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News Categories » SECRETARY-GENERAL » Full Speeches » Speeches-2006

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Hizbullah SG Full Speech on 19-11-2006
Local Editor

Full Text of Nasrallah`s Speech with Members of Public Action Committees on 19-11-2006


The Secretary General of Hizbullah, his Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met on 18-11-2006 with members of the committees concerned with the public action being coordinated with the rest of the coalition forces and parties.

  "There are two groups in the country, the team and forces in government and on the other side the movements and forces of the opposition. This new political grouping is certainly political and not religious or sectarian one.
There are Moslems and Christians among the team in power as there are in the opposition team. There are Moslems and Christians from all denominations and sects among the group in office as there are Moslems and Christians of all sects among the opposition.

I point this out because there are very vigorous attempts to convert the existing political grouping and the ongoing political crisis into a confrontation of a sectarian or religious nature.

Title I: for the team in government to hold onto their positions by staying in power, they are rejecting the opposition's just demand to form a national unity government; while the opposition is not saying: ‘we want you to go home', nor: ‘we do not want you as partners and want you out of government'.

Regardless of the evaluation of the governing team's performance during, before and after the war, we are still prepared to rise above this assessment, as clearly declared in the opposition's strong announcement: ‘We want a national unity government with everyone's participation', which the team in power rejected, only to clutch onto power for reasons I will address later.
What are their excuses?

In the course of the current political conflict, the other side wants to attack opposition forces and direct accusations at them. Sometimes through broad overall accusations aimed at the entire opposition forces, and focused on certain forces of the opposition at other times, because the broad overall accusations cannot be made against them, because they could not include them in their generalised accusations.

I will primarily attempt to focus on the general accusations made to include us, before the accusations directed specifically at Hizbullah.
All the accusations made by the team in power are a part of a political media war, without any logic or evidence, only to evade the facts. Here I will pose the question, why do they would focus on these accusations specifically especially those directed at Hizbullah and behind them the opposition in general?

There is a common denominator in the accusations directed at us, to be employed in a specific place.

1) The stance on the Taef Accord and the accusation that Hizbullah or the opposition forces are carrying out a coup against the Taef Accord.
First of all this argument has no evidence, and secondly is not true.
Thirdly we deny it, and fourthly we reiterate our stance that we are with the Taef Accord and the full implementation of its clauses.
I am saying I want the implementation of the Taef Accord and I support the Taef Accord and I am better than you.

2) An accusation for which they employed a band of writers who write for "money" to say that Hizbullah today wants to establish its own government in Lebanon, and therefore the current battle is because Hizbullah wants to establish its state, and impose it on the Lebanese.
This talk is both ridiculous and absurd because:
a- In brief again, we say that in Lebanon no political party, group, sect or band, regardless of their position, power or capabilities can establish its own state within Lebanon, that is because the existing reality and the composition of the Lebanese and the facts of history.
b- We do not want that.
c- Our entire political behavior since founding Hizbullah in 1982 until today, says we are moving in the opposite direction. I mean, we have always been told: ‘you are busy in resistance, come and engage yourselves with the internal political issues', and ‘Why do you avoid internal political life? Your presence in the internal political life gives it richness, decision, and additional diversity'.
We always, turned our backs to being in government, the state and internal political life. Our core cause since 1982 has been the resistance. Hence since when, has our behavior given the indication of someone who wants to set up their own government in Lebanon or impose its state on Lebanon?
I do not want to comment on how others behaved in Lebanon, who had cantons and civilian administrations, self-governments, political shops, and so on. Never, has our behaviour been thus at all.

3) That Hizbullah - this title differs from the second - wants to lay its hand on the government, to control its decisions, and to have a veto right in the government.
This talk is also untrue. Let us go back a little.
Since 1982 we never thought of entering government in the first place. So, why should we think of controlling the Lebanese government now? Initially, up until the lead up of year 2000, this subject was not our issue for debate. After 2000 it became open for discussion. Yet, we did not demand a ministerial share, we did not ask for entry into government.
More than that, in the last government set up by martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and in the following government he nearly formed, after his resignation in the government which was to be formed by Prime Minister Omar Karami, both asked us to participate in government and there are living witnesses to this fact.

Our answer was the same in both cases was to Prime Minister Hariri, and later to Prime Minister Karami: ‘We do not want to enter the government'.
This was in 2004 and 2005.

Yes, 2003 was our first participation in Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government, because it was a transitional government in a delicate phase of the country. We also joined Prime Minister Saniora's government because the country had entered into a momentous new phase, towards which we could not stand on the fence and remain neutral.
There are Major shifts occurred in Lebanon and in the region that imposed on us and obliged us to enter join government Otherwise, we did not ask to enter into the government, nor were we keen to do so. We are not seekers of authority or government posts. The developing conditions coupled with major changes in Lebanon forced Hizbullah to participate in Prime Minister Saniora's government.

