OF MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
many Middle Eastern countries, poverty is deep and it is spreading,
women lack rights and are denied schooling. Whole societies remain stagnant
while the world moves ahead. As long as the Middle East remains a place
where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation,
resentment, and violence ready for export."
SUMMARY: Revision 2009
By 2005, the population of the Middle East and North Africa accounts for 386 million. The growth rates are diminishing in North Africa but remain very high in some areas. Globally, we can expect 585 million in 2030. Despite some very good assets (Oil and Gas), the GNI only attains 910 $Billion with an average income per capita of $2,360 in 2004. Thanks to the expected rise of the crude oil price until 2015, it would attain 1,710 $Billion in 2030. On the other hand, terrorism, external and civil wars, and a western containment policy could result in a global fall of the GNI.
Our diagnosis shows that the present Arab civilization is suffering a serious mental disease. It looks like schizophrenia: The subject nurtures a world vision that does not correspond to the reality. As a result, when he acts according to his dreams, he does not perform any result. Indeed the Arab world nurtures a wrong vision of religion and history and as a result only encounters humiliating failures.
Clearly, the Middle East and North Africa will remain the world black sheep until 2030 (Terrorism, fanaticism, Grand corruption, dictatorships, Illegal immigration, proliferation and constant threat for the civilized world). In such a context, it is fruitless to make recommendations. The road to democracy should imply a complete reeducation ( And notably a reform of Islam) similar to the denazification process which was implemented in Germany by the end of World War 2. Such a process had a meaning in Germany because this country was a great civilization. On the contrary, we do not think that the Middle East and North Africa merit endless wars and the losses of brave soldiers. We have better to adopt a containment policy : Go to the new war.
Firstly, let us examine the region: Geography, population, economy, and political situation. This examination shows that the greater Middle East benefits of some good assets. Unfortunately, they are badly managed.
11-Geography: Space, sea and sun
The Greater Middle East accounts for 21 countries: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, West Bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran .
The region represents 13,500 square kilometers (USA: 9,269; Europe- 25 Countries: 4,150). The Atlantic ocean, Mediterranean sea, Black sea, Red sea, Arabian sea surround it. Large gulfs such as Aden, Persian, and Oman gulfs favor the communications: No comparisons with compact continents such as Africa or South America.
The region is composed with deserts and very fertile regions such as the Nile valley, the fertile crescent ( Jordan river, Tigres and Euphrates rivers), and the south west of the Arabian peninsula ( "Arabia Felix " in Latin). What is more, the ground contains some huge natural resources (Oil an gas).
It is obviously a good implementation for human. As a result, Civilization began in this region as far as 5000 years BCE with Sumerians and Egypt. By this time, Europe was covered by forests with marshes. A rainy climate required clothes and housing against the cold. Indeed, the European assets were very poor compared to the middle eastern Eden! Consider the next map:
Clearly, the populations of the Middle East have inherited of very good assets: What have they done with them?
By 2005, the population accounts for 386 million. The growth rates are diminishing in North Africa but remain very high in some areas: Yemen (21 million in 2005) will have 144 million by 2100! (More than Russia!). Globally, we can expect 585 million inhabitants in 2030. Go to world population prospects
Only two nations exceed 50 millions ( Egypt: 65, Iran: 65 ). People concentrate in towns: Cairo designed for 100,000 reaches 15 million. The entire region is more urbanized than Asia or Africa. In the past, towns were inhabited by educated elite and religious minorities. The rush of illiterate peasants is changing this fact. As these illiterates have a very high growth rate, their increasing number in towns tends to make urban control a key for the future
People worship mainly Islam divided into Sunnis and Shiites. Jews and Christians are also present ( Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria). Arabic, Berber, Parsi ( Iran) Hebrew (Israel) are the main languages in use. The elite speaks fluent English and French in North Africa.
The quality of education is bad. In the Arab world, 65 million adults are illiterate (Two-thirds of them women). Only 0.6% of the population uses the Internet, and 1.2% have personal computers. The UNDP reports about the Arab world notes a shortage of new writing. For example, in the 1,000 years since the reign of the Caliph Mamoun, the Arabs have translated as many books as Spain translates in one year: Indeed, it's a very humiliating figure!
In spite of large resources, the economy remains fragile. Of course, the region is not monolithic and we have to be careful with generalizations: For example, the economic situation is different according to the oil fields situation.
However, we may posit that most of the countries benefit of oil exploitation. Of course, oil and gas represent huge economic assets in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states: 65% of the world proven oil reserves are located in this area and the average life of Saudi reserves is about 50 years ( However, many oil fields are yet depleted ). On the other hand, beside Saudi Arabia and the gulf States, many countries also benefit of oil : Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and new oil fields could be drilled in the future ( Notably in Sudan ). What is more, the Gulf and Caspian oil is exported through countries deprived of large oil resources such as Syria. In spite of our wish to avoid stereotypes and generalizations, it is clear that most countries benefit of good economic assets in connection with energy. Unfortunately, they have badly managed these resources.
