Hong Kong, Kashmir, Palestine: Ruins of British empire on fire

By Hamid Dabashi

Source

The people of Hong Kong, Kashmir and Palestine have long histories of resistance to oppression.

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A demonstrator stands on a British flag during an anti-Israel rally in Karachi July 21, 2006 [File: Zahid Hussein/Reuters]

Continued mayhem in Palestine, increasing bloodshed in Kashmir, mass protest in Hong Kong – how do we connect these dots? Are they related?

Well, of course: The sun never set on the Union Jack! In the sunset of that empire – as is inevitable for all empires – chaos and turmoil were destined to follow.

“The world is reaping the chaos the British Empire sowed,” Amy Hawkins recently wrote in Foreign Policy, “locals are still paying for the mess the British left behind in Hong Kong and Kashmir.” The author left out Palestine, chief among places around the globe, where the British empire spread discord and enmity to ease its rule and prepare the ground for disaster after its exit.

Indeed, the anticolonial uprisings in the Indian subcontinent, China, the Arab world and elsewhere did not result in freedom or democracy for the nations ruled by the British Empire.

In Kashmir, the British left a bleeding wound amid the partition of colonial India.

In Palestine, they left a European settler colony and called it “Israel” to rule in their stead and torment Palestinians.

In Hong Kong, they left a major cosmopolis that is neither truly an independent entity, nor a part of mainland China.

They picked up their Union Jack and departed, leaving behind a ruinous legacy for decades and generations to bleed. Those consequences are not just historical and buried in the past. They are still unfolding.

When the sun finally set 

Ironically, today the United Kingdom is struggling to hold itself together, as the Brexit debacle tears it apart. One looks at the country and marvels at the poetic justice of wanton cruelty coming back to haunt the former empire.

The UK finds itself face to face with its imperial past, with the Irish and Scottish once again defying English nationalists and their schizophrenic belief in their own exceptionalism. How bizarre, how just, how amazing, how Homeric, is that fate!

We may, in fact, be witness to the final dissolution of the “United” Kingdom in our life-times. But there was a time when, from that very little island, they ruled the world from the Americas in the west to Asia and Australia in the east.

The terror of British imperialism – wreaking havoc on the world not just then but now as well – is the most historically obvious source that unites Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine as well as the many other emblematic sites of colonial and postcolonial calamities we see around us today. But what precisely is the cause of today’s unrests?

In Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine we have the rise of three nations, “baptised” by fire, as it were – three peoples, three collective memories, that have refused to settle for their colonial lot. The harsher they are brutalised, the mightier their collective will to resist power becomes.

Britain took possession of Hong Kong in 1842 after the First Opium War with China. It transformed it into a major trading and military outpost, and insisted on keeping it long after its empire collapsed. In 1997, Britain handed Hong Kong over to China, conceding to the idea of a “one country, two systems” formula that allows for a certain degree of economic autonomy for Hong Kong. But what both China and Britain had neglected to consider was the fact that a nation of almost eight million human beings throughout a long colonial and postcolonial history had accumulated a robust collective memory of its own, which was neither British nor mainland Chinese – it was distinct.

Kashmir came under British influence shortly after Hong Kong – in 1846, after the British East India Company defeated the Sikh Empire that ruled the region at that time. A century later, Kashmir was sucked into the bloody partition of India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the British departure from the subcontinent, with both post-colonial states having a mutually exclusive claim on its territory. Here, too, what India and Pakistan forget is the fact that almost 13 million Kashmiris have had a long history of countless troublesome colonial and postcolonial experiences, making Kashmir fundamentally different from either one of them.

The same is the case with Palestine, which fell under British rule in 1920 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Before the British packed their colonial possessions and left almost three decades later, they installed a successor settler colony in the form of a Zionist garrison state. Decades of unrelenting struggle against the barbarities of the British and the Zionists have left Palestinians in possession of one of the most courageous and steadfast histories of resistance to colonial domination.

Memories of resistance

In revolting against China, India, and Israel, these three nations in Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine have become three nuclei of resistance, of refusal to let go of their homelands.

They have narrated themselves into a history written by powers who have systematically tried to erase them and their collective memories. “Homeland” is not just a piece of land. It is a memorial presence of a history.

Those memories, corroborated by an entire history of resistance to imperial conquest and colonial occupation have now come back to haunt their tormentors.

China, India, and Israel have to resort to naked and brutish violence to deny the veracity of those defiant memories, now evident as facts on the ground. In doing so, these powers have picked up where the British empire left off.

They too seek to terrorise, divide and rule, but by now those they try to subdue have mastered resistance; their struggle has outlived one imperial oppressor, it can surely survive another.

In other words, no amount of imperial brutality, settler colonialism or historical revisionism can make the distinct identities, memories and histories of these people disappear.

Today people in Palestine, Kashmir, and Hong Kong see themselves as stateless nations ruled with brutish military occupation. In the postcolonial game of state formation, they have been denied their national sovereignty.

The more brutally they are repressed and denied their sovereignty, the more adamantly they will demand and exact it.

Neither China in Hong Kong, nor India in Kashmir, nor Israel in Palestine can have a day of peaceful domination until and unless the defiant nations they rule and abuse achieve and sustain their rightful place in the world.

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إيران في المواجهة… تفرض قواعد اشتباك ومعادلات ردع فاعلة

يوليو 23, 2019

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

ظنّ الغرب بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي انّ الساحة الدولية خلت له وأنه أيّ الغرب بشكل عام وأميركا بشكل خاص لهم الحق بأن يقيّدوا العالم بأوامرهم وقوانينهم وبما يفرضونه من قواعد سلوك أو قواعد اشتباك. وتصرّف الغرب بقيادة أميركية بذهنية «الأمر لنا وعلى العالم الطاعة». وبهذا «المنطق الذي يرفضه منطق العدالة والسيادة والاستقلال الوطني»، بهذا المنطق خاضت أميركا وأحلافها القائمة او التي ركبت غبّ الطلب خاضت منذ العام 1990 أربع حروب الكويت أفغانستان – العراق لبنان وألزمت مجلس الأمن إما بتفويضها ابتداء أو بالتسليم لاحقاً بالأمر الواقع الذي أنتجته حروبها العدوانية.

