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Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised

Five years of archives of resistance to Zionism and imperialism deleted by Google

By Sayed Hasan | January 13, 2018

Someone must have been telling tales about Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.” Thus begins The Trial, Franz Kafka’s 1925 work, in which Joseph K., ordinary bank employee, is arrested at his home by mysterious agents and notified of legal proceedings against him. He is not informed of the offense or crime of which he would allegedly be guilty – he is only given to understand that he must have broken some unknown law – and is notified of a summons to court a certain day, without knowing the exact time or place. The protagonist is dragged into a completely absurd circle, wavering between inspectors, bailiffs, lawyers and judges, and not knowing at any time for what or against whom he must defend himself. He is finally executed by three distinguished executioners who, with “odious politeness”, plant a butcher’s knife in his heart.

The procedure by which Youtube deletes videos and even the entire content of a channel is comparable to this Gothic novel in more ways than one. As I mentioned in a previous article, my channel Sayed Hasan, which, for more than five years, has subtitled in French and English speeches of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, as well as Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad and Sayed Ali Khamenei (in addition to interviews with Norman Finkelstein, content about revolutionary Latin America, etc.), was given two strikes by Youtube in less than one month because of two Hassan Nasrallah speeches, on the pretext of a “violation of the rules concerning violent or graphic content on Youtube”. The total suppression of the channel did not take long, since it occurred on December 20th, 2017, after a third and last strike announcing the guillotine, still because of a Hassan Nasrallah speech published in… 2014 – there is no prescription on Youtube, nor half measure. Thus, 400 videos, more than 6 million views and soon 10,000 subscribers have vanished, at the time of the greatest growth in their history. Youtube strives to hide its censorship behind a pseudo-legalistic procedure, but in fact, as we will see, all creators are under the constant threat of its political blade that drastically restricts tolerated contents.

The first strike is dated October 24, 2017, and concerns a February 2015 speech titled “Hassan Nasrallah: ISIS is Israel’s ally and aims Mecca and Medina”. Its complete transcript is available here: http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr/2018/01/hassan-nasrallah-isis-is-israels-ally.html. As we can see, this speech only denounces the terrorist group ISIS, characterizing it as a danger for Islam, Muslims and all humanity, and recalls its collusion with Israel. It contains absolutely nothing legally reprehensible (call to hatred, murder, etc.). Youtube does not in any way indicate where or how such a video would have violated the “rules regarding violent or graphic content”, probably relying on the acumen of the accused – who finds himself de facto convicted. I have found absolutely nothing wrong with it, even by the strictest standards – unless, of course, any negative mention of Israel is unsustainable for the good souls of the IDF, who are tirelessly and relentlessly striving in this work of cyber-denunciation (their soldiers and mercenaries are more enterprising on the Internet than facing real fighters), and find in Google, Facebook and other giants of the Web a particularly complacent ear. We will come back to this point in more detail.

In good faith, I immediately appealed this decision – shockingly, Youtube does not grant more than 200 characters for this “procedure” (spaces included), but true, it is difficult to be loquacious in the face of an unknown crime – and to date, I have received no response. It is a sort of witchcraft trial, where, in violation of the most elementary principles of law, it is up to the accused to prove his innocence in the face of an unspecified violation, and where the mere fact of being suspected by (or denounced to) the all-powerful “Google” Inquisition entails an automatic conviction, without at any time the grievances being clearly stated, the defense, even muzzled, being heard, a semblance of reasoned judgment being rendered or the pseudo-appeal procedure being taken into account, even formally. “We don’t answer questions like that,” opposes a police officer to Joseph K.’s requests regarding the reason for his indictment. “But in general we don’t proceed with trials we’re not certain to win.”

The second strike came on December 14, and concerns a December 11, 2017 speech entitled “Hassan Nasrallah: We are about to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and all of Palestine,” which only stayed online half an hour before its suppression. Its transcript is available here: http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr/2017/12/hassan-nasrallah-we-are-about-to.html. Again, beyond the title of the offense regarding “violent or graphic content”, Youtube has not provided any details to justify its decision. It is true that in this extract, Hassan Nasrallah supports the dismantling of the racist, terrorist and colonialist state of Israel, world champion of human rights abuse and international law violations, and invites Palestinians and all the Resistance Axis to take up arms in defense of Palestine and the holy places of Islam and Christianity (he is joined by the Neturei Karta, an orthodox Jewish group that publicly burns Israeli flags in the heart of Jerusalem, as can be seen on its YouTube channel). And it turns out that the rallying slogan “Death to Israel” is spoken by Hassan Nasrallah and echoed by thousands of protesters participating in an opposition rally to Donald Trump and his decision to recognize Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel. But beyond the fact that armed resistance to an occupier is perfectly legal according to international law (United Nations Resolution 37/43 of December 3, 1982 reaffirming “the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle”), the right to information must prevail, because without this, no political speech in a warlike context could be published on Youtube. However, Google does not consider in any way problematic statements much more “violent or graphic” like Donald Trump threatening to “completely destroy” North Korea, the Israeli bragging about bombing Iran and toppling its regime, assassinating Hassan Nasrallah or even General de Gaulle’s June 1940 appeals, or Aimé Césaire’s speeches, which should be banned on Youtube according to a purely literal application of the regulation concerning violent content or call for violence (in these cases, calls to resist against Nazism or colonialism). But obviously, with Kafka, Youtube seems to have also integrated Orwell: “All [contents] are equal but some are more equal than others.” Only videos hostile to imperialism and Zionism are subject to censorship and banishment.

With two strikes in less than a month, the life of my Youtube channel was hanging by a thread: it is true that after 3 months, a warning is removed, but three successive warnings on an account lead to outright removal of the channel and all its content, not just the videos concerned. And it was clear to me that these two unjustified and unprecedented warnings would soon be followed by a third and a complete suppression of my channel. To make a judicial analogy, it is as if a conviction for defamation (which, in any body of law, cannot be held from 3 months to 1 year after the offense, but Google seems to have opted for imprescriptibility) resulted in the removal not only of the passage incriminated (for example, in Zola’s “J’Accuse”, the two incriminated words “by order”, Zola obviously not having the means to prove materially that the second War Wouncil had been forced to acquit Esterhazy by the military hierarchy), but of all the work of the journalist, author – or producer of Youtube content. Without conviction, I conducted the Orwello-Kafkaesque 200-character appeal, protested to Google by email and published an article denouncing this censorship and the announced deletion of my channel. This time, I received a response from Youtube in 12 hours, which showed me, if any doubt still remained, that these procedures are nothing more than a masquerade meant to conceal the totally arbitrariness, or rather political orientation of Google’s censorship: indeed, the answer was in three lines in which Youtube thanked me for having made this appeal procedure, informed me that after a closer examination of the content of my video, they determined that it did not respect the Community rules, and addressed me cordial greetings. Can we conceive of a judgment, let alone an appeal procedure, which dispenses with all argumentation? Google has completely automated the pseudo-legalistic process of deleting content, which is done for the unfortunate victim without any human interlocutor and therefore without any possibility of defense.

As expected, the third warning, which was but a mere formality, came soon: it occurred on December 20, 2017 and concerns a 2009 speech published in 2014 (re-sic) entitled “Hassan Nasrallah: the next war will change the face of the region.” In this excerpt, Hassan Nasrallah considers the hypothesis of an Israeli aggression against Lebanon, and asserts that this threat can be turned into an opportunity if the enemy army is crushed on Lebanese soil, after which even Palestine and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) could be liberated, as was southern Lebanon in 2000. This video does not even include the slogan “Death to Israel”. The formulation of the very hypothesis of the liberation of Palestine after an Israeli aggression (many empires collapsed because of their external military expeditions, as recalled by Hassan Nasrallah) would therefore constitute a taboo. Once again, one would be right to wonder why Netanyahu can for its part freely threaten Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran with invasion/destruction, without Youtube considering they should remove these videos. One understands that when Youtube wants to delete a channel, it will use the meanest pretexts and fatally plant its “butcher’s knife” in the heart of its victim.

It is necessary to specify, to the credit of Youtube, that an appeal procedure also exists against the suppression of a channel, and this time, not 200 but 1000 characters are allowed, about 180 words. It may seem light for a job of several years (maybe the work of a lifetime), completely destroyed in a few clicks by Google, but legalistic to the end, I followed this pseudo-procedure the same day. The response was quick – to the credit of Youtube, let us quote again this particularly expeditious and recurrent judicial time: 12 hours, against several years for the traditional justice system. It seems obvious that the appeal procedures are systematically rejected by a mail-type sent automatically after 12 hours. This answer is worth quoting in its entirety, its brevity lending itself willingly:

Greetings.

Thanks for appealing the suspension of your account. We decided to maintain the suspension, in accordance with the Community Guidelines and our Terms of use. For more information, see http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines.

Best,

Youtube Team

This is the epilogue – and the only epitaph – of a Youtube channel that dared publish anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist content. Denouncing the muzzling of the Internet is now a cliché, but it is always good to illustrate it with concrete examples, this process being known only to its victims.

There is no doubt that all videos broadcasting the point of view of the Resistance Axis (Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq) are being stalked by IDF cyber-soldiers. The fact that this video was flagged and deleted as soon as it was published would even suggest that a soldier or paid – not just zealous – agent of “the most moral army in the world” was on the alert, especially in this hot context following Donald Trump’s recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel. Social networks, following the dominant media, tend to integrate and anticipate government directives through a process of self-censorship well described by Noam Chomsky, so it is quite possible that employees of Youtube themselves take care of this task, especially at the time of the official hunt against the so-called “fake news” – which is only an attempt to preserve the monopoly of mainstream patented liars in the service of power and major economic interests, put in mortal danger by the freedom of the Internet. The voice of Hassan Nasrallah in particular is targeted by this censorship, because he is the only Arab leader who inflicted two – humiliating – defeats to Israel (2000 and 2006), and whose fighters played a leading role in the defeat of ISIS: if irreducible agents still dispute the quality of terrorists of the “Jewish jihadists” of Israel, nobody dares to do it anymore for the “Wahhabi jihadists” of ISIS. More than ever, the voice of the Secretary General of Hezbollah is able to find an echo in the Arab-Muslim world and beyond, and cannot be tolerated. After the multi-removal of channels such as Pure Stream Media or Anti-Zionist Party, the main channel translating Hassan Nasrallah’s speeches into French and English was unlikely to escape censorship for long.

Google claims to stick to political neutrality, respect for freedom of expression and the right to information and transparency. But its Transparency Report published every year is singularly lacking in transparency: it evokes (very succinctly), as regards the deletions of content, only those concerning 1 / Copyright, 2 / The European law upholding the right to be forgotten and 3 / Formal requests for deletion by States – the United States and Israel are in a good position. But what about other deletions, especially due to “individual” flagging or Google initiatives, which certainly represent the majority of these deletions? “Individual” flagging apparently only, as many emanate from governmental agencies or from State propaganda. The IDF cyber-soldiers or “Hasbara trolls” have already been reported for their active and paid propaganda at the highest levels on Wikipedia, Facebook, and other social networks. The Netanyahu government just gave 37 million dollars to such an agency, Kella Shlomo. The New York Times itself has revealed that “Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider [hatred/violence] incitement. Facebook has responded by removing most of them.” Glenn Greenwald, who published the Snowden case, just revealed that Facebook is coordinating with the Israeli and American governments the suppression of anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist voices, as recently shown by the removal of Ramzan Kadyrov’s Facebook account. It goes without saying that Israel’s propagandists are also particularly active on YouTube, the world’s leading online video-sharing platform (and the main source of content whose suppression is requested by States according to the Transparency Report), conferring a kind of near-monopoly on Google, who, in its hubris, allows itself to flout the right in its decisions to delete content.

