-A fast forward for the World... thousands upon thousands of Tribes with more and more flags and Turbans everywhere....-
-A fast forward for the World... thousands upon thousands of Tribes with more and more flags and Turbans everywhere....-
-A fast forward for the World... thousands upon thousands of Tribes with more and more flags and Turbans everywhere....-
Burning Vision unmasks both the great lies of the imperialist power-elite (telling the miners they are digging for a substance to "cure cancer" while secretly using it to build the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki); and the seemingly small rationalizations and accommodations people of all cultures
construct to make their personal circumstances yield the greatest benefit to themselves for the least amount of effort or change on their part. It is also a scathing attack on the "public apology" as yet another mask, as a manipulative device, which always seeks to conceal the maintenance and furtherance of the self-interest of its wearer....
-- Israel hopes for the complete fragmentation of IRAQ in order to colonize parts of Iraq as "Greater Israel" --
Israeli expansionists, their intentions are to take full control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and permanently keep the Golan Heights of Syria and expand into southern Lebanon is already well known, also have their eyes on parts of Iraq considered part of a biblical "Greater Israel."
Israel reportedly has plans to re-locate thousands of Kurdish Jews from Israel, including expatriates from Kurdish Iran, to the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Ninewah under the guise of religious pilgrimages to ancient Jewish religious shrines. According to Kurdish sources, the Israelis are secretly working with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to carry out the integration of Kurdish and other Jews into areas of Iraq under control of the KRG.
Kurdish, Iraqi Sunni Muslim, and Turkmen have noted that Kurdish Israelis began to buy land in Iraqi Kurdistan after the U.S. invasion in 2003 that is considered historical Jewish "property."
The Israelis are particularly interested in the shrine of the Jewish prophet Nahum in al Qush, the prophet Jonah in Mosul, and the tomb of the prophet Daniel in Kirkuk. Israelis are also trying to claim Jewish "properties" outside of the Kurdish region, including the shrine of Ezekiel in the village of al-Kifl in Babel Province near Najaf and the tomb of Ezra in al-Uzayr in Misan Province, near Basra, both in southern Iraq's Shi'a-dominated territory. Israeli expansionists consider these shrines and tombs as much a part of "Greater Israel" as Jerusalem and the West Bank, which they call "Judea and Samaria."
Kurdish and Iraqi sources report that Israel's Mossad is working hand-in-hand with Israeli companies and "tourists" to stake a claim to the Jewish "properties"of Israel in Iraq. The Mossad has already been heavily involved in training the Kurdish Pesh Merga military forces...
Reportedly assisting the Israelis are foreign mercenaries paid for by U.S. Christian evangelical circles that support the concept of "Christian Zionism."
Iraqi nationalists charge that the Israeli expansion into Iraq is supported by both major Kurdish factions, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Iraq's nominal President Jalal Talabani. Talabani's son, Qubad Talabani, serves as the KRG's representative in Washington, where he lives with his wife Sherri Kraham, who is Jewish.
Also supporting the Israeli land acquisition activities is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani, the President of the KRG. One of Barzani's five sons, Binjirfan Barzani, is reportedly heavily involved with the Israelis.
The Israelis and their Christian Zionist supporters enter Iraq not through Baghdad, but through Turkey... In order to depopulate residents of lands the Israelis claim, Mossad operatives and Christian Zionist mercenaries are staging terrorist attacks against Chaldean Christians, particularly in Ninewah, Irbil, al-Hamdaniya, Bartalah, Talasqaf, Batnayah, Bashiqah, Elkosheven, Uqrah, and Mosul...
These attacks by the Israelis and their allies are usually reported as being the responsibility of "Al Qaeda" and other Islamic "jihadists."
The ultimate aim of the Israelis is to depopulate the Christian population in and around Mosul and claim the land as biblical Jewish land that is part of "Greater Israel." The Israeli/Christian Zionist operation is a replay of the depopulation of the Palestinians in the British mandate of Palestine after World War II...and their blatant attempt at depopulating Southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006, which utterly failed for now...
In June 2003, a delegation of Israelis visited Mosul and said that it was Israel's intentions, with the assistance of Barzani, to establish Israeli control of the shrine of Jonah in Mosul and the shrine of Nahum in the Mosul plains. The Israelis said Israeli and Iranian Jewish pilgrims would travel via Turkey to the area of Mosul and take over lands where Iraqi Christians lived....
