Screwed-Up Arab Countries
It’s our turn! We are the latest Western Christian nation to screw-up the Muslim Middle East. You can blame it somewhat on oil, but it’s not wholly responsible.
The Ottoman Turks shoved aside the Byzantine Empire in 1453; nearly 500 years after the Crusades, the Age of Discovery had already begun. Christopher Columbus may be the most famous in America, but he was not the first explorer. Every site the outsiders landed, they made themselves at home. In this hemisphere the Vikings were exceptions; they traveled without families. The problems multiplied because of increasing civilization and population.
The Ottoman Empire in its turn fell – not without help. The forming of the Balkan countries happened before World War I. After the assassinations in Sarajevo, the known society crumbled. The 19th century internal combustion machine richly increased the hunger for the Middle East’s most important export.
At that time the phrase was coined: The Sun never sets on the British Empire. North America was ruled by the blondes and blue-eyed. Nobody who’s ever lived trusted completely people who looked different, giving an original start to racism. Furthermore, the black, brown and yellow skins practiced other religions than the whites, yet another reason for bigotry against them.
At the present time, it may be stated conclusively that prejudice and petroleum shaped the world we know. The Islamic nations contain browner people and most of the planet’s oil. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France, steadfast allies in the war to end all wars, carved the Middle East between them, while isolationist America retreated behind the mighty oceans.
As in Africa the Europeans fixed national boundaries ignoring the people. In Asia Minor, religions divided them into Sunnis and Shiite Muslims that has seemingly as many branches as Protestant Christianity.
Behind each European-designated border, London chose a minority they ruled through; in Egypt, where I lived, the chosen were Coptic Christians. In Iraq, Sunnis ruled over Shiites and Kurds on behalf of the English. The Italians employed the Shiia Sunussi against the Sunni majority. The French chose the Alawite sect as an instrument to keep under control the Sunnis and those from other branches of Islam. The Zoroastrians, which dominated Persia before the Arab conquest, can be found in some numbers. President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite.
Nobody who knows the history can blame the Muslim Brotherhood for the so-called Arab Spring. Centuries of injustices and oppression are behind the uprisings. The Egyptian generals act as they have done through many regimes, under pharaohs, emirs and kings. They were paid trillions by Washington since M. Anwar Sadat traveled to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The military subsidies held steady when Hosni Mubarak ordered his predecessor assassinated – which sophisticates along the Nile acknowledge with customary cynicism.
Now Syria is in murderous tumult. Hafez al-Assad sliced up the minorities-formed Baath Brotherhood in 1970 into his personal fiefdom, died and was succeeded by son Bashar. The continuing atrocities are no more palpable when commanded by the British-educated physician in charge now.
Most of all Muslims, of all colors, distrust and hate America because the White House first recognized the Jewish state. The last president to stand up to Israel was Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower; ever since Lyndon Baines Johnson ignored the sinking and massacre on U.S.S. Liberty, the Islamic society considers Washington as a giant led around by his nose.
The recent performance by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney reached a low point for our once-mighty nation.