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Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah Interviewed By Julian Assange.

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Dé Máirt Aibreán 17, 2012 20:15author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Hezbollah urged the Syrian opposition to engage in dialogue with Assad's regime, but they refused.

Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah in his first interview in six years, on the world premiere of Julian Assange’s The World Tomorrow on RT confirmed that the Syrian opposition refused his offer to mediate. Nasrallah told Assange that Hezbollah supports Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as Syria supported resistance in Lebanon and “hasn't backed down in the face of Israeli and American pressure.”

Nasrallah, a freedom fighter to millions though a terrorist to the ruling classes of US, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands, says Assad’s regime “served the Palestinian cause very well.” This is why Hezbollah supported the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere, but ln Syria, Hezbollah urged the opposition to engage in dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad.

“This is the first time I say this – We contacted the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime. But they rejected dialogue,” he revealed. “Right from the beginning we have had a regime that is willing to undergo reforms and prepared for dialogue. On the other side you have an opposition which is not prepared for dialogue and it is not prepared to accept reforms. All it wants is to bring down the regime. This is a problem.”

Nasrallah called for balance on the Syrian issue as “armed groups in Syria have killed very many civilians” though international blame is leveled squarely at President Assad. Several Arab & non-Arab states are arming and funding the rebels while in the Hezbollah leader’s opinion Al-Qaeda simply wants to turn Syria into a battle ground.

“There is fighting in Syria – when one party retreats, the other will advance, it will go on as long as doors to dialogue are shut,” he told Assange.
Stressing that Hezbollah supports dialogue, Nasrallah points out that without it, "civil war is the only alternative." In his words "this is exactly what America and Israel want… Arab states are ready for tens of years of dialogue with Israel but won't have two months to try a political solution in Syria."

To this day Nasrallah believes Israel “is and will be an illegal state… It was established on the basis of occupying the lands of others,” he says. “If I occupy your house by force it doesn't become mine in 50 or 100 years.”

While “Hezbollah does not want to kill anyone”, the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is establishing a democratic state on Palestinian land where Muslims, Jews and Christians live in peace but the US “won't let people listen to Hezbollah.”

“Our priority is still the liberation of our land and the protection of Lebanon from the Israeli threat", he told Assange, "Israel's hi-tech surveillance will never crack the code of the Lebanese resistance – they use local village dialects.”

Julian Assange conducted the interview by videolink from a secret location in the UK, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden.

The interview was recorded several weeks ago, before the UN-backed peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan was put in place.

Sayyid Nasrallah is the first guest on Julian Assange's The World Tomorrow .The first-episode, with Nasrallah's identity kept secret until broadcast, coincides with the 500th day of financial blockade on WikiLeaks.

The 10-episode series features Assange in conversation with “iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders.” Speaking before the premiere, Assange revealed he expects a storm around the show, with media labeling him an "enemy combatant, traitor who interviews “terrible radicals from around the world.”

The announcement that RT would host Assange's show created a global media stir, with many questioning the RT/Assange link-up. In a pre-show interview Assange explained his rationale.

Caption: Julian Assange

author by leftypublication date Déar Aib 19, 2012 08:33Report this post to the editors

Luke "plagarist" Harding has attacked Julian Assange, the interview with Nasrallah and RT in general

Nice to see Amnesty plugged journalists doing the propaganda work of US imperialism!!

author by N.I. interview with J.A.publication date Déar Aib 19, 2012 09:47Report this post to the editors

‘I was the fall guy’: Julian Assange in his own words

Web exclusive April 1st. 2012

The Wikileaks founder talks to Jamie Kelsey-Fry about state surveillance, media scrutiny and the Cablegate affair.

author by leftypublication date Aoine Aib 20, 2012 03:40Report this post to the editors

good rebuff of attacks on assange's new show etc here:

author by 500 dazepublication date Aoine Aib 20, 2012 11:10Report this post to the editors

ANZAC DAY Callout for Assange and Manning! Free them! End the Wars!

Today is the 500 days of Julian Assange being detained without charge.
Next week Bradley Manning will have been jailed for 700 days without trial.

