Iraqi TV Host Takes Hizbullah Loyalist to Task over Deal with ISIS: You Sent 318 Suicide Bombers to Iraq, Iraqi Shi'ites Have Become Cannon Fodder
Lebanese political commentator and Hizbullah loyalist Faysal Abed El Sater found himself on the receiving end of an Iraqi TV host's ire following the ISIS-Hizbullah deal in which ISIS fighters and families were given free passage to Deir Al-Zor, near the Syrian-Iraqi border, in exchange for the release of a captured Hizbullah fighter and several bodies of Hizbullah fighters. Accusing his guest of having sent an "air-conditioned convoy" of 318 suicide bombers to Iraq in order to retrieve one Lebanese POW and the body of an Iranian IRGC member, TV host Adnan Al-Taee said they should have killed the ISIS militants, rather than enter into a deal with them. Abed El Sater countered that 300 ISIS members would not make a difference to Iraq, which already has many thousands of ISIS members, and said that Iraq's problem was a purely domestic one, whereas the war between Hizbullah and ISIS "pertains to the national security of Lebanon and Syria." Al-Taee complained that Iraqi Shi'ites are viewed as cannon fodder. "We shed our blood on the battlefield, and than we are ignored," he said. The exchange took place on Dijlah TV on August 30.
Adnan Al-Taee: "Why didn't you kill the ISIS members [on the Syrian-Lebanese border]? You had the military upper hand. There were very few of them. They did not have sufficient weapons. Why did you negotiate with ISIS? Let me tell you why, because I know I won't get any answer from you. There was one Lebanese POW and one Iranian corpse."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Right."
Adnan Al-Taee: "That's it. You sent 318 terrorists to Iraq – 318 suicide bombers who might kill a large number of Iraqis – just to retrieve one Lebanese POW and the body of an Iranian called Hajaji. In order to get the body of Hajaji the Iranian and to retrieve one Lebanese POW, you sent us 318 terrorists and suicide bombers?"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Brother, your comparison is unjust. First of all, you should let me talk. I'm the guest, and I would like to present my view."
Adnan Al-Taee: "Go ahead."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "You might not accept everything I tell you, but I have the right to clarify to the viewers what happened. It's not fair to draw a comparison between Iraq and the Syrian-Lebanese border. Since 2003, there have been many thousands of ISIS members in Iraq. Those 300 will not make a difference one way or the other. In Iraq, the problem is a purely domestic one, whereas the problem, or war, between Hizbullah and ISIS pertains to the national security of both Lebanon and Syria. Hizbullah did not fight against Lebanese ISIS members. They are not a part of the Lebanese scene. In Iraq, things are different from Lebanon."
Adnan Al-Taee: "I get your point. Answer my question. You in Lebanon always feel superior, I get it. You feel superior in everything. Syria also feels superior now. You think that the Iraqis are at the tail end of the convoy. That's why when I ask you a question, you start answering about something else. Answer me about this..."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Are you denying that Lebanese Hizbullah sacrificed martyrs in Iraq?"
Adnan Al-Taee: "I am denying that Hizbullah sacrificed martyrs in Iraq! It is Iraq that has sacrificed martyrs in Syria, in the defense of Syria, Lebanon, and Hizbullah. You people sacrificed martyrs in Iraq?"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Are you denying that Hizbullah sacrificed martyrs in Iraq?"
Adnan Al-Taee: "Yes, I am!"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "I'll give you their names."
Adnan Al-Taee: "Go ahead and give me their names."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "The great commander, martyr Ibrahim Al-Haj..."
Adnan Al-Taee: "These people are nothing but consultants. You send us nothing but consultants. You and Iran send us consultants, who sit in air-conditioned rooms while the Iraqi soldiers do the fighting... How many martyrs has Hizbullah had in Iraq? Can you tell us that?"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "You are trying to drive a wedge between the Lebanese resistance and the Iraqi resistance. Whose interest does this serve?
Adnan Al-Taee: "We are not resistance fighters, sir. Maybe you are 'resistance,' but we are trying to build a state."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Who stands to gain from creating such a huge conflict? Do we not all share the same concerns, threats, future, and destiny?"
Adnan Al-Taee: "No!"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Isn't our suffering proof that our enemies target our very existence, our security, our children, our cities, and our villages?"
Adnan Al-Taee: "No, it is not!"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "Why not? Give me a reason."
Adnan Al-Taee: "No. No. No. You just sent us ISIS suicide bombers."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "I didn't send you anything."
Adnan Al-Taee: "Man, we're killing ISIS so they won't go over to you, and you're sending them over here!
"The problem now is that the blood of Iraqi Shi'ites has become cheap in the region. That's our problem. The others view us as cannon fodder. We shed our blood on the battlefield, and then we are ignored. Is it conceivable that Bashar Al-Assad gives a speech in which he thanks everybody, with the exception of the Iraqis? Is it acceptable to you that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah from Lebanon sends us an air-conditioned convoy of 318 ISIS members? These images are unacceptable to us."
Faysal Abed El Sater: "First of all, Shi'ite blood and Sunni blood are the same, whether in Iraq, in Lebanon, or in Syria. The blood of every innocent human being – whether Sunni, Shi'ite, or Christian – that is shed by those beasts..."
Adnan Al-Taee: "So why didn't you kill those beasts? Why didn't you kill them, sir?"
Faysal Abed El Sater: "[Killing the ISIS members] would have turned Hizbullah into criminals, who execute people who had surrendered. That is something nobody would accept, and neither would you, deep down inside."