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Full text of Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s interview w/Al-Manar

In one of the meetings, I said to PM Siniora that they brought the FBI to take charge of the scene of the crime and seize the evidence. I said to him when you hand over the scene of the crime to the FBI, should the FBI find evidence that point to "Israel", will the FBI tell you that the "Israelis" are the ones who stand behind the assassination, or will it mislead the Lebanese government and the Lebanese investigation teams?" "I want an impartial tribunal that is not subject to the will of the White House." -- Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah
Full text of Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's interview with Al-Manar TV: Peretz will follow Halutz`s foot-steps, and Olmert will be toppled if he does not resign

Source: Compiled by moqawama.org, 20/01/2007

Full text of Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's interview with Al-Manar TV: Peretz will follow Halutz`s foot-steps, and Olmert will be toppled if he does not resign

His eminence said in an interview with Al-Manar television channel, on `Talk of the Hour` (Hadith el-Sa`ah) program: "The moment I heard the news at midnight, I felt happy and this moment has been anticipated in Hizbullah since the end of the war, according to our vision, understanding and follow-up of the "Israeli" issue. We anticipated Halutz to resign, and that Peretz and Olmert would also go, and he who does not resign will be overthrown."

His Eminence added: "Through the developments of the war we knew very well what happened during the war, the volume of the objectives, and the dimension of the failures. However, from a psychological and consciousness levels, when I first heard the news the first thing that came to my mind and consciousness were the martyrs and the fighters, the civilians, the young men, women and children, particularly victims of the massacres. Also and naturally this loyal, proud, honorable people, especially those whose homes, shops and factories were destroyed, those who embraced this resistance socially in the community, in the media, politically and at all levels."

He continued: "In particular, you come to a standstill before the resistance men, who in their steadfastness and courage built this legend of which I said when the war ended on August 14 that it is considered a strategic and historic victory."

Hizbullah Secretary General of said: "What is happening now confirms that. I would like to address the true owners of this Victory. Those who built it, to whom this victory may be offered: the resistance men, the martyrs, the martyrs` families and the families of the wounded, the brothers who joined the other prisoners of war and all the people who were partners in the steadfastness, who delivered on their loyalty, through sacrifice and also remained steadfast. To them, I say that every day new facts will unfold in the next phase to confirm the greatness of this strategic and historic victory you have achieved."

The Zionist front

On the Zionist army situation his Eminence clarified: "confusion spread within the army`s structure now in a deep confidence crisis between all levels, not previously witnessed since founding this Zionist entity. The army lost its confidence in the political leadership and vice versa. There is also a problem in the formation of a strategic vision of the conflict in the coming stage. The July victory is strategic because the structure of the usurping entity is based on a pillar. That pillar is the army. When the army falls, so does the structure."

"This resignation is, in fact, more so an escape than a resignation. It is the first resignation of the Chief of Staff after a war... Because this is the first war the usurping entity enters."

The Secretary General said: "If the whole world acknowledged `Israel`s` defeat, Lebanon will still have someone refusing to admit to it for denominational, personal and partisan reasons, because that would be recognition of the resistance`s victory."

The New Middle East

Hizbullah Secretary General said in the interview: "in other words putting it briefly, the New Middle East is to be comprised of a group of small divided States set up on sectarian, denominational and ethnic basis, from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey to Afghanistan and Pakistan, even Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other Gulf countries all the way to North Africa."

"Here, I want to alert everyone to a point, for the sake of saving words."

"When we speak about the situation in the region and Iraq, I want to warn everyone in the Arab and Islamic world, whether they are followers of a religious sect or a religion, whether they are Muslims or Christians, Shiites, Sunnis or Druze, be they the sons of a particular race, Arab, Kurd or Turk and so on."

"Who among you believes that the New Middle East will provide you a State of your own? And should this be true, we must not lose sight of that component part of the New Middle East project of internal conflict between the Petty States."

His Eminence explained: "I mean no sect, creed or ethnicity in the region will be given a secure state, with safe borders, or internal stability. What will be established are small warring states, competing against one another."

