Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ibrahim Pasha

The Imperialist Origins of Saudi Arabia

By Yanis Iqbal / April 22nd, 2021

Note: I posted many articles on the Saudi monarchy and the history of the Arabian Peninsula. This is one of the exhaustive research papers

Why Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, a Sunni absolute monarchy, is enthusiastically supported by the West, and promoted as a global promoter of “democracy” and a peaceful entity in the region? This question is rarely asked.

The apparent mismatch between liberal democracy and religious fundamentalism is hastily airbrushed when the matter is about oil trade and arms deals.

This attitude is not an expression of mere hypocrisy on the part of the West; it is deeply rooted in a historical process, whereby the Arabian Peninsula was propped up by major powers as an outpost of imperialist interests and a bulwark against revolutionary ideologies.

Creating the Kingdom

Sheikh Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism, was an 18th century peasant who left date palm cultivation and cattle grazing to preach locally, calling for a return to the pure beliefs of the seventh century “authenticity”.

He denounced the worship of holy places and shrines as denying the “unity of the One God”. He insisted singularly on beatings that led to inhumane practices: thieves should be amputated and criminals executed in public.

Religious leaders in the region objected when he began to perform what he preached and the local chief in Uyayna asked him to leave.

Wahhab fled to Deraiya in 1744, where he made a pact with Mohammad Ibn Saud, the leader of the Najd tribes and the founder of the dynasty that currently rules Saudi monarchy today.

Wahhab’s daughter became one of Ibn Saud’s wives. Ibn Saud utilized Wahhab’s spiritual fervor to ideologically discipline the tribes before hurling them into a battle against the Ottoman Empire.

Wahhab considered the Sultan in Istanbul as undeserving of any right to be the Caliph of Islam and preached the virtues of a permanent jihad against Islamic modernizers and infidels.

Lamenting the demise of the former greatness of Islamic civilization, he wished to remove all bidah (innovations/heresies), which he regarded as heretical to the original meaning of Islam.

Basing himself on the Sunnah (customary practices of the Prophet Muhammad) and the Hadiths (accounts, collections of reports, sayings and deeds of the Prophet), he wished to purge the Islamic world of what he viewed as the degenerative practices introduced into the Islamic world by the Ottoman Turks and their associates.

In 1801, Ibn Saud’s army attacked the Shia holy city of Karbala, massacring thousands and destroying revered Shiite shrines. They also razed shrines in Mecca and Medina, erasing centuries of Islamic architecture because of the Wahhabist belief that these treasures represented idol worship.

The Ottomans retaliated, occupied Hijaz and took charge of Mecca and Medina.

(Actually, it was the army of Egypt Muhammad Ali, at the insistence and persistence of the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad 4, and led by his son Ibrahim Pasha, later labelled the “Little Napoleon” by the French, that Ibrahim army entered Deraiya and erased it around 1820. Ibrahim took all his time to progress slowly and rally the tribes before advancing surely and determinately. It is after Ibrahim retreated from the peninsula, and after the British captured Aden in Yemen, that the British resumed their weapon and financial support to the Wahhabis).

The Ibn Saud-Wahhab alliance remained in the interior, with the full support of the British in weapons and money, until the Ottomans collapsed after World War I.

By 1926, the al-Saud clan – led by their new patriarch Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud – and their fanatical Wahhabi allies – the Ikhwan, or “Brotherhood” – once again seized control of the holiest cities in Islam, as well as important trading ports on the western coast of the peninsula. 

Like the initial advances of the 1700s, it was a campaign defined by bloodshed, forced conversions, enslavement, and the enforcement of the strict and eccentric laws of Wahhabism. 

It was also a campaign that was grounded in an alliance between Abdul Aziz and the British Empire. A 1915 treaty turned the lands under Abdul Aziz’s control into a British protectorate, ensuring military support against rival warlords and uniting the two against the Ottomans.

The intimate relationship between British imperialists and Abdul Aziz continued even after the dismantlement of the Ottoman empire, reflected in their close cooperation in the war against Sharif Hussein of Mecca, the Guardian of the Holy Cities, the chief of the clan of Hashem and directly descended from the Prophet.

Hussein had contributed the most to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by switching allegiances and leading the “Arab Revolt” in June 1916 which removed the Turkish presence from Aqaba.

He was convinced to alter his position after Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, made him believe that a unified Arab country from Gaza to the Persian Gulf would be established with the defeat of the Turks.

The letters exchanged between Hussain and McMahon are known as the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence. As soon as the war ended, Hussein wanted the British to fulfill their war-time promises.

The British, however, wanted Sharif to accept the division of the Arab world between the British and the French (Sykes-Picot agreement, two Jewish administrators) and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine through a process of colonization done by European Jews. 

These demands were laid out in the Anglo-Hijaz Treaty – written by the British – which Hussein refused to sign.

In 1924, the British unleashed Ibn Saud against Hussein. Lord Curzon hailed this as the “final kick” against Hussein.

Meanwhile, the Ikhwan grew increasingly angry about Abdul Aziz’s accommodation with the imperial powers that financed him. They disliked his lavish lifestyle, his family’s relations with the West, the relative leniency toward the Shia sect on the coastal region of the Gulf.

The Shia were actually being savagely repressed, but the desired rate of execution in forcible conversion and deportation were Not to the level expected by the Ekhiwan.

The introduction of new technologies (the telegraph, for example, was viewed as being of satanic origin).

Consequently, the Ikhwan began to openly rebel in 1927, shortly after Abdul Aziz signed another treaty with the British which recognized his “complete and absolute” rule of the twin kingdoms of Hijaz and of Najd and their dependencies.

The Ikhwani insurgents, after conquering the various regions of Arabia, began to attack the British and French protectorates of Transjordan, Syria and Iraq in order to subject them to Wahhabi doctrines.