Despite these assets, the global GNI only attains 910 $Billion in 2004. The unemployment rate is about 30%. As a result, the region is the theater of migrations to towns, oil States, and finally Europe. Of course, there are strong disparities: Four countries, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia reach a GDP superior to $100 Billion. Since the population is growing , the GDP per capita slowly increases: The average income per capita attains $2,360 in 2004.
In fact, these stats include Israel. With only 20,000 square kilometers and 7 million people, Israel gets 13% of the global GNI! ( A second humiliating figure! ) Consider the next drawing ( Population in Million, GNI in $Billion, GNI per capita in $ ):
Region ------------Population-----GNI:2004----Income per Capita
How can we explain this situation? Jews are Semitic like Arabs. In old time, they were nomadic like Arabs. Jews have suffered not only of the colonization but also of the Shoah. Nevertheless, there are some great differences between Jews and Arabs: Religion, education, democracy and more largely cultural habits. A close investigation about these topics will allow us to understand the Middle East situation.
What is more, the region suffers three vulnerabilities: Firstly, the fresh water resources per capita are very low compared to East Asia and Europe. Desalinization plants are yet extensively used in the Gulf States. Secondly, the region is more and more dependent for food. Some countries import 50% of the food stuff. Thirdly, Since scientific advances and technical progress are weak ( Except in Israel) the region only relies on West for drugs and other vital goods. For example, the % of high technology in manufactured exports is the lowest in the world with Sub Saharan Africa ( About 2% between 1999 and 2003 ): A third humiliating feature!
Among these countries, there are only two democracies: Israel and Iraq (With many reservations regarding Iraq ). Clearly, this is a second trauma. With black Africa, the Middle East is the least democratic region in the world: In Iran and Saudi Arabia, recent elections resulted in islamic success. Only Jordan and the gulf States seem eager to engage real reforms.
The region is a permanent theater for wars, guerrillas, and finally terrorism. Military expenditures share an average of 7% of the global GDP and dissipate money which could be used for improving education. The region is the main source of terrorism and proliferation. Clearly, the Middle East and North Africa will remain the world black sheep until 2030 and a constant threat for the civilized world: In a near future, every European capital will be within range of ballistic missiles based in the Middle East.
The population is expected to reach 585 million inhabitants in 2030. Regarding the Economy and thanks to oil prices, the GNI has grown on an average of 4% over the five last years. Since, we expect a slow down of oil prices between 2015 and 2030 we cannot rely on the present stats to extrapolate the future trend. Moreover, the main regional driver is the islamic surge that will result in more and more internal or international wars. According to these these facts, our prediction relies on a yearly growth rate of 4% for the period 2005-2015 , 2% for 2016-2020 and 0% for 2021 -2030 ( 1%). Consider the next drawing ( Population in Million, GNI in $Billion, GNI per capita in $ ):
Region --------------Population----GNI:2030----Income per Capita
Without Israel, the GNI would attain 1,482 $Billion and the income per capita 2,580 in 2030 instead of 2,080 in 2004 . Moreover, the two most backward countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia, will be the main economic powers. Since the oil power is expected to vanish by 2040, it means that the Middle East could enter by that time in a new middle ages. However, this prospect is beyond the frame of our study.
In his famous essay "Civilization and its Discontents", Freud posits that the development of civilization has a similarity to the development of the individual. Indeed, we may be justified in reaching the diagnosis that some epochs of some civilizations have become neurotic.
Although we do not follow all the Freud's theories, we can state that the present Middle East civilization is suffering a serious mental disease. It looks like schizophrenia. It means that the mind is dissociated: The subject nurtures a world vision that does not correspond to the reality. As a result, when he acts according to his dreams, he does not perform any result. Then, he thinks that other people are responsible of the failure and are plotting against him. Finally he rushes in anger and become dangerous. Look at the next drawing.
The first step of a neurotic process is the acquisition of a very specific identity. When a person does not behave like others, you usually observe that she is not normal. Of course, every civilization has its own identity but when it differs by far from the others, it could mean that there is a problem.
What is more, in a globalized world, people and habits tend to be more and more closer. Even in black Africa, and notably in the big towns, many things are common with Europe. It's the same in Latin America or in Asia. On the contrary, while traveling in the Middle East, you never feel comfortable. Wherever you are, in Morocco or 5000 kilometers away in Saudi Arabia, you experience that you are really a foreigner because Islam has produced a very strange civilization.
Among the strange facts that I have observed by visiting about sixteen countries of the region, the most significant is the women condition. It means that sexuality is more restrained than in other regions due to the major role of religion.
Many women are veiled and hidden. You do not see that in other continents. It means that half of the population looks like a second class citizens. Polygamy is another specific fact: Old men can repudiate their old spouses and married very young girls. Young men and girls have few opportunity to get sex. Virginity remains a taboo. Go to gender.
Women condition is not the sole difference. Slavery still exists in some Arab countries. I met poor black slaves in Mauritania. They asked me drugs because they were deprived of any health support. On the border of Sahara, Tuareg tribes still have domestic black slaves. In Sudan, northern Arabs routinely enslave black Christians.
People are more addicted to religion than in other areas. They are praying five times a day. Alcohol and pork are strictly forbidden in many countries. In some local places, you will hardly find any toilet papers. Even in big towns, many people are eating with their hands, not because they cannot afford to buy forks or spoons but just because they are good Muslims.
People in the streets look often angry or disdainful. You have better to avoid any conversation because they quickly rush in anger and you can enter in serious troubles if you do not agree with them. Regarding the elite and its hospitality, it's mainly a fairy tale. People are very kind as long as you say that their civilization is the highest. When you do not behave like an admirer, they may become rude and impolite. On the contrary, you feel at home when you meet with Christians Maronites or Jews. According to our usual standards, Israel looks like the sole civilized country in the entire region.
Finally, all these facts correspond to a vision that relies on a dream associating both Islam and the Arab history. It means that many people are unable to apprehend the real world. In fact, they live in two worlds : The real world that surrounds them and a dead world that only exists in their minds. It is the beginning of the schizophrenia! The next video shows how this schizophrenia is perceived by the western world.
You will not find any people in Japan eager to come back to the feudal society. In Latin America, no people expect to restore the Maya or Inca civilization. Even in Africa, there is no people wanting to re-establish human sacrifices. Indeed, the Middle East and North Africa is the only region in the world where many people aim to come back to the Bedouin society of the seventh century!
This society was based on a close link between the religion and the common law: The Sharia'a. Of course, the Sharia'a has nothing to do with human rights, democracy, freedom, and emancipation of women. One could object that at their early beginning, all the religions were stranger to any civilized way of life. However, they have reformed themselves and evolved in accordance with the progress of the society. The surprising fact is that Islam has not evolved. Its early primitive conceptions have been prominent through most Islamic history and remains until today applied in some countries such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia or Iran (in its Shiite version).
In fact, every reform failed. As in other regions of the world, the enlightenment in Europe brought to the Middle East new ideas. By 1850, some Ottoman sultans tended to modernize the society but finally the obscurantism won. For example, abolition of slavery was seen by the Bedouin tribes as a profound injustice. The next sultan abolished all the reforms and preached a genuine pan-islamism. As a result religious minorities were slaughtered notably in Armenia and Syria.
During the same time, the attempt to reform Islam began in central Asia. It was called Jadidism. Instead of treating the words of Muhammad in their literacy, the jadidists asked themselves what the prophet would say now if he was living today. Unfortunately, the jadidists were crushed by the soviets in the 1920th.
Finally, after the fall of the Ottoman empire, Ataturk abolished Sharia'a, veil and all Muslim habits in Turkey. He associated religion to obscurantism but he met a strong resistance in Anatolia and his ideas hardly extended in the former provinces of the empire.
The Arab nationalism tried to follow this path (Notably in Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq and Syria) but its global failure opened the place for the Islamic counter revolution: Thanks to oil money, the Bedouin tribes of Arabia expanded their traditional Wahhabism. Finally, all these events culminated with the Iranian revolution ( a Shiite version of the Wahhabism).
However, many muslims, notably in black Africa, only apply religion as a social habit like the Christians in western countries. It means that the importance of the religion is specific to the Arab World (And also to Turkey and Iran which are not arab countries). It is due to a close link associating religion and history. What's more, religion is more and more linked to politics: Look at the next video.
In Europe or in America, we say currently "that's history". It means that old stories do not impact the present world : Technical progress has increased so much that it is better to study economic figures rather than history for understanding the real world. On the contrary, in the Middle East and North Africa, people are fascinated by facts dating as far as the seventh century!
Many Middle eastern people think that their destiny is to bring the God Truth to the infidels and that their entire history is the accomplishment of God will. Consequently, this history becomes a part of the religion. To back up this idea, they believe that their past history was the highest civilization that the world had ever known. In fact, this "highest civilization" had never existed except in their minds.
In the Antiquity, the Middle East was a civilization of ports and trading centers scattered all around the Mediterranean. Phoenicians were in North Africa with Cartage. Greeks expanded on the actual Turkey called the "Great Greece". Then, all the region fell under the Roman rule (65 BCE) without changing its habits and culture.
With the divide of the Roman empire, the Middle East belonged to the Eastern Roman empire headed in Byzantium (Istanbul to day). The golden age of the Middle East took place during this period and ended with the Arab conquest. It was a Greek civilization with a very bright culture. Christianity was not depending of Rome and many churches or philosophical schools flourished. This Greek culture gathered people coming from every part of the Mediterranean with different languages such as Araméen, Greek, Latin, Hebrew and so on. People were mixed in great towns such as Alexandria devoted to culture and business. When you are visiting these countries, you can observe that the most monumental past accomplishments are coming up from the Roman and Byzantine period (Leptis Magna in Libya, Jerash in Jordan or are due to old civilizations such as in Egypt).
