Thursday, June 26, 2014

How Obama Really Stepped Into It In Handling Middle East Problems

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              

Obama thought he had a handle on Muslims.  He gets a big fat F in doing so.  He started off on the wrong foot with  his Cairo Speech. He was condescending to them by having the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed group, attend his speech and not only that, but sit in the front rows.  What he had done was "to indulge their concerns for honor by backing off the behavior that they claimed offended them.  Obama participated in honoring and confirming their most belligerent attitudes" towards Israel and the USA.  They got a lead in this way.  It turned to be be not a move leading to peace but ended up "confirming and weaponizing the Arab world's most toxic weaknesses, their insecurity "with having to deal with the Western world and having Israel in what they thought was THEIR back yard.  Here Obama has been backing the Muslim Brotherhood, the most hateful group of Jews, who want to kill us all and destroy Israel.  He put Jews' lives at risk everywhere in the world and caused a complete upset in Egypt as well that they are continuing to deal with.  .

 Here so many of us all thought he himself was a Muslim through his father who was from Africa,  Muslim for a short while but now Christian, but Obama didn't have a clue about Arab psychology.  He might have been operating from  his knowledge of his Black Christian ethics in attending his church led by  Jeremiah Wright, a man who did not like Jews, placing Arabs as the underdog in the white society  like Blacks were and needing a boost of kindness of loving Christian attitudes.  Wrong.  He had helped to bring on their "all-or-nothing conflicts, their addiction to revenge, their paranoid scapegoating, their shame-driven hatreds" against Jews.  In the beginning of Islam, Jewish tribes in Medina were forced to convert or die by the sword, and then they were expected to assist in fighting against the enemies of the new Muslims.  Some turned traitor and assisted the wrong ones.  They are still to this day reminded of this and all are referred to as the bad Jews in Islamic writings.  

You might have to be part anthropologist and part psychologist to understand that the Islamic society in the Middle East has developed a different way of thinking from the West, but they have, and what Obama did was the opposite of what needed to be done to bring peace.

In the Middle East, the culture has been that of a warrior.  Even Muhammad was a merchant warrior.  Nomadic warriors had their codes of honor that differ from the West.  East-West.  There is a difference.  It was important to a tribe and then to a clan to follow one's honor codes or they would bring shame upon themselves.  If someone kills your father, you were expected to take revenge on the killer.  Well, we're not too far from that ourselves.  Remember the Hatfields and the McCoys?  That battle went on for a few generations from deaths in the Civil War.  .
 King Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi, b: May 20, 1885 in Mecca d: September 8, 1933 of Hashemite dynasty

Now, the man who was able to think outside the box, who must have had an IQ that was very high, was Emir Ibn Hussein Feisal.  Faisal was a direct descendant of Muhammad. "The Hashemites trace their ancestry from Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf (died c. 511 AD), the great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet,Muhammad, although the definition today mainly refers to the descendants of Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah."  They are Sunni Arabs.  

His father was the sharif of Mecca, the Grand Sharif of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali.  He was  more cosmopolitan, having grown up in Constantinople.  He learned how to be a leader from his father.   He fostered unity between Sunni and Shiite Muslims to encourage common loyalty and promote pan-Arabism in the goal of creating an Arab state that would include Iraq, Syria and the rest of the Fertile Crescent, like Lebanon.  Unlike ISIS, when in power he tried to diversify his administration by including different ethnic and religious groups in offices.  On the bad side, his pan-Arab nationalism may have caused the isolation of certain religious groups.

Arab nationalism and independence was his main motivation, not religion.   He was above and beyond the constrictions of his society.  Probably that's because of his genealogy, being descended from Muhammad.   He made the rules of society;   he was a leader, not a follower, and he was brilliant.  This man was the oldest son of Hussein, sherif of Mecca.  A leader of his people from the start, he was most sympathetic to Zionism!  It was because he understood that through these Jews, cousins of his, that their experience in Europe and their talents would be of assistance to improving his people.  He foresaw that the Jews could help him in building his own future kingdom.  He had taken part in WWI fighting against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) with England from 1916 to 1918.  That led to becoming King of Syria in 1920.  He met with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in Transjordan in 1918 and then again in Paris, France in 1919 where they reached an agreement on mutual aid.  It was conditional on the implementation of the British promises to the Arabs.  Feisal became the King  of Iraq from August 1921 to 1933.   His becoming king of these two new nations was through the Western powers like England and France because of the Ottoman Empire's losing the war started in 1914.  They had chosen well, but really, there was no contest.  He was outstanding.   However, England and France broke their promises and Feisal was expelled from Syria by the French and the other jealous Palestinian Arab leaders in 1920.  This changed his attitude towards the Zionists and he became hostile.
Faisal signed the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement on January 3, 1919 as part of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 which was created to settle disputes stemming from WWI.  It was an agreement of cooperation on the development of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East.  The Sykes-Picot Agreement had called for an "Arab State or a Confederation of Arab States under the suzerainty of an Arab chief.  This turned out to be a secret agreement.   The French and British also proposed an international administration.  As to what kind of administration was to be decided upon after taking it over with Russia and other allies and the representatives of the Sherif of Mecca.

So there the West almost was getting along with the East but loused it up by not being honest about their intentions.  That set in motion 100 years of unrest and wars and brought out their honor code.

Feisal did not look upon the Jews as past dhimmis.  He saw them as his equals.  He looked down on his own uneducated more primitive people and expected them to improve with the Jews' living in the area.

King Abdullah, Emir Feisal's brother, another son of Husssein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
 of the Hashemite kingdom created TransJordan.  "The kingdom emerged from the post-World War I division of West Asia by Britain and France. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan and Palestine. The name of the state was changed to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 1 December 1948."The Jordanian legal system is derived from Sharia and an OttomanEgyptian form of the Napoleonic Code. It has also been influenced by tribal traditions.  Today's King Abdullah II of Jordan is his grandson.  

But like Hillary Clinton not understanding the economic problems of the average Americans, Faisal wasn't into the "oh my god-the Jews are beneath us, dhimmis of the average Arab.   Arabs hate Jews and therefore Israel because of the role we have played in the Muslim Arab honor-group.  Ever since 632, more than 15 centuries, Jews had been subject to a political status in Muslim lands designed around issues of honoring Muslims and shaming the Jews.  Dhimmi was the Jew, protected but put upon as long as they accepted their place in society of daily public degradation and legal inferiority.  Chateaubriand said in the 19th century that Jews were the special target of all the Muslims and Christian contempt.  The Jews themselves were crushed by blows.  Penetrate the dwellings of these people, you will find them in frightful poverty. "

Now with the creation of Israel in 1948, the Arabs couldn't abide it happening.  The creation was like blasphemy against Islam, an insult to Arab virility.  Jews were traditionally the most passive, abject, cowardly of the populations over which Muslims ruled.  This creation was more than humiliating.  It is a danger to all of Islam.  Seven (7) Arab armies were defeated by 650,000 population state with only about 100,000 army if that.   They lost face.  These Jews were the "surviving remnant of the most devastating and efficient genocide in history.  This was a most humiliating event that played out the same way again and again in 1956 and 1967 and 1973.  One could even think that G-d was helping them!   This is their Nakba.

Their leaders have always chosen denial that the Jews have won.  To them a war is not over until they drive out the Jews.  They react by putting the catastrophe on its own refugees and have made them suffer in camps, "frozen in time at the moment of the humiliation, waiting and fighting to reverse that Zionist victory that could be acknowledged. "

As to what to do differently, we cannot continue to indulge Arab and jihadi Muslims and their concerns for honor by backing off anything that they claim offends them.  That has been exactly what our government has been doing with the Palestinians and now Iran.  It's what they are doing in Iraq as well.  If they try to sit down and talk with Abu Bakr al Bagdadi of ISIS, they'll only lose their heads instead.  Our government has only strengthened them by doing this.

They will only respect strength.  Possibly, that's what encouraged Emir Feisal with the Allies to be cooperative.  Feisal has shown us that not all Muslims are subject to this honor system and are more interested in the good of the population and peaceful times.  There are cooperative people to work with of stature and respect from their own peer group.

The Jews are also in a bad position.  They may understand the psychology of the Arab, but their own psychological background gets in the way often.  They have had to appease every nation they have lived in in order to survive.  Being a small number of people, they had no way of rising up in rebellion at the way they have been treated.  They come from a religion of which the main thrust is to treat people like you want to be treated.  They are a righteous people, and had been told that their destiny was to be a nation of prophets, the light of the world.  When they were in the position to oversee another people, they only wanted to do the best for them, and so they stepped into the same muck that Obama did, and it backfired.  That's not what the Arabs wanted or needed.  And of course, after being scapegoats of the world, with people taught in their very bible or Koran how bad Jews, were, they have continued to be scapegoats in the UN, and they have had the automatic reflex of taking it on the chin and wondering why it was happening.  Obama and Israel, appeasement and concessions are signs of weakness.  Arabs want honor.  Benjamin Netanyahu did the wrong thing by stopping the settlement building for 9 months.  Land for peace has only worked on Egypt who we are connected to by "apron strings".  Jordan's peace comes from a dynasty of intelligence , strength and honor in their own society where they can do as they see fit and righteous and they are not dependent on other's ideas of honor.

The secret is that Arabs have to become proud of themselves to have reached nirvana or honor.  If they're not proud of their own accomplishments, then their whole being revolves around what other people think of them. and that has become the driving force of their society.

Obama has helped out in this by mentioning many times their accomplishments. They must also hear of other people's accomplishments, too, and learn to not think of Jews as something to step on and squash like an insect.   Perhaps that's a lesson that has been left out of the mix.  It's like introducing civilization back to the American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl,  who wandered off his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for 5 years, and not being immediately threatened by desertion, but having to wait for the right time to question him.  It will take a little more time for the Arabs to get used to Jews living in the Middle East and that it's not a slap in the face to their honor.  Maybe another hundred years will do the trick.

Muslims wish to copy the behaviors of Muhammad.  Surely they should see that his descendant, Emir Feisal, thought highly of the Jewish people and should emulate Feisal in doing so.  100 years.  Let's pray for this enlightenment.

Resource:  TABLET: Richard Landes, June 24, 2014:  Why the Arab World Is Lost in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep It There, 6 page printout.***

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