1st August 2019
Every year I collect together quotations that I find interesting. In 2018 I focused on Arab Christian history of conflict – Theme Detente.
I have no idea why I chose to focus on the Arab Christian history of conflict involving the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). However, I did. Imagine how fascinating it is for me to discover the article about the family of Prime Minister Boris Johnson Conservative Party at a time when the UK under his auspices has nominated 31st October 2019 for the UK exit from the EU bearing in mind that Northern Ireland and Scotland both voted to remain within the EU. 100 years on from the collapse of Ottoman Empire and the end of World War 1 when Ireland gained its independence perhaps it is time to review this history again and where better than to start with quotations and history. I am reading Robert Fisk The Great War for Civilisation – The Conquest of the Middle East. Prime Minister Boris Johnson family history from Ottoman Empire to Turkey is detailed in this link, and from an Irish perspective, makes very interesting reading:- https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/07/turkey-controversy-about-boris-johnson-great-grandfather.html
Yet another connection a film about Ireland and Turkey: time of the Great Hunger https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/generous-turkish-aid-irish-great-hunger
Happy New Year 2017 2018 and now 2019
3 Quotes from last year 2016:
The content of this letter should never be forgotten.
Our World at war…Russia, Iran, Turkey stand apart from the US. Will Syria return to Peace?
A century; maybe it is appropriate to replay the geopolitics and how it impacts on the world today. Each year I put together a selection of quotations which form a theme. Detente as defined above is in the hands of Russia, Turkey, Iran according to the news we receive presently.
George Santayana ‘Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it’
Origins: The Balfour Declaration 1917:
1840 Shaftesbury takes an advert in the Times RESTORATION OF THE JEWS… A memorandum has been addressed to the Protestant monarchs of Europe on the subject of the restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Palestine.
1865 ……This country of Palestine belongs to you and to me, it is essentially ours. It was given to the Father of Israel in the words: ‘ Walk through the land in the length of it, and in the breadth of it, for I will give it unto thee.’
“We mean to walk through Palestine in the length and in the breadth of it, because that land has been given unto us. It is the land from which comes the news of our Redemption. It is the land towards which we turn, as the fountain of all our hopes; it is the land to which we may look with as true a patriotism as we do to this dear old England, which we love so much…… “The Archbishop of York’s introduction to the first meeting of the Palestine Exploration Fund P4 http://www.pef.org.uk/
“Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it.”. Theodor Herzl wrote in his diary (September 3, 1897)
1897 First International Zionist Congress in Basel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Zionist_Congress. Two Rabbis were sent to Palestine. They report: ‘The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man‘ Shlaim, The Iron Wall. Hechler Chaplain to British Embassy in Vienna
“On the second day of its deliberations (August 30), the version submitted to the Congress by a committee under the chair of Max Nordau, it was stated: “Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law.” This gave clear expression to n,Herzl’s political Zionist vision in contrast with the settlement orientated activities of the more loosely organized Hovevei Zion. To meet halfway the request of numerous delegates, the most prominent of whom was Leo Motzkin, who sought the inclusion of the phrase “by international law,” a compromise formula proposed by Herzl was eventually adopted. Hechler Chaplain to British Embassy in Vienna
Sykes-Picot Agreement, also called Asia Minor Agreement, (May 1916), secret convention made during World War 1 between Great Britain and France, with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas. Negotiations were begun in November 1915, and the final agreement took its name from its negotiators, Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France.
Sykes-Picot intended to divide the Levant on a sectarian basis:
- Lebanon was envisioned as a haven for Christians (especially Maronites) and Druze
- Palestine with a sizable Jewish community
- the Bekaa valley, on the border between the two countries, effectively left to Shia Muslims
- Syria with the region’s largest sectarian demographic, Sunni Muslims
World War 1 exacerbated the Arabs’ failure to address the crucial dilemma they have faced over the past century and half – the identity struggle between, on one hand nationalism and secularism, and on the other, Islamism (and in some cases Christianism). The map that the two men drew divided the land that had been under Ottoman rule since the early 16th Century into new countries and relegated these political entities to two spheres of influence:
- Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine under British influence
- Syria and Lebanon under French influence
Sykes-Picot were not mandated to redraw the borders of the Arab countries in North Africa, but the division of influence existed there as well, with Egypt under British rule, and France controlling the Maghreb.
