Local Editor, 25-12-2009
Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's Speech during the ninth night of Ashura at the Sayyed al-Shouhada compound in the southern suburbs:
I congratulate the Christians and Muslims of the birth of Jesus Christ (pbuh), the owner of miracles, which made people regain their true faith in their creator. The Christ (pbuh) held a message and a path of sacrifices and jihad, and those who hampered, accused him and conspired against him are the Jews.
Jesus Christ (pbuh) was a blessing to the people who needed his miracles and gifts. However, the problem was with the religious, political and financial elite, formed by the Jews who found that Jesus's mission was a threat to them and to their positions. So, they decided to confront him.
Jesus Christ (pbuh) was able to show the people the reality of these elites as liars and hypocrites. He showed them how they took advantage of people and that's why they confronted him in all kinds of ways.
Moving on to the reality of the world of challenges, and what we are about to talk about has been happening throughout history and till now, I'll give two worldwide examples in brief, and a regional example as well, and I'll move on to Lebanon at the end.
Today, in our world truly, there are major companies, which own massive amounts of money, and have several interests, and have limitless greed. This small group that I call the political, economical, financial and sometimes religious elite, rules upon its desires, interests and plans, and care less about people's situations around the world, whether they live in peace or not, or whether they starve or not, whether they are employed or not, whether millions die or live. They don't care at all.
What they are concerned about is their end-of-year profits. Now during the New Year, their only concern would be counting their profits. Where have we reached with the petrol? The Gas? The weapon trade? Those people rule our world today. They rule the world according to their interests and greed as for the other Billions of people, they mean nothing to them.
For example, there was an international meeting the other day in Copenhagen under the title of environment, "Environment Summit". It is possible that most people didn't follow up this subject, because people usually follow up direct dangers such as, war, poverty, earthquakes and explosions. You find people heading to the news immediately. As for the events and developments that plan for things 10, 20, 50 years ahead they will not care of, for people think that by then God will help us. Well, that's wrong.
So, in the environment summit, the issue is that there's a problem that people on earth from, Asia, Europe, Africa and the entire are suffering. This earth is heading to very dangerous natural disasters, meaning that there's an upcoming threat that human beings never witnessed throughout history, except for the flood during the age of Prophet Noah (pbuh).
A year ago, I was reading about the global warming and what it does, the ozone layer, and what's happening in the north and south poles, until one day I watched a documentary. The lecturer was the former U.S vice-president Al Gore, and he's the senator of two states, an environmental activist, and a member of the Democratic Party.
He was giving a lecture ahead of a huge screen, and everything he talks about is shown on the screen, with documented information or pictures, or videos so that the idea is understood clearly. What really took my mind was when I saw the earth on a map while he was asking what will happen if the North and South poles melt? He explained how the seas flow on earth.
Dear sisters and brothers, there are countries that will totally wipe off the map. The water will flood it. They are saying this will happen in case the temperature reaches a certain level, and if we continue our lives like this with out doing anything about it, countries, cities, and seashores will drown,. Billions of people will die, and billions of people will immigrate, and we'll lose a lot of fortunes. This means that we are ahead of a disaster, and this is agreed upon to the extent that none on earth, or in America, or in Japan, or in China, or in Russia, could say that this won't happen.
So, let's make the appropriate actions. That was the aim of the Copenhagen Summit.
I don't want to go through names and details about how and where, so that we don't panic. They held a meeting in Copenhagen to discuss what will be done to prevent the temperature from reaching this level. Where does the temperature come from? Of course from the Gas combustion, the factories, the usage of cars, the usage of petrol, gas, and wars have to do with it too.
For example, what's Lebanon's percentage on Global warming and temperature rising, nothing! Most of the Third World countries have nothing important. It is the industrial countries that are causing this disaster and should draw up procedures, but are the leaders ready for these procedures? No! That's why the Copenhagen Summit was said to be a failure. For them, what's coming up after 20 or 30 or 50 years isn't important?! Nor are those that will drown, but what important is how much money Bush, Cheney, and some others from royal political, economical and financial families around the world make.
Have you ever seen greater greed and brutality than that of those leaders? Some are telling them that your factories and benefits will lead to the death of billions of people, and they answer by saying "No Problem". To those who dub the U.S as the advanced country, I tell them, may Imam Khomeini's soul rest in peace when he said U.S is the Greatest Devil. You will never find throughout history leaders more brutal than the U.S leaders. You will never find elites standing against humans and humanity such a those leaders. Listen, they don't kill people one by one, they kill them in groups. I don't want to say "Hiroshima" or "Nagasaki". Leave them aside, for they are considered to be a walk in a park, compared to the future that the U.S is leading us to. We are at a very important stage and I want all of you to follow up this issue, and its details.
The Americans surely know how to wear their ties, and talk properly, and talk about diplomacy. Yet, the U.S is a monster hiding behind diplomacy and elegance.
Another example, Wars! Do you really think that the wars U.S is launching in the region are for the benefit of the people, and for the benefit of saving them? Meaning that we come to Afghanistan to save the people, and then we kill them! This is the American way, it saves the Iraqi people then kills them, the leader before you used to kill too, what's the difference? Are these wars for the sake of saving you? Are these wars for the sake of democracy and achieving justice and liberating the human being? This is ridiculous! These wars are for the sake of the Oil and Gaz.
Once, I presented you with an American study, that one of the biggest American oil companies, depending on research centers say when the oil in Russia will be over? And when will it be over in America, and so on. At the end, it results with that the greatest and biggest amount of oil in the world is found in our region, the Arabic-Islamic region, and the Gulf. It also found that the most aging oil is also found in this region. So, it is the greatest in amount and the most aging.
That's the reason that explains why they get their armadas to this area, in addition to building military bases. Also, they disassembled their troops from all over the world in order to get them here, why? So, would they save us from the dictatorship regime? No, there are dictatorship regimes that are allied with them. Would be that for the freedom of expression? No, it's so they could take over our resources and abilities. After that, wars are formed so money could be spent, and for the best of the American people.
I would like to add something so no one would take it that I take the American people as my enemies. On the contrary, for the American people are victims of these elite. You could look out statistics. How many poor people are there in America? There are many sections in some of the greatest US cities that are worse than the worst sections we have here in Lebanon. Look at the poverty, the unemployment, prisons, and the crime rates. There are statistics that show more and more facts that are found in the US. The American people are paying the price and taxes of these wars...
One of the important figures in the Arab world, and who's very close and knows what's going on in the US, says that the cost of the US wars that were assigned by George Bush's administration during 8 years was 12 trillion dollars spent from the U.S treasury, and will be paid back by the American tax payers, and the stock will be for the big firms and large companies.
The problem is with these elite and those special people those whom you see in the administration, the congress, and the leaders of the Republican Party, and those of the Democratic Party, who have control on the whole game. Then the majority of the American people are of those poor innocent people who have no idea of what is going on around the world, although they have many satellite channels.
On the regional level, I will give only one example, which is what happened in Palestine 60 year ago.
What happened to Palestine, to our people, and to our area during the last 60 years, who does hold responsible of it? Of course, the Zionists and those who got them. But do the elite and special people in our nation hold responsibility? Yes. Religion scholars, governments, rulers, kings, nations, political leaders, and people of intellect, all hold responsibility. Who has done his duty is free of obligations, and will find recompense from Allah. But who has not done his duty will be asked on doomsday about what happened in this region, about all its martyrs and children slaughtered, about all the tragedies of these nations and all the insults and disgraces of the holy places, and all the massacres done. These elite, the elite of our nation, will be asked on doomsday, and now it's the same.
Brothers and sisters, welfare and blessings are found within the Arab-Islamic nations, and they used to answer the calls of the oppressed, they answered in the name of millions. In the 6os, they filled the streets of Arab cities when a man like Jamal Abed El-Nasser spoke. Tens of millions used to share in manifestations. Everyone was ready to fight on the battlefront. There was no problem with the people for they were ready to sacrifice all what they had, and to be patient.
Some governments ruled their people with fire and guns, and the people stood up for poverty, hunger, repression, and dictatorship, hoping to achieve the nation's honor and dignity by returning back Al-Quds and Palestine.
And now I tell you, despite the past 60 years, and what they had of disappointments to those who were disappointed, and with the recent victories of the resistance, freedom fighters, those opposing, and the patients, the people of this nation are still willing to give away and sacrifice, but the problem lies within the elite.
Almost a year ago, similar to these days, the war and the siege on Gaza occurred. It is true that people protested, but it wasn't enough to frighten the "Israelis". We didn't see tens of millions in the Islamic world, which is made up of one billion and four hundred million Muslim.
Why didn't the people go for protest? Because people are not interacting, because I am sure that hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, during the war on Gaza, were watching the television, crying over the Palestinian people, and they felt that the fact that they sat and watched what's happening on television, it is over and their duty has been done. This is unacceptable, for people are capable of movement and action. I tell you that the people are ready, when they know of an overall war on the nation, they are ready and the troops are ready as well.
Who is that so-called "Israel" in the heart of the Arabic-Islamic nation? For if the will is present in the nation's people and the elite, then it's nothing but "one bite and its over". However, the problem lies in will of the elite of this nation. For instance, we still recall how many governments banned their people from going for protests, and some others did not allow giving in financial aids to the Palestinians.
Furthermore, there were many journalists and intellectual people, who talked about the benefit of going down to the streets and initiate a demonstration. Yet, you are sitting in your air conditioner, and you don't know the benefit of the demonstration. But those who are at the battlefront and those under bombs, and we are one of them, we know what it means to go on a protest in any Arabic capital for them, according to your patience and tolerance.
At that time, people criticized the Arab street, and talked about it as "the vocal phenomenon". Imagine the dispirited, depressed, and failing elite that don't even want the Arab people to talk, so it convicts the vocal phenomenon. So what should be done? To enter an overall war? No. Should we sit in front of the television and cry and not benefit from anything? Isn't there anything in the middle we could do? There are plenty of what we are able of doing, but even we were banned from doing that.
Today, the Gaza war is a year ago, and yet the world continues to remain silent on the Gaza siege, and to ban Gaza from reconstructing its houses. A year and people live in plastic tents, or build houses of mud, which means we went back five thousand years behind. What's the reason and what lacks us? And the whole world remains silent on this truth, that's an example. So here the bug people hold responsibility, but the ordinary people are held responsible for the fact that they obey their prominent figures, and their acceptance of the logic of disappointment, and defeat.
We come to Lebanon, the responsibility of the elite is clear, and your lives in Lebanon, despite all what had happened before the civil war in the 70s and after the civil war in the 70s, we saw people leaving, people from all religions, Muslims, Christians, and from all sects, Shiites, Sunni, Druze, Maronite, Orthodox, Catholic, Armenians, and so on.
Therefore, these people in Lebanon were left alone, people by nature like to cooperate, they like to meet, they like to live together, they like to achieve completeness, they like to help each other, and they like to stand up for each other, that's is because our human nature, and how God created us is like that, and because our religious backgrounds are also like that, since whether one was a Muslim or a Christian or of different sects, the religion calls for helping others and for cooperation among one another and for completeness with others and respecting the others when there is peacefulness and no violations.
I repeat the conclusion more clearly to you; an elite group was stirring tensions in the country. Whenever they became tense themselves, whenever their interests were at stake, they exposed the whole country to risk. When their privileges were threatened, they placed the whole country into danger. This is a diagnosis of the situation it can be confirmed by reviewing history.
Of course, someone will say to you the resistance put the country at risk?
When the resistance embarked in Lebanon by the various forces, it was launched for the liberation of the country, to restore the land, the political choice and national sovereignty, not for the sake of a person, dynasty, side or elite group. The resistance came out for the people, to restore their dignity, freedom, free their children, security, integrity and their stability. The conflict between the elites was on a more superficial general level.
I do not want to dwell now on bygone debates because current climates are in a different place to past issues. I say the problem was that the elites were in conflict and the people were drawn behind them as a result of narrow interests and obscurantism, due to the presence of these elites in very influential positions.
For example, when discussing monopolization, and this was raised for discussion at some stages, the people or companies that monopolize and control the prices of a great deal consumable materials in Lebanon, instantly turn the subject into a sectarian and religious dispute, when religion and sect has nothing to do with the discussion, only because in Lebanon tradition has it that in order for any person to protect their interests, they resort to their confession of sect.
This is the existing calamity we have here in our country.
All I wish to call for tonight at the conclusion of this speech, and to avoid raising contentious subjects, I call on the elites, political leaders, religious authorities as well as writers, thinkers and opinion makers- and they know we do not make this appeal out of weakness, (I say to those who want to form a picture of where we stand today, and the picture is this: For twenty-seven years, from 1982 to the present day, we have undergone difficult and harsh conditions, locally, regionally and internationally. We faced many great challenges, and today and in all frankness I tell you 'we are at our best ever' compared with any past phase!!)
