HEZBOLLAH Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has decried the recent bombing in Beirut, whilst warning that outgoing US President Bush’s visit to the Middle East was aimed at re-shaping the region.
In an hour-long speech on Tuesday in southern Beirut, Nasrallah said of the bombing that took place in the city on the same day that Hezbollah denounces ‘any bombing that takes place on the Lebanese territory, regardless of the parties targeted in this bombing.’
He said that such bombings have ‘serious repercussions’ for the security and stability of Lebanon.
He criticised some top officials in the Lebanese government who ‘rushed to employ’ such incidents ‘politically’ before conducting any investigations.
On Bush’s visit to the region, Nasrallah said: ‘I can say that this was a historic visit because it aims to shape the image of the region in the upcoming phase, and I am not exaggerating in saying that.’
He continued: ‘I do not agree with what we might say sometimes or what the people say . . . that this man is an idiot, stupid, or crazy. This is an over-simplification of political facts in the world and the region.’
Nasrallah cited studies in the United States as saying that the Bush administration consists of three groups, namely the group of major oil companies, the group of major arms companies, and the ‘Zionist-Christians’ group.
He said that the major oil companies were interested in controlling oil resources, in the hope of controlling oil prices and markets.
Meanwhile, major arms companies were interested in manufacturing large numbers of weapons to sell them for great profits.
As for the followers of the third, ‘religious’ trend, it was as if they believed that the establishment of an Israeli state in the Palestinian territories and encouraging Jews from all over the world to migrate to Israel would pave the way for the second coming of Christ.
So therefore they believed that Israel should be protected and it should be strong and ‘any power in the region that might pose a threat to this entity should be eliminated and destroyed’.
Nasrallah warned that these three groupings were ‘forging an alliance’ within the American administration, and that they have ‘common interests’ concerning the way they deal with the issues related to the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Gulf states.
‘Therefore, Bush today is the symbol who honestly represents the interests of these three groups,’ he added.
Nasrallah went on to highlight the impact of the ‘religious trend’ on the other groups in Washington.
The US oil and weapons companies were interested in controlling oil resources in Iraq and selling as many weapons as they could.
He warned that the forces within Washington were behind the ‘incitement against Iran’.
Nasrallah said that Bush came to the region to sell weapons to Arab and Gulf states by convincing them that Iran poses a threat to them.
He wanted to ‘exaggerate the Iranian threat posed’ to the Gulf states and Israel.
The Gulf states ‘should not allow or give a cover for a war on Iran’, he said, adding that such a war ‘is not in the interest of America, the Gulf states, and Arab countries.
‘If America wages a war on Iran, it would be the most stupid thing ever made in the history of America.’
He added: ‘Any war in the region will be a service to America, Israel, the US oil companies, US arms companies, and the rancorous Zionist religious trend in the United States.’
Nasrallah also commented on Bush’s remarks in Israel.
He said Bush had described Israel as a Jewish state, that is ‘a racial state’.
Nasrallah warned that this was a veiled threat to Arabs living in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948 (the territories on which Israel was established).
Bush had also called for adjusting the borders of the territories occupied by the Israelis in 1967.
This meant that Jerusalem and major settlements will be given to the ‘Jewish’ State of Israel and the ‘crumbs’ would be given to Palestinians.
In addition Palestinian refugees would be denied their right to return to their homes, Nasrallah warned, with Bush calling for ‘compensation’ instead.
Nasrallah added that Bush said he will go back to the region in May to continue ‘his blessed efforts’.
This means that there might be ‘a US plan that was promoted during his visit’, and that Bush will come back to ‘reap its fruits’.
Nineteen Palestinians were massacred and many others injured in an Israeli raid on the Gaza Strip as Bush was departing from the Middle East.
Nasrallah said that Bush ‘torpedoed the Arab peace initiative’ and gave Israel ‘the green light’ to carry out a military action against Gaza.
On the situation in Lebanon, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah sources have learned that the Lebanese ruling team was told by US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch and US Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams that they should be united and hold their ground ‘for three or four months’, until the situation in Lebanon and the region changes in their favour.
Nasrallah said that this team was told that ‘a US strike or a US war would be launched against Iran before May . . .
‘Thus, Syria will become besieged and the allies of Syria in Lebanon will be weakened, and the situation will be in their favour.’
Nasrallah said that the Americans had ‘failed’ in changing the map of the Middle East during the war on Lebanon and there were ‘no guarantees’ that they would succeed with an attack on Iran.
He said: ‘Those who are wagering on Israel after the July war and all of those who are wagering on Israel in Lebanon and the region have desperate, failed, wrong options.’
On the formation of the international tribunal to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, Nasrallah said the tribunal was ‘politicised’ and that it ‘will not uncover the truth or the assassins’, but will be used ‘to serve the suspicious US plans in the region’ instead.
He urged the pro-government Lebanese parties to get together and reach an agreement with the opposition and not to rely on changes in the region and Lebanon.
He also urged them to discuss the Arab initiative and not use it to exercise pressures on the opposition.
Commenting on the statements of the French foreign minister on the need to refer the Lebanese presidential crisis to the UN Security Council, Nasrallah said that the Arab initiative ‘should not be a step on the way of internationalising the crisis’ in Lebanon.
Internationalising the crisis would not yield any results and ‘the entire world cannot impose anything on us.’
Nasrallah noted that Bush and the US administration ‘want to keep the current government of Siniora in power or reproduce a government similar to it.’
He said: ‘The Americans are not concerned about Muslims and Christians in Lebanon.
‘They are concerned about the interests of Israel and the strength and supremacy of Israel, oil and the arms market.’
Nasrallah concluded by telling his audience: ‘We are capable of standing firm, confronting, and achieving victory.’