Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Peace to End All Peace

This article describes how the British stole the world's largest supply of oil, how they set the Middle East on a course of permanent misery and suffering, how they invented the myth that Jews control the world, and how they blame the Jews for their own crooked behavior.

Notes

The words “Ottomans” and “Turks” are, for the most part, used interchangeably throughout the article, as are the words “Ottoman Empire” and “Turkey.” The Turks were, after all, the ones who led the Ottoman Empire, for the most part. And after World War I, what was left of the Ottoman Empire became known as Turkey.

Throughout the article, whenever I included information from another source, I listed the source in parenthesis. Usually, the source is listed as a page number from a book. Page numbers which do not include a title are from the Kindle edition of the book “A Peace to End All Peace” by David Fromkin. Page numbers which include the title “The Prize” come from the Google Play version of the book “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power” by Daniel Yergin. Page numbers which include the title “The Young Turks in Opposition” come from the Google Play version of the book “The Young Turks in Opposition” by M. Sukru Hanioglu. Page numbers which include the title “Preparation for a Revolution” come from the Google Play version of the book “Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908” by M. Sukru Hanioglu. Kindle Locations which include the title “A Brief History” come from the Kindle edition of the book “A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire” by M. Sukru Hanioglu. References which include the phrase “The Times” come from the newspaper The Times of London. Page numbers which include the title “OSS in China” come from the book “OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War” by Maochun Yu. Page numbers which include the title “Legacy of Ashes” come from the book “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner.

As a final note, if anyone would translate this article into Arabic (or any other language) and post it all over the Internet I would be forever grateful.

Links

Part 1: Introduction

A friend once asked David Fromkin to explain to him why the Middle East has, over the years, had to endure so many tragedies. The book “A Peace to End All Peace” is his answer to that question. The title of the book was derived from a quote by Field Marshal Earl Wavell, who once said, “After ‘the war to end war’ they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a ‘Peace to end Peace.’”

For centuries, the Ottomans ruled the Middle East. But after “the war to end war,” otherwise known as World War I, Europe dissolved the Ottoman Empire and fundamentally reshaped the region. In his book, Fromkin argues that those changes caused the misery and suffering that now engulf the people who live there. For him, the settlement which ended the war “does not belong entirely or even mostly to the past; it is at the very heart of current wars, conflicts, and politics in the Middle East.” (Page 565) The conflict between Israel and the Arabs, the civil war in Lebanon, the hijackings, the assassinations, the massacres throughout the region, all these atrocities can all be traced back to the end of World War I, according to Fromkin. (Page 9)

Part 2: A Trojan Horse

Whoever won the war could annex territory from the countries who lost. That meant the British, after they won the war, could annex the Middle East, they could steal the world's largest supply of oil, if they could convince the Ottomans to become their enemy, if they could convince the Ottomans to form an alliance with their opponents, Germany and Austria. At the start of the war, they had Germany win a string of impressive victories against the Russians. The victories convinced the Ottomans that Germany would win the war, that they should ally themselves with the Germans as that would allow them to annex territory from Russia after the war ended. (Page 70)

Despite those victories, however, there were many Ottomans who were leery of joining the war at all. Some, like Djavid Bey, the Minister of Finance, argued his country could not afford to go to war. The country was bankrupt. (The Rupture With Turkey by The Times 12/11/14) The Ottomans had another reason for refusing to fight. Their recent history indicated they were not very good at it.

In the preceding years, the Ottomans had suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the Europeans. In 1911, Italy declared war on the Ottomans in the hopes of extracting Libya from them, a goal which Italy achieved. In the First Balkan War, which began in 1912, the Ottomans lost nearly all of their territory in Europe. With their empire disappearing before their eyes, the Ottomans decided they had to ally themselves with one of the Great Powers in order to ensure their survival. (Page 48) They first asked Britain for an alliance, then France, they even asked Russia, their mortal enemy, the country which had been trying to destroy them for the past 150 years. (Page 66) None of those countries were willing to form an alliance with them. (Page 49) With seemingly no where else to turn, the Ottomans formed an alliance with Germany.

The information released, the documents which describe how the Germans and the Ottomans would come to embrace each other, those documents are filled with holes and inconsistencies. It is impossible, based on what I have read, to definitely describe how and when their alliance was formed. But that does not mean an examination of the evidence is not worthwhile. The evidence proves, conclusively, that the Ottomans were both pushed into the alliance by the actions of Britain and they were pulled into the alliance by the actions of the Germans themselves. Not only did Britain refuse to form an alliance with the Ottomans, Britain did everything in her power to provoke them, to push them away, into the hands of the Germans. The Germans, meanwhile, did everything they could to entice the Ottomans, to force the Ottomans to join the war on their side. The Germans and the English were two heads of the European monster, whose actions were meant to force the Ottomans into forming an alliance with Germany, an alliance which would destroy their empire.

