Arab Way of War : Gaza Variation

Some years ago I presented to a number of classes at the Special Warfare School one of the subjects that has interested me greatly for half a century…the cultural aspect of war, specifically the Arab way of war. From my studies and observations on the ground for  many years, the impact of culture on warfare is of primary importance, and one which is all too often forgotten or drowned in a morass of stereotypes and wishful thinking.  A basic  and excellent source of the fateful error of stereotyping our enemies and overestimating ourselves is found in the book Knowing Ones Enemies by  Earnest R. May. Certainly the Americans  have been prime offenders in this regard.  Example:  Read Andrei Martyanov, LosingMilitary Supremacy. The recent pollyanna  statements  by Sec Def Lloyd Austin to a reporter is the most recent example of the heads in the sand  ( or elsewhere)of our military leadership. Endless repeating that we have the best army in the world does not make  it so. We remain unprepared for what is known as the Eastern way of War.

As Lawrence wrote the best war is one won without battles.  Using propaganda, seeding distrust among the enemy are part of this way of war.

To be clear the cultural impact on the martial capabilities of a nation or ethnic group have nothing do, with intelligence, courage, or genetics.

But to quote John Keegan, a foremost expert on this issue, ” culture is a prime determinant of the nature of warfare, as the history of its developments in Asia clearly demonstrates.”  The Arab way of war  is coincidental to the “eastern way of a way,  which is fundamental in studying the  tenets of warfare as presented by Sun Tsu, (The Art of War) and Miyamoto Musashi, The Books of Five Rings.

The Arab way of war can be summarized as greatly controlled by the political context, the employment  of evasion, indirection,  delaying tactics,, attrition, the use of standoff weapons, deception, the preference of defense over offense, and most of all  –  psychological warfare.

As seen in the recent Gaza war the non violent part of the Gaza war was the sparking of world-wide latent antisemitism,. Always present waiting for a a spark. Like so many totalitarian hate  movements it draws support from the radical right and, especially these days, the radical left.

The strengths of Arab militaries can be summarized as the low soldier maintenance required, the tolerance for austere living conditions, obedience to authority, the impact of Islam and  the spoken word to galvanize and motivate, their history of dug in dogged defense, and a history of ‘rising from the ashes.’

“War is a continuation of politics by other means,” thus wrote Carl Von Clausewitz. To the Arabs this is instinctive. They did not read that in a book. As Raphael Patai wrote, the Arabs are “conflict proneness,” the closer the neighbor the more prone the Arabs are to fight them. From the beginning of Arab history, with the absence of foreign enemies to fight,  internecine warfare was always present. As it was put by a Yemeni noble,” They (Arabs) fight first and ask later about the cause of the fight. We fight our own relatives, the brother would fight his own brother, the son his own father…” ( Raphael Patai  The Arab Mind.

the will of the nation is paramount say the Oriental strategists. It is more important than numbers or the weapons.

to a certain extent with the help of a clueless media, or one anti semitic in political orientation the picture of Israeli citizens cowering in bomb shelters created the narrative r desired by the Hamas leadership.

The Arabs, as I have written,  are far better at unconventional or irregular warfare. See https://americandiplomacy.web.unc.edu/2009/09/the-arab-as-insurgent/  and integral to that method of warfare is evasion and indirection.  Gazan terrorists had  limited territory from which to evade  Israeli attacks but made up for it with indirect warfare, using not strategic attacks to cripple the Israeli infrastructure and defeat the military in the field, but to instill fear in the civilian population population. The lack of lateral depth was compensated for by building a military infrastructure underground – which they did very well.

Focus on the will of the people.  Target the enemy  civilian population.

While delay is applicable to the Arab conventional way of war, the irregular is not except in the sense that the Gaza officials have always worked on their internal time schedules and inevitably find reasons to step back, delay or obfuscate the process from making decisions when they are in a negative political position.  As any sensible  Middle East historian will tell you the Hamas/ Muslim Brotherhood in an existential war with the Jewish state and simply delay any attempts to bring any lasting peace to this war-stricken region.  Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the primary ideology of Hamas, wrote that, “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.” Altruistic (or many not so ) Western  diplomats often spend inordinate amount of time  and effort trying to effect some eternal peace settlement to the Palestinian Issue. It is insolvable at present but  does provides a process  of interminable peace negotiations and Nobel Peace prize considerations.

Basically just an Islamic military cantonment area in which many people, would like to simply live their lives in some sort of peace but unlike to make their will known by a despotic government.

 

 

The factor of attrition is paramount to Gaza strategy…. the recent rocket war was then fourth Israeli Gaza war.  The Gaza Arabs in the true Eastern fashion employ the fight, peace, fight, peace strategy. Within Eastern warfare there is no place a permanent peace, only a lull. Moreover in the nature of Islamic warfare as depicted by Pakistani general S.K Malik in his famous piece, The Quranic Concept of War,  correctly states that between “infidels” and Muslims, there may be armistices but no permanent peace.So the current lull is simply a period of resupply and reconstitute.

Arabs have also always preferred the standoff method of war, using arrow, javelins,  and today missiles and rockets.  Victor David Hanson, a preeminent scholar compares the Western “Face to Face” warfare as exemplified by the Greeks, charging into the enemy with short swords to the Eastern way of war of deception, propaganda and often mass terrorist attacks  The Arab insurgency in Iraq was largely a war fought with improvised  explosive   devices and mines combined with long range sniping. The primary point is to wear down the enemy and induce war fatigue.

Deception is integral to the Arab way of war. The Gaza terror leadership  has  employed it very well. While Israeli forces claimed extensive damage to the underground infrastructure, other sources say that equally extensive system of tunnels were  created for the main purpose of drawing Israeli air attacks. Certainly the Israelis did not know the extent of the rocket weaponry and their ability to get above ground , fire the rockets, and return to their burrows. ( Quickness being a main principle of Oriental warfare.) Using apartment buildings as rocket launching sites were part of the deception program…and also of course very useful for prime propaganda, depicting Israeli “war crimes,” with the assistance of  the press,  which is an inordinate number of cases were very favorably disposed toward  Hamas.

Arab defense, usually fixed as was the Gaza defense structure, has historically been more effective than their offensive measures. Partly as a result  of the lack of individual initiative,  and  necessary dependance on higher  authority, fighting from fixed portions  is culturally more adaptable to Arab culture, as opposed  to fast moving offensive movements in which delegation of authority and individual initiative are prerequisites.

Arab Soldier Strengths

The Gaza fighters evidenced the strengths usually found in Arab warfare. Low soldier maintenance is a primacy one. No gyms,  craft beer establishments,  PX’s, cozy lodging or problems of hot meals. Particularly  in warfare waged from their homes and neighborhoods., in which they launch rockets and retire for a meal at home. They, like most Arab peasants and low income people, live close to the ground. They expect very little from their  government  and receive even less. In fact among  many Arabs the ultimate strategy is to remain  anonymous and unknown by the rulers. Unlike the Arabs rocket attacks on  Israel, where the dense urban and highly sophisticated infrastructure, is very vulnerable to relatively unsophisticated Arab terror attacks,  The Gaza urban is distinctly third  world and public utilities low grade. Also Israeli fear of world wide condemnation of their attacks  on a distinctly third world infrastructure. In short, unlike the Israelis , the Gaza people have much less to lose than the Israelis.