Sayyed Nasrallah added: "Unfortunately, Zionists used to say about us in the Arab that we do not read; I say we still do not read. We mostly and generally listen to what is said in the media, which is mostly directed."

Enemy entity in crisis

"Now, all the studies released by research centers in the United States talk about a real crisis for the United States and `Israel` in the region. `Israel`s` existence is now truly threatened. It is the `Israelis` who are talking about this not Hizbullah or Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the rest of the resistance factions."

"The American project in the region is facing real trouble. All that the United States proposed has turned against when it talks about democracy. The outcome of democracy in our region is the arrival to power of patriotic and Islamic elements opposed to the United States."

"What is unanimously proposed in the United States and `Israel` is that the only chance to save the existence of the State of `Israel` and their role in the region is through remapping the region on factional, sectarian and ethnic basis, on condition that these created mini states are in conflict. This will protect `Israel` because everyone would be fighting the brothers and sons of their own nation, which will turn `Israel` to a strong State again."

Hizbullah Secretary General said: "In light of a torn disputing region, everyone will need the American role to protect them against other Petty States, or for temporary reconciliations, which the Americans will work on sabotaging later. This is the new Middle East being actively worked on in Lebanon, Iraq and the entire region."

Demographic change in Lebanon

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah added: "When Rice said that we are now witnessing the labor pangs of the birth of a New Middle East, what was to happen had Hizbullah and the resistance, their allies and those who protected the resistance been defeated? The first thing would have been to bring about considerable demographic change in Lebanon."

"I do not want to exaggerate but I want to talk of the minimum amount of demographic change that would have happened, would be to prevent the displaced from returning to the south and Western Bekah, to their towns and villages to say the least, thus transforming the south, the western Bekah and all the contiguous areas to `Israel` to a different colour zone. I do not want to enter into further details now."

"Therefore, the preparations were going on for a Lebanon divided into mini States. This would have happened had the resistance been defeated in the war. Then, the war was to be staged against Syria, where work was already underway to overthrow the government in Syria, and create a state of chaos in its interior, with the aim of partitioning it as well as Iraq, which is being readied for division, unfortunately."

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah continued: "The western gate of Lebanon to the New Middle East has been closed by the resistance`s victory in this war, hence Lebanon`s victory. The `Israelis` therefore have not only failed to eliminate and disarm Hizbullah today. They also failed to recover their two captured soldiers, break Hizbullah`s alliances with other local powers and failed to distance Hizbullah`s masses from the party."

"The role delegated to the `Israeli` Army in this war was to open the door to a very large strategic and historic change in the region which takes the entire region to a new period and into a new era."

"This was downed in Lebanon and locked away. The `Israelis` themselves and the Americans admit that the war was American, carried out by `Israelis`, during which time extensions were given. Rice herself said: "the war was supposed to have finished within one week, but they were unable to. The `Israelis` requested another week extension, then a third week and a fourth. Then, they told us: `if we (`Israelis`) continue we will end up in a disaster`, so we (Americans) accepted that the war be stopped"."

Internal collusion during the war

Secretary General of Hizbullah said: "There is internal collusion at the initial request for war and in the continuation of the war. The `Israelis` wanted to end the war because of their failure and not because of their morals."

"But who requested a continuation of the war in the Lebanese interior? There was internal complicity during and after the war, a matter over which I also accept an inquiry commission."

"The war stopped on August 14 and from August 13. Some local forces in Lebanon worked to prevent the return of the displaced residents, to their homes and villages, especially in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa."

"In the Lebanese interior, there were those working not to allow the displaced to return. We were notified on Sunday, August 13, that the displaced could not return, and that we were not to work on returning those displaced because there was no cease-fire. Those displaced, we were told, are to return only after a ceasefire is declared. Otherwise they will be within the danger circle."

"We were told this by official bodies in the Lebanese government. But those displaced on Monday morning at eight surprised the authority team, along with `Israel` and the United States. They surprised everyone when by returning without permission from anyone, without being asked by anyone."

