Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah via Al Manar Channel on 16-1-2011
The speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah via Al Manar Channel on 16-1-2011 on the developments following the resignation of the ministers and the toppling of the Lebanese government.
In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, chosen companions and all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.
Due to the developments that took place in the recent days in Lebanon and due to the importance of the stage, I find myself responsible of presenting the events and analyzing and commenting on them besides drawing a sketch for the track of things in our country. That's because it is the right of the Lebanese people, the right of all the Lebanese, the right of all of those who love Lebanon and care about Lebanon, the right of the people in Lebanon, of the state, of the resistance and of the future to get acquainted and also have an idea of the fate that might be said about the track of things because the events and the track of things might reveal clearly for us the intentions and the targets that are schemed for this country and for all of us.
First, I will start with the events. I will not go far back to the previous months. I will start briefly with the events starting with the so called the Arab Initiative or the Saudi-Syrian effort pursuant to the talk of the imminence of the issuance of the indictment by the International Tribunal General Prosecutor in which he intends to accuse Hezbollah members or cadres. The kind initiative took place on behalf of the Saudi and Syrian sides – on behalf of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and President Bashar Assad. We were told that there is an effort of this kind, and we supported it. We told all our friends who called to offer help: We suggest that you support the Saudi-Syrian effort. In fact, we bargained on this effort as did all those who want the welfare of Lebanon and those who wanted Lebanon to overcome this ordeal or the ordeals and seditions schemed for Lebanon.
Talks started despite some in Lebanon denying in principle that there are talks, ideas, papers or clauses and despite denying reaching an agreement because they were talking about their expectations and not about eventual facts and events.
On this issue, I like to be very clear so that all the Lebanese would have a clear idea so that later no one claims illusionary heroism or present unreal things to people.
From the very beginning, the Saudi side was clear saying the STL can't be annulled because the STL was established following a resolution issued by the International Security Council, and this issue is in the hands of America, Britain, France,… We said we can understand that and I hinted to that on the speech I gave on the night of Ashura. They were clear. In fact, this was not discussed. So from the very first days and since the first meeting, it was clear that the Saudi side said that they can't annul the indictment. We also understood that because the indictment is not in the Saudi hands but rather in the hands of the Americans and the Israelis. Consequently, it is not expected that the Saudi side be able to pressure on the Americans and the Israelis to annul the indictment.
From the very beginning, the Saudi side said that two things are possible: First postponing the issuance of the indictment for several weeks or months until an agreement on another thing is reached. Second let's sit to discuss how we may protect Lebanon from the repercussions of the indictment. All of that took place on the first days, and indeed all of these negotiations were taking place secretly.
We said that we can understand that and we haven't any problem. Indeed we refuse the indictment, and we believe that it is politicized and we believe that we are targeted by America and Israel via the indictment. Still Lebanon is our country and we are keen to protect this country.
Through discussions we reached the following conclusion: How are we to keep Lebanon aside? I also hinted to that on the night of Ashura.
We may keep Lebanon aside via three clauses: the Lebanese government meets and says: Due to the developments, risks, possibilities…and apart from its evaluation of the STL and the indictment, it carries on three things:
First, it withdraws the Lebanese judges.
Second, it halts the Lebanese financing of the STL.
Third, it annuls the understanding memorandum between the Lebanese government and the STL.
Should the current Lebanese government or any other government take these three clauses into consideration, that will not mean annulling the STL by any means. The STL exists apart from our viewpoint on it.
Were the Lebanese judges pulled out, the STL has its own law or the Security Council would amend its law so as to replace them by judges from other nationalities.
Was the Lebanese financing halted, we would have spared some money for the Lebanese people. There are many financing sources in the world. So they have no problem in financing or in complete the number of judges.
As for the understanding memorandum, annulling it means that apart from the repercussions of the STL and the indictment, if the General Prosecutor wants Lebanese, there is international Interpol and other means to arrest them and it would not be the duty of the Lebanese government to arrest those accused by Bellemare what might lead to conflicts on the national level.
If we were committed to these three clauses, that would mean keeping Lebanon aside and protecting Lebanon against the repercussions of the indictment while it won't mean by any means annulling the STL or the indictment – and to all those who make mistakes and work at deluding people – despite our conviction which I would like to say again and again that it is an American-Israeli tribunal and the resolution is American and Israeli.