They came into direct conflict with imperialist interests in the Middle East. After some three years of fighting, Abdul Aziz – with military assistance from the British Empire – defeated the rebellion and executed the leaders. 

(It was the same deal as done during the initial Nazi regime as the German army demanded that Hitler militias be dismantled, the militia that brought him to power. Hitler personally got engaged in arresting his own leaders in what is known as Cristal Night)

In 1932, Ibn Saud confirmed his conquests by crowning himself as king of a new state, named after himself and his family: Saudi Arabia.

The suppression of the Ikhwan revolt did not in any way signify the weakening of Wahhabi fundamentalism. Threatened by Islamic radicalism, the royal family co-opted the Ikhwan movement by incorporating its local leaders into the Saudi state apparatuses.

This laid the foundations for the backward ideology of the state: unity of religion and loyalty to one family, making Saudi Arabia the only state in the world that was titled as the property of a single dynasty.

Cozying Up to USA

In 1933, Abdul Aziz had to face a severe financial crisis because his main source of income, taxation of the hajj (Muslim pilgrimage), had been undermined by the world slump.

(Actually, the Wahhabis were intent on destroying the Kaaba (shrine) and forbid Islamic pilgrimage as anathema to their ideology, but Saud was reminded of the wealth he could generate from the Hajj seasons)

For £50,000 in gold he gave an oil concession to Standard Oil of California (SOCAL). The deal between Abdul Aziz and SOCAL provided crucial funds for the fledgling king to consolidate his precarious rule.

Indeed, at the time, his rule was so tenuous that Britain had more control over the House of Saud than the House of Saud had over their own recently conquered dependencies. 

SOCAL gave Abdul Aziz a $28 million dollar loan, and paid an annual payment of $2.8 million in exchange for oil exploration rights throughout the 1930s. SOCAL later merged with three other US firms (Esso, Texaco, Mobil) to form the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO).

This began exploration in eastern Arabia, and in 1938 production of Saudi Arabian oil commenced. The developing political economy of Saudi Kingdom quickly became linked to ARAMCO and its American backers, as the company built labor camps, corporate towns, roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure necessary for the production and export of oil. 

These infrastructural projects tapped into subsidies from the US government that ran into the tens of millions of dollars.

During the Second World War, the role of Saudi monarchy as a reliable partner of a nascent American empire was strengthened. In 1943, Washington decided that “the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States” and lend-lease aid was provided: a US military mission arrived to train Abdul Aziz’s army and the United States Air Force (USAF) began construction of an airfield at Dhahran, near the oil wells.

These arrangement were to give the US a position independent of the British bases at Cairo and Abadan (port in Iran.

This airbase became the largest US air position between Germany and Japan, and the one nearest Soviet industrial plants. Washington managed to retain the base only until 1962, when anti-imperialist resistance forced the Saudi monarchy to ask the Americans to leave.

Not until three decades later, following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, were the Americans provided with an opportunity to reoccupy the base.

The relationship between the US and Saudi Kingdom was famously sealed in a 1945 meeting on the Suez Canal between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abdul-Aziz. The two leaders agreed that the kingdom would supply the US with oil, and the US government would provide the kingdom with security and military assistance.

Over the years, US presidents reiterated their commitments to Saudi monarchy security. The 1947 Truman Doctrine, which stated that the United States would send military aid to countries threatened by Soviet communism, was used to strengthen US – Saudi military ties.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman told Abdul-Aziz, “No threat to your Kingdom could occur which would not be a matter of immediate concern to the United States”.

This assurance was repeated in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine. The 1969 Nixon Doctrine included aid to three strategic American allies in the region – Shah of Iran, Saudi monarchy, and colonial Israel.

After the US-supported ruler in Iran was overthrown and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter issued his Doctrine as a direct threat to the Soviets, essentially asserting USA’s monopoly over Middle East’s oil.

Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, extended this policy in October 1981 with the “Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine”, which proclaimed that the USA would intervene to protect the Saudi rulers.

While the Carter Doctrine focused on threats posted by external forces, the Reagan Corollary promised to secure the kingdom’s internal stability.

Spreading Counter-revolution

The 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of Saudi petro-nationalism, based upon the rapidly expanding oil industry and the growth of transnational energy corporations.

The petrol bonanza – driven by the western economies’ steady consumption of oil – not only filled the coffers of the Saudi state, but also provided the Saudi state the ability to spread Wahhabi ideology, Not as a minor creed of militant jihad, but as a cultural export to influence the direction of Islam.

(Actually, it was the insurgency of the Ekhwan after the entrance of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and their occupation of the Kaaba in 1977 that convinced the Saudi monarchy to revisit its origin and cow under harsher laws and customs, principally targeting women and exporting millions of their brand of Quran, free, and establishing thousands of Madrassas (religious schools) in the Islamic world)

Oil wealth enabled the Saudi royal family to counter the rival interpretations and denominations of the Islamic world, and spread its influence over the Ummah (the community of the faithful). In other words, the Saudi ruling elite attempted to project itself as the ultimate definer and protector of the Ummah.

The export of Wahhabism to other countries was a part of the post-World War II US-Saudi strategy, wherein the two countries were allies in their opposition to Soviet “godless communism,” with USA focused on communism while the Saudis were more concerned about the “godless” side of the equation.

Wahhabism also served as a counter-revolutionary instrument against Nasserism, Ba’athism, and the Shia radicalism of the Iranian revolution.

Saudi Arabia started an organisation called the World Muslim League in 1962 to “combat the serious plots by which the enemies of Islam are trying to draw Muslims away from their religion and to destroy their unity and brotherhood.”

The main targets were republicanism (Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser Nasserite influence and invasion of Yemen) and communism.

