Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fear and Loathing

T.E. LawrenceIn 1918, the regular forces of British Commanding Officer General Edmund Allenby defeated the remaining Turkish Army in Palestine. A final and conclusive strike at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918 left the road to Damascus open.

By the time Allenby arrived Colonel T.E. Lawrence and the Arabs were already installed. With Lawrence translating Allenby attempted to deliver the message to Prince Feisal that his newly-appointed Arab government would not be recognized and the city was to be handed over to the French. Both Lawrence and Feisal reacted angrily to Western duplicity. The irregular troops that had pursued the Arab Revolt against the Turks now set their sights on the British and French, and their fury was very great indeed.
Arabist
After this fateful meeting Allenby asked his commander for leave and returned to England a broken man. Allenby was promoted to Field Marshal and later served as Britain's High Commissioner in Egypt from 1919 to 1925. He outlived Lawrence by one year.
~ quotation by Steve Payne

In 1922, volunteer troops of the Empire Legion reinforced the Anglo-French garrison at Çanakkale, the narrowest point of the Dardanelles.

Not only was the Greek Army in full retreat from Smyrna, but the Chanak Incident was about to kick off big time.

Having just replaced Lloyd George's war-time coaliton government, incoming British Prime Minister Lord Curzon feared the War in Asia Minor was about to escalate into the Second Great War - on his watch. That was why an Empire Legion comprising British, Canadian, ANZAC, SA, Rhodesian, Indian volunteers was just the ticket. MacKenzie King's government in Canada was against intervention, and the British public had no appetite for conflict. Curzon also had one eye on the Labour Party who were threatening the Conservatives now that the Liberals had imploded.

Curzon had made his own calculations. He hoped that the veterans of the Empire Legion could reprise their recent stunning victory with White Forces in Northern Russian, dismantling the new Soviet regime.

It was a new kind of armed foreign policy, in which the Great Powers would fight covert wars with irregular troops. Curzon was very much aware that on the other side of Turkey, was Colonel T.E. Lawrence and Prince Feisal whose own irregular troops were fighting a new Arab Revolt, against their new masters - the British and the French governments who had simply replaced the Turkish occupation in the Middle East.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.


Bernard Montgomery"Einsatzgruppe Egypt" [the Nazi Death Squad] was standing by in Athens and was ready to disembark for Palestine in the summer of 1942 [to extend the Holocaust into Palestine], attached to the "Afrika Korps" led by General Erwin Rommel."
~ Monty justifying the extension of the British Mandate in Palestine
Bernard Montgomery - Imperialist
Imperialist
Field Marshall Montgomery, Chief of the Imperial General Staff reacting to pressure for Britain to withdraw its forces from Palestine in response to Jewish terrorism.

Montgomery said that if not for the British victory at El Alamein, Nazi Germany would have expanded the extermination of Jews beyond the borders of Europe and into British-controlled Palestine during World War Two.

Montgomery presented the Irgun bombed of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem with evidence that death squads known as "Einsatzgruppe Egypt" were standing by in Athens and was ready to disembark for Palestine in the summer of 1942.
This group would be attached to the "Afrika Korps" led by the famed desert commander General Erwin Rommel. The Middle East death squad, similar to those operating throughout eastern Europe during the war, was to be led by SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Walther Rauff.

"The central plan for the group was the realization of the Holocaust in Palestine," said Montgomery, "But since Germany never conquered British-controlled Palestine, plans for bringing the Holocaust to what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories never came to fruition."
~ quotation by Steve Payne

Woodrow Wilson"The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. "
~ Woodrow Wilson, Global Peace Architect
Woodrow Wilson - US President
US President
Before his refusal to meet with Ho Chi Minh at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

Uncle Ho requested an appointment to urge that the principle of self-determination should also apply to the population of the French Union Colony of Indochina.

Wilson believed that the principles codified in the Treaty of Versailles should extend no further than Europe, seeing no parallel exclusion of African Americans from the US Constitution. A historic opportunity was missed whilst there was still time to prevent a mistake becoming a human catastrophe. The full story of Minh's Peace Conference Gambit is described at Today in Alternative History
~ quotation by Steve Payne

Mobile PhonesIn 2011, the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, said that because it can take more than a decade for cancer symptoms to become detectable only now was it possible to "say for certain" that handsets can cause the disease.

MTHR had been running more than a dozen studies assessing the effects on human health, reporting as late as 2007 that "Phone safety is still an unknown".

