Tinpot Roundup


Various players in Lebanon opine. No guarantee on factual or grammatical accuracy of translations:

Samir Geagea:

During my trials [in the mid 1990s], I got used to looking at appearances before analyzing the content. Let us agree, first of all, on who can take strategic and tactical decisions? If we are to have hope that we can win this confrontation, the government has to be the one to make decisions. At present, the government doesn't make decisions and the situation is "lax" and no one knows anything because they don't know what will happen at any given moment.

Let us, in the beginning, agree that the government has to decide on behalf of Lebanon and it has to make decisions. No party can negotiate while another maintains a presence on the ground. This is why, in appearance we have not yet fulfilled the conditions of negotiating with the United Nations or other parties.

Hassan Nasrallah:

The course of the battle–I will say how–for example, today, the talk began in Israel, and this is a logical analysis, to the effect that the Israeli military operation has reached its peak. What is more than this? I will answer you. What can the Israelis do more than what they did? What is left is the ground incursion, which is costly at any rate. There is an argument, not among the politicians on the political level, even on the military and security levels there is a real argument on the level of the military and security commands. What is left is the ground incursion. Except the incursion, everything the Israelis could do have done. So, they have reached the peak. Now, they have one of two choices: When they reach the peak they either proceed horizontally, or in other words, continue with the same standard or the dose [preceding word in English] of the peak, or they will begin to decline. So, the military operation will begin to decline and to calm down gradually to pave the way for a political settlement.

Saad Hariri:

We ask the whole world that this Israeli aggression and siege be stopped… A clear Arab position must be issued on this aggression… Israel must understand that Lebanon is not a terrorist state but a country that is struggling [for its rights]. I call on the Lebanese people to remain united and maintain national unity… I am making this tour to halt the Israeli aggression on Lebanon. This aggression is inhuman and is hitting Lebanon with unprecedented brutality.

Samir Franjieh:

Hezbollah took two Israeli prisoners, and the result now is that 3.5 million Lebanese are being held hostage… It's the political path chosen by the Hezbollah and its allies that led to this situation.

Amin Gemayel:

The ship is sinking and all of us, the Lebanese, should stick together and work together to stop the Israeli aggression.

Michel Aoun:

I don't think that Israel has the capability to destroy Hezbollah militarily because Hezbollah is not a group of armed men… Hezbollah is a major part of the Lebanese social fabric.

Nabih Berri:

Israel cannot defeat Lebanon as long as the country clings to its national unity… Israel cannot overcome the resistance, nor can it stand up to the Southern shield unless it succeeds in defeating souls.

Walid Jumblatt:

[A ceasefire must be] within the framework of a resolution that protects Lebanon and does not come at the expense of the state… Southern Lebanon needs international protection and not a [Hezbollah-Israeli] ceasefire at the country's expense… No one can play around with the security of the south and the security of Lebanon… [Iranian president Ahmadinejad] does not care for the Lebanese people… [Bashar Assad and Emile Lahoud hold a] 'vengeful hatred towards the state of independence in Lebanon… [The Syrian regime] is assassinating Rafik Hariri for a second time. We say to this regime that our patience is long, and one day the truth will be revealed…

The war is no longer Lebanon's… It is an Iranian war… Iran is telling the United States: You want to fight me in the Persian Gulf and destroy my nuclear program? I will hit you at home, in Israel… [Hezbollah's] sophisticated arsenal is not there for no reason.