Sunday, July 09, 2006

The 1,300-Year Battle between Christians and Muslims

The 1,300-Year Battle between Christians and Muslims

WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW: With the endless crises in the Middle East, we are tempted to simplify and attribute them to religious differences/fervors, as a never-ending war between Jews and Muslims. Or as in the last decade or so in the Balkan region, between Christians and Muslims. To think such is to fall prey to religious fundamentalism; and history has repeatedly demonstrated that religious absolutism can lead people only towards the road to perdition.

We can overcome this dangerous way of thinking by a serious study of history; in the present case, of the Middle Eastern region. Of course, it is easily said than done; even for one who seriously wants to understand what's going on "over there." And who cares anyway, it's too far out of our way and we have more immediate issues to attend.

Anyway, below is an article, bit lengthy, that provides a pretty decent and broad swathe of Middle Eastern history, beginning with the failed attempts of the Christian Crusades to kick out the Muslims from the so-called Holy Land; complete with the rise of empires of the West and East; their resultant wars for economic gains; the creation of new Arab "states" by the European imperialists; the establishment of Arab kingdoms ruled by client/puppet royalties or dictatorships (always easier and cheaper to deal with or dispose of dictators who have worn out their usefulness, i.e. Shah of Iran, Marcos, Noriega, Saddam, etc. than a democratic government); etc.

Fast forward today: The most important economic consideration, as elevated to a "national interest" by the current and sole imperial world power America, is oil. American easy access to cheap sources of oil from the Middle East (and now also former Russian satellite states in Central Asia). Thus, the "peace dividend" expected from the demise of communism did not materialize. Instead more militarization continually happen; with the Pentagon now more influential and powerful than the US State Department. From the Cold War against Communism, the continuous growth of American militarization and the creeping militarism in American society and foreign policy were rationalized briefly by the War Against Drugs; but now largely by the War Against Terrorism (note where the vast supply of oil reserves -past, present and future- are; in supposedly terrorist lands!).

"Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." - George Washington, Farewell Address (September 17, 1796)

"It's the same old dream --world domination." - Ian Fleming, DR. NO (1958)

"Do you know how 'Baku' is pronounced in American? It is pronounced 'oil.' And American capitalism is trying to establish a world monopoly of oil. On account of oil, blood is being shed. On account of oil, a struggle is being waged in which the American bankers and the American capitalists attempt everywhere to conquer the places and enslave the peoples where oil is found...You the people of the East, the peoples of Asia have yet to experience the rule of America." - American Communist John Reed (1887-1920) describing American obsession for oil to Central Asia's Bolsheviks 86 years ago.

The 1,300-Year Battle between Christians and Muslims

Although neither Christians nor Muslims will acknowledge it, for 1,300 years they have been locked in a battle over who will control people and nations.

If we are to understand the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, using hijacked airplanes and passengers as guided missiles, we must know the history behind the efforts of the world’s powerbrokers to control the resources of the world and lay claim to its wealth, especially to that of the volatile Middle East.

1) The Crusades
News and talk shows searching for answers to the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings occasionally mentioned the Crusades which were Christian attempts to gain control of Christian shrines located in the center of the Muslim world and which broke out periodically over a period of 175 years, 1095-AD to 1270-AD. The Muslims eventually won those early struggles. The Crusades are therefore victories to Muslims and a matter of pride, not anger, for Muslim zealots.

Those Crusades are important to our story only because they are recorded in current history books. What is more important and is neglected by history books is the later crushing of the Muslim East by the Christian West.

Here we tell that story of plunder-by-raids back and forth between the Christian West and the Muslim East and their eventual crushing. The control of Christian shrines of the Crusades evolved into economic struggles. These economic crusades claiming weaker nations’ wealth through plunder-by-trade are addressed later.

Of significance to this history is that, simultaneous with their battle with Western Christians, Eastern Orthodox Christianity faced the brunt of Muslim power for centuries and provided enormous protection to the “West.”. Under assault from both Muslims and Western Christians, Eastern orthodox populations almost disappeared from the heart of their culture, around Constantinople and in the Eastern Balkan countries.

The remnants of Orthodox Christianity are now centered in the Slavic regions of Eastern Europe. A hint to the pressures faced by the Eastern Orthodox culture is that the word slave is derived from their Slav culture being a source of slaves for both Muslims and Western Christians.

2) The Rise of the Ottoman Empire
The Roman, Byzantine, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Ottoman empires all demanded tribute from their outlying provinces and continually consumed this wealth—and eventually wealth from the center—defending against encroachment by competing empires.

The Romans extended their empire around the entire Mediterranean Sea and parts of the Bible record battles resisting subjugation in the peripheral province of Israel. After 300 years of Rome persecuting Christians, during the 4th-Century AD, Emperors Constantine and Theodosius saw the advantage in allying with their adversaries, made Christianity the Roman state religion, and “forbade the worship of ancient pagan gods.”