The independent group of scientists had received more than £10m from the UK Government and the mobile phone industry.
Market Collapses
Professor Lawrie Challis, the MTHR chairman, said: "We can now say with confidence that cancer can appear through excessive use of mobile phone handsets". Bluetooth technology and hands free sets are expected to be the "winners" when consumer confidence returns.
~ quotation by Steve Payne

FDR"First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. "
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR - US President
US President
Whilst the fears of isolationists prevented the United States from joining World War II. A generation later, America faced the Empires of Germany and Japan alone as described by Harry Turtledove In the Presence of Mine Enemies
~ quotation by Steve Payne

Glubb Pasha Glubb PashaIn 1941, 'the internecine struggles of the Arabs,' Glubb Pasha told Count László de Almásy and Colonel Ned Lawrence 'are more in the minds of Arab politicians than the struggle against the Jews. Azzam Pasha, the mufti and the Syrian government would sooner see the Jews get the whole of Palestine than that King Abdullah should benefit.'
The Mufti was more than keen for the Final Solution to be brought to the British mandate in Palestine. On balance, Lawrence was confident that Glubb Pasha could be expected to do the "right thing" in a forthcoming war of independence. After all, who could not be impressed by what Lawrence called "the eternal miracle of Jewry?"
~ variant by Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the genius of Susan Shwartz and Michael Ondaatje

Ulysses spacecraft
Ulysses spacecr..
In 1994, on this day the Ulysses probe passed the Sun's south pole. The spacecraft was launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery by NASA and the European Space Agency, equipped with instruments to characterize fields, particles, and dust. Part of the InterPlanetary Network (IPN), Ulysses provided the first clues to the Sun's accelerating gamma ray bursts.
By 2030, the IPN had been renamed to the United Nations Committee for Survival of Life on Earth and increasingly desperate measures were being attempted to deal with this planet-threatening solar development.
~ entry by Steve Payne

In 1990, George Alec Effinger published his counter-history masterpiece Everything But Honour, posing the question What if Robert E. Lee fought for the Confederacy and the Civil War was over after Lincoln issued an Emancipation Proclamation? Thinking things would be better, a white supremacist working in 1938 Imperial Germany goes back in time to make Lee follow a different path. Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee

~ entry by Steve Payne

Annapolis
Annapolis
1788, the North American Union Constitutional Convention in Annapolis set the date for the country's first Governor-General's election. Victoria became the temporary capital as Britain restructured the Thirteen Colonies and Canada into self-autonomous Dominions.
~ entry by Steve Payne


In 1940, Italy invaded Egypt. A group of officers, headed by Gamal Abdul Nassar, and Anwar el-Sadat, secretly side with the Italians, ridding Egypt of Britain's presence. The “factional” account was told by counter-historian Ken Follett in his masterpiece ”The Keys to Rebecca” (1980). In a tribute to Philip K Dick's 1964 counter-factual novel Man in the High Castle, Follett presented a book within a book, 'The Sphinx Lies Heavy'. Keys to Rebecca
Set in Britain in 1956, the proud nation has humiliated President Nasser by seizing back the Suez Canal after nationalisation. All because some ten years earlier Britain defended Egypt from the Italians, and chose not to punish a group of officers, headed by Gamal Abdul Nassar, and Anwar el-Sadat who secretly side with the invaders. Like Dick before him, the essence of Follett's masterpiece is the duality of his frightening visions.

~ entry by Steve Payne

God save the queen, the fascist regime
They made you a moron, potential H-bomb
God save the queen she ain't no human being
There is no future in England's dreaming
God Save the QueenDon't be told what you want, Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future, No future for you
God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen God saves
And our figurehead is not what she seems

~ Lyrics to “God Save the Queen” - Click to Watch
God Save the Queen
In 1977, an off-site Cabinet meeting by the executors of the Plot Against British Prime Minister Harold Wilson entered day two at Chequers. Interim Prime Minister Lord Louis Mountbatten and his deputy Major General Ord Wingate, DSO were in the Chair. Also present was the Home Secretary Margaret Thatcher and the Minister for Citizenship Mary Whitehouse who had just finished watching the latest installment of horror - the Sex Pistols playing "God Save the Queen".

Both military leaders had a strong sense of perspective. They understood fully that the problem went back to 1951, with the Conservative victory when Churchill formed his first peacetime administration. He had little feel for what should be done. He confided to Oliver Lyttleton that "In the worst of the war I could always see how to do it. Today's problems's are elusive and intangible."

Afterwards, Mountbatten and Wingate retired with brandys and cigars. Privately, Ord thought the Sex Pistols were right about one thing. In that haunting line "And our figurehead is not what she seems", there was a nugget of wisdom. After all, had not the Queen engineered Harold Wilson out of power to be replaced by Interim Prime Minister Louis Mountbatten?

The lyrics are available at at Plyrics
~ quotation by Steve Payne

1 comment:

Reverend Robbie said...

The TE Lawrence post - they did say it was the war to end all wars...

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