"The whole scheme was there, why the decision of `cessation of hostilities ` on August 14, but a cease-fire only to be declared later? And later, to be deferred until now and until now there is no cease-fire!"

"The official Lebanese position was for the displaced not to return before a cease-fire was announced, which therefore coincided with an official determination not to begin work on removing the rubble. However, the assistance to the displaced was slow or postponed along with foot-dragging on the rebuilding portfolio."

"Today, there is a discussion among the `Israelis` about three million cluster bombs dropped in southern Lebanon, why?"

"There are three million cluster bombs, tens of thousands of homes, between demolished and damaged in the south and western Bekaa, keeping the southern Dahiya suburb aside."

"Then, we hear that the state does not bear responsibility for the return of the displaced, even sees that their return is not permitted and unacceptable. That it is dangerous and that the side that requests their return would have to assume responsibility for that."

"I say this, after the resistance has won."

"You still have to consider in your mind, the other picture of the resistance being defeated, completely destroyed and public morale shattered, the resistance allies taken to the new Guantanamo, those displaced simply prevented from returning to their homes, that is if not transferred outside the country by ships brought in for this purpose."

Home front in Lebanon

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the internal situation in Lebanon, said: "Since the end of the war and the start of the opposition movement, there has been a deliberate and clear campaign by the leaders of the other group to say that Hizbullah joining the opposition will harm its image and prestige in the Arab and Islamic world. They were talking about Hizbullah and me personally."

"The objective of this talk is to affect our will and determination on proceeding with the opposition movement. I want to touch on this subject because it is a sensitive point often broadly raised on a large scale."

"They are mistaken who think that since our launch in 1982 till today that we are looking for status, prestige, position or authority in Lebanon or in the Arab and Islamic world."

"We left our education classrooms and different occupations to come to the resistance. We did not expect to stay alive all this long, or to have importance in Lebanon or the Arab world. Or even to have MPs or ministers. This is did not cross our minds at all."

"When our brothers offered themselves to martyrdom, they were not applying for a status placement, but when our sons went to the front lines and martyred their, they were simply performing their duty."

"One of the intermediaries said to me once that if I continue in this manner of insistence - on the opposition`s demands - "you will lose your stature in the Arab world"."

"I said if the Arab world could bring my son back to life, and bring back our martyred sons alive, we accept to be insulted in all the media and platforms of the Arab world."

"We do not seek stature, our fundamental and central cause is that we are fulfilling our duty. It is this that controls our stances, conduct and performance. We are not infallible, and may commit error, but we strive to know what is just, to diagnose our duty and work through our position and duty."

"During the past stage, we found that our duty is to fight our enemy. The enemy of our nation in order to liberate our land and prisoners, and to protect our country. We have done so."

"No one is to imagine that we in Hizbullah may abandon our duties and our cause in order to maintain our reputation, recognition or personal status. We are ready to offer blood for the cause for which we strive."

Sayyed Nasrallah continued: "politically the region is being targeted. The American-Zionist project is one of sedition in the region. Consequently, anyone who receives broad based respect will have broken through the regional, denominational and sectarian status quo. Hizbullah today is widely respected on the Arab and Islamic world levels."

"This respect enables Hizbullah to play a central role in the Arab-"Israeli" conflict, which it does, but it will enable it also to play a central role in the other aspect of the other project of domestic sedition incitement among Muslims and between Arabs of different countries."

"Hizbullah qualifies to play this role."

"What is being sought now is to break the Hizbullah model in the Arab-`Israeli` conflict, through narrow frames, in order to strangle Hizbullah in the narrow sectarian framework to prevent it from playing a positive role in this regard."

"I challenge the whole world to bring forward a speech given by Hizbullah, or any of its officials spoken with sectarianism or denominationalism, from 1982 to today?"

"Yet, it was not only during this recent plight that the others resorted to sectarian discourse."

"But we are not for denominational or sectarian-motivated, we are an ideological people and this is what we cherish."

The government in Lebanon

"On the subject of the government in Lebanon, his Eminence said: "There is no Sunni government in Lebanon. In Lebanon, there cannot be a Sunni, Shiite or Christian government. The Taef Accord talks about a government half of which is for Muslims and half for Christians and within the circles of the Muslims and Christians there are quotas for sectarian distribution."

"When we came to the Lebanese interior after the war, a very important issue came to our attention for Lebanon and the region. The reason this issue is worth this hefty level of political interest now after the war."

"Regarding what goes on inside Lebanon, how far will some go in sacrificing the future of Lebanon and the region by stirring sectarian suspicions?"

"Firstly the idea that we target a presidency post reserved for Sunnis is not true."

"We stick to the Taef Accord and stand by the current formula in Lebanon as long as the Lebanese accept this formula. If they want a radical change, we say that all matters are open to discussion but we are committed to the current formula as it is the existing one."

"In this current formula, the cabinet has the power of authority and not the Premiership. This means the Premier even according to the hierarchical order is the third head of state, and not second or first. Furthermore, since the power of authority is in the cabinet combined, it cannot be said that we are targeting the Prime Minister."

"Thirdly, when we object to the policies of the Prime Minister, we do not object to his policy as a Sunni. There are many rulers in the Arab and Islamic worlds, who happen to be Sunnis, whose policies are objected to by their own people."

Secretary General of Hizbullah continued: "No one is proposing a change in the premiership of Lebanon. When we object to the Prime Minister, does anyone really think that we want to bring a Prime Minister from another religion?...Absolutely not."

"The issue concerns the political stance and performance, in spite of the fact that the opposition did not talk about isolating or impeaching Premier Fouad Siniora, but has been talking of converting the current government into a government of national unity, that is to modify and expand the current cabinet, which means, keeping the current Prime Minister in his post."

"Therefore neither the post nor the person was targeted, but all the opposition was against the one team in power monopolizing the decision making process."

"Lebanon cannot be run this way."

"What is required is for power-sharing to exist between the fundamental forces existing in Lebanon and this is all the opposition is demanding."

"If talk of power-sharing by the Lebanese means targeting a Lebanese Sunni post, this is absolutely false and untrue. There is an attempt at this level to distort the stand of the opposition."

The International Tribunal

On the subject of the International Tribunal his Eminence said: "We have agreed in the principle and to the debate, but the Lebanese government did not give discussion an opportunity. We want a court that reveals the killers and brings the killers to justice. We do not want a Court to settle political scores, nor be used to force changes in the region, unrelated to justice or the uncovering of the truth."

"This is our natural right and the right of every Arab, Lebanese and Muslim."

"Therefore, we cannot sign a blank draft of a Court that had been set somewhere in the world, on which we have remarks, a debate to be had. All we ask for is the debate."

"When they wanted to ask for a court, we told them to give us one week to enable us to know the type of court they wanted, and even a page."

We did not ask for a law, but for broad generalities on the court of international nature."

This was on Thursday."

The Monday after M.P. Gibran Tueni was assassinated."

The Cabinet convened in a special session and insisted on asking for an international Tribunal even though that particular point was listed on the government`s agenda for discussion. After three days they refused to give three days to discuss the draft in a calm manner, away from the brunt of blood, and therefore this was suspicious."

Gibran Tueni was abroad, he knew he was on a hit list and was told that."

- Who is it that asked him to return on Sunday to be killed on Monday morning?

This is a question no one answered so far in the investigation.

But he was killed on Monday because there is a Security Council wanting to reach a decision on the matter at hand.

At the Consultation Table, we had agreed to form a committee to discuss and bring the draft to the government, but we were surprised that the Tribunal draft was put on Monday`s special session agenda.

Quite frankly, the other team does not want to discuss the court bill draft with anyone, because this draft was made up to serve objectives that do not want the truth revealed, the killers uncovered or tried.

We have legitimate concerns. What emanated from certain poles in February... March 14 also reinforces these fears. Therefore, when someone wants to form a court without discussion and without the minimum guarantees of justice and non-politicization, I think that this matter should not be accepted by the Sunni-Muslims before the other Lebanese."

