Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Dilip Hiro: USA hegemony being challenged

Rising powers have the US in their sights

ASIA TIMES

By Dilip Hiro

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall - militarily invincible, economically unrivaled, diplomatically uncontestable. and the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true "American century", with the rest of the world molding itself in the image of the sole superpower.

Yet with not even a decade of this century behind us, we are already witnessing the rise of a multipolar world in which new powers are challenging different aspects of US supremacy - Russia and China in the forefront, with regional powers Venezuela and Iran forming the second rank. These emergent powers are primed to erode US hegemony, not confront it, singly or jointly.

How and why has the world evolved in this way so soon? The George W Bush administration's debacle in Iraq is certainly a major factor in this transformation, a classic example of an imperialist power, brimming with hubris, overextending itself. To the relief of many - in the US and elsewhere - the Iraq fiasco has demonstrated the striking limitations of power for the globe's highest-tech, most destructive military machine. In Iraq, Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to two US presidents, concedes in a recent op-ed, the US is "being wrestled to a draw by opponents who are not even an organized state adversary".

The invasion and subsequent disastrous occupation of Iraq and the mismanaged military campaign in Afghanistan have crippled the credibility of the United States. The scandals at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, along with the widely publicized murders of Iraqi civilians in Haditha, have badly tarnished America's moral self-image. In the latest opinion poll in Turkey, a secular state and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, only 9% of Turks have a "favorable view" of the US (down from 52% just five years ago).

Yet there are other explanations - unrelated to Washington's glaring misadventures - for the current transformation in international affairs. These include, above all, the tightening market in oil and natural gas, which has enhanced the power of hydrocarbon-rich nations as never before; the rapid economic expansion of the mega-nations China and India; the transformation of China into the globe's leading manufacturing base; and the end of the Anglo-American duopoly in international television news.

Many channels, diverse perceptions

During the 1991 Gulf War, only the Cable News Network and the British Broadcasting Corp had correspondents in Baghdad. So the international TV audience, irrespective of its location, saw the conflict through their lenses. Twelve years later, when the Bush administration, backed by British prime minister Tony Blair, invaded Iraq, Al-Jazeera Arabic broke this duopoly. It relayed images - and facts - that contradicted the Pentagon's presentation. For the first time in history, the world witnessed two versions of an ongoing war in real time. So credible was the Al-Jazeera Arabic version that many television companies outside the Arabic-speaking world - in Europe, Asia and Latin America - showed its clips.

Though, in theory, the growth of cable television worldwide raised the prospect of ending the Anglo-American duopoly in 24-hour television news, not much had happened because of the exorbitant cost of gathering and editing TV news. It was only the arrival of Al-Jazeera English, funded by the hydrocarbon-rich emirate of Qatar - with its declared policy of offering a global perspective from an Arab and Muslim angle - that, last year, finally broke the long-established mold.

Soon France 24 came on the air, broadcasting in English and French from a French viewpoint, followed in mid-2007 by the English-language Press TV, which aimed to provide an Iranian perspective. Russia was next in line for 24-hour TV news in English for the global audience. Meanwhile, spurred by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Telesur, a pan-Latin American TV channel based in Caracas, began competing with CNN in Spanish for a mass audience.

As with Qatar, so with Russia and Venezuela, the funding for these TV news ventures has come from soaring national hydrocarbon incomes - a factor draining US hegemony not just in imagery but in reality.

Russia, an energy superpower

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has more than recovered from the economic chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After in effect renationalizing the energy industry through state-controlled corporations, he began deploying its economic clout to further Russia's foreign-policy interests.

In 2005, Russia overtook the United States to become the second-largest oil producer in the world. Its oil income now amounts to US$679 million a day. European countries dependent on imported Russian oil now include Hungary, Poland, Germany, and even Britain.

Russia is also the largest producer of natural gas on the planet, with three-fifths of its gas exports going to the 27-member European Union. Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland and Slovakia get 100% of their natural gas from Russia; Turkey 66%; Poland 58%; Germany 41%; and France 25%. Gazprom, the biggest natural-gas enterprise on Earth, has established stakes in 16 EU countries.

In 2006, the Kremlin's foreign reserves stood at US$315 billion, up from a paltry $12 billion in 1999. Little wonder that in July 2006, on the eve of the Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg, Putin rejected an energy charter proposed by the Western leaders.

Soaring foreign-exchange reserves, new ballistic missiles, and closer links with a prospering China - with which it conducted joint military exercises on China's Shandong Peninsula in August 2005 - enabled Putin to deal with his US counterpart, President Bush, as an equal, not mincing his words when appraising US policies.

"One country, the United States, has overstepped its national boundaries in every way," Putin told the 43rd Munich Trans-Atlantic Conference on Security Policy in February. "This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations ... This is very dangerous."

Condemning the concept of a "unipolar world", he added: "However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it describes a scenario in which there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making ... It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And this is pernicious." His views fell on receptive ears in the capitals of most Asian, African and Latin American countries.

The changing relationship between Moscow and Washington was noted, among others, by analysts and policymakers in the hydrocarbon-rich Persian Gulf region. Commenting on the visit that Putin paid to longtime US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar after the Munich conference, Abdel Aziz Sagar, chairman of the Gulf Research Center, wrote in the Doha-based newspaper The Peninsula that Russia and Gulf Arab countries, once rivals from opposite ideological camps, had found a common agenda of oil, anti-terrorism, and arms sales:

The altered focus takes place in a milieu where the Gulf countries are signaling their keenness to keep all geopolitical options open, reviewing the utility of the United States as the sole security guarantor, and contemplating a collective security mechanism that involves a host of international players.

In April, the Kremlin issued a major foreign-policy document. "The myth about the unipolar world fell apart once and for all in Iraq," it stated. "A strong, more self-confident Russia has become an integral part of positive changes in the world."

The Kremlin's increasingly tense relations with Washington were in tune with Russian popular opinion. A poll taken during the run-up to the 2006 G8 summit revealed that 58% of Russians regarded the US as an "unfriendly country". It has proved to be a trend. Last month, for instance, Major-General Alexandr Vladimirov told the mass-circulation newspaper Komsolskya Pravda that war with the United States is a "possibility" in the next 10-15 years.

Chavez rides high Such sentiments resonated with Hugo Chavez. While visiting Moscow in June, he urged Russians to return to the ideas of Vladimir Lenin, especially his anti-imperialism. "The Americans don't want Russia to keep rising," he said. "But Russia has risen again as a center of power, and we, the people of the world, need Russia to become stronger."

Chavez finalized a $1 billion deal to purchase five diesel submarines to defend Venezuela's oil-rich undersea shelf and thwart any possible future economic embargo imposed by Washington. By then, Venezuela had become the second-largest buyer of Russian weaponry. (Algeria topped the list, another indication of a growing multipolarity in world affairs.) Venezuela acquired the distinction of being the first country to receive a license from Russia to manufacture the famed AK-47 assault rifle.

By channeling some of his country's oil money to needy Venezuelans, Chavez broadened his base of support. Much to the chagrin of the Bush White House, he trounced his sole political rival, Manuel Rosales, in a presidential contest last December with 61% of the vote. Equally humiliating to the Bush administration, Venezuela was by then giving more foreign aid to needy Latin American states than the US was.

After his re-election, Chavez vigorously pursued the concept of forming an anti-imperialist alliance in Latin America as well as globally. He strengthened Venezuela's ties not only with such Latin countries as Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and debt-ridden Argentina, but also with Iran and Belarus.

By the time he arrived in Tehran from Moscow (via Minsk) in June, the 180 economic and political accords his government had signed with Tehran were already yielding tangible results. Iranian-designed cars and tractors were coming off assembly lines in Venezuela. The "cooperation of independent countries like Iran and Venezuela has an effective role in defeating the policies of imperialism and saving nations", Chavez declared in Tehran.

Stuck in the quagmire of Iraq and lashed by the gusty winds of rocketing oil prices, the Bush administration finds its area of maneuver woefully limited when dealing with a rising hydrocarbon power. To the insults that Chavez keeps hurling at Bush, the US response has been vapid.

The reason is the crippling dependence of the United States on imported petroleum, which accounts for 60% of the total it consumes. Venezuela is the fourth-largest source of US imported oil after Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia; and some refineries in the US are designed specifically to refine heavy Venezuelan oil.

In Chavez' scheme to undermine the "sole superpower", China has an important role. During a visit last August to Beijing, his fourth in seven years, he announced that Venezuela would triple its oil exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day in three years, a jump that suited both sides. Chavez wants to diversify Venezuela's buyer base to reduce its reliance on exports to the US, and China's leaders are keen to diversify their hydrocarbon imports away from the Middle East, where US influence remains strong.

"The support of China is very important [to us] from the political and moral point of view," Chavez declared. Along with a joint refinery project, China agreed to build 13 oil-drilling platforms, supply 18 oil tankers, and collaborate with the state-owned company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA), in exploring a new oilfield in the Orinoco Basin.

China on a stratospheric trajectory

So dramatic has been the growth of the state-run company PetroChina that, in mid-2007, it was second only to ExxonMobil in its market value among energy corporations. Indeed, that year three Chinese companies made it on to the list of the world's 10 most highly valued corporations. Only the US had more with five. China's foreign reserves of more than $1.3 trillion have now surpassed Japan's. With its gross domestic product soaring past Germany's, China ranks No 3 in the world economy.

