Monday, February 28, 2011

NATO invasion of Libya 'disgusting idea'

A no-fly zone over Libya? A very bad idea indeed

It sure looks like the Empire is trying to make the most from an otherwise unpredictable situation.  In Egypt, the Empire is now allowing for a travel ban on Mubarak while in Libya the US-NATO forces seem to be gearing up for the imposition of a no-fly zone.

I just head a British lawyer on al-Jazeera explaining that a no-fly zone can be imposed by the UNSC in case of genocide, crimes against humanity and other such massive atrocities which the so-called "duty to defend" doctrine can invoke to impose a no-fly zone.  Except that nothing of the kind is taking place in Libya.

Ok, before somebody calls me a Gadaddi-fanboy let me make something clear: I don't care for the guy one bit and I am absolutely delighted that his own people have decided to get rid of him, his sons, and his minions.  But that does not mean that a genocide or crimes against humanity are taking place in Libya.

First, I don't think anybody besides ex-Libyan diplomats trying to endear themselves to their new masters is seriously suggesting that a genocide is taking place in Libya.  What about crimes against humanity then?

Take a look here for a definition of "crimes against humanity".  I suppose that one could make the case that murder, disappearance, torture and "persecution against some groups" is taking place now.  But to qualify as crime against humanity these need to be "committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack".  I see no evidence of that whatsoever (which is not to say that I deny that they are occurring, only that I see no evidence of that).  Here is what we know about the situation in Libya:

1) there are violent clashes taking place which include the use of lethal force to control and suppress demonstrations.
2) there are also armed battles between regime-controlled military/security/polices forces on one side, a armed militias of anti-regime forces.  Judging by the footage shown on al-Jazeera, the oppositions forces' armament range from primitive hunting rifles, to anti-air guns (a *formidable* and vastly under-rated weapon which can be used against personnel, armor, buildings, roads, bridges, artillery and, of course, aircraft), mortars, anti-tank missiles and even main battle tanks.
3) there has been no proof shown whatsoever which would indicate that the Libyan Air Force has been used to bomb anything besides ammunition dumps.

I would say that NONE of that qualifies as "crimes against humanity".

Frankly, this reminds me of the so-called "Timisoara massacre" - a fictional massacre invented to help topple Ceaușescu or the "Racak massacre" - another fictional massacre invented to justify the US/NATO attack against Yugoslavia.   By the way, Ceaușescu and Milosevic were certainly repugnant individuals with plenty of blood on their arms, just like Gadaffi, but that is hardly a justification.  It is a very naive and misguided think that to generate or propagate such fictional atrocities is acceptable: the parties generating them are always using such lies to manipulate the public opinion and hide the true nature of their intervention.

In the case of Libya, what seems to be coalescing is the imposition of a no-fly zone.  The danger of such a plan is that it puts the military powers imposing such a no-fly zone in the position of becoming king-makers.  You can be sure that if such a no-fly zone is decided upon, it is not going to be the Chinese or Chilean Air Force which will enforce it but the same clique which imposed the no fly zones on Bosnia and Iraq: the US and its NATO puppets.

Yes, a no-fly zone would tactically help the anti-Gadaffi forces, but only at the cost of a major strategic risk.  Once a no-fly zone is enforced by the US/NATO there will be absolutely no oversight whatsoever over exactly how it is enforced.  The US NATO forces will be able to easily begin flying all sorts of missions which have nothing to do with the enforcement of the no-fly zone or the prevention of 'crimes against humanity': aerial reconnaissance, insertion of special forces or foreign elements, exfiltration of allies and agents, covert airstrikes, delivery of supplies and ammunitions, false-flag massacres, etc.  While the idea of a no-fly zone seems very reasonable and non-interventionist, the reality is that it puts the country over which it is imposed at the complete mercy of the forces enforcing it.

I very much hope that the Libyan people and the countries at the UNSC who are not puppets of the Empire (Russia, China) will see through all this and not allow such a resolution to pass.

The Saker

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Can anybody confirm/deny this or assess the source of this report?

A friend just send me this:

Does anybody know anything about this?

Why would the Egyptian army fire at monastics?  Why use RPGs?
Does any of that makes sense to you?

Thanks for any info!

The Saker

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two very good discussions on "Cross Talk"

I really like Peter Lavelle and his show "Cross Talk".  Check out these two.  He invites some very toxic Zionist fanboys, and he opposes them to very articulate and intelligent anti-Imperialists (like Mark LeVine!):

The Zioimperialists just sound so evil and so stupid :-)

Also - check out Mark LeVine's biography.   This guy is amazing! 

Has anybody read his books?  If yes, please let me know, as I "discovered" him only today.


The Saker

Truly amazing Egyptians!

One mouth after the Egyptian revolution began, the Egyptians are STILL at it.  I just was a report from al-Jazeera and Tahrir square is jam-packed, totally full, with a huge crowd demanding not puppet change, but regime change.

These people are just amazing!  I don't think I have ever seen such a massive and spontaneous people movement in my life.

And the people Yemen and Bahrain are still keeping up their demonstrations.  And the amazingly courageous Libyans are wining back their country, city by city, at a huge cost in lives.

Arabs can be really very proud today.  In a time when the word "democracy" has been corrupted so much as to become meaningless or even repulsive, the Arab people are showing the rest of the planet what people power, *real* democracy, can (and should!) be.

U.S. Backs Japan In Looming Confrontation With Russia

Last week Kamitsuki Toyohisa, the Japanese Foreign Ministry counselor for European Affairs, said that the relationship between his country and Russia is “at its worst point in decades.”

In fact the dramatic ratcheting up of rhetoric – and corresponding actions – on both sides over the Kuril Islands are more evocative of the situation preceding the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and the two nations’ conflict on the Manchurian border in 1938-1939 than any previous developments after the Second World War.

On February 15 Japan’s Kyodo News reported that the Russian coast guard had fired on a Japanese fishing vessel off the Kurils, a charge denied by the Russian side. However, a Russian news agency lately revealed the potential for a serious confrontation in recalling that a year ago last month “two Japanese fishing vessels entered Russia’s territorial waters off Kunashir Island and ignored warning shots from a Russian guards’ helicopter. As a result, the guards had to open direct fire at the vessels. The fishing boats returned to their port of Rausu with numerous bullet holes on their hulls.” [1]

On the same day the same Russian press source announced that Russia would deploy short- and long-range air defense missile systems, including the advanced S-400 Triumf system with long-range surface-to-air missiles, to the South Kuril Islands, located between Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan’s Hokkaido island. The S-400 is designed for use against aircraft (including stealth warplanes), cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

An official from the nation’s General Staff of the Armed Forces confirmed that “S-400 missile defense systems could be deployed to the islands to protect them from possible attacks.” [2]

A week earlier Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan spoke at this year’s National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories – Northern Territories is the Japanese, and as will be seen shortly, the U.S. name for the South Kurils – in Tokyo and referred to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the four South Kuril Islands last November (the first by a Russian or Soviet head of state) as an “unforgivable outrage.”

Two days afterward, in a meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Regional Development Minister Victor Basargin, who had recently returned from the Kurils, Russian President Medvedev ordered the deployment of military hardware to the islands, stating “the additional weapons to be deployed there must be sufficient and modern in order to ensure the security of the islands as an integral part of Russia”. [3]

On February 11 Russian and Japanese foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov and Seiji Maehara met in Moscow for two hours, one-on-one for half of that time. Maehara is an advocate of revising Article 9 of his nation’s constitution (which states “the Japanese people forever renounce war”) and of securing the Kurils’ early return from Russia, which seized them in the waning days of the Second World War.

The Chinese press at the time quoted a Pacific affairs analyst as follows:

“During the rally in Tokyo on Monday [February 7], Maehara pledged that he would personally see to it that the islands are returned to Japan, in fact he staked his political career on the realization of this.

“Maehara fundamentally believes two things: firstly, the islands are legally Japanese territory and secondly, that Japan cannot completely end World War II until the islands are returned and a peace treaty signed.

“I don’t think this issue should be dismissed as merely a ‘territorial spat’ and let’s not forget that for all intents and purposes Japan and Russia are still at war.” [4]

In the words of Agence France-Presse, the meeting, “marked by an icy atmosphere,” ended in “acrimonious failure.” Russia’s top diplomat told his Japanese counterpart: “To be honest, I expected to receive you in Moscow against a better backdrop. Your visit comes against the background of a series of completely unacceptable actions.” [5]

The allusion was to the Northern Territories Day events of four days earlier in Tokyo and Hokkaido, in the second case within eyesight of the southernmost of the Kurils, during which, in addition to the prime minister’s revanchist statement, Japanese nationalists desecrated a Russian flag and a bullet was mailed to the Russian embassy.

Maehara rejected Lavrov’s suggestions for a historical commission to examine the issue of the contested islands and for turning the Kurils into a free trade zone, stating that Japan would consider the second proposition only if it did not “alter Japan’s legal position” on what it calls its Northern Territories. The Japanese foreign minister was conspicuously not invited to meet with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

While Maehara was in Moscow the chief of staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office informed him that the events on the February 7th Northern Territories Day, including Prime Minister Kan’s comments on the occasion, “could not but meet with an adequate reaction on the Russian side.”

On the day of the envenomed and ill-fated meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers, a Russian commentary appeared on a major news site entitled “Russia to boost Kuril defense to ward off war,” which stated in part:

“Russia’s unresolved conflict with Japan over the Kuril Islands, which has been simmering since WWII, may reach a boiling point now that Russian authorities are set to go ahead with their plan to build up the disputed territory’s defense potential.

“The plan, unveiled by President Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as part of a comprehensive development program for Russia’s Pacific Coast, envisages, among other things, the deployment of modern armaments to defend the country’s eastern borders against a hypothetical military attack.”

The article went on to say that “In conventional armaments, Japan now enjoys numerical supremacy over the Russian Far Eastern forces, and it also boasts a higher percentage of modern hardware in the navy, the air force, and the army.” [6]

The author advocated the resumption of a permanent deployment of combat aircraft on Sakhalin Island northwest of the South Kurils and “a forward-based airfield” on the islands themselves with “a squadron of jet fighters on standby.”

Using the expression si vis pacem, para bellum (if you wish peace, prepare for war), the writer concluded his piece by reflecting: “All these plans to reinforce the Kuril Islands’ defense potential should be translated into reality so as to discourage the most radical of Japanese politicians from contemplating regaining the possession of the South Kuril Islands through the use of military force.”

On February 15 Feng Shaolei, professor at and dean of the School of Advanced International and Area Studies at the East China Normal University was interviewed by a Russian news outlet and said:

“Certain changes have…taken place in the [East Asian] region in recent times, with the main one being the U.S. ‘comeback in Asia.’ In my view, U.S. military strategy is the key to understanding the current situation in the region, whether we talk about the possibility of building a defense system in the region or about the resolution of the Kuril conflict.” [7]

On February 19 Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, also minister in charge of Northern Territories issues, visited Hokkaido to inspect the South Kuril Islands. Before he began his two-day trip he stated:

“The question of the Northern Territories is the problem of not only former residents of these islands, but also of the whole Japanese people. I would like to heighten attention to this problem with the Japanese public.”

During his stay he said, “Japan’s claims for the Northern Territories could have been much louder if only the people of Japan realized how close to them the islands are.”

Foreign Minister Maehara viewed the island from a plane in December and Prime Minister Kan is also planning to inspect them from Hokkaido in the near future.

On February 21 the American ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where his “attention was drawn to the recent statement made by officials with the U.S. Department of State and of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which expressed support for Japan’s territorial claims to Russia,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its official website. [8]

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry added:

“We drew Mr. Beyrle’s attention to recent statements made by officials of the US State Department and the US embassy in Moscow, in which they expressed their support for Japan’s territorial claims to Russia. In this respect the Foreign Ministry reiterated Russia’s categorical and unwavering and unchanged position regarding its sovereignty over the South Kuril Islands.” [9]

After the meeting, the U.S. embassy released a statement reiterating Washington’s support for Japan’s territorial claims on the South Kurils, echoing comments made by State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore among others that precipitated the summoning of the U.S. envoy. Moore had insisted “that the US government supports Japan and recognizes its sovereignty over the Islands.”

In the words of a recent Russian commentary, “current statements of the US State Department amid growing threats from Japanese radicals look like outright instigation.” [10]

The State Department spokeswoman’s affirmation of the American – which is to say the Japanese – position vis-a-vis the islands was reminiscent of that of Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip Crowley on November 1 in which he supported Japanese territorial contentions and referred to the Kurils as the Northern Territories. His pronouncement followed by four days a pledge by Secretary State Hillary Clinton – in the presence of Japanese Foreign Minister Maehara in Hawaii – relating to an analogous territorial dispute between Japan and China over what the first calls the Senkaku and the second the Diaoyu islands:

“The Senkakus fall within the scope of Article 5 of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. This is part of the larger commitment that the United States has made to Japan’s security. We consider the Japanese-U.S. alliance one of the most important alliance partnerships we have anywhere in the world and we are committed to our obligations to protect the Japanese.” [11] Earlier in the same month Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa asserted “that their countries will jointly respond in line with a bilateral security pact toward stability in areas in the East China Sea covering the Senkaku Islands that came into the spotlight in disputes between Japan and China.” [12]

Though State Department spokesman Crowley made a distinction between the Senkaku/Diaoyu and Kuril islands in regards to honoring military commitments to Japan, as the former are currently administered by Japan and the latter are not, the door is left open for Washington to invoke Article 5 on behalf of Japan should an armed confrontation between it and Russia occur.

In the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in 1951 to officially end World War Two, the U.S. recognized that Japan had lost any rights to reclaim the South Kurils as well as Sakhalin Island, although it did not recognize then-Soviet claims either. The treaty, to which the U.S. is one of 48 signatories, unequivocally states that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Kuril islands, and to that portion of Sakhalin and the islands adjacent to it” acquired after the Russo-Japanese War.

The current American position on the Kurils, then, is what it is in relation to the South Caucasus nations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: That they are “Russian-occupied territories” belonging to other sovereign nations. Japan in the first case and Georgia in the other two.

Washington’s role in exacerbating the conflict over the Kurils is a dangerous throwback to Cold War-era politicking.

Valery Kistanov, head of the Center for Japanese Studies at Russia’s Far East Institute, was quoted earlier this week as recalling:

“This is not the first time that the US has tried to drive a wedge between Russia and Japan….In 1955-1956, the USSR and Japan held talks on a peace treaty which resulted in the adoption of a Soviet-Japanese declaration. This declaration envisaged the restoration of diplomatic ties and the end of military action but did not resolve the territorial issue.

“At that stage Japan was considering abandoning its claims to the four South Kuril Islands. But Washington threatened Tokyo that if it did so, the US would not return Okinawa to Japan, the country’s southernmost island, which was occupied by the US at that time.” [13]

A Chinese analysis of the same date as the above appeared, February 22, illuminated the geostrategic significance of what might otherwise strike outsiders as an obscure island dispute. It disclosed that:

“Analysts say Russia will never make concessions to Japan on the islands, which it calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories, as they are the crux of Russia’s strategy for its Far East and beyond that to the Asia-Pacific region.”

“The islands are located in a key geographic position where they secure the entrance into the Pacific Ocean for Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

“If the four islands were regained by Japan and used as a natural barrier by Japan and the United States, Russia’s Pacific Fleet would be cut off from the Pacific and may face direct military threats from the two.

“Analysts said a ‘butterfly effect’ could mean the neighbouring Kamchatka Peninsula and Sakhalin region, both strategic to Russia’s ability to respond to attacks, would also be exposed.

“Local media held that the fairly sudden renewed interest in the Southern Kurils was a major move in Russia’s east-oriented strategy against the backdrop of the ongoing global readjustment in a new era.”

In addition, it is perceived in some Russian circles that “if the islands were regained by Japan, it would encourage other countries to pursue claims in other Russian regions and accomplish their conspiracy of altering the history of World War II.” [14]

The Russian Pacific Fleet is based in Vladivostok, south of the Sea of Okhotsk which is enclosed by Kamchatka to the northeast, Sakhalin Island to the southwest and the Kuril Islands to the southeast. But Russia maintains a submarine base in Vilyuchinsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula which hosts Russian strategic nuclear-powered submarines, including the new Borey class variety. Foreign control of the Kurils could impede the Russian navy’s ability to move part of its strategic nuclear triad, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, from the North Pacific Ocean in and out of the Sea of Okhotsk where they would be less exposed and vulnerable, especially in the event of hostilities.

“The Kurils are the gateway to the sea of Okhotsk, which lies off the coast of Russia’s far east. Control of the islands have been crucial for Russia, which has given it access to the Pacific Ocean.

“Russia has built a military base on Shikotan island [in the South Kuril chain], while also placing border forces on the four islands.

“On top of the military importance, the islands hold vast mineral wealth, together with about 160 million tons of natural gas and nearly 1,900 tons of gold and other valuable metals like silver, titanium, sulfur and rhenium. The total value of the four islands has been estimated to be 50 billion US dollars.” [15]

North of the Russian Kurils lies Sakhalin Island, which according to a U.S. Energy Information Agency estimate contains seven billion barrels of oil and 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas [16] as well a wealth of other resources.

The Japanese government’s brazenness on the island conflict can only be understood within the context of the U.S. recruiting Japan as not only a strategic military ally in East Asia but internationally while reciprocating by backing Japan to the hilt against both Russia and China.

In mid-January U.S. Defense Secretary Gates was in Japan to meet with senior government leaders including Defense Minister Kitazawa – in 2007 the Japan Defense Agency was elevated to the status of Ministry of Defense – and stated:

“As our alliance grows and deepens further still, it will be important for Japan to take on an even greater regional and global leadership role that reflects its political, economic and military capacity.” [17]

In the past decade Japan has violated the spirit if not the exact letter of its constitution’s Article 9 by deploying troops to a combat zone for the first time since World War Two in Iraq and by supplying U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization warships for the war in Afghanistan, where it has now assigned military personnel – medics – for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Joining U.S., French and other NATO nations’ forces there, it will soon open its first foreign military base since World War Two in Djibouti in northeastern Africa. [18]

In addition to recently joining a U.S.-engineered tripartite military alliance with South Korea [19] and extending its operational integration with the U.S. into the Indian Ocean, Japan is also forging defense ties with Georgia, which fought a five-day war with Russia in 2008. Earlier this month Hiroshi Oe, director general for International Affairs in the Bureau of Defense Policy of the Japanese Defense Ministry, visited Georgia and in a closed-door meeting with the country’s deputy foreign minister discussed “further prospects of military cooperation between Georgia and Japan.” [20]

While Gates was in Japan he promoted further interceptor missile collaboration, which he praised as “one of the most advanced of its kind in the world” [21] – Japan is the U.S.’s only partner in developing the Standard Missile-3 interceptor for use on ships and for land-based deployments in Romania, Poland and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea – and advocated that “Japan consider three U.S. planes to upgrade their fleet”: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet the F-15 Eagle. [22]

Regarding the development of an international missile shield, Gates and Defense Minister Kitazawa agreed “to speed talks on the possibility of providing jointly developed sea-based missile-shield systems to other countries….Japan and the U.S. jointly developed the ballistic missile interception system, the Standard Missile-3….The U.S. is keen to boost its missile defense in Europe and wants SM-3 interceptors there.” [23]

For there, read along Russia’s Western flank from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and eventually into the South Caucasus.

According to an official U.S. armed forces source, Gates also maintained that “The U.S. needs troops in Japan for the long term to keep China’s rising power in check and contain North Korea’s aggressive nuclear and missile aspirations.” [24]

Late last year the U.S. and Japan conducted their largest joint war games in history, Keen Sword 2011, with 60 warships, including the USS George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft carrier – whose home port is the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan – accompanied by carrier and expeditionary strike groups, 400 aircraft and 44,000 troops.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen visited Tokyo last December, a week after Keen Sword 2011 ended.

The next month the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered supercarrier, equipped to carry 90 fighter jets and helicopters, and two guided missile destroyers and a guided missile cruiser engaged with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in war games in the East China Sea.

In Late January the armed forces of the U.S. and Japan conducted the annual bilateral Yama Sakura command post exercise to “practice defending Japan” in the southwest of the country with the participation of 6,000 troops. Ahead of the event the spokesman for U.S. Army Japan and I Corps Forward, “the Army’s newest rapid-response contingency unit in Japan,” stated:

“We’re preparing for an enemy with all kinds of capabilities.” [25]

The U.S. is to spend $3.7 billion over the next five years to develop as many as 100 “new, stealthy, long-range, manned bomber[s] likely specifically intended to penetrate Chinese air defences.” The new warplane, as yet unnamed, is reported to be a long-range, nuclear-capable penetrating bomber with the option of being piloted remotely.

“The Pentagon’s bomber development coincides with the scripting of a new battle plan aimed at preserving US military capabilities in the Pacific. This so-called AirSea Battle plan is meant to help coordinate US Navy and Air Force ships and planes….” [26]

On February 21 the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which is based in Yokosuka, Japan and is the largest overseas navy fleet in the world, encompassing over 48 million square miles – the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean with the Kuril Islands at the northern tip of its area of responsibility – Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk was in Hong Kong where he said:

“The 7th Fleet has actually increased its capabilities in several significant ways. The ships and aircraft that we operate today are vastly more capable than they were just a few years ago. At the same time, we have enhanced our maritime partnerships with navies around the region, enabling us to work together cooperatively more than ever before.”

He said that at any given time there are 70 U.S. warships in his fleet’s area of responsibility and “cited the deployment to Japan of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington…with greater speed, range, ammunition stowage and endurance, as an example of how the fleet’s capabilities have increased.”

The commander also highlighted “the deployment of the Ohio-class fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), the 60-40 split of attack submarines from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the recent deployment of the Virginia-class submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776), which reflects the fleet’s growing capability under the sea.”

Van Buskirk touted “upgrades to surface ships, including Ballistic Missile Defense capability and enhanced sonar suites, making them ‘increasingly potent,’” emphasizing that “Our alliance with Japan continues to be the cornerstone of our forward presence in Asia….” [27]

The U.S. recently completed this year’s Cobra Gold military exercise in Thailand. “The participation of Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia makes the 30th annual joint exercise one of the world’s largest multilateral military maneuvers.” As a testament to the dramatic expansion of a U.S.-led Asia-Pacific NATO, the exercise also included observers from India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Brunei, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand among others.

Since the last Cobra Gold was held in June of 2010, “the US has held around 20 joint military maneuvers with nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and South Korea.” [28]

This month Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said that “The United States plans to deploy the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA upgrade by 2018″ in a letter to Nobushige Takamizawa, director general of policy at the Japanese Defense Ministry.

“The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency is pressing Tokyo to clear the sale of advanced missile interceptors, codeveloped with Japan, to third countries and to agree to joint production.” [29]

As noted above, Standard Missile-3 deployments are slated for nations like Poland, which borders Russian territory, and Romania, which lies across the Black Sea from Russia.

Early this month Japan announced that it will open its new Air Defense Command – with interceptor missile batteries – to Yokota, home to U.S. Forces Japan headquarters and the Fifth Air Force, this spring.

Last December Japan released its National Defense Program Guidelines for 2011, which detailed plans to increase the nation’s submarines from 16 to 22, acquire next-generation fighter jets, increase the number of Aegis class destroyers equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors from the present four to six and deploy Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles to 12 air bases throughout the country.

Japan is already one of the world’s major military powers. The U.S. is the world’s preeminent, having approved a World War Two-level $725 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 in December.

The two strategic military partners are preparing to confront their only competitors in East Asia and the Western Pacific: China and Russia. An altercation near a contested island grouping may prove the spark that sets off a conflagration involving the world’s two main nuclear powers.

1) Russian Information Agency Novosti, February 16, 2011
2) Russian Information Agency Novosti, February 15, 2011
3) Interfax, February 9, 2011
4) News Analysis: Japan, Russia continue to lock horns over islands row
Xinhua News Agency, February 11, 2011

5) Agence France-Press, February 11, 2011
6) Alexandr Grashenkov, Russia to boost Kuril defense to ward off war
Russian Information Agency Novosti, February 11, 2011

7) Russian Information Agency Novosti, February 15, 2011
8) Interfax, February 21, 2011
9) Voice of Russia, February 22, 2011
10) Russia-Japan-US – three’s a crowd
Voice of Russia, February 22, 2011
11) U.S. Supports Japan, Confronts China And Russia Over Island Disputes
Stop NATO, November 4, 2010

12) Kyodo News, October 11, 2010
13) Russia-Japan-US – three’s a crowd
Voice of Russia, February 22, 2011]

14) Zheng Haoning and Wei Lianglei, Disputed islands: crux of Russia’s
regional strategy
Xinhua News Agency, February 22, 2011

15) Backgrounder: Importance of Southern Kuril Islands
Xinhua News Agency/China Television
February 17, 2011

16) U.S. Department of Energy

17) Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2011
U.S. Builds Military Alliance With Japan, South Korea For War In The East
Stop NATO, December 14, 2010

18) Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa
Stop NATO, April 25, 2010

19) U.S. Builds Military Alliance With Japan, South Korea For War In The East
Stop NATO December 14, 2010

20) Trend News Agency, February 4, 2011
21) Stars and Stripes, January 13, 2011
22) United Press International, January 18, 2011
23) Japan Times, January 14, 2011
24) Stars and Stripes, January 13, 2011
25) Stars and Stripes, January 25, 2011
26) New US Bomber Aimed at China?
The Diplomat, February 22, 2011

27) Navy NewsStand, February 22, 2011
28) China Daily, February 15, 2011
29) Reuters, February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pay Pal freezes the account of the Bradley Manning Support Network

PayPal just froze the account of the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group raising funds for the legal defense of alleged Wikileaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning. The group can no longer accept donations through PayPal, or access the money in its account.

The Bradley Manning Support Network didn’t do anything illegal. PayPal even admits there’s no legal reason to shut down the group’s account; it’s an “internal policy decision.”

We need to stand with other Bradley Manning supporters. Can you sign your name to our letter to PayPal demanding the company restore service to the Bradley Manning Support Network?

Tell PayPal to drop its unreasonable demands of the Bradley Manning Support Network and restore access to the group’s PayPal account. Click here to sign our letter.

PayPal’s decision to purposefully block funds to help Bradley Manning is no accident. Two months ago, PayPal also arbitrarily blocked donations to Wikileaks.

Just days after PayPal blocked service to Wikileaks, PayPal executives apparently began a campaign to find excuses to block funds for the Bradley Manning Support Network. The group says its leaders:

“...fielded lengthy calls from executives at PayPal regarding website content, the intended use of the funds being solicited in support of Bradley Manning, and accountings of the recent purchases (primarily envelopes, paper, and postage stamps) made with PayPal funds.”

Even this wasn’t good enough for PayPal, which decided that the only way to allow the Bradley Manning Support Network to use PayPal would be to give the company direct access to its checking account - an extraordinary and unreasonable demand.

Sign our letter to PayPal: stop blocking funds and restore access to Bradley Manning’s legal defense fund.

Thank you for standing up for Bradley Manning.

Michael Whitney

Russian military to purchase 600 planes, 100 ships

Russia will spend $650 billion to equip its dilapidated military with 600 new warplanes, 100 ships and 1,000 helicopters by 2020, Defense Ministry officials were quoted as saying Thursday.

The ambitious weapons procurement program also envisages eight new nuclear submarines and two Mistral aircraft carriers in addition to the two that Russia is buying from France, Russian news agencies quoted First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin as saying.

His announcement comes during a large-scale streamlining of personnel in Russia's bloated and poorly equipped armed forces. The unpopular reforms of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov have seen as many as 200,000 officers lose their jobs and nine of every 10 army units disbanded.

Though the program foresees spending on strategic forces, analysts hailed the massive order of conventional arms, saying it would lower Russia's dependence on its nuclear arsenal. But they warned it could only be a success if there was a professional and efficient military to use the new equipment.

"Russia needs a professional noncommissioned officers core to train specialists who can really put these arms to effective use," said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst. "This spending necessitates a whole new kind of military."

Last week, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin promised that from next year 1.5 percent of gross domestic product would be spent on army modernization, military pay and other defense spending. He said the country currently allocates 0.5 percent of GDP.

Chief among the aviation procurements are the modern Su-34 and Su-35 fighters and Mi-26 transport helicopter and Mi-8 gunship helicopter, Popovkin said. Navy orders include 20 submarines, of which eight are to be armed with the Bulava nuclear missile - which has experienced years of glitch-stricken tests - 35 corvettes and 15 frigates, Popovkin said.

The Mistral, which could carry up to 16 helicopters and dozens of armored vehicles, would allow Russia to land hundreds of troops quickly on foreign soil. Popovkin said Russia would build two Mistrals domestically on top of the two it had ordered from France. The carriers will all feature Russian-only weaponry, he said.

Several hundred modern mobile S-400 and S-500 air defense missile systems also are on order.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

US considers appointing a doubleplusgoodthinking Zionist as ambassador to Israel

The US is finally giving up any pretense of being a fair broker in the Middle-East. Check out who, according to Haaretz, will be the next US ambassador to Israel:

Obama expected to appoint Dan Shapiro Ambassador to Israel
Shapiro, 40, has advised Obama on the Middle East since before he assumed the presidency, and coordinated his presidential election campaign to attract Jewish voters.

U.S. President Barack Obama intends to appoint his adviser Dan Shapiro to the position of U.S. Ambassador to Israel, according to the website Politico. Shapiro, considered to be the White House point person for Israel, has served as the main go-between for the U.S. government and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

A White House source told Haaretz on Monday, "I cannot confirm the report, but neither can I disclaim it."

Shapiro, 40, has served Obama in the capacity of adviser on Middle East affairs even before he assumed the presidency, during his campaign for the office. Shapiro also organized his election campaign in the American Jewish community. Shapiro speaks Hebrew, regularly attends synagogue, and has given his children Israeli names.

After Obama entered the White House, he appointed Shapiro to head the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council, where he focused on relations with Israel. Shapiro attended every meeting that related to Israel or to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and every senior Israeli diplomat and military officer that visited Washington met with him.

Up until the collapse of the peace process in September 2010, Shapiro visited Israel at least once a month, sometimes twice a month. He accompanied U.S. envoy Mitchell on all of his trips to the region, and took a central role in talks with Israel regarding the settlement building freeze and the strengthening of military cooperation between the two countries.

