To Le Nouvel Observateur 's query , "When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?" Brzezinski replied," Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?
"The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."
Brzezinski admitted that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the public and the Congress President Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia to destabilize the Soviet Union. This was called 'Operation Cyclone'
"Terrorism is a tactic, a technique, a weapon that fanatics, dictators and warriors have resorted to through history. If, as Clausewitz wrote, war is the continuation of politics by other means, terrorism is the continuation of war by other means." Patrick J. Buchanan
"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." Robert Drefuss.
On real income growth in the Arab region, Samir said ;
"At the start, it is important to realise that per capita real income growth in the Arab region in the 70s and 80s was zero, according to statistics published by the World Bank, while in comparison it was seven percent in East Asia, five percent in Southern Asia, and 3.5 percent in South America," states Amin, contextualizing Egypt's revolution two years on. Only Sub-Saharan Africa had similar zero growth in this period.
"Real per capita growth in the Arab region remained by far the lowest in the world in the 90s and during the past 10 years, and this includes economic performance in oil rich countries like Iraq, Algeria, Libya and even Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates." Indeed, during this period the region ranked below Sub-Saharan Africa.
The "social disaster" that resulted from this situation, according to Amin, was primarily the result of Arab adoption of neoliberal economic policies (privatisation, reduction of state subsidies, trade liberalisation, monopoly of multinationals, deregulation of the financial market, etc). "The uprising in the region was no coincidence, then," Amin asserts.
"These developments were not due to dictatorship but [were primarily a reaction] to the neoliberal logic implemented over the years," Amin says. The uprisings, however, both in Egypt and Tunisia, did not manage to change these policies, and thus did not bring about an actual change in the regime, at least yet.
(My Note ;How Allah bestowed oil wealth has been criminally wasted and has only benefitted the Western nations and miniscule local ruling Arab dynasties and elites )
US Led Wars on Afghanistan and Iraq
Some extracts ;
The Saudi position reflected fears among
Putin addressing the table: "You want President Bashar al-Assad to step down? Look at the leaders you've made in the Middle East in the course of what you have dubbed the 'Arab Spring'."
Putin addressing Obama, Cameron and Hollande: "You want Russia to abandon Assad and his regime and go along with an opposition whose leaders don't know anything except issuing fatwas declaring people heretics, and whose members - who come from a bunch of different countries and have multiple orientations - don't know anything except how to slaughter people and eat human flesh."
Putin addressing Obama directly: "Your country sent its army to Afghanistan in the year 2001 on the excuse that you are fighting the Taliban and the al-Qaeda organization and other fundamentalist terrorists whom your government accused of carrying out the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington. And here you are today making an alliance with them in Syria. And you and your allies are declaring your desire to send them weapons. And here you have Qatar in which you [the US] have your biggest base in the region and in the territory of that country the Taliban are opening a representative office."
The best part is that German Chancellor Angela Merkel then corroborated Putin's every word. And Chinese President Xi Jinping certainly would have done the same.
BEWARE; USA & ALLIES STOKING SHIA-SUNNI DIVIDE
Of course the grateful Shias of South Iraq, masters of the remaining oil wealth would fall in line. The disenfranchised Sunni rump without any oil as yet, could stew in its own anger. It was most surprising that, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others were surprised by the Iraqi resistance, which they first tried to wish away as composed of dead Enders, disgruntled remnants of the old regime and in its last throes in Dick Cheney's famous words. Only if they had read long Iraqi resistance to the British colonial rule in 1920s and 30s who finally got rid of the British and killed the Hashemite ruler foisted on
Established to cut into the profitable East Indies trade on silk rotes controlled by Arabs and Turks, the British East India company (and others in Europe), having explored new sea routes, first nibbled at the decrepit Moghul empire piece meal and after the Indian war of independence against the English company forces in 1957, most of the Moghul empire passed on to the British crown. In the wake of the rebellion and resistance the citizens of
British historians and colonial rulers then successfully sold the theory to Brahmin and other upper castes Hindus that all their problems could be traced to the rule of Muslims. At least like Hindu Aryans and others from central
After the second world war, the British realized that there was no option but to quit the subcontinent. But India being a vital strategic asset, "a base for Britain to continue their domination of the Indian Ocean and the oil-rich Persian Gulf with its wells of power," it was partitioned, as Mahatma Gandhi opposed to violence and war in principle and Jawaharlal Nehru with his idealism and vision of spreading friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of Asia, Africa, Middle east and elsewhere, would not join Western military pacts. The aim was to retain parts in the North and West of India, "for defensive and offensive action against the
Following the second world war President Marshal Joseph Tito created a composite secular and socialist state of southern Slavs and others in
When the fulcrum of imperialism shifted from
No wonder Patrick Cockburn said in Counterpunch last month, "The U.S. has a very weird policy--the Shia and
Seymour Hersh revealed last month that US military and special operations teams have escalated activities in
In Riyadh, the emergence of a "Shia crescent" from Tehran to Damascus and Hezbollah in Lebanon (and Hamas in Palestine) raises the nightmare of a shift in the balance of power not only in the Arab world but also in the Middle East and beyond "That Iran should control Lebanon through Hezbollah is a red line that Arabia cannot accept," say Saudi officials .This was also echoed by Hashemite King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt at the time of the Israeli/Hezbollah war last year. Hezbollah's victory and crescendo of popularity for Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah and Mahmud Ahmedineijad caused fears of
The Sunni-Shia Divide
It is necessary to look at the historic Shia-Sunni divide in depth to comprehend the problem and the inherent dangers. Not only Christians, even many Sunnis know little about Shias and their history.