Such decisions do not spare anyone on Youtube, and the biggest names of this platform have complained about the utmost contempt with which it treats its creators. This is the case of PewDiePie, the number 1 of Youtube, whose channel of Gaming / Vlogs itself (nearly 60 million subscribers and 17 billion views) has recently suffered the (pro)-Zionist wrath which clearly spares nobody. The Wall Street Journal itself took care of this odious witch hunt, engaging in slanderous accusations against PewDiePie to Youtube and his own sponsors, Disney in particular, presenting him as an anti-Semite and admirer of Hitler (sic). The WSJ failed to have his channel closed, but Disney broke their contract with PewDiePie, and YouTube excluded him from their paid programs, causing him to lose considerable sums (he does not even appear in Youtube Rewind 2017). PewDiePie had already denounced the arbitrary demonetizations of videos, including all those containing any kind of political content. This censorship policy was formalized in June 2017, with Youtube announcing that “Video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown” are not suitable for ads, and therefore demonetized. This is how YouTube keeps its creators at bay, forbidding them to merely speak about “Controversial issues and sensitive events” by this more discreet form of censorship, namely demonetization, and confining them exclusively to simple “entertainment”, in the most restrictive sense of the word. Youtube obviously dares not remove all videos or channels that do not comply for fear of the harm that it would cause them, given the notoriety of some creators, and is content with a pecuniary sanction just as crippling, but has absolutely no scruples for channels with a modest audience like mine, which are suppressed without qualms. As we can see, freedom of expression stops at the (eternally extensible) borders of Israel and its exacerbated “sensitivity”.

This is obviously a significant loss for the individual who has spent hundreds or even thousands of hours translating and subtitling these videos, and who sees five years of effort erased with a stroke of pen – or rather an ax. The impact that these videos have been able to have for five years is not reduced to nothing, but it is the possibility of seeing it grow which is indeed destroyed, and the public acquired for the next videos reduced from ten thousand to the unit. But is this censorship a sign of strength on the other side? Certainly not. The fact that the voluntary work of a private individual in his free time can disturb to this point is only a telling indication of the monumental failure of the billion dollar Zionist propaganda, supported by the mainstream media and by most political forces in the West. But despite all the efforts of Israel and its omnipresent “Thought Police”, its mercenaries and other rabid guard dogs mercilessly sent against any form of criticism of Israel (CRIF or LICRA in France, ADL, AIPAC and others), the Zionist entity remains widely regarded as a criminal state and pariah by the majority of the populations, principal threat for the peace in the world even in Europe, and cannot bear that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah reach the Western public, considering that they endanger its security and its very existence. Let us remember that Israel is the only state in the world to claim a “right to exist”, aware that its existence is factitious – and temporary. In his last speech at the UN, Netanyahu, striving to demonstrate that Israel has support all around the world, expressed his wish to visit Antarctica, because it was reported to him that “penguins too are enthusiastic supporters of Israel.” There is no need for the defenders of Palestine to flag Zionist videos for censorship, Israeli leaders and their sycophants doing an excellent job of discrediting themselves – and that is certainly why Hezbollah does not engage in targeted operations to avenge its leaders murdered by Israel, relying on their “wisdom” and “charisma” to help destroy the Zionist entity from within.

This incessant and fierce censorship demonstrates, as the Secretary General of Hezbollah has asserted, that the Zionist state is “weaker than a spider’s web”, and that its days are numbered, just like those of the monopoly of the dominant social networks – Youtube, Facebook, and others Twitter, which owe their success to their universalist policy of openness, but dig their own grave with their policy of censorship and submission to governments, imperialism and Zionism. Day after day, the giants of the Web are unveiled more and more like simple agents of the power, whether political or economic, and will be progressively deserted by those who look for authentic and unfiltered information. Freer, parallel platforms are emerging and will continue to emerge, gradually ending their monopoly. Hassan Nasrallah does not even lose anything: while at the beginning of my channel, only specialized or even marginal alternative information sites relayed his speeches (Al-Manar, AlAhed News, …), today, the whole mainstream press is forced to do so to avoid being on the margins of international news and its main actors (New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Le MondeLe Figaro,…). Youtube, yesterday precursor, is today an exception.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 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 | , , , | Comments Off on Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria was ‘very late’

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 | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lebanon: A new political alliance on the horizon?

Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia, Turkey have failed in Syria

Al-Akhbar | September 23, 2013

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other regional countries backing Syria’s rebels must acknowledge their failures to bring down the Syrian government, and join efforts for a political solution to end the two and a half year civil war, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday.

In his first televised speech in over a month, Nasrallah said dialogue is the only option to bring an end to a conflict that has already left over 100,000 people dead and threatened to exacerbate tensions across the region.

“I call on Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Gulf states to revise your stance,” he said. “You won’t reach anywhere by relying on a military victory. Put this hatred (for Hezbollah) aside and think with your minds. Think about your interests, the interests of the region, the survival of the region.”

He condemned calls by some Lebanese politicians from the March 14 alliance for the United States to launch an attack on Syria, warning that any strike would cause global repercussions, and that Lebanon would be the first casualty.

Those same politicians calling for the West to intervene in Syria have accused Hezbollah of endangering Lebanon by sending troops to Syria, Nasrallah added, urging them to evaluate the consequences of a US attack across the border.

Nasrallah said that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries believed their support to rebel forces would lead an overthrow of the Syrian government within months, and are using Hezbollah as a scapegoat “to run away from their failures,” by accusing it of occupying Syria.

“For two and a half years, they used everything in their disposal … to control Syria and they failed. Of course [Hezbollah] are foreigners, we are not Syrian, but [what about] the tens of thousands of foreign fighters who you brought from all over the world? Are they occupying Syria?”

He noted that the Syrian government has expressed willingness to engage in dialogue with the opposition, and emphasized talks as the only suitable option to achieve peace.

Nasrallah also flatly denied accusations that his powerful Shia movement had obtained chemical arms from Syria, saying that he was principally and religiously forbidden from using such weapons.

September 23, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nasrallah: Saudi Arabia, Turkey have failed in Syria

The Media Deception About the Bombings in Lebanon

By Mahdi Darius NAZEMROAYA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.08.2013

There has been an ongoing information war being fought for hearts and minds inside and outside of the Middle East. The war has mostly been tied to Syria. As the US and its allies begin to focus their attention on Hezbollah in Lebanon, the media war now includes the events in Lebanon. This, however, has not stopped the media attempts to depict the fighting in Syria in sectarian terms as a regional war between Shias and Sunnis or to demonize Syria’s allies…

In regards to Syria, the Israeli media, the Saudi media, and Lebanon’s Hariri-owned media — which belongs to Hezbollah’s US/Saudi-supported rivals — have all carried the same August 2013 AFP story or some derivative of it that deceitfully reports that Iran and Hezbollah are now running Syria. The Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva, the Daily Star, Ya Libnan, Al-Arabiya, the Saudi Gazette, Hürriyet, Naharnet, France 24, Fox News, and the Dubai-based Gulf News are examples of the type of media that carried this so-called news. Here is an extract of the text which sums up the entire image that the article is trying to engrain into the minds of its readers: “Assad ‘no longer runs Syria. The real rulers of Syria are the Iranian (elite) Revolutionary Guard… with the participation of Hezbollah fighters,’ Jarba said.” The entire report is built around a quote by Ahmad Al-Jarba, the leader of the foreign-controlled and funded Syrian National Coalition.