Despite the significant tensions between U.S. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, Shapiro maintained close relations with the Israeli prime minister and his close advisers and senior defense ministry officials. He also carried out talks with various Israeli political officials, including members of the opposition.

The current American Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham is expected to end his three-year term in the summer, and Shapiro is expected to replace him at that time.

Listening to Hillary - the sound of silence?

I just heard a joint press conference by Hillary Clinton and the Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.  During the Q&A Hillary was asked what the USA's position on the situation in Libya was and I was quite amazed to see how lame, how vapid, how completely banal her response was.  I think that this shows that US diplomats are both overwhelmed, clueless and quite frightened by these developments.  They seem unable to offer anything but vague pious statements about freedom, democracy, human rights and the obligatory condemnations of violence.  I also think that the crisis in Libya really frightens them.  Not only does Libya sit on a non-trivial amount of oil, it has a common border with Egypt, whose future is still in the balance: will the puppet-change in Egypt eventually lead to a real regime change?  I would say that it is quite possible.  Hence the clear mix of bafflement and fear which seems to paralyze the otherwise endlessly preaching mouths of US diplomats.

On another (but related) topic: any news from Algeria?  How are bad old Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his minions doing?

Is Adbullah next?

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has announced increased benefits for his citizens (...): there will be extra funds for housing, studying abroad and social security, according to state television.
Saudi television reported that Bahrain's King Hamad was also flying into Riyadh on Wednesday.
It looks like even the fattest of the fat cats is now getting fearful that the revolutionary tsunami might reach him: just imagine what Abdullah is thinking while watching the developments in Libya!

Frankly, I am not sure that what happened in Egypt is really 'regime change', but what is taking place in Libya is, I think, the real thing.  The USraelian Empire had (and still has!) extremely powerful levers to influence the events in Egypt, but much less so in Libya, hence the possibly dramatically different outcome.  Either way, I am absolutely amazed, baffled and totally caught off-guard about the power and scope of the Arab revolutionary tsunami which is taking place and having seen Mubarak fall and now watching the Gaddafi regime probably collapse, I begin to wonder: could it really be that  the abominable House of Saud to finally go where it deserves to go: the trash heaps of history?

God willing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interesting statement from Russian President Medvedev

Russian President Medvedev has just made an unannounced visit to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee meeting in the North Ossetian city of Vladikavkaz.  He made a number of interesting, if very debatable comments.

a) President Medvedev began by saying that what is now taking place in the Arab world is a "scenario which was first attempted in Russia but which was defeated".

b) He described the situation in the Arab world as "extremely serious" and he said that major difficulties lie ahead.  According to him, there is a real risk of a "disintegration into small fragments of large, highly populated countries".

c) He said that very serious developments are likely including, quote, the accession to power by "fanatics".  That, according to Medvedev, would results in "fires for decades and a dissemination of extremism".  He repeated that this was the "scenario" which "they" (unnamed) were "preparing for" Russia and he added that now "they" (unnamed) would re-double the efforts to realize it in Russia.

d) Medvedev adamantly restated that "this scenario will not happen here" but he also added that "everything which happens there will have a direct impact on our situation".  He added that this is a long term issue which Russia will have to tackle for "many decades".

e) Medvedev then proceeded to declare that "it is quite obvious that nobody besides us can restore order in this situation".  The plan to respond to this situation would, according to Medvedev, include all the following components:
  1. A merciless destruction of any caught terrorists; according to Medvedev, "these degenerates show no mercy to women and children and we shall show them no mercy either".
  2. A systematic effort to prevent and preempt terrorist attacks before they occur.
  3. A multi-sectoral effort to revive and expand the economies of the Caucasus.
  4. A expansion of social programs.
  5. The creation of many workplaces
  6. The development of educational programs
  7. A maximal support for indigenous Islam
He added that "he who is willing to change should get a chance to do so but the one who seeks blood will drawn in his own blood; no other approaches are possible".

First, when I listened to him I though "there he goes again, parroting the Israeli-US line", but then I reconsidered.  I think that a lot was *not* said in this statement, but that we could try to make some educated guesses about what this statement was all about.  Here is my take on it:

First, it appears Medvedev is clearly supporting the Israeli-US position on the situation in the Arab world.  But then, what does he mean when he says that "they" attested to realize this "scenario" in Russia and that "they" will try again.

One interpretation is that the Arab revolutions are all directed by the CIA, MI6, Mossad, George Soros, the Bilderbergers, etc.  I really do not believe that this is what he means.  The other interpretation is that the aforementioned organizations will attempt to *use* the events in the Arab world to re-start wars in the Caucasus.  Now that is a FAR more likely explanation (just remember the recent DoS "tweets" in Farsi to try to re-ignite Iran and you will see what I mean).

If I am correct in my interpretation, then this is the very first time that I see an admission from Medvedev that what happened in the North Caucasus was indeed a massive destabilization plan organized and executed by Western interests via such Jewish oligarchs like Berezovsky and crackpot mass murders like Dudaev, Maskhadov & Co.  Yes, he does not name names, but the "they" he refers to is rather clear to any Russian.

The second element which I find interesting is Medvedev's prediction that "fanatic" elements might come to power.  I do not think that he refers to secular or Buddhist "fanatics", so the only conclusion is that he is referring to Wahabi extremists (they are often referred to as "fanatics" in Russia).  But why does he say that?  Tunisia is far from being a Wahabi-influenced country, the Egyptian revolution had a very strong secular component and the Egyption MB does not at all look like a "Wahabi" movement, in Bahrain a central force against the regime is Shia, while in Yemen is predominantly Shafi'i and Shia while the regime is totally dependent on Saudi Arabia.  I am frankly confused as to how Medvedev can come to the conclusion that Wahabis can come to power in these states.  Does he refer to Libya?!

Then, he speaks of the disintegration of a "large and highly populated" country/countries.  Since Yemen or Bahrain are neither large nor highly populated, is he hinting that Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya are going to fall apart? 

Medvedev is not Reagan.  He is an intelligent man and he gets the very best intelligence and analysis one can imagine.  So what is this all about?  Is he just trying to scare the Russian audience by hinting that the breakup of some yet undefined major and highly populated country would serve as trigger for a a similar development in the Caucasus or even Russia?  Or is there much more to this.  Remember the apparently equally strange declaration by Prime Minister Putin about the bombing in Domodedovo not being linked the Chechnia?  Clearly, both Medvedev and Putin are referring to some non Chechen "they" who is trying to destabilize Russia.  I wonder whom they are really referring to...

Lastly, I have to say that I am reassured to see that Medvedev seems to realize the need for the Federal government to carefully balance a merciless extermination of foreign-controlled Wahabi crazies with a simultaneous support for indigenous Islam in Russia.  I just hope that he means more than than just to build a huge mosque in Grozny and in Saint Petersburg, and that this program will include the promotion and financing the forms of Islam traditional to the Caucasus and the rest of Russia.

As I have already written in the past, I strongly believe that the real solution to the crisis in the Caucasus can only come from the Muslim world.  Sadly, I do realize that 99.99999% of Muslims are still stuck into a deceptive myth combining  a narrative about "Muslims always being the victims" with a blind "my umma - right or wrong" attitude.  Yet, I do also know that this is not true of a majority of Muslims living in Russia.  They all saw bloodbath which the Chechen "Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade" created in Dagestan during its aborted invasion in the hope of creating an "Islamic Caliphate" in the Caucasus.  Russian Muslims are also quite aware of the regular terrorist attacks which continue nowadays.  So while many of them will be very critical of the Kremlin and will be often disgusted and outraged by some of the gross human rights violations committed by Federal forces in Chechnia, I believe that they know that Wahabism is the main cause of all these horrors.  Bottom line:  the Kremlin needs to support Islam in Russia but without attempting to control or use it.  This is a difficult balance which I do not believe has been achieved yet.

Anyway, I think that these statement by Medvedev are intriguing and interesting and that while I might not agree with this take on the evens in the Arab world, it is well worth taking it into consideration.

The Saker

Libyan FM official phones Al Jazeera

Note: I am in no way endorsing any of what Khaled Al Ga'aeem, under-secretary of Libya's foreign ministry, says. Nor do I believe that he is sincere, or that his description of what is taking place in Libya is true. However, I do think that it is important to hear an articulate and intelligent defense of the regime's position, if only because the leader - Gaddafi himself - is clearly insane (his latest "under the umbrella" appearance on state TV only confirms this diagnosis).

As I said in my previous post, I am most definitely not a supporter of Gaddafi or his "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab State of the Masses".  I have always considered him as a bloodthirsty buffoon and megalomaniac (yet another disgusting example of secular nationalist leaders).  But that does not necessarily mean that all the information coming out of Libya via al-Jazeera or Western news outlets is therefore credible and trustworthy.

Lastly, and I cannot name my sources, I know for a fact that the British intelligence services have for many years engaged in a massive destabilization campaign against Gaddafi's regime which ranged from sending hit-men to kill Gaddafi's himself to funding and supporting all sorts of pro-Western and even putatively Islamic opposition groups.  What is taking place in Libya is not simply a case of "good guys" vs "bad guys" but something much more complex and murky.

The Saker

Monday, February 21, 2011

Libyan fatcats turn their coats in the USA

It is kind of disgusting to see how Libyan apparachiks from the Libyan diplomatic corps in the USA going on al-Jazeera and calling for a UN imposed no-fly zone over their country because of the alleged 'genocide' taking place there.

I have exactly zero love for that crazy buffoon Gadaffi, but his diplomats are even more spineless and hypocritical than him.

Still, the worst liars and hypocrites are - who else? - Western diplomats who claim to care about the bloodshed in Libya.

In all this mess, the only people I have respect for are the Libyan (Yemeni, Bahraini) people trying to get rid of their colonial masters.

Major shakeup in Russian police and security forces

President Medvedev has just fired the Deputy Commander of the Federal Security Service. Furthermore, a new law "On Police" has just been passed. Finally, President Medvedev has just held a conference with commanders of all the security services where he made a very strong speech about the need to bring order, discipline and ethics for all the security services. He threatened all the commanders with being immediately fired if they did not immediately implement these rules.

