By Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
3rd April, 2016
Caught between the two poles of ideology that have dominated the last century, Liberalism and Communism, the Middle East has been used as a chessboard to determine the leading ideology for global order. While the United States of America has been involved in war for 93% of its existence, not every conflict has occurred on its soil. In fact, the majority have been fought abroad. The timeline below will attempt to shed some light on some of the chess battles between the two leading ideologies that have taken place in the Middle East since the buildup of World War I.
While not a definite list, the aim of the timeline is to focus on the countries that are still heavily involved in conflicts in the 21st century. These include: Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and other nations such as Algeria and Tunisia (peripheral to Libya). The timeline excludes countries in the gulf and most of Africa, as they have shown to be merely assets of Western intelligence, usually with western-friendly monarchies or despotic regimes. The aforementioned countries in and around the Levant have sincerely tried to retain sovereignty and independence, but seem to be consistently thwarted in these attempts by Anglo-Atlanticist nations and their proxy forces.
The reader is encouraged to conduct their own research on any of the topics, and to form their own conclusions.
- 1882: British occupation of Egypt
- In order to prevent the French from taking control of Egypt, the British established their long-term presence in Egypt. This move also served the purpose of protecting the British sea lanes to India, much like the occupation of South Africa.
- 1901: Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar gives D’Arcy Drilling rights
- William D’Arcy paid the Shah £20,000 for a 60 year concession on land that covered 480,000 square miles of Persia. ¹
- 1905: Sidney Reilly steals oil rights in Persia
- Reilly, disguised as a priest, tracks down William Knox D’Arcy in Persia with the aim of hijacking the contract with the Parisian Rothschild Bank. He succeeded in giving Britain the rights to a major source of oil.
- 1909: Tel Aviv constructed
- Built under the British mandate in Palestine, “the city of Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 to the immediate north of the walled port city of Jaffa, on the hills along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.” ²
|“About 100 people participate in a lottery to divide a 12 acre plot of sand dunes, that would later become the city of Tel Aviv.” (source)|
- 1915: Gallipoli Campaign
- The campaign of the Dardanelles that led to a British defeat. After the Ottoman Empire placed on embargo on oil from Baku, the British were unable to secure Russian oil for their war effort.
- 1916: Sykes-Picot Agreement
- After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik party discovered a document, made in 1916, to carve up the Ottoman Empire, which they subsequently released to the public. Britain’s Mark Sykes and France’s Georges Picot had negotiated a deal whereby France and Britain would split the Middle East into Areas A and B. According to the document, the British would get Jordan (today) and the areas east of Iraq and Kuwait. The French would get Syria, Lebanon (today), and Mosul.
- 1916: Britain abandons France on the frontline
- Britain moved over 1 million troops into the eastern front to fight the Ottoman Empire. As if the Sykes-Picot secret agreement wasn’t enough of a betrayal for the arabs, who the British claimed to be liberating from Ottoman rule, and Hussein bin Ali, who proclaimed the arab revolt, Britain, in the face of Lawrence of Arabia, promised their arab-allies they would get full independence and sovereignty. This promise was even stated in a letter sent to Hussein bin Ali from Henry McMahon, a British army officer. Lawrence of Arabia would later write in his memoirs³:
“I risked the fraud on my conviction that Arab help was necessary to our cheap and speedy victory in the East and that better we win and break our word than lose.”
“Yet the Arab inspiration was our main tool in winning the Eastern war. So I assured them that England kept her word in letter and spirit… but, of course… I was continually bitter and ashamed.”
- Britain would later stab France in the back in the Treaty in Versailles by establishing the British army’s dominance in the Middle East.
|Lawrence of Arabia|
- 1917: Balfour Declaration
- Arthur James Balfour, on November 2nd, wrote a letter to Walter Rothschild, speaking as a representative of the “English federation of Zionists”, where he plants the seed for a Jewish State in Palestine:
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
- This letter would become central to the League of Nations mandate on Palestine, whereby Rothschild’s money would fund the emigration of jews who were fleeing Poland and Russia.
- 1919: Afghanistan declares independence from Britain
- Habibullah Khan is assassinated, but his son would declare Afghan sovereignty after gaining the support of tribal leaders.
- 1919: Creation of the League of Nations
- Formed in parallel to the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations’ role was to ensure the creation of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. The LoN’s ‘Mandate for Palestine’ gave the green light for jews to settle anywhere in the land of Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea).
- The various articles of the Mandate can be seen here.
