Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bloglines - Ralph Peters: Ethnic Cleansing as Benefaction

Another Day in the Empire

Ralph Peters: Ethnic Cleansing as Benefaction

By Administrator on Uncategorized

According to Ralph Peters, writing for the Armed Forces Journal, there is a “dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works,” never mind this technique, offered by Peters as a panacea for ethnic division in the Middle East, falls under the definitions for genocide or crimes against humanity.

“While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone—from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism—the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region’s comprehensive failure isn’t Islam but the awful-but-sacrosanct international boundaries worshipped by our own diplomats.” In order to address this “scandalous inequality” and realize “a more peaceful Middle East,” Peters proposes “borders re-imagined,” that is to say the forced migration of millions of people.

Said like a retired Lieutenant Colonel given to writing fiction. Peters’ fictional “characters are often presented as military mavericks who have the clairvoyance and courage to tackle problems others can’t or won’t,” according to a Wikipedia write-up. “His novels progressed from futuristic scenarios involving the Red Army to contemporary terrorism and failed state issues.”

If not for British and French colonialism, culminating in the secret 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement to partition the Middle East, and the plot to hand a religiously charged bit of real estate over to conniving European Zionists, chances are good things would be different, even less culturally stagnate and rife with inequality, the defeated Ottoman Empire not withstanding.

Indeed, ethnic division was a determined policy from the outset in Syria and Lebanon, as the French set up “protectorates” where little protection was required prior to their intervention. Meanwhile, the British set about finding corrupt kings to rule over Iraq (Faisal bin Husayn) and Transjordan (Abdullah I), a chunk of desert adjoined to Palestine under the British Mandate, formerly autonomous territories under the Ottoman millet system. In Arabia, the Brits set up a protectorate, ruled by the austere Wahhabi Ibn Saud. Naturally, the French and British did not consult the natives.

All of this brazen colonialism, with its attendant racism and impudent exploitation, led to pan-Arab nationalism, which gained momentum under Gamal Abdel Nasser. As Nasserism was a form of cultural nationalism, revolutionary and vaguely socialist, sprawling from the Middle East to northern Africa, it was regarded as an ominous threat, and was studiously undermined at every turn, eventually resulting in the political emergence of pan-Islamism.

For instance, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, collaborating with British and later U.S. intelligence, challenged the secular government of the Wafd Party and, later, Nasser’s government. Even later, in Palestine, Hamas evolved from cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, and this was supported by Israel as “a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO,” according to a former senior CIA official cited by Richard Sale of UPI.

“In a region where only the worst aspects of nationalism ever took hold and where the most debased aspects of religion threaten to dominate a disappointed faith, the U.S., its allies and, above all, our armed forces can look for crises without end,” writes Peters, conveniently omitting the fact Arab nationalism was undermined and poisoned at every turn (one case of poisoning, supported by the CIA, arose in Iraq and produced Saddam Hussein). Likewise, Britain and the United States supported and nurtured “the most debased aspects of religion,” resulting in the Taliban, Frankenstein products incubated in CIA-ISI run Pakistani madrasahs. Naturally, Ralph Peters rolls national liberation movements, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, into his witch’s brew of debased religion.

Mr. Peters offers what can only be described as an Oded Yinon inspired plan for ethnic cleansing and reshaping borders in the Middle East. In order to understand how Peters would reshape borders, see this map. Yinon, at one time attached to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, wrote an article, published in the World Zionist Organization’s periodical Kivunim in 1982, calling “for Israel to bring about the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings,” as Stephen J. Sniegoski summarizes.

Israeli foreign policy expert Yehoshafat Harkabi critiqued the war/expulsion scenario—”Israeli intentions to impose a Pax Israelica on the Middle East, to dominate the Arab countries and treat them harshly”—in his very significant work, Israel’s Fateful Hour, published in 1988. Writing from a realist perspective, Harkabi believed that Israel did not have the power to achieve this goal, given the strength of the Arab states, the large Palestinian population involved, and the vehement opposition of world opinion. Harkabi hoped that ‘the failed Israeli attempt to impose a new order in the weakest Arab state—Lebanon—will disabuse people of similar ambitions in other territories.’8 Left unconsidered by Harkabi was the possibility that the United States would act as Israel’s proxy to achieve this goal.

Ralph Peters, however, does not propose dominating Arab countries and treating them harshly, as his Israeli counterparts obviously have done and would continue to do, that is if they were not confronted with a new and troublesome reality in the presence of Hezbollah, a dedicated, robust, and asymmetrical opponent, an inspirational template for all Arab resistance to come. Peters would have us believe his plan, including the “dirty little secret” of ethnic cleansing, a crime against humanity, will be accomplished with the good of Arab and Muslim people in mind, whereas the Israelis do not bother with such translucent sugarcoating.

At the end of the day, it is arrogance, hubris, and indeed racism that drives the ethnic cleansers and border redrawers. It is not the wish to benevolently hand down “democracy” to benighted Arabs and Muslims, but a continuation of imperialism, albeit gussied up in modern vestment.


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