Thursday, February 20, 2014

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah marking the anniversary of the Martyr Leaders on Sunday February 16, 2014.

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

First, I salute the souls of the Martyr Leaders – our masters, our leaders, the pioneer banner holders, and the makers of achievements and victories: the Sayyed of the Islamic Resistance Martyrs - Sayyed Abbass Mussawi-, the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance Martyrs - Sheikh Ragheb Harb–, and Martyr Leader Hajj Imad Moghniyeh…. We also salute all martyrs: the martyrs of the Army, the martyrs of the security forces, and the martyrs from among the people, as well as the martyrs of all factions of the resistance – the Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, and Arab – whose blood has watered the land of Lebanon. Thus we cropped all of these victories.

Special salutations to the families of the Martyr Leaders and the families of all the martyrs. We offer our salutations too to the martyrs and the families of the martyrs who are ready to assume their jihadi obligation in every square and in every position and in every front; they defend their country, people, security, dignity, and the sovereignty and sanctities of their homeland as well as the causes of their nation.

I salute the martyrs of the latest explosions which had hit many Lebanese regions: children, women, elderly, men, the young, and the old as well as their noble families. I offer them my condolences and call on them to have patience and tolerance. I also pray for quick recovery for the injured. Moreover, I salute all the patient, steadfast, firm, and resisting people who are defending their dignity, pride and future. They are the people of sound view, vast awareness, and great willingness to offer sacrifices as they were all through history and over decades.

Brothers and sisters! I will take extra time today because I have several topics to tackle on this occasion especially that I have not delivered a speech for quite some time. In my speech, I will handle three main topics:

The first topic is the Israeli topic. It also covers the resistance, the martyr leaders, and the current challenges. I will not talk about history in as much as I will talk about the present time.

The second topic has to do with the current confrontation taking place at the mean time in Lebanon, Syria, and the region, the current danger, and consequently, the related security and political challenges and the like.

Thirdly, I will tackle for a little while the new government, and if I had enough time, I have a word to say at the end.

In the anniversary of the Martyr Leaders, I will first start with a truism that has unfortunately been forgotten by many – meaning Israel. When we talk about Sheikh Ragheb, Sayyed Abbass, Hajj Imad, and the martyrs of the resistance, we must talk about the project and the enemy they fought and confronted; thus, we must talk about Israel and its greed, threat, and dangers it poses on all the states of the region and the Arab and Islamic peoples in the region.

We will also handle Israel's utmost benefit from the current, present, new, and recent opportunities in the region with the absolute backing and support from the US administration.

Indeed, I will limit my word on handling the dangers on Palestine and Lebanon because there is not enough time to talk about the danger of the Zionist project on the entire region. In fact, we have tackled this issue extensively. However, there are some points which we need to recall concerning Palestine and Lebanon.

Am I to shed the light on the Israeli danger on Palestine as a land, an existence, a history, an entity, and a future? Am I to highlight the Israeli danger on Islamic and Christian sanctities, and on the Palestinian people in the interior and in exodus? These are truisms which people have been talking about for decades. However, they are now absented.

Today, the people of every country are preoccupied with their own country. Even more, some of these countries are at the meantime undergoing bloody confrontations and tough military battles. Unfortunately, we have reached a stage in which no one wants to talk about Palestine. No one wants to talk about the enemy. No one wants to talk about Israel.

I expect that some people would say: "O Sayyed! What are you talking about? Can't you see what is taking place around?" This statement expresses the stage we have reached now. This is exactly the stage the United States and Israel wanted the peoples, governments, and states of the region to reach following all the victories and achievements made by the axis of the resistance - Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

It is required that we forget Palestine and the struggle against the Israeli enemy. It is required that this cause be removed from the sphere of priorities. Now, the Americans and Israel don't want Palestine and the struggle with the enemy to be among the priorities at all. They don't want it to have even the last priority. They want it to be outside the sphere of concern. They even want it outside the mind, heart, and emotions. They want us to reach a stage in which if you say "Palestine", people would say: "Away with you and your Palestine". Today, I will say many things frankly. This is exactly where they want the people of the Arab and Islamic world to reach: Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and all the countries. It is required that we reach a place in which Palestine would be on the level of the heart and emotions on another planet, in another continent in another planet, and even in another world. This – between parentheses – lays more responsibility on the Palestinians… even on the level of emotions and feelings. Perhaps if I have enough time I would tackle this in the course of my speech.

We must confess that they have managed to achieve their goals to a great extent. However, it is still not too late. We can put things in order again. There is still enough time and an opportunity to work and to take the right options. What would then explain this exceptional US concern and the special pressure exerted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry to achieve a final settlement concerning the Palestinian issue within few months? Why is that taking place now?

Is this a question that ought to be asked or not?

It is absurd that some Israeli officials are saying that John Kerry is a neutral mediator who is attacked from all sides. We are accustomed to these absurdities. Now the US administration along with the Zionist administration is seeking to settle the Palestinian cause. Now is its due time. Why it is that now is its due time? It is simply because there is no Arab world at all. Before now, there was a part of the Arab world which was aware of what is taking place. We could then say there was an Arab peace initiative, we have conditions, and we have constrictions. Now there is no Arab world. There is no Islamic world. In fact, every state is preoccupied with itself. No one has enough time to think of Palestine or to put pressure on America to the interest of Palestine or to put pressure on the Israelis.

On the contrary, the status quo in the Arab world is putting pressure on the Palestinians themselves. It's because everyone wants to address his crisis in his country at the expense of the Palestinian cause, and thus he would offer concessions to the Americans concerning the Palestinian cause to the interest of keeping the regime, or to remain in power, or to gain power in this or that country. Unfortunately, even the peoples are in another world. Unfortunately, the Palestinians themselves are in a hard situation: divisions, tough conditions, the government in Ramallah, the government in Gaza…. The Palestinians are subject to various kinds of international and Arab pressures in addition to field pressure: killing, imprisonment, and siege. Israel sees this status quo and these challenges as an opportunity. This is a truth. Israel is telling the Americans that this is a true chance to settle the Palestinian cause. They want to seize this opportunity and impose their conditions on the Palestinians to reach a settlement that appeals to the American and Israeli interests. I am not lamenting because we can still set things right.

In the Lebanese national framework, we must remind that Israel is an enemy. To all those in Lebanon who has forgotten, I remind you that Israel poses a threat on Lebanon. It is a threat on everything in Lebanon: its land, people, water, oil, security, and sovereignty. We must all understand and be aware of this. Well, in the past the problem in Lebanon was – and is still – in figuring out this danger, belittling this enemy, and understanding this project.

In the past decades, Imam Sayyed Mussa Sader – May Allah restore him again and both his friends safe and sound – along with religious, political, and national leaderships from all sects made high calls to forewarn and call for getting ready and prepared to resist, oppose, and confront the Israeli risks and threats since the 1950s and until our very day. Following the Israeli invasion in 1982, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyed Abbass, and all their brethrens in the various movements and factions spoke loudly and made high calls to wake the people to assume this responsibility. They called for resisting this enemy and told all the people – though Lebanon was in civil war, in an ordeal, and in an internal struggle – that this is the enemy which must be targeted by all minds, hearts, arms, and weapons.