اما إيران التي أطلقت في ظلّ ثورتها الإسلامية نظرية «الاستقلال الفعلي المحصّن بالقوة القادرة على حمايته« فقد تصدّت للمنطق الاستعماري الأميركي ورفضت الخضوع لمقتضياته، وجاهرت برفضها له وتمسّكها بحقها في السيادة والاستقلال الوطني، ليس هذا فقط، بل وأيضاً جاهرت بنصرة القضايا العادلة ومدّ يد العون للمظلومين ضحايا الغزو الاستعماري بوجوهه المتعدّدة والتي يشكل الاستعمار الاحتلالي التهجيري الذي تمارسه «إسرائيل» في فلسطين، الوجه الأبشع والأكثر ظلماً في ممارسات الاستعمار.

ولأنّ إيران رفضت ان تنصاع للاستعمار بأيّ صيغة من صيغ الإذعان التي أعدّها لها فقد اتخذ القرار الغربي بإسقاطها وشنّت عليها الحرب في الأشهر الأولى لنجاح ثورتها وإقامة دولتها الإسلامية… ولما فشلت الحرب في تحقيق أهدافها اعتمد الغرب الاستعماري سياسة الاحتواء والمحاصرة أسلوباً لمواجهتها.

وبالتالي فإنّ إيران الاستقلالية هذه وضعت بين شرّين: شرّ الاستتباع والهيمنة كما هي حال جوارها في دول الخليج، وشرّ التضييق والحصار للتركيع عبر ما يسمّى العقوبات، وبينهما اختارت إيران الشرّ الأدنى لأنها توقن «انّ جوع مع كرامة وسيادة أفضل من عبودية وتبعية مع وعد بالتساهل الاقتصادي». ومع هذا الاختيار حوّلت التحدي الى فرصة استغلتها من أجل تنمية اقتصادها سعياً لتحقيق الاكتفاء الذاتي الممكن.

استطاعت إيران ان تصمد طيلة الأربعين عاماً الماضية الى ان وصلت اليوم لموقع بالغ الحرج والخطورة حيث فرض عليها اختيار جديد، يخيّرها بين التنازل عن حقوقها استجابة لقرار أميركي ينتهك هذه الحقوق، او المواجهة المفتوحة مع ما يمكن ان تتطوّر فيه وصولاً الى الحرب. اختبار بدأه ترامب بالخروج من الاتفاق النووي وأكده موقف أوروبي متخاذل عن حماية هذا الاتفاق.

تدرك إيران انّ الخضوع للرئيس الأميركي ترامب في مطالبه يعني بكلّ بساطة التنكّر للثورة وتغيير طبيعة النظام الاستقلالي والعودة الى مقاعد الدول التي تفرض أميركا هيمنتها عليها، اما المواجهة فإنها مع مخاطرها تختزن آمالاً كبيرة بتحقيق النجاح وتثبيت المواقع الاستقلالية، ولهذا اختارت إيران ان تتمسك بحقوقها واستقلالها وان تعدّ لكلّ احتمال مقتضياته، وهذا القرار هو الأساس الذي تبني عليه إيران كلّ سياستها.

ويبدو انّ أميركا صُدمت بالقرار الإيراني فراحت تهوّل على إيران بالحرب وعملت على تشكيل أحلاف دولية للعدوان عليها بدءاً بـ «حلف الناتو العربي» واجتماع وارسو الذي دعت اليه للتحشيد ضدّ إيران، وصولاً الى فكرة الحلف البحري في الخليج لمحاصرة إيران، ثم شرعت بتحريك ونقل قوات عسكرية الى السعودية للإيحاء بأنّ الخيار العسكري لمواجهة إيران هو خيار جدي وقريب…

كلّ هذا لم يرعب إيران ولم يهزّ ثقتها بنفسها لا بل تعاملت مع المستجدات بموقف أذهل أميركا وحلفاءها حيث كان إسقاط إيران لطائرة التجسّس الأميركية ثم كان احتجازها لباخرة بريطانية انتهكت مقابل الشاطئ الإيراني قواعد الملاحة الدولية ثم كان اعتقال 17 جاسوس أميركي في إيران ومحاكمتهم…

قامت يران بكلّ ذلك في إطار تنفيذ استراتيجية دفاعية تثبت فيها أنها صحيح لا تسعى الى الحرب ولكنها أيضاً لا تتهيّب المواجهة إذا فرضت عليها، ولهذا أعدّت إيران نفسها للدفاع وأطلقت مع حلفائها «استراتيجية الحرب المفتوحة والمواجهة الشاملة على كلّ الجبهات» وحضرت نفسها للأكثر سوءاً. ما جعل أميركا تدرك انّ لعبتها على حافة الفشل والانهيار الأمر الذي جعلها تتراجع قليلاً وتأمر بريطانيا بفعل شيء ما ضدّ إيران فاستجابت ونفذت عملية قرصنة ضدّ باخرة نفط إيرانية كانت تعبر مضيق جبل طارق. وارتكبت بذلك عملاً غير مشروع ومخالف لأحكام القانون الدولي العام بما فيه أحكام الملاحة الدولية ويصنّف بأنه عدوان على إيران بكلّ المعايير.

