Saturday, May 10, 2008

Q&A with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at a press conference on May 8th

Mariam Bassam from NEW TV:

You always keep your promises. Today you vowed having the hand cut. Were you obliged to break your word i.e you've promised that the arms of the Resistance aren't to be used internally; will we see the resistance fighters, who have been at the front, in the internal alleys?

If you are going to defend the arms militarily, what kind of home will remain, will we have the home gone and the Resistance saved?

The Gov. has taken war decisions, but peaceful, and the opposition only uses the street, it's described as a mob and chaotic, it's expected that the airport might be called the International airport of Hassan Nassrallah, why are you now in the street and what's its destiny, will the lads stay there? Was the authority justified when it felt terrified by the opposition?

The answer: First of all I said the arms won't be used internally, and I am still keeping my promise and convention. We don't use these arms for any internal purpose, but laws, honesty, religion, ethics, and all values state that: if there's a weapon set for defending a country, a home- not a party, a sect or a geographical area- now, someone is trying to disarm you for the interest of your enemy, then it couldn't be defined as fighting internally. It's a kind of confrontation similar to that one at the front. It's like fighting in Ayta AL Shaib, and on the outskirts of Bint Jbeil and Aynata.

Concerning the third point, it's true the Gov. has taken these decisions, but these decisions will be implemented. Who is it going to send to remove the wires and the centrals? The army and the security forces. I won't fight against the army and the security forces on the account of this Gov. I can't wait until the period of implementation comes. Then, how are you going to face it? We tried the civilian peaceful manners: we used the roads, the least we are capable of doing since issuing a statement and protesting have turned useless, they turn deaf ears to 2 million protesting but they do hear a call made by Bush, Rice, Sarkouzi, or others.

So neither statement nor protest with their normal semantics would work in preventing this decision. This decision will lead to a war between the army and the Resistance, between the security forces and the Resistance. They have taken it, and I want to prevent its implementation. As for the destiny of the street and the airport.. We'll talk about it on daily basis. I don’t want to disclose a target, a scenario or a move-on-plan. Is it justified for the Gov. to feel so? No, it's only the authority involved in conspiracies that has the right to feel so not just now but even before, because it knows where their commitments lie.

Question: there are clear changes in Hezbollah's stances concerning the use of his arms internally; will this change affect the way you deal with the International Troops, especially UNIFIL?

Answer: No, never. No relationship exists. When the International Troops arrived, we accepted that, for they are assigned by a certain task. It's not how Berlusconi is trying to show that combat rules will be changed. Eventually, these troops are available on field in the South, and we positively deal with them, we cooperate with them and they cooperate with us even in confronting any danger that they could face. We don't have any kind of change concerning our policy with these troops.

Question: How do you assess the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in what happened and what's going on? What about the Taef agreement will we form another one?

Answer: I wish brothers in KSA aren't going to repeat the same wrongdoing committed during the beginning of July 2006, the mistake that they were obliged to correct later on. They mustn't be a part or a group in the internal affairs; instead they must practice what shows their care about this country, its security and its stability. The route of the solution is clear and opened. I repeatedly said we don't want authority, or monopoly. We raise the partnership slogan between both the opposition and the authority. We don’t' want a coup. We aren't targeting sects, ideologies, or political powers. Although I've had these solutions which are not popularized, we bear our responsibilities. I asked them to cancel the decisions of this Great Gov. and come around the table of conversation that House Speaker Nabih Berri has called for. If brothers in Saudi Arabia do care for this country, we wishfully want them not to be a part of this conflict, which is in fact a conflict between the national honest resistance on one hand and the American project on the other. The Resistance that has been privileged with respect of both the Arab and Islamic worlds, and has achieved the greatest two victories in the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The other project will be defeated, save yourself a headache, and let's not take our country toward a place that we don't want. Let brothers in Saudi Arabia extend a hand of help, and such a hand is obvious.

Question: If the Gov. were consistent that no withdrawal will take place, and it did, today Minister Marwan Hmadi said "Gov. will achieve victory at the end" and in the meantime you say that your party would not take a go-back-step. Are we, first of all, in front of July 2008? Then, Security Council will discuss 1559, what if its decisions were similar to those of the Gov. are you going to deal with the UNIFIL Troops the way you are going to deal with the Gov. ?