"They must insist that there be a serious discussion of the law for International Tribunal that leads to the killers and prosecuting them. So, this issue is not religious or sectarian, nor does it target Sunnis or a Sunni leader, because we want to know who killed PM Hariri and want the killers of martyr PM Rafik Hariri tried. We want a discussion on the court issue.

We are not afraid of old files because we are proud of what we have achieved and do not need an investigation or a trial, here is the issue is not ours.

The war that was launched to eliminate the resistance, settle scores with all the other political team and force demographic change in Lebanon. Who said that after they failed in the war, they are not going to exploit the International Tribunal for what they were unable to achieve in this war? These are legitimate fears, especially in light of the accusations made and existing law ambiguities and therefore we and others have legitimate concerns.

Secretary General of Hizbullah added: "MP Saad Hariri said more than once that we are innocent. Yes, we are innocent and we are confident of our innocence, but when the justice is a United States style justice, the innocent will be prosecuted and the killer be covered up.

In one of the meetings, I said to PM Siniora that they brought the FBI to take charge of the scene of the crime and seize the evidence. I said to him when you hand over the scene of the crime to the FBI, should the FBI find evidence that point to "Israel", will the FBI tell you that the "Israelis" are the ones who stand behind the assassination, or will it mislead the Lebanese government and the Lebanese investigation teams?"

"I want an impartial tribunal that is not subject to the will of the White House."

The opposition in Lebanon

On the subject of the opposition in Lebanon, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said: "the opposition in Lebanon is stronger than is imagined by the unconstitutional team in power and those supporting it in the world. The strength elements of the opposition are that it is committed to certain controlled regulations.

Those regulations include non-forcing the country into civil war, rejecting any form of internal fighting, and refusal to partake in any sectarian sedition.

The adoption of civil and democratic means in the reform process or the achievement of the goal are well ... When there is a ruling team that says to the people from the first day, `if demonstrators are one million, one and a half or even two millions,` he sits and says `do what you like, carry on with your sit-in however long you want, it is to no avail!` This is when security service officials themselves said that demonstrators reached about 1.5 million on the 10th of January.

Is this respect for the will of the people? Are they not Lebanese who ought to be respected and voices listened to... Certainly not?

When a (ruling) team does not listen to the voices of this large segment of the Lebanese people - according to my claim they are the Lebanese majority - while they take their strength from abroad, incite sectarianism; even take advantage of the opposition`s virtues.

Because the opposition does not want matters to escalate to civil war or to sectarian fighting, they take advantage of this and resort to threatening us with it. I am sorry to say that even some religious figures threatened with sectarian strife should the government be toppled in the street."

Some had aimed at and focused on Hizbullah, both internally from Lebanon, and also at the Americans` suggestion, forcing some to overlook known opposition leaders such as Aoun, Berri, PM Karami who are independent, and not controlled by Hizbullah, but this targeting act deliberately forced some people to overlook these know opposition leaders.

First, the deliberate loading of everything to the opposition is doing onto Hizbullah. In response to this point I say: `If the objective the opposition is seeking is to achieve a government of national unity and to correct existing imbalances within the present government`s structure to achieve national objectives, we would then honored to hold such a responsibility, for we are not timid to shy away from that."

"What is truly intended here is to harm us, while we do not believe this hurts us."

"Secondly, they think that this way they can harm the rest of the opposition leaders in their respective support bases, but this method has not proven useful so far, because opposition leaderships and their support bases know that there is a collective leadership whose decisions are made through mutual agreement and constant consultation, with great respect among the all opposition forces."

"There were attempts before and after the war to restore the four-party alliance. Here, I speak firmly and categorically. I said this after the war, at the 22 September celebration in particular, that we are indebted to all those who stood by us during this war, whether they are Muslims or Christians. A debt we carry to the end of time, and I re-iterate this statement here now."

