Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

ALBA, UNASUR and even OAS - all reaffirm the primacy of international law

Okay, not all of them quite to the same degree.  If ALBA and UNASUR clearly and unconditionally backed Ecuador, the OAS passed only a vague, lukewarm and non-specific resolution.  So what?  Everybody knows that the OAS is Anglo-controlled.  But even though the USA opposed the meeting, it had to agree to the resolution passed on the condition that it made no specific reference to the UK.  Fair enough - that is the best the OAS could produce.

And yet, what this does show is the deep isolation of the Anglosphere from the rest of the planet.  Sure, the Empire can get its members puppets to give it some kind of show of support, but nobody is dupe about the bottom line which is that the planet is now basically split into two groups: those who care and observe international law and those who do not.  The latter group include the Anglosphere, NATO and EU member states, Israel, and assorted US puppet states (at this latest OAS meeting it was the turn of the Dominican Republic to show some "commendable" signs of subservience to US interests).

What is happening to the Empire is, ironically, a process I would call of "Israelization": a dynamic in which it is rather obvious that the world's elites dare not speak against it, but the rest of the planet hates and despises it.  We can think of "Israelization" as the inevitable backlash resulting from a systematic disregard for international law combined with an equally systematic use of violence or threat thereof (which is, of course, a form of violence in itself).

Of course, the imperial rulers are far too ignorant of history, to full of hubris and racist arrogance and, frankly, too stupid to realize how dangerous this process is for them.  They will "get it" only by the time it is way too late to stop it.  Herein therefore lies a great opportunity for all of us, those who are not "with them" as Dubya would say: the Empire slowly bleeds itself financially, isolates itself politically and eventually it will realize that it simply cannot prevail by infinite arrogance and violence.  But by then it will be too late.

The Saker

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A very telling masterpiece of hypocrisy: from Pussy Riot to George Soros

 Look what I just got in my email (red color added by me - the Saker):
"Facing 2 years in jail for singing a song criticizing President Putin in a church, a member of Pussy Riot gestured to the court and said in her show-trial's closing statements, "Despite the fact that we are physically here, we are freer than everyone sitting across from us ... We can say anything we want..."

Russia is steadily slipping into the grip of a new autocracy -- clamping down on public protest, allegedly rigging elections, intimidating media, banning gay rights parades for 100 years, and even beating critics like chess master Garry Kasparov. But many Russian citizens remain defiant, and Pussy Riot's eloquent bravery has galvanized the world’s solidarity. Now, our best chance to prove to Putin there is a price to pay for this repression lies with Europe.

The European Parliament is calling for an assets freeze and travel ban on Putin’s powerful inner circle who are accused of multiple crimes. Our community is spread across every corner of the world -- if we can push the Europeans to act, it will not only hit Putin's circle hard, as many bank and have homes in Europe, but also counter his anti-Western propaganda, showing him that the whole world is willing to stand up for a free Russia. Click below to support the sanctions and tell everyone:

Last week’s trial is about far more than three women and their 40-second ‘punk prayer’. When tens of thousands flooded the streets to protest rigged elections, the government threw organisers into jail for weeks. And in June Parliament effectively outlawed dissent by raising the fine for unsanctioned protest an astounding 150-fold, roughly the average Russian’s salary for a whole year.

Pussy Riot may be the most famous Russian activists right now, but their sentence is not the grossest injustice of Putin’s war on dissent. In 2009, anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered a massive tax fraud at the heart of Russia’s power dealers, died in jail -- without a trial, on shaky charges, and with medical attention repeatedly denied. 60 of Russia’s elite have been under scrutiny for the case and its cover-up, and the sanctions the European Parliament is proposing are on this inner circle.

International attention to Russia’s crackdown is cresting right now, and the ‘Magnitsky sanctions’ are the best way to put the heat on Putin and help create breathing room for the suffocating democracy movement. Let’s give Europe's leaders a global public mandate to adopt the sanctions. Sign the petition now and share this with everyone:

What happens in Russia matters to us all. Russia has blocked international coordination on Syria and other urgent global issues, and a Russian autocracy threatens the world we all want, wherever we are. The Russian people face a serious challenge, but we know that people-powered movements are the best cure for corruption and iron-fisted governments -- and that international solidarity can help keep the flame of these movements alive. Let’s join together now to show Putin that the world will hold him to account and push for change until Russia is set free.

With hope,

Luis, David, Alice, Ricken, Lisa, Vilde, and the Avaaz team

P.S.: Avaaz has launched Community Petitions, an exciting new platform where it's quick and easy to create a campaign on any issue you care strongly about. Start your own by clicking here:

More information:

Pussy Riot sentenced to 2 years in jail for stunt against Putin:

Russia faces angry response to jailing of Pussy Riot members (Irish Times)

Media Frenzy Over Pussy Riot Obscures Legal Plights Of Lesser-Known Protesters (Radio Free Europe)

Moscow election official: I helped rig Russia vote (NBC News)

As US acts on Magnitsky, Europe debates (The Moscow Times)
Putin's war on dissent may have met its match in Pussy Riot, the female protest group. The European Parliament is calling for an asset freeze and travel ban on Russia's corrupt elite -- let's join their call and make it a reality -- sign the petition"
Reading this, shall we say, "just a tad ideological" appeal, I wondered who the hell AVAAZ is.  Here is their own "about us":
"Avaaz—meaning "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.

Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force. (Read about results on the Highlights page.)

The Avaaz community campaigns in 15 languages, served by a core team on 6 continents and thousands of volunteers. We take action -- signing petitions, funding media campaigns and direct actions, emailing, calling and lobbying governments, and organizing "offline" protests and events -- to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform the decisions that affect us all. "
Not very descriptive.  I found some more information here, including these most interesting tidbits:
Administered out of Res Publica's headquarters in New York City, Avaaz operates in 14 languages and, as of July 2011, claimed to have more than 9.65 million “members” in 193 countries  (...) ABC News reports, however, that the organization also receives financial backing from George Soros,, and the SEIU. In addition, Avaaz has received funding from Res Publica, which is bankrolled, in part, by the Open Society Institute.  
We are dealing with the huge "humanitarian" and "democratic" constellation created by Soros (read the rest of the description anyway, its quite interesting; the Wikipedia page on AVAAZ also gives some good details).  Soros and his fellow oligarchs (Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, etc.) are not happy with Putin's Russia ("the Russian autocracy threatens the world") and, frankly, I fully understand him.  If I was a Jewish oligarch I would probably hate Putin: from the way Putin dealt with the Chechen Wahabis and their Jewish oligarchic sponsors, to the way Russia told the US Empire "niet!" on an  UN authorized attack on Syria (three times!), Putin and Medvedev had done a great deal to really infuriate the Soros-types.    Hence the current anti-Russian crusade in the Western media.

I wonder what they will come up next?

According to Nikolai Starikov if this propaganda campaign fails, and it appears to be going nowhere, this will have two consequences: a new terrorism campaign in Russia and an increasing change of a war on Iran.  I agree with him.

The Saker

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Al Qods Day, August 17, 2012

In The Name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon our Master and Prophet – the Seal of prophets – Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, his chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Again we meet on this dear anniversary – Al Qods Day which was announced by Imam Khomeini as an international day. Imam khomeini chose the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan as Al Qods International Day.

All through the past years, we used to talk about the wisdom of choosing this timing for this day – Friday – which is the best day in the Month of Ramadan – whose days are the best days in the whole year. The Month of Ramadan is the month of fasting, nightlong worshipping, repentance, forgiveness, self-jihad, self-building, and atonement of one's conduct. Imam Khomeini named this Friday as Al Qods Day in a clear hint that all the faithful and jihadi fruit cropped in the month of Ramadan must be gathered and focused in this direction and in this central cause for the nation in this time – namely the cause of Palestine and the cause of Al Qods. Year after year the absolute wisdom in the choice of the Imam of this day as Al Qods International Day is manifested. His very naming of a day for Al Qods is also manifested as the events and developments in this year – i.e. since a year onwards or since the previous Month of Ramadan to this Month of Ramadan - in all the Muslim countries. All the peoples have worries, crises, due events and challenges which are preoccupying them from Al Qods and Palestine.

This is the status quo whether we liked it or not. Today we are witnessing this status quo. We have been witnessing this status quo for tens of years. That stresses that we need every year and especially during the month of Ramadan – which is the month of contemplation, reflection, mediation, reconsideration, return to one's self and repentance to Allah – to return to Palestine, Al Qods, and the central cause. We have to remind ourselves and our nation of these constant points. We must remind ourselves and our nation of the religious, legitimate, moral, and human responsibilities towards Al Qods, the sanctities, Palestine and its people. We must assert these constants despite the worries, crises, challenges, risks, divisions and psychological mobilization which are wrong in more than one country and in more than one square. We must tell the world and the enemy above all as Imam Khomeini said that the cause of Palestine and Al Qods is a religious and doctrinal cause. It is a cause of faith for all of us.

Political differences, divisions, enmities, hatreds and hostilities can't affect the stance towards Palestine, Al Qods, and the people of Al Qods. Notice what is taking place in many Arab countries. Let's for example take Bahrain which has been suffering for over a year from oppression, injustice, forlornness, and abandonment by the Islamic and Arab world. It even had no place in the extraordinary Islamic Summit. Still they are not frustrated by this Arab and Islamic stance towards them and their people. They hit the street today to mark Al Qods Day and to stress that Al Qods is a religious cause for all of us.

In Iraq, despite the explosions which are invading Iraqi cities - unfortunately at times on factional and sectarian considerations what is leading to the martyrdom and injury of hundreds - Iraqis hit the streets today on Al Qods Day to say that Palestine and Al Qods are our central cause. The same applies to other squares. The primary message to the Israeli enemy today is: Do not feel happy and bet on the divisions taking place in our Arab and Islamic world though the situation is sorrowful, frightening and worrisome. However as far as Palestine and Al Qods are concerned, no matter what the divisions, tensions, accusations and enmities are, that will not change anything.

As for us in Lebanon, Hezbollah, the masses of the Resistance in Lebanon, and despite all what's taking place in Lebanon and in the region around us, we also on Al Qods Day and on Imam Khomeini's Day would like to assert to friends and foes alike and to the entire world that the cause of Palestine, Al Qods, the people of Al Qods, and the struggle with the Israeli enemy is above every other consideration, sensitivities, and enmities because it is a cause of religion, doctrine, faith, the Hereafter and a humanistic and moral commitment to us. Our faith and commitment to it may not be shaken even for one moment at all.

Al Qods Day is as well a chance to go back to the essential and strategic search which is linked to the future of Palestine, Al Qods and the region and consequently, our future and the future of all of us. That's because the serious event which has been drawing the landmarks of the region for over sixty years and is still drawing the landmarks of the region is the Zionist occupation of Palestine and the wars which were waged on Arab states and Arab peoples. We as well as our generations, peoples and nation are still living the repercussions of this catastrophic incident - namely the occupation of Palestine and Al Qods.

Today, we can't imagine a future for Al Qods apart from the future of so called Israel. We can't talk about Al Qods being restored to the nation or to the people of Palestine under a strong Israel. Even more, we can't talk about a future for Al Qods under an existing Israel. That's because Al Qods for Israel is an Israeli point of consensus. The Right and the Left, the religious and the secular, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardim, all of these details and disagreements come to an end when it comes to Al Qods. This must be the case of the Arabs and Muslims. However, the case is not as such with Arabs and Muslims. All disagreements must come to an end and disappear when we come to Al Qods.

Anyway, the Zionists unanimously agree that Al Qods is a part of Israel and that Al Qods is the eternal capital of Israel. Thus the project of judaizing Al Qods is moving on under an Israeli consensus.

When Netanyahu said several weeks ago that he would carry on construction in the city of Al Qods even if the whole world stood in his face he was relying on a strong and firm Israeli consensus in this perspective. This Israeli consensus is missed in several other sensitive issues which I will talk about in a while. However, when it comes to Al Qods, to constructing settlements in Al Qods, to judaizing Al Qods and perhaps one day to canceling Al Aqsa Mosque and The Resurrection Church, any Israeli may rely on an Israeli consensus on this perspective. Settlements are still being built inside and around Al Qods. The construction of settlements has been revived in the West Bank. Lands are being confiscated in Al Qods. Islamic and Christian religious endowments are being gradually constricted. Al Aqsa Mosque is continually being threatened through the constriction of freedoms. Houses are being confiscated and demolished. Lands are being confiscated. Human beings – the original residents of Al Qods whether Muslims or Christians - are continually being threatened. This is in addition to intentional impoverishment. The Maqdessi residents – whether Christians or Muslims – are reaching a condition in which they are not being able to stay in Al Qods. They are finding no bread to eat, no work to do and no school to go to. Thus there is coercive displacement. I will furnish you with an evidence from Israeli Daily Haartez which published a report which is based on the Society of Citizen Rights. It said in the report that the residents of Al Qods – East Al Qods i.e. the Arabs who form 38% of the residents of the city - have reached the point less than zero as far as poverty and unemployment are concerned. The report makes clear that in 2011, 84% of the Palestinian children in Al Qods were under the line of poverty. That means that the Palestinian families are under the line of poverty. That's because if the children are under the line of poverty that means that the father and the mother are under the line of poverty. 84% of the residents of Al Qods from the Muslim and Christian Arabs are under the line of poverty. The report says that the main reason is unemployment. The average of unemployment is 40% among men and 85% among Palestinian women.

Another reason for poverty is the Separation Wall. That's because if a Palestinian man does not find work in Al Qods, he might work in the West Bank. As such the Maqdessi resident is not anymore able to go to the West Bank. He has become imprisoned amid walls in Al Qods. This is leading to this status quo.

Thus this is the status quo in Al Qods while Arabs and Muslims are being drowned in their crises, struggles and divisions. Al Qods is being judaized and lost day after day. I will tackle again the Arabs in the extraordinary Islamic Summit. Well, hereof I usher to our topic. I want to talk today about Israel, Palestine, Al Qods, and the regional situation because we usually tackle these topics on Al Qods Day. As I wrap my word and in a couple of minutes, I would like to tackle the recent developments in Lebanon.

The strategic environment in Israel is important to us as well as to them. That's because after all, any state has a strategic environment in which it lives under a regional situation, an international situation and an internal situation and which have repercussions on its existence, future, survival, strength and continuity.

Unfortunately, our enemy has characteristics which are good at times. This is unfortunate because our enemy is as such while we who say what Allah Al Mighty says that we are the best nation which emerged for people act in an inappropriate way.

One of these characteristics is that annually conferences are being held in the Israeli entity. Some of these conferences are famous and ancient. The topic of these conferences is discussing the strategic status in Israel and the strategic environment. They tackle internal, regional and international threats. They tackle the various kinds of threats whether security, military, political, economic, demographic…. They discuss the available chances. So they discuss threats and chances. They evaluate the situation and events; they talk about options, and they present their ideas and suggestions which go then to their institutions in the Knesset, the government and the other centers. Thus plots are being set as well as programs and this enemy works accordingly.

Indeed such a thing in the Arab world is lacked as far as I know. Perhaps such a thing used to take place in some frameworks with national dimensions which used to take similar procedures. However, Arab governments, states, regimes and many of the political factions do not do such a thing. Today we don't meet to say this is the strategic situation of our countries and our nation; these are the threats, the chances and the options. We have seen such a model few days ago. We meet for several hours. Some people deliver speeches. We write a humble statement. Is this the best nation which emerged to people?

