Hypocrisy Of The West Or Stupidity Of The East -By Halima Imam

World War I lasted for four painful years; it was referred to as the war to end all wars. Europe stood as the main theatre of war, although the war was one fought on so many fronts with stories rarely told which was of great importance during the war and of lasting significance, it is a story of troops who fought and die but conveniently forgotten but produced an outcome that shaped the Middle East. A place where modern-day civilization started, but the carving out of this region was done by the French, British, and Russians just like they did many other parts of the World, where they just sliced it up among them and never considered the locals.

The first World continents of Europe and America had spread their tentacles to nooks and crannies of the World to affirm their power and authority but in 1930 things began to change with the World was just fresh out of a brutal war which was fought with new weapons that were powered by a new important substance which was oil. Countries like Germany had lost the war because they lack the machinery to keep up with this new style of warfare had to turn their attention from the West to the East. The United States’ presence in the Middle East was a sprawling network of alliances, covert attacks, the massive inflow of weapons, money, and the building of innumerable bases and eventually turning into ‘foreign ground wars’.

An American company from California had taken the risk of going to Saudi Arabia to explore for oil, the Saudi Kingdom gave permission and on March 3rd, 1938 black gold, and yeah oil was discovered. Throughout 1930 -40, American oil executives and their families flocked the Middle East, establishing a very significant American presence in the region, ‘little slices of America’ where they set up around the oil in form of cities, doing all that was considered ‘sinful’ in Saudi Arabia, well that’s a story for another time. Then again the U.S built asked to build a military base, Saudi raised an eyebrow at first but whether out of ‘stupidity, greed or goodwill’ agreed to the proposition, but they ordered that no flag of the United States be flown. America and Saudi kept having this ‘forbidden bromance’ and the rest of the Middle East looked on in utter disbelief, but Saudi didn’t care because, are you kidding me, they were literally ‘rolling in the money.

The Middle East has many failing States and numerous wars, major World powers keep taking opposite sides, well to their benefit. There are armed militias and terrorist groups spreading violence across borders, and there are the uprisings that have turned the Middle East into convenient graveyards and places with the Worst humanitarian crisis across the globe. There is proxy warfare that affects the poorer countries the most, Europe, America, Saudi Arabia, and Iran see these civil wars created by them in the first place as tremendous threats and potentially enormous opportunities. There is rivalry over influence and who fields the most power and authority in the region.

America invaded Iraq even after getting clear intelligence that there was no weapon of mass destruction in existence there at the time, both America and Britain have trained and supported rebel groups in the Middle East with a pretentious excuse of making peace and ‘supporting the people against oppression, the reality after their presence is established in the region is clear for all to see.  Libya was stable, ruled by the same strongman for 42 years; in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak had been in power since 1983; Syria had been run by the Assad family since 1971.  Saddam Hussein had essentially been in charge of Iraq since 1969, formally becoming president in 1979. The Turks and Kurds had an uneasy but functional ceasefire, and Yemen was quiet enough, other than the terror attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Relations between the U.S. and most of these nations were so warm that Washington was routinely rendering “terrorists” to their dungeons for some outsourced torture.

It’s easy enough to hustle through three countries in the region in various states of decay before heading into the heart of the chaos: Libya is a failed state, bleeding mayhem into northern Africa; Egypt failed its Arab Spring test and relies on the United States to support its anti-democratic (as well as anti-Islamic fundamentalist) militarized government, and Yemen is a disastrously failed state, now the scene of a proxy war between U.S.-backed Saudi Arabia and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels (with a thriving al-Qaeda outfit and a small but growing army of the Islamic State [ISIS] thrown into the bargain).

Obama administration efforts to draw Turkey into the fight against ISIS were unsuccessful. Things changed in August 2015, when a supposedly anti-ISIS cooperation deal was reached with Washington. The Turks agreed to allow the Americans to fly strike missions from two air bases in Turkey against ISIS in Syria. However, there appeared to be an unpublicized quid pro quo: the U.S. would turn a blind eye to Turkish military action against its allies the Kurds. On the same day that Turkey announced that it would fight the Islamic State in earnest, it also began an air campaign against the PKK. All that does not come as a surprise because it is a known fact that Europe and America will only be friends with a country if it benefits them.

Countries in Europe and America have continually turned back some Arab refugees even though they are the financiers of the conflicts in those regions, they have treated helpless and innocent victims like terrorists for years now and constantly turned a blind eye to their plea. The United States has supported Israel in their illegal annexation of Palestine and so have their counterparts from Europe, they sat back in their cozy houses as innocent people are killed on their land with many of them turned into widows, orphans, and refugees and they dine, wine and fund the activities of oppressors.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Right Monitor said Wednesday that Israeli authorities banned 30 players from the Rafah Team in Gaza to play the final match of the Palestinian Cup against the Balata Youth Team in West Bank’s Nablus which is a violation of international law and of FIFA’s principles which say everyone has a “right to play.” The organization also said that Israel prevents footballers from Gaza to travel to West Bank due to security issues but this is “merely a political cover for the Israeli collective punishment practice against the Gaza strip.” “This blatant interference by the Israeli authorities that deny Palestinians the right to exercise their basic right to play football contradicts the values of FIFA, which has not acted against the Israeli restrictions on Palestinian athletes,” according to them.

FIFA and UEFA barred Russia from all sporting events where possible, Master Card Seized operations in Russia. Boris Johnson announced asset freezes on five Russian banks and three high net individuals, the German Chancellor also suspended their Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia. The European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and Taiwan all hit Moscow with new injunctions over the weekend, condemning the military incursion that unfolds.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is used by over 11,000 financial institutions to send secure messages and payment orders — kicking Russia out of it is considered a “nuclear move. “The countries also committed to imposing “restrictive measures” that would prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of sanctions. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the measures will paralyze Russia’s central bank assets and freeze its transactions, making it impossible to liquidate its assets.

When it concerns a country in Europe, all hands must be on deck and sanctions must continue to roll in, everyone should exercise their freedom of speech anywhere including athletes, something that was considered a ‘sin’ before when it concerned Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East. This is hypocrisy on the part of the West and it is clear cut for all to see.

Halima Imam ca be reached through–axk4lima@gmail.com

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