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Nasrallah: Lebanon gov’t part of US national security, Bush meddling in Lebanon’s affairs

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Source: Compiled by, 04-08-2007

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah delivered his fourth televised speech in two weeks Friday evening through a large screen in the town of Baalbek in the Lebanon Valley. He first addressed the residents of this decades long deprived region that is also very well known as the reservoir of the resistance.

"From the beginning, the region suffered from social and economic discrimination, from hunger and security occupation. Today they are those who are trying to tell you that this humiliation and discrimination is derived from your political affiliation and that you are being punished for it. This is mere deception.

Where was Hizbullah before 1982? There was no political affiliation back then to be punished for," his eminence said.

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that neither the religious identity nor the political identity of the region is the cause of the government`s negligence to it.

"There are Sunni and Shiite Muslims there, there are also Christians. Take northern Lebanon; there are regions there which are more deprived than the Bekaa region. There are no Muslim Shiites there. Northern Lebanon had voted for the so called February 14 bloc, but despite this, nothing has changed."

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that the prevailing mentality of the consecutive governments since the creation of the State of Greater Lebanon, is not to give heed to far away precincts whether in the south, north or the Bekaa. They (governments) believe that all districts should serve the capital Beirut and in it, corporate banks, capitalists and big companies.

"We are looking for real coexistence at a time the US is bringing arms into this region to start up wars. We are looking for unity, cooperation and solidarity because Lebanon cannot be divided. This country cannot rise unless there is cooperation and unity. Let us implement the Taef Accord. Unfortunately, some people don`t see anything in this accord except the truce of 1949 with "Israel" and disarming the resistance."
Sayyed Nasrallah criticized the ruling bloc for refusing to establish a defensive strategy for Lebanon.

"We told you that these are arms of a resistance organization, not a militia. We also told you that we agree to discuss the issue of the arms in the framework of a defensive strategy. We do not want to keep our weapons forever. We would be very thankful when a strong state exists with a strong army to protect all of Lebanon. I have presented them with a defensive strategy at the table of national dialogue. I tell you now and I swear that the response to this strategy was the July war of 2006."

Two days before parliamentary by-elections in Beirut and Metn to fill the seats vacated by the assassination of MPs Walid Ido (Beirut) and Pierre Gemayel (Metn), Sayyed Nasrallah criticized some politicians who have been lashing out at MP General Michel Aoun for signing an understanding with Hizbullah.

"Imagine that the misdeed of Michel Aoun`s Free Patriotic Movement and other Christian parties is that they embraced the resistance in July 2006. Their misdeed is that they seek internal peace with the Muslims of this country, and therefore they make alliances with the honorable. I do not want to comment on one political leader, whom his February 14 bloc did not even give him a seat in parliament. His name is not worthy of saying (Sayyed Nasrallah was referring to Dani Chameoun).

This leader tells his supporters, which I`m not sure how many they count, that they should take part in elections because this is the battle of Lebanon and that (Michel Nasrallah) should not triumph, what does he mean by this? Here, I address the Christians...The Free Patriotic Movement made an understanding with Hizbullah, but with whom did the other bloc make alliances with?

I need to ask the Christians: Did Hizbullah destroy your houses, committed massacres against you and ruined your Churches? Is Hizbullah stopping you from returning to your villages in Mount Lebanon? Did Hizbullah commit this was it those you`ve made alliances with? Didn`t you see how Hizbullah acted when the "Israeli"s withdrew in the year 2000?

Did we burn any house, harm anyone, destroy Churches, change the demographic landscape in the south? Didn`t we preserve the people and their dignity, knowing that many of them have killed many of our fighters, bombed our cities and villages and committed massacres, tortured our people in the Khiam detention center? How did we respond, did we hold the Christians responsible for this?

Of course not. Yes, there are some who feel ashamed of making an alliance with the resistance that has been fighting "Israel" and had liberated Lebanon, but they don`t feel ashamed of making alliances with those who spent their lives in "Israeli" training camps and trenches,"

Hizbullah chief also slammed on Friday US President George W. Bush for interfering with Lebanon`s sovereignty by freezing assets of persons underminding the government of Premier Fouad Siniora, and reiterated the opposition`s stance that the "only way" out of the current political crisis is through a government of national unity.

"Bush keeps on meddling in Lebanon`s internal affairs ... and no good will ever come out of the US administration... the United States was trying to intimidate the Lebanese people by taking punitive financial action against opponents of the Western-backed government of Fouad Saniora. His eminence said US President George W. Bush was doing all he could to protect the governing coalition.

