Sunday, November 16, 2008

English transcript of the speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of Martyr’s Day

The event was organized by Hezbollah at Sayyed Ashuhadaa (pbuh) Compound in Rweiss on 11/11/2008 in the presence of official, ministerial, parliamentary, diplomatic, military, factional, religious, syndicate, municipal, and social… personalities besides a massive audience of citizens.

…Every year on this very day – November the 11th- we meet to commemorate a very dear occasion first announced during the early years of the Resistance movement and which was then named Martyr’s Day. Among the expressions made on Martyr’s Day is our standing here as the resistance movement, the resistance people and the resistance nation to renew annually – though we do every day and every our – our glory, pride and honor we owe to martyrs. We are a people who recall our martyrs incessantly. We remember them covertly and openly, in good times as well as in bad times, and not only in sorrowful occasions but also in joyful ceremonies. We recall them to our minds in the ethics of our speeches, concepts, poetry, art, consciences and common public relations. We recall their person, their souls and sacrifices. Through them we arouse our nation, people and souls via learning lessons in patience, determination and will. We thank their efforts and fighting because who does not thank the creature does not thank the Creator. These men offered their souls and virtuous blood so that we live in honor, glory, freedom, dignity, security and peace without anyone in the world begrudging us that.

I believe few are the resistance movements in the world. Even more few are the peoples and nations who esteem their martyrs, glorify them and approach their memories, names, symbols and keep sakes as we do. And this is not by chance but rather it is deep-rooted in our culture, faith, civilization, intellect, emotions and the history of our nation. Perhaps our belief in the holy status and level Allah Almighty grants martyrs and perhaps our annual and continuous connection for centuries with the most sublime martyrdom incident in human history – meaning Karbala- may help us explaining some aspects of this deep and strong attachment with martyrs whether in our minds and thoughts or our hearts and emotions or our commitment, behaviors and practices.

We are today commemorating the anniversary of martyrs –not the dead martyrs but rather the alive martyrs; for martyrs never die. Now they are alive. We meet here while martyrs are alive. The Holy Quran tells us about the life of martyrs. It does not narrate about their life on Doom's Day when all the people rise from the dead on the Day of Resurrection before Allah Almighty to meet their deeds and what their hands committed and to be asked about every small and big deed they did. On Judgment Day, all people are alive again; the tyrants and the martyrs, the good and the bad, the oppressed and the oppressors. We are not talking about the life of martyrs on that day. The Quran talks about their life now. Allah Almighty in the well-known Quranic verses memorized by all people addresses those who objected on the fighters -in the early stages of Islam and during prophets' movements -who moved for fighting and were killed. They considered them dead. Allah Almighty says: "Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead, Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their lord. They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah." So now they are alive. Now they are finding their sustenance. Now they rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. "and with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the martyrs glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve." So Allah tells us about the alive martyrs whose latter friends and brothers haven’t caught up with them yet. He tells us about alive martyrs who make good tidings of their fellow friends who "have been true to their Covenant with Allah" and are still waiting. They make good tidings of the friends of their way. So there is a precedent who is alive really and there is a follower and the former makes good tidings of the follower. And the follower misses the latter and insists on his vow, keeps his promise and seeks with all his heart, mind, and body to let that meeting take place and achieve that great honor.

On martyr's Day we recall our leader martyrs: Sayyed Abbass, Sheikh Ragheb and Hajj Imad besides a group of chief figures in this resistance. We recall self-martyrs and their prince Ahmad Qasir. We recall the fighters and all the martyrs; men and women, adults and young in our resistance and the resistance of all Islamic and national factions besides the martyrs of the army and the martyrs among our steadfast patient proud people who own the determination to defend their honor and to embrace fighters.