The objective was to push the idea that these anti-monarchical ideologies were shu’ubi (anti-Arab). Saudi Arabia was also a central member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), created in 1969 as a counter-balance to the socialist-oriented Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Apart from this geopolitical function, OIC was used by Saudi monarchy to undermine its regional adversary, namely Nasserite Egypt.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 brought shudders into the palaces of the Saudi royal family, and into the US higher establishment. The overthrow of the monarchy of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi announced the creation of an Islamic form of republicanism. 

Iranian Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini said that Islam and hereditary monarchies were incompatible and he characterized Saudi Arabia as a US agent in the Persian Gulf.

Saudi rulers felt threatened. They denounced Iran’s revolution as an upheaval of heretical Shiites, but to no avail as Islamic republicanism swept the region, from Pakistan to Morocco. 

Ultimately, the Saudis and the West egged on Saddam Hussein to send in the Iraqi army against Iran in 1980 and supported by all the colonial powers, including the Soviet Union, with all kinds of modern weapons and financial infusion from Saudi Monarchy and Kuwait).

That war went on till 1988, with both Iran and Iraq bleeding for the sake of Riyadh and Washington. (Over 400,000 Iraqi soldiers perished and 1.5 million Iranians. A ceasefire was announced as Khomeini felt that this war might resume indefinitely if he comes to die before an end to it)

Iraq, weakened by the lengthy war, turned against its Gulf Arab financiers who were demanding to be repaid, at the USA request. With insufficient support to rebuild Iraq, Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, threatening Saudi Arabia as well.

The US entered the picture with its full spectrum warfare – bombing Iraq to smithereens and providing Saudi Arabia with the confirmation that the US military would protect it till the end of time.

Once the history of Saudi Arabia is understood, it can be easily concluded that the monarchs of the kingdom willingly entered into a relationship of geo-political servitude to the West.

The kingdom would have had marginal or limited importance in the world if it was not supported wholeheartedly by the British and American empires.

With the significant backing it received by the colonial powers, Saudi Arabia became an international political player. With the help of their enormous oil wealth, the decadent kings and princes of Saudi Arabia have been perpetrating massacres and wars in various countries, such as the bombing of Yemen, the indirect attacks in Syria and Libya.

All this has been allowed to happen by the West, which provides both tacit and explicit support to the House of Saud in its myriad crimes.

As Che Guevara said, “The bestiality of imperialism…knows no limits…has no national boundaries”.

Titbits #104

Notes and tidbits on FB and Twitter. Part 62

Posted on September 16, 2017

Un camarade en cachot (1.10*1.50 m) tenait bon, rigolait et se trouvait en forme. Il imaginait des troupeaux d’éléphants errant irrésistiblement á travers les grands espaces ouverts de l’Afrique “Le temps de l’orgueille est fini. Il est temps de nous tourner avec humilité vers les autres animaux”

Il est temps de nous rassurer que nous sommes capables de préserver cette liberté géante des troupeaux d’animaux qui vit encore á nos cotés (Les éléphants et gros mammifères, on land and seas).

La semaine derniére j’ai eu mes ragnagnas (puberté)

Est-il possible que seul notre quartier soit saturé de tensions et de violence, alors que le reste de la ville était radieux et bienveillant?

Cette fois-ci, sa crise de folie était de Bonheur: son ancient amant, il y avait longtemps á cela, avait produit un receuille de poêms et signait sur la premiére page une dédicace a elle.

Saudi Kingdom and the “Gulf” Emirate States have no shrines, religious or otherwise. The Wahhabi sect made sure none of that nonsense should exist. They were about to destroy the Kaaba in Mecca, after demolishing the Prophet tomb in Medina, but King Saud was pressured to recognize its great economical and political worth: Britain ordered him to militarily crush the early extremist Wahhabi leaders (Al Okhouwan) who brought him to power. The same process with Hitler when he came to power.

It was the British who consistently supported with finance and weapons the Wahhabi tribes since the 19th century. Egypt Mohammad Ali and his son Ibrahim crushed this Wahhabi insurgency that disturbed all the neighboring tribes, Iraq and Syria. And Mecca was looted and the Wahhabi fighters assassinated everyone in their path, as today ISIS.

The British rearmed and financed the Wahhabi again after Ibrahim Pasha devastated their home city, after Ibrahim retreated his troops.

As long as Palestinian youths in Lebanese refugee camps are forbidden to work in their disciplines or included in the Lebanese army, they’ll always be the best and easiest resource for extremist movements to lure them in with a handful ready cash.

The British were occupied by the Vikings who occupied the Normandie in France who reconquered England… What specificity the British want to preserve out of the EU? Even Obama was clear: “Get off our back and join the EU. We can no longer afford to support you financially

Rationality set aside, long-term projects confuse me: No girl ever approached me and told me: “Cool it down Adonis. Don’t you worry. This long-term stuff, I take care of it”

Les hommes politiques de premier plan rallient le marxisme par générosité d’âme au mépris de leurs intérêts évidents. Les ratés rejoignent, faute d’avoir été appréciés ailleurs.

France 1913: les filles arrivant au Collège étaient harassés: elles donnaient des répétitions et corrigaient des copies pour des salaires de famine

France 1913: les filles prévoyaient leur échec probable á l’agrégation qui les rejettaient dans le prolétariat des institutions d’ établissement privés (Louise Weiss) 

Camstoll Group? A US institution funded by Emirate States and Israel to downgrade the reputation of Qatar since 2014.

Israel is against funding Hamas, and UAE against subsidizing Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt, Turkey and Syria

After suicide terrorist attacks in Iran, Iran had to decide on priority: Yemen or Bahrain? Wise Iran is Not about to let 2 wars in her strategic sea, Not so with crazy Saudi Kingdom and backed by USA

Nothing like a courageous night dream to produce a happy zesty day. So is a glorious morning bowel movement.

The young generations want young leaders: They need to retain this hope of a young tomorrow

Ma fille, les hommes ont horreur des femmes qui les aiment et aussi qui ne les aiment pas. Débrouille-toi

Je ne vis pas dans la misère: c’est le doute qui me rend miséreux

C’est énervant: L’autre est toujours en majorité. Quand trouverais-je un moment de relax?

Faire le voeux de quelque chose est un jeu d’enfant

Le ritual nous libére de la necéssité de nous exprimer

En premier temps, on ne choisit pas sa foi. Et le temps second n’arrive que pour les idiots

Quoi Qu’il advienne, la vie continue? De quelle vie parle-t-on? Toute personne ayant droit á l’éducation a aussi le droit de ne pas lire certain livres

La tolérance est de s’accommoder de la contradiction intellectuelle. La tolérance est la meilleure attitude révolutionnaire de tout moment

La tolérance est une activité morale et de premier ordre

Toute personne qui a droit de monter á l’échafaud a aussi le droit á monter á la tribune

Toute personne qui a droit á porter les armes doit avoir le droit de voter

Toute personne ayant la responsabilité de payer des impots a la responsabilité de critiquer les decisions financiéres

Toute personne ayant le droit d’adhérer  á une religion, doit avoir le droit de s’opposer aux clerges

Fear of success as for failure goes hand in hand: Changes are around the bend

The US is having a field day since 2011, hearing these free false propaganda heaping on it, all the intelligence and potency to affecting the Spring Revolutions in Arab World. US doesn’t know zilch about us and is impotent in changing anything.

L’argent est un ciment: il consolide, renforce et répart. Sinon, il est utilisé pour faire les guerres. Ne l’accumule pas

 

 

Main Difference between ISIS and monarchist family of Al Saud

ISIS or Daesh adopted the Wahhabi Islamic sect that the tribe of Saud in the Najd province,  in the Arabic Peninsula, adopted in the 18th century.

This was a religious sect that was the most extreme in denying the worship of prophets, shrines, pictures, music on any form of pleasure.

The Saudi monarchy is a branch of a Bedouin tribe that affiliated with the theocratic extremist religion of Wahhab.

It is the difference between an abstract religious dogma with a set of daily prescriptions and a real living tribe with customs and traditions.

It is like the difference between the Jewish religion, the religious Jews  and the State of Israel.

In the province of Najd in the Arabic peninsula, there exist wide differences among the tribes.

The differences are even wider between the tribes in Najd and the tribes of the northern provinces close to the Syrian and Jordanian borders.

An abyss separate the psychological characters between the sedentary and nomadic Arabic tribes.

The British Palgrave in the 19th century described the Wahhabis tribes in the Najd province:

They are less generous than the tribes in the North.

They quick in understanding difficult projects.

They are Not cheerful people and less candid than other tribes

They rarely express through words their secret feelings

They are firm in their plans

Are terrible in their vengeance

Are implacable enemies

They doubt whoever is Not their compatriot.

The expression of their features denote reserved, hard, and gloomy dispositions: They contrast with benevolent faces of the northern tribes

They have limited intelligence

They are strong and persevering will which makes them capable to powerfully organize their social system and become their neighbors tyrannical masters

Their ambitious dream to dominate the entire Arabic Peninsula will be realized earlier than one think

Their character is reflected in the slightest acts of domestic life.

One should watch his tongue and measure his gestures when dealing with them as he should with enemies.

Ibn Saud, backed by the British, managed to conquer all of the Peninsula and entered Mecca and chased out the Hashemite dynasty. The British offered the Hashemite  a kingdom in Jordan, in Damascus and in Baghdad.  Only the Jordanian dynasty survived the turmoil of the Syrian and Iraqi independence movements.

In order for the Saudi monarchy to survive, Ibn Saud ordered his descendants to follow his strategy in the Arab world:

1. Egypt is the head of the Arab World: decapitate Egypt

2. Syria is the heart of Arabism: Remove this heart

3. Never allow Syria to link up with Iraq under any condition: This would create the Oriental power house in the region.

The USA, Israel and the western colonial powers couldn’t agree better, and kept the Middle East States in constant destabilizing conditions and unable to unite.

Note 1: In 1818, Ibrahim Pasha, the elder son of Egypt Muhammad Ali, entered and erased the Wahhabi capital Deryeh. After Ibrahim left the Arabic peninsula, and two decades later, the Wahhabi tribes were back to their old habit of raiding the Syrian provinces by the border, thanks to the  sustained British aids in finance and military weapons.

Read my review: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/part-2-mehemet-ali-the-last-modern-pharaoh/

 

How Justice was done? Massacres of 1860 in Lebanon and Syria (Part 4)

How Justice was done in Damascus?

You may read Part 3https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/massacres-of-1860-in-syria-and-damascus-memoirs-of-a-french-diplomat-of-the-genocide-part-3/

Fuad Pasha, the Ottoman foreign affairs, was dispatched to head the team and the military contingent of 4,500 troops in order to restore order and security in Lebanon and Syria. He landed in Beirut on July 17, 1860 and detained the governors Ahmed and Khorshid Pasha, the officers of the garrisons in Rashaya, Hasbaya, Deir Kamar, Mekse, and the right hand of Khorshid, Vasfi Effendi, during the Beirut uprising where an innocent Christian was decapitated to appease the turmoil after the death of a Moslem.

He resumed his travel to Damascus, where the fresh massacre alerted the European nations on the fate of the Christians in the Near East.

Fuad Pasha showed zeal and unusual activities to convince the Europeans that it was not necessary of sending troops and meddling in the Ottoman affairs. He rounded up 800 from Damascus, restituted the loots and stopped two large caravans loaded with the loots to Baghdad and Aleppo.

