May 5, 2013
Preface: Fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Muslims all think they are in a “holy war” against the other guy. As shown below, fundamentalists are being manipulated by the powers-that-be – many of whom are actually atheists – as part of a divide-and-conquer strategy to disempower people.The 2,000 Year Old Strategy
The strategy of dividing and conquering one’s foes is ancient.
Ancient Roman emperor Julius Cesar successfully used it thousands of years ago.
The application of the strategy in controlling one’s own people – divide and rule – has been used for just as long. As Wikipedia notes:
Elements of this technique involve:
- creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
- aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
- fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers [or groups]
- encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political [organization or opposition] …..
In discussing the use of “divide and rule” in the U.S., Wikipedia discusses the “Use of left-right politics“.
Indeed – even though the Founding Fathers warned us against the danger of a two-party system to divide the nation – left-right partisan divisions have successfully been deployed to distract and weaken the American people for centuries.
Religion has been used for the same purpose:
England invaded Ireland in 1170, but for the first 439 years it was a conquest in name only. In 1609, however, James I founded the Plantation of Ulster, imported 20,000 Protestant settlers, and introduced religious strife as a political tactic. By favoring Protestants over the native Catholics in politics and economics-the so-called “Ulster Privilege-the English pitted both groups against one another.
The tactic was enormously successful, and England used it throughout its colonial empire. Nowhere were the British so successful in transplanting the Irish model than in India.
As prime minister [Churchill] once said that he hoped that the tension between Hindus and Muslims would remain “A bulwark of British rule in India.”
The British were not alone in using religion as a tactic to divide and conquer. The French employed it quite successfully in Lebanon and Vietnam. In the former, Paris favored Maronite Christians over Muslims (and Sunni Muslims over Shiite Muslims), and in the latter, Catholics over Buddhists.
Exploiting religious differences hardly ended with the demise of the great colonial empires.
The French continue to exploit religious divisions in Lebanon, and the U.S. is currently trying to cobble together a Sunni united front to confront Washington’s three opponents in the Middle East: Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Syria is mostly Sunni, but Bashar al-Assad’s regime is dominated by Alawites, a variety of Shiism. Some 60 percent of Lebanon is Shiite.
But Shiites only constitute about 12 percent of Islam, and while Washington talks of a “Shiia crescent” as if it constituted some kind of united front, in fact there are enormous differences between Arab Syria and Lebanon, and non-Arabic speaking Iran.
Religion is increasingly being used to ramp up the fear factor in international politics.
Indeed, ramping up hatred and fear of other religions is an easy way for any government to consolidate power and rationalize war.
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader
No wonder the powers-that-be in the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia do everything possible to whip up fear of foreign religions.Atheist War Hawks Manipulate Believers to Beat the Drums of War
But wait, you may say ….
Perhaps the leaders of the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel really believe that we are really in a holy war?
That can’t be the case because – as shown above – U.S. and Israeli leaders have backed fundamentalist Muslims, and Saudi Arabia is working hand-in-hand with the U.S. and Israel in numerous endeavors.
Moreover, history reveals the cynicism of those manipulating people of faith to reach their goals.
For example, while the Saudi royal family pushes the most strict and fundamentalist form Islam, the Saudi royal family’s debauchery and corruption is legendary. The monarchs – while pushing strict Wahabism as the official state religion – don’t practice it.
Many orthodox Israeli Rabbis are against zionism as being antithetical to traditional Jewish values. As such, many Jews say that criticizing zionism is not anti-semitism. … and some zionists themselves admit that even non-Jews have the right to criticize Israel. (This post will not get into the debate about whether zionism is a good or bad political philosophy. We are only pointing out that the Israeli government’s statements about religion are disputed by many Orthodox Rabbis; and many Israelis claim that the government is cynically pushing a view of religion only because it promotes the government’s geopolitical desires).
In the U.S., Leo Strauss was the father of the Neo-Conservative movement, including many leaders of both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Indeed, many of the main neocon players – including Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Stephen Cambone, Elliot Abrams, and Adam Shulsky – were students of Strauss at the University of Chicago, where he taught for many years.
The people pushing for war against Iran are the same neocons who pushed for war against Iraq. See this and this. (They planned both wars at least 20 years ago.) For example, Shulsky was the director of the Office of Special Plans – the Pentagon unit responsible for selling false intelligence regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. He is now a member of the equivalent organization targeting Iran: the Iranian Directorate.
Strauss, born in Germany, was an admirer of Nazi philosophers and of Machiavelli. Strauss believed that a stable political order required an external threat and that if an external threat did not exist, one should be manufactured. Specifically, Strauss thought that:
A political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat . . . . Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured
(the quote is by one of Strauss’ main biographers).
What does this have to do with religion?
Strauss taught that religion should be used as a way to manipulate people to achieve the aims of the leaders. But that the leaders themselves need not believe in religion.
As Wikipedia notes:
In the late 1990s Irving Kristol and other writers in neoconservative magazines began touting anti-Darwinist views, in support of intelligent design. Since these neoconservatives were largely of secular backgrounds, a few commentators have speculated that this – along with support for religion generally – may have been a case of a “noble lie”, intended to protect public morality, or even tactical politics, to attract religious supporters.
So is it any surprise that the folks who planned war against Iraq and Iran at least 20 years ago are pushing religious disinformation to stir up the evangelical community?
Talking heads in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. are all promoting the Straussian playbook: stir up religious sentiment – even if you are personally an atheist – to create and demonize an “enemy”, so as to divide and conquer their people and other countries …The 3 Governments Support the Hard-Liners of “Enemy” Religions In Other Countries
But aren’t Christianity, Judaism and Islam mortal enemies? Isn’t there a holy war … which must be fought and won for our religion?
If that’s true, how come the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – the leaders of fundamentalist Christian, Islam and Judaism, respectively – are all very close allies?
Specifically, 85% of the American population identifies itself as Christian. The largest concentration of Evangelicals in the world can be found in the United States, where roughly a quarter of the world’s Evangelicals live (over 90 million). The U.S. is the seat of the most violent fundamentalist Christians (abortion clinic bombers, etc.)
Israel is obviously the center of the Jewish religion, and the seat of the most fundamentalist Jews.
And Saudi Arabia is the center of the most radical, fundamentalist and terror-prone branch of Muslims … the “Wahhabis” (also called “Salafis”). As Frontline reports:
For more than two centuries, Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. It is an austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Critics say that Wahhabism’s rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort Islam, pointing to extremists such as Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Wahhabism’s explosive growth began in the 1970s when Saudi charities started funding Wahhabi schools (madrassas) and mosques from Islamabad to Culver City, California.
The religious curriculum in Saudi Arabia teaches you that people are basically two sides: Salafis [Wahhabis], who are the winners, the chosen ones, who will go to heaven, and the rest. The rest are Muslims and Christians and Jews and others [and these non-Salafis] are supposed to be hated, to be persecuted, even killed.
[Wahhabism is] sort of an extreme orthodoxy that historically has not been shared by a majority of Muslims, particularly nobody outside of the Arabian Peninsula.
But the U.S. has long backed Saudi Arabia … and the Madrassa schools within Saudi Arabia which teach radical, violent Wahabi beliefs.
The Washington Post reported in 2002:
The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….
The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books ….
The Council on Foreign Relations notes:
The 9/11 Commission report (PDF) released in 2004 said some of Pakistan’s religious schools or madrassas served as “incubators for violent extremism.” Since then, there has been much debate over madrassas and their connection to militancy.
Read more: http://newsrescue.co.../#ixzz2SRfV5jeD