Return to Common Sense
September 9, 2015
Section: Foreign – Middle East
“Iraq and Afghanistan today are the central front in the Global War on Terror and both have achieved success after long battles, both militarily and politically, but Iran continues to foment terror across many countries in the Middle East.”
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist.” Golda Meir.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
Economic, social and political globalization has passed most of the recalcitrant Middle East by.
- Despite an early history of innovation, few inventions and little science has come from Islam.
- At one time or another, bankrupt ideas have been embraced: fascism, communism, Baathism, Pan-Arabism, and most recently, Islamic fundamentalism.
- The one constant over the last 75 years has been Arab/Islamic heinous acts of barbarism many times targeted at fellow Muslims.
Israel has been under siege since it was formed by the UN in 1948.
- Palestine was first formed by the Balfour Declaration in 1917, refined by the Feisal-Weizman Agreement in 1919, then refined again by the San Remo Resolution in 1920.
- The League of Nations drew up the Palestine Mandate in 1922
- The United Nations declared independence in 1948, then Israel was attacked by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq in their War of Liberation.
- In 1956 Israel fought in the Suez War.
- In 1967 Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon again in the “Six Day War.”
- From 1968-1970 Israel fought in the War of Attrition.
- In 1973, Israel defeated Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War.
- From 1978-2000 Israel fought in the Lebanon War.
- Arabs are taught to hate Jews beginning in grade school.
o Terror technique of suicide bombing was extensively used in Israel from 1982-1986.
- In 2006 Israel fought in the Lebanon War to drive Hezbollah away from the rocket launch sites.
o UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been in place since 1982 and ineffective in south Lebanon enforcing resolution forbidding Hezbollah attacks.
o Hamas and Hezbollah answered concession with rocket attacks and kidnapping.
o Hezbollah locate military in populated areas creating human shields, violating Article 58 of Protocol 1.
o Israel pursued Hezbollah in populated areas which is permitted by Article 28 of 4th Geneva Convention.
o Hezbollah is undermining and attempting to take over the Lebanese government.
- In 2006 Israel withdrew from Lebanon and gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians.
o Israel built a security fence on the Lebanon border, which has reduced attacks by 90%.
o Hamas has undermined and taken over the Gaza government.
- United States has attempted repeatedly to mediate Arab-Israeli peace.
- Over 51,000 fatalities since 1950, which ranks 49th among histories conflicts.
- After the victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel's recapture of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria was, for the Palestinian Arabs, "an economic and civil rights boon."
o The entire population of 65,000 were granted permanent residency status.
o Arab living standards improved: employment, GDP, literacy, schools and universities, life expectancy (48 in 1967, 72 in 2000), infant mortality, clinics, sewage, electricity and health insurance.
o The Palestinians of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza exercised political freedoms that were nonexistent in the rest of the Arab world, including freedom of association, freedom of the press, enfranchisement of women, and the ability to seek the protection of the Israeli court system.
Palestine has never been a discrete Middle East country.
- When Britain defied the terms of the League of Nations in 1923 and created the protectorate of TransJordan from the territory earmarked for Israel, it artificially established a de facto Palestinian state which the West Bank was never intended to be a part of.
- When the UN proposed its 1947 partition plan, further dividing up the Israeli allodium, it was rejected by the Arabs who responded by launching a massive attack against the fledgling Jewish state.
o UN non-binding Resolution 194 allowed refugees to return “to live in peace with their neighbors.”
o Arab Palestinians never advocated for statehood while Gaza Strip was ruled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan.
o Right of Return also applies to Jews who were forced to flee oppression.
o Official UN sources place the number of Palestinian refugees as a result of the 1948 war at 726,000.
· The number of Jews expelled from Arab countries, since Israel was formed, totaled 856,000.
o ADEN -- 8,000 in 1948 to 0 today.
o ALGERIA -- From 140,000 to 0 today.
EGYPT -- From 75,000 to 100.
IRAQ -- From 135,000 to 60.
o LEBANON -- From 5,000 to 50.
o LIBYA -- From 38,000 to 0 today.
o MOROCCO -- From 265,000 to 3,500.
o SYRIA - - From 30,000 to 100.
o TUNISIA -- From 105,000 to 1,100.
o YEMEN -- From 55,000 to 200.
- United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to 5 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
o UNRWA was specifically created to maintain the refugee status, not to end it.
o As of January 2010, UNRWA cites 1,396,368 registered refugees in camps and 3,370,302 registered refugees not in camps.
o There are millions of Palestinians who are not refugees.
- Palestinian Authority, a crypro-political construct invented by the West with Arab backing that has necessarily proven incapable of governing, controlling its bellicose factions and creating the conditions for peace and normal civil life.
o Arab Palestinians claim all of Israel as their homeland
o PLO, Hamas, and Islamic Resistance Movement are based on jihad as only solution.
- The Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) contains the following Ten Commandments to be followed by Palestinian Arabs in denying Jews any claim to sovereignty in any part of Palestine, pursuing Arab supremacist claims to all of Palestine, nullifying international law recognizing that the Jews have the right to nationhood similar to the Arab Nation and absolutely precluding the possibility of any “two-State” solution:
o Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian Arab people and an integral part of the great Arab homeland and the people of Palestine is a part of the Arab Nation
o Palestine with its boundaries that existed in the time of the British Mandate is an indivisible territorial unit.
o The Palestinian Arab people possesses the legal right to its homeland
o Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.
o The Palestinian Arab people affirm its absolute resolution and abiding determination to exercise its right of self determination in Palestine and sovereignty over it.
o The partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are fundamentally null and void whatever time has elapsed
o The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate Document and everything based upon them are deemed null and void.
o The claim of historical ties or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense.
o Judaism is not a nationality with an independent existence
o The Jews are not one people with an independent identity but citizens of the state to which they belong.
- Metula News Agency defines “Palestine” as “A small piece of paper stuck on Arab maps and atlases to hide Israel.”
Arab-Israeli conflict is governed by some long term realities:
- Arab leaders have no interest in genuine peace in Israel.
- Israeli-Arab peace will come on the Arabs’ timetable.
- All minorities living within the Arab world are under siege.
- The Arab world is not about to make an exception for Jews.
- Arab regimes also demonize non-Muslim and non-Arab peoples living beyond the Arab world.
- The concern of so-called “moderate” regimes with the threat posed by radical forces in the region has not altered these realities.
Considering the wealth that Arab countries enjoy, their economies have under-performed.
· Traditionally Arab counties have experienced one-man/one-family rule or, in the case of Iran, theocratic rule.
· As a result of such stagnant leadership, education suffered tremendously.
· Lack of education and creative spirit among a nation’s citizenry clearly contributes to its lack of economic prosperity.
· For the prior 20 years, per capita income growth in the Arab Bloc averaged a stagnant 0.5%.
· For the prior 20 years, unemployment was three times the world average.
· The United Nations Development Study cited three deficits as serious obstacles to human development in the region:
o lack of freedom (the Freedom Index ranks the Bloc last in civil liberties);
o lack of empowerment of women (half cannot write);
o lack of knowledge.
· Wealth accumulation for the average citizen starts with freedom: Freedom begets knowledge, which begets stability via the rule of law, which begets a flourishing of human development and initiative, which begets economic prosperity.
· Arabs enjoying the greatest human rights and quality of life live not in the Arab world but in democracies such as Israel and the US.
Afghanistan was the first country engaged in the War on Terror.
- Taliban was an Islamo-fascist organization that hijacked the Afghan government.
- Osama bin Laden was reported to use Afghanistan as the Al-Qaeda base of operations.
- A representative democratic government was created to replace defeated Taliban elements.
- Coalition forces seek out and destroy terrorist elements anywhere they are found.
Pakistan signed up as one of the first allies in the War on Terror.
- Pakistan is known to have nuclear weapons.
- Pakistan has provided reluctant support to ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.
- Pakistan has negotiated a separate peace with northern region, Wakistan, allowing a new al Qaeda base.
o Evidence has been uncovered that terrorists are being trained for attacks outside Pakistan.
o Attacks in Afghanistan are being staged in northwestern Pakistan.
Iraq is recovering from its war, has elected a representative government, but needs time to mature.
- Four reasons were justified for the war in Iraq and each was proven during the reconstruction:
o Iraq repeatedly violated the UN resolutions and expelled the UN inspectors in 1998.
o Evidence of Iraq WMD weapons and development programs were uncovered awaiting the opportunity for reconstituting their development programs.
o Evidence has been uncovered to implicate Saddam Hussein training and supporting Islamo-fascist terrorist organizations.
o The war freed 25 million Iraqis and reconstruction is underway to build a stable pro-American democracy.
· The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II Iraq Report substantiated all the reasons that President Bush cited as rationale for invading Iraq:
o Nuclear weapons program: "generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."
o Biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories: "substantiated by intelligence information."
o Chemical weapons: "substantiated by intelligence information."
o Weapons of Mass Destruction overall: "generally substantiated by intelligence information."
o Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles: "generally substantiated by available intelligence."
o Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs: "generally substantiated by intelligence information."
o Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda: "substantiated by intelligence information."
o Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda: "substantiated by the intelligence assessments."
o Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda: "substantiated by intelligence information."
- Lies about Iraq continue to be repeated despite easily disproven:
o We took our eye of the ball in Afghanistan by going into Iraq, thereby allowing the Taliban to regain the advantage.
o Bush lied about the war and entered it under false circumstances of fears of WMD and Iraqi ties to al Qaeda.
o Mistakes in Iraq were legion and irreversible.
o Democratization was naïve and bound to fail, given the realities of the tribal Middle East.
o The real winner of the war was Iran.
o President Bush’s presidency was ruined in Iraq.
o Our military is nearly ruined and the war was never worth the cost.
- Iran, and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, have been actively involved in supporting Shia militias and encouraging sectarian violence in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.
- Al Qaeda in Iraq grew after invasion but has been defeated during the military surge campaign.
Iraq today is the central battlefield in the global war on terror and the terrorists have lost!
- Jihadists know they can not win on the battlefield.
o They have not won control of any territory or even broadened their constituency.
o After four years of near daily killings, the jihadists have failed to alter Iraq’s political agenda.
o Meanwhile they have suffered thousands of casualties, with many captured.
o Despite more than 120 suicide operations, the jihadists have been on the defensive.
o Tribal alliances are forming to chase al Qaeda out of Iraq.
- Jihadists have not made little progress converting Iraq into an Islamic Sharia based society.
1. The jihadists kill teachers and children, but schools stay open.
2. They blow up pipelines and kill oil works, but oil still flows.
3. They kill judges and lawyers, but Iraq’s new courts keep on working.
- Iraq’s National Assembly gave near unanimous approval to a plan for peace and reconciliation.
The real main contest in the Middle East is the age-old contest of Sunni vs. Shia.
- Iran is the champion of Shia.
o Iran has all of the other Shia groups as clients: Assad's Alawites in Syria; Hezb'allah of Lebanon; Houthi of Yemen; and the Shia in Iraq based in Baghdad.
o Iran is the biggest exporter of terror in the world.
- Saudi Arabia is generally regarded as the biggest opponent of Iran and the leader of the Sunni countries.
o Saudi Arabia has allied with many Sunni countries: Egypt (the most populous and militarily strong country of the area); Turkey (a NATO ally): Jordan; Pakistan (a nuclear power, especially if Iran succeeds in its quest for a nuclear weapon); and other Sunni groups ranging from Iraqi Sunnis to the formerly Iraqi Kurds.
o ISIS is a Sunni player with extreme ideas and actions.
Iran remains an Islamic nation supporting unrest across the Middle East.
- Iran possesses an estimated 125 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, 10% of world totals.
- Iran also possesses the second largest reserves of natural gas, after Russia.
- Iran seized 3 islands from UAE in 1992 and retains ambitions to reclaim Bahrain.
- Iran is building its own underground nuclear weapon facilities.
o Iran has built an extensive and expensive nuclear infrastructure that is much larger than what would be necessary to support a civilian nuclear power program.
o Iran sought to buy technology from A. Q. Khan's nuclear weapon proliferation network, which also provided assistance to Libya and North Korea.
o Iran continues to conceal and lie about its nuclear weapons efforts.
o Iran rejected a nuclear deal that would have advanced its civilian nuclear efforts, belying its claims that civilian purposes are its only motivation.
o UN economic sanctions to stop Iranian nuclear development have been ineffectual.
o UN Security Council Resolution demands Iran suspend uranium enrichment.
- Iran is believed to have provided sanctuary to leading Al-Qaeda terrorists.
o Iran is a leading supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
o Iran’s Quds Force, external wing of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, has been identified as a terrorist organization supporting terrorist attacks in Iraq.
Syria has ties to several Islamo-fascist organizations.
- Syria is actively working to develop a nuclear program
o Iraq is believed to have shipped much of their WMD material to Syria prior to invasion.
o Syria has developed a very close relationship with North Korea in their nuclear development program.
o In 2007 Israel destroyed a secret plutonium reactor to slow nuclear development effort.
- Syria has stepped up production of chemical weapons at its al Safir facility, including filtration systems and cooling towers, located next to a Scud-D missile base.
- Syria provides support to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
- Syrian military was forced to withdraw from Lebanon.
Continue to reinforce the vision of peace and democracy contained in the Bush Doctrine.
- Enforce UN resolution against Iranian nuclear development program.
- Nonviolent solutions that allow the terrorists to become better trained, organized, or better armed is a defeat.
Only negotiate with governments that renounce terrorist organizations.
- Negotiations are notorious for trading time to rearm for reneged concessions.
Define the conflicts in the Middle East as one major theater in the Global War on Terror.
- Educate American public on true nature of Al-Qaeda jihad which is to:
o Expel Americans from Iraq.
o Establish an Islamic emirate in Iraq and develop it into a caliphate.
o Extend the jihad to Iraq’s secular neighbors.
o Win the inevitable battle with Israel.
- De-legitimize the immorality and hypocrisy of Islamic fundamentalists.
o Label terrorists as the cowards and “useful idiots” that they are.
o Encourage moderate Muslims to condemn terror as a tactic and Islamo-fascism as the cause.
- Promote the values of Western democratic modernity.
Endorse moderate Muslims attempts to distance themselves from the Islamic extremists.
- Charter of Muslim Understanding
- St. Petersburg Declaration.
- Deobandi Fatwa.
- Promote the values that can’t be found under retrogressive Sharia model.
Support Israel defending themselves against the terrorist organizations to the South and North.
- Destroy preemptively any WMD sites before they become functional at producing weaponsl
- Annex Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip to restore defensive borders.
- Root out and destroy all Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.
- Restore dignity and hope to every Arab with system or earned income and earned property rights.
- Replace Muslim schools with real education teaching human rights rather than jihad and hatred.
- Close down mosques that preach hatred and violence.
- Stop funding Middle East governments that support and fund terrorism.
Pressure Lebanon to regain control and not allow terrorist organizations to operate inside their borders
- Remove UN peacekeepers (UNIFIL) out as ineffective meddlers and terrorist human shields.
Pressure Syria, diplomatically and economically, to stop support for terrorist organizations.
- Pressure Syria to cease their nuclear development program.
o Pressure Syria to surrender Iraqi WMDs hidden in the days prior to Iraq invasion.
- Pressure Syria to withdraw support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
Support Pakistan eliminating terrorist sanctuaries.
- Work with coalition forces, including Iraq and Afghanistan, to defeat terrorists.
- Discourage Pashtun support for Afghanistan Pashtun terrorists.
- Improve local governance and development in the impoverished areas that have become breeding grounds for militants.
Facilitate Iraq government maturing to defend themselves against terrorists and Baathists.
- Phase down coalition forces as the Iraq government matures and is able to defend itself.
o Complete training of Iraq homeland security (police and Army) forces.
o Honor security agreements should violence escalate after U.S. leaves.
- Publicize progress made rebuilding Iraq economic infrastructure.
- Interdict Iran from supplying al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.
Continue to support the Afghan government to rid the country of Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements.
- Employ a multidimensional strategy to rebuild security, intelligence, and reconnaissance capabilities.
- Phase down coalition forces as the Afghanistan government matures and defends itself.
Pressure Iran, diplomatically and economically, to stop nuclear development and withdraw support for terrorist organizations.
- Support UN resolution on Iran to stop development of nuclear weapons.
- Implement economic sanctions as leverage to stop nuclear development.
- Consider all options in dealing with Iranian military ambitions.
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“Iraq’s Benchmarks – Who’s Moving the Goalposts Now?” by Frederick W. Kagan dated April 3, 2008 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/933bmtiu.asp .
“Discussions of the Costs of the Iraq War” by William W. Beach dated June 20, 2008 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/tst062008a.cfm .
“The Strategy of Defeat… Lessons for Israel in Gaza” by Mark Silverberg dated January 14, 2009 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/01/14/the-strategy-of-defeat-and-lessons-for-israel-in-gaza/ .