Even in Prime Minister Mikati's government we participated in an indirect manner through a close personality, when we could have participated directly through a partisan figure.
This has been our course of behavior on the subject of government.
Later, through our experience in this government, to which our entry was based on a political agreement, we did not talk of our participation being a third of the Cabinet, or the guaranteeing third, or the veto third. There were specific political titles that had been agreed upon, but unfortunately the current team in Government reneged on those agreements, something that happens in political life.

You can only give your own guarantee, but cannot give the guarantee of others. We found ourselves practically ineffective within the government, and of no influence in a way that serves the larger national interest. They know that our presence in this government was essentially political in nature, and the Prime Minister who says he is fair, is still there to confirm this.
We did not seek party or factional gains, personal or area gains through being in government. The main purpose of our participation is the central political strategic subject which I will talk about shortly.

Even at the consultation meetings, we did not ask for increased Hizbullah share in government at all, nor that of Amal movement. All we asked for was that there are other fundamental political forces in the country with whom we agree on certain matters and disagree on others, but we feel that their presence within a national unity government is a national guarantee.
I want to disclose more than that to you in what I said to brother Hajj Mohammad Raad, head of The Loyalty to Resistance Bloc, who was best and most truthfully represented Hizbullah, and the brothers with him at the consultations table.

I told him: ‘if the team in power accepted a national unity government in principal, and that if we run into a numbers problem when trying to form such a government, then let them know our readiness to withdraw Hizbullah ministers from government to allow for others political forces in the country to participate, and we are willing to give confidence to such a government and support it from outside.'

Anyone with such an attitude is not seeking shares, posts, authority or veto.
There are basic things we need to guarantee in Lebanon. The participation of various fundamental political forces in government which forms a guarantee, and I am ready to quit government to make space for others to join, if sufficient space was unavailable. What is important is the result, and it does not concern me to only exist as a political party, in the presence of a national unity government.

Hence this is merely an accusation only for the sake of making one, unfounded in truth.
4) The most absurd accusation of all: that the aim of the current political confrontation is to serve the Iranian nuclear file. This is the most ludicrous accusation. As if by changing the Prime Minister, the Iranian nuclear file will be solved, and if the head of government stays in power, the Iranian nuclear file will be put on hold.

What kind of excuse is this? For the Iranian nuclear dossier is being dealt with by major powers in the world, incorporating complex international and regional interventions.
Not Lebanon, its government, a government of national unity, neither the government of the current team in power, nor even the entirety of Lebanon has a place in relation to this major international mix-up. Yet, some still link the political moves demanding for a national unity government in Lebanon with the Iranian Nuclear file!

5) The fifth accusation, which is absurd and ridiculous, claims that the current political movement in Lebanon aims at completing the links in the Shiite crescent, taking into account that some of the American entourage in the region were the ones who spoke of a Shiite crescent being formed from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and later denied they had said so.
In all cases, all this talk is silly. Imagine for example, we demand for the participation of the Free Patriotic Movement in government, what is the relationship between this demand and a Shiite Crescent?

Moreover, we are also calling for the entry into government of the multi-faceted National Lebanese Gathering, which incidentally has no Shiites whatsoever; how can this too have any relationship with a so-called Shiite Crescent?
We also demand for Lebanese National parties to join a national unity government, some of whom are secular, others nationalistic, communists, socialists, leftists, and others are Nasserites, and Islamics, how would their joining such a national unity government relate to a Shiite crescent?

When I demand for existing popular Sunni-Muslim and Christian Maronite forces to be represented, and also for the respected former heads of government with significant representation in the country to have corresponding representation in government, how does this relate to a Shiite Crescent? But talk of a "Shiite Crescent" is on purpose and we will come back to it shortly.

The last title I will address in the context of accusations, presents us as the accused that have to defend themselves, at a time, when we have the right to accuse them and have them prove themselves innocent.

This accusation is that our public move aims at disrupting the International Tribunal.
When the war ended, the Victory Celebration followed, and the International Tribunal was not up for debate in the country at that time yet; as people were still waiting for the International Tribunal draft and the consultations between the Lebanese government and the international Security Council.
When we talked before Ramadan on September 22 that the month of Ramadan was for contemplation and called in a speech on September 22 for a government of national unity, no one was talking of the International Tribunal. We said the month of Ramadan is an opportunity for reflection. After Ramadan, Speaker Nabih Berri called for the consultation table in an attempt to draw the situation in the country together.