However we would like to reach a mid way. We were told by the Saudi side that they agree on these clauses and that PM Saad Hariri agreed on these three clauses.
They said: For us to be able to make an agreement (I do not like to name it settlement) or an accord, there are other things which are demanded from you as an Opposition or as Hezbollah or as Hezbollah and Amal Movement. You are to accept these clauses and consequently we will have a comprehensive agreement or accord ready for implementation with our trust in Allah.
These clauses were put forward with the condition that they remain secret to guarantee the success of the negotiations. Actually they remained secret. Some clauses were clear and we agreed on them, and we had some remarks on some clauses and needed to discuss them with our allies. However the atmosphere which was reflected was positive. The atmosphere which was conveyed by President Bashar Assad to the Saudi side was positive and things were getting along.
Well, the illness of the king, his leaving for the USA and the presence of his son - Prince Abdul Aziz – with him (as he was the one following with the negotiations – slowed down considerably the track. Negotiations carried on through the phone and on discontinuous intervals.
Two weeks ago or a little more, it was affirmed that the king had a surgery and his health is good and he is determined to continue his effort to reach an agreement and conclude this issue. Shortly the king's son might arrive in Damascus and Beirut to agree on all the clauses and on the mechanism of implementation. It was also said that it will be demanded that PM Saad Hariri travel to the USA to conclude this issue and prepare for it.
Before leaving Beirut for the USA, PM Saad Hariri made a statement in which he said the agreement was concluded since a month. Indeed this needs scrutiny but it was good that he acknowledged that there is an agreement and said it was concluded a month ago but there are steps demanded from the other side which the latter had not undertaken yet.
Some of us saw that as positive because for the first time someone from the other party – which used to deny the existence of ideas, drafts, negotiations and a settlement as they call it – acknowledges the existence of an agreement but says who will start first and holds the other party responsible because it has not started yet. Some read something positive in that statement and saw it as a prelude to the Saudi-Syrian promised steps.
PM Saad Hariri left for America and had US meetings there and without prior notice, the Saudi side called the Syrian side and said: Sorry, as a result of the pressures and circumstances, we are not able to continue our efforts. May Allah bless you. See what you may do.
We were informed that the effort was halted without any indications or preludes. This has to do with the analysis and the evaluations later: who crippled this course and who led things in that direction?
After we were informed of that, we were also informed that the indictment will be issued imminently and that it might be issued within days. We had our talks with our allies in the Opposition, with the forces that have ministers in the government because of the short lapse of time. We unanimously agreed that it's our duty – and I will explain why later – to present our resignation from our government and consequently topple the government for reasons I will mention later. In a constitutional, legal and very natural move, the resignations were presented and we became before a new status whether on the level of the government or on the level of the country as tomorrow – Monday – parliamentary consultations will take place to charge a new prime minister.
These are the facts.
Now let's try to understand what took place. What took place and why did things reach here?
First: It's obvious that the Americans and the Israelis were against this Arab effort from the very beginning. They let this effort move for an interval of time with the conviction that they bargained on the failure of the S-S (Syrian-Saudi) effort to reach an agreement because this issue is difficult and complicated. Consequently they do not need to intervene, annul or thwart. However, recently when they realized that the process was yielding very positive results and there are positive atmospheres to reach an agreement on this issue, they interfered in a decisive way. They reported that this issue must not carry on and must be halted. Thus the effort stopped abruptly.
Whoever has another interpretation, let him present it for us. This is our interpretation based on the events and based on the given: the US and Israeli statements that preceded the efforts and followed halting the efforts, the US and Israeli bargains and especially the Israeli bargains on the repercussions of the indictment which accuses members of Hezbollah. This is clear announced speech which they say day and night. Will the Americans and the Israelis allow the Arab efforts to work out and cripple all these expectations and bargains?
Second: No doubt the issue is not pure American. Definitely, there are certain Lebanese parties which used to deny in principle the existence of ideas, a settlement and an initiative. They worked extensively day and night and instigated American, western and Arab sides to thwart the Saudi-Syrian effort and at times in some meetings, they used improper repulsive terms to lash out at King Abdullah because they sensed he was very truthful and serious in completing the understanding and reaching an agreement.
