March 19, 2014

Declarations of War In Iraq; Escalations In Ukraine; The Facade of The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

"The eventual victors of the war had established secret treaties during the war, such as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, that would allocate control of various territories to European authorities. Baker described how the negotiations during the conference after the war corresponded closely with these secret treaties, as well as with the ongoing planning of an oil pipeline and a railroad. “[I]t suddenly emerged in the secret councils … that powerful British and French commercial interests were at that moment negotiating for the laying of a pipe line from the Mesopotamian oil fields to the port of Tripoli in the French zone of Syria.” [Bak1922, p78] In fact, Baker proposed that economic exploitation may have been the main reason for the war in the first place. “The great war [World War I] has even been described as primarily a struggle for the domination of the Near East.”

World War I cleared the way for increased European domination of the Middle East. The war provided the UK, France, and others with the tools they needed to solidify their control of key Middle Eastern territories. Their actions were a continuation of policies and positions that they had taken prior to the war. These actions were designed to obtain the best possible economic and political access to these territories, which included access to resources, markets, land, and labor. In his notes, Baker commented on these matters. “I am conscious that this makes a pretty dark picture” [Bak1922, p80], but, as he went on to indicate, it is important to understand the reasons why the region came to be divided, as it remains today." - John L. Clark, "World War I and the continuity of control in the Middle East" August 2, 2011.

"The First World War would have a lasting effect on the Middle East. . .There were lasting political effects as well; one can even say that the roots of many contemporary conflicts in the Middle East go back to the Great War and the settlements that came out of it. The ongoing enmity between Armenia and its neighbors Turkey and Azerbaijan can be traced directly back to the Armenian genocide and Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge it. Over the past century, Kurdish unrest has been an ongoing issue in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, sometimes flaring into outright warfare, revolution, and even genocide (for example, Iraqi measures against its rural Kurdish population in the 1980s). Bloody civil wars in Lebanon and, most recently, in Syria – as well as conflicts in Iraq - are rooted in political and social issues that developed or were intensified during the mandate period that resulted from the First World War treaties.Finally, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, probably the greatest, most continuous source of unrest in the Middle East, has been greatly accelerated by wartime promises and post-war policies." - "Overview – World War I in the Middle East." Source: The University of Arizona.
This summer the world will mark the 100th anniversary of WWI. Historians do not categorize the war as a single and closed event, but as the start of a thirty years war that came to an end in May 1945. But that consensus will most likely change. The war's ultimate impact on history cannot be fully known until the conclusion of our era when a new generation of historians will be able to look back on a wider scope of material and tie together events with a deeper perspective.

Political analysts and commentators believe the world faces the prospect of a third world war.

Here is an excerpt from, "Roubini: Many Davos Speakers Think It’s Like 1914 … Right Before WW1 Broke Out" Washington's Blog, January 23, 2014:
Veteran investor adviser James Dines forecast a war is epochal as World Wars I and II, starting in the Middle East.

And given that many influential economists wrongly believe that war is good for the economy … many are overtly or quietly pushing for war.

In addition, historians say that the risk of world war is rising because the U.S. feels threatened by a rising China … and the U.S. government considers economic rivalry to be a basis for war.
WWI's long-term political and geopolitical effects are still felt today in the Middle East. The end of the Ottoman Empire led to many historic changes, including the creations of Iraq and Syria which are on the brink of disintegrating and reconstituting into new state structures. This process is only natural since nature rejects what has been artificially made and only held together with brutal force.

Syria's disintegration can be seen in this map, provided by the BBC. Iraq is also slowly coming part. For analysis about the ever growing conflict between the central government in Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, read, "Iraq’s Unity at a Breaking Point over Oil Export Disputes" by Saltanat Berdikeeva. Also, check out, "The ticking time bomb: an inside look into Iraq's energy war that is threatening to break the country apart." 

I. Declarations of War In Iraq

Recently, Maliki's government withheld payments to the authorities in Kurdistan as punishment for their decision to export oil independently via a new pipeline that connects the region to Turkey. This has led to a financial crisis in the KRG, where many state employees have yet to receive their salaries. Last month, Massoud Barzani, the leader of the KRG, said Baghdad's decision to not pay the KRG's share of the annual national budget is a "declaration of war."

A few weeks later, Maliki increased the tone of the political rhetoric, though it was not directed at the KRG, but at Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Speaking to France 24, Maliki said: "They are attacking Iraq, through Syria and in a direct way, and they announced war on Iraq, as they announced it on Syria, and unfortunately it is on a sectarian and political basis. . .These two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian and terrorist and security crisis of Iraq."

So, Barzani is accusing Maliki of waging war on Kurdistan, and Maliki is accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of waging war on Iraq. These are dangerous developments. This is how wars begin. Words are powerful tools of war. If the different sides continue to escalate their rhetoric, regardless of the fact that they are currently doing it for electoral reasons, then they may reach a point where it is near impossible to take those words back.

II. Escalations In Ukraine

The so-called authorities in Kiev, and their backers in the US and EU, have flatly rejected the results of the referendum in Crimea. This could only mean one thing: war. It takes very little to start a war and mobilize large armies. It is clear to all that Ukraine has been infiltrated by agent provocateurs who seek to draw Russia into Ukraine and create the appearance that Putin is on a march of conquest like a Russian Caesar. Some commentators in the Western mainstream media have even tried to draw comparisons between Putin's annexation of Crimea and Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon.

Putin has been designated as the evil tyrant. But some of us know better than to view logical geopolitical developments as a morality play. Putin's actions in Crimea were warranted and on the side of the history because of the looming threat to its citizens from the new radical government in Kiev. Kiev was taken by snipers' bullets, while Crimea has expressed its will through the ballot box.

Despite the displays of democracy in Crimea, the leaders of Kiev and their false flag partners, who may or may not be Ukrainian but rather agents of NATO and Israel, want to deny them this peaceful victory and wage war against them. Read this excerpt from, "Ukraine: Just Some News Items" by 'b' of Moon of Alabama, March 18:
There was a something like a sniper attack at a military base used by Ukrainian soldiers in Simferopol. One Ukrainian soldier was allegedly killed and one wounded. On the other side one member of the Crimean self defense forces was killed. Both sides claim not to have shot at each other. This may well have been a provocation by an unknown third forces which snipped at both sides of a potential conflict.
III. The Facade of The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

"All indications are that these talks, like their predecessors, are doomed to fail. The question is whether the Palestinians have the nerve to unmask the charade. If not, Israel will use the peace process as cover while its settlements devour yet more of the Palestinian state-in-waiting." - Jonathan Cook, "Whatever happened to the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process?" Global Research, October 31, 2013.

"Many Palestinians seem to agree, saying the peace process is merely a diversion from the consequences of Israel’s military grip on the Palestinian territories. "The only party to benefit from the process itself is Israel as it further entrenches itself (in the territories)," said Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah who writes frequently about Palestine. "The process gives the facade of positive movement, whereas the reality on the ground is that the occupation is becoming fiercer by the day." - Dalia Hatuqa, "Analysis: Palestinians see peace process as 'doomed experiment'" Al Jazeera America, September 8, 2013.

"If leaked details of Kerry’s framework are true, new demands from the Israelis have the potential to scuttle Palestinian rights rather than accommodate them. References to respecting Palestinian “aspirations” for a capital in Jerusalem, for instance, combined with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to relinquish sovereignty over the holy city, suggest that Palestinians are being set up to plant a flag in a remote neighborhood on the outskirts, contrary to all international conventions that recognize East Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory.

Then there is the new insistence that Palestinians formally recognize Israel “as a Jewish state.” The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized the state of Israel more than 21 years ago, and the Palestinian Authority has recognized and cooperated with the state of Israel for many years. Israel, however, has never recognized a Palestinian state, and is now pushing the goal lines further down the field with this unprecedented demand.

No such demand was made to Egypt or Jordan when they signed their peace agreements with Israel. No such demand was made to other countries that have recognized Israel. Moreover, one in five Israelis is not Jewish, and every modern democratic state should be a state for all its citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or creed." - Mustafa Barghouti, "The no-peace process continues" Arab News, February 13, 2014.