They hastily rushed the International Tribunal draft from the Security Council and their international friends, to bring it to the table in order to blow up the consultations and escape their logical and natural responsibilities. After a war, such as the one that stormed Lebanon, the responsibility is to form a national unity government.
The consultation table was definitely to convene to discuss a national unity government and the election law.

Even when the group in power wanted to add to the agenda, they did not ask to add the International Tribunal as an item for discussion. Instead, they asked for the Presidency of the Republic. Because the International Tribunal subject had been finished at the Dialogue table, and in principle was unanimously approved. It was for the Lebanese government to pursue this matter with the international bodies concerned.

The subject had been completed, was finished and was no longer open to dialogue, consultation or discussion; but they hurriedly brought it to the table.
What exactly happened at the consultation table? On Thursday, Friday and on Saturday, when the consultations ended, we entered a new phase.

Here is an important detail the people must know accurately: what happened is, that on Thursday, a member of the team in power entered and asked the Speaker Nabih Berri and brother Abu Hassan Raad, saying: ‘brothers, give us the International Tribunal and take more than the veto-third!'

He was told during that meeting and later on that same night: ‘brother, if you are talking in principal, we in principal, already agreed to it by consensus at the dialogue table'... ‘and when the draft comes to the Ministers Cabinet, we, the Ministers of Amal and Hizbullah, promise you that we will discuss this matter positively, in earnest, scientifically, in an objective manner, and promise facilitation of the process. If you do not find this talk by Hizbullah representatives not enough, we are willing to organize a meeting where you can hear this talk directly from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and this has nothing to do with a deal.

We are calling for a national unity government because it is a legitimate Lebanese demand as well as a constitutional, political, moral and a democratic one. This is also an avenue to save the country, which is a different topic, but we are ready to follow it through to the end.
On the following day, Friday, they said: ‘there will be a draft coming soon', despite former talk of an International Tribunal draft that was to come a month or two later, but they hurried and brought it now.

On that same Friday, they presented us with the promised draft. This happens in spite of whether it had received proper legal and constitutional discussion. The draft was given to us on Friday. At the same time, it is impossible to translate and give it to legal professionals, to discuss it with Amal movement and give our opinion in very few days .
If you want us to give an opinion on this draft, then why surprise us at the consultation table on Saturday with the announcement that you had listed it on the Cabinet's agenda for the extraordinary session on the following Monday?

This means that you do not want me to discuss it objectively or scientifically, to look for guarantees of justice in the International Tribunal draft. You just want me to come on Monday or Thursday or whatever time you choose and say to me: "Here is the draft, sign it, whether you agree to it or not"

Should I then debate it with you, I would be considered disrupting the International Tribunal?
So, we accepted to receive the draft and took it on Friday, now at least give us a few days?
This position is similar to what happened on Monday and Thursday back to the days of holding-up the participation of Hizbullah and Amal`s mininsters. Nonetheless, we did not resign from government because of this incident.

What happened accurately is while we were discussing how we want to be objective and cooperative on the issue of the International Tribunal, one of the leaders expressed readiness to accept a national unity government. Of course, before Saturday, their government team was on heading in a different direction.

There are poles within the group in power, which were ready to barter a government of national unity for the Presidency of the Republic, while there are other poles in the group who want to barter government of national unity for the International Tribunal. But Friday night, the "instruction" came: "Do not barter on anything with them."
We do not want to barter, who told you we want to barter?

Who said, we agree to barter a government of national unity for early presidential elections?
We did not accept that at the dialogue table. Who told you that we accept to barter the national unity government for the International Tribunal?

The government of National Unity is a rightful demand and the International Tribunal is an independent rightful demand too. We accepted it and are ready to cooperate.
The "instruction" came, and I will speak candidly today because I want all the Lebanese to know these facts.

The "instruction" came from the US embassy in Beirut, this is not slander. This is information that came to us from more than one source. They were told the "American policy has not changed and whatever happens in the US elections, do not listen to what is being said about contacts being made at the regional level. We are with you and ask you not to give up anything at all."

They arrived on Saturday, and one of them said, "we have read in the newspapers about the unethical barter". I say true, it is unethical, but we are not the ones who offered it. It was your friends who brought it up. Unfortunately those who offered this unethical barter denied it and later condemned it. Here, you discover the existing political level in this country with which we are dealing.

We are facing a political group in power, with whom you could sit for ten hours and twenty hours, and form a dialogue table and a consultation table, but the problem is that you are quite frankly holding a debate, discussing, and dialogue and make agreements with those who do not make their own decisions.