Well now we come to the evidence. Indeed every year we read the translations of the topics which are discussed in these conferences and the threats which are evoked as well as the chances, options and their approach to the situation in the region. It is being clear that in the past couple of years – 2010 and 2011 – when the changes started in the Arab region – let's call it the Islamic awakening, the Arab Spring, the awakening of the peoples or as you wish – Israel's anxiety grew greatly. The Israelis started talking about mushrooming threats. Well, this is true. Among the most important developments that took place in the region and led the Israelis to feel worried to a very great extent are:

First: The fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. You know what Egypt means to Israel. Israel used to find in it consolation for itself.

Second: The withdrawal of the United States of America from Iraq in the framework of a true defeat inflicted on it by the Iraqi resistance, the will of the Iraqi people, and the political steadfastness in Iraq.

The changes in the region show that the so called Arab moderation regimes are collapsing one after the other: Tunisia, Libya, the regime in Yemen… Though unfortunately, in Yemen the revolution was contained to a great degree. The Yemeni movement and the revolution of the Yemeni people have been confiscated. Things were settled and the regime remained as it is. Some faces changed only. This is in addition to what was taking place and what is taking place in Bahrain. The Israelis found that these regimes which they call the Arab moderation regimes are falling or are about to fall or are threatened one after the other. This is what mushroomed worrisome on their behalf to a great degree.

This is in addition to the development of the capacities of the Islamic Republic on the various domains. Here between parentheses I name the Iranian nuclear program which I will return to in the framework of tackling the Israeli threats to Iran.

It appeared that through the changes in the region a great axis may be formed in line with Palestine, the people of Palestine and the choice of the Resistance in the region. Turkey's relations with Iran are great. Turkey's relations with Iraq are very good. Turkey's relations with Syria are very good. All of that was before the events or the events developed in Syria. That is in addition to Turkey's relations with Israel after the incident of the fleet of lifting the siege on Gaza which became bad and tense. Also there was the fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak or the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

For the first impression, it appeared that a great regional axis which meets on Palestine, Gaza Strip, Al Qods and the people of Palestine and the like would be formed. Thus in their conferences and for over a year, the Israelis said that the strategic threat is extremely high while the available chances are limited. On another hand, what is the situation of the Americans? What is the situation of the Europeans? What are their economic preoccupations? What is the impact of their military defeat in the region and in Iraq as they are on the onset of a defeat in Afghanistan…. Thus the Israelis showed great anxiety. This was before the bloody developments started in Syria.

When the developments in Syria started taking a serious, bloody and very worrisome inclination, the level of anxiety diminished and the Israeli hope level increased. They started talking increasingly about chances, and this is very logical and normal. Why? Let's see the scene following the Syrian developments? What took place?

The relation between Syria and Turkey - which could have one way or another formed a part of a great Arab-Islamic axis which supports Palestine and the Palestinian cause - reached a level which is even less than zero. Turkey's relations with Iraq are tense. Turkey's relations with Iran are tense or at least cold let's say. Turkey's priorities changed. To Turkey, Gaza and Palestine became in another place.

Well, as for the Arab states which witnessed changes, it seems that they became preoccupied with themselves. It is not known when they will have the time, capacity, decision or intention to play an influential regional role in the Arab-Israeli struggle.

I am not claiming that anxiety vanished. Israeli anxiety still exists especially towards Egypt. Instead of making use of the changes in some of these Arab states where regimes were toppled and investing these changes to the interest of the Palestinian people and in support of the struggle against Israel, things moved towards a struggle in Syria; fighters from these states, weapons from these states, political and media support from these states.

Well, Israel is watching the enmity it worked on for tens of years. It wants to form enmity between the Arab peoples and governments and the Islamic Republic in Iran. Even more and because of these events, the strategic and essential stance of the Islamic Republic is being exploited. That's because Iran views the region in a way opposite to America. America views the region in Israeli eyes. Imam Khomeini and now Imam Khamenai and the leadership, government and people of the Islamic Republic in Iran view the region in Palestinian eyes. This is the truth. Because it views the region with Palestinian eyes, it has such stances from the events in Syria. Iran's stance from the events in Syria is being exploited to form this atmosphere of enmity, hostility and tension.

When Israel viewed these changes which took place last year, the level of hopes increases and the level of threats decreased. Thus today we see Israel talking about hopes even as far as Syria is concerned. It talks about a promising future to the effect that an apposition may come to power in Syria and sign a so called "peace agreement" with Israel. Thus the resistance axis would be broken and the resistance would be besieged in Gaza and in Palestine. They do not hide their joy. I am not analyzing and I am not claiming. They do not hide their joy and bets. You know that in Israel there is a public opinion and a public disposition. There are minds, hearts and emotions. A definite incident effects on investments. A definite incident makes emigrants return to Israel. A definite incident allows counter emigration to start. That's why they care a lot for the public opinion, to assure their people, and to provide their people with guarantees. They tell them we are not weak. We are rather strong for example. Thus Israeli officials talk about every indication or chance happily whereas when there is a threat they address their people in an attempt to lessen the its impact. That's because every threat has its political, electoral, financial, economic, security and demographic impact on the Israeli entity.

Under such an atmosphere, during the latest months and in an unprecedented way, the Israeli speech started escalating whether towards Iran or Lebanon or Gaza Strip. Now Syria is in trouble. Thus they are neutral as far as Syria is concerned. However, they started opening the window of strategic weapons and arms of massive destructive as a pretext for Israeli military intervention in Syria one day. These Israeli bullying and escalation are based on a reading of Israel's strategic environment which differed from that two years ago. That goes to the latest developments.

We will pose for a while and say a word on Iran and a word on Lebanon and the Israeli threats and a word on Gaza.

As far as Iran is concerned, today there is escalation in the political speech especially from Netanyahu and Barak and their group to the effect that we want to strike Iran; we can't be patient anymore; we are running out of time; the margin is decreasing….

Indeed what is the pretext? The pretext is the Iranian nuclear program which the whole world knows is peaceful and no one in the whole world owns simple evidence that it is a military program because really it is not military. The Islamic Republic has announced clearly that the nuclear program is peaceful. His Eminence Imam Khamenai talked clearly about a legitimate fatwa against nuclear arms.

Israel knows that it is lying on the world as the USA lied on the world concerning arms of massive destructive in Iraq. Israel is lying on the world. Israel's problem is somewhere else. Israel's problem is that Iran is a strong Islamic country; Iran is a state in a region with a horizon for more power, development, progress, and enhancement on the scientific, technical, technological and every other level. Israel's problem is that this strong Iran has enormous chances to develop and increase its power despite all the conspiracies it suffered from all through 30 years. Israel's problem is that this Iran is doctrinally and religiously committed to Palestine, Al Qods and the Palestinian people, and this commitment is above political postulate and considerations. All through 32 years, Iran has proven that this doctrinal and religious commitment is decisive and final even in the most difficult conditions and under the toughest threats, and under war and fire. Neither its stance nor its terminology changed.

It did not start with the "No's" of Khartoum to end up with the Arab Peace Project in 2002 – meaning the Arab Peace Initiative.

In Iran, Imam Khomeini said in 1979: "Israel must be eliminated from existence". Iran was under war for 8 years and was subject to sanctions. Now sanctions are being tightened along with the siege, oppression, alienation, and it is being accused with Safawism and Magi by many governments and elites in the Arab world.

Despite all what Iran suffered from, Imam Khamenai stood days ago to day: "Israel is a cancerous gland. It is a fabricated case which will be eliminated from the region and will not remain in the region".

