The following are excerpts from an interview with Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, which aired on Al-Manar TV on July 26, 2006.
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“The Main Obstacles [to] the New Middle East are the Resistance Movements in Palestine and Lebanon and… Syria and Iran”
Hassan Nasrallah: “After the U.S. Secretary of State talked about a new Middle East – in other words, a new American-Israeli Middle East – does anybody believe that such a tremendous plan was born within a day or two, following the Islamic resistance’s capture of two Israeli soldiers? Under no circumstances. All the data indicate that there was preparation for the launching of this ‘new Middle East.’ For the past year at the very least, there was intensive preparation. The Americans and the Zionists believe there are obstacles facing the new Middle East.
“A new Middle East means a region under the control of the American administration, which would exclusively manage its affairs and resources, with Israel as its primary partner. In the new Middle East, the Palestinian issue must be eliminated. In the new Middle East, the Palestinians should accept the crumbs offered to them by Sharon and Olmert. In the new Middle East, there is no room for any resistance movement.
“The main obstacles in the path of the new Middle East are the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon, and, on the level of the regimes, mainly Syria and Iran. What is required, then, is to eliminate these obstacles, and to remove them from the path of the historic American plan which is planned for this region.”
The Americans Concluded That “Only One Element Can… Deal a Knock-Out Blow to the Resistance in Lebanon… [So] They Chose an Israeli War”
“For a whole year, direct and indirect American efforts were being made. The Americans followed the internal developments in Lebanon in a clear, detailed, and intensive manner. They had hopes, but on the internal Lebanese level, their hopes were dashed. It became clear to them that no political force in Lebanon would agree – if we want to use a positive term – or would be able – if we want to use a negative term – to eliminate the phenomenon of the resistance, or the presence of the resistance in Lebanon.”
“In the beginning, they hoped that the incorporation of Hizbullah into the government, and its engagement in management, jobs, projects, and so on, might make it withdraw from its jihad responsibilities, in which it believes and for which it has sacrificed many martyrs, and follow another path. Even that did not happen. Thus, all internal indications showed that there is no way to eliminate the resistance. In addition, they waited for the outcome of the Lebanese national dialogue, and followed its details, and they reached the conclusion that this goal could not be achieved.”
“They reached the conclusion which, in their view, is inevitable: only one element can be relied upon to deal a knock-out blow to the resistance in Palestine, and that subsequently, they would act to isolate Syria and Iran, to threaten them, and so on.
“On the basis of this whole analysis, which I have presented in brief, they chose an Israeli war and Israeli aggression against Lebanon. The information that we have so far indicates that all the maneuvers of the enemy forces in recent months, especially in the north of occupied Palestine and in its south, seem to have been preparations for the aggression against Lebanon. The planned timing was late September or early October.”
When it Captured the Two Israeli Soldiers, “The Resistance Inadvertently… Thwarted the More Dangerous Plan… of a War Against Lebanon”
“When the operation of capturing the two Israeli soldiers was carried out, the resistance inadvertently – I’m not claiming this was done knowingly – thwarted the more dangerous plan and the worse scenario of a war against Lebanon, against the resistance in Lebanon, and against the Lebanese people. That is the truth. This is what we have realized now. Following the capture operation, the Zionist enemy found itself in a difficult and humiliating situation. It could not bear this blow, and therefore it hastened the war it had planned for September or October. The importance of this lies, first and foremost, in the fact that the enemy lost the element of surprise.”
“Brothers, the plan, on the basis of which the war was planned and waged, is to get Lebanon back under American-Israeli control and hegemony. In other words, this is worse than the 1982 invasion and worse than the May 17  agreement. What is required is for Lebanon to completely leave behind its history, its commitments, its culture, and its true identity, and to become an American-Zionist Lebanon, which is run by America and Israel through Lebanese proxies, which will be obedient, but will be completely powerless.
“Indeed, once against it is our destiny, along with all the honorable patriots, to confront this accursed plan, to thwart the goals of this war, to fight the battle to liberate what remains of this land and prisoners, to fight the battle for true sovereignty and true independence, as I have said these last few days.”
“Under No Circumstances Will We Accept any Term That is Humiliating to Our Country, Our People, or Our Resistance”
“I state categorically that under no circumstances will we accept any term that is humiliating to our country, our people, or our resistance. We will not accept any formula at the expense of the national interests, national sovereignty, and national independence, especially after all these sacrifices – no matter how long the confrontation lasts and no matter how numerous the sacrifices may be. Our main and true slogan is ‘Honor First.’ The houses have been destroyed, but, Allah willing, they will be rebuilt. The infrastructure has been destroyed, but, Allah willing, it will be rebuilt. Under no circumstances, however, will we allow anybody to harm our honor. We will never accept any humiliating terms. We are open to political handling and debate of the issue, and we exercise responsibility and flexibility in this matter. But our national interests, our national sovereignty, and our national independence are where we draw the line.”
“As I said a few days ago, we are not a classic army, and we do not put up a classic line of defense. We are waging guerrilla warfare – a method known to all. Therefore, what is important in the ground war is the number of losses we inflict upon the Israeli enemy. I say to you: No matter how deep the ground incursion that the Israeli enemy might accomplish – and this enemy has great capabilities in this area – it will not accomplish the goal of this incursion – preventing the shelling of the settlements in the north of occupied Palestine. This shelling will continue, no matter how deep the ground incursion and the reoccupation that the Zionist enemy is trying to accomplish. The occupation of any inch of our Lebanese land will further motive us to continue and escalate the resistance. The arrival of the army of the Zionists in our country will enable us to inflict more harm on it, its soldiers, its officers, and its tanks. This will allow us a greater opportunity to conduct direct confrontations, and to conduct a war of attrition against this enemy, instead of it continuing to hide behind its fortifications on the international border.”
“In the ground war, we will have the upper hand. In the ground war, the criterion is our attrition of the enemy, rather than what territory does or does not remain in our hands, because we are not fighting with the method of a regular army. We will definitely regain any land occupied by the enemy, after inflicting great losses upon it.”