Twilight of the Gods

About 10 years ago I read an amazing book, PALESTINIAN TWILIGHT, that was a dramatized documentary about the murder of an American Lutheran pastor who was Professor of Archaeology at Bir Zeit University in Palestine. Ultimately his death was blamed on the Palestinians because he was rumoured to be having affair with his deputy, a beautiful young Palestinian woman.

It was and is an unlikely scenario given the man’s advanced age, and fundamental Christian values, and the Palestinian man convicted of the murder made his confession under torture. Shortly afterwards he was assassinated himself, so he was never interviewed by anybody other than the Israeli authorities. And there was strong evidence to suggest that it was the Israelis who assassinated the professor because his archaeological digs were undermining the Israeli narrative that they had first claim on The Holy Land. And since the Israelis control all archaeological findings the professor’s results were never published.

Whatever! These sorts of brutal shenanigans have become irrelevant. With the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, supported by the Americans, it seems certain that the Israelis will soon annex the West Bank, with the support of the Americans. If that happens all dreams of Palestinian statehood will be snuffed out.

And Arab support for the Palestinians is falling victim to the theological and geopolitical battle between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. For obvious reasons Saudi Arabia is supporting America’s determination to destabilize Iran. Unfortunately HEZBOLLAH, funded and backed by Iran, was and is the most effective opponent of Israeli expansion. They fought the Israelis to a standstill on their last attempt to invade South Lebanon. If Iran falls then so does Hezbollah, and so do the Palestinians.

It seems that God the Father of Christian Palestinians and their Western supporters has abandoned them, and Allah the God of Muslim Palestinians has too. As the Lutheran pastor himself noted “I always end up on the losing side.” It is like the Norse epic Ragnarök – the Twilight of the Gods.

I used the story line of the Professor’s murder to begin and end my book of short stories, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. But I changed the characters to an elderly and childless English couple who ran a Church of England orphanage in Ramallah. The feeble and diabetic man was murdered either because of his close relationship with his young female Palestinian assistant, or because the orphanage was seen by the Israelis as a breeding ground for a generation of confident and independent and well educated Palestinian youths. This was symbolic to me of the ruthless way the Israelis’ have taken control of every aspect of Palestinian life.

All the other stories in my book are also dramatized documentaries. They are based on events I myself witnessed, or were reported to me by reliable sources during my 40 years working in and around The Arabian/Persian Gulf.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East in Kindle format at:

amazon.com

Or in paperback edition on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

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Did Netanyahu annex The West Bank?

Apart from the token outrage of Western media and politicians, Netanyahu’s vote-grabbing announcement that he would annexe the West Bank if elected passed calmly. As far as Palestinians are concerned their promised state is already annexed and under the control of the Israeli police and military. The building of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank continues apace connected by settlers-only roads forbidden to Palestinians. Apart from the Gaza strip, Palestine has ceased to exist, and the two-state solution is dead in the water.

And a potentially bigger conflict is looming as Israeli turns its attention to the gas and oil potential of the Eastern Mediterranean. With its complex of nation states claiming sovereign mineral rights – Egypt, Israel (Gaza Palestine?), Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Cyprus (Greek and Turkish) – it’s a nightmare.

I have a wide experience of oil revenue allocations, and it is a bitter struggle about the huge revenue potentials, especially for smaller and less powerful players. With the overwhelming support of Trump’s America, Israel will be a the most powerful player indeed.

Much as I am anti-Zionist, I have to admire the determination of Israel to exploit and manipulate every opportunity to their advantage. Would that all of us had this ruthless determination.

Supposedly in conflict with the Arabian Gulf States they have cooperated with the UAE in the establishment of the diamond trade in Dubai – and Hassidic diamond dealers enter the UAE quite freely. And now, with the growing regional power struggle between Shia Iran and Sunna Saudi Arabia, the Israelis are offering their cooperation, and finance to The Gulf States, to build a rail link from The Arabian Gulf to The Mediterranean. Shades of the Ottoman Empire and Lawrence of Arabia?

And, along the way of course, defeating Iran will blunt the very successful Iranian backed Hezbollah’s fight against Israel in Lebanon.

Maybe the young graduates I mentored in Saudi Arabia were right. The Zionists do not only covet Palestine, they want the whole of the Middle East: the vast oil wealth and all the Holy places of Christendom and Islam.

When I was working in The Arabian Gulf, some 10 years ago, the Israel/Palestine conflict was front and centre. Now, distracted by the rise of China to potential world dominance, and an existential fatigue with endless Mid-East conflict (Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, Syria, ISIS/Daesh etc.), Palestine will just fade off the map. Mission accomplished. Ethnic cleansing swept under the carpet.

How ironic: the magic carpet hovering over the Middle East is the carpet of Zion, and not of Islam.

