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Revolt in the Arab World

I remember my late father, an Eighth Army soldier, telling me how in 1942, British troops visiting cinemas while on leave in Cairo from the Front, would refuse to sing the Egyptian national anthem at the end of films and instead call out: ‘Farouk, Farouk, the dirty rotten crook!’ The reference was to King Farouk, the corrupt British puppet who then ruled in Egypt, just as the Roman puppet, Herod, had once ruled in Judea. Britain was after all the great victor of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Imperialist leaders like Winston Churchill (who had no qualms about using poison gas on civilians) created, among other things, the absurd borders of Iraq, guaranteeing instability and injustice in the region for generations to come.

Until Nassar, Egypt was indeed little more than a British colony, just like Palestine, the Jordan, the Saudi Arabian peninsula with Yemen, Aden and the Emirates, Iraq and Iran, and just as the Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria were French colonies. After the Second World War, in the 1950s, a much weakened Britain handed over, or as in Egypt in 1956, was forced to hand over, much of its regional influence to the all-powerful USA. However, it still managed to cling on to little pockets like Bahrein and Oman and continued to meddle in Libya, seeking oil. Here, under the Blair regime more recently, it has flattered without principle its mad and murderous dictator Gadhaffi, with serious consequences today.

Indeed, every recent revolt in the Middle East has taken place in Western client-states. The Western world is reaping the harvest of sixty years of stealing the profits, mainly oil profits, from this region. The local people do not like outsiders taking over through local frontmen, the local bullies (like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, CIA sponsored, but always dressed in British uniform), and stealing the money of the country (the puppets live very nicely thank you, the people do not). Iran was the first in the region to revolt against its corrupt US puppets, turning to nationalist Shia Islam for its identity.

At one point, as in Egypt and Syria, other anti-Western States used the Soviet Union to focus their ill feelings. After the collapse of that atheist power, brought about in part at least by its own foolish invasion of fervently Muslim Afghanistan in 1979, the Arab world, like the Iranians, more and more focused on Islam as its national flag of opposition to Western meddling, though usually in its Sunni form. Today the Arab world is also in revolt, sometimes turning to Islam, not because it necessarily believes in it, but out of sheer bloody-minded nationalist reaction. The West has no-one but itself to blame.

The future is unknown. After this present crisis, the Middle East may turn more and more to Islam. Or it may turn more and more to secularism, as the West hopes, by putting forward new Western puppets, as in Egypt. Or perhaps, just perhaps, some may turn to more positive solutions, to the historic, pre-Islamic past of Orthodox Christianity. May the grace of God lead the Arab world out of its present chaos and bloodshed.

7/21 February 2011
The Holy Martyrs of Persia under Kabades

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