How Idrees Ahmad Whitewashes British Imperialism in Palestine and Syria

Regime change advocates are writers or propagandists who want to alter the governments in the Global South and replace them with a government to Western likening. This can be done directly when a Western power sends its army overseas, militarily invades the nation-state and rids the country of the existing government as in Iraq or indirectly as in the case of Libya were local proxy forces were used and with the help of superior Western air power (NATO) the hitherto existing Libyan government was removed. As the world witnessed in the run up to the Iraq war in 2003, journalists, academics and think-tank professionals who advocate for these pro-Western regime change operations tend to be whitewashers, deceivers, liars or outright conmen. Naturally, these traits inevitably seep out into their published works.

In the past, this writer has dealt with the regime-change enthusiast Robin Yassin-Kassab highlighting the hoax in his book about the war on Syria. The University of Cambridge academic Dr. Priyamvada Gopal has denounced anyone who doesn’t accept Western regime change narrative on Libya and Syria as either “Gaddafists” or “Assadists”. So it was inevitable that this esteemed Cambridge don is not indifferent to a little sleight of hand analysis in her much acclaimed tome, Insurgent Empire.

Dr. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad of the University of Sterling is another enthusiastic advocate for regime change in the Global South and he too can also be found wanting in the sincerity department. Ahmad and Yassin-Kassab both edited what appeared to be an anti-imperialist website, Pulse. A website edited by two people that sprang out of nowhere which claimed or at the very least implied it was against the war in Iraq and also pro-Palestine. Yet once the upheaval in Libya began in 2011 and the British government began advocating for military intervention, Idrees Ahmad and Yassin-Kassab began denouncing anyone who opposed Western military intervention in Libya. Continue reading

The Balfour Declaration binds Saudi Arabia to an Alliance with Israel

The covert alliance between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Zionist entity of Israel should be no surprise to any student of British imperialism. The problem is the study of British imperialism has very few students. Indeed, one can peruse any undergraduate or post-graduate university prospectus and rarely find a module in a Politics degree on the British Empire let alone a dedicated degree or Masters degree. Of course if the European led imperialist carnage in the four years between 1914 – 1918 tickles your cerebral cells then it’s not too difficult to find an appropriate institution to teach this subject, but if you would like to delve into how and why the British Empire waged war on mankind for almost four hundred years you’re practically on your own in this endeavour. One must admit, that from the British establishment’s perspective, this is a remarkable achievement.

In late 2014, according to the American journal, “Foreign Affairs”, the Saudi petroleum Minister Ali al-Naimi is reported to have said “His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states and the Jewish state is no exception.” Recently, Abdullah’s successor King Salman expressed similar concerns to those of Israel’s to the growing agreement between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. This led some to report that Israel and KSA presented a “united front” in their opposition to the nuclear deal. This was not the first time the Zionists and Saudis have found themselves in the same corner in dealing with a common foe. In North Yemen in the 1960’s, the Saudis were financing a British imperialist led mercenary army campaign against revolutionary republicans who had assumed authority after overthrowing the authoritarian, Imam. Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s Egypt militarily backed the republicans, while the British induced the Saudis to support them in financing and arming remaining remnants of the Imam’s supporters to stretch Nasser’s forces. During this campaign, the British organised the Israelis to drop arms for the British proxies in North Yemen, 14 times. The British, in effect, militarily but covertly, brought the Zionists and Saudis together in 1960’s North Yemen against their common foe.

However, one must go back to the 1920’s to fully appreciate the origins of this informal and indirect alliance between KSA and the Zionist entity. Continue reading

New Statesman: Invoking Destiny, Circumventing History.

As the bombs rain on Gaza, the latest edition of the New Statesman magazine, Great Britain’s main weekly centre-left magazine, defined the Palestinian struggle against Zionist colonisation and aggression as a “conflict between two peoples destined to claim ownership of the same land.”

The editorial obviously doesn’t enunciate how and why it became the ‘destiny’ of Palestinians to have been ethnically cleansed from their land and killed in their thousands (i.e. “conflict”) in what was initially a British imperialist project. But the New Statesman’s editorial in November 1917 endorsing the Balfour Declaration certainly does shed an incredible dose of light on how this destiny materialised. Continue reading

Why Margaret Thatcher hearted Islamists

Upon Margaret Thatcher’s death, her champions naturally eulogised her as a fighter for liberal democracy in Eastern Europe, while her detractors brought attention to the fact that she was highly supportive, even complimentary, of dictators and apartheid in the Global South such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Chile, Indonesia and South Africa as well as her assistance to the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Overlooked in both scenarios is her support of political Islamism and by extension Jihadis. Here is Thatcher in December 1979, advocating a political Islam as a counterweight to left-wing or communist ideology which she derogatively dubbed “imported Marxism”:

“I do not believe that we should judge Islam by events in Iran…There is a tide of self-confidence and self-awareness in the Muslim world which preceded the Iranian revolution, and will outlast its present excesses. The West should recognise this with respect, Continue reading

An Introduction to the case for reparations for Palestine.

The land of Lord Balfour hosted a rare but much needed conference on his infamous 1917 declaration. The event was convened by the appropriately named organisation, the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) on the 19th January 2013 in London. The aim of the meeting was to inaugurate a campaign for British “mistakes” and to “make reparations to Palestinians who endured human rights abuses at British hands.” 

It is rare because not only is the ‘Balfour Declaration’ and its brutal ramifications greatly understudied but the entire period of British total military and political dominance of the Middle East between 1917 and 1948 is more or less whitewashed from contemporary discussion. Yet, if we are to fully understand today’s Middle East there is probably no more an important period than this.

The declaration let it be known Britain’s “view with favour” the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine Continue reading