Adonis Diaries

“One hundred fallacies on the Middle East (ME)”

Posted on: October 22, 2008

 

March 2, 2007

“One hundred fallacies on the Middle East (ME)” by Fred Haliday

I read this book in Arabic and translated it as accurately as I could. I will try to enumerate as concisely as feasible what the author Fred Haliday considers as the 100 fallacies on the Middle East; most of the explanations are less than half a page of small format, so I would consider these fallacies as work in progress and sometimes indeterminate for lack of development, except the basic notion that we are no different than many underdeveloped people.

1.  The Middle East (ME) is backward; the coded terminologies used in the modern States should be understood differently in that region; three pages;

2.  The people in the ME lack the sense of humour; three pages;

3.  The current wars in the ME are extensions to previous wars; less than a page;

4.  The part of history that interests the ME is in the past; less than half a page;

5.  Social conduct could be explained through the particularities of each country; half a page;

6.  Specific European States have special relationship with the Arab World;

7.  The Arabs are desert people;

8.  The antagonism of the Arabs toward Israel is a continuation to the European anti-semitism attitude; barely a page;

9.  Since Arabs and Jews are both semites then their enmity is different from the Eurpean behavior; one page;

10.  The Mossad had previous warnings of the 9/11 attack and informed the Jews not to go to work on that day; half a page;

11.  The media coverage of the Arab World increased drastically with the launching of “Al-Jazeera” channel; one page;

12.  There is one Arabic language spoken in the Arab world; less than a page;

13.  The language of the Koran has displaced all the spoken languages in the ME;

14.  The Modern Hebrew language is a rejuvenated version of the Tora;

15.  The Kurds are one people and speaking one language; one page;

16.  Variations in slangs are a good yardstick to differentiate nationalities; one page;

17.  A set of laws extracted from Islam govern the politics in the ME; half a page;

18.  The West had exhibited hostility toward Islam centuries ago; one page;

19.  We are witnessing an era where the struggle among cultures is displacing international relations; one page; a page and a half;

20.  Islamophobia is resultant from the switching of the communism threat to another scape goat; half a page;

21.  The policies in the ME were the fruit of coordinated strategies by the West; half a page;

22.  The dilemma of the ME can be explained by the negative implications of the struggle with Israel on its democracy and social change; barely a page;

23.  The States of governance can be explained by the despotic Eastern or Asiatic traditions build around old fashion structures; half a page;

24. The ME societies seem immune to external transformations and whatever reforms are undertaken is purely nominal; half a page;

25.  The backward economic and political institutions in the ME can be explained by the policies of the West to plunder oil in the most convenient manners; title longer than explanation;

26.  Oil was the cause of modern conflicts in this region; half a page;

27.  The US and Gread Britain invaded Iraq for its rich reserves in oil; half a page;

28.  Iraq was invaded because Saddam had vast inventories of weapons of mass destruction; one page;

29.  It is feasible to reduce the reliance on the Gulf oil by developing the oil fields in Khasakistan, Azerbijan and the Kazween Sea; one page;

30.  The sources of fresh water will be the next struggle in the ME; one page;

31.  We can be fairly sure of the data produced in the oil industry concerning the ME even though there is lack of confidence in the data for everything else; barely a page and a half;

32.  The problem of the ME in this era of globalization can be summarized in the fact that this region has been alienated from the World Economy and needs further linkage; one page;

33.  The state of affairs in the ME must be explained through the impact of traditional values and its failure to mesh with the international laws; half a page;

34.  The ME is witnessing the emergence of civil society since the 90’s due to globalization; one page;

35.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have feudal systems; one page;

36.  The ME States are supported by the outside powers while maintaining despotic systems internally without any consideration for the people’s movements; half a page;

37.  There are no classes in the ME according to the definition of Marxism which might have explained this region; one page;

38. Islam does not separate State from religion as understood by the West; one page;

39. We must view the economic performance in the ME as related to the religious laws; one page;

40.  The resolution of our problems can be solved by applying the “economics of Islam”; barely one page;

41.  The Islamic bank system is experiencing resurgence which forbit the believers taking interest on their deposits; a page and a half;

42.  We can explain the roots of the despotic States in the ME to the constant interference of the Western powers; half a page;

43. “Do not blame Arafat”; a page and a half;

44.  The Gulf Cooperation Council was created in 1981 to strengthen the complementarity among the Gulf States; half a page;

45.  The US encouraged Saddam to invade Kuwait in 1990 through its representative April Gilepsy; one page;

46.  Peace returned to Lebanon after the Taef agreement in 1989; less than half a page;

47.  It is possible to divide the States in the ME between the legitimate and deep rooted States from the created ones by the colonialists; half a page;

48.  The ME was divided among 20 States without the consent of the Arabs who explained these divisions by the policy of “Scater and Rule” adopted by the West; a page and a half;

49.  The Western policy in the Arab Gulf is based on Winston Churchil’s principle “Feed the Arabs and let the Persians go hungry”; less than half a page;

50.  We could interpret the policies of the States around the Caucasus and the Kazwin Sea as an extension of the “Big Game” that was played out in the 19th century by the powerful neighboring countries; half a page;

51. The ME is among the developing countries that suffered most from the “Cold War”; half a page;

52.  The Soviet Union conquered Afghanistan in 1979 in order to reach the warm Indian Ocean; barely a page;

53.  The Islamic Moujahideen defeated the Soviets in the eighties; one page;

54.  The lawlessness and disorganization that spread in Afghanistan in the nineties was due to the lack of interest of the West in that region after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops; one page;

55.  We might interpret the interest of the Soviet for the Gulf in the seventies to its diminishing oil production; one page;

56.  The Palestinian Resistance Movement under Arafat was a tool that the Soviet used during the Cold War to acquire a strong presence in the ME; a page and a half;

57.  The Iranian revolution was the work of the the Soviet, the British BBC, the Afghanistani Mullas and the traders in the bazars; one page;

58.  The Shah of Iran was deposed in 1979 after the USA decided that he is no longer of good use to her interest in the region; one page;

59.  Israel received a critical aid from the US in the 1967 war in order to convey a strong message to al the Soviet allies at that time such as Indonisia, Ghana, Algeria and Greece; half a page;

60.  Egypt waged the 1973 war against Israel with the total support of the Soviet as a counter attack for the 1967 defeat and from which the Soviet managed to win the revolutions in Ethiopia (1974), Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, and Angola (1975), Afghanistan, Iran, and Nicaragua (1979); title longer than text;

61.  The Arabs used oil as a weapon in the seventies to support the Palestinian cause; one page;

62.  The 70,000 strong Egyptian army of Jamal Abdel Nasser lost the war in Yemen (1962-1967); barely a page;

63.  The ME armies offered modern elite men in the fifties and sixties; half a page;

64.  The military coups that ended the Royal families in many States freed the people from political despotism; half a page;

65.  The Iraqi Baath Party was a radical and anti-imperialist movement; half a page;

66.  The ME people did not show any affinity to communism because of atheistic nature of Marxism; a page and a half;

67.  Zionism or the establishment of a Jewish State in the ME was a Western strategy to partition the Arab and Islamic World; half a page;

68.  The Arab States created a Palestinian Idendity to pressure Israel; one page;

69.  Israel was established as “Light tot the Nations”; one page and a half;

70.  Israel is not a colonial or expantionist State; one page and a half;

71.  The Balfour pledge to establish a Jewish homeland in 1917 was a consequence of the pressures that the British Jews affected on its government to support Zionism; title longer than text;

72.  Zionism in 1897 did not intend to establish a Jewish State; half a page;

73.  The goals of the nationalist movements in Azerbijan and Kurdistan in the fourties were to seceed from Iran; one page;

74.  We need to recognize the importance of “Laurence of Arabia” for the consequences that befell the ME after the First World War; one page;

75. The Western States were against a stable and independent Turkey and they fomented separatist movements such as the Cypriote, Greek, Armenian, and Kurdish; one page;

76.  The Islamic World is adopting a political structure that was built during the prophet Mohammad and his Rashidine successors; title longer than text;

77.  We can understand the modern political and social evolutions in the ME through the ancient struggles such as the Median (Furse), Adnan, Kahtan, Sunna, Shiaa, the White tribes, and the Green tribes; half a page;

78.  The people and States in this region are still fighting ancient wars that are thousand of years old; half a page;

79.  Christianity, Islam and Jewdaism are considered “religions of peace” based on their Holy teachings; half a page;

80.  A second concept considers these three religions as “religions of war”; half a page;

81.  We can interpret the behavior of the ME States and their people by referring to a set of ancient holy stricptures verses; half a page;

82.  Ancient scriptures, considered as written by God, legitimize the contemporary political and social aspirations in governance and national identity; title longer than text;

83. We cannot logically consider the Land or the written words in the srciptures as holy; half a page;

84.  Jerusalem was for centuries a holy city for the three main religions in the ME and should have a separate status, or a variation that is related to historical legitimacy; one page;

85.  It is possible for laws extracted from divine scriptures to form clear basis and a workable one with modern laws; one page;

86.  The issue with Islam is that it needs reform; one page and a half;

87.  For religious reasons, the Moslems have hard time accepting or accommodating non-moslem governance; half a page;

88.  Islam is the religion of the desert; half a page;

89. Islam forbids alcoholic beverages; one page;

90.  Women must put the veil and cover their hair; a page and a half;

91.  The original religions and those interpreted in the right way provide equality to both gender and sometime a higher status to women; half a page;

92.  The Arab conquest of Fares in the seventh century imposed a religion not compatible with the one practiced in Iran; one page;

93.  The whole Arab Peninsula before Islam was reknown to be typically backward and refered to as “Jahiliya”; one page; half a page;

94. Historical facts concerning Jesus are extracted from the four Evangiles; one page;

95. A Jewish State, according to the Tora, cannot admit living in a non-Jewish land; half a page;

96. The Bahai doctrine, created in Iran in the mid 19th century, is not religious but a political movement and thus, should not be given religious privileges in the ME; one page;

97.  Komeini made a “Fatwa” against Selman Rushdi in 1989 for his novel “The Satanic Verses”; three pages;

98.  A resolution for the cultural and civilization struggle could be found within the “religious dialogue” framework; one page;

99.  A new ME is about to be created in this century; a page and a half;

100. Force is the only means that the ME people comprehend; one page.

 

There are a number of common expressions used lately by the media such as Arabicide, containment, the Akond of Swat, Bin Liner, Groupthink, slam dunk case, mouvance, Deobandi, towelhead, refusnik, silver bullet, steganography, sexed-up information, cakewalk campaign, ground zero, corkscrew journalism, muscled behavior, imperial hubris, grief gap, fakhabochik or vahabochik (related to the Wahabit of Saudi Arabia), mocilla bomba, posse, smoking Saddam out, cojones, great game, brigade 005, blowback agents, Castle Catholic, West Brit, the Red Sea Terror Triangle, trenes de la muerte, of ME appearance (OMEA), Operation Enduring Freedom, pundit or pandita and so on.

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