By Richard J. Maybury
From the January 2013 EWR
I'm sure that over the past 31 years I have written enough about the Mideast to fill a small encyclopedia.
I'd rewrite very little. Except for precise timing, it's all been unfolding almost exactly as I have been afraid it would.
To me, the two most important facts to keep in mind are: (1) since the year 1500, there has hardly been any five year period in which European troops have not been under arms on Muslim soil1 and (2) in this never-ending war to reshape the Islamic world according to European designs, the US government sided with European regimes two centuries ago, in the Barbary Wars.
In my opinion, if you memorize those two facts, you've memorized 90% of what's important to us about Mideast politics and wars.
Historians commonly regard…
…the European colonial period as roughly 1500 to mid-20th century. That is, they consider the beginning of European colonialism to be the invasion of the Americas by Columbus.
I regard the colonial period as about 1000 to today.
In 622, Mohammed began the era of Muslim conquests of the Mediterranean area. This lasted till 750, at which time the Muslim world dialed back the warfare and threw themselves into more peaceful pursuits, especially commerce. There were a few wars between Christians and Muslims, but in the context of the times, these didn't amount to much.
Peace enabled the rise of the Islamic Golden Age, which lasted at least two centuries. This was a period of political atrophy accompanied by great economic and scientific advancement. (No surprise there, political power is the enemy of everything except itself.) As governments in the Muslim world deteriorated, life improved; the quality and amount of food, education, medical care and other necessities grew wonderfully.
This while Europe, in the Dark Ages, had an abundance of politics and not much else. Then around 1000, the unwashed European barbarians came out of the north to invade Muslim cities.
These small wars evolved into the Crusades, which began in 1095.
I consider these precursors to the Crusades as the real beginning of the European colonial period.
They kept going
Whenever someone asks me about the people who started today's great war between Washington and Muslims, my answer is the governments of Europe a thousand years ago.
European regimes attacked Muslims, then kept going until their empires circled the globe. No one knows their body count, but it was certainly tens of millions.
A key point: by mid-20th century, European regimes had conquered the entire earth except for five countries: Iran, Afghanistan, Thailand, Japan and parts of China. Think of it. Except for those five lands, all the rest of the world had been overrun by European armies.
The Barbary mistake
In his 1776 pamphlet The Crisis, American founder Tom Paine wrote, "Not a place on earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them."
In his first inaugural address, Jefferson repeated Paine's plea: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none."
The desire to be neutral and uninvolved in wars was a popular American sentiment in those days. But as I have said many times, political power corrupts the morals and the judgment.
At the time of the First Barbary War (1801-1805) along the north coast of Africa, European regimes had been at war with Muslims for eight centuries.
Muslims were levying a transit tax on Christian ships traveling through their waters.
American shipping companies did not want to pay the tax, and persuaded US officials to pay it for them.
Muslims finally raised the tax to the point that the US government wouldn't pay.
Shipping companies kept sending their vessels through Muslim waters anyhow.
The Muslims captured and imprisoned the American tax evaders.
US officials abandoned neutrality, called the Muslims pirates, and sided with the Europeans.
Thus the US had joined what is today a ten-century war between Europeans and Muslims. Commemorating this, the Marine Corps Hymn famously contains the words "to the shores of Tripoli," in Libya, a reference to the Barbary Wars.
The American people believed the charge of piracy, and most still do.
Muslims simply regarded the Barbary Wars as another chapter in Europe's Crusades.
One of the things…
…US politicians never seem to learn is…
…that no one wants to see his enemies being helped. When Washington gets into a fight on someone's side, America automatically becomes the enemy of all that regime's enemies. It's unavoidable.
Europeans in 1801 were in the process of conquering almost the whole world, so by joining them, the US became an ally of the European juggernaut. This is why so many Muslims use the term The West when referring to either the US or Europe. To them, we are all part of the same horde of cutthroats, and have been for two centuries.
What makes it all the worse is that Washington is the most powerful government ever seen on earth, so millions of Muslims today regard Washington as the leader of Europe's ten-century crusade. When a US politician wins the presidency, little does he know that he has become the latest in a line of chain-mail Neanderthals that originated during the Middle Ages and included such noteworthies as Peter the Hermit and eventually Adolph Hitler.
Yes, Hitler. He invaded Tunisia, Libya and Egypt — all Muslim lands — probably without even realizing the connection with the Crusades. Western leaders do this all the time. They go into foreign lands apparently without knowing they are tracing the footsteps and awakening memories of European conquerors long ago.
In short, much of the world remains paranoid about Europe, and because Washington is allied with European regimes (mostly through NATO), they are also paranoid about the US. And, not one American in a thousand understands. They've all been taught to see this war through the eyes of the federal Goliath.
After conquering a territory…
…Europeans drew the borders to serve their own purposes. Often they drew the lines cutting right through someone's homeland, splitting the tribe so that some members lived in one country and some in another. You can see this in America's northern border. It is a straight line that slices right through the tribal homelands of the Blackfoot, Sioux, Ojibwa, Assiniboine, Kutenai and other native Americans, placing some members of a given tribe in the US, and their relatives in Canada. Europeans did this in thousands of places all over the world, and today each case is a potential war. People on both sides of a line want to be re-united with their relatives, and many are willing to fight to relocate or erase the line. In short — please remember this — practically every border in the world outside Europe is artificial, created by European invaders for European purposes, not by the people who live there.
Summarizing what we have covered so far…
…one of the federal government's dirty little secrets is that practically all the world's major geopolitical problems are left-overs from the European colonial period when European regimes conquered and rearranged nearly the whole globe.
Washington is allied with the Europeans, which means we Americans are painted with the same brush as the Europeans.
In Saudi Arabia and Iran during the 1940s, the baton of leadership was passed from the governments of Europe to that of the US, and US officials accepted it.
In effect, during the Barbary wars and then the 1940s, European rulers suckered US officials into a trap. America and Islam were set up, locked into a war with each other.
As we continue watching events unfold, remember the old Mideast saying: in the Mideast, whatever appears to be happening is not what is happening, and whoever appears to be responsible is not who is responsible.
For the next century: revolutions and wars
This article is not a criticism of Europeans. Most I've met have been fine folks. It's a criticism of their governments, which tried to recreate the world in their own image and likeness.
The internal Muslim revolutions and wars today are the Muslim tribes fighting each other to throw off these foreign structures and ismpose or reimpose their own. As in Egypt and Syria right now, Muslims disagree violently about the character of these new structures and the borders between them.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are artificial countries created not by the people who live there but by the governments of Europe. The border between the two, the Durand Line, was one of the many drawn by the Brits. This is typical all over the world. Very few countries are natural. Most were conquered, designed and delineated by Europeans.
In other words, it's not much of an exaggeration to say the whole world political structure today is artificial, created by Europeans for the benefit of Europeans. Most borders are potential wars, and will remain so until the natives redraw them in agreement with their neighbors.
As I see it, there is nothing the US or European governments can do to make this mess better, they can only make it worse. They should get out of the Islamic world and stay out. Let Muslims sort out their differences without interference.
I expect this to take at least a century. During this period, western governments might occasionally send the Muslims a post card to say hi, but otherwise, leave them alone, no politics. Again, Jefferson: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none."
If only he had followed his own advice. He led the Barbary Wars, probably without understanding what he was getting us into. This brings us to…
So, here we are today, with America stuck in a tencentury war created by the governments of Europe. This while Washington's economic coercion and saber rattling induces its Muslim enemies to look for bigger and better ways to hit back.
Continuing from my Dec 2012 article…
The Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was one of the simplest inventions in history. It wasn't much more than a 6.5" caliber cannon barrel stuffed with uranium and explosives. Any bright high school student who has the necessary uranium could make this kind of A-bomb.
For instance, the student could go to a hardware store and buy a cutting torch. At 3:00 a.m. some dark and foggy morning, he could cut the end off one of the cannons at the local VFW building. If he had the uranium, and an explosive he could steal from a construction shed, he'd be ready to go nuclear. (He'd also need a long fuse and a fast car.)
As explained in the Dec. 2012 EWR, the government of Iran and a lot of other angry people probably have the uranium.
In this age of miniaturization, if you are a professional nuclear weapons designer, you can size a plutonium bomb to fit in a small suitcase or cardboard box, and deliver it to the target via FedEx.
Another key point: we'd probably never know who did it. Why hasn't it already happened? Maybe it has.
Look in room 9
Suppose I secretly owned, say, a hundred suitcase nukes purchased from Russian smugglers, and each nuke had the power of the Hiroshima bomb. If I wanted Washington or someone else to leave me alone, what might I do?
Perhaps I'd plant one of my bombs in a US hotel room. For the psychological effect, the exact center of the US, which is Lebanon, Kansas, would be a good spot. Message: we can hit your country anyplace and any time we want.
Then I'd send a note to Washington saying, at a given time and date, have one of your spy satellites look at the coordinates 47S/40E, which is directly south of Madagascar between the Prince Edward Islands and the Crozet Islands. This is a vacant area of the Indian Ocean near Antarctica.
At that time, date and location, I'd detonate one of my bombs.
Then I'd send a second note saying, "Look in room nine at the Slow Wheeze Motel in Lebanon, KS. Leave me alone and you won't lose any cities."
Of course, I could be more aggressive, demanding money or something else. But this would give Washington more incentive to come looking for me. As long as I'm only demanding to be left alone, then I'm just one more member of the "nuclear club" that is already known to contain the rulers of Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, India, US, Russia, Britain, France and China. Under nuclear weapons "sharing" agreements, Washington has also provided nukes to the rulers of Turkey, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Fourteen members, so what's one more?
Has it already happened?
In what is today called the Vela Incident in 1979, a US Vela satellite over the Indian Ocean spot I mentioned earlier, reportedly saw a double flash similar to those made by A-bombs being tested in the atmosphere (as opposed to underground).
Granted, this could all be nonsense, we don't know what the White House, CIA or anyone else is hiding or lying about.
We also don't know how many flashes have occurred that did not have satellites over them at the time. Allegedly, Vela satellites did observe a total of at least 42 nuclear explosions.2
The flashes detected by Vela satellites did not necessarily have to be governments squaring off against each other. As explained in the Dec. 2012 EWR, there is simply no way to know who has nukes and who doesn't. Perhaps one incident was the Russian Mafia sending a message to the Italian Mafia, or the Pasadena Bingo Club rattling its nuclear saber at the Beverly Hills Bingo Club.
The only thing we can be sure about is this: it seems highly likely that the real nuclear club has a lot more members than fourteen.
Washington's habit of treating everyone except the fourteen as if it knows for a fact that they can't retaliate is a very high risk behavior.
Staying in Europe's thousand- year war with Muslims isn't very bright either.
A small prediction: as Washington continues meddling in the Mideast revolutions, we will find nuclear terrorism appearing on the radar screens of the investment industry.
1 Mideast specialist Godfrey Jansen quoted in Sacred Rage by Robin Wright, Simon & Schuster, 1986, p.252.
2 "The Vela Incident," National Security Archive website, posted 5 May 06.
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