In the last few days, senior Iranian and Syrian officials have continued to step up their statements on the war. The following are excerpts:
*Syrian Foreign Minister: "We are Prepared For a Regional War; I Am Ready to be One of Hassan Nasrallah's Soldiers"
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem arrived in Lebanon on August 6, 2006, and met with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Al-Siniora.
At a joint press conference with the Lebanese foreign minister, Al-Mu'allem said: "Tomorrow [August 7, 2006, at the summit of Arab foreign ministers in Beirut] we will emphasize that we are in Beirut, the capital of the steadfast, the resistance, honor, and glory.
"If you like, I am ready to be one of Hassan Nasrallah's soldiers. The Arabs are at a crossroads. Either we are on the side of our people and on the side of the spirit of resistance, or we condemn ourselves to defeat. Hassan Nasrallah and the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] are defending the honor and unity of the [Arab] nation, as well as the honor and unity of Lebanon and the unity of the Lebanese people."
"We are in favor of supporting Lebanon in its firm stand and its resistance. We are in favor of resistance to all the plans that [others] are trying to impose on Lebanon through the [U.N.] Security Council, and through resolutions that do not reflect Lebanon's military victory over the Israeli army."
Alluding to the claim that Hizbullah is defending Syrian and Iranian interests in Lebanon, Al-Mu'allem said: "[These are] stupid words... Hizbullah is waging Lebanon's battle and the battle for Arab honor, and we all should be happy at Hizbullah's victories."
Concerning the possibility of the outbreak of a regional war that would include Syria, Al-Mu'allem said: "[We say] to regional war: 'Welcome.' We are prepared for it, and we do not hide [this fact]. We will respond immediately to any Israeli attack." He added that "Hizbullah has disproved the claim that there is no military parity between the Arabs and Israel. Where there is a people with the will to resist, they will triumph."
Following his meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Beri, Al-Mu'allem said: "Whoever thinks [that he can] wipe out Hizbullah with military forces and through the American air-bridge to Israel is mistaken. It is impossible to wipe out Hizbullah, since it is part of the fabric of Lebanon. Whoever thinks that Hizbullah cannot stand firm and persevere in the battle - he too is mistaken. Hizbullah will stand firm, since it defends the faith, religion [i.e. Islam], and rights..." 
*Arab Writers' Union Head: "Olmert is the Dracula of the Age"
In an article titled "The Dracula of the Age," in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra, Arab Writers' Union head Dr. Hussein Jum'a wrote: "Human history has never known a greater hatred than [the hatred] that [motivates] the Zionists' actions today… The only way they can slake [their thirst] is by drinking the blood of innocents and by destroying everything that represents life, civilization, and progress...
"While Lebanon was standing firm, the prime minister of the blood-slurpers [i.e. Olmert] came and brayed before the mayors of his entity [i.e. Israel] on July 31, 2006. He promised them victory, threatened to [inflict] disaster, to destroy, and to take revenge on the Lebanese resistance, and refused to apologize for the massacre that his barbaric army was committing in Lebanon. The human blood-drinkers who were present [at the meeting] applauded the Dracula of the age [i.e. Olmert], who had ignited the fire of war, and who is supported by the biggest blood-slurper of them all in Washington, George Bush...
"The Dracula of the age insists on annihilating innocent lives, and he is supported by the American administration, which has shed every principle of mercy and humanity. These two [i.e. Olmert and Bush] pay no heed to the cries of Arab public opinion..." 
*Syrian Government Daily Calls on Arabs to Wake Up, Since the Battle is an Existential Battle
A column by Khadija Muhammad in the Syrian government daily Teshreen read: "Oh Arabs, wake up, for the battle is an existential battle. History is repeating itself today with a new Sykes-Picot [agreement, implemented] by means of the Satanic program that the U.S. has announced - the 'New Middle East.' [This comes] after Israel and the U.S. have strengthened regional identity at the cost of national [i.e. pan-Arab] identity, signed treaties with some [of the Middle Eastern countries] in order to make them neutral in the conflict, encouraged regional dissent…
"Oh Arabs, wake up, for all the Arabs' houses are in danger of being destroyed. Every child, woman and elderly person is in danger of being annihilated by the blood-sucking beast [called] Israel. Have you forgotten the massacres of Deir Yassin and Bahr Al-Baqr, the first Qana massacre, Kafr Qasim, Jenin, Gaza, Sabra and Shatila, and all the rest? Are we to forget the new massacres: the second Qana [massacre] and Al-Qa' in the Beqa?