On Martyrs' Day we recall the very origin of this occasion: on November11th, 1982. This event became the title for every martyr, for every wound, for every struggle, for every victory, for every resistance, and for every defeat for the enemy. Why November11, 1982? Why the operation of the self-martyr Ahmad Qasir in particular? That's because it was the first operation; because it expresses the early awakening of the Lebanese youth in resisting the occupation; because it's the people's and the nation's outcry that reverberates in the present, future and past. Because it's the foundation of the long route of self-martyrdom operations and the resistance struggling, conscious, deliberate, planned, purposeful, industrious, clear, complying and committed work; because that operation also expressed the great human content of resistance men, fighters, martyrs and self- martyrs in their prime days and the conscious and will of Ahmad Qasir. Further because that operation was the strongest in the history of Arab-Israeli struggle since its onset. Until this very moment it's the most powerful. Not any operation could match it so far. That's when martyr Ahmad Qasir broke through the headquarters of the Israeli military leader on Nov.11, 1982 and demolished it completely. First it was the first military operation of this kind –in which man explodes his body, blood and flesh to destroy one's enemies who killed his people, disgraced his holy sites and wanted to control his fate, future, homeland and nation. So it's the first self-martyrdom operation of this kind in the history of the Arab-Israeli struggle. It's also the most powerful operation militarily and technically speaking and also taking into consideration the casualties on the enemy's lines. The enemy admitted in one second that 140 Israelis were killed including officers and soldiers. Begin's government was obliged to announce mourning for three days. I believe the operation of self-martyr Ahmad Qasir which was called "Khaibar operation" did really hold the symbol and signs of "Khaibar war". On 11/11/82 the cornerstone of the great Lebanese victory in May 25, 2000 and of the great Lebanese victory in July 2006 was founded. Thus this day turned to be the occasion of Martyr's Day - whether this martyr was a leader, a secretary general, a scholar, a great fighter, a leader, a self martyr, a fighter in the battlefield, or a civilian killed while confronting steadfastly the Israeli aggressions.

On this dear occasion which is full of meanings, values, concepts, emotions and feelings, I'd like to tackle a number of current issues which concern us all.

First I'd like to talk about the local Lebanese status- for sure all the topics have to do with martyrs and the resistance and I'll tackle this issue God willing from the perspective of resistance and martyrs. As for the local issue, we support extending hands to each other as Lebanese even if every one remained on his position and adhered to his viewpoints and known alliances.

Pacification in Lebanon today on the doorsteps of elections is to the interest of us all. It's a national interest. I told all whom I met in this framework and perspective that pacification is not a decision which someone, one side, or one party may grant another. It's to the interest of all that the political atmosphere in Lebanon calms down after all what took place and especially after the election of the president of the republic, the formation of the national unity government and the general orientation towards moving towards the parliamentary elections on its due date.

Pacification doesn't only pull tension from the street; it also helps in finding natural positive parliamentary atmosphere in the country. We need pacification on all aspects to face the current crises. Among the conditions of pacification is halting provocations and counter-provocations because such acts are what cause tension in the street. It's not requested that one praises another. It's not prohibited that one criticizes the political stance of the other but if we committed ourselves to a group of ethical and political controls, I believe every party would be able to express its beliefs and viewpoints and practices its political activities without offending others and without creating tension.

Pacification and reconciliations indeed help in carrying out parliamentary elections in their due time. We in Hezbollah insist on carrying out parliamentary elections on their due time. That's natural because we – in the opposition- were calling for early parliamentary elections. So it's not rational that anyone expects that we take a different stance. We are calling for carrying out the parliamentary elections in their due time whatever the expectations were, whatever the results were and whatever polls reveal and expect. That's because not carrying out the parliamentary elections in their due time is very dangerous for Lebanon whatever the reasons were for that. So there's no need to toss the elections between the various political factions from now accusing them of pulling off or interrupting elections. I believe it's to the interest of all parties to undergo true and sound parliamentary elections in due time.

