Putin Unimpressed by Top Saudi Spook Bandar's Monkey Tricks
By K Gajendra Singh www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED03Ak01.html.
Veni, vidi, vici ("I came, I saw, I conquered") spoke Julius Caesar in 78 BC at a town called Zile, 300 kilometers northeast of
Up to the Ides of March, 2003, the US and Turkey had been very close allies for half a century, with the government of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) even putting up for a vote (in spite of a large majority of Turks opposing a war on Iraq) a proposal to allow the US use of Turkish bases for stationing troops and opening a second front from northern Iraq.
But things have gone awry, with the Turks declaring that they would send more troops into northern
Echoes of Mithradates
A US victory over Saddam Hussein does not appear to be as quick in coming as Western leaders and the
Most of the Greek cities in
Yes, the victory of
Lessons from the Trojan War
Writing in the International Herald Tribune just before the US-led war, Nicholas D Kristof recalled the Trojan War perhaps the very first world war between Europe and Asia, marked not just by heroism but also by catastrophic mistakes, poor leadership and what the Greeks called ate: the intoxicating pride and overweening arrogance that sometimes clouds the minds of the strong.
It turns out the doves were right. So many lives were lost "in this insane voyage", as Achilles put it, "fighting other soldiers to win their wives as prizes", that even for the victorious Greeks the struggle was simply not worth it. "Why must we battle Trojans?" Achilles asks, in what could have been an early advocacy of the alternate strategy of containment.
A second immortal truth of war is the crucial importance of maintaining allies. The Greeks outnumbered the Trojans by more than 10 to 1, but they were almost defeated because of feuding within the Greek "coalition of the willing". Agamemnon was the Donald Rumsfeld of his day, needlessly angering his key allies - and outraging Achilles by swiping his concubine Briseis. Agamemnon later tried to mollify Achilles, but the latter still withdrew from battle, threatened to go home and said things like "ca ne
The third lesson has to do with the fall of
So, by Zeus, that third lesson from
"We Americans are the Greeks of our day, and as we now go to war, we should appreciate not only the beauty of the tale, but also the warnings within it," concludes Kristof.
Iliad and Odyssey
The Iliad was probably finalized around 750 BC, and the Odyssey around 650 BC (Greek writing started around 650 BC). It is felt that the Odyssey, so different from the Iliad, was not composed by Homer, the blind bard of Asia Minor, but probably by a young lady (a Jane Austen) somewhere on the Sicilian coast with time to spare. But let that pass. But there certainly is an historical basis for the story of the abduction of the Spartan King Menelaus' wife Helen by the Trojan Prince Paris. Menelaus' brother, King Agamemnon of Achaeans, then decided on a voyage of punishment and retrieval.
For Western culture and civilization, the Iliad and Odyssey are almost like the Mahabharata and Ramayana are for Indians, making their (presumed) composer Homer one of the most influential authors in the widest sense. The two epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education down to the time of the
Evidence from Hittite archives indicates that
Western and European civilization are founded on Greek civilization, which itself comes from Cretian civilization, which in turn is based on Egyptian and Phoenician civilizations. Both are indebted to
But the fourth millennia BC was remarkable not only here but in the
This brief background is necessary as Westerners talk of the superiority of their culture over the East, including even some prime ministers, eg Silvio Berlusconi.
Wars in southeastern Turkey and Iraq
Barely 80 kilometers east from Adana lies Issus, just north of the Turkish port of Iskendrun (where US armored units had been awaiting permission from the Turks to be taken into the country).This is where the the emperor Darius fled when attacked by Alexander of Macedonia, even leaving behind his family. The final defeat was inflicted at
Romanus had come with 150,000 soldiers to teach Alparslan (with 14,000 horsemen) a lesson. Divisions in the Roman ranks led to their defeat. Romanus's Turkomen troops had gone over to Alparslan, and one of his generals, Andronicus Ducas, fled with his men. Even the Seljuk chief Alparslan was saved only by the loyalty of his Turkish mamelukes (slaves). This opened
Around 200 kilometers south of
If one zigzags a few hundred kilometers south from Diyarbakir along the Tigris (Dicle in Turkish), one will pass the city of Batman, then Hassan Kief, the Kurdish Ayubid stronghold now submerged under a dam, and then Cizre, the hot border post between Turkey and Kurdish Iraq. (Many believe that it was on the nearby Judi mountains that Noah's ark rested, and not on
When you drive south from
The Kurdish areas of
Numerous battles have decided the fates of empires and kingdoms in the region. This area will soon see new battles between Arabs, Kurds,Turkomens and Turks -- and perhaps even Iranians.
Current war on
There has been wide public opposition to the British prime minister supporting President Bush in his war for Iraqi regime change. Speaking in the House of Commons against the war on Iraq without a UN resolution, former British Defense Minister Peter Kilfoyle warned, "We are having a 19th century gunboat war in the Gulf, when the real dangers of terrorism should be isolated and dealt with as the first priority. [I] believe that this act would be illegal, it would be immoral and it would be illogical." Of Blair's propensity for comparing opposition to war to
Referring to the name of the allied operation - Shock and Awe - Kilfoyle said: "Think of what that name implies. The
Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, accused the government of acting inconsistently over
Unable to get hold of Osama bin Laden and others dead or alive, the
Without any casus belli, the
Look at the way the
This war on
It was opposed by all Arab and Muslim countries. Their governments were able to contain the anger and frustrations of the masses. Since then, they and the world have watched the butchery being enacted daily by the state of
It was rumored in
Let there be no doubt about it. This war only exposes the bankruptcy of Anglo-Saxon policy, when 19th century methods of "bomb the natives, frighten and numb them by force", are being used to handle complicated 21st century problems of Islamic fundamentalism. In the words of Mary Robinson, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Bush is leading the world into unchartered waters, and bin Laden must be chuckling, wherever he might be.
What is being achieved is beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams.
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By Pepe Escobar Asia Times , 13 August , 2013
Saudi King Abdullah, to quote Bob Dylan, "is not busy being born, he's busy dying". At least he was able to pick up a pen and recently appoint Bandar as head of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate; thus in charge of the joint US-Saudi master plan for Syria.
The four-hour meeting between Bandar Bush and Vlad the Hammer by now has acquired mythic status. Essentially, according to diplomatic leaks, Bandar asked Vlad to drop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and forget about blocking a possible UN Security Council resolution on a no-fly zone (as if Moscow would ever allow a replay of UN resolution 1973 against Libya). In return the House of Saud would buy loads of Russian weapons.
Vlad, predictably, was not impressed. Not even when Bandar brazenly insisted that whatever form a post-Assad situation would take, the Saudis will be "completely" in control. Vlad - and Russian intelligence - already knew it. But then Bandar went over the top, promising that Saudi Arabia would not allow any Gulf Cooperation Council member country - as in Qatar - to invest in Pipelineistan across Syria to sell natural gas to Europe and thus damage Russian - as in Gazprom's - interests.