Unfortunately, it is not only history that I am talking about. We are living the same situation now but under a different title. At that time, many people thought that Israel's problem in the invasion of 1982 was neither with Lebanon nor with the Lebanese. They thought that Israel had no problem with us. In 1982, some people thought that Israel's problem was with the Palestinians, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the Palestinian resistance, and it invaded Lebanon to expel the Palestinians from Lebanon. Otherwise, the Israelis have no greed in Lebanon. They don't want to occupy Lebanon and build settlement. They are not craving for our water. They do not want to interfere in our political decision, sovereignty, and state at all. Some viewed the Israelis as saviors! Weren't they viewed as such? They thought that there is no problem. For them, the Israelis were viewed as the Lebanese are viewed. They did not pose any threat or any danger.

This must be said because the current generations in Lebanon and in the Arab world did not live that period of time.

Well, what happened later? The PLO went out of Lebanon. The Palestinian resistance factions left Lebanon. Israel perpetrated the most terrible massacres against some Palestinian camps such as Sabra and Shatila. However, Israel remained in Lebanon. The Israeli Army continued occupying the land. They wanted to impose their hegemony on Lebanon and to impose political choices and political agreements on Lebanon. They killed, arrested, built detention centers, and hurled thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian men from the camps in them. They were preparing to build settlements in southern Lebanon if things went as they wanted. This is what they later said.

Well, was it not for the launching of the Lebanese resistance – with all its factions and divisions – and the bloody struggle that went between the resisting Lebanese and the occupation troops, Israel would not have withdrawn from Beirut, Mount Liban, Sidon, Tyr, Nabatiyeh, and Bint Jbeil to the borderline. At that stage, the resistance did not pose a strategic threat or a threat to the very existence of the enemy entity at all. Why did they need to stay in the borderline? They were craving to stay, to occupy, and to consolidate the fait accompli was it not for the resistance following 1985.

So, was it not for the resistance, Israel would have remained in Lebanon to assert to the deluded that it is an enemy which had greed and dreams and that it wanted to impose its hegemony and control, and that it did not have good intentions towards this country and this people – not even towards any of its sects or any of its regions – at all.

The Lebanese must always recall the experiences. Every religious sect - the Christians, the Maronites, the Druze, the Shiites, and the Sunnites – has an experience with the Israelis in Mount Liban, Beirut, East Sidon, Sidon, the borderline, and the experience of Antoine Lahd with the Israelis is one of the last experiences. These experiences must remain vivid. The Israelis are still the enemy. They are still the threat. Their project is the threat which we must be aware of.

Well, Israel in the past few weeks also tried to benefit from the opportunities to wage a tough psychological war on the resistance and the resistance milieu on the Lebanese level. Thus we heard during the past few weeks threats and intimidations: We will shell, destroy, and wipe off. Indeed, many in Lebanon did not listen to these threats because they are outside the sphere of their concern. However, the Israelis considered this a chance for them: the sharp division in Lebanon and the fighting and battles in Syria. It is an opportunity for attacking the resistance in Lebanon and to pressure it on the psychological level. The enemy might exploit some chances with some aggressive attacks here and there. The Israelis might resort to this but no doubt the Israeli eyes are still on our land, water, and oil. Their eyes are still on Hezbollah as they still view it as posing the greatest threat to them in the region apart from Syria and Iran. However, they still view the resistance as posing a threat to their interests, greed, aspirations, and projects. This is what was said by the enemy's Prime Minister, the Chief of Staff, and former intelligence officers during the latest conferences in the entity of the enemy.

Indeed today, on the anniversary of the Martyr Leaders, we would like to tell the friend and the foe alike that the enemy knows that it does not frighten us. The enemy cannot harm our will, awareness, and determination after all these long experiences and great achievements, and the defeats the resistance afflicted on this enemy. It also knows that the resistance keeps a high readiness at all times. Even at this time and despite all what is taking place in Lebanon and in Syria. The enemy knows that all what it fears: the power and the capabilities of the resistance are ready and developing too. Though the resistance has martyrs in Syria of whom it is proud, it is gaining more experience, knowledge, capability, and competence for greater confrontations which are more important than all what it had faced previously with the enemy.

With Lebanon, the enemy is the side which must be worried. The Israeli cabinet and people must be worried. As the Israelis were always cautious of the resistance and its men, capabilities, capacities, milieu, and people, today too, the resistance must remain in such a status. So let no one be deluded or make any miscalculations through reading the Lebanese and regional situations.

Today again I call on all the Lebanese to be aware of the threat and danger Israel poses on everything in Lebanon and to assume their national possibility on every level.

Previously and namely in the Divine Victory Celebration of September 22, 2006, among what I said in my speech was that I hope one day will come in which we would have a strong state which is able to defend and protect Lebanon in confronting the Israeli enemy so that we would relax and go to our homes, schools, universities and fields.

Today on the anniversary of the Leader Martyrs, we repeat what we said in 2006. We call and hope a day will come in which we have a strong Lebanese Army. This national institution is the only power which is able to protect Lebanon. It is the only power which is able to assume the responsibility of defending Lebanon. Then we will be able to go to our homes, schools, religious schools, universities, and fields. This is the true challenge. We back every measure that develops and strengthens the army in number and in ordinance to make it able to protect Lebanon in confronting the Israeli challenges.

Anyway, all the experiences and the days to come will prove whether or not there is a will in some place in this world to supply the army with this kind of arms or not. In case there is such a will and in case such a support takes place, we will be grateful. We will be grateful to whoever supplies Lebanon with an element of power. On the anniversary of the Leader Martyrs, we say that our whole concern over thirty years was that Lebanon and its people, honor, sovereignty, pride, capacities, and wealth be defended and not to be left for its fate. In the past, Lebanon was left to meet its fate, and today it is still left to meet its fate. We hope that a inclusive national will be achieved so that we would have a true state which cares about every yard of the Lebanese territories, about every Lebanese person, and the fate of all of Lebanon, and to build a strong army and have great national capabilities to confront these risks.

I move now to the second section or the second topic.

However as a link between the two topics, there is another point which I would like to mention and which helps in understanding the confrontation in the current stage.

I also want to remind – I also hope that our new generations would inquire about this – that since 1982 up to 2000 and 2006, there were always people in Lebanon who hold the resistance responsible of all the aggressions staged by the enemy against Lebanon. That means that before the Israeli withdrawal to the borderline, when the Israeli Army – the occupation troops – would be attacked, the Israelis would shell villages and arrest men on cross-points. They used to besiege villages, demolish houses, and arrest people. Afterwards, when they withdrew to the borderlines, they used to shell villages – without discrimination. They used to shell towns. Martyrs and wounded would fall. There were always people in Lebanon who used to say that the resistance assumes responsibility for that. Why do you carry out operations against the Israelis? Why do you attack Israeli posts? Why do you execute martyrdom operations against the Israelis in Beirut, the Mount, Sidon, Tyr, and in other places? Leave the Israelis alone and they will not do anything! Until 2000, some people did not use the word "martyr" when referring to the martyrs of the Islamic resistance. I do not want to dig up history. I only want to draw the moral. They used not to talk about the resistance and the enemy. They used to talk about a cycle of violence and fighting. They used to strip the martyr from his national resistance for the sake of this noble cause.