On August 20, 1860, Fuad Pasha  hanged 57 and executed by firing squads 110 officers and soldiers, particularly those who participated in the massacres in Hasbaya and Rashaya in Lebanon.  More than 700 were sent to exile and forced labor.

Most importantly, the former governor Ahmet Pasha, Ali Bey and the commanders of the garrisons were executed. It was rumored that Ahmet Pasha, who had twice warned the Ottoman government of potential crisis in Syria, was quickly executed in order not to clarify the role of the Ottoman government in the planning of these massacres against the Christians.

(Parallel governments were at play in that period in Turkey?)

Ahmed Pasha had lived in Vienna and mastered several languages. It appears that he lacked the troops that he could rely on and the Majlis warned him that any intervention might turn the “insurgents” against the Ottoman troops.

The police chief Ali Ferhad Aga and 300 police sergeants were arrested.

Halim Pasha erased the town of Jeroud and brought to trial all its adult male inhabitants.

As Fuad pasha was speedily and actively restitution order and security, Europe got the fresh news of the massacres in Damascus. Napoleon III and Russia, pressured by public outcries, decided to dispatch a military expedition, though England was very reluctant of giving the French this opportunity to return to Near East.

The French general marquis Beaufort Hautpoul led an expedition of 4,500 troop. Beaufort had previously participated along side the French officer Seves (Sleiman Pasha) in the  many victorious battles of Ibrahim Pasha.

How Justice was done in Lebanon?

After a lengthy delay, Fuad Pasha returned to Beirut from Damascus, after he established order and hanged scores of the perpetrators of the massacre, in order to meet with the European commissions. Fuad Pasha summoned 37 of the Druze leaders to Beirut to stand trial. Only 6 showed up.  And he followed this order by destitution 37 feudal Druze lords (Mukata3tejis) from their privileges and properties

The Maronite clergy handed Fuad the list of 970 Druze that he requested and whom the Maronites claimed to have participated in the massacre.

Fuad Pasha reluctantly rounded up these 970 Druze and set up a military court in Mukhtara, just to render justice away from the intervention of the commissions staying in Beirut.

The verdicts were:

1. The Turkish former governor Khorshid Pasha, Tahir Pasha, Nourin Bey, Vasfi and Ahmet Effendi were to serve life confinement in fortresses in Cyprus and Rhodes

2. Twelve Druze sheikhs, including their leader Said Jumblat and Hussein Talhouk were condemned to death…

3. Over 33 fugitive Druze, including Hattar Amad and Ismail Atrash were condemned to death in absentia.

No public execution took place and the condemned people were exiled or sent to force labor.

Justice in Lebanon was a slap on the hands, thanks to the firm intervention of the British who didn’t want to alienate the Druze  of Lebanon. And Fuad Pasha contemplated to be designated as the Vassal of the Ottoman Empire in Syria and Palestine.

Note 1: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler.

This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan. This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus.

The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.

 

Massacres of 1860 in Syria and Damascus: Memoirs of a French diplomat of the genocide. Part 3

French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus...

During the decade long occupation of the Egyptian leader Ibrahim Pasha, the Christians in Syria and Lebanon enjoyed the same rights as the Moslems. The Christian Maronites in Lebanon learned to exhibit their short-lived power and kept reclaiming their acquired privileges after the Egyptian troops vacated Syria and Lebanon at the pressure of the western nations, a behavior that antagonized the Ottoman governors and the Druze.

However, the Christians in Damascus kept their traditional low profile, shunned external forms of ostentatious behavior,  and the custom of respecting even the low ranked Moslem officials and refrained from mounting horses. The exterior of the houses looked decrepit, but the inside was fabulous and richly furnished.

Actually, the Christians in Damascus, mostly Orthodox who split into the Oriental faction (Shark) and the sect that pledged allegiance to Papal Rome (Gharb), were busy in their their internal political rivalry.

Most of the public accountants in the government were Christians and they delivered “clean” balance sheets while accumulating wealth.

After the genocide committed by the Druze on the Christian Maronites living in the Druze canton or Kaemmakam in 1860, the mass assassination spread in all of Syria, from Aleppo, to Hama, Homs and the Capital Damascus.

An insidious letter, having the format and bearing the look of an official document, was disseminated throughout Syria. The letter briefly said:

“With the beginning of the reign of Sultan Abdel Majid, the Christians in the Ottoman Empire got used to openly despise the sacred laws of Shariaa.

The Christians have transgressed the limits and obligations which were imposed on them since caliph Omar el Khattab.

Currently, the Christians have gone as far as downgrading the principles and belief system of the Moslems.  They pretend that a Moslem must stand up to receive a Christian guest and give him priority in reunions and public gathering…

These exigencies are meant to establish equality among the minority sects… They ignore that the vizirs, ulemmas and fakihs  have been meeting secretly to fine tune a plan for their total extermination, a plan based on the tenants of the Shariaa:

1. It is licit to shed the blood of the Christians, not to respect their properties and honor, to burn their churches, destroy their houses…since they started not to pay their due tax for being Christians under the protection of Islam…

2. Most of the fatwas issued in India and Boukhara absolutely forbid to allow the Christians from gaining power. The fatwas are demanding to annihilate their descendants and derange their businesses…

3. No regards should be given to the infidel Christians…

4. The testimonies of a Christians are null and void , and illegal. Even the testimony of an Alawit Ansari is preferred…

Let us remind you of the words in the Koran: Make no difference among the infidel nations

Islam nations, wake up and destroy the race of these serving the Cross, in this sacred land that they spoiled…

The European nations are weak and enfeebled after the Crimea war. This is the time to take the opportunity to defeat them once and for all, before they recover their strength and come back to dispossess us from our wealth…

We are secretly meeting with the purposes of:

1. Assassinate sultan Abdel Magid who deviated from Islamic laws…

2. Since the Christians in our Empire are in complete accord with the western nations, and particularly the Christians in Mount Lebanon (numbering 200,000) who are known for their intrigues and conniving with the infidel nations to enter our Empire, the Christians will be exterminated in Mount Lebanon, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus and everywhere they exist in our midst…” End of letter

How the content of this letter matches the current Moslem extremist movements and organization and goal.

This letter smacks of a Wahhabi agenda, and totally inspired by England that backed the Druze in order to weaken the growing power of the Maronites who relied on France and papal Rome since the crusading periods in the 11th century.

Governor of Damascus, Ahmed Pasha ordered the garrisons of Rashaya and Hasbaya in Lebanon, which participated in the slaughter-hood in both towns, to converge to Damascus. The Christians there felt very apprehensive of the arrival of these recruited soldiers, more intent on looting than protecting properties.

Sheikh Abdallah Haleby of Damascus was the most vocal against the Christians.

The plague of the Druze chieftain of Huran, Ismail Atrash,  who had massacred the Christians in Rashaya, Hasbaya and Zahleh, progressed toward the nun convent of Saidnaya, bordering with the desert. Women from all religions (Christians, Moslems and Druzes) made frequent pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary. It is reported that the head nun must have paid a substantial tribute to the Ismail before his hoard retreated.

On July 9, 1860, young Moslems insulted the cross, and the governor detained them and made them sweep the street in chains.

The amassing storm of hatred broke up. And by night fall, and within hours, the Christian quarters were ravaged, burned and looted.

No less than 4,000 victims were massacred, and this time around male, female and children. The looting lasted 4 days. The homes of the French, Russian, Dutch and USA consuls were burned down. The English and Prussia consuls were saved from invasion. (England had a policy of weakening the power of the Christians who supported France or Russia)

Both, the patriarchates of the Oriental and Occidental Orthodox Christian were looted from their century old treasures.

Abdel Kader, the famous Algerian resistance leader against the new colonial power of France, was the main protector of the fleeing Christians. The Citadel hosted about 10,000 refugees, living in open air and dying out of famine and thirst.

Five months later, skeletal and cranes were still dug out of the rubble. Many of the victims are of females and children who had fled from Hasbaya and Rashaya a few months ago to the safety of Damascus.

When the new governor arrived over 150 women were incarcerated in harems.

Ironically, the most fanatic of Moslems in the Meidan quarter protected the poorer Christians living in the quarter. It appears that the houses were so close and packed around that any burning house would spread to all the other houses.

The Jewish quarter was left untouched for two reasons:

1. The Jews were despised and not just hated

2. The looters knew that the Jews will buy back the stolen goods and relieve them from the spoil

The next post will describe “how justice was served” in Lebanon and Damascus

Note 1: Read part 2 https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/slaughterhood-of-1860-in-lebanon-part-2/

Note 2: Damascus is a city that always managed to rebuild after countless invasions and ransacking. The main reason is that this geographic strategic city is floating on fresh water sources and enjoy fertile lands.

Note 3: The British commissioner Lord Dufferin  suggested that Syria (including current Lebanon) and Palestine be governed by a vassal to the Ottoman Empire, as was done in Egypt, and Fuad Pasha was the consensus name to be the new ruler. This idea failed. Finally, a few weeks before the date of the retreat of the French expedition on June 5, 1861, the European commission met in Istanbul and decided to have Mount Lebanon governed by a outsider Christian, appointed by the Sultan.

This was to be known as the Mutasarefiya consensus. The first Moutasaref was the Armenian Christian Daoud Pasha and who was promoted to Mushir or Marechal, the first highest rank bestowed on a Christian in the Ottoman army.

Massacres of 1860 between Druze and Maronite: Eye-witness Account of French diplomat in the field

In 1860, Mount Lebanon was composed of:

1. About 120,00 Christian Maronite

2. 30,000 Druze, claiming to be Moslem

3. 40,000 Christian Orthodox who were called Melkite or Royalist affiliated to Byzantium instead of Papal Rome

4. A few thousand of Shiaa called Metwalis

After the animosity of 1840 between Druze and Maronite, as the Egyptian occupying troops, headed by Ibrahim Pasha, vacated Lebanon and Syria and Emir Bechir II was sent to exile to Malta by the British, Mount Lebanon was wrecked with violence and massacres.

The resolution of the situation ended up dividing Mount Lebanon in two Kaemmakam, or two cantons, self autonomous: One canton administered by the Druze and the second one by the Maronite.

The dividing line was the Beirut-Damascus road. This line was somehow arbitrary since many villages in the Druze cantons were mixed. The Maronite canton was not mixed.

The Ottoman foreign minister, Chekib Effendi was sent to Beirut in 1845 to execute the resolution.

The Druze were not happy with the privileges that Emir Bashir II extended to the Maronites during his over 40 years of reign and were ready to have the Christians pay back as Bashir was exiled to Malta by the British.

Before Egypt Ibrahim Pasha retreated from Syria in 1840, he summoned the Moslem clerics and leaders of Damascus and gave them this warning:

“I have protected the Christians. If I learn that you are back to persecuting and harassing them, I will be back with my army and will take revenge…”

All the while the Maronite exacerbated the Ottoman administrators for demanding the acquired rights and privileges after Ibrahim Pasha vacated Lebanon.

In 1940 and again in 1845, the Maronites launched two offensives in the Druze canton and were smashed hands down.

The Druze warlords and chieftains behaviors were close to Medieval tradition: The Maronite were laborers at the sold of the Druze feudal lords and treated as chattel.

The village of Deir al Kamar was the largest Maronite conglomerate, smack within the Druze canton, followed by Jezzine (on the south) and Beit Merry (at the north and within the Metn district). Zahleh was the far away Christian main town in the Bekaa Valley.

