By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
Part I–Oakland–Shortly before the beginning of the Civil Disturbances in the U.S.A. which broke out on the boulevards of this California city, the renowned literati and â€œrabble rouserâ€ Tariq Ali, came to this town brought, as a fund-raiser for the Middle Eastern Childrenâ€™s Alliance (MECA) to raise not only money for Palestinian and Iraqi children, but to educate the American public on the plight of Arabs in the Middle East â€“ particularly those caught up in the Palestinian-Israeli imbroglio. He came to address a totally non-academic American audience here.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement(s) have been the most serious challenge to American Capitalism from within for quite some time. Now, Dr. Ali comes from within Islamic culture — although fully cognizant of the foibles of the West, which would put him at odds with the Euro-American financial system from the perspective of an outsider, but, simultaneously, an insider for his long residence in the West.
He began by declaiming that the legal foundation for the (Palestinian) Right of Return was legally delineated by the U.N. in 1948. Thus, the â€œRight of Returnâ€ is, for politically exiled Palestinians citizens, guaranteed under International law! He emphatically declaimed that â€œThere can be no peace in the Holy Land without a â€œRight of Return!â€ Speaking here in a hall nears the jewel of this city of the capital of Alameda County, Lake Merrit (an Arroyo from the Bay), that the oppressed people of Palestine were in solidarity with the revolt here against Metropolis and the repressive principles of Imperialism: â€œIt was great to be part of Occupy Oakland!â€
Ali was born (1943) and educated in Pakistan (Lahore) shortly before Independence (1947 and Partition) from the British of a prominent â€œfeudalâ€ family of that nation, but, after becoming radicalized in his politics, he was exiled to the United Kingdom where he gained notoriety as a writer and an editor.
He opined that the fall of (the â€œPharaohâ€) Mubarak on the Nile would (begin to) transform the Middle East, and would blunt the U.S.â€™ pro-Israeli policy towards the imbroglio in the Levant.
Essentially, the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty had corrupted the great Nasserâ€™s prior traditional principle of support for the Palestinian people on the other side of the Sinai from Alexandria. Shortly before the outpouring in Tahrir Square, the American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton described the Mubaraks as â€œfamily.â€ Presently, the Americans are holding talks with the mighty Egyptian army and the Muslim Brotherhood (who, as of this composition [the 3rd]) of the first part of this article) seem to be headed towards a plurality in the current election and may be the dominant political grouping of any coalition that could unfold (after the final tally of this drawn-out election is announced).
â€œIt is not a black and white pictureâ€ there. The masses must assuage their fear of death to politically succeed. Yet, fraternization between Cairoâ€™s military and their people has been developing. Succinctly, though, this has weakened Washingtonâ€™s influence there.
Ali confirms a point your author on this page made in remarks within the previous month: The Iraqi population was amongst the best educated in the Middle East â€“ including opportunity for women â€“ under the Baathist (i.e., a type of Arab socialism) regime. (Of course, unfortunately, this was achieved at the expense of minority and religious rights.)
On the other hand, Khadafy presided over a tribal system. Many in the West disliked the Colonel because of his eccentricity, and the intervention of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) can be seen as revenge for his perceived hostile saber-rattling against Brussels, etc., but, most of all, for suspected involvement in Lockerbie.
Despite Colonel Khadafy bizarre manner, he opened Libya to Modernism, but the Occident wished the mineral richness of his desert. One of the problems that Moammer Khadafyâ€™s regime had was its waffling and failure to develop a clear policy for governance.
Supposedly, New York (the U.N.) gave the commission for NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to protect the non-combatants in and around Benghazi, but the Alliance extended their mandate to cover all the air space over the Libyan sands. For Tariq Ali, â€œTo prevent one massacre, they created a second oneâ€ of their own.
The West wishes the Burghers to rule in post-â€œRevolutionaryâ€ Libya, but the Islamists have other ideas. â€œTyrants should be toppled organically,â€ but ultimately the language of violence is the determinant. We, according to Tariq, find ourselves in a post-legal situation, also. Succinctly, we are killing our own.
Ali Sahib deems that Obama has not come through, (but your correspondent senses the only other options for personalities in that position would impact the Islamic nation much worse.) America recently has dealt crudely with Arab leaders in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria. He rightly points out that the Mossed have been the leader in State terrorism (as have the ISI, and British intelligence) and now he asserts that the U.S. is mimicking them. (That is true to a point, D.C. [the District of Columbiaâ€™s] Central Intelligence Agency [C.I.A.] has a long way to go, though, to free itself from its traditional bungling. Further, to struggle within the Arab â€œSpring, the Saudis have been suppressing Bahrain for some time. The Bahraini King was appointed by the Colonial British. The Royal family is Sunni whereas the grand majority of their subjects are Shia. Essentially, the King only represents his own tribe which leaves out most other traditional groupings.
This discussion will be develop and unfold in the future.