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Friday, May 10, 2013

Washington architects sabotaging Arab uprising, destroying Middle East

Iraq, Syria, death of 
Middle East ─ Hussain
Editing, re-reporting by 
Carolyn Bennett

In his April article “The special dread of terrorism for Muslims in the west,” Murtaza Hussain leads with a personal statement. “I was born in Pakistan,” he says, “but [I’ve] been fortunate enough to have had a happy life growing up in Toronto, Canada – a place where I have always felt at home and for which I have more attachment than any other in the world. In my mind, the mere idea of a terrorist attack ever occurring here provokes feelings of anger and sadness: it is painful to imagine something bad happening to a place you care about. I imagine Americans feel exactly the same way about their country.”

In early May this Toronto-based analyst concerned with Middle Eastern politics opined at Al Jazeera (also
picked up by Stop the War Coalition-UK). This article: “Iraq, Syria and the death of the modern Middle East ─ the nations of Syria and Iraq today are little more than political fictions, crushed underfoot by foreign intervention.” This is an edited version of that article, which is worth reading in full as Murtaza Hussain wrote it.


“The Middle East … is today violently breaking apart in front of the eyes of the world,” Murtaza Hussain wrote. “Syria and Iraq, formerly unified Arab states formed after the defeat of their former Ottoman rulers, exist today in name only and what appears most likely to replace them ─ after the bloodshed subsides ─ are small, ethnically and religiously homogenous state-lets: weak and easily manipulated, where their antecedents at their peaks were robustly independent powers.”

Such state-lets ─ divided along sectarian lines, he says ─

…would be politically pliable, isolated and enfeebled and thus utterly incapable of offering a meaningful defense against foreign interventionism in the region.

[And] given the implications for the Middle East, where overt foreign aggression has been a consistent theme for decades, there is reason to believe that this state of affairs has been consciously engineered.

Iraqis carry their dead
April 2013
U.S. War is not over
when it's called
Nation torn apart: Christian, Sunni, Shia, Kurd

Iraq’s once vibrant and influential Christian community has been driven nearly to extinction, while Sunnis and Shias are locked in a seemingly intractable sectarian conflict which appears ready to rip Iraq into its final pieces.
Shock and Awe

The northern province of Iraqi Kurdistan is, in all but its name, an independent country, moving increasingly toward formal [state] recognition.

Sunni and Shia Iraqis have come to see themselves more as distinct entities than as part of a cohesive nation.

Once an empowered minority, Iraqi Sunnis have taken up arms in recent months against the Shia-dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki and have staked their terms in a manner that acknowledges the irredeemable nature of a continued Iraqi state.

Foreign-designed breakdown

While couching their justifications for war in the rhetoric of liberation, the U. S. architects of the Iraq War had for years previously openly acknowledged and predicted that an invasion would result in the death of Iraq as a cohesive state.

Authors of the 1996 policy paper ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ advocated using U.S. military power to radically reshape the Middle East and acknowledged the inevitability of the post-invasion demise of Iraq.

hey predicted that after violently deposing Iraq’s government, the country ‘… would be ripped apart by the politics of warlords, thieves, [Reflect also on the U.S. model operating against Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia and other African countries, and beyond the Near East into far eastern Asia and the Americas.] clans, sects and key families’. Viewed in the light of documented premeditation, the occupying authority’s post-invasion decisions to dissolve Iraq’s army, patronize sectarian militias and death squads and destroy Iraq’s civilian infrastructure are far more comprehensible.

The chaos enveloping Iraq since 2003,” Murtaza Hussain says, is an intentional consequence “that was predicted years earlier by the war’s architects and then perfectly executed.” The partition of Iraq today has been “mapped out by American think-tanks seeking to divide this country into its contingent ethnic and religious parts and to put a final end to the country. 

“The unacknowledged truth
U.S. war and post-war
Basrah, Iraq
behind the past decade of bloodletting ─ unconscionable Iraqi suffering, April 2013 its deadliest month in five years with more than 700 people killed in sectarian violence ─ in Iraq is that the country, effectively, ceased to exist after the United States’ 2003 invasion.” 

As Iraq so goes Syria’s breakdown
As in Iraq
U.S. destroying
Its people
Its government
Syria under
Western aggression
In Syria are echoes of “‘A Clean Break,’” Murtaza Hussain says, “whose influential authors counseled on confrontation with Syrian interests throughout the region and explicitly called for menacing the country’s territorial integrity.” Today’s analysts, he says, “dispassionately discuss the possibility of an independent Alawite [minority sect of Shiite Muslims] state in Lattakia [Latakia or Latakiyah (often locally transliterated as Lattakia) is the principal port city of Syria as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate (pop., 2004 official census: 383,786). In addition to serving as a port in northwestern Syria, projecting into the Mediterranean Sea, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages. Syria’s 5th largest city after Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and Hama, Latakia borders Tartus to the south, Hama to the east, and Idlib, Turkey to the north] and the fragmenting of the rest of the country into separate portions for Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, and the many other ethnic and religious groups which once made up the diverse tapestry of modern Syria.”

Toward often sinister, confused and ricocheting ends, “‘The United States has taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and Syria,’” Hussain recounts, and has “bolstered Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to [the United States] and sympathetic to al-Qaeda: the fruits of an explicitly sectarian policy that operationally terrorizes both the Syrian government and secular activists who were the founders of the revolution itself.” [Murtaza Hussain references investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 piece on this topic.]

Arab revolution sabotaged

“When Syrians swept up in the once-transcendent spirit of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings undertook their own revolution against the corrupt, myopic regime of [President] Bashar al-Assad,” Murtaza Hussain writes, “few had any idea it would lead to the dystopian reality [existence where people lead dehumanized, often fearful lives] of massacre and foreign plunder the country faces today.

Syria, Yemen, Egyptian flags
Tahrir uprising
“The revolution
─ a legitimate, democratic uprising against a despotic government ─ provided a prize opportunity for the country’s neighbors to violently exploit Syrian unrest to further their own venal interests.”

In the new environment in which the old order “in its final violent convulsions” gives way to “a new Western-backed alliance that exerts hegemony” over the region ─ “the once-cherished concepts of self-determination and independence will be suffocated under the financial, political and military might of an unprecedented new axis of control wielded from the centers of power in Washington (United States), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).…

Middle East April 2013
U.S. principal ally
Israel strikes Syria
“The nations of Syria and Iraq today (succumbing to an increasingly terrifying dynamic that fragments and weakens former Arab states into ethnically-homogenous enclaves, also threatening Lebanon) are 
… little more than political fictions, crushed underfoot by foreign military and political intervention and devoured from the inside by politically-fomented sectarian hatreds.

Sources and notes

“The special dread of terrorism for Muslims in the west ─ For Muslims in the U.S. and Canada, terror’s enduring damage is the erosion of trust and an unjust stain of guilt by association,” (Murtaza Hussain, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 23 April 2013 07.30 EDT), http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/23/special-dread-terrorism-muslims-west

“Iraq, Syria and the death of the modern Middle East ─ The nations of Syria and Iraq today are little more than political fictions, crushed underfoot by foreign intervention” (opinion by Murtaza Hussain, a Toronto-based writer and analyst focused on issues related to Middle Eastern politics, published at Al Jazeera), May 7, 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/2013567200437919.html

Murtaza Hussain

Murtaza Hussain is a Toronto-based writer specializing in foreign policy and civil liberties. He is a regular contributor to al-Jazeera, Salon.com, al-Masry al-Youm (in Egypt) and Aslan Media.

Ottoman Empire (Britannica note)

ANATOLIA: Turkish  Anadolu (also called  Asia Minor): the peninsula of land that today constitutes the Asian portion of Turkey. Because of its location at the point where the continents of Asia and Europe meet, Anatolia was, from the beginnings of civilization, a crossroads for numerous peoples migrating or conquering from either continent.

The Ottoman Empire was created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia. One of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, it spanned more than 600 years and came to an end only in 1922, when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic and various successor states in southeastern Europe and the Middle East.

t its height the empire included most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including modern Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Greece, and Ukraine; Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and most of the Arabian Peninsula.

The term Ottoman is a dynastic appellation derived from Osman (Arabic: ʿUthmān), the nomadic Turkmen chief who founded both the dynasty and the empire.

Ottoman Empire (Wikipedia note)

The Ottoman Empire (Ottoman Turkish: دولت عليه عثمانیه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-yi ʿOsmâniyye[4] Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu), also historically referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey in north-western Anatolia in 1299.

With the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed II in 1453, the Ottoman state was transformed into an empire.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful states in the world – a multinational, multilingual empire that stretched from the southern borders of the Holy Roman Empire on the outskirts of Vienna, Royal Hungary (including modern Slovakia) and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the north to Yemen and Eritrea in the south; from Algeria in the west to Azerbaijan in the east; controlling much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.

At the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states, some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

ith Constantinople as its capital and vast control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for over six centuries.


Ottoman Turkish was the official language of the Empire. It was a Turkic language highly influenced by Persian and Arabic.

The Ottomans had three influential languages: Turkish, spoken by the majority of the people in Anatolia and by the majority of Muslims of the Balkans except in Albania and Bosnia; Persian, only spoken by the educated; and Arabic, spoken mainly in Arabia, North Africa, Iraq, Kuwait and the Levant.

In the last two centuries, usage of these became limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a literary language for the educated, while Arabic was used for religious rites.


Until the second half of the 15th century, the empire, had a Christian majority, under the rule of a Muslim minority.

By 1914, only 19.1 percent of the empire’s population was non-Muslim, mostly made up of Christian Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians, and some Jews.[


he reign of the long-lived Ottoman dynasty lasted for 623 years (July 27, 1299-November 1, 1922), when the monarchy in Turkey was abolished.

After the international recognition of the new Turkish parliament headquartered in Ankara, by means of the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24, 1923, the Turkish parliament proclaimed on October 29, 1923, the establishment of the Republic of Turkey as the continuing state of the defunct Ottoman Empire, in line with the treaty.

The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished on March 3, 1924. The Caliphate’s authority and properties were transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.


Background: Middle East (Near East) Countries

he Middle or Near East consists of the lands around the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. These lands extend from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, and by some interpretations beyond. Some of the first modern Western geographers and historians who tended to divide the Orient into three regions gave the region the name “Near East.”

In their three-region designations: Near East applied to the region nearest Europe, extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf; the Middle East, extending from the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia; and the Far East, encompassing the regions facing the Pacific Ocean.

The change in usage from “Near” to “Middle” East began evolving before World War II and extended through that war. The British military command in Egypt coined the term “Middle East” and, so defined, its states or territories included:

Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon;
Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Jordan;
Egypt, The Sudan, Libya; and
Various states of Arabia proper (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, or
Trucial Oman [now United Arab Emirates]

Subsequent events have tended, in loose usage, to enlarge the number of lands included in the definition. Among these are:

Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, three North African countries “closely connected in sentiment and foreign policy with the Arab states”;

Afghanistan and Pakistan, because geography and geopolitics connect these with affairs of the Middle East;

Greece occasionally is included in the compass of the Middle East because the Middle Eastern (then Near Eastern) question in its modern form first became apparent when the Greeks in 1821 rebelled to assert their independence from the Ottoman Empire. Turkey and Greece, together with the predominantly Arabic-speaking lands around the eastern end of the Mediterranean, were also formerly known as the Levant.

Historically the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores were called the Levant. Common use of the term is associated with Venetian and other trading ventures and the establishment of commerce with cities such as Tyre and Sidon as a result of the Crusades. It was applied to the coastlands of Asia Minor and Syria, sometimes extending from Greece to Egypt. It was also used for Anatolia and as a synonym for the Middle or Near East. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the term “High Levant” referred to the Far East. The name “Levant States” was given to the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon after World War I, and the term is sometimes still used for those two countries, which became independent in 1946. (“Levant” is from the French “lever,” “to rise,” as in sunrise, meaning the east.)

Use of the term “Middle East” remains unsettled, and some agencies (notably the United States State Department and certain bodies of the United Nations) still employ the term “Near East.”
Encyclopædia Britannica Deluxe Edition, s.v. “Middle East.”

Alawite: any member of a minority sect of Shiite Muslims living chiefly in Syria.

Latakia or Latakiyah (often locally transliterated as Lattakia) is the principal port city of Syria as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate (pop., 2004 official census: 383,786). In addition to serving as a port in northwestern Syria, projecting into the Mediterranean Sea, the city is a manufacturing center for surrounding agricultural towns and villages. Syria’s 5th largest city after Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and Hama, Latakia borders Tartus to the south, Hama to the east, and Idlib, Turkey to the north.


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