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US blacklists companies accused of Hezbollah ties

Al-Akhbar | July 10, 2014

The United States moved Thursday to blacklist a group of companies it claimed covertly helped Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement acquire components for surveillance drones.

The US Treasury placed sanctions on Beirut-based Stars Group Holding, which it said purchased electronics and other technology via offices in China and Dubai to support Hezbollah’s military operations.

That included the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that the Treasury claimed were used against rebels in Syria and for surveillance of Israeli sites.

The material bought by Stars Group included engines, communications, electronics, and navigation equipment acquired from suppliers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

It named for sanctions the company, its subsidiaries, its owner, executives Kamel Amhaz and Issam Amhaz, and two Stars Group managers, Ayman Ibrahim and Ali Zeaiter.

The sanctions place a freeze on any of their assets under US jurisdiction and ban Americans from any business with them.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ottawa hypes phony Iran ‘terror threat’

By Brandon Martinez | Press TV | June 19, 2014

The Canadian media is awash with hysteria about what it calls a potential Iranian-sponsored terror attack in Ottawa.

Unsurprisingly, the hype is rooted in baseless innuendo typical of neocon warmongers who act as loudspeakers for the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.

The neoconservative National Post, which is for all intents and purposes an Israeli propaganda organ, published a scurrilous piece on June 16 quoting from alarmist Canadian intelligence reports which state that Iran and Hezbollah (Lebanon’s national resistance movement) may be planning to strike Ottawa.

What evidence do these intelligence analysts proffer to support their slanderous assertions about Iran and Hezbollah? Absolutely none.

The National Post admitted the documents “do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region.”

So they claim there is a “threat” but cannot even specify what that threat is or in what form it may manifest?

“[I]n the past,” the dubious intelligence report continued, “Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally.”

This Zionist rhetoric looks as if it could have been written by Stephen Harper’s “good friend” Benjamin Netanyahu himself.

Despite feeble Zionist disinformation, Iran has not sponsored any international terror attacks. The bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994, which took the lives of 85 people, is still unsolved. The Zionists immediately pinned the blame for the atrocity on their Iranian and Lebanese foes, offering not one particle of proof. Argentinian researcher Adrian Salbuchi contends that the attack was a false flag operation engineered by the Israeli secret services to swing public opinion against its enemies.

When in late 2013 Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez announced that she would launch a new joint Iranian-Argentinian probe into the 1994 attack, the Zionists went berserk and their mouthpieces in Ottawa and Washington condemned the move to have a real investigation into what happened, for obvious reasons.

Canada’s intelligence services function as a political tool of the neoconservative, pro-Zionist regime in Ottawa led by the rabid Likudnik Harper. As such, their reports about Iran, Hezbollah and anything else related to the Middle East, Arabs and “terrorism” cannot be considered to be anything but propaganda and misdirection designed to serve Israel’s geopolitical agenda.

In his book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid,” Canadian foreign policy expert Yves Engler documented the close ties between Canada’s spy agency CSIS and Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The two spook organizations work together closely, sharing intelligence and conducting joint espionage operations targeting Arabs in Canada and abroad. Mossad has often used forged Canadian passports on covert missions (even attempted assassinations), and CSIS has looked the other way.

What may lie behind this latest dose of Iranophobic poison emanating from Ottawa? The National Post says that the Canadian intelligence documents it based its story around are from late 2013, so why promote it now?

Well, a number of events that have unfolded over the past few weeks may explain it.

On June 13 three Israeli teens were allegedly kidnapped from an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnapping are murky. Strangely, nobody has taken credit for the kidnapping nor has anyone demanded a ransom. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the militant Palestinian resistance group Hamas is to blame for the abduction and vowed swift action against it Monday,” reported a June 16 Globe and Mail article.

If Hamas was behind the capture of the three Israelis, surely they would have demanded a prisoner exchange as thousands of Palestinians are unjustly held as political prisoners in Israeli jails. But they have not done this, and as the Globe noted, Hamas has nothing to gain from such a reckless move at this critical juncture when they have just recently formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu called the new Hamas-PA unity government “bad for Israel.”

The only beneficiary of the kidnapping, it seems, is Israel.

Political analyst Kevin Barrett noted in a recent article on Veterans Today that this kidnapping incident may have been staged by Israel as a political stunt to undermine the new Palestinian unity government and to justify a crackdown on Hamas. “How dare the Palestinians unify against us,” the Zionist occupiers are saying to themselves.

Israel’s military chief of staff Benny Gantz has pledged a “broad operation” against Hamas. “Our aim is to find the three boys, bring them home and hurt Hamas as much as possible,” he said. Using the kidnapping incident as a pretext, Israel has arrested more than 160 Palestinians and conducted several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials are now lusting to re-arrest all 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, reported the Globe.

“Israeli political leaders on the right,” the Globe article continued, “have demanded all sorts of punitive action be taken against Hamas [as a result of the unsolved kidnapping]: some advocate expelling the group’s leaders to Gaza; others want to annex parts of the West Bank… Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted at a return to the practice of targeted killings – assassinations – of Hamas leaders.”

To back up his false flag hypothesis, Kevin Barrett cited a revealing June 15 Haaretz article headlined, “Mossad chief’s chillingly prescient kidnap prophecy.” In the article Israeli journalist Barak Ravid disclosed that, “Ten days ago, at a security cabinet meeting, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo outlined a scenario spookily similar to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens missing since Thursday night.”

The security meeting in question “dealt with the report of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner exchanges and on the Habayit Hayehudi bill that prohibits granting pardons to terrorists.”

Pardo and his colleagues tried to convince Israeli ministers not to pass the bill, arguing that it would “limit the government’s room for maneuver in future abduction cases, would keep its hands tied, and prevent it from considering other solutions for dealing with a potential crisis.”

“What will you do if in a week three 14-year-old girls will be kidnapped from one of the settlements?” Pardo asked. “Will you say there is a law, and we don’t release terrorists?”

As Haaretz inadvertently demonstrated, Zionists have quite a talent for predicting and foreshadowing future events. In 1979, the founder of Israel’s spy agencies, Isser Harel, predicted 9/11 with amazing precision, telling an Evangelical Zionist named Michael Evans over dinner that “Islamic fundamentalists” would eventually strike New York City’s “tallest building.”

Zionist neocons of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think-tank spoke of a “New Pearl Harbour” that would facilitate their militarist foreign policy objectives exactly one year before the planes hit the twin towers in New York in 2001.

Israeli dirty tricks of this nature are nothing new. Shortly after 9/11, the Israelis were caught red-handed establishing a fake al-Qaeda cell in Gaza. Ariel ‘the butcher’ Sharon attempted to use the existence of the counterfeit “terror cell” as a pretext to bomb the beleaguered coastal enclave. “Israel ‘faked al-Qaeda presence’,” noted a Dec. 2002 BBC headline, which unveiled Israel’s deception.

A Sept. 10, 2001, Washington Times report also shed light on Israel’s penchant for ruthlessness and deception. Reporting on the content of a US Army study on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Times article quoted the study’s authors who stated that Israel is “known to disregard international law to accomplish mission.” The US Army analysts were even more blunt in their assessment of Israel’s Mossad, characterizing the rogue agency as a “ruthless and cunning” wildcard that is “[capable of targeting] U.S. forces” and making it “look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

Knowing Israel’s sordid history of false flags and dirty tricks, one would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility that the “kidnapping” scandal that has unfolded over the past few days is yet another Machiavellian stage-play designed to derail Palestine’s unity government and expedite Israel’s expansionist aims.

With Syria and Iraq being overrun by bloodthirsty Western-backed mercenaries and brutes, Israel sees an opportunity to push forward with its imperialist schemes to neutralize Palestinian resistance to the occupation.

Ottawa’s ratcheting up of anti-Iranian hysteria at this conspicuous time can only be seen as a gesture of support for Tel Aviv’s campaign of terror in Gaza and the West Bank, deflecting international attention from the Israeli cuckoo in the nest.

June 19, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al-Sabirin: a new resistance movement in Gaza

By Hani Ibrahim | Al-Akhbar | May 31, 2014

The flag and logo of an organization that was launched a few days ago in the Gaza Strip suggest a Hezbollah now exists in Gaza. The organization is called al-Sabirin (the patient) for the Victory of Palestine and its logo bears a striking similarity to Hezbollah’s logo. Local opponents accuse it of being a Shia movement but its officials deny the charge and stress that they coordinate with other factions to organize their positioning in the resistance.

Gaza: Despite all the major turning points in the lives of Palestinians over the past 10 years, no party has offered a new political vision except a few youth organizations that have been stamped out by factional strife. Domestic strife has primarily been between Fatah and Hamas as each organization has aimed to control the political and economic map in the occupied West Bank and Gaza over the past seven years.

The social makeup in Gaza, which prides itself on its strong family ties, was impacted by factional differences and clashes. However, on a religious level, Gaza does not tolerate diversity as Sunni Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority. Therefore, the creation of a new organization poses “serious concerns regarding the path it is going to take.” Al-Sabirin talks about fighting Israel but its slogan carries connotations that make some view it as a “sectarian movement.” The circumstances and timing that the organization chose to announce its creation further complicate the matter.There is the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas while the Islamic Jihad expressed reservations regarding some of the terms dealing with the weapons of the Resistance. In the Arab world, there are tensions simmering against a sectarian and ethnic backdrop under the banner of the Arab Spring. In this context, the new organization puts itself in a position that raises a lot of questions and is even subject to numerous accusations.

Sources from al-Sabirin say that they are “well aware of the difficulty of the Palestinian and regional circumstances,” that is why the organization is presenting itself as a “Palestinian resistance movement that seeks to free all of Palestine and does not believe in any negotiated agreements or even long-term truces with Israel.” Nevertheless, it announced its creation after the death of one of its cadres (Nizar Issa) in an explosion they said was the result of a manufacturing error. It was forced to declare itself so it can claim responsibility for him but the organization pointed out that they have been operating for years.

An al-Sabirin spokesperson, known as Abu Yousef, addresses the question of their sectarian affiliation. He tells Al-Akhbar: “We believe in Islamic unity and we reject any sectarian discourse. Whoever raises this issue serves our enemies the Zionists and the global arrogance that stands behind it which seeks to fragment and divide this nation.” However, he added, “we do not deny any of our members the freedom to choose the sect according to which they worship God within the context of the sects recognized by Islamic law. But highlighting this issue as though it were a problem is the strategy of those who try to exploit differences and sow the seeds of sedition.”

He continued: “The similarity between the logos is not a reason to accuse us of being Shia. The logos of resistance movements are similar to each other. The logo we chose includes common symbols such as the rifle that is firmly gripped by the hand, the map of Palestine with a mark for Jerusalem and a reference to planet Earth because we are advocates of peace and humanism.”

The Palestinian resistance had spawned in the 1960s more than 27 military and political organizations. Some of them have survived until today while others have become less important. Some organizations ceased to exist altogether and others turned to political activism. Each landmark juncture in the history of the struggle against Israel was characterized by the declaration of a new faction. The Arab defeat after al-Nakba led to the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestinian National Liberation Movement also known as Fatah. With the decline of the communist movement in the region, the PFLP’s role declined and so did the role of Fatah after it left Beirut and became distant from the geographic region surrounding Palestine.

Before Fatah turned to political action, the first intifada (1987) which began as a popular movement shored up two Islamist resistance movements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. With the start of the second intifada, Fatah – armed with a quasi-official decision – returned to military struggle through al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Ahmed Abu al-Rish Brigades. But President Mahmoud Abbas diminished the role and presence of the former and the latter disintegrated. Since then, no Palestinian organization with a new political program has been declared, except for small military organizations.

A Hezbollah connection?

Al-Sabirin’s official spokesperson talked about their relationship with Hezbollah, especially after the controversy that erupted regarding the identity of the organization among Palestinians who received the news on social media: “There is no connection between us and Hezbollah. It is a Lebanese organization and we are a Palestinian movement.” He added: “We agree with our brothers in Hezbollah because we have chosen the same path, that is the path of resistance, we belong to the same axis, we confront the same enemy and we meet on the path of liberating Palestine. That, however, does not mean that we are opposed to dealing with them in order to learn from their experience and the expertise of other organizations.”

In 2008, an organization called the Palestinian Hezbollah was declared in the West Bank but the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas met this move with skepticism. This new faction, however, which described itself as “Sunni Jihadi Islamist and opposed to the political process,” did not last for long and no one has heard from them again. In addition, a military cell in Gaza named the Imad Mughniyeh Groups declared its responsibility for several operations. Eventually, it became evident that this cell was associated with Fatah.

Linking these organizations to Iran and Hezbollah is a very sensitive subject in Gaza. That is why some Arab and Israeli media outlets try to associate resistance movements with certain sectarian situations. Such as the incident years ago when Palestinian police affiliated with the Hamas government attacked a group that was holding a consolation session on the 40-day memorial for Hussein in northern Gaza. The city of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip witnessed in the past months fist fights and armed clashes between the followers of a Salafi cleric who regularly attacked the Syrian regime, Iran, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad members before Islamic Jihad contained the situation.

Security sources familiar with the coordination effort between Palestinian factions told Al-Akhbar that a meeting was held between al-Sabirin and Hamas to sort out the former’s status as a Palestinian resistance movement that is going to work out of Gaza, as long as it is committed to the general framework of the agreements between the various organizations. But they refused to delve into other details about having al-Sabirin representatives at the Factions Coordinating Committee and their view on pacification. The new organization said that they established good communication channels with other parties and with the government.

The security situation in Gaza forces any political or military faction to coordinate with Hamas since it is the largest resistance movement in Gaza irrespective of how the reconciliation effort and the security issue will play out. The internal security agency affiliated with the government and the special security agency affiliated with al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, follow up with these organizations. As to whether the Palestinian landscape needs another organization, Abu Yousef says: “In light of the new conspiracies to liquidate the Palestinian cause, the fact that the Arab and Islamic worlds are preoccupied with other issues and the two major Palestinian factions are heading towards a political solution, we concluded that we have a religious duty to step forward at this stage to help the Palestinian cause reclaim its rightful place and rectify the direction it is taking. Palestine requires sacrifices and this path does not end as long as our land is occupied.

Hezbollah’s announcement of the martyrdom of one of its leaders in Syria, Fawzi Ayoub, angered the Israeli media, which refocused on Hezbollah’s role in supporting the Palestinian factions inside Palestine. Especially Ayoub who was arrested in the West Bank in 2000 and was released as part of a prisoner swap deal. Tel Aviv always accuses Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah of providing financial and military aid to Palestinian factions, training their fighters, sending experts to help them and creating sleeper cells.

In terms of arming them, Abu Islam said: “We are still a small group, which means our abilities are limited. But we depend on our morale which we consider the basis of our confrontation with the enemy.”

As for their funding, he refused to disclose a specific source. He said, however, that the financial support they receive is still limited and restricted to relationships with those he described as supporters of the Palestinian people in addition to personal donations. He said that, in the future, they are going to “open channels with parties that fund the Resistance and get the necessary support.”

The secretary general of al-Sabrin’s Shura Council

His nom de guerre is Abu Mohammed. Those close to him refuse to reveal his real name because he does not personally represent al-Sabirin as they say. “Rather, there is a Shura Council that takes decisions in the organization. This council is not new but its announcement was delayed because of certain circumstances that were preceded by a long latent period.”

Not much comes up on Abu Mohammed when you try to find out who he is because he is a mysterious figure and moves about secretly. He has been a wanted man by Israel for 18 years. His name became prominent in resistance circles after the Israeli forces tried to arrest him at the beginning of the Intifada for an operation that killed 35 Israeli soldiers in Tel Aviv. But he left his house before they arrived. So they decided to demolish his home, which consists of six floors. This led to the martyrdom of his father and displacement of his family. He is accused of having a strong relationship with influential figures in the Islamic Republic in Iran which means he is being watched by Hamas’ security agencies. They arrested him more than once without being able to prove anything against him. He was also imprisoned by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the 1980s and 1990s.

June 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | April 27, 2014

Now that the demonization of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is in full swing, one has to wonder when the neocons will unveil their plan for “regime change” in Moscow, despite the risks that overthrowing Putin and turning Russia into a super-sized version of Ukraine might entail for the survival of the planet.

There is a “little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly” quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme.

If the Palestinians and Lebanon’s Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with “regime change” – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your “regime change” in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com’sThe Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

Just when you think you’ve cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program.

So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’sWhat Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you’ve succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin’s resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of “regime change.”

Your many friends in the mainstream U.S. news media begin to relentlessly demonize Putin with a propaganda barrage that would do a totalitarian state proud. The anti-Putin “group think” is near total and any accusation – regardless of the absence of facts – is fine.

In just the past week, the New York Times has run two such lead stories. The first, last Monday, trumpeted supposed photographic evidence proving that Russian special forces had invaded Ukraine and were provoking the popular resistance to the coup regime in Kiev. [See Consortiumnews.com’sAnother NYT-Michael Gordon Special?”]

Two days later, the Times buried deep inside the paper a grudging retraction, admitting that one key photo that the Times said was taken in Russia (showing the supposed troops before they were dispatched to Ukraine) was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the whole premise of the earlier story. [See Consortiumnews.com’sNYT Retracts Russian-Photo Scoop.”]

vladimir-putin-russia-300x224Then, on Sunday, the Times led the paper with a lengthy report on the “Search for Secret Putin Fortune” with the subhead: “U.S. Suggests Russian Leader Has Amassed Wealth, and That It Knows Where.” Except the story, which spills over to two-thirds of an inside page, presents not a single hard fact about Putin’s alleged “fortune,” other than that he wears what looks like an expensive watch.

The story is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda campaign against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for wearing “designer glasses,” a theme that was picked up by the major U.S. news outlets back then without noting the hypocrisy of Nancy Reagan wearing designer gowns and Reagan’s beloved Nicaraguan Contra leaders profiting off arms sales and cocaine smuggling.

Spreading suspicions about a target’s personal wealth is right out of Propaganda 101. The thinking is that you can turn people against a leader if they think he’s ripping off the public, whether he is or isn’t. The notion that Ortega’s glasses or Putin’s watch represents serious corruption – or that they are proof of some hidden fortune – is ludicrous, but it can serve a propaganda goal of creating divisions.

But what would it mean to destabilize Russia? Does anyone think that shattering the Russian political structure through a combination of economic sanctions and information warfare will result in a smooth transition to some better future? The Russians already have tried the West’s “shock therapy” under drunken President Boris Yeltsin – and they saw the cruel ugliness of “free market” capitalism.

