Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on August 17, 2021, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 9th night of Ashura, two days before the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.
[…] My last point is Afghanistan, which I quickly mentioned before. What is happening in Afghanistan right now is an emergency situation that is grabbing the attention of the whole world. Inside the United States, this is the main event all are talking about, and of course everyone blames each other, just like in Lebanon, people are all the same: the Republican Party blames the Democrat Party, blames Biden, and describes the scene as a humiliation for the United States, (a proof of) weakness, helplessness, failure, historic defeat, shame, disgrace, etc. If we want to faithfully describe (the political situation in the United States), we can say that they are tearing each other apart. The same goes for the position of European countries, of the leaders of certain European countries [United Kingdom, France, Germany…], who speak with very strong and very negative words to assess the situation in Afghanistan.
It is indeed a striking and vitally important spectacle, filled with lessons to be learned, and we all must… It is not something that one or two speeches is enough to describe, for the situation continues to develop, and deserves everyone to watch it carefully and think about it seriously, very seriously. This should not simply be of interest to (pseudo-)experts (in) strategic (issues), who are very numerous today, ma sha Allah, experts, analysts, no: all men and women (must feel) that what is currently happening in Afghanistan (is their concern), and all that has been said so far remains little in the face of the importance and consequences of what is happening in Afghanistan, at the historical, strategic, ideological, cultural, political, psychological and moral levels. And those who must be the most assiduous in the reading (and the interpretation) of this (considerable) event to draw the strategic and historical consequences from it are the peoples of this region. Yes, the people of the Middle East must be the first to care about what is happening. Because what is happening in Afghanistan is a very big and even masterful lesson.
The images that you see and have all seen on TV screens speak for themselves… and all the media around the world (follow and broadcast what is happening), because however strong the censorship system of the United States may be, (it is powerless to prevent the mass distribution of these images). On the subject of social networks and the Internet, which the United States has opened up and spread around the world to instrumentalize them in color revolutions here and there, they find themselves caught in their own trap, because even inside the United States, the Biden government can certainly influence such newspapers or such television channels (to dissuade them from broadcasting these humiliating images), but how could it prevent millions and tens of millions of users of social networks to share these images? And glory to God, these are exactly the same images as in Vietnam! Just like in Saigon! The (American nationals) climbed stairs to access a helicopter on a roof (and escape), and we see exactly the same thing happening at Kabul airport! It’s extraordinary ! A real photocopy! Can we believe that this is just a coincidence?
Either way, the images of Afghanistan and the fall of Afghanistan into the hands of the very movement that the United States fought for 20 years and expelled (from power), before handing the country over to them on a silver platter… The Taliban flag flies over Kabul airport. I have already mentioned Afghanistan in my previous speech [cf. below], and today Biden took the floor to try to defend himself… I said before that instead of rushing to achieve the withdrawal of his troops, as long as the American forces were present, and since the Afghan forces (formed by the USA) have 300,000 to 400,000 members —between soldiers and police forces— he should have cut a deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban, in favor of the formation of a transitional government, which would have avoided everything that happened, allowing the United States to withdraw with dignity. Why didn’t he do this? Because he couldn’t bear to stay any longer (in Afghanistan). Honestly! It was not out of respect that Biden did not do this. And don’t take my word for it, listen to what Biden himself said! Listen to Biden, listen to his Secretary of State and his National Security Advisor… Because now they are forced to explain themselves to the American people… They do not explain themselves to the peoples of the world, but to the American people who is amazed at these humiliating images of defeat and failure. Listen to his explanations, and you will understand the American point of view. I’m not going to make you a (full) TV report, but I hope everyone will listen carefully to what Biden said yesterday, what he said today, and what American (authorities) will say in the days to come. Give seriously some time to their statements, as this will give a good understanding of the historical and strategic consequences of the (humiliating) defeat and (monumental) failure of the United States and NATO in Afghanistan. It is a matter of concern to us as peoples of the region, and gives us lessons that we can use for our present and our future.
I’m going to stop on two points (of Biden’s speech). In his speech today, he said “We have spent over a trillion dollars“, that is over a thousand billion dollars! They spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan! And they left crestfallen, empty-handed, with Honaïn’s shoes as the Arabic saying goes, humiliated, defeated, ashamed, in disgrace. And this according to the admission of their own media, and Western media. What does this prove? That they have failed (miserably), that they have been routed, that they are helpless, ignorant and stupid. Biden himself said that the US did not foresee that the Afghan government and forces would collapse so quickly, and was surprised that they neither fought nor resisted. The Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor said the same thing. What does this indicate? People imagine the United States to be a demigod, omniscient, analyzing and mastering everything at their fingertips, knowledgeable about everything, able to plan everything through its state-of-the-art study and planning centers with top notch skill and technology, with huge & masterful plans, etc. But the reality is far from all that! In our region, the United States is ignorant, unable to understand anything! For decades, they have been repeating the same mistakes, deploying the same (failed) experiments and the same (wrong) calculations! This is one of the lessons to be learned!