"On the American administration`s threat to General Michel Aoun regarding his alliance with Hizbullah, Secretary General of Hizbullah said: "That is one of the means to disunite the opposition, and I know that there are many forces in the opposition that are exposed to enormous pressure."

"Perhaps the bulk of the pressure focused on General Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement. Other forces too have come under pressure of different forms."

"Some of the forces and personalities were exposed to pressures of a certain sectarian nature, others for certain political reasons. There is clear and flagrant American intervention to break up and weaken the opposition and to protect the other camp."

The Iraqi situation

With respect to Iraq his eminence said: "I wish for the Sunni brothers in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and with all courage, to hold the responsibility of the penalty on those responsible for it; no matter their assessment of what happened in the execution of former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. Whether they had a stand on the execution penalty itself or had a differing assessment of the man`s character; may be some people objected to the timing or to some issues adopted in the execution."

No matter what their assessment is, I wish for them not to hold this responsibility on all the Shiite-Muslims in Iraq and around the world."

"Let us agree on the principle and say that if I made a mistake - I erred - and not all Shiites around the world. If a mistake is committed by Dr. so and so or Sheikh so and so, then let it be he who erred and not every Sunni in the world."

"This is if we are really keen on National Arab and Islamic interests."

He added: "Here, I wish to appeal to Mr. Nour Al-Maliki, because the Americans opened this file and left the Iraqi government to bear responsibility alone in this case. My appeal for him is to have the courage to clarify the American role in the file.

Today, as if the Shiite-Muslims are killing the Sunni-Muslims and the United States of America intervenes to protect the Sunni in the Arab world from the Shi`ite in Iraq. This is the image that is coming out after the incident.

Let him possess the clarity to say the American role in this execution process, the penalty decision and the details of the execution. Otherwise, there are questions that need to be answered!

The former Iraqi president was in the Americans` hands.

-Why was he handed over to the Iraqi government before `Adha Eid` by a day or two?

- What were they told?

- How was the footage of the execution obtained?

- Who released those slogans during the execution?

- Did they say them out of their own volition or were they prodded into saying them?

- Who took photos?

- Who leaked camera footage?

Everyone knows that such errors would be exploited to produce massive agitation in the Arab and Islamic worlds."

"The real issue here today is that we are before the tragedy of a people called the Iraqi people, Shiites and Sunnites, Kurds and Turkmen, and the various components of the Iraqi people."

"This people have been living a painful, devastating and harsh suffering for more than 35 years, no people in this region suffered what the Iraqis have before, during and after the war."

"We must all be shocked not only by the one execution incident, but we should be shaken by all the images of mutilated bodies of children, women and men, dismembered by car-bombs or killed, kidnapped or thrown into water Channels or in the Tigris River."

"Our background in dealing with the Iraqi file must one of giving rescue, thereby not only rescuing the people of Iraq but also the whole nation.

The Sunni and Shiite brothers in Iraq now present in the political process. They see their rectitude in the political process. Should they ask me and according to my Lebanese experience, and the existing trials in the world, I would say the Americans did not come to establish democratic institutions in Iraq nor even centralized democratic Iraq. The Americans came to divide Iraq and the entire region."

"The American occupation in Iraq is a threat to the people of Iraq."

"As of the first day, our call was clear: We support the overall Iraqi resistance, in its various dimensions with the military dimension in its forefront."

We believe that Iraq`s salvation begins with adopting the option of armed resistance-al-Jihad in the face of the occupation forces."

Sayyed Nasrallah continued, "I regret to say that in the context of the adopted incitement of sectarianism in the past two months, some have tried to bring into the Lebanese arena what is happening in Iraq."

"It is strange that some politicians in Lebanon, closely tied to the United States, who fully coordinate with the United States of America, actually incite the Sunni-Muslims in Lebanon against the Shiite-Muslims, under the motto that the Shiite are agents or collaborators with the United States. This is one of the strangest and most bizarre contradictions."

"What I say is we should keep the effects of the Iraqi arena in the Iraqi arena, siege it there, and all of us go help in its treatment."

..... to be continued

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