In the diplomatic arena, Chinese leaders broke new ground in 1996 by sponsoring the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, consisting of four adjoining countries: Russia and the three former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The SCO started as a cooperative organization with a focus on countering drug-smuggling and terrorism.

Later, the SCO invited Uzbekistan to join, even though it does not abut China. In 2003, the SCO broadened its scope by including regional economic cooperation in its charter. That, in turn, led it to grant observer status to Pakistan, India and Mongolia - all adjoining China - and Iran, which does not. When the US applied for observer status, it was rejected, an embarrassing setback for Washington, which enjoyed such status at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Early this month, on the eve of an SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, the group conducted its first joint military exercises, code-named Peace Mission 2007, in the Russian Ural region of Chelyabinsk. "The SCO is destined to play a vital role in ensuring international security," said Ednan Karabayev, foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan.

Late last year, as the host of a China-Africa Forum in Beijing attended by leaders of 48 of 53 African nations, China left the US woefully behind in the diplomatic race for that continent (and its hydrocarbon and other resources). In return for Africa's oil, iron ore, copper and cotton, China sold low-priced goods to Africans, and assisted African counties in building or improving roads, railways, ports, hydroelectric dams, telecommunications systems and schools. "The Western approach of imposing its values and political system on other countries is not acceptable to China," said Africa specialist Wang Hongyi of the China Institute of International Studies. "We focus on mutual development."

To reduce the cost of transporting petroleum from Africa and the Middle East, China began constructing a trans-Myanmar oil pipeline from the Bay of Bengal to its southern province of Yunnan, thereby shortening the delivery distance now traveled by tankers. This undermined Washington's campaign to isolate Myanmar. (Earlier, Sudan, boycotted by Washington, had emerged as a leading supplier of African oil to China.) In addition, Chinese oil companies were competing fiercely with their Western counterparts in getting access to hydrocarbon reserves in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"China's oil diplomacy is putting the country on a collision course with the US and Western Europe, which have imposed sanctions on some of the countries where China is doing business," commented William Mellor of Bloomberg News. The sentiment is echoed by the other side. "I see China and the US coming into conflict over energy in the years ahead," said Jin Riguang, an oil-and-gas adviser to the Chinese government and a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Council.

China's industrialization and modernization have spurred the modernization of its military as well. The test-firing of the country's first anti-satellite missile, which successfully destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite in January, dramatically demonstrated its growing technological prowess. An alarmed Washington had already noted an 18% increase in China's 2007 defense budget.

Attributing the rise to extra spending on missiles, electronic warfare and other high-tech items, Liao Xilong, commander of the People's Liberation Army's general logistics department, said: "The present-day world is no longer peaceful, and to protect national security, stability and territorial integrity, we must suitably increase spending on military modernization."

China's declared budget of $45 billion was a tiny fraction of the Pentagon's $459 billion one. Yet in May, a Pentagon report noted China's "rapid rise as a regional and economic power with global aspirations" and claimed that it was planning to project military further afield, from the Taiwan Strait into the Asia-Pacific region, in preparation for possible conflicts over territory or resources.

The sole superpower in the sweep of history

This disparate challenge to US global primacy stems as much from sharpening conflicts over natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas, as from ideological differences over democracy, US-style, or human rights, as conceived and promoted by Western policymakers. Perceptions about national (and imperial) identity and history are at stake as well.

It is noteworthy that Russian officials applauding the swift rise of post-Soviet Russia refer fondly to the pre-Bolshevik Revolution era when, according to them, czarist Russia was a great power. Equally, Chinese leaders remain proud of their country's long imperial past as unique among nations.

When viewed globally and in the great stretch of history, the notion of US exceptionalism that drove the neo-conservatives to proclaim the Project for the New American Century in the late 20th century - adopted so wholeheartedly by the Bush administration in this one - is nothing new. Other superpowers have been there before, and they too have witnessed the loss of their prime position to rising powers.

No superpower in modern times has maintained its supremacy for more than several generations. And however exceptional its leaders may have thought themselves, the United States, already clearly past its zenith, has no chance of becoming an exception to this age-old pattern of history.

Dilip Hiro is the author of Secrets and Lies: Operation Iraqi Freedom and, most recently, Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources, both published by Nation Books.

(Copyright 2007 Dilip Hiro.)

Thursday, 9 August 2007

British Prisons as Islamist Universities

Blowback from Draconian Anti-Terror Laws

Counterpunch

By SUKANT CHANDAN

In the last month alone Britain has seen 16 Muslims convicted of terror related crimes. Politicians and the media have used these convictions and the attacks in London and Glasgow to heighten Islamophobia and scaremongering amongst the British public. British premier Gordon Brown and the head of the Police Officers Association have taken this opportunity to raise the prospect of internment, detention without trial most notoriously and ineffectually used by the British state against the Irish Republican Movement.

There are already one hundred Muslim terror suspects in British jails waiting trial, and internment, compounded with the probable increase in conflicts in the Middle East, will lead to hundreds more being detained in prisons. Filling Britain’s already critically overpopulated jails with Muslims will bolster the ranks of alienated and radical Islamist youth both inside and outside of the prisons. This like so many of Britain’s foolish policies, will rebound against their security and foreign policy interests.

Not a day goes by without headline news of another individual or group of Muslims being convicted of terrorist-related offences. Although there are many other secular and left-wing movements on the list of proscribed foreign terrorist organisations, the message is that Muslims are the main enemy, and the main subject of the Islamophobic racist offensive by the West. This strategy is successful in criminalising Muslims and Islam in the minds of the majority of British people, and also in humiliating and incensing Muslims and progressive minded people.

These convictions are significant for two main reasons: they set precedents for convictions, not for having been involved or in the planning of terrorist acts, but for distributing material on the internet or being in possession of terrorist-related reading material, and they create a favourable political climate for pushing through further draconian emergency legislation, with internment being the most important and controversial.

The convictions of three people who were in total given 24 years between them were the first ever in Britain against those involved in incitement to commit terrorist acts through the internet. Referring to convicted 23-year old Moroccan Younis Tsouli, Judge Openshaw said "He came no closer to a bomb or a firearm than a computer keyboard" and recommended that Tsouli should be deported back to Morocco after serving his 10-year sentence.

28-year old Yassin Nassari was given three and half years for possession of terrorist-related material given to him on an external hard dive by a friend in Syria while he was there studying Arabic.

The jury failed to convict him on the greater charge of involvement in terrorism, a charge made on the sole basis of an email from his wife while in he was in Syria. Again, as in the case of Tsouli, Nassari was not found to have been involved in any planning or act of terrorism, and if being in possession of these files were so dangerous, why has the British right-wing Telegraph website re-printed the blueprints of how to make al-Qassem rockets that were found on Nassari? In the case of Nassari it seems what is important about his conviction is not the prevention of possible terrorist attacks, as there is no evidence that he was connected to any, but setting a precedent to convict other people for being in possession of the ambiguous ‘terrorist-related’ materials.

The jury's verdict meant that anyone who downloaded such material, whatever their intentions, was at real risk of being convicted under Britain's terrorism laws, and the judge at Nassari's trial said "the sooner that is understood, the better."

When it comes to the Muslims and the conflicts in the Middle East, the official media and British state discourse remains Blairite. The softer, more ‘reasoned’ tone of Brown attempts to win back those voters the Labour Party has alienated. It seems that on an executive level, all that has changed is a slight re-arranging of the deck chairs, as a string of security swoops is taking place against non-Islamic groups in Britain which remains unreported, while terror-related convictions of Muslims are the context in which Brown is seeking ‘cross-party’ consensus on further emergency legislation. Scotland Yard, Britain’s police headquarters has supported the head of the Association of Police Officers proposal of internment with no definite time limit to replace the upper time limit of 28 days that exists at present, a period which Brown has already said he wants to extend. In all likelihood the government will succeed in getting internment through in the absence of any serious and effective opposition to it inside or outside parliament.

Recent history in the British military occupation of Northern Ireland has already shown the counter-productiveness of internment which contributed to turning British prisons in Ireland into hotbeds of radical Irish Republicanism, so much so that Britain’s most notorious maximum security prison in Northern Ireland Long Kesh or ‘The Maze’, was dubbed the ‘Republican University’ by the Republican Movement.

There are already warning signs as to what internment would mean for British security. Mukhtar Said Ibrahim, who was the ringleader of the 21/7 attempted London bombing, spent time in Feltham and Aylesbury Young Offenders Institutes, and is alleged to have been radicalized by Imams there, as it is alleged was the ‘shoe-bomber’ Richard Reid during his time at Feltham.

More recently the Islamist prisoners being held in Belmarsh, many of them awaiting trial for many months, are already creating headaches for the prison authorities. Tariq al-Daour, one of the first convicted in Britain to be imprisoned for inciting terrorism over the internet, was caught allegedly making a website which encouraged armed struggle. A prison riot ensued between prison officers and Muslim prisoners when al-Daour refused to hand over his laptop. If this is the situation with a handful of Islamist prisoners in Belmarsh, one can predict the crisis that will occur when Britain has to deal with hundreds of radical Islamist prisoners organising from and recruiting inside British jails. The Vice Chair of the Prison Officers Association Steve Gough has warned that in five years terrorist and suspected terrorist prisoners will increase by a thousand and these highly politicised and often charismatic prisoners could influence produce a new wave of radicals among other inmates.

