions among parties and scrimmages and embarrassments, there is a serious national need for Lebanon to set a national defense strategy.
In face of these risks and threats, there is a need for an answer. Well why doesn’t this discussion take place? It must take place. In this framework, I also address all who have been attacking the arms of the resistance or labeling them as illegal in media outlets and in speeches over years saying: Well, what is the alternative?
O people! We want to “enjoy eating the grapes” and we want to guard our country. Allah Al Mighty says: “You are doomed to fight though you loath fighting”. Whoever believes that we like fighting is mistaken. By nature, people like to enjoy good health. Even according to our religious terminologies we say in every prayer in the last prostration and in the last bow: O Allah! Grant us health and well being in this world and in the Hereafter.
So pursuant to the natural logic and the religious logic, we and all the people seek health and well being. However, when fighting is imposed on you, when the enemy threats your people, nation, capabilities, dignity, and existence, it is your responsibility to fight, defend, guard, and protect. Well, how is that possible and within which vision or strategy?
This is true before any sudden danger of this kind. This existed all through history. Some say that this is something exclusive in Lebanon. No all through history, it was that when an enemy attacks a country, the state, the army, the clans, the tribes, the residents of towns, the residents of cities and everyone who would be able to confront would confront. If it is possible that there be a central leadership and administration, that would be excellent. However historically at times there used to be central administration and leadership. Does anyone remain motionless and wait for theories from here and there when he is attacked? Well, yes when there is a clear strategy and administration and when capabilities are being prepared and when there are plans, the goal would be achieved and the required would be obtained.
The third point is well we are in the Month of Ramadan – the month of reconsiderations. Well we tell the resistance fighters, the supporters of the resistance, the masses of the resistance, and all the people: When there is in Lebanon a resistance which is effective, serious, influential, and faithful in its target which is confronting the enemy and also makes achievements and accumulates elements of human experience and materialistic capabilities, it is natural that it remains targeted. Why do you find that strange? When this resistance confronts the Israeli enemy and the Zionist project, it is very natural that it be targeted.
This is the logic of things and the logic of struggle all through history. When this resistance is not targeted, that means that the enemy does not see it or that it is not influential or effective. This is the result. However, when the resistance is effective and influential and the enemy has to take it into consideration and considers that it cripples its projects and goals and prevents it from hegemony, it is natural that the enemy targets it. It is natural that it remains targeted on all levels, and that its structure and environment be targeted too along with everyone who stands by its side and that its idea is targeted on all perspectives whether on the security, military, cultural, political, media, economic, social, psychological, and moral levels.
This is natural. This has always been part of the battles of the resistance. Before 1982, that took place with all the resistance movements which preceded us and cooperated in resisting the enemy since 1980 until reaching the special role of Hezbollah. Well besides our battle with the enemy, we were engaged in a battle of confronting being targeted on every level. Security targeting is clear. The enemy wants to penetrate you and have authority in your lines. The enemy gathers information and specifies the places of your bases, rockets, platforms, arsenals, operation rooms, and leaderships. There is also field security penetration. The enemy targets you militarily through wars and vast military operations. The enemy targets you culturally and socially through bursting into your environment. The enemy targets you economically through destroying and ruining your environment and impoverishing it and making it starve and through spreading ordeals and dragging it to wars of roads. In fact, the enemy preoccupies it with everything until it becomes a weak fatigued environment. Now, where is this broad and vast Arab world? Al Qods Day is approaching – after all we can’t but go back and again to Palestine. Where is the Arab world? Where are its scholars and fatwas from what is taking place in Negev Desert?
Well this targeting includes economic targeting, financial targeting and psychological war, insults, accusations and attempts to isolate and beat you, and attempts to harm your morals, will, determination, faith, and options. This is part of the battle. This is natural. Why? That’s because the resistance in Lebanon since its launch with its new virgin and with all its factions in 1982 could cripple the US-Israeli targets to invade Lebanon in 1982. It could change the formulas and balances. The struggle balances changed on May 25th, 2000 to the interest of the resistance and the resistance movements in the region. In 2006, it could destroy the Neo Middle East Project – the US project of the Neo conservatives. So it is very natural that the resistance be targeted.
In 2006, what was the target of the enemy? It was crushing the resistance, destroying the resistance, and wiping it out. However the enemy failed and flopped in doing so. So it goes without saying that this is a natural part of the repercussion of the choice, as we said of our other choices. This is my speech to you and to the people.