Answer: Concerning the UNIFIL, I’ve already answered this question, it's clear and no problem exists. Concerning the Security Council, no worse decisions than those have been taken till now. Yes, it has been provided with a new material from the government of Walid Jumblat, I'm not concerned with what will be issued by the SC. We've got accustomed to SC. In these days there's the anniversary of the Catastrophe of Palestine while Security Council is the one that legitimized this Catastrophe, and the appropriation of land, massacres and terrorism (i.e. Israel), it has taken these division decisions; moreover, it is backing the terrifying criminal and savagery state that we haven’t witnessed an equal in the history. In addition, the Security Council doesn't concern us either culturally or politically, and it's well-known what it will issue. And if we were facing a July 2008?, No, I'm not sure. Anyway events develop internally, we are going to be clear, we are in a position of reaction, and we had been waiting till that night. We didn't call for civil disobedience or protests, we called for unconditional dialogue, and then they declared the war publicly. Let them stop the war against us, and only then we put an end for all matters. The question is who will win in the end? We don't like a battle or a confrontation to take place but rather all of us sit around one table, cooperate, comprehend and overcome the past. We are still wishful to, despite all the injuries, and exchanged accusations. But if there's someone who wants to open a war against us and wishes to win it, I draw his attention to learn from the experience of Ehud Olmert, Peretz, Ashkanazi, and Halutz, who has ended up from being a Chief of Staff into being a president of a car company.

Question: you've set two conditions: the first is the return to the dialogue after canceling these Gov. decisions, which according to you are separating between a completely new phase that differs from the one preceding, and you described those who took these decisions as serving the American-Israeli project, how come you call for a dialogue with who you described as collaborators, knowing that you don’t hold dialogue with collaborators?

Answer: if they took a decision to stop the war, then what's the problem?

Canceling the decisions implies they are regretful. I have info that they have been discussing this issue and they are blaming each other for they had been in hurry. And they are mistaken for taking this group of decisions and issues all together as a one package instead of showing tolerance and in time they could have delivered them one after the other. But they have done all of that to explore their true selves. Any way, we don't want to take revenge or retaliate from anyone. We care about the interest of our country, the civil peace, the security and stability of our country. Who has taken the decision of going to the war, let him cancel it and we welcome everyone to dialogue table, then the problem of the country will be solved thru dialogue.

Question: what prevents from turning things into a Sunni-Shiite sedition?

Answer: there are guarantees. We are a guarantee and so are our allies; Hezbollah and "Amal Movement" who have been targeted directly. There's also the awareness of the Sunnis and the Jamaa, in Lebanon, the national and religious leaderships of Sunni people and the Jamaa. Let me clarify it, and here I would like to address brothers in the "Future Movement", I won't say the Sunnis and the Jamaa (i.e. the Sunnis) since not all Sunnis are in the Future Movement, your interest is in having a stable and calm country, and you can participate in the elections as a main bloc, and none can abolish you or erase you, here I would say that I don't want a scratch to take place, but rather I want to describe the facts: the dream of Mr. Walid Jumblat is the Shiite-Sunni sedition, and we wish that they aren’t going to help him in fulfilling this dream because we are not going to help him achieving so. And we wish that they will not pledge their destinations to his one, because he is a flip-flop person. And the problem could be treated now, but in an unethical manner. I could send someone to Walid Jumblat to inform him that we accept the quartet coalition, and that in the coming elections we would be with you, the issue would be settled, then his speech would be similar to the one he delivered in Bint Jbeil in year 2005 when he defended the Resistance's arms and attacked the American administration, unless he has been deeply involved in a place from which there’s no return. But it's completely an unethical behavior and Hezbollah doesn't take such an action. We and our coalition, whom we backed and who backed us, will stay with each other in the elections and thru thick and thin. We are capable of cooperating with each other in order not to let this conflict develop into a sectarian sedition, but this needs the effort of all, and that's our wish.

Question: how far is the responsibility of Hezbollah as the gov, won't move a step back concerning its decisions, then what kind of responsibility are you carrying out?

Answer: we have been attacked. Some have taken “in a night with no moonlight” a decision to attack us. Today I'm - and I'm so proud of that- on the terrorism list, most wanted from the Bush Administration for trials, and according to Olmert I'm sentenced to execution, and the third sentence that has been issued against me is tracking me judicially by a decision made by the gov. of Walid Jumblat. Is it me who is tracking them or they who are tracking me? They have taken a decision to fight us. It's always happening in the world that they see the executioner while they turn a blind eye to the victim. They are attempting to present us as the executioner just as the Resistance was shown as an executioner against “Israel” while we were the ones being attacked.

What's going up here is that we are the victim. As I said, before the decisions of the gov. we weren't intending to take any step. We were dealing politically and calling for the dialogue and there wasn't any movement from our bases, and nothing was signaling that we are as opposition heading toward the movement of our bases and we all were saying that the elections are going to be after one year and that we are going to put an end to the political conflict in the country. But they suddenly took the decisions- and not with stay of execution- rather the judiciary and security systems have to implement them and track those involved. Well, one attacks my house, brothers, and my existence and my dignity and I am concerned in defending myself and I can’t be careless in defending my dignity and existence.

Question: what if the authority didn't care about your strike on the Beirut airport main road and the closing of the airport and it opened the airport of Qolayaat, and then the strike of the airport would be similar to that in downtown i.e. useless, and consequently the gov. of Siniora didn't care about it, does Hezbollah have the authority to close Qolayaat airport if it were opened and it isn't located in the area that is under the control of the party?

Answer: if the sit-in in downtown Beirut isn’t really effective then why were they trying to bargain in exchange with the wired communication network that is considered as being of maximum importance to the Israelis. If it(sit-in) were a silly thing then why they would like to exchange it, that's one. Secondly, if it were silly, it wouldn’t be of concern of every minister, premier, president, or mediator who has come to Lebanon and mentioned the sit-in in Beirut. I don't agree that this sit-in is valueless. Concerning how we are going to behave in the future, and whether we are going to hold a strike in the airport or not, whether we go on moving or not or whether we complete it in another place, time, or not, and in which style, that's not the topic of this press conference, and in fact, allow us to keep that for us for ourselves because we are in a confrontation, we wish we would be able to have this catastrophe and conspiracy against Lebanon end with the least casualties for all of us.

Question: you have mentioned two points concerning the two hands: canceling the decisions that you've considered as unjust and the return to the dialogue. Are you ready to give up any of them?

Answer: it's illogic to declare a war and start it against us and then they ask us to converse, they aren't just pulling out the arms against us, but rather they took a decision to have it implemented by the security and judiciary apparatuses. We can't make any kind of modification concerning these two points.

Question: are you seeking to be a President of the republic of Lebanon or are you consistent that this position is for the Maronite president?

Answer: concerning us we are not seeking any change in the structure of the system in Lebanon, in the structure of the authority. Some are accusing us for having such a stance. We are with the Taef Agreement and its implementation. After all, if the general Lebanese will had been provided for any modification, then we depend upon this will. But as a group, we don’t’ want to impose modifications on the Lebanese. Secondly, we absolutely don’t have in mind any change or raise any thing concerning the positions of the authority in Lebanon neither in the position of the president, nor premier nor any other positions.

Question: there's someone, specifically Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani who demanded that Hezbollah must pull out the attackers from Beirut. Will you respond to this request? Aren't your afraid that the involvement of the resistance internally will affect its readiness in fulfilling its duty in defending Lebanon and that “Israel” might make use of this gap?

Answer: concerning the first point, there are no attackers in Beirut to pull them out, that's on the first hand. Young men presented there in Beirut are the sons of Beirut and all know that they vote in Beirut and there are some of them who live there. Secondly, they haven't attacked anyone, but rather they have been attacked and they defended themselves and I think who wants to issue a verdict has to go and investigate and be exact before issuing any sentences.

Concerning the second point, I have repeatedly been asked this question, the atmosphere now is that of escalation, when the authority group was discussing bets because ‘Israel” is going to inflame a war in the summer in Lebanon, I’ve mentioned that 3 months ago and I said that they might be waiting for April, May and June. I am not terrifying you, but I will disclose a secret, yes we have a defensive plan to defend Lebanon and our existence in case of any new Israeli aggression, and that's natural and as we were working in the past, we plan, study and take into consideration all the scenarios, and we set hypotheses and plans for them, and among the group of scenarios and plans that we've taken into consideration as a result of the info that we had received that if any Israeli war were waged against the Resistance that there are internal parts that would inflame an internal war against the Resistance and that two wars would be imposed on the Resistance at one time. We are ready for these two wars, but I assure you that By God's will there will be neither a war nor two, but we know where we are living and in which country we are and in which surrounding and consequently we build upon the worst probabilities and eventually we are capable By God's will in defending our dignity, but in the range of vision, by God's will there is neither a war nor two.

Question: what about the Saudi-Iranian mediation that took place during the last hours? What about today's gov. meeting for taking the decision of a curfew? And are you satisfied with the role played by Lebanese army?