Throughout much of the prison populations in the West, as well as outside of them, Islam holds a special attraction. Most famously, it was Malcolm X / Malik el-Hajj Shabazz that undertook the transformation from street-hustler through a path of redemption to Islam and soon became US’s greatest radical Black leader. From being known as ‘Satan’ by his fellows, he turned to Islam after befriending a fellow prisoner who was a member of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X’s auto-biography continues to be the most requested book by prisoners in the West.

In British jails Islam is the fastest growing religion amongst inmates. Wandsworth prison in London, Europe’s largest, sees more Muslims attending prayers than all the other faiths combined across London’s prison system. Gough himself states that the majority of the prison population is comprised of angry young men, disenfranchised from society, “It doesn't matter if they're English, Afro-Caribbean or whatever. These types of people are ripe for radicalisation.”

Few British people from the inner cities do not know of fellow students at college or university who turned away from a life of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity and disrespect towards the opposite sex, towards Islam as a route out towards a life of moral uprightness and knowledge. After 9/11 many of these youths were incensed by the oppression of their co-religionists in Somalia, Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq. These young people who try to make sense out of the tragedies and challenges that are befalling the Ummah are further disturbed by what they see as the decadence of the West which takes place alongside war and occupation.

Those who are imprisoned for terror-related crimes and who are awaiting trial are not, unlike the Irish Republican prisoners until the late 1990s, part of a mass radical social and armed struggle in Britain. They are prisoners who are mostly isolated from the Muslim community in Britain, and as such constitute convenient targets for the British government to justify the introduction of further draconian measures.

Ironically, it may well be the introduction of these measures that will swell the ranks of radical Islamist prisoners in British jails, which will in turn in the near future increase the recruitment of radical Islamist youth both inside British prisons and in the communities. The British state security response to this might be to introduce even further measures such as isolation cells and sensory-deprivation techniques that are used in other parts of Europe.

It must be borne in mind however that these measures will not stop plenty of other Islamist prisoners amongst the prison populations, whose charisma, message of rejection of Western decadent society and hypocritical concepts of democracy and human rights will find receptive ears and recruits from some of the most alienated and disenfranchised youth in British society who maybe looking for retribution for their perceived injustices that they and their co-religionists have faced.

COUNTERPUNCH

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Nasrallah: Resistance aborted the 'New Middle East'


See many more articles updated daily
from Arab language and Middle Eastern
press on this and other subjects at the
OURAIM Archive
--------------------------------------------

Nasrallah's speech at July war rally in Bint Jubayl


[Bin Jiddu's two-part interview with Nasrallah for Al-Jazeera
on the 23-24th July can be found at the OURAIM Archive - OURAIM]


On July 28, the Hezbollah-affiliated TV Al Manar carried a speech by
the Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on the first
anniversary of the July 2006 war:

"I seek refuge in God from Satan, the accursed. In the name of God,
the merciful, the compassionate; praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds;
may the peace and blessings of God be upon our Lord and prophet, the
last of the Apostles, Abi-al- Qasim Muhammad Ibn-Abdallah, and his
good and chaste family members, righteous companions, and all the
Apostles and messengers.

"Esteemed scholars, deputies, families of martyrs, brothers and
sisters, honourable masses, who are the most honourable, generous, and
virtuous among people: God's peace and blessings be upon you.While
addressing you on this great occasion in this blessed part of the land
of steadfastness, resistance, jihad, martyrdom, pride, and dignity,
and with the grace of God, I would first hope that our meeting today
will be up to the level of the anniversary marking the birth of Ali
Bin-Abi-Talib, imam of the pious and commander of the faithful, peace
be upon him.

"The nation is unanimous on glorifying, honouring, appreciating, and
recognizing his status in the history of the nation and its jihad,
sacrifices, mission, and historic accomplishments. You and your
mujahid sons, martyrs, and steadfast ones among you have materialized
some of his words and heroic deeds at the present time. You have
renewed his heroic deeds in the Al-Khandaq and Khaybar battles and you
will continue to do so.

"Brothers and sisters, on this dear anniversary, the anniversary of
victories, sacrifices, martyrs, steadfastness, joy, pain, and
unlimited sacrifice, I address you where you are in the square of
steadfastness which was the square of liberation - a square which
combines the city of Bint Jubayl with its mujahid townships of Aynata,
Marun al-Ras, and Aytarun to make up the heart of that area which is
throbbing with dignity, life, will of life, pride, and ability to hold
out and defy regardless of difficulties and dangers.

"I address you at this particular time and at this particular place,
which is a square baptized with blood and tears. I address the special
people you represent today. You are their symbols and representatives
throughout the south, Lebanon, and the nation. You are the sacrificing
people who represent the families of martyrs, prisoners, wounded,
resistance men, steadfast people, and the ones who adhere to their
land in spite of the demolition of houses, the hard living conditions,
and the continuous Israeli threats. This is a special occasion to
commemorate the martyrs, the makers of victory who are at the
forefront.

"Brothers and sisters, there is much to be said tonight, but due to
the large number of headlines in front of me and which I should answer
and discuss like the issue of war and what is linked to it in terms of
results and effects, and the issues of resistance, reconstruction,
regional developments, future prospects, the internal Lebanese
situation, the difficult circumstances of the Lebanese, and the future
horizons they have. In all cases, there are many issues I certainly
cannot discuss tonight.

"God willing, I will talk about some of these issues tonight. We have
another meeting with our people and beloved ones in the city of
Ba'labakk in Al-Biqa next week. I also hope that we will have one last
meeting on 14 August, the day when you returned with your wounds and
smiles to the land on which you are standing now with all pride. I can
distribute these issues among these nights. Tonight, however, and due
to the nature of the occasion and the place, allow me to talk to you
and through you to the Lebanese, Arabs, and all those who hear us
about some aspects of the war in general.

"I will then move on from what is general to what is particular and is
linked to the place where you are present now. I will then give a
summary and a conclusion on which to build during the next stage. This
will be accompanied by two messages - one for the Lebanese on such
days and another for the enemy, which is only a short distance from
you.

"Brothers and sisters, at the end of the war, the Zionists called the
July 2006 war the second Lebanon war. This means they considered their
1982 invasion the first Lebanon war. This, of course, is according to
the way they themselves called them. Israel has been in a state of war
on Lebanon since its establishment in 1948 on the land of Palestine
and its usurpation of that holy land and its displacement of a large
part of the people of Palestine.

"Since the establishment of this diabolical, aggressive, covetous, and
usurping entity in 1948, Israel has been in a state of war against
Lebanon regardless of the position Lebanon chose for itself in this
battle and this conflict. The people of southern Lebanon know better
than others how much this south and its people, especially in the
border strip, have endured since 1948 in terms of Israeli attacks,
violations, and dangers up to the 1978 and 1982 invasions, the July
1993 war, and the April 1996 war.

"This means a state of war has been going on since 1948. We were not
the ones who made the war decision. The Zionist Israelis were the ones
who imposed this war on Lebanon and the people of Lebanon before I was
born, before many of you were born, and before many Lebanese people
who are still living and may God grant them long life were born. They
are the ones who made the decision to declare war on Lebanon and
before that on Palestine, the Arabs, and the whole nation.

"The war on Lebanon took all sorts of forms right from the beginning.
It took the form of assassinations, incursions, occupation, arrests,
bombings, landing operations, and real wars. But there is no doubt
that the most dangerous things Lebanon faced for decades were the
first and second wars as the Zionists described them. The first
Lebanon war was the 1982 invasion and the second was the July 2006
war.

"I will try here to present as quickly as possible a brief account of
some of the many important similarities between the two wars in terms
of Zionist goals and results. We will find that the July 2006 was the
most serious, most difficult, and largest on the level of goals,
results, and events. Time is insufficient, so I will not draw a
military comparison or talk about the nature of the enemy's work or
the nature of the heroic deeds and epics recorded by the Lebanese,
Palestinians, Syrians, and all those who fought against the 1982
invasion. I will not discuss many aspects of this issue, but will talk
about the goals and results as well as some other issues but briefly.

"In 1982, there was a limited discussion of the nature of the US role
in the war and the limits of the green light the US Administration
gave to Begin's government and the limits of the geographic area
Israel was allowed to occupy. In July 2006, there was a clear,
publicized, and flagrant US decision that was clear to the whole
world. That decision expressed absolute political and material support
for the Israeli war on Lebanon.

"What is more is that there was US pressure on Israel to continue its
war until the aspired goals were achieved. In 1982, there was a
discussion of the nature of the international role and Arab position
in covering the invasion, but in July 2006 there was an international
adoption and an Arab cover of this war. In one word, we can say that
the 1982 invasion was a US-Israeli war on Lebanon while the second
Lebanon war was a world war against Lebanon. In this war, Lebanon and
its people, resistance, army, and all honourable people stood up in a
clear defiance of the will of the international community.

"Some tell me not to use this phrase, but this is the truth as
expressed by the eight industrialized states when they met during the
war. This is the truth from which we should not at all run away. We in
Lebanon gave an example of the early Islam heroes and the battles of
prophets, about whom the almighty says: "Men said to them: 'A great
army is gathering against you,' and frightened them: But it (only)
increased their Faith: They said: 'For us Allah sufficeth, and He is
the best disposer of affairs."

"We and you were not terrorized by this international consensus or
these fleets, armies, and threats, and we waged this battle. In 1982,
the Israelis presented in a public and clear manner the goals of their
invasion of Lebanon. The first goal was destroying the PLO and forcing
the Palestinian organizations out of Lebanon. The second goal was
establishing a Lebanese political authority that was loyal or
subservient to the Israelis and Americans.

