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Posts Tagged ‘League of Nations

Plea for Caution From  PUTIN of Russia: No preemptive war on Syria…

What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria

VLADIMIR V. PUTIN Published in the New York Times this September 11, 2013:

MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies. (what’s wrong with the communication facilities? Or it is an ego trip by leaders to avoid frequent connection opportunities?)

Relations between us have passed through different stages.
We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together.
The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
(The UN didn’t stop the US from occupying Iraq for 8 years, and Israel from occupying south Lebanon for 23 years, and the Golan Heights since 1967…)

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto (power by 5 superpowers having nuclear arsenal) by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders.

A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.

It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country.

There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations.

This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria?

(Fact is the Al Qaeda membership expanded because the mother nations refused to welcome these fighters back home after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan)

After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future.

We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law.

We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos.

The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

(And why Hezbollah is classified as terrorist when its engaging in self-defense against recurring Israel preemptive wars in Lebanon?)

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.

Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it.

Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw.

Libya is divided into tribes and clans.

In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day.

In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security.

Thus, a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days.

The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction.

Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this.

I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American “exceptionalism“, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.”

It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.

There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 12, 2013, on page A31 of the New York edition with the headline: A Plea for Caution From Russia.

Maysaloon, Maysalun: The battle for independence of Syria, the symbol, the author…

The battle of Maysalun, 12 miles to the west of Damascus, witnessed the confrontation of a regrouped disbanded Syrian army against the well-equipped armies of French General Gouraud on 24 July 1920.

Certain of his own death, Yusuf al-‘Azmah left Damascus with his troops and headed for Maysalun. Al-‘Azmah was killed in the fighting, and the French forces entered Damascus on 25 July 1920.

Maysalun is the symbol of Syrian resistance against the French mandated power to occupy the country.  Without Maysalun, the new Syrians, dusting off 5 century old of Ottoman domination, would have lost their rights, pride and dignity for an independent State.

For Syrians, Yusuf al-‘Azmah is a national hero and an inspiration. His statue stands in a major square in central Damascus, with streets and schools named in his honor in cities all over Syria. (See note 1)

Five years later, Syria was in upheaval and the French troops had to commit mass extermination and bombed Damascus for months between 1924-26. (See links in note 2). The French troops were forced to retreats in their barracks.

And now for the author Maysaloon. Mind you that this name is given to women.

Maysaloon posted this July 31, 2013 on Cynical Idealism (with minor editing):

A Rant for Syria

What a week it has been. The Khaldiyeh district in Homs was overrun by Assad’s government army, the Syrian rebels are in disarray, Syrian women forced to offer “survival sex” in Lebanon, and fatwas in Aleppo banning the croissant.

I have to say that I am impressed with the historical knowledge and zealousness of whoever thought that one up, the croissant becoming a symbol of the second defeat of the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna. The people there were so jubilant at this victory that an enterprising baker came up with the idea of the “croissant” after seeing the crescents of the Ottomans.

(The people in Vienna were dying of thirst and famine after months of siege. The weather was terrible and it never ceased raining, downpour rain, for an entire month. The Ottoman army was not equipped for this weather and lengthy siege and was about to retreat. A Polish General suddenly showed up to rescue Vienna and the Ottoman army retreat haphazardly.)

In all fairness, the Ottomans did give Europe the inspiration for cappuccinos in return, so we really should call it even. But that hasn’t fazed the hapless zealots who seem intent on righting every historic wrong of the past 400 years.

I don’t really understand how right it is that the Ottomans were trying to conquer Vienna in the first place.  I guess if the Ottomans had lost that is supposed to be a bad thing, and since they were Muslims and we are Muslims then that means we lost at Vienna, right?

This is all such a farce, current Syria is such a farce. Has anybody looked at Bashar al Assad?

What makes me feel like crying is that anybody would think this person is a leader, let alone inspirational. He sits there and pretends to be Mr Big Man in his expensive suits, and I bet you those suits weren’t even tailored by a Syrian – even though Syrians are probably the best tailors in the world, and barbers too (it’s true).

