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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 1st Anniv. of the 2nd Liberation

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 1st Anniv. of the 2nd Liberation
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Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech delivered at the Second Liberation Day Festival in Hermel on 26-8-2018.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad and his good and pure household and all his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you all.

I welcome you all on your day, on your victory day, on the day of the liberation of your land, your mountains, your villages and your fields. As usual and as expected, I thank you for this large attendance. After all, you in the land of the sun bear the heat of the sun and your will, determination and faith are always the strongest.

This year we wanted to mark and commemorate the first anniversary of the Second Liberation Day. This is the day of our people, our army, our resistance, our martyrs and our steadfast people who achieved this liberation with their blood and sacrifices, in the city of martyrs, in the city of Hermel. This city experienced its fair share of danger, threats, aggression, rocket attacks and booby-trapped cars. But as has always been the case, it did not change its position.

God says {And Our word has already preceded for Our servants, the messengers (171) [That] indeed, they would be those given victory (172)

And [that] indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome (173)}.

In order to attain victory and prevail one must be His soldier. When we become His soldiers, his laws and divine rules will govern us in this existence. And indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome. Your children, youth and men who have been fighting this battle for years validate Our soldiers because they fought in the way of God; they were honest and loyal; they sacrificed generously; and they were loyal to God. They did not fight for anything in this world. They marched to the battlefields with their blood and shroud. They never held back. That is why they were given God’s promise - And [that] indeed, Our soldiers will be those who overcome.

Brothers and sisters, on this occasion, which is another celebration of liberation and victory achieved by the golden equation: the army, the people and the resistance, I would like to divide my address into three sections.

The first section is about the occasion: the second liberation. From there I will touch on the situation in the region.

The second section is about the situation in Lebanon.

The third section is an address to the Beqaa.

The First Section:

Looking back on the past few years, we all know that Lebanon faced a great danger, especially the Beqaa region, as a result of the developments in Syria that have been going on for over seven years. From the beginning, these dangers were clear to us and to many of our allies. For others it was not clear. For some, however clear the picture may be, their stubbornness and involvement in the situation cannot be changed. Today I think that after all these years the picture became clearer to all of us. Because of what happened in our region, I call on you to ask the following question everyday. What happened in our region for more than seven years is immense and dangerous. These are grave and terrible events. For those trying to remember the events, in Syria, Iraq and the whole region, all the way to Yemen for more than three years now, they should ask themselves this question: What if Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”], the Nusra Front or similar groups had won in Syria?

What if Daesh won in Iraq and took control of Iraq? What would have been the fate of the whole region and the Gulf States? What would have been the fate of Lebanon, all of Lebanon, not just the Beqaa and not just the border villages in Baalbek-Hermel?

What would have been the fate of the Lebanese people? Not only those who are on this line or this axis? What would have been the fate of those Lebanese betting on and pinning their hopes on the victory of these groups in Syria?

Haven’t we seen how Daesh dealt with its affiliates, brothers in arms and those it shared the Takfiri Wahhabi doctrines with in Syria? Haven’t we seen what the Nusra Front did with its allies with whom it shares the same faith and trench? Can’t we see what it is doing now in Idlib?

What would have been the fate of Lebanon, the Lebanese people and the Lebanese diversity, if God forbid, that had happened? Thank God He has men on this land that will what he wills. This is what changed the equation. It is because God has men who will what he wills. This equation has changed so has the nature of the question. But one question remains legitimate: what would have been the fate of the entire region?

If the Emirate of Daesh and the Nusra [Front] extended to Baalbek, Hermel, Zahle, Chtaura and all of Lebanon, what would have been the situation for the people in all these regions, even those who bet on Daesh and Nusra?

Sadly, Daesh and Nusra disbelieve and kill some of those who bet on them. The experience we have been through over the past years is immense.

Today we celebrate this occasion. This is the second Liberation Day, in which we have been able to liberate our villages, farms, fields and borders, our entire border with Syria from the terrorists and the Takfiri groups. It is an opportunity to ponder and take lessons away from the past for both the present and the future.

Several quick points:

Regarding this achievement, first we must pause and look at it as a stepping-stone.

The first point is the quick decision-making of the people of the region, including the people of the Beqaa and the resistance, in dealing with these Takfiri terrorist groups on both the Lebanese and Syrian territories.

Why is this a quality? Because at that time the Lebanese government was confused due to its composition. It could not make a any decisions, and I do not want to open the files of the past.

But the people of the region and the resistance – when I say the people of the region I mean all the people of the region, even those whose parties adopted a different position – saw the danger before their eyes in the mountains, in the valleys and in the orchards surrounding them.

This was not seen by their leaders who lived in distant places.

The prompt decision-making as well as entering Syria and starting the battle from within Syria made the end result we have today possible. Simply, the second liberation would not have been fulfilled if it weren’t for the victories of the Syrian army and its allies in all the areas surrounding Lebanon including Homs, al-Qusayr, Qalamoun, Zabadani and the Damascus countryside. 

The second point is the magnitude of the response of the Lebanese youth, the youth of the resistance and the youth of the resistance’s environment to this battle. I will underscore this point a little bit because we must know where our strength is so we can preserve it, depend on it and bet on it.

Whether for the battles in the east [Qalamoun], the Arsal battles or later ones as well as the battles inside Syria, in all the battles we have fought, the youth element and its presence were the basis. Their response, their impulse, their motivation and enthusiasm was great. I tell you this frankly that I say this in internal meetings. I do not know if I said this in the last speech or not.

During nearly eight years, you know that my brothers or I did not need to make any public speeches. Even internally, we never needed to gather our brothers to take them to the battlefields for the past seven years because of delays, doubt, and a lack of determination or will. Never, not for one day. This never happened. Even now, I assure you. When it comes to defending Lebanon or if someday we decided to participate in any new major operation in Syria, our youth need only a signal. They are there with just a signal. They do not need any motivational or provocative speeches. They have clarity in vision and insight alongside their loyalty and sincerity, which make them rush to the battlefields as they have done in past years.

If we add the spirit of jihad, vigor, enthusiasm, competence, experience, awareness, understanding and the good use of combat means to this temperament, the results have always been and will be better and better.

On the first anniversary of this liberation, I would like to tell you that during the battles with the Nusra Front and the Daesh [terror] organization in the [Arsal] Outskirts, there were more of our brother fighters than these two fronts needed.

As for the numbers, I use to tell the military officials: "O, brother, why do you bring large numbers?" First, in order to preserve the blood of the brothers. Second, everyone wants to shoot, and ammunition costs money. But the first concern was [spilling] the blood of the brothers. The answers were always: “We cannot prevent the young men from coming, especially in the summer time. There are no schools or universities. That is why most of the fighters in the mobilization were university and high school students. We do not usually permit those under 18 to fight. There were a lot of young martyrs.

Also today, some people might say that the young people from this generation are different from the 1982-generation or the 1985 or the 2000 or the 2006. No, this generation has the impulse, enthusiasm, presence, awareness and insight. It has proved it during the past years.

On the other hand, today we find through studies circulated in the “Israeli” media that the real crisis in the “Israeli” army comes from the human element. The army leadership as well as the “Israeli” army is incapable of recruiting young people to combat or into quality units, brigades and special units.

The “Israeli” youth prefer to go to non-combat units because they lack motivation and their sense of sacrifice is disappearing. There is no longer a cause they believe in and are ready to fight for.

This is a real problem. And there are broad studies on this, but there is no time to delve into them. Another problem also revealed a few days ago is the increase in the number of soldiers suffering from psychological issues who are seeing psychiatrists in the army. “Israeli” media in 2017 reported that approximately 44,000 soldiers have sought the help of psychological health officers. This is a very large number for the “Israeli” army.

39,000 soldiers went to see psychiatrists in 2003 as opposed to 44,000 soldiers last year.

So when they review the reasons they say that these soldiers do not want to be killed, tired, they do not want to stay up or sacrifice, they have little or no motivation, they want something they are comfortable with, they want better pay, and so on.

This is what they are saying. That is why some strategic experts in the enemy entity always say that this army is not ready to go to a new war, knowing that since 2006 until today they got new planes and new missiles. They developed a lot of their capabilities. We know this and we have been following-up on it. But since 2006 until today, they have not been able to change the sense of defeat that has afflicted their soldiers, officers and popular environment. They have not been able to mend the state of doubt and mistrust among soldiers and officers. They have not been able to find a historical leadership that can reawaken them.

Today, our strength is here in these generations of our sincere and loyal youth who are ready to sacrifice. These youth who would sacrifice their blood; who believe in dignity, pride and honor and that the dignity of their people and the pride of their country as well as their honor and the lives of their families deserve all their sacrifice and all that they have to give. This is what stood behind the second liberation, as was the case in the first liberation.

The third point is the great popular support for this option that is the popular embrace. Put aside what the politicians or some politicians used to say. Put aside what some political forces used to say. The US Embassy conducted several surveys it did not publish. Security agencies also conducted surveys that were not published. I tell you that many of those who make up the base, the cadres and elites of the parties that were hostile to us in this battle supported this battle. Not only in the Beqaa. We knew this. When their elites met our elites, they expressed it behind closed doors.

As for this great and strong support in the environment that is embracing the resistance, speak your mind without reservations. We have been fighting for seven years. Not only did our people not object, it did not even complain. There were no complaints, expression of boredom, tiresome or annoyance. Instead, there were more support, embrace, desire and readiness to continue the battle. This is the truth.

Here we are talking about the families of the martyrs who gave their children in the bloom of their youth and who are proud of their martyrs. We are talking about the wounded and their families. We are talking about this environment and the families that embraced and supported [the Resistance].

I used to watch the battles in the Outskirts in August, whether against the Nusra or Daesh, on the Television. The brothers used to tell me that in many villages – you know how the financial capabilities of the people in the village are – the villagers used to prepare food, collecting hoard, etc. and send them to the fighters. I used to ask the brothers: do we need them? These people are in need of the food they are giving us. Thank God, we are not in need. Our situation is good. Of course it was very good. Today, despite all the sanctions and siege, we are still fine and we will stay fine, God willing.

Why did this happen? They used to say that it was the people who insisted on participating. They did not only send their children, mothers and fathers sent some of their money, bread and wheat. In the area there, this meant: Kishek [a mixture of wheat that has been soaked/fermented with yoghurt and minced into fine powder], Makdous [oil-cured eggplants], Awarma [lamb confit] or anything from their home. They sent from their personal hoard to the front even though the fighters at the front did not need it. But this is an expression of human worth. It showed their awareness, knowledge, determination and will as well as their embrace for this option and this front.

This is also one of the things that can be taken as a basis. As it was based upon in the past, it will be based upon in the future.

Some Arab, Gulf and Lebanese media tried to cast doubt. You remember some media outlets that were counting our martyrs. They mentioned some martyrs of the resistance [who were martyred] before 2000 and said they were killed in Syria. Names of some who were alive were mentioned in some Lebanese media as martyrs. They are still alive until today. They mentioned them as martyrs only to intimidate our society. They imagined that if these people were told that the cost and the number of martyrs is high, this could affect their determination and will. This is misconception.

They do not know that we belong to the school of the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him and his family) and the school of Abu Abdullah al-Hussein (Peace Be Upon Him), who headed to Karbala with all his brothers, sons and cousins. They were killed before his eyes and did not retreat for one moment at all because he was sure he was right.

Through out the previous years until today, we are still right. No matter how great the sacrifice is, our position cannot be shaken, our hearts will not tremble, our determination cannot be shaken nor can doubt creep into our minds or convictions. These are our people who made this victory.

Fourth: the new experience of the army, the people and the resistance equation in this second liberation. There are people who said that the matter ended in 2000 or 2006. Well, everyone has his convictions. There is no problem. But we are convinced that this is a new experience. Also in the Beqaa, the people embraced, stood and resisted. Despite the confusion of the government and the official political decision of the Lebanese state at that time, the army at the very least put up a defense. During all the defensive confrontations, the army showed heroism, remained present and made sacrifices. It gave martyrs until the official situation changed when President Michel Aoun was elected, a new government was formed and the Supreme Defense Council decided to launch the Dawn of the Outskirts operation after expelling Nusra Front from Arsal and Daesh was left. The army with its leadership, officers, soldiers and capabilities proved that it was capable of defeating these Takfiri terrorists while the Syrian army and the resistance were fighting the battle on the Syrian side.

Thus, this is a new outcome of this golden equation that we insist on and hold on to. It is part of our strength. It is part of our basic strength.

Therefore, with this equation, with the great response of the resistance fighters, with the great support of this popular environment and with the great presence of the Lebanese National Army starting with an official decision, we achieved full and dear liberation of our border, lands and farms without any favors from anyone. Security for our people in this region and thus in all of Lebanon was achieved.

Based on the second liberation of the Beqaa and the first liberation of the South and based on this equation, there is no place in Lebanon for an occupier and no future for a conqueror, or a covetous or an aggressor so long as our people, the will of our people and the will of our generations hold on to freedom, liberation, sovereignty, glory and dignity, true sovereignty and true freedom without any subordination to anyone in this world. They must also be ready to achieve victory with human potential, blood, sacrifices, and all that God Almighty gave them.

The fifth point is the last point in this section. It involves betting on the Americans during all the years up to the battle of the Outskirts.

A year ago, when the Higher Defense Council decided that the Lebanese army would fight this battle – we have mentioned this earlier; we are just confirming it so I base my argument on it – the Americans intervened and asked the army not to enter this battle or at least to postpone the battle. Who was the battle against? It was against Daesh. Prior to this, there was a lot of pressure on Lebanon, American pressure on Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah from resolving the battle with the Nusra Front. Nothing happened. We resolved the battle with the Nusra Front. We headed to resolve the battle with the Daesh [terror] organization. The Lebanese army wanted to fight the battle, but the Americans intervened and said it was not possible. They asked to at least postpone the battle until next year and threatened to cut off aid.

This is America. I will return to it soon. This is America that does consider our. That is when it took the decision and threatened to cut off aid. Is this the way you are thinking about the interests of the people of the Beqaa, the people of Hermel, the people of Baalbek, the people of al-Qaa, Ras Baalbek, al-Ain, Bazaliye, Nabi Osman, the people of Arsal and all these villages adjacent to the Takfiri and terrorist groups? Never. The Americans are playing their game in the region. Everything that has happened in the region including when the Americans talk about defeating Daesh, they are lying. The ones who defeated Daesh are those who fought them in Syria.  The ones who defeated Daesh in Iraq are the ones who fought in Iraq. On the contrary, the Americans have always been working to prolong Daesh’s life span. This is documented by all the data. Even today, Russia says that in Afghanistan there are planes and helicopters landing in areas held by Daesh. They bring them weapons and ammunition. This is not new. This used to happen in Syria and in Iraq. In every stage when Daesh was defeated and besieged, US helicopters landed in Daesh-held territories in broad daylight and airlifted leaders, individuals or figures. God knows. This is America.

O, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians and the people of the region, apart from Daesh, America does not think of your interests at all. All those who are handing their fate to America must learn from history and from the contemporary experiences. What is strange is that people do not learn from past experiences.

I start from Vietnam and the scene of the American withdrawal and how the poor Vietnamese people who sided with the Americans clung to the helicopters to in an attempt to escape while they [the Americans] threw them on the ground. Another example is the Shah who served America for decades. No one served it in our region the way he did. When his health deteriorated, the Americans abandoned him and refused to give him a visa to enter America for treatment. They did not grant him a visa for treatment. They did not allow him to enter. This is America.

This is the experience of betting on America and “Israel”. During the events in southern Lebanon and when the Zionists withdrew from southern Lebanon, they did not inform Antoine Lahad, his agents and his army to gather their stuff, clothes, gold, and the money they looted and run away. They did not give them a chance.

I said a few days ago that I will talk about southern Syria. You tell me this was in 2000, now we are in 2018. In 2018, who was leading the armed groups and factions in Swaida, in Daraa and in Quneitra? It was headed by the MOC (Military Operations Center)

 in Jordan which included US and Saudi officers in cooperation with “Israel”. The funding, weapons, support, capabilities, plans and orders were American and Saudi. But at one point when the project failed and bets on these armed groups were lost, used up and no longer served Trump's and American interests, they were abandoned. What happened in southern Syria is a new lesson in 2018 for all people. The US abandoned its tools. I am not saying its allies because it has none in the world. The US deals wit everyone as tools who should comply with American orders. 

One of two things took place in the south. They were either abandoned without any compensation or they took something in return. Presumably, so far they have not been compensated. They sold them. They were either abandoned or sold. This is the US. O Lebanese, this is America. O people of the region, this is America. It has no values and morals. Interests, primarily financial and materialistic interests, govern it. Control, hegemony, oil, gas and markets are what govern the Americans. Hasn’t this happened before?

So today in the Second Liberation Day we must restate to all leaders, all governments, all regimes, all people and all political forces, do not bet on America. You are betting on America to protect you! Does America respect you first? Can the morals, values and humanity of a president who tells the Gulf States that without the US’s protection, they will fall in seven days be trusted to protect and defend you? Can a president who asks the Gulf States for money in return for protection or forces them to pay taxes and tribute be trusted to protect and defend you? This applies to Syria. This is for all of us, for those who are betting on the US and waiting for American aid, support and guarantees. We should learn from all these experiences. The people of our region should learn from these experiences.

I will give two examples from Syria before moving to the Lebanese part. The area east of the Euphrates is controlled by the Kurds. Now the Kurds, the Kurdish parties, have taken the right choice in negotiating with the Syrian state. This is a correct decision. They should not back down from this decision. You do not know when the Americans will leave eastern Euphrates. O the Kurdish people in Syria, you don’t know when the US will sell you. God only knows to whom it will sell you. It might sell you to Turkey or Russia. The US ambassador to Damascus said this years ago. He also said that the existing relationship between you and the US administration is an unethical relationship, that is a relationship based on exploitation. The other example is from the north in Idlib province. Look at the US hypocrisy. The Nusra Front now controls Idlib, i.e. al-Qaeda. The UN Security Council included it at the top of the terror list in the world. The Americans are supposed to step aside and allow the Syrian state, its army and its allies clear this region of this terrorist group. But no, there is America today. How will the US prevent the Syrian army from accomplishing the great victory, which is approaching its final stages when it cannot openly defend the al-Qaeda terrorist organization that it claims to the world it is fighting? All the data today say that there is preparation for a new chemical play. It will be taken as a new pretext and excuse for a US military attack on Syria in order to prevent the Syrian government and state from completing the liberation of its land. Who is it fighting? It is confronting the organization that the UN Security Council classified the top terrorist organization in the world. This is America, and this is American hypocrisy. Are you relying on it? Two days ago, Trump was boasting that he has removed al-Quds from the negotiating table. The US administration said it will cancel the right of return and stop funding the UNRWA. Are we supposed to rely on this administration to attain a part of the Palestinian rights? Are we supposed to rely on it to attain the Lebanese rights along the border, the maritime, the oil and the gas? Are we supposed to rely on it with regards to Syria, Iraq and Yemen? People, it (the US) is preparing for a chemical play to attack Syria.  It is the one performing the play. It did not issue a statement or a stance or even a condemnation regarding the massacres. The US-backed Saudi-led coalition committed two horrible massacres against children in Yemen in one week. This is America.

Therefore our lesson from the second liberation is to turn to our people, ourselves, our will, our environment and our own capabilities. We are not weak. As for them, everything goes away and disintegrates because it is based on falsehood. In the past I used to talk about the deal of the century and the likes of it. Everything that is happening in the region depends on a triangle with three angles: Trump, Netanyahu and Mohammad Bin Salman. I am not saying that Trump will fall. But in the past couple of days, how was his situation? He said that if he was impeached, the market would crash and everybody would be very poor. This means that he feels he is in danger. He is talking about it. This is an angle. Moving to another disaster and problem. The other angle is Netanyahu. They are waiting for a certain political accomplishment before opening the corruption files. But if Trump was impeached, we should expect that Netanyahu’s files would be wide opened. As for the third angle, we will leave it for another time. Nobody knows into what abyss [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman is plunging himself and Saudi Arabia. Everyone is talking about this. The only ones who will remain here is us, our people, our will, our faith, our determination and our readiness to take responsibility. This is what we can do and we should rely on.

Well, a word regarding the Lebanese situation.

The first point will be a quick clarification. Following the elections, some political parties, some media outlets in Lebanon and the Gulf media as well as some Arab and foreign media created a certain atmosphere. This atmosphere still exists. I want to comment on this with a few words before moving to the point after it because they are related. Prior to the elections, they were saying this. But it increased after the parliamentary elections. They said that Hezbollah is governing Lebanon; that Hezbollah is controlling the state. No decision in Lebanon regarding money, appointments, administration and the composition of the state is taken without Hezbollah’s approval. Of course all these were said before the elections. But after the elections it became stronger. Now on behalf of our brothers, our people and our bases, I say that we do not like this talk. Some people may rejoice and say ‘look what they are saying about us’.

First of all, they are lying. They know that they are lying. This talk has a purpose. Its goal is to hold Hezbollah responsible for all developments in Lebanon which are not its responsibility. Or if it bears part of the responsibility, it shall bear this part of the responsibility. So as to be modest, we will say that this is debatable. But they want to hold Hezbollah responsible for the entire situation in the country, including the economic situation, the financial situation, the developmental situation, the corruption present in the state and state administrations, the flabbiness and slowness and the political differences. They are trying to hold us responsible for all these. First, to distort our image in front of the world and to cause despair in our people and supporters. ‘Hezbollah is ruling the country and all these are happening. This means that there is a big problem and a disaster.’ This should be paid attention to.

I tell you honestly and frankly, we are a political force that has the least influence in the state or that exerts influence in the state. We are modestly the largest party in Lebanon. But when it comes to exercising power, we are the political party that exercises it the least in Lebanon. This poses a problem to some of our people. Our interference in the domestic and political issues and matters related to the state is much less than it should be. Thus, no one should hold us accountable for all this.

Second, since the election of General Aoun as President, I have noticed in the past weeks that this subject is getting bigger.  It is being said and written both internally and abroad that the President is carrying out the policy of Hezbollah dictated to him. And that the Free Patriotic Movement is carrying out Hezbollah policies. They know that this too is a lie and is baseless. Everyone is aware that the relationship between Hezbollah and His Excellency President Michel Aoun is a relationship of mutual trust and respect. It was, continues to be and is strengthened. None of us dictate their policy to the other. No one imposes its orientation on the other. On the contrary, we respect each other and we can agree on many things.

But what is the purpose of this talk? This is meant to target the President and the Free Patriotic Movement. It is meant to say that the Free Patriotic Movement works for Hezbollah. Some officials of the Free Patriotic Movement were even accused of providing ample financial aid to Hezbollah, even though there is a doubt that we are wealthier than the Free Patriotic Movement. The Free Patriotic Movement is more in need of this aid. But it is not a question of aid. It is to tell some Gulf States or some western countries which are overly sensitive to Hezbollah that this president, this movement and this group are being used by Hezbollah. This is an insult to them and an insult to us. It is not like this.

I would like to stress on this point because the issue of forming a government is based on it. This is the third point. We are still betting on intra-Lebanese dialogue for the formation of the new government as the time is passing. There is talk in the country that the government of Prime Minister Tammam Salam stayed a year or more than a year before the new government was formed. The formation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was also delayed. Does this mean that the formation of this government must also be delayed?

The following are different circumstances: the financial situation in the country, the economic situation in the country, developments in the region, existing challenges. We cannot compare the formation of this government with the previous ones. We should not say ‘it is fine, let us be patient for another year.’ This is incorrect. We have to hasten to address this matter. New obstacles such as the relations with Syria should not be raised. No one should put this as a complication. No one has imposed conditions on you with regards to forming the government. So form it. We will discuss the subject of relations with Syria after the government is formed. We will discuss the ministerial statement after the formation of the government. It is a mistake to form a ministerial council that issues a ministerial statement and regard it as a complication which will disrupt things. In the end, there are many views in Lebanon. Today everyone is talking about national interests. It is true. Here we sit and speak calmly. I am against speaking in a high tone and inflammatory rhetoric as well as resorting to insults and the likes. This will not lead anywhere. We have to sit quietly and discuss. Is it in Lebanon’s national interest that the Syrian refugees return with dignity and security to Syria or not? You say there are options. Well then, we sit down and discuss them. Let's take a serious decision because, until recently, there has been no serious decision. Let us take a serious decision and discuss mechanisms, formulas, regulations, etc. This is a real national interest.

 

Tomorrow, if the Nassib border crossing was opened between Syria and Jordan, isn’t it in the Lebanese national interest to open the crossings in order to transfer Lebanese agricultural and industrial products to the countries of the world?

What alternative have you adopted over the past years? Let's sit down and discuss.

Regarding the security coordination issue. I have spoken about this earlier but I will clarify more. Today, the European security apparatuses or the intelligence agencies as well as the Lebanese state know that these European countries are using the Lebanese as mediators to reestablish relations with the Syrian security apparatus. They are far from Syria. Yet due to their security fears and their need for information regarding individuals, persons, structures, capabilities, etc. they are reestablishing relations. We, on the other hand, are a neighboring country. Tomorrow when the war in Syria ends – God willing it will end – the security challenges and not the military challenge will grow. The security challenges will grow and not the wars and the wide-range operations. In the end, the same networks and the same cells move in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Don’t we need to have a security coordinate between Lebanon and Syria for the security of Lebanon? Isn’t this a national interest? Then, let us sit and discuss and try to get results.

But in spite of all of this, to facilitate and promote positivity and cooperation, allow me to comment on something that has been said in the media over the past few weeks. We did not comment it. But during the past couple of days, signs were issued by some sides. Allow me to comment on it. It is annoying and may be out of context and outside the spirit of my whole address. Allow me to comment on it. Some circles in March 14, whether in articles or interviews or internal meetings, have been saying the following: The real reason for postponing the formation of the government is not due to size. They do want four ministers and a sovereign ministry. What is the real reason? They say that the real reason is that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will issue its decision in September. Therefore there will be a new situation in the country, which will be built on and will have a dramatic impact on the formation of the government. We did not say anything. However, in the past two days, same sign were issued in the same direction. Allow me to comment here. You know our position. Since the beginning of the court proceeding until today and forever, this international tribunal does not mean anything to us at all. It has no legal or legitimate value. What it issues is of no value at all, whether it is a conviction or an acquittal. Even if the international court said that these accusations are false, that there is no evidence and that these accused young men are innocent, we will not issue a statement showing our joy at the decision. No, because we do not recognize this court in the first place. We do not consider it a relevant party. This is the first thing. Let everyone know.

I will be short and I will not talk a lot about the second point. I tell those who are betting on it [the STL], do not play with fire, full stop. Regarding the Beqaa, first it is my duty to renew my thanks to the people of Baalbek-Hermel, the people of the Zahle constituency and the people of the Western Beqaa and Rashaya, that is to all our people in the Beqaa, for their noble stance and renewing their confidence to our brothers, allies and friends in the latest parliamentary elections.

The second point is that I would like to emphasize today, too, on the Second Liberation Day that we are working on following-up and accomplishing what we promised during the parliamentary elections. Of course delaying the formation of the government has a great deal of influence and not resorting to the legislation of necessity so far is critical. All that can be done in this situation or prepare for what is coming, we are doing it and accomplishing it, God willing.

Third: during the first meeting between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and myself after the parliamentary elections, we spoke about a series of topics, including the Beqaa issue. We did not announce this point before because we wanted to start working on it. However, due to what is being said, we have to announce it. During our meeting, we agreed that the priority for the Amal movement and for Hezbollah in the next stage is the Beqaa, the entire Beqaa including Baalbek-Hermel, Zahle, western Beqaa and Rashaya. The focus will be on the projects, the suggestions, the interests and even in the issue of employment. We agreed to give priority to the areas of the Beqaa and its residents. When the opportunity presents itself, you will see it. Among the things we agreed upon in the meeting and I’m not announcing it now is the formation of the Baalbek-Hermel Development Council. This was announced by the our brothers, the deputies in the Baalbek-Hermel bloc, in Ain el-Tine following their visit to leader Nabih Berri a while ago. They agreed to put forward a draft law. This was announced in the presence of Amal and Hezbollah deputies and the rest of our friends in the bloc. Along this council, there is the Akkar development council. I would like to open a window of hope and say that no matter how much the budget is – we should fight for a credible and logical budget for this council after its formation – the value of having a development council for Baalbek-Hermel has become part of the formal and legal framework.  It may later accept loans, grants donations aid from countries abroad. When it is part of the official state framework, it means that even if the budget is limited it still opens a lot of doors for grants, donations and loans presented by the world to this area through this council. This council will be established and will be the utmost priority as soon as the government is formed and the Cabinet starts legislating. You will find that deputies from the Baalbek-Hermel bloc will present a joint proposal to Amal and Hezbollah MPs where they are calling for the formation of this council and begin its procedural steps, God willing. 

The next point is we are determined on this cooperate. As I said in the last address a few days ago, I tell our people in the Beqaa, development in the Beqaa needs cooperation. During one period in time, there was a siege on the Beqaa as a result of its political choices. We were being prevented. I do not want to open old files. Today, with this cooperation between everyone and especially between the resistance duo – Hezbollah and the Amal Movement – we can open a new stage of follow-up and seriousness that can lead to the desired results, God willing.

For our part, within Hezbollah’s administrative and organizational framework, we have units that are following-up on this, both at the level of the Beqaa district, leadership and municipality and at the level of the Baalbek-Hermel parliamentary bloc (the previous and the current blocs). Of course, in light of the new steps, we will also develop our administration, structure and ability to follow up as a party through our officials and cadres to a more productive follow-up more and more productive in the next stage, God willing.

It remains for me to tell you that we need to work hard, be patient, endure and pay attention to anything. Today, especially after the developments in the region, after 2000, after 2006, after 2005 and after all the events until the past lean years and until today, the “Israelis”, the Americans, and others reached a conviction that there is no military solution with Hezbollah. When I speak of Hezbollah, I know what it means to the people in the Beqaa and what it means to the people in Lebanon and to the people of the region. But since my speech is addressed to the people of the Beqaa, I know what Hezbollah means to them. The proof is the wars that have been waged. Who will launch a war against us? Internally, I don’t believe any one would want to wage a war against us. Even here, we are positive. There was  foolish attempt by al-Sabhan to embroil the Lebanese internal front in this sort of problem. But it was cut off. Does “Israel” want to wage a war? “Israel” is scared of a war.  I am not confirming that “Israel” is not going to wage a war. This is a risk from my side or from others if we spoke in such a conclusive language. But I highly assert and the “Israelis” talk about that they fear launching a war and they fear the results of a war.

Would the Americans wage a war? Do they want to fight as proxies?  The Americans make others fight on their behalf.

They reached a point that a military war is difficult. They tried assassinations. They killed our best and great leaders and scholars. Instead, we grew stronger. The blood of these leaders was giving a very big push. It is true that we lost Sayyed Abbas, but the blood of martyr Sayyed Abbas gave a tremendous power to Hezbollah. The same applies when we talk about the rest of the martyred leaders.

So, what is the solution? They reached a conclusion that states the following: the solution is to sideline Hezbollah in its environment. Even if we distorted its image in the world – some suggested distorting its image. However, they have been doing this since the 1982. In the world we are classified as a terrorist organization, a criminal organization, murderers, drug traffickers, a mafia, car thieves and money launderers. All these are lies. All these accusations did not weaken Hezbollah in its environment because its environment trusts its cleanliness, originality and purity. During the past few years, Hezbollah has been growing stronger among its environment, society and its people.

So, the solution is to sideline Hezbollah in its environment and among its people and this popular embrace. If it weren’t for the support of these people, Hezbollah would not have been able to resist in 2006, to resist in the war in Syria alongside the Syrian army and the allies for more than seven years, to accomplish the second liberation, etc. So we have to keep people away from it. How do we keep people away from it?

First, we start to pressure it financially. They think that the relationship between Hezbollah and the people – it is an illusion – is financial. They think that we give pensions to all people and distribute aid to all people. This is not true. We help people, true. But we help families that do not have a breadwinner at all. For many poor families, we do not give them any direct help because we did not have the capabilities and we do not have the capabilities.

They think that if they pressure Hezbollah financially, the environment will start to move away from it. They imagine that the Hezbollah youth who fought in all battlefields and gave their blood are mercenaries like their soldiers, their agents and their slaves in this world. They do not know that these young people have long been until today as Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr said and as the first martyrs wrote in Ain al- Bnaiyyeh: "Be Husseini believers." These young believers are Husseini believers and mujahideens. They did not go to these battlefields for a salary or money or assistance. When duty calls, the volunteers’ impulses were greater than the impulse of the brothers who work full time for a modest salary. But they think that if we pressure it [Hezbollah] financially, its environment will move away from it.

What is more dangerous is we hold it responsible for a situation he did not have anything to do with and convince its environment that it is the one responsible. For example, instead of blaming the person or side really responsible for the deprivation and management in the Beqaa and the Lebanese areas, we hold Hezbollah responsible.