Putin’s autocratic nationalism was a response to the near-starvation levels of poverty that many Russians were forced into as they watched well-connected capitalists plunder the nation’s wealth and emerge as oligarchic billionaires. For all Putin’s faults, it was his push-back against some of those oligarchs and his defense of Russian interests internationally that secured him a solid political base.

In other words, even if the neocons get the Obama administration – and maybe its successor – to ratchet up tensions with Russia enough to generate sufficient political friction to drive Putin from office, the likely result would be a dangerously unstable Russia possessing a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Putin loyalists are not likely to readily accept a replay of the Yeltsin years.

But the neocons apparently think the risks are well worth it. After all, the end result might finally let them kill off that pesky fly, Israel’s near-in threat from the Palestinians and Hezbollah. But we might remember what happened to the little old lady in the ditty, when she swallowed the horse, she was dead, of course.

~

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

April 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

German forces raid offices of “Hezbollah affiliated” charity

Al-Akhbar | April 8, 2014

German authorities on Tuesday raided the offices of a charity organization that allegedly has ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, accusing it of raising money for the group.

Around 150 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and around 40 boxes of files.

Two bank accounts with a total of around 60,000 euros were frozen but no arrests were made, the German interior ministry said.

The ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organization based in the western city of Essen had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.5 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, which supports families of fallen Hezbollah fighters.

Haber claimed the funds were used to recruit fighters “to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures” and compensate the families of suicide bombers.

The statement did not cite its evidence. Hezbollah used to carry out suicide missions against Israeli occupation forces in South Lebanon prior to their retreat in 2000.

The group has not used that tactic since Israel pulled its army from Lebanon 14 year ago.

“Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel’s right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in the statement.

He said the group’s goals violated Germany’s constitution.

The European Union in July last year also listed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a “terrorist organization.” But the EU said it would continue to deal with Hezbollah as a political entity.

The German interior ministry said it had put Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria was ‘very late’

Excerpts from the latest comments of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the Syrian war and the nature of his party’s military intervention in the conflict:

From the beginning as well – you see, the problem that the other (political) group in Lebanon had with us, and (the problem) that governments and regimes in the Arab and Islamic world had, and (the problem that) governments and regimes throughout the world had (with us), on the Syrian issue, is due to our political stance, (and) not our military intervention. Our military intervention came late, and as is said, it occurred after all (sides) intervened, and (after) all sides had come, and (after) all sides had fought. We came very late.

The problem was our political stance. That we got up from the first day, and said that: we are not with this conflict (taking place) in Syria, we are not with the toppling of the regime and the state, we are with reforms, with a political solution, with political dialogue, with achieving legitimate demands being called for by the people, yet we are not with anyone in Syria going out to break, bring down, destroy, and ruin (Syria), and to imposing major strategic choices on (Syria) – and the (real) issue is here, before reforms and demands, the (real) issue is the major strategic choices.

Okay, we took this stance, and there was a large group that was acting (based upon another) stance. What was required from us was that we move along with that stance, that we become a part of it. Because we did not become a part of it, the war became against us as well. So the issue essentially relates to our political stance, and not the military intervention. [...]

Okay today, (Turkey), a member of NATO, and a candidate for the European Union, is busy preparing for a regional war and a direct intervention into Syria, with the pretext that there is a tomb for the first grandfather of Bani Othman – of the Ottoman state – and that the ISIL might… maybe they themselves may request the ISIL to demolish it. [...]

We said from the beginning, that what will happen in Syria will expose the whole region to the danger of terrorism and takfir. And you said no, the story is not as such, you said the story in Syria is one of reforms, change, democracy, and human rights. And now, what is the situation, which you yourself talk about? You yourselves, after three years… You speak of Syria, (especially) the territory that is controlled by the armed groups, as a threat to the regional states, and as a threat to the states of the world.

Now, after three years, of your funding, and your arming, and your incitement, and your pushing towards military solutions, and your obstruction of political solutions, and your protection of the armed groups, you came to form a terror list, and you placed most of these armed groups on this terror list. Well, what remained anyway? Of course, regardless of our stance towards this list, when you come and say regarding Syria, that the ISIL, al-Nusra, and the Muslim Brotherhood, you come and say these are terrorists, well then, what else remains? Who else remains? [...]

And if the takfiri terrorist movement is defeated in Syria, then I say to you, we will all remain. If this axis triumphs in Syria, all the Lebanese will be safeguarded. This axis does not seek revenge, it seeks security, it seeks harmony, it looks for strength, it does not look for revenge. Here, there lies major national choices, let us come and decide.

 

This video is an English-subtitled excerpt from a speech delivered on 29/03/2014.

Full transcript:

The last issue which I would like to mention and end with, is that today, the whole campaign regarding the issue of the resistance in Lebanon, is focusing on one of my main points, that is, our intervention in Syria. He comes and tells you: ‘you intervened in Syria, so now the national consensus is gone – we already dealt with this (point)’. ‘You intervened in Syria, so now the role of the weapons has changed, they are no longer resistance weapons’. Well, were these arms ‘resistance weapons’ for you to begin with? In any case, all of this is being said.

And this intervention and stance is currently considered the main problem being put forward on a regular basis, from some time till now, and it’s put forward every day. I would like to – because this issue is occupying the country and us all – comment on it a bit in the last section of my speech. From the beginning as well – you see, the problem that the other (political) group in Lebanon had with us, and (the problem) that governments and regimes in the Arab and Islamic world had, and (the problem that) governments and regimes throughout the world had (with us), on the Syrian issue, is due to our political stance, (and) not our military intervention. Our military intervention came late, and as is said, it occurred after all (sides) intervened, and (after) all sides had come, and (after) all sides had fought. We came very late.

The problem was our political stance. That we got up from the first day, and said that: we are not with this conflict (taking place) in Syria, we are not with the toppling of the regime and the state, we are with reforms, with a political solution, with political dialogue, with achieving legitimate demands being called for by the people, yet we are not with anyone in Syria going out to break, bring down, destroy, and ruin (Syria), and to imposing major strategic choices on (Syria) – and the (real) issue is here, before reforms and demands, the (real) issue is the major strategic choices.

Okay, we took this stance, and there was a large group that was acting (based upon another) stance. What was required from us was that we move along with that stance, that we become a part of it. Because we did not become a part of it, the war became against us as well. So the issue essentially relates to our political stance, and not the military intervention. There is something huge going on in the region, come forward and become a part of it, otherwise, prepare yourself for execution. This was the storm that was coming to our region.

What was required is that we all kneel before it, or that we all be lead by it, with it, or that we all humble ourselves before it. Meaning at the very least, that you humble yourself before this storm. We, did not become a part of it, nor did we move along with it, nor did we humble ourselves towards it. Because we considered that this storm poses major strategic and existential threats that concern Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and the whole region, and we sufficiently explained this in the past, so we will not repeat it. And so we took a political stance. With time, yes, our stance gradually changed, we went to the battlefield – even if I take a few more minutes. Okay, all the Lebanese know this, we spoke about it in the media, and some sharply criticised us also due to providing such details: the first military intervention, which was (very) limited, meaning a few dozen men from Hezbollah, occurred when the brothers went to the Western Ghouta (region), to the town of Sayyeda Zeinab – peace be upon her. So about one year and half ago, or a bit more. When most of the Western Ghouta area was taken over by the armed groups – not all, most of it, and the armed groups became 200 meters away from the shrine of Sayyeda Zeinab (peace be upon her), and our calculations were that, firstly, due to the religious significance of this shrine, for all Muslims, and secondly, that the destruction of this shrine will lay the foundation for, or ignite sectarian strife in more than one region in the Islamic world, okay, so let us go help, there were Syrian army (forces) over there, and national defence (forces), and the people and residents of the town were defending (as well), we sent a few dozen individuals to help defend (the area). That’s it. Okay, this stance was criticised. Today, there is a very grand state – it considers itself as such – a state within the Atlantic Alliance (NATO), which is working hard to become a part of the European Union, and some consider it as a model, meaning Turkey.

‘The first letter of its name is Turkey’. Okay, Turkey… today, the Turkish government sits and discusses: there is a grave or tomb for the great grandfather of Bani Othman, who, if you now ask all the Islamic people: ‘what is his name?’ – I myself don’t know his name to be honest. I don’t hide this from you, I read (the name), but then I forgot it, and I didn’t manage to get the name again for you. Okay, who knows about him in the Islamic world, what is his significance for the Muslims? What does he signify for the conscience and sentiments of the Muslims, whether they were Shias or Sunnis?

Despite this, it’s okay, it is Turkey’s right to think over whether it should intervene militarily, and to violate the sovereignty of another state, that is the Syrian state, and to make plans e.t.c., because there is a possibility that the ISIL may come to this shrine and blow it up. Okay, why is it right for you to do – since we are speaking (today) about literature, poetry, and grammar – why is it right for you to do (this), and not for us?

We went to defend a shrine that is respected by all Muslims, and to (defend) a personality who is respected and considered holy by all Muslims, because she is the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him & his progeny. Who is (the personality) over whom you’ve come to wage a regional war over? You are coming to wage a regional war. Okay, and in that case there is a genuine threat, whereas in this case there isn’t. And more than this, we did not violate Syrian sovereignty, of course this is nothing new, President Bashar spoke about this issue some time ago, because some people asked him, he said no, the resistance entered Syria with the agreement of the Syrian government. Now someone will tell me, you violated Lebanese sovereignty – there is argument over this.

However, at the very least, we did not violate Syria’s sovereignty. Okay today, a member of NATO, and a candidate for the European Union, is busy preparing for a regional war and a direct intervention into Syria, with the pretext that there is a tomb for the first grandfather of Bani Othman – of the Ottoman state – and that the ISIL might… maybe they themselves may request the ISIL to demolish it. God knows best of course.

Okay. Things gradually moved to Qusayr and what followed Qusayr, and you all know this, until we reached a stage in which it became clear that the conflict in Syria reached a point, as a result of the extent of the international and regional interference, and the mobilisation that brought tens of thousands of fighters from all around the world to Syria, the issue, with all frankness, and we have said this before, and I want to reiterate it, the issue no longer became (limited to) Sayyeda Zeinab and the Lebanese residing on Syrian territory, from that time the issue became related to the resistance, the axis of resistance, the future of the resistance and the political identity of the region, and where we were heading, and we said all of this. Why am I repeating it now, not to fill up time, (rather), to speak of outcomes, and results, at this point. Okay, currently where have we reached, where are we now?

From the beginning we said ‘political solution’. The Arab League got up, wanting to be decisive, wanting to topple the regime: it does not accept a political solution before the departure of President al-Assad and his regime. Okay, after three years, you saw the latest decisions of the Arab Summit, so did we require three years, of war, killings, fighting, destruction, ruin, strife, and tribulations, for the Arabs to speak what they should have spoke from the beginning? And for the Arabs to move forward with that which they should have moved forward with from the beginning?

So now what is required is that we should go see how we can pressure the regime in Syria and President Bashar al-Assad, (because) we want to achieve a political solution, and a real political dialogue, and because Geneva 2 has reached an impasse. Now (you speak this)? Well, you – in the first few months, when it was said to you that dialogue is possible, and that the Syrian leadership is ready to carry out drastic and fundamental reforms, not one of you was prepared to discuss the idea of a political solution or a political dialogue, on the basis of: ‘everything is over, in a few months everything will be over in Syria and the region’. We told you ‘political solution’, and you went to the military solution. Now you have reached what you were being told from the beginning. Of course, this talk is (directed) at the Arabs, at the other (political) group in Lebanon, and at the states that continue to intervene in this conflict.

We said from the beginning, that what will happen in Syria will expose the whole region to the danger of terrorism and takfir. And you said no, the story is not as such, you said the story in Syria is one of reforms, change, democracy, and human rights. And now, what is the situation, which you yourself talk about? You yourselves, after three years… You speak of Syria, (especially) the territory that is controlled by the armed groups, as a threat to the regional states, and as a threat to the states of the world.

Now, after three years, of your funding, and your arming, and your incitement, and your pushing towards military solutions, and your obstruction of political solutions, and your protection of the armed groups, you came to form a terror list, and you placed most of these armed groups on this terror list. Well, what remained anyway? Of course, regardless of our stance towards this list, when you come and say regarding Syria, that the ISIL, al-Nusra, and the Muslim Brotherhood, you come and say these are terrorists, well then, what else remains? Who else remains? In all frankness…

Okay, did the issue require three years, for the region and the world to discover that what is taking place in Syria will lead to this result? And of course, there are some Lebanese who have not discovered this (even) till now. Till now they have not discovered, that what is taking place in Syria is a threat to Lebanon. Well come on, the Americans who are so far away, the French, the Europeans, some of the Gulf states, and the states of North Africa, consider Syria – the territory which is controlled by the armed groups – as a source of danger to their states and security. And this is really the case. Even in calm arenas, where no calls were made for fighting and clashes, and for ‘holy jihad’, (yet) now it has begun, such as in Tunisia.