His adoring fans celebrate a great “victory” in Homs, as they did in Qusair, and pretend as if they have something to be proud of. Have they even seen what those two places look like now?

For goodness’ sake, any more victories and there won’t be a country left to rebuild.

They don’t listen or see, they just tell us they feel “sad”. And we have to listen to their constant drone about how “arming” the revolution was a mistake and a betrayal. Their shooting the jaws off adolescent boys wasn’t reason enough for these jingoistic Assad fans.

After all what would people say if they saw Syrians as nothing more than a dysfunctional and inbred family? And how embarrassing would it be for young Hafez and his Acton mummy to shop in London and pretend to be normal if everybody knew that they came from a country that was as unfashionable and icky as Afghanistan.

No, weaponizing this conflict was a big mistake, you hear me? And all you people who supported this revolution should be ashamed of yourselves.

Think how embarrassed you’ve made Bashar Assad in front of the world. After all everybody knows that even though his allies are Iran and Russia what he and his wife really want is to get “in” with the West. It’s just like with the Ottomans really.

They tried to invade Europe, then tried to join it, and all they ever wanted was to be Europeans. But what did the Ottomans get? Croissants thrown right back in their face. Oh the agony.

Besides, all this revolutionary business distracts us from our sacred mission, Palestine. The rebels are part of a global conspiracy but at the same time we are one and the same, family. You understand.

On the radio we have alternating narratives. One narrative wishes to kill these people and squash them like cockroaches. The catchphrases on fascist Assad radio channels like Sham FM is that “God willing we are going to make Syria better than it was. We are going to take it back”.

Take it back from whom exactly? And who do you mean by “we”? Oh, yes, “we” is anybody who worships that lame duck you call a president, the one whose only accomplishment in life was to be the son of Hafez Assad. At least that dictator fought his way to power – not that that would ever wipe away his crime in Hama (1982) of course.

The other narrative on those radio channels is that these people we are fighting are “our brothers” and that they can be reasoned with to put their weapons down and “reconcile”.

We’ll all sit down around the fire in a bedouin camp, the elders will talk of great things and nod their heads as they drink the bitter coffee, and we will magnanimously forgo the wrongs of the past and agree to unite our ranks once again.

We’ll just blame this on the Jews – who are everywhere apparently and had planned this entire Arab Spring just after writing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

People think I’m joking, but we do have Syrians in Syria who believe this stuff. I would know as I’ve met some of them – in fact some of them are even family. That’s what happens to a nation that is cut off from the outside world and stops reading and asking questions. It becomes inbred and stupid.

This is the Syria that Assad is trying to defend, because it is the only Syria he can rule over indefinitely. Anything else and people start prodding and poking, sticking their noses in all sorts of things such as elections, free associations, books and other such dangerous and seditious activities.

I’m tired now and I’ve had enough of writing. The only thing I found remotely inspirational and interesting this week was that Youtube video of a young Syrian officer who decided to put his weapon down and actually speak to Syrians instead of killing them. He’s dead, apparently he was killed a few months ago, and now all the pro-Assadists have mental erections because they finally found somebody in their ranks who wasn’t an animal.

That’s how it always is in Syria, we never hear of good news until it’s too late.

Note 1:

wikipedia.org
 
Yusuf al-‘Azmah (Arabic: يوسف العظمة‎, ALA-LCYūsuf al-‘Aẓmah; 1883 – July 24, 1920) was the Syrian Minister of War and Chief of Staff under Prince (then King) Faisal (later to become Faisal I of Iraq) from 1918 to 1920.

Al-‘Azmah graduated from the Ottoman Military Academy in Istanbul in 1906. He served as a General in theOttoman army, and led the Ottoman army in the Caucasus, before joining the Arab revolt against the Ottomans which gave Syria its independence in 1918.

The League of Nations having given the French Mandate of Syria as planned in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreementbetween the United Kingdom and France, the French General Gouraud issued an ultimatum to the Syrian government in 1920 to disband its troops and submit to French control.

The government of Damascus submitted reluctantly to the French ultimatum and disbanded its troops. In spite of King Faisal’s acceptance of France’s ultimatum, Yusuf al-‘Azmah refused to give in. He raised a small body of disbanded troops and civilians, poorly armed relative to the modern, well-equipped professional French Army.

Although he had no illusions about the outcome of the battle, al-‘Azmah wanted to make it clear that Syria would not surrender without fighting, in order to deny the French occupation any legitimacy.

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/french-mandated-troops-burned-and-destroyed-damascus-in-october-1925/

(September 15, 2009)

“There are no ends Sir, re-think your means…”

          Two critical questions have been around for ever.  The first question is “What is the purpose of man?”   The second question is “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?”

            The first question received general answers such as “The free development of every one will lead to freeing every one else” or “Earth will know the Lord, as waves cover the sea.”  These general answers that means liberty, freedom, peace, justice, and fraternal love are meaningless because they need to be operational, well defined, well discriminated, and the means well thought out in details.

            The second question is answered by another general rhetorical answer “No nation will raise the sword against another nation.”  Prophets and religious leaders did not outdo the meanest local politician in their good intentions.

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” was asked to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud in 1932; twelve years after the institution of the League of Nations after WWI.  The League of Nations was lead by the USA, France, Britain, and Italy; it was the precursor of the United Nations established after WWII and headed by the USA, USSR, China, France, and Britain with veto power.  Basically, they are the two cheeks of the same ass.

            Einstein said: “A minority avid of power reigning over the great masses that do not get but suffering and impoverishment.  The way for international security is to impose on States to abandon without condition a part of their liberty of action or sovereignty.  There are no other alternatives.” 

            Freud position was “It is not possible to avoid war unless men agree to institute a central power to which States demand arbitration and respect the decision.  The League of Nations does not dispose of an army which cannot be formed unless the constituent States concede it. I am baffled that a unanimous accord by humanity has not banished war.  It is my contention that whoever works toward the development of culture is also struggling against war.”

            Nobel peace laureate Bertha von Sutter replied to Alfred Nobel “Do not always qualify our plan for peace as a dream. Progress toward justice is not a dream; this is the law of civilization”

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” is still a general question.  It would be far meaningful to divide this question into three practical ones.  The first question would be “Is there any way to prevent pre-emptive wars?”  The second question is “Is there ways to prevent civil wars?”  The third question should be “How man can be set free to decide on his death?”

            How to prevent civil wars have been answered by the USA and Western Europe; all citizens are equal before the law of the land; all citizens have the right to vote; all citizens have the right to be candidates; all citizens can do commerce and trade anywhere in the land; all citizens abide by the same civil status laws; all citizens are served equally well by public services; and no citizen is discriminated against by gender, race, color, or religious belief. If civil wars can be prevented then wars can be prevented: war is war, just view other people as you want people to regard you!  Just stop discriminating other people by race, color, religion, or gender.  They should enjoy the same rights that you want to enjoy.    

            If the world community can decided on a universal law that gives man the right to dispose of his life then all the moral values would become corollary to that fundamental right.  We are born by a fluke of nature but death is a certainty once born; how we wish to die is the only power that we should have to decide for our destiny.

 

            The most controversial of all questions is “Do ends justify the means?”  The most frustrating in this question is that the first two pre-requisite questions have not been answered satisfactorily by the world community. So far, the ends have been but abstract general notions of liberty, freedom, democracy, justice, equality, and so on.  So far, the means have been but brutal force, assassination, incarceration, humiliation, and disrespect of human rights, customs, traditions, and cultures.  Occupied people wait for the means to materialize in order to comprehend the nature of the end game.  When the occupier disband a nation’s army then you know that brute force occupation is the means to annihilate the social fabric of the society.  How can democracy be instituted if democracy is not applied by the occupier?  How can liberty be disseminated if the occupier has forgotten that liberty is resistance to an occupying force?  How can justice be established if martial laws are applied?

            Man is a dog, a cat, or nothing.  The vast majority of men are dogs.  Dog has a fixed logic; once trained properly he nails rules down.  Dog may learn from experience but fails to generalize the experience.  Misha the dog was entrapped on a spiked fence and got scared; she would not jump over the fence on the location it got the fright.  Misha jumps over the fence in another location; it is the same kind of dangerous fence, the same color, and the same height; it was just another location!  Cat has flexible logic and it baffles man.  There are these two kittens. The ugly one is smarter, more courageous, and enterprising.  The first time I hit the ugly cat for myawing it comprehended my reason for hitting her, or so I think.  The next time she saw the stick her behavior changed; now the stick meant “food is on the way”; food is the objective and survival means launching guerrilla warfare and louder myawings.

 

            The main function of the UN should be to prohibit pre-emptive wars under all conditions. The UN failed when it cowered to the US dictates for invading Iraq.  Britain, France, and Germany contributed to this war by softening their stance for economical benefits.

            I say: “There are no ends Sir, re-think your means.”

The Near East Dilemma: Discussion, May 17, 2009, (Part 2)

Jean Dayeh, a Lebanese author and a veteran journalist investigative reporter, published recently “Jubran Tueny Sr. and the Century of Renaissance” in the Near East.

The first part of my review covered the background.

Around 1919, Syrian was the name of the populations comprising the current States of Syrian, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan. This region is coined Levant by France, a former mandated power to the region.

Part two explains in details the positions of the various Levant countries (Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine) political parties and intelligentsia of the period during and after the First World War.

The discussions reported on the preferred status for Syria during the year 1919 and a couple of years afterward.  The year 1919 was critical for the Near East and the entire Arab World.

After almost a century, we are still reaping the consequences of the resolutions of the lengthy convention of the League of Nations that met in Paris for many months. The convention main purpose was to divide the spoils of the First World War.  Never such profusion of Syrian intellectual activities was so prolific and so divergent for uniting the spirits under a unified desire for autonomy.

The Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in the USA, France, and Egypt were very active.  In Egypt, there were first, the “Syrian Union Party” headed by Michel Lotfallah and the vice president was Mohammad Rasheed Rida.  This party supported the efforts of the Maronite Patriarch Howayek to have Lebanon under French mandate as preliminary phase to Lebanon’s independence and attaching four adjacent territories belonging to Syria so that Greater Lebanon could be “self-sufficient agriculturally”!

The second political party created in Cairo (Egypt) was the “Moderate Syrian Party” with founders Nicholas Choukry and Phares Nemr (owner of the daily “Al Mokkatam“),

The third party established in Egypt was the “Syrian Union” and headed by Nasseem Saybaa, Sami Juraidiny, Yacoob Saraaf (owner of the daily “Al Moktataf”, and Khalil Khayat.  Nasseem Saybaa expressed the position of this party for willingness to accepting a temporary USA mandate over all Syria unde the legitimate authority of King Faisal.  This political party was worried that England and France will not withdraw their armies in the region: There were indications that these two colonial powers intended to establish a Jewish State in Palestine.  The “Syrian Union” hoped to the last minutes that the US Congress would turn down the League of Nations proposed resolutions, but in vain.

In the small town of Mansoura, Egypt, a journalist Jubran Tueny Sr. (later the founder of the daily Al Nahar “The Day” in Lebanon) was for a French mandate over an independent Greater Lebanon on the ground that France saved the Lebanese immigrants from slaughter in Haiti while the US did not deign to intervene.

Tueny was convinced that it was the US that implicitly encouraged a Jewish “homeland” in Palestine, simply because the US lumped the Near East as Asia.  Tueny refused the presence of the Hijaz army (under the Hussein of Mecca) in Damascus and wanted it to withdraw as the Turkish forces did, because urban Syria is distinct from the nomadic Arab culture and civilization.