1918 Sir Mark Sykes, insisted: “If Arab nationality be recognised in Syria and Mesopotamia as a matter of Justice it will be equally necessary to devise some form of control or administration for Palestine” that recognizes “the various religious and racial nationalities in the country . . . according equal privileges to all such nationalities.”
1919 Curzon, to Balfour warns: “Weizmann contemplates a Jewish state, a Jewish nation, a subordinate population of Arabs, [and that Weizmann was]…trying to effect this behind the screen and under the shelter of British trusteeship.” Ingram p58
Michelle comment: ‘The linear mind misses its gift’ (Socrates) hence time to explore with two decades of traumatic brain injury and how the brain creates its own remedies. Disorder creates like disruption and technology does. Disruption provides people with memory deficits engagement:- Twitter provides ‘augmented memory’. Essential to be able to engage in a virtual world.
Ottoman Empire 1259-1924 A.D. (Turkey) https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/ottomanchron.html
“It is believed that in Turkey between 1913 and 1922, under the successive regimes of the Young Turks and of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), more than 3.5 million Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians were massacred in a state-organized and state-sponsored campaign of destruction and genocide, aiming at wiping out, from the emerging Turkish Republic, its native Christian populations. This Christian Holocaust is viewed as the precursor to the Jewish Holocaust in WWII. To this day, the Turkish government ostensibly denies having committed this genocide.” Prof. Israel W. Charny of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, former president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars; Executive Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem; and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Genocide:
(Speaking on the Armenian Genocide in a 2008 interview, Charny affirmed that:
“… the victims of the Turks’ genocide were not only Armenians but also Assyrians and Greeks.”)
“I was informed by reliable sources that the entire Greek population of Sinope and the coastal region of the district of Kastamoni has been exiled. Exile and annihilation have the same meaning in Turkish, for whoever is not killed, dies on the most part from illnesses and hunger.” Kückhoff, the German Vice-Consul at Samsoun, reported to the German Ministry of the Interior in Berlin on 16 July 1916
According to an Austro-Hungarian agent, on 31 January 1917 Talaat Bey (1874-1921) , the Minister of the Interior, declared:
“… I see that time has come for Turkey to have it out with the Greeks the way it had it out with the Armenians in 1915.” http://www.armenian-genocide.org/talaat.html
In his memoirs Winston Churchill (1874-1965) wrote:
“Not only has the Turkish Government failed to protect its subjects of other races from pillage, outrage and murder, but there is abundant evidence that it has been responsible for directing and organizing savagery against people to whom it owed protection.”
David Lloyd George later wrote in his memoirs:
“The Greeks of Asia Minor had also suffered heavily from the brutalities of the Turks during the Great War. Hundreds of thousands were massacred in cold blood during the War and many more driven from their homes to find refuge in Greece and the Greek islands.”
United States President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924):
“I am in hearty sympathy with every just effort being made by the people of the United States to alleviate the terrible sufferings of the Greeks of Asia Minor. None have suffered more or more unjustly than they. (Sir John Bagot Glubb)”.
History of the Arabs:-
“From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to Christendom https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary…
“To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization,
but this is a narrow view.”
Suleiman the Magnificent
(6 November 1494 – 6 September 1566)
I, the sultan of sultans, and the strongest ruler; the loftiest king who defeats the kingdoms around the world, and the shadow of Allah in the Earth, am the son of Sultan Selim who is the son of Sultan Beyazid, Sultan Suleiman, Caesar of Rome, the sultan of Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, and Thrace, and Anatolia, and Karaman and the City of Dulkadir and Diyarbakir and Kurdistan, and Iran and Damascus and Aleppo and Egypt and Mecca and Medinah and Jerusalem and the whole Arab land and Yemen and many more lands that our lofty ancestors conquered with their crushing powers and In conquered with my fire-scattering sword….
“My soldiers rally under the crescent banner. We march”.
Marcel Clerget in ‘La Turquie, Passe et Present, Paris’, 1938:-
‘Many proofs of high cultural level of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent are to be found in the development of science and law; in the flowering of literary works in Arabic, Persian and Turkish; in the contemporary monuments in Istanbul, Bursa, and Edirne; in the boom in luxury industries; in the sumptuous life of the court and high dignitaries, and last but not least in its religious tolerance. All the various influences – notably Turkish, Byzantine and Italian mingle together and help to make this the most brilliant epoch of the Ottomans.”