"The third goal was signing a peace treaty with this political
authority so that Lebanon would be completely linked to the Israeli-US
plan in the region. The goals of the July 2006 war were much larger
and more serious. They went beyond the Lebanese side or Lebanese arena
to talk about the entire region. Condoleezza Rice spoke arrogantly and
clearly during the first days of the war and said: "We are witnessing
the birth pangs of a new Middle East."

"These pangs spill the blood of our children, women, elderly people,
mujahidin, soldiers of our army, and our people everywhere in Lebanon.
This is a birth that comes about by destroying the infrastructure,
houses, markets, and the people's sources of income. She spoke about
the establishment of a new Middle East. When she and her likes talk
about a new Middle East, we should know that the nature of this new
Middle East will be in the interest of the United States and Israel
and not the people of the region.

"She wants a new Middle East in which there is no place for resistance
or resistance men, no place for opposition or opponents, no place for
sovereign people or true seekers of sovereignty, and no place for
those who want to live in dignity and honour. The new Middle East that
is wanted by Bush and Rice should consist of fragmented and disputing
sectarian mini states, each of which turns to the United States and
Israel for protection and for securing the rights of communities and
ethnic and religious minorities.

"Accordingly, the goals of the July 2006 war exceeded all the goals
envisaged for Lebanon to talk about a new Middle East and a new region
and about the future of Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Jordan,
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iran, and what is beyond Iran.
Keep this in mind because I will return to it in a while when I talk
about the results. Specific goals were set for Lebanon.

1. "Destroying the Lebanese resistance this time.

2. "Spreading the influence of the authority of the current ruling
team. I do not want to use names but during the war Olmert and his
foreign and war ministers often said: "We want to help spread the
influence of the government of Fu'ad al-Sanyurah to the entire
Lebanese soil." This, of course, is insulting to Lebanon, the people
of Lebanon, the government of Lebanon, and any political party that
claims to be national or sovereign. The mere saying of these words
although without coordination was insulting to all the Lebanese.

"Olmert comes and says: "I want to spread the influence of the
Lebanese Government to all Lebanese territories with the blood of the
children and women of Lebanon and by destroying the houses of Lebanon
and by inflicting all this damage on Lebanon." This is so although all
know that the state spread its influence and authority to all areas,
especially in southern Lebanon. In 2000, I stood there where you are
and said we are not an authority and will not be an authority.

"You the people of the south and the people of this honourable area
and the people of the liberated border strip know well that the
resistance has never practiced authority on your land and over you.
The resistance had a disguised and unpublicized presence because it
believed it had only one task which is defending Lebanon, the land,
honour, dignity, blood, and sovereignty. There was no problem called
state sovereignty or state control or presence of the state in the
south and elsewhere.

"They, however, said this in their goals. If we badly understand this,
that is, if we think ill of this, we will say the Israelis clearly
state that one of the goals of this war is enabling a Lebanese team to
control Lebanon at the expense of another Lebanese team. The third
goal was reaching security agreements with the government they would
suppose had dominated and controlled Lebanon.

"These are security agreements at minimum and political agreements at
maximum. Fourth, they presented a detailed goal, which was releasing
or freeing the two Israeli soldiers unconditionally. These were the
goals of the first and second Lebanon wars. What was achieved and what
happened? With regard to the first Lebanon war, and speaking very
briefly, I can say that some accomplishments were made.

"The PLO was struck and the bulk of the Palestinian resistance and
Palestinian factions were driven out of Lebanon. A very large part of
the Lebanese territories up to the capital Beirut was occupied. A
political authority was imposed on Lebanon under the force of Israeli
tanks and spears. I do not want to get into the details now because
there are elections in Al-Matn. The 17 May agreement was imposed on
the Lebanese, too. These accomplishments were initially achieved, but
they gradually fell apart until they collapsed as a result of a number
of local and regional developments and events which take long to talk
about.

"However, what happened on the opposite side was the birth of a
serious Lebanese resistance through a variety of Lebanese forces and
under all sorts of names like the Lebanese Resistance Regiments, Amal,
the National Lebanese Resistance Front, the National Lebanese
Resistance, and the Islamic Resistance. Many forces under all sorts of
names worked strongly and effectively in the arena of resistance.

"We all know that there is a big difference between a Palestinian
brother fighting on the land of Lebanon and a Lebanese fighting on the
land of Lebanon. It is exactly like the difference between a
Palestinian resistance man fighting in the West Bank and another
resistance man fighting there. The resistance of the people of the
country is stronger, tougher, and more effective.

"The political authority, which was imposed on the Lebanese by the
Israeli spears, was isolated and it collapsed with the passage of
time. The 17 May agreement became ink on paper and was eventually
cancelled. The Israelis withdrew in 1984/1985 to the previous border
strip and the goals of the 1982 war collapsed in two to three years,
but the suffering of the south and Lebanon continued as a result of
the continuation of occupation of the land and the detention of
hundreds of Lebanese in the Al-Khiyam prison and other Israeli
detention centres in occupied Palestine.

"The Israeli attacks on the rest of the south, Al-Biqa, and the rest
of the Lebanese territories continued. They thought that the land
owners will abandon their land, but we refused to see Bint Jubayl,
Marj Uyun, Hasbayya, Kfar Shuba, Shab'a, and all Lebanese villages
under occupation. We refused to have any detainee in the occupation
prisons. Resistance continued after 1985 seriously and diligently.

"It waged a long war of attrition. There was the July 1993 war and
Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996. All these wars were aimed at
destroying and ending the resistance and protecting the occupation of
our land and keeping the occupiers on our land, but they failed.
Resistance continued to work undaunted by the martyrdom of leaders,
headed by Al-Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, the master of the martyrs of our
resistance, together with his wife and child.

"It was undaunted by the massacres in Qana, Al-Mansuri, and other
places or by the demolition of houses, or by the caravans of martyrs
and wounded. This continued until the Zionists lost hope of staying on
our land. Therefore, they decided to withdraw on 25 May 2000, the day
of resistance and liberation. All the anticipated and potential goals
the Zionists expected from their 1982 invasion were completely
shattered.

"But if we note the element of time - and I do not want to talk about
the size of sacrifices - from 1982 to 1985, that is three years, and
from 1985 to 2000, that is, 15 years, we will find that the Lebanese
faced the goals, results, and repercussions of the 1982 war for 18
years. Eventually, Lebanon triumphed a nd the resistance stood in Bint
Jubayl to present the gift of its victory to Lebanon, all of Lebanon,
to all the Arabs and Muslims, and to all oppressed people in the
world.

"It gave the credit for victory to all those who contributed to it
without any monopoly so that all resistance men and martyrs in the
Palestinian resistance, the Lebanese forces, the Lebanese Army, the
Syrian Arab forces, and civilians in the south and in Lebanon and in
the Palestinian camps would be remembered. It was a great victory and
a great day. What happened to these goals in the July 2006 war?

"If we carefully examine things, we will proudly find that the goals
of the July or second Lebanon war - goals which went beyond Lebanon
and were more dangerous than the previous war - have all collapsed in
only 33 days thanks to you after the almighty God and thanks to your
martyrs and mujahidin and to your steadfastness and sacrifices. All
these goals collapsed in only 33 days and magic turned against the
magician.

"On the level of the enemy and nation, the results and repercussions
were larger and more important than the Zionist enemy and those behind
it expected. A quick reading shows that there is no new Middle East
after 14 August 2006; no new Middle East. It was gone with the wind.
Do you not notice with me that Condoleezza Rice has swallowed her
tongue forever?

"The new Middle East has collapsed in front of the feet of your
mujahidin and the shoes of your children and their blood, which was
spilled in all the villages and towns of Lebanon and its south. This
is as far as logic is concerned, but big things will be mentioned and
this is not the time to mention them.

"Secondly, have they managed to wipe out the resistance? Have they
managed to disarm the resistance? Have they managed to undermine its
jihadist structure? Have they managed to undermine its will, resolve,
morale, and strength? No. You know, but I tell you so that the world
and the enemy can listen: this resistance, which fought in July 2006,
is today stronger, more powerful, more solid, and more determined to
confront the aggression and achieve victory.

"As for the government, whose authority they wanted to spread by
spears, iron, and fire, it quickly lost the confidence of the majority
of the Lebanese after the end of the war due to its performance during
and after the war and due to its monopoly and rejection of national
partnership. It, therefore, lost its legitimacy and constitutionality.

"The ruling team, which the Americans and Israelis had expected to
stand here on such days to declare whatever it wants to declare - a
million Lebanese came out and after 10 days, 1.5 million Lebanese came
out to tell it: You have to leave. You are a failed government, and we
want a government of national partnership and real national unity.

"The world and the world rulers and presidents were forced to extend
all sorts of moral and political support so that this government team
might continue to hold on to its political position. What is more -
and I will not talk about this issue but just to make a remark - I
tell you that they wanted the war in order to change the features of
Lebanon and make it monopolized and under the control of a certain
team. However, the dreams of this team are evaporating.

"They had dreams of control, hegemony, and monopolization and these
dreams are disappearing day by day. No government and no authority can
be imposed on the Lebanese popular majority. Lebanon cannot be ruled
by any team no matter who support it, not even if the entire world
stands behind it. Any government that is established in Lebanon must
rely on the will, satisfaction, and consensus of its people in order
to stay, to continue.