So, I invite all the political elites to a one-year-truce in Lebanon. A truce that relieves the country a little, in order to prevent the regular inventions of conflicts and disputes, be they regional, international or local. Let us resort to a sorely needed calm in the local situation, particularly since we now have a government. Naturally for one reason or another not all parties are represented in Cabinet unfortunately, but most of forces in Lebanon are. Hence, let us give our government an opportunity.
I am not saying this because we are fearful. We are not afraid of anyone, not because we are needy either, we do not need anyone, nor because we need their recognition, because their recognition of us is an honor to them. It is not because we are weak either but because such truce holds the interests of Lebanon, the Christians and Muslims of Lebanon.
This government came and said our priorities are the priorities of the people. This is a great thing. Let us work together on these priorities, and the ministers who do not want to work for the people's priorities can resign. Such minister can just leave if he does not want to work on the people's priorities.
Let us ascertain these priorities and attend in earnest to them. Let us be calm with one another and take this opportunity, enough tense atmospheres.
Now whether you contest the subject of the resistance and its weapons before the Constitutional Council or not, it will make no difference to the resistance, except you will upset yourselves and waste your time for nothing. Take it from me; you are wasting your time and energy. I said this to all the brothers we are going to take this calmly and coolly to the last degree.
On the evening when we heard that the Phalange Party will lodge an appeal in the Constitutional Council, did we miss any sleep as the resistance??
To the contrary, our sleep was peaceful. You are only exhausting yourselves to no avail. This resistance has faced significant and dangerous challenges. It has surpassed difficult years. Therefore, I say there is no need for anyone to stir tensions in the otherwise conciliatory climates. The country is in great need for its many priorities to be addressed.
Here I wish to address the Lebanese Government, which is where most of political forces are represented, which is today the State, the authority and the executive authority according to the Constitution: I say to the Government, just as we told the people the other night to respect law and order, I concurrently say to the government that you are not kings or princes. You have a responsibility to the people and the country.
You are responsible for addressing the problems of the people and the country's problems, with all its known titles (water, electricity, transportation, employment). You are responsible for activating the judiciary so that legal cases do not drag for ten years or more. Settlements or solutions for tens of thousands of arrest warrants issued for trivial and irrelevant need to be solved.
You are also responsible for facilitating land divisions and attachments in areas where land divisions are nonexistent and therefore pose problems in construction, building adjustments and settlements. You are also responsible for supporting the productive sectors of industry and agriculture, especially farmers and the circumstances they are experiencing.
When we tell the people to respect the law, we also want a state that respects and practices this law. We want a State that assumes its responsibility towards the people, and this opportunity today is present and available.
The incitement and tensioning that took place in the past week against the current climates, what interests would that hold for Christians as Christians?
Does that limit immigration or adds to people's immigration out of the country?
Is that inviting for expatriates to return from abroad?
Does this constant tensioning of climates and disputes imbue people with confidence in their future in the country?
Does that invite cooperation among the people so that when the government convenes it works on solving the people's problems, rather than spend it on controversy?
These questions need be answered!
All I want to say to the political elites to accept their responsibility.
At the end of this talk, I wish to make two appeals:
First, to the political elites to calm down, think carefully, read well the local, regional and international changes, to have patience with each other, and act on priorities that are in fact the people's priorities and not those of the elites, or the leaders' personal priorities who want to preserve their leaderships and positions.
Second: A call to the general people, the country's interest lies in cooperation, the exclusion of hatred, to open a new page. I say to the Muslims and Christians, do not listen to calls for incitement, chaos, hatred and animosity. The least you can do is not abide by such calls or follow them, and that debate with these who issue these calls and try to compel them to act in accordance with the current atmosphere, which we all need at the general overall country level.
Then, where is the problem throughout time in Lebanon? The truth is that the problem is initiated by the elite. I invite you to read the history, and not the old history, (one of the advantages of these days, is that because of the security situation, I cant do many interviews, so I read and that benefits me more), and as I sat and read, it occurred to me that since the late 1800s and the 1900s, and until now, what was happening in Lebanon? The previous wars, disorders, conflicts and the forming of the former government, where is the problem?