Soldiers for Allah

One other aspect of Arab culture works to their  benefit their in those war of attrition and that is then clan, tribal c societal structure. It would appear that the Hamas bosses are not overly concerned about the civilian casualties…… and basically  they are not….unless the casualties are members of their clan.

With a totally authoritarian, close to totalitarian government,  the upper class clans have little to fear from civilian insurrection.  The martyrs are glorified , always important feature of the Arab mentality, and become part of the propaganda effort,

The Arab conquest of the Middle East was met by many reverses but they returned even after calamitous defeats .

Finally as David Holden  of the Sunday  Times, observed  some years ago, the Arabs have an uncanny ability to rise from the ashes, just when one thinks they are vanquishes they arise again. Of course, as he also observed, when the Arabs are on the pinnacle of success, they tend to fall apart.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaza War Winds Down…For Now. Initial Take Aways

It is a a couple of days  the rocketing stopped and of course the gurus will begin  presenting their opinions on who won.  I have no idea because in this kind of war “winning” is not a clear cut term. There are some fairly clear preliminaries;

Hamas won the propaganda war– as is always the case in any Arab vs. Israeli war since 1973.  The Woke generation, in which anti-semitism has once again become fashionable, generated   protests and mob vandalism,  an activity to fill empty days made available by the streams of western  government money flowing into the pockets of idle youth: A youth poorly educated but arrogant in their abysmal ignorance.

 

As I have written before Israel and the Jewish community, in general, failed to counter this onslaught of informational zeitgeist.  They were still riding on a belief that the notion of a small state surrounded by implacable enemies would continue to evoke  international sympathy. It no long does. Moreover a number of Western Jews in their quest to be on the leading edge of every leftish movement, however destructive to their own people, joined in. In an older day they were called self-hating Jews- a term many of them hate, but not sure what else to call them. Other younger Jews seem to have retreated into the “Tikkun Olam” -repairing the world- a utopian religious world  view that crashes against  the harsh realities of the world we live in. It was not that Palestinian  and Arab propaganda was that effective…they simply hitched on a current  emotional current of the amygdala function of the brain …an imprinted instinctive anti-semitic feeling devoid of reason.

British Historian Paul Johnson on anti semitism: It is so peculiar that it deserves to be in a quite a different category. I would call it an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and deatructive

 

Israeli technical intelligence was, as usual, top notch, and giving some allowance for hyperbole, the Israelis knew where the arms were stored, the breadth  and extensiveness of “Underground Metro,” characteristics of their rockets, leadership, etc.But what they failed to assess correctly was then “cultural or sensing intelligence.”  The ability of the Hamas to carry on the war, their inroads into the Israeli Arab population, methods of attacking the all-important Gaza will to continue the fight. We made the same mistake in Vietnam assuming we could bomb North Vietnam into submission. Nor could we close down the Ho Chi Minh trail. Going back even further The British “terror ” bombing in WWII did not break the will of the German population to carry on the war. In summation air power alone has not and will not win wars. Its was somewhat surprising that Hamas did not offer any air defense whatsoever….that is somewhat of a mystery. Did they allow undefended air attacks as a propaganda weapon? they are capable off that in that the leadership is imperious to the suffering of their people, beyond  that of their families and clans, presumably well protected from air attacks.

A Palestinian man runs for cover during an Israeli air strike near the site of a tower building which was destroyed in earlier strikes, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City May 13,

It is a reaffirmation of the problems of a civilized society warring against an undeveloped-in some ways -primitive society.The intricate infrastructsure of advanced society  in which the people are accustomed to efficient and consistently available public services at war against a society or culture in which families or clans are expected to fare pretty much for themselves. Expectations of the public  for public services are low at best. Therefore attacks on the infrastructure  of the Gaza Strip have much less effect, psychologically than the rocket attacks on Israel. If you have little you have less to lose in a war of attrition.

Hamas

It is obvious also that the Israeli leadership had not psychologically conditioned  the people to then duration and intensity of the Hamas rockets attacks. In some areas there were no shelters available, and fear, despite the ” Iron Dome,” permeated within the Israeli society….. which is an entirely urban population. The  Gaza population is more likely to voice  boastful shouts  of victory, but  the real feeling of the Gaza people are not readily apparent, because it is a closed society in which the people have as much to fear from the authorities as the Israeli attacks. The carefully managed media reports form Gaza cannot be seen as reliable or honest in depicting the feelings of the people; another advantage of the authoritarian rule of that of a liberal democratic one.

Israeli bomb shelter

In summation, the HAMAS held most of the cards and played them well. However their future is likely be bleak as they must depend on outside support for almost everything, and as I wrote previously, Arab support was nil and being isolated, their life lines to Iran and Turkey are dependent on many factors none of which they control.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gaza War 2021 part2

Its been 8 days since the Hamas began  launching streams of rocket toward Israel  and the outcome  and how the warring parties will see the result is not clear yet, but there are lessons that are beginning to appear.

The myth of Arab unity  has never been more obvious. It would seem that with riots spreading  over Israel and Hamas firing over 3000 rockets , terrifying many Israeli citizens, and absorbing severe punishment doing  so, that Arab masses would push the regimes into becoming involved. But they have not, other than pro forma usual protests, and gibberish in the media. But even Hezbollah, also allies (and stooges) of the Iranians, have stayed out of it.  Even The West bank Palestinian leaders  have limited their support of the Gazan Hamas attacks.  What factors drive this reticence on the part of the other Arab nations? There are religious and political factors involved.

Hamas is an organization affiliated with the Muslim brotherhood, A radical Islamist  organization with followers throughout the Islamic  world. To be more specific they are Sunni and have deep seated antipathy toward the Shia. The population of Gaza is totally Sunni Arab and a small Shi’a organization was eradicated sometime ago by the security apparatus of  Gaza . Hamas support by Iran  is an an anomaly based  on Iranian imperial ambitions ( and the fact that no one else does except Turkey which is minimal)  but the Shi’a Hezbollah leadership in Lebanon, through constant bloodshed, have acquired power and ascendancy over the other sects of Lebanon  and are loath to see that imperiled by an injudicious adventure in Israel.

