Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine’s Martyrdom Anniversary
Translated by Al-Ahed News
Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the sixth martyrdom anniversary of jihadi leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine (Sayyed Zulfiqar) hosted by the party in Al-Mahdi High School’s Martyr Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr Hall in Hadath.
I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
Brothers and sisters, honorable attendees welcome and thank you for attending.
We begin by reiterating our congratulations and condolences to the family of our great martyr and dear leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. I ask God Almighty to always grant them goodness, patience, solace, and pride in this great martyr and to grant our martyr the highest ranks.
Last year, we were unable to mark this cherished occasion because of the pandemic and because of my health situation around this time last year.
Praise be to God, this year we’re lucky to meet again to commemorate the memory of a dear and beloved brother and a great jihadi leader, martyr and brother Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, aka Sayyed Zulfiqar.
Before focusing on the occasion at hand, allow me to perform an urgent moral duty, that is, I must rectify something.
A few days ago, God Almighty took one of our brothers and sheikhs, His Eminence Sheikh Ali Shehimi (may God have mercy on him). He was one of our old brothers and old friends as well. He was a scholar, sincere, a hard worker, warmhearted, and well-mannered.
Many people knew him. He was helpful and friendly, and most importantly, he possessed a martyr's spirit. I may not have said before that His Eminence Sheikh Ali Shehimi was one of the brothers who added their names to the lists of self-sacrificing martyrs. He was always ready to comply to carry out a martyrdom operation in this resistance. Of course, he did not get his turn because these lists are very long.
Also, a few days ago, His Eminence Sheikh Ali Shahrour (may God have mercy on him) passed away. His Eminence Sheikh Ali was a great and well-known scholar. He belonged to the older generation and had a long history of religious tabligh, raising generations, serving Abu Abdullah Al-Hussein (peace be upon him), and being active on the Husseini pulpit. He also left behind sons and daughters who are pulpits. and preachers on the Husseini pulpit. His graces are unforgettable.
Before that was the departure of His Eminence Sheikh Hatem Ismail (may God have mercy on him). He was a dear brother and venerable scholar, investigator, author, and writer. He specialized in the study of heavenly religions, divine books, and Islamic intellectual interest, in addition to his scholarly and informative presence in his town and in the south. He also left behind honorable scholars among his household.
To their honorable families, I renew my condolences and express my feelings of sympathy.
I will only mention the brothers the scholars and sheikhs because the list is long. When I want to talk about our brothers, unfortunately, because Man suffers for the loss of loved ones and dear ones. On the other hand, he must submit to the will of God Almighty. During the past two years, and even more recently, many of our brothers and sisters have passed away due to corona. Some of them belonged to the founding generation and had an extensive experience.
All the honorable families with whom we have a relationship of love, sincerity, and affection expect me to mention their names during the speeches. We usually rely on our brothers in the Shura, our representatives, and the representatives of the General Secretariat office, to call them, offer our condolences, and send delegations. But from a position of love and respect, they expect me to mention all the names.
In recent months, I’ve been delivering a speech every every week or once every two weeks. But sometimes, a month or a month and a half passes between speeches. After a month or a month and a half, the list gets long.
Of course, I am honored to mention the names of my brothers and sisters who depart and are martyred. Once, a while ago, when brother Hajj Abbas Al-Yatama (may God have mercy on him) was martyred, it had been a while since I did gave an address. So, I asked the brothers in the Bekaa, since I will be delivering a speech and the occasion is held in Hermel, to send me a list, and they did. I mention the brothers, but I may forget some. I wanted to mention my brothers, especially those belonging to the first generation, the 1982 generation. We call them the 1982 generation. So, they sent me a long list, and I found that if I only wanted to read the names and talk about each in a couple of words, the topic of the occasion will change. In any case, I apologize to these families, their brothers, their fathers, their husbands, their sons, their sisters, and their wives. We appreciate and respect all of them.
I just mentioned the religious clerics because we can talk about a specific category, reducing the number.
The other matter that I wanted to remedy in my latest address is thanking the expatriates regarding the elections. We have already thanked them, but when we started getting into the details, we might have forgotten them. So, we thank the expatriates, especially those who traveled long distances – hundreds of kilometers –from their places of residence to the polling stations to vote and those who are residing in countries where voting for the Hope and Loyalty list or the resistance can have consequences. Despite all this, they voted and did not care about all these risks. We thank them.
Back to our occasion. All the previous reports and speeches shed light on the personality of martyred leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine because, as is customary, our jihadi leaders are generally not known among the people. This means that their secret jihadi work requires that their real names and photos be hidden and their personalities be unknown, except in the circle of direct work. But after their martyrdom, their real names are announced, their photos and documentaries about their biography and experience are revealed, and their condition is publicized to people. As for those who are still alive, their situation is similar to the situation of those who came before them.
After his martyrdom, Sayyed Mustafa, was presented to the people and became well-known. I have spoken about this figure on more than one occasion in recent years. I will talk about this figure in a few words as an introduction.
