The West and Islam

Both imperialism AND religion behind Western mideast policy

The Ancient Roots of Zionism

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Although the return of the Jews to the Promised Land did not become an active struggle until the late nineteenth century (and even then had the support of only a minority of world Jewry[]), it has always been part-and-parcel of Judeo-Christian belief: in the Bible, God commands the Israelites to seize the land of Canaan (i.e. Palestine) through the depopulation and resettlement of its indigenous “heathen” population (Deut. 7:1-3):

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—  and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroythem totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

Later on, God sends the Jews into exile for their “sins”, while predicting that the Messiah will one day come and lead them back to the Holy Land.

Thus, unless David Ben Gurion was the Messiah, the creation of Israel in 1948 seems to be a little premature. Nonetheless, the Zionist conquest of Palestine remains a matter of doctrine in the Judea-Christian tradition. Attempts to distinguish between the Judeo-Christian tradition and Zionism are thus fundamentally flawed.

Outside of the Jewish historical record, we find “zionism” reflected in centuries of Western Christendom. In 1649 for example, Amsterdam-based Ebenezer and Joanna Cartwright petitioned Oliver Cromwell to readmit Jews into England and to help transport them to Palestine. Similarly, Denmark’s Holger Paulli wrote to William III of England and Dauphin of France urging them to return the Jews to Palestine2.

Other early Christian Zionists include Michael Servetus and Francis Kett, theologians Isaac de La Peyrere and Thomas Brightman, Sir Henry Finch, Joseph Eyre, American theologian Increase Mather, Isaac Newton and theologian John Milton. Even France’s Napoleon Bonaparte delved into a bit of early zionism3:

During his invasion of Egypt and Palestine (1798-99), and anticipating the capture of Jerusalem (something that did not happen), Napoleon prepared a Proclamation promising the Holy Land to the Jews, whom he characterised as “the rightful heirs of Palestine”.

The notion of Jewish restoration in Palestine was thus already widely circulated among Western Christians long before the formal Jewish Zionist movement emerged in the 19th century: the “divine promise” prophesied in the Old Testament.

The Creation of the State of Israel

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Lord Shaftesbury

In 1839, Lord Shaftesbury delivered the first proposal by a British politician to return the Jews to the “Holy Land”. The following year, he forwarded his proposal to Europe’s Protestant monarchs in a memorandum1. After getting a British vice-consul and bishopric set up in Jerusalem, Shaftesbury co-founded the Palestine Exploration Fund. Balfourproject.org describes this pioneer of early Zionism1:

As both a committed Christian and a loyal Englishman, Shaftesbury argued for a Jewish return to Palestine because of what he saw as the political and economic advantages to England and because he believed that it was God’s will. He saw the conversion of the Jews as a means of bringing the whole world to faith before Christ returned.

Britain backed the Zionist project not only for strategic reasons3, but also because of rampant Christian Zionism among its key statesmen4. To quote Geoffrey Alderman in the Jewish Chronicle 8/11/12:

The Balfour Declaration was born out of religious sentiment. Arthur Balfour was a Christian mystic who believed that the Almighty had chosen him to be an instrument of the Divine Will, the purpose of which was to restore the Jews to their ancient homeland — perhaps as a precursor to the Second Coming of the Messiah. The Declaration was thus intended to assist in the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. This appealed to Lloyd George, whose private immorality did not prevent him from believing in the prophecies of a Bible he knew inside out.

Such fanaticism was by no means confined to Balfour. To quote Noam Chomsky5:

Christian Zionism is a very significant force. It goes back way before Jewish Zionism. It was an elite phenomenon. Lord Balfour, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman read the Bible every morning. It says there, “God promised the land to the Jews.”…[It] is part of the demographic base of the Republican Party – extremely anti-Semitic, but pro-Israel…

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“Today the crusades have ended”. Britain’s General Allenby upon conquering Jerusalem

The majority of the British cabinet at the time was steeped in Calvinist evangelicalism6. Balfour’s mother, sister of thrice Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, gave her son daily Bible lessons and distributed Gospel tracts at the local railway station7.

Prime Minister Lloyd George, who oversaw the Zionist project, also had an evangelical upbringing. In 1925, he informed the Jewish Historical Society how his education had steeped him in Jewish history, boasting that he could name “all the kings of Israel”. Scott Anderson describes Mark Sykes’ motive for backing the Zionist project3:

A devout Catholic, he regarded a return of the ancient tribe of Israel to the Holy Land as a way to correct a nearly two-thousand-year-old wrong. That view had taken on new passion and urgency with the massacres of the Armenians. To Sykes, in that ongoing atrocity, the Ottoman Empire had proven it could never be trusted to protect its religious minority populations. At war’s end, the Christian and Jewish Holy Land of Palestine would be taken from it, and the failure of the Crusades made right.

