Divide and Rule by Dr. M.Manzoor Alam (JUNE 14, 2007)

Recently a major American newspaper published a full-length article on "deteriorating" Saudi-US relations. It is quite well known that the Saudi king had recently announced his determination not to become the "Middle East’s Tony Blair".

The writer lamented that the Saudis had frustrated the United States by intervening in the intra-Palestinian conflict and mediating an agreement between Hamas and Fatah, thus preventing a full-fledged civil war. According to the author, the US took it as a stab in the back by their old friends, the Saudi royal family.

Wait a minute. Does the United States think that the Saudis would be acceptable only when they allow (if not actively promote) an intra-Arab war? Is the US so keenly bent upon weakening and destroying the Arabs that promoting peace between Arabs automatically becomes an unfriendly act for America?

Whose interest is the US serving by adopting such a dishonourable stance? Of course, Israel’s. The Israel lobby is  so powerful in the United States that American politicians are always in the service of Israel, promoting dissension in Arab ranks, so that Israel remains strong in comparison to the Arabs.

Sadly, the Arabs too always look prepared to oblige Israel by fighting among themselves. The current round of bloody, useless and foolish fighting between Hamas and Fatah illustrates this point. The latest eruption of fighting between Palestinians has already claimed many lives. It also shows that their vows in the Haram Sharif at Makkah were not true and the Saudi-mediated agreement has been virtually, if not formally, terminated.

Even more distressing is the news published in some newspapers that the US is planning to support Sunni fighters in a certain area of Iraq. Earlier in the war they were posing as great friends of Shias. In every speech US politicians, and in every report and article US newspapers and magazines emphasised the Shia-Sunni divide. The same pattern was more clearly visible in Lebanon war. The US is interested in aggravating intra-Muslim divisions by supporting one side today and the other side tomorrow.

This policy was framed right in the days of the Iranian revolution. They carried special studies on the schism at the heart of Islam to use it in future. This is classical imperial strategy from the days of the Roman Empire: devide et impera.


Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam

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