Once the most downtrodden community in Lebanon,  the Hezbollah leadership – by virtue of Justice coming from the barrel of a gun – have acquired  a preeminent position in Lebanon and subsequently wealth and power. They own hotels, resorts, department stores and fingers in every enterprise. Giving that up for the fantasy of  supporting Hamas, which probably  began the war with Israel without any notice given to Hezbollah, is hardly likely.  The last war between Hezbollah and Israel,  in 2006 made the Hezbollah the heroes of the Arab world, but Lebanese infrastructure was destroyed…. and in Lebanon the Hezbollah are not popular among other sects, Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Druze.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an anathema in Shi’a Iraq, as their continued  support of Saddam Hussein as a symbol of Arabism. The Muslim Brotherhood is the adamant enemy of the Syrian Alawi regime from 1976 until 1982. Egypt under General Al Sisi expelled the Muslim Brotherhood from his domain when he came to power. In Fact, excepting Turkey, and  Qatar ( as long as they are kept carefully monitored and controlled) the Muslim Brotherhood  is not welcome  anywhere in the Middle East.

The second factor which has come to my mind was brought about by the book I am reading,  The Watchman Fell Asleep by Uri Ban Joseph.It details the total failure of the  Israeli intelligence apparatus in the 73 war and I was struck how many factors involved seem to be present in the present war now. There was an intelligence failure. No doubt about that. Both the Israeli and American systems failed. Everyone knew that the Hamas had the rockets and were capable of firing them into Israel.But they deeply underestimated the ability to take severe punishment and keep firing. The idea that they would run out of rockets has not been accepted by many Israeli military sources. The Underground  world created by  HAMAS and its sophistication  was known but not its extent and how  the HAMAS insurgents capability to get to the top, fire rockets, and return to their underground burrows. Going on experience from the WWII German bombing survey, and from Vietnam, the air attacks will  never destroy Hamas capability.  The main point in the book is that the primary problem of the Israeli intelligence was the “conception,” imbedded IDF intelligence that  Egypt would never attack  without air superiority. The “conception” was implanted by a great deal of Israeli hubris as well…as is the present situation . As one Israeli writer dubbed it, the “dream world” of the Israelis elite opined  that all was well. The analysis  of the  CIA failed as well. Why is a mystery to me unless the current disarray within our intelligence community chasing chimeras of “White domestic terrorism,” or perhaps  more conspiratorial , the CIA knew and did not divulge to the Israelis to teach them a lesson ……and make them  more amenable to the obsessive Biden quest for another Iranian Nuclear agreement. Obviously if so it got out of control.

Thirdly,  despite some elements of the following,  This is not a war of nationalism, economics, land etc, as so many many of the gurus that infest our media would tell you. It is a religious war…a continuation of the war launched by the Prophet Mohammed and continued by the Islamists today.  The call of the HAMAS for Jihad is only one aspect of this more later……. InshAllah

Fourthly, main instigator of this war is Iran. They supplied the Hamas and have given critical support morally, spiritually, militarily, economically, and used their well funded propaganda outlets and sources in the West, especially the US, using the media such as The Washington Post, New York Times and many of the top media sources as basically propaganda conduits for Iran.

 

4.

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Why the Sudden Resurgence of HAMAS Attacks on Israel

As I write this Iranian built rockets are being fired in huge quantities from the Gaza Strip into Israel and has not abated despite Israeli retaliation which is capable of leveling Gaza. Why is the Hamas leadership offering up their people for sacrifice for the greater good of Iran? To cut to the chase an obsession of the Biden regime is to secure some sort of Nuclear  deal II with the Iranian Military/imperialist  regime. Why they want this remains  a mystery to anyone who understands Middle Eastern power politics. No one even tries to make a case for it anymore. More about that in a later post.

In order to obtain that agreement the Biden regime must get at least Israeli acquiescence. Iran cannot accept an Israeli opting out of the agreement. So Iran has given the green light to the Gazan Iranian puppets to harass Israel until the leadership caves in. Who gave the Iranians the tacit green light to begin this terroristic campaign? No one who understands the intricacies of Iranian power projection thinks they would instigate this without big power approval.

A Kurdish philosopher wrote; You have never had any dealing with them ( Persians). Therefore you allow yourselves to  be lulled into a false sense of security by their flattering expressions and winning and amiable manners. but I have lived among them and have learned the value of what they say. Their weapons are such as you have never  been accustomed to meet in battle. Instead theirs are treachery, deceit, falsehood. Lying is there national vice.

In summary there is no doubt in my mind based on about 50 years of experience in Middle Eastern political -military affairs that the Bidden foreign policy amateurs  has given the the Iranian  tacit approval to create tremendous pressure on Israel to cave in.

The Iranian arc

Will they? If they do one can mark this date as the beginning of the Israeli slide to oblivion. This has been and will remain an existentialist war.

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How the “Woke” Ideology Subverts National Security

Recently two  extraordinarily news items have surfaced to illustrate how our national security is being undermined by a leftist Elite Establishment  that controls the levers of power through their control of the media, the deep state,  particularly the power of taxation and intelligence, academia and the education system.

The first one is an Al Qaeda  Islamist exhortation to use domestic disturbances in the West to infiltrate  create havoc and target law enforcement officers. It approach eared on the server telegram, often used by terror groups. It was captured, translated from Arabic and put out by the MEMRI  organization. One excerpt from the article is below: It is from an Al-Qaeda  on line magazine called the “Wolves of Manhattan.”

https://www.memri.org/jttm/pro-al-qaeda-wolves-manhattan-magazine-offers-bitcoin-anyone-killing-police-officers-western

“The article provides tips on which kinds of protests are easier and more effective to infiltrate, saying that a lone wolf should choose a “massive chaotic protest” that take places daily and lasts for a long time, like post-election protests in the U.S. or protests by France’s yellow vests.

The article also recommends that lone wolves choose a protest taking place at night so that it will be easier for them to escape or hide their identity.

Discussing how lone wolves can exploit protests, the article suggests that they disguise themselves as protesters and pretend to have similar views in order to infiltrate the protesters and steer them to violent actions, such as car ramming.

The article warns the lone wolf against stabbing protesters, since this could alert others to his motive and make it easier for them to capture or beat him. Instead, it recommends that the lone wolf hire a “militiaman,” or “mercenary” to do the car ramming.

“This way, you will kill a large number of Crusaders because they are all gathered. Besides, this act will have other implications, as you can incite the protesters against the police, whom you will claim to be the ones who sent this man to ram them. You will be able to enrage the protesters to steer them to fight with the police,” said the article.

It also encourages lone wolves to take advantage of the civil unrest in some countries to attack police officers. Elaborating on this, the article argues that this is easy, as the lone wolf can exploit the angry protesters, whom it describes as “Crusaders,” and steer them towards attacking the police.

my inserts

In France in the past week an Islamist terrorist followed a female police officer into the police station and killed her with a knife. No doubt another mentally unbalanced person. Strange how Islamist killers are always “mentally disturbed.” In a way anyone who is an Islamist is mentally disturbed. But he is still responsible for his actions.

Biden in his speech to congress  made it clear that something called “white supremacy” is a greater threat than Islamism. He, like every one else, is unable to define “white supremacy” as a threat.  Is it an attitude, a feeling, a thought? If a person  does not act on it how do you counter it? An article in the latest issue of Perspectives on Terrorism,  entitled “QAnon: Radical Opinion Vs Radical Action”  makes the excellent  point that trying to eradicate radicalism using “thought police” as in censoring free speech only increases and nutures the growth of radicalism.   But the elite Establishment oligarchs that control our society are poorly educated in history.

The article continues

In addition, the article asks the lone wolf to take advantage of the protests to destroy and vandalize private property if he cannot gain access to public property. “If you cannot reach public property, target private property, vandalize cars, shops, and stands. Remember that all of the Crusaders are jointly with their government in war against Islam,” it said.

It also highlights another advantage in this kind of protest, saying that lone wolves can bring knives and Molotov cocktail without raising suspicions. Additionally, laws concerning rioters are not harsh and often do not impose penalties on violent protesters such as those imposed on lone wolves, said the article. “Everyone [during a protest] is violating the law so if you got arrested – Allah forbid – your sentence will be different from that of a lone wolf.”

The article further explains that “timing” is the most important factor when it comes to attacking the police. It adds that lone wolves should wait for an opportunity to present itself, such as when there is a fight between a protester and a police officer, and states that it is better in such cases to use Molotov cocktails than knives. “Particularly when the police officer is the one who started the fight. In such a case, it is the right opportunity for you to kill him and become a hero in the eyes of the protesters and even to encourage them to commit acts similar to yours,” said the article.”

It goes on to urge followers to attack police officers offering 60$ for a verified kill of a police officer in Bitcoin. Only non Muslims are eligible however. Apparently Muslims kill for the nobility it confers.

So how many people have seen the very critical information? Very few. In fact I have found it referred to in only one small on line periodical. The question is why? I would say because it is not part of the “woke” leftist elite Establishment  narratives.e., that the riots and vandalism are part of a fight for “social Justice” and anything which detracts from that ideological theme, however disquieting and important, must be silenced.

Maj Hassan– a real terrorist. No one wanted to report him because of being labeled an Islamophobe.

In fact in the West Point Combatting Terrorism Center (CTC) their most recent article is another tilting at windmills article gravely warning of the “extremist right wing terrorism.” It has become the the terrorism story de jour, spinning left wing opinion pieces as fact. One has to look hard to find right-wing extremist events, unless the now famous 6 Jan-  A sort of conservative social justice protest-  is counted….in which the only person killed was an unarmed woman protestor. Don’t like my wording?  I guess the shoe is on the other foot.

The really dangerous aspect of these type stories is that the Establishment Elite, trying  to destroy dissenting thought, are in fact  creating the “monster” that aim to liquidate.

 

Bosom buddies or so Kerry thought> The betrayer gets betrayed

The second news event is that of the John Kerry betrayal of our ally, Israeli’s military secrets, spilling the beans to his buddy, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javid Zarif, on Israeli  targeting of Iranian military sites. Of course, the Elite Establishment Press and Media immediately tried to create another version and concentrate on the supposed division within the Iranian government. That may be but one thing for sure; Dealing with Iran without force is imbecilic. The lengths the media is going through to  spin it toward a favorable reason for negotiating with the Iranian regime is quite humorous actually. I keep wondering …what do the Iranians have on the Obama- Biden oligarchs that keep them begging at the Iranian table?

 

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Israel’s Greatest Blunder

Lyn Julius is the daughter of Iraqi-Jewish parents and has written  a most remarkable book, entitled Uprooted: How 3000 years of Jewish Civilization in the Arab World Vanished Overnight. In one small portion of the book she uses the headline above.

Then crux of the argument as  she explained it is as follows,”Given the centrality  of the refugee issue to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the journalist and writer Ari Schwartz has labeled Israel’s  prolonged silence ‘incomprehensible’. Tommy Lapid ,who served as justice minister, recognized the long term damage from Israel’s failure to make an issue of Jewish refugees; it has helped perpetuate the myth that the Jews were the aggressors and dispossessors, and not the other way around, with all that implies for Israel’s legitimacy. He has described the failure to play the refugee card  as one of the greatest blunders in the state’s history.”

The facts are these: more than 99% of the Arab World’s Jews have fled to other parts of the world. 650,000 to Israel and 200, 000 to the West. at one time- about 60years ago, 10% of the world’s Jews lived in the Arab World. One of the largest Jewish populated cities in the world was Baghdad. They were evicted or fled from fear of further pogroms.

This subject was brought to mind by the evacuation of the remaining handful of Jews of Yemen this past month.- a place that Jews had lived in for 3000 years.

Jews of Yemen

Why did the usually quick thinking Israelis miss this vital information/propaganda issue ?

Miss Julius gives three main treasons. First  the Israelis tend to  be a more pragmatic people in opposition to the more animated and romantic heroic narrative of the Arabs.  Raphael Patai ( The Arab Mind)  explains  this part of Arab person personality  with extreme emotions and proclivity for fantasy as well as the lure of exaggeration in the language.  This has been reinforced the Arabs by constant repetition  and help from anti-semitic, anti zionist  radical left and  right wing journalists, academics  and useful fools who have kept the Palestinian refugee issue in the spotlight, overshadowing the fact that Jews, Kurds, Greeks, and especially the Armenians have also been expelled under horrible conditions from Islamic countries. But this rarely makes the Middle East guru’s writings. Nor does it obviate the fact that Christianity, once the main Abrahamic  religion of the Middle East, has been virtually extinguished as well.

Jews of Morocco

Secondly the Israeli foreign office has been reticent in bringing up the Palestinian refugee problems.——- a non starter in that that the Palestinian refugee issue bubbles up everywhere, especially among the dominant left wing academics, who control the narrative,  regardless whether the Israelis exodus from Muslim Lands is exposed or not.

Thirdly the Israelis basically solved their problem by accepting the Arab World Jewish refugees…not always happily… but they did. The Arabs on the other hand have resisted integrating Palestinians into their countries, often using the excuse that if they did so the Palestinians would forget their homeland. The Palestinians have reciprocated in kind, fomenting civil war in Lebanon and Jordan and colluding with invading Iraqis in Kuwait. No where in the Arab World are the Palestinians trusted as a community. Ironically it is the West , especially the United States, that provides the majority of aid to Palestinian refugees. For which they get little if any credit.

I would give another reason. When I use to visit my wife-to-be in Brooklyn NY in the early sixties, Zionist activism was everywhere evident with banners across the Streets urging the purchase of Israeli war bonds. The Jewish presence was overwhelming, with many subway riders reading Yiddish language newspapers.  The  Jews  apparently believed this attitude would last forever- the small state struggling valiantly against a monolithic Islamic world bent on their destruction. They were wrong.