In this perspective and as for the parliamentary elections I'll stress two points:

First: We insist on our call to lower voting age to 18. Look Brothers and sisters. How old was Ahmad Qasir when he staged this historical legend that renews Khaibar? He was 19 years old. Ahmad Qasir does not have the right to vote according to the Lebanese Constitution. These young men were the ones who drew Lebanon's fate for the past decades and are still. Anyway and to make use of time, I really do not need to give evidences and proofs for the righteousness of this demand. It's the right of the Lebanese youths above 18 to be true and competent partners in the various lively political activities. In fact they are in the front lines. They are the spearheads in confronting the enemy and liberating the nation. Some might say there are some technical and administrative reasons that might not allow these youths to participate in the current elections. We insist on our fellow deputies to carry on working to make this constitutional amendment and we insist that these youths vote in these elections. But suppose that the technical and administrative means were sound and serious, let the law be amended from now and thus these youths will maintain their right to vote in the coming elections. But any postponement of this amendment now under logistic and administrative pretexts is nothing but procrastination and cancellation of a very normal right for the youths which must be granted to them by the parliament, the government and the political class present now in Lebanon.

The second point: As for parliamentary elections alliances – even if my fellow brethrens mentioned that, I find it important that I mention it again. We in Hezbollah are decisively and firmly committed to our alliances in the opposition. All what is written here or said there in an attempt to create a state of confusion or unease is baseless. Anyway, even in parliamentary elections, some parties get engaged in a psychological war against each other. I stress that our commitment with our allies in the opposition line is decisive and final and never shaking. So any reconciliation or meeting or pacification or connection on whatever level will not touch on this final and decisive stance on the level of alliances in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The last point on the local level has to do with the security status. Developments took place lately on the security level including aggressions and bombings against the Lebanese army and civilians in Lebanon as well as against main offices and civilians in Syria. There were arrests, confessions and finger pointing. When dealing with such issues we were and are still calling for serious investigations in which evidences and proofs are given. The public has the right to have access to realities so that people know what's taking place. Meanwhile there is security coordination between Lebanon and Syria. We agree to this coordination on all levels and we also call for encouraging, promoting and supporting it but not to crippling it under whatever pretext because it's to the interest of the two countries and their security. Today we don't want to anticipate any investigation. Our stance is clear: we want justice to prevail afar from political accusations. Let there be Lebanese-Syrian cooperation in revealing the truth. Let there be justice in Lebanon too whether in arrests that are taking place and that might take place or in finger pointing or in denunciation. This necessitates cooperation between us all – serious and true cooperation.

Enough on the interior issue, I'll turn now to the Israeli status (indeed Israel's position from us – Lebanon and the resistance). It's clear – brothers and sisters – that the Zionists and since July War came to an end are working industriously on more than one level: first: incessant training, incessant maneuvers - what Israelis call filling gaps after drawing lessons from July War and addressing defects and deficiencies. That's why we've been witnessing since then industrious and serious Israeli work and incessant maneuvers in northern occupied Palestine and in Syrian occupied Golan Heights – i.e. in all cases on the Lebanese borders with occupied Palestine. The last and most important maneuver was what was called "Crossing Arms". What's the need of "Crossing Arms" operation? It aims at making coordinating maneuvers between the various Israeli arms whether ground forces or air forces or the intelligence agencies. That's because among the most important titles of their defeat in July War is the flop to coordinate between these Israeli arms. By the way and as a simple example of this flop the helicopters were supposed to drop supplies to the infiltrating groups in the front positions. They used to drop them in the wrong position and at times drop them in front of the fighters. There were many mistakes and a sweeping flop in coordination. They tried through this maneuver to address this failure. They also say that this maneuvers – "Crossing Arms – enables the Israeli Army to enter a war against Syria and Lebanon at a time. In every occasion, Israeli officials show up to threaten and intimidate during maneuvers and training (I will return to this point in the following section). So the first point is training, maneuvers, filling gaps and the like. The second point is the intensive work to gather information whether through air: reconnaissance planes that never leave us and are in the skies above the Southern Suburbs during this very moment; also through spying networks, enforcing them, intensifying connection with former agents or recruiting new agents. The net which was detected lately is one of the many nets that work in more than one place, on more than one level and in more than one region. The detection of the latest net is considered a Lebanese national security achievement on which the intelligence directorate in the Lebanese army must be thanked. This directorate is still inspecting the various aspects of the net. In fact it arouse fear taking into consideration the characters of those recruited and the cover used to hide these spying operations – a humanitarian services cover. So indeed this is a very dangerous issue of which one must be cautious.