The fissures in Islam are almost as old as the faith itself. In the Muslim community (Ummah) of over a billion faithfuls spread almost all around the world nearly 12 % are Shias. Majority of Shias are Twelvers – believers in 12 Imams (as in Iran, in a majority), but there are others too, like the Ismailis (of Agha Khans, Mohammed Ali Jinnah), from whom emerged the "Assassins" in early 2nd millennium, Alevis in Turkey (around 15%), ruling Alawite elite (12%) in Syria, Hezbollah and Amal in Lebanon (over 40%), and Bahrain (a majority), Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. In
Tangled Sunni-Shia history
The Shias emerged out of seeds of disunity in the embryonic Muslim Ummah , sown as soon as Prophet Mohammed lay dead in
According to Shias, Prophet Mohammed had given enough indications for Ali to be his successor and cite many hadiths in support of this claim. The Prophet had lived with his uncle Abu Talib, Ali's father and Mohammed's only child Fatimah was married to Ali. Ali also became Muslim before Abu Bakr and had decoyed for the Prophet when he escaped from
Ali's election as the Caliph would have denied a chance to the older generation of power brokers, so they played politics and got their way. Ali was overlooked twice with Omar and Uthman succeeding Abu Bakr in cleverly manipulated successions to keep Ali out. As a result Ali mostly kept to himself and stayed aloof.
Following the murder of Uthman, Ali was invited by the Muslims of Medina to accept the Caliphate; reluctantly, he agreed but only after long hesitation. His brief reign was marked by problems of inheriting a corrupt state, as the Quran and the traditions of Mohammed had been neglected. Ali based his rule on the Islamic ideals of social justice and equality which clashed with the interests of the Quraysh aristocracy of
Ali was a devout Muslim with an outstanding reputation for justice, unlike Uthman or the Umayyad dynasty that followed him, mired in nepotism with worldly and autocratic ways. Many Muslims feel this way about the Umayyad Caliphs except for Omar II. To many it was a betrayal of the Quran, which enjoins creation of a just and equal society as the first duty of Muslims.
Those opposed to Umayyads called themselves the Shia't-Ali (partisans of Ali) and developed a doctrine of piety and protest, refusing to accept the Umayyad Caliphs, and regarded Ali's descendants as the true leaders of the Muslim community. This schism became an unbridgeable chasm and remains so, when in 680, Shias of Kufa called for the rule by Ali's second son Hussein and invited him. Hussein set out for
But Umayyad Caliph Yazid dispatched his army, which slaughtered Hussein and most of his followers on the plain of Karbala with Imam Hussein being the last to die, holding his infant son in his arms. This event is now commemorated as Muharram. Both
For Shias, the
Imagery and this Shia passion informed Khomeini's Iranian revolution, which many experienced as a re-enactment of
There is no agreement among Muslims on the Caliphs. Shias do not recognize the first three and in many places curse them. For them Ali is the first rightful Caliph and the Imam. For Sunnis, Imam is only a prayer leader and could be any one. But for Shias, he is a spiritual leader with the divine spark and juris-consult (Vilayet-el-Faqih). The sacred Islamic law Sharia enacted under different situations and times has many schools among Sunnis, who unlike the Shias have closed ijtihad, independent reasoning in Islamic Law to meet new situations .The Shia Iranians (Aryans) perhaps created the office of Imam (like Shankaracharya among Indo–Aryan Brahmins) as only an Arab from the Quraysh tribe could become a Caliph. Later the Turks, who came as slaves or warriors to the Arab lands, captured power by the sword and raised the minor office of the Sultan to a powerful one, by now protector of a hapless Caliph. Then Turkish Ottoman Sultans in
After the first dynastic Umayyad Caliphate based in
Evolution of Shiism
There are two things to note. First, political Shi'ism indicates a belief that members of the Hashim clan in the Quraysh tribe are the people most worthy of holding political authority in the Islamic community, but has no belief in any particular religious position for the family. As for religious Shi'ism, it is about the belief that some particular members of the house of Hashim were in receipt of divine inspiration and are thus the channel of God's guidance to men whether or not they hold any defacto political authority. This view was augmented by the Iranians who believe in the tradition that the mother of fourth Imam Zaynul-Abdin was Shahrbanu, the daughter of Yazdigird, the last Sasanian King of