Jews of Baghdad at one time the most populous Jewish cities in the world

Then came the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. It was a humiliation for the Arabs and from not came the concept of the “Super Jew”- a small state defeating the huge, oil rich, populous Arab World. With this came a great deal of Israeli hubris leading to the” near thing” of the Israeli victory in 1973

Today the small state of Israel surrounded by a hostile population, with about 15% of the  general  population, mostly Arab,   generally hostile  as well,  has become the bete noire  of the “woke generation, ”  a  Western generation of spoiled forever adolescents, indoctrinated by uneducated academics, that evidences an embedded theme that the hated Western Civilization includes Israel as a prime example of a colonizing state. One finds a surprising number of young Western Jews who have adopted this view as well.

jews of Egypt

Today as I write this there are riots and fights between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, with liberal Jewish voices  plaintively asking on TV what can be done to change this pervasive attitude of ethnic  hatred.  In the short run very little, which is one reason  I see the current establishment of relationships with Arab states  by Israel with some skepticism.

 

It has been a common myth perpetuated by Western islamic academicians that the Jews indigenous to the Middle East lived a relatively peaceful life tolerated by their Muslim neighbors.. As Bernard Lewis has written , in relation to the murderous policies toward Jews in the Western world which culminated in the holocaust, that is true, but it was only a small part of the overall picture. Jews and Christians have never been first class citizens in the Arab World. At best they were tolerated, and under the Islamic rule acquired the submissive attitude necessary for survival  that Ibn Khaldun so well captured.

Egyptisn Jewish actress Naja Ibrahim

Reading the books by Bat Ye’or,  the most detailed historian on the Jews of the Arab World, the lot of Jews and Christians was always fraught with uncertainty as any disturbance was liable to set off a pogrom.

Jewish Egyptian actress Leila Murad

However the real systematic expulsion and persecution of the Jews began with the advent of Arab Nationalism, an ideology based on an inchoate socialistic and racist doctrine. Regrettably it was partially fanned by the West, especially the British to counteract the Communist inroads into the Middle East.

Haj Husseini with his mentor Herr Hitler. My friend and great Middle East writer, Barry Rubin, wrote that Haj Husseini urged Hitler to to carry out the most extreme measures against the Jews.

Not so strangely, the Middle Eastern Jews often referred to as “Mizrahi”, as opposed to the “Ashkenazi”  Jews Europe, have a distinctly Oriental culture and have not always had an easy time conforming to the Western culture of the Ashkenazi ,which has defined Israel.One can find many  Jewish web sites nostalgically lamenting their lost paradise of their lives in Iraq or Egypt.

Jewish Egyptian singer Najwa Salem

But also not surprising, despite a lot of Academic nonsense abut the commonality of the Mizrahi Jews to the Arabs, the hatred of the Mizrahi toward the Arabs, is often the most intense. This is not at all surprising considering their treatment.

When we were in Egypt, the US embassy personnel use to do short weekends  at the Faroun house in Alexandria. It formerly belonged  to a wealthy Jewish family that had lived in Egypt for hundreds of years. Even the silverware was still there as the Jews were expelled with generally one suitcase and the clothes on their back. In places like Iraq and Syria they were lucky to escape with their lives.

The Israelis have missed a huge opportunity to harp on this to counter the unceasing Palestinian tales of exile.

 

 

 

‘or

 

 

 

 

 

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The Intrigue in the Harem

 

The is is pure conjecture on my part but based on 1400 years of Islamic history and the influence of women, beginning with the story of Aisha( read After the Prophet by Lesley Hazelton) and her influence on the Prophet Mohammed continuing through the Ommayad and Abbasid empires, to the Ottoman Empire and beyond. The intrigues in the Harem were real and often bloody in consequence. The desire of women to live through the success of their sons- ensuring he became the Sultan or Caliph  was monumental and ever present. So as the gurus of Middle East reporting concentrate on foreign contacts, the era ribal and ideological aspects of the attempted coup, I think my view is the correct one.

Queen Noor. Mother of x-crown prince, prince Hamzeh.

Women in King Hussein’s Life. Intrigue in the Palace

 

Queen Rania mother of new Crown Prince Hussein

 

Recently it has been disclosed that the intrigue in the palace has taken on a dangerous phase. Apparently over 20 people, including a former minister close to the  King Abdullah government, have been arrested to head off an imminent coup. It seems, despite royal refutations,  that the former crown prince, Prince  Hamzeh bin Hussein  was in someway involved. Read my previous blog post above for a rundown on the Royal family and the mostly very ambitious women who have….in my opinion at least….brought about this crisis. Hamzeh, the son of King Hussein and the lovely, and very ambitious Queen Noor, was demoted from Crown Prince after being in that position for 4 years. King Abdullah , the son of King Hussein and his second wife, Princess Muna ( she being British was not considered genetically qualified to be designated queen, however,  Queen Noor despite being an American,  was the daughter of a Syrian American and therefore had the right bloodlines.) These things get complicated!!!

King Abdullah and his Palestinian wife, Rania, ( who has acquired a reputation as somewhat of a spendthrift) have gone through number of crises, particularly economic, and with half the population ( the Palestinians) considered 0f doubtful loyalty, and with dissension  even among his core supporters within the tribes, king Abdullah has done better than many thought.  He also has had to contend with a robust Muslim Brotherhood especially among the Muslim Brotherhood and he  is not then smartest guy around.  But he has had the support of the West and worked amicably with Israeli leaders.

The son of King Abdullah and Rania,  Crown Prince  Hussein bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Talal, was designated the Crown Prince in 2009, replacing Hamzeh.  The crown prince is not married. According to his instagram, he enjoys reading playing football, cooking, motorcycling and playing the Guitar.

It should be remembered that in a shocker, the late King Hussein replaced his brother, Prince Hassan, who had been the crown Prince for years, just days before he died with the present  King Abdullah. Prince Hassan gracefully exited stage left although his Pakistani wife was reported as being  very upset. I have to wonder how much Queen Noor had  to do with that last minute decision. I would say quite a bit.

Always look for the influence of wives and especially mothers in the turmoil in the Middle East

additional info. Very good article on the coup attempt in Jordan by the analytical firm MEMRI. This is is the overt explanation and mine is what propelled it.

https://www.memri.org/reports/jordans-prince-hamzah-bin-hussein-caught-between-accusations-he-was-planning-coup-and

 

 

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International Women’s Day and the Middle East

the illusion of a one world

Below is part of the boilerplate from the United Nations  web site on International women’s day.

“Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.

This year’s theme for the International Day,”Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world“, celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Women in public life, equal participation in decision making“,and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs…… ”

Jihan Sadat opined that the rage for wearing the hijab is similar to teenagers wearing jeans with holes in the knees. Fashion not religion?

Well……. my take on the women’s day is that the world center of hypocrisy, i.e. the United Nations….. is probably the last place to look for any authentic boost for women’s rights. For instance look who is on the Human Rights Council, (HRC) Bahrain, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Gabon, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan etc etc.