We as Lebanese have taken a decision that Lebanon remains for its people and that our waters remain for the Lebanese and our oil wealth remains for the Lebanese. We agreed that we will not accept that our sovereignty be touched or our land be occupied. They still kidnap people. They capture a Lebanese peasant or a citizen; contacts take place and within 24 or 48 hours the story would be over. The Israelis know that there is no tolerance should the story exceeds this limit. So we took this decision, and this decision has consequences. Since 1982, it used to have consequences. These are called the costs and sacrifices of a free, independent, honorable, dignified country with liberated territories and people living with dignity. This is very natural. We have tolerated these consequences since the very beginning until this very day. We have transcended many difficulties and many ordeals, and many conspiracies with the help of Allah Al Mighty and the will of the people and their patience, sacrifices, gallantry, faithfulness, and their tolerance with us. Yes we as Lebanese and the entire region have ushered into a new era. Here I am telling you: Inshallah with the same faith, insight, determination, will, action, precision, patience, tolerance and willingness to offer sacrifices, this era will be transcended.
Be sure and let no one dominate the people in Lebanon and the region with their intimidations. This project and this resistance is Inshallah capable and can with utmost seriousness and power transcend all the existing, current, and coming difficulties.
In 2013, at this very moment and even before a period of time, Israelis have started reconsidering all the plots, maneuvers, and discussions in the light of the developments that took place in the latest months. We do not want to go into details. We might mention them in another occasion. Israelis know that they are before a true, able power. If Lebanon could place this power in its natural position in a comprehensive national defense strategy, Israel’s eyes won’t be on Beirut but on Galilee. Concerning our rocket capacities, we have previously said that they range from Keryat to Eilat.
Once I talked to this effect, and indeed what I said was taken seriously into consideration. There is no place for joking between the Israelis and us. Indeed this is a decisive battle. Thus what I said was taken seriously into consideration and included in there plots and schemes. However, today I believe the Israelis take what is being said more seriously into consideration. Thus today we reached a point in which the Israelis and consequently the Americans and the entire world describe this power and its capacities, extensions, and strength. In fact, they talk to this effect. I want to describe this power too. As we used to say in previous occasions, Lebanon today is not anymore an easy bite in the mouth of the enemy – whatever enemy especially the Israeli enemy. No one can attack this country without paying for his aggression on this country and this people. From now on, no one can impose his conditions and projects in Lebanon. Inshallah Lebanon is strong by now, and no conditions or projects may be imposed on it. Now I do not want to exaggerate and say that Lebanon is the one imposing its conditions and projects.
The fourth point: In fact, I want to talk about the army in a couple of words that completes the scene according to us. According to our comprehension and stance, we need to reiterate this stance under these current conditions. We say: We call on the Lebanese to be very cautious in the light of the political and security developments and the sharp divisions that exist in the country. If – God forbids – this army falls or is divided, there will be no peace or stability in the country.
Today, if any problem takes place between two factions, parties, movements, families, or tribes, we – as Lebanese – find that we need the army to control the situation and prevent aggravation. There will be no peace or stability if such things afflicted the army. There will be no state. Things will be similar to what takes place in any state – sitting behind offices while having no presence or influence or effect or reverence. So if anything of this sort takes place to the army – God forbids – no state or country would remain.
So in the first place, there will be no peace or stability. Second, there will be no state. Third, there will be no country. This is apart from the army being a primary factor in guarding the country and in confronting Israeli risks and threats. This is indeed according to our faith, conviction and conception. Thus we started our speech in this holy night saying that let’s all as Lebanese keep this institution aside. This is the least possible. Indeed, we call for empowering and enhancing the army. That’s why we always used to say let this institution be provided with arms, capabilities and budgets. More than once we have evoked the proposal of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its willingness to equip the army. However, indeed the US western will and a part of the Arab will do not want Lebanon to have a strong army so as to serve Israel. Thus they do not seek to empower the army and they do not allow it to be strong.
Well, if we are not able to make a strong army able to confront the internal and external risks and threats, at least preserve this army with its current capabilities, members and capacities. Let’s guard this adherent, united, national army against being lost and divided. This does not mean that we are saying that this army is infallible by any means. However, suppose that the army make mistakes here and there, these mistakes must be addressed within their limits. However the institution as an institution must be untouched and must be preserved.