- 1921: Churchill sends 40 experts to Cairo
- Churchill convened a meeting between Lawrence of Arabia, Percy Cox, and 40 experts near Cairo. The result of this meeting was the creation of the British Colonial Office – Middle East Division, which was “responsible for the administration of all British territories (including protectorates and mandated territories) outside the British Isles except India, Burma and the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms (all of which are administered by the India Office).” ⁴ As a result of this, Mesopotamia was renamed ‘Iraq”, and the RAF was stationed there.
|Colonial Office in London – today it is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office|
- 1923: Britain recognises Transjordan
- Churchill’s notorious 1922 White Paper designated the area east of the Jordan river as somewhere the Jews could not settle. This area was renamed Transjordan and handed over to Abdullah I of Jordan.
- 1923: Republic of Turkey is founded
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk becomes the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Over time he would shape the Republic according to the western paradigm until his death in 1938.
- 1926: Lebanon becomes semi-independent from France
- The Lebanese constitution, created on May 23rd, 1926, turned “Lebanon [into] a sovereign, free, and independent country. It is a final homeland for all its citizens. It is unified inits territory, people, and institutions within the boundaries defined in this constitution and recognized internationally.” The constitution in its entirety can be seen here.
- 1926: Mosul awarded to Iraq
- As Turkey and Britain both desired the possession of Mosul, Britain took the issue to the League of Nations. The LoN declared that Mosul should be a part of Iraq, a decision that was affected by the British dominance of the LoN.
|Mosul Commission (1925), sitting (center): Col. A. Paulis – G. Bell – Sir H. Dobbs – Source: Marc Dassier papers & collection|
- 1927: Seven Sisters formed
- Consisting of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and Standard Oil Company of New York, the formation of the Seven Sisters signalled the end of British dominance of the global oil trade. The seven companies would agree to fix prices and put an end to the price competition that had dominated the preceding years.
- 1928: Red Line Agreement
- Following the formation of the Seven Sisters, the Red Line Agreement “marked the creation of an oil monopoly, or cartel, of immense influence, spanning a vast territory. The cartel preceded easily by three decades the birth of another cartel, OPEC, which was formed in 1960. Excepting Gulbenkian, the partners were the super majors of today. Within the “red line” was included the entire ex-Ottoman territory in the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula (plus Turkey) but excluding Kuwait. Kuwait was excluded, as it was meant to be a preserve for the British. Years later, Walter Teagle of Jersey remarked that the agreement was “a damn bad move.”“⁵
- 1928: Muslim Brotherhood established in Egypt
- Hassan al-Banna founded the MB as a response to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. From there it moved from an underground movement to a mainstream attraction. A focal point of the MB is the disregard of secular values and the sanctioning of Jihad.
- 1932: Iraq recognized as an independent Monarchy by Britain
- Due to Iraq’s accession into the League of Nations, British rule over Iraq ended, as was previously agreed. The country would remain an ally to Britain in the Middle East for the decades to come.
|Residents in Baghdad celebrate their new independence|
- 1936: Palestine protests against the Zionist movement
- Whilst trying to keep French influence out of the Middle East and protect the Suez Canal, Britain had to contend with Arab revolts in Palestine, which were sparked by the stabbing of two Jews. This resulted in mass riots, a general strike in Jaffa and Nablus, and demands to ban Jewish emigration.
- 1937: The Peel partition plan is rejected
- As a result of the revolt, Britain established the Peel Commission in order to further examine the conflict between Jews and Arabs. The Commission highlighted that the desire of Palestinians for independence and their fear of a Jewish state was the cause of the 1936-39 revolts. Recommendations were made to the British government, including a stemming of the flow of emigrating Jews, but they ultimately rejected it, along with all the Arab nations sans Transjordan.
|Lord Peel arriving in Palestine|
- 1939: Britain publishes MacDonald White Paper
- Arabs and Jews were summoned to a meeting so that the issues between them could be further discussed. However, the meeting was unsuccessful as the Arab representatives refused to accept the authenticity of the Jewish delegation, and thus Britain had to negotiate with each party individually. The result of these talks was the MacDonald White Paper. The paper highlighted plans to limit Jewish emigration, but the Arab representatives still rejected the policy.
- 1941: Britain invades Iraq
- After Rashid Ali al-Gaylani attempted a coup in 1941, the British removed him from power and reinstated the British-friendly government. The RAF bombed the Iraqi forces until they were defeated in May.
- 1941: Britain & Russia occupy Iran
- Britain managed to persuade Stalin to occupy Iran on the basis that a few German engineers were present on nearby neutral territory. The result of this occupation was thousands of Iranians dying from starvation, epidemics of diseases, and a lack of heating fuel. General Schwarzkopf was sent to Iran to train the Iranian police force for six years.