تصوّرت أميركا وبريطانيا أنهما ستلويان ذراع إيران وتجبرانها على وقف تصدير نفطها، لكن الردّ الإيراني جاء معاكساً للتوقع الانكلوسكسوني، ردّ حصل على وفقاً لمبدأ «السن بالسن والعين بالعين والبادئ أظلم«، وترجم باحتجاز الباخرة البريطانية التي كاث تعبر مضيق هرمز.

انّ احتجاز إيران للباخرة البريطانية بعد أيام من إسقاط طائرة التجسّس الأميركية فوق النطاق الإقليمي الإيراني يشكل خطوة نوعيه في المواجهة من شأنها ان تفرض إيقاعها على الكثير من العلاقات الدولية التي يكون الغرب طرفاً فيها. وفيها من الدلالات فوق ما كان يتوقع او يتخيّل أحد من ساسة الغرب عامة وأميركا وبريطانيا خاصة دلالات يمكن ذكر بعضها كالتالي:

1 ـ رسم الفعل الإيراني قواعد اشتباك جديدة في العلاقة مع الخصوم والأعداء، قواعد قائمة على «الردّ المناسب في الوقت المناسب وبالطريقة المناسبة»، ينفذ تطبيقاً لقاعدة أساسية في قانون الحرب هي «قاعدة التناسب والضرورة». فإيران وفقاً لهذا المبدأ لا تعتدي ولا تبادر الى عمل ميداني إنْ لم يكن مسبوقاً بعدوان عليها، كما انّ إيران لن تسكت عن أيّ عدوان يستهدفها.

2 ـ أسقطت إيران الهيبة الأميركية والبريطانية وهذا أمر بالغ الخطورة بالنسبة لاثنتين من مجموعة المنتصرين في الحرب العالمية الثانية. وأكدت أنها لا تخشى ما هم عليه من قوّة، وبأن عليهم اعتماد الحسابات الدقيقة في مواجهتها وإلا كانت الخسارة المؤكدة.

3 ـ أكدت إيران انها عصية على الحرب النفسية وأنها واثقة من قدراتها الدفاعية الذاتية وإنها أيضاً مطمئنة لتحالفاتها الإقليمية والدولية. وأنها لا تتهيّب مواجهة عسكرية مع انها لا تسعى اليها.

4 ـ أكدت إيران احترامها للقانون الدولي وفقاً للتفسير الموضوعي الصحيح، وترفض أيّ تفسير منحرف وعدواني على حقوق الغير.

5 ـ أرست إيران معادلة ردع متبادل فاعل في مواجهة الخارج عامة وأميركا ومن يتبعها خاصة، معادلة جديدة تقوم مكان مبدأ الردع الأحادي الذي تفرضه أميركا في العالم وتمنع أحداً من الدول من مواجهتها حتى ولو كانت المواجهة دفاعاً عن النفس.

انّ مفاعيل ما تقوم به إيران يتعدّى إطار العلاقة البينية مع أميركا وبريطانيا ويتمدّد ليصبغ العلاقات الدولية كلها وليفرض نمطاً جديداً فيها قائماً على الثقة بالنفس وكسر قيود الهيبة الغربية التي بها فرض الاستعمار إرادته وبها أخضعت الدول وبها سرقت أموال الشعوب وحقوقهم، وعندما تكسر الهيبة تلك ستخلع أنياب الغرب وسيظهر مدى عجز دوله عسكرياً عن القبض على قرارات الشعوب والدول. وعندها سيفتح الطريق واسعاً أمام من يريد الحرية الحقيقية والاستقلال الفعلي الناجز والتمتع الكامل بثرواته.

وبكلمة أخرى نقول انّ إيران اليوم ترسم مشهداً دولياً استراتيجياً هاماً يتعدّى القول بمعادلة الطائرة بالطائرة والباخرة بالباخرة وهي تواجه معسكر الاستعمار بالأصالة عن نفسها والنيابة عن أحرار العالم ومظلوميه، وهنا تكمن أهمية المواجهة التي ستكشف انّ الخوف من الغرب كان قائماً على وهم وخيال أكثر منه على حقيقة وواقع، فالغرب لا يملك الجيوش التي تمكّنه من السيطرة على الكرة الأرضية لكن ضعف الآخر وعدم أخلاقية الغرب مكّنه من السيطرة، والآن تقوم إيران بكسر هذه الهيبة وتشجع الآخرين على المواجهة بعد الإعداد الصحيح لها وامتلاك الثقة بالنفس… وليعلم الجميع انّ الغرب سيحجم عن الحرب عندما يلمس انّ الآخر مستعدّ لها وقادر على خوضها… كما هي حال إيران ومحور المقاومة اليوم… وبهذا نفهم ما قاله بومبيو لبريطانيا «احموا سفنكم بأنفسكم فلسنا مستعدّين للحرب مع إيران».

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

Idiots Driving World to War

A view of the Grace 1 super tanker in the British territory of Gibraltar, Thursday, July 4, 2019
Finian Cunningham
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Like a person going up in an escalator while asserting they are going down, the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has a bizarre way of trying to assure Iran that war is not on the cards.

Hunt, who is vying to become Britain’s new prime minister, stated on camera that “he wants to de-escalate” the danger of a military confrontation with Iran over mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf.

That was only days after he vowed to dramatically increase Britain’s military spending and in particular, boost the country’s naval firepower  – citing Iran as the main threat to British commercial shipping interests.

It also follows news that London has ordered a second warship to patrol the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week a British Royal Navy frigate reportedly challenged Iranian military vessels (three small boats) after they allegedly tried to impede a British oil tanker entering the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Iran vehemently denied any such interference by its boats and claimed that Britain and the US were engaging in a provocation.

Given that the Pentagon has announced plans to send an international coalition of warships to the Gulf “over the next two weeks”, under the guise of protecting commercial shipping from alleged Iranian threats, it must certainly look to Iran like the “war escalator” is speeding upwards.