Third: As for PM Saad Hariri and his team, they said in this perspective that the agreement was concluded, and that there are people who were demanded to do things which they did not undertake. Indeed this is not true. But I will agree with him that an agreement was concluded and we waited for several months… Well don't I wait, if I was interested in the welfare of the country and in transcending this ordeal? Won't I wait for a week or two until we put the final touches and agree on a mechanism to implement it?
What is demanded on you? What is demanded on us? Trust in Allah and transcend with our country this difficult stage. What took place?
As soon as he stepped in America, this effort was beheaded. It was aborted. We came back to the very starting point. This poses a very big question which I would like the Lebanese to ask. All the Lebanese are worried today on the situation in Lebanon. There was a possibility that we do not reach this, but why did we reach this?
Fourth: As I understand the issue, either PM Hariri and his team from the very beginning did not agree on this course and they did not want this agreement and moved on it first pursuant to pressure from the KSA. Consequently it is not only they who do not want, but also they provoked the Americans and others to pressure on the Saudi side to halt this effort. The second possibility is that they were moving with the king and the Saudi side but there is a US tyrannical administration – here between parenthesis I would ask what have become of freedom, sovereignty, independence, the independent decision and national interests?- The Americans say no; so it's no. So it is one of these two cases because it is supposed and according to his declarations and according to the given, that things were moving and about to reach conclusions.
This comment or understanding stresses at this moment or on this night, that this team cannot be trusted to take a Lebanese decision, to safeguard Lebanon's interest and Lebanon's stability and is not reliable to help Lebanon or lead the country out of any impasse or the difficulties that Lebanon might face, as months-old-efforts were put to an end during an hours-stay in the USA.
Fifth: To carry on in this perspective, PM Hariri said after his return that the demands which he made – which he called benefits – are national benefits. Anyway, I have the terms which were demanded from us because they were reported to us and we were discussing them to find answers. I said we gave answers. We were dealing with some positively while we were still discussing others. That exists. Also to be precise, tonight and for definite reasons, I will not reveal these terms and demands. However, if others revealed them one day, the Lebanese will be able to judge. The Lebanese will discover that among them, there is a term or two in line with Lebanon’s interest. Beside this, all other terms serve the interest of Hariri’s political and security team.
This is what we were negotiating on. Still we were dealing positively. We were ready to offer political and other benefits to the team of PM Hariri to keep Lebanon aside.
Consequently yes, we took this position to guard the national integrity and interest. Still this was aborted apart from some discussions pertaining to some terms and details.
Yes, I will allow myself to mention one term as a proof in the framework of the points of comment I am stating. It would be as evidence in this perspective.
When we partook in the government, we told them: O brothers! There is an issue called the issue of the false witnesses which is sensitive and critical and has very great repercussions: Top security generals and others were imprisoned based on these testimonies; the Lebanese-Syrian ties were ruined and even destroyed, and the worst sectarian atmosphere prevailed in Lebanon. There used to be sectarian conflicts in Lebanon but not on the level of the sectarian conflicts that took place in the past five years which witnessed the worst sectarian atmosphere based on the repercussions of these testimonies.
Parliamentary elections were held and governments were formed based on the results of political results of these testimonies. So you are invited to try the false witnesses and those who fabricated them because that led to these moral, human, national, economic and security catastrophes besides misleading the investigation.
We took this issue to the government. We did not take it to any other place. We did not defame people. We only said take this issue to the judicial council! Well, is it shameful if we called for voting and we are callers of agreeing democracy?
These issues need an agreement and we are the losing party in the vote. Still we are telling them to vote. This is not shameful to us. On the contrary, this is a positive act from our behalf. We are appealing to institutions and if an issue necessitates agreeing democracy, we accept voting even if it was against our interests and against the interests of such a great cause. Still they did not accept to vote. We said that we will accept the results. This is what crippled the government; it's not us who crippled the cabinet.
Well, what is the term? One of demanded terms was to close the case of the false witnesses. This is part of the settlement which was presented. So in exchange for keeping Lebanon aside and while the STL and the indictment are still purchasing us, it was demanded that the false witnesses' case be closed. Well, why are you interested in the false witnesses' case? This must not be part of any agreement or settlement. You should be among the most eager people to try the false witnesses and those who fabricated them! Still that was mentioned in the settlement. Is this to the interest of the nation or the interest of a definite political and security party?