- 1942: King Faruq appoints Mustafa al-Nahhas
- As a result of caving in to British pressure and tanks, the King of Egypt appoints Mustafa al-Nahhas as Prime Minister, an act that sabotaged the reign of Faruq.
- 1943: Lebanon granted full autonomy by France
- Charles de Gaulle, after much pressure, declared Lebanon an Independent state, along with the US, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Arab states. France would later arrest a handful of Lebanese politicians, but would later release them.
|Lebanese government in 1943|
- 1945: Arab League formed
- Consisting of Syria, Egypt, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, the Arab League was formed in Cairo as an attempt to coordinate actions between the Arab states. The Arab League would act as the center for the rejection of a Jewish state in Palestine.
- 1946: Democratic party established in Turkey
- After a split inside the Republican People’s Party, the Democratic Party was founded, which ended the single party system. This was however short-lived, as the Democratic Party was later banned in 1956.
- 1946: Kurdish Democratic Party established in Iraq
- The KDP was formed in the Soviet occupied Northern Iran under the leadership of Mustafa Barzani.
- 1946: Syria gains independence from France
- After being under the rule of the Ottoman Empire pre WW1, France ‘gained’ Syria as a result of the aforementioned Sykes-Picot agreement. After years of protests and fighting with the French forces, Syria gained independence shortly after WW2, as France could no longer maintain its influence in the region.
- 1948: State of Israel established
- The British deemed it necessary to keep a large military contingent in Palestine so that they could keep it under their wing. David Ben-Gurion’s announcement on the creation of Israel in May 1948 was greeted by Egyptian air raids and clashes between Jews and Arabs. The British mandate over former Palestine had officially ended.
- 1947: Pakistan created
- After the rebellion of the Indian Navy in 1946, Louis Mountbatten partitioned the Indian sub-continent into East and West Pakistan, separated by India, and handed power over to Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
|First Pakistani government in 1947|
- 1950: Israel proclaims Jerusalem as its capital
- The Knesset votes 61-2 in favour of naming Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. The proclamation stated:
“Whereas with establishment of the state of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital; Whereas practical difficulties which caused the Knesset and government institutions to be temporarily housed elsewhere have now for the most part been removed and the government is carrying out the transfer of its institutions to Jerusalem; The Knesset expresses the wish that construction of the seat of the government and Knesset in Jerusalem proceed speedily on the site allotted by the government for this purpose.”⁶
- 1951: Libya declares independence
- After originally being partitioned into 3 regions in 1943 by France and Britain, and occupied by Italy in 1947, the United Nations granted Libya its independence.
- 1951: Mohammad Mosaddegh made Prime Minster
- After years of uncooperative behaviour on behalf of the British, Mosaddegh, as part of the National Front of Iran, used the oil issue as a springboard to win seats in parliament.
- 1951: AIOC nationalised
- Because Britain was dissatisfied with their lack of control over the political process in Iran, they sent the Navy to Iran when Mosaddegh nationalised the nation’s oil, despite previous guarantees they would not interfere in a private company, despite the fact that over half of the AIOC was owned by the British Monarchy. This would lead to sanctions in banking, and oil shipments, with the RAF and Navy sent to British controlled Iraq. This would lead to a series of court battles, the result of which was the denial of British jurisdiction on the matter.
- 1951: Turkey joins NATO
- As an indicator of the orientation of Turkey towards the West, they, along with Greece, joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1951. Turkey would become a US ally in the East, and an important node in the buffer zone against the Soviet Union.
- 1952: Gamal Abdel Nasser & Muhammad Naguib lead a movement to oust Farouk
- Nasser’s Free Officers nationalist movement staged a coup to remove Farouk, and replacing him with Naguib. Nasser would replace Naguib in 1954 and survive an assassination attempt.
|Naguib (left) and Nasser (right)|
- 1953: Sudan gains independence from Egypt
- After the coup in Egypt, Naguib and Britain agreed on Sudan’s right to self-determination. Ismail al-Azhari would then eventually lead Sudan to independence in 1956.
- 1953: Eisenhower rejects Iran aid request
- Despite being unaware of Eisenhower’s plan to remove him, Mossadegh sent him multiple letters asking for financial aid. Eisenhower wrote back in May 1953 explaining how he would need to run the request by John Foster Dulles before giving a concrete answer. He would later decline the request, citing Iran’s ownership of its oil as the reason.
