258) We Have Seen The Enemy

3340959611_9657285a5fBy now any informed person should realize that the US is all over the Middle East, not to bring democracy to sovereign nations, but to bring American hegemony over the resources of this prime real estate – location, location, location. 

America’s involvement in the Middle East since WWII has not resulted in peace, it has only perpetuated conflict leading to more conflict.

One could consider that World War II never actually ended. The bureaucratic paperwork was meaningless, as in 1947 America backed Israel’s first success in not just defending her assigned borders, but in expanding those borders by driving out the current inhabitants. 

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We have to immediately deny all the…disinformation about UN Partition resolution 181, The only legal and enforceable document is the  Arab-Jewish Treaty on Jewish Homeland in Palestine and all its ratifications. All the countries (including former sovereign of this territory Turkey) ratified that document in various forms: from the Treaty of Versailles to the Anglo-American Convention.

The Lebanese Civil War was both an internal Lebanese affair and a regional conflictinvolving a host of regional and international actors. It revolved around some of the issues that dominated regional politics in the Middle East in the latter part of the 20th century, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, Cold War competition, Arab nationalism and political Islam. During 15 years of fighting [1975-1990], around 90,000 people lost their lives…Of the 90,000 killed, close to 20,000 are individuals who were kidnapped or disappeared, and who must be assumed dead as they have not been accounted for. Nearly 100,000 were badly injured, and close to a million people, or two-thirds of the Lebanese population, experienced displacement (Labaki and Rjeily 1994: 20).

Egypt: Egypt was one of the first Middle Eastern states to gain independence, in 1922. This was arranged with puppet rulers who allowed British influence in the country to remain very strong, especially  continued control of the the Suez Canal. This rapid transit system to the Far East for economic reasons during peace and military superiority during war is a key feature of Egypt’s importance to the Western powers.

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In 1952 the militant Muslim Brotherhood…backed Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser coup against England’s puppet monarchy and took economic and political control of the canal. When Britain and France invaded Egypt to take back control the USA succeeded in using political pressure to force them to pull out. This signaled the end of Britain’s imperial power and the rise of America’s in Egypt. At its height President Carter pressured President Anwar el-Sādāt into the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, for which President Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

Modern Iraq was created on paper in 1916 during a treaty between England and Imperial Russia, defining their respective sphere of influence and control in West Asia after the expected downfall of the Ottoman Empire. in 1920 it became a League of Nations mandate under British control with the name “State of Iraq”. Merging three Ottoman provinces into one country, Britain defined the territorial limits of Iraq based solely on land grabs with France under the Sykes-Picot Agreement. There was no accounting for the politics of the different ethnic and religious groups in the country, in particular those of the Kurds and the Assyrians to the north.

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During the British occupation, the Shi’ites, Kurds and urban-based nationalists fought for independence, resulting in the fateful policy of close cooperation with Iraq’s Sunni minority. Influenced by the heroic T. E. Lawrence whose close collaboration with the Hashemites’ war effort against the Turks is legendary, a Hashemite cousin to the King of Transjordan, a foreigner to all ethnic groups in Iraq, was proclaimed King as early as 1921, under British control, of course.

T.E. Lawrence remains one of the most iconic figures of the early 20th century…His wartime memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, translated into more than a dozen languages, remains in print nearly a full century after its first publication. As Gen. Edmund Allenby, chief British commander in the Middle East during World War I, noted… “There is no other man I know,” he asserted, “who could have achieved what Lawrence did.”

Part of the enduring fascination has to do with the sheer improbability of…an unassuming young Briton who found himself the champion of a downtrodden people, thrust into events that changed the course of history. Added to this is the poignancy of his journey, so masterfully rendered in David Lean’s 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, of a man trapped by divided loyalties, torn between serving the empire whose uniform he wore and being true to those fighting and dying alongside him. It is this struggle that raises the Lawrence saga to the level of Shakespearean tragedy, as it ultimately ended badly for all concerned: for Lawrence, for the Arabs, for Britain, in the slow uncoiling of history, for the Western world at large. Loosely cloaked about the figure of T.E. Lawrence there lingers the wistful specter of what might have been if only he had been listened to. 

In 1927, huge oil fields were discovered…Exploration rights were granted to a front company named Iraqi Petroleum Company which was in reality a British oil company.

In 1932 Iraq achieved independence from British overrule.

When Ghazi succeeded to the throne in December 1933, he countered the British claim to Iraqi oil by claiming Iraqi sovereignty over neighboring Kuwait, which was still a British protectorate at that time and remained so until America took over in 1961. Kuwait’s value lies not only in oil but geographical location for trade and war strategy.

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We’ve heard Iraq claim Kuwait before.

The king was killed in 1939 in a tragic auto accident caused by reckless driving when he collided with a tree.

Haven’t we heard that before, too? No, wait. That death wasn’t from hitting a tree. That one was from hitting a pillar. Silly me thinking there’s a pattern here. Especially when the media reports that conspiracy theories have all been debunked by government investigations.

The British failure to take national considerations into account when cutting up the Middle East into huge pieces of pie for themselves burst into flames when the Kurds demanded self-determination.

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The Kurds are as big a problem in the Middle East as Israel and the Palestinians. There are just too many of them and they inhabit too much territory, making them a threatening presence to the countries across which their homeland stretches. They are the equivalent of the indigenous American Indians who the European invaders chose to exterminate rather than allow to remain in their homeland. They represent a rebel force against the governments of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The leader of the Kurd-inhabited territory of Iraq, leader Mustafa Barzani, led a rebellion against the central government in Baghdad. When his bid for autonomy failed, he, naturally, fled to a close-by enemy of Iraq for refuge. Unfortunately for his reputation with America, this was the Soviet Union just to the north.

Part of the reason the the Kurd’s bid for their own nation failed was that Egyptian President Nasser’s Pan-Arabism movement was sweeping the Arab World at this time. Pan-Arabism sought empowerment, like the “United” States of America did in 1776, through rejecting self-determination / states rights and using the standard core identity of religion, “one nation under God”, to bind together the largest mass of humans and natural resources possible. Rejecting America’s capitalist financial structure which was siphoning off much of the Arab world’s wealth in the form of oil, Pan Arabism instead modeled itself after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics formed by in the aftermath of World War II’s devastated lands. Just like America did when it recruited fellow Europeans to bolster its population and economic strength in the aftermath of the 19th century wars.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

But America did not feel kinship with Nasser’s adoption of the USSR’s socialist ideology, especially during the Cold War, and lent its support to opposing parties.

Challenging Nasser’s assertion of Arab leadership, Iraq signed the Baghdad Pact in 1956. This pact outdid Egypt in allying Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan…and the United Kingdom, which by now was America’s puppet.

the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958 was the first case of the actual merger of two previously-independent Arab countries. Hastily formed under President Nasser’s leadership but on the initiative of Syrian leaders who feared a takeover by communists or “reactionaries…” It lasted until 1961, when Syrian army officers carried out a coup d’état and withdrew from the union.

Also in 1958, a Hashemite-led rival, the Arab Federation, was founded between Jordan and Iraq

In response, Nasser launched a smear campaign calling the Hashemite monarchies of Iraq and Jordan illegitimate children.

King Hussein of Jordan sneered back with a proposed expansion of the federation into a union of his Hāshimite monarchy with that of Iraq. He had long dreamed of incorporating Syria into his domain, as had been initially promised by the British to his grandfather. But Nasser had snatched it out from under him. His second choice was also next door – the small but extremely rich Kuwait, which due to its oil fields, was still under British rule. An invite to Kuwait to discuss changing sides brought the government of Iraq into direct conflict with the Western allies’ (read America’s) economic and military interests.

On July 14, 1958 military officers led by Qasim overthrew the Hashemite monarchy, rejected the Baghdad Pact, and proclaimed Iraq to be a republic.

We’ve heard that before.

At the same time Qasim invited Mustafa Barzani to return to Iraq in return for his political support. When the politician reneged on his promise to grant freedom to his nation (haven’t we heard that before?), Barzani began what became known as the “First” Kurdish Iraqi War lasting from 1961 until 1970.Throughout the 1960s, the uprising escalated into a long war during which 80% of the Iraqi army was engaged in combat with the Kurds.

Any potential trouble-making against the West was certainly prevented by this standard military strategy.

Two later attempts of Pan-Arabism are represented by Muammar Gaddafi’s attempts to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria in the Federation of Arab Republics, which lasted from 1972 – 1977.

The Ba’ath Party continues to espouses pan-Arabism and is organized in several countries.

The Ba’athists are not a religious group. It is, like the American Religious Right, a political movement powered by stirring religious fervor in its supporters and promising to restore religious values to society… As you read the following, overlay “Baathism” with the words “Religious Right”

Baathism, / Religious Right meaning “renaissance” or “resurrection”, is a secular ideology advocating the renaissance of Arab / America’s founders’ culture, values and society. It is based the principles of Arab / European Christian nationalism, pan-Arabism / Christian solidarity and Arab socialism / American capitalism. Baathists / Religious Right contend that socialism / capitalism is the only way to develop an Arab / any society which is free and united and promotes the creation and development of a unified Arab / allied with American state through the leadership of a revolutionary government / CIA backed regime changes.

In 1963 Iraqi leader Qasim was overthrown by a Ba’athist coup. The secretary general of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, Ali Salih al-Sa’di, controlled the National Guard militia and organized a massacre of hundreds—if not thousands—of suspected communists and other dissidents following the coup. As occurred in Viet Nam by the American military at that same time, the Ba’athist Iraqi government carpet-bombed Kurdish villages with American-supplied munitions including 1,000 napalm bombs and 4,000 other bombs. Entire Kurdish villages and livestock were incinerated by napalm. American President Kennedy backed the decision. 

The war resulted in between 75,000 to 105,000 casualties when it ended in 1970. Subsequently the Ba’athist authorities took the opportunity to perform large-scale displacement and colonization projects in North Iraq, aiming to shift demographics and thus destabilize Kurdish power bases.

In 1980-1988 during the Iran–Iraq War Kurdish parties collaborated against Saddam Hussein who responded with the Kurdish genocide, with an estimated 50,000–200,000 casualties.

Only after the 2003 Iraq War, which ousted Ba’ath rule, was Iraqi Kurdistan was recognized as an independent state.

It is so embarrassing to contrast Christians’ attitude towards endurance in tribulation with the Kurds. Christians are the only group I know who think they should get a kingdom handed to them on a silver platter without lifting a finger themselves to make it happen.

The two Baathist / C35 CIA backed states which have existed (Iraq and Syria) prevented criticism of their ideology through authoritarian means of governance / murder and torture to coups and genocide. Baathist leaders include the former leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein / supported by the CIA, and the current President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.

It is also embarrassing to be linked with the widespread corruption of American-allied Islamic governments.

Iran: The 1978 Iranian Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini provided a blueprint for political action against other governments that had betrayed authentic Islam and grown corrupt and authoritarian. The anti-West Islamic republic of Iran competed with pro-West Saudi Arabia at the international level for influence in the Middle East as the “solution” to the two failed secular ideologies, capitalism and communism, that had relegated religion to the periphery of government throughout the Islamic world. 

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Mainstream opposition Islamic parties and organizations have demonstrated their power to mobilize voters and supporters through their welcome contrast to corrupt Westernized Christian influences in Islamic society through

  • social and charitable activism,
  • programs of good governance,
  • fight against government corruption,
  • struggle to moralize public life in entertainment and public behaviour ,
  • insisting on accountability for political authorities. 

While America declares its support for democracy and human rights…millions of people see American officials…support, prop up extremely corrupt, crumbling regimes in the Middle East, regimes that have no sympathy for any democratic notion…any kind of human rights for their own people.

But they see Americans appeasing…supporting them…So they view this as an act of hostility towards the people of these countries…If they pull the plug on their support of the Kuwaitis or the Saudis, they [Kuwaiti or Saudi regimes] won’t be able to survive for two years in power.

But then we [Americans] worry that we won’t be able to have the oil we need or that [our economic and wartime allies] Europe needs or Japan.

Turkey is becoming a superpower

 

“Turkey has realised the greatest natural gas discovery in its history,” Erdogan was reported by Turkish and global mass media saying, stressing that this would help the country become a game-changer in relation to the energy market….

[Islamist] Erdogan told his nation that this gas find is a gift from God…”My Lord has opened the door to unprecedented wealth for us,” he said.

In fact, energy experts believe these gas reserves…usher in Turkey’s independence in this field…

READ: ‘We will not let anybody harm Turkey’s interests’

Writing in Foreign Policy, Allison Meikem noted that Turkey’s expansionist foreign policy came to a head in 2020.

“This year, Turkey’s military was more active around the world than it has been in decades, or perhaps ever. From Libya to Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish leader has used armed force to advance Turkey’sobjectives.” Meikem argued.

“But Erdoğan’s real impact on geopolitics…will come in the form of the 21st century pan-Islamism that he has finessed through soft power. The religious revivalism…has filled a void in the larger Muslim world…

Simply, it is clear that Turkey has realised…their neo-Ottoman ambitions. Whether it is the ongoing growth of Turkey-Pakistani relations, to Turkey’s expansion throughout the Caucuses and involvement in civil wars throughout the region…

Will they become the next regional superpower?

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