The West and Islam

Both imperialism AND religion behind Western mideast policy

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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

To Stop American Empire, First Decolonize America

The thesis of my forthcoming film and ebook

Columbus Day, the official celebration of America’s founding genocide, is based upon a falsified historical narrative drilled into every American schoolkid[1-3]. Ward Churchill’s portrait of the 16th century explorer is far more consistent with the historical reality[4]:

Columbus did not sally forth upon the Atlantic for reasons of “neutral science” or altruism. He went, as his own diaries, reports, and letters make clear, fully expecting to encounter wealth belonging to others. It was his stated purpose to seize this wealth, by whatever means necessary and available, in order to enrich both his sponsors and himself. Plainly, he pre-figured, both in design and by intent, what came next. To this extent, he not only symbolizes the process of conquest and genocide which eventually consumed the indigenous peoples of America, but bears the personal responsibility of having participated in it…Plainly, the Nazi-esque dynamics set in motion by Columbus in 1492 continued, and were not ultimately consummated until the present century.

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Columbus: “these people are very simple in war-like matters…I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased”[3]

Columbus did not discover America: the Vikings, and perhaps other trading peoples, had reached the hemisphere long before him. Moreover, it was the Caribbean basin that Columbus reached. He never set foot in North America[1].

National mythology aside, the moment Columbus’ men sighted those floating branches/sticks on the water and that innocuous flock of birds[1], the awful human and cultural fate of an entire hemisphere – and eventually much of the world[5] – was sealed.

Following his return to Spain, the Crown sent Columbus out on a second voyage the following year, this time with a 1200-strong invasion force of seventeen ships[1-4]. Savagery ensued: Columbus would chop off the heads or ears of whoever refused to dig gold for him. For stealing corn, one man had his nose and ears sliced off and was slave-auctioned. For suggesting Columbus was a bastard, a woman was stripped and paraded and had her tongue cut out[6].

The Spanish colonists would pillage, enslave and rape[6]. One joked of having beaten and raped a Caribbean sex slave he bought from Columbus who, as revealed in a 1500 letter, sold 9+ year old sex slaves[7]. A likely 10,000 14+ year olds bled to death after having their hands cut off for refusing to pay Columbus a hawk’s bell of gold dust (or twelve pounds of spun cotton) every three months[3]. In short, life in his colony was “horrifying”*[6].

A Hemispheric Holocaust

By 1542, just 200 remained on the island of Hispaniola, a population decline of 99.67-99.99% within the span of half a century[8]. This became the model for the entire hemisphere: according to the Smithsonian Institution, 65 million indigenous inhabitants perished in the three centuries between 1492 and 1800[9].

Scholars attribute 75-90% of these deaths to diseases the Europeans brought with them[10] – from bubonic plague to measles to (most lethally) smallpox to countless more – from which the native peoples had no immunities. The invaders pushed on despite this obvious cause-and-effect “we come, they die” (Churchill) phenomena, gleefully attributing it to divine providence[10-11]. Thus concludes one author[11]:

The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world. That is why, as one historian aptly has said, far from the heroic and romantic heraldry that customarily is used to symbolize the European settlement of the Americas, the emblem most congruent with reality would be a pyramid of skulls.

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Native Americans had no immunities to European diseases

The remainder 10-25% were killed by massacre, castration, torture, starvation and slave labour. This alone amounted to 440-1,099 homicides per week, or 1,759-4397 per month, for 308 years straight. In 1890, the US government reported just 2.5% of indigenous North Americans remaining and only 2.5% of their land remaining in their name, perfectly illustrating the inseparable nature of the colonization process of indigenous extermination (the means) and land appropriation(the end)[4].

Despite the abundance of US army massacres (not least of which was the Sand Creek bloodbath where delirious troops danced around in their defenceless victims’ severed scalps, genitalia and fetuses), a huge chunk of this 10-25% was inflicted by civilian miners and settlers[4]. The entire native populations of Texas (then the densest in North America) and northern California, for example, were virtually wiped out by the scalp bounty trade alone. With varying rates for Indian men, women and children (incl. fetuses), pregnant women were naturally a favourite target[12]).

Resurgence

From the 1511 revolt to the 1800s resistance of Geronimo, Indians have always fought back. The initial attempt to conquer North America was called off after Ponce de Leon was fatally wounded trying to take on the stiff-necked Calusa during a mere skirmish. Paraguay’s Guaycuru resisted too. Enriquillo is still remembered in the Dominican Republic and Haiti today as a resistance hero for his 1519-33 guerrilla war.