- 1953: Operation Ajax
- Norman Schwarzkopf’s visit to Iran was the sign of the removal of Mossadegh from power. Allen Dulles, after meeting the US ambassador in Iran, and his brother, John, had convinced Eisenhower that now was the time to stage a coup. With the assistance of the British Secret Service, Mossadegh was arrested in August 1953, with Reza Shah Pahlavi being his western-backed replacement. For the Anglo control of Iranian oil – it was back to business.
- 1954: Lavon Affair
- Israel conducts a false flag in Egypt; they would bomb American and British-owned targets, and try to pin the blame on Egypt. One of the bomber’s explosive device prematurely detonated, setting him on fire. Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon resigns after being falsely accused of being involved; his signature on an incriminating document had been forged by an Israeli spy network involving Binyamin Gibli. As a result of this, the soviets build the Aswan Dam, and in 1956 Nasser becomes President. Israeli, with Britain and France, would later bomb the Sinai peninsula in 1956, forcing the closure of the Suez Canal. Colonel Mustafa Hafez, head of intelligence in Gaza, is assassinated by an Israeli letter bomb in 1956.
|Moshe Dayan (left), Lavon (right) and Shimon Peres behind them|
- 1956: Tunisia declares its independence from France
- After gaining independence in March of 1956, the monarchy was abolished and the Republic of Tunisia declared. Habib Bourguiba would become the President, Prime Minister, and Head of State.
- 1956: UNEF stationed in Sinai
- After the US withdrew their financing for the Aswan Dam, Nasser announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company. UN ‘peacekeepers’ (United Nations Emergency Force) were then sent to Egypt for 12 months. After they left, Israel violated Egyptian sovereignty once again. Russian satellites would disprove Israel’s excuse that Egypt was amassing troops on the border.
- 1958: NUMEC, Apollo Industries founded
- Israel begins to construct its illegal nuclear programme by diverting materiel to Tel Aviv.
“Beginning in the 1960s, NUMEC received 25 tons of government-owned weapons-grade uranium to process into nuclear fuel for the US Navy and top-secret programs such as nuclear rockets and satellite fuel. NUMEC “lost” more HEU than any government contractor, leading to ongoing FBI, CIA and NSA investigations into whether the plant’s owners had collaborated with Israeli intelligence operatives and nuclear weapons development experts who frequented the plant.
According to a Department of Energy report in 2001, the now-shuttered NUMEC now holds the dubious record of “losing” more weapons-grade uranium (PDF) than any other US processing facility. Although CIA officials such as former Tel Aviv Station Chief John Hadden publicly claimed NUMEC was “an Israeli operation from the start,” American presidents from LBJ to Obama successfully quashed all public requests for release of thousands of pages of NUMEC-related top-secret government documents. Official US treatment of NUMEC as a pollution issue, rather than a crime scene and challenge to governance, has punished direct victims sickened by the shoddy smuggling-front’s operations.” ⁷
- 1958: United Arab Republic established
- Starting out as a union between Egypt and Syria, the UAR were merged into a single unit with Nasser as head. As a result, both Egypt and Syria declared their ‘arabness’ and scrapped native citizenship. With the addition of North Yemen in 1958, it was then called the United Arab States. In 1961, however, Syria left the union after a military coup by Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi.
- 1960: OPEC formed
- Founding members Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, and Venezuela would be later joined by Indonesia, Libya, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, and Algeria. Their objective would be “to coordinate and unify petroleum policies among the member countries to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers, an efficient economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.” ⁸
- 1962: Algeria fights the French for their independence
- After 5 years of guerrilla warfare versus the French, Charles de Gaulle declared Algeria’s right to independence. After a further 4 years of conflict, an agreement was signed in 1962.
- 1962: DOJ orders AZC to register as a foreign lobby
- The US Department of Justice, under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, ordered the American Zionist Council to register as an official foreign lobby (Foreign Agents Registration Act).
- 1963: AIPAC infiltrates Washington DC
- The American Zionist Council transfers its activity to its parent organisation – the Amercian-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
- 1963: David Ben-Gurion informed by JFK that Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons won’t be tolerated
- JFK would then demand an inspection at the Dimona nuclear plant in South Israel, which Gurion would ignore:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I welcome your letter of May 12 and am giving it careful study.
Meanwhile, I have received from Ambassador Barbour a report of his conversation with you on May 14 regarding the arrangements for visiting the Dimona reactor. I should like to add some personal comments on that subject.
