"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about ... And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:2-3)
A tremendous amount of research and work has gone into this article, and it has left me a profoundly saddened person - sad for God's people, for both Israel and the church. I think that more than anything else, I have been appalled and utterly dismayed at how people - and most particularly God's people - allow themselves to be manipulated by money and men of wealth.
It's not just that God's people are "greedy for gain" (some are, some are not), but mostly it's because money represents to them SECURITY in this life; they trust their money more than they trust their God. But the somber fact of the matter is, when people gauge their security by the possessions they have and the money that's in their bank account, and when they measure what they can or cannot do for God using that same criteria, then their God becomes a very small God indeed, and their lives are that much diminished as a result. They will never admit that, of course; instead what they will say is that they are merely being "responsible stewards" of the money God has given them - never mind the fact that most of it is expended on their own needs, and only that which is "left over" goes to the Lord. How far removed are such people from the Lord who told His disciples to: "... Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body (more) than raiment?" (Matt. 6:25), and who sent His disciples out saying, "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves ..." (Matt. 10:9-10) To most Christians today, such advice would be labeled "irresponsible" - and that's the truth of the matter.
Sadly, it sometimes seems that everything in this life comes down to that single question, To what degree are we willing to allow ourselves to be manipulated by money? - and we do ourselves no good when we run away and hide from this question.
This article also has a lot to say about the ruling classes in America - the very classes that both Israel and the church have shamefully come to rely on today - and what these elites are capable of when their vital interests (i.e., their money and their investments) are threatened: Lies, deceit, betrayals, and even murder then become useful tools and possible solutions.
The truth is, until God's people come to a place in their lives where they are truly willing to put all their trust in Him, and refuse to rely any longer on the resources of this life and on people of wealth, both Israel and the church will continue to stumble on from one disaster to the next.
But someday it will stop, and there will be a glorious end to it all - for both Israel and the church, THAT IS, AFTER ALL, WHAT THE "END OF THE AGE" IS ALL ABOUT. As it is written,
"... let God be true, though every man a liar ..." (Rom. 3:4)
The question is, when that point is finally reached, where will you be?
On August 9, 2001, syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, a columnist that I have come to deeply admire and respect, wrote a caustic and very "telling" article on the unseemly alliance between the Religious Right and the "Establishment Wing" of the Republican Party - an article that says a lot about how INDECENT and even VULGAR this alliance has become. And the poignant thing about it is, most Christians probably didn't even "get" what she was talking about. Truly the Lord was right in saying,
"... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luke 16:8)
"Did you see the shocking, scandalous and utterly offensive photo on the front page of the paper this morning - in full color and above the fold? No, I'm not talking about Gary Condit running the 100-yard media dash or Madonna writhing on the back of a mechanical bull. I'm talking about the disturbing picture of the president and his Cabinet bowing their heads in prayer.
"Now, don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not opposed to prayer. In fact, I'm all for it, particularly when the supplicants are so clearly in need of divine guidance. No, what shocks me is that some paparazzo, no doubt an agnostic one, had the temerity to intrude on this private moment."
Huffington continues in an even more cynical vein:
"How dare he turn a private act of spiritual devotion into a public photo opportunity? The president and his reverent Cabinet must feel deeply violated. Since I'm sure they have studied the biblical teachings on keeping prayer private, I can only assume that they were so lost in their efforts to seek blessed guidance that they remained oblivious to the sound of cameras clicking away.
"I bet security measures at other prayerful White House events (T-ball games, bipartisan lunches, bedtime) are being stepped up as we speak: Security measure No. 1: No photographers allowed at, um, photo-ops! 'Beware of practicing your piety before men IN ORDER TO BE SEEN BY THEM', admonished Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. And when you pray, you must not be like the HYPOCRITES; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men ... When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you'. Unless I'm missing something, Jesus didn't leave a lot of wiggle room.
"INDEED, THE MORE IMPORTANT PRAYER IS TO YOU, THE MORE OFFENDED YOU SHOULD BE BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S CYNICAL EXPLOITATION OF IT. THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIVATELY SHARING A PRAYER WITH YOUR FELLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS AND PUBLICLY PARADING YOUR PIOUSNESS IN THE SERVICE OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY."
And you know something, she is right! Consider just for a moment what she is saying here! At first glance, the photograph appears as if someone had just stumbled on the cabinet members praying. But think about that for a minute. News photographers don't just bumble into a Cabinet meeting - not in one of the closest guarded mansions in the world. That doesn't happen. And if that's the case, it means that the photo was "set up." Now just think about the calculated way it probably was done. Consider all the planning that would have gone into it.
First of all, everyone in the Cabinet Room would have been told about what was going to happen (more than thirty individuals altogether). They would have been "coached" as to the proper "prayerful" pose to affect. After they had been properly "coached," there would have been a brief interlude while one of the White House ushers went to get the news pool photographers. While the usher was on his way to get the press corps - no doubt down several hallways and around a myriad of corners - the cabinet members would have relaxed and passed the time casually discussing each other's weekends, fishing trips, golf games and so forth. Then as the usher returned with the press corps in tow, a buzzer would have sounded in the room, and everyone would have had about fifteen or twenty seconds to strike the proper affectation of "godliness" and "Christian devotion." Then these positions of "Christian piety" would have to have been held amidst the hubbub of cameras clicking away and lights flashing - while all the time the president and his cabinet members pretended not to notice.
This kind of soulless "playacting" at Christianity is nauseous and revolting - but how many Christians, as they looked at the photograph in their morning papers, would have thought about all that? Not many! And why is that? - because they want to believe, "and don't bother them with what would have to be so obvious to any right-minded person" - that Christians are cynically being USED by people who are so callous and hardened in their thinking about Christianity that they are willing to "playact" at prayer to achieve their very "unChrist-like" purposes.
The incongruity of it all - wealthy bankers, oil millionaires, and other assorted rich businessmen in their expensive three-piece suits [many of whom callously walked over the bodies, so to speak, of their erstwhile friends and associates, and some who probably even CHEATED their way to the top of their respective professions] - all members of the "super-elite" who otherwise would much rather be out on the golf course on a Sunday morning than in a church praying - faking at piety. And Christians willingly "buy into it," and so much so that -
"... in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive ..." (Matt. 13:14)
"It's no accident that this solemn photo-op coincided with the administration's decision to shift its focus away from tax cuts and sweetheart deals for the energy (and oil) industry to a values-based agenda that will promote 'Communities of Character'. I wonder: Was the Cabinet praying ... for the strength to get through another rubber-stamp love fest for the Cheney agenda? We may never know, unless next time, they push public piety one step further and pray aloud."
What Huffington is saying here is obvious enough! - that there is a link between the Bush Administration's "playacting" at "Christian piety" in connection with its seeming advocacy of the religious agenda of evangelical Christians, and its concomitant support of the greedy, self-serving economic policies of the oil industry [which is what Huffington means by the "Cheney agenda" (Cheney is the former president of Haliburton Oil, a major player in the Middle East; it is closely allied with Bechtel Corporation, the company that Reagan cabinet members George Schultz and "Cap" Weinberger headed up)].
It is this not-too-subtle "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch your back" agreement between the Religious Right and the elites of the oil industry (that Bush and his cohorts represent) that Huffington finds so nauseating.
Everyone recognizes it - everyone, that is, except the evangelical Christian community. Certainly the secularists see it; and certainly "lefties" everywhere comprehend the cynical bargain the evangelical community has struck with the elites. Only the evangelicals seem oblivious to what's happening - i.e., that they are being played as dupes and suckers by America's oil elites in a game that they cannot possible win at, a game that over the last few years we have done everything we can to expose to you in the pages of our newsletter and on our website.
But they're not the only ones who are being played for a sucker by the elites; Israel too is being played for a chump - and in almost the EXACT same way the elites are USING the church. And just as the church remains oblivious as to what's occurring, so also Israel remains unconscious as to how she is being duped.
The great utility of Israel to the oil elites in the United States - at least up until 1982 - is that the Israeli army has been America's ARMY OF LAST RESORT in the Middle East. In this respect, Israel occupies (or at least occupied) a rather unique place in the American "New World Order System" as it is structured there.
Generally speaking, the "American System" is held together using a multi-layered enforcement mechanism. At the lowest level are the local police forces of the American "client-states." This layer is reinforced by the "client-state's" national military units which are amply supplied with American weaponry and suitably "stiffened" by the presence of American "advisors."
Linked to the army is the client-state's" intelligence apparatus which in every case is INEXTRICABLY bound to the CIA. It's here that death squad activity can be directed against the opponents of the "American System" with the appropriate "discretion" and requisite "deniability."
Standing above the national level are the military units of the various regional "security" organizations - all subservient to the dictates of the United States - that the U.S. has erected around the world to give the "American System" its necessary aura of "internationalism" - organizations like NATO, the OAS, etc. Finally, as a "FORCE OF LAST RESORT," stands the American military itself.
However, in the Middle East the presence of Israel as a reliable American lackey streamlined the entire operation and pretty much relieved the United States of having to spend billions upon billions of dollars on military bases there the way it was forced to do to "secure" Western Europe. In the Middle East, the IDF acted as America's "FORCE OF LAST RESORT," freeing up U.S. forces for deployment elsewhere.
In return, this meant, naturally enough, that the U.S. had to stand by Israel when she was attacked by her Arab neighbors, something that the American elites would not ordinarily have ever been predisposed to do, but that was part of the bargain. There was no "mutual commitment to democracy" here; Israel may have thought so, but certainly not the elites that govern the United States. America was committed to democracy in the Middle East about as much as it was "committed to democracy" in Latin America where it has over the years overthrown democracy after democracy and replaced them all with military dictatorships willing to "toe the line" in its "New World Order System." America's "mutual commitment to democracy" with Israel in the Middle East was nothing more than a fiction meant to hide what America had really pressed Israel into doing, which was standing guard over U.S. oil "assets" in the Middle East as America's "FORCE OF LAST RESORT." It was Israel's BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL; its -
Oh, how the devil must laugh at Israel and the church: One group, the church, has been duped into acting as the elite's solicitous and very slavish "voting bloc" in this country; the other group, Israel, has been suckered into acting as an elite "enforcer" in the Middle East. And the sad thing about it all, is that the elites secretly hold both groups - i.e., both Israel and the church - in UTTER and COMPLETE contempt: To the country club patricians of the "Establishment Wing" of the Republican Party, evangelical Christians are nothing more than "uneducated," "superstitious," "red neck" "hicks" and "buffoons;" and Jews are nothing less than, "loud-mouthed," "uncouth," "ill-mannered" "Jackie Mason-types."