1973 saw a tense 71-day standoff between the FBI and the recently founded American Indian Movement, following the latter’s armed siege of Wounded Knee – site of the horrific US army massacre – on Pine Ridge reservation. This event became the turning point for an ongoing resurgence of indigenous activism, ranging from issues of treaty rights and sovereignty to land recovery and environment/ecology.

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AIM leader Russell Means (-2012) speaking before the US Senate in 1989

Perhaps the biggest flashpoint since is the attempt by a US energy conglomerate to build a pipeline that would traverse native land and threatens the local and sacred water supply. The National Guard, together with SWAT teams and a private security company hired by the energy consortium, deployed rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas against hundreds of protesters. Sophia Wilansky, one of many non-natives who had joined the camp in solidarity, was killed by a police grenade.

With pressure from his liberal constituents (incl. longtime pro-native actor Robert Redford and his video appeal in solidarity), a legacy-conscious Obama cynically postponed the pipeline’s construction during his final days in office, leaving its resumption up to his successor Donald Trump, himself financially linked to the pipeline’s consortium and whose advisors are eyeing oil-rich Indian land for outright privatization.

Genocide Today

As far as Native Americans are concerned, their genocide never ended. The rough third (700,000) still living on reservations[13] endure Third World conditions, suffering the country’s highest rates of poverty, unemployment, death, suicide, infant mortality, substance abuse and disease[14].

Churchill explains the apparent paradox between native poverty and resources[4]:

It’s not that reservation resources are not being exploited, or profits accrued. To the contrary…the BIA has utilized its plenary and trust capacities to negotiate contracts with major mining corporations “in behalf of” its “Indian wards” which pay pennies on the dollar of the conventional mineral royalty rates. Further, the BIA has typically exempted such corporations from an obligation to perform basic environmental cleanup of nuclear and other forms of waste.

While President Trump enacts multi-trillion-dollar corporate tax breaks and commits tens of billions to the Saudi destruction of Yemen, the Indian Health Service lacks 50% of the staff and funding required for adequate provision[15]. A 2004 study found 40% of natives with mental disorders untreated, correlating with a reported 40% deficit between the number of mental health professionals available per native and those per non-native[15].

42% of native women of childbearing age were involuntarily sterilized during the decades following WWII as part of a government-funded program driven by racist eugenics and long-term mining interests[16]. A direct violation of the Genocide Convention, the program almost halved the women’s fertility rate[17].

Lessons

The left’s lack of interest in native American history and ongoing activism is rooted in an ignorance it shares with mainstream opinion, namely of the fact that the genocide – albeit not taking the holocaustal form it took when 97.5% of the population inhabited North America, namely because they’re no longer there – is ongoing and has never stopped.

But what the left must realise further is that the decolonization of North America is a vital prerequisite for the dismantlement of America’s overseas empire. Churchill’s argument to this effect is just as valid now as it was when he wrote the following in 1983, Trumpism being the present-day parallel to the 80s “New Right”[18]:

…if the treaty obligations of the United States to the various tribes which are on the books right now were met, the landbase of the 48 contiguous states would be diminished by approximately one third. Further, identified U.S. energy resource reserves would be reduced by two thirds. Significant reserves of minerals including gold, silver, iron, molybdenum, magnesium, bauxite and sulphur would also pass from U.S. control. Any hard-nosed Marxist revolutionary should be able to detect the absolutely critical nature of the issues. By any definition, the mere potential for even a partial dissolution of the U.S. landbase should be a high priority consideration for anyone interested in destabilizing the status quo.

…If the liberation struggles of Native America are defeated while the left stands idly by debating “correct lines” and “social priorities,”, a crucial opportunity to draw a line on the capitalist process in America will have been lost, perhaps forever. In the view of the emergence of outright American neo-fascism – as represented by the “New Right” and “Moral Majority” – none of us can afford to pass such opportunities by, least of all on points of polemical pride.

…Bill Tabb has said, “Let the debate continue.” I would only add, “and let the action begin.”

1. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/the-real-christopher-columbus/ (an excerpt from Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (Harper Perennial 2015 Reissue), Chapter 1); to listen to chapters 1-25, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCHuPpyoyBQ&list=PLYUr4j9fnsUzHJA6iP-0x0vPdDzskPWiU; to hear Zinn speak about the book, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI907Tm11sc
2. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon Press 2015 Reprint); for a lecture delivered by Ortiz at The Evergreen State College, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLl561BBkdI
3. Kirkpatrick Sale, Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise 2nd ed. (Tauris Parke Paperbacks 2006); for a fascinating discussion ft. Sale, see https://archive.org/details/AV_481-COLUMBUS_THE_MAN_THE_LEGACY
4. http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v0/9.11/1columbus.html; also see https://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6957875/christopher-columbus-murderer-tyrant-scoundrel; for a fascinating discussion ft. Churchill, see https://archive.org/details/AV_481-COLUMBUS_THE_MAN_THE_LEGACY
5. For the record of US interventionism since 1945, see williamblum.org
6. J.W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (The New Press 2008), page 52; Jacques Nicolas Leger, Haiti, Her History and Her Detractors (Neale Publishing Company 1907), page 23; https://web.archive.org/web/20081202053219/http://www.kacike.org/LynneGuitar.html; http://www.raceandhistory.com/Taino/Women.htm; Kathryn A. Sloan, Women’s Roles in Latin America and the Caribbean (Greenwood 2011); https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/aug/07/books.spain
7. https://archive.org/stream/christophercolu02thacgoog#page/n451/mode/2up; for the original passage in Early Modern Spanish, see note 443
8. https://web.archive.org/web/20131216024311/http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070121/29jamestown.b.htm; for census summaries, see Lewis Hank, The Spanish Conquest of America (University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia 1947), page 200ff; also see Salvador de Madariaga, The Rise of the Spanish American Empire (Hollis nd Carter Publishers: London 1947); the range estimated by historians centering on 500,000-8,000,000; see Suzanne Austin Alchon, A pest in the land: New world epidemics in a global perspective (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 2003), pages 164-7
9. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/08/17/holocaust-native-americans-65-million-counting.html
10. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302
11. http://www.skeptic.ca/American_Holocaust.htm; listen to chapters 1-6 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q4NyuImKMk&list=PLAYJ1WwgOpjZZD5TNNC3X8bnFDclAQMCe; for a lecture with Q/A delivered by the author, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qra6pcn4AOE.
12. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present (City Light Books 2001)
13. Eliza Barclay, “Navajos Fight Their Food Desert With Junk Food And Soda Taxes”, National Public Radio 01.04.15
14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_social_statistics_of_Native_Americans
15. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1524838005283005
16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsAK7jS0WY; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/figure/10.1080/2201473X.2014.955947?scroll=top&needAccess=true
17. Jane Lawrence, “The Sterilization of Native American Women”, American Indian Quarterly 24:3:402
18. https://archive.org/stream/MarxismAndNativeAmericans, pages 201-3; for a sample of native activist causes at the time of publication, see page 200

*I have spared the reader the worst allegations of Spanish depravities on Hispaniola, made by self-purported eyewitness Bartolome Das Lacas.

 

 

How the West and Saudi Arabia Cultivated Islamist Terror

Of the estimated $50b Riyadh has spent exporting its extremist Wahabi brand of Islam around the world, 15-20% has been diverted to Al Qaeda and other terror groups[Source]. A leaked 2009 cable signed by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified Saudi Arabia as their top financial source, criticising its “limited action” against wealthy private donors.

In an email leaked in 2016, her election campaign organiser went further, accusing the Saudi and Qatari governments directly of having funded and logistically supported ISIS, the Iraq War’s ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’. Indeed, following the terror group’s capture of Mosul (Iraq) in June 2014, ex Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told US Secretary of State John Kerry: “Daesh (ISIS) is our response to your support for the Da’wa (Shia government in Iraq)”.

Before its official ban on ISIS, Riyadh pummelled billions to Syrian rebels with the full knowledge of US and British officials[1]. General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, has described the Saudi-Qatari “wahabbisation of Sunni Islam” (Patrick Cockburn) as a “time bomb…that must stop.

Britain armed and funded Saudi Arabia’s founder Ibn Saud during WWI and, under a signed treaty in 1915, recognised his rule of Nejd. In his work “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam”, which documents the West’s utilisation of Islamist forces as a counterweight to secular/left nationalism in the Muslim world, British historian Mark Curtis writes:

Ibn Saud established ‘Saudi’ Arabia in an orgy of murder. In his exposé of the corruption of the Saudi ruling family, Said Aburish describes Ibn Saud as ‘a lecher and a bloodthirsty autocrat … whose savagery wreaked havoc across Arabia’, terrorising and mercilessly slaughtering his enemies. The conquest of Arabia cost the lives of around 400,000 people, since Saud’s forces did not take prisoners; over a million people fled to neighbouring countries. Numerous rebellions against the House of Saud subsequently took place, each put down in ‘mass killings of mostly innocent victims, including women and children’. By the mid-1920s most of Arabia had been subdued, 40,000 people had been publicly executed and some 350,000 had had limbs amputated; the territory was divided into districts under the control of Saud’s relatives, a situation which largely prevails today.