The third point is security operational efforts to assassinate leaders in the resistance - as the assassination of martyr commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh – or working at sabotaging the Lebanese interior status. I still insist –pursuant to my concepts, evaluation, conclusions and analysis- and I hope the day will come when threads reveal this truth and lead to the analysis saying that Israel is behind many of the assassinations taking place in Lebanon and many of the operations that aim at sabotaging the Lebanese interior status and shaking the national immunity and strength. That's because this is among the most important reasons that lead to the national weakness and consequently to enabling the enemy to defeat Lebanon.

The fourth point is the psychological daunting war via the various media means backed by some Arabic media stations, websites and press. This psychological war aims at causing harm to the confidence of the resistance movements in their leaderships, cadres and peoples. It also aims at doing harm to the great hopes the peoples of our region have in the resistance. There are many examples but we have no time now to mention them and they're known to you; a lengthy chain of lies, fabrications and invention of events which are presented as such while they are mere illusions.

On the other side, what are we doing in Lebanon? What are the Lebanese doing? Looking close we find that our enemy -who is still occupying a part of our land, still violating our borders and sovereignty, threatening our security and stability and has greed to seize our territories, waters and wealth – is still the one who is working seriously and daily for that day which we don't know if it will come or not. What're the Lebanese doing on the other hand? The Lebanese – whom the Zionists undertake training and stage maneuvers to terrorize them and to prepare for an aggression on them one day – (Alas we'll make some self-criticism) do nothing important. In Lebanon, the political forces- generally speaking- are preoccupied with interior issues. We're all exhausted with interior political issues. Indeed we are exhausted preparing for the forthcoming important parliamentary elections. Was it only that, it would've been simple but even if we come to some available elements of power and strength, we work at weakening, underestimating and abusing them. In fact, in face of such probable challenges, we are in utmost need to make haste and reach a settlement on the national defense strategy. It's really miserable that some accuse Hezbollah of seeking to put off this issue. We insist on reaching a settlement on this issue and putting an end to it so that all the Lebanese would know how we build our power in confronting threats. In fact, one of the most critical elements in which we may confront Israeli threats and preparations is reaching a settlement on this issue on the national level. But what's happening on and around the dialogue table? During the session before the final one – as an example – his Eminence President Michael Suleiman asked General Michael Aoun to present a national defense strategy as he was a former chief commander of the Lebanese Army. The latter exerted great effort and presented his viewpoint of a defense strategy on scientific and academic basis. Yet it was not discussed on the dialogue table. But unfortunately it is being discussed in the media, on platforms, in declarations and in statements. If only it was discussed! No it's not being discussed by any means. My blame is on some parties on the dialogue table. If anyone has anything to say, let them please say it on the table. Let them wait till the next session so if someone asks them, (Some object saying they posed questions! Good) they may say we have a different evaluation and we'll put forth our remarks and various views on the dialogue table. But the issue was turned in one way to an assaulting attack and in another way to a mockery. The most important and crucial issue that concerns the Lebanese and is connected to Lebanon's survival, sovereignty, power, security and integrity – the defense strategy – was turned to an issue of mockery and sarcasm and to fruitless controversy. Even more it was turned to an election overbidding stuff. This is disappointing. It's unacceptable to deal with the defense strategy as such. Anyway, among what drew my attention and I like to comment on this very day is: after the promulgation of General Aoun's defense strategy vision including equipping the army especially the Air Defense, I read statements made by the Finance Minister in the current government saying that the Lebanese government does not own enough money to equip the army and that providing the army with air defense needs enormous costs which we can't afford and that Lebanon may seek protection in international resolutions. Now if this was the personal viewpoint of the Finance Minister, he is free to say it. Here I'd like to make a short discussion because he's not on the dialogue table. But should this be the viewpoint of his political party indeed it's a great catastrophe. Why? There are two points: the first point: whatever the differences were on the defense strategy between the various political parties, there is a common point – brothers and sisters - the army. There's no dispute that the army has an essential role in defending Lebanon. Thus in any defense strategy, we must have a strong army. It must be armed, trained and equipped not only with some guns. Any defensive force must, above all, has equipped air force and anti-armored weapons. This is known by all the armies worldwide. The army which doesn't own air forces and anti-armored weapons is nothing more that interior security forces in the military suit of the army. That means it's a security body with security missions in military dress. So if the common point we all are talking about -equipping the Lebanese army- is not a point of consensus, are we from the very beginning 'going to break our hand and beg saying "we have no money to equip the Lebanese army"? How are you to defend the country? So first we have to equip our national army. This is a priority. Besides, the government finds abundance of money to finance projects here and there. It must give the priority to equipping the Lebanese army with what enables it to defend Lebanon. If this policy is a matter of dispute or opposition then the consensus point in the defense strategy fell and thus there'd be no need to reach the point of discussing resistance.

