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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Nov 27th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Profiles-Interviews-Speeches arrow Nasrallah address Lebanon - 08 May 08
Nasrallah address Lebanon - 08 May 08 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Al Jazeera, Mideastwire, Yalibnan   
Friday, 09 May 2008

Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah's leader has warned the government's moves to close the Shia group's private telephone network are tantamount to "a declaration of war".

Al Jazeera broadcast extracts of his speech.

 On May 8, the leader of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke at a press conference and said, in part: "...Certainly, the topic of this news conference, the first since the end of July war, is the important and serious developments which have taken place on the Lebanese arena in the past days. First of all, after the authority team's decision in that dark night, a completely new stage started in Lebanon. To us, that session is like 14 February 2005; that is, the earthquake which made Lebanon enter a completely new stage with the martyrdom of Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. We are entering a completely new stage. Lebanon after that gloomy session is different from Lebanon that used to exist before that session. The authority team should know that it has made Lebanon face a totally new situation, given the seriousness, backgrounds, and dimensions of these decisions."

"...In the July war, our most important point of strength was the command and control, thanks to the fact that communication between the leadership and the various commanders and field fighters was secured. The enemy has admitted to this....When we have a look at the Winograd report today, we find that the most important recommendation in the report was the need to eliminate Hezbollah's command and control system in which telecommunications play a decisive role."

"...I would like to remind that when the ominous four-way alliance was forged, this network was in place. They did not consider it then an infringement on sovereignty, law, and public funds. When we entered the government together and a policy statement was issued about the resistance and its weapons - and this is part of its weapons - this wire telecommunications network was not considered an infringement on sovereignty, law, and public funds. Now and since the four-way alliance has become a mere dream, this angered some members of the authority team. I say to them that this alliance a mere dream and that they will not see it neither in this life nor in the hereafter.

"...The officers said that the atmosphere was good and that things were fine. They, however, said that they had a request - the Lebanese will be amazed when they hear this. They said: If you want us to agree with you and forget about the issue of the wire telecommunications network, then can you remove the sit-in in central Beirut? They sought a bargain. Remove the sit-in in central Beirut and we will forget about the wire network of the resistance.

"Mr Walid Junblatt, head of the government. After all this experience, I realized that we should not say that this is Fu'ad Sanyurah's government. Fu'ad Sanyurah is a poor man, who is an employee of Walid Junblatt. When Walid Junblatt wants to sack an officer, the employees sack the officer. Naturally, he is an employee of Condoleezza Rice."

"... The purpose of this decision is to get rid of the most important element that protects the resistance's leadership, cadres, and infrastructure. It also seeks to expose the resistance as a prelude to assassinations and killing, and the destruction of its infrastructure.

"...we believe that a war has started and it is our duty to defend our arms, resistance, and the legitimacy of this resistance... The issue is that The Beirut Airport is meant to be turned into a base for the FBI, CIA, and the Israeli Mossad... [what is intended is to replace Shuqayr, the airport security director] with a CIA and FBI employee. This is the whole airport story.

"...[The solution is] annulling the illegitimate decisions of the illegitimate government of Walid Junblatt, and accepting the invitation by Nabih Birri, speaker of the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies, to the national dialogue table."

"....[Answer press questions Nasrallah says, in part:] In the areas where hand grenades were hurled on us or we were fired at, we fired back. This should be very clear. We have not gone to occupy, as some people call for, or to control. If we want to occupy, the story would have been over long time ago. We do not want to attack or launch an aggression on anyone, but we do not allow anyone to launch an aggression on us.

"...[As for UNIFIL] These forces are present in the south, and we deal with them positively. We cooperate with them and they cooperate with us, even in face of any dangers these forces may encounter.

"...[We hope] the brothers in the Saudi Kingdom would not repeat the mistake they made at the beginning of the July war, which they were then forced to correct. They should not be a party in an internal issue and should act in a way that shows that they are concerned about the country and its security and stability.

"...We do not want to carry out a coup, and we do not target groups, sects, or political forces."

"... I said that there are guarantees. We constitute a guarantee. Our allies constitute a guarantee - Hezbollah and Amal Movement, which are directly targeted these days... The dream of Walid Junblatt is to have a Shi'i-Sunni sedition. I hope that they will not help him to realize this dream. We will not help realize this dream.

"...First of all, I learned that the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon called up the Iranian ambassador... [the former said] that Saudi Arabia and Iran want to cooperate so that the situation in Lebanon would not exacerbate. I told him that this is no problem. The solution to the issue is very easy, which is what I have just said. They made a decision. Let them freeze the decision and things will go back the way they were. No need for anyone to fear from anything. We have no ill intention, and we did not harbour an ill will. The Saudi ambassador answered back quickly saying this is unlikely and it is very difficult for them to backtrack on this decision. However, we will see what we will do. As far as I am concerned, this is what happened and this is the scope of the matter

"....First of all, there is no civil war. There should be no exaggeration in depicting the current situation... media outlets yesterday exaggerated when reporting about some problems that took place here and there. The war that I talked about is the one that the others wanted and imposed. We do not want a war with anyone.