Despite all this, however, the Israelis - like the church - persist in thinking that they are using the elites in the United States for their own purposes; but, unfortunately, the EXACT opposite is occurring - the elites are using the Israelis for their own greedy, self-serving purposes; and the blindness of Israel as to what is really happening here is truly appalling, and so much so that - once again, like the church - in them the Scriptures are also being fulfilled that say:
"... By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive" (Matt. 13:14)
As goes the church, so goes Israel; and as Israel goes, so goes the church.
It seems that in their absurd and foolish dependence on the American elites, THE ONE IS THE MIRROR IMAGE OF THE OTHER - and God help those who put their trust in these elites. In the end, after they are finished using them, the elites are going to throw both Israel and the church away. Both groups are going to be betrayed, so that in both of them it can be said -
"How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? ... and fools hate knowledge?" (Prov. 1:22)
What else can one say to those (in this case, the Jews) who put their trust in people (i.e., the elites that govern the United States) who so OPENLY hate the Jewish people. Indeed, the sad, but very real truth of the matter is, anti-Semitism (hatred of the Jews) is and always has been one of the great hallmarks of the Western elites - and this is as true with the American elites as it has always been true of the European elites. The fact is, disdain for the Jews is still - even TODAY - a very popular philosophy among the elites. It is an accepted, even unconscious part of life in the American upper classes - and when the Henry Kissingers, the Madeline Albrights, and the Robert Kaplans of society (the elites' "token Jews") leave the drawing rooms where the elites gather in New York, Washington and Chicago, the knives reappear, and the anti-Semitic comments begin to fly again. No! - the elites, especially the oil elites that James Baker, Dick Cheney, and George Bush serve, have no love for the Jews! They USE the Jews! They USE Israel! They USE the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). The plain and simple fact of the matter is, Israel services a NEED the U.S. has in the Middle East - and that's the end of the relationship. Anyone who thinks this relationship (at least insofar as the elites are concerned) is more than that is a fool.
The danger in all of this - i.e., when a relationship is based on NEED rather than on PRINCIPLE - is that these kinds of relationships hold together only so long as the more powerful partner has a need for the less powerful one. And one should be clear here, the partnership between Israel and the United States is no partnership between equals (as some evangelicals naively presume), a point that Israeli leaders - leaders as high up in the Israeli government (and as diverse in political orientation) as Ariel Sharon, Shimon Perez, Binyamin Netanyahu, the late Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon - unwittingly accede to when they journey regularly to the United States begging on bended knees like sniveling, whining supplicants for increased arms and ever more sophisticated weaponry, and willing to do almost anything to get it. Is this any way for the people of God to act? No! - certainly not! BUT, THEN, THE CHURCH DOES THE SAME THING!
There are, of course, some Americans (and some Israelis too) who still believe that the alliance between the United States and Israel is (or, at least was) an alliance that was aimed primarily at the old Soviet Union. But that was NEVER the main reason for the alliance; it may have been the rationale that was peddled to both the American and Israeli publics, but it had NOTHING to do with reality. One has only to glance at what America has been really up to in the Middle East to discover why Israel has been so important to the United States: It's because the oil elites have been STEALING the people of the Middle East blind of their oil wealth, and they have needed the Israeli army to "stand at the ready" in case the local constabularies of America's client states were unable to deal with the "anger of the mobs."
Of coarse, this is EXACTLY what these same elites are doing everywhere in America's system of "client states" (not just in the Middle East) - i.e., stealing the people blind - and it is very plainly this that has led to their MASSIVE UNPOPULARITY with the populations over which they rule. After all, in any system of hegemonic (imperial) control WHERE 80 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION IS METHODICALLY AND VERY DELIBERATELY REDUCED TO POVERTY in the service of a small "native elite" that owes its allegiance to the military might of a foreign super power (i.e., the United States) and the exploitative and greedy multinational corporations that super power supports (i.e., Exxon, Bechtel, Mobil, Socal, BP, Texaco, Gulf, etc.), it should come as no surprise that such an elite will enjoy very little popularity among the "masses" that it has subjugated and impoverished.
And make no mistake about it - that is exactly what most of the states of the Middle East are - "client-states" in America's "New World Order System." All these countries with the exceptions of Libya after Qadhafi's ascent to power, Syria after the installation of the Ba'athist Party regime (which doesn't count because it lacks oil reserves), and Iran after the Islamic revolt are run by "native elites" that owe their allegiance to the United States - from the Saudi royal family in the Arabian Peninsula, to the Hashemites in Jordan and all the other so-called "royal houses" in Kuwait, Bahrain, Quatar, etc.
All these countries and the elites that rule over them were "created" specifically to service the interests of the Western oil companies at the expense of the native populations. In other words, they were "guatemalized" and reduced in stature to the condition of "banana republics" in the same way that United Fruit Company reduced Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the other countries of Central America to "client-state" status in the employ of American corporate power. Only instead of bananas, what's at stake in the Middle East is the "mother's milk" of the Industrialized World - OIL.
Moreover, the manner in which the nations of the Middle East were reduced to "client-state" status has been particularly cruel and hardhearted. An essential part of the strategy that led to their "guatemalization" lies in the way the oil elites (acting under the authority and power of the hegemon of that era, Great Britain) drew the boundaries of the various nations there during the 1920s and 1930s. It was done in a manner designed to insure the separation of the large population centers of the area from those vicinities where the oil was actually located. Apart from its unfairness, this "outrageously skewed ownership of property" in one of the world's wealthiest and most heavily armed regions was and is "an ongoing recipe for destabilization and violent upheavals," according to Middle East expert Dilo Hiro.
What this division means is that control of the sparsely-populated oil-producing areas has fallen into the hands of a system of local elites known as the "ARAB FACADE" - essentially, a series of weak and extremely pliable "family dictatorships" that are compliant with the wishes of the Western oil companies, while the population centers have been detached and given over to "the mobs," as it were.
The reasoning behind this division of the Middle East is simplicity itself: The sparsely-populated areas where the oil in fact is can then be held with a minimum of force, and if that's so, who cares what happens in the cities - i.e., in Cairo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Damascus, Amman, etc.
The people there can rot in hell as far as the oil companies are concerned.
Given this reality, it's not hard to understand President EISENHOWER'S LAMENT in July of 1958 when he said,
"THE PROBLEM (IN THE MIDDLE EAST) IS THAT WE HAVE A CAMPAIGN OF HATRED AGAINST US, NOT BY THE GOVERNMENTS BUT BY THE PEOPLE."
Nonetheless, REALPOLITIK being what it is, there has never been any real thought that the U.S. would pull back from its control over the region. The wealth that is at stake there is simply too great to be given up. People don't just give up that kind of wealth - no matter how they got it. Indeed, John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower's Secretary of State, was merely echoing the sentiments of his fellow "grandees" when he said -
"We must NEVER run the risk of losing control (of this region)."
AND IT IS EXACTLY BECAUSE OF THIS THAT THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTED THE CREATION OF ISRAEL AS A REGIONAL "SUPER-POWER" during the 1950s: To act as a fast-striking, highly maneuverable military force to "stand at the ready" to act at America's "beck and call" should American interests be threatened in the Middle East. Or, again, does anyone actually think that America - the America the oil elites dominate, the America whose Secretary of State, James Baker (a card-carrying and extremely significant member of the oil elites), once said, "FU-K THE JEWS" - is really committed to Israel's security out of a "shared commitment to democracy?" If so, I have some swamp land in Florida I would like to sell them.
Noam Chomsky of MIT agrees. He writes:
"The FACADE consists of a series of 'family dictatorships' ... that are protected by regional enforcers, mostly non-Arab countries like Turkey, ISRAEL, and Iran under the Shah. U.S. MUSCLE STANDS IN RESERVE, with military bases ... (scattered throughout the area) ... This system has operated with reasonable efficiency over a considerable period of time."
Thus it has been that - operating behind the screen of "legitimacy" that the ARAB FACADE lends the oil companies - profits "that are beyond the dreams of avarice" (Hiro's words) have been flowing into the United States and its European "junior partners" for more than sixty years now, with no "let-up" in sight. The job of the FACADE in all this, according to Mark Stivers' two excellent books on the subject, Supremacy and Oil and America's Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East, has been simply to keep its mouth shut, do as it is told, and insure that the flow of profits continues.
There are, of course, some who believe that America is engaged in the Middle East on behalf of the American consumer? Naturally, that's what the oil companies would like people to believe. But the fact is, very little would occur to American consumers if the holdings of the American oil companies were suddenly seized in the Middle East? One thing's for sure, there would still be plenty of gasoline for their cars. The oil itself would continue to flow to the West! - where else, after all, would it go? To Mozambique? To Chad? To Costa Rica? But what about the price of oil? Wouldn't it suddenly spike upward? Probably not! After all, that didn't happen when the Islamic government in Iran took over from the Shah and kicked the oil companies out, and it didn't happen when Qadhafi took over in Libya.
Yes! - no doubt, the governments in the Middle East would charge what the market would bear and then some. BUT THE OIL COMPANIES ARE DOING THAT NOW ANYWAY, despite their protestations to the contrary! No, American consumers would hardly notice the change. These are nothing more than "convenient myths" generated out of the Board Rooms of Gulf Oil, Mobil, Exxon, BP, etc. designed to galvanize American consumers in support of the oil companies' rapacious, greedy economic policies; fabrications that have been calculated to make average Americans think that the fate of the oil companies is somehow or other tied up with their fate.
No! - it's not average Americans that would be "inconvenienced" if American oil companies in the Middle East were nationalized, it's the American elites that would feel the pain - and so much so that their very existence would be threatened! No! - America is involved in the Middle East TO KEEP OIL PROFITS FLOWING TO THE AMERICAN ELITES. [This is, of course, NOT something the American oil elites want advertised to the American public - that American soldiers are put at risk for the sake of Exxon, Mobil and Socal. Dying for the sake of oil company profits is NOT something most Americans would be willing to do. Hence the need to cast American involvement in the Middle East in high sounding phrases like the "national interest" and "national security."]