Today we started understanding why it was prohibited to vote on the false witnesses' issue in the cabinet and that this issue be referred to the judicial council. Now we started understanding why it was allowed to cripple the country and the government all through these weeks to protect the false witnesses with my respect to any evaluation which might be said on what Al Jadeed Channel broadcasted yesterday. Today I could not manage to watch the sequel.
Well, as a first reaction, a note was circulated within the Future Movement - cadres and coordination directories - to the effect that this dialogue is fabricated. Some officials also said that the video is fabricated and was cut and attached…
Well this is funny. Why? There is a meeting and a discussion is taking place. Technically this is possible. I do not know. Anyway, there are experts who might say whether this is fabricated or not. But what is funny is that these cadres, coordination directories and people are ready to accept an indictment which might destroy the country and the region and which is based on communication data which any communication or mobile company might fabricate. This is easy to fabricate. But as for the tape which was broadcast by AlJadeed Channel, they on the spot said it is fabricated. However, a while ago the head of the government's media office –the provisional government –issued a statement that says that this incident took place, but it took place as such and with the aim of such and such. So it argued on the indication and background of the speech. However it did not deny the meeting and what took place in the meeting.
Still, before I came to address you – maybe it is inappropriate to me to go into such details – but I was told that the Future Channel will broadcast the full document of the events of this meeting on the news bar. Here I have a question: If this is one of the documents of the STL and the international investigation which is secret, how come you have this document? Now how did AlJadeed Channel and others come to possess this document, this is its own business. But you want to broadcast the full document, where from did you get this record knowing that they are secret documents! This is what the statement issued by PM office said when criticizing what was broadcasted while saying these documents are secret. So how was it leaked? Allow me to talk in our colloquial language: "Hello and good morning!" For five years we have been saying that what is taking place in the international committee exists in newspapers, magazines, televisions, councils, the political and security leaderships in Lebanon and all the embassies in Lebanon. This is what I liked to highlight.
This is what took place before finishing off the Arab Initiative. I can understand that it was put to an end when the Americans came and we were reported of that. Well how can we explain our act? Why did we move towards resignation and even towards toppling the government and not the resignation of 10 ministers only? By the way, I find it my duty to praise the honorable kind national stance taken by Minister Adnan Sayyed Hassan who acted according to what his conscience and dignity dictated on him. It is normal that the others will blame him for his act because they have their own views and considerations.
We are political forces who take place in the government, and we have ministers in the government. So we are a part of the government. After an experience that lasted for a year and several months, if we are to make an evaluation after all these developments, are we able to carry on in this government? Prior to these developments, there were sufferings to the effect that this government is fruitless. Is the PM following with ministries, cases, plans, projects…? Is there seriousness? From the very first day of the formation of the national unity government, there were some people who were against forming it and bargained and worked at frustrating it. They wanted it to flop. This is clear in the results of their achievements. I believe the ministers tonight and on the past couple of nights tackled and addressed this issue. Still we did not make haste to topple the government. We bet that with time, following up and seriousness we might reach somewhere. We gave the performance of the government, the achievement of the government, the activation of the government, the government's addressing the issues of the people, fighting fiscal corruption…a chance, but that existed from the very first day.
In this framework comes the most important point. Yes we came to a place now in which we acknowledge that we are incapable in this government to face fiscal and administrative corruption and to achieve fiscal, administrative and economic reformation. Why should we lie on the people? Yes, we were still bargaining on time.
For several months, the ministers and the parliamentary fiscal and budget committee were talking about the 11 billion dollars which were spent under previous governments. Just tell us how and where they were spent and following whose decision? Eleven billion dollars? Where are they? Whose money is this? Is it the money of their fathers and mothers or the money of the Lebanese people?
We are significant political forces. Perhaps not only 10 ministers; perhaps 11 or 12 ministers were making this demand. Still we could not reach with them anywhere. If you demanded a statement of bill for the 11 billion dollars, they will instantly declare that you are evoking sectarian sedition and targeting the Taif Accord. What is this? This is just first, and this is part of the governmental status quo.
Second: The government was incapable of referring the false witnesses’ case – which is a great, critical and sensitive case - to the Judicial Council. We failed even through voting to do that.
