Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

6

of Iraq to the British – are known to every

Arab, Christian and Muslim and, indeed,

every Jew in the region. They eviscerated

the governorates of the old dying Ottoman

empire and created artificial nations in

which borders, watchtowers and hills of

sand separated tribes, families and peoples.

They were an Anglo-French colonial

production.

The same night that I saw the early Isis

video, I happened to be visiting the

Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt.

“The end of Sykes-Picot!” he roared at

me. “Rubbish,” I snorted. But of course,

I was wrong and Jumblatt was right. He

had spotted at once how Isis captured

symbolically – but with almost breathtaking

speed – what so many Arabs had sought for

almost exactly 100 years: the unravelling

of the fake borders with which the victors of

the First World War – largely the British and

the French – had divided the Arab people. It

was our colonial construction – not just the

frontiers we imposed upon them, but the

administrations and the false democracies

that we fraudulently thrust upon them, the

mandates and trusteeships which allowed

us to rule them – that poisoned their lives.

Colin Powell claimed just such a trusteeship

for Iraq’s oil prior to the illegal Anglo-

American invasion of 2003.

We foisted kings upon the Arabs – we

engineered a 96 per cent referendum in

favour of the Hashemite King Faisal in Iraq

in 1922 – and then provided them with

generals and dictators. The people of Libya,

Syria, Iraq, and Egypt – which had been

invaded by the British in the 19th century –

were subsequently blessed with mendacious

governments, brutal policemen, lying

newspapers and fake elections. Mubarak

even scored Faisal’s epic 96 per cent

election victory all over again. For the

Arabs, “democracy” did not mean freedom

of speech and freedom to elect their own

leaders; it referred to the “democratic”

Western nations that continued to support

the cruel dictators who oppressed them.

Thus the Arab revolutions that consumed

the Middle East in 2011 – forget the “Arab

Spring”, a creature of Hollywood origin –

did not demand democracy. The posters

on the streets of Cairo and Tunis and

Damascus and Yemen called for dignity

and justice, two commodities that we had

definitely not sought for the Arabs. Justice

for the Palestinians – or for the Kurds, or for

that matter for the destroyed Armenians of

1915, or for all the suffering Arab peoples

– was not something that commended itself

to us. But I think we should have gone much

further in our investigation of the titanic

changes of 2011.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines