Sayyed Nasrallah : We are in a new period ~ Unconstitutional government must back down and accept dialogue
His Eminence Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah held a press conference today in which he commented on recent developments and decisions made by the unconstitutional government. It came as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah Lord of the Worlds. Peace and Prayers be upon Mohammad, The Seal of Prophets, and on his family and elected followers, and upon all the messengers and prophets. May Allah's peace and mercy be upon you all.
Certainly, the subject of this press conference that we hold, which is the first since the end of July (2006) War, is the important and dangerous developments that have been occurring for the past few days in Lebanon.
In the beginning, I must say that after the decisions taken by the ruling party on that dark night, a completely new era has begun in Lebanon. Meaning that the date of that session to us is like February 14, 2005, the earthquake of the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri that sent Lebanon into an entirely new era. Lebanon after that dark gloomy session is not what it was before. The ruling party must know that it has entered Lebanon in a completely new phase due to the seriousness, backgrounds and dimensions of the decisions it took.
I will discuss several headlines:
First: The Resistance's communication networks. In this conference we shall call a spade a spade...the phase is difficult but it is also a phase for logic, thinking, and wise decisions.
Second: The airport and General Shokeir.
Third: The current severe political dilemma, dealing with it, and the way out of it
In the first point I have a definition. In Lebanon people may understand what the Resistance communication network is, but foreigners might think that we have set up a private phone network and a ministry of communication which brings us proceeds illegally, and to answer the deductions made by the ruling party that knows the truth but denies it.
There is a code-weapon in all armies in the world even in armies in the past. Various codes were used, including birds and sounds among other things. Every time infantry and firearms and combat tactics developed, the code or communications developed simultaneously. Hence, any fighting group be it an army or party or militia or security team, all need communication between the leadership and groups and cadres and individuals. This weapon is an elementary part of the administrative organization and control if not the primary factor in any victory and battle leadership.
These communications take various forms and it is a technical issue. Hence, it is crucial that I mention it. There are various radio frequency communications such as a walkie-talkie and cellular phones in which sound is transferred by waves and they take several technological forms. There's also the wire in which sound is not broadcasted in waves. It is transferred in wires from one instrument to another and sound is usually confined. Usually non-wired communications are facilitated and easier, and every person can take his receiver from place to place. Now each of you can hold a cellular phone and talk from the street from any place you chose. It is not so with cables, not so flexible. There is a group of problems with non-wired communication, and I tell u, there is no non-wired communication in Lebanon or the world that is surveillance-proof and cannot be decoded and analyzed.
This is a fact given the technological development in the world. There is an issue of surveillance. Second, there is the issue of interference. The enemy may log onto the communication channel and jam it disconnecting the leadership from the cadres and bases and centers. In result, the entire leadership and control network disperses.
The third issue is targeting. Quite simple, a cellphone tower can be bombed. The wireless network can be bombed similar to what occurred in the (2006) war and in previous wars. Yet the wired communication network, especially if it is secret, is difficult to bomb in the first few days, and may be employed in a wider margin. We in the resistance do not have the capabilities of large armies or the technology of the USA nor the ‘Israeli' technology. Naturally, when we are faced with complicated advanced technology we resort to simplified technology since in the technological scale we cannot match. The best and most effective means to face complex technology is simplification. In result came the wired network. To be precise I can say the wired resistance network is a communication center and a group of cables connected to houses of leaders and centers and resistance related posts. This is the wired communication network.
Wired communication is a part of the code weapon of the resistance in Lebanon. It is not a secondary weapon; it is the most fundamental one in the battle, and in any battle. Before the year 2000, one of the most important reasons behind the success of the resistance operations is that when 200, 300 or 400 resistance fighter attack ‘Israeli' posts in the occupied zone, the ‘Israeli' only knew about the attack the second the first shot was fired. This is because we didn't rely on wireless equipment, but on the wired network. In the July (2006) war the most important point, our greatest point of strength, was leadership and control because communication was upheld between the leadership and command centers and operational combat posts. The enemy admitted to this. Remember after the second Qana massacre when a ceasefire was agreed upon for 48 hours to facilitate the exit of the injured and others, how were we able to stop firing when we are not an regular army? It was due to our ability to communicate with all our points in those posts.
As to the declaration of the Minister of Information, and I regret this since he was an old friend, that it is wrong to consider that this weapon protects Hizbullah. I would like to say that many of our leaders have died due to wireless communications and cellular phones. And in the July (2006) war in many posts where we lost wired communication and were forced to communicate wirelessly and by cellular phones, cadres and leaders were killed in operation. Today, when we approach the Winograd report we find that the most important recommendation by Winograd was the necessity to destroy the organization and capacity of leadership and control of Hizbullah in which the communication constitutes a decisive factor. This is the Winograd recommendation which we must not forget, and you can go back to it.
We come to the negotiations that were going on between us and the ruling party in the recent past. You all know that this (communication) network existed before the year 2000 and continued after that, and it is not a new or a recently introduced network. Yes, it is true that it has been developed and advanced, and this is a natural and logical issue. I would like to remind them that when we agreed with them in the sinister quadric-partite alliance that the network was existent then and wasn't a aggression of sovereignty, law, or public money.
When the ministerial Declaration was made and talked about the resistance and its arms, and this is part of its arms, this network wasn't an aggression on sovereignty and public money. Now, at this moment, the four-party accord is a dream, an illusion, the matter which angered some members of the ruling party. I pronounce that it is an illusion; they will not see it in this life or in the afterlife. In any case, we will not meet in the afterlife. Yet in this life they will never see it. After the Winnograd recommendations, and after Welch's recommendations and the ‘hot Summer', and after the Lebanese crisis was magnified and after (Terje Rod) Larsen and his report that is useless unless the Lebanese government says, "The Lebanese Government says..." ...and after the insulting report of the US State Department to the (Lebanese) government...thee Government came and reopened the case even though in the past few months we were negotiating and had reached a certain defined agreement and had answered all the questions.