Looks like the Russian President is determined to use the bombing of the Domodedovo airport as an opportunity to seriously shake up the security services.

Gaddafi is gone crazy, possibly even missing

There are plenty of reports about Gaddafi using his (notoriously incompetent) Air Force to bomb buildings controlled by the opposition.  There are also rumors that he has left the country, possibly to Venezuela (which Venezuela is denying).

Two-thirds of Iranians behind Ahmadinejad (MUST READ!)

Voltairenet reports:

The International Peace Institute recently released the results of a telephone survey of Iranians.

According to the poll, Iranians are clearly split in a one third/two thirds ratio. The majority came out in favour of continuing the Islamic Revolution under President Ahmadinejad. On its part, the minority wishes to suspend financial support to Hamas and Hezbollah, hopes for closer ties with the United States, and backs opposition leader Moussavi.

The International Peace Institute is chaired by Terje Rød-Larsen, a Norwegian politician who served as minister of administration in his country’s government before being forced to resign because of his implication in a tax and corrumption scandal. At that point, he was fished out by the United States which had him appointed UN Special Envoy to Lebanon, a mandate which he used to obstruct Syrian and Iranian influence.

==>>Check out the very interesting opinion survey:<<==

Iran : Public Opinion on Foreign, Nuclear and Domestic Issues, a survey carried out by Charney Research on behalf of the International Peace Institute, 8 December 2010 (230 Ko).

US Vetos UN Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements

The Alternative Information Center reports:

The United States has vetoed a draft UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory on Friday (18 February). The other 14 members of the United Nations Security Council all voted in favor of the resolution, which was sponsored by at least 130 countries.

The resolution declared that Israeli settlements in Palestinian Territories are illegal and a "major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

The move comes as no surprise, gives the United States staunch support of Israel, although it is not in line with the Obama administration’s supposed support for the Palestinians and potential state building.

"While we agree with our fellow Council members and indeed, with the wider world about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians," said US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, during the vote. "We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution."

"Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides," Rice said.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the move should wake up Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"This is an arbitrary and outrageous decision against the Palestinian people," Barhoum told AFP. "It should push the PA to adopt a strategy of unity... and take a national decision to end all forms of negotiations with" Israel.

Israeli Knesset Member Ibrahim Sarsour, of the United Arab List, wrote in an open letter to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, in which he says: “After the exposure of lies from the US, we must say frankly to Obama: You no longer scare us and you can go to hell.”

“Obama cannot be trusted. We knew his promises were lies. The time has come to spit in the face of the Americans,” Sarsour wrote.

President Abbas acknowledged the success of the gained 14 votes, and responded to the veto.

“We are not seeking to boycott the US administration and it’s not in our interest to boycott anyone,” Abbas stressed. “But we just want to protect the legitimate rights and interests of our people in accordance with international law.”

"The veto, which contradicts the American public stance rejecting settlement policy, will lead to more damage of the United States' credibility on the Arab side as a mediator in peace efforts," the Egyptian foreign ministry in Cairo said.

The Palestinian Authority is now considering submitting another resolution UN General Assembly, this time specifically condemning settlement construction.

Following the end of Israel’s partial settlement freeze in the fall of 2010, there has been a settlement housing boom, with growing numbers of construction and project approvals.

120 new housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramot were approved by the Jerusalem Municipal Planning Committee on Monday, 14 February.

On 7 February the committee approved a plan for 13 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah, which will require the eviction of Palestinian families and the destruction of their home.

On 31 January, the cornerstone was laid for a newly approved settlement project being built on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. The new neighborhood is called Beit Orot, and will house 24 new residential units.

The Jerusalem Municipality is also working on approval for the construction of 1,400 new housing units in East Jerusalem’s Gilo colony, in addition to the 130 new housing units already approved in the East Jerusalem settlement neighborhood in November 2010.

Saeb Erekat, who stepped down from his position as chief Palestinian negotiator last week, responded to UN vote saying "Israel has stripped the Palestinian Authority of its meaning, and [its usefulness] as a tool for the independence of the Palestinian people should be reconsidered.”

Popular protest rallies were held were held Saturday in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Tul Karm, Ramalla, Hebron and Jenin, among others. Fatah Central Committee member Tawfik Tirawi called for a "day of rage" against the U.S. veto.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Libya is now clearly part of the "Axis of Kindness"

At least 104 people have been killed in Libya since anti-government protests erupted on Wednesday, the campaign group Human Rights Watch says.  It said the figure included at least 20 people who died when troops reportedly used heavy weapons in the second city, Benghazi, on Saturday.  The group said its estimates were conservative.

Good thing crazy old Gaddafi abandoned the camp of 'terrorism' and is now acting like a distinguished member of the Axis of Kindness.

Personal note - I will be gone until Monday

Dear friends,

I am spending this week-end at a major chess tournament in which all three of my children are playing.  I will therefore be unable to reply to questions and comments until Monday afternoon.

I apologize for the delay and I ask for your understanding.

The Saker

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the martyr leaders

I take refuge in Allah against the stoned devil. 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.

First we salute the souls of our martyrs – the chaste pure souls – especially the souls of the leader martyrs and to their souls we offer the reward of Al Fatiha Surah. 

Scholars, brothers and sisters! Peace be upon you all and Allah's mercy and blessing. I welcome you on this day on which we mark one of the dearest occasions in our jihadi and religious life.

First I would like to extend my regards to the families of the martyrs: the family of our master Hezbollah Secretary General martyr leader His Eminence Sayyed Abbass Mussawi (May Allah bless his soul), the family of the struggling sacrificing faithful chaste martyr Um Yasser Mussawi and martyr Hussein, the family of our dear Sheikh martyr leader – the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance martyrs – Sheikh Ragheb Harb, the family of the great jihadi leader, the leader of victories and the prince of battlefields – Hajj Imad Moghniyeh, Hajj Ridwan – May Allah bless all their souls. 

This occasion today coincides with a number of occasions which we must mention before ushering in my speech. One of these occasions is the great occasion of the birth of the great Prophet – the seal of prophets Abi Al Qassem Mohammad Bin Abdullah (pbuh). As you know there are several views. Some say the Prophet (pbuh) was born on 12 Rabi I, and others say he was born on 17 Rabi I. this is a point of dispute. Imam Khomeini (May Allah bless his soul) – the Imam of Islamic unity said: Let's change the point of dispute to a point of unity and concurrence. Let the week from 12 Rabi I to 17 Rabi I be a week for Islamic unity and days of meeting, cooperation and adherence between Muslims - all Muslim factions and all the followers of various Islamic sects. I offer my blessings on this occasion to all Muslims and I ask Allah Al Mighty to make us really among the followers of this great Prophet. 

Among the occasions of these days also is the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran on February 11th, 1979 which met this year with the occasion of the victory of the revolution of the Egyptian people and youths against the tyrant. It is a sign of good fortune that February 11th be a day of the collapse of the most important and powerful and the greatest allies of America and Israel in the region: the shah regime in Iran and the regime of Husni Mubarak in Egypt. 

Among the important occasions is the assassination of PM martyr Rafiq Hariri on February 14th, 2005. This bloody event had great and serious repercussions on the situation in Lebanon and the region which we are still living.

The occasion we meet to mark is the anniversary of our martyr leaders. When we mark their anniversary we don't aim to glorify them. They are not in need for any glorification or praise. We rather do that for our benefit and not for their sake. In marking the anniversary of the martyr leaders and all martyrs we sit in their presence and between their hands, and they are masters and teachers. We learn from them and inspire from their jihad and conduct. We are guided with their views and chaste souls. We also sit in their presence again to renew our oath and pledge to continue on the path they paved with their chaste blood. 

Last year I tackled some of the common points between these martyr leaders. Today I will add some of these common features between Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbass Mussawi and Hajj Imad. They were the founders of this Resistance from the very first moments and days. They set the cornerstones of this Resistance. They made the first shouts and shots of the Resistance. Among their common features also is that they never lagged behind, abandoned, gave up or got tired or despaired. On the contrary, they had a permanent active, influential, productive and creative leading presence. They devoted their youth and lives to the Resistance. They sacrificed their own lives for this Resistance.

Moreover, these great leaders stand for the entire 30-year stage of the history of our Resistance. In a year the age of our Islamic Resistance will be exactly 30 years. They stand for the entire past 30 years of the history of the Resistance as well as the history of Lebanon and the region. Each one of them was a symbol at one of the stages. Their blood integrated and all through these thirty years used to give more power, awareness, determination, resolution, love, trust and certitude about the future and the stages of victory to come. We never viewed our martyrs, leaders and Resistance as independent from the general situation in Lebanon, the region and the nation. We’re a part and a continuation of the fighters, the Resistance leaders and the leader founders of the Lebanese Resistance on the top of whom comes His Eminence Imam Mussa Sadre – may Allah restore him and both his friends - and many leaders in the Lebanese Resistance, the Palestinian Resistance and the Arab Resistance. We do not view our martyrs, leaders and Resistance but as part of this movement of awakening and awareness in the region and part of the resistance movement and the challenge. As is the case of Lebanon in the regional equations – it influences them and is influenced by them – the resistance movements, which we are proud of being and are still a part of, are the normal response. They are and are still the normal response of the peoples in the region to the invasions, occupations and the projects of hegemony and domination. 

The Resistance movements and the peoples of the region never attacked anybody or launched a war against anyone. Their project was never that of war and fighting. Rather they were aggressed against. Their lands and sanctities were invaded. Their honor and dignity were overstepped. Their independence and decision were confiscated. The Resistance movements in the region constituted and still constitute the only guarantee of achieving justice, stability and peace.

Allow me today to talk about justice and stability because what we are heading to in Lebanon in the coming few weeks comes under the title of the new American political invasion of Lebanon. (They surely aren't allowed to do it militarily). I will start with a word on justice before talking for a while about the region, Israel and Lebanon. I have three topics. 

The Resistance movements alone achieve justice, stability and peace in the region. We agree that any peace in the region or any stability in the region or in Lebanon or in any other place in the world is naturally conditioned by justice and achieving justice. Peace and stability which are based on injustice, oppression, violation of the rights of others and harming the dignities of people cannot be a true peace and a permanent stability. Rather no soon it will fall and collapse. Accordingly we found our viewpoint and continue on our path and jihad. 

Let's go back to the very roots of the cause – as these days are the days of going back to the roots. The primary and essential problem in the region for more than 60 years has two phases or two integrating and complementary parts. 

The first part is the existence of the entity that is usurping occupied Palestine: Israel. The Zionist movement started the war. Neither the Palestinians, nor the Lebanese, nor the Syrians, nor the Jordanians, nor the Egyptians nor any people of the peoples in the region attacked the Jews or the Zionists or the followers of the Zionist project in any place in the world. Even if we went back hundreds of years in history we would find that the followers of Judaism used to live in the countries of the Arabs and Muslims in peace and security most of the times. At times they enjoyed more security than Muslims themselves who used to have problems with the successive sultans, rulers and governments. 

It's they who came to Palestine and the region. It's they who aggressed, killed, slaughtered, perpetrated crimes, burnt down houses and crops, confiscated properties and expelled a people from their land. It's they who started the war with absolute western support and adoption – that's not to talk about the Arab stance in 1948. It's they who launched wars of expansion towards the rest of Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. The resistance movements in Palestine and the region and the opposition governments were found as a right, honorable, national, religious and moral response to this occupation and all these crimes.

Thus we say that it's true that the logic of the resistance and the logic of justice is a normal condition for stability. What does justice require? Here I would like to address this speech also to Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton who daily talk about justice and stability.
Justice has come to have two phases:

The first phase: Justice requires that rights be restored to their owners. That means that the land, properties, fields and houses must be returned to their owners who still keep the keys of their houses and dream of return. Justice requires that millions of Palestinians in exodus and Palestinian refugees in the land occupied since 1967 return to their land. Justice also requires that the Islamic and Christian sanctities be returned to their owners. Justice requires that the Palestinian people establish their state all over their land from the river to the sea. This is the first phase. The second phase of justice requires punishing war criminals, massacres' perpetrators and perpetrators of crimes against humanity. This is justice. Under such a justice, there would be unequaled peace, security and stability in the region. However, seeking fake peace through frustrating negotiations that offer more scandalous concessions which do not return any right to its owner but on the contrary rewards the criminals and the killers and offers awards to them can not achieve peace at all. How far is the US administration from justice and stability in the region! How far is the US administration and the western administrations also from returning rights to their owners and from establishing international tribunals to try Zionist war criminals who are rather receiving more support and protection and who are imposing their conditions on the Palestinians and are on the judicial and legal level enjoying in some western countries laws amendments so that no one may file a suit against an Israel general who is a war criminal. 

The second part of the problem in the region is this US-western system which was founded through a group of dictatorships which rule their peoples with a fiery iron fist. They have ruled their peoples for decades while being backed by political forces and cultural, media and religious elites. The mission of this US system in our region and countries is protecting the vital US interests on all domains: economic interests on top of which is fuel, political interests and security interests the core of which is Israel. Thus Israel was and is still the norm. the Qoran teaches us about norms: {The kindest among you is the most pious}. The more man is away from sin and closer to obedience he would be kinder and closer to Allah. In comparison, the closer the regime in any Arab or Islamic country or organization or elite or group or political party or media outlet is to Israel, the more it preserves the interests of Israel and protects the security and peace of Israel, the closer and more important it would be to the successive US administrations. The norm of closeness and farness from America is not human rights, democracy or public freedoms; it is rather the service of our regimes in our region to Israel. If the regime is at even with Israel, defends Israel and protects Israel, it would be a strategic ally to the USA which protects it and offers it billions of dollars as various aids and let it do whatever it wants with its people. Let it be a dictatorship or a democracy. Let there be elections or not. Let there be freedoms or not. Let there be hundreds of thousands of prisoners. Let there be hundreds of thousands of graves. That is of no importance. What is important is that the regime offers the required services to Israel that constitutes the heart and the crown of the US project in the region. However if an Arab or Islamic regime which is a resisting or at least an opposing regime – even if it does not fight Israel but it does not submit and yield to Israel's conditions or sign a humiliating settlement – it will be subject to siege, sanctions, pressure, isolation and conspiracy. Let's not mention names and details. Hasn't this been the case for decades with the various successive regimes in our region? 

As we are still close to the occasion of February 11, I still remember that in the onset of the movement of Imam Khomeini in the early sixties and following some speeches which were followed with some demonstrations, a delegation from the Savac (The Shah's security body which was run by the Americans) came to the Imam and told him: You can say whatever you want. There is no problem in that. We will not prevent you from speaking. Make speeches and issue statements. Do whatever you want but there are red lines which you may not approach: first America, second Israel and third the person of the Shah. As for the prime minister, the ministers, the parliament and the party, the mayors and servants who follow the Shah, there is no problem in saying anything about them. But the formers are red lines. The regime in Iran was an American regime. The Americans were the ones who used to run Iran. The Shah was just the face. It was an Israeli regime and not a strategic ally to Israel. However the Imam (May Allah bless his soul) – who was clear courageous and bold - in his first speech following the meeting told the people that the Savac came and told him so and so. Here I am telling you: This revolution comes under the title of expelling America from Iran, expelling Israel from Iran and toppling the Shah who is a collaborator to America and Israel. Then they took him to the jail and he was about to be executed. According to US categorization, you are in the axis of good, righteousness and peace if you are with Israel and you are in the axis of evil and terrorism not if you fight Israel but simply if you refuse to submit to Israeli conditions.

Brothers and sisters! I will wrap up this title before moving to the title of Israel which is having support and is arrogant and tyrannical. The system of US regimes in the region led the peoples of our region and our nation to a state of despair in achieving any victory. In the seventies people felt that we entered the Israeli-US era and we can't get out from it. Israel is a final fait accompli and America is a great power. Consequently let's see what benefits we might achieve below this ceiling. 

The major blow to the resistance, opposition and Arab steadfastness project was the participation of the Egyptian regime in Camp David Agreement and consequently the emergence of Egypt from the Arab-Israeli struggle. However it is said: Allah tries and offers assistance at the same time. No soon the strongest earthquake in the region took place. It's the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran on February 11, 1979. This revolution indeed made a true earthquake: It severed the US hand in Iran and expelled the Americans who used to rule and run the minute daily details of life in Iran. It cut ties with Israel and turned the Israeli Embassy to a Palestinian Embassy. It turned from a strategic ally to Israel to a central strategic base that supports the project of the resistance and opposition in the region. That was a great historic and strategic change. Thus Iran was confronted with siege, sanctions, isolation and wars…

For thirty years, this confrontation lasted in our region and under very difficult conditions. Syria remained steadfast and the Palestinian people kept on resisting and fighting. Then the Resistance in Lebanon was given birth. In the past decade, great developments took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the past few months in Tunisia. However, in the past few days the greatest and most important development took place in Egypt in addition to what is taking place currently in more than one Arab country – Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan... However the greatest and most important event that took place in these few months is what took place on February 11th. Another regime in the US system collapsed before the will of the people, youth and faith. It is the regime of ousted Husni Mubarak. 

No doubt what took place in Egypt is historic and great. Here we must salute the Egyptian people, youth and revolution first for what they offered to the nation. Our Resistance and Hezbollah offer them special thanks because this revolution was the true reason behind the liberation of brethren captive Mohammad Mansour who is participating in our celebration and whom we welcome whole-heartedly. I hope when you see him that you recall the charges he was accused of: seeking to overthrow the regime of Husni Mubarak - Imagine that! This is one of the accusations. Others are shaking the security and stability in Egypt, spreading the sect of Shiites and turning Egypt to a Shiite state! These are the accusations which he was in fact accused of by the Egyptian courts. These are absurd accusations. The truth is what we said in all the stages which we spoke in about the case of brethren Sami Shehab and what was called Hezbollah cell in Egypt. We offer our thanks to Egypt and its people for freeing all these prisoners including our dear brethren. 

No doubt that what took place in Egypt is historic and very great. Today there is a great dispute. Where will the revolution lead to? What achievements will be made? Will it annul Camp David? We do not have enough time to say our views on this issue. However I may say that regardless of what will happen in Egypt, there are great changes in the post Husni Mubarak era that differ in essence and quality from what used to take place under Husni Mubarak’s regime. This is for sure. The most important repercussion is on Israel. Hereof, I usher to the second topic which is Israel. However I wrap up the first topic saying that the US system started to collapse and decline. Let's keep that in mind when we come to the topic of Lebanon because the story of Lebanon is not that of March 8 and March 14 Blocs. Then we will recall this system and the US project…

The most important repercussion is on Israel and on the entire US system in the region including Lebanon naturally. That's because Husni Mubarak left orphans in Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon. No doubt the region has entered a new stage. The enemy's Prime Minister Netanyahu talks about an earthquake with unpredictable repercussions. He is rightful because all the US, Israel and world intelligence bodies were taken by surprise with what took place in Tunisia, Egypt and the region. No doubt the greater loser in the developments and changes in the region are America - which is seeking to reduce its losses and to contain these changes – and Israel and the US system. So whoever links his fate and decision and future to the Americans is also a loser in what is and will take place. 

On the Israeli level, it is clear that there is a state of fear and worry in the Israeli entity. Great efforts are now being exerted to reconsider strategies. During the past 20 or 30 years they based their strategies on the fact that the southern front – according to them – which is adjacent to Egypt is a secure quiet front and that on the other side of the frontier there is a strategic strong and firm ally. Consequently they were reassured about this front. They did not need to work on the army structure or squads according to the possibility of a confrontation taking place with Egypt or tension with Egypt at least or a threat from the Egyptian frontier as a mere possibility. They were reassured that they had a strong guard at this frontier. Thus when we look at Occupied Palestine's map, we notice that during the past decades many military airports and air bases and other bases were moved from the north and the middle to the south of occupied Palestine on the basis that it is a secure area far from the sole remaining front with Lebanon and Syria. Now they have to reconsider the whole situation. They can't act on the basis that the south of occupied Palestine is an area which is by any means free from threat no matter what the situation in Egypt would be. 

On the other hand, the Israelis bet greatly on the Egyptian regime to control Gaza and the siege on it and on pressuring on the Palestinians to accept Israeli conditions. For long years, we used to hear from the Palestinian brethrens the magnitude of pressure which was practiced by the regime of Husni Mubarak and so and so who are affiliated to this regime on them to accept Israeli crusts. The Palestinians used to feel frustrated as a result of this pressure. Anyway, we all are aware of the position of the regime of Husni Mubarak from the war on Gaza. We are also aware – though we used not to talk much in the past because we did not like to cause trouble – of the role the regime of Husni Mubarak and other regimes which still exist but will collapse, Inshallah, played during July 2006 War. Few days ago, the Israelis said that during July War, Mubarak contacted them and told them to carry on. "You are in the midway so why don't you carry on July war". No doubt the face of Husni Mubarak was among the faces in the Arab world which were humiliated after the resistance gained victory in July War.

Indeed the change is very great according to the Israelis even if Egypt did not fight because the new developments will always be a source of worry to the Israeli enemy and of fear from unexpected unforeseen changes in Egypt as was the overthrow of the regime. Here I will quote two words said by Israeli figures to affirm what I am saying. Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak said while talking about our borders: The whole region is changing before our eyes. We have seen what took place in Lebanon where the government has turned to an uncomfortable government for several reasons (Now grasp what he means and how the situation was) and is more affiliated to Hezbollah. We have also seen what took place in Tunisia and now in Egypt." So Barak is talking like some figures in the Lebanese internal speak to the effect of accusing the government beforehand of being the government of Hezbollah while it is not as such. Barak added: "I do not think that there are instant repercussions for the protests in Egypt; however it seems to us how much the region is unstable (Twenty years ago Israel used to enjoy stability, power and hegemony. It wanted to impose its conditions and ink settlement agreements with all the governments in the region). We witness protests in other countries in the region. We also witness that Turkey is changing. The peace agreement with Egypt still stands. There are no military repercussions on Israel." He is trying to reassure. 

In another place outgoing Israeli Chief of Staff (Gabi) Ashkenazi says: "The radical camp is mushrooming, and the circle of confrontation is becoming larger. However we are ready for the various kinds of threats. The radical camp is getting stronger. There are signs much prior to Egypt such as what is taking place in Lebanon and Turkey. Iran is behind most of the financing, arming, training and equipping of most of the terrorist movements in the region and not only here." He added: "The reasons behind that is the weakness of the moderate camp (the system we talked about a while ago) and the traditional Arab leadership. That also goes to a different interpretation of the US power in the region". This is the current Israeli status quo.

As for the Lebanese issue, I would like to tell you the following: Days ago a farewell ceremony was held for Ashkenazi during which he talked about his achievements in the army. He said that he organized the army during the past three years in a way that prevents the flops that took place during Lebanon War II and Gaza War. So the Chief of Staff who made the new army reconstruction acknowledged that there were flops in Lebanon War II and Gaza War though they used to talk about Gaza War as a great achievement for the Zionists. 

What are they talking about? The debate was always whether Israel would occupy Lebanon or not. The greatest achievement made by the Resistance is that it complicated the possibility of Israel occupying Lebanon or southern Lebanon. Brothers and sisters! Today there is a real debate in Israel and a true worry: Is the Resistance able to occupy north Palestine and control the Galilee region? Thus the Israeli Chief of Staff is obliged to make reassurances or else he is not obliged to go that far and evoke this issue and make reassurances.

The incoming Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made his first visit to the borders. On Monday he was appointed and on Tuesday he visited the borders with Lebanon accompanied with Barak to stretch muscles. What did Barak say? I am a bit specialized in Barak as with his five squads' issue. Barak told the soldiers: You must be ready because in case of war, the leadership might order you to enter Lebanon again. I want to tell Barak, Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz and I will use Barak's very terminology: On the anniversary of Sayyed Abbass, Sheikh Ragheb and Hajj Imad I tell the fighters in the Islamic Resistance: Be ready in case a war on Lebanon might be launched, the leadership of the Resistance might order you to control Galilee (In other words, liberate Galilee). I tell Ashkenazi that you are wrong in your evaluations and predictions. For thirty years you were wrong in your predictions with respect to confronting the Resistance. You were wrong when you killed Sheikh Ragheb. You were wrong when you killed Sayyed Abbass. You are confessing now that you were wrong. You were wrong when you killed Hajj Imad. You will discover that you committed an absolute stupidity. You were wrong when you insisted on confronting a country and a people who is determined to defend their dignity and honor by the blood of their dearest youth – a people whose slogan was carved deep back in history: Disgrace, how remote!

There are people in the enemy entity who are practical and realistic. 

They do not hide before their fingers. Perhaps last year on this very day, I talked about airports and ports. The brethrens told me today that the first manager of Homa anti-rocket Project in the Israeli defense ministry whose name is Ozi Robeen – who is one of the developers of Alihitz system and the spying satellite and who is considered as one of the senior experts in anti-rocket defense system (so he is an expert who is specialized in this domain and knows what rockets, anti-rockets, distance and tactics mean in addition to all other details) – made an advice to the enemy leaderships. Listen what does he says. Here I say that this is what protects Lebanon. In fact this is what now protects even more than Lebanon. What does this man say? He says: "Hezbollah can close Israel’s airports, ports, power stations and strategic stations. I only hope the Israeli people will have good shelters". His only hope is that the Israeli people may have good shelters. 

There is another point under the Israeli title: the assassination of Hajj Imad. This blood is still purchasing them. Worry and fear is still having control over them in their entity and abroad especially whenever the anniversary approaches. I will not go into details. However I would like to assure you that this still stands, and this decision will be executed Inshallah in the right time and within the right aim. I tell the Zionist leaders and generals: Be careful wherever you went around. You must always make sure that you are still alive because the blood of Imad Mughniyeh’s will not go to waste.

We in Lebanon in confrontation with Israel have made justice and achieved stability. We have made justice in both its phases to a very great degree (I will not say to the maximum). The resistance movements from all the Lebanese forces and parties along with fighters and martyrs from the Palestinian factions could restore the right to its owners. So with the blessing of the blood of these martyrs, the people of Bint Jbeil returned to Bint Jbeil, the people of Jizine returned to Jizine, the people of Marjoun also as well as the people of Hasbayeh returned to their villages. The land, fields and houses were returned to their owners. The land returned to national sovereignty. 

This is one phase of justice. This was not achieved by the Security Council, America, international resolutions or anyone. It is rather the Lebanese and their Palestinian brethrens in Lebanon who could achieve this phase of justice with the support of Syria and Iran. 

The second phase of justice was achieved when many of the criminals were killed in the confrontation field. On of these criminals was the Israeli leader in the Lebanese territories Gerstein who was succeeded by Benny Gantz – the incoming Chief of Staff. This is to let you know who the Chief of Staff is. For the last year or two in Lebanon he was the head of the Israeli troops and the actual leader of the Lebanese Southern Army (Antoine Lahd's Army). It was he who was defeated. It was he who witnessed the defeat. It was he who pulled his troops in that humiliating scene. It was he who locked the gate between Lebanon and Occupied Palestine. So they appointed as a Chief of Staff someone who is already absolutely humiliated. He knows what Lebanon means, what southern Lebanon means and what the Resistance means. He was also the head of the land branch in the Israeli Army in July War 2006 which failed to break into Aita and Bint Jbeil. He is one of the leaders of the Israeli defeat in July War, and he has a long experience and knows what does Lebanon mean. 

We established justice with both its phases. The first phase is restoring the right to its owners and the second phase is punishing some of these criminals on the land through the act of Resistance. Thus we established stability. Since May 25, 2000 till the eve of July 12, 2006 – i.e. for almost six years the south, western Bekaa and Lebanon enjoyed a state of stability unequaled for 60 years. This stability was the result of the existence, act and embracement of the Resistance. The war (July war) was a special project which has its own conduct and targets. It was part of a project schemed for the region but failed. 

Following the war, from August 15th till today, the Army, the Resistance and the people are securing stability unequaled for decades. 

So the Resistance is what makes stability and justice when integrated with the Army and the people. With this embracement we make justice and stability. We protect our land and borders and we do not protect the enemy's borders. Now I do not want to go into a debate which some resort to in bargains. Today what protects Lebanon is this balance after all these experiences. 

Turning to the Lebanese internal issues, it goes without saying that in the next few weeks there are many important events to take place. There are several topics that are always evoked again and again which I will mention briefly in the available time. 

As for the weapons of the Resistance, we have noticed from the speeches we heard so far that what remains of March 14 Camp is determined to bring up the issue of the Resistance weapons again. 
Actually, they have never abandoned evoking this issue even after the Army-People-Resistance balance was written in the ministerial statement. There is no problem. It was said that this is a point of national disagreement. That's true. We never claimed it is a point of national consensus. Today I say again it's a point of national disagreement. It was as such from the very beginning. It was as such before 1982 and after 1982. I do not want to tackle the pre-1982 era. However after 1982 and in the wake of the Israeli invasion in 1982, there was national disagreement on the issue of the Resistance. 

Brothers, weapons are just a detail. The essential dispute is over the issue of Resistance. Weapons are but a detail in the issue of the Resistance. We differ in Lebanon. We used to disagree and still disagree over the option of Resistance. This is the truth. By the way, that is not a source of condemnation to the Resistance. On the contrary, that's a cause of condemnation for those who since 1982 frustrated, betrayed, criticized and back-stabbed the Resistance. It's a shame on them and not on the Resistance. Some in the other party wanted to put as a clause in May 17 Agreement that limits the number of soldiers from the Lebanese Army who are allowed to enter the South, the quantity of their equipments, the kind of weapons they are allowed to use just like Camp David. Today we heard sad news which says that Israel allowed more troops from the Egyptian Army to go to Sinai. What is the reason behind that? It's so that they protect the gas networks that transfers the Egyptian gas to Israel. That means that if the Egyptian Army wanted to dispatch more troops to Sinai which is their own land for which they offered the elite among their officers and youths as martyrs, they need permission from the Israelis according to Camp David. 

It was demanded from this elite which is part of the other bloc on May 17 to agree that if the Lebanese government wanted to take a decision to dispatch a battalion or two or to increase its troops in the South or to send a definite kind of artilleries or weapons to take permission from the enemy's government!

