We have just obtained a full translated copy of Hassan Nasrallah's remarks from this past Friday as they were broadcast on Al Alam TV. We always prefer to read the whole thing rather than rely on clips on television.
HASSAN NASRALLAH: May God's Blessing and Mercy be upon you. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. As God recites in His Holy Book 'Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight for the cause of Allah, willing to kill and be killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel and the Koran - and who fulfills His pledge better than Allah? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.'
My dear brothers and sisters, my dearly beloved. After the 18th day since the beginning of the barbaric Zionist-American aggression against Lebanon, I believe that it is my duty to speak to you again about the numerous points related to the various aspects of our resistance - the political, military popular and official side, as well as the Lebanese, Arab and Islamic positions.
In particular, at the end of this speech, I want to send a message in response to the one sent to me by the Mujahideen which was broadcast yesterday.
Let be begin by reporting on the military side. The events in this field are the most critical factor for the resistance movement. We are now facing new political realities and there are attempts being made to find a way out of this crisis.
First, let me state that this situation is a direct result of the legendary resilience of our fighters in the military field and the endurance of all the Lebanese people, all the different groups, regions, religions, districts and institutions. It is obvious that up till now, the Zionist enemy has not been able to make any military progress. Believe me, I am not the one saying that. They (the Israelis) are the ones saying that. The whole world and all the political commentators and military analysts are saying that.
When all of these people are talking about the need for the continuation of this war, they admit that our Zionist enemy is still looking for some military accomplishments. These military gains will enable this enemy to enter into political negotiations for a settlement. Everyone agrees that the enemy has not been able to do so until now. The destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure, the killing of civilians, forcing people to evacuate their homes and the destruction of homes cannot be considered military achievements. These are barbaric and horrid actions that cannot be used for political gains.
The enemy has not been able to make any real military gains till now. On the contrary, the enemy has suffered some real military disasters and landed some very painful hits. Very briefly, until now we have destroyed the most important navy vessel in Israel, which is one of three such vessels. The naval forces received severe and humiliating strikes.
The enemy's ground troops did not fair any better. The highly acclaimed elite 'Golani' Brigade has also been given a nasty defeat. One of the major leaders of this brigade even stated that this force - destroyed by the heroic, courageous and proud people of the Lebanese triangle containing the three villages of Maroun Al-Ras, Bint Jbail and Antaroun - was the top of this Golani brigade. This means that the elite force of the best unit in the Israeli army was totally defeated. Their soldiers were killed, wounded or mentally disabled. Everyone was able to clearly see how these soldiers were carried out on stretchers with their faces down because they were wounded in their backs while they were running away. These elite units were running away from this war like mice fearful of being caught.
On the Air Force side, the enemy has placed restriction on the movements of all helicopters and therefore there is a total reliance on the big fighter planes. Till now, and after thousand of air raids and thousands of tons of bombs, after the destruction of bridges, homes, transportation facilities and roads, after the murder of thousands of civilians, this Israeli Air Force was not able to prevent us from continuing to shell Israeli settlements. On the contrary, we have started the second phase of our shelling - the 'beyond Haifa' phase.
Alongside this resounding defeat, the enemy has resorted to lying about its casualties. We do not hide our losses. Our military intelligence is certain that the enemy's casualties and losses are much greater than has been announced. The enemy is announcing these losses gradually for fear of reprisals from the Israeli public. Why then is this enemy still insisting on having stringent controls on all the news and on everything that they report. They (Israel) do not want their people and our own people to see the magnitude of the human, material and moral losses they suffered in this war. Even the public opinion polls announced by the enemy are fabricated. Our internal intelligence shows that these surveys are manipulated and the numbers are artificial. They are used as part of the psychological warfare employed by the enemy. These are facts that the enemy cannot hide from its people or from us or from the entire world for a long time.
When in the past, brothers and sisters, have you seen how this struggle is forcing two millions Israeli residents to leave their homes and to live in underground shelters for 18 days now? I can assure you that this number will increase as we slowly advance to the next phase, the 'beyond Haifa' phase. The bombardment of Afula and its military base signify the beginning of this phase. There are several towns located in central Israel which will be targeted during this next stage if Israel continues these barbaric aggressions against our nation and our Lebanese people.
How can this enemy hide the size of its huge economic and financial losses? I will leave this to the experts in these fields to explain. The real loss in this war is in the changes in perception, confidence, morale and norms among the people of the Zionist entity and its leaders, about its highly celebrated, inexhaustible army and its great security apparatus.
This army is no longer able to stand up against even a small nation (Lebanon) with a small population, size and resources. It can no longer fight a tiny popular resistance movement with limited human and financial resources, and solid determination and beliefs.
This is what was meant by Shimon Peres' statement that this is a 'life and death' campaign for Israel. I am sure that he did not want to imply that the Lebanese resistance will enter Palestine, free Palestine, destroy and kill this Zionist entity. He understands all too well, that if this magnificent Lebanese resistance movement and its gallant fighters were to achieve victory, this would surely be the end of the arrogance, the superiority, the might and the high spirits which have so far characterized its existence. This way, eventually, this entity will have no future. Hence the story of life and death over the campaign being waged by Israel now.
When the people of this temporary country lose their confidence in their legendary army, the end of this entity will begin. Because Israel is a state created for the army and not the opposite - an army protecting the state. When they begin to feel that this army is incapacitated, weak, defeated, humiliated and unsuccessful, the question becomes a life and death issue for this entity.
Brothers and sisters, the only remaining opening for this enemy is to put pressure on Lebanon, on the resistance movement, on the state and on the people, only so as to increase their human and social sufferings. Through the evacuation of more people, the murder of innocent civilians, the destruction of more homes and infrastructure, the enemy is hoping that it will be able to utilize these conditions to exact a diplomatic victory and to achieve by this what it could not achieve through military means. Your resilience, cohesiveness, endurance and patience will also prevent this from happening.
Ms. Condoleezza Rice is returning to our region, facing this background. She will try to force the American-Israeli conditions upon Lebanon and thus will be selling her new Middle East program and doing the bidding of Israel.
We have to be aware of all this and to be certain that Israel is ready and ripe to stop its hostilities, because it is afraid of the uncertainties which lie ahead and of deeper entanglement in the Lebanese mire. The American administration is the one insisting on the continuation of the Israeli attacks against Lebanon. Today, more than any time before, Israel is seen as a convenient instrument for an American project and an American decision.
Against this backdrop and in order for Lebanon to win this campaign, we need a strong diplomatic will. This means that Lebanon needs a diplomatic will equal to, if not exceeding, the iron determination of the fighters on the military front. This determination has to match the strong will of the people evacuated from their homes and those who support them in Lebanon.
Today, Lebanon needs a strong, unified national determination, so that these past sacrifices will not be in vain. We are very careful to provide this support, determination and solidarity for the government. We are also very careful in this stage that the government must remain strong in order to be able to carry out its national duties to the country of Lebanon and its residents. We are careful to cooperate with the government and with all political trends or factions in order to present a united, coherent Lebanese front, and in order to guarantee protection for all of our national interests. We will agree to act according to these bases.
This government is absolutely required to act in accordance with the wishes of the Lebanese people, what they exhibit and they express today, namely the show of standing fast against the enemy, in unity, in determination, with the ability to overcome our wounds and in the readiness to make sacrifices. We must all know that despite all of this destruction and because of our collective resilience, we are now standing before an historic moment for Lebanon - an opportunity to free every inch of our land, to return all of our prisoners from Israeli jails, to guarantee that our national sovereignty, our national skies, water and land - and that our citizens will not remain exposed to the intrusions of the Israeli forces.