My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” will take you back to when the developed world seemed concerned about the fate of the Palestinians. Of Eisenhower’s mistrust of the Israelis, and the Oslo Peace Accords, and the Road Map to peace – all of which have been ignored and trampled on by the Israelis. My book is written from the point of view of expatriate oil workers like me; the flotsam and jetsam that washed up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf – victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. The same system that has given their unwavering support to the Zionists, and who were the architects of the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

Whatever happened to The Global Village

A few years ago it was the orthodoxy – the body of ideas that all right thinking people should adopt without question – to talk about the world as one big global village. Globalization a.k.a. Americanization would bring peace and prosperity, and universal Happyness.

Then came 9/11 – and then the GFC of 2008.

Nobody talks much about the Global Village any more, and DAVOS – the Olympus of the Gods of Globalization – was poorly attended this year.

When you reach your 80s, with a mind reasonably intact, then Karl Marx’s “History repeats itself, first time tragedy second time farce,” or the more elegant French saying, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” resonate ever more strongly.

Do people remember these financial scandals of recent times?

– LOHNRO
– Investors Overseas Services
– Slater Walker
– BICC
– Icelandic Banks
– Societe General
– Barings Bank
– Northern Rock
– Lehman Brothers
– Bernie Madof
– Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac

And all the other nefarious dealings – and at times sheer incompetence – of the financial community? The unacceptable face of capitalism.

Or further back in time:

– The Great Depression of the 1930s

And even further back:

– The South Sea Bubble of 1720
– The Dutch Tulip Mania Bubble of 1636

And yet we continue to try and build a global society based on get-rich-quick speculative bubbles (a.k.a. financial derivatives and hedge funds) so that the filthy rich can get even filthier. There is currently about 8 times more out in paper than actual assets exist in the world. And if I have sparked your interest read Loretta Napoleoni’s excellent book ROGUE ECONOMICS for a more detailed and informed analysis.

Last year the wealth of the top 1% in the world increased by 18%, and the wealth of the bottom 50% decreased by 10%. I guess you could call that balance? Does anybody wonder why Trump, and BREXIT – and even ISIS (DAESH). These represent the backlash to the ruthless greed of the people who contribute nothing, merely seeking to make money from money, and ruin the lives of normal people. And of course they will fight endlessly to maintain their supremacy. Hence the howls of rage against Trump and Brexit.

My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” concerns the flotsam and jetsam that washes up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. Expatriate American and British workers who are victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. And my work in progress, GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns one man ruined and brought to the end of his tether by the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Australia’s bizarre decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and reserve East Jerusalem for the Palestinians, pleased no one, and succeeded in antagonising everyone.

The Israelis claim the whole of Jerusalem as their own, and of course the Palestinians oppose this. And thinking of William Blake’s anthem JERUSALEM, that holy city resonates just as strongly in the Christian ethos. Think The Crusades and Richard Coeur de Lion.

Who would have thought that a remote desert oasis, whose reason for existence was a freshwater spring that never dried up, would become the focus for so much intellectual debate about the meaning of life and death – and brutal physical strife and the hatred of religious intolerance.

The background to my current work in progress, THE GULF “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns itself with the long history of the Middle East, the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of our civilization, the Sumerians invention of writing and establishment of written law. And later the Silk Roads that brought exotic goods and ideas from the Far East. My current book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” is set on Bahrain as it transformed from a sleepy backwater of the British Empire into an independent nation state that acts as an interface between The West, and insular Saudi Arabia.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

http://www.feedaread.com

The Muppet Show – or Fiddling while Rome is Burning?

Right now the Australian government is in uproar and has yet again changed Prime Ministers. That’s 5 Prime Ministers (only two elected) in 8 years.

Is the reason for this?:

1) A Royal Commission has found evidence of widespread corruption and outright criminal activity in the banking and financial sector (what a surprise).
2) There is a huge and growing drug addiction crisis (The highest illegal drug usage per capita in the developed world). A 28% increase in consumption year on year 2016-17.
3) The state of NSW is in the throes of the worst drought in 100 years driving many farmers to the wall – and some to suicide.
The answer is none of the above.

The answer lies in the overriding concerns of politicians – their ego and their vanity. The ruling Liberal party was sinking rapidly in the polls because of their lack of action over the above problems – and a huge increases in the cost of living.

The patrician leader Malcolm Turnbull was replaced, and like Serena Williams, displayed a complete lack of class. He resigned from Parliament on the spot, handing a poisoned chalice to the incoming leader. He has to try and operate in Parliament without a majority.

