America Is the Enemy, Says Hezbollah

By Patrick Goodenough | December 2, 2009 | 5:02 AM EST

A Shi’ite woman holds a poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a rally in southern Beirut on Lebanon, Monday, May 25, 2009. (AP Photo)

( – Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite group viewed by its critics as an Iranian proxy, has reiterated that it will not disarm – as demanded by U.N. resolutions – and that it regards the United States as “the enemy.”

The declarations from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah came five months after Lebanese elections that were hailed as a victory for U.S.-backed moderates led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. But just two weeks ago, after months of deal-making, a new government was formed in which Hezbollah and its allies control one-third of the cabinet seats.

Releasing Hezbollah’s first party manifesto in 24 years, Nasrallah on Monday listed what he views as America’s offenses, including support for Israel, “domination of international institutions,” and “meddling in various’ states affairs.”

Its backing for Israel, he said, “places the American administration in the position of the enemy of our nation and our peoples.”

Nasrallah also indicated that Hezbollah, which calls itself “the Resistance,” would not comply with U.N. Security Council demands that it give up its weapons.

“The success of the Resistance experience in fighting the enemy and the failure of all plots and schemes to delete resistance movements or besieging them or even disarming them, annexed to the continuation of the Israeli threat in Lebanon, obliges the Resistance to do its best to strengthen its abilities and consolidate its strengths to assume its national responsibilities,” he said.

Those “national responsibilities” relate to gaining several small pieces of territory along the Lebanon-Israel border, controlled by Israel and long disputed.

Nasrallah delivered the platform at an event held at a Beirut hall, where he appeared by video link on a giant screen. Lebanese media reports said he does not appear in public often, fearing Israeli assassination attempts.

Other elements of the document included:

-- a lengthy diatribe against the U.S., including the accusation that it is the world’s leading exporter of terrorism, and that “the Bush administration has transformed the United States into a danger that threatens the whole world.”

-- praise for Iran, the state whose Islamic revolution defeated “the Shah’s regime and its American-Israeli projects,” and which “supported the resistance movements in our region, and stood with courage and determination at the side of the Arab and Islamic causes and especially the Palestinian one.”

-- the insistence that Hezbollah will never compromise with or recognize Israel, even if everyone else does.

-- the view that “we are amid historical transformations that signal the retreat of the U.S. role as a predominant power and the demise of the Zionist entity.”

Lebanon’s new cabinet on Wednesday endorsed the government’s new policy statement. Like the previous one, it supports Hezbollah’s right to keep its weapons stockpiles. The document upholds "the right of Lebanon, its people, its army and its resistance [that is, Hezbollah] to liberate the occupied Lebanese territory" in the south.

Security Council resolution 1701 of 2006 requires “the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that … there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

Resolution 1559 of 2004 calls for “the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.”

Hezbollah has been blamed for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history, including a series of suicide bombings against American and French troops and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in the early 1980s, and the bombing of Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina in the early 1990s.
Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow