Debate in Østerbrohuset Wednesday February 15th, 2006.


The Jago principle - How the British have manipulated the Middle East

By Hussein Askary - Middle East correspondent for Executive Intelligence Review


From a Schiller Institute debate meeting in Østerbrohuset in Copenhagen Wednesday February 15th, 2006.



                                                                                                     Hussein Askary                       Hussein Askary and Tom Gillesberg


Listen to the speeches from the meeting.   (Hussein Askary's speech starts after about 45 minutes).

The discussion that followed.

The Jago principle - How the British have manipulated the Middle East

By Hussein Askary

I wanted to start not with all the details, but with this idea of being a human being. The problem is--I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago, and he was saying that there was a saying that says, there are two types of people, those who make history, and those who are victims of history. And the good news is that there are still places, it's not fully booked on both sides of this, so everyone, even here, can choose to book a place on the people who will {make} history, rather than being victims of history.  It's in these times of crisis, like this, like especially with a relatively small country like Denmark .

Now, we have a much better chance now to win, than lose, for the sake of mankind, but it's this type of crisis which actually, rather than demoralizing a nation, a nation can come out of it much stronger, and much livelier, and not only for its own self, but for the sake of all mankind. So, each one of us can be a historical individual, having the idea that they do mean something, and they can intervene into history, not simply as a spectators or victims of events, but being able to understand how history is shaped. That's the real problem here, is that, is how do you react in  a situation like this. What is the problem? Why people are unable to contribute positively, or being able to deal with these kinds of problems? They would rather leave it for people who have power. They say, ``We are powerless, we can do nothing, it's the politicians, it's the mass media, it's the powerful institutions who can do things, we are not really... nobody's going to listen to us."

But it's not true. Quite often in history, it's that people who not before had the position of power, or been popular, or been government, or been rich, they often change history -- like in the case of Jeanne d'Arc. Somebody who nobody thought they would be of any meaning in society--they can change history. And this applies to everyone of us.

But the problem is like in this case of a global crisis, because it's not a Danish crisis. Denmark has been chosen as a burning point to escalate this crisis, but the issue is more general. But to be able to deal with this kind of crisis, it's very important to understand how you position this crisis in history. But you can't understand the current history, without having a deeper understanding of history in general. And that's where people don't really understand the idea of cultural warfare.

Because this is cultural warfare. You can manipulate people, and their religious beliefs. And this is not new. This is very old. You can manipulate religious beliefs in order to make people behave in a certain way, which you desire, in order to create conflict, and manipulate conflict between two groups, as Tom was saying, so you can end up on top of it. So you can actually orchestrate the conflict, to achieve certain either economic or strategic objectives. This is, as I said, an old story, but throughout history, we have had--the reason that there is hope, is that it is not only evil which has been running the affairs of mankind, but throughout history we have had these two systems, these two models. One is an imperial model, which says, human beings are animals. A group of powerful people, with economic resources, with military forces, and a priesthood--a group of people who are clever in manipulating the emotions and thinking of the population--they can rule over a big mass of slaves, human cattle. They keep them often fed, and happy, or sometimes unhappy, fed and unhappy--like George Bush. Keep them stupid. Keep them at the low level of life, and use them as slaves.

And that has been the one faction. On the other hand, we have had a tradition in the history of mankind, of what we call a humanist republican, which says every individual is a sovereign, creative person, of historic importance. Tom said, created in the image of God. And therefore society has to be organized on the basis of respecting and promoting this idea of man as being a creative being, sovereign.

