Where were the French?
have questioned the conduct of the British Navy for allowing the Goeben
to escape. Much less attention has been directed towards the French
Navy, which seems odd. The Goeben was the biggest threat to the
transportation of French soldiers across the Mediterranean. One would
think France would have been determined to sink her.
The Times mentioned the French had their fleet
stationed at the north end of Messina, which makes sense. From that
position, they could prevent the Goeben from returning to Algeria, from
interfering with their transportation operations. And after dealing with
the Goeben, the ships could have returned to Algeria faster than had
they been stationed on the south side, which would have forced them to
sail a longer distance.
Two years after the incident, out of the clear blue
sky, Ronald McNeill, a British Conservative Parliamentarian, asked the
foreign secretary if he had any official information which indicated
that a French Admiral notified the British government that he was
pursuing the Goeben, that he intended to sink her before she reached the
Dardanelles. But before he could do so, the French government ordered
him to stop his pursuit based on a request from the British government.
(House of Commons by The Times 1/21/16) The foreign secretary denied
that such information existed. However, in my opinion, it is the most
likely explanation for why, when the Goeben emerged from Messina, the
French were nowhere to be seen.
The Ottomans should have known better
know, in retrospect, that for the Ottomans, their alliance with Germany
was a Faustian bargain. The alliance led to the destruction of their
empire. One might be tempted to excuse the Ottoman leadership, to argue
that they simply could not have refused the Germans, to argue that they
had no idea, at the time, how badly things would go for them in the
future. A thorough examination of the facts, however, indicates the
Ottomans should have known the Germans did not have their best interests
The Ottomans should’ve had this epiphany when the
Goeben shelled Odessa. That was not how the Ottomans should have joined
the war. The bombardment made the Ottomans look like the aggressors. If
the Ottomans wanted to join the war, they should have made it look like
the Russians were the aggressors. That would not have been difficult.
By the end of October, the British and the Russians
had declared that the sale of the Goeben was not valid, that they would
attack the Goeben if she entered the Black Sea. (Goeben and Breslau by
The Times 10/27/14) To make the Allies look like the aggressors then,
the Ottomans could have ordered the Goeben sail into the Black Sea and
wait for her to be attacked. Or the Ottomans could have sent the Goeben
into the Black Sea, had her sink an Allied warship, and declare that she
was acting in self defense. In fact this second option was, according
to Fromkin, the plan the Ottomans ordered the Germans to implement. Two
Ottoman leaders, Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha, secretly ordered the
Germans to move the Goeben and Breslau to the Black Sea, have her attack
Russian warships, and claim that the Russians attacked them first.
(Page 72) But the Germans ignored these orders and instead fired on the
Russian coast. In doing so, they prevented the Ottomans from credibly
arguing that they were acting in self defense. When the Ottomans found
out what the Germans had done, they ordered the ships to stop firing and
sent the Russians an apology.
After this incident, the Ottomans should have known
that the Germans had little concern for their fate, or even for the fate
of the German Empire. The Germans attacked Odessa because they wanted
the Ottomans to look like the aggressors. They gave the Allies a
justification for carving up the Ottoman Empire after the war.
The narrative for the start of the war could have
been: the Allies steals two battlecruisers from the Ottomans and then
fire on the two warships the Ottomans got from Germany to compensate for
the ships Britain stole. Instead the narrative is: the Ottomans fired
on the Russian coast for no apparent reason.
The incident shows that the Germans were controlled
by the British. Their actions discredited the Ottomans in the eyes of
the rest of the world. The Ottomans were supposed to be their allies. It
makes no sense to discredit your allies. It does make sense to
discredit your enemies, which is what the Germans did. If the Germans
were the enemies of the Ottomans, that means, in reality, they were on
the same side as the British. The incident also showed that the Ottoman
leadership were controlled by the British. Once the Goeben fired on
Odessa, the Ottomans should have realized that the Germans never really
gave them the Goeben. They should have realized that the Germans were
trying to discredit them. They should have expelled the German mission
as requested. But they didn't, which means they too were controlled by
The Young Turks
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.
Europeans, both the French and the British, provided shelter for the
Young Turks during their time in opposition. The British allowed the
Young Turks to live in London. At one point, the Young Turks had their
headquarters there. (Page 146 of The Young Turks in Opposition) During
this period, the British press provided them with favorable coverage.
Britain also allowed the Young Turks to live in countries which they
controlled, including Egypt and Cyprus. (Page 99 and 106 of The Young
Turks in Opposition) In the case of Cyprus, the British even encouraged
the Young Turks to become active there.
The sultan asked the British to crack down on the
Young Turks in Egypt, but the British refused, arguing, apparently with a
straight face, that they could not interfere in the domestic affairs of
Egypt, a country which they controlled. (Page 80 of The Young Turks in
Turks were not a monolithic movement. They had a diversity of opinion
which, for the most part, was divided into two groups - those who wanted
Europe to intervene in Ottoman affairs and those who did not.
The group that supported European intervention
wanted Europe to help them overthrow the Ottoman sultan. The
interventionists took a more accommodating view towards the ethnic
minorities who inhabited the Ottoman Empire.
The interventionists often conspired with the
British government to overthrow the sultan. (Page 60 of The Young Turks
in Opposition) However, although the British were willing to talk to the
Young Turks about staging a coup, when it came time to act, the British
were never willing to follow through. (Page 125 of Preparation for a
Privately, the British had a condescending attitude
towards the Young Turks, in particular towards Murad Bey, one of the
“Mourad is an impecunious
scamp,” said Lord Cromer. “I dare to say that he will do what I tell
him.” (Page 80 of The Young Turks in Opposition)
For the British, the interventionists were nothing more than a tool which they used to pressure the sultan.
the Young Turks as a wild card in order to obtain concessions from the
sultan was a more common form of political pressure,” said M. Sukri
Hanioglu. (Page 22 of Preparation for a Revolution)
Whenever the British wanted something from the
sultan, they would pretend to support the interventionists and their
efforts to stage a coup. The British hoped that this routine would scare
the sultan into giving them whatever they wanted. But regardless of how
the sultan responded, in the end, the British would never support a
coup led by the interventionists. Over time, the interventionists lost
credibility. The Young Turks who opposed European intervention took over
One would think that Britain would have supported
the interventionists, as the interventionists admired Britain and wanted
to work with them. But they didn't. Instead they allowed the
anti-British faction to seize power. The British view of the Young Turks
was similar to the way Colin Powell viewed invading Iraq.
When America was thinking about invading Iraq, Colin
Powell recommended against it, arguing that if America broke Iraq,
America would have to fix it. Britain thought the same thing about the
Ottoman Empire. If Britain decided to overthrow the sultan, the world
would expect Britain to fix the Ottoman Empire. But Britain did not want
to fix the Ottoman Empire. Britain wanted to destroy and partition the
empire, to annex the parts of the empire that contained oil. In order to
do so, Britain needed Ottoman rulers who hated Britain. If the empire
was ruled by people who loved Britain, they would never go to war with
Britain. Then the only way to destroy the empire would be to
unilaterally declare war against the Ottomans, an act which would be
perceived by the rest of the world as evil and unjustified.
Young Turks were foolish for going to war with Europe, their opinions
about Europe, about how Europe was evil, about how Europe was trying to
destroy their country, those opinions were completely justified. They
accused Britain of “provoking and prodding” the Armenians, Bulgarians,
and Arabs into revolting against the Ottoman government. (Page 178 of
Preparation for a Revolution)
“The provinces of Salonica, Ioannina, Edirne, and
Monastir have been filled with foreign schools and Catholic and Slavic
churches,” said the Young Turks. “These schools are not content with
teaching arts and sciences, they also teach Christian children that they
should strive hard to separate themselves from the Turks, and work for
the extinction of the Ottoman government.” (Page 43 of Preparation for a
Using minority groups to destabilize other countries
is the job of the British external intelligence agency. When most
people think of British intelligence, they think of James Bond and the
organization he belongs to, MI6. Although many people refer to the
British external intelligence agency as MI6, its official name is the
Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).
Until recently, I never knew that the phrase “secret
intelligence” refers to a specific category of intelligence activities.
I learned its definition after reading a book about an offspring of
British intelligence - the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The book
is called OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War.
In December 1940, fifteen months after Britain
entered World War II and a year before America joined the war, the
British government paid William Donovan, an American, to take a tour of
the Mediterranean. Accompanying him was William Stephenson, the chief of
British intelligence for the Western Hemisphere.
While on this trip, Donovan decided that America
needed to centralize its intelligence operations, that America needed to
create a new agency which would control the country’s intelligence
apparatus. Roosevelt accepted this proposal and put Donovan in charge of
the new organization. Originally the agency was called the Coordinator
of Information. It was later renamed the Office of Strategic Services.
OSS was essentially an arm of British intelligence.
British officials trained all the OSS agents, first at a British
training camp in Ontario called Camp X, later at training camps in
Virginia and Maryland. (Page 19 of OSS in China) Britain knew the
identities of virtually every OSS agent. The converse was not true,
however, as OSS knew little about British secret intelligence
activities. A few months before the end of the war, a U.S. military
officer, Colonel Richard Park Jr., wrote a blistering report about OSS. ( http://chroniclesoftheendofhistory.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-park-report.html - chroniclesoftheendofhistory.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-park-report.html )
“O.S.S. is hopelessly compromised to foreign
governments, particularly the British," said Colonel Park. “Further
questioning of British intelligence authorities will evince nothing but
praise because the O.S.S. is like putty in their hands and they would be
reluctant to forfeit a good tool.”
Like its British counterpart, secret intelligence
was one of the duties of OSS, as was special operations. While reading
the book OSS in China, I kept wondering what was involved in secret
intelligence and special operations. The author kept using those terms
but he never defined them. I tried to find a definition for these terms
on the Internet but I couldn’t find a satisfactory answer there either. I
eventually found a definition for those terms in Appendix III of the
Park report. That appendix contains an outline of the activities
performed by OSS. Section 1 and 2 of the outline list the activities
that fall under the categories of secret intelligence and secret
operations. I assume secret operations is the same thing as special
operations. The following is a copy of sections 1 and 2 of the outline:
Liaison with undergrounds, minority groups, and subversive groups in various countries throughout the world.
Interception (radio, telegraph, telephone, etc.).
Dark chamber (cryptanalysis).
reading this outline, I came to the conclusion that I had a hard time
finding a proper definition for these terms because the government does
not want the public to know what these terms mean. The government, I
presume, rarely if ever has defined those terms publicly. That is why it
is hard to find an accurate definition for those terms on the Internet.
Why the government was willing to declassify this document is something
of a mystery to me.
From section 1a and section 2, we can deduce that
secret intelligence and special operations involves using subversive
groups, including minorities, to destabilize other governments. For the
Ottoman Empire, the most infamous case of Europe using minority groups
to destabilize their country involved the Armenians.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the Armenians
began revolting against the Ottoman government. In 1895, they escalated
their attacks, hoping the violence would cause Europe to intervene.
(Kindle Locations 3275-3276 from A Brief History)
Britain denounced the Ottomans for suppressing the revolts. They used the revolts as a pretext to to turn against the Ottomans.
sympathies with Turkey have completely changed and she would never
again make great sacrifices for a government which she so thoroughly
distrusts,” said the Marquis of Salisbury. (Kindle Locations 3278-3279
from A Brief History)
The Young Turks knew what Britain was doing and they hated them for it.
a shameful act or outbreak of disorder occurs in the Ottoman dominions,
[the European statesmen] immediately put all the blame on the Turks and
their religious fanaticism, thereby intervening in our domestic affairs
on the pretext of safeguarding the Christians-as if the non-Christians
were not human beings!” exclaimed Ahmed Riza, a prominent Young Turk.
“They bombard towns with the cry of ‘Turks are not capable of progress
and reform, and the Ottoman state cannot be put into any kind of order,’
and attempt to turn European public opinion against us.” (Page 301 of
Preparation for a Revolution)
In many cases, after a revolt broke out in the
Ottoman Empire, the Europeans used the revolt as a pretext to intervene,
ostensibly to fix the problem, in reality to destroy the Ottoman
“Whenever the Great Powers intervened in our domestic
affairs they concluded their intervention by separating an element [of
the empire] from us, or obtained new privileges for profiteers and
missionaries; to sum up, they always diminished the strength of the
Turk,” said the Young Turks. (Page 32 of Preparation for a Revolution)
This was why they opposed European intervention.
Were Europe allowed to intervene again, they suspected that Europe would
chop off a part of their empire.
came to rescue us by accepting our invitation she would at first try to
separate the Armenians and Macedonians from us,” they said. (Page 32 of
Preparation for a Revolution)
By the way, after World War II, OSS would undergo
several name changes. After the last name change, the organization
became known as the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Young Turks were nationalists. They believed the
Turkish people should enjoy a dominant, elevated position above the
other ethnicities of the Ottoman Empire. (Page 171 of Preparation for a
Revolution) They argued that their language, Turkish, “was the most
superior and advanced Oriental language.” (Page 66 of Preparation for a
Revolution) They often looked down on the other races of the empire.
“Why should we bow before these Armenians, who make
us a laughingstock though we never deserve it?” said the Young Turks.
“The fortunes that they have made, the arts that they have mastered all
arise from the fact that they have lived at our expense.” (Page 67 of
Preparation for a Revolution)
The Young Turks took a hard-line on the issue of
autonomy. They argued that granting others autonomy would lead to their
“To give a little bit of power and
credit to the separatists encourages them to detach themselves
completely,” said the Young Turks. (Page 291 of Preparation for a
Their opposition to autonomy, their hard-line views
on Turkish nationalism alienated the ethnic minorities and prevented the
Young Turks from forming alliances with them. (Page 179 of Preparation
for a Revolution)
The Young Turks
were positivists. Positivists believe that scientific truth is the only
truth, that religious beliefs are invalid. This ideology was
inconsistent with the views of the Ottoman people, many of whom were
Muslims. Despite their beliefs, the Young Turks often spoke in
religious, Islamic terms in the hope that such rhetoric would boost
their popularity. They saw Islam as a tool which they could use to unite
the world’s Muslims. Such a unification would be a powerful force which
they could use against Europe.
“The Europe Christian governments are very much
afraid of even the term ‘Union of Muslims,’ said the Young Turks. “Our
enemies’ fear is convincing proof of the necessity of a union for the
Muslims.” (Page 157 of Preparation for a Revolution)
Unfortunately for them, it was not a secret that
they were positivists. Their opponents labeled them as such in order to
“This hostile propaganda was very damaging to the CUP,” said M. Sukri Hanioglu. (Page 305 of Preparation for a Revolution)
pillars of Young Turk ideology - nationalism, anti-imperialism, and
positivism - rather than forming the foundation which allowed the Young
Turks to rule the empire, formed the foundation which Europe used to
destroy it. Positivism alienated the empire’s Muslims. Nationalism
turned the minorities against the Young Turks. Anti-imperialism led the
Young Turks to fight against the Europeans instead of trying to reach an
accommodation with them.
The Young Turks got each of these pillars from
Europe. Yusuf Akcura, a Turkish nationalist who was involved in the
movement, was heavily influenced by Albert Sorel and Emile Boutmy, two
of his professors at Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, one of the
most prestigious universities in France. (Page 293 of Preparation for a
The Europeans taught the three pillars to the Young
Turks knowing full well that such an ideology would destroy the Ottoman
Empire. With such a ridiculous ideology, the Young Turks could not seize
power unless they had help. The help came in the form of the
humiliations imposed on the sultan by the Europeans.
“The Muslim elite, extremely disheartened by the
Ottoman government’s inability to thwart foreign intervention, viewed
the Young Turk movement as a last chance to save itself from Greek
domination,” said M. Sukri Hanioglu. (Page 152 of Preparation for a
By humiliating the sultan, the Europeans were paving the way for the Young Turks to seize power.
1903, a group of ethnic Bulgarians launched an insurrection against the
Ottoman government in Macedonia. The Murzsteg program, a series of
reforms concocted by Europe, was implemented in reaction to the
violence, but it failed to resolve the problem. Instead the program
created an enormous amount of resentment amongst the Muslim population.
(Page 208 of Preparation for a Revolution) To protect themselves against
the insurgents, the local Muslims formed groups of vigilantes.
In the past, when it came to Macedonia, the British
had sat on the sidelines and let other countries take the lead. But all
that changed at the end of 1907. (Page 231 of Preparation for a
Revolution) The British declared that the situation in Macedonia was
unacceptable. Things needed to change.
“The Ottoman authorities have displayed an utter
incapacity to maintain public tranquility,” said Edward Grey, the
British foreign secretary. (Page 231 of Preparation for a Revolution)
Britain suddenly began cooperating with Russia on this issue. (Page
232 of Preparation for a Revolution) To solve the problem, Britain put
forth a proposal that they knew the Ottomans would refuse.
“If a Turkish Governor were appointed for a fixed term of years-a
man whose character and capacity were accepted and recognized by the
Powers-and if he had a free and willing hand and his position were
secure, I believe that the whole Macedonian question might be solved,”
Britain made this same proposal three decades ago,
during the Constantinople Conference. The Ottomans refused their
proposal. The failure of the conference led to the Russo-Turkish War.
(Page 232 to 233 of Preparation for a Revolution) The British knew that
this proposal would still be unacceptable to the Ottomans thirty years
later, but they made it anyways.
“Sir Edward’s proposal was one that obviously would
be found entirely unacceptable by any Ottoman government in office,”
said M. Sukri Hanioglu. (Page 232 to 233 of Preparation for a
The Young Turks proclaimed that the proposal was aimed at
“the partition and extinction of the Ottoman state and expulsion of
Turks from Europe.” (Page 234 of Preparation for a Revolution) This
propaganda, which denounced Europe and warned of their impending
intervention, struck a chord with the Ottoman soldiers in Macedonia. For
unlike other areas of the empire, in Macedonia, foreign intervention
was a fact of life. Due to the Murzsteg program, there were foreign
officials in the area who were interacting with the local Christians,
who were listening to their complaints. The Ottoman soldiers were deeply
resentful of their presence. The soldiers viewed those officials as
“arrogant.” Those officials were “bossing them around in their own
land.” (Page 236 of Preparation for a Revolution) Angry at Europe and
afraid for their future, many of the soldiers allied themselves with the
The Ottoman soldiers stationed in Macedonia enjoyed a
freedom that their counterparts located elsewhere lacked. The chaos
throughout the area meant those soldiers were free to move wherever they
wanted to chase after the insurgents. This meant they could distribute
Young Turk propaganda throughout the province while claiming they were
trying to find the enemy. Such activities were not possible in other
parts of the empire. (Page 236 of Preparation for a Revolution)
Rumors of an outrageous agreement between Russia and
Britain to partition Macedonia caused the Young Turks to launch their
revolution early and provided them with yet another piece of propaganda
which they used to rally support to their side. (Page 235, 260, and 264
of Preparation for a Revolution)
The Young Turks had the Ottoman soldiers in
Macedonia mutiny. When the sultan sent troops to Macedonia to restore
order, the Young Turks had the leader of those troops assassinated. Many
of the troops sent to restore order joined the rebellion, as they were
secretly connected to the Young Turks to begin with. Rather than start a
civil war, the sultan ceded power to the Young Turks.
purpose of the revolution was to thwart foreign intervention, the Young
Turks had to convince the other ethnic groups that the situation would
improve after they assumed power, otherwise the revolts would continue
and the Europeans would still intervene. To convince the minorities to
support them, the Young Turks told those minorities whatever they wanted
to hear. (Page 175 of Preparation for a Revolution) Although some
ethnic groups supported the Young Turks, most did not. (Page 241 of
Preparation for a Revolution) Those minorities knew that, although the
Young Turks were saying the right things, in their hearts, the Young
Turks were nationalists who had an agenda that was the exact opposite of
what those minorities wanted.
Nevertheless the leading insurgent group in
Macedonia, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO),
halted their attacks temporarily at the request of Bulgaria. Bulgaria,
in turn, made this request to show their support for the British reform
proposals. (Page 243 of Preparation for a Revolution) This implies that
it was Britain who wanted IMRO to temporarily halt their attacks. The
ceasefire allowed the Young Turks to seize power. Once again, the
British had paved the way for them.
Before the revolution, the Ottoman elites were loyal
to the sultan. (Page 313 of Preparation for a Revolution) After the
revolution, they were swept away and replaced by hard-line nationalists
who clamored for autonomy. (Page 313 of Preparation for a Revolution)
These nationalists seized control of the various ethnic groups.
Instead of trying to reach an accommodation with
these nationalists, the Young Turks cancelled the privileges given to
non-Turkish Muslims. Instead of granting autonomy to the various ethnic
groups, the Young Turks centralized power. Instead of recognizing that
minorities had their own ethnic identities, the Young Turks demanded
that they view themselves as Ottomans first. (Kindle Locations 4173-4175
from A Brief History)
“Between a center predisposed to view all demands
for the recognition of difference as evidence of separatism, and a
periphery decreasingly inclined to compromise, all-out war was
inevitable,” said M. Sukru Hanioglu. (Kindle Locations 4180-4181)
The First Balkan War began in October 1912. The Ottomans lost almost all their territory in Europe.
Ottomans lost the rest of their empire during World War I. Most of the
blame for this debacle has been directed towards one man, Enver Pasha,
the Supreme Commander of the Ottoman military. His critics blame him for
a litany of disasters, including the decision to attack a heavily
fortified Russian position in the middle of winter. (Page 120)
The obstacles which impeded the attack were
overwhelming. Between Enver and the Russians stood the Caucasus
Mountains, rivers that had no bridges, land that had no railroads, and
snow, lots and lots of snow. The snow prevented his artillery from ever
reaching the battlefield. A sane person, realizing they had no
artillery, would have called off the attack. But not Enver. He sent
100,000 soldiers to attack Russia. Eighty six thousand of them died.
(Page 121) One German officer said the Ottomans had “suffered a disaster
which for rapidity and completeness is without parallel in military
Towards the end of the war, as Britain was attacking
the Ottoman Empire, instead of defending their territory, inexplicably,
the Ottomans began attacking Russia in Azerbaijan and Turkestan. (Page
313) Britain was free to seize whatever parts of the Ottoman Empire they
wanted. Enver was blamed for this fiasco too.
The criticism leveled against him came not just from
outsiders, but from his colleagues as well. The Grand Vizier blamed him
for the war. (Page 369) The other Young Turks claim that at end of the
war, only Enver knew that Germany was losing, that Enver misled them
into into believing the Germans were actually winning. (Page 367)
“Enver Pasha’s greatest guilt is that he never kept
his friends informed of the situation,” said the Ottoman finance
minister. “If he had said five or six months ago that we were in so
difficult a situation, naturally we would have…made a favourable
separate peace at that time. But he concealed everything, and…he deluded
himself and brought the country to this state.” (Page 368)
His decisions were so incomprehensible one wonders
why the other Young Turks allowed him to remain in his position
throughout the war. According to one theory, offered by the Times of
London, the other Young Turks were afraid of him. The Grand Vizier “was
fully alive to the precarious nature of his own position and to the fact
that any real attempt on his part to run counter to the policy of Enver
Pasha and the military authorities would have meant his elimination.”
(The Rupture With Turkey by The Times 12/11/14)
Though there is evidence which implicates Enver for
the failures of the Ottoman government, there is also evidence which
distributes the blame more broadly. Perhaps other people were blaming
Enver for their own lapses in judgement. Enver was an easy target. He
died in August 1922, right as the war between the Turks and the Allies
was drawing to a close. Blaming him was easy, as he was no longer alive
to defend himself. Indeed Fromkin suggests that Enver was not solely
responsible. Although most historians claim that the Ottoman Empire was
run by “a dictatorial triumvirate of Enver, Talaat, and Djemal, ... in
fact, as the German archives now show, power was wielded by the C.U.P.’s
Central Committee of about forty members, and especially by its general
directorate of about twelve members who functioned as a sort of
politburo, in which personal rivalries abounded. Decisions of the
Central Committee were reflected in the positions taken by party members
in the Cabinet and in the Chamber of Deputies.” (Page 44)
Unfortunately, this is the only time Fromkin
mentions the Central Committee. He never mentions its members, who they
were or what they stood for. Instead, ironically, he focuses mostly on
the actions of Enver and to a lesser extent Talaat and Djemal.
To be fair to Fromkin, the committee was very
secretive, which makes it a hard target to decipher. The identity of its
members were kept secret. (Kindle Locations 4013-4014 from A Brief
History) Still, some of its members and activities are known.
Historians believe that Bahaeddin Sakir played a pivotal role in the emergence of the Young Turks.
Sakir was undoubtedly the individual most responsible for reshaping the
coalition and transforming it into a well-organized activist
committee,” said M. Sukru Hanioglu. “His foes accused him of converting
the Young Turk movement into a ‘nationalist activity.’” (Page 129 of
Preparation for a Revolution)
I personally believe that historians are overstating
the importance of Sakir. He was a doctor. Doctors are not known for
their ability to organize opposition movements, conduct assassination
campaigns, and overthrow governments. Those skills fall within the
domain of intelligence agencies.
The Young Turks did have a prominent intelligence
official working for them. Ahmed Celaleddin Pasha, once the head of
Ottoman intelligence, defected to the Young Turks in 1904. (Page 78 of
Preparation for a Revolution) He was close to Bahaeddin Sakir. (Page 128
of Preparation for a Revolution) I believe he had a powerful influence
on the Young Turks behind the scenes and that he hid the true extent of
his involvement and responsibility.
Regardless of which official had the most power,
odds are that Enver played an important role in the decision making
process. He was, after all, a member of the Central Committee himself.
The British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire once said that Enver Pasha
“was entirely in German hands.” (The Rupture With Turkey by The Times
12/11/14) But the Germans were in the hands of the British, which meant
the Ottomans too were under their control. You could see this control
reflected in the decisions Enver made. His decisions were not in the
best interest of the Ottoman Empire, but in the best interests of the
The British had the Young Turks implement a somewhat
convoluted plan to cede the Ottoman Empire to them. The plan had to be
convoluted. The Young Turks could not simply hand over the Ottoman
Empire to the British. That would have generated an outcry from the
Ottoman people. The Young Turks would have been labeled as traitors,
their decisions declared invalid. They needed to fight a war against the
British, a war that would give the British a pretext for stealing their
Europe had to work together to convince the Ottoman
public to allow the Young Turks to lead them down that path. The
Europeans had to bolster the Young Turks. The Germans gave them gold.
They gave them the Goeben. The Europeans allowed the Young Turks to end
the Capitulations, which were contracts that gave certain privileges to
Europeans. The Ottomans hated the Capitulations and were overjoyed when
they were terminated. The Goeben, the end of the Capitulations, and the
gold gave the Young Turks a tremendous amount of political capital. The
Ottoman people thought the Young Turks knew what they were doing. The
Young Turks, having gained the confidence of their people, were now
ready to lead their country into war against the Allies.
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.
The British army was unable to begin their attack
until April 25. (Page 157) By that time, the Ottomans had replenished
their supply of ammunition. Before the attack began, the British army
commander was given an inaccurate map of the terrain. (Page 156) His
army landed on the north side of the straits, on the Gallipoli
peninsula. The attack was a fiasco. Britain suffered 250,000 casualties
in the ensuing fight. (Page 166)
The British had several reasons for bungling their
attack on the Dardanelles. The high number of casualties gave them an
excuse to steal the world's largest supply of oil.
"The sheer magnitude of Britain's commitment and loss at Gallipoli made
it seem vital years later that she should play a major role in the
postwar Middle East to give some sort of meaning to so great a
sacrifice," said Fromkin. (Page 166)
Britain had another reason to bungle the attack.
Britain had promised to give Constantinople to the Russians after the
war. (Page 138) Had Britain won the war in 1915, when Russia was still
their ally, Britain would’ve had to fulfill that promise. For Lord
Kitchener, the British War Minister, that was unacceptable. The only
acceptable outcome was for both Germany and Russia to lose the war.
(Page 98) And for that, Russia had to switch sides. Only then could
Britain break her promise. Only then could Britain prevent the Russians
from annexing Constantinople.
For Britain to achieve her goal, for Russia to
switch sides, the Russian government had to be replaced with,
ironically, a government that tilted away from Britain and towards
Germany. It would take some time, but eventually Russia would collapse
under the weight of a mismanaged war. Millions of casualties, inflation,
and food shortages, those were the necessary ingredients for the
collapse. In 1917, the Bolsheviks seized power in what became known as
the Russian Revolution.
Russia could have avoided the collapse had her
leadership performed better. There was no excuse for the food shortages
that Russia suffered from in 1916 and 1917. Russia produced more than
enough food to feed her population. The shortages were caused by
“speculation, profiteering, and hoarding,” (Page 241) problems that the
Russian government should have been able to handle.
“Russia’s failure was a failure of leadership,” said Fromkin. (Page 240)
the Russian leadership, there was, according to Fromkin, a “lack of
patriotism” in some cases and a “lack of competence” in others. Let me
be more explicit. They were British stooges. Russia was one head of
Britain’s many-headed monster and an expendable one at that.
The Russian Revolution was a fraud. It was not about
ideology. The revolution was supposed to be about the dictatorship of
the proletariat, the dictatorship of the working class. Such a
dictatorship should have allowed the Muslims of Central Asia to choose
whether to become independent of Russia. Indeed Lenin had declared that
non-Russians deserved the right of self-determination. (Page 475) But
Lenin was a hypocrite. He declared that non-Russians lacked a
proletariat and until one was formed they were not ready for
independence. (Page 476) This is almost identical to what Britain told
its Muslims. We'll give you guys independence...some day. For the
Muslims of Central Asia, the dictatorship of the proletariat looked no
different than the previous dictatorship. They hated Russia. They hated
Russia just like the Muslims under British rule hated Britain. (Page
477) To keep them under control, Lenin had to subdue them by employing
250,000 secret policemen.
Britain had another reason for prolonging the war.
They had to wait for the 1918 Congressional midterm elections in
America. Due to the elections, President Wilson lost control of the
Senate, which meant that any peace agreement he made in Europe would
have to be ratified by his political enemies. The election was fixed, I
believe, to make sure that America would not be able to seize any land
in the Middle East. France and Britain wanted the Middle East for
themselves. The elections took place right when the armistice agreement
was completed. (Page 390) This was not a coincidence. The Europeans were
waiting for the election.
Many experts believe the Allies could have won the
war much earlier had they simply attacked through the Balkans. But they
waited until the summer of 1918 before making their attack. At that
point, the French invaded Bulgaria, which collapsed quickly. (Page 363)
From there, the French moved north and opened a new front against
Germany and Austria. Germany didn’t have the troops to fight on another
front and decided to negotiate for peace.
The Germans wondered why the British did not employ this strategy earlier.
ever there was a prospect of a brilliant strategic feat, it was here,”
said the chief of the German General Staff. “Why did England never make
use of her opportunity?…Some day history will perhaps clear up this
question.” (Page 265)
Change administrations to change policies
formed their alliance with Russia in 1907, ostensibly in fear of a
rising Germany, in reality to make sure the Ottomans would be their
enemy. The Ottomans were forced to ally themselves with Germany, as the
Ottomans could never join an alliance which contained Russia, their
unyielding adversary. But once the war began, to prevent Russia from
annexing Constantinople, Britain orchestrated a coup in Russia, a coup
that would end the alliance.
What happened in Russia was a tactic commonly used
in international politics. Often whenever a country has to change one of
its policies, rather than simply changing that policy, a coup will take
place, or an election will take place, the existing government will be
removed, a new government will assume power and adopt the new policy
There are several reasons for using this tactic.
Sometimes the existing administration is genuinely committed to the
existing policy line. The only way to change the policy then, is to
change the administration. In other cases, the tactic is used to prevent
suspicion. Even if certain leaders are amenable to switching the
policy, if those officials had, in the past, firmly backed the existing
policy, they cannot simply change their position without arousing
suspicion, without looking hypocritical.
Britain used this tactic three times in 1917, in
three different countries, Russia, Britain, and France. In all three
countries, the new leadership “held strong views about the Middle East
which were totally at variance with those of their predecessors,”
according to Fromkin. (Page 231)
In Britain, Herbert Asquith, the man who became
prime minister six years before the war began, was replaced by David
Lloyd George. During his tenure, Asquith argued that Britain could not
afford to administer any new colonies. (Page 141) He seemed less than
fully committed to winning the war, as he refused to force young British
men to join the military.
His views were meant to bait the Ottomans into
joining the war. His views were meant to make the Ottomans believe that
they had a good chance of winning the war, and believe that even if they
lost the war, they wouldn’t lose much of their territory. Having fooled
the Ottomans into joining the war, Britain then switched their
His successor, David Lloyd George, on the other
hand, was willing to reduce the freedoms of his people in order to win
the war. Lloyd George viewed the Middle East as a prize that Britain
should seize. (Page 235)
“Where the Asquith Cabinet eventually came to see
hegemony over portions of the Middle East as something that Britain
merely wanted, the Lloyd George government came to see it as territory
that Britain needed,” said Fromkin. (Page 302)
In France, Georges Clemenceau became the new prime
minister. Clemenceau focused all his energies on defeating Germany.
(Page 236) He believed that France should not waste her time trying to
colonize other countries. For him, colonies were a financial and
military burden. (Page 237) His opinions provided a great boost for
British imperialism. With Clemenceau in charge, Britain was able to
seize more of the Middle East for herself. Originally, in the
Sykes-Picot Agreement, Britain agreed to give the oil rich land of Mosul
to France. But after the war ended, Lloyd George persuaded Clemenceau
to allow Britain to have Mosul. (Page 375)
“The fortunes of war and politics had brought into
power in their respective countries the first British Prime Minister who
wanted to acquire territory in the Middle East and the only French
politician who did not want to do so,” said Fromkin.
This was not a coincidence. This was a conspiracy,
by Britain, to monopolize the world’s largest supply of oil. Although
Lloyd George may have been the only British politician to openly display
his imperial ambitions, other British politicians secretly agreed with
his ideology, even if they refused to voice their agreement publicly.
Britain, more than any other country, is determined
to maintain its reputation and conceal its true, evil nature. British
politicians will say honorable words, but when it comes time to act,
they will reveal their true nature. To maintain their reputations, and
to prevent other countries from adding to their empires, British
politicians will denounce imperialism, until their country has a chance
to annex territory, at which point they will promote their one
politician who supports annexation. And after he has seized all the land
available, he will be replaced by someone who opposes imperialism.
In Persia, after the war, Britain secretly
orchestrated a coup (Page 460) to extricate themselves from a prior
commitment. Before the coup, Britain agreed to construct a nationwide
rail system throughout Persia. (Page 456) The system would have been
very expensive to build and it would have improved the lives of Muslims.
There is nothing that Britain opposes more than spending a lot of money
to improve the lives of Muslims. And so Britain organized a coup to
abrogate the agreement. After the coup, the new government abandoned the
rail agreement and signed a treaty with Russia. And Britain reacted in
mock horror to the coup they had engineered.
During the war, the
British Secret Intelligence Service incited the Armenians to revolt
against the Ottomans. To suppress the revolt, the Ottomans began killing
and deporting the Armenians in what became known as the Armenian
Britain used the incident as a pretext to carve up
and consume the Ottoman Empire. They launched a media campaign to
discredit the Turks. They argued that the Turks were not fit to rule
other races. Many people bought into their propaganda campaign. The U.S.
in particular disliked what the Turks were doing. (Page 213)
While the Armenians were being killed, Djemal
secretly approached the Allies about seizing power to end the massacre.
(Page 214) He was willing to give Constantinople to Russia as long as he
could retain Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Cilicia, and Kurdistan. This offer
was made in December 1915, when the Allies were evacuating Gallipoli.
After what happened there, one might have expected the Allies to accept
the offer. But they didn’t.
“Djemal appears to have acted on the mistaken
assumption that saving the Armenians—as distinct from merely exploiting
their plight for propaganda purposes—was an important Allied objective,”
Russia wanted to accept the offer. But France turned
it down because they insisted on seizing Syria. (Page 214). Britain
rejected the offer for the same reasons. They were determined to take
control of the Middle East and steal her oil. Their loss at Gallipoli,
apparently, was not particularly serious after all.
For evidence that Britain incited the Armenians to rebel against the Ottomans, consider this document ( http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7651980 - discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7651980 ),
which shows that the British government wanted Russia to deploy 120,000
Armenian soldiers against the Ottomans. The document does not explain
why Britain wanted to deploy Armenian soldiers against the Ottomans. But
logically, Britain must have wanted those soldiers to pose as regular
Armenians knowing that would cause the Ottomans to crack down on them.
Once that happened, Britain could claim the Ottomans were trying to
exterminate the Armenian people.
Three years ago, John Sawers, the head of the
British Secret Intelligence Service, gave a speech about the
organization he leads. ( http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/oct/28/sir-john-sawers-speech-full-text - www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/oct/28/sir-john-sawers-speech-full-text ) He disclosed that SIS worked with foreign nationals. He referred to those people as “secret agents.”
“Our agents are the true heroes of our work,” said
Sawers. “They have their own motivations and hopes. Many of them show
extraordinary courage and idealism, striving in their own countries for
the freedoms that we in Britain take for granted.”
Those “agents take serious risks and make sacrifices to help” Britain.
The purpose of the speech was to persuade the public that SIS needed to keep its activities secret.
“Secret organisations need to stay secret,” said Sawers. “If our operations and methods become public, they won’t work.”
think about why SIS needs to keep its activities secret. In World War
I, their “secret agents” were the Armenians. SIS had them revolt against
the Ottomans. The Armenians thought they were fighting for their
freedom. But SIS has an ulterior motive for inciting them to revolt.
They wanted the Ottomans to massacre the Armenians. The massacre gave
the British a talking point, an argument, which says, “The Ottomans
can’t rule other people. Their empire must be split up.” This argument
allowed the British to annex the largest supply of oil in the world. If
the Armenians knew the British wanted them to revolt so the Ottomans
could massacre them, a massacre which allowed the British to seize the
world’s largest supply of oil, I doubt the Armenians would have revolted
in the first place. Now you know why the British are so intent on
keeping the activities of their intelligence agencies secret.
Germany and America: two heads of the monster
Germany wanted to win the war, they would have done everything in their
power to make sure the U.S. military stayed out of the war. That should
have been an easy task to accomplish, as the American people opposed
joining the war. (Page 255) But instead of keeping the Americans on the
sidelines, the Germans did everything in their power to provoke America
into joining the war against them, which is exactly what Britain wanted.
In their first blunder, the Germans tried to form an
alliance with Mexico. They offered to give Mexico a large chunk of U.S.
territory if Mexico joined the war on their side. The U.S. government
found out about the plan. They released the details of the plan to the
public. The American people were outraged. For their second blunder, the
Germans sank three U.S. merchant vessels. (Page 255) That was the last
straw. America declared war on Germany.
But America did not declare war on the Ottoman
Empire. America only declared war on Germany. (Page 256) America did not
become a full-fledged member of the Allies. That meant America would
not get a piece of the Ottoman Empire after the war.
“We have no selfish ends to serve,” said President
Wilson. “We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation
for the sacrifices we shall freely make.” (Page 256)
“Every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the
interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned.” (Page 259)
Lloyd George, meanwhile, had other ideas.
“Wilson proclaimed that the enormity of the war required
peace without annexations,” said Fromkin. “Lloyd George took the other
view: the enormity of the war required indemnities and annexations on an
enormous scale.” (Page 263)
After failing to convince the leaders of Europe to
settle the war in an honorable fashion, Wilson took his case to the
European public, in the hopes that he could persuade them to adopt his
ideals, in the hopes that they would force their leaders to act
decently. (Page 259) Boy was he mistaken. The people of Europe were just
as bad as their leaders.
It is, perhaps, unfair to single out Europe for
condemnation. There were signs that Wilson did not sincerely believe in
his ideals. Had he wanted to, Wilson could have forced the British into
accepting an honorable settlement for the war. During the war, Britain
relied on America for financing and supplies. (Page 253) So much so that
John Maynard Keynes declared that by the end of 1916 “the American
executive and the American public will be in a position to dictate to
this country.” The war did not end until 1918. Had America been
virtuous, we would have used our leverage to prevent Britain and France
from chopping up and devouring the Middle East. Had America been greedy,
we would have seized a good portion of the Middle East for ourselves.
America did neither. We did the bidding of the British. We allowed them
to mutilate and confiscate the Middle East without getting a portion for
The first sign of Wilson's insincerity came at the
end of the war, when the Ottomans tried to surrender to America on the
basis of his Fourteen Points. The Fourteen Points were a set of
principles which, if adopted, would have improved the situation in the
Middle East considerably. One of the Fourteen Points said that the
citizens of the Ottoman Empire should gain their autonomy. (Page 258)
America never accepted the Ottoman surrender. (Page
367) The Ottomans were forced to surrender to the British. But the
Fourteen Points were only available to those who surrendered to America.