"Oh Arabs, wake up and act - even if only through diplomacy. Venezuela, a foreign country, was shocked by Israel's massacres, and recalled its ambassador from Israel. Malaysia did likewise. Yet we [Arabs] - some of the Arab countries - still allow the Israeli flag to wave on their skylines, and they repress their peoples when they try to demonstrate and express their anger! Oh Arabs, wake up.
"Hassan Nasrallah is leading the battle for Arab honor, and Syria, under the leadership of the courageous knight Bashar Al-Assad, is the fortress of Arab pride... Oh Arabs, wake up, for the locomotive of the New Middle East brings with it modern weapons and hellish plans. It is traveling at light speed in order to draw up the new borders and the new Sykes-Picot [agreements].
"To the heroic resistance, under the leadership of the Master of Resistance, Hassan Nasrallah, we say: 'May Allah grant you victory and uphold you - you and all of the Arab resistance fighters - in Palestine, Iraq, and all the occupied Arab lands, for you are defenders of the Arab honor and rights. It is you who stand up to the Zionist plan, which has [already] retreated, and in the future will [continue to] retreat and to fail." 
*Syrian Government Daily on World Leaders: "You Just Get the Urge to Stone Them"
The Syrian government daily Teshreen wrote: "You try to keep calm, to remain composed, to judge by reason, to focus on the facts... And then all of a sudden everything gets turned upside-down, your calm [fails], your rational judgment collapses, hysteria burns in your pores, your fury boils, and, with your fist waving [in the air], you cry out: 'We'll wipe them out, those whores!'
"You sit, riveted to the television screen, flipping between the national satellite station, the regional station, and the international station. The children's bodies fall on your head, one after another; the all-pervading destruction seeps into your breast, and the smiles of the 'world leaders' cause you to bleed as they discuss, lie, and curse. You just get the urge to stone them, and from your throat bursts the curse: 'Those whores, they're making a laughingstock out of us!'
"What hurts the most is not the high-handedness, the vileness, the filth, or the wild recklessness, but rather the helplessness, in all its manifold forms: pronounced helplessness, hidden helplessness, the [concealed] helplessness and the hypocritical helplessness [of the Arabs]. What afflicts your soul is not the heads that are rolling... nor the blood that is being spilled, but rather the armed monkeys [i.e. Israeli soldiers] expelling the elderly, children, and nursing women [from their homes]...
"There is no choice but to wait for [further] developments in order to see the outcome of this holy conflict between crime and human values... between moral corruption and honor. This anticipation will not last long; the signs of the new dawn cannot but appear. There is no doubt but that [victory in] the conflict will not go to the murderers and the enemies of humanity." 
*Syrian Government Daily Writes In Praise of Resistance and Martyrdom
Another Teshreen article read: "Oh Arabs, oh resistance fighters in the south [of Lebanon], declare before all your Arab identity and your Arab glory. Pronounce your attachment to the land, the people, the homes... The collective and spontaneous joy that prevails among the Arab people in all the Arab states proves beyond a doubt that [the Arabs] refuse to be defeated and to walk hand in hand with the rulers... Oh soldier, resist, so that we may know a revival... The Arab consciousness has spread to all, and the desire and yearning for martyrdom have grown strong...
"Lo, the martyrs are rising towards the sun, on the jasmine roads of Damascus, with the fragrant [flowers] of Paradise, and they are waving the banner of victory, the banner of Hizbullah... Oh Bashar Al-Assad, light the candles of Damascus, the candles of radiance. We are in the eye of the storm, and you, through your stand of national [i.e. pan-Arab] pride, illuminate the path for the resistance fighters who turn their faces to the house of God, who make the pilgrimage to the house of martyrdom... [You provide] shelter for us, for our homes, and for our children, and defend our existence and our lives from the bombing of the Zionists' planes...
"Oh Nasrallah, you are the leader who was foretold in prophecy, the one who will arrive on the steed of glory to write in the pages of history the first victories for the Arabs. Praise Allah, who has granted victory to Islam through you, and who has, through you, strengthened the heroic resistance fighters. Oh [Nasrallah]… [you are] a leader who knows no fear and tolerates no humiliation, at a time when many have strayed to the way of seductions, and have been led by their souls into the dungeons of defeat - it is they who trade in the blood of the martyrs and of the widowed women..." 
*Lebanese Criticism of Syrian Foreign Minister's Lebanon Visit
In an August 7, 2006 interview for the reformist website Elaph, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt harshly criticized Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem, who was visiting Lebanon at the time: "We say to Al-Mu'allem, who has forgotten the Lebanese state: You who are a lion in Lebanon and a rabbit in the Golan, it is very easy [for you] to [sacrifice] the Lebanese people, to their last drop of blood. If it were not for our polite and hospitable customs, we should have stoned you and thrown you out of the country"...
"The New Middle East is the one that Iran [wants to impose] by means of the Syrian regime.... The abduction [of the two Israeli soldiers on July 12, 2006] came at a political timing that had nothing to do with the [Lebanese] prisoners, and everything to do with the Iranian-Syrian axis and [the attempt] to bind Lebanon to this axis. Today, more than ever before, Lebanon is being held hostage by the Syrian-Iranian axis." 
Lebanese MP Akram Shahib, member of the Democratic Encounter group headed by Walid Jumblatt, said: "Al-Mu'allem knows that the Lebanese have a [bitter] experience with the position of the Ba'thist [Syrian] regime, which regards the 'joint path' [i.e. the principle which states that Syria and Lebanon must conduct joint negotiations with Israel] as a means of controlling Lebanon directly, or indirectly now that the [Syrian] army has withdrawn from Lebanon. By means of the 'joint path' [policy]... [the Ba'thist] regime means to reap benefit from the destruction of Lebanon, from the suffering of the Lebanese people, and from the blood of its martyrs, [and to exploit them] in order to re-market itself as a regional player. But this player [i.e. Syria] has already played an historic role in defending Israel's northern borders..." 
Lebanese MP Elias Atallah said: "Whoever refuses to recognize Lebanon's sovereignty, whoever carries out terrorism against Lebanon's leaders and people, whoever objects to demarcating the border [between Syria and Lebanon] by establishing embassies and appointing ambassadors - we do not want him to participate in negotiations that take place in Lebanon and impinge on Lebanese national interests. We are committed to the Taif Agreement and to an independent, Arab, and democratic Lebanon, [while Syria] wants the opposite, and should therefore get out... and leave us alone. We are not interested in the 'joint path' anymore, [and we do not want] the Syrians to [exploit] our fate and out blood." 
*Syrian Daily Calls Leaders of Lebanese March 14 Movement "Devils," "Apes," "Scum"
An article in the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra, titled "The Apes and Scum," attacks the leaders of the Lebanese March 14 leaders: "[They are] like a lurking devil... who is trying to make [Lebanon] rot and to throttle it, and who is poking its filthy finger into its open wounds after a month of devastation, blood and deportation!!
"Yesterday, the March 14 apes came out of their burrows in order to caper in a clownish dance, suitable to this American war waged by Israel against Lebanon. The color of their backsides is identical to the color of their faces. Their [own] master, Dick Cheney, did not hesitate to call them 'scum,' and rightfully so..." 
*Syrian Government Dailies Attack and Slander Lebanese Politicians
An article in the Syrian government daily Al-Ba'th, titled "Lebanese Politicians in the Service of the CIA and the Mossad," attacked Lebanese politicians "who have found a receptive ear in the CIA and the Pentagon, and are now seeking to [fulfill] roles that correspond to the positions they have adopted, and [thus] have put themselves at the service of the Israeli-American plans for the region... These people, along with dozens of their associates, still prefer to target Syria and the Resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] and to get them into trouble...
"Reports have it that ["Lebanese Forces" Chairman Samir] Geagea, whose forces are now concentrated in the Mount Lebanon region, receives direct aid from the Mossad and from the CIA... The aim of 'Operation Mayhem,' supervised by Geagea with the help of Israeli intelligence, is to [cause] the hostilities and the violence to spread into Syria - which would provide Israel and the U.S. with an excuse to take various steps against Syria.... Some analysts think that the Israeli and American intelligence [apparatuses] are counting [on the help of] Geagea, of [Druze leader] Walid Jumblatt, and of other figures..." 
*Hizbullah-Lebanon Representative in Iran: "Everything We Have, We [Obtained] Thanks to the Islamic Revolution [in Iran]"
The representative of Hizbullah-Lebanon in Iran, Abdallah Safiy Al-Din, emphasized Hizbullah's close affiliation with Iran, and mentioned the organization's preparations for the confrontation with Israel. Following are excerpts from his statements, as cited in the conservative Iranian daily Kayhan, which is affiliated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei:
"Everything we have, we [obtained] thanks to the Islamic Revolution [in Iran], [thanks to] the Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic regime in Iran], [thanks to] the Honorable Leader [Ali Khamenei], and [thanks to] the 'rule of the jurisprudent' [i.e. the founding principle of the Islamic regime in Iran, which states that the country must be ruled by a religious jurisprudent]. Everything we have, we have thanks to our total obedience to the jurisprudent...