Third: This government is also incapable of facing the repercussions of the indictment. On the contrary, this government wants to go on financing a court that is conspiring against Lebanon and the resistance. The judges in this court are Lebanese and they are accomplices in this connivance. This government will later put itself in a difficult position especially when the General Prosecutor or the STL would request from it arresting unjustly, aggressively and oppressively Lebanese citizens.
This government is not qualified; thwarting the Saudi-Syrian effort has confirmed that this government is not qualified to confront the repercussions of the indictment. When the indictment is issued accusing members from Hezbollah, things would be over and the country would be revealed. Then we will not know what would the Israelis or the Americans or others who want to ravage the country from the inside – whose bargains were always those of ordeal and conflicts – do? This government has left the country until it became revealed especially if it was as we came to know that Mr. Bellemare had informed the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister that the indictment will be issued tomorrow or that on Monday he will hand it to Fransen and this will be announced on Tuesday. Anyway, there is no time anymore. This government and the prime minister are acting in a way that prevents the government from protecting Lebanon against the repercussions of the indictment. When we become before an incapable government of this kind we become false witnesses. This is the feeling of all ministers and you may ask them one by one.
Here we reach this conclusion and even what is worse from this conclusion. The people have demands. They might use the street. They were starting to make calls of this kind. We are asked to prevent people from taking any move on the street and we are asked to defend the government and its policies and conduct that do not convince anyone. Before this status quo, resignation and toppling an incapable government were inevitable. Toppling an incapable government might open the door – this is not absolutely confirmed because that has to do with the binding parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister tomorrow – before Lebanon to form a capable, responsible, truthful government that is ready to hold the burden and is ready to follow up, address causes and assume responsibilities. Toppling the government might open the door but keeping the government would keep the door shut. Thus it was our national and moral duty to topple the government.
In our view point, and contrary to some of the comments which we heard, keeping on with the current governmental status quo was impossible. It was oppressive to the state, the state institutions and the people. The step was pursuant to national integrity and not vice versa.
Seventh: Pursuant to our evaluation of this incapable weak governmental status quo – I do not want to say more than incapable and I do not want to tackle intentions – we decided to resign. We took a constitutional, legal, democratic and very normal step. This is our natural right. We did not topple a government in the street. We did not block roads. We did not blaze wheels. We did not demonstrate. We did not resort – as some hinted – to arms. This did not take place at all. Rather in a constitutional, legal, democratic and civilized way, we gave our reasons and submitted our resignation.
What took place afterwards? Don't blame me for using this comparison. As if the Opposition downed the Kaaba; the USA, France, the West and some Arab states started saying that this move threatens putting the whole region on the verge of tension. Yes, it reached this extent!
Why was the whole world moved? What happened? Is it for the possibility – as it is not final or decisive – that should the people, following the latest developments in Lebanon, head to parliamentary consultations, there is a possibility that the Opposition name a figure from the respectable Sunnite Sect who might be charged of forming the government and consequently the PM won't be Saad Hariri. Only for this possibility all capitals around the world made contacts, practiced pressure and issued statements. What is the interpretation for all of that?
Anyway, I would like to say in this perspective that we in the Lebanese Opposition assume our national responsibilities, and we will act in line with the national responsibilities. We are not frightened by speeches, statements or threats made by anyone around the world. We were not frightened by their wars, warplanes and fleets; so how are we to be frightened by their hollow statements and threats? We are practicing our convictions pursuant to our evaluations of the interest of our country. The means we resorted to is absolutely our right. We rather must be thanked for that. We must be told that we are a group of people who acted in a constitutional, legal way and within the framework of the state institutions.
They showed out from most of the world capitals to criticize and accuse us. What is this? What does that mean? I want to tell the Lebanese: do you know what is this? This means that it is not allowed in Lebanon that anyone objects or practices a right or raises his voice or makes an act of reform, change or treatment.
It is demanded that all of us give in. Should you open your mouth, the USA, the West, Israel and the Arab world would on the spot say that you are seeking sectarian sedition.
This is shameful. This also proves that the other party is moving on this track and within which viewpoint. Where is the other party? What is its position? Within which project and viewpoint it is? For whose interest, it is working?