By refusing the Ottoman surrender, President Wilson was effectively
allowing Britain and France to chop up and seize the Ottoman Empire.
Fromkin has a preposterous story to explain why we
refused to accept the Ottoman surrender. After the Ottomans made their
request, we asked the British if we should accept the surrender. The
British never replied. Because the British never replied to us, we never
replied to the Ottomans. That’s the story Fromkin would have you
Yet another sign that Wilson was under the thumb of
the British came at the peace conference. To distract Wilson, to prevent
him from denouncing Britain for her imperialist designs on the Middle
East, Lloyd George had him focus on the imperialist designs of France
and Italy instead. (Page 391)
President Wilson sent a commission to the Middle
East to determine the desires of the people who lived there. He did not
send his commission to Iraq, which Britain had control of. (Page 397)
The only place the commission went to was Syria, the area claimed by the
At the peace conference, Britain declared that
America should annex part of Turkey and Armenia. (Page 398) In all
likelihood, Britain was being insincere. When Wilson tried to convince
America to accept the mandates for Turkey and Armenia, his health failed
him (at the peace conference, the word “mandate” was used as a
euphemism for annexation). He became partially paralyzed. (Page 398)
This made it hard for him to convince the American public to accept the
mandates. It could not have helped that the Senate was now controlled by
his political opponents. Wilson was probably the victim of a European
poisoning program. The purpose was to prevent Congress from ratifying
the peace settlement.
The British tried to prevent American oil companies
from operating in the Middle East. After the war, Standard Oil Company
of New York sent their geologists to Iraq to look for oil. (Page 534)
One of the geologists declared that Iraq had “the biggest remaining oil
possibilities in the world.” But Britain prevented them from carrying
out their mission.
France and Britain secretly agreed to monopolize the
oil in the Middle East. (Page 534) For the U.S. government, that was a
bridge too far. America wanted a piece of the action. What they got was
the Red Line Agreement, which was still heavily tilted in Europe’s
favor. European companies received 71.25% of the oil. American companies
received only 23.75%. ( http://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/RedLine - history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/RedLine ) Walter Teagle, the president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, called the agreement “a damn bad move.” (Page 208 of The Prize)
Ignore the Muslims
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.
Blame everyone else
After the war, while British forces were occupying
the Middle East, riots erupted. Muslims began attacking British
soldiers. The people of Iraq revolted. Britain suffered 2,000 casualties
before it was all said and done. (Page 453)
To explain away the riots, British officials
concocted the silliest conspiracy theories ever invented. Arnold Wilson,
the British officer in charge of Iraq, declared that the rioters were
anarchists, that the Arabs had no desire for self government, and that
they “would appreciate British rule.”
Other Britons blamed the revolts on Feisal, Kemal,
Standard Oil, the Russians, the Swiss, and the Germans. Britain blamed
America for not making its decisions quickly enough at the peace
conference and for not accepting the mandates. Maurice Hankey, the
British Cabinet Secretary, blamed the uprisings on Wilson’s “impossible
doctrine of self-determination.” (Page 399)
But most of all, Britain blamed the Jews. For
everything. They blamed the Jews for the war with the Ottomans. (Page
317) They claimed that Jews secretly controlled the world. (Page 198)
John Buchan, a writer who had worked for the British government, wrote a
novel called The Thirty-Nine Steps. In the book, he talked about a
conspiracy to get Germany and Russia to fight each other. Buchan
proclaimed “the Jew was behind” the conspiracy. Jews were “everywhere.”
They had eyes like “a rattlesnake.” They ruled the world. And they
wanted to destroy the Russian empire.
Many of the British conspiracy theories were
laughably st**id. They blamed the Jews for instigating the Arab revolts
against the Jews. They blamed the Ottoman sultan even after they
occupied Constantinople and forced the sultan to do their bidding. (Page
Fromkin has his own explanation for the riots.
fact there was an outside force linked to every one of the outbreaks of
violence in the Middle East, but it was the one force whose presence
remained invisible to British officialdom. It was Britain herself. In a
region of the globe whose inhabitants were known especially to dislike
foreigners, and in a predominantly Moslem world which could abide being
ruled by almost anybody except non-Moslems, a foreign Christian country
ought to have expected to encounter hostility when it attempted to
impose its own rule. The shadows that accompanied the British rulers
wherever they went in the Middle East were in fact their own.”
“The rebellions were not directed by foreigners; they were directed against foreigners.” (Page 468)
is one of the best passages of the book, though it contains one
significant error. The British knew their presence was the problem. The
Muslims told them that. Aziz al-Masri, a leader of an Arab secret
society, told them that he would never accept a British protectorate for
the Middle East. (Page 318) But to protect their reputation, the
British came up with a bunch of silly conspiracy theories to explain why
Muslims kept trying to kill them.
Muslims hated the British. Even at the end of the
war, when it became clear that the Allies were going to win, many Arabs
still fought alongside the Turks against the British. (Page 220) Britain
knew that Muslims hated them, hated the idea of being ruled by
Christians. That is why the British gave the Egyptian government a
Muslim veneer, a Muslim prince and a Muslim Cabinet. But behind the
scenes, a set of British advisers whispered in their ears, telling them
what to do. (Page 85) The British hoped this arrangement would deceive
the people of Egypt, deceive them into believing that Muslims were in
The British tried a similar stunt after the war
ended, when it came time to annex territory from the Ottoman Empire.
Mark Sykes, a British Parliamentarian, urged France to deal with her new
territory the same way Britain would deal with hers. Sponsor Arab
independence. Find a Muslim crony who is willing to obey you and put
them in charge. Were France to do otherwise, Sykes predicted they would
have a lot of trouble on their hands. (Page 290)
Empires are expensive
“We cannot alone act as the policeman of the world. The financial and social conditions of this country make that impossible.”
– Bonar Law, British Prime Minister (Page 554)
Britain added a million square miles to her empire
in World War I. Finding the resources to defend that territory would not
be easy. From the beginning, Churchill argued that Britain lacked the
money to forever occupy the Middle East. (Page 385) Had Britain decided
to station her soldiers throughout the region, the cost would have been
To save money, Britain decided to use air power to
defend her new territory. (Page 500) This strategy was much cheaper. But
it would not protect the region from foreign invasions. It would only
be effective at suppressing revolts. The strategy indicates that Britain
was not afraid of an invasion from Turkey or Russia. It is further
evidence that Britain controlled the leaders of those countries.
Otherwise Britain would have done more to defend her new territory. The
strategy shows that Britain knew their only threat came from the Muslim
inhabitants who would not tolerate being ruled by the British.
A region at war with itself
is what the Encyclopedia Britannica had to say about the Arab race:
“Physically the Arabs are one of the strongest and noblest races of the
world…mentally, they surpass most, and are only kept back in the march
of progress by the remarkable defect of organizing power and incapacity
for combined action.”
It is not by accident nor by genetics that Arabs
lack the ability to work together. This defect is the result of British
mischief. The goal of British policy in the Middle East is to make its
inhabitants fight each other.
At the beginning of the war, the British officials
in Cairo made a stunning proposal. They wanted to make Hussein bin Ali
the caliph, the leader of the entire Islamic world after the war. (Page
105) At that time, Sharif Hussein was the King of the Hejaz, an area
located on the western coast of what is now Saudi Arabia. When the
British officials in India learned of this proposal, they were
mortified. Arthur Hirtzel, the Secretary in the Political Department,
wrote that the proposal was “the very thing which this Office has always
understood that” the British government “would not do.” (Page 106)
“What we want is not a United Arabia: but a weak and
disunited Arabia, split up into little principalities so far as
possible under our suzerainty—but incapable of coordinated action
against us,” said the India office. (Page 106)
The India office misunderstood the intentions of
their counterparts in Cairo. Cairo had no intention of making Hussein
"I am afraid both the High
Commissioner and Lord Hardinge are under the impression that I am a
believer in the creation of a consolidated Arab Kingdom under the
Sherif—Of course any such notion is altogether remote from my real
views, but it has suited me, as I believe it has suited all of us, to
give the leaders of the Arab movement this impression and we are quite
sufficiently covered by the correspondence which has taken place to show
that we are acting in good faith with the Arabs as far as we have
gone," said Reginald Wingate. (Page 184)
One of the officials in Cairo said the India office
“seems obsessed with the fear of a powerful and united Arab state, which
can never exist unless we are fool enough to create it.”
Britain had two reasons for pretending to support the creation of a
united Arab nation. This lie was meant to convince the U.S. Congress to
support their vicious plans to recreate the Middle East.
“The idea of Arab nationalism may be absurd, but our Congress case
will be good if we can say we are helping to develop a race on
nationalist lines under our protection,” said Mark Sykes. (Page 343)
The other reason had to do with King Hussein. The British wanted
Hussein to lead a revolt against the Ottoman Empire. To convince him to
do so, they promised him the heavens, though they had no intention of
fulfilling their promise. The promise, according to one British
official, “was a private communication of Lord Kitchener’s,” not an
official communication of the British government. Private communication.
That must be the British code word for a lie. The British kept their
real plans for the Middle East hidden from Hussein.
"Any detailed definition of our demands would have
frightened off the Arab," explained Henry McMahon, the High Commissioner
of Egypt. (Page 186)
Part of their plan was to
give Syria and Lebanon to the French. Although the Cairo Office claimed
they wanted to exclude France from the Middle East (Page 316), in
reality, the British were simply telling Hussein what he wanted to hear.
Hussein had a few thousand troops who were supported
by British funds. (Page 219) The British did not think much of him or
his troops and they laughed at him for believing that they would help
him become the caliph. Ronald Storrs, a British official in Cairo, once
said that “his pretensions bordered on the tragicomic.”
Forcing King Hussein to join the war
never wanted to fight. His plan was to stay out of the war. (Page 218)
But the Ottomans seized documents from the French consulates in Beirut
and Damascus, documents which contained the names of people who knew
about his dealings with the British. The Ottomans interrogated those
people. Hussein feared that they told the Ottomans about his
relationship with the British. When he learned that 3,500 Ottoman
soldiers were going to march through the Hejaz, Hussein figured they
were coming for him and decided to launch a revolt before they arrived.
(Page 219) The Allies probably leaked those documents to the Ottomans in
order to force Hussein to stage his revolt. Had the Ottomans not found
those documents, Hussein might have been able to stay on the sidelines
for the duration of the war.
How helpful were the Arabs?
Hussein and his forces worked in tandem with the British to defeat the
Ottomans. Some British officials claimed his forces were ineffective.
Lawrence of Arabia thought that “one company of Turks, properly
entrenched in open country, would defeat the Sherif’s armies.” (Page
222) Colonel Meinertzhagen declared that his forces “had not the
slightest effect on the main theatre west of Jordan.” (Page 328) On the
other hand, other officials, including Liman von Sanders, said King
Hussein provided a significant contribution to the war effort. Mark
Sykes argued his forces were successfully harassing 38,000 Ottoman
The British had an incentive to minimize the
contributions made by Hussein. During the war, Britain promised to grant
the Arabs independence, but only if they could overthrow the Ottomans.
(Page 103) This was a promise that the British thought they would not
have to honor. They believed the Arabs would not revolt. (Page 185)
Indeed most of the Arabs fought alongside the Ottomans against the
Allies. (Page 209) Had King Hussein deposed the Ottomans, Britain would
have been obligated to grant independence to the Arabs.
I personally believe that, in all likelihood, King
Hussein provided a marginal contribution to the war effort. I can’t
imagine Britain supporting someone who truly had the widespread support
of the Arab people. If they had done so, then after the war that
individual could have united the Arab people under his banner. Britain
would have to contend with a united Arab nation under his leadership.
This is an eventuality that Britain would never, in a million years,
help bring to fruition.
After the war, Ibn Saud defeated King Hussein and
drove him out of the Arabian peninsula. This too implies that King
Hussein was weak.
Condemned from birth
After defeating the Ottoman Empire, Britain redrew the boundaries
of the Middle East. They did indeed split up the region into little
principalities so far as possible. Where there was once an empire, there
was, after the war, several small states such as Palestine, Jordan,
Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. To achieve their goal of a weak, disunited
Arabia, the British placed their boundaries in the worst possible
locations. They combined incompatible communities together and called
them a country. They drew borders right through the middle of some
communities, tearing them in half.
Instead of giving the Kurds their own country,
Britain split their community into four separate regions and made each
of those regions part of four different countries - Iraq, Iran, Syria,
and Turkey. Even today, a century after the war began, the Kurds refuse
to accept this outcome. They continue to fight for an independent,
united Kurdish state. Over the past three decades, tens of thousands
have died in fighting between the Kurdistan Workers Party and the
There is no worse example of malevolence then what
Britain did to Iraq. Iraq was condemned from birth. In forming Iraq,
Britain combined a Kurdish region, a Sunni region, and a Shiite region.
Iraq has the shape of a three blade propeller. Each blade
contains one of the three primary constituencies of Iraq. The blade
that juts to the north is inhabited by Kurds. The blade that juts to the
west contains Sunnis. The blade that juts to the southeast contains the
majority Shiites. Unlike a normal propeller which is made out of steel,
Iraq is like a propeller made out of porcelain. As the propeller spins
around it is constantly in danger of breaking apart. Rather than wanting
to stay together, each of the three blades has, to some extent, a
desire to break off and fly away.
There is no one who can lead the country because
none of Iraq's three main constituencies will accept being ruled by
someone from one of the other two constituencies. Each constituency
wants to be ruled by one of their own.
Britain knew this would be a problem. Arnold Wilson
admitted that the Kurds would “never accept an Arab ruler,” that the
majority Shiites would never accept a Sunni leader. (Page 450) In spite
of that (in reality because of that) every system of government
considered by Britain had a Sunni leader.