Part 3: The Young Turks

The rapid advances made by Europe during the Industrial Revolution had, by the late 19th century, left the Ottomans in a precarious position. They were far behind their European competitors. They were in danger of losing their empire, of being swallowed up by Europe. The Ottomans realized they needed to learn how to modernize their country from the Europeans. They sent their students to Paris to study. (Page 6 of The Young Turks in Opposition) The Ottomans wanted their students to learn how to reproduce European technologies and nothing more. But the French taught them something else. Once in Paris, some of the students formed oppositions groups dedicated to overthrowing the Ottoman government. The most prominent of these groups was the Young Turks, otherwise known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). In 1908, they managed to seize power and overthrow the Ottoman sultan.

It is ironic, and perhaps not even a coincidence, that the Young Turks executed their revolution in 1908, the same year in which Ford produced its first Model T. Perhaps Britain knew how revolutionary that car was, knew that the Middle East had an ocean of oil buried beneath it, and forced the Young Turks into action, knowing that the Young Turks would destroy what they vowed to save.

William Morton Fullerton, an American journalist in Paris who had watched the Young Turks for a decade prior to the revolution, predicted that they would “wreck their country” in three years time after assuming power. (Page 24 of Preparation for a Revolution) The Young Turks did indeed destroy their country, though it took them a bit longer than Fullerton thought.

Part 4: The War

At the start of 1915, the British attacked the Dardanelles. At that time, the Ottoman forces there were dangerously low on ammunition. Some of their gunboats only had enough ammo to fire for a single minute. (Page 134) The British began their attack on February 19. (Page 134) The Ottomans ran out of ammo a month later. (Page 151) But right as that happened, the British commanders at the Dardanelles decided to halt their attack and wait for the army to arrive. (Page 153) Winston Churchill was in disbelief. He knew the Ottomans had run out of ammo. Everyone knew that. He wanted to force the navy to resume their attack. But the decision was not his to make. The decision belonged to the prime minister, who sided with those who wanted to wait. (Page 153) And so they waited.

Part 5: The Settlement

At the peace conference, when it came to the Middle East, the French foreign minister declared there were “only two parties whose interests had seriously to be considered and reconciled, namely, Great Britain and France.” The British foreign minister agreed. (Page 400) As for the people of the Middle East, their wishes and desires, their hopes and their dreams were ignored.

America wanted the British to ask the people of Iraq for their opinions, for their ideas on how to reconstitute the Iraqi government. But the British replied that there was no way of asking the Iraqis for their opinions. (Page 450) Muslims were outraged.

“You said in your declaration that you would set up a native government drawing its authority from the initiative and free choice of the people concerned, yet you proceed to draw up a scheme without consulting anyone,” said one leading Arab political figure in Baghdad. “It would have been easy for you to take one or two leading men in your councils and this would have removed the reproach which is levelled against your scheme.” (Page 451)

Asking Muslims for their opinions would have been a waste of time. The British already had a plan for recreating the Middle East, a plan which they knew Muslims would hate.

Part 6: Conclusion

There are three narratives for World War I. One narrative, which is told by most historians, including Fromkin, is premised on two ideas. The first idea is called Hanlon’s Razor which says, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” When applied to World War I, it means that the actions taken by Britain, which destroyed the Middle East, were not intended to have that effect. Those actions were simply mistakes. The British were not evil. They were stupid.

The second idea comes from a quote by Blaise Pascal, who once said, “Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.” According to this idea, the course of history is determined by random events such as the length of someone’s nose, the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, and a monkey who bit the King of Greece.

The second narrative for the war comes from Britain, who argues that Jews secretly controlled the world. This narrative is believed by many on the Internet and by many people who live outside the West. Iran, for example, often blames the misfortunes of Muslims on Zionists, though when they say Zionists, they are referring to Jews, not Britons.

The third narrative is the one I have argued here, that the war was a conspiracy hatched by Britain, a conspiracy to steal the world’s largest supply of oil, a conspiracy to destroy the Muslim world, a conspiracy to prevent Muslims from reaping the benefits of their naturally abundant resources.

Now let’s determine which narrative seems most likely to be true.