And the man who first started the leadership challenge, Peter Dutton, is now being challenged and vindictively pursued because it is alleged that he, as Home Affairs Minister, let in a French and Italian Aupair in order to help his mates. All they did was babysit. Meanwhile there has been no satisfactory answer why the perpetrator of the Lindt Café Siege – an Iranian illegal immigrant with 36 counts of sexual assault, and one count of accessory to murder – was free to roam the streets on bail.

It is so bad, that one of the Opposition MPs has labelled parliament THE MUPPET SHOW, and wonders why he bothers to turn up such is the low level of debate.

Last year the main concerns of Parliament were Gay Marriage, with a very expensive and time consuming referendum, and the number of MPs who had dual nationality. They did absolutely no harm. There was no evidence that they were acting as agents for their Mother countries. But they were forced to resign on a technicality, causing a series of disruptive and expensive by-elections. It’s all part of the game. Huff and Puff and Ponce around to avoid the serious issues.

Fiddling while Rome is burning.
In the broader political context of the background to my new book GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” the starting point is a meeting of the “Great and The Good” that took place in Corfu. The occasion was the 40th birthday of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, and her party attended by Lord Rothschild, David Cameron and George Osbourne, former UK Prime Minister and UK Chancellor, and Peter Mandelson, the right hand man of Tony Blair, the existing UK Prime Minister at that time.
One of the outcomes of that get together was Mandelson and Rothchild squabbling over a GBP 50K donation solicited from Oleg Deripasky the wealthiest Russian oligarch. He was also present on the island at that time.
And while squabbling over the petty cash none of these Masters of the Universe foresaw the GFC – the multi-billion dollar financial meltdown that would ruin the lives of millions of people – and expose the greed, the cynicism, the criminality and sheer incompetence of unbridled global laissez faire free market capitalists.
The overriding theme of my current book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, is that Western politicians have persisted in trying to make the Middle East conform to their view of how they think it should be – democratic, free market, capitalistic – a system that isn’t even working in The West. The calibre of our leaders has never been lower. It is time for another Oliver Cromwell. Or maybe we have found one in Donald Trump?

To quote Rudyard Kipling: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

Tomorrow the World?

 

“See you in Jerusalem . . . tomorrow,” was a greeting by Zionists expressing their desire to see Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

 

            Now that they have all but achieved that ambition – hiding behind the swagger of Donald Trump, and the influence of his Israeli son-in-law Jared Kushner – what is next?

 

             When I worked in Saudi Arabia, even the moderate Western educated young graduates I mentored said that the Israelis would never be satisfied until they controlled the whole of the Middle East – and its oil. At the time I thought that was extreme. But now with Trump cancelling the nuclear treaty with Iran I have become a believer. 

 

In exactly the same way as the build up to the deposing of Saddam Hussein, they are setting up to depose the Ayatollahs. The lies and deception about Saddam’s WMD, and his “yellow cake” nuclear weapons program are being replicated by Netanyahu and Trump recycling old – and discredited – data about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

 

           Saddam was the most credible threat to Israel’s hegemony in the Middle East – and so he was removed by Bush, with the shameful collaboration of Tony Bloody Liar. Now Iran – and specifically the Iran back Hezbollah – are the most credible threat to Israeli expansion and control. The last time Israel invaded South Lebanon they were soundly beaten back by Hezbollah – and Israel lost control of South Lebanon.

 

 What baffles me is that the US, and other Western governments, never mention Israel’s stockpile of 400 nuclear weapons, or its refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Agreement. Does anybody doubt that Israel would start hurling these weapons at anybody and everybody if they were losing their battle?

 

While Israel has nuclear weapons I think it is permissible for Iran (or Saudi Arabia) to also have them. The situation is the same as Pakistan and India developing them to neutralize each other. It’s called a balance of power. 400 to nil is not a balance of power.

 

 Israel, backed by Trump, claiming Jerusalem as its capital to the exclusion of Christians and Muslims, is yet another act of aggression and destabilization. Israel has no interest in a stable situation. Only instability can be exploited under the guise of national security.

 

 It seems to me that successive Israeli governments (with the honorable exception of Iitzak Rabin) are intent on obliterating the Palestinians. They have no intention of allowing a 2 State solution.

 

In my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, I have a character – Uncle Tom – who is murdered because of his support for a Christian home for orphaned Palestinian children. Like all my stories this is a fictionalization of a true story that concerns a Christian missionary/archaeology professor. He was murdered because it was rumoured he had found evidence that the Palestinians were in the Holy Land before the Jews.

 

 The inspiration for that story was from a brilliant book, ‘Palestinian Twilight’ by Edward Fox.

 

 You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its other fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

 

 www.amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

 

            http://www.feedaread.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my best friends are Palestinians

Gallery

Not strictly true. But when I went to work for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia my first boss Saeed Al-Jerbi was a Palestinian refugee, married to a Saudi woman. He was a deeply religious Muslim who treated me with respect, and … Continue reading