He had outstanding leadership qualities, faith, awareness, insight and strategic understanding. All the brothers who are listening to me and knew Sayyed Mustafa know that I am neither giving a complement nor exaggerating. He was highly courageous, ambitious, determined, serious, enthusiastic, intelligent, creative, and exhibited great oral abilities when he wanted to explain a certain requirement. You’ve heard some passages as he was also a poet. He composed poetry for Al-Quds, Palestine, the Palestinian people, the resistance, his loved ones, the messengers, the prophets, and the imams (peace be upon them).
In fact, he obtained all the medals a human being can obtain –he was a Mujahid, a wounded person, an immigrant, a prisoner, a jihadi leader, and in the end, a martyr. He carried all these medals on his body until his martyrdom. He spent his life and youth – he started as a young man and ended with his bloody gray hair – confronting arrogance, the arrogant American tyrants, the Zionist occupation project, and eventually the terrorist groups that were used in Syria and Iraq in the global war and the project to change the face of the region.
In fact, from here, I would like to tackle the subheadings. He was, in fact, one of the symbols of an entire generation, a faithful and a rebellious generation in Lebanon and in the region. The same goes for other brothers, such as his friend, companion, and soulmate martyred leader Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and others as well.
Below I want to talk about Sayyed Mustafa as a symbol of a generation. Then, I’ll talk about the generation of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine. He was one of its symbols. Then, I’ll talk about the occasions and events slated for the month of May.
There is the Nakba in Palestine on May 15, 1948. Also in May, there is the agreement of humiliation and shame, which the Lebanese government signed on May 17, 1983. We also have in May – we are talking here according to the order of years and not according to the days of the month – the liberation of Lebanon on May 25, 2000. It is a very great and historical moment. We also have the Qusair battle and the entry into Syria on May 13, 2013. Sayyed Mustafa and the generation of Sayyed Mustafa were involved in these events. He was there in force, and he was known as Zulfiqar in these squares, in the squares of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. The reason we talk about these headlines is to learn lessons from the past for the present and the future, and to cement our options.
Palestine’s Nakba on May 15, 1948 was not only the nakba [catastrophe] of the Palestinian people, but it was also the nakba of all Arabs. It was the nakba of the peoples of the region, Muslims and Christians. This region and its peoples, especially the Palestinian people, have been suffering from the consequences of this catastrophe for 74 years. This is an incident that has not ended yet, nor did its pain, repercussions, and calamities. Usually, when an incident occurs in which people are martyred, injured, and arrested, and the situation [on the ground] changes, it eventually ends, i.e., The event ends, and things go back to normal. However, the repercussions of the Nakba are still being felt more than 74 years since the usurping [“Israeli”] entity created it with Western and arrogant support. All the calamities in this region began in 1948 and are ongoing – wars, aggressions, threats, dangers, massacres. The region turned into an anxious region depleted of its financial and economic resources. It’s been a region of wars for 74 years.
Of course, I will mention the lesson that we must learn from this and move on to the next point. I will be speaking about the headlines very briefly. There was a state of great awakening and revolutions in the Arab and Islamic worlds following the Nakba. Nationalist regimes were established under the title of liberating Palestine. There was a state of unparalleled enthusiasm and passion and a visible official and popular Arab support throughout the nation as well as at the level of the Islamic world. People were waiting for the Arab and Islamic countries to liberate Palestine. However, while the Arab peoples, primarily the Palestinian people, were waiting for the countries, regimes, and armies to liberate Palestine and what was occupied in 1948, the Arab world was shocked by the Naksa [setback] in 1967.
It all ended with the loss of Al-Quds, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan, and the Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Shuba Hills months later.
A great state of frustration prevailed. Of course, I will return to this when I talk about Lebanon’s Nakba. But the most important thing now in the face of this Nakba is the position of the Palestinian people as well as the events that took place during the past decades, in the past few years, last year, including Al-Quds Sword [Battle], and a few weeks ago, including the strong and important message that stated that the Palestinian people are done and are no longer waiting for the Arab countries, the Arab regimes, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the international community, the international Security Council, or international resolutions. They made their choice a long time ago. Today, they are present in the squares and arenas. I believe that, at the very least, during the past 20 or 30 years, the belief the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people in the choice of resistance now is stronger than ever before.
They wanted a similar Nakba, which occurred in Palestine 74 years ago, to happen in Lebanon in the 1982 invasion. We all remember the 1982 invasion and the arrival of the occupation forces to the capital Beirut, the second Arab capital. Some suspect and say the occupation of the first Arab capital. No, Al-Quds was the first Arab capital to be occupied in 1967.
The “Israelis” entered the second Arab capital. They occupied the entire south, western Bekaa, Rashaya, and a large part of Mount Lebanon. The rest of Lebanon was also under threat. Lebanon was also facing a nakba if this occupation was to continue.
Imagine, if there was no resistance, what would have been the fate of Lebanon as well as its past and present? What catastrophe would Lebanon and the Lebanese people be experiencing?