Hasbaya, in the southern part of the Bekaa, was mainly mixed with Christian Orthodox who were very industrious and amassed wealth.

In 1857, the Christian Kaemmakam Bechir Ahmed Abi Lema3 was kicked out of office by the Christians, leaving a serious void in the administration. The Ottoman administration wanted to bring back this Kaemmakam to his post.

At the same period, the Christian feudal Khazen clan in Kesrouan had been chased out of the district for serious egregious mistreatment of the peasants, trying to abuse of them as chattel. Consequently, the Maronite canton had no one to administer it: The Maronite clergy was the sole power remaining to keep the peace.

The peasant appointed the illiterate Tannous (Tanios) Chahine as leader of the peasant revolt. They gathered in Antelias and promulgated the human rights for the peasants and work ethics.

The Maronite peasants in the Druze canton got contaminated by the spirit of the revolt in the Maronite canton and started demanding basic rights.

This revolt lasted two years until the Maronite clergy felt the heat and reversed the objectives of the revolt. A year later, the Maronite clergy appointed the young Youssef Karam from Bsherri (up north) to militarily lead the Maronites. Karam was closely linked to the clergy and France and welcomed the Europeans visiting the Cedars and gave them lodging and dinner.

The Druze Kaemmakam Roslan was very young and basically this canton was administered by Said Jumblat, residing in Moukhtara, and the assembly of Okkal in Bayyada.

Said Jumblat was filthy rich and had acquired vast properties. He was a bastard, very short, ugly, and wore Turkish attire instead of the Druze traditional sherwal.

In 1960, a row took place in Beit Mery, where the European traders and consuls lived for the summer season. This fight spread and the Druze assassinated a few Maronites and burned property.  In general, the Druze men do the killing and their women follow them to burn properties that have been vacated.

The first blood was shed. The European vacated the town, back down to Beirut, a couple hours of horse ride.

Beit Mery was legally in the Maronite canton, but the Metn district was tacitly considered a buffer zone. Consequently, the Nahr el Kalb (Dog River) was the Lebanese Rubicon river not to cross by either parties in period of military upheavals.

The Druze committed another massacre in Jezzine and calmly went back to harvest the silk worms.

The winter of 1961 was spent in both cantons in war preparations.

In Beirut, the Maronite bishop Tobia was the most active politically and harangued the Maronite for revenge.

The Druze attacked Deir al Kamar and the villages of East Saida. The Christians around Saida, fleeing the massacre, were denied safe entry to the city by the Moslems and more Maronites suffered this calamity. (Story to be followed)

Note: Memoirs of a French diplomat who participated in the French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus. The book was published in 1903.

The modern Pharaoh: Who is Mehemet Ali Pasha?

Muhammad or Mehemet (in Turkish) Ali spoke only Turkish and was illiterate: He could not read or write in any language until he was in his 50’s.  A few European consuls suspected that Mehemet understood Arabic but faked his ignorance in order to double-check on the accuracy of the translation

Mehemet Ali lived in an environment of Turkish culture and believed that “White colored” people (including the Turks) were far more intelligent, more brave, more educated, and more developed than the Egyptians.

To Mehemet Ali, forcing military service on the Egyptian peasants was a necessity that drives this racist law: The Albanian and Turkish mercenaries rebelled several times and Mehemet had to constitute a national army, a new order army or Nizam Jadid.

His son Ibrahim had at several occasions pressed Mehemet to consider training the Egyptian to carrying arms in his army, but Ibrahim had to wait long time before necessity knocks on the door: Mehemet had extended his territory to all Sudan and the Arabic Peninsula, and he needed a large modern army, trained by the French!

Till the end of his life, Mehemet valued Turkish soldiers and officers as more capable administrators and soldiers than the Egyptians, although the Egyptian soldiers and officers are the ones who won the battles against the Turkish Ottoman army in more than 4 critical battles in Syria.

Mehemet Ali would warn his son Ibrahim: “Never place the Egyptian soldiers in front lines: They will prefer to be prisoners than fight. Never place the Egyptian soldiers in the rear lines: They will flea and retreat. Always make sure that Egyptian regiments are placed in sandwich between Turkish officers…”

Mehemet Ali managed to train a national army or Nizam Jadid.  At first, the forced soldiers from Sudan did not survive the harsh life of camp confinement, and Mehemed decided to try enlisting by force the Egyptian peasants. The Egyptians tried their best to avoid joining the army: They mutilated a thumb, fingers, hands, an eye…in order not to be considered fit for the army.

By the by, after the first initiation to military life and the donning of military outfit, the Egyptian soldier began to boast that he is a soldier in “Mehemet army

Ibrahim Pasha was different from his father Mehemet Ali.

British Prime Minister Palmerston was very worried that Ibrahim might succeed his father because he was a brilliant administrator,  a modern man, a military general who won all his battles against far more numerous armies, and he considered the Egyptians as Arabs and his people…

Ibrahim was raised in an environment that spoke Arabic, in addition to Turkish.  And he led armies constituted of mostly Arabic speaking soldiers and Egyptian peasants…Ibrahim is heard of saying: “I will lead my army as far as there are people speaking Arabic…”

Ibrahim led armies in current Saudi Arabia and quelled the Wahhabi sect tribes, who were funded and armed by the British.  He entered Sudan and conquered it. He won four critical battles against the Ottoman armies and could easily enter Istanbul twice and become the new Sultan.

The European called Ibrahin “Son of Napoleon“.  He ruled Syria and his administrative period of less than 8 years was the most prosperous and most modern time for the Syrian people, extending from Adana in Turkey, current Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

Note 1https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/prosperous-syria-1833-1839-who-is-ibrahim-mehemet-ali-of-egypt/

Note 2: Article taken from the book “The last Pharaoh” by Gilbert Sinoue

Beirut: Crazy Demographics (April 3, 2009)

 

Beirut counted five thousand inhabitants in 1821.  Tripoli and Sidon (Saida) were far more populous and more prosperous. 