They even reached a stage in which they made a political theory. They started talking about the policy of withdrawing pretexts. How are we to protect Lebanon with the theory of withdrawing pretexts? Are we to withdraw the pretexts and keep Lebanon under occupation? This was the result. Had we listened to this logic, Israel would have still been in Lebanon and the Mount. It would have advanced to the north – to Tripoli, Baalbeck and Hermel. It would have constructed settlements. It was Israel which would have formed the government and run the country. It would have imposed its political choices and robbed our water which we – the Lebanese – are not managing to benefit from. They rather would have diverted it to Occupied Palestine. Later on, we came to have oil in Lebanon. We would not however have had to argue over the Oil Ministry. Everything would have been for the Israelis.

Where we to listen to this logic which considers every aggression the Israeli enemy stages against the Lebanese and their villages, towns, houses, men, and women as a mere normal, logical, and justified reaction for the Israeli enemy because you – the resistance – are carrying reactions against the Israelis? Wasn't this taking place in Lebanon? They coined special terminology to express this; they invested the media for that; they even made political, cultural, and intellectual theories on that. However, the resistance, the people of the resistance, many of the Lebanese, and a great section from the Lebanese people were not pressured by this logic. They did not listen to it. They moved on offering sacrifices, martyrs, wounds, detainees, tolerating hardships and being displaced once, twice, thrice, and more until they achieved this liberation which we annually celebrate and which all the Lebanese are enjoying regardless of having paid the price or not.

Well, keep this in mind when we talk about the second danger because this too exists in the confrontation.

Here we come to the second threat and danger which we have always been talking about during the past period of time. It is the threat posed on the entire region similar to Israel which threats all the states, governments, and peoples in the region. Today, this danger threatens all the states and peoples of the region. It is Takfiri terrorism.

Frankly speaking, Takfirism in itself does not pose a great danger. Well someone might tell me that I am an unbeliever. Let him do that. I am not asking for a certificate from him saying whether I am an unbeliever or a believer. Let him label whomever he wants as unbelievers. This is his viewpoint. I mean that if the issue was at the legal intellectual level, he is free to say whatever he wants. After all, in this world, we are not seeking a certificate from him. No one – neither we nor others - seeks a certificate from any other one. In the Hereafter, the keys of Heavens are not in his hands to submit and keep out whoever he wants. It is known with whom the Keys of Heaven are.

So the problem is not in mere Takfirism. The problem is that when they label others as unbelievers they do not accept this other who differs from them on the ideological or intellectual or sectarian or political level. Without seeking any other solution, they on the spot move to deem his blood, honor and wealth permissible. They on the spot move to elimination, exclusion, cancelation, and eradication. This is well known. It does not need much time from me to prove. This has become well known in the entire region.

Indeed Takfiri terrorism is now present in the entire region in the form of armed groups in most – and perhaps in all – the states of the region. These movements or groups follow a Takfiri approach which eliminates, excludes, and deems permissible everyone except themselves. So it has nothing to do with Sunnites, Muslims, or Christians. They deem the blood of the Christians only permissible. Within the Islamic sphere, they definitely deem the blood of Shiites, Alawis, Druze, Ismaelis, and Zaidis permissible. Even within the Sunnite sphere, they deem the blood of all Sunnites except themselves permissible. The simplest thing to them is to say: You are an unbeliever. You are an apostate.

Well, didn't Daesh issue such a rule against Al Nosra Front weeks ago? Both groups have the same intellect and the same methodology. They were one organization under one prince. They made one pledge. They have the same morals, costumes, logic, language, mind, and heart. However, when they differed over a political issue – perhaps they differed over an oil well in Syria or over the distribution of loots, they judged them as unbelievers and apostates and thus all the consequences of this judgment applies. It is as simple as this. This is clear now in the entire region. If they differ with the other, who is from them, on an organizational or political or financial issue, they make haste to judge him as an unbeliever or an apostate and thus apply on him the consequences of this judgment.

We must reflect on what has been taking place in Syria for some time by now – meaning the fierce fighting between Daesh on one side and Al Nosra and the others on the other side. We must reflect on this scene not to glee at the misfortune of others. No! This scene must be viewed so as to draw the moral, to read the present, and to predict the future.

See what is taking place now. The Syrian opposition observatory has been talking about more than 2000 killed among them over the past few weeks; scores of suicide attacks were staged against each others; they dispatched booby-trapped cars to villages crowded with people only because this village is for Daesh or that village is for Al Nosra. Yet, there are many people who are neither with Daesh nor with Al Nosra. They may even be with the opposition in their political stance. They did not show mercy on anyone. They detain women, slaughter children, and demolish villages against each other. I am not talking about their battle with the regime. Put this aside. They execute suicide attacks against each other. They kill the detainees and the prisoners mercilessly. There are mass burials. There are massive massacres. What did they differ over? They have the same mentality - one methodology, one inclination, and one prince. What did they differ over? They disagreed over a political point, on an organizational affair which has to do with prince so or prince so or over an oil well. Didn't they differ over these things and perpetrate what they did? Reflect over this scene and this sample very well. This reveals to you the mentality that rules the leaders and the members of these groups. This is not new, and this is not surprising. We were expecting that. It is not because we see better than others. No! Anyone who had followed up the previous experiences might predict that too.

Well, take for example the experience of Afghanistan. The jihadi Afghani factions fought one of the two most powerful armies in the world – the Soviet Army – and defeated it in Afghanistan. Then the Soviets withdrew. Having this Takfiri mentality of eliminating and bloodily slaughtering others, some of the Afghani jihadi factions got engaged in a bloody struggle among each others. They falsely invented a saying for the Prophet which says: I came with slaughtering"!! This is not the religion of Allah. This is not the religion of the Prophet of Allah. It cannot be the religion of any prophet of Allah's prophets. In their bloody struggle, they demolished neighborhoods, cities, and villages. The total number of the killed and wounded fighters and senior jihadi leaders during these battles was more than the number killed by the Soviet Army. And now, where is Afghanistan? From the day the Soviets withdrew until today, not a day passed without killing, wounding, displacing, demolishing, and living hardships. Not a day passes in peace and ease because of these.

Well, take Algeria as another example. You may say that in Afghanistan they dwell in mountains and have a hard nature. What did the armed groups do in Algeria? What did they perpetrate against the Algerian people? What did they perpetrate against each other? They killed each others' princes and got engaged in inter-struggles.

I will give no more examples to spare my time for tackling other topics….Well, this is what is taking place now before our eyes. We must draw a moral from this in fact.

I usher into tackling Lebanon from this point. Many explosions rocked many regions in Lebanon. Suicide attacks targeted ordinary people including children and women and markets. Crimes were perpetrated in this domain. At first, they used to say who perpetrated these operations and how were they perpetrated.

Some used to say the Syrian regime. Others would say the Syrian intelligence. Still others would say the Mosad. I was clear. We did not make haste to accuse anyone. We used to say: Have patience. The perpetrators' identity would be revealed. It is not because they are discreet or not. No! It is because they are heading towards a declared war. Thus there were footages on websites claiming responsibility for these attacks, announcing the names of suicide bombers, sending messages, and specifying targets. Thus this is not anymore a point of argument or discussion. Those who are behind the suicide operations and the bombings are Takfiri groups and not jihadi groups. This is what I tell those in Lebanon or in the world who are still arguing with us. Indeed the Israelis are within these groups. This is certain. They use these groups. They used them for a long time in Iraq and in other countries. It is not argumentative anymore that so and so – they are known by their names and nationalities whether Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Saudi, Moroccan, and Iraqi – are the one who are running these networks. They control these suicide acts and explosions in Lebanon. What does this indicate? This indicates a definite methodology and mentality.

On the light of these explosions and suicide attacks, a discussion took place in Lebanon. As usual, we were divided. Some said that these acts – the explosions and suicide attacks - were not to take place hadn't Hezbollah interfered militarily in Syria. Since then, they move in this logic which justifies these operations. Since that day, they are moving in this logic and are still until our very day. This logic will continue to be even if we are in the same government. This logic will remain to be, and it is part of the political antagonistic struggle in the country.

Let's tackle this logic for a while. Before we went to Syria, didn't a war imposed by these take place in the north, in some camps, and in some regions? Didn't they target Christian areas and the army with booby-trapped cars? This exists. We do not wish to make a list. The media may make a list. This in fact took place before the events even started in Syria.

Well, let's put this aside. Before this logic, there are two suppositions no more: Either these explosions have nothing to do with our intervention in Syria or they have to do with our intervention in Syria. Is there a third supposition? It is one of the two suppositions: Either they have to do with our intervention in Syria – i.e. either our intervention is the reason – or not - i.e. our intervention is not the reason. Anyway, they wanted to open a front in Lebanon.

There are these two suppositions. Let's tackle the supposition we believe in and which says that these Takfiri groups have Lebanon as one of their targets. This is announced in the terms they use and in their speeches. However, they said that Lebanon now is a supporting square and not a square for jihad. Their priority is to come to an end in Syria and then they would come to Lebanon. Was this said or not? Isn't this found on websites, TV stations, media outlets….?

Well, they are acting according to a definite priority list to control over the regions bordering Lebanon – whether the northern borders or the Bekai borders. So the issue is a matter of time. Thus in principle, they will by all means come to Lebanon. We believe that if they did not come today, they will come tomorrow. They said that. They announced that. This is if we considered that what is taking place has nothing to do with our intervention in Syria in principle.

In principle, Lebanon is a target for the Takfiri groups. Lebanon is part of the project of the Takfiri groups. In case the Americans and the Israelis penetrated them, Lebanon will for sure be a target because they want to disjoint the entire region. There is a specialty in Lebanon as is the case in Syria. It is that in Lebanon there is a resistance that is still posing the greatest threat to the Israeli project in the region.

So in our viewpoint they will sooner or later come, and the reason behind their coming to the Lebanese square is their mentality, project, and methodology. Thus a front was opened in Lebanon. This is the logic of this supposition.

There is a second logic. Let's take their logic for granted. Today, I do not want to defend the first logic. I want to take the other logic for granted. Their logic says that you people are paying the price for Hezbollah's sending fighters to fight in Syria. For this reason, they executed explosions and military operations and they resorted to this choice.

Let's take an example on this supposition. I will talk frankly and clearly. Another question will be asked consequently. If we agree on this supposition, does that deserve this sacrifice and these consequences? Is it worth fighting in Qusair and in Damascus – these being the two main cities in which we partook primarily. Qusair is a bordering region, and Damascus is a bordering region. It is because had Damascus fallen – God forbids – all the regions bordering Lebanon would have been under the control of these armed groups.

Is it worth undertaking an act that would lead to such reactions or not? Indeed, here I would like to remind of what I said a while ago in the Israeli issue when they used to tell us that you attacked the Israelis and fought the Israelis and their cross points, barracks, and camps, and thus they made their attacks. Indeed, this was a justification for the Israelis. Today these are similar justifications for the armed groups to attack Lebanon.

I will give an example. We have previously explained the reasons for our going to Syria, why we fought in Syria and why we are still fighting, and why we stay where we are supposed to stay. There are no amendments at all. On the contrary, the given is making the people more convinced in the soundness of this choice. I will not talk from the very beginning. I will rather start from the very end. I will tackle the new data in the regional and international levels. Today, we find that most of the states in the world which have financed, facilitated, granted visas, opened the borders, backed, supported, and conveyed the foreign fighters – meaning the non-Syrian fighters – to Syria started expressing their fears, worries, and anxiety over the security risks the victory of these fighters in Syria might pose and consequently their return to these states and countries – especially the neighboring countries - and the risks these states and communities would be subject to as a result. Is that true or not? Is it I who is inventing this or does this exist now? Today, meetings for western, nonwestern, and regional intelligence bodies are underway to see what to do. If these – God forbids – gain victory, they would have a wide base. Syria would become worse than Afghanistan, and they would return to us. What are we to do? In case they were defeated and started retreating and withdrawing from Syria and came back to us, what would we do?

This is a crisis which they made by their own hands. It is the serpent which they brought up themselves. Now, is such a discussion taking place in the world or not? This is one indicator.

Second, some countries had passed laws for some time by now which ban their citizens from traveling to Syria to partake in the fight. For example, Tunisia bans traveling to Syria. It is taking measures, and the Tunisians have tackled this issue. Why did the Tunisian government find itself obliged to take such a decision though at first it backed and supported all what was taking place in Syria? It is because they had their share of what the peoples of the region are suffering from at the meantime: terrorist attacks, killing, assassinations, rebels…. The Tunisians woke up and realized that if these groups moved along in such a way, where would that lead Tunisia to? They had the mind and the courage to take such precautionary measures at an early time.

Third: Perhaps some Lebanese might say that Tunisia is far way. Perhaps they care more for Saudi Arabia. In the past few weeks, what were the measures taken by Saudi Arabia?

A media, cultural, call or campaign was launched against the religious men in Saudi Arabia who are provoking the Saudi young men to go to Syria. Is this a personal initiative taken by a journalist or a professor or a sheikh? No! This is an official policy. Now a wide attack is launched against definite persons in names who were provoking the Saudi men to go to Syria. Why was this measure taken now?

A legal measure was taken to the effect of sentencing any Saudi who fights outside the country – including the square open before the Saudi youths in Syria – to 3 to 20 years in prison if he was a civilian and to 5 to 30 years in prison if he was a military man. Why was this measure taken now? Did Saudi Arabia change its stance and strategy concerning Syria? No! It is still offering money and arms. It is still offering political and media support. They filed a new case in the Security Council. It is fighting on all fronts in Syria. Still, it took a measure: Saudi youths are not allowed to fight in Syria. Among the measure too is that the Saudi embassies in the neighboring countries – Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon… - have addressed the Saudi youth in Syria: You are welcomed, and we are ready to settle your affairs and to return you to your country.

Why? You can ask: What is the reason behind that? You can also answer these questions though over the past three years the Saudi official and unofficial media, sheikhs, fatwas, websites, and intelligence were financing, recruiting, and sending Saudi men to fight for Syria. What made them change their mind?

Simply, the Saudi government realized that when these men return, they will cause a catastrophe in Saudi Arabia as was the case in Afghanistan. Did we forget what happened in Saudi Arabia when the Saudi men fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan returned home? What happened in Saudi Arabia then: killing, explosions, suicide operations, and fierce confrontations between Al Qaeda and the Saudi Army and security forces? How can we forget that? The Saudi government realized that carrying along in this policy means that more Saudi men will fight in Syria, carry this mentality, gain expertise, and become competent. Then they will return to Saudi Arabia to wage a battle of killing causing a calamity. Thus to guard the regime in Saudi Arabia, they resorted to this choice. Saudi men are not allowed to fight outside the country. This measure is not to stop the ordeal, war, struggle, demolition, and bloodshed in Syria. No! This measure aims at guarding the situation in Saudi Arabia. Well this is a good measure. The more people seek to lessen pouring oil on fire the better.

This is one given. Here I want to ask the Lebanese: Why do America, France, Britain, Belgium, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and all world countries – even these which are far from Syria – have the right to worry about the enrollment of their men with these armed groups on Syrian territories, while we the Lebanese – who are neighbors with Syria as we share the same borders, future, fate, security, integrity, and even nourishment and as all aspects of our life is linked to what takes place in Syria – don't have the right to be worried? Why don't we have the right to take measures? Why don't we have the right to take precautionary measures and lead an anticipatory war or whatever? What did the government which we were a part of do? What did the government do in the face of this threat except practicing self-disassociation and burying its head in the soil?

Many would now tell you: No! You are not concerned. The state must take a decision. In fact, we did not take any measure for several years. There are 30 thousand Lebanese people – Christians as well as Muslims - in Qusair. They were aggressed against; their villages were occupied; some of them were kidnapped; some of them were killed; Lebanese women were raped! Isn't this shameful? Do you want me to provide you with names? Isn't that shameful? What did you in Lebanon do? What did the Lebanese state do? What did the Lebanese government do? It did nothing except self-disassociation.

Don't we have the right to interfere to ward off the threat of killing, displacement, rape, and plundering away from 30 thousand Lebanese in the region of Qusair? Don't we have the right to do so? Doesn't this deserve the reactions according to your logic? Now we defeated these Takfiris who where in Qusair, and they fled after they indeed waged a media, political, and military war. They turned the world upside down. They dragged the war towards invalid directions. They did not spare exploiting any aspect of mobilization and provocation in their battle in Qusair.

Suppose that these came to Lebanon? In fact, they are sending us booby-trapped cars and suicide attackers. This is part of the battle. Did you – the Lebanese government, the Lebanese state, and all the Lebanese – forgot when the people in Bekaa threatened that in half an hour they could control the region from Baalbeck to Hermel? There are televised footages for that. Well, what were they counting to? They were counting on armed forces to control the entire border region and form a supporting back to them. Then they would enter Lebanon and occupy Baalbeck-Hermel in half an hour. Didn't you hear this? Didn't you watch this? What did you do? On the contrary, you welcomed them and headed to them. You sent delegations to them and saluted them and are still doing so. Did that take place or not?

Doesn't it deserve that we tolerate some consequences so as to ward off the danger away from 30 thousand Lebanese in Qusair and the people of Baalbeck Hermel?

Today I have another question concerning this point before moving to the last topic. My question is: In case the armed groups controlled all of Syria – God forbids -, what would the scene in Syria be like today? It would be the very scene which is taking place in Reqqa, Dair Zour, Edlib, North Edlib, and North Aleppo. This scene would be spread all over Syria which is similar to what took place in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the Soviet Army and similar to what took place in Algeria.

Does anyone have anything else to say? Who would keep Syria intact? The head of the opposition coalition? Or the national council in Istanbul? Who?

This would have been the future of Syria. This is now one of the most important given. Notice the change in the public opinion even among the Syrian public opinion. The demonstrations you are watching now are not backed by the Syrian intelligence. No! Many of these people have realized that true they have comments on the regime, they have a definite stance from the regime – evaluate it as you like – but they used to think that there is an alternative which would bring along democracy, freedom, freedom of expression…. Now if any of them said anything unintentionally he would be sued in the street. He would be killed before the eyes of his mother. He would be deemed an unbeliever. This is the alternative which was presented to the Syrian people. This is why they are afraid of the upcoming elections. How would elections take place in Syria now?

Yesterday, one of the political analysts said something beautiful when the Americans wanted to answer Putin's support to candidate Musheer Sissi in Egypt. Well yes, in Egypt the president chooses the people. So in Syria, the Syrian president chooses the Syrian people. Why are they afraid of the elections in Syria? It is because they know where the popular disposition and the public opinion are now.

Today, I want to ask the Lebanese: If these armed groups – God forbids - took control over Syria or over the entire area bordering Lebanon – meaning that they did not control Damascus and the rest of the regions but only the bordering areas – then all the bordering areas would be open to the place of their existence and the existence of their camps and barracks. Consequently, they would find out that it is time for Lebanon to become a square for jihad and not a square for support. Suppose that by then we would not have done anything. They would start their operations in Lebanon. What would you do then? Are you to fight on all borders? Are you to fight on all fronts? Now, some two, three, or ten booby-trapped cars were dispatched to us. Praise be to Allah half of them were discovered so far. How are you to confront them then when all the cross-points would be open and when all the borders would be open? What would stop the stream of booby-trapped cars to all Lebanese areas then? Where would Lebanon's future be? Why are you hiding behind your fingers? Why do we deceive people?

I want to ask the Christians before the Muslims: You are seeing what is taking place in Syria. I am not causing sectarian evocations. Let no one say the Sayyed is doing so. Not at all! Where are your churches? Where are your patriarchs? Where are your nuns? Where are your crosses? Where are the statues of Mary (pbuh)? Where are your sanctities? Where are all of these? What have the world done for them? What did the world do for them previously in Iraq? Aren't these groups causing all of this in all regions? They may tell you this is Daesh or whatever. No, they are all the same. It is so far evident that they are all the same. They may differ in name but their mentality, essence, and intellect are almost the same. If they managed to take control over all these bordering areas - as they want Lebanon to be part of an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria - what will you do? What have you done so far? This question is valid now whether you liked it or not.

Muslims are suffering from a similar situation. What are the conditions of Druze in Sweidaa? I promised you from the very beginning that I will talk frankly. Ask also the Druze who are in the opposition: Are they able to protect the Druze in Sweidaa – not from the Sunnites but rather from these Takfiri groups which are threatening Sunnites, Druze, and Christians alike.