Given all this, who can blame average Arabs for hating the United States? They know what's happening! Indeed, one particularly prominent writer in the Middle East who today has been labeled the Middle East's Adolf Hitler [incidentally, by one of the oil elites most respected members, former President Bush (i.e., "Bush the Elder")]described the unfair division of the region's oil wealth thus:
"Through its partitioning of the [Arab] lands, western imperialism founded weak mini-states and installed the families who rendered it services that facilitated its [exploitative] mission. Thus it prevented the majority of the sons of the people and the [Arab] nation from benefiting from their own wealth. As a result of the new wealth passing into the hands of the minority of the [Arab] nation to be exploited for the benefit of the foreigner and the few new rulers, financial and social corruption spread in these mini-states ... [and from there to] many quarters of the majority of the Arab countries."
[It's interesting to note in this connection that just a few short years before, this same person had been called one of America's most "reliable partners" by "Bush the Elder" until he (i.e., Bush's former "reliable partner") got too "uppity" and "insolent" and wanted more than what the oil elites considered his "fair share" of the "oil booty."]
The writer of these words was, of course, none other than Saddam Hussein. This isn't to say that Hussein is a dictator suddenly turned "populist;" but, nonetheless, one has to admit that HIS DESCRIPTION HERE PRETTY MUCH PARALLELS THE ONE EISENHOWER GAVE IN DESCRIBING WHAT WAS GOING ON - SO UNLESS ONE IS PREPARED TO DAMN EISENHOWER, ONE SHOULD THINK TWICE ABOUT DAMNING HUSSEIN. And the very real truth of the matter is that what both Eisenhower and Hussein are saying here is true: As Hiro explains,
"... it is much simpler to manipulate a few ruling families (than it is to deal honestly with a whole people in the region)."
For this reason, the oil elites have been, and are today, more than willing to live with the hatred of all those who have been "cut out" of the wealth of the region. Plainly, their attitude is, "To hell with them - just keep the oil flowing and the money pouring in. That's all that matters!"
BUT THE TRUTH IS, ONE CAN LIVE WITH HATRED ONLY SO LONG AS THERE IS A COP "STANDING AT THE READY" TO PROTECT YOU - and the elites' cop in the Middle East is (or at least has been) Israel.
Naturally enough, the merciless suppression and economic exploitation of the people of the Middle East by the American oil companies has created over the years the same kind of unrest that the economic policies pursued by United Fruit Company produced in Central America: A growing "grass roots" struggle against that exploitation. What else should one expect?
When the struggle began, it began principally as a left-leaning political struggle that allied itself with the old Soviet Union because the Soviet Union was the only country in the world willing to give weapons to those who had taken up arms against the oil companies. There was, as a result, nothing particularly religious connected to this phase of the struggle.
The struggle first surfaced in Iran a few years after the end of World War II and was led by the popularly elected and legitimately constituted government of Muhammed Mossedegh. The Mossedegh government was NOT a communist-leaning government at all; in fact, it was a conservative government that was firmly committed to the concepts of popular democracy. But it was bent on wresting control of its own oil fields and production facilities from the Western oil elites so that its own impoverished people could benefit from the country's oil wealth rather than benefiting rich "ROBBER BARONS" thousands of miles away in the United States and Europe together with a small "native elite" in Iran allied with the oil companies.
What Mossedegh was attempting to do in Iran was, of course, nothing more than what Joao Goulart in Brazil, Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, and Salvador Allende in Chile were aiming at in another corner of the "American System" when the CIA - acting at the behest of America's threatened corporate community - stepped in and organized a "rescue." What all these men - Mossedegh, Goulart, Arbenz, and Allende - wanted to do was involve the "native population" in on a "cut" of the American elites' profits. But insofar as the American elites were concerned, that would NEVER do! - not in Brazil, not in Chile, not in Guatemala, AND MOST ESPECIALLY NOT ANYWHERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!! Why? - in the eyes of the elites, there is simply not enough money to go around. How else would one expect the elites to react? - people who honestly believe that a CEO of a corporation should be remunerated at over 500 times the rate of his workers. [In Japan, a Japanese CEO is remunerated at only 6 times the average pay of his workers.] Given this kind of GREED, the American elites were right: There wasn't enough money to go around.
Moreover, in the case of oil, the money generated out of the profits of the oil companies IS THE "MOTHER'S MILK" OF THOSE PARTICULAR "WORTHIES" WHO STAND AT THE VERY CENTER OF AMERICA'S "ARISTOCRACY OF WEALTH." AND IT'S THIS MONEY THAT GIVES PEOPLE LIKE GEORGE BUSH (BOTH "SENIOR" AND "JUNIOR"), JAMES BAKER, DICK CHENEY, CAP WEINBERGER, GEORGE SCHULTZ AND COUNTLESS OTHERS LIKE THEM THE POWER THEY POSSESS. Cut them off from the source of their wealth, and they (and the power they wield) will wither on the vine.
The fact is, in this world, "THEY THAT HAVE THE MONEY HAVE THE POWER," and the kind of power that emanates out of the wealth of this world is a very wicked and depraved kind of power indeed; and it's precisely for this reason that Paul said:
"For the love of money is the ROOT OF ALL EVIL ..." (1 Tim. 6:10)
Thus, when Mossedegh threatened to move against the oil elites' wealth in Iran, the oil elites' "handmaiden," the CIA, stepped in - just as it did with respect to Goulart, Arbenz, and Allende (to say nothing of Juan Bosch, Patrice Lumumba and countless others over the years) - engineered a coup against Mossedegh, and replaced him with the Shah. Of course, it did so in the name of "saving the country from communism," but - again - Mossedegh was no communist; that was just a convenient excuse to mask what was really happening: That the CIA - acting at the behest of the Western oil elites - was pulling the chestnuts of an already extremely rich group of investors back home in New York, Chicago, Boston and elsewhere out of the fire.
The Shah was a hated instrument of U.S. oppression and managed to stay on his throne due only to the power of his U.S. supplied army and the death squad activity and torture chambers of his malignant, CIA-trained secret police known as the SAVAK.
However, for the 20 percent of the population in Iran that had allied itself with the Shah and that had, as a result, been "cut in" for a share of the oil profits, the next twenty years or so couldn't have been better. Gradually - over the years - this elite was "Westernized" and transformed into an aristocracy of wealth unmatched anywhere else in the Middle East, and so much so that it became increasingly detached from the rest of the population not only in terms of its wealth, but also culturally as more and more of them were "Westernized." While all this was the cause of massive rage on the part of ordinary people in Iran - i.e., those 80 percent of the people who had not been "cut in" on the "action" - there was, nonetheless, very little they could do.
By the mid to late 1950s most of the secular revolts in the Middle East had pretty much failed (Iran), run their course into oblivion (Syria and Iraq), or had been co-opted [Egypt (after 1973)]. To raise one's fist against the power of the oil elite and their lackeys in the Middle East meant jail, torture and death on an almost certain and inevitable basis - too much to bear for secularists who didn't really believe in the "rewards" of an "after-life." If this was all there was to life, better not risk it against odds that were stacked so heavily against you.
As a result, the Middle East settled down pretty much into the same routine that most of the other regions of America's "New World Order System" suffered under - the oppression of a large majority of the population by a small minority in which the great mass of the people were burdened down by massive poverty and troubled from time to time by sharp, bloody conflict.
For the most part, however, America's "New World Order System" functioned as it was supposed to - allowing the oil elites to pump oil out of the Middle East at an ever expanding rate. And as the oil flowed, profits soared. To be sure, there were some "set backs:" There was constant turmoil in Egypt; Libya under Quadafi "opted out" of the system; there were the 1967 and 1973 Arab / Israeli wars; Soviet meddling in the region was always an irritant; and, of course, the ever-present problem of the Palestinians, and the growing problem of religious fundamentalism. Still, the oil continued to flow and oil profits continued to pile up, enriching the American elite beyond the wildest fantasies of even the mythical Midas.
Yes, there was turmoil in the Middle East - just as there was turmoil elsewhere in the "Americans System" - but it was nothing that couldn't be handled, especially in light of the massive amount of wealth that was being taken out of the region. It was just the "cost of doing business."
And so it was that in the autumn of 1970, trouble began bubbling to the surface in Jordan. There was nothing particularly unusual about it: King Hussein, America's lackey in that impoverished country - sitting on a throne that was barely tolerated by the "masses" in his country and putting the blame for much of his unpopularity on the Palestinians in his midst, specifically the PLO - turned his army loose on the Palestinians and slaughtered thousands and thousands of them in what became known as "Black September." The refugees from this slaughter gradually began making their way up into Lebanon.
Lebanon occupied a very special place in America's "New World Order System" in the Middle East. The utility of Lebanon lay in the fact that it was a "CHRISTIAN" enclave in the midst of a sea of Muslims (a place where "things" could be "accomplished" in the Middle East in ways that otherwise would be impossible were Muslims in charge); but the influx of all these refugees began to seriously erode the "Christian" character of the state, and in the process threaten the continued rule of America's lackey in that country, the Gemayel family and their Christian Phalange Party.
The Phalange Party had been set up by the Maronite Christian Gemayel family in the 1930s. The Maronite Christian community in Lebanon is an ancient community that - like the Coptic Christian community in Egypt and the Armenians in Jerusalem - has existed in the Middle East since the establishment of Christianity in the area in Roman and Byzantine times. After the collapse of Christian power in the Middle East in the latter half of the First Millennium, the Maronite community became important as a business "go-between" between the Muslim world and the Christian world.
Finally, after the disintegration of Turkish (Ottoman) power in the Near East and the Levant in 1919, the Maronite community (which by then constituted roughly one-half of the population in Lebanon) seized power in that country in conjunction with its French patrons and reduced the Muslim population to a kind of indentured servitude in the employ of their Christian masters. The consequence of all this served to heighten Lebanon's status as a "CIVILIZED" "Christian" enclave in the Middle East, a playground for rich Christians doing business there. By the late 1930s, Beirut was being touted as the "Paris of the Middle East."
