The ‘Middle East’ as we know it today (awash with its vast reserves of petroleum resources), was once part of the Ottoman Empire. The redrawing of borders that determines the territories of today’s ‘Middle Eastern’ nation states, lie in the1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, secretly made during the First World War, to distribute the Arab provinces of the former Ottoman Empire between colonial powers
Britain and France.
The region has been in turmoil ever since.
Though the colonialists claim the changes they imposed brought about modernization to the region, in reality, they have as Yamata Yamahata writes in her thesis, been largely disruptive with little effort made toward nation building.
At a most basic level, a nation comprises a group of people who share a common identity, such as ethnicity or religion that unite them. The arbitrarily drawn borders of the Sykes-Picot Agreement took no account of the many different peoples with their own distinct languages, cultures and ways of life. An example of this was the creation of the State of Israel in the land of Palestine, with little regard to the Arab people
of the region.
The late Dr. George Habash, leader of the ‘Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’ (PFLP) described the ad hoc establishment of different nation states and the establishment of the state of Israel in the midst of Arab populations as a plan of imperialist powers to maintain their dominance via a continued instability in the oil-rich region.
The continuing strife within and between the different countries of the ‘Middle East’ today, is therefore not surprising. The continuing strife in the Middle East and in the Strait of Hormuz needs to be understood in this background.
On July 30, an Israeli-managed oil tanker came under an alleged drone attack in which two persons including a British national were killed. Israel immediately accused Iran of having carried out the attack. Shortly thereafter, Britain and the US claimed they had proof of Iranian involvement in the attack, but have so far provided no proof. Britain went further and threatening the death of a British citizen would
not go unpunished.
Israel’s Defence Minister said the country’s armed forces were ready to strike Iran should it become necessary. He went on to say Tel Aviv saw it as important to mobilize the international community to counter Iran’s influence and growing assertiveness. “We can’t tag Iran as solely an Israeli problem and absolve the rest of the world from this issue” he said. Iran strenuously denied involvement in the attack and warned Israel, the US and Britain against military adventurism. Israel’s Defence Minister also claimed Iran was just 10 weeks away from having enough fissile material to produce a nuclear bomb, also known as ‘breakout time’.
Israel’s former Premier Benjamin Nethanyahu made a similar claim during the 2017 session of the UN General Assembly. The Al-Jazeera and the Guardian exposed the untruth of the statement via leaked spy-cables of the Israeli Mossad of February 2015. The world remembers well, it was using similar false claims against Iraq under Saddam Hussein possessing ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ also at the UN, the US justified its invasion of that country.
No such weapons have ever been found in Iraq. In the aftermath of the invasion, ‘The Iraq Body Count’ project (IBC) which documented civilian deaths after the US invasion, exposed that between 183,535 – 206,107 Iraqis were killed as a result of the war. It added, “…many deaths will probably go unreported or unrecorded by officials and media.” The organisation also pointed out that between 2003 (the year the US invaded Iraq) and 2011 US coalition forces killed at least 1,201 children in Iraq.
Today, once again, the US and Britain using Israel as their lapdog, are raising the same spurious charges, sans hard evidence against yet another Middle Eastern country which has dared to stand up to them. With the disintegration of the Non-Aligned Bloc and India now firmly in the pocket of the US, it appears the forces of imperialism are unstoppable.
The million dollar question is, whether we are about to witness death and destruction in yet another Asian country at the hands of the colonialists of old. As they now leave no stone, unturned to the control petroleum resources of the world.It is worth noting, that all petroleum producing nations outside of Europe and China, from Asia (with the exception of India), to Africa to Latin America and the Middle East have been turned into hot
beds of unrest.
Disclaimer: Sabre rattling in the ME – it’s all about oil - dailymirror - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view