"The current situation is abnormal and in any case, their aim was not
to create such a situation. Even the minor targets were not realized;
namely, the return of the two Israeli prisoners unconditionally and
without restrictions. Can you see with me, beloved and dear ones, that
the great and big targets of the July war, the regional and local,
were battered, disfigured, and disappeared during 33 days at the hands
of your steadfastness, challenge, patience, prayers, resistance,
unity, and your presence in the squares.

"The objectives of Olmert and the achievements of Olmert and his
government have shrunk and are now reduced to one achievement; namely,
that, I, the humble man, can no longer walk around - or rather Olmert
has prevented me from walking around - in Beirut streets. First of
all, I want to assure Olmert that I walk around in Beirut streets.

"But suppose this aim and this achievement has been realized. By
talking about this result, Olmert is condemning Israel itself. This is
a brand of shame in the face of the entity that raised the slogan
about the Greater Israel project and after that the Great Israel
project. It is a brand of shame in the face of the entity which wanted
and continues to want to impose its conditions on all the Arab peoples
and governments put together.

"It is a brand of shame in the face of the entity that claims that its
army is the fifth, sixth, or fourth most powerful army in the world.
It is a brand of shame in the face of the army that claims to have the
most powerful air force in the Middle East region. Just imagine, the
targets and achievements of this great entity, this powerful army
which is backed by the US machine of destruction, have disappeared and
have been reduced to the aim that I am no longer able to walk about in
Beirut streets.

"Let us suppose that this is true. Let us suppose that the worst came
to the worst and I am unable to walk about in Beirut streets. This is
my condition. But what are Israel's conditions after the July war?
What are Olmert's conditions after the July war? Only three per cent
trust him - today the percentage rose to eight per cent, which is an
improvement - and the others say he is not to be trusted. The
undefeatable army is now in the eyes of its people a disfigured and
ruined army. Israel lost its prestige and image.

"It wanted to improve its image but it completely destroyed it. In
2000 the image was shaken and in 2006 this image was smashed. Where is
Israel now, where is the resistance; where is the nation now? In any
case, this is as far as aims are concerned. I have no time to talk
about the results and repercussions for this entity and on the level
of the nation - moral, political, and cultural levels and the projects
of struggle in the region.

"This needs much time but I would like to use what remains of my time
to discuss certain particular topics that are linked with your area,
with this area, the area of steadfastness and resistance, the towns
that surround it, and our frontline villages, which fought for 33 days
and demonstrated legendary heroism in terms of steadfastness,
fighting, and defiance.

"Brothers and sisters, one of the biggest and most significant Israeli
failures, according to enemy admissions and the conclusions of the
Winograd Committee report are manifested in many things but I am going
to speak about the two most important things or issues. The first
issue is the failure of the Israeli Air Force, the most powerful in
the Middle East, to silence the missiles that shook the Zionist
domestic front, and in certain areas for the first time since 1967.

"It was a total failure. This is because until the 33d day, the
resistance mujahidin were firing their missiles from the Lebanese
borders with occupied Palestine, from the border areas with occupied
Palestine, let alone the rear lines. The second thing is the failure
of the Israeli ground operation when the Israelis decided to occupy
the frontline villages and strike at the resistance's structure at the
frontline, thinking that occupying the frontline area would rob us of
the ability to fire missiles on the one hand and undermine our
military structure on the other, thus making an invasion of the rest
of the south an easy task if they ever wanted to do that.

"At the beginning the aim o f the land operation was to overrun the
frontline area and later reach the Litani River. That was what the
Israelis declared and talked about, especially after they had realized
their air force's failure to destroy the resistance's structure,
especially its missile force. In the land operation, they sent four
divisions, some of which were armored divisions, including four elite
brigades, which were the most important elite Zionist combat troops,
in order to occupy these frontline villages and areas and reach the
Litani River.

"Here I will directly discuss the role of your land, your own area.
What happened? At the beginning the confrontation was at the Marun al-
Ra's town and you all know the circumstances of this town. Despite its
difficult circumstances, it fought and remained steadfast. It gave the
enemy a big shock and inflicted losses on it. The enemy was aghast
because of the steadfastness of Ayta al-Sha'b. You all know how far
this village is from the border.

"They were aghast because of the steadfastness of other villages. I
apologize for my inability to mention all their names because they are
too many and I am afraid that I might mention some and forget to
mention some others. Thus Israel decided to mount a qualitative land
operation which it thought would be decisive in the land battle with
the resistance. This step was to occupy the Bint Jubayl town along
with Aynata and Aytarun, and all the noble southern villages that are
around this area, which is honoured by you and which honours you.

"What was the reason for this choice and this targeting? We do not
want to give an analysis because the Israelis themselves spoke about
this and said that a victory celebration was held in this town in 2000
and that the speaker at the celebration at that time said, addressing
the Lebanese and Arab peoples, that Israel was flimsier than a spider
web. They wanted to wage this battle. Halutz said: Bint Jubayl is a
symbol.

"It is the city in whichNasrallahmade the spider web speech and
there are people there who defend and protect it and our task now is
to strike them at this place. The Israeli press said that the spider
web speech enraged the Israeli general command. The brigade
commanders, that is, all of the elite brigade commanders, were eager
to erase the humiliation that they had to withstand in Bint Jubayl in
2000.

"The wild imagination of Olmert and Peretz - I will never forget his
name - took them to the point whereNasrallahspoke and made a victory
speech there. However, the result was that this was not to be. Bint
Jubayl, which is situated three km - as the Zionists say - from the
Israeli borders, had once again been transformed into a symbol of
Zionist failure. The resigning commander of the Israeli land forces
Beni Gantz said thatNasrallah'svictory speech was in Bint Jubayl and
this place must be razed to the ground.

"Look how weak-minded they are. They want to wipe out an entire town
and an entire area because someone stood there and said: You are
weaker than a spider web. Eventually they selected the name for their
operation. It was: strings of steel. They wanted to say that Israel
was made of strings of steel, that it was not weak as a spider web.
But the sons of the resistance and the lions of God in this area and
in this spot proved once again in 2006 the truth of the sentence that
Israel is weaker than the spider's web.

"The spider, its web, and its strings might terrify some children, the
cowards, the men with weak hearts, but the men of God, you, will not
be terrified by a spider or anything that is stronger - I do not know
what is stronger than a spider. Your willpower is stronger than iron
and steel and you have proved this. After the battle at Bint Jubayl,
Aynata, Marun, Aytarun, and all these villages, the deputy commander
of the northern command told Halutz: You are not managing the war
correctly.

"Out of five brigades, we exhausted there and we have not realized
anything at all. It was for this reason that the confrontation
occurred in this area. After they occupied the town of Marun and
passed by the Aytarun town, whose population and mujahidin took the
challenge, they were unable to occupy other villages.

"They came by stealth to besiege Bint Jubayl and Aynata and they tried
to enter along more than one axis and at more than one point, using
tanks, infantry, and troop landings, but at every axis and at every
point and entry, the men of God, the lions of God were prepared for
them, ready and alert, surprising the enemy, killing it, terrifying
it, expelling it, and tearing up enemy ranks. The few faithful men
defeated their tanks, brigades, battalions, and columns and scoffed at
their air force and their shells and firepower.

"Our martyrs and hero mujahidin there fought on every hill and at
every valley and from one house to another, and from an olive tree to
the next. Just read what the Israelis wrote about these battles but
please forgive me for not mentioning these areas because I might
forget to mention some of them. They spoke about the brightest epics
of bravery, steadfastness, and heroism, which our mujahidin and
fighters displayed there.

"It was the battle of the machinegun, the RPG, the small bomb, the
hand grenade, the anti armour shells, and the bare flesh on the one
hand, and soldiers armed to the teeth, on the other. It was the
greatest epic of heroism, and was repeated in other areas of the south
and in Al-Biqa and throughout Lebanon. However, we were unable to
present these details to the world except recently because of the
internal Lebanese conditions.

"Your loved and dear ones fought under the worst military
circumstances that anyone could imagine possible at the military level
- air force attacks, aerial bombardment, artillery shelling, thousand
of air raids, total destruction of homes, markets, and all places.
However, the result was that the Israelis took back their destroyed
tanks, torn bodies, and the defeated and injured among them. Even the
soldiers who remained alive were taken to mental and psychological
hospitals. The Zionists failed.

"Their command and their administration failed. Their senior officers
from the staff command, the northern command, the direct commanders at
the battlefield, and the commanders of the elite brigades were all
waging the battle. Tens of thousands and tank brigades facing a
limited number of your sons, the good and mujahidin sons of your
villages. They may not have sufficient arms and ammunition but they
have the faith which has been unprecedented in the world.

"Brothers and sisters, this steadfastness in this area and in these
towns and across the south, especially south of the Litani River, in
Al-Biqa and in southern Beirut suburb and everywhere, has made the
Israelis aware that military entry into our villages is very costly.
They might be able to enter a village here or a town there as they did
at Marun al-Ra's and other small villages in the south but they are
aware that any entry would be costly.

"Therefore, they entered through the valleys by stealth under the
cover of darkness. This powerful army was waiting for the night to
come in order to move by stealth like thieves, away from the eyes of
the mujahidin because they had supposed that the mujahidin lost the
ability to fight at night.

"By entering through the valleys, they wanted to reach the Litani
River during the last days of the war through the shortest possible
route in order to realize a moral and political achievement to deceive
their Israeli people, mislead the world, and reach a point where their
soldiers would step into the Litani River and tell the world: We have
reached the Litani river. Come and negotiate with us from another
position.