Over the next 1,100 years, as the Roman Empire in the West was overwhelmed by barbarians, the people of Turkistan—who had a long history of conquest and defeat, back and forth, with China, Mongolia, Europe, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt—accepted the Islamic religion. They formed an alliance with other Arabs and Muslims, defeated, and then ruled, much of the Byzantine (Eastern) half of the “Holy Roman Empire.” This was the Islamic/Ottoman (Turkish) empire, which reached its zenith under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1550 AD

By the 8th-Century, just 100 years after the death of Mohammed, the Arabs had converted most of North Africa to the Muslim faith, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, and overrun Spain. They then entered France, but were decisively defeated by the Christians at the Battle of Tours (Poitiers) in 732 AD. For 700 years, from the 8th-to the 15th-Century, the Spanish Christians slowly pushed the Muslims back and, during the reign of Queen Isabella in 1492, the same year Columbus reached the Americas, they drove the Muslims off the peninsula.

While that 700-year battle was being fought, Muslims remained firmly astride the trade routes to the silks of China and the spices of the Far East. Searches for another route were attempts to envelop the Muslims in a giant pincer movement (containment). Portugal’s coinage minted from African gold was even called the “Cruzada” (the Crusade).
2 While Christians prevailed in Western Europe, the Muslims were growing stronger in Eastern Europe.

The success of the Turkish people up to this time was due to their warlike heritage, superior cannons, and the cohesive strength of the Islamic faith. But, as with all extended empires, the greater the distance from its center, the more difficult it became to defeat and control other societies. Though they had defeated Byzantium in the East, Muslims were still face to face with the Western half of the former Holy Roman Empire and its common bond of Christianity.

As “the center of gravity of the Western world [shifted] from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic seaboard,” a series of defeats marked the turning point of Islamic/Ottoman fortunes in the East.
c The first came in 1571 when, in a three-hour battle, a Christian fleet “composed of 208 Venetian, Spanish, Genoese, and papal galleys” destroyed 90% of the Ottoman fleet of 260 ships in Greece’s Bay of Lepanto.

For the next 100 years, the Turks tried to regain their momentum and expand deeper into Europe. But they suffered a horrendous defeat in 1683 trying to take Vienna and, weakened by that setback, lost several other cities, including Athens, to the Christians. At this time Russia, under Peter the Great, joined the Holy Alliance against the Turks. The inexorable crushing of the Islamic/Ottoman Empire by the Christian Empire had begun.

Leaders of these religions may not acknowledge that such a struggle took place but those who have been impoverished, because they have seen their natural wealth turned into the real wealth and capitalized wealth of the powerful, understand it very well. As many Christian nations are among the exploited, the motivations and methods are primarily financial and economic with support from religion. That alliance of church and state gave both religious and secular leaders enormous control and power over the people. During the first 800 years of this struggle both Christians and Muslims were ruled jointly by church and state.

3) The Rise of the West and the Decline of the East
The Christian and Muslim worlds were relatively equal until the West stole all the gold and silver that the American Indians had mined over several thousand years. This provided greater wealth for the West and drove down the value of the East's gold and silver. The East (the Muslim East) now had far less money and the West (Christians) far more money. The West could now outspend the East in both war and technology.

In the 16th-Century Luther broke with Roman Catholic Christianity and the West started its slow (yet incomplete) evolution to democracy and freedom. The big breaks toward liberalism and democracy: the American and French Revolutions came late in the 18th-Century. The crushing of the feudal Muslim East was imminent just 100 years later.

As Jared Diamond outlines, control of the world’s resources and technology—and expansion of societies through financial, technical, and military superiority—is not only as old as history, it is history.
3 The building by the West of the Suez Canal and what railroads there were in the East is evidence of the West's technical, financial, and military superiority. Add the wealth being plundered from the Americas, Africa, and Asia to that being taken from Muslim regions and the Muslim East was obviously in for the rapid decline relative to the Christian West that history records.

Just as Christian fundamentalism and feudal governments held back the development of Western culture and technique during the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, the Muslim retention into the 20th, and partly into the 21st, -Centuries of feudal forms of government retarded, and continues to retard, its cultural and technical development. But we also must remember that, as will be documented below, the West overthrew emerging Muslim democracies and installed and protected those puppet feudal governments ever since the Ottoman Muslim Empire was crushed 85 years ago.

So long as they are denied equality in technology and trade, the wealth of the East will flow to the West. Muslims retreating into the protection of their religion remains the last bastion of protection for Muslim culture.

4) The Decline of the Ottoman Empire
The battles between Christians and Muslims ebbed and flowed for another 100 years, and as America won its freedom and the French their revolution, the Muslim Empire steadily gave ground. By the middle of the 19th-Century, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was imminent, and European powers started positioning themselves to claim the spoils. France sought to maintain influence in Jerusalem, Egypt, Algeria, and later Tunisia. Her building of the Suez Canal (1859-1869) conflicted with Britain’s plans to control the land and sea routes to Asia.

While jockeying for position in the Middle East, France and England joined forces to prevent Russian expansion from getting out of hand in the Balkans (Crimean War, 1854-1856). But 10 years later, while England was occupied with the conquest of India, Russia pushed the Turks out of most of Europe. Those gains to Russia were largely lost when Britain recalled some of her troops from India and, in concert with France, denied Russia those military and political gains.

5) Claiming the Spoils
Turkey was humbled by these military defeats and, just as dependent countries today must do, turned to countries with capital (France, England, Russia, Germany, and Austria) for loans to build a modern infrastructure. “European interests were willing to supply the networks and systems which the Ottoman Empire lacked but of course wanted to own them, preferably on the basis of exclusive concessions.”
4 The result, as told by Jaques Benoist-Mechin, is worth quoting at length:

Each loan was granted on condition of guarantees and security. Each country had its own banks, monopolies and controllers. Banks, railways, mining companies and forestry, gas and water works were all foreign built, run and owned. France had seen to it that the tobacco monopoly had been [turned] over to her in 1883 as well as the docks at Beirut and Constantinople (1890), Smyrna (1892), and Salonica (1896). In 1890 followed the rights to exploit natural resources at Herklion and Salenica as well as running the Jaffa-to-Jerusalem Railway; in 1891 the Damascus-Homs and Mudanya-Bursa railway rights; in 1892 the rights to the Salonika-Constantinople Railway and in 1893 to the Smyrna-Kasaba Railway. The English had a healthy share in the “Ottoman Bank.”

Through the mediation of an Armenian, Calouste Gulbenkian, they obtained sole oil rights in Mossul in 1905. The Russians enjoyed various privileges, had secured the rights to all customs duties in Constantinople and in Black Sea ports. The Germans had secured the rights to free port docks at Haider Pasha (1899), railway shares and a municipal transport monopoly, and the docks at Alexandrette (1905). Through the operations of diverse combines the foreign powers sucked the wealth out of the country. The share of the national income which did not flow directly into the Sultan’s coffers went to London, Paris, Viennese or Berlin banks. ...

European capitalism was at its zenith at the time and drank the blood of its victim. “With such perfect organization the people were deprived of the fruits of its labour. Nothing was left for the abandoned cities, the treeless forest which had been overfelled, for the fields parched by drought, for the people themselves, who had neither doctors nor teachers.”

Foreigners now handled even the management of state finances:
The impressive bank officials and foreign dignitaries in their elegant palaces on the Bosporus were mightier than the Sultan and the Grand Vizier.... [But] the only thing they had in common was the conviction that “the empire and its millions of subjects had only one raison d’être: to throw up enough earnings to be able to pay interest every six months to the innumerable holders of Ottoman certificates of indebtedness, whose number was increasing at a giddy pace.”

Besides the wealth wasted internally on their outdated feudal form of government, foreign military might forced the signing of unequal trade contracts that consumed more wealth. “[E]verything in Turkey which [was] clean, sturdy and beautiful [was] from somewhere else.”
7 It only remained for the violent upheaval of WWI to dissolve the once mighty empire.

6) Redrawing the map of the Islamic World and Installing their Rulers
The provinces of Algeria and Tunisia were the first to break away (1830 and 1881). Though nominally still a Turkish province and coveted by France, Egypt was effectively taken over by Britain in 1881. In 1911, Italy invaded Libya and—pressured by the Balkan states of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia attacking from the West—Turkey made peace with the eastern invaders and lost control in Africa as it rushed to defend its western provinces.

As Italy digested Libya the ostracized German nation saw its chance to gain power vis-à-vis France, England, and Russia by becoming an ally of Turkey. They built the Berlin-to-Baghdad Railway and trained the Turkish army. In 1912, the war in the Balkans cost the Ottoman Empire almost all territory west of the Bosporus. Much was regained in 1913 when the Balkan nations could not agree on the division of the spoils and went to war amongst themselves.

It was later English, French, and Russian covert efforts to destabilize Germany’s trading partner—the Austro-Hungarian Empire—that led to WWI. Turkey felt that “if the Allies won the war, they would cause or allow the Ottoman Empire to be partitioned, while if Germany won the war, no such partition would be allowed to occur.”
9 To quote Karl Polanyi, it was the collapse of the balance of power that led to WWI.

Before that alliance with the besieged Ottoman Empire Germany was reinforcing her position by making a hard and fast alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy.... In 1904, Britain made a sweeping deal with France over Morocco and Egypt; a couple of years later she compromised with Russia over Persia, that loose federation of powers was finally replaced by two hostile power groupings; the balance of power as a system had now come to an end.... About the same time the symptoms of the dissolution of the existing forms of world economy—colonial rivalry and competition for exotic markets—became acute.10

Just as British diplomats had long feared, “the scramble to pick up the pieces [of the Ottoman Empire] might lead to a major war between the European powers,” WWI erupted.
11 Christopher Layne provides an analysis:

Backed by Czarist Russia’s pan-Slavic foreign policy, Serbia attempted to foment unrest among Austria-Hungary’s restless South Slavs, with the aim of splitting them away from Austria-Hungary and uniting them with Serbia in a greater South Slav state—the eventual Yugoslavia. The Austro-Hungarians knew that this ambition, if realized, would cause the breakup of the Habsburg empire (and in fact, did so). In Vienna, Serbia came to be regarded as a threat to Austria-Hungary’s very existence.

On July 2, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Berchtold, told Emperor Franz Josef that to remain a great power, Austria-Hungary had no alternative but to go to war against Serbia. In July 1914, Austria-Hungary believed it could survive only by defeating the external powers that were exploiting its internal difficulties.... Austria-Hungary’s rulers, having weighed the balance, decided that “the risks of peace were now greater than the risks of war.”

Turkey joined on the side of the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy), and with the defeat of that alliance, as had been secretly agreed on in 1916, the Middle East was divided among the victorious powers with Britain “adding nearly a million square miles to the British Empire.”

The promise of self-determination implicit in Lenin’s diplomacy and President Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” of January 1918, made it no longer possible for Britain and France to impose direct colonial rule over the Arab lands they had agreed to partition in 1916. They therefore came up with a proposal whereby these same areas would be ceded to them by the League of Nations as their “mandates” under the fiction that these territories were being prepared for future self rule. Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan came under British mandate, Lebanon and Syria under that of France....

[Egypt’s monarchy] was set up only to facilitate British control; it was overthrown by the Egyptian army in 1952.... [Since that time,] Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq have had to struggle hard to establish their legitimacy. Meanwhile, the Arabic speaking states of North Africa continued as colonies: Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia under the French, and Libya under the Italians. They became independent only after the Second World War. A small piece of land called Kuwait also continued to exist under colonial rule, as a British protectorate.

The father of Islamic Modernism, Jalal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897), traveled the Muslim world warning that Britain, France and Russia were colluding with Middle Eastern rulers and robbing the local people through sweetheart deals for exploitation of natural and commercial resources. His predictions came true. After WWI the borders and the leaders of virtually all Arab states were decided upon by Britain and France.
f Many assigned monarchs were not even locals; they were from tribes of other regions. On April 27, 1920, at the Conference of San Remo following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire,

Britain and France finally concluded a secret oil bargain agreeing in effect to monopolize the whole future output of Middle Eastern oil between them.... Two years later when under pressure from their own puppet (King Feisal) for Iraqi independence, Britain’s Prime Minister, Lloyd George commented] “If we leave we may find a year or two after we departed that we handed over to the French and Americans some of the richest oilfields in the world.”

European Christian Empires now claimed massive amounts of the wealth of the old Muslim Ottoman Empire. But one must remember that the Islamic empire had tried for centuries to conquer Christian Europe and the powerbrokers deciding the fate of those defeated people were determined that these countries should never be able to organize and threaten Western interests again.

With centuries of mercantilist experience of divide and conquer, Britain and France created small, unstable states whose rulers needed the support of their Western masters to stay in power. The development and trade of these states were controlled and were meant to never again be a threat to the West. These external powers then made contracts with their puppets to buy Muslim resources cheaply, making the feudal elite enormously wealthy while leaving most citizens in poverty.
15 Forty percent of Saudi Arabians, in what should be, per capita, the richest country in the world, are illiterate.

Once small weak countries are established, it is very difficult to persuade their rulers to give up power and form those many dependent states into one independent, economically viable, nation. Conversely, it is easy for outside powerbrokers to support an exploitative faction to maintain or regain power.

If such manipulation of small nations was admitted to, the neo-mercantilist world would fall apart. The fiction of sovereign governments, equal rights, fair trade, et al., must continue. Any obvious effort to control the world has always invited immediate widespread rebellion. A language called “diplomacy” has been created to hide such realities.

7) The Secret Agreements exposed
After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the new Soviet government exposed to the world Britain’s, France’s, Italy’s, and Russia’s secret agreement signed one-year earlier to carve up the Middle East and many other such secret agreements were exposed. President Woodrow Wilson was determined to thwart those imperial ambitions and proposed the League of Nations under which colonialism would eventually be dismantled. He personally assumed the role of U.S. negotiator for that purpose.

Being head of the world’s mot powerful state gave President Wilson the right to chair the peace conference and set the agenda. This caused great anxiety among the colonial powers of Europe. But Lloyd George, the British negotiator and designer of the Middle East partition that President Wilson found so offensive, was able to thwart Wilson’s every move to grant those territories independence. With a shift in elections at home, President Wilson could not even obtain the consent of the United States to join and lead the League of Nations. His great hopes for world peace were thus stillborn.
16 The suggestions described in this work outline how President Wilson’s dream of world peace can be achieved by giving full political and economic rights to all people throughout the world.

World War II consumed the wealth of the colonial governments of Europe and the disenfranchised world started to break free from their shackles. Some of the installed puppets became increasingly independent and others were overthrown. The last direct control in the Middle East was abandoned in the early 1970s when Britain “grant[ed] independence to Oman and the small sheikdoms that would become Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.”
17 Granting independence is a misnomer. Most of these feudal governments stayed in power only at the whim of the nation which put them in power. That lack of political independence denied those nations economic independence. Under today’s power relationships, true independence can only come through having the power to protect equality of trades with other nations.

8) Oil Monarchs are paid well to protect the Interests of Western Empires
Their own selfish interests denied Middle East Muslim monarchs and heads of states the option of bargaining for equality of trades. (As we will see, equality of trades means establishing efficient industries, an efficient economic infrastructure, having equal access to markets, and equally-productive labor equally paid.) The dependence of feudal governments upon Western arms to suppress democratic movements which could overthrow them required sweetheart deals which enriched those feudal monarchs and Western traders at the expense of a nation’s impoverished citizens.

Surely those impoverished had an equal right to nature’s wealth within their borders? The alert in the Muslim world were aware of this conflict of interest and it was under this suppression of freedom and rights by their own leaders, in collusion with the West, that the most recent terrorism by religious extremists was born.

The old Soviet federation had a long common border with the Middle East. The West therefore feared those two regions joining forces. If that had happened the Middle East would have had the weapons to protect their resources and the power to negotiate equality in trades. The natural resources of the federated Soviet Union and the Middle East together would have been comparable to those held by the West.

Most of the world’s reserves of oil were within the borders of those two empires and by raising oil prices, a good part of the West’s wealth could have been claimed by the East. This is the explanation for the West’s large military expenditures to maintain control in that region. That also explains the occupation of Iraq in 2003, still on-going, and the pressures on other small states. If such nations obtained the major weapons of war (weapons of mass destruction), the imperial-centers-of-capital would lose their power to control the world’s resources and the wealth-producing-process.

We must remember that, when the Soviet federation rejected the secret agreements to carve up the Middle East, they released all title and right to resources outside their borders. The philosophy of the federated Soviet Union was to develop within their borders utilizing their own resources. That, of course, was a philosophy for peace.

Western policies were created, as we address below, to deny industrialization to the periphery of empire. The federated Soviet policy, on the other hand, was to industrialize countries that had declared their independence. As the Soviets had plenty of oil, the Arabs, by establishing their independence and industrializing, stood to gain considerably.

9) A Battle over Resources and the Wealth-Producing-Process
Equal rights mean all people sharing the world’s resources and having equal opportunities within the wealth-producing-process. Battling over the world’s wealth is consuming the world’s resources. As all wealth is processed from natural resources, aggressive nations are destroying the very wealth they are battling over.

World War II is an excellent example. If those warring nations had recognized the simple moral reality that all people are entitled to their share of resources and the wealth created, the immense wealth destroyed by that war would have remained and would have produced more wealth. The savings from avoiding that one epic struggle alone could have developed the rest of the world to a sustainable level and eliminated poverty.

Through sharing the world’s wealth most excuses for wars vanish. If we abandon those wars and cooperate in protecting all societies (this also means protecting the resources and the environment), there is plenty on this earth for all. The efficiency gains from restructuring to democratic-cooperative-(superefficient)-capitalism, and thus avoiding those wars, would equal the invention of money, the printing press, and electricity.

10) Controlling the Wealth-Producing-Process starts with Control of Land
Western Christian nations controlling Muslim nations through puppet governments they put in power, Christian military forces based close to Muslims’ most sacred religious site (Mecca) attacking Muslim nations, the Jewish enclave controlling the second most sacred Muslim site—the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem—coupled with the continued expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land with the backing of Christian powers looks to Muslims very much like, and it is, an extension of the Crusades when Christians captured the Holy Land. (Note: Fundamentalist Christian Grace Digital Media operates America’s TV beamed into Iraq under the War on Terror.)

Though it is very relevant, one does not need to look to a history of the Crusades to understand today’s terrorism carried out by enraged Muslims. All people will fight to the death for their land. They must, their land is their livelihood. The loss of it threatens their very existence as a people. Thus Palestinians fight with their only remaining effective weapon, suicide bombs. The Middle East is controlled by proxy and Christian military power. To many of the over 1.2-billion Muslims in the world, they view terrorizing those suppressing them as the only means left to defend their lands and their people.

The massive funds spent by feudal oil monarchs for arms and their high living could just as well have produced industry and a modern economic infrastructure within Muslim nations. With that development those countries could have produced consumer wealth for their citizens. An industrialized Middle East would have meant democracy, education, and loss of feudal control.

The oil monarchs are not going to give up their power, as a modern economy would require, so there is little industry built in the Muslim world. Unemployment is high and the noose of unequal trade squeezes tighter. Though the feudal monarchs are still wealthy, the people feel their poverty and many understand well that the squandering of their patrimony of oil reserves being used as spending money will eventually create even more impoverishment. That denial of control of their destinies creates anger.

America says it is being targeted because of its freedoms, quality of life, and immoral lifestyle. If that were so, why are Sweden, Denmark and Holland not being terrorized? They are just as free, their standard of living is equal, and even Americans find aspects of their lifestyle immoral.

Besides the 1,300-year history we have just outlined, managers-of-state know well why others are angry. In Chapters five and six we will be discussing how the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan were established by America’s CIA to train terrorists to do to capitalism’s competitors what was done to New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. American bombs destroyed training camps that America built and, as America hunts down worldwide the still-active elements of the 35,000 terrorists trained in those camps, the War on Terrorism is killing terrorists that America trained.

But these American-trained terrorists were only a small part of the massive assault upon capitalism’s competitors. The entire world is familiar with the devastation of a few acres at New York’s World Trade Center. But few are aware that every building over one story high in an essentially defenseless North Korea faced the same devastation by Imperialism. Fewer than three thousand were killed in New York while 4-million were killed in Korea, half of whom were women and children. Between 12-million and 15-million worldwide were killed and hundreds of millions died due to destruction of their economies as capitalism successfully suppressed the post WWII breaks for freedom of the former colonial world.

We cannot be sure exactly what the deepest secrets of the current War on Terrorism are, but this we are sure was known by the powerbrokers: (1) Terrorists had already attacked American embassies and infrastructure overseas; (2) and that they were going to attack targets within mainland America. After all, terrorist efforts generate a lot of phone traffic and ECHELON, the software for America’s electronic intelligence gathering service, intercepts and analyzes (through keywords picked out by powerful computers) virtually every message in the world that is sent through space and much of what is sent by ground. Keyword hits lead to detailed analysis of all traffic to and from those phone numbers. Over time, almost all terrorist cells and a rough outline of their plans become known.

We know the current prime target of the War on Terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, worked with the CIA and Pakistani Intelligence in establishing and operating those terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. So long as he and Al-Qaeda members were terrorizing capitalism’s competitors, they were classed as “freedom fighters.” As soon as they turned their training to blowing up American political and economic emblems, they were relabeled ‘terrorists.’ Terrorists, of course, are what they were all along. Western media has simply ignored the destruction of the political and economic infrastructure of its economic competitors by these same terrorists.

So much terrorism of others has been neglected by the media and, as Chapter three documents, there has been so much distortion of reality by the greatest propaganda system in history that figuring out what is real is very slippery. We do know Osama Bin Laden praised the terrorist attacks on America. But so did Western leaders praise all their terrorist attacks on their competitors. We do know that Al-Qaeda is dedicated to the destruction of America. But America trained them to terrorize and destabilize both Afghanistan and the Soviet federation and millions (Afghani, Soviets) were killed in the process as opposed to the few thousand killed so far as these terrorists turned on their trainers and benefactors.

We do know that every empire creates enemies to justify expansionist and suppressionist policies. We know that excuses for war are created so as to gain the political backing of a nation’s citizens and permitting attacks causing the deaths of citizens is a strategy-of-tension that has proved effective. History is rife with examples but America has its destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana which rallied citizens for the Spanish American War and Pearl Harbor which rallied them for WWII.

We also know that the West feels they must control the vast oil fields around the Caspian Sea. Virtually all the former Eastern provinces of the Soviet Union have joined NATO's “Orwellian-named Partnership for Peace (PfP) military bloc.” Major wars have been fought over fewer resources and those former Soviet provinces will receive arms from, and be doing training maneuvers with, NATO troops.

Going deeper, economies on the periphery of empire are in deep trouble and the imperial centers are threatening to stall or even collapse. Oil was below $20 a barrel, the imperial centers lost control, and it rose to over $30 a barrel. Gaining control of Iraqi oil was expected to again drop prices and restart Western economies. With oil prices doubling, that has so far (2005) been a failed policy. Researchers should look close at this as the primary purpose of the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq and that is likely what will be recorded in history.

We discuss what is a known to point out that there is much more to terrorist attacks on America than Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Such terrorists must be neutralized but so must the massive violence, suppressions and oppressions of the West be abandoned.

The one aspect of this history that stands out is how American trained terrorists were freedom fighters when terrorizing and destabilizing competitors and terrorists when they turned on America. Hiding America’s complicity on imposing severe violence upon others through tagging others with buzzwords of friends (freedom fighters) or enemies (terrorists) is an enormously effective propaganda tool.

When there is no oppression by an imperial center and societies have control of their own destinies, any dissident who inflicts harm on innocent people would gain no followers. In a reasonably just world, terrorists would have nowhere to hide even within their own culture. There would be very few of them and no need to activate an army to find them. Most people of all cultures are good and their own society would disown them.

However, if the economic injustice and suppressions of others’ destiny continues, those suppressed will understand. The current terrorist networks will be devastated, but only one dedicated terrorist can do serious harm to citizens traveling outside the borders of the imperial-centers-of-capital.

(In the next chapter) we show how resource-poor, yet powerful, nations become wealthy and resource-rich weak nations remain impoverished. It is a matter of simple math and power. We next demonstrate how inequality of pay for equally-productive work creates an exponential gain in wealth for a well-paid nation and an exponential loss of wealth for a poorly-paid nation. Those inequalities of trades, and thus those exponential gains to the imperial-centers-of-capital, are maintained by economic, financial, and military power.

George Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1969), p. 53; J.M. Roberts, The Triumph of the West (London: British Broadcasting Company, 1985), p. 67. A potentially powerful Egypt can only have been a serious threat to Rome. The knowledge of the world was in the Library of Alexandria and knowledge is power. The alliance of Christianity and Rome, the destruction of every pagan temple, the burning of every library in the Roman empire, including the Library of Alexandria and execution of every educated Egyptian, pulling Western society into the dark ages, needs to be looked at closely. It parallels closely later alliances, and today’s alliances, of church and state to destroy other cultures.

The former Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Holy Roman Empire. They were once one empire ruled by co-emperors, one in Rome and one in Constantinople. Whenever one emperor died, the other named his replacement. Over several centuries, Hellenic culture overwhelmed the efforts to transpose Latin culture into the Balkans and Asia minor and the two empires became culturally separate (Ostrogorsky, Byzantine State). This established the Eastern Orthodox Christian “East” and Christian “West” that still divide Europe today.

At this time, large amounts of silver and gold were being plundered from the Americas. This not only furnished the money that is credited with starting the Industrial Revolution, it seriously devalued Turkish money required to buy the tools of war. Thus the treasures gathered for centuries by the people of the great Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures were transported to Christian Europe and provided the muscle that overwhelmed the Islamic empire (Jack Weatherford, Indian Givers [New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1988], p. 16).

The actual plan to envelop and crush the Islamic empire began 200 years earlier with Portugal’s exploration of the west coast of Africa, which led to the discoveries of Vasco da Gama and Columbus (Roberts, Triumph of the West, Chapter 6, especially p. 180).

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, pp. 26, 401. Modern Turkey was the only piece of the old Ottoman Empire to nominally keep its freedom. In 1919, “two Greek divisions had landed at Smyrna on the Aegean coast of Turkey, and some Italian forces at Adalia, farther south, in an initial step toward the execution of the Allied plan for dismembering the Ottoman Empire.” Mustapha Kemal renewed the battle and, in a bloody two-year war, drove the occupiers out of Turkey (Edmond Taylor, The Fall of the Dynasties [New York: Dorset Press, 1989], pp. 387-91). Except for the volatile loyalty of religion, that impoverished country, nominally and very precariously allied with the West today, is all that remains of that once mighty Eastern Empire.

Italy had backed out and the new Soviet Union rejected all such violations of sovereignty—including control of the Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits, which would have given them the warm water ports we were later told they would go to war for. It was the Soviets, after their revolution, who laid on the table the secret agreements of Britain, France, Italy and Russia (signed during WWI, 1916) to crush and divide the Ottoman Empire.

Ralph V.D. Magoffin and Frederic Duncalf, Ancient and Medieval History (New York: Silver Burdett and Company, 1934), pp. 449, 673. See also Barnet Litvinoff, The Burning Bush (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1988), pp. 53-4, 74-5, 80-5, 199.

Roberts, The Triumph of the West, p. 180.

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999) and The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (New York: HarperCollins, 1992).

David Fromkin, A Peace to End all Peace (New York: Avon Books, 1989), p. 46.

Jaques Benoist-Mechin, The End of The Ottoman Empire (ISBN 3-89434-008-8, no publisher or date noted), p. 104; see also, Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, esp. pp. 46-48, 95.

Benoist-Mechin, End of the Ottoman Empire, p. 104.

Benoist-Mechin, End of the Ottoman Empire, p. 104.

Benoist-Mechin, End of the Ottoman Empire, pp. 162-63.

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, p. 66; Christopher Layne, “America’s Stake in Soviet Stability,” World Policy Journal (Winter 1990-91): esp. pp. 66-67; Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957), p. 19.

Polanyi, Great Transformation, p. 19.

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, pp. 28-29; see also pp. 49, 66.

Layne, “America’s Stake in Soviet Stability,” pp. 66-67.

Feroz Ahmad, “Arab Nationalism, Radicalism, and the Specter of Neocolonialism,” Monthly Review (Feb. 1991): pp. 30-31.

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, pp. 509, 534. See also Noam Chomsky, “Oppose the War,” Z Magazine (Feb. 1991): p. 62; Said K. Aburish, A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998);

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, esp. pp. 45, 49, 66, 74-75, 139, 192-95, 264, 286-88, 392, 401, 410, 493, 506, 512-14, 462, 562. See also Elie Kedourie, England and the Middle East (London: Bowes and Bowes, 1956).

Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, pp. 253, 257, 262, 389-402; see Margaret Macmillan, Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2001).

Stephen Shalom, “Bullets, Gas, and the Bomb,” Z Magazine (Feb., 1991): p. 12.

Aburish, A Brutal Friendship).



Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

I do not recognize the backdrop to your picture. It is not one of the places I have been.

I have received quite a few of your posts and I am confused.

I assume you are a Pinoy and well educated and I see you list Biology as your thing.

The subjects you post are quite esoteric. I must assume you aspire to intellectual inquiry.

I consider myself an intellectual on Geopolitics, Religion and The Human Condition.

Reading blogs and other noninteractive opinions are sterile and allow no intellectual advancement.

The discourses of Plato and Aristottle being our model, the name of the game is the exchange of opinion, so that all may learn.

I am interested in your opinions. I don't care what Prof. X or Dr. Y says.

Their opinions have already crystalized and are beyond redemption.

What is the name of "your" game, what are you seeking? Why are you posting esoteric literature? Whats in it for you?

Regards Graham in Dumaguete

Bert M. Drona said...

Hello Graham,

Thanks for your interesting and inquisitive comments.

Oh, that's in Granada, Spain at a Plaza/statue honoring Queen Isabela.

I prefer not to discuss my person; my profile can give you some idea of where my preferences, etc. are.

I do not try to be an intellectual, I just do what makes "happy" or fulfilled; we arrive at that in many ways (as is said: there are many ways to skin a cat).

Though people play many games, they do not necessarily do each for self-interest, profit, power and aggrandizement.

Life is short, there are many ideas to know and understand, opportunities to take or lose, experiences to live or miss, etc.

Take care,


Anonymous said...


"To simply look back into history and to acknowledge present realities can neither solve/resolve the current crises facing us all nor enlighten us further towards solution/solutions to upheavals everywhere in this world we live in.

So long as we look towards each other with prejudice and distrust and as long as we indulge in self-interest and self-preservation, there will be no peace and understanding.

Let us not blame each other, but let us, instead, help one another because there is no solution until all else is forgiven and ill will set aside.

Let us be ashamed not only of our own ignorance, but also of our lack of forsight for things beyond our control or intelligent design.

If resentments, pain, hurt, and all the bad feeling can neither be forgotten nor forgiven, then let us forget about humility and humanity as well.

I don't want to watch how people can make hell for the rest of the world. I certainly cannot identify myself with anyone either the oppressor or the oppressed. I just want to be left in peace and return the same with little ado. But, if provoked to defend my basic human right and that of others, I am willing to commit myself to the task of righting the wrongs without self-interest and without taking sides because no one wins in any bloody confrontation."

-Joseph Ongsitco

Bert M. Drona said...

Hello Joseph,

Thanks for your quotation.

However, I do not agree with the position that history will not help resolve crises.

Whether one is dealing with animate or inanimate issues, one has to know and understand their history: the "what, when, how and why;" Statesmen, politicians, lobbyists,doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, etc. do so in their professions to effectively and efficiently solve the issues/problems/tasks they confront.

And where do prejudice and distrust, etc. come from? Out of the blue? No.

It comes from knowledge --correct or false-- of the people who create such reactive emotions and thinking, such attitude and behaviour.

And when you deal with those which are based on the past, then you are working with what is called history, whether it was yesterday or years/eons ago.

And in our present case, objectively speaking, we are talking of recorded history (honest or dishonest ones).

That is why one, who is serious in his pursuit of truth to resolve the issue, needs to deeply study its past if he wants complete understanding, a prerequisite to defining alternatives, evaluating them and deciding on a solution (s).


Anonymous said...

This is my first time here, and I like what I see.
Please allow me to link your site.

Anonymous said...

"Reading blogs and other noninteractive opinions are sterile and allow no intellectual advancement."

What about reading books,then?

Isn't it the most noninteractive opinion around?

While reading it of course,but when you use them in the schools and discuss them with your prof and classmates and even discussing them with friends,would it be interactive then?

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Karl,

Of course you're welcomed and I thank you for the encouraging feedback.

I think and believe (want to believe) that most bloggers are honest enough and do write regardless of how they will be interpreted. That's well and good.

Take care


Anonymous said...


As usual you have excellently presented the “worldly, carnal, material” reason for what goes on in the middle east.

Attached “proclamation on behalf of Israel” is the “spiritual reason” for what is happening in Israel and Hezbollah..

It will also be easier to understand this “problem” if you start with the premise that Allah is Satan. Then John 10:10 makes sense “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus Christ] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Clearly the Hezbollah is doing the work of the “thief”.

Since Israel denies Jesus Christ as the Messiah, much more definite is the impossibility of “peace”. Only when Jesus comes back will there be peace in the middle east, and for that matter, the world.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bert,

I do not recognize the backdrop to your picture. It is not one of the places I have been.

I have received quite a few of your posts and I am confused.

I assume you are a Pinoy and well educated and I see you list Biology as your thing.

The subjects you post are quite esoteric. I must assume you aspire to intellectual inquiry.

I consider myself an intellectual on Geopolitics, Religion and The Human Condition.

Reading blogs and other non-interactive opinions are sterile and allow no intellectual advancement.

The discourses of Plato and Aristottle being our model, the name of the game is the exchange of opinion, so that all may learn.

I am interested in your opinions. I don't care what Prof. X or Dr. Y says.

Their opinions have already crystalized and are beyond redemption.

What is the name of "your" game, what are you seeking? Why are you posting esoteric literature? What's in it for you?

Regards Graham in Dumaguete

Bert M. Drona said...

Hello Graham,

Thanks for your interesting and inquisitive comments.

Oh, that's in Granada, Spain at a Plaza/statue honoring Queen Isabela.

I prefer not to discuss my person; my profile can give you some idea of where my preferences/thoughts/beliefs, etc. are.

I do not try to be an intellectual, I just do what makes me "happy" and/or feel fulfilled; we arrive at that in many ways (as is said: there are many ways to skin a cat).

Though people play many games, All, I think and believe, do not necessarily do each with for self-interest "what's in it for me", profit, power and aggrandizement: of course, these are motives we automatically consider since we are saturated with them in our capitalist, individualistic and selfish society.

That is not the only kind of human society....

And most important, life is short. There are many ideas to know and understand, opportunities to take or lose, experiences to live or miss, etc.

Take care,