We all remember those days when there was a dispute over the options Lebanon had, the anti-Zionist position. There was a large group of people that was cooperating with the “Israelis” politically and militarily. They cooperated at the security level and fought shoulder to shoulder with them. They sat on the same table and planned offensive operations. This is known in the country.
I am not talking about that front. I am not talking about the front that was rejecting the occupation. Many were saying that the occupation can only be confronted within the framework of a unified Arab strategy, and we must be part of a unified Arab strategy the same way the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples waited for the Arab countries. From 1948 to 1967 until today, the Lebanese people have been required to wait for a unified Arab strategy in order to launch a Lebanese resistance and liberate Lebanon from occupation.
What are we talking about? In the past, the Arabs were rebellious. There was a major awakening, nationalist regimes, and armies with a high degree of vigor and Arab consensus, Khartoum’s Three No’s [in the face of “Israel”]. But there were no results. How can we talk about 1982 when there are Arab countries that abandoned the conflict, reconciled and normalized [relations] with “Israel”. Those who have normalized and formalized relations under the table are worse than those who establish relations in the open. What Arab regime could the Lebanese have waited for?
Perhaps the only Arab regime was the one in Syria. I’m saying perhaps the only one because there may have been other countries that stated political or media positions, that stood diligently, supported, fought, and offered martyrs.
This is where the generation of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine comes in. This is a distinguishing trait of this generation – it did not wait for Arab countries, Islamic countries, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference), the international community, international resolutions, or the UN Security Council. They started resisting from the start of the invasion. Throughout history there are instances when an army occupies a country, and resistance emerges within days, weeks, or months after the occupation.
The resistance in Lebanon did not start after the invasion. The resistance in Lebanon started from the first hours of the invasion in the south, in Beirut, in the mountains, and in the western Bekaa and Rashaya.
There were direct clashes around the clock. Of course, later it turned to attrition operations, which are among the most important phases in the face of the invasion and the founding components of the resistance and the path of the resistance after 1982. Later, the Battle of Khaldeh took place.
History should be recounted accurately regardless of who gets upset or pleased. We must be fair. There were various forces fighting the Khaldeh battle. No one can claim that they were fighting alone in Khaldeh. No, there was a strong presence by the Amal Movement, the Syrian army, the Palestinian resistance, national forces fighting under the title of joint forces, and a large group of religious believers who later became known as Hezbollah.
One of them was Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine and his other brothers. Sayyed Mustafa, Sayyed Zulfiqar, fought in the Battle of Khaldeh. He was almost martyred during the Battle of Khaldeh. He and other brothers were seriously wounded. Among those young men who fought in the Battle of Khaldeh during the foundational and main phase, a number of them assumed the first leading positions in the security and military work in Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance for 40 years. Some of them are still holding these key positions, while others were martyred.
From the heart of the first direct confrontation with the enemy on the field, the resistance emerged and trained resistance leaders to continue the path. This generation, the generation of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, as I said, did not wait for anyone at all. Rather, they chose this option. Awareness, insight, strategic understanding, determination, will, and the rest of the traits are not personal characteristics that are within the human being kept for himself person keeps to oneself. These traits are rather expressed, manifest, and appear in such fields.
Today, too, with regard to this point, there is a debate in our country about political options. Of course, the Arab identity, belonging to the Arab world, and relations with the Arab world are constants that no one is discussing. We say, praise be to God, that there are people who have recently awakened regarding the Arab identity, Arabism, Arab affiliation, and the Arab world. This is good and a positive development in the country when go back to history, at least in the past 40 years.
But no one should be under the illusion that the Arab world is capable of protecting Lebanon. It was not able to protect Palestine when it was strong, capable, united, and coherent. It has not yet been able to liberate Palestine. It was also not able to protect Lebanon in 1982 and liberate it. It did not help in liberating Lebanon except for the Syrian position and the position of the Islamic Republic.
The one that liberated and protects is our people, our will, our resistance, our insight, our awareness, our trust in God, our reliance on God Almighty, our hands, and this honorable, blessed, patient, and self-sacrificing supporters on which the golden equation relies on. The relationship with the Arab world can provide psychological relief and open doors in the field of tourism. It can also provide economic, financial, and living opportunities, etc. But in the matter of confronting the occupation and the Zionist project and protecting Lebanon from “Israeli” threats and dangers, I do not think that anyone in Lebanon during the 74-year “Israeli”-Arab conflict can depend on the official Arab system.
