Thursday, 30 August 2012

Damascus is Palestine's Capital City

The Arab-Israel conflict and the post 1967 construct of the Israel- Palestinian conflict (which is nothing but the Arab-Israel conflict dressed up for western eyes, to portray tiny Israel as not being  under constant threat of annihilation from hundreds of millions of arabs living in 22 countries, but rather of a regional Israeli 'bully' attacking the even smaller palestinian arabs ) results from an arab and islamic refusal to recognise legitimate jewish claims to the Land of Israel.

Whereas from the very beginning of modern jewish nationalism and Zionism jews were willing to negotiate, to help arabs improve economically and share their knowledge, the response was overwhelmingly violent.

From a petition sent to Lord Allenby in April 1920 by the Director of the Arab Club, Jerusalem just after murderous attacks on jews which were aided, abetted and even instigated by British officials (such as the notorious Colonel Waters-Taylor) three things are apparent:

1) that anti-semitism was at the very basis of the conflict. Jews were considered by arabs to have no rights in Israel,
2) that arabs would through force of violence not allow any jews to live in the land, and
3) that as far as arabs living in Israel (then 'Palestine') had any national feelings, they were as formerly in Ottoman times, expressed as being part of a Syrian state under then King Faisal.

Nothing has changed in the last hundred years as far as the hatred of jews, the justification for and the use of violence against jews and the refusal of any jewish claims to any part of Israel.
The only thing that has changed is that a faux nationalism has grown up, hardly believed by arabs themselves in Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') and Gaza. Hamas refers mostly to the caliphate and defers to Egypt whereas in Judea and Samaria most inhabitants have Jordanian citizenship. 'Palestinian' nationalism for what it is, is expressed in terms of what it is against, of hatred for jews, and for violence against jews who have 'stolen' islamic lands. The Mufti of Jerusalem's recent speech to the supposedly secular Fatah recently where he and the Fatah moderator berated the 'sons of apes and pigs'(jews) and called for genocide against them show that there is no solution that would ever be acceptable to arabs living in the ancient jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria.
Petition sent to Lord Allenby in April 1920 by the Director of the Arab Club (page 74 - Middle East Diary 1917-56, R Meinertzhagen, 1959)

We declare that we cannot accept the Jews in  our country. Should they be permitted to do what they intend doing, we shall fight against them till death. We have learned from this war to be extremely cruel to those who intend to encroach upon our rights. We declare that we do not accept the Jews neither as guests nor as neighbours in Palestine: we do not accept that they be allowed to come to Palestine as slaves or servants, neither do we admit or approve of their language being used and the Hebrew, be recognized as the official language of a country, which is the native land of one nation, the Arabic nation

3) We have heard about the organization of a new government, for which we thank the Government, which thinks of the benefit of this country. But as we completely recognize Palestine as only a part of Syria, the natives of which have declared or owned their indepnendence within its natural boundaries, and as His Excellency Ameer Feisal was chosen king over it, we ask that the Government be formed according to the opinion of our laudable king and 'Capital' .
Kindly accept our respectful regards,
Mohammed I. Derweesh,
director of the Arab Club,
(Moslem and Christian Society).

In 3) we also see that  the arab 'laudable king' was that of Syria and its 'Capital'  Damascus - Jerusalem is just a backwater, of no significance as to national rights - the importance of Jerusalem exists only as far as it is needed to divest jews of their rights. Indeed when the Jordanians held Jerusalem after 1948, the Temple Mount and Golden domed Mosque of Omar was dilapidated and the golden dome not installed until the Israelis retook the city.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Iran's folly sees not only the destruction of the Assad regime but the beginnings of a Sunni - Shia war

Iran awash with petrodollars and secure in the knowledge that Obama has no intention of clipping its wings (despite the US gunboat diplomacy in the Persian Gulf) as to its nuclear ambitions has committed a fatal error. It is however hard to see what else Iran could do under the circumstances.

It is now being reported that  Iran is actively intervening in the civil war in Syria, using its Revolutionary Guards to prop up the Assad regime.

Iran can not afford to let Assad fall and be replaced by a sunni regime in Syria as Hezbollah's position amongst a sea of hostile sunni muslims would then become untenable in Lebanon. Iran's main front against Israel would collapse should Hezbollah's contact with the Iranian hinterland by way of Syria be broken.

Recently 48 Iranian 'pilgrims' werre arrested in Syria by the FSA rebels, amongst them an Iranian IRG general.

Now Iran's Commander General Salar Abnoush has this week told volunteers that, “We are involved in fighting every aspect of a war – a military one in Syria, and a cultural one as well.”