My dear Lebanese people, today it is very important for all of us to stand together in our victory, God willing. We will be victorious, God willing. I want to make a few remarks about what I have been reading and hearing regarding our possible victory during the last few days. I read a few political articles and listened to many political interviews about the question of what comes after the victory of the resistance movement. I was informed also that some public personalities representing some political trends - and I am not saying who the leaders of these political trends are, only that some of them are spreading fears among their followers about the ramifications of this victory.
I want to reply to all of these people in a very clear way. First, Lebanon and its people have already had experience with our resistance movement after the victory of 2002, and they know how we behaved.
Secondly, I want to use this occasion in order to assure everyone that this victory will belong to all the Lebanese people with all their religious groups, political parties, trends, regions, official institutions, popular organizations, and the government of Lebanon of course. This will be a victory for every Arab, Muslim, Christian and conscientious person on earth who stood against this aggression and defended Lebanon in words, deeds or support. This victory will be for the resistance movement and its fighters in particular, and for all of those who gave them support and facilitated their accomplishments in the media and the political arena. This victory will provide an enormous motivation for more brotherly love and friendship among all the Lebanese.
In particular, this victory is for all of those who welcomed their brothers, embraced them and hosted them in Sidon City, the northern mountain of Lebanon, the southern mountain of Lebanon, Beirut, the North and the Bekaa valley. This victory will serve as an incentive for the rebuilding of Lebanon to be more beautiful than it was ever before the hostilities. A beautiful and strong Lebanon. A beautiful and fortified Lebanon.
This victory will also be used to create unity and continuity among the people and away from conflict, superiority or power. This victory will be a strong incentive for the unification of our national forces that was evident during the past few days.
Our people were able to live by the tenants of Jesus Christ, God's blessing and mercy be upon him, and the values of Mohammad the Messenger of God, God prayed upon his soul and blessed him and his family. These are values of brotherly love, collective responsibility, coherence, compatriotism, sharing, cooperation, assistance and friendship.
Very briefly, I want to simply state, and I hope that no one will interpret my statement to be more than what it is really intended to be. I want to say to all the Lebanese that none of you should be afraid of our victory. The opposite should be true - everyone of us should be afraid of its defeat. This is simply what can be expected from every patriotic person and how he should behave.
My brothers and sisters, we have recently been witnessing mounting approval of our efforts in Arab, Islamic and other countries in the world. These people are expressing their solidarity with the Lebanese and Palestinian people. This of course gives us strength, sustains us and makes us very happy. We thank all of them for all of this and appreciate all of their efforts.
In this matter, there were some positions, declaration or religious edicts intended to harm our unity and the spirit of this campaign. We must not be affected by these. I want to warn all of us about making unnecessary reactions against these statements, because if we mistakenly react to these statements, we might fall into the traps of our enemies and thus commit actions not in the best interest of our country and nation. I want to sincerely thank the Islamic scholars and the leaders of Islamic organization all over the Islamic world for strongly standing against these seditious attempts and against efforts designed to tear the Muslims people apart, especially at this dangerous stage.
In reference to the government and the regimes in our region, we did not request from anyone of them to fight with us, nor did we ask them to defend us. All we asked them for is not to provide cover for aggressions against our country and our people. Only this and nothing more. We know that these countries can do a lot for Lebanon. At the least, they can deploy all their energies, resources and contacts to stop this aggression.
At any rate, we will welcome any positive change in the position of any Arab country towards Lebanon and anyone coming to our aid or making a real effort to stop the animosities against us, with much love, gratitude and appreciation. We are not looking for enemies or disputes. We seek unity, solidarity, cooperation and friendship. All we ask for is the good and the pride of our country and our Arab nation. For this purpose, we are willing to sacrifice our blood and souls, which are the most precious of our possessions?
As long as we are speaking about governments and regimes, I also want to make a few remarks about what was proposed during the past few days, about the criticism against and questioning of Syria and Iran's roles, and about our allies in this ferocious campaign.