After the Second World War, the Americans took over from the French as the Maronite community's patron, and hoards of Americans descended on Beirut and made it their playground, just as the French had done before them. Soon the American University in Beirut became a place where rich American students on leave from Harvard, Yale, Stanford and other elite colleges and universities in the United States could spend a year or so as dilettantes and dabblers in "Arabic Study Programs." And not only that, countless numbers of "academics" queued up to teach there. The American University in Beirut became a place where "pretend" academics - professors as well as students - could retreat to and fake the pursuit of their studies or professions while all the while enjoying the Paris-like atmosphere of Beirut - a "Paris" that offered the pleasures of the Mediterranean Ocean and a climate to "die for." In addition to all this, Beirut also became the "city of choice" where America's oil elites could "dump" their families while they ventured on into the more "inhospitable" areas of the Middle East in quest of oil - places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, Quatar, etc. - regions where no Western women and spoiled American teenagers would dare to go.
In 1956, the Muslims in Lebanon finally revolted against the oppressive rule of the Maronite Christians; that and the fact that Beirut had become more a "playground" of the Western elites than their own capital. But under pressure from America's oil elites - Gulf Oil, Exxon, Mobil, Standard Oil of California, etc. - Eisenhower sent in the marines to put down the Muslims and rescue the Gemayel family and the Phalange Party.
Now in all of this, one needs to understand that the Gemayel family and their Phalange Party were nothing more than creatures of the Western intelligence services; in the first instance of French intelligence, then after end of World War II and the collapse of French power in the Levant, of the CIA.
IT WAS THE CIA THAT MATTERED IN LEBANON. IT WAS THE CIA THAT - IN THE END - CONSTITUTED THE "HAND BEHIND THE THRONE" IN THAT AREA OF THE WORLD. AND IT WAS THE CIA THAT IN 1956 STEPPED IN TO SAVE ITS "CLIENTS" THERE - THE GEMAYEL FAMILY AND THE PHALANGE PARTY - FROM ANNIHILATION AT THE HANDS OF ITS OUTRAGED MUSLIM CITIZENRY. Indeed, after 1956 Lebanon became a virtual CIA satrapy - and the Phalange and the Gemayel family were reduced in the process to mere servants and chambermaids in the service of the CIA and their puppet-masters, the oil elites.
But the growing influx of Palestinians who had been driven out of Jordan by King Hussein threatened all this. By 1971, the PLO had set up its headquarters in Lebanon and had begun organizing not only the Palestinian refugees, but the oppressed Muslims of the Christian state. These poor Muslims were embittered with the Christian dominated Lebanese "establishment" and began embracing the PLO with an enthusiasm that rivaled that of the Palestinians themselves. By 1972, the PLO's organizing efforts stretched from the refugee camps around Beirut, through Ein Hilwe and Mieh Mieh near Sidon to Rashdidya near Nabatiyah in the south.
The Maronite Christian community and the Phalangists - together with their CIA patrons - were thrown into a panic as a result, and the CIA turned to its surrogates in the Middle East, the Mossad and the IDF for help. They persuaded the Phalangists to "front" for them in this effort (after all, it was impossible for the CIA to admit that what they had been doing in Lebanon since 1956 was running a CIA satrapy there), and on March 12, 1976 they (i.e., the CIA) arranged a meeting between representatives of the Phalangists and the IDF on a missile boat in Haifa harbor. Present on the Israeli side were Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Allon; and on the Phalangist side Abu Halil. Also present - though lurking in the background - were "emissaries" from the CIA.
At the CIA's urging, Rabin decided to send an exploratory mission to meet with the Phalangists composed of a senior Aman officer (Aman is the IDF's "in house" intelligence service), Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (known as "Fuad"), and a senior Mossad man. A few days later, under the protection of the CIA, the two met with Bashir and Amin Gemayel on another missile boat in the harbor at Jouneih, north of Beirut. Plans were laid at the meeting which cemented the new CIA-sponsored relationship between Israel and the Phalange. NOW IN ALL OF THIS, ONE SHOULD CAREFULLY NOTE THAT FROM BEGINNING TO END, THIS WAS A CIA-SPONSORED RELATIONSHIP WITH CIA OBJECTIVES, OBJECTIVES THAT IN THE END DID NOT SERVE ISRAELI INTERESTS, BUT RATHER THE INTERESTS OF THE CIA AND ITS CORPORATE MASTERS, THE OIL ELITES.
The fact of the matter is, the presence of the PLO in Lebanon constituted no more of a threat against Israel than the presence of the PLO had in Jordan (and much less so). The PLO in Lebanon was far more removed from Israel's main population centers than it had ever been in Jordan, and while the presence of the PLO in Lebanon constituted a threat to northern Israel, that threat was much more manageable than it had ever been while the PLO had been operating out of Jordan.
Moreover, the Israelis didn't need to invade all of Lebanon to end the threat of missile strikes against it's population centers in the north. All that was needed to end that threat was precisely what Israel ultimately did - i.e., establish a buffer state in South Lebanon. And that would have been that! What then would it really matter to the Israelis if Lebanon went "bizerk" - after all, Syria was every bit as ill-disposed towards Israel as any PLO-dominated Lebanon could ever be - and Syria possessed a powerful army. The PLO did not. Yet Israel hadn't found it necessary to roll its tanks to the outskirts of Damascus to end the Ba'athist threat to Israel from that direction (a much, much shorter distance to go than all the way to Beirut). Why then did Israel find it so "necessary" to invade Lebanon and roll its tanks hundreds of kilometers north through very difficult terrain to the outskirts of Beirut?
Some claim, of course, that the PLO was developing an "army" that threatened Israel, and this threat had to be ended. That's what many high-ranking Israelis claimed at the time - even Ariel Sharon. But come on now. By the summer of 1982 the PLO's army consisted of no more than 15,000 ill-clothed, ill-trained men and some 100 tanks - mostly antiquated T-34s and T-54s, some 350 artillery pieces and katyusha rocket launchers, 150 armored cars and a very small AA capability. And this army threatened Israel? Hardly!
Think about it! Does it make any sense? No! - of course not! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was actually going on insofar as Israel's incursion into Lebanon was concerned, and who was really behind it all! After all, whose gourd was being kicked anyway? Not Israel's! But if not Israel's, than whose? - obviously the CIA's! But - again - the CIA couldn't admit as much. Lebanon was a dirty little secret the CIA and the oil elites that backed them couldn't afford to let leak out - though countless numbers had already guessed what was really going on there. But these were mostly "lefties" - people the CIA and their lackeys back home in the United States had little difficulty demonizing as proxies for "atheistic communism" and the so-called "world-wide communist conspiracy" - a conspiracy which by the early 1980s was beginning to look pretty creaky and enfeebled.
All this to say that the thought - promoted in most histories of the Middle East - that the so-called Israeli-Phalange Alliance that led to the Jewish state's invasion of Lebanon was a creation of the Israeli Mossad is UTTER NONSENSE. Nothing that occurred in Lebanon prior to 1982 (at least insofar as the Gemayel family and the Phalange Party were concerned) occurred outside the purview and approval of the CIA - NOTHING! And while Lebanon itself possessed no oil, it still played a central role in the satrapies that constituted America's "client-state" system in the region - specifically, it was the "Christianized" SAFE-HAVEN where the oil elites and their lackeys in the Middle East could gather together to "plot and plan" as to how to further enrich themselves in a relaxing, country club-like setting where everyone could "loosen up," have a drink, and enjoy some "recreational sex" out of sight of the prying eyes of the native populations back home. The fact of the matter is, the Israelis were "introduced" to the Phalange by the CIA. And all this was done for the purpose of using the IDF to rescue Lebanon as a "safe haven" for the oil elites. THE AMERICANS WERE DOING NOTHING MORE HERE THAN DEMANDING THAT ISRAEL LIVE UP TO ITS END OF THE BARGAIN THAT IT HAD STRUCK WITH THE UNITED STATES.
On Sunday, June 6th, 1982, Israel - answering the call of its CIA masters - dutifully rolled its tanks northward into Lebanon, thinking that by doing so they would further ingratiate themselves to the CIA and ultimately to the CIA's own masters, the oil elites; but this is precisely the kind of "brown nosing" evangelicals in this country have been doing for years and years, and the result to the Israelis was exactly what the result has always been to the Christian community in the United States. It turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, not only with regard to the operation itself, but to Israel's moral integrity in the world at large. But, again, this is exactly what has resulted to the evangelical community in the United States. In the end, there is no way one can ingratiate himself to the devil. The devil is a "USER," and when he is finished with you, he will throw you away without even so much as a second thought. And this is exactly what happened to Israel in its Lebanon incursion.
From beginning to end, Israel's incursion into Lebanon was a disaster. At every point the Israelis were let down by their CIA masters and their Phalangist allies. Throughout the whole of the incursion the CIA and the Phalangists urged Israel to take actions that Israel was otherwise loath to take, and when things went amiss, they were left hanging out in the cold. They were constantly led down blind allies from which there were no exits. MOREOVER, SINCE THE CIA COULD NOT ADMIT TO ITS OWN PRESENCE IN THE OPERATION, WHEN THINGS BEGAN GOING WRONG, THE ISRAELIS AND THE IDF HAD TO "TAKE THE FALL." And this was never so true as it was in the case of the slaughter at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut where Israel was forced to take the "fall" for a CIA-sponsored massacre (but more about that later).
What Israel and its patron, the United States, didn't realize is that in Lebanon they were about to meet for the first time a force that had never before entered into their calculations, a force that was totally off their radar: THE FORCE OF RELIGION. True, the United States and the oil elites had encountered the Islamic Revolution on a previous occasion: in Iran; and they had lost an entire oil-producing region as a result (to say nothing of the "loss of face" the U.S. had suffered through as a result of the "Hostage Crisis" that had followed). But still, the Muslims in Iran were Shi'ites, and the elites had comforted themselves with the belief that there was a strain of fanaticism inherent in this branch of Islam that wasn't present among the Sunnis, the majority branch of Islam. The Sunnis were different - they were much more passive, and much easier to control - at least that's what they were told by elite academicians back in the United States and in Europe. Besides, religion was dead, wasn't it?
At least that's what the so-called "sophisticates" that make up the main body of the elite in the United States think, Indeed, other than the fact that they use religion to create a voting bloc against economic philosophies (i.e., socialism and communism) that threaten their wealth, the elites have no real use for religion - at least not on any kind of a personal basis. For the most part, religion is the subject of derision and contempt in their small, tight-knit social gatherings, and in their elitist magazines and publications. AS A RESULT, THEY FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPACT THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION IN IRAN WOULD HAVE ON THE MIDDLE EAST AS A WHOLE, AND THEY UTTERLY FAILED TO SEE THE PART THEY PLAYED IN CAUSING IT.
The Islamic Revolution began in Iran, AND THE AMERICAN OIL ELITES BEAR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROVOKING IT! By creating a small elite in Iran (again, about 20 percent of that country's population) and enriching it beyond the imagining of most average Iranians; and then, as if to add insult to injury, "Westernizing" this new Iranian elite, the oil companies were perceived by common Iranians everywhere to be introducing "CULTURAL NORMS" concerning such things as the place of women in society, the place of the family, open policies about sex, education, clothing, etc. which seemed to challenge their way of life. IT IS EXACTLY HERE THAT THE OIL COMPANIES UNCORKED A GENIE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO PUT BACK INTO THE BOTTLE! THE MULLAHS HAD NOW ENTERED THE FRAY AND RELIGION WAS IRREVOCABLY INTRODUCED INTO THE EQUATION.
Thus it was that ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM SURFACED IN IRAN AS A COUNTERWEIGHT TO THE INFLUENCE OF WHAT WAS PERCEIVED TO BE A FOREIGN CULTURE. It wasnt so much that the Iranian people were any more religious than their peers had been some twenty years earlier, a time when the mosques of Iran were rarely full, as it was that the "people" had returned to the foundation of their culture - their religion, their mosques - in defense of that culture.
So long as the culture was not threatened, the mosques could remain relatively empty, the religious trappings left to decay; but once the "people" perceived that their culture was in danger of collapse because of the impress of a foreign one, then the people returned to the mosque, and Islam resurfaced with a vengeance. The Islamic Revolution in Iran didnt happen over night. It was a process which took some twenty years; but the force of that process became inexorable as the "American System" (i.e., "Westernization") pressed itself ever more onto the middle and upper middle class.
Whether mainline (elite) academicians want to admit it or not - and as we indicated some years ago in our article, "POLITICAL CHRISTIANITY" - the fact of the matter is, society organizes itself around culture. Culture sets the parameters of a society - any society. It determines what is "right" and what is "wrong." It provides the underlying assumptions upon which a society is based. But what a culture determines to be "right" or "wrong" must be anchored by something. For example, who is to say whether abortion is "right" or "wrong?" or whether homosexuality is acceptable behavior? or whether divorce should be condoned or not? or whether the society should be organized as a patriarchy? or maybe as a matriarchy?
One may assert that he "feels" homosexuality is wrong; that abortion is murder; and that men should be the head of the family. But thats not enough. Others may "feel" the exact opposite. And an appeal to philosophy to end the argument is more often than not futile. Philosophical or ethical speculation in the absence of some kind of an anchor has normally proven useless for such purposes. Indeed, all it seems to accomplish is to further erode "fixity" and stability, the essential ingredients of the bonds of social existence. In the absence of an acceptable anchor, philosophical and ethical speculation exists in a state of PERPETUAL AGITATION. Should the agitation continue unchecked, it may lead to the ultimate contempt of all authority.
Not only that, but an appeal to the "will of the majority" is often insufficient to end the controversy over "cultural values." The fact of the matter is, the "will of the majority" can be a very fickle thing, and it is difficult to found a society on that kind of capriciousness. Indeed, history is full of situations where an appeal to the "will of the majority" has not sufficed to establish cultural parameters. It didnt suffice a century ago in this country with regard to the question of slavery - where, contrary to popular belief, a majority of people, both north and south, saw the question of slavery not worth fighting over. Neither did it suffice to quell the controversy over "prohibition." And it does not seem to suffice today over the question of abortion. In all these instances, the turmoil was (is) kept boiling by a small minority driven largely by a religious absolutism which was (is) obsessed with its own righteousness.
Religious absolutism has, over the long run, a dogged and persistent way of carrying the day against odds that would cause the collapse of less solidly based ideas. Too often, academicians have shoved religion aside, deeming it not fit for serious study. But what they have perhaps failed to recognize is the central - indeed, pivotal - role that religion plays in setting up a cultures parameters, of fixing its boundaries. In the end, one finds more often than not that it is religion upon which the cultural norms of a society are ultimately based. The fact is, culture and religion are more tightly woven together than most secular elites care to admit, and so much so that it is often difficult to discern where the one begins and the other ends - and this is perhaps why it is so easy to forget the vital role religion plays in society, even today - until, that is, the culture which it helped establish is challenged!! - as it was, for instance, in Iran.
Nonetheless, for some strange reason which defies adequate explanation, there appears to be a blindness that inevitably accompanies the accumulation of riches which obscures the ability of men of wealth to see the end result of what they are doing by trampling under foot the cultural values of ordinary people. And just how blind these elites were in the case of Iran is easily demonstrated. Take, for example, an article that appeared in the scholarly, oil company-sponsored International Journal for Middle East Studies which appeared in January of 1971. Speaking on what then appeared to be the transformation of Iran into a modern, secular society, Nikki R. Keddie, one of the most distinguished scholars and observers of Iranian society of that era, wrote:
"... one may also surmise that the leadership position of the ulama (the Mullahs) has been eroded (as the result of the continuing economic modernization of Iran). The position of the ulama (Mullah) seems bound to continue in general decline as literacy, secular schools, and scientific education spread; as Islamic practices regarding the relations of the sexes and other matters are increasingly ignored; and insofar as some of the ulama can be identified with a self-seeking opposition to reform."
And all this gibberish just five short years prior to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, arguably the most powerful religious transformation that any modern nation has ever suffered through. The signs were there for Keddie to see, he was simply predisposed to ignore them. Such a predisposition of mind on the part of Keddie defies adequate explanation; but it is, unfortunately, a "mindset" which he shares with most other members of his "class."
In 1978 the economic and cultural dislocation the oil companies were responsible for in the Middle East finally bore fruit: The Islamic Revolution burst forth on an unsuspecting world, AND THE MULLAHS (THE ULTIMATE GUARDIANS OF ISLAMIC CULTURE) NOW TOOK CHARGE OF THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE "AMERICAN SYSTEM!" This was no ordinary secular revolution; this was a RELIGIOUS revolution capable of setting the world on fire! And this is certainly what happened in the Middle East - and as it did so, it completely changed the oil elites way of looking at Israel, and so much so that from 1978-'82 onward, Israel's relationship with the West, and most particularly with the United States, began to sour. It didn't happen all at once. It took several years for the oil companies, the final arbiters of U.S. policy in the Middle East, to realize the dimensions of the "new game" they were involved in - a "game" where Israel was no longer an asset, but a liability - but nonetheless, the oil companies finally "caught on."
The first inkling as to how much the "game" in the Middle East had changed as a result of the genie of Islamic Fundamentalism that the oil companies had uncorked in the region occurred in Lebanon. What Lebanon proved is that Islamic fundamentalism was not an aberration unique to Iran, but that it was a force to be reckoned with throughout the Middle East and, indeed, the entire Muslim world.
It was in Lebanon that the contagion of Islamic fundamentalism first took hold on the Palestinians and TURNED THE WAR BETWEEN THEM AND THE ISRAELIS INTO A HOLY WAR; and because of that, it was in Lebanon that SUICIDE BOMBERS (which religious fanaticism ALONE produces) were first introduced into the scheme of things in the Middle East - blowing up the Marine Barracks and the U.S. Embassy there, and ultimately driving the U.S. out of Beirut like a dog with its tail between its legs. But the key thing to remember here is that the concept of "SUICIDE IN THE NAME OF GOD" originated in Iran, not in Palestine, where it was practiced on a MASSIVE scale by the Iranians against the Iraqis during the Iran/Iraq Border War in the early to mid 1980s.
It is sometimes difficult to remember, but the PLO - when it began - was not a religiously oriented organization at all; it was a secularist, left-leaning socialist organization that looked to the Kremlin for its ideological nourishment. And that was as true for Yasser Arafat's Fatah group as it was true for Dr. George Habash's PFLP, for the Abu Nidal group, and for the Abul Abbas faction.
But not so with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. This was absolute RELIGIOUS fanaticism of the purest kind, and it was not - in the first instance - directed against Israel at all. It was directed against what the Mullah's of Iran perceived to be the world's "GREAT SATAN," the United States!! IT WAS, AFTER ALL, THE UNITED STATES THAT HAD SUSTAINED THE SHAH IN POWER; it was U.S. oil companies that had been robbing the people of Iran blind of their oil wealth; it was the CIA-trained SAVAK that had run the Shah's torture chambers - and not only did the Mullah's know all this, the people knew it as well. All this to say, that IT ISN'T ISRAEL THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CREATION OF THE ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST "FRANKENSTEIN," IT IS THE UNITED STATES, and specifically, the greedy, self-serving economic policies the oil companies the U.S. sponsors in the Middle East pursue.
Once the Palestinians in Lebanon had been infused with the religious elements of the Islamic Revolution (1982-'84), and their movement had been transformed from a SOCIALIST revolution to a RELIGIOUS revolution, it was easy for the elites to turn the wrath of "the mobs" away from themselves and against the Jews. Naturally enough, the Israelis helpfully agreed to expedite the process by invading Lebanon in 1982 and staying there for what became an inordinate amount of time, thereby facilitating their own demonization. How convenient for the American elites who talked them into it!
Now this isn't to say that the Arabs, and most especially the Palestinians, weren't already predisposed against the Jews anyway. But prior to Lebanon, it was mainly the rage of a people (i.e., the Palestinians) who had been "dispossessed" of their land. But then, many people have been dispossessed of their land in the Middle East over the years. In this context, the Jews were seen largely as interlopers in the Middle East attempting to "steal" the land of the "natives" much in the same way white European settlers "stole" the land of "Native Americans" in the United States. Now all this is bad enough, but there is nothing particularly unusual about this kind of phenomenon - it goes on all the time.
Not so when this phenomenon is put in a RELIGIOUS context. In its most extreme expression, religion creates an "insider" vs. "outsider" dynamic" that goes way beyond geography and encompasses questions of "right" and "wrong," and the "devil" and "God" in a most profound and ABSOLUTE way. Now this dynamic can be somewhat mollified when the possibility of "conversion" is thrown into the equation, but for those who for one reason or another are not predisposed to conversion or are unable for other reasons to gather with "the people" at the religion's "sacred fountains" and "ancient groves," the consequences are enormous; at best, the result to the "outsider" in an "absolutist," and "fundamentalist" religious context means social and even economic exclusion; at worst, "ghettoization" and expulsion - AND ALL IN THE NAME OF GOD. At that point it becomes not just a "might makes right" phenomenon, but a "devil vs. God" phenomenon. In this kind of a context, one's opponents are reduced to the status of demons - and when taken to its extreme, there is only one thing to do with demons - EXTERMINATE them.
THE STORY AFTER LEBANON (AND FROM THEN ON OUT) IS THE STORY OF HOW THE U.S. MANAGED TO TURN THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION AWAY FROM ITSELF AND AGAINST ISRAEL as the American elites gradually came to the understanding that Islamic fundamentalism was a force they would have to come to terms with. The fact is, in 1956, the CIA had been able to crush the Muslim uprising in Lebanon with a few thousand Marines. But in 1982, the CIA - employing the whole of the IDF and its own contingent of U.S. marines were fought to a standstill not so much by the PLO (which was ultimately kicked out and forced into exile in Tunis), but by the new soldiers of the Islamic Revolution employing tactics that they would eventually use in their war against Israel in the Intifada - especially the use of "SUICIDE IN THE NAME OF GOD." That was too much for the American elites to bear - and if that meant jettisoning Israel, so be it. But they would have to be careful.
The ruse the elites eventually hit upon was a four pronged strategy. The first part of the strategy involved co-opting the Islamic Revolution; the second part entailed the creation of "moral equivalence" between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This would encompass a massive propaganda campaign on the part of the Western press on behalf of the Palestinians. The third part of the strategy entailed the creation of the so-called "Oslo Process;" and, finally, the fourth part of the strategy involved the "secularization" of the Jewish state.
The first part of this strategy involved gaining at least some amount of influence - if not control - over the leadership of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other radical Islamic fundamentalist groups - largely by funneling money to them through its puppet, the Saudi government and the other so-called "royal houses" of the region - or can one really imagine that it is possible for these U.S. "toadies" to funnel money to Hamas, etc. without the approval of the CIA. If so, I have some desert land in Arizona (in addition to the swampland in Florida I earlier peddled) that I would like to sell them.
This kind of maneuvering and manipulation is called CO-OPTATION - i.e., "buying up" the leadership of a group that is otherwise ideologically predisposed against you, and - while maintaining all of its former trappings and much of its rhetoric - diverting it from oneself and against someone else. This is an old trick of the elite classes from time immemorial. But it was utterly perfected - almost to an art form - by the CIA and the FBI during the 1960s when the government - realizing that it was losing its battle with the radical protesters of that era - began "buying up" their leadership. The examples in this regard are almost too numerous to mention - and it is extremely important to take the time here to study at least a few of them in order to establish in one's mind the elements of elite CO-OPTATION; take just the following:
William Brandt, a renowned if somewhat leftist-leaning chronicler of that era reports that insofar as the student movement of that time is concerned -
"... one has to divide (it) ... into two periods, before and after 1968. This year (i.e., 1968) was pivotal: the McCarthy campaign, the RFK and MLK assassinations, the police riot in Chicago. Anti-war protesters on conservative campuses such as my University of Southern California ... were almost always bona fide (i.e., genuine) prior to 1968. There was no percentage in it otherwise, as the polls were overwhelmingly in favor of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. At USC I organized a peaceful draft card turn-in ceremony in 1968. We were physically ejected from the campus by fraternity boys, and had to continue in a church across the street, where the frat rats feared to tread. A poll by our student newspaper showed that most students agreed with the fraternity. At USC, a student politician couldn't get more than a handful of votes by taking an anti-war position.
"In 1969 everything suddenly changed. Major anti-war organizing efforts appeared on campus, coordinated through national networks. I guessed that these new activists, who seemed to come out of nowhere to organize the Vietnam Moratorium, were former McCarthy-Kennedy campaign workers. Although I had been co-chairman of our SDS chapter the previous year, these were all new faces to me. I was astounded and a little suspicious. Everything had turned around completely: now no student politician could hope to win without the long hair, the beads and sandals, and speaking at freshmen orientation by abandoning the lectern and sitting on the edge of the stage, "rapping" to them movement-style.
"When it came time to confront the draft, these same student politicians used their mysterious connections to get out the easy way. Sometimes they pulled strings to secure a place in the overbooked National Guard, but most got out clean. Almost half of all undergraduate men were released when the first lottery was held at the end of the year, which of course brought our anti-draft movement to a halt. I now refer to my 1969 experience as the "Sam Hurst syndrome," after the articulate and good-looking student body president who sat on the edge of the stage and rode into power on the post-1968 wave. It's my euphemism for slick, well-disguised self-interest and a great head of hair.
"I noticed that new students could not tell the difference between Sam Hurst's activism and mine. Students with safe lottery numbers sadistically inquired about my number - they would find it amusing if my number was also safe, now that I had been convicted for refusing induction. It was every man for himself. Then it got worse. By September 1970 the big movement on campus centered on Timothy Leary's old colleague Richard Alpert, who now called himself Baba Ram Dass and told overflow crowds that the best way to do revolution was to sit in the lotus position and do nothing. Soon Rennie Davis of Chicago Eight fame was spending his time puppy-dogging a teenaged guru from India. Within another year there was no discernible movement at all, just embarrassing burnouts like the Weather Underground and eventually the Symbionese Liberation Army, which kidnapped and brainwashed Patty Hearst.
"... The major point here is that by 1969, protest was not necessarily anti-Establishment. When thousands of students are in the streets every day, and the troops you sent to Vietnam are deserting, sooner or later it's going to cut into your profits. If you can't beat them, then you have to CO-OPT them. ..."
Again, this is called CO-OPTATION - i.e., the "buying into" a movement, the "buying off" of its leadership, and turning the movement away from oneself and against someone (or something) else. The fact is, co-opting the leadership of opposing groups is what the elites in the U.S. are in the habit of doing insofar as all those who oppose them are concerned, from the leadership of the AFL/CIO, to La Familia and La Raza, to the Urban League and the NAACP, etc.; in the case of the Islamic Revolution, turning it away from the United States and against Israel. AND IT WASN'T THAT HARD TO DO - and so much so that the leaders of many radical Islamic fundamentalist groups (if not their followers) now look to the United States as an "honest broker" between themselves and the Israelis.
Now in all of this, one might ask himself, What ever happened to U.S. loyalty to its so-called "partner" in the Middle East, Israel? And what about its so-called "commitment to democracy?" [Obviously, Hamas and the other radical Islamic organizations that the U.S. is now dealing with behind "closed doors" are not sterling examples of democracy.] These are questions that Israelis (and Jews) everywhere would do well to ponder long and hard about - and as they do so, they might also want to check out the histories of Chile under Allende, Guatemala under Arbenz, and Brazil under Goulert from their local libraries. They might learn something valuable from these histories about America's so-called "commitment to democracy."
Then there is the matter of creating "moral equivalence" between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and one particular incident that lent itself very conveniently to the pursuit of this goal on behalf of the Palestinians was the Phalangist massacres of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila evacuee camps on the outskirts of Beirut in September, 1982. The event that precipitated the massacres was the assassination of President Gemayel of Lebanon. The assassination occurred at the hands of Islamic extremists following Gemayel's CIA-rigged election to the Lebanese presidency shortly after the start of the Israeli invasion.
The massacres at Sabra and Shatila proved to be a turning point insofar as Israel's relations with the larger world were concerned. After these atrocities Israel was seemingly pushed off the moral "high ground" in her war with the Palestinians (and the Arabs) that she had enjoyed up until then. Indeed, prior to 1982 the world had taken as a "GIVEN" the "moral innocence" of the Jewish people - an "innocence" born of Jewish suffering up through the centuries culminating in the Holocaust. But after the Sabra and Shatila incidents, it began to appear that - in the end - Israel was nothing more than any other nation: At best, no worse; but certainly, no better.
So what exactly happened there? How did the IDF - whose conduct over the years had been exemplary, especially when measured against the conduct of other armies [most particularly, Arab armies (to say nothing of Western armies)] - go from being perceived as on the side of the angels to being viewed as demonic? Moreover, how is it that in the intervening years since 1982 could the Sabra and Shatila incidents have grown in the minds of people to the extent that now THESE TWO INCIDENTS HAVE TAKEN ON THE "MORAL EQUIVALENCE" OF THE HOLOCAUST? - especially in light of the fact that no allegation has ever been made that any Israeli soldier participated DIRECTLY in the killings? The accusation is, at worst, that the involvement of the IDF was indirect and peripheral.
According to the standard explanation of the events surrounding the massacres (i.e., the one accepted at the UN, in Europe, and in much of the rest of the world), on September 16, 1982,
"Israel sent its proxies - the Phalanges and members of the South Lebanon Army - into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps ... They (i.e., the Phalanges) vowed revenge for the death of Gemayel and pledged to eliminate the remaining Palestinian presence in Lebanon after the PLO's ouster by Israeli forces. UNDER THE APPROVING AND WATCHFUL EYE OF THE ISRAELIS stationed around the camps, the militiamen went on a rampage, indiscriminately slaughtering children and the elderly, raping young girls and women, and butchering unarmed men. About 36 hours later, approximately 2,000 civilians lay dead - some so badly dismembered that they were unrecognizable." (Please see Ghada Khouri, "15 Years After the Sabra & Shatila Massacre," in Fertile Crescent Magazine. Ghada Khouri is a Palestinian freelance writer on Middle Eastern affairs).
But the problem in all of this (i.e., the accusation that "Israel sent its proxies - the Phalanges and members of the South Lebanon Army - into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps"), is that it simply is NOT true. The Phalange was NEVER Israel's proxy; the truth is, the relationship between Israel and the Phalange was NEVER a good one; neither trusted the other. THE PHALANGE WAS THE CIA's PROXY. It was the CIA that controlled the Phalange, not Israel. It was the CIA that monitored the Phalange's entrance into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps - and let me assure you, that my background permits me to say that it is beyond ALL reason to believe that the CIA didn't know - even on a moment by moment basis - what was going on in the camps. When dealing with agencies like the CIA one does not have to suspend common sense.
Think about it! Who would have benefited from the massacre at the camps? Israel? - but the PLO was already on its way out! That's all the Israelis cared about (and even then, much less so than did the CIA). It wasn't Israel that necessarily wanted Lebanon rid of the Palestinian refugees; better to have the Palestinians in Lebanon than in Jordan. It was the CIA that wanted the refugees out of Lebanon. The presence of the Palestinians in Lebanon threatened Phalange control of Lebanon, and if the Phalange lost control of Lebanon, then the CIA and the oil companies were the losers, not Israel. THE MASSACRES WERE MEANT TO SEND A MESSAGE - and that message was clear enough: Don't threaten the Phalange, and - ipso facto - the CIA's control of Lebanon.
Normally, that message would have gotten through. The massacres would have been sufficient to cower the Muslims - and no one would have been the wiser! But not this time! Why? - because the "game" had changed. The presence of the Islamic Revolution was beginning to make itself felt, and the Mullahs made sure the world found out what had happened at Sabra and Shatila.
What was the CIA to do now? - after all, the Mullahs knew whose puppets the Phalangists were. The answer was clear enough - get Israel to take the "fall." And that's exactly what happened. An official hearing into what had occurred in Sabra and Shatila was convened in Israel under heavy U.S. pressure - some would say, under U.S. "DIRECTION" - and concluded that Sharon, as defense minister and "architect of the invasion," bore "indirect responsibility" for the mass killings. Sharon was made the "scapegoat." The Muslims let it drop at that - refusing to pursue the obvious question, Who really controlled the Phalange - Israel or the CIA? And more than that, Whose war had it been anyway - again, Israel's or the CIA's?
In addition, one should ask himself, Was it just coincidence that millions and millions of dollars began flowing into the coffers of the Islamic Revolution from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, etc. shortly thereafter? Hush money maybe? One thing is for sure, the CIA's participation in all this was simply swept under the rug - as if it never existed, and the American and European press went to work trumpeting Israel's (and Sharon's) blame for the massacres - and so much so that today Sharon has been branded a "war criminal" throughout Europe and in certain sections of the United States.
What could account for this? There is, to say the least, something more afoot here than meets the eye; the simple facts of the matter cannot possibly account for such a "turn around" of public opinion. CERTAINLY THE ARAB PRESS POSSESSES NO SUCH POWER OF INFLUENCE OVER THE MINDS OF AVERAGE MEN AND WOMEN IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. No! - there is something far more powerful at work here than the influence of "Arab propaganda" - and that's the force of AMERICAN propaganda.
And make no mistake about it! - the "equivalence" that the American press has been pushing between Israel and the Palestinians has now been "FIXED" in the minds of millions and millions of people throughout the world - and so much so that THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WAY ISRAEL WAS PORTRAYED BY THE MAINLINE PRESS IN BOTH EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES BEFORE LEBANON, AND THE WAY IT IS PORTRAYED TODAY AFTER LEBANON APPROXIMATES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAY.
Indeed, the point has been reached in Israel's relations with the outside world where its officials and diplomats are seen as the moral equivalents of Radovan Karadzic, the former president of the Bosnian Serbs, General Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serbs, and Slobodam Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia.
While Israelis recoil at the notion that they even remotely qualify for being in the same league with Karadzic, Mladic, Milosevic and the Serbs, they are well aware that they are losing the "public relations war" insofar as the new Intifada is concerned, and that what is befalling Israel now parallels in almost every respect what has happened to the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia.
As a result, the Foreign Ministry has begun compiling a list of nations that claim "universal jurisdiction" in certain cases. Immediate worry spots are said to include Belgium, Britain, and Spain - but the list is expanding rapidly. "We're not in a panic," a senior official said, "but I think we must know the facts."
And the facts are very stark, indeed: For example, an attempt in Belgium to charge Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with war crimes, and unhappiness in Denmark because Israel has named a former chief of the Shin Bet security service as its new ambassador to that nation.
The third and fourth stages of the process the elites have initiated to rid themselves of their "Jewish Problem" in the Middle East are the so-called "Oslo Process" and the "secularization" of the Jewish state. In reality, these are merely two parts of the same step. The fact is, the "Oslo Process" is impossible in the absence of "secularization" - for how is it possible for an Israeli state that values its religious heritage to surrender the Old City of Jerusalem, to say nothing of the "Temple Mount" and a myriad of other "holy sites" that they would inevitably have to yield as a part of the process?"
It is for this reason that the American elites have turned against the idea of a Zionist state in the Middle East. What they are aiming at now is the creation of a "secularized" Israeli nation where Israel is no longer a JEWISH state per se, but is neutral insofar as religion is concerned.
To this end, elites in both Republican and Democratic administrations in the United States - sustained under the table by "Big Oil" - have in recent years supported Labor governments (which are much more open to "secularization" as a policy than are Likud governments), even to the point of interfering in Israeli elections to a degree that would be considered utterly illegal in this country - i.e., sending millions and millions of dollars to Israel in order to ensure a Labor victory over the more hawkish Likud; and even sending American experts at "voter manipulation" like James Carville to Israel in order to doubly guarantee a Labor win.
The process that the United States is aiming at insofar as the transformation of the Jewish state is concerned has been described by liberal guru Joseph Raz (a Jew). Raz describes the end result of this process as being the establishment of a "multicultural state" that recognizes -
"... the EQUAL STANDING of all the stable and viable cultural communities existing in that society ... There is no room for talk of a minority problem or of a majority tolerating the minorities ... a state, consists - if it is multicultural - of diverse communities and belongs to none of them."
A Jewish state that is not Jewish - that's what the American elites want. And the astonishing thing is, up until the beginning of the new Intifada, they had managed to secure a good deal of support for this policy from liberal American Jews like Stanley Greenberg, Philip Gould, Robert Shrum, etc. as well as almost the entire leadership of Reform Judaism in the United States (approximately 50 percent of America's Jewish community).
And it's not just in this country, but many in Israel as well. Indeed, almost all those who made up the "hard core" of Israelis that constituted the center of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's "peace coalition" were made up of secularized Hebrew activists steeped in Israel's socialist-labor tradition who favored the "secularization" of Israel - for example, the former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset who declared herself in favor of what she called a "SECULAR REVOLUTION" - i.e., a "revolution" that would make Israel a "secular state" just like "all the other nations of the West," and one which, presumably, would give Islam the same rights in the Jewish state that Judaism alone holds today. To secularized Hebrew activists, it seems that "secularization" is the only way to bring an end to the incessant warfare between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East.
But as the Intifada has progressed and grown in intensity, it is becoming ever more apparent that what the Palestinians have in mind is an Islamic state as the end result of the "secularization" process. TO THE MULLAHS WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION THAT HAS NOW ENGULFED THE PALESTINIANS, "SECULARIZATION" IS NOTHING MORE THAN A SHORT "WAY STATION" ON THE ROAD TOWARDS THE FULL "ISLAMIZATION" OF ISRAEL - an Israel that would eventually be joined to the emerging Palestinian state and that would be required to accept the return of all those Palestinians who claim to have been displaced by the 1948 War of Independence; an Israel where the Jews would be forced to exchange their "majority status" for a "minority status."
And, of course, if that ever happened, JEWS IN ISRAEL WOULD COUNT IT LUCKY TO ESCAPE WITH THEIR LIVES, ALL PROMISES FROM THE MUSLIMS NOTWITHSTANDING - after all, what else should one expect from an Islamic community that is daily fed a diet of virulent anti-Semitism not only in their nightly news broadcasts and from the propaganda organs of the Palestinian Authority, but also a community that is inextricably bound to anti-Semitism as a result of their normal routines of life. The fact is, anti-Semitism is everywhere in the daily life of average Arabs. They are surrounded, infused and saturated with it.
For example, take the regular fare of television "soap operas" that millions and millions of Muslim housewives are exposed to every day - programs that are as popular in the Arab world as "General Hospital," "As The World Turns," and "All My Children" are in this country; except that all these programs are heavily interlaced with virulent anti-Semitic themes involving the so-called existence of a Jerusalem cabal of "international financiers" that aims to take over the world - a story line straight out of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. People need to remember what Islamization has done to the Palestinian mind - IT'S MADE DEMONS OUT OF THE JEWS; and what do you do with demons. YOU KILL THEM IF YOU CAN.
This is where this kind of religious fundamentalism ultimately takes people - and it doesn't matter whether it's "Political Christianity" [the kind of Christianity that is embraced by groups like the Posse Comitatus and the right-wing militias in the United States (the kind that the Religious Right is also dangerously close to embracing)] or whether its the religion of the Islamic Revolution. EVERYONE THAT IMBIBES IN THIS KIND OF RELIGION IS PRONE TO SEE DEMONS!
When this kind of "religious fundamentalist mindset" - which, as we have already demonstrated, THE U.S. (NOT ISRAEL) BEARS COMPLETE AND SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROVOKING - is imposed onto a whole culture, than those who are on the "OUTSIDE" of that culture are in grave danger of physical annihilation. It's no longer a question of who stole what from whom; or who is in the "right" and who is in the "wrong" insofar as various pieces of real estate are concerned; it's not even a question of "Peace vs. War" - IT'S A QUESTION OF "LIFE vs. DEATH!" It's a question of the "devil vs. God" - and on this level, all bets are off, and the "devil take the hindermost." Loss in this kind of a struggle is not an option. To be labeled an "OUTSIDER" in this kind of a war is to be marked for EXTERMINATION!
So what are Jews to do in this kind of a situation? Reason with their opposition? What's there to reason about? - the kind of ovens that are best suited for burning their bodies with? The kind of gas that kills the quickest. The Jews have been down this road before! NEVER AGAIN!! This time they'll fight! If they go down, they'll take their enemies with them this time! - and the Jews have a name for this kind of thinking; they call it the "Samson Complex!" In other words, if they feel they are being pushed into a corner from which there is no escape, they will use their nuclear option - AND HANG THE CONSEQUENCES!
The story of Samson is recounted in the Book of Judges. Samson had been betrayed by his lover Delilah after she had found out the secret of his great strength - his unshaven hair. The Bible continues:
"... the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
"Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
"Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand ...
"And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy ...
"And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.
"And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.
"Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
"And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O LORD GOD, REMEMBER ME, I PRAY THEE, AND STRENGTHEN ME, I PRAY THEE, ONLY THIS ONCE, O GOD, THAT I MAY BE AT ONCE AVENGED OF THE PHILISTINES for my two eyes.
"And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
"And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. SO THE DEAD WHICH HE SLEW AT HIS DEATH WERE MORE THAN THEY WHICH HE SLEW IN HIS LIFE." (Judges 16:21-30
People who don't know any better - who have never been put in the kind of situation that Israel now faces - would say, of course, that such a course of action is not reasonable. Surely there must be a better way. But is there? Probably not. Look at the facts. One doesn't have to be privy to the State Department's encrypted communications, or the CIA's plans for the Middle East to understand that the U.S. in now treating Israel pretty much in the same fashion that Great Britain has been treating Northern Ireland or the U.S. eventually began treating the government of South Vietnam from 1973 onward - that they are seeking desperately for a way to "ditch" Israel while pretending that they are still trying to save her.
When all this is combined with the fact that the American elites have come to the "realization" that they don't need the Israeli army (the IDF) anymore to protect their oil assets in the Middle East - that is, after all, what the Gulf War proved - Israel's usefulness to the United States is pretty much finished. What's in it for the American oil elites to go out on a limb for the Israelis anymore? Back in the 1950s when the alliance between the Americans and the Israelis was first struck, there was no chance that the United States could get its military forces in place in time to protect its oil assets should that become necessary. They needed the IDF then.
But things have changed since the 1950s - and that's no longer true. In addition, the elites have perfected the skill of demonizing their opponents to an art form (largely as a result of their now almost total control of the mainline media) and now possess the power to make "Adolf Hitlers" out of them - i.e., people like Karadzic, Mladic, Milosevic, etc. - to the extent that while it may still be difficult to field ground armies, they (i.e., the elites) can at least field "air armies" with impunity against their opponents - as the Bosnian crisis and Kosovo crisis amply proves. After all, the world must be kept free of the Adolf Hitler-types - who would argue with that?
Plainly, the U.S. "foreign policy establishment" now sees the victory of the "Muslims over the Jews" (and that's the way they look at it) in the Middle East as inevitable - just as the British now see the victory of the Catholics over the Protestants in Ireland (Northern Ireland) as inevitable also, and they are now engaged in a process designed to mask what they are really up to - negotiating a deal with the Muslims over the fate of the Jewish state that they know will never work.
THAT'S WHAT THE "OSLO PROCESS" IS ALL ABOUT - a process that all but guarantees the destruction of Israel because the other party to the process - i.e., the Palestinians (WHO HAVE NOW IRREVOCABLY BECOME PRISONERS TO THE RHETORIC OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION) - cannot stop short of Israel's total destruction without being labeled "TRAITORS TO GOD."
That's what happens once a social or economic struggle becomes a religious struggle. The struggle is now a struggle between the devil and God, and if that's the case, where is the possibility of compromise? There is none. And Arafat knows it - that's why he said at an Islamic conclave in Johannesburg, South Africa, that -
"... the whole "Oslo Process" is simply a tactic to weaken the Jews ... It was like the agreements that Mohammed had made with tribes that were stronger than him. As soon as he had enough power, he simply violated the agreements and destroyed his enemies."
And Arafat isn't playing around here; he means it. And if he doesn't mean it (and he does), then Hamas means it! And the people in the streets in Gaza and the West Bank mean it! - and the State Department knows they mean it. The very real fact of the matter is, the U.S. is well aware of what the Islamic fundamentalists plan to do to Israel once the U.S. gets out of the way - just as England must be aware of what will happen to the Northern Irish Protestants once British troops leave. But Britain is tired of Northern Ireland, and the U.S. is tired of Israel. There is a brave effort to pretend otherwise, but it's plain for anyone to see who wants to see!
And that's the problem - the Israelis don't want to see, and in refusing to see what's happening to them insofar as the United States is concerned, they are repeating the same mistake that Samson made with Delilah (there is, after all, a reason why Samson was trapped by the Philistines and made their prisoner); the relevant passages are found just prior to the ones we just recounted:
"And it came to pass afterward, that he (i.e., Samson) loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
"And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
"And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.
"And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
"Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
"Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
"And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
"And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
"Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.
"And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
"And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
"And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
"And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
"That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man." (Judg. 16:4-17)
Now consider what happened here. Was Samson blind? - couldn't he see what Delilah was doing to him. She made attempt after attempt to destroy him - and pretty transparent attempts too! He didn't see because he CHOSE not to see.
And the same is true with the Israelis - they don't see because they are CHOOSING not to see, though it's plain enough - the Americans are trying to "dump" them - like some girl they've taken to the high school prom, and then "UNLOADED" for another girl prettier than she is - and now she has to find her own way home alone through a very dangerous neighborhood with no one to give her a ride.Pretty pathetic! - but that's what's going on here.
And it's not at all clear what American evangelicals are going to do here either. Are they going to stay loyal to Israel, OR go with their patrons, the American elites? After all, if there is any hope that they can "save America for Christ and the church" - they need the money and influence that only the American elites can give them (or at least so they have come to think). But these are the very same people who want to "ditch" Israel. Arab oil is what the elites want, they don't care a whit for Israel.
Naturally, all this hasn't quite "bubbled to the surface" yet, so there is a lot of "play acting" still going on! A lot of denials! A lot of pretending! But when American evangelicals are finally given the choice, "go with Israel" OR "go with 'saving America for Christ and the church'," which way do you really think most American evangelicals will go - after all, there's no possibility of "saving America for Christ and the church" without the help and money of the American elites - or, again, so they have come to believe.
And make no mistake about it - that's what Tim LaHaye thinks; that's what Pat Robertson believes; and that's what all the rest of them - from James Dobson to D. James Kennedy; from Jerry Falwell to Paul Crouch, ad nauseum - think. Or does one really believe that these men have not already sold themselves out to the American elites by now anyway? - if so, in addition to the desert land in Arizona and the swampland in Florida, I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell them. They've already sold the poor out in their slavish devotion to the economic policies of their elite masters, and most of their theological principles have been likewise jettisoned as they have sought to build bridges to the Catholic Church in order to build up their "Christian front" in their war against the "hated forces of secular-humanism" - almost as if the Reformation had never happened. What's Israel in the light of all these "compromises?"
Like Israel, all these people - James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, etc. - see only what they want to see: Ronald Reagan is a Christian, never mind the fact that he was also an astrologer; George Bush, Jr. is a Christian too, never mind the fact that none of his friends ever saw any evidence of that insofar as his life is concerned. For example, Mike Conaway, who worked with Bush every day from January 1982 until September 1986 (the time of his so-called conversion) says, "I didn't see any change in his behavior." Clay Johnson, Bush's chief of staff while he was governor of Texas, says (uncomfortably) that "... if he describes himself as born-again, that's what it is. But I think a born-again is somebody who has felt a sudden passion (for God, and George has never felt that - at least on a personal level) ..."
What Bush has found convenient, however, is the ease he can write his former life-style off by just saying, "... that all happened before 'I got Christ'." How very convenient - a luxury that non-Christians are not afforded by the so-called Christian Right. Christians are given a pass by the Religious Right insofar as their past indiscretions are concerned (which, in Bush's case, are legion), but not so non-Christians. Now that's worth becoming a Christian over if one wants to become a politician after a life of youthful debauchery.
The inconsistencies here are everywhere! - and they are not that hard to see. But - like Israel, Christian evangelicals don't want to see; and they CHOOSE not to see because -
"... this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart ... and I should heal them." (Matt. 13:15)
But whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not, Eternity has caught up with us. And that is certainly true insofar as Israel is concerned. THE TRUTH IS, THE RHETORIC OF ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM AS IT PERTAINS TO ISRAEL HAS BY NOW SPUN TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL! There is no pulling back from it. War is coming to the Middle East! - the GOG / MAGOG WAR! Moreover, it's closer than any one thinks! - and it's a war that will principally involve Israel and Islamic Fundamentalism. Very soon, now, it well be upon us - and with it will commence the SEVEN YEARS OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD! - and YOU will not escape, whoever you are. What you do then will determine Eternity for you.
MORE NEXT TIME! But until then it would do everyone "good" to ponder the lesson of all this. And the lesson is: When we as God's children - either as Israel or as the church - partner with the elites of this world, we partner with the devil himself, and when we do that, we set ourselves up for a huge fall. And this is precisely what is happening to Israel today. IT'S BEEN ABANDONED. Most Israelis may not know it yet - but that's the fact of the matter.
It is not without reason that the Bible says:
"Be ye not unequally yoked ... for what fellowship ... hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14)
This kind of alliance - the kind that both Israel and the church insist on pursuing with the elites of the world - NEVER works out! NEVER! The Bible continues:
"(For) ... what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an ... (unbeliever)?" (2 Cor. 6:15)
In other words, what harmony could the people of God have with unbelievers? What kind of unanimity of purpose could there ever be between the two? - after all, one group serves God, the other group serves the "here and now" (which ultimately translates into HELL) - and what agreement can there possibly be between God and hell?" None, of course! The Bible says,
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and ... (money)." (Matt. 6:24)
Or does one really think that the elites of this world serve the interests of God? The Bible somberly warns us, Wherefore -
"... come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
"And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor. 6:17-18)
What the Bible is saying here is not so much that we shouldn't have friends among the unbelievers, or any kind of communication with them - or how else would the Gospel ever be preached - but that we should not make any alliances with them - religious, political or otherwise. Alliances imply a common purpose, a unanimity of thinking between the two parties and, again, what commonality can there be between God and Satan, between the children of darkness and the children of light? -
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness ...
"Ye are all the CHILDREN OF LIGHT, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, NOR OF DARKNESS." (1 Thess. 5:4-5)
But, again, isn't this EXACTLY what Israel and the church are doing with the elites of this world? It's precisely these kinds of alliances that got Israel in so much trouble in the Old Testament. Indeed, the Lord somberly warned the children of Israel that -
"... if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell." (Num. 33:55)
Pretty severe - but, nonetheless, the truth! The fact is, both Israel and the church - as God's people - are to make no alliances with ANY outside forces. More next time!
God bless all of you!