Chebli Chmayel was a sociologist and prolific thinker that spread the Masonic ideology that “those who tend the land should own it” (referring to the new Jewish immigrants who first focused on agriculture in colonies). Chmayel was typical of Masonic members who believed that democracy means that the majority of an ethnic group in a nation should govern and rule.

Both Syrian political parties founded in Egypt demanded an independent and secular Syrian nation, comprising Lebanon, but headed by King Faisal.

In Latin America there were Nehmeh Yafeth (an industrialist and wholesale merchant in Sao Paolo, Brazil) and Khalil Saadeh (father of Antoun Saadeh, the founder of the Syrian National Social Party in 1936).

Khalil Saadeh headed the “Democratic National Party” in Brazil and demanded the total independence of the Syrian Nation with no mandate and for Mount Lebanon to enjoy an autonomous State status within Syria.  Khalil Saadeh wrote the Arabic/English dictionary, and translated the new testament of Barnabas.  Khalil Saadeh could never digest the idea that a tribal leader from Mecca should be appointed King to urban Syria; he claimed that the Syrian people were not Arab, even if they spoke Arabic, and their culture has nothing to do with nomadic culture and literature.

In the USA, especially in the City of New York, there were the “Committee for Liberating Syria and Mount Lebanon” headed by Ayoub Thabet (later would be appointed first President to Lebanon by the French mandate) and Jubran Khalil Jubran as secretary.  The main members were Amine Rihany, Michael Nouaymeh, Abel Massih Hadad (owner of the daily “Al Saeh”, The Tourist), and Nasseeb Arida.

This council attempted to send volunteers under the “Orient Regiment” to fight alongside the French during the war but the efforts fizzled. This party was for the total independence of Syria after a brief mandate by France or the USA; Mount Lebanon was to enjoy strict decentralized status within the Syrian Nation.

The other political party in NY was the “Lebanese Renaissance” party and headed by Naoum Moukarzel (owner of the daily “Al Houda”).  This party was a staunch supporter of French mandate and giving Lebanon a Maronite authority and character.

In Paris there were the “Central Syrian Association” headed by Choukry Ghanem, and Dr. George Samneh.

In Mount Lebanon, the members of the “Administrative Council of Mount Lebanon” were for a confederate status of Lebanon with Syria under King Faisal.  Even Saadallah Howeiyek, brother of the Maronite Patriarch, and a member of this governing body was not with the Patriarch position for a separate Lebanese State under French mandate.

The Lebanese leaders were the most confused and disunited as to their status after the war.  Woodrow Wilson, the President of the USA, was confused by the diversity of opinions emanating from the Lebanese leaders assembled in Paris during the convention.  Wilson thus dispatched the investigative commission King-Crane to report the people wishes for their status.  France and England refused to join the commission because they had set on a project to divide and get mandate over the Near East.

The Syrian population did not have an army to fight the Turks alongside the “allies”; they were suffering famine and calamities due to locust invasion and the perpetual requisitions of the Turkish army in foodstuff and coerced soldiers.

The concept and principles of waging war, then and now, that only those parties or nations that effectively participated in the war were eligible to divide the spoil.  Syria who had no army was considered having no “legitimate rights” to share independence at the League of Nations who won the war.

The Near East Dilemma: The Background (Part 1, May 16, 2009)

Note:  This essay is of two parts.  The first part lay down the background story and issues; the second part will explain in details the positions of the various Syrian political parties and intelligentsia of the period during and after the First World War.  At the time, Syrian was the name of the populations comprising the current Syrian State, Lebanon, Palestine and current Jordan.

The year 1919 was critical for the Near East and the entire Arab World. After almost a century we are still reaping the consequences of the resolutions of the League of Nations that met in Paris for many months to divide the spoils of the First World War.

      Jean Dayeh is an author and a veteran journalist investigative reporter; he published recently “Jubran Tueny Sr. and the Century of Renaissance” in the Near East.  The manuscript contains two great chapters on the case of the Syrian dilemma and the Palestinian/Zionism problems.  From old published articles and replies by different daily journalists, thinkers, and politicians Dayeh explained the premises for the confusion and disunity in the Syrian societies of Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and the current Syrian State; the ideological and political divergences prevented an alternative resolution for populations that were just getting out of the hegemony of the Ottoman Empire that lasted over 5 centuries.

      During the war, the British encouraged the Shereef of Mecca Hussein al Hashemy to join the allies for fighting against the Ottoman Empire.  The British promised Hussein of Mecca mandate over Syria and Iraq.  In the same time, Britain and France had a more real politics plan for the Near East.  The diplomats of the two nations Sykes and Pico agreed in 1916 to divide the region so that France would have mandate over Syria and Lebanon and Britain mandate over Iraq, Palestine and Jordan.  Britain Foreign Affairs Balfour had promised the Zionist movement a State in Palestine.

      The sons of Hussein were appointed Kings; Faisal on Syria and Abdullah King on the newly created State of Jordan by Britain.  “King” Faisal entered Damascus as the Turkish army withdrew.  A nucleus of a new Syrian army was formed; the soldiers had to swear allegiance to the King of Mecca and agree to fight in the Arabic Peninsula if duty called.  The flag of Mecca was raised in Damascus and postal stamps and coins left no doubt as to the plans of the King of Mecca to joining Syria in an Arab Nation.  The worst part is that Faisal had promised the Zionist movement during the meetings of the League of Nations in Paris that if the Jews become majority in Palestine then they could form a confederate State with the Arab Nation.

      It is to be noted that the concept of waging war, then and now, that only those parties or nations that effectively participated in the war were eligible to divide the spoil.  The Syrian population did not have an army to fight and they were suffering famine and calamities due to locust invasion and the perpetual requisitions of the Turkish army in foodstuff and coerced soldiers.

      The President Woodrow Wilson of the USA was suffering of critical health problems during the Paris Convention and died shortly after; thus France and England decided on the Middle East spoil.  Nevertheless, the USA sent a fact-finding commission King-Crane to comprehend the wishes and desires of the Syrian populations.  England and France declined to join the commission because they had already decided on the spoil and their armies were on the ground in the Near East and pressured the populations to be biased.  With all the political pressures of France and England, a few Christians in Mount Lebanon preferred a French mandate, a few Palestinians opted for a British mandate, many were in favor of a USA mandate but the vast majority of Moslems and Christians wanted an independent State with Faisal as King in Damascus.

      The Christian Maronite Patriarch Howayek hurried to Paris for the convention and harassed Clemenceau to decide on a Greater Lebanon by adjoining many parts to Mount Lebanon in return for a French mandate. Clemenceau dispatched an army in 1920 and defeated the small Syrian army in Mayssaloun.  King Faisal was sent packing to reign as King in Iraq.

            By 1920, the Zionist movement managed to lure a few Jews to establish agricultural colonies.  Tel Aviv was the main coastal colony.  The Jewish Diaspora had felt the impossibility of establishing a Jewish state and money was trickling.  The Jews in Tel Aviv went on a rampage and confiscate the Zionist money in order to buy food; and the Rothschild delegate in Palestine was ordered to stop payment on land purchased for new colonies.  Nevertheless, the Zionist movement refused hopeless Jews visa exit out of Palestine.  The Palestinian government, under British mandate, had permitted to add Hebrew names to the English and Arabic administrative institutions. Things have changed since then.

Background to the Near East Dilemma; (Part 1, May 16, 2009)

Note:  This essay is of two parts.  The first part lay down the background story and issues; the second part will explain in details the positions of the various Syrian political parties and intelligentsia of the period during and after the First World War.

The year 1919 was critical for the Near East (Levant) and the entire Arab World.