This is the new political dilemma today. Unfortunately, this is the reality in a state of sovereignty and freedom. When on Saturday it is said: "we are the ‘majority', and we are concerned with the major political decisions... and we do not want to form a government of national unity in which there is a guarantor-third or veto-third in cabinet as a participant".
One says to you I do not want you partner in government.

I do not join government to be a partner's share in jobs, directors or in projects. You know that I never came to government to take shares in these matters, but rather we entered government in order to be partners in the larger political decision making process.
We are calling for other political forces to be involved in the major political issues such as economic and security policies, construction of institutions, the election law, the maintenance of the democratic process, and not be turned into a masked dictatorship, in connection with the protection, reconstruction and the freedom of the country... But this band in power is not ready.

Therefore, our natural choice was to resign.

This is the reason for resignation; the topic has nothing to do with the International Tribunal.
If it had anything to do with the International Tribunal, I say to them now. Form the government of national unity and try us. Bring the International Tribunal draft to the government of national unity and try us. Should we disrupt the process, shame us before the people. Should we do that, you would still be majority in Parliament House and can dissolve this government anytime you choose.

These are the main package of accusations focused on, but are untenable and unjust, false and inaccurate. What is the aim of these accusations? What is the common denominator?
Here, I will talk a little and with transparency because we are in a crucial stage in the country that does bear courtesies.

The team in power today, is in a state of weakness and weakening, and here I am not arrogant. Of course, and frankly they feel ignominious defeat because of what happened in the recent war launched by "Israel" on Lebanon, on which they gambled will destroy the resistance, or at the minimum level change the internal and local equations to their advantage. Hence, they could later take control of the rest of the opposition forces and tighten their grip on Lebanon.
This project failed and collapsed. All those who spoke of defeat after the war, were only talking of their very own defeat. Those who spoke of a disaster, were talking of the political catastrophe that befell them themselves, for they do not feel pain or suffering for our homes that were destroyed or for our women and children who were killed and butchered in Lebanon, because they are the ones who had rejected a cease-fire and only wanted it within the framework of a comprehensive solution. These still exists in the archives of TV, radio stations and newspapers.
The poles within the governing team, stood up and said: "We want a cease-fire within the framework of a comprehensive solution."

This means, they want Lebanon and the resistance to negotiate under the bombing and killing. Whoever loves their own people, cares for the blood that is being spilt, for the children, the infrastructure, the homes, towns and villages makes every effort to stop the aggression away from any restriction or condition.

They were putting conditions on us. However, we do not come to settle scores but say let ‘bygones be bygones'. Hence, when they talk about a defeat, they are the ones in defeat.
When they talk about a disaster, they are talking about a political catastrophe that befell them.
When we go to this team, the team in power, and their calculations and illusions, though their size is known, they still look at other parties through size, the number of people they can mobilize, the size of this group and that group, their electoral representation and how much political clout this or that party has.

For that reason the group in government sees itself in a position, to defend themselves. They have but one option in Lebanon today and it is to hide behind the honourable Sunni sect. Some of those grew accustomed in their military and political wars to fight using the sons and children of other sects.
The only hope today is, and through this I want to address the Lebanese, as I also want to specifically address the sons of the honourable Sunni sect, who are our brothers, loved ones and dear ones, because our make-up in Lebanon is unfortunately thus. Today, the last choice and last weapon the forces in the current government have is to barricade itself behind this sect and use it as ammo.

Therefore, all the ongoing rhetoric in the country is a sectarian one and not religious. Is there anyone speaking about Muslim-Christian differences? No, for we to keep in mind that there are Christians and Muslims both in the opposition and in the ruling team. So, they are trying to take all the discourse in the country in the Muslim Shiite-Sunni direction. Those who are making this attempt are neither Shiites nor Sunnis, but are still trying to take the country in this direction.
Does the political discourse today, for which pens and turbans are employed which also speak a clear and explicit sectarian language, when attacking another sect, come for the interest of this country? Is this a patriotic logic and a sectarian logic?!
They bring in their political discourse today to say that the Taef Accord gave important political gain for the Sunnis in Lebanon. At the same time, they depict our political moves today as a coup on Taef. All this to show that we are removing the political gain obtained by the Sunnis in Lebanon in the Taef Accord.

That is a lie.
We are with the Taef Accord. We are with the powers the Taef Accord gave the Lebanese government to be headed by a Lebanese Muslim Sunni. If you want to swear an oath on that, we are prepared to do so. "Spare us these lies and slander." They talk of everything that provokes the Sunnis in Lebanon...

Today all the opposition forces are presented as ‘Shiites', and the objective of the political moves is to knock down the Sunnis in Lebanon through the Taef Accord, through ‘the establishment of Hizbullah`s own', through the International Tribunal, through the Iranian nuclear file and through all these lies which are trying to spread.
This is absolutely untrue.

This is why they are spreading such accusations, to the extent that even some of those political leaders who do not belong to the Muslim Shiites or the Sunnis went to some Arab Gulf states and told the kings and princes there, that they have to safeguard against what is happening in Lebanon - and listen to this new bit of nonsense -that Hizbullah is working on converting the Muslim Sunnis to Muslim Shiites.
Of course, the liar does not usually succeed with his lies. So, they presented to the kings and princes the alleged proof: "the evidence is what is happening in Akkar". In all cases, I was keen to talk with this transparency because we are in a sensitive stage and can no longer hide things.
In all cases, I was keen to talk with this level of transparency because we are in a sensitive stage and can no longer allow things to remain hidden.
There is an attempt to present the current political conflict, confrontation or political crisis in Lebanon as if it is between Sunnis and Shiites. This is not true at all. Furthermore it is also a mistake, on the political level, to present all Shiites to belong to one political position, or the Sunnis as if they were all in one political position.

There are Sunni national powers, Islamic powers, national personalities and very wide Sunni segments whose choice is neither that of ‘February 14' nor that of the current ruling team, even though they are now subjected to torment because of their political choice.
A rumour may even come out tomorrow claiming that a clergyman, a political leader, or former Prime Minister no longer is a Sunni but now a Shi`ite as a result of a political choice they may adopt.
This is truly a great injustice. But regrettably, those in the past who did not hesitate to commit crimes and massacres, and took Lebanon into civil war in the process, do not have a problem provoking sensitivities, telling lies and misrepresentations of this kind now.
Hizbullah in Lebanon made a choice that is patriotic, and not a sectarian one. In Lebanon today, we are at the heart of the battle faced by the Palestinian people and the resistance movements in the region against the American-Zionist project.

This is not a Shiite-Sunni debate; this theme is a patriotic, Islamic and nationalistic theme, which concerns every Arab, Lebanese and Muslim. This is the reason behind their focusing on these accusations. Their goal is to take matters in this Shiite-Sunni direction instead.
Title II- What is our diagnosis for the current problem and what is the goal we want to reach?
We simply believe that the government in power now, while we were inside it and certainly now after we quit, could not be trusted with the basic political decision making in Lebanon. This is not a matter of accusation of betrayal, but because the main problem of this government is that it abides by the dictates of the American administration, which sends us Condoleezza Rice one day, Walsh another and oftentimes simply relies on the US Ambassador Feltman, facts that have become certainty for us.

Today, in Lebanon there is no patriotic government even if the current government claims to be patriotic, not one of sovereignty even if claiming sovereignty, nor independence even if claiming independence.
I will give evidence, on another occasion, of things we had debated and agreed upon, only for them to go back on later, their reason was: ‘the Americans did not agree'.
This government could neither be trusted with the country nor political decision, neither during the war nor after the war, neither on reconstruction, nor economic policy.
On the economic subject, during the past 15 years was Hizbullah the team which administered the economic situation?

In former times, files were distributed, and those who managed the country distributed the files: the resistance was run by the resistance group, security files by the security forces and the economic dossier had a team dedicated. At minimum level, the economic file was in your keep, either fully or in essence. We on the other hand were outside that subject.
We are currently facing a government of such a kind. We do not know where it is taking the country. It meets and takes decisions whether we are present or not. Yes, during the war period, the Cabinet convened and tried on more than one occasion to take a decision on transforming the area south of the Litani River to a demilitarized zone. But they know that this issue cannot be solved with the two-thirds majority, as this is not a subject of vote in the government.

Most of them have no reservations to meet and vote with their tow-thirds majority. There are decisions we prevented, not because of our constitutional presence within the government, but because of their trepidation of the consequences of taking such decisions.
Therefore today, we simply say: ‘brothers let us join in solving the problem in the country'.
Again, we are calmly talking anew. Here, we are not calling others to account. We do not want to judge. If you want to call us to account, then so be it and by all means do so.
Put aside everything that happened before and after the war, and let us calmly speak.
When we went to the consultations, we said the same thing: ‘we have two choices to exit the existing political impasse in the country: either come to make a national unity government, in which all fundamental political forces of the country participate, in a real partnership, and not cosmetically; this option is still available. The second option, an early parliamentary elections.'
Do you not claim to have public majority? In which case let us go back to the people.
No one speaks of weapons; no one talks of riots, nor is anyone talking about a coup, popular revolution or rebellion... In a very calm manner we say to you, today, what is the problem in the country? You are the government and we are the opposition.
This situation will continue if you insist on continuing down this path. There are two options: either form a broad government of national unity, or resort to the Lebanese people in the context of an early parliamentary elections to address the current crisis.

This talk is democratic, constitutional, peaceful and political and it is our goal.
Our goal is to either have a genuine national unity government in Lebanon, able to act as a guarantor for the homeland, which guarantees taking the right decisions in all files, sensitive and vital issues, or hold early elections in Lebanon; thus is the goal of the popular political movement, and not at all to change the Taef Accord, nor cause a regime change or a radical political coup in the country.

Public movement is within the constitutional boundaries and not above the law. It is a completely modest objective: ‘the establishment of a real national unity government or early parliamentary elections.'
This objective is clear.
I left this last remaining accusation for now to discuss within the context of the goal. In their words it is this: "when you say you want a government of national unity and serious participation, you want to bring Lebanon back under Syrian tutelage".
This is the biggest accusation they focus on.
Further to that, now they started adding the Iranian tutelage, even though the Iranians do not interfere nor discuss the subject, as the Iranians see the subject within the context of the Greater Middle East conflict and the existing larger regional conflict. There may even be an attempt now to introduce the Iranians into the treatments, for which the Iranians have not offered themselves neither as mediators nor interfere in such a file.
Anyway the Iranian is far-away, and let him stay far-away.

You talk of Syrian guardianship, we say: we are not Syrian or Iranian guardianship forces.
But today, let us suppose what you say is true, that we the opposition forces, or at least some of us want to bring in Syrian dictates to the Lebanese government. We on the other hand say you bring in American dictates to the Lebanese government, and we will not speak of parties other than the American.

If we form a national unity government, your presence in government will prevent the Syrian dictations, and ours, as opposition forces, will prevent the American dictations and therefore impose on the government of national unity to take correct nationalistic decisions.
As opposition we are not coming to say: ‘Just go home, we want to govern', for you to accuse us of wanting to restore Syrian control, but we also do not accept - of course through civilized constitutional peaceful means- for you to stay in government because you are an American government.

If you want a national government, in light of domestic, regional and international given facts, and the existing fears, circumstances, difficulties and challenges, it can only be achieved if all political forces of the country participated in such a government. Their serious participation then acts as protection for Lebanon from any external dictates whether those of friends or enemies.
This is our proposal. So, let us together start on it, and you will find that we will not differ over fundamental issues that serve national interests. All what we seek is genuine nationalistic participation.
Regarding this goal, I will conclude by saying, that should the formation of a genuine, serious national unity government be impeded because of the denominational or sectarian situation and restriction of number of seat allocations, then provided the fundamental political powers exist inside the government in a way that guarantees genuine participation, there would be no reason to have Hizbullah ministers in this government.

Furthermore we are ready to give it our vote of confidence, support and help to succeed.
The ruling team thus far is still reluctant, and in my view some of these forces will continue to oppose such an offer, sometimes for internal reasons.
Once a government of national unity is formed with the participation of the Free Patriotic Movement and other Christian powers, the real political size of some political forces, especially in Christian circles, will be revealed and transition will soon follow from their camp to the other camps. Therefore, their partisan, political and factional calculations stop them from accepting a national unity government..

There are also basic forces committed to the American administration and know that from within the framework of a national unity government they can not fulfill its pledges to the American administration. Therefore, they object to it. This is the real dilemma.
To everyone we say, out loud, that we have no obligations to any outsider. We are not looking for positions, increasing volume or share, and I am talking about Hizbullah specifically. All we want is that there be a national government in Lebanon that does not take Lebanon to become an American and "Israeli" tool, nor also a Syrian, Iranian, Saudi, Kuwaiti, French or a Russian tool...
The last Title
Public action
Of course, there is a lot of incitement happening today on the sectarian subject, and one its reasons works to our advantage.
They know that our vulnerable point in Lebanon is in our fondness of Islamic and national unity, not only on the Lebanese level, but on the Arab and Islamic world levels as well. They see it is a point that hurts us and then put pressure on us by saying that any moves or street action we take, will lead to sectarian sedition.

I wanted to speak with such transparency to say this: all Lebanese Muslims, Christians, Shiites, Sunnites and Druze are concerned with preventing political differences and conflicts from taking a sectarian turn where everyone loses.
Let political crisis remain political. Our differences are on political titles and nothing to do with sectarianism. Allow our discourse to remain political.
In the recent television interview, I said that when the consultations end, which was supposed to be on Monday and ended on Saturday instead, the zero hour for action will begin on the demand for a national unity government, and that is a serious demand.
The team in government fell in confusion. They imagined that the raised voices and movements we made are only out of moral courtesy and ethical obligation to our friends in the opposition forces for their stance beside us during the war. ‘This could not be a serious objective otherwise', and that whatever Hizbullah and Amal propose is ‘only out of ethical obligation to the oppositions forces as a result of their stance in the war'.

This was the government team's misunderstanding.
True, there is a moral issue, but over and above it is a bigger moral issue that concerns all of Lebanon, all of its citizens and Lebanon`s position in the region. It is called: the fate and future of the political decision in this country, which is why we are seekers of a national unity government.

Some expected the ministers to resign after the street protests, but what happened on the table on Saturday, and the manner with which addressed us at the consultation table, telling us that they are the majority and that the major political decisions are exclusively their concern. Therefore, our participation is acceptable only as a formality.
This prompted Hizbullah and Amal leadership, after some deliberations, to take a unified stance half an hour after the end of the consultations, by handing in their resignations as Ministers from the current Lebanese Cabinet.

This was the first step; so in fact we started before Monday.
We had said we will begin after Monday, but sometimes we deliver before the deadline as well.
There is no doubt that the resignation move was a very significant step on the political level. In terms of political outcome, it is more important than dozens of street demonstrations that day. According to the opinion of former heads of government, who are respected figures and statesmen, and legal and constitutional experts as well as jurists the most important political result is that the collective resignation removes the constitutional legitimacy off the current government.

Of course, there are some professors who considered the issue and said that the government does not lose its constitutional legitimacy by such a move. However, their university students told us that a year or two earlier, these same professors had said that it did!
Today, science and Constitution are subject to political whim.
Upon their resignation, Amal and Hizbullah ministers did not say the government would lose its constitutional legitimacy, the legal experts said that. Today, we are faced with a government, which according to constitutional experts is void of constitutional legitimacy. Thus any decisions made by this government are illegal and unconstitutional. Any draft bills sent to parliament by this government are unconstitutional. So, this places the country in the face of a serious option.
We did not want this situation to continue, so we resigned.

Currently, a second step is manifesting through the political grouping of the opposition forces, which began to stir up its ranks and express its position. A clear political delineation has become apparent in the country between the discourse of the ruling team and that of the opposition.
There are steps to follow later. There are continuous ongoing meetings and consultations among the opposition and its different configurations, particularly since the end of the consultation table. Any subsequent steps related to street action, a sit-in, or civil disobedience will be taken in agreement with the opposition forces.
None of the individual groups within the opposition can make any decisions or moves unilaterally and then say to the rest: ‘follow me', without prior agreement with the others; that would be wrong.

Today, there is a government facing a patriotic opposition. There are many forces in this opposition that agree on clear and broad objectives. These forces will cooperate with one another to decide on the following steps.
Resignation from government primarily concerned Amal and Hizbullah. It did not require consultations with other opposition forces, because this had been their demand for one and a years. But subsequent steps will be based on consultation, agreement and cooperation between the various opposition forces.

We have the street option, the option of demonstration.
On this subject I want to put you in light of a group of observations and guidelines for you and all our brothers and sisters in Hizbullah, as well as all friends, because these general guidelines are not disputed by opposition forces who individually agree to them.
With respect to the subject of street action, we should all be ready on the psychological and moral levels to go to the streets. We should know why we want to go down to the street, and that it is a required mean of action, for which we must be prepared psychologically.
Because it seems, as the debate emerges between us as opposition forces, we may not call for a demonstration for another few days, or a week. Yet, we may call for it within as short a notice as 24, 12, or six hours.

We do not want to start getting ready when called upon for action, we want to be ready.
Thus the first point relates to preparedness.
The second point is that we insist on the full cooperation and coordination with all the opposition forces. We must all agree among ourselves then go together to the street.
There must be a patriotic opposition in the street. Our action is a peaceful, civilized and civil movement. We have precedents and so do they. We simply can organize, in cooperation with the political forces, a demonstration or a rally of one million without even a small "incident". We have more than one experience of this kind in our belt.
In contrast, they sometimes ran a good experience at this level, and managed to organize large gatherings without problems. This is a positive quality due the Lebanese people, with all its groups and segments.

We want to emphasize the peaceful, civil and civilized nature of our movement. We do not want trouble or conflict. We want respect for personal and public property. We do not want to allow any collisions, even with the ruling team's ‘other street'.
Regrettably, they threatened us with the ‘other street'. They used to talk of Prime Minister Karami's government as one of guardianship and security apparatus, but PM Karami's government allowed them to demonstrate, assembly, and stay all night and all day in public squares.

PM Karami's government did not ask the army or security services to open fire on demonstrators. PM Karami's government, which had the participation of parties with large street following, did not mobilize young men to hit the other young men, nor young women to hit the other young women. Even when we went to the street on March 8, it was not simultaneous with their demonstration, or in the same square.
If that was a regime of tutelage, dictatorship and security apparatus, and on the other hand ‘sovereignty, freedom and independence' is making threats to use security forces, the army, bullets the other street, batons and knives then wretched is such sovereignty, and welcome to...
When we want to go to the street, God willing they would be wise enough not to go to a facing street. However, if they want to go in a street else where, then that would be their natural right. But it is harsh to place people face to face, and we do not want to put people in a situation where they are facing one another

Suppose we are placed in a face to face situation, then we do not want problems, neither conflict nor insults. If they insult us we should say to them: ‘God forgive you.' They killed us and we said: "God forgive them", they colluded on killing us and to then we said: "God forgive you".
If some good people came from certain regions and from Beirut city or any province or area, and demonstrated opposite to our demonstration, then these people are our people, our families, our loved ones and thus we will behave with them.
We are facing a big test. There`s an experience in Lebanon when people who were killed on roads, still refused to be dragged into civil war. On the other hand there are those who were not able to become Lords except through civil war.

Today, it is the Lebanese people who decide on this confrontation and its destiny. We can go to sectarian, religious and regional fanaticism, and simply ruin our country, or we can behave responsibly and achieve the greater national interest, free our country from the domination of Ambassador Feltman and the blood thirsty Condoleezza Rice. At the same time, our country would be trouble free, and we can do that.
If we are insulted, we do not insult back, but rather forgive. If they beat us, we do not strike back. We must resolve any incident quickly. Of course, this requires great faith and patience, and great courage as well. This is the true courage, for courage is not to fall into a clash.
Courage is to stay away from a clash instigated by those who want to take the country in a certain direction.
As far as the army and security forces are concerned, we must deal with them as our brothers and loved ones. After all who are the army and the security forces? They are my and your brother, my and your uncle.

PM Karami`s government refused to suppress demonstrators by using the army and security forces, while followers of the ‘new sovereignty' want to use the army and security forces to suppress the demonstrators. But I think that the army and security forces will act responsibly and patriotically.
Here there is a story "between parentheses" I want to share with you, to finish with it once and for all.

Since the day of the Marjayoun barracks story, I saw this happen in some places, even on September 22 Victory Rally, which disturbed me. There were youth from the security forces organizing the queues of traffic and people, when they were approached by some young people who would say to them: "Tea for two oh patriot"...

Let us put this topic to rest, since in the end, these young people, the youth of the security forces in our streets, and their officers and personnel are as I said our brothers, loved ones and sons and it is of no fault of their own what happened in Marjayoun.
The Marjayoun barracks youths were members of the army and security forces that only carried out a political decision. The person the "tea for two" expression should be directed to should be the one responsible for such a political decision, not the soldiers, internal police or security forces. Had the political decision been to fight, they would have fought like the men of the resistance.

Having said that, slogans naturally need controlling.
The current phase cannot afford slogans slipping out of control, or for certain groups to decide on slogans of their own. We in the opposition forces will come to agree on unified slogans. I am sure that the ruling team will send people to the heart of our demonstrations to make sectarian slogans, deal insults, cause problems and riots. It is our task to seize them, and to organize among ourselves any demonstration or gathering.
We do not need riots, insults, errors and chaos. We have confidence in our people, in their presence, the people`s awareness, and ability to bear responsibility. We are able to go in the streets, either we go down to the street and back, or we stay in the street, both options are open.

All options are open, one day, two, three days ...one week, two, three weeks, more or less. There is no problem, until we force the unconstitutional and illegal government down through our peaceful, civilized and democratic means, the government of Ambassador Feltman and not that of Prime Minister Fouad Saniora's government.
Hence, through this presence, calmness, commitment and self-restraint we are capable of achieving a huge political and patriotic goal.

We do have our clear redlines: civil war is one, so is the hitting the Lebanese civil peace and stability, confrontation and internal sedition are also redlines.
We are capable of achieving this goal, as opposition forces with all our varied sects, religions and political affiliations, through our large and broad public support base, leaderships, administrations and self-discipline.

Of course, we do not want to be tense. We should calmly work and without reaction, nor do we want anyone to take us where we do not wish to go.
Rest assured, though this issue is not smaller than to deserve what I am going to say, I will conclude by saying: ‘As I always promised you victory, I promise you victory once again god willing'.

Source: Al-Ahed News

04-01-2008 | 13:29



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