Phillip Hitti in ‘Short History of the Arabs’:-
During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religious, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue.”
Michelle: Extremism needs to be identified for what it is. ISIS are extremists perpetrating wars on a global basis in search of a Caliphate. They compromise what they perceive as their history – they use swords and decapitate people they call ‘infidels’ but social media is also their most effective tool to recruit. There is such an ancient culture of Islam and we have an obligation to try to understand that the terrorists stand apart from this history.
Khalif (Caliph) Al-Ma’mun’s period of rule (813 – 833 C.E.) may be considered the ‘golden age’ of science and learning. He had always been devoted to books and to learned pursuits. His brilliant mind was interested in every form of intellectual activity. Not only poetry but also philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine and law all occupied his time.”
By Mamun’s time medical schools were extremely active in Baghdad. The first free public hospital was opened in Baghdad during the Caliphate of Haroon-ar-Rashid. As the system developed, physicians and surgeons were appointed who gave lectures to medical students and issued diplomas to those who were considered qualified to practice. The first hospital in Egypt was opened in 872 AD and thereafter public hospitals sprang up all over the empire from Spain and the Maghrib to Persia.”
Christmas 2016 into the New Year 2017. Russia, Iran, Turkey align.
History is relevant.
“In April, 1915, the Ottoman Government began to put into execution throughout Turkey a systematic and carefully prepared plan to exterminate the Armenian race. In six months nearly a million Armenians have been killed. The number of victims and the manner of their destruction are without parallel in modern history”. Herbert Adams Gibbons
“The hopelessness of the Turkish Government should make me witness with delight its being swept out of the countries which it tortures. Next to the Ottoman Government nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy than jealousies between Greek and Slav, and plans by the States already existing, for appropriating other territory. Why not Macedonia for the Macedonians as well as Bulgaria for the Bulgarians and Serbia for the Serbians”. William E. Gladstone.
“Part of Syke’s motive was rooted in religiosity. A devout Catholic, he regarded a return of the ancient tribe of Israel to the Holy Land as a way to correct a nearly two thousand year old wrong. That view had taken on new passion and urgency with the massacres of the Armenians. To Sykes, in that ongoing atrocity, the Ottoman Empire had proven it could never again be trusted to protect its religious minority populations. At war’s end, the Christian and Jewish Holy Land of Palestine would be taken from it, and the failure of the Crusades made right”. Scott Anderson
Michelle: What a Mosaic of History: the World awaits. Will President Elect Mr Donald Trump extend the hand of Detente to President of Russia Mr Vladmir Putin who has aligned with Turkey Iran and Syria? History tells us of irrational borders dividing tribes by European Empire driven elites (France, Britain). Empires rise and fall. An example of Empire driven credo as stated by Cecil Rhodes:- ‘They don’t change the names of countries, do they” hence Rhodesia now re-named Zimbabwe
“Why should we not form a secret society with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for making the Anglo Saxon race but one Empire? What a dream, but yet it is probable; it is possible.”
To the US Empire
Michelle: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Sudan and so many countries at war yet if we review our history and look at those Peace or Anti-War advocate quotes, Detente would be in preference to the slaughter of innocents by use of superior technology and crude weaponry ie cluster and barrel bombs.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
“Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.”
Nikita Khrushchev to Western diplomats, 1956
“Berlin is the testicles of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze on Berlin.”
Nikita Khrushchev, 1963
“With what moral authority can [the US] speak of human rights… the rulers of a nation in which the millionaire and beggar coexist; where the Indian is exterminated; the black man is discriminated against; the woman is prostituted; and the great masses of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans are scorned, exploited, and humiliated… where the CIA organizes plans of global subversion and espionage, and the Pentagon creates neutron bombs capable of preserving material assets and wiping out human beings.”
Fidel Castro, 1978
“The Soviet people want full-blooded and unconditional democracy.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet leader, 1988
“The West will not contain communism; it will transcend communism. We will not bother to renounce it, we’ll dismiss it as a bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.”
US president Ronald Reagan, 1981
“Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.”
Vladimir Putin, Russian political leader
“Israel is the American watchdog in the Middle East, and that’s why the Palestinians remain victims of one of the longest military occupations. They don’t have oil. If they were the Saudis, they wouldn’t be in the position they are now. But they have the power of being able to upset the imperial order in the Middle East.”