Not even a letter changed in the terminology used in the stance of the Islamic Republic in Iran. Here is Israel's problem with Iran. It is that the Islamic Republic stands with the peoples of the region and backs the resistance movements in the region. So this is not a sheer speech or a media stance. It rather supplies the religious movements in the region with money and arms though it knows the repercussions of supplying others with arms to fight Israel.

So this Iran forms for Israel the primary enemy today.

On Al Qods Day, I would like to ask the Arabs particularly and the Muslims in general a question. Brothers! When Iran becomes Israel's primary enemy in the region and the world, mustn't that mean something to the Arab and Islamic peoples? Iran is Israel's primary enemy. It is Israel's true enemy. It is the enemy whom Israel is preoccupied with day and night. It is the enemy whom it conspires against day and night and provokes the whole world against. It is the enemy it pursues day and night. It is the enemy it besieges all around the world.

Now the Arab world may purchase any kind of arms from France, Britain and the USA. However this is not the case when it comes to the Russian-Iranian arms deal. Let's take foe example the S 300 anti-aircraft. The USA and Europe pressed Moscow to prevent it and stopped the deal as a favor to Israel. Why are they that much against Iran possessing antiaircraft? Why do not they act as such if some Arab regimes and armies own attack arms for and not only defensive arms? Mustn’t that mean something to the Arabs and Muslims?

On Al Qods Day – the day of separating between what is right and what is wrong, we as Muslims in particular and as Islamists more precisely who believe that Israel is absolutely wrong and see that Iran is the absolute opposite to Israel, mustn’t we see that Iran represents the absolute righteousness which we must back? Mustn’t all of these who are being antagonistic to the Islamic Republic of Iran and conspiring against it – whether rulers, political forces and all those who write or provoke against it – be aware that they are serving the Zionist project and fighting in the front of Israel whether they noticed that or not especially that Israel announces day and night that Iran is its primary and true enemy? Thus today there is an argument in Israel not on Iran being the primary enemy or on Iran posing the primary threat or on the way of dealing with Iran but rather on whether they must strike Iran or not. This is the second part of my speech on Iran today and which must pose a lesson to us in Lebanon and for us as Arabs, as Palestinians and as Arab and Islamic peoples.

Netanyahu and Barak want to strike Iran. However, they are facing strong rejection – was I not to say a consensus I would say a semi consensus from Israeli military generals and current and former security leaders who say that Israel must not strike Iran. Indeed, their rejection is not based on their moral values. It’s not because the politicians and the military have morals. No! On the contrary, the military are the most immoral. So the story has nothing to do with values, international laws and international norms. The story has to do with the balance which is being discussed today in Israel and which has always existed. When it comes to Lebanon, this balance exists. When it comes to Gaza and Palestine, this balance exists. It is the expenses and the efficiency. It is the efficiency of the military action, the expenses of the military action, the story of gain and loss, and buying and selling. This is the Israeli Zionist mentality. These are always their considerations. Thus they never refrained from launching wars on Arabs and on Arab countries because the expenses were always much less that the great and enormous efficiency. Thus they never hesitated in launching wars.

Today and as far as Iran is concerned, what is the efficiency? They are discussing the efficiency. There is an argument over the efficiency. There is also an argument over the expenses. These are the considerations.

Well, what is the moral here? The expenses indeed are taken into consideration. Here I am telling you that Netanyahu and Barak are lying on their people. Close figures tell them that the whole expenses are 300 or 500 casualties at most. The military say no, the expenses are tens of thousands casualties. The military are precise and experts. Thus the argument is over the efficiency.

Well, what leads the argument to take efficiency into consideration? Was Iran weak, incapable or coward that wouldn’t have had any influence. It may be capable but coward. That’s because capability is not always the essential factor. It is capability plus the courage to take the political decision that matters. Was Iran weak or was Iran capable but coward, the Israelis might not have hesitated and such an argument and dispute won’t have taken place in Israel. It would have stroked the Iranian nuclear edifices a long time ago.

Why haven’t it stroked it so far? Why is this argument still taking place in Israel? Why are they still thinking whether to strike Iran or not? That’s because Iran is strong and courageous and because the Israelis know for sure – I know for sure and everyone knows for sure that the response of the Islamic Republic will be very great, shocking, and stunning in case it was attacked by Israel. Israel would in fact be offering Iran the golden historic chance which it has been dreaming of for 32 years. This certitude is not based on analysis but rather on information. Thus yes, there is a crisis and an argument in Israel, and that’s why they are hesitant.

Let no one understand from my words and analysis that I take it for granted that Israel will no strike Iran. I am not saying so. However, I am sure Israel is very much awesome from hitting Iran, it is very much afraid, it is very much worried, and this is very much important.

So, this is the lesson for every Arab country and Arab people to spare themselves Israeli danger, aggression, and threat. There is a clear logic which no one would argue about. Even in the extraordinary Arab summit, the Arab moderate axis said: "We are in a country that does not accept the strong.” Great! How are we to be great? Is that through factional and sectarian ordeals, destroying our country and devastating our homelands?

Any Arab country which wants to spare itself Israeli aggression and threat must be strong. Nothing else work – no poetry, no prose, and no movie. This is the reality we live in.

We move now to Lebanon. This is also what we witnessed in the recent years: threats and great oral escalations towards Lebanon which reached the extent of talking about destroying Lebanon. That means that if war takes place, Lebanon – all of Lebanon and not only Hezbollah - will be demolished.

First, today on Al Qods Day, I would like to comment on this speech. We do not deny that Israel owns an enormous destructive power. Second, we do not deny that the Israeli mind is a terrorist, brutal, atrocious mind of massacres. The evidence is what they perpetrate in Palestine, Lebanon and the entire region. So the Israelis own a terrorist, brutal, mind; they own the destructive power; and third they put that to action. In 1982, didn’t they destroy a large part of Lebanon? Did not they destroy Gaza? In 2006, what did they do? So there is nothing new. The only new point is that they said they want to expand the range of destruction. However what is new is not in Israel; it is rather in Lebanon. There’s nothing new as far as Israel is concerned. Their very mind, capacity, criminality, and superiority – US commitment to Israel’s superiority - are still the same. What is new is in Lebanon. You can think as you like, and you may do what you want. However, you are not alone in the field. This is the new element. Today I will not stand and say: We in response can destroy Israel. I am realistic. I do not claim that we in Hezbollah with the available capabilities can destroy Israel. That requires enormous capabilities. However, I can say we can turn the lives of millions of Zionist Israelis all over occupied Palestine to true Hell. We can change the shape of Israel. Yes, we can do that. Even if we take into consideration, Israeli expenses, if the expectations are 300 or 500 casualties – according to Israeli evaluations – in a war with Iran, what would be the casualties in a war with Lebanon?

He who follows the argument underway in Israel knows. Today I do not want to reiterate what I used to say in the past and what the Israelis approved. I only want to add the following so that the Lebanese be assured and so that the Israelis take things seriously. A war with Lebanon is absolutely and extremely expensive. There are several targets in Occupied Palestine. I will not name them now. There are several targets in Occupied Palestine which may be targeted with a limited number of rockets. The enemy believes that in case of war, they will hit all the potential rocket hiding places as we said when we were talking about the qualitative balance. I read what some people wrote that the Sayyed is talking to us about a qualitative balance war. What does that to do with what we are talking about? That’s because they are beyond the struggle with Israel. However those who are involved in a war with Israel must tell their Lebanese people and their Arab and Islamic people as well as their enemy that what you consider an achievement and what is called qualitative balance is a lie. It was not an achievement. This is a lie that may be reiterated.