From the very beginning all the Shia Imams, descendants of Ali, every single one was imprisoned, exiled or executed or poisoned by the Caliphs, who could not tolerate an alternative centre to their rule. So by 8th century, most Shias held aloof from politics and concentrated on the mystical interpretation of the scriptures. Says scholar Karen Armstrong "Long before western philosophers called for the separation of church and state, Shias had privatized faith, convinced that it was impossible to integrate the religious imperative with the grim world of politics that seemed murderously antagonistic to it. --
"The separation of religion and politics remains deeply embedded in the Shia psyche. It springs not simply from malaise, but from a divine discontent with the state of the Muslim community. Even in
The picture of early Shi'ism was created (as not much is available from records) from the point of view of Twelver Shias, ignoring the Ismailis, Mutazilites or orthodox Sunnis. Modern scholars believe that this picture was retrospectively imposed over the facts by historians of 3rd and 4th Islamic century for doctrinal reasons.
It is only after 6th Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (died 765) that there is any firm evidence that any kind of religious leadership was being claimed for Twelver Imams. He was a well-known and influential figure in the Islamic world. Several of his students later became prominent jurists and traditionalists even among non-Shia Muslims. Jafar as-Sadiq did not make an open claim to religious leadership, but his circle of students evidently looked to him as Imam, including some leading figures such as Abu'l-Khattab, who held beliefs of a ghuluww (extremist) nature regarding him, indicating that as-Sadiq was a focus of religious speculation and leadership in his own time.
Evolution of Islam into Shia and other forms
The number of ghulat groups, increased dramatically especially in Kufa during as-Sadiq's lifetime. It is therefore useful to consider the origin of the ghulat. When the Arabs arrived in the
In the initial years the Arabs lived in their military camp cities and avoided intermingling with the native populations and their disturbing religious speculations but as more of the native populations embraced Islam, such discussions increased. In this spiritual and religious ferment ideas were injected into the Muslim community and intensively discussed by people interested in such matters which could be considered by the majority of Muslims heterodox concepts and called ghulat or extremists.
Among the ideas injected were such concepts as tanasukh (transmigration of souls), ghayba (occultation), raj'a (return), hulul (descent of the Spirit of God into man), imama (Imamate, divinely-inspired leadership and guidance), tashbih (anthropomorphism with respect to God), tafwid (delegation of God's powers to other than God), and bada (alteration in God's will). But the ghulat needed a priest- god figure onto which to project their ideas of hulul, ghayba , etc., a role admirably suited to the persona of' Ali.
While the ghulat adopted Ali and his family as the embodiment of their religious speculation the Shias of' Ali always looked on the ghulat with a certain amount of suspicion. However, the martyrdom of Hussein and the pathos of this event gave the family of Ali a cultic significance. It bestowed on Shias, earlier primarily a political party, a thrust into a religious orientation directing it firmly towards the ghulat, and giving the ghulat milieu a hero-martyr and a priestly family with which they could associate much of their speculations.--
Only the hubris laden arrogance of military power US which spends as much as the rest of the world put together on defence, now mostly financed by trade deficit, made the crazy Neo-cons and former scheming and manipulative CEOs like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld believe in their being received with flowers in Baghdad. What does
In my article of
"Today the world faces a single man armed with weapons of mass destruction, manifesting an aggressive, bullying attitude, who may well plunge the world into chaos and bloodshed if he miscalculates. This person, belligerent, arrogant, and sure of himself, truly is the most dangerous person on Earth. The problem is that his name is George W. Bush, and he is our president: " said Yale Law Prof Jack M. Balkin, on
The new first time Black president in US history is a product of Chicago Jewish political machine and is no different than others ..