Now tell me what is the difference between the Druze in Syria and the Druze in Lebanon? Will it do you any good with these groups if you are with the Syrian opposition? Don't you know their intellect, jurisprudence, mentality, and terminology? We know their stance from Alawis and Shiites. But that applies to Sunnites too. I mean that should these armed groups gain victory, will the Future Movement have any future in Lebanon? Will there be any future for political and national houses and dignitaries in Lebanon? Will the Islamic Jamaa have a future in Lebanon? Will the Islamic non-Takfiri trends have any future in Lebanon? Dear ones! For them, we are all alike! Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Somalia are evidences. Do you want more evidences? We can talk about evidences for a full hour.

The first threat posed on all the Lebanese whether they are convinced or not and whether they accepted it or not is the Israeli threat above all.

Well there might be poison and some people might say this is poison while others might say this is cocktail drink! Well, it is up to them to say so if they are convinced that it is cocktail. However, this is poison and if they drink it they will die, and all what I am doing is warding off this poison which you are viewing as cocktail away from you.

This story has been and is still applicable on Israel. It has also been and is still applicable on Takfiri terrorism. Thus there is confrontation with danger. This battle has been open for many years in more than one Islamic and Arab country leading to tens of thousands of Algerian, Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani, Somali, and Syrian victims. No, they are hundreds of thousands and not tens of thousands.

Well! What is to be done now? This calamity has stricken the entire region and reached our area. We are concerned to confront. In the framework of the confrontation, allow me to tell you three points as quickly as possible to gain time.

First: It is an obligation tonight on the anniversary of martyrdom, sacrifices, challenge, and pride represented by Sayyed Abbass, Hajj Imad, and Sheikh Ragheb to laud the people's patience, tolerance, awareness, and will especially the families of the martyrs and the wounded and those who were afflicted with psychological and materialistic damage due to the explosions.

Second: We must praise the people's high ability to show self-control and not to be dragged to reactions. In fact, this is something very great and very much civilized. So far this is what is taking place. This is really admirable, and reflecting on its human, moral, national, and religious values, we would know the extent and depth of the commitment to these values. This really must be highly-esteemed.

Third: We must know that this confrontation deserves having patience and tolerance over its consequences and offering sacrifices too. If this is a reaction, then the martyrs who fall in these explosions - whether women, children, young, or old - are exactly the same as the men who are martyred in Syria. These martyrs are with those martyrs in the same battle. This is similar to the case when martyrs used to fall due to Israeli shelling in villages. The civil martyrs are at equal footing with the martyrs of the resistance. This blood, martyrdom, sacrifices, and patience are the elements which made the victory of the resistance. Also here, this martyrdom, blood, wounds, patience, longing, endurance, and at times displacement from houses, are part of the battle. Is the case worth of these sacrifices? Yes, it is worth. Why? As we said when talking about the resistance, to spare the loss of all of our land, the demolishment of all our houses, the detention of all our women, the slaughter of all of our children, the plunder of all of our wealth, and the humiliation of all of our people, it is normal that some martyrs fall from the resistance and from among the ordinary people, that some victims fall, that we suffer from economic damages, feel hunger, be displaced, and feel fear and anxiety and instability… Here I am talking about the ordinary people. O honorable people! This is part of the battle. Or else, what do they want from you? They falsely tell you: Withdraw from Syria, and we will not approach you in Lebanon. This is mere falsehood. It is because if they took control over the borders, you won't be able to count the number of booby-trapped cars in all regions in Lebanon. This is their mentality. They can't but be as such. On the contrary, they believe it is their religious and legal obligation to kill people from all sects. So there are no guarantees to that. Still they said – and this is for March 14 Bloc, our partners in the government tomorrow, the Justice Minister, and the Interior Minister to hear - that suicide attacks will not stop except in two cases: first, the withdrawal of Hezbollah from Syria, and second, the release of those they called their 'prisoners" in Lebanese jails and Romieh Jail – meaning those who fought in Nahr Al Bared Camp and killed the Lebanese Army officers and soldiers who are from all sects as this is a national army. If you did not set them free, we will stage more suicide attacks. So the reason is not only our going to Syria. Third, notice that this deserves these sacrifices the same as resisting the Israeli occupation deserved the offered sacrifices.

Fourth: The people must be certain that we will gain victory in this battle Inshallah as we gained victory in the resistance. It is a matter of time. The requirements of this battle – minds, wills, determination, plots, capabilities, and readiness on the official level, on the level of the resistance, and on the popular level – exist. However, things do take time. This is a decisive and historic battle which needs time, and the horizons are those of victory and not of defeat.

Fifth: It is required to work to prevent the achievement of any of the Takfiri aggression goals. Believe me that one of these goals is sectarian fighting, and they have achieved this in Iraq. There speech in Iraq was all about Shiites and Rafidis and consequently, they were instigating Sunnites against Shiites and Shiites against Sunnites so as to evoke Sunni-Shiite fighting. Now the speech in Syria is absolutely sectarian. In Lebanon too their speech is sectarian. So they are seeking sedition. They want to drag us – the Shiites – to a reaction on our Sunnite brethrens when our women and children are bombed. This is what they want, and this did not take place and will not take place Inshallah thanks to your awareness, morals, civility, and commitment to your Prophet and his Household (pbut).

Here we must be cautious: Any sectarian reaction serves the suicide attackers and achieves the goals of the Takfiris and the armed forces. To guard the blood of the martyrs who fell in Hermel, Dahiyeh, and the other areas and to show loyalty to this honored blood we must be patient and tolerant and we must not be dragged to any sedition with any sect in Lebanon.

Among the goals also is evoking conflicts in camps and in their surroundings. This is an Israeli goal served by the Takfiri groups. They are trying, and they seek and insist on having Palestinians as the heads of some of these networks. Why it is always said that the car came from the camp? It is to find a tense emotional and psychological atmosphere in camps and in their neighborhoods so as to cause conflicts between the camps and their neighborhoods to repeat previous incidents. We must be aware of this. Indeed everyone must shoulder his responsibility.

Sixth: Confrontation is the responsibility of everyone because everyone is targeted. They started with us and in our areas. However, everyone is targeted, and evidences are proving that. Consequently, the confrontation must be national. Part of the national confrontation is cultural having to do with mobilization and enlightening people. This, in fact, is the responsibility of religious men and scholars. Allow me to say that it is in particular the responsibility of the religious men and the scholars from among our Sunnite brethrens. Mosques and platforms have their role as well as media outlets which must be very cautious and aware.

The other part of confrontation is political, and this is possible through stopping giving justifications to these explosions and heading seriously to a project of a state and not to exploit this battle in internal political struggles. Part of the confrontation has to do with security – meaning taking the required protection measures, and this is being taken to a great extent. What is most important is knowing the culprits and their groups and networks so as to arrest and disintegrate them before booby-trapped cars reach their destinations and are detonated. On this level too, great achievements were made especially in the past few days. Today too this was manifested. Indeed this is the responsibility of the state and the security apparatuses in the state.

We never said this is our speeches. You can go back since 1982 until this very day. We never said that security is our responsibility. We used always to say that we are partners in the resistance, and when the state is able to resist we will sit aside.

As for security, we used to say always that it is the responsibility of the state, the army, and the security bodies. On our side, if we receive any information we report to the state apparatuses, and whenever we can offer help we do.

