Thursday, November 09, 2006

How the terrorists see American power

The leader of the terrorist group that killed more than 240 US Marines and blew up our embassy in Beirut says he sees the United States as lacking in will and staying power to maintain a presence in the Middle East.

He says that he remembers vividly from his childhood the TV images of American helicopters fleeing from Saigon, and that he expects the US to repeat itself in the coming years.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah told Al Jazeera on October 31: "When I talk about an [American] failure, I'm not saying that the Americans' plan for the region has collapsed, and that they are packing up their things and leaving, like what happened in the final days in Vietnam.

"But I would like to tell you clearly. . . I am one of those people who see a very clear picture. In our childhood . . . When we were young boys . . . I cannot forget the sight of the American forces leaving Vietnam in helicopters, which carried their officers and soldiers.

"Some Vietnamese, who had fought alongside the Americans, tried to climb into these helicopters, but the [Americans] threw them to the ground, abandoned them, and left.

"This is the sight I anticipate in our region, but I am not saying it will happen in months. It will take years. The Americans will gather their belongings and leave this region - the entire region. They have no future whatsoever in our region. They will leave the Middle East, and the Arab and Islamic worlds, like they left Vietnam.

"I advise all those who place their trust in the Americans to learn the lesson of Vietnam, and to learn the lesson of the South Lebanese Army with the Israelis, and to know that when the Americans lose this war – and lose it they will, Allah willing - they will abandon them to their fate, just like they did to all those who placed their trust in them throughout history."

Thanks to MEMRI for providing the translation of the Al Jazeera broadcast.