Biden says it is not the fault of the United States, but the fault of the Afghan forces who did not fight. But my dear, these Afghan forces, you left them without air force, because the air force is in your hands, (and you did not allow them to develop it), while claiming that you spent a trillion dollars. This is the first point. Second, these Afghan forces were led by your generals, who prepared doomed (war) plans for them! What (war) plans did you concoct, what (military) advice did you provide to these Afghan forces? Third, what did Biden want (ultimately)? What does his confession reveal? Because he did not know how to hold his tongue, too entangled in his (clumsy) defense (and he unmasked himself). He wanted a civil war! He wanted the Afghan forces to wage war on the Taliban, a war between hundreds of thousands (of fighters) against hundreds of thousands (of fighters), and he would just have to sit down and enjoy the bloody spectacle in Afghanistan.
Whereas if he had humanity, and cared (for the well-being) of people as he claims, he would have presided over an agreement and a settlement of the conflict before withdrawing from Afghanistan. (This contempt for the lives of Afghans) is an ethical and moral downfall of the American administration! This moral degradation is emphasized even by leading politicians and commentators in the United States and elsewhere. This is why Biden says today that he wanted a political solution (between the Afghan government and the Taliban), but that Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President, did not want it. You see? Biden pins the blame on him, and claims to be faultless!
These words reminded me of those verses of the Qur’an which speak about the devil: « [And Satan will say when the matter is decided: “It was God Who gave you a promise of truth: I too promised but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but ye listened to me.] Then reproach not me but reproach your own souls.” » [Quran, 14, 22] (The damned) are invited not to impute to the devil (their bad actions which will lead them to Hell), but to only blame themselves!
It was you (pro-US Afghans) who put yourselves at the service of the Americans, who listened to them and obeyed them, who placed your hopes in them and bet on them, but they got to the point where they told you (quite simply) fare well, « Bye-bye » [Nasrallah says it in English]. And what kind of « Bye-bye » are we talking about? What is happening at Kabul airport is incredible, it is heartbreaking and sad. Because in the end (these Afghans who want to flee) are human beings. We have all seen this (American military) plane advance with dozens of people around it, without worrying about them, without the pilot stopping, while he could have run over them!
And he saw that people had clung to the plane, but took off anyway! Whether they fall and crash (horribly to the ground) or not, that’s not his problem!
This is the United States! What I’m telling you is all over the media, I’m not inventing anything! They embarked police dogs, but did not embark the Afghans who collaborated with them!
They embarked equipment which costs only money, but did not embark human beings, who are human beings, men, with human rights! This is the United States, (this is their true face)!
Everything that is happening in Afghanistan, even if in Lebanon we are absorbed by our daily problems, I hope that we will pay attention to it and will consider it as the pivotal moment that it is, because for 50 or 60 years, there was nothing like it. And this will have a great impact on international policies, international relations, international alliances. And today, those who observe and comment on these events most attentively are the Israelis!
Because when Biden said, and this is a message to all of America’s allies in the region (including Israel), when Biden was defending himself, he said something very, very, very, very, very, very, very… (repeat it until you lose your breath) important, and I hope America’s “friends” in Lebanon and the region will read this very carefully. Biden said “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war in the place of anyone else.“ If anyone expects the Americans to come and fight for them, this is what Biden says! And in order not to fight for anyone else, he is ready to endure a historic and humiliating defeat in Afghanistan! When we talk about Lebanon or whatever, in comparison, it is only an (insignificant) detail (in the eyes of the Americans).
In conclusion, what is happening in Afghanistan is filled with very big and very important lessons, and we must take advantage of them and act accordingly, at the cultural, ideological & emotional levels, at the level of our choices, of our hopes, of our our understanding (of events), of our alliances, of our infrastructure, at the economic, political, military, security levels, etc. This was my conclusion during my last speech, when I said that we must only rely on God and on ourselves! We must not wait for the United States, nor their training, nor their advice, nor their support, nor their false promises, nor their plots! We do not want their good nor their evil. Of course no good can come from them. The good resides in our people, in our (Arab-Muslim) Community, in our region, in the Arab-Muslim peoples. It is on them that we must rely. Because we have all these possibilities and capacities.
I am done on this subject. I will meet you tomorrow, for the 10th night (of the month of Muharram, the eve of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein), the night of the last meeting, and of the big farewell.
Peace be upon you, O my master Aba ‘Abdillah al-Hussein, and on the souls who dwell in your court! On you, from me, the Peace of God, forever, as long as I exist and as long as night and day last! May God not make this the last time I am visiting you! Peace be upon Hussein, upon ‘Ali son of Hussein, upon the children of Hussein and upon the companions of Hussein!
