AUGUST 14th was the 9th anniversary of the defeat of the massive Israeli ground and air attack on southern Lebanon to try and smash the Hezbollah liberation movement.
In 2006, in what is known as the July War – after 34 days of carpet bombing with US support and Navy shelling of homes, schools, hospitals, powerhouses, bridges and other infrastructure – the Israeli Army pulled out defeated on August 14 2006. The excuse for the war, the capture of two Israeli soldiers, was later proved to be false.
Celebrating the victory last Friday, August 14, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saluted all resistant peoples at a mass rally held in Hujeir Valley in Southern Lebanon. Nasrallah told the assembled crowd: ‘All our thanks to all the heroic mujahedeen who fought till the last drops of their blood in July War and are still forcefully present in squares, fields, and fronts. They answer the call of jihad, make miracles, and raise the banners of victory in each battle they fight.’
Nasrallah added: ‘Hereof, I will usher to the three topics of the speech from this pure fountain in al-Hujeir Valley. The first topic is resisting every occupation. The second topic is rejecting all division schemes in the region. The third topic is national unity.’
He said: ‘Al-Hujeir Valley was the graveyard for tanks, invaders, and dreams of the tyrannical enemy to achieve victory and inflict defeat. Here the Mirkava myth and its invincible army were destroyed. Here the enemy was humiliated and defeated. Here the true men were firmer than mountains and harder than rocks; thus they made this legend.
‘All the resistance weapons were here: army engineering, artillery force, anti-aircraft, component force, and the heroic fighters; however, the prominent role was played by the noble force of the anti-armour units who destroyed scores of tanks, vehicles, and armours with their rockets.
‘That battle was the destruction mission. Here heroes, true men, steadfastness, the mind, plotting, will, determination, firmness, honesty, patience, and faith were manifested; thus was victory. . .
In this valley, the entire scheme of occupying the area to the south of the Litany River was foiled. The tables were turned.’
Nasrallah continued: ‘They dubbed this operation of theirs “Changing the direction 11”. . . Indeed that coincided with downing the modern Israeli military airplane over Mariamin Valley near Yater Town. So they were trapped. Neither the airdrop may be continued nor anything else. They are not able to continue by plane or helicopter or tank or even on foot. You can’t reach this land or stay on this land by any means.
Nasrallah stressed: ‘This was an important and a major station in July War. Indeed this war changed and adjusted major military strategies in the world – in the USA, in the NATO, and in Israel. Before the July War and due to what took place in more than one country in the world, it was prevalent that air force can decisively end a battle. That came to an end with the July War. . .
‘There is also another thing which was made decisive by the July War, the Gaza War, and the Yemen War today. So the first point is that the air force is not a decisive element. The second point is that fire, demolition, killing, massacres, displacing people, and halting their living do not defeat them if they are faithful, patient, have the will to survive, and resist because this is part of the strategy.
‘Warplanes, tanks, and warships from the sea shell, demolish, kill, and commit massacres as they did in Lebanon and in Gaza and as they are doing now in Yemen and in other places. People would be frightened with the scene of women and children and destruction; thus they give up. Determination, will, and resolution perish, and they succumb to this demolishing, killing invader.
‘Also this strategy came to an end. So neither air force is a decisive element nor the power of demolition and the graveness of massacres are decisive elements in a battle or in confronting peoples who have faith and are determined and steadfast and want to live with dignity and honour.
‘So they went back to confirm the Israeli Army strategy that resorts to land troops and land maneouvres and the like – meaning infiltrating the land and not getting satisfied with air force though they tried this in the July War and it still flopped. After all, they had no choices. So they did not get anything new in fact. They tried this in July War and it flopped. . .
‘Here I will not talk strategies but rather I will use simple words which may be understood by all people. . . As I said, now we can add the Gaza wars and the war on Yemen. . . So the air force is not decisive. Well, if you have few F16 planes we have hundreds of thousands of young men who are 16 and above. How many war planes are they in need of? Likewise, they can’t dispatch a Mirkave tank worth $10m to an underground fortified bunker.
‘Here I am telling you on August 14, 2015 that every spot of our land will be a fortified bunker that will demolish your tanks and armour and kill your soldiers, officers and defeat your army. There won’t be any successful strategy for the Israeli Army in Lebanon from now on. . . In face of the strategy which the (Israeli) chief of staff is talking about, I propose the strategy of al-Hujeir Valley. We are today stronger in our will, determination, power, number, and artillery.’
Stressing the need for political unity, Nasrallah said: ‘Our country is threatened in its existence, in its sovereignty, in its security, and in its survival. We call for such a commitment, such a unity and for that trinity and for being above (internal) conflicts in confronting this existential threat. Under the topic of the resistance, we renew our commitment to confront the Zionist scheme in the region. We renew our commitment to stand next to the Palestinian people and the legitimate resistance in restoring the land and sanctities.’
He further stressed: ‘Today, we the conferees here must reject the division of the divided and the fragmentation of the fragmented. This is what the USA is seeking to achieve in our region along with Israel and unfortunately some regional forces whether knowingly or unknowingly. On top of these forces is Saudi Arabia. Today we must make reverberating shouts in every valley and not only in al-Hujeir Valley.
‘These shouts must warn our peoples and our nation that the new divisions and fragmentations will hurl the region into long civil, sectarian, and ethnic wars that will lead only to demolition, ruin, displacement, and waste. Thus today the scholars of the nation, the leaders of the nation, Muslims, Christians, Islamists, nationalists, secularists, and all currents and trends are called to take a decisive decision. . .
‘Today, America is investing in “ISIL” to exploit the region. Do you still remember what I told you a year ago? I told you that America is not serious at all in its war on terrorism and its war on “ISIL”. It rather wants to exploit “ISIL” to topple governments and regimes and reconstruct and remap the region. This is what is taking place now. Days ago, the Turkish capital, Ankara, said that the USA advised them to halt their operations against ISIL.
‘Why? Was it a show of respect to the Syrian sovereignty? No! It’s because the international coalition does not respect the Syrian sovereignty. It wants to exploit ISIL in Syria as it is investing in ISIL in Iraq. How is that so? Listen to the new speech and rhetoric in Syria. Listen to the Doha talk and the words of John Kerry and those with him. It is to the effect that “ISIL” forms a great danger on Syria, the Syrian people, and the current regime – so he says – is not able to confront “ISIL”.
‘So to prevent “ISIL” from having control over Syria and to reach Damascus, the new regime must leave and the authority must be handed to the moderate Syrian opposition. So they are politically investing in the presence of ISIL to get rid of the current regime in Syria. However, they are lying and deceiving. Is the moderate Syrian opposition apart from the al-Nusra Front able to confront ISIL? In fact, he is saying that the experience of training the moderate opposition flopped.
‘From among 2,000 persons who were trained by the US intelligence in Turkey, only 60 persons accepted to fight ISIL.
‘So you are bringing a weak feeble alternative. He is saying that should the moderate Syrian opposition take control the world will offer it help. See the hypocrisy and the trickery. This trick is being played in more than one country apart from the differences inside Iraq or among the Iraqis and the political conflicts. However among what was told to the Iraqis is: change your government. We are supporting you to defeat ISIL.
‘Well, change the government for several reasons. This is not a topic for debate. However, what was the result? Did they receive the US, regional, NATO, and Arab support to confront ISIL? In fact, ISIL is advancing everywhere except in the places where the true faithful troops who depend on their will and on their true friends – meaning the popular masses and the Iraqi troops – exist.
‘Moreover, where are the arms, artillery, and planes contracts inked between Iraq and the USA? Where are these contracts? The Iraqi Army and the Iraqi troops have a shortage in arms and artillery. Moreover, the USA and Saudi Arabia conspired and lowered the price of oil. Thus the Iraqi budget fell to half or even less. They had a true crisis. Well, you promised Iraq to assist it should it change its government. Did you help it? Today, they are reiterating the same rhetoric. We must all be aware of this US deception.
‘In Yemen, they tell you: “We are fighting terrorism” and they ally with al-Qaeda and with ISIL against the Yemeni people and against the national forces and the indigenous forces in Yemen. The USA and the US allies and tools in the region are investing in terrorism to impose their conditions and maps.
‘We must confront all of that in all posts because the true US project is dividing Iraq, dividing Syria, dividing the region, and dividing even Saudi Arabia. . . In this perspective, we comment on all the accusations in Syria against the Syrian leadership and the Syrian Army and their allies including us to the effect that we are working to fragment Syria. Never!
‘There is no need to make lengthy discussions and arguments. It is enough to tell you that for five years by now, the Syrian Army, the Syrian people, and the Syria troops have been fighting in Hasaka, Deir Zour, Daraa, Sweida, Aleppo, Idlib, Damascus, Homs and everywhere to their last breath for the survival of united Syria and in rejection of submission to fragmentation. I will wrap this topic with Yemen before moving to the last topic.
‘Today after 142 days of the US-Saudi aggression on Yemen and the people of Yemen, we must renew our condemnation and denunciation of this brutal inhuman dangerous violation which is setting the foundations for the worst violations by Israel and the USA in our region. We also say that all the morals drawn from the wars in the region are also present there in Yemen. A city may fall here or there but as long as there is a will, a cause, faith, steadfastness, a feeling of pride, a demand to live with dignity, and a refusal of occupation, this enemy can’t achieve victory or achieve any of its goals.
‘The last topic in my speech is Lebanon and the national unity. . . I am telling you that we must all be convinced of finding a state in which all sides partake – all the components of this people and this nation must partake, and all must feel confident in this nation. That means we must reach a state that does not frighten anyone and in which nobody feels worried. No component must feel that it is conspiring against him. The state must promote serenity among its components and serve all the components of the Lebanese people. . . We say ‘no’ for division, ‘no’ for federalism, and ‘no’ for everyone being obliged to address his own crises. Only such a state is the true guarantee.’
In his concluding remarks, Nasrallah said: ‘Today on August 14 and on the anniversary of divine victory, I will affirm what I said before. In fact as far as we – Hezbollah in particular – are concerned we do not accept that any of our allies be broken or isolated. We do not tolerate that at all, especially for those who stood with us during July War and tied their necks, their fates and their blood to ours.
‘Frankly speaking, today I tell all the political forces in Lebanon. This issue is final for us as Hezbollah. In as much as it is a political issue it is a moral and a humanitarian issue that deserves sacrifices. Let no one make wrong calculations. This applies to all our allies. . .’ Citing Iran, he said: ‘During the days of nuclear negotiations, they used to say that they are waiting for the nuclear negotiations and then it will be resolved. We told you that negotiations are over the nuclear issue only. There is nothing else. Well now and after the nuclear agreement, what are they waiting for? What are you waiting for?
‘Days ago, Iranian FM Zarif was in Lebanon, and he met a number of officials. It was clear that Iran will not interfere. If it was required from it to give a hand, it gives a hand. However, I will tell you how Iran helps. Deluded is he who expects that Iran would come and exert pressure on its allies to take a decision they are not convinced in. This is not Iran. The Islamic Republic talks with its friends though it daily insists that this is an internal decision and a Lebanese decision. However, let no one impose anything on another.’
He concluded: ‘I say; the era of defeat is over, and it is the era of victories but victory has its conditions and terms.’