The Secrets Of Iraq...as described by a PNAC KILLER, in order to foment additional divisions, hatred and hundreds of additional Tribes with Flags all around the Middle East Africa and ASIA....
The major obstacle to peace in Iraq is still corruption, and the lack of things we take for granted in the West. The main problem is the absence of what is called "civil society." In short, this means that a majority of the people support clean and efficient government, and energetically back honest politicians, and denigrate dishonest ones.
In Iraq, the three major groups (Kurds, Shia Arabs and Sunni Arabs) never got along. Moreover, there are also hundred of tribes and clans which wield considerable power. The long time lack of honest courts, meant that many judicial matters (contract, marital, criminal and land disputes) were settled by clan or tribal elders. This is still the case. There is also the tradition of "winner take all." Anyone who achieves a position of power in the government is expected to take care of his clan or tribe, usually to the exclusion of anyone else. While many Iraqis understand the need for a civil society, the majority of officials still play by the traditional rules.
As a result, back in the United States, many politicians either don't bother, or don't want to believe, what is actually happening, and has happened, in Iraq. In a way, that makes sense. That's because what is going on in Iraq is so totally alien to the experience of American politicians. Moreover, many Americans take a purely partisan, party line, attitude towards Iraq. So logic and fact has nothing to do with their assessments of the situation. But if you understand where Iraq is coming from, and what it currently is, you have a better chance of seeing where it is, or should be, going.
Iraq is an ancient civilization that has been subjected to continuous foreign occupation (Mongol, Iranian, Turkish, British) for the last thousand years. What we know as Iraq was put together by the British, in the 1920s, from fragments of the recently dissolved Turkish Ottoman empire. The northern part of Iraq, containing mainly Kurds, was then considered part of Turkey itself, and not an imperial province like the rest of Iraq. But there was oil up there, and the British did not want the Turks to have that, in case there was an effort to revive the Ottoman empire. The British set up a constitutional monarchy, complete with parliament, and a royal family imported from Saudi Arabia (a noble clan that had been ousted by the Saud family early in the century). While democracy was alien to this part of the world, many Iraqis took to it. But there were serious problems with corruption, along with divided tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties. For example, the Kurds weren't Arab (they were Indo-European, and about 20 percent of the population), and 60 percent of Iraqis were Shia Moslems (a sect considered heretical by the conservative mainline Sunnis). The Sunni Arabs may have been a minority, but they dominated commerce, government, education and running things in general. Since the 16th century, the Sunni Turks had relied on the Baghdadi Sunni Arabs to help administer the area.
Britain had to re-occupy Iraq early in World War II, because the Sunni Arab dominated government (not the king) tried to ally Iraq with the Nazis. At the time, many Arabs admired Nazism. Many still do. The Brits again conquered country, using three divisions and taking three weeks to do it. The Brits found another bunch of Sunni Arab notables and told them they could run things if they stayed away from the Nazis. That lasted for about a decade, until the Sunni Arab politicians and generals decided that this democracy stuff wasn't working for them. The royal family was massacred and parliament purged of "disloyal" elements. The Sunni Arabs were back in absolute charge, via a series of dictators, until Saddam Hussein was deposed in 2003.
Saddam was a particularly brutal tyrant, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (mostly Shia and Kurds), and terrorizing nearly everyone. After being run out of Kuwait in 1991, and barely surviving another Shia rebellion, he made peace with the Sunni Arab tribal leaders, and unleashed yet another terror campaign on the Shia Arabs. The Kurds were now independent, protected by British and American warplanes.
Now, this is the critical thing that many Americans don't understand, or even know. When Saddam was deposed in 2003, most (well, many) Sunni Arabs believed they would only be out of power temporarily. This sort of thing you can pick up on the Internet (OK, mostly on Arab language message boards, but it's out there). Saddam's followers (the Baath Party) and al Qaeda believed a few years of terror would subdue the Shia, scare away the Americans, and the Sunni Arabs would return to their natural state as the rulers of Iraq. U.S. troops quickly picked up on this Sunni mindset. Because Sunni Arabs were the best educated group, most of the local translators the troops used were Sunni Arabs, and even these guys took it for granted that, eventually, the Sunni Arabs would have to be in charge if the country were to function. The Sunni Arabs believed the Shia were a bunch of ignorant, excitable, inept (and so on) scum who could never run a government. Four years later, the Shia sort-of proved the Sunni Arabs wrong. By 2007, most Sunni Arabs had decided to make peace, not suicide bombs.
Which brings up another major issue in Iraq. Many Iraqis believe only a dictator can run the country, and force all the factions to behave. However, a majority of Iraqis recognize that dictatorships tend to be poor and repressive, while democracies are prosperous and much more pleasant. The problem is that the traditions of tribalism and corruption (everything, and everyone, has their price) do not mesh well with democracy. This doesn't mean democracy can't work under these conditions, many do. It does mean that it takes more effort, and the results are not neat and clean, as Americans expect their democracies to be.
The basic problem is that the United States is divided into two groups; those who have worked (or fought) in Iraq, or otherwise paid close attention to what's happening on the ground, and those who create their own picture of what's happening, one that fits other needs (personal, political, religious). No amount of wishing will change what is going on over there. The majority of the population hates the Sunni Arabs, who now have four years of terrorist attacks added to their list of sins. The Kurds, although beset by corruption and factionalism, have shown that you can still have peace, security and prosperity if everyone works together. The Arabs to the south see that, but have not been able to work together well enough to make it happen. Will the Arabs be able to overcome their factionalism and hatreds? THAT is the big question. What is lost in all the rhetoric about Iraq is that Lebanon and Iraq are the only real Arab democracies in the Middle East. Egypt is a one party state, a dictatorship masquerading as a dictatorship.... Every other Arab state is either a dictatorship, a monarchy or a family run Tribe with a flag.
Iraqis know they are in a position to show the way, to an era of better government, and the freedoms and prosperity that flows from that. Iraqis know they have problems with religion, tribalism and corruption. Iraqis know what they are up against....
“This is the Middle East’s most democratic state …”
Lebanon’s Democracy enjoyed universal secret ballot multi party elections since 1927 (interrupted from 1976-1990 civil war...).
Given that all major communities are represented in the Parliament in Lebanon - but Israel in fact bars around 80 per cent of the “Israeli Arabs” (the Palestinians) from participating in elections as they are stuck as refugees in surrounding territories - I can’t really see how on earth anyone would classify the race-based Israeli system as more democratic than Lebanon’s : you could only believe that if you thought Palestinian refugees are not human in some way...
Veni Vidi Vici...
When Pompey and the Senate fled Rome from Caesar in 49 BC, he did so without an army. As a result, he was forced to draw upon the eastern provinces and allied client states for recruits and supply. With garrisons and massive levies being shipped off to Greece to Pompey's camp, the east was left dangerously vulnerable.
When Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus in 48 BC, he still had no opportunity to deal with the Pharnaces situation. The war in Alexandria delayed any immediate reaction and his subsequent affair occupied his attention for the seasonal winter months of 48 to 47 BC. Caesar's legate, Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, was installed as governor of Asia in the interim and did all he could to stop the Pontic advances, but had little success. Calvinus gave battle and the Romans acquitted themselves well, but its allies were cut up badly. Caesar's trouble in Egypt prompted him to request aid from King Mithridates of Pergamum, further depleting the potential resistance to Pharnaces forcing Calvinus to make do.
By the campaign season of 47 BC, Caesar left Egypt and began an overland march through the far eastern provinces. Heading towards the trouble with Pharnaces, Caesar traveled through Judaea and Syria, accepting apologies and granting pardons to those foreign kings and Roman governors who had supported Pompey. In so doing, he was also able to rebuild his war chest through the various tributes paid to him. Boarding ship in Syria Caesar next sailed to Tarsus in Cilicia where he called a meeting of the regional leaders. Securing loyalty once again and laying out his plan of action, Caesar continued the march north to Pontus.
Still, Caesar offered a peaceful solution, declaring that Pharnaces could be forgiven if he quit Pontus, released Roman prisoners, restored any financial damage done in the process, and of course, pay a hefty tribute. Pharnaces at first agreed, but it was no secret that Caesar had pressing matters both in Rome and against hold out Republican resistance elsewhere. Marcus Antonius, appointed by Caesar as his master of horse (Caesar had been appointed to the dictatorship while in Egypt), was sent back to Rome to oversee administration of the city and was not living up to the task. Pharnaces took advantage and sought to delay Caesar as long as possible, hoping he would decide other matters were more urgent, but Caesar had lost patience.