That Iran has now committed troops to Syria means that the fault lines are now drawn between Sunni muslims and Shia islam.

With foreign jihadis flocking to Syria and with islamist Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as Jordan all giving their support to the rebels the terrible reality first enunciated by David Goldman ('Spengler') of a new 30 Years War in the middle east is becoming ever clearer.

Israel has in the last two years been facing ever increasing state threats and terror. Islamist enemies surrounding Israel from Egypt's Sinai desert, Lebanon, Gaza, the Palestinian Territories have constantly re-iterated their goals of the destruction of Israel.

But as always, the harder they try, the nearer they get to their goal, the further away they find themselves. Before the islamist Caliphate can be established, the sunnis and shiites will have to decide who will lead the caliphate. And this will necessarily take place on the battlefield between opposing adherents of fanatical islam.

President Obama has been responsible more than anyone for the forces that are now squaring up. He has seen to it that the Muslim Brotherhood from being a thorn in the side of Mubarak has become the ruling party of Egypt. Obama has supported the Turkish islamist ruling party and helped it in its support of Syrian islamists. Obama has expressed his fondness for Turkey's PM Erdogan as a good friend and he has supplied Saudi Arabia and UAE allies with tens of billions of dollars worth of armaments including hundreds of modern war planes such as the F15 and F16. Only this year Obam agreed to sell $30billion more arms to Saudi Arabia alone. Turkey will get 100 F35 fighters.

Obama having built up the sunni alliance against what seemed to be the best interests of the USA and of Western civilisation (which includes moderate muslims, the silent millions forced to comply on pain of death with the dictates of barbaric sharia imposing clerics ) has in fact formed the battle lines that will now give way to untold misery and death for many millions of muslims and minorities who happen to find themselves in the way.

The only silver lining in all this is that Israel will most likely be able to continue to sit this one out, to let the mass killings, the genocide, the ethnic cleansing happen all around it, and be affected only tangentially, by the seemingly constant small scale terror attacks and rocket launchings at Israeli towns. Even if Israel is forced to attack Iran's nuclear industry, the ramifications will not divert from the overall pattern of sunni-shia hostilities for more than a few months at most.

Israel's arab citizens and its christian population should see what is happening all around in the middle east and thank their lucky stars that they were born in a modern, democratic and tolerant, Jewish State, a state where everyone's interests are protected, where discrimination against minorities is outlawed.

When the genocidal frenzy of killing has abated, muslim societies in the middle-east might just begin to turn away from the cult of hatred and of killing. As with Germany which needed 4 million dead in WWII before it would give up on its desire for "Lebensraum" and "Total Krieg", and which is now a country whose people have a mostly pacisfistic nature, the middle-east will lose its love of war only through the barrel of a gun and through similarly enormous suffering.

An imaginary conversation with Cardinal Richlieu:
"We are a bit confused about Syria," I began. "Its leader, Bashar al-Assad, is slaughtering his own people to suppress an uprising. And he is allied to Iran, which wants to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate the region. If we overthrow Assad, Sunni radicals will replace him, and take revenge on the Syrian minorities. And a radical Sunni government in Syria would ally itself with the Sunni minority next door in Iraq and make civil war more likely."

"I don't understand the question," Richelieu replied.

"Everyone is killing each other in Syria and some other places in the region, and the conflict might spread. What should we do about it?"

"How much does this cost you?"

"Nothing at all," I answered.

"Then let them kill each other as long as possible, which is to say for 30 years or so. Do you know," the ghastly Cardinal continued, "why really interesting wars last for 30 years? That has been true from the Peloponnesian War to my own century. First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren't usually enough men left for a third iteration."

"We can't go around saying that," I remonstrated.

"I didn't say it, either," Richelieu replied. "But I managed to reduce the population of the German Empire by half in the space of a generation and make France the dominant land power in Europe for two centuries.

"Isn't there some way to stabilize these countries?" I asked.

Richelieu looked at me with what might have been contempt. "It is a simple exercise in logique. You had two Ba'athist states, one in Iraq and one in Syria. Both were ruled by minorities. The Assad family came from the Alawite minority Syria and oppressed the Sunnis, while Saddam Hussein came from the Sunni minority in Iraq and oppressed the Shi'ites.

It is a matter of calculation - what today you would call game theory. If you compose a state from antagonistic elements to begin with, the rulers must come from one of the minorities. All the minorities will then feel safe, and the majority knows that there is a limit to how badly a minority can oppress a majority. That is why the Ba'ath Party regimes in Iraq and Syria - tyrannies founded on the same principle - were mirror images of each other."