How the Mainstream Media Legitimizes Terrorism Against Lebanese Civilians

3509408544518512Next the same media outlets finessed the news about the terrorist bombs planted in Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahiyeh. The August 15, 2013 terrorist bombings in the neighbourhood of Al-Rouweiss (Al-Rweiss) were downplayed and, in a manner of speaking, legitimized by the media through their selective use of language. The attack on Al-Rouweiss come about a month after the July 9, 2013 terrorist attack on the neighbourhood of Bir Al-Abed. Both are densely populated neighbourhoods in Dahiyeh. The Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) in the United States took quick notice of the biased media framing. IPA asked the following, on August 16, 2013, through the title of report: “Why Isn’t Beirut Bombing Called ‘Terrorist’? What’s Behind It?”

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akbar is worth looking at to get a grasp of the biased media reporting that has been used to reframe the events as legitimate. It commented thus on August 17, 2013: “The Western media have double standards when it comes to ‘terrorism.’ Within hours after two bombs were detonated at the Boston Marathon last April, many in the media had christened it a ‘terrorist attack.’ Meanwhile, the August 15 bombing in Rouweiss that killed at least two dozen is a ‘blast’ that occurred in a ‘Hezbollah stronghold.’” As Al-Akhbar observes, the phrase “Hezbollah stronghold” plays a prominent role in giving the impression that the civilian neighbourhoods bombed in Beirut were armed barracks. Al-Akhbar even nicely sums up some of the biased titles used to describe the terrorist attacks:

Wall Street Journal: «Car Bomb Blasts Hezbollah Stronghold in Lebanon»

BBC: «Deadly Lebanon Blast in Beirut Stronghold of Hezbollah»

LA Times: «Massive Explosion in Beirut Rocks Hezbollah Stronghold»

Washington Post: «Bomb Explodes in Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut, Injuring Dozens»

Reuters: «Over 50 Hurt as Car Bomb Hits Hezbollah Beirut Stronghold»

Associated Press: «Car Bomb Rocks Hezbollah Stronghold in Lebanon»

France24: «Car Bomb Rocks Hezbollah Stronghold in Beirut»

Mixed with the other narratives that the same media outlets are painting, the terrorist attacks are being tacitly portrayed as some type of legitimate retaliation. Readers are basically led to think that that the terrorist attacks in Dahiyeh were a military act against some type of Hezbollah base.

How the Mainstream Media Lies and Deliberately Places the Blame on Sunni Muslims

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, responded to the terrorist attack on Al-Rouweiss by categorically saying that the attacks were not the work of Sunni Muslims. He gave a speech saying that there were going to be those groups and individuals that would try to blame the terrorist attacks in Beirut on the Sunnis and said that these groups and individuals should be outright dismissed. In fact, he said that anyone that used this divisive logic was an “Israeli” and a partner in the goal of creating massacres. He made it clear that the individuals who planted the bomb did not represent the Sunni Muslims or the Arabs or the Syrians or the Palestinians. In a message to the US and its allies, he also said clearly stated that Hezbollah was aware that the intelligence services of the US and its allies had infiltrated various terrorist groups and manipulate them as tools.

Despite Nasrallah’s clarity, his words were totally changed by the same media outlets that were legitimizing the terrorist attacks in Beirut. The Israeli media, the state-run British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya would blatantly fabricate the news and claim that Nasrallah “blamed the Sunnis” or try to manipulate readers into getting the impression that he did. The New York Times titled an August 16, 2003 article on the terrorist attacks as the following: “Hezbollah Makes Vow to Step Up Sunni Fight”. It never even mentioned that Nasrallah went out of his way to say that the people involved in the terrorist attacks were the tools of the US and Israeli government and not really Sunni Muslims. Instead Ben Hubbard focused on sectarianism in Lebanon and wrote: “In short, Hezbollah has more enemies than it used to have.”

The BBC wrote a similar article on August 16. It also used a grossly misleading title. The title being “Hezbollah blames Sunnis for bomb”. After a large number of people caught it, the BBC changed the title to “Beirut bomb: Hezbollah’s Nasrallah blames Sunni radicals”.

Exposing the Yellow Journalism at Work as a Tool of War

Aside from their direct or indirect links to these media outlets, even the political actors involved show that the way the news is reported is not isolated. Saad Hariri, the leader of the Future Party and a Saudi client, even responded to Hassan Nasrallah’s speech by saying that he had no right to designate what groups are terrorists. Hariri’s overlords in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, refused to even condemn the terrorist attacks. This again is tied to the attempts to reframe the terrorist attacks in Beirut as a legitimate military act.

This type of yellow journalism that relies on misleading headlines that essentially say everything while the hollow articles carry and have little or no newsworthy material is not politically neutral. It is a weapon of war. All these articles are agitating for bloodletting in the Middle East, specifically between Shias and Sunnis. This type of journalism either directly or indirectly stokes the fires of sectarianism in Lebanon and the Middle East with the intentions of spreading sectarian animosity. This is why it deliberately ignores and refuses to even acknowledge the main points of Nasrallah’s speech that clearly pointed the finger at Israel and the US and said that the terrorist attacks had nothing to do with Sunni Muslims.

August 22, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Media Deception About the Bombings in Lebanon

Morality be damned in Canada’s support for Israel

By Yves Engler · August 14, 2013

The extremism of Canada’s support for Israel just keeps growing.

The latest example is the Conservative government in Ottawa helping convince theEuropean Union to list Hizballah’s military wing as a “terrorist” organization. After that decision was taken, Foreign Minister John Baird declared, “We are thrilled that the European Union unanimously has agreed to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization. We’ve been pushing for this.”

The National Post detailed Canada’s behind-the-scenes effort to get the EU to list Hizballah as a “terrorist” organization. Despite opposition from the Lebanese government, a foreign ministry official told the paper that this was “a clear priority that was set out by the minister.”

Canadian diplomats held bilateral talks with various European countries and also pushed for Hizballah to be listed at numerous multilateral meetings. At both a recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime meeting and a UN conference on radicalization in Europe, Canadian officials pressed key EU officials to define Hizballah as a “terrorist” group (“Canada pushed EU to add Hezbollah to list of banned terrorist organizations, official says,” 24 July 2013).

Canadian law enforcement and security officials were also part of the lobbying effort. Reportedly, they’ve been feeding their European counterparts information about the supposed threat Hizballah poses to both Canada and Europe.

The Conservatives push to get the EU to list Hizballah was given a boost when six Israelis were killed in Bulgaria in July last year. Within hours of the bus bombing, Israel claimed Hizballah was responsible, yet more than a year later it’s still unclear exactly who committed this crime.

With a Canadian passport holder allegedly implicated in the bombing, Ottawa jumped at the opportunity to get involved in the investigation. Presumably, Canadian investigators shared information with their Bulgarian counterparts designed to steer them towards the conclusion that Hizballah was responsible.

In response to the EU listing its military wing as a terrorist group the Hizballah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said: “Why don’t you classify the state of Israel as a terror state? Why don’t you classify Israel’s military wing … as a terror organization if you recognize Israel is occupying Arab lands and refuses to implement international decisions for decades now? The entire world bares witness to the massacres perpetrated by Israel” (“Nasrallah to EU: Why not brand IDF as terror group?,” Ynet, 24 July).

Nasrallah raises an important point that Canadian foreign affairs professionals must be familiar with. It’s a simple fact that Israeli forces have killed far more civilians than the military wing of Hizballah.

The Israeli military and its allies in Lebanon have killed thousands of civilians. In fact, Hizballah was created in large part to fight the Israeli occupation of that country. Israel has conducted scores of targeted assassinations in many countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Certainly, Canadian foreign affairs officials must remember Gerald Bull. This Canadian engineer and designer of the Iraqi “supergun” was, according to CBC journalist Linden MacIntyre, shot dead by Israel’s secret service Mossad outside his residence inBelgium in 1990 (“Murdered by the Mossad?”, CBC The Fifth Estate, 12 February 1991).

And what about members of the current Israeli government who support illegal settlers and the killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians?

But apparently none of this “terrorism” bothers Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. The Conservatives are either ignorant or relish their hypocrisy.

Though they are allowed to support the Israeli military, Canadians can go to jail for sending money to a group operating a school or medical clinic in Lebanon “directly or indirectly” associated with Hizballah, which comprises an important part of the Lebanese governmental and social service structure.

Dozens of Canadian companies sell to the Israeli army and many groups with charitable status promote the Israeli military. The Canadian Jewish News is full of advertisements for such groups: “Express your Zionism by serving as a civilian volunteer on an Israeli army supply base,” reads one ad. Another advertiser, the Libi Fund, runs educational projects for the Israeli military.

Established in 1971 the Association for the Soldiers of Israel in Canada also provides financial and moral support to the Israeli military. A June 2009 Canadian Jewish Newsad promoting the group invited readers to “show your support for the brave youth of the IDF at our gala dinner.”

Prominent Toronto couple Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, who own or control more than two thirds of Chapters/Indigo/Coles bookstores, created the Heseg Foundation for Lone Soldiers. Reisman and Schwartz provide up to $3 million per year for post-military scholarships to individuals without family in Israel who join the Israeli army. After completing their military service these non-Israeli “lone soldiers” gain access to this scholarship money.

For the Israeli high command (Heseg’s board has included a number of generals and a former head of Mossad) “lone soldiers” are of value beyond their military capacities. Foreigners volunteering to fight for Israel are a powerful symbol to reassure Israelis weary of Israel’s behavior. Schwartz and Reisman’s support for Heseg has spurred a campaign to boycott Chapters/Indigo/Coles, which controls 70 percent of Canada’s retail book trade.

The Harper government is plowing full steam ahead with its support for Israel. Double standards and morality be damned.

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on Morality be damned in Canada’s support for Israel

Lebanon: Who Is Behind the Attacks on Hezbollah?

By Ibrahim al-Amin | Al-Akhbar | August 5, 2013

For 25 years now, Hezbollah has been engaged in a war with many powerful intelligence outfits from around the world. These intelligence agencies have devoted tremendous resources to collect information on the party, in addition to pursuing both its civilian and military activities, not to mention carrying out assassinations against its cadre and leadership.

Israel has played a key role in these efforts, but it is hardly alone. After the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, Hezbollah was subjected to the most ferocious campaign against it, with former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman admitting before Congress that Washington spent $500 million to undermine the party’s image.

After the outbreak of the Syrian uprising and Hezbollah’s open declaration of its involvement in the country’s fighting, the campaign intensified, with mounting threats to the party and its supporters that they may be subjected to revenge attacks.

First, the Resistance’s Dahiyeh stronghold was shelled with rockets. Similar attacks followed on many towns and villages in Baalbeck and Hermel. These were followed by roadside bombs targeting Hezbollah members on the main Lebanese highway to Syria, culminating in the massive Bir al-Abed blast in the heart of Dahiyeh.

Hezbollah is in a state of high alert due to the fact that it has been forced to fight simultaneously on two fronts. This has prompted Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah to tell the party’s cadre that they must be prepared for attacks that may involve both Syrian and Lebanese groups, without dropping their guard against their main enemy – Israel.

On the eve of Hezbollah’s engagement in the battle of Qusayr, it initiated a plan that involved:

– a series of practical steps to prevent the killing of Lebanese civilians held by the Syrian opposition in the north of the country;

– securing areas that may become targets of reprisals, including the border areas, Beirut, and South Lebanon.

The question today is: Who thought up an adventure of this kind against the Resistance? I wonder whether they thought about the party’s reaction.

Who are these people? Are they groups within the Free Syrian Army or the Salafi al-Nusra Front? Are they jihadi elements in Lebanon active in the North and Bekaa? Could they be Palestinians who have abandoned their cause to work as agents serving another agenda?

Who is helping them inside Lebanon? What are the Internal Security Forces (who take orders from the Future Party) doing about it? They seem to care little about people’s safety and are mainly concerned with collecting information on the Resistance.