"... I express thanks and appreciation to every one who respects me in the Arab and Islamic world... I am not asking anyone to champion me. I have not made a call for help, I am not asking anyone to champion me, and I have not asked for intervention to defend us.

"...If you insist on war, then our reactions will be unpredictable... Are we going to take responsibility for the consequences? Yes, we are ready to take the responsibility for the consequences. We are responsible people. We know what we are doing, and we know where we are standing. We are aware of the size of the conspiracy, scheme, and challenge. We know what we have, and we are ready to take responsibility for all consequences..."




Transcript of Nasrallah's Speech

nsrla 21.jpgThe government must know that it has led Lebanon into a dangerous situation. I will speak of many issues as they are.

The first topic is the communication network, then the issue of airport security Chief Shoukair and the hanging crisis.

Throughout history, all combat has used signs. The communications network is a logistic means for us to use inside signs.

The problem with a regular communications network is that it can be tapped.
Another problem is that a regular communication can be bombed.

The resistance cannot own hi-tech arms... The best means to face high technology is simplification

Our communication network is a regular telephone network, and is... the most important weapon in any resistance.

In the July War, our strongest point was control because communication between leadership and field battles was secure, and this was confessed by the enemy.

We are not a disciplined army; this is how we ensured success.

Many of our members died as martyrs because of landline and mobile phone communications.

The most important request of Winograd was to [hit] the communication of Hezbollah.
This network is neither new nor modern. It was updated, it's true.

I want to remind them that when we entered the government, we (the government) released a statement saying the network was part of the resistance.

After Winograd, Welch's promise of a "hot summer"... they opened this as a new dossier, despite the fact that when we were in dialogue we had begun to agree on the matter.

This is an important detail: there was a cable connecting Dahiya to West Beirut, which we were told was making certain people uncomfortable, and we agreed.

This is a new phase... there are bets on new wars which were lost... hence, they re-opened the network issue.

We do not want to fight with our arms; that is not the aim.

They accused us of extended the network through Kesrouan and Jbeil; this is untrue.

We do not need a land-network in Jbeil and Kesrouan. They then accused us of the North, and we said we do not need it. They then targeted the line between Dahiyeh and the South.

We met all their demands and reassured all their fears, and so they said the network was causing the government to lose money.

They then said the network could be used for international intelligence; we said that this was a sin and a waste of public money. They looked into the matter, and it was resolved.
They then asked for a compromise: end the sit-in downtown, and we will overlook the network.

We ask, if we fulfill this, suddenly the network is not illegal and not a waste of public money? This is not a government; this is a gang. We told them that was blackmail.
We told them the network was part of the resistance, but the sit-in was an opposition movement and hence not under our control anyway.

(Our network) is related to defending the country against Israel.

I have learned, through experiences, that we should not say the Siniora government. Siniora is a poor man, an employee. We should say the government of Walid Jumblatt. When Jumblatt wants to remove the airport security chief, he does.

This decision is a declaration of war by Jumblatt on the resistance and its arms for the benefit of the US.

This decision has uncovered the truth behind this team and their loyalties and behavior during the July War. This decision aims to destroy the infrastructure of the resistance and the ruling team is therefore implicated in the assassinations.

Today this team is pushing the army and security forces into direct confrontation with the resistance.

The government is a cover for Terje Roed-Larsen and UNSCR 1559. That is its basic description.

We have the right to defend our existence from whoever declares and begin a war on us, even if they are our brothers.

The network is part of the resistance.

I said, before Jumblatt, that any hand that reaches for the resistance and its arms will be cut off. Israel tried that in the July War, and we cut its hand off.

We do not advise you to try us.

Whoever is going to target us will be targeted by us. Whoever is going to shoot at us will be shot by us.

Let's look into who is really harming the people and stealing their money. Unfortunately, this is the government. Jumblatt acknowledges this openly on TV.

Jumblatt is a liar and a killer. He sits up there and draws red lines, and the martyrs and people who defended Lebanon will be handed over to the courts. This is not a government, this is a gang.

The second issue is the airport. It is not about Brigadier General Wafik Shoukeir. It is entitled Wafik Shoukeir. We were asked to replace him.

Shoukair is not an Amal or Hezbollah member. He is the son of a national institution, who was raised to follow the law and not a 'zaim.'

Former President Emile Lahoud refused to sign this request, and so they turned to alternate means. We will not allow the airport to serve the CIA and Mossad, point blank.
Sheikh Qabalan is not defending a Shia, but a national officer. If the military institution falls apart, there is nothing left of this country.

The issue is much greater than the surveillance camera and Wafik Shoukair... The decision was made in Moukhtara and the employees had to carry it out.

Shoukair was not given the chance to defend himself. This is how a gang works.