There is another thing that I want to talk about that is related to May 17. When we talk about confronting “Israel”, whether in liberating the land or protecting the country, it is always suggested that the alternative is the state. Let us take an example from what happened in the recent past. There was a state after 1982, a state before the Taif [agreement]. There was a president of the republic with full powers of the presidency, meaning as it was before the Taif agreement. He was the supreme commander of the armed forces. He gave orders. The armed forces were under his command. It’s not like now where the armed forces are, for example, under the command of the government, the parliament, while the President of the Republic is just a symbol – the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. No, he was actually the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
There was a government and a parliament, even if that parliament’s tenure was extended, that is, before the 1992 elections. What did this state do to liberate Lebanon? What did this state and that authority do to protect Lebanon, regardless of where they were? But they chose the worst option. They negotiated with the enemy from a position of weakness. This is apart from the problem in the principle. They negotiated from a position of weakness and surrender. They negotiated to implement an agreement and signed an agreement that humiliated Lebanon, diminished Lebanon's sovereignty, did not serve its political and security interests, and diminished its dignity and freedom on its land. It was approved by the President of the Republic and the government and was sent to Parliament. Yes, there were three deputies who abstained, and a number of deputies who did not attend the session. However, there were only two deputies in the parliament who refused [to vote]. The parliament is part of the state. To be fair and honest, we must mention their names. Mr. Najah Wakim and Mr. Zaher al-Khatib were the only two in the whole parliament. As for the overwhelming majority of deputies from all sects, the voting transcended the sects and areas. Deputies from all areas they agreed to the May 17 agreement.
The entire Lebanese people may not be interested, but I hope that the younger generation and the educated read the May 17 agreement – I don't have time to bring it up and read it to you now – to see the catastrophe that would’ve befallen Lebanon’s sovereignty, security, and political life as well as the surrounding Arab countries. The most important thing was for us to sign the May 17 agreement and make enemies out of the neighboring Arab countries. This decision was supported by a sizeable Lebanese political group that is today calling for sovereignty and relations with the Arab world. This is when the option of the state is chosen. Of course, many Lebanese people of all sects rejected this agreement.
Rejection [of the May 17 agreement] also transcended sects. Islamic and national political forces, including the Amal Movement, various national parties, Muslim scholars stood up against it.
On that day, the Union of Muslim Ulama called for a sit-in in the Imam Reda Mosque. A prayer was performed. Great positions were made under the leadership of Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah. Our scholars, His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi Shams Al-Din, the [Supreme Islamic] Shiite Council, and of course, Syria, and the Islamic Republic had a decisive position regarding the May 17 issue. Events took place that later led to the fall of the May 17 agreement. In fact, it was the resistance with all its factions and forces that brought down the May 17 agreement. The May 17 agreement did not stop the resistance. The resistance fighters belonging to the generation of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine did not surrender, did not weaken, and did not sadden. Rather, they intensified their presence, passion, enthusiasm, and action on the ground. This option continued.
I would like to talk a little about this point. Today, for example, many theorize about handing over the resistance’s weapons to the state and that the state is the one that protects regardless of whether it is able to do so. There is a discussion about the state’s ability as we spoke earlier, and we always asked whether the Lebanese army is capable – that is, in numbers and capabilities, etc. – to protect Lebanon against this American-backed enemy that has one of the strongest armies – it is no longer the strongest – but one of the strongest armies in the Middle East. However, there is another problem – the state. It is true that the state should be the first choice. But the state is made up of institutions, including the parliament, the government (the executive authority), especially after the Taif, the presidency, the judiciary, the army, the security forces. These make up a state.
Within the state, there is the so-called authority, i.e., the people who run and rule this state. The state is in fact the framework in which the authority exists to run the country as well as sets and implements security, military, political, economic, financial, educational, and health policies.
The main issue is who is the authority that is running this state, the authority that was running this state in 80s that signed the May 17 agreement. Hence, the issue is not only theorizing and talking about a state. When you’re talking about a state, you should tell me who the authority ruling and managing this state is. Then, I’ll tell you if this state ruled by this authority is going to be able to protect the country should the elements of protection be provided to it – if it has the vision, courage, will, freedom of decision-making, and strategic understanding or if it dares to go beyond and challenge the United States of America, the West, and all the arrogant in the world in order to prioritize the major national interests over any partisan, sectarian, or even personal interests. Only then can we talk about the state and the authority.
Yes, we must pursue a state. When we talk about a just and capable state, we must add a state – this is part of what it means to be just and capable – that does not only possess weapons. Many countries possess weapons, but they are not capable because they are cowardly and do not have the courage to use this weapon to protect their wealth, people, sovereignty, and security. Part of a just and capable state that we are calling for is to have national authority, be loyal, honest, and courageous, and puts the national interests above all else.
I also wanted to discuss this point. Today, the Lebanese people continued with the path of resistance. The generation of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, the generation of Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, and the generation of martyred leaders like them who belonged to the rest of the Islamic and national parties and forces in Lebanon.
Yes, we were able to reach the year 2000. On our way to 2000, this martyr leader had a great presence. He assumed military responsibility in the 1990s. He was our central military commander in the April battle, the April war, the April 1996 confrontation, which the enemy called the Grapes of Wrath. He managed many qualitative and martyrdom operations in the face of the occupation, including the qualitative operation in Ansariyeh, which was in fact a joint work led by a number of brothers. But we usually talk only about the martyrs, the two martyrs, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine and martyr Hajj Imad Mughniyeh. It was a qualitative operation that is still engraved in the consciousness of the “Israeli” leadership, army, and entity. He also had a great presence in all prisoner exchange negotiations. This means that Sayyed Zulfiqar was part of the liberation of the land and the liberation of prisoners who have experienced great suffering in prisons.