"The enemy could not even realize this. In the valleys and during the
night, your sons were vigilant, lying in wait for the enemy and
destroying its tanks. Everywhere we clashed. Brothers, Lebanese and
Arabs, the greatest thing that can be recorded in the July 2006 war is
that these resistance fighters were characterized by a trait that is
not found o r at least is rare in armies of the world and in wars of
resistance in the world; namely, that the resistance men never fled
the battlefield.

"The resistance men did not bury their arms and fee. Some of them
fought until martyrdom and some fought until they were captured. Here,
we would like to mention with pride our brother detainees in enemy
jails. Some of them fought until the last bullet and left their place
to another place to fight and continue the resistance. This is the
greatest lesson and the most important manifestations of the July war.

"Some of our mujahidin and brothers were being besieged because of
aerial bombardment, enemy landings, and the cutting off of road, and
were living sometimes through very difficult circumstances in terms of
supplies. If we gave them permission to withdraw and they thought that
they had the ability to continue the battle, they preferred to stay.
In some positions, we asked them to let us send others to replace them
but they refused to go back to the frontline. For 33 days, day and
night, these fighters remained unchanged but other forces were added
to them. They never left or abandoned their positions. They remained
steadfast.

"However, 48 hours after they entered southern Lebanon - the Israelis
cannot deny this because this was published in their media and was
recognized by their army officers - the Israeli elite forces, began to
cry aloud: Replace us, send us back, we want to rest, we are unable to
go on. They did this even though they had the most powerful air force
in the Middle East. However, our brothers were steadfast and firm in
all their positions because they had over their heads to protect them
the one who is greater and more powerful than the weapons of the
entire world; namely, Almighty God.

"Acts of heroism continued elsewhere in the remaining areas and
villages until the last point in the line, Al-Ghanduriyah, which they
wanted to cross into the Litani River and place their feet in the
river waters. The Al-Hujayr Valley, the valley of Al-Sayyid Abd-al-
Husayn Sharaf al-Din and Musa al-Sadr, the valley of all these great
men and leaders, was lying in wait for them along with other
surrounding valleys, villages, and towns. They suffered great losses
and they were humiliated, and eventually they accepted the so-called
cessation of hostilities.

"I want to tell you more than this. In certain areas they were unable
to take back their troops after they halted their air force
operations. How could they take back these forces that landed in
advanced positions? I remember in those days that the command of the
UN emergency forces asked the resistance not to detonate bombs in the
streets when the Israelis returned so that the cease-fire would be
firm. They withdrew from these places in this way and in this manner.

"Your steadfastness, here and in all frontline villages, foiled the
land operation, and thus aborted all political endeavours to impose
conditions on Lebanon that were not appropriate for Lebanon in the
least. This led to the enemy's failure to realize any of its aims.

"The enemy did not even succeed in regaining the prisoners. Today, I
repeat to the detainees and their families, our brothers and loved
ones, what I said on 12 July: If the entire world comes here it will
not be able to return the two Israeli soldiers to Israel and to the
Israeli government. The only way is indirect negotiations and
exchanges so that our prisoners, our loved ones and brothers, might
return with their heads high in the air, and without any favour from
anyone in the world. Their return will be celebrated.

"This failure of the land operations led to the end of the military
operation. Of course this failure is to be added to failures in other
fields. The resistance, which was taking its position to guard, fire
missiles, and fight is still there. The steadfastness of Lebanese
people and the political forces has continued. Cooperation and
solidarity continue. All other factors were instrumental but this
failure on the land was the decisive factor during the final days.

"Had those towns been destined to fall in the face of the Israeli
ground attack, Israel would have obstructed resolution 1701, and it
would have asked the international community to give it an additional
week, two weeks, or three weeks.

"It would definitely have got that, and with a broad smile on top of
it, and it would have continued its war south of the Al-Litani River
and north of it and on all of Lebanon so as to change the entire
equation, so that the dirty newborn -which is called the New Middle
East that has been born from the womb of a dirty American woman -can
emerge and exist. However, you have aborted this illegitimate foetus.
You have ended that labour. You have destroyed that plan -there, your
mujahidin, your heroes, your sons.

"Those are bright aspects of our war and our confrontation.
Regrettably, some people in Lebanon wanted us to drown in darkness and
to see only the losses which we view as sacrifices. All resistance
movements in history, all the nations that resisted throughout history
for their freedom and to regain their sovereignty and land, and to
safeguard their dignity, did not talk about losses.

"They talked about sacrifices and they took pride in those sacrifices
and built monuments to commemorate their martyrs, their devastated
cities, and their demolished houses. They did not stand over the ruins
to cry here or there, but they took pride in the victory that was
forged in blood, demolished homes, tears, and pain, and the pains of
displacement.

"Those are shining pictures that should be presented to the Lebanese,
the Arabs, and the entire world, so that you know what kind of men and
women you have in Lebanon. Those who were fighting there in the
frontlines were not only the citizens of the frontline villages only
but are resistors from all parts of Lebanon, from its homes, families,
towns, cities, and villages.

"Yes, we possess that vast and great human wealth. Here lies our real
wealth, our human being who is a believer and who is proud, strong,
and capable of challenging, achieving victory, changing equations,
confronting plots, and imposing his will on the entire world even if
that entire world backed an arrogant and tyrannical enemy such as
Israel.

"We remember here your martyrs, your wounded, your prisoners, your
loyal people the civilians, both those who remained until the last day
or those who had to be evacuated and had to bear the pains of
displacement, being away from their homes and beloved ones, and the
difficult living conditions. It is those kind and unarmed civilians
who decided the battle on 14 August 2006 -and I will talk about that
on 14 August 2007, God willing. You decided that battle and returned
to your land with your heads high, and you will remain in that land.

"Here allow me to address two messages: a message to inside Lebanon,
and a message to the enemy. I say to those inside Lebanon: You will
fin d the resistance in Lebanon more concerned than anyone else for
national unity, civil peace, stability, joint living, the project for
a state, and for amity, fraternity, and cohesion among the Lebanese of
all sects, confessions, and trends and from all areas.

"Anyone who tries to cast aspersions on that will through speeches,
articles, and the media that are replete with lies and illegal funds
should not affect your conviction and your knowledge, and you know us
from experience: from 20 to 25 May 2000, you know how we behaved, and
without considering any Lebanese beholden to a favour done. Such are
our values, such are our ethics, such is our culture, such is our
religion, such is our civilization, such are we, and such is our
reality.

"That is how we behave. We do not take revenge, we do not gloat, we do
not dominate, and we do not undertake any role in lieu of the State.
We do not try, we do not sit as judges, we do not pass sentences, and
we do not carry out sentences. It is not we who have appointed
ourselves prosecutor, judge, and executor at one and the same time. It
is others who have done that. We did not do that.

"In recent days in Lebanon they have resorted to new lies: Hezbollah,
and Amal and the Shi'is - never mind, let's speak in the open tonight
- want to change the Al-Ta'if Accord and stage a coup against the
formula of the present political system. That is lies and fabrication
and it is untrue. Had we wanted to do that, we should have said so on
25 July 2000 in Bint Jubayl.

"You would have heard a different speech and a different language, but
that was not the truth. The truth, our truth, is what you heard on 25
May 2000. The truth is what I am telling you now in my name and on
behalf of Amal movement and those who are being accused today of
wanting to change and amend the Al-Ta'if Accord and carry out a coup
against the present political equation in Lebanon.

"Of course, this commitment by us will open other doors to those who
may say to us: How can you accept such a formula, and consequently
pass against us judicial sentences and sometimes canon law sentences.
Let us leave that aside, and let us speak about Lebanon. We did not
put forward anything new.

"Yes, very frankly, recently the other side and its media could not
find anything to talk about, and so they invented the story of a three-
way share instead of a two way share: that is instead of a half-and-
half share between the Muslims and Christians, there should be a one-
third share to each of the Shi'is, Sunnis, and Christians.

"That is not true. We read it in the newspapers of the14 February
side. I personally did not hear such talk from anyone. Then it was
later said that the Iranians proposed such a matter to a European
delegation. We asked the Iranians, and they said: That is not true. It
is not our business to do that, and we do not do that and did not do
it. What is true is that a European delegation asked the Iranians: Do
you believe the Al-Ta'if Accord is still suitable for Lebanon?

"And the Iranians replied: That is a Lebanese affair. You should ask
the Lebanese about it. That is what happened. Then the newspapers -and
I am sorry to say one needs to scrutinize them carefully in order to
find an element of truth -carried articles to pave the way for a major
political battle called "Changing Al-Ta'if Accord" and a three-way-
share instead of the two-way share, and stories we have not heard or
talked about or have even occurred to us.

"They must desist from such things. It cannot distract anyone from
focusing on central issues. You are proposing in Lebanon a solution: a
national unity government, national accord, national salvation,
national salvation -and they distract you once with the tribunal, and
once with the three-way-share instea d of the two-way share, and yet
another time with a thousand stories.

"What is important is to waste time so that no national unity
government is established in Lebanon, and so that the side that
controls power continues to exercise its control and commit its
mistakes and practices on political, administrative, economic,
development, security, and financial levels. Now is not the time to go
into this issue.

"My message to those inside Lebanon: to the Muslims and Christians; to
Sunnis, Shi'is, Druzes, and all the followers of the Christian
confessions, is: Our message is clear. We want Lebanon to be a country
for everyone, for all its citizens, all its sects. We do not want to
change the political formula. We do no aspire to rule Lebanon or to
dominate Lebanon or to have despotism in Lebanon.

