Saturday, July 31, 2010

South Korean newspaper exonerates North over torpedo

A South Korean newspaper claims Russian investigators have found North Korea did not torpedo one of the South's warships that sank in spring. The report says the vessel hit a mine.

Russia has not yet commented on the story.

The "Cheonan" sank off the Korean peninsula in March, with the loss of 46 sailors.

Earlier, a US-backed international investigation found Pyongyang responsible. However, Pavel Leshakov, the director of Korean studies at the Moscow State University, says the conclusion is “almost 100 per cent political.”

Watch full interview with Pavel Leshakov:

Russia sent its own team of investigators to the region last month.

North Korea has continuously denied any links to the incident.

The incident has made the tense situation on the divided peninsula even worse. But it could potentially develop to become even uglier, says investigative journalist Wayne Madsen.

“This is very critical, because if there is a smoking gun – this could have been a set-up, this was some sort of accident made look like hostile action or it was some sort of false flag attack, this could result in war against a nuclear armed-country, North Korea,” Madsen asserts.

Canadian foreign policy analyst Stephen Gowans says war in the region “could be possible, however we can also look at this as an on-going programme of the United States and South Korea to impose enormous military pressure on North Korea with the goal of seeing it collapse.”

Watch full interview with Stephen Gowans:

Pyotr Razvin from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, believes despite the high tension, the chances of an actual war are limited.

"Both North and South Korea see the perspective of a war as mutually assured destruction. If a conflict were to erupt, the Korean peninsula would be economically devastated. Besides, neighbouring China has no interest in a war on its borders either, be it a nuclear or not."

Watch the full interview with Dr. Jae-Jung Suh:

Dr. Jae-Jung Suh of the Korea Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC argued that the report presented by the international investigation faulting North Korea may have errors.

Suh’s report casts doubt on North Korea's guilt and the use of a torpedo, arguing that the evidence does not prove North Korea nor a torpedo were at fault.

“We do not argue that the North Koreans did not do it. What we are arguing is that the joint investigative group of the South Korean government has failed to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the North Korean torpedo hit the ship and sunk it,” said Suh.

He argued that the biggest inconsistency is the white power found on the ship by the investigative group; he argued that it did not result from an explosion. Lab experiments and analysis have replicated the chemical process, showing that the powder was rust from water exposure over time, aluminum hydroxide, not a result of the explosion.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign

Reuel Marc Gerecht’s screed justifying an Israeli bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening the new Israel lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House resolution 1553 expressing full support for such an Israeli attack.

What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.

That has long been the Israeli strategy for Iran, because Israel cannot fight a war with Iran without full U.S. involvement. Israel needs to know that the United States will finish the war that Israel wants to start.

Gerecht openly expresses the hope that any Iranian response to the Israeli attack would trigger full-scale U.S. war against Iran. “If Khamenei has a death-wish, he’ll let the Revolutionary Guards mine the strait, the entrance to the Persian Gulf,” writes Gerecht. “It might be the only thing that would push President Obama to strike Iran militarily….”

Gerecht suggest that the same logic would apply to any Iranian “terrorism against the United States after an Israeli strike,” by which we really means any attack on a U.S. target in the Middle East. Gerecht writes that Obama might be “obliged” to threaten major retaliation “immediately after an Israeli surprise attack.”
That’s the key sentence in this very long Gerecht argument. Obama is not going to be “obliged” to joint an Israeli aggression against Iran unless he feels that domestic political pressures to do so are too strong to resist. That’s why the Israelis are determined to line up a strong majority in Congress and public opinion for war to foreclose Obama’s options.

In the absence of confidence that Obama would be ready to come into the war fully behind Israel, there cannot be an Israeli strike.
Gerecht’s argument for war relies on a fanciful nightmare scenario of Iran doling out nuclear weapons to Islamic extremists all over the Middle East. But the real concern of the Israelis and their lobbyists, as Gerecht’s past writing has explicitly stated, is to destroy Iran’s Islamic regime in a paroxysm of U.S. military violence.

Gerecht first revealed this Israeli-neocon fantasy as early as 2000, before the Iranian nuclear program was even taken seriously, in an essay written for a book published by the Project for a New American Century. Gerecht argued that, if Iran could be caught in a “terrorist act,” the U.S. Navy should “retaliate with fury”. The purpose of such a military response, he wrote, should be to “strike with truly devastating effect against the ruling mullahs and the repressive institutions that maintain them.”

And lest anyone fail to understand what he meant by that, Gerecht was more explicit: “That is, no cruise missiles at midnight to minimize the body count. The clerics will almost certainly strike back unless Washington uses overwhelming, paralyzing force."

In 2006-07, the Israeli war party had reason to believed that it could hijack U.S. policy long enough to get the war it wanted, because it had placed one of its most militant agents, David Wurmser, in a strategic position to influence that policy.

We now know that Wurmser, formerly a close adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu and during that period Vice President Dick Cheney’s main adviser on the Middle East, urged a policy of overwhelming U.S. military force against Iran. After leaving the administration in 2007, Wurmser revealed that he had advocated a U.S. war on Iran, not to set back the nuclear program but to achieve regime change.

"Only if what we do is placed in the framework of a fundamental assault on the survival of the regime will it have a pick-up among ordinary Iranians,” Wurmser told The Telegraph. The U.S. attack was not to be limited to nuclear targets but was to be quite thorough and massively destructive. “If we start shooting, we must be prepared to fire the last shot. Don't shoot a bear if you're not going to kill it."
Of course, that kind of war could not be launched out of the blue. It would have required a casus belli to justify a limited initial attack that would then allow a rapid escalation of U.S. military force. In 2007, Cheney acted on Wurmser’s advice and tried to get Bush to provoke a war with Iran over Iraq, but it was foiled by the Pentagon.

As Wurmser was beginning to whisper that advice in Cheney’s ear in 2006, Gerecht was making the same argument in The Weekly Standard:
Bombing the nuclear facilities once would mean we were declaring war on the clerical regime. We shouldn't have any illusions about that. We could not stand idly by and watch the mullahs build other sites. If the ruling mullahs were to go forward with rebuilding what they'd lost--and it would be surprising to discover the clerical regime knuckling after an initial bombing run--we'd have to strike until they stopped. And if we had any doubt about where their new facilities were (and it's a good bet the clerical regime would try to bury new sites deep under heavily populated areas), and we were reasonably suspicious they were building again, we'd have to consider, at a minimum, using special-operations forces to penetrate suspected sites.
The idea of waging a U.S. war of destruction against Iran is obvious lunacy, which is why U.S. military leaders have strongly resisted it both during the Bush and Obama administrations. But Gerecht makes it clear that Israel believes it can use its control of Congress to pound Obama into submission. Democrats in Congress, he boasts, “are mentally in a different galaxy than they were under President Bush.” Even though Israel has increasingly been regarded around the world as a rogue state after its Gaza atrocities and the commando killings of unarmed civilians on board the Mavi Marmara, its grip on the U.S. Congress appears as strong as ever.

Moreover, polling data for 2010 show that a majority of Americans have already been manipulated into supporting war against Iran – in large part because more than two-thirds of those polled have gotten the impression that Iran already has nuclear weapons. The Israelis are apparently hoping to exploit that advantage. “If the Israelis bomb now, American public opinion will probably be with them,” writes Gerecht. “Perhaps decisively so.”

Netanyahu must be feeling good about the prospects for pressuring Barack Obama to join an Israeli war of aggression against Iran. It was Netanyahu, after all, who declared in 2001, “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in US national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is the United States a Dictatorship?

alt Unfortunately for some decades now the past Presidents and key members of the US Government have been on one continuous war footing. They have embarked on an extremely aggressive foreign policy and taken over the role of policing the world in place of the United Nations. It is clearly evident that as far as the United States is concern you had better “Do as I say or else.”
This aggressiveness is so advanced it is no longer possible to negotiate with them on a fair and balanced playing field. This policy is not only confined to the US but also extends over in the UK, France, Germany and Israel which has basically made each of their leaders and respective governments very unpopular with the people.
It is a known fact that when a leader or government reaches an all time low it is time to assert your authority, spread fear or mass hysteria amongst your populations and then take your country to war, all of which in on false pretenses.
We have seen this time and time again with the wars in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza, Pakistan and now Yemen and Somalia. One can now see two other wars on the horizon as a direct result of their big bully tactics.
What gives the US and its allies the right to police the world and say who should be allowed to develop nuclear energy or nuclear weapons when they themselves remain unchecked? What gives these countries the right to dictate what any country can or cannot do when they themselves are carrying out a massive programme of deceit?
What allows them to hide behind this so called Non Proliferation Treaty in reducing the amount of WMD’s when they are not only developing them bus also using them on a daily basis?
It is clearly evident that the US, UK, NATO Members and Israel are using their weapons of “Mass Destruction” totally unchecked in all the past and current areas of conflict. The aftermath of this totally irresponsible action has basically contaminated the entire Middle East and the world beyond.
To prove that this is not just hearsay we have to look at the gallant efforts of a small group of dedicated people who put themselves at great risk to reveal the truth to the world.
altOn such person is Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster who recently compiled a report on a survey carried out in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.
The city of Fallujah as we all know received a bombardment of WMD weapons by the US and coalition forces resulting in an horrific rise in birth defects and many forms of cancer. One could go well beyond Fallujah to learn that as a direct result of the use of these weapons, almost every location in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Gaza and the entire Middle East and beyond have been severely contaminated with weapons that contain uranium components.
Let’s just take a look at some comments made in the UK’s Independent newspaper on Saturday as written by Patrick Cockburn: Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.
Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs.
Dr Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi are the authors of a report titled: “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009"
The survey was carried out by a team of 11 researchers in January and February this year who visited 711 houses in Fallujah. A questionnaire was filled in by householders giving (4,800 individuals) details of cancers, birth outcomes and infant mortality. It was interesting to note that the Iraqi Government tried to encourage people not to take part in this survey!
The report revealed evidence of a sharp rise in cancer and congenital birth defects. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report also stated that the types of cancer are “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout.”
Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says “what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people.”
altThe findings also revealed dramatic changes in the sex ratio between newborn boys and girls. In a normal population this is 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls, but for those born from 2005 there was an 18 per cent drop in male births, so the ratio was 850 males to 1,000 females. The sex-ratio is an indicator of genetic damage that affects boys more than girls. A similar change in the sex-ratio was discovered after Hiroshima.
What we are looking at in Fallujah also applies to the City of Basrah and many other locations around the region. I am convinced that the amount of weapons used in Afghanistan for instance is much higher than those used in Iraq. These same weapons are also being used by the US in Northern Pakistan and as we have seen so many times before the contamination does not identify any borders. The radioactive nano particles drift on the wind and carry out their deadly work well beyond the fields of battle.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the Israeli Government allowed both US and Israeli made “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to be used in and around the Gaza Strip with exactly the same projected outcome. This contamination also crossed over the border into Israel itself, West Bank and all adjacent countries such as Jordon, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria etc.
This now brings us back onto the topic of the US/Israeli threat currently being made against Iran. We can clearly see that they are both geared up for conflict with the doubling up of the weapons stockpile in both Israel and Diego Garcia. In the Persian Gulf there are several US Carrier groups with supporting vessels armed with Tomahawk Cruise Missiles including US Marine amphibious vessels and attack submarines. As one would expect the US are supported by other NATO vessels and also the Israeli Navy with its Dolphin Class Submarines that are armed with nuclear missiles.
There is also another large battle group in the Eastern Mediterranean, consisting of a large US Carrier group from the 6th Fleet, A French carrier and several other naval vessels from Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Spain etc. On could also expect a carrier group to be operational in the Red Sea all of whom are capable of a united strike on Iran.
altAs we have seen before this build-up is not only significant but would appear to be an indication of some pending action. In the case of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s now a matter of waiting for the right time.
One can expect a significant “False Flag” incident to take place in the near future in order for the US to justify an attack on Iran…..this could be at any location within the US, UK or other NATO partner country and obviously this will then be blamed onto Iran. As we have seen so many times before any US led plan will implicate all other NATO countries based on “An attack on one is an attack on all.”
This strategy by the US of manipulating all NATO countries is done so as not to tarnish the US too much as being the instigator and immediately allows the US to control the conflict as well as demanding that all NATO countries provide suitable forces to combat the problem.
The current US Foreign Policy towards Iran is not only heavy handed but is also operating outside of the United Nations. Any attack on Iran would be considered catastrophic to say the least and would involve thousands of weapons that contain depleted uranium components as well as real nuclear weapons. Should this attack take place it will spread radiation charged nano particles around the entire Middle East within 2 days and the rest of the world within 1-2 weeks.
What makes this US intimidation of Iran so absurd is the fact that it is secretly assisting Israel to develop its own nuclear programme. Israel is not a signatory to the NPT and therefore this is a very clever way for the US to assist in nuclear development and use that to its own advantage. This evil and sinister under the table deal will allow Israel to increase its stockpile and at the same time allow the US to share that stockpile in much the same way it has done when Obama allowed the US military to double the US arms stockpile in Israel. This extremely clever covert operation now allows the transfer of arms from military to military without going through Congress in the normal way (US Department of Defense Transmittal Notice).
altOver on the other side of the world we have the same situation developing between the US/South Korea and North Korea with a massive military build up on both sides. What makes this entire scenario absurd is that it has nothing to do with nuclear development or towing the line but rather a Geo Political stance by the US in attempting to control the world’s natural resources or to acquire world markets for its own companies etc.
So the big showdown looms on the horizon and all are on full standby waiting for the US to find justification to attack one or both locations. We could also assume that because of the sensitivity of such an attack China would be pulled into the conflict as well as possible support from Syria, and Lebanon etc. Either way it again reveals the total arrogance of the Obama regime who now has the full support of the US, France, Germany and Israel.
It is my opinion that the West has miscalculated the military might of Iran and could well regret such an attack. Iran is very well prepared and is likely to respond with a significant retaliatory attack that could be extremely devastating for Israel in so many ways.
Environmentally speaking it would be catastrophic for the entire Middle East and the world leading to mass genocide in many countries. From the New World Order perspective this type of depopulation is what they have been working on for some considerable time. No doubt the likes of Kissinger and Cheney would be rubbing there hands together with great joy should this conflict eventuate.
It is time for Congress and the people of the US and the world to read between the lines and to fully understand that Obama and his NPT is a total cover up and that the true “Axis of Evil” is right in the heart of the White House, Wall Street and Central London.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

US and Colombia Plan to Attack Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced this Saturday US plans to attack his country and overthrow his government. During a ceremony celebrating the 227th birthday of Independence hero Simon Bolivar, Chavez read from a secret memo he had been sent from an unnamed source inside the United States.

“Old friend, I haven’t seen you in years. As I said to you in my three prior letters, the idea remains the generation of a conflict on your western border”, read Chavez from the secret missive.

“The latest events confirm all, or almost all, of what those here discussed as well as other information that I have obtained from above”, the letter continued.

“The preparation phase in the international community, with the help of Colombia, is in plain execution”, manifested the text, referring to last Thursday’s session in the Organization of American States (OAS), during which the Colombia government accused Venezuela of harboring “terrorists” and “terrorist training camps” and gave the Chavez government a “30-day ultimatum” to allow for international intervention.

The letter continued with more details, “I told you before that the events wouldn’t begin before the 26th, but for some reason they have moved forward several actions that were supposed to be executed afterward”.

“In the United States, the execution phase is accelerating, together with a contention force, as they call it, towards Costa Rica with the pretext of fighting drug trafficking”.

On July 1, the Costan Rican government authorized 46 US war ships and 7,000 marines into their maritime and land territory.

The true objective of this military mobilization, said the letter, is to “support military operations” against Venezuela.


“There is an agreement between Colombia and the US with two objectives: one is Mauricio and the other is the overthrow of the government”, revealed the document. President Chavez explained that “Mauricio” is a pseudynom used in these communications.

“The military operation is going to happen”, warned the text, “and those from the north will do it, but not directly in Caracas”.

“They will hunt ‘Mauricio’ down outside Caracas, this is very important, I repeat, this is very important”.

President Chavez revealed that he had received similar letters from the same source alerting him to dangerous threats. He received one right before the capture of more than 100 Colombian paramilitaries in the outskirts of Caracas that were part of an assassination plan against the Venezuelan head of state, and another in 2002, just days before the coup d’etat that briefly outsted him from power. “The letter warned of snipers and the coup”, explained Chavez, “and it was right, the information was true, but we were unable to act to prevent it”.


This information comes on the heels of the decision last Thursday to break relations between Colombia and Venezuela, made by President Chavez after Colombia’s “show” in the OAS.

“Uribe is capable of anything”, warned Chavez, announcing that the country was on maximum altert and the borders were being reinforced.

Last October, Colombia and the US signed a military agreement permitting the US to occupy seven Colombian bases and to use all Colombian territory as needed to complete missions. One of the bases in the agreement, Palanquero, was cited in May 2009 US Air Force documents as necessary to “conduct full spectrum military operations” in South America and combat the threat of “anti-US governments” in the region.

Palanquero was also signaled as critical to the Pentagon’s Global Mobility Strategy, as outlined in the February 2009 White Paper: Air Mobility Command Global En Route Strategy, “USSOUTHCOM has identified Palanquero, Colombia (German Olano Airfield SKPQ), as a cooperative security location (CSL). From this location nearly half of the continent can be covered by a C-17 without refueling”.

The 2010 Pentagon budget included a $46 million USD request to improve the installations at Palanquero, in order to support the Command Combatant’s “Theater Posture Strategy” and “provide for a unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub region of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-US governments, endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters”.

The May 2009 Air Force document further added that Palanquero would be used to “increase our capacity to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach…and expand expeditionary warfare capability”.

In February 2010, the US National Directorate of Intelligence (NDI) classified Venezuela as “Anti-US Leader” in the region in its annual threat assessment.

The US also maintains forward operation locations (small military bases) in Aruba and Curazao, just miles off the Venezuelan coast. In recent months, the Venezuelan government has denounced unauthorized incursions of drone planes and other military aircraft into Venezuelan territory, originating from the US bases.

These latest revelations evidence that a serious, and unjustified conflict is brewing fast against Venezuela, a country with a vibrant democracy and the largest oil reserves in the world.

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the first central ceremony honoring martyrs' children

The speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during the first central ceremony honoring martyrs' children who have reached the stage of self dependence held at Shahed School in Beirut Southern Suburb on Sunday afternoon.

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the world. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household, chosen companions and all prophets and messengers. Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters! Peace be upon you all and Allah's mercy and blessing.

I would like to start this solemn occasion with a Hadith said by the Prince of Believers Ali Bin Abi Taleb (Peace be upon him) while he was articulating his will on the bed of death – martyrdom death. It's a Hadith he quotes the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) as saying. He says: I have heard the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) saying: "Whoever supported an orphan until he (the latter) is independent, Allah will obligatorily reward him with Heaven as He will obligatorily reward the robber of the orphan's money with Hell".

Today we meet in this dear and solemn occasion. When we meet in the first honoring ceremony that means this is the establishing meeting Inshallah on which successive meetings for honoring the children of martyrs who have reached self dependence will be based in the years to come.

That means the stage "until he is independent" which was mentioned in the Hadith. The choice of timing made by the Martyr's Institution is quite appropriate as it is very symbolic and has several important indications on the intellectual, cultural, mobilization, psychological and spiritual levels. That's because on this very day – July 25th – a young man, who came from a family which had lost the father and the supporter in the path of resistance, was martyred. This young man lived with his mother, relatives and family and under the patronage of the Martyr's Institution along with all who back this Institution. When he reached the stage of independence, he chose his own way. No one obliged him to become a fighter in the resistance. This is the distinctive mark of the resistance fighters. We have always said that there is no compulsory recruitment. The specialty of the resistance fighters is that they choose this way – the way of jihad, martyrdom and victory willingly with all their awareness and cognition though still in their prime ages. This young man was martyred in the heroic confrontations of Ainata. We know that Ainata confrontation of July War were part and parcel of the greater battle combated by several Israeli brigades to occupy the city of Bint Jbeil with the purpose of reaching the field on which the victory celebration was held on May 25th, 2000 so that Olmert or the chief of staff or the Leader of the Northern Region deliver a speech there and announce that Israel is the house of steel. However martyr Ahmad Jaghbeer along with all his brethren martyrs and resistance fighters in 2006 renewed and stressed the saying that Israel is even frailer than the spider web.

Martyr Ahmad whose day of martyrdom was chosen to be an annual day to hold this honoring celebration is the son of martyr Hassan Jaghbeer. In Lebanon they forget quickly. At times they are unfair to martyrs. Martyr Hassan is one of the resistance leaders. I personally knew him. He is one of the resistance lions and strong men. He is the leader of Rihan Operation which was staged – I believe in 1993 - with the aim of capturing Israeli soldiers to set free the detainees in Khiam Prison and in Israeli detention centers. Martyr Hassan – the hero, strong-hearted, resistance fighter and leader – fell, and his family and children were raised on this path. Thus Martyr Ahmad was the martyr son for the martyr father. You have seen a while ago and I do not have to reiterate – though it's my honor to reiterate and reverberate the names of our martyr fathers among our resistance fighters as well as their martyr sons – the names and photos of the martyrs, and my brethrens have fulfilled some of the duties of reminding of the names of these martyrs and honoring these martyrs' families.

Today we meet here and our celebration embosoms around 220 young men and girls from among the sons and daughters of our martyrs in a ceremony that crowns the stage of support and guardianship. Many coupled efforts and cooperated so that they achieve this stage, and thus many sides deserve to be thanked and shown gratitude to. If I were to set them in order, first the good returns to the wives of the martyrs (meaning the mothers of the martyrs' orphans). In fact, many of the wives were still at their prime lives when their husbands were martyred. Still many of them insisted that they assume this great responsibility with the absence of the supporter – meaning bringing up these orphans as well as supporting them. The mother of the orphans – i.e. the wife of the martyr – is an evident manifestation of the Prophetic Tradition I mentioned a while ago. I know many blessed and noble wives of martyrs and I know how much they endured and offered to protect these orphaned young men and girls and small sons and daughters to present them therefore to this nation and people and for them to assume new responsibilities. The family, grandfathers, grandmothers and the larger family also come at equal footing. I really do not want to put them in numerical order: the first, the second, the third… This is difficult because it varies from one case and another. There are grandfathers who assumed this responsibility which at times might be even greater. No doubt when the husband is martyred, there'll be a special responsibility and a joint responsibility. I can say pursuant to our social follow up that it is a complicated responsibility. But thanks to the faithfulness of grandfathers and wives these generations could be raised up.

Since its establishment, the Martyr's Institution had played a significant role. We must recall here the good act taken by the first establisher of the Martyr's Institution branch in Lebanon – His Eminence Sayyed Issa Tabatabai (May Allah protect him) whom I always refer to as the affectionate, loving, tenderhearted father who works behind the scenes. We remind of him today along with all the managers and officials who successively assumed running this Institution as well as all the brothers and sisters who worked in its administration, committees and agencies all through these long years. They also deserve to be thanked as well as the guardians (Kafil) who offer the support and the sustenance. On top of these guardians was the greater father Imam Khomeini (May Allah sanctify his secret) – the establisher of the Martyr's Institution. This guardianship carried on with His Eminence Leader Imam Khamenai (May Allah prolong his lifespan). This is besides the continuing support from the Islamic Republic in Iran of which we are proud. It is an open support for human, social and jihadi guardianship which does not aim to distort anyone's image. This is also besides the generous support of the great number of guardians. The guardian (Kafil) is a conventional religious term. All through the procession of the prophets (pbut) there were orphans' guardians. Zachariah took care and had the orphan Marian (pbuh) under his guardianship. Allah had made Zachariah the guardian of Mariam. Abdulmutalib (May Allah have mercy on him) was the guardian of Mohammad (pbuh) and after him Abu Taleb (pbuh) was his guardian. So this issue existed in religious and human culture since ancient times. I bear witness for guardians that they have a high degree of love, faithfulness, generosity and benediction. They supported to a great degree the projects of the Martyr's Institution especially those that have to do with the martyrs' orphans all through these past years.

The policy or general trend was the martyrs' orphans remain in their homes among their families and not to go to boarding schools. Indeed that does not discredit boarding schools at all, and it is an inevitable choice in some living and social conditions, and they must be abundantly aided and supported. However from the psychological, educational and emotional perspectives, it is always stressed by divine codes and especially Islam as well as modern science that the son and daughter live under the wing of their mother and along with their brothers and sisters and enjoy the guardianship of their grandparents and the larger family. This was always the obsession, and all those whom I mentioned a while ago, joined efforts and cooperated so that this policy works. With the aid of the martyrs' wives – meaning the mothers of the orphans – the grandfathers, the grandmothers, the institution and the guardians, we could put this policy into action to a very great degree. Thus when we present today a generation of martyrs' orphans, we present a generation of young men and girls who possess all natural – even advanced – characteristics. This can easily be detected for where are these orphans – the sons and daughters of martyrs – who have reached this stage? What do they do? What are they offering to their community, people and country? So we have got this excellent result: we have a generation of martyrs' sons and daughters who grow up, study, pass and graduate, work and get along normally in their path and in their lives.

I would like to add two other Traditions to the one I recited at the beginning. They are both cited by the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) to stress that sponsorship, guardianship, educational care and financial support are a part of jihad and resistance. They are among the deeds which have a great status as regarded by Allah Al Mighty and they have a grand reward on Doom's Day. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) was narrated as saying: "Whoever supports three orphans is as a worshipper who prays all night long and fasts during the day while unsheathing his sword for the sake of Allah (the worshipper fighter) and I will be with him in Heaven like two brothers as these two – and he pointed to the forefinger and the middle finger". Imagine that the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) is telling everyone of us that whoever wants to have the status of the worshipper fighter and whoever wants to be my brother in Heaven has to support three orphans and not more. He did not demand much; he did not say ten or twenty or a thousand. This is a glad tiding made by the Prophet of Allah for all guardians.

There is another Tradition that has many blessings to be bestowed in the Hereafter. The Prophet of Allah is indicating for us the way leading to personal worldly blessings as well. A man came to the Prophet of Allah and complained of his hardheartedness. The Prophet of Allah was then quoted as saying: "Would you like your heart to become soft and thus have your need fulfilled? Then have mercy on orphans and put your palm on their heads. Let him eat from your very food then your heart will become soft and you will have your need fulfilled." This is an educational path, while in this world, specialized modern sciences are still creeping in their primary stages. This Tradition is 1400 years old. This good tiding from the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) must be satisfactory for guardians and sponsors.

Another word for the sons and daughters. The policy of the Institution in the previous stage was the aid used to come from the guardian to a specific person. So and so provides for such and such orphan whether a boy or a girl. The brethrens in the Institution used to make a special relation between the guardian and the orphan whether visits, correspondence… Indeed this was pursuant to the wish of a great number of guardians. However we always make reviews - it is not that we only call on people to make reviews – in everything whether in politics, social work, cultural work, resistance, organization… So we made a review some years ago and we came out with this outcome. So it's not the Institution alone which assumes the responsibility of this outcome. I am one of those who carried on this review and insisted on making this amendment to this effect: Let's make the guardianship with no names. There is no need for the person who wants to provide for an orphan to say I provide for so and so orphan. That's because at times and due to fame or being well-known in the media there won't be a sense of fairness. In fact there is no capability of being fair. There is rather lack and incapability in this perspective. So sustenance might come for some orphans and not for others and this is unfair.

Second, we have concluded that from the educational, moral and psychological levels it is better that the orphan do not feel as if his guardian is begrudging him anything. Whoever provides for an orphan is working for this world and the Hereafter. When we support these orphans whether of martyrs or others, we are rather fulfilling some of the responsibilities we shoulder. So we found it more appropriate and sound that the project be modified in a way in which the guardian might provide for one, two or three orphans and leave it up to the Institution to allot and categorize the sustenance so as to achieve justice and observe all the moral, psychological and educational influences we want to preserve. Thus I hope the ladies and gentlemen guardians would consider this policy Inshallah. This is also better for them because it is a kind of secret charity which makes man closer to Allah and the Hereafter than to worldly considerations.

I address the sons and daughters with a brief world. Your characteristic as the sons and daughters of martyrs is an important one. As a consequence, the responsibility is greater. Always when Allah grants characteristics He builds on that responsibilities. When man's knowledge increases, his responsibilities increase. When his wealth increases, his responsibilities increase. When his control increases, his responsibilities increase. When his status among peoples grows, his responsibilities increase. Every additional specialty from Allah matches with additional responsibility. This is how the world is formed: "Today work and no account and tomorrow account and no work." Consequently, you have a greater responsibility because you belong to this pure, chase, sacrificing and giving group. Allah awards this group with the highest class. It is the class of the martyrs. Consequently, you are concerned in observing the honor of this belonging. Observing the honor of such belonging does not only mean not to commit what degrades this honor but also to do what asserts and prompts this honor of belonging.

The goals of you martyr fathers and their cause and message are a responsibility on your shoulders. The path which your martyr fathers chose and observing this path are your responsibility beside that being a general responsibility. Our lord and tutor – the master of martyrs – Sayyed Abbass Musawi (May Allah reward him with Heaven) had left us a clear will. His will is to preserve the resistance. This is as well the will of all martyrs besides being the will of the master of the resistance martyrs. Every one of us is concerned in preserving this will. Consequently the most valuable will of our martyrs is to preserve the resistance. So receive your education and work and launch into life with the spirit of love, openness and responsibility and work. Be the generation which makes the expectations and goals of your martyr fathers come true.

Being an orphan – whether to born an orphan or to become later on an orphan – must not be an impediment before one's development and progress but rather a reason to achieve high ranks and levels. We may draw examples from history: Mohammad bin Abdullah (pbuh) was born an orphan as his father was dead when he was given birth. After a short period of time, his mother died and he became double orphaned. So he was an orphan who lost both his father and his mother. Still this orphan was sheltered by Allah, and his grandfather guarded him until he became the greatest creature and the Master of all prophets, messengers and beings.

Let's take a feminine example: Lady Marian was an orphan. She lived under the wing of her mother and Zachariah guarded her. She developed until she became the Lady above the women of all nations, and Allah chose and preferred her. He chose her for such an important and lofty status and responsibility. Not every woman can be in the status of receiving a word from Allah to become the mother of the Christ (pbuh). In our Islamic religious conception – as it was proven in modern sciences – the woman or the mother is not just a container. The mother is the true factory in which Allah Al Mighty creates a body and a spirit and genes and morals and everything. From modern history, we take Imam Khomeini as an example. It is one of the wonders of fate that he was born an orphan after his father was killed as a martyr. Then after several years, his mother died and his elder brother became his guardian. This orphan however became the greatest personality and the maker of the greatest revolution in the 20th century.

So orphanage is not an impediment and does not pose a problem before the will and determination of any human being. I tell the young men and girls and the families of martyrs, fathers of martyrs, mothers of martyrs and wives of martyrs: These martyrs, for 30 years, have been the most important symbols of this country and the nation. They are the best victory and history makers of this nation. They protected its dignity, honor and existence.

Through this ceremony I would like to tell you and everyone who is listening: These martyrs were most precious to us. We, as a resistance movement, have offered our precious fathers, sons, dear ones whether men, women or children. Every one of the martyrs' families or those who have an emotional or jihadi relation with the families of martyrs say that in this procession we have offered those who are most precious to us. Here we may vary pursuant to the nature of this relation. For example, I myself in this procession lost those who were most precious to me in the path of martyrdom and jihad for the sake of Allah: my teacher - Sayyed Abbass Al-Musawi - and many dear brothers and the most precious among them was Hajj Imad Moghniyyeh. So every one of us feels this meaning and knows it.

Thus, according to us, the resistance is not only an intellectual, cultural, jihadi or political project. This resistance is molded with our blood, sweat, the tears of our eyes, our sighs, our night awakenings, our toil and our sacrifices. Here I would like to say something to the whole world: The Resistance in which path and to achieve its goals we offered the most precious things we have has become the most precious thing for us and we will not allow anyone in the world - small or big - to dishonor it at all.

On the day of honoring their children, these martyrs have an address to the Lebanese people and the Arab and Islamic peoples not to begrudge anyone anything but to remind of Allah's blessings. They want to say: See what our blood had offered to this nation, this land, this people and this nation and act accordingly. Assume your responsibilities. This is the message of the martyrs today.

These martyrs are the essence of the resistance and its pure spirit, strong determination, endless giving, unbeatable heart, crowned hope and brilliant victory. For thirty years, their blood has foiled all great plots that threatened Lebanon, Palestine and the region since 1982. I do not really wish to repeat myself. I have often tackled in various occasions the scheme of 1982 for Lebanon and the region which you all know. The Resistance foiled this scheme. In 2000 the resistance delivered the deathblow to the most dangerous scheme for the region –namely the scheme of greater Israel – and it gave the finishing stroke for greater Israel scheme when it imposed on the Israelis to pull out from our land unconditionally.

In 2006, the project was the neo great Middle East. It was the US project for which achievement the US administration spent billions of dollars and mobilized the greatest political and media machineries in human history. I do not mean Lebanon. I am talking about the region. For this project, wars were waged in the region, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Other countries like Iran and Syria were threatened by war. The interests of international, regional and international forces met in this project. It was the resistance which put an end to this project in 2006 thanks to the chaste pure blood of these young men who were 18, 19, 20 and 25 years old along with the wounded, martyrs, captives, fighters and noble, kind giving and tolerant masses. Consequently, this resistance through its endless sacrifices, faithfulness, offerings and very existence and through its victories and achievements also could reserve for itself an advanced status in Lebanon, in the region and in the world. It is a moral spiritual status which expresses the extent of respect, esteem and recognition. The resistance of Hezbollah in particular could reserve this status and pass across all obstacles. The Islamic resistance is respected by Christians. It is the resistance which comprises overwhelming Shiite masses and is respected by Sunnites. It is a Lebanese resistance which is respected by the rest of Arabs. It is the Arab resistance which is respected by all non-Arab Muslims. It is the resistance which is respected by every oppressed and persecuted people in the Third World and all over the world as representing strength, hope and the sample to be followed.

The resistance has not gained this status for free or through advertisement, speeches, promotions, overbidding and slogans. It was rather gained through blood, sacrifices, tears, patience, achievements and great victories. It could reserve for itself and for Lebanon an advanced status in the regional equation. This is unprecedented. Lebanon has always been a receiver. The owners of the theory of "The wars on others on our land" say that Lebanon is a receiver rather than an actor. If we used the term receiver we would be using respectable terms. This resistance, which does not mean Hezbollah only but also all the resistance fighters and all those who support it, is the only resistance in the history of Lebanon (I say in the history of Lebanon because I have been reading about the history of Lebanon for several months) which makes Lebanon in the heart of the regional equation. It makes Lebanon active, present and an influential player and not a manipulated receiver. This was not achieved by the theory of Lebanon's strength in its weakness, through flopping in others' projects nor through being strong by others. Brothers and sisters! There is a difference between being strong by others and sustaining support from others. Syria assisted the resistance in Lebanon. Iran supported the resistance in Lebanon. Many of the noble backed the resistance in Lebanon. But it is the resistance in Lebanon which fought. It is you who fought, endured and made the achievement. Thus it is the resistance which gave Lebanon this statue quo.

Unfortunately, the enemies of Lebanon appreciate what Lebanon possesses more than some of the Lebanese. Thus they conspire and scheme against Lebanon to snatch this thing which is possessed by Lebanon. This possession makes Lebanon steady in face of all the quakes and cyclones that winded or might wind over the region. This possession makes it present in the regional equation. This possession makes Lebanon respectable before the whole world. It is not only that delegations come to Lebanon but also if you are welcomed abroad it is because there is a resistance in Lebanon as well as a resisting people and a resisting will. I would like to stress again that I do not mean by resistance a specific party but rather all of this presence, all of these masses, all of this people and all of this will.

They know very well the value of this possession. They may bargain on gas in the sea and agree with you over a settlement. They might bargain with you on oil in the sea as well. But they can never bargain on the Resistance. They will never bargain on you being strong, steady, prideful and high-headed in confronting the enemy and in confronting those who categorize themselves in the very camp with the enemy. Still before our dear people, you are humble. You make concessions. You are the loving and the caring. They know what you possess. Thus they want to snatch it from you. They tried in July War (Inshallah we will speak about that in the ceremony which will be held for the occasion. We had the intention to hold the celebration on October 30th. We usually used to celebrate on August 14th but this year it comes in the month of Ramadan. We did not really wish to bother people. We discussed the issue and chose July 30th which comes between July and August. We preserve in this date the name of July while being about to usher into August. However and in compliance with the wish of His Excellency The President of the Republic and because on Friday it seems senior guests will come to this country – and we are a hospitable country – the president has a program for these senior guests and he wants the media to follow with it with much interest. Thus we accepted to postpone the celebration until Tuesday August 3rd instead of Friday July 30th. Then we will talk more. But in that war they wanted to crush the resistance and not to disarm the resistance, nor drive the resistance away from south Litany nor make the resistance incapable of firing rockets. No! Everyone, whether big or small, knows that. This country is really comic. There is one point which is known by everyone and which everyone tackles in councils and builds on it scenarios. But when you come to discuss with them this very issue they would say: Who said so? This is not true." Everyone knew that the aim of July war was to crush the resistance but they failed to do so. They came in July War to crush the resistance but it rather crushed their arrogance and foiled their scheme.

It's clear that the scheme then was to distort the image of the resistance. What's their problem with Hezbollah? Their problem with Hezbollah is not that it is a political party. We are accepted as a political party. Europeans, Asians and Arabs meet with us. There is not any meeting between us and some people because we do not want to meet with them and not vice versa. Even the Americans made many attempts to meet with us but we did not meet with them. There are political analysts who see now that there is a debate in the USA as they want to have talks with our party to spare efforts. They tried in 2000 to have talks with us but we stopped the dialogue. We stopped the dialogue because we believe that America is Israel. It supports, adopts, defends, arms and invests Israel. It's America which waged the war in July. Israel executed it.

Anyway, we are accepted as a political party. We have our mps in the parliament and our ministers in the cabinet. We are accepted in political life and the national dialogue and so on.

The problem with them then is not that Hezbollah is a political party. On the contrary, even the Americans wish that the party becomes totally political. This exists in their courtesies. Their problem with Hezbollah isn't either that Hezbollah is an Islamic movement. No, there are some Islamic movements which have ties and friendship relations with America.

The problem with Hezbollah is that it's a resistance. The problem with Hezbollah and the parties which follow its sample is that it refuses to have its country Lebanon weak, it refuses to have a fake protection for its country and it refuses to have anyone in the world imposing on it humiliating conditions.

This is their problem with Hezbollah. It's because it refuses a US-Israeli settlement which wants to confiscate the land and deny a whole people – millions of Palestinians – the right to return to their homes and fields to live in dignity.

This is their problem with Hezbollah, and this has no settlement. Hereof I tell you: It can't be settled. Thus the war on the Resistance will continue in all its forms. Every one of us has heard – we do not invent anything – Feltman himself saying so. He was obliged to admit that before the Congress which questions him and holds him responsible. He said: Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in Lebanon. Where did you spend it? What was the result? Now did not the Americans confess that their project in Lebanon failed? They flopped, and there is pleasure when someone acknowledges his enemy. When Israelis and Americans are defeated, they tell you we lost and where they were defeated. Indeed in Lebanon and in the Arab world, no one loses, no one flops, and no one is defeated. Everyone gains victory. This is a positive point as far as our enemy is concerned. For example, in July War, Israel unanimously said that it was defeated and that it lost and was disappointed. Its politicians, military men, people, parties, media, government, Knesset, press and religious men unanimously met on that. However, in the Arab world, how are we to acknowledge that there is a resistance in Lebanon which defeated Israel? In as much as this is embarrassing to Israel, it is embarrassing to some Arabs. Israelis accepted to be embarrassed and are making a review. Still some Arabs are not ready to be embarrassed and to make a review. So they resorted to the new topic which is distorting the image (of Hezbollah). Feltman said they spent 500 million dollars to distort the image of Hezbollah. What was the outcome? Now I would like to answer because we want to build on that and say why we are not afraid on ourselves or on our image. However, we are afraid on the country and on environment which some want to evoke in the country.

Indeed the result was but failure. This is not the first time. Since 1982 – if you went back in history – you would see what used to be written in America, Europe and the world and even in the Arab world. It's not that we are being whipped in the world for four years. Since we were born we are being whipped. Since 1982 we are being whipped and our image, reputation and dignity are being offended. However then we hadn't the capabilities to defend ourselves. There were no television, no radio station, no internet and no Arab satellite even. The status of controlling the media was limited and centralized. However the circumstances are different now. America did not spend 500 million dollars only over 28 years. It spent hundreds of millions of dollars to distort the image of the resistance in Lebanon and in Palestine. What was the outcome?

I do not have to say more. The Americans carried out polls in the Arab and Islamic world. Always the resistance came in the first rank, the symbols of the resistance in the region ranked the first and the resistance presidents in the region are always first. This is the mood of our region, peoples and nation.

So they want to put off the light of Allah with the mouths. They spent to put off this light hundreds of thousands if not billions of dollars and are still spending. However, they always had counter outcomes. Today they want to usher from another gate, and this is what have moved us to stir this cause in the past few days. They want to usher via the general prosecutor and the STL and to exploit a noble, humanistic, emotional cause which is a point of consensus in Lebanon, the Arab world, the Islamic world and the whole world – meaning the cause of Premier martyr Rafic Hariri.

Much was said, and I am not in the status of answering anyone. I will only continue what I intended to say from the very beginning. That's because from the very first day, I organized my ideas: The Day of the wounded, the press conference, the day of honoring the martyrs' children, July War anniversary and the wrap up will be a press conference before the commence of the month of Ramadan. Expect it then before August 11th. I also organized what I want to tackle on this cause because the country can not tolerate saying all what I have to say all at once. Since I am concerned for this country and because Hezbollah is concerned for this country, I will say what I want to say step by step so that we may secure the protection of the country and the resistance and not for any other reason.

Everyone in Lebanon wants to know the truth about the assassination of Premier martyr Rafic Hariri. This has nothing to do with sects, parties or regions. This case enjoys national consensus. Consequently, we all back tackling this issue again and again. Everyone in Lebanon unanimously agrees on that. It is not a familial issue. Here I say: No one called on the family of Premier martyr Rafic Hariri, neither on his kind wife nor on his honored sons or daughters to discard with the truth or neglect it or forget all about this file. Never! They will not do that, and no one called on them to do that either. The cause of Premier martyr Rafic Hariri is not anymore a familial cause so that his family gives it up or not. It is the cause of a family and a people. In the press conference, I said that everyone in Lebanon and the region paid for the repercussions of the assassination with different ratios. We all want to know the truth first, and we all want to bring about justice. When we know the truth, I tell you that we from now call for bringing about justice and not for an amnesty. We are not overbidding. We have a view over what took place and over what might take place. Thus all the Lebanese must cooperate and muster efforts.

The origin of the argument in Lebanon over the STL and prior to it over the international investigation committee from the very beginning is as follows: Are we to trust an investigation committee which is constituted by the Americans, the British government, the so and so states and which comprises officials from the intelligence apparatuses which are closely related to the Israel Mosad to deal with such a serious cause? This was our question from the very beginning: Does such a committee accomplish the goal or not?

Does the track which the investigation committee took lead to the truth and consequently to justice or not? That's because there are two stages: Justice is based on knowing the truth, and anything based on anything other than the truth is but injustice, an aggression and a double assassination to Premier martyr Rafic Hariri because it neglects the killers and punishes the innocent. Consequently, the important and primary stage is to know the truth. Now was the conduct and performance of the investigation committee before forming the STL and turning it to a general prosecutor a conduct that would lead for knowing the truth?

No, and I have my evidences and proofs which I will talk about. The committee was not qualified to reach the truth. As we always used to say, what leads to the truth is a neutral, technical, transparent and scientific investigation. Such an investigation with such characteristics puts forward all the assumptions over who might be the murderer of Premier martyr Rafic Hariri. We make a list of whoever has the motive, interest and capability to do that. So we have a group of assumptions. Work on them. However the investigation committee never worked as such. I am saying this to everyone who respected knowing the truth and I believe called for knowing the truth. The investigation committee never adopted this technique. It rather from the very beginning headed to one assumption. In investigation we put all assumptions and investigate but what they did is that they set an accusation and issued a sentence and then went in search for evidences. No one works as such. Even more, they are still working as such.

If we did not reach the truth there will not be justice but rather oppression. We are calling for justice which is manifested in punishing the killers of Premier Rafic Hariri. As for punishing who did not kill him is but the peak of oppression. This is the point of argument and discussion. Do you really want to know the truth? We always said that we are ready to cooperate. Still is the conduct of some political forces in Lebanon, the international investigation committee, the current general prosecutor and the STL the conduct of someone who wants to know the truth? I have two evidences: First the false witnesses and second those who fabricated them.

So you, the general prosecutor, come on and summon the fake witnesses and try them for misleading the investigation.

First, there is no argument in the country that the witnesses were fake. This issue is over and no one argues over it. The fake witnesses whose names are circulated are four. The one who is still concealed, did not confess and is still carrying on in the game is Mohammad Zuheir Assideeq. As for the three other witnesses they made their statements disregarding where they are now. So you general prosecutor summon and interrogate with them. He does not want to do that under the pretext that that is not among the competences of the STL and the investigation. Isn't it among the competences of the investigation to know the truth? Isn't it among the competences of the investigation to know who misled the investigation? Isn't one of the ways of knowing the truth is to search for those who fabricated the fake witnesses to know whether they are related to the killers or not? The whole world moves as such except for the investigation committee. What about the Lebanese judiciary? It says this is not our competence as well. What about the Lebanese security apparatuses? They answer this is not our competence.

The fake witnesses misled the investigation for four years and they based on that what they did base and still it is not anyone's competence to question or investigate with them or punish and hold them accountable! Is this justice? Does anyone who seeks justice act as such? Does anyone who seeks knowing act as such either?

Did the fake witness act on their own and gave their testimonies? No. At least three other than Zuheir Assideeq said in press conferences and they have records that say: So and so came to us. So and so gave us money. So and so took us to such and such apartment. So and so told us what to say. They are all Lebanese. Moreover, foreign officials in the international investigation committee partook in fabricating these witnesses and instructing them, and they themselves confessed of that. Is not it the right of the Lebanese people and all those who loved Premier martyr Rafic Hariri to demand summoning those who fabricated the fake witnesses to mislead the investigation so that we know why they did that? Why did this mislead the investigation for four years? Who are they? Disclose them. Hold them accountable. If you don't want to hold them accountable and to punish them, at least fire them from your lines. But this is not the case; one of these fake witnesses is still living on your money and with your assistance and under your protection. Even more, those who fabricated the fake witnesses are still enjoying protection and care.

Are we to know the truth as such? Some might show up and say the Sayyed gave a tense speech to make the country tense. Well does saying the truth make the country tense? Whoever has the logic to discuss with me this question is welcome. Did these witnesses come from the skies or someone fabricated them? Who did fabricate them? Let's go and interrogate him? Let's ask him why did he fabricate them? That will lead us somewhere. Won't that help in knowing the truth? Do that then. Why don't you do that? I am not asking questions and demanding answers. I know the answers. I am raising those questions to push people to ask questions. I do not call for anything so that it comes true but rather to bring to light the evidences. Do you want me to be more open?

Today there is a discussion in the country. Today Premier Salim Al Hoss, whom everyone respects and who was harmed among those who were harmed in the past four or five years, put forth a call. He has his own classification and distribution of responsibilities. I respect anything which Premier Salim Al Hoss says whether I agree with him on this classification or not. However the idea is correct and I support it. Hezbollah supports it. It's natural that when there is a resistance which is to be aggressed against and through which a door will be opened for staging an aggression against Lebanon that the government assumes its responsibilities. This is the representation of Premier Salim Al Hoss or the National Dialogue. I support that though I did not call for the meeting. However Premier Al Hoss calls for the meeting. I am saying that is good and we respond. If the government was called upon to discuss this issue we will respond. If the National Dialogue called for that we will respond. We will respond because we are concerned about the country and the resistance. We are saying, dear people, there is a great conspiracy woven against this country and against the resistance. Let's discuss this issue then but not to search for a way out. I said in the press conference and here I am saying again: If anyone in this world wants to meet with us to discuss with us on the ground that someone from us is accused and we want to search for a way out, I won't meet with anyone. If anyone wants to meet with us to discuss with us on the ground that someone from us is accused and we want to reach a settlement, we won't meet with him. We meet with anyone rather to discuss the fact that something is being prepared. So let's see how we may confront that on the basis of righteousness, justice, law, responsibility and general interest and care. We are then ready. We are the side which is most concerned for this country, to have a national unity government and to achieve stability and security. Thus if such a conference was to be held by the government we will recommend our ministers to attend. If the National Dialogue is to hold such a conference we will recommend brother Abu Hassan (Mohammad Raad) to attend. If you want cooperation, one of the serious conditions is to head for forming a Lebanese committee. What have we to do with Belmar, the international investigation and the STL? Put them aside. We are Lebanese. Aren't we a side against which an accusation is being woven? Isn't the accusation made against three members of Hezbollah? What the Israeli media is saying is true. It meets with our information. The Israeli information stems from the heart of the investigation, Belmar's office and the STL. The very information which Israeli media tackled few days ago was tackled by security officials in Lebanon: In the first indictment they will demand three. In the second indictment which comes after a while they will demand five. In the third indictment, they will demand twenty and in the fourth indictment they will demand fifty. Whom are you playing this game on, and whom are you laughing at? In the past, once Condoleezza Rice told the Israelis to remain silent because they are devastating (the US schemes) in Lebanon. It seems that they can't do that now. They are speaking out their information. It's the Israelis and not I who are adopting the information. However much of what they are saying meet with our information. We have information and not analysis or press talk. One day all these facts will be revealed.

What are we recommending now? Form a Lebanese committee whether a parliamentary, judicial, ministerial, security or a mixed committee and let it summon the three witnesses and bring about Assideeq wherever he be. That's because they know where he is as they pay for his transportation, his salary and house rent and they provide him with protection. So they can reach him. Let them meet with them and ask them who told you to do so? Who instructed you? Who fabricated you? Who took you to the investigation? When you return we will listen from you to what took place and the new information they provided you with which you must speak it off as the rope is lying is short.

So if we really wish to do that with a serious prelude, come on this is the prelude. This is not a condition. I am not talking about conditions so that we cooperate in the country and defend the country and the resistance. We have no conditions; we rather have our presentations and ideas. Whoever wishes to prove that he is careful for knowing the truth and for establishing justice must start from here. When he looks at the faces of the politicians, media men, security men, judiciary men who are accomplices in fabricating the witnesses, he must not bear looking at their faces.

This is the normal starting point. We are careful for this country. We are open to whatever protects this country and this resistance and preserves the country's unity, stability and security. We along with all the Lebanese want to know the truth. We along with all the Lebanese want to establish justice. However we do not allow distorting the image of the resistance which is our most precious procession and for forming this resistance we offered the most precious dear ones. This is the trust and the will of the martyrs. You and we Inshallah will preserve this will and trust and carry on this path.

Our regards for all mothers of martyrs, sons and daughters of martyrs and to the audience, the generous guardians and the people of kindness and giving. May Allah make you all prosper. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Russia, Afghanistan and Starwars: Westward Hu

Russia's accommodation of the US and NATO continues apace, with new support of the Afghan war and even missile defence, notes Eric Walberg

The Atlantists are on the ascendant these days in Moscow. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's hamburger lunch with United States President Barack Obama during his visit to Silicon Valley last month apparently left a pleasant taste in his mouth. Now relations with NATO are on the mend, as Russia plans to send 27 Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan, NATO Military Committee Chairman Giampaolo di Paola said after a meeting with Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov last Friday. Rosoboronexport has even offered to throw in the first three helicopters for free.

Makarov went further, telling di Paola that Russia was now ready to work with NATO "to pool efforts to find solutions to contemporary challenges and threats to international security". Di Paola welcomed the Russian general's offer, assuring him that NATO views Moscow as a "strong strategic partner, not as a threat or an enemy". He spoke vaguely about new members having to "meet NATO standards", avoiding the U(kraine) and G(eorgia) words during their press conference. Russian and NATO experts will draft a joint action plan for 2011 within the next few months, he said.

Russian NATO Ambassadoor Dmitri Rogozin recently boasted that "Russian helicopters will ideally fit Afghan conditions: they are easy to operate, reliable, efficient and known by Afghan pilots." He offered to train Afghan pilots in addition to the Afghan police Russia is now helping train. Makarov even offered "consultancy in military and combat training based on our Afghan experience, including our mistakes". The deal is estimated at $300m though Rogozin hinted that a discount beyond the three free copters was possible and that Russia could kick in another 19 in 2012. So, if I understand this correctly, Russia's Afghan communist allies from the days of Soviet occupation are now going to man the same old Russian helicopters to kill yet more Afghan patriots, the only difference being the language the occupiers speak and their capitalist pedigree.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is also feeling the chilly wind of Russia-US detente these days. The Russian state-owned NTV, watched by millions of Belorussians, broadcast a scathing two-part documentary "The Belarusian Godfather" last week as the Kremlin was hosting leading Belarusian opposition figures, in a campaign to unseat their troublesome ally in the presidential elections next February. The Russian ire peaked last month over unpaid gas bills, disagreements over the proposed new customs union with Kazakhstan, and Lukashenko's refusal to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as it, like Russia, seeks to curry favour in Brussels. Upping the ante, a sympathetic interview with Russian nemesis Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was broadcast on Belarusian TV and Lukashenko is currently hosting deposed Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Bakiyev's overthrow was approved if not abetted by Moscow, and the comparison of Lukashenko and Bakiyev in "The Godfather-II" is a stark warning to Lukashenko that his days are numbered.

What accounts for this sudden effusion of East-West friendship, after years of complaining about NATO encirclement and missile bases in Poland?

Obama's more accommodating tone and NATO's pause in its eastward march has clearly mollified the Russians. It also looks like disagreements over Ukrainian/ Georgian membership in NATO and South Ossetian/ Abkhazian independence are all on the backburner now as the US sinks deeper and deeper into its Afghan quagmire. Russia backs the losing war there because it is very worried about the prospects of a Taliban victory. Better a pro-US dictatorship than another Islamic neighbour. Besides, the helicopter deal (and who knows what else?) will replace its $1 billion loss on Iranian missile sales.

But Afghanistan is not Belarus, and rather than moving forward and trying to reach an accommodation with Afghanistan's popular resistance movement, Russia is ignoring the lesson it learned with such pain two decades ago, gambling that the US can produce a miracle where it failed. It is also gambling that the US and NATO are too preoccupied -- and grateful to a newly nice Russia -- to try to pull off another colour revolution in Belarus, where Russia is counting on a largely pro-Russian nation finding a replacement to Lukashenko who will not cause the headaches that he, the orange, rose and tulip revolutionaries have caused.

Whatever happens in Afghanistan and Belarus, Medvedev's two greatest wishes now are to get SALT through the US senate and to pave the way for Russia to join Europe. To clinch this westward reorientation, there are now signs that Russia will do the unthinkable: work with the US on missile defence. In a New York Times oped, ex-Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov and ex-German US ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, co-chairmen of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative Commission, joined former senator Sam Nunn in calling for "North America, Europe and Russia to make defence of the entire Euro-Atlantic region against potential ballistic missile attack a joint priority". They propose the creation of a "more inclusive and better-defended Euro-Atlantic community ... what national leaders in their moment of hope at the Cold War’s close spoke of as a 'Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals whole and free for the first time in 300 years'."

Acceding to US plans for missile defence will kill Medvedev's two birds with one stone. The NYT oped panders to Russian self-image by calling for the US, EU and Russia to "undertake as equal parties to design from the ground up a common architecture to deal with the threat". It soothingly assures us that a joint Starwars will "aid progress in bolstering the nuclear nonproliferation regime". Left out of the equation is the glaring fact that a world encircled by hair-trigger missiles is more likely to be a trigger for war than peace, that the whole point of Starwars is to create facts-on-the-ground for the US empire which will allow it to dictate just what kind of world order is acceptable. As for boosting the NPT, the only way to discourage countries from emulating the nuclear powers is for them to give up their deadly weapons and stop threatening the world with them. It is naive of Russia to think it will be able to veto, say, a war on Iran or some other "offender" of what the US deems to be OK, or that countries threatened by US invasion will stop trying to acquire weapons that will make the US think twice.

This new accommodating Russia is very much in the US global interest and Obama is sure to keep courting Medvedev, despite attempts by Cold Warriors to undermine the budding friendship, as witnessed in the mock spy scandal last month. Given the new westerly wind blowing out of the Kremlin, geopolitical logic could mean an end to Brzezinski-like plans to encircle Russia. Much better to leave the problems of a remote Kyrgyzstan to a friend. Let it deal with complex ethnic and economic problems which Americans can't hope to understand or solve, using a Russian (NATO?) military base as the occasion demands rather than maintaining an unpopular US one. Ukraine? Georgia? Bela-who? Afghanistan is what's important, if it can be secured in the Western fold, with Russia in tow. And Starwars.

The goal of Obama's imperial team is to rally Russia to the US (oops, I mean NATO) flag and push on. Ivanov et al explain that if all goes well, soon along with China, we "can explore cooperation on the role and place of missile defense in a multipolar nuclear world." It looks like Medvedev has opted for US empire even as it implodes. Will Hu get the hint?
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly You can reach him at

hamburger lunch

Soviet occupation


new accommodating Russia

problems of a remote Kyrgyzstan

unpopular US one