The Snake Behind the Arab Spring
Due to its important geopolitical location (linking Asian, African and European continents) and to its diversified rich natural resources the indigenous inhabitants of the Middle Eastern region had been subjected to multi-forms of colonial campaigns since the beginning of ancient times. These inhabitants were subjected to ruthless military occupations, genocides, persecutions, oppressions, enslavements, and ethnic cleansing. Yet the people never surrendered nor gave up. They struggled for their freedom and independence and fought all colonial powers one after the other. Since the beginning of 2011 we are witnessing their latest regionally-sweeping fight against local ruling regimes that are subservient to foreign powers. This has become known as the Arab Spring. Unfortunately, like all their previous struggles, there is a poisonous snake in the background, which covertly is directing and orchestrating this Arab Spring to reap its fruits for itself.
Their most previous sweeping struggle, similar to the present Arab Spring, was the famous Arab Revolt of June 1916 kicking the colonial Ottoman Empire, known as the “Sick Man”, out of the whole Middle East. The poisonous snake then was the United Kingdom, who pledged to recognize Arab independence throughout the whole Middle East if they join the British in their fight against the Ottoman Empire; an ally to Germany during WWI. This pledge was officiated through what is known as McMahon/Hussein Correspondence (1915 through 1916). Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur McMahon was the British High Commissioner in Egypt from 1915 to 1917 and Hussein bin Ali was the Sharif of Mecca. The British confirmed their pledge, again, through the January 1918 letter by Sir Mark Sykes carried by British Commander David Hogarth to Hussein. British weapons were shipped to Arab fighters through T.E. Lawrence (known as Lawrence of Arabia), who also coordinated the war efforts between the two parties. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire the British broke their pledge to Sharif Hussein.
According to their May 16th 1917 secret Sykes-Picot Agreement they divided the Middle East into French and British colonies, and according to their Balfour Declaration, November 2nd 1917, they promised Palestine to the Zionists. Sharif Hussein was ousted from Mecca to exile by the British supported Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, who established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The military struggle continued within each separate Arab state until independence was achieved. Before quitting and leaving their Arab colonies, France and Great Britain raised some of their local cronies to become heads of states in order to keep the country dependent on the occupier economically, politically and even culturally. Some of the Arab countries, especially in Northern Africa, still use the occupier’s language next to Arabic as a main daily language.
There exists in the world a very wealthy and very influential group of people; the wealthiest 1%; a Power Elite, who exerts tremendous influence on world events. This Power Elite value themselves above all other nations. They had developed a kind of political theology that exalts them as the elite of all elites, the divinely chosen group, the architects of this world, the crafters of all religious, political and social ideologies, and the destroyers and builders of nations. It gives them the right and the duty to move nations and lead them into reshaping their political regimes through revolutions and wars to make these nations subservient to their own agenda. They spend their days drawing global projects and dedicate all their resources for their execution. They were responsible for all major wars around the world, for revolutions in many countries, for economical crises and for most major events in the history of this world. Through their wealth they control heads of states, all media outlets, military and intelligence organizations, and the world economy. Looking at the present global financial crises affecting many countries, one could not help but ask: who is this debtor, wealthy enough to hold many countries and their whole economies in his debt?
This is not any longer the farfetched conspiracy theory they are trying to ridicule those who try to expose it with. It is a fact. After all a conspiracy is defined as “evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more people”.
For those who doubt that nations could be blindly and irrationally driven to acts against their own national interests and welfare, I would like to remind them of the drastic opposing effects of the famous speeches given by Brutus Albinus and Mark Antony to the Roman citizens after the assassination of Julius Caesar. The Romans, won by Brutus’ speech, were immediately converted against him within few minutes by Mark Antony’s speech. The famous proverb states that “people are just like a ball kicked from one corner of the field to the other by politicians.” Thus the political term “the ball is in one politician’s court.”
Iraq, Syria and Iran were the main obstacles to the Power Elite’s primary colonial Zionist Project of establishing Greater Israel to control the Middle Eastern region. The Power Elite came up with the “New Middle East” and “fighting global terrorism” projects to augment their Zionist Project. Intending to move southward they started with the occupation and destruction of Iraq. Although the Iraqi occupation was carried out under the banner of weapons of mass destruction and spreading the American democracy, it was faced with huge global political opposition not to mention the large financial expenses.
After failing to manipulate the IAEA and UN to isolate and to break the Iran/Syria ally, who supports Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas in their resistance against Israeli occupation and expansion, the Power Elite came up with the perfect scheme of “New Order through Chaos” erroneously dubbed, later on, as the Arab Spring. It involves revolution from within to topple the ruling regime and to incite conflict and struggle between the different religious and ethnic groups to divide and to weaken the country in order to make it easier for them to interfere, under the pretence of protecting minorities and/or of economic aid, to virtually control and re-organize the country. This way the Power Elite would present itself as an ally rather than an occupier, would gain the approval of the international community, would sidetrack all global political opposition and criticism, and would avoid the huge expenses incurred by the revolution. Their first attempt during 2009 Iranian election failed to topple the regime due to the relatively small size of demonstrators. A proven precedent with a strong credibility was needed to convince larger masses into revolting. The Power Elite was ready for a “controlled sacrifice” in order to win the ultimate prize, similar to a chess player, who is ready to sacrifice his queen in order to check-mate his opponent’s king. The goal is a controlled election in an American style democracy in some of the “non-friendly” Middle Eastern countries.
Tunisian Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the first sacrifice. Tunisia was a French colony from 1883 to 1956 when Habib Bourguiba established the Republic of Tunisia. Bourguiba made the fatal mistake of nationalizing foreign land holdings and Christian religious institutions. This infuriated the Italians, who brokered what is known as the “medical coup d’état” deposing Bourguiba and installing the head of security forces, Ben Ali, in his place. This was declared to a 1999 Parliamentary Committee by Fulvio Martini, former head of Italian military secret service (SISMI). Ben Ali was perfect local foreign puppet. He has French and American military and intelligence training. He had close working relationship with Bush’s (Junior) administration and was a partner in fighting the so called global terrorism through the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative.
Contrary to the claimed cause for the 2010/11 Tunisian Revolt its economy was considered the best in the African continent and was projected to even improve in the coming years. The 2010-2011 Global Competitive Report (Davos World Economic Forum) ranked Tunisia as first in Africa and 32nd out of 132 globally. In an attempt to fight potential terrorism through economic assistance Ben Ali established a National Solidarity Fund that slashed Tunisia’s poverty from 7.4% in 1990 to 3.8% in 2005. The Oxford Business Group stated that Tunisia’s economy was likely to grow starting with 2008 due to its diversified industries.
Tunisia was chosen for its vulnerability to the West. Its security intelligence was penetrated through its cooperation in NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor, and its military and economy were compromised through the American military and economic assistance programs. Although the Power Elite supports its local puppet rulers they also support, to a lesser extent, opposition groups just in case the ruler gets out of line they would use the opposition groups to get rid of him.
The revolution started with Wikileaks exposing the large extent of Ben Ali’s corruption. When Mohammed Bouazizi lit himself aflame the opposition groups were already primed for mass demonstrations. As the head of state, and through bribery, Ben Ali could have sent the army and thugs to crush the demonstrators, as we have seen in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria. The country’s army chief withdrew his support to Ben Ali after his consultation with the Obama’s administration as was rumored. Ben Ali flew out to Saudi Arabia that has become known as the refuge for all deposed dictators of the region.
The many political parties formed before the Tunisian election is an indicative of the prevalent division and confusion among the people. The inexperienced Ennahda Islamist Party, who won the October 23rd election, could become a very easy prey to foreign long experienced political interference and to economical manipulation.
Egypt was the litmus test that would propel the rest of the Arab nations, particularly Syrians, into revolting against their ruling regimes. Hosni Mubarak was chosen for he was the most hated, although very influential, Arab leader of the most important Arab country. He was hated by his people for his tyranny, his oppression, his corruption, and his cheap privatization of Egyptian natural resources to foreign investors among many others. He was hated by the majority of Arab nations for his pro-American/Israeli foreign policies, for supporting the American invasion of Iraq, for his opposition to the democratically elected Palestinian Hamas, for his sabotage to all inter-Palestinian reconciliation efforts, for his partnership with Israeli Gaza siege, for his opposition to Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ armed resistance against Israeli occupation, and for his support to Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah and Israel’s 2009 war against Gaza. He was the queen to be sacrificed in the chess game.
“US groups helped nurture Arab Uprisings” was the title of an article in New York Times, which exposed that young Egyptian activists had received technical training on the use of social networking and mobile technology, and were financed by American groups such as International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy and Project on Middle East Democracy.
It is inconceivable that Mubarak, the wealthy ruthless head of state for thirty years and with long history in military service, did not have any loyal subjects in the army, who would help him crush the demonstrators. For the last thirty years the Egyptian army had been virtually armed, trained, and financed by the US. The army did not crush the protesters because there were strict orders not to do so. Comparatively the same army had crushed protesters and even opened live fire at them after the revolution (Maspero Massacre of 9th October, here and here). The Supreme Counsel of the Armed Forces, who seized power after the revolution, had re-instated the emergency laws and is slapping in military courts prison sentences to young activists, who started the revolution. This Counsel stood watching thugs attacking and destroying many government buildings. The latest attack this month was on the Supreme Court while judges were in a meeting. Egypt now is divided with religious conflicts (Christian Copts vs Muslims) and non-functioning government.
The American chosen next president is already primed and ready for the proper time to grab presidency. As for Mubarak, he had served the American/Israeli interest well for the last thirty years and would not be let off empty handed. According to Egyptian weekly “Alanbaa Aldawlia” the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) organization, with 14 million members and specializes in the monitoring of money laundering schemes, had reported to the FBI that for 10% commission President Obama and 17 other American officials, including both former presidents Bush (father & son), Hillary Clinton, James Baker and others, with the cooperation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a high manager of Deutche Bank in France, had been involved in the money laundering of Mubarak’s $700 Billion from Deutche Bank, Barclays Bank and HSBC Bank, to Israel’s Bank Leumi and other banks in China and Taiwan. According to Anat Levin, the branch manager of Israeli Bank Haboalim-Swiss branch, she was authorized by the Israeli government to transfer $20 Billion from Mubarak’s account to Saudi King Abdulla Abd El-Aziz’s account and to UAE president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s account. The weekly also reported that Christine Legarde, while still French Minister of Economic Affairs, had submitted a report to the Interpol requesting thorough investigation into the management of Deutche Bank in France.
Libyan revolution was actually a civil war brokered by Western powers (US, UK, and France) and some Arab Gulf countries (Egypt, UAE, and Qatar). After paying reparations for Lockerbie bombing, abandoning his nuclear program, and giving Western energy companies (Royal Dutch Shell and BP) access to Libyan oil fields in 2004, Gaddafi had ended enmity with the West. Although he had a type of grandeur illusions Gaddafi attempted in the past to unite Arab countries, and upon failing he recently attempted to create an African Union which threatened the re-colonization plan of Africa by AFRICOM. The decision to get rid of Gaddafi, once and for all, came when he vowed to expel Western energy companies from the country and replace them with oil firms from China, India and Russia. Gaddafi’s second fatal mistake was his plan to convince African and Muslim counties to create a new currency, the gold dinar, to rival the American Dollar and the European Euro, in oil trade.
Libyan revolution was totally militarized. It was revealed that Egypt and Qatar were the main arms suppliers to the Libyan rebels. Under American pressure Arab League urged UN to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, and Qatar offered to cover all expenses of NATO forces to bomb alleged Gaddafi’s forces. Libyan rebels were civilians without any military training and were no match for Gaddafi’s well-trained and well-equipped army. It was revealed by Walter Fauntroy, member of US House of Representatives, that while in a self-sanctioned peace mission to Libya, he witnessed French and Danish troops coordinating NATO bombings and raiding Libyan villages, and giving the credit to Libyan rebels. At the end Gaddafi was ordered murdered rather than captured for fear of exposing all his shady dealings with the West.
Two unplanned products of the Arab Spring were the Yemeni and Bahraini revolutions. These are genuine popular peaceful revolutions against Yemeni Saleh’s 33 years oppressive rule, and against Al Khalifa family virtual 191 years rule. The two countries have strategic locations in the region and are of important interest to the American Administration. Yemen is located on the southern entrance of the Red Sea, through which all east/west marine traffic passes. Citing the October 2000 USS Cole bombing, the 2008 attacks on US embassy, and the October 2010 bomb packages incidents, allegedly linked to Anwar al-Awlaki, as proof of Al Qaeda in Yemen, Obama’s administration and Saudi Arabia justified sending money, arms and troops to help Saleh fight terrorists, and to crush the 10 months old demonstrations.
The US has possibly the largest marine/air force base in Bahrain, where the Fifth Fleet provides support to all war ships of the US Naval Forces Central Command (USNACENT) to patrol the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. To keep the status quo in Bahrain Obama’s administration encouraged Gulf States to send the Peninsula Shield Force to Bahrain to crush the demonstrators. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE were happy to oblige and send their troops to Bahrain.
Syria is the main target; the prize; the king to be checked-mate. With American money and with the cooperation of some Arab officials, paid operatives incited some Syrian citizens, motivated by ethnic and religious background, to demonstrate in the streets demanding reform and regime change. These demonstrations took place in the easy accessible small towns on the borders of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Yet these demonstrations were dwarfed by millions of other Syrian citizens who demonstrated in major cities in support of the regime. To intensify the conflict these operatives, dressed in Syrian army outfits, started killing some citizens and accusing the Syrian police and army, and at the same time attack police and army personnel to force them into the defensive.
Compared to Tunisian, Egyptian, Yemeni and Bahraini peaceful demonstrations, Syrian demonstrations are totally armed with heavy weapons; machine guns, propelled missiles, anti-tank RPG, mines and heavy explosives, and are directed and orchestrated by military experts from other neighboring Arab countries as exposed by Al-Alam and Syrian TVs.
Heavy weapons and military experts were smuggled in through Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, as reported by the Lebanese Arabic Assafir. Turkey had also played a major role in pressuring Syria and had harbored and encouraged armed Syrian rebels called Free Syrian Army. In successive televised interviews the former Lebanese MP Nasser Kandil had exposed in details including names, dates, and places, the conspiracy of destroying Syria as a country not just a regime change. The Saudi Bandar Ben Sultan (dubbed Bandar Bush by the Bush family) was named as a major conspirator with the Americans against Syria. It was reported that He was arrested in Syria while under cover smuggling money and weapons to Syrian operatives. It was also exposed that the American Ambassador Robert Ford and French Ambassador Eric Chevallier (in Arabic) to Syria had smuggled sophisticated satellite communication and surveillance equipment to the Syrian rebels some of which were seized by Syrian police.
Media outlets had also been manipulated to pressure Syrian government and to inflame the demonstrators. After gaining credibility in reporting Tunisian, Egyptian, and Libyan revolutions Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia TV channels had almost totally ignored the 99% popular Bahraini peaceful demonstrations and concentrated on Syrian demonstrators, less than 40% of the population, in a biased unconfirmed and more hostile reporting against the Syrian government. Every Thursday one could notice heightened reports about civilian casualties and ruthless attacks of the Syrian army in an attempt to incite more people to join Friday demonstrators. Syrian news would top every news broadcast even though there might be more important news in the region. Al-Jazeera repeated broadcasting phone video clips of the same demonstrations from different angles, and of alleged civilian victims, some of these clips proved to be of old Iraqi troops abusing citizens. The victims were always reported as civilians while there was no mention of Syrian soldiers being killed. Unlike Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Yemeni army defectors shown on TV declaring support to the people, the media failed to show one Syrian army defector while they keep announcing wide defection. Al-Jazeera had established a special war room planning anti-Syrian propaganda as reported by some Al-Jazeera’s prime reporters and directors such as Ghassan Ben Jeddo and Luna Al-Shibl among many others (Arabnews in Arabic), who submitted their resignation in protest of such unprofessional politically biased reporting.
The US and France, particularly, had pushed for many harsh sanctions against Syria through the UN. Fortunately they could not obtain a military interference under the excuse of protecting Syrian citizens, as was done in Libya, because of the Russian and Chinese veto threat. So the Arab League, a Western tool, was pushed to play pressuring active role in Syria. It seems that many Arab leaders, especially Gulf leaders, who cynically call for democratic regime in Syria, have forgotten that they, themselves, employ family autocratic dictatorships in their own countries. Despite this fact the Syrian government had accepted the Arab League plan. The oppositional Syrian National Council rejected the plan and intensified its violence against the Syrian army inviting harsh retaliation. So the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership and threatened economic and political sanctions. Such are illegal actions contradicting the constitution of the Arab League that had never made a decision benefiting any Arab state, but legalized the many Western military interference in the Middle East such as in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Libya. We should mention here that the Arab League had refused to receive a petition from the slaughtered Bahraini people requesting protection. Thousands of people within different Arab states demonstrated against the decision of Arab League in front of Qatar’s and Saudi Arabia’s embassies.
It has become obvious that the Syrian oppositional groups are divided and have different aspirations some of them are conflicting and confusing. This division and confusion are due to the background of each oppositional group. The Western paid groups are armed seeking violent regime change and call for foreign interference the same as in Libya. The genuine oppositional groups reject any foreign interference fearing the same fate of Libya, and seek drastic reform through dialogue.
To obtain peace, real democracy and prosperity in the Arab World, ALL the present Arab leaders and regimes need to be abolished, starting east with the Gulf States all the way west to the Pacific Ocean through the northern Arab states of Africa. This would give a chance for an Arab Union to develop under one real democratic regime with one united economy. Such a strong Arab Union would re-balance global power and put an end to Western re-colonization schemes of the Middle East.
We should remember that permanent changes happen through the evolution of human consciousness not through violent destructive revolutions.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of Beit Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He lives now in the US, and publishes his articles on the web in both English and Arabic.