Those who knew about Britain’s plans for Iraq were incredulous. They pleaded with Britain to reconsider.
are flying in the face of four millenniums of history if you try to
draw a line around Iraq and call it a political entity!” exclaimed one
American missionary. (Page 451)
Britain ignored their advice and implemented their
calamitous scheme. Had Britain drawn the borders properly, the nations
of the region would have become rich and powerful, as the region
contains the largest supply of petroleum in the world. Britain would not
allow that. They did everything in their power to make sure that the
region stayed as poor as possible.
Britain made Iraq an unstable blend of Sunnis,
Kurds, and Shia because that allowed their Secret Intelligence Service
to keep the country at war with itself. The results speak for
Over the past three decades, the people of Iraq have
suffered one catastrophe after another. They fought a disastrous war
with Iran. During that war, the Kurds sided with Iran against Saddam
Hussein. At the end of the war, Saddam retaliated by attacking the
Kurds. More than 50,000 Kurds were slaughtered. ( http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq501/events_anfal.html - www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq501/events_anfal.html )
Seven years ago, during the Iraq War, a group of
Sunni insurgents destroyed the golden dome atop the al-Askari mosque. A
wave of sectarian violence ensued. A thousand people were killed in a
single day, the day after the bombing. Even today, now that U.S. forces
have left, the sectarian violence continues. Thousands of Iraqis have
been killed since the U.S. withdrawal.
You may be wondering why Britain made Iraq the shape of a
propeller, rather than say the shape of a circle. By making Iraq the
shape of a propeller, that minimized the size of the country. Had
Britain made Iraq the shape of a circle, Iraq would have been much
bigger, assuming that Britain still included the Kurdish areas to the
north, the Sunni areas to the west, and the Shiite areas to the south
and east. Making Iraq smaller meant that Iraq would be less powerful, as
the country would have less land, fewer resources, and a smaller
What Britain did to Iraq, France did to Lebanon.
France set its borders in a way that would allow western intelligence
agencies to create a civil war amongst the various religious groups.
They created Greater Lebanon, an expanded version of Lebanon which
included many Muslim areas. (Page 439) According to Fromkin, the
expansion of Lebanon led “to so much bloodshed in the 1970s and 1980s,
as various groups attacked the leading position of the Marionite
minority in what had become a predominately Moslim country.”
Fromkin never explicitly says that Britain ruined
the Middle East intentionally. Instead, he has others speak for him. He
uses the words of Colonel House, who was an adviser to Woodrow Wilson.
Towards the end of the war, Colonel House met with Arthur Balfour, the
British foreign secretary. The two talked about Britain’s plans for the
Middle East. This is his reaction to those plans.
“It is all bad and I told Balfour so,” said Colonel House. “They are making it a breeding place for future war.” (Page 257)
only did Britain make the countries of the Middle East at war with
themselves, they made them at war with each other. In Palestine, Britain
unleashed a disaster, a war between Jews and Arabs which is still being
fought today. The conflict is over Zionism, the creation of a Jewish
nation in the heart of the Middle East, in a land that was occupied by
Muslims. To create the conflict, Britain used two heads of their
monster. Each head supported one side of the conflict. One head,
composed of British officials in London, supported Zionism while the
other head, composed of British officials in Palestine, secretly told
the Arabs to oppose Zionism, to prevent the Jews from taking their land.
Britain had a cover story, a series of lies which
they used to justify their support for Zionism. They based their
justification on their lie that Jews secretly controlled the world. They
argued that they could win the war by buying the favor of the Jews, by
giving them a homeland in the Middle East. (Page 43) The Jews would be
forever grateful and would use their mystical powers to defeat the
“Do our statesmen fail to see how valuable to the
Allied cause would be the hearty sympathy of the Jews throughout the
world which an unequivocal declaration of British policy might win?”
said the Times of London. (Page 297)
Throughout the war there were a series of reports,
all of which were false, that claimed the Germans and Ottomans supported
Zionism. (Page 92 & 296). Britain used these reports as their
excuse to issue the Balfour Declaration, a statement which announced
British support for Zionism. Britain wanted the rest of the world to
believe that the Germans and the Ottomans had forced them into
supporting Zionism, when in reality Zionism was their brainchild. They
wanted the rest of the world to believe that they had to issue the
Balfour Declaration, or else the Germans and the Ottomans would announce
their support for Zionism and the all powerful Jews would use their
influence to help the Germans and the Ottomans destroy the British
President Wilson was suspicious of Britain’s motives
for supporting Zionism. (Page 295) Jews were suspicious too. While
Britain maintained that they supported Zionism, in part, to make the
world a better place, Vladimir Jabotinsky, a prominent Jewish Zionist,
knew better. Altruism is completely contrary to the fundamental nature
of the British. (Page 517)
suspicions were well justified. The British were anti-Semitic. (Page
269) And yet they wanted to create a homeland for the Jews. Fromkin
never explains how they could support these two seemingly contradictory
lines of thought. He merely identifies some of the officials who spoke
along these lines. One of those officials was Richard Meinertzhagen, the
head of British military intelligence in Cairo.
“I find myself alone out here, among the gentiles,
in upholding Zionism,” said Meinertzhagen. “And that is the irony of the
whole situation, for I am also imbued with antisemitic feelings.” (Page
The strange mix of Zionism and anti-Semitism extended all the way to the top, to the highest levels of the British government.
enough the only other partisan of this proposal [Zionism] is Lloyd
George, who, I need not say, does not care a damn for the Jews or their
past or their future,” said Asquith.
For his part, Fromkin argues that Asquith is wrong,
that Lloyd George really did care about the Jews. Fromkin is really
st**id if he believes that.
Britain knew the Arabs would adamantly oppose the Balfour Declaration.
up to now a Moslem country, has fallen into the hands of a Christian
Power which on the eve of its conquest announces that a considerable
portion of its land is to be handed over for colonisation purposes to a
nowhere very popular people,” said Ronald Storrs, the governor of
Jerusalem. (Page 325)
To convince the Arabs to adopt a more conciliatory
posture, Chaim Weizmann, who eventually became the first president of
Israel, asked the British to talk to the Arabs, to explain to the Arabs
why they supported Zionism, and to impress upon the Arabs their
determination to implement the policy. But the British refused. (Page
324) Although in private many British officials like Ronald Storrs
voiced their support for Zionism, they refused to convey that sentiment
to the public. (Page 445) They refused to even publish the Balfour
Declaration in Jerusalem. (Page 322)
Other British officials in Palestine openly sided
with the Arabs and opposed Zionism. They believed their government's
policy on Zionism was intentionally designed to create trouble. They
were right. But those officials didn’t mention that their opposition to
Zionism was part of Britain's strategy to destroy the Middle East. Their
opposition to Zionism encouraged the Arabs to revolt and fight against
the Jews. Once that happened, anger and hatred between the Arabs and the
Jews escalated. Britain had created the disaster they hoped for. Had
those British officials tried to convince the Arabs that they had no
alternative but to accept a Jewish Palestine, perhaps the Arabs would
have decided to accept the Jews and make the best of it. Had they done
that, the Arabs and Jews would never have fought each other and learned
to hate one another.
Instead the British did everything in their power to
convince the Arabs to fight the Jews. A high ranking British official
conspired with the Arab Mufti of Jerusalem to incite the Arabs to riot
against the Jews. (Page 447) During the riots, many of the Arabs
shouted, “The Government is with us!” (Page 447) which shows the British
made the Arabs believe that they supported them. When the Arabs rioted,
the British prevented Jabotinsky from moving his Jewish defense forces
into the Old City. In the areas where his forces patrolled, there were
no casualties. The casualties only occurred in the areas where the
British refused to allow his forces to enter. (Page 447)
David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of
Israel, believed the Arabs rioted because the British convinced them
that they could achieve their aims through violence. (Page 527) Support
for the Arab cause was especially strong in the British military. Ninety
percent of the British army in Palestine opposed Zionism. (Page 524)
Had London wanted their policy of Zionism to succeed peacefully, they
would have replaced those officials. Instead they allowed those
officials to encourage the Arabs to riot, which proves that Britain
wanted a war between Jews and Arabs.
Britain wanted to stick America with Palestine
British officials, including Maurice Hankey and Arthur Balfour, wanted
America to accept the mandate for Palestine, rather than having Britain
accept the mandate. (Page 374) They wanted America to take
responsibility for the problems Britain would create. They wanted the
people of the Middle East to blame America for the underhanded policies
of their government. Britain eventually succeeded. Today many Muslims
blame America for supporting Israel. They blame us for implementing
Britain’s policy. Few people place the blame where it belongs, on
What does Fromkin believe?
When it comes to Britain’s claim that Jews were controlling everything behind the scenes, Fromkin has this to say.
in the clear light of history this conspiracy theory seems absurd to
the point of lunacy, it was believed either in whole or in part by large
numbers of otherwise sane, well-balanced, and reasonably well-informed
British officials. Moreover, it could be supported by one actual piece
of evidence: the career of Alexander Helphand. Helphand was a Jew who
conspired to help Germany and to destroy the Russian Empire. He was
closely associated with the Young Turk regime in Constantinople. He did
play a significant role in selecting Lenin and in sending him into
Russia to foment a Bolshevik revolt with a view to helping Germany win
the war. He did continue to weave his conspiratorial webs after the war.
He was what Wingate and Clayton believed a Jew to be: rich, subversive,
and pro-German. Against this background, the trend of British
Intelligence assessments in the immediate postwar years appears less
irrational than would otherwise be the case.” (Page 467)
This entire passage is bizarre. Fromkin begins the
passage by dismissing the claim that Jews were secretly controlling
things. But right after that, he presents evidence which supports the
very theory which he dismisses. It’s hard to know what Fromkin really
believes. But I guarantee you one thing. Britain did not believe that
Jews secretly controlled the world. Britain was blaming the Jews for
their own crooked behavior.
Jews who knew opposed Zionism
most prominent Jews in America and Britain opposed Zionism. (Page 300)
Edwin Montagu, the Secretary of State for India, vehemently opposed the
policy. (Page 294) He argued that Zionism was a threat to his position
in British society, that by making a Jewish state, British Jews like him
would be less of a citizen of Britain and more of a citizen of
Palestine. Montagu must have known that Britain had malicious reasons
for supporting Zionism, that Britain wanted to blame the Jews for all
their evil deeds, that Britain wanted to ignite a war between Jews and
Montagu died in 1924, at the relatively young age of
45. He died about a year after the British mandate for Palestine came
into effect. This was probably not a coincidence. Britain did not want
their most prominent Jew to oppose Zionism. And so they executed him.
Today, the words he spoke a century ago seem
prophetic. Four days after America invaded Iraq, Pat Buchanan wrote an
infamous article blaming Jewish neocons for the war. ( http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/whose-war/ - www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/whose-war/ )
He accused them of hijacking American foreign policy, of having a
“passionate attachment” to a country not our own, of wanting to invade
Iraq for the sake of Israel.
“What these neoconservatives seek is to conscript American blood to make the world safe for Israel,” said Buchanan.
again, the West was blaming Jews for their own crooked policies to
destroy the Middle East. As Montagu predicted, Jews were seen not as
citizens of their own country, but as citizens of Israel.
has been a headache for Muslims ever since its inception, though the
borders of Iraq and Lebanon made the country an easy target for British
intelligence, when it comes to explaining the suffering of the Middle
East or any other region, leadership is always at the heart of the
Perhaps no country has had worse leadership than Cambodia, a former French colony in Southeast Asia.
humble people of Cambodia are the most wonderful in the world,” said
Norodom Sihanouk. “Their great misfortune is that they always have
terrible leaders who make them suffer. I am not sure that I was much
better myself, but perhaps I was the least bad.”
( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/norodom-sihanouk-former-king-of-cambodia-dies-at-89.html - www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/norodom-sihanouk-former-king-of-cambodia-dies-at-89.html )
The worst quality for any leader is greed, is
valuing your own desires above the needs of your people. That was part
of the problem with Sihanouk.
nightmare, he said in an interview, was to be pushed out of his
country’s political life into a quiet retirement, like Vietnam’s last
emperor, Bao Dai, who died in obscurity in Paris in 1997,” said the New
( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/asia/norodom-sihanouk-cambodian-leader-through-shifting-allegiances-dies-at-89.html - www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/asia/norodom-sihanouk-cambodian-leader-through-shifting-allegiances-dies-at-89.html )
A decent leader would have said the suffering of his
people was his worst nightmare. That obviously wasn’t the case with
Sihanouk, the man who helped install the Khmer Rouge, a group of
Communists who, once they seized power, killed almost a third of all the
people in Cambodia.
Sihanouk had the same defects which plague leaders
throughout the third world. He was infatuated with the West. He was
willing to do whatever the West wanted as long as they made him rich. He
was willing to sacrifice his people for himself. These are the
fundamental qualities the West looks for when choosing the leaders of
third world countries.
Youth is another quality they look for. Young people
are long on passion and short on wisdom. The Young Turks were a
textbook example of this. Enver Pasha was 31 years old when he seized
power. (Page 43) An older person, someone who has spent their lives
listening to the recommendations made by the West and watching the
disastrous consequences, might be more skeptical before following their
Rather than make King Hussein the caliph, Britain
made his sons the kings of two new countries. They made Abdullah the
King of Jordan. Fromkin called him “lazy and ineffective.” Lawrence of
Arabia once referred to Abdullah as the ideal British agent. Abdullah
was “a person who was not too powerful, and who was not an inhabitant of
Trans-Jordania, but who relied upon His Majesty’s Government for the
retention of his office.” (Page 505)
As the quote suggests, Britain has a habit of
appointing leaders who are not indigenous to the domain which they rule.