When the Egyptian General Ibrahim Pasha defeated the Ottoman armies in Lebanon and Syria and ruled the Near East region (from 1830 to 1840), many Egyptian soldiers married and settled in Beirut. Beirut experienced the highest expansion and wealth for centuries.

The European consulates, mainly France, Britain, Tuscany, and Sardinia, selected Saida for headquarters but the Ottoman governor Ahmad Pasha restricted their commerce.  The foreign traders moved out to Beirut, followed by their respective consulates.

 By 1841, Beirut counted 30,000 inhabitants.  Still, the European insisted on modernizing the port of Saida instead of Beirut.  The problem was that the people in Saida would not hear of it on the ground that the European mariners would ultimately destroy the conservative moral character of the city.

Thus, the Europeans reluctantly were forced to modernize the port of Beirut in 1887.  

In 1859, a road was built to link Beirut to Damascus and then followed by a railroad linking Beirut to Damascus and Houran. 

In 1877, the US Protestant clergy established a university in Rass Beirut and the French Jesuits followed suit by relocating their college from Ghazir to Beirut. It is worth noting that the US Protestants initially contemplated their university to be located in Homs (Syria) because it had many more Christians to convert. Thus, most employees and educators of the American University were from Homs in origins such as the families of El Khal, Refka, Yaziji, and Barakat.

By 1887, the Ottoman Empire decided to concentrate its administrative headquarters in Beirut from where it managed the other provinces (sonjouk) such as Acre, Tripoli and Lataquieh.

Author Ussama Al Aref in his “This Life, my Sweetheart” said that his wife was frustrated for marrying a resident of Beirut.  She was from Beirut but her family was of Crete in origin. Ussama was from Beirut but his family was Turcoman from the neighboring city of Dyar Bakr in Turkey. The family had relocated to the northern borders with Syria of the town of Zara. They had no relatives outside Beirut to flee to during Lebanon civil war (1975-1991).  They were stuck in Beirut and had to dance the dance from street to street.

Not a single resident of Beirut is of Beirut in origin.

Ussama’s friends from Beirut have various origins; Kamal is of Orfeh in Turkey, Jalal from Mardine (Turkey/Syria), the Armenian Gerar from Adana (Turkey), and Jamal an Albanian.  Most of the famous families in Beirut that produced Prime Ministers and political leaders are not of Beirut and most of them not of Lebanese descendents.

The Moslem families such as Hariri, Seniora, and Solh are from Saida and south Lebanon; the families of Itani, Hoss, Biham, and Idriss are from Morocco; the Chatila from Wadi Taym, the Tuweiny and Fara3un from Houran (Syria), the Majdalani from Rashaya, the Sehnawy and the Kassatly from Damascus; and the Bustross from Cyprus.

The Christian families of Tutunji, Obaji, and Kneider are new comers from Aleppo and they considered the Lebanese Maronites as peasants compared to their bourgeois ranking. 

In fact, each of the families of Solh, Salam, Bustross, Tuweiny, and Sursok owned a dozen towns and villages in south Lebanon and north Palestine; they sold most of their vast real estates to Zionist organizations and removed to Beirut to purchase political power.

Beirut prospered with the influx of foreign and Arab oil money. With each military coup in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt (and they were many and frequent), more political and “financial” refugees flocked to Beirut.  Beirut became the hotbed of various political parties and a center for freedom of opinion, dailies, and publishing.

As the Palestinians were organized under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), they moved its headquarters to Beirut along with the millions of dollars in contribution and support from Arab States.

The cost of living in Beirut skyrocketed by the 70’s. Beirut was invaded by all foreign mafiosos who transformed it into an international bordello and a Carrefour for flesh and slave trading The original residents of Beirut vacated it to the suburbs such as Aramoun, Burj Barajina, Ghobeiry and Dahiya: they could no longer afford its high cost of living. 

Every Prime Minister or politician who claimed that Beirut is the heart of Lebanon was not worth a penny of charity in his heart; they never contributed a dime from their own money. Those residents that vaunt Beirut the loudest are the strangest in it. They are the ones staunchly resisting social and political reforms.  They oppose administrative decentralization. They oppose equitable distribution of funds to all the districts in Lebanon. They oppose equitable distribution of electricity; they want to enjoy power 24 hours while the rest of Lebanon has to be satisfied with only six hours.  

Beirut has lost its popular souks and business versatility around Martyrs’ Square where dozens of movie theaters showed movies of every nationality; it lost its cosmopolitan character around the triangle of the American University, Hamra Street, and Rass Beirut.  Foreigners of all nations lived in that triangle and didn’t feel strangers and out of touch with their home states.

Beirut was a cultural center of the Arab World and there were more dailies than Arab States. Beirut is currently the depot of mounds of detritus and its seashore welcomed thousands of massacred civilians during the civil war. Beirut is a carcass of tall modern buildings built by investors lacking the Levantine soul and spirit and trying hard to submit us with illusions of modernity that no one sees or can afford to taste and experience.

Beirut is not for the Lebanese anymore. Ask any former middle class citizen if he can afford to buy any items in Beirut.  Ask any former bourgeois if he can rent a studio in Beirut. 

Beirut has suffered many earthquakes that destroyed it through the ages.  It has not been spared wars and plagues.

Beirut has never been a port until recently. Beirut has lost its character and its spirit.

As far as I am concerned, Beirut is a cursed city.  Anyone who wishes to own a piece in it he can have it all; stock and lock.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2021
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,476,561 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 809 other followers

%d bloggers like this: