#Nasrallah‘s speech. 20/Nov/2017.. Quick [unofficial] translation

– There are several things that have happened in the past few days that deserve discussion tonight. Before we begin, I first have to bring up the great memories in our Islamic heritage. … [not translated…] … This is my first discussion after the earthquake that impacted Iran and Iraq [impacted Iran more than Iraq], so it is my responsibility to offer condolences to all those in Iran, people and government and religious leaders, and particular the families of the injured and the victims. … In this disaster, Iran is presenting an example to the world, on the way its people, with its various ethnicities, and its relationship with the government. … I also offer condolences to all in Iraq, people and government and religious leaders. …

– The issues I want to talk about have two large headlines

(1) What has happened this past week in military victories in Syria/Iraq borders.

(2) To comment on the League of Arab States and the positions taken.

(1) We saw last week, in the Iraqi lands, the liberation of the last Iraqi city and province from the control of ISIS. Consequently the Iraqi gov’t declared that ISiS no longer controls any Iraqi city or any Iraqi province. All that remains of ISIS is in some rural areas – of desert or agricultural lands – or small villages. All provinces and cities are free of ISIS in Iraq. This is a large military victory and achievement. Iraqi forces reached the border with Syria.

We await the end of the battle against ISIS, and we await the day that the Iraqi government declares the final and complete victory against ISIS – and that day is not far.

With regards to this specific point, with regards to us, we – from the start of the ISIS conspiracy in Iraq – and with coordination with the Iraqi government- we sent a large number of our jihadi cadres. They needed experts and trainers, and we sent a large number of them from the start. We had martyrs and injured there over the few years. We consider that we contributed modestly and humbly. If we find that these individuals are no longer needed there, they will return to any field that is required of them. So, for us as Hezbollah, we would be facing a new victory and we are awaiting the complete victory. This has nothing to do with the League of Arab States’s declaration, but because ISIS has been military conquered and no longer needs such a number of Jihadis in Iraq.

With regards to the battle in BouKamal (Syria) – we see a large military victory. Bou Kamal was the last city under ISIS control.

ISIS is no longer controlling any city – neither in Lebanon or Syria or in Iraq. There no longer is a city under control by ISIS in our region.

Bou Kamal is a border city – and thus a link between Syria and Iraq. And this is what the US had been working to prohibit! – i.e. to prohibit the liberation of this city.

The liberation of this city increases the security of Syria as a nation-state and thus the plan to divide Syria has failed. This victory fortifies the unity of Syria… The partition project has failed.

The State of ISIS has ended. We can say this from Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. The state of ISIS has ended, but not the organization of ISIS. By state, we mean cities and government and ministers and courts and currency and curriculum etc – that has ended. With the liberation of the last neighborhood in Bou Kamal, we can say that the State of ISIS has ended. The organization of ISIS – and the ideology of ISIS – remain. In Iraq, they exist, in certain farmlands and valleys. Some definitely have hidden in sleeping cells. Their threat remains – but as a terrorist organization terrorizing national security – that has ended. In Syria, some of them remain in various places – but the institution of the State of ISIS has ended, with the liberation of Bou Kamal.

When we reach the point that Iraq will declare their final victory over ISIS and when Syria declares their final victory over ISIS, then we will need conferences and studies – and real victory celebrations over this greatest threat that has disreputed the religion of Mohammed – and then we will repeat that it is upon the peoples of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon – to stand and meditate and ask: who brought ISIS? who funded ISIS? Who pushed ISIS to support all these crimes? And who fought against ISIS and gave martyrs? This is a necessary discussion that must be held.

What have the Americans done in Bou Kamal? They did all they were able to do to support ISIS – with the exception of fighting directly against those fighting ISIS [i.e. no air power against the Syrian army fighting against ISIS]. (1) The US DID over air protection over ISIS in the east of the Euphrates in Syria. Their movements were in the open and secured by US air power that did not use weapons against them – and prohibited Russian or Syrian air power from attacking ISIS in the east of the Euphrates! (2) The US gave detailed information of Syrian movements to ISIS. These are facts and not rumors (3) Electronic warfare against those fighting ISIS. (4) Protection to ISIS to leave the areas, from Bou Kamal. We shall expect – tomorrow or later – that ISIS will join the Syrian Democratic Forces, that are being led by the US. (5) US helicopters would go to the areas controlled by ISIS and actually pick up high-ranking ISIS leaders! This was repeated in Dair ez Zor and in other areas in Iraq.

Do you remember when the US declared that destroying ISIS would take 30 years? Now, the resistance in the region defeated ISIS within a few years!

This lie by the US needs to be uncovered and revealed to our people.

A few days ago, an ally to the US -Erdogan – accused the US of continuing to support ISIS financially! Erdogan said so publicly.

In the face of this great military victory in Bou Kamal, allow me to congratulate and thank to all the fighters – who through their sacrifices and struggles, in the cold night and dusty days – from soldiers to leaders – I congratulate and appreciate them – from the Syrian Arab Army, to the various Iraqi fighters, to our brothers in the battle, to the Iranian Republican Army, and our family in Hezbollah leadership and fighters – I salute them all. We should also pause and offer salute to all the families of the martyrs. We had numerous martyrs and injured in the Bou Kamal battle. Allow for me to offer thanks to the great leader, Haj Qasem Souleimani (قاسم سليماني) – the leader of the Quds Battalion in the Iranian army. He was present in this last battlefield, and in the face of all that is said in the region – we need to speak clearly and include names. This great leader who was present in the battlefield – from the first days – and was in the battlefield, in the front lines, risking martyrdom at any time. He was leading other commanders and following every detail. He left for a few days to participate in the funeral of his dear father and then he returned quickly to Bou Kamal and he remains there until today. We have to offer thanks – that is the least of our duties – unlike what some Arab ministers are doing. It is the Iranian gov’t that stood beside the Syria and Lebanon against ISIS! Today when Iraq or Syria or Lebanon is free of ISIS’ threats, after years of threats and genocide and destruction of our history – we have to thank those who stood with us, and on the top of that list is the Iranian government and Iranian people. Without doubt, history will record the name of the great leader – Qasem Soueleimani

The US said that plans to defeat ISIS would begin in 2018. We have defeated them already.

All that is left is ‘leftovers’ of ISIS – and the battle will continue in all its strengths! ISIS is a cancer that can grow again, and particularly because the US will try to reinvigorate ISIS. We cannot get busy with the victory and forget the need to continue the battle.

(2) What we heard yesterday from the foreign ministers of the League of Arab States.

I want to talk about what is related directly to Hezbollah. Iran can defend itself. ‘Ansar Allah’ can also speak on their own behalf.

First: this accusation is not new, against Hezbollah. And it is to be expected since we heard it previously from Arab foreign ministers. Therefore there is nothing to cause worry, but only disappointment and chagrin.

What a coincidence — that at the very time that these fighters, among them Hezbollah, were liberating Bou Kamal from ISIS – and what is ISIS? – All the world has a consensus that ISIS is a terrorist organization — at that very time, these individuals call Hezbollah a terrorist organization. And at the very time that that Iranians were fighting against ISIS – those individuals accuse Iran of supporting terrorism.

What have you done against ISIS? Some have claimed that Saudi Arabia is a partner in the fight against ISIS. Okay, show us just one battle. Where are your generals and your captains? Show us just one battle.

This isn’t a coincidence – this is divine intervention – [that their statement happened at the very time of our military victory.]

We should also salute and congratulate the work and efforts by the Russian Air Force, by the way.

The accusations against Hezbollah – of being a terrorist organization — is a US accusation, a US order. All those who defeated the US plan in the region – will be punished by being placed on the terrorist list. This has happened in Iraq – by placing the VP of the Iraqi Popular Committee – that had been fighting and defeating ISIS from battle to battle – on the terrorist list. The list shall grow and encompass all Iraqi groups that defeated ISIS.

As in Yemen, as in Lebanon, as in Palestine – we shall hear of names and groups and political parties – and even states shall be threatened, as Lebanon was threatened.

This is a natural course, and we must face it with wisdom as needed.

I can suffice to say to all Arabs, to all Muslims and especially to the Palestinians and Lebanon – just listen to the israeli comments about the relationships with certain Arab countries for years, and particularly the Saudi Arabia – and there was no denial about these relationships. It is enough to note what Yalon, the former defense secretary, that it is is not a coincidence that Jubair says in Arabic what we say in Hebrew!

With regards to the declaration…when I read it, I laughed

1 – holding Hezbollah responsible for ballistic missiles …
Saudis want to justify their failure in Yemen & they don’t want to admit that small forces in Yemen with manmade resistance are putting up a fight, so they implicate Iran. Brothers, where is Iran in Yemen? Where are we?? Hezbollah is powerful but not to that extent … When the ministers said this statement, was there any evidence? We are struggling to intensify our military capabilities – and now we are accused of sending such military capabilities to Yemen? This is nonsense and empty words with no evidence. They can be sure of it themselves: no advanced weapons, no missiles, and not even a rifle. I deny officially: we did not send any weapons to Yemen or to Bahrain or to Kuwait or to Iraq! We did not send any weapons to any Arab country, not ballistic missiles nor advanced weaponry nor rifles. There are two places we sent weapons …[satellite was down and I didn’t hear the completion] In Syria, we are fighting with the weapons ..

2 – they [i.e. the declaration of the League of Arab states (LAS)] said to the Lebanese – if you do not solve the problem and weapons of Hezbollah, the security in your country is threatened with these weapons. Do they even have time to read and learn what is happening? And of course, all the talk of arab security … The most important security to liberate Lebanon and protect Lebanon has been the resistance, and the critical pillar in the resistance is Hezbollah. Lebanon was and remains facing Israeli threats – and the most important characteristic in facing these threats is the resistance! Who protects Lebanon from Israel? You – and your armies and your states?! Yesterday, an official in UAE declared that it would be silly to use their airfare against Israel. Yes, we agree – we don’t wait for you to defend/liberate us in Lebanon. Resistance faced ISIS, along w/ the Lebanese Army, and liberated Lebanon from ISIS. It is the weapons of Hezbollah that are an essential characteristic in Lebanon’s security and stability! If you are sincere about Lebanon’s security and stability -just don’t interfere in Lebanon, as we have seen the ugly interference over the past few weeks – and don’t send us ISIS – and don’t encourage Israel to attack Lebanon. In Lebanon, we have a state and a government and there is a popular nationalist will – despite all the political disagreements – to reject civil war! Just don’t interfere in Lebanon and we shall guarantee our stability and security.

3 – With regards to Yemen – the whole reason of the LAS meeting – they were not meeting with regards to Palestine, when the PA and the PLO are threatened and Palestine continues to be threatened — they met because of one missile that reached Riyadh; this is their catastrophe. From this regard, first – there have been numerous press conferences within which the foreign minister of saudi arabia has declared that Hezbollah launched that missile and that missile was made by Iran. I earlier spoke about it and I repeat again: there is no relationship with any man in Hezbollah with regards to this missile, or past missiles, or future missiles. The problem with Saudi is that they underestimate the Yemenis! they underestimate that the Yemeni men are brave and courageous and have experience and expertise. They refuse to believe that those men are making their own weapons. Why? Because they think so little of themselves; even their own clothes, they import and so they cannot imagine that the Yemenis can make their own weapons! It is the Yemenis who are fighting the Saudis and it is the Yemenis who are defeating the Saudis. I say to you: I deny completely this accusation, that has no truth or evidence.

4 – Okay, you met to condemn this missile. Okay. But I ask those who met yesterday in Cairo and spoke about Arab national security – is Yemen an Arab country? Is the security of Yemen part of Arab national security? The Europeans and the West and even some Americans are speaking out about Yemen. Did any one of you [foreign ministers], regardless of the reason, speak about Yemen? There is the reality: a brutal war against an Arab nation called Yemen, and an Arab nation blockaded – and you are discussing whether the missile is Iranian made or not. Okay, but there are some things that don’t need discussion. Saudi bombs. Saudi missiles. night and day. bombing Yemen, schools and mosques and homes. There is nothing they haven’t bombed. tens of thousands of martyrs. Even the UN can no longer be silent. 100,000s threatened with cholera. If the blockade is not lifted in weeks, millions could face starvation. Are they not Arab?? What do the Arabs have to look down on other peoples? Do you have no religion? Are these the ethics and the honor of Arabs? Forget religion and Arabic nationalism — aren’t you human? Don’t you have a conscience? UN are telling you that millions could die from starvation. Is there one word in your great declaration about Yemen? Now there will be people who will criticize me for speaking — but I am describing what is happening to the Yemenis at the hands of Saudi. We are not allowed to talk – or they will threaten Lebanon. No one in the Arab world is allowed to talk – to describe -what is happening in Yemen.

I call out to all – I call out to their humanity, their religion, – isn’t there a word, a cry, a call out? No one is asking you to support any particular person in Yemen – only call out to stop the Saudi war on these people! This collective punishments, these war crimes! But this silence, this dangerous silence, in the arabic and Islamic world – why? because you are scared of Saudi arabia? Could it be that we are living in a time when we see millions starve of our people, of our religions, and most of the world is silent! No one is asking you to attack Saudi – but ask them to stop the war and to stop the blockade! Saudi has failed in all they have done.

This declaration that speaks of an Arab world was silent in the face of an entire people — 23 million! – under military attack and disease.

5 – Palestine. I thank the leadership in Palestine for their response. We need to pay attention to what is happening – from certain Arab nations – is a coverage of the normalization of the relations with Israel and the decisions they are planning to end the Palestinian struggle. All the Irsaeli talk of relations with Saudi and others are dangerous, and specifically impacts Palestine and Palestinian organizations. Already there are pressures to sacrifice your rights. There is a real challenge now. Rely on your national unity. Do not allow them to divide you. If you are unified, you can face the world. If you allow them to divide you, Palestine can be lost.

6 – Lebanon. We are all awaiting the return of our PM Saad Hariri – we still consider him PM and not resigned. We are open to all discussion and negotiations. In the past two weeks, we heard about Hezbollah threatening negotiations – and I won’t reply to those statements, because the priority is the return of PM Hariri to Lebanon. We shall then speak openly and with transparency. We thank the official position of the Lebanese gov’t adn the effort by Lebanon FM Gibran Bassil, and the position of the Iraqi gov’t. I do not have information about the other Arab states – because it was a closed meeting. All those who defend those who defend the Arab national security, we thank them.

I shall say a final word… if you have seen me impacted by Yemen, I say to the audience of the resistance – what you heard yesterday [from the LAS], ignore it!

Continue with your historic victories, and Bou Kamal will not be its end.

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I was interviewed by my good friend and brilliant journalist, Rania Khalek, on UnAuthorized Disclosure.

 

Check it out – https://shadowproof.com/2017/11/12/interview-rania-masri-saudi-kidnapped-hariri-lebanese-pm/

Please note that this interview was taped on Friday and aired on Sunday.

 

Screenshot 2017-11-12 17.52.00

just noticed: I said that the Free Patriotic Movement is led by President Aoun. Actually, the head of the FPM is Aoun’s son-in-law, Gibran Basil. Sorry for that mistake 🙂

Posted by: r.m. | November 10, 2017

fyi…

For up to date, regular commentary, please go to my facebook page: facebook.com/rania.masri

Posted by: r.m. | November 10, 2017

Discussion on Lebanon and Saudi Arabia

Podcast of yesterday’s (Nov 8) show on Lebanon and Saudi Arabia with  Toby Craig Jones and me, hosted by Zein el Amine and Rami el Amine

Posted by: r.m. | November 10, 2017

#Nasrallah’s two speeches re: #Hariri

Here are links to my quick translations of Sayed Hassan Nasrallah (Secretary General of Hezbollah) two speeches this week on the latest events.

(1) Nasrallah’s speech on 5-November

(2) #Nasrallah‘s speech on 10-Nov, on the ‘day of the martyr‘. –

Posted by: r.m. | November 7, 2017

My interviews re: #Hariri’s “resignation”

Here are three interviews I’ve done recently regarding Saad Hariri’s sudden resignation.

[Correction: I mistakenly referred to Nader el Hariri as Saad el Hariri’s brother; he is his cousin.]

(1) — Real News TV – Did the Saudis Force Lebanese PM to Resign? Nov 6

Screenshot 2017-11-07 19.32.52.png

(2) – Flashpoints, KPFA, Radio interview – Listen here , Nov 6

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(3) Up Front, KPFA, Radio Interview – Listen here, Download here, Nov 7 (Interview begins 30 minutes into the hour)

Screenshot 2017-11-07 19.38.46

Posted by: r.m. | September 15, 2017

35 years…

35 years.
35 years and still no accountability, neither against the Israelis behind the Sabra and Shatilla massacre nor against the Lebanese, from the Kataeb to the Lebanese Forces to the “Cedar Protectors”
35 years and now, rather than recognize and atone for the crimes and massacres committed, there is a move to whitewash the crime of treason committed by Bachir el Gamayel and – thus indirectly – the crimes committed by those who supported him
35 years and Palestinian rights in Lebanon continue to be violated
35 years and Palestinians in our land of Palestine continue to be killed and imprisoned.
35 years – and still we resist.

We refuse the partition of Palestine.

We refuse to forget.

We refuse to accept crumbs.
We believe in liberation.

Screenshot 2017-09-15 11.33.39

Posted by: r.m. | March 2, 2017

Collective memory of residents

Beirut: “In the absence of an agreed network of streets, there are no addresses; and without addresses, says Ghubril, “the Lebanese GPS relies on the collective memory of the residents.” One long road in the cosmopolitan Hamra district is formally designated Baalbek Street, but colloquially known as Commodore Street after a cinema that was demolished decades ago. A chaotic transport hub in the south of the city, where rickety old minibuses fill up with passengers before careening wildly across the country, is known simply as Cola, after a long-vanished Coca-Cola factory. Ghubril calls these sites “phantom landmarks.” 

 

What this writer describes as “phantom landmarks” in Beirut, I see as the collective resistance and identity of the residents of Beirut. No, we won’t say that we will meet at that newly-constructed, ugly-lit shoe store on Hamra street; we will say we will meet at Wimpy’s, the site of the beautiful act of resistance by Khaled Alwan against Israeli soldiers during the occupation of Beirut in 1982. Yes, Wimpy’s no longer exists (not in that one spot), but by referring to Wimpy’s – rather than the new ugly construction – we are also referring to the time of resistance, and to the time of coffee shops before wifi.

Referring to the landmarks that used to be — though confusing to new residents — is a way to hold on to the city’s identity, to protect the memory against the globalization and gentrification and destruction of the capital’s history.

It pains me to hear people refer to meeting across from the main gate of the AUB as ‘see you at McDonald’s’ — ignoring the historic establishment that used to be there, and forgetting that there was a restaurant on the corner of Bliss street (where now there is a generic supermarket) that was called ‘Uncle Sam’ where Zaki Nassif used to go, sit down, and compose music.

We remember. We try desperately to remember.

Perhaps it is also a way for residents to claim the city, by claiming names and landmarks of their own to remember and through which to identify the city

Posted by: r.m. | February 28, 2017

Sand Mining, Mafias and Cities

…Creating buildings to house all the people and the roads to knit them together requires prodigious quantities of sand. Worldwide, more than 48bn tonnes of “aggregate” – the industry term for sand and gravel, which tend to be found together – are used for construction every year. That number is double what is was in 2004. It’s an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Every year criminal gangs across the world dig up countless tonnes of sand to sell on the black market. One of Israel’s notorious gangsters started by stealing sand from public beaches.In Morocco, half of the sand used for construction comes from illegal mining. And in Malaysia, dozens of officials were charged for accepting bribes and sexual favours in exchange for allowing illegally mined sand to be smuggled out of the country.

Like any big-money black market, the sand trade is inciting violence. In Cambodia, environmental activists have been imprisoned for trying to stop illegal mining. In China, a dozen members of rival sand-mining gangs were sent to prison in 2015 after battling with knives in front of a police station. In that same year in East Java, Indonesia, two farmers – Salim Kancil, 52, and Tosan, 51 – led a series of protests against an illegal beach sand-mining operation. The mine operators threatened to kill them if they kept interfering; the farmers reported the threats to the police and asked for protection. Soon after, at least a dozen men attacked Tosan, ran him over with a motorcycle and left him for dead in the middle of the road. Salim was battered and stabbed to death. His body was left on the street with his hands tied behind his back.

In India, “sand mafias” have injured hundreds and killed dozens of people in recent years. The victims include an 81-year-old teacher and a 22-year-old activist who were separately hacked to death, a journalist who was burned to death, and at least three police officers who were run over by sand trucks.

Of course, Lebanon is no exception to the sand mining or the mafias.  From Sour to Beirut…

Posted by: r.m. | February 15, 2017

Depleted Uranium – Confirmed: US used it against Syria

Yesterday, an article in the Chicago Tribune revealed that the US military used Depleted Uranium in Syria.

“Official: U.S. military used depleted uranium for first time since 2003 Iraq invasion … U.S. military  fired thousands of rounds of the such munitions during two high-profile raids on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled Syria in late 2015. …U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 250 vehicles in the country’s eastern desert.

Hundreds upon hundreds of tons of DU were used by the US military against Iraq, from 1991 to 2003.

Here is one simple study on the impacts of DU:

Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates. (2013)

Iraq is suffering from depleted uranium (DU) pollution in many regions and the effects of this may harm public health through poisoning and increased incidence of various cancers and birth defects. DU is a known carcinogenic agent. About 1200 tonnes of ammunition were dropped on Iraq during the Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003. As a result, contamination occurred in more than 350 sites in Iraq. Currently, Iraqis are facing about 140,000 cases of cancer, with 7000 to 8000 new ones registered each year. In Baghdad cancer incidences per 100,000 population have increased, just as they have also increased in Basra. The overall incidence of breast and lung cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma, has doubled even tripled.

 

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