"What happens if the majority rules?," I asked.

"The moment you introduce majority rule in the tribal world," the cardinal replied, "you destroy the natural equilibrium of oppression.

"The minorities have no recourse but to fight, perhaps to the death. In the case of Iraq, the presence of oil mitigates the problem.

The Shi'ites have the oil, but the Sunnis want some of the revenue, and it is easier for the Shi'ites to share the revenue than to kill the Sunnis. On the other hand, the problem is exacerbated by the presence of an aggressive neighbor who also wants the oil."

"So civil war is more likely because of Iran?"

"Yes," said the shade, "and not only in Iraq. Without support from Iran, the Syrian Alawites - barely an eighth of the people - could not hope to crush the Sunnis. Iran will back Assad and the Alawites until the end, because if the Sunnis come to power in Syria, it will make it harder for Iran to suppress the Sunnis in Iraq. As I said, it is a matter of simple logic. Next time you visit, bring a second bottle of Petrus, and my friend Descartes will draw a diagram for you."

"So the best thing we can do to stabilize the region is to neutralize Iran?"

"Bingeaux!" Richelieu replied.

"But there are people in the United States, like the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who say that attacking Iran would destabilize everything!"

"Such fools would not have lasted a week in my service," the cardinal sniffed. "Again, it is a matter of simple logic. If Iran's capacity to build nuclear weapons is removed by force, upon whom shall it avenge itself? No doubt its irregulars in Lebanon will shoot some missiles at Israel, but not so many as to provoke the Israelis to destroy Hezbollah. Iran might undertake acts of terrorism, but at the risk of fierce reprisals. Without nuclear weapons, Iran becomes a declining power with obsolete weapons and an indifferent conscript army."

Richelieu's shade already had lost some color. "What should the United States do in Syria?" I asked.

"As little as possible," he replied. "Some anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles from Gaddafi's stockpiles, enough to encourage the opposition and prevent Assad from crushing them, and without making it obvious who sent them."

"And what will become of Syria?"

The cardinal said sourly, "The same thing will happen to the present occupants of Syria that happened to the previous occupants: the Assyrians, and the Seleucids, and the Byzantines before them. You seem to think the Syrians are at existential risk because they are fighting to the death. On the contrary: they are fighting to the death because they were at existential risk before the first shot was fired. They have no oil. They do not even have water. They manufacture nothing. They cling to ancient hatred as a drowning man grasps a stone."

"Isn't there anything we can do about it?" I shouted.

But Richelieu had turned back into a cardinal-shaped jellyfish, and if he gave an answer, I could not hear it. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The islamist false flag fools fighting in Syria

Robert Fisk is passionate about Israel. He will always find a way to bring Israel into whatever story he is writing about so as to denigrate it. But I find his writings interesting and when the rubbish he writes about Israel is discounted, worth the time.
So it is interesting to find that jihadists are coming to Syria and committing their dastardly killing of brother arabs whilst under the illusion that they are killing jews.
The islamist bloodlust is so great that as in Iraq, knowing the truth makes little difference. Point a jihadi in the right direction and tell him who the infidel is and he will kill with gusto.
Lebanon will be the next country to fall prey to the islamists, and there are also stirrings in Jordan. The islamic awakening is slowly setting the middle east alight just as the 30 Years War set christian europe ablaze from 1618-48. A quarter of the population was killed then, and there might very possibly be a similar toll between the shia and sunnis in coming years. 
By the end of all the bloodletting there will be few christians left in the region, apart from Israel where they are thriving in a free society (apart from Gaza and the Palestinian territories where they are being ethnically cleansed.). The christian community in Lebanon might also survive if they can overcome their rivalries and find allies.
And with any luck, the Kurdish nation will have another large chunk of territory to include in Kurdistan. Turkey and Iran might count down the days until their own populations of oppressed Kurds also become free.
"You won't believe this," Major Somar cried in excitement. "One of our prisoners told me: 'I didn't realise Palestine was as beautiful as this.' He thought he was in Palestine to fight the Israelis!"

Do I believe this? Certainly, the fighters who bashed their way into the lovely old streets west of the great citadel were, from all accounts, a ragtag bunch. Their graffiti – "We are the Brigades of 1980", the year when the first Muslim Brotherhood rising threatened the empire of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez – was still on the walls of the Syrian-Armenian hotels and silver shops. A 51-year-old general handed me one of the home-made grenades that littered the floor of the Sharaf mosque; a fluffy fuse poking from the top of a lump of shrapnel, coated in white plastic and covered in black adhesive tape.