It is this generation that brought us to the May 25, 2000 liberation. This generation joined by future generations because we are talking about 40 years, is the one that protected Lebanon from 2000 until 2022. It is the one that has protected Lebanon to this day in the face of “Israeli” dangers and threats, and we all know that the security, safety, tranquility, pride, dignity, freedom, honor, and sovereignty that Lebanon enjoys today despite “Israeli” threats are thanks to this resistance with all its factions and these martyrs that made sacrifices.
At the security level, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine and the resistance contributed in protecting Lebanon from the inside. We contributed – here, we must admit that our role was a contributor – along with the Lebanese army and the official security forces especially in the face of the “Israeli” networks. When Sayyed Mustafa was in charge of security responsibilities, a large number of “Israeli” networks were dismantled. We dismantled networks. We provided information to the security services and cooperated with them. Many networks were dismantled during the past years.
Allow me here to talk more about this point. Recently, the Information Branch in particular has revealed some information. All the security services were partners at different levels, including the army’s intelligence, the information branch, the general security, the state security. We are grateful to all of these institutions. Recently, with the effort, most of which was from the Information Branch, dozens of people who had contact with the “Israelis” were exposed.
There are two categories: Individual who had reached the stage of recruitment, that is, they became aware the “Israelis” are the ones communicating with them. They accepted it, were recruited, and became agents. Some of them are now in prisons. The others did not reach the recruitment phase. They were still in the early stages. As you know, the “Israelis” use companies and universities abroad that pose as institutions that want to cooperate with individuals – work with us, join our institution – and later they recruit them. For some, it seems that things have not yet reached the recruitment stage.
This matter is no longer being discussed. The elections took place and talking about it ceased. However, according to my information, it is not like that. The security services are determined to continue following up on this matter. This is a good thing. This means that I won’t have to ask them because they do not want to do it. No, according to my information, they want this and we support this work. We also demand it, and we call on all political leaders in Lebanon to support this trend. It appears that the “Israelis”, especially after its previous networks were hit and the limited movement of drones in Lebanese airspace, need a large number of agents. They have begun recruiting in an improper and unprofessional manner, and this indicates that they are in a hurry to recruit.
This matter must be supported, officially supported by the security services. The military judiciary is required to take matters seriously and make harsh and decisive decisions and rulings because often the decisions are inadequate given the level of danger posed by these agents and are shocking to the Lebanese people. There must be a real resolution to this issue.
This is the last point on this subject. I will concluded with a couple of words at the end which are related to internal Lebanese affairs.
The last stage in the life of this martyred leader was Syria, the global war against Syria, and the great conspiracy that was targeting Syria. We had differing views regarding this war in Lebanon and in the Arab world. We even disagreed over it with our friends and allies. We are still in disagreement with some of them.
But over the years and in the future as well as what will appear later in the documents, confessions and political dialogs of Arab officials and former and current Arab leaders will reveal the truth regarding the background of the global war on Syria. I am not talking about issues related to the resistance and reconciliation with “Israel”, i.e., coming up with a regime that leases the Golan to “Israel”’ or abandons the Golan and reconciles with “Israel” and normalizes with it and besieges the resistance. Of course, if this happened, it would have been a disaster for Lebanon – a regime loyal to America and the West, a tool and an agent, and so on.
But later, the ambitions for oil, gas, and natural resources in Syria and along its coast will become clearer. Today, this need will become more evident than ever before. All this time, they were planning this, but people are unaware, taken by sectarian and political slogans, and some mistakes or something similar is being employed. But they serve a project that seems for many to be hidden.
In this battle as well, our martyr leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine had a strong presence since the beginning. In the early stages, we did not accept that he go to Syria. He managed [operations] from Lebanon – of course, out of fear for his life – but things reached a point where managing from Lebanon became difficult and he was needed in the battlefield in Syria.
In any case, we talked about the war in Syria a lot. On the occasion of Al-Qusayr on May 13, 2013, I will also touch on his issue. At that time, we made a decision and announced that we were going to Qusayr and Syria. It was made publicly. We did not hide that nor do we feel ashamed, even though, as I said, there is a strong disagreement in the Arab world and Lebanon over this move.
Thousands of our brothers fought in that battle. Strategists, analysts, and scholars as well as the Americans who were managing the confrontation in Syria admitted unanimously that they were surprised by the Qusayr battle and by Hezbollah’s entry into the battle. This battle results in strategic shifts in the course of the war.
This entire area was required to completely fall. It was required to bring down part of the Bekaa, and a large part of Homs had fallen. Daesh was supposed to come from Iraq to the east of the Euphrates, the Badia, Palmyra, Homs, the barrens of Lebanon, the Bekaa, the north, and the Mediterranean Sea. This is part of the black state they drew its map, and you remember this.
In any case, our brothers, our martyrs, and our wounded, along the Syrian forces, contributed greatly in the Qusayr war, in the Qusayr battle, in changing the course of the battle, and modifying the graph that was going downwards. From that moment on, the graph began going upwards and the battle began to turn in Syria. The Qusayr battle established the liberation of the border areas in Syria with Lebanon, Zabadani and Qalamoun.
Were it not for the liberation of these areas, it would not have been easy for the resistance and the people of Baalbek-Hermel, and later the Lebanese Army, at the end of the battle to liberate the outskirts.
This is what ultimately led to the Bekaa, Beirut, Dahiyeh, and Lebanon to be safe from suicide car bombs that were coming to us from the outskirts and from the border area.
Throughout the battle, martyr Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine was a central and essential leader. In the battle of the car bombs and going to the stronghold of the groups that booby-trapped cars and sent suicide bombers, he was the leader who spearhead operations.
Well, this is a path that we took. Sayyed Zulfikar, Sayyed Mustafa, was one of its titles and symbols. During these battles, of course, and under his command, before and after his martyrdom, many martyrs fell. Among them were our leaders, brothers, and loved ones.
Allow me to mention as a matter of loyalty some of them: martyr commander Hajj Hassan Lakkis, martyr commander Ali Hussein Deeb, known as Abu Hassan Salameh, martyr commander Hajj Ibrahim al-Haj, known as Hajj Salman, martyr commander Ali Ahmed Fayyad, known as Alaa al-Bosna, martyr commander Hajj Hatem Hamada, known as Hajj Alaa. The last person to be martyred was martyr leader Hajj Abbas al-Yatama.
These martyrs are among those who were martyred and were working under the leadership and management of Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine during his years of assuming various responsibilities.
Here, I would like to end this part and conclude my speech by tackling the internal situation in a couple of words.
During the 40 years that we lived together, the Lebanese also had a battle of choices. Unfortunately, after 40 years, the division over these options still exists. But after 40 years, I can tell you with pride that our choices and that of our political team have always been the right ones. They have always triumphed. In 1982, there was more than one choice.
There was the option of working with “Israel” and betting on it. These people saw how “Israel” left them behind and failed them when it began to withdraw. This led to calamities inside Lebanon. You remember them, including the battles of the mountain, the battles of east Sidon, and what happened later in Lebanon. What did those who bet on “Israel”, whether inside Lebanon or along the border areas who turned into barricades and sandbags to protect them like Antoine Lahad's army, get from “Israel” other than humiliation, defeat, disappointment, failure, killing, wounds, flight, and loss.
There was another team that sat and waited for the Arab strategy, but they did not get anything.
There was a group that made its choice from 1982, from the beginning it made the choice of resistance, the Lebanese resistance, the resistance emanating from the will of the Lebanese people, the national resistance, the Islamic resistance – call it whatever you want, there is no problem. This team employs its ideological affiliation and foreign relations for the benefit of the Lebanese resistance and local patriotism.
This option succeeded. This team succeeded in liberating a large part of the Lebanese lands in 1985. It also succeeded in 2000 and is succeeding today.
From the year 2000, we’ve disagreed on the option of protecting Lebanon. One option tells you to resort to the state, the Arab strategy, and the Arab system. The other option gives you the golden equation. The golden equation has protected Lebanon from 2000 until today.
Regarding Syria, there was also a sharp division – several political currents. There was a group betting on a global war over Syria and publicly supporting Daesh and Al-Nusra Front. Some in Lebanon forget quickly. The media helps in that by pumping different stories 24 hours a day, making you forget old news.
It's important not to forget. This story is ten years old. Those who supported the armed groups in Syria, politically and in the media, financed them, gave them weapons, ammunition, and facilities, and opened the borders, was it all because of baby milk?
They supported the fighters and provided them with everything, but they did not have the courage like us to openly say that we are going to fight in Syria. They did not have that courage, they sent fighters to fight in Syria.
There are people who sat on the sidelines. Which of the choices were right, created victory, and succeeded? Imagine what we said a little while ago. Had this global war in Syria been won, what would have been the fate of Lebanon and the Lebanese, what would have been the fate of Palestine and the Palestinian cause?
Hence, this is a question of choices, and this conflict has been going on, unfortunately, for forty years. People throughout history learn from their experiences and change their convictions except in Lebanon. What is beneficial is that some people support the right choice and leave the second option.
But being biased to certain choices clearly stems not from national accounts or accounts of major national interests. Rather, it always stems from internal, sectarian, partisan, factional, and personal calculations. You feel like people are not understanding each other even though we are not discussing something philosophical. We disagree on matters related to the field, reality, and life every hour, every day, and every moment.
This leads us to the internal Lebanese situation, where political divisions exist and are severe. Neither the 2005 elections nor the elections in 2009 and 2018 addressed them.
Sometimes the majority is here, sometimes it’s there, or it is like now; no majority. They can tell you there is a majority over the files. Yes, there is a majority over files. All those who say we want to fight corruption are the majority; all those who say we want reform are the majority. However, these people agree on a topic and on a file. It is not a single political group, as was the case with previous elections and parliaments.
Today, this sharp division also exists. Therefore, we are heading towards a situation with very big challenges.
Today, what I want to say following this presentation is that we are among the Lebanese forces that made great sacrifices. We have a large number of martyrs. Some of our leaders were martyrs. Our men, women, children, old and young were martyred. We have thousands of wounded. Thousands of our brothers and sisters were imprisoned.
We’ve been carrying the rifle on our shoulders for 40 years, i.e., three generations. For 40 years, more than one generation of our young people did not live their youth or normal lives. They’ve been fighting battles and wars for the sake of this country, its security, safety, sovereignty, freedom, dignity, pride, honor, and the well-being of its people. Therefore, we feel that we are most concerned in preserving these achievements, results, and country.
We feel that we have a greater responsibility towards this country, its identity, its land, its waters, its sovereignty, its existence, and its survival. For those who are talking about national affiliations, we do not have another nationality. We do not have a second passport. We do not have homes, money, options, or a place to go to abroad.
We die here, live here, fight here, and defend here like I always used to say – we are martyred here, we die here and are buried here. We were born here and will be buried here.
Therefore, no one should expect a war like the 2006 war or international and regional conspiracies to weaken us or make us surrender, retreat, or abandon our people and our country whose freedom, dignity, security, safety, and sovereignty we have sacrificed precious blood, including that of Sayyed Zulfiqar.
Therefore, we tell the rest of the Lebanese political forces, today the elections are over. Today, especially when the mandate of the current parliament ends, the responsibility falls on all of you who are elected. Why were you elected? Now begins credibility. Talking is over. Delivering speeches is over. Raising slogans is over. It is time for work, working in the parliament –studying the bills, studying the proposals for laws, presenting the proposals for the laws of the programs that you were talking about. Let us begin.
There are many things that we can agree on. The challenges include the completion of the power structure when the state is present, appointing a parliament speaker, his deputy, and the office body, appointing a prime minister, and forming a government.
Come on. Today, in Lebanon, brothers and sisters, we have great and very serious challenges ahead of us.
The living and economic situation, as you have seen in the past couple of days, is back to being tense. It is rapidly and dangerously worsening.
The dollar exceeded 31,000 pounds. The bread crisis has started. People are queuing. Bakeries are complaining that the mills are not delivering flour. The price of oil in the world is rising, so the prices of gasoline, diesel, and gas will rise. A can of diesel fuel can reach to one million pounds if the rise of oil continues. The price of gasoline will reach one million pounds. What will the Lebanese who make one million, two million, and three million pounds do in this case?
There is a great, dangerous, and imminent challenge. Let us disagree over the resistance’s weapon, but this is not an imminent challenge. Lebanon has been coexisting with the resistance’s weapon for 40 years. You were in power and are still in power because there are people who left and others entered.
You have been coexisting with this weapon since 2005, so let us live with it one or two more years, then we’ll return to arguing about it. However, you have bread and electricity are an urgent challenge. The electricity company is saying that it’s possible we might face a total blackout.
There is no flour. The bakeries are complaining. The dollar is going up. There are no cancer medications. You should see the people crying at hospital doors. We’ve already talked about the electricity.
There was a minister today wailing. He said that if the tariff is not raised, the telecommunications sector will collapse. This means that everything that is based on the telecommunications sector will also collapse. The telecommunications sector might be on the brink of collapse. This is the situation in the country.
All of you say that you are loyal to the people and your heart breaks for the people. Go ahead then. This can be translated into cooperation, openness, and partnership.
Personally, I do not want to place high hopes, and I invite people to reflect a lot. We must have hope and anxiety because I know that one of those people who is calling for partnership and cooperation is friends with the Americans. For the past few years, he mostly contacted Mr. Schenker. He practically lived with them. Isn’t this true? He was the US State Department’s official in the region. When they go to America, they’d sit with him. When he comes to Lebanon, he would stay for a week or ten days and sit with everyone. He’d visit them all and invite everyone to the US embassy.
He [Schenker] says that he sits with businessmen. He particularly mentions the Shiites. He says he sits with Shiite businessmen, journalists, and newspapers. He spoke about a newspaper based in the south. Hence, he knows them well. After this extensive experience, what does he say about them? He says they are narcissists and subjective. I cannot say this about a large number of people he said he knows well because I do not know them personally. But the one who knows them well said that they are narcissists and subjective. That is these people live in a different world when living their personal lives. They do not know the meaning of hunger, poverty, and people living without electricity or cancer medication.
These people are subjective, i.e., they do not care about the interest of the country and people, and even the interest of their political team. They care about themselves – will he be a president, minister, a ruler, a sultan, or a manager? This is worrying if this is how those who know them describe them since he [Schenker] has all their personal files. We call these files the affairs of individuals files.
If I want to know someone I don’t know in the party, for example, we have elements tasked with handling personal files. I call them and ask them. They give me the answer that so-and-so was born on such-and-such date. They tell me about his background and accomplishments, etc.
Today, this person knows them best. Of course, he is describing them like this. God willing, he is not being fair with them. God willing, they are not narcissists and subjective. God willing, they seriously feel the pain of the Lebanese people and those residing in Lebanon, and not only the Lebanese people. Hopefully, they assume their responsibilities and put aside external accounts, foreign interests, serving foreign projects, as well as sectarian, partisan, doctrinal, and personal interests. We must seriously look for ways to get out of this calamity that is coming to the country.
In the past two days, I’ve heard some international experts and world economists talking about the consequences of the war in Ukraine. It appears that things are going to get worse, as a result of Finland and Sweden’s insistence on joining NATO. Meanwhile, the American administration is supporting this move. God knows where the world is going. This will affect the food crisis, medicine crisis, currency crisis, oil crisis, fuel crisis, etc. Some of these experts are saying logical things and are not talking about the unseen. They are not predicting nor are they fortune-tellers or belong to the group of people who predict events on New Year.
These people conduct studies on countries – how much debts and capabilities, their resources, their population, their status, relations, and position in the market – and then make estimates. They are saying that 64 countries are going to collapse this year. Sri Lanka was the first. They name countries, but I will not name them. Some of these countries are Arab countries that have normalized ties with “Israel”. So, don’t think you’re fooling us by saying that ‘if we normalize with “Israel” and find a solution to our situation with “Israel”, we will avoid collapse.’
No, there are countries in the list – I don’t want to name them – whose economic situation is on the verge of collapse. It is in a very difficult situation. The experts put them in the top ten, which they expect their collapse to be this year. One of these countries that I am talking about started selling state assets. It started selling state property. Do you know what it means when authorities start selling state assets, state money, and state property? Where is this country going?
Among the countries on the list is Lebanon. This means O Lebanese, O representatives in the elected parliament, O political leaders, O elites, O people, there is no time. We do not have the luxury of time. We are facing imminent, shocking, and dangerous challenges. We do not want to scare people. All people experience this suffering daily, and tomorrow we will feel them more when the queues are long in front of the bakeries, petrol stations, etc. We are remembering those scenes. What does this require?
This requires an emergency movement in the parliament, in the formation of the government, and in the new government that will be formed. It requires us to set our priorities right and not discuss them. Our priorities must be settled, and we must see how we should address the issue.
If we open up to the West and East, we will be able to quickly find radical solutions and be able to prevent the collapse and explosion of the country. It is also necessary to mend relations with Syria, without narcissism. All the countries you are depending on are already opening relations with Syria under and above the table. They are fixing their relations with Syria.
Lebanon will benefit most of mending relations with Syria. This opens the door to addressing a very large crisis in the country which is the one and a half or two million displaced Syrians. This is according to the numbers. I do not have an exact figure. This, of course, is one of the very important challenges that we are all facing in the country.
We emphasize on seriousness of working to extract oil and gas, especially from blocks 8, 9 and 10 in the south. Here, we did not go into depth; we are talking about the edge of line 23. These blocks are obligated to companies. These companies must be asked to come and not justify and give excuses and reasons because there is also pressure on them. We do not want like what Parliament Speaker Berri said that we go back to the Lebanese parliament and obligate other companies.
But this must be addressed seriously. Of course, we did not talk about the issue of gas and oil and gas extraction. This is not an electoral speech. We consider this seriously. Because we believe that the main source of hope other than beggary, i.e., loans from the International Monetary Fund, is to take advantage of our national treasure located in our waters. It is the clearest, largest, most important, and most honorable source. We must extract and sell it, especially now.
The Europeans need oil and gas, and the price of the latter is on the rise, not just 40, 50, or 60 dollars. The price has risen above 100 dollars. I do not know how much it has become today because the historical opportunity is available.
Regarding this issue, I am not telling the new government to extract oil from the part of Karish that is inside line 29 for officials to tell that ‘the Americans and the West will not accept this.’
I am telling you to extract from these blocks, which you approved, drew, and agreed upon as a state, and you obligated them to the companies, so let them come and work. This is a serious issue that will follow up on until the end. I’ve taken up more than the allotted time.
With regard to the internal file, no one should argue that the situation is normal. There is an exceptional situation and an emergency. There is a division. This division is no longer vertical, meaning it is no longer just two teams disagreeing. There are several blocs and teams, agreeing on topics and differing on others. This makes things more difficult, but it can open up hopes and prospects when we come out of this sharp bilateral division. I hope we all take responsibility.
For us, the blood of martyr Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, the blood of our martyrs and wounded, the pain of our prisoners, and the sacrifices of our people, makes us bear a greater part of this responsibility. We must live up to it. May God have mercy on our martyr leader and all the martyrs, who are the cause of our pride, our great emotional reservoir, and the source of our tremendous moral strength that pushes us toward the hope of victory.
Thank you. May God bless you. May God’s peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.