The third and final issue is the current crisis. Who pushed the country into this crisis? They did. We are patient. We were fought, and we were patient.

When they made their decisions, they created the current crisis. We are in a new phase. Am I declaring war? Not at all. I am declaring oppression and self-defense.

We will not be killed in the streets. We will not be shot at. We will not accept for our resistance and military to be targeted.

I want to tell the Lebanese people... and the Arab and Islamic people... that we did not see this emotion and enthusiasm when Israel destroyed 100,000 homes and the country's infrastructure.

If the fight were over the government, we would have had a regular protest. We are not fighting for that. All this talk of power and coups has no value. The point is that there is a team serving the US to do what the US and Israel failed to do, and that is strip us of the resistance's arms.

We do not need anyone's help. I am not asking for anything but understanding. I am asking for the sympathy of the Arab people. I tell you, we are not afraid of Sunni-Shia sedition. We are not going to use arms. End of story.

The issue is that there is an American plan that we are fighting against. This is the nature of the crisis. There is no need for fear.

Sectarian sedition is out of the question, and we will not use our arms to take power by force. It will only be used to defend our arms.

After the July War, we were exposed to a billion-dollar smearing campaign. "Hezbollah is Iranian, Hezbollah is Syrian..."

Our image was not smeared, however, for our image is as bright as the sun and cannot be damaged.

Even if we disagree politically, we are brothers... There will be no Sunni-Shia strife in Lebanon.

This is our description of the current phase, which was created by Jumblatt's government and the government of Condoleezza Rice.

There are two options. In the one hand, we have the chance to go to Speaker Berri's dialogue table. On the other hand - and I've said this inside Hezbollah - we would never take over the government, even if we were invited to so, for we cannot build the country alone.

We do not want to attack anyone or start a revolution.

If we wanted to stage a coup, you would have woken up this morning in prison, or in the middle of the sea. We do not want that. It is a political issue, with a political solution through early elections.

To exit this crisis, the illegitimate government's decisions must be revoked and we must head for dialogue.

Obstinacy will have another solution.

[Question from a NEW TV correspondent] You usually keep your promises, and today you promise to cut off hands... If you are going to defend your arms by cutting off hands, will the nation die and the resistance live? Secondly, you say the government made the decision for war. But when the opposition responds, it only uses the street... There are those who expect the airport to be renamed the Hassan Nasrallah International airport

Nasrallah: Our response was not a military revolution. Yes, we hit the streets, protested, cut off roads and blocked the airport. This is civil disobedience as it occurs in any country. We did not occupy Beirut, as some people are chanting, nor do we want to attack anyone. But we were shot at in the street, and we shot back. We did not shoot at the government's decision.... Secondly, who will the government send to destroy our communication network? The army and ISF. I will not fight the army and ISF... so we went to the street to fight this decision... The issue of the roads and the airport will be dealt with day by day. I do not want to unveil any scenarios. The government was afraid of our arms.

Unlike what Berlusconi is saying, that he will have to change the rules of engagement, we and the UNIFIL are cooperating totally and we have not changed our policy in that sense.

I hope that our brothers in Saudi Arabia will not make the same mistake they made in the July War... in our internal issues, they should not be partisan. The route to a solution is quite obvious. We do not want to take over power, nor do we want to start a coup.

This struggle is between an honorable resistance, which is endorsed by Arabs and Muslims, and the United States and its allies.

The Security Council has been given a new article by the Jumblatt government, so I am not really concerned with its hearing today... It protects the unparalleled monstrous state of Israel. No, it is not certain that we are headed for a July 2008. We were not calling for civilian disobedience. Then a war was declared against us. When the declaration ends, the disobedience ends.

If they make the decision to stop the war, what's the problem? We can head back to dialogue when they revoke their decisions. They made a mistake by making so many decision all at once... but this uncovered the truth behind them. We cherish the security and peace of our country, and we say that dialogue is the way to a solution.

We are a guarantee against civil war; Amal is a guarantee against civil war; the Sunni spiritual leaders are a guarantee against civil war. I want to tell the Future Movement that no one is here to cancel you out. Walid Jumblatt's dream is Sunni-Shia strife. We will not fulfill his dream.

We will stand by our allies who stood by us in the elections... We refuse to escalate the situation into civil war, but this requires cooperation.

We are being attacked... Today, I have the honor to say that I am on Bush's blacklist, and Olmert has condemned me to be executed. The third decision is the Jumblatt government's decision.

We do not want to change the structure of Lebanon, and we are committed to the Taif Accord.

The Army Command's recent statement reveals its awareness of the situation.

All I ask from the Arab and Islamic world is understanding... and that they not be swept into the smearing. There is a bet that the face of the region will change if Israel attacks Lebanon. I know what we have, who we have, and our capacities... After Mugniyah's death, I warned Israel against invading Lebanon. I have stationed five militant groups on the border, and they are still there for protection... I promised the Arab and Islamic world that I would not launch war with or on anyone.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 May 2008 )
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