Works for covid too

There can be little doubt that  the Middle East  is near the bottom of any authentic comparison of women’s rights and  their  reach for equality….at least in terms of the Western  concept of equality . This is an important point because the Fundamentalist Islamic clerics will say you are, in effect, comparing apples and oranges.  They would say our Islamic world cannot be juxtaposed next to the western world. We do not want to be part of the materialistic, immoral, corrupt Western world. For instance—-this is something I heard often in the Arab World…..our women  happily trade  your idea of freedom for the safety and security of the Islamic world. Not quite true actually. Many  Muslim women, for instance, wear the Islamic women’s headdress to avoid harassment by predatory males. In Cairo, there are separate cars on the underground for females because even the headdress and the long dress (abaya)  and is not quite enough to stop the groping.

I see these in northern Virginia quite often even before the China virus

head to foot.popular with the Mullahs of Iran

with this the ladies can check out the guys without being detected

 

If you do believe there are  certain universal rights of man/womenkind  applicable everywhere then one has to examine why the usually deplorable condition of women continues to exist in the Arab Muslim world ( Ill stick to the Arab Islamic world because I’m not comfortable writing about Indonesia  and South Asia.)  I see a number of factors.

What I am writing about here is not applicable across the board and varies from country to country, and class by class. But I will say that these  factors  exist in some degree across the board, in every Islamic country and every country.

a bit of fashion on this one

Most Muslim women are brainwashed from birth to accept an inferior status in life.It is part of the essence of their religion. Many examples are in the Quran. One example; Surah iv “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women)...   Non Muslim women…. especially those not of the book.( Christians, Jews)… (but in reality any not meeting the Ibn Tamiya status of a true Muslim  women ) taken in war are considered  as spoils of war. One  example the horrendous fate of the Yezidi women taken captive  by the predators of the ISIS. The frequent rejoinder to that…frequently used to sugar coat this during the Obama administration and apparently again by the Biden officials…. is that these ISIS were not “real Muslims.”  The 9/11 terrorists were all termed this way as are all Islamic terrorist actions, or alternately with “mental problems.”

These arguments were  shredded by he Kuwaiti official Saad bin Tafla Ajami in an article   (“We Are All ISIS”) reproduced in Elham Manea’s book The Perils of non Violent Islamism. Ajami reminded the readers that…” ISIS did not come from another planet. It is not a product of the infidel West or a bygone orient.No! the truth that we cannot deny is that ISIS learned from our schools, prayed in our mosques, listened to our media and our religious platforms, read from our books, and references, and followed fatwas (religious edicts) we produced.” Nir Rosen,  wrote a number of books (and articles in radical left wing periodicals like Mother Jones, and the Socialist Worker)  about the insurgents fighting Americans troops in Iraq. He spent  a lot of time with Iraqi Islamists,  and recorded their attitude succinctly in terms of scrupulously observing the doctrine of the Quran:  they were not “bad” Muslims…. but were actually the best and most righteous..certainly in their view.

It’s rather comical how Western self-appointed secular liberal  “experts” have become the judges of who qualifies as a good Muslim.  As the author, Yasmine Mohammed, wrote in her book Unveiled, her decision to write was prompted by the  appearance of Ben Affleck on the Bill Maher show denouncing  the racist appellations  being applied to Muslims  while at the same time he was promoting  and starring in  movies denigrating Christianity- A very common feature of Hollywood these days.

Iranian head to feet style preferred by the mullahs But no lipstic

In her book Yasmine details how her family constantly laid the guilt trip on her, …shaming the family, her destination to hell being a certainty, controlling  her life decisions, using the Western liberal social  environment to steal money from the taxpayers.etc. etc. Example: marrying a  widowed second wife with a child using an Islamic cleric to marry them, and then drawing government money sent to his wife as a single mother.

Firstly, the  Islamic women who are sucked into the vortex of Islamism-despite the inbred misogyny  of Islamism- are a consequence of their  imprinted inferior status but also by their desire to be something besides a baby  factory and appendage to their husband. The Islamists promise them a honored place in society. More over  the vast corruption endemic in the  Arab world has diminished any semblance of a positive attitude toward a Western parliamentary democracy in the minds of almost everyone.  This attitude is reinforced by the sleaze Hollywood churns out  and Western professors who go to teach in Muslim countries and reinforce the view of the United States as repository of deplorable Islamophobes.

Some years ago there were  quasi free elections in Bahrain with a few women running for office. The Western observers were surprised when most women voted for Islamist fundamentalists. Seemingly it didn’t make sense. Well, it does if you are a woman who has been  indoctrinated to do as you are told by your brothers and fathers, and firmly believe  you are carrying out the  duties and role in life allotted to you by God. If you believe, as a woman, you are congenitally incapable of being involved in affairs of the State and that women who put themselves out there in the public eye are sluts …well why would you vote for a woman?

Secondly nothing is more destructive  to the status of women in the Arab/Muslim world  than the shame factor. As the sociologists put it, this is a shame society in which your self respect is governed by your reputation among your neighbors. And the most severe damage to your reputation is a transgression of sexual mores by a woman of your family. In the argument of Nature vs Nurture, the Arab Muslims are definitely in the nature camp. Your bloodlines and genes  determine who you are. Thus a women who allegedly violates sexual norms, or appears to, casts shame not only on herself, but more importantly on the entire family. Men are much less ,if at all, blemished by sexual license.  This anxiety of sexual impurity has led to the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FMG), supposedly to lessen the temptation of young women to engage in illicit sex. It is far more widespread among the middle class, especially in Egypt, that most would care to admit.

Thirdly another problem is the imbecilic attitude of the Western  intellectual elite, and ego driven celebrities like Ben Affleck, who act as facilitators for Islamist misogyny and religious /ethnic hatreds. It is the liberal/ leftist  form of racism. Their attitude is…….. well who are we to question their culture?  Apparently the Islamists are people from Mars and not governed by any universal laws of  common humanity. Somehow the Islamists have become the new radical chic.

Fourthly Islamism has become fashionable among the illuminati and cognoscenti. As part of the “informed class” you distance  yourself away from the hoi polloi by  a more “balanced” view of the embedded  Islamist hatreds by blaming the usual culprits,  colonialism, imperialism, the Palestinian problem on Western malevolence.  While roundly condemning the foibles and injustices of Christianity, these same “intellectuals” have only tepid objections to Islamist mass slaughter. Their view is like the view depicted in the movie “Killing Fields” to wit; It was American bombing that drove the Cambodian Communists crazy and led to the genocide of the people. Like wise in the Middle East it is the Palestine issue,  invasion of Iraq etc etc. that led to continuing murderous outrages by Islamists perpetrated in the West and Israel, and of course against their own people.

how to be fashionable and wear a hijab. But not in most Arab/muslim countries

Fifthly, The Western civilization and Christian world presently provides a very poor alternative to the Islamist world. A  Western “woke” generation that disparages their history and civilization hardly provides an optimistic and positive example. Christianity, in the words of one priest, has evolved from the ten commandments to the ten suggestions. Spiritual commitments have devolved into occasional feel good appearances at  soup kitchens.  The  slide of  United States  society toward  toward a rootless, amoral,  hedonistic, and  narcissistic  culture has been well documented by Christopher Lasch in the Revolt of the Elites,  and The Culture of Narcissism. Nothing can offer more graphic testimony to that  than the assembly  line abortion  industry, which softened natural human distaste for killing children by subsuming it into  “social justice”.   You can be ostracized for using a “hateful term” but lauded for exterminating your unborn child.  Why would this be an acceptable  to Muslim women  wishing to have a more spiritual life than the dry tedious, and overwhelming weight of Islamic prescriptions and proscriptions?  Just one example of this is the massive  Islamic regulations on toilet etiquette or initiation of sex.  Most of the burden falls on women.

whats’ your sign

My first and very impressionable incident that stuck in my memory regarding gender equality, happened in 1968 in the Gulf. I was out with Trucial Oman scouts on a patrol and we stopped in a bedu village. One of the British SAS troops with us gave an apple to a cute little girl. Promptly the father slapped the girl and took the apple away and gave it to her brother. Things have changed around the edges of gender issues, but not in substance nor among the  last majority of the people.

Two other books to read other than the two I have previously mentioned are Beyond The Veil by Fatima Mernisi and In the Land of the Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmad

 

 

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Christianity in The Middle East and The Pope’s Visit to Iraq

A version of the article below was published some time ago in the Jewish World Review. I was  prompted to write something by the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq and historic meeting  with the Shi’a Marja , and Grand Ayatollah, Sayyid al Husseini  Al Sistani, who in the eyes of most Iraqi  Shi’a, is the highest ranking Ayatollah in the world wide Shi’a community. He was born an Iranian but has always been seen as the Iraqi claim to the highest Shi’a cleric. He also espouses the “quietist” version of Shi’a Islam, e.g. religious leaders should stay out of politics as opposed to the variety of Shiism espoused by the Iranian clerics.

It is illustrative of the basic Christian problem in the Islamic world that in Iraq, the vast majority of the Iraqi Christians who turned out to see the Pope are Chaldeans, who accept the authority of the Catholic Church and the Pope of Rome. the many other Christians of Iraq, called the Assyrians, follow the eastern Christian rite. They are Nestorians. They are mostly village people compared to the more sophisticated and urban Chaldeans. They have  had a particularly  sad history at the hands of the Iraqi government, politician-generals like Bakr Sidqi al Askari, who became a national hero by massacring  Assyrian civilians in the thirties.

 

Something of the Popes Visit is here.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE CHRISTIANS of THE MIDDLE EAST

I was discussing the sad plight of the Christians of the Middle East a few months ago with a Lebanese friend who recited a familiar reason for the near extinction of the Christian communities of the Middle East. The basic reason, he insisted, was the Church teaching on “turning the other cheek.” In the face of militant Islam of the Arab expansionist era, the aggressive Muslims overwhelmed passive Christian communities,  who assumed  dhimmi status, that of a second class citizen. Accordingly, they gradually assimilated or emigrated to non – Muslim lands. As the story goes, the battle of Yarmuk presaged the fate of the Christian Byzantine Empire and  from there on, Islamic success brought more successes with many Christian communities switching sides at critical times.  For example 12000 Christian warriors  switched sides at the battle of Yarmuk,  a Islamic victory which set in motion the eventual  diminution of Christians to Dhimmi status. ( according to google  “protected status,”  but in reality second class citizens with restricted political and social rights).

Below we see the splits that rendered the Christian church apart,  mostly on debates on the nature of Christ…. fully human, fully divine or God in There persons. many heresies ripped apart Christianity, gnosticism, monasticism, and Arianism. Hillaire Belloc  saw Islam as a Christian heresy

The slides below are from a class I presented at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School

The various factions of Christianity failed to unite at the councils of doctrine.
The Christian communities city continues to splinter and into the 19th century as Protestant missionaries came to the Islamic world. They failed to convert many Muslims but rather concentrated on converting Catholic Christians to Protestantism , adding further divisions within the Church.

 

The ill fated Crusades, ostensibly to regain the holy land from Islam, exemplified the basic deadly dichotomy of Christian East and West . “ Mutinous soldiers” of the fourth crusade (1204), ostensibly on the way to regain the holy land from  Muslims,  attacked and   sacked Constantinople, the Christian capitol of the Byzantine Empire. The lands of the longest lasting empire in history were divided up among the victors and subsequently  the Byzantine Empire was too weak to withstand the unceasing expansionism of the  Muslim Ottoman Empire.  The destruction of Constantinople by Christians of the West really defines the basic weakness of Christianity of both West and East; they were always divided and at each others throat.  The Christians have always been adept  at trying to ascertain how many angels dance on the head of a pin. It was said that the bishops of  Constantinople  were debating this issue as the Muslim warriors were at the gates of the City. The separation of the East and West church in 1054 came about principally over the issue of leadership, but the Western Church began to view the Eastern Church as idolatrous, providing a veneer of religious motivation for the sack of Constantinople.  After that the Christian community began to splinter into many communities, at times persecuting one another.  An example of this was the Greek Byzantine persecution of the adherents of the Latin Church driven into the mountains of Lebanon, now known as Maronites.

Pope Urban urging Christian knights of Europe to reclaim the Holy land from the infidels. Launching the first crusade in 1095.

 

In the modern era I observed up close the disintegration of the Christian communities and their pathetic efforts to survive in a world in which they are, at best, only tolerated. In every surge of Islamic fervor, such as the brutal Islamic State expulsion of Christians, they have been subject to depredations.

The Latin state set up by the Crusaders I 1095-1291.

 

One would think that the Christian communities, driven apart by divisive opinions on the nature of Christ, with complex and often obscure inscrutable theological arguments, would band together to maintain their survival, but they do not and never have. Moreover they tend not to feel any commonality with other non-Christian minorities in the Islamic world, such as the Jewish, Yezidi, and Sabeans, and have fought bloody wars with the Druze minority.

I found that many Eastern Christians had antipathy to Judaism  and Jews similar to that of the Muslims. This is, at least partially, a result of the often fruitless, but totally understandable, attempts of the Christian clergy to curry favor within their Muslim communities by finding some commonality. An egregious example of this happened in 2010 Baghdad when a number of Chaldean Catholic churches were attacked, and the Church leaders blamed Zionists.  This sort of pathetic attempts to avoid blaming Muslim extremists only makes them seem weaker and somewhat ridiculous. It was Ibn Khaldun who wrote that subjugated people under the yoke of tyranny tend to acquire characteristics of “ insincerity and trickery.” So it has become for Christians in the Arab world.

It was wonderful to see the Pope’s visit to Iraq but I do not think much will change and the Middle East will continue to empty of its original Christian peoples. Islamist triumphalists will continue to drive the few remaining Christians from their ancient homelands.

Two recent books, The Perils of Non Violent Islamism by Elham Manea and Unveiled by Yasmine Mohammed  detail the perfidious betrayal of  Christians in the Middle East by Western liberals and Leftists.  It is a suffocating story of arrogance and ignorance.

