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Baghdadee بغدادي

An editorial on the real middel east problem

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I have no link yet on the person who wrote this. I found it posted on another message board on another website.

It's an opinion story. A very long article about the conflict in Iraq. But the current situation is actually centuries old and has little to do with the United States, Saddam or Iraqi oil.

It seems to be someones personal opinion ( or a frequent reader of Middel East Research Institute web site http://memri.org/index.html ) and seems to have its focus or roots on Egyptian politics.




An interesting piece of information that I ran across that I thought might be of interest to some.

The guy that wrote this does not get paid by anybody. He researched it as well as other things he has written. It is long, if sound bites and buzzwords are your thing don't bother with it.

He claims no copyright and has given me permission to post this. Maybe it's just one of his rants?


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The root causes of the conflict between the Islamic Revolution and the Western World are rooted in an internal, long running, Middle Eastern Civil War.


By Jim Willits


There is a civil war going on in the Middle East over the Caliphate. The Caliphate is an unrealized united Arab Nation spanning all the lands that were previously conquered under Mohammed and his followers, stretching from Southern Spain to the edge of China; from Western Africa to South East Asia. It is the perceived dominion of Arab Islam. Its proponents are called Pan-Arabist, or Islamist, or Political Islam. It means a global nation that is united under Sharia (Islamic Religious Law).


“Islamist” is to be contrasted with “Islamic.” They are not the same. Islamic means Muslim; Islamist means Political Islam, which is a political ideology.


Such a nation has been a dream for hundreds of years. But it has been a pipe dream. No one has yet been strong enough to achieve it. The fighting to implement it began over five decades ago. Once established, it would be used to extend the sway of Islam from the Dar al Islam (Land of Islam) to the Dar al Harb (Land of War). This is how Muslims are taught to see the world, the Land of Islam vs. the Land of War. The Dar al Islam is currently any Muslim nation, but it wasn’t planned to be that way. The Dar al Islam was supposed to be a single nation, united. This nation was then supposed to conquer the rest of the world under the “one true religion.” And govern under Sharia. We should not be shocked that none of this sounds very familiar. For some reason it is not considered polite conversation.


During the 50s, 60s, and 70s there was violent competition between the Nasserites (socialist regimes usually backed by the Russians) and the Royals; a.k.a. a struggle between Socialist secularists and the religious monarchies. The remnants of the Nasserites can are still active (Mubarak in Egypt, the PLO, the Baathists in Syria, etc). And the monarchies can still be found in such places as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait etc. The Islamists had been fighting a civil war against all of these regimes (but mainly the secularist Nasserites) for decades.


Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s right hand man, is a perfect case study. Picture the video of Zawahiri that you see constantly when he was younger, in that prison cell yelling at the attending paparazzi, shaking his fists and condemning the Egyptian regime. That was their struggle. And it had nothing to do with America. Zawahiri was one of the most extreme and violent leaders, even at a young age. He was mystified, like many soon to be militants in the late fifties, by the works of extremists like Sayyid Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Civil War between the Muslim Brotherhood and Socialist Nasserite Egypt was one of the typical Jihads, true Islam against Infidels, in this case, Nasser.


General Gamal Abdel-Nasser had overthrown King Farouk in 1952, four years after Egypt’s loss of the 1948 war to Israel, to become president/dictator of Egypt. Nasser’s power was both mythical and iconic, that is until the 1967 Six Days’ War. When Egypt was defeated in 1967 the Jihadists were elated. Nasser was also shown to be weak just like his predecessor Farouk.


It is ironic that two Israeli victories gave heart to the Jihadists. They were fighting the same men the Israelis were fighting. And Israel’s victories showed them that Nasser could be beaten too, and gave the people an indication that the Jihadists might be able to defeat him. All that was needed was a show of weakness and they had that “show” in 1967.


The “Arab Street” was divided. On the one hand the Jihadists were despised along with their violently aggressive and constraining dogma. It was menacing. Almost everyone was afraid of them. On the other hand, they were fighting against the regimes that had failed the people time and again. And they were pious and committed, which was admired by the Arab man in the street.


The Arab Street backs a winner. They may complain and throw their arms up but in the end they back strength. They admire strength. They have been so traumatized over these many years that they are afraid to rise up against anything unless they are convinced it will work. The Jihadists didn’t have popular support, but if they could show themselves to be dominant, the people would fall in behind them and they could gain control of the entire Middle East.