And unfortunately, some get up in Lebanon and tell you, no, what is taking place in Syria is not a threat to Lebanon. We told you from the beginning, what is taking place in Syria has passed the stage of demands for reforms and democracy, to the (stage of) the (rise and) dominance of the takfiri militant movement, which does not accept anyone alongside it, even from within the takfiiri militant movement, as is occurring between the ISIL and al-Nusra, whereby they both belong to one thought, one sect, one school, one leadership, and one emir, and one political project, and the difference between them is over a small organisational, administrative issue, just like what happens in any party or organisation, that is, whether this person is the leader, or that person is the leader. The whole conflict is (over) whether the leader is Abu Muhammad al-Golani, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Who paid the price? Thousands of casualties. Thousands of casualties, widespread destruction, fierce fighting, (merely) over an organisational, administrative disagreement. How can such (groups) live with all the Lebanese, with the rest of the Lebanese, with the rest of the Syrians, with the rest of the neighbouring states and people?

If your brothers, loved ones, dear ones, and allies – we want to term it like that, meaning that we don’t want to say ‘your masters’, (if they) discovered now that this is the reality of the situation, then why are you still delayed? Stubbornness is okay, only if it is not at the expense of Lebanon, and the fate and future of Lebanon.

It was continuously said to us from a year and a half ago, and every day this is said to us, by some political blocs and sides, calling on Hezbollah to leave Syria. I don’t want to sit here and respond. Today, I myself want to call on you: go ahead and change your stance. Revise your stance. Carry out a revision of the stance. Carry out a new (political) reading. I am not going to tell you, come and fight with us in Syria. This is not required. No no, this is not required. And in actual fact, there are people, Lebanese groups from various sects, who proposed to us – and this might be the first time I speak of this – that they come up and fight alongside us, yet we told them there is no need. Do not hold this political and social burden. We’ve already held this burden and we are moving with it.

Those who are insisting every day that the problem in Lebanon is that Hezbollah went to Syria, I say that the problem in Lebanon is that Hezbollah was late in going to Syria, and that the problem in Lebanon is that you are still in your places and you did not go to Syria, rather, if some of you went, you went to the wrong place. Now I’m not going to tell you to go to Syria, nor to fight with us, no, but revise your stance on this issue. Day after day, the correctness and soundness of the decisions we took is being confirmed, and I will also like to say – also perhaps for the first time with such frankness – if the takfiri terrorism is victorious in Syria, I say to all the Lebanese, and to all the political movements and parties, whether from 14th or 8th (of March), or whether in the center, on the right, or on the left, if the takfiri terrorism triumphs in Syria, we will all be eliminated. Not just the party (Hezbollah), nor just the resistance, all of us will be eliminated, we will all be cancelled out. Don’t you see what is happening in Alleppo, Idlib, Raqqa, and in Deir Azzour, and in Fallujah, and in Anbar. Ask, ask about it, but don’t ask the secularists, ask the Islamists, ask the Islamic parties in those areas about what had occurred to them.

And if the takfiri terrorist movement is defeated in Syria, then I say to you, we will all remain. If this axis triumphs in Syria, all the Lebanese will be safeguarded. This axis does not seek revenge, it seeks security, it seeks harmony, it looks for strength, it does not look for revenge. Here, there lies major national choices, let us come and decide.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Lebanon: A new political alliance on the horizon?

Al-Akhbar | February 18, 2014

Yesterday, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) MP Michel Aoun announced that he mediated between Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, and the leader of the Future Movement (FM), former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which coincided with the restoration of security and political channels of communication between Hezbollah and the FM.

Is Lebanon witnessing a new political scene based on a five-party alliance in the government that can manage a truce, which would in turn allow the election of a new president?

In 2005, the four-party alliance excluded the FPM which had won an unequivocal majority of the Christian vote in the parliamentary elections. The new alliance includes, in addition to Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, the FM, the FPM’s Change and Reform bloc, the Phalange Party and the Progressive Socialist Party. Based on the sectarian considerations governing Lebanese politics, the sectarian representation in this alliance appears to be complete. This five-party alliance seems to have become a reality, as an increasingly positive environment seeps out little by little.

Aoun announced yesterday that he mediated between Hezbollah and the FM, and specifically between Nasrallah and Hariri. In addition, a step was taken in the same direction yesterday, prior to Aoun’s announcement, when the head of Hezbollah’s Liaison and Coordination Unit, Wafiq Safa, visited the new Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi at his apartment in Achrafieh.

The official goal of the meeting was to offer congratulations to Rifi for his ministerial appointment, but the form the meeting took gives it additional significance. In addition to Rifi and Safa, the meeting was attended by the head of the Internal Security Force’s (ISF) Information Branch, Colonel Imad Othman and director of the ISF Operations Room, Colonel Hussam al-Tannoukhi.

According to political sources, Tannoukhi – who is on good terms with the leaders of both Hezbollah and the FM – arranged the meeting which relaunched the security and political communication back channels between the two sides. This back channel had maintained contact between both parties until Rifi’s retirement and the rising political tension between Hezbollah and the FM.

While at Rifi’s home, Safa called the new interior minister, Nohad al-Machnouk, and congratulated him on his new post. Political sources said that this “positive environment comes as a follow-up to the efforts that resulted in the formation of the new government and can be relied upon to carry the government through future political junctures such as the ministerial statement and the presidential elections.”

In a related matter, Aoun confirmed that he met both Hariri and Nasrallah, explaining: “Whoever wants to conduct mediation to bring disparate parties closer together has to talk to everyone, that is why I met both of them.”

When asked if his willingness to accept Rifi as interior minister during consultations on government formation angered Hezbollah, Aoun replied: “I was not present during the distribution of ministries and I am not the prime minister charged with assigning ministers to the various ministries. There was a difference of opinion between Hezbollah and the FM on this issue. To form the government, we suggested a kind of solution based on exchanging posts.”

