LAST Friday Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed in person a victory rally in Lebanon.

‘Brothers and sisters, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On 22 September, you once again surprised the world and truly proved that you are a great, proud, loyal, and courageous people.

For some days now, many people have been waging a psychological war on this rally, just as they waged a psychological war on the Resistance. They said that this square would be bombed and that this podium would be destroyed in order to scare people and keep them from coming. On 22 September, you prove, by crowning the victory rally, that you are more courageous than you were on 12 July and 14 August.

Standing before you and amongst you involves risk for you and me. There were other choices, up until just half an hour ago, we were discussing my participation. However, my heart, mind, and soul did not allow me to address you from afar nor through a screen.

The utmost one expects is for the enemy to make a mistake or commit a crime. However, does this enemy not know who we are? We are the sons of that imam, who said: Are you threatening me with death? We are used to death and our dignity is derived from the martyrdom God grants us.

You are all welcome – from the fighting and resisting south, to the steadfast Al-Biqa, to the loyal north, to the proud mountain, to the Beirut of Arabism, to the southern suburb of loftiness and dignity. You are all welcome – from the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon; you are all welcome – from Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, and every country that came to us to celebrate and rejoice.

God’s peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you; peace be upon your martyrs and the families of your martyrs; peace be upon your wounded people and their bleeding wounds; peace be upon your prisoners; peace be upon your blood and tears; peace be upon your orphans and widows; peace be upon your demolished houses; peace be upon your burnt property; peace be upon your souls and strong will, which is stronger than the mountains of Lebanon.

Brothers and sisters,

We are today celebrating a big strategic, historic, and divine victory. How can the human mind imagine that a few thousand of your Lebanese resistance sons – if I wanted, I would give the exact number – held out for 23 days in a land exposed to the skies against the strongest air force in the Middle East, which had an air bridge transporting smart bombs from America, through Britain, to Israel; against 40,000 officers and soldiers – four brigades of elite forces, three reserve army divisions; against the strongest tank in the world; and against the strongest army in the region?

How could only a few thousand people hold out and fight under such harsh conditions, and how could their fighting force the naval warships out of our territorial waters? By the way, the army and the resistance are capable of protecting the territorial waters from being desecrated by any Zionist.

And how could their fighting also lead to the destruction of the Mirkava tanks, which are an object of pride for the Israeli industry; damage Israeli helicopters day and night; and turn the elite brigades – I am not exaggerating, and you can watch and read the Israeli media – into rats frightened by your sons?

How did this happen while you were relinquished by the Arabs and the world and in light of the political human solidarity was profound though division around you?

How could this group of mujahidin defeat this army without the support and assistance of almighty God?

This resistance experience, which should be conveyed to the world, depends – on the moral and spiritual level – on faith, certainty, reliance on God, and readiness to make sacrifices. It also depends on reason, planning, organisation, armament, and, as is said, on taking all possible protective procedures.

We are neither a disorganised and sophistic resistance, nor a resistance pulled to the ground that sees before it nothing but soil, nor a resistance of chaos. The pious, God-reliant, loving, and knowledgeable resistance is also the conscious, wise, trained, and equipped resistance that has plans. This is the secret of the victory we are today celebrating, brothers and sisters.

This victory requires a courageous stand like your stand today. You are today sending an extremely important and serious political and moral message to the Lebanese, the Arabs, and the entire world – friends and foes.

You amazed the world when you, as a people in Lebanon, held fast from 12 July to 14 August. They wagered on our division. You – the displaced and those who sheltered the displaced – remained fast throughout this stage.

When 14 August came, their wager was that the presence of the displaced in the areas to which they were displaced would put pressure on the resistance to impose more conditions on it. The resistance did not submit to any conditions.

Once again, you amazed the world when the displaced returned in their cars and trucks, and some on foot. At 0800, the southern suburb of Beirut, the south of Lebanon, and Al-Biqa were full of their proud and honourable residents, who returned with raised heads.

You are today amazing the world and telling the American, who a few days said, ‘we received good signs from Lebanon that the popularity of the resistance has receded, and it has started to weaken’, that this is the people of resistance. These are the masses of the Resistance.

I tell this American: You should address a message of slander to the lying writers of reports, who sends you wrong information on which you build wrong calculations.

Brothers and sisters, we should today stress that this war was an American war in terms of decision, weapons, planning, and desire, and by giving several deadlines for the Zionists; one, two, three, and four weeks.

What stopped the war is the failure of the Zionists. If you recall the last days, the largest number of tanks was destroyed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; the largest number of the occupation soldiers was killed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; the helicopters crashed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Therefore, the Zionists realised that if they had continued the war, it would have been a disaster. The Americans intervened and even accepted the drafts of resolutions for the war to stop. They stopped the war not for the sake of Lebanon, not for the sake of the children of Lebanon, not for the sake of the blood of women in Lebanon, and not for the sake of beautiful Lebanon. They stopped the war only for the sake of Israel. They came to peddle it to us in Lebanon; namely, that our American friends stopped the war.

 In the first two and three days, our American friends did not agree to stop the war, and they refused to stop it on the first, second, third, and fourth weeks. Could they not see the beauty of Lebanon for a month? The decision was to crush Hezbollah, and after crushing Hezbollah, accounts would be settled with all its friends, allies, and those who follow the nationalist, truly sovereign and independent line in Lebanon.

What stopped the war – after the help of Almighty God – were your resisting sons and these loyal, proud, and courageous people, who supported the resistance from the border to the border, and who sheltered it in their mosques, churches, monasteries, and schools. This is what stopped the war. If anyone deserves to celebrate the victory, then it is you who are present here. You deserve it because you made the victory.

We sometimes differ and ask: Was what happened in Lebanon a victory or a defeat? I do not want to go into semantics, but I tell you: Whoever feels that his option, plan, line, and vision has triumphed, feels the victory and speaks about it. And, whoever feels that he has been defeated and has fallen, speaks about defeat.

‘We feel that we won; Lebanon won; Palestine won; the Arab nation won, and every oppressed, aggrieved person in this world also won.

Our victory is not the victory of a party. I repeat what I said in Bint Jubayl on 25 May 2000: It is not the victory of a party or a community; rather it is a victory for true Lebanon, the true Lebanese people, and every free person in the world.

Don’t distort this big historic victory. Do not contain it in party, sectarian, communal, or regional cans.

This victory is too big to be comprehended by us. The next weeks, months, and years will confirm this.

It is enough to say, on the basis of the direct results, that your resistance and steadfastness foiled all the aims of the aggression, and that this is a victory.

Our resistance and steadfastness dealt a severe blow to the New Middle East plan, which Condoleezza Rice said would be born in the July War. But it was stillborn because it was an illegitimate child. Your resistance and steadfastness exposed the deceptive US policies that speak about human rights, freedoms, democracy, and respect. Your steadfastness and resistance exposed the United States and raised the level of awareness before the level of hostility – the main thing is awareness rather than hostility. It raised the level of awareness and hostility not only in the Arab and Islamic world, but in the whole world.

Thanks to your steadfastness and resistance, Chavez, a man about whom I can say that he is a great Arab indeed, made that statement in the United Nations yesterday. The Lebanese resistance today inspires all resistance men, all free men, and all honourable people in the world, as well as all those who reject US subjugation and degradation of the world. This is our victory and this is the result of our battle . . . ’