In any case, Hezbollah has surprised friend and foe on more than one occasion in their intelligence capabilities. So, will the Resistance surprise us again by revealing who is behind these attacks?

August 5, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah: EU giving “legal cover” for an Israeli war on Lebanon

Al-Akhbar | July 25, 2013

The European Union is paving the way for Israel to justify a war on Lebanon, Hezbollah’s general secretary said late Wednesday, two days after the 28 member states issued a decision to put Hezbollah’s military wing on its terror list.

“EU countries should know they are giving legal cover for Israel to launch any war on Lebanon because Israel can claim it is waging war on terrorists,” Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech at the annual iftar ceremony held by the Women’s Committee of Islamic Resistance Support Association of Hezbollah.

“These countries make themselves undeniable allies during any Israeli aggression on Lebanon, on the resistance and on any target for the resistance [in the country],” Nasrallah added.

The EU 28-member bloc agreed Monday to blacklist Hezbollah’s military organization as a terrorist group following years of relentless US and Israeli pressure.

The EU cited accusations that the powerful Lebanese Shia movement was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria last year which killed five Israelis and their driver, as well as the party’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the Bulgaria bombing.

Last month a new socialist-led Bulgarian government backed away from the claims of the previous administration, saying that the EU could not justify blacklisting Hezbollah solely based on the little evidence produced to implicate it in the crime.

“It is important that the (EU) decision be based not only on the bombing … because I think the evidence we have is not explicit,” Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin had told national state radio BNR.

Nasrallah noted that the EU’s official statement will be issued within days and the party will see then what is to be discussed.

He also posed the question to the EU of why the union hadn’t considered placing Israel’s army on its terror list.

“[The EU] repeatedly admits that Israel occupies Arab land but hasn’t implemented international resolutions for ten years. The whole world has witnessed the Israeli massacres,” he said.

Nasrallah advised the member states to reconsider the decision, stating that it is doomed to fail and that “the decision wasn’t worth the ink it was written with.”

The EU’s blacklisting of Hezbollah’s military wing is merely the result of external pressure and interests, he said, instead of being based on values and principles. He added that the effect of the decision is nothing but psychological.

“In this country, resistance fighters fought the Israeli occupation, endured a lot of pressure and sacrificed martyrs. Then you come to those who are the sons of these people and say they are terrorists. This is abuse to fighters, to their people and to their successive governments,” Nasrallah stated.

“This decision aims at making us bow, at forcing us to step back and be afraid. But, I tell you that all you will get is failure and frustration,” he said, adding that anyone who thinks the resistance will be undermined by the decision is either “ignorant or delusional.”

The General Secretary hinted jokingly at having members of Hezbollah’s military wing in Lebanon’s new government, assuring viewers that the resistance has gained credibility among people in Lebanon and the Arab and Muslim world.

“The most important thing for the Lebanese resistance is to get the support of its people and to express their will, pride and view in defending their land and their sovereignty,” he said.

“The Resistance will remain and will be victorious by God’s will,” Nasrallah concluded.

July 25, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nasrallah: EU giving “legal cover” for an Israeli war on Lebanon

Hezbollah fighting in Syria to defend Lebanon from bloodbath

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya | RT | June 26, 2013

Mainstream media fail to mention that key anti-government forces in Syria swore to kill all the Shiite Muslims and to march straight into Lebanon after Syria.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, announced his party’s entry into the Syrian conflict on May 25, 2013. The Syrian National Coalition immediately denounced Hezbollah while the US Department of State reacted to Nasrallah’s announcement on May 29 by demanding an immediate withdrawal of Hezbollah’s fighters from Syria. The rubber stamp Arab League would eventually, and very predictability, condemn Hezbollah’s entry into the Syrian conflict, whereas it has ignored the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their allies.

Qusayr, situated on the road between Damascus and the Mediterranean coastline of Syria in the northwestern portion of the Syrian Governate of Homs, would become a central focus of Hezbollah’s involvement inside Syria. After the victory in Qusayr, the war hawk Charles Krauthammer would embarrassingly proclaim that the US was hesitating too much while Russia and Iran were taking charge of the situation in Syria with Hezbollah.

The US had not hesitated in reality, but had failed to topple the government in Damascus. Most probably prompted by the pressure of their Saudi and Qatari paymasters, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government would react to the victory in Qusayr by cutting its ties with Syria, calling for a no-fly zone, and attacking Hezbollah for its involvement in the Syrian conflict. As an indicator of the failure of its regime change project, the Obama Administration would leak to the press that it was considering a no-fly zone too. Ironically, Egypt’s President Morsi and many of the same people that criticize Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia for their involvement in Syria refuse to criticize Turkish, Saudi, Qatari, British, French, Jordanian, Israeli, and American involvement.

Hezbollah is also a Target of the Syrian Conflict

Undoubtedly Hezbollah did discuss its intentions to enter the Syrian conflict with its patrons in Tehran and coordinated with Iran and then, to a lesser extent, with Russia through Iranian officials and through consultations with Aleksandr Zasypkin, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, and then Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov during his April 2013 visit to Beirut. The involvement of Hezbollah in Syria, however, is purely defensive. Moreover, Hezbollah is one of the last external players to be involved in Syria.

It is the same type of reports that constantly claim there is a substantial Iranian military presence in Syria, but can never manage to give solid proof or any form of confirmation about their claims, that are the ones that simplistically de-contextualize Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria. For example, rockets were launched into Dahiyeh, the working class southern suburb of Beirut that is the political stronghold of Hezbollah in Lebanon’s capital district, and the town of Hermel, in Bekaa, hours after Nasrallah announced his party would enter the Syrian conflict.

Most reports about this failed to recognize the nature of the rocket attacks. The rocket strikes were more than a mere warning from the anti-government forces inside Syria, in fact they were part of a steady stream of escalation that deliberately aimed at expanding the war into Lebanon and spreading the fires of sedition. Attacks were being conducted in areas inhabited by Hezbollah supporters much earlier and before Hezbollah even intervened in Syria. Whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally, this type of reporting conceals the fact that Hezbollah intervened in Syria mainly to protect itself and Lebanon’s diverse population, and it fails to identify who the real perpetrators of the violence are. The mainstream media in places like the US and UK also fails to mention that key divisions of the anti-government forces inside Syria have sworn to kill all the Shiite Muslims they get their hands on, and to march straight into Lebanon after Syria.

