In Iraq, a minority Arab Sunni-Muslims ruled over a majority of Arab Shiites, and non-Arab Kurds. This explosive blend was exposed in 1943, when Mullah Mustafa Barzani led a Kurdish rebellion against the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq seeking Kurdish independence. Barzani led another uprising in 1962 against the Sunni military dictator, General Abdul Karim Kassim. The Kurds and the Shiites in Iraq, encouraged by the Bush Sr. administration, rebelled once again in 1991, this time against the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein.
Jurisdiction of the area known as Palestine was awarded to Britain as a Mandate in accordance with the principles of the Balfour Declaration following a unanimous vote in the League of Nations. The area designated to be the site for the restored Jewish homeland included 37,000 sq. miles of land east of the Jordan River which is today’s Jordan (known then as Trans-Jordan). Arab pressure and the 1921 riots, in addition to pro-Arab policies of the British Mandatory administration in Palestine, prompted British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill to issue the 1922 White Paper in order to appease in particular the Hashemite family, which had lost Syria to the French and Arabia to Ibn Saud. Trans- Jordan became the consolation prize for the Hashemites for the loss of Damascus. The big losers were the Jews whose promise of a restored homeland was effectively reduced to 23% of the original.
In an attempt to recruit the Hashemites against the Ottoman Turks, London empowered Henry McMahon (Britain’s High Commissioner of Egypt) to negotiate with Hussein Bin Ali (the Hashemite Sharif of Mecca) in what is now known as the 1915 McMahon-Hussein correspondence. Britain promised to facilitate the establishment of an independent Arab nation in exchange for the Arab Revolt against the Turks.
In sheer unabashed perfidy, the British issued conflicted promises to all parties, and by pitting Arabs against Jews in Palestine, and Arabs against Kurds in Iraq, the British sought to divide and rule. British perfidy goes even deeper in its treatment of Palestinian Jews. On the eve of WWII, Britain issued another White Paper that effectively shut the doors of Palestine to Europe’s Jews attempting to escape Nazi Germany’s Holocaust. Once again, appeasing the Arab rioters, oil interests, and an anti-Semitic instinct by Britain’s elitist Foreign Office sought to guarantee an Arab majority in Palestine in total disregard of the Balfour Declaration.
The perfidy and treachery of Britain and France did not end with colonialism. Today, equipped with veto power in the UN Security Council, Britain and France can add hypocrisy to their policies.
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