At the time, Syrian was the name of the populations comprising the current States of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and current Jordan.

Before that date, the Syrians were called Turks because they held a Turkish (Ottoman) passport.

After almost a century, the people in this region are reaping the consequences of the resolutions of the League of Nations that met in Paris for many months to divide the spoils of the First World War.

Jean Dayeh is an author and a veteran journalist investigative reporter; he published recently “Jubran Tueny Sr. and the Century of Renaissance” in the Near East.  The manuscript contains two great chapters on the case of the Syrian dilemma and the Palestinian/Zionism problems.

From old published articles and replies by different daily journalists, thinkers, and politicians Dayeh explained the premises for the confusion and disunity in the Syrian societies of Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and the current Syrian State; the ideological and political divergences prevented an alternative resolution for populations that were just getting out of the hegemony of the Ottoman Empire that lasted over 5 centuries.

During the war, the British encouraged the Shereef of Mecca Hussein al Hashemy to join the allies for fighting against the Ottoman Empire.  The British promised Hussein of Mecca mandate over Syria and Iraq.  In the same time, Britain and France had a more real politics plan for the Near East.  The diplomats of the two nations Sykes and Pico agreed in 1916 to divide the region so that France would have mandate over Syria and Lebanon and Britain mandate over Iraq, Palestine and Jordan.  Britain Foreign Affairs Balfour had promised the Zionist movement a State in Palestine.

The sons of Hussein were appointed Kings; Faisal on Syria and Abdullah King on the newly created State of Jordan by Britain.  “King” Faisal entered Damascus as the Turkish army withdrew.  A nucleus of a new Syrian army was formed; the soldiers had to swear allegiance to the King of Mecca and agree to fight in the Arabic Peninsula if duty called.

The flag of Mecca was raised in Damascus and postal stamps and coins left no doubt as to the plans of the King of Mecca to joining Syria in an Arab Nation.  The worst part is that Faisal had promised the Zionist movement during the meetings of the League of Nations in Paris that if the Jews become majority in Palestine then they could form a confederate State with the Arab Nation.

It is to be noted that the concept of waging war, then and now, that only those parties or nations that effectively participated in the war were eligible to divide the spoil.  The Syrian population did not have an army to fight and they were suffering famine and calamities due to locust invasion and the perpetual requisitions of the Turkish army in foodstuff and coerced soldiers.

President Woodrow Wilson of the USA was suffering of critical health problems during the Paris Convention and died shortly after; thus France and England decided on the Middle East spoil.  Nevertheless, the USA sent a fact-finding commission King-Crane to comprehend the wishes and desires of the Syrian populations.

England and France declined to join the commission because they had already decided on the spoil and their armies were on the ground in the Near East and pressured the populations to be biased.  With all the political pressures of France and England, a few Christians in Mount Lebanon preferred a French mandate, a few Palestinians opted for a British mandate, many were in favor of a USA mandate but the vast majority of Moslems and Christians wanted an independent State with Faisal as King in Damascus.

The Christian Maronite Patriarch Howayek hurried to Paris for the convention and harassed Clemenceau to decide on a Greater Lebanon by adjoining many parts to Mount Lebanon in return for a French mandate. Clemenceau dispatched an army in 1920 and defeated the small Syrian army in Mayssaloun.  King Faisal was sent packing to reign as King in Iraq.

By 1920, the Zionist movement managed to lure a few Jews to establish agricultural colonies.  Tel Aviv was the main coastal colony.  The Jewish Diaspora had felt the impossibility of establishing a Jewish state and money was trickling.  The Jews in Tel Aviv went on a rampage and confiscate the Zionist money in order to buy food; and the Rothschild delegate in Palestine was ordered to stop payment on land purchased for new colonies.

Nevertheless, the Zionist movement refused hopeless Jews visa exit out of Palestine.  The Palestinian government, under British mandate, had permitted to add Hebrew names to the English and Arabic administrative institutions. Things have changed since then.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2020
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