 

 

In Lebanon, the bloody civil war described by the media as a war between Christians and Muslims,  but in fact, most Armenian Christians and Greek Orthodox avoided taking part. At the end of the Lebanese civil war the Maronites were reduced to killing each other.  This war revealed another cleavage in the Christian community; an ethnic division added to the religious one, as Greek Orthodox consider themselves Arabs while the Egyptian Copts, Armenians, and Maronites do not.

 

Two other factors have also diminished the Christian communities of the Arab world. One is the proclivity to seek the protection of despots as shelter against Muslim hostility. Thus Christian communities have supported Saddam, Assad, and Mubarak. Of course when they go down, enmity for the Christians increase.

 

Secondly the Western powers have manipulated the Christians of the Middle East for their own purposes. The British used the Assyrian Christians in Iraq as an auxiliary force to maintain themselves in power, with tragic consequences for the Assyrian people as the British lost control. In the Levant the French sought to maintain a Maronite state to secure their empire after WWI but then greedily included the heavily Muslim Bekaa valley as part of Lebanon, which has had the sad result for the Christians losing their controlling status in Lebanon. Western Protestant missionaries came to the East, not to convert Muslims, but convert Eastern Christians to Protestantism, adding another dimension to their disunity.  Today as their numbers continue to dwindle., the   secular West has essentially lost interest in the plight of the Christians in the Near East.

 

Nothing so illustrates the disunity of the Christians more than the state of the most sacred of Christian sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Six Christian denominations claim residence, but unable to agree on who should maintain the key and open the Church, the Church elders depend on two Muslim families to do so.

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Iranian motives Exposed

The Mullah Islamist regime lives and breathes on hate..hate for the West, especially Americans. It is indicative of the imbecilic policy of the Obama-Biden regime that this is not understood.

 

Recently we learned that the Biden regime launched an “attack” on Iraqi surrogate militia in Syra. It was  political theatre…nothing more than a domestic political act. The Iraqi government , totally infested with Iranian agents,  was told before the raid that it would occur …when, where, and how. The damage, if any, was minimal. This sort of mosquito bite strategy only encourages Iranian adventurism and imperialism. The London based Syrian  for Human Rights, claimed …based on local reports…that 22 people were killed. This is nonsense.  The compliant and state-run  Biden press saw this as a “carefully calibrated , defensive measure”  presumably in retaliation for the Iranian controlled  Iraqi militia rocketing of an Irbil American base, killing  a civilian contractor, and wounding several other personnel. This was one of three attacks on American bases since Biden became president.

WaNG AND Family

Wang is a Chinese-American and naturalized citizen, who was sent to China with a university grant and was arrested by the Iranian authorities for “spying.” He spent 4o months in prison under content interrogation by the Iranian security thugs. He was released on a prisoner swap for the Iranian agent, Massoud Suliemani, who was working on Gods Knows what at the Mayo Clinic.

Iranian “scientist” Masood Soleimani

 

The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2021

What I Learned in an Iranian Prison 

U.S. foreign policy isn’t to blame for the mullahs’ deep-rooted hatred of America and Americans. 

By Wang Xiyue

Iran, Europe and many American progressives are pressuring the Biden administration to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Official groupthink has coalesced around a singularly misguided belief: The U.S. has so badly mistreated Iran in the past that it must engage and appease the Islamic Republic now. I understand this view because I was once taught to believe it. This mindset is what convinced me in 2016 that I could safely do research for my dissertation in Iran. My optimism was misplaced. Not long after I arrived, I was imprisoned by Iran’s brutal regime and held hostage for more than three years.

When I went to Iran, I shared the prevailing academic view of the Middle East. I had absorbed the oft-repeated lesson that political Islam arose in response to Western colonialism and imperialism, and that the West—particularly America’s Middle East behavior—was chiefly responsible for the region’s chaos. My professors taught that the U.S. had treated Iran with a mixture of Orientalist condescension and imperialist aggression since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979. I believed America’s role in the 1953 coup that removed Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh explained everything that had gone wrong in Iran. Convinced that the mullahs’ hostility toward the U.S. was exaggerated, I often dismissed allegations of the regime’s malign behavior as American propaganda.

Since it was obvious that American foreign policy itself was the problem, and that the regime would happily normalize relations once the U.S. pivoted away from disrespect, I assumed I’d be left alone in Iran if I remained apolitical and focused on historical research. Imagine my shock when the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence arrested me on false espionage charges in August 2016, shortly after the implementation of the JCPOA—during what appeared to be a period of rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran. I was thrown into solitary confinement, forced to confess things my interrogator knew I had not done, and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

My interrogator made clear that my sole “crime” was being an American. He told me I was to be used as a pawn in exchange for U.S.-held Iranian prisoners and the release of frozen Iranian assets. (I was released in a 2019 prisoner swap.)

My terrible 40-month imprisonment was a period of intense re-education about the relationship between Iran and the U.S. The Islamic Republic is an ambitious power, but not a constructive one. It’s a spoiler, projecting influence by exporting revolution and terrorism via its proxies in the Middle East. Domestically, the mullahs have failed to deliver on their political and economic promises to the Iranian people, on whom they maintain their grip through oppression.

Nothing I’d learned during my years in the ivory towers of academia had prepared me for the reality I encountered in an Iranian prison. I learned what many Iranians already know: The regime’s hostility toward the U.S. isn’t reactive, but proactive, rooted in a fierce anti-Americanism enmeshed in its anti-imperialist ideology. As I witnessed firsthand, Tehran isn’t interested in normalizing relations with Washington. It survives and thrives on its self-perpetuated hostility against the West; a posture that has been integral to the regime’s identity.

The regime didn’t regard President Obama’s engagement as a goodwill gesture, but rather as an “iron fist under a velvet glove.” Iran’s revolutionary regime retains power through conspiracy and intrigue, and views everything through that lens. The notion that it will be difficult for the U.S. to regain Iran’s trust after quitting the JCPOA is incorrect. The Iranian regime has never trusted the U.S., and never will.

When I was being interrogated in Evin Prison in summer 2016, my interrogator boasted that he and his hard-line colleagues were eager to see Donald Trump elected, not because the regime viewed him as the type of pragmatic leader they could deal with, but because it would justify a more confrontational stance against the Great Satan.

The menace of the Islamic Republic can’t be appeased. It must be countered and restrained. Only the U.S. has the capacity to lead such an endeavor. For 42 years Iran has demonstrated that it changes its behavior only in response to strength in the form of American-led international pressure. If the Biden administration returns to the JCPOA without extracting concessions from Tehran beyond the nuclear threat, it will relinquish all U.S. leverage over the regime.

Diplomacy can’t succeed without leverage. Only by showing strength of will can President Biden hope for genuine progress in containing the Iranian threat to peace.

Mr. Wang is a doctoral candidate in history at Princeton and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Appeared in the February 25, 2021, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-i-learned-in-an-iranian-prison-11614200732

 

 

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