"The most we aspire to is partnership: that there should be political
partnership in administering the country. The most we aspire to is
that electric power reaches us the same way it reaches other Lebanese
areas. The most we aspire to is to be treated as normal Lebanese
citizens, and not second-class citizens. That is our real and modest -
but serious -aspiration.

"Therefore I reaffirm every word written in the understanding we
signed with the Free Patriotic Movement. All the opposition forces -
both Muslim and Christian -are committed to this meaning. There is no
need to worry or frighten the people inside the country. There is no
need for anyone to talk about an Islamic state, the Islamization of
Lebanon, or turning Christians into dhimmis, or talk about the Shi'is'
domination over other Muslims.

"All of these are fallacies and illusions and are intended to foment
sedition among the Lebanese, and to distance the Lebanese from one
another, and to push the Lebanese to warring, sedition, and internal
conflict as is taking place in other countries, regrettably. I
reiterate: You will find us among those who are most concerned to
safeguard this meaning which I am saying to you. Some people may say:
In 1982, 1983, 1985, 1985, 1990 -so and so talked about an Islamic
state and so and so talked about an Islamic system.

"OK, that has been said, but at the same there were those who talked
about a Christian national homeland, some set up an autonomous civil
administration, some talked about partitioning Lebanon, and everyone
talked as he pleased. Let us see what all of us are saying now.
Everyone develops, everyone matures, everyone grows, everyone comes to
see the facts and events in a more realistic and better way.

"On this basis, come, let us build our future free from all the
calculations of the past, the disagreements of the past, and the
accusations of the past. We said that during the 2005 elections. We
said we want to overcome the past, bearing in mind that what happened
in 1982 was not easy. We said after the war, let us stand shoulder by
shoulder and hold hands, to build and reconstruct and protect the
country together through a national unity government.

"They answered us that that will be suicide. Suicide for whom? Yes,
suicide for those who want to appropriate, those who want to be
despotic, those who want to dominate. But it is life for those who
want life for a united Lebanon, a Lebanon of shared living, a
peaceful, strong, prosperous, and proud Lebanon with dignity.

"My message to the enemy which wanted to refurbish its image and
prestige which he had lost in 2000, and also lost in his confrontation
with the blessed Palestinian Intifadah, by waging the July 2006 war. I
say to him - and you by your presence and support prove to that enemy
the truth of what I will say to him: This enemy must know and realize
that first it has not been able to undermine our morale, resolve, and
determination.

"That is certain. The blood of the martyrs, our martyred sons, our
martyred children, our martyred women, the damage inflicted our
houses, livelihood, and country can only strengthen our will, increase
our awareness of his aggression, savagery, arrogance, and the
impossibility of existing with a treacherous monster lurking at our
borders, attacking us from the day it was born to this day, and who
covets our land and waters. Our awareness is stronger than any time in
the past. Our will is stronger than any time in the past. Our resolve
and determination are greater.

"In that battle we have seen God's help and support, but in this
battle we saw more and more. In the face of any threat, we will be
more certain of victory, more certain that we will defeat the enemy.
That is as far as our will, resolve, and determination are concerned.

"As for the structure - the jihadist structure - the enemy knows, and
you must know - the enemy knows, although some people here do not know
- that the resistance's military structure, and especially the human
side of it, is stronger, mightier and sharper. Generations have joined
the resistance after the end of the war on 13 August 2007, generations
of youths who consider that their battle has started now, youths who
do not tire and who do not know defeat or weakness; the youth whose
minds, hearts, and eyes have seen at an early age the legendary
victory achieved in July 2006.

"In the past if there was a number of mujahidin who were fighting, I
say to the enemy and to the world: you can multiply that number very
many times. Today we have a torrential stream of resisting youth
throughout Lebanon who are readier than ever to stand fast and to
forge victory. That is with regard to the human aspect. As for the
armament aspect, the UNSC said that my statements to Al-Jazeera TV
Channel that we possess missiles that can reach any point in occupied
Palestine violate1701. I do not know if the presidential statement
will retain this paragraph or not.

"The Security Council and the blind international community completely
ignore that Israel has obtained in one year advanced US weapons,
modern US warplanes, new technology, and additional ammunition; that
it is getting supplies, preparing, and holding manoeuvres day and
night, in the north, the Golan, and in the internal areas; and that it
is threatening to wage war this summer and in every summer. I say: Is
this not a violation of 1701? Israel, which violates our airspace and
attacks our land, does not violate 1701.

"But when a Lebanese stands up and says that we were able in July 2006
and are still able, he violates the resolution. Where is the
violation? We had those capabilities in July 2006 and in August 2006,
and we still have those capabilities today. I reiterate and say to the
UN Security Council: Yes, condemn me. I, HasanNasrallah, say to you:
Condemn me -and take a statement from me. We possess and we will
continue to possess missiles that hit any place in occupied Palestine
if Israel commits aggression against Lebanon.

"We will not wait for anyone in the world to defend us. No one
defended us from 1948 until 1978 when Israel used to attack our
villages, towns, and borders, kill women, and perpetrate massacres in
Hulah and elsewhere. No one defended us in 1978 when massacres were
perpetrated on the way to Al-Abbasiyah. No one defended us in 1982. No
one defended us in July 1993 or in April 1996.

"We are defending ourselves. We are defending our country, our people,
our kinfolk, and our villages. We fought in 1982, 1993, 1996, 2000,
and 2006, and we did not ask anyone to defend us. There is one case
that is acceptable to us, namely that Lebanon comes to have a strong
and capable army capable of protecting Lebanon against any Israeli
attack.

"In any other context, it becomes our religious, divine, patriotic,
moral, and humanitarian duty to possess combat capability and weapons
to defend our country, our honour, our children and grandchildren, and
future generations. We say to all those who want to displace us from
our land to any other place -and we said that in July 2006: We will
not leave Lebanon, not southern Lebanon, not Lebanon's Al-Biqa, not
any part of Lebanon. We were born here. Our fathers and grandfathers
were buried here.

"We live here. We die here. We are killed here and we are buried here.
This is our blessed and sacred land which we cannot give up to anyone.
Let the entire world know -and let the Lebanese also know - that the
resistance in Lebanon is not a plan for war. Not at all.

"We do not want war, and we did not want war. The resistance is a plan
for defence in the face of a threat, in the face of ambitions, in the
face of occupation, in the face of transgression against Lebanon's
sovereignty, dignity, and freedom now and in the future. God willing,
with your help, will, faith, and love this resistance -which they have
been unable to hit and destroy in all the past wars, and the hardest
and bitterest of those wars was the July 2006 war -will remain,
remain, remain. It is victorious, victorious, victorious. It does not
know defeat.

"Before I conclude, I would like -out of context -to address those who
have engaged in a habit of which I do not approve. It harms them, and
it harms us, you, and me personally. When a meeting ends or begins,
gunshots are fired or firecrackers are detonated. Last time I said I
appeal to you, but this time I say I take your oath in the name of
Almighty God, and in the name of all what is sacred, dear, and
beloved: that you do not do such a thing, because it greatly disturbs
and harms us and everyone else.

"You can express your stand by any civilized method or means that does
not harm and disturb the people. My last word is to you who have
gathered in this blessed spot, in the square of liberation in 2000, in
the square of the epic and legendary steadfastness and resistance in
2006, and through you I say to all our people in the South, Al-Biqa',
the Beirut Suburb, and all of Lebanon: Yes, despite all the casting of
doubts and hesitation, we achieved a divine, historic, and strategic
victory.

"The effects, results, and consequences of that victory will remain
for decades. Just as defeat would have made a new Middle East, your
victory will make another new Middle East, a new Middle East for the
peoples of the region that is affiliated to their will, vigour,
civilization, and its interests. I address the families of the
martyrs: I congratulate you on your martyrs, your beloved. Know, O my
kinfolk, O my fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, O my beloved,
know that you did not lose your sons, brothers, or husbands.

"You gained them in the temporal world and in the Hereafter. Martyrdom
for us is life. Martyrdom for us is survival. Martyrdom for us is
victory. The person who we commemorate today, Ali Bin-Abi-Talib, may
peace be upon him, is our teacher who says: "A thousand blows by the
sword is preferable for me than to die in bed." Our men and women fear
to die in bed.

"They love martyrdom, not so as to die, for martyrdom makes life -
life for our people, our kinfolk, and our nation, and life for all of
us in the Hereafter. According to the norms set by Almighty God, in
the temporal world and the Hereafter there is no future for the weak,
the cowardly, the traitors, those defeated by their desires, those who
submit to their personal interests, or those who relinquish and
abandon their peoples, dignity, and sanctities. You have gained your
brothers, kinfolk, and beloved.

"To the wounded I say: Your wounds are a medal of pride in this world
and the Hereafter. To those whose homes were destroyed, I say: You are
real and original partners in this victory, and your houses will be
rebuilt -and I will return to this subject on 14 August 2007, God
willing. To all those who made sacrifices, to the families of the
prisoners I say: Your sons will return.

"O brothers and sisters, you are the people who remained and stood
fast in your land, or those who were displaced and stood fast in their
displacement, and all the people who embraced you: You are the future
of Lebanon. You are the destiny of Lebanon. You are the dignity of
Lebanon. You are the sovereignty of Lebanon. You are the freedom of
Lebanon. You are Lebanon's survival. You are the unity of Lebanon. You
are Lebanon's real independence.