From the beginning of the Syrian conflict Hezbollah agreed that the Syrian people should have the democratic freedoms that Hezbollah itself enjoys in Lebanon and it has agreed that Syria is in need of political reforms. Its entry into the Syrian conflict is aimed at preventing the takfiri death squads that have amassed in Syria from marching against Lebanon and committing the same type of crimes in the towns and homes of the Lebanese people they have been committing against the Syrian people. Because the takfiris have announced that they will purge the Levant of the Shiite Muslims and all others that they do not accept, the conflict was unavoidable. Rather than wait, Hezbollah chose to act in a war that the anti-government forces in Syria deliberately initiated against Hezbollah through a stream of assaults on the Shiites living on the Lebanese-Syrian border. As a preview of what is in store for the Shiites, after their defeat in Qusayr, the anti-government militias marched into Hatla and massacred many of its residents, including old people and young children who all had their throats slit. One video of the massacre titled The storming and cleansing of Hatla surfaced with the man filming it stating that all the Shia Muslims would suffer the same fate. What happened in Hatla, including stories about vicious rapes and mutilations, has only strengthened the support in Lebanon for Hezbollah’s intervention.

Hezbollah is protecting Lebanon and the Levant’s minority groups

On July 14, Nasrallah went on Lebanese television to say that Hezbollah was fighting to defend both the people of Lebanon and Syria from the abominations of “an American, Israeli and takfiri project to destroy not only Syria but the entire region.” Speaking on Al-Manar, he told his supporters and allies that the entire world had gone to Syria to fight in one way or another using their money or shipping weapons or through media warfare. It was only natural for Hezbollah as one of the main targets of the war to get involved. He added that the Lebanese government had unfortunately failed to protect the 30,000 Lebanese Christians and Muslims that have been attacked by the Syrian anti-government forces on their borders. Hezbollah acted to protect them.

Nasrallah’s sentiments are widely shared inside and outside Lebanon.  According to Mohsen Saleh, a professor of political philosophy at the Lebanese University and an expert on Hezbollah, the threat of “takfirism” is now working to terminate all diversity in the region in league with Israel and the US. The Muslim Brotherhood is tied to this project too, but “it is now collapsing and in a state of decay” according to Saleh. “The Brotherhood came into power a hundred years too late,” he told me. While visiting him at his office, he explained that all of Lebanon’s different communities are afraid of the takfiris as they have witnessed their crimes in Syria. This is why the Maronite Catholic Church and the multitude of Christian denominations in Lebanon are increasingly standing behind Hezbollah. He confidently said that all of Lebanon’s different sects will improve their relations with Hezbollah due to the mutual threat they all face. When I asked Saleh about Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate, who is linked to Hezbollah’s rivals in Lebanon, he pointed out that Tamman Saeb Salam is not a puppet. In a discreet gesture of support distinguishing him from the Hariri camp, Tamman has said that Hezbollah will remain a resistance group no matter what happens due to its intervention in Syria.

The Druze community, which is the Lebanese group that is the most vulnerable to a takfiri attack in the country, is reconsidering its relationship with Hezbollah. The Druze community is also unhappy about the statements of Walid Jumblatt, its prime chieftain, which have been supportive of anti-government activities in Syria. Trying to please his Saudi paymaster in Riyadh, Jumblatt has gone as far as to say that he personally supports the Saudi-backed Jubhat Al-Nusra. Well aware of the dangers to their community, the Druze of Syria have shunned Jumblatt and continued to support the Syrian government.

Russian officials have also supported Hezbollah’s stance, Moscow views Hezbollah’s position as one that aims to protect the different people of Lebanon and Syria. Moscow does not want the takfiri brigades to enter the North Caucasus or to attack any of its sister-republics and allies in Central Asia. As opposed to the United States and its allies, Russian foreign policy in the Middle East openly promotes diversity and the protection of Christians and minority groups.

Unlike Hezbollah, the US Does Not Give a Damn about Arab Christians

Dr. Naji Hayek, a Lebanese Christian, sums it all up by stating: “Hezbollah is fighting for us, for me!”  He made the statement after we watched Michel Aoun live on Orange TV declaring that he supported Hezbollah after fighting erupted in the Lebanese city of Sidon. If the takfiris make inroads into Lebanon, he assured me that he would pick up his gun and fight too. Hayek, a surgeon, a professor at the Lebanese American University, and an advisor to Michel Aoun—the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, the largest Christian political party in Lebanon—helped draft the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act and used to submit intelligence reports about Syrian activities in Lebanon to the US Senate. He was once a member of Lebanon’s National Liberal Party and a close friend of Samir Geagea, the Christian warlord extraordinaire allied to the US and Saudi Arabia. Hayek was even injured while fighting against the Syrians for Michel Aoun.

Things have changed since then and new alliances have formed. Syria is an enemy no longer and Samir Geagea is no longer a friend. Hayek told me bitterly that the US has never hesitated to manipulate and then drop the Christians in Lebanon. He even showed me a heated email exchange between him and Jeffrey Feltman, while Feltman was serving as a US assistant-secretary in the US  State Department, where Feltman in reference to Hezbollah accused the Free Patriotic Movement of being aligned with “evil.” In retrospect, Hayek realizes that the US had different motives when the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act was drafted. Furiously, he talked about “the twenty-five year old kids working at the Lebanon Desk in the [US] State Department with [Bachelor of Arts] in history” that are disconnected from reality in the Middle East which he has had to deal with. 

“I am not a fan of Bashar Al-Assad, but I support him one hundred percent, because the alternative in Syria is an extremist government,” Hayek emphasized. Should the Syrian government fall, Hayek’s fear was that the corrupt Hariri family and the March 14 Alliance would invite a Muslim Brotherhood government in Damascus to invade and occupy Lebanon. As a key interlocutor between Michel Aoun and the United States, he explained to me that the Hariri family had no problem with the Syrian presence in Lebanon and in fact they were opposed to a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon and would obstruct his work in the United States. He explained that the reason for this was that the Hariris used the Syrian military to enforce their hegemony in Lebanon. “Hariri corrupted the Syrians,” he explained. The Hariri clan would bribe all the high ranking Syrian officers in Lebanon by paying them millions of dollars. The problems between the Hariris and Syria began when Bashar Al-Assad wanted to put an end to corruption in Syria and refused to let the Hariris continue with their game.