I am sure you will agree that there is no more urgent business for the whole world than the control of nuclear weapons. We both recognized this when we talked together two years ago, and I emphasized it again when I met with Mrs. Meir just after Christmas. The dangers in the proliferation of national nuclear weapons systems are so obvious that I am sure I need not repeat them here.
It is because of our preoccupation with this problem that my Government has sought to arrange with you for periodic visits to Dimona. When we spoke together in May 1961 you said that we might make whatever use we wished of the information resulting from the first visit of American scientists to Dimona and that you would agree to further visits by neutrals as well. I had assumed from Mrs. Meir’s comment that there would be no problem between us on this.
We are concerned with the disturbing effects on world stability which would accompany the development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel. I cannot imagine that the Arabs would refrain from turning to the Soviet Union for assistance if Israel were to develop a nuclear weapons capability – with all the consequences this would hold. But the problem is much larger than its impact on the Middle East. Development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel would almost certainly lead other larger countries, that have so far refrained from such development, to feel that they must follow suit.
As I made clear in my press conference of May 8, we have a deep commitment to the security of Israel. In addition this country supports Israel in a wide variety of other ways which are well known to both of us. [4-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
I can well appreciate your concern for developments in the UAR. But I see no present or imminent nuclear threat to Israel from there. I am assured that our intelligence on this question is good and that the Egyptians do not presently have any installation comparable to Dimona, nor any facilities potentially capable of nuclear weapons production. But, of course, if you have information that would support a contrary conclusion, I should like to receive it from you through Ambassador Barbour. We have the capacity to check it.
I trust this message will convey the sense of urgency and the perspective in which I view your Government’s early assent to the proposal first put to you by Ambassador Barbour on April 2.
John F. Kennedy
- 1963: JFK assassinated
- After months of chasing the Israeli foreign lobbies, JFK would be assassinated, with the blame being placed on Lee Harvey Oswald. His Brother, Robert Kennedy, would also be assassinated in 1968, which was pinned on a Palestinian.
- 1964: Palestine Liberation Organization formed
- In order to bring the different Palestinian factions together under an umbrella organisation, the PLO was formed in 1964. The theme of the Palestine National Council’s charter would focus on the destruction of the state of Israel and the occupation in general.
|Malcolm X with the PLO in 1964|
- 1967: The Six Day War
- With Lyndon B. Johnson in office, UNAF would leave the Egypt-Israel border, giving the green light for Israel to bomb the Egyptian Army, under the cover of the previously used excuse – a build-up of troops. A US intelligence ship was in the vicinity – USS Liberty – which Israel attacked also, citing “an identification error”. Israel would subsequently annex the Golan Heights, the Gaza strip, the West Bank, and the Sinai Peninsula.
- 1970: Kurds gain autonomy in Iraq
- After revolting against the Ba’ath party’s rise to power in 1968, the Kurds (led by Mulla Mustafa Barzani) would reach an agreement with the Iraqi government, the result of which was the creation of an autonomous region.
|Mulla Mustafa Barzani (left) with Saddam Hussain (right)|
- 1970: Gamal Abdel Nasser dies
- Muhammad Anwar El Sadat would become Nasser’s successor, who would receive the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. The US would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a buffer against the Soviets, which would result in a boomerang effect of anti-western nationalism.
- 1972: Munich Olympics massacre
- A Black September organisation would kill 11 Israeli athletes, resulting in retaliation from Israel against the PLO. Later, in 1973, in what is known as Operation Wrath of God/Operation Spring Youth, the IDF raided Lebanon and murdered 3 prominent PLO leaders and dozens of others. The pretext for such an attack was the Munich massacre.
- 1972: Iraq and Soviet Union sign Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation
- The Baath Party developed their relations with the Soviet Union as a result of their support for the Arabs in the preceding wars with Israel. This development resulted in the signing of a cooperation treaty based on a “respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in one another’s internal affairs“.
- 1973: Yom Kippur War
- Named after the occurrence on the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, Egypt and Syria exact revenge on Israel and recapture the land that was previous stolen from them. The UN had previously demanded that Israel give back the land they annexed, but they ignored all requests. Egypt complied with the UN resolution and left occupied Palestine, but Israel used this opportunity to build more settlements, again, ignoring the UN. Eventually the UN would demand a ceasefire in the form of resolution 338.
- 1975: Iran & Iraq end border dispute
- The Algiers agreement would entail:
“First: Carry out a final delineation of their land boundaries in accordance with the Constantinople Protocol of 1913 and the Proceedings of the Border Delimitation Commission of 1914.
Second: Demarcate their river boundaries according to the thalweg line.