In May of 47 BC, Pharnaces camped his army on a hill near the town of Zela and Caesar on an opposite hill. The place had historical significance in that Pharnaces' father; Mithridates had defeated a Roman army 20 years earlier. Separated by a valley a few miles apart, the two armies began to position for battle. Caesar, with 4 legions first began to build fortifications, assuming that Pharnaces had no taste for open battle against him, but he soon found this to be wrong. On or about May 30th, Pharnaces moved his lines towards Caesar, attacking with scythed chariots, but the Romans held them back with their pila. The Pontic army engaged full force and hand to hand fighting erupted across the lines.
Caesar, not only erased the blemish of the earlier Roman loss on this very site, he erected a monument to commemorate just that event. He set about reorganizing parts of the eastern provinces and set up Mithridates of Pergamum as King of Pontus in recognition for his loyalty and service in Egypt. Caesar then crossed from Asia to Thracia, and set sail for Italy. In the meantime, in recognition of his overwhelming victory, he sent a simple, but powerful message back to Rome and the Senate: "VENI VIDI VICI", I came, I saw, I conquered.
Just a couple of cases in point....which translate the above mentioned policies...:
Diary and Other Documents
Reviewed by Richard H. Curtiss
Most Israelis observe a conspiracy of silence by which certain
subjects widely discussed in the Hebrew press are seldom aired in
English-language media. One Israeli who dared to break that code of
silence, however, is the late Livia Rokach, daughter of Israel Rokach,
Minister of the Interior in the government of Moshe Sharett.
Sharett, a moderate who was Israel's first foreign minister and second
prime minister, kept a diary in which he meticulously recorded his
frustration at the determination of Israel's first prime minister,
David Ben Gurion, to achieve his goals by force, and at the "immense
capacity for plotting and intrigue-making of Moshe Dayan," Ben
Gurion's political protégé. Much of the diary concerns the 1954-55
period during which Ben Gurion had yielded the premiership to Sharett,
but still sought to set Israeli policy, first from his retreat at
Kibbutz Sdeh Boker, and subsequently as Defense Minister under
Sharett. Throughout this time, Ben Gurion carried out a policy he
described as "retaliation," but which Sharett saw as one of regular
provocations designed to bring about a new war in which Israel could
seize more territory from the Arabs in Gaza, the West Bank, Sinai,
Syria and Lebanon.
Avneri: "Rokach Did Clean Work"
Sharett's diary was edited by his son and published in Hebrew only.
When Ms. Rokach translated excerpts from it to insert into her book
about this crucial period and its tragic results, the Israeli Foreign
Ministry threatened her publisher, the Association of Arab American
University Graduates, with legal action if they published it without
the permission of Sharett's son. The AAUG went ahead with publication
and, in the words of Israeli Knesset member Uri Avneri, "the Jerusalem
politicians decided that pursuing a legal course in stopping the
dissemination of the booklet would be a mistake of the first order,
since this would give it much more publicity."
We have the word of Avneri, whose vocal opposition to Israeli war
policies in the 70's and 80's in many ways parallels the silent
opposition of Sharett in the 50's and 60's, that "Livia Rokach did
clean work. All her quotations are real. She did not ever take them
out of context, nor did she quote them in a way that contradicts the
intention of the diary writer."
Through 1954 entries in Sharett's diary we watch the planting of seeds
that led to Lebanon's bloody civil war and to the creation under
renegade Major Saad Haddad of an Israeli-controlled Maronite enclave
along Israel's northern border...and the Gemayels further north..., Sharett
attributes the idea to Ben Gurion:
"This is the time, he (Ben Gurion) said, to push Lebanon, that is, the
Maronites in that country, to proclaim a Christian State..."
The tactics, Sharett writes, were Dayan's:
"According to him (Dayan), the only thing that's necessary is to find
an officer, even just a major. We should either win his heart or buy
him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the savior of the
Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will
occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime
which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani
southward will be totally annexed to Israel..."
We see secret raids in 1955 into Arab territory:
"Ben Gurion reported to the cabinet ... how our four youngsters
(Israeli paratrooper reservists) captured the Beduin boys one by one,
how they took them to the wadi, how they knifed them to death one
after the other... When I arrived in Tel Aviv an officer... came to
tell me that the whole revenge operation was organized with the active
help of Arik Sharon, the commander of the paratroopers battalion."
The Story of the Lavon Affair
The diary records the Lavon affair, in which Israeli provocateurs
exploded bombs in U.S. cultural centers and diplomatic establishments
in Cairo and Alexandria in 1954 after being told "to break the West's
confidence in the existing (Nasser) regime... The actions should cause
arrests, demonstrations and expressions of revenge. The Israeli
origins should be totally covered."
When the provocateurs-young Egyptian-born Jews trained in Israel and
returned to their homeland-were caught and tried, Sharett publicly
denied Israeli complicity and accused the Egyptians of "vicious
hostility to... the Jewish people."
In private, however, Sharett deplored "the unleashing of the basest
instincts of hate and revenge... I walk around ... horror-stricken and
lost, completely helpless... What should I do?"
What Sharett should have done is now tragically clear. As Israeli
Prime Minister, had he stood up in the Knesset and denounced Israel's
actions aimed at provoking another Arab-Israeli war, the bloodshed of
1956, 1967, 1970, 1973 1982 and 2006 might have been averted,
He did not, and today we see an Israel where Ariel Sharon impatiently
awaits his call from his death bed.... to direct the next chapter in a tragic
Richard H. Curtiss is a retired foreign service officer and executive
director of the American Educational Trust.
By Livia Rokach. Belmont, Massachusetts: Association of Arab American
University Graduates, 1980.
Related documents here:
A fast forward for the World... thousands upon thousands of Tribes with more and more flags and Turbans everywhere....
In rugged western Iraq, once the bastion of the insurgency against the American occupation and now a freewheeling arena of electoral politics steeped in payola, the conversation in the tribal guesthouse in Anbar province was the equivalent of a stump speech.
"If anything happens to any of our candidates, even a scratch on one of their bodies, we will kill all of their candidates!" bellowed Hamid al-Hais, a tribal leader and party boss whose voice was like his build -- husky, coarse and forceful.
"That's right," shouted another sheik, who had suggested -- in jest, inshallah -- that a friend resolve a dispute by strapping on explosives and blowing himself up.
"Of course!" yelled another, who had accused the governor of urinating on Anbar.
"We'll break all the ballot boxes on their heads!" Hais declared, wagging a finger.
Part sheikh and part showman, with a dose of barroom humor, Hais leads a party that has helped make Iraq's provincial elections this month the first truly competitive vote in Sunni Muslim lands since the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003. By all accounts, that is a good thing. But the results of next Saturday's ballot may say less about the campaigns themselves than about the political geography of Anbar, where tribes, sprawling clans steeped in tradition and courted by the U.S. military, enjoy more power than at any time since the Iraqi monarchy was toppled half a century ago.
Here, the new Iraq looks like the old one, imbued with politics that might be familiar to Gertrude Bell, the British diplomat and adventurer who drew the country's borders after World War I.
There is a saying heard these days in Anbar: "Everyone claims they have the love of Laila, but Laila loves none of them." In other words, Laila gets to choose. The same might be said of the tribes, whose mantle everyone claims and which often demand a tidy sum for their support. Coddled and cultivated, the tribes are kingmakers.
"The center of power in Anbar," Hais called them as he sat in the guesthouse, decorated with purple, red and yellow plastic flowers, with 25 tribal leaders gathered over a sprawling, artery-clogging dish of chicken, lamb and a slab of fat, mixed with rice.
The Americans might have hoped the tribes had less power, Hais said, in their vision of a modern state built on the rule of law. "But now," he added, "they're stronger."
It is still democracy, the sheik insisted, gruffly.
A soft-spoken doctor, Sabah al-Ani, managing a crowded clinic in Fallujah, shook his head at the assertion. "If you believe in a stone," he said, "you can say it's God."
"We wanted technocrats," he went on, "and we were left with the tribes."
A Perfidy of Politics
Raad al-Alwani, another sheik in the mold of Hais, is one of more than 520 candidates in Anbar who are running on 37 electoral lists, though only a handful have real clout. His posters adorn blast walls, cluttered with the symbols and portraits of his opponents. Promises are few. Politics are often reputation, and a name usually suffices. "You're aware of me," one candidate declares, a bit menacingly.
In such places as Najaf and Karbala, steeped in Shiite Muslim scholarship, the turbaned clerics often speak in abstract metaphor and sometimes impenetrable analogies. When they speak. A grand ayatollah is still remembered for answering almost any question posed to him with one of two phrases: yajuz or la yajuz, possible or not possible.
In Anbar, a desert bisected by the Euphrates River that stretches west of Baghdad, such reticence would qualify as effeminate. And Alwani, as he likes to point out, is a man.
To guests, he hands out a leaflet with seven pictures of a bloodied corpse. "This is the fate of anyone who dares attack the house of Sheik Raad Sabah al-Alwani," it reads.
His criticism runs fast and no less furious....
He loathes the Iraqi Islamic Party, an heir of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most powerful Sunni parties that has controlled the province since elections in 2005. "I wouldn't work with them even if the Euphrates River changed directions and flowed back to Syria." He barely disguises his disgust at his former allies in the Awakening, a tribal gathering sometimes called the Sons of Iraq that helped defeat the group al-Qaeda in Iraq in Sunni regions with U.S. support. Cowards, he said. "And liars, too. How are they not?" The same goes for Harith Dhari, a cleric who once spoke on behalf of the Sunni community but now lives in exile in Jordan. "A barking dog," he said dismissively.
That leaves the tribal leaders, he said -- at least the ones he deems honorable. They are men who boast of their sway over the vast networks of clan, patronage and loyalty that the tribes in Iraq represent, and of their history in organizing Iraqi society for centuries and serving as a pillar of the monarchy installed by the British. Members of Albu Fahd, the largest tribe in Anbar, with a leadership determined by sometimes elusive consensus, say they can mobilize 80,000 voters -- and almost as many men with guns.
An exaggeration perhaps -- not uncommon here -- but not by far.
In the early years of the occupation, Anbar seemed monochromatic in its sentiments. There was an occupation, people often said, and it was the duty of Muslims to resist it. Bordering Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, with a porous frontier, the province soon became the most lethal locale for the U.S. military -- al-Qaeda in Iraq effectively ruled swaths of its flat desert. The revolt by the Awakening that began in 2006, led by tribal leaders such as Hais and Alwani, vanquished al-Qaeda and brought a remarkable, if precarious, calm. In Fallujah, once an insurgent stronghold where the mutilated and charred bodies of contractors were strung from a bridge in 2004, in an indelible image of the war, the popular restaurant Hajji Hussein has reopened, drawing throngs of customers for kebab reputed to be the best in Iraq.
But as Alwani's criticism testifies, postwar Anbar is a complicated landscape of shifting loyalties, often pushed and pulled by American largess that has made tycoons of men such as Alwani, who flaunts two prized falcons at his palatial home worth $4,000 each. Even the Awakening itself is in tatters, nearly all of its original leaders having deserted it.
"People here don't have principles. Their principles are zero," said Alwani, sitting with another tribal sheik, Jassim Swaidawi, a man he described as his dear friend.
Alwani left the room, and Swaidawi acknowledged his own fleeting loyalty.
He planned to vote for someone else. "I haven't told him yet," he admitted.
The perfidy of politics here has made for a scramble as sheiks and the Iraqi Islamic Party try to cobble together a slate of candidates that can claim the greatest breadth of tribal support. The Islamic Party is unpopular but still powerful given its presence in the government, access to the official budget and recourse to patronage that awards jobs in the state and security forces.
Some have recoiled at the ferocity of the competition.
"By God, all these parties are making for us fitna," discord and conflict, said Mishaan al-Jumaila, a tribal leader in Garma, a town near Fallujah that was once so dangerous no one but its residents dared venture there.
Beneath the tumult, residents say, it is clear that the tribes, wherever their loyalties, whatever their divisions, play the decisive role. Of the most powerful groups, only Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni parliament member drawing support from the still-substantial sympathy for Hussein's Baath Party, stands apart. The rest claim the tribes' mantle.
Hais's party, appropriately called the Tribes of Iraq List, offers candidates from 11 clans, among them the powerful Albu Fahd. No less insistent is the Islamic Party, which has staked its future on its own tribal alliances. One list joins a few of its candidates with the remnants of the Awakening, led by Ahmed Abu Risha, whose brother, Abdel-Sittar, led the movement until he was assassinated in September 2007, inaugurating its divisions. Another list claims the support of Amr Abdel-Jabbar, deemed by many as Anbar's preeminent sheik. Its leaders make clear the Islamic Party is the junior partner.
Of the 29 candidates, 15 are tribal figures. The Islamic Party has 12, but they had to agree to let the tribes vet, then choose, their candidates from a pool of 25 nominees.
"As the lead partner," said Abdel-Rahman al-Zubaie, who heads the Tribal Council of Fallujah and is himself a candidate, "we had the right to say the final word."
He shook his head, in a look that comes from stating the obvious.
"Of course," he added.
'I Speak From Bitterness'
In a land of swagger, Ali al-Rahal is modest. Amid the bombast, he is retiring. And in a campaign where money talks, he is penniless, having sold his and his wife's wedding rings to pay for campaign posters.
Rahal is a leader of the Sons of the Two Rivers Movement, a group of secular liberals running under the slogan "Together for Development." Shiites and Kurds sit on their board. So do a Christian and a Jew, one of the handful left in the country. They advocate human rights, transparency, an end to corruption and the rehabilitation of Iraq.
"We consider this real democracy," he said.
And no one seems to be listening. No one really can. The movement has almost no way to get the word out.
One party member sold his car for $4,000. Another donated $1,250. They are considering auctioning off their red and gold furniture, lonely as it is in an office bereft of posters, party literature and the campaign pens tribal candidates pass out.
"We can't even afford these," Rahal said, waving a leaflet the size of a playing card for one of their candidates. "And this is something simple!"
Everyone rails against the corruption in Anbar these days. Complaints run rife against the Islamic Party, accused by detractors of everything from skimming off contracts for tens of millions of dollars to build a hospital, a factory for artificial limbs and a sewage system to trying to bribe journalists with $40 Citizen watches. Sheiks protest, but their outrage seems more indignation that a rival managed to somehow steal more than they did.
To Rahal, though, that corruption speaks to a deeper malaise in postwar Anbar. To bring peace, the Americans chose allies -- tribal leaders such as Hais. To rebuild Anbar, they awarded vast contracts; in a glass case, Alwani framed a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. military that declares him "one of the best contractors the Marines have ever worked with." The result has left Rahal and liberals like him adrift in a landscape stitched together by the tribes, their new wealth and the alliances that ensued.
It has left him resentful, too. "Saddam Hussein gave the sheiks 5 million dinars each, right before he was overthrown, and they turned around and used the money to buy the Americans lunch. This is true," Rahal said. "You can buy and sell a lot of the sheiks for a glass of Scotch."
"Forgive me if I'm forthright," he added. "I speak from bitterness."
A few days later, Rahal showed up for an appointment at his office, which was now locked. The landlord had kicked the group out for failing to pay the $600-a-month rent. The landlord's assistant said he planned to confiscate the furniture, too. Whispering, Rahal pleaded with him to use the office for just a few minutes, and he reluctantly agreed.
A Coming-of-Age Fight
For a man, just 40, whose name was known to few outside his family in Ramadi before the U.S.-led invasion and Hussein's fall, Hais carries authority well.
In his Toyota Land Cruiser, Anbar's equivalent of a Cadillac, he takes the wheel. "I drive better," he said.
He scoffs at the idea of visiting a mosque and brags of his 2,000 olive trees and show horse named for his oldest son, Adham. He shows off his scars: a partial right finger and two wounds in his right leg, suffered in a clash in 2007 with al-Qaeda in Iraq.
"The Americans told me to be afraid. They said I should fear something, but I swear to God, I've never felt fear," he said. "God doesn't want me to be killed."
Since the American invasion, myths have always seemed to shape the sentiments of Anbar. During the battles for Fallujah in 2004, residents traded stories about birds guided by God casting stones at Apache helicopters and a scented breeze that descended on fighters as they battled U.S. troops. Hais has his own lore, the story of the fight he and other tribal leaders waged against al-Qaeda in what they call a liberation and a revolution.
To him, that struggle was a coming-of-age, his in a province where his generation will wield far more power than their fathers, some of whom fled abroad during the fight.
The older sheiks "are like verbs in the past tense," Hais said. "We rely on the tribes to the greatest extent. But not the sheiks of the tribe. The sons of the tribes."
Even he seems surprised, though, by the power he was delivered.
"If you look into my heart, you'll see that I don't think the power of the tribes is a good thing," he said, sitting underneath portraits of fellow sheiks and friends and family killed in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq. "With the fall of Saddam Hussein, we were ready to gaze up at skyscrapers, and all we found was houses destroyed and streets abandoned."
"This is what we got," he said.
For a moment, his rough humor subsided. So did his swagger. And for once, he turned reflective. "If we had a modern state, we wouldn't have to rely on the rule of tribes," he insisted. But until then, "a little bit of evil is better than more."
"A little bit of evil is better," he said again....
The cover of the Jan. 10-16, 2009 issue of the City of London's flagship The Economist magazine really tells it all, with its photograph of Israeli jets bombing Gaza City, and a headline that announces "The hundred years' war."
The editorial policy statement accompanying the cover, glibly begins:
With luck, the destructive two-week battle between Israel and Hamas may soon draw to an end. But how long before the century-long war between Arabs and Jews in Palestine follows suit? It is hard to believe that this will happen any time soon.... Gaza, remember, is only one item in a mighty catalogue of misery, whose entries are inscribed in tears. The Jews and Arabs of Palestine have been fighting off and on for 100 years.... The slaughter this week in Gaza ... will pour fresh poison into the brimming well of hate.
The Economist promo for another 100 years of bloodshed in the Holy Land continues:
A conflict that has lasted 100 years is not susceptible to easy solutions or glib judgments. Those who choose to reduce it to the 'terrorism' of one side or the 'colonialism' of the other are just stroking their own prejudices. At heart, this is a struggle of two peoples for the same patch of land. It is not the sort of dispute in which enemies push back and forth over a line until they grow tired. It is much less tractable than that, because it is also about the periodic claim of each side that the other is not a people at all—at least not a people deserving sovereign statehood in the Middle East. That is one reason why this conflict grinds on remorselessly from decade to decade.
The Economist was not merely offering commentary. As their editors know, it has been British policy, for more than 100 years, to actively promote precisely the kind of perpetual warfare that we see today in the Israeli onslaught against Gaza. The fact that this clearly documented history has been largely suppressed and forgotten, does not in any way undermine the truth. Indeed, the failure of leading American policymakers to appreciate that the long reach of the British empire is still driving events in Southwest Asia, is one of the primary reasons that the conflict remains so apparently intractable, to this day.
To address this dilemma, and to provide the newly inaugurated Obama Administration with the needed historical understanding, the staff of EIR presents the following account of the political war that raged for decades, between the republican, anti-colonialist United States of America, and the European colonial powers, over the future of Southwest Asia.
In the midst of World War I, Britain and France conspired to impose Anglo-French colonial rule over the territory of the former Ottoman Empire, under the secret Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916. The United States attempted to offer an alternative policy. Two American missions to the region—the Military Mission to Armenia, and the King-Crane Commission—directly countered the European colonial schemes. The emergence of Turkey as a unique sovereign state under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the only concrete accomplishment of the American effort, but the fault-lines between the American republican outlook and the European imperial outlook were well known throughout the region.
Still, Today ...
Some reading this introduction will react: The history aside, Britain is no longer an imperial power with global reach. If anything, the United States has replaced Britain as the world's would-be imperial giant. Again, this is simply wrong.
Just follow the path of the leading war ally of the Bush-Cheney team, Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair. It was Blair who made clear, in an April 1999 speech in Chicago on the 50th anniversary of NATO, that the world is now in a post-Westphalian, i.e., post-nation state, imperial epoch. And it is Blair, in his supposed capacity as the peace emissary of the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union), who is promoting the idea that the next Hundred Years War in the Mideast shall be between "moderates" (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) and "extremists" (Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and, perhaps, Syria).
When America Fought the British Empire and Its Treacherous Sykes-Picot Treaty, by Dean Andromedas
Netanyahu's Godfather: How British Imperialists Created the Fascist Jabotinsky, by Steven P. Meyer; file includes "Parvus, Jabotinsky, and London's Young Turks."
For further background, see:
Jabotinsky Wrecked Zionists' Hope for `Water for Peace' in Mideast,
by Steven P. Meyer
Netanyahu's Fascist Record: All Roads Lead to Shultz,
by Steven P. Meyer