The following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, which aired on Al-Manar TV on August 14, 2006.
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"We are Facing a Strategic and Historic Victory"
Hassan Nasrallah: "We are facing a strategic and historic victory. This is no exaggeration. This is a victory for Lebanon - all of Lebanon - for the resistance, and for the entire nation."
"I do not think I am able to express what is going through my mind, in my heart, and in my emotions, and to explain this while I am sitting on a chair in front of the camera. The proper place for this is an encounter soon to be held with the people, the loved ones, the mujahideen, addressing them directly. Therefore, I will leave what has to do with this issue to that opportunity, which will come soon, Allah willing, and then we will talk about everything - about the prisoners, about the land that still remains occupied, about Gaza, and its people's suffering, about Palestine, about the sacrifices, about injustice, about historical responsibility, about this historic junction, and about the next stage."
"The last topic in this message of mine has to do with the controversy that began a few days ago about the weapons of the resistance."
"We Were Surprised that Some Ministers Leaked This Topic [of the Weapons]"
"We were surprised that some ministers leaked this topic - the discussion and the difference of opinions - to several local and Arab TV channels, and thus the dispute and discussion on this began to grow more and more. What should have been a discussion behind closed doors became a public debate, and this, in my opinion, does not serve the national interest, and is totally inappropriate. In any event, I reiterate my call to restore this debate to its natural channels, which are well known."
"I would like to point out to some of those gentlemen and political groups that shifted the debate to the media and the public domain... I would like to point out some of their mistakes in this matter. First of all, there was a mistake in their timing, both psychologically and morally. In other words, today... Especially since this debate began before the ceasefire, or the so-called 'cessation of hostilities'... Lebanon was being bombed, its infrastructure was destroyed, all the Lebanese areas were hit, all the Lebanese were hit, but most of all the people of South Lebanon, of the Beqa' Valley, and of the southern suburb of Beirut."
"Do these people have no feelings, no emotions? Can these people possibly be viewed as political leaders with a high level of awareness, devoid of any feelings or emotions? What are they supposed to say and do?
"Are these people stones or slaves, who, when a few members of the political elite in Lebanon speak, should listen and obey? This is a mistake, a big mistake. Of course, we have made a great effort to prevent any reactions, because what happened was offensive. I call upon the people, the masses of the resistance, those who love the resistance and who support it, to ignore what they heard and might hear yet, because solidarity and unity in the country is the most precious thing, which we must preserve.
"We have withstood the killing, the destruction, the wounds, and the banishment, and we can bear some damage on the part of those who cause it, in this area. Nevertheless, I call upon those people to stop this offense. I call upon them, out of responsibility and love, to fully understand the psychological and emotional state [of the public]."
"What is strange is that the debate revolved around the status of the weapons and the resistance south of the Litani River. Nobody is asking Lebanon now - not even the enemy or the international community - to rush into the disarming of the resistance. This issue is included in the long-term treatment, the permanent solution, and so on. But unfortunately, some have been saying that if there must be disarmament south of the [Litani] River, what will the weapons of the resistance north of it and in all Lebanon be good for? Therefore, we must start discussing all these weapons now... It is not, in fact, a discussion. They did not bring it up for discussion. They are demanding to put an end to this issue. This issue, my dears, will not be determined in this manner, and in such haste. I recommend that no one turn to provocations, intimidation, or pressure, using humanitarian arguments or arguments pertaining to security.
"We know that one of the most important goals of the recent American-Israeli war in Lebanon was the removal of these weapons. But they could not do this."
"Those who say today: We demand that Hizbullah turn in its weapons to the state... Have these 'giants' brought the Shaba' Farms with them, so that their owners can return to it? When they demand this from us, do they have the prisoners with them? Do they have true guarantees for the protection of Lebanon? The Israeli enemy continues to make threats. Just before I began this recording, [Israeli PM] Olmert was making threats. Lebanon is still in danger, and may be attacked at any moment. Who will protect this country?"
"Some Say That Removing the Weapons of the Resistance is a Basic Condition for the Building of a Strong and Capable Country - I Say the Opposite"
"What alternatives do you offer? The Lebanese Army? We support its deployment south of the Litani River, and we said so. But is the Lebanese army, in its present state and with its present capabilities, capable of conducting a war, if war is forced upon Lebanon? Even if the emergency international forces are reinforced with 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 [troops] - when Israel attacks Lebanon, will these forces come to Lebanon's defense?"
"Some say that removing the weapons of the resistance is a basic condition for the building of a strong and capable country. I say the opposite. The building of a strong and capable country, a country of resistance which provides a sense of security, should naturally take place before that country turns to the Lebanese people, to the people of the South, and says to them: Our people, we constitute a strong, capable country, a country of resistance that can defend your honor, your blood, your dignity, and your pride, and you have no need for the popular frameworks known as the resistance, or for the private weapons of the resistance."