Then, the Arab conquerors coming from their desert rushed in these cities by the seventh century. It is said that a great civilization began! Just think: How imagine that some Bedouin warriors could add new intellectual values to the Byzantine civilization? In fact, during the first period of conquest, the caliphs did not disturb the existing Greek or Jew populations. Jews notably took a very important place in high office, arts, philosophy. It can be said that this first period had been mainly a Judeo Arab civilization. Nevertheless, very few additions were brought to the legacy inherited of byzantium: Paper was discovered in China, the famous Arab numbers were coming from India and Avicenne or Averroés were just bright translators of Aristotle.
Finally,the Arab civilization was completely destroyed by islamised people coming from the north and notably Tamerlane. The caliph in Baghdad was beheaded and the Mongol rule lasted over for two century. With the departure of Mongols, the Middle East scattered in many kingdoms until the beginning of the ottoman conquest. Then the Arab civilization fell in a constant decline and became under the Turkish rule quite immobile until today.
Ottomans were coming from central Asia. They appeared in Anatolia. From 1430 to 1650, they extended their conquests to the Balkans and the Middle East. In fact, the ottoman empire took part in the rivalries in Europe and benefited of alliances with France or Russia according to the circumstances. From 1650 to its end in 1918, it declined and was threatened by the minorities both in Balkans and in its Arab provinces which were perceived in Europe as a cause of piracy. In St john cathedral in Malta, you can see the graves of all the gentlemen coming from Provence, Spain or England and who devoted their life to the protection of the Christendom against the piracy. It only ended with the colonization of North Africa by the French. Look at the next drawing:
Islamic civilization (green curve) has just taken place within the Byzantine empire and the rise of the European civilization (blue curve). Of course during this period, anybody can agree that the Middle East civilization was brighter than the western Europe stormed by the fall of the Roman empire.
Despite the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the crossing point took place by 1500: The vessels going to India through the Cap bypassed the Middle East and the moors were expelled from Spain. In 1683, the ottomans suffered a dreadful defeat in attacking Vienna and one century later, Bonaparte was able to conquer Egypt. Of course, the gap widened with the industrial revolution.
We can conclude: In the history, there had been a Greek miracle. There had not been any Arab miracle except in the mind of the contemporary middle eastern population.
Since the present decline cannot be hidden, the Islamic propaganda presents it as a revenge of Satan due to the actions of the West. In accordance, all the past painful events are attributed to the West in order to enforce the association with Satan: For example, the Islamic propaganda never recalls some facts such as the execution of the caliph by Tamerlane!
The Crusades provide us with a good example of this distortion between the today mental representations and the historical facts. As Bernard Lewis quotes it, crusades are today a key element in the Muslim discourse (notably Bin Laden with his war against the crusaders!). In fact the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 just aroused little interest in the region and the crusaders established cities and fortress which lasted over 200 years without much troubles. For example, Reynolds of Chatillon' Keral castle is one of the most imposing monument that you can visit in Jordan today ( Funnily, Chatillon is the name of an outskirts of Paris).
Likely, the victory of Saladin and the capture of Jerusalem in 1187 is today a topic constantly developed by Arab leaders but they forget that the same Saladin ceded Jerusalem to the German emperor, in 1229! Today the crusades appear as a major offence for Muslim but in reality, it was only perceived with a benign neglect by the time of Saladin.
Another distortion is related to the Andalusian myth. Arab occupation is presented like an example of a tolerant and peaceful Islam. In fact Jews and Christians endured many suffering. This myth is mainly propagated by some European scholars according to the Eurabia scheme. As a result, terrorists in Madrid seek revenge not just for spanish troops in Iraq but also for the loss of Andalucia half a thousand years ago! You may note that the name of the main avenue in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) is " Andalucia"!
The fact to have the mind poisoned by phantasms can only conduct to failures in the real world. In every domain, the recent history of the Middle East and North Africa is a constant series of setbacks.
1-People and their leaders constantly chose the wrong camp. The ottoman empire joined Germany during World War 1 and as a result was completely dismantled. However, we must point that the Arab revolt led by Lawrence fought against the ottoman sultan who was also by this time the caliph. Bin Laden often refers to the abolishment of the Caliphate as a painful event. Prisoner of his own schizophrenia, he just forgets that his fellows Arabs Bedouins contributed to the fall of the Caliphate in combating the ottoman empire.
Before and during World War 2, Arab and Muslim movements joined the nazi camp. Created in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood supported Germany and further the grand Mufti of Jerusalem campaigned for the extermination of Jews. In Morocco, the king encouraged people to enroll in the Franco army backed up by Germany and Italy. In the Balkans, Muslims enrolled themselves in the waffen SS. Finally in Chechen, people favored Germany and as a result Stalin deported massively the population. Regarding these facts, look at the next video:
After the fall of their Nazi protector, many countries chose the soviet protection or campaigned for the non aligned movement. Arab nationalism became also an Arab socialism well implemented in youth, universities and intellectuals.
