Beirut Gossip (Quotes excerpted from miscellaneous press
reports on the demonstrations in Downtown Beirut): - Updated Dec. 24, 2006
• “It is the wish of Hezbollah to one day establish an Islamic Republic [in Lebanon] because Hezbollah believes that the establishment of an Islamic government is the only way to achieve stability in society, and it is the only way to resolve social differences, even in a society consisting of diverse minorities”. (Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, in an August 2006 interview with the Iranian magazine “Risalat Al-Hussein” (The Message of Al-Hussein), and as quoted in Al-Shiraa Magazine, Dec. 18, 2006).
• SEIZURE OF WEAPONS IN LEBANON: [Note from the editor: In Lebanon, you can invoke the right to owning bomb-making materials and missiles by simply saying “We are a Resistance”. In the US, the claim is based on a constitutional “Right to Bear Arms”]. To wit: Lebanese security forces arrested members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) on Thursday after confiscating large quantities of explosives, detonators and timers [i.e. bomb-making equipment] during raids on the members' homes in North Lebanon, as far away as one can be in Lebanon from any lines of confrontation with the “Zionist enemy”. Party leader Ali Qanso responded hours after the raids on his home, saying “…The party did indeed own the stash of weapons…that it had kept ‘just in case’…We are not a militia and we are not a party of murderers. We are a resistance force…” Qanso’s SSNP is allied with Hassan Nasrallah’s Hizbullah and Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement that have been staging an open-ended demonstration to force the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to resign. Qanso added, "The Social Nationalists' patience has limits…We are a resistance force, and we use different methods of resisting, among which is using explosives." The SSNP, created in 1932 along the models of the German Nazi Party and the Italian and Spanish Fascist parties of that era, is a Fascist Syrian nationalist party advocating a "Greater Syria" encompassing Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait and Cyprus, and proclaiming the racial supremacy of the Northern Arabs (“the Syrians”) over the Southern Arabs of the peninsula. (All quotes are from the Daily Star, December 22, 2006).
• HEZBOLLAH’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE FREE PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT: Sitting at a small table playing cards is a group of five young men from the Hizbullah camp, smoking nargileh and talking about the previous night of "partying" with their FPM comrades. "The other night we were in their camp, and all of us were dancing and eating and drinking…There are some pretty girls in the Aouni camp," says 24-year-old Hassan Hamieh with a shy smile. "We don't like girls as skinny as that," he says, pointing to the nargileh pipe, "but then we don't like them enormous either, and some in the Aouni group are just perfect." (Daily Star, Dec. 19, 2006)
• HEZBOLLAH’S SHIFTING LOSSES DURING THE JULY WAR: Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah’s politburo, said Friday that “around 250” Hezbollah fighters were killed in the summer war with Israel, saying the group does not hide its casualties. “We are proud of our martyrs,” he said. (The Associated Press, December 15, 2006). [Note from Editor: During the war, Hezbollah claimed that no more than 70 of its fighters were killed in the fighting. If Hezbollah was as accurate, honest, and straightforward as it claims to be, it should come forward and tell the truth that most of the 1,191 Lebanese who were killed were in fact Hezbollah fighters. The highly suspicious number of “around 250”, which Hezbollah is only now admitting, shows that the pro-Iranian terrorist group continues to lie to the Lebanese people and the world.]
• HEZBOLLAHS GOALS ARE THE SAME TODAY AS THEY WERE IN THE 1980s: “You want to bring the Americans and we want to drive them away”, (Naim Qassem, Hizbullah's second-in-command, Sunday Dec. 10, 2006)
• [Addressing Prime Minister Siniora directly]: "If you want to truly show that you support the resistance and this people, as you say, then I advise you to prove it by doing one of two things, if not both. The first is that you issue an order to the Lebanese Army to give the resistance back the truckload of arms which it confiscated [in November].” (Naim Qassem, Sunday Dec. 10, 2006, addressing Prime Minister Saniora)
• WHEN WEAPONS RUN IN YOUR VEINS: “There is no fear! There is no fear! The blood of Shiites is a Kalashnikov.” (The crowd)
• DEATH TO AMERICA: “Does Bush want popular expression in Lebanon? Do the West and the Arabs want to hear the voice of the people in Lebanon? Tell them 'Death to America!'” (Naim Qassem, Sunday Dec. 10, 2006)
• WHERE IN THE WORLD IS UN RESOLUTION 1701? “There is a constant and massive rearmament of Hizbullah”… “The weapons are for the most part Iranian and are entering Lebanon thanks to the complicity of Hizbullah supporters inside the Lebanese intelligence service” (Senior UN official, quoted by the French daily Le Monde, Dec. 8, 2006).
• “… A 50-man squad of militants linked to Al-Qaida [are] charged by Damascus
with killing 36 anti-Syrian Lebanese personalities. The militants were recruited
among fighters in Iraq and infiltrated via Syria into Lebanon, where they are
based in a Palestinian refugee settlement in the north of the country”
(Confidential document sent to U.N. headquarters, reported by AFP-Naharnet
quoting the French daily Le Monde Dec. 8, 2006)