The third way is to make people doubt Hezbollah. If you read the comments on social networking sites from the day I spoke about fighting corruption, you’ll find that someone somewhere wrote that Hezbollah officials are corrupt. No, Hezbollah officials are not corrupt. I said and I repeat those who have something to say, those who write comments using their real name or fake names, we know who they are. No one told them anything. No one came near them. Do we deal with people who insulted us or did us any wrong in a negative way? Search from 1982. A person curses for an hour or an hour and a half on television, on daily newspaper not on the social networking sites. Did we look at him? No one looked at him. Not in a good way or in a bad way. You write your name. That is good. Those who have evidence, come to me. I have known offices in Dahyeh, the office of the secretary general. There are offices everywhere. It is true I am not present in them, but there are brothers there. Present them your evidence. I told you from the beginning. It is our priority to fight corruption within us if there was corruption. But what is the reason today for distorting the image of Hezbollah, its leadership and its officials in the eyes of its followers? It is to keep away people from it. Whose hands did we leave our children with? If this person is a thief or corrupt or ill-mannered, then let us look for other options. This is part of the targeting. You also heard the language used during the parliamentary elections. This language is being repeated. It is trying to tear our national Lebanese arena. It is dividing it into areas, the south and the Beqaa. Then it will tear us inside the south, inside the Beqaa and inside the north. It will divide our arena according to areas, tribes and families. These are all not a coincidence. There are some people who are driven by personal vendettas.  We do not deny that there are people who have a problem with us. It is normal. We are a 36-year-old party. In these 36 years, there are people who have had problems with us. Whether it is our fault or their fault is another discussion. This is a fact. But people should not be driven by this campaign that the “Israelis” and the Americans declared clearly. This is not my analysis. Listen to what the “Israelis” and the Americans are saying in conferences that are being held in the emirates and elsewhere. Study and research centers all reach one conclusion that is the battle with Hezbollah cannot be resolved militarily or through security. The solution is in the sanctions, to besiege it financially, to take it away from its environment.

That is why today I want to conclude the occasion and the speech by holding you responsible. We usually ask Hezbollah what will you do? Hezbollah has a responsibility towards you when the villages of Baalbek-Hermel or the Beqaa are in danger or when the south is in danger or any area in Lebanon. All of Hezbollah is with you the way it used to be in the past. The same way we have a responsibility to be with you when facing deprivation as was the cause of Imam Musa Sadr and as was the will of martyred leader Sayyed Abbass al-Musawi, you too have a responsibility to preserve Hezbollah.

Hezbollah was founded in Baalbek. The people of Beqaa opened their homes in the first days and welcomed the young men of the south and Beirut. During the occupation, they used to go there, meet and organize. They opened their areas, fields and farms for training camps. From the very beginning, the people of the Beqaa presented the best of their men to the resistance in the time of Imam Sadr and the Amal movement - the time of the Amal movement is still continuing – and the beginning of the time of Hezbollah. The people of the Beqaa have a special responsibility towards Hezbollah more than the rest of the areas. Their sense of responsibility to preserve Hezbollah should be higher. Therefore, do not allow anyone to drag to ignorance that has nothing to do with Islam or the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) or Amir al-Muminin Ali Bin Abi Thalib (PBUH). Do not let anyone drag you into doubt, weakness and illusion toward this arena that created miracles during 30 years because of its unity and cohesion. This arena created miracles. Your responsibility is to preserve by not doubting it. You preserve it by advising it, supporting it and embracing it. You have presented your children as martyrs on this path. The number of the martyrs who hail from the city of Hermel stands witness to that. You cannot allow anyone to take what you built with your blood, the blood of your children, with your sacrifices, with your patience, your bearing o decades of political punishment. The Beqaa and Baalbek-Hermel was punished politically for this choice. After all this patience, you cannot allow anyone. Of course, there is no threat. But we have to be clear from the beginning. We all have responsibilities in this new confrontation.

Today, maintaining the cohesion of this environment, maintaining the deep existential alliance between Hezbollah and the Amal movement and maintaining the deep alliance between Hezbollah, the Amal movement and all the political forces that believe in the path of resistance, the axis of resistance and the rightful causes in Lebanon, Palestine and the region are the best response to the US sanctions, the doubts and the attenuation.  How many times was it said that Feltman said ‘we paid in a year, in two years’? What did they pay $ 500 million for? They paid it to keep the young people away from Hezbollah. Were they able to that? Never. Today, young people coming forth are greater than any time. But now they do not want to pay $ 500 million to keep the youth away from Hezbollah. They want to accuse us and impose sanctions on. They want to make our environment doubt us and doubt our credibility. They want to keep people away from us and hold us responsible for things we did not do.

I’ve already spoken for a long time, but two more minutes. One of the reasons for the security situation following the elections is this. It was a suspicious situation. It was not a coincidence. Due to the pressure from the streets and the media, some people wanted us to take responsibility of security in the Beqaa instead of the state, the army and the security apparatus? When the popular base starts pressuring it, Hezbollah will come. It will form groups and security formations and will commence with the security situation. I told you during the celebration following the parliamentary elections that this was a trap. The security situation that took place in the Baalbek-Hermel following the elections was a trap. It was meant to trap us. We should not fall. We should be aware. We should know these traps and ambushes.

Today, O honorable people who created victory, your responsibility in this regard is also great so that we can always confront every occupier, face every conqueror, cut the hand of every covetous person and make victory after victory in the future.

Many happy returns. Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relation, Translated by website team

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