THE OILY MESS BETWEEN THE ARABS & THE BRITS
By Guest Blogger: SANDRA GLUSCHANKOFF — Argentinian (read bio)
Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a King…
I love stories where there is a King and a Queen and heroes.
Historical fiction is my favorite novel genre because it is full of mysteries, love triangles, secret alliances, and dirty betrayals. The best part of these novels is that even though the main characters are mostly fictional, the facts are based on true events.
The true story I am about to share with you involves kings and queens and very powerful people. They all began playing nicely in a puddle of oil until they took the game to a ruthless cut-throat competition to own the puddle. In the game they became entangled in secret treaties and treacherous betrayals, and as the stakes got higher, so did the collateral damage.
This story of “oil fever” accompanied by greed involves the two most powerful empires in the history of the world: the Persian Empire, the most powerful in ancient history, and the British Empire, which is considered the largest empire in history, with the most global power.
I wish this story would have some fiction to it, but unfortunately it doesn’t and it turns my favorite genre from historical fiction to historical horror.
The battle for oil started sometime in the beginning of the 20th Century when the British Empire, in its best form of ‘imperialism’ in the Middle East, secured the Iranian oil which was much needed to transition off from coal. With that they joined the naval arms battle, which detonated into World War I, making this the first oil war in the world.
With the blessing and financial protection of the British government, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed. The British established a strong presence in the Middle East, masqueraded under an Arab facade, and forced the then Turkish Muslim region of Mesopotamia(now known as Iraq) to transfer their oil to them, expanding their dominance in the region.
Why do you need to know all these facts you may wonder? Well, the story goes as follows: When WWI erupted in 1914, the British took control of a small German oil subsidiary company called British Petroleum, and combined it with its Turkish Persian oil operation and there we have it – the official birth of BP.
At the same time, in order to keep control of the Middle East region, the British were desperately striking treaties and deals with everybody and their grandmothers. Yes, here’s where the betrayal in my historical horror develops.
Due to the siding of the Turks with Germany during WWI, the British exchanged letters with Arab leaders during the year of 1915, in what is notoriously known as the Hussein-McMahon correspondence. In this agreement, the British promised the Arabs the control of the Ottoman Empire lands (Turkey) in exchange for their cooperation in defeating the Turks.
A short time later in 1916, the British struck a secret deal with the French in what was the Sykes-Pikot Agreement, where the same lands promised to the Arabs less than a year before were now virtually divided between the French, the British, and a new player: the Russians.
Fast forward to the next year, 1917. The British signed the Balfour Declaration, where they approved the establishment of a Jewish nation in the same lands that were already promised to the Arabs, the French, and the Russians. Did you know that Arabs and Jews lived in harmony before the British clawed their paws in the regions? What happened?
Israel was situated in the heart of all the Arab countries. It was the only one in the region with an outlet to the ocean, making that tiny piece of land the most desirable strategic point in the Middle East. No wonder they called it (and still do) “The Promised Land”. Controlling the oil and access to the shipping lane in the Middle East was a definite win-win situation for the British as long as they were willing to share with their playground buddies, the Arabs.
Messy, right? But it was not over. Oil was still the main concern for the British government. They could see the circle closing in on them, when the Jews started immigrating to what was then Palestine and they were not as easy to handle as the British thought they would be. As usual, they had an Arab contestant who was willing to play puppet for them in exchange of a piece of the pie. His name was Faisal bin Al-Hussein. He was the first Arab to strike a deal with the Jews, recognizing the need of a Jewish establishment in Palestine.
As a result, the Faisal-Weizmann Treaty was created, in which he literally defined the Palestinians as savages who did not belong to the Arab world.
Faisal was promised, like all the other players on this chess board, the moon and the stars by the British. In 1919 he was named King of Syria. His kingdom was short lived when the French, sore from the British betrayal in the Sykes-Pikot Agreement, kicked Faisal’s ass out of the region in 1920 during the Franco Syrian War.
Faisal went to the U.K., crown in hand demanding, a throne to sit on or else. The British with the wave of a magic wand and oil power in their blood gave birth to the Kingdom of Iraq with Faisal as king.
Kings have come and gone, more wars have erupted throughout this past century, and the 50/50 share of the British- Persian oil partnership switched to a 90/10 after the Ayatollah took power of the Persian region.
It is clear, one thing has not changed: British Petroleum is still an Arab-British company. The English have committed many mistakes throughout history and one of them is playing with the kids in the sand box that don’t know how to share and have no scruples. Those are the Arab leaders who have no regard for their own people, with even less for the rest of the world.
Here’s some proof: the recent explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has resulted in 11 American deaths and the endangerment of our environment. Thousands of American soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq (the English creation), trying to protect a freedom they don’t cherish, and ultimately the 9/11 massacre. These are some of the saddest and truest pictures of the how the British have empowered the Arabs with no way of controlling them.
Unfortunately, they have affected our lives in America and threatened our freedom. Still the U.K does not sever its ties with Iran. No wonder Ahmadinejad walks about with a grin on his face and not much worry. I would too if I would be having tea with British royalty.
We thought that our submissiveness to the British rule was over in 1786; we threw the famous tea leaves into the ocean, celebrating the Boston Tea Party.
We were wrong. As long as our government allows the Arabs to dig our coasts under the pretense of a British company, we are allowing the people who shed American blood to infiltrate our country, gain profit while damaging our environment, and laugh their asses off at how stupid we are.
Stupid, that’s exactly what I mean! Ladies and gentleman, indirectly the Arabs are digging our coasts because of the unfinished business and unpaid debts the British have with them since the beginning of the 20th century. By indirectly doing business with Iran we are financing every terrorist attack around the world.
When we thought we were free of British rule in 1786 we tainted our oceans with tea. Today, our ocean is tainted with oil as a sad reminder that our freedom is only an illusion as long as our addiction to oil will not cease.
I will put a twist to the story I just told you and will add some crazy fiction to it. What if the explosion that occurred in the BP plant was an Iranian terrorist attack? Let’s not forget that Iran is one of the biggest enemies the U.S has in the world today.