2-The Arab socialism led to a global failure in economics. Most of the middle class in the 1920-1950 was composed by national or religious minorities: Armenians, Greeks, Christian maronites, Copts, Jews or Arabs having roots in the West. The Arab socialism destroyed this class who was supposed to support "Imperialism". In Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, the military replaced this old middle class and began to implement statal companies with the same bad results as in black Africa.
3-The quest for a political unity with pan-arabism also failed. Among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, very few have an historical background: Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Iran. The other States are more recent or have been drawn up by the colonization or the mandatory powers. It means that State borders do not take in account population and history just like in black Africa. Consequently, it was a valuable purpose to seek for a greater unity. However, each attempt turned to be a failure (unity between Egypt and Syria, unity of Egypt and Libya, the great Magreb, and so on).
4-Finally, the Arab nations have waged many wars and regularly lost them in an humiliating way: In 1947, 1967, 1978, Arab States against Israel. In 1991 and 2003, Iraq against the western coalition. They warred also one against each other. For example, the Iran-Iraq war caused heavy casualties and lasted eight years. What is more, populations are until today the main victims of the fundamentalist surge notably in Algeria, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon.
The failure of the Arab nationalism led to an outdated alternative: Islam as a global solution.
25-Anger and crisis.
Schizophrenia is a progressive illness. When the subject registers failures, he does not question his false vision. He thinks that other people are responsible of the failure and are plotting against him. Finally, he rushes in anger and becomes dangerous.
Obviously, this dangerous stage of the illness has been reached with the jihadism which goes side by side with a terrific anti-Semitism that we had not known since the nazism (go to New war. ). It is easy to understand why. When rulers and populations are contemplating the reality, they immediately perceive the astonishing success of Israel: Report to anti semitism. Consequently, the Jewish State is the mirror of all their failures. As a result, they think that the Jews are responsible of their unfortunate destiny and it's the beginning of a mad process that gets its climax with the Bin Laden enterprise.
However, this fact is not sufficient and we have to investigate another psychoanalytical aspect that turns constant failure to high aggression. Today, sexuality is liberated in western countries. In the same time, in response to this liberation, sex repression is more and more severe in the Middle East and this phenomenon corresponds to the fundamentalist surge. As a result another primal instinct is growing: Aggression and it's turned against the western societies that are compared to the devil due to their sex liberation. Consider the next drawing:
We can assume that during the 19th, hostility against the West was not so high because sexuality was, by this time, equally repressed in the two civilizations. Since we do not want to change our own sex habits, it means that the only solution should be a sex liberation in the Middle East. How could we impose it? We may impose democracy but it's impossible to change people habits? May we expect an inner reform? It's not obvious because more our sexuality is liberated in the West, more Islam has to restrain sexuality in its own field and consequently more the aggression increases. You can observe the proof of that vicious circle: Muslim women are more and more veiled including among migrants inhabiting western countries.
I have to underline this point because, unfortunately, it could lead to a real clash of civilizations! We must underline that the UNDP report published in 2003 confirms the present diagnosis. Go to: http://www.undp.org/rbas/ahdr/english2003.html
The global schizophrenia is a major cause of the present situation. What is more, it has been supported by three objective reasons: The false promises to Hussein , the western benign neglect for the rise of dictatorships and finally the western responsibility in the surge of a new devil that has boosted the schizophrenia: Saudi Arabia.
While the ottoman empire was weakening, the French and American revolutions developed new ideas: Freedom, democracy, and self determination of peoples. In entire Europe with the end of the authoritarian society (See global history) religious or national minorities were eager to get their independence and this situation led to World War 1.
311-World War 1
This self determination concept reaffirmed by US President Wilson, had three consequences: Firstly, peoples with same language and cultural habits, separated by feudal and artificial boundaries, should be allowed to unit themselves such as in Italy and in Germany. Secondly, minorities included in large empire should get their independence over their own territory. Thirdly, minorities diluted among other populations should be protected or allowed to join their homeland. The Austrian and Ottoman empire based on a pluri ethnic scheme were mainly concerned by the second and third objectives: Minorities of the Balkans won their independence both from Austria and the Ottomans. The problem of diluted minorities (Muslims in Greece and Christians in Turkey) was solved through a general exchange of populations. Unfortunately, these principles were profoundly distorted in the Middle East.
During the war, the Arabs led by Hussein and Lawrence joined the British against the ottomans. According to the self determination and minorities principle, the British promised Hussein to unify the Arab provinces of the ottoman empire in a single Arab kingdom including the Hedjaz with the holy places of Mecca and Medina, and the fertile crescent depending of cities of Damascus and Baghdad. They also promised a Kurdish State. Finally, and in accordance to their principles, they promised the Jews an homeland.
With the victory, the allies forgot their promises. Instead of an unified Arab kingdom, they created two Mandatory (French and British) corresponding to Syria and Lebanon (French) and to Iraq and Palestine (British). The creation of a kurdish State by the treaty of Sevres never entered in application. Finally the only realized promise was the creation of the Jew homeland in the area under British mandatory.