These two men are facing life in solitary confinement for exposing the nature of the wars millions in the west marched against in 2003.

When we marched in 2003 against these wars, we implicitly incited civilians and members of the military to nonviolently resist these wars. We now owe it to those who resisted and have been dragged before the courts and in chains - our proactive solidarity. Anything else is negligence and abandonment and cowardice. That's the math! It ain't rocket science! They're in chains for us, we're on the loose for them!

In London, we remain on standby to accompany Julian to the Supreme Court.

We return to vigil outside the U.S. embassy whenever Bradley is dragged before the military kangaroo courts of the U.S. On April 24th. Wed 25th Thurs 26th, Bradley will be fronting a military tribunal at Ft. Meade Maryland for a pre-trial hearing. We will be outside the U.S. embassy in London. Others will be inside and outside Ft. Meade. Others will be occupying the Justice Dept in D.C. Others will be on the streets of Cardiff.
Where will you be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday?

Wednesday April 25th. is ANZAC Day in Australia a day of sentimenatlised glorification of war presently serving to recruit cannon fodder & civic silence for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. A good day to hit the streets and break the silence! A good day to demand the freedom of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and an end to wars and war machine.

Try to find a courageous friend.
If ya can't, don't let that stop ya.
It only takes you and a placard on any street to point out "the emperor has no clothes"

Stand there and watch their death dealing mirage crumble
Think of Bradley who has endured, and faces, so much solitary
...offer it up!
Stay strong, stay staunch, solidarity

See ya on the streets
Ciaron O'Reilly
former U.S. anti-war prisoner
Irish Australian based in London

author by Contrarianpublication date Céad Aib 25, 2012 22:02Report this post to the editors

Interesting interview. I'd encourage everyone to view it for themselves and make up their own minds, rather than relying on reviews and commentary on it, including, of course, my own!

First impressions. Julian was clearly enjoying himself throughout, beaming at his interviewee and congratulating himself on having secured such an important coup. Nasrallah combined the plump, smug self-satisfaction of the dogmatic cleric with the waffling of a seasoned politician. The whole thing came across like Alec Ferguson being interviewed by the head honcho of the MUFC fan club. (Tell me, Sir Alec, how do you manage to be so successful against difficult opposition...sort of thing.) Julian is obviously a Nasrallah fan and didn't bother to hide it. Jeremy Paxton will sleep easily if he sees this.

The basic format saw Julian with his list of questions, he asked one, Nasrallah gave a long winded speech, Julian beamed, didn't interrupt, generally didn't follow up or tease out the issues. Julian went on to the next question in the list, Nasrallah launched into another long-winded speech. Repeat until the 28 minutes expired.

Far from being lively and spontaneous, some of the exchanges were obviously rehearsed and pre-arranged. Thus we got "the funny bit", Nasrallah chuckling at how the clever Hesbollah chaps totally confused the sophisticated and expensive Israeli surveillance technology by the simple expedient of using village expressions such as "the father of the chicken" which the Israeli boys wouldn't understand! Fan Julian invited Sir Alex, oops, Nasrallah to talk about his childhood. Nasrallah duly obliged and gave us an Angelas Ashes vibe before, on cue, mentioning that he grew up amongst the Palestinian refugees and so knew all about the Palestinian situation.

Julian finished up by tossing a question about the conflict between freedom and theocracy. Shouldn't a freedom fighter seek to liberate people from the totalitarian concept of a monotheistic God? Like a naughty boy Julian half-heartedly said it was a "provocative" question. Freedom fighter Nasrallah didn't look provoked at all and smiled at being gifted such a basic problem from theology 101. Almost condescendingly he explained it was no problem at all. You see the universe has existed in beautiful harmony for billions of years so that "proves" there's only one God. And God made man and knows what best for him. And the creator of religion is the creator of humanity. So there's no conflict at all. Glad we cleared that up then.

Quite a lot of the interview was taken up with Syria. Nasrallah thinks the whole problem is that the rebels don't want dialogue, they want to bring down the regime instead and you can't have that sort of thing. Especially when the Assad regime is a big time backer of Hezbollah. Julian had a big idea about Nasrallah offering himself as a mediator; Nasrallah looked a bit puzzled and didn't seem too keen on the idea. Wonder why?

Nasrallah's thoughts on Israel were illuminating. No two-state namby-pambyism here. No, sir. Israel is an illegal, illegitimate state, and cannot be allowed to exist. Ever. He advocates a single democratic state where Jews, Muslims and Christians can all live in peace and freedom. No probing from Julian as to the extent of Nasrallah's commitment to democracy, of course. Nor was there any discussion about how this Utopian ideal could be brought about and how Israelis could be presuaded and reassured that it would protect their interests. And their lives.

Instead Nasrallah admitted bluntly that Hesbollah aims its rockets at civilian areas and gave an utterly unconvincing rigmarole about how there was an "understanding" that Israel and Hisbollah would not target each others towns and villages before finally claiming that it was necessary to target civilians in order to maintain a "balance of terror." One might have thought that an interviewer handed this admission of war criminality on a plate might have asked a follow-up question or two. Nope, Julian moved smoothly to the next topic and took a few gratuitous swipes at the USA instead.

A couple of elephants in the studio avoided a mention. Iran, the major backer and suppier of arms to Hezbollah didn't feature at all. Despite the large focus on Syria, Russia's interest in maintaining its naval facilities on the Syrian coast wasn't mentioned. You'd have thought Julian might have played up the Russian angle for his RT pals. Or not.

Overall a turgid 28 minutes that reflects little credit on Assange as an interviewer or Nasrallah as an interviewee. But don't take my word for it. Watch the program yourselves.

author by leftypublication date Déar Aib 26, 2012 03:33Report this post to the editors

yep...definitely don't take a well known zionist apologists word for it! Do check it out yourself without prejudging as contrarian would like you to do. After all, he's part of the Israeli PR apparatus that deliberately censored Nasrallah from being heard in the first place and whose influence on the MSM decided for you whether you were able to hear Nasrallah's views or not up until now. Personally I find people deciding for me what I should and shouldn't be allowed to hear far more offensive than anything anyone might have to say in a civilised interview.

Any interview with someone the MSM otherwise won't allow to speak because Israel and their american friends have said they can't is definitely better than no interview at all. I want to KNOW what these people have to say, not have their views hidden from me (or indeed edited carefully into useful and damning out of context soundbites) because Israel doesn't want me to hear them speak openly.

Contrarian's post is somewhat a continuation of that process of "deciding" for me what I should think. He is hoping to pre shape your mindset before you see the interview. "prejudice" if you will. No doubt his zionist handlers have instructed him as follows "If we can't silence then we need to badmouth and sling mud to try to discredit Assange and Nasrallah". Its from that context you should read Contrarians biased viewpoint.

Remember, this viewpoint comes to you from the people who no doubt used their influence to get an entire TV channel taken off the SKY epg. PressTV, the Iranian news channel. Wouldn't do to have the Iranian government giving their viewpoint too while your minions are spewing pro war anti syria, anti Iranian propaganda from every other right wing media orifice. Free speech is not something they like much if it doesn't suit their agenda. Israel are past masters at media lies and propaganda when it comes to their violent actions towards palestinians and their supporters. We all remember the peaceful flotilla they attacked and the ensuing media lies that were spewed by the likes of the professional liar, murder apologist (and vomit inducing!) Mark Regev.

It was Julian Assange's first show. He is still learning. He mainly just tried to let the person speak. That was somewhat refreshing. Too often a talk show is more about the ego of the interviewer than letting the interviewee speak. Instead, Julian Assange mostly just quietly asked something then went into the background and listened and let the person speak. He has continued this approach with his second interview where he mostly let Horowitz and Zizek talk to each other. It was a good show and personally It worked for me. check it out. I reckon he's getting the hang of it and has a quiet hands off style which I quite like. I'm sure he'll relax and find his style even more as the series progresses. It just gets better and better. Can't wait to see who he interviews next. Go Julian!!