Third: Accordingly, the two parties shall restore security and mutual confidence along their joint borders. They shall also commit themselves to carry out a strict and effective observation of their joint borders so as to put an end to all infiltrations of a subversive nature wherever they may come from.
Fourth: The two parties have also agreed to consider the aforesaid arrangements as inseparable elements of a comprehensive solution. Consequently, any infringement of one of its components shall naturally contradict the spirit of the Algiers Accord. The two parties shall remain in constant contact with President Houari Boumedienne who shall provide, when necessary, Algeria’s brotherly assistance whenever needed in order to apply these resolutions.” ⁹
- 1978: Camp David Accords
- Officially signed in 1979 between Menachem Begin and Anwar al-Sadat, the accords would demand that Israel give the Sinai peninsula back to Egypt, as well as negotiations on Israeli-Palestinian co-existence (with the latter never coming into fruition).
- 1979: Iranian revolution
- After being exiled in Turkey since 1964, Ayatollah Khomeini would returned to replace Reza Shah Pahlavi and declare the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- 1979: Saddam Hussain installed as President
- After being in exile in Egypt after a failed coup attempt, the CIA would being back Saddam and make him the President of Iraq.
- 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini nationalises Iranian oil
- After the revolution, Iran’s international oil agreements were cancelled, and National Iranian Oil Company took control of the Republics resources.
- 1979: Iran hostage crisis
- After Reza Shah Pahlavi was ousted from Iran, a crowd decided to blockade the US embassy, with over 90 people taken hostage. After multiple botched rescue attempts, the seizure eventually ended with 8 casualties among those taken hostage.
- 1979: Soviet Union enters Afghanistan
- At the height of the cold war, Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in the middle of a civil war. The Soviets wanted to retain the leadership of Hafizullah Amin, and the US wanted to arm and fund the Mujahdeen to retain western influence in the region. The Soviets would replace Amin with Babrak Karmal. The US would arm the Mujahdeen, headed by Osama bin Laden, with stingers, which would ultimately result in the Soviets’ retreat.
- 1980: Iran-Iraq war
- After installing Saddam Hussain as a puppet leader, Ronald Reagan armed and encouraged him to attack Iran. The failed Operation Eagle Claw, the operation to rescue those who had been taken hostage at the US embassy in Tehran, would lead to an attempted Coup using Saddam and remnants of the old Iranian government. Several military officials were executed as a result of this for suspected treason. Reza Shah Pahlavi was leaking information to Saddam on the capabilities of the Iranian army and the general state of the country under US sanctions.
- After Iraq attacked Iran and conquered many towns, the Iranian army managed to fight back and put Saddam on the brink of defeat. The CIA, watching on the sidelines, decided to help Saddam regain the upper hand in the war by offering him political, military, economic, and logistical support.
- In 1981, the hostages at the US embassy were released, known as the ‘October surprise’.
- These events would run parallel with the Iran-contra affair; the CIA arm Iran, using Israel as a proxy, to attack Saddam Hussain, who was given chemical weapons by Donald Rumsfeld in 1986.
- 1981: Anwar Sadat assassinated
- Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman was not only accused of being involved in the assassination of Sadat, but he would later be accused of being the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
- 1981: Israel annexes the Golan Heights
- After capturing the Golan heights by force in 1967, Israel would then annex the territory after Menachem Begin would get 63 ‘yes’ votes to 21 ‘no’ votes in Parliament. The Syrian government treated it as an act of war, and the White House highlighted the incompatibility of the annexation with the Camp David Accords.
- 1981: Operation Opera
- Israel bombs the Osirak Nuclear Research Facility near Baghdad , citing the following as justification:
“…the reactor was about to go into operation and was a threat to Israel because it could produce nuclear weapons. Begin’s claims were contradicted by a number of experts, but there was considerable circumstantial evidence that Iraq indeed hoped eventually to develop a nuclear weapon.” ¹⁰
- 1982: Israel invades Lebanon
- Israel would pound Beirut in order to remove the PLO’s presence from the capital. Hezbollah is then established in retaliation to Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. According to Menachem Begin, Jews would be subject to another Treblinka if they did not attack Lebanon. ¹¹
- 1982: Oded Yinon Plan published
- Oded Yinon’s paper would build on the foundations of Zionism laid by Theodore Herzl at the 1897 First Zionist Congress in Basle. Below are two quotes from the document, which can be seen here:
“Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shiite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.”
“The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shiite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan.”