Despite the fact that the return of Jews to their homeland was a legitimate application of the minority principle, the Arabs never accepted it. It was the beginning of a century war regarding 27,000 square kilometers!
312-World War 2
The end of World War 2 and the wave of independences offered a new opportunity to solve the minorities problems. Massive exchange of populations took place in Europe and India with the creation of an Islamic state of Pakistan. In the Middle East, things were only going worst.
In 1948, the Arab States attacked the Jewish State in order to destroy it. They were defeated. As a result, many Arabs (about 765,000) who joined the aggression were fleeing from their home. On the other hand, 865,000 Jews living in Muslims countries were suddenly expelled with spoliation. Of course they were welcomed in Israel. On the contrary, the Arabs States did not greet the Arabs refugees who were gathered in camps. Since this time, these refugees have been a permanent cause of violence and terrorism.
Later, problems were aggravated with the destruction of the Christian Lebanon State by the Palestinian gangs. As a result Syria took over the control of Lebanon with the complicity of the great powers. On the other hand, the kurdish question remained unsolved. Likely, the Shiite minority in Iraq was constantly oppressed just like Berbers in North Africa and Christians in Sudan.
It means that the minorities problem remains unsolved and is a constant source of unrest and anger until today.
32-Benign neglect for dictatorships
As we have said, in the 1920-1950, there was a large middle class that ruled the different countries through moderate monarchies. Many of these people were eager to benefit of freedom, modern science and democracy. Clearly they agreed with the western ideas. Moreover, we have to recall that the ottoman empire had been dismantled to enforce self determination and democracy according to Wilson principles.
Surprisingly, after the independence's, the western countries used to accommodate with wrong regimes based on the one party dictatorship. The cold war was the motive (just like in Latin America and Africa) but the middle class saw that as a treachery: The western governments supported rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries. The middle class (often educated in Europe and sharing the same standards) experienced the situation like a real humiliation.
As we have previously quoted it, the military and socialist dictatorships crushed the middle class mainly composed of religious or national minorities. Today, despite privatization and globalization, this old merchant middle class represents few people. It has been replaced by an oil business class based on corruption and proximity to the rulers. What is more, the entire middle class is submerged in towns by all the illiterate and fanatical migrants coming from nomadic tribes.
Two painful events illustrate the western responsibilities. Lebanon with its Christian merchant community was a pillar of democracy in the region. Stormed by Palestinian gangs, the country was finally abandoned by the West. Christians were obliged to call for the protection of Syria! The second event is relative to Iran. The Shah was engaging his country towards modernization through a constant struggle against obscurantism. I visited Teheran in 1963 and I can testify that people and women were clothed and behaved just like in Paris. Despite this fact, we gave facilities to Khomeini and he took over Iran. We know the result: All the way to the seventh century! Just look at the next video!
The middle class anger is not due to schizophrenia. It relies on real facts. It means that we have dissipated a precious card: The implementation of democracy would have been easier in the 1920-1950 than today.
33-Creation of a devil.
The radical Islam that we are experiencing today has never existed over a long period or a large territory. Sometimes in the history, there were some surge such as the Mahdi in Sudan (I saw in Khartoum the letter he sent to Queen Victoria asking her to convert to Islam. It sounds like Bin Laden literature!). In general, these surges of madness were quickly destroyed by the caliphs.
The present radical Islam began in 1749 with the alliance of Abdel Wahab with the chief of some nomadic tribes scattered in central Arabia. Abdel Wahab preached the return to a very primitive Islam: It was just a sect among other in the Middle East but thanks to his alliance with the Saudi, the Wahhabism extended its influence in Arabia.
In the 19th century, the wahhabist tribes attacked the Shiites in Mesopotamia (actual Iraq) and devastated Kerbala. The sultan of Egypt thought that it was too much and defeated the wahhabists, executed the chief of the Saudi dynasty, poisoned all the wells in central Arabia and stormed their scarce camps. As a result the wahhabist remained peaceful in their desert until 1922.
By this time, while the British Arab office in Cairo promised Hussein an unified Arab kingdom including the Hedjaz, the British Indian office in Delhi was pushing the Saudi ambitions over the entire Arabia! As a result, in 1922, the Wahhabists attacked the Hedjaz which was ruled by Hussein and conquered the holy places of Mecca and Medina. Then, with the agreement of the British, they founded the Saudi Arabia kingdom and they became the guardian of the holy places. Wahhabism was empowered in a large state. At the end of World War 2, the US concluded an alliance with the Saudi State and its huge oil reserves.
Then, the Wahhabism and the Saudi family implemented a fanatical society certainly more inclined to backwardness than all the previous societies in the Middle Eastern civilization. Wahhabism hates modernity, capitalism, human rights, democracy, science and knowledge. In 1978, with the take over of Khomeini over Iran, they feared the Shiite revenge (Recall you the devastation of kerbala, the holy place of the Shiite) and they began to expand Wahhabism all over the Muslim world from Morocco and west Africa to Indonesia. Thanks to oil, they used money to corrupt and implement Islamic regimes or Islamic opposition in an increasing number of countries.
