Thought for the Week
Media attention of Middle East seems to focus on Jews versus “Palestinians” - and favors the latter. Never have I seen a news media program, by any channel, expound on the simple fact that the entire region is peopled by folks who are still very tribal by nature. Outside of international political dialogues there is really no historical justification for the terms Palestinian or Iraqi, or Syrian, or Jordanian, etc. None of these terms reflect the same people that the term historically (if ever) applied to. The nations of the Middle East, like those of Arica, employ borders which are recent inventions (20th century) haphazardly imposed by European powers on the native peoples of the region (Look up the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement - a “secret” agreement between Great Britain and France and Russia regarding the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire). The national borders in the Middle East do not coincide with any historical, tribal, ethnic, religious, or political boundary of the peoples in the region.
The Sunni and Shia Muslims are now going at it just like the Tutsis and Hutus recently did in Rwanda. The primary difference for the West is, regardless of whom among the Muslims wins, all Christians and Westerners will be next on the hit list - as they are now only more so. To support either side against the other now is just training and supplying a future enemy. Sadly, the West has a bad habit of continuing to apply this failed policy - over and over again ad naseum.
It has been said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them - as Solomon said there is nothing new under the Sun. The West seems incapable of learning from history - ancient or modern. If our leaders bothered to learn a little history about the region we would all be better off. The Bible is an excellent source for the ancient history of the tribalism of the region; and, Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an excellent source for more recent history reflecting the same issue.
The US militarily supplied and trained Afghanistan against the Soviet Union - then went to war with Afghanistan (and things are not looking to good concerning Russia these days either). The US militarily supplied Iran for decades. Research the “Atoms for Peace” program - the US gave Iran its first nuclear reactor; and, in 70’s, competed with the Germans and French to nuclearize Iran! Then, in the 80’s, the US militarily supplied Iraq against Iran. Then went to war with Iraq in the 90’s and again after 9/11 (and now war with Iran is probably only a matter of time). The US has supplied Saudi Arabia with top of line military hardware and training for decades. The 9/11 hijackers where Saudis - as was Osama Bin Laden. The US has militarily supplied Jordan (as well as trained them with our own Special Forces) ever since Jordan kicked out the “Palestinian People” in 1970. Many Jordanians are backing either Hezbollah or ISIS - prominent Iraqi’s, of the “Saddam era” Ba’ath Party, are living high on the hog in Jordan and are backing ISIS.
The US has recently been financially and politically backing the “Palestinian People” against Israel; yet, more “Palestinian People” are from lands in Jordan than from lands in Israel and nobody is trying to force Jordan to return that “homeland” to the Palestinians! Regardless, these are the same “Palestinian People” who have been and are “against” the US and the West. The “Palestinian People” supported the PLO - which conducted numerous terrorist acts against the West for several decades (e.g. Black September). The “Palestinian People” continue to support Hezbollah which has - and continues too - conduct numerous terrorist acts against the West (e.g. the bombing against US troops in Beirut in 1983). The “Palestinian People” supported Saddam Hussein against the West during Desert Storm and the Gulf War.
Some may point to the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Some may point to the Sadat era of Egypt; and, maybe Egypt could have helped but Obama turned his back on them when they went against an open enemy of the West - the Muslim Brotherhood! Israel is the only nation in the region that does not wish the demise of the US in the long run; and, they are the nation/people backed by YHWH!
Will the US and/or the West ever learn? Picking a Muslim “tribe” to support is about as effective as “cutting the head off the snake”. “Cutting off the snake’s head” to end the Islamist Jihad’s is akin to cutting off the head of a snake in Medusa’s hair. Did killing Hussein “fix” things, or killing Bin Laden, or the death of Kaddafi, etc.? Just take a look at the number of “leaders” of ISIS over the last decade!
NOTE: Ironically the pro-“Palestinian” crowd never asks Jordan or Lebanon or Syria to give up land to the “Palestinians”. “Palestinians” as a people, are comprised of many tribal factions. They historically lived in present day Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Jordan - but the Arabs of these nations do not want them - wrong tribes. The population of “Palestine”, when Britain and France carved up the region, ethnically consisted of dozens of tribes of Arabs and Jews; and, they religiously consisted of several other sub-factions (Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians; Sunni, Shia, and other versions of Islam, and a host of “smaller” beliefs). “Palestine” has never really had a single, uniform, clearly defined, ethnicity or religion or area of land.
The logic of a “Palestinian” killing an Israeli Jew to get back “his people’s land” is worse than the convoluted logic of a Mexican citizen (of Spanish and Native American decent) killing an US citizen (of Native American decent) to get back “his people’s land” - land the Spanish took from the Apaches, who probably took it from yet another tribe (e.g. the Anasazi).