Peace be upon you, as well as the Mercy of God and His blessings.
Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on August 15, 2021, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 7th night of Ashura.
Following the explosion of a gasoline tank in the Akkar region, which killed 28 Lebanese, Nasrallah addressed at length the crisis and the shortages in Lebanon, artificially caused by US sanctions & plots and embezzlement on the black market, before promising that Hezbollah would import gasoline and fuel from Iran. The first Hezbollah fuel tanker left Iran on August 19, 2021, the day of Ashura. The example of Afghanistan has been developed at length to demonstrate that it is suicidal to rely on Washington.
[…] We must only rely on ourselves. All that we have gone through in Lebanon during these last decades, oh dear Lebanese, I invite you to think carefully about it. I speak about all our experiences: military, security, occupation, (ISIS / Al-Nosra) takfiris [the United States were opposed to an offensive by the Lebanese army against the terrorists at the Syrian border, but it took place in conjunction with Hezbollah], internal political struggles, and the economic and social situation. The moment must come —and this moment must come now— when we will all have the firm conviction that we must rely on our people, on all our people, on our own capacities, on our intelligences, on our means, on our wise policies which will not be vetoed from the outside, to succeed in building our country. This is how we have protected Lebanon, and this is how we can build it.
In the time that I have left, I want to talk about a story that is grabbing the attention of the whole world. It absorbes the whole world, and not just the United States, where all the televisions talk about it all day long: I mean Afghanistan. The whole Middle East is riveted on it, as well as the countries of the region: Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, India and the whole region… I’m talking about the situation in Afghanistan. Of course, in Lebanon, we don’t have time to devote to Afghanistan, nor to the lessons to be learned from what is happening in Afghanistan, because we are cornered by (the shortages of) fuel, medicines and gasoline. I only have two words to say about the situation, I don’t want to take too much of your time. Just two words to highlight the lessons to be learned.
The United States has occupied Afghanistan for 20 years. They have ruled Afghanistan (for 20 years), installing and overthrowing governments (as they please), and imposing their plans and policies. They built (Afghan) armed forces, and supplied weapons to the Afghan army. After 20 years, what is the future of Afghanistan now? We are not talking about a situation where (the Afghans) would have called the United States for help from a distance, no: the Americans were there, with their US armed forces, their US advisers, the US (military) commanders! And the country was occupied for 20 years! There are certain people… call them whatever you like: friends of the United States, allies of the United States, those who placed their hopes on the United States, the tools of the United States… Call them whatever you want. These people lived with the Americans for 20 years, and fought under the American flag for 20 years, against the Taliban or whatever.
Well, after 20 years, without consultation or qualms, the United States negotiated with the Taliban in Doha, and made the decision to withdraw. This dates back to the Trump administration. Why are you in haste to leave? Can you not wait a bit, push for a political agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government, which is your friend? No way. They haven’t even tried. They were in too much of a hurry to get away. They could no longer endure the losses, and their interest was to leave Afghanistan, so they decided to leave. And what will happen to their friends, allies, loved ones, who fought alongside them for 20 years? They don’t care. What will happen to Afghanistan? Didn’t the United States claim to come to establish democracy in Afghanistan, human rights, public freedoms? There will be none of that, it’s over. The Americans saw their interest in withdrawing from Afghanistan, they packed their bags and left Afghanistan double-quick, without bothering to achieve a political solution or any agreement in the country. Isn’t that what is happening now? This is what is happening (before our eyes)!
On the other side, the Taliban moved forward. I don’t want to attack anyone, or condemn anyone, I’m just describing the situation to learn from it. One after another, Afghan provinces fell into the hands of the Taliban, mostly without fighting, and sometimes with timid fighting. And of course it’s (already) over, all of Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban. Only Kabul remains, where negotiations are ongoing, and before I started my speech, I saw that Afghan President (Ashraf) Ghani had fled Kabul. He alledgedly has American citizenship, and he will probably go to live in the United States as a US citizen. But what is the future of the people of Kabul? They are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The future of all provinces in Afghanistan is abandoned. In whose hands? Taliban. The whole country and the whole population are handed over to the Taliban, to the conduct of the Taliban, to the customs and ways of the Taliban. May God save all the Afghan people. Insh Allah.
There are two perspectives on what happened. One view says that when the United States spoke with the Taliban, they agreed to hand the country over to them. They would therefore have come to an agreement on this. If this point of view is correct, it means that the US administration has betrayed its allies. It betrayed its allies, stabbed them in the back, plotted against them. So much for the first point of view, if it is the right one.
According to the second view, there would be no agreement between the United States and the Taliban to hand over the country to the latter. The United States would have simply left the country and let the Afghans fend for themselves and sort out their problems among themselves. If this point of view is correct, it means that the United States has abandoned its friends, abandoned its allies.
Either way, the United States are either traitors and deceivers, or people who forsake and abandon their friends. And Afghanistan is entirely in the hands of the Taliban: its government, its security, its honor, its women, its blood, its future, its economy, its hunger or satiety, etc., everything is in the hands of the Taliban. It’s over! And even Kabul, the Taliban will grab the capital through a deal, they may not even need to fight. There is no one to fight them, and maybe no one is being asked to fight them. Isn’t this experience developing before our eyes?
Let us come to Lebanon. O friends of the United States in Lebanon, you want the United States to protect Lebanon? And against whom? Against their tool, their creature, their dear and beloved Israel? What can the Americans do to protect Lebanon? Send troops to our aid? Take a look at their experience (in Afghanistan)!
Today, in the US Senate, in the American media, the public opinion in the United States, everyone is saying that what is happening is reminiscent of (the fall of) Saigon, the Vietnam war. What is happening is a real humiliation for the United States of America. And you rely on the United States to protect our country? Is that how we’re going to protect Lebanon? With the Americans, the American promises, the American support, the American guarantees? Anyone in Lebanon who wants to place his hopes in the American guarantees & promises, let him look at the images that come to us from Afghanistan! Such is the (true face of the) United States!
As for us (in Hezbollah), as evidenced by these nobles wounded (fighters in the front row of the audience), we strongly believe that those who protect Lebanon are the Lebanese! Those who protect Lebanon are the Lebanese people, the Lebanese army and the Lebanese Resistance! That, and nothing else! [Audience: At your service, O Nasrallah]
This is August 15th. Yesterday was August 14, the (anniversary) day of the great victory of the 2006 war. And since 2006 to this day, as I recalled in my speech a few days ago, who is it who protected Lebanon? Who was it that stopped the Israeli enemy from carrying out strikes against Lebanon? Who? The US administration? The West, at whose feet you (pro-American Lebanese) crawl? The international community? The Arab League? Or the (firm) footsteps of these noble (Hezbollah fighters), these heroes, children of your villages, your towns and your families, thanks to their blood, their wounds, their courage? They are the ones who protected Lebanon, and who will protect Lebanon forever! [Audience: At your service, O Nasrallah]. This goes for protection and security. And the same goes for the economy. A country that lives on aid (from abroad) cannot be free, nor be independent, nor be sovereign. Such a country is a slave. A slave! Because if he lives off help from others, it means that the tap is in their hands. They just have to close it for us to die of thirst. For them to give us water, we must submit, make all the concessions, bow our heads, hand over our resources, our waters, our choices, our country and our political decision to them!
These economic and financial policies (dictated by the West) that we have seen (implemented) in Lebanon for 40 years, any new government that would follow these same policies would bring the country to ruin! They have transformed our country into a country of services, which lives only on aid. They destroyed agriculture, they destroyed industry, and liquidated all production capacity in the country. And that is why we depend on abroad. They left our country enslaved to their will. Even our services depend on them. The West besieges us as it pleases. It can easily stop the operation of the airport, the port, tourism, hotels and banks: with a stroke of the pen, it paralyzes our entire banking system! Our agricultural sector is destroyed, our industry is destroyed, we have nothing to eat, no clothes, we only survive thanks to help from abroad, our imports from abroad and aid from abroad. If Lebanon continues with these policies, getting loans (from the IMF, etc.) in the future and continuing to get into debt by borrowing abroad, I tell you, we (in Hezbollah) will be the first to oppose such moves! We will be the first to oppose such policies, which would only cause further collapse and bankruptcy! There is nothing wrong with having services, but our priority must be to endow Lebanon with a capacity for the production of goods, agriculture, industry, so that if someone besieges the country, we at least will have what to eat, clothes on our back and manage to go on. We must transform ourselves into a country of production, into an economy of production! The Lebanese lack nothing to achieve this, neither intelligence, nor will, nor strength, nor courage, nor experience, nor understanding, nor capacities. But decades of (disastrous) policies have led us to this situation.
If we want to count on the foreign powers, here is (the true face of) these foreign powers! The United States has just abandoned millions of Afghans, leaving them hungry, thirsty, stripped of everything, refugees, scattered in deserts and valleys, and on the borders of regional countries!
Do we want to suffer the same fate in Lebanon, because some Lebanese political forces are the servants and worshipers of the United States and the West? No, I swear it by God! As for us, we only worship God, and we don’t trust any of these people. We trust our own people, our intelligence, our will, our determination. Yes, the situation is difficult, but we are able to overcome it! This requires will and a sense of responsibility, the opposite of the political settling of scores and sectarian incitement that we saw again yesterday (after the deadly explosion in Akkar), and that we had already seen after the explosion of the port of Beirut. We must learn the lessons from Afghanistan! […]
“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…”