All the Lebanese are required to help and cooperate and to reveal and supply with information. They must also support and facilitate the mission of the Lebanese Army and the official security forces in whatever measures they take. Let no one defend or justify for others. Have patience and do not rush in judging people.

We are neither with convicting or acquitting anyone. In case anyone is arrested, wait until he is interrogated. This is the responsibility of the court. Whoever is innocent returns home, and whoever is charged remains in prison. It is wrong to pressure the court, the Lebanese Army, and the security apparatuses whenever anyone is arrested as that has inappropriate repercussions.

In this framework too, I would like to laud the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese Army Intelligence for their efforts and achievements notably the recent achievements. We salute them, and we have issued a statement that expresses our political and emotional stance from these achievements. We also hope that the security forces and the security apparatuses would always cooperate to protect and guard our country.

In this confrontation, we need the cooperation of everyone. Should to shoulder Inshallah and with patience and tolerance we can transcend this battle and gain a victory that makes us all as Lebanese raise our heads with pride. As such we can guard our country, our inter-Lebanese relations, the Palestinian camps, and the future of the country…

The last section has to do with the government. Anyone who follows the whole atmosphere which I was talking about a while ago - the concerns, the priorities, the risks, the threats, and the challenges – may instantly understand our background and our conduct in forming the new Lebanese government. Still I want to tackle some points briefly, and that will be the final section in my speech:

First, every person may evaluate the new government as he wishes. There is no problem in that. Everyone may express his own viewpoint whether positively or negatively. Here I am asserting to you that I personally and we in Hezbollah will not be bothered by that. On the contrary, we respect all viewpoints and all emotions. As such, everyone may have his own evaluation and viewpoint.

Second, it is natural that people differ in their evaluations. Why is that so? In fact, that has to do with the perspective you are viewing it from. At one time, you may view the government from above. From there, you would see it in a definite way. Well, let's put the government aside. Let's give an example of a person. Well, I won't say that this person is handsome. Let's say that he is moderately good looking. You might view him from above; you would see him in a definite way. You might see him from the right, the left, in the face, in the back, from underneath…. Anyway, the perspective you look from indeed influences your viewpoint and your evaluation. So what you see is influenced by the perspective you are seeing things from.

Thus it is natural that the evaluations of the allies, the friends, and the opponents in this side and in that side vary. Well, in as much as there are diverse evaluations and viewpoints here – at times there are wrathful emotions – on the other side the case might be the same because that has to do with the perspective that influences the evaluation.

Third: We have always in our political speech – when I say always I mean that that is not something new as we do not change our viewpoints – said that partnership is required. We are with the state and with national partnership even if these sides were antagonistic or even hostile. We never said all through the past years especially during the past ten months said that we reject the formation of a government in which the Future Movement, the Phalanx, the Lebanese Troops or any member in March 14 Bloc partakes. Have we ever said that? We never said that. We never said that we reject that that these be represented in the government or that they partake in the government. We never said that we will not sit or be in a government or sit on a dialogue table in which the Future Movement, the Phalanx, the Lebanese Troops, or March 14 Bloc partakes.

Rather we used to say that we call for national partnership, for a national partnership government, for a national unity government and to dialogue, for a dialogue table, for meeting, and for carrying debates. Well, yes, that does not mean that any of us imposes his viewpoint on the other. Not at all! We would rather try and seek to reach something in common. Thus we do not feel embarrassed at all from this government from this perspective. It's because we never said we do not or we will not or we reject that. The side which had a problem in that is the other side. The reason behind crippling the formation of the government for ten months is not the portfolios or circulating the portfolios. That was never the case. True this is a problematic point. However, what crippled the formation of the government for ten months was the side which was rejecting on the formation of a political government in Lebanon. It is the side which called for the formation of a neutral government in Lebanon. It is the side which called for isolating Hezbollah from any political government if that side was to make concessions and accept the formation of a political government. From the first day they said they want a political government with no politicians or party members or provocative members…. That was what crippled the formation of the government. So it was not the story of portfolios, the oil portfolio, or the circulation of portfolios. No that comes later on. When the political dilemma was settled, how long did the formation of the government take? Things did not take much time and the issue was addressed. In fact, it might have been addressed on the very first day if there wasn't a political dilemma. If the only problem was the circulation of portfolios it would have been addressed in two or three weeks as what happened now.

Unfortunately, the side that cripples accuses you of crippling, and when discussing, that side says there is a decision from Iran to cripple the formation of the government. So first, we are not embarrassed. Then later they started talking about national achievements. With my respect to all sides, it was Amal Movement and Hezbollah who opened the way for this national achievement. It was we who opened the way for that.

At a critical moment we realized that it was clear that our status is excellent and strong. We are not weak. In Lebanon, we are not weak. In Syria, we are not weak. In the region, we are not weak. On the contrary, the Americans today are acknowledging the failure of their policies and their defeat. Some of the Arab states withdrew. Some rulers were changed. Making a regional reading, I would say that now our internal, regional, and international status is better than at any time in the past three years. Yet, presidential elections are due in a short period of time. If we remained as such the presidential elections will be at stake. This is first.

Second, we are heading towards problems. The country is heading towards problems. If a neutral government is formed, great problems will take place in the country. If a political fait accompli government is formed, great problems will happen in the country. Well, we don't want problems in the country. We do not want to reach that point. Well, is there anything which we may do so as to have a glimpse of hope? Well, Hezbollah and Amal Movement made consultations. Here our other allies have the right to blame us but it is we who were concerned in this issue above all.

Anyway, when we talk about nine ministers, five ministers would be for the Shiites and for four ministers would be for the Reform and Change Bloc.

Well, we agreed to give up one Shiite seat. The guarantees we hope for and aspire for may be achieved in another way or in other ways. Thus we told the other side that we will go for that.

So it was we who opened the way. At an international, regional, political moment which needs much reflection and after ten months of refusal, calls for isolation, and vowing that they would not sit with us on one table and join you in one government, they accepted!

That is good. This is a positive point. So no one must rejoice at the misfortune of the other. When I make a concession, no one must rejoice at my misfortune, and if the other side makes a concession, no one must rejoice at his misfortune. On the contrary, that move must be highly evaluated because it opened a way. That is good. There is a glimpse of hope made.

The main political problem was resolved. There remained the portfolios and the circulation of portfolios. There were arguments. Every side has the right to demand whatever portfolio it wants. We did not want to stop at that. We showed solidarity with our allies until we reached a way out. Thus it was we who opened a way. Had we insisted on 6-9-9 and had nobody made concessions, there would not have been a government now. The government would not have been formed before the presidential elections. Presidential elections would not have taken place. Where would the country have gone then? We don't know.

