Sunday, July 1, 2007

Work in Progress: Formulating the Antidote to Sectarian Division and "Creative Destruction"

By Tony Sayegh

It is well-known by now that nothing unfolding in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and now Palestine is happening by chance or as a result of decisions made on the fly. We know that the document "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" , which was prepared in 1996 for Benjamin Netanyahu, outlined some of the policies now being implemented by Usrael in Iraq and soon in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, if given a chance.

Also the document by Oded Yinon "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties", published in 1982, was very explicit in formulating an essential element of the strategy being followed now:

"....The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel's satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation."

As an essential element of the resistance to such a scheme to fragment and to dominate the Arab and Muslim worlds, counter-strategies are needed. It is very disheartening to see the success of this Israeli strategy in Iraq where sectarian fires have been successfully lit. Whereas in 1920 all Iraqis, Sunni and Shiite, Arab and Kurd fought the British invaders, today they are more interested in fighting each other. This did not happen by itself; the sectarian fires were started and are kept going by the Usraeli occupation.

The Arab and Muslim Middle East has so many ethnic and religious groupings which have managed to co-exist and thrive together for centuries, before this plague of Zionism and neo-colonial Usraeli presence was visited upon it. As a part of counter strategies, we need to develop our own strategies that stress the elements of cohesiveness, the shared history, culture and future of all living in the region and who suffer and will be suffering as a result of Zio-American policies of forced disintegration.

This is a rich area for research and development, especially for sociologists, anthropologists, historians, religious scholars and various social scientists. I happen not to be in any one of these groups, but I realize the need for a comprehensive strategy that rises to the level of this challenge.

Therefore, I would like to elicit ideas from all of the visitors to this blog. Please contribute and share your thoughts in the comment section. I would like to incorporate these ideas in this work in progress. With your help and contribution this could become a worthwhile effort. I thank you in advance.

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