"During the six years since the liberation of South Lebanon, we did not draw our attention away [from Israel] even for a single day, but made plans for times such as these..." 
*Hizbullah Activist on Ties Between Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei and Hizbullah Secretary-General Nasrallah
In a meeting organized by the Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, which was held in the city of Rasht under the title of "Morning of Victory," disabled Hizbullah activist Muhammad Muhsin described Iran's crucial role in founding Hizbullah and in facilitating the organization's activity during Khamenei's rule. Following are excerpts from his statements, published by the reformist Iranian daily Rooz on August 7, 2006:
"Since the death of the Imam Khomeini, we have been deriving benefit from the advice and from the goals of Imam [sic] Khamenei. He has set for us two missions: one - to fight Israel, and the other - to maintain our internal unity. The Lebanese people realized that we had brought a new culture [to the Muslim world] - the culture of Karbala, the culture of the triumph of blood over the sword, and of Islamic revival. This is the culture that we [Lebanese] learned from you [Iranians]. We took an example from the Imam [Khomeini] and from your [Iran-Iraq] war, from your Revolutionary Guards and from your Basij forces...
"After the victory of 2000, when the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon, the Central Council of the Islamic Resistance [i.e. Hizbullah] came to Iran to meet with its leadership. Whenever we visited the leader [Khmenei] in his home, Hassan Nasrallah used to say that '[Khamenei] was very happy and smiled.' Nasrallah also said that 'all the years of struggle and resistance, and all the martyrs who had fallen [in battle] and all the days spent by the hostages [in captivity] were worth this smile, since it is the smile of the Hidden Imam  and the smile of God.'...
"Our war against Israel is eternal. It is the war of the poor against the rich, and we are proud that the Honorable Leader [Khamenei] is pleased with us...
"Praise Allah, Hizbullah is in very good shape, [both] physically and in terms of morale. Ayatollah Khamenei's envoy in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, is leading the war with unruffled calm." 
*The Struggle Against Zionism is A Struggle Between The Entire World of Paganism And The Entire World of Islam
Dr. Zahra Mostafavi, the daughter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and head of the Iranian Society in Defense of the Palestinian Nation, wrote a letter of salutation to Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. Following are excerpts of the letter, which was published by IRIB News:
"Today, the perseverance and bravery of the heroic Lebanese nation and of our beloved Hizbullah has become a source of pride and honor in the hearts of the Muslims around the world. This perseverance would have not been possible were it not for the help of God Almighty...
"Your body is filled with the divine spirit, [since you are] the upright son of Imam Khomeini, and so are the bodies of your loyal followers. The everlasting light of the Almighty shines on your brow.
"Today, the mighty faith held in your arms will break down the door of Zionists' Khaibar stronghold, and thus that the Divine promise to the Islamic community will be fulfilled.
"The jihad that you wage at present does not come only to defend a land, but comes to defend the entire Islamic world, the Koran and all the Muslims. By God's grace, in our era you have become the [symbol of] truth as opposed to falsehood. Similarly, the struggle against Zionism represents the struggle between entire [world of] paganism and the entire [world of] Islam....
"Your sister, along with other Muslims and free men around the world, is determined to respond to your call and to follow your orders to the letter. The players in this international farce are well aware that when the will of the Muslim nations turns to Islamic Jihad, international conventions can no longer prevent them from rising up and [joining] the struggle between truth and falsehood. The day will come when we will witness a new Middle East, free of the filth of the usurper Zionism, with divine assistance and under the slogan 'La Illaha Illa Allah' (there is no God but Allah), and with the pure Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
"In these days of hardship and loneliness, I send my prayers to accompany your firm stand, and pray to Allah for the awakening of the Arab rulers, for the noble resistance martyrs, and for the victory of the heroic Lebanese and Palestinian nations." 
 Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), August 7, 2006.
 Al-Thawra (Syria), August 2, 2006.
 Teshreen (Syria), August 6, 2006.
 Teshreen (Syria), August 6, 2006.
 Teshreen (Syria), August 6, 2006.
 Al-Nahar (Lebanon), August 7, 2006.
 Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), August 8, 2006.
 Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), August 7, 2006.
 Al-Thawra (Syria), August 7, 2006.
 Al-Ba'th (Syria), August 7, 2006.
 According to the Shiite faith, the Hidden Imam is the Messiah who may reveal himself any day and save the world.
 Rooz, August 7, 2006. http://www.roozonline.com/01newsstory/016994.shtml.
 IRIB News, July 31, 2006, http://www.iribnews.ir/Full_en.asp?news_id=218468&n=36.