I am talking on behalf of Hezbollah. I am not theorizing. Some may say that I am preaching on this topic. Well, that is not true. I am talking about an issue which we practiced, and I am obliged to reiterate because I discovered in the recent weeks that some people forget. Some people have lost their memory. When I say what I said above, this reflects our public culture as well as our inner culture.
In our internal sessions which we hold for our cadres and young men in training camps and organizational meetings, we instruct them that the Lebanese Army is the state guarantee, it is the guarantee of the country and of civil peace, and it is the partner of the resistance. The resistance is an assisting element. A day must come when this army is able to defend Lebanon, and thus we return to our religious schools, education, and work. This is how we instruct our masses and people. We do not tell them that this army is a cruciferous army or a Safawi army or an American army or a British army or a western army…. No! This is a national army. This is the army of Lebanon. That’s because the army is the institution where the children and men of Lebanon from all its sects and regions meet. We practiced this culture.
I want to remind of the incident of September 13th, 1993. We were then demonstrating against Oslo Agreement near Airport highway at Ghbeiri, and fire was opened on us in broad daylight. The army and the Lebanese security forces – army officers and soldiers – opened fire on us. Ten martyrs fell as well as fifty were injured. Their injuries were in the head and the chest – meaning in the upper part of the body. That means that the number of martyrs might have been sixty. I want to ask you. This is Dahiyeh. The whole world knows – and I am not revealing a secret – that there are arms in every house. Did the people in Ghbeiri, Chiah, and Haret Hreik open fire – even one bullet – on the Lebanese Army? Dahiyeh then had many check points for the Lebanese Army. We evacuated ten martyrs and fifty wounded from the ground to hospitals. I remember that a number of brethrens and I called on the people that we have to unite and remain calm and that we don’t want the people to open fire on the army. We didn’t need to make much effort to do that. People did not open fire on the army. Why? That’s because this is their culture and conviction. This is not an organizational procedure. This is not a kind of control or authority. Well, perhaps Hezbollah and Amal Movement have control over their members. However, do we have control over every house which possesses a piece of arm so that its owner won’t clutch it and go out to the balcony and open fire on the army because the army killed the people in the street? Did such thing take place? Did you witness that? This reflects this background.
Afterwards five martyrs fell in Hay Assolum. I feel sorry that in the past few weeks deputies and even presidents – a former Premier – gave evidence that Hezbollah assaulted the army and cited the event of Mar Michael as an example! This is at a time all the people know that in Mar Michael seven civil men were killed by Lebanese Army bullets while they were demonstrating. Still fire was not opened on the Lebanese Army.
This is pursuant to this culture. Well, yes in all the archives there is a sole example which they cite day and night. It is the case of pilot Samer Hanna. We said that we made a mistake, and the concerned man was handed to the court and the case was referred to the court. This is the magnitude of the story.
Didn’t the army make a mistake on September 13th? Indeed! The army also killed the people in the street in Mar Michael and in Hay Assolum.
Count with me: There are 10 martyrs, seven martyrs, and five martyrs. Even more, at times when the army would be breaking into villages, towns, and houses, things may be tough and martyrs may fall.
However what might we do? We try to remind the army at times between them and us calling on them to be cautious and saying that these are your people and the legal rule is not to shed the blood of our deputies, people, and scholars.
Thus we are not claiming that the army is infallible. However when the army kills, we must stand by its side. When the army makes mistakes, we must stand by its side and address the mistake. As for the institution as an institution, we must seek to guard it and exert every effort to preserve it. I consider this one of the most important national obligations in this stage if we are to preserve that last guarantee. This is the last guarantee. As long as this institution exists and the country is guarded, we may carry elections. After all we can form the government. Administrative nominations take place. Addressing everything is possible because the country still exists and the state still exists. There is a high level of stability in the country despite the existing tension. Thus we are able to address the rest of the cases. However, if these things were lost, everything else would be lost.
In these holy days, I wanted to assert on this recommendation.
I still have a couple of words concerning the security situation, though I crossed my time. Indeed we are now in a new security situation. Now I do not have time to discuss whether this is from the consequences of intervening in Syria or not. Well, anyway can we say that before Hezbollah intervened in Syria, security in the country was perfect? No problems used to take place; no one used to kill another; no conflicts used to happen; fire wasn’t opened; no bombings used to be detonated…. Anyway, we may discuss this issue later on. We do not have time for that now. Now we call on people to be careful and cautious. All people must be cautious, and not only in the milieu of the resistance as some people tried to depict. No, whoever wants to make an ordeal in the country may strike anywhere and anyone. All people must be cautious in all regions. Cooperation is demanded among everyone. Internal security is the responsibility of the state and state apparatuses – the army and the various security forces. People may be helpful and watchful. Everyone is recommended to keep their eyes open and see and watch and take procedures. We must be cautious in and cooperative in this stage, and Inshallah we will be able to transcend this difficult stage. Despite everything, we are still enjoying safety if we are to compare our situation to what is taking place in the entire region around us.