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In 1921, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill described Ibn Saud’s Wahabi followers to the House of Commons[2]:

They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette…the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and to the whole institution of the pilgrimage, in which our Indian fellow-subjects are so deeply concerned.

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Despite this, he went on to provide a cynical defence for Britain’s continued support for Ibn Saud[2]:

The Emir Bin Saud has shown himself capable of leading and, within considerable limits, of controlling these formidable sectaries. He has always shown himself well disposed towards Great Britain and has long been in intimate relations with Sir Percy Cox. Under the advice of Sir Percy Cox, and of my counsellors here at home, we have arranged to continue the subsidy which Bin Saud has hitherto received from the British Government of £60,000 a year, together with a lump sum of £20,000.

…deprived of these funds, he would soon lose control of the nomadic and predatory tribes which are brought under what is after all a restraining influence…we desire to live on friendly and amicable terms with this potentate and not to be disturbed by him, particularly at a time when we are seeking to withdraw so large a proportion of our garrison from the country.

“…my admiration for him was deep”, Churchill later wrote, “because of his unfailing loyalty to us”. With help from the RAF and troops despatched from Iraq, Ibn Saud put down an internal anti-British rebellion in 1929[3].

One of Britain’s own diplomats Jonathon Allen told the UN Security Council that “the conflict creates ungoverned spaces in which terrorists can operate, poses security threats to countries in the region and international shipping, and fuels regional tensions”.

None of this seems to deter ongoing UK policy: it, after all, knowingly risked the blowback that materialised in Manchester last year by backing Al Qaeda-linked forces in Libya and Syria this past decade for the sake of regime changes in those countries. In this, they were following Washington’s lead, just as they did in 1980s Soviet-occupied Afghanistan when the CIA and MI6’s Operation Cyclone – the longest covert op since WWII – armed, trained and funded today’s generation of terrorists, including Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Along with Pakistan’s then Islamist dictator Zia ul-Haq, Saudi Arabia was the financial conduit for Cyclone and, according to a classified section of the 9/11 Commission report, the September 11 2001 attacks. This role has been revitalised in Libya and Syria, contributing to the destruction of both nations, a European refugee crisis and a spawn of terror attacks in Europe.

The reaction – intensifying the very “war on ISIS” that ostensibly motivated said attacks to begin with – fits Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same over and over (bombing the terrorists, in the process spawning more of them), expecting different results.

1. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article31034067.html
2. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1921/jun/14/middle-eastern-services
3. Mark Curtis, Secret Affairs

Royal Air Force: Centenary of Carnage

“We reserve the right to bomb the niggers!”

“We reserve the right to bomb the niggers!”

Such was how then Prime Minister David Lloyd George defended the indiscriminate bombing of Kurdish villages by the Royal Air Force during the 1920s. Through a deal with France to carve up the post-WWI Middle East (Who is Responsible for Today’s Middle East?), Imperial Britain created Iraq and annexed its former province of Kuwait in order to landlock Iraq and thus maintain the flow of oil to the West[1][2].

When the Kurds bravely revolted against this oppression, they paid with their lives. “If the Kurds were going to misbehave”, recalled a pilot, “we would smack their bottoms”. Containing similarly callous veterans as well as elderly Kurdish survivors, the Channel 4 documentary from which this quote is taken – “Birds of Death” – is available on YouTube and worth watching.

To avoid international notoriety, then War Secretary Winston Churchill’s eager request to deploy mustard gas against these “recalcitrant tribes” was fortunately denied. But the campaign proved no less ruthless. “The attack with bombs and machine guns”, ordered one RAF commander, “must be relentless and unremitting and carried on continuously by day and night, on houses, inhabitants, crops and cattle”[1].

Lionel Charlton resigned after visiting a local hospital full of injured civilians. But other RAF commanders such as Arthur “Bomber” Harris showed no mercy. “The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means, in casualties and damage”, Harris intoned. “They know that within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured”[1].