But the history of the manipulation of religious belief, and this idea, is that it did not come with the British Empire . This idea of divide and conquer, using religious belief in order to manipulate whole populations. The best latest example in history is the Crusades, whereby the crusades was not about religion in reality. Religion was used, to manipulate populations in Europe, and in the Islamic world, to get two forces clashing, in order for Venice, which was the financial, economic empire, sitting in a corner of the Mediterranean, would be running world trade, and world economic matters. And they would be the financial center, which would loan money to people who would go to war. All these Crusaders from Europe , they needed money, and ships, and weapons; where would they go? They would go to Venice , because Venice was the financial, economic empire of the time. And for them, this war was very important to control trade, from Asia to Europe , through the whole Mediterranean . So, most of these battles around the Crusades, dealt with controlling important ports on the Mediterranean .

But what they needed is a priesthood--they were bribing the Pope, sometimes, and bribing other priests, to stir up the emotions. "They are raping Christians in Jerusalem !  Let's go and liberate Jerusalem ! And on the other side you would have people who would mobilize in a similar way. Like today, you have people in the Islamic world who run around and say, "They are burning the Koran in Copenhagen . We have to go and fight!" It's that way that these kind of religious emotions are controlled.

But this is a historic model. The British inherited the Venetian model, as Tom said, ``divide and conquer." You have a strong position between two, or three, or four parties. You are both their friend and their enemy. Like in the case of Iago in {Othello} [{The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice}], you know, Shakespeare's drama. You know, Iago knows everyone and this {Othello} is actually about Venice . Shakespeare intentionally places the act in Venice , because Shakespeare, as a statesman, not simply a dramatist, understood history. But Iago is the person who manipulates everyone. He knows the weak points of Othello. Othello is jealous. Now, okay, we have one weak point about Othello. We have one other guy who is ambitious, he wants to get into a position. You have a nice wife, Desdemona. So, Iago is in a position to manipulate everyone, and getting everyone into conflict, to come out as the great winner in this game. But he knows what are the weak points of each player.

He goes to Othello, and says, "You know, I'm your friend. Don't get angry, but this guy Cassio might have a relationship with your wife. But please don't get angry! I don't want you to get angry. No, no, no, forget about it, forget about it! Because that will only lead to trouble. Forget about what I told you."

And Othello says, ```Oh, my God..." Iago knows, the guy is going to go crazy.

It's like the Iranian President. You know, Jack Straw says, ``Let's send Iran to the UN Security Council. We have to show them that we are tough. We don't want to have war with Iran , but we have to show them that we are tough, and we mean business, so that they will cooperate." And Jack Straw knows that, if the Iranians hear that, that they will {never} cooperate. So, Russia and China accept this suggestion, as if this were a positive step: get the Iranians to be more cooperative. But they know, as soon as the news came out in the morning, the Iranians said, ``Shut down all the diplomatic channels, we don't want to cooperate any more, that's it. We go and take off all the cameras, and we will run our business."

And this, they knew. Because they have the profile of the Iranian President. They know how he thinks. And this is what the British have been doing for more than 200 years.


- The Middle East , Before World War I – 

And just to make it short, this is the picture of the region of the Middle East , before World War I. Now, the British had India , they had part of Iran , they had Egypt and Sudan , but they--one could go into more detail why they wanted to have World War I. Because, throughout the second part of the 19th Century, you have had a cooperation in Eurasia , between specifically, Germany and Russia . You had even the Ottomans involved. But there was a move in Europe , to replicate the enormous technological and economic progress which was achieved in the United States , specifically since the Civil War, up to the beginning of the 1900s.

That was on the basis of what was called the American System of political economy. It's not what is happening in the United States today. This is what Mr. [Lyndon] LaRouche wants to bring back, into the American political and economic policy. But for Britain, because it's a maritime force, has no control over the inland of Eurasia; and also, they had to secure their colonies in India, all the way to Tibet, and so on, and control the seafaring routes from the Mediterranean through the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, into the Indian Ocean. Their only way to be able to keep control--and remember that the British--it's like the Nazis, they thought the British Empire would last for 1,000 years. So, they would have to find ways of controlling, not only controlling these areas, but getting everyone above this area to fight: Russia , Germany , the Balkans, the Turks, and the Caucasus , and so on and so forth.

But it's a classical case of how the British managed to manipulate everyone, and come out of it completely in control. Because they, on the one hand, already before, in the middle of the 18th Century, they would send their agents, intelligence agents, or archaeologists, or anthropologists, to go into all these regions, and try to find out the mentality. And to build alliances with tribal chiefs, religious personalities, religious cults, and so on and so forth. And also, that they used that knowledge in order to organize tribal forces to make sure that Russia never gets close to the Indian Ocean . They needed to build alliances. This was called the Great Game.

But, throughout that period, they managed to get into very strong relations with the tribal chiefs in the Gulf, and the Arab Peninsula , and so on and so forth. And they had deep knowledge of the culture, of the religion, of the social divisions, every aspect of life in the area. But with the coming of World War I, now the British wanted to take control over all the region, but they don't have the possibility, both to fight a war on the Western front, and fight the war with the Ottomans, and at the same time, expand in these areas. So, they have to build alliances. They need friends. They can't do this job alone. They don't have the economic, military--.

So, they started a process where they were promising every group, every possible group, in that region, that after the fall of the Ottoman Empire --because that was the idea: The Ottoman Empire has to be demolished, and divided, and destroyed, and then you will recreate the region. It's like the current situation: redrawing the map  of the Middle East . This is what the neo-conservatives in the United States talk about. But in order to finish that process, they had to get into alliances with forces who will help them destroy the Ottoman Empire .

So, they made promises to the Arabs in the Western Peninsula . The Sharif was saying, and all the details you will find in  our publications, but I don't want to bother you with all the details, but you had different forces fighting in the Arab Peninsula, like the Saud family, and the Sharif family. And they knew there was a fight, the British were supporting both sides. And keeping them away from each other. But they were promising them that, if they helped the British Empire in the war against the Ottomans, they promised the Arabs to have an independent state in  all that region. They would have independence. You know, the great uncle from Britain would give them all that region to have a nice, cozy pan-Arab state, in all the region. And the Sharif was saying, ``We'll be the king over that kingdom."

In the meantime, because they were in alliance with the French, because they needed the French in the war, and also to be able to control this area, they got into discussions with the French imperial power, because France was an empire. And this is interesting, even in today's situation, because the French--and the British know this very well--the French have a weak point: They think that they are a great colonial power, and that they have the right to have control over areas faraway from France . Like North Africa . They say, this is French, this is our property. Syria , Lebanon . And even today, they are being manipulated, they are being told that, "Look, you went against us in the Iraq War, and you got nothing. The British control southern Iraq , the Americans control the rest, and you got no piece of the cake. So, don't be stupid. We are the ones who are running the show. We will start regime change in these regions, and unless you help us, you will not get anything."


- The Sykes-Picot Treaty – 

So, now, the French are playing the same game of regime change in Syria and in Lebanon . Because they have somewhere inside their head that Syria and Lebanon are French spheres of influence, and this the British knew very well. Also, there are historical reasons. So they managed to get this agreement, it was called the Sykes-Picot, after the names of a British intelligence guy, Sir Mark Sykes, and a French negotiator by the name of Francois Picot. So they, in secret, they drew this plan: this is how the Middle East will look after the war. If we win, the French will take that part, with Syria and Lebanon , and Britain will take this part, and you will have a zone in the middle that's the British sphere of influence. And then they told the Russians a secret: If we win the war, you will get that part of Turkey up there, the grey area; and they promised the Italians a piece, and the Greeks, and everyone. And they promised, at the same time, the Arabs, that if they helped Britain in the war, they will give them all this area as one Arab state, which they can run by themselves.

And, at the same time, in 1917, the promised the Jewish community in Britain , that if they win the war, they  will give them a Jewish state in Palestine , to be a national state for the Jews of Europe. But they needed also the support and influence of very powerful and rich Jewish families, like Chaim Weizmann, father of the late President, who was owning a huge chemical production plant, which was influential in the war, in the war machine. So, they were promising everyone a piece, and playing a friend of everyone. "But, don't let the others hear you. I tell you this secret, but don't tell anyone."

And then they go to the other party, and "Don't tell anyone." And this is how they run the show. They won the war. They divided the Ottoman Empire , but at the end, the British came back and told everyone, "Look, this was just a joke. We won the war, we are in power." And then they went back to the old plan. They take all that region as a British sphere of influence. They will put in Arab sheikhs, but they will have British advisors, so-called advisors, at each government, who will run the economic policy, the military policy, and the foreign policy. And the sheikh, or the sultan, or the king, he will run religious affairs, ceremonial issues, things which have to do with very internal affairs of the country. But the British would run the economy, and all aspects of life. 

But this did not go fine, because, after World War I, the Arabs, they said, where are our promises? We need, we want to have our independence. Now it didn't happen like a Pan-Arabist thing, because the people in Iraq , they told the British, you came here, you told us you're going to liberate us from the Turkish tyranny, hmm? And when the war ends, you will leave, and we will have our state, hmm? Nothing is happening-- you want to stay. It's like today: The neo-cons said, we are going to liberate Iraq , and then we'll leave. This is not part of the plan.

The same thing happened in Syria . The same thing happened in Egypt . Everywhere, you had a revolt. Even in Afghanistan . So, you had a revolt against the British influence, from Afghanistan , India , throughout Iran , Iraq , Syria , all in 1919 and 1920. And in Egypt , which is the biggest Arab country, you also had a revolt started by nationalist movements.

Now, this is the interesting story here. The British realized, because after World War I, their economy was completely bankrupt. Their military capability--because it's spread all over the world--they can't have military control. And their alliances are falling apart. Everybody's saying, "Where's our money? You promised us this thing, where are our countries?"

So, they tried to crush these uprisings militarily--very bloody, like in Iraq . They were bombing any village that would go against them, they would send airplanes. This is Churchill's plan, which is also implemented today. If you don't have enough soldiers, use air power. Any village which revolts, any village which does not pay taxes, because they force villages and promise to pay taxes--any village which does not pay taxes, will get bombed. They go back to the history of Iraq , from 1919, 1920. So, in that revolt, about 10,000 Iraqis were killed in a couple of months. But the British saw that this is not going to be a viable solution into the future, especially as their economy does not allow this kind of--.


- The British Arab Bureau Creates `Pan-Islamism –

So, what they have is this so-called Arab Bureau, in the British Foreign Office, foreign ministry. They established a special office with people who are experts in Islamic and Asian cultural and other affairs. And they came up with the idea, because, since you have nationalist movements in each country, because they started to be defined--you have Syria, you have Iraq, you have Egypt, you have Jordan--because you have these, a rise in nationalist movements, who want to become a modern nation. You know, like France , like the United States , like everyone else. In order to crush that, because this was a very powerful sentiment, they needed to get a counter-balance, and that's where they pulled this so-called pan-Islamic movement from the hat, like, you know, the magicians. They pulled out this idea. Because they knew that there is something, and there are a number of people which they had already ruined--they were educating those people, let's put it this way, and they are prominent persons in the so-called Islamic reform movement, like Jamal Abdeen al-Afghani, and his students in Egypt, Mohammad Adha. These were members of Freemasonic lodges in London and France . And their idea, already at the end of the 19th Century, was to actually overthrow the Shah of Iran, overthrow the Sultan in Turkey , and so on and so forth, and they needed help from people in France and in Britain , in influential places. And they got into this Freemasonic business, and through these Freemasonic lodges, they were controlled, actually intellectually and mentally. And this, for a lot of people, is no secret. They themselves admitted at a later point, that this was the case. They wrote books, others wrote books about them.        But the idea for the British is that, ``We need something which is not defined by a national identity. And the best tool in this aspect, is this question of pan-Islamism.'' You have an Islamic movement, from Indonesia to Morocco , which has no borders. It has no nation-states. It has no defined shape. It's just a religious movement. And in this case, the British might come to those people and say, ``We will help you get your Islamic state. We will implement Sharia law. You can get power. But you promise us to keep control over the economic sectors, and foreign policy. And you do whatever you like with your religion. You are free to practice your religion, hm? We are not tyrants, we are not dictators, you practice the religion you want.''

It's like in the Roman Empire . Everybody was allowed to practice their religion. But the economy and military efforts, foreign policy, was controlled by the imperial power. And through that, they established the so-called Islamic movement, which was controlled from the beginning, and the most clear example of that was the Muslim Brotherhood.     The Muslim Brotherhood was the movement that was created in Egypt , in the 1920s, to confront the nationalist independence movement. Because they're agents: {They had nothing to do with Egypt , or liberating Egypt from the British.} They wanted just to establish an Islamic system. And the British say, ``Fine, there's no problem. You can be an Islamic, but we will run the economy and foreign policy.''

The nationalist movements say ``No, you get out. We run our economy. We run our military effort. We run our economy.'' And that has been the balance that they have used since the end of the Second World War, up until the divorce. Because, when, with the fall of communism, this idea of getting the Islamic movement against the nationalist movement, it goes in every country. Like, in Egypt , is the best example, with Gamal Abdel Nasser, who made the revolt against the British Office, and kicked out the British from the Suez Canal . They set the Islamic, the Muslim Brotherhood, against him. And they created the tension in the country with which it was impossible for Gamal Abdel Nasser, or anyone, to control the country.

Now, they eventually killed Anwar Sadat, in 1981, and still today, they are a very powerful force. In Syria , you had the Muslim Brotherhood has been in a very powerful situation, and the Syrian government has been crushing them brutally. That's not something to suggest for the solution, but their leadership is now in London . And now they are negotiating there, to support British-American-French plans to have a regime change in Syria . So, they would work with anyone who would give them a promise. It's exactly like the British gave the promises during the World War.

So, the danger is that you have so-called Islamic groups who are manipulated. Sometimes they are in alliance with the Anglo-American intelligence, sometimes they are in opposition. So, they can be used in any way. In Afghanistan they said, ``Yeah, we go hand in hand with the British and American intelligence, to crush the Russians. We have the same goal, so we cooperate.'' But with the Soviet Union collapsing, you know, nobody needed them any more in that area. So, the thing turned into, how do you use these Islamic now-militant movements, because they were not that militant before the Afghanistan jihad, but how do you use them now to destabilize these regimes? And they have been, in the whole 1990s, used in Egypt , in Algeria , and in other countries, to destabilize the national governments.

But now, with this clash of civilization idea, once again, they are a perfect tool. Because they know how these people would react. And they know what their objectives are. So, therefore, this idea of cultural warfare, is to--and this is the art which the British are masters of today, because they have practiced it for 200 years: How do you get a reaction from a group, or a number of groups, exactly as you want it? You can almost put it in the computer. If you do this, they will do that. Like these cartoons. Anybody who knows anything would know that this would provoke a storm in the Islamic world. And they know that. And that's the reason they did it. They wanted this crisis. But they wanted this crisis, not simply because they hate Islam, or they hate Muhammad--they don't give a damn about Islam, or Muhammad, or even Christianity. They think they are, as like in the old empires, like the Babylonian and Persian Empires, Roman Empire : ``We are the elite, we run the masses of cattle, of slaves. We are in power here. We can choose for them the kind of religion they can worship. We can control their affairs. But it is we who are in control.''

And that's how the game runs.


    - Do You Want To Make History? -

Now, they have the problem. Because the modern nation-state is not, like, specifically, the United States--and this is the irony with which a lot of people have a difficulty, because what this oligarchy, these elites, are most terrified of: is, if the United States goes back to this idea of being a sovereign republic. With the idea, also, of the individual as being a sovereign individual, with God-given rights and freedoms. And in that context, what that implies for the economic policy, because if you have that idea of the individual, if you have a constitution which is based on that idea, then, who is running the economy? Is it the interest of the elite? The bankers, and the priesthood, and the mass media, who are the priests of today? Or is it the general welfare of the nation? Who will control the money? Who will control the raw materials? Is it the hedge funds, and the private companies? Or is it that these are the assets of nations, that they need these assets for their development?

And in the American situation, that's why the fight in the United States is so important, is that the United States does have that constitutional system. Now the Bush Administration and these neo-cons, their big enemy is the United States of America. They want to destroy the United States as a sovereign nation. They want to tear down the American Constitution, because it's dangerous. Because it says all people are equal, and they have God-given rights. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." And this is dangerous, because the oligarchs cannot control a nation, where you have individuals with that identity. People who are sovereign. People who demand that their nation protect their interests, that promotes the general welfare for themselves, and the coming generation. That means, who controls the economy, who controls the credit, who controls the money, who has the right to issue money. Is it the banks, or the sovereign government, which is elected by the people?         That is what the fight is about. And they are terrified if the United States turns around. If you overthrow Cheney and Bush, and then you have a leadership in the United States which says, "We have to follow and go back to our Constitution. It's the best Constitution, more than European civilization has created. We have to go back and implement that. And we can use that, also internationally, by getting these kinds of agreements with other nations, to build the world, to develop the whole planet!"

Now, no private bank will accept this plan. ``It costs too much money. And it's bad for the environment. We don't have money for this. The IMF says, you know, we don't. Maastricht will tell the Europeans, you know, you can't borrow money for these things, because you have to have a 3% limit on your budget deficit. You cannot borrow money to build railways, water projects.''

So instead of that the nation itself says: ``We need these things. We have to create credit, so-called money, to finance these projects,'' the bankers say ``no.'' ``It's {we} who decide what will be built, and what will not be built, because we own the money. We have the raw materials. We have these private companies, oil companies, steel companies. And we decide what will be built, and what will not be built.'' And the danger is, for them, for this oligarchical elite, and their priesthood, is, if you get a movement around the world, where nations say, like Denmark, or the government, the people in Denmark and their government, say, ``This economic policy, this free trade and globalization doesn't work. We have to take control of our economy. And therefore, we have to change the process of economic policy making that we have had, at least since the 1970s, but especially, for the EU, since the 1990s.''

That is the battle. And cultural warfare is used, to detract from the real issue. The real issue is the economy: who controls the world economy. That's the real issue. But they can keep people busy, killing each other, for religious and cultural reasons, so they can come out on top of the world economy, of the money, the raw materials, and the army. And they say, this is enough for us to control the world. Let the Muslims and the Europeans kill each other. We control. They have strong armies, they have big banks, and so on.

So, for us to be able to intervene in this crisis, is to understand this idea of cultural warfare, history, how history was shaped, what are the ideas which shaped history. It's not simply the events; you can read all the details about that. But what is your idea about yourself? Who are you? Are you somebody who is in history, or are you just passing by this planet, by mistake? Like the existential problem: ``I'm just here, nobody told me to come here. My mother and father didn't ask me if I wanted to be here or not. Why did you bring me here? This world is full of wars and crises, and natural disasters. I don't want to be here!''

Or are you somebody who's here for a purpose? That's the question of history. Are you part of history? Do you want to make history, or are you just a victim of history? And this is how we can get Denmark out of this crisis. We can become historical individuals. Your nation is counting on you. Do something, and in order to be able to do something, you have to know something about yourself, who are you, and history, because we are part of world history. And this is what our friends here in Denmark have been fighting to get this message to the Danish people. As we do in Sweden, we do in the United States, and in Germany. So, you can better understand these events, and your role, if you get a sense of universal history. And we are here to help in that problem.


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