“Kissinger celebrants inevitably point to two things to justify their admiration: an opening to China – ‘rapprochement’ – and improved relations with the Soviet Union – detente – which included SALT, a historic arms-limitation treaty.”
New Year 2017 selection of quotations updated
It is now 2019 and I have reviewed the 2017 selection of quotations. It is a cetenary year yet we have learned little from history and are so far away from Detente; people have lost sight of this historical landscape)
Michelle: Conflicts abound in the Middle East. Children are dying, people are migrating. There must be another answer to wars especially in Syria where barrel bombs, chlorine and crude implements of war are intermingled with the best of military expertise and technology in the form of fighter pilots and jets, drones and software to exterminate the vulnerable while the banks hoard the wealth of despotic leaders. I include a selection of anti-war quotes which I suggest you include in your Twitter accounts as a means of saying, we are aware and we care for the people in the war torn countries and war must give way to Detente.
“We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Societies can be sunk by the weight of buried ugliness.” ~Daniel Goleman
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” ~Edward Abbey
“It is the youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow…that are the aftermath of war”. ~Herbert C. Hoover
“A merely fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled one is truly vanquished.” ~Johan Christoph Schiller
“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.” ~John F. Kennedy
“War remains the decisive human failure.” ~John Kenneth Galbraith
“The hardest thing for me in Vietnam wasn’t seeing the wounded and dead. It was watching the big transport jets come in, bringing loads of fresh new boys for the war.” ~Johnny Cash
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” ~Jose Narosky
“We shall never be able to effect physical disarmament until we have succeeded in effecting moral disarmament.” ~J. Ramsay MacDonald
“Where is the justice of political power if it executes the murderer and jails the plunderer?” ~Kahlil Gibran
“War is the continuation of politics by other means.” ~Karl Von Clausewitz
“The war on terrorism is akin to the war on drugs…un-winable, unless you kill everyone…or address the root causes.” ~K. W. Ibrahim
“The greatest protection against war is a well educated populace.” ~L.L. Castetter
“Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.” ~Lord Acton
“Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice.” ~Lord Acton
“Don’t talk to me about atrocities; all war is an atrocity.” ~Lord Kitchener
“Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things.” ~Ludwig von Mises
“Whoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism. ~Ludwig von Mises
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” ~Mahatma Gandhi
“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.” ~Marcus Aurelius
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead
“Why, the Government is merely…a temporary servant…Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” ~Marquis de Sade
“Let not your zeal to share your principles entice you beyond your borders.” ~Marquis de Sade
“War is the greatest plague that can affect humanity; it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.” ~Martin Luther
“There are only two powers in the world: the sword and the mind. In the long run, the sword is always defeated by the mind.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
“War is the business of barbarians.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
“War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” ~Nelson Mandela
“You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it.” ~Noam Chomsky
Media and the best use of social media and newspaper print
Discernment not ignorant consumption must be the way forward so that we can determine what is propaganda and not be influenced by same.
“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” ~Joseph Goebbels
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” ~George Orwell
“Official truths are often powerful illusions” ~John Pilger
“Many journalists are now no more than channelers and echoers of what George Orwell called the ‘official truth’ They simply cipher and transmit lies. It really grieves me that so many of my fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as ‘functionaires’, functionaries, not journalists.” ……. It’s only when journalists understand the role they play in this propaganda, it’s only when they realise they can’t be both independent, honest journalists and agents of power, that things will begin to change. ~John Pilger
“In the sublime days before 11 September 2001, when the powerful were routinely attacking and terrorising the weak, and those dying were black or brown-skinned non people living in faraway places such as Zaire and Guatemala, there was no terrorism. When the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on 9/11, there was terrorism.” ~John Pilger
[The Gulf War in 1991:] Strikingly, no concern was voiced over the glaringly obvious fact that no official reason was ever offered for going to war — no reason, that is, that could not be instantly refuted by a literate teenager. [Noam Chomsky 11]
April. 2018: My Mum died at the end of December 2017 and I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and am undergoing treatment (Lumpectomy, Chemotherapy and Radiation). You read this and you realise so little changes other than in pursuit of the Military Industrial Complex. This year I do not have the capacity to gather together a selection of quotations with a theme. But nothing much has changed really.
Reviewed this. I do not have to attend Professor Crown until next year, January 2020. I have written a book about the journey with cancer which was further complicated by amnesia and traumatic brain injury.