Regarding concerns over the ministerial appointments of Machnouk and Rifi, especially since the Interior and Justice ministries could facilitate the work of terrorists and takfiris, Aoun argued “this issue is handled by the judiciary and the government as a whole and does not rely on the authority of one or two ministers.”

Akhbar Al-Yawm News Agency revealed that a family dinner was held Thursday evening at Aoun’s home in Rabieh and it included FPM minister Gibran Bassil and the director of the Future Movement’s presidential office, Nader Hariri. The obstacles that were still facing the formation of the government were overcome at this meeting.

In addition, information emerged in the past few days that Bassil traveled to Saudi Arabia last week where he met Saad Hariri.

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel prepares world opinion for high civilian casualties in any future war with Hezbollah

MEMO | January 30, 2014

Israel accused Hezbollah on Wednesday of setting up military bases inside residential buildings and threatened that it would target these bases in any future conflict, even if civilians are killed.

According to Israeli officials, Iran and Syria have supplied more sophisticated missiles to Hezbollah, which defended Lebanon against the technologically superior Israeli military in July 2006.

Israeli newspaper the Jerusalem Post reported that: “The unusually explicit threat by air force chief Major General Amir Eshel appeared to be part of an effort by Israeli officials to prepare world opinion for high civilian casualties in any new confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

The newspaper noted that last year Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon showed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon an Israeli map of alleged military sites for Hezbollah in villages in southern Lebanon, further suggesting that Israel is threatening a high civilian death toll in any future war.

According to Agence France Presse, during the July 2006 war 1,287 Lebanese died, nearly all civilians, and 4,054 were wounded when Israeli forces intentionally inflicted severe damages to civilian infrastructure, especially in southern Lebanon and in the capital city of Beirut.

Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman, has called the Israeli threats to strike residential and civilian areas in his country “a flagrant violation of human rights principles.”

He added that the Israeli position is “an attempt to spread a sense of instability among the Lebanese citizens, the thing which the enemy wants, as Israel is happy about the turbulence that is taking place in the Arab region.”

January 31, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Outside Forces Seeking Palestinian-Hezbollah Conflict

By Franklin Lamb | Al-Manar | January 23, 2014

Ain el Helweh camp, Lebanon – It isn’t just the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine six decades after the Nakba; one can sense the carnivorous drooling from Tel Aviv to Amman, from Riyadh and the Gulf Kingdoms all the way to Washington DC and beyond—drooling and salivation over their project to promote tensions between the Palestinian Resistance and what is in some respects its historic offspring—Hezbollah.

The hostile forces gathered against the Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah-Palestine Resistance alliance are reportedly hard at work on yet another scheme to weaken, and possibly destroy, all four. It won’t be easy, but it is a key game plan among those still seeking regime change in Syria.

Even as some of these governments deceptively play down their central goal of regime change in public, they appear to be fantasizing that by building up the Lebanese army—with a pledged $3 billion from Riyadh—that Lebanese troops can be induced to confront Hezbollah and its allies, this in what seems to be a “beat em or bleed em” strategy.

Patrick Cockburn, writing recently in the UK Independent and Counterpunch, gave a digest of anti-Shia hate propaganda being spread by Sunni religious figures, clerics financially backed by, and in some cases based in, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies. Cockburn noted accurately that what is being painstaking laid is the groundwork for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world.

Efforts to egg on a confrontation between Palestinians and Hezbollah have increased over the past three months in Lebanon’s camps, stemming principally from some of the local Sunni and Christian power centers. Support is being seen for various “militia of the month” groups, those terrorizing the population of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Moreover, the Takfiri Al-Nusra Front leader Abou Mohammed al-Joulani insists his organization is active on Lebanese soil in order to help the Sunnis, including Palestinians, face the “injustice” of Shiite Hezbollah. “Lebanon’s Sunni are requesting that the mujahideen intervene to lift up the injustice they are suffering from at the hands of Hezbollah and similar militias,” he said recently in an interview on Al-Jazeera.

Shiite-populated areas across Lebanon have been the target of terror attacks even before Hezbollah entered the fighting on the side of the Syrian government in May 2013, but those terror attacks have intensified recently. Four car bombings have targeted southern Beirut in recent months, while a number of IED attacks have occurred in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.

The head of the Islamic Jihadist Movement in Ain al-Hilweh camp voiced fears on January 8 of a possible armed sectarian confrontation between Hezbollah and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon if the party did not revise its policies at home and in Syria. Sheikh Jamal Khattab told the Daily Star that should fighting erupt between Palestinians and Hezbollah the conflict could be even worse than the “war of the camps” (read: massacres) of the 1980s, when that conflict was not considered particularly sectarian. Today, says Sheikh Khattab, it would be different. Today it would be a Sunni vs. Shia war, with regional and international consequences, given the poisonous sea-change in sectarian relations since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In Ain al-Hilweh and other camps, posters of local men killed while fighting alongside Takfiri groups in Syria, or against U.S. troops in Iraq, are tacked up throughout the camp. Lebanese security sources claim that Palestinian Islamist groups in Ain al-Hilweh have all finalized preparations to for a possible conflict with the Hezbollah’s organized and trained “Resistance Brigades.” These organizations include Usbat al-Ansar, Jund al-Sham, Fatah al-Islam, and other Salafist groups, and supporters of the controversial fugitive Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, and rumors abound that some of these elements are being financed by certain of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states as well as some Lebanese pro-Western March 14 parties. Apparently the consideration among such groups and their sponsors is that conditions in Lebanon are ripe for an expanded war against “Shia infidels,” and reportedly plans are now in place to bring it here, with several groups that are now fighting in Syria pledging to widen the Sunni-Shia war into Lebanon.

For their part, some pro-Hezbollah groups and many Lebanese citizens are suspicious of possible Palestinian involvement in recent terror attacks in Dahiyeh and the recent bombing of the Iranian Embassy. In point of fact, one of the two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian Embassy on November 17 was Mouin Abu Dahr, a known pro-Palestinian whose mother is a Shiite and his father a Sunni. Ain al-Hilweh of course has also been in the spotlight with the arrest of Majed al-Majed, the leader of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Majed is believed to have lived in the camp since 2012.

Clearly Israel and its new—as well as its longtime—allies seek a Sunni-Shia war, and the sooner the better. Also favored is a continuation of the Syria crisis for the reason that they consider Hezbollah to be squandering some of its best fighters and commanders and well as its weapons stores. Western Diplomats have spoken about US-Israeli hopes that Syria will be Hezbollah’s Achilles heel and Iran’s Vietnam, and Israeli media have commented on views by some officials that Hezbollah has shifted its attention toward Syria and away from the southern front with occupied Palestine.

Time will tell.

Hezbollah maintains it is using only five percent of its capacity to confront Israel, and according to one source close to the Resistance: Hezbollah has self-sufficiency when it comes to the missiles, strategic and non-strategic weapons. All these weapons are quite abundant. Any additional equipment will constitute a negative factor because there is no need for them. All the weapons that are manufactured by Iran or owned by Syria are also available for Hezbollah. The land forces and the Special Forces fighting in Syria have acquired a lot of practical and intelligence related experience and a force of maneuvering on the land. This experience will be used when the war with Israel begins again.

The Sunni and the Shia, just as with the Palestinians and Hezbollah, need each other for many reasons, including confronting growing Islamophobia, anti-Arab hate propaganda, and the deepening and broadening apartheid occupation of Palestine.

All must work to tamp down their differences publicly and privately while endeavoring to neutralize sectarian provocateurs, Sunni as well as Shia—domestic and regional as well as international—provocateurs that today are seeking internecine and sectarian violence in order to weaken both sects, and even all of Islam.

January 23, 2014 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Terrorist Blast Rocks Dahiyeh’s Haret Hreik

PressTV Videos · January 21, 2014

Two car bombs have gone off in a southern neighborhood of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, killing several people.

The explosions on Tuesday hit the Haret Hriek neighborhood in southern Beirut, which is considered as a stronghold of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah.

Reports say that at least four people have been killed and another 46 have been injured.

The al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra front has claimed responsibility on its twitter page for the bombings.

Hezbollah’s al-Manar television channel said the bombings hit a busy commercial street.

The neighborhood was also targeted by a deadly car bombing on January 2.

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Video, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lebanon: March 14 Christians on Shaky Ground With Hariri

By Maysam Rizk | Al-Akhbar | January 20, 2014

Lebanon’s March 14 Christians are banding together in an attempt to pressure former Prime Minister Saad Hariri about the government. However, their game will be over very soon. According to March 14 sources, “March 14 Christians are used by Hariri to fuel his battles then sacrificed when a settlement is reached.”

The smile on Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s face was not enough to convince French presidential envoy Emmanuel Bon that the situation is well. Geagea stressed that Hariri would never join Hezbollah in one government. Yet no matter how hard Geagea attempts to show confidence in his relationship with Hariri, he will never manage to cover up their discords.

Geagea remarked, “We are still in the stage of deliberations and negotiations regarding the government,” perhaps not noticing that Hariri announced from The Hague his willingness to join Hezbollah in the government.

MP Sami Gemayel spoke to Geagea via telephone for 15 minutes, assuring him that Kataeb will boycott the government, even if Hariri participates. He expressed his support for Geagea’s position favoring a neutral cabinet. Sami later announced, “We are not concerned with the nature of the government. What matters is its agenda.” Perhaps Sami had heard about Hariri’s positive attitude before the rest of Lebanese, hence his taking a middle ground.

Former minister Boutros Harb seemed ready to overcome the tensions that emerged between the Lebanese Forces and March 14 independent figures following the debate over the infamous Orthodox Electoral Law. Due to Hariri’s “concessions,” Harb now sees his alliance with the Lebanese Forces as the only available option to confront Hariri’s waiving of March 14 demands, mainly Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria.

At the peak of the confrontation, Hariri left his allies blundering. According to leaked information, Hariri’s statements on the sidelines of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon show “he is holding negotiations with the opposite side while his allies are in a whole different place.” Some March 14 sources even stressed that Hariri is going to participate in the upcoming cabinet “even if his allies refuse to join him.”

Hariri is willing to drop his Christian-Muslim partnership, and “March 14 will no longer be united.” Sources confirmed that Hariri cannot be part of any compromise regarding the government unless he receives a Saudi order.

March 14 Christian sources said, “There has been no Saudi password. Riyadh left the decision to its people in Lebanon so they do what they deem suitable. Hence, Hariri is seeking his own interests, not those of his alliance! Despite all that, some in Geagea’s and Gemayel’s circles still believe that Hariri negotiators are trying to reach a compromise that would include the Baabda Declaration in the government statement and would omit the word ‘resistance’ in order to gain leverage against Hezbollah.”

The Christian wing of March 14 is counting on “Sunni politicians to continue what Maronite politicians started in their policies against Syrian and Iranian hegemonies,” said a source. They hope Hariri “will change his mind about joining a government with Hezbollah if the party doesn’t return to the state and comply with all conditions.”

Geagea didn’t make any “loud statement” concerning Hariri’s latest remarks, neither did Gemayel, Harb, or anyone who sees himself as future president. These politicians are seeking to “buy time and announce positions that they can concede to Hariri when the time comes.”

Some March 14 Christians are convinced that “Hariri is not very pleased with his alliance with Geagea and Gemayel. Even though they all shared a common political position in 2005, Hariri still believes that he naturally belongs alongside Nabih Berri and MP Walid Jumblatt, whom his father used to reach compromises with.”

January 20, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

STL defense dismisses prosecution’s “circumstantial” evidence

Al-Akhbar | January 17, 2014

The defense counsel of four Hezbollah members accused of planning the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri dismissed evidence presented by the prosecution over Thursday and Friday as unverifiable “observations.”

Prosecutors offered nothing new during their opening arguments, the defense team said at a press conference Friday evening after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) went to recess.

“There is nothing new in the presentation the prosecutor presented at the beginning of the trial,” Antoine Korkmaz, one of the defense lawyers for the suspects being tried in absentia, told reporters.

“We have not heard anything about the content of the conversations that the prosecutor claims were made between the defendants,” he added.

“The burden of proof lies with the prosecution,” and so far it has only provided circumstantial evidence that does not prove the suspects were behind the bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others on February 14, 2005.

Nor did the prosecutor explain the motive behind the killing of Rafik Hariri, he added, saying that the billionaire maintained good relations with Hezbollah before his assassination.

“The evidence presented by the prosecutor is only theoretical,” defense lawyer Yasser Hassan added. “We have not seen anything new, and there is no court that could issue convictions on the basis of speculation.”

The defense will present their counter arguments when The Hague-based court resumes on Monday.

January 17, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

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