"Bush said that Saniora`s government has become a part of US national security, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded.
"Bush comes out and says: `You Lebanese, whoever shakes the Saniora government, I will act against legally, financially and economically."

"Bush considers the Saniora government part of American national security and part of American policy. We are demanding a government which represents Lebanese national security and not American national security," Sayyed Nasralla said.
" Nasrallah told tens of thousands of his followers in Baalbak.

The US is a staunch support of the Siniora government, announcing Thursday that it would freeze the assets of people whom it perceived as undermining Lebanon`s government.
Nasrallah said the US policy in Lebanon is "pushing a Lebanese party to monopolize powers", adding the result was more crises.
The secretary general of Hizbullah also criticized a US plan to sell more arms to some Arab countries.

Nasrallah said Washington is seeking to create tension and drown the Middle East in wars.
He was referring to a proposed US plan announced earlier this week to sell advanced weaponry worth at least $20 billion to Persian Gulf states and provide new 10-year military aid packages to "Israel" and Egypt.

"The United States is bringing billions of dollars worth of arms to ignite wars in this region,`` Nasrallah said.

He added that the US administration is working on instigating sectarian strife and civil wars in Palestine, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and between the countries of this region.
Nasrallah ridiculed Bush`s announcement that the US will freeze the assets of people whom he claimed to be undermining Lebanon`s government.
He said the US was "using all its political, media, financial and legal means to terrorize, frighten and encircle the resistance in Lebanon".

"But all this will not lead them anywhere,`` he said.
"The US is imposing its policies on the region and this country ... and it is the one pushing for a civil war," said Nasrallah.
Nasrallah also demanded that the details of the Cabinet sessions during the summer 2006 war be published.

In response to accusations that the party`s alliance with Syria and Iran is causing problems in Lebanon, he dared "anyone" to bring evidence of "Hizbullah`s dealing with Syria and Iran against Lebanon."
"Let us all depend on each other, and unite by forming a new government of national unity," he said.

He added that once a national unity government is formed, then all pending issues regarding the party`s arms and a "national defense strategy" for Lebanon will be discussed with Hizbullah`s full cooperation.
"Our party welcomes any dialogue regarding our weapons, as we are not willing to keep them forever," he said.

Secretary General has said that the Lebanese resistance movement is ready for a settlement of the political crisis in the country.
Nasrallah reiterated a call for a national unity government to help resolve Lebanon`s political deadlock, adding that "Lebanon can only overcome its crisis with cooperation and unity".

Nasrallah said Lebanon cannot be divided, both practically and objectively, adding "we do not seek to control the government, or control the state".
The US-backed government of Fouad Siniora accuses the opposition of seeking to earn a veto power in the cabinet.
But Nasrallah said, "We are looking for a united and unified country which will protect Lebanon at a time the US government is seeking to sow discords."
Nasrallah said Hizbullah`s campaign was "peaceful, civilian and civilized", stressing that the arms the resistance movement possessed are not "to be used against other Lebanese factions".

The secretary general of Hizbullah stated that using force was not in Lebanon`s interests.
Lebanon has been in deep political crisis since November over Siniora`s refusal to commit to a government of national unity, forcing six ministers to step down from the government.

Nasrallah devoted a large portion of his speech to the Taif Accord, and called on the leaders to "fully implement it" and not just focus on the disarmament point. "You want the Taif? Then allow it to be implemented fully," said Nasrallah.
"Whatever happened to balanced development all across Lebanon?" asked Nasrallah, who accused "all governments" in Lebanon of neglecting the peripheries of the country.
"The North, South and Bekaa, have all been victims of negligence," he said. "The Bekaa is suffering from poverty not because of its political alliance, but due to a historic neglect of this area and its people."

"The mind set of the ruling state needs to be changed," he warned. "We need to change a state that is running this country as a bank, to a state that governs the country as a country." Just 48 hours before the onset of the highly competitive Metn by-election, Nasrallah defended the Free Patriotic Movement and its alliance with the party.
"FPM is being attacked for its support of the resistance ... when the other Christian team has allied itself with groups that have massacred, displaced and destroyed homes of the Christians," he said, in apparent reference to the deadly battles in the Chouf area between Druze and Christians during the Civil War.

"We never held any Christian responsible for crimes committed against us," he added.
Nasrallah also saluted the Lebanese Army and their "courage" and blamed the US for the great losses in the army in the ongoing battle against the militants of Fatah al-Islam.
"The US left it up to the army to do their bidding in the area ... leaving the sacrifices to be given up by the army,"he said. "Let me remind you, it was not Hizbullah who ambushed and killed troops up in the North."

"We want to protect the army and its unity for the sake of this country," said Nasrallah.

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