They had come before and we had communicated, the subject was brought up and high levels of Lebanese security institution chiefs were put in charge of communicating with us and discussing the (phone) communication network with us and certain distressing issues. We met and answered their issues and they said, "Fine, you have addressed our issues and we have no problems, but there is a cable laid between the (southern) suburb and western Beirut." This cable was laid out in the July 2006 war a few days after the suburb was bombed and not on the first day; we laid a cable between the suburb and Beirut. They told us that this cable spurs fear from this person and that person, and hope u can remove it, and in case of a new war God forbid, we, the official security forces, vow to lay out a new cable. We agreed to that with our hearts, and told them if it relieves you, remove it, and we have removed it. End of story.
The region is undergoing a phase. The issue is not about the wired network. There were gambles on the Government that lost. Certain gambles were put on regional and international developments that lost, lost gambles on wars. Therefore, the war in Iraq and Palestine and Lebanon and even with Iran and Syria was required to be waged in a different manner. They came and opened the issue of the wired (network). The officers came and a meeting was held. What's the problem? They said we have a group of issues you must solve for us. We are a people of negotiation and solving issues, and we want to keep our arms. We don't want to fight for our arms. Fighting is not our objective. They said we want to lay out a network in Jubeil and Kisirwaan. We told them that it is untrue. And the one (Jumblat) who held a press conference and lied for 25 years knows that he was lying. We informed the officers who informed the ministerial committee who in turn informed the unconstitutional government that Hizbullah says, as a matter of fact that it doesn't want to lay down a network in Jubeil and Kisirwaan, and we told them that we lay it only in places where there are leaders and centers and where there are targets. They said, "Fine, what about the North?" We responded that not even in the North. They said, "fine...And the line between the suburb and the South?" We answered, "It is natural. It is crucial since it provides communication between the suburb and the south." They said, "We fear you might lay lines to your allies in the Choof." We said, "We will not lay lines to the Choof, and we vow not to lay lines to our allies." This is the first time I discuss such information. We said, "Fine, There's no problem."
They said, "One more thing. This network is a replacement of the Government's network and in effect it will deprive the treasury of proceeds." We told them that this network is for the sole use of the leaders and cadres of the resistance and is not for public use. And if you want to make sure, be our guests. They said there's a third issue, that this network may be used for making international calls. We told them that it isn't possible, and despite that, you can pick up any international call. Be our guests and tell us where the international calls are and let us deal with it. We believe that international calls of this sort are illegal and are deemed a source of dissolute money and a theft of public money. They said this is perfect.
The officers went and said the atmosphere was positive and matters were going well. Then they came back and said we have a deal: we overlook your wired communication network in trade for stopping the strike in Beirut. They want a compromise to overlook the resistance's wired network. Here, I would like to ask: Had we accepted this proposal, would the resistance network have become legal and not against the law and a theft of public money? What kind of government is this? This isn't a government, it's a gang! It is not a government of law or institutions. It's a gang. It's not even a militia. Shame on it! It's a shame to use internal issues to overlook the issue of the resistance's arms. It is a patriotic internal issue associated with defending this country and confronting the Zionist enemy. Second, the communication network's decision is mine, but the decisions relating to the strike camp lies in the hands of all the opposition.
The issue ended at this level and we provided assurances and showed our willingness (to cooperate) by saying ‘be our guests and come examine (this network) and see that there are no international calls on it and that it isn't for public use and that it takes nothing from the government given the fact that there are phone networks in various places in Lebanon for religious institutions and political parties in Lebanon some of which are licensed and others not so. Allah willing the members of parliament will soon reveal some details in relations to this. But apart from this side, this issue is related to the resistance, with the struggle with ‘Israel', and with defending this country.
Yet the topic has risen to the surface again via the Prime Minister Mr. Walid Jumbtatt since it has become clear to me that it is wrongful to say ‘the government of Fuad Saniora' since Fuad Saniora is a poor employee for Walid Jumblaat. And when the latter wants to fire and employee he tells the employees (like Mr. Saniora) to fire them. Of course he (Jumblaat) is an employee for Condaleeza Rice...The Government of Mr. Walid Jumblaat has returned to stir up the topic again and waged a comprehensive attack starting from the camera and conluding with the airport. And it is possible the he (Jumblaat) brought the Frensh Member of Parliament to the suburb. And on the occasion, have you any idea where the mp was arrested? He was arrested in the very alley of my house with camera taking pictures! Who took him there? A person from the Progressive Socialist party!
They took him so that we would arrest him! I tell you, we will not be merciful with the security of any of our leaders at all. They will say kidnap or detainment, not a problem. The issue was brought up and reopened and, hence, the government held a meeting and took decisions that you are aware of. This is what happened up to now.
The second point in the issue of the wired network is describing the decision. I would like to describe the government's decision after the report of the US Department of State which ‘insulted' them. They used the same phrase which came in the State Department's report. They are employees that abide to the text. Fine. A ‘hot summer' and internationalization and after 10 hours of calls made to the countries and capitals that covered the July War, the sinister decision was made which you heard of and which considered the Hizbullah's resistances wired network an aggression against sovereignty, and law and public money, and they requested from the judicial authorities and security forces to pursue everyone that is charged with establishing this network.
First, this decision is a declaration of war and a commencement of war from the government of Walid Jumblatt on the resistance and its arms and a commencement of war from the government of Walid Jumblatt on the resistance and its arms on behalf of and for the benefit of the United States and ‘Israel'. We have no doubts or confusion on the subject. It's as clear as the sun at midday.
Second: this decision revealed the truth of this party and its backgrounds, the truth of its commitments, and the truth of its behavior and performance during the July 2006 war the results of which saddened it (the party).