Israel may be depending on striking all the places which may potentially be rockets hiding places. Then it will secure itself. That case is similar to what took place in the beginning of the War in 1967. Here I am telling the Israelis. You have a number of targets. It is not a large number. We do not need a large number of targets. These targets may be reached by accurate focused rockets as well as a limited number of rockets. We do not need a large number of rockets. We have these rockets. These targets may be targeted by a limited number of rockets. I will not mention names. That will turn the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists to a true hell. We may talk about tens of thousands of casualties and not about 300 or 500 casualties.

Today on Al Qods Day in 2012, I tell the Israelis: These targets exist. Their coordinates exist to us. These rockets are prepared, erected and pointed at the targets. Their secrecy is very high. At any stage from the stages of the aggression against our country if we were obliged to use or target this kind of targets to protect our people and country we will not hesitate to do that.

The Israelis must know very well that the expenses of any aggression are extremely very high. They may not be compared to the expenses of the war in 2006. They are incomparable. The war of 2006 is still vital. Few days passed on the anniversary of August 14th, 2006. It is the anniversary of the great victory. We see the state of the country and the nation. The great victory in the history of the Lebanese people passes in an ordinary way while the Lebanese are preoccupied with cursing and abusing each other and blocking the roads before each other. Ah, May Allah help us.

When a discussion is underway, I will provide you with evidence from Israeli TV channels. A meeting takes place in the Israeli War Ministry between Ehud Barak and the Israeli generals on striking Iran. Indeed the generals do not accept. They are not convinced. Finally, Barak gets hard on them and leaks this speech in the media. What does he tell them according to the Israeli TV channel? In more than one session in the Defense Ministry Headquarters and in the Mosad Headquarters, Barak tries to convince the army leaders to perform a military strike against Iran. However, he faces a strong fixed opposition. The evidence is here. Listen very well O Lebanese, Arabs and Muslims. That is what pushed him to accuse them saying the emotional shock of the War of 2006 is what prevents them and pushes them to oppose attacking Iran. He then told them that in 2012, the lesson of 2006 is still controlling the supreme army leadership in Israel in 2012.

Here we are in July and August. However, there are people in Lebanon who do not feel ashamed. I forgot to say that the Arab world does not hold conferences to discuss the strategic environment and the options and set plans to gain power and to benefit from the chances. Well, there is a model which might be unique in the Arab world. However it is reversed. It is the dialogue table in Lebanon. In Israel they meet to discuss means to benefit from the chances. However, in Lebanon we have a unique chance which we work day and night to get rid of. It is the Resistance.

I would like to wrap the Lebanese topic saying: In 2006, two stupid men – On the first day of the war, I told the Israelis that they will realize that their premier is stupid – who are Olmert and Beretz committed a great stupidity. Thus July War was a strategic loss to Israel because the war is still controlling – as Israeli War Minister acknowledges – on the mind of the supreme army leadership until this very day. I tell the Israelis today you have two stupid men; Netanyahu and Barak. If the conduct of the former two stupid men led to a strategic loss, I do not know where to the stupidity of Netanyahu and Barak would lead especially if it was perpetrated against Iran.

The Israeli threat has also escalated recently against Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is always within the reach of Israeli shelling, assassination and aggression. However, the language of destruction, displacement, invasion, occupation and the like at time surfaces again.

Indeed, the case in Gaza Strip differs from the case of Iran and Lebanon. The case differs because of the area of the Strip. The siege is still underway besides the geographic and demographic situation and the nature of the capacities and the harsh conditions which are being experienced by Gaza Strip and its people.

In Gaza, there is a strong resistance will which manifested itself in 2008 and 2009. Gaza has a chance to improve its situation. That catastrophic incident took place – the incident of the Egyptian officers and soldiers who were killed by a group. We condemned and condemn this incident. We believe that Israel is the first beneficiary from this act. Thus things went in an opposition direction. This chance was lost at least. On the contrary, there are tunnels, and conditions are becoming more difficult. We hope this issue would be addressed.

There is a point I want to highlight in face of threatening Iran. Iran is strong and courageous in face of this threat. In Lebanon we have more courage than capability. However we own the courage and the capability to defend our country Inshallah. Here I am telling you: When our country is attacked, we will not wait for permission from anyone. I say it again: We will not wait for permission from anyone.

Our main concern and fear is on Gaza, Al Qods and Al Aqsa Mosque. If an aggression takes place there, what would be the reaction? What are the capabilities? What are the chances? Where is the responsibility of the nation?

The final section of the speech takes us back to Palestine and Al Qods even if from the gate of Gaza. What is the response of the nation? What are our choices and options?

Days ago we witnessed an exceptional Islamic Summit in Holy Mecca. It is good that the presidents, kings and princes of the Islamic world states meet in the land of worship and sanctity. The solemnest and holiest land is Holy Mecca. This is great. That meeting is great.

It was said that it is important that we be strong. That is nice. They talked about Islamic solidarity. That is nice too. They talked about the necessity of confronting sectarian and factional seditions and sectarian provocation. That is great as well. They said that Arab media outlets hold a great responsibility. In this perspective, that is great too. All of this was issued in the final statement and the words delivered by the presidents. A step was confirmed in the extraordinary Islamic Summit. It is a great step. Upon an initiative made by the Saudi king, the summit agreed on establishing a center for dialogue between Islamic sects having Riyadh as its seat. That is great. In a previous Islamic Summit, they talked about the importance of openness and dialogue between the various Islamic sects. This was stressed again by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Ihsan Uglo who said that dialogue will be among the following Islamic sects: the four known Islamic sects: Hanafi, Maleki, Shafei, and Hanbali. Four more sects were recognized and added: Jaafari, Zaidi, Zaheri and Abadi. The Abadis are in Oman Sultanate. Some are in Algeria and other countries.

So there are eight Islamic sects which are recognized by the OIC. A headquarters was set in Riyadh for these eight sects to meet for dialogue between Islamic sects. That is great. However for that to be productive, it must be expressed seriously. The first serious step for this dialogue and for the headquarters to be successful is stopping the act of deeming the followers of Islamic sects as unbelievers. The followers of eight Islamic sects – whoever they are – deem the followers of the other Islamic sects as unbelievers. This is taking place in full swing.

I call on the states which unanimously endorsed establishing a center for such a dialogue on top of which is Saudi Arabia – the owner of this suggestion, the sponsor, and the presenter of the seat of the conference – to take the initiative first to stop funding all the satellites outlets which work day and night on deeming the followers of other Islamic sects who differ from them as unbelievers.

They must take pains to halt funding all sides and to reconsider the education programs and curricula in their countries which bring up children on deeming the followers of other Islamic sects as unbelievers. We must start from here. We must first recognize the others as Muslims. On Al Qods Day, on the last Friday in the Month of Ramadan, we recognize and acknowledge that the followers of the other Islamic sects are Muslims. Their blood is our blood. Their wealth is our wealth. Their honor is our honor. We differ with them over some details, some subtitles and some cases.

For such a dialogue to be successful, no one who deems others as unbelievers must be on the dialogue table or on the land of dialogue. If you deem me as an unbeliever, why am I invited to Riyadh and why are you counting me as the follower of this or that sect whether I am a Hanafi, a Zaidi, a Jaafari, an Abadi, a Zaheri, a Hanbali, or a Maleki? If you view me as an unbeliever, if I am an unbeliever in your eyes, what is the reason for this dialogue? However, it is better to come late than not to come at all. This is a step which came late and which requires seriousness. It needs follow up. This is great. Let us – as far as this issue is concerned – see the full part of the glass. Here we come to Palestine. This is the evidence I wanted to highlight, and what came before was between parentheses and it was important.

Today what protects Palestine is that the Arabs and Muslims know how to solve their problems. We came to Palestine. See the final statement of 2012 which was issued under the judaizing process which is taking place in Al Qods, under what's taking place in the West Bank, under the siege in Gaza, under the threat against Al Aqsa Mosque and the expeditions taking place there, under the Israeli daily announcement as far as Al Qods is concerned, and the threats against Lebanon. Iran is not an Arab country though the summit is not Arab but rather Islamic. Iran is an Islamic country and is threatened by Israel. Lebanon is an Arab country. Israel is threatening Gaza Strip. A part of an Arab country is threatened by Israel.

What is the response of the extraordinary Arab Summit? I hope all of you will see the statement. It is two words: the cause of Palestine is primary to us, and there is a call for executing the international resolutions. Thus we are back to 1967 and the Roadmap. The Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table. Israel assumes the responsibility of crippling the peace process. The siege on Gaza is oppressive and must be lifted, and Al Qods and the Maqdessi people must be cared for. This is the final statement.

On Al Qods Day, I would like to ask you a question. If today this statement is translated from Arabic into Hebrew for any Israeli official or soldier or general or even stupid Israeli – allow me to say so – what will he deduce? All of these Islamic countries with the exception of Syria are meeting. Indeed, I know Iran's stance is different. When he reads this text, any of these Israelis would deduce that you may sweep Gaza Strip, demolish Al Aqsa Mosque, impoverish and displace the Maqdessi people, and attack Lebanon and Iran as there is no Islamic world. Won't he deduce that?

As an Arab citizen who understands Arabic, when I read this text under these conditions and in this atmosphere and under these Israeli threats, I would deduce that there is no Islamic world as we used to say that there is no Arab world. I am talking at the level of governments indeed. For us, this is not new. In 1982, when we held arms to fight and liberate our country, we had the conviction that there is no Islamic world or Arab world or a world too.

In 2006, we did not wait for the Arab world, the Islamic world or the world. On the contrary, we could see where the world was. However today I will mention this evidence to draw the result from it and tell the Palestinians: O our brethrens in Palestine (As we are in the section which has to do with Gaza)! As in the past, in 1960 and 1962 – from the very beginning up till this very day – what changes the equation in the region is that you be strong. If Gaza Strip is strong, Israel will respect you and take you into consideration. If the Palestinian people are strong, they will be taken into consideration. This also applies on the Arab states. The bargain today on the official Arab regime and the official Islamic regime on light of what took place in Holy Mecca is a loosing bargain as in the past. Weeks ago on the occasion of July War which we marked at the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan and in a section of my speech I addressed the Palestinians. Some of the Palestinians misunderstood me. They thought I meant to embarrass them. I do not want to embarrass anyone. We rather express our fear over Palestine, Al Qods and Gaza Strip. We are worried. We are afraid. The point is that you as well as we be strong. It seemed to us that there are chances. However, through what is taking place in the region and especially in Palestine, some Arab and Islamic states are trying to waste the true available chance for Palestine to be stronger through participating and partaking in destroying Syria and destroying Syria. I am not demanding on the Palestinians to take a decision as far as Syria is concerned. They are free. I do not want to embarrass anyone. Our stance from what is taking place in Syria from the first day of the events until today takes into consideration Palestine and the Arab-Israeli struggle. Unfortunately, the states which always used to practice pressure on the Palestinians and on us to make concessions, abandon, decrease our conditions and accept morsels are presenting themselves today as a leader in the Arab world. However a leader to what war? Is it a war against Israel? No, it's rather a local war and a war of sedition in Syria or Iraq or Lebanon or any other country.

As far as Syria is concerned, if the Islamic Summit really assumes the true historic responsibility and is afraid on Palestine, Al Qods, and on the texture of the nation from getting torn apart, it must have embraced Syria and not expelled it. It must have told Syria to come to the summit so that we discuss, argue and make dialogue with you even if the argument was tough. They must have formed a group which comprises senior leaderships in the Islamic world to head towards Damascus, Ankara and Riyadh, Doha and every place that has to do with the struggle taking place in Syria and tell everyone: Enough with fighting, enough with war, enough with bloodshed! It is required that everything be halted and we head to a dialogue table. This was what must have taken place if there is one grain of historic responsibility. However, they wanted to carry on with what started in Syria. Nothing would compensate for Egypt's possible loss - so far I am saying possible loss – on behalf of the United States and Israel and the moderate Arab axis except that Syria is lost by the Resistance axis. This axis is active now. Mecca and the Kaaba in Mecca and the best nation which ever emerged for people, and the religious, moral, and historic responsibility should have led to this and not to take a passive and antagonistic stance which was finalized with an international resolution to withdraw the international observers. What is the Islamic Summit in Mecca saying then? What is the United Nations saying today? They are saying that there are no political solutions. O Syrians go for more fighting, more destruction and more bloodshed and after all, we will see if we will deal with the party which will win in the field or not. This is the fate they put Syria before now. Anyway, this must not have taken place. However, anyway, brothers and sisters – it is only now that I saw the sisters on the screen. That's why I was addressing the brothers only so far – until the coming month of Ramadan we are before a new year from the perspective of Al Qods and the Month of Ramadan. During the next year, indeed there are great decisive due events on the level of the region as a whole and not only Lebanon but rather Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Iran and the region as a whole. We must wait these due events, and we must have patience, calmness and wisdom, self-control and meditation. And whenever we are able to spare ourselves troubles we must do so.

Indeed, the anniversary of August 31rst is near by now. We thus recall the dear, precious, and painful memory of absenting His Eminence Sayyed Mussa Assadre, His Eminence Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoub, and Abbass Badreddine (May Allah restore them safe and sound). Indeed this year this cause is before a new and great situation. The Gaddafi Regime was toppled. There is a new situation in Libya. Prisons were unlocked. We are not sure whether there are places and cities which might have hiding places or not. We are not sure whether Libyan officials are acting with true and absolute seriousness with this cause or not. However, on Al Qods Day, we must remember a great Imam of the Resistance and the founder of the Resistance in Lebanon. Imam Mussa Assadre used to say: "Know for sure – O Abu Ammar – the honor of Al Qods refuses liberation but on the hands of believers. Imam Mussa Assadre used to say I will protect the Palestinian Resistance with my turban, my praying place and my speech. The arms of the Palestinian Resistance were not Lebanese. However, viewing the situations in the region from the perspective of Al Qods required such a stance from Imam Mussa Assadre. We hope Libyan officials as well as the Lebanese officials who are following up the case would show utmost seriousness because time is not in favor of this cause. Months have passed following the toppling of the regime. What have taken place? This cause must be among our concerns and the concerns of the Lebanese officials.