"Without contention, all the Lebanese are called upon to build
Lebanon's intrinsic strength politically -the strength that
administers, reconstructs, builds, and develops the country -and to
build the military and security intrinsic strength which protects the
country, defends its independence, and regains its land. That is the
logic. As for the logic of sycophancy and groveling at this or that
capital, and seeking or deriving strength from this or that state, all
that is futile.

"It will keep our country weak, feeble, where every group of people in
it thinks of its destiny and how to achieve that destiny. We want to
be together. We are happy when we are partners in everything. We did
not monopolize the resistance -and that is a long story. We would have
liked to have been partners in the resistance. We like to be partners
in building the country. We want to be partners in protecting the
country, safeguarding the country's unity, and developing the country.

"Let's not be unreasonable. There is no sect in Lebanon capable of
governing Lebanon. There is no alliance of sects in Lebanon that can
govern Lebanon at the expense of other sects. There is no political
alliance of sects in Lebanon that can govern Lebanon at the expense of
a political alliance of other sects. That is the way. Let's not waste
time. Let's not wager on regional and international sides.

"I say to the other side: I renew my invitation to it, not to the
dialogue table where we waste our time, but an invitation for the
formation of a government of partnership, salvation, and genuine
national unity. As for your wagering on time and regional changes,
take it from me: it's not in your interest. If you are wagering on
regional changes, it's not in your interest. If you are wagering on
international changes, it's not in your interest.

"There is no time now to explain to you how that is not in your
interest, but, brothers, think. Study this matter. Now we say to you:
We fashion the future together. Come, let us build the future
together. Notwithstanding all the wounds that exist between us -in the
past, during the war, and after the war, this is the message for
inside Lebanon, a message of mercy, unity, fraternity, looking to the
future, and shunning obstinacy and unreasonableness.

"Even the back-and-forth we engaged in and we are engaging in, there
is no need for you to deny it or to say that I am changing political
milestones. I challenge you again and again: Bring out the minutes of
Cabinet sessions that are audio taped, so that all the Lebanese people
can know the truth. I am not saying I am truthful and you are liars.
There is a tangible, material reference called the Cabinet audio
tapes. What every minister said is there, and what every prime
minister is there. You want the back-and-forth?

"We don't want the back-and-forth. Let us seek arbitration. You want
us to be merciful towards one another? This is a message of unity,
mercy, cooperation, reassurance, and confirmation, confirmation,
confirmation. What mo re can we do? Regarding the message to the
enemy, it is a message of strength, zeal, vigour, will, and resolve.

"I will conclude in the same way I began. I say to the enemy, and to
any support that enemy can muster behind it, be it political,
material, or military: You are fighting a people whose faith is
stronger than anyone else in this world. You are fighting a people - a
people born of pure wombs and proud backbones -who from the time they
were formed in their mothers' wombs, Almighty God's saying: "Those
whose faith only increased when people said.

"Fear your enemy: they have amassed a great army against you,' and who
replied: God is sufficient for us: He is the best protector'," was
blended into their blood, flesh, and bones. Every day, in every
battle, we say: God is sufficient for us, He is the best protector.
Truly, God is sufficient for us. God has been sufficient for us, and
God has been the best protector. May peace and God's mercy and
blessings be upon you."

- Al Manar, Lebanon

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

1974 Iraqi Baath political report


See many more articles updated daily
from Arab language and Middle Eastern
press on this and other subjects at the
OURAIM Archive

--------------------------------------------


[left: front cover of 1974 Iraqi Baath pamphlet]


REVOLUTIONARY IRAQ 1968-1973

THE EIGHTH REGIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ARAB BA'TH SOCIALIST
PARTY IN IRAQ WAS HELD IN BAGHDAD BETWEEN THE EIGHTH AND
TWELFTH OF JANUARY 1974. FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF THE
POLITICAL REPORT ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY AND DELIVERED BY
COMRADE AHMAD HASSAN AL-BAKR, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE
REGIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE ARAB BA'TH SOCIALIST PARTY AND
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC. DELIVERY TOOK PLACE ON THE 5TH,
6TH, 7TH OF MARCH 1974. INTRODUCTION

The Eighth Regional Congress of the Arab Ba'th Socialist
Party was held five years after the revolution launched by
the Party between the 17th and the 30th of July 1968 in
Iraq. The epoch has been one of democratic and progressive
achievements. It has also been rich in experience relating
to the handling of difficult, delicate and complicated
problems such as the consolidation of the Party's rule and
the Revolution's authority, and dealing with the execution
of patriotic, democratic, socialist and other tasks of
revolutionary transformation and struggle against
imperialism, Zionism and reaction.

Our Congress therefore has been characterized by new
special features differing from those of the Seventh
Regional Congress of five years ago, which was held in
Baghdad on the 24th of November 1968 right after the
breakout of revolution and the assumption of power by the
Party and before the enrichment of Party experience and the
strengthening of the Revolution's arm.

Our Eighth Congress had to avoid generalities in patterns
which provide no concrete guide for work. It had to exert
the greatest possible effort to formulate a realistic and
clear revolutionary programme which would unify the will of
the Party and the masses, leaving no room for possibly
conflicting interpretations.

It should now be possible, after five and a half years at'
the helm of political power and acquaintance with the
problems of revolutionary democratic and socialist
transformation, to know exactly where we stand.

The Party, having passed through sensitive and sometimes
even bitter experiences on both the regional and national
levels, finds it incumbent to define what must and could be
done over the next five years.

Inexperience can no longer be a justification for failure
or an apology. The masses in our country and the Arab
Homeland can no longer find any excuses of revolutionary
inexperience for us and must now look to us as qualified
leaders. In order to live up to expectations, we must
re-evaluate the past phase starting from July 17th 1968
until now, in an objective, frank and revolutionary spirit.
We must be able to find out the positive as well as the
negative aspects and errors. Everything must come out to
light now which may not have come to light so far because
of the sensitive circumstances.

What in fact are the characteristics and peculiarities of
the phase between 17-30 July 1968 and the congregation of
this Congress ? The problems and issues which faced the
Arab Ba'th Socialist Party and the popular revolutionary
movement during that phase?

It's a well known fact that the Revolution of July 17th was
not the first one in Iraq. Ten years earlier, the 14th of
July 1958 Revolution took place and was basically
progressive, democratic and inspired. In power, however,
the revolutionary regime deviated and changed course into a
dictatorial, rightist and regional mentality while keeping
the outward signs of nationalism. A daring attempt was made
by the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party on the 8th of February
1963 to re-establish a revolutionary, democratic and
popular regime which would work for Arab Unity. The
attempt, unfortunately, soon failed in achieving the
objective.

It was during the black Novemberist (1963) regression, that
the most backward rightist and dictatorial forces reached
power. Never since July 14th 1958 had there been in
authority people more inclined to make peace with
imperialism and open for reactionary infiltration and
opposition to democratic thought and progressive
application. The net result was a grave threat of
encirclement and compromise of the two revolutions of July
14th 1958 and February 8th 1963 and all their revolutionary
gains and achievements. The progressive forces of the
masses, the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party at the fore, were
exposed to all sorts of terrorism and repression. The
Revolution of July 17th 1968, aiming by nature at
liberation, democracy, socialism and national integration,
was beset by the failures of July 14th 1958 and February
8th 1963 and the special peculiarities of Iraq. It had to
face, therefore, additional burdens, extremely complex and
delicate. The errors and deviations of the preceding phase
had engulfed all aspects of life with grave implications.
So the Revolution had to deal with all of this while at the
same time working for its immediate targets and strategic
aims of Arab Unity, liberty and socialism.

The Revolution had to establish immediately revolutionary
power and Party leadership and to realise the progressive
and democratic tasks which the two previous revolutions
failed to realise. It had to carry out new tasks required
by the new phase of revolutionary development and ensure
all possible prerequisites of socialist transformation
while making an effective contribution to the Arab struggle
against imperialist Zionist aggression and the ever
increasing dangers of reactionary connivance in the Arab
world.

These were the central preoccupations and problems facing
the Party and the people on the state, national and
international levels, during the past five and a half
years. They had to meet the required conditions to face
those tasks and to make all possible efforts to achieve the
immediate targets and move hence forward toward realising
the strategic aims of the Arab Revolution for unity,
freedom and socialism.

In the following chapters of this report, the Regional
leadership explains frankly, accurately and in detail, the
circumstances and factors accompanying the progress of the
Party and the Revolution during the past phase. It deals
with the internal as well as the local, Arab and
international conditions and their effects on the abilities
of the Party and the people in facing the tasks and
realising the objectives.

The past phase has had its ups and downs, triumphs and
failures. It was rich with many achievements and many
essential gains. It was not, however, free from some
negative aspects and partial failures.

We strongly feel, as we pass from one phase into another,
that all things considered, the march of the Revolution has
been one of success and triumph. Indeed, it has been able
to pave a new course for the revolutionary movement in our
country and in the Arab revolutionary movement. It has been
able to lay the basic foundations for a revolutionary
experiment which is popular, national, democratic,
socialist and ideally suited for the Arab world and the
Third World. Now as in future, it can play an ever
increasing bright and prominent role in the Arab and
international revolutionary movement. This is a part of
what the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party has stood and struggled
for during thirty years. The masses in our country and the
Arab world made sacrifices and gave martyrs for it.

[Full document here]