Also as far as the security situation is concerned, I have a call on media outlets. As usual, I complain about them, and they object to my complaints. I mean the breaking news. At times the breaking news may be tough. For example, if I am to count the number booby-trapped cars which it was said they were discovered, the number would be very large; but this is not true. For example, they may report that in such and such location, the road is blocked because a bomb was detected and it is being dismantled. This is not true. At times the army would erect cross points in some regions for examinations. Then a traffic jam would happen. Then one of these in the traffic jam would claim that they detected a bomb and they are dismantling it. This is at a time the army would be carrying natural procedures. Following this sample, breaking news would become countless. Now what would that lead to? This is part of the psychological war. This makes the people feel tense at a time we do not need to make people feel tense or frightened. People are cautious enough and aware enough to have their own political and security readings. Even young children make political and security analyses in this country.
So let’s be kind enough to have control over the breaking news which may not be precise. At times they broadcast groundless news. At times they broadcast true but exaggerated events. This in fact increases the tension of the security situation in the country at a time we must all cooperate to control, contain, and calm it down.
I wanted to talk a little about the government and the impossible conditions and the relations between the various political parties. However, I will wrap up my speech now as there are many nights to come in which we may talk. Thus we will leave something for the nights to come. However, I would like to wrap up saying something that goes with what I said concerning the defense strategy. This country is for all of us. Theories on exclusion and isolation lead nowhere. As for us, we are not with excluding anyone or isolating anyone. We are always ready for communication, dialogue, and meeting with each other. We search for ways out and we have experience in this field. We might differ with definite political forces over the Syrian issue; we can put the Syrian issue aside and agree over the Lebanese issue. We might agree or disagree over the Lebanese issue. Why do we as Lebanese – when there are common points and points of disagreement – stand inactive before the points of disagreement and forget all about the common points? After all, our country will be influenced, the economy of the country would be influenced, and the security of the country would be influenced.
As for us, I would like to tell you something on these blessed and holy nights. Indeed we are not afraid and I am not saying so because we fear we might be excluded. After all, this is the composition of this country and its components, alliances, and the size of the political forces and movements in it. There is no fear of this kind. I am talking in principle. I would like to make a recommendation in these holy nights to put an end for congestion, conflict, and attacking each other on platforms. Indeed tonight I would like to make a proposal. Let’s at least during this month have patience with each other. Today, I told my brethrens that even if we want to discuss some ideas with the other party through the media, let’s do that calmly. The means, the language, and some terms might be evocative. I hope the other party, the other sides and political forces call on people to let the Month of Ramadan and the Eid pass peacefully. Despite the difficult situation, we can make the atmosphere calmer or tenser. However, after all, as experiences taught us, and as we call on the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Iraqis, the Palestinians, and others: there is no option for any people who want to live together, build a state, and face future challenges except through talking with each other, having dialogue with each other, and meeting with each other despite the enmity, severance of relations, and feud.
In this holy month and in this holy night, I would like to announce that we in Hezbollah and despite the enmity, accusations, and toughness in position or expression or background or even psychological stance between us and some political forces, with the blessing of this holy month we say that we extend our hand and are ready for any kind of dialogue, discussion, and meeting. That’s because after all people will sit together and talk with each other and agree with each other.
Let’s make use of time. Let’s not waste time. I also call for calmness in political speeches, in media, and in the general stance. Perhaps all of this will help too in transcending this stage. That does not mean that if we have dialogue and discussion, things will be easy. That’s not the case. You as well as I know that. However, after all, this would be better than the situation we are in.
I felicitate you on this holy month with its holy nights and days. I ask Allah Al Mighty to grant you success. Again I thank you for your attendance, help, and support. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.
I would like to thank you greatly for posting the translations of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches.
I remember listening to a lecture of Norman Finkelstein where he said that Sayyed Hassan was one of the few politicians in the world whose speeches actually educated you, and increased your understanding.
Please keep up the good work!