The Perils of a Bankers War with Iran

The neocons are not going to get their war with Iran if it’s to be left to their traditional power centers in the Bush Administration to make the call: They’ve lost the Pentagon, and it’s abundantly clear that neither the uniformed brass nor Defense Secretary Gates have any interest in starting another catastrophic war. And the fact that they still have a solid ally in Vice President Cheney doesn’t mean much, because Cheney is far less influential five years into the Iraq debacle than he had been on its eve. Nor is there any significant support (outside of Israel) among U.S. allies for a confrontational path. Still, all is not lost for that merry little band of neocon bomb throwers who’ve spent the Bush tenure quite literally “setting the East ablaze.” There’s always the Treasury.

Well, its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), dedicated to fighting the “war on terror” etc. via the international banking system. John McGlynn offers fascinating insights into a critical aspect of Bush Administration policy that has scarcely appeared on the radar of most mainstream media. In particular, he warns, FinCEN’s March 20 advisory warning the international banking community that
doing business with any Iranian bank, or bank that does business with an Iranian bank, runs the risk of falling afoul of the U.S. Treasury’s expansive interpretation and enforcement of UN sanctions and of anti-terror money laundering regulations adopted under the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act.

The beauty of this approach, from a neocon point of view, is that it completely skirts all those troublesome international diplomatic forums where the U.S. and its closest allies have failed to convince others to apply meaningful sanctions against Iran — most of the international community is skeptical over the claims being made by the U.S. of an imminent Iranian threat (as, of course, is the U.S. intel community, as last year’s NIE showed) and even more skeptical of the value of sanctions in resolving the issue, rather than in preparing the way for confrontation.

Advertisements

Wind of change blows over Lebanon

The following is the speech of the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day, May 26, 2008, in southern Beirut, Lebanon.

hasan nasrallah may 2008

First of all, great greetings to every pure spirit of the resistance and homeland martyrs, especially to the leader of resistance martyrs Seyyed Abbas al-Mousawi, the sheikh of the resistance martyrs Raghib Hareb and our dear brother whom we miss today leader Al-Hajj Imad Moughniyah.

I would like to welcome you to the 8th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day. Your presence here today justifies your reality and identity and testifies once again that you are the most honorable, precious and the purest of people.

As God Almighty has said in his Glorious Book:

In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and Gracious,
Pharaoh had tyrannized on Earth, divided people into groups. He oppressed one group on behalf of the others, slaughtering its children, and ravishing its women. Indeed, he was among those corruptors.

The Pharaohs of our time are the USA and its right hand, Israel. Allah has promised:

We want to bestow upon those who were oppressed on Earth and make them precedents and successors; and we will consolidate their position on Earth to show what Pharaoh, Haman, along with their soldiers have been worried from.

God Almighty speaks the truth!

Brothers and sisters, today marks the day of resistance and the liberation of our homeland and nation coincides with the anniversary of the calamity and the loss of Palestine as well as the establishment of the extorter’s existence.

It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of Israel’s 1978 occupation of southern Lebanon and the establishment of the occupied territory, which was later expanded. This coincidence must provoke us to think twice, evaluate the situation and draw lessons and conclusions that will benefit Lebanon as well as the Muslim and Arab worlds.

Although this occasion has its own intellect, emotion, literature, rights and ethics, today I will not confine myself to introductions, as there is much to talk about.

Starting from Lebanon and its resistance… the latter has demonstrated two strategies, one of liberation and driving away occupiers, and the other of defending the homeland and people against any attack, invasion or threat.

This is the stratagem and vision of resistance: liberation and defense. These are also the clear and joint messages of the resistance in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.

As a result of the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon and the occupation of a part of our land in 1978, the Security Council issued the Resolution 425. We submitted ourselves to the will of the international community and waited for its implementation. At the time, it was suggested that Lebanon was too weak to face Israel and it would therefore need a strategy of Arab unity.

The UNSC decision, however, was not implemented and an Arab strategy was never found. The international community and the Arab world took no action, and the will to confront was lost. It was at this time that the Imam and leader Seyyed Moussa al-Sadr proposed that the people of southern Lebanon put their trust in God Almighty and resist by any means possible.

What resulted from the false proposals of inaction? Israel weakened Lebanon and thought we were too weak to respond. This resulted in the great invasion of 1982 aiming to ultimately make Lebanon part of Israel.

As has been proven throughout history that a divided country can easily be conquered, such was the case of Lebanon at the time of the Israeli invasion in 1982 and so was the case of Palestine. The same applies to Iraq and shall apply to other countries as well. In the face of occupation, people are divided into various groups and categories:

Some remain neutral toward the occupation while some rule the country and have an extent of authority do not feel the impact of the occupation as the most important thing for them is to eat, drink and enjoy life. Another group are spies and mercenaries, cheap tools such as Antoine Lahid’s army who despite being Lebanese committed shameful acts. Another group consists of the internally defeated elite who cooperate with the occupiers for their own benefits and theoretically believe they can minimize national casualties.

Also, is a group that tacitly defies the occupation but is not willing to endure hardships and pay for freedom with their blood. Finally, there is the group that believes it has an ethical, national, religious and humanitarian responsibility to liberate their fatherland from occupation. They are ready to pay the price whatever it may be. This is the group of resistance. This is the group that takes the necessary action.

This division is not exclusive to Lebanon; it is a natural, historical and social trend stemming from the loss of national unity.

To those claiming that there is no national agreement regarding resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq I would say that there is also no national agreement on neutrality, treachery, cooperation or carelessness. Every group decides on its own. This is also true in Lebanon.

As always, I advise nations under occupation not to wait for a national or public agreement on resistance, but to pick up weapons and fight for the liberation of their land, nation and prisoners of war and regain their dignity and glory. This cannot be achieved other than by weapons, giving blood and making great sacrifices.

The resistance and the Lebanese people are intertwined with one another. Whether Muslim or not and regardless of sect and political parties, we have given countless martyrs. Self-reliance, jihad, various operations and our male and female youths have brought the resistance so far. Both the Arab and Muslim worlds were duty-bound to offer help. Many, however, have refrained to take action. It was Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran who actively supported us.

We first achieved victory from 1982 to 1985 and another historical victory was won on May 25, 2000: a magnificent victory for Lebanon, Arabs and the nation and an utter defeat for Israel that shattered its dream of expanding its territory from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Israel has been cut off from southern Lebanon and western Bikaa and the Zionists have suffered a shameful defeat without gains, guarantees or concessions. While the liberating strategy adopted by the resistance succeeded, the negotiation strategy beginning from Madrid was not even able to free an inch of our land.

The strategy of inaction has done nothing but strengthen our enemy and weaken our country. Subsequently, it was the librating strategy adopted by the resistance, which similarly brought success in 2000.

After the 1984 calamity, Palestinians hopelessly waited for Arab support and international intervention.

In Iraq, America has occupied the country under the banner of establishing a democracy. The truth is that the American occupation was aimed at monopolizing the country’s resources. Their true objectives becoming more clear every day. How? After the invasion, similar to other occupied nations I mentioned before, Iraqis were divided into two relatively large groups.

One seeks a political process and the other prefers resistance, specifically an armed one. Based on our religious, ideological, intellectual, political experience as well as reality, we the Hezbollah are zealous toward resistance. Those supporting the political process have wasted a great deal of time and are today faced with an extremely difficult test, which is to determine the stance they will take now that America is attempting to impose a security deal on Iraqis, the finalization of which only requires the signatures of the Iraqi government and parliament.

Complete speech: http://www.insight-info.com

Sayyed Nasrallah: Qintar, Brothers to Return Very Soon

Hezbollah commemorated the eighth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day in a huge central festival in Beirut’s southern suburb.
 

lebanese protest


Hundreds of thousands of people flocked from across Lebanon into the Raya playground in the Sfeir region. Representatives of President Michel Suleiman and House Speaker Nabih Berri attended the festival alongside diplomatic, political, religious and Hezbollah figures also took part in the annual event.
 
Waiving yellow Hezbollah flags, people chanted Lebanese and Hezbollah anthems and challenged US-sponsored allegations that Hezbollah’s popular base has diminished.
 
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared on a huge screen amid cheers and pledges of allegiance. 
 
Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech with praising the martyrs, particularly former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Mussawi, Shekh Ragheb Harb and Hajj Imad Moghniyyeh.
 
“Our eighth anniversary coincides with the 60th anniversary of usurping Palestine and the establishment of the oppressive entity. It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Israeli invasion to south Lebanon. Hence this is a time to contemplate and draw lessons whether in Lebanon or in the Arab and Israeli worlds.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance has served as an example and a strategy in two areas: “There is a strategy for liberation and removing the occupation, and a strategy of defending the homeland and people in the face of aggressiveness, threats and an invasion…This is our message today to Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic worlds; it’s a joint message by the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq to the whole nation. When Israel invaded south Lebanon in 1978, UNSC resolution 425 was issued, we waited for its implementation and we bargained on the international community. In Lebanon, there were suggestions that a united Arab strategy be formed to confront the aggression. None of this happened, neither by the international community nor by Arab governments that had abandoned the choice of confrontation.
Imam Mussa Sadr here in Lebanon had established the choice of resistance with the help of southerners and of course trust in Almighty Allah.”
 
The Hezbollah chief elaborated saying that the consequences of the wrong choices saw Israel deeming Lebanon a weak state and invaded it in 1982, “thus creating a second Arab Nakba (Catastrophe).
“The Lebanese were divided into: a neutral group, a second unconcerned group, a third group of cheap collaborators, a fourth group that had intersecting interests with the Israelis, a fifth already defeated group that was looking forward to cooperate with the occupation on any level in the framework of cutting losses, a sixth group that, politically and through the media, rejects occupation and a seventh group that believes that its national, religious and moral obligation is to take up arms and liberate the country regardless of the price; this is the group of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed such division resulted in a lack of consensus on the resistance.
“I tell anyone whose country is under occupation: Don’t wait for consensus…take up your arms and head to liberation. This is what happened in Lebanon. The resistance that constituted a part of the Lebanese people depended on its will and the strength of its fighters in the battlefield. The Arab and Islamic worlds should have helped them, but many of these governments lagged behind, however Syria and Iran spearheaded the countries that assisted the resistance and consequently the historic victory in 2000; a clear victory for Lebanon, the resistance, the Arabs and the Umma. It was also a clear defeat to Israel and its “from-Euphrates-to-Nile- Rivers” scheme in the region. The strategy of liberation adopted by the resistance was successful while the strategy of negotiations failed to gain back an inch of Lebanese land and the strategy of wait-and-see was making the enemy stronger.”  
 
The Secretary General set other examples.
“In 1948, the Palestinians were waiting in vain for their Arab brethren to form a unified Arab strategy or for the international community to act. The Palestinian resistance was the reason why the world woke up to the fact that there is a Palestinian cause. Every achievement was the achievement of the resistance. The big achievement was in blockaded Gaza where the resistance managed to defeat the occupation and forced it to withdraw unconditionally. “The Gaza Strip is fighting Israel just as we did. The strategy of resistance succeeded in Lebanon and will succeed in Gaza too.
In occupied Iraq, there are those who believe in resistance and others in politics…Today, you must take the decisive position. The resistance has been dealing severe blows to the US occupation army. Iraq is called to follow the strategy of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah added that Hezbollah has also presented a defensive pattern. “Israeli judge Winograd wondered in his report how a few thousand men defeated Israel and withstood week of fighting. Your steadfastness, the blood of your martyrs and the resistance have decreased the possibility of war in the region between Israel and Iran or Israel and Syria. I tell whoever is bargaining on a US or Israeli strike on Lebanon, we fought in 2006 and we will fight in any coming war…I tell (US President George W.) Bush and (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of Hezbollah’s defeat, that as long as Hezbollah relies on Allah and his people, you are the ones who will be defeated,” he stated.
 
His eminence called on this occasion all Arab people to reconsider the resistance’s strategy of defense and liberation. “In Lebanon, we talk about defense. What we need now is a liberation strategy for the Shebaa Farms, Kafarshouba Farms and the detainees in Israeli jails. The prisoners are our commitment and Samir Kuntar  and his brothers will soon return to Lebanon.”
 
“On the 25th of May 2000, I stood in Bint Jbeil and declared this a victory for all the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the whole Umma. I said that what we did was our duty and we don’t ask for anything in return. We called upon the authorities to take their responsibilities in all of the country. We did not prosecute the collaborators and we had no armed appearance. We asked them to take care of south Lebanon and the deprived regions like Baalbek and Hermel. We did not ask for reshaping the regime or the Taef Accord. We did not ask for anything. They argue that the resistance in France laid down its arms after liberation. I tell them that throughout history, every victorious resistance in every country took the reins of power, but we did not ask for that. I renew my position today: we do not want to share power in Lebanon and we don’t want to rule the country or impose our thoughts on the people,” his eminence stressed.
“They speak of a coup and bringing back Syria into Lebanon. They also said that Hezbollah is fighting for the sake of Iran’s nuclear program. When the “government” revoked its two black decisions the opposition proved in Doha that it does not want to monopolize power and did not raise the ceiling of demands. We went there to save Lebanon from sedition and (David) Welch’s) hot summer. We did not employ what happened recently in politicas and we did not ask for political gains. Isn’t this enough for those who accuse us of dreaming of power and authority? From the pride Dahiyeh, I renew my call for a national partnership where there is no victor and no vanquished…Hezbollah does not want power over Lebanon, nor does it want to control Lebanon or govern the country for we believe that Lebanon is a special, pluralistic country. The existence of this country only comes about through coexistence, and this is what we are demanding,” he said.
 
“I am in front of two options: Either I explain what happened before the two black decision were taken, and I don’t wish to do that, or I delay discussing the matter, and this is not fair. But I choose to delay the discussion, however I say that there are deep wounds on both sides, so either we irritate the wounds or we swathe them. I suggest the second option. We should draw lessons. Let us postpone this until the wounds are healed and a new phase in the country begins,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
 
His eminence thanked Arabs, especially Qatar, the Arab Ministerial Committee, Syria and Iran, and everyone who contributed in making the Doha Agreement that ended the Lebanese crisis a concrete reality.
 
On the arms of the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said:  “I today reaffirm the Doha agreement clause that precludes the use of arms to attain political goals. When we go to discussion, we will discuss this. The resistance’s arms are to fight the enemy, liberate lands and prisoners, and defend Lebanon – and for nothing else. The government’s arms, or the army and armed forces, is also to defend the nation, the people and their rights, the government, and to maintain security. The government’s arms cannot be used to settle accounts with a political opposition team. The government’s arms cannot be used for foreign projects that prevent Lebanon from facing Israel. The government’s arms cannot be used to nail the resistance and its arms. All arms must remain at the service of the goal they were created for.”
 
The Hezbollah chief stressed the electoral law that has been reached gives better representation that previous ones, and particularly the 2000 law.
“We do not claim that this is the ideal law. This is a law that we all agreed on to bring Lebanon out of the crisis. We hope that a time would come when the Lebanese discuss an up-to-date electoral law to build a state. Those who do not want to build a state are unveiled when they approach the issue of the electoral law,” his eminence said.
 
Sayyed Nasrallah also said that the election of General Michel Suleiman as President renews hope among the Lebanese for a new stage. The presidential oath we heard Sunday reflects the spirit of agreement President Suleiman had promised. What Lebanon needs is agreement, participation and cooperation.
“When I addressed you in the Riyad el-Soloh Square and promise you victory again, I did not mean the victory of one group on the other, I meant the formation of a national unity government; the  victory of May 25, 2000, as well as the victory of July 2006, and the accomplishment in Doha. I promise that the opposition’s representation in the government will not be limited to Hezbollah, Amal and the Change and Reform bloc. We will give other opposition parties shares – and unfortunately we must speak of shares – even if it is at the expense of Hezbollah’s shares.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah called on “party of former Prime Minister Martyr Rafiq Hariri” to benefit from “the experience of this great man (Rafiq Hariri). ” Whoever is loyal to the martyred Premier must preserve his loyalty. We do not want monopoly or alliance; what we want is cooperation and participation as widely as possible.
 
“There are many names to be thanked today and I apologize for not naming them. It’s a long list, and I thank them for their courageous stances. We thank the Sunni leaderships in Lebanon and the Islamic world because they thwarted the US project which sought to portray any struggle as a sectarian struggle. We thank the Druze leadership for their courageous, wise stances … for their refused to define the struggle as a Shiite-Druze struggle. We thank the Christian leadership that stressed the struggle was political, not confessional. We have lost 14 martyrs whom we are proud of, and there are martyrs from the Lebanese Brigades to Resist the Occupation, the Amal Movement , the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Democratic Party and other opposition loyalists from all religions. We are proud of all these martyrs. We feel the pain of the victims of the other team as well. The comfort to the families of both sides is that the blood of their children saved Lebanon from the dark tunnel. We the martyrs, for they have put Lebanon before a new summer and a new phase. From our beloved Beirut to the Mount Lebanon, from the South to every area in Lebanon, you have the love and appreciation of the resistance on the anniversary of the liberation of Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

Source