This soon became standard RAF practice in the Middle East, explains British historian David Omissi:

Schemes of air control similar to that practiced in Mesopotamia were set up in the Palestine Mandate in 1922 and in the Aden Protectorate six years later. Bombers were active at various times against rioters in Egypt, tribesmen on the Frontier, pastoralists in the Southern Sudan and nomads in the Somali hinterland[1].

Like the Palestinians the following decade (put down with comparable savagery that murdered thousands), the lightly armed Kurds were crushed and defeated. Likewise the Omani rebels in the 1950s, when Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson personally selected RAF targets: water treatment facilities, villages, and other civilian infrastructure. Read historian Mark Curtis’ research based on internal government files.

Empire Today

iraqAli Abbas: a symbol of the US-UK “Shock and Awe” blitz on Baghdad, March 20 2003

This all provided the precedent for the more recent holocaust in Iraq. During the 1991 Gulf War, the USAF and RAF decimated the civilian infrastructure of a country that once boasted, despite the formerly Western-backed Saddam dictatorship, one of the highest living standards in the Arab world[2].

Echoing Lloyd George, the Ministry of Defence justified one of its many attacks on civilian targets (in this case, a herd of sheep) documented by a UN report in the late 90s: “We reserve the right to take robust action”[2].

This, on top of an economic embargo that starved more than half a million children to death (“We think the price is worth it”, a US official explained at the time[2]).

Curtis refers to “the RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of “Reaper” drones operating since 2007 to strike targets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria… The targeted killing of terrorists (and the use of force generally) is only lawful in self–defence or following UN authorisation, and thus the drone programme is widely regarded as illegal”.

Of the more than one million deaths caused during the Iraq War, 2% (20,000) were caused by American and British aircraft[Opinion Research Business]. Up to 90% of the dead were civilians[3], meaning US and British pilots slaughtered up to 18,000 innocent men, women and children. What heroes!

And then there’s Libya, where the RAF killed thousands at indiscriminate targets such as water and food facilities, schools, homes and other civilian infrastructure. This is documented by the International Legal Assistance Consortium, the Arab Centre for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre of Human Rights. The “Shock and Awe” bombing of Baghdad on March 20 2003 followed the exact same procedure, taking some 10,000 lives.

Boasting the highest living standard in Africa, Libya’s greatest achievement (among many others) was the Great Manmade River Project, its deliberate bombing by NATO reflecting a broader campaign to terrorise and demoralise the Libyan people: with forbears like anti-Mussolini insurgent Omar Mukhtar, the West knew it was up against a brave and proud nation who do not accept colonization.

An Obama-sponsored genocide of blacks ensued via Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, including a group whose members included the eventual Manchester bomber. Chalmers Johnson: “blowback”.

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2011 NATO assault on Libya was illegal, spawned Europe’s refugee crisis

In addition to 2-3000 civilians killed by airstrikes on Iraq and Libya since 2014[airwars.org], the longest war in US history continues in Afghanistan and has witnessed horrifying civilian casualties resulting from Western (incl. RAF) airstrikes. Targets have ranged from weddings and funerals to villages and hospitals. This is all documented and systemic.

Prince Harry, a member of the 1% in whose interest imperialism is waged, is the veritable poster boy for the MoD as it seeks to revive jingoism amidst a country suffering from “Iraq War syndrome”. Harry, who once dressed up as a Nazi at a “colonels and natives” party, has likened shooting “raghead[s]” and “paki[s]” to playing a video game. Again, what a hero!

There is no pride in the most lethal weapon in Britain’s imperialist arsenal. There is no pride in a force that specialises in slaughtering children and women from high above, commanding the skies of other countries like a foreign overlord. With the exception of World War II, the British homeland has never faced a military threat.

All of Britain’s wars have been imperial endeavours to defend and advance the interests of the very same corporate elite that we rightly damn at home for dodging billions in tax every year while austerity and privatisation continues unabated on their behalf. The real enemy is at home, not abroad!

Air Power and Colonial Control: The Royal Air Force 1919-1939
2. Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq ITV (1999); watch at johnpilger.com
3. American School of Public Health (2006); cited in The War You Don’t See ITV (2010), watchable at johnpilger.com

Militarism Faces Resistance in Asia

The political opposition in Seychelles has blocked the ratification of the 2015 Seychelles-India base deal amidst intense rivalry between China and India for dominance over the Indian Ocean, a key international trade route through which millions of barrels of oil pass each day.