June 27, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Hezbollah fighting in Syria to defend Lebanon from bloodbath

Hezbollah Intervention in Syria Redraws Political Map

By Ibrahim al-Amin | Al-Akhbar | May 27, 2013

Relations between the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus and the Lebanese Resistance had already reached a high-level of coordination and mutual support even before the outbreak of the Syrian crisis. At the time, the two allies tended to respect each others’ boundaries, recognizing each other’s key roles in the region.

The onset of the Syrian crisis only served to further intertwine their interests as both became targets of the Syrian opposition and their regional and international backers.

In the early stages of the uprising, Hezbollah tried to play the role of mediator, seeking ways to open up channels between the regime and the opposition. But quickly, developments – like Israel’s growing involvement in the crisis – prompted a qualitative change in the relationship between Damascus and the Lebanese Resistance.

Assad’s response to the latest Israeli attacks on Damascus would have not meant much if it did not also have the strong support of Hezbollah, Iran, and even Russia – with the Resistance openly declaring its willingness to take part in any effort to ward off Tel Aviv’s threats.

This could lead Hezbollah’s Lebanese opponents to exploit mounting sectarian tensions, particularly in Sidon and Tripoli, in order to turn up the pressure on the Resistance and its popular base.

Although Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah justified in detail his party’s involvement in Syria, he did not mention – for his own reasons – that the role of the Resistance in Syria’s internal front is not without its limits, and largely depends on the course of events there.

The party has already declared that one of its goals is to push those forces that pose a threat to the Resistance away from Syrian areas adjacent to the Lebanese border. However, when it comes to confrontation with Israel, we can expect an increased and ongoing role for Hezbollah, particularly in the occupied Golan Heights.

Price of Involvement

As for the price that Hezbollah is likely to pay for its involvement, the two rockets that struck southern Beirut on Sunday morning are but a sign that there are those preparing for a campaign of terror against the Resistance.

It is difficult to foresee the trajectory of events after Nasrallah’s call to arms alongside the Syrian regime, but early signs suggest that the coming period will be one of heightened tensions among Lebanon’s political forces, particularly as the dream of toppling Assad is slowly fading away.

This could lead Hezbollah’s Lebanese opponents to exploit mounting sectarian tensions, particularly in Sidon and Tripoli, in order to turn up the pressure on the Resistance and its popular base.

The concern here is that the country’s internal security services have shown themselves to be completely ineffective in diffusing Tripoli’s interminable sectarian violence. So what if it is discovered that the Future Movement, and those powers behind them, hold sway over the state’s internal security forces.

Finally, I invite everyone to take a different approach to the crisis facing our region: To the extent that the Americans, Europeans, and those Arabs in their service succeed in reviving the colonial legacy of division and warfare among the Arabs, this will automatically raise the question of different kind of unity for the other side, which could lead to surprising results that no one could have expected.

Let us dream and hope!

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

May 27, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah tells cadres Hezbollah “has changed”

Al Akhbar | January 26, 2013

Hezbollah’ Secretary General Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah told his cadres in a private gathering that the Islamist group “has changed” and that the group’s ultimate priority is to “protect Lebanon”, a source reported to Al-Akhbar.

“Hezbollah has changed and its priorities have changed based on circumstances,” Nasrallah said.

“There was a time when we used to see Lebanon as a colonial construct that was part of the Ummah,” he added. “That was in our early days, and the country was going through a civil war. All parties were calling for a nation that fit their liking.”

“Today conditions have changed. We believe that this country is our country, and that the flag of the cedar is our flag that we need to protect, too. At this stage, our priority is to protect the state in Lebanon and to build it.”

The remarks appear to fly in the face of accusations by Hezbollah’s opponents that the group is a proxy of Iran, functioning as a “state within a state.”

“What I am telling you isn’t mere rhetoric. We are convinced of this and must work to apply it,” Nasrallah said at the close of his remarks.

Hezbollah launched into the Lebanese political scene during Israel’s brutal invasion of Beirut in 1982 as a hodgepodge of Islamist groups supported by Iran.

In 1985, the groups coalesced under a single party with a manifesto that declared its loyalty to be to the Islamic Ummah, and Iran’s supreme leader rulings to be a source of the group’s bylaws.

The 1985 manifesto also mentions “the obliteration of Israel” as one of its primary goals.

This is not the first time Hezbollah rescinds Ummah-related sections of the manifesto. In 2010, an updated group charter identified Lebanon as the party’s “homeland and the homeland of our fathers and ancestors.”

“We want Lebanon to be sovereign, free, independent, strong and capable … it should be mentioned that one of the most important conditions for the establishment of a home of this type is having a fair state, a state which is capable and strong, as well as a political system that truly represents the will of the people and their aspirations for justice, freedom and security, stability and well-being and dignity,” the charter went on to say.

January 26, 2013 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nasrallah tells cadres Hezbollah “has changed”

US pressures Europe to label Hezbollah a “terrorist group”

Press TV – October 27, 2012

The chief counterterrorism adviser to the US President Barack Obama is putting pressure on the European Union to label the Lebanon resistance movement Hezbollah as a “terror group”.

John O. Brennan on Friday criticized the European for its failure to join the United States in designating the Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Brennan also said that Iran and Syria should be punished for supporting Hezbollah.

On July 24, The European Union flatly rejected an Israeli call to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist group, despite being under pressure from the US.

The EU regards Hezbollah as an active political party in Lebanon. It says there is not enough evidence to warrant listing the Lebanese group as a “terror group” like the United States.

Led by France, Europeans countries argue that their relations with Lebanon, where Hezbollah provides extensive social services and its political wing holds government power, would be damaged by the designation.

Currently, among the 27-EU member states, only the UK and Netherlands are in favor of adding Hezbollah to the EU list of terror which would freeze the group’s Europe-held financial assets.

The renewed pressure from the US comes only weeks after Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that the Lebanese resistance movement had sent a drone into the Israeli airspace.

The aircraft crossed hundreds of kilometers above the sea and entered the occupied territories from southern Palestine and flew over several Israeli strategic sites without being detected by Israeli Air Force’s radars, he said.

Security analysts say the incident indicates that the Israeli military is incapable of handling a surprise attack despite the numerous military maneuvers regularly conducted by the regime.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment