International

Western Proxies among Muslim Rulers are subverting the Islamic World

There's a thousand-year old history of the west's relentless campaign to undermine the integrity of the Islamic world. It goes back to the Crusades when the heart of the Muslim world was invaded from Europe, under the banner of the Cross, to ostensibly wipe off the 'heathens' from the Holy Land of Palestine and convert it into Christianity's bastion.

Ironically, the spiralling Syrian crisis seems to have quickly morphed into a 21st century version of that unfinished agenda, still inexorably focused on the heart of the Islamic world, because of the western world's ever-deepening involvement in it.

In modern history, however, the concerted western tirade, pin-pointed on keeping the heart of the Muslim world permanently under thrall and subjugation began almost a hundred years ago at the dawn of the 20th century. To the dismay and abiding tragedy of the countries of Middle East, it coincided with the discovery of oil, first in Iran and subsequently in the Arab part of the Gulf. 

The target, then, was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and the parceling out of its possessions in the Arab world among Europe's imperialist and colonial powers. The main weapon for the western marauders to reach their goal was subversion against the Turks in the Arabian Peninsula and the 'fertile crescent'-Syria, Iraq and Palestine-on its periphery. Western spies, saboteurs and agents provocateur, such as the notorious Lawrence of Arabia were fanned out in the targeted areas to whip up revolt against the Turks. Buying off Arab Quislings-such as the 'Sharif' of Hijaz, a Turkish surrogate appointed from among the Arab nobility-was the most potent and effective tactics deployed by the western sleuths. The rest, as they say, is history-and a history that we are still living and contending with, to this day.

The dismemberment of the Turkish possessions in the Arab world was followed by the parceling out of principalities and emirates to Arab chieftains, who had earned the 'pleasure' of the western colonisers and imperialists by their absolute loyalty to the European agenda for the region. They became rulers of what could only be described as rented states serving European interests without demur at the expense of the larger interest of their people.

The pattern hasn't changed much in a hundred years. The progression of the Syrian crisis makes it so much convenient, and educational, for any serious student of history to understand why western powers-now blessed with the added weight of U.S. and the dovetailing of its own agenda with that of the Europeans-are so keen to mess up the Syrian scene and mould it to their whims.

The century of western domination of the oil-producing ME countries was challenged, seriously for the first time, mid-way in the 20th century in Iran with the rise of a nationalist Dr. Mosaddeq. He had the gall and charisma to nationalise his country's national wealth, oil, which had been exploited mercilessly by the then pre-eminent imperialist power, Britain, for its own benefit and enrichment, whilst the Iranians wallowed in misery and penury.

Mosaddeq's bravado was seen in the western world as rumblings of a revolt-like the one they'd fostered and encouraged against the Turks in WWI-with the potential to become a trend-setter in other oil-rich, but subservient, countries. The bluff of the great Iranian nationalist and patriot-who had forced the western puppet, the Shah, to flee the country and seek refuge in Italy-had to be called. The Americans, nurturing their own imperialist ambitions on the foot-prints of imperialist Britain-visibly in decline at the end of WWII, quickly joined hands with imperial Britain to subvert Mosaddeq's reolution because, in the words of Anthony Eden-who was to invade Egypt in 1956 when Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal, another imperialist tool of exploitation-the Iranians were "stealing British property."

The old and neo-imperialist powers, between them, hatched the conspiracy to subvert Mosaddeq's popular government with the aid of their agents and Quislings in Iran and bring back the hated Shah to go on serving their interests at the cost of the welfare and well-being of the people of Iran.

August 19 marked the 59th anniversary of the Anglo-American coup against Dr. Mosaddeq, which gave the western world-now led by U.S.-another 25 years to exploit Iran's wealth for its own interest through their principal proxy in the region, the detestable Shah-who was given a license to unleash a reign of terror against his own people in his guise as the west's main policeman in ME. The ruthless Shah eventually met his Waterloo in the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran that heralded a regime-a true successor to that of the unfortunate Dr. Mosaddeq-which has been a thorn, ever since, in the sides of both the western imperialists and their Quislings and proxies in the Arab world.

The Americans-for reasons well-known to the whole world-have been leading the western campaign to manoeuvre a 'regime change' in Tehran with as much enthusiasm and subterfuge as they did in bringing down Mosaddeq, six decades ago.

There's a visible difference, however, between the modus operandi deployed to bring down Mosaddeq and the game-plan now in the works to get rid of the incumbent regime in Tehran. Mosaddeq was subverted with the assistance of western agents and 'moles' from within the Iranian society; the deep roots that the Iranian revolution has struck among its people now makes it virtually impossible for the west to have that kind of shameless agents ready to sell their country o western bidding. But there are proxies, this time around, among the Arab rulers in Iran's neighbourhood, ready and willing to be part of the western brigade to see the back of the 'inconvenient' Iranian regime. Getting rid of the Assad regime in Syria-currently under serious assault by its own people as well as by a well-furnished and well-supplied rebel 'Syrian National Army'-is the opening gambit in the western master-plan to subvert the Iranian regime. Syria is as good as a pawn on the larger chess-board, with Iran as the big prize, whenever that happens.

It may have been purely coincidental that only two days before the 59th anniversary of the toppling of Mosaddeq, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation wound up its 'extra-ordinary' Summit in Mecca, called at the command of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. The Mecca conclave had been assembled to chart out an OIC strategy to deal with the Syrian imbroglio. However, all that it did was to 'suspend' Syria's membership of OIC, on the lines of what the Arab League had done, in November last year.

There's a lot of interesting material for keener students of history of the Arab and Islamic worlds in these developments emanating from the Syrian situation. They should bring flooding back to memory what the then imperialists did a century ago, and what the neo-imperialists are aiming and plotting to do in the ongoing crisis. Some of the parallels are truly astonishing and awe-inspiring, for anyone keen to draw inspiring inferences and conclusions.

The main theatre of the western-hatched conspiracy to unhinge the Ottoman presence in Arabia was Hijaz, where the rulers of the day had latched themselves on to the western imperialist band-wagon. Today, Saudi Arabia, with Hijaz at its centre, is at the fore-front of the western-led campaign to uproot the Assad regime in Syria. Neither the western agenda of yore-to control and exploit the oil wealth of the region-has changed one bit nor has its imperialist game-plan to advance that agenda with the active help and connivance of its local surrogates and proxies.

The Saudis summoned the OIC 'extra-ordinary' summit in the month of Ramadan, two days before Eid, to rush the one-item agenda-condemn Syria-at the behest of Washington. But, given the fact of Saudi Arabia's decades old compact with U.S. it wasn't, after all, all that extraordinary. Doing American biddings lies at the core of Saudi statecraft. The only breach in this routine had occurred in 1973 when the then King Faisal imposed an oil embargo on the west, but was made to pay the ultimate price for his temerity.

Syria wasn't even invited to the Mecca conclave. The decision to suspend it from OIC was taken in its absentia, without an opportunity to it to explain its position or its side of the story. Which leads one to concur in the argument that the decision had been taken before the conference got underway; OIC simply puts its cachet on an American diktat. That reflects very poorly on an organization supposed to represent the collective will of 1.5 billion Muslims of the world. OIC-with a Turk currently serving as its Secretary-General-is as good as a hand-maiden of the Saudis who, in turn, are so indebted and beholden to the imperialist agenda for the Muslim world.

Such blatant display of subservience to imperialist ambitions has invited swift backlash from keen observers because this appalling mental slavery of Muslim leaders and rulers flies in the face of OIC's claim that it speaks on behalf of the whole Islamic Ummah.

Finian Cunningham-a robust critic of the western establishments and corporate media, and a popular blogger in his own right captured the dismay of common Muslims succinctly and acidly observed: "As the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) concludes its emergency session in Mecca this week with the suspension of Syria, its member states should now consider amending the body's name-to the Organisation of Islamic cooperation with United States Imperialism (OICUSI)."

There, however, one novel development in the context of Syria that marks a clear divergence from the established pattern; there's also a subtle irony shrouding the situation.

Turkey and the Turks was the target of western-inspired 'Arab revolt' of early 20th century. Syria was as much a prize then as it is now. But in an ironic and unfortunate twist of unfolding history, Turkey is today a pivot of the west-crafted master plan to subvert Syria. The anti-Assad forces are being trained in Turkey and Jordan, another lynchpin of the western tirade, by military instructors of these countries. Saudi and Qatari petro-dollars-billions of them-are keeping the Syrian renegades well-supplied in weapons and ammunitions.

Why has Turkey opted to take this uncharted detour in its policy with regard to a sensitive neighbour is anybody's guess. The track record of the current Turkish ruling elite had, otherwise, been impeccable and judiciously pragmatic under the dynamic leadership of PM Erdogan and his inspired and educated colleagues. Turkey had earned the adulation of Muslim masses all over the world-if not of their western-proxy leaders-when it boldly refused to allow George W. Bush, back in 2003, to use Turkish territory to invade Iraq. That bold and forthright stand was taken in resistance to heavy inducements from the war-mongering Bush. So the Turkish U-turn on Syria defies common sense and cold logic, equally. There's, however, no such riddle in the eagerness of the western powers, and their Muslim quislings, to put the heat on Syria as a prelude to a more sinister plan to turn their guns toward Iran once they're done with Syria.

With an eye on that, U.S. has already assembled a formidable armada of aircraft-carrier -based naval ships-destroyers, battle ships, missile ships, sub-marines, floating ships et al-in the Gulf within hailing distance of Iran. It's an unprecedented show of strength and raw power aimed at intimidating Iran. On top of it, U.S. proxies and client states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and U.A.E. have been launched on a buying spree of latest fighter aircraft and radar systems to prime them for second-line support to U.S. and Israeli war machines focused on Iran. An Iran-specific missile base has been built-on the quiet, in Qatar, which has lately emerged as the most active player in the chain of autocratic Arab surrogates strutting on the regional stage as support actors for their principal western puppeteers.  All this is an incredibly naked display of raw power-an essential tool of expansionist ambitions.

It's unfortunate that the long-entrenched and ruthless autocrats of Syria, unaccustomed to any concept of power- sharing with their people, are only inadvertently abetting the imperialist power grab, besides making it doubly more difficult for the few friends they are still left with on the international chessboard of diplomacy to save Syria and its hapless people from a Libya-like outcome.

How right was Marx when he'd observed-at the height of the 19th century imperialist grab for overseas possessions and assets-that when history repeats itself the first time it's a farce, but a tragedy when it does so the second time.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2012 on page no. 18

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