A similar movement has been building for years in the Japanese island of Okinawa. Home to 32 US bases, systemic rape by American GIs has catalyzed popular anti-base sentiment that has been brewing for years. Washington’s attempts to relocate one of the bases near to a reserve for endangered dolphins have met huge local resistance. Last February’s election saw the defeat of the anti-base mayor first elected in 2016, a blow to the movement.

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Anti-base protesters on Okinawa, Japan

Like Japan, India is seeking to project its power by enlisting in America’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: a broad diplomatic, economic and military offensive against China. Like India,Japan’s imperialist resurgence is being lead by the country’s most right-wing government since the 1940s. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet hail from the most reactionary bourgeois layer which, with its allies in revisionist academia, has long sought to whitewash the horrific history of the Imperial Order for which they are so nostalgic.

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2015: Japanese demonstrators protest Japan’s imperialist resurgence

India’s Prime Minister Narendi Modi, meanwhile, has accelerated tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, a fellow nuclear-armed power whose long-time sponsorship of terrorism against India almost sparked war following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while encouraging a racist frenzy endangering India’s Muslims. Complicit in the 2002 Babri Mosque massacre, Modi is an adherent of the Hindutvati ideology. One of its pamphlets praises Hitler and the Holocaust*.

Asians remember the horrors of WWII and the Korean War. During the former, millions were slaughtered by Japanese invaders. During the latter, the American air force wiped out “almost every city north and south” (Gen. Curtis LeMay), killing 2 million people.

As the spectre of conflict increases, anti-militarist fervour is bound to increase. This provides a glimmer of hope for humanity, whose very survival is endangered by the prospect of a US-China nuclear war. If these localised movements link together in a common struggle against militarism, they may have a voice with which to reach out to their fellow ordinary people in the West. A global fight to unseat the Pentagon’s war plans is essential.

*Arundhati Roy on Modi, YouTube

“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.

Syrian Missile Crisis: Will the Donald kill us all?

If this is really the end, the responsibility will go to Donald Trump and his European poodles beginning with Theresa “novichok” May, as well their accomplices.

This Western missile barrage (which Syria and Russia claim to have 70% intercepted, preventing any casualties minus three injured) follows a tweet by Trump goading Russia into acting on its threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, announcing that American missiles were already on their way following fake news of a chemical attack by Syria’s Assad regime.

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The White Helmets, a veritable Western proxy funded by Washington and London, has planted fake video and photographic evidence amounting to child snuff porn. On the verge of victory against the collapsing Western-backed jihadist insurgency, Damascus had no motive to conduct such an act.

What a US-Russia war would look like

Evil: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima (pictured) and Nagasaki marked the first military use of nuclear weapons

Trump’s predecessor Obama began this failed four-year regime change operation, responsible for hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. Yet the worse may yet come as the horrors of Syria threaten to go global. Literally.

Let’s clarify what we are talking about here. It is the literal prospect of planetary annihilation. This is no joke.

Historically, the threat of nuclear apocalypse was most pronounced during the Cold War. During that period, it was an uncontroversial consensus that the combined mega-tonnage of US and Soviet nukes would potentially wipe out humanity multiple times over.

This prospect, and the possibility of it manifesting by accident rather than crude design (why, after all, would any power want to blow itself up?), was most pronounced during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What we face right now is a Syrian Missile Crisis. And this time, it’s not the young, intelligent Kennedy in the White House Situation Room: it’s Donald fucking Trump.

The Geopolitics of Insanity

putintrump

If Trump backs down because of Russia’s threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, it will be huge geopolitical gain for Moscow. It would demonstrate to the world that America is no longer the dominant superpower in strict political/economic terms.

If, on the other hand, Putin backs down under the same threat of world war three, he will lose the prestige so crucial to his alpha ego. It would also mean ceding all foreign influence in the Middle East to Western imperialism: without Assad, Russia and Iran are isolated from the strategic energy-rich region: hence Western attempts to salvage its dominance over Middle East oil by enactingl, under the false guise of “humanitarian intervention”, regime change in both countries.

We thus find ourselves at a crossroad of reckless brinksmanship unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which neither Trump and Putin appear likely to back down. As Noam Chomsky has said, we escaped war in 1962 only because of the wisdom of a Soviet captain – Visal Arkhipov – who chose not to fire his nuclear torpedo in response to US warning depth charges…but we cannot rely on common sense every time humanity comes to the brink of annihilation.

The American masses must rise up and overthrow the capitalist system of war and profit for the 1%: their continued existence and that of the rest of the world may very well depend upon it.