We openly state that neither of them provoked anyone or any action against Lebanon - that they did not take part or provide any alibi for this war, that they never acted against the resistance movements of Lebanon and Palestine, or bartered them away, not in the past, not today and not in the future. This has been their position all along, despite the fact that all the doors for selling us out were and remain wide open for that. They are still standing beside the Lebanese people and their resistance front. They continue to deploy all their resources in trying to help their friends around the world. They are quietly making every effort to stop this Zionist aggression against Lebanon, causing little or no clamor during that. They are staying away from public scrutiny so that they cannot be accused of using this crisis to their benefit. They do not wish for anything in return. They only want the best for Lebanon, its people and its resistance front. We do not expect anything less from them.
Here, I must openly acknowledge the warm embrace given by Syria, its leadership, government and people, to the thousands of Lebanese refugees who arrived at the Syrian borders. We receive constant information about all the care, treatment and protection afforded to them by the Syrian people. This calls for our gratitude and pride of such people. This is what we always expected from them.
Brothers and sisters, I am arriving at the last part of my speech. In this part, I wish to direct a few comments to the Lebanese people, to reply to the letter sent to me by the men of the resistance movement and to say a word to our Zionist enemy and the rest of the world.
To the good, resilient simple people in their villages and towns, to those who were forced to evacuate their homes, to the patient believers, to those confident in our victory, to those who surprised the world by their patience, perseverance, confidence and cohesiveness, to the elderly, the women, children and sick, to the families sleeping in open fields who take the sky for a cover without a retreat in their strong determination, pride and courage. To all of these, what can I possibly say? Is there anything anyone can say that may come close to compensating you for your sufferings, humiliation and disgrace?
You have been able to withstand all of this with patience, pride, determination and dignity. I must tell you that my brothers in the resistance movement and I, are ready to sacrifice our souls, blood and possessions for you. We give all of this in exchange for the tears you have shed and wounds you have suffered.
My dearly beloved, I promise that you will go back to your homes standing upright, with full dignity and pride, very much like what you were before and like what you are today, and as you will always be. We honestly promise you the victory you so desire and deserve. May Allah reward your good deeds in this and the next world. You, the most honorable and most giving of all people.
For the Mujahideen fighters, I want to assure you that I received your letter, that I heard what you said and that by Allah, you shall remain as you promised. Yes, you are the true 'Honest Promise' and the coming victory, God willing. You are the freedom for our prisoners and for our land. You are the protection for our country and for our dignity and honor. You are the origin and the history of this nation. You are the essence of this nation's soul. You are its civilization, culture, values and desires. You are the address of its manhood. You are the immortality of the cedars at our heights. You are the humility of the wheat in our valleys. You are the summit and the pride. You are the mountains of Lebanon which stand up strong against the oppressor, radiating superiority, aloofness and pride. You, after the almighty God, are our hopes, dreams and stakes. You were, still are and will continue to be our hopes and venture.
I kiss your heads which made us all proud. I kiss your hands, holding the triggers used by God to kill those who tortured His prophets, killed His believers and those who steal His lands. I kiss your feet, so firmly planted in the ground, refusing to tremble or budge even before a force capable of moving the mountains.
To my brothers who lent their skeletons to God and who looked to the end of the world. I will be grateful if you accept me as one of you, as a brother to you, for you are the leaders, the bosses and the crown on the top of our heads, the pride of this nation, the men of God who will achieve victory for all of us.
Lastly, to the enemy and the rest of the world. I want to tell you that we are prepared to continue this war. We are also not afraid to continue to sacrifice ourselves because we are accustomed to that. We will never bend down in the campaign of wills and determination. We will not be defeated.
To President Bush, Prime Minister Olmert and every other tyrannical aggressor. I want to invite you to do what you want, practice your hostilities. By God, you will not succeed in erasing our memory, our presence or eradicating our strong belief. Your masses will soon waste away and your days are numbered. You, the oppressors, will soon witness the reversal of your fortunes. The end belongs to the fearful believers. May God's peace, blessings and mercy be upon all of you.