I don't want to go any further off topic so let me just return to the topic of Harding by saying that he is clearly just a mouthpiece for the US and indirectly for Israel in the case of his bad mouthing of Assange talking to Nasrallah from the pages of a national newspaper. Members of a political propaganda apparatus are by these political choices, rarely free to do honest journalism and as such what they write cannot be trusted. Harding is such a figure and what he writes cannot be trusted. Amnesty should know better than promoting this right wing US shill

author by Contrarianpublication date Déar Aib 26, 2012 12:03Report this post to the editors

I'm glad you agree that:
a) People should watch this series
b) People should not take my word for anything and check it out themselves.

just had a look at Episode 2 and its not bad, actually. If I had a choice Horowitz wouldn't be my pick to defend the pro-Israel line - I'd prefer Alan Dershowitz or Krauthammer but at least he made some good general points. Particularly good on the dilemma of the leftist utopian ideal - what to do when the people reject its constraints on freedom - leads to repression and ultimately the Gulag. .

Zizek wasn't bad either and at least brought a level of intellectual rigour and honesty that Nasrallah's wildest dreams couldn't contemplate. And yes, Assange wisely let the lads at it and didn't intervene too much. Good call and he IS improving his style.

but back to episode 1. You managed to write quite a lot about my review of the programme and remarkably little about the programme itself. I tried to focus on the programme and what Nasrallah actually said and the biases, assumptions and unasked questions that underlaid the show. I also tried to deal with the substance rather than the style of Assange's technique. I notice you don't really take issue with this but choose to attack my own views instead. It's hardly a secret that I'm sympathetic to Israel - I don't exactly hide it you know. And when it comes to a bunch of religious extremists lobbing rockets DELIBERATELY into civilian areas, I'm on the side of the guys underneath the rockets rather than the guys firing them. Others may disagree.

I continue to be amused by the assumption that any piece written here that isn't 100% pro-Palestinian is immediately dismissed as part of a huge "Israeli PR apparatus". Could you do me a favour and point me in the direction of my supposed "handlers" - they must owe me a shitload of money by now!

Personally, I wouldn't be in favour of censoring Nasrallah - I agree his views are interesting and are worth hearing. Nor is there any need to bad-mouth or discredit him - he does an excellent job of that himself. Just listen to his defence of warcrimes. I believe in letting all viewpoints being heard and the intelligence of the viewer can sort out the wheat from the chaff. Hey, I even miss the Stalinist style PressTV - always good for a laugh at just how far it was possible to take bias while pretending to be just another news channel. Not to mention George "pussycat" Galloway's unique comedy take on the world. He does a hilarious routine about Iran not oppressing homosexuals.

If it's middle east censorship you're after check out the PA's latest restrictions on internet criticism of the (supposedly "moderate") Abbas regime.

I will await episode 3 with interest.

author by Contrarianpublication date Déar Aib 26, 2012 13:19Report this post to the editors

For completeness but at the risk of veering slightly ot, here's the link for the PA internet censorship.

In contrast PressTV is freely available thoughout the "west" on the net and RT (Russia Today ) continues to be available via satellite and online.

Related Link:
author by leftypublication date Déar Aib 26, 2012 16:01Report this post to the editors

"when it comes to a bunch of religious extremists lobbing rockets DELIBERATELY into civilian areas, I'm on the side of the guys underneath the rockets rather than the guys firing them."

How about when a bunch of zealots DELIBERATELY drop millions of dollars of ordinance, cluster bombs and white phosphorous on schools, civilian areas and even on the UN, killing 1500+ people largely civilians?

are you on the side of the guys underneath the cluster bombs and illegal white phosphorous rather than the F16's dropping them? After all, they killed way more people than a few katushya rockets falling on mostly unpopulated desert scrub ever did. by an order of magnitude or two in fact!!

How about people peacefully protesting in boats under military helicopters, DELIBERATELY being attacked and killed? Are you on the side of the unarmed protesters being targetted and killed from helicopters?

Somewhat hypocritical stance don't you think mr Contrarian!! Still, glad you mellowed a bit on Julian Assange and perhaps you might even consider petitioning your friends in Israel to have PressTV returned to the EPG. See how that goes for you. Not well I suspect.

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