Inside the mosque were bullets, empty tins of cheese, cigarette butts and piles of mosque carpets, which the rebels had used as bedding. The battle had so far lasted 24 hours. A live round had cut into the Bosnian-style tombstone of a Muslim imam's grave, with a delicate stone turban carved on its top. The mosque's records – lists of worshippers' complaints, Korans and financial documents – were lying across one room in what had evidently marked the last stand of several men. There was little blood. Between 10 and 15 of the defenders – all Syrians – surrendered after being offered mercy if they laid down their arms. The quality of this mercy was not, of course, disclosed to us.

Alas, they did. The huge medieval iron and wooden gate, its ornamented hinges and supports – a defence-work that had stood for 700 years – has been literally torn apart. I clambered over carbonized wood and hunks of stone bearing delicate Koranic inscriptions. Hundreds of bullet holes have pitted the stonework of the inner gate. Below, I found a T-72 tank whose barrel had been grazed by a sniper's bullet which was still lodged in the sheath, its armour broken by a grenade. "I was inside at the time," its driver said. "Bang! – but my tank still worked!"

So here is the official scorecard of the battle for the eastern side of the old city of Aleppo, the conflict amid narrow streets and pale, bleached stone walls that was still being fought out yesterday afternoon, the crack of every rebel bullet receiving a long burst of machine-gun fire from Major Somar's soldiers. As the army closed in on the gunmen from two sides, 30 rebels – or "Free Syrian Army" or "foreign fighters" – were killed and an undisclosed number wounded. According to Major Somar's general, an officer called Saber, Syrian government forces suffered only eight wounded. I came across three of them, one a 51-year-old officer who refused to be sent to hospital.

Many of the rebels' weapons had been taken from the scene by the military "mukhbarat" intelligence men before we arrived: they were said to include three Nato-standard sniper rifles, one mortar, eight Austrian machine-pistols and a host of Kalashnikovs, which may well have been stolen by Syrian deserters. But it is the shock of finding these pitched battles amid this world heritage site which is more terrible than the armaments of each side. To crunch over broken stone and glass with Syrian troops for mile after mile around the old city, a place of museums and Mosques – the magnificently minareted Gemaya Omayyad stands beside yesterday's battleground – is a matter of infinite sorrow.

Many of the soldiers, who were encouraged to speak to me even as they knelt at the ends of narrow streets with bullets spattering off the walls, spoke of their amazement that so many "foreign fighters" should have been in Aleppo. "Aleppo has five million people," one said to me. "If the enemy are so sure that they are going to win the battle, then surely there's no need to bring these foreigners to participate; they will lose."

Major Somar, who spoke excellent English, understood the political dimension all too well. "Our borders with Turkey are a big problem," he admitted. "The border needs to be closed. The closure of the frontier must be coordinated by the two governments. But the Turkish government is on the enemy side. Erdogan is against Syria." Of course, I asked him his religion, a question that is all innocence and all poison in Syria these days. Somar, whose father was a general, his mother a teacher, and who practices his English with Dan Brown novels, was as quick as a cat. "It's not where you are born or what is your religion," he said. "It's what's in your mind. Islam comes from this land, Christians come from this land, Jews come from this land.
[Ooops - Jews only 'come from the land' if you believe that Israel is part of Greater Syria. This chimes in with the first 'palestinian' arabs who in 1920 called to abrogate the Balfour Declaration so that arabs could become part of Syria.] That is why it is our duty to protect this land."

Several soldiers believed the rebels were trying to convert the Christians of Aleppo – "a peaceful people", they kept calling them – and there was a popular story doing the rounds yesterday of a Christian storekeeper who was forced to wear Muslim clothing and announce his own conversion in front of a video camera. But in wartime cities, you find talkative soldiers. One of the men who recaptured the entrance to the citadel was Abul Fidar, famous for walking between Aleppo, Palmyra and Damascus over 10 days at the start of the current conflict last year to publicise the need for peace. The president, needless to say, greeted him warmly at his final destination.

But the thought cannot escape us that the prime purpose of men like Sergeant Dawoud – and all his fellow soldiers here – was not, surely, to liberate Aleppo but to liberate the occupied Golan Heights, right next to the land which the "jihadis" apparently thought they were "liberating" yesterday – until they discovered that Aleppo was not Jerusalem.

Rachel Corrie the unlamented palestinian terrorist dupe

This young woman killed by her own reckless hatred of jews and Israel has now had her day in court. Repeatedly putting yourself in the way of danger, in front of a D9 military tractor that has extremely poor visibility and then playing a game of chicken with the driver is dicing with death.