But due to the act of Resistance, the Lebanese government can now meet and decide to dispatch 50 thousand soldiers to the South and the Israelis can't say one word. The government can send any kind of weapons to the South. It can move as it finds fit in the South. The freedom we achieved in the South is absolute, high-esteemed and sublime. It is a freedom which we deserve because of the blood of the martyrs and not due to agreements, submissions and humiliating negotiations. Yes we disagree over the option of Resistance and the arms of the Resistance. If anyone was in the past years lying and maneuvering let him say I do not want to lie anymore. We will be grateful as that would be excellent. Let everyone say what is in his heart. Let everyone say his true stance as this is an issue of national disagreement. 

In the past, we agreed to share in the national dialogue to tackle the defensive strategy. If your stance on the Resistance and the Resistance arms is final and decisive, then you tell us what the use of the national dialogue is. In fact we consider that our very sharing and acceptance of the national dialogue was a great concession on our behalf for the sake of uniting the country and openness to address our crises through dialogue and communication. So this issue is decisive. Well, let's not trouble His Excellence the President and the political leaders every two or three months. What do you need this dialogue for? Let's be through with it. However if people were ready for dialogue, we are always ready for dialogue because we are people of logic, evidence and a strategy which has proven all through history its validity, precision and soundness.

If you believe that daily speeches and statements might harm the Resistance and the arms of the Resistance, you are troubling yourselves because the issue is final though you have troubled us for six years by now. Today, the situation in the whole region is changing. O young men! Read very well and see what is taking place around you. The Israelis are reading. It is beneficial that all people read about what is taking place in the region. Insisting on getting engaged in this battle and turning it into one of the three topics of the new Opposition is insisting in getting engaged in a losing frustrating fruitless battle. That's what I want to say and it's up to you to do whatever you want to do. 

Now I will move to the second topic – the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. It goes without saying that we assert again that all of us in Lebanon want the truth and justice, and we assert that justice is a condition for stability. However after all these years and all what we have seen, I will make a quiet call for the leaderships of the other bloc and its masses also: Does the path of the international investigation and the STL lead to the truth and consequently to justice? That's because the condition of justice is knowing the truth. First we must reveal the truth and on the light of the truth we establish justice. When we establish justice we secure stability. Does the path of the investigation lead to the truth? 

We have seen the file of false witnesses from some of its perspectives. We listened to the way the investigation was conducted and managed. We have seen how it is an absolutely political investigation. The dialogue is absolutely political. This has no place in courts. This investigation took a definite path from the very first day. They did everything to drift the path in this direction. Many were done injustice against in this path. Then they moved it in another direction. Does this path - which is based on false witnesses, politicization, investment, avoiding other possibilities and judging before investigation and even before issuing accusation – lead to the truth? We are concerned as Lebanese – if we were committed to the truth - to discuss this issue and see if there is another path that leads to the truth. Yes, there is. If we sat and have discussion we will reach there. However you wasted this chance. When the national dialogue was headed by Speaker Nabih Berri and when the STL was evoked, we agreed and said that we are with the principle of the STL – the principle. In fact that was to respect the Lebanese nature, to show commitment to the Lebanese internal situation and to unite the Lebanese internal atmosphere and not because we were convinced with the STL and its fairness. However we clearly said that the special law of the STL must be discussed to achieve guarantees of justice and guarantees for revealing the truth. All the Lebanese know how the STL was smuggled. So from the very first day, there was a decision take the STL from its very foundation, structure and action towards a clear politicized direction. No one is allowed to make arguments to get guarantees of justice. 

If you want to proceed with the STL that has ignored all but one possibility and which is rife with false witnesses, leakage, politicization and corruption also; then go ahead. If in your opinion that leads to the truth, if what the indictment or trials in absentia announce is the truth, then act according to this truth. On the other hand, we will act on the light of what we absolutely believe is oppression. However, I whole-heartedly say that this path does not lead to truth and does not achieve justice. 

The third point in the Lebanese internal affairs is the government and what took place recently. What the other camp has been subject to is the result of mistakes they did. However, it is unfortunate that the mistakes they talk about are not the true mistakes. Their true mistakes are something else. They know very well that they did mistakes but they are uncertain about the mistakes they did. What took place is first the result of mistakes made by the other bloc and also a result of what the great project for the region has been subject to. The other bloc were part of the new conservatives (their dear friend Bolton and the administration of George Bush). There was a project attacking Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinians in Gaza. It was a project of hegemony and control, and they are part of this project and system. This is not to accuse them of betrayal or anything else. These are actual facts. Everyone knows the relation of this bloc with Feltman, Bolton and the former and current US administration. What is the relation of this bloc with the US system in the region and the regime of ousted Husni Mubarak? When there is a project which is collapsing and falling, it is natural that the adjoining parts would feel weak and feeble. Why are you surprised? Whoever wants to make a revision must view the issue as a whole. The US system which they worked as a part of is disintegrating and collapsing. It is natural then that there is a kind of weakness and collapsing. I call on them to review and make a realistic reading for the developments and not to blunder in identifying what is right and what is wrong. Much of what I heard from them and they supposed are mistakes were not mistakes. The mistakes are other things. 

We must return to the roots to discover the true mistakes. The first of these mistakes is being part of the US project in the region, and the biggest of these mistakes is being part of the US system in the region while the greatest of these mistakes is linking the fate of Lebanon to the fate of the US policies in the region. Moreover, one of the greatest of these mistakes is bullying our people and country with America, the West, the Security Council and the international resolutions as they are doing now. That means that they will perpetrate the very mistake again. That means let's go to America and make provocations in America – though America is stuffed with provocations. Let's also provoke France, the West, Britain, the European Union and the various Arab capitals – though most of them are now busy with their inner affairs – against PM Najeeb Mikati and the new government. Let's convince the whole world that this is the government of Hezbollah and Iran and Wilayat Al Faqih. (Alas, it's not!)

The very confrontation in principle was based on lying and oppression. They went back to the very previous mistakes. Do you know why the other bloc is feeling feeble and weak? It is because they are lying and being oppressive. They lie on themselves and on their masses and on the world. They know that this government is not that of Hezbollah. They are negotiating with PM Mikati and know everything that is taking place with PM Mikati. All the Lebanese and the foreign ambassadors also know that PM Mikati talks with Hezbollah as he talks with the heads of the other parliamentary blocs and political forces and that the man owns his own decision. He says yes, and he says no; I accept this and I do not accept that; this is appropriate while that is not. This is the truth. 

When you are oppressive against the man, you are harming the position of premiership. You are doing harm to the position of premiership. You accuse the man that he is affiliated to Hezbollah while he is not affiliated to Hezbollah. You accuse Hezbollah of forming the government while Hezbollah is not forming the government. Was Hezbollah forming the government, it would have been formed from the very first couple of days. 

That means that the means you are resorting to are not fair, honorable and sound. Now does dragging foreign US, western and European pressure on the government of PM Mikati comes to the interest of the nation? Why do you want to bully the government with the whole world? Is it for the sake of the weapons of the Resistance? Does that mean that if you bullied the government with the whole world you will be through with the arms of the Resistance? I have just told you a while ago that you would be troubling yourself to no avail. What would you do more than the Security Council and Resolution 1559, the US which was invading the country and July War? What will you do? This issue is over. Why do you want to bully the government with the whole world? Now let's be optimistic. They want to use US and western pressure on the US government to achieve political, fiscal and administrative reforms. That might be possible. They want to do so to confiscate the wealth of those who robbed the money of the Lebanese all through the past years. That might be possible too as is the case with other Arab countries. They want to reveal the truth concerning the fate of the 11 billion dollars or to address the Lebanese living crises. The former government was given one full year, but they are not ready to give PM Najeeb Mikati one full day! The former national unity government was given one full year, what did that government do and what did its head do? He used to fly from one country to another. How is it possible to run the administration of Lebanon while living like princes? That's impossible. Lebanon needs a premier and ministers in a government in its seat in Beirut to listen to people and address their problems, to feel their pains, poverty, deprivation and living crises. Lebanon needs a government that makes the people feel it is with them for better and for worse. Lebanon needs a government that makes the Army feel that it is with it and by its side in Adeisseh confrontation, and not always "taking rides". Every Lebanese is looking forward to a serious government, to a government which is fit of being responsible, to a government that undertakes all these missions and cases, to a government that listens to the people and not to ambassadors, and to a government that listens to the residences of Akkar, the North, Mount Lebanon, the South, Bekaa and Beirut and not to Feltman, Bolton, Connelly and other ambassadors. This is what we are looking forward to. They will show up and say this is an illusionary majority. Well, for four years we remained saying illusionary majority and we couldn't do anything. So say whatever you want. I used to say illusionary majority and you really were an illusionary majority. Today the current majority is the real one and the parliamentary majority has returned to the popular majority that was achieved in 2009. Today the parliamentary majority coincided with the popular majority. 

However, this argument leads no where. There is a designate premier. There is a government that will be formed. Will we be able to achieve through the new majority a government of this kind? This is what we must seek and care for. Much of the complications mentioned in newspapers are invalid. It is normal that any Lebanese government to be formed is in fact divided between Muslims, Christians and other sects and factions. It is also divided into portfolios which also vary in categorization. We are not concerned about that. The delay so far is related to the other bloc which is supposed to say its final word. That means that the designate PM still hopes that other forces might partake. We always care for having a national unity government. If there are people who want confrontation and want to bring about America, the west and fleets – if there are still fleets that might come for their sake – they are free. After all, in principle a national unity country must be formed. If that is impossible, it is also impossible that the country remains without a government. If this point is finalized, the parliamentary blocs and the other political forces which advocated charging PM Najeeb Mikati must make effort during the coming period of time to address this issue so that a serious government which assumes its responsibilities is formed in Lebanon. We look forward to the formation of such a government so that it would assume its responsibilities. 

In fact, on the 16th of February of every year, we recall the anniversary of these great leaders from whom we learnt to be patient and tolerant on one hand, determined, strong-willed, courageous and powerful on the other hand and willing to offer sacrifices and give with no limits from our blood and esteem thirdly. 

Today, surely we are in a stage in which we address our leader martyrs and all our martyrs saying that your chaste blood, and industrious jihad have – Praise be to Allah – led us to the era of victories. Since we knew you, listened to you, witnessed your jihad and smelled your chaste blood which was shed for the sake of the holiest cause we ushered into the era of victories and closed behind us the doors of the era of defeat.