I want to comment with a couple of words on what took place in the past two days. This is another topic which has nothing to do with Al Qods Day. I want only to say this word between parentheses as far as the 11 Lebanese kidnapped are concerned and the pursuant kidnapping of the Lebanese Hassan Mokdad a couple of days ago. Indeed they weaved a silly story that they arrested a Hezbollah sniper. This is groundless. Then the reactions took place all through the past few of days. Reactions took place following two factors. The recent kidnapping of Hassan Mokdad and the merciless news which was broadcast by merciless media outlets to the effect of the killing of the 11 Lebanese kidnapped. All of these events took us by surprise all of a sudden. I will talk in simple colloquial Lebanese tongue. On the very first day on which this event took place, we acted with responsibility and we contacted brethren Speaker Nabih Berri. Amal and Hezbollah called on the people to leave the street. We told them this is the responsibility of the state and we called on the state to assume its responsibility. I don't want to evaluate the performance of the state as far as this cause is concerned. Indeed within hours, it was said that the kidnapped, pursuant to a mediation made by PM Saad Hariri, were freed and that they are now in Turkey, the story is over, and a plane is heading to Syria to lift them back. Indeed joy spread in Lebanon and that was a natural reaction. I spoke to this effect and others did. Later on, it was made evident that that was not true. I will be frank and transparent. from that moment on, we in Hezbollah took a decision not to say a word. O families of the Kidnapped! The cause is in the hands of the state. Go and follow up with the state. We committed ourselves to silence so that no word or stance would be exploited against the kidnapped. We want the kidnapped to return safe and sound to their families. Our evaluation was that perhaps a word said here or a stance made there might be exploited especially that so far we do not know the kidnapping side. Who is this kidnapping side? Perhaps even those whom we are seeing in the TV screens are not concerned. It is being revealed that many of the people who used to show up on Arab TV screens and say that they are in Homos or in Aleppo would in fact be here in Beirut. Well we do not know this kidnapping side. We do not know its mentality. We do not know the way they think. We do not know its reactions. Thus we followed up and are still following up. However, we remained silent and said the state is responsible and it must make contacts and take initiatives, and we must not take any step which might be exploited against the return of the kidnapped alive. A month, two, three and four passed by. What is even worse was the media performance in Lebanon – with my respect to the Lebanese TV outlets and the media freedom in Lebanon. Their performance was catastrophic and disastrous as far as this cause is concerned. They were panting after scoops without showing any interest in the eleven families which include men, women, daughters, sons, relatives, and wives who have emotions and feelings. Whoever wants to tell someone about the death of a dear one chooses a way to do so. For example he tells his family he made an accident; he was wounded; he was submitted to the hospital and God willing he will recover. After a couple of hours, I would tell him his state is critical. In another couple of hours, I would tell him his condition is hopeless. We need your prayers. We make several preludes. Now media outlets do not fear Allah. All of those who made this mistake indeed do not fear Allah. When its news time say whatever you want. However, on Al Qods Day – on the day of justice – I want to tell you fear Allah. I am describing you as such and I am asking you to fear Allah. These families were in there homes watching TV. Then a breaking news said that the 11 Lebanese kidnapped are killed and are under ruins! Do you expect people then to remain rational? Then people start to philosophize: Where is Hezbollah? Where is Amal Movement? Where is their control? Let me be clear. We do not lie. We do not manipulate with events. We are a group of people who fear Allah. We know all the means of manipulations and tricks but we fear Allah. We did not even and we will not play roles. Let the Lebanese government and the dialogue table know and the central Security Council in Lebanon know and all the Lebanese political forces know that what took place in the past couple of days is being beyond control. Do you want a clearer declaration? That was incontrollable by Hezbollah and Amal Movement. Read that as you like. Understand it as you wish, and act accordingly. Reconsider the idea that says there is a definite situation in Lebanon which is under control, and that this duo – Amal Movement and Hezbollah – is controlling the situation and that in a word, so and so is able to make the people leave the street. Reconsider this idea. In this political performance, media performance and inhuman performance, the square is being beyond control. Let everyone assume his responsibility. When the people blocked the Airport Highway, we in Hezbollah and our brethrens in Amal Movement showed up at the scene. In the first hour, we could not convince them. In another hour, we could not convince them. For a third hour, we could not convince them. Is the Army to clash with the people then? The policy of the Army clashing with the people does not exist. In other places that took place some time in the past. Then we showed up at Airport Highway. We told the people to take into consideration Lebanon, the country, the travelers, and what the Foreign Minister said quoting Turks that their sons are safe. We told them let's be through with blocking Airport Highway. We could finally wrap up the story by the end of the day. However, things must be approached in a different way. The case of the Lebanese kidnapped has turned into a humanistic tragedy, a media comedy and a grand political blackmailing party. I will not say anymore. At least we are not being able to convince the Turks, we are not able to reach the kidnappers, and we are not able to act so far. I don't know if in the future we would be able to do better or not. Our options are limited. However after all, we as Lebanese are able to have mercy on each other, we are able to have mercy on these families, and we are able to act on the media, political and local levels in a humanistic civilized way until we see where are we to reach with this cause. On Al Qods Day, on the day of Palestine, on the day of jihad and the Resistance, on the day of Imam Khomeini, on the day of faith and commitment to faith, on the day of return to Allah and the day of return to pride and honor, I assert to you that this Resistance of yours will persist and will go on defending the land, the nation, the pride and the people. Nothing will make it refrain at all. Hundred returns. Happy Fitr Day. May Allah bless you. May Allah accept your fasting and worship. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Russia's prevailing ideological consensus: sovereignism and anti-capitalism

I thought I had seen in all, from the 100 year ban on homo parades in Moscow to the Pussy Riot circus, but it appears that a new front has opened in the West's "Free Sex and Blasphemy" crusade against Russia.

Under the title Madonna Sued in Russia for Supporting Gays the very serious Wall Street Journal reports the following:
MOSCOW—Some Russian activists have sued Madonna for millions of dollars, claiming they were offended by her support for gay rights during a recent concert in St. Petersburg. Antigay sentiment is strong in Russia. In St. Petersburg, a law passed in February makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors, and the author of that law has pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at Madonna's concert on Aug. 9. Russian news agencies quote Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the nine activists, as saying the suit was filed Friday against Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held, asking for damages totaling 333 million rubles, or nearly $10.5 million.

Responding to criticism that the plaintiffs were stuck in the Middle Ages, the lawyer said they were using civilized, modern methods to defend their rights. "No one is burning anyone at the stake or carrying out an Inquisition," Mr. Pochuyev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. "Modern civilization requires tolerance and respect for different values."

The complaint includes a video taken at the concert showing Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross and asking fans to raise their hands to show the pink armbands in support of gays and lesbians that were distributed among the audience, the new agency reported.

Madonna also has angered conservative Russians with her support for Pussy Riot. Three members of the punk band were sentenced Friday to two years in prison for a protest inside Moscow's main cathedral against Vladimir Putin and his cozy ties to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Madonna spoke out in support of the group during her concert in St. Petersburg and two days earlier in Moscow. After the verdict was issued, Madonna called on "all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment."
The new thing this time is that rather than the Russian government taking action, a group of private individuals decided to act and, to make things even more interesting, they are using the Russian courts to get to Madonna were it hurts: money.

This is really very new. The idea of suing somebody for money is totally alien to the Russian culture, nevermind asking for 333-million-ruble ($10.3 million) in damages! (It sure looks like the Russians are slowly learning some very Western, I would even say "American", tactics).

It thus appears that we are having somewhat of a major struggle under way here: On one hand, the West is dead set in getting Russia to comply with its views on sex and, what one could call, the "right to blasphemy".  In return, the Russians are equally determined to prevent the West's moral "навозная жижа" (manure slurry) from replacing traditional Russian cultural and religious norms. Characteristically, both sides claim to stand up for fundamental civil rights and against obscurantism.  Homos versus babushkas - who would have thought?  And yet, this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg.

First, there was the "Russia - butcher of Chechen freedom fighters".  Then, Russia became the "poisoner of opponents" (Yushchenko, Litvinenko) and "killer of journalists" (Politkovskaya, Khlebnikov).   Then we had "Russia - the aggressor of democratic Georgia",  and now the evil patron of Gaddafi and Assad in the UN Security Council, the organizer of stolen elections, oppressor of the democratic opposition and suppressor of sexual freedoms.  Interestingly, this constant stream of accusations has created somewhat of a backlash in Russia where the words "our geostrategic friends" has now become a funny euphemism for "our sworn enemies" and the West's hypocrisy towards Russia turned into the topic of humorous demotivators like these two:

This first one shows the Russian spy Anna Kushchenko (aka Anna Chapman) and the universally despised "democratic" opposition leader Valeria Novodvorskaia with the following caption: their secret agents only look good in Hollywood movies.

The second one show a graph of Russian US Treasury holdings with the caption: and this is when the USA understood that Putin was stealing elections in Russia.

The fact is that the West's negative attitudes towards Russia are not so much seen as a threat, but much more so as a joke.

It is not surprising at all that the various propaganda campaigns  I mentioned above go little to no traction with the Russian public opinion (according to independent polls, the Pussy Riot sentence was approved by the strong majority of Russians).  And yet, the West is fundamentally mis-reading Russia (again).

A lot was said about "the Church" in Russia and its role in the Pussy Riot issue, and yet I would argue that the influence of the religion in general or the Moscow Patriarchate in particular is grossly over-estimated by the media.

Religious feelings are complex and hard to measure, but being myself an Orthodox Christian I would argue that the very minimal condition to consider oneself an Orthodox Christian would be to at least attend the Paskhal ("Easter") service since Pashkha ("Easter") is, by far, the biggest and most important religious feast/celebration in the Orthodox Christian calendar.  In Moscow, the city police keep a careful statistic of the amount of people who actually attend this unique religious service celebrated at midnight.  For years the figure of actual attendees have been very stable: roughly 1% of the population of Moscow!  In other words, 99% of Moscovites are not even religious enough to attend the most important Orthodox service of the year.  Not very impressive, don't you think?

While it is possible that in some Russian cities with a special religious history (Suzdal, Sergiyev Posad, Sarov, etc.) this figure might be somewhat bigger, I am quite confident that the figure for Moscow is higher than in most of the rural or even urban areas of Russia.  The reality is that true deep spirituality is only a reality is a very small percentage of the Russian population.

Nationalist feelings in Russia are far more prevalent, but I am quite sure that they are mostly rather moderate and not as prevalent as some people claim.  I have no statistic to prove this, but I will say that I personally know the Russian nationalist circles very, very well, and that I am absolutely certain that they are not a majority phenomenon, at least not yet.

The interesting thing, however, is that a full decade of unconditional support by the West for the Jewish-democratic oligarchy under Eltsin followed by a never-ending and completely hypocritical anti-Russian propaganda campaign by the West since Putin got to power has had a deep effect in Russia - the one of greatly fostering national and, to a certain degree, even religious feelings of affiliation even amongst those who otherwise might not have felt them at all.

Again, setting aside all this absolute baloney about the "Kremlin controlled media" or "stolen elections", there is a reason why pro-Western political parties simply cannot make it into the Duma (nevermind the Kremlin) just as there is a reason why the Putin/Medvedev regime, for all its very real faults, is still so popular: the vast majority of Russians want to "push the West out of Russia" and this feeling plays a much stronger role in the anti-Pussy-Riot sentiment then religion or nationalism even though the latter are gradually becoming involved in this dynamic as identity symbols.

This reminds me of the two Chechen wars which saw numerous instances of Russian soldiers replying "Khristos Voskrese!" ("Christ is Risen!" - a traditional Paskhal greeting) to the Chechen "Allahu Akbar!" (God is greater) even though the vast majority of these soldiers had little or no religious education to begin with (probably true of most Chechens too).  To put it differently, the more the likes of Madonna will trample upon Orthodox crosses, the more people in Russia will feel that the Cross is something important, if not sacred, to them.

Nikolai Starikov
I was recently watching a video of a lecture by Nikolai Starikov, one of the most influential young Russian intellectuals, who when he was asked what kind of ideology Russia could oppose to the Western one simply answered "national sovereignty and social justice".  Even though most Western Russia "specialists" fail to see the nuance, this is, in reality, a very far cry from any religious or nationalistic resurgence.

This has been main effect of the long Western ideological propaganda war against Russia: to create this sovereignist and anti-capitalist reaction.

Yet, even though they are very far from being religious obscurantists or rabid nationalists, people like Starikov absolutely despise Wahabi terrorists or the folks who supported them against their own people ("human rights activists" like Sergei Kovalev or pro-Western opposition figures like Novodvorskaia), they feel a deep sense of disgust for the homo-lobby or the "Rioting Vaginas" (as Starikov calls Pussy Riot), and they deeply and profoundly reject the Western model of a uni-polar (i.e., imperial) New World Order dominated by an ideology of exploitation, greed, profit and violence (which is, sadly, all that the West stands for today).

This sovereignist and anti-capitalist movement is not uniform and is therefore not centered around, or lead by, any one single party or individual.  It is, however, well-represented in most Russian political movements and parties (with the logical exception of US controlled puppets like Iabloko or Golos): Putin's United Russia, of course, but also Ziuganov's Communist Party, Zhirinovski's LDPR and even Mironov's Just Russia.  I would also argue that a majority of the opposition to Putin is strongly influenced by such sentiments (Udaltsov's Left Front, Limonov's National-Bolshevik Party - what a name! - or Egor Kholmogorov Russian Nationalists).

What this movement also has in common is a great sense of confidence that Russian can, and will, prevail over the West in any new Cold War: they feel that the US-run international capitalist system is a collapsing pyramid scheme, that the US military is really unable to actually win a real war, that the EU is paralyzed by a massive social and economic crisis and that basically the future is behind Russia and the other BRICS countries

Of course, the West still has a great deal of military and economic power and these sovereignists cum anti-capitalists are not seeking to openly confront the West, nor have they any desire to compete globally against the US Empire and its 700+ major military bases worldwide.  Instead, they are quite content to openly defy the West on their own home turf - inside Russia - and gradually built up the Russian society around the dual goals of sovereignty and social-justice (and God knows that a lot of work still needs to be done in these two realms!).

Alain Soral
This is not unique to Russia.  In France, for example, there is a most interesting movement gradually coalescing around the author Alain Soral who has created an organization called "Equality and Reconciliation" (E&R) which centers around the slogan: "The Left of Labor and the Right of values", something very similar to what is taking place in Russia, I think.  

E&R is uniquely French, just as Starikov's movement is uniquely Russian, but they share some very fundamental values and beliefs beginning by a total and comprehensive rejection of the current Western ideological model of globalism and capitalism.  

This makes me wonder in how many other countries besides Russia and France the same process is taking place?

It is very hard to predict where this movement is going in Russia.  Personally, I think of it much more as some kind of "Petri dish" or "ideologically fertile ground" than as a finished, defined, product.  Sovereignty and anti-capitalism are definitely good values, but they are also very hollow or shallow, they lack any kind of ideological or, even less so, spiritual depth.  These feelings, this movement, currently lacks shape and it could evolve in many very different world-views, movements or policies.

Dmitri Rogozin
I will conclude this sketch by saying that while the Putin/Medvedev tandem currently clearly greatly benefits from this "sovereignist and anti-capitalist" movement, the leaders of this movement have absolutely no loyalty to the current regime.  Yes, at this point in time, most sovereignists/anti-capitalists are supporting Putin/Medvedev because they see no alternative to them, but they are also very busy creating their own political parties.  And, in some topics, such as the entry of Russia into the WTO, the sovereignists/anti-capitalism are in an open and very vocal opposition to the Kremlin.  

Even more interestingly, and in stark contrast to the situation in France, there are very influential people already inside the Russian government, such as Dmitri Rogozin, who are ideological far closer to a Starikov than to Putin or Medvedev.  Putin and Medvedev understand that, and they are willing to work with them, but they are quite aware of the fact that Rogozin has a support base very distinct from their own.

The current Western "Free Sex and Blasphemy" crusade against Russia, far from intimidating or embarrassing anybody, is actually perceived as a sign of the extreme weakness and even degeneracy of the West.  Even the apparent (?) US determination to deploy an anti-missile system against Russia is primarily perceived as a huge waste of money, an act of ideological stupidity which can be rather easily countered, not as some kind of fear-inspiring threat.

In the meantime, some folks in Saint Petersburg will have a good time trying to sue Madonna for "propaganda of homosexuality" before turning to the far more serious business of sovereignization and social justice.

And the BBC, CNN & Co. will never notice a thing :-)

The Saker