Anwar Sadat followed Nasser, and he was somewhat sympathetic towards the Jihadists. He wasn’t interested in establishing a purely Islamic State, but he did let Jihadist Islam flourish and expand. It would prove to be a mistake. He saw the Nasserite Leftists as his principal danger. But ignoring the Islamic Militants would cost him his life. He thought he could quiet them by tacitly supporting them. It only served to swell their ranks and lead them to kill him.


When the Islamists murdered Sadat in 1981 they also ended their free existence within a regime they hated. Sadat’s right hand man, Hosni Mubarak succeeded Sadat and crushed the militant movement. Strength returned and the Jihad was quieted. Zawahiri was jailed, as were many of his comrades. When he got out, he fled to Afghanistan to fight against the Russians as a doctor.


Some may ask what any of this has to do with the USA. The answer is, virtually nothing. This was the Islamists’ civil war against other Muslims. The Infidels of that period were the Nasserites, and anyone who opposed the establishment of the Caliphate. That wouldn’t change until after Afghanistan.


The Monarchies had been somewhat free from this hatred and violence since they were ostensibly already Islamic States. Add to this the fact that they were terrified and willing to pay duties to the terrorists to convince them of their patronage. But the hatred extended to them as well because they weren’t quite the exact same sort of States that the Caliphates had in mind, therefore they would some day have to be slaughtered as well.


In a continuing effort to appease the blood thirst of the Jihadists, as well as for self-preservation and self-interest, the Monarchies initiated massive efforts (jihads) to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. That was the Mujahideen. The United States helped out in this effort. But we were not nearly as instrumental as many have been led to believe. Our efforts were actually miniscule in terms of finance, and logistical in terms of weapons. We did support them nonetheless.


Tens of thousands of young men went to Afghanistan to fight in the jihad. Most of them were religious fanatics or criminals the monarchies wanted to get rid of. The religious fanatics had gotten out of hand even for the likes of the Wahhabist Religious Regimes in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But they became hardened in battle in Afghanistan, and they beat the Russians.


Once the war was over, no one wanted them back. They were brutal killers before hand and now they were even worse. The Saudis abandoned them, and insisted we do the same. We weren’t in a position to support them and we didn’t really have any other use for them, so we left and came home. Many couldn’t return to their countries so they stayed in Afghanistan.


But they were changed. Their self-confidence had fully developed as a result of their victory over Russia. That, coupled with their religious extremism, was made even stronger by the fierce nature of Afghanistan’s version of Islam. They came to believe they really could establish the Caliphate. If they could defeat the Soviets, then whom could they not defeat? They believed the Americans were weak, as witnessed by their inability to maintain support at home and their unwillingness to fight after Vietnam and their seeming lack of conviction in fighting the Soviets. Who could possibly prevent the Jihadists from ruling (“uniting”) all of Islam?


Around the time of the Gulf War a schism occurred in the Jihad. Some believed that since the Soviets were gone, and since all the Arab target regimes were weak, (drawing strength only from Washington), that the war should be expanded to OUTSIDE the Middle East. This was controversial and many others opposed it. Men like Abdullah Azzam, a longtime mentor of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, wanted to spread the civil war globally.


The argument for expanding the war outside the Middle East was that the masses (in various Middle East countries) were against them taking control. But the Jihadists believed those masses could be convinced to take up arms if the regimes could be shattered and shown to be weak and susceptible to overthrow. It was a public relations campaign. They would kill three birds with one stone. If they could show the West unwilling to protect the regimes they needed to overthrow, they would be able to enlist public support since most Arabs resented the West. This would give them an early start on conquering the West later.


Enter the Gulf War. When Saddam invaded Kuwait he was beginning his move (once again) to establish his own dominance in the Middle East. (His first effort in this direction was his invasion of Iran in the early eighties.) The Jihadists were as opposed to this as the rest of the world. They (including Osama bin Laden) approached the Monarchies and told them that they would handle Saddam. They had beaten the Soviets, and they could certainly defeat Saddam. The Monarchies considered it and decided to look to the West instead. The royals correctly realized that if they backed Osama bin Laden as the tool to save Kuwait, they would be putting their own houses in the direct path of the murderous Jihadists. They knew America was far better for their self-interests than bin Laden would have been.


This infuriated the Jihadists. They were incensed that the Monarchies would look to the West, and allow Infidels into the Holy Land in order to defend it. The presence of Infidels in the land of Mecca and Medina was too much to stomach. The Jihadists turned on the Monarchies at that point and added them to the ever-growing list of Hypocrites and Unbelievers (which, in reality, simply meant that they brought their attack on them into the present instead of waiting for a date in the future).


The advocates for expansion of the war had won. Frustrated with not being able to enlist much public support or being able to impose Revolution, they concluded that the Regimes (and the people) would likely never fall so long as Washington was behind them. The Regimes couldn’t be shown to be weak unless Washington was shown to be weak.


They believed that Washington didn’t have the stomach for real fighting; it had been demonstrated since the Vietnam War that the only thing the US had the stomach for was lobbing a few missiles and some token expeditions.


“They would never interfere firmly enough to stop a revolution. They would never spill US blood to the extent it would be necessary to stop an Islamic Revolution.” If the Jihadists could show that they were the strongest horse, then they could get public support for their revolution and they would eventually win. If nothing else it would be apparent that no one was going to step in to save their enemies in the various Arab states, therefore they had better come along cheerfully or be slaughtered.


By this time Afghanistan was set up as the first installation of the Caliphate. The religious students could run it while the Jihadists used it as a training base for expansion of their war. It was hardly a good location for spreading the revolution, but it was remote enough to provide safety.


The entire Middle East was up for grabs if only the people could be convinced that no one could stop the movement. Even the Regimes themselves were on the fence. They couldn’t decide if they should continue to quietly pay-off the Jihadists in exchange for some level of protection or if they should actively fight them and risk overthrow. The only thing left was to see who had the Will to Win, and the determination to not be outlasted.


The story doesn't end there. That's where, for America, it begins.


At this point, “which US foreign policies were really egregious against Arabs or Muslims?” The attacks on American targets began in earnest in the late seventies and early eighties and stealthily added up to the point where over 800 Americans had been slaughtered by 9/11/2001. The attacks killed as few as 1, 2, 5, 17 etc. for a total of more than 300 while over 500 were killed in two major attacks, 243 in the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983 and 259 in 1988 in the Pan Am 747 disaster.


And then came 9/11/01 when the terrorists were able to kill 3,016 in one day. Our foreign policy up to that time had been not to over-react.


History challenges those who are saying today, "America needs to rethink its Foreign Policy." Perhaps we do but not in the way they think. Al Qaeda didn't talk much about US Foreign Policy before 9/11. They only started talking about it later when it was clear that such discussions could add fuel to the fire in trying to break down US public support for a war.


Osama bin Laden never did A THING for the Palestinians. He could care less about their struggle. Bin Laden had years to fight against the Israelis and what did he do during that time? Nothing. Al Qaeda training manuals were packed full of tactical information and ideological material. But none of them mentioned US Foreign Policy or contained a word about Israel. It was all about the Regimes in the Middle East.


If this was about oppressive imperial history and foreign policy, then why weren't the terrorists angry at Europe? No one has done more to foul up the Middle East than the Europeans. Even the beginnings of their Jihad war were fought against Europeans (Algeria etc). So why weren't they the focus of the Jihadist angst? Because this war is not about oppressive foreign policy, it is about Islamic Revolution.


All the other stuff is just spin, public relations, and posturing. It's rhetoric for the masses, who don't know any better.


The militants have studied well. They understand Vietnam and the impact it had on America. They know why America lost. There are a multitude of books at Amazon.com by former KGB operatives with details of how they planted anti-US propaganda with European Leftist organizations, and anti-war groups right in the US to turn public opinion against the war. And it worked.


Apparently it is easier to lash out at each other than to believe this conflict might have been something over which we have no control, and is happening for reasons that are virtually incomprehensible to us.


Insanity and evil are scary enemies.


We are easy targets for our own self inflicted derision and self-condemnation. The thinking of the element in the United States that says, “no war at any cost” goes something like this. “If we can convince ourselves and our fellow Americans that it's all our fault then we can stop worrying about it much sooner because we can force a ‘change in our foreign policy.’ Once we gain control of the White House it will quickly become a simple matter of convincing the terrorists that we will change. After all America’s overwhelming desire for oil is what is behind this conflict anyway.”


The real reasons for this war against Islamic terrorists are apparently too submerged and complicated for many of America’s homegrown detractors to grasp. They appear to be unable to accept the possibility that this war might be more of a historical conflict than just a “need for oil” or that it is anything other than another incident that merely requires us “to change our policies.”


Many Americans are having great difficulty understanding that this war isn’t about our policies toward the Middle East. It’s about an extended struggle of the ages that began between factions of the Arab world that most of us don’t recognize, and certainly didn’t cause.


Any thoughts on this article from some of the newest members to this board ?

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