This makes them illegitimate, a foreigner in the eyes of their people
who want to be ruled by one of their own, not by a foreigner. It makes
the British appointed ruler weak. It makes him dependent on Britain for
staying in power. And it is yet another reason for the country to remain
in a state of civil war, as the indigenous population tries to oust the
foreigner and install a native ruler.
Britain made Feisal, another son of Hussein, the
King of Iraq. Compared to his father, he was more willing to do what
Britain wanted. (Page 327) Like his brother, he was a foreigner in the
country he ruled. To make matters worse, he was a Sunni. Most Iraqis
Iraq was not his first choice. Originally Feisal
wanted to rule Syria. And he was willing to sell out the Arabs in
Palestine to get his wish. He was willing to support Zionism, as long as
Britain was willing to give him Syria.
“He is not interested in Palestine, but on the other
hand he wants Damascus and the whole of northern Syria,” said Chaim
Weizmann. “He is contemptuous of the Palestinian Arabs whom he doesn’t
even regard as Arabs!”
Britain never had any intention of holding their end
of the bargain. They had promised to give Syria to France in the
infamous Sykes-Picot agreement. They misled Feisal into believing that
they would allow him to rule Syria. But from the moment they seized
Syria, Britain did everything in their power to delegitimize him. When
the time came to march into Damascus, Feisal was supposed to enter the
city first. (Page 336) That would make it appear as though he had
liberated the city from the Ottomans. But an Australian cavalry brigade
entered the city first. (Page 337) Fromkin presents this as an accident.
It was not an accident. It was intentional. Britain did not want Feisal
to liberate Syria. For then, as per their promise, they would have to
grant Syria independence.
After taking control of Damascus, the Allies
appointed a governor loyal to Feisal. The locals were outraged. In the
face of this opposition, the Allies marched their troops through
Damascus, ostensibly to force the people to accept their new governor.
“This was exactly what Allenby and Clayton had hoped
to avoid: the population aroused, Christian troops defiling through the
streets of a great Moslem city to restore order, and Feisal’s Arab
troops—whose presence was meant to reassure local opinion—still nowhere
in sight,” said Fromkin.
Fromkin is wrong. This is exactly what Britain
wanted to do. They said they wanted Feisal to enter the city first. They
were lying. They intentionally mishandled his entrance, in the hopes
that their actions would delegitimize him, make him look like a British
stooge, and thus pave the way for French rule. His impotence made him a
spectator in his own country. Later on, other power centers in Syria
were able to force Feisal into taking a hard-line against the British
and French. That gave the French the excuse they needed. The French
stormed into Damascus and sent Feisal into exile. (Page 439) Feisal
never even put up a fight. Nor did the British.
After the debacle in Syria, Britain decided to put
Feisal in charge of Iraq. But the Iraqis had other ideas. They wanted to
make the Naqib, a prominent figure in Baghdad, the leader of their
country. (Page 507) But when Sayyid Talib, a political leader in Basra,
tried to have him installed, the British deported Talib. (Page 508) And
they made Feisal the ruler of Iraq.
The British would not have made Feisal the King of
Iraq unless they could control him. Since the British controlled Feisal,
and since Feisal offered no resistance to the French when they invaded
Syria, we can conclude that the British told him to allow the French to
Although the British controlled him, Feisal
pretended to oppose the British, to support the Iraqis in their quest
for independence from British rule. But this was only a ruse.
“Political leaders agitated for independence, while British-appointed
monarchs could only maintain their position by doing the same,” said
Fromkin. (Page 510)
This is a common practice
amongst the leaders whom the West controls. Their leaders in Africa, for
example, often blame colonialism for the problems they face.
“I know lots of leaders blamed it [colonialism] for
many years, which was a bit frustrating for some of us younger ones who
said: how long are you going to blame it?” said Kofi Annan. “It’s the
same argument that you hear in some quarters now. It’s not credible.” ( http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/6ba2edc0-7c3a-11e0-a386-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2TRefXPl8 - www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/6ba2edc0-7c3a-11e0-a386-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2TRefXPl8 )
The charge against colonialism has some truth to it.
But here’s the irony. The African leaders who denounce colonialism are
the very embodiment of the system they denounce.
is a good example of this. Algeria had been a colony of France for over
a century. The current president of Algeria is Abdelaziz Bouteflika. In
the past, he had denounced the French for their colonial rule of his
country. He called it a genocide. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/opinion/global/france-algeria-and-the-ties-that-bind.html - www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/opinion/global/france-algeria-and-the-ties-that-bind.html )
But a few months ago, Bouteflika suffered a minor
stroke. Instead of going to a hospital in Algeria, he flew to France,
where he was treated. After leaving the hospital, he moved into an
apartment in Paris to convalesce.
“It is clear that Bouteflika’s health is not only a
concern of Algerians alone,” said Robert Zaretsky, a professor at the
University of Houston Honors College.
In his opinion, the hospital where Bouteflika stayed had been turned into “an annex of the French Foreign Ministry.”
For the people of Algeria, the entire episode was
humiliating. The leader of their country, who was supposedly hostile to
the French, in his moment of need, entrusted his life to the very people
he supposedly hated.
In recent years, the French have tried to make the
argument that they have modernized their relationships with their former
colonies. But what happened to Bouteflika shows otherwise.
“As Bouteflika’s shadowy presence in Paris reveals, this ‘new era’ is the old era clothed in new rhetoric,” said Zaretsky.
attempt to alter the existing relationship between France and her
former colonies in Africa has been squashed. Five years ago, Jean-Marie
Bockel, the French State Secretary for Cooperation and Francophonie,
proclaimed his intention “to sign the death certificate of
France-Afrique.” ( http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08PARIS1568 - cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08PARIS1568 )
France-Afrique is the name for the secret relationship between France
and her former colonies in Africa. Under this system, leaders in Africa,
who are educated in France, run corrupt governments for the benefit of
themselves and France, at the expense of the people of Africa.
“In total, of $100 billion annually in aid for
Africa, $30 billion evaporates,” said Bockel. “Certain countries have
important petroleum resources, but their populations don’t benefit. Is
it legitimate that our aid is distributed to countries that waste their
own resources? We must re-examine conditionalities, to evaluate the
effectiveness of our aid.”
One of his targets was Omar Bongo, the president of
Gabon. An investigation showed that Bongo owned 33 properties in France,
including a Paris mansion worth 18 million euros. Worried that his life
of luxury might soon end, Bongo had his government retaliate against
the French. They threatened to expel certain French citizens from their
territory. Had they wanted to, France could have worked with other
countries to force Gabon to change. Instead France surrendered. They
replaced Bockel. The speed at which they surrendered to Gabon, a country
whose economy is 150 times smaller, shows that France has no desire to
change their existing relationship with Africa.
For France, corruption is their primary method of
controlling the continent. France gives a life of luxury to the leaders
of Africa who obey them. If those leaders ever dare to disobey them,
France will simply expose their corruption. As you can see, corruption
works for France in two ways. It buys them the allegiance of African
leaders to begin with. And if those leaders ever disobey France, their
corruption can be exposed and they can be be replaced.
The Mufti of Jerusalem
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem died in the spring of 1921. By law, his
replacement should have been one of three candidates proposed by a
Muslim electoral college. (Page 517) Instead Britain ignored the law,
ignored the electoral college and selected Amin al-Husseini, a man in
his twenties who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison. He violently
opposed the Jews and would eventually form an alliance with Hitler.
The appointment of Husseini proves that Britain
wanted to create a war between Muslims and Jews. For on the one hand,
Britain was busy transplanting Jews to the Middle East, while on the
other hand Britain appointed Arabs dedicated to fighting those Jews. The
only way these two contradictory policies can be reconciled with one
another is by arguing that Britain was trying to foment a war between
Jews and Muslims.
The British government argued that Arabs were unable
to govern themselves. (Page 144) The British were able to make this
absurd argument seem somewhat believable by appointing completely
unsuitable Arabs to leadership positions. For after Britain appointed
those Arabs, after those Arabs screwed everything up, Britain declared
that Arabs couldn’t govern themselves, that Arabs needed British
guidance, when in reality it was British “guidance” which was destroying
the Arab world in the first place.
Though Britain claimed they could give the Middle
East a governance better than the Arabs could provide themselves, (Page
263) the results prove otherwise. The situation was much worse after the
British sank their claws into the Middle East. The situation in
Palestine was dire.
“Neither Jews nor Arabs have any confidence in the
authorities,” said the Times of London. “The older inhabitants say that
public security was far better maintained under the Turks.” (Page 516)
“Our government is worse than the old Turkish system,”
said Lawrence of Arabia. “They kept fourteen thousand local conscripts
embodied, and killed a yearly average of two hundred Arabs in
maintaining peace. We keep ninety thousand men, with aeroplanes,
armoured cars, gunboats and armoured trains. We have killed about ten
thousand Arabs in this rising this summer.” (Page 497)
The war between
the Jews and Arabs could never have existed without the complicity of
the Palestinian Arab elite. They are the ones who made it possible for
the Jews to move to Palestine. They sold their land to the Jews. While
in public those Palestinian elites denounced others for selling their
land to Jews, in private those same elites did exactly what they
denounced. They sold their land to the Jews. (Page 522) They did the
worst possible thing. They simultaneously brought the Jews into
Palestine while they stirred up anger against the Jews.
war, all that remained of the Ottoman Empire was the millions of Turks
who lived on the Anatolian Peninsula. They would inhabit a new country, a
smaller country, which would bear the name of its people, Turkey. The
British had to decide who would lead that country. Leaving the Young
Turks in charge would not be a good idea. They would forever resent what
Britain had done to their empire. Having led an empire, it seems
unlikely that they could ever be happy leading a country so small in
comparison. But if Britain appointed someone new, someone with a modest
background, their new job as the leader of Turkey would seem like a gift
from the gods. And that’s what Britain did. Britain had the sultan and
the Young Turks removed. Their replacement was Mustafa Kemal.
Kemal was a general in the Ottoman military. In
1920, he led a movement to free the Anatolian peninsula from the Allied
occupation. Fromkin presents his emergence as an accident, an error on
the part of the British. The facts show otherwise.
After the war, the Ottoman military was disarmed,
its weapons were stored in dumps. Britain allowed Kemal and his forces
to seize weapons from those dumps. (Page 407) Once Kemal began his
resistance movement, the British reacted in mock horror.
“Our military intelligence had never been more thoroughly unintelligent,” said Lloyd George (Page 408)
is lying. Britain had to pretend to oppose Kemal. They could not allow
anyone to know that they supported him. For if the people of Turkey knew
that, they would never have accepted him as their new leader.
While the British hid their support for Kemal, when
it came to the Ottoman Sultan, they did everything in their power to
delegitimize him. Rather than attack Kemal, the British marched their
soldiers into Constantinople and occupied the city, ostensibly in
response to Kemal’s activities. (Page 428)
“An unintended effect of the Allied occupation was
to destroy whatever prestige or legitimacy that remained to the Sultan’s
government and to transfer it to Kemal’s regime,” said Fromkin. (Page
That was not unintended. That was the entire
purpose, to delegitimize the sultan, to humiliate him. While the British
occupied Constantinople, they could force the sultan, who lived there,
to do whatever they wanted, thus destroying his credibility.
Britain needed to dispose of the Young Turks too.
the war, the Young Turk leaders, including Enver, fled to Germany.
(Page 480) In October 1919, Enver boarded a plane headed for Russia.
(Page 481) His goal was to form an alliance with the Russians against
Britain. But his plane never made it to Russia. It had to land in
Lithuania due to engine trouble. Enver was detained for two months as a
suspected spy. After gaining his freedom, Enver tried for a second time
to reach Russia. This time he was detained in Latvia. Eventually Enver
did make it to Russia, but not until the summer of 1920, about a year
after his original departure.
While Enver was spinning his wheels trying to get to
Russia, Kemal was busy consolidating his power. Perhaps had Enver
reached Moscow earlier, he could have made a comeback. The delay was not
a coincidence. It was a conspiracy meant to empower Kemal and
If you had wings and
could fly, if you started out in Athens and flew less than 200 miles to
the east over the Aegean Sea, you would reach the west coast of modern
day Turkey. There is a city located there called Izmir. But it used to
be called Smyrna. Due to its close proximity to Athens, the Greeks had
occupied Smyrna since ancient times. When World War I began, though the
city was part of the Ottoman Empire, half of its population was Greek.
After the Germans surrendered, the Greeks were eager
to annex Smyrna. When Kemal attacked the British near Constantinople,
the Greeks offered to come to the defense of the British, as long as the
British agreed to allow them to annex the lands around Smyrna. Lloyd
George was overjoyed and agreed to their proposal. (Page 431) Though his
military doubted the Greeks would succeed in their endeavor, Lloyd
George did his best to convince the prime minister of Greece,
Eleftherios Venizelos, that his military was mistaken.
In the summer of 1920, the Greeks began an assault
which allowed them to take control of much of the country. But after
their initial success, a monkey bit the King of Greece. The king became
sick and died. (Page 432)
“It is perhaps no exaggeration to remark that a quarter of a million persons died of this monkey’s bite,” said Churchill.
the new king supported the Germans and opposed the Allies. (Page 128)
To make matters worse, a week after the previous king died, Greece held
elections. Much to everyone’s surprise, the supposedly popular Venizelos
lost. The new prime minister had the same pro-German mindset as the new
“For anyone on the Allied side who wanted to abandon
the complexities of the Asia Minor involvement, the turn-about in
Greece provided the perfect occasion for doing so,” said Fromkin.
Here was yet another regime change which paved the way for a
reversal in policy. The many-headed monster sprang into action. All the
monster’s heads sided with Kemal, even the heads within the British
government, they all sided with Kemal, except for one head - the head
belonging to David Lloyd George. Italy and France switched sides. They
stopped supporting Greece and started giving military equipment to
Kemal. (Page 532 & 537) They encouraged him to fight the Greeks,
while Lloyd George encouraged the Greeks to fight the Turks. (Page 433)
The French negotiated a truce with Kemal. (Page 438) Before the
agreement, France worried that Kemal might come to the aid of the
Syrians, but after the agreement, the Syrians were on their own.
The Russians began providing Kemal with money and
supplies (Page 430) which was ironic because Kemal hated Communism. He
brutally suppressed the Turkish Communist Party. (Page 429) You would
think the Russians would do everything in their power to crush Kemal.
But they did the exact opposite. To justify their actions, the Russians
claimed that, by helping Kemal, that would deal a heavy blow to the
British. But in reality, the only people who suffered from Kemal’s
actions were the Greeks.
Though Venizelos was no longer the prime minister,
he still played a leading role in Greek affairs. He told Lloyd George
that Greece would prevail in Turkey if Britain would support her. Lloyd
George, in turn, gave him the impression that such support would be
forthcoming. (Page 433)
In the spring of 1921, Lloyd George encouraged the
Greeks to launch an attack against Kemal. (Page 540) The assault began
soon after, but it ended in failure. (Page 543) The Greeks were in
trouble. They asked Lloyd George to help them. Surely he would do so. He
was, after all, the man who encouraged them to embark on their
disastrous course of action in the first place. He was, after all, the
man who implied that his country would come to the aid of the Greeks in
their hour of need. The Greeks were, after all, the ones who came to the
aid of the British when Kemal attacked them.
“Personally I am a friend of Greece, but…all my
colleagues are against me,” said Lloyd George. “And I cannot be of any
use to you. It is impossible, impossible.” (Page 543)
after refusing to help Greece, he demanded that they continue their
assault against the Turks. He declared that he “would never shake hands
with a Greek again who went back upon his country’s aims in Smyrna.”
Why anyone would want to shake the hands of David Lloyd George is beyond my comprehension.
Lloyd George was busy trying to convince the Greeks to fight the Turks,
another British official, Lord Curzon began working with other
countries to reach an accommodation with Kemal. (Page 544)
With essentially all of Europe behind him, Kemal
defeated the Greeks and forced their military to withdrawal from Turkey.
The Greeks who inhabited Smyrna were defenceless.
in Asia Minor, the Greek state and the entire Greek Nation are
descending now to a Hell from which no power will be able to raise them
up and save them,” said the Archbishop of Smyrna. (Page 545)
More than half of Smyrna was destroyed. (Page 546) A million and a half Greeks were driven out of Turkey. (Page 546)
has ceased to exist,” said the Chicago Daily News. “The problem of the
minorities is here solved for all time.” (Page 546)
In typical British fashion, Lloyd George and the
rest of his government blamed others for their atrocious behavior. They
blamed France. They blamed Italy. They blamed Russia. But most of all,
they blamed America. (Page 546)
At the end of the war, Britain gave Kemal one last
gift - Constantinople. The gift was provided in the same silly,
theatrical, phony way the rest of the war was executed. When the Turks
approached Constantinople, Britain published a communique about the
impending Turkish threat. But Britain’s allies found the communique
insulting. They refused to fight alongside Britain. Britain, now
apparently without any allies, handed over Constantinople to Kemal.
The many-headed monster had dealt a crushing blow to
the Greeks. Though Lloyd George and the rest of the British government
had seemingly adopted contradictory policies, in reality, their policies
were coordinated. Lloyd George, by supporting the Greeks, was able to
convince them to attack the Turks. The rest of the British government,
by not supporting the Greeks, gave Lloyd George the excuse he needed to
refrain from helping them. In the end, the many-headed monster achieved
its goals. Many Muslims were killed. Kemal was able to expel the Greeks
from Turkey, thus cementing his position as the liberator of his
country. And the British, meanwhile, didn’t have to lift a finger to
achieve either of those two goals.
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 st**idity.” 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 st**id.
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
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.
Jews secretly controlled the world, why did they instigate the Arab
riots against themselves? One would think if Jews actually controlled
the world, they would have the power to prevent others from speaking ill
of them. In a poll conducted by the BBC, Britain was the third most
popular country in the world. Israel, meanwhile, was near the bottom of
the list, only in front of Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22624104 - www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22624104 ) One would think if Jews wielded such tremendous power, they would not be so hated amongst the Muslims of the Middle East.
One of the reasons why the Israelis remain so
unpopular is because they have been building settlements in the West
Bank in an attempt to annex that territory from the Palestinians. But if
the Jews were as powerful as their detractors say, they would have
solved this problem in the beginning. Indeed, after World War I, the
original plan was for the Jews to get all of modern day Israel,
Palestine, and Jordan. (Page 512) But this plan was rejected by the
British. If the Jews secretly controlled the world, this plan would have
Take a look at the world’s largest oil companies -
British Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total.
One of those companies is French (Total). Two of those companies are
American (ExxonMobil and Chevron). Two of those companies are British
(British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell), though the second company is
half British and half Dutch. None of them are Israeli. If Jews control
the world, why do Europeans and Americans control the oil industry?
The British claim the Arab riots were a Jewish
conspiracy against them. Historians like Fromkin acknowledge this claim
is ridiculous but they insist that the British believed their conspiracy
theories were true. Neither the British nor the historians are telling
the truth. Their arguments are contradicted by the words and actions of
the British themselves.
If the British believed in their conspiracy
theories, why did Mark Sykes tell the French to deal with their colonies
the same way Britain dealt with hers? Why did the British say they
supported Arab independence? Why didn’t they install a British ruler in
Iraq, in Jordan? Why did they install two Arabs instead? Why did the
British, when it came time to defend their new colonies, why did they
implement a plan which could not defend them against a foreign invasion,
a plan which would only be useful in putting down a revolt? These
actions show that the British knew the Arabs hated them. These actions
show that the British were trying to fool the Arabs into believing that
they had gained their independence, into believing that they were now
ruled by their own people. When in reality, it was Britain pulling the
strings, not only in Iraq and Jordan, but also in Russia. If the British
could not control the Russians, they would have implemented a more
robust defense plan which could have defended their new territories
against a Russian invasion.
If the war was not a conspiracy to steal the world’s
largest supply of oil, why did the British allow the Goeben to escape?
If the war was not a British conspiracy, why did the British halt their
attack on the Dardanelles right after the Ottomans ran out of ammo? Did
the British suddenly forget that guns are useless without ammunition?
Did they suddenly believe that throwing rocks was just as effective as
Was Arnold Wilson, the man Britain put in charge of
Iraq, simply being incompetent when he argued there was no way to ask
the people of Iraq for their opinions on how to rebuild their
government? Did he not know about the existence of translators? Did he
not know that some humans can speak both Arabic and English? Or did he
suddenly forget that humans have mouths and can speak, that they have
ears and can listen? Perhaps the British did forget that humans have
ears. Or perhaps their ears fell off their heads when that American
missionary told them that the creation of Iraq went against four
thousand years of history, when Colonel House told them their plans for
the Middle East were awful. But the British, even without ears, still
need to explain why they concocted their disastrous plan for the Middle
East in the first place. Their ears were missing again when they decided
the Mufti of Jerusalem should be a man in his twenties, a man who had
been sentenced to 10 years in prison, a man who hated Jews.
For Britain, the goal was a weak, disunited Arabia.
Was it through chance and incompetence that they achieved their goal?
While London was busy telling Jews to move to Palestine, the British
soldiers in Palestine were busy telling the Arabs to fight them. Why
didn’t the British government stop their soldiers from encouraging the
Arabs to riot? Did the British government forget that they could order
their soldiers to implement their policy? That they could court-martial
those soldiers for disobeying them?
Britain wanted a weak Arabia. Having the Arabs stuck
in a permanent war against the Jews certainly weakened them. The war
was a disaster for the Jews as well. Are we to believe that the British
hurt the Jews, a people they hate, on accident? Remember it was David
Lloyd George, the man ultimately responsible for Zionism, who did “not
care a damn for the Jews or their past of their future.” Which seems
more likely, that Britain mistakenly chose a course of action in
complete accord with their values or that Britain is lying about their
motives because they are evil and they are trying to hide their true
nature from the rest of the world? I am not alone in questioning
Britain’s motives for supporting Zionism. Back when Britain issued the
Balfour Declaration, everyone was suspicious of Britain’s motives,
particularly the Jews.
Why did Britain install a lazy and ineffective
leader in Jordan? Why did they humiliate Feisal by allowing the
Australians to march into Damascus first? Here again, the British
achieved their goal - a weak Arabia - apparently through their
The British achieved their other goal, a disunited
Arabia, by backing several different Muslim groups and having them fight
one another. On the Arabian Peninsula, the British India office backed
Ibn Saud while the British Cairo office backed King Hussein. (Page 107)
Both men received subsidies from the British government. Both men fought
each other. One British official called this situation absurd. (Page
424) Fromkin would have you believe the British government was fighting
amongst itself over how to resolve the situation. That’s a lie, a cover
story to mask the real intentions of the British. Their goal was a weak,
disunited Arabia. To achieve that goal, the British had the Arabs kill
Ibn Saud won the battle for the Arabian peninsula
and became the founder of a new state which bears his name - Saudi
Arabia. King Hussein was sent into exile to live with his sons. Although
the British allowed Ibn Saud to rule the Arabian peninsula, they had
installed Abdullah and Feisal, the sons of King Hussein, in Jordan and
Iraq, the two states that span the northern border of Saudi Arabia, the
two states which connect Saudi Arabia to the rest of the world. For
Abdullah and Feisal, Ibn Saud was their nemesis, the man who sent their
father into exile. By installing Abdullah and Feisal in Jordan and Iraq,
by installing Ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia, the British achieved their goal
of a disunited Arabia. Does this sound like a coincidence to you?
By the way, this was not the only time the West
pulled a stunt like this. The West has a habit of backing both sides of a
conflict in order to kill Muslims and make them hate each other. The
Iran-Iraq War was another example of this. During that war, which pitted
the Iranians against the Iraqis, America provided assistance to both
“At the same time we’re giving weapons to Iran in
order to curry some kind of favor with them, we are at the same time
providing intelligence to Iraq against Iran,” said Vincent Cannistraro,
the former Chief of Operations and Analysis at the CIA. “So we’re seen
playing both sides against the middle, and when this is finally
revealed, it really exposes American hypocrisy and put us in a very bad
light. The Iranians, for example, understand that, yes, we’re shipping
them arms here at the same time we’re giving targeting information to
the Iraqis so they can more precisely bomb targets in Iran. And from the
Iraqi point of view and Saddam Hussein, he realizes that his erstwhile
American friends are also arming his enemies.” ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/interviews/cannistraro.html - www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/interviews/cannistraro.html )
Those who believe that the British did not control
Germany or America have to explain a few things. Why did the Germans
have the Goeben fire on Odessa? That made the Ottomans look like the
aggressors. The Germans could have easily had the Goeben sink a Russian
military vessel. That would have allowed the Ottomans to claim self
defense. Why did the Germans discredit the Ottomans, their allies? And
later on in the war, why were the Germans so intent on provoking America
into becoming their enemy?
Why didn’t America allow the Ottomans to surrender
based on the Fourteen Points? Why, at the peace conference, did we focus
on the imperial designs of France and Italy and ignore the imperial
designs of Britain?
Why didn’t we force the British to repay the money
we loaned them for the war? Over the course of the war, we loaned $10
billion to the Allies. ( http://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/Dawes - history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/Dawes ) In those days, that was an incredible amount of money. Back then, the total size of the U.S. economy was only $60 billion. ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/01/15/so-called-debt-ceiling-has-risen-twice-as-fast-as-tax-receipts/ - www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/01/15/so-called-debt-ceiling-has-risen-twice-as-fast-as-tax-receipts/ )
America loaned the Allies an amount of money equal to 16.7 percent of
our economy. Today if we loaned Europe an amount of money equal to 16.7
percent of our economy, we would be loaning them $2.62 trillion. You
would think, after having loaned such an enormous sum of money, we would
do what it takes to get our money back. And yet, after the war, the
only country to repay us was Finland.
You don’t, through incompetence, add a million
square miles to your empire. You don’t, through incompetence or
coincidence, seize the most oil rich lands in the world right after you
learn how important oil is. Countries which go to war on little more
than a whim, which kill millions of people because someone assassinated
some archduke and his wife, such countries do not survive.
Throughout the war, Britain showed that their
primary concern was stealing the oil of the Middle East. That is why, at
the end of the war, they ordered their forces to “occupy as large a
portion of the oil-bearing regions as possible.”
Every time the British were given a choice between
peace and oil, the British chose oil. They did everything in their power
to provoke the Ottomans into becoming their enemy. The British stole
their ships. They prevented Ottoman ships from entering the
Mediterranean. And they fired on the Ottomans to commence hostilities at
the first opportunity. Britain could have kept the Ottomans out of the
war if they wanted to. The Ottomans never wanted to join the war in the
first place. In general, forcing other countries to become your enemy is
a recipe for disaster. But Churchill knew the Ottomans were an
exception, that fighting the Ottomans could bring enormous benefits to
the British Empire. The British could annex their empire after the war.
Britain chose oil over peace.
During the Armenian Massacres, the British were
given an opportunity to end the killing and take the Ottomans out of the
war. But the deal would have prevented the British from annexing the
Middle East. The British rejected the deal. Oil was their most important
consideration. The fate of the Armenians meant nothing to them.
After the war ended, when the people of Iraq began
to riot against the tyranny of the British, David Lloyd George again
faced the same choice, peace or oil. Either leave the Middle East, end
the riots, or stay, endure the protests, and take the oil. He chose oil.
He refused to abandon “some of the richest oilfields in the world.”
Time and time again the British chose oil over peace.
World War I
was neither the first nor the last time the many-headed monster made its
appearance. For a more recent example, consider what the West is doing
in Syria. America, Britain, and France are providing aid to the Syrian
rebels while Russia is providing support to the Syrian government. The
West refuses to provide enough support to enable the rebels to win which
indicates that the West wants Syria to remain in a state of civil war.
Thus far, over 100,000 Syrians have been killed.
The many-headed monster operates outside the Middle
East too. The American Revolution was a sham. It allowed Britain and
America to gain the appearance of enemies. This allowed them to defeat
the Native Americans in the War of 1812. In the war, the British
pretended to ally themselves with the Native Americans in their fight
against the United States. But this was all a ruse, a ruse which allowed
the British to infiltrate the Native American leadership. Historians
record that neither the British nor the Americans lost the War of 1812.
The Native Americans lost the war.
will undoubtedly argue that I have failed to show how Britain
controlled other countries. Although I do not have an exhaustive list of
every person who was a secret agent of the British, I do know of a
couple of examples. One example is Benito Mussolini. After World War I,
when he began his rise to power, he railed against Britain for cheating
Italy out of its portion of the Middle East. (Page 532) But in all
likelihood, this was nothing more than theater. In the fall of 1917,
British intelligence started paying Mussolini 100 pounds per week. The
payments lasted at least a year. ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/13/benito-mussolini-recruited-mi5-italy - www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/13/benito-mussolini-recruited-mi5-italy ) Chances are, Mussolini was still a British agent after the war. He was another head of their many-headed monster.
was not the only fascist dictator brought to power by British
intelligence. In Spain, they brought Francisco Franco to power. In 1936,
Franco was living in exile on the Canary Islands. In the summer of that
year, Hugh Pollard, a member of the British Secret Intelligence
Service, transported Franco from the Canary Islands to Morocco. ( http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/18/post233 - www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jul/18/post233 )
From there Franco hooked up with the Spanish troops stationed in
Morocco and led them into battle against the Spanish government. A
million Spaniards died in the hostilities.
many of the ultranationalists who were involved in World War II were
connected to American intelligence. One of those people was Nobusuke
Kishi. After the war, he was imprisoned for three years. But after those
three years, he was released. The CIA put him on their payroll. (Page
119 of Legacy of Ashes) He would eventually become the prime minister of
Japan. Even while he was in prison, Kishi had powerful supporters in
America. (Page 117 of Legacy of Ashes)
After the war, many of the ultranationalists,
including Takushiro Hattori and Masanobu Tsuji, were employed by Charles
Willoughby, the head of U.S. Army intelligence in Japan. Hattori was a
former private secretary to Hideki Tojo. Tsuji was involved in the
Bataan Death March. ( http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/03/06/national/52-coup-plot-bid-to-rearm-japan-cia/ - www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/03/06/national/52-coup-plot-bid-to-rearm-japan-cia/ )
It seems unlikely that the relationship between the
ultranationalists and U.S. intelligence began after the war. If American
intelligence had no relationship with those people during the war, they
almost certainly would not have tried to form a relationship with them
after the war. It makes little sense to hire people you just fought a
war with. Under normal circumstances, the U.S. government would have
simply executed those people. The fact that they didn’t, the fact that,
instead, they decided to put those ultranationalists on their payroll,
indicates that those ultranationalists were connected to U.S.
intelligence during the war.
In many respects the Second World War was similar to
the first. World War I was about the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
World War II was about the dissolution of the Japanese Empire. But the
aftermath of World War II was much different. The war resulted in the
collapse of the British Empire as well. For more information about the
Second World War, read this:
( http://chroniclesoftheendofhistory.blogspot.com/2010/06/with-japans-leaders.html - chroniclesoftheendofhistory.blogspot.com/2010/06/with-japans-leaders.html )
Another British agent was Allen Dulles, a member of
the U.S. State Department. He supported British and French imperialism.
He once argued that America would be hurt if Britain and France gave up
their territories in the Middle East. (Page 535) During the Second World
War, Dulles became a member of OSS. He was “strongly influenced” by
Royall Tyler, another OSS official who also happened to be a British
secret agent. (Appendix II, Page 2 of the Park Report) In 1953, Dulles
became the director of the CIA. He would stay in that position for eight
years, until 1961, which made him the longest serving CIA director in
history. While at the CIA, Dulles continued to defend British interests,
particularly when it came to Iran.
The Iranians knew that the British were taking their
oil without adequately compensating them. And so in 1951, Mohammed
Mossadeq, the Iranian Prime Minister, seized all of BP’s assets in Iran.
The British were furious. They tried to convince America to remove
Mossadeq but America refused. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/opinion/17iht-edmeyer.html - www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/opinion/17iht-edmeyer.html )
The British had to settle for an embargo which prevented Iran from
selling their oil to other countries. To compensate for the loss of oil
output in Iran, other countries had to increase their production.
In 1953, the CIA, now under the direction of Allen
Dulles, executed Operation Ajax, a coup which ousted Mossadeq and made
the Shah the ruler of Iran. The British regained their assets. They
wanted to restart their oil production in Iran. But there was a problem.
The rest of the world had already compensated for the loss of Iranian
oil production. If Iran raised their output, other countries would have
to reduce their production.
The British had another problem. They could not
restart oil production in Iran by themselves. The people of Iran would
not accept that. The British needed other countries to participate in
the Iranian oil industry. But American oil companies were not interested
in Iran. (Page 472 of The Prize) They already had all the oil
production they needed. However, due to pressure from the American and
British governments, those companies reduced their output in other
countries and invested in Iran.
“If the U.S. and British governments hadn’t really
beat us on the head, we wouldn’t have gone back,” said Howard Page of
Standard Oil of New Jersey. (Page 473 of The Prize)
sold sixty percent of their oil business in Iran to a group of European
and American companies. (Page 478 of The Prize) Those companies paid BP
$90 million up front and another $500 million over time. (Page 480 of
“It was a wonderful deal for Fraser, the best deal
Willie Fraser ever made,” declared John Loudon of Royal Dutch Shell.
(William Fraser was the chairman of BP)
To control a country, you must control its people.
To control its people, you must control its media. You can exert a great
deal of control over another country then, if you can infiltrate its
media. The American media is crawling with Britons. Every person in the
following list is British.
Mark Thompson, the chief executive of the New York Times
Gerard Baker, the top editor of the Wall Street Journal
Joanna Coles, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan
Colin Myler, the editor of the New York Daily News
Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue
Tina Brown, the editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek
Nick Denton, who owns Gawker, Gizmodo, and Kotaku
Piers Morgan, a talk show host on CNN
Martin Bashir, the host of a political commentary show on MSNBC
Deborah Turness, the president of NBC News
Jon Williams, the head of international operations for ABC News
Paul Lee, the ABC Entertainment Group President
Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Voice
Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller, the producers of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance
Simon Cowell, the producer of American Idol and X Factor
( http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-27/lifestyle/39557982_1_bbc-beeb-simon-cowell - articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-27/lifestyle/39557982_1_bbc-beeb-simon-cowell )
Ironically, the one
place where you can argue Britain was incompetent was the one place that
prospered - Saudi Arabia. Britain believed they had to compensate Islam
for destroying the Ottoman Empire, the last major independent Muslim
power. (Page 140) Britain decided to make a new independent Muslim
state, a state which would be located on the Arabian peninsula. The
peninsula was a natural choice, as it contained the two holiest mosques
for Muslims. But for Britain, there were more important considerations.
According to Fromkin, the peninsula “was a territory that none of the
Great Powers coveted.”
“It was too arid a country to make it worth the
while of any ravenous Power to occupy as a permanent pasture,” said
Britain did not believe the
Arabian peninsula had oil. The peninsula had no other apparent
resources. It seemed to be just barren desert. There was no reason for
the British to try to make the peninsula poor. The peninsula would be
poor regardless of how smart their leaders were, regardless of how
united their people were. Forming a unified country out of that land
seemed harmless. It wasn’t like Iraq which Britain knew had oil, which
Britain made into a basket case for fear of her Muslims becoming rich
Ibn Saud led a group of Bedouins called the Ikhwan.
Fromkin called the Bedouins “the greatest warriors in Arabia.” (Page
425) Britain allowed Ibn Saud and his Ikhwan to conquer and unify the
In 1926, British Petroleum declared that Saudi
Arabia was “devoid of all prospects” for oil. (Page 284 of The Prize)
Their lack of interest left the field open to their American
competitors. Standard Oil of California bought the oil concession for
Saudi Arabia in 1933. (Page 294 of The Prize). To develop their
concession, the company formed a joint venture with Texaco. (Page 302 of
The Prize) The venture was called Aramco. Five years later, in 1938,
they found the oil they were looking for. ( http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/03/10/sprj.80.1938.oil - www.cnn.com/2003/US/03/10/sprj.80.1938.oil )
During World War II, the U.S. government sent a
mission to the Middle East to determine how much oil the region had. The
conclusions reached were astounding.
“The oil in this region is the greatest single prize in all history,” declared one official. (Page 395 of The Prize)
By the time World War II ended, Ibn Saud hated
Britain. He absolutely refused to allow Britain to extract oil from his
country. After the war, Standard Oil of California and Texaco wanted to
expand Aramco by adding another two oil companies to the joint venture.
Ibn Saud did not object to the expansion. But he had one absolute demand
which could not be violated. Neither of the two additional companies
could be British. (Page 417 of The Prize) His demand was met. The two
additions to Aramco were Standard Oil of New York and New Jersey.
In Saudi Arabia, Britain did everything wrong. They
appointed a leader who was indigenous to the region, which gave him
legitimacy. They appointed a leader who was not weak, not feeble and
they allowed him to conquer and unite his country. And they did
everything they could to alienate him and drive him into the arms of the
Americans. The results speak for themselves.
Today, Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries
in the world while Iraq has gone from one disaster to another. Had, in
1914, Britain known that Saudi Arabia sat on the largest deposit of oil
in the world, Britain would have done everything in her power to make
sure that the Arabian peninsula would look more like Iraq (a basket
case) and less like Saudi Arabia (one of the richest countries on
Part of the problem
in his book, Fromkin once accused Mark Sykes of not understanding that
other British officials kept their motives and plans secret. (Page 319)
But it is Fromkin himself who does a poor job of discerning their
motives and intentions. He sees incompetence where he should see evil.
You may be wondering why, in the face of so much
information which shows that Britain’s actions are intentional,
malicious, and evil, why do historians continue to paint them in such a
favorable light? Consider the following passage.
“The establishment of Allied control in the Middle
East marked the climax of Europe’s conquest of the rest of the world,”
said Fromkin. “It was the last chapter in a tale of high adventure—of
sailors daring to cross uncharted oceans, of explorers tracking rivers
to their source, and of small bands of soldiers marching into the
interior of unknown continents to do battle with the vast armies of
remote empires.” (Page 558)
Instead of presenting the British as criminals,
Fromkin presents them as adventurers. One might be tempted to say that
Fromkin, like other western historians, is simply covering up the
horrendous crimes of the British Empire. And yet throughout his book he
includes the most damning information, such as the Colonel House quote
about how Britain was making the Middle East a breeding place for future
war. Fromkin includes all the information one needs to indict and
condemn Britain but throughout his book he refuses to do so. Instead he
has kind words for Britain. One is left with the impression that he
knows exactly what Britain did and he supports it.
Fromkin called the war a “doubly crowning
achievement” for Britain. (Page 558) Indeed the war was a "doubly
crowning achievement,” at least from the twisted British perspective.
Britain had set the stage for permanent revolution, permanent war,
permanent misery for the Middle East forever.
The verdict for Winston Churchill
in the First World War brought the British Empire to its zenith: with
the addition of the territories it had occupied in the Middle East and
elsewhere, it had become larger than it—or any other empire—had ever
– David Fromkin (Page 383)
you still don’t believe that World War I was a conspiracy hatched by
Britain, consider the fate of Winston Churchill. The war was a litmus
test for him. When either the credit or the blame for the war must be
assessed, much of it must be placed on his shoulders. If Britain viewed
the war as a catastrophe, then Britain should have banished Churchill
from office forever. But if Britain wanted to seize the world’s largest
supply of oil, then they should have rewarded him.
After all it was Winston Churchill who switched the
British Navy from coal to oil right before the war. It was Winston
Churchill who provoked the Ottomans time and again into allying
themselves with Germany, first by seizing their battlecruisers, then by
blocking Ottoman ships from entering the Mediterranean. It was Churchill
who ordered the British Navy to fire on the Ottomans. It was Churchill
who extolled the benefits of having the Ottomans as enemies, of having
the right to chop up and seize their empire. It was Churchill who once
declared that the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East “would
be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British
Empire.” (Page 519) Let us now ascertain what those interests were, as
seen from the perspective of the British. Was it to avoid a war? Or was
it to steal the world’s largest supply of oil and put the Middle East on
a permanent course of misery?
Churchill lost his seat in Parliament in November 1922.
“In 1922 it was almost universally agreed in Britain that Churchill was politically finished,” said Fromkin.
But only two years later he would return to Parliament as
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the second highest position in the British
government. Upon learning the news, George Lambert wrote him a note
which said, “Winston my boy, I have got a fair instinct for politics. I
think I shall live to see you Prime Minister.” (Page 567) His prediction
came true. Churchill served as the British prime minister twice, first
from 1940 to 1945, and then later from 1951 to 1955.
While in the short term Britain made it appear as
though they had punished Churchill for the catastrophe that had just
unfolded, a few years later Britain would show their true colors by
bringing him back into the fold, which shows that they really loved what
he did during the so-called Great War.