Despite its backwardness, this regime has been constantly backed up by the West. In counterpart, Saudi Arabia regulated oil prices. What is more, it helped the freedom fighters in Afghanistan against the soviet army with western applaud.
We do not say that Saudi Arabia is the main cause of the terrorism. Many radical Islamic groups do not depend of Wahhabism (Of course, Shiite organizations such as hezbollah). However, we may say that the Wahhabism,( just like Khomeini) is a booster. Anyway, we are today paying high prices for the support we gave to the creation of Saudi Arabia!
34-Conclusion: Emergence of jihadism.
In conclusion, the global schizophrenia and some objective causes are the background of the jihadist emergence. However, it's just a background and not the immediate cause. In our opinion, the immediate cause is the globalization of freedom following the fall of Berlin wall. Most of the rulers fear to lost their grip on the people and instead of combating the schizophrenia, they boost it through education and media's. What is more, they secretly support the Al Qaida network.
Many scholars say that the dictatorships such as Iraq or Syria are not fundamentalists: Consequently, it should be unfair to link these States to the Jihadism. These scholars are mistaking because they focus only on religion. In fact, the jihadist ideology is a mixture of religion and history. Consequently, the no fundamentalist countries can share this global ideology and notably the will to strike western countries: They must fight democracy in order to maintain their own dictatorship. It's just a question of surviving.
Due to this global situation, many strategic think tanks do not expect that a simple application of democracy could solve the problems of the region. Moreover, many indicators show that radical Islamism is spreading over the populations. The election of a fundamentalist leader in Iran means that it is fruitless to export democracy to people who are not prepared to adopt it. Clearly, populations seem happy with their backward civilization.
In such a context, our recommendations are only addressed to the few liberal forces that are still existing in the region. We focus on three preliminary tasks .
The first task should be to settle all the minorities problems that have poisoned the region since the fall of the Ottoman empire and the treaty of Sevres. Such a reshaping could cure one of the objective causes of the present situation. The minorities problems are related to the Kurdish, the Palestinians, the Christians both in Lebanon and Iraq, the black people of Sudan, the berbers and the Tuaregs.
In fact , we do not expect many progress before 2030. Firstly, Turkey will oppose the creation of a Kurdish State. Secondly, Since Muslims and Christians cannot cohabit anymore, the creation of a Christian Lebanon entity could welcome the Christians populations coming from Syria and Iraq (about 600,000 people). Unfortunately, we do not see the feasibility of this project. Thirdly, we do not expect an issue to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the short run. We do not believe in the present road map and in the sustainability of two opposed States on a so tiny territory. Fourth, there are none short terms prospects for the black people, the Berbers and the Tuaregs in Northern Africa.
In 2030, all these problems will remain as hot as today.
There is no doubt that in the long term the progress towards democracy will depend on the progress in education. Go to global learning process. In the past, educated people were coming from religious or national minorities in towns. Today, mass education has increased but paradoxically it has enforced obscurantism notably among young people. It's always a strange feeling to listen the cranky discourses of some students on the universities campus! They have none logic nor ethical principles. This situation is due to the education content.
Most of media and education channels are constantly developing propaganda and false interpretation of history. For example, in Saudi Arabia, pupils are learning that Jews are just like monkeys and porks! Everywhere, education in economics is completely biased. What is more, the fundamentalists have succeeded in extending in continental Europe their false history about the superiority of Muslim civilization. Let's suppose that in the 1930, free nations had accepted to teach Aryan superiority in schools! It means that the present education both in Europe and in Muslim countries is pure propaganda. Go to European constitution.
The implementing of democracy will not be an easy business!
Democracy needs democrats! Of course, many Muslims live today in democratic societies but most of them such as in Senegal or Mali are not part of Middle East and North Africa. As we have said, the problem is not solely Islam but the mixture of Islam and false history that is specific to the region. For example, the arab and turkish communities in Europe seem more and more influenced by radical Islam. It means that there are few democratic feelings among the populations.
For example, let 'us suppose that the democracy is implemented in Saudi Arabia. What happens if Bin Laden is elected as President through free elections? It means that democratization implies great risks and should be carefully prepared.
Firstly, we must state that the Sharia'a cannot be the source of law. Democracy is by itself an universal rule of game. When you play football, you observe universal rules of games. You do not replace them by the rules of Islam. In the other hand, people playing the same rules of game can have different inspirations coming from their values: Islamic, Christian, Jewish values. The rules of game must be apart of any religion. Of course, any State may declare that its main religion is Islam but Islam cannot be the source of law.
Secondly, the middle class (Merchants, Chambers of commerce and so on) must immediately replace the warlords, their soldiers, their scholars and their civil servants. Liberal reforms in the economic domains could improve the middle class bargaining power. Merchants and entrepreneurs are a better guarantee for the democratic process than the intellectuals coming from fake universities.
Thirdly, human rights must appear at the first place on the political agenda. Everywhere, women rights must be implemented with the civil equality, the abolishment of polygamy, and so on. It means that the Ataturk reforms have to be extended to the entire region.
Fourth, since the oil provides the region with sufficient inner resources, the oil money should be used to develop the large open spaces in the southern areas of the entire region. Young people should have better to go southward to developing these areas rather than migrating to the European crowded cities.
Anyway, all these measures may be ineffective. For example, despite the liberal reforms implemented in Morocco, we must take notice that the killers of 200 Spanish were Moroccan. We must also observe that many Moroccan students said that Jews and Americans were the authors of the strike in Madrid! By the same token, most of muslim movements on the Internet try to propagate the idea that the London strikes were caused by the Mossad or the CIA. It means that the global schizophrenia will not end to morrow.
The road to democracy should imply a complete reeducation ( And notably a reform of Islam) similar to the denazification process which was implemented in Germany by the end of World War 2. Such a process had a meaning in Germany because this country was a great civilization. On the contrary, we do not think that the Middle East and North Africa merit endless wars and the losses of brave soldiers. We have better to adopt a containment policy and to let the populations going back to the seventh century : Go to the new war.
Do you agree? Do you not agree? Send your comments.
This article is an authentic insight into the present and coming problems with Islam and globally confirms what is said above about schizophrenia.
psychology behind suicide bombings.
July 15, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the 7/7 London
attacks. One of the guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who
has filmed six
upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that
he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers
What inspired you to produce "Suicide Killers," your seventh film?
I started working with victims of suicide attacks to make a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when I became fascinated with the personalities of those who had committed those crimes, as they were described again and again by their victims. Especially the fact that suicide bombers are all smiling one second before they blow themselves up.
Why is this film especially important?
don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon.
My film is not politically correct because it addresses the real
What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that other experts do not know?
came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis
at the level of an entire civilization. Most neuroses have
in common a dramatic event, generally linked to an unacceptable sexual
behavior. In this case, we are talking of kids living all their lives
in pure frustration, with no opportunity
What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers, their families and survivors of suicide bombings?
was a fascinating and a terrifying experience. You are dealing with
seemingly normal people with very nice manners who have their own logic,
which to a certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced
that what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure craziness,
You say suicide bombers experience a moment of absolute power, beyond punishment. Is death the ultimate power?
Not death as an end, but death as a door open to the after life. They are seeking the reward that God has promised them. They work for God, the ultimate authority, above all human laws. They therefore experience this single delusional second of absolute power, where nothing bad can ever happen to them, since they become God's sword.
Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe the psychopathology.
kids between 15 and 25 bearing a lot of complexes, generally inferiority
complexes. They must have been fed with religion. They usually have
a lack of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable idealists.
In the western world they would easily have become drug addicts, but
Are suicide bombers principally motivated by religious conviction?
it is their only conviction. They don't act to gain a territory or to
find freedom or even dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge,
Do all Muslims interpret jihad and martyrdom in the same way?
Muslim believers believe that, ultimately, Islam will prevail on earth.
They believe this is the only true religion and there is no room, in
their mind, for interpretation. The main difference between moderate
Muslims and extremists is that moderate Muslims don't think they will
see the absolute victory of Islam during their life time, therefore
they respect other beliefs. The extremists
Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.
Oppression, lack of freedom, brain washing, organized poverty, placing God in charge of daily life, total separation between men and women, forbidding sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in charge of family honor, which is mainly connected to their women's behavior.
What socio-economic forces support the perpetuation of suicide bombings?
charity is usually a cover for supporting terrorist organizations. But
one has also to look at countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran,
Is there a financial support network for the families of the suicide bombers? If so, who is paying them and how does that affect the decision?
used to be a financial incentive in the days of Saddam Hussein ($25,000
per family) and Yasser Arafat (smaller amounts), but these days are
Why are so many suicide bombers young men?
discussed above, libido is paramount. Also ego, because this is a sure
way to become a hero. The shaheeds are the cowboys or the firemen of
What role does the U.N. play in the terrorist equation?
UN is in the hands of Arab countries and third world or ex-communists
countries. Their hands are tied. The UN has condemned Israel more than
You say that a suicide bomber is a 'stupid bomb and a smart bomb' simultaneously. Explain what you mean.
an electronic device, a suicide killer has until the last second the
capacity to change his mind. In reality, he is nothing but a platform
How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?
Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.
Are these men traveling outside their native areas in large numbers? Based on your research, would you predict that we are beginning to see a new wave of suicide bombings outside the Middle East?
successful terror attack is considered a victory by the radical Islamists.
Everywhere Islam is expands there is regional conflict. Right now,
Best links-Click below
Go to our World Country guide dedicated to small business.
ww.cia.gov : Go to the "Worldfactbook" and the Tenet study: "The worldwide threat 2004".
www.rand.org : Go to the recent study"How West can counter Radical Islam"
www.nixoncenter.org : Fresh information's about Iran and the black sea security agenda.
www.hudson.org : Go to a fascinating survey by Laurent Murawiec..
www.washingtoninstitute.org : One of the best Think tank about the Middle East.