An “Earth is Flat” look at the Middle East and Islam
Copyright Vladimir Kagan, February 2, 2014
America and the Western World's perception of the Mid-East Crisis: Israel and Palestine
(small area shown in green and orange)
Dr. Kedar's large view of the Mid-East Crisis
North Africa, the Middle-east and Arab Peninsular
The Middle East has been a diplomatic bête noir for centuries, ever since the Crusaders marched in to eliminate the scourge of Islam fourteen Centuries ago… It was not successful then and it is not now.
We were treated to a fascinating and intellectually challenging luncheon lecture by Dr. Mordechai Kedar at the Coudert Institutes’ Lunch & Learn series. Dr. Kedar is the founder and director of the Center for the study of Middle East and Islam at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Kedar speaks nine Arabic languages and has spent his life studying Islam and terrorism and has first-hand experience surviving in a country surrounded by hostile Arabs, Palestinians and Terrorists.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar presenting his views on the Mid-East Crisis at a recent Coudert Instititue
"Lunch & Learn" seminar in Palm Beach
The lecture was revealing in how differently the west views Islam and the Muslim world. We see the Middle East crisis in terms of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. However, the reality is that the real conflicts are between Arabs vs. Arabs in all of the countries of the Middle East… from Iran to Sudan, Egypt Iraq, Iran Sudan, Mali, Libya, Somalia.
It is our naïve thinking that all will be resolved when the Israeli’s make peace with the Palestinians and we will all live happily ever after in peace and harmony with the Arab world….
The first Earth is flat theory!
Dr. Kedar opened our eyes to a different reality. We confuse the Islamic world with the word Middle East… Islam has a far greater reach. North Africa for one, into the old Soviet Union for another… further East into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and into China…the Islamic world breaks down into tribal units… this tribal rivalry has killed millions of people over the centuries. It is this rivalry that is the basis of the conflict in the Middle East today. For example:
Mali: the French had to send in their troops to quell an uprising by an Al-Qaeda affiliated group called El Cede
Libya: Quadaffi was killed by his own people, but the unrest continues and over 100,000 people have been killed in tribal conflict between the Sahara Desert tribes and those in the North.
Egypt: the start of the much heralded Arab Spring – Democracy at last (we American’s pray at the altar of Democracy as the solution for the world’s ills.) In the much-heralded “Spring” thousands were killed in the first round and now, three years later, the military has taken over, squashed democracy and in the course killed another 2,000 people.
Somalia: an ungovernable state that has been in bloody conflict between the North and the South. Even now, the new Southern State if tearing itself apart in mortal conflict.
Sudan: over two million people killed in their tribal rivalry.
Iraq: We fought two horrible wars there in an effort to rid the country of a tyrannical dictator and to unite the country. We left (leaving thousands of American boys and girls killed in this fruitless war) and they’re at it again… Sunnis vs. Shiites. Car bombs, Mosques, Police Stations – brutal killings that make us shudder, but to the tribal leaders and their followers, it is a natural bi-product of their internecine conflict.
Syria: two hundreds thousand killed in a revolution in its third year that will not leave the country in better shape – no matter what the outcome.
Turkey: in disarray between an Islamist prime minister and a freethinking non-sectarian majority… look for more conflict there.
Afghanistan: The most prolonged war Americans have fought, with thousand of casualties and billions of wasted dollars. When we depart at the end of 2014 the country will fall apart and revert back to its tribal borders… it’s already happening.
All these millions killed and dislodged… and not an Israeli involved!!!… So what makes us American’s think that peace with the Palestinians will resolve the mid-east crisis? – A good question.
Another Earth is Flat Theory!
Mr. Kedar espouses one solution: Get rid of the existing borders, which were artificially created by European diplomats after the First World War… Let them establish their own countries based on the tribal customs. “High walls make good neighbors” If you are strong and defend your rights, your enemy will respect you and you will live forever after in peace with you hostile neighbors. Dr. Kedar cites the Arab Emirates as an example of a successful collection of tribal Fiefdoms. Even if one has oil, like Qatar and another like Dubai has none. Dubai has sand… lot of sand, which is valuable real estate.
In my opinion the danger of Dr. Kedar’s theory is that powerful War Lords will dominate these tribal fiefdoms and the Islamic world will revert back into the 16th Century.
This may well be another Earth is Flat theory!
Missing from Dr. Kedar’s equation:
One: Greed - greed between the haves and have-nots. One country has the oil the other has not. Take the Kurds… they want their oil for themselves, but their neighbors – Turkey – Iraq – Iran wants in on the spoils… African mineral rights including diamonds are a deadly factor and at least as divisive as the tribal issues.
Two: Radical Islam does not represent the billions of Muslims scattered around the word. And radical Islam does not care about tribal borders; they’re all about Jihad against the Infidels - meaning us!... Most Muslims are peaceful, but the radicals impose their violent agenda on the others.
Three: And finally, a little peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians may be a small victory in the over-all annals of things… but may be a nice attainable start!