Answer: I knew that the Saudi ambassador had called his Iranian counterpart after taking the decisions (of the gov.) and there were a couple of reactions. He told him "I'm assigned by the Foreign Affairs Minister, and we want to cooperate". The Iranian ambassador told me by phone that there was effort paid. He called also House Speaker Nabih Berri, saying we have to cooperate with the Saudi Kingdom and Iran to prevent the situation from get worse, I answered no problem, and the solution is what I said. They have to freeze the decisions they have taken to get things back to normal, then there's no reason for fear, since we have no purposeful intention. The Saudi ambassador immediately replied "I don't think they will agree to pull out this decision, but we are going to see what will happen". That's all.

Concerning what you called the gov. of the Serail (palace) it's an illegitimate gov. its decisions about the wired network, the ousting of Brigadier General Shoqeir, judicial tracking, are illegal, and even if it took a decision of a curfew, it would be illegal too. The decisions of this gov. don't deserve the ink paid from the public treasury. Concerning the army including its officers and members, it extremely and dangerously recognizes the sensitivity of the situation. And before my arrival here, I listened to an excerpt of the Army commandant statement that clearly shows its recognition of the dangerous situation. That's the supposed position of the army that assures a true national guarantee, and it's not permissible for the army to target any group.

Question: Do you have any vision for the end of the civil war that it's not desirable by any side?

Answer: there's no civil war. It's a kind of exaggeration in viewing the current situation as such. Yesterday, some media outlets exaggerated in reporting some incidents that have taken place, they mention some expressions like "invasions", "occupations" and "civil war". I say that there's a signal of war that is desirable by others and has been imposed on us. We don't want a war against others. We always demand dialogue, partnership, and a political solution. Those who have taken decisions that lead us to war have to cancel them, and then every thing will be finished. We have mentioned two years ago that we are not in a hurry, and we are not going to use any thing that may threaten the civil peace because of a gov. or authority. We bet on the elections not on fighting. Yes, who has taken the decision of the war has to stop it, consequently no war will take place.

Question: Is it shameful that both the Arab and Islamic nations in the region aren't seeking now to back up Sayyed Hassan Nassrallah who is the leader of the two greatest wars and victories in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Answer: I'd like to thank you for your great trust and opinion. I said in the context of my speech that I thank every one who pays me respect in the Arab and Islamic world, and that I'm proud of their passion and respect. I demanded nothing. I didn't ask for help, backing up, or interference to defend us. If there's anyone who wants to interfere seeking solutions, that will be excellent. All what I want is “understanding/open-mindedness” and not to be taken by enthusiastic speeches or slogans just for safekeeping this Resistance, that there's a great bet on and that it will one day change the face of the region if “Israel” decides to attack us. All those who hear me in the Arab world, I say this isn't an enthusiastic speech. I know what we have and our abilities and capabilities. I know that by trusting and depending on God on the basis of the accessible objectivity. And in the week of the martyr Imad Moughniyeh I said if the Israeli army entered Lebanon, and it has set 5 military contingents on the Lebanese borders ready to intervene at any time, and well these don't terrify or horrify us. I promised the Arab and Islamic world that I won't go for a war against anyone, or open a front, but “Israel” now celebrating the 60th anniversary; and because of this Resistance,

it has tasted the greatest two defeats in 60 years. It was obliged to undergo the largest maneuver because of this Resistance. I want the Arabs to be aware that it's this Resistance that has raised the head of every candid in the world. This Resistance is not sectarian or factional, and it isn’t after authority aims. Samir Geagea has accused us of being a party of the Oumma ( the Nation), and that I wanted only the Oumma. Actually we've got confused with what they want. We want this Oumma to stay as an Oumma. And I want nothing except understanding and not being dragged behind the sectarian voices.

Question: How do you expect the Lebanese street will be this evening, and is Hezbollah ready to bear the results that will inflame from Beirut because what's going on won't affect only Lebanon but the entire region with all its symbols?

Answer: there will normally be statements and reactions; we expect an "insulting campaign", as usual, against the opposition leaderships and ourselves as well. I speak from a defending position suggesting a solution framework, and we are in the defense and retaliation position. What I'm saying is that we've entered a new phase. You are insisting on the war, and the reactions will not be predictable. Will we bear the results? Yes, we are responsible and we know what we are doing, we know the size of the conspiracy, the plan, the challenge and we are ready to bear responsibility for the results.

As a response to Minister Marwan Hmadi who said that he had no idea about the wired network and sit-in bargain between the authority and the Hezbollah, we say; "he doesn't know every thing because he's just an employee with a certain task.” And we are obliged to use our credits, the world knows who speaks the truth and the one who utters lies, and I leave the judgment for the audience.