The second point: it's really strange and I wonder when I consider the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Arab, Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani, Iranian and other experiences with international resolutions since 1948 till now. Has any international resolution – any international resolution issued so far- protected any people or pushed harm away from any country, or restored a right to its legal owner? Never! So aren't sixty years or bitter any painful experiences underwent by the peoples of our region with the Zionist enemy, its masters in Washington and other than Washington, with the International Security Council and international resolutions enough to convince some among us that international resolutions don't defend anyone and that what really defends you is your power, army, resistance and people? If all these experiences for sixty years didn't change convictions and political commitments of this kind, I wonder what is the use of dialogue table and exposing some political leaders in Lebanon to the risks of going routinely to the presidential palace?

What we really need is to settle the issue of defense strategy. I agree with his highness the minister that defending one's homeland costs much. That's true but as such homelands are defended: lofty charges, great sacrifices and massive efforts. That's why we have called and are still calling for enlarging the dialogue table and not to cripple it, but rather to have the largest possible number of Lebanese represented and to be together in taking the decision of defense and assuming the burdens of responsibilities. Defending Lebanon needs strong shoulders and bodies and men as firm as mountains and not words said on platforms here and there.

The martyrs whom we meet today to mark their day are the witness on the great burden assumed by any people who want to restore freedom to their capital as was the case with Beirut. As such will be restored its Mountain, Bekaa, and South from Sidon to Tyr to Nabatiyeh to Jizin to Marjoun to Bint Jbeil and to Hasbayah. As such territories are safeguarded and peoples are protected and sanctuaries and honors are guarded.

So from this perspective, I'll stop at calling for settling the issue of enlarging the dialogue table on this background. The issue is not for dispute. Whom does this or that represent? Such disputes are endless. The background is that we are discussing a strategic national issue which concerns all the Lebanese. The defense strategy is the most important example for war or peace resolution. Why do you want to exclude some leaders and essential forces from taking the decision of war or peace? You always say that such resolutions need to be tackled in a different way. So let us settle the issue of enlargement and let the dialogue table be serious. Let us settle the issue of national defense strategy and move towards implementing this strategy as soon as possible so that we be strong and able to defend our country as we face the regional and international changes sweeping quickly our region and the world.

On the other hand however and away from controversy and afar from this atmosphere which does not promise seriousness at times, I assert to you that here in Lebanon as in the enemy entity, there are men who are working day and night since the end of July War also. We are a serious people and our resistance is serious. We don't make fun, play, and waste time. In Lebanon also the resistance has worked and is working day and night so that Lebanon be the strong and able. The resistance is training, equipping itself, learning and preparing all defense requisites side by side with the army and the people. It is carrying out its missions with great seriousness. When I used to make stances in previous occasions, I wasn't launching psychological war - though it might be helpful in such wars. I was rather serious in what I say and say again. In Lebanon, the resistance with the end of 2008 is stronger than ever and more able. Will Israeli arms be stretched to Lebanon they'll be cut off as the legs of Israelis were cut off in Ansarieh God willing. This serious and industrious effort will never come to an end. The Lebanese may feel reassured in one way that there are minds, eyes and hearts which are ever awakened struggling day and night embraced by the majority of their people and which are never inattentive of this enemy or what this enemy is preparing.

On the security level, the intelligence directorate in the Lebanese army and the Lebanese security agencies must be provided with all possible support to unveil spying networks. Moreover public and factional cooperation between the various Lebanese and Palestinian forces is demanded and essential. As for psychological war, let them put their hands on their mouths and unsay their lies. Tell them, brothers and sisters: we will remain here in our land. This is our firm determination. Our riffles are in our hands, our belief in our hearts, and our feet steadfast on our territories unshaken as our haughty mountains. Our eyelids will never quiver, and our fists will never shiver by psychological war and by lies promulgated through the media. The Israelis confessed they waged a 33-day-war on us and staged raids that outnumber the raids Israel launched during all Israeli-Arab wars. Was anyone among us shaken? Was anyone afraid? Did anyone give up or retreat? Never!

As for the Interfaith Conference, I'll tackle the invitation of Shimon Perez and (Tseby) Livney and the other Zionists to the Interfaith Conference. Indeed the clarification issued by the Saudi Ambassador is good and gives some relief taking into consideration the identity of the inviters to the conference. But what I want to say today to all the Arab and Islamic countries which plan to partake in this conference including Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria – so that it will not be said that we are calling on one and not the other party. I call on all the Arab and Islamic countries to work against the attendance of these apartheid, terrorists, murders and crime perpetrators in the Interfaith Conference.

What has Shimon Perez – the perpetrator of crimes in Lebanon and Palestine - to do with the Interfaith Conference? What has Olmert or Livney – who is a member of the governmental staff who is an accomplice in Qana's Second Massacre - to do with faith and interfaith dialogue? Israel is an apartheid criminal terrorist state and the Zionist movement is an apartheid movement unless the Arab League and the Islamic Conference Organization give up this categorization. If today somebody says that the such Islamic Resistance movement wants to partake in the Interfaith Conference the Americans will say this is a terrorist movement and the Arab and Islamic countries will respect the American veto.

Why don't we respect ourselves and veto against Israel and tell the world that we are with interfaith dialogue? There are many Jews, Jewish religious men and Jewish men of letters around the world who have nothing to do with Zionism and Israel's crimes; let them partake in the Interfaith Conference.

On Martyr's Day and by the sanctity of martyrs blood, I address all Arab and Islamic countries to work on expelling Israel from the conference and preventing Shimon Perez – the apartheid killer – and his like from ascending the platform to talk about interfaith. And at what time? At a time when AlQods is being Judiazed, Palestinian homes are being confiscated and demolished and on which ruins fanatic settlers perform their ceremonies, and siege is being tightened on more than a million and a half Palestinians in Gaza who dwell in darkness and hunger. While Zionist settlers' aggressions mushroom against Palestinians in the West Bank under the eye of the enemy cabinet and its patronage, Shimon Perez is being honored and given access to the interfaith dialogue platform.

What we call for is this stance. Did July War take place a hundred year ago, oh Arabs and Muslims, or before only two years and a half so that we excuse the killers, murders and butchers and welcome them and clap for them and sit with them under one roof and under the title that does us more wrong.

Still I have to tackle the recent US elections. I view it from two perspectives. First the American people themselves through their voting – as the US elections is the chance the American people have to hold their government or the ruling party accountable – tried the ruling Republicans, Bush and his administration. The outcome of the voting is a confession made by the US people on the failure of the foreign and economic policies of Bush's government. This government hasn't brought on America and the peoples of the world but wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands were so far killed in Iraq and are still being killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and lately in Syria under the pretext of fighting terrorism. This is not to forget July War which was an American War cum laude – a US war in decision taking, in support providing, in administration, in time continuity and indeed in its defeat and failure as well.

The Americans stood to say to the world that the policy of the government has failed. I do not want to talk about the fall of the US project in the world or in the region. Some among those who call themselves enlightened intellectuals and politicians who resort to their inspirations more than depend on their interpretation of the events consider my saying as exaggeration. But at least the Americans witnessed on what I'm saying – their great failure in the various parts in the world and especially in our region. The reason behind this failure is neither US futility, nor US incapability, inability to plot, and lack of supporters, advocates and bettors in our region. No but rather the defeat of the US projects is above all due to the region's peoples, the resistance movements in the region and the steadfast nations which were the target of US projects in the region.

Between parenthesis, unfortunately despite several clarifications there are still some people in Lebanon who still insist that His Eminence Imam Sayyed Khamenai said we - meaning the Iranians or Iran or I i.e. he –will defeat America in Lebanon. He did not say so. He said: America will flop and be defeated in Lebanon. He who can defeat America in Lebanon is the Lebanese people. He who can defeat America in Palestine is the Palestinian people, resistance, steadfastness, and adherence to rights. He who can defeat the US project in Iraq or Afghanistan are the Iraqi and Afghani peoples. The point is that Imam Khamenai is a great leader who trusts the peoples of the Arab and Islamic world. He trusts in these peoples and their capabilities, determination and will. Thus he expects defeat for the occupiers and the usurpers, while he expects victory for the steadfast, oppressed, determined and resisting peoples. He is thanked for that and not condemned. He is not using Lebanon to defeat the US projects.

The Lebanese people are the ones aggrieved by the US project because it's an Israeli project above all. The Lebanese people are the ones who defeated the US project in this round. Will there be more rounds in the future?

The second perspective from which the US elections are viewed is: the ordinary man can't but be glad with the defeat of John McCain and the Republicans because in that is seen the defeat of Bush and his gang. But is it admissible that we nurture high hopes and go far in depending on changes the ingoing US elected president will make in the coming stages? We neither want to give a black image nor get overoptimistic. Being politically rational, realistic and logical necessitates waiting and having patience. Let's wait and see. It's difficult because America is ruled by institutions, interests and fixed strategies. Our Arab world, the third world and Africa might sympathize with Obama as regarding his past and his color, but politics and interests are something else. I'm saying let's not be overoptimistic and let's not make people feel overoptimistic so that no one feels disappointed or has miscalculations. Still I don't want to make anticipations. What I want to stress today on Martyr's Day is a cultural, political and intellectual issue that has to do with our people and our nation.

It's not logical to bet only on change in the oppressor, the tyrant, the arrogant and the powerful and sit aside saying: good, new situations will prevail because this tyrant will be more merciful on us. He will look at us from a perspective the previous tyrant didn't view us from. This is the state of a weak and feeble nation which bets on changes in others and contents itself with its slackness, weakness, inactivity and feeble will and determination. No the alive nation and people rationally believe that in face of what's going on around the world -whatever it be- you have to struggle to be strong in your unity, solidarity, education, culture, economy, social structure, military, state status, and nation's integrity. You must be strong to be respected by the world around you and to be respected by the tyrant. Let the oppressive tyrant stand at you doorstep and know that he can't but stand there. He can't transgress us. Why can't he? Not because he is weak but because we are strong. We are the defenders of the homeland and the nation.

On Martyr's Day, the martyrs teach us as brothers, Lebanese, Arabs and peoples in the region who bet on, witness and follow the important changes taking place around the world: Don't bet on any of these changes. That will not be of any use to you were you weak. The message of martyrs on Martyr's Day is delivered thru their sweat, blood, struggle and sacrifices. These are the guarantee of our existence, honor, nation's survival, freedom, dignity and pride. Which blood circulates in our veins? Is it the blood of the past martyrs: Abbass Musawi, Ragheb Harb, Bilal Fahs, Imad Mughniyeh, Ahmad Qasir, Sanaa Mheidleh, Dalal Mughrabi, Fathi Shiqaqi, Ahmad Yassin, Abu Ali Mustafa and all the past martyrs? Or is it the blood of surrender, luxury, pastime, submission, weakness and feebleness? The blood which circulates in our veins is what makes our forehead high and proud or low and submissive.

On Marty's Day, my vow, your vow, the vow of all our brothers and sisters and the vow of all our proud people to our virtuous martyrs: O dear ones who passed away and reached their aim, we swear we will continue on your path. Your blood will remain in our veins. With your blood which was shed and your very blood that circulates in our veins, Lebanon's ally will not be but victory and victory will come after all God willing. May Allah bless you. I thank your attendance which honored us. Special thanks to the families of martyrs for the great sacrifices they offered in this great path. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.