by Lanny Carruthers:
Part 1 of 5
From the Ottoman Empire, Revolutionary War, Secession and the politics surrounding Civil War, World War I, FDR’s New Deal, Civil Rights legislation, Brexit, gay marriage, Calexit, marijuana, wife beater t-shirts and Confederate monuments, we will tiptoe through history to realize how different forms of society may doom the U.S. This will be presented in a series of articles.
Famed philosopher, essayists, poet and novelist George Santayana once said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In the lead up before the Civil War, Senator James M. Mason of Virginia (served 1847-1861) said, “I look upon the present crisis as a war of sentiment and opinion by one form of society against another form of society.” I will take Mason’s quote as inspiration for one of my own that will serve as the heart of this article. “Different forms of society cannot assimilate together harmoniously through force.” – Lanny L. Carruthers. “Force” takes shape in a variety of means to an end throughout history.
The sad thing about the present state of affairs is that there are numerous historical examples of different societies that were assimilated by force that have broken out into war and have separated once again. All we have to do is look to the Baltic States that have been taken over by many empires throughout the centuries. The Baltic States were controlled by the Soviet Empire and the communists until the 1980s when they revolted against Soviet rule during what was called the Singing Revolution and re-established their independence from the Soviets. This revolution led to many other Soviet republics to secede from the USSR. For Millennials, the USSR is now known as Russia. The same Russia that is known to have colluded with the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign/Fusion GPS, reportedly hacked John Podesta’s emails, Russian operatives potentially paid by the FBI and the same Russians found not to have colluded with the Donald Trump campaign.
Great Britain joined the European Economic Community on January 1, 1973. The EEC later expanded and became the European Union, a collective union of European countries. In the recent “Brexit” vote in June 2016 the people of Great Britain by a majority of 51.9% to 48.1% with a voter turnout of 71.8%, decided they no longer wanted to be a part of the European Union. Shortly thereafter negotiations began to work out details of the secession of Great Britain from the EU and the EU Court of Justice as codified by law allowing such secession. The Court of Justice may still have a role in supervising trade deals, but it will remove Great Britain from the Court of Justice’s jurisdiction. Long story short…the people of Great Britain seceded from the European Union by a peaceful vote and not war. Since the Brexit vote, many Britons are celebrating the announcement that the much revered “Blue Passport” will replace the burgundy EU passports, which have previously been described as a national humiliation, eliminated after Britain was forced to adopt the uniform design by the EU back in 1988. The “Blue Passport” was part of the British heritage that will return as a symbol of the UK regaining sovereignty from the European Union. How long will it take those in the minority of 48.1% to claim that they are offended by the “Blue Passport” design? Will they say #itsnotmypassport and call for its removal as a symbol of hatred? If you’ve ever attended or watched a session of the British House of Commons on television you know that will be a very spirited debate.
It would take months to discuss centuries of war, religious sects, number of maps of the Middle East and various empires. Most notable is that many of the problems facing the Middle East stem from the League of Nations which is the predecessor to the United Nations…imagine that! Apparently, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Following World War I the League of Nations divided up the Ottoman Empire (a large part of the Middle East) without any consideration given to religion, ethnic diversity or culture through the Balfour Declaration. Maybe President Trump should withhold all U.S. funding of the UN contingent upon its relocation to Iran or Iraq. Maybe then the UN will have a direct interest in achieving Middle East peace and human rights instead of providing lip service.
Any attempt to bring democracy to the theocracies of this part of the world is pointless. Realistically, the only thing that needs to be accomplished by the United Nations and nations of the world is recognition of a definitive state for Palestine and a definitive state for Israel. While the people of Israel truly desire peace, the Palestinian people are not partners for peace. They have proven this point time after time, rocket after rocket. Once definitive borders are set for these two states the United States should remove all troops from the Middle East and let the natural order of sectarian violence run its course unabated. Most wars in the Middle East are true civil wars of one form of society/religion against another form of society/religion. These wars are not greedy territorial wars in nature.
The underestimated intelligence of President Trump will probably deliver this policy before the end of his first term in office. Israel should reserve the right to defend themselves from Palestinian attacks with any means they deem necessary without any sympathy for the Palestinians. The Arab world must realize that the U.S. will come to the defense of Israel as needed. Most of the Middle East have been fighting for hundreds of years and will continue fighting to infinity. Now that the U.S. has improved its energy position we need not worry about energy supply from the Middle East.
The state system enacted after WWI has led to the failure to address the crucial issues the region has faced over the past century and a half – the identity struggle between nationalism and secularism, and Islamism. The various sects of the region follow various interpretations of Islam. Radical Islamists are attempting to force their very strict version of Islam over the region and the world for that matter is driving the instability of the Middle East and Western Civilization. Complicated by all that, influence exerted by the United States, Russia, France, Great Britain, Iran and others just pours fuel on the Middle East fire by attempting to force one form of society against another form of society. Therefore, the natural order of sectarian violence should be allowed to run its course in the Middle East. The United Nations can draw maps, but cannot solve tribal/sectarian differences in this region.
All of the above in the Middle East should be predicated on a clear line in the desert sand that “what happens in the Middle East stays in the Middle East.” Should terrorists strike any part of the United States and our allies there will be a price to pay and they should expect Secretary Mattis and the Armed Forces of the United States to unmercifully deliver the bill without UN approval. Radical Islamic Terrorists are not internationally recognized nations or armies and therefore not subject to Geneva Conventions. Any nation(s) that harbor and/or support these Radical Islamic Terrorists should effectively lose their protections of the Geneva Convention. Likewise, any civilized nation that suffers intrusion by Radical Islamic Terrorists should reserve the right to defend themselves as they deem appropriate without UN approval.
Coming up next: American Revolution and the period just before Secession.