As far as this issue is concerned, well every side may say it made concessions. Indeed some sides did not offer anything. Some sides made sacrifices. Some sides offered sacrifices more than others. However allow me to say that we are the side that made the most sacrifices as far as this issue is concerned. We did not make any private profits. To the last moment we did not discuss portfolios. I know that might not appeal to some of our masses. Yet this is we. We have priorities. We have other concerns. Thus we did not discuss the portfolios, and we did not ask about the portfolios until the very end. At the end, we asked them: Which portfolios you decided to give us? It is because we were interested in the formation of the government and in have a government in the country. It is because the interest of the country is in having a government. Thus it is incorrect to evaluate the issue from the perspective of portfolios which Hezbollah took. Don't look from the perspective of the kind and number of portfolios. The thing that matters is the outcome. It is the great national political process which we want. What does that mean? We found that the country is before several options: Either the continuation of vacuum and that was dangerous. We never one day were with vacuum. Do not care about their accusations. They are mere misleading fabrications and falsehood. That will not come to an end. That might lessen though because we will be together in one government. So the continuation of vacuum was incorrect neither on the political, economic, financial, nor security levels. Second, the formation of a neutral government is very dangerous on the country. The formation of a fait accompli government is also very dangerous on the country. So there remained one option. Call it whatever you want – a government of dispute solving, a settlement government, a government of antagonists, a government of enemies, a government of national interest… All of these names are possible; however, the best name is the government of national unity. Indeed, I am not calling it, and I hope that its name would be reconsidered. It is not an inclusive government because negotiations, the number of seats and the definite construction did not give the chance to some political forces from more than one sect to partake in the government. These national and Islamic forces were in fact part in the former government. They are our allies and our friends and we respect them and are proud of our ties with them. Thus I do not consider it an inclusive government, and I do not consider it a national unity government because there are significant forces outside the government. Yes, it is a settlement government. It is a national interest government. That is true, and for that we look forward to this government. We want it to be a government of concurrence.

Beware then! We are not going to make barricades. On the anniversary of the Leader Martyrs, I would like to tell all the Lebanese: With all seriousness, we are going to this government. We have no intentions to make barricades, enmities, antagonisms, or even psychological barriers between us. This government may break these psychological barriers. It may open gates between us. We hope to go to a government of concurrence, agreement, dialogue, pulling the disputes from the streets, easing tension in the country, and lessening the tone of political and media speech in the country. This is for the interest of all of us. Inasmuch as tension decreases in the country, the souls would calm down. People would sit together, and talk with each other. This is what we spent a lot of time talking about and calling for. We hope that this might be achieved through this government. With this positive spirit, we are going to the government. Someone might say – as some media outlets did – you said such and such about so and so. That is normal. They said the same about us. Every side might be provoked by members in the other side. But when we say partnership, every side would get along the personalities they have whether we liked it or not. You might argue over some details. However, this is among the consequences of the partnership and the meeting among Lebanese which we are seeking. We need to ease tension, and we want to safeguard the Lebanese internal situation in face of the waves of ordeals.

The last thing I want to say is that the priorities of this government is achieving the upcoming constitutional events as the Prime Minister himself announced. Presidential elections are on top of these events, and we must all cooperate to let it take place. On the contrary, I feel that this formation which is in some places annoying and unharmonious might be viewed as an encouraging element to elect a new president so that we would have a new government in the country and so that a new government would be formed apart from pressure. Consequently, every side might say what it has and make the discussions it has not under the pressure of circumstances or the events to come. So this encourages us not to go to vacuum in presidential elections but rather go to electing a president.

First come the presidential elections. Then comes confronting all kinds of terrorism, as the Prime Minister himself said. This is what we hope the government would achieve. This would hold those who assumed responsibility responsible especially the Interior, Defense, Justice, and Communication Ministers. Well these are your responsibilities now. We hope that the government and the head of government under the supervision of His Eminence the President of the Republic would assume the responsibility of this file – confronting terrorism in a serious true way. We hope they will address the economic and social files honestly. These are the priorities. Well this is what the government must assume during the few months before the presidential elections are due.

I still have one word concerning the government before the final word in the speech. There are some allies, some friends, and some people who nurture feelings of fear and anxiety. I like to follow even these details and make them clear. They fear that perhaps they would release Omar Al Atrash. Well, if the man confessed and is convicted in sending booby-trapped cars and suicide bombers, no matter who the Minister of Justice is he can't release him. People might fear that they would release Naim Abbass for example. As for the three women, some say two of them are innocent while one is convicted. That is possible. Well, if they released the three girls, indeed there would have been a big problem in the country. So this issue has nothing to do with who the minister is. We don't want people to fear and worry, No! That is not the case.

As far as this point is concerned, I want to comment on the feeling of fear and anxiety. Well, we are here, our allies are here. We are cautious and aware. We know what to do, and we view the scene from all perspectives. So let no one fear or feel anxious.

At this stage, we want to contain our country and tolerate each other. We must tolerate a provocative personality here or a provocative personality there. We must tolerate what this says here and what that says there. All of this must be addressed and contained. Thus you noticed that today I did not discuss or respond to the speeches delivered by others though they did us much harm. Put this aside. We are going to a new situation now.

The interest of the country, the national interest, the interest of gathering the country is in rounding ends. We are known as people who endure, offer sacrifices, and tolerate. This is our mentality and intellect. This is our experience, and our masses have always endured with us and even before us.

Sometimes, man may be aching and displeased. Well, not all what you want would happen. People of all sides are in this country, and all of these people must cooperate together to achieve what is more important and more crucial.

At the end of my word, I would like to address the oppressed Bahraini People with a great honest salutation as they wrap the third year of their moral, national, peaceful, refined movement, appraisal, and revolution. We have seen yesterday's demonstrations. The people are continuing in their peaceful movement despite the acts of suppression, crushing, distortion, arrests, and detention practiced against them by this government which is imposed on them through a definite regional status quo and through the power of iron and fire.

The last word which I said I will return to is that we differ when it comes to Palestine and Israel. However, I tell the Lebanese, the Palestinians – the Palestinian people who are indeed assuming great responsibilities in camps up to this very moment -, our brethrens in the Palestinian factions, scholars, and popular committees: It is not enough to issue statements of denunciation. You must muster your power: talk with people and watch attentively because some people still insist on exploiting the Palestinian man and person to reach the outcome I tackled previously in my speech. Thus I will not repeat myself.

I tell the Lebanese, the Palestinians, the Syrians, all Arab peoples, all Arab factions and forces, all the honorable in this world and in the region who really care for Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria: if you want Israel to lose the opportunity – the opportunity I talked about a while ago – and if you don't want this region to head towards an ordeal that won't end in decades, stop the war on Syria. Stop the war on Syria. Expel the fighters out of Syria. Allow the Syrians to reconcile as they are now reconciling in more than one area. Indeed then we will not stay in Syria too. However if we want to set things right, if we want to lessen these opportunities and to lessen these threats we must – all of us – stop the war on Syria and in Syria to guard Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and the nation. We hope that we would not lose this chance.

On the anniversary of the Leader Martyrs, we promise all martyrs and especially the senior and the great martyrs that we will carry their minds, intellect, management, honestly, faithfulness, blood, sacrifices, patience, pains, and expectations and that we will continue in the way to keep this country, this people, this nation Inshallah always in a decent, honorable, strong position Inshallah. May Allah have mercy on all our martyrs and your martyrs. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.