Modern Day Crusades

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When Bush II used the term ‘crusade’ after 9/11, many claimed it was just a badly chosen word. But was it really poorly chosen? His administration was packed with Zionists. John Ashcroft attacked Islam after 9/11 while Italy’s Berlusconi characterised the ‘war on terror’ as a war between Western and Islamic civilisations.

Wesley Clark, bizarrely as an argument against Sam Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis and for a peaceful resolution of “differences”, said the following during his 13/5/02 commencement speech at Seton Hall University:

…[others] recognize a civil war within Islam itself…we must influence the struggle where we can, by supporting greater attention to the secular structures in the Islamic world, and by encouraging our own American Islamic community to speak out in support of America’s democratic values.

As of 2005, 40% of the U.S. military were evangelical Christians, including 60% of chaplains. Military Ministry alone has converted thousands of troops, approved by Fort Sam Houston’s top commanders. Fort Jackson, meanwhile, is literally run by evangelical commanders. According to one senior military official cited by the Pentagon’s IG report (7/07): “Campus Crusade for Christ had become so embedded in the Pentagon’s day-to-day operations that he viewed the organization as a “quasi federal entity””8.

Drew Miller states9:

Evangelicalism wasn’t always this prevalent in the military. In fact, through World War II, religion was not a major source of contention at all…That changed with the Cold War. Suddenly, communism and godlessly were inexorably linked, meaning any good American soldier should declare devotion to a god, and preferably the Christian one…

  1. Balfourproject.org
  2. Graetz, Heinrich; Lowy, Bella (December 2009). Bella Lowy (ed.), History of the Jews, Vol. V (in Six Volumes): From the Chmielnicki Persecution of the Jews in Poland (1648 C.E.) to the Period of Emancipation in Central Europe (C. 1870 C.E.) (Cosimo, Inc. 2009), pages 176–7
  3. “With the advent of steam navigation in 1840, the Near East became very important along the route to India as steam ships required frequent reloading and the British ships used the Mediterranean-Red Sea route with transhipment at Suez rather than the long Cape route. In view of all this, British involvement in the Jewish question was no longer a matter of political option but of political necessity”Zionism: a racist and anti-Semitic ideology Lalkar.org; “By the Entente’s coming out in strong support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, [Mark] Sykes believed, it would inevitably turn the opinion of international Jewry toward its side. In turn, the advocacy of American Jews – a small but powerful constituency – might finally provide the spur for bringing the United States into the war”. Scott Anderson, Lawrence in Arabia (Atlantic Books: London 2014), pages 229-30
  4. Tom Segev, One Palestine Complete (), page 33
  5. Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe, On Palestine (Penguin Books 2015), pages 61 and 83
  6. Donald M. Lewis, The Origins of Christian Zionism: Lord Shaftesbury And Evangelical Support For A Jewish Homeland (Cambridge University Press 2014), page 329
  7. ibid. 4
  8. Jason Leopold, Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than First Thought truth-out.org 21/12/07
  9. Drew Miller, Inside the Military’s Campaign to Make Its Soldiers Christian mic.com 4/9/13

After reporter’s assassination, Saudis continue to kill children with US/UK-sold bombs

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched an attack on Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, to stamp out a Shiite insurgency (‘Houthis’) that threatened to advance Iranian influence in the strategic energy-rich region at the expense of Western-Saudi hegemony. The result has been a humanitarian catastrophe killing thousands and threatening millions with famine. Saudi warplanes have bombed countless civilian targets from factories and markets to hospitals and villages.

US Assistant Secretary John Kerry soon confirmed US support for the war, including “intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, and advisory and logistical support for strikes against Houthi targets”. Riyadh’s command and control centre includes both American and British military trainers/advisers with access to target lists, though they are said to not be directly involved in selecting targets.

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Catastrophe: Saudi-led war has killed thousands, threatens millions with famine

The UN soon reported 2300 civilian deaths due to airstrikes alone. The following month, Obama pushed for a series of arms deals with the Saudis worth $115b. Apparently, his previous $60b arms deal with the medieval monarchy, the biggest in US history with its 154 F-15s and Apaches, was insufficient in satisfying the Kingdom’s bloodlust. Ditto Britain’s delivery of 500lb Paveway IVs a couple months earlier…

Following the Saudi bombing of a wedding that killed nearly 50, a PR-conscious Washington was forced to back off from most of the proposal due to pressure from human rights groups. A billion-dollar deal, however, did go ahead. On his visit to the Great Democracy, the Four Seasons literally laid out a (blood?) red carpet for the King and his royal entourage.

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Deal in blood: Six months into Yemen slaughter, a billion dollar arms deal

Wsws.org comments on the tacit AQ-US alliance throughout this period and ongoing, a hardly surprising fact given Washington’s covert CIA activities in Libya and Syria:

…The only areas which have escaped coalition airstrikes are those parts of the country controlled by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has proven itself an effective ally of the US in the effort to defeat the Houthis. US drone strikes continue to target individual AQAP leaders, but their fighters have been free to move throughout the country unmolested.

As for Trump, he followed up his $15b arms sale last October with a $110b series of deals plus an optional $350b extra over the next ten years. This all seems to be hoopla, but Trump has made his point: he, like his ‘liberal’ predecessor, is proud to serve his country…by helping to kill children.

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“This is peanuts for you”: Prince Salman and President Trump

UK arms sales, meanwhile, have increased fivefold since the Saudi war began. In May, the Daily Telegraph cited Saudi military sources as saying that, of the 100 warplanes it is using round-the-clock, “about 50 percent are British-made Tornados and Eurofighters that have been sold to the Saudis over the past 30 years…”.

In defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2286, the British government is immunising the Saudis by allowing them to conduct their own war crimes investigations. On October 13, it disclosed that Saudi Arabia had used five different UK bombs and missiles in Yemen.

Since its creation by Britain, Saudi Arabia has functioned as the chief pillar of Western power in the strategic oil-rich Middle East. As such, merely “dropping the Saudis” is insufficient. All the Gulf dictators are brutal and repressive, and they all serve as “stabilizers” for foreign investments in the region. The broader necessity, in whose context a struggle against the Saudi monarchy resides, is to drop the Anglo capitalist-imperialist order.

Sources

Johnpilger.com

Chomsky.info

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-british-weapons-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-yemen-war-increase-500-civilians-war-crimes-export-a8042871.html

“Chemical attack” on Dhouma: Foam, Lies and Videotape

Last month, the Russian MoD warned of an imminent false flag chemical attack by Syrian rebels – complete with cameramen from the White Helmets, a propaganda agency (perhaps more so, judging by their AK-armed celebrations with al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra as seen on Youtube) founded by former MI5 agent James Le Mesurier and funded by the British Foreign Office, USAID and terrorist-funding Qatar – in order to induce Western intervention to rescue their cornered insurgency.

Without independent corroboration, these Russian claims were unverifiable. But then, on April 7 in Dhouma, an alleged chemical attack indeed occurred as forecast by Russia. The Russians then released a video interview with two doctors who work at the hospital where people were treated for the alleged attack, revealing how the White Helmets came in shouting about a gas attack and started dosing people with water.

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Lack of information about this anonymous pair and the lack of proof that that they worked at the hospital gave cause for scepticism. Could they not be Assad agents?

But on this score too the Russians proved reliable: a verified doctor at the hospital in question gave The Independent‘s Robert Fisk, Britain’s most esteemed Middle East correspondent and author of the highly recommended The Great War for Civilization: Conquest of the Middle East, described how a bunch of people came in shouting about a gas attack and brought in alleged victims that they hosed with water. The doctor did not witness the event but cited his colleagues, who said the victims in the video are suffering from hypoxia induced by a dust storm resulting from heavy wind and shelling.

Three more doctors independently confirmed this account, minus the hypoxia claim that is consistent with SOHR reports on April 8 of 21 civilian deaths resulting from a collapsed shelter, to OAN reporter Pearson Sharp, adding that they had cameramen filming it. 30-40 local residents randomly interviewed by Sharp all deny the chemical attack occurred, many of them saying it was staged by Jaish al-Islam, the terror group that was in control of Dhouma.

fisksharp2.png   The Independent’s Robert Fisk (left) and OAN’s Pearson Sharp (right) in Dhouma, Syria

As shown by analysis by blogger MoonofAlabama, in the later videos, some of the same bodies appearing in their earlier videos have been moved around and been added shaving cream for fake mouth foam. Seventeen witnesses have now confirmed the hoax at a Russian-sponsored conference predictably blacked out by the Western media. The UK is being distracted by the royal wedding.

Scott Ritter, who was UNSCOM’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, said in 1999 that “By 1998…the physical infrastructure (of Iraq’s WMDs) had been eliminated”, recently told Flashpoints radio’s Dennis Bernstein: “The totality of Syria’s chemical weapons program was eliminated (by the OPCW in 2016)”.

Ritter questioned why Syria, on the brink of victory, would launch a West-provoking attack on a site of “zero military value”. He doubted Syria’s role in prior alleged chemical attacks, branding the 2013 Ghouta attack a rebel false flag to provoke Western intervention. Dhouma too was “a staged event, an act of theater”. Had the missile-struck site really stored nerve agent, he added, its bombing would have caused “hundreds if not thousands of deaths”. Yet there were zero!

Washington meanwhile, ever keen to blame Moscow for everything under the sun, has insisted that any evidence may be tampered with by the pesky Russians. Contrary to Western propaganda, it was not Syria (who requested the OPCW investigation) and Russia but Trump’s airstrikes that has stalled the OPCW team’s investigation, having been launched as soon as they arrived.

The failed regime change operation in Syria since 2011, which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more displaced from their country, has been designed to replace Assad with a puppet wahabbi regime to isolate growing Iranian-Russian influence in the strategic oil-rich Middle East. To this end, any pretext will do, no matter how bogus.