- 1982: Muslim Brotherhood movement clashes with Syrian Army
- Hama becomes the scene of massacre at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, who’s rebellion would be quelled by Hafez al-Assad. The world media would use this incident to demonize both the Soviets and Assad: “…be one of the bloodiest regimes in the Middle East, shaken from fear of espionage and with pro-soviet declarations and refusal of any peace policy overbidding itself every day anew.” ¹²
- 1986: Reagan bombs Libya
- The US would justify the bombings of Tripoli by accusing Libya of being involved in the La Belle discotheque attack in West Berlin.
- 1987: Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard sentenced to life imprisonment
- Pollard was arrested for Israeli espionage in 1985, and the media, at Washington’s request, would censor any form of detailed discussion on the case. He would later be released 30 years after his arrest as a goodwill gesture after the Iran Nuclear Deal was passed.
- 1987: Palestinian intifada
- A Palestinian uprising begins after 4 civilians are killed by an Israeli jeep at a Gaza checkpoint. Another civilian is also killed in the resulting protest by gunfire.
- 1988: Lockerbie bombing
- Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York suffers an explosion onboard whilst over Scotland. All 243 passengers were killed. The blame was pinned on Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photoed below), who was allegedly a Libyan Intelligence Officer.
- 1989: Osama Bin Laden leads Al-Qaeda
- Tracing back to the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the CIA would choose Bin Laden to front Al-Qaeda in order to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. As time went on, Al-Qaeda would only grow in size and strength, establishing local branches all over the Middle East.
- 1990: Gulf War
- The daughter of the Ambassador of Kuwait, Saud bin Nasser Al-Sabah, would give a fraudulent testimony that had been prepared for her by the PR firm Hill & Knowlton. In 1991, the US airforce would begin its bombardment on Iraqi troops in Kuwait.
- 1991: Madrid Peace Conference
- Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, along with the Palestinians, would meet to discuss the issue of occupation. The Israelis refused to negotiate with the PLO, so instead regular citizens from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip were included in the talks. The Madrid talks would soon be replaced by the Oslo Accords.
- 1992: Defense Planning Guidance released
- Paul Wolfowitz would published the DPG policy papers, which outlined a vision for the future of the US in the Cold War. Dick Cheney had to rewrite the papers after the mainstream media leaked the original classified versions.
“In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region’s oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel’s security. Israel’s confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.” ¹³
- 1993: World Trade Center bombing
- The blame for the bombings would be pinned on the Egyptian El Sayyid Nosair, who was also accused for murdering Meir David Kahane, an American-Israeli Rabbi and activist for the Jewish Defense League.
- 1995: US places sanctions on Iran
- Bill Clinton places further sanctions on Iran, accusing them of developing Weapons of Mass Destruction. He banned all American firms from investing in Iran and its Oil industry.
- 1996: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm published
- The paper would detail how Israel should develop relations with Jordan and Turkey in order to contain any perceived threats, the promotion of ‘self-defense’ against the Palestinians, and the termination of US aid to develop Israel’s economic stability. Neoconservative contributor Douglas Feith was quick to distance himself from the papers:
“I have been frequently been cited, online and in print, as a “co-author” of the “Clean Break” paper, an essay which some writers have described as a neoconservative “manifesto” or “master plan.”
These claims are false.
I was not a co-author of the “Clean Break” paper. I neither wrote it nor signed it. I do not believe I even saw it before it was published. The paper was published by an organization with which I had no affiliation. The paper did not have co-authors.
An Israeli think tank, The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), published “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” in 1996. It is a short paper – approximately 2800 words – that offered thoughts on Israeli and U.S. policies on national security and economics.
The paper’s principal author was David Wurmser (then affiliated with IASPS). As he researched the paper, he shared some of his thoughts with a half dozen people, including me, and asked us for our reactions and our own ideas. When IASPS published the paper, it described these individuals as a “study group.” The paper says its “main substantive ideas” came from talks in which the study group members participated.
In fact, my relationship to the paper is like that of an individual mentioned on a book’s acknowledgement page – simply someone with whom the author consulted in the course of his work. It would be foolish to describe all the names on a book’s acknowledgement page as co-authors. And it is foolish to describe me as co-author of the “Clean Break” paper.
I recall that my main contribution to the paper was the suggestion that Israel could help both itself and the United States by “graduating” from the U.S. economic aid program. The paper drew on that suggestion. It said that the Israeli Prime Minister could “use his forthcoming visit to announce that Israel is now mature enough to cut itself free immediately from at least U.S. economic aid and loan guarantees at least, which prevent economic reform.”
The “Clean Break” paper has become grist for thousands of conspiracy-mongering books and articles. If one puts “Clean Break” and “Feith” into the Google search engine, it produces many thousands of hits. Inaccurate references to the “Clean Break” paper have often been used to make the false and vicious argument that I supported war against Iraq to serve Israel’s interests rather than America’s. After an article in the Washington Post misreported me as a coauthor of the “Clean Break” paper, the Post published a letter from me correcting the point.”¹⁴
- Shortly afterwards, in 1997, the think tank Project for the New American Century would release its papers, which stress the creation of Pax Americana. Many of the papers have been removed from the now defunct official PNAC website, but here is such an example from 2000.
- 1998: Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty launched in Iraq & Iran
- According to the RFE/RL website:
“Radio Free Iraq was created by RFE/RL in 1998, in response to direction from the U.S. Congress. Led first by former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq David Newton, and since 2004 by journalist Sergei Danilochkin, it has provided accurate and non-sectarian news and information to local audiences and fostered informed debate of issues that are not otherwise reported in Iraq’s ethnically, politically and religiously fragmented media.”
- 2001: Tony Blair and George W. Bush give the green light to bomb Baghdad
- The US and UK would launch long range missiles at the capital of Iraq – Baghdad. They would also declare two-thirds of Iraq as a no-fly zone, giving them a pretext to bomb civilians mercilessly.
- Previously, William Scott Ritter, a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, resigned in 1997 in order to publicly reveal that Iraq did not in fact have any Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- 2001: September 11th attacks
- Two planes would hit the Twin Towers in New York, with a third hitting the Pentagon. The attacks were pinned on 19 alleged Al-Qaeda members, and were used to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of the Iraq invasion, over 1,000,000 Iraqi’s would lose their lives; Saddam Hussain is captured, convicted of war crimes, and subsequently executed. The justification for the invasion of Iraq was an alleged meeting in Prague between one of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta and a senior Iraqi official, where an alleged transfer of Anthrax took place. Hussein was accused of building Mobile Weapons Labs by the Weekly Standard newspaper, and obtaining Yellowcake Uranium from Niger (the documents had a forged signature).
- 2006: US sends ships to Iran
- In an attempt to intimidate Iran and reinforce the UN sanctions, the US sends 2 aircraft carriers “within sailing” distance to Iran.¹⁵
- 2008: Israel breaks truce with Hamas
- After a 4-month ceasefire, Israel kills 6 Palestinians in a raid who were accused being Hamas terrorists. Hamas, in response, launched 35 rockets into Israel, although no casualties were reported.
- 2011: Mubarak resigns
- Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak’s time as the President of Egypt comes to an end. The US would put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to release dissidents so that they could participate in a colour revolution. Mubarak’s successor, Mohamed Morsi, would be overthrown and tried for ordering the torture and arrest of dissidents. Other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were also arrested and tried. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would become the President of Egypt.
- 2011: US (NATO) bombs Libya
- Ansar al-Sharia and Khalifa Haftar would be bought off by the CIA, and a no fly zone imposed on Libya by the UN. As a result, Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi is captured and executed in the street by ‘Libyan Rebels’. The country would turn into a failed state, and a breeding ground for Salafi/Wahhabi terrorism.
- 2014: US bombs Syria
- After Libya is converted into a failed state, Syria would fall victim to the wave of terrorism that now engulfed the region. Islamic State in Iraq (a product of the US invasion) would spread across the border into Syria, and form alliances that would result in the creation of Jabhat al-Nusra. The US-backed Free Syrian Army would get the ball rolling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. In 2013, a Sarin Gas attack was staged by the FSA using gas that the Saudis had smuggled into northern Syria via Turkey. Despite repeated calls for a no fly zone, the US could not get the support they needed from Europe, thus, the use of proxy forces became more intense. On September 30th, 2015, Russia, at the request of Assad, would enter the conflict in order to help push the Turkish proxies in the north away from Damascus.
“Remembering history is to open up to the future, forgetting history is a betrayal” ~ Ji Xinping
- Katusa, M. The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp, 2014.
- Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919–1939.’ First series. Vol. iv. pp. 245–47.
- http://www.jta.org/1950/01/25/archive/knesset-proclaims-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-mapam-and- herut-abstain-from-voting
- Spector, Nuclear Proliferation Today, pp. 167-75; George Lardner Jr., and R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 12/16/92. Also see Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, 11/30/92; Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein, Op-ed, “Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions,” Washington Post, 12/20/92.
- Cromer, G. A War of Words: Political Violence and Public Debate in Israel. 2004.
- Ranke, P.M., Nur noch mit Gewalt, Die Welt, 12.2.1982