Third: This decision aims at confiscating the prime factor that protects the resistance's leadership, cadres and infrastructure, and aims at exposing (the resistance) as an introduction to assassination and death, and the destruction of its infrastructure. Hence they become partners in killing and assassinating even if by only by providing introductions and opening the way.
Fourth: This decision is aimed at stirring discord between the national Lebanese army, security forces and the resistance after the failure of all previous conspiracies and collusions that were foiled by the patience, wisdom, attention, and responsibility of the resistance and the army leadership. Today they want to push the Lebanese army and the Lebanese security forces into direct combat with the resistance through assigning the issue of removing and disabling this network to them. This is our description of the decision, of course it is also aimed at providing subject matter for Mr. Larsen for the UNSC, supervising UNSCR 1959 so that it is not said ‘Larsen said...' but ‘The government said...' In its simplest terms this is our description of the decision. I wish not to venture regionally and internationally, and into Bush's visit to the region and very long commitments...
Our response to this decision is, naturally, that he who declares war against us and begins a war with us, be he a father or brother, it is our right to face them with defending our rights and arms and resistance and existence. The wired network is the most crucial part of the resistance's arms, not just a crucial part. From Bint Jubeil I talked about it and was clear and transparent during that election period. And I wasn't searching for electoral voices. The government's Prime Minister Mr. Walid Jumblaat was present sitting and swaying his feet around while I was giving a speech and clearly said, "The hand that extends to the resistance's arms whomever it is for and wherever it comes from...we will cut it!" Today is the day of truthfulness to that decision.
The ‘Israeli' hand extended to the resistance's arms in the July war and it was cut. In the interior (Lebanon), there have been attempts that have not yet reached the level of seriousness, action, and the commencement of a war. But after the gloomy decisions of the dark government we consider that a war has been waged and it is our duty to defend our arms and resistance, and the legality of our decisions. "He who has warned is excused!" To us the issue has passed all red lines. There will be no lenience with anyone whoever it be wherever it be. We also know, and our information confirms that the issue of the wired network is but a first step to be followed by other steps. And if we are tolerant with the wired network issue, tomorrow we will face a battle on the missile and anti-armor missiles and on every capability the resistance ahs to defend itself and its country or to confront any future ‘Israeli' aggression.
Second: Te subject of judicial reference. This communication network is under the control of Hizbullah, and therefore Hizbullah owns the network. I, the Secretary General, am the owner of the network and its editor-in-chief, as the media might put it, and it's main financer, and I am a user of this network in which many loyal mujahidin worked implementing my decisions. Despite the illegal reference from the unconstitutional government and I don't believe in the legality of this reference, the Lebanese judiciary can send a judge in the appropriate place on the level of security and allow me to meet him, for I too have a litigation against those who took the decision that they have taken a decision in favor of the US and ‘Israel' and to ignite a civil war. Let the law (rule) between us. As to the rest, the people who facilitated, aided, and considered that they helped the resistance, they are untouchable, be that person an engineer, a company, a mayor, an employee, a contractor, a day laborer... Harming them is equivalent to harming me. Harming any cadre in the resistance in Lebanon is unacceptable, and is equivalent to harming our weapons.
Forgive me. We are in a completely new era. We will arrest those who seek to arrest us. We will shoot anyone who shoots at us. We will cut the hand that extends to (hurt) those young men. There is no need for this entire story. Come, let us talk and see who contradicts the law and who is assaulting public money. It is a shame that, today, the Lebanese Prime Minister (Walid Jumblaat) confesses that he is a thief and admits on TV that he has two notebooks. He admits to lying - the difference between lying and a liar is that lying becomes a second nature to a liar. He's a liar with 25 years of experience in his confession and a killer in his confession. Today, the person ruling the country, and it is required of leaders, religious leaders, and sects to follow his plan, is a liar, a thief, a murderer! He heads the government today, gives out orders, and lays out red lines...while the resistance and the fathers and sons of martyrs who, if not for them Lebanon would have become ‘Israeli', are to be sent to court?! Nobody will take anyone to court!
This is not a government. It's a gang dominating people even if the whole world supported them, even if Bush rendered his support to it daily. This is a condemnation in their right, not ours!
The second title: The issue of the airport. Its subject is not General Wafik Shokeir though its title is General Wafik Shokeir. After the parliamentary elections we were massively pressured to dismiss General Wafik Shokeir in order to bring a new general I don't want to name. Many names were presented and we rejected them. There were problems over this issue. Why the insistence? I would like to say that General Shokeir doesn't belong to Amal movement or Hizbullah or to any other opposition party. He's a general in the national institution (the Army), and we all agree on its patriotism and its pioneering unifying role. We all agree on the army. (He is) Like all other patriotic officers that are the sons of this institution, they were raised to apply the law and not abide to (party) leaders.
The issue from the beginning is when this government was formed they wanted to put their hand on the airport not to steal because they already are stealing. Now in the airport there are several issues, entering and exiting, that concern them (the government), and even General Shokeir doesn't know about them. Many are the boxes and baggage that have entered and left the airport and God knows what is in them: weapons, money, white (drugs), green (money), black (weapons)....God knows. This is existent. Yet this is not the story. The issue is that it is required of the Beirut airport to become a base for the FBI, CIA, and ‘Israeli' Mossad. Quite honestly this is the issue. If not, where is the security disorder in the airport? Trips arrive and depart and so are people, and there is no problem at the airport or in its vicinity at all. Yes, the presence of a patriotic general that abides to the law whom they know very well through his patriotism is an obstacle in transforming Beirut's Martyr Rafiik Hariri airport into a spying base for the United States and the Mossad, Shabak, Shin Bet, etc.
This is the issue. That's why it is required that General Wafik Shokeir should be fired meanwhile they weren't able to in the past. Even after we resigned from the government they attempted that, but they faced the obstacle of His Excellency President Emile Lahoud who would refuse to sign such decree. Now this unconstitutional government which believes that it has the jurisdiction of the president has taken this step. What is intended is bringing a general loyal to one of those leaders who are employed by the CIA and FBI. This is the airport's story in a nutshell.
Quite frankly we cannot tolerate the presence of a CIA, FBI, or Mossad base in our neighborhood. People's blood, dignity, and safety are more precious and over any other consideration. Yet the logic of the government and gang exists. His Eminence Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan called the Deputy Prime Minister Fouad Saniora and told him that this issue can't be dealt with in this manner, and if General Shokeir was negligent in the issue of the cameras which is a ridiculously absurd obvious issue, let there be an investigation and send it to court...We will not defend negligent generals that have broken the law. And if he is not negligent, why do you want to fire him?
His Eminence Sheikh Qabalan and everyone that has stood by General Shokeir in this matter is not defending a Shiite general; he's defending a patriotic general. Since when General Shokeir is desecrated all patriotic generals in Lebanon will be desecrated. And every general will observe that his security institution and government are not protecting him, and that the ones that protect him are the political leaders. The last thing left in this country is the army, and if it crumples nothing will be left. These couple of days what has stopped a civil war from breaking out is a national willpower in the country and the presence of a military institution... and if the patriotic generals are desecrated the country is gone. We look at the issue at a deeper level than the airport and farther than the issue of General Shokeir. The issue is preserving what has been left of this country, the army with the hope that matters in this country will straighten up again. He (Saniora) promised him (Qabalan) and told the latter "Allah willing..." But he (Saniora) is but an employee. The true Premier (Jumblat) told them no, he had taken the decision to fire General Wafik Shokeir. Why didn't he (Jumblat) hold a press conference in Clemenseau, but went to AL Mukhtara and make the decision to fire (Shokeir) from there? Employees must follow their orders
They didn't investigate or prosecute or even give General Shokeir a chance to defend himself. And what is he charged with anyway? This is how gangs work: We are the government and are not a government within a government. The day of Mar Mokhayel incidents seven young men like primrose were killed, slaughtered. We did not take revenge on anyone or judge anyone. All we did was be bear the pains of our wounds and said that we wanted an investigation, a prosecution, and that the negligent be held responsible. Who is the government and who is the gang in this country? Who had the logic of a government and who has the logic of a gang in this country?...the ones who are killed , slaughtered, pleading for an investigation and prosecution or the ones who in absentia prosecute the chief of airport security after tens of years of military service as a result of a absurd ridiculous charge titled as a surveillance camera on a container in the presence of thousands of similar cameras in the area and in Lebanon? Who is the gang and who is the government?
Therefore in this matter the decision that is issued by an unconstitutional government is unconstitutional... and General Shokeir will keep his post as chief of airport security and will bear his responsibilities in airport security. And any other offices that takes this post is an impersonator and must be aware that he is an impersonator and that he is previously adjudicated of coming to implement a decision to transform Rafik Hariri International Airport into a base for the CIA, FBI, and Mossad... whomever the officer may be... Shiite, Sunni, Durzi, Christian, or Muslim, they are all the same! Treason and treachery have no religion, have no sect!
The third and final title is the current crisis. They are the ones who pushed matters to this current crisis. We were being patient. We were killed, and killed, and killed...and we remained patient. We considered that we were killed in a homeland issue and that it is fine as long as there is a government, Judiciary, and a power struggle. But when they took these decisions they created a new crisis.
To us, we have entered a new stage. Here, I do not declare war. I declare (our) oppression and a decision to defend ourselves. I declare that after that dark gloomy night's decisions is different from before them. After today, we will not be killed in the streets anymore! No longer will we accept being fired at from anyone! We will not allow conspiracies against our weapons! We won't tolerate any subjection of our existence and legality anymore! ... Even if all the armies in the world came (to subject us)... This is our decision today in all clarity and transparency.
Whoever wants dialogue will get dialogue. Whoever wants a settlement will find the doors to settlement wide open. What is the way out of the crisis? Two phrases. First, annulling the unconstitutional decisions of Walid Jumblaat's unconstitutional government. Second, answering Chairman Nabih Berri's previous call for national dialogue. There is no other way out nor is there any (other) solution. There is a party that declared war on another party, and we are not the ones who started. A party declared war on another party and you tell me to come and solve the issue. This is how we solve the matter and we have no problems on our part.
I would also like to address the Arab and Muslim nations which everyone in Lebanon is addressing today. Yesterday we heard voices we didn't hear throughout the July war for 33 days, and didn't observe this warmth, these emotions and enthusiasm when ‘Israel' had forced the evacuation of over a million Lebanese, destroyed more than a hundred thousand homes, ruined the infrastructure and threatened all of Lebanon. I would like to address them all by saying: Had the struggle been over a partnership government or power, we would have settled with a political stance, demonstrating, and strikes. A thousand times I said we are not competing for power, the government, a ministry, or any position within the government. All what has been said to the Arab and Islamic world about a coup and government is worthless. The truth of what is happening now in Lebanon is that there is a pro-American subsidiary serving committed party that is implementing a scheme that America and ‘Israel' have failed to impose, which is the disarmament of the resistances arms. That party has provided commitments in this regard since 2005 and has failed to live up to the commitments.
Therefore I don't seek aid of assistance from anyone just like I did in the July war. All of Lebanon and the (southern) suburb was bombed, and I was in the suburb, and I said this then that we do not seek aid or assistance from anyone, and he who wants to assist was welcome, but I wasn't asking for anything. But today I do ask something. I ask for understanding and that the Arab and Islamic public opinion not be mislead, since they always threaten us upon the smallest issue: Look, if you stand up there may be a Sunni-Shiite affliction. They have always threatened us with this sectarian affliction.
Therefore, today I declare that we are no longer worried about this Shiite-Sunni affliction. This topic is over. This weapon cannot be used anymore. The battle today is not between Sunnis and Shiites or among some Sunnis and some Shiites. No. Today there is a noble national resistance project and an American project building up. There is no regard to whomever is on that (American) side, even if wears a hundred Amamas (Islamic sheikh head dress) or a hundred caps or a hundred costume of a Muslim religious man nor of Christian religious man or of a politician.
I am the most person that used to fear and worry (about sectarian violence) and they have always betted on that. When they took these decisions they were betting that Hizbullah wouldn't do anything or would merely issue a statement that would relieve its base (followers). Why? Because Hizbullah is very cautious of two points: One, sectarian violence which they always face us with. Here I would like to inform you that, to me, he who extends his hand to the resistance's arms, be he a Sunni, he is not deemed Sunni, and be he a Shiite, he is not deemed Shiite, and be he a Muslim, he is not deemed a Muslim, and be he a Christian, he is no way related to Jesus. Two, using arms on the homefront. We will not use our arms in the interior for a coup nor to change the government, or to impose a status-quo. Rather, the weapons will be used to protect the weapons from anyone.
You have crossed the red lines. We have no more red lines. And we are not afraid of Sunni-Shiite violence for two reasons. First, all the Arab and Islamic world know the nature of the conflict in the country. After the July war we were subjected to a libelous campaign sponsored by millions of dollars from the Arab and Islamic world in the form of media sources, satellite TV stations, authors, newspapers, and even some religious personalities that roamed the entire Arab world to say that Hizbullah is Iranian, is Syrian, is Shiite, is, is.....but no mention of anything related to ‘Israel'. In the past two years millions of dollars have been spent in order to disfigure our image in the Arab and Islamic world, but it has not been disfigured because Hizbullah's image is as bright and clear as the sun and cannot be disfigured by anyone. This is one thing.
The second thing: today, the Amamas and addresses of the Sunnis that have been employed most certainly know our relationship with them. Because they know our stance, faith, and belief that they, the Sunnis, -even if we disagree with them- are our brothers in religion, in the country, in the resistance, and in fate. And because there are among the gracious Sunni sect some deep-rooted patriotic leaderships, households, and religious and patriotic parties and movements. And because there are religious scholars that are faithful and sincere and can say the truth to all the Arab and Islamic world....(because of all this) there won't be Sunni-Shiite violence in Lebanon. We are past the subject now, and I hope nobody intimidates with it.
Today we are in this position. Our decision is clear. And this is our diagnosis of the new stage: The government of Mr. Walid Jumblaat, the government of Mr. David Welch, the government of Ms. Condaleeza Rice... in which there are employees from some sects. And corresponding to our diagnosis is our decision. There are two hands. One extended for dialogue on grounds of annulling the wrongful decisions and sitting at a table for dialogue inn answer to calls from Chairman Nabih Berri. The other ther is a weapon, and yhis weapon is not for assaulting anyone or to carry out a coup. In Hizbullah, it is our conviction that if all Lebanese, Arabs, Muslims, and international community joined and told Hizbullah that we are good guys and that our administration is a good one, that we don't steal public money, and said that they will hand over the government in Lebanon for us to rule the country...we would apologize and say that we are not capable of bearing the responsibility because the salvation of the country requires everyone.
We are not seeking authority nor are we planning to overthrow the government nor are we weak, frightened, or terrified. Our hopes for the future are very large. You (the unconstitutional government) are the ones whose dreams have begun to vanish. It is you who have fired at our dreams and not at us when you took those dark decisions on that dark gloomy night. We don't want to assault anyone, nor do we want to perform a coup or usurp the country. They talk of a coup. What coup? Had there been a coup you would have awoke to find yourselves cast in prison or in the sea. But we have never, for a day, resorted to this means. We have always said that there is a political crisis, a political struggle in the country. Its tools are political tools; the resolutions are political, and the means are political be it dialogue, early elections, consensus, poll...and never was a day when we talked of arms.
What is required to exit the crisis: We thank those who call and say they care for the country. The way out of the ongoing (political) congestion is by annulling the unconstitutional governments' decisions and sitting at the table for dialogue. Opposing will take us somewhere else. The game being played is a dangerous one. We care for the country and this is how we are devoted to it and how we can overcome the current ongoing crisis in Lebanon.
Q: Sayyed, as a rule, your promises are truthful and today you launched a promise to cut the hands (that extend to the resistance's armament). Has the resistances leader been obliged to break his previous promise when you were absolutely certain that the resistance's arms would not be used on the home front and that we wouldn't see the resistance's fighters that were on the battlefront in the alleys? If you are to defend your weapons by cutting hands, what country would be left? Meaning, the country will be gone but the resistance stays? Another question. The government took decisions leading to war, but they are peaceful decisions (employing peaceful means), and when the opposition answers it only uses the street. In other words, there are those who describe it as chaotic and demagogical. And there are those who expect the Beirut airport to be renamed as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah International Airport. They government has used no more than decisions and words. Why are you in the streets now? And what will the fate of the streets be? Will the young men stay there? What is the future plan? And finally, was the ruling party right when they feared your weapons?
A: First, I said that weapons will not be used in the home front and I still keep my promise and oath. We don't use our weapons for any internal objective. But law, dignity, religion, morals, and all values say: If weapons existed to defend a country, a nation, and not to defend a party, sect, or geographic area... if someone came to take those weapons in favor of the country's enemy, then fighting will not be internal conflict, it will be fighting on the battlefront. It is like the fighting that went on in Aita and on the outskirts of Bint Jubeil and Ainata.
The second point: The resistance will stay and so will the country based on the fact that our reaction didn't reach the level of military coup; we have gone to the streets, demonstrated, and blocked some roads among which is the airport road. This is quite natural in any place witnessing civil disobedience. Yet we haven't resorted to weapons. No invasion or occupation has occurred in Beirut. Yes, in places where hand grenades were thrown at us and we were fired at we fired back. Frankly, this is extent of the issue. We haven't come to invade as some say now nor have come to control, and had we sought to invade the issue would have been over a long time ago. We don't want to attack or assault anyone, but we will not allow anyone to assault us. We went to the streets as civilians, we were shot at, and we have taken our weapons to defend ourselves. We didn't answer the government's decisions with bullets.
The third point: It is true that the government made decisions, but these decisions will be implemented. So who will it send to uproot the wired network and the phone center? It will send the army and the security forces. From the start, I will not fight with the army and the security forces because of this government; I will not allow matters to reach the point of implementing the decision. Then, how do we confront it? We confront it civilly. So we went to the streets. This is the least we could do because (if we) issue a statement and demonstrate -tell 2 million to hit the streets- then a phone call comes from Bush, Rice, Sarkozi, and others.... the government will (listen to them) not listen to anyone (demonstrators). Therefore, no statement or regular demonstration will stop the decision. This decision was made to take the resistance and the army and security forces to war. They took this decision and I want to stop its implementation. The fate of the streets and airport will be revealed day by day. I will not reveal any objectives, scenarios, or plan of action. Is the ruling party right in fearing our weapons? No. It has no right to fear our weapons. But the conspiring colluding (part of) ruling party has every right to fear our weapons not just now, but from the past, because it knows what commitments it had made.
Q: There are evident changes in Hizbullah's position on dealing with weapons in the home front. Will this change also affect the way you deal with the International Forces (UNIFIL), namely the UNIFIL in south Lebanon?
A: Definitely not. It has nothing to do with it. When the UNIFIL came we accepted that on condition that it come under its stated role, and not as Burlusconi said, that he will change the rules of engagement. Therefore, these forces are positioned in the south and we deal with them positively and cooperate with them and they cooperate with us even in confronting any dangers that may confront these forces. There is no change at all in our policy on the subject.
Q: How do you assess the role of Saudi Arabia in what has occurred? And where is the Ta'ef accord? And are we headed towards a new Ta'ef (accord)?
A: I hope the brothers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not repeat the same mistake they committed at the beginning of the July war and had to correct later on. In the internal issue they shouldn't take sides, they should practice what emphasizes the truth of their care for the country, its security, and its stability. The path to the solution is evident and open. I've repeated and repeat that we don't seek authority or monopoly of power. We raise the motto of partnership between the opposition and the ruling party. We don't want a coup nor do we target certain sects or political powers. And despite what I have said now when I mentioned the way out (of this crisis), though I realize the way out I mentioned is unpopular on our side, yet we bear our responsibility. I demand the annulment of the mutilated government, and then let's come to the dialogue table that Speaker Berri called for. If the brothers in Saudi Arabia care for the country then, we hope they will not take sides because this struggle bears the title of the noble patriotic resistance which has the greatest respect in the Arab and Islamic world and which has accomplished the two greatest victories in the history of the Arab-‘Israeli conflict and between the American project which, in turn, will be defeated. Therefore there is no need for a headache or to take the country to places we don't want it to go to. So the Saudis are welcome to give and extended arm for assistance and the path for assistance is clear.
Q: In case the government insists, and it today it insists on not retreating, and today Minister Marwaan Hmedeh said that the government will win in the end, and you say that the party (Hizbullah) will win in the end. To begin, are we facing a July 2008 (war)? Today the UNSC will debate resolution 1959. In case the decisions made by the Security Council today are similar to the decisions made by the government, will the UNIFIL be dealt with in the same manner that the government is being dealt with?
A: I have already answered about the UNIFIL issue clearly and there's no problem. As to the decisions by the Security Council, they will not take any decisions worse than the ones they've taken so far. Yes, it has been supplied with new materials by the government of Mr. Walid Jumblaat. Therefore, I am not very interested in what will stem from the Security Council. We are accustomed to the Security Council. Hence, on these days comes the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba meanwhile the Security Council is the one that legislated this Nakba, the usurping entity, the massacres, and the terrorism. It took the decisions to divide and it protects the barbarous criminal terrorist government that is unmatched in history. Therefore the Security Council means nothing to us culturally or politically. It's previously known what will come out.
(You asked) If we are confronting a July 2008 (war), no, I am not sure. In any case, the Lebanese internal events are developing and we will be clear. We are in the position of reaction. And up to that night we had been waiting. We didn't call for demonstrations or civil disobedience, but (we called) for unconditional dialogue. After that they declared war on us. Let them stop the war and the matter will be resolved. The question is who will win in the end? We wouldn't like a battle or a confrontation to happen. Rather, we'd like for all of us to sit on one table to cooperate and comprehend and put the past behind us. We are still keen, despite all the wounds and mutual accusations. But if there is someone who wants to wage war at us and anticipate winning over us, he should bennifit from the experiences of Ehud Olmert, Peretz, Ashkinazi, and Halutz who has gone from chief of staff to manager of a car company.
Q: Your Eminence, you have put two conditions: Going back to dialogue after the annulment of the decisions that were taken by the government. But before this you have said that this stage is different from the stage that preceded the declaration of these decisions, and you described those who took the decisions as serving the American-‘Israeli' decision project aside to other things. How will the calls for dialogue be raised for those whom you have described as traitors knowing that you don't open dialogue with traitors?
A: If they take the decision to stop the war, what problem would there be? We'd go back to dialogue. When they annul the decisions they made that means they are regretful. I have intelligence saying that there was a debate around the subject. And I have information now that some blame the others for being hasty. They made a mistake by taking many decisions and matters in one bite, and that they couldn't endure. They could have divided them, but they did what they did and revealed their true selves. In any case, we don't want to take revenge from anyone or make reprisal on anyone, and we care for the interests of this country and for national peace, security, and stability. Whoever took the decision for war must cancel it. Then he is welcome to the dialogue table, and the issues facing the country will be resolved through dialogue.
Q: What will stop things from transforming into a Sunni-Shiite conflict?
A: There are assurances. We constitute a guarantee and so do our allies...Hizbullah and the Amal movement who have been immediately targeted. There is also the awareness of Sunni sect in Lebanon and the presence of patriotic and religious leaderships among the Sunnis. To clarify matters, and here I address our brothers in the Future party, and I have not said the Sunni sect because not all of them are from the Future party, by saying that it is in your best interest that the country be calm and stable, and that in the elections you could be a main party, and that nobody could cancel or negate you. Here I do not wish that a ridge be formed; I only want to lay the facts. Mr. Walid Jumblaat;s dream is Sunni-Shiite violence, and we hope that you don't aid him in realizing this dream because we will not aid him in realizing it. And we hope you don't pledge your fates with him since he whimsically alternates. The problem can be resolved now, but in an immoral manner. I could send someone to Walid Jumblaat to tell him that we have accepted the quadripartite alliance, and in the future elections we are with you, and the issue would be resolved... And then his oration would be similar to his speech in which he declared in Bint Jubeil in 2005 that he defended the resistance's arms and attacked the American administration, unless he has gone so deep in a place where he can't come back. But this would be an ultimately immoral approach, and Hizbullah wouldn't do it. Our Allies are those who stood by us and by whom we stood. We will stay with them, by their side in the elections for better and for worse. We are capable of cooperating so as to not allow matters to develop into sectarian violence, but this requires effort from everyone and this sis our hope.
Q: How big is Hizbullah's responsibility knowing that the government won't back down from its decisions? So what is your responsibility?
A: We have been attacked. Someone took a decision to attack us on a dark and gloomy night. Today, and I am proud of this, I am on the black list and wanted by Bush's administration and am sentenced to death by Olmert. And the third sentence that was issued against me is to be prosecuted by an order from Mr Walid Jumblaat's government. Who is to be prosecuted, me or them?! They made the call to wage war on us. In the entire world they see the executioner but fail to see the victim. They attempt to present us as an executioner as they presented the resistance against ‘Israel' as criminal whereas it was a victim.
What is happening today is that we are the victim. Like I said, before the government's decisions were made we had no intentions of doing anything. We were using political addresses and inviting to a dialogue. No action was taken on the ground, and there were no indications that the opposition was going to take action on the ground...and we all said that the lection are going to take place in a year and the political conflict will be resolved there and then. But all of a sudden they take a decision - with no stay of execution- and the security and judicial forces must implement it and prosecute the implicated. Fine, someone is attacking my home, and my brothers and my existence and my dignity...and I am concerned with defending myself and I will not be permissive with defending my dignity or my existence.
Q: What if the ruling party didn't heed to your demonstration on Beirut's airport road and the closing down of the airport, and opened the Qlayaat airport, rendering the demonstration on the airport road akin to the demonstration in downtown Beirut, meaningless, and of no concern to the Saniora government. Does Hizbullah have the power to close Alayaat airport road if it is opened given that it doesn't lie in an area under Hizbullah's authority?
A: Had there been no meaning to the demonstration in downtown Beirut then why were we offered to swap it with the wired network that constitutes a priority to the ‘Israelis'? Were it insignificant there wouldn't have been a need to trade on it, first of all. Second, had it been insignificant, none of the ministers, prime ministers, presidents, or mediators that have come to Lebanon would have talked about the downtown demonstration. I do not agree that this demonstration is meaningless.
As to us and how we will act in the future...will we demonstrate in the airport or not...will we continue this movement or not in what place and in at what time and in which means... This is not the subject matter of the press conference. And in truth, allow us to keep this to ourselves since we are in c confrontation. We hope we can end this ordeal and conspiracy on Lebanon with the least losses possible.
Q: You raised with the extended hand two points: Revoking the decisions that you described as despotic and the return to dialogue. Are you ready to back down on any of the two points?
A: It is illogical for them to declare war on us and ask us to negotiate whilst they didn't only draw their weapons on us, but also gave their decision to be implemented by the judicial and security authorities. We cannot induce any alterations on these two points.
Q: Do you aim to become the President of Lebanon or are you insistent that the post be given to a Maronite (Christian) President?
A: We don't suggest any alterations in the political structure of the system and authority in Lebanon. Some accuse us of this being our opinion. We are with the Ta'ef Accord and with implementing it. In the end, if a general Lebanese willpower existed to modify it then it will be conditioned by this willpower. But we, as a party, do not intend to impose amendments on the Lebanese. In result, we don't have any change or proposal related to the positions of authority in Lebanon at all, neither in the presidency nor in the premiership or the rest of the positions.
Q: Are there who called on Hizbullah to draw back the offenders from the streets, namely by Mufti Mohammad Rashid Kabbani. Will you heed to these calls? And don't you fear that the resistance's involvement in the interior will affect its readiness to perform its duty in defending Lebanon and that ‘Israel' may use this flaw?
A: In the first point, there are no offenders in Beirut for us to draw back. The youth found in Beirut are the sons of Beirut and everyone knows that they elect in Beirut and some of them live in Beirut. Second, they did not commit offenses on anyone. They were assaulted and, hence, they defended themselves. I consider that he who makes charges in the beginning should investigate and scrutinize before submitting pointing fingers.
In the second point, since the question was asked, the atmosphere is that of escalation. When the ruling party talked of stakes put on that ‘Israel' will wage a war on Lebanon during the summer. I mentioned this three months ago when I said that maybe they are waiting for April, May, or June. I will not hide from you; I will tell you a secret. Yes, we do have a plan to defend Lebanon and our existence in case of a new ‘Israeli' aggression. This is natural. As we have done in the past, we plan, study, take all scenarios into consideration, and lay out consequent propositions and plans. Among the group of plans and scenarios we have taken into consideration due to intelligence we received noting that if a new ‘Israeli' war fell on the resistance, certain interior parties will evoke a civil war with the resistance and that two wars will be imposed on the resistance at the same time. We are prepared for these wars. But I assure you, God willing, that neither one war nor two will occur. Yet we know where we live and in which country, in which surroundings we live. Consequently, we prepare for the worst possibilities, and in result are capable, God willing, of defending our dignity. But in the near future God willing there will not be one war or two.
Q: What do you make of the Saudi-Iranian mediation during the past few hours? And what about the government's meeting today to impose a curfew? And are you satisfied with the performance of the Lebanese Army?
A: From what I have known the Saudi ambassador called the Iranian ambassador after the decisions were taken and reactions had occurred. The Saudi ambassador called the Iranian ambassador and told him that he has a commission from the (Saudi) Minister of Foreign Affairs and we want to cooperate. The Iranian ambassador called me and said that there is an effort and the same call was made to Speaker Nabih Berri and that consequently we should cooperate with Saudi Arabia and Iran to keep the crisis from escalating. I answered him that there is no problem in the issue and that the answer is simple, the one what I have mentioned. They (the government) took the decision and they should annul it to return things to what they were, and that there was no need to fear, since we do not intend anything to happen. The Saudi ambassador instantly answered that it is difficult for the government to back down from its decisions, but that they will see what they can do. And this is what happened.
As to what you called the Sarai government, it is an unconstitutional government and its decisions are unconstitutional neither in the wireless network nor in the firing of General Shokeir nor in the Judicial proceedings... nor in any decision to impose a curfew. The decisions of this government are not worthy of the ink that it makes the treasury pay for. As to the Army, it acts in patriotic devotion and with a sense of patriotic responsibility and stability. The Army commander and the army's leadership, officers, and soldiers realize the immense and huge sensitivity of the issue. Before I came to this press conference I listened to part of the Army's statement that clearly reveals the awareness of the Army's command of the seriousness of the situation. This is the position in which we assume that the army will constitute a true national guarantee and will it is not permitted for the use the army to target one party or another.
Q: Do you have any idea how the civil war that nobody wants will end?
A: There is no civil war. There is an exaggeration in picturing the current events. Yesterday the media exaggerated in picturing certain incidents that occurred and mentioned invasions and occupations and civil war. I admit that there are warnings of war, and the war I mention is that which the others wanted and imposed. We don't want a war with anyone as we always call for dialogue and participation and political resolutions. The ones that took the decisions leading to war should cancel them and everything will end. For two years I have been saying that we are not in a hurry and that we will not resort to means that put the civil peace at stake for the sake of the issue of a government or authority. Our bets are on elections not on fighting. Yes, the ones that made the decision to take us to war should annul the decision and no war will occur.
Q: Isn't it a shame that the two biggest wars and victories in the history of the Arab-‘Israeli' conflict owe to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and now he is not championed by the Arab and Islamic peoples of the region?
A: I thank you for your good faith and opinion of me. I have mentioned earlier that I thank all those who all those who respect me in the Arab and Islamic world and I pride myself with their love and respect. I have not asked for anything nor have I called for help, nor did I ask to be championed or to intervene to defend us. If anyone wants to intervene to end the crisis, that's wonderful. All I ask for is understanding and that they do not be taken by fervent speeches or mottos only in concern for this resistance on which huge expectations are put and that it will change the face of the region one day if ‘Israel' decides to assault us. To all those who hear me in the Arab world I say that this is not a heated address. I know what our capabilities are and what we have, and I know faith and trust in God. And based on existing objective foundations and on the Usbuu' (Week mourning ceremony) of Martyr Moghniyeh I said that if the ‘Israeli' army entered Lebanon whereas it has five military divisions on the border ready to intervene at any moment...that this does not scare us or terrify us. I promised the Arab and Islamic world that I do not want to engage in a war with anyone or open a front, but ‘Israel' is celebrating its 60th anniversary and as a result of this resistance it has received the two biggest defeats in 60 years. It was forced to perform the biggest military drill due to this resistance. What I want from the Arabs is (to believe) that the resistance raised their heads up high and the heads of every noble person in the world, and it is not sectarian or partisan and doesn't seek authority. Samir Geagea accuses us of being a party for the nation. I want only the nation. We don't understand and are lost as to what they want. We want the nation to remain a nation. We know what we have and all I ask for is understanding, not being biased, and to not be lead by sectarian voices.
Q: How do you expect the Lebanese street to be like tonight? And are you prepared, as Hizbullah, to bear the consequences that will arise from Beirut since what is occurring here today will not only affect Lebanon, but also all the region and its symbols?
A: There will be statements and reaction. This is natural. We anticipate the customary cursing campaign. This is the case with most of the opposition leaderships and I speak from a defensive position and I put forward a resolution plan. We are in a defensive, reacting position and what I say is that we have entered a new stage. They are insistent on war, and the reactions will not be anticipated. Will we bear the consequences? Yes. We are responsible and we are aware of what we are doing. We know the true dimension of the conspiracy and the challenge and the plan. And we are ready to bear the responsibility of the consequences.
-Sayyed Nasrallah Also responded to Minister Marwan Hmedeh who had said he knew nothing about a swap between the government and Hizbullah on the issue of the wired network by saying, "He does not know everything since he has a limited role, and we are obliged to answer on our part, and people know who speaks the truth and who is lying. I will let the audience judge."