Quote of the Week
Your good and my good, perhaps they are different, and either forced good or forced evil will make a people cry with pain. Does the ore admire the flame which transforms it? There is no reason for offence, but a people too weak are clamant over their little own. Our race will have a cripple's temper till it has found its feet.' Prince Feisal, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
. . . war upon rebellion was messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
COMMENT: T.E. Lawrence appears to have been one of the few Westerners in a position of influence in the last century to have understood the people of the Middle East. Seven Pillars of Wisdom should be required reading for any Westerner interested or involved in foreign policy making. It appears few if any in Washington DC have ever done so; and sadly, their arrogance and ignorance will continue to be paid for in blood by better men than they.
Did You Know
During Ottoman rule the term Syria was used to designate the approximate area included in present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and part of Turkey (the Hatay area). After World War I, in 1920, Ottoman Syria became the Arab Kingdom of Syria, which in 1938 became a Republic (and France gave Turkey the Hatay area), and in 1946 became independent. One of its first acts as a new nation was to attack Israel (1948). Since then it has either been ruled by a dictator (Assad, Ba’ath Party), been in a civil war - or, like now, both.
After World War I Iraq was carved out of the Ottoman Empire and was under British control. In 1932 it was made the Kingdom of Iraq. In 1958 the king was deposed and it became the Republic of Iraq. Since 1963 it has either been ruled by a dictator or been in a civil war (in 1979 it was Saddam HusseinBa’ath Party). The Kurdish people of the region have been, and are, trampled on by the Turks and the Iraqis.
After the Ottomans lost WWI France divided up “Lebanon” and Syria to the benefit (in French eyes) of Beirut and the detriment of Damascus. Lebanon gained independence from Vichy France in 1943 but since France was under German rule the Germans used it until the British took control from them so the French did not actually recognize Lebanese independence until 1946. From then until 1968 Lebanon was the most stable country in the region (though in 1958, 5,000 United States Marines were sent to Beirut).
After the Arab-Israeli War in 1967 Israeli/Arab/Palestinian war refugees started arriving. In 1968 Palestinian militants began to use southern Lebanon as a launching pad for attacks on Israel; and, following the Palestinian’s defeat in the Jordanian civil war in 1970 thousands of Jordanian Palestinians regrouped in Lebanon. Egypt and other Arab nations forced Lebanon (then under “Christian” leadership) to turn over control of a large portion of the southern part of the country to the Palestinians. So many Palestinians invaded Lebanon that civil war eventually broke out in 1975 and continued until the 1990’s. This civil war included occupation of parts of Lebanon by both Israel and Syria. Israel entered and withdrew several times (e.g. 1992 and 2000) but part of the territory is still under dispute. Syria stayed until 2005. Open warfare broke out again with Israel in 2005 and 2006 and sporadic fighting continues as Syrian and Iranian backed forces (Hezbollah) use Lebanon as a base to harass and attack Israel.
Although Israel formed as a nation state again in 1948 it had been in the making since the 19th Century. Jews became a majority in Jerusalem around 1866 and formed a Jewish agricultural settlement in the region 1878. In 1909 the first kibbutz was established in the region and Tel Aviv was founded as a Jewish speaking city. The 1917 Balfour Declaration, which followed the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916, is viewed by many historians as an endorsement by Great Britain for the reestablishment of a Jewish nation. The 1922 Mandate for Palestine, by Britain and the League of Nations, carved up Transjordan and set up about three-fourths of the area for “Palestinians” and about one-fourth as a national home for Jews.
Since 1948 the borders of Israel have been very fluid due to the many wars with neighboring Arab nations. The West Bank, held by Jordan and not the “Palestinian People”, was taken away by Israel after one such war. A similar story applies for many of the other disputed land areas such as the Golan Heights (from Syria) and the Gaza strip (from Egypt). Many Arabs (“Palestinians”, Yemenis, etc.) are Jewish and many Israeli Jews are Arabs.
This list could go on ad naseum. Other Middle East nations, such as Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, UAE, Qatar, etc, are also recent fabrications as national political entities which largely ignore the historical tribalism of the region.
Iran is a whole other can of worms; and, though they are Muslim, they are Persian, not Arab.
Comment: To add insult to injury the US (e.g. the State Department, et al), especially recently, has focused on employing and deploying more women and LGBT/homosexuals to represent us. This is not only an insult in Arab nations it is illegal as well! Even the US military has shown this ignorant political correctness ever since Desert Shield/Storm in the deployment of women in the Civil Affairs troops allegedly used to “Secure the Peace” - I witnessed this first hand in 1990/91!
For an idea of the future see this very informative link on ISIS. (Maybe forward it to Obama - he does not seem to be aware of the information).