Eighth: According to my information on whom the Opposition would nominate, in the last hours it has become clear to me that the Opposition will not name PM Saad Hariri to be charged of forming a new government. In fact, in the previous government, we did not name anyone, but we accepted to take part in a national unity government. However, following this experience – i.e. the one year and several months experience and our evaluation, the efforts and our understanding of all what took place especially recently, we are clear that we will not make this nomination and we will rather take another direction. I will not tonight announce who is the Opposition candidate. This would be expressed by the Opposition parliamentary blocs during tomorrow's consultations. However I would like to ask: Why is the whole world intervening in this national constitutional event? Mrs. Hilary Clinton made several calls here and there. Let the Lebanese know that tomorrow there are parliamentary consultations. Some parliamentary blocs have complicated conditions. This is well comprehended. But there is a Lebanese national Opposition which is engaged in the battle of parliamentary consultations with national tools, and there is another party who is engaged in the consultations battle with international and regional intervention and support. This is well known. Today governments, foreign ministries and presidents are intervening so that PM Saad Hariri be recharged of heading the government. Is this the state of freedom, sovereignty and independence?
Let the people work at ease. Let the overwhelming parliamentary majority name whomever it wants. Who will gain the majority of sounds? This is a democratic, constitutional track. There are sides which are able to identify their interests. They might vote neither for the candidate of the Opposition nor for the candidate of the other party; but they are subject to pressure from states here and there which threat their interests. Is this how we move in the right democratic, legal, constitutional track? Is the Prime Minister who is named pursuant to such a track constitutional, clear, clean and pure?
We overcame the past parliamentary elections without making any conflict in the country despite all the flaws. During the latest parliamentary elections which took place all over Lebanon, the other party spent more than a billion and 200 million dollars. If the price of vote in some directories was in the morning 1000 dollars, at noon 2000 dollars and before sunset 5000 dollars, would the elections and the parliament express the will of the people? Still we overcame that.
I also would like to ask: Would the results of parliamentary consultations that take place under international and regional intervention and endless pressure express the true will of deputies and their identification of national interests and consequently the will of the people?
So, why is this intervention taking place? Imagine that the US Ambassador went today to Zahle to meet deputy Nicola Fattoush! Why? Did she go to see what crises she can address in Zahle – development, economy, and job opportunities? Or did she go to Deputy Nicola Fattoush because they are working on deputies individually? This is what we see in media outlets. Allah only knows what we do not see in media outlets and what is taking place behind the screens.
There is something even worse from all of this international and regional intervention, pressures and contacts to name PM Saad Hariri as head of the government, knowing that there is no reason for being that much worried. So far it is not yet confirmed whether the Opposition candidate or their candidate would win. Perhaps as a first impression they might see that their situation is better than the Opposition's. Still we see all this intervention. What if it was sure that the parliamentary consultations tomorrow or the day after will lead to the nomination of another Sunnite figure? There are great, competent, historic and reliable Sunnite figures for this post. So what if the decision-making capitals and the world were sure that the Opposition candidate would win? What would have happened? What would have been the magnitude of the intervention that we were to expect?
I will say again that what is even worse from all of that – which in my view point is another scandal for Mr. Bellemare – what I knew that after the Arab effort was thwarted in America, instead of delaying the indictment, Mr. Bellemare was asked to make haste in issuing the indictment. This is part of the battle. However the scandal is that Mr. Bellemare reported yesterday that on Monday he will hand the indictment to Fransen. What is this timing? The indictment and the STL – even in the timing of the issuance of the indictment – is part of the political battle fought in Lebanon and is targeting us, our group, the resistance and the country. Couldn't he have waited until Wednesday or until the parliamentary consultations take place and a new PM is charged? Couldn't he have waited until Thursday? I am not sure if the indictment would be issued but I know for sure that the Lebanese state was officially informed about that. That was also announced in media outlets. I am not talking about private information. So couldn't he have pulled off the issuance until Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday? Didn't you pull off for two months or a month and a half? You could've waited for a couple of days or for three days. No! it was demanded that this issue be announced within the days of parliamentary consultations as part of the political investment for the interest of a definite candidate.
This is the status quo. I like to be clear and very open. Tomorrow, the day that follows and the few days to come, there will be two tracks moving at the same time.
There is the track of the parliamentary consultations which will lead to charging a new prime minister, and there is the track of Mr. Bellemare who said that he will hand the indictment to Fransen and that will be announced.
I will talk first about the first track and then I will talk about the second track.
Indeed in our viewpoint the timing was exploited for the interested of the parliamentary consultations. Still we will deal with the case in a disintegrated way. That means there is exploitation; but for us they are two tracks: the independent track of the parliamentary consultations, and the track of Mr. Bellemare and the indictment which is also independent.
Whatever the results of the parliamentary consultations were, the issue of the indictment and how we are to deal with it is something else.
As for the first track: We believe that this is a democratic, constitutional, legal and normal track. In fact, it is we who called for that when we resigned. We could have remained in the government and fought from within the government no matter if the government is incapable and is doing nothing to the effect of the false witnesses' case. No, we have resigned and we demanded that the current government be a provisional government. Consequently a date would be set for consultations. This is the normal track which will yield results. Apart from the results, we are partaking in this track and will go to the Presidential Palace to give our viewpoints as will do the other parliamentary blocs. Indeed in this track, political leaderships and parties who have deputies and parliamentary blocs tomorrow or the following day are before a great national responsibility and a great historic responsibility. Apart from fanaticism, and pre-set positions, let them say where they want to take the country. What will the government be like? That is because through the person of the prime minister we can understand the personality of the upcoming government. What government they want to offer for the Lebanese people? What is the conduct and the performance they want to undertake before the Lebanese people? There are an internal situation and a regional situation and a critical stage. Leave them to their conscience, sense of responsibility and evaluation. Consequently, they will be the ones who will vote and give their viewpoints on this issue. Then the consultations would move along and as a result of the voices, a prime minister would be charged and on light of these steps the people would know how to act.
We have passed through the experience of this government and the previous government. As for us – I am talking about Hezbollah in particular – indeed it was a new experience. We haven't been participating in governments all through the past years. We might have an evaluation for this participation. Apart from this evaluation, I would like to be clear: any government that will be formed will be a government of assuming responsibility. I believe the other parties in the Opposition might share with us this viewpoint with this spirit of decisiveness. As for us, it is impossible for us from now on to remain silent on a government that protects false witnesses now that the Arab initiative has come to an end. There is a file called false witnesses which has been set aside. The new government will decide what to do with it: will it refer it to the Judicial Council or will deny it? How will it act? This is the business of the new government. We can't remain silent on any government that would protect the false witnesses especially if it was among those who have fabricated the false witnesses. We will not remain silent on any government that protects fiscal corruption and even runs fiscal corruption. Let no one threaten us whether from outside or internally. Let no one hold in face of us any banners. We can not remain silent on any government that will not assume its responsibility seriously and officially to address the causes of the people who are living the worst living conditions on all perspectives.
Also - and I am not making compliments – we are not demanding from the government to protect the resistance. I always used to say this. During July War, we did not demand from anyone protecting the resistance. All those who protected it were honorable, and they expressed their conscience, responsibility, dignity, humanity and nationality in doing so. We always used to call on the government not to conspire against the resistance, not to make provocations against the resistance and not to go to this capital or that to instigate governments and states against the resistance in Lebanon. And from now on – I will be clear – we will not remain silent on any government that conspires against the resistance because it is our duty to preserve all the elements of strength in Lebanon before the existing and imminent Israeli threats, greed and risks. We all know that in the region no one protects anyone. Lebanon is protected by its people, army and resistance. We are not waiting for fleets from anywhere in the world to come to protect Lebanon. We will not remain silent on anyone – whether it be the government or others - who will conspire on the elements of strength that exist in Lebanon.
We hope that the Lebanese will be able to form a capable, active and national governments which priorities are the very priorities of the people so as to achieve their interests. I would like to say that what took place in Tunisia these days must be a lesson. In this occasion, I would like to praise the Tunisian people for their revolution and historic apprising. Where is the moral? It is not only in "If the people once longed for life…" It is that the president of this regime and his team who remained all these long years with France, America and the West - and even opened ties with Israel as the stance of this regime from all the primary causes in the region is well known – were not welcomed by all of those whom he served for all these years. They did not grant him a visa. They did not accept that his plane land in their airports. They even told all his relatives that they are persona non grata. 'Go away you are not welcomed here'. The moral is that we as Lebanese people or any people, government or authority must know that this country will carry on if the people sit down together and hold talks. When it was said that the S-S talks reached a dead end, political leaderships in Lebanon came out to say – that was even evoked in Rabiyeh when the ministers announced their resignation - that they wanted a Lebanese-Lebanese solution; but if we as Lebanese are incompatible to make a solution and unable to reach a way out, we have a problem then.
Now if America and the West interfered in the Lebanese affairs that will lead to internationalizing the crisis in Lebanon, complicating the problem in Lebanon and the overlapping of great and serious interests in Lebanon at a time when the magnitude of our problem is well known. We as Lebanese are able to sit down and address it. Still the other party insists that they do not to address the problem. Even when the Syrian-Saudi effort was taking place and it was possible that it reaches somewhere, the way out was thwarted with Lebanese participation.
We never shut doors. We are saying that the future in Lebanon depends on dialogue, meeting, cooperation and being positive. But if anyone wants to bully a part of the Lebanese people with America and the West and the world, they are mistaken and must benefit from the lessons of all experiences that have been taking place in the region.
Some people say: Wait until you see the indictment and the evidences it has. But we have already read the evidences in Dir Spiegel, Le Monde, the Kuwaiti Asseyassiyeh Newspaper and CBC. They are well known to everyone. What does the indictment depend on? On what basis it was fabricated, how was this issue schemed from its very beginning to its very end. There is nothing of the secrecy of investigation or the secrecy of documents… Everything exists everywhere. That's why we refused the indictment and said that this tribunal is in such and such a situation and the investigation is such and such. We did not insult anyone; we rather said that these are the facts and these are the indications. Based on that we said it is an American-Israeli tribunal.
This track is independent from the track of the government. Indeed we will see what will take place tomorrow and the day after concerning the indictment. On light of that we will see how we will act. We will defend our dignity, existence and reputation. How we will act? That has to do with the leadership of Hezbollah and talks with our allies. However indeed we are responsible of dealing with this issue. I will say again we have disintegrated the two tracks. Indeed we are acting according to all what we have been talking about in the past months. We will not let anyone damage our reputation and dignity, and we will not allow anyone to conspire against us. We will not allow anyone around the world to aggressively and oppressively accuse us of shedding the blood of martyr PM Rafiq Hariri – even if it was a sheer indictment or an accusation. Some people tell us have patience. The tribunal might prove one's innocence or not. He who put the indictment will put the decision of the tribunal. This tribunal is absolutely in America and Tel Aviv. Everyone who moves with this tribunal is serving this project whether he knew or not.
I will leave this section for tomorrow or the day after. On light of what will be issued, we will read and see and say God willing how we may act. The timing, the content and the mechanism have to do with our evaluation of interests.
This is the status quo. As a result of greed, this country has been for years thrust in this crisis and ordeal. Indeed my reading and the indications I presented previously in the press conference say that the Israelis killed PM Hariri and carried out the assassinations in Lebanon to cause a total change in the Lebanese situation.
In the past years and especially in the past couple of years, they expressed their frustration because the project that means that the so and so party is controlling Lebanon didn't unfortunately work. However they did not give in. They are carrying on targeting in an attempt to isolate and besiege. They carry on in their aspirations to have control over Lebanon and turn it to a totally opposite position with a different internal and regional status. However I would like to tell them that during all the past years and in the most difficult and intense conditions when George Bush was in Washington and when the American armies were marching towards the Arab and Islamic capitals and when they were talking about a New Middle East, we stood here, we were here and we remained here. During the past years, nothing remained that we did not confront: political war, media war, misleading, distortion, lies, security war, assassinations and military war in 2006. You can see where we are now. I reiterate and stress that those who are still after this project have great miscalculations. In my previous speech about the five stages, I told them where their miscalculations are. Here they are also miscalculating. Consultations may bring back PM Saad Hariri. After all, we do not know the inclinations of the deputies. Still this is the beginning of a new stage and not the end of a stage. You are miscalculating. If you believe you might make use of the indictment to target the resistance, you are extensively miscalculating. I do not need to go more into details because in the light of what Mr. Bellemare would do in the next couple of days, I will make another speech.
I hope that Allah Al Mighty will assist the Lebanese people and bestow wisdom, responsibility and care on all the Lebanese leaderships so that they would be able to overcome these ordeals as this is the nature of life.