Hunt has previously asserted that British forces would join in any American military attack on Iran. The resonance of past Anglo-American skullduggery against Iran is no doubt palpable to most Iranians.

There seems little doubt that Hunt is playing the “hard military man” card in his grubby contest with Boris Johnson to become the next prime minister. Conservative Party members are due to vote later this month on who is to replace the hapless Theresa May.

Bumbling Boris is the favourite to win the party race. But Hunt is making a last-gasp bid to rally the rank-and-file with seeming credentials of being a “tough leader”.

This week he wrote in a newspaper oped: “As the son of a naval officer, I know a little of the sacrifices of these individuals and of their families back home.”

He then promised that, if elected prime minister, he would ramp up military spending by 25 per cent, or by £15 billion, over the next five years. He claimed the tensions in the Gulf with Iran are “proof” that Britain needs to overhaul its maritime forces.

That exorbitant indulgence of military spending will likely wreak havoc on public services and prolong years of economic austerity on ordinary Britons. But such is the ambition of Hunt to get into 10 Downing Street, it’s a devastating price he seems willing to make British citizens pay.

However, more damning is Hunt’s reckless gamble from inflaming tensions with Iran. Sending more naval forces to the Gulf at a time of knife-edge fears about a war breaking out is ludicrous, if not criminally irresponsible.

Over the past two months, there have already been numerous incidents of alleged sabotage on shipping in the strategically important Gulf which the US has blamed on Iran. An American spy drone was shot down on June 20 by the Iranians after it allegedly violated Iran’s airspace. That incident nearly resulted in, reportedly, Trump ordering airstrikes.

The seizure last week by British commandoes of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar has added to fraught nerves in the region. More so because Tehran contends that seizure to be an illegal “act of piracy” orchestrated by Washington and London. The refusal by Britain to release the cargo of two million barrels of oil – based on dubious claims of enforcing EU sanctions against Syria – would also seem to be a calculated insult to provoke Iran.

From Iran’s point of view, the British are permitted to hijack oil ships, but whenever its patrol boats even as much as approach a British tanker near its territorial waters, then London and Washington are crying “foul”. The flagrant hypocrisy is in itself another provocative goading.

Let’s be clear: the Buffoonish Boris Johnson would be equally as deplorable as the Silly Hunt. Both of them are unscrupulous sycophants to America’s President Trump and his crazed warmongering towards Iran.

Russia has warned that the escalating tensions in the Gulf could spark a catastrophic war. Potentially a war in the tinderbox region could lead to World War III.

Lamentably, Britain’s shambolic politics and its venal politicians are playing with fire in their pathetic plans for personal self-aggrandizement of power.

Hunt’s double-think posturing of “escalating to de-escalate” is a sure sign that this Tory toff should not be heading to Downing Street, but rather to a padded cell. Johnson could also qualify for a cell next door.

The backdrop to resolving the current madness for endangering global peace seems blindingly obvious. Washington needs to abide by the 2015 international nuclear treaty with Iran, lift the sanctions crushing the Iranian economy, and remove all warships from the Persian Gulf.

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week, there would be no need for the US or Britain to “protect shipping” in the Gulf if these two states simply respected international law and norms of diplomacy.

It is insane and gut-wrenchingly tragic that world peace is being jeopardized by idiots like Hunt, Johnson and their puppet master in Washington. The only long-term solution is for the whole rotten political class in Britain, and the US, to be thrown out by popular revolt.

Views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

The West’s Trumped-Up Hatred of Iran Serves The Zionist Dream of a Greater Israel Dominating the Middle East

By Stuart Littlewood
Source

Iran Quds 7447c

There’s no doubt about it. We’re at the height of the Silly Season.

First we have Boris ‘I-am-a-passionate-Zionist’ Johnson, the hot favourite to become the UK’s prime minister. His biographer Sonia Purnell, who worked alongside  Johnson as a journalist, writes in the Sunday Times that he’s “temperamentally unsuitable to be trusted with any position of power, let alone the highest office of all, in charge of the UK and its nuclear codes”. She talks of his terrible mood swings “triggered by the slightest challenge to his entitlement or self-worth” and says he has “the fiercest and most uncontrollable anger” she has ever seen. This confirms what many of us feared. And we wonder how those who mix with him in the parliamentary party could possibly back him for top leadership.

Ian Birrell in the ‘i‘ discusses his lack of discipline – turning up to Cabinet dishevelled, unprepared and cluching the wrong papers, and his notoriously poor grasp of detail. “It is strange that anyone might see this bumbling and toxic buffoon as the person to lead a divided Britain amid delicate negotiations.”

Then we have the unhinged “cocked and loaded” Trump, bristling with aggression. Nobody is taken in by his claim that, having ordered military strikes against Iran’s radar and missile batteries in retaliation for their shootdown of a US spy drone, he changed his mind with only minutes to spare on account of a reminder that this lunacy might actually cost human lives.

It makes no difference if the US drone was 20 miles outside Iran or 4 miles inside. Iran presented GPS coordinates showing it was eight miles from the coast, which is inside the 12 nautical miles considered to be Iran’s territorial waters under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The drone obviously represented a military threat and a provocation, and the US has no lawful claim of self-defense that would justify a military attack.  Iran has the right to ask identification from any aircraft flying this near its territory and Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations is reported to have written to the Security Council that the drone failed to respond to several radio warnings before it was downed.

Any US attack on Iran in these circumstances could be a violation of the United Nations Charter, which only allows the use of military force in self-defense after an armed attack or with Security Council approval.

Let’s remind ourselves of earlier US aggression and dishonesty during the Iran-Iraq war, as recorded in Wikipedia:

In the course of escorts by the US Navy, the cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988, killing all 290 passengers and crew on board. The American government claimed that Vincennes was in international waters at the time (which was later proven to be untrue), that the Airbus A300 had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, and that Vincennes feared that she was under attack. The Iranians maintain that Vincennes was in their own waters, and that the passenger jet was turning away and increasing altitude after take-off. US Admiral William J. Crowe later admitted on Nightline that Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters when it launched the missiles. At the time of the attack, Admiral Crowe claimed that the Iranian plane did not identify itself and sent no response to warning signals he had sent. In 1996, the United States expressed their regret for the event and the civilian deaths it caused.

Trump now wants to impose further crippling sanctions on Iran and her people while the UK’s Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison has just been to Tehran calling for “urgent de-escalation” and cheekily criticising Iran’s “regional conduct” and its threat to stop complying with the nuclear deal, which the US recklessly abandoned but the UK remains committed to.

Good news about Murrison, though. A medical man, he voted against the Iraq war but as a Navy reservist was called up to do a 6 month tour of duty there. Perhaps Murrison should go see Trump and ask:

  • Why is he not more concerned about Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the mental state of the Israeli regime, which are the real threat to the region and beyond?
  • Why isn’t he slapping sanctions on Israel for its refusal to sign up to the NPT or engage constructively on the issue of its nuclear and other WMD programmes, not to mention its repeated defiance of international and humanitarian laws in the Holy Land?

Trump meanwhile has signed an executive order targeting Iran’s leadership with hard-hitting new sanctions supposedly needed to deny their development of nuclear weapons. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump has decreed. He added: “We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fuelling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts….” Achingly funny. Who else could all that apply to, I wonder? Exactly. The Bully-Boy-in-chief himself and his best buddies in Tel Aviv.

Sowing the seeds of hatred

We have conveniently short memories when it comes to our abominable conduct towards the Iranians in 1951-53 when a previous Conservative government, in cahoots with the USA, snuffed out Iran’s fledgling democracy and reinstated a cruel dictator, the Shah. This eventually brought about the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and created the deep distrust between Iran and the West. Is it not shameful that the present Conservative government is spoiling for another fight? Shouldn’t the Foreign Office now focus on exerting influence through trade and co-operation?

The Iranian regime, like many others, may not be entirely to our liking but nor was Dr Mossadeq’s democracy 65 years ago. Besides, what threat is Iran to Britain? And why are we allowing ourselves to be driven by America’s mindless hatred?

When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being. William Knox D’Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in 1880s Australia. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and began negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar in 1901. A sixty year concession gave D’Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in the north. The Persian government would receive 16% of the oil company’s annual profits.

Mozzafar ad-Din was naive in business matters and unprepared for kingship when the time came. He borrowed heavily from the Russians and in order to pay off the debt he signed away control of many Persian industries and markets to foreigners. The deal D’Arcy cut was too sharp by far and would eventually lead to trouble.

He sent an exploration team headed by geologist George B Reynolds. In 1903 a company was formed and D’Arcy had to spend much of his fortune to cover the costs. Further financial support came from Glasgow-based Burmah Oil in return for a large share of the stock.

Drilling in southern Persia at Shardin continued until 1907 when the search was switched to Masjid-i-Souleiman. By 1908 D’Arcy was almost bankrupt. Reynolds received a last-chance instruction: “Drill to 1,600 feet and give up”. On 26 May at 1,180 feet he struck oil.

It was indeed a triumph of guts and determination. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was soon up and running and in 1911 completed a pipeline from the oilfield to its new refinery at Abadan. But the company was in trouble again by 1914.  The golden age of motoring hadn’t yet arrived and the industrial oil markets were sewn up by American and European interests. The sulphurous stench of the Persian oil, even after refining, ruled it out for domestic use, so D’Arcy had a marketing problem.

Luckily Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an enthusiast for oil and wanted to convert the British fleet from coal especially now that a reliable oil source was secured. He famously told Parliament: “Look out upon the wide expanse of the oil regions of the world!” Only the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, he said, could protect British interests. His resolution passed and the British Government took a major shareholding in the company just in time, for World War One began a few weeks later.

During the war the British government seized the assets of a German company calling itself British Petroleum for the purpose of marketing its products in Britain. Anglo-Persian acquired the assets from the Public Trustee complete with a ready-made distribution network and an abundance of depots, railway tank wagons, road vehicles, barges and so forth. This enabled Anglo-Persian to rapidly expand sales in petroleum-hungry Britain and Europe after the war.

In the inter-war years Anglo-Persian profited handsomely from paying the Iranians a miserly 16%, and an increasingly angry Persia tried to renegotiate terms. Getting nowhere, they cancelled the D’Arcy agreement and the matter ended up at the Court of International Justice at The Hague. A new agreement in 1933 provided Anglo-Persian with a fresh 60-year concession but on a smaller area. The terms were an improvement for the Persians but still didn’t amount to a square deal.

In 1935 Iran formally replaced Persia as the country’s official name internationally and Anglo-Persian changed to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. By 1950 Abadan was the biggest oil refinery in the world and Britain, with its 51% holding, had affectively colonised part of southern Iran.

Iran’s small share of the profits became a big issue and so did the treatment of its oil workers. 6,000 withdrew their labour in 1946 and the strike was violently put down with 200 dead or injured. In 1951 Anglo-Iranian declared £40 million profit after tax but handed Iran only £7 million. Meanwhile Arabian American Oil was sharing profits with the Saudis on a 50/50 basis. Calls for nationalisation were mounting.

As a result of the Persian Constitutional Revolution the first Majlis (parliament) was established in 1906 and the country became a constitutional monarchy with high hopes. By mid-century Iran not unreasonably wanted economic and political independence and an end to poverty. In March 1951 its Majlis and Senate voted to nationalise Anglo-Iranian, which had controlled Iran’s oil industry since 1913 under terms disadvantageous to Iran. Respected social reformer Dr Mohammad Mossadeq was named prime minister the following month by a 79 to 12 majority. On 1 May Mossadeq carried out his government’s wishes, cancelling Anglo-Iranian’s oil concession due to expire in 1993 and expropriating its assets.

His explanation, given in a speech in June 1951 (M. Fateh, Panjah Sal-e Naft-e Iran, p. 525), ran as follows…

“Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries… have yielded no results this far. With the oil revenues we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.

“The Iranian state prefers to take over the production of petroleum itself. The company should do nothing else but return its property to the rightful owners. The nationalization law provides that 25% of the net profits on oil be set aside to meet all the legitimate claims of the company for compensation…It has been asserted abroad that Iran intends to expel the foreign oil experts from the country and then shut down oil installations. Not only is this allegation absurd; it is utter invention…”

For this he would eventually be removed in a coup by MI5 and the CIA, imprisoned for 3 years then put under house arrest until his death.

Britain, with regime change in mind, orchestrated a world-wide boycott of Iranian oil, froze Iran’s sterling assets and threatened legal action against anyone purchasing oil produced in the formerly British-controlled refineries. It even considered invading. The Iranian economy was soon in ruins…. sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Attempts by the Shah to replace Mossadeq failed and he returned with more power, but his coalition was slowly crumbling under the hardships imposed by the British blockade.

At first America was reluctant to join Britain’s destructive game but Churchill let it be known that Mossadeq was turning communist and pushing Iran into Russia’s arms at a time when Cold War anxiety was high. It was enough to bring America’s new president, Eisenhower, on board and plotting with Britain to bring Mossadeq down.

Chief of the CIA’s Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt Jr, arrived to play the leading role in an ugly game of provocation, mayhem and deception. An elaborate campaign of disinformation began, and the Shah signed two decrees, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other nominating the CIA’s choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as prime minister. These decrees were written as dictated by Donald Wilbur the CIA architect of the plan

The Shah fled to Rome. When it was judged safe to do so he returned on 22 August 1953. Mossadeq was arrested, tried, and convicted of treason by the Shah’s military court. He remarked

“My greatest sin is that I nationalised Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire… With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.

“I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.”

His supporters were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured or executed. Zahedi’s new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium to restore the flow of Iranian oil, awarding the US and Great Britain the lion’s share – 40% going to Anglo-Iranian. The consortium agreed to split profits on a 50-50 basis with Iran but, tricky as ever, refused to open its books to Iranian auditors or allow Iranians to sit on the board.

A grateful US massively funded the Shah’s government, including his army and secret police force, SAVAK. Anglo-Iranian changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954. Mossadeq died on 5 March 1967.

Apologise? Hell no… Let’s demonise Iran!

But the West’s fun came to an abrupt halt with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and a great British enterprise that started heroically and turned nasty ended in tears.

The US is still hated today for reimposing the Shah and his thugs and demolishing the Iranians’ democratic system of government, which the Revolution unfortunately didn’t restore. The US is widely known by Iranians as Big Satan and its regional handmaiden Israel rejoices in the name Little Satan. Britain, as the instigator and junior partner in the sordid affair, is similarly despised.

Moreover, Iran harbours great resentment at the way the West, especially the US, helped Iraq develop its armed forces and chemical weapons arsenal, and how the international community failed to punish Iraq for its use of those weapons against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. The US, and eventually Britain, leaned strongly towards Saddam in that conflict and the alliance enabled Saddam to more easily acquire or develop forbidden chemical and biological weapons. At least 100,000 Iranians fell victim to them.

This is how John King writing in 2003 summed it up…

“The United States used methods both legal and illegal to help build Saddam’s army into the most powerful army in the Mideast outside of Israel. The US supplied chemical and biological agents and technology to Iraq when it knew Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranians. The US supplied the materials and technology for these weapons of mass destruction to Iraq at a time when it was know that Saddam was using this technology to kill his Kurdish citizens. The United States supplied intelligence and battle planning information to Iraq when those battle plans included the use of cyanide, mustard gas and nerve agents. The United States blocked UN censure of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The United States did not act alone in this effort. The Soviet Union was the largest weapons supplier, but England, France and Germany were also involved in the shipment of arms and technology.”

While Iranian casualties were at their highest as a result of US chemical and biological war crimes Trump was busy acquiring the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Trump Castle, his Taj-Mahal casino, the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and was refitting his super-yacht Trump Princess. What does he know, understand or care about Iran?

On the British side Foreign Secretary Jaremy Hunt was messing about at Oxford University; and the front-runner to fill our Prime Minister vacancy, Boris Johnson, former Foreign Secretary, was similarly at Oxford carousing with fellow Old Etonians at the Bullingdon Club. What do they know or care?

Which brings us to today… Why are we hearing nonstop sabre-rattling against Iran when we should be extending the hand of reconciliation and friendship? And why are these clueless leaders demonising Iran instead of righting the wrongs? Because the political establishment is still smarting. And they are the new-generation imperialists, the political spawn of those Dr Mossadeq and many others struggled against. They haven’t learned from the past, and they won’t lift their eyes to a better future.

It’s so depressing.

Economic sanctions: are they moral, or even legal?

The US and UK have led the charge on oil sanctions and other measures to make life hell for Iranians. But are they on safe legal ground?

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in a statement on 26 November 2011, said they were deeply concerned about the threats against Iran by Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Referring to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IADL stated that those threats were unacceptable and dangerous not only for all the region but for the whole of humanity, and that Article 2.4 of the UN Charter forbids not only use of force but also the threat of force in international relations. The right of defence does not include pre-emptive strikes.

The IADL also pointed out that while Israel was quick to denounce the possible possession of nuclear weapons by others, it had illegally possessed nuclear weapons for many years. The danger to world peace was so great as to require the global eradication of all nuclear weapons, and to immediately declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone and a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, as required by UN Security Council resolution 687.

Furthermore, Article 33 states that “the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means…” Economic ‘terror’ tactics such as the vicious sanctions deployed by the US, UK and their allies – and the similar measures used by Britain and America in the 1950s to bring down the government of Dr Mossadeq and reinstate the Shah – are simply not part of the approved toolkit.

Remember the context

UN Security Council resolution 487 of 1981 called on Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has been allowed to ignore it for nearly 40 years. In 2009, the IAEA called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, open its nuclear facilities to inspection and place them under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Israel still refuses to join or allow inspections.

The Zionist regime is reckoned by some to have up to 400 nuclear warheads at its disposal. It is the only state in the region that is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Iran is). It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. As regards biological and chemical weapons, Israel has not signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In early 2012 the US intelligence community was saying that Iran hadn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme, and Israeli intelligence agreed. The Director of the National Intelligence Agency, James Clapper, reported: “We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons… We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons…”

So the continual focus on Iran has been a deliberate distraction. We repaid Iranian co-operation in D’Arcy’s oil venture with corporate greed and diplomatic double-cross. America and Britain are still smarting from the time when Iran democratically elected Dr. Mossadeq, who sensibly nationalized her vast oil resources. Up till then the grasping British were raking in far more profit from Iranian oil than the Iranians themselves.

Back in the 1920s the US State Department had described the oil deposits in the Middle East as “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history”. Ever since, its designs on Iraq and Iran have been plain to see and it is still ready to pounce on every opportunity.

When the CIA-engineered coup toppled Dr. Mossadeq, reinstated the Shah and his secret police, and let the American oil companies in, it was the final straw for the Iranians. The British-American conspiracy backfired spectacularly 25 years later with the Islamic Revolution of 1978-9, the humiliating 444-day hostage crisis in the American embassy and a tragically botched rescue mission. What should have been a sharp lesson for Western meddlers became a festering sore.

The quest for the energy prize is not over. But it is no longer just about oil. Zionist stooges in controlling positions in the West’s corridors of power are pledged to ensure Israel remains the only nuclear power in the Middle East and continues to dominate the region militarily. And they are willing to spill Christian blood and spend Christian treasure in that cause.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, recipient of the Defender of Israel Award last year and the Guardian of Zion Award the year before, is one such super-stooge. His stupefying remark: “No-one has granted Iran a hunting licence in the Middle East” typifies the arrogance of his ilk.

Julian Assange’s Blood Will be on The Hands of The Smug Elite — Eurasia Future

There is now a very grave danger that Julian Assange’s life is in imminent danger. This time the most proximate threat is not that of the hangman but of an unknown illness that according to reports has rendered Assange unable to even hold a conservation with his lawyers. At today’s […] The post Julian Assange’s…

via Julian Assange’s Blood Will be on The Hands of The Smug Elite — Eurasia Future

The Myth of the Sin the Mahatma Would Not Commit – Chapter 1

See Behind The Veil

The Prelude

Seven decades after the blood-spattered creation of a nation-state in South Asia, named ‘Pakistan’ in a 1933 pamphlet ‘Now or Never – Are we to live or perish forever?’ by Chaudhry Rahmat Ali (a Cambridge Graduate & Muslim activist of British India), namely for political and intellectual reasons the conception of this ‘Land of the Pure’ remains an enigmatic controversy attracting continued discourse both in liberal and conservative scholarship.

Broadly speaking most modern scholars, foreign and native, appear to permit preconceived notions, born of Western Rationalism and Liberalism, to combine with a fractured understanding of Islam’s vision and the evolution of Jinnah’s person, as they expound the causes of the creation of Pakistan.  Perceptions, primarily rooted in the modern-day concept of Free-thought, coupled with the nowadays in vogue passion for novelty of argument, further contribute to the invention of rather weak albeit fancy intellectual interpretations of…

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The British History of Terrorism in Palestine

Palestinian detainees in the Old City of AlQuds, during the British Occupation. Credit: Fox Photos, via Getty Images.

By Marwa Osman

Britain declared this past week that it intends to add the Lebanese political bloc Hezbollah ‘in its entirety’ to list of banned ‘terrorist’ organizations and to ban membership of or support for Hezbollah’s political wing. It was not surprising given the full-time lobbying that ‘Israel’ pushes into the UK Parliament. However, given the history of Hezbollah, a force of liberation and resistance against the occupation of the Zionist ‘Israeli’ entity and its big role in fighting off and eliminating takfiri terrorists in Lebanon and Syria, one has to stop and raise her/his voice in the face of Britain’s hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy of UK’s politicians does not manifest itself only when it comes to pointing fingers at the region’s only force that has ever defied and crushed ‘Israeli’ aggressions, yet it simultaneously turns a deliberate blind eye to the history of colonial Britain that is nothing short of terrorizing due to the warmongering foreign policy of the UK in support of Zionism.

One can easily make a massive collection of the UK’s historic atrocities committed with contemplation and determination to weaken and subordinate the natives within Britain’s colonies. Being an Arab from what the UK assigned “The Middle East” when it really is west Asia, the biggest atrocity I see committed by Britain in my region is its role in the illegal creation of Zionist ‘Israel’ on stolen Arab Palestinian land.

The British role in Stealing Palestine

The Balfour declaration was the moment that it became British state policy to support the creation of a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. A hundred years ago, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote what was to some the Magna Carta of Zionism. To the Arabs, who ended up being violently dispossessed, it was a calamitous promise. As the British author Arthur Koestler famously put it, “One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.” It was an early and foundational contribution from Britain to the world’s most intractable war still ongoing since 1948. However, the British role in terrorizing, stealing and colonizing Palestine started way before that.

In 1917, the British colonial forces entered Palestine, and by 1918, the Ottoman rule over Palestine was ended following the defeat of its forces in WWI at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. Under the ‘Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916’, it was envisioned that most of Palestine, after ending the Ottoman control over it, would become an international zone not under direct French or British colonial control. However, after the war, Palestine was occupied by the British Military from 1917 until 1920.

During the period Palestine was under British occupation, the Zionists were putting pressure on the British Government to facilitate the establishment of a ‘Jewish Homeland’ on the land of Palestine. On the 2nd of November 1917, the British responded to the Zionist demands through what became to be known as the ‘Balfour Declaration’. Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, handed a letter to Lord Rothschild (a leader of the British Jewish community) for transmission to the Zionist Federation (a private Zionist organization). The letter declared the support of the British King’s Government to the Zionists’ plans of establishing a Jewish ‘national home’ in Palestine, as if Palestine is part of British land.

All this was established at the hands of the warmongering psychopath of all time, Winston Churchill. Churchill’s own efforts to help establish a “Jewish national home” for the sons of Zion in Palestine were at their most intense throughout 1921 and 1922 when, as Colonial Secretary, he was directly responsible for the evolution of British policy in the Middle East.

Since that date, Jewish immigration to Palestine, which started around 1882, increased rapidly. Conflicts erupted between the new Jewish settlers and the local Palestinian people, each fought for their survival. The Palestinian people rebelled against the British Mandate and its policies of settling foreigners on their land; meanwhile, the Jewish illegal colonial gangs continued to carry attacks on the Palestinian people as well as on the British mandate forces. So, the United Nations on the 29th November 1947 agreed upon a ‘Partition Plan of Palestine’, which would divide Palestine into two independent States; one for the Jews and another for the Palestinians, while keeping Jerusalem under international administration, by declaring it a ‘Corpus Separatum’. However, the plan was never implemented.

Churchill, the British terrorist regarded the Arab population in Palestine to be a “lower manifestation”, declaring that the “dog in a manger has the final right to the manger”, by this he meant the Arabs of Palestine. In 1921, as he stood in the Palestinian city of AlQuds, Churchill told Palestinian leaders “it is manifestly right that the Jews, who are scattered all over the world, should have a national center and a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in this land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?” He blatantly stood on a foreign land and demanded its people to give it away willingly to a third party. His demands were not very subtle and diplomatic you see, they were done with guns pointed to heads of Palestinian natives.

Obviously, the Palestinian Arabs refused to accept, and in London on 22 August 1921, they once more urged Churchill to bring a complete halt to Jewish immigration. Churchill rejected this appeal, telling the Arabs: “The Jews have a far more difficult task than you. You have only to enjoy your own possession; but they have to try to create out of the wilderness, out of the barren places, a livelihood for the people they bring in… they were in Palestine many hundreds of years ago. They have always tried to be there. They have done a great deal for the country. They have started many thriving colonies and many of them wish to go and live there. It is to them a sacred place.” As if to the Palestinian natives it is a place that they can just give up, because someone else who came from hundreds of miles away claims that Palestine is his, by religious right. You still find people in the west who read this last statement and actually agree with it, until you ask them how they would feel if Arabs decided to come back to Spain’s southern coast of Andalusia and claim it is sacred to them and start a one race/one religion state for them there. When you hear their deafening silence you understand that they know how wrong and illegal the creation of Zionist ‘Israel’ was, yet they don’t dare declare that in fear of being stigmatized as anti-Semitics, disregarding the fact that native Palestinians are the real Semites in this story and not the illegal European colonial settlers.

Churchill stuck to his Zionist policy later in 1937, at the Palestine Royal Commission (Peel), where he stated that he believed in intention of the Balfour Declaration was to make Palestine an “overwhelmingly Jewish state”. On 19 May 1941, in a secret memorandum, he wrote of his hope for the establishment after the war of a “Jewish State of Western Palestine” with not only the fullest rights for immigration and development, but also with provision “for expansion in the desert regions to the southwards which they would gradually reclaim.” Even after the great theft of Palestine, Churchill was still promising the illegal Zionist settlers more free land for them to grab to the south of Palestine, meaning in both Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula.

Rigid Partnership to Terrorize Arabs

Even now, more than 100 years later, the British political, military and intelligence support for ‘Israel’ facilitates the ‘Israeli’ aggression be it against Palestine, Lebanon or Syria. In 2018, the UK pledged to increase “trade and investment” between the two countries, which already stands at a record 9 billion dollars as ‘Israel’ continues to murder Palestinian natives on a daily basis. Yet, one cannot find a single article in the British “mainstream” media noting the depth of supportive UK policies towards ‘Israel’ since the late 1890s to date.

In 2016 and 2017, the UK sold 512 million dollars’ worth of military goods to ‘Israel’, including components for combat aircraft, tanks, drones and military communications and approved export licenses for 34 types of military-related equipment. No one seems to ask; for what? Or more practically; to kill whom?

The UK wants to ban Hezbollah for being a force of resistance to the continuous ‘Israeli’ occupation and aggressions while at the same fills up the tanks of the most aggressive entity in west Asia, expecting the natives in that region to sit and watch instead of prepare to defend themselves.

The UK’s military relationship with Zionist ‘Israel’ is extensive, covering areas such as naval cooperation and the provision of components for ‘Israeli’ nuclear-armed submarines. However, the UK chooses to brand Hezbollah as a terrorist group, all while ‘Israel’ has nuclear-armed submarines without being a signatory of the Nuclear Proliferation treaty. The British government revealed in 2018 that it was providing military training to ‘Israel.’ This followed news in 2016 that British military pilots were due to be trained by a company owned by ‘Israeli’ arms firm Elbit Systems. Training is longstanding: in 2011, it was revealed that British soldiers were being trained in ‘Israel’ in the use of drones that had been “field-tested on Palestinians” during the 2008 war on Gaza.

So tell us again Britain, who exactly is the terrorist organization?

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